What is a Conscious Hipster?

Hello to you who are reading this. I have figured out that you can ask questions or throw some food for thought at me directly right here on this blog by filling in the form below. I’m happy to hear from you and contribute to conscious evolution and personal empowerment  in this small way on a more public blog platform, rather then the more private one to one work I offer. Fill in the form below to get in touch.

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As I write this blog I am listening to a new mix by Optic Echo. They are amazing experimental samplers and ambient remix producers and you can listen to it by clicking this link and letting it play in another window whilst you read my blog OPTIC ECHO on Mixcloud

I get a lot of messages, emails and inquires on facebook and twitter from people asking me all sorts of questions about this and that, mostly to do with inquiries about resources or advice on wellbeing.

Lately, I am getting stuck in to the mountain of videos I have to edit, some Pre-Cannes writing of movie pitches and doing the one to one coaching, consultancy and yoga in person or via skype… so I’ve got a lot on my plate! I am fully passionate about all of the above projects and commitments, so really feeling blessed to love my work.

As a form of creative expression, I am producing some remixes of sound healing recordings to possibly hand over to Optic Echo or the DJs at Cafe Del Mar in Ibiza in an attempt to digitally send healing vibes to all those clubbers whilst they are lounging about at sunset or on a comedown the morning after the night before…

So I haven’t got a lot of brainspace or energy to personally, privately and carefully reply to every inquiry I get….let  alone go on a date. I really want to make space in my life for some romance, to go on more dates and to work less haha this is true!

I also have learnt a few things the hardway or maybe thats the best way?

I learnt that I do too much pro bono work ie freebies. Henceforth I will only be doing one pro bono project per year and I will be very selective about what that is. Feel free to submit your project proposals to me if you are looking for a Producer for a short film or art project. I will be choosing my annual pro bono creative collaboration project at the end of 2014 for production in 2015.

I have learnt that I am not going to do any more video editing work as it is not my passion or my forte, it is very obsessive and slow work for me to do and is my least favourite part of the filmmaking process, I dont mind so much to play around experimenting with editing but on anything I am expected to deliver to a collaborator or client the editing becomes a lot of physical and mental stress for me. So in the future if it is not a self initiated project I am going to ensure that the budget is big enough to hire an editor or else I will turn it down.

I have also been pondering on a solution for the sometimes powerful one question inquiries I get. Some of them seem so frantic, vital or urgent to the inquirer…so, If it’s just one question that you think I might be able to answer and that one answer might be enough to empower you…then I welcome you to send that question to me here (see the form at top of blog page and please specify if you prefer to remain anonymous or use a fake name on the form).

I will be evolving this blog into more of a platform for pondering your questions rather then the diary of introspective drizzle that has taken up much of my writing in cyberspace. I really only did that to begin finding my written voice and also as I have a personal aversion of being preached at.

I have met so many teachers and healers and Gurus along the way, who love nothing more then to sit and dish out widsom, advice or their view on the world as if it is the one and only truth. I am allergic to that and I think it’s my very immature inner “Bart Simpson” who thinks “eat my shorts” when someone patronizes me as though I know nothing and they know everything. My wiser self has learnt to intervene by saying “please ask me don’t tell me” and this sometimes throws people off course, as they have to then put in some effort to formulate a question rather then just broadacst or channel opinions at me.

It is of course really great to film inspiring experts who like to speak, rant or preach as they require no prompting and nudging, I often turn a camera on to people who talk at me and then it feels more winwin. I really can’t stand when people preach as this suggests an assumption that the person or people being preached at know nothing and should just shutup, sit and listen. I find it mostly insulting though often times fascinating and potentially interesting too. In response to feeling this way about being preached at or dictated to, I try not to preach my learnings at others in real everyday life. I make it clear that I am here for you/others if you have questions I try to answer them but I rarely offer up knowledge aas though I am an expert who needs to be listened to.

Please feel free to ask me and I will share what I know or “phone a friend/expert” to quote and get a good answer for the blogosphere.

In this blog I have turned inwards mostly to empower and teach through my own clumsy and raw journey, rather then preach at you how to evolve your own consciousness…

So now, I welcome you to ask me and I will gladly ponder on your inquiries and answer your questions or defer them to the elders and experts as and when I can. This way, The Conscious Hipster blog will grow into a platform of solutions.

This also shows my own evolution… that for now anyway I am not super interested in delving within myself anymore but in accepting myself with all I have learnt over the past years and months and moving forward into my own creative power whilst also empowering others as often as possible.I feel this blog serves both my own expression/empowerment and a way to give back and possibly inspire you.

This is an experiment (my famous last words!)

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So I’d like to get tucked in now to defining what I believe a “Conscious Hipster” to be, mostly because I am quite frequently asked to describe my blog to people. I also like the term “mindful observer” which resonates with me as something of a trend-spotter, for example- if I see a new style or “look” on the streets several times, if I get asked the same question several times by different people or if I get told the same story/philosophy by a few different people, I can start to spot and predict trends that will swell and evolve to many more people asking the same questions, telling the same stories, thinkig the same things, wearing the same looks. This trend predicting started for me with spotting personal style on the streets of London…I used to experiment with it back then too by going to the trendiest clubs and doing something odd as a trend forecast experiment like sticking plastic gift bows all over my head just to se if it would be copied or pickedup as a trend anytime soon. I found it really funny to see photos a few weeks later of other people going out to parties covered in metallic gift bows! I learnt how easy it could be to start a trend and I learnt that the world is possibly divided between those who want to innovate and those who want to discover cool things to replicate oh and the third space that really don’t think about this stuff at all.  I also blame/credit a lot of my learnings in trend evolution on the cult cool website Dirty Dirty Dancing which featured Alistair Allen’s documentary photography of mine and every other club kids’ looks back then.

Anyhoooo…

To me, a “Conscious Hipster” is an archetype that I have created as a muse. a muse for me and a muse for you if you want to be inspired by the concept of consciusness being cool too…

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I also love the idea of “Conscious” becoming “The new cool” as a very positive option and path with gaining momentum in popular culture. I just get such a kick out of the notion of everyone start to be more mindful of their thoughts words and actions especially when it comes to anyone or anything being cool- it’s always seemd srt of the antithesis of that to me in fashion and music and film…it’s all seemed so ego-driven and fragile as a culture. One day someone called me a Hipster and I felt insulted so I went away and wondered to myself why I found being call “hipster” an insult…I justified all sorts of things to myself such as “I am an individual not a follower of the pack” “I have my own personal style, I do not follow trends” and “I am consious not superficial” all that pondering led me to meld those two powerful zeitgeisty words and embrace them, charge them up with positivity and see what might happen if I threw them together out there into the blogosphere to infiltrate popular culture. These two contradictory and contrasting words/worlds sounded at first like an oxymoron to me, in putting the words CONSCIOUS & HIPSTER together….but really there is nothing cooler to me then heart-centered consciousness…that is what I’m happy to dedicate my life to learning about, promoting and living.

CONSCIOUS (as well defined by the free dictionary):

con·scious  (kŏn′shəs)

adj.

1.

a. Having an awareness of one’s environment and one’s own existence, sensations, and thoughts. See Synonyms at aware.
b. Mentally perceptive or alert; awake: The patient remained fully conscious after the local anesthetic was administered.
2. Capable of thought, will, or perception: the development of conscious life on the planet.
3. Subjectively known or felt: conscious remorse.
4. Intentionally conceived or done; deliberate: a conscious insult; made a conscious effort to speak more clearly.
5. Inwardly attentive or sensible; mindful: was increasingly conscious of being watched.
6. Especially aware of or preoccupied with. Often used in combination: a cost-conscious approach to further development; a health-conscious diet.
n.

In psychoanalysis, the component of waking awareness perceptible by a person at any given instant; consciousness.

And HIPSTER

hip·ster (hĭp′stər)

n. Slang

One who is exceptionally aware of or interested in the latest trends and tastes,

It works though for me and seems to resonate with others out there too.

I have started hearing people say “oh are you the conscious hipster?” and this is a big compliment to me that people read my blog and that some people know it’s me who writes this blog.

I have explained quite a few times to people that maybe indeed I am a conscious hipster, but really it’s an archetype that I have created to try and push a new paradigm into pop culture. I wish for more people of influence and of all ages- especially in creative fields (for creativity being a global, universal, often wordless language) to start being more conscious and heart centered rather then ego driven and to support this mentality in schools, in the work place/office, in collaboration, in communication and in relationships.

Anyway, wow there is so much I want to say today…this is all just the tip of the iceberg and I’m kind of missing the awesomeness of having had an Editor for a week when I blogged for Sacred Circularities (thank you Goddess Editor Michelle Tan). Having an editor made my writng more terse and to the point, less rambly…as it tends to come out stream of consciousness when I go it alone and with nobody to tell me to chop this or that out…

I want to share some chic portraits I have shot recently after inspiring meetings with international Catalysts, Visionaries and Conscious Hipsters.

Here is Jaguar Mary.

She is the Founder of Sacred Circularities hooping and empowerment retreats and she is an amazing international inspirational creative and conscious woman.

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Here is Hai Dai.

He is the Creative Director of WOW BALI and The Mansion Baliwood an amazing VJ and cool, visionary, inspirational man.

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Here is Shervin Boloorian.

He is the Founder of The Bali Sound Healer’s Collective. He is a Shaman, a Tama-Do Sound Healer, a musician, singer and visionary sensitive Ubudian man.

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I would now like to answer some recent inquiries about wellbeing retreats for people who have been diagnosed with a major but not necessarily terminal illness or are in recovery from a major operation- basically in both cases in need of physical healing and wanting to veer away from traditional western medicine.

Now I had to think fairly long and hard about consulting on this one as most retreats are designed for people dealing with stress and diet issues not massive physical ailments.

I would say first and foremost that I am sending masses of love and good vibes your way- to those of you in particular who wrote t me about this particular concern and any of you out there who might be going through something similar.

It is important to adress three elements: BODY, MIND and SPIRIT in order to heal holistically.

The first step would be setting some conscious intentions to heal and adopt an atitdue of gratitidue for even the smallest of things such as the chirp of a bird or the fluffyness of a cloud or a ray of sunshine or a calm breeze…Then adopting a practise of mindfulness and a mentality of positive psychology.

I am coming to understand more and more that the mind affects the body and then the law of attraction gets into action. So developing a practise of meditation and an attitude of gratitude are essential in healing.

Next vital step would be to do a cleanse and assist the body to heal itself by eliminiating any build up of toxins in the organs and bloodstream. It is easiest to do a juice and soup cleanse, with some days of fasting at the end ideally being in silence and then having colonics to wash any remaining gunk and parasites.

After a full body detox the cells have a chance to regenerate and then it’s time to adopt a change of daily diet incorporating a lot of fruits and vegetables as well as juice and smoothies.

Here is some delicious raw food that /I have had the pleasure of eating lately:

RAW Burger & Jicama RAW fries at The Seeds of Life, Ubud

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RAW Vegan Chocolate Brownie and The Holy Trinity : Veggies & Dips at SOMA, Ubud

I love fresh Juices in Rasta Colours

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Jamu to cleanse and boost, Green Juice to cleanse and boost, Watermelon to hydrate.

Ideal Detox Diet is: NO DAIRY, NO WHEAT, NO SUGAR, NO MEAT.

In cases of potentially terminal illnesses, the ideal sceario is to go and spend some time at a holistic healing centre ideally one specialising in either Chinese or Ayurvedic medicine.

One place in the world where I have spent a significant amount of time and have also found to be a very supportive environment in which to heal alongside others who are healing… from their hearts to their heads to their internal organs (one never really knows why others are there unless they directly tell you) was Findhorn in Scotland.

It is an impressive sustainable intentional Eco and Spiritual community that was founded in the 1950′s and continues to grow and evolve incorporating permaculture principles, meditation practises, a village community of over 300 year round residents as well as a former castle hotel which is now The Findhorn Foundation : Cluny College of Holistic Studies.

Other global healing centres foused on physical healing (with the benefits of spiritual and mental healing) worth checking out are:

Esalen

Omega

The Chopra Center

Hollyhock

The Sanctuary Retreat Sweden

Bali Vitality

Transformation Vacations

There are so many more place around the world too, just reasearch on the internet for Ayurveda, Chinese Medicine, Herbalism or Holistic Healing Retreats near to you and follow your intuition if someone or somewhere is calling you.

I believe the intention behind anyone offering such a retreat or healing center is currently still pure and good and that the wellness industry has not yet become so commercialised that people are offering bullshit healing retreats…not yet thankfully. Any doubts about something you have discovered? Send me your questions and I will do some research and reply with a blog review about the place for you and others out there…win win :)

Here is a helpful online global directory called Retreat Finder.

So, the following is my response to several questions with the same underlying theme around alternative therapies and healing in a more holistic way, rather then going into a hospital, undergoing invasive surgeries or treatments and ingesting conventional general Western medicines.

Interesting to see how this is become a more frequent inquiry…

I am personally a big believer in herbalism and traditional plant medicines, this is not necessarily a cure but is certainly a naturopathic way of healing the body/organic matter with like/organic matter. Depending on how much pain you are in and how weak or strong you are feeling mentally you could either go and study a holistic healing modality as a way to receive much healing and also learn about how to incorporate it into your lifestyle and eventually when ready, to offer it up (even professionally) to others. If you are in a state of panic or in a lot of pain then you probably just need to receive physical and mental healing and support.

1: See a therapist and get some counselling- do not “zip it up and keep it deep inside”

2: Develop a practise of mindfulness, a P.M.A positive mental attitude and meditation/inward reflection moving on to rising above mental clutter to inner peace

3: Study a form of healing that interests you at a centre where you can live a holistic lifestyle for anywhere from a few days to a few months. This would probably involve quitting your job but then a serious illness is likely to force you into that position or at least to take a sabbatical…a perfet time to learn something you are passionate about that may also empower you and others.

I realise that these centers and foundations are usually expensive places to stay at or study. Most of these places offer scholarships and some offer live-work-study trades wherin you can go and live and study there and in exchange must do some work such as gardening (I have done this and LOVED it- getting my hands dirty was very healing for me and such a meditation practise) or cooking (I have done this too and learnt to cook this way- by cooking delicious vegetarian food for 500 people!) or cleaning ( the least fun in my opinion but still very important, cathartic and satisfying).

So there are often ways to attend healing centers or schools that wont put you into debt.

You can also study different healing modalities online such as this Masters in Herbal Studies (which I am very tempted to do further education online part-time as I globe-trot and once I get through the mountain of video editing work that is currently in front of me straining my eyes on the laptop) Check out places to study healing online such as The American College of Healthcare Sciences.

Study is a great way to learn, to grow, to receive and then eventually to give back.

When battling an illness it can also be a wonderful distraction from suffering and self pity as well as a motivator in getting better.

Obviously it really depends on what illness one is dealing with and at what stage it is at ie manic depression would require some downtime to receive councelling, do some journalling and get grounded back into a healthy body not necessarily an ideal state for learning (although learning any new skill is a confidence booster so can be a great healer for depression) Advanced cancer on the other hand, may likely require some surgery to remove tumors according to traditional western medicine; though I have heard many real life stories about a lifestyle change, diet change and incorporation of yoga and meditation completely eliminating cancers!

Trust your gut on what path is right for you.

Seek your deep intuitive inner wisdom.

Do your research.

You know what is right for you and there are so many healers waiting to help you with alternative modalities, so many resources, healing centres and retreats out there.

GOOGLE is your friend!

I have made pilgrimages to several sacred sites around the world- from the Himalayas to Lourdes to Glastonbury. In this lieftime I hope to visit many if not every sacred site around the world from El Camino to the river Ganges to Graceland.

I can highly reccommend pilgrimages as a wonderful time and space to reflect and to heal. There have been often terminally ill people wheeled along on these pilgrimages in delight at the miracle of being out on a sacred adventure and this always nurtures great humility in me to witness. The healing I have felt and seen taking place on pilgrimages to sacred sites has shown me the power of intention and the power of faith.

If there is anywhere sacred in the world that calls to you, I would say do what you can to go there and you will have a amazing healing adventure and probably several epiphanies about the meaning of life along the way.

I find it interesting and also worrying to receive messages from young and seemingly healthy people or friends who have suddenly been diagnosed with terminal or harsh diseases and are looking for retreats to go and nurture their mind body and soul and figure out what is next and how they are going to heal.

I believe it has to start with the mind, the right mindset to overcome an illness and to heal. I also believe that illnesses and disease are the bodies way of crying out for some attention, for example everytime I get really stressed out, I lose the hearing in one ear- it totally weirds me out and makes me feel very discombobulated whenever it happens. I have learnt that it’s my body’s way of saying “hey you! listen up! you don’t like what you are hearing so i’m stopping you from hearing things hahaha. So speak up now stick up for you or someting thats bothering you or you’ll just hear more of that crap from the one ear thats working right now if not maybe the other side will temporarily shut down too!” I think it was my stress related loss of hearing that first got me interested in “Sound Healing” too.

Then once a new frame of mind has been adopted, an entire body, mind, spirit makeover or action plan needs to happen ideally in a supportive environment in order to move ahead with healing.

I also want to share some great photos of the beautiful healers and cultural catalysts I have had the pleasure of meeting with lately…

But for now just please know that I am open to answering your questions on here as a keen researcher with access to some amazing teachers and as someone committed to walking the conscious path and then walking the talk, one step at a time.

For my ext blog or for a future post, I will open up my “Little black” Holistic book and make a list of the top ten healers I have had direct positive experiences with and links to their websites or contact details-that is very precious information to receive in a blog!

Right now though,  it’s way past my bedtime and that’s a lot of conscious drizzle that just poured out of me…yawn zzzzz

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Bye for now…

Wizardry, Healing, Alchemy

I love my magical life…

After a week of intensive hoop training I feel on a new path of mastery with the sphere, the hoop and the circle as a portal to other dimensions. If you are interested to read more about the art of hooping, I have been blogging about the amazing experiences for the past week on Sacred Circularities and there will be other guest bloggers over on that site for each weeklong retreat over the next three weeks.

Today…

I had breakfast with a Wizard

aka Yogi Master and Dancer Anastasis.

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Anastasis is only reachable by what he describes as “Ethermail” no phone- wow how unusual these days- just like me (well, until Lynne Franks kindly gave me her old phone which was a very supportive metaphor- Thank you Lynne ;)

Anastasis was a ballet dancer and these days has a yoga and dance school in Crete and is mostly touring the world teaching his unique style of “Zorba Yoga”. He can be found this summer teaching at Yoga Festivals in Istanbul, Barcelona, Oxford and Turkey. If you get a chance to practise with him you are in for such a treat. We were doing some early morning filming for Danny Paradise’s new music video “Everyday Grace”. I have attended several Ashtanga and Shamanism workshops now with Danny and Anastasis teaching together and have found the m all enlightening and empowering- highly reccomended!

I had coffee with a Healer

aka Artist and Singer/Songwriter Jelila at Starbucks, of all places! Meeting a healer in Starbucks makes me think of The Matrix for some reason…

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I paid off the remaining %50 of an original artwork/painting of hers that I am delighted to have accquired and also had a chance to checkout her new jewellery designs.

I am a massive fan of Jelila’s healing crystal jewels and book about crystal healing. I have been learning a lot about healing and crystals in particular from her over the last few months and she has become a great friend and a soul sister out here.

I had lunch with an Alchemist

aka Artist & Filmmaker SOH Alex Vermeulen at Ubud Raw food hotspot Alchemy.

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I was invited back to Alex’s studio to view his latest feature film SOH which is a mashup of Science Fiction and Opera/Theatre

You can view it here 

I learnt that Alex was a pioneer of PIoneer interactive VJ software and I have asked him to be my VJ mentor…as he said he has moved on from VJing and is mostly interested in making feature films these days and would love to work with Sci-Fi author William Gibson and make music videos with Lady Gaga and Prince. Watching some of his live VJ demos was mind-blowing and made me think of a scene in a movie I love “The Fifth Element”, where Leeluu is having her mind blown by all these scenes of terror and the shadows in human nature when she discovers the internet…it felt a bit like that. I was impressed when he told me that one of his VJing highlights was the premier of American Psycho in NYC.

I also got to meet a renowned healer called Per Van Spall who popped over briefly. I had heard a lot of good things about Per, so it was interesting to finally meet him.

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All in all it has been a most inspiring day and I live for the magic in life.

The more I welcome magic and wonder, the more it seems to find me too. Such is “The Law of Attraction” in action.

I am currently excited about getting back on the remixing horse as I feel very inspired to produce some electronica remixes of Sound Healing as well as diving into editing some beautiful projects including music videos for Pablo J and Danny Paradise, a promo for Desa Seni “Celebrate Life” and one for “Rising Hearts” which is an Acro Yoga and thai massage retreat experience. That’s how I roll on independent projects- by bouncing between audio and visual platforms- to keep up the enthusiasm and freshness.

I’ll basically be geeking out on my computer for the next few weeks…

Glad I have my hula hoops and yoga practise to keep me in shape….maybe I will take a break and flee to the sea and surf- catch the waves whilst I still can.

Europe is beckoning me and it seems like I will make a pilgrimage over to this year’s Cannes Film Festival to catchup with industry friends and former colleagues, to wear some great outfits, to have some glam fun in a new and conscious way and to promote a community project which is also my writing/directing feature film debut- now complete. Maybe I’ll even get some job offers or more Creative work out of it? Yes please!

These are some recent posters I have made (feel free to share them) and bye for now xo

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Nyepi & Nadya

Life has been moving at a rapid pace post Bali Spirit Festival…

I had a brilliant time celebrating my Finnish friend Anne’s birthday by seeing Dustin Thomas and Xavier Rudd play live in Uluwatu with a backdrop of sunset and waves at a Cleaner Waters fundraiser at The Surf Villas.

I did a two day intensive training of Ashtanga Yoga and Shamanism with Danny Paradise and Anastasis and these two are really amazing teachers with the beautiful Bishaka aka Nannapat Tanapatita assisting and showing some of her shadow yoga kung fu moves too. If you go to Danny’s website you can see the wonderful retreats they are offering in Europe this summer including a week aboard a luxury sailboat, which will no doubt be amazing!

I shot a music video for Danny’s new song “Everyday Grace” it’s a funky dancy discoish tune and I am excited about the video which also features Anastasis dancing and Bibi doing some kungfu moves- a community creative project. We also shot some live jams of a few other Danny Paradise songs so more good stuff to come there too…totally inspired by and loving that crew…my shamanic soul family. It feels like I am still on the “Road to Yogini” veering onto “The Road to Shamaness” and I like it a lot!

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Lynne Franks was also in Ubud for the Bali Spirit Festival and a few days afterwards so we got to have some quality time catching up, talking empowerment and chanting “Nam Yoho Renge Kyo” in her garden as well as meeting many of her interesting Ubud/Bali friends (she has many!).

I was invited to attend a water ceremony by the beach in Canggu as part of releasing the past year and preparing for the new year, where people were carrying all sorts of vaguely scary looking shrines and offerings to dip them in the sea, also to be blessed by a priest and then go to collect blessed holy water from the sea. As I moved closer to get some good photographs, a sudden large wave swept me and many others under water taking all my gear underwater too, wallet, camera , phone, dictaphone, chargers, sunglasses etc though I managed to hold my big Nikon out of the water like the lady of the lake carrying excalibur- it was quite a miracle that camera was not destroyed  (the currents can be shockingly strong out here). It was also a powerful reminder of the unpredictable force and strength of mother nature.

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I headed back up to Ubud to attend a party at Lynne Franks’ Ubud Oasis and to catch the divine Nick Wallaki’s Betelnut gig with support from Greta Orion and Radha Divine ( I have grown to love all three of these musicians as they are the shiny local Ubud Music Superstars). Unfortunately though I didn’t make it to that gig in the end as I got heldup at the conscious Goddess gathering at Lynne Franks’ Villa for her last night in Bali and it felt so comforting to be with a familiar friend from London after the whirlwind of the Bali Spirit Festival and the past few months of living a completely different lifestyle away from London…

So for Nyepi (which is a family time to be still at home with no electricity and no talking) I was invited by fashion designer Nadya to join her clan of internationals and expats and stay at Kura Kura a beautiful Yoga retreat right by the beach in Canggu.

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It was a beautiful place to spend the Nyepi days and the group she had gathered were all interesting and kind and intelligent and fun.

I felt a lot of gratitdue for being included amongst them during this family time.

We went out on the night of the Ogoh Ogohs which made me think of “Where The Wild Things Are” a parade through the streets of handmade monsters or giant sculptures depicting vices and cautionary tales from “Greed” to “Lust” to “Gluttony” it looked like most of the 7 deadly sins were covered by the Ogoh Ogohs too…to scare us all into nightmares and probably into being good viceless people…

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How epic are these depictions of terror? There are some even more scary ones such as the woman sacrificing her baby or the man beating up his wife….I’ll leave those ones to your imagination…needless to say I had totally weird dreams that night!

The following day of peace and quiet involved playing dressup with some creative friends as models including Prehida Permatasari, Lauren Elaine, Dylan Tarn, Mary Manifestor, Michelle and little Jamie all wearing Nadya’s exquisite handmade and reversible creations. Here are some lovely photos from that day- an angelic contrast to the monsters of the night before- scaring the terrors away with our conscious styling!

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Tomorrow I begin a hula hooping adventure with international goddess JAguar Mary and friends…

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I am taking part in a one week hula hoop training and personal empowerment retreat led by international Goddess Jaguar Mary called Sacred Circularities

I will be writing a daily diary reflection blog about the experience up on here so read all about it by following this link for a week Sacred Circularities Blog

See you on the other side of the circle…

 

 

Portraits : Juergen Teller

Hello again! I hope you have had a chance to checkout my posts over the past week as a contributor to The Bali Spirit Festival Blog. It was a brilliant festival, so many bands, so many yoga teachers and so many new inspiring people…

It was fun to write with a focus on music and reviewing the impact of the sonic experiences.

For todays return to my homepage I’d like to share a cool portrait I shot a few years ago that I have just randomly discovered on my hardrive. I love shooting video and photographic portraits. It is always such an intimate and unique experience completely dependent on the relationship that stews and brews between object and subject. Portraits are a passion- just me and a subject with the thin veil of a camera between us.

My favourite people to shoot are artists and musicians because creatives always make for interesting, stimulating and collaborative experiences wherein the dialogue that takes place around the shutter click is where the true magic happens for me or the alternating between record and pause is where I really get to see the essence of the person I am with. Freezing a moment in time that will last so much longer then either of our physicality here on earth is a powerful notion to me, that reflective awarness that we can freeze time and leave little droplets of essence behind through imagery…

I feel like I might start to share more of my video portraits and photo portraits both old and new as I have shot some really interesting, talented, inside-and-out beautiful people over the years. It could also be a sweet and simple alternative to blogging my internal thought process as a diary for you out there to read and probably judge me by…

If you would like me to make a video or shoot some photos for you, please note I’m currently more into income stream and sustainable living than the Artist’s Bartering System which I have been surviving off for the last couple of months as I float around Asia and the Tropics.

I am open to amazing or luxurious exchange offers, otherwise I have no energy, time or space for freebies, favours or unpaid collaborations. I’ve also got a backlog of videos to edit and I am committed to sitting down and working on those… though this puts my body into a state of panic as editing actually really hurts me…my eyes, my mind, my back and my shoulders…it’s a big sacrifce and it is such an important part of the filmmaking process but it is not my passion or my forte. For me editing is a means to an end a necessary part of the process that requires a lot of yoga and massage to undo.

I much prefer to work with a budget, hiring an expert editor who can work quickly and confidently. Editing is unhealthily obsessive and slow work for me.

Feeling full of gratitude that thanks to Hubud, I have found an amazing former MTV and Hollywood film editor who is on board for cutting at least a promo trailer right now for my Sound Healing documentary project. This also means I am able to focus on the 2 hotel promos, 2 music videos and 1 retreat experience video that I have shot in the last 2 months all unpaid, all as favours or on exchange and all in need of cutting and signing off.

I’m experimenting yet again with the Law of Attraction and The Law of Abundance here… so I’ll share this fact and see what opportunities it may manifest.

My short films and documentaries have been to international festivals and won awards. I have now completed my second fiction feature film intended for cinemas, my first as a Writer/Director. My photos have been published as album covers, in books and in international magazines including Vogue. You don’t know who I am as I write under a pseudonym and I really like it that way.

If you know me, you probably know it’s me.

It feels liberating to write an anonymous blog, to open up about where I am at personally and creatively and to share my stream of consciousness ramblings and now some of my archive video and photo portraits too.

Here is TCH “Portrait From The Past” #1 Juergen Teller

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Healthy Healthy : Coming soon from the Bali Spirit Fest!

Follow this week’s news here: BALI SPIRIT FESTIVAL : The Conscious Hipster

So here I am now 18 days deep into March and not one cigarette smoked or even touched for that matter- yeeeehaw! I still get the waves of irritation and emotion that go with nicotine cravings and having no emotional crutch to fall back on other then self awareness. I am blown away by how easy it is to get hooked on those cancer sticks or in my case very quickly re-hooked on those cinnamon-clove flavoured cancer sticks. Yuck!

The smoking is well and truly behind me and I have also done a 4 day juice cleanse supported by my friends at Bali Vitality who kindly delivered me daily delicious juices and soups and superfood powders to make the whole no eating and juicy juicing days easier for me. I feel I got any booze and nicotine out of my system with the cleanse to and thanks to the Kundalini morning  energy raising I was getting an emotional cleanse going too.

A few things that have ben on my mind lately…

I get kinda upset or notice how impatient I can become with unconscious people lately because I am doing so much self awareness and mindfulness work on myself,  but my higher heart self knows that is me playing a blame game and judging- so I try not to do either and what I have learnt to do is ask “what part of me is this dumbass/bitch/bully mirroring”. That’s a strong challenge in understanding that everything witnessed on the outside world is a mirror reflection of what is going inside of us…

I’m still getting to grips with this intellectually but basically it means if someone is mean or nasty they are in fact reflecting some “shadow” aspect of myself or some underlying belief I have of myself.

Unfortunately I assume that anyone who travels to visit or live out here in Ubud  is on a consciousness journey with a desire to become a better version of themselves.

Lesson 1. Never assume anything

Lesson 2. Be proactive not reactive.

Lesson 3. Any judgement I make is a reflection of my own internal emotions or state.

Lesson 4. Speak my truth even when my voice shakes (This one is some internet Meme that I recently grabbed form the Yogi Times)

So yeah as always some powerful lessons to mull over, digest and integrate into daily life.

I share them of course so that perhaps you may identify, disagree, learn from grow or evolve too- bit by bit I wish for a more conscious and heart centered world where we are all one by one taking responsibility for our own thoughts words and actions, understanding the effect these all have on our own realities as well as compassion for the effects on other people. I’m sort of swinging right now between super sensitive compassionate empath and totally detached not caring waht anyone thinks about me…the challenge is really how to exsist in both states at the same time, compassionate yet detached.

So, some good news…

I recently made a short and sweet trip to Singapore and reconnected there with the handsome, intriguing and uber talented man that I had briefly met floating in the middle of nowhere at jungle yoga. He truly is one of a kind and it was just so lovely to see him again and for a moment time stood still, though as before it was all too fleeting.

Universe I ask you please for more of that connection, to create a reunion involving more quality time…deeper and less fleeting bliss.

This is an experiment Bring on the Law of Attraction!

Now I can detach, let go, trust in the flow and see what happens I guess…

I had a brief visit with the band Astronomy at their creative retreat and recording studio called Voyager in Canggu (here’s the video fro their pop song Bali Moon)

I then had the most wonderful day “Celebrating Life” at Desa Seni in Canggu, where I filmed an overview of all the excitement that day. Desa Seni is a boutique Village resort founded on yogic and sustainability principles and it is truly one of my favourite place on earth, so I was in heaven to celebrate life there with all those beautiful people.

Now here’s a headsup to say that I will be coming at you all week directly from The Bali Spirit Festival where I will be giving you the lowdown on all the Conscious, Talented experts who are flooding into town to share their knowledge and love of Yoga, Dance and Music.

Follow what’s up this week here: BALI SPIRIT FESTIVAL : The Conscious HIpster

Kundalini, Naturopathy & A little bit of Bahasa

I’m inspired to post about the Kundalini yoga which I have been practising for the last few days with Dani Durgani aka Jiwanpal Kaur. My friend and neighbour golden Oneness Goddess and devotional singer Harmony Polo invited me to take an early morning class with her and in that first class my kundalini energy was activated but it got stuck in the manipura chakra more specifically at my liver which began to hurt and metaphorically “speak to me”. Now chakras are one of the most fascinating aspects of yoga to me and Kundalini Yoga very much focuses on connectiing, charging and balancing the chakras and energy body, moreso then other forms of yoga it feels a more spiritual energy-based yoga tradition. I love exploring the different styles of yoga on offer out here and around the world, also  continuing to learn from amazing teachers. This current exploration of Kundalini is definitely raising my vibrations and that is very much in line with the intention I set for 2014 (see New Year’s Eve blog). I have also been introduced to the beautiful healing sounds of Snatam Kaur which is played at the end of a Kundalini yoga class.

At breakfast after the morning class, a fellow yogi suggested I write a letter to my liver and ask it for any information it might be trying to send me.

So I did it, I wrote a letter to my liver and it told me to “Say YES to speaking my truth as frequently as possible, despite being pretty certain at times that someone may react negatively to what they hear. Allow others the power to own their reactions, it is not doing anyone a favour to be nice in an attempt to help them avoid pain. Speak your heart-centered truth more and often and ask friends and loved ones for support in this process. Express a support of this authentic truth-speaking in others as well. Invite it in as a normal way of communicating and co-create a conscious community of truth speaking, heart centered relationships and collaborations. Also please say NO to alcohol and sugar. One glass of champagne or very good red wine as a rare exceptional treat is fine but no beer guzzling when you are surfing at the beach and no cocktails when you are celebrating or jetsetting. Beer is fattening and cocktails are just sugary poison.”

Wow what clear demands this dear liver was asking for! I know that it was also shifting and clearing some gunk from the Cloves I had developed a sudden and very irritating penchant for since returning to Bali.

I was really upset with myself for returning to smoking and filled with shame about it. I somehow justified it to myself that they weren’t really cigarettes because they were made with cloves and tasted like sugar and cinnamon and smelled delicious like incense…but that was complete and utter bullshit and the underlying truth is that I was feeling very anxious about the mountainous video workload I have built up- I am speedy with shooting but slow with editing…anxious about my new housing situation after a dissapointing return and not ending up living with the friends I had planned, hoped and wanted to rent with here so ending up alone in a big house for a few weeks ( ha could be a lot worse!)  and a need to negotiate boundaries around the new people who had been proposed to move into the spare bedrooms…flatmates yikes…space invadors yikes…not being in control of my home live and work space yikes…it all triggered me to the max and got me falling back on an old familiar crutch of smoking again in a lame attempt to claim my space or starting hurting myself into consciousness or something…

Anyway I was sitting in a warung puffing on a clove and feeling so mad at myself for doing so at the same time. I struck up a conversation with a women at the tbale next to me who happened to be a retreat leader/creator, a naturopath, acupuncturist, and hypnotherapist specialising in quit smoking therapy…ANGEL!

“I really need your help right now” is what I said. I told her I had been praying for someone like her to help me kick these nasty cancer sticks to the curb…I had been doing so well without them for months and in just one casual puff I was once again hooked for a few days…

So that was 2 weeks ago and a few days later she came over to my house and we recorded her doing an empower hypnotherapy session around how disgusting cigarettes, cloves and any toxins are….I asked her to please suggest that when I may get  acraving to smoke, that I have the consciousness to really feel into my emotions and ask “what am I feeling right now” to name it internally and to repeat the mantra “this too shall pass”. This process gets easier as the cravings diminish but it’s quite amazing how the addiction can restart after only a few days of unconsciously smoking.

So Here I am on day 6 now smoke free and back on the “smoking is disgusting” mindset, the hypnotherapy session definitely helped me, the mantra I chose of “This too shall pass” has been overriding any possibility of running to a shop and buying some cloves to smoke. I am determined to live a smoke free life and to ride these waves of emotion and cravings into consciousness, into knowing exactly what I am feeling when I am feeling it and not numbing any underlying pain with toxins. I really am getting to a place where I love myself too much to treat this body temple badly with toxins like alcohol and cigarettes. I love feeling conscious and alive too much to pollute my physical and energy body with toxic gunk and I love life too much with all it’s wonder and synchroncity and kismet…to shorten my time here on earth in this beautiful curious feminine form.

So far it has worked… I don’t want to smoke, I tam back to thinking it’s disgusting, I can override any cravings and am paying even greater attention to what is really going on inside me which of course also gives me greater empathy for the silent struggles that others may be grappling with too.

If you are in Bali or want to work with Anne Maree on skype to quit smoking or with a number of other things she is an expert in treating. Checkout her website here Bali Vitality

After working through that over these last few days I have just noticed how the intense kundalini exercises strengthen my aura and energy body. Something seems to be shifting in the way people to relate to me. I have noticed that I am becoming more in demand as a photographer, videographer, writer, marketing consultant and just generally being invited to more meetings and rendezvous….getting asked out on dates and a high dose of romance injected into my life would be fun… though I’m currently finding myself wary of socialising ( so how can anyone ask me out?) and short on time ( so how can I go out?) as I have piled up a mountain of videos to edit and now have a greater need to use the word “NO” effectively and not to waste time on storytelling excuses as to why I am using the word NO but just to say it strongly and clearly with love and then let go of FOMO (Fear OF Missing Out) or wanting to be liked by people. I know that using a strong heartfelt NO creates more space for me to lovingly apply myself fully and effectively to anything I say YES to…such as romance ha!

I have also become more energised and pro-active although the challenge for me right now is tapping into the lucid, creative intuitive side that loves to and needs to write (a script) right now…I am charged up on the doing/being present energy and I’m working on reconnecting a bit with my loner, emo super creative side- so perhaps thats where I need to do some more serious work…on being present in this world fully proactive and firing on all cylinders yet still very connected to my dreamy, intuitive nature and imagination…

I know I am most creative when I spend a lot of time alone but this is of course quite a lonely process too…so perhaps the world is throwing some big challenges at me right now like “step up to it lady- this is your time to both make shit happen and come up with great ideas and creations”. Always up for a challenge I am rising to it.

Also super excited to get involved with this year’s Bali Spirit Festival. With an inspiring lineup of world famous musicians, artists,speakers and yoga teachers it will be an action-packed week long experience for all those lucky enought to be out in Bali at that time March 19-24th some tickets still available!

I did my first private Indonesian Bahasa lesson yesterday with a lovely teacher called Ibu Ayu and it is a super challenging language filling me with admiration for any expats who learn to speak Bahasa- am I really going to manage it? Seems to me that there are some familiar links in some of the words to spanish and latin which helps me to grasp it a bit better, but so many words with difficult vowel sounds to explain a simple thing…will it stick? Let’s see…. I started writing some phrases down and got into a deep discussion with the teacher about some of it and ended up writing down this little chunk of words in English and in Bahasa.

Saya Panulis, Film Producer, Fotografer dan Guru Yoga

Ubud adalah tempat yang bagus untuk belajar banyak hal tentang hidup, seperti seni kebahagiaan.
Ibu Ayu bertanya “Bagaimana caranya?”
Jawaban saya: Selalu bersyukur. Setiap kesempatan itu berharga.
Ibu Ayu bertanya “Baik kebahagiaan maupun kesedihan?”
Jawaban saya:”Pelajaran tersembunyi

In English:

I’m a Writer, Filmmaker, Photographer and Yoga Teacher

Ubud is a good place to learn many things such as the art of happiness.

Ibu Ayu asks “How to be happy?”

I say ” By practising gratitude. Every moment is precious”

Ibu Ayu asks “both happiness and sadness are precious?”

I say “Yes. Lessons in disguise”.

Well this seemed to make sense at the time and between trying to absorb a multitude of Bahasa phrases ( most of which I have forgotten today) it was fun to try communicating a deeper conversation between English and Bahasa.

Early today prompted by a video an amazing friend shared on facebook…I sat down to write a free flow on the themes of Integrity, Sexuality, Desire and Boundaries.

Wow such powerful themes to write about and certainly more than a books worth of material if I were to write about just those themes…very revealing.

I am very interested in dialogue and to collect stories on these themes with other single people, people who are walking a conscious path, people who are leading accountable lives as teachers, people choosing to live alternative or unconventional lifestyles-  a sort of educational sexual Ted Talk/Debate….as a topic sexuality, desire and integrity hasn’t really reached mainstream media yet has it? The subject of the power of sexual energy and the multitude of ways to channel and master sexuality and desire are surely fascinating to many on the solutions and magnified life experiences such mastery can create…anyway that’s for another blog perhaps….an exploration of Tantra!

Whilst writing on the themes of sex and sexuality I am of course listening to Dakas/Dakinis/Tantrikas Deva Premal, Miten and Manose

Also wanted to share some images which I recently shot in a lush jungle garden for a collective world music funk jam band based in Bali called “Garden Underground”.

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Garden Underground visionary Producer & Bali Sprit Festival Music Director Rob Webber

Also excited to share an idea for crystal healing “Conflict Resolution” jewellery that came to me in a flash download and that I shared with friend, author and healer Jelila (who I have been learning a lot about crystal and energy healing from over the past few months) Well our co-creation of green agate for understanding, rose quartz for soothing and fresh water pearls for divine wisdom has gone intoo production and I am the proud owner of the first two pretty prototype samples. You can order your own to wear and bring awareness to/clear away any inner or outer conflicts or as a perfect gift for a friendship that may need some healing. Click on the image below for a direct link to Jelila’s online shop.

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Now I have some serious homework to do…back to the documentary script-writing!

May your days and nights be full of love in all it’s many forms…

Bye for now

A late UPdate on reflecting, shooting & surfing…

It’s been more then a week since I sat down faithfully to spill the beans on my latest escapades, learnings and discoveries and I’d like to apologise for that to any of you out there who enjoy reading my stream of consciousness ramblings. So sorry and thanks if you are reading this.

It’s like a diary really and I originally setout to develop my written voice, to delve further into free-flow and to maybe even writing something more profound and culturally significant then a diary…something I could eventually evolve into a magazine with guest writers, artwork and photographs. That’s really where I see The Conscious Hipster going down the road, meandering to the left, getting dolled up and evolving into an online forum or magazine. Perhaps a fusion of a style mag meeting a yoga mag in a virtual permaculture garden…

For now, it is what it is and lately that’s been real presence in the real world and not so much a virtual presence…slowly and slightly reluctantly getting back on the blogosphere writing horse., mainly as I’ve meet some very interesting people worth writing about and this seems a good platform for getting the word out too…

So here’s the latest in chronological order.

Backing up a bit and I spent some time on Koh Samui after floating in the middle of nowhere with no technology other then a camera for a few weeks…

I spent a few nights at the Samahita Yoga Retreat as a decompression zone of sorts and had quick deep chats throught my time there with Simon Low whom I adore and who was leading a Yin Yoga teacher training which I was invited to join however the cost of teacher training for a month is way out of my travel budget and so I just treated it as a decompression zne to reflect on my jungle experience for a few days.

I went into a recording studio to hear a new remix and then conceived and directed a music video for the song by an artist called Pablo J That shoot was really fun and Produced by Shelley Poplak the co-owner of an amazing Avatar jungle spa where we shot the video, called Tamarind Springs The song is a dance remix of his existing hit song “All You Precious People”. I also did a photoshoot out there with him and I’m pretty pleased with the results- easy to shoot a beautiful subject and this artist is beautiful inside and out!

pablojposterAfter the Guerilla one intense hot day of filming was the highly anticipated or slightly dreaded Valentine’s Day. I’d had so much fun filming with delicious Pablo J that I was buzzing with creative love, enough to see me through the global romance celebration day on my own. I had been invited to do a boat trip with a very handsome and old friend from London who also just happened to be on Koh Samui but I decided I didn’t want to spend the entire day on a small boat under the scorching sun so met them instead for dinner the next day at a very chic Orient Express hotel with a private beach. It was heavenly to sip fancy cocktails with not one but two seriously handsome, entertaining and very well mannered men. We also went out paddle-boarding which I loved and was pretty good at thanks to all the floating yoga from the weeks before.

I then moved into a small cottage by the beach and started to work through a book by local resident author Dorien Israel called “Becoming Unbound”. This book is available as an ebook directly from her website and it is packed with powerful and empowering insights. It was great to be able to have frequent one to one dialogue with her about the information in the book and I filmed many videos of our discussions throughout my stay there. She explained to me that the book was “channelled” that it came through her. I wonder if I could try channeling some creativity or what kind of work I might offer if I were open to receiving information from a greater source then my own imagination or ego. I’m definitely up for trying this approach and seeing what comes to me…I feel quite certain that my current documentary project is guided by a collective energy much more powerful then my own vision.. Please like the facebook page for the project here The Sound of Healing

These are posters I quicklydesigned for the project-perhaps channelled as the images and title came together in a flash.

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I then flew to Singapore and did a photoshoot for my new role as a sponsored pro Yogi Ambassador for a well established Yoga brand. I’m really excited about this new collaboration as it is a platform for me to consult on yoga products and accessories as well as linking up with some of the beolved charities I have done work for over the years.

I’m aiming to keep this blog anonymous, which frees me up to write whatever I like so I probs wont post my ad campaign pictures on here but I will say that I am very excited about the whole thing coming together and to see what opportunities it opens up too.

The photographer for the shoot Sarah Landolt is seriously talented and cool. We met for a location recce and wandered around a futuristic manmade park in the centre of Singapore and then went for a drink at Ku De Ta on the rooftop of the Marina Bay Sands. The hotel is designed as a large floating cruise ship on top of three 57 story towers. It made me think of a film I love called The Fifth Element.

Sarah told me all about the concept for her passion project SKIN DEEP NOMAD™ which she has already presented as an exhibition of tasteful nude and semi nude portraits and she continues to shoot and develop it around the world to empower people (so far mostly ) women to fall in love with their own bodies in all shapes and forms. The images are stunning and I can totally imagine them blown up large on the wall of a stylish home or apartment.

We also discussed our focus and shoot for the next day being the yoga ad campaign and our location being a Chinese garden in the middle of the city- I was not planning or encouraged to get naked for it and in fact I was pretty uncomfortable with being in front of the camera as I have become so accustomed to being behind a lens or behind the scenes, so it would take some serious warming up for me to consider getting naked for a shoot- bikinis though no problem and I have just pickedup a hot new aztec-inspired bikini from Billabong. I am so pleased with the results of the shoot and the strong images she selected for the yoga campaign. I hope we will get to reconnect on a beach somewhere and have some fun shooting surf and bikini shots in the sun…

So that intense 24 hours in Singapore and a photoshoot with a talented pro later brought me back to Bali sweet Bali and moving into a new house, new chapter and all that.

I was invited to attend a traditional Balinese temple ceremony right away, so dressed up in my chic temple look and headed out with hundreds of Balienese people to chant and pray and throw flower petals at the statues of Gods and Goddesses. Previous to the ceremony I had a one to one sound healing session with Larissa Israel arriving all scruffy and sweaty and departing all blissed out and dressed like a Balinese woman going to a temple- transformation!

I was invited to visit a friend of friends with a beach house in Canggu and coincidentally my favourite band of the moment Wallaki were playing a gig at a local Canggu hotspot called Deus Ex Machina It was so awesome to finally see them perfoming live and by now I have been listening to the album “the Follower of The Sun” a lot, so I know the tunes and the words- makes a concert even better! We did a photoshoot in a professional studio space before the gig which was rushed and exciting to have a fancy studio with lights and a good-looking band to shoot in it.

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The unpredictable tropical monsoon rain came down heavily during their last few songs, but the band played on and the brave kept on dancing- including me. It was very sensual and a lot of fun to dance in the rain to some of my favourite new tunes! I also caught up with my favourite Bali couple at the gig, Tara and Markus from Journey Surf who are making the most beautiful custom wooden vintage looking surfboards and sponsoring surf competitions in Bali as well as planning some great sounding surf retreats for those interested to learn or improve their surf skills and we agreed to go out for a surf the next morning.

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After surfing mostly in the cold waters of Tofino Canada and Cornwall U.K (with a taste of warm waves and some surf lessons in Costa Rica from yogi, artist and surf pro babe Ale Munoz) I became hooked on the Ocean Devotion in Canggu and decided to stay a few more days delighted with my strength and ability to sucessfully surf the 5 foot waves- it was exhilirating and I definitely want to spend more time surfing in Bali and the friend of a friend I stayed with turned out to be such a kindred spirit and so much fun- yay for perfect introductions and kismet!

So getting settled now in my new Ubud home and have met with an amazing ex-MTV editor to cut a trailer for The Sound Healing doc and launch an indiegogo or kickstarter campaign to complete it and get some buzz going around everyone who is in it and the project itself.

Exciting times….more to come…I do love writing it all down!

Bye for now