Hello and Namaste.For any of you out there who don’t know what Namaste means, I’ll explain it because it means something really rather beautiful.
Namaste: “The light within me recognizes and honours the light within you”.
I realise that this blog experiment is becoming something of a diary for me too, as each morning I awake to reflect upon what I saw, experienced or learnt the day before. It is however interrupting my morning yoga practise to start the day with a reflective/stream-of-consciousness blog, but thats ok because I have the rest of the day here to sweat out any toxins in this humidity and I also have my one week unlimited access pass to The Yoga Barn, where I have been enjoying a plethora of yoga, meditation, dance and sound healing workshops.
So for this week at least, my morning practise is to blog. Perhaps next week I’ll do more reflective writing in the evenings and return to my morning yoga and meditations. The morning yoga start for me is also a time in which I set intentions, in a state of deep focus and relaxation I feel very connected to my heart, my core, my intuition, my inner “wise woman” the setting of intentions in this state is like the planting of very significant and almost subconscious seeds.
A lot of people have asked me to teach them to meditate over the years, which I find a great compliment. There are many different paths to get to the same super calm and empty space of meditation and I have been fortunate to meet many teachers who have shown me different ways to meditate. I could and probably will write a blog just on the theme of meditation but that is not todays theme…so I’ll only drift into it a little bit. I am very calm and focused most of the time unless I am living in a big busy city and multi-tasking (which is when I need to be even more calm and focused yet lack of sleep knocks me right off my centre). Between running a film company/ finishing my feature film/shooting/editing/brainstorming/pitching/running a record label/managing distribution/clearances/promotion/life coaching, yogaing and meditating with clients…well there never seemed to be enough hours in the day and sleep was massively compromised by that causing everything in my life to feel kind of lucid and intangible. Having now stepped away from that juggling act I am very aware of just how much effort has to go into time management and staying centered and calm in order to weather any and all storms. It’s obviously so much easier to dedicate life to being calm focused and enlightened when away from it all in a tropical paradise then when deeply enmeshed in the urban rat race. I see this chapter of my life with so much gratitude as a renewal and a return to my source and a chance to nurture and strengthen my inner wise woman or Goddess in prep for whatever may lie ahead. Hopefully that will be love and fulfillment and projects and collaborations that are truly significant to me and my heart and soul. I learnt through life coaching that if I choose to align myself with people and projects that speak to the core/inner calling/life purpose, there will be massive amounts of energy to fuel and see things through the ups and downs and the fulfillment will be so much greater.
Anyway…enough of a ramble from me (seriously this blog diary thing feels like a risk on my part to just let the thoughts dribble out, fairly unedited…especially as I keep forgetting that I want it to be funny or die!)
Stream of consciousness has always been a good friend and tool for me. I have written diaries for NIGHT Magazine since 2000 and have done some creative writing courses which encourage free flow as a way of unblocking the blocks, for info about that checkout: Creative Writes Workshops
I’m exploring this daily blog platform to report on what I’m learning, finding inspiring and who I am meeting…but mainly to unblock me so that I may write a more structured and potentially significant screenplay out here too.
Today I would like to highlight some amazing Goddesses who have appeared on my path out here.
Firstly there is my neighbor Sue Useem of Spotted Frog Productions She is a documentary filmmaker, she is very real and very funny. The word I used to describe her (to her face) was “Transparent” and she liked that. Honesty is fairly rare and she manages to deliver honesty in such a blunt and funny way, I immediately warmed to her and can imagine the two of us teaming up to make a film together one day. Sue set the tone for me out here to relax from the moment I showed up. She has a very cute puppy who comes over to my house to play with the cats, it’s funny to watch them all playing together- I thought that cats and dogs hate eachother but these ones all seem to get along just fine.
Here is Sue chilling in the hammock.
The next woman I would like to highlight is Susana Sarmiento of L’Aqua Image Style & Image Coaching, who was also staying next door for a few days. She is beautiful, stylish and bursting with positivity and good vibes. Susana is a style and image coach and each day she would rock up in the most effortlessly chic tropical wear. I am out here with pretty much yoga clothes and bathing suits and a few retro sun dresses. Susana’s daily looks have really expanded the horizons for me on what is possible re tropical style. We talked at length about love, life and style and also where to find the best natural giant pearls. I hope to go and source some of my own black pearls on this trip too- they just seems such a magical and powerful natural jewel. I imagine Susana to be a wonderful image coach to work with as she is so warm and uplifting, if only she had stuck around longer- I thoroughly enjoyed our girlie night out to a Tex Mex restaurant ( including Margaritas- a welcome break from the very healthy diet and delicious Balinese food or steamed veggies I have been eating out here). I would have liked to tryout a style coaching session with her myself out of interest. I would describe my personal style is very eclectic and I recently gave away, sold and packed up 14 years of an amazing London party girl wardrobe of vintage dresses and costumes. I managed to narrow my entire life down to one suticase and that process in itself was emotional and challenging for me but in the end, I felt and feel lighter for it- just with way less style options, however throughout that cleansing process I became a lighter being! If I could, I would now have a monochrime style and wear only black or white…but that might be a bit dull and predictable, so I must throw in a bit of rainbow brights from time to time too.
Here are some cute photos of Susana rocking some yellow neon and long pearls and holding one of the kittens in my care (I call her Squeaky because it’s like she is still learning to miaow and can only squeak like a duck- it is reaaally cute!)
Inspired by my encounters with style guru Susana, I decided to make a visit to the Ubud market to pickup a traditional temple outfit, as women must dress a certain way to enter temples in Bali and it is a really elegant look involving a lace or silk blouse and a colourful either clashing or co-ordinated sarong. The market experience was hot, sweaty and intense, involving a lot of haggling. I made my way through the market trying to see what was on offer and where I could find the best quality and price. I ended up with a bargain on two blouses (one white silk and one multi-coloured lace) and two sarongs (one bright orange and one multi-coloured). I now feel, with two temple outfits that I must pray a lot and attend many ceremonies if nothing else, to get good wear out of these looks. I was immediately invited to a ceremony that same day in my new outfit but admitted that I had my period (is that TMI for a blog?) I was reminded that women are banned from temples and sacred spaces when they have there period in this country as it is considered impure and there are big signs outside the temples saying so. This reflects a sanction against human blood on holy ground. I feel a bit offended by this/being labelled impure, it is just human nature after all…and who would actually know if I didn’t admit it? I could just go in… but maybe it’s a karma thing or maybe the vicious monkeys would attack me if I told noone and entered anyway to be punished by the Gods for hiding my impurity or something like that? So you’ll just have to wait for some great photos of my temple looks, when I am considered pure again and can dress up in these beautiful traditional outfits to go and formally, ritually send love and blessings out to you and to make wishes and to pray.
Here are some previews of the fabrics anyway:
And lastly but by no means leastly…
I ended my day with a fabulous adventure, being met at Bali Buddha (delicious organic and raw food cafe) by Anna Maria, the Creative Director of Leela Creations
She then drove me up and out of Ubud on the back of her motorbike to a place she calls the Goddess Palace, which is the HQ for her designs and for a collective of creatives and mostly jewellery designers. Wow, the journey there and the place itself was amazing, set amidst lush rice feels under a pink sky at sunset and feeling very remote despite being only 10 minutes by bike from the centre.
Anna Maria’s label Leela Creations offers clothing and jewellery for Goddesses, Yogis, Light seekers, Fairys, Pixies, Gypsy spirits and Nomads. I came to buy an earring she had designed as it was unlike anything I had ever seen, truly original. Upon arrival I learnt that she had many different styles of gemstones and colours to activate and balance out the chakras. I chose one for myself and a few others for friends and loved ones (xmas presents sorted then).
I was led up to the design studio and styledup or rather transformed by Leela into what she decided was a “Cosmic Ninja Goddess” I wish I had a photo of the look she styled me up in- I loved it and could hardly recognise myself. (I must remember to start documenting/photographing more for the blog). I was so in the moment and loving it and a bit shocked by my transformation at the Palace. She put me in a very sexy bra top with chains instead of straps that gave me awesome cleavage and was really unlike anything I would normally consider wearing, a long slinky black skirt with sacred geometry symbols down the side and a cropped bolero Ninja jacket with a flower of life symbol on the back and a silver dragon clasp to squeeze it together above my cleavage. I felt AMAZING very powerful, sexy and magical in this look. I decided I had to have the jacket too- maybe the whole look for New Year’s eve, though I don’t know yet what I’ll be doing for NYE, it’s good to have an outfit in preparation and to lead the way to an amazing party invitation.
This outfit was basically the complete opposite of the demure traditional temple outfit I had pickedup earlier at the market…
Here’s a photo of the same jacket but in orange:
And here’s a photo of the jewellery (modelled by Lubna Lana Salah):
Anna-Maria Leela introduced me to all the creatives staying in the palace including hunky jewellery designer Vladimir Trillobeat Jewellery (very brown and buff and wearing nothing but a loin cloth!) Lubna Lana a stunning model and jewellery designer from L.A House of Shakti and singer songwriter Tia LaTia Music
This tropical palace and these beautiful creative people in it…as though my imagination were coming alive right in front of me, I mean this is the sort of community and these sort of characters are what I’d want to write a book about…
It also happens that a room has become available to rent in the Palace!
Of course I was really tempted to just move in and join the jamboree on the spot, though I am committed to living in my beautiful little zen nest in the centre of Ubud and doing my own transformational work and feeling grounded and caring for the cats and kittens for a while and yaddah yaddah yaddh….but if Bali calls for me to stay on longer then maybe I will move on to the Goddess Palace! Til then, I am definitely going to visit and offer to teach some yoga up there (in exchange for jewellery and clothes?).
If you are interested in spending some time out here in Bali too or looking for a room in a cool house just outside of Ubud (and if you like to cycle or know how to ride a motorbike- because you’ll need one or a driver if you are going to stay out of town and in the rice fields) then checkout this amazing community and Palace and book in for a stay on airbnb Tropical Goddess Palace
Here’s a photo of the divine creatrix Anna-Maria Leela
So this blog post was kind of long, longer then I had anticipated- I have been writing for an hour now and I set an intention to write stream of consciousness for just 20 mins a day. I will try to keep things short and sweet from now on, but yesterday was a very cool day worth writing about in the realm of Goddesses and Style. Oh and I forgot to mention the 90 minutes that I spent in silence meditating with an Astrologer called Levi… it’s totally surreal to meet someone new and then to just sit there in silence together trying to rise above mind chatter and think about nothing. I’ll interview him for another blog perhaps about meditation and astrology.
Love to all and Namaste