Yesterday was my busiest, most proactive and consciousness challenging day so far in Bali. I began with a video shoot for Jelila’s song “The Law of Attraction” in a quirky, colourful and beautiful hotel and spa called The Mansion. Not only did they allow us to film in there but they explained how they actively support collaborations and creativity. I told them about my time living at The Gershwin Hotel in NYC as an artist in Residence and explained how they run an inspiring and empowering artist residency programme there. IT sounds like The Mansion are kicking of an artist residency programme soon too beginning with co-creation initiatives and onsite collaborations such as ours. I am also delighted that they were open to and supportive of the “Sound Healing” documentary project I am making and invited me to come back and film more music videos, interviews and performances with other sound healers in and around their amazing Ubud Mansion, swimming pools and gardens. Such a colourful, eccentric and great place, I am very curious about and would love to meet the owners.
We had found a beautiful woman the day before called Katerina at Soma Cafe and Jelila asked her to be the healee and babe in the music video- she was totally up for it too. Suddenly the team was expanding and it felt more like creative playtime and improvisation then a professional shoot at The Mansion.
It was inspiring to begin filming there with Jelila. We had been told by the Manager that filming was allowed for 3 hours and I had planned to try Guerilla-style shooting of a music video, an interview and a mini crystal healing session to include in the music video also to get a testimonial feedback with Katerina the model/healee.
Just as we were about to start rolling a guy showed up who also turned out to be an uber creative VJ and cinematographer with his own Canon 5D and he offered to helpout with filming too. Suddenly our team was expanding.
I was anxious about timing also because I was scheduled to teach a free community yoga class at The Yoga Barn later that day and had also pre-arranged to go after that to film a sound healing performance with AwaHoshi at Taksu Spa after the yoga class. It was my first day out here of lining various endeavours up back to back. This is the norm for me back in London and is the lifestyle of juggling that I began to find very stresfull, so this created some anxiety for me, perhaps the memories of always trying to do too much juggling…and not doing any of it well enough, up to scratch, as good as the perfectionist in me would like things to be…
We managed to get through the filming and wrap up our shoot only 90 minutes later then originally planned leaving enough time for us all to be driven home in the pouring rain, for me to make a playlist of pefect songs for my yoga class, to jump in the pool as a cleanse to release the masculine energy of directing a video and welcome in the feminine energy of teaching a yoga class and also to charge the camera batteries.
Here are some photos of our shoot at The Mansion
It was an amazing location to shoot a video for a beautiful healing song, the performers were brilliant, the crystals were in abundance and even Haidai, who showed up last minute to muck in did a great job.
I did feel a bit torn at times between taking control/masculine//directing/ and holding space for creative playtime/intuitive/feminine/producing. My intention though was and always is to bring out the best in everyone, starting with myself. I was reminded yesterday that there are some important steps I must remember to include- like meditating together as a group to all be on the same frequency before starting (especially important for a Guerilla-style shoot with no shot lists or script).
It’s amazing how a film shoot becomes a whirling tornado of energy and ideas. I am reminded of how bossy and demanding Directors are and also of my deep longing to be a different kind of Director- it’s a battle though and I am not certain that is possible within a time frame- to be a Director who is more focused on bringing out the best in others then on getting the shots in. Jelila was telling me that my attachment to and worry about time and timing would only continue to create problems for me around time. So if I can bring awareness to the fact that that which I worry about will manifest and become worse…then I can focus more on what I want and less on what I do not want and put the law of attraction into action and in a way that supports me rather then works against me…
Urghhh ummmmm ok!?! It gave me a lot more to digest then I had expected. Who would have thought that a film shoot could also become such a great opportunity to learn more about my shadows!?
Anyway, here is a great shot of Jelila and Katerina looking glam in front of the camera.
As Jelila sang “The Law of Attraction” over and over again and we filmed it all with two cameras in various beautiful locations around the Mansion…I felt a great sense of awe and wonder that the song I have been listening to for years was being performed in an amazing space live in ront of me and that I was filming it all with a cool random team- talk about the alw of subconscious manifestation/attraction in action!
I also unfortunately found myself jumping out of presence at moments and becoming anxious about preparing the music for my yoga class and quietly more irritated and even angry at times that we had another filmmaker jumping in to give direction sometimes too. I guess the words “irritated” and “angry” were emotions coming from my ego- good to realise this but what to do when it happens I had to ask myself…So I kind of started to feel overwhelmed by it all ( the self-awareness on top of trying to get the shoot in the can) and not very grounded or blissedout or confident as my self awareness progressed through the tornado of shooting, rolling rolling- so much energy and so much to get done in a short space of time… I was basically subliminally coaching myself to get over any anxieties or anger and just see how fucking brilliant it all was, us there making great things happen on the fly and shooting from the hip!
Taking a step back to breathe for a moment, come in to presence (not worry about teaching the big yoga class in a few hours or my ego wanting to be in control or my heart wanting everyone to just enjoy the process). So I paused to connect to, assess and express my feelings “I’m feeling angry and I just need to say it so I can let it go thank you.” which gave me a chance to own and then detach from those negative emotions, thankfully this authentic approach is normal communication out here. Being met by Jelila with a simple “ok” in response totally diffused my anger and made me lough out loud at myself also to see anger and irritation as a concoction of my subconscious mind stirring up emotions which were not serving me other then perhaps asking me to change the way I approach film shoots in the future…
It also gave me some clarity that I was definitely going to be affected even behind the camera throughout filming a project about healing. Of course I was going to be receiving healing through this process too, even if I am busy producing and directing, it is still going to affect me energetically, spiritually, emotionally and psychologically. I am certain that a mix of anger and anxiety were bubbling within me because I had setout an overly ambitious goal for our few hours in The Mansion and I was battling between the perfectionist and the Guerilla filmmaker whilst my subconscious was trying to make me let go of “The plan” to just go with the flow and enjoy the playfulness and enthusiasm and talent that this amazing little team were bringing to the Mansion.
Anyway…we did it all got everything intended to film that day- I dont really know how but we did film it all!!
The feeback I received from Jelila and Katherina was that the loved the whole experience and found it all very confidence boosting. I still have to sit down with Haidai and see his footage and learn how he found the experience diving into our team without knowing any of us- did he feel welcomed our rejected and what was his intention in being a part of it all? I am sure he is talented, some of the shots I saw looked beautiful and it certainly is unusual for me to work with someone I don’t know at all just like that. Perhaps with some brainstorm time, we will shoot more videos together at the Mansion.
My intention is to empower and to bring out the best in people but I know I have to set my boundaries in order to be able to do that effectively. I was super grateful to have conscious people around, so when I vented and said “I am feeling kind of angry right now and I don’t know what to do about it so I just want to put it out there.”
It made me contemplate the illustrations Jelila had made for her presentation before and how they related to what was happening around me.
Here’s the yoga playlist I ceated as a soundtrack for the class. These are songs that I felt really suited the flow I had created for my class and also themeatically that suited the concept of exploring shadows and light. I encouraged everyone to visualise healing light enetering their body and energy field with every inhale and exhale wvisualising releasing mental negativity, emotional and physicial toxicity or an easier way I would describe it as dark matter It has inspired me to put more of my yoga class soundtrack compilations up on mixcloud
Teaching was awesome, there were so many people who showed up despite the tropical rain downpour- it seems that everyone does love a free yoga class. It was also interesting to have a class of such mix abilities, from people who were trying yoga for the first time to teachers. I sat for a few moments to meditate and call in the support of my great teachers, all those who loved music and would appreciate my soundtrack too. I asked God, Spirit and the Divinely abundant energy force of unconditional love to assist me with guiding this group safely through an awerness of their internal shadows and light to wherever they each needed to go and as I began to open up and invite all my great teachers to move their wisdom through me- I experienced something very new and very awesome.
Time flew and suddenly we were there with a room full of sweaty happy people lying in Sivasana.
We wrapped up the class and I grabbed the laptop, tripod and camera and raced down to Taksu and down down into the avatar jungles to find and start filming AwaHoshi‘s crystal sound healing vibrational medicine. It was the perfect end to an intense and magical day of living so much of my life passion- collaborating, filmmaking, empowering, teaching yoga, giving and receiving healing, learning, growing setting boundaries, understanding, feeling…
AwaHoshi invited us all to chant for a bit and then to each make offerings to Mother Nature and one by one release the offerings of flower petals down into the river below.
Taksu is a magical and beautiful setting deep down in the Avatar-like jungle. Once the lights were switched off it was super atmospheric by candlelight but too dark in my opinion to let the camera roll on for 40minutes. After filming some of the candlelit, powerful and atmospheric performance, I too then lay down to receive some healing crystal vibrational medicine. I feel something different each time I experience the resonant healing of the crystal bowls. I love it each time as it always takes me on a deep journey into myself. It was really good and an unexpected emotional release too at the end of such a busy full day I felt tears in my eyes and also felt they were tears of gratitude and healing.
When I spent some time with Awahoshi at her home, I told her that my intuition saw her playing the crystal bowls on a massive stage and giving healing sounds to thousands of people at a concert beside a famous rocks star/musician. When I asked her who she would most like to do that with she said Peter Gabriel. So, let’s just put that idea out there and see what manifests.
I saw a vision of her performing alongside Bjork and Yoav with a large audience in a circle around them, lying on the foor to receive their sound vibrations, healing and guiding their audience on a journey of empowerment and transformation…
I am actually finishing this blog now in the middle of the night because I have been woken by a cockroach crawling on me whilst I was sleeping. This is thankfully only the second time it has happened but I find it pretty freaky. I switched on the lights to see 2 kittens and one adult cat in here, so why don’t they scare cockroaches away? I suppose the good thing is that it has woken me up to finish writing this blog. 3am now and I would like to go back to sleep and awake rereshed and ready for tomorrow’s Ubud Sunday community ritual of ecstatic dance.
Despite waking up in the middle of the night by a cockroach, I feel am bursting with love and gratitiude and that’s a great feeling. Look forward to sweating my prayers and gratitude on the dancefloor.
I will be doing some filming interviews and performances of sound healers this week but I am going to try and practise presence more then I have been doing out here. I think I will do a blog with highlights of the week rather then a daily drizzle of my own internal working-out of things. Seriously though life is getting so interesting and full of challenges, every time I feel I have figured something out about myself or about life, I am almost immediately tested to see if I will repeat a pattern or choose something new! So I want to try a week of just living with and integrating everything I have been learning and wind down the attachment to people, places, things and writing about or documenting it all….for a week at least.
Goodnight & Goodmorning.