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