Reflections on The Cannes Cannes

Wow, phew and whooppeeeee. Hello again! So, since I last dropped into the stream-of-conscious freeflow of anonymous blogging in cyberspace, In the past two weeks I have been to Hong Kong, London, Cannes and Paris…

I had received some excellent tips of must see and do things in Hong Kong but my flight from Denpasaar kept being delayed because of typhoon rain in HK, eventually departing 7 hours late. I almost left the airport for one last surf on my brand new custom artboard. Let me tell you a bit about that…

I really got into surfing out in Bali- it is one of the best and most present moving meditations I have experienced in my life and Bali is one of the best surf spots on earth so I was willing and ready and grateful to creep out of the Ubud wellness jungle and hit the waves on many occasions. I befriended some local Indonesian surfers, in particular one who shapes boards and we discussed the possibility of making my very own custom board. I had the good fortune of connecting with internationally renowned artist Jean Claude Adenin in Ubud as he was preparing to launch “Lord Ganesha Gallery” specialising in “primitive” antique Javanese and Indonesian artworks. I made several visits to the gallery enjoying the evolution of the collection and murals he was painting all over the gallery walls. I was so taken by a few of the details within the murals and other complex landscape canvases he had painted in the studio at the back of the gallery, that I asked him how he would feel about me photographing aspects of the paintings to bring to my board-shaping friends and launch a concept that I’d had bubbling away for some time… “Artboards”. Basically, surfboards that are co-created with talented fine artists as luxury sea vessels as well as being highly decorative for hanging or propping up against the wall at home. Thankfully, Jean Claude liked the idea and gave me carte blanche to photograph and extract elements of his artworks, which I then pasted together in a mood board along with some sketches and brought to the board making studio. Here are some photos of that process as well as the fantastic finished result. And with this project- my “spiritual name” has been launched as a custom co-creation artboard brand “Dragonfly”. IF you want one, get in touch and we can make something unique to your design. There are other very cool surf brands out there making beautiful boards but this is my niche of focusing on the artwork and co-creating one of a kind functional art to ride and display.

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Jean Claude Adenin

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10312584_10154088651795697_8026828242094051095_nSo that was quite the sendoff aurevoir to the Bali Bliss chapter, with my very own beautiful custom artboard and an openness to meeting future co-creators on my travels.

I arrived in HK 7 hours late and basically slept a few hours before getting on the next London bound plane.

London was a soft landing, arriving at a cozy houseboat community to stay on Xanadu, an inspiring retreat in the centre of town and an occassional popup restaurant run by Author, Publisher, Experimental Chef and founder of The Cardboard Book Project, Jemma Foster.

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The gentle rocking of the boat lulled me into a deep lullabye slumber and I awoke to spend my one full day in London running some necessary and mundane errands and collecting some amazing outfits to wear for the Cannes Film Festival. The Rodnik Band creator Philip Colbert was actually on his way to launch the collection in Hong Kong so it was as though we were swapping locations and it was lovely as always to visit his studio, have a brief catchup and borrow some fun and comfortable pieces from the new “Peanuts” collab collection, as well as a perfectly cinema-themed popcorn dress and tshirt from the last collection. These dresses got a lot of admiration from people and photograph attention out in Cannes- the dresses were sucesses!

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I had a few beautiful dresses in my suitcase from my favourite shop in Ubud “Portobello Bali” and a stunning silk kimono for a very sexy ninja look. I also intended to try and make it to the studio of dear old friend Meihui Liu who’s label of romantic handmade dresses Victim Fashion Street I have been wearing and championing for more then a decade. However, Meihui was preparing for an exhibition in Spain and a Guerilla fashion show the next day on Fashion Street in East London. I was so bamboozled by a return to the underground tube system that I shockingly got a bit lost and did not have the capacity to freeze time enough to go and collect dresses in East London, in time to return to west London and set sail aboard Mama Xanadus for a much anticipated reunion and a bounteous feast. Throughout the preparations of this “Fishetarian Feast” Jemma and I exchanged travel anecdotes, creative inspirations and learnings on the shared interest of healing, herbalism and shamanism. It was a seriously interesting time to chat and to film Jemma as she effortlessly cookedup some very inventive concoctions with little tastes of this and that throughout. I can’t recommend the experience enough, if you are lucky to book one of the six seats for her supper or brunch clubs. Jemma is also available as a private chef for dinenrparties and retreats. I look forward to cutting that houseboat cooking show footage when I return to Canada next week. For now, let me divulge some images of the most amazing fishetarian feast that anyone has ever created…

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Mischa (Live Like A Tree) making energy balls for breakfast

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Author, Chef, Captain Jemma Foster

So this blog was entitled “Reflections on Cannes” and I haven’t even got there yet- obviously being terse and to the point is not really my forte…but there is so much to tell and to share! Cannes- in a (pea)nutshell…It really was a culture shock for me, after spending more then half this year meditating in the jungle or surfing the waves and becoming accustomed to people wearing all white or shorts and flip flops. I did a lot of staring at the designer D&G, Versace, Valentino ballgowns and their very waxwork wearers parading up and down the croisette or climbing in and out of ferraris and lamborghinis. I was delighted to reconnect with beloved filmy friends Loyse de Pury, Fletcher Cowan and Sharon Wyler on my first night out there. We had an amazing time drinking champagne and dancing barefoot on a mammoth yacht out at sea where upon arrival on board, I lifted my arms and squeeled in delight at the surrounding lights of cannes, the pumping loud sound system, the delicious food and other even bigger yachts. I heard Pharrell’s “Happy” for the first time that night and it felt like a perfect moment that I wanted to bottle as a scent called “Lights, Camera, Action: The Law of Attraction”.

I met a lot of film producers, directors, writers, distributors and sales agents throughout the week, mostly at parties sometimes within the film market or pavilions. I was selective in which of my projects to discuss with each person wanting to know first what they were interested in hearing about: documentary- fiction feature-tv series. I have learnt through trial and error not to just blast pitch projects at people who are likely being bombarded with information out there all week. I set the intention en route to Cannes to be open to finding deeper connections and cultivating friendships with people I would actually want to work and hangout with. I reconnected with friends I had made on my travels in Asia: Elizabeth Valentina and Nina Markus of 20th Century Fox Films and scriptwriter Shane T Hall. I reconnected with former colleagues, collaborators and London friends Jeremy Wooding, Michael Cowan, Paul Armstrong, Rhodri Thomas, Tim Nash, Loyse de Pury, Fletcher Cowan and Clara Bunge. I bumped into icon Lloyd Kaufmann founder of Troma films daily and wondered if it was a sign that maybe Troma needs me to make a shlocky feminist cult B Movie to ad to their extensive archive… I love Lloyd and Tromaville!

I consumed more alcohol in one week then I have in the last few years (I am not proud of this fact…but when the champagne was free flowing, I went with the flow,,,and it was deliciously merry-making to sip bubbles again). I actually made it to some film premiers this time around too- Jeremy Wooding’s “Blood Moon” a Western Horror fusion of cult genres which is sure to be a hit and Paul Armstrong’s “Lawrence and Holloman” a comedy bromance about two best friends, one trying to slowly kill the other- it was very dark!

I shared an apartment with a tribe of creatives from L.A, London, Argentina, Switzerland, Austria, Brazil, Ireland and Canada. We joked that our apartment would have made a great reality tv show as every morning there would be discussions about the previous evenings activities with buisness cards piling up on the tables alongside daily copies of Variety and Screen International. Everyone in that apartment was passionate about filmmaking and creativity and we really became a tribe for the week, although all operating independently. I look forward to the evolution of all my fellow cineaste tribes’ projects over the next few years and to reconnect again in Cannes- although I don’t know if I will return until I have a film that is screening as a part of the festival because then it’s a different ballgame and every invitation just lands at your feet. Gone is the daily time wasting routine of what events are happening, who to call and how to get in. It was really fun every night to glam up, dance and make new friends at Bungalow 8, Le Petit Majestic, Le Baron and David Lynch’s Popup club Il Silencio. A pleasure to breathe in the vistas, to savour the moments of being completely swept off my feet and dancing on yachts with beautiful and inspiring people. A thrill to connect with interesting companies and plant seeds for future collaborations also to promote the offerings I currently am keen to get out into the world. To discuss things like “Dreams and Insomnia” the main themes of my fiction feature (now complete and being sent to film festivals for a world premiere), to discuss the “Sound Healing” documentary with people who were either very interested in it or probably in need of it and to discuss my love of books, particularily an interest in adapting them to screen- books by Douglas Coupland, William Gibson and Jemma Foster in particular.

I had waves of memories of my other amazing “pilgrimages” to the Cannes film festival and going for the first time as a very young thing in 2000. I got invited to every party back then because I was eccentrically well dressed and so young that everyone assumed I must be the kid of someone famous or famous myself. I was visited by some ghosts of my past and memories of experiences I’d had out there having attended the festival four times over the years this being my 5th Cannes film festival. I pulled myself repeatedly into presence by appreciating the awesomeness of making it out there and diving straight in from Bali with my first fiction feature completed and a documentary on it’s way. I coached myself into a positive high vibration state of consciousness daily and it felt like some really interesting people were drawn to that light.

The Conscious Hipster wearing a dress by Portobello Bali

The Conscious Hipster wearing a dress by Portobello Bali

Clara Bunge in Peanuts x The Rodnik Band

Calara Bunge in Peanuts x The Rodnik Band

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Loyse de Pury in Peanuts x The Rodnik Band

Taking over a festival screening room for a private film presentation. Jacket by Leela Creations

I left Cannes by train for Paris (sleeping the entire 5 hour journey) and went directly to the theatre to see Loyse de Pury performing in Les Rois Du Catch. It was experimental physical theatre at it’s best- very polished and very surreal. I loved it!

I took the Eurostar the next morning arriving to attend Jamie Catto‘s creative development workshop “What about you?”. I was really very exhausted from all the travel and adventure by the time I arrived to hear Jamie challenging us to “stop being so appropriate” and start saying “Fuck you” everytime you find yourself saying “oh I’m very sorry”. We did some insightful work on breaking patterns. It feels like I have attended a lot of empowerment workshops but the work is never done- there is always more work to do in the betterment and understanding of my self. Under Jamie’s guidance, and smaller group work with my “executive advisory board” I managed to turn my irritating “People Pleaser” habit into a “Knockout Ninja Oracle” so don’t be surprised if I’m less malleable to what you want me to do for you from now on. I am a knockout Ninja now, well at least a part of me is…which will no doubt come in handy.

Finally, back in London exhausted and resting my swollen blistery feet- after walking at least 6 kilometeres per day up and down the croisette in Cannes (sometimes in heels)

I could not resist visiting the Fragrance Lab in Selfridges on the bank holiday. It’s a genius offering by my friends at The Future Laboratory and an immersive experience in understanding what goes into creating your own scent. It is something I have always dreamt of doing and I am seriously loving my new, bespoke scent. The process begins with a short personality assessment and a visual multpile choice quiz. Express results are delivered and various scents are presented which encapsulate the “essence” of your personality. My essence had bizarre ingredients like neon lipstick, asphalt, iron fillings and violets. It was a very unusual and intense statement scent and was definitely not something I would want to wear everyday. So, I went into the laboratory and collected objects and references that formed the story I wanted my signature scent to tell and the emotions I wanted the scent to activate in me when wearing it and possibly on other people who might hug or kiss me. I wanted a unique scent with yummy, moorish, romantic, nostalgic and mysterious city girl low notes and organic high notes of free-spirited adventures in the tropics- quite the combination but for me it works very well. Catch it while you can at Selfridges until June 25th!

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Bye for now..

I will soon go and chill the f*%§! out in Canada for a bit and practise stillness with a bit of silence for a few days to process the amazingness that my life has been since I jumped out of my comfort zone and left London to live the life of a cosmic adventurer.

Who knows what the next chapter holds…one thing is for sure “the future is wide open”.

 

 

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Finders Keepers : Experimenting with Pingbacks

Today, I logged on to wordpress for the first time since leaving Bali and I was prompted to experiment with a pingback to a daily theme post called “Finders Keepers”.

This cartoon from The Animated Musings of Mozaic Moss immediately came to mind. It looks like just another cartoon but there are some deep things going on in her world so I felt to share the image right here, right now.

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This is an experiment. Let’s see what comes of it?

Inspiring: A Breath Of Fresh Air

Hello again! I know it’s been a little while since my last post. My weekly blog writing energy was re-directed into writing an in depth Q&A and an article for a new online web community that’s about to launch. It’s pretty cool and I look forward to sharing that with you when it’s published. After a week of Sacred Circularities blog writing and fun, I was coopedup on my own for a bit, house and dog sitting in a luxury villa quietly editing away day and night on a few videos that I’d like to wrap up out here. Music videos for Pablo J and Danny Paradise and promo videos for Desa Seni and Jungle Yoga. I’m counting down the days here in Bali before I make my way back to Europe and on to the Cannes Film Festival which is exciting and slightly daunting. I haven’t worn shoes or makeup for the last 6 months so those are two hurdles to overcome amongst many not to mention the prospect of small talk and schmoozing…can I do that now in a more conscious way? I like to believe that I am going to attract some like minded souls out there and forge some deep co-creation relationships, rather then my previous party, party, party and elevator pitch experiences out there. I have friends premiering their films, so I’m really looking forward to celebrating their efforts and my Guerilla feature film is now complete. I’m going out there to enjoy life on the med, surrounded by filmmaking geeks and stars; to let people know about my movie and to manifest a distributor or festival premier invitation for it.

Now I would like to share a story about a powerful workshop I did recently, when I crept out of the dogsitting mansion to interact with some of the shiny souls of Ubud. I was out jogging with the dog around sunset, dripping in sweat and out of breath when I bumped into Antony Abbagniano (Founder of “The Ark” Healing Center and “The Community of Healing”) and he invited me to take part. It was a one day workshop called “Alchemy of Breath” and it was hosted by Antony Abbagniano and Christobel Zamor founders of    Breath of Bliss My experience with breathwork began a few years ago when I won a competition and was invited to attend a weeklong Transformation Vacation led by Dawn Delgado and Beau Robb which incorporated daily sessions of both experiencing and supporting others through Satori breathwork.

Upon arrival in the morning my lunch order was taken and I chose a fresh salad from Alchemy , a watermelon blush juice and a chewy chocolate bar (I am seriously going to miss these three delicious diet essentials when I leave Ubud). We then gathered in a circle to introduce ourselves and set intentions for the day ahead. My intention was to learn and grow, it’s pretty much my life mission and an intention that works daily or for any workshop introduction. I always feel nervous about speaking in group circles and it always surprises me that I feel nervous. After the introductions, some paperwork was handed out and we were presented with a talk about personas; in particular the many personas or masks we wear to get by in life. I made my list of most obvious personas and then was guided to write down what was required for me to maintain each persona. That exercise was very insightful as it revealed just how much effort goes into each persona- which is not in fact the true self at all, just masks fabricated along the way to get more of what I consciously or unconsciously want and need. It was interesting to fully understand that more often then not the persona is a creation of the frightened or angry ego. We then split up into twos and had to focus on one of these personas, perhaps the one we have identified with for a long time. For the sake of story-telling, catharsis and personal revelation, I’ll share my little interview that was conducted with my main persona.

“The Muse”.

Q: What is your name?

A: Fabulous

Q: What’s the most important thing to you?

A: Contribution

Q: What are you most proud of?

A: Inspiring geniuses

Q: When did you first make an appearance?

A: As a child, sitting for painters then later when asked to be a muse for fashion designers.

Q: Where did you learn your style from?

A: Ballet comes to mind, from my days training as a dancer and from the designers who adopted me as their muse, they taught me what it involved. Also, from my mother, she is a patron to artists and writers.

Q: What are you most afraid of?

A: Being insignificant, contributing nothing and leaving no positive legacy behind in this world.

Q: What do you most want?

A: Recognition

So I had a moment of silence with the understanding of what I had been carrying along with this persona of a fabulous muse. I also understood that I had at times been feeding her too much with ego projects and other times I had been fighting against her in by dismissing her calling for my attention. I know that in recent years I have channeled all the good things about being a muse into inspiring and empowering people through life coaching. So perhaps a life coach is something of a modern day muse, empowered and operating within defined boundaries.

After exploring personas we were asked to take on one/not necessarily the same one and write it on a label to stick on our chests- choosing a persona that would be beneficial to airout and dissolve. I chose the “Cold Bitch” persona because it is one I put on often, acting aloof and sometimes uncaring or I fight it by people pleasing and overgiving. So I felt it was time to let her shine, feel the authenticity and the shame of doing so. Christobel then invited us to mingle in our personas and that was a very funny and surreal experience. I felt like the guest at a party that you would want to avoid, basically being harsh to the other personas such as “Darth Vader”, “The people pleaser” “Ms. overhwlemed” it was easy to be harsh to the meeker personas and it actually felt awkward at first to be so unlikeable, it then felt good not to care.

That was such a gift, to test out behaving in an extremely unlikeable way and to really feel and be witnessed as unpopular or unliked. I knew this was an experience I could fold into my true nature, to adopt more of a sense of discernement and less worry about being liked or likeable.

We then were given a presentation on “Conscious communication”, the crux of which being that most people are in “their story” and without awareness or understanding of that fact, we are often interacting and being triggered or hooked into other people’s “stories”. Powerful wisdom there. We did some conflict resolution exercises around conscious communication vs the blame game. This basically involved staying grounded and clear with someone getting angry at me and accusing me of things and chosing to respond with empathic questions rather then being sucked into an argument- no matter how annoying i felt at first by responding to “You are not understanding me” with “I commit to communicating clearly and other such ethereal yet empowered responses. IT helped me shift my concept of being a bitch, from being controlling, cold and unfriendly to a slightly detached and empowered observer who chooses who and what she engages with lovingly. Eureka! an Aha moment! as Oprah would say…

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After our delicious lunch break and laughter over the personas we settled in to do some breathwork. Breathwork being a rapidly trending word out here in Ubud as well as in holistic circles worldwide. I have heard it being described as “ten years of therapy in one hour”.  Lying down on my back with soft tinkly music playing in the background, I covered my face with a tshirt to assist me in dissappearing off into the deep maze of my persona and soul. We were guided to contemplate the personas we had looked at and in particular the one we had brought in to mingle at the virtual cocktail party.

As we began this rythmic circular breathing, which at times felt a bit like hyperventilation, I started to drift off somewhere and it felt a bit like time travelling. I noticed how at times I would completely stop breathing and this reminded me of my childhood where I would hold my breath instead of having screaming tantrums. It also reminded me of the times where I would hold my breath in ballet classes hoping I would pass out because after years of intensive daily training I began feeling that I wanted to quit and I would do my exercises at the barre holding my breath, hearing my heart beating louder but disappointingly, never actually able to make myself passout and be sent to the infirmary for the rest of the morning. Antony and Christobel would occassionally come and place a hand on my diaphragm reminding me to continue with the circular breathing and I would drift off even deeper into the maze of me. I had a big revelation around the bitch persona and shed a few tears understanding that I had created her to protect me and that she had caused much pain and alienation for me particularily in my close romantic relationships. I understood how she would appear when things got tough and that I would stonewall or emotionally cut off from a loved one if I felt they weren’t loving me in the way I expected or wanted to be loved..That was a huge pattern to see, the anger at not being loved in the way I felt was right, the assumption that I should be treated a certain way and if I was not then the other person was wrong- blame game. The frustration at not having the skills to express those needs in a non-accusational way without fear of them not being met. Big things I figured out then in that breathwork session and with those realisations and deep sense of calm and relief swept over me; mostly by becoming aware that by seeing those patterns they could be broken.

I awoke from the lucid dreamlike experience feeling compassion for my inner bitch and feeling love for my inner muse, with an awareness that I needed to become my own fabulous muse instead of looking for affirmation from others or hiding behind and feeding the greatness of others. I decided that in life coaching I could give that space and energy to support and empower others and out of a life coaching session, in daily life I would be my own fabulous muse and even cultivate conscious relationships with muses I might find inspiring along the way too.

Towarss the end we split up once again into twos and took turns to take a few deep breaths, relax and go into meditation. Then the other person asked some scripted deep questions to assist in revealing our true essence to ourselves, beginning with the question “what is the name of your true essence?” to which my reply was my newly adopted spirit name “Dragonfly”.

Dragonfly by Isidroa PAz Lopez customised by TCH

Dragonfly by Isidroa PAz Lopez customised by TCH

We then all sat once again in a circle to do sharings about our experiences and many people were in tears. It was a beautiful day, a steep learning curve and a very healing experience. Chirstobel and Antony led us through it all brilliantly, especially as they modelled everything taught to us themsless creating the space for vulnerability and humility within the circle.

I have had a huge burst of creativity since then and decided to get myself down to the beach for some surf time. It’s easy to get engulfed by the alluring vortex and bubble of safety and healing that is Ubud. Sometimes I compare it to Never Never Land in Peter Pan, where many run away and contribute to this conscious living Utopia remaining eternally youthful and never wanting to leave. For me, getting a change of scenery and improving my surfing abilities was a good move as it got me into extreme physicality as opposed to sitting in front of a computer editing. It also allowed me to gain some perspective on my life and recent learnings. I  think it was a confidence boost too, seeing how I have improved and how far I have come. The waves in Bali are unpredictable and often very big and the currents are really strong so I fee really brave whenever I hit the Balinese surf. I feel exhilirated and so very alive when catching the waves and my body aches with newly tonedup muscles afterwards as I happily fall asleep exhausted.  Whilst staying by the beach, I tapped into my inner fabulous muse and got stuck into creativity too with making more conscious themed comic book style illustrations and coming up with some artwork and design ideas for my own custom surfboard. I took time to answer the in depth Q&A sent to me by a new web community which is about to launch and then got stuck into writing an article on a tricky existential topic that they had asked me to contemplate and write about. I look forward to sharing that with you and more as I respond to their questions and prompts from time to time.

Over the last six months I’ve had a taste of a new way of living and there is definitely no going back to being an inner city workaholic! From now on I choose who and what I engage with from an empowered centre and I do it lovingly.

If you are interested in learning more about breathwork:

Antony is offering a breathwork cruise experience this summer which will be an adventure in sailaing the Adriatic as well as daily breathwork circles on beautiful islands along the way. Breathe on Board

And Christobel is offering workshops around the world as well as videos to empower and inspire on her website Christobel Zamor

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Later that evening, still floating with the breath of bliss and awareness… I popped by the going away party for sound healer Larissa Israel. She has been a significant part of my sound healing journey and documentary and it was a gathering of many of the sound healers I have been filming over the past few months too. It was sad to see her go and say goodbye but also exciting that she is setting off on tour.

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Shervin Boloorian and Larissa Israel

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Larissa Israel, Anne Maria Hernmarck and Jana Johnson

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Dr. Punnu Wasu

Since I packedup my life in London and began writing this blog six months ago, there has been so much momentum, such a steep learning curve, so many invitations to take part in things and comissions to write other stories… so it was a very organic wise move.

I have Balinese artist Karim Rabik to thank for suggesting the concept of writing a blog to me. It’s also been fun at times to jump over from this my home page and be a guest blogger for other sites such as The Bali Spirit Festival and Sacred Circularities too.

I will be doing some diary blogs soon from The Cannes Film Festival with videos and features on some of the people I connect with out there and I will keep on writing about my learnings and reflections as I intend to keep learning, reflecting and growing… so likely will feel to keep writing too,

Until the next blog…