Walk The Talk

Hello Again! I have made it through the first month of 2015 with very little time spent online and I’m slightly sorry to say that it has been wonderful! I have been on the move on my first trip around India. Adventures in the freezing cold North from Delhi, all around Rajasthan and back again followed by some inspiring downtime living in a treehouse in Goa and practising many different types of yoga in the jungle  from Iyengar to Kundalini, Hatha and Vinyasa flow with some gorgeous inspiring international teachers. Living away from social media and blogging has given me a chance to be fully present and that has given me so much joy that I do not intend to be online much this year. I see myself blogging maybe once a month in response to the inquiries I receive through my website/email and social media. I figure that if one person sends me a question others may be wondering the same things and so could benefit from reading my answers too. I also do not want to put much time and energy into responding to emails and facebook inquiries- thus the public blog intended to answer for one yet also reach many.

I write under this pseudonym to protect my true identity as I travel solo and also to keep some anonymity as I coach clients around the world. In coaching I need to hold a neutral space to support and empower my clients’ dreams and goals, so showing up weighed down with the oversharing that often comes with free-flow blog-writing would not likely support my career as a life coach, this is mainly why I blog under a pseudonym although I am a big authenticity advocate, which is why I also do this blog thing- to express myself authentically overcoming my own block and fears. In a way it’s my therapy and if anything in it triggers or inspires others well, that’s great. I created this “Conscious Hipster” alter ego to capture the zeitgeist, as an archetype to inspire those who appreciate style and trends, who like to innovate and are also interested in personal development or heart-centered mindful living.

Coming from more than a decade working in film, media, music, art and style whilst exploring and learning about alternative healing and wellness in my free time- I felt through my diaries to reach out to the stressed out media types, the superficial fashion types and the well-being, yoga and mindfulness light-working types. It excites me, the possibility to mash it all up so there is no divide between consciousness and cool, so that these two states of being can become one or “the norm”. that’s the world I want to live in, a conscious and cool one, an innovative and mindful one, a heart-centered and chic one… at least I am comitted to doing my bit as a “positive change catalyst” and good vibe farmer, bringing out the best in people, knowing myself, accepting myself even loving myself and planting seeds for the ripple effect of love and acceptance out into popular culture.

I plan to take this blog offline and publish it as a book at some point when I feel there is enough relevant, inspiring or useful content and maybe a “happy ending” to this written blog/story which began more than a year ago. Until that day comes for this blog to become a book… I welcome your questions to prompt and inspire my writings, interviews and inquiries. I also look forward to contributing insights and articles to magazines, websites, communities and forums. This is my free-lance work to support my travels and creative endeavours !

If you want me to write for you or interview people for you – please get in touch. I especially love the challenge and mind-puzzle of responding to an editorial brief or philosophical question.

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Speaking of responding to a brief or question…

Several months ago, a new online magazine contacted me and asked if I would fill out an in-depth questionnaire for them to publish along with my bio, website link and a photo of me. I took the time to answer their questionnaire, it was fun to do and insightful for me to read my answers to their questions. It also felt great to do some promo for others and list a top ten of the most interesting or inspiring people I had met on my travels with links to their websites etc. I took a lot of time to answer their Q&A and I gave them a lot of info and contacts. I did feel momentarily paranoid that they might just be “picking my brain/looking for others to profile/ideas etc” but then their ethos as a magazine seemed cool and positive and they had said they wanted to publish my Q&A so I gave the time to answer it and I gave the insights and info freely to benefit us all- them, me and the people I was writing about. They later contact me asking if I would write an article and gave me a specific brief/theme. I rose to their challenge, also anticipating they were also going to publish the Q&A. I wrote the article to their brief and they got back to me with feedback on my article asking if I could re-write the article from a more inclusive “we” point of view rather than an authoritative “I” point of view. This request threw me, partly as they had never offered to pay me but also partly to be asked to re-write my offering from another point of view…”why hadn’t they asked me to do that in the original brief?”. I had only up until this point published articles for magazines and written blogs in a stream-of-consciousness “I”/me voice. I had to think about that challenge existentially. It made me feel that if I write “we” I have to consider who is/are the “we” that I am addressing and whether trying to be “inclusive” actually becomes “exclusive”. Anyway, without getting too navel-gazey on this subject I actually kind of enjoyed the brain puzzle of understanding why I had only up until that point written articles as “I/me” and ficition/screenplays through the voices of other characters- I had until that point never tried “real journalism” with an authoratative “we”. Maybe this was a sign that it was my time to do just that, so I re-wrote the article from a “we” point of view, assuming that there was a clan of kindred spirits, light seekers and people on a similarily intended path of becoming our best selves in order to better the world. And this is the resulting article (which I am posting here because I was recently kind of saddened to learn that their online magazine endeavour has now folded because they have instead started an online tv channel.

I am publishing it here on my own blog now because frankly I spent much time between answering their Q&A and doing the rewrites from a  different “we point of view” so I would like it up and online somewhere as a sample of a different way of writing for me and also because there might be some good food for thought in this article for you dear reader.

“Walk The Talk”

Artwork by Mark Henson

Artwork by Mark Henson

Today, it seems that a growing number of people are taking an interest in the word consciousness. We know that trends create a zeitgeist and as more people live consciously and mindfully, this can only be a positive evolution in creating a better world. However, is consciousness becoming an easily accessible slew of quotable catchphrases with adopters in danger of becoming too cool for school?

Are we really walking the talk, or just riding the wave?

To me, consciousness means living a life of integrity in thoughts, words and actions. It means an awareness of the impact that thoughts have on the outcome of things and on the reality we are capable of manifesting- as best explained through “the law of attraction”.

Terms like “positive psychology”, “NLP”, “CBT”, “Breathwork” and “Healing” are frequently cropping up in daily conversations as admitting to “having issues” and seeking out therapy are no longer hidden or taboo subjects. More people are waking up to the notion that “the blame game” does not offer desirable results other than the temporary satisfaction of affirming ego or misery.

Our thoughts really do create our reality and when dreams are woven effectively, they can catalyse massive leaps in understanding fulfilment, joyfulness and existence. This also means having an awareness of the impact our words have on creating our reality and also on the energy we exchange with others. It means knowing the knock on effect of actions- often referred to as karma, or the more familiar saying of “what goes around comes around”.

Consciousness is essentially a lifestyle choice requiring active participation, commitment and practise. It is a path that commences once one has begun to scratch beneath the surface and question if there is more to human nature and existence then meets the eye. It is also something that is best learnt through self-observation, reflection and heart-centred sharing.

Whilst training to become a yoga teacher, I remember naively asking my teacher during a satsang (conscious discourse) “How can I possibly be present if I’m also in my head being a mindful observer- wouldn’t that process make me somewhat socially awkward and slow?”. This question got her laughing and she replied “ It takes practise and you quickly get better at making choices from your truth centre not your ego. Then, through the power of choice you are no longer reacting to what is happening around you”. This statement activated an understanding within me that my thoughts, words and actions are all choices that I am free to select, so that I am not merciless in a sea of reactivity and my thoughts no longer control my actions. This is much easier said then done of course, it really does require a shift and an interest in experimenting with new and positive ways of being and living.

Byron Katie’s “The Work” sums up a conscious process with three simple questions very useful to ask when feeling confused or stuck in thinking negatively:

“Is it true? (Yes or no. If no, move to 3.)

Can you absolutely know that it’s true? (Yes or no.)

How do you react, what happens, when you believe that thought?

Who would you be without the thought?

Now turn the thought around. Then find at least three specific, genuine examples of how each turnaround is true for you in this situation.”

This is just one example of the many possible ways of becoming more conscious. It is up to an individual to do their homework or ask around and find methods of relating to the self and to others that feels authentic.

Consciousness is an essential aspect of emotional intelligence that I imagine in the future could be taught as part of a “life skills” course in high schools before graduating out and into the adult world.

For me personally, I find deep knowledge buried in the many “new age”, “spiritual” or “self help” books about Zen, meditation, soul purpose, consciousness or mindfulness. There are so many great books on these matters out there by authors such as Deepak Chopra, Eckhart Tolle, The Dalai Lama, Byron Katie, Carolyn Myss, Stephen Covey, Dorien Israel and many other great teachers, seekers and authors.

I mostly want to experiment with things I read about such as “paradigm shifts”, “downloads”, “recognizing my inner child”, “observing patterns”, “triggers”, “recapitulation” and “processing”. Another great thing I have learnt is the power of silence, of being still and observing what is really going on within or outside me, beyond the layers of patterns and conditioning. I am constantly surprised at how often we jump to fill the sacred space of togetherness with small talk and needless words. Reading insightful books and meeting great teachers got me on the road to becoming the change I want to see.

Still now, I have one foot in the realms of pop-culture, film, music and style whilst my other foot is mostly chilling out in the lotus position. This creates an interesting balance and also means I face many opportunities to check in with my integrity and observe triggers, moreso when interacting with ego-driven ambitious inner-city characters then when I am meditating in nature or living a holistic community life surrounded by teachers, healers and truth-seekers such as in Findhorn, Scotland or Ubud, Bali. When engaged in the fast paced international creative life, I have the opportunity to model empowering ways of thinking and being and to ask or answer deep questions in order to empower individuals and interactions. As I evolve in my state of consciousness, personal responsibility and integrity, the people I attract into my life personally and professionally seem to mirror my evolution and vibrate at a higher frequency with more positivity and less negativity.

I think consciousness can only become “too cool” when humor is lost and we take ourselves too seriously, being intolerant or preaching and imposing our views of what is right or wrong. Maybe these particular traits would form my own discernment of uncool behaviour.

I really would like to commend anyone who takes an interest in the meaning of consciousness, looking into it, learning about it and eventually showing a way by simply walking the talk.

Wherever we may be in terms of effortlessly or clumsily observing, understanding and incorporating the essence of the word into daily life; may we all work towards becoming our best selves with compassion, humility and a deep belly laugh along the way.

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There’s no place like Rome

I clicked my heels with a one two three and was transported from Cali to Canada to England to Germany and have finally landed on my feet here in Italy. All this movement truly makes me feel like a restless shape-shifting Dragonfly and I have discovered a new longing to stay in one place for a while… I thought that would be California because I was really so very happy out there riding horses and surfing but I am here now and maybe this is where I am meant to be, for a while anyway…Romeing.

urlAs I write today, I am streaming Trent Reznors & Atticu Ross’ new score for feature film “Gone Girl”. I suggested you click on this link: Gone Girl,  press play and listen to the same music as me as you readon.

If you find the experimental and industrial nature of Reznor’s productions is not to your taste then try any of the artists listed in this article for some top rated Conscious DJ’s & Producers…also a perfect soundscape for reading this blog.

It’s been a whirlwind and I am so grateful to have caught up with so many beloveds across the globe in such a short space of time and to have made it to the wedding of a very very dear friend, shed a few tears when I first saw her step out in the stunning Westwood dress and danced wildly, high on jetlag and exhaustion for two nights in a row.

So, what’s keeping me on the conscious trail at the moment.

Yoga of course, I am back to being a student for a bit to improve my Italian. I am studying Iyengar yoga in Italian which is quite fascinating as I know the moves and the postures so well by know that I do them with my eyes closed so hearing all the directions and body parts in another language whilst I am moving seems to embed the language deep into my cells. And I just love the sound of Italian, the way it rolls like a soothing lullabye- in a yoga class at least not when you hear the way people shout at eachother or debate animatedly along the cobblestone streets. I’d love to be able to teach some classes here in Italian so I have also signedup for a language course. The course is SO much fun and more surreal than I ever imagined a language course to be. I do two hours a day of “conversatione”, discussing art, culture and current events all in Italian. I know my Italian is rapidly improving from this immersion yoga, daily life and conversatione all in Italian and I feel like I am getting smarter too- we actually debate what is in the news and it is such a fabulous motely crew of characters; each of us with completely different points of view. I love this little microcomsic celebration of diversity within a language class. And the best part is that it involves cooking lessons too in Italian of course- though really sort of glutinous pasta pizza type of recipes that are not actually in my diet- but every once ina  while a little gluten can be reeeeallly delicious eve if I feel like passing out and sleeping for hours afterwards. Gluten is basically glue in the stomach yuck.

After my morning Italian conversation class I sit down and go through rushes of the sound healing footage from Bali. I am looking for direct in roads to Channel4 or the BBC to see if they may comission this as a series and am half jotting down pitches for them. I intend to do that next- submit proposals for this project and what it could grow into as a series to Channel 4 and the BBC as I slowly assemble a roughcut at my own pace with the hopes that I will be enlisting the services of a professional editor in Cali or in London to polish it. I feel such a sense of duty now to all who let me film them, that is the thing I hate about having a camera is that moment when people start asking you when they can see a finished piece and it’s always waaaay before I am ready  to show anything or else a big hassle to try and meet the requests by digitising and transferring photo or video files to help them promote themselves or their buisness…. I guess as far as this project goes…I am working on it right now as a producer- submitting applications to tv and documentary comissioners and as an editor by assembling a roughtcut. Frankly it feels like I have bitten off more then I can chew right now and I at times want to smash the computer and just be fully presnt in Italy but then that would be sabotage as this computer is full of my words, songs and videos so I wont smash and I do frequently back it all up and I do just keep on trucking with more then I can chew in my gob as has always been the creative norm for me  “Go Bold or Go bust”. I have a new work mantra too now it is

QUALITY OVER QUANTITY & PASSION OVER POWER (Repeat 10 times everyday.)

I’ve also been revisiting the four agreements. Slightly wondering why I haven’t had this stuck on a fridge or somewhere obvious so I could read it everyday too.

10419578_10152713379843535_5354025454962250550_nI’ve also embraced a new affirmation that I stumbled upon when I was surfing podcasts. Finding this quote made me feel really sad for a moment as I realised just how hard I have tried to impress people throughout my life and how much of a relief it would be to stop doing that. To know that I am enough, that I have a ton of experiences and skills under my belt and to start paying more attention to who shows up and seems interested in me- personally and professionally rather then being a “let me entertain you” dancing monkey which I have definitely been at times too. I would like to become like a kung fu master who knows they could kill someone with their skills but would never do it for that is the integrity of a true master- to embody all that they have learnt and know whilst remaining humble, kind and honest- well yikes that’s a lot of work for me to do still- maybe I should take up Kung fu rather than just using it as a metaphor.

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I love podcasts and one of my favourite ways to relax is to have a long soak in a very hot bubble bath and listen to podcasts- usually about sex, tantra and relationships or maybe Ted Talks with passionate speakers ranting about empowerment, authenticity and healing…or maybe some kind of amazing music mix I find on soundcloud when I don’t want to hear the voice of anyone preaching or teaching at me.

I was recently reminded that it is not important to strive for mastery of the self but rather to work on self-acceptance every step of the way, forgiving myself for clumsy slipups, negative thinking and unconscious/lower vibration thoughts. words or actions- that is probably very much the true key to happiness- self acceptance.

I am becoming very aware these days of when my thoughts, words or actions are coming from a darker lower vibration place of fear, anger, mistrust, jealousy, control or a higher vibration place of love, and trusting that everything is as it should be.

I have been challenged massively a few times with this and what I notice as a repeat pattern is that everytime I listen to the darker materials and chose the lower vibration words or actions…things just get well worse! When I rise above and consciously choose to let go of controlling situations, to trust that all will be well- whadda ya know things work out just fine. So that’s a daily practise and I know in a place like Ubud or Findhorn or Esalen everyone is going around operating in that sort of conscious way but in all the cities I have been to- L.A being the worst actuall probably I can’t help but judge that people are just mostly ambitious, tough, vampires, schmoozing, using and looking for the next best thing… competing to be the best or get ahead and behaving in pretty ruthless ways seeming to have no conscience or sense of karma at all…

L.A is full of bulldozers!

I know thats a severe judgement and not a very fair statement but more of an observational stereotype…I met some good people living in Venice and reconnected with a bit of an angel who was one of my sort of mentors over the years so it’s not all dangerous there. Please recognize my judgements as low vibe silliness and take them with a pinch of salt and maybe even lol right now (cue the canned laughter from Friends).

For example, I was there in L.A for a meeting with a big film Producer about a project that I really want him to put into development, A filmmaking girl I have met once at a dinner party runs over shouting my name and gives me a space invading hug and sits down on the empty chair beside me, then proceeds to introduce herself to the Producer I am talking to and grills him about who he is and what he does and then seems to have no emotional intelligence or a ruthless determination as she dominates the table, pitching her movie project, flirting and moving in to sit really close to him, sends him a friend request on facebook whilst sitting there and then takes off with a wave. I felt bulldozed by this Alpha female who pretended to be my friend but wasn’t acting like a friend. and how did I deal with it? I shrank back and started to feel myself shutting down whilst  the coach voice in my head was saying “NO! Do not dissappear, do not become small, do not start to doubt your own worth… you need to be fully present right now and firing on all cylinders to impress this guy who might make your movies see the light of day in a big way”. As soon as she had left I shifted gears out of dealmaker mode and just wanted to chill so we might both want to hangout more and eventually work together on this project or something else. I really didn’t want to bombard him with ideas anymore after her intrusive intensity. The rest of our lunch was pretty pleasant but internally, I was struggling to shake off that fairly random person’s energy.

In hindsight that would have been a great moment for me to put up an energetic shield or just excuse myself maybe or even point blank told her to please go away because she was interrupting our meeting and I only had one day to make my movie dreams in Hollywood come true and these were really important meetings for me and she was messing with them…..or maybe I could have just sat back and enjoyed the show more, practising the art of detachment and learning how the bulldozers network in Hollywood…

I sometimes I feel easily drained by dominant personalities- the sort who laugh or speak loudly to be heard and seen totally irks me unless they actually are funny…

I also sometimes feel drained by the weight of other people’s problems and secrets. I am a keeper of secrets and I am proud of knowing I am very good at that…but I think it can be alienating to be so super sensitive or at times full of other people stuff. Sometimes being “strong” for others both professionally and personally can get a bit too much for me, so I do cleansing ceremonies with sage and palo santo, crystals and chanting to clear and heal and create space for me to show up more and to fully be present and at peace…to radiate my own frequency instead of absorbing those of others- that is really important stuff which I am realising is a necessity for survival- grounding and clearing!.

I don’t like to appear weak….which is stubborn so must be a part of my shadow…

I have learnt thought that that is inauthentic to always want to appear brave and strong.In a way this blog is about undoing that part of me that wants to rescue others and often ends up feeling drained in the process. This is about me eploring my inner maze and trying to make sense of that point where the inner world and the outer world meet and becoming more human and soft in the process…unless I am having a bad day or a down day and then the rants get heavier and expose much more of me then I would dare to put out there under my own name.

I have just sat down to do a small writing assignment which was completely inspiring and which I found very emotional. I have been writing letters to my teenage self and also from my future self to me now. It’s an experiment really. I believe in the law of attraction and I am experimenting with writing my life story from the point of view of a much older me looking back and also writing from my own point of view full of advice to a much younger me…I am very curious to see if anything of these almost predicitions will manifest and I am also full of blocks about wanting to write down only what I do actually want to manifest not what I don’t want to manifest- careful what you wish for right?

There is probably a book in all this but one I probably will not publish until I am dead. I will deliver it all as a document in a few days and upon first sitting down to write it, out poured about 20 000+ words over a few hours…and that is only the tip of the iceberg really of what I could deliver on that subject….when it flows it flows…

I am going to keep doing this blog thing until November at least and then I would like to publish a blogbook. There is definitely enough material and imagery up here for a book and I feel that “The Conscious Hipster” is a Zeitgeist title. I would flesh it out though with more handwritting lists, tips, quotes and ponderings I would like to maybe insert some interviews with well known speakers on the subjects of style and consciousness to deliver a book that is a eeting of those two worlds through my curated and mostly created text and imagery. I would like to publish a book that everyone I know would buy and give to their friends as a present (hopefully because the like it and not just to support me).

That’s my intention- one year of blogging and then I have more then enough content for a book. That would be one month away then so if you know a publisher who might be a good fit and if youare a publisher and you are reading this and you want to give me a book deal or an advance to keep blogging or just stop blogging and write it out as a book- I am very seriously up for that kind of a deal!

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Back to the consciousness…..and walking the talk….I know that’s all I really have to do in this lifetime and everything else is a frilly bonus. I just have to live, lern, grow and walk the talk- practise what I preach or better yet not preach at all just ramble it all out in freeflowing blogposts from time to time…and take some advice from Gandhi-Ji

“Be the change that I want to see”

Every step of the way and everyday…. be mindful of and forgive myself for the mistakes I make along the way.

Until the next time

(Are you a publisher or do you want me to write for you? Maybe you just want to say hello or tell me about the cool stuff you make or do? You can contact me here)

 

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?