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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Christmas Gift Ideas

Oh yes it is that time of year…festive season is rapidly approaching and this year I will be near family and old friends as opposed to last year where I was in the less familiar surroundings of Bali and amongst new friends. I had a really great and surreal time last year, celebrating with Dr. Punnu Wasu, Anne Kaarakainen and friends on Christmas Eve after several very intense days of holding space as facilitators for the Oneness healing, consciousness and personal development process. This year though, I am in London surrounded by consumerism and fairy lights. I had no pressure to buy gifts last year as every friend I had was a new friend. So perhaps with family and friends there is an expectation of gift giving around this time of year…even if they still say “make me something”

I feel inspired to write a blog post of gift ideas- based mainly on gifts I am giving this year or would like to receive.

YOKO ONO “Grow Love With Me”

This is a really cool seed kit and as you can see below when it grows- the bean has the word love somehow burnt into it. If you are good with plants this one can and will grow and creep up a trellis or wall.

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DVD’s always good gifts, especially if they are of classic or cult films to include in a home library. This year, I am giving “Grace”, “Yves Saint Laurent”, “Man with a Movie Camera”, “Paris is Burning” and “The Act of Killing”.

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Palo Santo Pure Incense. This comes from the Amazon and is expensive. It is my favourite scent in the world, which I would describe as a mix of Chocolate, Sandalwood, Mint, Mystery and Magic. It is also one of the most powerful sacred herbs for cleansing negative energies.

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Neal’s Yard Remedies 10th Anniversary Edition Wild Rose Beauty Balm

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Sephora Rose Facemasks

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Manuka Honey- the stronger the better- Adelicious natural antibiotic and immune system booster. A Winter essential.

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Chlorella & Spirulina Tablets

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Some detox tea as it is also a season for overindulging on the food and booze…

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Monocle Magazine- Intellectual, nice and chunky & The Forecast an annual trend predicting almanac by Monocle.

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Picture Frame by Oliver Bonas

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Votivo Scented Candle. (Personally I think any and all scented candles make really great gifts for anyone and everyone- a living space is instantly made cosy by scented candlelight.)

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Honkey Tonk Harmonica (Or any musical instrument- ukulele, recorder, hang drum etc retro/vintage kids instruments are especially fun)

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Jade Yoga Mat because they are colourful, eco, non slip natural rubber mats. Oh and also partly because they have been superduper kind to sponsor me on my global travels by sending over fresh yoga mats to my different locations around the world so that I don’t have to try squashing yoga mats into my suitcases and can be generous in giving them out to people. They also kindly promote me as a yogi on their website along with other cool, passionate yoga teachers around the world. Thanks very much Jade Yoga 🙂 I will be spreading the love and giving some of your eco mats out to people this Christmas too. I love giving a mat to someone when they take their first private lesson with me- it feels like an initiatory gift…a magic carpet to send them flying on their yoga journey.

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Modern Muse by Estee Lauder (Some people think giving perfume as a gift is unlucky. I do not, but it really depends on who you are giving the gift to- if it is someone who loves scent then you can’t go wrong with a perfume. My advice is only give scent as a gift if you feel certain that person will love it.) This scent is a winner because it actully smells divine, flirty, fresh ad light and …who wouldn’t love to feel like a “Muse”?

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Aesop Unisex Scent Marrakech Intense (Yum Yum Yum I love this scent and it was actually given to me already as a Christmas present by a very thoughtful friend after I mentioned that I loved this scent. IT was a delicious surprise also as I was running very low on the perfume I had created so until this runs out it will be my new signature scent)

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“Healing” by David Elliot- this is a signed book about Healing 101 that explains healing and energy work written by a Hollywood actor turned healer.

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A recent Christmas gift I received and am enjoying. “Find yourself to Help Yourself” a signed copy by Max Kirsten.

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A Gift certificate for a one day Raw food cooking/freeshing course with “Nudo & Crudo” in Italy. (I think gift certificates for a 1 day course of any type makes a great gift from cooking to painting to dancing and more. Learning is the best thing ever, so offering someone the chance to learn a new skill or grow in an area of interest is very thoughtful. If you get it very wrong and they are just not interested…well they can always offer it to someone else or back to you.)

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Interesting, rare, vintage Malibu Tiles being sold by Mangusta Productions in L.A

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Beautiful, Affordable, Limited Edition Artprints by Mila Furstova. Created for the new Coldplay album “Ghost Stories”. All proceeds from prints sold go to Kids Company, an awesome London-based Charity. You can buy the prints online here Album Artists

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A piece of art is always a great gift, If you know an artist- particularly an emerging artist, then buying a piece of their work can mean the world to them and can also be very cool for someone decorating a new home. It’s good to negotiate with the artist that maybe the giftee might want to exchange it for another piece if they don’t feel it fits in their home.

You can also find great affordable artworks uploaded by the artists, for sale on websites like Saatchi Online Gallery and Sedition Art and Deviant Art

So that’s the bulk of my giving and receiving this Christmas…

On my imaginary wishlist this year are:

A pair of Havaianas for my trip to Bali- I will probably just buy them out there

A pair of Toms for my trip to India.

A pair of Billabong, Roxy or Quicksilver boardshorts with an interesting print, though I am seriously thinking to start creating my own….

A new bikini that will stay in place with the rough and tumble of the waves when I get back on my surfboard…again this is something I may get into making when I’m out in Bali…or co-creating if I am lucky to connect with an experienced swimwear/lingerie designer out there…know anyone? Put them in touch!

A beautiful Sari- which I will pick up in India.

A jewel…I don’t know what yet but I have heard from jewellery designer friends that there are amazing jewellery markets in India where traders go with rare and precious stones. It’s probably easy to get ripped off when you don’t have a clue about how to assess the value of jewels…

I suppose the jewel I might want to find in a market is a black diamond. I find black diamonds seriously mysterious, magical and intriguing.

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In all honesty though, I don’t need any of this stuff…

It was such a relief to give most of my possessions away one year ago and I have been living out of a suitcase for one year now.

I am a much lighter being.

I pickup funky cheap pieces in charity shops or locally produced creations directly from the makers/designers as I travel.

I also donate constantly to charity shops so there is a turnaround and I am able to continue living and travelling light. I started an online shop one year ago The Conscious Hipster where I sell trinkets, treasures and clothes from my travels. I will soon start selling more of my designer, high fashion and some vintage pieces on there because I have been given or had to buy some more glamorous pieces over the past 6 months for the Cannes Film Festival, The Rome Cinema Festival and for events in L.A, Munich and London. I will soon put some of those cute dresses on my online shop too so they may bring some joyful style into the lives of others and also so I can keep travelling light!

Wishing you a happy and stress-free Christmas, Hanukkah, Yuletide shopping experience and many mistletoe kisses.

I’d love to know about some of the interesting things you are gifting this season.

I still have some gifts to make/buy/give and am looking for some inspiration too so please respond if you have some links to share for unique, eco or conscious gifts to suggest.

I’ll leave you with this cute picture shared by an inspiring website The Mankind Project

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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)

 

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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fragrance

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”.

 

 

What is a Conscious Hipster?

Hello to you who are reading this. I have figured out that you can ask questions or throw some food for thought at me directly right here on this blog by filling in the form below. I’m happy to hear from you and contribute to conscious evolution and personal empowerment  in this small way on a more public blog platform, rather then the more private one to one work I offer. Fill in the form below to get in touch.

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As I write this blog I am listening to a new mix by Optic Echo. They are amazing experimental samplers and ambient remix producers and you can listen to it by clicking this link and letting it play in another window whilst you read my blog OPTIC ECHO on Mixcloud

I get a lot of messages, emails and inquires on facebook and twitter from people asking me all sorts of questions about this and that, mostly to do with inquiries about resources or advice on wellbeing.

Lately, I am getting stuck in to the mountain of videos I have to edit, some Pre-Cannes writing of movie pitches and doing the one to one coaching, consultancy and yoga in person or via skype… so I’ve got a lot on my plate! I am fully passionate about all of the above projects and commitments, so really feeling blessed to love my work.

As a form of creative expression, I am producing some remixes of sound healing recordings to possibly hand over to Optic Echo or the DJs at Cafe Del Mar in Ibiza in an attempt to digitally send healing vibes to all those clubbers whilst they are lounging about at sunset or on a comedown the morning after the night before…

So I haven’t got a lot of brainspace or energy to personally, privately and carefully reply to every inquiry I get….let  alone go on a date. I really want to make space in my life for some romance, to go on more dates and to work less haha this is true!

I also have learnt a few things the hardway or maybe thats the best way?

I learnt that I do too much pro bono work ie freebies. Henceforth I will only be doing one pro bono project per year and I will be very selective about what that is. Feel free to submit your project proposals to me if you are looking for a Producer for a short film or art project. I will be choosing my annual pro bono creative collaboration project at the end of 2014 for production in 2015.

I have learnt that I am not going to do any more video editing work as it is not my passion or my forte, it is very obsessive and slow work for me to do and is my least favourite part of the filmmaking process, I dont mind so much to play around experimenting with editing but on anything I am expected to deliver to a collaborator or client the editing becomes a lot of physical and mental stress for me. So in the future if it is not a self initiated project I am going to ensure that the budget is big enough to hire an editor or else I will turn it down.

I have also been pondering on a solution for the sometimes powerful one question inquiries I get. Some of them seem so frantic, vital or urgent to the inquirer…so, If it’s just one question that you think I might be able to answer and that one answer might be enough to empower you…then I welcome you to send that question to me here (see the form at top of blog page and please specify if you prefer to remain anonymous or use a fake name on the form).

I will be evolving this blog into more of a platform for pondering your questions rather then the diary of introspective drizzle that has taken up much of my writing in cyberspace. I really only did that to begin finding my written voice and also as I have a personal aversion of being preached at.

I have met so many teachers and healers and Gurus along the way, who love nothing more then to sit and dish out widsom, advice or their view on the world as if it is the one and only truth. I am allergic to that and I think it’s my very immature inner “Bart Simpson” who thinks “eat my shorts” when someone patronizes me as though I know nothing and they know everything. My wiser self has learnt to intervene by saying “please ask me don’t tell me” and this sometimes throws people off course, as they have to then put in some effort to formulate a question rather then just broadacst or channel opinions at me.

It is of course really great to film inspiring experts who like to speak, rant or preach as they require no prompting and nudging, I often turn a camera on to people who talk at me and then it feels more winwin. I really can’t stand when people preach as this suggests an assumption that the person or people being preached at know nothing and should just shutup, sit and listen. I find it mostly insulting though often times fascinating and potentially interesting too. In response to feeling this way about being preached at or dictated to, I try not to preach my learnings at others in real everyday life. I make it clear that I am here for you/others if you have questions I try to answer them but I rarely offer up knowledge aas though I am an expert who needs to be listened to.

Please feel free to ask me and I will share what I know or “phone a friend/expert” to quote and get a good answer for the blogosphere.

In this blog I have turned inwards mostly to empower and teach through my own clumsy and raw journey, rather then preach at you how to evolve your own consciousness…

So now, I welcome you to ask me and I will gladly ponder on your inquiries and answer your questions or defer them to the elders and experts as and when I can. This way, The Conscious Hipster blog will grow into a platform of solutions.

This also shows my own evolution… that for now anyway I am not super interested in delving within myself anymore but in accepting myself with all I have learnt over the past years and months and moving forward into my own creative power whilst also empowering others as often as possible.I feel this blog serves both my own expression/empowerment and a way to give back and possibly inspire you.

This is an experiment (my famous last words!)

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So I’d like to get tucked in now to defining what I believe a “Conscious Hipster” to be, mostly because I am quite frequently asked to describe my blog to people. I also like the term “mindful observer” which resonates with me as something of a trend-spotter, for example- if I see a new style or “look” on the streets several times, if I get asked the same question several times by different people or if I get told the same story/philosophy by a few different people, I can start to spot and predict trends that will swell and evolve to many more people asking the same questions, telling the same stories, thinkig the same things, wearing the same looks. This trend predicting started for me with spotting personal style on the streets of London…I used to experiment with it back then too by going to the trendiest clubs and doing something odd as a trend forecast experiment like sticking plastic gift bows all over my head just to se if it would be copied or pickedup as a trend anytime soon. I found it really funny to see photos a few weeks later of other people going out to parties covered in metallic gift bows! I learnt how easy it could be to start a trend and I learnt that the world is possibly divided between those who want to innovate and those who want to discover cool things to replicate oh and the third space that really don’t think about this stuff at all.  I also blame/credit a lot of my learnings in trend evolution on the cult cool website Dirty Dirty Dancing which featured Alistair Allen’s documentary photography of mine and every other club kids’ looks back then.

Anyhoooo…

To me, a “Conscious Hipster” is an archetype that I have created as a muse. a muse for me and a muse for you if you want to be inspired by the concept of consciusness being cool too…

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I also love the idea of “Conscious” becoming “The new cool” as a very positive option and path with gaining momentum in popular culture. I just get such a kick out of the notion of everyone start to be more mindful of their thoughts words and actions especially when it comes to anyone or anything being cool- it’s always seemd srt of the antithesis of that to me in fashion and music and film…it’s all seemed so ego-driven and fragile as a culture. One day someone called me a Hipster and I felt insulted so I went away and wondered to myself why I found being call “hipster” an insult…I justified all sorts of things to myself such as “I am an individual not a follower of the pack” “I have my own personal style, I do not follow trends” and “I am consious not superficial” all that pondering led me to meld those two powerful zeitgeisty words and embrace them, charge them up with positivity and see what might happen if I threw them together out there into the blogosphere to infiltrate popular culture. These two contradictory and contrasting words/worlds sounded at first like an oxymoron to me, in putting the words CONSCIOUS & HIPSTER together….but really there is nothing cooler to me then heart-centered consciousness…that is what I’m happy to dedicate my life to learning about, promoting and living.

CONSCIOUS (as well defined by the free dictionary):

con·scious  (kŏn′shəs)

adj.

1.

a. Having an awareness of one’s environment and one’s own existence, sensations, and thoughts. See Synonyms at aware.
b. Mentally perceptive or alert; awake: The patient remained fully conscious after the local anesthetic was administered.
2. Capable of thought, will, or perception: the development of conscious life on the planet.
3. Subjectively known or felt: conscious remorse.
4. Intentionally conceived or done; deliberate: a conscious insult; made a conscious effort to speak more clearly.
5. Inwardly attentive or sensible; mindful: was increasingly conscious of being watched.
6. Especially aware of or preoccupied with. Often used in combination: a cost-conscious approach to further development; a health-conscious diet.
n.

In psychoanalysis, the component of waking awareness perceptible by a person at any given instant; consciousness.

And HIPSTER

hip·ster (hĭp′stər)

n. Slang

One who is exceptionally aware of or interested in the latest trends and tastes,

It works though for me and seems to resonate with others out there too.

I have started hearing people say “oh are you the conscious hipster?” and this is a big compliment to me that people read my blog and that some people know it’s me who writes this blog.

I have explained quite a few times to people that maybe indeed I am a conscious hipster, but really it’s an archetype that I have created to try and push a new paradigm into pop culture. I wish for more people of influence and of all ages- especially in creative fields (for creativity being a global, universal, often wordless language) to start being more conscious and heart centered rather then ego driven and to support this mentality in schools, in the work place/office, in collaboration, in communication and in relationships.

Anyway, wow there is so much I want to say today…this is all just the tip of the iceberg and I’m kind of missing the awesomeness of having had an Editor for a week when I blogged for Sacred Circularities (thank you Goddess Editor Michelle Tan). Having an editor made my writng more terse and to the point, less rambly…as it tends to come out stream of consciousness when I go it alone and with nobody to tell me to chop this or that out…

I want to share some chic portraits I have shot recently after inspiring meetings with international Catalysts, Visionaries and Conscious Hipsters.

Here is Jaguar Mary.

She is the Founder of Sacred Circularities hooping and empowerment retreats and she is an amazing international inspirational creative and conscious woman.

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Here is Hai Dai.

He is the Creative Director of WOW BALI and The Mansion Baliwood an amazing VJ and cool, visionary, inspirational man.

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Here is Shervin Boloorian.

He is the Founder of The Bali Sound Healer’s Collective. He is a Shaman, a Tama-Do Sound Healer, a musician, singer and visionary sensitive Ubudian man.

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I would now like to answer some recent inquiries about wellbeing retreats for people who have been diagnosed with a major but not necessarily terminal illness or are in recovery from a major operation- basically in both cases in need of physical healing and wanting to veer away from traditional western medicine.

Now I had to think fairly long and hard about consulting on this one as most retreats are designed for people dealing with stress and diet issues not massive physical ailments.

I would say first and foremost that I am sending masses of love and good vibes your way- to those of you in particular who wrote t me about this particular concern and any of you out there who might be going through something similar.

It is important to adress three elements: BODY, MIND and SPIRIT in order to heal holistically.

The first step would be setting some conscious intentions to heal and adopt an atitdue of gratitidue for even the smallest of things such as the chirp of a bird or the fluffyness of a cloud or a ray of sunshine or a calm breeze…Then adopting a practise of mindfulness and a mentality of positive psychology.

I am coming to understand more and more that the mind affects the body and then the law of attraction gets into action. So developing a practise of meditation and an attitude of gratitude are essential in healing.

Next vital step would be to do a cleanse and assist the body to heal itself by eliminiating any build up of toxins in the organs and bloodstream. It is easiest to do a juice and soup cleanse, with some days of fasting at the end ideally being in silence and then having colonics to wash any remaining gunk and parasites.

After a full body detox the cells have a chance to regenerate and then it’s time to adopt a change of daily diet incorporating a lot of fruits and vegetables as well as juice and smoothies.

Here is some delicious raw food that /I have had the pleasure of eating lately:

RAW Burger & Jicama RAW fries at The Seeds of Life, Ubud

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RAW Vegan Chocolate Brownie and The Holy Trinity : Veggies & Dips at SOMA, Ubud

I love fresh Juices in Rasta Colours

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Jamu to cleanse and boost, Green Juice to cleanse and boost, Watermelon to hydrate.

Ideal Detox Diet is: NO DAIRY, NO WHEAT, NO SUGAR, NO MEAT.

In cases of potentially terminal illnesses, the ideal sceario is to go and spend some time at a holistic healing centre ideally one specialising in either Chinese or Ayurvedic medicine.

One place in the world where I have spent a significant amount of time and have also found to be a very supportive environment in which to heal alongside others who are healing… from their hearts to their heads to their internal organs (one never really knows why others are there unless they directly tell you) was Findhorn in Scotland.

It is an impressive sustainable intentional Eco and Spiritual community that was founded in the 1950’s and continues to grow and evolve incorporating permaculture principles, meditation practises, a village community of over 300 year round residents as well as a former castle hotel which is now The Findhorn Foundation : Cluny College of Holistic Studies.

Other global healing centres foused on physical healing (with the benefits of spiritual and mental healing) worth checking out are:

Esalen

Omega

The Chopra Center

Hollyhock

The Sanctuary Retreat Sweden

Bali Vitality

Transformation Vacations

There are so many more place around the world too, just reasearch on the internet for Ayurveda, Chinese Medicine, Herbalism or Holistic Healing Retreats near to you and follow your intuition if someone or somewhere is calling you.

I believe the intention behind anyone offering such a retreat or healing center is currently still pure and good and that the wellness industry has not yet become so commercialised that people are offering bullshit healing retreats…not yet thankfully. Any doubts about something you have discovered? Send me your questions and I will do some research and reply with a blog review about the place for you and others out there…win win 🙂

Here is a helpful online global directory called Retreat Finder.

So, the following is my response to several questions with the same underlying theme around alternative therapies and healing in a more holistic way, rather then going into a hospital, undergoing invasive surgeries or treatments and ingesting conventional general Western medicines.

Interesting to see how this is become a more frequent inquiry…

I am personally a big believer in herbalism and traditional plant medicines, this is not necessarily a cure but is certainly a naturopathic way of healing the body/organic matter with like/organic matter. Depending on how much pain you are in and how weak or strong you are feeling mentally you could either go and study a holistic healing modality as a way to receive much healing and also learn about how to incorporate it into your lifestyle and eventually when ready, to offer it up (even professionally) to others. If you are in a state of panic or in a lot of pain then you probably just need to receive physical and mental healing and support.

1: See a therapist and get some counselling- do not “zip it up and keep it deep inside”

2: Develop a practise of mindfulness, a P.M.A positive mental attitude and meditation/inward reflection moving on to rising above mental clutter to inner peace

3: Study a form of healing that interests you at a centre where you can live a holistic lifestyle for anywhere from a few days to a few months. This would probably involve quitting your job but then a serious illness is likely to force you into that position or at least to take a sabbatical…a perfet time to learn something you are passionate about that may also empower you and others.

I realise that these centers and foundations are usually expensive places to stay at or study. Most of these places offer scholarships and some offer live-work-study trades wherin you can go and live and study there and in exchange must do some work such as gardening (I have done this and LOVED it- getting my hands dirty was very healing for me and such a meditation practise) or cooking (I have done this too and learnt to cook this way- by cooking delicious vegetarian food for 500 people!) or cleaning ( the least fun in my opinion but still very important, cathartic and satisfying).

So there are often ways to attend healing centers or schools that wont put you into debt.

You can also study different healing modalities online such as this Masters in Herbal Studies (which I am very tempted to do further education online part-time as I globe-trot and once I get through the mountain of video editing work that is currently in front of me straining my eyes on the laptop) Check out places to study healing online such as The American College of Healthcare Sciences.

Study is a great way to learn, to grow, to receive and then eventually to give back.

When battling an illness it can also be a wonderful distraction from suffering and self pity as well as a motivator in getting better.

Obviously it really depends on what illness one is dealing with and at what stage it is at ie manic depression would require some downtime to receive councelling, do some journalling and get grounded back into a healthy body not necessarily an ideal state for learning (although learning any new skill is a confidence booster so can be a great healer for depression) Advanced cancer on the other hand, may likely require some surgery to remove tumors according to traditional western medicine; though I have heard many real life stories about a lifestyle change, diet change and incorporation of yoga and meditation completely eliminating cancers!

Trust your gut on what path is right for you.

Seek your deep intuitive inner wisdom.

Do your research.

You know what is right for you and there are so many healers waiting to help you with alternative modalities, so many resources, healing centres and retreats out there.

GOOGLE is your friend!

I have made pilgrimages to several sacred sites around the world- from the Himalayas to Lourdes to Glastonbury. In this lieftime I hope to visit many if not every sacred site around the world from El Camino to the river Ganges to Graceland.

I can highly reccommend pilgrimages as a wonderful time and space to reflect and to heal. There have been often terminally ill people wheeled along on these pilgrimages in delight at the miracle of being out on a sacred adventure and this always nurtures great humility in me to witness. The healing I have felt and seen taking place on pilgrimages to sacred sites has shown me the power of intention and the power of faith.

If there is anywhere sacred in the world that calls to you, I would say do what you can to go there and you will have a amazing healing adventure and probably several epiphanies about the meaning of life along the way.

I find it interesting and also worrying to receive messages from young and seemingly healthy people or friends who have suddenly been diagnosed with terminal or harsh diseases and are looking for retreats to go and nurture their mind body and soul and figure out what is next and how they are going to heal.

I believe it has to start with the mind, the right mindset to overcome an illness and to heal. I also believe that illnesses and disease are the bodies way of crying out for some attention, for example everytime I get really stressed out, I lose the hearing in one ear- it totally weirds me out and makes me feel very discombobulated whenever it happens. I have learnt that it’s my body’s way of saying “hey you! listen up! you don’t like what you are hearing so i’m stopping you from hearing things hahaha. So speak up now stick up for you or someting thats bothering you or you’ll just hear more of that crap from the one ear thats working right now if not maybe the other side will temporarily shut down too!” I think it was my stress related loss of hearing that first got me interested in “Sound Healing” too.

Then once a new frame of mind has been adopted, an entire body, mind, spirit makeover or action plan needs to happen ideally in a supportive environment in order to move ahead with healing.

I also want to share some great photos of the beautiful healers and cultural catalysts I have had the pleasure of meeting with lately…

But for now just please know that I am open to answering your questions on here as a keen researcher with access to some amazing teachers and as someone committed to walking the conscious path and then walking the talk, one step at a time.

For my ext blog or for a future post, I will open up my “Little black” Holistic book and make a list of the top ten healers I have had direct positive experiences with and links to their websites or contact details-that is very precious information to receive in a blog!

Right now though,  it’s way past my bedtime and that’s a lot of conscious drizzle that just poured out of me…yawn zzzzz

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Bye for now…

Wizardry, Healing, Alchemy

I love my magical life…

After a week of intensive hoop training I feel on a new path of mastery with the sphere, the hoop and the circle as a portal to other dimensions. If you are interested to read more about the art of hooping, I have been blogging about the amazing experiences for the past week on Sacred Circularities and there will be other guest bloggers over on that site for each weeklong retreat over the next three weeks.

Today…

I had breakfast with a Wizard

aka Yogi Master and Dancer Anastasis.

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Anastasis is only reachable by what he describes as “Ethermail” no phone- wow how unusual these days- just like me (well, until Lynne Franks kindly gave me her old phone which was a very supportive metaphor- Thank you Lynne 😉

Anastasis was a ballet dancer and these days has a yoga and dance school in Crete and is mostly touring the world teaching his unique style of “Zorba Yoga”. He can be found this summer teaching at Yoga Festivals in Istanbul, Barcelona, Oxford and Turkey. If you get a chance to practise with him you are in for such a treat. We were doing some early morning filming for Danny Paradise’s new music video “Everyday Grace”. I have attended several Ashtanga and Shamanism workshops now with Danny and Anastasis teaching together and have found the m all enlightening and empowering- highly reccomended!

I had coffee with a Healer

aka Artist and Singer/Songwriter Jelila at Starbucks, of all places! Meeting a healer in Starbucks makes me think of The Matrix for some reason…

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I paid off the remaining %50 of an original artwork/painting of hers that I am delighted to have accquired and also had a chance to checkout her new jewellery designs.

I am a massive fan of Jelila’s healing crystal jewels and book about crystal healing. I have been learning a lot about healing and crystals in particular from her over the last few months and she has become a great friend and a soul sister out here.

I had lunch with an Alchemist

aka Artist & Filmmaker SOH Alex Vermeulen at Ubud Raw food hotspot Alchemy.

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I was invited back to Alex’s studio to view his latest feature film SOH which is a mashup of Science Fiction and Opera/Theatre

You can view it here 

I learnt that Alex was a pioneer of PIoneer interactive VJ software and I have asked him to be my VJ mentor…as he said he has moved on from VJing and is mostly interested in making feature films these days and would love to work with Sci-Fi author William Gibson and make music videos with Lady Gaga and Prince. Watching some of his live VJ demos was mind-blowing and made me think of a scene in a movie I love “The Fifth Element”, where Leeluu is having her mind blown by all these scenes of terror and the shadows in human nature when she discovers the internet…it felt a bit like that. I was impressed when he told me that one of his VJing highlights was the premier of American Psycho in NYC.

I also got to meet a renowned healer called Per Van Spall who popped over briefly. I had heard a lot of good things about Per, so it was interesting to finally meet him.

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All in all it has been a most inspiring day and I live for the magic in life.

The more I welcome magic and wonder, the more it seems to find me too. Such is “The Law of Attraction” in action.

I am currently excited about getting back on the remixing horse as I feel very inspired to produce some electronica remixes of Sound Healing as well as diving into editing some beautiful projects including music videos for Pablo J and Danny Paradise, a promo for Desa Seni “Celebrate Life” and one for “Rising Hearts” which is an Acro Yoga and thai massage retreat experience. That’s how I roll on independent projects- by bouncing between audio and visual platforms- to keep up the enthusiasm and freshness.

I’ll basically be geeking out on my computer for the next few weeks…

Glad I have my hula hoops and yoga practise to keep me in shape….maybe I will take a break and flee to the sea and surf- catch the waves whilst I still can.

Europe is beckoning me and it seems like I will make a pilgrimage over to this year’s Cannes Film Festival to catchup with industry friends and former colleagues, to wear some great outfits, to have some glam fun in a new and conscious way and to promote a community project which is also my writing/directing feature film debut- now complete. Maybe I’ll even get some job offers or more Creative work out of it? Yes please!

These are some recent posters I have made (feel free to share them) and bye for now xo

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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