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.

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…

Awakening : I am Love. You are Love. We all are Love

What to say? I’ve been slightly at a loss for words today, such is the profoundity of the revealing teachings I received yesterday on the final day of the Oneness course…

Breakfast, I’ll start with that.

My day began with this colorful, tropical  and delicious bowl of sliced papaya and dragon fruit.

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It kind of made me think of the symbol for the  Muladhara/Root Chakra

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The last day of the Oneness course was jam-packed full of learning and activity with little time to process what was actually being said, taught,or happening.

I do feel incredibly priveledged to have had this experience though and it has a lot to do with all the lovely souls/people I connected with through this course as well as Dr. Punnu Wasu who I found to be the epitome of a “Sound Healer” and by “Sound” I don’t just mean music but I mean safe, authentic, clear and pure in thoughts, words and intention to enlighten empower.

We learnt about how the birth process affects our personality types in adult life, even down to the different phases of conception and growth and how different traumas, emotions of the mother or father or disruptions to the embryo during those phases can affect people’s personality types later in adult life. We had a Scientist and a Doctor/Surgeon in the group and he was slightly sceptical of it all at first but then confirmed on a scientific level everything that was being taught as a spiritual concept or philosophy. We also learnt how the “womb time” is a great time to begin an education. It was suggested that both a mother and a father can start to tell their life stories to the embryo as the embryo can apparently feel and absorb information.

I also learnt an idea that “Conception” begins when we have the idea that we want to get pregnant or conceive, we are in that moment calling in the soul of the person we will call our child…!?!

I also learnt that if an adults ears get blocked or they lose their hearing it’s because their inner child is “lockedup inside the grownup” and they need to free their inner child a bit and play more. This actually seemed true to me because when I am stressed, I often have ear problems and grind my teeth, so it feels like my ears are blocked or like I can’t hear properly. After doing the inner child work of sitting under a tent and talking in a babyish voice; I felt and heard a loud pop in my ears and they became what I can only describe as “unblocked”- Awesome!! I also concluded that creativity and creative-expression is a really important and healing aspect for the inner-child to be free in exploring and communicating thoughts, feelings and ideas.

All the talk of conception and birth made me decide I would reachout to my dear, sweet mother and ask her to revisit it all by writing my birth story down for me- when she can find the time to travel back to what must have been both a beautiful and traumatic experience.

We spent a good chunk of time learning and discussing relationships in the context or “Life Partners”. Asking and answering questions such as

“How do I identify my life partner?”

And in response to this question, I learnt that one major thing I need to do in that arena is activate “The Art of Listening” meaning listening to myself first, my inner wisdom and being aware of what is happening within me and what I am feeling before then of course being able to really listen to someone else. I was also reminded how important it is too connect to, own and communicate negative emotions in a healthy and non-blaming way.

I learnt that the most important thing to work on, in order to have a great relationship is self-acceptance of my: Body, Childhood, Past, Abilities, Emotions and Personality.

“Unless one is able to love oneself, one cannot love another.

It made me think about the millions of people who are in unfulfilling relationships because they have not even considered trying to connect to these parts of themselves and it also made me think of the millions of people who are in relationships and clashing or arguing about meaningless things when really it’s these un-addressed wounds that are being triggered and causing conflict. And then of course it made me think of a wonderful, conscious, complimentary and fulfilling relationship the kind I would love to have and that I imagine most people would like to have…

“Relationships that add joy and meaning are founded on a great deal of RESPECT”

“Either choose a partner with the same values or with the values I seek”

Anyway, there was a lot more great stuff taught and discussed on the theme of partnership  and relationships but I don’t want to just share all my notes from the course. I’d actually prefer to encourage you to experience it for yourself.

If this course does not feel like a good possible fit for you, there are others and I have done other process-work retreats and seminars but this one was clear, fascinating and felt safe. I put the safety and trust factor down to Punnu, I wonder what the other Onenss course leaders are like? I liked that I was not being recruited to sign up and pay for more courses at the end- which is the cult-like vibe I have felt from other courses I have done…even on some life-coach training workshops I have done.

To narrow down what I learnt yesterday…

“Accept that we all need to love and be loved and that a higher state of consciousness is beyond needing”

Then we were taught a healing modality which involved the laying of hands on people, something I had already learnt with reiki healing so this kind of energy work came very naturally to me.

There was then a lot of work around becoming the super-observer of my own thoughts words and actions so that I may become really aware that I am not my thoughts, my words or my actions- this is where my head felt a bit scrambled and this is the work I feel I must process and experiment with integrating into my daily life because I have been such a thought and analysis oriented person for a long time now…so for me to make that journey from my head to my heart is both confusing and exhilirating.

I have heard several times along the way that the journey from the head to the heart is the longest journey a person can make in their lifetime and I am so excited to really be on that journey- I feel I have been on it for at least 6 years now…a conscious journey of awakening and accountability. Now my challenge is to “BE LOVE” and it’ll be really interesting to see how that pans out…

Oh and somewhere along the way we had a debate about “innovation” in particular about thoughts, ideas and creativity. Some of the concepts revealed around these themes blew me away and turned everything I knew to be true on these themes completely upside down…I am still digesting as it means I will have to approach creativity and creating in a radically new but totally exciting and challenging way…more on that in a future blog once I have experienced some of this new experiment in action…

Oh and the massive discussions and debates throughout about God, with several atheists or uncertains in the group as well. I like that there was an encouragement to and a recognition of the potential that everyone participating might believe in and pray to different gods- that it was not about praying to anyone in particular but it was crystal clear that it is important to have a connection to what I would call God or The Universe or a Higher Power…ie something outsdie of the self, the ego and outside of an internal consciousness- perhaps a good term would be a “collective consciousness”?

I actually really loved the random debates that would erupt throughout the course, they were one of my favourite things about the process also as it revealed how intelligent and free-thinking everyone in the space was.

It was fascinating to learn about and debate the notion that “The way I relate to myself internally is the same way I relate to others”.

Finally I learnt about true fulfillment and how selfish goals are rarely fulfilling. therefore it is always important to check in with goals and ask not only “Why do I want this?” but also “IS this for the greater good for myself and also others or those around me?”.

The final steps were so profound, so powerful and carried us all the way until Midnight- a late night to end on an exhausted and transformed and empowered on a radical high note.

So much more to say on what I learnt but it’s getting a bit late now and this blog has taken me waaaay more then the supposed 20minutes I had set out to write every morning.

I have the cutest little kitten sitting on my lap as I write this, I filmed a bunch of testimonial videos earlier today and then we formed a “sharing circle” and I just kept the camera rolling as we discussed and debated everything that happened over the last few days.

I found that to be so beautiful, so sacred and was in awe of the intelligent and beautiful people from around the world who had gathered in Bali to explore the concept of “Oneness”…and for letting me film them/it!

I also really love that this course does not insist on secrecy which means it is much easier to communicate the benefits of then some other personal development work and programmes I have explored over the years…

Does all this personal inquiry and desire to know and understand myself and others and the underlying oneness in all creatures, people and  faiths make me “conscious”?

I do not know…

Does it make me “Awakened”?

I do not know…

All I do know is that I stopped trying to make my blogs funny, cuz I’ve been so busy diving deep into really experiencing it all rather then clowning, judging, persecuting or being cynical about things- I guess thats where humor mostly comes from then…I feel like it’s time to have a bath.

So I’m on a journey from my head to my heart and I am in the process of awakening…

How fascinating is that?

Here’s a pic of me getting some mala beads and a certificate of “Consciousness” qualification that says I can officially give “Oneness blessings”- sweet.

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And here’s an afterglowy group shot wearing normal clothes again (not all white like the last few days) of those of us who were not camera shy during the process.IMG_2103

“I am LOVE. You are LOVE. We all are LOVE”

Sending you virtual blessings from the blogosphere with golden shiny light, with LOVE LOVE LOVE and in Oneness

Namaste

Be The Change That You Want To See

Yesterday I learnt so many things…

Oneness is a full on life philosophy course, diving deep down into the roots of the conscious and sub-conscious mind. I did quite a bit of filming throughout too as we moved through meditations, to ecstatic dance to kirtan to satsang and lessons and q and a…really deep stuff I am still processing. Dr. Punnu Wasu is a great and charismatic teacher and storyteller!

I had homework to do last night and video clips to import and camera batteries to charge- back to being a multi-tasking night owl…that’s the way I know it.

Here are some photos from the day:

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I love the ecstatic dancing on Sundays in this town- at least a hundred people show up for it every sunday and sweat their prayers on the dancefloor for 2 hours non-stop!. This time some people were going around with glitter and I had glitter sprinkled on my face and in my hair and I loved feeling the glitter love.

Also some surrealness happened on the dancefloor. Like a mirage, someone very dear to me from a far away country appeared through the crowd, which gave everything a totally surreal and dreamlike quality. He told me afterwards that he’s been reading my blog. We ate a healthy raw food lunch together and had some deep and meaningful conversation. Then we said our goodbyes and I was back upstairs to the Oneness.

I am mostly grateful for the surreallness in life- it adds magic doesn’t it?.

I am aware that if I try to share too much of what I am learning and too quickly (via stream of consciousness blogging), that it is likely not to make any sense, however the main message I got out of yesterdays teachings that I would like to share with you are this:

Gandhi Ji’s message “Be the change that you want to see in the world”

Perfectly summarised in the popular culture form of hiphop, by MC Yogi

Also, I took many notes- pages and pages of notes and shot videos-phew, I am sure that I can write something better once I have processed it all.

For now these stood out:

“The root cause of all suffering is seperateness. The solution is oneness”

“Our external world is a reflection of our internal world”

“A complete life is one in which I am growing in all aspects (Intellect, Finances, Health, Relationships, Spirituality.)

“Who or what is a happy person? Someone who is comfortable with who or what they are.”

“Unconscious beliefs create our reality.”

“The unconscious is repetitive and compulsive in either constructive or destructive ways”

“Stress is a result of unresolved emotions”

“Consciousness is unknowable and shall forever remain unknown.”

“Consciousness says: I will manifest your underlying beliefs.”

“Unresolved issues in the relationship with the father result in a lifetime of financial troubles or difficulties. Unresolved issues in the relationship with the mother result in a lifetime of unnecessary obstacles.”

I understood how it is really important to resolve any issues we have with our parents in order to be our most powerful and magnetic and in order to manifest our needs, wishes and desires in life.

I was also reminded about the disempowerment factor of “The Blame Game“.

As long as someone else is “wrong” or “at fault” for my inner or outer state then I am “A Victim” as long as I can take full responsibility for my words and actions then I can become empowered…maybe even enlightened.

“A problem does not cause suffering, the way I react to a problem causes suffering”.

This stuff is basically very similar to what I was taught when studying life coaching, but it feels like it’s coming from a more spiritual mind, body, spirit consciousness place on this course, it was sort of more goal-oriented in life coaching.

Anyway- wow phew…I think that’s enough sharing for now.

More info about the roots of what I am studying can be found here: Oneness

Diving back in…with love and consciousness

“I am my beliefs

I am that

So be it”

(All these posted quotes come from the Oneness founder- Sri Amma Bhagavan as passed on to me by Dr. Punnu Wasu)

And on a final pop-culture note….I must admit that this song came into my head a few times during the lectures…

Josh Wink “A Higher State of Consciousness” a great classic rave anthem and I am actually in this music video for a few seconds! This video was shot at Tribal Gathering in the U.K in the late 90’s!

Namaste : Goddesses (From Styling the Self to Leela Creations)

Hello and Namaste.For any of you out there who don’t know what Namaste means, I’ll explain it because it means something really rather beautiful.

Namaste: “The light within me recognizes and honours the light within you”.

I realise that this blog experiment is becoming something of a diary for me too, as each morning I awake to reflect upon what I saw, experienced or learnt the day before. It is however interrupting my morning yoga practise to start the day with a reflective/stream-of-consciousness blog, but thats ok because I have the rest of the day here to sweat out any toxins in this humidity and I also have my one week unlimited access pass to The Yoga Barn, where I have been enjoying a plethora of yoga, meditation, dance and sound healing workshops.

So for this week at least, my morning practise is to blog. Perhaps next week I’ll do more reflective writing in the evenings and return to my morning yoga and meditations. The morning yoga start for me is also a time in which I set intentions, in a state of deep focus and relaxation I feel very connected to my heart, my core, my intuition, my inner “wise woman” the setting of intentions in this state is like the planting of very significant and almost subconscious seeds.

A lot of people have asked me to teach them to meditate over the years, which I find a great compliment. There are many different paths to get to the same super calm and empty space of meditation and I have been fortunate to meet many teachers who have shown me different ways to meditate. I could and probably will write a blog just on the theme of meditation but that is not todays theme…so I’ll only drift into it a little bit. I am very calm and focused most of the time unless I am living in a big busy city and multi-tasking (which is when I need to be even more calm and focused yet lack of sleep knocks me right off my centre). Between running a film company/ finishing my feature film/shooting/editing/brainstorming/pitching/running a record label/managing distribution/clearances/promotion/life coaching, yogaing and meditating with clients…well there never seemed to be enough hours in the day and sleep was massively compromised by that causing everything in my life to feel kind of lucid and intangible. Having now stepped away from that juggling act I am very aware of just how much effort has to go into time management and staying centered and calm in order to weather any and all storms. It’s obviously so much easier to dedicate life to being calm focused and enlightened when away from it all in a tropical paradise then when deeply enmeshed in the urban rat race. I see this chapter of my life with so much gratitude as  a renewal and a return to my source and a chance to nurture and strengthen my inner wise woman or Goddess in prep for whatever may lie ahead. Hopefully that will be love and fulfillment and projects and collaborations that are truly significant to me and my heart and soul. I learnt through life coaching that if I choose to align myself with people and projects that speak to the core/inner calling/life purpose, there will be massive amounts of energy to fuel and see things through the ups and downs and the fulfillment will be so much greater.

Anyway…enough of a ramble from me (seriously this blog diary thing feels like a risk on my part to just let the thoughts dribble out, fairly unedited…especially as I keep forgetting that I want it to be funny or die!)

Stream of consciousness has always been a good friend and tool for me. I have written  diaries for NIGHT Magazine since 2000 and have done some creative writing courses which encourage free flow as a way of unblocking the blocks, for info about that checkout: Creative Writes Workshops

I’m exploring this daily blog platform to report on what I’m learning, finding inspiring and who I am meeting…but mainly to unblock me so that I may write a more structured and potentially significant screenplay out here too.

Today I would like to highlight some amazing Goddesses who have appeared on my path out here.

Firstly there is my neighbor Sue Useem of Spotted Frog Productions She is a documentary filmmaker, she is very real and very funny. The word I used to describe her (to her face) was “Transparent” and she liked that. Honesty is fairly rare and she manages to deliver honesty in such a blunt and funny way, I immediately warmed to her and can imagine the two of us teaming up to make a film together one day.  Sue set the tone for me out here to relax from the moment I showed up. She has a very cute puppy who comes over to my house to play with the cats, it’s funny to watch them all playing together- I thought that cats and dogs hate eachother but these ones all seem to get along just fine.

Here is Sue chilling in the hammock.

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Sue Useem

The next woman I would like to highlight is Susana Sarmiento of L’Aqua Image Style & Image Coaching, who was also staying next door for a few days. She is beautiful, stylish and bursting with positivity and good vibes. Susana is a style and image coach and each day she would rock up in the most effortlessly chic tropical wear. I am out here with pretty much yoga clothes and bathing suits and a few retro sun dresses. Susana’s daily looks have really expanded the horizons for me on what is possible re tropical style. We talked at length about love, life and style and also where to find the best natural giant pearls. I hope to go and source some of my own black pearls on this trip too- they just seems such a magical and powerful natural jewel. I imagine Susana to be a wonderful image  coach to work with as she is so warm and uplifting, if only she had stuck around longer- I thoroughly enjoyed our girlie night out to a Tex Mex restaurant ( including Margaritas- a welcome break from the very healthy diet and delicious Balinese food or steamed veggies I have been eating out here). I would have liked to tryout a style coaching session with her myself out of interest. I would describe my personal style is very eclectic and I recently gave away, sold and packed up 14 years of an amazing London party girl wardrobe of vintage dresses and costumes. I managed to narrow my entire life down to one suticase and that process in itself was emotional and challenging for me but in the end, I felt and feel lighter for it- just with way less style options, however throughout that cleansing process I became a lighter being! If I could, I would now have a monochrime style and wear only black or white…but that might be a bit dull and predictable, so I must throw in a bit of rainbow brights from time to time too.

Here are some cute photos of Susana rocking some yellow neon and long pearls and holding one of the kittens in my care (I call her Squeaky because it’s like she is still learning to miaow and can only squeak like a duck- it is reaaally cute!)

Susana Sarmiento of http://www.laquaimage.com & Squeaky the Kitten

Susana Sarmiento of http://www.laquaimage.com
& Squeaky the Kitten

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Inspired by my encounters with style guru Susana, I decided to make a visit to the Ubud market to pickup a traditional temple outfit, as women must dress a certain way to enter temples in Bali and it is a really elegant look involving a lace or silk blouse and a colourful either clashing or co-ordinated sarong. The market experience was hot, sweaty and intense, involving a lot of haggling. I made my way through the market trying to see what was on offer and where I could find the best quality and price. I ended up with a bargain on two blouses (one white silk and one multi-coloured lace) and two sarongs (one bright orange and one multi-coloured). I now feel, with two temple outfits that I must pray a lot and attend many ceremonies if nothing else, to get good wear out of these looks. I was immediately invited to a ceremony that same day in my new outfit but admitted that I had my period (is that TMI for a blog?) I was reminded that women are banned from temples and sacred spaces when they have there period in this country as it is considered impure and there are big signs outside the temples saying so. This reflects a sanction against human blood on holy ground. I feel a bit offended by this/being labelled impure, it is just human nature after all…and who would actually know if I didn’t admit it? I could just go in… but maybe it’s a karma thing or maybe the vicious monkeys would attack me if I told noone and entered anyway to be punished by the Gods for hiding my impurity or something like that? So you’ll just have to wait for some great photos of my temple looks, when I am considered pure again and can dress up in these beautiful traditional outfits to go and formally, ritually send love and blessings out to you and to make wishes and to pray.

Here are some previews of the fabrics anyway:

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And lastly but by no means leastly…

I ended my day with a fabulous adventure, being met at Bali Buddha (delicious organic and raw food cafe) by Anna Maria, the Creative Director of Leela Creations

She then drove me up and out of Ubud on the back of her motorbike to a place she calls the Goddess Palace, which is the HQ for her designs and for a collective of creatives and mostly jewellery designers. Wow, the journey there and the place itself was amazing, set amidst lush rice feels under a pink sky at sunset and feeling very remote despite being only 10 minutes by bike from the centre.

Anna Maria’s label Leela Creations offers clothing and jewellery for Goddesses, Yogis, Light seekers, Fairys, Pixies, Gypsy spirits and Nomads. I came to buy an earring she had designed as it was unlike anything I had ever seen, truly original. Upon arrival I learnt that she had many different styles of gemstones and colours to activate and balance out the chakras. I chose one for myself and a few others for friends and loved ones (xmas presents sorted then).

I was led up to the design studio and styledup or rather transformed by Leela into what she decided was a “Cosmic Ninja Goddess” I wish I had a photo of the look she styled me up in- I loved it and could hardly recognise myself. (I must remember to start documenting/photographing more for the blog). I was so in the moment and loving it and a bit shocked by my transformation at the Palace. She put me in a very sexy bra top with chains instead of straps that gave me awesome cleavage and was really unlike anything I would normally consider wearing, a long slinky black skirt with sacred geometry symbols down the side and a cropped bolero Ninja jacket with a flower of life symbol on the back and a silver dragon clasp to squeeze it together above my cleavage. I felt AMAZING very powerful, sexy and magical in this look. I decided I had to have the jacket too- maybe the whole look for New Year’s eve, though I don’t know yet what I’ll be doing for NYE, it’s good to have an outfit in preparation and to lead the way to an amazing party invitation.

This outfit was basically the complete opposite of the demure traditional temple outfit I had pickedup earlier at the market…

Here’s a photo of the same jacket but in orange:

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And here’s a photo of the jewellery (modelled by Lubna Lana Salah):

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Anna-Maria Leela introduced me to all the creatives staying in the palace including hunky jewellery designer Vladimir Trillobeat Jewellery (very brown and buff and wearing nothing but a loin cloth!) Lubna Lana a stunning model and jewellery designer from L.A House of Shakti and singer songwriter Tia LaTia Music

This tropical palace and these beautiful creative people in it…as though my imagination were coming alive right in front of me, I mean this is the sort of community and these sort of characters are what I’d want to write a book about…

It also happens that a room has become available to rent in the Palace!

Of course I was really tempted to just move in and join the jamboree on the spot, though I am committed to living in my beautiful little zen nest in the centre of Ubud and doing my own transformational work and feeling grounded and caring for the cats and kittens for a while and yaddah yaddah yaddh….but if Bali calls for me to stay on longer then maybe I will move on to the Goddess Palace! Til then, I am definitely going to visit and offer to teach some yoga up there (in exchange for jewellery and clothes?).

If you are interested in spending some time out here in Bali too or looking for a room in a cool house just outside of Ubud (and if you like to cycle or know how to ride a motorbike- because you’ll need one or a driver if you are going to stay out of town and in the rice fields) then checkout this amazing community and Palace and book in for a stay on airbnb Tropical Goddess Palace

Here’s a photo of the divine creatrix Anna-Maria Leela

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So this blog post was kind of long, longer then I had anticipated- I have been writing for an hour now and I set an intention to write stream of consciousness for just 20 mins a day. I will try to keep things short and sweet from now on, but yesterday was a very cool day worth writing about in the realm of Goddesses and Style. Oh and I forgot to mention the 90 minutes that I spent in silence meditating with an Astrologer called Levi… it’s totally surreal to meet someone new and then to just sit there in silence together trying to rise above mind chatter and think about nothing. I’ll interview him for another blog perhaps about meditation and astrology.

Love to all and Namaste