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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Nyepi & Nadya

Life has been moving at a rapid pace post Bali Spirit Festival…

I had a brilliant time celebrating my Finnish friend Anne’s birthday by seeing Dustin Thomas and Xavier Rudd play live in Uluwatu with a backdrop of sunset and waves at a Cleaner Waters fundraiser at The Surf Villas.

I did a two day intensive training of Ashtanga Yoga and Shamanism with Danny Paradise and Anastasis and these two are really amazing teachers with the beautiful Bishaka aka Nannapat Tanapatita assisting and showing some of her shadow yoga kung fu moves too. If you go to Danny’s website you can see the wonderful retreats they are offering in Europe this summer including a week aboard a luxury sailboat, which will no doubt be amazing!

I shot a music video for Danny’s new song “Everyday Grace” it’s a funky dancy discoish tune and I am excited about the video which also features Anastasis dancing and Bibi doing some kungfu moves- a community creative project. We also shot some live jams of a few other Danny Paradise songs so more good stuff to come there too…totally inspired by and loving that crew…my shamanic soul family. It feels like I am still on the “Road to Yogini” veering onto “The Road to Shamaness” and I like it a lot!

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Lynne Franks was also in Ubud for the Bali Spirit Festival and a few days afterwards so we got to have some quality time catching up, talking empowerment and chanting “Nam Yoho Renge Kyo” in her garden as well as meeting many of her interesting Ubud/Bali friends (she has many!).

I was invited to attend a water ceremony by the beach in Canggu as part of releasing the past year and preparing for the new year, where people were carrying all sorts of vaguely scary looking shrines and offerings to dip them in the sea, also to be blessed by a priest and then go to collect blessed holy water from the sea. As I moved closer to get some good photographs, a sudden large wave swept me and many others under water taking all my gear underwater too, wallet, camera , phone, dictaphone, chargers, sunglasses etc though I managed to hold my big Nikon out of the water like the lady of the lake carrying excalibur- it was quite a miracle that camera was not destroyed  (the currents can be shockingly strong out here). It was also a powerful reminder of the unpredictable force and strength of mother nature.

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I headed back up to Ubud to attend a party at Lynne Franks’ Ubud Oasis and to catch the divine Nick Wallaki’s Betelnut gig with support from Greta Orion and Radha Divine ( I have grown to love all three of these musicians as they are the shiny local Ubud Music Superstars). Unfortunately though I didn’t make it to that gig in the end as I got heldup at the conscious Goddess gathering at Lynne Franks’ Villa for her last night in Bali and it felt so comforting to be with a familiar friend from London after the whirlwind of the Bali Spirit Festival and the past few months of living a completely different lifestyle away from London…

So for Nyepi (which is a family time to be still at home with no electricity and no talking) I was invited by fashion designer Nadya to join her clan of internationals and expats and stay at Kura Kura a beautiful Yoga retreat right by the beach in Canggu.

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It was a beautiful place to spend the Nyepi days and the group she had gathered were all interesting and kind and intelligent and fun.

I felt a lot of gratitdue for being included amongst them during this family time.

We went out on the night of the Ogoh Ogohs which made me think of “Where The Wild Things Are” a parade through the streets of handmade monsters or giant sculptures depicting vices and cautionary tales from “Greed” to “Lust” to “Gluttony” it looked like most of the 7 deadly sins were covered by the Ogoh Ogohs too…to scare us all into nightmares and probably into being good viceless people…

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How epic are these depictions of terror? There are some even more scary ones such as the woman sacrificing her baby or the man beating up his wife….I’ll leave those ones to your imagination…needless to say I had totally weird dreams that night!

The following day of peace and quiet involved playing dressup with some creative friends as models including Prehida Permatasari, Lauren Elaine, Dylan Tarn, Mary Manifestor, Michelle and little Jamie all wearing Nadya’s exquisite handmade and reversible creations. Here are some lovely photos from that day- an angelic contrast to the monsters of the night before- scaring the terrors away with our conscious styling!

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Tomorrow I begin a hula hooping adventure with international goddess JAguar Mary and friends…

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I am taking part in a one week hula hoop training and personal empowerment retreat led by international Goddess Jaguar Mary called Sacred Circularities

I will be writing a daily diary reflection blog about the experience up on here so read all about it by following this link for a week Sacred Circularities Blog

See you on the other side of the circle…

 

 

Paradise found in the middle of NowHere

Hello again,

It’s been a very surreal time lately…

Just before I left Bali, I shot some sound healing videos with Sun King Wallaki and Light Enchantress Radha Divine. Here are some great pics from the shoots.

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Larissa Israel a friend, healer and my neighbour came over to give me a sound healing session using tuning forks. She told me that aside from basically doing sound acupuncture on me with the tuning forks in our session she also “spread my wings” so that I could fly…what a beautiful and timely idea seeing as I was about to lift off from the island that has become my home over the last few months. I feel blessed that my Bali home has also become something of a centre for sound healing thanks to all the beautiful musicians who have been coming to visit me, play for me and let me film them doing their thing there.

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I then made the pilgrimage over to Jungle Yoga via one night in Bangkok to a magical place that is literally in the middle of nowhere, floating on a lake in the National Park of Surat Thani Thailand. It’s the sort of place that I might visualise in my meditations and in my imagination when I am seeking inner peace. I arrived to find a group of what I would describe as “superhuman yogis” doing the most advanced form of yoga I have had the privledge to practise amongst. World famous yogi, shaman, musician and super cool dude Danny Paradise was leading a retreat and he had gathered a group together of very interesting international beautiful people, creatives and yogis.

Time stood still for me out there with no internet or phone signal I was forced into presence- such a present to become more in tune with the sounds of nature from gibbons to hornbills and spending hours swimming in the deep fresh water and attempting some balancing postures or floating on a massive log in the middle of the lake.

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Every afternoon involved several hours of intensive ashtanga practise as well as pranayama breathing techniques and satsang- open dialogue about anything and everything with Danny.

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Photo by Bettina Heinze

Photo by Bettina Heinze

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Photo by Bettina Heinze

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Photo by Bettina Heinze

It was a massive learning curve and I immediately started to feel physically stronger, which I put down to engaging the mulabandha- contracting the entire core muscles whilst practising yoga and also the pranayama exercises of holding breath and contracting core muscles at the same time muscles. I’ve always loved the truth in the concept that building physical strength also increases mental strength and the same goes with both physical and mental flexibility- changes that take place on a yoga mat affect the mind, body and spirit.

It was a humbling experience too, accepting how far I still have to go to really become my own master, physically and mentally my strongest, most flexible and wisest self.

It felt awkward at first to surrender to just being and suddenly switch off from my routine of filming and editing all day that has been my routine for years in London and had also made time fly for me in Bali. I also really appreciated the time to quietly contemplate my life and future and to invest some focused energy into the law of attraction, planting seeds for what I would like to magnetise, manifest and create over the next few years and beyond.

I met so many wonderful people out there too and it re-iterated my belief in destiny and kismet- that there are no coincidences in life. At least, when I think that way it seems I create a space for more magic and serendipity and synchronicity to happen… or maybe I just start to notice it around me more?

That place in particular held a sort of magic with the people who were there and who arrived there, also the stillness and the constant gentle floating lull even when doing yoga. This was super challenging at first to try and find balance on a structure that was constantly moving! Now back on land on an island and my yoga practise feels different, my body feels slightly heavier wheras I felt very airy and light when floating on water. I kept pushing myself into presence, into really listening to what people were telling me- it made me more aware of how even when I listen to people, I am also somehow mostly at the same time running several other thoughts or even building ideas sub-consciously whilst listening to people. So I was giving myself the extra challenge of pushing all my thoughts aside to really listen and be fully present in every interaction, conversation and encounter- this opened me up to even more learning. The only thing it stirred up for me was a desire to become both a fantastic listener/constant learner and also to allow myself to show up and contribute too. I just sort of noticed that it’s easier to be a listener and possibly even hiding behind that and not revealing much of myself…but perhaps that’s just the ego going “What about me?”. Anyway it was a good practise that just started happening out there for me- mindfulness for sure and self-awareness.

A fellow yogi out there called Michael gave me a book to read by a Zen Master called Tich Nhat Hanh it was a beautiful book full of insights and I would just ick it up and open it to a random page or chapter and try to absorb whatever wisdom came to me that way too. One thing that really stuck was a saying that goes “Wherever we are, we are our true person” that gave me some food for thought around being authentic and also around personal responsibility or “accountability” in life coach speak. Danny likes to emphasise this too- not handing personal power over to a Guru but rather developing ones own inner wisdom, intuition and compassion for self and others. I also found some real soul sisters and brothers floating on that lake, all yoga teachers from around the world- big lovebeams going out to Simon Low who is the best Yin Yoga Teacher on earth and a kindred spirit with a background as a music industry bigwig who transitioned into the world of wellbeing and is now living the yogi dream travelling and training future teachers worldwide.

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Kevin Naidoo a superyogi from Canada

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Jimbo a superyogi from Nashville and my yogi sister hut neighbour Bettina Heinze from Germany- here they are doing some acro yoga.

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And beloved Bibi who styled me up on arrival with some beautiful, comfortable tie-dyed pieces from her Bishaka Tie Dyes collection. All the women snapped up pairs of tie-dyed leggings and I also accuired a two piece bluet tie died suit with harem trousers and a low back top- perfect jungle lake style!

Photo by Bettina Heinze

Photo by Bettina Heinze

I presented gifts to both Danny and Bibi of beautiful crystal Chakra Balancing Yoga Chords made by Jelila and I was delighted to see Bibi wearing as both a necklace and a crown and looking so chique in the jungle, as always.

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There were many other beautiful and interesting people there, the list is long…but a few more worth mentioning were Shelly Poplak who is known as a cosmic travel guide and is now producing a music video I’m shooting out here and inspirational author Dorian Israel. Two very inspiring women who will be hosting some empowerment retreats for women at jungle yoga later this year. And there was Bruce, a ery handsome expert on Indonesian arts and culture and Saba a hat designer who sold me a funny floppy sunhat made from old green denim jeans and bold African textiles, otherwise known as Fashion For Happy People

With Danny also being such a talented musician, having released several albums and collaborated with many worldwide great musical talents either in a jamming context or as a personal yoga teacher on tour, it was no surprise that there were some really talented singers, songwriters and musicians floating along in the jungle and I definitely want to drop some links for their talents in here…

Firstly, the beauteous Wende (pronounced Venda) from Holland who writes deep soulful PJ Harveyish tunes with a bit of goth, emo rapping flavour thrown in and all delivered with the power of an ashtanga yogi 😉 I filmed some impromptu late night jams with her and she blew me away with her talent- hopefully we will collab on some visuals or a video in the future.

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And there was Pablo J who I am actually shooting a jungle book inspired music video for tomorrow, on location at the stunning rock pools, boulders and pagodas of Tamarind Springs.

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And there was music producer Bobby Parrs jaming every night with Danny and friends too.

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I basically became the maracas percussion girl and occassional backing singer, which I absolutely loved, the freestyle jams with all the talent being shared every night after dinner. I also learnt that percussion in a jam is really a meditation because maybe at times KIK wanted to give up but heard an inner voice saying “committ to it, don’t drop out of the tune” that was funny and kind of odd but it kept me very involved in the nightly jamming.

My main re-occuring thought whilst out there in the middle of nowhere was that I must definitely be in the middle of one long, beautiful and very surreal dream conducted magically by Danny Paradise. I would also like to mention the hosts and owners of Jungle Yoga Kun Dick and Beth-two shiny lovely souls with a great vision. I had fun paddling out on a kayak with Kun Dick identifying all the animal sounds and some great closeup sightings of gibbons, red dragonflies and even huge wild boars.

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Photo by Shelley Poplak

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And then a friend of a very dear old friend showed up with a beautiful group of new faces in tow, including one very dashing and inspiring man who is quite the adventurer and definitely a conscious hipster. Sadly his visit was a real whirlwind- I would have loved to spend more time getting to know him…he was so…interesting.

So, as Valentine’s day approaches and I wonder where I’ll be and what I’ll be doing for it…two magazines have reached out and asked if I would write anything I feel like on the theme of LOVE. I have sat down a few times to just let my pen flow on this theme and some really interesting stuff comes out prompted by that one short but massive word. It’s just not anything I feel like sharing in a magazine, so I’m working on overcoming that because after all it’s great to have writing published in mass media, in particular on the them of love in it’s many forms…somehow an anonymous blog feels safer 😉

I’ve had two great invitations so far, neither romantic but both happening on Valentine’s day. One is to go up to the north of Thailand and visit orphanages with some musicians who will be performing at them and the other is to join hundreds of women in a flashmob performance for the One Billion Rising Campaign. I accidentally took part in that campaign last year on Valentine’s day as I was exiting the Centre Pompidou in Paris at precisely the time of the flashmob kicking off, so I joined in with hundreds of women dancing in a celebratory protest- the steps were easy to pickup and I felt very moved by the girl power in that movement.

Valentine’s day is so cheesy really, although I love big romantic gestures ❤ ❤ ❤ It’s really a day for couples to inject some romance into their everyday existence so really it’s not a special day for single people….maybe I will go on a date with myself.

Love is…. the most wonderful fuel for creativity and connection as well as being the most universally understood, appreciated and pure feeling…. and well… it’s just everything really isn’t it? Loving the self, loving others, loving life.

I’ll be posting more frequently keeping up the weekly blogs now that I am reconnected to the virtual world.

Bye for now.

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Playlist : Current Top 10 Artists & Tunes

Over the last year I’ve been hosting and producing a radio show in London on K2K Radio called Motivational Mondays and right now I’m feeling a bit nostalgic for a moment and missing that weekly process of sourcing guests, tunes and creating playlists and powerful questions for each show.

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Wondering if I could setup an online community radio station out here in Bali?

These are the tunes I am listening to and artists I am loving a lot right now.

Have you got any new songs or artists to reccommend to me?

Connan Mockasin

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Charles de Pury

Tallulah Rendall

Yoav

Bishi

Watsky

Feral Is Kinky

Beats Antique

Djanan Turan

And here’s a bonus track from the signed CD I have just been given 🙂

Danny Paradise

Crystal Healing and Shamanic Wisdom

Well it’s now a bit late in the day for me to be writing a blog, I just didn’t get around to it this morning as I had an early breakfast rendezvous with Danny Paradise and Bibi, so instead I am here and now rattling this out quickly and waiting for a delicious delivery from Kafe to eat dinner with my neighbours from Norway and filmmaker Sue.

Cool- I am making friends out here and yesterday I met some really wonderful people too.

The day began with a coffee, meeting renowned healer, author, musician and artist Jelila. I came in late because a woman who offered to drive me on the back of her bike was held up at a Sun Moon ceremony. She arrived to pick me up dressed so elegantly from the ceremony in her temple outfit, with no helmet though. When I asked her why she didn’t wear a helmet, she explained she would be protected because she had just come from a ceremony in temple dress so she wouldn’t need a helmet today. Eka invited me to a ceremony with her and as soon as my knee is better I will go. With a dodgy knee I can’t kneel down to pray- she said it would be ok for me to just “look see” but I like to participate in spiritual rituals and not just “look see”.

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That’s a pic of Eka, looking chique after a temple Full Moon ceremony.

Here’s a photo of Jelila with her new book:

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I met Jelila a few years ago out here in Ubud and remember saying at that time how I would like to study crystal healing with her; so it’s funny that I am back here now and that she presented me with a new book she has written called “The Power of Crystals (For Healing and Well-being)” Perfect timing, to reunite and be handed her new book on crystal healing. She also informed me that she will be giving a free workshop once a week on Thursdays at 3pm at Soma Cafe Ubud. In these workshops she will be giving teachings from her new book on crystal healing as well as on her last book “The Gift”, which I have read and can recommend. It’s about the law of attraction and it breaks people down into simple personality types. It’s easy to read and enlightening.

Jelila also had a very pretty necklace for me- a beautiful crystal “Abundance necklace”. I absolutely love her jewellery as it is both healing and pretty. Checkout her website to order your own original healing jewellery and checkout her song “The LAw of Attraction” just allow yourself 20 uninterrupted minutes to lie down and listen to it, it’s kind of like a lullabye a song with a vibrational healing: Jelila: The Law of Attraction

I am really looking forward to studying crystals and healing with Jelila out here and hope to be able to pass on the knowledge and make healing jewellery from locally sourced crystals and stones wherever I may end up after Bali.

I told her about the documentary I am making out here about Sound Healers and asked her to be in it too. It’s proving quite interesting so far as I figure out which are the ideal characters  and personalities to film from Dr. Punnu Wasu to Shervin Boloorian to Jelila, they all have extra talents in healing that extend beyond music and sound- so this project will also be an education for me in many alternative forms of healing. I’m feeling like this may be something for the BBC, CBC or Channel 4 too…

After a catchup and much inspiration in conversation with Jelila I headed to Clear Cafe– one of my favourite restaurants in the world. It’s like a temple, wherin you have to remove your shoes before entering and the interior design, the people and the food are all beautiful and yummy. I was a bit perplexed to be the first to arrive and to be seated at a table that was made from a large slab of natural teak wood that had a large crack in it, meaning someone was not going to be able to put their plate down on the table- anyway after some shuffling about, Bibi  decided she wanted to go shopping and left Danny and I alone for lunch to discuss everything from Shamanism to music to filmmaking.

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Danny is amazing and I am so honoured for the quality time he has given me out here. I asked him how one becomes a Shaman and he told me it begins with learning about and understanding medicinal plants and grows on to incorporate a deep understanding of and connection with the spirit world, acting as  a mediator between earth people and spirits through ritual and ceremony.

I also learnt that Danny was the first real “Travelling Yogi“. As in, he was the first westerner to go around the world teaching people yoga and then being invited to beautiful places to teach workshops, host retreats and tour with rockstars as a shaman and yogi and general wellbeing guru. One thing I love about Danny is how he is anti-guru, seing as he could easily be a guru himself I think it’s pretty interesting that he mostly preaches to find your own inner guru and not follow or hand your power over to any one person or organisation. We discussed how this Guru path could lean towards narcissistic egoism at one inner guru end or dependency and powerlessness at the other end of outer guru worship. He pointed out that all teachers in life exist to teach you how to be your own master. We discussed the importance of virtues such as personal responsibility, accountability and authority all of which he sees as solutions to feeling lost or seeking answers. I told him about my Life coaching thesis entitled “If I took full responsibility for my thoughts, words and actions I would be…” and how challenging it was for me to start writing that thesis as I knew it was the beginning of the end of a lifetimes way of being for me and a dawning of an evolution or a new way of being- out with the old and in with the new.

We talked about music-making and Danny said he has always made socially aware music with a message. He has two albums on itunes, featuring many amazing, well-known and talented guest musicians

Album: Travelers, Magicians and Shamans

Album: River of the Soul

He’s basically just one very cool innovative dude and I told him I’d like to make a fictional movie based on his life story, starring Johnny Depp (if Paradise can get Depp into yogi great shape, or perhaps Paradise can be Depp’s yoga body double?).

He invited me to join a jungle retreat in Thailand in 2014 at a lodge which he was a consultant on the creation and design of. Apparently the whole lodge is floating on a lake- the houses, the yoga deck. It looks and sounds amazing and there are a few spots left too, if you are looking for an amazing yoga retreat experience at the end of January 2014 checkout http://www.dannyparadise.com

I could have stayed on in conversation for years with Danny Paradise but we had at this point munched our way through the veggie love burgers and yam fries (delicious) and Bibi had come back to join us for dessert. She told me about her tie dyed yoga and beachwear Bishaka Tiedyes and showed me some gorgeous pics shot by Danny of her in the clothes.

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After lunch, they invited me to join them for the Birthday party of Manju Pattahbi Jois at a house in Pejang north of Ubud. It turned out to be Ashtanga Yoga Bali the incredible home and yoga studio of Radha and Prem, the Ashtanga teaching couple I had met at the conference and rather stupidly questioned about how strict and austere I found Ashtanga to be. Once again we discussed the possibility of me coming to train in Ashtanga yoga with them for a few weeks, and agreed that as soon as my knee felt better- more flexible and strong, I would start training with them in Ashtanga/Power yoga.

At this point my kneecap was very swollen, like a fluid-filled duck egg. I found a healer to do a massage with some sacred oils on my leg and lo and behold, she got the fluid to move as I spent the evening with my leg up and wrapped in ice and by this morning it was looking more normal again, albeit a purply normal.

Today I hopped on the back of another bike to head up for breakfast with Danny and Bibi. Danny gave me some cds of tunes he has recorded with all sorts of great artists over the years and we shot a video in the gardens of him reciting some of his songs as spoken word poetry, I thought this would be a chance to really hear the lyrics of the songs as spoken word. Bibi stepped in with art direction and chose a pagoda floating on a fish pond for or filming location. The video will be up on youtube soon and I will post it in a future blog. Danny reminded me how lucky I was to get through a bike acident with only swelling, small cuts and bruises- he said it was a warning and that I definitely should not ride my own motorbike out here and I definitely must not take my good health and fit body for granted.

After breakfast and filming I got on the back of another random motorbike and headed to the yoga barn for the weekly ecstatic dance gathering. It’s sort of the new age equivalent of going to church. It’s basically two hours every Sunday of sweating your prayers on the dancefloor. It’s also a chance to make eye contact with most of the local expat community of Ubud. No words are excanged, just dance energy and eye contact. I felt reeaally awkward and very uncool because I couldn’t move properly. I could move my arms and upper body but I couldnt jump and dance around like everyone else, so I just felt kind of self conscious. Becoming aware that it was my ego or my pride that made me feel self conscious about appearing to be very repressed or fearful/not letting go with wild freaky dancing like everyone else was doing. I just decided to rise above my temporary self consciousness and move in a way that felt good for my body and that felt like gratitude for being here, being healthy and being alive; not caring about how I looked to others. It was very surreal to be wildly dancing on the inside and mildly dancing on the outside.

I took my time to slowly walk home through the Monkey Forest afterwards, remembering the Vipassana walking meditation and consciously hinking “lift, push lower” awkward, wobbly, it could be a lot worse and soon very soon it’ll be better. But til then, everything is still great- i am making new friends, I am stepping into my power, I am in paradise and I am taking everything one day at a time.

I have been a bit perturbed about taking on this role of a Conscious Hipster- like if it’s going to be a really Conscious blog, I need to highlight more current events like the typhoon after effects in the Philippines (I have met many people out here who are on their way to do some relief work in the Philippines, HK119 is making artworks as fundraisers for the Phillipines and my friend Max Power from London is heading over there now to start a local radio station). Just read that the British government have sent over £30 Million in aid funds. They need money out there really more then lots of people going over to muck in, I have been told as I contemplated going over there to be of assistance. I was told to send money and nothing else. You too can donate in many ways such as here Philippines Red Cross

And under the full moon, I’d like to put the concept of the Moon Cup out here in the blogosphere- the conscious woman’s choice of dealing with menstruation. A box of tampons out here for example costs $30 whereas the mooncup costs just $20 is reusable, lasts for years and is so much better for the environment.

Maybe I could highlight too that all we need is love. If we could all be a little more compassionate and kind to eachother and express our love, joy, gratitue and appreciation more often so much positive momentum would be in motion.

I like this little film called “The Revolution is love”

Hmmm it’s past my bedtime now. I have been waking up at 6am almost everyday here. I thought it was the jetlag at first, then the sunshine pouring in through my floor-to-ceiling windows, then the cats and kittens miaowing for food. Now it’s just habit. I have officially become a morning person and I’m loving it, also it means that I get tired at night, whereas in London and other big cities I would be awake into the wee hours of the morning often. Here I go to bed early and wake up early and feel great for it. Looking forward to some fresh coconut water tomorrow, I have two coconuts here on the floor ready and waiting or breakfast.

So, from crystal healing with Jelila to Shamanic wisdom, humour and insight from Danny Paradise…rounding off the evening with my Norweigian neighbours, filmmaker Sue and a delicious organic home delivery dinner under the full moon.

Here’s a great blog with a monthly post about full moons Mystic Mama: Taurus Full Moon November 17th 2013

Feeling grateful, icing leg, writing blog, kitten curled up on my heart

Miaow

Goodnight

From Paradise Ashtanga to Neon Splash

Hello, Day two in the blogosphere for me. Hope you are having a good day and that you started it off with something nurturing and healthy and not just a quick fix rushed breakfast. I woke up and chopped up a papaya with a bit of lime squeezed on it and am sipping my ritual cup of strong coffee as I write. I have just had fresh coconut water delivered, such are the perks of life in the tropics. I am a massive fan of coconut water- fresh or not, it is moisturiser from the inside. In fact coconut water, coconut oil- for drinking, cooking, massage, for face for hair- everywhere- I love coconuts! In London, I would splash out on Vita Coco from Planet Organic or Coconutty will even deliver fresh coconuts to your door: [http://www.coconutty.co.uk/green-coconuts-p-85.html]Image

So, what I really want to write about for a bit today are Ashtanga Yoga and Danny Paradise.

I met Danny a few years ago in Bali through Simon Low (Ex-Record Exec, founder of Triyoga in the U.K and renowned trainer and teacher of super yummy and chilledout Yin Yoga)

Danny is a very respected and famous yoga teacher and is best known for introducing yoga to Sting, Madonna, Cat Stevens, Paul Simon (and the list goes on). Danny is a very funny guy, full of anecdotes of his life as a yogi and a Shaman.  I would like to make a fictional movie based on his life story. I would cast Johnny Depp to play Paradise- I can really see it being a brilliant movie, so I think that is the screenplay I want to write out here and I have invited Danny and his beautiful girlfriend Bibi out for lunch at Clear Cafe (my favourite raw food temple in Ubud) so hoping to explore how that might evolve.

Danny is a dear old friend of Ganga White. I hungout and made some videos with Ganga and his wife Tracey a few months ago in California (see one of the vids here):

Danny Paradise is in town to teach and lecture at the Ashtanga Yoga Conference.

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Now as far as yoga styles go, Ashtanga is revered as  a classical form of power yoga. It is the Yang to the Yin- it is the sweat to the chill. Founded by Pattabhi Jois, back in the day it was a big honour if he invited you to attend his ashram in India- that would mean you were an outstanding yogi. Ashtangis are very strong and very flexible.

I am not an Ashtangi Yogi– I am fluid, I go with the flow and I am intuitive. I like to work with what is right in front of me, tailoring asanas or discourse to what I feel those in front of me would benefit from rather then adhering to a strict drill-like series. I feel a resistance to such austerity and I mostly blame it on my very strict training as a ballet dancer from a very young age- the repetition every day did improve my technique and focus my mind but it didn’t make me happy…

I wonder however if the universe is calling me to become more disciplined in matters of body, mind and spirit and not just with the intention to write a daily blog for example…and now the introduction yesterday to the world’s top Ashtanga yoga masters. A brief conversation with local Ashtangis Prem and Radha went something like this:

Me: It all seems very strict and austere (Ashtanga yoga)

Them: It is a discipline, something you must do every day. It is about consistency not fluidity.

Me: ok well this training might be worth a try for me.

Them: You’d have to committ to training 6 days a week for at least 3 weeks and we would treat you like a beginner, even if you are already a teacher.

Me: Wow hmmm ok… let me think about it.

I don’t know if I want or need my consciousness and confidence to be smashed down and rebuilt right now, but I do always want to become a better teacher and part of my intention out here is transformation and evolution/growth so maybe Ashtanga Power training will be a massive part of that transformation process…”stepping into my power”?

To be continued…

Here is a photo of me with the lovely Danny Paradise awww…

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So, for today’s reflection on Consciousness- I am pondering whether I can keep learning, picking and choosing and shaping my life philosophies as I go along or if I really need to surrender to and go through a process such as being broken down and rebuilt by a different experience or teacher from time to time (this must be more of a fast track learning curve method “smash em down, dust em off, build em back up again).

I met a cool artist and yogi for brunch the other day, who described himself as a turtle and not a hare- slow and steady wins the race. I am inclined to lean that way now too after being mostly a hare throughout my life- bursting with energy and impatience I would now like to try to be more slow and steady. Yes that is my revelation for today. I want to be a Tortoise with humility, patience and grace and not an unconscious, frantic, arrogant hare.Image

And now for some pop culture…

If you haven’t already heard of it then checkout Neon Splash. Inspired by the Indian festival of Holi, ravers showup dressed head to toe in white and throughout the night are splattered with rainbow coloured paint. It’s wild, sexy, slippery, loud fun and it’s a booming business with Neon Splash parties being thrown around the world. Checkout this video here and congrats to the team for the entrepreneurial skills!