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”.
That’s a pic of Eka, looking chique after a temple Full Moon ceremony.
Here’s a photo of Jelila with her new book:
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.
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.
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