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Lessons I have learnt in the past few months

[1] If you’re stuck in a situation where you feel like you’re compromising your own values, desires and beliefs, LEAVE IT AND LET IT GO.

[2] Trust in your intuition / gut feeling. If you’re losing sleep over something then it’s probably an indication that you should change whatever is causing you stress. Do NOT prolong it; absolutely cut that shit out of your life. Your mind, soul and body will thank you for it.

[3] Don’t expect people to act a certain way and do not rely on others for your happiness. Self-gratification and inner peace is everything. Find some time to meditate and these meditation sessions will help you put things into perspective. I also find that hypnosis helps a lot! Definitely look into reading a lot of philosophy and ‘self-help’ books. I know, you might find it silly to go and look at self-help books but they really do help! I definitely recommend reading Eckhart Tolle’s texts.

[4] Do NOT play ‘victim’. Take each ‘negative’ occurrence as a learning experience towards guiding you on the right path. It’s okay to feel sad every once in a while (by all means, lock yourself in your room and watch all of them amazingly depressing films you love to watch) But do not let the negativity overtake your entire existence. My personal advice – If the cause of your pain is due to someone breaking your heart, every time you start to recognise your feelings shifting towards the negative, go for a run or do some sort of active physical activity. Make endorphins your new best friend. Not only will you feel better, you will even look better!

[5] ‘Life is short, in the end we all die; everything in this world is temporary.’ Keep this in mind every time you feel like you’re going through an existential crisis. Everyone is searching for their true path, you are not alone in feeling lost! Everyone makes mistakes and no one in the year 3000 is going to give a shit about your mistakes.

[6] Happiness is in the doing. Spend your time doing things that make you happy and be entirely present in the moment!

[7] Don’t hate – APPRECIATE! This is similar to lesson number 4. If you feel the cause of your inner turmoil is a particular person, don’t send out negative vibes to them or to the world. Just cut them out of your life. Appreciate that they have taught you something valuable about yourself and use this newfound energy to make yourself the best person you can be.

[8] Support everyone in your life. It’s true, competition can be an amazing thing (it can drive us to work harder at our goals), but an even more amazing thing is succeeding at our goals together. Always support the dreams of other people in your life and be genuinely happy when they get closer to their goals. Your heart will feel light and your mind, inspired.

That’s all for now, I hope these lessons help reground you as much as they have done for me. 

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My top 10 favourite films (as of right now, in this moment)

These picks are my current choice of films that I can firmly and confidently label as making it into my (present) top 10. These are the movies that I always go to whenever I want some comfort and some psychological/emotional stimulation. (Although, I didn’t get a chance to list down my ‘guilty pleasure’ movies - like Mean Girls, Clueless, 10 Things I Hate About You - but I guess I’ll save that particular list for another rainy day). I’ve been fortunate enough to expand my experiences in front of the silver screen as I have been able to have a lot of free time on my hands. I have spent a lot of time exploring the worlds of Woody Allen and Jean-Luc Goddard, and man, I have fallen in love with their messages and their perceptions of life and style of filmmaking. I made a list, last year, outlining my top 10 favourite films - during that time - which can be found here. I think it’s pretty safe to say that Inglourious Basterds and Fight Club will always be my top two.

1. ‘Inglourious Basterds' (2009) Directed by Quentin Tarantino

2. ‘Fight Club' (1999) Directed by David Fincher

3. ‘Moonrise Kingdom' (2012) Directed by Wes Anderson

4. ‘The Godfather: Part II' (1974) Directed by Francis Ford Coppola

5. ‘Pierrot Le Fou' (1964) Directed by Jean-Luc Godard

6. ‘The Dark Knight' (2008) Directed by Christopher Nolan

7. ‘Annie Hall' (1977) Directed by Woody Allen

8. ‘Sin City' (2005) Directed by Frank Miller & Robert Rodriguez

9. ‘Amélie / Le fabuleux destin d’Amélie Poulain' (2001) Directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet

10. ‘Atonement' (2007) Directed by Joe Wright

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Develop From The Negatives!

A lot has happened since I last wrote on here. A lot has changed.

My perspective on life itself, has changed.

I’ve changed… or rather, I have “developed”.

To say that I have ‘changed’ is a little too ambiguous. It could mean that I have changed for the worse – but I haven’t! (I think). I’m reminded of a quote I recently came across that said “Life is like photography, we develop from the negatives.” I thought that that was pretty cute. It’s definitely a relevant quote and definitely a keeper! 

A few months ago, I met a lady, who’s name was also ‘Dianne’ and we immediately clicked. A mutual friend of ours set up the meeting because he had heard that she needed someone to produce a video for her website and he immediately thought about connecting me to her to help her with her project. When I met Dianne, she could sense that I was a little depressed and insecure about my future, in general, and we ended up having a deep and meaningful conversation that lasted for hours! We talked about all the bullshit programming we become unconscious to as we age through our everyday lives, starting from the very day that we are born. Dianne advised me to start reading the books of Eckhart Tolle, and I swear, once I began reading his words, I felt an overpowering psychological shift, and all of my silly worries about the future started going away. I have learnt to embrace the ‘Power of Now’ and am able to block out (but not ALL the time) that little negative voice in the back of my head (which Eckhart labels as the ‘ego’, not to be confused with Freudian theory) that starts telling me: “Oh, Dianne – you are not good enough for this”, “Something terrible is going to happen if you do that”, “You are going to fail, so hard, and people will laugh at you and it won’t be in a good way.” I am utterly grateful for being introduced to Eckhart Tolle’s philosophy because his words have, in a MAJOR way, influenced me to be more alive with the world and not be so afraid of the unknown. Whenever my friends approach me with their troubles and fear about the future, I immediately tell them about Eckhart’s books because I really believe that his way of thinking can comfort you.

I did a bit of travelling in February with my family. We stayed in Sydney for a few days before heading onto the Royal Caribbean’s Rhapsody of The Seas, cruise ship. 

In Sydney, my sister and I were lucky enough to go to Yoko Ono’s ‘War Is Over (If You Want it)’ art exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art. I adore Yoko Ono so much. I love her energy and her upbeat spirit – I admire her for her strength and her ability to turn her personal heartbreaking experiences, into art pieces that aim to inspire everyone to look at their lives through optimistic rose-colored glasses and be grateful for the little everyday blessings, that we sometimes overlook and take for granted. Many of her displays were interactive and were designed for you to collaborate with strangers – e.g. They had ‘Play It By Trust’, where you could play chess with another person, but all of the chess pieces were white, so you had to collaborate and trust one another to complete the game. Yoko’s short films were also screened throughout the venue and they had a section where you could read her publications and listen to her and John Lennon’s music. Being the massive John & Yoko fangirl that I am, this experience really touched me and I feel as though I will always feel a certain inner grounding, within my soul, whenever I think about being able to have participated in this exhibition.

Everyday in Sydney, we spent a lot of our time relaxing by Darling Harbour. What was really beautiful about our ventures into Darling Harbour was the fact that it was during the “Month of Love” and so there was this giant graffiti wall where people were encouraged to write ‘messages of love’ with provided pieces of chalk. I enjoyed reading many of the messages and listening to the buskers who played popular love ballads and light-hearted acoustic music throughout the day. They also had gondolas, decorated with roses, available for couples to rent out, which was really romantic and sweet. Being around so many people in love also awakened me in a sense that the ‘Old Dianne’ would sort of turn away and cringe at all of these sorts of expressions of adoration, but I just embraced all of it and was so happy for everyone who were lucky enough to experience the bliss and joy of being in love.

After our days of relaxation in the heart of Sydney, we went to Circular Quay in order to board The Rhapsody of The Seas. The Rhapsody took us to various islands in Vanuatu and New Caledonia, for a journey of 11 days, and all of those days were just beautiful. The people I met during our adventures in Vanuatu, New Caledonia and also everyone onboard the ship, were so lovely. Strangers would always smile at you and wave; it was rather unfamiliar but incredibly heartwarming. Onboard, there was always something to do, sometimes too much to do! My sister and I would even have disagreements about what event to go to. We were fortunate enough to book suites with private balconies and I would spend a few hours everyday just sitting outside, looking out to sea, and do some meditating / zone out to some music.

There was this one time where I was listening to the ‘Coexist’ album, by the xx, whilst focusing on how amazing the ocean is, and I just started crying.

Don’t laugh.

I know how corny that sounds.

YES, it was pretty much like the ‘Double Rainbow' phenomenon.

I just felt an incredibly strong emotional release – maybe it was due to reading Eckhart Tolle’s words and really, REALLY feeling grateful and being Present with the world and nature; I don’t really know what happened but I wasn’t sad or anything, just extremely grateful and felt tremendous interconnectedness with reality. 

After the trip, and after my whole ‘spiritual reawakening’, I did some work for the 2014 Perth International Arts Festival. I gave up some time to help out during the Perth’s Writers Festival and met some amazing talent. I met Tim Cope and his dog, and loved hearing about his adventurous tales and his ‘nomad’-like view of life, similar to Christopher McCandless (the guy who inspired the film ‘Into The Wild’). He was really inspirational, and has such a romantic way of living. I also escorted Chris Womersley around the festival (AND made a complete fool of myself because I fangirled, completely unprofessional and embarrassing!) I also did spend some time helping out at Jeremy Deller’s ‘Sacrilege’ which is basically an adult-appropriate bouncy castle which is also a 1:1 scale design of the actual Stonehenge. It was created for the 2012 London Olympics and has since travelled the world. Seeing so many different kinds of people – from toddlers to adults, still in their corporate attire – enjoying the bounce, made me filled with joy. There was this one man, about the age of 35, who came to the exhibit during his lunch break and he spent about 25 minutes just jumping around and exploring the inflatable rocks. When he jumped off, he had the biggest child-like grin on his face and thanked me, saying “Thanks for that, I really needed it – things are so stressful back at the office.” and I just smiled back and told him that he looked like he had a great time and thanked him for stopping by and told him that he’s always welcome to come back.

We all get caught up in the bullshit of everyday life. We are programmed to believe that we need to live our lives out in a certain way – go to school, get a job, earn a living, purchase a home, get married, raise a family – and we tend to freak out when we feel that what we are currently doing isn’t necessarily leading to this life we envision we all should have. Over the past few months, I have come to realize that we should embrace the now, embrace all of the things that we are fortunate to have and experience. If you don’t appreciate all that is in the present and end up building walls, that block us from truly connecting with one another, and from interacting and appreciating nature, how can we derive stability and comfort in the future? Be open to the now, experience all that it has to offer and good things WILL happen.

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I’ll never forget our last sunset at Sea. (19th of February, 2014) I’ll never forget our last sunset at Sea. (19th of February, 2014) I’ll never forget our last sunset at Sea. (19th of February, 2014)

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Old French prison ruins, Isle of Pines (New Caledonia) Old French prison ruins, Isle of Pines (New Caledonia) Old French prison ruins, Isle of Pines (New Caledonia)

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