Highlight : J’aime Leigh Gianopoulos

Photo by Chanel Baran
Photo by Chanel Baran
When did you discover an interest in photography and filmmaking?
 
Since I was 8 years old, I have had a passion for story telling. I used to create films with an old home video camera that needed to be plugged into the wall in order to film. I have always had a very strong imagination and vision.
 
What made you decide to become a visual artist?
My love for sharing a perspective or a message to others without needing to explain my self in words. My passion for mixing art forms together to express a feeling, a story, an emotion. 
 
How did you develop your abilities and methods?
I attended a film production program at the Toronto film school. Working on many sets in various departments, but most of all allowing myself to receive a vision and take all the action steps needed to achieve it. Building solid teams of artists and supporters who are passionate about helping bring the vision to life. 
What themes and subjects are you most drawn to?
The cycles of life. Indigenous wisdom and culture, Ceremony, Spirituality, the uprising of the feminine spirit, nature, sustainability and innovation, anthropology.
Photo by J'aime Gianopolous
Photo by J’aime Gianopolous
 
What does a creative shoot with you involve?
Focus, dedication, trust, passion, growth, openness, willingness to explore craft, make mistakes, and learn. 
Photo by J'aime Gianopolous
Photo by J’aime Gianopolous
 
How do you prepare for your shoots?
Preproduction organisation, bringing the team together, acting work.
 
Why specifically do you do this work?
I do it as a way to express the transformation I’ve experienced, witnessed, or the beauty i see. It helps to give me a platform to communicate my vision with the world. 
 
What transformations have you experienced through your work? 
Biggest lesson would be getting over the ego of the artist. When you complete a project you can always see a lot of things that you could do better next time. This at times stops people from moving forward and progressing or finishing projects. I was stuck at this point for a while. Now I respect each thing I create and I look back at 3 things I loved about the work and 3 things I can grow in the world. Those 3 things then become my areas of focus to grow and expand in my craft.
What transformations have you witnessed in others?
The healing power of what can be achieved when a group comes together and combines their gives. This goes beyond what one on their own can achieve. It is inspirational.
Photo by J'aime Gianopoulos
Photo by J’aime Gianopoulos
What has your greatest realisation or learning been?
To keep making bad paintings until they are good, and when they are good don’t get stuck in it. Just keep creating, learning, and really appreciate the talents of your self and all people involved. 
 What is the most powerful type of healing you have experienced?
Love
What is your favourite music/artists to listen to?
Mucho. Garth Stevenson, Akua Naru, Rising Appalachia, Julianna Barwick
Who are your favourite filmmakers/ or what are your favourite films?
Terrance Malik, Michel Gondry, Baz Luhrman, Miranda July
Do you have one tip to share for happiness and wellbeing in everyday life?
Always remember how precious life is and that life is a gift. Take the nectar of life from every moment and person you meet. Always find the sweetness and fill yourself with it. Overflow on to others.
 
What are your plans for the future evolution of what you do?
 
Currently I am in South America shooting a documentary about the impermanence of life, and working in the jungle with indigenous people of Ecuador.
Is there anything else you would like to mention or share?
Short film : HOWL

© Lightening Magazine 2016

Highlight : Krystina Inokai

krystina inokai cover

What type of healing do you do?

I have named my approach “Guided Self-Recalibration”. It is essentially an active and conversational meditation process whereby an issue or symptom is explored until disruptive patterns are identified and their root causes are recognized and dispelled. I provide supportive reflection and guidance so that the inherent healing process within an individual can recover and optimize. The process is subtle and organic, addressing the spirit while always respecting privacy and boundaries. I listen, witness, support, reflect and guide, holding space and gently encouraging the individual to take an active part in their healing. The goal is to ‘free’ and to strengthen or bolster those in need so that they may proceed in their lives in accordance with their soul’s fullest potential.

When did you discover an interest in healing?

Even before having the vernacular to express such an interest succinctly, I have had an inherent inclination to support and aid others since early childhood. I always felt that we were all born with gifts to assist ourselves and others in unique ways, and in developing and sharing those gifts we all contribute in a meaningful and valuable way to the beauty and harmony of the world and beyond.

Did you study with someone? 

Since my quest has been to come to understand the connections and interrelationships between emotional, psychological and physical well-being, I did not study with one particular teacher, instead I have taken a hands on approach, exploring various spiritual philosophies (including Mayan, Toltec, and Native American inspired reflective guiding symbolism), crystals, nutrition, herbology, acupuncture, and homeopathy, as well as researching psychological, medical and scientific observations.

How did you develop your abilities and methods as a healer?

It’s an ongoing process of listening closely, questioning and exploring ceaselessly, analyzing and reflecting, and practicing that which I’ve learned. It’s an integrative process that has spanned over twenty five years so far.

Why specifically do you do this work?

I feel that it is a great gift to be able to help others by offering the insights that I have learned. It is an honour to be able to participate in the overall betterment and well-being of the world by addressing the needs of one person at a time.

What transformations have you experienced through doing this work?

The nature of the work is consistently and constantly transformative as I was, and am, my very first ‘client’ and I continue to work every day in one form or another. I have witnessed and experienced a slow and steady increase in ability to live from my core (or centre being) in a calmer and more proactive way – even when ‘doing nothing’ – and perhaps, most importantly (as someone living with Lupus for 30 years) I am able to manage any symptoms on a daily basis without the need for medication.

What transformations have you witnessed in others?

I feel that I’d like to reply as a mom. I cannot describe the transformations (as they are the property of the soul and not for me to quantify or judge). However, if ever anyone has borne witness or participated in seeing a pained child or creature become soothed, and reach a place of calm and contentment where once pain was prominent, that is the ‘transformation’ I’ve been privileged to take part in. The micro muscles soften, the eyes shine, the spirit is calm.

What has your greatest realisation or learning been on your journey as a healer?

That everything matters. The ‘sacred’ is ‘mundane’ and the ‘mundane’ is ‘sacred’.

Can you please share some of the most powerful healing you have experienced?

‘Healing’ is not always turning sickness to wellness, but is like inhaling or exhaling—in other words, it’s found in the constant expression of the soul. ‘Powerful’ is relative to the moment and so each tender moment of mutual connection and understanding is ‘most powerful’. That said, one of the most poignant experiences was the making of a short film I wrote, directed and produced in 2008 (“Inner Mask”). Not only were my personal artistic goals being met, but everyone who participated—from Extras to craftspeople, my son and good friends—every single person went through a positive change in the name of ‘love’. The synergy, unspoken commitment, enthusiasm, support, courage and ‘miracles’ (i.e. coincidence and serendipity) abounded for the five weeks it took to create the film from concept to completion. Directly or indirectly every single participant had a positive life-altering experience during or shortly after the film. The film itself did not receive much attention from the film world; however it seemed to me (and to all concerned) that the process of creating the film was in and of itself a gateway to healing.

As a healer, writer and filmmaker; is there a link between these aspects of your work and life?

I feel that everything is connected to wellness. I don’t call myself a “healer” (since I merely facilitate and don’t ‘directly’ heal anyone). I also don’t define myself by the words ‘artist’ or ‘writer’, but I feel that my soul’s inherent expression comes through in work that focusses on communication and understanding, so art is a natural extension of my being. Everything is connected and related. It all depends on one’s inclination and perspective. It’s my intention to share every form of artistic expression that provides joy or perhaps even inspiration of any kind.

What are your favourite films on the themes of healing and empowerment?

I believe that all art carries the capacity to express these themes and I have enjoyed many films that have carried an inspiring message in one form or another (in film, music, books, paintings, poetry, etc.). In this specific genre, I would choose “Whale Rider”, “The Power of One”, “To Kill A Mockingbird”, “Dead Poets Society”, and  “Peaceful Warrior” to name a few.

Do you have one tip to share for everyday life?

Find the love within yourself and honour it at all times with gentle focus and awareness.

Anything else?

Find joy every day in at least one meaningful way (whether in awe of a sunset, the sound of a friend’s voice or the scent of a flower). Nurture your soul.

What does a one to one session with you involve?

It involves a preliminary contact to establish the needs of a ‘seeker’ (where I also describe what my process involves in greater detail and we explore whether or not I am the right person to aid the one in need). If the connection is ‘sympathetic’, we proceed. They speak, I listen. There are always tissues, water and/or tea available if necessary and all the comforts of a clean, happy, safe and artistic environment that I can offer. We delve. We explore. The quest for positive change is addressed as fully as possible. A session may be up to three hours (and I always book the time accordingly whether it is required or not). I may use a pendulum to ‘check in’ with a participant and to ensure that we’re on the right track or to make sure we have covered all aspects that we can for the moment or day. At the end of the session, we generally (but not always) do a ‘clearing’—affirming the dissolution or dispelling of negative influences adopted for the sake of survival which no longer serve the same purpose, but which impede ‘expansion’ or ‘expression’. No one leaves in a state of upheaval or distress. In terms of booking sessions, I have relied upon ‘Cosmic timing’ to ensure that I’m ready to aid someone when help is needed, and it has worked impeccably thus far for several years.

How do you prepare for a healing session?

In a sense, I never stop ‘preparing’. I too am always learning, always considering questions and options. In a sense, I prepare specifically by ensuring that my space is clear and clean, and that I am detached, ready to listen and ready to address that which I have been invited to witness.

What are you future plans, ideas projects as a healer and as an artist?

I have just recently self-published my first feature film script “Halocline” (which I have released as an e-book unto itself, as one might a play).  I’m in the process of editing and illustrating a children’s book I have written called “The Story of Henry, Wolf’s Bane” which is about a little pig defeating a wolf, much akin to my ‘battle’ with Lupus (which is “wolf” in Latin), and I have been asked to teach artists in the context of a series of workshops offering a holistic approach to business. I prefer to follow the heart’s journey rather than to make plans. There are always new and exciting ways in which to participate and to share in this amazing journey together.

Website Links:

“Inner Mask “(short film, 2008):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-18AQxdoCpU

“Halocline” (e-book available online):

https://homespunwisdom.itch.io/halocline

Thank you for this opportunity to share and to participate in the Greater Healing Community in connection with your Dream and Spirit.

Namaste!

Krystina Inokai

© Lightening Magazine 2016

Highlight : Jamie Catto

JAMIE CATTO
Photo by Sam Pelly

So, you have started growing vegetables?

Yes, and I have to say these vegetables are going to be so uniquely experimental.

Is that because of the way you’re growing them? 

We’re just bathing them in love and excitement and treating them as if they’re our children. We are just trying everything that they would ever possibly like and singing nursery rhymes to the first sproutings and gonging them with sound. It’s really out there and it’s really fun, actually. When you see them start to popup and germinate, it’s really a turn on. Suddenly, you wake up in the morning and all these little green leaves are popping up out of the swirl. It’s pretty magnificent.

What have you got growing?

In the main farm- some people call it an allotment farm- we’ve got potatoes, beetroots, fennel, some marigold flowers, radishes, cucumbers, sunflowers and artichokes.

What inspired you to grow vegetables?

My girlfriend Raisa. It was turning us on forever. It’s very hard to find truly organic food. I know there are farmer’s markets, but they’re quite hard to find. It’s so much of a turn on to eat your own food, that you grew yourself.

I’d really like to start a community on some land that we’re going to get and I am learning to be more self-sufficient and less dependent on a very corrupt system. 

I’m hoping to have a center called “Lion Heart”, where we would have a conscious dining center and a center for music, writing and performing. We’d have “Heart Mountain”, a child-led school where they choose their own educational directions based on what they feel passionate about. We’d have a laboratory for studying the properties of light and water, which is where the next great breakthrough in technology is going to come from. We will have all kinds of areas for growing vegetables and looking after animals. I really want a whole town of the future. Raisa just wants somewhere nice to live, in a quiet peaceful place. I’m going to have to maybe tone down my massive world domination vision and she’s going to have to put up with some of my more eccentric ideas and we’ll meet in the middle somewhere.

If you start small it could just naturally and organically grow like your vegetables.

I just know that in my career and in my heart, I’ve always started big. I never started small. I usually have some huge big vision and then do the closest thing to it.

That’s an interesting strategy which leads me into a question about your workshops and thinking big. “What About You?” and “Transforming Shadows”. What inspired you to create those workshops?

We had so many wonderful questions and answer sessions when we were presenting our films around the place, both One Giant Leap and What About Me?  All the subject matter in the films was so personal and about practical daily living of life, so the conversations and the Q&As got very deep and people were opening up so beautifully but a 35-minute Q&A session was not enough. I also just wanted to do something else that wasn’t directly creating art and it was actually Raisa who suggested I do it. She just said “Listen, you’ve done your music, you’ve done films, you’ve done everything! Why don’t you book somewhere for a weekend and just offer your direct self and see who shows up?” I was like “well, what would I do with them for that weekend?” She said “Well, what do you have to share?” I think the one thing I do know about that not everybody does know about, is how to have an idea and take it all the way through the stages of actually making it, releasing it, having a bar code on it and maybe some awards and everyone loving it. So, I thought I’d make the weekend about that.

The main workshop now is “Transforming shadows”. That’s where we go inside and meet all the crazy characters that live in our head and all the dysfunctional beings that keep leaping out and sabotaging things, so we give them new jobs. That’s become more what I do now but on the project building master class “What About You?” we’ve now greenlit more than 1000 new companies and projects that definitely work.

I think the secret is not just in thinking big, you have to think big while having zero attachment to the outcome. That’s what everybody forgets. 

You’ve got to do everything that you love and it will be so enjoyable, so even if it never got big it was still time well spent because you love doing it so much! If you can find something that you love the process of so much that, of course, you would prefer it to be big – but it’s not a deal breaker as to whether it was a good use of your time- then that’s what you should be doing.

I always ask everybody in the workshop “if you had all your life expenses paid for, what would you do after breakfast?” That’s your project.

Awesome wise words! So how has “Transforming Shadows” taken over?

I think because everybody benefits from going in and meeting crazy beings that are inside them, that they usually try to push away and instead realising that they have just been looking at them wrong. Everybody can benefit from that. Not everybody will create the project they really want to do by having no jobs and families, they’re not all waiting to do that great dream project.

Do you think that everybody can dive that deep? It’s not easy work, right?

It goes deep but it’s fun. If I only feel satisfied when you go deep then I’m “vamping” you to go that deep. Some people come and they go crazy deep, other people come and they just have an interesting intellectual experience and find that they walk away with some interesting new things to think about. Now that’s obviously what’s appropriate for them at that moment where they are. It’s nothing to do with me from where our vessel journey is taking them. I just cook the food and some might eat three bowls full and others might just have one mouthful, and the other one might spit it out. That’s none of my business. It’s very important as a teacher to not attach to how deep people go. Everybody’s got their own soul journey and for some, their process and their progress go fast, some other people are slow. I make it as palatable and as fun and accessible as possible and then I don’t attach one more inch to what people will do with it.

What are the benefits of attending a group process versus maybe one-on-one therapy?

I think it’s different things for different people. When you have a group, it’s wonderful for people who feel quite isolated; especially isolated in their dramas. They suddenly realise that their dramas are exactly the same as everybody else’s just with different hats on. Obviously with one-on-one I can go deeper and give focused attention for a whole hour or longer. 

I just think that the greatest benefit of all is that whatever ailments you have just seem to disappear afterwards and that wasn’t my intention. The amount of letters I get from people that say “I did your workshop and I’ve had 20 years of eczema and it’s gone.” or “I’ve had panic attacks or depression and it’s just gone, I haven’t had it since the weekend” or “I’m now talking to my daughter for the first time in eight years”. None of these things are directly intended, they are just the obvious things that happen when you start editing yourself down and you stop running from 20% capacity so you start opening up to all the treasure that you always had inside. Most illnesses are a symptom of not doing that. Illness is a symptom of suppressing and holding ourselves back, of containing and hiding, of being dishonest with ourselves and to other people or wearing masks and playing roles. That’s what creates illness, all that suppression. So obviously when people start practising techniques which are less suppressive, then their body doesn’t need to act out with those ailments to get their attention as much because they’re doing what they should be doing. I believe a lot of disease, maybe all but certainly the majority of minor ailments, is really your body trying to tell you to stop suppressing.

That’s an interesting perspective. Do you have groups of people come to work on those things on retreats?

I would like to do that at Lionheart.

You do walking and hiking where you take people up a mountain, don’t you?

Yes, we do the heart mountain retreat in the fall and we’re doing a residential What About You? project master class on a beautiful Greek island called Paros in July that is also coupled with our music. We’re making an album there with incredible musicians. People are allowed to walk through in the evenings and hear what we’ve composed. There’s also one coming up in Nicaragua in October. These are usually things I’m invited to do. I rarely think oh I think I’ll do a weeklong retreat and arrange all of that.

How do you prepare yourself for holding space, and presenting and teaching workshops and retreats? 

I can’t really do any preparation at all apart from my usual preparation for living my life, which is just being me- a more different, more prepared me for that group. I just be me. The most authentic version of myself in the moment that I can be and I trust that the rest will unfold.

That word authentic is very important in what you do and it seems to be the cornerstone of what you’re teaching.

However you are behaving will usually elicit that from whomever you’re in front of. So, if you’re being a petulant, argumentative little bitch, you’re going to bring out the petulant argumentative little bitch in the person you’re talking to.

So, people are a mirror?

Yeah. And the more you’re in your center and you’re authentic and you’re loving and kind, and not “doing kind” just being kind, which is a natural state. That kind spacious open part of someone else in front of you finds it generally quite easy to come forward.

That’s very true. Do you want to say a bit about your transition from pop star and filmmaker to where you are now?

I don’t really think about it as a transition. I think about it as an addition. I am still making beautiful music and I’m making a great film with Ram Das where we’re walking each other home. I’m still doing all of that. I’m just doing more I guess.

Is it like being on stage performing, when you lead workshops?

There is a performance aspect to it, as I’m like a fool. I’m not playing the fool and by me being like that, it makes everyone laugh at how we all are. So there’s a slightly performance aspect to being the first one to be ridiculous and being the walking permission slip for everyone else’s foolishness. And obviously, it does feel good when everyone’s really receptive but it’s not as rehearsed as performance can be, it’s much more spontaneous. I really enjoy that. When someone asks a question which I haven’t answered before, I usually will say something much more insightful and deep when put on the spot. So, I really love being asked questions.

So you even have given a Ted Talk, right? How was that?

Well that was funny. That was the first 16 minutes that I ever spoke without notes because you can’t have notes. That was just the beginning of totally jumping off the deep end with my mouth and trusting it would come out fine. And it was okay. Yeah, it was nice. Now I never use notes even if I’m talking for an hour. I’m doing a workshop this evening in about one hour from now called Ego Volcano.

Are you deconstructing the ego volcano or are you exploding it?

Well, it is about enjoying it but not being obsessed with it. The ego is an illusion and I think we’re meant to meet the ego fully and enjoy all it’s individual characteristics. I’m also remembering not to be governed by all its comparative uptight worries. That doesn’t mean eradicate it like many people try and do.

Right, so it means to just understand it?

Yes, understand it. It’s like, if you imagine playing a video game and you’ve got the little guy on the screen running around. You’ve got you on the joystick making it jump around. The guy on the screen is the ego. You are the glare of the game of the joystick. So the ego is directed by you. Most people think they are the character on the screen and they don’t realise that they are the ones holding the joystick so they’re just moving for whatever the ego wants. It’s a whole load of drama.

Is it possible to sit behind the ego and not be in it’s totally competitive uptight state, being very present, noticing how uptight it is and noticing all its fun thinking and still not taking actions or writing emails from that ego place. You still notice all the urgings, but you’re the soul who directs what actual actions get taken and what words get said.

So you’re about to go and teach that to a group of people this evening. Meet the Ego. Is this the first of that kind of workshop for you?

No, I’ve been sharing this with our online workshop groups once a month and we’ve done “Mojo Blast”, we’ve done “Looking for trouble”, we’ve done “What About You?” and many others. 

Do these all form chapters in your new book “Insanely  Gifted”?

Insanely Gifted is a condensation of all my workshops. The basic message is that if we really feel our feelings and participate with what our genius body is doing to discharge uncomfortable feelings and if we are really willing to be in a state of listening not doing (and other things like that), then life becomes much, much more relaxing and fulfilling.

Our creative projects, our intimacies, our missions, our parenting, our sex lives, they all skyrocket when we go into the listening field, into the spaciousness, into the space around things rather than constantly being yanked left and right by them. We need to give ourselves a moment of space, a moment of pause, and a moment of listening all the time.

It’s a book about all the different things I’ve learned from many different cultures. It’s about all the different tools that I’ve learned to be in balance and to be the most successful, enjoyable, full of potential life masterpiece that you can come up with.

What’s the greatest key that you’ve been given or that you’ve found along the way for staying in balance?

The ability to walk around inside of your body and like a wine-taster, feel what’s being felt in a different place when you’re feeling reactive, rather than abandon that feeling and fight whoever did it to you.

If somebody triggers you or something upsets you, usually what we do is jump into the masculine side of our essence and jump into controlling it back to how we want it, fighting that person, manipulating that person, complaining, escaping. We rarely do the feminine thing, which is instead of doing something we decide not to let it impact us. Instead of turning away from the feeling, turn towards that feeling. Feel it, know that it was yours already. No one put it in you. They may have triggered you, but they didn’t cause that feeling, rather they are triggering feelings that already live in you and have been there like little pressure cooker time bombs waiting to go off. This really is the difference between living life as a slave or living life powerfully!

WWW.JAMIECATTO.COM

 © Lightening Magazine 2016