I believe we are a reflection of people we met, experiences and information that we came across. Who we are today is a mirror of the many people who have shined their goodness towards us.
I would like to share a list of influential people that I recommend listening to. They are all people that I consider my mentors😊
Being part on this list does not mean that I agree with everything that they say, it’s pretty hard to find someone who completely lines up with our own beliefs. I take what resonates with me and leave what doesn’t.
I have added a video or two I like, and then more information can be found about them using other sources.
Thick Nhat Hanh
Zen Master Buddhist Monk Thich Nhat Hanh is a global spiritual leader, poet and peace activist, known around the world for his powerful teachings and bestselling writings on mindfulness. I have been to the Monastery he opened in France called Plum Village that I highly recommend it as a place to learn more about meditation, Buddhism and also to relax. They do retreats almost all year.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama
He is the spiritual leader of the Tibetan people. I love his teachings about happiness, compassion and kindness that are related to the modern days. I have seen him at a talk in Manchester years ago and was hooked by his simplicity and humour.
Now we’re talking 😊 I had no idea Russel Brand was into spiritual stuff until I saw him presenting Dalai Lama at the talk I mentioned before. I have followed him since then and loved his books ‘Recovery’ and ‘Mentors’ where he is very open about his life. He swears just a little bit too much for my taste, but his messages resonate with me and he is using his celebrity for topics that really matter.
In the next video he invited Wim Hof (the Ice-Man) in his podcast and they have a fascinating chat about how wonderful the human body is and how it can heal itself using simple techniques like breathing and cold showers 😊.
Oprah is considered the most influential woman in the world. There are lots of videos with her and her guests, really can’t get enough of this lady. And we have a common friend- Echart Tolle😊.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7a8ncSBU-Eg (10 rules for success)
Doesn’t he just make you feel vibrantly peaceful only if you look at him?! He is ‘the presence/present Guru’ how I like to call him and reminds me about being in the now because this is everything there is. When I offer a tantric massage it’s a wonderful time for me to practice presence. I invite you to do the same with me😊
Other people I love listening to are: Joe Dispenza, Mooji, Brene Brown, Byron Katie, Wayne Dyer, Teal Swan and Sadhguru.
Below are some videos I like and that have inspired me. There is a youtube video for every problem. My friends know that am a bit of a video and podcasts addict, ups, I guess there could be worst things to be addicted to...like shoes 😊
Hope you like them.
The power of vulnerability - Brene Brown
How to make work life balance work - Nigel Marsh
Life is not a journey- Allan Watts
Live your life with integrity - Ellen Degeneres
How to have a better conversation by learning how to listen - Celeste Headley
You are the creator - Morgan Freeman and Wayne Dyer
Meditation is becoming more and more popular and there are many benefits of meditating regularly. This is a scientific explanation of how it supports the brain.
There are so many types of meditation, below are a few that I have experienced and are part of my routine.
1. Mindfulness Meditation
Mindfulness is being completely present in the current moment and aware of yourself and your breathing. Here is a short video explaining this type of meditation.
2. Mantra Meditation
Mantra meditation is a type of focused attention technique that involves thinking or chanting about a specific word or phrase. As you meditate, aim to match the mantra to your breath.
The mantra can be for example ‘I am loved.’ As you breathe in, say to yourself, ‘I am,’ then exhale out as you say to yourself, ‘loved’. Whenever the monkey mind is starting to wander, gently guide your thoughts back to your breath and your mantra, carrying yourself back into the current moment once again, and again, and again and again😊.
Other forms of mantra meditation that I have done are Transcendental meditation (many celebrities are practicing it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gZSfeyBVcL0) and different forms of Kundalini meditations.
3. Guided Meditation
If you’re unsure where to start with meditation, guided meditation can be super helpful. You could use apps like Headspace, or you could find guided meditations on YouTube. The guide will remind you to remain in the present moment and to draw your attention to the breath, mantra or visualisation. I love guided meditations before going to sleep, they are so relaxing that I sometimes fall asleep listening to them😊
I first heard and practiced walking meditation on a retreat at a Buddhist Monastery. A walking meditation is designed to bring body and mind in sync while we’re out and about. And if you rather not sit and close the eyes to meditate, this is a great alternative that still trains the mind in awareness.
This practice is all about being aware of our body and physical sensations as we move. Our eyes are open and our mind and body are rooted in the present. The lovely meditation master and peace promoter Thich Nhat Hanh offers a brief presentation of walking meditation in this short video where he says that as we walk, we should imagine that we “print peace, serenity and happiness on the ground.” To watch what walking meditation looks like, a monk and Buddhist teacher gives an easy-to-follow explanation in 10 minutes here.
The films and documentaries listed below are some that inspired me the most and that I recommend to anyone who wishes to live a conscious life, beyond what is portrayed in the media.
‘Wayne Dyer explores the spiritual journey in the second half of life, when we long to find the purpose that is our unique contribution to the world. The powerful shift from the ego constructs we are taught early in life by parents and society—which promote an emphasis on achievement and accumulation—are shown in contrast to a life of meaning, focused on serving and giving back.’
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7SnWOTDykAc (full film)
A documentary film that takes you on a scientific and spiritual journey where you discover that by changing one's perceptions, the human body can heal itself. This is a fascinating film, that reminded me how wonderful and powerful the human body and mind are if we know how to use them. If you would like to discover more about this topic, Dr Joe Dispenza’s work (videos, books and meditations) is a great place to start.
(full film available on Amazon Prime, Gaia and Netflix)
Zeitgeist completely changed my perspective about the world and left me thinking “what do I do now?” It woke me up from my sleepy state in which I thought everything was as presented on the media. I don’t have a TV now and I question things I am being told and do my own research. And I am learning to follow my intuition when it comes to trust 😊
Into the wild
I deeply respect Christopher McCandless and this movie inspired me to simplify my life and appreciate what is really important for me. Not ready to move into a van yet, well I would firstly need a driving licence and then a big enough van to fit my shoes and lingerie (always a hippy in heals😊 ). What I can say is that I learned a lot from this character and can deeply relate to his desire for truth and meaning.
(full film available on Netflix)
This is one of my all time favourite movies and Forest is one of my favourite men on earth. He makes me want to be a good person and take on the world with a positive attitude😊
Gandhi has been one of the greatest inspirations to me and this movie impacted me a lot. This film is an amazing way to introduce one of the worlds most influential men.
“Even if you are a minority of one, the truth is the truth”
I watched this film in Peru when on a spiritual journey and it couldn’t have appeared at a better time in my life.
This movie shows a portrayal of what I think could happen to Planet Earth if we continue down the destructive path we are on today. It also presents love as something which transcends time and in my opinion love or lack of love is the drive for everything we humans do. This movie amazed me.
It turns out animal agriculture is the greatest destructor of life on earth and of climate change. A must watch for anyone who wonders about how eating meat affects the earth (or has never thought about it).
(Full film on Netflix)
Fat, sick and nearly dead
I felt so inspired after watching this documentary and I did a juice detox that helped my health tremendously. Of course, consult your doctor/ nutritionist for safely committing to any diet. And, drink your greens my friends!
(Full film on Netflix)
Awake: the life of Yogananda
This is the biography of Paramahansa Yogananda who brought yoga and meditation to the West in the 1920s. “The documentary examines the world of yoga, modern and ancient, east and west and explores why millions today have turned their attention inwards, bucking the limitations of the material world in pursuit of self-realization.”
I am in the process of reading the book too (apparently is the only book that Steve Jobs had on his ipad and one that inspired the Beatles too).
(Full Film on Gaia)
How could your life be better with less? Minimalism is a documentary about the important things and examines the many benefits of minimalism by taking the audience inside the lives of minimalists from all walks of life-families, entrepreneurs, architects, artists, journalists, scientists, and even a former Wall Street broker-all of whom are striving to live a meaningful life with less.”
Whilst I am not quiet there and I do like having more pairs of shoes that I really need, this documentary made me be more conscious about what I really need and I think twice before buying something new.
(Full film on Netflix)
Walk with me
This is a wonderful documentary about mindfulness with Thick Nhat Hanh, introducing us in the life of Buddhist monks and nuns. Its partly filmed at Plum Village (a Buddhist Monastery in France) that I highly recommend to visit.
(Full film available on Amazon Prime)
I came across yoga in 2015 on Youtube. There are tons on videos online and you can practice in the comfort of your own house without worrying that you are not flexible enough. My favourite channel is called ‘Yoga with Adriene’. She has tones of videos and every year she comes up with a Yoga challenge (a video a day for the whole month of January). I find it such a beautiful way to start the year with a positive mental attitude and a healthier body.
I still remember my first session and the magical moment when, into a pose, I felt deeply that I found something that was going to bring many benefits to my life and it did. Yoga thought me to follow a heathier lifestyle and it lead me to find Tantra, which is also an Indian practice that honours the body😊.
I love how slow and methodical it is and the fact that teachers bring in concepts like mindfulness, self love, gratitude and awareness into the sessions. So not only yoga brings you into a space of physical relaxation (and helps with fitness), it also creates more space for you mentally and spiritually. This is a short video that explains the cutting edge research about the benefits of yoga.
Below is a documentary from world renowned yogis on how yoga transformed their lives. These yogis happen to be stunning women doing all sorts of poses with their beautiful, super flexible and sensual bodies. Enjoy, it’s lovely to watch them and listen to their stories, but don’t think yoga is about doing fancy postures and keeping up with everybody else. Yoga is about you and finding what feels really, really good 😉.