Meditation miracles and Filofaxes. Why you should never stop believing in either.

IMG_0237A few (ahem) years ago whilst at University, a good friend of mine introduced me to what would become the love of my life and faithful companion for many years ~ the Filofax. Yes, as Range Rover-ry as it may sound, my love for the little guy never waned, and I literally lived by, ‘have filo’ will travel’.

A couple of years ago I dashed my little friend-ling (in the name of de-cluttering whilst in the midst of a minimalist frenzy) into a charity bag. I said a solemn farewell to the little chap first of course. I vowed that the good ol’ iPhone was all I needed to get by.

IMG_3429Then whilst half asleep (and committing the ultimate sin of using the lap top in bed, I know serves me right I guess.) I unwittingly upgraded my iPhone to ios whatsit and, well disaster would be an understatement. I instantly hated  took a very strong dislike to the new calendar format and in a nutshell after a few months of suffering (yes, suffering) i.e acting like my 86-year-old grandmother would if presented with an iPhone and asked to tap in an appointment ~ I pined with longing for my old faithful, never-changing, Filo’. What the flip was I thinking when I thought a ‘phone’ could replace good old-fashioned ink & paper? No, no, no this madness had to be halted once and for all!

During the Christmas break I found my new Filo’ fetish in the sale at a bargain price on John Lewis.com. However, it was sold out. In fact they all were except for an explosive, floral, psychedelic coloured one that although I love colour more than the next person, I could not imagine looking at every day for the next 60 years. (I aint chancing it this time thank you. A Filofax is for life).

IMG_0018I hesitated to make a purchase and was determined to visit the store in case I got ‘lucky’, I had a good feeling. Yet alas my son and I weren’t well enough to justify going out in the stormy weather. I planned to visit the store on Saturday, but when Saturday came I found that the sale had been taken off-line. Not to be perturbed by this, or the stormy weather, or the 25p per minute enquiry line for John Lewis, or the fact that I felt so tired that all the bones in my body wanted to fall out of my skin into a neat pile on the floor (you know what I mean?). I called the J.L ‘help line’ who after exactly £2.50 of phone usage informed me that there was a stock of one filofax in the sale showing at my local store. It just happened to be the one that I wanted, the one that had been ‘sold out’ online for over a week, but the operator informed me that ‘there’s no point in visiting the store, the stock checker is inaccurate and the likely hood of it being there on such a busy Saturday was next to zilch.’ I agreed with her to get her off the phone as quickly (and cheaply) as possible and jumped on a bus to try my luck, I had a good feeling, I said that right?

The journey was slow, the store was packed. The stationary department’s clerk practically gawked at the idea that there was a Filofax left in the sale. In fact she was so dismissive she literally wouldn’t tell me where it would be if it was, and after some persuasion she waved a limp wrist to indicate the direction (yet not the location) of where it might have once lain. I scanned the piles of sales crap, and it really was, don’t go there. It’s not worth it. I circled the crap and turned it over and under again and again.

15 minutes later I was staring at the same pile whilst jostling for elbow room with moneyed sales vulcher’s, when clear as peacock there it was, my little guy!!! I snatched him up and bought the little fella home to stay. Forever. Oh and he was also £5 cheaper than advertised.

IMG_0581Now this is the thing. I mentioned the Ardaas Bhaee meditation that I am doing as my current daily practice in my New Years Post. This mantra/prayer is said to adjust your life to bring you exactly what it is that you need, without you having to do anything and without even having to figure out what exactly that is. I was so confident that this little Filofax would find it’s way to me that I went past the doubt of the operator and the sales clerk, and my own starting to emerge doubt refusing to give up and what’s more I was humming and singing the mantra all the way to the store and whilst circling the sales crap, because I find the mantra comforting and catchy.

Ok I know maybe you still don’t believe, because it didn’t happen to you and well maybe I just got lucky right? Maybe.

How about this. I really need a haircut. I usually cut my hair every 6-8 weeks, my last cut was 6 months ago!! I couldn’t get an appointment over the holiday period and my usual hairdresser can’t see me until February. It’s on my mental bulletin board big time. IMG_0568 IMG_4099

Today I just finished yoga and lunch with a good friend and had exactly an hour free before the school run. I started walking to the bus stop when after a few paces I was stopped by a young man who offered me a free haircut in the Aveda salon there and then. “How long will it take?” “An hour” he replied. I enjoyed a nice cup of herbal tea and a head and neck aroma massage before my free cut.

Not to mention that on Thursday night I had a sudden urge whilst meditating, to go out on Friday night (a rare event these days). After my meditation I found a message from a friend inviting me out on Friday night. On Friday I ended up being out all day and didn’t have time to go home and change etc. I received complimentary make-up and hair styling in Selfridges and the funny thing was, the hair demonstrator told me she would only do all my hair if I bought the £100 curling tongs. However, due to a nosey onlooker she ended up demo-ing the whole of my barnet. Touch ;)

Look, maybe I’m too busy looking at the silver lining (yes the hairdresser took 8 inches off my hair rather than the agreed 4-ouch) to see the cloud, and yes maybe I just got lucky or you could call these small things. But they are things that I genuinely needed at the time and apparently it wasn’t just me that thought so!

Bottom line. Meditation is powerful, I have always seen and felt results, not to mention the increased sense of awareness, calmness, depth of breath and inner peace. I learnt 3 things. One ~ never give up even when others try to put you off, two ~ often the thing that you are looking for is right under your nose and only appears just after the point at which you really want to give up and lastly, never, never swap your Filofax for a digital organiser ~ ever.

If you want to join me in the Ardaas Bhaee meditation then check out my previous post.

Sat Nam!

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Stuff resolutions & just do you this NY!!

IMG_0752I used to dislike New Year‘s Eve. All the hype and expectation, all the pressure to have the party of your life!

Now I love New Year’s Eve, it’s become a highlight in my personal calendar. This is due to re-framing what it means to me.

My instinct this time of year is to go inwards and the older I get, the more and more I enjoy this experience. The experience of me. Taking the time to reconnect with my essence, restore my equilibrium and recharge my soul.IMG_0018

This year I have spent the past month de-cluttering my home, and my mind in preparation for the brand spanking 2014.

Next year, I aim to enjoy the new space I have created in my home, my life and my heart.

2013 taught me surrender, big time. Now in 2014 I’m ready to, in the words of Yogi Bhajan just “Be ~ and allow it to come to you.”

This New Year I hope you can give yourself the gift of yourself with a little ‘You’ time. IMG_0247

Here are some suggestions;

Create a home Spa ~ this really hits the spot

Run yourself a warm bath. Make yourself a pot of mint or herbal tea and set on a tray with your favourite cup. Let the mirrors get all steamy in the bathroom before you dive in. Sprinkle in any or all of the following for ultimate luxury;

rose petals, lavender oil, frankincense oil, rose oil, 1/2 cup bicarbonate soda, 1/2 cup epsom salts, atlantic sea salt, some grated fresh ginger, seaweed, a handful of oats.

Assemble your (hopefully natural) products and dry body brush your skin with a body brush or loofah before you bathe.

Do a face and hair mask at the same time and after at least 20 mins of soaking, use a Turkish bath mitt to remove dead skin.

Drain the bath and take your final rinse of body and hair with tepid to cool water (as cool as you can handle). This is great for circulation and also seals the hair cuticles and stimulates the scalp.

Be sure to moisturise your skin after with something decadent and natural like; shea butter, sweet almond oil mixed with a few drops of essential oils, coconut oil etc and relax, relax, relax. Sip the rest of your tea. If you you’re lucky maybe catch some zzz’s or curl up with a good book.

IMG_4176It’s also become a personal tradition on New Year’s eve for me to meditate at midnight and I really love it! I can hear all of the fireworks and mayhem outside my windows as I meditate across the New Year and it makes me feel very joyful and leaves me with a wonderful sense of hope and peace.

This year I will be listening and chanting along to this track by Mirabai Ceiba for the Ardas Bhaee Meditation.

http://youtu.be/GrzZjK1ztYk

These are the words to the mantra if you would like to join me.

Ardaas bhayee, amar daas guroo,

amar das guroo, ardaas bhayee,

raam daas guroo, raam daas guroo,

ram daas guroo, sachee sahee

This meditation is a mantra prayer that is said to help release a difficult situation and if chanted the body, mind and soul automatically combine and without having to say what you want, life is adjusted. This mantra prayer assures all needs are provided for and that all prayers will be answered.

IMG_7575However you choose to spend this New Year’s Eve, I salute you and will hold you all in my prayers for the coming year ahead.

Let go and let it flow!

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                                                     X

 

From Patient to PinUp

Video

Watch our teaser for the award winning short film Patient to PinUp.
Actress Michele Hallak and 11 other female cancer Survivors and their sexy surgical scars shot by celebrated photographer Mike Owen (Gok Wan’s How to Look Naked, Vogue, Harpers Bazaar, Pavarotti, Kylie) become 12 sexy pinups in aid of Macmillan cancer Support.
The feature length documentary of the same title is currently in development.
For more info contact us info@michelehallak.com

Black Forest gateau smoothie recipe: Pucker Up!

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Due to a long standing family joke, my sister will not believe the title of this post or smoothie since we both notoriously despise black forest gateau with intense ernest! But like all great inventions, I created it by accident and now there is no going back.

This smoothie is so delicious that I can assure you that whether a lover or hater of the infamous dessert you will soon be stashing frozen cherries in your freezer in order to whip this up.

Needless to say it is also packed with loads of nutrients, so more of the pleasure and less of the guilt, just how we like it!

Without further ado let us begin.

You need;

2 C coconut water

2 C frozen cherries

1 frozen banana

1 tsp Manuka  honey

2 Tbs coconut nectar

squirt of raw agave or yacon syrup

1/2 tsp blue green algae

10 chlorella tablets

1 tsp maca powder

1 Tbs mesquite powder

1 Tbs raw cacao

1 Tbs almond butter

Blend them all in a vitamix or any blender capable of crushing ice

Best served with a straw and a smile. See picture below to create smile.

Barcelona Baby!

Barcelona Baby!

Wishing you health always,

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White Chocolate recipe: Things just got a whole lot better in the world

Creamy Vanilla Chocolate

Creamy Vanilla Chocolate

Today is a double celebration ~ it’s Women’s Day and we reached 700 likes on our FaceBook page!

Does it get any better? Of course it does!! This is P.U.G Project baby!

That’s why I’m giving you this recipe to make these easy peasy, yummy for your mummy or your tummy creamy vanilla chocolates.

Best of all they are totally raw, totally vegan and totally guilt free! Enjoy x

Creamy Vanilla Chocolates (yields @12 bars or @50 pieces)

You need….

2 C coconut flour

2 C cacao butter (melted)

1 Tbs raw vanilla powder

1/2 C either raw honey, agave, yacon or maple syrup

3 pinches of salt

How to do eeet…

Melt the cacao butter in a bain marie or dehydrator

Whilst this happend you can combine the flour, vanilla and salt

In a blender combine all your ingredients and combine until smooth. At this stage it will look quite dark and unpromising, but as long as its all blended you will be good to go.

Lastly distribute the mix into chocolate moulds or spread thinly onto a baking sheet and place in the fridge to set et voila!

 

 

Let the self love flow! Yo!

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“You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.”
- Buddha

Love begins within, and loving yourself is the sexiest thing you can do.

You won’t find it on a shelf or crammed into an advertising orifice. You don’t need single red roses wrapped in cellophane, or a nude kissogram to serenade you. No.

All you need is you.

IMG_8196Every year you know the score, your body, mind, soul and wallet are still recuperating from the Christmas ~ shall we call it “cheer”? When all of a sudden every marketing orifice gets bombed with hearts, cellophane roses and slogans, screaming ‘buy me now!’

Don’t get me wrong I’m all down for the lurve – hell yeah – in fact I’m so super down for it that I believe every day could, should and would be a love fest, if we could only learn to love ourselves.

Self love truly is the foundation to build your life upon. Without it you will constantly be looking to the external world and outside influences in order to achieve happiness, fulfilment and even contentment. That ma cherie is a dangerous mistake that most of us make, a lot of the time.

Ideas to help let the self lurve flow:

Open up the heart centre with some yoga. Why not try this relaxing restorative yoga set?                           60 mins Yin Yoga Class

Bathe – Make this really simple body scrub then soak it away in a warm soothing bath                         How to make a natural body scrub for silky smooth skin

Eat heart centred foods like raw chocolate. Try this raw chocolate recipe from one of my favourite raw chef’s Dara Dubinet   ~ Raw Chocolate Recipe

Spoil yourself with a massage, walk in nature, watch something you enjoy, read…

However you choose to this valentines ~ let the love flow!!

I salute you x

 

The Mouth Cancer Walk 2012

The first year I had heard of the mouth cancer walk, I was in between oral cancer surgery’s and too sick to attend.

It was with gratitude that I was well enough to attend the walk the following two, consecutive years. But due to editing the PinUp Gals Project documentary last year I missed the walk and was determined to make this year’s one.

Since Mouth cancer kills over half of it’s sufferers due to late detection I know how lucky I am to have made it through to the other side.

Signs to look out for ~

 

 

 

 

 

 

My mother & Calendar PinUp Tooky

 

 

This year some of The PinUp Gals Project supporters and I jumbled together wearing our limited edition T-Shirts and famous salutes for the walk.

Every year people from all over the UK gather together, with their friends, family, children and pets to raise money and show their support by doing the sponsored 10k walk in Hyde Park.

Mouth Cancer Foundation founder Dr.V.Joshi gives Project salute!

The Mouth Cancer Foundation works hard to raise awareness of oral cancer and offer support for those that have experienced it. It’s FREE to sign up and it’s always a  guaranteed way to lift the spirits and feel good.

The natural ‘high’ is not be underestimated ;)

 

 

More people die of mouth cancer each year than breast, cervical or skin cancer. This is mostly due to the lack of awareness about this type of cancer, meaning that it can go undetected until it has moved into the later stages. ANYTHING that does NOT heal in the mouth within 3 weeks MUST be investigated. My tumour was painfully present for around 6 years before it was diagnosed and the Dr’s could not believe that I was still alive! For more information about Mouth cancer or the foundation please visit their site  www.mouthcancerfoundation.org.

It’s not too late to donate to the Mouth Cancer Foundation ~ just click here ~ DONATE NOW!

This year was the biggest so far and we aim to help make next year even bigger ;)

I salute you,

Michele

x

Join Us at The Mouth Cancer Walk

Once again The PinUp Gals Project will be rocking down to the annual FREE Mouth Cancer Walk in Hyde Park on 22nd September, why not Join Us?

It’s a leisurely walk full of smiling faces and all for a really good cause.

Sign Up here ~

http://www.mouthcancerwalk.org/register.htmImage

If you can’t make it on the day why not show your support by donating here ~

£1 donations gratefully accepted!

http://www.justgiving.com/Michele-Hallak1

Hope to see you there,

Michele

x

Tease me

Happy Spring Equinox, a great time for all things new. Spring lambs, spring chicks, spring bunnies, and now our very own new, little bundles of joy are delivered to the world right here from P.U.G Project HQ, starting with our BRAND NEW official film teaser.

You thought we’d gone away? We’re only just getting started. Enjoy!

Check out our new teaser below!