TheIndigoProject, Author at The Indigo Project
  • Death Meditation

    THE DEATH MEDITATION

    Embodied Experiences.

    The Death Meditation is an embodied installation that explores mortality, impermanence and the fragility of the human experience.

    Challenging, arresting, and unique – the Death Meditation guides participants through an experience of their own death, and the death of someone they love.

    Through live guidance and music performance, this emotionally stirring journey through the darkness leaves people with a solemn appreciation of life and the ones that they love.

    WHAT IS THE DEATH MEDITATION?

    Death Meditation is an installation that explores mortality, impermanence and the fragility of the human experience. Challenging, arresting, and unique – the Death Meditation guides participants through an experience of their own death, and the death of someone they love. Through live guidance and music performance, this emotionally stirring journey through the darkness leaves people with a solemn appreciation of life and the ones that they love.

    The Death Meditation is unlike any other experience; a powerful psychological journey with enduring after effects and impactful real-life consequences. This raw unravelling of psychological pain combined with a moving live-performed soundtrack by electronic producer/composer Phondupe make for an experience charged with intensity.

    WHAT DO YOU HOPE THE AUDIENCE WILL TAKE FROM THE EXPERIENCE?

    A deeper appreciation of life and the ones that they love.

    An opportunity to assess what actions/changes would make life extraordinary.

    “Death is always on the way, but the fact that you don’t know when it will arrive seems to take away from the finiteness of life. It’s that terrible precision that we hate so much. But because we don’t know, we get to think of life as an inexhaustible well. Yet everything happens a certain number of times, and a very small number, really. How many more times will you remember a certain afternoon of your childhood, some afternoon that’s so deeply a part of your being that you can’t even conceive of your life without it? Perhaps four or five times more. Perhaps not even. How many more times will you watch the full moon rise? Perhaps twenty. And yet it all seems limitless.”


    Paul Bowles, The Sheltering Sky

    OUR FOUNDER, MARY HOANG, ON STARTING THE CONVERSATION ON DEATH.

    “In the year before my father died, I started to notice that our Western societies had little place for the exploration of death – it was a thing that happened to ‘old people’, and a topic that was morbid and distasteful to talk about. This needs to change.

    We need to see death not as an inconvenience and something to be avoided, but as a sacred rite of passage to be embraced. Exploring death helps us to see what is really important in life, and what we have forsaken in our search for the validation and gratification of the outside world.

    We can gain wisdom from conversations about death – even if we are in good health. It helps us to understand what brings us purpose and can reconnect us to the present.” 

    Where you can see it

    MELBOURNE | WE’RE ALL GOING TO DIE

    DATE: Mar 26, 27 & 28
    TIME: From 6:30pm
    LOCATION: Hotel Esplanade, St Kilda
    COST: $45 ($30 conc.)
    Book Your Spot

    SYDNEY

    DATE: MAY 2019
    LOCATION: The Indigo Project
    COST: TBA

    For the latest updates on when you can experience the Death Meditation in Sydney, sign up to our mailing list below!

  • BADASS WOMEN: MEG WALTERS

    MEG WALTERS

    Visual artist and huge fan of mother nature, Meg Walters ditched the drama of the music industry for a life in the rainforest. She uses her art to help celebrate the diverse landscape of Australia, which touches on themes of inter-conectedness, nostalgia and escapism.

    WHAT ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF?

    It’s taken me fifteen years to get here, but I’ve created the life I’ve always dreamed of living; in the rainforest with my partner, daughter and dog, growing veggies, making art and meditating.  

    WHO OR WHAT INSPIRES YOU MOST?

    I’m really lucky that I constantly feel like I’m overflowing with ideas…if anything, it’s hard to concentrate or organise them.  My original and biggest inspiration is Mother Earth. Nothing can compare to the crazy shit nature does.

    YOU HAVE 3 HOURS TO YOURSELF. NO ONE ELSE IS INVITED. WHAT DO YOU DO? WHERE DO YOU GO?

    If I could travel through space-time continuum I’d spend the first hour on a bush walk somewhere wild, the second hour exploring my own consciousness and the third hour putting all of this goodness into my art.

    NAME ONE TRACK THAT TOTALLY RECHARGES YOU.

    So many tracks, but at the moment I’m stuck on Maribou State’s ‘Turnmills’.   

    HOW DO YOU PICK YOURSELF UP WHEN YOU’RE NOT FEELING GREAT?

    Instead of trying to make myself feel better when I’m down, I’m now learning to be ok with not being ok.  Taking the time to sit with whatever I’m feeling has helped me understand that the good and the bad all come and go…it’s just about how you react to either that really impacts you.

    WHAT IS ONE MOUNTAIN YOU’VE CLIMBED TO GET TO WHERE YOU ARE THAT PEOPLE MAY NOT BE AWARE OF?

    Overcoming a crippling self-doubt that prohibited me from pursuing my dreams.  Learning how to stop listening to that critical voice inside my head, giving me the ability to create so much freedom, space and enjoyment in my life.  

    IT’S 2030. YOU’RE SENDING YOUR CURRENT SELF A MESSAGE OF SUPPORT. WHAT DOES IT SAY

    Everything you need in life is already within you…you have no idea how amazing you truly are.  Basically, you got this, girl.

    To see more of Meg’s art, check out her Website, and be sure to follow Meg on Insta

  • BADASS WOMEN: FLEXMAMI

    FLEXMAMI

    Try to put FlexMami (Lillian Ahenkan) in a box. We dare you. Flex is a badass woman who is crushing life from all angles. As a DJ, MTV presenter, radio host, writer and social media wondress (we haven’t even covered all the boxes), she’s passionate about starting conversations around identity and intersectionality, and can be found dishing out no-bullshit self development advice on the daily via her bubbling Insta and Youtube channels. Like. Follow.

    WHAT ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF?

    How I’ve been able to create, thrive and monetise a life made with my wants and needs at the centre of it all.

    WHO OR WHAT INSPIRES YOU MOST?

    Powerful, educated and vocal women of colour, who consistently speak their truth, have the conversations and start the movements that change the world.

    YOU HAVE 3 HOURS TO YOURSELF. NO ONE ELSE IS INVITED. WHAT DO YOU DO? WHERE DO YOU GO?

    I’d use it as a perfect time to sit on my couch, and relish in the luxury of not having to be or do anything.

    NAME ONE TRACK THAT TOTALLY RECHARGES YOU.

    Mahalia — Do Not Disturb. She’s one of the aformentioned WOC changing the world specifically through her music. Reclaiming her time and teaching us to as well.

    HOW DO YOU PICK YOURSELF UP WHEN YOU’RE NOT FEELING GREAT?

    Positive self think. Taking the time out to objectively look at my situation and unpack how I got there which always helps me get back out.

    IT’S 2030. YOU’RE SENDING YOUR CURRENT SELF A MESSAGE OF SUPPORT. WHAT DOES IT SAY

    Stay on your course. You don’t need to justify why you do or don’t want to be the person of the past. Stay committed to learning and growing, because even when the outcome is not what you wanted, it’s one more thing to understand about the world and yourself.

    Be sure to follow FlexMami flexing her best life on Insta

  • BADASS WOMEN: ERICA VALENTI

    ERICA VALENTI

    When you hear the sound of roaring Harley Davidsons you’d be forgiven expecting them to be manned by big, burly dudes with beards. Enter Erica Valenti, a passionate and stereotype-smashing motorcycle afficionado. She’s doing awesome work making motorcycle culture accessible to a generation of women with her all-girl motorcycle group The Throttle Dolls.

    WHAT ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF?

    Sparking a worldwide movement of a whole new generation of women who ride motorcycles. We have been so lucky to be part of a global girl gang, who are unapologetically themselves.

    WHO OR WHAT INSPIRES YOU MOST?

    I take so much inspiration from spiritual leaders like Oprah, Brene Brown, Eckhart Tolle. I am working hard on myself to live in the present moment with an open heart. And I’m loving Jameela Jamil  for promoting self love and acceptance….. But what really gets me fired up is seeing my friends around me do amazing things – chasing their dreams and facing challenges head on with grace and grit. That’s goosebump stuff and deeply inspires me.

    YOU HAVE 3 HOURS TO YOURSELF. NO ONE ELSE IS INVITED. WHAT DO YOU DO? WHERE DO YOU GO?

    Actually, as I work for myself this is not such an unusual scenario, and I enjoy alone time as I need it to recharge.

    My perfect 3 hours to myself would be : roll out of bed with nowhere in particular to be. And then jump on my Harley Davidson and ride through the bush to a secluded beach for a swim in the ocean. Afterwards I’d enjoy a little picnic to myself and bask in the sunshine. Heaven.

    NAME ONE TRACK THAT TOTALLY RECHARGES YOU.

    LCD Sound System – Home. I defy anyone to resist those percussiony beats.

    HOW DO YOU PICK YOURSELF UP WHEN YOU’RE NOT FEELING GREAT?

    My go-to is a warm bath filled with healing salts and smells. And then I visualise myself surrounded with white light and say (yell) my personal mantra out loud for a few minutes. That always shifts my energy.

    WHAT IS ONE MOUNTAIN YOU’VE CLIMBED TO GET WHERE YOU ARE THAT PEOPLE MAY NOT BE AWARE OF?

    I quit what many people would consider to be a dream job in pursuit of my vision & to live life on my terms – working flexibly and freely. It was incredibly scary to let go of the security of full-time work and all the perks that came with my cool job. It also can trigger all sorts of feelings around not being good enough if the work isn’t flowing, and going through the process of letting go of your ego which has defined you around your job. I was really surprised to have to confront those issues… But wow, it feels good to be living my values.

    IT’S 2030. YOU’RE SENDING YOUR CURRENT SELF A MESSAGE OF SUPPORT. WHAT DOES IT SAY

    In 2030 I’ll be in my mid-40’s, so I’d roll with  – You are a cool motorcycle mama living life your way, and I really respect that.

    Be sure to follow Erica and the adventures of the Throttle Dolls via Insta

  • BADASS WOMEN: JESS SCULLY

    JESS SCULLY

    Jess Scully is an inspiring city councillor, creative industries expert, event director and public art curator. Through her projects, she uses creativity and the arts to engage communities in our knowledge economy, and with the public realm. She is the founding curator of Vivid Ideas, a cultural strategist for UNSW Art and Design, and is an active voice, fighting the good fight for creative industries and nightlife in Sydney.

    WHAT ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF?

    My work on Council fighting the good fight on the big issues that challenge us as we try to make a sustainable, creative, socially inclusive future. That includes working to support nightlife and live music in our city through policy and planning changes, pushing the city to fund a competition for alternative models to support new forms of affordable housing in our city.

    WHO OR WHAT INSPIRES YOU MOST?

    I’m pretty inspired to work with Clover Moore, a fearless, progressive, independent woman who has been representing local communities for as long as I’ve been alive! I also get to meet incredible people every day who are contributing their own time and energy to run kids’ playgroups, community gardens, or protest campaigns to build the kind of future they want future generations to live in.

    WHAT IS ONE MOUNTAIN YOU’VE CLIMBED TO GET TO WHERE YOU ARE THAT PEOPLE MAY NOT BE AWARE OF?

    Sometimes I’ve doubted myself, in a political environment, about what I know when I come from a creative background… but for the most part, I think I’ve been incredibly privileged and very lucky

    YOU HAVE 3 HOURS TO YOURSELF. NO ONE ELSE IS INVITED. WHAT DO YOU DO? WHERE DO YOU GO?

    I’d lie in the shade of a tree in Centennial Park and read and read and read.

    Book in park with leaf

    NAME ONE TRACK THAT TOTALLY RECHARGES YOU.

    Miami by Kali Uchis is as good as a holiday.

    HOW DO YOU PICK YOURSELF UP WHEN YOU’RE NOT FEELING GREAT?

    I get to a body of water (like down at Blackwattle Bay or on the Bondi to Bronte walk) and take some very very deep breaths.

    IT’S 2030. YOU’RE SENDING YOUR CURRENT SELF A MESSAGE OF SUPPORT. WHAT DOES IT SAY

    The good ones win some of those fights. Keep at it. Plus, the next generation are awesome, they’re going to bring it home.

    Be sure to follow Jess on her mission via her twitter page

  • BADASS WOMEN: JACK RIVER

    JACK RIVER

    Jack River (Holy Rankin) is a Sydney singer songwriter who has been storming the airwaves of late with her imaginative, honest and catchy tunes. As the co-founder of Electric Lady Festival – a tour comprising of only female acts, she is a proud advocate for equality in the music industry. Her debut album Sugar Mountain saw her rock-out at sold shows across Australia, and she has just announced her biggest tour yet – The Sugar Mountain Ball. Holy describes her music as a way of dealing with her emotions, her therapy: “It’s my go to for everything”.
    “Sugar Mountain was made over some very dark years of my life and I have always used songwriting to figure out my brain and keep healing myself along the way.”

    WHAT ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF?

    Creating a career that I built from scratch, but most of all – creating a dream team of really good people.

    WHO OR WHAT INSPIRES YOU MOST?

    People who live their truth, it makes me want to keep finding mine & recharges that part of my soul that is always searching. Right now those people for me are Greta Thunburg, Alexandria Ocasio Cortez & Maggie Rogers.

    WHAT IS ONE MOUNTAIN YOU’VE CLIMBED TO GET TO WHERE YOU ARE THAT PEOPLE MAY NOT BE AWARE OF?

    Getting through very severe depression/anxiety after my sister passed away, and then through an 8 year long court case that surrounded her death. It really took my whole being to find ways to get through this. Often – it was writing a vision of the future that consistently pulled me from really dark places and kind of designed the future that I am living in now. This was a fucking huge mountain and I am so proud to be here and happy now, but I also really really value all the lessons learnt in the dark and believe they have crafted a kind of invincible positive attitude toward pain and darkness that I will never lose.

    YOU HAVE 3 HOURS TO YOURSELF. NO ONE ELSE IS INVITED. WHAT DO YOU DO? WHERE DO YOU GO?

    I take one of my diaries to my balcony or the beach & write, I swim, I come home and put on some music and lay on the floor with a couple of books and read. I brainstorm all the things I’m working toward and thankful for & dreaming of. I clean the house and pick some flowers from the garden and if there’s still time, have a nice lil arvo nap!

    Mindfulness Meditation The Indigo Project

    NAME ONE TRACK THAT TOTALLY RECHARGES YOU.

    When I Grow Up – Fever Ray. This song gives me headspace & reminds me of my favourite places by the beach and the slowness that comes with them.

    HOW DO YOU PICK YOURSELF UP WHEN YOU’RE NOT FEELING GREAT?

    I go for a swim and let the sounds, the horizon and the cold try to heal my body/mind. I also write – write myself out of the headspace.

    IT’S 2030. YOU’RE SENDING YOUR CURRENT SELF A MESSAGE OF SUPPORT. WHAT DOES IT SAY

    Keep going, keep believing, keep loving, trust yourself.

    Catch Jack River on tour as part of the “Sugar Mountain Ball”. Hit jackrivermusic.com for more info.

  • Have You Found The One? Why Seeing A Therapist Is Like A First Date.

    Thinking about seeing a psychologist? Our founder & head psychologist Mary Hoang explores what you can expect in therapy.

    Preparing to see a psychologist can be like a first date. You never really know what to expect until you rock up, and the lead up to the appointment can be anxiety-inducing to say the least. In preparation you might try to calm your nerves by finding information about your future therapist through their webpage or by doing a Google search. Perhaps your therapist has been recommended to you, so you’ve been building a mental picture of them. In the dating game this is akin to some clever Facebook stalking, or getting some goss off a mutual friend.

    Regardless of how much you do (or don’t) know about your future date/therapist, both situations can be downright scary.

    It’s scary because both situations require vulnerability. You’re expected to share personal information about yourself, and it’s normal to develop your own fears on how people are going to take it, or whether they’ll have the capacity to hold it. Will you be judged? Will you get along? What does the potential for the future hold? Nobody likes feeling vulnerable or exposed, and we humans have a tendency to avoid uncomfortable feelings, so it’s not surprising that people tend to shy away from seeing therapists.

    Nobody ever really wants to see a psychologist. I know this, because I am one.

    When I meet new people in a social setting, people either avoid me, get nervous because they think I can read their innermost thoughts, or are curious about what I know about them.

    Having seen a few psychologists myself, I can tell you firsthand that the experiences have varied from the not-so-helpful to profoundly life-changing. One psychologist I enlisted to help me through a particularly soul-destroying relationship kind of just repeated everything I said, and sessions went nowhere. I had already repeated my story to myself in my head a million times and hearing it outside of me, without any clever leads to something insightful, was frustrating to say the least. If this was a date scenario, having your potential lover repeat what you’ve said back to you, without any engagement in your story, could be a cause for no second date.

    On the flip side, when I was battling issues of self-worth and insecurity, a kind and compassionate therapist led me gently (and sometimes very directly) to the cause of my issues, and I felt –  for the first time –  the feeling of being seen, heard, held and understood. This safe space opened me up to trusting my confidant, and together we examined my fears and found strategies to manage them.

    Trusting your psychologist, or feeling like your therapist is there for you, no matter what, is the foundation of therapy and is otherwise known as the “therapeutic alliance”.

    It’s the feeling that they ‘get you’, like the kind of great first date that makes you swoon and text your mates as soon as it’s over. This alliance is the best predictor of success in therapy, NOT what TYPE of therapy (e.g Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, Mindfulness, ACT Therapy) they use. This has been demonstrated in multiple research studies (1-3). Connection is key. It’s not where you go, or what you do, it’s the sense that your therapist is genuinely interested in you, and shows it.

    Like dating, you can get a sense of whether someone ‘gets you’ within the first or second meeting, If you’re not feeling the connection, it’s unlikely that you’ll see the person again. Similarly, if you’re not feeling it with your therapist, change who you see. For something as personal as therapy, it’s important to feel comfortable. (This is why we introduced our Perfect Match Promise here at Indigo).

    So although you may be talking about uncomfortable topics, you need to feel comfortable with your psychologist. You want to be able to talk freely in sessions and not feel judged or worse, pitied. Seeing a good psychologist means that you feel relieved after you’ve been there, even if you feel a little raw after exposing your vulnerabilities. Psychologists might not have all the answers for you, but you should have a sense that they’re trying to understand you, and that they’ve got your back, and they should imbue a feeling of hope in you.

    At The Indigo Project, I’ve hired therapists based on how ‘real’ they are, and their ability to connect with others, not their University grades or list of accomplishments. Having a therapist who is down-to-earth and ‘real’, is having someone that is authentic, compassionate and non-judgmental and who you know at the end of the day, gives a shit about you. This is what real therapy is, and where real healing can occur. Just like dating, finding someone who really cares, can change your world.

    Mary Hoang
    Founder & Head Psychologist, The Indigo Project

    If you’re keen to start your therapeutic journey, check out our incredible team of psychologists, counsellors and life coaches. With over 18 practitioners, each with their own specialties, find a therapist who gets you, today.

    We can help you get your shit together.

    References:

    1. Safran, J.D., Muran, J.C., and Proskurov, B. (2009) Alliance, negotiation, and rupture resolution, in Handbook of Evidence Based Psychodynamic Psychotherapy (eds R. Levy and S.J. Ablon), Humana Press, New York, pp. 201-5.

    2. Horvath, A.O. and Symonds, B.D. (1991) Relation between working alliance and outcome in psychotherapy: a meta-anaysis, Journal of Counseling Psychology, 38 (2), 139-149.

    3. Martin, D., Garske, J., and Davis, M. (2000) Relation of the therapeutic alliance with other outcome and other variables: a meta-analytic review. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 68, 438-450.