"When you Smile, Are you Happy or Pretending to Be?" - Chatting Photography with @rd.click
helene photoshoot
Witnessing my photographer friends lose sight was an eye opener to live in the moment & cherish everything that I have right now
— @rd.click

Link to the episode: bit.ly/Ratan_LivesDisrupted

In my spare time, I sometimes like to do some modeling. 

So back in LA, I got it touch with Ratan to plan a photoshoot downtown.

He had recently moved to town and needed some content for his portfolio, while I wanted some nice pictures for myself (and Instagram :) ).

Turns out we were both keen on in-depth conversations and got to know each other quickly during the shoot.

I was floating from one emotion to another as we were telling each other’s about our passions, vulnerabilities, fears and dreams.

Truth is, Ratan is specialized in female portraits, with a focus on raw genuine emotions.

He blends storytelling and photography to create unique portraits that tell a story through the eyes of the models he shoots.

He also has a superpower that makes his creations unique.

Find out what it is in the podcast.

Find you way in the episode:

0:00 - Chasing the light and telling a story

2:10 - Being colorblind as a photographer: turning a weakness into a strength 

6:00 - Getting laid off and picking one’s camera for the first time

10:00 - The street-smart way of learning photography

14:00 - Why smile is a distraction on pictures… Are you happy or pretending to be?

18:00 - Capturing expression through the eyes after having model share their story

21:00 - Witnessing a famous photographer lose sight

More podcast episodes on Apple Podcast under Lives / Disrupted

Fuck Fear / Skydiving with Sam Polyvyanny
sam polyvyanny

In this episode, I'm following Sam Polyvyanny to jump off a plane.

I met this crazy guys self proclaimed “not give a fuck-er” at a coffee place in Venice, LA. He was doing a headstand in the middle of a coffee-place and had to do a good deed to make up for a bad deed he’d done earlier that day.

He asked me what he could do to make me happy.

at the time I had just been let go of my job and was paralyzed by fear.

To leave the country. My friends. My life I had newly built.

To transition to Journalism…

So I wanted to try something new.

Do something so scary, anything beside it would seem ridiculously simple.

Get this “badass” feeling once and for all.

My biggest fear was to jump off a plane and turns out he was planning on doing a jump later that week. Coincidence?

At the time, he was doing a "30 Days of Rejection" challenge to get out of his comfort zone, so I decided to step out of mine and do something crazy with him, just 72h later after we met...

What’s the scariest thing you can think of? Would you face your fear?

The Life-Changing Power of Yoga / with Adam Carney
Adam Carney

I met Adam in beautiful Bali, and approached him after overhearing his conversation on anxiety and how his experience with yoga had been transformative.

We sat down the following day to discuss his journey through the discovery of yoga, from hating it to incorporating it to his lifestyle and as part of his mission.

We also chatted about entrepreneurship, the human quest to happiness and making an impact, discovering spirituality and embracing the feeling of being stuck in order to grow.

Embrace being stuck!
— Adam Carney

Find your way in the episode:

1:00 - Getting started with yoga to handle LA’s energy to cope with anxiety

07:00 - Being given everything in life and still not being fulfilled 

08:45 - Yoga is not just about the physical layers, it’s a lifestyle

13:00 - The origins of yoga

15:00 - Listening to your call or doing what’s comfortable?

17:00 - From being a millionaire on paper to being left with nothing

19:00 - The process of creating meaningful value & the traps of entrepreneurs

28:00 - Spiritual people: we’re all on the same train but we chose to take the window seat 

32:00 - Feeling your way through life

35:30 - Embrace being stuck!

"Recreating Reality" Might Just Be the Next Big Thing
image.JPG
You’re the only thing that is real
— Sage Michael
linkedin conversation

It's not every day that a Linkedin contact tells you that you first conversation will change your life...

I interview people about their turning points and this story was one of a kind. 

Sage explained to me how he managed to recreate reality with the power of his mind at multiple occasions, and the struggle to make people who haven’t experienced it conceive its potentiality...

He also shares technique on how to (and how not to!) manifest what we want, and what happiness really means.

Find your way in the episode:

04:00 - You are as powerful as you believe that you are

09:00 - Starting with self-growth

13:00 - Recreating reality: magic or reality?

20:50 - If you try too hard, it’s not going to work

36:00 - The law of attraction is a trap

39:00 - Creating drama in order to grow

45:30 - Breaking the common conceptions of pleasure, happiness, joy & bliss

The course: www.risewith.us - 20% off with the code LIVESDISRUPTED

Getting Turned Down by Customs & Putting my American Dream Time on Hold
Angel or criminal?

Angel or criminal?

So… This happened.

I guess I’m a criminal now.

I tend to say that bad choices make good stories, but sometimes they make bad stories too.

I should have sensed it, when I dreamed of sleeping in jail 3 days ago.

When I didn’t receive my flight ticket.

When my cameras and computer got stolen.

When my card didn’t process the payment for the LA conference six times. Signs?

So What happened?

Well. During my last trip to LA, I miscalculated the length of my visa and overstayed of one day.

This means that I’m now forever forbidden to travel to America on a waiver.

I can still apply for a visa (approval not guaranteed, at the embassy’s discretion) but I’ll be pulled to a room for hours each time, interviewed and at risk of still being politely declined every single time I’d enter the country.

That’s what happened last night.

I got pulled aside at LAX airport.

Questioned.

Searched.

I had to give my phone’s password at customs and taken to a room for an in-depth interview after 10 hours wait of observing a parade of cops exiting the office with a fake cut throat or a bee costume on, wishing us a Happy Halloween.

I got threatened to never be allowed on the territory again should I lie (“We know what you did” with the desk lamp dazzling at me kinda conversation).

Eventually, I had to admit receiving $30 in exchanged for organizing an event, and some drug intake… Whoops. Which will be on my file forever.

In any case, there’s always a bright side of things… I talk about breaking points all day long and how pain turns into beauty.

While seated in front of the TV with shows on, and a selection of sugary snacks (which, for some, might sound like the perfect definition of a Saturday night), I had the chance to put into practice one of my recent learnings from my meditation retreat, and practice gratitude. 

“I’m safe, I’m not going to jail, I didn’t have to get naked and ass-searched like I thought I would when the cop put her gloves on”, said I to myself. 

Replaying in my head what I had learnt from the show Making a Murderer.

I also practiced “non-attachment” with my custody-girlfriend, between sequences where we’d simply break down, due to our lack of food, 2 sleepless nights and inability to make any digital contact with the outer world.

Concretely, “all” I lost was time, attendance to an insane conference, time spent with the friends I loved and huge networking opportunities. Life pleasures that I can come to experience in the future with the help of a good lawyer.

It still feels like shit when such things happen, but I was able to step back up on my feet, laugh about it, and here I am, reassessing my action steps on my flight back to France.

No point looking back.

I still ADORE LA and I WILL come back sooner than you know, but I gotta accept that I’m not welcome there. I’m seen as a potential threat to security so I might as well lay low for a hot second, especially now during the elections.

The highlight of that adventure was definitely me being escorted by two policemen through the secured hallways, slaloming between the planes taking off in an armored truck and walking up to my plane in front of everyone staring at me like either a badass or a weirdo (which was pretty hilarious as I was walking around with no shoelace, pant-lace & a “LOVE” pullover).

At least I got a horror story to tell, on that Halloween night.

Hope you guys had a better one :).

Escaping the Matrix with Meditation
Helene Clabecq - meditation retreat matrix

Last month, I secretly took off to Palma, Spain, to attend and preview a private meditation retreat at a Lama’s house who had studied religions for over 40 years with a particular inclination for Buddhism.

The concept of the retreat was to get out of the matrix through meditative techniques.

I didn’t realize how deeply lost I was in that matrix until we took the time to reflect upon it in peace, away from all distractions, in the countryside of Mallorca.

First of all, what do I mean by “matrix”? It’s the idea that happiness depends on “having”.

It’s thinking: “I’m happy because…” or  “I’ll be happy when…”.

In fact, the conceptual idea of happiness that is commonly shared in the western society nowadays depends on 8 “superficial” motivations:

  • Seeking pleasure / Avoiding pain

  • Seeking gain / Avoiding loss

  • Seeking celebrity / Avoiding anonymity

  • Seeking praise / Avoiding blame

Consequently, the goal of my meditation retreat was to deconstruct and lose attachment to those motivations, realize that change is internal, be more in the moment and learn to observe whatever happens in my life without reacting emotionally (or let’s be honest, at least, not as intensely).

At first, as I started to lose attachment to those motivations, I felt extremely low. I was surprised to notice that detoxifying my mind from those addictions affected me physically as well. It was like taking a really cold mental shower.

In fact, interestingly enough, after having interviewed over 300 people all over the world on their definition of success and happiness, I had already come to the conclusion that happiness was indeed a mindset, not a thing. Things are illusions of happiness.

Which is also the reason why I stopped marketing random products.

But I had never really applied that concept.

So that was the biggest takeaway from the meditation retreat that helped me reflect upon the Tibetan definition of happiness through introspection and development of awareness.

It’s about being, not having.

Choosing to lose attachment is a difficult decision that I keep going back and forth on and for which I have to constantly exercice my strength.

I am tempted to wanting to keep the highs high and avoid the lows rather than enjoying the game. Attachment often drags me up and down like a yoyo in a roller coaster.
Putting that thought into practice when meditating, the whole idea is that, for instance, whether I own that studio in LA, keep seeing that guy, do that collaboration with that editorial or not, things will be okay. The idea is to embrace whatever comes my way with its load of surprises and challenges.