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Green Is The New Black

TALKS: What we learned about LIVING at The Conscious Festival

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TALKS are one of the most important elements of The Conscious Festival because they are the conversations that inspire the most change by the most passionate people. Here we recap highlights from the LIVE track, which took place on Saturday afternoon in Hong Kong and focused on altruism and resilience.


“We must move beyond the inconvenient truth and move to a convenient solution.”


Here is what panelists had to say:

We learned that we can create change through the power of the mind

In a talk by Sheila Dickson, health and wellness coach as well as the founder of All You Can Be, she drove home several points about change, reminding the audience that change can only happen when you change yourself. She began her talk with a quote by John C Maxwell: change is inevitable, growth is optional. Here are a few more takeaways from her talk:

> Change starts to become easy only when the connection between our mind, body, and spirit align
> Change happens when you step out of your comfort zone
> Habits are repetition that only you can change. Start by changing habits that no longer serve you
> We have been granted the luxury of making choice, and we are fortunate to possess the freedom and the resources to act upon them. Use it!
> Be aware – of negative thoughts and behaviors, of outdated belief systems, and of other people’s influences
> Your future is a result of your choices

Sheila Dickson, health and wellness coach and founder of All You Can Be

We learned how to unleash our sensual power to better connect with ourselves and with the planet

Valentina Tudose, a sex and relationship coach, gave a talk about owning your sexuality. She reminded her audience that it is important to be honest and authentic with yourself and your partner and to ask yourself who you are in a relationship, and how your partner influences and supports you? Here are more some tips that she gave to help:

> Make choices that serve you
> Embrace change every day
> Explore all parts of one another because different people have different needs
> Be yourself for yourself otherwise, how can we be yourselves with others
> Try to avoid saying ‘you’ as in ‘you don’t…’
> Communication and understanding our own needs is crucial
> Practice gratitude and be present in sensuality

Sex coach Sara Tang gave some further advice on the topic as well. She also talked about the impact that the Me Too movement made, going over the media coverage it received and how it socialized gender roles in intimate attractions. She reminded people that both genders have both male and female energies but that men are portrayed unfairly sometimes as rough, tough and lacking in emotion. “It’s our choice what we want to bring to the table,” she said. “We need to find the ideal balance for ourselves.” Read on for more takeaways from her talk:

> Core values and emotions that are linked to our identity
> It’s important to be conscious of what sensuality and sexuality mean to you
> Question and challenge social norms
> Be kind to your body, and listen to it in every situation otherwise we get disconnected
> Listen to your body when it gives you signals


Ying Han Cheng from YOLO reminded us that a common misconception in the workplace is that high powered women get respect from male colleagues by being sexy when in fact it comes from being in your flow, expanding your energy and sensing everything in the room. More highlights from Ying include:

> When you’re only open to one part of your reality, you’re losing 50% of what you’re capable of
> In business, measure sensuality against profitably because a study found the more sensual someone perceived themselves to be, the more profitable they were
> Increase yumminess through meditation and deliberate pleasure practices

Louis Hadrien, an osteopath, discussed how just talking about male sensuality can be tough. He reminded the audience to listen to their own unique senses as well as few other helpful tips.

> People need to be both feminine and masculine to be successful
> Being powerful doesn’t mean being violent
> Don’t hide or ignore certain behaviors for fear of appearing weak, it can trigger disorders
> Focus on healthcare and taking care of yourself and seek therapy if you need it
> Focus on relearning sensations, focus on senses
> Invest more time in mental awareness


We asked ourselves if our thoughts create our realities

Most people in the room believe that our thoughts DO create our reality,” was the opening statement that Sonia Samtani from All About You started her talk with. She talked a lot about the mind, both conscious and subconscious, as well as the relationship between our thoughts and behaviors. Read more on her insights on the topic below:

> We have about 50,000 thoughts every day (2,100 thoughts an hour)
> Our perpetual thoughts become beliefs and also dictate our behaviors
> Memories can trigger current feelings/states of being
> EVERYONE has felt that they weren’t good enough at some point in their life
> As we get older and produce less adrenaline, this can result in long-term debilitating diseases
> The mind divided into two parts: conscious mind (10%) + subconscious mind (90%) which is 6000x more powerful
> Your conscious mind thinks, analyzes, rationalizes
> Your subconscious mind stores data and everything that has ever happened to us
> Our beliefs DO create our realities

We explored the barriers to climate change and how to overcome them

David Yeung from Green Monday and one of this year’s Green Warriors reminded us that we’re at the point of no return and the time to change is now – and action is up to you everyone, from individuals to governments and businesses. “The stakes have never been higher because the deadline is 2030 to make crucial changes,” said David. Here is a recap of his talk:

> Our need for food poses one of the biggest dangers to the planet
> The world’s most urgent problem is meat
> The sustainability crisis in Asia is that we are consuming way more of everything than our ancestors did which is coupled by population explosion
> If cattle were a country, they would be the 3rd largest emitter of greenhouse gases
> Meat is the new tobacco. More specifically, processed meats
> We need to quantify a single person’s impact and create a framework that people can follow and execute together that is actionable and simple
> Talking about the problem alone will not solve the problem
> Food is social, cultural, emotional
> The fact that we need food at every meal is a social opportunity, like a green dining experience
> Change is possible, and the time to change is now
> Each one of us can be a powerful changemaker


The audience had a chance to ask panelists questions

We also learned to undress our fears

Chaukei Ngai from Yogaup talked about her own life experience and how it led her to find yoga. She was born premature and spent the first 30 days of life in an incubator and since then, she has been in and out of the hospital as a result of breathing difficulties but doctors couldn’t determine what the problem was. It wasn’t until later in life when she met a doctor who thought it could be a psychological issue and it gave her hope. She eventually tried yoga to fight off breathing attacks. Through her story, there were a couple of takeaways to take home:

> Fear is like a shooting star, it comes and goes, and you don’t really have much control over it
> You can either let fear distract you or pass you on its way
> What you really want is on the other side of fear

We learned how to breathe in “cold”

Alexandre Tusk from Refill My Bottle and BGreener began his talk by telling the audience that he keeps track of personal carbon footprint and his goal is to reduce it each month and be aware. Inspirational, to say the least. Here are a couple more goodies from his talk:

> The key to sustainability is self-love/care: it starts with you
> He suggests mindfulness, meditation, breath work, and ice exposure
> Through his training, people discover that they can do more than you think you can
> We live in an acidic world: breathing in and out exercises increases your PH level
> The key to mindfulness (and to everything) is a daily practice
> Expose yourself to some kind of hardness each day
> Embrace discomfort, activate yourself
> It’s the training that makes a master
> Experience pain and stay with it because pain is the message, it’s a signal (it’s how you react that defines who you are)
> In life, we are full of expectations that are not met – it’s how we react defines us

Alexandre Tusk from Refill My Bottle and BGreener 

And finally, we learned how to master our ego for the greater good

Gina Robinson, a holistic consultant, explained to us how to give our choices the respect they deserve. She asked everyone to be present, be in the moment, right there. We’ve recapped the takeaway from her talk:

>The ego is an accumulated set of beliefs that we have carried with us our entire lives
> It’s never satisfied, it’s always thinking about what it can take and consume
> We need to stay active and present to avoid our ego from taking over
> When things around you start moving quickly, that’s the exact time you’ll recognize the need to slow down
> Conscious living means being aware of how our choices impact us and our surroundings
> Awareness is key
> We can’t add value if we’re not present in the moment


FYI – While attendance to the festival was free, TALKS carried a small charge but a portion of the proceeds from the TALKS tickets went to the Ocean Recovery Alliance.


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Olivia is a bon vivant with an insatiable appetite for...everything. Upon being horrified at the amount of rubbish she produced in a single day, her journey towards finding a better balance between being extravagant yet sustainable began. Like most obsessions, down the rabbit hole she went and it wasn’t long before she decided to shift her sustainable preachings from Friday nights after too much wine to every day at Green Is The New Black. Olivia is still trying to figure all this ‘the end of the world’ stuff out, so she is keepin’ it real, one super small #LittleGreenStep at a time. Be like Olivia.