website design, photos, videos by Claudia Tomaz. 2006-2019

The soul journey

"Because words are not enough, I have been ‘traveling as a means to meditate’, embodying the space-in-between, embracing impermanence and change. In 2016, after nearly 10 years living in London, and 7 different houses, I decided to leave everything and ask questions, in this time of personal and global transitions, the age of interbeing.

For over 2 years I lived off a suitcase and I carried my camera with me. I've seen many faces, places and things. I lived in cities, in the countryside, by the sea, in a forest of cork trees; I stayed with family, old and new friends, in houses, flats, a yurt, a rural artist residency, a cottage, a boat, Buddhist monasteries and two caravans. I was like a pilgrim on the road with my heart wide opened, and many people welcomed me with generosity and kindness.

 

When I started my Soul journey I didn't know I would make a film, but indeed this traveling meditation turned into images and sounds, an exercise to put things into perspective, to experiment, to integrate and embody values and ideas, try out things, as a way to create space to allow a new story to emerge.
 

If you watched my previous film Give us Space online, or attended any of the community screenings and artivist events that I organized, you know how I have been engaged in the housing justice movement in London. My personal housing crisis is not in the documentary directly but indeed the film resulted from my personal experiences, the research and awareness I gained through it. Gentrification knocked on my door too many times, the layers of trauma were piling up. When I had to leave again (this time the house I lived in was being sold), I decided to end this cycle and go out and about in search of the true meaning of Home.

 

It was not a holiday or a simple adventure, to then go back to the usual life, no, it was an experience of radical opening, of mystery and awe. For a long time there was a true call to journey, and inspired by Joseph Campbell words “Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors for you where there were only walls”, I decided to leave, facing the crisis in the eye and take it as an opportunity for change.

 

Living a nomadic life, I moved between 4 countries: England, Germany, France and Portugal. With one-way tickets, I stayed in 43 different places, dancing with uncertainty, following the synchronicity path and letting things unfold. There were many challenges, discomfort, exhaustion, survival, and also fun, unexpected and beautiful people and places on my way. And growth, not the kind of 'more', but of less, of depth. 

 

The journey became my home.

In London I was part of the environmental movement and of the permaculture and deep ecology communities, but I was longing for a deeper experience in Nature. When I got the opportunity to live in a caravan in wilderness in the South of Portugal, I said yes and there I started this film-meditation. I had no electricity, running water or the internet. The film was made on solar panels. A daily practice of being with Nature. I started by filming my daily life, fixing the caravan, getting water, etc, then I started filming the trees and how they would change with the sun and the rain, the fog and sunsets. I was limited to about 3 hours of laptop use as our DIY solar panel was not very powerful but I was dedicated to work on the film every day as a meditation practice, with awareness and focus.

 

By then I realized that my soul journey had actually started many years ago, when my partner passed away with cancer. I later had another important turning point, after my heart operation 6 years ago. I didn't know it back then, but those two life events changed everything. In my tiny caravan, I went back on a long flashback to look into my personal life and the Life happening around me, in London, in the world, over the past 10 years. Slowly I dropped the stories and kept the insights. The film became somehow mysterious, poetic and philosophical. I used video and photo diaries. Through filming and editing, I selected pieces of life and excerpts of films that I made, while filming myself in the process. I use video footage, photographs, texts, music, sounds to express these insights, finding new connections, not only into my own life, but into Life itself, Death, Nature, and Art.

I found out that Nature is where I belong, and I slowly discovered the wisdom that rises from deep within the body. After years living in a fast paced mega-city, I was (re)discovering a new but familiar intimate feeling: a sense of belonging to Earth started to emerge as I connected with my own nature, through the deep time of trees, the cycles of the Moon and the tides of the ocean. To film the Nature around me was a deep relation that demanded focus, presence, attention and readiness. The impermanence of the light and the subtle changes were quick to disappear. Each season would bring something new. Along the journey, in the many places and landscapes I've stayed, it became more and more clear that the external world was not separate from me, it was often a mirror, an extension, a sign of where to move next, or a way to convey some truth or teaching; we are deeply interconnected, we are the same fabric of Life.

 

The film is 90 minutes long. The journey is much much longer and took me into many unexpected directions and new experiences that I could not anticipate or expect when I left. But a lot of what I learned - and more importantly what I unlearned - is actually difficult to put into words. Now I am taking a moment of stillness and rest, while preparing for a new life season. I am living by the sea. I realize the ocean might be my true soul-home."

A feminine way of filmmaking

 

"It is now March 2018; I am a nomad for 2 years. Now I am working on the editing of the film, at Obras Arts Residency, in the South of Portugal. Today is Woman's Day. I am happy to be a woman, with my sensibility, my intuition, my receptivity and my nurturing nature. I notice how these qualities are in the making of the film - a feminine way of film making, so different from the predominant masculine way present in the film industry where each person does a bit, there is the director, the producer, a hierarchy, things are planned, controlled, made fast and quick, with many takes to reach perfection.

For me, film making became a quiet activity, the equivalent to writing a secret poem, full of depth and meaning, simply a way to dwell on the mystery of being human.

 

In my way of making films, which I am calling here the feminine way, there is curiosity to wait for the light, there is acceptance and patience, there is time for being and not knowing what will come next, there is time to listen, within and around, attentively, and with care. I film and edit without separation, present to what comes to me, finding the secret connections, between sounds, images and words, through a collage of sensations and insights, like a meditation.

This is a film made with the patience of a weaver, hand-made, holistic, healing art.

 

I feel proud I have made this film on my own, while traveling and working.

 

Also to note that 70% of the making of this film was done ecologically on solar panels, and in harmony with the cycles of Nature"

if you like this project please support with a gift donation

to help me finish the film, develop workshops and write the book

Next steps

Film Editing

I am still editing the film and working on sound design. I filmed a new ending while staying by the sea. I am also pleased to announce that I won a small funding to complete the post-production. Once the film is complete I want to organize public screenings and small intimate and workshops in which people can find inspiration for their own soul journeys.

If you know of festivals, venues or events where this film might fit, please get in touch to discuss.

Book

I am calling the book 'The journey is my home'. While in residency at Obras (winter 2018) I've put together perhaps half of the book, compiling and editing many of my writings along this journey. In the winter of 2019 I took another writing retreat, this time by the sea, to use this natural introspective time for reflection and to continue writing. With nearly 300 pages now, I still need to write the last chapter and edit. I will publish the book on-demand and will make it available as e-book and to print.

Retreat & Workshops

I would like to create a workshop-retreat, a safe space, to allow you to initiate, or meditate on your own soul journey. I will share the film and some relevant experiences and research to inspire you through meditation practice, art, film, Nature connection and self-care exercises. The call to journey. living in the present. crisis as opportunity for change. conscious film making and healing art are some of the themes to explore. If you can host / organize a retreat or workshop I would like to hear from you. Please email me.

Music and sound quotes

Along the journey I was supported by many people, teachings and learnings, sometimes through books, online courses and podcasts. Charles Eiseinstein, Bill Plotkin, The tree sisters, Joanna Macy, Clarissa Pinkola Estes were very important and somehow were my travel companions and teachers. With them, and many others, I studied and embodied the transitions for a new paradigm, eco-psychology and soulcraft practices, trauma release, deep time, spiritual ecology and the awakening of the feminine and sisterhood.

 

In the film, I use some sound excerpts of webinars of various people that are influential to me, they are my teachers: Charles Eisenstein, Michael Stone, Alan Watts, Thomas Hubl, Gabor Maté, Chris Johnstone and Clare Dubois / Tree Sisters. I add these teachings, in a subtle tapestry of connections and insights that mirror my own. I mix those with music, images and stories.

 

 

I always carry music with me. I traveled with my headphones and the music for the film was carefully selected. Most of it is made by friends, people I know, or fellow travelers, who kindly allowed me to use their music. Here are their names with links for their pages when available, to spread independent music. List is in order of appearance, with many thanks!

 

Audio Dependent / Tim Cowie | 69db / Sebastian | Full Moon Scientist |

Artists in Action | 52 commercial road | TRG | L.S.Diezel | Future Sound of London |

God Speed the Black Emperor | Czentrifuga | Nuages | Ixindamix | Jane Wild | Boe Huntress

Thank you for your support

this is a truly independent DIY project but I could not do it without you all

gratitude to everyone who contributed to the making of the film by donating money

and

to everyone who supported and encouraged me on this journey

 

Thank you!

keep caring for each other