Blog - End of the Decade-Bring on the 20s

End of the Decade… Bring on the ’20s

Happy New Year from Saffy and I

It’s the end of another decade and yet it seems like just the other day we said hello to the new millennia.

I’ve been reflecting back a lot these last few weeks, not so much about this year but on my whole life. Memories I had completely forgotten about have been coming back to me. Memories of all the stuff I have achieved.

As a child, my parents took me to Universal Studios in California and from that moment on I wanted to make movies. Not that there was anything in our useless schooling system back then that could help me achieve that. So, as a child with learning difficulties, I read whatever I could find on filmmaking (which wasn’t much), I watched every behind the scenes video I could find (which also wasn’t much) and I studied endless movies, wearing out VHS tapes rewinding and going over and over to figure out how shots and scenes worked.

I was drawn to the illusions created with film and this fascination also drew me to study magic to learn the art and science of illusion. At the age of 11, I was performing magic shows for my family and friends, bewildering them with sleight of hand and misdirection. Two skills that would come in handy later in life.

At 17, I made a phone call to the Victorian College of Arts about their filmmaking degree. It was going to cost $70,000 and that was out of my price range by about $69,000. So I tried to drop the dream, kill it with alcohol and drugs. It worked for a couple of miserable years. But then it came back with a vengeance and my life long motto was born…

“Fuck this shit, I’m doing it!!!”

To this day, I’m still not sure “how” I did it, but I weaselled my way into a filmmaking course at RMIT and never paid a cent.

I learned all I could, soaked up everything and within a year I was more knowledgeable than the teachers and they knew it, making life as difficult for me as possible. It was my first taste of ego.

“Fuck this shit, I’m doing it!!!”

Rose up again and I quit college to start my own production company. Starting with a string of music videos, and at the age of 24, I made my own sci-fi movie. This is where I met an amazing stunt team and got the opportunity to live one of my earliest dreams of becoming a stunt man.

I learned precision driving, how to get run over, fall off buildings, get set on fire, shoot guns, crack a cigarette out of someone’s mouth with a bullwhip and all manner of fun stuff that involved abusing my body for entertainment.

Not long after that, I went back to school and got my pyro-technician’s licence. Something I had totally forgotten until a few weeks ago watching a firework display. I’ve even made and exploded, my own fireworks and black powder bombs. I actually wish I’d kept my licence current so I could put on firework displays today.

My work on my film, lead me to a career as an editor and visual effects producer on a dozen feature films, a few hundred commercials and a bunch of music videos, short films and other stuff.

I even got to work on big-budget Hollywood films and realised I never wanted to work on big-budget Hollywood films again.

At the same time, I was creating music and a few of my songs have been used in movies, short films and commercials.

I took up photography and have taken thousands of photos. I’m sure there are a handful of good ones in there somewhere. But I discovered a talent for turning those average photos into great digital art. And at 34, I sold a number of pieces through a gallery and continue to do so online today.

This was also the year I walked away from filmmaking for the first time and took off on a three month road trip up the east coast with the goal of getting to Cape York. Something almost everyone I encountered told me I couldn’t do in my car.

“Fuck this shit, I’m doing it!!!”

And I did it.

And when I did, I took a photo of myself holding onto the “Australia’s most northerly point” sign, sticking my finger up. I turned it into a postcard and sent it to everyone to prove I made it.

Then I got myself into serious debt trying to avoid filmmaking but not knowing what to do instead. So, reluctantly, I did a couple more films. These were the ones that killed the love of film for me. But there was one moment that I will hold dear to me forever. I was going through my edit with the composer in his studio and I asked if he’d play something for me on his concert grand piano. He did. And the next fifteen minutes I sat next to an Oscar-winning composer as he unleashed his full passion on the keys. I still get goosebumps thinking back on it.

Thinking I was done with film, a couple of years later, I got asked to edit a little movie called Stress to Kill. Not only did I get to work with someone who’s career I had admired since before I made my own film, but I also got to work with a composer friend who’s music had inspired me since we’d met. Of all the projects, this is the one I am most proud and was the perfect swan song to my career.

2013 was a prick of a year as I dedicated everything I had to my partner at the time who had thyroid cancer. And once she recovered in 2014, we said goodbye, parted ways and I focused on rebuilding me.

A focus that lead me to study life coaching, NLP, and hypnosis. And people have always said “wow, that’s so different from filmmaking” But actually, I find it very similar. I’m still creating illusions, but instead of on a screen, now I’m doing it right in the audience’s mind and instead of for entertainment, it is to improve someone’s life.

In 2018 I launched my business Empowering Meditations and was really successful for about 3 months until my mum had a fall breaking her hip. The next year was spent looking after her as she went through complication after complication.

2019 seems to have been about figuring out the mess and conflicts of my own mind. As part of that figuring out, I managed to spit out a book. Something I had wanted to do for as long as I can remember but just never got around to. Well now I have, and it’s available in all the major online bookshops. And I actually felt a greater sense of joy and pride from this than any of the other stuff I’ve done.

And through all of this, I have grown and nurtured (and in some cases, lost) some of the most amazing friendships with some truly inspiring people. People that have helped to shape my mind and who I am. Friends who remind me to come back to Earth when I’m getting way too spacey.

I’ve spent time with the richest of the rich and the poorest of the poor and have never given credence to status. I treat everyone with the same respect.

I’ve had a $5000 meal and drank a $400 bottle of wine and then got Maccas and Coke on the way home to fill me up.

I’ve worked with big stars and supermodels and I can tell you for sure they are all just regular people before reaching that makeup chair.

I’ve survived bushfires, earthquakes, a tornado, car crashes, being mauled by a German Shepherd, literally melting my chest off with boiling water and about 80 end of the world apocalyptic predictions and all I’ve ever broken is a little toe, twice, a week apart, on the same corner of the bed, twice, did I mention that already…

And through all this, I have learned love, humility and compassion. I have grown an inner strength to just keep going. And I’ve never let the fire of passion die.

I’ve realised the people who inspire me most are those who are embracing their passions and those who irritate me the most are those who are waisting them.

It is on all this reflection I have realised, that even though at times, I feel like I’m not accomplishing anything, I’ve actually achieved quite a lot so far.

One thing I’ve learned for sure is that the coming year, no matter what I hope it will be, it will be something different. So I let go of expectations. I hold myself accountable for all that I am. I go headfirst into the new decade with 6 little words on my breath…

“Fuck this shit, I’m doing it!!!”

Happy New Year everyone.

Wishing you all an amazing 2020 filled with all you need to learn, grow, be inspired, create and live a life filled with life.

UPDATE January 21st 2021:
“something different” fuck that shit, let’s not do that again!

I believe that education on personal development is such an integral part of human growth that I simply cannot justify making it unavailable to people by charging extreme amounts of money for it. In my opinion, this stuff should be taught freely at schools.

However, we live in a world where money is required to pay the bills and fill the fridge. Your donation will ensure I can continue to provide this service and really does make a huge difference as this is what I survive off.

It takes a lot of time, skill and effort to create the content on this web site, which is why the guided meditations are constantly ranked amongst the highest quality on apps like Insight Timer (the worlds No.1 Meditation app).

As a sign of appreciation for your donation, I would love to shout your name from the rooftops (which probably doesn’t really do much for you) so instead, I can also shout it from the social media rooftops if you like, along with your business name if you have one. And if you want to remain anonymous, we can make that work too.

I am honoured that you took the time to listen to this meditation and overflowing with gratitude for your donation 🙏💜

Wishing you a most beautiful day,

James Cole

Empowering Meditations

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James Cole

James Cole

James is an author of the book Empowering Thoughts, a meditation educator, empowerment specialist, hypnotherapist, filmmaker, and photo-artist. He has had a passion for meditation since being introduced at high school. Since then he has studied various forms of meditation before discovering hypnosis and recognising the similarities. He now teaches hypnotic meditation, as well as creating and publishing guided meditations that people can use for personal development. his creative work can be found at

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