Date:: May, 2012
Gail Taylor moved to Vancouver eight years ago with her husband Tim and son Pablo after spending more than eighteen years living in Los Angeles. Born In England and raised in Canada, she has spent more than two decades working in the world of fine art, photography, event design, staging, dance, film-making and design throughout Canada, the US, England and Italy.
The Spice Mistress is honoured to welcome Gail Taylor as the focus of this month’s Pancha Q.
Her company Vagabond Shu Productions ran for over eight years and became one of the top Special Event Design companies in Los Angeles. Gail has art directed and designed many prestigious events such as the Academy Awards Governors Ball, the Grammys and the Superbowl, along with major studio film premieres, MTV and VH-1 events, Microsoft’s Xbox events and many large charity functions. As a fine artist, Gail was commissioned to paint two large pieces for the 2005 Academy Awards’ Governor’s Ball. She has had numerous art exhibitions in Los Angeles and Vancouver.
Gail’s charitable heart has extended beyond the event world to her passion for filmmaking. She has spent many years as a director and choreographer, collaborating with inner-city youth on issue-oriented programming. Gail has also appeared on several interior design television shows on the ‘Home and Garden Network’ such as ‘The Stagers’ as an on-camera talent demonstrating some of her unique and highly creative ideas.
Gail co-runs the beautiful and creative Onyx studio in Vancouver with husband Tim Perez who is an actor and playwright, and with Glynnis Osher, CEO and founder of The Mystic Masala Aromatherapy and Thousand Petal Lotus Indian Head Massage. Gail has acted as designer on the HGTV shows ‘Consumed’ and ‘Love It or List It’.
1. How do you begin your day?
Gail: My mornings can be rather hectic if I let them, making my son’s breakfast and lunch, walking the dog, not to mention getting myself up and ready for the day’s adventure! I do try as best as I can to eating something moderately healthy (still addicted to my morning cup of coffee) and smile through it all. I find that my taking a walk around the block is a great way to ponder the day ahead!
Especially now that spring is here, I am gracefully forced to stop and smell the flowers… Literally! It is my time to connect to me! This time can be valuable too to run over my day’s agenda. I do live a busy life and my work is very important to me. As a designer on a home makeover show, I have a lot of responsibility — usually I have three homes to do simultaneously — and I set very high standards for myself, so this walking meditation helps to ground me!
2. What’s one piece of life changing health advice you can share with others?
Gail: A couple of years ago I underwent a six month battle with breast cancer… I would say that was fairly life changing! I have a lot of energy, always have. I could have invented the concept of multi-tasking! However the older I get (quickly heading towards 50) the more I realize that it may be okay not to finish everything on my ‘to do list’. In fact my daily list was about the average person’s weekly list! Burnout was a normal consequence of my overwhelming schedule.
After being forced to slow down, I had to re-evaluate my goals, my priorities, my purpose in life. I am blessed to have a wonderful husband, who emotionally supports my creative journey and keeps me in check. I also have a son who at the wise age of ten is growing into a wonderful and independent little man. These are the reasons most of all I strive to have balance in my life!
One small practice that I try to do everyday is a smiling meditation. I do this mostly at night before I fall asleep. I lay in bed, eyes closed, listening to my breath with a smile on my face. Some nights when I am cuddling my son goodnight (a ritual that I savour) we do it together. It’s simple but very affective!
3. What’s one thing that gives you hope for the future?
Gail: Oh that’s a deep question!… I would have to say that my strong belief in love! I do believe that ultimately most people are guided by the need for connection, acceptance and security. And as human beings we sometimes, unfortunately need tragedy or misfortune to remind us of this. I choose not to believe that the ‘end is near’ and all that naysay… I can’t, I have a child, who I hope will experience a long and amazing life!
I am also a very strong believer in manifestation and the laws of attraction. I practice it in my own life a lot and experience little miracles all the time. So with regards to envisioning my future… I only want to see the positive!
4. Any lifestyle ‘Crimes against Wisdom’ (Prajnaparadha) that challenge you?
Gail: Oh yes… Never having enough time, money, exercise, not to mention the fear of aging, too much caffeine and Sugar!… Those all are the little demons that taunt me. In my perfect world I would be a fabulous slim yogi, with perfect flawless wrinkle-free skin going about my zen filled day with grace, patience and always having enough time to come home every night and cook a delicious organic gourmet meal. I would never get stressed, depressed or pimples!
Well, thank God for having the wisdom to not set my bar that high and honour the life I have created, sure there is always room for improvement, and maybe that’s the secret… Setting reachable goals and expectations! And practicing gratitude every single day!!
5. A moment of beauty that inspired you today?
Gail: A giant Rhododendron bush, it was this exquisite, vibrant coral colour and the way the sun hit it, it glowed! I actually stopped the car and got out to stare at it for a few minutes. I am awed by nature, always have been. For as long as I can remember I have been painting flowers. I feel that colour is the one true connection that we have to God… How else can tones like this be explained?
An interesting realization took place today, too — I looked at the Ayurvedic colour wheel and noticed that my ‘pitta’ constitution was more in the cooler hues. For most of my life I have been more attracted to the warmer reds, oranges and yellows. But for some reason over the past year I have been much more attracted to the teals, purples and blues. I have even started redecorating my surroundings with them… I have to say that I feel a lot more balanced, calm and connected!
Thank you for the interview, Gail. Om Shanti!
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