#MicroblogMondays: I’m becoming a hermit!

Slowly but surely, I seem to be becoming a hermit.

The Hermit tarot card: I'm becoming a hermit

This is a cycle that repeats itself every couple of years. I start turning into this person who goes to work and runs back home and doesn’t want to step out again. I think of meeting friends, running errands, going shopping or walking, but it seems like too much to do. I’m happy pottering around the house – writing, painting, journaling, doing some inner work.

Sometimes I realize that it’s just the stress getting to me. In those cases, it’s rather easy for me to snap out of hermit mode. At other times, it takes me a while to realize what is happening.

Why, you ask? Because I am an introvert – and as an introvert, I love my solitude. Being around too many people for too long saps my energy, so I’m perfectly content with my hermit life.

But I also know that an overdose of hermit energy is not a good thing.

No man {or introverted woman} is an island, after all! We need to maintain a balance between becoming hermits and exploring the world, or we run the risk of plunging into despair. Continue reading

#TheMindfulBreak: It’s a wrap!

As I gather together my photographs from the mindful break project to compile them into an ebook, I’m blown away by the many small moments that I took the time to consciously witness. I’m struck, also, by the pictures that I did not take.

I had planned and written out most of the content for the ebook last month, so I had a fair idea of the quotes I would be including and the mindful practices I would be sharing with my peeps. Somewhere, at the back of my mind, I had a little checklist of the kind of images I would need to illustrate these quotes and practices. Now, as I look through the photographs that I do have, I find – at best – two or three photographs that were on my mental checklist, which tells me that this project took on a life of its own. And that is just as it should be.

Some of the photographs on my Instagram account from the mindful break project Continue reading

Introducing the #Writeaholics!

Blogging is a solitary activity. It’s you, alone behind a screen, sharing your thoughts and dreams, your art and travels, your loves and hates, so many little glimpses into your life. Sometimes it can feel a bit lonely out there, adrift in a sea of a billion blogs all writing about a billion different things. You wonder if your voice is getting drowned, if anyone is listening, if any of this even makes a difference.

This is where the power of community comes in for a blogger.

For me, it came in the form of Blogchatter, through whom I found a lot of friends, numerous bloggers whose work I admire, and a number who inspire me to do better.

And now, seven of us have come together to blog better and stronger!Continue reading

Unboxing The Wild Unknown Animal Spirit Cards

the-wild-unknownThere are as many special interest Tarot decks as there are people – you have the Cat Tarot and the Druid Tarot, the Angel Tarot and Greek Mythology Tarot, and everything in between. I’ve never been interested in branching out into any of these, because honestly, once you start there is no stopping!

But the one deck that I have heard nothing but good things about is The Wild Unknown Tarot. And when I saw the cards online, I knew why. The black and white images with pops of colors are not only beautiful, but the essence of each card shines through in the illustrations.

The first two editions of this deck are sold out, so when I heard there was to be a third edition, I simply had to have it! While pre-ordering them, I saw that the artist had another deck out – the Animal Spirit oracle. Continue reading

#MicroblogMondays: The birth of a painting

Before I started on my art journey, I often wondered how artists came up with ideas for their paintings. What sort of research did they do? What techniques did they study? How did they prepare for a session? I never found any satisfactory answers – or maybe I didn’t look hard enough. So I thought I’d share my process for brainstorming and researching ideas and techniques for a canvas that I’m about to start.

The birth of a painting

In the middle of busy work loads and hectic commitments, I’ve been squeezing in some reading time. My Pocket feed is filled with articles on color theory and symbolism, color meanings and associations, the meaning and significance of color in different cultures, color color, and more color.Continue reading

Beat stress with art: intuitive painting

When I wrote about adult coloring books last month, it generated a lot of interesting comments and discussions. Chief among them was the argument that coloring is a fun, easy and quick way to beat the stress.

My argument is that the best way to beat the stress is with art.

Well, what if I told you that over a period of about a month, maybe even less, you could have a painted canvas ready to hang on your wall? You need no prior art background, you don’t really need to know how to draw, and all it will take is 5-10 minutes a day. The set-up and clean up is also super easy and very quick.

Painting this canvas will also help you to be mindful, it will help you to beat the stress while creating a piece of original art, and maybe even help you to experience a bit of art therapy.

Sounds interesting?Continue reading

#MicroBlogMondays: Love is a Universal Language

Love is a universal language: Birds in love, Bharatpur Sanctuary, Rajasthan, India

Seeing these birds, their sign of affection high up there in their tree perch, oblivious to the other birds and tourists gawking at them, made me stop and think about love.

It’s the most basic human emotion there is. Love makes the world go round, after all!

And yet, it’s the most controversial one too.

We live in the 21st century, and people are still regularly persecuted for being in love.
Continue reading

#TheMindfulBreak – it starts on Monday!

the-mindful-break-jon-kabat-zinn-mindfulness

As I was getting ready for the Mindfulness challenge, pulling together material for the Mindfulness ebook, this quote really stood out to me. I thought it would be helpful to share it with you, along with a few thoughts on what mindfulness is and how this campaign can {hopefully} help you become more mindful.

What is mindfulness?

It is simply being aware of the present moment, without judgements, without attachment to our thoughts, to the past or the future. It’s about being present.

Thoughts and feelings will continue to arise – that’s part of the human condition. But being aware that these thoughts and judgements do not define you, letting them arise and flow away and remaining centered in the present moment, is mindfulness.

How can you practice mindfulness?

Continue reading

Book review: Two Graves by Zoe Kalo

Book review - Two Graves by Zoe KaloA Dante-ish descent through a sinister world of decadent shadows and woeful souls…

Doesn't that sound nice and spooky for a short novella tagged as a dark psychological suspense?

"Seven years ago, he shattered her life. The town eventually forgot the headlines and the nightmares. But 23-year old music student Angelica hasn’t forgotten.

For the past seven years, she’s contemplated payback with as much intensity and unwavering faith as she puts into her violin playing. Finally, all the pieces are in place. Over the course of one night, disguised for a masquerade ball, 

Angelica orchestrates a journey of revenge."

Continue reading

The Mindful Break 2016

I need to slow down. Things have been happening at break-neck speed recently, and October is shaping up to be worse. It’s a very busy period for me at work, and to add to that, it’s also the season for the biggest festival in India – Diwali.

In the middle of all this craziness, though, it’s easy to get stressed out and overwhelmed. And so, I need a bit of a daily break. A reminder to myself to just breathe.

Which gave me the idea of a 15 day {because that’s all that seems doable to me this month} photography challenge – The Mindful Break. It’s just a simple reminder to be in the moment, a gentle pause in the middle of all the frenetic activity.

And I’d love for YOU to join me on this challenge.Continue reading