#MondayMusings: Thoughts on the far-reaching social impact of the Trump Presidency

As a general rule, I don’t write about politics on the blog. No matter what my views may be and what arguments and debates I may have in real life or online, I keep all of that away from this space.

But the recent election results in the US have shaken me to the core. And though they have no direct bearing on me, there is no denying the wide-spread social impact of a Trump presidency.

I also think that the time is now ripe to have multiple conversations about righting wrongs – about inclusion and diversity, about the fact of a changing global order, changing race and cultural dynamics, and a shift in the old patriarchal systems and beliefs. And I believe this is a conversation that we need to have globally.
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On my art table: Soulful surrender

On my art table soulful surrender art journal spread art journal artist art journaling india

There’s a current of magic that flows through our life.

I’m not talking about the Harry Potter kind of magic. I’m talking about the magic that shows up in our life – through synchronicity. Which is simply being in the right place at the right time, meeting the right people at the right time, hearing a message or a piece of music at the right time.

It’s not necessarily earth shattering magic.

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#KashmirDiaries: The journey begins!

I’ve always wanted to visit Kashmir.

A typical Kashmiri house with sloping roofs

A typical Kashmiri house with its sloping roof

Growing up, I heard stories about Kahsmir’s legendary beauty from my mother and maasi, who had been there as children. I saw it pictured on the silver screen, as Bollywood stars played out their romances in shikaras on the Dal Lake and in the meadows and valleys of Kashmir.

Then militancy struck the valley in the 1990s and continued seemingly without end, and I wondered if I would ever be able to visit Kashmir. But after over a decade of strife, things have normalized somewhat and tourism has opened up once again. Though incidents do happen in the valley occasionally, they have never, to my knowledge, targeted tourists.Continue reading

#MicroBlogMondays: Send my baby some love

Meet my boys – Loki {on the left} and Simba {on the right}. They’re almost five years old, which means they’ve been with us for over four and a half years. But it feels like we’ve had them forever.

Simba is our little ball of sunshine. He becomes Mr. Lapcat every time I try to work on the laptop {ok, most times} and literally demands his cuddle time. If we are doing anything when he wants his cuddles, he will push it out of our hands and firmly insert himselfoin our lap, demanding to be the center of attention.

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Gratitude thread for October

There’s a thread of gratitude that runs through my life.

Moments, big and small, that I’m grateful for. People and events that I give thanks for. They range from the small things I used to take for granted – a clean car thanks to the car cleaner who comes in early in the morning; a clean desk at work courtesy the office boys who stay back late to clean up our office space – to the larger events, like a month of good health for the husband and me after almost two months of illness.

As part of my evening ritual I spend some time journaling, which includes – on most days – a gratitude list. Over time, this simple activity has led to a tangible difference in the quality of my days. I find myself in a much more positive state of mind, and I’m able to weather the storms that come my way a little bit better.Continue reading

#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