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.
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#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?

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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."

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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

What is the difference between Tarot and Oracle cards

This is a common question that many people ask when they’re starting out on an inner quest – Tarot Cards or Oracle Cards – which are better? How are they different? Let me try to break it down for you.

The difference between Tarot and Oracle cards

Both the Tarot and Oracle cards can be powerful tools for personal growth, inspiration and divination. So there is no major difference there. Where they really differ is in their structure.

No matter which Tarot deck you buy  or which system it follows, a Tarot deck always has 78 cards. These cards are always divided into 22 Major Arcana cards and 56 Minor Arcana cards. The 22 Major Arcana cards always depict major events and turning points in our lives. The naming conventions may differ slightly from deck to deck, but the broad meanings are largely similar.

The rest of the 56 Minor Arcana cards are suit cards – wands, swords, cups and pentacles. These represent the daily ebb and flow of life. Each of these is related to one of the four elements and a particular trait.Continue reading

The Red Thread

Chinese-legend-myth-of-red-threadThere’s something magical that I’ve been noticing in my life recently. It his to do with art. With learning, teaching, and living an artistic life.

When I started down this path, I was quite a babe in the woods – clueless about where I was going, what I was doing, and why I was doing it. All I recognized was a calling… a yearning to create – to pick paints and paper, glue and pictures, with no idea of what to do with them, how to mold them into something that was pleasing to the eye.

I stumbled upon a few teachers – wonderful people who shared their art, tips, and techniques online for free on YouTube. I picked up a few tips here, an idea for a technique there. But very often, these free videos were disappointing. They were either timelapsed and so fast that I had no idea what or how the person was doing what they were doing. Often, they were product demonstrations – and said products were not necessarily available in India. But I persevered.Continue reading

Plumbing the darkest depths of my soul and living to tell the tale

Plumbing-the-darkest-depths-of-my-soul-and-living-to-tell-the-tale

Has this ever happened to you? Periods when you felt like you are drifting along, rudderless, without any ambitions or passions?

It happened to me. It lasted roughly 4-5 long years. Looking back, it was the worst period of my life.

I felt adrift, lost and confused; I had no ambitions and no passions. I can’t remember how many articles I read during that period – articles telling you how to find your passion, how to get up in the morning with boundless energy and raring to face the day. None of them helped. I felt like I was trapped in the darkest depths of my soul and there was no way out. Continue reading