#MondayMusings: Remembering the soft animal of my body

For someone who has generally enjoyed good health, these last few years haven’t been kind. Ever since I developed a dust and pollen allergy, I’ve fallen sick with almost clockwork regularity.

Every winter, when the Delhi pollution hits new highs, I spend a few days at least battling my allergies. I’m convinced that this also weighs on my immunity, because I’ve been ill more often in the last few years than ever before.

Or is it the stress that’s doing me in? While I’m lucky to have a job that isn’t as demanding as what I’ve seen as the norm in the Knowledge industry, it does have its own challenges and periods of intense stress. After all, stress isn’t only about the number of hours you put into work – there’s so much more that contributes to it.

Added to it is this creative impulse, which has me in a frenzy of painting, creating, learning, doing. And while this part of it is immensely satisfying and healing, there’s an inner conflict too: I want to spend the rest of my life with the leisure and the means to spend entire days painting. But I also need to work (for one, I need the discipline!).

Maybe all of this has finally conspired to give me some forced rest from everything – work, painting, writing – all of it. I’ve been assailed by a mystery bug since the last week. All my test results are clear, but I’m weak, feverish, lethargic. Sitting for long periods isn’t possible. I can’t paint for too long either. I can read for a while, and then I must rest.

Maybe a reset is needed at this time. Deep rest. Back to the basics of remembering this animal of a body and its needs; stripping things back to their core. What’s most important. What’s irrelevant. What’s the icing on the cake. Stripping everything that isn’t important away. Focusing only on what absolutely must be done to make my life meaningful. Letting all other ideas and trappings just fall away.

For today, just this stream of consciousness writing is cathartic. It’s something I generally do by hand, in a journal, and is for my eyes only. But I have no strength for that, and for some reason I wanted to document it here. Because that’s what my blog was always about – my journey. The highs and lows of my life that I can refer back to again. And somewhere along the way, I just let that slip. Which maybe wasn’t such a bright idea after all. I’m going to bring some of the personal back. This is my space, my corner, my world into which I invite you. And while I want it to be warm and comforting and inspiring and creative, I also want it to be authentic. And that won’t happen if I edit myself and my struggles out, will it?

So hello. Welcome! There’s a ton of warmth and inspiration and creative sparks for you to find. Make yourself comfortable and look around for something you like. Because right now, I’m taking some time out to rest and recuperate so I can be more upbeat and welcoming the next time you visit.

Before you go wandering around though, tell me your news. What’s up with you? What’s happening in your world? Let’s chat, shall we?

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I’m an artist and art educator, podcaster, tarot reader, and writer. I share my discoveries along the path to inspire you to live a more creative, soul-centered life. Receive my love letters for more of my musings on life and creativity. P.S. I love Instagram - join me there?


  1. Oh dear. I thought I was the only one with this problem. I think the trouble is that we are doing too much. we forget that we are getting older and can no longer do the things we did as twenty year olds. Also I feel that the times we live in are very stressful and we aren’t doing enough to disconnect ourselves when we close our eyes for the day. I too have been getting allergies that I’ve never had before ( particularly a cough that is triggered by post nasal drip that is stimulated by pollutions!). I find that walking and pranayam helps as does reading.
    Hope this helps Gypsy Girl

    • Oh yes. I have that cough too, due to the nasal drip caused by allergies. I use a nasal spray at night, which helps with that! Pranayama is something I need to do. And maybe look into swimming!

  2. stream of conscious . . . it used to be the only way I wrote. I came to a screen, I typed in words of my day, my lifeline. Then it became a THING … before it was words, it was sharing life … now it feels we must have something to SAY or solutions … and images. LOL.

    I miss the days of stream of conscious, shooting flares into the sky … is anybody out there?

    I am here today … choosing art. choosing this life as an artist. It feels redundant and profound at the same time.

    • I love that image – shooting flares into the sky – yes! I want that. That feels like a little bit of magic!

      There’s a place for the solution and the something to say, and there’s a place for shooting flares into the sky. A marriage of both…that would be delicious!

  3. I wonder if this increase in allergies and assaults to our immune systems is a sign of our times – our disregard and abuse of mother earth? Sigh. It’s all too common. I love how you are initiating your self-care, focusing on what the animal that you are truly needs. That feels on spot to me. Hugs – hope you feel well soon.

    • It could be! The rise in pollution and the chemicals in our food also has a part to play in our overall health and well-being. This time has also made me confront all the ways in which I also further contribute to neglecting my animal body and not giving it all that it needs to remain fit to deal with the daily assault. Some changes will need to be made once I recover; I’m hoping I can make them and more importantly, stick to them!

  4. I kind of agree with Unishta in a way… in trying to do too much under stressful conditions, we tend to wear ourselves out faster these days. Heaven knows Ive done it too many times.

    We need to take a step back, calm ourselves and choose some time for just what makes us feel peaceful.


    • I thought I was doing that with art! It makes me peaceful. Not being able to do any art since almost 2 weeks now is driving me nuts. I guess it’s all the things I have juggling that really took its toll. Some things just got to give, and I’m starting to get a sense of what those may be…

  5. Resting times are imperative and I wish you come out rejuvenated after this. On another note, I loved this post. As a blogger, I can understand the long term stress resulting from editing out our struggles from our musings in order to appear a certain accepatable way to everyone out there. We are our struggles too as much as we are our passions and work. Authenticity is also the core which connects the few of us who are still in the business of authentic personal blogging. I would love to read more such posts as this one 🙂

    • That is good to know, Anamika! Sometimes when you listen to the influencers it seems like people are only are interested in “what’s in it for me” and not in making a personal connections or getting to the know the person behind the brand. And so starts the process of playing to the audience and presenting a very edited personna online. So much to think about here, maybe I’ll do a post on it soon!

  6. I hope you feel stronger soon. Good to know that results are negative.
    I loved how free flowing this post was. Sometimes, I also love to write with a timer on and not stopping the stream of my thoughts. It also helps me let go of any thought that’s lingering for a while.
    You take care and calm your mind.

  7. I guess this is how our body tells us to pause. It might seem forced but quite needed. Since a few days I have been feeling low and lazy. I don’t feel like doing anything. So, I told myself – Good. Let me stop then and not feel guilty about it. If my body is giving me signals, I should very well take heed to it.

    Hope you recuperate from this mysterious bug or your body’s unexpected strike sooner and better.

    We all started our blogs to narrate our personal stories, however along the way we got waylaid. We write for SEO and social media rather than for ourselves. It’s a good idea Shinjini to get the personal back. More power to your pen!!

    • Yes, I finally have a line of treatment that is starting to help. And all the forced time away from art has helped me come up with a lot more ideas for series I want to work on, but instead of jumping in, I’m making notes, planning, gathering inspiration, so I can pick them up one by one without losing the original creative spark.

      On SEO and SMO and everything else we chase…I’m having a very serious rethink on what I want and where I’m putting my energy and why.

  8. As Anshu says, this is how our body sends us signals that we need to slow down a bit. All the stress we take on is really not worth it when you look at the bigger picture. Take only things you can manage happily, without any stress, and if that means letting go of certain other things, then well, so be it. It is after all for the sake of your health. And, health is THE only wealth that will help you all your life.

    I know it isn’t easy letting go of things, but you need to do it for yourself.
    Take good care of your body, mind and soul, dear Shinjini. Look after yourself and I hope you feel better soon. Put all other things on hold, for now.

    • Yup, everything else, including art, is on hold for now. Just letting my body heal and rest. And also seeing all the ways in which I have let my body down and making a note of all the things I must do to build it up again, once I’m back on my feet.

  9. You take care and get better soon. These small allergies can really pull one down. And yet it is a good time to pause and think while your body recuperates.

  10. Allergies suck! As someone who struggles with chronic sinusitis/hayfever, I kinda get what you mean. Change of seasons affects my hayfever. I like the stream of consciousness. And hopefully you’re resting up and enjoying it!

  11. Glad to know from the comments that you are getting better, Shinj. We all are so wired to be doing something all the time, that we almost feel guilty about resting. Where does all the pressure come from? Granted there’s pressure from the ‘world’ what with bucket lists et al. We’re all trying to be extraordinary, without truly enjoying the mundane which is a blessing in itself.

  12. “Maybe a reset is needed at this time. Deep rest. Back to the basics of remembering this animal of a body and its needs; stripping things back to their core. What’s most important. What’s irrelevant. What’s the icing on the cake. Stripping everything that isn’t important away. Focusing only on what absolutely must be done to make my life meaningful. Letting all other ideas and trappings just fall away.”

    This resonates with me SO much. I have been unwell, off an on, and I now think it was because of too much internet and too little time reading and writing. 6 weeks of just writing (and a little reading) and I’m so much better.

    I hope you find what you need, as well, Shinjhini–I’m so sorry to hear you’ve been unwell. Take all the time and rest —we all get so caught up in life, we do forget our animal bodies, and that they need a break sometimes.

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