Book review: Along Came a Syder by Apeksha Rao

Ever since she was a child, Samira Joshi has known she wants to be a spy. And why not? Her parents are elite RAW agents, and have trained Samira in spy craft since she was a child. 

Suddenly, though, her mother, who was the biggest supporter of her dreams, has taken a U-turn, telling Samira to forget about spy games and focus on becoming a doctor instead. 

But Samira is having none of it.

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The Mindful Break 2020

The Mindful Break 2020

Ladies and gentlemen, The Mindful Break is back! What started out five years ago with my desire to cultivate a mindfulness practice, has become a regular feature that I – and many of The Mindful Break regulars – look forward to each October. And this year, we have a twist on the theme, so make sure to read through to the end.

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The power of visual language

The power of visual language

In today’s episode of the Art with Soul podcast, we talk about language – visual language, written language…words and images and how they are related, or rather, how I think we relate to them. We also discuss the intersection between a creative arts practice and a contemplative writing practice as a tool for self-development, growth, and healing. You’ll find a written transcript + detailed shownotes below.

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October 2020: Tarot spread for the full moon in Aries

Tarot spread for the October 2020 full moon in Aries

The October 2020 full moon falls in the sign of Aries. The Aries archetype is known for its bold – often rash – action, for going where angels fear to tread. As the first sign of the zodiac, it represents the active core of our spiritual journey on earth, and teaches us to act in accordance with our ideals. The Aries archetype teaches us to be unafraid to march to our own drumbeat, to assert our willpower towards the attainment of our desires, and to embrace beginner’s mind and the innate trust and explosive power {conviction + action} that is needed to start something new.

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10 absolutely delightful books I couldn’t get enough of this quarter

A woman sitting by the window and reading

It’s time for the third check-in for the 2020 Book Bingo reading challenge. Wondering what the challenge is? Check out this post where I lay out all the rules for the 2020 Book Bingo reading challenge, and then come back here and jump right in!

After last quarter’s rather dismal reading tally – just 4 books, all excellent though – this quarter was rather stupendous! I read 10 books this quarter, making it a total of 18 books read this year. So here’s a quick roundup of the books I read this quarter, along with the bingo squares I checked off.Continue reading

Book review: Against the Loveless World by Susan Abhulhalwa

Book review Against a Loveless World by Susan Abhulhalwa

I live in the Cube. I write on its glossy gray cinder-block walls however I can – with my nails before, with pencils now that the guards bring me some supplies.

Light comes through the small glass-block window high on the wall, reached only by the many-legged crawling creatures that also reside here. I am fond of the spiders and ants, which have set up separate dominions and manage to avoid each other in our shared nine-square-meter universe.

So begins Against the Loveless World, and our introduction to Nahr. She’s confined in the Cube, but her mind wanders free. To Bilal, to Kuwait, to Jordan and Palestine. This is her story. But more than that, it is the story of Palestinian refugees, of the people who remained in Palestine, of how they live their lives and how they resist.

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September 2020: Tarot spread for the new moon in Virgo

Tarot spread for the September 2020 new moon in Virgo

The September 2020 full moon falls in the sign of Virgo. The Virgo archetype is logical and practical, with an eye for detail and the steadfastness to go after their goals. This is a sign that thrives on meticulous planning, on honing skills to perfection and gaining mastery over their chosen vocation.

Spiritually, the Virgo archetype teaches the principle of devotion. One way to understand this principle is by looking at it through the lens of one’s devotion to their craft. While all the buzz seems to point towards profiting from your passion, there are numerous examples of famous writers and artists who held down a day job for most of their lives. Franz Kafka was an insurance clerk, Harper Lee was an airline ticketing agent, Mark Rothko was an elementary school teacher and Paul Gauguin was a stockbroker. They could all have given in to the dull drudgery of making a living, but they didn’t – and the world is much richer for their devotion to their craft.

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Creative cycles: Understanding artist block and how to overcome it

What is an artist block and how to overcome artists block

“Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work.”
– Stephen King

In today’s episode, we’ll talk about creative cycles and how to deal with a lack of creative mojo. I share experiences from my most recent artist block, discuss some of the reasons why we get blocked, and give you some of my top tips and suggestions for how to break out of an artist’s block. You’ll also find the shownotes + highlights from the episode below.

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Journaling for self awareness: write your way to clarity

journaling for self awareness

2020 has been a highly uncertain and a very unusual year. No one would have imagined we would be locked up in our homes, that self-isolation and social distancing would become our new normal.

And yet here we are. Isolated. Distant. Uncertain of how and when all of this will end.

For those of us familiar with the tarot, this year represents Tower time. Everything that we knew as truth, everything that we took for granted, has been shaken right down to its foundations.

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How to create a regular art – or creative – practice

How to create a regular art or creative practice

In this episode, I talk about why you should consider building a daily art practice. I share some of my previous failures with creating a daily art practice, and how those failures helped me find what works for me. I also share some tips on how you can create a daily art practice that is fun – and inspiring – for you!

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