Instructions for life

On being a rebel, a stream of consciousness prose poem + a painting from my studio

Instructions for life and living in a hyperconnected world

I will participate, but not as asked.”
― Jenny Odell, How to Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy

When I was in my fiery teens, my father declared me a rebel without a cause. I’ve always been contrary. If you tell me to go up, I will go down. If you tell me not to do something, you can be sure that I will go right ahead and do it. And then proudly tell you that I did it too. That fiery rebellion of my teenage years has mellowed over the years, though – I guess that’s what they call aging.

I may not be a fiery rebel, but I am still contrary. I question most things. I tend to think deeply. Sometimes, it is annoying. It would be so much easier to just go along with what everyone else is saying. With the things the world seems to value. With what everyone else is chasing. It is so much more difficult to try and swim against the tide.

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5 ways to deal with anxiety

Science-based tips + resources from my own struggles with anxiety

Let’s talk about anxiety for a minute. The debilitating fear. The constant worry. The thoughts that circle around in your head at a hundred miles a minute. The heart palpitations. The shortness of breath. The certainty that everything is going to come crashing down around you.

We’ve all suffered from anxiety at some point in our lives, but did you know that 1 in 7 Indians – or 197.3 million people – were impacted by mental disorders of varying severity in 2017, of which 44.9 million Indians suffer from anxiety disorders. And this is 2017 data, so this number is sure to have skyrocketed.

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Why it is necessary to embrace the joy of missing out

What it really means to resist the attention economy, focus on depth, find your center and embrace the joy of missing out

Why it is necessary to embrace the joy of missing out (JOMO)

We live in a world that is constantly trying to sell us what we want – or better yet, what we don’t even know we want. When I was still in college and trying to figure out what I wanted to do with the rest of my life, one field that I was interested in was advertising. One of my aunts headed the creative department at a leading advertising agency, and in the course of various conversations with her, she asked me this: “how will you sell a refrigerator to an Eskimo?”

This is a question that has stuck with me through the years – and one that I reflect on from time to time. It isn’t so much about literally selling a fridge to an Eskimo, but about convincing someone who has no real need for something to buy said thing. That’s what good advertising and marketing is built on.

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The Word: 2021

Word of the year 2021

My word of the year made itself known to me at the start of December. After Radiate showed me all the ways in which I still don’t trust myself, the word that showed up seemed rather apt. It was a word that had come under consideration in previous years too, but I’d passed it over. This would be its year, I thought.

Then, in mid-December, I did my annual year ahead tarot spread. The cards that came up didn’t feel like a great fit with the word that had presented itself. But instead of trying to puzzle it out, I decided to simply document my cards, make some notes, and go about my day.

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Looking back at 2020: Reflections on Radiate

Looking back at 2020: reflections on Radiate

Radiate. That was my word for the year. And though I lost sight of it as soon as lockdowns hit, it didn’t quite lose sight of me.

Radiate led to my first curated group art show, and then immediately showed me all the ways in which I still don’t trust my abilities enough to take pride in my achievements.

An offhand comment by a so-called friend led to a shame spiral that lasted most of the year. It’s only around November that I realized I was viewing myself through the lens of someone else’s jealousy and opinions, and took steps to rectify my error.

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What your art practice can teach you about breaking out of your comfort zone

What your art practice can teach you about moving out of your comfort zone

As artists, most of us have our favorite color palette – the paint tubes and color pencils we reach for over and over again. Mine are blues, pinks, purples, and hints of orange.

Sometimes, though, it’s good to pick up the colors that you tend to ignore. For this particular painting, I spied a little-used tube of emerald green, which I decided to pair with orange and some hints of turquoise blue.

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Need a mindful break?

Some mindful moments from The Mindful Break challenge

Looking at beauty in the world, is the first step of purifying the mind. – Amit Ray

The mindful break this year has been a lovely little pocket of calmness amid the uncertainty and unusualness of this almost dystopian year.

Taking these few days to really savour the small moments, the practices that are our touchstones, the colors and feelings that thread through our life, has in some ways anchored us to the continuity of life.

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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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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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Musings on time and spaciousness

Musings on time and spaciousness

Time is an interesting construct. We divide it up into minutes, hours, days, and years. When an event of cataclysmic proportions takes place in our lives, we divide it into Before and After. Before the wedding; After the art show; Before the divorce; After the kids moved to college. Much like Dionysius, who devised a system of counting time to do away with the memory of a ruthless emperor.

“The first year in Dionysius’ Easter table, “Anno Domini 532,” followed the year “Anno Diocletiani 247.” Dionysius made the change specifically to do away with the memory of this emperor who had been a ruthless persecutor of Christians.” – via LiveScience

Time as a cyclical construct

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