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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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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Lockdown diaries: Dreaming of a new world

Lockdown diaries dreaming of a new world

“Each of us is an artist of our days; the greater our integrity and awareness, the more original and creative our time will become.” ― John O’Donohue

It’s been over a month since India went into lockdown; longer for some of us who went into self-isolation even earlier. We’ve all adjusted and adapted to remaining confined indoors, and to making do without the help we are used to. And I don’t know about you, but I have discovered a much more simple life that I am really enjoying.

After an initial adjustment period, the husband and I have managed to find a rhythm to our days. My work day is book-ended with a walk on our terrace, since we aren’t allowed to go downstairs for a walk or run in our community. Watching the ever changing canvas in the sky, observing the flight and the lives of the birds, and soaking in the bits of greenery I can see from afar has become a beautiful, mindful part of this new simple life of mine.

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On becoming: musings on the intersection between chaos and liminal time

On my art table - intuitive art journal process - on becoming

Sometimes, things come together almost effortlessly – like this art journal spread. I started this spread in my art journal with swatches of paint, randomly painted on, to cover the entire page.

I then sketched in the figure, blocked it out with some dark blue paint, and softened the colors on the rest of the page with some white and titanium buff paint. I added in some paint to the figure’s hair, added a spiral symbol, a touch of shading, a little bit of etching, and before I knew it, the art journal spread just felt done!

I think this is one of the quickest art journal pages that I’ve ever created. And it all came from being in a state of complete openness and flow.

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Ultimate guide to overcome loneliness, boredom and anxiety

Ultimate guide to overcome boredom, loneliness and anxiety

Life can be so unpredictable. We go about our days believing in the solidity of our routines. We imagine our lives as trees, rooted into place. We imagine our daily lives and chores as the branches that extend from the tree – we have our familiar routes, our favorite coffee shops, the barista we greet every time we visit. There’s a sense of comfort in what we know to be true about our lives.

And in the blink of an eye, everything has changed. The world is in lock-down. Borders are sealed. Entire states and countries are in self-isolation and all of us are maintaining social distance.

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