On building a mindfulness practice

On building a mindfulness practice

I thought I’d share this month’s issue of Gypsy Wanderings to give you a taste of the kind of letters I share in my monthly emails. I enjoy writing these letters every month – it feels so much more intimate than blogging, and somehow, a lot more personal too. I imagine you, my dear Wanderers, sitting with a cup of coffee and reading these words, and I hope they strike a chord with you each month too. You can sign up for Gypsy Wanderings at the bottom of this post. xx


Hello loves,

I’m watching the sunlight dappling through the window; the gentle swaying of the leaves outside creating a flickering, fluttering pattern of shadow and light on the white marble floor. The boys {my two tom cats, Simba and Loki} are fast asleep by the balcony door. The house is quiet – all I can hear is the soft whirl of the fan and the chirping of the birds on the windowsill.Continue reading

#TheMindfulBreak: It’s a wrap!

As I gather together my photographs from the mindful break project to compile them into an ebook, I’m blown away by the many small moments that I took the time to consciously witness. I’m struck, also, by the pictures that I did not take.

I had planned and written out most of the content for the ebook last month, so I had a fair idea of the quotes I would be including and the mindful practices I would be sharing with my peeps. Somewhere, at the back of my mind, I had a little checklist of the kind of images I would need to illustrate these quotes and practices. Now, as I look through the photographs that I do have, I find – at best – two or three photographs that were on my mental checklist, which tells me that this project took on a life of its own. And that is just as it should be.

Some of the photographs on my Instagram account from the mindful break project Continue reading

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

#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?

Continue reading

Forget bucket lists, try a before I die list instead

Death. It’s inevitable. But still, it’s the one topic no one wants to talk about. When we hear of tragedy, we are thankful that it didn’t happen to us. We spend a major portion of our lives convinced about our own immortality. And still, death strikes. And when it strikes close to home, it forces us to look at death head-on.

So why is death such a scary monster? Is it because we are scared of leaving those we love behind, or because we don’t know exactly how long we have left on earth? Or is it because it’s the great unknown – after all, no one’s returned from the dead (and here I’m discounting near-death experiences) to tell us exactly what happens next. Or could it be because we still have so much more that we want to do…things that we’ve been putting off for a “later” that never comes?

Maybe that explains the popularity of bucket lists. But if you’re like me and want to do so many damn things that you know one lifetime would never be enough to do them, and that leaves you paralyzed wondering where to start, this TED Talk by Candy Chang may show you the path.Continue reading

Mindfulness

Carve out some time to hear this session on mindfulness that Jon Kabat-Zinn led at Google. It is very, very relevant given the fast-paced lives we lead. As we run from one task to another, to cross each item off our to-do list, we need to find some rest and relaxation, some stillness, each day – no matter how much or how little time we have in any given day.

“Meditation is an act of love…an act of sanity…just to stop for a fraction of a second and drop…into being…” – Jon Kabat-Zinn

Hope you liked this session.

(Click to read older Spiritual Sunday posts)