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By now, I have realized that passing by a Liberty Books outlet without entering it or, even worse, without buying a book – any book – from there is a guilt-inducing experience for me. I purchased Walking with Plato by Gary Hayden without any planning; another incident of the book finding me. After finishing Shaping the World: Women Writers on Themselves (Ed. Manju Karpur)I decided to start something as a ‘light reading’. Gary’s book was the one I could pick up easily. Have read 53 pages so far and am already loving Gary’s introspective writing. As someone who loves to and, as a dweller of a megalopolis which has become a concrete jungle, longs for walks in the woods, I envy people who have this opportunity. At the same time, these people inspire me. Gary’s walk from one end of the Great Britain to the other with his simple yet insightful reflections make me feel as if I am his walking companion with a special, secret access to his thoughts. His British humor makes his reflections based in philosophy quite easy to understand and appreciate. Looking forward to continuing with him on his long yet interesting journey through the British Isles.

“.. to the tender-footed Pilgrim, a detour along soft meadows is no small temptation.”
– Gary Hayden

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In this episode of Big Questions, Simon talks about the theme of his upcoming book, The Infinite Game, with Cal Fussman.

https://startwithwhy.com/discover/simon-sinek-the-infinite-game/

I had my first stress-induced panic attack in 2014. Since then I’ve had 2 more attacks, the recent one just a few months ago. Back in 2014, when I was trying to understand what was happening to me and how to deal with it, my friend recommended art therapy. Being someone who cannot draw a straight line to save my own life, I was a bit hesitant. As an alternative, my friend recommended that I start coloring mandalas, and so I did. Later on, I started a blog as a repository of my mandalas and the thoughts that I had while coloring them. Over the years, coloring mandalas has helped me heal and cope with stress & anxiety. I love their beautiful patterns and the shapes they take depending on the colors I choose and the media I use (e.g., pencil colors, markers, water colors, glitter pens). My friends from around the world have given me mandala books as gifts containing beautiful patterns from different cultures. I have given the mandalas that I colored as gifts to my friends & strangers and am amazed by their impact on the receivers. That is why I decided to initiate The Healing Mandalas Project.

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Through this project I’m sharing the mandalas that I have colored, with others who may be dealing with stress, anxiety, depression, or other mental illnesses. My hope is that these mandalas will bring peace & harmony to the receivers as well. I also see them as a means to initiate conversations about mental health & positive ways of dealing with everyday stresses thereby removing the stigmas associated with mental health issues.

You can donate to get a mandala as a ‘gift of healing’ for yourself & your loved ones. All donations raised through this project will go to organizations helping people who are dealing with mental health issues.

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My friend became the first donor for this project by donating to send 3 mandalas to her colleagues. All 3 mandalas have been delivered! 🙂 Another friend shared about this project with her friend who decided to donate and get a mandala for her friend who lives alone and would love to know someone cares for them!

I hope the mandalas bring peace, comfort and a sense of well-being to the recipients (Amen). You can read more about my project at: https://themandalasproject.wordpress.com/healing-mandalas/

Solitude vs. Loneliness

“Loneliness and solitude are two different things. When you are lonely, it is easy to delude yourself into believing that you are on the right path. Solitude is better for us, as it means being alone without feeling lonely.”

(The Forty Rules of Love by Elif Shafak)

This has been my shining light in the time of darkness…

Stravaig (verb; Scottish): to wander about aimlessly. There is a nip in the air, and a familiar scent I can inhale deeply but can’t identify. Cosy in many layers of clothes, my notebook clutched in one hand, my hair ruffled by the light breeze, I tip-toe into the garden, on the bed of fallen autumn…

via Autumn, Adventure and Artful Living in Aberdeenshire, Scotland. — The Shooting Star

Being vulnerable…

It’s been quite some time since I posted here. Not that I didn’t have anything to post about.. just that I was too lazy or didn’t have the energy or the inspiration to write. A lot has happened over the past few months. Many items checked off my bucket list. Some life-changing experiences. Since last Saturday, I’ve been under a lot of stress on personal front. Fortunately, my family and friends are there so I’m not alone. Was OK yesterday but am anxious again today. Somehow, this afternoon I started singing Walk on Water by Eminem. This song is so close to my heart. I sing it when I’m happy or inspired.. and when I’m worried or anxious or really scared.. Right now is such a time and this song continues to help. It’s one of the most beautiful and most vulnerable songs (if that’s grammatically correct) I’ve ever heard. Most of the times, when I hear it, it makes me cry. I don’t understand the hate this song received (and continues to receive) from many people. Who would hate such an honest and open song? A fellow human being is baring his soul to us and we reciprocate with hatred? Why? Because it does not have a beat or does not fit our template for what a song should sound like? I don’t understand all this. I don’t understand people. I just know that from the first time I listened to it I fell in love with this song. I made sure that I memorize it so I can sing along.

So, this song I dedicate to all those who may be going through tough times and need a helping hand but don’t have anyone around.. or who do not have the courage to reach out fearing it will make them look vulnerable. Know that you’re not alone.. and that you don’t have to deal with life all alone. It is OK to be vulnerable. It is OK to let people know that you’re not as strong as they may think you are. There are people in this world who are there to lend a helping hand and a shoulder to cry on. Just reach out. I did. And have never regretted it.

P.S. To Em: I hope you know how much your music affects people like me. Whenever I want to go away, I lose myself in your music. It’s something that helps me be at peace. For that, I thank you from the bottom of my heart ❤