Musings

Offline

I’ve always admired people who have the will power to have “offline days”. As bad as it sounds, it can be extremely difficult to disconnect ourselves from the hustle and bustle that is constant online. We don’t want to miss out on a thing.

Social media gives us a rush that is described by some as a “runners high”.

That rush of joy we feel when someone retweets, follows or likes what we’ve posted is what some think is happiness, but to me, I think it can take away the ability to look for happiness in less materialistic and superficial places.

I’m not at all shooting down the internet. I’m so grateful for how much my blog and personal brand have grown thanks to the exposure I’ve received on Instagram.

All I’m saying is that we need to know where to draw the line.

We find ourselves starting to live for the media. We have this idea of what life should look like and find ourselves constantly comparing our own lives to the beautifully curated feeds we see on Instagram and Pinterest. I’m guilty of it and I’m sure I’m not alone on that one.  Its that constant, unrealistic benchmark that we have set for ourselves and that society has set for us. Emphasis on unrealistic.

I’ve heard people at school say things like “She has such a busy social life! Have you seen her Instagram?” or “Her Instagram has all these photos of her hiking up all these cool mountains. But she’s so clever. When does she study?” Hello? Earth to us all? Instagram is not real life!

I recently listened to a podcast where I heard something very interesting. The hosts were discussing how Instagram has been called ‘visual crack’. Its so easy to get sucked in and spend hours looking at curated photos and then feeling depressed about own, less perfect-looking lives in comparison.

We’ve become obsessed with likes, comments and follows.

Let’s try and change up our barometer for joy.

Let’s go back to the old days where we got joy from spending time in nature or with family, and not only from a retweet.

My personal challenge for 2017 is to have a ‘offline Sunday’ as far as possible. The email can wait.

I challenge you too, to see if you can stay offline for a bit. Even if its just for an hour or two a day where you unplug and connect with yourself and others in a different kind of way.

See how carefree and happy it’ll make you.

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I’ve seen these truth-filled words all over the web, so I created this illustration. All the elements were done by hand first.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nabeela x

 

 

 

 

Zen / Morning Rituals

I’ve never really been a person who intentionally followed a morning ritual. When I started doing some reading about minimalism and slow living, the ‘morning ritual’ seemed to pop up.

When I thought of a morning ritual, I didn’t just want it to be things like ‘make lunch’ and ‘brush teeth’.  I wanted to be more intentional with my time in the morning. It’s the time of day where you are at your freshest. It can be quite blissful and calm. It leaves me feeling refreshed and ready for the day.

I don’t really have a fixed ‘ritual’ as such. However, I do enjoy having a relaxed breakfast, watching the birds play in the garden and sipping iced coffee (I don’t drink hot beverages).

The few things I do consistently seem very ordinary, but I guess that’s what makes it a ritual. You do it repeatedly.

Something I thoroughly enjoy is listening to a good podcast whilst I get dressed in the morning. I love using those ten or fifteen minutes to listen to something thought-provoking or just interesting.

I thought I’d add my quick iced-frappe recipe:

  1. Add one teaspoon of coffee and sugar to have a cup of boiling water
  2. Stir well and top the cup up with milk
  3. Add 4 ice blocks
  4. Blend

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Do you have a morning ritual?

Nabeela x

 

Monotasking 

Hello 

The other day, I found myself frustrated that I couldn’t focus on the article I was reading whilst listening to a podcast. I felt half-focused on both and didn’t really know what I was reading or listening to. 

In today’s crazy, race-like life, it can be difficult for us to focus on one task at a time. Most think it’s a superpower to be able to multitask. I, for one, think the real superpower is to be able to monotask. Zone in. Focus solely on one task, when you have a thousand other things shouting at you to be done. 

We need to be a bit more mindful and intentional with the way we spend our time. Imagine how our productivity levels could spike if we were focused solely on the task at hand at all times! 

Now, with exam time on our doorstep, make sure you’re fully focused on what you’re learning and not trying to do too many things at once. The time has come to monotask. 

“Your calm mind is your ultimate weapon against your challenges. So relax.” – Bryant McGill

Nabeela x

Slow: What’s The Rush? 

In today’s busy, crazy, chaotic life, it can be difficult to remember to breathe, reflect and take some time to slow down.
When delving into minimalism, I came across its close cousin: slow living.

What is it? Well, in my understanding, it’s about taking more time to do the things you really love and do less time doing the things you don’t. Simple, right? Easier said than done though.

It’s about more intentional living. Curating your time. Doing things more intentionally and being more mindful.
You’ll notice that once you slow down a bit, you’ll see the beauty in the ordinary. Indeed, this beauty is everywhere and in everything. We just rush past it and don’t take it in enough.

 
Try and be more intentional, more mindful, more peaceful. Maybe, try listening and observing more than speaking.

 
Taste the flavours in the food you eat.
Feel the air that blows through your hair and on your skin.

Hear the birds waking you up in the morning.

See. See the world through a new, more mindful and intentional set of eyes.

We’ve become so set on looking for the imperfections, the wrongs, the pain. We try to fix that. And that’s alright. But why not embrace the beauty too?

 
This Spring, and next year, which will be my sixteenth one, I want to wake up again, see the world through new eyes and be more mindful.

 
In the words of Carl Honore, it’s time to embrace your inner tortoise.

 

‘Nature does not hurry and yet everything is accomplished…’ – Lao Tsu
I think nature is trying to tell us something.

Nabeela

 
(Considering this piece of writing is about slowness, I wrote it really fast. The words were just flowing!)

 
TEDtalk recommendation:

In praise of slowness – Carl Honore

Simple

Hello

Minimalism. That’s what’s on my mind at the moment. Every little thing about it interests me. The simplicity that radiates from it all is what really attracts me. I am find myself constantly downsizing. My clothes, papers, craft stash, accounts I follow and mailers I’m signed up to. I find myself constantly cleaning up and clearing out. Its as if all I want to do is get rid of the things that drain the calm and peace from my mental and physical space.

I’m young. I’m only in high school, which means I obviously don’t live in my own house. The only space I have that is completely mine is my bedroom. There are other spaces in the house that I share with my siblings and the rest of my family, but my room is mine alone. I love that. I love knowing that I can do what I want in and with that space, and it won’t really affect anyone else. I feel like excess stuff detracts from the calm. Extra papers, old clothes, unused lotions, unworn jewellery, they all just add to the clutter. I don’t hoard things at all. As soon as I don’t need something anymore, I get rid of it.  A part of me has always been a minimalist. Now I just know what to call that part.

Minimalism is something strange too. The thing that makes it strange is the fact that its so difficult to define it. I’ve been doing research, reading lots about it and listening to TEDTalks and podcats about topics like simplicity, stillness and ‘less is more’. The funny thing is that sources contradict themselves. One article I read gave tips to becoming minimalist. One of them was something along the lines of “Remove everything hanging on your walls as far as possible.” Another one said “People seem to think minimalism is about having less. It’s not. It’s about having enough to make you happy and no more.” This baffled me at first. I was trying to understand a concept and I couldn’t fine a place or person that would explain it to me. Then, I realised its because actually, minimalism has a different meaning to everyone. To some, its all about possessions. To others, its about living a life that you enjoy fully and wholeheartedly. It all depends on you.

I decided to think about what minimalism actually means to me. It means simple. Only hanging onto possessions that make me happy. Thinking before I buy something. Being mindful of what I say, think, do, taste, hear, smell and see. Only keeping the necessary things in my life. Not letting unpleasant or negative people get to me. That’s what minimalism is to me. Its exciting. To have a goal that doesn’t revolve around money or things. Its like having a saving-up list, except instead of saving up money, you just have to learn more and more about yourself to be happy. I find myself finding more joy in the simple little things that are now pleasures to me. Sunday morning runs around the block, weekend ice-cream cones, getting into bed and just thinking, ocean air, comfy shoes.

A really good TEDTalk I listened to recently, which I highly recommend is called Less Stuff, More Happiness by Graham Hill. It’s a very old one, but it’s still very relevant and I love it.

Stay happy.

Nabeela

(Yes, I will be signing off my posts like this instead now. Its my name and it feels more genuine)

One Year On: What I’ve Learnt

Hello

Woah. The last month or so has been an absolute whirlwind. I’ve been recovering from an illness, so that’s partly the reason for my absence around here lately. I do have lots planned though, so stick around!

Today actually happens to be my blog’s first birthday or blogversary or whatever you want to call it. The year has flown past but I’m so proud of what I’ve achieved and I am amazed to see the difference from my first post to my most recent ones. I’ve met some really wonderful people and learnt about small local businesses that are doing some amazing stuff and have wonderful products. I’ve also learnt a lot about myself and what I’m capable of. I’ve decided to put together a post about what I’ve learnt in my one year of blogging. So here it goes.

  • Just ask. As a young, first-time blogger, at first (and even now sometimes), I was shy to ask studios or cafes if I could visit or write about them. But then I thought, Hey, wait a minute. I’m doing THEM a favour. The worst they can say is no. So just ask. If i hadn’t asked, I wouldn’t have been able to write about so many places and products that I did. And I had a blast doing it too.
  • Be true to you and be original. At first, I wanted to write a post about just about anything I could. I would make things just so I could blog about it instead of the other way round. I’ve learnt that you have to write a blog that a.) you would want to read b.) stands out from the millions of other blogs that are out there c.) reflects who you truly are and what you are passionate about
  • Don’t take your blog too seriously. As odd as it sounds, its so true. Firstly, if your blog isn’t getting many readers or followers, just relax. It gets better with time. You can’t compare your blog to a big, 20-year old blog that has a whole team of professional crafters and photographers behind it. You just can’t. Period. Also, you shouldn’t be so blog-focused that you never have fun because you are too busy taking pictures or notes.
  • Play around. My logo has changed about three times in the last year. I’ve finally found one I love and I think it’s a keeper. Yes, you’re supposed to be consistent and build your brand, but coming back to my previous points, remember that you should be doing this for you and because you find it fun.  I know that I love writing and photographing for a post. It gives me a little thrill.
  • Photographs make a post. I think that good photographs are so important to any blog. I find it a major turn-off when a blog or site has bad photos. So work with what you’ve got,(you don’t need a fancy camera) and try and make your photos the best that you can.
  • SOCIAL MEDIA. Woah. Social media has gotten me SO much publicity for my blog. We don’t realise how powerful social media is. It’s kind of amazing. So use it. Even if you have one follower, its one more person who knows about your blog.
  • HAVE FUN. I know I’ve mentioned it before, but you should do it for you. Have fun. Just relax. And write stuff that comes from the heart.

Blogging has taught me a lot and I have achieved a lot in the one year I’ve been writing over here. I have BIG plans for this little blog, so stay tuned. I have some pretty cool content coming up and I can’t wait to share it. Lastly, happy birthday to my little blog. I can’t wait to see where this year takes us.

Miss Artsy-Crafty xxx

 

Innovation Explanation

Hello

Over yesterday and today I’ve been working on possibly on my biggest kitchen fail in my 14 years here on Earth. I made pasta. Now, don’t laugh. I didn’t just boil any old supermarket pasta. I made pasta from scratch. Not that hard? Well, think again.

After using the wrong flour, leaving in to sit for too long and then not rolling it out thick enough, I ended up having to throw half of it away, much to my dismay. Feeling seriously dejected, I used the other half of the dough to make these beautiful little pasta parcels. I boiled them in water for three or four minutes, just like my recipe said and then lay them out on a piece of roller towel. I gently touched one with my spoon and water spurted out and it made a funny sound, sort of like a rubber duck that gets squeezed in the bath. Oh great.

This is really not my day, right? My mother then reminded me of something. She said “Innovaters try new things because they’re not afraid of failing.” I’m an innovater. Well, at least I like to think of myself as one…

It made me think about what I’d read earlier this morning in a book, Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert. She wrote about how she approached every situation with something  she calls stubborn gladness. It’s basically about being stubbornly happy in every situation no matter what the outcome. I definitely didn’t want to scare away my creativity and innovative spirit by being grumpy and gloomy about what happened. So I decided to laugh it off and see it as a learning experience. I can tell you one thing, though. This is not the last of my pasta-making days. And certainly not the last of my innovation and creativity. It’s only the beginning!

When I finally nail pasta, I’ll post my recipe for sure!

Keep on creating and exploring…

Miss Artsy-Crafty xxx

 

Feeling Happy

Hey everyone!

I  have decided to start a new series on my blog. I will be sharing my fun craft projects with you under the heading ‘Project Update’.

I hope you are all good and feeling happy! Very ready to spring into spring and leave the cold weather and rain behind. Good luck to all of you Northern Hemisphere people for the winter.

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Miss Artsy-Crafty xxx

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