I typed #mindfulness in my Instagram post as the train came to a stop. Amidst a sea of people I scrambled to get into the train and yet I typed in few more hashtags related to being mindful. The irony was in my face. I was trying to do atleast 5 things at the same time, apart from trying not to tumble down the stairs. And I was definitely not living in the moment.
I have been extremely unfocused on my goals in the winter months. I was running behind numbers… Instagram numbers to be exact. I was trying really hard to get more likes, more followers, more engagement. Every waking minute I spent looking at Instagram and wondering if I will reach where others have. I would keep checking my phone for notifications, messages and comments. I seriously became an Instagram robot.
And then, one fine day Instagram shadow banned me. Yeah, just like that. This meant that my posts were not visible to anyone except my followers. It completely killed my account. When usually I used to receive 100 likes, I barely got 10. And with new algorithms in place, it is now even more hard to get likes or views on your post.
It was at that moment I realised how much time and energy I had wasted on a medium that in no way benefitted my goals. How much more I could have done… Read… Lived… Enjoyed in the real world. And the brash neglect of a medium I had spent so much energy really got to me. I have now changed the way I look at social media. They are tools, only tools and it’s better if they are left that way.
Coming to mindfulness, since I was extremely guilty of wasting my winter months and felt betrayed by social media, I am now more determined and focused on some real time goals.
My biggest hindrance is the internet itself. No surprises there 🙂 It’s so easy to get lost, lose minutes and hours scrolling through feed one after the other. I have now created spaces and corners where the phone stays away and Wi-Fi is not needed.
I love my little garden. Now that summer is here, I am spending more time in the backyard. These are the rare moments when I am truly lost in what’s in front of me.
I got the below plant from my Aunt last year. It was just a root at that time. And this spring, it got its first bloom. The Jade behind it, are my rescue plants, as I call it. I have grown them from a small cutting I got from roadside. Now they got strong roots 🙂
The pests had been cruel on my beautiful decorative Kale plant. All that remained was a dried stick. I seriously thought I lost it but didn’t have the heart to throw it away. Instead, I added some potting mix and prayed for a miracle to happen. The first leaves appeared a few weeks back. Yayiee!
My uncle gave me 5 rose graftings from his garden. I planted them in five different places. For months there was no sign of life. I even started wondering if I put the correct side into the soil. But Spring did its magic!
One misses family even more during festivities. Although I couldn’t celebrate with my parents, I am grateful that my uncle and his family live nearby. We got together at our place for a wonderful family dinner. I lighted Diyas, and played with Sparkles along with my cousins. My husband and I spent three hours in the kitchen to prepare a meal that he used to enjoy during his childhood on Diwali. It felt so good, the rush of activities, the feel of festivities, how we were so engrossed in preparing some awesome Indian dishes, brought back a lot of memories.
I don’t let any paper go to waste. If I see a blank hard paper my mind starts conjuring images of all the patterns I could draw on them. The below bookmarks are made on cardpaper that I found in a box of tea bag. They had been stuck in my drawing book for long. So last few weekends, I dedicated my time to draw tangle patterns on them. A great way towards mindful living – sometimes, a pen and paper is all one needs!
September to November are my favorite times of the year in Sydney. The days are absolutely perfect to go on an adventure. It feels so amazing to be in nature. To explore the wilderness, listen to the sounds of nature and be terrified of it too. Like few weeks ago, when I took my friends to Blue Mountains and we climbed down really steep stairs into the Valley of Waters.
The sign board looked pretty strict about stepping down by facing the stairs. This was the first of many more steep stairs that we descended towards Valley of Waters, while doing the National Pass trek. The rest were without that protective cage like structure. I had never seen anything like this before, and was very excited to climb down. Only to be slightly terrified when I reached the bottom and looked down to find couple more steep stairs without any covering. But my friends and I braved it all. This is one of my most favorite hikes in the Blue Mountains
We had hiked for over 3 hours when the path suddenly dropped and in front of us was this beautiful spectacle.
I even caught up on my reading. Finished reading 3 books in last couple of weeks and 2 are in progress.
So I believe being Shadow Banned was a good sign after all.