Category Archives: April 2021

Tree of Joy

Hola friends. Welcome to Blog by Aida, a blog of my journey to self awareness and mindfulness.

Today we shall make a tree of joy, your tree of bliss and happiness. And understand the answer to the question to ourselves…

What do you like?


A reflection of a gratefulness on paper.

Our main purpose while we take up this activity is to be self aware of our emotions.
We shall mindfully feel the good in our life and gracefully try to let go of feelings that dosent spark joy.

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On a A4 size sheet, place your palm. Spread open your palm as much as you can and trace an outline.
The wrist shall look like the trunk of the tree and fingers will look like branches.
Extend the finger tips till almost the edge of the page while it tapers at the end. 
On each stem draw 5 leaves randomly.
So here we have a tree with leaves, branches and trunk.
We will fill up this tree mindfully in every step forward.

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Step 1️⃣: Take another paper or a journal or a simple notebook. 
Think of all the descriptive words that suits you.
It can be adjectives that says how you feel or skillful words that represents your talents, or emotional words that defines your nature
There are no rules here, you can write as many words you like.
Dont worry about the language or grammer.
Just write down what ever you feel.
*Dont lable yourself with others point of view.
*View yourself as if your brains has eyes. See  yourself with mindful eyes. 
*Be honest to yourself
*This activity is for you and only you.
*You need not prove it to others, for that matter no need to even show it to others.
*There is no time limit to this, you can take 10 min or the whole day.
*Just be self aware and mindful about yourself when you write these words down.

Choose one to five best positive describing words from your list and add before your name. 
For example. Happy Creative Artistic Simple Beautiful Hanna. And write it down inside the trunk.

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Step 2️⃣: Great job with the trunk guys! Now lets move on to the 5 branches.

Take another paper, or journal or a simple note book. 
Make a list of different roles you play in your life eg, you can write, daughter, mother, sister, aunt, colleague, teacher, doctor, boss and so on.
*Take your time in identifying yourself in so many different avatars you have.
*Feel proud of all you do and grateful of being blessed with having an opportunity to be trusted to fulfill so many roles.
*Feel your self worth when you think about it.
*Be self aware and mindful of the process of noting down about this on paper. 

Choose 5 best roles you think you play that strikes joy in you.
*Dont judge yourself, if being a colleague dosent spark joy in you, allow yourself to ignore it without feeling bad about it.
*Its okay if you dont ace in all the roles you play.
*You are human, not God.
*And our target here is not BE good but to find what makes you FEEL good.
Write these roles one on each branch.

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Step 3️⃣ : Good work so far! Lets move on to the roots now.
Take a peaceful moment to recap your life from now to back when you were a kid.
*Take as much time you need for this.
*Try to catagorize yourself.
For example: start with what you did in this phase of pandemic,
move on to a couple of year before that, may be a span of years after your marriage or a new job or being a parent,
and the time before marriage or an old job or being a parent, college days, school days and so one.

Now a quick point here.
*There are chances that you might just wander off for the whole day with just one part of your life.
*There may be a part you just dont want to recollect.
Its okay.
“Allow yourself to tell you what your soul needs to do and react accordingly.
*In every moment you choose to think of, write down the names of people who has sparked joy in you.
*It may be for just a while or for long term.

Try to understand what was it that the person did that you put his/ her name down there in your book and write few descriptive words about them that brought you joy.

*While you think about it there may be times which will bring a smile on your face or even tears in your eyes.
*Both happy and sad emotions are bound to develop.
*If you want the need to, reach out to your loved ones to talk to for a while.
*Or just grab your phone and call the person you are admiring and let them know they are special.
*Honor yourself happy or sad in that moment.
*While you do this, kindly acknowledge yourself, feel that your brain has heard your soul out and gradually bring it back to this activity.

Choose 5 to 10 names you feel most joyous about.
Choose a couple of descriptive words to add before their name and note it down.
From the bottom of the wrist region extend out roots and write each persons name on it.

*Let me remind you again not to judge yourself.
*Be aware that you are writing only about them who brings you joy and the word you use to describe them is the quality which makes you happy.
*See them with your feelings and emotions.
*Know that it is good to you even if it may not be the right thing to the world. 

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Step 4️⃣ : Amazing self awareness so far friends!
Lets move on to our last part of the tree, the leaves.
On another paper or journal or notebook list out the top 5 roles you chose to write on the stem.

*Take time to concentrate on each of it at a time. Imagine yourself doing great as that role.
*Refresh all the happy memories you had while you worked them out.
*Dont forget to see yourself while you think about this as if its a movie and your brain is sitting and watching your amazing performance.
*While you do this, make a list of those things that brought you joy in your role.
*List what brings you pleasure to be who you are in that act with pride.
*It can be very basic things or daily task.

Be more specific in choosing the word this time.
For example, If you are a home maker and you tried some recipe for the first time and your family lived it.
If this brought you joy, your word will be new recipes and not cooking.
*Some bad memories might slip in, but dont stress over it.
*Show yourself some empathy and carefully take your thoughts to what made you come out of that bad time.
For example, If as a son your dad was angry on you for your results and that made you sad, remember the pie mom backed that made you smile.

Choose 5 top things you felt happy about and write on each leaf if that role stem.
You can add more leaves gradually and make your tree full of joy

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Conclusion:🤩

*Our main objective to do this activity is not to just draw the tree and fill it up, but also to remind ourselves of what do we likewhat sparks joy, what brings bliss to our mind and soul. 🤗
*While we do this, we shall be self aware of all the good emotions and at the same time we shall embrace the bad feelings.😌
*With the strength we gain from the joy of happy things we shall allow ourselves to show empathy to our sad memories and let it go.🙂
*Feel the grace of oxygen produced by this happy tree taking up all the room in your mind and soul and gradually removing away the toxic carbon dioxide of sadness.☺️
*Dont rush with yourself, its not an exam.
*Take time for this task and at the end of it you will see a reflection of a positive you in this tree of joy.
*With this sense of fulfillment show gratitude towards yourself and believe in all the blessings you have.

Once you feel satisfied, allow yourself to grab some colours, some paints, oil pastels, crayons and colour your tree.🖍️
*Enjoy every small part of the paper being coloured as if its a treat to yourself for taking up this task of mindfulness activity.


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What actually happens in your brain?

*While you do this activity, you activate your left brain to think. 🧠
*You allow it to dig in and bring out all the good which was buried by the daily rather less joyful thoughts.⛏️
*While you colour it, you activate the right brain which was used less often except for when you are really in an art lecture.🧠
*Completing this activity creates a balance inside the two halves of the brains and makes it a full.This fullness will reflect on other tasks you do while you fulfill your routine roles.⚖️
*The more often you engage in such self-awareness, the better you answers you will have for the Mindful question of …

“What do you like?”

Check the blog for the same.👆

*Remember that, the result is not important, the process is.

*You are not making this to have a Tree of joy in your hand.
*You are doing to understand yourself and create self awareness and mindfulness in the process of making this Tree of joy.
*This is just the beginning, you can encourage yourself, to grow more stems and not just 5, you may strengthen your tree with more roots and make your tree healthy with more leaves on it.🌿

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I invite you to try this mindfullness activity with yourself first and with everyone you love.Afterall we all have a right to have our own tree if joy.🙏
” I would feel really great if you could trust me to share your tree of joy and experience on how you felt while making it. If at any step you feel stuck or want to talk about it, please feel free to connect with me. I would be happy to help. Also let me know, if you have something to add to this post or edit any part. Do like, comment and share this post and let us all make this world a better place to live in together. “ You can reach out to me in my email …

” WHAT do you like? “

What do YOU like? A very important question we often miss asking ourselves. Lets join in this activity to be self aware and show some mindfulness towards self care.

This is a common question asked to know and understand someone. ” But my dear, have you ever asked this to yourself? “🤔
Hola friends. Welcome to Blog by Aida, a blog of my journey to self awareness and mindfulness with art as the path of life.

After reading this article, dont forget to take up a free MINDFULNESS ACTIVITY of making your “TREE OF JOY” to help yourself to answer this question.

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Once I asked a mother, “what do you like?” She replied that she likes to cook favourite dishes for her kids. She loves it when they finish every last crumb of food from their plates. Cute, right! 😌
But I asked again, this time stressing on ‘you’. “What do YOU like”? 
And she said, “I like a traditional meal called ‘dhansag’.” She paused for a couple of seconds and added in surprise that its been almost 6 years she ate dhansag.

I asked an elder sister, “what do you like?” She replied that she likes to play video games with her younger brother. She loves exploring new levels together and the fact that the duo makes a great team. Great, right! 😀
But once again i stressed on ‘you’. “What do YOU like?”
And she said,”I like playing badminton. Hmmm, I wonder if we make a good team in this game aswell, but we never tried.”

I asked a husband, “what do you like?”
He replied, “I always wanted my own home and beautify every element in it with the esense of my family. I love how me and my wife together make our home a happy place to live in for our family.”So sweet, right! 🥰
I repeated stressing on ‘you’. “What do YOU like?”And he said, “I like to have a pet dog. But na, its not a good idea as it might end up in a messy house.”

I asked a little boy, “what do you like?”
He replied, “I like to play hot wheels with my brother, baseball with my dad and chess with my mom.”Sounds fun, right! 🥳
I asked him again,”What do YOU like?”And he said, “I like to paint. But I never coloured anything since my last crayons box got over.”

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It is a general tendency of a good person to act as per the choices, likings and disliking of their loved ones.
And that’s a good thing.
We all do it while we play different roles in our life.

Parents make a note of what amuses their kids, spouses do things what their partners like.
Friends choose to party as per the choices of everyone in the group.
Teachers considers methods of education which attracts students.
Even the manufacturers produce things as per the choices of the customers.

I am sure we all connect with the mother, the elder sister, the husband, the little boy or many more.
And as an ideal family and friends and a good person, we all choose to do what our loved ones like.
And we all enjoy this.

But inspite of all the fun, there is always a choice of our own being swept away under the carpet of this enjoyment with others.
And for sure, we all miss doing it.🙁
In this process of having fun, we often dont allow our own selves to be happy doing what brings joy to our own soul.

Just imagine, if the mother would make her favourite dish once in a while, or if the sister brother duo played badminton on bright days, or if husband might have had a loving dog in his family, or if the boy painted more often.
Not only will they continue having fun with others as they already are, but also will they make their souls happy.😇
And you never know, in this act of self joyfullness, one might end up bringing a new add-on to their routine fun times. 

Our existing good inter personal relationships with others can be even better.
All we need to do is to take care of the intra personal relationship within us and our soul.

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Let us all take some time out to take a look at our inner joy & choices that brings us happiness.
How? One step at a time.🧠

I started the journey of self awareness by simple MINDFULNESS ACTIVITIES daily. 
All you need is just 20 to 30 minutes of self investment in a day of 1440 minutes.🕰️
I am sure, you agree and are willing to take a step forward to understand yourself better.


With this belief, check this blog of simple activity, called the ‘Tree of Life’. 👇Dedicate a time span of 20 to 30 minutes to yourself a day for next one week.

TREE OF JOY.🌴

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Do try it for yourself and share this with your loved ones. After all, we all have a right to ask ourselves, “what do you like?“👨‍👩‍👧‍👦
If you are a guardian to kids, I believe this is the correct time in their lives to start up a self development habit. Share with them as well.

Lets all make this world a beautiful and happy place to live in together.💖

I would be really glad, if you could trust me to share your experience of this activity. You can reach out to me on aida.shambhala@gmail.com💌If you have something to add or alter in this post, do let me know. I apologise if I have hurt someone’s sentiments through this article. 

Wish you all a self joy in your happy and fun life.🙏

Leonardo Da VINCI

15 April 1452 – 2 May 1519

Lets take an amazing life tour of the universal genius Leonardo Da Vinci. Let us see why this man of multiple talent was known as a renaissance man.

Childhood

529 yrs ago, around this time of the year, a beautiful girl named Caterina Di Meo Lippi gave birth to a charming boy, a couple of miles away from Vinci (today’s Italy), whom we know as a very famous artist of all time; Leonardo Da Vinci.

His father Ser Piero never married Caterina, however he took his custody when Leonardo was 5 years old. Until then, baby Leonardo spent all of the infanthood in the arms of nature with her mother.

Father wanted him to be a notary as himself and so gave him a formal school education. Little did he know what fate had planned for him.

Studies and Early Work

Leonardo was an individual of unquenchable curiosity. His inventive imagination could never hold him in the fixed boundaries of the knowledge system and soon his father could sense his talent which was meant to be out of the box.

At the age of 14 his father introduced him to the most successful artist of his days, Andrea Del Verrocchio in Florence, where Leonardo started with basic chores like cleaning the room and progressed with making tempera pigments by grounding colours and mixing with egg yolk and preparing canvas and panels for painting.

It was under him where he learned most of his skills like drafting, chemistry, metallurgy, metal working, plaster casting, leather working, mechanics, carpentry, drawing, painting, sculpting and modelling.

Most of the production of Verrocchio’s workshop was assisted by his pupils. Baptism of Christ was one such painting which is believed to have works of Leonardo in some parts of the landscapes and the little angel on the left.

Giorgio Vasari, wrote in the first biography of Leonardo, that the light effect he gave to the angel in this painting was so amazing that Verrocchio called off painting since then and focused only on sculpting.

Well we don’t know if this was an exaggeration, but truly by then, he grew to a man with multiple skills in variety of fields. His father set up a separate studio for him where he trained many students under him and was eager to explore more.

Job

Leonardo had views of the world based on logic and methods which were not accepted by the common man for his time. Because of the illegitimate past he did not receive the correct honour for his work.

With an urge to work and earn more as he was an individual of unquenchable curiosity he wrote 10 point resume to the Duke of Milan requesting for employment.

Instead of mentioning about his painting talents, he mention the talents where he can work as a military engineer. In his letter he gave assurance of how we can built architectural structures like buildings, bridges, canal and more. He acknowledged in his draft about the ideas of building guns cannons and tanks for the military purpose. Also he expressed the desire to make a bronze Statue of the duke’s father. He left his first commissioned work of painting The Adoration of the Magi as soon as he was hired and left for Milan.

A chapel was constructed by the wife of early Duke of Milan. Leonardo was paid to paint this on a wooden panel for the alter of that chapel.

This painting clearly shows the art of sfumato which means without lines or borders like smoke and fume. The fine shading brings a blending of colour and tone making it more realistic.

Another copy was made by him but this time on canvas and is stored at the national gallery in London.

The subject of the portrait is identified as Cecilia Gallerani, mistress of Lodovico Sforza, Duke of Milan and was believed to be painted when she was pregnant as ermine is the symbol of fertility.

Leonardo discovered techniques of making oil paints that made it last longer and gave more effects and textures as seen here which is oil on walnut wooden panel.

This is a pen and ink on paper drawing that depicts a male figure in two superimposed positions with his arms and legs apart and simultaneously inscribed in a circle and square.

Encyclopaedia Britannica online states, “Leonardo envisaged the great picture chart of the human body he had produced through his anatomical drawings and Vitruvian Man as a cosmografia del minor mondo (cosmography of the microcosm). He believed the workings of the human body to be an analogy for the workings of the universe.”

At Milan he worked on many projects like constructing wings of the angels for the stage play, making illustrations of millatry weapons, making a statues and portrait etc. Of all the work his best one was ‘ The Last Supper ‘

Leonardo da Vinci depicted the moment immediately after Christ said, “One of you will betray me” Leonardo rejected the classical interpretation of the composition and had Jesus in the midst of the Apostles; he also created four groups of three figures on either side of Christ. The 12 Apostles reacted in differing ways; their movements and expressions are magnificently captured in Leonardo’s work.

The genius of the artist is seen especially in the use of light and strong perspective. Every moment, every emotion, every gesture is well illustrated in his sketchbooks. This shows the dedication of his observation on every minute details.

It is believed that Leonardo tried some experimentations with the tempera paints in the dry plaster of the wall and hence it couldn’t survive the bombing of the world war II and modern methods too cant restore it completely.

However, Leonardo always made a copy of such huge paintings in his workshops assisted by his teams and thankfully we have one such ‘ The Last Super ‘ preserved in the church of Sant’Ambrogio in Ponte Capriasca.

With modern methods of Raman rays and Xrays it can be well assumed that picture of Jesus and person on his right is painted by Leonardo himself.

In his later life he painted these two famous paintings. As on today Salvatore Mundi is the most costliest painting ever sold. It was earned in an auction by Gown Prince of Saudi Arabia on behalf of Abu Dhabi department of culture and tourism for the museum for $ 450.3 million. But sadly it is not seen ever after that purchase and we have no idea where it stays today.

Mona Lisa is todays most expensive painting of the world beautifying the Louvre Museum in Paris for visitor’s gaze in a bullet proof glass. While the character of Mona Lisa remains a mystery, her gazing eyes and realistic smile has no replacement or a copy made.

He practiced drawing of anatomical structures by illegally digging up the corpus from the graves. He loved drawing various poses of horses of the army. With his careful observations, he believed that there is an enormous connectivity in how God made the universe and how man makes the things in world. He could explain the birth and evolutionary concept way before modern biology came into picture. Many of his scripts are found to be written from left to right with a mirror image which is an ultimate human ability.

Conclusion

Out of many works of Leonardo, very few are found. More than 20,000 of his notes and sketches are believed to be lost in history. Leonardo had a tendency of leaving his paintings unfinished. As soon as he finds something more interesting than his current project, he use to leave it aside only to be either finished later or ever to be touched again.

His mind and life seems like supernatural, while as a human himself he remains mysterious and remote. If he was with us today, he would have taught about his major belief of OBSERVATION and how every thing in nature has a connection with each other.

It would be a great experience to eye witness these mind blowing art oneself. Many tourism have a prime focus for art lovers like us. Do check out one of them we found on the net Get your Guide

No doubt, he was called an universal genius. Alas, we are deprived of mesmerizing beauty of art made by the magic man who rests in peace at the Chapel of Saint-Hubert France.

Disclaimer

I hope you enjoyed reading this blog. If at all, we have made some error or hurt someone, it was totally unintentional. If you have something to add, do email us on crafterscafehymn@gmail.com and we will be glad to feature it. Also if you find any misinterpretations, kindly bring to our notice so that we can correct them. Please understand that I am a forever learner and enthusiast to share my knowledge. Do share, like and leave comments. That surely inspires me to be better.