The Reuse Manifesto

Remember tubs of ice cream that got a second life as containers for soup (and misled more than a few of us in the freezer) and those faded plastic bags that just wouldn’t go away? Turns out our mothers were on to something – plastics deserve to be reused. In this world of hot trends, fast fashion and disposable everything, reuse isn’t something most people are into. It’s ironic that while recycling campaigns are championed on the one hand, on the other, there’s an eagerness to not be caught dead in last season’s collection. Yet, the ‘relics’ of spring/summer 2018…

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Breaking Busyness

Maybe you’re addicted to always doing something. I’m right there with you. There’s just something unnerving about not being occupied, so much so that I usually don’t know what to do with myself on (public) holidays and I often go back to doing the one thing I was given a break from – work. My weekends are almost as busy as my weekdays and not because I’m compelled but because I have forgotten how to unplug. It’s not safe. I know I must not carry on this way, so here’s what I’m doing to stop myself from hurting myself: 1. Using…

Self-Care Is A Trip To The Dentist

I showed up because I had a toothache, and there’s everything wrong with that. “What have you been doing to your teeth?” Um… well. If I had cared more about my mouth (which is really just caring about myself) earlier, I’d have gotten a dental check-up twice a year. A check-up would have shown that I…

A Letter To Myself At 30

Are you ready to start over? You must reconsider who you are and what you believe in, because everything you know about yourself is about to be challenged. I know your introversion, what it has saved you from, the hours spent alone and well spent probing the deepest parts of your heart to learn what defines and unmakes you. Flip the strength and you will find a strong weakness: the aloofness that stands between you and your calling to reach people, not to be known but to help them know how uninhibited and beautiful life can be. You will break…

What It Means To Live A Life Of Less

A stripped-down life may not be for everyone, but do you need everything you have to live well? Think about it, there’s a lot you can live without, a lot you can skip without suffering for it. But when you’re used to a particular lifestyle, it is easy to believe that your happiness, maybe even your existence, is dependent on the comforts you have surrounded yourself with. The daily assault of materialism in the world we live in does not help either. If you’re not being asked to buy something, you’re being asked to replace something you own (which is basically…

Practise Letting Go By Giving Things Away

The things we keep may be a reflection of who we are and what we carry on the inside. If this theory is true, and there’s some merit to it, we may be able to teach ourselves how to release people, anger, disappointment and hurt by giving away things in five steps. 1. Take stock of the things you own. This is a simple inventory of stuff, but with a twist: for every item inventoried, create a label that states how you came to own the item, how it is useful and what would happen if you no longer have…

Be Grateful, Deliberately

Making gratitude a lifestyle goes beyond the sporadic “thank you” and that equally infrequent overwhelming sense of privilege we feel, to a more deliberate attempt to cultivate a grateful heart. They say practice makes perfect, or at least gets us close enough to transforming a habit into a character. One way to practice gratitude is by going the extra mile of writing gratitude letters to people who have made a positive difference in our lives. An email works too, but this kind of “thank you” demands that we write on paper and deliver the letter in person. Very particular, I know, but if…

Are Your Life Goals Flexible?

From where I stand, doing too much is clearly connected to the absolutely natural norm of setting goals for ourselves. Sometimes, fueled by the flawed perception of achievement that convinces us to take on far more than we can handle (or equally bad, spend our lives hunting for breakthroughs), we set impractical goals that do not take our limitations into consideration. Everyone wants to ‘find purpose’, but we never want to accept that the most effectual life we could live may be a simple, unglamorous one. I’m not going to tell you how to define your success (even though we all…

Life Is Not A Sprint

I’ve been feeling stuck lately, trapped in the torturous repetition of commuting, working and getting whatever joyless sleep I can. I cycle the loop weekday after weekday from one month to the next till it’s “Happy New Year!” and the old beginning of the same old life arrives with muted fanfare wherever the first of three hundred and sixty-five midnights finds me. All activities outside this routine are brief intermissions between the dreary acts of an extended real-life drama, flashes of relief from the grind. I wish adulthood came with a warning label: ‘This train doesn’t stop till you do, permanently. Get on at your…

Talking To Myself At 21

I don’t know what your situation is, but ten years from now, life will not mean the same as it does today. Ten years from now, you will not have as much time. Pay attention now, I know what I’m talking about. Three things will call to you: money, power and respect. They will scream your name. Do not answer, do not even think about answering, and do not chase them. If you find the path that’s meant for you (and I pray you do), you will have enough of all three, the portions you can handle. Come second, bloom…

With All Overdue Respect

We may throw the word around a lot, but we have little regard for respect. And nothing good thrives in a culture of disrespect. It could even be the strongest reason for the toxicity that has overtaken the world. I’ll explain. I learned early in life to respect my elders, which basically meant that I…

12 Lessons From A Year Of Work

1. It’s very unlikely that you’ll save your way to a life of luxury. Manage your expectations of what your money can do for you. After several false starts, I started a couple of savings goals. Self-congratulations, but the interest on my savings was never really encouraging. All I had was some money I hadn’t…

How Familiarity Kills Lovely Things

If you forget that I’m a miracle, how will I excite? And if you become ordinary in my eyes, how will you delight? By nature, a relationship demands (some kind of) exposure to be. It requires a baring of souls and lives for the ones involved to learn about each other, grow into each other…