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Trickster Trust

Photo by Karly Santiago on Unsplash


Also stolen from Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert

(please don’t copystrike me)


I believe that the original human impulse for creativity was born out of pure trickster energy. Of course it was! Creativity wants to flip the mundane world upside down and turn it inside out, and that’s exactly what a trickster does best. But somewhere in the last few centuries, creativity got kidnapped by the martyrs, and it’s been held hostage in their camp of suffering ever since. I believe this turn of events has left art feeling very sad. It has definitely left a lot of artists feeling very sad.

It’s time to give creativity back to the tricksters, is what I say.

The trickster is obviously a charming and subversive figure. But for me, the most wonderful thing about a good trickster is that he trusts. It may seem counterintuitive to suggest this, because he can seem so slippery and shady, but the trickster is full of trust He trusts himself, obviously. He trusts his own cunning, his own right to be here, his own ability to land on his feet in any situation. To a certain extent, of course, he also trusts other people (in that he trusts them to be marks for his shrewdness). But mostly, the trickster trusts the universe. He trusts in its chaotic, lawless, ever-fascinating ways–and for this reason, he does not suffer from undue anxiety. He trusts that the universe is in constant play and, specifically, that it wants to play with him.

A good trickster knows that if he cheerfully tosses a ball out into the cosmos, that ball will be thrown back at him. It might be thrown back really hard, or it might be thrown back really crooked, or it might be thrown back in a cartoonish hail of missiles, or it might not be thrown back until the middle of next year — but it will be thrown back. The trickster waits for the ball to return, catches it however it arrives, and then tosses it back out there into the void again, just to see what will happen. And he loves doing it, because the trickster (in all his cleverness) understands the great cosmic truth that the martyr (in all his seriousness) can never grasp: It’s all just a game.

A big, freaky, wonderful game.

Which is fine, because the trickster likes freaky.

Freaky is his natural environment.

The martyr hates freaky. The martyr wants to kill freaky. And in so doing, he all too often ends up killing himself.

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The Martyr vs. The Trickster

Photo by Fred Kearney on Unsplash


Stolen from Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert


We all have a bit of trickster in us, and we all have a bit of martyr in us (okay, some of us have a lot of martyr in us), but at some point in your creative journey you will have to make a decision about which camp you wish to belong to, and therefore which parts of yourself to nourish, cultivate, and bring into being. Choose carefully. As my friend the radio personality Caroline Casey always says: “Better a trickster than a martyr be.”

What’s the difference between a martyr and trickster, you ask?

Here’s a quick primer.

Martyr energy is dark, solemn, macho, hierarchical, fundamentalist, austere, unforgiving, and profoundly rigid.

Trickster energy is light, sly, transgender, transgressive, animist, seditious, primal, and endlessly shape-shifting.

Martyr says: “I will sacrifice everything to fight this unwinnable war, even if it means being crushed to death under a wheel of torment.”

Trickster says: “Okay, you enjoy that! As for me, I’ll be over here in this corner, running a successful little black market operation on the side of your unwinnable war.”

Martyr says: “Life is pain.”

Trickster says: “Life is interesting.”

Martyr says: “The system is rigged against all that is good and sacred.”

Trickster says: “There is no system, everything is good, and nothing is sacred.”

Martyr says: “Nobody will ever understand me.”

Trickster says: “Pick a card, any card!”

Martyr says: “The world can never be solved.”

Trickster says: “Perhaps not … but it can be gamed.”

Martyr says: “Through my torment, the truth shall be revealed.”

Trickster says: “I didn’t come here to suffer, pal.”

Martyr says: “Death before dishonor!”

Trickster says: “Let’s make a deal.”

Martyr always ends up dead in a heap of broken glory, while Trickster trots off to enjoy another day.

Martyr = Sir Thomas More.

Trickster = Bugs Bunny.

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January–The Month of Breaking Free

Photo by Kyle Glenn on Unsplash

Oh, My Lord, January has been AMAZING. Like, the best time I’ve ever had in so long. And completely because of the things that I did. Let’s dive right in.

Letting Go of YouTube

Remember when I said that I would quit YouTube for a month?

I failed. Miserably.

The problem is that YouTube is integral to my growth as an online creator, and I really need YouTube to keep myself and my content fresh.

If that didn’t sound like the lamest excuse you’ve ever heard, it will now.

But for real, I did have a hard time quitting YouTube after the first week of January because I don’t think I had a bigger goal of letting go completely. I think I became satisfied with quitting for a week, and so I went back to my old ways soon after that.

However, that didn’t discourage me, because this year is all about trying, failing, and still trying nonetheless.

You can quote me on that.

This year is all about trying, failing, and still trying nonetheless.

-Udita Gowdety

*shivers with fear* Instagram.

I finally did it. For good. I can now live freely.

I permanently deleted my Instagram account.

Guess what? I feel unapologetically and unaccountably happy about my decision.

A week before my finals started, I was reading this book by Austin Kleon called “Show Your Work!”, which talked about how artists can make the most of the social network to gain an honest audience. And that made me use my old Instagram account which I hadn’t used in 3 months. I started posting and interacting with my friends, old and new, and in 3 days, my follower count more than doubled. I was having so much fun. I talked with friends I haven’t talked to in months, and I even made new ones. It was so good to have a circle of people who paid attention to you.

I think that’s where the problem started.

I started enjoying the attention a bit too much. Within a couple of hours, the people I interacted with turned into a count of views. I started caring a bit too much about the people, and Instagram lost its purpose.

Another thing that led to this decision was DMs. Guys, I cannot tell you how much virtual text messaging scares me. Most people fear one-on-one conversations with others (trust me, I know), but I just happen to be the opposite. Anything that isn’t a real-life conversation, a face time call or at least a normal phone call just seems inhuman to me. I love technology and I love chatting on Discord and Reddit and such, but I value real life more. And that’s ultimately what pushed me to delete my Instagram account.

I do feel a little bit sad about the good convos I had with people on Instagram, tho (Whatsis, that’s you). But I guess if people want to talk to me, there are only two places they’re going to find me now: In real life, and on this blog.

Note down my URL, Y’all.

Exams–Way Easier Than Normal?

I used to have this fear of failing at exams that numbed me to any scope of getting better and actually doing something good. I used to fret until the last second, read everything, panic DURING the exam about the next exams (not advisable at all), but still, manage to top my class.

And while the fact that I topped my class did give me an emotional release, it didn’t last for long and I’d start to dwell on the fact that I panicked so much earlier and think that this was because I was scared and so basically I didn’t give myself any space to breathe.

It feels stressful even writing about it.

But ever since New Year, I have loved myself completely and have actually taken the time to listen to what my gut says. I also realized that all the difficulty about exams that I perceive is just in my head. I told myself that life is so easy and there’s so much love in the world, so what am I afraid of?

Since then, I have done everything I wanted to and so much more without feeling burned out at all.


Life is so easy and there’s so much love in the world, so what am I afraid of?

-udita gowdety

In Review:

January definitely hasn’t been all rosy paradise with me sipping a glass of lemonade while revising the structure the atom and the surface area of a cone. It has been challenging in ways I used to only dream of, but I defied the odds and the little voice inside my head that says I can’t do things, that I’m not good enough.

This month, I learnt that I am enough, and so is everyone around me. I have learnt to succeed with ease, and I have learnt to help other people without losing my sense of self-care.

Pretty dang good 31 days, in my opinion.

Cheers,

Udita.


P.S. Let me know what your month was like, maybe we can all relate!

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The Ultimate On The Road Mix (Not Really But Still)

  • This Girl (Kungs Vs Cookin’ On 3 Burners) (Extended) – Cookin’ On 3 Burners, Kungs
  • Now or Never (R3hab Remix) – Halsey, R3hab
  • This Feeling – The Chainsmokers
  • Closer (R3hab Remix) – The Chainsmokers
  • More Than You Know – Axwell /\ Ingrosso
  • Dreamer – Axwell /\ Ingrosso
  • Sun Comes Up (feat. James Arthur) –  Rudimental, James Arthur
  • Chota Sa Fasana – Arijit Singh
  • Whole Heart – Bipolar Sunshine, Gryffin
  • Perfect Strangers – Jonas Blue, Jp Cooper
  • Sunset Lover – Petit Biscuit
  • The Nights –  Avicii
  • Broken Summer – Dj Snake, Max Frost
  • Waterfall – Petit Biscuit
  • Problems – Petit Biscuit
  • Beam – Petit Biscuit
  • Oceans – Petit Biscuit

What are your favourite songs to play when you’re on the road? Let me know in the comments below, and I’ll add them to the playlist 🙂

Cheers,

Udita.

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Happily Ever After – A Fairy Tale with a Twist

It was a cloudy morning when Rapunzel first spotted the prince, riding on his majestic horse, towards her tower. Even from the distance, she could feel his glorious, royal, entitled, prince-like vibe. She shuddered in disgust even thinking about it.

Rapunzel wasn’t a normal princess. She wasn’t cute, charming and charismatic-that was what everyone else pictured her to be. Oh, no. She was rebellious, stubborn, daring, adventurous. And just when she thought she had had enough of sitting still and looking pretty, she decided to leave her royal castle and lock herself up in her beautiful tower, called Antilia. Of course, she had her pet dragon, Ares, for protection.

Rapunzel hated unwanted attention. But her isolation had only seemed to have gained her more attention than she used to get in the first place. People all over Europe thought she was a damsel in distress, a frightened princess, waiting to be saved. And so they sent their finest men and bravest knights to save her.

They never returned. Ares constantly craved for human flesh.

And now, there was another ‘knight in shining armour’, wishing to save Rapunzel. Another knight unaware of his likely death in a few minutes.

“So much for heroism,” Rapunzel thought to herself.

She watched nonchalantly as the prince approached her tower and she signalled Ares to stay alert and get ready. But as she continued watching, she noticed something different about this prince. She felt his arrogant determination, and in that instant knew he wouldn’t stop until she was saved. When the prince reached the tower, he valiantly leapt onto the dragon’s head, and within mere minutes, he slew the dragon.

None of this even seemed to bother Rapunzel, who only grumbled in response and picked up her long, black Stygian sword.

Oh, and she definitely didn’t let down her hair when he asked her to.

When the prince painstakingly climbed up the tower and finally made it to the top, Rapunzel looked him dead in the eye, smiled gracefully, and in the most charming way possible, said, “Thank you!”

Aaand then she stabbed him in the heart with a swift and clean movement of her sword.

“Ah, fairy tales,” she thought to herself, as she climbed down the tower.

“The stuff that dreams are made of.”

She then took the prince’s horse and rode away into the horizon, ready to chase down another adventure, and equally ready for other men to chase down her.



Featured Image: warrior girl by staino

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Sun through the leaves

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The Joy of Missing Out

Disclaimer: This post is not meant to offend phubbers of any kind. However, this post might change your view on phone usage (or maybe not). Please proceed with caution.

Imagine this:

You’re outside, without your phone. You have no access to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or YouTube. You have no idea what your friend is uploading on social media. Nor do you know if you’ve gotten any likes of that picture of your lunch on Instagram. You are absolutely devoid of virtual contact with people.

How does that make you feel? Anxious, or relieved?

If you chose the former, read on.

Actually, it doesn’t matter what you chose. You should still read on.

Phones have blurred the lines between real and virtual life. Phones are the new public menace. It is so hard to stay of your phones these days, it’s next to impossible. Honestly, I checked and edited my Instagram posts 3 times while writing this paragraph.

We have become so glued to our phones, it’s past the point of entitlement. Now, it’s more of a delirious attachment. Let me warn you, what starts out as a plain attachment or addiction can turn out to be a serious mental health issue in the long term.

Dr Larry Rosen, who is the author of ‘The Distracted Mind’ and ‘iDisorder’, provides an explanation for our irrational love for virtual reality:

“With our extensive commitments to our smartphones and our connections to the world through that phone, we check with the virtual world, and then our adrenal gland starts secreting cortisol (among other chemicals), which makes us feel uneasy that we have not checked in recently.”

Whether people describe phone usage as addiction or an obsession, they’re definitely a distraction.

45% of Indian phone users admit that they use their phones for more than 4 hours a day. Say you sleep for 7 hours and work for 7 more, you’re wasting 40% of your free time just using your phone!!

76% say that they check their phones before sleeping and 53% say that they check their phones first thing in the morning. They don’t even brush. They just leap out of their bed, thinking, “Social Media!!!” That’s what I think, anyway. Well, that’s what I used to do, anyway.

Clearly, FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) is a prime motivator of their mindless phone usage. Because no sane human being would use their phone for 4 HOURS A DAY.

And I get it, because I’ve been there. We’ve all had that crazy fear of missing out on something infinitely more important (at least in our perception) than the work at hand. Maybe you had your holiday homework to do (which I still haven’t finished; my school reopens in 5 days) to do, while all your friends were going out and having the time of their lives.

What FOMO does to you is convince you that what you’re doing is simply less important than what others are doing. You might be writing a PhD on Climate Change, but your Facebook feed will still find a way to make you doubt what what you’re doing. Just when you think you’re getting on the right track, FOMO will knock  on your door and coax into taking a break.

So if you think you’re losing hope, fear not! In the words of master hustler and iisuperwomanii, Lilly Singh,

Temptations to slack off will always be there, and that will never change. What has to change is your ability to deal with temptation. To be successful, you need to be able to look FOMO in the eyes and say NO. In response, FOMO will stand there, pout, and throw a temper tantrum, but you have to be strong and hold your ground. The only way to overcome FOMO is to recognize that the joy of accomplishing your goals is much greater than the disappointment of missing out on a little fun. Parties are fun in the short term, but fulfilling your goals will bring you great happiness in the long term.

There’s more to life than just seeking validation from superficial people. If you do want to use your phone, use it for a good purpose. Don’t just use it to gain more attention. Use it to make a difference.

So, the next time you decide to focus on your priorities instead of aimlessly scrolling through your phone, stop for a minute and soak that feeling of joy in.

The joy of missing out.

And feel proud of yourself.

This blog post has been written with inspiration from The Times Of India newspaper, dated 27th May, 2018.


Also, please do check out my last post, How to Steal Ideas, and show it the love it deserves! Any feedback is greatly appreciated:)


Check out my gal Kasvi Methi’s blog, Profound Findings of an Unfound Highbrow and show her some love! She’s my new contributor, and from next week we’ll be collaborating and providing you with even better content!

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How to Steal Ideas

Stolen from Austin Kleon.

Nothing’s original.

There is nothing new under the sun. (Ecclesiastes 1:9)

Originality is undetected plagiarism. Nothing, absolutely nothing in this world is original. “Original” art is just connecting the same old dots in a different pattern. And the best way to get more of these dots into your life is to steal them. There are bajillions of things to steal in the world, and many people to steal it from. Use what you find interesting, appreciate what you don’t, and move on to the next thing to steal.

You are your own remix.

You are a mashup of your mom and dad and your ancestors. Your ideas are a mashup of the people you surround yourself with, the friends you make, the music you listen to, the movies you see and the blogs you read. 😛 In the same way, your ideas are a mix of other people’s ideas. You might feel like the ideas in your head are 100% yours, but that couldn’t be more far from the truth. Your job is to pick the sources and ideas that you want to be influenced by.

Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination. -Jim Jarmusch

Build your own creative lineage.

One good way to keep the art flowing is to consider yourself as part of a big creative family tree that has all your role models in it. Start with one thinker. Study everything there is to know about them. Then find three people that thinker loved and study them. Grow branches of your tree as far out as you can. Seeing yourself as part of a bigger picture gives you a sense of purpose, makes you feel less alone and more empowered to continue doing what you’re doing.

Putting up pictures or quotes of your favourite people in the world is a great way to do this. They’re like friendly ghosts, pushing you forward.

Teach yourself.

Curiosity might have killed the cat, but it also cured polio. Keep your eyes open for anything worth Googling. Whenever in doubt, Google. Google your dreams, your nightmares, your problems and absolutely any random thought on your mind. It’s sure to either give the right answers or lead you to better questions.

Write it down.

If you’re in the hunt for ideas, there are two things you’ll need to carry with you all the time: a pen and paper.

If you see something worth remembering, chances are you’ll forget it in the next twenty four hours. The difference between a genius and a normal person is that when a genius comes across something cool, she notes it down.

See something worth your attention?

Steal it.

It is better to take what doesn’t belong to you than to let it lie around neglected. -Mark Twain

Sorry this post is a bit short. Next week will be better, I promise!

What do you want to see next? Any ideas on your mind? Leave a comment below!

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5 More Podcasts You Need to Listen to Right Now

BrainStuff

The creators of this podcast strive to explore the everyday world through the lens of creativity and give it to us in bite-sized episodes that are easy to listen to. BrainStuff is a podcast that you can binge on while doing the dishes driving around town, or when you’re craving for some inspiration!

Nerdificent

OhMyGod. Nerdificent is my new favorite podcast and it should be yours too. Hosts Dani and Ify are super nerdy, geeky and so much fun to listen to. Their podcast is an opportunity for nerds to thrive in their natural environment and immerse into different worlds through exploration and experimentation. If you’re a nerd, THIS IS YOUR PODCAST.

Ungeniused

Have you ever found yourself lost on Wikipedia? One moment you’re on the page about thermodynamics, and the next you’re reading about British life in the 16th century. Wikipedia has almost 45 million pages, covering topics that you never knew existed. Stephen Hackett and Myke Hurley discuss the weirdest of these topics. Ungeniused is a podcast where the creators share interesting knowledge that you’ll certainly never use, but who knows, it might come in handy!

The Unmade Podcast

This is an amazing podcast by Tim Hein and Brady Haran, where the two talk about unpublished podcast episodes and ideas for future ones. This podcast is my go-to for some relaxed self-brainstorming when my creative juices are guaranteed to flow.

Ben, Ben and Blue

Ben, Ben and Blue is a great podcast by Grant Sanderson, Ben Eater and Ben Stenhaug. The three of them have insightful and stimulating about education and content creation. Some of their podcast content includes color illusions, poker psychology, and middle math teaching. Ben, Ben and Blue deserves to be on everyone’s Top 10 list of resource podcasts. And I’m not lying.