Give Yourself A Minute

GYAMWho doesn’t like a freebie? I’m giving away one of my eBooks titled, Give Yourself A Minute. It’s a simple, practical guide that helps to centre you in the present moment with a set of tasks that correct some of the bad habits that have crept into us over the centuries like bad breathing and stressful eating. If you love trying new things and want more from life, you’re going to love this short but valuable read.

To get hold of a copy, all you have to do is join my mailing list at www.milanbakrania.com. (Once you’ve navigated to my site, the pop-up prompting for your email address will appear in a few seconds). Don’t worry, I won’t be bombarding you with newsletters and emails. I’ll only send out a message when I’ve published a new book.

Once you’ve entered your email address, you’ll receive your free eBook in your inbox within minutes in PDF format (mobi format available on request).

 

The truth as only Grandma can tell it!

image“A new road has no assurances. As a species, we like to be assured that everything’s going to be all right. That’s why it’s difficult for us to forge a new path. We’re affected by what other people think. That’s why it’s easier to mimic those around us, especially those who we perceive as wealthy. We want to be like them, and will spend an entire lifetime trying to be like them. We’re driven by wealth, by competition, to look better than others. We crave the love of the world because we haven’t discovered the love we hold inside.

It’s also true that the majority of us what a peaceful, stress-free life, and we want to pursue our dreams and follow our interests, but for some reason, we’re not living that way. Instead, we’re hoarding resources and plundering, therefore creating competition and status, somehow under the impression that this will bring us happiness.

relic facesOur fascination with power is an ancient trait as is our approach to wealth. It’s something that has been passed down to us, and, as is tradition, we pass it down to our children.

We walk the same path of destruction like the great civilisations before us.

But many of us don’t even realise there is a problem unless it’s pointed out. Well, I’ve told you what the problem is, now it’s in your hands. Are you willing to think of the planet as a whole or focus on your selfish desires?

Currently, we live for ourselves then our children. It’s the way we’ve been led all these years. But are we brave enough to take a new route? The time is now.”

Grandma’s got plenty more to say. Get the book here http://amzn.com/B012XTHTMC

Just beneath the doubt is an entire fountain of possibilities

When I was a child, I loved to make greeting cards and random bits of art. But, art was a hobby, not a job. Never did I think I’d grow up to be an artist. It came as a surprise when I picked up a paintbrush at the age of 29 and painted this:

Blue Serenity 2

As a species we love to bundle things into a category, but I believe everyone’s an artist of some kind. If you create something new, it’s art, whether it’s a new musical composition or a cure for cancer, I class it as art. During my time as an I.T. support engineer, art was appearing all over the place, although I didn’t realise it back then. Even though I was designing book covers and websites (hell, I even made my own wedding invitation) it didn’t occur to me that something I had classed as frivolous could become a way of life.

Here’s a commission I undertook for a client from Saint Lucia:

BILLIE JEAN SIDE VIEWSo, the lesson is this: there’s always some level of creativity bubbling under the surface. Find it, become excited and allow it to rush up and out in the world. Maybe that’s the key to life, to become passionate about something and let it rip! But often, fear, doubt and guilt creep up like spiders: What will the world think? What if I fail? How do I start? – Once we learn to overcome those voices, it’s like climbing to the top of a mountain and peering out at an uncharted world. I thank my wife for opening the door for me. She’s an artist, and when I saw what she was creating, it inspired me to put colour on a canvas.

Cultivating creativity was normal back in the day (I’m speaking about ancient times). Every ancient culture in the world was flourishing with rich art expression. Our museums are brimming with their legacy. It saddens me to hear that certain organisations are destroying artefacts in the name of religion. It doesn’t sound right at all. Art has always existed as a silent language, often speaking clearer than words. No one has the right to silence creativity.

I invite you to find your spark today: pick up a pen, hire a camera, write a screenplay, draw a picture, paint, sing, dance…create, not for fame or fortune, but for the sheer pleasure of making something new.

What secret talent lies under your fears?

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Four Weeks in the Galley!

image2Writing a book is a blessing in itself, but when your creation, your baby, is enjoyed by the readers, it’s the icing on the cake. Recently, I arranged for my latest novel, An Inspiring Afternoon, to be listed on the book galley site for power readers, journalists etc. called NetGalley for 4 weeks. There were so many books on the site already, the majority from the big 5 publishers, so I wasn’t hoping for much.

After week one, I received my first 5-star review. I was overjoyed! Week two brought two more reviews and another one in week three. To date, I’ve had three 5 star reviews, one 4/5 review, and 27 requests-to-read.

One reviewer read the entire book in a day and came away a more joyous and calmer person. Another reviewer, a nurse who is changing to a career in coaching, said that she was going to buy several copies for her family and friends as well as recommending it to her clients. Someone else, having been moved by the Kindle edition, ordered himself a paperback for future reference.

The bond between a writer and reader is sacred, and I want to thank all the reviewers for placing their trust in my words. I’m so grateful that they took the time to actually read my book. I know that sounds crazy seeing that I placed it on the site for that very reason, but to be honest I wasn’t banking on any attention among the countless books listed on there.

It’s exciting to see a book grow and mingle in the world. It makes it all worth it!

For more information on my latest novel and upcoming works please visit my website: www.milanbakrania.com

5* Review – An Inspiring Afternoon

ReviewWhen art (be it a book, painting, musical composition etc.) evokes a positive reaction, it makes the journey worthwhile. Today, I was blown away by this review for my latest book, An Inspiring Afternoon, by a NetGalley power-reader:

“When Lucy sits down with her grandmother under the willow tree in the backyard one afternoon, An Inspiring Afternoon by Milan Bakrania, is born. Lucy doesn’t know that she is going be whisked into the wise world of life told the way only her grandmother can tell it, and the reader goes on a journey as well, to learn about life, and to learn morals and truths that seem to have been lost on our generation.

Under the tree, Lucy learns may of life’s lessons, and in turn so are we. For example, her grandmother explains how to have good relationships, how to keep those relationships strong, how to care for other people, and how everything from what you put into your body, to how you think, is all linked together, and how it makes you, you.

I am the type of person that always has to question everything, especially if the answer isn’t smack dab right in my face, so reading about what Lucy’s grandma had o say about all of the big and little questions was truly inspiring (hence the name of the book!). This book was a wonderful experience, and it left me filled with joy and wisdom. I don’t have any living grandparents, they all passed away when I was quite young, so I never got that “grandparent experience” where I was told stories about the times when they were young or growing up, so reading this book sort of gave me that experience in a different way. It was a wonderful read, and I definitely think it could even been seen as an advice book as well.

This book made me feel that I was sitting under the willow tree, listening to grandma talk about her past, and all of the things that she has learned from this life. I loved this book, I just want to thank the author Milan for asking me to review it. I give this book 5 out of 5 stars.”

An Inspiring Afternoon is available on NetGalley until February 16th: http://s2.netgalley.com/catalog/book/81959

The Beauty of Mindfulness – by Milan Bakrania

My article on the amazing Kindness Blog… (http://www.kindnessblog.com)

Kindness Blog

When was the last time you gave your brain a rest?

Can you remember a time when you were not regretting the past or worrying about the future, when you were still and unburdened?

There’s something about the human race that makes us different from other living things. We can contemplate, question our existence, revel in exploration and realize our dreams. But, we can also tire ourselves out. Yes, we’ve embraced stress, there’s no doubt about it and the festive season is a particularly stressful time because of the expectations placed on individuals.

Thankfully, we’re good at finding solutions. One of the ways we deal with stress is by using an ancient method called mindfulness.

The idea of focusing the mind is older than recorded history. We’re all capable of doing it. Athletes do it all the time, as do musicians, stage performers, doctors and students. They enter a zone…

View original post 984 more words

Stop and Breathe…

breathe_rock - CopyWhen was the last time you took a deep, invigorating breath?

In eastern traditions, breath is believed to be the bridge between life and consciousness. Basically, if we don’t breath correctly, we don’t experience life fully. It makes sense if you think about it. Oxygen is required to carry out many processes in the body from digestion to repair. If our intake is minimal, it’ll take longer to complete the various tasks causing stress on our bodily systems. Also, oxygen needs to be delivered via blood to our organs. If we’re not taking deep, fulfilling breaths our organs suffer in the long term.

How to breathe correctly.

glass-of-water 1Incorrect breathing is shallow and lifeless, limiting the intake to the chest. Ideally, breath should mimic life and vice-versa. If we’re living fully, we should be breathing fully. How do we do that?

It’s simple.

Begin by imagining an empty glass. When poured into the glass, where will water touch first? The answer is the bottom. Now imagine yourself to be the empty glass and the water to be the air you breathe. When you breathe, oxygen should fill your lower lungs first so that your stomach protrudes. And that’s where people go wrong. Instead, air is restricted to the chest which means that more breaths need to be taken to satisfy the body’s oxygen requirements. Follow these steps to get it right:

Lie flat on the floor (no pillow) with your hands loosely beside you.

Inhale a light, long breath. Be aware of your breath. Say in your mind: “I’m breathing in.” Let it travel to your stomach first. Your stomach will rise. Your lungs will expand and your stomach will begin to deflate as a muscle called the diaphragm pushes down on it. Let it happen and be aware of it.

Exhale. Be aware of your breath. Say in your mind: “I’m breathing out.”

Though it may sound silly, it’s important that you speak in your mind when breathing. The key to mindfulness is complete and utter focus. Just by saying “I’m breathing in” in your mind prevents other thoughts from stealing your attention. Lying on the floor is great because it prevents you from making too much of an effort which can be dangerous for the lungs, especially if they’re weak from incorrect breathing patterns. The aim is to be able to inhale and exhale in equal measure, but that will only become possible with practice. When you inhale, count how long it takes. It may take five seconds. Now, extend that by two more seconds. It should roughly take you six to seven seconds to inhale lightly. You want to do the same when you exhale. This won’t happen overnight. Perhaps your inhalation is shorter than your exhale, or the other way round. Don’t worry. Regular practice will correct this. It may take months, so watch your breath when sitting, walking and working. Only practice for a maximum of twenty breaths in a single session. If you feel tired at each stage, stop. In time, your breath will be light, even and flowing, like a thin stream of water running through the sand.

The Silence

bowl small imageTake note of the split-second silence before and after each inhalation. This silence has held the attention of yogi’s and practitioners of mediation throughout the ages. It’s a moment that symbolises death followed closely by a rebirth. Try it. Close your eyes, breathe deeply. Focus on the silence before you exhale. As you dwell there, that split-second will expand, filling you with a sensation of peace. This is a very powerful meditation technique that reminds us of the value of life. With each breath, each second, we come to know that our time on this planet is limited. So, when you feel down or your thoughts are scattered, look to your breath and remind yourself to live now before it’s too late.

Source: Day of Mindfulness (Available in Paperback and eBook on Amazon)