Chakra Dressing with Tasnim Ahmed

Chakra Dressing with Tasnim Ahmed

February 05, 2018

 

 #chakradressing is a project about showcasing women like us using daily activities, such as cooking, reading, laying down for a bit, dancing, lip singing, singing, baking, painting, to undress their mind from anything and everything. All of us have a different approach to this so it's very exciting to see how each month our different muses walk us through this process. We like to see this meditation practice as a very easy intuitive routine, and we have given names to each step of the process leading up to it to honor your time and to give this ritual the space and validation they deserve in our busy lives. 

 

 

The three steps to flow into mindfulness

Tasnim Ahmed

Tasnim Ahmed is a writer and activist living in Brooklyn. Her sensitivity to current issues is inspiring and women like her are the force we need right now to motivate us all to make a difference in racial and gender issues. Her peaceful demeanor, her love for reading, and her passion for writing inspired us to jumpstart this project with her. Ignited by her activism we wanted to know how she keeps herself at peace and gets her energy flowing the right way.  

How do you bring your mind to a present state? #ENERGYFLOW

"I like to take a moment and breath and be mindful. So when I am inhaling it rises and when I exhale it goes down. But sometimes the opposite will start happening and that's when I realize that I'm thinking about ten other things and so I come back to breathing again."

After your mind is calm, what do you like to do after? #MEDITATIVESTATE

"I like to listen to Booggie Wonderland by Earth, Wind, and Fire and dance."

Do you only do this when you are alone?

"Oh yes. :-)"

Dancing keeps you present and this song makes you happy. After the song is finished what do you normally do next, given you feel relaxed and just had a positive energy boost?#ENERGYCLEANSE

"I will sit down, read something or just kind of sit and take it all in."

 
 
Tasnim wearing the Full Moon dress in Lila
Tasnim Dancing in the She's a Soloist Dress in Cloud
Tasnim in Ajaie Alaie
Tasnim sitting and allowing herself to just be.
In the See Through Me Tunic in Apple and Making History Pants in Ink
 

Tasnim also had some awesome book recommendations for all your moods and we had to share her personal reviews. 

 

MORNING BOOKS

‘Not Me’ by  Eileen Myles

“It’s Poetry. It puts me in a good mood in the morning."

‘On Beauty’ by Zadie Smith

This one is really incredible. I think personally because this books are set in London. I was born there and then I moved quite young. But the setting is so familiar and just the themes that she explores, and the way that she writes. It transports you. Even if you’ve never been there, it’s as if you can hear the sounds that she’s describing.


DAY BOOKS

An ordinary person’s guide to Empire’ by Arundhati Roy

Tasnim: “This is my current leisurely reading. This is a casual light read that I do on my own time. The first one [‘An ordinary person’s guide to Empire’] is by Arundhati Roy and it’s about the making of the India, Pakistan, Bangladesh empire, but also about anti-capitalism… Arundhati Roy is a very famous Indian writer and I lived in Bangladesh all these years and I never really heard of her or had read her work. And it wasn’t until fairly recently that I read a fiction work that she did, but she mostly does a lot of critical essays. I was actually reading a very interesting essay of hers [in this book]. It’s called ‘Come September’ and it starts with September 11, but then it also talks about everything else that has happened in the world on September 11. And it’s very illuminating… She [Roy] traces back all that has happened. I actually have been interested in this stuff because of everything that’s been going on right now.”

'God Help the Child’ by Toni Morrison

“I just finished this one [‘God Help the Child’ by Toni Morrison] last night and it’s incredible. I would probably buy this as a Christmas present for everybody. I don’t know if you’ve read Toni Morrison’s stuff, but her things are very dark in a sense that she talks about the reality of life and a lot of theme in her novels are about motherhood and sisterhood. She shows how mothers actually mess up and best friends can mess up and betray and do all these things. But this book is really interesting about how looks and appearances have become so important and how it’s a way of identity… It is a fiction and I wouldn’t read it at night time in bed because it makes you think about a lot of things that are going on in the world… It is really eye-opening.”

 

PICK-ME-UP BOOKS

 “I have some funny things that I like to read. I like to read some whimsical, girly stuff [shows ‘Bonjour Tristesse’ by Francoise Sagan]. It has like its moments of darkness compared to Princess Diaries or something, but it’s also more… I don’t know I just feel girly when I read it! It makes me feel better about myself. And I also like reading John Waters’ ‘Role Models’. It’s more about what’s happened in his life, but he’s such a crazy person. He was a very big part of queer camp scene. He used to create these bizarre movies, that are also incredible at the same time. So it’s just the way that he writes… It’s funny and uplifting.”

 

WINDING DOWN / PEACE TIME BOOKS

 ‘The Fran Lebowitz Reader’ by Franz Lebowitz

“Fran Lebowitz is hilarious and she’s like a cultural commentator basically, but the way that she writes is so funny and sarcastic. I really like everything that she writes. Sometimes she sounds like a ‘smarty-pants know-at-all, but it’s like talking to a wisecrack friend and she’s great.

 

‘On Love’ by Alain de Botton

This is ‘On Love’ by Alain de Botton. So he wrote it on his own experience of love. It doesn’t really teach you how to love, but makes you question the idea of love.

‘The God of Small Things’ by Arundhati Roy

“I believe this is [Arundhati Roy’s] only work of fiction and it’s a really beautifully written book. I’ve read it at least 10 times maybe. It’s largely based in Caucasus. Just the way she writes, it transports you. It’s like you’re there during that time. 

‘One Hundred Years of Solitude’ by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

I need to take time in between reading this. Some books, if I read them today, I can read them in three days. This one [‘One Hundred Years of Solitude’] I need a whole month before going back to it. It’s so hard to follow all the names that I need to keep a map. I’ve actually read a similar novel by Toni Morrison. By the end of it, there’s only a handful of names that are important, but there’s so many names throughout that you can to keep track of everything. [All-in-all] it’s amazing. Again, I definitely won’t be able to finish it in a night, but sometimes it isn’t about the content of the book, but it’s style. It’s very inspiring and beautiful.

When you need to find book recommendations or you need a new book, what do you do?

"I usually just go into a bookstore and I just randomly start picking things up. There’s a really good bookstore down on Smith Street that I just discovered when I moved here. But my favorite book store would be Spoonbill & Sugartown in Williamsburg and then The Strand Bookstore because it feels like you’re in a mausoleum."

And all of these books that are here [in your bookcase], are here because you love them or you can’t just get rid of your books?

"Well I can’t get rid of them because I love them. I’ve kept some books that I didn’t really love, but I think it’s important to surround yourself with things that you are absolutely obsessed with. But also, this feeling of “Oh, why didn’t I like this?”... I go back to it and ask “was it the context? The theme? What was it that I didn’t feel so great about? So I still hold onto those books."
 
A note from the designer:
We're super excited to be introducing #chakradressing  to you and we give a big thanks to Tasnim for being our girl for our first of many from the series! Self-awareness is just one aspect of mindfulness that we aim to empower others to do. 


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