We are over the moon! | Messy Minds Updates

We are over the moon! | Messy Minds Updates

There was such an artistic, loving energy in the air and as people mingled, ate cheese and listened to one another’s stories as the sun set — carrying and sharing the book: this is exactly the moment we waited for. People laughing, sharing food & conversation, talking about one another’s struggles and the beautiful work submissions. Contributors cried over seeing their piece in the book: there is no greater gift than that. It was our absolute goal to fulfill other’s self-publishing dream and we are just so ecstatic that this night reflected our amazing people’s hopes and dreams.

We are the strong, we are the capable, we are the weak, we are vulnerable, 

we are the brave.  

We are those with an affinity for that which is beyond ourselves: love, pain;  everything that makes us beautiful. 

We are those who have been victimized, we are those who are powerful. We each shine in our own unique brilliance.

We are the singers, dreamers, plumbers, captains of our own destiny, we are the steerers of our own bow.

We are anyone and everyone.

We are human. 

We are all a beautiful mess –

And that is our greatest power.

Thank you.

Writing Spotlight: Afnan Khan

Writing Spotlight: Afnan Khan

I first met Afnan in a Conflict and Development course in University. I remember how quiet he first was, and how much he had hidden beneath his layers. He was incredibly smart and always knew every answer to every question. Slowly throughout his University career, he began gaining his voice and finding his passions. I watched him grow into an exceptional human being with nothing but love and kindness to spread. I admire his personal journey so much and can truly say how much his passion has inspired me.

The Power of Creativity | 1 more day!

The Power of Creativity | 1 more day!

We cried, grieved and laughed with every single submission - they all touched us deeply in some way shape or another. We cannot wait to finally meet the contributors of the Messy Minds book. Tomorrow evening, at 5:30 at La Fromagerie is going to be the beginning to such a special evening: there will be cheese, speakers, special guests, poetry readings & 100 copies to buy from (cash only, they are 25$ each!).

We can’t wait to see you there!

Poetry Spotlight: Lauren Urban

Today on our blog we have the talented & creative poet Lauren Urban. Born & raised in Sudbury, Ontario, Lauren is a graduate of Laurentian University and currently works as a nurse.

I remember I first met Lauren when we started playing competitive basketball together. I can only explain her as a contagiously energetic, positive and beautiful soul. She always made everyone around her feel welcomed, and her jokes would make you want to fall to the ground in laughter.

I actually didn’t know that Lauren started writing poetry until I saw her post something on Facebook. Her writing was beautiful to say the least. I believe her writing is a testament to how raw the human soul can become in writing.

She first started writing poetry in second year University. When asked what inspired her she says that, “everything seemed to happen at once and my emotions needed a place to go. I was going through a really tough program in school, as well as a lot in my personal life”, she adds, “poetry helped me let it all out, and find a perfect balance in chaotic world.”.

When asked what inspires her to write poetry, she says, “That answer is simple. I fell in love for the first time.”

When asked what inspires her to write poetry, she says, ‘That answer is simple. I fell in love for the first time.’
— Lauren Urban

Keep on reading to get insight into one of our beautiful contributor’s mind & soul:

What do you like about writing?

 The thing I like the most about writing, is it can give anyone a voice. It is a form of communication, emotional expression or release, and a piece of art really capable of making a reader feel something. Writing, for me, is a medium in which I can process my feelings and relive memories. I draw from real life experiences in my writing, or at least my perspective of how things have happened. Sometimes the smallest moments, or the people who have been a part of my life for a mere fraction of time, can generate major emotional responses within me. Ultimately, writing has become a way for me to log all of the moments I have fallen in love with in this life. I think the most beautiful thing about writing, is you can hear the writers voice in their words, and you can feel what they have felt. I think that holds true even if they are the quietest person in the world, and to me, that is incredibly powerful.

I am the type of person who chooses the perfect song to waltz with my thoughts as the sun kisses the earth goodbye.

As the light drifts to black, I sit here thinking, how could something this beautiful be real?

I have flashes of all the people, friends and lovers alike, who have said goodbye to me, as the brightness from the suns reflection speckles my vision. I see someone promising they will return home. I see someone fall apart in our final embrace. I see someone tell me my genuineness is once in a lifetime. I see someone afraid to break my heart.

So, here I sit, wondering why I am still watching the worlds most romantic natural phenomenon alone, when your words always convinced me your heart wanted to stay.
— Lauren Urban

Which life experience (whether that is a love, a travel experience or something else) has taught you the deepest life lesson?

 I think for anyone who knows me, they will know my response to this question is love. Whether that be when I have fallen in love with someone, the love I share with my family and friends, or the love I have felt around me in different parts of the world… it always comes down to love. I have been in love, and have felt it to my very core. Therefore, a good majority of my writing circles back to being in love, or falling out of it. Through all of those experiences, I think the deepest life lesson I have learned is to love more, and always. Considering the state of the world we live in, I think it is really important to showcase love as the greatest gift we can give to one another, in whatever form we can. So, if I could pass on a lesson and sound incredibly cliché at the same time, I would tell you this: Love, above all else.

 What power do you find in poetry? What kind of meaning does it hold to you?

Poetry is powerful in and of itself. I think it embodies the power of vulnerability, which people are often afraid of. I have found I can articulate my feelings a lot better when given a piece of paper and a pen, as opposed to fumbling over my words while someone is staring right at me. I think with this question I can bring back my answer to the first, to explain just how much it means to me. Poetry gave me a voice. I remember one of the first poems I ever wrote, and crying over all of the pages. I came out to myself as gay in that poem, because I couldn’t stand the image of myself saying it out loud. But, poetry allowed me to be vulnerable with myself, and now allows me to be vulnerable with all of you. I can proudly say I share my love openly and recklessly, all thanks to the power that is poetry.

If you could inflict any positive change in the world, what would it be?

There are so many answers that I have to this question, but if I could summarize it into one large answer, it would be to recognize love in everyone and eliminate hate. There are so many people in suffering from being forced into boxes labelled by unjust scrutiny. Racism, homophobia, the stigmatization of mental illness, the hierarchy of power… the list could go on forever. If we could just look at each other as equals, the world would be such a better place. So, if I could inflict any positive change in the world, it would be to screw any facet of negativity that exists, and embrace each other for everything we are.

 Will you be coming to the launch party?

 I will be coming to the launch party, but will unfortunately have to check out right before it ends due to a prior commitment. I would not miss an opportunity to congratulate two exceptional women and friends, as well as embrace the forever growing art community for coming together and creating something so beautiful.

 What does Messy Minds mean to you?

Messy Minds is haphazard thoughts, vulnerability at its finest, and the truest form of art. The name itself describes the projects exact intentions. It is a collection from a silenced community who is ready to be heard. I don’t think people truly recognize what they are in for with this book, but I do know it is going to be the start of something incredible.

Thanks, Lauren!

You can follow Lauren’s poetry where she posts occasionally on her Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/laururban

Giveaway Contest | What Would You Tell Your Younger Self?

Many problems are make believe. Dealing with feelings is a matter of curiosity, more than conviction. Ask yourself appropriate questions. – Anonymous

Many problems are make believe. Dealing with feelings is a matter of curiosity, more than conviction. Ask yourself appropriate questions. – Anonymous

Change occurs best when it’s organic – Anonymous

Change occurs best when it’s organic – Anonymous

Beware black and white answers. The more you see the world, the more you realize it’s all greyscale.  -Ron Beltrame

Beware black and white answers. The more you see the world, the more you realize it’s all greyscale.

-Ron Beltrame

What is Messy Minds?

Messy Minds is a book: it’s a collection of poetry, words, photography, art, musings & even more so: it is confessions, secrets, raw musings from the deepest places of our hearts. And because of this, it has become even more than a book - it has grown into less of a publication and more of a community.

What would you tell your younger self?

Messy Minds is a collection of poetry, of musings and short-stories; however we reserved a very special portion of the book for all contributors and art-enthusiasts to reply a simple answer to a very big question: what would you tell your younger self?

The answers we got were shocking, touching, bitter-sweet, some were downright hysterical and others, made us shed tears. It is such an extravagantly large question that inherently receives answers from all walks of life.

Participate to win a free copy

We could encourage anyone and everyone to participate in our giveaway contest as well as win a chance to be published in our next publication! Simply write an answer to the question in any way that feels true to you, “what would you tell your younger self?” on our Facebook or Instagram post. You can find the post, by clicking: here.

Read on to the left to view some of the beautiful, funny & touching answers to, “What would you tell your younger self?”

Remember, if you would like a chance to win a free copy or to be published, post your answer on our Facebook or Instagram page today!

Our launch party is this Thursday, 5:30PM at La Fromagerie where we will be announcing the winner. Can’t wait to see you there.

What is Messy Minds Book Project? | Happy Long Weekend!

What is Messy Minds Book Project? | Happy Long Weekend!

I truly believe that rest & relaxation is often the key to coming back to our most creative selves. Sometimes we truly do need to get away to come back as our most inspired selves.

In our society, I believe that we tend to become so disconnected to this version (or inner child, as some may say) that is inherently creative & playful. Think of a mother or a father helping their child play with Legos: they often become so engrossed in the act of play; sometimes even more than the child.

As the amazing artist Henri Matisse said, “Creative people are curious, flexible, persistent, and independent with a tremendous spirit of adventure and a love of play.”

Please Read if You Are a Messy Minds Contributor

Please Read if You Are a Messy Minds Contributor

We hope you are doing amazing. Soheila and I wanted to let you know that we’ve reviewed the submissions, and we’ve just sent the book out to the printers - we reviewed (and by review, we laughed, cried and grieved with every submission) and we did what we could do to include as many as possible as well as consider the variety of topics needed in the book. We so appreciate you being patient.

My Journey: Being a Mental Health Warrior by Danielle

My Journey: Being a Mental Health Warrior by Danielle

After about a year and a half of having the IUD put in, I still had no idea it was essentially the root cause of all of my issues. I finally visited doctor who could found no specific trauma related to why my personality had changed (not to mention the constant exhaustion, confusion and fogginess I felt) except for an Oxford article connecting early Bi-Polar and Schizophrenia with the Mirena IUD. It’s shocking that a medical device such as the IUD is a legal prescription when it’s connected with such complexes.

On Poetry Writing & Other Musings: Nareesa Dhalla

On Poetry Writing & Other Musings: Nareesa Dhalla

To say Nareesa is a talented, raw and beautiful writer is an understatement. To have her published in her book is an honour and actually, she will be reading her raw & deep poem at the Messy Minds book launch party next Thursday, August 8th at 5:30PM. You’ll definitely want to be there; there will be a couple of other artists reading such as Alex Adams from Toronto, ON and Payton Patterson from Sudbury, ON who also have some incredible stories to share.