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Self Exploration: Start Where You Are


Self-exploration has been a constant theme in my adult life. I’ve even come to believe that existential confusion is a part of my DNA. In fact it was this this very strife that pushed me into giving up my cushy corporate job, to jump into the unknown, with The Wishing Chair.

Long story short, what I have learnt along the way is that sometimes you just have to grit your teeth and persist. And with some luck – sometimes the universe (which always, always knows better) sends you exactly what you need. Or at least that’s how it felt when at a particularly difficult time earlier this year, a dear friend at Penguin Random House asked me if I might be interested in stocking “a journal for self-exploration”  at The Wishing Chair, and what arrived was Meera Lee Patel’s phenomenal work of art. Yes, pun intended.

Start Where You are

It’s a simple but effective mantra. “Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.” The nitpicking pedant inside me pipes up of course – “not 'do what you can', but 'do the best that you can.'” That aside however, this simple phrase is pretty zen. Very breathe in, breath out. Very, relax.

A morning journal is a habit I cultivated years ago and as soon as I encountered Start Where You are, I bought it home, having decided to add it to my routine for the next thirty days or so.  Easy peasy. Until day one came, and with it, complete disaster! I found myself staring blankly, the questions swimming on beautifully illustrated pages, with no answers remotely in sight!

Meera Lee’s book, is part journal, part good counsel, and part workbook done entirely in watercolors – overflowing with life lessons. Every spread in the book is a beautifully illustrated life lesson accompanied by an exercise designed to make you apply the sentiments behind the lesson to your life. Because every answer is inside you.  If you’re willing to shush the voices in your head long enough that is. And dig. Dig deep, dig long and hard, and keep on digging despite the alarming vulnerability you will feel attempting some of these pages.

Use What You Have

They say ‘the hardest questions are the ones that open doors’.  I decided to stick with the book and process the questions from the exercises.  Days passed, and sure enough, slowly, despite every hesitation, my answers started taking form.

It took a long time to fill my first page – I can admit this freely and without any embarrassment whatsoever. However, practice I found, made it easier to connect more and more reliably with my intuition. And that is what in my opinion makes the effort completely worth the time.

meera lee

Do What You Can

I’m still far from completing the book, but the past few months of persisting with it have made me aware of the things that matter. I know, if only a little better, what is really important to me, where I’m happiest investing my time, and which adventures are closest to my heart.


The book is for anyone and everyone, who like me, wants to understand themselves a little bit better – what is it that makes us tick, what brings us joy and satisfaction, what is it that we’re most afraid of?

Are you that person? If yes, I highly recommend you pick this treasure up. You’ll find copies stocked at The Wishing Chair or you can get yourself one online here.

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Written byAvneet Mann

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