Break The Habit of Instant Gratification With Fulfilment – Positive Vibe Series

“I want it, and I want it now,” sounds familiar? Needless to say that it is tough to resist the badly behaving inner voice, which demands an instant reward. Like that piece of magnetic chocolate in the cupboard that somehow telepathically stimulates your tastes buds or browsing aimlessly the social media to get an update on your imaginary friends. Of course, not being able to resist comes with a bold headline, featured as “the lack of purpose and meaning.” 

Sara Shakeel
Sara Shakeel

While the previous statement is a significant blockage, brain chemistry is enormously responsible for reinforcing the unproductive feeling, such as instant gratification. Once you experience joy, your brain is exposed to dopamine, and deliberately the brain encourages you to continue doing what made you feel good. This is called the dopamine reward circuit, which involves several parts of the brain and fortifies good feelings. Hence, unaware of the joy’s source, anything that triggers the gratification releases the chemicals, and the brain perceives it as a pleasure source. 

Sara Shakeel
Sara Shakeel

Now that you know the brain’s basic physiology’s reward system, the next step is to consciously bridge the way for your present self to reach your future self by taking advantage of the feel-good chemicals ferrying in your neural pathways. Having said that, your goals and your future self need not only a vision board but, most notably, a philosophical vision to overcome procrastination or curb instant gratification. That vision, or you may call it inspiration, must be ingrained deep into your values and aligned with your temperament.

  • Make a list of your goals, your resources, your talents, your shortcomings, and your inadequacies. Don’t be shy jot down all the self-descriptive adjectives to see what you need to improve on and what you could solidly leverage to reach your aspirations.
  • Once you have the list in front of you, start an inner-dialogue and try to convince your present self why your goals are important.
  • Attach meaning to your goals by re-examining your intentions. At this stage, the philosophical vision becomes crystal clear.
  • Choose the most challenging goal. Why? Since you have to work super hard to reach it. As Pluto said: “Do one thing and do it well.”
  • In full awareness, accept that life is full of agony, traumas, sufferings, and delays.
  • Tap into your higher intelligence to embrace the benefits of delayed gratification. As humans, we can exert self-control. Make use of it, consider your promise to your future self, know your “why,” and avoid temptations.
  • Every day remind yourself of your intended goal so that you stay on course.
  • Be consistent, even if you feel miserable, put as much effort as possible since a fraction of the required work is better than none.

Staying motivated is not an easy task, so don’t wallow on it if you slip up. It happens, we all struggle, rather than giving in to your impulses again and falling into a vicious cycle, the best way out is to know that new habits take time. With patience, you can put your abilities to work to reach your goals.

Quote – Carl Jung

I am not what happened to me, I am what I choose to become.

Carl Jung












Featured image is by: Elizabeth Jane Bishop and John Yuyi worked together on this image titled 'Reblog', a mix of photography, transfer stickers and bare skin that illustrates the exposed, hyper-stimulated nature of lives lived online.

Iran At A Glance Exhibition – Queen Gallery

“Iran at a Glance” Art Exhibition takes on thorny collective issues by Iranian artists living the challenges of social injustices, apparent and the embedded, inside Iran.  The selected art pieces depict the ongoing struggles of numerous communities, relentlessly unveils tensions between cultural practices, absurd traditions, social movements and political ideologies. The exhibition is taking place at Queen Gallery, located at 382 Queen Street East, Toronto till March 30, 2019.

Queen Gallery presents the work of contemporary artists from Toronto and around the world.  Housed in a refurbished brownstone, this distinctive space is a forum where the boundaries of media are greeted, embraced and even challenged.

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Learn more about “Iran at a Glance” art exhibition through the interview with Mahrokh Ahankhah, founder of the Queen Gallery:

Jupilings: What is Iran at a Glance Exhibition about?

MA:  Iran at a Glance exhibition seeks to offer a new and fresh perspective into Iran’s contemporary art scene. The socio-cultural elements affecting artists/people in Iran are explored through the lens of twenty artists and their artworks. Through their own stylistic techniques, each of the artists gives us a unique glance into their world in Iran. The exhibition was curated by Iranian artist Nina Rastgar and Mahrokh Ahankhah, the founder of Queen Gallery.

Jupilings: Who are the artists:

MH: The artists featured in this exhibition represent the diversity of expressions, concepts and backgrounds among artists in Iran; From emerging to highly established artists.

Jupilings: What are the prevalent themes in this collection?

MH: The collection explores the day-to-day lives and concerns of artists and their experience as a creative individual.

Jupilings: What was the selection criteria for this particular group?

MH: The curator for this exhibition selected artists based on their artistic merit and their originality of ideas, concepts and techniques. Beyond that, the diversity of artists and their backgrounds was one of the key driving factors in selecting artists and artworks for Iran at a Glance Exhibition. 

Jupilings: How does art play in cultural, political and civil resistance in Iran?

MH: The study of Iranian history shows the unbreakable links between art and all other political, cultural, social, and economic events; art has been continuously used as a highly efficient tool to express thoughts and aspirations, as well as to challenge authority, and oppression. The contemporary Iranian artists, represented in Iran at a Glance and beyond, follow the same legacy that prior artists such as Kamal-ol-Molk, Behzad, and Sohrab Sepehri. Today’s artists, in their many different mediums, speak of truth, and the real-life struggles of Iranian artists in Iran.

Jupilings: What other exhibitions do you have coming up?

MH: Our next exhibit features Tina Rouhandeh. Her artworks combine calligraphy, poetry and sewing together; Scribe and Stitch exhibition is open to the public on April 3rd-13th, 2019.

Jewellery Inspired by Constellations – Gift Series

Fine jewellery is the best option to mark a milestone. It captures a special moment, serves as wealth security, and its functionality is everlasting.  A self-expressive fashion statement that can be worn to different occasions from job interviews to special moments.

Every week we will introduce our selection of elegant, trendy and unique fine jewellery from around the globe. This week our curation is about mystical and magical symbols in the sky. Elegant collections that remind us that every moment echoes a mystery, a discovery or a logic of our existence in a universe much bigger than us.

Jessie V E symbolic jewellery that evokes emotions and harbours hidden and secret messages while fusing traditional goldsmithing techniques with cutting edge modern technology.

Leo Constellation Earrings - Available in 18kt Yellow, White or Rose gold - Jessie V E
Leo Constellation Earrings – Available in 18kt Yellow, White or Rose gold – Jessie V E

Aquarius Constellation. Available in 18ct Yellow, White or Rose gold - Jessie V E
Aquarius Constellation. Available in 18ct Yellow, White or Rose gold – Jessie V E

 

 

Capricorn Constellation. Available in 18ct Yellow, White or Rose gold - Jessie V E
Capricorn Constellation. Available in 18ct Yellow, White or Rose gold – Jessie V E

 

Saskia Diez: The German-born designer is based in the Munich area, and closely works with local goldsmiths using gold and silver from recycled materials, making her brand local and environmentally-conscious.

Saskia Diez - Zodiac Rings
Saskia Diez – Zodiac Rings

Shahla Karimi: All pieces are hand made in New York City with recycled gold and conflict-free stones. Custom bridal and engagement ring design is available both remotely and in her NYC showroom.

Virgo Ring - In the Zodiac Collection, the stars have been spread 360 degrees so only the wearer knows the reveal of these special cigar bands. Diamonds are flush set in high polished 14K gold. Designed for the pinky, but can be worn on any finger to honor yourself or represent a loved one.
Virgo Ring – In the Zodiac Collection, the stars have been spread 360 degrees so only the wearer knows the reveal of these special cigar bands. Diamonds are flush set in high polished 14K gold. Designed for the pinky, but can be worn on any finger to honour yourself or represent a loved one.

Sagittarius​ Zodiac Ring - the stars have been spread 360 degrees so only the wearer knows the reveal of these special cigar bands. Diamonds are flush set in high polished 14K gold. Designed for the pinky, but can be worn on any finger to honor yourself or represent a loved one.
Sagittarius Zodiac Ring – the stars have been spread 360 degrees so only the wearer knows the reveal of these special cigar bands. Diamonds are flush set in high polished 14K gold. Designed for the pinky, but can be worn on any finger to honour yourself or represent a loved one.

Odyssey by Marc Quinn

Being part of the human family is to recognise the need for equality, basic dignity, inalienable rights, freedom of speech and belief for all human beings.  According to the recent UNHCR report, there are about 68.5 million people forcibly displaced and fundamental aspects of life stolen from them. The cruelty does not end in displacement but to be rejected, unloved, unwelcomed and fear the intolerance.

Odyssey, the latest artwork project by British artist, Marc Quinn,  is the response to the “Us vs Them” mentality. The project involves blood donated by more than 5,000 people, with half of these volunteers being refugees and celebrities to bring awareness to the global refugee crises and to raise millions of dollars for people affected by this humanitarian tragedy.

“To me, the refugee crisis is one of the greatest humanitarian tragedies we have ever seen. I feel compelled to make an artwork about it and, by doing so, help the people involved”.  — Marc Quinn

Two identical, metric-ton cubes of frozen human blood, one by refugees and one by non-refugees, represent the belief that, under the skin, we are all the same.  It will be opening in late 2019 on the steps of the New York Public Library.  The not-for-profit work intends to shine a spotlight on the refugee crisis while raising $30m (£23m) for charities working to alleviate it such as the International Rescue Committee (one of the world’s largest refugee-focused NGOs), with the rest distributed to a group of further refugee organisations and programmes.

Partnered with Norman Foster, to design the pavilion and the contributors range from refugees to non-refugees, to celebrities, to scientists, historians to humanitarians including prominent refugees Angok Mayen and George Okeny, as well as others including Sting, David Miliband, Jude Law, Bono, Anna Wintour, Kate Moss.

 

 

Featured image courtesy of Sarah Lee for the Guardian

Banksy’s Exhibition in Toronto

I dare say that being a good observer matters more than ever. Peering into ourselves and the world unboxes the behaviors, the negatives, the positives or the actions that sidetrack us. The daily rummage distracts even the most intelligent beings; however a sudden tilt of the eye towards a mural or a poster sheds lights on our existential dilemma.

Banksy
Banksy

One of the most talented observers of our time is Banksy, the artist. His anarchic wit and his ability to dissect the challenges and communicating them in an intelligently uncluttered way is praiseworthy. The message is never lost in the image. A simple concept from evolutionary references, advocating for peace or justice to the validity of all kinds of love brings out the best version in each of us. His artworks push aside the narcissism of small differences and rely on the hype for compassion.

Banksy
Banksy

Banksy
Banksy

The incognito trademark of Bansky is attractive. His desire to act as a creative surrogate of empathy and heightened awareness portrays him as stimulating. Deep in our conscious, we form an alliance with his emotional intelligence. Unlike the desperate cry for help of Gotham citizens, who relied on one superhero to be rescued using the bat-signal device, Banksy lights the torch for us to observe, be responsible and take action.

 

Banksy
Banksy

Banksy
Banksy

The Banksy Art exhibition in Toronto curated by Steve Lazarides, his former agent, is a collection of references to our society and cultural idolization, obsessions or shenanigans. Still, his deeply-rooted mindfulness and generous care for the vulnerable are felt with clarity. An opportunity to see his artworks that will be returned to 40 different art collectors around the world, is worth the time and money.

 

THE ART OF BANKSY runs till September 2, 2018, at 213 Sterling. $35, stu/srs $32.50, children under five free.

2018: Winners at Festival d’Hyères – Fashion & Photography

The Hyères International Festival of Fashion and Photography is the oldest fashion contest, that encourages creative and unique perspective on the world and fashion. The global challenges, critical issues and the shift in conscious and sustainability are prevalent and desired in its context.  Launched in 1985, at Robert Mallet-Stevens’s aristo-modernist Villa Noailles, in Riviera coastline, is the “must attend” event on the fashion calendar.

The social projects with the flair of originality and innovation are realized in photography, accessories and fashion collections to challenge the uncertainties in our societies, to communicate the cultural pressures, to inspire and to help the collective to overcome their disabilities and inspire.

This year’s, winner of the Swarovski Grand Prize for Accessories in Festival d’Hyères, H (earring),  received an unanimous vote  from Christelle Kocher who presided the fashion accessories jury panel alongside Michèle Lamy, Mansur Gavriel’s Floriana Gavriel, Vogue Runway Director Nicole Phelps, and jeweler Elie Top, among others.

In an industry that attempts to make hearing aids as invisible as possible, the collaboration between the French trio,  Kate Fichard, Flora Fixy and Julia Dessirier resulted in transforming the hearing aid device to a remarkable accessory. They merged creativity, elegance and practicality to produce a confident fashion statement.

Crafted in gold and rhodium-plated brass sprinkled with Swarovski crystals, they offer elegant ways to wear by fusing jewellery and technology, without compromising the function of the device.

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Here are the winners in other categories:

Fashion

Grand Prix of the Première Vision Jury with Rushemy Botter & Lisi Herrebrugh (Men’s Collection) Netherlands. The menswear collection spiced up with humour, pays tribute to the Caribbean fisherman, touches on cultural issues of gender fluidity, as well as causes and effects of environmental pollution.

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Chloé Award to Marie-Eve Lecavalier (Women’s Collection) Canada. The Montreal born designer reflects ambition, endurance and purposefulness by deconstructing and distortion in her design ideas. In her collection, the altered reality is achieved by transforming leather appearance into a knitted structure.

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Audience Award of the City of Hyères to Sarah Bruylant (Women’s collection) Belgium. A fan of Christian Dior, her vibrant and flamboyant collection pays respect to art and history.

Sara Bruylant - Image from https://lxry.nl/amfi/
Sara Bruylant – Image from https://lxry.nl/amfi/

Audience Award of the City of Hyères to Cécile Gray , France. The accessories are made of steel wire, tinted in gold, and covered with a nylon sheath. Once woven, this gives a soft material, to be comfortable and to move with the person who wears them, and rigid, to work it in volume.

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Photography

Grand Jury Photography Award to Eva O’Leary, “Spitting Image” USA.

 

American Vintage Photography Award to Sarah Mei Herman, for a project called Xiamen, which she shot in the Chinese coastal city.

The Still Life Prize to Csilla Klenyanszki, for a series called Pillars of Homes which was shot at home.

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Jen Mann – Relationships & Emotions

Jen Mann is a Canadian artist who explores how relationships form and develop. She delves into “self “concept, the realization of being a separate entity and how our shared experiences whether in the form of harmony or conflict, condition our ways of life.

Fireworks by Jen Mann
Fireworks by Jen Mann

Her compositions manifest the prevalent social trends in digital narratives with incredible hues. The unnatural colours that embody her work relate to her storylines and formulate into strong emotions.

PLZ
PLZ ❤ Me – Jen MannJen Mann

She tackles the existential questions by taking a satirical, intellectual and honest approach to our conventional values.

Emoji - Jen Mann
Emoji – Jen Mann

Venus - Men are from Mars Women are from Venus
Venus – Men are from Mars Women are from Venus

Wet Dreams - Jen Mann
Wet Dreams – Jen Mann

The concept of real or constructed self identity is portrayed in her creations to make us aware of our cultural attitude towards individualism. She is her own muse and captures her identity in different conditions by being conscious of her interrelationships with self, others and her environment.

I don't feel blue, I feel delft blue - Jen Mann
I don’t feel blue, I feel delft blue – Jen Mann

 

Single Tear - Jen Mann
Single Tear – Jen Mann

The Facade - Jen Mann
The Facade – Jen Mann

The side I don't see - Jen Mann
The side I don’t see – Jen Mann

 

Jen Mann’s contact: http://www.jenmann.com/info

 

Raw Series by Cristian Girotto

Digital art is about imaging the reality as you want. It is perpetual, interpretive and  reflects the outlook of different cultures. It allows the artist to connect the dots between creativity, perceptions, desires, popular and high cultures. An art that communicates the unsaid and allows you to experience visually other senses.

Once more,  talented digital artist, Cristian Girotto has patiently rendered culinary art in a liberal & eye-catching series dubbed “Raw”. Cristian Girotto is a digital artist based in Paris, you can view his portfolio on Behance or his website.

Raw by Critian Girotto
Raw by Critian Girotto

Raw by Cristian Girotto
Raw by Cristian Girotto

Raw by Cristian Girotto
Raw by Cristian Girotto

Dolceacqua – A medieval village in Italian Riviera

Following the trail of Claude Monet, the picturesque village of Dolceacqua, at the bottom of Nervia Valley, in the Italian region of Liguria is an expressive sight.

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Dolceacqua’s iconic stone footbridge that arches over the Nervia river, dubbed by the master of impressionist, Claude Monet ” jewel of lightness” and the Doria Castle depicted in 1884 is the birth place of powerful Doria Clan who were lord of Genoa in 16th and 17th century. The castle is in ruins however at the top, the restoration has allowed an area for festivals and plays with a panoramic view of the spontaneous nature of Liguria.

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The cobblestone walkways and alleys with twists and loops, the artist shops and the adorable restaurants all air medieval romance and characterize the gentility of the knights of the round table. Among the eateries, “Casa e Bottega”, accentuates the essence of Dolceacqua charm and marvellous cuisine.

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The primary economic activities of the region are olives, production of roses, mimosas, brooms and local speciality wine called “Rossesse”. The wine grape is aromatic and garrigue flavoured, suggesting bushy, wild and fragrant plants.

With every old town and city, there is a story and the legend of Dolceacqua is about women’s emancipation. The tragic love story of Lucrezia and Basso, two lovers who fought against the “Jus Primae Noctis”, which means the newlywed bride should spend her wedding night with the lord of the region.  The story recounts that while Lucrezia and Basso were celebrating their secret marriage, the Marquise’s guards kidnaped her to perform her duty. However, she refused and was imprisoned and left to die in the dungeons of the castle. Basso broke in the castle and forced the Marquis to abolish the law with a knife at his throat. The residents of Dolceacqua celebrate this victory with a sweet pastry called “Michetta” accompanied by “Rossesse di Dolceacqua” wine.

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Italian Jewelry designer to watch – Leonardi Emanuele

Leonardi Emanuele, experimental sculptor and winner of Artistar 2017 is channelling human sentiments into his craft. His art speaks at a deep, emotional level, eliciting sublime feelings and aesthetic chills. His micro sculptures portray characters that are unwavering, supportive or crusading. His philosophical approach to body ornaments is powerful and has a symbiotic relationship between the human emotions and the art of jewellery.

His piece called ‘Valutazione del Rischio’ (Risk Assessment) won him the Artistar award. A jewel-work of art crafted from wood, leather and bronze composed of necklace and brooch. The neckpiece depicts human’s desire and willpower to achieve in spite of everything.

"Valutazione del rischio" - Leonardi Emanuele
Leonardi Emanuele – “Valutazione del rischio”

Leonardi Emanuele - "Esodo"
Leonardi Emanuele – “Esodo”

 

The Artistry of French Food – Interview with Chantal Véchambre

“The easiest way to win the hearts and the minds is through food”. 

 The French gastronomical delights are a rewarding experience that embraces elegance. Hospitality “à la Française,” with the mouth-watering timeless sauces and creatively mixed ingredients to concoct memorable dishes, is the nonpareil decision on many occasions. The delicious indulgence of french culinary nourishes your relationships, fosters interactions, builds cooperation, and fuels your event’s aesthetics.

We met with Parisian Chef Chantal Véchambre in Toronto to learn about her style in creating the elegant french cuisine.

What is your story: My story is all about a Parisian lady chef in Toronto… without a restaurant.

mycremecaramel-chantal-vechambre-catering-toronto-privatechef5

What qualities should a chef have apart from cooking skills: Curiosity, open mind, planning, organization, kindness towards employees.

Your “one” superpower quality as a chef: Knowledge of French classic cooking skills.

Do you have a golden rule in your kitchen: No interruption and I’m referring especially to individuals who just drop by without making appointments. Certain preparations require full concentration, plus, I prefer to work in isolation and have the luxury of mental planning without disruption.

How do you choose your suppliers:  Well it depends on dishes and the budget, a good balance of quality and cost. I always assess the delivery commitment in selecting my suppliers.

What elements you consider aesthetically to create harmony and balance in your menu: Color, density & ingredients.

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Do you ever propose your clients “service en confusion”? If yes when and why? I think you are referring to the « ambigu » which was very popular among the French aristocracy in the 18th century. It was a manner of setting the feasting table, sort of buffet style,  in the days of yore. Certainly, a regal feast arrangement is splendid, still, personally I prefer butler style bouchées serving or stations with chaffing dishes with a server to help guests…. as buffets turn to a mess and a waste of food.

Screen Shot 2017-06-07 at 10.48.36 PM3 tips for serving lunch at a conference: Light, quick, and easy to eat & visually appealing.

3 tips to impress your guests for wedding menus?  French touch, classic recipe, sophisticated presentation.

What kind of dishes you suggest to create a connection and spark conversation? An old fashioned recipe from French country culinary heritage.

One secret of French Haute cuisine: The sauces.

Your take on: “Culinary diplomacy” examines how food can be used as a tool to promote relationship-building, cooperation, and peace: When the stomach is filled and the brain is satisfied, we can talk easily about peace!

World leaders who you like to host and cook for in your kitchen while discussing the exchange of ideas: Pape François, Obama, Dalai Lama, Queen Elizabeth, and now Macron of course.

What is your favorite “saying”, “quote”, “idiom” with food? : En avoir plein l’assiette (have our plate full): to have a lot to do (and not need more !)

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As a host of private dinner, how do we choose our dessert menu: savory?Sweet? Sweet, a desert is always sweet!

Is it completely inept and far from french etiquette to serve a cheese platter prior to serving dinner?

Screen Shot 2017-06-07 at 10.47.34 PMCheese platter charges the palate before the dinner and fills the stomach as well.

Your favorite dessert: many…. Creme Caramel, Bavarois, Opera, NY Cheese Cake….

3 French table etiquettes: 

  • guests to be served at the same time for a dish
  • no cell phone
  • no food and beverage in the mouth at the same time (yikes)
  • use the knife to cut and not the side of the fork
  •  both hands on the table

What is your favorite movie that features great gastronomy or food: Many, Les saveurs du Palais, le Festin de Babette, Ratatouille, Julie & Julia.

Your life Motto: Teach your kids to cook!

Visit Chantal Véchambre websites to learn more about her catering services.

www.mycremecaramel.com

facebook.com/mycremecaramelcatering

instagram.com/mycremecaramel_catering

twitter.com/gourmetfrench

chantalvechambre.com