Today, I’m excited to share with you an interview with the lovely Harpreet Dayal. I came across her poetry on Instagram a few months ago and love the way she mixes meaningful quotes with flowers in her photos. Enjoy ♥
- Tell us a little about yourself!
My name is Harpreet M Dayal and I was born and raised in London, England. I have lived in London for the majority of my life until I got married and moved to Canada. In my previous life, I worked in the world of finance. Shifting my life to a new country gave me the opportunity to explore my creative side. So while I waited for my immigration to be approved, I wrote, and wrote, and wrote.
- What does a typical day look like for you?
I wake up as early as I can but I will wholeheartedly admit that I’m not a morning person! I am trying to instill mindfulness exercises into my daily routine as they help me de-stress when life gets busy. Currently, I work for a non-profit organization called the Asian Heritage Foundation as the project coordinator for the “Missing Chapters” project. This job entails many different elements so I am not stuck at a desk all day. I reach out to a lot of the local community and I collect and write stories from pan Asian Canadians who have or are making a significant impact in southern Alberta. Most days I go where a story takes me. This means every day is different, which is great because it keeps things interesting but I also like to keep myself grounded and have a better routine. I spend time working out, meditating or practicing yoga in the evening. I love cooking and spending time with my husband and dog Coco after a busy day.
- How did you get involved in writing children’s books?
One day, an idea came to me for a story. It was about a shy little worm named Wilbert. There was a strong feeling inside of me to explore this story and start writing. It was right around the time when I knew that I would be moving to Canada and the story began to mirror my own journey of leaving what was familiar and starting life in a new country. However, since childhood, reading was of the utmost importance to me. To this day, authors like Roald Dahl still hold a very special place in my heart.
- I love how you pair your quotes with flowers on your Instagram. How did you come up with that concept?
I started my Instagram page over two years ago but before I started it I wanted to make sure I post something unique. After talking to some creative friends for inspiration the idea for pressed flowers came up. This was perfect because flowers symbolise growth and that is exactly what I was doing at the time. The big changes in my life were opening up a new world to me, I was out of my comfort zone and I was growing. I still am. At the time I didn’t see many Instagrammers using flowers and I thought it was unique unlike now, where it has become very popular.
- Do you ever get writer’s block and if so, how do you overcome it?
This is something that definitely I experience and so do many other writers. What helps me get through this is the use of “writing prompts”. I will jot down whatever comes to mind pertaining to an idea, or a picture or even a memory. Sometimes I will just step away from the writing desk and take a walk or listen to music. For me, the best ideas come to when I’m not writing.
- Where do you find you are the most at peace?
There is a profound sense of tranquility when I immerse myself in nature. Perhaps growing up in a busy city like London has something to do with it, but when I take in a breath of crisp mountain air, a sense of calm comes over me like no other. I’m really grateful to be living in Alberta, where we are so close to the mountains. The natural beauty in the part of the world is enthralling. In light of this, I try to spend as much time in nature as I can. Whether it’s hanging out in the park with my dog Coco or going for hikes in the mountains.
- Are there any mantras that are speaking to you right now that you say to yourself?
I feel that even though it has been two years now since my move to another country, I am still transitioning. Change isn’t easy and sometimes it is a longer process than you imagined. I am still finding my purpose or calling. I am still trying to settle into what the universe is presenting me with. I do believe that things tend to fall into place and I am just where I need to be as difficult it may be to accept sometimes.
I am going through some personal changes in my life. I don’t have particular mantras but I have instilled practices into my life to help me with this phase. I try to practice a lot of self-love and self- belief and confidence in myself that everything will turn out okay. With the help of my husband, I spend time meditating and visualizing where I want to be, I remember my successes and how far I have come and I write down three things I am grateful for before bed.
- How do you unwind and relax at the end of the day?
I realize this might be a bit of a cliché, but I’m also somewhat of a homebody who loves to curl up on the couch with a blanket and watch something on Netflix. I mean, who doesn’t?
I also love to cook, sing and dance; sometimes all at once!
- What’s next for you?
I don’t want to say too much but there are some exciting projects on hold that I would like to explore next year when things settle a little in my personal life.
- How can people find you online?
The best place to find me would be on my Instagram page: @harpreet.m.dayal and Facebook page: www.facebook.com/harpreetmdayal