Seher Sikandar, Artist

seher is a brooklyn based photographer, writer, and community facilitator with the heart of her work rooted in the inextricable link between art, media, culture, healing, and social change. her highest intention is to create potent and inspiring medicine — projects, initiatives, works, spaces, movements — to spark creative dialogue and help elevate the way we exist as humans.

1. What is your typical day like?
each day is different as a freelancer; some days i have shoots, other days there’s a lot of computer work— whether emails or photo editing, some days are more creative— consuming others’ ideas and conjuring my own, and yet other days are just me taking it low-key to bring myself into relative equilibrium. now and then i’ll have a meeting— those are normally in the late afternoon or evening as i don’t like my flow to be interrupted during the day. 
generally, i try to focus on one or two types of work each day and no more— to maximize concentration and flow when using any given part of my brain. i find it jarring and hindering to my productivity when i’m shifting to too many different types of brain uses in a given day.
2. Which parts of your day do you find the most joyful?
it’s also always so different, especially with unstructured days. in general, i’d say the common theme is presence and appreciation for “what is” in a given moment. for example...
when i’m walking outside and meditating on the world around me. when i manage to quiet my mind for a moment— even that means a two minute informal meditation. when i see babies and small children. when someone i appreciate and i are able to exchange feelings of joy upon running into one another. when i feel lit up by a great idea or insight that i feel in my whole body and being. when i get to make and eat an amazing meal that i’ve cooked. when i get to exchange kind smiles with strangers in passing. the little, precious moments.
3. Which parts of your day do you find the most stressful?
when i’m in my head too much. when i’m caught up too much in planning versus just doing. when i’m doubting myself, or in  fear, or being mean to myself. when i’m operating from ego and my identified mind. 
it all requires a constant exercise of mindfulness, awareness, and humility, so i’m grateful to have gained tools over the years to work through such challenges to the best of my ability in any given moment.
4. What does self-care mean to you?
more than any product, service, or accoutrement, self-care to me is self-regard as a daily practice; how much are we exercising self-compassion, self-love, self-forgiveness, self-awareness, self-empowerment, and tending to our inner world with care and keen attention? 
how much are we allowing space for unfolding to our true nature— which typically requires us to go down into our scary places with grace?
5. What is the most transformative book you have read?
one of the most is transformative is definitely ‘the phantom tollbooth.’ it broke my imagination wide open.
6. If you find out you only had a week left to live, how would you spend it?
with my family and few close friends, in some beautiful place in nature. in gratitude, love, and joy.
7. How about some goals and dreams you currently have?
continuing to expand my work beyond photography. it’s been a very amorphous process, so distinct goals aren’t too clear yet. i’ve been considering starting a podcast for the last year or so.  i’d like to produce some sort of creative project— photo, writing, or perhaps something with graphics or simple illustration. i’m also marinating on different ways to hold community spaces— maybe an online course in the future. i’m also excited to continue producing different kinds of in person workshops and facilitating community conversations around healing.
8. What is one helpful/informative/cool/fun Instagram account you would recommend following?
@askvash — unapologetic and deeply grounded perspectives on wellness, community, authenticity, creativity, entrepreneurship, and ambition. with heavy doses of her own unique creativity and humor.
9. What is The One Thing you do daily, to reconnect and keep yourself balanced?
these days— closing my eyes, exhaling out all tension and mental clutter while telling myself “release release release,” repeating this as i allow space for stillness and neutrality in my mind, momentarily sitting in and reconnecting with that void space. essentially, my two minute informal meditation i mentioned earlier.

seher sikandar 

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