Posts for INSPIRATION Category

My Paris Journal

INSPIRATION - Zara Durrani - March 18, 2018

Photo by Marco Joe Fazio

The empty spaces. This is something I was talking about yesterday in a meeting. When one is self employed, running your own company, networking even after work – the line between when work starts and stops easily diminishes. So, I was saying to my friends yesterday in Paris, I need to focus more on being comfortable with the empty spaces in between work, projects, networking, being social – and bring that energy back in. I think it’s imperative for an artist or entrepreneur to do that. We cannot always be 100% in action mode. Or we will burn out.

Then it’s time to take inventory and reevaluate what’s working and what isn’t, and just to see where you are at is highly crucial. To see what I have accomplished in one month.

I have friends and mentors who are more successful in say communicating whether in fashion, film or are partner in a law firm, who I always run my thinking by, in all aspects of life. For example, this last week I was about to do something I have done out of habit before, instead I chose to do the opposite, feel the fear and do opposing action. That’s a moment of growth. That’s how we really grow, not in age but in emotional maturity. I had two such encounters, and I know after putting my cards on the table, and being clear and direct in my communication I went to bed feeling like a burden was off my shoulders.

When we are clear on what is it we desire, what our needs and goals are, it’s easier to go out in the world and get it, or ask for it or politely say no thank you!

PS I’ll leave you with a little note from a podcast I was listening to earlier this month – not everyone has to like you. That’s a very narcissistic idea to expect to get along or be liked, admired or loved by everyone.

Bonne nuit!

Continue Reading

Making Art

INSPIRATION - Zara Durrani - March 14, 2018

Karma Kandara Resort in Bali

I think the secret is to live and create from a place of joy and non attachment whether in work or life.

To create to only fulfill the desire, to love to go deeper within oneself.

Down the road, the dots will always connect.

Just heard some pretty exciting news, bucket list type of news. Can’t wait to share!!

Sometimes we have to just keep doing that which brings us joy for no rhyme or reason. I think that creates a higher vibration around us and attracts like minded folks into our sphere.

Paint, draw, dance, sing for no reason, other than the sheer joy of it!

Bonne nuit.

Karma Kandara Resort in Bali

Continue Reading

Thoughts at the End of the Day

INSPIRATION - Zara Durrani - March 13, 2018

What does it mean to live life on your own terms?

What does it mean to be happy? What is happiness?

I think it’s more about contentment, and finding what you have to be enough.

To stop comparing.

To wake up each day wanting to defy the odds.

How do successful people think? Let me rephrase that, how do people who come from nothing and have suffered immensely go on to achieve greatness.

What frequency do those people vibrate at? What are the major thoughts occupying their brain.

I have a client who moved to Canada without knowing a word of English, and kick started his first business. He had several businesses after, and none of them worked out as planned. Upon further inquiry, I discovered he woke up one day with the realization, he can “decide” to be happy. That from that day onwards, he will put maximum effort into surrounding himself only with people who had found success inside and out.

So, I have taken a page out of my client’s book, and for the last week I have been intentionally meeting people whose work I admire in Paris.

My coach Vince Milardo, always reminds me to create momentum and don’t wait for life to happen to you, but to go out and make it happen.

Few thoughts, at the end of month one plus a day in Paris.

I’m not sure, what this year will bring, but I am consciously allowing my heart to open (and heal) and be present in the process of what this beautiful, mystical city has to offer.

Note: working consciously to make our dreams come true, doesn’t mean we just sit and meditate. Faith without work is dead. So go out and make it happen!

Photos by Stefan Oboski

Wearing makeup by Sappho Cosmetics, Vancouver based vegan makeup line

Hair colour & cut by Ludovic & Jessica Jan at Opus Salon 




Continue Reading

Why I spent New Years Eve Alone

INSPIRATION - Zara Durrani - January 1, 2018

Zara Durrani - New Years Eve

In my early twenties, whenever New Years eve was around the corner, I was always concerned about getting an invitation to the most happening party, the prettiest dress, nails done, hair done…the list goes on, you get the point.

I’m particularly thrilled to ring in the new year alone, and not feeling remotely sad, or anything even close to it. Quite relieved and at peace to be fairly honest. Perhaps this is called adulting? I call it learning to be comfortable in my skin and with who I am.

I spent New Years Eve alone, with a cup of chamomile & honey tea by my fireplace to tune inwards, to center and ground my energy as I step into 2018. It’s important to review the year before, to look at the successes and failures without judgement.

As we took photos this afternoon, on an unusually sunny afternoon in Vancouver, I vowed to myself to leave behind anything that is not serving me. To step into the new year, with clear intentions of who I want to be.

This is what I came up with:

  1. Self Doubt
  2. Fearful Thoughts
  3. Negative Self Talk –
  4. Rehashing the Past – Time travel is best left for sci-fi movies. Past is over, learn from it and move on.
  5. Resentments – they only weigh you down. Forgive and Forget.
  6. Judgement – of myself and others.

What do I want to focus on in 2018:

  1. Compassion – for self and others.
  2. Risks – Fall Forward. Risk it All. That’s how we grow!
  3. Student Mindset – Learn something new e.g. SEO, editing video, etc.
  4. LOVE – without holding back. Be a conduit for love!
  7. REST – this is a big one for me. This may sound  very simple for anyone else, but when I’m well rested and not hangry I am more pleasant & patient. So more naps in 2018!
  8. TRUST THE PROCESS – What is the lesson that you need to learn?
  9. You are Exactly Where You Need To Be.

Zara Durrani - New Years Eve

Zara Durrani - New Years Eve


Zara Durrani - New Years Eve



Continue Reading


INSPIRATION - Zara Durrani - December 17, 2017


December is almost done folks, christmas is around the corner and before you know it, it will be New Years’ Eve. Currently, I’m lying in bed, it’s almost 3 am. Before jumping into bed, my brain was racing million miles a minute between the future and all the things I need to do before I move out of my apartment. As we all know moving is a tedious job. Then add to that moving from one continent to another. However since I’m a super planner, things have been going as planned. But the universe decided to gift me something massive today, which I can’t quite talk out. But as it was not under my original plan, I put on my original worry wort hat on! No fun.

As I got under my comfy blanket, I realized one thing that was missing, during all my worrying and (mild) panicking aka over planning/organizing (read as need to control) today, GRATITUDE. Oh yes it was no where to be found. I just become a big worry wort when things don’t go as planned. Obviously the proven techniques of deep breathing, yoga, meditation help. But when you are in the thick of it, all the things you have learnt from gurus in Bali they disappear. Yes I spent two months in Bali, before I started my talk shows.  By the way I spent too months out of the city it a little village at the Nirarta Centre for Living Awareness.Too bad I wasn’t in the habit of blogging much back then.

Okay back to gratitude. How does it shift our brain? When we are in a place of being grateful and thinking we have enough, the need for comparison, or to gossip or put anyone else’s success disappears. As they say, comparison is the thief of joy. Being in gratitude, a sense of belonging and comfort comes over us, and we feel as though the world is as exactly as it should be including us.

Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace, and gratitude. Denis Waitley

Anyways, I want to go to bed tonight, thinking and really letting myself feel the feelings of gratitude come over me.

So i’ll share what i’m grateful for tonight

1- A warm bed and a very safe home that I love so much. This apartment has brought me so much joy, and filled up my heart. And I have been able to share amazing memories here with my wonderful mother, and dear friends.

2- I am grateful for my friends, as they do their own best to love, inspire and support me. I’m blessed to have inspiring friends who push me to dream bigger.

3- I am grateful to see this beautiful transition in my life as I leave Vancouver behind and spend one year in Paris. It sounds like a novel, or a (romantic) movie. What a dream! This has been a fantasy for many years, and now it’s becoming a reality.


photo by David Naman

Continue Reading

My Goal for 2018: Set no Goals

INSPIRATION - Zara Durrani - December 16, 2017

Relaxing on my couch - enjoying the moment Relaxing on my couch - enjoying the moment

December is the time when everyone starts talking about goal setting, whether it be a big shot company, or gurus on social media, we see everywhere, everyone telling us to have GOALS! Well what if your goal is to have no goals for the next year. Maybe try it as a little experiment, for 6 months. I know I am challenging myself to do it.

Not setting any specific goals doesn’t mean I’m just going to sit at home on my couch, as the photo below shows. In fact I will have lists of things I need to do for clients, articles that need to be written, deadlines that need to met. But instead of pushing myself so hard, I will focus on being more relaxed about things. And if you are already like this than kudos to you, because I’m someone who constantly beats themselves up about being better, to constantly be growing, evolving. But there has to come a time, where you stop to smell the roses. So that will be 2018 for me. And I will keep you updated on how things are going.

I have taken part in many personal development programs, worked with a life coach (and continue to do so) around creating and setting goals. I see the importance in having goals, yet I’m at the point in my life, or maybe this has more to do with realizing the artistic spirit in me wants to focus more on experiences rather than set goals, or better yet, feelings. If you haven’t yet read Danielle Laporte’s The Desire Map, I suggest picking it up. Danielle inspired me to focus on attaining certain feelings, and having them as goals instead of things, or career landmarks. Example you can land a big client or gig, but if you are super stressed and miserable then what’s the point.

I have been running so sweaty my whole life
Urgent for a finish line
And I have been missing the rapture this whole time
Of being forever incomplete
—Alanis Morissette, “Incomplete”

Since making the decision to spend one year in Europe, I had to give up, or work on giving up my constant achievement mentality, and be open to focusing my energy on living and pleasure more like my fellow Parisians. Working 14 hour days during the week, and my side hustle of media consulting, MCing, acting, auditioning work with the magazine leaves little time for Zara. There has to be a middle ground, more time for play, fun and joy. Otherwise what’s the point of it all, if we are just getting burnt out.

So my goal for 2018 is to not set any goals, but focus more on living a happier, joyous, low stress life.

Yes that may include perhaps more yoga and meditation, or maybe even taking a drawing class or learning to sow. But to have possibly a vision board ideas and possibilities I was to explore rather than a rigid, must do experience that would create extra stress just to get done.

Relaxing on my couch - enjoying the moment

Relaxing on my couch – enjoying the moment

Maybe I should actually learn to play a song, just for fun

Maybe I should actually learn to play a song, just for fun


Number 1 Goal Have More Fun

Number 1 Goal Have More Fun

Continue Reading

Moving to Paris

INSPIRATION, TRAVEL - Zara Durrani - December 14, 2017

Moving to Paris

Paris has served as a longstanding muse for poets, artists and writers for centuries. To pursue his dreams of being a writer young Earnest Hemingway moved to Paris from Chicago in his  early twenties. He was advised to live with a community of artists, poets and writers, so he could travel and pursue his dream of writing. Hemingway was inspired to write “A Moveable Feast” among other works while his time in France.

Csikszentmihalyi said  it’s better to move somewhere new than it is to will yourself to be more creative.

This has been a year of big change and transition for me. Earlier this year I imagined myself to be packing for sunny LA by December. And here I am writing this post sharing my love for Paris. A city that has stolen my heart and soul. I truly feel I am cheating on LA, but sometimes one needs to take big risks, specially when your calling is more of an artistic nature. An artist cannot will himself to be inspired.

There is something special, divine and mystical about Paris that calls artists and dreamers.

Eiffel Tower in the Fall

Eiffel Tower in the Fall by Stephane Guillot

So as I write this, I may as well share I’m working towards making Paris home for a year. Something in my heart has been aching for a change of scenery and more adventure and excitement, and also simplicity.

If you asked me six months ago that I would be making this decision, – packing up selling everything, giving up my acting career well putting it on hold, along with my LA dreams and really pushing myself out of my comfort zone, I’d say you were absolutely out of your mind.
2017 has been an interesting year, A very challenging, painful, rewarding, adventurous, a year of growth in every way possible. I lost my mother to oral cancer after a year-long battle. I lived in the hospital with her for a month during her last days along with making the decision to remove her from IV which was pretty much her life-support since she had lost her ability to swallow. Anyone who has lost a parent will tell you the pain is unbearable, specially if it’s a single parent, and specially if they’re young. My mom celebrated Mother’s Day, then a week later her 52nd birthday and three days after she passed away peacefully  surrounded by her children. I started making funeral arrangements a month and a half prior just so I was prepared when the time came. And I will tell you nothing can prepare you for this experience. There have been many nights of crying, and questioning life, and the purpose of it all.
The aftermath of this experience was I realized I wanted to passionately commit to living my life in a bigger more fulfilling way than ever before. That also meant that I needed to commit to my happiness, to really looking inwards and deciding and asking myself what is it that I truly want. Seeing my beautiful mother vanish away as the cancer ate her up, I knew I wanted to have the experiences that she had always desired. At a young age I remember my mother’s passion for France and Italy. We traveled throughout Southeast Asia, literally country hopping, seeing if it was somehow possible for us to enter Europe through our Pakistani passport. I know one of the reasons I’m even in Canada today is because of my mothers wish to see me live a life filled with opportunities and possibilities and to use my God-given talents.
Jardin de Tuileries

Jardin de Tuileries by Stephane Guillot

On my recent trip to Europe I went with the intention of speaking to clients to see if it was somehow possible for me to live and work in Europe. The last few months made me realize sometimes we have to give up who we think we are in order to really become who we need to be. And death of a loved one can make you question your own life, and where it’s headed. For the last three years I’ve had an inward obsession, a strong desire to go to Europe and I could not explain it but there was just something pulling me towards that part of the world. On my second last day in Paris one of my girlfriends mentioned how the French government had extended the age of the work holiday visa program at Canada. I came back to Vancouver with a stomach filled with butterflies and my head filled with dreams that I could be living in Paris – the city for artists, lovers, and dreamers. Three weeks ago my visa was approved, and I purchased my one-way ticket and booked my apartment the very same day. And I’m not gonna lie right after that I started freaking out wondering if I had made the right decision.Since coming back to Vancouver on October 15 I obsessively started looking at apartments and flights and budgeting how soon I could get Paris.

In Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist when the boy is on the right path and following his heart the entire universe seemed to conspire to support him on his journey. I feel very much the same way. I had done a pop up earlier this year after my mothers passing to do something creative to help me with the grieving process. So I got the idea to do another consignment pop up out of my apartment in Yaletown. And instead of renting a location this time I was saving on the overhead cost. And this way I figured all the ladies coming would get more of a personalized styling session. My pop-up was a huge success and I’ve been able to pretty much sell everything with great ease including my furniture.
I would’ve loved more time to prep before this big move but I want to be in Paris for fashion week, when the world comes to Paris to get inspired. But there is no right time to follow your heart, and sometimes when you know you just, know – whether is with lovers, career choices, or cities. Sometimes we need to jump into the ocean and trust we will swim gracefully and with ease and be support on that journey. The biggest growth only happens when we push ourselves out of our comfort zones, that’s when we find out what we are really made of.


“A walk about Paris will provide lessons in history, beauty, and in the point of Life.”

Thomas Jefferson


Pont Alexandre iii by Stephane Guillot

Pont Alexandre iii by Stephane Guillot


Continue Reading