A Cosmic Adventure: Freeing the Occupied Mind

“I will openly admit that I’ve Googled up “How to have a conversation with strangers”

Left to right: Octopied Mind co-founders, Sarah Vezina and Jill Davis

Left to right: Octopied Mind co-founders, Sarah Vezina and Jill Davis

Through humour, irony and wit Jill Davis and Sarah Vezina co-founded Octopied Mind, a rebellious clothing brand, to create stories that recognize and embrace the essence of every human — thoughts.

Octopied Mind, is a play on the words “occupied mind”. We see the occupied mind as a state of being where one is almost completely occupied by stressful, negative thoughts about oneself or circumstances that exist outside of the present moment,” shares Sarah, about how Octopied Mind started.

With T-shirts and crewnecks that read “free the occupied mind,” “don’t strain your brain,” “fear of small talk”, and more, Octopied Mind highlights the weirdest corners of your consciousness through illustrations and storytelling.

But, despite liberating weird thoughts through expressive illustrations, Sarah and Jill have each had their own experience with mental health in which they shared and opened up to Tranquility about.

Both coming from corporate backgrounds, where taking time away from work was either frowned upon or limited — both Jill and Sarah felt like they needed a creative outlet that would help them through some of their darkest personal turmoils.

What started as just a creative outlet of illustrations acknowledging social construct caused in our bodies, mind and soul quickly evolved into illustrations with a story that millions of people could relate to around the world.

“These illusions not only have a negative impact on our individuals lives but on society at large,” Jill explains.

“While Octopied Mind is fuelled with creativity and so much passion, as founders we’ve had moments where we have had to check ourselves. Just because we run a mindfulness based business doesn’t mean we haven’t had to work diligently to maintain our mental wellbeing. It’s a balance between “balls to the walls and nothing at all”,” laugh Sarah and Jill.

“We’ve created a chill, safe, virtual space for when you’re feeling weird, so it’s honestly been nice for us to seek a community within our own audience for when we are experiencing some of our own dark moments,” Sarah shares.

“Anxiety has always been a part of my life,” Sarah shares. “But when it comes to being a founder of a business it can stop us from making confident, rebellious moves required to advance our business,” shares Sarah.

Anxiety has affected both Jill and Sarah, but having each other as “their person” has helped them get through heightened anxiety.

“For me, my anxiety is heightened when I’m alone. It’s my least favourite time because of events in my childhood that has associated alone time with loneliness,” shares Sarah. “So it helpful to have Jill, she can turn any negative situation into a comedy show.”

Jill laughs, “it sounds so corny, but likewise, our relationship is a comedy show (that only the two of us think is funny),” they both laugh.

“But, I’m the opposite. My anxiety is triggered when I’m around people. Meeting new people and creating small talk is definitely my biggest trigger. I will openly admit that I’ve googled “how to have a conversation with strangers”.

But through mindfulness, I’ve been finally able to start to detach from my social anxiety,” shares Jill.

They shared that some of the best ways of dealing with their anxiety is through cooking, listening to Terence McKenna, rubbing essential oils or CBD on their body, or taking a nice long hot shower.

As mental health and anxiety is becoming less taboo and more individuals are freely expressing their journey with mental health, Octopied Mind has taken initiative to help individuals with their journey.

“We don’t want every individual that’s experiencing something to have to tell their story, we want to help them tell it. It can be difficult to be vocal about it, so why not wear and make it fun,” expresses Sarah.

“Our rebellious brand and illustration is an extension of us, every design has a story that we have realized does not solely exist within ourselves but exists in everybody else. We want to create a oneness of all that exists in the universe, and be a reminder that you are a cosmic miracle,” shares Sarah.

Octopied Mind is a local hand-made brand based out of Dartmouth, Nova Scotia and is available online, now shipping across Canada.

To learn more about Octopied Mind and to shop their merchandise visit here.

Noor Aubaid