Lost In The Woods #FridayReflections

Lost In The Woods #FridayReflections

Have you ever had one of those moments when you think, “This is the worst moment in my entire life. I don’t know how I’m going to make it from here.” ?And it’s always worse when you know that this has come about because of wrong choices you’ve made.

Some years back I had a moment like this. Correction – I had several moments like this in a two year period. I made some wrong choices. I allowed myself to be subjected to emotional blackmail and verbal abuse. I parted with my self-esteem, my self-confidence, and yes, even my money!
When I look back at this time and wonder what made me sink deeper and deeper, here are some of reasons I come up with.

Not trusting my own instincts: Deep within, I knew that the choices that I was making were not good for me, but I shut out that inner voice and attempted to lie to myself.

Suffering from a I-know-it-all-syndrome: I refused to listen to the advice of those who loved and knew me. I thought I knew it all and since I didn’t want to hear what I didn’t want to hear, I just shut out these voices of concern.

Suffering from a poor-me syndrome: I must warn you that this one is a sure killer. There’s nothing worse than feeling sorry for yourself.

Not seeking opportunities for growth: I didn’t read the kind of books that would inspire me. I gave up on attending programs that would challenge me to change.

Not reaching out for help: Instead of sharing my situation and fears with people who could have helped me, I kept things to myself and attempted to manage on my own.

What happened to me is what Elizabeth Gilbert describes in her book ‘Eat, Pray, Love‘:

When you’re lost in those woods, it sometimes takes you a while to realize that you are lost. For the longest time, you can convince yourself that you’ve just wandered off the path, that you’ll find your way back to the trail head any moment now. Then night falls again and again, and you still have no idea where you are, and its time to admit that you have bewildered yourself so far off the path that you don’t even know from which direction the sun rises any more.

Eventually, I did reach that time when I admitted I was lost in the woods. Strangely that was also a moment of great clarity. I realized how utterly foolish I had been. I had been selling myself short by not giving myself the love and respect I deserved.And most of all I realized that I had to start my life over. Here are some steps I took towards this:

Working on my thoughts: According to Dr Wayne Dyer ‘The state of your life is nothing more than a reflection of your state of mind.’ This, from my experience, is very true. I worked on my mind and belief systems.

Taking responsibility: I stopped feeling like a victim and took responsibility for the consequences of my choices and for the feelings that followed. I stopped blaming others including the persons who had taken advantage of me.

Desiring to be happy: Now, I’m sure you find this funny. You’re going to say, ‘Who doesn’t want to be happy?’. The strange thing is often we don’t really want to be happy – we’re so used to being depressed and unhappy. The proof of desiring happiness is in the pursuit of it. By thinking happy thoughts, hanging out with happy people and seeking happy places, we demonstrate our desire to be happy. That’s exactly what I did. I re-ordered my mind to think happy!

Dreaming again: When I got ‘lost’ I gave up on my dreams. Now, I dared to dream again.

Praying again: I began to spend a few minutes in prayer – various kinds – meditation, quiet time, reading a reflection, writing a reflection and often just crying! This was a time of healing and letting go of the pain of failure and the feeling of being ‘lost’.

So that is how I wandered out of the woods and put my life back on the path it was meant to go on – back to myself as I was meant to be. Of course, I’ve got miles to go but the journey is not clouded by self-inflicted pain any more. Now I am filled with ideas and dreams…..and a lot of love for myself.

So if you’ve wandered off in to the woods, it’s never too late to find yourself again and it’s never too late to be happy!


If you are new to Friday Reflections, here’s what it’s about. It’s the end of the week, you’re probably exhausted with work, and all you want to do is sit back, put your feet up, sip on some fancy cocktail or wine, and write away. Sanch of Living My Imperfect Life and Everyday Gyaan give you writing prompts and all you have to do is choose any one of those prompts to blog about and link up between Friday and Monday. After you link up, be sure to spread the love by visiting other bloggers who have linked up too.

Feel free to add our Friday Reflections badge to your post or sidebar! Follow us on Twitter @FridayReflect and join our Facebook Group. Share your post on social media with the hashtag #FridayReflections.

Everyday Gyaan

Prompts for 9th June are:
1. Write a piece about coming out of the dark and seeing the light
2.Write a post about making mistakes
3. Think about a place you went to when you were younger. Share your memories as well as thoughts on how it has changed.
4.“The shattering of a heart when being broken is the loudest quiet ever.”
― Carroll Bryant
5. Picture prompt (via Godyears)


Featured image : Sad, depressed woman outdoors via Shutterstock

Nostalgia A Dead End Lane?  #MondayMusings

Nostalgia A Dead End Lane? #MondayMusings

I remember writing a post a few years back about ‘the old days‘ and one blogger very candidly disagreed saying that there . But I wasn’t living in the past, just hankering for some of the niceties of years gone by that I didn’t see evidence of. But that’s another story. Today I’m wondering is nostalgia a dead end lane or if there’s something good in it after all.

The last week has been filled with nostalgia as the NGO I work with and am one of the founder members of – Divya Disha – celebrated its 30th Anniversary. As we looked at old photographs and recalled the ‘old days’ we were filled with nothing but joy and gratitude for all we were and how far we’ve come. We recalled the many characters we encountered, all the laughter and all the learning. But I don’t think there was even a moment that we said “Wish we could go back in time”. If anything, we pledged to hold fast to the values of those days, even as we tread new paths.

It’s interesting that today I came across an article in The New York Times about whether nostalgia is good or bad and I’ll leave you to read this extract and come to your own conclusions.

Researchers say it’s a “phenomenon” — a high-order emotional experience more on par with love than, say, fear. It’s about yourself and those close to you; big moments in your life or memorable settings. Experts have found that people turn to nostalgia when they are trying to avoid something unpleasant or feeling lonely, to counteract their social anxieties.

And it works. Nostalgia helps bring your psychological state back into balance. It elevates your mood and your deflated self-esteem. Researchers say you come out of the experience with a stronger sense of belonging.

Say you’re moving to the other side of the country for a new job. That disruption can trigger a bout of nostalgia in which you recall childhood fishing trips with your dad. You think back fondly, and realize, “Hey, I still love to fish, and I still love my dad.” So you begin to feel like there’s some continuity between your past and present, like you’re living a full and meaningful life. And in that context, the cross-country move that’s been stressing you out may suddenly seem less daunting.

But nostalgia isn’t just a compensation tool; it’s also an energizing emotion, said Clay Routledge, a professor of psychology at North Dakota State University. After delving into nostalgia, you’ll feel more connected to your friends and also be motivated to actually reconnect with them; you might even go out and seek new ones.

In a Skype interview, Dr. Wildschut and Dr. Sedikides cautioned against using nostalgia as your primary way to cope with problems. Talking to a friend, for example, might be a better way. “If other things fail, nostalgia is a back up,” Dr. Sedikides said, “and it’s not as bad as people think.”

Extracted from Take a Walk Down Memory Lane. It Can Be Healthy from The New York Times

What’s your take on the value of nostalgia?

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Banking on It: Why I Froze My Eggs For Donation

Banking on It: Why I Froze My Eggs For Donation

There was a time I thought IVF was morally wrong. Now I do have acquaintances who’ve had children via this route and I cannot take a moral stand on their choices, that have brought a beautiful baby into their lives. Just yesterday I watched a video of a young couple who had ‘adopted embryos’ and gave birth to triplets. Their joy and gratitude towards the donor parents was very moving. Today, I hosting Dawn K, a young woman who has chosen to be a donor.

Banking on It: Why I Froze My Eggs For Donation

I’ve always been opinionated, ambitious, and somewhat of a control freak. I work fourteen-hour days and have no plans of slowing down. I don’t have time to get into a relationship, and I’ve always known for sure I don’t want kids, ever. That’s just how I am.

But I did wonder: even if I don’t want to have children of my own, could I help other women who dream of having children?

My answer unexpectedly came from a close friend over our monthly coffee date – I’d totally forgotten she used egg donation to have her beautiful twin girls! She was thrilled at my idea and recommended the same company she had worked with to help get me started.

Over sips of mocha, she told me how Donor Egg Bank USA helps infertile couples – like her and her husband – conceive by providing them with frozen eggs donated from young, healthy women like myself.

I immediately knew it was the right path for me to take.

Why Freeze Your Eggs?

There are many different reasons a woman may choose to freeze her eggs.

For some, like me, they choose to altruistically donate their eggs to give struggling infertile women a chance to have their own baby. When you provide your eggs for donation, so that one day a loving couple can start a family of their own, you’re giving the biggest gift of all. But there are other reasons too.

For others, it’s to safeguard their future fertility and give themselves the option of having kids later. Kind of a “just in case” precaution to make them feel more confident about going after what they want to now versus “someday.” They’re making great strides in their careers, thinking about taking a trip to Bali, and don’t want to worry about not being able to conceive.

Perhaps you wish to wait until you find Mr. Right. Maybe you’re just the kind of girl who likes to err on the side of caution, or circumstances put you in that position. Some women have a history of early onset menopause – others may be facing a tough battle with a disease like cancer, and wish to freeze their eggs to prevent radiation problems.

IVF Success Rates with Frozen Eggs

If you’re concerned about frozen egg IVF success rates, you needn’t be.

Rates of successful conception are now higher than ever! A new technique’s been developed called vitrification, which reduces the risk of egg cells being damaged by ice crystals during freezing and increases their chances of viability. This means that when you are ready to thaw your eggs, they will be in almost exactly the same condition as the day they were frozen. You can feel confident that any otherwise healthy woman who wants to use your donor eggs will be able to conceive a healthy baby.

Fulfilling Another’s Dreams

Many women dream about what it will be like being pregnant one day – how it will feel, what their child will look like, and so on. For women who find out that they will not be able to conceive on their own, the news can feel like a bomb that shatters their world. But thanks to advancements in reproductive technology, your frozen donor eggs make it possible for these women to have their own child. To experience the joy of getting a positive pregnancy test, the ultrasounds, preparing the nursery, and carrying their own baby in their womb.

They’ll give birth to their child and experience motherhood thanks to your decision. They’ll get to fulfill their dreams, change dirty diapers, take strolls in the park with their newborn and generally do everything that comes along with the job!

Empower Yourself

Whether you’re thinking about freezing your eggs for your own personal use, or you wish to donate your eggs to another so she may have her own baby like I did – egg freezing is empowering women on both sides of the coin.

Take control of your life, stop time, take charge over your situation and live the life you want to.

With love,

Dawn K., 26 yrs old

Option B

Option B

If we were having coffee today, I’d tell you about a book I’ve been hearing about over the week. I find the name and what it talks about fascinating – Option B is a  book about facing adversity, building resilience, and finding joy.

Option B

After the sudden death of her husband, Sheryl Sandberg, author of Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead and current COO of Facebook, felt certain that she and her children would never feel pure joy again. “I was in ‘the void,’” she writes, “a vast emptiness that fills your heart and lungs and restricts your ability to think or even breathe.” Her friend Adam Grant, a psychologist at Wharton, told her there are concrete steps people can take to recover and rebound from life-shattering experiences. We are not born with a fixed amount of resilience. It is a muscle that everyone can build.

Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy combines Sheryl’s personal insights with Adam’s eye-opening research on finding strength in the face of adversity. Beginning with the gut-wrenching moment when she finds her husband, Dave Goldberg, collapsed on a gym floor, Sheryl opens up her heart—and her journal—to describe the acute grief and isolation she felt in the wake of his death. But Option B goes beyond Sheryl’s loss to explore how a broad range of people have overcome hardships including illness, job loss, sexual assault, natural disasters, and the violence of war. Their stories reveal the capacity of the human spirit to persevere . . . and to rediscover joy.

Here are some of the lessons from Option B.

The Importance of Resilience

Resilience is the strength and speed of our response to adversity. It’s a skillset we develop over the course of our lives, and there are concrete steps we can take to build resilience long before we face any kind of difficulty.

Resilience comes from deep within us and from support outside us. Even after the most devastating events, it is possible to grow by finding deeper meaning and gaining greater appreciation in our lives. Option B illuminates how to help others in crisis, develop compassion for ourselves, raise strong children, and create resilient families, communities, and workplaces. Many of these lessons can be applied to everyday struggles, allowing us to brave whatever lies ahead. Two weeks after losing her husband, Sheryl was preparing for a father-child activity. “I want Dave,” she cried. Her friend replied, “Option A is not available,” and then promised to help her make the most of Option B.

The Elephant in the Room: Talking about loss and hardship

We often have a hard time talking about adversity—but staying silent can make our loved ones feel even more isolated after loss or hardship. The book offers simple ways to speak with empathy and honesty when our friends are suffering.

Finding Meaning

After loss or trauma, we all hope to bounce back. Some of us manage to bounce forward. Learn how helping others gives our suffering meaning, allowing us to grow from the most difficult experiences of our lives.


We all live some form of Option B. I haven’t read the book yet, but I’m certainly going to get myself a copy. Click on the image for the link to the Kindle version of Option B.

A Need To Win ?  #FridayReflections

A Need To Win ? #FridayReflections

I’m not someone with a need to win. I’ve written about my non-competitive outlook before. Now, I’m not saying that this is necessarily a good thing. No, there are certain areas in my life that I should work on more and be more pushy about.

But today’s post is really not about me.

It’s about people who want to win at any cost.

There’s this guy I know who has such a need to win that he doesn’t mind stamping over everyone that gets in the way of what he wants. So old people, young people (even harmless puppies) are thrown by the wayside (not literally, but almost) while he pursues what he wants, even if it’s something petty. There’s a Latin phrase that describes such behaviour. It goes Inter arma enim silent legēs  which is popularly rendered as “in times of war, the law falls silent.

Pretty hard to relate to someone like that. You never know when you’ll be thrown under the bus.

Then there’s this woman. A brownie point scorer extraordinaire. At first, I thought she didn’t realize what she was doing. But then I began to see that this was such a part of her nature, so though not necessarily deliberate, her actions were harmful all the same.

Sample this. She brings an aged couple to a party. Four hours later, the couple looks all set to go home. You offer to drop them home, but Ms Brownie Point, insists she brought them, so she’ll take them back. You later find out that they had to find their way home on their own because Brownie and her husband (incidentally, the guy I described before) decided to stay on late.  Who were the winners in this case? I have no clue.

Together this seemingly charming couple, can be rude, mean and selfish without even realizing it. Whatever they buy is supposedly the best. Any decision they make is unparalleled in wisdom. And best of all, they’re never wrong, just misguided (by some poor soul now thrown under the bus!).

I could go on. But I’ll stop here to share this with you and hope that you’ll share your thoughts with me.

When an archer is shooting for nothing he has all his skill. If he shoots for a brass buckle he is already nervous. If he shoots for a prize of gold he goes blind or sees two targets— he is out of his mind!

His skill has not changed. But the prize divides him. He cares. He thinks more of winning than of shooting— and the need to win drains him of power.

~Thomas Merton, The Way of Chuang Tzu


It’s Friday today and although Sanchie Vee and I had decided to take a break from #FridayReflections through April, I decided to it slightly differently. I’m putting up a linky – and asking you to write on any of the older prompts that you may have liked and missed. I’ll have the same linky up all month through, just on fresh posts. Also, I’m asking for a link back to my blog in your post to prevent people who are writing ‘off prompt’ from adding their links.

If you want to know more about #FridayReflections and find prompts to write on, I’ve created a page with the ‘rules’ and the prompts. So go ahead and have a ball. Remember, to link up here so we can all enjoy your writing.

This post is in response to the prompt from 2 December 2016:  Write about something or someone you can’t get over.

Also linking into Finish The Sentence Friday.

Image of ‘successful’ man via Shutterstock

Leading A Meaningful Life #MondayMusings

Leading A Meaningful Life #MondayMusings

There are times when you wonder about life. What does leading a meaningful life require of you? Who defines what is meaningful? What is meaningful to one person, might be meaningless to another.

What does leading a meaningful life consist of?

I’ve often heard people say at the death of someone else, ‘What a waste of a life!’ I’ve said it myself a couple of times until I stopped and asked myself, how could I say that? How do I know that the person didn’t add meaning and purpose to another life. Perhaps I don’t know if even through her bad choices, her life and the fact that she was loved, added meaning to the lives of people who loved her. There is no way for me to really know if his life, confusing though it seems to me, made a difference to another life. Even if her living, made just one person’s life better, wasn’t it a meaningful life she lived? Didn’t the fact that his life challenged another person to forgive, to reach out more, to be more loving, make it a meaningful life?

We put too much emphasis on doing as a way of being meaningful. We have bucket lists and goal-setting. We are challenged to do more and achieve more. To fulfill our potential. Not that any of this is wrong. No. But if we emphasize achievements, are we saying that children and adults living with cognitive disabilities are not living meaningful lives? I’m sure any parent of a child with special needs will tell you, that despite how difficult it is, this child adds so much meaning to their lives.

The time has come for me (and you, perhaps) to challenge ourselves – to look within our lives and find the meaning in them and then to realize that it is by our ‘being’ that we make more of a difference than by our ‘doing’.

Most of us lead far more meaningful lives than we know. Often finding meaning is not about doing things differently; it is about seeing familiar things in new ways. When we find new eyes, the unsuspected blessing in work we have done for many years may take us completely by surprise. We can see life in many ways: with the eye, with the mind, with the intuition. But perhaps it is only those who speak the language of meaning, who have remembered how to see with the heart, that life is ever deeply known or served.
Rachel Naomi Remen


Would you like to take part in #MondayMusings?

Here’s how it works:

  • Write a post sharing your thoughts with us – happy, sad, philosophical, ‘silly’ even. Make it as personal as possible.
  • Use the hashtag #MondayMusings.
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This month I’m changing the ‘rules’ a bit because of the A to Z challenge – I’m going to have one linky open right through the month – open only for #MondayMusings. You’ll need to add a link to Everyday Gyaan to add your link.



Images of flowers in graveyard via Shutterstock

Good Is Worth Fighting For  #FridayReflections

Good Is Worth Fighting For #FridayReflections

I’ve sometimes taken the stand that I don’t want to talk about negative things or even consume them – by reading newspapers, watching television or sharing such things on my timeline. However, I realized that it’s not the best of ideas to live life in an ivory tower away from the reality of what’s happening in the world. While I  realize that sharing of political and religious views can lead to arguments and misunderstanding, I do believe that we must take a stand. We must be aware, we must share our views and we must stand up for what we believe in.

This is especially true when we take a stand for the marginalized, the misunderstood and those  bear the brunt of the deeds and choices of some members of their community even when they don’t subscribe to those views. More and more I am convinced that good is worth fighting for.

Good Is Worth Fighting For

In the last 6 months, I’ve had the privilege of working with an organisation that  strongly believes in fighting for good – especially for the rights of children. My daily interactions with men and women who are working to protect and empower children, reaffirms my belief in good in the world.

When I meet an IG of Police who is convinced that every single member of the police force must be trained in Child Sexual Abuse, it makes me less cynical. When I am told that the Chief Justice of a state is ready to meet with children in difficult circumstances and take on board their views, I am inspired.

When I see so many individuals and families make an effort to celebrate their birthdays, spend the days off teaching and being with children who are in care homes, my belief in goodness is reaffirmed.

In the recent past, I’ve watched how people around the world have taken a stand on refugees. Some countries have welcomed them with open arms. People in countries that haven’t, have at personal cost, spoken out for refugees – fighting against their government and public opinion.

“There is some good in this world, and it’s worth fighting for.” – J R R Tolkein

I’m pledging to fight for good. What about you?


If you are new to Friday Reflections, here’s what it’s about. It’s the end of the week, you’re probably exhausted with work, and all you want to do is sit back, put your feet up, sip on some fancy cocktail or wine, and write away. Sanch of Living My Imperfect Life and Everyday Gyaan give you writing prompts and all you have to do is choose any one of those prompts to blog about and link up between Friday and Monday. After you link up, be sure to spread the love by visiting other bloggers who have linked up too.

Feel free to add our Friday Reflections badge to your post or sidebar! Follow us on Twitter @FridayReflect and join our Facebook Group. Share your post on social media with the hashtag #FridayReflections.

Our featured writer/s last week were : Geetika  and Bellybytes for why her blog is named such.. If you want to be our featured writer, all you have to do is write on one of the above prompts and link up below! Come back on Monday to vote for your favourite.

Prompts for 24 March 2017

1. Do you or have you ever collected anything? Share your story
2. Put your iPod on shuffle. List the first 10 songs that play and how you feel about them
3. Pick up the book you are currently reading, go to page 27 and write a post starting with the first line on that page.
4. “There is some good in this world, and it’s worth fighting for.” – J R R Tolkein. Use this quote in your post or as an inspiration for one.
5. Picture Prompt (credit: Living my Imperfect Life)

Picture of London UK 18th March against Racism via Shutterstock

A Great Beauty Tip #MondayMusings

A Great Beauty Tip #MondayMusings

Today, I want to share a great beauty tip that occurred to me recently.

A Great Beauty Tip

You’re walking down the road just in front of your house, perhaps. Not thinking too much. Just taking in everything around you. And then you begin to find the need to pause – a bright mustard butterfly flapping its wings; leaves attempting to grow in the hollow of a gnarled plant; a woodpecker pecking away at an old tree; tall trees framing a blue sky. And each time you stop and say, ‘Thank you, life is beautiful’. You realize that beauty is all around you.

And you know what? You can’t identify and acknowledge something outside you as being beautiful without acknowledging that YOU are beautiful.

Of course, you could choose to go through life walking down the same road smelling dog poop, grumbling at the stones in your path and generally being upset at how hot it is.

And yes, constantly finding ugliness all around will make for an ugly life.

So what’s the beauty tip then? It’s up to you to acknowledge or deny beauty around you and within you. The more you see beauty around you, the more you will find it within you.

A person who has good thoughts cannot ever be ugly. You can have a wonky nose and a crooked mouth and a double chin and stick-out teeth, but if you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely. – Roald Dahl

Let’s make time in our hearts and minds today to look for beauty outside and within us.


Hope springs eternal. #livingfearlesslyauthentic #hope #motivation

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Join Parul and other bloggers for Thursday Tree Love.  Only criteria is that you love trees and share pictures of them.

Would you like to take part in #MondayMusings?

Here’s how it works:

  • Write a post sharing your thoughts with us – happy, sad, philosophical, ‘silly’ even. Make it as personal as possible.
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  • Use our #MondayMusings badge to encourage other bloggers join in too.
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