A Fish Out Of Water #FridayReflections

A Fish Out Of Water #FridayReflections

Today’s prompt a fish out of water:someone who is uncomfortable in a particular situation

Feeling like a fish out of water surely isn’t a nice feeling. But don’t you think there are times when we have to push ourselves out of the water – and consciously experience that feeling? Pushing yourself out of the water, the water of your comfort zone, is going to make you uncomfortable, but I promise you, it’s a good thing to do.

If it scares you, it might be a good thing to try — Seth Godin

A Fish Out Of Water : Stepping Out of Your Comfort Zone

I’ve stepped out of the water several times and as scary as it has been, I’ve always learnt a lot. I’ve learnt about my own strengths and weaknesses. I’ve had some great experiences with new people and new places. I’ve met some horrible people and had some sad experiences. But at the end of the day, I can look back and say, ‘I’m glad I stepped out of the water!’.

If you don’t you’re going to be like that old dog that a traveller spotted sitting next to the old farmer who kept rocking away while the dog howled in pain. The traveller couldn’t help asking what the dog was crying about, “Sir, why is your dog howling so much?”.
The farmer said, “He’s lying on a nail.”
“So why doesn’t he get up?”
“It doesn’t hurt him bad enough to get up. It’s just enough for him to moan and groan.”

I’ve heard loads of people moaning and groaning about the situations they are in – low-paying jobs, not getting the recognition they deserve, bad relationships…. an endless litany of woes. You ask them why they don’t quit and they talk about security, ‘the known devil’ and a host of other crap reasons for not getting out.

Here’s a poem by an unknown writer about the comfort zone.

The Comfort Zone

I used to have a comfort zone where I knew I wouldn’t fail.
The same four walls and busywork were really more like jail.
I longed so much to do the things I’d never done before,
But stayed inside my comfort zone and paced the same old floor.

I said it didn‘t matter that I wasn’t doing much.
I said I didn’t care for things like commission checks and such.
I claimed to be so busy with the things inside the zone,
But deep inside I longed for something special of my own.

I couldn’t let my life go by just watching others win.
I held my breath; I stepped outside and let the change begin.
I took a step and with new strength I’d never felt before,
I kissed my comfort zone goodbye and closed and locked the door.

If you’re in a comfort zone, afraid to venture out,
Remember that all winners were at one time filled with doubt.
A step or two and words of praise can make your dreams come true.
Reach for your future with a smile; Success is there for you!

The comfort zone is the great enemy to creativity; moving beyond it necessitates intuition, which in turn configures new perspectives and conquers fears. – Dan Stevens

I invite you to read Michael Hyatt’s post : Why frequent trips outside your comfort zone are so important.

 

#FridayReflections

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.

Sanchie Vee from Living My Imperfect Life and yours truly give you one writing prompt a week to blog about and link to every Friday. The link will be open till the Monday. After you link up, be sure to spread the love by visiting other bloggers who have linked in 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.

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You can link up your posts below. Don’t forget to share the love!

We look forward to reading your posts. Please attempt to visit and comment on all the posts linked here.


Living My Dream #FridayReflections

Living My Dream #FridayReflections

I have the most vivid dreams and what’s more I tend to remember them for at least 2 – 3 hours after I wake up. My husband finds them very entertaining and urges me to write them down. I haven’t really tried that yet. One of my recent dreams involved me running a book store and this brought to mind this post I had written a very long while ago. I’m republishing it today.

I am living my dream.

For as long as I can remember, my dream consisted of Words.
Collecting them.
Reading them.
Writing them.
Speaking them.
And why, yes, even selling them.
I dreamt of owning my own book store.
I dreamt of having countless books to read.
I dreamt of speaking before large audiences.
I dreamt of writing and publishing my words.
I don’t own the book store.
But all the other dreams around Words have come true.
Words have come to be a part of my reality today.

I am living my dream.

#FridayReflections

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
 

1. Are you messy or neat? What about your family/people you share your house with? Does it work well?
2.Write something inspired by a recent dream you had
3. Write about the sounds of silence
4. “If happiness is the goal – and it should be, then adventures should be top priority.” – Richard Branson. Use this quote to inspire your post or within it
5. Picture prompt (via Everyday Gyaan)

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How Writing Things Down Can Change Your Life  #Giveaway

How Writing Things Down Can Change Your Life #Giveaway


There’s this funny meme floating around the internet that goes like this – “My bed is a magical place where I suddenly remember everything I was supposed to do.” As you can guess, this little meme is pretty popular – probably because nearly every human alive can relate to it! We’ve all been there, when all we want is to get some shut-eye, but our brains are buzzing with thoughts – of to-do lists, past regrets, uncertain futures and unfinished projects.

Rather than finding solutions, this ill-timed over activity of the brain ends up robbing us of a good night’s sleep and increasing our anxiety levels. This becomes the perfect recipe for another unproductive day full of bad decisions, temporary solutions and strained relations. A day like this results in one more night of ‘brain-buzz’ and less sleep. But how does one get out of this vicious cycle?
The answer is in this simple phrase – Writing things down.

How Writing Things down Can Change your Life

This is how it works – get a blank sheet of paper and a pen (or a lovely little notebook – more later), and just write everything down. Everything from things you need to do, things that are bothering you, long term plans, relationship troubles – let everything pour out of your head and onto that sheet of paper. This process is a mind dump, also called a Mind Sweep or Mental Gathering by David Allen, author of Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-free Productivity. When you’re done with this task, you are guaranteed to feel lighter than ever!

The rationale behind this is the idea that your brain’s job is to think, not to store. You need that valuable RAM in your brain to find solutions and create ideas – not as a dustbin for every random thought.

Here is a closer look at how writing things down can change your life.

1. Instantly Clears your Head

Just putting everything down in a single place can be incredibly therapeutic, especially if you tend to feel overwhelmed all the time. Even though you haven’t really taken care of everything you’ve written about, knowing that it’s all in one place makes you feel like you’ve made a start.

2. Puts things in Perspective

When you write everything down, you might start to see things more objectively than when they’re all swimming inside your head. Random, discrete parts begin to come together and start to make sense.

3. Triggers Creativity

When you’ve put it all down on paper, you’ll feel a lightened feeling in your head, an unburdening of sorts. You’ll now be in a much better place to make decisions, solve problems and generally get more done.

4. Captures Information

As you begin to ‘unload’ your head, things you’d forgotten or overlooked begin to come back. Light bulbs keep going off in your head, and you wonder how you even forgot all that. Well, that’s the magic of writing things down!

5. Gives structure to dreams and goals

When you write down some of your deep desires or long cherished dreams, they tend to seem more real. As you elaborate a little more by writing down what you’ll need to accomplish them, you can see an action plan beginning to form, that can turn your dreams into reality.

Write down the thoughts of the moment. Those that come unsought for are commonly the most valuable. ~Francis Bacon

Writing things down can be an eye opener in many aspects, but for this process to yield truly life-changing results, you need to make it a regular habit. There are many ways to do this, and the internet is literally swimming with ideas! You can try a daily planner, a bullet journal or a plain old personal diary. You can go high tech with apps or you can do it the old fashioned way. Choose whatever suits you, although there is something to be said about actually putting pen to paper. According to experts, writing by hand stimulates certain cognitive processes that may encourage better creativity and problem solving skills.

So the next time you find yourself spinning out of control with a million things running around in your head, you know what to do! Just pick up that pen and paper and hammer it out!

 

Take a look at these lovely little notebooks from Rangroute. You can win one if you enter the Giveaway below. To find our more about their products please visit Rangroute on Facebook  and on Twitter.

This is not a sponsored post – just sharing the loveliness! The prizes are on me.

This giveaway is open only to readers in India.

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Are You Making Any of These Big Email Security Mistakes?

Are You Making Any of These Big Email Security Mistakes?

Email has become a pervasive part of most people’s lives. For a lot of us, it’s our primary form of communication with everyone from colleagues to friends and family members. Email lets us stay connected quickly and easily, and we can always keep in touch since most of us check our email on our mobile devices throughout the day.

Unfortunately, the concept of email has become so mundane that most people don’t give a lot of consideration to the security risks it can create.

Are You Making Any of These Big Email Security Mistakes?

If you make certain mistakes like the ones below when you’re emailing, it can lead to serious problems ranging from business information being stolen to having your personal financial data hacked.

You’re Sending Sensitive Information without Security Protection

If you’re sending something to a client from your home office or emailing your financial information to someone, you are putting yourself at risk if you’re doing so without a secure email server. When emails aren’t sent through a secure server or without encryption, it’s very easy to intercept them.

You should never send an email with the assumption that anything is going to be private or secure unless you take steps to make sure it is.

Not Understanding What Phishing Attacks Look Like

Even people who consider themselves tech savvy can fall prey to phishing attacks. A phishing attack happens when someone receives emails or messages that dupe them into providing some kind of sensitive information, such as a password or banking information.

Some email phishing attacks may also include messages with malware that hacks into the computer of the person who opens the email.

Some of the signs of a phishing attack include grammar problems, the inclusion of a link, descriptions of possible threats such as an account being closed, and web addresses that look very similar to a legitimate company but have just small differences.

Opening Attachments

You should be very careful about opening attachments, even if they come from a source you trust. Various cyberattacks and viruses may come in the form of emails that look legitimate and include an attachment.

Before opening any attachment make sure it’s scanned by your security protections.

Having a Single Email Account

It may be a lot easier to manage just one email account where you handle everything personally and professionally, but it’s not very safe. Most IT security experts recommended having at least a few different email accounts, and ideally at least three.

The idea is that you can separate everything so that even if one account becomes compromised not everything is found there.

A good way to divide these accounts is to have one for work, one for personal, and one for all those coupons and special marketing messages you receive.

Finally, make sure that you keep your firewalls in place and that you always use updated anti-virus software. People make the mistake of thinking they couldn’t be the victim of a cyberattack or that no one would believe it was worth it to target their email account, but that’s not the case, so remaining updated and aware of current threats can help you protect yourself.

 

Image of hacker via Shutterstock

 

Why Everyday Gyaan #FridayReflections

Why Everyday Gyaan #FridayReflections

Today’s prompt invites me to share the background to this blog, so I’m going to reshare with you something that I had upto recently on the homepage which will tell you : Why Everyday Gyaan?

My first choice of a name was Daily Gyaan but I wasn’t able to get the domain and I’m glad it worked that way.

Why Everyday Gyaan?

What’s the meaning behind the name Everyday Gyaan, you might ask? Everyday – talking about things that happen in day to day life…… Gyaan – a Sanskrit word that means ‘wisdom’ or ‘knowledge’. Together they represent what this blog is about – drawing meaning, learning and inspiration from the ordinary and everyday events of life.

What makes Everyday Gyaan?

The Everyday Gyaan journey began in early 2009 and I have been constantly experimenting with my writing and sharing until I sat down one day and decided what I really wanted this site to be about. Everyday Gyaan is all about keeping life simple, authentic and holistic. While I enjoy writing and sharing here, this website acts as guide for me to keep things real. When I share things that are happening in my life, or my perspective on things happening in the world, I want my writing to resonate with you, dear reader.

The Frangipani story….

From quite early, a frangipani flower has adorned the header of this site, simply because I found it so pretty. Later I learnt there was a symbolism behind the  five petals of the flower.  Supposedly they represent five qualities of necessary for psychological perfection: sincerity, faith, aspiration, devotion and surrender. These are qualities I want to have within me and radiate to the world.

Always grateful

I am always grateful for all I have learnt and all the wonderful friends I’ve made through Everyday Gyaan.  Thank you for being one of them!

#FridayReflections

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

Our featured writer last week was Bellybytes for her post on how her strength became a weakness. 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.

We look forward to reading your posts. Please attempt to visit and comment on all the posts linked here. Do come back on Monday and vote for your favourites!

Prompts for 17 March 2017

  1. Your most prized possession and why
  2. Top three favourite bands/musicians
  3. The reason behind your blog and its name
  4. “You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one. I hope someday you’ll join us. And the world will live as one.” – John Lennon. Use this quote in your post or as an inspiration for one.
  5. Picture prompt (via http://everydaygyaan.com)


Recovering A Sense of Power Week 3 #WYHO

Recovering A Sense of Power Week 3 #WYHO

I’ve been sharing with you about The Artist’s Way and inviting you along on the journey. This too like the previous posts is a repost from last year.

So far we’ve covered –

  1. Introduction to The Artist’s Way
  2. Recovering A Sense of Safety – Week 1
  3. Recovering A Sense of Identity – Week 2

And then I took a long break…a really long break, until I announced that I’m getting back to The Artist’s Way.   On to Week 3 now.

Recovering A Sense of Power

Week 3 is hard. This is when you want to give it all up. Why?

Anger

You’ll find as you dig deeper within, anger starts bubbling up to the surface.  As Gloria Steinem said:  The truth will set you free, but first it will piss you off. In your quest to look into yourself, you’ll find anger that you can’t explain, don’t know how to deal with and don’t want to have anything to do with.

Since outbursts and other forms of violence are frowned upon, most of us bottle up our anger, bury it and hope it will die. We need to remember that anger is not an action. It is an emotion. An emotion that needs to be acted upon.

We must not disown our anger, but instead use it as a fuel to take the right action for protect and nurture ourselves.

When I was doing Week 3, I felt a lot of anger too. My first reaction was to try and wish it away. Instead I worked hard at sitting with it and letting it tell me things about myself and my past. I allowed my anger to show me how I had allowed certain individuals and events to have a hold over me. I continued to give these people power over my life and as a result continued to bottle up my anger. Owning my feelings, taking back my power and divorcing myself from drama resulted in a lot more harmony and creativity and much more energy.

Let’s look at anger as an invitation to action.

Synchronicity

Week 1 and Week 2 of The Artist’s Way warn us that we might have become too comfortable and value our sense of safety so much, that we allow our dreams to pass us by.

But what if your biggest dream suddenly had the possiblity of becoming true? Would you it excite you or scare you?

This week you are invited to live in possiblity. To open yourself out to synchronicity.

The term synchronicity was coined by Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung (1875-1961).Jung’s concept of synchronicity is complicated and poorly defined, but can be boiled down to describing “meaningful coincidences.” Start believing that it’s possible for your biggest dream to come true and open yourself out to the invitations that the Universe will send your way.

Goethe has this to say about our efforts being assisted by Providence:

Whatever you think you can do or believe you can do, begin it. Action has magic, grace and power in it.

Exercises for this week:

1. Inner Compass: Each of us has an inner compass. This is an instinct that points us toward health. It warns us when we are on dangerous ground, and it tells us when something is safe and good for us. Morning pages are one way to contact it. So are some other artist-brain activities — painting, driving, walking, scrubbing, running. This week, take an hour to follow your inner compass by doing an artist-brain activity and listening to what insights bubble up.

2. List five people you admire. Now, list five people you secretly admire. What traits do these people have that you can cultivate further in yourself?
List five people you wish you had met who are dead. Now, list five people who are dead whom you’d like to hang out with for a while in eternity. What traits do you find in these people that you can look for in your friends?
Compare the two sets of lists. Take a look at what you really like and really admire — and a look at what you think you should like and admire. Your shoulds might tell you to admire Edison while your heart belongs to Houdini. Go with the Houdini side of you for a while.

Keep writing your heart out.

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Write Your Heart Out #wyho is weekly feature that appears every Thursday. It used to have a linky – not any more. This is an invitation to keep going with The Artist’s Way and an encouragement to keep writing.


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Recovering A Sense Of Identity #WYHO  Week 2

Recovering A Sense Of Identity #WYHO Week 2

Continuing from last year, I am revisiting The Artist’s Way by first republishing the posts from last year and then carrying on from there. Week 2 focuses on recovering a sense of identity.

Week Two is an important week in the Artist’s Way journey. You’ve been writing your morning pages for a week now and hopefully have had an Artist’s Date too. Hopefully, you’ve done the exercises shared last week.

Week 2 : Recovering A Sense of Identity

This week is all about making space for your inner artist to flourish by shutting up that inner critic and moving away from attacks to our creativity from external sources. The artist (and remember, that is YOU) must safeguard herself from allowing self-doubt to lead to self-sabotage.

Cameron describes the external sources of sabotage and recommends that both these kinds of people must be avoided:

Poisonous Playmates – Sometimes the people we are friends with don’t want to move and when they find that you are moving ahead and finding new ways to express yourself, they might,consciously or unconsciously, do or say things that lead you to doubt yourself.

Crazy-makers – These are people who love drama and and suck up your time and energy. Divorce yourself from the drama.

Some suggested exercises this week besides the Morning Pages and the Artist Date are:

Life Pie
Divide a circle into six parts. Label them – spirituality, exercise, romance, play, work, friends and family.
Place a dot in each section at the level to which you are fulfilled in that area — out on the rim if you’re very pleased with that part of your life, toward the center if you are less fulfilled. Connect the dots. You will soon see the areas that need focus. Choose one and work on it this week.

10 Tiny Changes
List 10 changes you’d like to make, big or small.
Do it this way:
I would like to… get a
I would like to… go on an African safari
I would like to… get rid of….

Choose one item and make it your goal for this week. You could even take on the big ones. For example, you can’t go on safari this week, but you can find out details, connect with a travel agent, check costs etc. Do that one thing and see if it frees up some energy for you.

recovering-a-sense-of-identity

Think of yourself as an incandescent power, illuminated and perhaps forever talked to by God and his messengers. -Brenda Ueland

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Write Your Heart Out #wyho is weekly feature that appears every Thursday here with a linky that will be open from Thursday to Sunday.

  1. I would encourage you to write a new post in which you free write.
  2. You’re also welcome to write on the prompts offered in this post and/or add links from your posts from the week.
  3. Visit and comment on at least two posts before yours.
  4. Use the hashtag #WYHO to share posts and you’re welcome to grab this badge too.

This week’s prompts are :

  1. The worst enemy to my creativity is………….
  2. Why I wish I was abducted by an alien!
  3. The best part of me is………
  4. What do you need to allow to take more time or space in your life?


 

Image of clouds & hands via Shutterstock

Recovering A Sense Of Safety #WYHO Week 1

Recovering A Sense Of Safety #WYHO Week 1


As I mentioned last week, I’m re-sharing and completing The Artist’s Way Series again this year. Last week, we looked at the introduction. We’re on to Week 1 one.

We’re looking now at Week 1 the course. I will only be touching on some concepts and ideas and would urge you to buy the book to get the whole picture.

Week 1 – Recovering A Sense Of Safety

This week we focus on realizing how our inner artist needs to recover. Perhaps, down the years our creativity has not been encouraged sufficiently. Often our family of origin has allowed us to pursue our creative interests as hobbies, but told us to be practical when it came to our careers, etc. We’ve often heard expressions like: ‘Stop dreaming! Your head is in the clouds!’ ‘Be practical’, ‘Grow up’. Slowly, we learn to suppress our creative instincts. But we’ve got to realize someday that we’ve been conned.

It’s never too late to start over and we must.

This week give our inner artist the space to begin flourishing again. Some of the exercises recommended in the book include:

1. Identifying our core negative beliefs and countering them with affirmations.

Our creativity is often blocked because we feel safer that way. Our psyche equips us with negative beliefs that keep us from feeling threatened. Some of these beliefs might be:
– I’ll never be good as other artists.
– I can’t make a living this way.
– I may not be as good as I think I am.
– I’ll embarrass myself and my family.

The only way to counter these negative beliefs is to use affirmations. It’s funny how we are so comfortable with thinking and saying negative things about ourselves, but the moment we try to use affirmations, we feel uncomfortable. For example, take the affirmation, ‘I am a fantastic writer’ and say that aloud. You’ll find that negative voice in your head saying, ‘Who are you trying to fool?’ or ‘There are so many better writers than you’. Try to find the source of that voice – when did the comparisons start, who said those negative things, how did you pick them up. I can assure you that this is hard work, but totally worth it.

2. Identifying our Hall of Monsters and sending them for a walk.

Think of 3 people who, intentionally or not, said negative things about your creativity when you were growing up. Three specific people. Write down their names. Now select one of these individuals and attempt to recall all the details about what happened. Write it down. The more details you can recall about the situation- the setting, their words, how you felt, what others said etc – the better. Now counter these by writing a letter in your defense stating how you felt and why s/he should have known better than to put you down. Post the letter to yourself, email it yourself, or put it under your pillow to read the next day.

There are many more such exercises in the book. They are in addition to the daily Morning Pages and the weekly Artist Date prescribed. The important thing in this week is to feel safe – don’t stress, obsess, but don’t skip either.

Daily Morning Pages. Three pages of free writing without thinking. Do not read them. Do not share them. Do not judge them. You can write to-do lists, describe how you big toes hurts, write why you hate to write, write your dreams, write an imaginary letter to an alien. But keep writing those three pages.

Artist’s Date. Take yourself out for a treat – just one hour every week.

Artist Dates are assigned play.The Artist Date is a once-weekly, festive, solo expedition to explore
something that interests you. The Artist Date need not be overtly “artistic” — think mischief more than mastery. Artist Dates fire up the imagination. They spark whimsy. They encourage play. Since art is about the play of ideas, they feed our creative work by replenishing our inner well of images and inspiration. When choosing an Artist Date, it is good to ask yourself, “what sounds fun?” — and then allow yourself to try it. – Julia Cameron

Do let me know how you’re getting on.

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Go here for these posts :

Write Your Heart Out With The Artist’s Way

 

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Write Your Heart Out #wyho is weekly feature that appears every Thursday here with a linky that will be open from Thursday to Sunday.

  1. I would encourage you to write a new post in which you free write.
  2. You’re also welcome to write on the prompts offered in this post and/or add links from your posts from the week.
  3. Visit and comment on at least two posts before yours.
  4. Use the hashtag #WYHO to share posts and you’re welcome to grab this badge too.

This week’s prompts are :

  1. This I promise you.
  2. A list of things you’ll never do again.
  3. “You don’t get to choose if you get hurt in this world…but you do have some say in who hurts you. I like my choices.” ― John Green, The Fault in Our Stars
  4. And we found _________ in a trunk in the attic…….


 

Image of woman jumping in the mountains via Shutterstock