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My first year of being a blogger

My first year of being a blogger

“Blogging is not rocket science, it’s about being yourself and putting what you have into it.” ~Anonymous

How often do we make wish lists and write down our dreams. And yet, how often they remain just that on paper. But when we do see some of our deepest desires come to fruition, the thrill is incomparable. That’s how I felt when I created this blog last year – one amongst many of my wishes.

The idea of this blog was shelved for more than two years as I contemplated whether or not to share my experiences from life. Was I ready to open up and speak my heart out? Clearly, I wasn’t then. So what made the difference? Inspiration from other women who blatantly came out with stories of their lives. In conferences that I attended, in articles that I read and many in person, these women boldly spoke about their real-life experiences. Some of them were horror stories of abuse and betrayal; few highlighted their resolve to bring about substantial changes while some were just plain facts of survival. Then there were celebrities who were breaking covert and revealing how they dealt with depression. All these voices were being heard and making an impact. Their stories were creating ripples amongst many like me. That was enough to push me out of my state of reluctance and into action mode, giving me the courage to start this blog. 

It’s been exactly a year since I created SoulMom and posted my very first blog post here. Ever since, it has been an interesting one year of blogging. The things I have learnt, the connections I have made and the effect this has had on me has made it all very special.

Highlights of my first year as a blogger:

A new-found identity

Becoming a blogger is a new label that you earn, both in the online as well as offline world. It feels wonderful when people come up to tell you that they enjoy reading your blog and that you write very powerful content. Being recognised and appreciated makes me want to write more.

Being an inspiration

The day I launched my blog on social platforms, a single mom reached out to me with her story. The fact that I could influence even one soul made this whole creation so much worth the effort. I do hope to touch upon more lives over time.

My own internal dialogue

When I acknowledge my fears, I find more ways to overcome them. As I reveal  my own insecurities, it’s easier to accept my situation rather than conflict it. Every time I write a new post that unleashes my emotions and when I put it out there in the online space, my own internal dialogue enhances.

New connections

In April earlier this year, I participated in my first A to Z Blogging Challenge. This is an online worldwide event where bloggers from across the globe share 26 blog posts in a month based on a theme, each post beginning with a letter of the alphabet for each day. It was such an exciting place to be in. Through this challenge and through my social media channels, I discovered so many other bloggers who were blogging on various themes. It is enriching to make new connections based on one common interest.

Transforming into an author

Within a few months, I fast tracked from a blogger to an author with my first eBook – ‘Small Servings of Wellness’. Becoming a published author was a new high. With the help of blogging platform Blogchatter and its eBook carnival, we ebook authors also had the privilege of becoming official Goodreads authors. This felt very fulfilling.

I have discovered that blogging is a self-learning process. One which requires time, effort and patience. My biggest lesson in my first year of blogging is that it truly helps if we are passionate about what we write.

I am grateful to all my readers for being with me on this journey as a blogger. I sincerely hope you stay on and keep enjoying my content!

 

Also read:

Reflections on my first A to Z Challenge

Domestic violence is not just physical violence: #ALetterToHer

Domestic violence is not just physical violence: #ALetterToHer

“Your story could be the key that unlocks someone else’s prison. Don’t be afraid to share it.” ~unknown

Just happened to read this quote as I begin to write this post for the Womens Web Blogathon on domestic violence: What letter would you write to a woman subjected to domestic violence? My letter to ‘her’…

Dear Me

Here you are, writing about the subject that you have discreetly kept under wraps. Something that had occurred in your life and yet you had no clue about it. How could you have known? Coming from an aristocratic family background where values and ethics were strongly entrenched right from your early days. You belong to a family known for its religious and cultural heritage. You had such a protected and shielded upbringing. Yes, you had heard about atrocities and injustice meted out to others. In books you had read and movies you had watched and stories you had heard. Aware yes, but seen anything personally in close proximity, no. How blissful were you in your state of ignorance and innocence. Where marriages around you were examples of loyalty and longing in relationships. How beautiful did it all seem, the love and the romance between couples. Then why would you even think of the term ‘domestic violence’ in your life?

Little did you know then that just by thinking ‘this could never happen to me’, does not mean it cannot really happen to you!

For domestic violence did take place. Of course, you were caught completely unaware. There was no physical violence, sure. But you were subjected to emotional torture. There was verbal assault. You were deprived of your financial rights. There was unjust criticism thrown at you for no reason. You felt a sense of alienation creeping in your own home. You didn’t know why all this madness was happening. So caught up were you in your thoughts to save your marriage and shield your kids from it all, that you were ready to bend over more than you could. Or should. Engulfed in self-doubt, you questioned your own actions. Only to realise that there was no way you could save your marriage if your spouse is hell bent on breaking it.

It was much later when you found out that domestic violence does not mean only physical violence, as is the common notion. It includes emotional and financial abuse too. You were shocked to know that you were a victim of domestic violence. We Indian girls are taught about our responsibilities but not so much about our rights. By then, you were out of that house and in a safer environment. But the trauma remained with you. You had two choices in front of you then. One – to file a legal case of domestic violence against the people who had done you wrong. Two – not to file against the folks you called your own for more than a decade.

It was no easy decision to make, a battle of the mind v/s the heart. You had to think of the repercussions of both choices and face the consequence on your own. Much though it seemed against the raging emotions of the logical mind, you went by your heart and chose the latter. Your decision stemming from a space of love for your kids than hatred for the rest. You were not willing to have your little ones linked in any legal rigmarole. By then you had decided you did not want to waste any more time over what had already happened. You chose to channelise your energy and emotion on enhancing your well-being and that of your children. It meant a choice of not pushing any action against the wrong doers and let karma do the rest.

You silently bore the brunt of it all and decided to move one. You took a huge leap of faith in making all the choices you did back then. With conviction in your heart and your spiritual fortitude, you only wanted to look ahead. You let go. Gradually, bit by bit, you let it all go. The hurt, the injustice, the anger, the pain. It seemed effortless to those around you, as you kept the bitter currents under your calm countenance. It was hard to believe you came out of your troubles unscathed. But you hid your tears and saved them for your solitude. You were all broken inside but managed to maintain a fortress of strength in front of your little children. For them, you had to quickly pick all your pieces and rebuild your life. You chose to follow the spiritual path of healing.

You survived the storm!

Ever since, see how far you have come after leaving it all behind you. Look how much you have grown in surmounting all obstacles. You came out so much stronger and resilient, nothing in life can break you anymore. You dived into your innards and pulled forth all the courage and wisdom to keep going. In doing so, you have earned the respect and admiration of many. You are one powerhouse of nerves. And you know that karma is doing its job after all.

Here you are, writing this wonderful blog to express all that you have learnt from your life story…so that those who face similar challenges find hope to survive….to inspire and to thrive. Life is still not easy and nor does it look all sorted. Yet you keep moving and facing it all in good faith.

Go girl, and give yourself a pat on your back!

Yours truly!

 

This blogpost is my contribution to the Womens Web Blogathon – an initiative to speak up about domestic violence and not keeping it hushed. I am intrigued to read Meena Kandasamy’s book ‘When I hit you‘ as anything related to women and women empowerment is a subject close to heart. The journey of victimhood to victory is always an interesting one.

How writing can help the healing process

How writing can help the healing process

“I can shake off everything as I write; my sorrows disappear, my courage is reborn.” ~Anne Frank

Recently, a dear friend of ours lost their little baby just a few days after her birth. In spite of a healthy pregnancy, the baby had suffered severe brain damage. She was kept under treatment in possibly the best neo-natal intensive care unit in the country, yet ironically her recovery was beyond the finest team of doctors. The family had been distraught to learn that she will not survive.

During this traumatic period, the parents had resorted to penning down their thoughts, which they subsequently shared with us. It was heart wrenching to read their account of emotions as they helplessly saw their little daughter dying in their arms. A life event of this nature can be extremely painful to deal with and their agony only unfathomable. Yet, it was heartening to know of their strength to express the flood of sentiments raging through their hearts and their courage to eventually share their reflections.

Writing about any traumatic event we face is known to have helped the healing process and lower stress hormones. Be it in the form of logs or diaries or blogs, writing down our thoughts is therapeutic. Especially to help us deal with bereavement, traumatic events and setbacks, the daily practice of maintaining a journal or a diary has proven to be cathartic. This I can vouch for with my own experience of blogging here.

Keeping a personal journal

Writing a diary or journaling is akin to having an honest conversation with our true self. It can even take the form of ranting or venting or rambling anything that comes to mind. It is the flow of words in sync with the flow of our true emotions. Writing in confidentiality knowing that this will not be read by anyone can provide great relief. There is no one to judge or question our thoughts. No what’s and why’s asked. There is no one to impress or please. No grammar or writing skills or fancy language required. It could even include drawings, scribbles, doodles or pictures. It is simply for us to know what and why we are writing.

I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say. ~Flannery O’Connor

The beauty of journaling is that it tends to say it like it is without any flair or fluff. It is a beautiful and relaxing way to connect with our self. In a way, it is time spent in listening to our inner guidance that helps express our thoughts. And as we let them out, our perspective of looking at certain things goes through changes eventually.

An aid to healing

This uninhibited dialogue with the self often unravels feelings that were hard to face or even brushed under the carpet. It helps us recognise the reality that was difficult for us to face initially. It opens up the process of acknowledging the hard feelings in the first place, thereby opening up our hearts to healing. The process of wording our feelings, coping with them and internalising them brings in clarity of thought.

Writing changes the way we think. It serves as an all-important outlet to express our feelings. The darkness that accompanied our cluttered emotions slowly gives way to light. This release is essential to organise our emotions. We are then ready to learn from them, go past them and move on gradually in peace.

Journaling acts as our own therapy session with the self. By touching upon the various intra-personal dimensions, it indirectly aids in knowing ourselves better. It is, thus, a personally empowering way to self-heal. With this handy coping mechanism tool, we can be well equipped to confront challenges that lie ahead.

Keep a diary and someday it will keep you. ~Mae West

 

 

 

 

Q – Quotes, my favourite ones #AtoZChallenge

Q – Quotes, my favourite ones #AtoZChallenge

Words have a great impact on our self-esteem. Words can inspire, can encourage us and boost our self-confidence. Words have the ability to make a lasting impact on our thoughts and actions.

Through this post, I would like to share some of my favourite quotes from people who inspire me. Qoutes that are relevant in my life story, the ones that have created a ripple in my inner world. Here they come:

“When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.” ~Lao Tzu

“Nothing can dim the light which shines from within.” ~Maya Angelou

“Our notions about happiness entrap us. We forget that they are just ideas. Our idea of happiness can prevent us from actually being happy. We fail to see the opportunity for joy that is right in front of us when we are caught in a belief that happiness should take a particular form.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh

“Set your life on fire. Seek those who fan your flames.” ~Rumi

“No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path.” ~Buddha

“It is not how much we do but how much love we put in the doing. It is not how much we give, but how much love we put in the giving.” ~Mother Teresa

“Passion is energy. Feel the power that comes from focusing on what excites you.” ~Oprah Winfrey

“Don’t wait for someone to bring you flowers. Plant your own garden and decorate your own soul.” ~Osho

 

Images courtesy: http://www.inspirational.quotesms.com/

This post is part of the #AtoZChallenge 2017 Blogging from A to Z: http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/.

I write about my spiritual and personal growth influences from A to Z.
My previous posts in chronology:

A New Earth 

Brahma Kumaris

Chicken Soup for the Soul

Dialogue with Death 

Eat Pray Love 

Finding a purpose in life

GANDHI

Healing with Chakras

I Believe in Angels

Jonathan Livingston Seagull

Kahlil Gibran 

Lisa Nichols

Meditation

Neale Donald Walsch

Oprah & Deepak Meditations

Power of Positive Thinking

I – I believe in Angels #AtoZChallenge

I – I believe in Angels #AtoZChallenge

“When you feel lost, pause and look closely around you. Somewhere, somehow, an angel will be waiting to guide you home.” ~Author unknown

Angels are real. They surround us. We can call upon them when we need them.

Under normal circumstances, I wouldn’t have believed any of the above. But when I was truly seeking a Guardian Angel in my life, to hold me in my moments of despair and show me the way forward, I had found one. The connection was real and it remains. Had it not been for certain ethereal experiences I have had, I would have continued to think that angels existed only in stories.

The word ‘Angel’ is derived from the ancient Greek word ‘Angelos’ meaning ‘messenger’. Truly, Angels are regarded as ‘Messengers of God.’ They are pure beings of divinity who want to help us in all areas of our lives. It is possible to sense their presence around us, and in some cases even see and hear them.
Dr. Sneh Desai is an expert motivational speaker, inspirational coach and leader. After his Mind Power workshop had made an impression, I had bought his book ‘I believe in Angels, do you?’ in curiosity of the connection with my own angel. In this book, he goes into the details of types and names of different angels, sensing their presence, ways of connecting with them and asking for help in various areas.

Ask for an angel’s guidance from your heart’s deepest, honest desire..and you may find what you are seeking!

Key Highlights:

“Remove the clutters and stagnant energy in your life to make space for Angels.”

“I accept divine guidance and I am always safe. I trust my higher self.”

“You get gut feelings, tingling sensations or intuitive hunches to feel the presence of an angel.”

 

This post is part of the #AtoZChallenge 2017 Blogging from A to Z: http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/. I write about my spiritual and personal growth influences from A to Z.

Read my previous posts in chronology:

A: A New Earth 

B: Brahma Kumaris

C: Chicken Soup for the Soul

D: Dialogue with Death 

E: Eat Pray Love 

F: Finding a purpose in life

G: GANDHI

H: Healing with Chakras

 

F – ‘Finding a purpose in life’ by R. M. Lala #AtoZChallenge

F – ‘Finding a purpose in life’ by R. M. Lala #AtoZChallenge

“God has a plan and purpose for each one of us. The purpose may not be something grand, though we could well be led to something much bigger than what we may have imagined.”  ~R. M. Lala.

We had the privilege of knowing author Mr. R.M.Lala personally as our family friend and philosopher guide. Russiuncle – as my siblings and I fondly called him since we were kids, had a special place in our home and hearts. We admired his tender-heartedness and his benevolent attitude to life. He had a charming presence with an infectious aura of optimism. We loved his sense of humour. Our respect for him grew multifold when he battled cancer in his last days with immense strength and wisdom.

Man always has and continues to strive to know his purpose in life. Why is he here and what place does he hold in this chaotic world? In ‘Finding a purpose in life’, Mr. Lala speaks about 26 people who inspired the world, their thoughts and what led them to pursue deeper meaning in lives. They include Mahatma Gandhi, Jamsetji Tata, Mother Teresa, Dr. Abdul Kalam, Sudha and Narayan Murthy and others who made an impact. By sharing their stories, he stimulates the reader to think of his or her own purpose in life.

Key Highlights:

“We need to examine our lives daily, where we spend our times and our energies.”

Man wants to know a place where he can anchor his spirit, find a direction and pursue a purpose beyond his own advancement. Those who find it have a sparkle in their eyes even at eighty years of age; those who don’t look vacant-eyed even at forty.

“Dreams need not die in the face of unfavourable circumstances. They may only be delayed. There is a right time for everything.”

“As my sufferings mounted, I soon realised that there were two ways in which I could respond to my situation –either to react with bitterness or seek to transform the suffering into a creative force.”

Russiuncle, having left behind a legacy of inspiration, fondly remains in our memories.

 

To buy this book, click here:

http://amzn.to/2mVj4nr

Other books by Mr. Lala:

This post is part of the #AtoZChallenge 2017 Blogging from A to Z: http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/

Read my previous posts in chronology:

A: A New Earth 

B: Brahma Kumaris

C: Chicken Soup for the Soul

D: Dialogue with Death 

E: Eat Pray Love 

 

Image courtesy: http://rmlala09.blogspot.in/ 

 

 

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