#LinkYourLife Round-Up Challenge 18/11/2016

Welcome to this week’s #LinkYourLife RoundUp Challenge. Here’s last week’s round-up to find out more info about this challenge and also to read the awesome work from other writers that was shared. To be honest, I had completely forgotten about this challenge but I am excited and honored to be selected for this week’s round up. Because my health, energy level and mindset is elsewhere, I haven’t been able to blog as often. However, I couldn’t disappoint for this week’s challenge. Hopefully, I haven’t left out anyone and that all the links work. If you would like to know more about the #LinkYourLife movement to connect and share through several online connections, see Shawna Ayoub Ainslie’s post on how “We Are Better Together.

Now I present the following blog posts, essays and articles shared by writers from the #LinkYourLife community.

Linda Hobden @LindaHobden

Linda shares an interesting interview with Los Angeles based photographer Nina Junger. While I know little about photography, I recommend this post for I find that it’s always inspiring to read about people’s journeys on pursuing their dreams and/or career choices/paths. 

“My dream is to spend 2 years in Africa shooting tribes and animals. I’m very inspired by the rawness and openness of tribes and animals. I am drawn to that type of passion in my own photographs.” – An Interview with photographer Nina Junger

Shawna Ayoub Ainslie @shawnamawna

There is no doubt that the U.S. election has many people questioning the future and where humanity is heading. Many are afraid and from my point of view; with good reasons. However, what is even more heartbreaking in all of this, is the many children (mostly in the U.S.) living in fear of what is to come and the uncertainty in the aftermath.

Shawna shares a personal, heartbreaking and pragmatic post on the aftermath of the election, from a child’s perspective. This is truly an appropriate piece, in light of everything happening in the world right now, and as a woman of color with children of color I felt the many emotions in this piece;

“My tears came later, when my second son returned from school and told me how one of his classmates spent the day crying because he is afraid of being separated from his immigrant family. How devastating it is to live in a country full of humans who can so easily set your humanity aside based on your genetic or locational origin.”Examining the Election Aftermath from a Child of Color’s Perspective

Thomas Ives @BestowingFire

Thomas shares an encouraging post that challenges us to ask ourselves a legitimate question. A beautiful piece inspiring us to think what is important in life and what we wish to leave behind.

“Life is not about clothes, cars or money. It is also not about self-gratification, selfishness, or being self-absorbed. We tend to make life complicated when actually it is quite simple.” What will your legacy be remembered for?

Lidi Wilks @lidywilks

Lidy is away for NaNoWriMo 2016 (how I envy her but wish her good luck!).  Therefore, she shares a guest post by blogger Fanni Suto @Fanni_Pumpkin, who writes and shares her experience and journey with writing and NaNoWriMo.

“I rolled up my sleeves and accepted the challenge. If I want to have kick-ass characters who can battle the whole world and come over every conflict I send in their way, I should start with triumphing over myself.” November, Novels, No Sleep by Fanni Suto

Cheryl Oreglia @CherylOreglia

Cheryl shares a wonderful message inspired by historian Vincent Harding. A message on society and our the important work each individual must go through. She writes:

“Vincent Harding said, <<We don’t need to pull our children out of the darkness but allow them to remain and be a light post in the darkness…This is how we liberate our communities.>> Our children need to find their own disciplines in this world.” That Magnificent Madman Jesus

Rachel Ann Hanson @rahanson10

Rachel shares a short, yet sweet post and offers a parenting input on the innocence and honesty behind nakedness when raising her precious ones, and using skin-to-skin as a soothing element.

“Nakedness is comforting. When E got her two-month shots she cried and cried and cried. Nothing soothed her until we got skin-to-skin.” Comfort and Strength

Tessara Dudley @tdudleypdx

If you’re fearful or in shocked of today’s America. You’re not alone. Tessara shares a honest post on the harsh reality due to this year’s U.S. presidential election, in what that may seem like the end of the world for some. However, there is hope…

“My non-reaction has been confusing everyone around me. In a community turned upside down and storming with emotion, I am not… but I am determined. I understand your fear and anger, and I will hold space for you to grieve, and I will do the work of protecting and supporting and loving us, and I will try to mitigate the terrible impact of Trump’s presidency.”The World is Ending – But It Isn’t

Charli Mills @Charli_Mills

Charli shares a post consisting of short prompts (in 99 words) by various writers. The topic is fitting as for many perhaps the end is near?! The central point of the stories is an unexpected ending, fitting the chaos and recent events. She writes:

“It’s fitting that writers explored what the end means. While we might want satisfactory endings, the end can also surprise us or shake us. This week we explore the possibilities of the end we didn’t see coming.”Beyond The End

*****

It’s a honor to be a part of #LinkYourLife with such amazing and inspiring souls and writers. Hopefully, you will all take the time to appreciate these wonderful writers and #LinkYourLifers.

Wish you all a happy Friday and a pleasant weekend!

Love,

AminaBerg

#LinkYourLife Challenge – Thank You

Today’s challenge is to write a letter to someone you’ve met through #LinkYourLife but since I have no one in mind, I choose to thank the minds behind this challenge; Shareen & Shawna over at Open Thought Vortex Magazine and The Honeyed Quill.

It’s been such an honor to be a part of a community of strong, creative and inspiring spirits!

…and of course for those of you who visited/read my blog posts throughout this challenge. Thank you for your support and kind words!

thankyou

Starting tomorrow I’ll be going back to my usuall writing and posting routines. Which means; Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Hope to see you around!

Happy Tuesday!

with love,

-A.B.-

 

#LinkYourLife Challenge: Day 29 -Personal Goals

Journey

Day 29…

A personal goal I’m working to achieve:

This takes me back to day one of this challenge where I wrote as I am now. And there I shared a bit of my weightloss journey. It’s been almost 8 months and I can tell that this time it’s different. I’ve never been more motivated and driven to achieve the goals I’ve set for myself this time around. It’s the longest I’ve been able to stick with such change and course. I’m almost half-way there and I’m truly proud to have come so far.

This is what I wrote on day one:

For the past six months now, I have embarked on a weight loss journey. For years, I have been struggling with my weight and I could not succeed to save my life. Today, I realize that in order to succeed at anything I need to start loving myself and believe that I’m capable and worthy. Prior to my journey I knew I would have to stop making excuses and putting myself down. With time, self-love and respect along with the right mindset, determination and hard work I have so far lost 12 kg (26.5 lbs.). The journey continues…but I’m optimistic and hopeful that the best is yet to come!

A personal goal I’m proud to have achieved:

I’ve shared my journey on battling depression and life in general. Whilst it took me a while to find peace, meaning and purpose in my life, and I’m proud to have achieved tranquility and faith that things will work out. Back then, a personal goal was to get back on my feet again, find hope and aspire to something. I’ve now found that ‘something’ , rediscovered my strength and realized that I am capable.

Happy Monday!

-A.B.-

 

 

#LinkYourLife Challenge: Day 28 – Every Day Kindness

Day 28: How do you change the world every day?

Today’s short short…

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The way I choose to change the world every day is with acts of kindness and by treating people with the love and respect we all deserve. Nothing grand yet truly effective. It’s become a spiritual practice. For kindness, a smile, laughter and love is an universal language.

And with those people I meet and don’t particular enjoy, I remind myself they are human with flaws and on this particular day they happen to choose to show me their flaws.

With that said, I leave you with two inspirational quotes about kindness that resonates with me and reflects how I change the world every day…

My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness.
– Dalai Lama

Kindness is words creates confidence.
Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. 
Kindness in giving creates love.
– Lao Tzu

 

Happy Sunday!

-A.B.-

#LinkYourLife Challenge: Day 27 –Hidden Skill: Empathy

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Day 27: What is a hidden skill you possess?

After yesterday’s post I wanted to write procrastinating as a hidden skill since I’ve been able to go undetected for years by teachers, co-workers and even bosses. Sadly, I haven’t been able to fool my husband in that area.

I didn’t want to take the risk of sounding like a total slacker who just doesn’t do much all day. But I assure that I’m a hardworking human being, if I’m not procrastinating (which I do pretty well).

But to come up with another ‘skill’ was hard. I mean, there are a lot of things I’m good at but I can’t say that they are hidden per say. And the skills that are “hidden”, well I can’t say for sure that they are actual skills.

However, if I’m to throw something out there – something I believe I’m pretty good at, that I consider a skill and somewhat something I’m proud of, it would have to be my ability to understand and share the feelings of others. My ability to empathize with people.

I’m an emotional human being. Always have and always will be. But first impression when meeting me indicates that I’m quiet, perhaps shy and introverted. The latter may be true but I would also describe myself as an observer watching/noticing human behaviors and emotions. It’s something I’ve been doing ever since I was a young girl.

I believe that my life experiences, pain and struggles have taught me and developed empathy. I’ve been and still able to relate to a lot of things.

I guess, that’s one the main reasons I felt I couldn’t work at my previous jobs because there I was so up close and personal with different human behaviors, challenges and emotions that it got to me in the end. Put this ‘skill’ together with aspect of myself I’ve been struggling to accept then you have a recipe for self-destruction if not regulated.

Feeling sympathetic and sorry for someone is easy. But the ability to understand and share the feelings of another takes effort, respect and compassion.

We’re all humans – after all

However, I’m not perfect – I’m capable of passing judgement and at times unfairness but I’m also capable of remorse and I have a sense of morality which is unimaginable without empathy.

Happy Saturday!

-A.B.-

 

 

#LinkYourLife Challenge: Day 26 – Trying To Break Procrastination

Day 26: Tell us about a pattern you are trying to break.

Well, this was pretty easy as the answer kind of ‘popped’ up immediately in my head; I’m a pro-procrastinator! It’s the infamous pattern, bad habit and perpetual battle I’m immensely trying to break free from.

For years, I’ve been a master at postponing anything that needs to be done. And, it’s no help that I’m a master at making excuses. Back in school I would usually postpone homework, assignments or reading for exams until time was no longer on my side. My explanation (or excuse if you will) was usually that I worked better under pressure, which is true in the sense that I enjoy having time pressure on me. But I don’t recommend it though!

I became more aware of this pattern when I decided to pursue writing and write regularly. I’ve since realized that I have a problem in my hand and eventually started noticing a pattern.

Read: 4 Reasons Why A Writer Procrastinates

It usually starts with a short (yet harmless) sentence: ‘I have plenty of time’ which means that I don’t need to get started right away, for time is very much on my side. At this point, I’m relaxed and I find plenty of other “important” things to do. I convince myself I’m being effective and productive!

If I haven’t started by now with whatever that needs ‘starting’ then procrastination goes on to a whole new level, where the next sentence stirs more trouble than anything else: ‘I’ll do it later’ which at this point I know for sure that I won’t, but I convince myself otherwise. This takes postponing to a completely different level.

I’ll make excuses. I’ll find other things that needs doing. I’ll waste time and justify my actions (or lack of it). Eventually, later becomes too late and my conscience kicks in taking me on a guilt trip.

Tomorrow then becomes a day where I spend my time catching up whilst battling and avoiding procrastination like the plague.

However, I’m well aware of this pattern and terrible habit, which is the first step. Nevertheless, I’ve discovered that the only way to beat it is to commit to myself, personal goals and my time. No laters, no excuses – just work and a do it now habit. Once you know what you want and realize how you’re going to get there (FYI with hard work), you shift your mindset and start realizing how important it is to get things done rather than postponing it.

And let’s not forget the invigorated feeling you get after kicking procrastination’s butt (of course whilst getting work done) – that’s truly priceless. It’s a feeling accomplishment and that you’ve actually achieved something.

Alas, I know trying to break this pattern that’s gone undetected by those around me hasn’t been easy  and obviously it’s not going to get easier either but it’s a habit and just like any habits – it’s breakable, with the right tool and mindset!

Are you a procrastinator? And how are you breaking this habit/pattern?

Now, it’s time I actually go pack for our family camping trip on Monday that I have been postponing for days and if I wait for later, it may never come! Happy Friday and hope you’ll have a pleasant weekend free of procrastination.

-A.B.-

#LinkYourLife Challenge: Day 25 – ‘Where Do You Get Stuck?’


The end of the challenge is near and I can say it’s truly been a self discovery journey. I’ve had to challenge myself in writing (almost) everyday. I’ve had to challenge my thoughts and emotions, the present and the past. Overall, I can share that it’s been a great experience.

However, for today’s challenge I’ve had to ask myself and explore the question: ‘where do I get stuck?’

My immediate thought or answer was ‘when life throws me an unexpected challenge’ or ‘when things don’t go as expected’…let rephrase the latter; when things don’t go my way, the way I planned. Well, then I tend to get stuck. I throw myself a self-pity party, avoid the issue in hand, procrastinate (which I will talk about tomorrow) and exercise my right to wallow in more self-pity.

The issue is and I’m sure there are others who can relate; I get stuck when I don’t know where I’m headed or how I will get there. In other words, when I’m thrown off guard and if nothing for some odd reason, makes no sense. Which in the end boils down to my desire to control certain things, events and/or situations in life.

For the truth of the matter is that you can be aware that things may or may not go your way but you can never completely prepare for it to not go your way. Right?

Also, I usually get stuck when I have too many choices to make, to a point when it all becomes overwhelming. And I don’t mean deciding what I’m going to have for dinner or what color dress to buy.

I guess the core issue to getting stuck or even feeling stuck is expectations not being met leading to of course disappointment and the sense of lack of control. Furthermore, the need or aspiration that we can exercise control over certain aspects, situations or people in life. This I’ve learned the hard way is near to impossible.

I get stuck a lot but with a sense of direction of where I’m headed and clear goals I find it easy to search for a solution and get myself unstuck. In addition, a constant reminder that:

Life

Happy Thursday!

-A.B.-

#LinkYourLife Challenge: Day 23 – Morning or night?

 

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Day 23: Morning or night?

Perhaps a bit of both but one more than the other!

Morning, well because that is how society operates and order to fit in one has to adapt to its daily cycle. It’s just the way it is. You wake up in the morning and start your day (some earlier than others). And if you have kids, then you’re bound to have mornings to get them where they need to be during the day and if you’re lucky you will experience peaceful mornings where nothing goes wrong or messy. The way of modern society, I guess.

However, I’m no early bird. In fact, when it comes to my own sleeping patterns I’m not like the rest and it’s safe to say that I’m a ‘night owl’ – marching off to bed at sensible hours proves to be somewhat a difficult challenge, not until I changed work. And after working ‘daytime’ for several years it’s fair to say that working night shifts suits me pretty well in this particular time in my life.

While aware that being a night owl may not be a healthy habit to have in the long run, however, at night it’s when I feel more energetic, invigorated and creative. And as a writer when I get the most work done.

So in order to be a part of society I do mornings but for my own preference and creativity I embrace nigh time and balance the two. I wrote a blog post on being a night owl – do you agree with the signs?

Morning or night?

-A.B.-

#LinkYourLife Challenge: Day 22 – Aspect I am Struggling to Accept

20160711_022905.jpgDay 22: What is an aspect of yourself you are struggling to accept?

I’ve always been aware of who I am as a person and what perhaps separates me from those I meet and interact with in my life. I’ve known what role I’ve perhaps play in certain settings. However, there are certain aspects I’m proud of, a few I’m trying to change and other aspects I’m struggling to accept. Aspects that I seem to have a love/hate relationship with.

I know I’m a nice person and that I aspire to be nice and kind to others. But of course, I have my moments as we all do.

But in my mind, if there is even such of a thing, I’m too nice. To the extent that I put others first and carry people’s burden, feelings and responsibilities on my shoulders. So I guess the following aspect of my personality describe best what I mean with ‘nice’ in which I find it hard to accept because at times it becomes more of a curse rather than something completely positive.

There is always an upside and downside to everything. And I’m learning that in certain aspects of life it’s more about balance than anything else. But no matter the struggle and complaint, I always aspire for goodness and kindness. It’s just who I am and I wouldn’t want it any other way.

My kindheartedness is very much a part of my personality. I’m sympathetic to others and take into account of people’s well-being.

To me, an act of kindness comes naturally but every so often at the expense of my own well-being. Here lies the reason why I struggle to accept this aspect of myself. From oblivious to now where I’m learning to have balance. As well as learning that being kindhearted does not mean losing or undermining myself in the process, for it then becomes a weakness rather than a strength.

It’s not an aspect I want to change but choose to improve. It’s a conscious work of being aware of my actions and there are several reasons why being kindhearted is definitely a strength.

My sense of obligation to be responsible and take responsibility for certain things or roles assigned by my own conscience. The struggle is when I realize I have taken on to many responsibilities and then depend on someone to lighten to load. I then tend to feel defeated for I’m reminded that I’m only human.

An act of kindness never goes wasted nor taking responsibility but it loses value (mostly to you) when it’s at the expense of personal growth, your own needs and desires. For after all, we are human!

Happy Monday!

-A.B.-

 

#LinkYourLife Challenge: Day 20 – #WriteShareConnect

20160709_041714.jpgDay 20: What is something you’ve never shared before or never thought you’d share?

Writing down my thoughts and ideas is something I’ve always been doing since I could write and make sense of things. However, sharing whatever I scribble down has never been a goal nor priority rather something to fear and avoid. Sharing in general was something I was afraid of doing because it meant me putting myself ‘out there’ for people to openly judge and scrutinize.

I’ve always wanted to connect more with the outside world but I’ve never been comfortable nor confident enough to do so. Especially sharing a part of me to the outside world: who I am, my journey and my life.

Ever since I embarked on a self-discovery journey, writing has played a big role in my everyday life and discovery.

So I guess one could say my blog and writings is something I never thought I would share. Ever. But somehow I’ve managed to write and share a lot about my personal journey which has taught me a few things about myself, writing and the blogosphere.

Since the beginning, my goal has been to Write – Share – Connect and aspire more to join. Hopefully, this hashtag will be a platform for the likeminded spirits.

For various reasons, I’ve never shared a profile picture of me. And honestly, I don’t know when I’ll be ready to do so. Only time will tell!

On a side note:
What’s your opinion when it comes to blogging and not having a profile picture?

PS: I’ll be skipping tomorrows challenge, day 21: “We’ve all had an ugly sweater. What did/does yours look like?” Well, I don’t have any sweater that I personally think is ugly. So it’s pretty pointless to try and write a post about it.

Anyway, Happy Saturday! And I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

-A.B.-