Comfort Zone

“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.”- Neale Donald Walsch

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It’s quite easy, is it not
To go with the flow, without a thought
Live your life in a fashion predictable
Following a routine is practical
Saves time in a world fast-paced
Helps you stay ahead in the race
You are most productive in your comfort zone
Where you can handle your life alone

Being too comfortable is a thing dangerous
Life tends to throw curve balls at all of us
There will be times when you are taken by utter surprise
Forced to do things on a limb, and improvise
We are all resourceful, there’s usually a way
To get through the unexpected, any place, any day

I must confess I like my days to proceed
In a smooth fashion, it gives me the control that I need
To keep multitasking, maximizing efficiency
Keeps me confident, maintains my self-sufficiency
But every now and then, when I get too comfortable
I crave for some action, a little something to enable
My fight or flight skills to rise from dormancy
And challenge my sense of passive complacency
Then I try to reach outside my zone of comfort
My adaptability to something new I try to assert
(No, I do not bungee-jump or sky dive,
I do not need such thrills to make me feel alive)
I break my routine and try to explore
A new form of creative expression, not tried before..
I don’t push my boundaries but do step out
Of my comfort zone into the realm of self-doubt
And when I do that, my zone of comfort expands
I acquire an extra skill for my hands

If you think life is smooth, but a bit too smooth
A new target might be worthwhile to shoot
Getting out of your comfort zone should help you, I say
Get something more out of an ordinary day…

Inspiration Overload

dsc07457I’ve observed a growing trend

Among my acquaintances and friends

Of sharing on social media every day

Inspirational quotes with clever word play

Superimposed on a backdrop spectacular

Of natural beauty, of vistas singular

Thoughts for the day meant to inspire

Soak in positive energy, before the world can conspire

To derail your plans and bring disenchantment

Feel hopeful, before sets in disappointment..

*

Of course I reach out for my phone once awake

I’m hungry for stimulation before I can shake

Sleep from my body and my foggy mind

I am greeted with messages of the motivational kind-

Telling me to take the first step, or be

The change in the world I wish to see

Or do one thing every day that is scary

Or not to be lonely, the universe lies in me..

When this first started, I used to smile

Pause and ponder on the quote for a while

Then the quotes began to blur into each other

Rumi, Gandhi, Buddha- everything seemed scattered

Words I would still read, without any emotion

Scrolling through them was just going through the motions

Artistic photography I still would admire

To explore those places, I  did desire

Until the photoshopped images too lost their lustre

Such quotes keep mushrooming, I cannot register

Any longer what they are trying to say

I might look at just one to start my day

Usually it shaves off some time precious

From my morning, delaying me thus..

*

Writing this poem, I migrate in my mind

Back to school days, where you could find

Neatly written below the date on the board

A “Thought for the Day” by the teacher- I adored

This practice, reading a quotation that inspired

Lifted my spirits, fueled my desire

To change myself and improve my ways

But those were my impressionable days..

*

I am still a believer ( I use quotes liberally

In my posts) but this is inspiration overload literally

In the midst of a bad hair day, I rarely  get

The appropriate message to make me forget 

About everything bad, that is the moment crucial

When I need the power of a message motivational-

Until then I shall continue to largely ignore

Such messages, please do not send me more!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Road Well Traveled..

Fed on a steady visual diet
Of facebook, instagram and pinterest
Watching photographs of jaw-dropping scenery
Of amazing places in far-flung countries
I thought that everything worth exploring
Needed an air-ticket, places around me were boring
My city, after all, could not compete
With a volcano in Hawaii spewing heat
So every weekend I would in self-pity wallow
Looking at travel pictures of friends that I follow
On social media, thinking how most of them
Were in locales exotic, whereas I did not know when
I would get a chance to plan a vacation-
Time off, finances etc. would make that determination

One day I decided to venture out
In my city with my camera, without
Any expectations, there were no surprises, after all
But..I was wrong- I found on my leisurely stroll
Amazing vistas, the familiar riverfront showed a difference
When captured this time with my lens
And I was reminded of how beautiful it had appeared
When I had first moved here, now the magic had disappeared
Then I realized it was a matter of perspective
I could find something new if I wanted, or live
Each day wishing to be elsewhere
And, unable to do so, spend my weekends in despair

So the road well traveled showed me sights new
With pictures that were instagrammable too!

Cee’s Which Way Photo Challenge

Just realized my all-time favorite challenge was open again- here are some photographs. Enjoy!

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Street in Oslo, Norway
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Street near my home, Philadelphia
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Akershus Fortress, Oslo, Norway
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Arched walkway, Akershus Fortress, Oslo
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Waling through the continental divide in Thingvellir National Park in Iceland
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Sidewalk in Abu Dhabi, UAE
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Walking through Chinese Lanterns, Franklin Square, Philadelphia

The Novelist

I wondered what would happen if a novelist tried to make her stories come alive in her own life…the result is this poemdsc_0236

Born with a natural inclination

To tell stories, mixing facts with imagination

From the time she could sentences write

Pen and paper made her jump in delight

Soon she started jotting down stories in long hand

Some simple, others too abstract to understand

If you met her, your peculiarities she would file away

In a nook of her brain, to be liberally used one fine day

When the tale she was weaving and your traits

Aligned together in a path straight

Everything she observed, nothing escaped her eye

She could not be fooled with the most convincing lie

Stories got longer, plots complicated

Fact merged with fantasy, as masterpieces she created

*

She wrote with a zeal quite difficult to find

Her novels and real life merged somewhere in her mind

While all novelists tend to derive inspiration

From real life, embellishing it with their imagination

She on the other hand, tried to orchestrate

Events in her life such that they would imitate

Well-defined endings of the novels penned by her

Much to the chagrin of those near and dear

*

 In the twilight years of her life, she had achieved

Fame and popularity, much more than she could have believed

Life had been treating her well until the day she found

That she had the dreaded cancer, it was a blow profound

She kept this a secret, and wrote with a sense

Of urgency, about living with cancer through her lens

She knew her days were numbered and thus the hurry

To finish her last novel, she did constantly worry

That her exit from life would be quite sudden

Leaving her soul in a limbo, stuck in her pen

 *

She ended her novel, words saturated with certitude

Bidding a final adieu to her readers, she sat in solitude

The final step in her life would be to organize

Her exit from this world, in a way that would surprise

Everyone, give people, besides her books, a reason

To remember her through many a season

She wanted to do this before she fell prey

To the vicissitudes of cancer one day

And needed to be drugged to control her pain

She planned her departure while she was still sane

 *

Her book was released and the following day

Mimicking the end of her novel in every way

She was found to be dead, having ended her sojourn

On the earth herself, leaving hundreds to mourn

With a pen and paper beside her, the sheet pristine

What an extraordinary life it had been!

She wrote her novels and made them her guide

She was an open book- with nothing to hide.

Women in charge

investment_stratThrough sheer hard work and industry

She climbed the organizational ladder steadily

As she reached the top echelons she had a vision

Of a smoothly running ship, the picture of perfection

She had high standards to which she conformed

Difficult to achieve, they made people squirm

She could not withstand distress of other employees

She thought everyone she needed to please

So she bent backwards, trying to clean after

The less-than-perfect work presented to her

This led to a vicious circle where  work she accumulated

While the quality of work of her juniors deteriorated

Soon she was exhausted, irritable, stressed out

Pleasing everyone had taken a toll, no doubt

As her cheerful demeanor morphed into a frown

Her ability to keep her staff happy also went down

She felt like a victim, others she resented

There was no one to whom she could have vented

Her predicament, she could not give the impression

That she was incapable of handling her position

**

Then one day when everything spun out of control

She took a few moments to reflect, search her soul

And asked herself why she was ready to bend

To please everyone else to no definite end

She decided her strategy she needed to revise

There were certain boundaries she needed to devise

Not everyone was going to be happy, or easy to please

Realizing this put her mind somewhat at ease

She needed to gain confidence of those who appreciated

Her work ethic and her style, she had underestimated

 

The number of people who had nothing but admiration

For her work and her commitment, it was a revelation

She decided she would be empathetic but firm

With her sub-ordinates, soon they would learn

To match the high standards to which she aspired

To fulfil her promise for the position she had acquired

**

This is the tale of many women in positions 

Of power, they often complicate their situations

By aiming for perfection, trying to please everyone

That is just not how the job gets done!

So here’s a piece of my humble advice

Stick to your standards, and never compromise!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Guilt and apology

DSC_0266.JPGThere is something I wish to say

To you, it has gnawed at me every day

Since that incident when I had been

Blatantly wrong, inconsiderate and mean

I had ended up hurting you in my

Anger- since then each day I wonder why

My folly soon after I failed to recognize

Why did it take me months to realize

That the incident caused fault lines to appear

In the mantle of our relationship, my dear

The apology that never left my lips somehow

Turned into guilt that would not allow

Me any peace-the guilt just hung in the air, still

Like dense fog enveloping a rolling hill

The air between us icy like the winds Arctic

The silence of resentment cut me to the quick

I blamed myself for this endless winter 

Between us, yet could not muster

The courage to apologize to you, thinking

It was too late, our relationship was already sinking…

**

The guilt grew within me, causing my transformation

Into a raging insomniac, desperate for salvation

Years had passed, we had gone separate ways

The air had not been cleared in all these days

I had to do this, late as it might have been

I had to wipe my proverbial state clean

So I set out to apologize to you-yes, that’s true

Seemed to me you had forgotten the details too

You accepted my apology with some trepidation

Not lowering your guard, it was an awkward situation

While our friendship was not restored to its glory

I could breathe easier since I said I was sorry

The guilt that I had carried in my heart 

Was shaken off, of me it was no longer a part!

 

 

 

 

Create something beautiful

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To find some meaning in every single day

To keep the creeping blues at bay

There is something that I have found

Not a mantra earth-shattering or profound

It is to create something beautiful each day

With your hands and your mind, in your own way

We all have talents, evident, or waiting to be

Explored by ourselves, for everyone to see

So I urge you, gather your tools today

Let your imagination soar and lead the way

Let your creative spark be ignited

Let me convince you, you would be delighted

When your fruits of labor are realized

The finished product might leave you quite surprised

As you marvel at how you never thought you could

Create something so original, never  thought you would

Find joy in working with your imagination

And come up with a wonderful story/poem/artistic creation

Maybe it is the way you organized your home today

Or cooked something delicious, in a different way

We are all artists, most with untapped potential

Trapped in our busy lives, dealing with issues “essential”

But the joy of creation is a tool powerful

That makes me strive to create something beautiful

Most days, knowing this process

Helps me feel content, makes me feel blessed.