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Personal Bio

Your Personal Brand Needs A Domain And Bio Page

If you’re serious about creating a personal brand for yourself, you must definitely create a bio page on your own domain. For instance, my bio page is at priyashah.com.

Because I publish so many blogs, I like to keep my bio page simple, with a list of my projects, books and websites, but yours can be more well-designed, with a showcase of your work and a blog.

  • Setting Up Your Personal Domain Name

Owning your personal domain brands you in a way that leaves no doubt in the mind of your audience. Preferably choose a domain name that is the same as your name.

Check online with a domain name registrar to find out whether your preferred name is available. If not keep trying other combinations until you succeed. Buy the domain name and get it registered by either the domain name registrar or through the host.

If your name is prone to misspelling, buy the domains corresponding to the common misspellings also and point them to the correct domain or your website. Buy the domain for at least 3 to 5 years so you don’t forget to renew it.

Avoid special characters like dashes whenever possible because people are less likely to remember to type them in. It is wise to include your middle name in the combination, to set you apart from others with similar names.

Let your name appear as it would in a resume. Don’t use your job/industry in your domain name. These things are bound to change with time but your domain name must remain the same.

  • Setting Up Your Bio Page

Choose a hosting service where you will point your domain. Your internet service provider may provide the service at a fee. Alternatively you can search online for other web hosting companies.

Depending on whether you want to host a simple web page or blog, buy a hosting package that offers the services you need. Propagation of a new domain name to the new host could take a day or so. Point it to the web host so that your bio page becomes operational.

The bio page is one of the most important pages of the site. This page defines you, and is most likely to attract the most attention. Writing about your topics of expertise might come easy, but not so when you are required to write about yourself.

As you write keep your audience in mind. A bio is not for building your ego, it is an unbiased way of informing your audience of your skills and expertise that they may need.

  • How To Write Your Personal Bio

Make sure you express clearly what sets you apart from the rest. Since there are many people in your field, what unique talents do you have to offer. If you have won an award or created a special innovation, be sure to indicate that.

Do not exaggerate your claims – be sure to remain credible. If possible, back up your claims with facts if the links are available. Be honest about what you have achieved without appearing to be bragging. Your work and accomplishments should speak for themselves. Keep your bio updated regularly with your latest achievements and publications.

Summarize your professional credits, but also include a sense of your philosophy, hobbies, interests and personality. Do not detail your bio as if it is a CV or resume. It must be interesting and tell your audience some personal things about you, such as whether you are married, have kids and where you live.

In learning how to create personal branding with your own domain and bio page, use fail-safe phrases like ‘March 2011’ as opposed to ‘March Last Year’. An up-to-date photo is a must-have. Finally do not forget to get a professional editor to go through your page and proofread it.

This is an excerpt from “Advantage YOU: Personal Branding Strategies For Career and Business Success” authored by Priya Florence Shah. 

Image: sheelamohan / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Money Saving Tips: It’s ALL In Your Habits

Are you one of those millions of people facing an ever-worsening financial squeeze? And the reason for this is not so much the bad economic conditions worldwide, as our habits related to money.

The need of the hour is to survive and systematically grow money until you reach a comfortable financial position. Saving and growing money is not a miracle, but the product of a particular mindset. And what is this mindset?

Money Saving Tips for Women

It is the way of life where one looks to converse money and not spend where it is not absolutely essential. At the same time, one needs to look at investing this money and creating wealth in the long run.

It has been said that a habit is a shirt made of iron. It takes a lot of difficulty to get into everyday practice, but once done, is almost impossible to dislodge. Here are 5 money saving tips to get your finances back in the green.

  • Get rid of unnecessary expenses

This may include things you “think” you need but really don’t – like your landline number, expensive cosmetics, that trip to Goa you were planning to take next month. Until your finances are healthier, cut down on the frills and keep only the essentials.

  • Avoid shopping trips

Only buy things you absolutely need to have. You can order provisions from the grocer instead of going to the supermarket and piling up your shopping cart.

  • You don’t need a car

If you don’t have a car, don’t buy one. If you have one, use it sparingly. If you invested the money you spend on your car instalments, fuel, car insurance and maintenance, you would be able spend on public transport just out of the interest you earned.

  • Look for bargains and discounts

When possible buy in a group so you can ask for bigger discounts. If you can bargain on price, do so. Avoid paying full price whenever you can avoid it. A rupee saved is a rupee earned.

  • Spend less time with expensive friends

Do you have friends who want to go partying every night? You don’t have to cut off your relationship, but do spend less time with them. And whenever possible suggest alternative activities that are not expensive. Some of the best things in life, like taking a walk in the park, are free.

That’s why we recommend you form good habits when it comes to money. That is the only way to achieving financial security and peace of mind!

© Naaree.com

This is an excerpt from “Money Saving Tips For Women In India: 20 Steps To Get Your Finances Back On Track” authored by Ankush Thakur & Priya Florence Shah.

Art As An Investment: Tips And Strategies For Investing In Art

By Sapna Chheda

Our ancestors believed investing in gold and silver as the safest bet, but with the sky rocketing metal prices, people are seeking for an alternate form of investment.

In today’s changing economic times with uncertain exchange rates, fluctuating stock markets and global recession, investment in the right commodity has become a difficult choice.

Art as an Investment

Investors are now diverting their resources to invest in some form of art. Though investing in art is a very lucrative option, it is also very risky. Let us take a quick look into this new form of investment to get us started.

Investing in art could range from sculptures to paintings or to the latest form called media arts which are more popular in United States of America.

However, the most preferred choice for an investment are paintings which are also called contemporary art.

  • Famous Artists

Some of the famous artists who made their mark in the art industry are Pablo Picasso, Vincent Van Gogh, Marc Chagall, Leonardo Da Vinci, Salvador Dali, M.F. Husain, Raja Ravi Varma, Jatin Das and many more.

Their paintings fetched exorbitant prices and spoke volumes about their knowledge of work for a real art appreciator would know.

  • Indian Art Today

A painting is categorized according to the technique and the medium used. Some of the most famous forms of Indian art are Patachitra, Kalamkari, Tanjore, Pahari , Madhubani. Over a period of time, Indian art has gained international recognition and have been housed at various museums worldwide.

People have become more educated towards art and there are many young people in India who are choosing art as their career. However, an Indian artist faces several limitations when it comes to freedom of expression.

  • GenNext’s Approach – Not Just Wall Decor

Every person has a different opinion about a painting. It all depends upon your knowledge of art or what colours and designs you prefer. Some people prefer a much more traditional style of painting for their living room over others who prefer contemporary or modern art.

Today, not only experienced individuals value art, but a whole new genre of youngsters has developed a keen interest in art. They want to display an original painting from an artist in their house and at the same time make an investment. They want to park their money in an art piece which will get them a good value in future in case they decide to sell it.

  • Choosing the Appropriate Art Piece

There are many fakes being circulated in the market. Hence, it is of utmost importance to take certain precautionary measures before purchasing your art. If you are not aware how to go about making an investment in art, it is best to take expert advice.

A few pointers to keep in mind before making the purchase is to check the quality, the year in which painting was made, the size of the piece, the medium of painting and who is the artist. It is advisable to obtain an authenticity certificate from the artist.

One can also visit art exhibitions and museums to find the painting which appeals to them. Many online art gallery features a wide collection of art, paintings, drawings, sketches, sculptures and many other arts.

One of India’s premier online art gallery is www.indiaartvillage.com. The Art Bank in Delhi hosts works of over 2000 artists. One can either buy art or even rent a piece.

  • Preserving Your Art

If you’re going to invest a substantial amount in an art piece, it would be wise to preserve it as well. You should also insure the art piece.

In India, The Art Vault provides professional services to preserve your art piece. The Art Vault takes care from transportation to storage and even insuring your art piece.

Another international body, called Via Mat Artcare, whose art storage is close to Zurich, is into preserving art for over 50 years now. With state of the art technologies, it provides services like art logistics, art transports, art storage, art packing and art fair logistics.

  • Poster, Print and an Original

Technology has made it possible for a common man to own a Picasso or a Van Gogh in a print form or a poster. But it can never be compared to the beauty of an original painting.

Not everyone can afford an original painting, but would still like to own it in some form. In such cases, one can buy a poster or a print. However, it is not a form of investment as it will not fetch a sizeable resale amount.

© Naaree.com

 

Alcohol Abuse In Indian Women: Is It A Young, Urban Phenomenon?

The debate about the pros and cons of alcohol consumption is hotly challenged all over the world. And the outlook in India mostly isn’t in shades of gray, but often black and white.

Alcohol consumption in any amount was considered a taboo, especially by Indian women. But history has taught us that making something taboo only makes the forbidden fruit more tempting. India is no different.

Alcoholism-in-Women

A recent article in DNA said that,” Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) India has seen a sharp increase in the number of women-most of them in their twenties – attending it’s meetings. Apart from Mumbai, such women-only AA meetings are also being held in Delhi, Pune, Bangalore and Chandigarh, which is another indicator of the fact that more and more women are seeking help”.

Research on drinking patterns among women generally shows that women drink less than men, but not anymore. As modernization has entered the era, women have started drinking equally and maybe even more than their male counterparts.

The social stigma surrounding women drinking is changing and women are going out more and more. Although one may see this as a good thing and consider drinking as a great social catalyst, the concern here is the rapid change in the trends and patterns of alcohol use among Indian women.

A restroom attendant at a five-star hotel reports sloshed teenagers in the ladies restroom, “falling all over each other, lying on the floor and getting sick”. Not a very good sign.

“Our research shows that people in the age group of 18 to 24 years are the largest consumers of beer, and are driving its growth,” affirms Kalyan Ganguly, CEO and president of the breweries division of the Bangalore-based UB Group, which runs 12 breweries today, up from eight just 10 years ago.

And half of this young population consists of girls. This is troubling to say the least. Blame it on rising stress levels, peer pressure or “western influence”, the signs cannot be denied.

A study of drinking habits conducted in Bangalore city reported that a fifth of young people who frequented pubs on weekends were girls aged between 13-19 years. In what could be a sign of changing lifestyles, more and more women are seeking help for problems related to alcohol consumption.

“The situation is alarming,” says Manoj Devanand, the co-founder of the Miracle Foundation in Bangalore, India’s only addiction centre catering for women. “In 2010 there was a 21 per cent jump in cases of alcoholism among young women.”

For those of you who are dismissing this as a limited upper urban class phenomenon, the reality is quite different. Their reasons to indulge in alcohol and their methods may differ, but Indian rural women too, indulge in cheap liquor.

Alcoholism is not just restricted to these two extremes of our society; women belonging to the middle-class are embracing alcohol as never before. The days of women feeling exasperated about the drinking habits of the men in the family are almost gone. Now, any social gathering is incomplete without the flow of liquor.

“Time has changed”, says Mrs.Pai, a career consultant living in Mumbai,” the taboo is non-existent; families stock liquor, drink together and serve happily to guests. Gone are the days when life had a pure air about it. Unfortunately, drinking has become a status symbol and major lifestyle trend today. ”

Apart from the obvious health hazards that alcoholism causes to people, women particularly need to take extra care as the physiological effects of alcohol is different on their body as compared to men. Excessive alcohol use takes a higher toll on women’s bodies, with a greater risk of liver, brain or heart damage, among other devastating conditions.

In the haze of alcohol, inhibition levels are also dropping dangerously low. Booze-induced unprotected sexual flings with strangers are on the rise. How much alcohol a person drinks directly affects how likely they are to have unsafe sex, a new review shows.

It is disturbing to know that a study by Bangalore-based Freedom Foundation on the number of alcohol-related HIV cases in the city found that 63 of the 90 patients covered had contracted the infection within a year of becoming alcoholic. These included several women.

In this land of Gandhi, the social high-spirit nirvana is starkly visible. One must say though, that alcohol is largely declassing people and breaking down gender barrier as maid servants, house-owners and teenage girls alike are seen queuing up at liquor stores!

One way to reduce your alcohol intake is to just learn to say “No” when pressed to drink by your friends. This training is especially important for teenagers who are susceptible to peer pressure and often give in just to seem “cool” to their peers.

For parents, it’s time they not only took a look at their own alcohol intake, but also sat down with their kids and had a heart-to-heart talk about the dangers of drinking too much.

© Naaree.com

Self-Help Courses:

  • How to Be Assertive: The Assertiveness Training eBook – How to Be Assertive is a unique guide to becoming assertive covering 5 different approaches to improving your assertiveness skills. Developing assertiveness requires you to retrain yourself to learn ways of being assertive and to unlearn habitual patterns of behaving which you may have had since you were young. This assertiveness eBook provides clear practical techniques for you to try out and practise on a consistent basis which are likely to help you to improve assertiveness and feel better about yourself and your relationships.

 

Online Jobs For Indian Women That Don’t Require An Investment

With the popularity of the internet, the work-at-home field has expanded significantly. There are plenty of reasons for an Indian woman to work at home.

Be it spending more time with their kids, enjoying greater flexibility in work schedule or getting away from office politics, but getting started is the tricky part.

There are many companies that hire employees to work from their homes. Since numerous real work at home job opportunities are available on the internet, you can search and select the most suitable job for you.

By selecting a real work at home job you can enjoy the flexibility of working conveniently at home and at convenient times for you. You can work as a freelancer or you can join as an employee of a company.

Although there are quite a few legitimate work-at-home opportunities, wading through the scams is a job on its own. Sorting out the real work at home jobs from the numerous job listing can be a time consuming process.

But it is better to spend more time and effort to get a legitimate home based job, then being on the rough end of a scam.

If you’re looking for legitimate work from home jobs, the most important thing is never to jump into an opportunity without doing extensive research. Learn how to tell the scams from the real job opportunities.

When researching legitimate work from home jobs, be wary of any programs that promise you lots of money with little effort.

Also be wary of any program that requires you to pay money upfront or is very hazy about what the job involves. Take your time to properly assess all opportunities.

One of the best ways to determine if a particular opportunity is a potential scam is to search for the name of the program along with the word “scam” and see if anyone has complained or lost money.

Know that there’s no shortcut or tricks to make money online. During your research if you stumble upon a get-rich-quick website, hit the back button as fast as you can! Making money through the internet needs considerable amount of patience and some effort too.

A lot of people think that working from home means you have to be a computer whiz, but there are work-at-home jobs for everyone from consultants to writers to website designers.

Real work at home jobs include customer service, recruiting, sales, technical, telecommuting or writing. You can start working as a home based agent where you are an employee of a company and provide the required customer service.

Another type of real work at home job involves providing administrative and clerical support in the form of a virtual assistant. You can also provide technical or creative services to clients.

If you have knowledge in advanced math or science or in some language, then you can select online tutor jobs. You can also join internet based companies that offer assistance to students in various subjects.

Think carefully about what you want to spend each day doing. Working from home means that you will have to motivate yourself to work every day, so it’s crucial to find work that you find appealing.

Whether you posses a set of skills or not, there are jobs available online for anyone who is willing to put in some hard work. Here are a few online jobs one can take up which require little or no investment:

  • Blog publishing

Blogs are like personal websites where you can write about any topic you love and earn money too.  Depending on the number of visitors coming to your blog, earning can go up to several thousands.

But it takes months & years to see huge income. Blogging is one of the most fun and solid way to make money online, but it is also quite time-consuming and requires knowledge and perseverance on your part. Click here to subscribe to a free business blogging course.

  • Freelancing

Freelancing is one of the best methods to make money from Internet. It is the most comfortable online job.

There is a range of jobs available for web designers, data entry operators, writers, bloggers, software programmers, virtual assistants and many more.

So if you have that work knowledge and experience then you could easily start with the job with zero investment and the added bonus of not travelling.

  • Write and Earn

The obvious skill required here is the ability to write well. Just like blogging, one can publish their articles on revenue sharing sites like Hubpages or Squidoo.

The concept being that you write articles which gives some useful information and get paid depending on the amount of visitors your article gets.

Signing up for these websites requires no investment and 50% or 60% of the revenue generated will be shared with you.

Real work at home jobs allow you earn smart income without compromising your time. You can schedule your work according to your convenience. Part time, full time are available for some home based jobs.

You should not be required to spend any initial charges or fees to get a job. All you need is a computer with internet connection. You would be required to have some basic computer experience.

There are some home-based jobs that offer full time work on a proper schedule and provide health insurance, pension, vacation and other benefits as in the case of a real job. But it takes a lot of effort to find such jobs.

If you have sufficient experience and qualification in any field, you may be able to get such jobs easily and enjoy the fun of working at home while enjoying the benefits of a traditional employee.

© Naaree.com

 

How To Stop Trying To Please Everyone And Get Your Life Back

Care about what other people think and you will always be their prisoner. ~ Lao Tzu

The disease to please is very common, especially among women and even more so among those who suffer from low self-esteem. While the need for acceptance or belonging is a normal human need, it is also true that acceptance begins with the acceptance of the self, first.

Overworked WomanThe need to please everyone or be a “people pleaser” stems from a lack of self-love and self-acceptance that causes us to try to get what we need from other people instead of giving it to ourselves.

But when you spend your life trying to please others, you are essentially giving your power away and making them responsible for your happiness.

When you act like a “people-pleaser”, you give up your own needs, ignore your own inner voice and give up your self-respect and dignity to make others happy.

In doing that you are not doing anyone a favour. Instead you invite people to treat you with disrespect and to exploit you.

Your unhappiness stems not from the fact that others are taking you for granted or treating you badly, but because, in working to gain their approval, you are treating yourself badly.

It is our own lack of self-worth and self-esteem that causes us to seek approval from sources outside of ourselves. In our efforts to keep everyone else happy, we end up doing too much and catering to everyone’s whims.

We continue to feel unappreciated and our feelings of resentment get stronger and stronger until we can no longer ignore them. When we do things to garner approval from others and don’t get the approval we seek, we end up resentful, burn out physically and emotionally and collapse from exhaustion or depression.

It’s not easy to give up approval seeking behavior when your self-acceptance and self-esteem are practically non-existent. The cure for this is to focus on building your sense of self-worth and realizing that you are worthy of love and acceptance just for being you.

Your sense of self-worth will then becomes so strong that even another person’s disapproval will not shake the belief that you are deserving of love and affection, for the only reason that you exist.

Take note of your motives when you offer to do something for someone else. Are you doing it because you expect something (love, affection, acceptance) in return, or without any expectations of them reciprocating your caring.

Are you acting from a place of fullness and love or from a place of lack and wanting? If you’ve made people pleasing and caretaking others a habit, it will be hard to change unless you remain ever vigilant of your actions and motives.

You can get out of people-pleasing mode by starting to allow your family and friends to do things for themselves. From folding their own clothes and putting them away to helping out in the kitchen, get your family to chip in and support you in taking care of yourself.

You are not doing your kids and husband a favour by doing everything for them. Instead you are making them dependent on you, for the wrong reasons.

Allow them to take over their own chores and start taking care of yourself for a change. You can grow your self-esteem and self-worth by doing good things for yourself.

Practice extreme self-care and stop doing everything for others, especially when you realize that you are doing them for unhealthy reasons. When you take loving action on your own behalf, you will have more faith in your ability to do what is right for yourself and your sense of self-esteem will increase.

Take small actions everyday to nurture yourself. Cultivate positive self talk and do not be critical with yourself. Over a period of time your beliefs will change and you will be able to resist the unhealthy lure of approval seeking behavior.

This is an excerpt from the book, “From Doormat to Devi: 10 Steps To Stop Overfunctioning In Relationships And Take Your Life Back” by Priya Florence Shah.

© Priya Florence Shah

Emotional Healing Resources:

  • The Courage to Be Yourself: A Woman’s Guide to Growing Beyond Emotional Dependence – Geared to women who find themselves meeting the needs and wants of others without meeting their own, The Courage to be Yourself helps them break free from emotional dependency, enhance their self-esteem, and overcome self-limiting fears.
  • How to Be Assertive: The Assertiveness Training eBook – How to Be Assertive is a unique guide to becoming assertive coversing 5 different approaches to improving your assertiveness skills. Becoming assertive if you are not naturally assertive involves practice and effort. Developing assertiveness requires you to retrain yourself to learn ways of being assertive and to unlearn habitual patterns of behaving which you may have had since you were young. Becoming more assertive will therefore involve you in learning helpful techniques or methods which need to be practised before they become second nature. This assertiveness eBook provides clear practical techniques for you to try out and practise on a consistent basis which are likely to help you to improve assertiveness and feel better about yourself and your relationships.

Reiki for Women: Healing Therapy For A New Age

By Pallavi Bhattacharya

I had the special privilege of doing Reiki with Reiki practitioner, Aarti Gupta. Mumbai based, Aarti, is a Psychologist, Counsellor and a Reiki Master. She has fused psychological therapy with Reiki to help people. In this article Aarti shares with Naaree.com how Reiki helps women.

Women have various roles to play- that of the mother, wife, daughter, sister, home-maker and career woman. Sometimes we may wonder if a multi-tasking woman is supposed to be a human robot. A robot is an electro-mechanical entity powered by electric motors, solenoids, hydraulic systems or batteries.

Reiki for Women
A woman, unlike a robot, is however a human being who cannot be powered by artificial devices. However, there is a unique way a multi-tasking woman can revitalise and rejuvenate her ‘spiritual energy’ or ‘universal life energy’.

This healing energy can be channelled with a technique similar to the laying on of hands. This soothing energy which flows through the palms to heal oneself and others is called Reiki (‘Rei’ meaning ‘unseen’ or ‘spiritual’ and ‘Ki’ meaning ‘energy’ or ‘life-force’).

  • What is Reiki?

Reiki is a natural therapy and a form of secular spiritual practice used as a complementary therapy to heal a person at the physical, emotional and spiritual levels.

Reiki Healing is a process of being connected to the Reiki Energy through an attunement or empowerment. Healing is done both by hands on and by distance work.

Reiki is not a religion nor is it a new age practice. It has been used since age-old times by practitioners of Christianity, Buddhism, Shintoism, Hinduism and Islam as a spiritual practice as a hands on healing practice.

Though Reiki has been an ancient practice, it is Japanese Tendai Buddhist, Mikao Usui, who is known to be the founder of Reiki as a recognized practice since 1922. Dr.Usui is said to have attained enlightenment when he climbed Mt. Kurama in Japan for a 21 day meditation and fasting ritual.

At the end of 21 days when Dr.Usui was just about to leave, he saw a great light approaching him from a distance. The light struck him in the third eye in the forehead. The beam of light knocked him unconscious as it struck him.

On regaining consciousness he saw millions of small glowing bubbles and spiritual symbols which later went on to be Reiki symbols. In April 1922, Usui relocated to Tokyo and founded the Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai (Usui Reiki Healing Society).

  • Women Reiki teachers:

In the lineage of Reiki, it has been seen that there have been more women Reiki teachers than men. Reiki Master Aarti Gupta explains, “This is because women are far more intuitive (since their right brain is more active than the left) than men and it is in their inherent nature to surrender with ease.”

“Intrinsically, a woman is a nurturer and love is her nature. So she can wish well for, pray for and heal others effortlessly. All this is well manifested in Reiki – the hands-on healing technique and therefore Reiki comes naturally to her.”

Some of the eminent women Reiki practitioners are:

Hawayo Takata: (December 24, 1900- December 11, 1980):

A Japanese American born in Hawaii, she introduced the spiritual practice of Reiki to the Western world. Well acquainted both with the culture of the U.S and Japan she could with ease blend the oriental aspects of Reiki with Western culture to better suit Reiki to the Western way of life.

Her widowhood in her 30th year marked a phase of struggle in her life. The stress of widowhood and single-handedly supporting her two daughters contributed to her suffering from lung problems, serious gastrointestinal ailments and severe depression finally leading to a nervous breakdown.

Hawayo was scheduled for a major surgery as her ailments were deemed to be life-threatening. On the operation table she heard a voice telling her that the operation was not necessary.

She asked the head surgeon if there was any non-surgical remedy. The surgeon gave her the address of a clinic run by Chujiro Hayashi (who had learnt Reiki from Dr. Mikao Usui).

Reiki cured her of all her ailments. She stayed on to learn Reiki from Hayashi and returned to Hawaii to spread Reiki in the Western world. In the next 30 years she taught both first and second degree Reiki and set up her own Reiki clinic. In the last decade of her life, Takata taught the third level of Reiki instruction and initiated twenty-two Reiki masters.

Ms. Kimiko Koyoma (1906- 1999):

Ms.Kimiko Koyama, the sixth direct heir from the great founder Usui never met Mikao Usui even though she was alive when he was living. She learnt Reiki from her late husband who was a navy man.

When her husband turned down the offer of being the head of Dr.Usui’s society- the Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai (Usui Reiki Healing Method Association), she accepted the responsibility.

Ms.Koyoma was able to tell where an illness or injury was simply by watching as she entered the room. She treated her clients in a reclining chair. She received inner messages that judiciously guided her hands during a Reiki session. She resigned as the President of the Gakkai in 1998.

Paula Horan:

American Grandmaster, Paula Horan has been credited to introducing Reiki in India. Being a psychologist she has been able to blend psychological therapy and Reiki to achieve amazing results.

She is an internationally acclaimed seminar leader and the author of the bestselling books Empowerment Through Reiki, Reiki: 108 Questions and Answers and The Ultimate Reiki Touch. She has great interest in all authentic forms of vibrational medicine.

Though Paula has stopped offering a regular program of seminars she does teach First, Second and Third Degree Reiki and the Core Empowerment Training if requested. Women from Paula’s spiritual family and friends include Brigitte Ziegler, Gagori Mitra and Renita.

Other women teaching Reiki:

There are many women Reiki Teachers in India and abroad. In India we often hear of Kajal Ghosh, Ela Ghosh, Shamal Durve, Aarti Gupta, Usha Thakore, Shehnaaz Sheikh, Gulrukh Bala, Meera Kotak and Dr.Alpa Parikh to name a few.

Women Reiki teachers who live abroad are Dawn Mellowship, Bethal Phaigh, Dorothy Baba, Ursula Baylow, Patricia Bowling, Barbara Brown, Beth Gray, Barbara, Mary McFadyen, Virginia Samdahl and Barbara Weber Ray to name a few.

  • How Reiki can benefit women:

Women reading this article who wish to be benefited by Reiki first need to understand how Reiki helps a person. Firstly, Reiki is no formulaic cure or quick fix to your daily problems.

For a person who is in the habit of running to several so-called-saints and ‘miracle makers’ hoping for an instant cure or amazing stroke of luck to come to them, let me say that Reiki works very differently.

According to Reiki ‘removing your suffering is up to you’. Maybe this is why in Reiki we have self-healing. Aarti Gupta adds, “Reiki is universal life energy. Reiki has its own wisdom. Reiki decides who needs what and operates accordingly. We are mere channels.”

So if you go to a Reiki healer with the desire of attaining target goals like just getting that visa to settle abroad or getting that guy you are pining over, you can’t be more mistaken.

Reiki will decide if that guy or visa is actually beneficial for you and will work accordingly. If not, the energy of Reiki will open the doors of a different destiny for you. Reiki will bring about a holistic upliftment in you instead of fulfilling set myopic goals you are craving to attain.

  • Chakra Healing through Reiki:

Chakras are energy vortexes located in the spine at major branchings of the human nervous system, beginning at the base of the spinal column and moving upward to the top of the skull. Chakras are considered to be a nexus of metaphysical and/or biophysical energy of the human body.

Chakras were not a part of the Original Reiki System but were added on to the many Usui/ Tibetan and Tibetan Reiki Schools that sprang up in America since the mid 1980s. Some masters teach chakras as part of the system along with Reiki.

The chakras are the gateways of the aura. The aura encompasses the spiritual body. When one or more chakra is blocked, energy doesn’t flow harmoniously through them.

Or if a chakra is too wide open it will result in an imbalance which will be manifested in all areas of life. Chakra imbalance will negatively affect both our physical and mental health. This in turn will bring about difficulties in daily life and prosperity. One of the methods of chakra healing is by Reiki. When you channel Reiki to your chakras it has a healing effect.

Take the instance of Gargi (name changed) who has been under psychiatric medicines and cognitive behavioural therapy (a psychotherapy based on modifying cognitions, assumptions, beliefs and behaviors, with the aim of influencing disturbed emotions) for eight years for Borderline Personality Disorder (a personality disorder characterized by instability in mood, extreme ‘black and white’, chaotic and unstable interpersonal relationships and poor self-image).

Gargi’s mental problems are a result of the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual abuse she had experienced from her family members ever since her early childhood.

She was told over and over again by them in the harshest way possible that she was no good at anything she did and therefore had little faith in her own positive attributes and abilities despite being a pretty, sweet, honest, hardworking and very creative person.

Her psychologist asked her to repeatedly write down her positive qualities hoping that the process would ingrain in her that she was a unique person. However Gargi still doubted herself.

Gargi on attending the First Degree Reiki workshop of Reiki Master Aarti Gupta has gained far more confidence in herself than eight years of psychological counselling could ever do. A confidence boost made her cheerful and proactive.

As Gargi’s chakras are getting balanced her moods are getting balanced too. In fact Gargi has had no down swing ever since she started Reiki with Aarti Gupta. Gargi had walked in to Aarti’s workshop as a skeptic – she had tried many other forms of alternative therapy but nothing had worked for her.

She had just come to Aarti’s workshop as her friend had requested her to attend this workshop and Gargi didn’t want to let her friend down as he was a very dear friend. Gargi, now a believer in Reiki, asked Aarti how Reiki could help her so immensely in such a short time.

Aarti explained “You have always been questioning your own power and wisdom as you’ve been repeatedly told that you are no good. In cognitive counselling, we are dealing with just 12% of the human mind.

When your psychologist asked you to write down your positive qualities over and over again you still doubted yourself as you were only exercising your conscious mind. But 88% of the mind is the sub-conscious where self-doubt was still prevailing.

As you channel Reiki to yourself, you get in touch with your own power and wisdom, getting in touch with yourself, getting aware of yourself at the deeper level. Once you have the power within yourself you are centred. It doesn’t matter any more what people tell you as you know who you are. Reiki and cognitive therapy go hand-in-hand”

For the best results one should do full body Reiki – that takes one and a half hour- thirty Reiki postures are done with three minutes devoted to each posture. If you are hurried for time then you may just do Reiki for three minutes on each of the seven chakras – the whole process will take twenty one minutes.

There is also a two minute Reiki in which you put your hand just below the navel where your solar plexus and hara are. These two chakras are very important because as Aarti explains: they are seat of power and wisdom, sexual energy as well as unacknowledged and suppressed feelings respectively. Your hand will automatically be guided to the area you need Reiki the most.

  • Levels of Reiki:

Currently in America and Japan, Reiki is taught in levels through attunement by a Reiki master. There are three levels of Reiki that are generally used although in the Usui/ Tibetan schools the level III A has been added.

Reiki Level 1: Reiki 1 is taught to heal on a physical level. Reiki is channelled to the chakras.

Reiki Level 2: Three Reiki symbols are introduced to the student. With the help of these symbols the student is taught to heal on an emotional level.

Reiki Level 3: This is the Master Level of Reiki. The student is taught to heal on a spiritual level.

Reiki is a flexible practice. Reiki can be done at any time of the day or night. You may take breaks while doing Reiki. There is no bar on a menstruating woman to do Reiki.

Reiki helps to harmoniously balance the male and female energies in a woman. The terms ‘masculinity’ and ‘femininity’ have no rigid definitions. Moreover it is highly debatable as to what the exact traits of masculinity and femininity are. Also we get to hear that there is a ‘man in every woman’ and a ‘woman in every man’.

When a man gently cradles his baby to sleep and comfortably helps with all housework, people often say that it is the woman in him which is beautifully coming through.

On the contrary if a woman refuses to be a home-maker at all, makes sure to forever stay away from the kitchen, always prioritizes her career to the upbringing and well-being of her children, people often say that there is an inappropriate overdose of masculine energy in her.

To understand how male and female energies may be harmoniously blended in an individual we may visit the Caves of Hampi where there is a sculpture of the  ArdhanariNareshwar – a divine depiction of half man and half woman, symbolizing that God combines aspects of male and female. The left side is shapelier, sports a breast, the left hand carries a lotus bud, and is accompanied by a female attendant.

As the Puranic myth goes Shiva on seeing Shakti was so very overwhelmed that they merged together and the ArdhanariNareshwar was formed in the process. Reiki helps every woman to balance her masculine and feminine energies to mould her into a blissful ArdhanariNareshwar.

We may say that universally gentleness, patience and kindness are associated with femininity. Being logical, rational, independent, free, individualistic, strong, brave, success-oriented, ambitious and adventurous may be termed as traditional male characteristics.

In the contemporary times don’t many of us want to see a woman who is gentle, patient, kind as well as an independent thinker, strong, and brave? Maybe both a home-maker and a career woman?

Channeling Reiki into the appropriate chakras will harmoniously blend the masculine and feminine aspects in you to bring about gender equilibrium within you.

  • Reiki enhances the ‘mother’ in a woman:

When you ask a little girl what she wants to be when she grows up, holding a teddy bear in one hand and clutching her mother’s saaree/ skirt with the other she will often reply, “I want to be a mother when I grow up.”

Some may say that she should be more career focused in her answer on her life’s ambition. This is however a very sweet answer. The girl child feels that she is a mother first and then a career woman. This is not to say that every woman has to get married and bear children. It’s just that every woman should nurture her motherly instincts.

Reiki helps to enhance the maternal aspects in a woman. Aarti Gupta explains how this is done, “The woman is the fulcrum in the family. She holds the family together. She looks after each and every individual be her husband, in-laws, parents, siblings or children.”

“She looks after the physical, mental and spiritual well-being of the family. So Reiki plays a very important role as far the overall functioning of the family is concerned.”

“A woman can do Reiki:

–    on a dish she is preparing so that it tastes better and becomes more nutritious
–    on her child who has returned from karate and has tired limbs
–    old father-in-law who is finding it difficult to sleep
–    stressed out husband who has had a long demanding day
–    day to day ailments like sickness, headaches, nausea
–    chronic diseases like asthma, high blood pressure etc.
–    emergency issues like dizzy spells, injuries
–    to soothe the anxiety of her child during examination time,”

says Aarti giving a few practical examples on how a woman can use Reiki to help her family and home. The beautiful part of being a Reiki channel is that one feels inherently confident and empowered to deal with all such situations which life offers.

In Reiki there is something called the Mother’s Touch- a gentle caressing, soothing and comforting touch from the head to the toes. The Mother’s Touch is given by both a man and a woman. It provides an outlet to the motherly qualities in you.

  • Reiki for the pregnant woman and gynaecological problems:

According to Aarti, ‘Gynaecological problems are all related to the woman questioning herself on her womanhood. She is not accepting herself as a woman.”

Accepting the feminine processes, all of them, including menstruation and menopause, is important – loving herself as beautiful, magnificent and wondrous. So through Reiki a woman with gynaecological problems becomes aware of her womanhood and generates the possibility of curing her ailments in the process.

“Pregnancy is a life within the woman. Once life comes into the womb of a woman, if the expectant mother puts her hand on her tummy and channels Reiki to the unborn baby the connection between the mother and child becomes stronger. A Reiki baby is quiet and peaceful in nature,” explains Aarti.

For a woman who is having repeated miscarriages, Aarti has this suggestion, “When women who are miscarriage prone get pregnant I tell them to build a rapport with the baby by channelling Reiki to him/ her and conveying to the child that she loves him/ her, wants him/her and wants to take care of him/ her.” Aarti believes that the chance of miscarriage may be greatly reduced once a connection is developed between the mother and the child.

What if a woman can’t seem to conceive? “In that case I ask Guan (also known as Kwan, Kuan) Yin, the ‘goddess of compassion and mercy’ to do the healing.” Guan Yin carries the Divine Mother aspect of Buddhism – the Chinese bodhisattva of compassion.

The same divine energy is carried by the Virgin Mother in Christianity, in Egypt it is epitomised by Goddess Isis and in Hinduism though Goddess Shakti. Guan Yin is regarded by many as the protector of women and children and via this association she is also regarded as a fertility goddess capable of granting children.

How can Reiki help a woman going through labour pain? “If the husband is present in the labour room he should channel Reiki to his wife, providing the support required at this crucial juncture. People can also do long-distance healing to the woman for a comfortable and smooth labour.”

How can Reiki help in preventing/ treating post partum depression? Aarti answers, “The birth of a baby can trigger a jumble of powerful emotions, from excitement and joy to fear and anxiety. Many new moms experience the baby blues — a mild, short-lived depression, known as postpartum depression (PPD). Feelings such as sadness, anxiety and restlessness can be so strong that they interfere with daily tasks.”

“PPD is caused by changes in hormones. Post partum depression is when after carrying the baby for nine months the baby is suddenly available for the whole world to share after birth. The new mother therefore feels as if the baby which was previously hers has been suddenly taken away from her. That’s when the depression comes in. In this case Reiki has to be done both on the self and the baby.”

  • Reiki for a better conjugal life:

“Reiki is important for sexual relationships. When a woman is comfortable with her sexuality she will be able to build a healthy sexual relationship with her husband. That is very important in a marital relationship.”

“In traditional Indian society what a woman wants in a relationship is always put on hold or the awareness is unfortunately not there. Sadly even the expectation is not there that the woman also needs to have an orgasm. The very fact that a woman needs to be loved, fondled and caressed is often not taken into consideration at all,” says Aarti.

Through the smooth flowing touch of Reiki these traditional mindsets and inhibitions between husband and wife are gently eradicated. Sex becomes a fulfilling and holistic experience for the woman.

“For instance when husband or wife put their hands on the other’s heart, head or stomach there is an energy flow which brings the couple together. In this beautiful bonding both partners feel so much loved that there is a natural positive shift in the relationship between the two.”

“Intuitively they will learn to put the hand on the body part where the partner needs Reiki the most. (e.g., partner has had a long day at office your hand may go naturally to his shoulder).”

  • The Reiki Principals:

Mikao Usui, founder of Reiki, was an admirer of Emperor Meiji’s works and in the process of developing his Reiki system summarised some of the emperor’s works into a set of ethical principles which later became known as the Reiki Principles. Learn them – Live by them – they are the essence for a good happy life.

These principles are as follows:

1. Just for today I will be in the attitude of gratitude.
2. Just for today I will not worry.
3. Just for today I will not anger.
4. Just for today in my daily work I will be honest to myself.
5. Just for today I will be kind and respectful to all creation.

That’s all you have to vow to give back to Reiki Energy for healing you.

© Naaree.com

Permission is required to reprint this article.

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Be The Expert

How To Become An Expert: Marketing Your Services To Become The Authority In Your Field

Becoming an expert in your chosen field is the best way to create the maximum amount of success in your business.

As a service provider or a consultant, you will be greatly appreciated by your clients or colleagues, but if you do not classify yourself as an expert, you can be wasting your time at trying to get an edge over your competitors.

Becoming the leading authority in your field can help you do that.

Why Becoming An Expert Is So Important

People want to learn from an expert. Or else, why would anyone come to you? As an expert, you can allow yourself to grow your brand in the eyes of your customers.

In the internet marketing world, there are many people are trying to get into the business and make money from affiliate sales. But two of the top marketers, Kyle & Carson of Wealthy Affiliate, are perfect examples of the experts that you want to be like.

They have studied exactly how internet marketing works, and they did whatever it took in order to achieve success with internet marketing. Now they own the Wealthy Affiliate University, and they are helping thousands of people every day.

No matter what industry you plan to be in, you need to classify yourself as an expert and learn everything, and then you can start expecting success.

People will look at you as a trusted resource with the right information to help them out and provide the solutions they need. In your industry, as long as you know people need your help, you can achieve long term success.

An expert is somebody who can easily turn readers into sales because of the trust and authority they have established in the eyes of their customers. The hard part is actually establishing yourself as an expert and that is what I aim to show you in this book where I will explain the steps to get there.

Here are some of the essentials to reaching expert status:

• Develop your knowledge base

You cannot become an expert at anything that you do not know or understand. In other words, you must gain the most amount of knowledge that you can possibly learn.

Grow your knowledge as best as you possibly can. The more you educate yourself, the more that you will be able to authentically promote yourself as the leading authority.

• Create visibility online

Connect with others via social networks and let them know about who you are. Grow your website in the consulting industry, and continuously advertise it in the world of social media.

• Speak in public

Public speaking in your industry forums and in outside forums also will show others that you know exactly what you are doing. Anybody who does public speaking automatically demonstrates expert status to others in their field.

Learning how to be an expert in any industry takes time and hard work. You need to make sure that you spend weeks to several months learning about your industry.

Once you know what you need to know, build your online presence and start doing some public speaking. Then you will start to be recognized as an expert in the industry, and people will look at you as a trusted resource.

This is an excerpt from “Be The Expert: How To Market Your Services To Become The Authority In Your Fieldby Priya Florence Shah. 

8 Ways To Create A Beautiful Bedroom Experience

By Karen Fagan

Imagine walking into a bedroom of beauty each evening – what a difference a good night’s sleep would make in your life, right? Feeling better, more productive and confident come as a result of sleeping well. How would walking into a bedroom of beauty change your life?

Did you know bringing your cell phone into your bedroom isn’t the best self-care habit, and action to put yourself first? Now don’t get me wrong, I love my cell phone, but there is one place I will NOT have it and that is in the bedroom.

Beautiful Bedroom

Do you bring your cell in your bed with you? Spending hours on end checking email and facebooking while in bed only rob you of valuable sleep. You’ll be waking up to start the same cycle over again!

It’s like a habit that takes over and depletes us. Having your cell phone right next to you in bed –  is a big energy depleter (not to mention it really isn’t so romantic) – it blocks the energy we need to take care of ourselves and decreased our sense of well-being and feel good energy.

Truthfully – when we are in bed with our cell phone, we are unable to nourish our body and mind with quality sleep. We become sleep deprived, a sure way to lessen the quality of our life.

Lack of sleep can negatively affect our well-being; create a lack of focus, an inability to make a decision, as well as making us feel vulnerable, irritable and less confident.

Before you read this week’s article – I encourage you, beginning tonight, if you must bring your phone into your bedroom, plug it in across the room – away from your bed – and put it on silent mode!

Allow yourself to have this new experience this week – it will make a huge difference in your life. Here are “8 Ways to Create a Beautiful Bedroom Experience

1. Make your bedroom a sanctuary.

Be sure it’s comfortable and soul-nurturing for rest. Does your bedroom make you feel calm and relaxed? If not, remove any clutter, put soft light bulbs to create lighting that is relaxed and soothing, and check your shades to ensure they are blocking the light out. Add an eye mask if needed.

2. Add soothing scents and music to your room; like the sound of the ocean or nature music.

This will allow you to get into a state of relaxation, making it easier to fall asleep. Put on soothing lotion before bed and warm up a botanical body wrap to relax your muscles.

3. Don’t settle for anything less than a super comfortable bed.

Upgrade your sheets, pillow and comforter if needed. Check in with your mattress: How long have you had it? If you haven’t changed your mattress in 7 years, it’s time to get a new one. You will go into a deeper sleep and for longer periods of time by upgrading your bedding. This will leave you feeling more energized when you awake.

4. Change your bedding more frequently.

Although this might sound strange, you will be surprised at what a difference this will make and how your body will respond to new fresh sheets. Give yourself the gift of high thread cottons sheets, silk or soft cozy flannel. Think warm, comfort, and more comfort.

5. Remove anything that is over-stimulating like your computer, ditch the cell phone or TV (anything electronic).

6. Take a bath with Epsom’s salt before bed. 

I do this at least twice a week, and it makes such a huge difference. Epsom’s salt relaxes your muscles and soothes tension.

7. Create a nighttime ritual.

Choose your bed time and become consistent with this time.  Allow yourself a nighttime ritual. Some women struggle to wash their face and brush their teeth at night because they don’t have a consistent bed time and end up falling asleep on the couch.

Decide the right time for you and plan your evening so you are in bed by this time. Keep a Gratitude journal by your bed and write four things you are grateful for every evening.

8. Avoid caffeine, sugar and anything stimulating several hours before going to bed. Have a warm cup of caffeine free herbal tea instead.

You deserve the best night’s sleep. Enjoy the process of creating your bedroom in a way to make it feel most comfortable and relaxing to you.

© Karen Fagan is an international empowerment coach, motivational speaker and writer. Her mission is to empower women, teach them to live on purpose and achieve amazing results in their life.  Karen believes when a woman claims her voice not only does she transform her life, she makes better decisions for herself, her family and her business.

Karen is a Master Certified Life Coach.  She has studied and trained with the best in the industry such as New York Times bestselling author Dr. Martha Beck, PhD. She believes in contributing to global change and donates a percentage of her program profits to women and girls philanthropy.

Karen Fagan, International, offers dynamic coaching programs and products. She will teach you to claim your personal power to transform your life, motivate and inspire you with her unique mix of wisdom, fun, warm-hearted humor and laser-focus.

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Stop Being Nice, Be Authentic (Or The Curse Of The ‘Nice’ Girl)

By Priya Florence Shah

Almost all women of my generation were brought up to be ‘nice girls’ – to not argue and be pleasant and pleasing, even at the cost of our own self-esteem.

But every time we did not speak up for ourselves, every time we kept quiet when we should have spoken up, we felt a little worse about ourselves. And that little girl inside felt more and more lost in an adult body that did not protect her needs or stand up for her rights.

As women, we are taught to repress our emotions because they make other people uncomfortable – particularly men.

But your emotions are not bad. They are your guidance system, your compass to navigate the world. They tell you what things or actions are safe or harmful for you.

Few of us have learned healthy ways of standing up for ourselves. We harbor years of resentment and anger that end up sabotaging and damaging our relationships, all because we could not speak up when we needed to.

Repressing an emotion will only cause it to come up later in unhealthy or self-sabotaging ways.

Perhaps your anger forced you to rebel in your teenage years by doing things your parents disapproved of.

Maybe you chose a husband or boyfriend who is wrong for you in an attempt to punish your parents for forcing their will on you.

There are healthier ways to express emotions that can change the course of our relationships and our lives.

Be AuthenticA truly empowered woman does not feel the need to be either nice or nasty. She is real, authentic and can express who she is and how she feels in a calm, non-harming way.

She has learned ways to communicate that preserve the dignity of all concerned so that her interactions create win-win situations that are acceptable to all.

When she faces abusive or unacceptable behavior, she calmly and firmly sets boundaries for what is and is not acceptable in her world.

For example, when someone puts you down or says something that makes you feel bad, you can choose to pretend that everything is OK and feel bad about not standing up for yourself.

Or you could choose to say, “Ouch! That hurt. I will not let you speak to me like that.” When you give yourself the permission to be real, you will find it much easier to express yourself freely, without holding back.

Assertiveness is one skill that every woman must learn if she wants to be able to express her emotions in an authentic and non-harmful way.

Learn ways to be assertive, and keep practicing them with everyone you meet – from your rickshaw driver to your boss to your mother-in-law.

Even if it comes out as more aggressive than assertive the first few times, forgive yourself. Accept it as a learning experience and send yourself a mental memo that you’ll do it differently the next time.

As with any skill, assertive and authentic communication takes practice. Do it more often and you’ll get better at it.

“The basic difference between being assertive and being aggressive is how our words and behavior affect the rights and well-being of others”. ~ Sharon Anthony Bower

© Priya Florence Shah

This is a chapter from the book “Step Into Your Feminine Power And Rule Your World: 24 Empowering Tips for the 21st Century Indian Woman” by Priya Florence Shah. Available now on major online bookstores.