No Shrinking Allowed

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There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that others won’t feel insecure around you.

A friend of mine recently sent me the following poem. Now I am not usually a reader of too too many poems but I found this one to be of particular interest because it speaks to me.

As I become more successful in any one of a number of endeavors I have found that there are those who appear to be intimidated by this and tend to shrink or physically and emotionally move away.

While that can be a little disturbing and lonely making i really think that i would be doing both them and me a disservice by retreating on any of my own goals and forward movements. There will always be people who are threatened by the successes of others. I would hope that people could advance and grow with me but I am also aware that there is a certain comfort in the familiar and that it can be scary to move out of that comfort zone.

I was chatting with a friend this morning about taking risks and relating that had I not taken some of the really big risks I have taken in the past and present that I would probably not be where I am today.

I have of course examined the thought of shrinking or backpedalling to a place where i might re-enter a place where i found friends and support etc., but why would I want to go backwards. Starting a business was one of the scariest things I’ve ever done. But it’s also been one of the most fulfilling. And the thought of going back to a place that might include being an employee is both foreign and revolting.

While it continues to be a part of my own personal development moving forward is my destiny. And as I stride forward moving from one adventure to another I become more aware that there are more and more people out there who are following my adventures and wanting to become a part of these adventures as well as learning from me to create fabulous adventures of their own.

So it’s onward and upward I go being only the best that I can be despite the trials and reveling in the tribulations.

No Shrinking Allowed

No Shrinking Allowed

Our Greatest Fear —Marianne Williamson

it is our light not our darkness that most frightens us

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light not our darkness that most frightens us.

We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous,
talented and fabulous?

Actually, who are you not to be?

You are a child of God.

Your playing small does not serve the world.

There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other

people won’t feel insecure around you.

We were born to make manifest the glory of
God that is within us.

It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone.

And as we let our own light shine,
we unconsciously give other people
permission to do the same.

As we are liberated from our own fear,
Our presence automatically liberates others.

—Marianne Williamson


To Write or Not to Write

Well as it would happen not writing today or for the next ten days is really not an option at the moment.

A few days ago, maybe even a week or so, it’s hard to tell sometimes with the plethora of things I have to do all the time I was challenged with a challenge. Actually it wasn’t just me. You see there’s this group of fellow entrepreneurs to which I belong and the most recent activity there includes this challenge which has only just started today.

The first part of this challenge is to write (at least) one blog post a day. The idea is to get into a habit so that writing each day comes more naturally and isn’t seen as a huge undertaking. Any task can be seen as overwhelming if we let them.

Several years ago I was involved in a 90-day video challenge where we were supposed to do a video each day for 90 days. At the time I hadn’t made even one video of myself so for the first seven days I was virtually paralyzed. Just imagine the fear and trepidation compounding daily for seven long days. I think my house was the cleanest it’s even been as I procrastinated doing those videos.

Interestingly it wasn’t the topic that was my biggest challenge it was the doing it at all. The assignment for those first seven videos was to talk about the seven things that I found most difficult about internet-marketing. (While I don’t remember them all I have seen the videos lurking about on a hard drive somewhere).

After seven long grueling days causing myself more unhappiness and anxiety that was ever really necessary I decided to take the plunge and made seven videos in one day. I didn’t do just one long video and call it seven days worth. I actually did the seven (plus 2 more) separate videos each with their own topic as well as with a different shirt and in a different part of the yard.

After completing the first seven I then made one about my cat Tuxedo and I created another where I sang happy birthday to a friend.

So for this current challenge, rather that waiting for ten days and then attempting to write ten blog posts all at the same time I have concluded to face the challenge head on.

I’m looking forward to being challenged out of my comfort zone.

If you are interested in reading more about me and what I may be up to or where I am traveling you can go to Travels With Jim and soon you can come over to Travel & Cakes.

Take Your Photography To New Heights Today

You can improve your photographic skills and get better picture-taking results with a little self-education. Learn to avoid making silly mistakes and capture all the special moments you desire.

You can add different filters onto the end of your camera’s lens. They connect to the lens itself and can offer many benefits and effects. UV filters are the most popular type. This will help your lenses from coming in contact with direct sun. It can also help to protect your lens from damage if you should happen to drop it.

A faster shutter speed is needed when taking photos in low level lighting. Do this to avoid blurs when you take the photo. This tip will work best if you use a shutter speed set at a minimum of 1/250.

Usually the subject will be looking directly at the camera. You can create a more interesting shot by directing your subject to focus on a point off-camera instead of directly at the lens. It can also work well for them to focus on something that is in the picture.

Photography is not an art form to rush, not when you are learning it and certainly not when you are waiting for the perfect shot. Sometimes you need to practice patience and wait a long time for the right shot, or take many photographs to get just one really good shot. If you force the shot, it will end up in lousy, blurry pictures.

You can get some interesting effects by playing with your shutter speeds. Utilize a high shutter speed when you are taking photos of subjects moving rapidly. This is a good setting for things like sporting events. On the other hand, you can use a slow shutter speed to get motion blur. This blurred effect works well when photographing waterfalls or running streams.

Make sure you are aware of what situations are appropriate for the use of the camera’s flash function. Avoid leaving the flash on and forgetting to adjust your settings. A lot of light can sometimes ruin great photographs. Conversely, use the flash when there may not be enough light to fully illuminate the subject.

You should now be aware that making your photographic skills better is not as hard as you may have thought. You must do your research, and practice to try and get better skills consistently. The time spent developing your photography skills will payoff in the future.

Whether it’s for business or pleasure, traveling can be a very fun activity. However, few things dampen your enjoyment like paying way too much for travel needs. This article will help you keep your expenses to a minimum.

Don’t bring extra valuables that you don’t need. The more valuables you bring with you, the more chance you have of losing one or more of them or possibly having them stolen.

Contact lens cases are a useful container for traveling. You can keep small amounts of gels and lotions in them.

When you are in an unfamiliar area, be on guard for criminals acting as officials such as law enforcement. You should never give anyone your original passport no matter who they purport to be, or you could end up stranded in a strange land. If you are made to go to an office, do so by foot. Make sure that you do not get into an automobile with somebody that you do not know, especially if they are acting oddly.

Your flight can be more comfortable if you book the specific seats that you want. A lot of the time you can choose your seat on a plane, but there are times when you can’t. After booking a flight, check online to see if you have this option. By choosing your seat, you can minimize any discomfort you might feel about flying.

Tip the staff at the hotel appropriately when you are staying at a hotel. The bell boy should get a bare minimum of $1/bag, and housekeeping should get at least a couple dollars a day. Tipping the staff will make sure that you receive good service while you are visiting.

When packing your bag for a trip it is important to pack clothing that can be worn multiple days. You can wear the same shoes almost every day, while you can probably get 2-3 days of wear out of a blazer before it gets dirty. Cutting back on the non-essentials is important for reducing your luggage.

They can provide you with some amazing vistas and a level of plant life most people have never experienced. Visiting the desert for the first time can be an especially exciting adventure; it’s something you should do at least once during your lifetime, just to experience the awe and wonder of the desert.

Sign up for the email alerts that some travel sites offer. This will let you know how you should travel if you want to save the most money. You are able to receive alert via email whenever something has changed with regards to your travel arrangements.

If you are going to be a frequent visitor to the national parks, it only makes sense to get a yearly pass. It costs $50 and can be used at any national park for 12 months.

Stay up as late as possible, or at least until around 8 o’clock in the evening, to help adapt to the time change. Going to bed too much earlier than normal will just make your jet lag last longer, as your body remains committed to the old time zone. You can get rid of your jet lag quicker by adjusting as soon as possible to the current time zone.

Apply these tips to your trip and you will find it a lot less stressful. No matter where you are going, you will always have more fun when you know that you got a good travel deal.

Tried And Tested Tips In Becoming A Good Cook

Cooking is a useful skill in a lot of ways. It’s safe to say that everyone loves to eat, especially when the dish was prepared by you or a family member! Unfortunately, not everyone has as much skill as they desire. You’ll be on your way to being a better cook if you use the advice in this article.

You need to be careful not to overcook or under cook a cake. There are recommended cooking times, which are guidelines only. These times can be a bit misleading because there are factors, such as your elevation, that help to determine the cake’s cooking time. Sticking a toothpick in the center of the cake is a time proven test for doneness. If the toothpick has no batter on it, then the cake has finished baking. If it does have batter on it, then put the cake back in the oven.

Rub your hands on stainless steel after you handle smelly foods such as garlic, fish, or onions to get the smell out. A spoon or the side of the sink will do the trick, or a ready-made “soap bar” made of stainless steel. This technique will eliminate odors and keep hands fresh-smelling as well.

If you are cooking with a certain type of fruit or vegetable for the first time, do some research before using it. You may be surprised, with a little research, at the versatility of a new food. You can have much more fun when cooking if you do some prep work and research ahead of time.

To be sure you don’t overcook something, set both your watch and the oven timers. Using these timers or a stopwatch can make sure you hear that beep anywhere.

It is important to measure cooking oil. By measuring, you will be able to lower the quantity of fat and grease in your foods. This will enable you to keep track of the amount of oil you are using.

If you are making a meal for someone that you want to make a good impression on, be sure to make something you know how to make well. You are taking a risk if you want to try something new. This is a recipe for a stressful time in the kitchen.

If you have not yet cooked with skewers you should definitely consider this fact. If you are choosing to use a metal skewer you can choose from round or flattened skewers. Skewers that are not round will better hold food in place on the skewer.

Going over labels on ingredients for what you’re going to make to eat is important to do. There are many common supplies in cooking that contain unhealthy ingredients that are hidden. Be sure that the ingredients you are buying do not contain high amounts of sugar or sodium, as these both can cause health problems if overdone.

Cut cinnamon rolls easily. When you prepare the rolls, it can be hard to slice them prior to baking. Instead of using a knife, cut the dough with a piece of strong thread. Place the thread underneath the roll in the location where you desire to cut. Thread around the sides, then cross it at the top, then finally pull its ends at opposite directions. This makes a perfect slice every time.

You can use some spices after food has already finished cooking. There are many great spices, such as salt, cayenne, or garlic powder. Most people only like certain spices. Try not to add too many spices while you are cooking, and instead make them available for the diners to customize each dish to their liking. This way, each person can personalize their own meal.

As you can see, cooking can be easy. With the right techniques, creating delicious dishes for family and friends can suddenly become a breeze! Now that you have been introduced to these great tips and tricks, you just need to make the time to go and give them a try!

Even for a photographer who wants to capture the special moments in their own lives, learning more about photography is important. The important part is figuring out which mistakes are easy to avoid, especially those unnecessary ones that create poor quality photos or result in you missing the perfect photographic opportunity.

Be sure to shoot your photographs without any hesitation, to ensure you get a picture that you will be happy with. If you hesitate or wait too long, the moment you want to capture may pass, so you need to be prepared to shoot your photographs completely in the moment. If your subject is alive, such as an animal or person, it might move out of shot or change its facial expression while you are fooling around with your camera settings, and then you won’t be able to capture the moment you wanted. It is more important to get a decent picture than to waste the opportunity trying for the perfect shot or camera setting.

Always set white balances yourself. Most cameras will automatically select a photo’s white balance, but to control the image, you need to set it manually. You can alter this setting to remove yellowness from bad lighting, or to change the mood of your picture.

There is an erroneous emphasis on placing your subject in the center of your photograph. In a society that values perfection, it can seem logical to frame your photos with the subject perfectly framed in the center, but you should actually try placing the subject off-center for a more interesting shot. Turn off the auto-focus, which will make the lens zero in on whatever it is pointing at. Use the manual focus and lock it right before you take your picture.

Use care when packing your photography equipment in trip preparation. Pack however many lenses you anticipate using, and don’t neglect to throw in cleaning accessories and backup batteries. Don’t take more than you need, and think about what you can carry for your trip.

Consider taking photographs of the souvenirs bought on your trip. Take a picture either of the store or the souvenir together with the original. This helps create stories for your souvenirs that you can enjoy when you return home.

When you take a picture of someone, the photo should be more than just their face. The human body has multiple parts that could be considered beautiful, and could be the subject of your photos.

Stay simple with the settings you use for your photographs. Take the time to fully understand one part of your camera controls, such as shutter speed, prior to moving on to aperture or other features. This will enable you get the image that you want, when you want it, instead of losing time having to fumble with the settings.

Becoming a better photographer is not as hard as it might seem. With a little research and practice you can improve your photography skills quickly. When you notice the difference in your photos going ahead, you’ll be pleased of the hard work that you put in.

Would you like to get started in photography but have no idea how? Do you want to better understand the positioning or lighting required to get the best photos? Even those with a measure of experience can benefit from the advice of others, including the tips you’ll find here.

One way to improve your own photography skills is to get inspiration by studying the work of other photographers. If you look at their photographs, you will get more ideas at what you can do.

Try to get as close as you can to your photograph subject. Your subject should cover what you see through your camera. This method will work very well with objects like flowers. You can use zoom when you can’t get physically close enough.

Use natural lighting. If you are taking pictures outside, then work with the light by staging your sessions early in the morning or late in the afternoon. Whenever the sun is directly overhead, it can cause troublesome shadows and cause your subject to squint. Use sunlight, candlelight and artificial light to see how each affects the subject of your photographs.

If you are still new to photography and if you have chosen an SLR camera, it is important that you learn the basics. There are many terms you must learn, including ISO, shutter speed, and aperture. In addition, you should also be familiar with composition, lighting and exposure. Both knowing what these terms mean and mastering the skills associated with them is what takes your photography from one level to the next.

If you really want to take excellent photos, you will need to invest in a tripod. The good thing about tripods is that they steady your camera when you are taking a photo. This really comes in handy if you are taking long shots or shooting in low-light situations. When it comes to timed photography and self-portraits, a tripod is very valuable.

Expanding your photographic talents is not too hard, but it’s not effortless either. Most of all, you have to be willing to invest the time to learn about and practice new techniques. With so much to learn about photography, it is easy to forget that there isn’t a right or wrong way to do things. Make these tips work to your benefit.

Photography is a wonderful way to capture the beauty of your surroundings. If you learn the correct ways to take photos, it can be a wonderful way to make some extra money. This article is designed to provide you with all the tips for getting great pictures.

If you want the best pictures, you need to be intimate with your camera. Learn what capabilities your camera has, how to access the settings, and how to make adjustments to get the shot you want.

Nearly any subject can look more interesting if you adjust your camera settings, shoot from an alternate angle or use different lighting. Play with these things before you go out to capture the picture that you are planning for so you better understand how it will change the shot.

If you are warming up for a wedding shoot, take pictures of simple, still subjects, such as a flower in the bouquet or the rings. You just might stumble on a great shot as well.

Hold your camera correctly if you want to take great pictures. If you hold the camera the wrong way, you will not be able to get a very stable image. Hold a stable position with your arms against your body and your weaker hand holding the lens.

In order to take proper indoor photos under fluorescent light, you should tweak your white balance settings. Fluorescent lights emit blue- or green-tinged light, leaving your subjects looking too cool. The appropriate setting will compensate for the red tones that your lighting environment lacks.

Life is in constant motion, so when it comes to snapping photos, don’t hesitate. If you take too long, your subject could move, run away or something could change that could ruin your photo. It is better if you can take shots quickly.

Try to visualize a concept prior to actually starting to take photos. Spend some quiet time jotting down ideas and notes about ways to improve your shots. A plan is needed to turn your photography from a hobby to an art form. If you follow these guidelines, you will begin to notice improvements in the quality of your work.

If your subject is a human being, the lens should be aligned with the subject’s eyes. This draws the subject into the photo, and gives it a much more personal feel. If you are photographing children this may mean stooping down to their level.

Implement digital techniques to give your pictures great effects. Adobe Photoshop is the standard for visual artists, but there are also a variety of other image editing suites for you to choose from. Converting your pictures into works of art is just a few clicks away.

Try what you have just learned and keep looking for new things to photograph. You will soon impress everyone you know with your skills. If you take the time to thoroughly develop your skills, you might even become skilled enough to make a go of photography as your main source of income.

That is awesome as it can be very rewarding. You might be overwhelmed by the scope of the topic, and wonder where to begin. The next few paragraphs detail some practical tips that will get you started in the exciting world of photography.

You can make your pictures more interesting by having focus points in the foreground if you are taking a photo of a landscape. A simple branch or rock could give more depth to the picture. It can not only draw attention to the subject but to the entire frame.

Often, photographers only take into account the background in a landscape photo and forget about the foreground. The foreground will be the most viewed area once the photo comes out. You can increase the depth appearance of your photo when you shoot the foreground in a way that makes a great striking frame.

When shooting photos of natural scenes or large structures, include people to get an idea of scale. Sometimes, a person or object that is familiar helps others realize the content of your photographs with respect to the relative size. If there is no point of reference that identifies a size that people are familiar with, they may interpret your photos in ways you did not intend.

When taking a picture of a group of people, let them know what they should wear before the shot. Matching colors are not necessary, but complementary shades will greatly enhance the overall results. Warm and neutral colors will be most attractive for pictures in natural environments. If bright colors are preferred, consider balancing them with articles of black clothing as well, to avoid a barrage of colors that clash with each other.

Some situations may have unavoidably bad lighting, such as photos of a landscape. There are also times when you can not find another area that is more consistent. So, what are your options? Use photo editing software to improve the lighting elements of the photograph.

When you are taking photos, a good rule of thumb is the idea of less is more. Make sure that you do not have too much clutter going on in your photos as the setting stands, or by adding it yourself. When you keep your backdrop and props simple, your subject has an opportunity to shine.

If you are photographing any sort of large event, make sure you contact those in charge of the event to plan out what types of pictures they are looking for. At a busy event like a wedding or a holiday party, this list will be an organizational godsend for you.

Hopefully you should have an idea of what to do next when it comes to bettering your photography skills. Feel free to revisit these suggestions or check back for fresh updates. If you keep up the hard work, you can elevate your photography to the next level.

The average person will travel at least once in their life. You can gain a lot by learning about travel, even if you are not well traveled or have been traveling for years. In this article you will find some great advice about traveling.

Deserts are a place unlike any other, with sunny weather and a unique ecosystem. Everyone should visit a desert to view its majesty at least once in their life.

Before heading out on your next trip, make sure you have made extra copies of any essential documents you need. Passports, insurance, and confirmation numbers will all need to be kept in at least two places while you travel in order to ensure you always have a copy available. Keep the backups with friends or relatives to make sure you have a backup if yours go missing.

If your travel takes you to amusement parks or any other place that requires tickets, purchase them online. Many times you can print them at home and save some money, too. This is more than worth the huge lines that you will avoid. If it is somewhere like a park with lengthy lines for admittance, you can generally bypass these, too.

Request rooms on higher floors if one is available. While this might seem inconsequential, a thief is easier able to access a ground floor room. Sliding doors also make your room easily accessible, and you should avoid these if possible. It is less difficult to enter through sliding doors than other ones.

Getting to your destination and finding out your bags did not make it can be scary, but avoid panicking. Go to a airport official about your luggage and have all your paperwork ready. Usually they will find your luggage and forward it to you as soon as a driver is available.

Enjoy your road trip by bringing along a killer iPod playlist, your favorite CDs, or if your car is old-school, bring along those old cassette tapes. As you travel further away from your home, you may experience annoying static and poor reception from your favorite radio station; bringing your own music solves this problem.

Be careful, and remember any food allergies while visiting other countries. The more severe your food allergies are, the more important it is to learn key food terms in the local language. Doing this, you can tell restaurants what foods you can’t eat or at least be able to tell medical professionals what’s wrong.

When you are packing for a trip, think about choosing pants and dresses in dark colors. Clothing that has been packed into a suitcase often becomes dirty or wrinkled. However, it is far more noticeable on lightly colored garments than it is on darker fabrics. To avoid looking too dark, complement your clothing with bright and cheery accessories.

If you want to take your pet along with you on your travels, it is important to look into hotels that are pet-friendly. Pay attention to whether or not they charge extra fees for allowing animals. Find a few different lodgings that allow for pets, so you can compare prices and options to determine which one best fits your needs.

In summary, most people travel during their lives. That is why it is crucial to learn all you can about traveling so you are prepared for your next trip! Behaving correctly, knowing a little about the culture and having the ability to communicate will make your trip more enjoyable.