Hi! I moved to a new place. I would love for you to visit me there.

9 Steps To Get You Back On Track When Things Are Messy + Out Of Balance + Out Of Flow

Sometimes things don’t work out the way you hoped to. Sometimes circumstances are against you.

People around you act crazy. You yourself act like you never thought you would.  

Life seems to be completely out of flow, out of balance and out of direction. You try and try but hit the same wall over and over again.

And you get frustrated. You think  – when is this going to end? When can I finally relax?

 You want relief. You want peace of mind. You want freedom. Freedom from worry, from struggle, from having to prove over and over again to yourself and everyone around you that you can do it, that you are worthy.

You know those days. We all do.

 What do you do during those days? How do you realign yourself?

For whatever reason several people close to me were going through this cycle lately. And then I hit one of those days as well. You know, we always attract people into our lives that are in one way or another reflect who we are.

So here is the list of steps I used to break free and get back in the flow.

1)  Consciously decide to not react.

I know easy to say, not so easy to do. Still try it. Make a conscious decision that whatever happens you are going to stay in a non-reactive mode. Stop the vicious cycle of negative reactive thoughts in your head. Breathe. Deeply. And just decide to not react.

2)  You are alive.

I am not going to talk about gratitude here.  This is something beyond gratitude. Consciously focus on the fact that you are alive.

Think about it. What else can possible matter? You breathe. You walk and talk (I hope). You are most likely in a very decent health. What else in the world could possibly matter?

Really. Now go further. Do you have food? Do you have where to live? Now look back 5 years from now. Did you make progress? Most likely you did and a huge one. Most likely you are living every single one (or pretty damn close) of your dreams now. Aren’t you? Be honest.

If not just focus on the fact that you are alive.  That alone really is enough.

3)  Embrace life.

Consciously decide to embrace everything you are experiencing.  It is life. Your Life. Yes, it is messy at times. Yes, it hurts sometimes. But it is Your Life. And it is beautiful with all the mess and hurt and struggle.

Think about it for a minute. Your Life. I bet you’ll feel a wave of Love coming out from the depth of your soul. This is Your Life. The only one you’ve got. Love it. Accept it the way it is.

4)   You have goals.

For whatever reason I am very confident that most people reading this blog have goals and dreams and big aspirations.  It is actually a pretty rare thing for the rest of the world. A lot of people in the rest of the world never even get clear on their dreams and never allow themselves to set big goals and dare to commit to them.

You are in an exclusive club of those who do. And that alone is a huge progress.

  5)   Consciously take responsibility.

You are responsible for what you are going through. And it might suck to take that responsibility but if you think about it, it is an incredibly empowering feeling. You are the creator. Look at your creation and no matter how messy it is, love it.

Consciously choose to let go of the victim mentality. Don’t blame anyone or anything. For whatever reason you created this experience. Maybe you needed it to grow further. Maybe there is a lesson your soul needed to learn. No matter why that happened, this is Your Creation. Own it.

 6)   Ask why.

Look at the situation as if you are an observer. Get detached and ask why this is happening. Listen to the answers. They’ll come. The way out might be just behind your “why”. 

7)   Write to get unstuck.

Take whatever you have in your head and put it on paper. This is actually a very powerful technique to get out of situation you are stuck in. I have no idea why it works but it works.

Literally start writing down everything that is bothering you.  And you’ll see how situation will start resolving itself.

If you want to go further you can also burn what you’ve written. This is a symbolic act of letting go of the situation. Might sound like too out there, but lots of people say it works. Ok, I tried it too. It does work.  Writing things down without burning will work just as well, so don’t feel pressured to do the burning thing.

8)   Get truly clear on how you want your life to be.

You thought I won’t talk about clarity in this post? Of course I will, gotta include what I preach anywhere I can.

But, really,  ask yourself – what is it that I truly want? Consciously decide that getting it is Your Choice and your choice only.  Everything in your life is Your Creation and Your Choice. If you really want it, you’ll get it. No way around it.  Just dare to get clear and commit.

9)   Forgive. Yourself.

You might have done something you didn’t want. You might have said something you didn’t mean to say, or, let’s say, you Best Self wouldn’t have said.

You might be blaming yourself and somewhere deep down you feel that you really deserve to be in the situation you are in because of how “imperfect” you are.

Forgive. Let go. You know that guilt won’t lead you anywhere. You know that blaming yourself will only make things worse. So just let go and forgive.

Those are the steps.

Embrace your life as  it is now. Stop resisting. What you resist persist. This messy, stressful, imbalanced and what at times might seem like never ending struggle is Your Life.

Love it. Take it as it is. Get passionate about it. It doesn’t matter if you always get it right. What matters is that you are moving.

Enjoy the rollercoaster!

You’ll get where you want to be. Faster than you think.

P.S. I forgot to include something very important –  know that you are not alone. There are people who care. There are people who understand. Don’t believe it? Try me  – lana {at} daringclarity {dot} com ,  I’ll assure you that you are not alone personally.

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{ 56 comments… read them below or add one }

Dragos Roua March 22, 2010 at 8:35 am

I so enjoyed this post, Lana. I think we’re all hitting some walls every now and then. I take it as we have to learn or to grow some muscles out of these brutal or apparently hopeless situations.

If I should pick one out of your 9 steps, I’ll stick with number 5: “take responsibility”. We are the creators of our lives, regardless of liking it or not.

I would also add another point, but that would be just a sum of what you wrote: act! Do whatever it takes to get out of there (once you decided NOT to react).
.-= Dragos Roua´s last blog ..What Can Argentine Tango Teach You About Brilliant Blogging? =-.

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Lana March 22, 2010 at 9:56 am

Thank you Dragos! Act. Absolutely! It is vital to act!

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Farouk March 22, 2010 at 8:39 am

Nice post Lana:)
i really like point number 4, you know what motivates me the most is remembering my goals or even finding out that if i continued this way i wont reach them. even though we all have goals forgetting them or not being fully conscious of them can make us give up

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Lana March 22, 2010 at 9:56 am

Absolutely Farouk, cannot agree more.

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Jamie Favreau March 22, 2010 at 8:40 am

My hardest part is saying,” NO” to things I know I need to walk away from and then learning how to be persistent for the things I want in my life. It is a work in progress but it is the ONLY way I am going to get what I want and need out of my life. A great career and a man to share it with.

It is when you demand respect and know what you are capable of that things fall together. At least this is what I am hoping.

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Lana March 22, 2010 at 9:58 am

It is a process Jamie, you are right, but you’ll get there, you are on the right track!

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Topi March 22, 2010 at 11:46 am

Hi Lana,
I think the most important thing, when our lives are out of flow, is to take responsibility for where we are at in our lives. We can’t take any effective steps towards getting back into balance, until we accept that we are responsible for the choices that have brought us to where we are at. Once we do that, we can start to implement the other points you’ve made, with honesty – and that’s what makes them powerful.
Thanks for another great post!

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Lana March 22, 2010 at 3:38 pm

Absolutely Topi, responsibility is the first and the most important step!

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Anastasiya March 22, 2010 at 2:36 pm

Hi Lana,

my favorite step was “Forgive Yourself.” I think that a lot of times the main reason why we get stuck in a vicious cycle of negative events is because we actually want those bad things to happen to us. We feel guilt for something and subconsciously we feel that we must be punished. We go through life with the burden of guilt and punishment and we consider ourselves martyr for enduring all the bad things that are happening to us.
If we forgive ourselves then the vicious cycle is easily broken and we do not have to be “punished” anymore.
Thanks for a great post!
.-= Anastasiya´s last blog ..How to Find Your Pace in Life and Reach Your Goals =-.

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Lana March 22, 2010 at 3:39 pm

guilt is the worst thing:) Thanks for for commenting Anastasiya!

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JB King March 22, 2010 at 2:39 pm

Oddly enough this seems fitting for me as this morning I missed the exit I would normally take to get to work and thus had a little detour that I’m still not quite clear on why I did that. I know that I was thinking something through and missed the one turn off and thus had to go around a bit to get to the office, but why would that be important? How do I just let go of that miscalculation I made? I guess that is what I’ll find out over the course of today as I fear it’ll be on my mind a lot.

Anyway, I wanted to thank you for your generosity in putting yourself out there in terms of being open to people sending you messages about feeling alone. I’d be curious to know how many hundreds of messages you get from that, if you wouldn’t mind sharing that at some point down the road. Not that I’m trying to pry, but there are times where I have felt that way and so, I just may be among those sending in such a message with a few other questions too.

When are you going to open comments on the “Wrong vs Right… questions” post? I’m just wondering as I’ve been waiting days to post a comment there.

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Lana March 22, 2010 at 3:50 pm

Just let go JB, missed exit is not worth it:)
We’ll see how many messages come, I don’t think there will be hundreds:) I usually stear clear from personal advice types emails like I mention on my about page, but I will be happy and honored to assure anyone that they are not alone.

I decided to have comments closed on weekends, but, please, feel free to write your comment for that post here! And thanks for commenting:)

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JB King March 22, 2010 at 4:06 pm

Ok, so on the Wrong vs Right questionsm I’m still working my way through some of the questions that I just find rather agonizing to ponder. The classic is “What do I want?” which while I can understand how some people find it nearly trivial to answer, I’m just that kind of deep thinking person that isn’t sure what to answer for fear that if I do get that, I won’t be that joyous, happy guy that should be content to have what I want. Maybe I need a slightly different question, “What would I like to have right now without any pressure that this has a right answer?” as that may seem a bit easier to swallow. Sometimes I wonder how good is the modern education system I went through that didn’t give me anything to handle these kinds of challenges easily. I learned a ton of trivia, but did I get many useful skills out of it that have led my life to where I find fulfilment or joy? Maybe I’m back to asking the wrong question as I should be thankful to have gotten through schooling as well as I did. Sometimes it is hard to look on the bright side, but I suppose that is a given at times, right? Rather than what did I lack in my education, where can I go now to find those tools and move myself closer to those goals I have.

Enjoying the journey and not the destination can be a hard thing to do at times. Other times, the journey is a great blast and I don’t know what the destination is. Hopefully that makes sense. If not, you could always reply with a question, right? At times I am such a control freak, it is down right scary. Thanks for letting me vent some of my frustrations with the universe.
.-= JB King´s last undefined ..If you register your site for free at =-.

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Lana March 22, 2010 at 10:01 pm

JB, if there was one thing I could revolutionize, I would revolutionize education system, so I hear you loud and clear. You know all the answers yourself. If “what I want right now” or maybe” what in this moment is the right choice for me (while I am open to other choices in the future)” works for you, then go with it. But don’t be afraid to get clear at least on something.

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J.D. Meier March 22, 2010 at 4:03 pm

Great set of steps. Dumping your thoughts down on paper is effective because it keeps you from ruminating (which spirals down.) It also helps just to ask, “what’s holding you back?” … and that simple question forces you to confront your real or imaginary blocker.
.-= J.D. Meier´s last blog ..Microsoft Competencies for Skilled Effectiveness =-.

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Lana March 22, 2010 at 4:42 pm

JD, I knew you would know the answer why putting things down on paper helps:) What’s holding you back? – I love this question!

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Mars Dorian March 22, 2010 at 8:10 pm

Yep, life’s just a ride.
It’s easy to say, hard to remember 🙂

I have goals (imperial goals!) and I’m alive, that’s all I need for a ruckus ! About 80 billion humans died on our planet – taking our whole history into consideration. There will never come a specific problem that hasn’t already been solved by someone else.
For now, I just focus on my destiny and leave everything else in eternal oblivion.
It works 🙂
.-= Mars Dorian´s last blog ..Why YOU should be delusional ! =-.

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Lana March 22, 2010 at 9:39 pm

Leave everything else in eternal oblivion – love it, Mars! Enjoy your ride and thanks for commenting!

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Baker March 22, 2010 at 9:07 pm

Lana!
Awesome post with some really good tips. Another one I would add is just to talk to someone who understands where you are coming from, this seems to get me back in the flow, so I don’t stay stuck in my “mind.”

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Lana March 22, 2010 at 9:40 pm

Talking to someone always helps, great addition Baker, thanks!

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Hulbert March 22, 2010 at 10:35 pm

Great post Lana! I like how you outline the steps for getting out of a messy situation. Whenever I feel like I’m out of sync with where I am going, I will stop whatever I am doing, sit back, and allow whatever is happening to me to pass by. This usually gives me enough clarity so I can gather myself again, perhaps write down my ideas on paper like you’ve mentioned, and come up with a clear path to where I want to go. Thanks for providing these tips Lana. Oh and by the way, I wanted to follow you on Twitter. I clicked on your Twitter button and my computer crashed! I had to restart it…
.-= Hulbert´s last blog ..Jim Carrey and Desperation =-.

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Lana March 23, 2010 at 12:49 am

Thanks for your comment Hulbert! wow, I guess you never know with those buttons, I am generally quite friendly on Twitter, so I hope you were able to follow me:)

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Boris March 23, 2010 at 2:00 am

Lana,
Great advices, especially # 6. To be able to watch our problems from outside, as a detached observer, it helps a lot!
Best regards,
Boris

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Lana March 23, 2010 at 4:31 am

it does help, thanks for commenting Boris!

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Jarrod@ Optimistic Journey March 23, 2010 at 7:27 am

Great article Lana!

This article resonates with me in many ways! And your tips help me very much. It’s great to find like-minded people in this blog network and I’m glad I came across your blog! Thanks for such helpful tips!

Jarrod

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Lana March 23, 2010 at 12:12 pm

Thanks for stopping by Jarod!

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Jen March 23, 2010 at 8:45 am

What a great post Lana. I love the way you write!
I love what you say about not resisting. Life is messy and unpredicatable at times but embracing all of it however uncomfortable, is powerful. I also like what you say about choosing not to react – it is hard sometimes, but a good muscle to develop.
Jen

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Lana March 23, 2010 at 12:13 pm

thanks Jen, you are right, resistance is the worst!

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zmajeva March 23, 2010 at 1:08 pm

Writing works because that way we are making connection with ourselves, we can see then what’s really in our minds, and make order from our thoughts that were in chaos. We have power on our thoughts, but people often are not aware of that. 🙂
.-= zmajeva´s last blog ..BASIC COMPONENTS OF GOOD FITNESS PROGRAM =-.

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Lana March 23, 2010 at 3:24 pm

That totally makes sense Zmajeva, thanks for this addition:)

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Megan "JoyGirl!" Bord March 23, 2010 at 2:05 pm

What a beautiful list, and a supremely helpful one. I love what you added at the end, because for me, when I get really stuck and my energy feels stagnant, I call one of a handful of friends who offer me clarity. They reflect back to me what I most need to learn from the situation, and suddenly I feel my energy shift slightly. Might not rid me of that stuck feeling right away, but just like unclogging a drain, they get me moving in the right direction again.

Happy Tuesday, Lana!
.-= Megan “JoyGirl!” Bord´s last blog ..Being Open To The Moments =-.

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Lana March 23, 2010 at 3:25 pm

Happy Tuesday Megan:) Thank you for your kind words.

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Greg Blencoe March 23, 2010 at 4:40 pm

Hi Lana,

Thanks for the post and being so open about what you have recently gone through.

I just love the perspective that the universe is always conspiring in our favor. And though this is very difficult, I have learned to try to look at all of the benefits that can come out of a negative situation.

Looking back, there were several times in my life when things didn’t work out for me where I was very upset at the time. And then perhaps a few months or a couple of years later, I realized that it was definitely the best thing for me. Usually, once you have enough time away from a situation, everything will make sense.

And I think it can be a blessing in disguise when the situation gets quite negative. The reason is that it is a very loud wake-up call that changes might need to be made. However, if something is just a little annoying, it is much easier to just tolerate and not address.

While this is just a wild guess, I think your current struggles might have to do with the contrast of who you were and who you have become. Based on your writing, it definitely seems like you are growing tremendously right now. You can just feel it. But with growing can also come growing pains. Old jeans don’t always fit like they used to.

I have no clue if I’m right, but I do know that you are going to come out on the other side of this a much better and stronger person.
.-= Greg Blencoe´s last blog ..YouTube video: Giving away free book and DVD on EFT (Say “Yes” in a comment to have an opportunity to win) =-.

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Lana March 23, 2010 at 4:55 pm

you are absolutely right Greg:) and I apprecite your awesome comment as always!

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Steve-Personal Success Factors March 23, 2010 at 5:33 pm

My two favorite points from your post were as follows: 1) embrace responsibility, and 2) write to get unstuck. Too many times, it’s easy to start feeling sorry for ourselves, then get into ‘busy-ness’ to cover over the discomfort. Taking responsibility through writing and problem solving= feeling a whole lot better.
.-= Steve-Personal Success Factors´s last blog ..You Don’t Have to Be Steve Jobs to Change the World =-.

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Lana March 23, 2010 at 11:11 pm

exactly, I loved your point about “busy-ness” Steve, thank you for commenting!

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Phil - Less Ordinary Living March 23, 2010 at 9:48 pm

Lana –

This post really made me smile for a few reasons. First I love your turn of phrase – I love the word messy, I love you saying that sometimes people act crazy. These things are true, we can’t control everything around us and it is in how we react to the messiness that we show our true potential.

Second, I love the Zenness of your 9 responses – Consciously decide not to react – that is all about detaching from our thoughts and being conscious of our choice. So empowering. Forgiving ourself is so key too. I know I can beat myself with a big stick sometimes and for no reason. Showing some kindness and moving on is so powerful.

Thank you for a really strong post,

Phil
.-= Phil – Less Ordinary Living´s last blog ..Spring Clean your Mind =-.

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Lana March 23, 2010 at 11:14 pm

yes, Phil, I love the word messy too, for whatever reason it seems to have some relationship to the word “alive”. Life can’t be all smooth, clean and undisturbed. well, maybe it can, but not for me, I guess, since that’s what I believe in:)

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Therese Miu March 23, 2010 at 11:01 pm

Hi Lana, What a candid post sweetie! 😉
I know I’m always upbeat and happy. But today was just one of those days you mentioned above. And I took a concerted effort to follow every step you outlined here just as a good student would when listening to a GREAT teacher. I really am very fond of your writing style and YOU as a person. I thank you so much! You have no idea how much your words mean to me so much. You are a light my dear. I do hope we can take our relationship over the phone. I’d like a chance to speak with you when your time permits.

I love the theme clarity in your blog and how you always manage to mention it every time in a fashionable manner.

Thanks Lana.

I appreciate you 😉
.-= Therese Miu´s last blog ..Why Blog is better than a static website? =-.

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Lana March 23, 2010 at 11:18 pm

Therese, dear, thank you so much. I am really humbled to be called a great teacher. I hope we can talk too, I’ll send you my skype id right after finish writing this. and yes, I love clarity, I know it can do wonders.

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Tess The Bold Life March 26, 2010 at 12:27 am

These are all important points and I especially like “enjoy the roller coaster.”
Once we except life isn’t going to go our way all the time and we can’t control so many things…it’s time to enjoy and appreciate each up and down…zig and zag.
Count me in as one who cares as well!
.-= Tess The Bold Life´s last blog ..My Dad and His Tool Shop =-.

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Lana March 29, 2010 at 2:46 am

thank you Tess, I so know that you are the one who cares!

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Ben March 27, 2010 at 3:56 pm

I love these tips Lana.

I think the key (for me at least) it making the decision to not react to the make a change. That choice or decision is so simple but can make a massive difference to how I perceive the situation.

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Lana March 29, 2010 at 2:46 am

thanks for stopping by Ben, I also think that decision is the key!

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Nea | Self Improvement Saga April 7, 2010 at 1:38 pm

I love what you said about letting go of the victim mentality. I find that when I own my stuff, I feel so empowered. Blaming others simply makes it harder to grow and move past the mess because it includes giving your power to another. Great post, Lana.
.-= Nea | Self Improvement Saga´s last blog ..How to Change Your Life and Become a Better Version of You =-.

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Robert April 18, 2010 at 10:27 pm

You HAVE to go see the low profile film “Greenberg” (with, of all people, Ben Stiller as the titular Greenberg) while it’s out–or later. A film about lost souls in off-track lives, and how they respond to it, it addresses what you word as “embracing your life as it is now,” though in the film’s vernacular, it’s “embracing the life you never planned on,” which also relates to your post on the downsizing of the ‘big dream’ cliche. Very relevant. Very real in its embrace of the imperfect awkwardness of reality.

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Evelyn Lim April 30, 2010 at 7:24 am

I like the tip about being non-reactive. We can respond but we need to be mindful over our emotions. A reactive response usually comes out unwise and likely to bring on more negative consequences.
.-= Evelyn Lim´s last blog ..Draw A Creative Mind Map for Self Analysis =-.

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