Matters OF The Heart

 

One of the hardest things in life is to be faced with a situation where you have to make a choice that every ounce of your brain is absolutely sure it is the right thing to do, yet you just can’t bring yourself to do it!

 

In situations like these, we tend to seek refuge in the arms of friends and loved ones, hoping they will help us take the RIGHT decision. Hoping they will just spit it out, and tell us exactly what to do. Because we just want to sit and watch instead of being the main player. Because we are out of breath and need a break from the agony of the situation, of the unknown and the uncertainty!  But mainly because we want someone else to blame if the whole thing crumbled to the ground. Yet they never do, those friends and loved ones, because again nobody likes to take decisions; instead they work like analyzing machines and lay the pros and cons on the table for you,  as if you didn’t do that about a million times already, letting you drown in the pool of your thoughts, fears, and hopes!

 

 

We usually relate the logical stuff to the brain and the emotional things to the heart, and while I have no idea what does science says about that, it does seem that these two are never on the same page, it seems that they are always in a constant conflict. In the perfect world, I would love to live with a heart only, yet I can only imagine the results… that poor heart would be broken as many times as it can take.

 

It saddens me that I can’t follow my heart most of the time, it breaks my heart that sometimes I have to favor my brain over my heart. Even though at the end  of the day, I am very grateful to have a brain of course, and in so many situations I was ecstatic that I gave my brain a chance to shine over my heart, because it probably has saved me from lots of pain and suffering. Yet that pain and suffering are the crucial tools into growing up, growing wise and enlightened. But what happens when both are right? When your brain and heart both make sense just not in the same direction? What to choose and who to favor? What to do when the pros and cons are equally set? What happens when you are stuck between the darkness of the night and the darkness of your own soul? What to do? I am afraid I don’t have answers! Sometimes I choose to take a nap instead, and let time do exactly what it does best- it flies, and tomorrow comes sooner than you think. But I wouldn’t recommend this method because it is reckless, even to me, and I can tell you, it doesn’t always bring the best of outcomes!

 

 

When you think that you have reached the deepest and darkest circles of hell, and you wait patiently to see who is going to win this battle: your heart or your brain. Even though you know deep in your heart and mind, that the brain should win, so you can stand on your feet again and rebuild what have been broken; you still wait patiently for your heart to make a move and miraculously save you and take you up to heaven. You know that your heart will only bring troubles your way yet you follow it no matter what. Why is that?!

 

I am afraid today I have no answers! Today I am hoping to hear your answers!

 

Ouiam

Me, Myself, and I…

 


How many selves do you have?

Are you laughing at my question? Does it seem silly to you? Well… I promise you, at least in my case, it isn’t silly at all! And I am pretty sure I am not the only one!

I have at least 5 or 6 selves that I have to live with, take care of, and tend to their needs everyday. Sometimes it becomes so confusing and complicated because things just don’t seem to make sense anymore. It seems so weird and random most of the time. Sometimes it is seasonal, sometimes it changes when I change the language I use (Arabic, English or French), and some other times depending on the people I surround myself with.

 

Now please don’t get me wrong, I am not schizophrenic or anything like that lol, I am just aware of the many states of mind I can get myself into. Because you see, I am a mother, a daughter, a wife, a sister, a friend, and I am also a woman! the day is only 24 hours and I can’t possibly care for all these selves equally; so some days we focus on being a mom some others on being a wife, or a woman or a daughter…etc. Do I feel guilty for doing that, you ask? NO absolutely not! As long as in a week every one of my selves is happy and content!

 

To be able to integrate the diverse experiences, emotions, hopes, fears, and many many other things in one self is absurd. Especially that we are always a work in progress. We are never a finished product, we change and evolve daily, and being able to recognize and understand at least some of the selves that compose your persona is the ultimate dream. Being able to cope with them all, to tend to their need, to always guide them and make it a teamwork affair, takes a lot of dedication and efforts. To fullfil and satisfy every one of these many selves is not easy, yet it is somehow crucial and not negotiable!

 

I have so many selves swirling around within me, YES, but I don’t try to exile some of them or deny them the right to live… NO… I can’t do that now, can I? Instead, I bring them to the light, and try to give them a form and a shape. I try to communicate with them gently and lovingly because they are the key to fully understand myself; which is not going to happen in a day or a month or a year. No! It takes a lifetime to only begin to do that, and who knows if you’ll ever succeed! I try to show them that I care and that I am willing to bring each one of them the satisfaction and fulfilment they need to thrive and make me a better person.

 

May be this may sound foolish and might not make any sense to you at all, but my hope here is to encourage and empower you to do the same. To discover the different parts that make you who you are, and may be share them too!

 

Ouiam

World War 3!!

 

 

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At the park, two little boys playing cheerfully together, life is great… Oh wait what was that? Toddler number one snatched a toy from toddler number two, and world war three just erupted!

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A playdate going really well, till the little boy decides that sharing wasn’t good for him, and that toy is the one thing he’ll hold onto as if his life depended on that!

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  • “Honey, that toy was with your friend, you should give it back to him”
  • Nooooo!! Crying, screaming, kicking and again world war 3!

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You, your little angel, at another playdate, and this other toddler who keeps on snatching the toys from him! The first time you understood that these are kids and that’s what they do, the second time you run to your child with another toy hoping he’ll forget about the first one, the third time, you run to the other boy and ask gently yet firmly to give the toy back to your son, the forth and last time……. That’s it!!!You had enough! You take your son and it’s time to go back home!

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Who doesn’t know all the scenarios above, who hasn’t lived something similar at least once a week? I thought so! We all have been there. We might act and react differently but we all stress, think and overthink, panic, and maybe even get pissed!

 

I have been in so many of these situations, I have gone through all the above yucky feelings. I left playdates because I thought it was too much to handle, I stopped seeing some other moms because their kids were too …hmmm …too much to handle. Then one day and in the middle of one of those yucky situations, I thought “Hey sit back, relax and watch!” A boy took a toy that Adam was playing with, Adam took it back, the boy screamed, cried, pushed Adam away, and ran to his mama. The other mom looked at me as in “Aren’t you gonna do anything about it???!” I smiled and did exactly what she feared I would: NOTHING! Two seconds later, Adam brought the toy back, the other boy  smiled, and went on playing, singing and giggling! I wasn’t encouraging my son to be a mean boy, if that’s what you re thinking, No, I was letting him go through his battles on his own. He can talk, he can say what he wants/needs and so can the other little boy. When I get up, freak out, run to my son, I will mirror those feelings to him, he will think that it is a really big deal, because that’s exactly how I made him feel, while think about it, IT IS NOT! !

 

From that day forward, I try to stay comfortable as a mom and as a mirror to my son’s feelings. “Adam had the toy, the little boy has the toy now” no big deal. I don’t try to distract him, because that will only  mask the problem , it will not fix it. If he cries, then I acknowledge his feelings and give him space to explore his emotions.

 

So far so good, right? NOW the real problem I face is with the mothers not the kids. You see the kids get their strength from their moms (dads/caregiver), they follow their leaders (again: mom/dad/caregiver), so when I am calm, comfortable, and not stressed they react the same way. However, some other moms who lovingly always want to protect their little nuggets, might be a problem. The looks I get when I don’t interfere are horrifying! They might think that I am a bad mom and that I am not disciplining my child, while I am actually doing just the opposite; I am teaching my child and possibly the other child too, some very precious problem-solving skills. I am telling them that it is OK to figure out a solution to the problem by yourself. I am there to watch and guide only if they needed my help, things like “Do you need me to help you give the toy back?”, or if my son keeps on reaching for that toy: “I see you keep on reaching for that toy, so I am going to stop you” again calmly, nicely and without the hint of anger or judgment. I am there but I am chilled, and observing and most importantly ready.

 

The journey of these little human beings has just began. The world is a big scary place for them, they are frightened by all these new emotions they deal with every day. They are trying to grasp as much as they can but boy is it hard!! The learning process will never end, and in parenting there is no clear cuts, no right and wrong, but we try our best. Today it might work and you might think that you’re nailing it as a mom, then the next day might be the worst day ever. What has helped me tremendously is to always keep an open mind, try everything, even if I am not really convinced, and see what will happen… You will be surprised! When kids have the freedom to explore the world they become more independent and more confident and sometimes they take the lead and that’s fine too. I learn a lot from my son and every day with him is a teaching experience.

 

How about you? What kind of moms are you? How do you react in one of these situations? I would love to know!

 

Ouiam

Hello Summer Reads!

books

 

 

This summer I was so lucky to have some extra time to do what I love doing the most: Reading!! I read so many books, old and new, novels, self-help. I also re-read so many more, because some authentic authors string words together in ways that just amaze me, and I love to be reminded of that every once in a while, some other books make me reflect on life, love, friendship, marriage…etc. And of course I have those books that are like warm blankets in cold wintery nights, they bring you warmth, comfort, and safety! I won’t share all the books though, because then it will be a really really long post lol, but here are some of the books for you to enjoy:

 

Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes: I loved this book! The spirit, the words, the notions, the style, the ideas… everything is amazing! Shonda is the one behind some of the best TV series like Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal, this alone made me want to read her book! Then the title is exactly where I am now-I have decided that 2016 will be a year of YES! So I had to read this book! Once I started I couldn’t put the book down. Her style….. What can I say that would do it justice???? It is like a diary free, gluten free, GMO free, natural, yet super tasty ice cream!!! Yes, that’s exactly it, a very delicious yet super healthy little book!

 

Who we were before by Leah Mercer: A novel, for  those days at the beach! A sad one though WARNING!! The journey of a mother who loses her son. The grief, the emptiness, the pain, and what all this do to a marriage.

 

Adultery by Paulo Coelho: One of the books that I have read before and marked me deeply. This book has stirred controversy and caused lots of people to stop being fans of Paulo Coelho! I believe I am one of his biggest fans ever! I first read his book “The Alchemist”-The French version, when I was about 12 years old. It really changed the way I looked at the world ever since and my love story with his books started to unfold deliciously. The book had some very negative reviews, due to the very graphic sexual scenes, however I know Coelho’s books are all so deep and so meaningful that even SEX seems so holly and religious! So I decided to read it! (Don’t you dare judging me lol). The book talks about marriage. It talks about the real thing, not what we see on Facebook and Instagram, not those silly pretty little novels that have corrupted our minds and hearts! Not the fairytales that show marriage as an everlasting “Happily ever after”! No, it shows the emptiness that some of us feel while caught up in our crazy lives, it talks about how complicated our feelings are, it talks about love and what it becomes after 10, 20, 30, years of marriage. It also talks about God and the way we worship him through what we do everyday. Sure it does have some scenes that you may or may not like, but if you really understand what the book is about you will see what’s hidden between those scenes.

 

Mindset by Dr.Carol S. Dweck: This book is about how we perceive challenges in life, how our words have a huge impact on our lives and  the life of those surrounding us. It also talks about things that we think might be a great help while raising children while they actually have the opposite effect. Such as compliments that we all use at least once a day, like: “You are so smart” or “ You are so pretty” or “ You are so unique”… etc, all these sound like great things to say to a child but what do they really mean to that child? A very interesting read!

 

Me Before You by JoJo Moyes: Another novel (I warned you I had plenty of free time lol). Again another sad one (Sorry I am a sucker for novels that move me and make my heart go on a roller-coaster!). I know it was made as a movie but my rule is to never watch movies based on books, always read the books FIRST! Love and how death can be the beginning of things. About disappointments and how in real life some things are bigger, larger, and more meaningful than love. Sadness with a glimpse of hope and smiles that will make your heart swell.

 

Blink by Malcom Gladwell: Malcom Gladwell is one of my very favorite authors. This book is about how we think without really thinking, about how we tend to take some decisions without being the ones taking them really. It makes so much sense, and even though the concept might be a little old or has been discussed before, Gladwell has a very unique and special way of giving you tons of information, that will make you think differently.

 

The Hormone Secret Dr. Tami Meraglia: Every woman should read this book! It talks about how nutrition plays a huge role in how our hormones “behave”. It talks about our hormones and how to balance them in order to have a healthy life.

 

I  hope you enjoy the books in this list, and I will see you soon..!

 

Ouiam

First Times…

Do you remember the first time you traveled on an airplane? The first time you went to the movies? The first time you rode a bicycle, the first time you went on a date, the first time you pushed yourself beyond what you thought were your boundaries? Do you remember?

They say the first time of anything is the best time ever! The first time you rode that bicycle is engraved in your heart and brain and is definitely the best time you ever rode a bicycle ever! Mine was a green one and it was the best bicycle I ever had!!!! What is so special about first times?  Well because you have never done that one thing before, so the first time is filled with excitement, thrill, rush of adrenaline, anxiety, doubt… etc. That’s what gives the experience a whole new meaning!

 

Think about it, we always reminisce about the past, about how we wish for the old days to come back, how things are never the same, after that very first time! If you go now for a hike for the first time, it will be the best hike you will ever go for. So my philosophy is to always do things for the first time, even things that I do everyday, just do something about them for the first time. First times are magical, exceptional, and really incredible! Like shiny stars in the darkest of nights! They embellish the past, and make your heart smile every time they cross your path again.

 

I remember the first time I met my husband, and I remember how my heart jumped and my eyes refused to obey me and look away! the first time I knew he was special, I still feel the same way every time I remember it.

 

The first time I held my son in my arms, so tiny and so soft, my heart was full and my tears were abundant and it was the best first time in my life.

 

The first time I went to New York, is so dear to my heart! That trip was probably…. Wait for it…. Yes The best trip to New York ever!

 

So many first times that make me smile, make me long for more first times. Make me want to try everything and dive into the unknown everyday. And it is really funny, the more you do, the more you want to do! It never stops! That hunger for new things is insatiable! Yet fear is always there, trying to hold you back, to convince you that you are just fine where you are, trying to make you believe that it is safer to stay just here, where you are now, where you were yesterday, the last week, the last month! But that’s not a bad thing! Fear is that friend that never leaves your side, and that is playing the role of an overprotective mother that won’t let you go anywhere near “first times”, and you do want this friend near you, just to let you know when you cross the red line. You can talk to this friend and told him that you will be fine, even if you get rejected, even if you fail, even if fall and break your neck….You will still be fine! And instead of your fear convincing you, let us reverse the roles and instead, you convince your fear to let you go, convince your fear to be there but silent! Yes that’s exactly it, make it your SILENT friend!

 

First times are what we will remember when we are 80 years old, first times are what will make us think peacefully about death. First times are our tickets to a great past, an enticing present, and a magical future. You can take control of your life, you can design your past by shaping your present. You can dream for your future and make it a reality NOW, don’t procrastinate, start today and do something new for the first time! I once told my master that I will try to come and train that day and she said something that I will never forget, she said “Don’t TRY, just MAKE it!!” and since that day, I never try anymore, I just go for it! And life has never been the same!

 

I made a pact with my silent friend (aka fear), we will stay together forever, but I get to decide, I get to say the last word. Even when this friend decides to rebel against me, I pat it on the shoulder, and remind it of our pact!  And since then, we made peace with this whole “first time” business and I have been thriving on first times ever since!

Ouiam