Friday, April 26, 2013

Lessons From India

I have grown so used to having whatever I wanted, desired or needed at my arm's reach. I am surrounded by appliances, telephones, computers and vehicles that make my life all the more easy. I am never left wanting since I can afford all the necessities and some. Every morning, I brush my teeth and drink water never wondering what it would be like without faucets or clean water. Not everyday do I think about the people collecting the garbage that I leave outside my gate; as it conveniently disappears the next morning.  I step into my parked car and drive to wherever I needed to go without a second thought of those who need to power their legs to get to places or share one vehicle with 20 or 30 others. I enter a store and find all sorts of goodies to buy without wondering which hand picked or made them. I work at a school where its students are from privileged families not having to be reminded of tattered clothes, battered feet and shattered dreams. 

And yet, I was never sheltered as a child and did not live in total darkness. I was always reminded that I was lucky to have been born into a family that is well educated and affluent as there were so many children who were less fortunate. Despite that, it is not something I think of everyday as life is a whirlwind that takes over my thoughts. 

 OR maybe I just don't because it make me feel a little guilty or ashamed that I have so much and still find something to be grumpy about, and they have so little and still manage to smile every day.

I was reminded of the harshness of life on a trip that I went on with my sister this month. It was an eye-opening bonding experience through parts of Sri Lanka and India. We found the people to be pleasant and friendly despite what I would call a "tough" life. To them, their lifestyle might not be tough and they are probably thankful that they are better off than many of the other people they are surrounded by. To me, however, it opened my eyes to the wonderful life that my children and I lead and how "sheltered" we are from the harshness of their lives. 

Throughout the journey, I silently thanked the universe and my lucky stars for every little blessing I had in life. With every step I took through the streets of India, I thought of the millions of people who walked the same path barefoot and hungry. With every purchase I made, I wondered if the Indian Rupees I used might have alleviated a nagging need a family there had.

India, and its people, have taught me that:
  • I am blessed with a healthy family and a roof above my head and therefore should smile more often
  • my past experiences should never overshadow my future but teach me lessons
  • unconditional love, acceptance and forgiveness are non-discriminatory
  • I should welcome everyone into my life as I will learn something valuable
  • every moment in life counts as I might never regain it
  • I should appreciate the little things as they are just as important as the big ones
  • I must never take for granted the unskilled hands that sustain me
  • to never be timorous or intimidated by people who are different in any way 

Thank you India!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013


I am taking an online course on Life Coaching. A pretty interesting course which prepares me for dealing with others; helping them face their challenges and achieve set goals. As part of the course, I need to first deal with my challenges, goals and fears... easy peasy right? Not really... I have to face all that is stopping me from getting what I want before I can help anyone else. I do not wish to be a hypocrite and convince my "client", "student" or anyone, that this path, strategy or plan will work if they followed these steps, when I have not tried or followed them myself.


I have been working through many issues, setting plans and steps to achieve goals....

The last lesson's assignment asked me to set up a board with pictures of anything that I would like to do in the future. I had so many on my mind. So many tasks that I wanted to dive in and explore. So many skills I wanted to learn such as photography, baking and decorating cakes and painting. There were so many activities that I constantly dream of doing such as traveling to as many countries as I can before I am transported to a different realm, teaching refugees and the less fortunate, becoming more active and take singing and dancing lessons. 

BUT there were way too many to add to my board that I had to focus on a few. I must achieve them first and then explore others. In no way will I forget all the others but for now, I will focus on the above shown goals and then go from there. I am a mother, wife, daughter and friend and therefore, at the end of the day, I have responsibilities to attend to as well.

I keep reminding myself that...

Life can take us places we have never dreamed of if only we allowed it to. Most of the time it is us who stop in our way. Our minds make up these obstacles painting them in different colors camouflaging them, shading our vision, fogging our clear path. 
I sometimes feel that I am in limbo mode not knowing exactly where I am headed.... 

So I continuously say to myself, in the efforts of convincing my mind that my plan is achievable, whitewashing the negative voices that overshadow my confidence...

"Just go with the flow. Accept what the Universe has in store for you. Trust that all will be well and that everything around you will conspire to make sure you achieve those goals. Just take a shot at it  and try your best to fulfill them. You are worth it."

Monday, April 1, 2013

And to think I have time!


I have been running around like a headless chicken  that still digs up dirt in search of worms that it cannot see. This is not a time when I should be doing extra work is it? I mean in two and a half months' time I will be shipping our possessions to a different country and all I should be thinking of is getting rid of stuff I have not used in years and donating others.

I thought I was quite the organizer; planning which section of the house I will be tackling and on which weekend. I have finished the kids clothes which I will be taking back to Jordan with me for the Syrian Refugees, I have donated their unused toys to a local slum nursery and the books to Mina's elementary school. I have tackled the messy storage room and the kitchen, placing all the items we do not need by our gate because within seconds they disappear. (I love how our unwanted stuff can be used by others).

I panic with every passing weekend. I stress out when anyone asks me to do one thing that I thought I had already done and dusted some time ago. I freak out when I think of the other rooms and the items on my list that I need to check off.

AND YET.... 

I continue to make more work for myself. I find new things to try. New recipes to look up and follow. Like baking cakes or cupcakes that I have never done before and then promising to try out some more as a challenge. I register to take some online courses which demand some work and time to read. I go shopping for gifts for the family..... etc.

Hold on a minute? 

Didn't I say I was stressed out and do not need more stuff on my ever spinning plate? Why do I do this to myself? Is this a coping mechanism to keep my mind off it all? 


Maybe, I am just creating jobs for myself because I have a hard time accepting leaving this place. I will miss it... I will miss the easiness of the people here... my friends... my colleagues... I keep thinking that I don't have time.... What I truly need is time to stop for a second and give me a breather...

Ever since October of last year, things have been spinning crazily but never out of control. It is like Speedy Gonzales had given up on the pace my life was going and decided to take over the controls placing all the buttons on high speed as that is the momentum he likes best. I keep up but boy do I leave his spinning workshop exhausted, run down and out of breath.

He might be wearing ear muffs as he definitely does not listen to my ever whining nerves.

I miss the feeling of elation. I miss that sense of excitement when something I have always wanted to do and experience meets me. I miss that sense of adventure that send happy fluttering jitters up and down my spine and pulls on my heart strings. For now, I feel that LIFE has woken up and has hit me in the face.

But I am doing something about it soon. I have decided to run away in April.
I am taking a break with my sister. We are going on a sister- bonding trip to Sri-lanka and India and I am hoping that it would be a break despite having to visit so many places in a short time... I know that the hand of Speedy never tires, but at least my mind would be off the move and onto new experiences, smells, tastes, sights and above all my relationship with my sister.

After the break, I will be back in Speedy Land trying to match his crazy pace and maybe even work something out together.