That’s Why Awareness Turns Into A Curse

Is your heart aching? William Shakespeare claimed that: “Expectation is the root of all heartache”. And I wonder; had he been mistaken?

A couple of months ago I got certified as a Meta-Coach. On the same day of receiving my certificate, my mother and sisters surprised me with a cake and a beautiful bunch of flowers and celebrated my achievement.

Later on the same day my partner congratulated me verbally, warmly, and did nothing more. He didn’t arrange for me a surprise or get me a special gift on such a meaningful event for me. I remembered Gameela, one of my main characters in Fabulous Veils. How her partner failed to meet her expectations and how this was one of the main causes that bombarded their love story. Expectations from both sides.

I took a little pause to think of what I really wanted. I wished to celebrate with my husband my accomplishment. It didn’t matter for me that it would be a surprise. What mattered was that we celebrate together this milestone. I remembered John Gray’s teachings. I recalled how my partner comes from Mars and how I come from a different planet; planet Venus. I was aware that he loved me not less than my mother and sisters who all came from Venus. I remembered how he surprises me from time to time. And how his work was overwhelming him in this period. And though I was aware of what I wanted, I knew that awareness wouldn’t take me anywhere. I knew I had to communicate what I wanted. And most importantly, to communicate it in the language that my partner understands; the language of planet Mars.

Attending a Jazz concert at the Cairo Opera House was my choice for celebration. We spent a night-to-remember enjoying the melodies and each other. My heart was filled with gratitude to both my partner and Shakespeare. I refused to live my life as a victim like Gameela. I learned from her that awareness without communication is a curse that fires people’s lives and it starts by destroying them from within.

Men are motivated and empowered when they feel needed. Women are motivated and empowered when they feel cherished.” John Gray

13 Steps to Organise Your Possessions

 

If you aren’t organised it’s never too late. As a child I was a complete mess. Currently people see me as a very organised person and my colleagues at work gave me the title of ‘The Most Organised’.
It all started with the need. As a teacher, I needed to be organised. I started to learn and practice the skill till I became organised. Considering that many people happen to use desks, or have children who possess desks, I will be giving my example on organising desks. However, the same 13 steps I’m sharing apply on almost all possessions we have.

The 13 Steps to Organise our Possessions:
1- Clarifying
Identifying what we want to organise (a desk, a wardrobe, the kitchen…etc)

2- Complete mess
Creating a pile from all the things we possess in this category and wish to organise.

3- Sorting
In one pile we keep what we really use or might need. In the second pile we would add the things we no longer need.

4- Checking
Checking the first pile one more time while considering the impact of what we want to keep on our happiness and energy. If there are things that won’t make us happy we better add them to the second pile.

5- Categorising 
By dividing the first pile into small piles of things from same type. A pile of pens, another for books, one for papers…etc.

6- Containerising 
By putting the possessions in each small pile in a suitable container (Pens in pen pots, papers in files..)

7- Listing
One of the challenges that people face is not having appropriate containers for what they possess. Hence, we need to be clear on what we need by writing a list (shelves, drawers, boxes…)

8- Allocating specific places
We need to consider two factors in this step. First, how often do we use each category in order to make the things we use frequently accessible. Second, the size of the items in each category. If what we possess is really large we might need certain drawers, boxes under the desk or extra shelves on top on the desk.

9- Labeling
Adding labels make it easier to access our possessions and helps our brains become more organised. We can also have specific copybooks/files/envelops for each workshop we attend, s

10- Decorating
Whether by adding flowers, scented candles or colours. Turning our desks into a cheerful place would encourage us to keep it organised.

11- Reusing
Reusing old boxes or jars as containers would save us money and with simple effort we can turn them into personalised good-looking containers.

12- Donating
In this step we will consider the second pile we left in step 3. We will need to check what should be thrown out and what can be donated and to whom and take a prompt action of donating.

13- Enjoying the process
Listening to music or chatting with a friend on the phone while organising really helps!

It sounds hard. It is but only at the beginning. Remember I was a messy child and now I became organised. It’s hard yet possible and very rewarding.

#FabulousVeilsNovel#I’m not a feminist

My cause is beyond men and women. Beyond feminism. My novel is a call for Humanity. It’s about the human being, whether a male or a female. It’s about the limiting beliefs and lack of freedom we suffer from in Egypt and worldwide. If you are a parent you will find yourself within its pages. If you’re a young adult you will find it expressing what you wished to cry out and couldn’t.

The Myth of “I Can’t”

Just two characters differentiate between ‘Can’ and ‘Can’t’, however, their impact is unbelievable.

Six years ago ‘We Can’ was the mantra I used with my students to motivate them to do their best in a Community and Service project I was leading and in which they were serving a group of Visually Impaired children. The two words worked like magic and not only my pupils reached their goals, they exceeded them. My main victory as a leader was embedding in my students a belief in their abilities and especially in such a young age; the teenage. What I failed to noticed back them was the many ‘I can’t’ I was repeating to myself and which formed a lens through which I saw myself.

Along my journey to become a Coach I learned how people grow up with limiting beliefs and how these beliefs affect them and control their lives. I discovered that ‘I can’t’ was a limiting belief. Reflecting on my life I noticed how I used to tell myself that I can’t write a novel, which I was capable of doing. And how I used to tell myself I can’t ride a motorcycle which I’m doing.

The Awareness

Analysing what happened in both situations I noticed how awareness was the beginning of change. With the novel I became aware that if I die without trying to write a novel I would feel regretful on my deathbed. I became aware that I have a desired outcome and that it’s very important for me to try to pursue it to avoid the pain of regret.

With the motorcycle the situation was different. I became aware of my fear. I was scared to ride a motorcycle. And I framed myself from my childhood that I possessed very poor coordination between my mind and my body. This was another limiting belief. I resisted for months to give it a try while my partner was very excited about me sharing with him this new hobby. I became aware of his wish and how important it was for him and I became motivated to change my mind frame for our relationship.

The Confrontation

My second observation was that admitting how I felt enabled me to turn the ‘I Can’t’ into ‘I Can’. I no longer denied my feelings and thoughts. I confronted them and shared them with the ones I trusted. I talked about them out loud and explored them and their references.

The Assistance 

My next step was asking for help. To write my novel I subscribed in Writing classes and asked for the support of numerous people every time I faced a challenge. Yet with the motorcycle it was different. I enrolled in a course and learned how to ride. However, I had fears. I was scared. These negative feelings were a gift as they alarmed me that there was something in my subconscious that I had to deal with. I expressed my fears to my partner and we developed a strategy to deal with my negative feelings. Unconsciously he coached me and enabled me to develop trust and confidence in my physical abilities and gradually my fear evaporated.

How many ‘I Can’t’ have you been telling yourself? And what were their impact on your self-confidence and your relationships? Give yourself permission to erase only two characters from this limiting belief and experience your life from a total new dimension.

If you still believe that you can’t, you can always ask for help!

“Thank you for giving me the chance to do something others my age don’t do. Thank you for teaching me that I’m not alone in this world. Thank you for showing me that a simple action can make a huge difference. Thank you for making me look at people differently and for appreciating the simple actions of others. Thank you for trusting my capabilities and for making me believe that I can actually change the world.” Hoda Labib, my student, 2013.

#FabulousVeilsNovel#Book Review

“An absorbing novel accurately painting women’s feelings in a “normally” oppressing society, where oppression is the norm.

In different social standards of the Egyptian society women are used, abused, or misused for anything but their own happiness and desire. Iman masterfully and sensitively describes feelings in a realistic approach that brings life into all her characters and easily allows the reader to live their different lives.You get attached to all the characters to the extent that after finishing the book you start to miss them.

It is a decent scream calling for women’s rights and freedom, and giving strong hopes in a better tomorrow.”

 

What Do You Want?

Is it possible to reach a certain destination without identifying it clearly from the first place? It’s true that Hanan, the help’s daughter in Fabulous Veils was completely aware of what she didn’t want. However, her life didn’t turn out to be a terrific one. She refused to work like her mother and she ended up doing nothing. Nothing.

Are We Aware of What We Want?

“To begin with the end in mind means to start with a clear understanding of your destination. It means to know where you’re going so that you better understand where you are now and so that the steps you take are always in the right direction.” Stephen R. Covey. 

This quote reveals a big secret behind our constant dissatisfaction. Do we have a clear vision of what we want? It’s true that it’s important to identify what we don’t want, yet this is only the beginning. The next step is to figure out clearly and specifically what do we want.

Begin with the End in Mind

This is the title of the second habit of highly effective people in Covey’s best selling book. In simple words he invited the reader to imagine his 80th birthday. Then to think of the people he wishes they would be there and what they would say about the life he had carried on. If you were celebrating your 80th birthday now would you be surrounded with the people who matter to you the most? Are you aware of who they are? And are you currently putting deposits in their accounts and communicating to them genuinely what they mean to you? What about your values and what you’re standing for in your life. Would people succeed in speaking about the principles you demonstrated and your contributions. Would their speeches be aligned with what you devoted your life to.

Less is More

In order to become aware of what we want we need to have less. Less possessions, less noise, less business, less waste of time. We need to have more time for reflection, for meditation, for silence and for stillness. More time away from the materialistic life. More time in nature. More time walking barefoot and connecting to earth and its elements. More time to journal our thoughts and our dreams. More time to imagine and envision the life that would make us stay immortal in the hearts of our beloved ones. More time to think of our strengths and uniqueness and how to use them for the best of mankind.

“Less is always more. The best language is silence. We live in a time of a terrible inflation of words, and it is worse than the inflation of money.” Eduardo Galeano

Watch Covey’s video of the 80th birthday at: