Motivational Monday: Feel the magic in the air

Hello and welcome to my blog! I’ve been nauseated for the past 24 hours. I don’t know what’s wrong, but I could blame it on too many carbs in the past week. I’m still not better, and I fasted anyway because I didn’t feel I could eat anyway (I had only 3 dates for suhur). Tomorrow is the 1st day of Eid Ul Adha. I hope I’m better by tomorrow. No more carbs for me.

Anyway, despite Eid week being exciting, like all holidays where family gatherings occur, there is conflict and backhanded compliments and passive-aggressive relatives. So here are a few phrases to help you get through the week:

Tiny steps still take you there.

Don’t be intimidated by the length of the ladder. Take it step by step.

Your potential is endless.

Don’t be discouraged if someone tells you that you can’t do something. If you believe in yourself and work hard, you can do anything you set your mind to.

Magic is believing in yourself.

This reminds me of the song Feel the magic in the air.

Not all storms come to disrupt your life, some come to clear your path.

Don’t quit yet, the worst moments are usually followed by the most beautiful silver linings. You have to stay strong, remember to keep your head up and remain hopeful.

Keep your eyes on the stars, and your feet on the ground.

Dream big but be realistic.

You deserve to feel loved.

Not when you succeed or when you get that job or find a husband. You deserve love now, as you are, with all your flaws.

Happiness is an inside job.

Nobody can make you happy. Only you can create your own happiness.

Give love to your insecurities.

Don’t hate your body because you don’t look like a model. Don’t hate yourself because you’re socially awkward. Love yourself because of your insecurities.

Today is your opportunity to build the tomorrow you want.

Yesterday is gone. You can’t change the past, but you can change the future.

Stop worrying about things you can’t control.

Seriously, stop. If there is something you can do about it, do it. Otherwise, don’t worry about it.

Throwback Thursday: What are you optimistic about?

Hello and welcome to my blog! I am a mess physically and emotionally. My back and neck are strained (pulled muscles) and I have a migraine. Emotionally I’m either angry and yelling or sad and distant. Nevertheless, I’m trying to be optimistic and productive. A year ago, I wrote about a book I was reading but stopped reading a long time ago (I have 9 books I still need to finish) and I wrote this:

What are you optimistic about?

I started reading this book “What are you optimistic about?” yesterday, and it got me thinking.

What am I optimistic about?

The economic fall in Lebanon suddenly rises and for the Lebanese Lira to get its value back?

Nope. My thoughts were accurate. The then 2000LL to 1$ ratio is now 17000LL to 1$ and prices are tenfold everywhere.

The political bickering to stop and for us to finally have a democratic country that doesn’t imprison Muslims just because they have beards and who look after the Sunni Muslims of the country and build our wonderful country instead of putting our money in their pockets, leaving us to starve?

Not really. Again, I was right, and I wish I was wrong.

How about my son being able to go to school this year, as opposed to last year when he couldn’t go to school 1st due to the revolution and then because of COVID-19, and having a normal social life where he can play with his friends and not feel confused about what day it is and why he can’t just go to school?

This year no, but I have hope for him to go next year when he is going to be in 1st grade. True, this year he only attended 2 weeks of school, but he had a graduation ceremony and that made me very happy. Plus, I signed him up for summer camp and karate classes. He got used to staying at home so he makes a fuss every time he has to go but I don’t know if he will be attending school next year, not because of covid, but because of the fuel crisis.

How about this: Do I feel optimistic about getting over my anxiety and depression?

Yes, because I’ve done it before and I can do it again. That’s why I’m writing this post, to find things to be optimistic about. A year passed by and I’m still depressed. I’ve been in and out of depression several times this year. I’m disappointed with how my life turned out but I made my choices and I have to live with them. I’m working on finding inner peace rather than chasing happiness.

Before I continue, what is optimism? To me, it is hope for a better future and it stems from my faith in God. I now believe that optimism is being able to see the bright side in every situation.

Let’s talk bigger.

The book I’m reading was written by 100 people who have never experienced poverty, and who have high social statuses, but let’s see what they’re so optimistic about. In my opinion, the people who wrote this book are 1%ers who no one can relate to. Money and social status play a big role in happiness levels.

I won’t relay the whole book. I’ve only read a few pages so far, but 2 prominent things were:

1. Optimism about decreased violence.

As much as I find it hard to believe, but statistics say that there has been decreasing in violence over the years and that although violence still exists, it is usually hidden and condemned.

My personal opinion is that people with power still exercise their power on the weak, torturing people. And I believe it’s not well hidden, people are just too scared to do anything about it.

I don’t believe violence has decreased. Just have a look at what’s happening to minorities in America, Syria, and Palestine.

2. Optimism about the end of war.

I must say that if it weren’t for my faith, and the knowledge I have, I wouldn’t hold my breath.

See, I’ve read the book “the signs of the day of judgment”, and in that book, it says that Palestine will be freed, and that KSA will become all green instead of being a desert, and that Jesus will descend and kill the one-eyed gargoyle (dajjal) and bring peace to the earth. Now nobody knows when the day of judgment will be, but I have a feeling it won’t be during my lifetime. At the look of things, the apocalypse is nothing like the film 2012, but rather something different, killing us slowly.

I stand by this opinion.

So, what are you optimistic about?

I asked this question on Instagram and one person answered “nothing” while another answered “to get out of Lebanon“, so there’s that.

What am I optimistic about?

1. I’m optimistic about not becoming poor, or at least I have hope and I keep praying. I’m still optimistic about this.

2. I’m optimistic about not catching COVID-19 or any other serious disease. Still optimistic about this.

3. I’m optimistic about not becoming paralyzed, but I’m not so sure about cancer. Both my grandparents died of cancer and 2 cousins of my dad’s as well, but I hope I don’t get cancer. A year has passed and I still feel the same way.

4. I’m optimistic about not becoming obese. I’m not exactly model weight but I have the hope and confidence that at least I won’t go overboard. I’m a little optimistic about reaching my model weight, but not with my current diet.

I don’t know what tomorrow holds for me, and even today is full of surprises.

5. I’m scared, but deep down I have hope that tomorrow won’t suck and that I can become a better person if I keep trying to get over my social awkwardness, and most of all I pray for world peace and the end of poverty. I have lost hope in getting over my social anxiety, but I will keep trying to improve myself.

I still haven’t finished the book, though now I’m tempted to pick it up again, but I got a busy day today.
I got plenty done today but not enough.

Poetry Friday: Happiness eludes me

I watch the sun rise

Feel the breeze on my face

The power’s out, I realize

But my joy isn’t phased

What is this vibe?

It’s like the stars aligned

Is this what it’s like?

To be content

Because happiness eludes me

It seems like a delusion

The moment I hold on to it

It drifts away

And I’m left shipwrecked

This heaviness in my chest

Is so familiar

I almost forget it’s pain

And I’m flooded with regrets

Shame and confusion

I don’t know why I do this

But this pain is comforting

Sometimes I chase happiness

Sometimes I search for meaning

It’s impossible to feel blessed

With my anxiety like demons

But it’s like

It’s become my identity

Like I’m broken

And I need someone to fix me

Theoretically

I know what to do but

It’s a lifelong journey

And it’s a bit too much

I know that I should love myself

I know I should be kind

But I don’t eat or sleep well

And I occasionally exercise

It’s like I have a death wish

I feel so lost and helpless

I think I’m co-dependant

But I don’t want to be

My hands are shaking

From too much caffeine

And intermittent sleeping

My social skills are weak

I wish I could be put together

Like other people that I know

But maybe they’re all just a mess

And they’re putting on a show

Focusing on myself

And my surroundings

It helps me to relax

And keeps me grounded

The magnets and stickers on my fridge

Remind me of the miracle that is

My sunshine, my sweety pie

The Apple of my eye

I have shelter, food and clothes

I’ll never take for granted

I have running water, who knows?

How long it will last and

I have so much, yet I complain

Does that mean I am vain?

It just means I’m human

And I’m trying

Storytime: It’s nice and peaceful out here

Hello and welcome to my blog! How are you doing today? I wanted to post yesterday but I had a very busy day. My sister came over with her 2 hyperactive kids and it was overwhelming for me. I got a migraine. I love my sister, nephew, and niece, but kids can be loud and obnoxious. I couldn’t hear myself think and I ended up sleeping at 11 pm which was reasonable, but my brain shut down long before then.

Today is a new day, and I just watched the sunrise.

It’s nice and peaceful out here…

They have been turning off the generator more often lately. For months they were turning it off 4 hours a day, now it’s 8 hours. That’s because the government is giving us 1-hour of electricity every 24 hours, and the private generators we have to pay a lot for are working overtime to give us electricity. Thus the generators must be turned off for a few hours a day to avoid breaking down.

But instead of sulking because of the deteriorating conditions regarding the electricity, I decided to seize the opportunity and go on the balcony whenever the power is out. I didn’t use to go on the balcony, but I have come to enjoy the fresh air, the sunlight, the birds chirping, the peace in the early morning…and the sunrise.

The sun rose at 5:55 am. What time does the sun rise where you live?

There is a fuel shortage in Lebanon, and I have no idea what’s next for this country, but there doesn’t seem to be a light at the end of the tunnel anytime soon. However, I’m finding peace in the things I know not to take for granted. You never know what tomorrow will bring.

I have a busy day ahead, and it should be fun, albeit a bit socially overwhelming (my introverted self would rather curl up and read a book but my “craving going out” self just wants to have fun, even if I must interact with other humans in the process). After my sister came over, I’m not in the mood for socializing, but I am in the mood for going out and experiencing nature. I’ll keep you posted, today or tomorrow, depending on how exhausted I’ll be.

For now, it’s nice and peaceful out here…

The sun is shining in my eyes, giving me a migraine, so I’m going inside, even though the power isn’t back yet.

Poetry Friday: My mental states of being

The sun is shining outside

I have so much good in my life

I’m grateful for all the love I have

Grounded by peace inside

No moles infesting my mind

I’m mindful of everything I do

Then suddenly

A switch goes off inside of me

And then I feel so blue

It’s like a bad dream

Like someone turned out all the lights

And all I see are blurry hues

I start to count all of my failures

And all the things I could do more

The things I find no time for

The things I feel are like a chore

I start comparing my results

To those who I deem successful

And suddenly I feel so burnt out

And I think I’m such a failure

So I take out my metaphorical whip

The one I use to lash myself

For not having as much success

For not having enough happiness

And I start to complain

Then look for ways to numb my brain

And I look around at who’s to blame

And I resent them for everything

It’s so exhausting to be like this

One moment everything is bliss

Then suddenly I’m panicking

My heart feels so heavy

Some days I drag myself out of bed

And hate myself for being sad

Then anger takes me to the edge

Before I go back to my present state

It’s hard to tell who I am

Am I the mindful grateful human being?

Or am I the raging weeping machine?

Which one of them is the real me?

I can never tell

I can read self-help books all I want

Chant affirmations and whatnot

But unless I find the reason why

I jump so often in between

All these mental states of being

I will never truly heal

So my goal is not to chase happiness

But to find the meaning in the pain

And to stop waiting for circumstances

To change for me to change

To my son on his graduation day

I’m proud of you.

Seeing you there, standing and smiling, dancing and waving, it filled my heart with joy.

You’re a big boy now, and next year you go to 1st grade. I know it’s a small milestone compared to the road ahead, but it is a win you must celebrate.

These have been a hard couple of years, and you had to go through kindergarten in the middle of a pandemic, with online learning, and then went to school in person for literally 2 weeks, and you couldn’t even play in the playground with your friends.

It’s been a hard year, staying at home most of the time, not being able to go play except at your grandparent’s houses. I know it affects you, and yet you smile and shine bright.

Your smile lights up my world. You are my world. Everything I do is for you. You are my muse. I sacrificed my freedom for you, just to see you smile, and it’s worth it.

I love you to the moon and back, my sunshine.

The next 12 years are going to be a lot of hard work, but we will take them one step at a time, one grade at a time, and at your high school graduation, it’ll be as though no time has passed, and I will be smiling and wondering how the years went by so quickly.

The pandemic and the economic and political crisis will be behind us and we will celebrate your success.

Up up and away to the 1st grade!

21 easily achievable things you can do to be more optimistic

Hello and welcome to my blog! Have you ever noticed the sound water makes when it boils? Yesterday, I taught my son how to know when the water on the stove boils just by listening. He was mind blown. It’s the little things.

We are going through tough times, at least here in Lebanon and many other countries. Some people are thriving, but everybody has problems, even the rich and famous. The trick to getting through life with optimism is to focus on little things that help you look on the bright side.

Here are 21 little things you can do to be more optimistic:

“Optimism is a conscious decision to live your life choosing to have a positive attitude. Being able to look on the bright side can be uplifting and hopeful.”

1. Start journaling. Write down something positive about every day. I haven’t done this but during the day, I slow down and register the positive things, like a nice breeze coming from the window, or my husband and son bonding, or my son playing pretend with the cardboard superheroes I drew and he colored and cut. It’s probably better to write them down, though.

2. Appreciate what you do have. Tell your loved ones how much you appreciate them. I feel so grateful to have my husband and son in my life, and I constantly tell them that. Every once in a while, I let my siblings and parents know I appreciate them too.

3. Be kind to yourself always. Remember you can do anything and that progress takes time. Don’t be so hard on yourself for losing your patience, for procrastinating, for wanting to stay in bed all day. We all have good days and bad days. On your good days, thrive. On your bad days, if all you do is survive, you did well.

4. Make a list of things that you are looking forward to. My author copies arriving. The possibility of going to the beach. Finishing reading all the 9 books I’m in the middle of reading.

5. Think of all the reasons to be cheerful. The sun is shining and so are you. It’s a very uplifting song.

Sun Is Shining https://g.co/kgs/xf1Gwi

6. Don’t compare yourself to others. If you’re feeling envious about something, sit back and think about why and how they’ve achieved that. You are unique in your own way and you can achieve anything you set your mind to.

7. Take time to reflect on what you’ve achieved this year. We’re always in a rush, absorbed by the daily hustle, that we forget to look back every once in a while and see how far we have come. Emotionally, I may have matured only 1%, but I’ve come a long way with my blogs and books this year. I even have a podcast now. I still have a long way to go, and sometimes it seems daunting and far fetched, but looking back gives me the courage to keep moving forward.

8. Look for the good in every single person you see. Humans are a mix of good and bad. Some people have a hard shell but are very sweet on the inside, once you break through their walls of fear, insecurity and shame. Choose to see the good in people, even those who seem unbearable at first.

9. Listen to inspiring music or a podcast. I listen to uplifting songs every once in a while. They really help when I’m feeling down. Songs like “don’t be so hard on yourself” and “fight song”. I also listen to podcasts, such as “the happy times”, “pick the brain”, ” kaylns coffee talk” and “the science of happiness” podcasts.

10. Write down your top priorities and plans for the future knowing that you will achieve everything you want. The key is to plan your future, knowing it will come true. Not as if you are making castles in the sand, knowing the waves will just come and wash them away.

11. Stay present and appreciate the beauty of the moment. (Feeling the sun in your face, details in someone’s face, the clouds, sounds, …) Especially when you are feeling overwhelmed or depressed, be mindful of these tiny moments.

12. Be proud of yourself on the little wins in your day to day. So you’re not feeling very productive today?! Go small. Get up. Make your bed. Grab a cup of coffee. Today I don’t feel like getting out of bed. I’m tired and in pain and my mood is off, but I got up in order to wake my son and get him to eat breakfast, and that was my 1st win of the day. Then I ironed (a tedious task) and kick started my day. My to do list is a bit demanding today but I’m sure if I go step by step, I can turn my day around.

13. Shift your mood by doing something you enjoy. I watched a YouTube video while I was ironing. Then I had to turn my headphones off because my son was awake.

14. For an upcoming situation you’re worried about, write down the best scenario that can happen. I’m worried about the future of Lebanon. There doesn’t seem to be a light at the end of the tunnel and I’m torn between living it up because I don’t know what the future can bring and living carefully and saving up in case there are worse days ahead. The best-case scenario is that things turn around for Lebanon within the next few years.

15. Focus on solutions, not problems. It’s so easy to get caught up in your problems and playing the victim and feeling helpless, but it gives hope to try to find solutions to whatever irks you.

16. Let go of the expectations of others and focus on what matters. It is so easy to get lost in the expectations of our loved ones, so much so that their voices become our inner critic, and their opinions become our convictions. It’s important to find your voice and tune out most of the noise.

17. Surround yourself with optimistic, positive, kind people. There is a saying that you are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with. In my case, they’re 2 people, but their moods and behaviors have a great impact on me. That’s why I read a lot of positive content online, to try to make up for my lack of a social life.

18. Change ‘I can’t’ into ‘I can’t…yet’. The power of yet is so strong that a book was written about it. I’m YET to read that book (see what I did there?).

19. Take care of yourself. When we feel our best, we can see things more positively. Shower, sleep early, dress up, rest, exercise, eat healthy. I get so focused on getting my son to do all this, I forget about myself most of the time.

20. If you’re not happy with something don’t complain about it. Just change it. Complaining doesn’t yield any positive results. It just sucks you into a vortex of negativity and despair. I know because I tend to complain a lot, but I’m working on changing what I can and letting the rest go.

21. Find three good reasons to be hopeful about the future. My son (I want to see him turn into a young man), my books (I want to keep writing, keep improving, and see my books being bought and hope I make a positive impact on people through my books), and friends (I’m hoping as covid dies down and the economy gets better, I get to hang out with my friends again and go places; maybe even travel).

To do this challenge, go to: https://21dayschallengeapp.com/app/challenge

What do you do to be more optimistic?

Positive affirmations.

What are you optimistic about?

Motivational Monday: Be your motivation

Hello and welcome to my blog! Today has been a long but productive day. I cooked. I cleaned. I watched 2 episodes of The Resident Season 2. I spent a lot of quality time with my son, all the while my neck and shoulder were hurting because I slept on the same side all night.

Here are some gentle reminders for you this Monday

Be the reason someone feels welcomed, seen, heard, valued, loved, and supported. 🖤

I try to motivate and inspire others, even when I’m not feeling so motivated or inspired myself.

Beauty is how you feel inside, and it reflects in your eyes. It is not something physical.

This is so true. When I feel beautiful, it usually has nothing to do with my appearance, but my mood. Naturally, when you feel good, you take care of yourself more. You eat healthily, exercise often, sleep early, and it reflects in your appearance as well.

Be proud of yourself for being so strong.

You are so strong. You have been through so much but you are still trying. Keep going!

It’s okay to be scared, but you have to get out there, make mistakes, learn, be stronger, and start all over again.

Growth does not happen when you’re in your comfort zone. Bit by bit, get out of your comfort zone. Before you know it, your life will be much better and you will be happier.

Talk to yourself like you would to someone you love.

I wish I encouraged and motivated myself like I did my loved ones. I often beat myself up for my mistakes and feel like I’m doing a lot of effort with little results, so I give up or slack, then hate on myself for slacking.

When you recover or discover something that nourishes your soul and brings joy, care enough about yourself to make room for it in your life.

This is something I’m working on. Life keeps getting in the way but I’m making room for the things that make me happy.

The sooner you start believing in yourself, the sooner you’ll start seeing results.

Another thing I’m working on.

Every day is a new opportunity to change your life.

Now say it like you believe it!

Take care of yourself, be healthy, and always believe you can be successful in anything you truly want.

Hang that on your fridge or bathroom mirror.

Do more things that make you forget to check your phone.

When I visit my family on Saturday, my phone usage goes from 7 hours to 3.

The ability to be in the present moment is a major component of mental wellness.

Mindfulness is key.

This is your Monday reminder that you are amazing and you can handle anything 🙂

And with that, I wish you all a great day and a great week!