Storytime: You always have a choice

As I sit here, with no electricity (they are removing it 10 hours a day in my area, while other areas don’t get electricity for 48 hours in a row sometimes), just reading blog posts to pass the time until the electricity comes in an hour, I ponder on a few things.

I had a spirit lifting conversation with a friend today. We spoke for hours and I only had to go because I needed to heat my lunch in the microwave before the electricity went off. For reasons beyond my control, I no longer have wifi when there is no electricity. It would have helped a lot of I did, but on the bright side, it helps me leave my phone a bit (not for long obviously since I end up playing candy crush and reading blogs. I can read saved blog posts offline but I can’t click like so I will not un save them until I have clicked like).

A few of the things I could be doing if there was wifi right now are:

  • Create Canva designs of parts of my book “The best advice to improve yourself and your relationships” and post them on Instagram and Twitter.
  • Gather links of my podcast into a blog post (my podcast is now available on Spotify, Anchor, Breaker, Radio Public, and Google Podcasts).
  • Start translating my book “The best advice to improve yourself and your relationships” into Arabic.
  • Make a few TikTok videos of my time in Turkey in 2019.

Besides the situation I’m in (feeling creative but not being able to work due to no electricity or wifi), I’m sleepy. I haven’t been eating well or sleeping well lately. I think I may be stressed out. I don’t know if it’s because of the situation in Lebanon or from being at home too much or my issues with my family or the problems some of my family members are going through and I can’t do anything to help, or maybe it’s my marriage issues, or my hormones, or the heat.

Truth is, I can blame my lack of self care on any of these things and it wouldn’t matter. The result is the same. I’m feeling anxious, lathergic, erratic, I either overeat or don’t eat enough. I stay up late reading novels, sometimes all night. I’m not taking care of myself. I need to do better.

One thing my friend told me today:

“You always have a choice”.

These feelings of hopelessness and helplessness are not an excuse to self destruct.

I have a choice to sleep early, to put my phone aside at bedtime (I did just that last night but only because my phone battery was 17% and the charger is too far from the bed).

I can choose to eat healthy food (I have been occasionally eating more fruit but I also ate a lot of junk food on Monday and tuesday).

I can choose to not let the little things in my marriage bother me, to let them go, to have compassion and tolerance. Some things I need to fight for but I can’t change anyone. I can only change my perception, my reaction.

So as soon as the wifi is on, this post will get published, and I will do what I said I would do. Until then, I choose to read blog posts instead of playing candy crush.

What I’m working on

Hello and welcome to my blog! How are you doing today? It’s amazing how wordy I get once my creativity isn’t trapped in themes, but themes are important for the organization of my blog. Nobody wants to read incoherent thoughts and all over the place ideas.

Today I thought I’d share what I’ve been working on, not just in terms of writing, but in all of my goals. There are also things I want to work on but my plate is too full. I will tell you what I want to work on but can’t, to get it out of the way.

If you have been reading my blogs, you’ll know that the 1st 2 chapters of my kindle Vella are out, and I want to write at least 3 more chapters, but I’m working on so many other things. It’s frustrating because I already wrote the outline for the entire book, and I even reread the outline a few days ago and was immediately inspired to write chapter titles for the rest of the book. It’s the details I choke on. The details are what make a book. Focusing on the 5 senses to make your reader feel like they are in the book, perhaps even make them feel like the main character. Then there is the description of scenes and items and the sunrise and such. I need to clear my head to write this novella. It doesn’t help that I lack the confidence to write it. It took me 9 years of writing poetry to begin publishing my poetry books. And even now, I still feel cringe about my older poems. I have only recently begun publishing self-help books, but only because they were highly appreciated on the blog. Talking about myself has always been easy, so the autobiographies (though I had to censor most of them and strip them down from most of their content to protect my family’s privacy) were easy to write. But I’ve never written fiction before. This is hard, but it is something I must do, but it’s on the bottom of my priorities though I feel most passionate about it.

Now let me tell you what I have been working on to distract myself from the crisis in Lebanon and to control my anxiety and depression:

Healthwise, the goal is to take more walks, exercise daily, drink 1 L of water a day, go to sleep at 11 pm, eat fruits and veggies daily, shower 4 times a week, brush my hair 4 times a week, and brush my teeth daily.

So far I’ve reached my goal in showering and brushing my hair, so as you can tell, I have a lot of work to do.

As parenting goes, I’m trying to spend one on one time with my son, even if it is just for 5 minutes. I’m also supposed to be studying with him the rest of his kg3 curriculum before he heads on to the 1st grade.

We made a boredom jar 2 weeks ago, and we are doing various activities, from board games to play-doh to blindfolding him and having him feel and taste food and guess what it is. We even did word searches and “All about me” collages. Sadly, he wants me to do these activities with him, and lately, I’ve been exhausted and restless. My son isn’t driving me crazy, but I’m emotionally tapped out. As for studying, his going to camp and karate classes are making him tired and in the afternoon, my mental abilities are shot, so we only have Friday to study since Saturday and Sunday are family days.

Spiritually, I’m working on my prayers and reading Quran.

Financially, the goal is simply to stop spending all my money on junk food.

The prices have solved that for me. Prices are 10 times the prices they were a year ago.

Socially, as I have noticed myself being withdrawn, even from my family, I planned on texting 2 friends a day, calling a friend per week, calling my grandma once a week, and visiting my grandma once a month.

I’m trying, but I’m not there yet. I still feel like avoiding everyone while craving social connection.

My reading goals are simply to read blogs whenever I can and read from a book or pdf book daily.

I’m trying not to think of how many books I have to read but focus on one book at a time. It’s working. Yesterday I finished one of the books I was reading.

Finally, my writing goals can be divided into 2: working on my books (editing existing books to unpublish and republish, typing new books, promoting published books by creating canva designs and posting on Instagram and Twitter), and working on my blogs (writing blogs and creating canva designs for the cover photos).

So far so good.

Of course, I’m not even writing housework as part of my goals. I keep track of the housework I do on my calendar but I can’t add it to the list of 22 goals because that would be too overwhelming.

My ultimate goal is to create a balance between my mind, body, and soul. I want to thrive as a mother and as a writer while keeping myself happy and healthy. Happy people don’t shoot their husbands. They just don’t! (comment below if you have seen the movie legally blonde)

What are you currently working on?

Motivational Monday: Start your week off right!

Why do we hate Mondays so much?

I know the weekends are fun and weekdays are all work and no fun, but it doesn’t have to be that way!

So how can we start our week off right to beat the Monday blues?

  1. Make a weekly plannar. Planning your week ahead of time decreases the overwhelm of your workload.
  2. Meditate Sunday night so you can go to sleep with a positive feeling.
  3. Exercise Monday morning to boost your energy.
  4. Take breaks throughout the day.
  5. Prioritize your tasks so you do the most 3 important tasks 1st.
  6. Divide your big tasks into smaller parts.
  7. If you still feel the Monday blues, listen to some upbeat music or a motivational podcast as you work.

That’s it for today’s motivational Monday.

What do you do to beat the Monday blues?

Self-reflection Sunday: Write 10 things you love about yourself

Hello 👋 reader and welcome to my blog!

Today I’m going to attempt to find 10 things I love about myself. I have low self confidence and I usually focus on my flaws more than my attributes.

So this is my self reflection practice of the week.

It’s part of the self confidence challenge on the app 21 days challenge.

1. I love the way I draw. I don’t exactly like to draw, but when I draw for my son, I feel proud of my work.

2. I love how self aware I am. Even though this leads me to be very self critical, it provides a lot of insight into why I am the way I am.

3. I love that I’m good at poetry. Poems come to me effortlessly, and that is a gift I don’t take for granted.

4. I love how organized I am. I know there are people who take organization to a different level by getting bins for that purpose, but I am organized nontheless.

5. I love my thirst for knowledge and research and learning new skills. I’m always working on myself and sharpening my skills and developing new ones. A few months ago, a friend of mine suggested I make images with writing on them and I thought I couldn’t do it, but then I found canva and I’ve been practicing on and off ever since (head over to my instagram to see my newest designs).

6. I love how tolerant I am to pain. I live with chronic pain, from migraines to knee pain to muscle spasms to bloating… Sometimes it’s a bad thing because I push myself too hard, but I imagine if I wasn’t tolerant to pain, I’d be bedridden half the time.

7. I love my fashion sense. I’m not much into fashion but I do like how I dress, even though some people don’t like it but I dress simply and casually but neatly and modestly and I like my choice of colors.

I got stuck here and I started asking my husband and son what they loved about me but they got nothing 😂 (shows how much they love me)

8. I love how I am caring and empathetic to people and what they go through. (got this from Google but it’s true)

9. I love how I get out of bed everyday and get things done, no matter how I’m feeling. (also help from Google but it’s true)

10. I love how I’m able to be strong in difficult situations like in someone’s death or illness. (I fall apart for the smallest reasons but I’m a rock with the big stuff) (I also kind of had some help from Google but it is true)

Ok, your turn

Write 10 things you love about yourself in the comments below, or on your phone or in your journal.

All you need is LOVE!

Hello 👋 reader and welcome to my blog! Thank you so much for tuning in to read about my thoughts and feelings and my ideas about the world.

If you’re familiar with my blogs, you’d notice I’m into psychology and everything about the self (self care, self improvement, self love, self reflection) and so today I have come to an important realization.

I have come to this realization time and time again but as humans do, I tend to forget and pine after what I don’t have and forget to apreciate what I do have.

What I have noticed today after interacting with a few friends and my sister is that I felt loved. I don’t feel this everyday. My mood fluctuates a lot and sometimes throughout the day. For example, I got angry several times today, even enraged a couple of times. But right now, I just feel loved. I don’t know how else to describe it.

That brought me to the realization that all we need and all we ever needed was love. To love and be loved.

Whether you’re a sibling or parent or child or friend, all you need is LOVE.

I know it sounds corny, but hear me out. No matter how much money you have or how many things you buy or how much entertainment you fill your time with, it all comes down to who you love in your life and who loves you.

Rich or poor, married or single, old or young, we all need someone to care for, and someone who will care for us. In the end, we are only truly happy when we have someone who laughs at our jokes, listens to our stories, reassures us that we’re not crazy when we talk about our pain.

Even children, I’ve read about it so many times, don’t need elaborate parties and toys. They need someone to sit with them and tell them that they love the way they draw and love them no matter what.

In this world, the miserable people are the ones who need the most love but don’t know how to ask for it, and the unhappy people are the ones who truly and utterly feel ALONE.

So in this holiday season, though I don’t celebrate Christmas, I wish everyone happiness, health and togetherness. I hope you are all giving and receiving tenderness, love and care from your families and friends.

May your holidays be filled with LOVE!

Go ahead and spread kindness like confetti 🎊

Maturity comes with the acceptance of responsibility

Forgiveness is the sign of maturity.

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Definition of maturity

Maturity is when you live your life by your commitments, not by your feelings. Every new experience brings its own maturity and a greater clarity of vision.

Types of maturity

There is mental (cognitive), physical, and emotional maturity. During one’s lifetime, there are many types of maturation. But the two most important kinds of maturity during childhood are physical and cognitive maturation.

When you become physically mature, you become an adult. However, not all adults are “mature”. In fact, most of them aren’t. Have you heard the saying “growing old is mandatory, growing up is optional”?

Emotional maturity is growing up by working on your personal development. It’s learning not to take things personally and responding to negative people assertively rather than passive-aggressively. It’s facing your problems rather than running away from them or ignoring them. It’s being able to agree to disagree with someone else without disrespecting them.

Age of maturity

While physical maturity occurs around puberty, cognitive maturity occurs at about the age of adolescence (between 13 and 17, but some argue that women’s brains mature at 32 while men’s brains don’t mature until the age of 43) when the brain is fully developed. However, thanks to neuroplasticity, you can always improve your mental maturity by lifelong learning.

When it comes to emotional maturity, age never defines it. It can only define how old a person is physically but it cannot measure how wise or how mature a person is. Age brings maturity and makes one wise because of one’s hardships and experiences throughout the person’s lifetime.

Signs of maturity

  1. Realizing how much you don’t know.
  2. Listening more and talking less.
  3. Being aware and considerate of others as opposed to being self-absorbed, self-centered, and inconsiderate.
  4. Not taking everything personally, getting easily offended, or feeling the need to defend, prove, or make excuses for yourself.

Importance of maturity

Maturity improves the ability to make good decisions. And with wise choices comes more stability in your life overall. Gone is the flurry of bad relationships, iffy decisions, wild nights out and horrible jobs. As you settle down, life becomes that much more stable and, consequently, easier to handle.

Assessment of your maturity

Behaviors are easily observable and practically every person is naturally attuned to them to some degree. Most people are quick to judge a person’s maturity. After only seconds one can assess to a degree how mature a person is simply by observing how they act, or how they express themselves verbally.

I just took a quiz to assess my maturity level (click here to test your maturity level).

This is what I got

How to increase your maturity

  1. Check your ego at the door. Maintaining relationships is more important than being right.
  2. Be in the moment.
  3. Increase self-discipline.
  4. Develop personal responsibility. Apologize and make amends when you make a mistake, but don’t beat yourself up over it.
  5. Be a victor. Don’t act like a victim of life’s circumstances or like you are helpless to your surroundings.

Sources:

Please like, comment, and share with your friends and family. Help them learn more about maturity and let them take the quiz so you can compare maturity levels!

Don’t forget to follow my blog if it’s your cup of tea and follow me on instagram and twitter (links in the homepage).

How environmentally friendly are you?

I did a quiz yesterday, and basically they ask you a few questions to see how much you know about being environmentally friendly.

Before I share my results, I will tell you what I think I know about what being environmentally friendly is:

  • Relying on natural light as much as possible, and not turning on lights unnecessarily. ☑️
  • Trying not to use electrical devices as much as possible. ❎
  • Using renewable sources of energy eg. solar energy to heat your water ☑️
  • Not using lead in your petrol ⛽ when you fill your car ☑️
  • Putting a filter on the exhaust of your car to prevent emission of toxic gases ☑️
  • Not dumping wastes into the sea or ocean or rivers ☑️
  • Reuse, reduce and recycle ☑️☑️❎

Obviously, the ☑️ are things I do and the ❎ are the things I don’t do.


Click here to take the quiz

So I feel if I share my results as they are, I’d be giving the answers to the quiz away. Instead, I’ll list my take home messages from this quiz

  1. Reducing plastic use is very important
  2. Reducing meat intake is more important (good thing I don’t eat much meat, but I do eat meat)
  3. Relying on natural sunlight and not leaving the lights on is important
  4. Reducing the use of other electrical appliances is more important (I need to work on that)
  5. Switching to a hybrid car is a great idea (if you can afford it)

That’s all I have for now. I hope I didn’t give away too much from the quix. I got 2 wrong and 2 right in the quiz. Can you do better?

What are you doing to be more environmentally friendly?

Things that make me high

Have you ever heard of dopamine (happiness hormone) fasting? I was watching this YouTube video once about how we are constantly feeding ourselves dopamine fixes and that is why, after a while, they stop working, and the things that used to make us happy stop making us happy. Which is why we should, once a year, do a dopamine fast, meaning don’t do any of the things that make us feel elated/high/very happy for 24 hours to reset our dopamine receptors. I feel like I should try that sometime, but I doubt I’d do it willingly.

I have too many dopamine fixes, some of which are:

  • Tv shows
  • Movies
  • Books
  • Blogging
  • Coffee
  • Photography
  • Posting on instagram
  • Getting views on my blog
  • Getting likes on instagram
  • Walking
  • Chocolate
  • Carbs
  • Hugs
  • Nature
  • And so much more

This means that if I were to go on a dopamine fast, I would have to lock myself in a room, no phone, no laptop, no pen or paper, eating nothing but salad for 24 hours. Sounds worse than rehab to me.

What are your dopamine fixes?

Would you do a dopamine fast?

Favorite inspirational and motivational movies

I am inspired by books, nature, movies, and so much more.

Today I’m writing the top 10 most inspiring movies.

I have watched all these movies except one and they have each taught me valuable life lessons. Into the wild is the only one I haven’t watched but I’ve heard so many good things about the book and I’m looking forward to watching the movie. Here are the titles and quotes from the movies.

1. The pursuit of happyness starring Will Smith

You got a dream. You gotta protect it. People can’t do somethin’ themselves, they wanna tell you you can’t do it. If you want somethin’, go get it.

2. The blind side starring Sandra Bullock

Courage is a hard thing to figure. You can have courage based on a dumb idea or mistake, but you’re not supposed to question adults, or your coach or your teacher, because they make the rules. Maybe they know best, but maybe they don’t. It all depends on who you are, where you come from.

3. Stronger starring Jake Gyllenhaal

Admitting your limitations and accepting help makes you stronger too.

4. Eddie the Eagle starring Hugh Jackman

I may be in last place, it may have been a poor jump, but everyone seems to be pleased. Why? Because of the Olympic ideal – ‘The most important thing is not to win but to take part, just as the most important thing in life is not the triumph but the struggle

5. Into the Wild

6. Moneyball starring Brad Pitt

If you challenge conventional wisdom, you will find ways to do things much better than they are currently done.

7. Coach Carter starring Samuel L. Jackson

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.

8. The Butterfly Effect starring Ashton Kutcher

It has been said that something as small as the flutter of a butterfly’s wing can ultimately cause a typhoon halfway around the world.

9. The Judge starring Robert Downey Jr.

The law is the only thing capable of making people equal.

10. The Truman Show starring Jim Carrey

We Accept The Reality Of The World With Which We’re Presented. It’s As Simple As That.”

I hope you liked the quotes from these movies. I am yet to watch Into the Wild.

Which of these movies have you watched?

What other inspirational movies do you recommend?

How confident are you?

Self confidence is an important trait that is needed for success.

It is something that if nurtured in childhood, thrives. Otherwise, it suffers through adulthood.

Someone who was taught to love themselves and be confident will have better faith in their abilities, better social relationships, and will be more successful.

When you are confident, it means you believe in yourself. You believe you are worthy of love, attention and success. You don’t people please. You don’t say negative things about yourself like “I’m so lazy or stupid” or whatever it is you think you are.

But being confident does not mean being arrogant. It does not mean thinking you are better than other people. It means that you have a set of attributes you are proud of, you know your strengths and use them for your benefit, and you love yourself enough to respect yourself and not let anyone disrespect you.

Confidence means feeling sure of yourself and your abilities in a realistic, secure way. It’s a quiet inner knowledge that you’re capable. Confident people feel ready for everyday challenges like tests, performances, and competitions.

If you are low on self confidence because you were bullied at school or ridiculed at home, there are ways to boost your self confidence:

  1. Visualize yourself as you want to be. Imagine what it would feel like to be confident. Read about confident leaders and how they talked, walked, and presented themselves. Practice in front of a mirror. Give a speech to an imaginary audience.
  2. Affirm yourself. Affirmations don’t work for everyone, but if they work for you in other areas in your life, then they will work here. Tell yourself nice things. Instead of telling yourself “I’m so lazy” say “I will finish my tasks early so that I can be carefree later and not worry about being productive”.
  3. Do one thing that scares you every day. Confident people step out of their comfort zone everyday. I know it feels safer in your bubble, but in the long run, you will regret not trying, not standing up for yourself, not taking risks. So write down all the things you want to do but are too afraid. Do one of them everyday. Whether it’s learning how to drive or applying for that job you always wanted or even simple things like participating in a social setting or calling someone you’ve been scared to reach out to.
  4. Set yourself up to win. When you don’t try, you are setting yourself up to lose. So prepare for that exam, practice that sport. Whatever it is that you want to do, prepare beforehand so that when the day comes, you’re ready to win. If you don’t prepare, then give a presentation and flunk, it will further damage your self confidence. So prepare the material, give the presentation in front of family and friends, relax, and try your best.
  5. Help someone else. Helping others is a great way to give back and feel good about yourself. When you help someone, it helps you see that the world does not revolve around you, and all the pressure you put on yourself loosens a little bit.
  6. Care for yourself. Self care is a practice of self love. Confident people shower, wear clean clothes, and do things that make them happy.

There are many ways to work on your self confidence. There are so many books out there with tips and tricks. One thing you need to know is that the core of self confidence is knowing your worth.