Monday, April 30, 2007


I heard an affirmation today that just caused me to stop and think for a minute. The show I was listening to today had to do with those around us that annoying, irritating, frustrating or trying to hurt us. For often times our egos see our own annoyance, irritants, frustrations, and etc., reflecting in others rather than acknowledging it within ourselves, thus causing the reaction we feel inside when others makes us mad. This does not mean some people aren’t just nasty people within their own rights, but when we are deeply angered, irritated or moved in such a fashion due to another’s, I wonder what part of ourselves we see in them.

Here’s the affirmation:
I’m willing to release that part of me that irritates me when I think of you.

Here are a couple others that I’ve either heard or created:

When we are pointing a finger at another, we are actually pointing three fingers back at ourselves.

Taking accountability for one’s actions reduces or eliminates inner turmoil.

Be the change you wish to see in the world.

Live life, be accountable, and dance as if no one is watching.

I’ve learned to not sweat the petty things, and to not pet the sweaty things.

I’d be curious to know some of your affirmations, if any.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Out of the mouths of Babes

Yesterday I had to take my daughter with me to one of the offices’ I work at, as there was a recent out break of ‘pink eye’ aka Conjunctivitis in her school. For those that may not be familiar with ‘pink eye’ you can see it's definition here under Conjunctivitis. Truly nothing earth shattering, and extremely common in kids.

My whole philosophy on people’s overreaction to any little medical illness is a whole other topic in itself for me. Simply put – lighten up people! Just because there’s a sniffle doesn’t mean you panic and start injecting antibiotics, which just kills all the natural bacteria used to fight off infections. Moreover, I say let all the kids in school get it at once, so we can get it over with at the same time and move on with our lives. Anyway, I digress.

So, my daughter and I head off to the office to work for the day. She managed to have a few toys to play with and did remarkably well considering we were cooped up in an office all day. Even we as adults have a hard time staying focused and quiet in an office environment before getting bored and restless. :-)

Finally towards the last hour of the day, she couldn’t take it anymore and was getting restless and wanted to use the computer because after all, the computer was taking Mom’s attention away from her. So, I found a website for kids that allows them to operate the mouse as a coloring crayola and they can then color a picture. She thought this was great fun, and I was impressed at her operating skills at 3 ½ years old mash Allah.

At one point she said, “You can color a picture if you like”. She then pulled up a My Little Pony picture and then gave me the mouse to color the picture. Of course she had to tell me which colors to use to color the picture, and I obeyed. When I finished the picture, she looked at me and said, “Good job Baby. I’m so proud of you. Give me a hug.” My heart just melted and I hugged her, and I heard one of my co-workers say, “ohhhhhhhhh that’s so sweet”.

Truly I found a lesson in this incredibly endearing moment, and that was to watch your actions and choose your words carefully because she was merely repeating what she’s heard before.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

To Mantra or Not Mantra - That is the Question!

I've heard some say to have a mantra as it helps get through stressful times. What the heck is a mantra? Do you have one? Someone shared the following with me.

A mantra is just a word or a phrase that you repeat several times aloud or in your mind that helps bring a sense of calm and peace to you. "Mantra" literally means "to free from the mind," and that's what it does – repeating a mantra helps banish all those many anxious thoughts or stressful feelings we seem to acquire throughout the day and clears the mind.

When you repeat a mantra, it has been shown to have a direct impact on the body and emotions. In studies done of people who repeated their mantras daily, it was found that they had reduced their stress levels and anxiety and increased their sense of well-being. So you could think of a mantra as your "comfort" words.

While a mantra can be a prayer, like saying the "Hail Mary" used on a rosary or the "om-mani-padme-om" in Buddhism, a mantra can also be a personal motto, or a phrase that inspires you or that expresses something you believe in. It could be something like "go with the flow," "all is well," "take it easy," (cofman - now you're a mantra) or "love surrounds me." It's important that whatever you choose is something personal that has meaning for you.

Saying your mantra daily could even help your heart. According to a study in a British medical journal, when people recited their mantras, their breathing became more regular and synchronized with their heart rhythms. This stable respiratory rate is beneficial for long-term heart health.

You can say your mantra at any time throughout the day, for as long or short a time as you wish. You can "think" your mantra while waiting somewhere or riding public transportation, or devote some time at home to say it aloud as a form of meditation when you can sit comfortably.

Create your own little oasis of peace throughout the day, and you'll be the better for it. Do you have a mantra?

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Musical connection

Today I realized it’s been a few days since I’ve posted anything, and was pondering what I should express about today, if anything. Finding myself, as Natasha Bedingfield states in her song Unwritten, staring at a blank page before me realizing I need to open up the dirty window and let the sun illuminate the words I cannot find. What a great song!
Truly a wonderfully reflective song that reminds us to open our minds and hearts to be willing to receive what life has to offer us either good or bad at any given time. Another terrific reminder in this particular song is to live with your arms wide open. How often do we in an attempt to protect ourselves build a barrier (in this case our arms) around ourselves only to also exclude those that desire to get in?

What is it with music that consuls us, defines us, drives us, elevates us, reminds us and stimulates us? Either through mere musical percussion or actual lyrics.

I have two Arabic singers that I’m an absolute fan of their music and truly have no idea what they are saying as I don’t understand Arabic. However, their particular music can either uplift my current state of mind or literally bring me to tears. These two are Om Kalthoum and Hakim.

I also find Classical music wonderfully stimulating. It’s great for cleaning house or getting me focused and calm. How could this be?

I’d be curious to know if and how music affects you.

Monday, April 16, 2007

What's in a name?

Greetings and Happy Monday to Everyone!

Well as most may know in the U.S. it is down to the wire with the filing of our income taxes----yuck!

I’ve been advised that although I’m self-employed under my own name that for the sake of the Federal Government I should come up with a business name. Apparently, my name alone is not enough to identify myself as my business. Can you imagine? I can only imagine that the simplicity of my business name (my own name) is both confusing and mind-boggling to the institution of governmental regularities.

So, in an attempt to satisfy both the Federal Government and myself through via compromise, I’m imploring the assistance of my dear friends to assist me with coming up with a name for my business. Some parameters to consider – I’m an independent paralegal, loan processor for mortgage broker, seasonal tax preparer , spiritual seeker, humanitarian, philosopher and my most valuable role is being a single mom of a 3 ½ year old girl. So, as you can see I wear many hats, but don’t want to be labeled by one specific task. Also, just for the mere principal of the fact, I would like to somehow keep my name incorporated in the business name. Your creativity will assist me in satisfying the Federal Government as well make this ridiculously fundamental procedure humorous.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Purification for Civilization

Reflecting back upon the week it would appear last weekend’s tranquility was the calm before the storm. For since the beginning of this week, I’ve been presented with one situation or another either through other individuals or writings that replicate the lack of moral fiber in the male character. This is not a blog of male bashing, but rather a means to understand, process the events, and perhaps gain inside from God on the matter, inshallah.

Certainly the events of this week that have unfolded have been one of a personal nature to me, which has been mirrored through other people’s lives. In an attempt to spare too many agonizing details, I will try to stick to the point or points I wish to reflect on most.

In one of my professions, I work for a divorce mediator who assists individuals who choose to dissolve their marriage in a dignified fashion. Certainly we do not advocate divorce, as we believe in the unity and sanctity of marriage to the highest degree. However, we live in a society where divorce is very high. We assist those that have made the decision prior to coming to us to dissolve their marriage without having to go to court. Anyway, getting sidetracked here, we have a couple that has recently come to us for the assistance of filing the legal documentation for divorce, and at their last meeting it was discussed how much money would be provided to wife for their 3 children (one of which is Autistic). Wife currently lives in the family home, which apparently at some point was sold to father-in-law and payments have been made to him for said mortgage. After their last appointment, I told my boss that I believed we’d be receiving a call soon from the wife indicating she and their 3 children would be evicted from their home. My boss did not believe this to be true. On Monday this week I received a call from the wife crying because her father-in-law approached her on Easter wondering if she had a place for her and the kids to go because the husband (father-in-law’s son) had not been making the mortgage payments to him. (Side bar – this issue is being dealt with, of which I’m not able to discuss any further at this time.) I was outraged, of course, I realize now due to my own personal life’s story the lack of moral fiber in this man. Of course, there are so many details I’m not able to share with you that it would probably appear as if, again, this was a male-bashing blog, which it is not.

This woman’s story reopened some extremely painful wounds within my own heart that I thought for certain had been healed by the grace and power of Allah (swt). Not to say that these deep-seated wounds had not been cleaned and healed by Allah, but rather I perhaps did not know the extent of their depth for they are surfacing again. Perhaps at this point when the pain is being dredged up it, is Allah telling us it’s time for us to go deeper in the wound and clean some more. For I do believe as so much has either been said or written that God never puts you through more than we can handle, which has always been the case for in my life, alhamdullilah. It’s just while going through those refinement periods you wonder how strong you really are to survive the curing process.

As I’ve read for so many years and most recently (in part, as I’m not completely done reading yet) a message posted by Sands of Time (Mani) regarding the Virtues of the Feminine, the core of a woman is her heart. For it is the source of our creativity, our courage, and our convictions. It is the fountainhead of our faith, our hope, and of course, our love. This “wellspring of life” (heart) within us is the very essence of our existence, the center of our being. As a woman the most important thing about us is our heart. For hypothesis sake could it be that God created us to a certain degree to reflect a part of Himself? Could it be that as a woman we bear a resemblance of God’s love through our social skills, gathering nature, nurturing ability, etc. with the reflection of our heart? Could it be that as a man, he bears a resemblance of God’s strength through is his “hunting” skills (provider), adventurous spirits, and the desire to be a knight in shining armour for the sake of protecting the woman’s heart? If these two statements are true, even in part, would it not stand to reason we should see more of this behavior exuded in today’s world?

I have many women friends around me that bear the resemblance of the woman I described in the previous paragraph that exude the image of this heart. We all desire to be in loving, nurturing, supportive relationships, yet the ‘pickings’ seem to be extremely slim on finding a partner that demonstrates the qualities previously mentioned above. Why is that?

My girlfriend and I were just talking on this matter earlier this week, and in an attempt to try to show me there are good men out there in this world that are worthy of our trust, she named five. Of course, my sarcastic nature came out and said “wow, you can name them all on one hand, how sad is that?” I said, “if we used those same measures of moral fiber standards and characteristic traits that we just described for men to count how many women we knew with those same qualities, we would run out of fingers and toes in counting them”. Yes, perhaps a little tainted because of my mood at the time; however, the fact remains that there seems to be a declining value in our male counterparts. I have to wonder, what part as women have we played in the creations of dwindling males with good moral fiber in our society?

Time and time again, I’m seeing the woman’s heart exposed, violated, and ultimately abandoned (a woman’s worse fear) which leaves her wounded and scarred for a very long time. What has changed so drastically that a man no longer desires to defend, shield or safeguard a woman’s heart? It is a fear of failure? Is that man’s worse fear---failing?

How, if possible, can the roles be changed, corrected or re-directed in order for a woman to be a woman who is her heart, and for a man to be a man by virtue of his protecting strength? This certainly pertains to both male and females, as it is not exclusively a male issue to fix. It’s a communal part of both in order to unite and support each other’s strengths rather than demoralize each into a shameful shamble for the sake of making the other feel better about them self.

Monday, April 9, 2007


What a glorious weekend, alhamdullilah.

As earlier noted, spent Friday night with the entire family going to a baseball game which was really nice just to all be together, alhamdullilah.

Saturday my daughter and I went to my parents where we spent the day again with the family to celebrate Easter. My family is not particularly ‘religious’ per say, but respectful of others, alhamdullilah. Knowing my daughter and I are Muslims they are always respectful of us and make sure they always have food we can eat. Since my parents just returned from traveling for a couple of months they combined two holiday meals into one day, which I thought was funny. We had smoked chicken (usually ham) and corn-beef and cabbage (yuck). The corn-beef and cabbage, of course, would be for St. Patrick’s Day. We are not Irish but since we missed the holiday meal together and corn-beef is my sister-in-laws favorite, mom decided to serve it for Easter. Too funny! Of course having a million thoughts on this subject alone could really send me tail-spinning into all kinds of philosophical topics, but will stick with the title line because after all the entire weekend was tranquil, alhamdullilah.

After dinner Saturday, we watched the kids (2) hunt all over the yard for plastic eggs filled with goodies. What impressed me the most about watching this event was the gentleness and kindness of my nephew who is 10 1/2 years old. He made sure he pointed eggs out to my daughter (3 ½ years old) so she could gather them in her basket as well, mashallah.

After egg hunting it was off to riding quad-runners and motorcycles in the yard for the guys and my daughter. She just loves to ride with Grandpa on the quad, and he always looks so proud to be riding her around the yard ever so slowly, mashallah. My brother and his son on the other hand are real dare devils, so were racing for hours around the yard. I was equally as thrilled to spend time with my mom and sister-in-law laughing and telling stories.

Sunday morning came to the sound of cooing doves outside my back window. What a fantastic sound that is, if you’ve never experienced it, alhamdullilah. Spent the majority of the day preparing taxes for the tax guy I work for seasonally, and then took a long walk with my daughter, alhamdullilah.

Trying to place my finger on what set this holiday aside from so many others, and came up with the conclusion that it was ok for the first time for me to be without a husband. For countless years, that has been the most painstakingly painful part of holidays for me. That feeling of loneliness that surrounds you when you gather with family and friends, and see everyone has a partner but you. I am not certain what sets this holiday a part from so many others, but will relish the peacefulness and serenity around this one, alhamdullilah.

Saturday, April 7, 2007


Well last night was the first time in a very long time that my entire family spent together outside of either a holiday or some sort of family crisis, alhamdullilah.

My dad loves baseball, and since we have a semi-pro team in our town, he thought it would be fun for the whole family to go. Indeed it was a great time, alhamdullilah.

I was so surprised and pleased to see how many families were also enjoying the game, alhamdullilah. I actually have a couple of philosophical topics on the whole night, but will stick with one. =)

Why does it seem so difficult for people to gather and spend time together? It becomes a huge production just to get together for anything. Unless, of course, it’s surrounding a holiday, which is pretty much a given ‘family’ time or an unexpected family emergency. I find the latter most fascinating because the excuses we so often use for not being able to get together are – I’m too busy, I have to work, etc. However, when a family emergency occurs immediately everyone’s calendar and time frees up to gather. Unbelievable!

I wonder if sometimes the family pressure is too much and thus causes us to avoid the gatherings. Or if sometimes gathering as a family causes us to revert back to our ‘roles’ in the family unit (i.e., the child/parent syndrome), and rears old unhealed wounds. I wonder if we put undo pressure on ourselves to be a certain way around the family or set unreasonable standards upon ourselves that we think everyone else expects us to be, which then leaves us wanting to avoid the whole gathering in the first place.

Whatever the situation, for me it was an incredible evening to spend time with my family without it being a holiday and wearing all our formal costumes for the event nor was it a family emergency that required us to be together. We all came on our own free will, and seemed to all equally agree it was great and to do it again, inshallah.

Friday, April 6, 2007

Someone's Special Day

Today was my friend, V’s, 30th birthday. To some a mere number of years on this earth; to others a ‘landmark’ year; and to others a special day.

What I found interesting about this particular day was how this special day for my friend turned out to be about everyone else but her.

I could be wrong, but it seems we all feel a little special or desire to feel acknowledged on our birthdays. Narcissistic behavior? Maybe. V is no exception. She is not one that generally draws attention to herself, and generally goes along with pretty much anything anyone wants to do. However, anyone that knows her knows her birthday is special to her.

Now for the part that seemed rather intriguing to me. It seemed the people we worked with wanted to honor her birthday with a lunch gathering----great! However, no one bothered to ask V where she’d like to go for her special day. In fact, it was suggested we do lunch another day so that ‘so-and-so’ could join, and would V mind waiting until the following week to celebrate her birthday. What? Why couldn’t those that were able to, celebrate with V on her day, and then the following week meet up with so-and-so? Moreover, even some of V’s family members were suggesting that V make her famous ‘bunt cake’ for her own birthday celebration. What? I thought part of being an honoree for the day was you didn’t have to participate in the preparation, organize the event or even structure your own celebration. I found this rather interesting that everyone else’s agenda seemed to matter more than the one we were suppose to be ‘honoring’ for the day. Now, who exudes the narcissistic traits here?

Is it that we all desire to be in the lime light and can’t stand to set ourselves aside for one day to let someone else prance on the stage? Or, is it that we are too afraid to give another attention fearing it might make the other person feel uncomfortable?

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Need for connection yet fear closeness

There are so many things I find fascinating in this life; however, the most fascinating to me is the human behavior.

What is it about humans that somehow need, want or desire connection with another human yet fear the closeness? How does one set aside their fears of past ‘baggage’ in order to move forward in their life?

I have a friend that lives around the east-coast of the United States. We have never ‘officially’ met face-to-face, but have been on-going email, chat buddies for a couple of years. Love this person’s sense of humor which has probably drawn us to one another. He divorced sometime last year, and now is single again. For most Americans this would be the opportunity to go wild—that’s if, of course, they didn’t go too wild during their marriage. Seems to be an all to often topic with American relationships----absolutely no respect or boundaries. Anyway, my friend comes from a Muslim Arab background, which to the average American standard would equate to ‘conservative’. How sad! Anyway, he’s now a single man living in America. Good luck, my friend!
The fun part about our friendship is we can each coach one another from a gender standpoint. It’s been rather fun giving him advice and assistance on what women want, need, like, don’t like, etc, and he the same for me from a man's standpoint. Of course, I’m no guru in this area nor can I speak on behalf of the entire female population, but I feel a good general overview is more helpful than not.

What I’ve learned and continue learning through life is the on-going difference in communication between men and women. For instance, women get together for an afternoon to drink tea and visit. We can talk about the tea itself for a good period of time (i.e., the type we like, the type we don’t like, what others have tried, which ones we want to try, etc. the list is endless). However, if men were to gather for an afternoon of tea and conversation their conversation regarding the tea at best might be acknowledging the tea is good.......PERIOD! So, is it any wonder we (the two genders) struggle to get along, yet somehow through this cyber-space world we live in, we manage just fine. Why is that?

My friend and I can spend hours chatting about just about anything, AND both seem to be enjoying the conversation and time. However, I wonder if things would differ if we were face-to-face with one another. Would one get on the others nerves? Would he hear from me, "blah, blah, blah", and would I hear from him "silence"?

Comments welcomed.

Monday, April 2, 2007

Mere presence of someone

It's a beautiful sunny Sunday morning, and my daughter awakes thrilled because today she gets to put on her "fancy" dress and go see the Easter Bunny. She is thrilled beyond belief. I explained we were going to the gym first, then return home to get ready to go see the Easter Bunny. She squeals, "ok, ok, ok, ok, ok, ok", while jumping up and down.

We return from the gym and get ready for our big outing to see the Mall Easter Bunny........she's 3 1/2, so to her she doesn't really understand what the Easter Bunny is all about, she just knows the bunny makes her laugh.

We get to the mall and I am pleasantly surprised to see how empty it is. Moreover, the line to the “Easter Bunny” is really short. There is only one kid in front of us, and my daughter’s energy level is so high I feel we could fly at this moment. It’s the most incredible feeling of energy. That pure, untainted flow of excitement, mashallah.

The kid in front of us now goes and sits on the bunny’s lap for his photo and we are next up. My daughter is nearly levitating at this moment because she’s so light with excitement. Now this is where the title of this blog comes in. How is it that the mere presence of another human being can either make you feel so good or so bad without the utterance of a word?

Of course as an adult we are rather jaded by life’s experiences and therefore are sometimes quick to judge a situation or a person, but children seem to be a little more tolerant. However, if I’ve learned anything about my daughter it’s that she seems to be a beacon for delivering accurate non-verbal messages about others. As I’m writing this now, I’m realizing that perhaps as adults we tend to teach our children over time to not think or act a certain way, when in reality their pureness allows them to be truth-tellers. And because we are taught growing up that we must mind our manners and always be respectful (which I don’t disagree with), but we are also taught to be tolerant of adults and their behaviors to the point that the children tend to hide their innocence…..perhaps as a way of survival in this world.

I know, I know, I’m getting really sidetracked here. Anyway, there’s an employee working at the bunny palace, and he comes over to us but hasn’t even uttered a word yet and immediately I see this expression wash over my daughter’s face. It’s as if she’d landed from this wonderful flying experience of excitement due to bad weather. This man was seemingly excited about his job and entertaining the kids to get the ‘perfect’ picture, but on the other hand there seemed to be something very disturbing about him. Perhaps it was my cynical side rearing its ugly head, but on the other hand my daughter’s non-verbal expressions were mirroring my own thoughts. Could it be that she picked up on my thoughts? Or were they truly hers as well? How is it that someone’s presence can either make you feel good or make you feel bad all within an instance? This I’m curious to learn from others.