Family Fall Fun

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Message to my daughter

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Last year we bought our nine-year old something she had been wanting for a long time. Our daughter  really loves to write. She is very creative and imaginative. She likes to make up stories and write songs. We wanted to support her love of writing so we bought her an inexpensive no frills laptop.
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Sophia also loves to write and receive emails from family. She is only allowed to communicate with her family. It gives her a chance to keep in touch with her grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins.
Sometimes she will email my husband and I little notes of how much she loves us. I in return like to  email her things I want her to know. Things she normally will not pay attention to in person. I noticed she really reads and re-reads her emails. So recently I put down a few things that I have learned though out my life.  I feel it will help her during her journey as she transitions from childhood to adolescence and into adulthood.
Here it is….
  • Everyone has a story. You are the writer of your own story.
  • Learn from every experience. If you make a mistake, try not to repeat it.
  • Believe in yourself.
  • Love yourself.
  • Respect yourself and others.
  • Every single thing that has happened in your life is preparing you for the journey to come.
  • Caring, compassionate, loving….describes you my sweet girl.
  • Don’t pretend to be what you are not, be proud of who you are. 
  • God talks to us all the time, first in a whisper, if you don’t pay attention…the whisper will get louder and louder. Make sure you are listening to what God is telling you.
  • We are more than what we appear to be.
  • Life is all about growing into your best self.
  • Your thoughts create your life. Be careful what you think. Always say “I can do it” to yourself. Never doubt yourself. You can do it and you will do it.
  • God can dream a bigger dream for you than you can ever dream for yourself. Surrender to God and just believe and then let it go.
  • Your intention is everything.  Please always have powerful intentions. 
  • You and you alone have control of yourself.  Do your best everyday, always.
  • Serve others, this will bring you happiness.
  • Be kind and compassionate.
  • Be loyal.
  • Be a good friend.
  • You are not alone.
  • You are the possibility of what can be. Everything you want to be is possible. Just believe in God.
  • Spend time with your loved ones. Love is everything.
  • Stay true to your calling. You will know what that is if you pay attention.
  • Everything that you put out into the world is going to come back to you.
  • There is an energy flow in life. You are either in flow or out of it. Try to be in flow. Be balanced in your life.
  • Be connected to God, always
  • Everything passes in its time. Only the soul remains.
  • Find out what your purpose is in this life that has been gifted  to you.
  • Always know that you are loved.

I love you.

Mommy

Braving Through Broken Bones

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Being a parent is the most important job I’ve ever held. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, it’s the most difficult job on earth and the most rewarding. What has really surprised me during the nine years I have become a mother is how much I have learned from my child. She has an amazing old soul and a heart of gold. Her compassion and love of family is something we have in common. The strength that she possess is one the I marvel at.

“She is an amazing little girl.” That is something I’ve heard from so many people who encounter my daughter. Recently these exact words was uttered by an emergency room doctor about my daughter.

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She was in dance class when she fell and broke her arm. I don’t even know how I got to the class after that awful phone call. When I got there my daughter had a look of panic on her face. Her left arm looked like something out of a horror movie. It was apparent that it was broken pretty badly, yet my girl did not cry. As I frantically drove her to the ER I told her it was going to be OK and that it was alright to cry. “Mommy, crying about it won’t make it better”, was her response.  Once at the hospital she started to really complain that it was unbearably painful but still no tears.

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They took an x-ray of her arm and saw that it was broken in three places…..they had to reset it. That is when I almost fainted. I had to be strong for my baby. My husband got to the hospital just in time for them to do the reset without any sedatives. She went through the agony of her bones being reset. There was no screaming or crying. I guess I looked like I was going to faint so I was kicked out of the room. My husband had tears in his eyes as he recounted hearing our little ones bones cracking as the doctor was adjusting them. He couldn’t believe that she was not screaming in pain. Her little body shook and her eyes were almost going to the back of her head but she remained silent. The medical staff was coming into her room to meet the little brave girl. The doctor was speechless. He said “I’ve had adults screaming like babies during the procedure that your daughter had to endure.” Our amazing little girl.

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The next day we took her to an orthopedic surgeon who put her in a cast and manipulated her bones again. This was the second time she had to deal with her little bones being reset and she remained strong. My daughter is just like my mother, going through pain without disturbing others. That doesn’t mean they don’t feel the immense pain. Just because they are strong does not negate their suffering. Their inner strength inspires me to find strength in parts of me that is weak.

4244cd6557a08aac30f3373b0b37ff77I am inspired to enjoy life more, to fight the days when melancholy takes over. To be strong when my heart breaks because a beloved friend is fighting for her life, another battling depression and loss. I find strength to be a better mother, to be stronger when I lose my patience. To work harder to achieve my goal of helping others. To make a difference in the world. All because of my daughter and my mothers’ strength.

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I hope you find someone who will inspire you to be stronger or be the one that can inspire someone else.

To my friends whom I love yet cannot name, I ask you to look at your children and the way they look up to you. You are their role model. Find strength in their love. Loving and respecting yourself is the best way for you to show them how they can do the same. You are the only mother they have and the only one they will ever want. Let them inspire you to live. I love you.

To my beautiful daughter, you inspire me every day of my life. You are so special and amazing. I am humbled to be your mom. Maybe someday I can be as strong as you.For now I will persevere and be the best mother that I can be. And to my mother, thank you for your strength and love and for always believing in me. You are my biggest inspiration. I love you.

Finding Your Way Out of The Fog

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Do you ever feel blue for no apparent reason? Are you low on energy and motivation? If you are feeling this way for more than a couple of days, you may be experiencing depression. Anyone that has gone through depression knows that overcoming it isn’t quick and easy. That doesn’t mean that it’s impossible. In my personal experience the key to beating depression is to start small and build from there. Feeling better takes time, but you can get there if you make positive choices for yourself.

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In order to get out of depression you need to take action and that’s not easy to do when you are blue. In fact sometimes just thinking about the things you should do to feel better, like going for a walk or spending time with friends, can be exhausting! So basically the things that help the most are the things that are the most difficult to do but not impossible.

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When you are depressed you don’t have much energy, but you can do small things like picking up the phone to call a loved one. This may seem like a small step, but it will quickly add up. Here are some other ways that can help you get out of a slump.

  • Cultivate emotionally close relationships
  • Schedule a weekly dinner, or coffee date
  • Volunteer at an organization that works for a cause that is important to you
  • Exercise, it’s a powerful tool for dealing with depression
  • Change your negative thoughts into positive thoughts

Changing your negative thoughts to positive thoughts is one of the most important things you can do. We believe whatever we tell ourselves. So if you are living your life according to a set of beliefs you’ve held for most of your life, you take those beliefs as the gospel truth. The truth is that the lens through which you are seeing the world may be distorted.

What we think shapes our lives. So if you are constantly self criticizing,  you need to stop. So many of us think pessimistically without even realizing it. It’s important to pay attention to your thoughts. One of the best ways to do that is to journal daily. This is something I was asked to do by my spiritual mentor and friend, Dr. Sultan Abdulhameed, the author of “The Quran and the Life of Excellence”. It’s an amazing book and I recommend it to everyone, no matter what religion you practice.

Dr. Abdulhameed asked me to sit in a quiet place and write down whatever enters my mind every day for 20 minutes. It’s called free writing. Wait a couple of weeks before you look at what you have written. Then read though your journal and you will find a pattern of negative thoughts. Once you know what you are thinking, then you need to switch that thought with a positive one.

I’ve been doing this for some time now. It helps give insight to what I am focusing on subconsciously. Some other things that help are the following.

  • Allow yourself to be less than perfect
  • Socialize with positive people
  • Stop looking at things in black or white. There is a middle ground
  • Get 8 hours of sleep
  • Eat healthy
  • Expose yourself to sunlight every day
  • Practice meditation
  • Pick up a hobby that you enjoy

If you find that your depression is getting worse then you need to seek professional help. It doesn’t mean that you are weak, just that you need help to get better. Depression can be treated but you have to take steps to help yourself. It doesn’t go away by itself.

 

My Perfect Day

Today was a perfect day. Perfectly ordinary and yet it didn’t feel ordinary to me. I woke up looking forward to seeing two of my dearest friends. We took a walk in a beautiful park nearby. Walking in this crisp autumn day was just what we all needed. We talked, we walked and we laughed. We came upon these amazing Dahlias, such a beautiful sight to see.

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20151001_10083320151001_10064420151001_10014920151001_100850Dahlias bloom from mid summer until frost. We were ecstatic to see the gorgeous colors of the flowers and just the beauty of life. In a couple of weeks these beauties will die and the ground will be covered with frost. For right now, we enjoyed them and admired them. Seeing them and being with friends that allow me to be myself made me giddy! You see I’m on the path of enjoying my life, moment by moment, day by day. Sometimes I get off the path, I mean really lose my way. Somehow I keep getting back on track.

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Later in the afternoon I got to pick up my beautiful little girl from school, hug her and  take in just how lucky I am to have her. I wrapped up my evening having dinner with a family member I hadn’t seen for a long time. We discussed our lives and all the ups and downs that we have gone through. I left dinner feeling blessed. Thankful for all the wonderful people in my life. Thankful for this perfect day.

Tomorrow will be another perfect day, at least that’s what I’m aiming for.

I hope you wake up to your perfect day.