My sister Yasmin took this picture on Jan 7, 2013. It was after my six-hour long emergency brain surgery. No one knew if I would wake up, but she took this picture. After months of living in the hospital and doing more weeks of therapy that I can count, I did recover from having a stroke and brain surgery.
Self-awareness is the starting point for self-improvement. The more you pay attention to how you operate, the faster you'll understand why you do the things you do and how it impacts your life. It's the difference between sleepwalking your way through existence and peeling back the veil of who you truly are and beginning to grow into who you can be.
I guess one could say that my professional background makes me well qualified for this parenting job, but I must admit that I have had my fair share of humbling moments when it comes to parenting. Sometimes I have moments when I feel I rock it as a parent, and then other moments when I hang my head and know I could have handled something much better. Yes, there is certainly room for improvement.
Just like any time you check in with a friend you haven't seen in a very long time, interactions can be awkward at first. Unmet expectations and feelings of loss are a definite possibility. These characters have been suspended in reruns for almost a decade and all of a sudden, they've arrived in our present. They're using smartphones for god sakes! If they don't act how we expect them to, our intimate relationship with them and the show is at risk. I have no doubt it will all take some getting used to.
We need to be selective about which situations to give our full power to, in order to prevent our strengths from becoming weaknesses. To calibrate where and how much to expend. This necessitates knowing our self, knowing our audience, evaluating each circumstance, and ultimately... exercising judgement.
Investing in friendships is part of a finding a healthy balance in life. We care for and enjoy our friends, but sometimes we might forget to think about how we can secure and grow our friendships. Any sort of investment requires some time and thought. Maintaining friendships requires effort, but when we look at the health benefits of friendships, this effort is worth it.
I desperately tried to HIDE my story. After my stroke, I hated the attention I received. I was lucky to have had a successful recovery but I did not understand why it was such a big deal, why newspapers wanted to write about it and why every single person I saw would make it the focus of a conversation.
There's been an incredible shift in the way I see myself. Having recently committed to pursuing training as a life coach, I've become obsessed with the nuances of the human condition and the monsters we have the potential to become in our attacks on others, but perhaps even more frightening and universal, in the attacks on ourselves.
Is it any wonder why evil individuals see themselves as doing good? Once they have an opinion, they can argue that it is even wrong to question such an opinion so they must be good. The fact is that such inflexibility can also lock someone into defending generally positive opinions in a dangerously rigid manner.
From birth men are fed messages that set them up to have unrealistic expectations of themselves. They are conditioned to believe that if they become the ultimate model of powerful masculinity, they will be rewarded with more sex, salary and status. This programming results in disappointment, confusion and frustration.
Sometimes we, as strong and independent individuals, want to believe that we can face the storm single-handedly, but having supportive friends makes all the difference. As Sheryl Sandberg, chief operating officer of Facebook and a strong advocate of women's leadership, says, we are more effective and productive once we have a support group.
At first glance, you might think that "following your heart" and "trusting your gut" are similar. They're both about listening to your intuition, right? It depends. I think our heart -- and, by that, I mean our desires and hopes -- can definitely help us become more intuitive and make an intuitive decision or choice.
It is my belief that good counselling can provide a much-needed service in our modern world, but therapy needs to grow and adapt with the times. We have a society filled with very busy, potentially stressed people who want concrete results and some who still fear being stigmatized by seeking therapy or having to go to the "head shrinker."
For my entire life, I've been on the run -- at first it was as a child, "running away" from the violent and daily physical abuse that took place behind closed doors in my home. From that moment onward, I kept everything inside of me, and around me, off in the distance. And thus began many years of escape that came in the form of a destructive alcohol and drug addiction.