Positive thoughts can increase your immunity and boot out disease

Wow, it’s really been ages since I last blogged, but here’s an article I wrote recently.

Watch this space for more blog posts to follow soon.

This powerful saying gets me through even the toughest of times,  and perhaps it would be most appropriate to internalise in times of trauma, illness and challenges. “No matter where you go or what you do, you live your entire life within the confines of your head” – Terry Josephson.

 

Meaning that if you are able to work your mind towards positive thoughts, half or more of your battle would be won, and the battle itself would not seem as huge had you not thought about it in a positive manner.

 

Although I feel out of my depth to even consider writing this piece, I hope that it may provide a shimmer of hope, solace and even an alternative view during breast cancer awareness month. As I write this piece, a dear friend and sister of mine is fighting for her life as the illness has ridden her entire body, but her perseverance and desire to overcome it is truly admirable.

 

As a young girl I read the book “Quantum Healing” by Deepak Chopra. Prior to this, I always saw words like CANCER as scary words, carrying weighty, deep and painful messages. This however changed for me when I read his book.  Although I am blessed so far with health that has not challenged me beyond anything too serious, I hope that I would be able to find the positive meaning in it and embrace it by using my mind to overcome even the scariest of illnesses.

 

I cannot remember all the details of the scenario that Deepak Chopra wrote about, but it was about a women who had exhausted all avenues of conventional treatment for her cancer, she had gone through radium, medication, surgery, everything that was medically possible but the tumours had still appeared in the scans. When she attended Chopra’s clinic, she was to follow an alternate treatment plan, based on the ancient ayurvedic system and had to do a lot of positive mind work simultaneously. She did this through visualisations, relaxations and meditation.  After a period of time the healing began and significantly took over her ravaged body. The scans clearly showed that the tumour was no longer present in her body, a phenomenon impossible for many to comprehend, but one that took place largely because of the thoughts she allowed to enter her mind. A field called psychoneuroimmunology shows how this occurs when positive thoughts elevate immunity in ones body, and this in turn kick starts the body into healing.

 

I am aware that for people who have been down this path or who are currently journeying along it, this may be frustrating to comprehend and accept. It would be difficult to turn a blind eye to the obvious signs that are present and pretend they do not exist. The key is not to be pretentious at all, it is about accepting the reality of the illness, and within this still finding ways to keep abreast, to remain focussed and positive.

 

Here are some ways we can work through this to reach that point of acceptance, positivity and transformation.

 

  1. Being completely conscious of your thoughts

Robin Sharma, in his book writes about seeing the mind as a garden, a garden that needs to be nurtured and cultivated with positive thoughts in order for the garden to flourish. This garden needs to be weeded out of every single negative thought, preventing it from entering the garden- a technique known as thought stopping.

 

  1. Gratitude: being thankful and appreciative for the little things in life

Learning to appreciate even the most insignificant blessings life has to offer, whether it is an insect on a flower, a ray of sunshine, the aroma of wholesome food, the value of a hug, or the morning breeze that cools you down. Even during times of illness the body is still working in miraculous ways. Imagine if a minor technical error occurs in the body, such as not being able to do something as simple as blink ones eyes, or the inability to bend ones joints. Imagine if a simple process of peristalsis, swallowing was not fully functional? We would feel major discomfort. These are the little miracles that life has to offer at any given time. Look for them.

 

  1. Jot down your thoughts

Journaling is a great way to internalise, reaffirm and entrench the things we can be grateful for, the positives in even the darkest spaces and this process will assist one in moving beyond our capacities into a realm of unlimited possibilities and wonders.

 

  1. Align yourself with people who make you shine

In times of distress we need people who are going to support us, make us smile, push us up as we are about to cave in, and people who will hold us when the goings get tough. Like the garden of our minds, we need to weed out negative people, people who bring us down, and are unable to see beyond the very bleak.

 

  1. Know your triggers

Become aware of the moments that trigger you into a downward spiral, as these moments would certainly occur. Recognise them so that as the trigger occurs you are fully aware of it, feel but without dwelling on it too long. An NLP practitioner would be able to help you counter this trigger with another trigger that makes you feel better again, alternatively have someone that you can call on and who would be there to see you through this stormy patch.

 

A powerful site that I stumbled upon provides much inspiration and hope tobreast cancer victors, here is a beautiful poem that is written by someone who has walked this path.

 

In love and health, I salute you and trust that the journey you are on will bring you more blessings than pain, and enough joy to over shadow you illness.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finding ways to reconnect- back to school

This is a copy of my article published in the city pages magazine (Kuwait)

Hope you enjoy reading :)

It’s back to school, back to routine and perhaps back to spending less time with loved ones than we’d like to. The summer vacation is coming to a close, so this means a new year, new challenges for both parents and children, spouses and families.

Let’s explore how we can create routines that provide us with optimal value, optimal quality time and minimal stress so that this new school year is one that we can look forward to as we focus on work and academics, but continue to cement the bonds we might have ignited during the summer.

If we were to be quite honest with ourselves we would all agree that much of our “free” time gets spent on our screens, whether they are our television sets, computers, iPads or mobile phones. These sophisticated devices, while meant to assist in organising ourselves, have fallen short in terms of taking us further away from our real relationships, away from meaningful face to face communication and it has also sunken us further into procrastination, and time lost.

Our lives have also become over active and busy, since busying ourselves seems to be a trend and a must in order to fit into today’s societal norms. There is a growing need to ensure our kids are kept busying themselves in school, extra sports and other extra curricular activities so that they do not miss out on life. They are rushed from one activity to another while we simultaneously rush around doing doing doing, racing here and there, squeezing in a million errands that need to be done.

Thankfully many people have realised that this busy- ness and over activity is actually taking us away from those we love the most. Much has been written on how we can create a balance within this chaos. Here are some tips that we can consider introspecting and applying in the hope of finding peace, calm and quality time amidst the hustle and bustle of school, homework, extra curricular activities, social and business commitments.

Here are 3 ways we can enhance, deepen and value the time we make and spend with our kids and families.

  1. Ensure restful sleep for both adults and children

When we are overworked and over stimulated our sleep is one of the first needs that take a beating. When we are sleep deprived our physical stamina and moods are compromised and this leaves us feeling groggy, miserable and unable to be our optimal best for ourselves and our families.

A good sleep routine entails sleeping at around the same time each evening and waking up at an early hour, ideally many have promoted the best sleep time between 10pm and 6am, which gives you a reasonable 8 hours of rest, and allows for your body to heal, and recuperate.

2. Unplug your racing mind from all the clutter

Many therapists agree that an important factor in staying focussed on family relationships, especially after a hard and busy day at work and school, is that one needs to mentally leave work at work.

This means that we need to prioritise our times and concertedly make time each day to refocus, gather our energies and direct them away from our work days and towards the home. We can do this through visualisations, imagery and physically closing work doors, school books or bags or the like with the intention of leaving them where they are and not carrying them home with you.

In doing so, we will be able to better connect with our kids, sincerely, and fully show interest in their lives and wellbeing and they will be able to feel completely connected to you, heard and understood. Being fully present and in the moment for a few minutes may prove to be more beneficial than partially present for a longer period of time and the rewards of this will be long lasting and deeply felt.

3. Unplug your gadgets, and plug into your communications

A rule during mealtimes or another preferable time that would greatly enhance the bonding between parents and kids, and families in general is that all electronics be turned off and placed away for a specific duration of time.

This means no texting, no downloading, no answering of phones, no facebooking and tweeting or responding to “important” emails. This is another way to enhance family ties and to fully focus on each other. No distractions, no preoccupations and no drifting into various realms of cyberspace. Just pure, real, heart to heart conversations, fun times and good laughs.

Imagine having a hectic day at work, knowing that coming home means switching off, relaxing, taking time out and recuperating. Knowing that when a school day has been a tough one there’s something to look forward to after that, knowing that the days chaos needn’t be dragged along with us the entire day. There are always good times, family support and hearty meals awaiting you at the end of a crazy day.

Wishing you all a fun filled, laughter ridden, consistently calm new school year, muddled in with some soul food and family bonding that will keep the year exciting, challenging and still rewarding.

Ramadaan Affirmations to keep you motivated

Make this Ramadan your best ever (Article posted in Citypages Magazine)

Did you know that you have the choice and the ability to make this Ramadan as fantastic and positive as you wish for it to be? Let’s explore how. Now, for all of us Ramadan is coming, and we will experience it. Each one of us will find something new, unique and interesting in the way we experience it. We would be able to distinguish our varied experiences by telling them to each other, and in doing so we will find we have similar challenges or differing outlooks.

You needn’t be Muslim only to experience Ramadan. In fact if it is your first Ramadan as a non Muslim in an Islamic culture this will be a time that you will be able t explore, learn and seek to understand what goes on during this month, what drives people to fast in this heat and what keeps their spirits energised throughout this period. Being a Muslim, it may be your first time in Kuwait this Ramadan, or perhaps the first time you fast in a summer like this, and even if there is nothing new for you really, you will still have a new and unique experience- an experience you choose to have. Ramadan is inevitable, it’s going to arrive and you will experience it anyway. Why not allow yourself to make this your ultimate experience thus far, an experience that is positive, fulfilling and one that brings joy to your heart and comfort to your soul. So how can we create this?

Our minds have filter systems, just like an air filter, that filters out the unwanted dust and other muck in order to protect the environment around us, and in turn protect and look out for us. If we understand how our filter works we can use it to optimise our thoughts about certain things. We have the power to choose if we will filter out negative thoughts, and people from our minds, and to what extent we protect our minds from absorbing negative energy. Having positive thoughts, translate into us feeling great. And when we feel great our actions demonstrate and glow in this greatness. By turning on our filters, we can choose the thoughts we want to have about Ramadan, we can choose who influences them. Would we allow complaints and moans and groans from others through our filters? Or are we going to seek out those positive people who illuminate with joy and abundance this Ramadan? The choice is yours.

Ramadan is a great opportunity to seek out its blessings and mercies, as they are abundant. And once we know what they are for us, we can focus on enveloping ourselves in the feelings these blessings bring to us, visualising how they will assist us in our own self-development and growth. We can grab opportunities to serve others in our communities, and watch how we can create a ripple effect on the people around us.

These are some affirmations that you could choose to rewrite and read every so often, or you may choose to come up with your own specific ones as you find new meanings that this month holds for you.

Ramadan brings me energy and a new spirit of self-reflection

My heart is open to generosity and kindness

As Ramadan grows on me so does compassion and empathy

I become more conscious about my words and thoughts

Ramadan propels me to look for creative ways to help others, my environment and Allah’s creatures

My hunger pangs draw me towards reflecting on my eating habits, towards simplicity and whole foods

My hunger pangs remind me to reflect on the poor, those in war zones, and the vulnerable

I am more conscious about caring for and conserving the earth that Allah has blessed me with

As my fast begins I reflect on building and enhancing relationships with my loved ones I create avenues to strengthen my family ties, through prayer and mealtimes

As I fast, I gain inner strength and success

The more grateful I am to my Creator, the more gratitude I am able to find around me

I am fortunate to be blessed with another Ramadan, and accept it with joy I have a powerful inner strength in mind and body this Ramadan

I release any fears in me and allow Ramadan’s blessings to shower me I attract healthy eating and lifestyle habits

I believe in myself and my ability to fast with complete submission to my Creator

As Ramadan embarks, so does my level of spirituality and faith to please my Creator

I choose Imaan, I choose sisterhood/ brotherhood, I choose community and giving

I Approach this Ramadan with an enhanced energy and attitude this year.

It is the perfect opportunity for mental and spiritual rejuvenation.

Kuwait 2nd Fattest Country In The World

Originally posted on :

According to a research by BMC Public health, the total amount of extra weight in the world is about 3.5 Billion kg (3.9 million tons). That much weight consumes the same amount of food for an extra half a billion people on earth!

The research also published the top 10 world’s heaviest/lightest nations.

The heaviest nations are:

  1. United States
  2. Kuwait
  3. Croatia
  4. Qatar
  5. Egypt
  6. United Arab Emirates
  7. Trinidad and Tobago
  8. Argentina
  9. Greece
  10. Bahrain

Notice how Arab countries have 5 spots in the list.

As for the world’s Lightest countries:

  1. North Korea
  2. Cambodia
  3. Burundi
  4. Nepal
  5. Democ. Rep. of the Congo
  6. Bangladesh
  7. Sri Lanka
  8. Ethiopia
  9. Vietnam
  10. Eritrea

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Who’s having the tantrum? Me or my toddler?

We all have those parenting moments where we might wish that the ground would swallow us up, that we could run away from this parenting job we got ourselves into, when our kids are driving us insane and we have no escape so we lash out with all of our bottled up frustrations and turn into nasty monsters that shout, hit and demean these beings that we chose to bring into this world.

There are days when I just want to be alone, I don’t want to deal with the millions of why’s and hows and commands and suggestions and wants and demands and cries and smothers from my little girl. And when I lash out, shout, order and dictate to her because I have emotions that I am struggling to place in order and breathe out and manage, she only sees someone she loves, her world, her comfort her sanctuary churn her up and spit her out.

She doesn’t understand that I am having a crappy day and that actually I am the one who has issues I need to address, all she understands for that very moment is that she is alone, unheard, uncared for, unloved and unsafe. When I spend hours at my computer trolling facebook, twitter and google, I do it at her expense and mine too- because I deprive myself of these precious moments with her, and she soon realizes that my computer, my “work” and everything else I need to do is more important and takes priority over her, And she accepts it, forgives me and learns to find ways to cope and make the best of her situation.

And when I am done, having my tantrum, or done with my trolling, it dawns on me and I feel guilty.

And she is ever willing to forgive my short- comings and love me all over again. Unconditionally.

A day at the planetarium is a day well spent

Over the weekend we decided to check out the planetarium among other adventures planned for the day.

We started out with a Grand mosque tour, followed by visiting the Kuwait National Museum and planetarium and then a visit to the stables.

The Planetarium is inside the Kuwait National Museum. Another great part of the museum was the heritage section, really really interesting to see how Kuwaiti’s lived, the herbalist, grocer, bridal room, weavers, etc.

But back to the planetarium- we got there when an arabic show was on, so we watched a little just to get a feel, and needed to leave shortly thereafter- I got a copy of the schedule so that I can arrange to go back more often. Is is a great indoor activity for this heat, one that can be enjoyed by kids as well as parents, and entry is free!

The exact timings listed here for the English shows are:

Mondays: 9:30 am – Our Sky

11:30 am- Paper rocket

6:30 pm- Origins of life

Tuesdays: 10:30 am – Origins of life

12:00 pm – Infinity Express

5:00 pm – Paper rocket

6:30 pm – Stars of Pharoahs

Wednesdays: 10:30 am – Paper Rocket

12:00 pm – Stars

6:30 pm – Infinity Express

Thursdays: 9:30 am – Our sky

12:00 pm – Origins of life

5:45 pm – Infinity express

Fridays: 5:45 pm – Origins of life

Saturdays: 9:30 am – Stars of pharoahs

5:00 pm – Paper rocket

6:30 pm – stars

 

Have fun :)

 

Fire in Kuwait City

As I made my way into Kuwait city at around 4pm this afternoon, I noticed a huge plume of smoke blowing in the wind.

And there it was. A fire in a building that was being constructed.

This image was taken when I just got here, blocks away from the scene, and 10 minutes later 3 storeys were wilting away as I watched pieces of material (steel or wood) plunge from the top.

I have no idea whatever happened to the construction workers on site, I think they must have all been rescued and the fire trucks from various stations were in full force.

I’d like to say, based on my own account of what I had noticed, was that the fire was well contained even as the winds blew strong. Within the next hour and a half there was only just a thread of smoke that I witnessed from my home, a slight distance away.

Since the villagio fire in Doha a few weeks ago, fires have a new meaning to me, a new fear instilled, a sense of alertness and precaution. I assume that this heat is a great player in aiding and fuelling fires in this region as temperatures rapidly increase from 30′s to 40′s going on 50′s

Does anyone else have any more info on this fire today?

Stay safe and be cautious wherever you are.