Five People I am Grateful for


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       I bow my head with respect to this year as it is coming to an end. I thank the happy and sad days as they’ve contributed to my growth and development. Before we say happy New Year and start looking in the future, I want to pay my respect to the past while I am still in this present.

      I want to take a moment and thank five people for whom I am grateful this year. It is a practice I found online a few years ago. I remember it was an overwhelming exercise for some of my family members when we did it in the 2011’s New Year eve. My nephew, who was barely 11 years old at that time, got very touched as the practice led him to an innocent journey towards his heart. Today I want to share with my readers the five people for whom I am grateful, and you are welcome to write yours in the comment section or at least try to write it to yourself.

 *     *     *

 To the five people for whom I am grateful this year:

        The universe has assigned you to be my life coach for 26 years; your lessons were tough and stressful. For a long period of time, I felt maltreated, wronged, oppressed and tyrannized, but now I can see how the life I had with you made me stronger and pushed me to seek my true self. Last October, your cosmic duty as my coach has reached its end by the divorce. I want to thank you, my ex husband, for the life we had together in its ups and downs, for it is what made me the person I am today. Thanks for pushing me to stand up for myself and for making me realize how much my family loves me. Thanks for reminding me that God banishes no one, and that the universe is vast and infinite.

*     *     *

     You stood by me supporting and comforting me whenever I was depressed this last year. You’d listen to me and you’d surprise me with your valuable advises regardless of your young age. With you I pass the most jolly and happy times because you are my best friend. Thanks to you my beloved lovely son, thanks for being my son.

 *     *     *

      I never told you about the problems I had with my husband because I always thought you wouldn’t listen or stand by me. Last July, I sought your help as my marriage was falling apart. You gave me strength every time I called you. You’d tell me: “Whatever comes from God will be good”, and your words would fortify me because I’d feel your unconditional love. You gave me support; I could lean on you. I was again a little girl who takes refuge in her dad’s arms; you made me feel safe again. Thanks baba.

*     *     *

      Many times in my foreignness, I needed to lay my head on your chest, to let go all my sorrows and worries, and to feel your supportive love regardless of the physical distance. They told me you are fragile, and they asked me not to tell you about my marriage’s problems. I didn’t want to hurt you although I needed you. But when I finally told you everything over the phone, your strong and determined voice surprised me. I imagined you a lioness ready on its paws to protect its child. Your love and prayers gave me strength. Thanks mama.

*     *     *

      Finally, without the light or the guidance I wouldn’t have gone through one of the toughest years of my life; it was the peak of my suffering through the 26 years of marriage. I am grateful for God for enlightening me through this year. I am grateful for my guide for directing me towards my essence. I am grateful for my soul, my spirit, and my true self. I am in all the mentioned and they are all in me. I am grateful for the wholeness in me, for my essence, for myself.

I can’t but mention a few more people for whom I am also grateful. My sisters: Sawsan, Randa, Roula and Nadine. My friends: Rachel, Nicole, Cigdem, Elena, Serpouhy, Micheal, and Eyad. And finally I am grateful for a beautiful soul I’ve got to know recently, to you my dear Carla, thanks for editing my article saving the readers from all the grammatical mistakes I always do. Thanks to every person gave me support consciously or unconsciously this year.

Happy New Year

Diana Atawni

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لا تخف من الباب الضيق


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من دروس المعلم أومرآم أيفانهوف

هناك درس نتعلمه من الطريقة التي تخلع الأفعى جلدها. فهي عندما تشعر أن جلدها الجديد قد أصبح جاهزا تحت القديم، تبحث عن شق أو حفرة صغيرة في صخرة وتدخل فيها. يجب عليها أن تحشر جسدها لكي تعبر من خلال “الباب الضيق”، وهذه عملية صعبة. ولكنها تخرج من هذا المعبر الضيق في حلتها الجديدة بعد أن تكون قد خلعت جلدها القديم

وبنفس الطريقة، كل شخص لا بد وأن يعبر يوما من خلال “الباب الضيق” وذلك لكي يخلع جلده القديم، أي آرائه والعادات القديمة وطريقة تفكيره. ولا بد أن تصل إليك هذه اللحظة أيضا. طبعا سيكون العبور صعبا، ولكن لا تضطرب ولا تخف، بل افرح لأنك ستخلع جلدك القديم وتصبح كائنا جديدا ذو إدراك أكبر وقلب أكرم، وطريقة عيش تجلب البركات للآخرين

Look for Your Mission in Life


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       We come to this world to fulfill our missions. There are people who come to help humanity, others to paint, sing, heal, etc. And there those who come to deal with unsolved issues like patience, love, anger, pride, etc., … Our missions vary from a larger plan– e.g. serving humanity– to a smaller one– e.g. a person who comes to works on his anger. But all missions are as noble and challenging, no matter its size or content or aim.

As we grow up and become “conscious”, we fall in a matrix or a frame. The frame disconnects us from our deep senses and original missions. We consider gaining money; marriage; children or falling in love; etc. are what we came to do on earth. Yes they are necessary to our development. They are our duties, but they are not our main purpose in life. The subjects we take in the university leads us towards a diploma, they are important, but our last aim is the diploma not the subjects. Also in life we should never forget the bigger plan, the mission. If we don’t know the mission we came to fulfill, then it is good to pose the question and look for its answer. It will come one day. But don’t get stuck in the corners of daily lives.

During my marriage, I observed my life in its ups and downs, and its effects on me. I don’t say I didn’t suffer, no, many times I hit rock bottom. But I always managed to analyze myself and analyze what I was going through. I questioned the reasons of this tough time. Problems always surged regardless my efforts to mend things between my husband and me. My questioning led me to trust the higher will. I believe God is merciful, but I don’t believe in punishment. There are consequences for our actions, but that doesn’t characterize the actions as wrong or right; it is always as perfect as it is. Sometimes the “mistakes” we commit, shed light on new aspects, on new perspectives, on others or even on ourselves.

The troubles in my marriage provoked my search for myself; they cornered me and I needed an escapee. I took refuge in books, which helped me regain my lost personality. Books opened the door to my inner self, but I still had to take the first step to start my path. “Man master of his destiny” by Omraam Michael Aivanhove was a turning point in the way I regarded my life. I translated it because I wanted my family to read the book. That step cracked my shell. The editors contacted me and asked me to translate more books for them. Through translation I found part of myself, part of my potentials. It gave me an identity. Fear has suppressed my true identity so I needed an exterior one. Later, I realized that the ground is present below my feet. I remembered my existence.

After sometime, the pressure and instability in my life awakened my love to write– a hobby from childhood– I wrote and wrote. But as soon I closed my laptop, I hated it. I took a few online writing courses, which unleashed my true potential and maybe my true mission in life.  I was certain that writing is my mission in life but still I didn’t dedicate full-time to it.

Divorce shocked me regardless the sufferings I lived during the 26 years of marriage. What bothered me most was doing the divorce in a disrespectful way. When a man loves a woman, he asks for her hand with respect. And when he decides on divorce, he should give her hand back in the same respectful way. Divorce should be an agreement between both sides as marriage. My divorce wasn’t.

But may there was a cosmic need for the dismantling of my illusionary kingdom. It was the only way for me to stand up and fly, to reborn after death. After a few weeks of recovery, I initiated my Blog, I became a full writer, and I am more committed now. I’d wake up with a tingling sensation pushing me to sit in front of my laptop and to write. I don’t tell myself I “should” write, but I “want” to write, this is who I am now.

I don’t say that every one has to go through destruction to find his/her potential or mission in life. No, this is how it was planned for me, but not everyone has to go through same experiences.

Sufferings help us to go back to ourselves. If we are conscious and vigilant, suffering can lead us to our inner path. But there are people who surrender to the fact of being victims, and this is how they get stuck in deep holes of darkness. As long they are content with nagging and complaining, they can’t see the bigger plan. Not only they fight and argue with people around them but also they fight with God.

If we search for the meaning of our suffering, we find solutions, we change our conditions, and we take hold of our lives. Sometimes in wartime, solutions are not concrete and visible. But if we learn how to rise above and zoom out, we’ll be surprised to find an infinite number of doors and openings, it is an infinite vast world, and we have infinite capacities and potentials.

I always knew about my mission, but it was just an idea. Now I see the idea materializing and taking shape inside my soul. My mission and I became one. Search for your mission because it will give you a new impulse in your life.

Diana Atwani

لا بد للفراشة أن تطير


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بقلم ديانا العطواني

 وردتني تعليقات من الأصدقاء اجتمعت على التأثر الشديد، بعد نشري لقصيدتي “كالفراشة” على مدونتي الالكترونية

 ديانا شو هالحكي قتلتينا” !… “ديانااااااا… قرأت القصيدة والآن لا أستطيع أن أتوقف عن البكاء ولا أعلم 

.لماذااااا؟ أريد أن أطير وهذا كل ما أريد أن أقول

ما كتبته لي هذه الصديقة أكد لي أن قصيدتي قد حققت هدفها. أنا بالطبع لا أبكي على تجربتي بل أكتب عنها. هدفي هو أن أُوصل للآخرين ما توصلت له. نعم لا بد للفراشة أن تطير ومن الطبيعي أن نطير، وما شَعَرت به الصديقة العزيزة يدل على أن قصيدتي خاطبت روحها وذكرتها بأن أجنحتها موجودة، وبأنها تستطيع الطيران، وإن أجهشت في البكاء فذلك لأنها تذكرت بأنها يوما ما كانت تعرف لذة الطيران

جميعنا فراشات وطيور من الداخل، ولنتمكن من الطيران دائما، يلزمنا فضاء من حولنا يتسع لكي نفرد أجنحتنا، لكي نطير. ما يحصل دائما في علاقاتنا، هو أن أحد الطرفين يستولي على الفضاء بأكمله فارداً أجنحته كل الوقت من دون أن يعطي المجال للآخر ليعيش في فضائه الذي قدره الله له

ولنفترض أن أيضا الظروف الاجتماعية والاقتصادية والسياسية و…و…و… تساهم أيضا في “قصقصة أجنحتنا”. هنا علينا أن نثق بأن الله لا يضعنا في ظرف خاص إلا وقد هيئنا مسبقا بقدرات تمكننا من تخطي هذه الظروف، هذه الظروف التي تكون دروسا تمرسنا لكي نتجاوز كل ما يعيق تطورنا الروحي، وتدفعنا لاستعمال قدراتنا المنسية، أو أجنحتنا المطوية. وإن كان الفضاء من حولنا ضيقا، فعلينا أن نتذكر بأننا نستطيع أن نحلق عاليا فنرتفع عن مشاكلنا الأرضية التي هي ليست إلا مادة امتحان نقدمها مرة واثنتين وثلاثة إلى أن ننجح فيها. عندما نحلق عاليا، نعطي المجال لروحنا لتمسك بزمام الأمور ولترشدنا إلى الحلول المناسبة، حتى ولو كانت حلولا جذرية قد تجنبناها لفترة طويلة، ستسلط روحنا الضوء عليها وتعطينا الشجاعة لنخطي خطوة أو عشرة خطوات إلى الأمام وأحيانا قد نقطع ما لم نقطعه بسنين

أحب أن أشارككم بهذا المقطع من كتاب النبي لجبران في حديثه عن أهمية وجود المساحة أو الفضاء بين الاثنين، ويجب أن لاتؤخذ كلماته بمعناها الحرفي: فالكأس ليست كأسا، والرغيف ليس رغيفا، والمساحة ليست مساحة، والأجنحة ليست أجنحة

فليكن بين وجودكم معا فسحات تفصلكم بعضكم عن بعض، حتى ترقص أرياح السموات بينكم

أحبوا بعضكم بعضا؛ ولكن، لا تقيدوا المحبة بالقيود، بل لتكن المحبة بحرا متموجا بين شواطئ نفوسكم

ليملأ كل واحد منكم كأس رفيقه؛ ولكن لا تشربوا من كأس واحدة

أعطوا من خبزكم كل واحد لرفيقه؛ ولكن لا تأكلوا من الرغيف الواحد

غنوا وارقصوا معا، وكونوا فرحين أبدا؛ ولكن، فليكن كل واحد منكم، كما أن أوتار القيثارة يقوم كل واحد منها وحده ولكنها جميعا تخرج نغما واحد

ليعطي كل منكم قلبه لرفيقه؛ ولكن حذار أن يكون هذا العطاء لأجل الحفظ، لأن الحياة وحدها تستطيع أن تحتفظ بقلوبكم

قفوا معا؛ ولكن، لا يقترب أحدكم من الآخر كثيرا، لأن عمودي الهيكل يقفان منفصلين، والسنديان والسروة لا تنمو الواحد منهما في ظل رفيقتها

Like a Butterfly


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Like a butterfly

It was summer,

I’d just turned nineteen.

You were there, visiting from far away.

I’d wake up feeling that I’d see you that day

and would wait for you.

I’d keep my eyes on the road,

and I’d fly to meet you

as soon I’d see you.

You’d smile and pinch my arm.

I’d scream protesting with playful voice,

and run away.

 *     *     *

Like a butterfly dancing around a light bulb,

I’d hover around you.

You were the light I was attracted to.

And I was your muse, later you’d tell me.

Our playing was talking love,

but neither one of us dared to say.

You thought I was too young for you.

*   *   *

We promised each other forever love.

It seemed a simple promise at that time:

I loved being with you.

You loved watching me fly like a butterfly.

We were in love.

*     *     *

We got married,

and we flew together to a foreign land.

There I was a wife and

I had to learn to live with you.

Your shifts of moods would one day

make me the queen on your throne;

and later

I wouldn’t exist to you.

*     *     *

Your anger was thin lines that I couldn’t see.

I stumbled in and out the frame you had set to me.

I locked myself in a cage of fear,

and built its bars of things that

made you angry at me.

Your light grew stronger.

It blinded me.

It burnt me.

We fought and argued,

and for days, weeks or a month,

you wouldn’t talk to me.

That was your punishment

for mistakes you said I had made.

* * *

My wings shrank.

My soul ached.

One day I couldn’t fly anymore,

and you didn’t like it.

You said that I stopped loving you,

that I was indifferent and I didn’t care.

You said I wasn’t anymore

the butterfly you once knew.

You never thought why.

  *     *     *

I couldn’t be a framed butterfly,

You’d let it free when you were pleased.

You couldn’t read me, or understand me,

I withdrew in myself.

I became another person.

I changed.

 And you ask why!

by Diana Atwani

A poem by Emily Dickinson


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WE never know how high we are
Till we are called to rise;
And then, if we are true to plan,
Our statures touch the skies.

The heroism we recite
Would be a daily thing,
Did not ourselves the cubits warp
For fear to be a king.

A beautiful reminder from Dickinson, a female voice who realized longtime ago that we are sacred souls full of potentials, and the tough experiences we pass through life is just a reminder for that, a call to rise because heroes and kings whom we exaggerate in measuring them are not much different than us. God created us as His image because we are able to reach perfection.

\لا نعرف أبدا مدى علونا \ إلى أن نُدعى للارتفاع؛ فإن كنا وفيين للمخطط، \ تلامس قاماتنا السماء\ البطولة التي نرويها

كانت ستكون تكون شيئا يوميا، \ لو لم نقم أنفسنا بالقياس بالذراع \ خوفا من أن نكون الملك

أحببت أن أشارك القراء بهذه القصيدة لإيميلي ديكنسون لأنها تذكرة لنا عن حقيقتنا: تذكرة بأن تجارب الحياة تأتي لتكشف لنا قدراتنا؛ فنحن نملك كل الإمكانيات للارتفاع كي نلامس السماء وهو ما كان مخططا لنا، وما يعيقنا هو خوفنا من أن ننضج ونكبر. كانت ستكرر الملاحم البطولة بشكل يومي، لو لم نبالغ في تقدير حجم الأبطال والملوك (حيث نقيسهم بالذراع) ناسيين أنهم أناس مثلنا. عندما قال الله أنه خلقنا على صورته كانت دعوة منه لكي نسعى لبلوغ الكمال وليس للخوف منه وتحجيم أنفسنا

Waiting for what?…


When I look at the all “waiting for something” in our life I feel that life slips besides us while this endless “waitings”: waiting to graduate from school, from university, waiting for a job, for the children born, for their first steps and then to go to school. Waiting to reach a destination, waiting to see someone, waiting, waiting, waiting… in every fraction of second and we miss living the moment. We miss enjoying our youth; we miss enjoying our children growing up; we miss preparing food with love as we wait to finish the work. We miss being creative at our jobs as we wait to go home, we miss many things in life; we miss living.

If we are not projecting ourselves forward waiting for the future, we go backward ruminating on the past. We beat ourselves for what we call mistakes; we judge the others and we curse the circumstances. And again we miss the present.

Lots of people get exhausted because of this senseless to and fro movements in time. It is okay to look at the past and learn from its lessons and it is only “lessons” however it was “good” or “bad” so no need to get stuck there thinking about it all the time: why you acted in this way; why you didn’t answer differently; why you failed this class, and why they rejected you at that job … etc. When you have faith in God’s wisdom, you will be certain that “it is always as perfect as it is,” a dear friend always repeated this sentence.

Open yourself for tomorrow without limiting it by your needs. Project your wishes in the abundant space that fills your inner being uniting it with the vast space that envelops us. Do your part and leave the rest to God or to the universe. But don’t forget to stay in the moment, to live the present sweet or bitter it is. Life offers us infinite possibilities, and to capture what is good for us, we need to be fully present in each moment.

Why I write?


I was 12 years old when I wrote an essay that blew my teacher’s mind. We were asked to write about the Arab poetry in Spain, which used to be called Andalusia during the time Spain was under the Arabic rule. I imagined myself there and so I was. My feelings were so vivid that I could hear the ripple of the flowing springs, the birds chirping and the music flying in the air. I could smell the sea, the flowers and the perfumes. I could see the landscapes in the back of my mind. Up till now I can relive those feelings that made me sob for days with nostalgia for that far and imaginary homeland. At that time I knew that I was capable of writing amazing things as long as I could connect to some mysterious place inside me, because there were times when I couldn’t write one sentence. I kept writing when something moved me.

A few years later my maternal grand mother died. I was so attached to her. I knew about her tough life and I started hearing more about all what she went through after her death. I wanted to write her story, but I was just 15 and soon I forgot about it.

During my marriage, I suffered while observing my life. After I got separated I started observing other women’s life in marriage, I started to see how much a woman contributes to her suffering because she ignores her rights and capacities. Then I recalled the idea about writing my grandmother’s life story, but I thought it would be best writing about my grandmother and the Middle Eastern women in marriage through my life story.

After few years of trying, I have written pieces scattered between two laptops, notebooks and scraps of papers. But I am still determined to write my memoire hopping it would be a wake up call for women in the Middle East.

It is time to share


Thoughts & Words

Almost six months ago I started my blog. I felt I have a lot to share. But when the blog took place I lost all the ideas and thoughts I always wanted to share.

To share part of myself I had to be free, to be free of other human being authority, to belong to my own self, to belong to the universe. I wasn’t at that time. I am now.

I will be sharing my thoughts and writings through this blog, and I will look to read your comments.

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Fear…


“We supposed to have a session at 9 am today on Skype, but you were not there!” I was shocked as I received this message on WhatsApp, I though our meeting wasn’t till tomorrow. I rechecked my agenda, yes it is written tomorrow, but something inside me tells me it was today. I write a first message explaining what I thought, a second one apologizing, a third one asking for another appointment. I am in a total mess, my body is over heated, my heart is racing and my mind is blocked with fears: what if he is angry with me. After all, his time is very valuable, people reserve a session weeks in advance. What if he thinks I am careless and decides to stop the sessions. “But he is a spiritual person full of compassion, he is not my x.”

Fear… the moment I recognized my fear I felt stupid. I calmed myself thinking that was in the past, I am not afraid anymore of someone being upset at me. But that’s not true, the past needs some time to be processed and driven out of my system. I was hard on myself when I judged my fear. Yes there was no reason for it at that moment but my fear is still legitimate as long I am not totally healed.

As soon I recognized and acknowledged my fear, I was able to see how much is rooted this feeling in my subconscious. The fear of being punished and banished; the swirl it used to send me in, and still does. Everytime I arm my efforts trying to justify my action, to convince the other person that I am innocent, I plead guilty, slay myself on the cross and beg for pardon.

Whatever is the mistake we commit (if there is a mistake), we never deserve to be slayed or tortured, by ourselves or anyone else. Apologize from the heart if it needed. Do your part and let the other does his part. Be responsible for your actions and remember there are never wrong or right, it is all perfect as it is. Whatever occurs is for the best. A mistake might be simply to shed light on certain aspects of your life: you wouldn’t see your lack of organization if you don’t miss an important meeting, so next time be more organized.

The important thing in any situation of fear is to go back to it. Reflect on it and eliminate the judgment. Separate the situation from your emotional state of being: if you are in problem, deal with it without involving your lifelong fears. Deal with it logically and if your fears submerge, respect them but don’t let them blind you.