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Friday, April 20, 2018

2018-04-20 - Friday Whisper - Healing…


I just finished taking a course on reflex integration called Masgutova method. In few words, this method integrates/reintegrates any missing or dysfunctional primitive reflex that we have. A primitive reflex, for instance, for a baby is sucking, turning head, or crawling. Under normal conditions, they emerge in a predictable sequence. If they are disturbed for many reasons, it will affect normal functioning and development. Those reflexes may get disturbed also during our lifetime, after a trauma, a surgery or due to lots of stress.

So I took this course for the aim of helping my daughter, as she has many reflexes unintegrated properly. And I thought, instead of taking her to centers to fix them, I’d rather take this course and help her myself now and in the future, whenever she needs it.

During the course, and after each reflex we took, we had to work with a partner to check the reflex and integrate it on each other. This is where I found out that I have many immature reflexes! And I thought, it is amazing how learning methods to help my daughter is revealing my own flaws and shows me how much I need to help myself first… How on our way to help others, we need to help ourselves along the way… and when I thought I am more whole and more complete, here is my child who lead me to a new path that showed me another dimension of me that needs to be taken care of…

An anonymous quote reads: “Until you have a kid with special needs you have no idea of the depth of your strength, tenacity and resourcefulness.”
And another one reads: “Sometimes the things we can’t change end up changing us.”

Mila, my love, you are healing me all the way…


Rania Hammoud, ACC,Life Coach
www.raniahammoud.com
you can also join my page at https://www.facebook.com/PerfectMindLifeCoaching

Friday, December 29, 2017

2017-12-29 - Friday Whisper – Fog…

Last week, we had heavy fog on one morning… nothing could be seen from the window… I hesitated to go out but I checked the weathercast that said the fog will clear out during the day… yet my window showed nothing but white… So I told myself to proceed and see how it will go: in case I feel it is too dangerous, I would call my boss and tell him the situation.

So I left to work and started driving… I could hardly see up to 50 meters. But the more I move forward, I could see what was there on the next 50 meters. I kept moving until I got close to my destination where the fog disappeared completely and the sun came out.

You see, sometimes in life, an event would happen to us asking us to start a new journey, yet we hesitate as we can’t see where it is leading us. So some of us may decide not to jump, as we are afraid of what might come up, and it is better to stay safe at home. Some of us decide to take a chance and start the journey, not knowing what will come next, but staying vigilant and cautious to deal with any surprise… and sometimes the fog may fade sooner or later, or even stay the whole route till our destination… But if we decide not to drive, we might never know what is awaiting for us out there ….

The fog also has this kind of suspense, mystery and charm… it promises discoveries on the way, surprises- good or bad… Just keep in mind,  good opportunities come disguised as fogs of uncertainty… only driving thru it will clear it out…

Joseph Conrad, a Polish-British writer, said: “It is not the clear-sighted who rule the world. Great achievements are accomplished in a blessed, warm fog.”

Take one 50 meters at a time, and keep going, the sun will come out…


Rania Hammoud, ACC,Life Coach
www.raniahammoud.com
you can also join my page at https://www.facebook.com/PerfectMindLifeCoaching




Friday, December 22, 2017

2017-12-22 - Friday Whisper – Traffic…

Every day I drive on an average of 1-2 hours. And you know, when you are driving long drives alone, you are in your head, thinking about everything you want to do, things you are forgetting to do, and when you are going to do them!

I also think about the traffic itself; you tend to think that you are alone in your car, driving independently.
When in reality, you depend big time on the way the driver in front of you drives, the one behind you, the one on your left, the one on your right… not only that, but you also depend on  the second, third, fourth car ahead of you… and the second, third, fourth car behind you depends on you as well…
See, when you think you are independent, you are totally dependent on others, the same way others depend on you… and all this either directly or indirectly….
Exactly like this life, people around you may be affected by your deeds, your decisions, the same way you are affected by them…. Even generations to come depend on you… what kids you are bringing up to this World, kids who will affect more generations to come… the same way you were affected by your parents, your ancestors and their deeds…
Martin Luther King jr, an American activist, said: “today our very survival depends on our ability to stay awake, to adjust to new ideas, to remain vigilant and to face the challenge of change”
So stay vigilant of what you say, what you do, how you think , how you judge, how you react… revisit your ideas and beliefs every now and then, it takes courage to face them, to face yourself, and to change…
Be vigilant while driving…be vigilant while living…


Rania Hammoud, ACC,Life Coach
 You can also join my Facebook Page


Saturday, September 16, 2017

2017-09-16- Friday Whisper - I lost a Friend…


Last week I lost a dear friend…. I lost a friend just because another guy decided to be reckless and drove insanely… just like that, he was gone...

It was a very sad surprise for all of us who knew him and his family…

And I thought about him, how did he feel when he was hit by that car? What did he think of last? What did he want to tell his wife, his kids, his parents, his siblings, his friends before he left?

He was on my mind with his family that week. I realized that between the day he died and the day he was buried, without me knowing, I was thinking about our regular gatherings, more than a decade ago, at his place with his wife and friends…. How happy and giggling those gatherings were… and I longed for one more gathering, to relive those moments… for us to reunite one more time…

We don’t know what is in store for us… maybe we are living our best days…maybe in the future we will look back at today and wish those days will come back…. Today I lost a friend, don’t know who would be next…one day my friends will lose me… Death is the only reality in this life… Everything else is debatable…

With every beloved we lose, we bury a piece of us with them… memories are the thing we are left with… and when memories start fading sometimes, we hang on to some photos here and there…we check their Facebook profile again and again…sometimes I sent my late beloved ones some page invitations…pretending they are still out there… as if nothing has changed...

Dear Hadi, I will not tell you that you will live in our heart nor that we will see you in your children nor that we will never forget your calmness, your always-smiling face…. I will tell you that you and Mirna are part of my memories, the good ones… and this will always be true…

Till we meet again...
Rania Hammoud, ACC,Life Coach
You can also join my Facebook Page



Saturday, July 8, 2017

2017-07-03 - How I Love You…

I looked into all words to find the ones that express how I love you but couldn’t find the right ones…
 
I looked into languages to find the one that express my feelings best but couldn’t find any…
 
I looked at the sky to find the stars that look like you but none of them is shining as you are…
 
I looked among flowers to find the one that is the closest to your beauty yet all flowers failed to match yours…
 
I looked into my heart to see how much you fill it and found that you are my heart…
You came into my life on this day and you changed it forever…
 
When I hug you I feel I am hugging life itself, and when you smile at me as if the whole world is smiling back…
 
The way you look at me, the way your eyes smile at me, the way I feel your little hands on my face, the way you shine in my everyday…nothing can match it or even can come close to it…
 
Today you turn One, a full year that brought everything with it, above all pure joy and abundant love to all of us…
 
I can’t ask for more as I can’t imagine anything more than you…
 
Happy birthday to you, my one & only Mila…
 
 

Friday, March 24, 2017

2017-03-24 - Friday Whisper – I thought I got it all…

I thought I got it all…. I lived my life, achieved what I wanted, lived abroad, experienced many facades of life, entertained myself, made lots of friends, enjoyed my time with family…and when the time came, I met the love of my life, got married and settled down with a great man and lovely children. They gave me the chance to experience what it is like to have kids, teenagers, adults, boys and girls, with all the joy and challenges that come with it. I thought it couldn’t be better…but then I became pregnant, just like that, naturally…. and that was the cherry on top of the cake.  I thought that this will be the child who will seal this circle of love… she will be the link that will connect us all and forever.

On 3rd of July 2016, Mila joined my life… at the hospital the nurse brought her to me for couple of minutes and then took her away. Once they brought me to my room, a doctor came and told us that Mila was a bit weak, so they had to move her to the Newborn Intensive Care Unit… I knew later on that she needed to be on oxygen support, that she had hypotonia, that she was born with a hip dysplasia plus a jaundice and a blood infection! A bundle of unpleasant things, that to say!
Once I was able to walk, I went to the NICU to see her…she was in this cubicle, attached to tubes and machines… so tiny with 2.4 kg of weight, so peaceful…

It took four days before I could hold her into my arms but when I did, it felt so good, so whole… After few days, I had to leave the hospital without her as she had to stay for few more days before her oxygen problem and blood infection were solved.  Doctors also took blood samples from her to do some chromosome tests.

When I left without Mila, I felt down…it was supposed to be different…I was supposed to leave the hospital with her… for my sleepless nights to start…I was supposed to nurse her every couple of hours and shush her siblings when she was sleeping…Mom was supposed to teach me how to bathe her… Sami was supposed to take care of her while I take a nap after a long night… instead the only proof of her existence at home was the milk pump I was using and my hospital visits…

When we finally brought her home, unlike Sami, I couldn’t rejoice fully as I was still worried about the chromosome test results…

As I was waiting for the results day by day, I felt something was wrong… that she might have some kind of syndrome… I started grieving the child I was expecting and all the dreams I had for her… the school I wanted her to attend, the university I wanted her to join, the places I wanted her to travel to, her going out with her friends, driving her car, learning to play music, learning new languages, reading all those books on the shelf, excelling in her career, making friends with neighbors, playing with her cousins… And I thought of her life if the test results came back positive…how dependent she will be? Will she be excluded from society? Would people look at her with pity and tell themselves thank God they don’t have to deal with such case? Would her friends spend time with her but when they plan for an outing they won’t call her to join them? Would she be deprived from higher education? And I sobbed…even before I got the results… I sobbed…

Finally after a month, the results came confirming my worries… Mila has Down syndrome…
For the next weeks I would daydream about going back to that delivery day…to that very moment when Mila was born and undo the fate… having her in full health… her joining me after delivery…us leaving hospital together few days later… then carry on with life just like everybody else…just like that…as simple as it can be…

However, reality was different… the reality was that all of a sudden I felt as if someone dropped me in the middle of the ocean, I didn’t know where I am nor which direction to take…

It took few months for me to figure things out, to google stuff, to ask experienced people around, to visit concerned centers till I knew exactly where I am and what I have to do… so the early intervention journey started there with the help of our families and friends, and above all my Mom and my rock, Sami… It found out that the presence of Down syndrome persons in a home can bring peace and serenity to the whole family.  With proper preparation, I learned that she can lead a great life, she can have friends, she can reach college, she can learn whichever music and language she wants, she can earn her own living and be on her own.  Of course, she will have challenges but this can be overcome with professional help. Her limitations will be the ones that society and we will put on her. With the right intervention, she might be able to be and do whatever she wants….

Mila introduced us to a world I didn’t know existed…no matter how much you think you understand the world of people with special needs, you won’t know it until you walk into that world…
I realized how we excluded them from our lives...how they and their needs were invisible to us…and how we are so absorbed in our own world that we don’t know they exist…how we put a stigma on them because they don’t fit into our “normal” stereotype. How we pity them when in reality we have to pity our own limitations of understanding them.

Looking back now, I found out that the chromosome test was just one examination among other medical tests, not more than that… It is just an index to direct our journey, but for sure doesn’t define who Mila is….my worries were only mine… my preconceptions were because of my ignorance… and the main disability was my perception and misunderstanding…I can see now how my past journey in life has prepared me for my Mila…and the future shall tell me what Mila is preparing me for…

Today, we are all enjoying Mila at home and our journey with her; a journey that is teaching us a lot not only about her but also about ourselves… she is bringing the best in everyone who knows her, and for sure, she is bringing the best in Sami and me…

As Yvonne Pierre, an American advocate and writer, said: “When you focus on someone's disability you'll overlook their abilities, beauty and uniqueness. Once you learn to accept and love them for who they are, you subconsciously learn to love yourself unconditionally.”

And another quote by unknown says: “Until you have a kid with special needs you have no idea of the depth of your strength, tenacity and resourcefulness.”


Mila turned out to be everything I didn’t know I wanted…I now know that I’ve got it all…

meet Mila Sami Tabsh :)

Friday, September 16, 2016

2016-09-16 – Friday Whisper – Define Normal…

So let’s define being normal: having a head, two hands, two legs. Being able to speak, hear, see, and walk. Having a minimum height. Reaching expected milestones while growing.
Other than that, you are considered abnormal, or a handicapped person. So if you have one limb missing, one sense missing, if you need a wheel chair or a stick to go around, if you have epilepsy or autism, down syndrome, Asperger’s or Prader-Willi syndrome, if you have cerebral palsy or you stutter or you are dyslexic, if you are any of those you are abnormal or a handicap.
With this, comes our expectations of you, that you have limited abilities, you cannot reach high, you cannot think properly and you can never be independent… why? Because of our own mind disability!
We have defined being “normal” in a very narrow way that we cannot see outside its boundaries…. Anything different than that is seen as disability rather than a diversity…
Let’s look around us, how many of those “handicapped people” have we included in our lives? How do we treat them? Do we invite a blind person to go watch a show with us? Or do we invite a person on a wheel chair for a walk? Do we start a serious conversation with an autistic person? Do we assign a real responsibility to a person with down syndrome?
Just because we think “they” cannot doesn’t mean they cannot… it is our own mind that can’t indeed!
As long as we see ourselves as “us” and “them”, we haven’t really included them in our lives…
Hellen Keller was deaf and blind. A Harvard graduate, she was an author, a political activist and a lecturer. She wrote 12 books. I haven’t even written one book myself! She said: “Science may have found a cure for most evils; but it has found no remedy for the worst of them all - the apathy of human beings.”
Stephen Hopkins had cerebral palsy, Albert Einstein and Agatha Christie were dyslexic, Stephen Hawking was on a wheel chair and diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Thomas Edison was deaf. Bruce Willis, Tiger Woods and Julia Roberts had stuttering problems during childhood. Luke Zimmerman- an actor, Angela Bachiller- a councilwoman and Michael Johnson – a painter are diagnosed with down syndrome.
Julie Causton-Theoharis, a special education professor, says: "Inclusion is a way of thinking, a way of being, and a way of making decisions about helping everyone belong”
And Robert M. Hensel, said: “We, the ones who are challenged, need to be heard. To be seen not as a disability, but as a person who has, and will continue to bloom. To be seen not only as a handicap, but as a well intact human being.”

So one more time…. Let’s define being normal!

Rania Hammoud, ACC,Life Coach
You can also join my Facebook Page