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Friday, December 30, 2011

2011-12-30 – Friday Whisper – Resolutions? What?



 Let me tell you how we make resolutions, this is how it goes:
-Around October/November/December, we start making our resolution list
-On New Year’s Eve, we’re more determined than ever to realize our resolutions the next day
-January 1st or even the first week, since we are still living the heat of New Year, we relax all rules and count it as a day off, so no work on whatsoever
-Starting the second week, we find all kind of excuses to postpone starting our resolution, or maybe we start in an irregular way
- By the end of January we give up on them or forget they ever existed, convincing ourselves that the next 11 months are not enough for us to realize them!!! We are already late one month!!!
Only if we can get back that determination that we had on December 31st!!!

Does this sound familiar to you? Because it does to me!!! You know why? Because resolutions is something we use at the end of year to postpone till the New Year, what we have to start today!!!

And we use them again in February to say that we can’t start with them as they can only start in January, otherwise, we call them off!!!

The day I realized this I stopped making any resolutions… With that, I make the leap from one year to another very smoothly, lightly without any burden, and keep realizing my goals all year round, goal after goal… independently of Jan 1st

We create resolutions only in our imagination, since anything we really want to do can start today or at any time we are sincere about our decisions… Even more, if we really want to start something new in the New Year, we would start preparing for it beforehand!!!

So just enjoy being around your beloved ones tomorrow, eat/dance/love like there is no tomorrow, if you want to… then once you are through with holidays, keep doing what you are doing if it is working for you, or proceed with the following:
1.   Clear your clutter at home, car and office
2.   Take a step back and think about what you want, what are your priorities
3.   Based on your current year and how you went about it, how does your next year look like?
4.   Identify the changes you want to do
5.   Write down your next goal, just one
6.   Put an action plan for it, with a time frame.

If you can’t do those small steps, you shouldn’t be surprised why bigger steps are not reached…

Deepak Chopra, and Indian doctor and author, said: “Just as light brightens darkness, discovering inner fulfillment can eliminate any disorder or discomfort. This is truly the key to creating balance and harmony in everything you do…”

And Earl Nightingale, an American motivational speaker and author, said: “The more intensely we feel about an idea or a goal, the more assuredly the idea, buried deep in our subconscious, will direct us along the path to its fulfillment.”



May YOU bring inner fulfillment, self-satisfaction, love and inner peace to the New Year…

Rania Hammoud, Life Coach
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Friday, November 25, 2011

2011-11-25 – Friday Whisper – A Wall…


Only a wall that is left for us to share our thoughts with you, Anas…

I resisted writing about you, but I guess I failed… I said to myself, I’m not sure my readers want to read about death again…

Still death is something we live with everyday… although we will never get used to it, especially when we are losing a friend, teacher, colleague, cousin, son and brother like you…

You weren’t one of my close friends nor were you a friend I meant to call from time to time…But you were a friend whom when I used to meet you, there was always a kind of peace that reigns our short conversations… you were a person whom we meet once and we feel that we knew him for a long time…very calm, confident, always smiling, always listening to what others are saying, always contributing with his knowledge, humor and positive nature…

How you did it, I don’t know…how you faced your challenge with courage and acceptance till the last minute, how you faced your last minute? I don’t know… but I know that you didn’t give up easily, you fought with all what you had till the end…

With your death, I realized that sometimes we take our friends for granted, as if they will always be here, forgetting that death doesn’t mind taking away young people like yourself…. We don’t take the time even to write a simple “hello” message on their wall, from time to time, or make a phone call... Why? Maybe we don’t want to sound weird, calling or writing, out of nowhere, to say “hi”… Yet, once they leave, even if we write a whole poem on their wall, they won’t be around to cherish it…it will be a bit too late…(all of a sudden “sounding weird” for me sounds much better than “I wish I did”!!!)

With your death, you taught us how we can embrace our destiny, giving our best and leaving for God the rest…

With your death, you taught us by your great achievements, how if we live our life to the fullest, each day, we will leave with a peace of mind, knowing that we have fulfilled our duty, sharing what we know, loving whom we know, reaching out to our community, giving back and making this world a better one by touching positively people’s lives around us…

Thomas Campbell, a Scottish poet, said: “To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die.”

Anas, your wall is full of heartily thoughts from people you loved… Our thoughts are on your wall, but your memory will always be in our hearts…

*This whisper is dedicated to our late friend Anas Hamoui who left us at the age of 37 after a battle with brain cancer. May Allah grant his family patience and strength to go thru this hard time…


Rania Hammoud, Life Coach
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Friday, November 11, 2011

2011-11-11 – Friday Whisper – It Doesn’t Come in a Container…


Happiness, that is. I meet many who are expecting for “something big” to happen in order for them to be happy.

If get the dream job I want, I will be happy…
If I find my soulmate I will be happy…
If I move to my dream house I will be happy…
If I can make this amount of money I will be happy…
If I can find friends who care about me in a specific way, I will be happy…

We are always waiting for this day when something extraordinary will happen out of nowhere…meanwhile, what are we doing? Nothing or just few things, while waiting and waiting and waiting… and somehow, things never happen!!!

Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong about dreaming big and asking for the stars…the wrong part is when we don’t enjoy what we have…

I came to realize that happiness comes in small doses, on different intervals, but we are so focused on what we want that we are always unsatisfied with what we are getting… It is not the raise you want? Keep asking for it while enjoying what you’ve got…it is not the house you want? Make it your home while planning for the one you want… It is not the date you were looking for? Enjoy the new coffee you are trying… It is not the gift that you want? Cherish the thought and time your friend spent choosing it only for you… It is not the in-law family you dreamt of? Enjoy the fact that your kids have a big family…It is not the spouse you always wanted? Either leave or find a way to enjoy the qualities and accept the flaws…

Don’t you wonder why people who got their dream job/house/partner/bank account are still unhappy or even commit suicide sometimes? Because they don’t know how to celebrate what they have…

Are you never content? Then not even a container of happiness (if it exists!) will make you happy…if you don’t know how to enjoy the small pleasures, your buffer of happiness will always be empty…

Why we do it? Maybe we grow with parents who are never satisfied with what they achieve or what we achieve! Maybe we are perfectionists… Maybe we are comparing ourselves to others and looking always to “beat” them in what they have…Maybe we are looking at the bad side of people/things… Maybe we are not accepting the reality that our life isn’t how we planned it or wanted it to be… Maybe we are not letting go of the person we think we should be…Maybe we are always having high expectations (that leads to bigger deceptions!)

And how it is working for us? We are constantly unhappy, something that leads to frustration, anger and eventually continuous aggressiveness…

Happiness come from within, if you are happy with yourself, you will wait for the rainbow after the rain, you will sing your preferred songs in a traffic, you will wear that lousy sweater at home to cherish your friend’s love, you will feel blessed having that crazy sibling/aunt/parent when others are family-less…

And remember that what you have now could be what someone else is looking for now… would you give it away? Even the only call/visit that you are receiving from your son? The 100$ raise you just got? The lousy car you are driving? The two-bedroom house? Would you?!

Live the moment, find a positive angle in everything you receive, look for the good side in people and nurture it, be easy on yourself, accept your flaws, embrace your life, rethink what you really want in life and set your priorities straight, follow your heart… and when you become satisfied keep wanting more and keep dreaming!


Paulo Coelho said in his book “The Winner Stands Alone”: “People are never satisfied. If they have a little, they want more. If they have a lot, they want still more. Once they have more, they wish they could be happy with little, but are incapable of making the slightest effort in that direction.”

A “reservoir” of happiness slightly filled is far better than an empty rusted one!

Rania Hammoud, Life Coach
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Friday, October 28, 2011

2011-10-28 – Friday Whisper – Are you taking him for granted?


 Or are you taking her for granted???
Many of you have done it, still doing it or will be doing it without knowing!

I find it interesting how sometimes we pay attention when dealing with strangers but don’t when dealing with our spouses…

The moment you get married, you think that your job is done; you got what you want and nothing is to be worked on anymore….WROOOOOOONG! Your job has just started!!!!

You start taking your spouse for granted when:
-You stop putting effort to impress them (he or she)
-You feel you can yell all what you want since they are going nowhere
-You think you are right or you won if, during a fight, they kept silent
-You make them the lowest of your priority; your work, your friends, your bigger family comes first
-You think they should take care of all the responsibilities and daily errands
-You think that it is enough to remember their birthday or your marriage anniversary
-You think that gifts are only given on occasions
-You think that saying “I love you”, “I miss you”, “thank you” is not necessary anymore
-You are focusing on the negative qualities of your spouse, forgetting the positive ones that brought you close in the first place!

You are making a HUUUGE mistake that won’t show up now, but it will, definitively, in 3, 5, 7, 10 or even 30 years!!! Guaranteed!

You see, the “love reservoir” of your spouse needs to be maintained… every negative event will take a small tiny bit off it… every small tiny positive event will add a big chunk to it…

With time, the moment the reservoir is emptied, your spouse will just open the door and leave, without a single word, in one-way direction… filling it again at that moment would be just close to impossible!

The bigger problem is, if your spouse found someone else who knows how to handle this reservoir, the move will happen in a heartbeat! It happened before! It will happen again!!!

Sometimes your wife needs to share her worries with you, without you finding her any solutions!!! She is just looking for comfort!

Sometimes he needs to be left alone to gather himself together without “having to talk about it”!

He is not your punching bag upon which you can vent your frustrations!!!

She is not the only one responsible of cleaning, cooking, grocery shopping, children!!!

Stop trying to control your husband’s actions, behaviors or activities, you are not his mother!!!!

Stop trying to tell her where she should go, whom she should talk to, what is best for her, you are not her father!!!

He can’t read your mind, she can’t guess what you need!

He is not your ATM machine! She is not your scapegoat!

I don’t mean that you should deal with your spouse with gloves all the time…but that if you decide to lean completely on your spouse, you have to remember that sometimes they’ve got to have the chance to do that too!!!

You have to feel comfortable to say what you want, when you want to your partner… it is the HOW that makes the whole difference!!! How you communicate your discomfort, your need, your request, and at the same time listening to theirs as well…

Bertrand Russel, an English philosopher, said: “In all affairs, love, religion, politics, or business, it's a healthy idea, now and then, to hang a question mark on things you have long taken for granted”

There is nothing like having a person who knows all your qualities and flaws and still think you are exceptional and unique…just make sure you don’t wake up one day and finds out that you lost such person for ever!


Rania Hammoud, Life Coach
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Friday, October 14, 2011

2011-10-14 – Friday Whisper – How They left…

Steve Jobs died a week ago… as you know, Steve impacted our world with his unique creations from Macintosh PC, Mac laptops to IPod and IPhone… the whole globe was affected by his departure; his quotes & videos were in every Facebook, Twitter, Msn and many others…

Another person who impacted our world left us few days ago, but in a quieter way; Dennis Ritchie, a computer scientist, who is the father of the programming C language and (with Ken Thompson) the UNIX operating system, died last Wednesday… if you don’t know the importance of these two inventions: your Windows and your browser are written in C or derivatives of C (Java and C++) and Apple systems wouldn’t have been possible without UNIX.

Steve Jobs built products that changed our lives forever…

Dennis Ritchie built things that allowed technologists like Jobs & Gate to build such products…

Martin Rinard, a professor at MIT, said: “Jobs was the king of the visible, and Ritchie is the king of what is largely invisible.”

Impressive is how when we chase our own dream we impress many around us…when we have the right persistency and patience, reaching it becomes a matter of time, and impact will follow automatically…

But mostly is the impact we leave on people around us, on a personal level…on our beloved ones… with the love and care we give, we can help them shape a better and a healthier life… People will remember how and when we stood by them… they will remember words of encouragement we gave them, that helped them go the extra mile, words of comfort when they were in pain, and words of wisdom when they went wrong…

That was the impact the late father of my brother-in-law has left on his family and beloved ones…it was very hard for them to see him leaving last wednesday, but it was comforting seeing him taking a break from his illness and pain… he was fortunate to die with his loved ones around him… his service was filled with people telling stories about his caring heart and his great demeanor… his children are and will always be a live example of the type of person he was…

Death is inevitable, that’s for sure…it is how we celebrate the life of our beloved ones rather than mourning their death that makes us feel that they are still around us…the whole difference between a tragic loss and a climactic one…

Mustafa Hammoud, a Lebanese lawyer/my Dad, said: “Fortunate is he who leaves behind him a good story to be told…”

You may leave a professional or a personal impact on people behind you, regardless if it is a small or big one… just make sure you don’t pass thru this life impactless…


This whisper is dedicated to my brother-in-law Bilal, may Allah give you the patience, strength and wisdom to go thru this difficult period…


Rania Hammoud, Life Coach
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Friday, September 30, 2011

2011-09-30 – Friday Whisper – Camping…


Camping is another extraordinary experience… Well, if done with an extraordinary company ;)

I went with the one and only FNC for camping in Akkar, north of Lebanon.

It was a very nourishing experience on all levels… Once arrived, we setup our tents, gathered tree twigs, built a fire ring with rocks to prepare for the campfire… You know, camping isn’t camping without a campfire!

We started the fire and sat around it, start chatting, singing, eating, roasting marshmallow over campfire… Sometimes, we would go for a silly competition like who can jump higher over the campfire…

Then we took a walk in the middle of the night under the moon light…. Sooooo refreshing…

Amazing is how we adapt easily to nature when we thought we couldn’t…All of a sudden, we can enjoy our time away from our comfortable environment without TV, Internet, phones… just connecting with our “natural” inner side…

Looking around, at first we can only see people we don’t know until we initiate the first contact, as simple as “how are you doing” or “do you need help” or making a funny remark about something…it is when we realize that others are more friendly than what we thought, we might have common friend with them, or we might be working in the same company…

Why most of the time we wait for others to start a conversation? Maybe because we are afraid of rejection… by doing so, we might be depriving ourselves from a chance to meet exceptional people…so what if we get rejected? What is the worst that can happen? Nothing, just move to the next stranger :) We will get accepted many more times, that’s for sure…

And never say “No” to a silly game, as sometimes it takes a silly activity to get a good laugh…

Georges Bernard Show, an Irish author, said: “We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.”

I might grow old but I know I will never get old ;)

Rania Hammoud, Life Coach
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That was our next morning hike...yeaaaaaaah, you did miss it! :P

Friday, September 16, 2011

2011-09-16 – Friday Whisper – Wet Hiking...


 Last Sunday I went with "Footprints Nature Club" for a wet hiking trip; we had to walk thru the river during the hike.

While I was walking, I realized that this hike looked very much like life…

We had to walk thru the river, on slipping rocks underneath that we were not able to see because of the troubling water… We needed more than a pair of eyes… we needed our vision…

I used a small stick to know how deep the next step was, how big or small the next rock was, where should I put my foot next…

I was moving in baby steps, slowly but almost surely…

Sometimes I found myself alone… Sometimes me and another hiker had to stick together to guide each other… I would ask someone ahead of me, where would be the next safe path…

Sometimes I followed others’ footsteps… sometimes I was leading…

Sometimes I would walk on the river shore, but then I was missing the fun and would go again in the water…

Sometimes I would stop, sit on a rock and enjoy the view…in the middle of a river, surrounded with mountains and trees…

I kept my tree stick, even when at times when I didn’t need it, as it was helpful afterwards…

At one moment, I had to face my fears, that is of heights, and I had no choice but to keep going and climb some rocks with the help of other hikers…

At another moment, I had to walk thru thorns… scratching my legs and hands… but again I had no choice but to keep going… I was pissed off!

And with all the precautions I took, I ended up slipping in water twice…

Sometimes it was pleasant, sometimes it was painful…

When the hike was over, we got to a place with a splendid view…

We finished a hike with a mixture of feelings… But isn’t life all about this?

I learned never underestimate any tool you put your hands on, not even a simple tree stick…and never get rid of a tool that still good even if you don’t need it now, you might need it later…

I learned that with patience, you can go thru hard times…

I learned that help comes sometimes from people whom you thought weren’t friendly or funny…

I learned that after a hard time come good times…

I learned that having faith in yourself and your abilities is the only way to overcome any hardship…

I learned that if you choose to play it safe, others will bypass you… If you decide to go faster, probability that you will fall is higher… your choice…

I learned that there is no one-way to get to your goal and whichever route you take, it will be your choice…

I learned that it is very helpful to ask people who did it before, it saves you lots of trouble…

I learned that your fears are as big as you make them…

I learned that any obstacle remains one until you overcome it…

I learned that you can enjoy your journey alone or with others…

I learned that if you embrace your failures and laugh at them, you will make it easier to success…

I learned that wherever you would be, you can always take a moment to enjoy the scenery…

A quote reads: “Life is a mixture of sunshine and rain, teardrops and laughter, pleasure and pain. Just remember, there was never a cloud that the sun couldn't shine through.”

Any moment of your life that passes will never come back again…

Rania Hammoud, Life Coach
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Rishmaya river - Lebanon




Saturday, September 3, 2011

2011-09-02 – Friday Whisper – Sweet & Sour…


Yeah yeah I know… Saturday is almost over and I’m already late with my Friday Whisper…but I have a very very very valid reason: it was the wedding of my sister yesterday, and this comes first! ;)

An exceptional wedding it was… everything was great… flowers, decoration, lighting, guests, and music…

Bride & Groom? Well, she looked like she was walking on the clouds with her groom… She was all in white, marvelous, splendid like princesses in the fairy tales…no! Much better! :)

He looked handsome, elegant, and like a winner who just won the first prize! Why she chose him? Because he swept her off her feet and showed her love she deserved!

He looked so happy having her in his arms for their first dance… She looked so fulfilled with all the people she loves around her and the man she adores holding her…

It was so sweet to prepare for the wedding…running everywhere to find the right dress, shoes, accessories, hairdresser, makeup expert…

It was so sweet to prepare their house, the home that will witness new memories to come…

It was so sweet for us to get ready and look beautiful for the wedding, to sit for hours at the beauty salon seeing how our look was changing…to the better of course! ;)

It was so sweet to receive our friends and family at the party…

It was so sweet to dance on the floor like there is no tomorrow…to jump up high, to scream out loud…

Yesterday, we were all on cloud number 9… even him… smiling at us from up there…

24 hours after the wedding, I can’t but wish my sweetest sister & her hubby lots of love for each other, lots of patience and understanding to overcome their differences, and lots of wisdom to be able to see the sun beyond the clouds…

Lao Tzu, a Chinese philosopher, said: “To love someone deeply gives you strength. Being loved by someone deeply gives you courage.”

And as one of the best wedding toasts says:
“My Greatest wish for the two of you is that through the years your love for each other will so deepen and grow, that years from now you will look back on this day, your wedding day, as the day you loved each other the least.”

I know the celebration of their wedding was yesterday, but I know that the celebration of their love is still going on and on and on and on….

Luv you Bilo…
Te quiero mucho Ammouna ;)


Rania Hammoud, Life Coach
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Friday, July 29, 2011

2011-07-29 – Friday Whisper – Recharge…


Whenever you feel like you are dragging yourself to work, recharge...

Whenever you feel like your kids are driving you crazy, recharge...

Whenever you feel like your colleague or your spouse is hitting on your nerves, recharge...

Whenever you feel like you are forcing yourself to do a ritual thing, recharge...

Whenever you are tired of reading these whispers, recharge...Not! :) kidding! ;)

Do you know how you reinitialize your Internet modem by unplugging and re-plugging it? Unplug yourself the same way from people/devices/things you are constantly connected to…

How would you recharge? By doing something you have never done before, to take your brain off your daily stuff... sometimes it could be as simple as turning your mobile off for a whole day... or going to work walking... or cooking a new international dish... or drawing a picture… or taking a walk in the middle of the night listening full ears to the silence...

Recharge so that you can look at your problems/worries/responsibilities with a fresh mind…

I know you would say that you can't leave the kids, or some work has to be done now, or any other clever reason... I would say that for your own sake (and only for your own sake!) find a way to do it; ask your parent, your sibling, your cousin, your friend or even your spouse to help you... as minimum as 3 hours for yourself will make a whole difference for you for the next 3 days at least! It is not selfish! In fact, it will help you to better serve others… while doing whatever it is, you will be contemplating, humming to yourself, allowing your inner self to lead you in a different way, to a different place…

And I will lead by example ;) Friday whispers shall stop during the month of Ramadan (during the month of August), as I will go into a cleansing mode for body, mind and soul… I will keep sharing interesting stuff with you, that’s for sure…and I would suggest that you would write your own whisper and send it to me… I will be more than happy to share them with all of you… just to give an exotic flavor to these whispers! What do you think? Trust me, you will impress yourself! Besides, this could be your own recharge strategy ;)

Fawn Arrington, an American poet, said: “Don’t let your mind hold you for ransom when you have the power to release yourself from thoughts that tire and/or drain you. Take a break and know it’s okay to just sit, smile and be grateful. No thinking, no expectations, no disappointments, no worries.”

Recharge your spirit… Recharge your mind…

Recharge so that you are in charge again!

Rania Hammoud, Life Coach
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