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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
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Friday, February 5, 2016

2016-02-05 – Friday Whisper – Not in Your World…

Have you ever thought that your child’s world is different than yours? Did it cross your mind that they might have different priorities, different expectations, different perception and different experience than yours?

When your kid wants to share her dream of last night with you, she needs to do it now, it is very important to her; she doesn’t care if it is 6:00 am in the morning, or if you have a headache or if you’re running late for work, or your mind is busy with something else, it is not her problem, her life revolves around her dream right now.
When your kid wants to tell you what happened today at school from the moment he rushed in the door, he doesn’t care if you had a rough day or you just had a big fight with your spouse; his news is much more important.

Make sure if you don’t give them the attention they need when they need it, they will understand it as you don’t care about them since you don’t care about what they want to say…
And they link everything that happens to them. If you’re sick or tired, it is because their behavior or what they didn’t do. If you’re shouting it is because they misbehaved. You know I was once pregnant and had a miscarriage. I heard by coincidence a conversation between my 9-years old twins back then, telling each other that it is their mistake I lost the baby because they made me shout the other day. Can you image the guilt they were living? I explained to them that it wasn’t true and that the baby was sick. They asked many questions before they were relieved and believed it wasn’t their fault!

Even worse, we hold them responsible for our sadness, anger or happiness: “I will be very sad if you don’t get high grade”, or “ you made me shout because you did so & so”. By this, we are teaching them that we are not responsible of our reactions or our well-being. The results? They will grow up blaming others for their own mood, reactions or failures…
We are their raw model, their first contact and experience with the outer world. And guess what? They will do what we do, not what we tell them to do.

Next time you get angry with your kid, stop and think:
-what made him/her behave this way? What is happening in his/her mind?
-what is triggering my anger? And what choices I have for reactions?
-how can I change this problem into an opportunity to convey a value or a lesson to my kid?
Joyce Brothers, an American psychologist, said: “If a child is given love, he becomes loving ... If he's helped when he needs help, he becomes helpful. And if he has been truly valued at home ... he grows up secure enough to look beyond himself to the welfare of others.”
And Kevin Heath, an Australian footballer, said: “In the end, kids won't remember that fancy toy or game you bought for them, they will remember the time you spent with them.”

Take the time to ask them and understand what is going in their mind. Their world is different than yours and it is your responsibility to understand and make the distinction, not theirs!

Your words become their beliefs

Rania Hammoud, ACC,Life Coach

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Friday, January 22, 2016

2016-01-22 – Friday Whisper – The Life I want…

The other day I asked myself a question:” if a doctor told you that you have a terminal disease and that you’ve got only one year to live, what would be your reaction?”. And my immediate response was: “I would live the life I want to the fullest”. Now my very next question was: “and what would the life you want look like?”, this is where my mind went totally blank!!!! And I wondered, was it that I didn’t know what I want or maybe I am already living the life I want? I couldn’t answer this either…
I realized that answering the question “What do you want?” is not as easy as it seems. What do you want to do in your life? What do you want to achieve? What do you want your future to look like? When you reach your future, what do you want your past to look like? In short, What Do You Want?
I’d like to think that I am getting it all in my life, yet I want to make sure of that. I don’t want to wake up 10 years down the road and discover that I missed on achieving something very important to me, that I totally overlooked and realize that it is too late to do it…
If I can figure out what is my purpose on this earth, how do I want to make use of the time left for me, maybe this can help me know how to design the life I want…
Maybe one of the ways to figure this out is to ask the 8-years old child in you what does he/she like and not like about the person you are today…
Another way to ask yourself if you had the magic wand with unlimited choices what things would you create? After the cars, houses, clothes, accessories, gadgets you got yourself, what else would you get?
A third way that helps you is if you can point out your passion, maybe you would be on the right way as well… and trust me, this is not easy to do as well!
A forth way is to think about what do you want people to remember you for, once you leave this life? What would you like your legacy to be?
Now once you are able to figure this out, start acting on designing the life you want; don’t wait for a terminal illness to do so!!!

I am off to figure out the life I want, what about you?

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

Friday, January 8, 2016

2016-01-08 – Friday Whisper - Turning a Blind Eye…

Every time I stumble upon sad or violent news, I turn a blind eye and carry on.
I don’t want to know what is happening in Madaya, or in Dunkrik & Calais refugee camps,  what is happening in the refugee camps in Lebanon, Jordan or Turkey, or with the refugees waiting at European borders, especially in this freezing season..
I don’t want to know about the daily life of people in Syria...
I don’t want to know what happened to Aylan Kurdi before he drowned, neither about all the refugees who lost their lives in the sea.
I don’t want to know what happened to people during the war on Afghanistan and Iraq and the aftermaths of that.
I don’t want to know what is happening to women that being captured by ISIS.
I don’t want to know what is happening with the people of Yemen.
I don’t want to know what is happening in Myanmar.
I don’t want to know what the rebel groups are doing in Burma, Somalia, Ethiopia, Niger, Cameron and Chad.
I don’t want to know about the daily on-going suffering of Palestinians.
I don’t want to know about the people who were beheaded or hanged or shot just because they expressed their opinions.
I don’t want to know about all this, otherwise I will hold myself accountable of what I didn’t do, as we are all guilty of their sufferings…
I found it easier to turn a blind eye, watch those useless talent shows and pretend that this is the real world, along with the vain Kardashians.
And I wonder why do I have to bring another human being into this life? What for? Isn’t it too cruel to bring innocent children into all this? What kind of legacy we’ll be leaving for them?
Then I say to myself, maybe we need some clean spirits, maybe they will be able to clean up our mess, maybe they will be able to bring a fresh breeze of humanity, love, empathy and mercy to this life… maybe all what we are left with is a wish for a better tomorrow, a faith in the unknown future generation… a glimpse of hope…maybe…

Rania Hammoud, ACC,Life Coach
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