Category Archives: M’s Thoughts

Nothing Pops Out of Nowhere – M Thoughts

“Look into the depths of your own soul and learn first to know yourself, then you will understand why this illness was bound to come upon you and perhaps you will thenceforth avoid falling ill.”
– Sigmund Freud

Motivation quotes are everywhere and they say such quotes make sense to only people with low IQ. However, I have wanted to share this for a long time and tonight my state of mind is right.
Everything that happens in your life, whether it is a mood swing or god forbids cancer (I believe), is the result of something you did or thought or said or felt consciously or unconsciously. To be able to cure from any disease, depression, failure, broken heart, or ache you need to first and foremost DIG DEEP and Learn To Know Yourself.

All your actions are justified, all your mistakes root from somewhere, all your insecurities were somehow triggered, and all your health issues did not just pop for no reason.

When you lose your purse, you go back in your memory and try to remember the last time you used it. You try to track your steps so you can think of the possibilities of where your wallet might be.

Similarly everything you lose can be sought after. Whether it is your happiness, your good health, your soberness, your faith, your heart, your good will, your dignity, your ego, your trust in others, your self-confidence, your freedom, your wonder, or Your Spark!

Dig, try to figure out the cause and start gluing the pieces. Go back to the last time you believed or loved or were happy, and think of what happened after that.

It is not until I realized that my back injury was a result of being surrounded by bad negative vibes, hatred, stress, fatigue, jealousy, routine, a bad lifestyle, a crooked posture, destructive people, sleep deprivation, and an unbalanced diet – which, all piled up, led me to do that wrong move at the gym that I started getting better. It was not just the move itself, it was the state of mind I was in while I carried those weights, I knew I was hurting my back – but still didn’t stop.

which brings me to..

Not everyone is destructive, but many of us are. We often hurt ourselves willingly due to a lack of selflove. If you do not Love Yourself, Stop Your Life and Learn to Love Yourself. Loving yourself is not a power trip – it does not mean stepping on those around you it means the exact opposite.

When you love yourself, you seize the opportunities that come your way perfectly, you believe that you deserve everything life is giving you, you set your standards higher, you attract the right people – the right vibes, you grow – and you glow. The more you glow, the more you will intimidate (you can read this with hate to find gaps) or motivate (you can also read this with wonder to find hope).

which brings me to..

If your past is not letting you love yourself, Learn to Forgive Yourself. I tried this NLP Exercise with a wiseman, and it turned out that I feel better if I held both my arms with my arms – hugged myself. Hug Yourself often and learn to let go off your mistakes. We live in a sick world – everyone is untrue – everyone lies and hides. It gets contagious, unfortunately. Erase whatever reason makes you believe you deserve any less than you thought you deserved. Delete whatever memory convinces you you’re not worthy of good things.

While you’re doing that, forgive others and put yourselves in their shoes.

While you’re doing that, love those who destroyed you because they made you you.

Once you love yourself more, you will become healthier and less destructive. It becomes less likely for you to fall ill or tired, or to get injured – and more likely to be healthy, happy, and prospering.

Enough for tonight,
Finally, Bashir has been waiting for me to post this picture (cover) for ages.

Picture Credit: BashirBouRaffoul

Much Love!
M

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Only if you’re in your 20s

Being 23 reminds me of being 13; girls with moustache, unibrows, underdeveloped tities, and body hair not knowing whether they should start shaving, whether wearing a bra is okay or not, and if playing with barbies is so last year. You know some girls almost lost their virginities at 13 whereas other girls still wore those tutu dresses and went to church every Sunday with their grandmas. Just like thirteen didn’t really feel right, 23 feels really perplexing – different people experience it differently.

I somehow tend to categorize us 23/25 year olds into four categories:

  • Those who are settled down (jumped the 20s)
    Honestly, I believe that being in your twenties is like getting an appetizer at a diner. Being an adolescent is more like only chips. You can’t really afford the appetizers when you’re still (generally) depending on your parents’ salary. In your twenties, you have the luxury to see it all yourself. You start generating your own income that allows you to do whatever you want, spend your time wherever you want, and be around whomever you want. Cause hey, we both know you had curfew before. Even if you didn’t, there were many factors stopping you from getting into certain places or being around the people you want to be around.
    Those who chose to settle down, meaning got married, I guess jumped that appetizer stage and went directly to the main dish. No matter what you tell me, being married in your early twenties is somehow running away from all the challenge and getting into ‘safe hands’. If it weren’t safe, well, it’s actually worse. You are actually not only responsible for yourself but for another baby (other than yourself). If you’re just a couple who doesn’t want to get mini you-s, you as well, jumped into a whole different lifestyle of sharing everything with someone else. It might be nice sometimes, but I guess you could’ve tried to do it first yourself for a while, then got into all this. The feeling of being independent is beautiful, and it’s different than when you were in college.

kidsGetting married at a young age has advantages like being closer to your kids (decreasing the age gap), enjoying retirement with your spouse, and sharing your life with someone else. However, with all these divorce rates, I can’t guarantee married couples will last till retirement, and if they do, they would’ve had some really tough years. Moreover, I guess I have a big age-gap with 20 year olds, it’s not even funny. If I slept for 2 months, I’d have an age gap with my friends my age. The age-gap is bound to exist if I were ten years older than my kids, the generation gaps are so wide these days, I’d rather enjoy my golden years.
However, I am not entirely against early marriage, I have some close friends who are happily married and I wish them the best.

  • Those who are living their teenage years (filling the space)
    Just like some people jump into adulthood full on, and don’t enjoy the moment, others do the exact opposite… those are the people who basically had hard as hell curfews / or were studying all the time back in college/ or where super ugly and had a major plastic surgery makeover (but I’m not gonna go shallow on you) that now have the freedom/ chance to do what the cool kids used to do in college. They’d be throwing house parties every other day, getting high, recklessly partying all the time, getting shit ass drunk and hooking up with random people, getting excited about making friends at any given occasion; not searching for any sort of stability in their lives.ted-movie

I’m not contradicting myself, stability is definitely what a 20-something year old person should aim for, however settling down needs far-seeing and acquired-wisdom that I doubt people might have in their early 20s.
Now you see, there’s a thin line between that and being a free-spirit in your early 20s. Enjoying your 20s definitely includes partying, dating, and meeting interesting people, but with the experience and emotional intelligence that one is bound to have in his 20s, the same activities become different. Different goals. Time becomes too precious to waste it on fake relationships and pointless friendships.

  • The Entrepreneurs (the Risk Takers)
    Those are the freelancers, free-spirits, or the dreamers. If you are one, you have earned my respect already. The entrepreneurs are people who are willingly or unwillingly not working a day-job, but working either freelance projects or building their own small startup businesses.
    Both are definitely risk takers. I know some friends who have even quit their full-time job to work on their projects – dreams. Those people are an inspiration. Again, it’s better to do that in your early 20s than in your 30s -you can’t go all Kramer vs. Kramer on your wife/husband. It’s either you fail or you make it big. If you make it big, I applause you. If you lose, well you can either try again till you win, or you can just surrender to the economic lifestyle everyone else is doing, and be employed.
    If you’re giving this a thought just know this:
    Your lifestyle would be either doing absolutely nothing all day, or zillion things in one day. Some days you’d feel super depressed/unproductive and other days you’d feel you’re on top of the world when invited on radio/tv shows or to events/ seminars.
    *There are some programs, that I’m a fan of, in Lebanon like seeqnce and BDL Accelerate that actually support/fund start-ups. You can check those if you want.
    BxKadavIYAAPCWf.png_large seeqnce
  • The young-Adults (TGIFers)
    Whereas other 20 year olds (mentioned so far) cant really keep track of what’s-today, the young adults count the days till the end of the month – when they get paid. In our capitalistic societies, the TGIFers are playing it safe. They are ofcourse enrolled in a hierarchical institution, working their asses of aspiring of gaining the experience, the know-hows, and the connections in their fields.
    They either want to reach higher positions or want to eventually open up their own businesses with their acquired knowledge. Most of them stay employees their whole lives – dedicate their life to the company they work in. I do admire those, especially if they’ve worked in one company their whole lives. That’s like dedicating your life to God. Of course no company is God, but I appreciate the dedication and I value the opportunity cost those people had to sacrifice to remain in the same environment for years. Others jump around. I appreciate the ambition and adaptation ability of those. Few of them, who have the right resources eventually, open their own businesses. Those would be experienced entrepreneurs – and again risk-takers that I respect.
    Young adults understand terms like Sad Monday and Thank God It’s Friday. They have the luxury to go out every night, but they stick to watching a DVD, reading a book, or even sleeping early on some nights. They hate Mondays and love Fridays just like students. They are busy during the weekdays, so they sometimes forget to plan a cool weekend – but they don’t mind it because hey, it’s always better spontaneous. Young adults lose a lot of friends and tend to feel alienated around the first two categories. They usually associate themselves with older people, but still love to spend quality time with their childhood and family members. They usually have a good-5/10-contacts-group-on-whatsapp that is basically their escape. They’d be sending silly voice notes and pictures back and forth throughout the day. I’d say that usually the young adults make up around 60% out of the population – but unemployment rates are drastic these days, I don’t know if they are the majority.
    funny-ace-ventura-happy-work
    Bottom line is, life is all about decisions. Whether you’ll live your teens in your eighties or if you wore makeup when you were four, nothing is wrong or right. If you were lucky enough to find your soulmate at a young age, make sure you are wise enough to take a life-long commitment decision, and make sure you are both adequate to make a living. If you were now discovering life because you couldn’t before, make sure you surround yourself with younger- or at least people you trust who wouldn’t take advantage of you. Know that this phase you’re living is simply what they call psychological ‘défoulement’ – that shouldn’t last forever, or else you wouldn’t really get anywhere – except if you’re planning to be like John, from the movie Ted. If you have the skills to make a living as a freelancer or ambitious enough to start planning your own business, make sure you know the ups and downs of that. As a freelancer, make sure you don’t spend all your money at once when you get money, cause it might not always be available. Even if it’s not your ‘thing’ to be safe, with money, make your best to play it safe. You don’t want your friends paying your share when you go out do you? As a dreamer, know that the probability of failing for a beginner is more than 75% (FFFW). You got to pick up the pieces and start over a lot of times, and if you don’t ever make it, congratulate yourself for trying – not everyone does. Lastly, if you were fortunate enough to land on a job, make sure you don’t succumb your full energy and time into your job that you forget your ethics, or yourself completely. Remember what you loved to do before you started working, do more of your habits. Paint, exercise, play music, go out with friends, watch movies, and act silly. Even if your job is super serious, don’t wear all beige and turn into a dull character. Your job doesn’t define you, it’s you job period. Plus, don’t just settle to one job no matter how safe and easy going the environment is – except if it’s really your dream job. Don’t forget your dreams. Always be up to new adventures/ opportunities. Finally, no matter what, TRAVEL. When you have money, instead of buying a couple of Prada bags or moccasin shoes, book a ticket to whatever country it is, and go. Don’t be picky. Any country in the world is worth it – just don’t go to war zones.

travel-quotesLife is easy, and it’s all a matter of cause and effect. You are now what you’ve been living your whole life to be. If you have dreams and you’re not taking any action towards them, start a to-do list of short-term goals and long-term goals. Keep track of your improvement. If you have friends that you don’t like, cut them off. They wouldn’t have you around if they don’t want you around. If they would, well… Should I continue? Start planning right and you’re going to achieve your dreams. Oh and dream big because dreams do come true.

*So Marc recommended to me this article “The Brain on 23” by Molly Sprayregen that somehow got me writing this article. You can check it out: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/molly-sprayregen/the-brain-on-23_b_6046888.html
Much love!
Maya Akra

Randoms

A person has accomplished a lot if he inspired one person who is not a part of his close social groups. Even if he didn’t realize his direction himself, if he assisted someone else in his journey when it’s more tangible, his journey becomes more colorful. It’s better to have flowers your whole life and not getting anywhere, than thorns that might prevent you from getting to your target at the end of the way.

Grandpa’s Mansion

life’s too short to not go to every corner you come across in your grandpa’s huge mansion and discover how dim, warm, and safe it is – knowing that once one corner gets too dark and blue you can always hop into your grandfather’s lap in the chimney room and ask Him to tell you a story.
if you think about it, He wouldn’t always have a book in his hands if he weren’t expecting you back & He wouldn’t let you wander all around his chateau if He didn’t want you to explore its corners.
One thing I know for sure though: your Grandpa is too old for hide & seak, and his heart gets too weak when He finds your bed empty before He sleeps.

Don’t feel bad when you go wrong – Be happy when you realize you’re on the wrong track and try to fix it up… Remember, fixing it up succeeds with trial and error

Raising Monsters

I usually directly turn my phone’s video camera on when such things happen in front of me. Sadly, this time I was so appalled I forgot that I was even holding my phone in my bare hands – and that it actually had battery for once.

Here’s what happened. I had a meeting with one of Ashrafieh’s production houses. I was waiting for the elevator to come to take me to the 6th floor, and three beautiful blond kids approached me along with their – I’d call her – Ethiopian ‘nanny’. She was fixing their clothes and telling them to stay away from the elevator’s door so that they wouldn’t hurt themselves.

THEN, I witnessed the rage of a real Cruella, the children’s Mom.
“Why didn’t you close your windows? The kids closed their windows and YOU didn’t. Why didn’t you close them? If you didn’t close them, who would do it… ME?”

Cruella’s voice was beyond the average intensity of anything our ears are bound to hear. She was addressing the nanny.
“EH? Eh? Answer Me! Why didn’t you close it” Cruella continued to scold.

The elevator came and we all rushed in: Cruella, the nanny, the three kids, and I.

Unfortunately, Cruella had the same destination as myself. She buttoned the 6th floor as well.

The elevator didn’t move. The nanny and I were standing facing a white wall.

Cruella murmured to me that I should move away from the wall and then literally barked at the nanny, “Why are you standing like this! Move away from the wall! How can the elevator travel and you’re standing like this!”  “MOOOOOVE!”, she roared.

“Sorry” whispered the nanny in a low discrete voice.

Standing there, I had no choice but to blurt something out loud.

“Please do not shout at her like that” I asked gently.

“Yih! Who are you to ask me to not shout at her? Am I interfering in your personal life? It’s my life and I can say and do whatever I want. You can treat your ‘servant’ the way you want. It’s none of your business how I speak to her…Yih!”

Disappointed from her reply,“She takes care of your kids, she helps you, be nice,” I said. “ It’s basic human rights,” I continued. (I felt I looked stupid when I said that, but I was literally revolted)

Cruella got furious, blabbing to herself, I could feel the dark clouds ranging from both sides of her ears.

I got to the production house. To my surprise, Cruella wanted to cast her kids for some upcoming commercials. She waited for me, eyeing her throughout the conversation, as I spoke to the manager. Should I tell her anything infront of everyone in the production house? Should I call Child Control to take those beautiful young angels away from her and save a planet? Or, should I just be sorry for such mothers living among us raising up monsters? Monsters who will eventually, instead of being grateful to others, exploit the power given to them to abuse the less fortunate?

Think of it this way, there are two possibilities: The nanny being abused will either >

A. Keep on being nice and tolerating this harsh treatment > the kids would grow up believing it is just normal to shout at those who work for them > we will raise a generation of arrogant, power-blinded, ungrateful cocky selfish assholes

B. Or she will literally take her revenge on the vulnerable kids when the parents aren’t around (and we all know that the parents aren’t most of the times around these days) > we will raise a generation of psychologically disturbed kids

I don’t know if you agree on this, but I hope you just think twice everytime you see a nanny , a helper, or a cleaner at any household, company, or club you’re at. Put yourselves in their shoes for 2 seconds, and no matter what is going through in your mind at the moment, try to draw a smile on your face to their direction and try to let them feel you’re grateful they’re around to clean your toilets at clubs, cook your food, take care of your kids, and wipe the floor your shoes step on.

I don’t hate you Cruella, I detest your parents for creating a monster*

With Love,

M

*this has nothing to do with lady gaga monsters ^_^

Lebanon 1933 – 2012

جبران خليل جبران
حديقة النبي ١٩٣٣

ويل لامة تكثر فيها الطوائف وتخلو من الدين
ويل لامة تلبس مما لا تنسج ، وتأكل مما لا تزرع، وتشرب مما لا تعصر
ويل لامة تحسب المستبد بطلا”، وترى الفاتح المذل رحيما”
ويل لامة تكره الشهوة في احلامها وتعنو لها في يقظتها
ويل لامة لا ترفع صوتها الا اذا مشت بجنازة، ولا تفخر الا بالخراب
ولا تثور الا وعنقها بين السيف والنطع
ويل لامة سائسها ثعلب، وفيلسوفها مشعوذ، وفنها فهن الترقيع والتقليد
ويل لامة تستقبل حاكمها بالتطبيل وتودعه بالصفير،
لتستقبل اخر بالتطبيل والتزمير
ويل لامة حكماؤها خرس من وقر السنين ورجالها الاشداء
في اقمطة السرير
ويل لامة مقسمة الى اجزاء وكل جزء يحسب نفسه أمة

——————————-
بْحبّ قولْ:

ويلٌ لأُمَّةٍ لا تَتقَدَّم
وَيْلٌ لأمّةٍ لا يَزالُ يُطَبّقُ عليْها شعْرٌ كُتِبَ منذُ ٨٠ سَنَةٍ

وَيلٌ لأُمةٍ تَخسَرُ شَبابَها مِنْ جَرّاءِ عدم مُبالاتِها
هَبَلِها… جَشَعِها… وَتَبَعِيَّتِها

وَيلٌ لأُمّةٍ لا تَضعُ الشعبَ أَوّلاً
وَويلٌ لشعبٍ لا يَكْتَرِث للوَطَنِ أَوّلاً
يَحبُّ ذاتَهُ.. يَبغَضُ غيْرَهُ.. ولا يأْبَهْ بمصيبةِ أَخيهِ

نحنُ نرى الويلَ بِأَعْيُنِنا
ونَلْمسُه الآن كُلّ دقيقة

والعَتبُ ليسَ على الدّولة
وَلا على القانونْ

العَتَبُ عَلَيْنا نَحنُ

شَعبٌ طَمّاع… يُباعُ وَيُشْتَرى…
قُطْعانْ
وَسَلْخُنا قريبْ.

with Love
M