Category Archives: Thoughts On…

On Dying

Today I am energetically trying to help a friend who is grieving his friend who is getting ready for his “transition” to another realm.  I have seen and experienced many deaths beginning with my own brother’s many years ago and followed by numerous patients and friends.  Not one has been easy.

Yet, what has become “easier” over time for me has been the acceptance of death.  I have always felt that when a person’s work in this life is done, their time comes to leave us. The un-ease for me has always been seeing/feeling/sensing the pain or struggle that can happen in this time.  More often I am even more aware of the pain and struggle of the survivors of the recently (or soon-to-be) departed.  I truly believe that is the area that needs more attention.

For myself, I know that I wished each person I have lost to death had more time. Why?  For young people I have always felt they were not able to “truly” live their lives because there were not enough years for them to do so.  Yet each young person I have seen pass I feel has lived longer that many people even twice their age… and they have left a legacy so strong that their thoughts, words and actions are so evidently living through everyone that they touched.  For older people who pass (even the oldest at 98 years old) – I am more aware that even though they have lived incredibly full lives, it is ME wanting them to live longer because I cherish them.  And then I look at how beautiful it is that young or old, such a life is so valued by others that our own selfish desire of wanting them alive (even if they are struggling in some way) shows us how much they mean to us.  And I have never found it “easy” to let go of anyone I have known that is dying.

More recently, I am reminded more and more of what I have read, what Near-Death-Experiences have shown, and what I feel is true in my heart. That the person dying is moving into a beautiful realm of spiritual existence that is not observable to (most of) our human eyes.  Some people like psychics or mystics are able to see this realm.  I am able to read energy from this realm today too (not from seeing it but “hearing” it on some level).  I know that on a vibrational level, things that we finally see manifest (in these cases, in someone’s passing) – is already done.  Many people have noticed and experienced a loved one who is dying that is able to “wait” to see a favourite relative or meaningful relationship before they pass.  I believe that the time around death (could be days, weeks or months), dying people have some awareness of their limited time left on Earth, and are able to use some subconscious/unconscious energy to help them achieve, or see/feel something they truly desire before they pass.  I have known patients who were waiting for a son/daughter to visit from continents away who passed soon after the visit.

And I believe that the Higher Consciousness/God/Universe is involved in this too.  My current friend recently saw a cardinal arrive in his back yard.  I mentioned how this is often a sign/message from a loved one who is deceased and I have no doubt he was thinking about his current dying friend who was most on his mind although not yet deceased.  I held back from sharing the idea of energy moving faster that what we can perceive with our senses as I did not want to worry him further.  Yet I do believe it’s true.  I also believe in miracles so I do not like to give too much thought/energy into a direction that could miraculously turn around (after all, this is how near death experiences happen).  Yet this time, even though I do not know the friend who is passing, I sense that he is being prepared and readied for a beautiful adventure into that realm of existence where all is perfect, no worries exist, and joys unimaginable to our normal human minds will delight him.  How could anyone not welcome this true celebration of the life experience for those they love.  This does require some trust in the unknown and a faith that all religions/spiritual traditions often remind us about.  My instinct and experience fills my trust and faith in this daily and I hope that the energy I share in my desire to help those in such un-easy times of transition will lift them with the same certain energy that I feel in my heart.

If you are working through a recent (or past) loss due to death or the dying experience please know that there are wonders beyond our senses that far surpass the human experience on many levels. The pain of your loss in this time and beyond does benefit from healthy grieving processing too – of course I recommend Grief Recovery for anyone in this space. Take the time you need for your own healing and know that I am here to help if you ever need me.

Wishing you your own healing and transformation through this opportunity in your life. There is a blessing in this experience for you. Trust. Grieve. Heal.

Kindly,

Hanifa

416-920-8975; hanifahelps@gmail.com

Dependence on Medications or Supplements

So we all know that once a medication goes into a body regularly, a dependence on that medication will likely occur, which means a person will need to keep taking it for the desired benefits, sometimes needing to increase the dose as the body may need higher amounts to get the benefits achieved by lower amounts earlier (the body will adjust to it’s “natural” state so it may require more medication to get the same benefits).

The same can apply to supplements. Sometimes a person takes a nutritional supplement to adjust for inadequate natural food choices going into the body – so vitamins and minerals can be very helpful in this time. But increasing quantities can be needed here too over time.

So I’ve always encouraged vitamin/mineral “holidays” with clients. Giving the body a break for a month or two can be so beneficial in making sure that the body doesn’t absolutely require a supplement for a natural function like bowel movements or sleep. And maybe this encourages more mindful food choices during the holiday too!

I do not recommend taking medication holidays without a discussion with your medical doctor as there is much more dependence on these and stopping suddenly can produce some drastic unwanted results.

Over time the body does change too so medications and supplements will be metabolized and eliminated at different rates from the body. It is a very good idea to check with your medical doctor to see if you still need the same dose of a medication that may have been prescribed to you 10 years ago! Yearly blood tests can help your doctor determine if changes should be made.

Most important to remember with either pharmaceutical medications or supplements is to watch your own body’s symptoms and signs. If something is changing, do think about the medications/supplements that are going into your body regularly. These are often overlooked as new medications or supplements are added in.

Throughout my experience with clients, I have noticed that people are much more willing to add in a new supplement rather than remove something from their daily regimen! And this is how many end up taking 10-30 pills of something per day! Wow. Please be mindful of what you are adding to your supplement (or medication) regime and remember that whatever you take in will need to be metabolized and eliminated too. This can put extra strain on both the liver and kidneys in your body and lead to one of the most common symptoms of all – fatigue/exhaustion – as energy that could be provided to muscles and overall energy levels is going to be used for the internal organs processing medications and supplements.

And always remember that mental/emotional strain and unprocessed emotions and life experiences will always show up as signs and symptoms in your health too.  Do work on these areas for achieving or maintaining your own optimum health!

Wishing you all a beautifully-mindful day ahead!

Kindly,

Hanifa

Between Personal and Universal Ethics

In October this year I was invited to present a paper to the IFPE (International Forum for Psychoanalytic Education) – I was part of a panel discussion and my paper was called: “Is That Me I See… In You.”  It was a fantastic group to be part of for the conference consisting of wonderfully educated people doing fantastic work all over!

For me this was a very timely invitation after the recent completion with the School of Awakening 6-month program with Eckhart Tolle and Kim Eng.

I thought I’d share my abstract here and then elaborate on a few ideas just below. Hope you enjoy this post!

Abstract:

The progressive development of the ego which needs differentiation from others to identify itself has created increasing separation among individuals, communities and countries. This has created man-made personal borders, community borders and environmental borders. As individuals become more determined (ego-mind driven) about this need for differentiation, community and countries do the same – the macrocosm reflecting the microcosm.  If we are mindfully-aware, we can see that a dramatic breakdown/dissolution of ego often occurs in times of personal, political or environmental disaster. In this window of opportunity we find that people suddenly see the deeper aspects of similarities between humans from the human spirit that is shaken awake and, temporarily at least, free from the ego through such a time. Today, individuals can take a mindful approach to daily experience rather than a reactionary offence/defence of the ego-mind to start appreciating the oneness of all things. From an energetic perspective, our thoughts, words and actions all make a difference in the larger collective consciousness. This means that each person can be uniquely-individual but that honouring the deeper similarities of the human spirit will bring us closer together than the conscious and unconscious borders we are creating. Unconscious actions create separation whereas every great work – whether in politics, art, music, theatre or health has focused on creation though conscious action/inspiration.  And the best creations through all of these areas have honoured unity over separation, understanding over judgment. This paper focuses on the tremendous opportunity that each individual has in creating personal, professional and worldwide transcending of the self-limiting creation of borders. And all from the comfort of wherever each person is right now.

The purpose of this presentation was to discuss how on a human level we all have the basics for everything from loving, kind and generous thoughts, words and actions, to the other extreme of angry, destructive and harmful thoughts, words and actions. It was also to discuss the possible transformation from “human level” functioning as discussed by even well-known psychologist Abraham Maslow many years ago as what he called a place called “Self-Transcendence” which is not discussed much in literature.  Most know about the level of Self Actualization, but getting beyond the human-self perspective (which would be the Self-Transcendent place Maslow mentioned) is the place that mystics, saints, yogis, and sages through the centuries have described in various ways.

This place always acts from a place of love and compassion. It is what we may call our Highest Self, God/Christ Consciousness or Source. And although it takes some re-training to remind us of this place within us (often clouded by human ego tendencies of feeling better than or less than others) it’s within each of us.  I hope you are inspired to mindfully work to create this place of centred thoughts, words and actions. Therein truly, does lie peace.

Wishing you peace during this holiday season and always!

Kindly,

Hanifa

 

Vibrational Energy

 

Have you heard or do you know that everything in our lives is made up of energy particles that vibrate at particular frequencies?  I remember learning this first during my 4th year Neuropsychology degree at the U of A. It was while I was taking a course in Physics (not my favourite, but necessary for my graduation). It was the only physics course that would fit into my schedule and it was a 3-hour night course! And it was about the history of physics! Can’t say I was looking forward to it. And what a surprise for me to end up REALLY enjoying it!! We learned everything from Babylonian numerology to Quantum Physics! Then during my time at McMaster’s Health Sciences, I was chosen by the one Professor who took on one student per year to teach Therapeutic Touch to. Now, my quantum physics learning had taught me there was a science behind the effect of intention in everything, and Therapeutic Touch is an energetic medicine (like acupuncture but more similar to reiki as it does not require touching people for the effects). And it involves using intention for healing. Well, I was chosen as the student this Professor took on as I was very confident that I would be able to dis-prove that Therapeutic Touch worked or was effective. I could not prove this. And let me let you know that I truly tried. I wanted to honestly take on this task so after I learned how to use Therapeutic Touch, I found every possible non-believer in energy-medicine to try this out on. One of my roommates had Lupus and had caught a terrible cold just before a graduation ceremony (I believe for her boyfriend at the time) – and normally she would be unable to do anything requiring exertion for weeks if she caught a cold so she was a perfect skeptic! And… she went to that graduation the next day feeling much better (almost 100% to both of our surprise). Of course that had to be a coincidence right?

So I worked with patients going through high-risk pregnancies as I was studying in a hospital setting at the time. I found patients that I didn’t know being rushed into delivery rooms in critical times and I rushed to ask permission for trying Therapeutic Touch on them… they all said yes to my surprise – more like “do anything!” So I did. And then I’d escape, happily figuring I could prove it did not help because they all went through their baby deliveries – some much earlier than ideal. And yet, each one of those ladies found a way to find me in the days and weeks ahead to thank me for my help. They’d say they didn’t know what I did but they felt it somehow helped them! So my paper from the experience of my course and personal research from 6 months for my Professor was titled: Therapeutic Touch and Quantum Physics – same results using different language.

And now I think of vibrations and energy all the time! Our vibrations really do create our perceived reality. We see colour based on a vibrational wave form, we hear sounds because of vibrations, and we live a life which contains our own living vibration. Our thoughts, words and actions are all vibrations. The super-exciting thing is that we can actually use our vibrations by Conscious choice – by the vibration we hold or express. When we are on a high-vibration, our energy is lighter, more carefree, content/joyful and loving.  When we are in a lower-vibration we feel heavier, sad/disheartened, worried, anxious or angry. And whatever our vibration, we will receive energies that match our frequencies. So when we want to feel lighter energy around us, we can take the Conscious decision to find a way to raise our internal energy. Of course, when someone is sad/angry/disappointed this may seem like an almost-impossible task. Yet it is possible. You can look to nature, your favourite pet(s), a favourite song, art, dancing or another activity to pull you into a higher vibration even for only a few minutes at a time. Soon, you will feel like doing more – because it feels good – and better than the heavier energy. This lighter energy will start attracting other lighter energies to you – whether in the form of people or experiences. And this is worth the effort!

Now I want to make sure you don’t think of forced smiles or listening to your favourite music while your mind is working through troubles/worries is “raising your vibration” because in reality, that is truly not Consciously raising your vibration. This may seem nice for others to see as they may feel you are in a good place – and this makes both sides feel better superficially. To get the honest and deeper experience and benefits – make sure your intention and thoughts truly match your goal (raising your vibration).

And who do I see having some of the biggest challenges?/opportunities to do this? People who have gone through recent losses – might be job, health, relationship, home – or all of the above. I am also seeing mid-life as a stage of time that I see more and more people experiencing a noticeable shift in personal energies. I suspect this is due to the accumulation of various life experiences by this stage of life.  I find mid-life (I know most think of this as over 55 years of age, but I feel it matches people even in their late 30s or 40s) is a time that many are especially effected by heavier energies as many feel they were expecting their lives to be stable and smooth by this time, yet many experience a bit of an “existential” crisis. Divorces and other relationship losses have become very common in this age group too which often adds another layer of uncertainty. And then we come back to energy and vibration.

No matter what age… it’s the same strategy. Shift your energy to shift your life experience. And then get ready for magic to happen!

Who knew that my Physics course would start such an amazing awareness in my life. Of course, we all understand what we need to, only when we are truly ready to do so. So far, in my personal life experiences, I can easily see that this energetic principle is really true!

Remember that the only constant in life is change – knowing this vibrational energy “secret” will increase your vitality and resilience through every possible life experience. Now – trust, and try it for yourself! Raise your vibration!

More energy-revitalizing tips to come. Wishing you a high vibrational holiday season!

Kindly,

Hanifa

Communication

During my first degree work I took a couple of Occupational Therapy courses and one was about communication styles in relationships. The content of this book stays with me today (loved that course and was a great instructor!) so I thought I’d share the 4 styles of communication discussed:

  1. Small Talk: We all know this one – the “cocktail party” conversation, the simple communication used to fill uncomfortable silences, new meetings, etc. Often there is no real connection between people with this formality of politeness but it can be fun for the moment with a lightness and low levels of real-seriousness to the communication.
  2. Control Talk: Two styles were discussed here – Aggressive and Passive – the goal is clear – control. The aggressive type is angry, blaming, criticizing, while the passive style is just that – passive. Often this is the person who refuses to communicate or walks away or just doesn’t verbally respond and may even have a calm face. The passive style was described as the more-controlling as when a person does not communicate, there is no opportunity to share thoughts/feelings to come to shared understandings. And that is the ultimate control.
  3. Search Talk: this is a style that is filled with questions with a desire to understand. This is used when a person is truly trying to understand the experience or thoughts/feelings of another. This style does not seek to resolve any dispute but purely to understand the perspective of another. This can be useful but not a great guide for any conflict resolution in relationships.
  4. Straight Talk: This was actually the title of the book. This style can include search talk, but then follows with a mutual sharing of thoughts/feelings/experience to understand the needs of each communicator without blame/judgment – and clear expression and sharing of personal perspectives without a need to change the other’s. It is a fantastic option of healthy communication that allows expression and open (one may say loving) acceptance of another’s experience. This is easiest to do when both parties in the relationship are permitted to speak from their hearts with a sense of being heard and valued by the other.

Of course the language describing such communication styles can change over time, but the essence of healthy communication has certainly remained the same. Listening is very important, followed by healthy responses of love and validation. These are the most important components for both sides to show each other to create or build healthy and loving relationships. And then action steps to resolve differences with some compassion for each side’s expressed needs.

From my experience, I know that Listening becomes less and Control Talk becomes much higher in relationships that are facing challenges. Combining this decades-old University learning with current Mindfulness and Spiritual learning, I feel the best first step for people noticing less-easy communication in their relationship – is to first simply, stop. Breathe. Reassess just your own response (although your mind will likely want to criticize the other’s words/actions) – see if your response is helpful or not-helpful to the situation/communication. If you choose not to speak, wait for a time (relatively soon) when you have both cooled your minds and then do speak about the matter. Kindly. And if you were speaking loudly – come back later to speak softly. And Kindly. Remember the true loving energies that drew you together – now be the best of that energy yourself. If the other is not there – you be there. This is known as “Holding Presence” for the other… often their energy will change for the better too. You just have to know that the moment is just an opportunity for one or both of you to get back to the best of yourselves. Be there. You can do it and you will never regret being the best of yourself. Be the best of you and learn what you need to learn for healthy movement forward for both of you.

Wishing you healthy communication with all those that you love!

Kindly,

Hanifa

Seeing value

Do you see the value of things around you? Well first, one must decide and understand what one values. I believe our core values are largely the same – honesty, integrity, love, compassion, and even enthusiasm in our individual work/tasks.

Since I feel our thoughts, words and actions are constantly shared with the world around us, I believe it is not only useful to ourselves but also every person that our energy touches to be mindful about the energy we “put out there.”

In what has been called our “blame and shame” collective culture, we are much more likely to hear (or say) words like “I’m upset because this happened to me; this person did this to me; the weather is like this; my home is like this; my family is like this; my finances are like this…” You can see where I’m going. How many of us share “I feel good/great because… I did this; this person did this for me; the sun is shining; I smiled/someone smiled at me; I am safe….”

We can see that MANY good things happen in each of our days. And if we acknowledge/share these blessings (with ourselves and also with others) we can start shaping the energy of our world.

Take the time to appreciate what is good – right NOW.

I have always remembered this quote that reminds me how we can see each moment:

“Two people stare out of the same bars – one sees the mud; the other the stars.”

See the stars my friends… they are always there and we can direct our attention and focus to them! Wishing you a beautiful day ahead!

Kindly,

Hanifa

Signs of Spiritual Awakening

Have you been wondering if you are feeling or experiencing an awakening? Some may experience this after prolonged periods of meditation or prayer, and some may experience it through environmental disaster or loss of job/home, major trauma, illness or a shocking/painful life experience like an unexpected separation/divorce. I came across the diagram below and thought it was a useful one to share with you. Hope you find it useful and hope you also know that a new and wonderful awareness can emerge through a less-than-easy life experience. What can be useful though the time of confusion/grief during this process is regular work with a therapist, counsellor, psychologist or healer that can help you make sense of the experience and help guide/facilitate your transformation!

Transformation is an ongoing process that tends to appear ordinary, when, in fact, something extraordinary is taking place.” ~Suzy Ross

Wishing you peace through your own extraordinary experiences 🙂

Kindly,

Hanifa

image borrowed from scottjeffery.com

Mothers and Daughters

It’s been such a long time that I’ve been thinking of writing a post about this subject but clearly I had to put some things together in my mind before putting my gathered thoughts into writing.  What amazes me is the number of women I have met throughout my years as a health care practitioner that has brought me to this awareness.

I believe that there is a shared female-experience that deserves some discussion here.  Now please know that I am aware that this post will not match every woman out there, nor is it meant to.  But if the group that reads this post reflects my patient population, a good number of women might have peace about their mother-daughter experiences.

So here goes — not all Mother-Daughter relationships are wonderful.  Maybe we all know that some daughters (especially through those awkward teenaged years) are not easy.  But here’s the big surprise: Not all mothers are easy or wonderful (gasp!).  I am not referring to that small percentage of Mothers that is truly hurtful or cruel with their daughters.  I am talking about Moms that have a different relationship with their daughters than what is nurturing for their daughters.  But Moms are inherently nurturing, right?

Oh yes, our society encourages the glamorized image of the perfect, nurturing and self-sacrificing Mother.

Let’s take a look at something beautiful I read recently:

For all Mothers
(including soon to be Mothers)
MOTHERHOOD
We are sitting at lunch one day when my daughter casually mentions that she and her husband are thinking of “starting a family.” “We’re taking a survey,” she says half-joking. “Do you think I should have a baby?”
“It will change your life,” I say, carefully keeping my tone neutral.
“I know,” she says, “no more sleeping in on weekends, no more spontaneous vacations.”

But that is not what I meant at all. I look at my daughter, trying to decide what to tell her. I want her to know what she will never learn in childbirth classes. I want to tell her that the physical wounds of child bearing will heal, but becoming a mother will leave her with an emotional wound so raw that she will forever be vulnerable. I consider warning her that she will never again read a newspaper without asking, “What if that had been MY child?” That every plane crash, every house fire will haunt her. That when she sees pictures of starving children, she will wonder if anything could be worse than watching your child die.

I look at her carefully manicured nails and stylish suit and think that no matter how sophisticated she is, becoming a mother will reduce her to the primitive level of a bear protecting her cub. That an urgent call of “Mum!” will cause her to drop a soufflé or her best crystal without a moments hesitation.

I feel that I should warn her that no matter how many years she has invested in her career, she will be professionally derailed by motherhood. She might arrange for childcare, but one day she will be going into an important business meeting and she will think of her
baby’s sweet smell. She will have to use every ounce of discipline to keep from running home, just to make sure her baby is all right.

I want my daughter to know that every day decisions will no longer be routine. That a five year old boy’s desire to go to the men’s room rather than the women’s at McDonald’s will become a major dilemma. That right there, in the midst of clattering trays and screaming
children, issues of independence and gender identity will be weighed against the prospect that a child molester may be lurking in that restroom.

However decisive she may be at the office, she will second-guess herself constantly as a mother.Looking at my attractive daughter, I want to assure her that eventually she will shed the pounds of pregnancy, but she will never feel the same about herself. That her life, now so important, will be of less value to her once she has a child. That she would give herself up in a moment to save her offspring, but will also begin to hope for more years, not to accomplish her own dreams, but to watch her child accomplish theirs.

I want her to know that a cesarean scar or shiny stretch marks will become badges of honor.
My daughter’s relationship with her husband will change, but not in the way she thinks.
I wish she could understand how much more you can love a man who is careful to powder the baby or who never hesitates to play with his child.
I think she should know that she will fall in love with him again for reasons she would now find very unromantic.

I wish my daughter could sense the bond she will feel with women throughout history who have tried to stop war, prejudice and drunk driving.

I want to describe to my daughter the exhilaration of seeing your child learn to ride a bike.
I want to capture for her the belly laugh of a baby who is touching the soft fur of a dog or cat for the first time.
I want her to taste the joy that is so real it actually hurts.

My daughter’s quizzical look makes me realize that tears have formed in my eyes. “You’ll never regret it,” I finally say. Then I reached across the table, squeezed my daughter’s hand and offered a silent prayer for her, and for me, and for all the mere mortal women who stumble their way into this most wonderful of callings.

Please share this with a Mum that you know or all of your girlfriends who may someday be Mums. May you always have in your arms the one who is in your heart.

By Dale Hanson Bourke
‘Chicken soup for the woman’s soul’

Isn’t that a beautiful expression of thoughts from a loving mother?  Unfortunately, this is not the experience that some daughters have with their mothers.  Daughters may feel neglected, blamed, challenged for their life choices/decisions, guilty for not living up to the expectations of their mothers, or even burdened by a maternal role that they find themselves in, with the woman they expect to receive this energy from.  And I am not referring to a time when the mother-daughter role may naturally shift as many daughters become caregivers for their aging mothers.

Not all mother-daughter relationships are nurturing.  What is troubling for me to discover in my practice is the number of women who have had or who currently have difficult (at best) or incredibly challenging (at worst) relationships with their mothers.  Remember that I am a Naturopathic Doctor working especially with cancer patients.  Could this relationship be a possible root of the psychological links to various women’s cancers?  I am so aware of the number of female patients that I see that have troubling relationships with their mothers that I can no longer deny that some connection exists here.  So I will be creating a page specific to Mother-Daughter relationships to elaborate on this thought further.

For now, I am convinced that overcoming the frustration/sadness that surrounds difficult relationships helps create healthier directions for us all.  And I do intend to discuss some of the “taboo” matter surrounding at least one of the most important relationships in any woman’s life.  Luckily, I do have plenty of personal experience to draw from as well 🙂

Looking forward to posting more on this topic soon!

Kindly,

Hanifa

Some Insights

Regardless of whether your Mother-Daughter relationship is wonderful or terrible, I have seen some common themes among women in my practice that I’d like to share with you.

I have seen 2 types of relationships most frequently in practice:

1. The relationship is seen as “good” with a very caring Mother figure who is brought to worry and/or sleepless nights over any problem going on in the Daughter’s life.

2. The relationship is “okay” with the Mother showing some care/concern over the Daughter’s concerns but always with the Mother’s concerns/problems being more difficult relative to the Daughter’s (from Mother’s perspective and/or reactions to Daughter’s concerns, or sincerely felt by both since Mother has had a difficult life or is currently going through a difficulty).

The Challenge:

In both cases, the experience is very real for both  the Mother and the Daughter.  It’s the feeling that is left with the Daughter that I believe is of importance here.  Both cases leave the Daughter feeling guilty over her expressed concerns.  This guilt does not put value to the Daughter’s individual experience.  And I believe that this inner-turmoil contributes strongly to some of the chronic diseases that I see in practice.  Both scenarios leave a sense of frustration for the Daughter; the first case is due to a feeling of guilt over sharing a difficult experience with a Mother and then creating challenges in the Mother’s own well-being, and the second case a sense of frustration over the Mother’s minimization of the Daughter’s experience.

Frustration over anything is a strong contributor to stress in the body.  When the body experiences frustration (from work or personal matters), it becomes worn-down and the body’s natural defenses become weaker.  Often, immune concerns will follow — frequent colds, allergies, and over a long-term, even cancer can result from such stress.

So how can we modify such relationships?  I believe that one very important step is for Mothers and their adult Daughters to see each other as equals.  Mutual respect and compassion should ideally be the foundation for these relationships.  Every age group sees different challenges, and a loving relationship can support the challenges that arise.

My advice to Daughters:  recognize that your Mother will choose to handle your stresses in her own unique manner; it is not to put unnecessary pressure on you personally.  Equally important – do not try to handle your own stresses in the way your Mother would have, or currently does handle hers (if it’s not what your core feels comfortable with).  Every person has the choice to view their stresses from a “glass half-empty or half-full” perspective.  In overcoming challenges, we can all benefit from moving forward optimistically — if your Mother is optimistic and supportive, then by all means carry forth this wonderful tradition, knowing you do have the strength to get through whatever challenges life may send you.  If she models worry, impatience or frustration, please know that you do not have to repeat these emotions.  Your health will thank you for a movement towards optimistic healing.

My advice to Mothers:  Daughters need their Mother’s support.  No matter how old they become, there is a special “lift” received from the nurturing energy that I believe only a Mother can provide.  If your daughter is going through a challenge (health or otherwise) just listen.  Much of your own energy and wisdom is already within your adult Daughter, and she needs only positive support from you as an adult to get through a tough time.  Your challenges/problems matter too — but when your Daughter is sharing her own challenges with you, try to listen, support, and find a later time to share your own challenges.  I believe that Daughters want to be of great support to their Mothers, but they need support too. Oh, and a concern I’ve heard from many daughters… their Mothers never ask them how they are (or ask in a superficial manner only) — it’s ok to hear your Daughter’s concerns and recognize that she has her own journey in this life — and you can make a difference for her even as an adult by just showing you care.  And you too will get through whatever life brings your Daughter’s way — you can choose how you handle her challenges — hopefully with a positive spirit and belief that she will do (and can do) whatever she really needs to get through her challenge.

We are all Daughters of Mothers.  We have had experiences with our Mothers that shape us.  Sometimes however, the emotional reactions that we have (frustration, worry and/or anxiety) are not our own personal styles of handling things.  They are the subconscious energies of our Mothers that we have learned and have taken on as our own.  If you notice that your coping strategies for stress cause you distress, I believe it’s important for you to re-think your reactions and see if they follow your Mother’s energies/styles of coping.  If they do, it might be time to spend some time thinking of how you would like to best handle stresses before they arise.  I believe that if all women (Mothers and Daughters alike) are able to take charge of their reactions to stressful situations, we will have a much healthier generation of women rather than one that is re-living past patterns of behaviour and/or illness.

More to come soon  about my thoughts on this interesting relationship.

Kindly,

Hanifa

What if…

It really WAS easy!

easy and hard way How many times have we heard “well, no one said life was easy” or “it’s not going to be easy, but it’s worth it” or “life is not a bed of roses” (well, you get my point).  There are innumerable ways that we’ve heard this message in our lives.  But maybe it’s our perception of what is or isn’t easy that makes it so.  If we tell ourselves that the task ahead is going to be difficult, it will probably be so.  I suppose the risk in thinking that something is going to be “easy” is that we won’t work as hard for it or we won’t appreciate the results or the accomplishment will be less meaningful in general.  Why?  Maybe we’ve been taught all of our lives that good things come with difficulty or that meaningful accomplishments require hard work (and sometimes they do).  So when we do anything less that what we consider “hard work” we refuse to fully enjoy and appreciate the accomplishment.  Then we minimize the accomplishment when we speak with others — reminding them that “it’s no big deal, I found this really easy.” And this perpetuates the limited reaction we receive from others too (reflecting our own energy), so others hearing about the “easy” accomplishment think less of it, or they share an equally limiting/negative perspective such as a jealous energy directed towards us (in person or not) or anger because of their own perception of the ease with which they would achieve a similar accomplishment.

We have a choice to either feed into the energy that most of us have been raised with all our lives and this is: life is not easy.  This maintains the public (and many times personal) status quo and we can still move forward in life, perhaps with some difficulty.  Or we can choose to think “life is easy” — and start working with our own hearts and minds in a way that encourages this thought.  Let there be no doubt that many things in life are not easy and many challenges do arise that we would rather not be forced to overcome.  There is an ease however, in knowing that there is a purpose to it all (whether due to a belief in ourselves, in a faith, or belief in a divine universe that has a unique intelligence and direction for mankind), there is peace within the self that can be gained through this perspective.

The language with which we speak to ourselves makes a difference in how we take on any challenge.  We know when we direct any child who thinks he “can’t” ride a bike with “yes you can” or use this same encouragement in other situations, it makes a difference.  It changes the energy with which a person takes on a task, the enthusiasm with which they work through it and the sense of “really trying” at the end of it (regardless of outcome).  So why can’t we look at life in this same way — “this is easy=yes you can” — because it will all make sense one day, but for now you can still commend yourself if what you accomplished today was “easy” — I believe that it’s the attitude you had before beginning your task that allowed you to feel this way.  Of course, every task seems easier once it’s accomplished 😉 but starting with that sense of ease will undoubtedly make the task easier and will certainly make the task feel more enjoyable 🙂

Have an “EASY” day ahead!

Kindly,

Hanifa

Remember: “The greater part of our happiness or misery depends upon our dispositions, and not upon our circumstances.”
―Martha Washington

The Caterpillar and the Butterfly

Some say that there are three views of the world – my viewpoint, your viewpoint and reality. I believe there are only two – the way I choose to see the world and the way you choose to see it. Whilst there may also be an objective reality, this is always superseded by the way we choose to look at it. When the reality of our world is full of fear, worry and/or sadness, then our viewpoint is that from a wounded soul who seeks to manage the outside world in order to bring peace to the inner world. When the reality of our world is full of co-operation, happiness and compassion, our viewpoint is that of a healing soul who is aware that our viewpoint on reality is always a reflection of the inner world that we create.The journey to change our perspective or awareness will last a lifetime, but the decision to change, takes place in a single moment – why not now?

Changing the world within and healing the childhood wounds, changes our perception of reality. It takes us on a journey from fear to love.

Remember that what the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the butterfly calls a new beginning…

Kindly,

Hanifa