Viewing entries tagged
finding love

While I Was Waiting For You, I Took the Time to Love Myself: Day 22 of 365 Days of Love

1 Comment

While I Was Waiting For You, I Took the Time to Love Myself: Day 22 of 365 Days of Love

Contributed by: Salma Elbarmawi

Get to know Salma who is a: writer, activist and aspiring social entrepreneur. She has a special love for culture, meaningful conversations, politics and dance.

Story From: Egyptian based in London


While I Was Waiting For You, I Took the Time to Love Myself



I used to ask myself all kinds of questions about you. I wondered what you’d look like, if you’d have dark hair and gorgeous dark features. I wondered if you’d be tall, although you wouldn’t even have to hit 6 feet to tower above me.

I often asked myself if you’d be funny. If you’d make me laugh in a kind of burn in my belly sort of way, or if I’d laugh along just because I’d like you so much.

I’ve thought about conversations we’d have… and secretly I’ve had the entire back and forth dialogue between us in my own head, as I’m standing in the shower simultaneously contemplating my life choices.

I’ve thought about television shows we’d watch together, and books you’d tell me to read. I thought about the way you’d say I love you, before we go to sleep at night, or how you’ll get along with my parents and I’ll adore yours.


Photo by  Ryan Holloway  on  Unsplash

I’ve probably had thoughts about every conceivable aspect of what you’ll be like, and somehow I found it impossible to wrap my head around ever meeting you.

Recently I’ve overcome the fear. The fear of accidentally meeting you while I’m away from home, far off in a land I only planned to stay for a short while. Fear of falling in love with you while I’m still on my way to figuring out who I am.

There was a point in time when I feared I’d have to tell you I’m still unsure of what I want out of life. That I’m capable of giving love and receiving it, but incapable of committing to a single continent or career path.

Lately, the thoughts of you have shown up less in my mind, if at all. And I’ve often wondered if that’s my subconscious way of letting the idea of you go, or if that’s the universe’s subtle signal that you’re on your way to finding me.

Either way, I’m glad you haven’t shown up just yet. I needed this time.

I’ve learned to love myself in ways I didn’t think I needed to. I’ve learned to call myself beautiful with no makeup on, and wear my hair naturally curly when I’m out on the town. I’ve learned to be forgiving of my body and patient with my wants.

I’ve mastered the art of walking in heels and discovered the comforts of hiking in Nikes’. I’ve tested various shades of red on my lips, to which I can proudly proclaim I’ve mastered the science.

“black metal grill with be love ed text” by  Elijah Macleod  on  Unsplash

“black metal grill with be love ed text” by Elijah Macleod on Unsplash

I’ve discovered how much I value alone time, as much as I live and breathe a social life. I’ve even taken the time to try new foods — just to be certain that I am actually a happily self-classified picky eater.

I’ve added creative to the labels I give myself. Along with determined, relentless, loving and curious. I’ve crossed experiences off my list just to make room for new ones.

And I’ve been brave.

Not just brave in the way of independence, but brave in the form of vulnerability. I’ve started walking towards the things I thought would never be for me. The opportunities I thought I couldn’t land. The places I thought I’d have to wait a lifetime to see. I started working on my dreams rather than being mesmerized by them.

And I’m not finished.

In fact, I have to tell you — I’m just getting started.

In the way I once dreamed of you, I’m dreaming of the future I’ll create for myself. So when we finally do meet, just know, I won’t ask you what took you so long.


Hi Everyone!

This is Aida, Founder of 365 Days of Love <3

First, a big thank you to the inspiring woman Salma for sharing her story. It was such a beautiful reminder of the need and power found in loving ourselves and building our lives not waiting for things to happen to us.

Second a big thank you to YOU for reading this and taking the time to care for yourself, your heart and your life. If you enjoyed this and have a story or thoughts on love that you would like to share please get in touch (button below). We have 343 more articles to share and we hope to hear from you!

SUBSCRIBE/SHARE HERE.

LETS INVEST IN LOVE ONE STORY AT A TIME TOGETHER.

With Lots of Love,

Aida

1 Comment

Your Inner Bully: Day 21 of 365 Days of Love

Comment

Your Inner Bully: Day 21 of 365 Days of Love

Bullies are everywhere, found in all ages and shades. No one enjoys being bullied which brings me to the increasingly shocking trend of us being our biggest bullies in our lives.

We allow for our internal bully to say all kinds of negative talk from "You are so fat", "Who are you to be loved?", "You are nothing", "You will forever be alone", "You are a failure" and the list goes on. But I take it as a fact that this kind of thinking does no benefit to any one in this world. So on day 21 we dived in a bit deeper on facing your inner bully. 


Since I launched 365 Days of Love 20 days ago I have received many messages from men and women saying they don't believe they deserve love, why would love find them and who are they to find an amazing love. I was saddened by this and shocked from the beautiful people who told me but also related to it deeply because I had those thoughts myself and not so long ago. 

But this internal revolution has made me realize that this negative talk is not conducive to anyone - not yourself, your family, your loved ones and even strangers.

We are all different yet individually special.

We are all different yet individually special.

Every one of us is special and embodies a unique kind of love that cannot be replicated by any one else. Do you believe it? Do you feel it? and do you share that special love that is only found in you with the world? 

These questions remind me of my favorite quote in the world that says there is nothing great created by diminishing how great you are: 

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.

It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?

Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world.

There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone.

And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

Today wherever you are, whatever you may be doing, whatever state you may be in take a moment to reflect on what you inner bully is saying and get to know why is he/she saying that then finally guide it to love. Guiding it to love makes space for:

self-love first

ability to better absorb love from everyone around you and

most importantly for you to share your special love with the world.

Finally I leave you with a piece from one of the Muslim American Faces interviews with Tarek who talks about his inner bully and how he has tackled it. I hope he inspires you as he has inspired me to take a closer look inside and get things straight with my inner bully.

“I used to be an extremely shy person. I wouldn't even maintain eye contact. If I was at work and had to make a phone call, I'd be nervous. It took me being cognizant of the fact that if I wanted to achieve my goals and live up to the idea of who I wanted to be, my shyness was holding me back in life.    I realized the reason why I was shy was a lack of self-confidence. Then I realized that – and I'm not trying to toot my own horn here – I'm smart. I can carry conversations and get along very nicely with people. I think people can enjoy my company. There was no reason why I didn’t have that self-confidence. So it started with believing in myself.    The biggest thing I did was a ‘face-your-fear’ type of thing with public speaking and having proper conversations with people where I respected them by maintaining eye contact. Now, public speaking is not an issue. I've emceed events, and I recently emceed a fundraising event where we raised about $60,000. I've become so comfortable in these things that I don't even give them a second thought anymore.    It took me about five to six years to get to this point. It took some time, practice, and self-awareness. It didn't happen overnight. Every time I noticed myself not maintaining eye contact or being shy, I would remember why I had decided to face these fears. I was the one holding myself back, nobody else was. It was just a matter of shutting up that inner bully.    Have I reached the point where that inner bully is gone? No, I don't think so. He's still there. I still have those moments of thinking maybe I'm not good enough, but they are far and few in between. And my goal this year is to get rid of that inner bully.” - Tarek

“I used to be an extremely shy person. I wouldn't even maintain eye contact. If I was at work and had to make a phone call, I'd be nervous. It took me being cognizant of the fact that if I wanted to achieve my goals and live up to the idea of who I wanted to be, my shyness was holding me back in life.

I realized the reason why I was shy was a lack of self-confidence. Then I realized that – and I'm not trying to toot my own horn here – I'm smart. I can carry conversations and get along very nicely with people. I think people can enjoy my company. There was no reason why I didn’t have that self-confidence. So it started with believing in myself.

The biggest thing I did was a ‘face-your-fear’ type of thing with public speaking and having proper conversations with people where I respected them by maintaining eye contact. Now, public speaking is not an issue. I've emceed events, and I recently emceed a fundraising event where we raised about $60,000. I've become so comfortable in these things that I don't even give them a second thought anymore.

It took me about five to six years to get to this point. It took some time, practice, and self-awareness. It didn't happen overnight. Every time I noticed myself not maintaining eye contact or being shy, I would remember why I had decided to face these fears. I was the one holding myself back, nobody else was. It was just a matter of shutting up that inner bully.

Have I reached the point where that inner bully is gone? No, I don't think so. He's still there. I still have those moments of thinking maybe I'm not good enough, but they are far and few in between. And my goal this year is to get rid of that inner bully.” - Tarek


Thank you to Muslim American Faces for documenting an important story on inner bullies and to Tarek for his vulnerability and strength. We need more men and frankly women who recognize their inner bullies and have the courage to face them and say no - I am special.

With Lots of Love,

Aida

SUBSCRIBE/SHARE HERE.

LETS INVEST IN LOVE ONE STORY AT A TIME TOGETHER.

Comment

Grandmother, The Center of Love: Day 15 of 365 Days of Love

Comment

Grandmother, The Center of Love: Day 15 of 365 Days of Love

Contributed by: Heather Lane Chauny

Get to know Heather: who is an connector, cheer leader and coach

Story from: Michigan, USA



In Africa, people continuously pay homage and respect to those that came before them. Worship of the ancestors, is more than a ceremony, it is a way of life. This spirit of Ubuntu "I am because you are" reverberates throughout daily life. Even the formal greeting in isi-zulu, "Sanibonani",which literally translates to "we see you," is meant as "my ancestors and I acknowledge you and your ancestors."

I was fortunate enough to live and grow up with three generations of ancestors. Through the first 25 years of my life, my Great-Nonna played a formative role, which is very unique to most families. This gave me and my cousins a very strong sense of who we are and from where we came.

Amidst a culture of self-centered independence and greed, we were raised with the distinct understanding that each and every opportunity in our lives is the result of the decisions and actions of our ancestors, even those we never had the chance to know in our lifetimes, thanks to the stories of my Great-Nonna who filled our lives with never dying stories of love.
Me and my family that fuels me with love every day (in the one in the light blue shirt)

Me and my family that fuels me with love every day (in the one in the light blue shirt)

It was with great courage and hope that our Great-Nonna, at the age of 19 boarded a ship in Italy for the United States of America to join her new husband in the land of opportunity. This young woman, who had never seen Rome, never touched the sea, said good-bye to her village of Supino and everything she knew to make a better life for herself and her family. I like to imagine the look on her face as the ship approached New York Harbor. Seeing the people gathered, more people than she had probably collectively seen in her life until then, overshadowed by immense sky scrapers rising from the horizon along with the clangs and whistles of the bustling city.

 

The excitement and relief as she disembarked from the ship, where she spent three weeks in third class quarters, green with sea-sickness since day one of the journey. The elation as she ran into my Great-Nonno's arms with their one-year old son, who he had not yet met, joyfully crying:

Rocco, il bambino tuo!

I loved it when she told me the story of great disappointment, when after spending a day in New York City with her cousin Rita, who took her to the many shops to buy a new dress (it had red polka-dots), she boarded a carriage for Burgettstown, PA, where my Great-Nonno was a coal miner. She said that when the carriage pulled into town on the dirt road, covered in horse manure, she yelled at my Great-Nonno,

Rocco, there’s-a shit onna the road-a! I’m-a goin-a back -a to Italy, there’s-a shit onna the road-a there TOO!

Her musical Italian accent, made the story even more humorous. I pictured the sight of this poor young lady, who had just spent three weeks vomiting over the side of a ship, leaving her family and friends in Supino for "the land of opportunity," only to end up right back where she started: a small farming town in the middle of nowhere.

But it was in that small farming town, where my family was born. It was at that moment that one of the two main lines of my existence took form. My cousins and I are very aware of the fact that every opportunity in our lives stems from those moments. My sense of adventure and desire to know the world came from that desire in my ancestors to take a chance at a life in a completely foreign land, so that they could do more with their lives

My sister and I visiting Great Nonna’s hometown

My sister and I visiting Great Nonna’s hometown

My thirst for knowledge was born in my Great-Nonna's desire to go beyond a third grade education that she completed at top of her class. She would re-tell the story with great pride of “the big-a shot-a from Fresinone" who came to Supino to pin her with a gold star for academic excellence. It was the last time she would step foot in a classroom as a student, because her mother didn't believe in educating girls and she had work to do on the farm.

Because of that, with every advancement in our schooling levels, she would send a card with a $5 check to go and buy a pizza. Now her great-great grandson (whom she knew and watched grow until he was five is graduating from high school as the valedictorian of his class. I bet if she were still alive she'd think of that gold star she received as a young girl and know that this moment for Justin had much to do with her intellectual curiosity and encouragement.

She had the fortune of watching her family flourish throughout her life. Knowing that the sacrifices she made and the risks she took led to more than her wildest dreams could have imagined for her family and the opportunities we have all enjoyed.

One of many beautiful memories

One of many beautiful memories

It was a rainy day in the autumn of 2002 when I got the call from my Nonna. The assertive and self-confident (and often self-righteous) voice that never waivered, was filled with tears and cracking as she said,

 

"Heather, Nonna isn't going to make it. My mama is dying." 

 

"I'm coming, Nonna."

 

I got into my car and drove the 60 minutes from Ann Arbor, where I was living at the time, to Mt. Clemens. I remember wishing that my windshield wipers worked on more than the windshield as I drove with tear-filled eyes through a tear-filled sky. "Please, let me say good-bye," I thought. I couldn't drive fast enough.

 

When I arrived to my Nonna and Nonno's house, the family had already begun to gather. All my cousins were seated in the kitchen...eating of course. My Aunt Mary Lou, Uncle Dennis, Auntie Dee-Dee and Uncle Bob were comforting my Nonna as she said her good-byes to her mother laying in the bed in the next room. My Great-Nonna was very much alert and aware and frightened by the fact that her breathing was becoming heavier and harder. Her lungs were giving out from 97 years of use.

 

My mom and Ray were on the way, as was my sister. The great-great grandchildren, the youngest was six-months old at the time, were unsure of what to feel or do, as they watched with frightened curiosity, the older generations' group despair. We took turns going in her room to say good-bye. I went in with my cousins Laura and Gina. We held her hands as she looked at us, we told her we loved her and thanked her for everything she had done for us...that we would never forget her. She blinked a smile and nodded, as if to say “Nonna, loves you too." Then we left the room to go back into the kitchen, finish our biscotti and coffee and wait.

 

My mom and Ray finally arrived, as did my sister. Everyone was now together hugging and comforting each other. Knowing that we were experiencing the end of an era. Not five minutes later, my Nonna cried in anguish from the next room, "Mama! Oh, Mama!" Like a whispering wind gently blowing out a candle, she took her last breath and...poof, she was gone.

 

All four remaining generations of the Zuccaro clan piled into the room to pay our final respects and say our prayers of thanks and gratitude to our matriarch.

 

My cousins and I bowed our heads holding each others' hands. Evan, the two year old great-great grandson was at the foot of her bed making the sign of the cross repeatedly while holding a rosary, mimicking the prayers of the adults, "A-men! A-men! A-men!" he repeated. We couldn't help but chuckle, as he tried to convey the sadness he saw around him, but not really understanding why. Parker the six-month old great-great grandson was laid resting peacefully on his Great-Great Nonna's chest, both their eyes closed. 

IMG_3993.jpg

 

From end to beginning, beginning to end, the family she made was there to thank her and say their good-byes. And while I had not yet travelled to South Africa to know what it was, I felt strongly the spirit of Ubuntu as I looked at my Great-Nonna lying in the bed so peacefully, her lips curled into a restful smile and I thought to myself;

 

We are, because you were...

 


Hi Everyone!

This is Aida, Founder of 365 Days of Love <3

First, a big thank you to Heather for sharing her story. It was such a beautiful reminder how love stems not only from your partners but from your family members and especially your grand mother. It was also a beautiful reminder of the sacrifice our family members have taken in order for us to just to be alive and to have the chance to love. This story inspired me to call my grandmother, something I definitely should do more often.

Second a big thank you to YOU for reading this and taking the time to care for yourself, your heart and your life. If you enjoyed this and have a story or thoughts on love that you would like to share please get in touch (button below). We have 350 more articles to share and we hope to hear from you!

SUBSCRIBE/SHARE HERE.

LETS INVEST IN LOVE ONE STORY AT A TIME TOGETHER.

With Lots of Love,

Aida

Comment

Summers Red Light: Day 14 of 365 Days of Love

1 Comment

Summers Red Light: Day 14 of 365 Days of Love

Contributed by: Angely Khan

Get to know Angely on Instagram, Wordpress

Story from: United Kingdom (UK), originally from Pakistan


A drug, so powerful that despite your hardest effort to stay away it will pull you in.

He asked, what this drug is?

She replied, it is embedded in all of us from a young age.

1.png
Do you have to experience love to understand love?

I don’t think you do; I may not know a lot about love. Or maybe I do, perhaps we all try to reach a level of love that only exists behind the little red camera light.

A concept lost by the mass, a concept that has lost its definition through the limbs of social media. We love only to compete. We love only to get likes. We love only to fulfill a social expectation.  

As if we can’t gain romantic success without social acceptance, as if love is bound by opinions what happened to the real kind of love, the love that consumes you–is it all fictional?

Let’s not crush teenage puppy love but seriously how many times have you sat and scrolled on your phone and seen a beautiful picture of a couple at a restaurant? But once the snap is taken the smile fades, two people supposedly in love not talking to each other. Eat. Snap. Post. Then comes the indirect status update #Hate it when people are rudeCry. Snap. Post. Craving attention from the one they love but refuse to talk, refuse to communicate the real issue, starving love–no, in fact, depriving love making it loves inaugural affair with the 21st century. 



I asked my mother to define love. She asked me,


“Define the ocean without water?” I said I couldn’t. “Exactly, people are like the ocean, deep and mysterious filled with monsters but the water, the clear sky-blue water is what makes it beautiful. The water is love.”



 Old but consistent like ancient wisdom, like the men in top-hats. 

2.png

But what happened to the men in top-hats?  (Let’s go back in time.)

The year of jazz, rich sounds of saxophones sprinkling the air and romantic gestures roaming the streets. You’re reading the morning news, sipping coffee in a café and he walks in and asks what you’re reading, how your morning is? The conversation is like a familiar rhythm he makes you smile; he’s there to win you not to borrow you already stamping an expiration date on you. He asks you out. You say yes. 

To experience the first date– the awkward beauty in it.

Experience the first butterfly.

The first kiss.

To experience love.

3.png

I once believed I was in love; my heart and my mind were in a compelling argument against each other. My mind convinced me that I was in love–based solely on the virtue of a checklist, ticking off: 

1.    Money

2.    House

3.    Car

4.    Looks

One by one– a checklist created by society, each of us adding to it:
                                                               5.    Height

6.    Abs

7.    Funny

8.    Smart

My heart at first whispered in opposition except I was subjugated by the list when I should have been enthralled by him. My heart eventually screamed with the opposition.  *Exhale* I finally let go.

With that said let us not allow social media the glory of imprisoning love.  Love is more than just monogamy, love is a birth-right, ‘encoded and tucked away in our DNA’.  My mother says, ‘everyone experiences love, but not everyone falls in love, love of that nature is rare.’  

A drug, so powerful that despite your hardest effort to stay away it will pull you in.

He asked, what this drug is?

She replied, it is embedded in all of us from a young age.

He asked, will you take the drug with me?

She replied, once it wears off will you still love me?

He replied, I would be a fool if I didn’t.

My parents, a love story that inspires me every day and keeps my DNA filled with love.

My parents, a love story that inspires me every day and keeps my DNA filled with love.

With Love,

Angely


Hi Everyone!

This is Aida, Founder of 365 Days of Love <3

First, a big thank you to Angely for sharing her story. I related to her on so many levels and am inspired by depth, introspection and faith in love. I reread Angely’s mothers response on defining love probably 5 times - quite powerful.

Second a big thank you to YOU for reading this and taking the time to care for yourself, your heart and your life. If you enjoyed this and have a story or thoughts on love that you would like to share please get in touch (button below). We have 351 more articles to share and we hope to hear from you!

SUBSCRIBE/SHARE HERE.

LETS INVEST IN LOVE ONE STORY AT A TIME TOGETHER.

With Lots of Love,

Aida

1 Comment

Putting Yourself Out There: Day 11 of 365 Days of Love

Comment

Putting Yourself Out There: Day 11 of 365 Days of Love

Contributed by: Anonymous (named Lara for this article)

Story from: Amman, Jordan





Putting Yourself Out There





After reading Sumayya’s story from Day 10 of 365 Days of Love, I remembered the first and only time I told a man how I felt. Being raised in an Arab country I was taught that women need to be more passive and have men take the lead in many aspects of our lives, especially when it comes to love.

There is great wisdom in this but I sometimes feel we have lost the right balance and are at a point where we need to take a step back and seriously take a deep look at how our society works. But this story is not about society’s functioning but about love.

On May 2018 I met the man who I thought I was going to marry. It was like out of the movies, where everything stopped, people around me disappeared and time itself seemed to have paused. This feeling alone was a miracle because I am one of those girls that takes a mountain to really move her (maybe a good thing or a bad thing today, not quite sure).

I knew he felt the same because some feelings just can’t be one way. We walked towards each other and even though the Prime Minister was standing to our left, an ex-President of a specific country was to the right (no joke), I could only see him. We talked for the rest of the evening and walked outside on the terrace overlooking Amman’s beautiful hills. I have never felt so safe and at home in my life.

Picture from Lonely Planet

Picture from Lonely Planet

A part of me was like, Lara*, you are stupid, you should go network and talk to the Prime Minister and the X number of Ministers in the room! Why are you wasting your time with a stranger that you could talk to later?

I know that networking, business and growth all matter but at the end of the day we all want to love and be loved so I risked not meeting those high officials for a chance at love. After all, Love is what really fuels us.

Fast forward 6 months we have talked and talked but things were not moving forward and I was facing big life changes. I got offered an incredible job outside of Jordan and there was no reason to decline it other than the potential of him.

I hinted to him to get him to be clear on his intentions with me. I slept frustrated on many nights just waiting for him to give me some clarity on where we are and if there was even a we.

Then one day I prayed deeply for God to guide me and give me the strength to take the right decision. I slept and woke up all of a sudden from a dream of me telling him how I felt. I took that as the sign to go do something i’ve never done before - tell a man how I feel about him.

My heart was beating so quickly and I thought to myself but isn’t that wrong for a woman to put herself out there? Aren’t I supposed to be the receptive person? Shouldn’t I especially as an Arab woman let the man take the lead?

An image that inspired me by @I4artiste in Morocco

An image that inspired me by @I4artiste in Morocco

But then I pictured myself 5 years from now without him and I couldn’t imagine it. So I said to myself similar to what Sumayya said yesterday, what is the worst that can happen if I just told him how I felt?

So I got the courage and did.

His response wasn’t similar to Sumayya’s husbands response. Basically it was a no. He told me how much he cared for me but was not in a position to get more serious (I wasn’t asking for marriage but I certainty didn’t want to waste my time and emotions).

It stung.

It hurt for many months knowing that it wasn’t moving forward, knowing that I put myself out there and was essentially rejected.

But what would have hurt more was never knowing and having a what if in my mind. The potential what if question would have haunted me for years. Putting myself out there stings but not close to what not having done so would have.

Today, I am writing to you from England where I have accepted my new job and am single, happy, empowered, full and hopeful. Today, I live knowing that I have the power within me. I hope you know that you do too.

With Love,

Lara*


Hi Everyone!

This is Aida, Founder of 365 Days of Love <3

First, a big thank you to Lara* for sharing her story. I related to her on so many levels and am inspired by her resilience, strength and acceptance. Thank you for reminding us to reduce the number of what if’s in our lives and to sometimes take that risk of putting ourselves out there.

Second a big thank YOU for reading this and taking the time to care for yourself, your heart and your life. If you enjoyed this and have a story or thoughts on love that you would like to share please get in touch (button below). We have 354 more articles to share and we hope to hear from you!

SUBSCRIBE TO THE STORIES HERE.

With Lots of Love,

Aida

Comment

Finding the Power You've Always Had: Day 10 of 365 Days of Love

Comment

Finding the Power You've Always Had: Day 10 of 365 Days of Love

Contributed by: Sumayya Tobah, Freelance journalist

Get to know her on Twitter/instagram

Story from: Washington DC, USA





Finding the Power You’ve Always Had




When I was six years old, I saw the fabulous 1939 masterpiece, The Wizard of Oz and heard something that would completely change my life.

Judy Garland’s unforgettable Dorothy had just learned that the titular Wizard had lied to her and she had no way of returning to her family in Kansas. The good witch Glinda (if you’re not familiar with these names, its okay, I’m getting to the point soon!) says to her, “You’ve had the power all along.”

“I have?” Dorothy exclaims. “Well, why didn’t you tell me?”

“Because you wouldn’t have believed it,” the Witch replied. “You needed to find out for yourself.”

At six years old, I wasn’t able to really able to apply this beyond the plot of the feature film. But as I grew up and was repeatedly faced with situations where I felt out of control or powerless, I learnt what I was capable of and how much power I really had.

unnamed-8.jpg

Every time I wanted something and felt like it was just out of reach, I reminded myself. I have the power. I’ve had it all along. My love life was no different.

I don’t know when we, as women, got conditioned to believe that we can’t make the first move. We are told to be shy but flirty, available but hard to get, tempting but chaste. Don’t be too much of any one thing. Not too colourful or too bland. Not too smart or too dumb. Be interesting but be one of the girls.  It took me a long time to understand that this mold of what an “attractive” woman looks like was designed to keep us in our place; this sketch of an “ideal” woman is so ridiculous, it’s meant to keep us down.

It took me a long time to release myself from this mold, not just forgive myself for the things I would never be but appreciate myself for the things I am.

It definitely didn’t happen overnight, and I would be lying if I said I didn’t have my own insecurities from time to time, but cultivating that self awareness and self confidence truly was the key to so many things in my life, including finding love.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had a conversation with a friend who is wrapped up in playing games with a guy. She thinks he likes her, she scavenges his texts for hidden messages and she stresses out when she doesn’t hear from him for a couple days. She feels powerless.

I’m always that friend with the advice no one wants to hear. Tell him how you feel. What’s the worst that can happen?

unnamed-9.jpg

The idea of “the first move” is so antiquated, but is still seen as such a power play. I’ve seen women who are strong and independent crumble under the frustration of waiting for the man they’re interested to come through.

Women are afraid to come off as too forward, but what’s unattractive about a woman who knows what she wants?

The first move was created to take the power away from us. I know its nerve wracking. Nobody enjoys the freefall of putting themselves out there. But when you face that fear, or any fear you have really, and you still push forward despite it - that is powerful.

Acknowledge your fear, give it a moment, then push it aside; because the pros outweigh the cons and that one decision can change your life in ways you only dreamed of. I was terrified when I told the man who would become my husband how I felt. But if you had told me then that a single truthful conversation would lead to a life of happiness with my best friend, I wouldn’t have believed you. My life now is so blessed, I can’t remember life before we were us.

unnamed-7.jpg
I took this lesson and applied it to the rest of my life. I stopped being a “wait and you shall see” kind of girl, and became an “ask for what you want and work hard for it” kind of woman.

I got my first real journalism internship by emailing a senior producer, asking for an interview. And when she didn’t respond the next day, I emailed her every day for a week. I got the position a few days later. When I’m passionate about a story, I pitch it. When I’m having a problem with a person, I discuss it with them. And when I feel a situation is out of my control, I ask myself, “what needs to be done?”

After all, I have the power. I’ve had it all along.


Hi Everyone!

This is Aida, Founder of 365 Days of Love <3

First, a big thank you to Emily for sharing her story. I related to her on so many levels and am inspired by her resilience, strength and acceptance. I can’t wait till I celebrate the man you choose but until then I am honored to celebrate YOU today and every day.

Second a big thank YOU for reading this and taking the time to care for yourself, your heart and your life. If you enjoyed this and have a story or thoughts on love that you would like to share please get in touch (button below). We have 355 more articles to share and we hope to hear from you!

SUBSCRIBE TO THE STORIES HERE.

Comment

To Love Without Condition: Day 9 of 365 Days of Love

Comment

To Love Without Condition: Day 9 of 365 Days of Love

Contributed by: Emily Langtiw, Seashorties Blogger and Social Entrepreneur

Get to know her on InstagramFacebookBlog

Story from: Chicago, USA





To Love Without Condition



 

The definition of unconditional love is intimacy with no constraints. It is the love that is shown when someone cares about you so deeply that, through their words and actions, regardless of the circumstances. The relationship that a mother has with her children is where this is most commonly depicted, but you can find this in all authentic connections, whether that be friendships or marriage. Conditional love, on the other hand, is situational. It may disappear over time due to geographical distance, change, or conflict.

Let’s face it, we all want to be unconditionally loved and romanced. You see it in all the rom-coms that women watch, and the princess books, and the happily ever after stories. Love transcends boundaries and limitations, and it’s a beautiful thing to watch. It’s also the foundation of marriage, and no woman (or man) deserves less than this in their lives. However, not all women have experienced it, let alone believe they deserve it.

IMG_5789.jpg

I’m here to remind you (and myself) that we all deserve every ounce of authentic love, despite getting involved with the wrong man (or woman), or in spite of your lack of experience in the dating scene. 

Today is a chance to begin again and do romance the right way. 

After exploring my faith more deeply, I learned that love is firmly rooted in faith. If you understand that God is the sole source of love and life, you will have an infinite amount of love to give to others. It’s a gift He’s given you, and He wants you to love without limits. This has transformed my view on how love works.

For years prior, I used to think that if I was not okay, I could not love or be loved the way I desired to be. However, when God came into my story, I realized that unconditional love means that an individual will love me, no matter what kind of day I was having. Instead of keeping myself at the unrealistic standard of always being the best version of myself in order to wholeheartedly love another, I could finally rest in knowing that I am actually not the source of love, yet I can tap into it the endless river.

IMG_3514.JPG

I did not experience unconditional love prior to last year when I met my very best friend, Sarah. She was present for my most difficult times in college, sheltered me from every storm both literally and emotionally, listened to my thoughts when life was brutal, and if the situation called for it, spoke truth into my life. Day after day, with love and persistence, she molded my character into someone I did not think I could ever become, and I refuse to imagine what life would be like without her genuinely caring for me as a human being. I picture the scene from Hidden Figures when, in the beginning, the student was handed the chalk. The professor believed in the student’s potential when no one else did not, and even if the professor did not see how this would directly benefit herself.

Think about where or if you see this play out in your own life.

10DAA5E5-E214-413F-B039-2641B50C6EDA.JPG

After experiencing unconditional love I have learnt of the core characteristics to look for if I want to create more of it in my own life (and I hope they help you too):

-       It is rooted in high morals and values.  This is why it’s super significant to know what values you stand firm in because you will know what you deserve and be less likely to compromise for someone who does not share the same outlook on life as yourself. Your values dictate the big decisions you make, and you must be able to share them with your significant other, who you will spend the rest of your life with. 

-       It happens when you unconditionally love yourself. When you are full of love, it’s easier to give and receive it. You especially know this is true about you if it doesn’t bother you to be single. Think of it this way: singleness is a gift. It’s the time to explore what intimacy looks like with God, friends, family, and yourself especially. There is a reason for this season of life, so while you are waiting for the right one to come around, embrace yourself and your gifts. By doing this, you will lessen the likelihood that you’ll deal with a codependent or abusive man.

-       It grows over timeJust like an old friend, the more experiences and storms you face with your significant other, the more the authentic the love between the both of you becomes. Think of dating as a process, not a status you sit in. You are constantly testing the waters and getting to know the other person. Like a garden, authentic connections are fostered over time. 

-       It transcends physical, emotional, and circumstantial limits. You know that you are unconditionally loved if it does not matter the season you are in, the person loves you just the same. Think of the marriage vows “until death do us part”. Loving is a choice that the both of you must make every single day, even if you do not feel that love all 365 days of the year. 

-       It is surrounded by authentic community. Involving your closest friends and mentors in your relationship will give you clear set of eyes as to whether he is right for you. Because they know you well and want the best for you, they will be present to give you advice when you face conflict, and even judge the person’s character. We all have that friend, or been that friend, who was blindsided by infatuation to the point where they ignored the red flags, so do not be afraid to surround yourself with community when evaluating if someone is a good fit.


There are also places where I found that I should not search for intimacy, (and I know many of us agree but are guilty of it).

Clearing up this confusion is just as important to navigate the dating scene. First and foremost, making virtual connections in the technological age has its harmful consequences. Let’s take, for example, dating apps such as Bumble and Tinder. Charm and beauty are their basis: you merely judge an individual based off the wittiness of their bio and the attractiveness of their profile picture. These are, unfortunately, not stable foundations for authentic intimacy because nothing substantial can develop from them. “Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting” (Proverbs 31:10). While I know healthy couples who met on Tinder, and it is definitely possible to meet people online, I have found it personally better to meet someone in the communities that I involve myself in in-person.

IMG_5790.jpg

Finally i’ll say try to not forget that your own limitations will affect how you relate to others. If you think that all the good guys are taken, you will only attract taken guys. If you say out loud to the universe that no man is mature enough for you, you will only attract emotionally immature men. That is, until you think otherwise. For a long time, I only attracted unavailable men because I truly believed there was no one available for me. Instead, I replaced these thoughts with realistic ones, and I am no longer slave to my previous hurtful experiences, nor am I slave to the lies that kept me from intimacy with the best men and I hope you no longer are too.

E4D9FB99-214D-4618-9B63-B9ED2BB99332.JPG

Xoxo,

Seashorties 


Hi Everyone!

This is Aida, Founder of 365 Days of Love <3

First, a big thank you to Emily for sharing her story. I related to her on so many levels and am inspired by her resilience, strength and acceptance. I can’t wait till I celebrate the man you choose but until then I am honored to celebrate YOU today and every day.

Second a big thank YOU for reading this and taking the time to care for yourself, your heart and your life. If you enjoyed this and have a story or thoughts on love that you would like to share please get in touch (button below). We have 356 more articles to share and we hope to hear from you!

SUBSCRIBE TO THE STORIES HERE.

Comment

Friends to Partners: Day 7 of 365 Days of Love

1 Comment

Friends to Partners: Day 7 of 365 Days of Love

Welcome to 365 days of love! If you’ve been following the daily stories, welcome back! If this is your first time reading, amazing to have you and welcome! Here is the brief introduction to what we are doing here, but essentially I (and hopefully you by sharing your stories) are sharing one story a day for the next year (365 to be exact) to show incredible ways we could meet the love of our life as well as share insights on the thing we all crave the most as humans - Love. Why? Because we want to be the people who invest in possibilities rather than impossibilities (as well as increase the amount of love in our lives).

Every story would fall in one of the following categories (the category in bold is the one that we will discuss today):

  1. Fictional story of where we could have met someone today (fostering the mindset of possibility)

  2. Factual story of a love story (inspiring us from real life stories)

  3. Insights/thoughts about love


LETS SEE WHAT LOVE HAS IN STORE FOR US TODAY - DAY 7 OF 365 DAYS. LETS KICK THIS OFF!

-Aida


Earlier this year in Lebanon I attended an inspiring event that brought youth together to inspire them to create social impact. There had to be over 300 people each buzzing with excitement from a combination of their natural youth, the fancy pink lights and the $250k ticket prize about to be awarded.

maxresdefault.jpg

Being a person who is sensitive to energy I quickly gravitated to two individuals who were glowing (for this article I will call them Hiba and Khalid as they asked to be anonymous). In this event filled with brilliant people I spent a significant amount of time with them and found myself not wanting to leave their company. I could not tell at the time whether it was their energetic young energy, their love for social impact or love for each other but I knew there was something special about them two. Today I finally know why.

This week during my call for stories for 365 Days of Love, I heard from Hiba*. She shared her story with me about how that night when we met in the hills of beautiful Lebanon, Khalid* confessed his love for her.

They have been friends for years and on that buzzing night he took the plunge and leaped to risk their friendship to tell her how he felt.

He has loved her secretly for two years and she had no idea. She did too.

It’s all in his eyes. Where I find the hue of the most magical things in life and all my reasons why. They are kind you could lost in …and I guess I did.
— Anonymous woman (Hiba*)

In looking back I could see the mutual respect and love they had for each other. The details in how attentive he was to her, not being afraid to have her lead a conversation, making sure she had something to drink and just seeming in awe when she spoke. She very much mirrored that exact love, respect and attentiveness.

lebanon-beirut-sunset.jpg

Hiba* in her story to me says in poetic speech:

It’s the way he carries his heart in his eyes and I swear I saw my name there more than once. Like a deep ocean they immerse my soul entirely and I am not afraid of drowning.

In his eyes, I knew I might burn but I just had to inch a little closer. I took the plunge.

In his eyes, my worlds have been stolen away making me happily lost inside his, my new world. My me home.

In his eyes, all time stops, mirrored by the clocks that stop ticking the moment I stared into them.

In his eyes, my soul pointed at him and whispered to my heart “him”.

My heart showed me in light form that “everything will be ok” in a sky with a million people that went unnoticed. 

With my eyes locked to his, I knew he is all I want.

With my eyes locked to his, time had a different and new profound meaning.

Today I ask for time to be kind to us, for me to fulfill my wish of graduating with him, growing with him, succeeding with him, and never loosing him.

With our eyes locked to each other, I ask God to keep him for me today and every day.


This beautiful and sweet story is just a reminder that love could be standing right next to you and you would never have guessed it. It reminds me how your longest friends can actually become the best partners, the partners you dreamt of who were standing right beside you all those years.

It also taught me that details matter. The way he introduces you, the way he looks at you, the small attentive things (or lack of) matter. So as you embark on your journey of love take a moment to be aware of those precious and very telling details.

Thank you to the beautiful couple (names anonymous) for sharing that special night with me and more importantly for sharing a glimpse of your love story to inspire more people to invest in love. I deeply look forward to celebrating love at your future wedding and every single day.

Thankful for knowing you both, may God bless every moment in your life.

With Lots of Love,

Aida


A big thank you for reading this and taking the time to care for yourself, your heart and your life. If you enjoyed this and have a story or thoughts on love that you would like to share please get in touch (button above). We have 358 more articles to share and we hope to hear from you!

SUBSCRIBE TO THE STORIES HERE.

1 Comment

I met the man of my dreams. Twice: Day 5 of 365 Days of Love

1 Comment

I met the man of my dreams. Twice: Day 5 of 365 Days of Love

Welcome to 365 days of love! If you’ve been following the daily stories, welcome back! If this is your first time reading, amazing to have you and welcome! Here is the brief introduction to what we are doing here, but essentially I (and hopefully you by sharing your stories) are sharing one story a day for the next year(365 to be exact) to show incredible ways we could meet the love of our life as well as share insights on the thing we all crave the most as humans - Love. Why? Because we want to be the people who invest in possibilities rather than impossibilities (as well as increase the amount of love in our lives).

Every story would fall in one of the following categories (the category in bold is the one that we will discuss today):

  1. Fictional story of where we could have met someone today (fostering the mindset of possibility)

  2. Factual story of a love story (inspiring us from real life stories)

  3. Insights/thoughts about love

LETS SEE WHAT LOVE HAS IN STORE FOR US TODAY - DAY 5 OF 365 DAYS. LETS KICK THIS OFF!

-Aida


Contributed by: Sumayya Tobah, Freelance journalist

Get to know her on Twitter/instagram: @thisissumayya


I met my dream man. Twice.


The first time I met the man I would go on to marry, I was 22 years old, about to go on to a post-graduate degree and living a sham of a life. We met on a sunny October afternoon (4 years ago to be exact), and I think I knew right away that he was the man I wanted to marry, but our engagement would last only a few months before ending the following summer.  

We didn’t know it at the time, but two years later, we would be officially celebrating our engagement.

IMG_5436.jpg

This story is not about my engagement per se. It’s about what happened after that failed first attempt, and what I had to go through before we found our way back to each other again. Because while it may sound incredibly dramatic, during the two years we were apart, my life literally flipped upside down. The life of Sumayya Tobah was altered or reversed in every aspect, in one way or another.  

You see, when we called off our engagement the first time, I was incredibly unhappy. I knew, I knew in my heart that this was the person I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. And yet, due to so many factors beyond my control, we fell apart. But as time ticked on -- one day later, one week later, one month later -- and I was still unhappy, I decided I needed a change.

Not a change. I needed a revolution.


First thing I did, I changed my setting. Literally.

I left the small Canadian town that had been my home for about eight years, and moved to Washington D.C. to work full time as a journalist covering the 2016 election. I left with two suitcases of sweaters, a couple of hijabs and a serious chip on my shoulder. I was fully prepared to embrace this new chapter of my life and become the person I had been dreaming of. And in doing that, I was trying to accept that my future might not include a significant other.

Journalists are notorious for having no personal lives. Going into my career I was so sure I would be in it alone. I was working 14 hour days, obsessed with the DC scene and desperately trying to break into the world here. But I was ecstatic. For the first time in my life, I had chosen my own home.

IMG_5435.jpg

The next thing I did was clear my life of any and all toxic relationships.

Some of this happened naturally but most was completely conscious. As soon as I moved out to DC on my own, I stopped having a lot in common with my friends back in Canada. Why would I care about small town gossip? I didn’t want to hear about so-and-so engagement or whats-her-name’s breakdown. I was worried about paying rent. I was overwhelmed with the news cycle. I did not fit into the mold that these girls were used to. And I was sick of the bullshit.

IMG_5430.jpg

There is absolutely nothing wrong with cutting out people in your life who are fake, who do not understand your purpose, who make you unhappy. While my friendships lasted since high school, they were empty. For years I had been feeling restless and unsatisfied by empty conversations and shallow people. But looking around at fifteen, at nineteen, at twenty-one, I remember asking myself, who do I have to turn to? what choice to I have?

Well, I had a choice now.

I truly believe a person’s friends is a representation of who they are. I was looking at the girls who were in my life at the time and I thought, is that how I want to speak? How I want to represent myself? How I want to be thought of?

Which is probably how I came to the realization that I didn’t really know myself.

So I re-centered myself.

IMG_5429.jpg

In a new city, without any of my former friends, I found myself facing silence. Literal silence. It was the uninvited guest waiting in my apartment every night when I returned from the bustling Newsroom. Growing up in a big family, I had never experienced silence like this. And with the exception of my family and a select few friendships, I was completely on my own. It was at this time, I began to rediscover who I was. In some ways, this was a spiritual experience; I found myself attending more faith-based events, taking more care during prayers, making sure my spiritual and mental health was taken care of.

In other ways, it was totally practical. I didn’t have anyone to go to movies with, go to dinner with, attending work functions with, so I had to learn to stand on my own. Believe me when I say this was the most terrifying and most cherished time in my life. I needed that time to travel, to work, to just breathe on my own before I was able to commit to someone else in my life.

IMG_5426.jpg

Looking back at that time on my own, not only did I learn who I was, I learned to diminish others’ opinions of me. Whether that was the town that never felt like home, the frienemies who were leaching off of me, or the passersby who judged as I enjoyed a meal alone. Every morning I wake up in this skin, with its scars, blemishes and imperfections. I wake up with this impossible mind and this resilient heart. I had to know it and love it inside and out before I could surrender it to another.

And so, when I met my dream man for the second time, a year later, he was exactly the same. But I was a completely changed woman.

IMG_5424.jpg

A big thank you to the beautiful human being, Sumayya for sharing her story and a few of the many lessons she has learnt. If you have a story or thoughts on love that you would like to share please get in touch. We have 300 more articles to share and we hope to hear from you!

Share you story here.

Follow the stories here.

With lots of love,

Aida

1 Comment

Letting Go: Day 3 of 365 Days of Love

Comment

Letting Go: Day 3 of 365 Days of Love

Welcome to 365 days of love! If you’ve been following the daily stories, welcome back! If this is your first time reading, amazing to have you and welcome! Here is the brief intro to what we are doing here, but essentially I (and hopefully you by sharing your stories) are sharing one story a day for the next year to show incredible ways we could meet the love of our life as well as share insights on the thing we all crave the most as humans - Love. Why? Because we want to be the people who invest in possibilities rather than impossibilities (as well as increase the amount of love in our lives).

Every story would fall in one of the following categories (the category in bold is the one that we will discuss today):

  1. Fictional story of where we could have met someone today (fostering the mindset of possibility)

  2. Factual story of a love story (inspiring us from real life stories

  3. Insights/thoughts about love

LETS SEE WHAT LOVE HAS IN STORE FOR US TODAY - DAY 3 OF 365 DAYS. LETS KICK THIS OFF!


Every one of has felt some degree of romantic love to someone (whether you called it a crush or deep love). This love has either led you to be single or in a relationship right now. If you are in the relationship club that’s awesome but this article is tailored to more for the singles (please do share your love story here for the next article).

For the ones who are single right now that obviously means that the romantic love with that person you are thinking of right now didn’t work out. The normal person would take some time to get over it and move on to be open to other potential loves, but unfortunately there are many, many and I mean many women (including myself) and men who get so hung up on their past that they can’t seem to live their present nor see their future.

I have done this to myself, where I made every excuse possible to why the man has disappeared (as if I was his lawyer or some sort). “He is going through stressful times at work, he needs some space”, “He just went through surgery, he is feeling vulnerable and needs to be alone”, “He has commitment issues so i’m sure he will take a break then realize I am the right person for him”.. and the list of excuses goes on and on and on.

But the reality is quite simple. If a man wants you, YOU will know. He’s just not that into you
(I know it sucks to hear that but it really is that simple). Men aren’t very complex people, in fact I sometimes find them simpler than women (even though these days I question their ethics sometimes, an article on ghosting is coming soon).

He's Just Not That Into You_Pack_Y24804 DVDW-zoom.png

Have you ever watched the movie he is just not that into you? If not then i’ve found your plans for the night. Get some popcorn, a cozy blanket and watch it. Then come back here and share your thoughts!


So why am I talking about the past? Because if you are hung up on the past then you are blinded from the present. Imagine that for today you have decided to go sit at a cafe to sip on your delicious latte right before you head off to work. We are creatures of habit so we go back to our habit of thinking of him, remembering that time he made us laugh, thinking if he is ok, then without meaning to you look at your phone hoping he will text you all of a sudden (maybe he felt you thinking of him?).

But while you were in your own world thinking of someone who is obviously not thinking of you (remember if a man is into you, you will be the first to know), there was a cute guy sitting across from you. He has been trying to find a way to catch your attention but you were so into your thoughts of the nonexistent man and the man who frankly doesn’t deserve your thoughts.

He may even say hi, but you couldn’t hear or notice him because you were so deep into your thoughts that you somehow drowned out all external noise. Stop to think about it, how many moments have you wasted thinking about a man (or woman) who hasn’t deserved it? how many imaginary situations have you created of hearing from him (or her)? then think about the many potentials of men (or women) that you have blocked from entering your life because your mind and heart was so obviously taken (to someone’s mind and heart was clearly single)?

For today lets take a moment to let go and make room for the future potentials who will clearly show us that they are into us and who will never leave us sitting at a cafe sipping latte wondering if they are into us. Here are a few things I would recommend you do (and I did myself):

  1. Give yourself one night to feel the emotions you need to feel. Remember every detail about him, your time together, all the dreams and hopes you had for both of you, reread messages etc. Do whatever you need to do get it out of your system and look at all this knowing this is your LAST time.

  2. Write a letter to him, write down everything you would have wanted to say then throw or burn it. You don’t want it around you since you are moving on but it feels amazing writing it all out.

  3. The day you do this, before you sleep thank God and thank the guy for having been in your life, the lessons you learnt and say you let him go.

  4. Imagine now that you have let him go there is a vacant space within you, imagine this space is now filled with new and better love. Love first for yourself (the most important love) then space for a new love.

  5. In this new healthy space of love, concentrate on the emotions you want to feel. Is it respect, silliness, happiness, fullness, warmth etc? Focus on it, feel it then become it.

  6. Then let it all go again. Give it to the universe to sent you what is meant to be knowing that you are doing your part of (1) Making space for new things by letting go of the past (2) Loving yourself (3) Knowing what you want to feel (4) Having faith the right kind of love with come.

And with that I thank you for taking the time to first take care of yourself in the love department because at the end of the day it is the most important one. Thank you for reading this and for your time.

If you have a story or thoughts to share please get in touch. Also if you know someone who would like to sponsor these posts let me know here! We all would love to hear from you. Until then have a beautiful day filled with love!

Lots of Love,

Aida

Comment

365 Days of Love &amp; YOU

Comment

365 Days of Love & YOU

It’s been 5 hours since my launch of requesting contributors to join in the 365 Days of Love initiative and the number of people interested in sharing their stories and insights in love has been incredible!!!

SO happy to hear in this great interest to help people (and ourselves) celebrate, learn and grow in love. To help ease the process of becoming a contributor i’m sharing the steps below:

AdobeStock_83204292.jpeg


There are three categories to write an article under 365 Days of L o v e:

  1. Fictional stories (day to day possibilities of meeting the person you love)

  2. Factual stories of love you have experienced or have heard of

  3. Your personal insights and thoughts about love 


Please send the below information to my email aidamurad@gmail.com or through the contact page here:

  1. Your full name (as you would like it to appear on the guest blog post)

  2. Your title (job title or whatever it is you want (such as thinker, creative etc)!)

  3. The category you selected (categories listed above - either 1, 2 or 3)

  4. Your blog post title

  5. Your article 

  6. Your social media links if you want people to follow you or reach out directly to you :) 

  7. If you have a preference for a date to release your article


Can’t wait to read your beautiful stories and insights. Excited to have you be part of this. 



Lots of love,

Aida 

Comment

A Neighbor: Day 1 of 365 Days of Love

2 Comments

A Neighbor: Day 1 of 365 Days of Love

Welcome to 365 days of love! If you’ve been following the daily stories, welcome back! If this is your first time reading, amazing to have you and welcome! Here is the brief intro to what we are doing here, but essentially I (and hopefully you by sharing your stories) are sharing 1 story a day for the next year to show incredible ways we could meet the love of our life. Why? Because we want to be the people who invest in possibilities rather than impossibilities.

Lets see where we could meet our partner today - Day 1 of 365 days. Lets kick this off!

AdobeStock_116067292.jpeg

It’s Monday morning, the start of an incredible week. Before I dive into work, emails, messages (any external facing things) I take a moment and close my eyes seeing, feeling and believing what a beautiful week this will be.

I select a word or two that I hope symbolizes what the day would look like. Today I have selected flow, openness and productivity. I sit on the floor to meditate on these three words and feel the feelings I would have if my day just flowed, my heart was open and my work so incredibly productive. I automatically start smiling and feel what I want to happen.

And that’s when the magic happens, when you start feeling what you want that eventually you become it.

Now lets move on to the love part. Every day you will notice we will take some time to focus on something about our day (because love is only one part of our day) then we will focus on love.


To start off, we have one exercise to do. Love is a word full of so many meanings and associations. This is exactly why we will have a daily exercise to get a bit more clarity on where we stand with it:

  • Put pause and become aware of what word(s) do you associate Love with? Are they negative or positive associations?

  • When you get the clarity on what association you have with it start understanding the Why behind it.

  • If its negative then work on mentally and emotionally releasing it and replacing it with a new positive awesome association. People like to either visualize releasing it or actually releasing something physical. Up to you just as long as you release it and replace it with something positive.

  • Meditate on this positive association with the word Love and feel it. Believe that You (yes YOU) embody it and are it.

  • Push your meditation further after feeling it completely and envision attracting the same level of frequency (association and feeling) of people and events around you.

  • Let go and give it all to God. Put your faith in life and surrender. Breathe in and breathe out with complete freedom knowing that there is something greater than you that will take care of you.


Ok now lets put out a possibility out to the universe on how we could meet our Mr. (or Miss) Love. I’ll start with the basics. We all live somewhere, whether its in an apartment, a dorm room or a farm. We all have people around us whether they are wall to wall or farm to farm. We all pass by people whether its every hour or every few days. So lets open up ourselves to the possibility of meeting Mr. (or Miss) Love without going anywhere, by simply being home.

Today I have decided to take a small walk around my neighborhood area. I feel incredible after doing this meditation on Love and I feel full. I’m walking just smiling by myself. I haven’t changed anything in my routine and go out walking with my huge beats headphones (which I often wonder if it scares people off but I really do enjoy the beats that come out of it so i’ve stuck with it).

I start walking then I see the most beautiful husky infront of me. I don’t pay attention to the man walking the husky and just go straight to the husky. The husky seems happy to see me too (even though we just met) he licks my face and knocks off my beats headphones from my head.

This is perfect. It makes me realize I haven’t said hi to the person holding the husky (aka husky owner) and it made me realize the guy has been trying to say hi but I wasn’t hearing him.

With a bit of shyness, I stand up and introduce myself and complement his beautiful dog. He introduces himself and says he is new to the neighborhood and moved in yesterday. I’m the first person he has met and he says he is glad to have met someone from the neighborhood (aka me).

I smile with blushed cheeks and say i’m glad too (mostly because of his adorable husky). We exchange stories about huskies (I had two in Jordan) and we decide to walk around the neighborhood together with invisible tails that are both wagging (an inspired scene from Dalmatians, I think yes). Its not even 9 am and I have met someone new on my morning walk right next to my home.

The End.

So what’s happened here is that I just made space for the possibility of meeting someone who lives in my neighborhood. It could be a new neighbor, an old neighbor (not in age but time of living there), a friend visiting your neighbor, a stranger who just got lost there by mistake etc etc etc. Think about it have you been open to the possibility of meeting someone who lives around you?

Take a moment today to imagine the possibilities of how you could meet someone without having to leave your area. Just make space for that possibility. Don’t obsess or think every person who walks you by could be that but just make room for the amazing possibility and if its meant to be it will show itself.

End of Day 1 from 365 days of Love.

(If you have a story to share please do share here!!)

With Lots of Love,

Aida

2 Comments