12 October 2019

The Optimist Curse

Image by Pennie McCracken

My curse is that I'm an optimist
They named me Amal "hope"
Perhaps to protect me
From the demons of my mind
Like that, I am blessed

I don't do tragedy well
Not anymore
This zest for life is bigger than any misery
The bed of my mind has been refurnished
With concepts of
Impermanence
Perception
Manifestation
Prana
Karma

While my pain sucks the tears out of my face
I simultaneously laugh at the illusion I've been sucked into
I know
It's just a story
I know
I'm just a person, being


My curse is that I'm an optimist
I cannot sink to the abyss of dispair and take it seriously
I cannot fully play the role
It doesn't happen

Because
My destiny is to dance
My destiny is to dance
My destiny is to dance

amal
Oct 2019

02 October 2019

Outside the Rabbit Hole



I remember feeling sad like this. I remember breaking into tears randomly throughout the day. I remember not knowing exactly why. I remember really wanting to be heard. I remember sitting with my grief, holding myself like a baby.

It’s familiar. I remember this. The feeling is old. Yet my breath is new.

The thoughts are old. Inherited from a version of me I had a history with. Yet the space in which the thoughts appear is new. The plate is new. The page is new.  You get it.

I catch myself before I sink into the dark hole of judging myself as a failure who still carries tons of baggage, who has failed to let go regardless of the tons of yoga philosophy she studied and drank, and regardless of the dozen trips to India.

I catch myself before going down that rabbit hole and I laugh a little. Because this cheeky little hopeful romantic says this is happening for a reason. This isn't punishment. This isn't misery. This is showing me that I am now dealing with that same old tension in a completely different way.

I am speaking up.

I have been feeling unhappy and bland. I have been experiencing episodes of mild anxiety and depression. I’ve been crying my ass off. I have been expressing a lot of anger, and I’ve been finding it difficult to communicate all of this calmly.

I have been feeling isolated as I try to navigate those waters. I have been craving intimacy, love, attention and care.

And it’s been hard noticing how once upon a time I had tapped more into the Love within and Divine Love “outside”, and now it’s difficult.

It’s been tough. And I feel sad sometimes.

But I don’t feel sorry for myself. And I don’t feel broken anymore. I know that mental health is a thing. A normal thing to talk about.

I just try to do what I can do.

I’m taking it day by day. Moment by moment. Feeling by feeling.

If you’re reading these words, please know that I just wanted to be heard (which has also been accomplished by me hearing myself out while writing this). I’m really not asking for solutions or reminders of how amazing and bright life is. This is an inner struggle. And today, I just want to be heard.

So, thank you. And bless you. And bless me for doing this.

Love.

Amal
Oct 2019

29 September 2019

Give Me a Break


Give me a break
New moons, full moons, planetary retrogrades
Hormones, PMS, ovulation and folicular phases
Tight fascia, stored trauma, issues in tissues
Weak muscles, hypermobility, compensations,
Cleanses, digital detoxes, guided meditations
Soul searching, karma, reincarnations
So
So
Serious
Too
Too
Much
For this brain to accommodate
For the soul of the child in me to tolerate
When did a bird ever wonder what gemstone to wear today?!
When did a flower ever feel self conscious about her scent?
When did a tree ever feel she needs to protect her energy?
..or feel guilty about her sugar intake?
Shhh..
Simple,
Let's keep it simple, baby
Simple
Like a drop of water surrendering to a pond
It has no idea it's two parts hydrogen, one part oxygen
It just drops
Blob
Onto water
Merges
No ego, it disintegrates
Just Be's
I want to just BE
Simply BE

amal
Sep 2019

14 July 2019

Pouring Love



Baby girl
This love that moans
In the "lake that is your heart"
Wants to pour itself
Through your lips
And paint the forests of the world
Pink

Baby girl
Why do you keep those windows tightly shut
While you peek through curtains
Lamenting
A wall
Between you
And where your heart wants to play

Baby girl
Sweet, innocent, baby girl
Unlearn all what those adults trashed near your mind
Unfear the curses and chains
Break the shakles, baby
Dance
Dance
Dance
On the pavements of the world
Light
Wild
Free

Say, "I love you"
Practice..
With the mirror
With floors
With the leaves
With faces
With spaces
With the etherical beings that embrace your soul
Say it
Be it
Pour love
From the magical lake within
Over your head and chest and shoulders
With ancient tears and lifefull laughter
Girl
Girl!
Shine
Like the sun


amal
July 2019

10 June 2019

Vibrant Gushing Life

Lush
Vibrant
Fertile
Like the Earth
This body is

Red drips
Like honey
Breathing out
Life
Streaming
The music of
Creation
Magic
Alchemy
Divine cycles

Over and over again
This body
Amazes me
With its graceful resilience
This mind
Blows me away
With its faith
This heart
Melts, humbles me
With its gratitude

Here
Look
See..
I am
Life
Gushing
With life

amal
June 2019

29 May 2019

The Alchemy of Vipassana

Picture taken at the Chengannur Vipassana Centre
India, Oct 2014
Almost five years ago, at the beginning of a long journey I call Adventure Surrender, I had spent 10 days in complete silence at a Vipassana meditation centre in India. Silence as in no speaking, no writing, no eye contact, no physical contact, no reading, no phones, no yoga, no singing, none of that.

We meditated for around 9 hours daily, stayed in very basic accommodation, water wasn’t very clean and the food was poor.

Staying still for meditation was physically painful, all the weak points in the body would reveal themselves clearly. Staying still for meditation was mentally challenging, all the insanity of the mind would weave a million crazy stories. Staying still for meditation was emotionally difficult, all the mixed and raw feelings that needed to be dealt with presented themselves on stage.

But I did it. I disciplined my way through. And I came out the other end a new person. And now I rave about it as one of the best gifts one can give themselves.

Looking back now, I notice that those 10 days have greatly impacted my inner world and how it reflects on my outer world. Although I only sat down to practice the vipassana meditation a few times after, an alchemical shift had taken place within me ever since;

1. Honouring silence:
I’ve become extremely aware of my need for silence, personal time, and quiet. I know my limit when it comes to socialising and also keeping myself busy, and I know when to retreat and create atmospheres of quiet. And I do that diligently, unapologetically, with much soft compassion.


2. Anicca ~ Impermanence:
S. N. Goenka, the man responsible for spreading Vipassana globally, explains how impermanence is one of the basic characteristics of life. Everything is constantly changing. So holding on to misery is not needed. Holding on to a certain identity is unuseful. Anicca is a word that holds so much hope within it. Whenever I am in a stressful situation, I try to remember that it is only temporary.

3. Equanimity:
Do you know this word? It’s a good one to learn. Being equanimous is associated with being calm, having an even mind. For me personally, it is about being neither attached nor averted to surrounding phenomenons. It’s like being neutral, but it has more life in it. In a more practical way; if I’m under stress, I’d observe a situation without being mentally-emotionally involved or invested in it. This also inspires a great sense of openness, playfulness and freedom.

4. Ahimsa ~ non-violence:
One of the precepts we undertake when enrolling in a Vipassana course is to abstain from killing any living creature. Not even those tiny mosquitoes that cause me painful hives when they bite. This shifted my relationship with all creatures. Living in a home with gentle, natural cleaning products and even sweetly talking to those little insects that occasionally appear is a practice of great compassion towards oneself and all beings. It immediately brings a degree of softness into relationships.

5. Love & presence:
I repeat, spending 10 days in silence with yourself is an act of deep love and kindness towards yourself. I feel like I’ve seen myself naked, raw, crazy, silly, wild. I’ve seen what the mind can do. And I don’t need to run away. I’ve energetically and physically held, cradled and nurtured myself. There’s inner intimacy that was born that is sacred. It’s a sacred space within, with a taste so sweet. This intimacy inspires me to be present, to choose love, to have courage, to be me, to just be.

A friend of mine recently commented about how I have immense inner peace. I know better, I know I can also be erratic and angry and messy sometimes. Yet, I guess yes, relative to how I used to be in the past, there’s a greater sense of inner peace that prevails within me. And I owe a great deal of it the wonderful experience of Vipassana.

Some experiences are just magical like that.


Amal,
May 2019

28 May 2019

ما هذا الحب


ما هذا الحب


ما هذا الحب
جامحٌ عارمٌ يغمر قلبي بأمواجٍ حلوة المذاق
ما هذا الحب العابر للأشخاص
العابر للعقل
العابر لكل المفردات
ما هذا الحب الذي أعيشه لحظة بلحظة
بل يحييني
يغسلني
يرويني
ما هذا؟!
أهو هذا!
أحُلمي البعيد
أن أسكُن نجمةً
أن أكون نغمةً
أن أتقمص وردةً
أحلمي قد وصل..؟
أن أشعر بنفح الجنة
في كل خلية من وجودي..

ها هو الحب
ها هو الحب
ها هو الحب



أمل
٢٢.٥.٢٠١٩

Beloved Souls


Beloved souls
I see your radiant light
Through the vibrant joy in my heart
I
See

Your beauty
Exudes all matter

Your divinity
Is music perfuming the air

And I love
That I see You
I love
The Love you are

I love you

a,
21.5.2019

18 March 2019

I am a Mother

I'm a mother
I am a mother
To all my friends' children
To all my students
To friends
To my husband
My parents
Brothers
The plants in my balcony
The bamboos that gaurd this space
To the little pieces of art I make
To my food
To Rainbow Residence

I am a mother
To myself
To the adult I am
To the child in me
To menstruation blood
To the thought of a baby girl
To ideas unborn yet
Yet
Their buds nestled in my ovaries
My ovaries
Throb with life
My ovaries
Purr with energy
These ovaries
Work
Deliciously
Passionately
Primitively
These ovaries
Are hugged by the Earth
I stomp my feet
I open these arms wide
May Mother, like thunder, strike
Shake me
Shower me
Infuse me
With her Earthy Breath
I embody Her
I am Her
I am Her
I am a mother
A mother I am
And I radiate
Life
With my full existance

amal
March 2019

05 March 2019

Formless

I know it is true
Everything
You
Say
About
Me

You say it because
I
Need to say it

You say it
To bring light
Where it is dark
To show the truth
Where there is doubt

I know it true
Everything you say;
That my eyes are bright with life
That I am a cheerful child
That I am strong when I'm vulnerable
That my joy paints rainbows
That my grief brings hope
That I am a dancer
That I am light
That I am Love

I know it is true but
My guts
Want to vomit decades of lies
My guts
Want to scream out
Oceans
Of darkness
And every inch in this body
Wants
To see
Beyond identities
Beyond labels
Beyond form

Every inch in this body
Wants to melt
Into all
Into one

Every inch in this body
Yearns
To vibrate
With love

And prays
To taste the love
That it
Is


amal
March 2019

28 January 2019

يرق قلبي


Image source 
يرق قلبي.

أستلقي في غرفةٍ واسعة تملؤها أجهزة تُصدر أصواتاً وألواناً عدة.. أستقبل الإرشادات كتلميذةٍ جيدة وأستلقى دون حركة.. أخشى أن أتنفس بعمق فيؤثر ذلك على فعالية الجهاز.
كبشر، نفهم جيداً الأصوات الصادرة من الطبيعة، فمعانيها وحدودها مطبوعةٌ في تكويننا الجيني.. أما أصوات الأجهزة والإلكترونيات فهي بحاجة لوقت حتى نفهمها ونتعود عليها.
لدي حساسية عالية لما يجري في أرجاء جسدي.. أشعر بأرق الأحاسيس.

في السقف صورة سماء زرقاء وأوراق شجر وورود بيضاء.. ربما أتأمل فيها خلال الأسابيع القادمة وأكتشف تفاصيل جديدة كل مرةٍ أستلقي فيها هنا.

يتحرك الجهاز من حولي.. أسمع أصواتاً جديدة وأرى أضواء ليزر خضراء.. لا أفهم ماذا يحدث، لكنني هنا لأنهم قالوا لي أن أكون هنا.. هذه هي خطة علاجك.. تفضلي.. مقاس واحد مناسب للجميع.. ربما قد شُفيتي من السرطان تماماً لكننا نُطبق هذا البروتوكول إحترازاً.

أبكي.. تذرف دموعي على القالب الأزرق الذي شُكِل ليضم جسدي "الصغنون" نسبياً.

أبكي.. وحدي في الغرفة البيضاء.. هل يرون دموعي من كامراتهم..؟ هل سيلاحظ أحدٌ منهم أني بكيت عندما يعودون إلى الغرفة..؟ هل "سيطبطب" أحدٌ علي؟
أبكي لأنني خائفةٌ قليلاً، فهي تجربة جديدة وغير مريحة تماماً. أبكي لأنني وحدي. أبكي لأنني لا أستطيع الحركة. أبكي لأن الأجهزة تُشعرني أنها تُجردني من إنسانيتي. أبكي لأن تجربة التعاطي مع سرطان الثدي ثقيلة وعميقة. أبكي لأنني أُعيد إكتشاف نفسي. أبكي لأنني قوية. أبكي لأنني أحب نفسي.
أتذكر سحر الكون.
أُردد توكيداتاً ايجابية لنفسي واستحضر مانترا تُذكرني أنني لست لوحدي.. أنا في رعاية سحر الكون.. أنا محمية.. أنا بخير.
أعود للمنزل وأضم صدري إلى صدري.
يرق قلبي.
هذا الكم الهائل من المشاعر يُذكرني بأنني أفيض حياةً.. وهذا الطاقة العارمة تُذكرني بأنني أفيض محبةً.
فلأكن دوماً مليئةً بالحياة.
وليكن جميع أبناء الكون سُعداء ويفيضون محبة. محبتي، أمل

24 January 2019

Flames


I can't Google this
I can't Google why I'm angry
This raging fire can only be tamed
From within
But before
I tame it
Can I sit with it?

Can I breathe while the heat dizzies my mind
Can I remember Love
Can I remember that all is impermanent
Can I be ok with not being ok?

~

Fire
Anger
Rage
Oh this body feels violated
Bags of chemo
Pints of drugs
A device resides under my skin
Three surgery scars hide quietly under my clothes
A dozen machines have made me feel like
An object
Dozens of needles have poked this flesh
Thousands of steps in and out and around hospitals
Eyes and fingers and hands
Doctors and nurses and technicians
Have poked and probed 
This body
My body
Feels
Violated

Now, can I be angry?
Can I feel a little sorry for myself?
Can I muster the strength and courage
To shake off all the residue energies
All the dust, all the dirt
Can I howl and say,
"Poor me!"
Can I cry ponds of tears
And grieve
To heal

You see,
We don't need death
To grieve
Pain can be so intense
This is how it flows
Anger
Rage
Sorrow
Tears
I hold my heart
Cradled like a baby in my palms
I lift her up to the Sun Goddess
Ma
Ma'am
Soothe my raging mind
Soothe my aching heart
Soothe my fragile soul
Ma
Jai ma
Bathe my heart
Bathe me
With your golden rays
Bathe me with wisdom
With love
With grace
So my soul
Can heal

Amal
24 January 2019

19 January 2019

Raw

Mother Earth - Abstract Art by Jaison Cianelli
Raw
Be raw
I love it when you're raw
Naked from all the shame
Vibrant with all your baggage
Glowing with all your romantic dreams
And childish fantasies

Raw
I love you raw
Rising from the earth
Brown
Strong
Sticky
Gooey
Extremely huggable
Intensely sweet

Raw
I love you raw
Wild in the sounds you make
Chaotic in the colours you paint
Like this life,
Like this universe
Random and uninhibited
Gushing with emotion
Vulnerable
Elaborately expressive with or without words
Loud and quiet and obvious and subtle,
All the adjectives have shares in you
All the elements present

Raw
I love you raw
I get naked too
I be,
I melt with you
We melt into All
We dance together
We celebrate
Being
One


Amal
January 2019

14 January 2019

جميلةٌ فلسطين


جميلةٌ فلسطين
أمرّ على صورها وأخجل
هي حبيبتي التي لم أزرها قط إنما
تعيش فيّ

جميلةٌ فلسطين
أمرّ على صورها وأخجل
من الوجع
من الغضب
من نَفَس المحتل في شوارعها
من أجساد الشهداء
من أقدام الشتات
من أرواح من بقوا فيها متشبثين بالأرض وبيوت الحجر وشمسٌ تتسلل عبر النوافذ كالموسيقى

جميلةٌ فلسطين
بهيةٌ فلسطين
صورةً وتخيلاً وذاكرةً وعشقاً
وطناً يمتد عبر الحيطان والأجساد والقارات
وطناً متجسداً في أغانٍ وأطباق ومُفردات
يقف برقته شامخاً
يحلف بالزعتر والزيتون
أنه هنا
واقفٌ
باقٍ
وطناً جميلاً خلاباً رُغم كل الجنون


أمل
يناير ٢٠١٩