08 November 2017

هكذا يحط الحزن


وهكذا يحط الحزن
يفرش جناحَيه القاتـِمَين
يفترش محيطك
ويسيل الدمع الأسود
من عينيك
من مساماتك
من ابطيك
وكأنه يغسلك من حزنك
بحزنك

لا تعرف من أين أتى
ما ناداه
من أرسله

يحط بثقله
يأخذك فجأة وأنت وحدك
وقته الآن
لا مفر

وأنت وحدك
تفهم كل شئ ولا تفهم

يصلك بماضٍ تُفضل أن تؤمن أنك انفصلت عنه
يأخذك إلى غدٍ لا تعرف كيف ستخطو إليه

هو هكذا الحزن
حاضرٌ منشغلٌ بوقتٍ آخر

هذا الحزن
طفلٌ يبحث عن حضن
لا يبغي غير مساحةٍ آمنة
يحط فيها برهة..
لتنظر إليه
ويطير بعيداً


أمل - نوفمبر 2017

27 October 2017

On Yoga Teachers, Pain & Sharing


A while back, a yoga teacher friend of mine shared something personal with me. She said she wasn’t telling people the real reason how her neck was in pain when they would ask why she was wearing a neck brace. She told me she fell down in a funny way in her headstand, but she preferred not to share that because she didn’t want to give people the impression that yoga was dangerous. I sympathized, I understood, but recently I started thinking that we might have a problem.

As yoga teachers, whether we take the therapy approach or not, I suppose I can safely assume that we do aim to support our students’ wellbeing, be it physical, emotional, mental or energetic. Many of us do express the benefits of yoga and encourage people to expand, engage, be present, etc. Yet I find that there is so much emphasis on the “benefits of yoga” that when we ourselves are in pain, we don’t know how to express that, we don’t share it very comfortably.

I’ve been suffering with knee and hip pain for months now, and I’m exploring various approaches to help stabilize and heal. I accept that it may be a lengthy learning process, it is what it is. But at the same time I sometimes find myself thinking twice before confiding in a fellow teacher how agonizing it has been of a journey, a part of me feels insecure because in my head it sounds like I am the only yoga teacher I know who has some kind of chronic pain she doesn’t know yet how to fully resolve. I know that’s in no way true, I know my ego is desperately dramatising, but it could also be that I don’t hear my fellow yoga teachers expressing or sharing such experiences, thus my ego feels alone (and weird) in this.

Is shame there somewhere? Do we feel like we’ve failed at delivering what we preach? Are we too proud to admit that we, just like everyone else, can get injured or mismanage our bodies? Too proud to express our need for help? Are we too caught up in an idealistic image of ourselves that we desperately want to identify with that image, even if it wasn’t the truth?

It doesn’t sound right to me, and it doesn’t sit well. I feel we need to talk.

Earlier today the universe pushed me to attend a group class (a friend’s special celebration). Honestly, I wanted to avoid attending, but I showed up to step on my ego (and be with my friend) and ended up modifying 95% of the poses to be kind to my knees. And you know what, I did most of that with my eyes closed, and it was blissful. Today, I didn’t care much about what others would think of my not-in-line-with-the-teacher-poses.

I think we need to talk. I think we need to normalize the talk about our struggles - be them emotional, mental or physical. Yes yoga teachers get their heart broken, we have desires, we stray off our “disciplined” paths, we eat junk sometimes, get hangovers, get annoyed, be annoying, wake up with neck pain, have constipation, forget to breathe deeply and can be a mess at times. Being certified as a yoga teacher does not take away your bad karma forever and does not shield you from suffering. It just shows you a way to have more compassionate awareness, and that is what we teach, and that is what we ought to primarily practice in our lives. Compassionate awareness.

I pray we share with love and compassion. I pray we hold space for ourselves and for each other. I pray all beings are well, healthy and happy.
Om Shanti.

Amal - Oct 2017

19 October 2017

A Brave Woman


I am a brave, brave woman.
I have my fears. Sometimes they prevent me from doing certain things. Often they don't.
I am one of the bravest women I know.
I have the faith and strength to walk out of situations that no longer work, relationships that to longer inspire and let go of habits that no longer serve my health.
I am a brave woman.
I inspire myself.
I have the courage to speak up when I want to, and remain silent when it's the wiser choice to make.
I am brave.
Dozens have seen it in me before, I had never believed it to be true, but today, things changed.
I am no longer willing to hide behind deceptive thoughts. I'm fed up of giving in to the undermining voices within and outside my head.
Today, I embrace my truth.
I am brave.
I am courageous.
I am alive with life.
All is life.
And I embrace all. All of me.

Amal - Oct 2017

02 October 2017

Period

Image source: click here
They try to call you different names
They try to pretend
You don't happen
They call you dirty
They complain
You're a nuisance
...
But I
Look at your bright colours
Gushing down through this body, alive
I place my hands
Hugging my womb
Full of wonder
At tender awe
At this magical space implanted within me
My heart flutters with gratitude
My eyes water in honour
That every month
Hormones flow
The cycle of creation revolves
And my body
A vessel
A vehicle
Holy terrain
Not only witnesses it
But experiences it completely
In all its glory.
..
Period.
I say it.
I love my period.
I am honoured. My blood humbles me.
My graceful, dripping blood is evidence
Of how alive I am
My dripping blood is Nature's way
Of reminding me
I am Her and She is me
This blood
Is sacred
It is life
Being.

Amal - Oct 2017

11 September 2017

Love the Men

I love the men who write
Who take the space and time
To catch the words
That sing the songs of their souls

I love the men who dance
Who celebrate the beat of life
Through the holiness of their divine bodies
I love the men who dance with others

I love the men who cook
Who handpick their ingredients, savour them
Orchestrate a fine meal
To satisfy, to feed, to impress, to nurture, to indulge 

I love the men who play
Who embrace the children they are

I love the men who laugh
Whose chuckling bellies soften with heat

I love the men who joke
I love the men who prank

I love the men who make promises
I love the men who show up

I love the men who listen
Who hear us with tender compassion

I love the men generous
Whose gifts are genuine and limitless

I love the men who cry
Who open their hearts and share
Who are strong, who are open enough
To stand vulnerable and bare

I love the men alive
I love the men colorful

I love the men being
Human, in all the glory, beautiful.


Amal - Sep 2017

Celebrating Freedom


As I was catching up with an old friend, counting my blessings and expressing gratitude for my life in its current setup, I realized that a huge part of my joy at the moment is owed to a drastic decision I took three years ago. I had been working at a well-paying prestigious company in a fairly decent role and I was really good at my job. One evening after work, I realized I no longer felt heart in my job and just like that, decided to quit, give myself a break from Corporate and travel around, do what I want.

I had no plan, the universe seems to have had a plan for me and all it asked was for me to trust it and jump in, or rather jump out into the outer world of infinite possibilities.

Three years later, today, with backpacks full of stories of the magic, the tragic, unconditional love and much wisdom, I find myself a grounded roamer - if there is such a thing. I still don’t have a plan and I’ve found that I had dropped the desire to seek one. I take it one day at a time, one phase at a time, one wave at a time and whatever life brings, I embrace and accept as I learn to open my arms wider.

Practically speaking, what I love as a full-time yoga teacher is that I am my own boss; I dictate my own timings and set my own schedule. I give myself days off when I need to. I draft my own contracts and agreements. Set my own terms. I work with people I’m generally comfortable with and if we don’t click I know life takes care. Instead of reporting to anyone, I express gratitude to the Divine. Instead of feeling like I’m slaving for a company, I feel I am at service to myself and people. Instead of reporting to the mind, I flow with feeling. And it works. Not only do I enjoy my “job”, it also puts food on the table.

What I love even more - I trust in infinite abundance. Whether a student attends my class or someone else’s is of little concern to me, I know that life has enough for all of us. If this is meant to be my path, it will be, and it will be so successfully, and I have a strong feeling it is.

Sometimes I bump into old colleagues and they ask if I miss Corporate or my old job, and without hesitation, my bright face saying it all even before my words, my answer is, “no”. Quitting that job from a place of calm, wisdom, trust and surrender, was the BEST decision I made in my adult life. It emancipated me from the bondage of duality; “right” and “wrong”, “good” and “bad”, “partners” and “competition”, “us” and “them”, and it liberated me from thinking I needed someone above me who is paid more and “wiser” to dictate how successful I am as a being. It freed me from tying my success in life to a yearly appraisal. Now, life gives me appraisals, yet reviewing my performance without judgement, without punishment, with utter compassion and nurture. The inner voice within is my mentor.

I take a moment today to celebrate my freedom. It hasn’t been an easy nor smooth ride, yet very much worth it. I am grateful for all those who supported me, all those who opened doors, and those who shut them. I am grateful for faith, for infinite abundance, for joy, for wisdom, for play, for love.

May all beings be blessed.

Om Namo Narayani.

Love,
Amal - Sep 2017

27 August 2017

Listening

I search
For the temple
Of silence
So I can listen
To the parts of my heart
That need to heal

I search
Humble
Head surrendering to Heart
Bit surrendering to All
Child surrendering to Amma

I search
I might be there
There might be in me
I don't know
Hush
Hush
I just need to
Listen

Amal - Aug 2017

23 August 2017

Wild Ego

Love me wild
Love me loud
Scream my name
Love me proud
Blast out
Your passion on all the walls
Speak up your words high and clear
Without unsettling doubt, no trace of fear
Drop this shyness you hide your love behind
Open your chest and boast with pride
Paint the skies in all my shooting colours
Unleash the primitive, untamed lover
Sing my song
Hum my tune
Flung open your chest
Howl at the moon
Love me with crave, with hunger, with lust
Love me with craze, make no sense if you must
Thirst for my waters like you desire your drugs
Enter me, immerse in me,
Saturate, intoxicate
And stay
Reside
Here
Build your home in the light of my warmth
In the shade of my madness
Stay
And I
Will breathe
With you
I
Will rain on you
With magic
Till I melt
Into dust
Into mud
Back
To where I came from

Amal
Aug 2017

13 August 2017

No Rush

San Sebastian, Basque Country, Spain

No rush,
No rush,
Discard your map
Chuck away your plan
Dump your expectations
Slow down, slow down,
No rush,
You're on the golden path
Of nowhere to go.

No rush,
Pace your steps
Savour
Whatever your eyes fall upon
Whatever emotions infiltrate your fragile, tingling body
Whatever beds your weary feet
Whatever thoughts visit your delicate ears
Savour the tears, the laughs, the joys, the fears.

No rush,
Slow down
Inhale colours in all their shades
Let them melt in your mouth
On your skin
Between your cells
Till they fade
Into the next miracle
Of things that Be
No rush,
You're there
You're always here.

Amal
July 2017
=========
This poem, which I was inspired to write one late night at San Sebastian, was showcased as part of the CoLab exhibition by Malja, Bahrain on 13 Aug 2017. To see the video made by Summer Ameen, my CoLab partner artist who also helped inspire this piece, click here.

04 August 2017

To Sami



I don't understand
This grief
Timid
Like a puzzled child
Trying to find comfort-
A compassionate hug
In warm arms
That don't judge my mourn-
I can't fully grasp it
I probably
Don't need to

It is
What it is;
A river of tears
My heart is pouring
Out through the wells of my eyes
Down the valleys at my cheeks
Where they sit
And dry
To salt
And silence

It is
What it is;
A few memories
Of peeling mushrooms
Baskets hosting piles of pomegranates
Savouring French music from an old radio
Sharing old photos buried in dusty books
Rumbling a roll of strong words in a husky voice across your busy desk

I guess I loved you
And I felt your tender heart
Through all the uncertainty
I guess I loved you
Perhaps I saw into you
And in my heart
Though it didn't look so
You were my friend
And I loved you,
My friend

I still don't know
Why
I cry
But I shall grieve you
And offer your memory
A delicate bundle of flowers
Because
This is what it is.


Amal
August 2017

02 August 2017

8 seconds


I won't wait much
For you to wonder
Whether it's a good idea
For you to come upstairs
Or not
My compromise was me suggesting
And there are 8 seconds to reply
There are 8 seconds to either jump in with enthusiasm
Or sulk in doubt
And I don't have much tolerance
For the uncertainty of doubt
I,
A queen, master of my own bedroom,
Lioness of my lush den,
Wind beneath my very wings,
Gypsy,
Nomad,
Captain of my tipsy ship,
I,
Have little time to waste
Expecting expectations
Thirsting to be swept off my feet
Into a whirl of lustful passion
I have little time to waste
Widening a pair of eager eyes
Up towards you
Awaiting response.
In 8 seconds:
I can melt in my own eyes in the mirror
Lick my own wounds
Kiss my holy feet
In 8 seconds
I am reminded
I'm the one who loves me the most
And it's not just okay
It is a pleasure.


amal
August 2017

31 July 2017

Monster PMS



I have the urge to burn all the bridges
Smash all the plates
Howl from the top of my head
Plan an immediate, angry escape
Scream at you, that I can’t stand this
But I can’t stand that
My body won’t let me
My heart won’t let me
Wisdom won’t let me
And I know it’ll be a mess
And I’m not bothered to clean up a mess
So can we just take a moment
To stare at each other’s eyes,
Hearts,
And soften?
Can we bow to each other’s feet
And be reminded
We are together to serve
To play
Flow
Love?
Please.


amal
July 2017

30 July 2017

Worshipping You

San Sebastian, Basque Country, Spain

I see You

I feel You
I recognise the marvel that You are
And my every word
My every thought
My every step
My every path
Every dance
Every poem
Every connection with one of Your divine children
Every embrace
Every drunken intoxication
Every time my eyes shine wide open
My every foolish fit
Every childlike chuckle
Every sigh of wonder
Every cell that tingles
Is there
Is
To worship You.

*****

I am but Love

*****

Om Namo Narayani


amal
June 2017

07 May 2017

Wild Gypsy


**Wild artist**
I can relate to all artists living in a world of internal mental chaos made by having the sensitivity to observe the details of every motion, emotion, thought and physical trait within them, within their surroundings and within fantasies their imagination weaves as it gets fed by infinite details of details. I can relate to the artists obsessed with expressing themselves within their vivid worlds, through their art seeking a way to capture, understand and share their experience of life. I can relate to the body (mental, emotional, physical), being overloaded by stimulants, the nervous system flaring up with “aliveness” and the flow of energy within it. I can relate to feeling the taste of pleasure on one’s tongue without the physical presence of the pleasured.

**Wild gypsy**
In my head, in my rawest, most honest view of myself, in my mind’s eye, I am a gypsy; big wild hair, layers of accessories from all spaces, flowy dress that dances in the wind, jingling anklets echoing the music of my unresting steps, voice loud and clear and in love with its own sound, sings, bosom on fire with desire for passionate, lustful, romantic, uninhibited love making with myself, with the world, with life. Wild gypsy, unstoppable, uncontrollable, uncapturable. Wild, dramatic, life gushing out of my every pore, every hair, every curve, every breath. Life, drunk with life.

**Wild being**
Wild gypsy lives her life as a form of art making, the latter a form of love making. I paint on the walls of my life and they are no longer walls, they are windows to further possibilities. My every string of words is poetry. My voice sings as the wind carries my dancing body across the vast, expansive, lush ballroom that is the Earth, the playground that is the Cosmos. I paint and sing and dance and paint and sing and dance and paint and sing and dance till my body is saturated by its achieved potential, drenched in a sea of sweet sweat infused by the scent of wild loving. I float, carried by the sea. I float. I surrender. I let go. I melt into the arms of the Divine. I defragment. I become all that I loved. Pieces of me live in all the details. I am no longer. There just is. Wildness.


Amal
May 2017