Winners announced!

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So the names were selected by assigning a number to each name and using a pseudo-random generator to select two numbers in order to remove personal biases and the winners for this are:

1) Abdallah F. Ahmed

2) Fida

Congratulations!

I’ll email you for your MPesa and Amazon accounts. I’ll be using the email addresses you inserted to make the comments so if they are incorrect then please reach out to me. Thanks to all who participated. iStock_000018539499XSmall

 

Either way you can’t breathe

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You tell yourself not to be too happy, to repress everything. Don’t go so high dear, so you won’t get hurt when you fall. But it’s not a relative thing, this emotion thing. When the worse day of your life comes and you experience a huge loss, it doesn’t really matter how high you used to be…where you were the day before or the month before that in fact….when you lose something, it hurts…it hurts so bad you will wonder how it is physically possible for your heart to hold so much pain and not run out.

The blogger at “Cakes, Tea and Dreams” wrote a beautiful quote on grief from  “The Royal We”, “I remember understanding what a brutal thing it is to be the bearer of truly bad news – to break off a piece of that misery and hand it to other people, one by one, and then have to comfort them; to put their grief on your shoulders on top of all your own; to be the calm one in the face of their shock and tears. And then learning that relative weight of grief is immaterial. Being smothered a little is no different than being smothered a lot. Either way, you can’t breathe.

The only thing you need to remind yourself is that it’s human. It’s all too human to feel. And maybe now you may feel like there’s no light at the end of the tunnel, and there’s no such thing as hope and you’re on a roller coaster that’s going down, but you need to put one step in front of the other. I know the most default reaction is to be paralyzed but whether you like it or not, you need to take action. Because if emotion is energy in motion, then motion helps mold it.

That’s it for today.

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WIN a prize on my blog!

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As a token of appreciation for everybody reading this blog, I’m offering a prize. The rules of entry are easy.

1) Leave a blog comment (don’t call me, don’t whatsapp me, don’t email me) with a method of how you would like to receive the prize (1,2 or 3 below) [To comment on this blog, you’re usually required to enter an email address. Enter a valid one so I can contact you if you win]

2) Share any post on twitter and Mention me @ahechoes [If you win, I’ll follow you so you can DM me your email address]. Retweets of my tweets are not counted.

3) Share any post on facebook via my ahechoes page (and make sure I’m tagged so I know) [https://www.facebook.com/pages/AHechoes/106194199429264]. Likes are not counted.

You get your name in separately for each social media site but the maximum number of times you can enter is three. Refrain from spamming please and I do get your IP addresses, so don’t try to put multiple blog comments using the same IP address. Also I would only consider the first mention for each twitter handle/ or facebook share.

Each of the two winners would get around 25 USD (rounded up to 2500 Kenya Shillings and down to 90  UAE Dirhams). I would pay them through the following medium:

1) Amazon.com gift card (not amazon.co.uk)

2) Kenya’s M-Pesa

3) AlAnsari Exchange or Bank Deposit if you are in the UAE

I apologize if none of these are applicable to you but that’s the best I could do.

This will run until 15 June 2015 (12 pm UAE time) In Sha Allah.

Please make sure you mention explicitly which method of payment you would prefer, but do not leave personal details such as phone number or bank details on the blog.

Also note, it usually takes me some time to moderate comments so refrain from posting multiple times at the same time (in case you refresh and don’t see your comment yet).

I would need at least 5 comments (and/or Twitter mentions) or this giveaway gets cancelled. Also note that I will keep this post at a top, so new posts will appear below it. For those who visit the homepage to see if there’s anything new, you might need to scroll down just a little bit.

So what are you waiting for? Leave a comment below and spread the word!

Daisy
©iStockphoto.com/HannamariaH

#100HappyDays

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A while back, somebody started the #100happydays project that asked the question, ,”Can you be happy 100 days in a row?”

The idea is quite interesting as it made people appreciate life’s simple pleasures. Soon social media sites were filled with pictures of coffee and books and cats and of course…selfies.

But if you really think about it, it’s quite an unrealistic expectation; staying happy for a 100 days in a row?

Life goes in cycles. There’ll be good days, not-so-good days and outright horrible days you wish you can forget and delete from your memory. There’ll be days when the alarm will go off and all you’ll want to do is throw it across the room; when no matter how much coffee you have you can’t seem to stay awake; when you just need everyone to go away and leave you alone. And when they do, you sit and brood about why you’re so alone…

My point is, there’ll always be ups and downs. It’s not really about having a 100 happy days in a row, but rather about having a repository of little things to help buffer you from the radioactive effects of the not-so-happy days. I say radioactive because sometimes one bad incident can have a long lasting effect on you; it causes a sort of mental tumor so you don’t think the same about something anymore.

Let’s take an example. I’ve always been used to seeing bodies of water wherever I go. It could be a lake or a river or an ocean…For the longest time, the Indian Ocean was the basis of one of my anxiety-reducing techniques. I would go into details about the technique but not today. Anyhow, come 2004, and the videos of the Tsunami spread around the media….and it took me a very long time to get over these mental images. Sitting down on the fence right outside of Fort Jesus in Mombasa was no longer something I enjoyed doing. It just made me anxious to leave.

It took a while to get over it.

So I guess the take-home lesson is to focus on the happy moments more than the unhappy ones, but don’t pretend the unhappy ones don’t exist because that’s just another way of numbing your emotions and as a great writer once said, “Pain demands to be felt.
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