Mindfulness Mosaic: Putting Together The Pieces
I faced two tragedies in my life. First, I was born as a Palestinian refugee in Syria. Second, I lived in Syria as a refugee and then came to Canada on my own once again as a refugee. Now I am a Canadian but still feel like I’m split into three pieces.
I first got involved with mindfulness as an interpreter for a group of Syrian women who were taking part in a Mindful Peer Leadership program that the Centre for Mindfulness Studies was organizing with Sistering and four other community organizations. I was interpreting English to Arabic for this group, and at the same time, I started learning and practicing mindfulness myself.
I saw firsthand how mindfulness helped this group of Syrian women – over time, they became calmer and more at peace, they were able to see things more clearly, and they started using mindfulness to overcome the many stressful situations they faced in their new lives in Canada.
As for myself, practicing mindfulness helped me a lot because I have a very stressful job – I interpret for people who have trauma and who face various problems in court. In the past, I would take some of these problems with me but now I practice mindfulness for myself to release some of the tension that comes with my job.
“What’s good in it, what I took from mindfulness is I’m still doing it daily, daily between interpretation to interpretation. I have different clients but I pile up (tension) from the first so what I can do to get myself clear, to get ready for the second client, I take five minutes, deep breathe, that’s breathing mindfulness, I take it and I clear my mind, and get ready to face again another subject.”
Mindfulness has become an essential part of my everyday life now:
“I’ll tell you why it’s important, it’s so important for me to go home not with a heavy package around my shoulders, on my back. Because I have my own troubles, whatever it is, and I got from each client some of it but I cannot hold all of it so I have to let the tension out. That’s mindfulness for me.”
My difficult life experience helped me to be able to help others now, to be able to sympathize with people who face similar life tragedies or problems. Here’s a recent situation in which my practice of mindfulness helped me:
Now if I have a problem, I don’t worry as much. I think to myself – what’s the worst that can happen? And I realize the problem never goes that far, I am prepared for every situation.
“Even now when I get stressed out, I take a deep breath, let myself be, I tell myself the situation is not in my hands, and try to take it easy on myself – mindfulness has helped a lot!”
There are many more people we can currently help. Help us raise money so we can provide more clients with access to our Community Program. Meditate for mental health at Mindfulness Challenge 2018.