Please use this to search for healers and articles until we design the rest of the site ;)
18 items found
- Healer Spotlight: Merna Fawzy
The world sometimes feels hellbent on denying us the opportunity to heal. What we’re trying to do with this blog is break down some barriers, make healing accessible and easy to understand. In bringing you closer to your healing journey, we want to actually introduce you to the healers and guides of Healers & Guides. Every episode of this article series will interview a different practitioner. We’ll have them share their journeys, their stories, their motivations, and their approaches to healing. In the process, we hope you’ll get to know them a bit more and consider reaching out to them for a consultation or to learn more about their practice. We’ll continue our series with Merna Fawzy, here's why she thinks Health Coaching is more than just a coaching service. When I was 17 years old, I took on Boxing as a sport, I fell in love with it, but I didn’t get serious about Boxing just for this reason, it was also because I had so much energy mixed with anger, a powerful emotion, buried within me. At the time, I believed having power, physical power can help me shape who I am into something likeable, feared by other people. As the years went on, I learned more about myself, my emotions, my anger, as well as my desire to be feared. It was mostly because I was afraid of people, of anything that could harm me. I learned that my fighting towards having a great body, toned and strong, was an indicator that I didn’t really love myself, and I didn’t mind hurting myself in the process of achieving what would make me ‘strong’ ‘powerful’ ‘desired’ and ‘feared’. Along my journey towards self-discovery, I began realizing that in order to find true peace and a good life, I had to begin with loving and appreciating myself for who I was, and who I was is a great question to answer, a long story to unfold. I learned that; to love oneself is key, not only to self-discovery, but to true peace and a better lifestyle. I don’t fight anymore today, but I’m a fitness enthusiast, a yoga practitioner, and also a certified Health Coach. Every step that I took along the way of self-discovery led me to the study of Health Coaching. Through it I am able to help other people as well who are on their own paths, know that all the power, and beauty that they are seeking is already within. Now that I’ve shared my story, it’s time that I explain what Health Coaching is, and why I believe in the power it holds. By definition; Health Coaching is a partnership between client and coach, where the coach supports them by asking illuminating questions, providing tools and ways to support the client on their health journey. Health coaches empower people as the experts on their own bodies, minds and circumstances. Once you know the true power you have, you will have the key to unlock so much happiness, gratitude, and a good lifestyle. They also help people identify challenges and blind spots that are preventing change, and provide them with the support they need. I decided to become a health coach because I understand the ups and downs that we all go through, and because I believe in the power of love and mindfulness when it comes hand-in-hand with science and knowledge in helping other people reach their health and in turn, life goals. If you are like me, and you’ve ever struggled with the idea of who you should be versus who you feel you are, if you are trying so hard to look a certain way and aren’t so kind to yourself in the process, if you are looking for answers outside, rather than inside you, and don’t know where else to search, a Health Coach can help you! If you’re struggling with a nutrition goal, exercise, sleep or stress related issues, guess what? a health coach can be there for you along your journey. Now that you know more about health coaching and its impact, I leave you with this message; everything you are looking for is already within you, sometimes we just need a small light so we can see that better. 💟 Click here to read more about Merna and book a free discovery call.
- ٦ أسباب تشجعك تطلع ملاذ
عالأقل مرة في الأسبوع بيحصلّي نفس الموقف: أكون على فيسبوك أو انستجرام ويطلعلي ايفنت لملاذ (retreat) في مكان طبيعي جميل، سيناء ولا أسوان ولا سيوا، سواء يوجا أو فن أو أي حاجة نفسي أجربها، وكل مرة أعمل نفس الحركة. بدوس إن أنا مهتمة، بحفظ البوست على انستجرام، ببعت الرابط لحد من صحابي، بس إني أروح...ما بيحصلش لحد ما اكتشفت إن أنا مش لوحدي وطلع ده احنا كتير بنعمل نفس الحركة دي، فلو انت متردد/ة شوية عن القرار، أو مش متأكد/ة لو الموضوع على قد فلوسه، أو مش عارفـ/ـة ممكن تستفيد/ي ايه من حاجة زي دي، احنا جمعنا الليست دي عشانك: ٦ أسباب تشجعك إنك تاخد/ي القرار وتروح الملاذ اللي نفسك فيه، من كلام المرشدين والمشاركين في A Divine Path Retreat، ملاذ يوجا وعلاج صوتي نظموه مدربة اليوجا الأشتانجا إيمان الشربيني والمعالجة بالصوت لولي مجاهد ١. قوة الرجوع للطبيعة حاجة احنا كلنا عارفنها بنحسها بنعيدها ونزيدها، بس بننساها: قد ايه شوية وقت في الطبيعة بتهون كل حاجة، بتساعدنا نوصل لوضوح كنا محتاجينه، أو بأقل تقدير بتخلينا نتنفس شوية في هدوء، تحت الشمس جنب البحر بين جبال شهدت عصور وعوالم، اللي أي حد بيمر من جنبهم بيحلف إن فيهم سحر مش مفهوم. تحكي نائلة مرعي تجربتها في الملاذ وقد إيه البيئة اللي كانت فيها فرقت في التجربة: "كإن سحر الطبيعة مدرب تاني." إيمان بتشرح ليه لازم الملاذ يتعمل في أماكن زي شواطئ وجبال سيناء: "واحنا في البيئة الصح، بنقدر نتواصل مع نفسنا على حقيقتنا، لما نحس بجذورنا في الأرض ونتواصل بالطبيعة واحنا بنمشي بين الجبال ونعمل تمارين تنفس وعلاج صوتي، بكده احنا بنخلي الطبيعة تشفينا، وعشان كده هي عنصر مهم جداً." ٢. الفرصة إنك تغوص في حاجة جديدة رغم إن الملاذ بطبيعته إجازة (بالذات وانت رايح تقول للـHR في الشغل)، الموضوع مش مجرد استجمام وراحة وهاكونا ماتاتا عالبحر: الملاذ الكويس بيكون فرصة إننا نتعلم ونداوي نفسنا ونغوص في فن أو نظام علاجي أو يوجا بشكل مكثف، بعيد عن المليون حاجة اللي بتلهينا في الحياة اليومية شيرين وفائي، مؤسسة Healers & Guides، بتقول عن الملاذ: "فتح عيني، خلاني أشوف اليوجا ممكن تبقى ايه، اتعلمنا فلسفة اليوجا وده كان مهم جداً عشان كنت عمري ما سمعت حد بيشرحها كده، بقالي كتير أوي بعمل يوجا مع فيديوهات يوتيوب، فإن أنا أقدر أتعلم من خبيرة قادرة تساعدني وترشدني، كانت حاجة كبيرة أوي" نائلة بتقول نفس الحاجة، إن بالنسبة لها الموضوع كان "غير اللي ممكن يحصل في جلسة أو فيديو، الملاذ بيدخلك عالم اليوجا عشان تقدر تفهمه على حقيقته، على مستوى أعمق من الطبقة السطحية اللي جلسة في القاهرة بتكون فيها. بالنسبة للناس اللي مكانتش عملت يوجا قبل كده، كانت مقدمة حلوة اوي" ٣. الموضوع مش سفرية وخلاص من أحسن الطرق اللي حد شرح ازاي الملاذ بيفضل معاك بعد ما ترجع كانت لما نائلة قالت على التجربة إنها كانت (تفعيل). "من ساعة ما رجعت وأنا بعمل يوجا ثلاث مرات في الأسبوع، وبقرأ في الموضوع وبتفرج على فيديوهات ومهتمة جداً، في العشر سنين اللي فاتوا كنت بحاول بس عمري ما قدرت اعملها." الأثر ده مقصود من ناحية ايمان، بعد ما المشتركين بيجربوا لأول مرة على مدار الأسبوع بتحب تشتغل معهم على حاجة مخصوصة لكل واحد فيهم. "في نهاية الأسبوع لازم كل حد يروّح معاه حاجة يقدر يعملها في البيت، ويفضل يعملها شوية، لحد ما نتقابل تاني." ٤. استثمار في نفسك لو هنتكلم بصراحة، طبيعي إن الفلوس توقف ناس عن إنها تروح ملاذ، فكرة: وأنا ليه أدفع من مرتبي اللي أنا بيطلع عيني عليه في حاجة زي دي، بدل أي حاجة تانية؟ بالنسبة لشيرين، الموضوع أولويات هي عايزة تستثمر فين. "رجعت عمالة بفكر قد ايه دي كانت من أحسن الاستثمارات اللي عملتها في حياتي، أنا شايفة إنها هدية تجبها لنفسك وإن الموضوع استثمار مش تكلفة" وبتضيف كمان فكرة كلنا محتاجين نحطها في حساباتنا: ميزانية مخصصة للعناية بالذات (self-care). ايمان برضه بتؤمن بنفس الفكرة: "أنا نفسي عملت كده، استثمرت في نفسي، ولما الموضوع يغلى شوية بفتكر ان انا بستثمر في صحتي وسلامتي وده اللي بيفيدني بعدين، فالعائد بيبقى بالاضعاف." ٥. طبيعة الملاذ بتسمح لأكتر من عنصر إنه يتعاون من أهم الحاجات في الملاذ اللي نظموه ايمان ولولي هو إنه كان مزيج من ممارساتهم: اليوجا والعلاج الصوتي. ايمان بتقول: "أنا بؤمن بالعلاج الصوتي، شفت قد ايه ساعدني وخلاني أشوف الأنماط والحاجات السلبية اللي أنا كنت متمسكة بها وأسيبها، وحسيت قد ايه اليوجا والعلاج الصوتي ممكن يكملوا بعض، وأنا ولولي بنشتغل كويس أوي مع بعض." بعد جلسات اليوجا الأشتانجا الصعبة اللي بتحصل الصبح بيحتاج الشخص يرتاح بعد الظهر، وده اللي العلاج الصوتي بتاع لولي كان بيعمله: بيريح وفي نفس الوقت بيساعد مشاعر مكتومة إنها تطلع وتداوي. شيرين بتقول إنها حسيت إن "هي كانت بتخلينا نروح لأماكن أعمق في نفسنا، وأبتدي أطهر وحاجات كنت كاتماها جوايا تبتدي تطلع، كله من ذبذبات الصوت اللي لولي بتشتغل بيها" ونائلة بتقول: "التجربة كانت متعددة الأبعاد، مش مجرد أنشطة جسدية ولا مجرد أنشطة روحانية، الاتنين كانوا بيندمجوا مع بعض بشكل متناغم تماماً" ٦. انت مش لوحدك "العلاقات اللي نمت ما بين الناس هناك كانت أكبر مفاجأة لي، مكانش عندي فكرة إن ده ممكن يحصل" حاجة ممكن مانتوقعهاش، إننا لما نروح ملاذ مع ناس، احنا بجد بنكون معهم، يعني مش مجموعة ناس بالصدفة بيعملوا نفس الحاجة بس كل واحد لوحده، لا. الملاذ بطبيعته فعل جماعي. شيرين بتحكي ازاي "أحلى حاجة كانت العلاقات بين الناس، أكن كل واحد كان بيتعلم من خلال الرحلة اللي هو شايف كل حد تاني بيمر بها، فكأنني بمر بكل رحلة في نفس الوقت. الموضوع بيبقى قوي أوي، والتجربة بتكون أكبر من اللي انت متخيله/متخيلاه بكتير." على مستوى أبسط كمان، إنك تروحـ/ـي ملاذ ممكن تكون من أحسن الطرق إنك تتعرفـ/ـي على ناس جداد، أيامك بتتملي بناس انت عارفـ/ـة إنهم شبهك، وبيعملوا نفس اللي انت بتعمله/بتعمليه وبيتعلموا حاجة جديدة وبيستثمروا في نفسهم وفي طاقتهم بنفس الطريقة اللي انت بتسعي لها. القرار ممكن يبان كبير، إنك تاخد/ي الخطوة وتحجز/ي وتروحـ/ـي أسبوع مفيش حاجة وراك إلا نفسك. بس لو عندك المقدرة، فكر/ي فيها إن مهما كان نوع الملاذ اللي هتطلعه/هتطلعيه - سواء كان فن أو يوجا أو علاج من أي نوع - فهو بيمثل اختيارك لنفسك، انك تركز/ي على علاقتك مع نفسك، تعرفها أكتر، وتبني حياة أكثر سلاماً على العلاقة دي.
- Healer Spotlight: Mariam Moussa
‘Follow your dreams!’ ‘Reach for the stars!’ ‘You can do anything you want!’ Almost overnight, it feels, we grew out of the child-like wonder at the potential of life. But what does it mean, really, to build the life you want? To get to know yourself—your values, your passion, your purpose—and challenge yourself to grow in the way YOU want? We catch up with life coach Mariam Moussa to get to know how she answered her questions, and how she helps people answer their own. (In addition to our regular blog content delving into the different aspects of healing and what healing can look and feel like in a world that feels hellbent on denying us the opportunity, we want to actually introduce you to the healers and guides of Healers & Guides. Every episode of this article series features a different practitioner. We have them share their journeys, their stories, their motivations, and their approaches to healing. In the process, we hope you’ll get to know them a bit more and consider reaching out to them for a consultation or to learn more about their practice.) Tell us a little bit about your story and how it led to your practice today. I was a business analyst at a multinational, when at some point I just realized, no, I couldn’t imagine myself spending the rest of my life on Excel. I didn’t want to be in my manager’s place in a few years. There had to be something more. I spent years looking for what ignited my passion, until I found coaching. This was back in 2014, and I didn’t know anyone who was coaching in Egypt, but I just found myself in it. It was all my listening skills that I wanted to use, it was guiding and helping people, in the way I wanted to. I realized it a while back, when I was editing my CV for the first time in a while, and you know the ‘Objective’ part at the top that we used to write? I had basically wrote an exact description of a life coach, before realizing that’s what it was. When I first decided to give it a shot, everyone around me was saying ‘oh you can’t make a living out of this, stick to a full-time job and do this on the side.’ It wasn’t common at all in Egypt, not like it’s been for the past two years or so. But the more I got into it, the more I realized this was the piece of the puzzle I was looking for, so I’ve been growing my business and my practice as a coach ever since. And coaching has made a massive difference in my own life, I’ve become more open, more outgoing, more confident. I see the world completely differently, I’m outspoken, people think I’m an extrovert. It’s helped me understand myself, instead of the unrealistic stories that we all tell ourselves in our heads. I think it’s really inspiring that you’ve managed to not just build your own practice, but a full-fledged business. What are the different things that you offer today? When I started, it was personal branding, but now I have my own company called Procij, which means ‘self-awareness’ or ‘self-evaluation’ in Croatian. Broadly, we do four different things: organizational transformation and services to corporates, startups (where I help entrepreneurs tap into their leadership to establish, grow, and scale). The third area is career coaching. I have my own story and career shift, so people know I’ll be able to understand. We work on discovering who you are as a person, what your values are, what your strengths are, and what your passions are. The fourth is wellbeing, or personal coaching. I get a lot of clients who want what we call ‘self-leadership’. People don’t walk through the door asking for this; they come in wanting to discover themselves. They’re no longer feeling happy, they’re no longer feeling confident, they don’t know what they want, they’re sick of their daily routine. What are the kinds of things people usually come in wanting? They’re either too stressed out, they feel they’re not confident, they’re not happy. Sometimes I hear the feeling of ‘my life is getting away from me,’ a sense of loss of control, a sense of suffocation, like you can’t breathe. A lot of people are searching for purpose and passion, but they don’t know what that is. A lot of us feel like we don’t want to just go along with the wave that’s carrying us, I hear it a lot: ‘I want to actually be designing my life according to what I want.’ I don’t know if you know this, but the #1 regret on deathbeds is that people don’t live according to their own terms. We’re always thinking about other people, about societal expectations, about what’s “in” right now. Sometimes the client comes in unable to name exactly what they need, just a feeling that’s pushed them here. And by talking to them and exploring, we get to see the areas we can focus on. So the main topics end up being self-love, self-confidence, discovering yourself, passion and purpose. What’s the difference between a life coach and a counsellor or psychologist? I go over this with every client who comes in, because there are misconceptions about what coaching is and isn’t. There are a few key differences, for example, with counseling, you go deeper into the past. In coaching, you focus on the present and the future. Counseling is more for people who are stuck in the past—whether that’s because of trauma or not—and aren’t able to move forward, so they need to unwind and heal from a lot to be able to go to the future. Sometimes I’ll refer clients to counseling first, sometimes people can do both in parallel, and sometimes we decide with the client which would be best for them. Coaching is for everyone. Your life can be going great, but you want to make it even greater, so you would seek a coach to explore even greater potential. Nothing necessarily needs to be wrong. Also, as a counsellor, you can diagnose and give advice. As a coach, I shouldn’t be bringing in my personal views, and I don’t diagnose. It’s more that I’m acting as a mirror for the client. Using powerful questioning and other coaching skills, I can reveal things to the client—about who they are, the situation they’re in, patterns or blindspots they might not realize—so they can see them and make conscious choices for the better. Mariam facilitates regular retreats for people to learn about the power of their thoughts. What are some common misconceptions you see that clients in Egypt come in with? People sometimes think ‘oh, I’m going to come in, throw my problem at you, and you can solve it, just tell me what to do.’ At the same time, people might think it’s all about motivational speaking. Yes, we empower; yes, we champion, but that’s not the foundation here. It’s not about a client coming in feeling down, and I give them a bit of cheerleading so they leave feeling super motivated, and then that feeling fizzles out. It’s not like that. It’s deep, transformative, challenging work. Sometimes a client might resent the coach in the middle of the process and think ‘ugh, why are you doing this to me?’ and then they come and thank you that you pushed them over the edge. So one of the biggest misconceptions is that coaching is all about saying a few nice things. I’m afraid not. If you’re really ready to do coaching, you need to roll up your sleeves and dive in. If you could offer a large group of people one thing—an everyday practice or advice or a lesson—what would it be? I always say it, that the more I get into the work that I’m doing, the more I realize the power of your thoughts. I want people to really realize that, how their thoughts are the key to any change they want to see. At the end of the day, the result of a thought is an emotion and a behavior. If, for example, I think ‘I’m not worth it,’ I’ll feel down or sad or angry—whatever emotion comes with it, we’re all different—and the behavior is that I’ll sideline myself, I’ll sit on the side and shrink myself. But if I want a different result—before changing the behavior, before changing the emotion—I need to go back to changing my thought. It’s all about the stories that we tell ourselves. We think that these stories are facts, they’re not. The thoughts we have about ourselves define everything in our lives. It’s natural for a few typical thoughts to be the main ones. But if you’re more conscious about how your thoughts are products of your needs, your values, your life—and if you know what these thoughts are—you’ll be able to create different emotions and different behaviors, and therefore different results. Learn more about what Mariam offers and book a free 15-minute consultation here. Check out Procij's Facebook Page
- Ready to Heal
“Sometimes, you’re in that down, you’re in that swamp, and then you realize that ‘oh, this horrible, terrible period in my life was because I was growing, because I was healing.” – Creator of Healers & Guides, Sherin Wafaai. Take a breath. Stop, close your eyes for just a moment, and breathe. If you’re wondering if you’re ‘ready to heal,’ or what that even means, take a moment to breathe some of that anxiety out. You’re already here. In this article, we talk about that first step, deciding to ‘heal’, and what it means to be ready. How do we know that we’re ready to look at our lives, and examine the things that are hurting us, more than they’re helping us? It’s a terrifying decision, and we hope that this article helps ease your worries about reaching out for guidance. Let’s Be Honest This article hasn’t been easy to put together. In trying to talk about being ‘ready to heal,’ I have to go back to a time that I wasn’t, when everything inside me seemed bleak and I could see no way out. Even now, as I think about it, my throat gets a little tight. It’s difficult to remember, but I can say ‘remember’, because I’m not still there. I can look back at it as a time before I decided I deserved help. For some people, the decision to reach out for help - for example, to start going to therapy, to embark on a yoga journey, to do inner child work with a holistic healer, to find a life coach - is a choice to make their lives better. For many others, including for us on the Healers & Guides team, it was a decision to survive. Completely broken down, it was the realization of ‘I can’t do this anymore, something needs to change.’ Sometimes we ignore things for so long that the only way we listen is when the universe sends us to our knees. It could be a devastating divorce. Or a series of terrible decisions we don’t understand why we’re making. Or losing someone our life revolved around. One way or another, we found ourselves faced with the reality that we can’t go on like this. The journey out, however, isn’t always direct paths and checklists, neat movements from A to B. It’s not meant to be. We rise and fall and we come face to face with the same things, the same wounds we thought we had healed from, again and again in our lives, and that’s okay. It’s not a failure, not in the slightest. When you begin to see your patterns and cycles, you’re all the more ready to break them. So is it one moment, one decision to heal? We wish. As yoga practitioner and business developer Roba Weheba jokes, "مكانش حد غلب", if only things were so simple. Some of it is alignment, yes. Things come together in ways that feel supernatural. But most of it, ultimately, is choice. A friend can mention this incredible healer 50 times. When you choose to listen, perhaps on the 51st, and take it as an opportunity to try something out that might help you, is completely your choice. Our Journeys Will Never Look the Same “There must be more to life than this,” thought Noura, a mother in her 30s, who came to her own journey of healing after realizing that she had never truly done anything for herself, always focused instead on the validation of social life, the burden of expectations, or the pressures of the roles she thought she must play. But when she first began searching for what that ‘more’ might be, she met more expectations. “I was stuck, because I saw all these people on Instagram, and it was all yoga and sun salutations and meditation, these people are working out all their negative energy in the gym, they’re painting and crocheting, all of that,” she laughs. “And that made me feel stuck. When I realized that there’s another way I can create for myself, it was liberating.” Some people can find that a yoga journey is what they need, others will feel better stepping into a practice like sound healing, and still others will explore cognitive-emotional work like life coaching or NPT. Some of us are raised in holistic healing families, some pick up a few things from social media, and a lot of us will go through most of our lives before stumbling onto our healing journeys. No matter what, there is no cookie-cutter healing. There is no right way to do it. Invite Some Gentleness In What if it doesn’t work? What if I’m in a session with a healer and it’s just not working for me? What if the chemistry’s off? What if I feel worse? What if I leave a session sad or angry or frustrated or just out of balance? Those are all natural fears. And there are two ways to think about them. First, and most importantly, invite some gentleness in. You’re doing something brave by just showing up, and it’s important to honour that. Maybe it’s not the right modality for you, or not the right healer, or not the right level of emotional work. Like friendships and romance and everything else, sometimes the chemistry isn’t right, and that’s okay. “I don’t believe in pushing my clients towards anything,” says holistic therapist, healer, and tarot card reader Shayanne Salama. “I believe that whatever healing is meant to come to you will come to you at the right time. Some people aren’t ready, and that’s okay.” And second, maybe it’s good to look at where the discomfort is, and what it’s saying. For Roba, that resistance is not only natural, but necessary. “Part of the healing journey is finding out where our blockages or knots are. It’s not easy, and it’s not meant to be,” Roba says. “I don’t think we should run from resistance. When I meet a blockage, it means I’m on the right track, that there’s something I need to work through.” “It’s like yoga,” she continues. “The poses that are most challenging for you are the ones you need to do most. We don’t say ‘oh I have a stiff hip, I won’t do this pose,’ no. We do it more often, because there’s something here that needs to be opened up. Some blockages only need a little bit of self-soothing, and some need the support of someone else.” The Courage to Trust Yourself What if I change? What if I take a few steps towards healing myself emotionally, and it turns me into someone my friends and family don’t recognize, will they stick around? What if, as I heal myself, I find that I can’t talk to anyone anymore? Sometimes, your life and relationships and goals will look different. And that needs to be okay. “Your vocabulary starts to change, your priorities change,” explains Sherin. “Everything in your life starts to change when you decide to take full responsibility for your own life and where it’s going, and therefore your own healing, your own happiness.” Ultimately, it comes down to trusting yourself. You know, innately, what is right and good and healthy for you, no matter how deep down. Sometimes you need the world to shut the fuck up long enough for you to listen to the voice inside you . Sometimes you need to give yourself permission to grieve a loss, in a way that liberates you. And sometimes, you need the gentle guidance of someone who has made it their life’s work to heal people, and help them heal themselves. You’ve made it all the way here. Trust yourself to go a little further, and help yourself in the way that you need. Learn more about our practitioners and book a free 15-min consultation today.
- Healer Spotlight: Sumaya Holdijk
The world sometimes feels hellbent on denying us the opportunity to heal. What we’re trying to do with this blog is break down some barriers, make healing accessible and easy to understand. In bringing you closer to your healing journey, we want to actually introduce you to the healers and guides of Healers & Guides. Every episode of this article series will interview a different practitioner. We’ll have them share their journeys, their stories, their motivations, and their approaches to healing. In the process, we hope you’ll get to know them a bit more and consider reaching out to them for a consultation or to learn more about their practice. We’ll start our series with Sumaya Holdijk, founder of Osana Family Wellness and a pillar of the Cairo community. Tell us a little bit about your story and how it led to your practice today. I grew up in a family where we only approached our health holistically. My parents are both homeopaths, I was never given any medication, so it was sort of inevitable. I started studying homeopathy with my father when I was 18, when he started the first homeopathy course in Cairo. I became a doula in 2010, and then I learned chi nei tsang—traditional Chinese abdominal massage—because I wanted to massage my birthing clients. So now I do both my doula work and massage, and I integrate a little bit of homeopathy in my practice as well. And there’s also another element of your practice, how you can help someone decide what they need in their healing journey, if they should be focusing on spiritual, physical, emotional, or energetic work. If we start from the belief that healing is holistic—that we’re whole beings and everything connects together—how do you decide what someone should prioritize right now? If somebody’s coming with severe physical issues, I wouldn’t recommend spiritual or energetic work. Because they’re physically depleted, and they need to get their physical body back to health. Most physical issues root from emotional issues, but the problem is that at some point, it’s useless to work on the emotional and spiritual aspects without supporting the physical system first. Sometimes, I’ll also recommend multiple modalities at the same time, not just the physical. It depends on the person and their issue, but I could for example recommend some family constellation work with maybe acupuncture and some nutrition. It completely depends on what’s coming up for them, what needs to be looked at, and what they can handle. Let’s pick up on something you said about how healers will hold space. You’ve said that as a practitioner, it’s important for you to understand that you’re not the healer, you’re the vessel. Could you elaborate on that? At the end of the day, there’s no one that can just heal you. People will hold space for you, but you need to do the work. And if you’re not ready and willing to do the work, then no matter what, you’re not going to get better. As practitioners, we’re just channels for the divine to work through. It’s important to know that better health isn’t something you just come into—it’s in the way you live your life, it’s in your spiritual practice, it’s in your community, it’s in the food you eat, it’s in everything. Even when it comes to massage, if the person doesn’t want to do the work, they’re not going to get better. If they don’t want to do the emotional work of why the blockage is there, that blockage will keep coming back. The body is where most of your shit gets held. All of your emotions are held in your physical body. So if I’m working on the shoulder and the shoulder is stiff and tight and holding on to things, then that’s usually related to something emotional that’s being held there. And I can hold space for that to be released, but at the end of the day, the person also needs to be willing to release that, willing to look at it, and willing to let it go. You also organize women’s circles, can you explain why that work matters and what kind of power you find in those spaces? I started setting up women’s circles five years ago. The idea is to bring women together, because sisterhood is extremely important. That’s where you find strength, and start to really understand what it means to be in the divine feminine. It’s a very old tradition; women have always gathered together. This is where knowledge was passed on, where a safe space was held, where we learned about being women, and learned what it means to be held by women. It’s very different from what’s happening now, especially with patriarchy and the way that modern society is set up with women competing against each other. It’s also very important for men to also have brotherhood, and for them to gather, and do activities together and connect and be vulnerable in front of each other. And that’s something that’s been lost—but lately more and more people are coming together and creating these groups. If you had the opportunity to offer one thing to a very large group of people—be it an everyday practice, or advice, or a lesson—what would it be? I would say an opportunity to connect consciously to the divine through a daily, mindful effort. I believe the divine exists within all of us. So whether you believe in the divine or not, having a daily practice that allows you to really be within yourself and to connect. And that basically consists of compassion—for yourself and for others—forgiveness, and gratitude. All of these things are really important to have as a daily practice in your life. When you develop that daily gratitude practice, it actually changes the way that you view the world. Things start shifting, so what we can do is just make sure we integrate these things into our life, whether it’s through prayer, having an altar or dedicated space, or just consciously thinking about the things you’re grateful for. Learn more about Sumaya Holdijk and book a free 15-minute consultation here.
- 6 Reasons Going on A Retreat is the Best Gift to Give Yourself
At least once a week—more, if your algorithm is anything like ours—you’ll scroll by an event for a retreat or another, promising a few days of meditation, restorative practice, and beautiful scenery in one gorgeous natural location or another. If you’re anything like me, you’ll have clicked ‘interested’ and saved Instagram posts for a million and one of these events. Actually going, however, is another story… If you’ve been hesitant, unsure of what to expect, if the money’s worth it, or what you could potentially get out of a retreat, this is for you: 6 reasons why you should follow through and go on that retreat, as told by the leaders and participants of A Divine Path, a yoga and sound healing retreat led by ashtanga yoga instructor Amy El-Sherbiny and sound healer Loulli Megahed in Sinai in February. 1. There’s incredible power in nature. It’s a simple truth, but one that bears repeating. Taking the time to be in nature, with sand between our toes, an interrupted sun on our cheeks, walking through ancient mountains, is deeply powerful. “It’s like the magic of nature is another instructor,” says Naila Marei, who participated in the retreat, commenting that the environment is more than just the location of the retreat. “When we’re in the right environment, we can really connect with our true selves,” explains Amy. When we ground ourselves, connect with nature through walking and hiking and doing breathing practices and sound healing, we allow nature to heal us. It’s why nature is a big component.” 2. You finally immerse yourself in the practice you’ve been bookmarking. Strictly speaking, retreats might be a vacation, yes (especially according to your job’s HR). But make no mistake: they’re often hard work. You’re learning, healing, and growing a lot in a short amount of time. And having your days organized around one central practice you can delve into is a massive opportunity, whether it’s an art practice, a healing module, or yoga. “It opened my eyes to what yoga can really be,” says Light-Twerker-in-Chief, Founder, and Creator of Healers & Guides, Sherin Wafaai. “We learned about yoga philosophy, which was super important, because I hadn’t heard it like that. I had just been following YouTube videos for so long, so to have someone who was such an expert at what they do help assist and hold me through the process, it was such a gift.” Naila echoes this same sentiment, that “more than attending a class, more than following a video, being on a retreat lets you enter that dimension of yoga and understand it for what it is, not its superficial layer that’s usually taught in a short class in the city. So for people who haven't done yoga, it’s a very nice introduction.” 3. It’s so much more than the retreat itself. One of the best ways to phrase it that I’ve heard is Naila’s, who called it an ‘activation.’ “Ever since I’ve been back, I’ve been doing yoga three times a week, reading about it, watching videos, and I’ve been very interested, which has never been the case in the past ten years that I’ve been trying.” It’s intentional on Amy’s part, who in addition to introducing beginners to the practice gradually, works with every participant on developing something of their own. “By the end of the week, I make sure you take a practice home that you can do on your own, an individual practice that you can do for some time, until we meet again.” 4. It’s an investment in yourself. No shame, it’s a common concern that can stop anyone from taking the plunge: why should I dedicate my hard-earned money to this, instead of something else? For Sherin, it’s about setting priorities to invest in. “I came back thinking about how this was one of the best investments I’ve made for myself. I think it’s such a gift you can give yourself. It really is an investment, not a cost,” she says, bringing up a frankly genius point that we should all immediately add to our financial plans: a self-care budget. Amy has been promoting this mindset herself: “I’ve personally done that, where I’ve invested in myself. When things get a little expensive, I see it in terms of how I’m investing in my wellbeing, I’m investing in my health, which serves me later, it comes back tenfold later.” 5. The depth of retreats lets different practices come together. Central to the Divine Path retreat is Amy and Loulli’s seamless blend of practices: yoga and sound healing. “I believe in sound healing a lot, it’s helped me so much,” explains Amy. “It’s helped release a lot of patterns, a lot of negativity. I’ve found sound healing very complementary to the yoga practice, and me and Loulli work very well together.” After intense ashtanga yoga sessions in the mornings, afternoons needed to be about restoration, where Loulli’s sound healing could come in to open, heal, and allow emotions to surface. “She was able to make us go to deeper parts of ourselves,” says Sherin. “And you begin to purge, you begin to release things that were blocked in your body, that come out through the vibrations of the sound.” “It was a multidimensional journey, it wasn’t just about physical activities, or spiritual activities, but somehow merged both together very seamlessly and very harmoniously,” says Naila. 6. You’re not going through it alone. “The relationships developed between people there was the biggest surprise, I had no idea that would be part of the retreat,” says Sherin. A less obvious aspect of this kind of trip: that when you go on a retreat with people, you’re going with people. That is, you’re not an island surrounded by other islands, with every person going through it alone. You’re a collective, going through something together. “The most incredible thing was the relationships we’d make, learning vicariously through every other person’s journey,” recalls Sherin. “It’s as if you were going through several journeys at the same time, which can be very intense, but you also experience way more than you ever thought possible.” On a simpler level, it’s also a very powerful way to make friends, something that feels incredibly difficult to do, but shouldn’t be. In surrounding yourself with like-minded people, in choosing to immerse yourself in a new experience, and in investing in yourself, you’re putting out an energy of self-actualization that’s incredibly powerful. It can feel like a big decision, to take that plunge, book your spot, and dedicate the time and energy to exploring a practice like this. But it’s a powerful decision to make, and -- no matter what the particular practice you choose might be -- it is the choice to prioritize your wellbeing, explore yourself, and deepen your relationship with you. Check out our collection of upcoming retreats here.
- Silent Retreats w/ Nader Wahba
We have thousands upon thousands of thoughts, every single day. I need to figure out dinner; what’s this guy honking at?; this meeting could have been an email; I have no idea how to deal with this; do I need to cut this person off?; what if I make the wrong choice? It’s a loud, loud world out there, made even louder still in our own minds. Nader Wahba—hypnotherapist, NLP practitioner, and holistic healer who incorporates martial arts and movement in his practice—stumbled upon a simple truth a few years into his practice. “It became clear to me that some people who come in, what they need isn’t necessarily a one-on-one session; they need to be outside, to connect to nature,” says Nader. “I started silent retreats as a way to incorporate something outside the context of the clinic or the therapy room. I wanted to make it accessible in a way that’s not associated with any religious or moral philosophy; it’s just a practical tool to help guide people to a place where they can connect with themselves—with their higher self if they want—through nature.” Nader started organizing silent retreats in St. Catherine, at the foot of the South Sinai mountains, where participants meditate, hike, connect with nature, and—most critically—do not speak for three days. If you’re anything like me, this sounds equal parts fascinating and terrifying. Connect with nature? Absolutely. Hike? Yes, please. Meditate between age-old mountains? I’m down. But three whole days in silence? It’s exciting and scary just to think about. “Silent meditations aren’t easy, or they weren’t for me at least,” laughs Nader. “A lot of people come in with questions of ‘I don’t know if I’m going to make it, I struggle with anxiety, I don’t know if I’ll be able to silence my mind…’ but as the process flows, there’s a huge sense of pride, like you’re conquering something.” But what happens in the middle, between the last and first words you speak? “On a regular day, I’ll have thousands of thoughts. But suppose I’m sitting in a place in nature, and I don’t speak, will the thoughts be the same? Usually, people naturally have less intrusive thoughts and less anxious thoughts when they don’t speak for a very long time.” “When you reduce the constant stimulus of interaction — ‘you need to do this’, ‘you need to decide that’, ‘you need to react now’, etc. — and in that environment, when your mind is calmer, you can focus on everything else.” We have an innate capacity to know what’s good for us In an environment that allows us to be quiet, where no one asks anything of us, where we’re not expected to make small talk or form impressions or hold conversations or even react verbally to the little nothings that are always happening around us, something inside us stirs. “What usually happens is people start getting answers to the questions they came in with, completely on their own,” says Nader. “When you’re in silence, a lot of solutions come up that are specific to you, that are prescribed for you, that you reach on your own.” In our everyday lives, he explains, the distractions of life—laundry, traffic, errands, work—drowns out this voice inside us. By decreasing stimulus, we can better tap into what Nader calls “our innate capacity to know what is good for us.” Equally as powerful is something that seems almost too simple, but is all the more true because of that: silence is space. Often, when things happen, when we’re hurt, when we go through periods of stress, we jump right back onto the hamster wheel of life. In that case, the decision is a gift to ourselves: to take three days in silence, in stillness, in nature, to process emotions that otherwise get swept under the rug. A reference for stillness, when we need it But it’s temporary. The weekend will end, we’ll have to leave the sun-baked and storied mountains behind us, we’ll find our voices again, and the road takes us back to our busy, blistering cities. So what’s the point, right? Not right. Though what every person takes away might be different, a pattern that Nader sees again and again is how people leave having learned to incorporate some silence and stillness into their days, taking those three days with them into the everyday. “It gives your mind a reference,” Nader explains. “It gives it a point to come back to, like ‘remember when you were in a calm state, and you didn’t have to do much, you just had to be there with yourself?’” Rather than simple nostalgia, having that very clear mental touchstone actually gives us a point to come back to. We know how it feels, and it makes it easier to create that state again, even if it’s just for an hour of intentional silence a day. “It creates something that lets you think ‘I remember this feeling, I remember that.’ And then it’s going to be easier to build on it later.” Learn more about Nader Wahba and book a free 15-minute consultation here.
- What We Do with Grief
“We don’t understand grief. It’s one of our core issues, we don’t know how to deal with it. But in any kind of growth, we need to face the concepts that make us most uncomfortable, and that includes asking: What is my relationship to the concept of death? What is my relationship with loss?” I came into my conversation with facilitator and movement therapist Dalia Fakhr with what I thought were two questions: what do we do when everything around us feels like grief? And how can we recover from a year where we’ve lost so much? Ties that felt unbreakable have been severed. Communities we took for granted have disintegrated. Our lives look so very different today from what we thought they would be. And lately, so, so many of us have lost loved ones. In the circles around me, there’s no feeling I see echoing more than a kind of shapeless anxiety, one that’s stemming from very real grief. “I think that a lot of people are feeling this anxiety because the one thing that we’re least comfortable dealing with is coming to the surface,” she says. That one thing, she says, is a double-sided truth: loss and death. My two questions weren’t two questions at all. Though they may seem two separate experiences—and the emotional weight lands differently depending on what we lose—Dalia says our ability to deal with one is always reflected in the other. “We have a massive misconception when it comes to grief. It causes us this unbearable anguish, even though it’s a fact of life. We need to face our relationship with it, because it translates to everything: my ability to let go of a job, a relationship, an apartment, old clothes, aspects of myself that are no longer serving me. We’re not taught to let go, to end things, without there being this pain and sense of destruction.” “But nature is always telling us that everything is a cycle,” she continues, “and endings are only completions. Yes, we should mourn. And there’s beauty and health in mourning. To give ourselves the time, even when we’re just shedding parts of ourselves that are no longer serving us, letting go of our egos or certain behaviour—that’s still a kind of death. So it requires grief. And grief, I believe, is also there for us.” But this doesn’t just feel like grief. This fear I’m observing around me, I tell Dalia, feels like walking around with my muscles tensed and my fists clenched, knuckles white and soul strained trying to pull everything I love close to my chest. I worry that—if I let go just a little—I will lose everything in the storm. It’s a defence mechanism—an understandable, if naïve one. “We tell ourselves that if we expect everything that could possibly happen, we’ll be ready when it does. But we learn the hard way that it doesn’t work like that,” she explains gently. In our darkest days, she says, the best thing we can do is shrink our focus, to just this moment right in front of us, right here. When our brains are going into overdrive, terrified of tomorrow and unwilling to put yesterday down, we need to find ways to remind ourselves that we’re safe, here and now. Over and over, Dalia reiterates that the greatest gift we can give ourselves when everything seems far, far too heavy to carry is to be right here, right now. One task, one need, one hour at a time. “And movement!” Dalia exclaims, eyes lighting up at the word. If the gift we’re giving ourselves is being here and now, then our bodies are the ultimate here. And movement—in any way, shape, or form—is how we return to it. “The body has its own intelligence,” she explains. “It might believe us—it’ll produce adrenaline if we tell it there’s a threat—but it’s often smarter than we are. And when we put it in the driver’s seat, when we let our body take control, it snaps us out of this realm of the mind. If we let it, our bodies can remind us that we’re right here, right now.” Today, if things start to feel a little too much, try Dalia’s advice: - Take it one hour at a time. - Focus on one task, even if it’s just doing your dishes, your laundry, or a piece of work. - Move. Consider taking a walk or putting on some music and dancing. - If you don’t feel up to moving your whole body, try putting on soothing music, holding a pen and coloring, with the intention of moving, even just a little bit. Even the small movement of your hand on a page counts. - Every day, find one source of genuine pleasure that doesn’t require anyone else, and gift it to yourself. If you feel like you could use some help dealing with your grief or feelings of loss, consider reaching out to one of our practitioners or life coaches. Learn more about Dalia Fakhr and book a free 15-minute consultation here.
- Letting the Sound In
What do you hear, right now? Pause for a minute. Breathe slowly and feel your ears open up, just a little. What can you hear? I can hear the rolling sounds of cars driving by under my window—every few seconds, the sound of tires on gravel rolling close then away. I can hear a few voices float from somewhere below. I can hear the hum of my washing machine. I can hear the rustle of my clothes as I move my limbs a little. If I listen very closely, I can hear the whisper of the leaves on the trees across the way. And I can hear my own breath, and notice that it is slightly louder than usual. There is so much sound around us, all the time. So much, particularly if—like us—you live in a city as astoundingly, unceasingly loud as Cairo. In a city where the noise level is, on average, 85 decibels—a bit louder than standing five meters away from a freight train—it’s only natural that so many of us have lost the power to listen. It’s only natural that so few of us understand the power of sound. Sound healer and yoga teacher Loulli Megahed is one of those few. Her love affair with the sense, however, runs far longer than her practice. “I play music, I’m a DJ,” are practically the first words out of her mouth when we speak. “I think people are sensitive to some senses more than others, and for me that’s sound. I truly, from the bottom of my heart, believe that music is healing.” It’s something I think a lot of us can attest to. But what pushed Loulli over the edge was her experience in a healing circle where—to speak frankly—she just wasn’t feeling it. She saw people around her responding like they were ‘supposed’ to, they were resonating with the practice, and all she could think was: ‘I feel nothing’. Even wondering if the sadness and confusion that she had come in with were all in her head, that they weren’t a big deal. “And then the practitioner brought out a singing bowl,” she says. Tibetan singing bowls are a type of bell, shaped like a bowl, that vibrate and produce rich tones when struck or stroked with a mallet. Historically, they were used primarily in Tibet and neighboring areas, by Buddhist monks. “He put it on my stomach, played it, and I felt the vibration. It wasn’t a long thing, just a short tin...tin…tin… And that was it.” “I felt the sound vibration travel in my stomach, hit a point, and just released this energy,” she continues, miming the sense of something huge coming out of her stomach, through her throat. “I felt this energy come out and suddenly years of crying that had been pent up, all came out at once.” From that point on, Loulli felt the need to discover the world of sound healing, to find out what had happened to her—as one does when brought to shaking, cathartic sobs by three taps on what appears to be just a metal bowl. She learned from a third-generation sound healer at Swayambhunath Stupa in Nepal, and from there began her journey as a practitioner. I ask her, partly because I couldn’t help it, if she found out what it was exactly that had happened to her. Essentially, she says, it is the core of the theory and wisdom behind sound healing. “If you put water inside of the bowl and you play it, it’s going to vibrate inside. It’ll jump and ripple and move around,” she explains. “That’s the same thing that happens inside your body. Water exists in more than 70% of you, in every cell, in every organ. And it vibrates, following the energy that’s always flowing through your body.” To get a better handle on how it works, think of the singing bowls as a massager’s hands. Just like our physical and emotional stress creates knots in our neck and back—my own back, for instance, has been lovingly described as a wall of ropes—our unreleased stress and unfelt emotions create blockages inside our body. “In my one-on-one sessions, I place singing bowls on the person’s body and I read them. The sound travels, vibrates, vibrates the water in your body. And when it hits a place where you have the blockage, I can read that. So I know to work on this specific part. I can see which part is most imbalanced and I can work to release as much as I can, and as much as this person is able to release at this stage.” But, similar to what Sumaya had told us about the emotional work of massage, there’s more to getting better than showing up for the session. “It’s up to you to look at it,” says Loulli. “What is it that you’re resonating with? What is it that you need to do so you don’t fall into the same cycle and the same loop? Because if you go to someone for healing, but you don’t understand what is the core of it—what is the pattern that I’m holding onto—and you leave, then you’re just repeating the same pattern.” A lot of this may seem difficult to understand as a theory—that someone could ring a bell and help you get better. But, when you think about it, it intersects with very common experiences. We’ve all felt it when a sound—a piece of music, a single note, an ASMR video—gave us an emotion we can’t explain. For me, it’s the sound of an orchestra tuning before a symphony. More than just the anticipation of beautiful music, the disjointed noise really does massage my brain. It calms me down, it helps me regulate my breath, it brings me back. Think about it, there’s likely a sound in your life that does that for you, even if it’s your own voice letting out a gentle hum, feeling it vibrate your body. We all have this relationship to our sense of sound that we might not always appreciate. The frequencies and vibrations around us resonate with what’s happening in our very bodies. We feel it, even if we don’t always understand it. But when we tune into it, when we take it and run with it and understand the ideas behind it, it has incredible potential for healing. Learn more about Loulli Megahed and book a free 15-minute consultation here.
- Grounding: What it Means and How it Works
In the past few years, there has been a significant increase in awareness on the importance of emotional and psychological wellbeing. Nowadays, people are willing to educate themselves more on matters like stress, anxiety, and depression. It is worth mentioning that alternative and holistic medicine are now gaining greater acceptance among people. While you may be familiar with yoga, meditation, and energy healing, grounding is an aspect that exists in all of them. What grounding is and why we need it. Generally, anxiety happens when we worry about the future, and depression occurs when we dwell on the past. While both scenarios are out of our control, this is when grounding is needed. Grounding is a therapeutic practice that helps you stay in the present moment; not worrying about the future, nor dwelling on the past, just being present. It helps you overcome stress, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder. Through grounding, you detach yourself from unpleasant past memories, and overcome distressing feelings. Grounding 101: How to practice presence. Focus on Your Breath. This technique helps you shift your focus on your breath, and accordingly you focus only on the present moment. Inhale and exhale slowly; feel the flow of your breath through your body. Breathing deeply slows down the racing thoughts in your mind and connects you deeply with your body. Engage Your Senses. With everything around us moving so fast, we are always in a rush that we tend to lack enjoyment in everything we do and fail to notice life’s simple pleasures. For instance, instead of just eating, indulge. Chew slowly; feel the taste and the texture of the food in your mouth. Observe the color of the food on your plate, and enjoy the smell. When you engage yourself and your senses in a certain activity, you block unnecessary thoughts in the back of your mind. Feel Your Body. Sit in a comfortable position and begin to observe how each part of your body feels from head to toe. Wiggle your toes and observe how that feels, listen to your heartbeats, feel the texture of your clothes over your body. Move your mind to different parts of your body and pause to think how each feels. Connect with your surroundings. Find a peaceful and quiet place and engage your senses in the surrounding scenery. Observe the beauty of architecture around you, touch the objects to feel their texture, breathe in the scents around you deeply, and concentrate on the sounds you hear. This technique directs your focus only on the present and will show you the way of living only in the now. #Grounding #Earthing #Connection #Healing #Presence