Hold Hope

I do a lot of things to stay balanced and well. So I place a lot of importance on my inner circle. These are close family members and friends. I believe that friends are the family we choose, so everyone in my inner circle I consider family, even if we are not biologically related. Everyone in my inner circle has proven to be incredibly loyal and they’ve stuck by me through the good and the bad. The highs and the lows. Seeing as I have bipolar disorder, there have definitely been a lot of highs and lows.

One thing that has been amazing and moving from my inner circle, was from 3 very special ladies. My mum (aka my best friend) and her two sisters. I while ago I heard this concept of people holding hope for other people, until hey could hold it themselves. There was a time when I was severely unwell with bipolar disorder. I couldn’t function, was almost non-verbal (which is shocking if you know me), I was unable to work, go to school or do much of anything. I felt horrible about my inability to function and participate in the world. I didn’t think I would ever work, be a contributing member of society, or be independent again. These 3 ladies gave me very consistent messaging to the contrary. Each of them told me repeatedly, in their own way, that I’m not well right now and I’m recovering… But once I’m well I will be successful and there would be no stoping me. I didn’t believe them at the time, but at the same time I respected the fact that they were all very intelligent women and maybe they knew something that I didn’t. Maybe they could see something in me that I couldn’t. They turned out to be absolutely right.

Do you have people in your life that hold hope for you when you can’t hold it yourself? People that believe in you even when you don’t believe in yourself? Hold onto those people. I recently held a thank you dinner for those 3 lovely ladies to thank them for all of their love, encouragement and support. They were so very appreciative. So many times we think lovely things about people but we don’t tell them. I’ve been making an effort to tell people how I feel about them.

Hold hope for someone.

Peace & Blessings,

Maïsha

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maiLIFE Launch

I have finally launched my business, maiLIFE. I’m so proud that this idea that I came up with has actually become a tangible thing! maiLIFE is a word that I came up with when I was unwell from bipolar disorder. I was severely manic (long story) but it stuck. It’s a full circle moment to turn insanity into sanity.. Into reality. It’s so rewarding to share my experiences in a way that I can help people and impact their lives. It means my pain was not for nothing.

I’m a Self-empowerment & Mental Health Advocacy Speaker. Some people assume I’m completely comfortable on stage because of the way I present myself. They assume stage fright is not an issue for me. The reality is I have terrible performance anxiety.  Why do I continue to do public speaking?

In the beginning, my goal was to help one person. I thought, if my experiences could help just one person, it will all be worth it. Part way into my first year of  sharing my story, the social worker I worked for pulled me aside after speaking to a high school audience. She told me that there was a 17 year old girl that left part way through my speech in tears. I felt awful to think that maybe something I said might have triggered her. The social worker stopped me and explained it was not what I thought. It turns out that that 17 year old girl, after leaving the auditorium, went straight into the guidance office. She said “Maisha’s story is my story”. She told them that she had been suicidal since the age of 12, and that she had planned to attempt suicide later that week.  She had a suicide note in her locker. From there her family was informed. She had never disclosed this to anyone in her life. She was admitted to the hospital and got help.

So there it was, I’d helped one person. I was so proud of myself. But that’s not the end of the story. About a year later I asked the social worker what ever happened to the 17 year old girl. She said she wasn’t sure. I was a little disappointed until she said she wasn’t sure which person I was referring to! She told me there were many teenagers who came up and disclosed things related to mental health after I spoke.

Wow! If that was a sign that I was moving in the right direction I don’t know what is. There have also been family members of people with mental illness who have told me that seeing me do well gives them hope that their loved one will thrive. So any performance anxiety that I have to deal with is irrelevant. It’s not about me!

Have a wonderful day.

Peace & Blessings,

Maïsha

Path to My Destiny

I know I’m on my path. That path that aligns with my destiny. How do I know I’m on my path? Synchronicity. Everything is just clicking into place. I’m meeting the people I need to propel me further along on my journey. So many “coincidences” keep happening… and I don’t believe there are coincidences. Someone will recommend a book that really resonates with.  I’ll be in search for something.. like a photographer, and my friend will start talking about a great photographer she knows out of the blue. I was talking about different definitions of success with my friend. I go home, check Facebook, and there’s a quote that encapsulates exactly what we were speaking about… things like that. 

I’m also being reminded about the importance of maintaining my energy. I find I’m being exposed to people and situations that could potentially drain my energy. I have to be mindful of this and make sure I’m taking time for myself to replenish my energy. Which is ok, I just have to make sure I recognize this. 

There are so many people around me that already have successful businesses that have been sharing their knowledge with me. Such useful information. Mistakes I don’t have to make. 

This process has been incredibly humbling and illuminating. There’s so much more I have to learn but this does not overwhelm me. It excites me. 

I have a feeling where I end up with my business will look much different from how I started out. And that’s ok. 

One way I have been able to recognize when I am on my path.. there’s a certain amount of resistance. Road blocks that could potentially deter me. The success is so much sweeter when it doesn’t come easily. When you’ve had to overcome obstacles to get there. 

A friend of mine said “take the first step. Only then will the second step appear”.  I really believe that to be true. Sometimes Im stuck on wanting to see all of the steps in the puzzle, but you have to have faith that it will all come together in the end. It’s all about that one step at a time. That’s all you can do. Even if you know the next 20 steps, you still have to take them one at a time. 

I hope you will pursue your dreams and reach for your destiny. Go ahead. Take a step!

Peace Love & Dreams Actualized

Maïsha

http://www.mailife.ca

10 Steps Behind

For a long time when I struggled with severe mental illness, I felt like I was 10 steps behind other people that didn’t have the same challenges as me. I spent years unable to function, completely isolated from people, socially anxious, in and out of episodes and hospitals, and struggling with negativity and self-hate.   I was unable to work for a number of years and had no career like most other people my age. People were in long term relationships, getting married and having children and had years of working in their careers under their belt… me zero. Their lives seemed to be amazing from the outside looking in and I was genuinely happy for them. But it also depressed me that I was not thriving, happy or successful. My life seemed to be a mess. I felt trapped in the aftermath of mental illness. 

What I didn’t appreciate or give myself credit for, is that during this time (and 10 years in therapy), I was working on me. Combing through some serious issue surrounding trauma, mental illness and self-hate. I realize now that it was a blessing that I had the space, time and support to deal with those things. Volunteered, went back to school and slowly started to reclaim my life. I got pieces of myself back bit by bit and found new strength  that I never knew existed! 

It’s cliché, but I am so much stronger as a result of everything I’ve fought my way back from. I have a career that I’m proud of working in the mental health field. I’m good at it and proud of it. I get to help people everyday which has been something Ive always loved doing. It was instilled in me by my grandmother who was a nurse. I’m proud to be able to honour her in that way. 

I had a full circle moment yesterday. I went to a studio for a photoshoot. My first one in almost 20 years. The pictures will be used for my website and promotional materials.. for my business! maiLIFE! It’s been an idea I’ve had in my head for so long and now it’s real! maiLIFE is a word I created when I was unwell and now other people are making reference to it. Using it. It’s a real thing! They’re excited to hear what it’s all about. Here I was standing chatting with a group of black business owners.. and it hit me! These are my peers! I too am a black business owner.  

It’s so interesting because so many of my friends and the people around me are where I am now. Starting their own business (or having recently started them). They’re at the same stage I am.  

I no longer feel like I’m 10 steps behind because I’m not. I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be. A 9-5 that I love. Creating a business that I love. Love from amazing friends and family. Self-love like I’ve never known before. Life is amazing. So blessed and incredibly grateful. 

Peace Love & Dreams Actualized

Maïsha

maiLIFE

http://www.mailife.ca

Self-Love

What an amazing place to be! To walk through life filled with self-love is a phenomenal and awesome place to be. 

I’ve struggled with self-hate for almost 30 years. Almost 30 years with this horrible and sometimes nasty negative voice inside my head criticizing everything I do.. everything that I am. Telling me why I would never and could never accomplish the things I wanted to achieve. I tried to be good at things so I would like myself (track, music, art, university, being a good friend)but I hated myself even more. 

The self hate stemmed from having been a survivor of childhood sexual abuse. I internalized things my abuser had told  me. I didn’t remember the things he told me to make me believe it was my fault.. until recently. His words became my own words in my head. Tremendous guilt, shame and self-hate because I believed it was my fault. It’s like I had been given poison by my abusers. Even though they were no longer in my life, I continued to drink the poison. Filled with toxic, painful and destructive thoughts/feelings. I felt like my soul was tormented. 

After years of work and a decade of therapy I truly love myself! It feels so much lighter navigating through life without carrying 200 extra lbs of emotional baggage. I’m free from the persistent and nagging negative thoughts that used to cling to me like an unwanted intruder. 

Thoughts are incredibly powerful and just because you have a thought in your head about yourself, does not necessarily make it true! Be aware of your thoughts because they affect how you experience life. 

I made the decision 20 years ago that I would make pursuing self-love my mission.. my passion. A very long time but well worth it! I feel like the first chapter of my life has closed and now the new chapter has begun. I’m so excited to see what life has in store for me.  

If you’re in a place where you don’t love yourself. Acknowledge it. Fight to change it. You truly are worth it. You’re worth fighting for. It will change your life!

Peace Love & Dreams Actualized

Maïsha

Dreams do Come True

Well the countdown is on until the official launch of my business MaiLIFE as a Self-empowerment Mental Health Advocacy Speaker. I’m super excited at the thought of having a career doing what I love.. inspiring people, creating hope, helping people and spreading awareness about mental health challenges. 

I did Toast Masters at the age of 9 and then started entering speech arts competitions in French and English. Instantly I was hooked! What a rush. And the thought that the whole audience was silent just because they wanted to hear what i had to say! At the age of 9! That’s when I figured out that words were powerful.  That was awesome, humbling and empowering. 

In high school I heard the term “motivational speaker”. I thought it was a wonderful concept but thought at the time that I had nothing to say. What could I possibly say that would motivate, affect and help people? Well 20 years later it turns out that I have lots of things of value to say, that can help people, increase their awareness and motivate them.

So many people, along the road of my journey of life, have offered to help me in any way they can.. when I was ready. I’ve met some really amazing people along the way and I’m so grateful. It’s really taken a village to get me here. 

So look out for me in April/May 2017 for the launch of MaiLIFE. Super excited! The culmination of a life long dream. So many great people that are celebrating with me. Dreams can and do come true. I really believe I’m starting the next chapter of my life and that it will be bigger than I ever could have imagined!

Peace Love & Dreams Actualized. 

Maïsha