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

MaiLIFE

This is the beginning of the new look of this blog. After years of thinking/talking/dreaming about it.. I finally registered my public speaking business! MaiLIFE! It’s something that I love to do and did it happily.. and for free.. for years. Eventually I started really looking into what it would take for me to make this into a successful business. There have been many people over the years who have told me “when you’re ready, let me know and I’ll help however I can.” I finally started taking them up on their offers.  I’ve believed for a long time that “when the pupil is ready, the master will appear.” That’s what has been unfolding in my life as of late. I’ve found a great mentor who is sharing her knowledge with me about the public speaking world. I’m so excited to be working with her. More to come on that. 

I plan to officially launch my company in April/May 2017. 

This blog will be about sharing my thoughts and experiences as a business owner, public speaker, workshop facilitator, mental health advocate, black woman and human being. 

I have a unique voice as I have a degree in psychology, I’ve worked in the field of mental health as a case manager and I am a survivor of mental illness. 

I hope you enjoy the read. 

Peace Love & Happiness

Maïsha