Tag Archives Serenity MYR

Yoga. My new addiction.

Yoga. My new addiction.

Mahmood and Leah after a good Yoga session with LeahYoga was one of those things that I thought house-wives and mystics would while away their time in. The images I saw on the internet certainly supported this view. It’s no surprise that I veered away from Yoga. I’m a healthy and strong individual dedicated to an all-round gym experience, through this hard work, I managed to lose a considerable amount of weight and turned my life around. What would I need yoga for?

Curiosity got the better of me when Serenity Centre, a new meditation, Reiki and Yoga studio announced once a week Yoga sessions for gentlemen with an experienced Yoga instructor. I thought I’d give it a go. What harm could that do?

The next morning after that first somewhat “gentle” session with Leah Ferrera was a revelation. All my muscles were sore – in a good way. That ache amply demonstrated the error of my judgement. Those Yoga-practicing mystics and house-wives would definitely give me a run for my money, even with all my daily gym work-outs. That was a session in humility. And I was hooked!

Leah’s considerable patience, gentle leadership and happy soothing voice completely hooked me into the Yoga experience. I started to really look forward to our Wednesday evening sessions and was the first on the mat practicing the various poses before the session started. Within three months, I gained more flexibility in my body than I probably every had. I was sleeping better and was much more aware of my posture.

Yoga allowed me to also experience much more than stretches. The guided meditation that Leah offered at the end of every session was invaluable in calming my mind. It allowed inward reflection and awareness that I have not experienced before.

I now practice Yoga twice a week and am very much indebted to Leah for leading me into the practice. Had she not been as good as she is, I would have most probably quit after the very first session. I’m glad I persevered and am very grateful to Leah for introducing me to a new way of life.


(disclosure: Serenity is owned and operated by my wife. I do Yoga there on Wednesday nights and Saturday mornings now with Zahraa Amini. Come join me!)


Untangling from Drama

Untangling from Drama

This week’s #TryThisThursday will resonate with a lot of us. This week’s assignment is to “Untangle from drama. No one can ruin your day without your permission.


Who hasn’t had to deal with drama and came out the worst for wear? Who haven’t felt their energy almost completely drained after such a situation. Who hasn’t felt the depression setting in and the self doubt rising?

After such a draining situation, I usually tend to feel so low that it takes me days to recover from those ugly experiences. Not the last time I was dragged into drama; though. I was actually able to recover within minutes. I’ll tell you why.

The market in Bahrain is quite challenging. We continuously have to re-invent ourselves in order for us to create new opportunities that actually create new markets. Or we have to heavily invest in upgrading our skills and knowledge in order for us to maintain our edge and deliver a better product and service to our clients.

Few clients appreciate that, unfortunately, but those who do, we hang on to with all that we’ve got. They’re the ones who allow us to grow together. The clients that don’t are those who believe that in order for them to win, they have to ensure that we lose. Those we tend to let go of quite happily.

Both situations are clear cut and I’ve been in business long enough not to let those negative situations affect me much. In fact, we celebrate when we fire a customer just as hard as when we win a good one.

The issue I was faced with recently was with neither; however. Though someone connected. It was with someone who is neither but finds himself in a position of influence. And he would rather use that position to bad-mouth us – me personally – rather than do the responsible thing of at least bothering to find the facts and base his position on knowledge rather than conjecture.

I have come across his negative “influence” twice before. The first with a project that we took on as part of our CSR initiative at deep discount and has become delinquent due to customer inaction. The other was him raising doubts in the mind of a customer that our pricing was unreasonably high by conveniently neglecting to factor in the level of expertise, skill and intellectual property required to bring such a project to life. His thinking was that if a bolt cost $0.50, why should the installation of an aircraft wing, which the bolt is part of, cost so much more?

How would you deal with such a situation?

I talked to him; and he came out as sweet as honey and as understanding as a best friend. But immediately I turned my back, I felt the dagger dig even deeper in my back.

After the last interaction, I felt myself going into that depressed state once again. I do take things personally in these situations. How I deal with them is that I tend to try to get people to understand the situation more fully by sharing all relevant information and also share methodologies and pricing structure. I suppose this is me going on the defensive in an attempt to justify myself.

This time; however, as I was sliding into that ugly state, I actually stopped myself with a simple but poignant question: what was the silver lining in this situation? I was looking for a thing to be grateful for from this experience. It was the 11th day of my 90 Days of Gratitude commitment and thinking of things to be grateful for was becoming a habit. The answer was nothing short of a watershed moment for me.

My realisation was that his negativity was his persona and his method of living. Not mine. Negativity was engrained in his character. It was not my flaw. I would never be able to change that person’s negativity.

This is the deep realisation that allowed me to immediately move on!

The sense of wonder and peace I felt then were tremendous. I chose to be positive which immediately opened up a horizon that was bigger than myself and allowed me to look into the situation from a macro perspective, and arrive at a conclusion.

I did not give him permission to ruin my day. Rather, I would rather like to thank him for the opportunity he has given me to discover this new way of looking at things. A path that is more grounded and more worthy of treading, than the unconstructive, unwarranted, unneeded and destructive self blame and doubt.

That is how I was able to untangle from drama.

To celebrate that discovery, I recorded this on the 11th day of my 90 Days of Gratitude journey:

grateful for the realisation that rather than justify myself to a perennially negative person, I recognised the fact that their negativity is their inherent trait rather than my character flaw. This allowed me to move on.

I’d love to know your experiences in how you untangled yourself from drama. Please share your experience here.

Wishing you a completely drama-free life!




Mahmood and the dogs at Duraz beach

#TryThisThursday is an opportunity for people to try something different, to expand their horizons and take them out of their own boxes. It is to get people to stretch beyond their comfort zones and move away from their usual routines, and to have a bit of fun too!

Every Thursday, Frances urges her Meditation classes at Serenity Meditation, Yoga and Reiki Centre to try something new. She is expanding that now and inviting members of this group to participate too.

The idea behind this initiative is to get people to stretch beyond their comfort zones and do something different and away from their usual routines. She has been assigning this “homework” for a few years now and the response is overwhelmingly positive.

One that people seemed to have had real fun with was to create something out of clay. The art pieces that some people created were stunning! More recent #TryThisThursday assignments included “Praise someone for a job well done”, “Spend time going around an art gallery” and “Just be you”.

It appears that an incredibly challenging assignment was an instruction to walk around a mall and not buy anything! Some people had an almost allergic reaction to that one. Some failed and succumbed and bought little things; while others resisted the urge and came back feeling like champions. This particular assignment resulted in lightbulb moments for a lot of the participants as it changed the way they shopped. Their realisation that they can enjoy the mall atmosphere without having to actually buy anything was their watershed moment as it resulted in them breaking the habit of shopping.

Putting on loud music and dancing for five minutes a day was a fun assignment that a lot of people enjoyed. Reporting back, some felt freed and liberated by this assignment not just for those five short minutes, but for the whole day afterwards.

The power of positivity is truly miraculous.

I personally experienced this when I joined the “90 Days of Gratitude” Facebook Group. In that Group, members are encouraged to post five things they are grateful for every day for 90 days. If one misses a single day, the 90-day count must be reset and you will have to restart the experience all over again.

Let me tell you that being consciously grateful allowed me to remain calmer throughout the day as it helped me put things into perspective. It allowed me to concentrate on the important rather than continuously react to the urgent. I believe that this is becoming one of my good habits. I highly recommend you join that group. As you can see, I found it very worthwhile.

This most recent #TryThisThursday assignment is “Untangle from Drama. No one can ruin your day without your permission.” Who of us can’t relate to this one? I encourage you to relate your experiences for this assignment on the Facebook TryThisThursday Group, or if you wish, you may add your experiences in a comment here too.

This invitation is open to all of you to share your experiences and insights on a weekly basis once an assignment is posted, until the next one is published on next Thursday. Your experiences will inspire more people to lead a fuller life.

Please spread the word and invite your friends and trusted acquaintances to join this group. The more members there are the better.