Entries from December 19th, 2012


Essential Life Skills; Learning to ask for help

Posted by: Naz Laila

I gave her a kiss and she waved me good-bye before walking into her new classroom. Feeling a little uncomfortable to leave her I walked to the side window and kept watching my little girl.  She put her bag on the table, took out her chair cover and tried to put it on a chair but it didn’t fit. So she went to the next chair without much luck with this one as well. She felt little bit puzzled, looked around and then went to her teacher who was busy to settle down one very distressed child. My girl said something very softly but her teacher probably didn’t hear it as the other girl was crying very loudly. Then she stepped aside, kept waiting till the other girl was settled and then I could hear her soft but clear voice “ Miss can you please help me to put this on my chair?”  At that point I felt comfortable to leave her because she had just demonstrated a very important skill to cope in a new or uncomfortable situation: the skill to ask for help.

This is a basic but an important skill that we should teach our children from an early age and encourage them to practise this skill in various situations; getting a toy from the top shelf, finishing a difficult school project, finding way home when lost, navigating through challenging time with friends, expressing hard emotions etc. The best way to do that is to lead by example. So the next question is how good are we as adults to practise this skill? Do we all feel comfortable to ask for help when we need it? Do we know when, where and how to ask for help well enough? The answer is, No we don’t.

When I started working as an intern one of the most important advice I got was to know my limit of comfort to deal with a very sick patient and ask for help from seniors early rather than waiting for things to get worse. I have seen many cases where the treatment outcome was better because the doctor asked for help early. I have also seen the opposite, which resulted in unnecessary sufferings for the patients. The same is true for any profession. When there is too much workload, tight project deadline, getting some extra resources can often save the project but we feel too reluctant to admit that for the fear of being seen as not “smart enough” or “efficient enough”. So we end up exhausting ourselves and often failing as well.

It is even more complicated on personal level.  Not long ago with two young children and both of us working full-time, I was struggling with household work. I was exhausted, often angry at my husband and children that they were making too much mess, frustrated at my self that the house wasn’t clean enough but still I wasn’t ready to admit that it was all too much to handle. I thought I should be a super mom, smart enough to handle work and home by myself (as shown on TV shows). If everybody else was coping well, why shouldn’t I? I finally realized that I was just trading my fear of being perceived as not strong enough or capable enough for the happiness and health of my family. Only then I changed my attitude and started getting help for the household work.

In general we are more likely to ask for help with things that don’t involve our self-worth such as how to set up our computer or fix the broken washing machine. However, we shrink with the idea of getting help to deal with difficult boss, work pressure, emotional hardship, demands of parenting, facing our fear and insecurities. In fact it is an act of courage to admit that we need help in a society where sharing our vulnerability is often regarded as weakness.  I have been trying to be more courageous as I have two young souls to mentor and I don’t know any better way. What about you?

With love and gratitude



Can we really experience magic?

Posted by: Naz Laila

Thousands little twinkles

It is so quiet that it feels a little weird. I don’t know why I am up so early, both of my girls are still in deep sleep.  I could hear their breathing from here.  I sit in silence for a while. It is still dark outside. There are few houses on the street twinkling with their beautiful Christmas lighting. They look magical with the backdrop of deep dark sky and this beautiful silence. I keep looking at the lights, as they change colours from blue to white I wonder back to my childhood.

There was a beautiful house at the end of our street decorated with thousands of small colourful lights, beautiful banners and flowers as some one in that house was getting married. To a little girl that looked magical. I believed that everyone living in that house was experiencing magic; they were the happiest people on earth.

I hear a small cough; it stops my wondering down the memory lane. I know its my eldest girl, I pray so that she doesn’t get sick again. I know the girls are counting days to Christmas. I want them to fully experience the spirit and wonder of this wonderful time of the year. I fear its not too far away  when they will start to judge things with more facts and logic and will try to find out “the truth”.

I can see them asking “ Mommy who is Santa ? Is there such a thing as magic?”

Do I  really  know the answers?

I look out into the darkness again.  The silence gets filled with the flashback of memories. A young girl looking at those beautiful houses and praying hard to experience the magic of thousands little twinkle lights when she meets her soul mate. But years later when that moment came she felt  too vulnerable to open her heart.  She knew from the very first minute that she was waiting her entire life for this love but surrendering herself to it felt too scary.

What if she doesn’t get any answers if she asks, what if the answer shatters her tender heart?

She didn’t know that by not taking the risk of being hurt, she was risking everything, she risked experiencing  the life. She was young and weak. She didn’t know how to face vulnerability.

Those enormous fears pulled her back into her shell and she closed her off from the world. She spent many nights crying while giving up her dream of experiencing the magic of thousands twinkle lights.

I startled back with the sound of the alarm clock. I walk back quickly to the bedroom where my husband is in deep sleep.  I look at him and pause there for a few moments. I turn off the alarm while tears roll over my cheek.

I know the answer. Yes there is magic and its true.

There are things that we can’t see, logic and facts can’t explain. We can feel it only if we believe in it.  When we experience the magic our lives are changed forever. Mine was changed in December 2001.

With love and gratitude


(This post is a part of a blog circle with some lovely creative souls and the theme for this month is “December reflection”. Ever since December 2001, this special month reminds me of the magic of love, joy and happiness).

The next post in the blog circle is from the wonderful Laly Mille