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Archive for the tag “Mental Well-Being”

Rozabee – The Art of Being and Doing


Anousha Vakani, our wonderful contributor who has a way with words, has written some of my favourite articles on Jeddah Blog. For this latest blog post, she sits down with life coach Rozana Al-Banawi, to talk about her practice and her thoughts on art, beauty and humans.Screen Shot 2015-10-12 at 1.13.35 PM

“I am Rozana Al-Banawi and life is only beginning. Growing up as a teenager, I was curious about ‘change’, and about how our relationship with it is a love/hate one. Life is about change and I assumed as a young girl that it is a given that we all want to improve ourselves for the better, that change is part of our DNA. Little did I know back then that I would be an expert in change and transformation. I like to see my work as an experience that you co-create what you want for yourself. The most fulfilling image is seeing my clients embarking on the first steps of change and transformation, like a caterpillar getting ready to become a cocoon and inevitably a butterfly. Once a client starts that process, there is no turning back.”

What is Rozabee?

Rozana’s practice is aptly named ‘Rozabee’ as a play on both her name and the beauty of being and doing at once. The connotations of her chosen name are more beautifully explained on the homepage of her website, with a note from her and a quoted poem by Khalil Gibran to sum it up. I decided to connect with Rozana and explore her thoughts on art, beauty and humans.

We talked about some important things: about art, beauty, relationships, books and life in general and I thought it would be best to quote her thoughts on each topic, as an insight into her as a person and her philosophy as a life coach.

Rozana’s take on art and beauty:

“God, Allah Almighty, has created a beautiful world for us; beautiful oceans with beautiful sea creatures, of all shapes and colors, of different kinds and species. We find all kinds of purposes within each of them. God created art from day one; we, human beings, are pieces of art, in our exterior and interior worlds. And by art I mean more than the tangible parts. I look at the synchronicity of our lives, the connections that take place and our relationships with almost everything around us (our homes, people, mother earth and our inner selves). It is so intricately simple and sophisticatedly multifaceted.”

On people, connections and relationships:

“With every human being I work with, I see a part of myself in them, whether it’s in the way of thinking, a specific phrase they use, a certain vulnerability they are choosing to show, or a dream that they strive to make happen. I always connect to that. No matter what it is, our inner worlds are very similar. It is like we are the same prototypes.

I also like to look at archetypes with clients, and explore inner energies. We have access to a huge reservoir inside of us, and we only know a little chunk of it. Once we are curious about that world of resources, we find whatever we need: certain energy, a unique vibe or a different voice – we will find it there. All we have to do is create a channel to access it, and by channel I mean the tools that enable us access: such as holding a beginner’s mind, a curious being and a loving graceful soul.

I asked for her favorite quote, and this is what she had to say:

‘I believe that in every stage in our lives, we connect with one quote more than another. For now, I love the quotes that my clients come up with in our sessions. Sometimes they blurt out the wisest things, and that inspires me. When that happens, I usually ask: “Did you hear what you just said?”

Rozana’s favourite books:

“Same with quotes, when I was a young girl, Anne Frank’s Diary was the ‘wow’ book. Then it was Malcolm X. When I started grad school, ‘Broken Open’ helped me grieve some heavy losses that I had to come to terms with. Later, reading Eckart Tolle’s ‘A New Earth’ made me aware of my ego for the first time in a very conscious way and that opened doors for my inner child healing. After that, Brene Brown’s ‘Daring Greatly’ started me off on the process of vulnerability and wholeheartedness, and led to my leadership work that I did last year. Now, I am in love with Reinventing Organization’s ‘human consciousness movement’ by Frederick Laloux. Next, I want to immerse myself in ‘Rising Strong’ by Brene Brown, I have a feeling it will create something new for me.”

I summed up with a time capsule question and asked her what she would tell herself ten years from now: “ten years from now?! Gosh, that is a stretch since I am working on living the present moment and being here now. So this is the first thing I would tell myself then. Also, to keep slowing down. If I haven’t had the guts to get that book published or that TV show aired, then I would tell myself: do it now – what have you got to lose? Nothing. My kids are old, I am happy with my life, so just do it for the fun of the process, and mostly for the long term impact that it will bring to the world.”

Rozana can be contacted through her website, email, Instagram or Twitter.

Do we really need Professional Therapy?


In this month’s mental well-being column, trainee therapist Kim Lyon discusses whether we really need professional therapy and points us towards many centres in Jeddah offering help from life coaching to more intense consultations. If you, or someone you know feels they need help to get their life back on track, then do share this post with them.

Imagine you are at a social event, talking to someone new. “What do you do?” They say, “I’m a psychologist.” Do you suddenly find an excuse to move away? The truth is psychology doesn’t have a glamorous reputation. Spread through the media or otherwise, an array of misconceptions exist around psychology and therapy. There is a stigma attached to seeking out a professionally-trained ear when times are tough.

Many people do not question spending a couple of hundred riyal on a personal trainer, or a tutor. Yet when it comes to their mental well-being, there may be a reluctance to spend money. Or, a person may not know where to find the help they’re looking for. They may go to the doctor and take a prescription for Prozac or some such, which may only mask symptoms.

Person Whisperer

Times are changing in Saudi Arabia. In Jeddah there are a growing number of mental health resources, and a far cry from dingy psychiatric wards. Maabar Social Consultancy and the ACT Centre are two such places in Jeddah, where discretion and confidentiality are paramount. Both are private independently run buildings, designed to feel homely and with a relaxing atmosphere. The ACT Center aims to provide a safe space for people to come and talk.

It may come as a surprise to learn of the variety of therapies that are happening in Jeddah. Cognitive behavioural therapy, mindfulness, meditation, art therapy, family therapy, couples counseling, and play therapy are all on offer. Reiki, energy flow and parenting workshops are also available. The website Psych Central has an excellent description of each type of therapy. Or, if you’re still unsure, stop by for a complimentary consultation.

Defense Mechanism

If you are feeling stuck in an area of your life, or your self-esteem has taken a knock, then perhaps a few sessions of life-coaching could help put you back on track. Change is never easy, but part of a psychologist’s job is to elicit and effect transformation. Many of your resolves for the New Year may have faded, but perhaps it’s time to go back to the drawing board, and make some investment in me, myself and I. Life’s a journey, so clear out some emotional baggage and prepare to travel light!

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