Strength, your strongest weapon

I had an interesting conversation with a dear friend about strength. And I would love to share this with you all as well as what I have shared with her.

We are not all perfect and we are all flawed but one of the greatest qualities we have are our strengths. These strengths are the strongest weapons we could hold onto, that we could sharpen the blunt edges and to bring us forth towards whatever challenges, obstacles, upturns and downturns we may face. Strength comes in all forms but most of all it comes from us, it radiates from our very core. It is something everyone needs.

I am beyond perfect, we all have our own issues, demons and monsters to deal with but I believe that through a strong network of support system, we can move forward and beat it. It is an endless battle but one must not give up or give in, one must not raise the white flag if you know that you can conquer them. I am glad that I have one of the most strongest support system and without everyone around me, I wouldn’t be here. We can’t all simply be miserable when we can do something about it. Even when we are hopeless but if there is a tiny speck of hope flickering through, grab onto it because you might never know that tiny hope is the biggest strength you can hold onto.

Our passion to help others are our strengths too, we instinctively drop our worries away when we know someone that we care is not feeling well and you do everything you can to lift them up and be there for them. In turn, we don’t really worry about ourselves and the clusterfuck of worries bothering us because we care for others.

But sometimes we do need to be taken care of and sometimes it’s okay for us to withdraw ourselves from the world because we need time to ourselves to recuperate and to heal. This is what I learned and this is what gets me by eventhrough my darkest nights, I hold onto to that tiny light of hope to lift me up even when it is heavy, the hope lies within you and those around you.

So to those everyone struggling and in need of a helping hand to get out and bring you forward, let me give my hands to yours and hold on to it.

and here I end this post with one of my poems:

Of Kings and men, 

We fought for their battles, 

Of priests and clergymen, 

They battle against evil and malicious spirits,

But who dares to fight for us?

Of our own monsters and demons

That resides within us?

Pouring my love and strength to all. 🌹

Khamsa or Hamsa

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Khamsa (Arabic) or Hamsa (Hebrew) is the word for five. It is commonly known as the Hand of Fatima (Islam) or the Hand of Hamsa (Judaism).  We have seen this symbol everywhere and this popular emblem is known to protect the owner from the evil eye and bring happiness to the holder, it is also to protect the holder all negative energies especially from envious glares from people who wish you no good (yeah I see you over there giving me the evil eye) Hamsa or Khamsa is believed to be representative of the right hand of human body. The hamsa or Khamsa hand is worn by many people throughout the world, regardless of their religious faith.

The Hamsa appears in two forms: stylized with two symmetrical thumbs and asymmetrical, with a clearly defined thumb and pinkie finger. Either form may be displayed with the fingers pointing up or down. The centre of the hand often contains further symbols, especially that of an eye, however different cultures may fill the hand with images relevant to them.

Now a little bit of a background story on this symbol…

The hamsa or Khamsa is a palm-shaped amulet popular throughout the Middle East and North Africa, and commonly used in jewelry and wall hangings. Depicting the open right hand, an image recognized and used as a sign of protection in many societies throughout history, the hamsa is believed to provide defense against the evil eye. The symbol predates Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

Early use of the hamsa has been traced to ancient Mesopotamia (modern-day Iraq) as well as ancient Carthage (modern day Tunisia). A universal sign of protection, the image of the open right hand is seen in Mesopotamian artifacts in the amulets of the goddess Ishtar or InannaOther symbols of divine protection based around the hand include the Hand-of-Venus (or Aphrodite), the Hand of Mary, that was used to protect women from the evil eye and/or boost fertility and lactation, promote healthy pregnancies and strengthen the weak. In that time, women were under immense pressure and expectation to become mothers. The woman’s upbringing was centered on becoming a mother as an exclusive role, and it indicated child bearing as necessary. It was also thought that marriage was a sense of protection for both the man and the woman. (Wikipedia you are amazing). 

The Hamsa are also known as the Hand of Fatima, the Hand of Mary, the Hand of Merriam, and the Hand of the Goddess.

Why are they known with different names and why does it associate with women’s name? well because we women are awesome! Just kidding… read through to find out why.

The Hand of Fatima– to commemorate Fatima Al-Zahra, the daughter of Prophet Muhammad SAW (Al Zahra is a title often used meaning “The Shining One”)  According to Islamic folklore, Fatima’s hand became a symbol of faith after her husband Ali, came home with a new wife one day. Fatima, who at the time had been cooking, dropped the soup ladle she had been using. Yet she was so preoccupied by the new arrival that she continued stirring using her bare hand, hardly noticing that she was burning herself.  It represents femininity and referred as the woman’s holy hand. The Hand of Fatima is considered a strong symbol of protection, power and strength. It also illustrates the Five Pillars of Islam: Faith, Prayer, Pilgrimage, Fasting and Charity.

The Hand of Merriam– Merriam was the sister of Moses and Aron. Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt. Aron became the first High Priest. and Merriam? well she played an important role in the story of Moses and was highly respected (women power!) Legend has it that it was due to Merriam’s virtues that the Israelites always found water during the forty years they wandered through the desert on their way towards the Promised Land. The well that seemed to follow the people of Israel is according to legend called Merriam’s well. Thus, Merriam came to represent protection, luck and happiness.

The Hand of Mary– Mary, the mother of Jesus. The Bible mentioned that God sent his Son down to earth as a savior to mankind through immaculate conception of Mary. Hence, it was only Mary who was given the incomparable privilege of being part of the birth of Jesus, Son of God, placing her in an exalted position over all women, and possibly all of mankind. The Hand of Mary in this context becomes a powerful representation of the power of God to exert His will through the actions of ordinary human beings, imbuing them with gifts and capabilities far exceeding the ordinary.

The Hand of Goddess-One theory postulates a connection between the khamsa and the Mano Pantea (or Hand-of-the-All-Goddess), an amulet known to ancient Egyptians as the Two Fingers. In this amulet, the Two Fingers represent Isis and Osiris and the thumb, their child Horus and it was used to invoke the protective spirits of parents over their child. Another meaning of this symbol relates to the sky god, Horus. It refers to the eye of Horus, which means man cannot escape from the eye of conscience. It says that the sun and moon are the eyes of Horus.

So as you can  see, in conclusion, these historical empowering women (and Goddess) provide their nurturing, compassionate, protective nature to mankind since the beginning of time. Hence, they represent protection, power, strength, happiness and luck.

This symbol have been widely used as jewelry, wall hangings, decoration, tattoo, doorknockers and such. And I myself am in possession of one Hand of Fatima that was given to me for my protection. Many pieces of Hamsa jewelry are adorned with a prayer on the back of the hand. Translated from Arabic, the beautiful empowering poem is as follows:

Let no sadness come to this heart, 

Let no trouble come to these arms, 

Let no conflict come to these eyes, 

Let my soul be filled with the blessing 

Of joy and peace.

May your Hamsa Hand bring you love, light, luck and protection.

Meeting client’s needs

The 3Fs- Friendly, fair yet firm.

These have helped me in dealing with clients over the years with my experiences as an administrator, relationship manager, training assistant, project analyst and as a customer assistant representative (yes I know, I have jumped ships way too many times). Be it that they are your friends, relatives or colleagues- they are still your potential clients.

I have attended the Effective Sales and Negotiation Skills course and what I have learned from it, is that everyone is your client. Internal and external clients. In any selling situations, negotiation is an integral part of it. Buyers or clients will usually negotiate on the terms and conditions before signing up to your services or sales contract. Thus, sellers must have the ability to lead masterful sales conversations as well as to be able to create a value proposition for better negotiation power from the start to the end of a sales call or meeting. Otherwise,  the sales conversation betweens sellers and buyers will be disengaged and it will not produce a positive result-oriented outcome.

What I learned and experienced throughout the years is that you have to understand what your client needs are, listen to them and really take note what they want and their expectations. Listening is one of the most important skills we possess. It is one thing to hear what someone is saying, it is another to truly listen. good listening skills are essential because they help you build your client’s trust and confidence. Listening includes reading between the lines, seeing the nuances, emphathizing,determining the speaker’s intent and the actual meaning of what is said.

Secondly, don’t be afraid to give out suggestions or feedbacks to them. Develop strategic alliance to better meet client’s needs. Do it in a manner that is friendly, gentle and fair to them. At the end of it, you are there to meet client’s needs completely.

You also have to be firm because you are the seller, the provider. Some clients have brilliant ideas but they never seem to be grounded with their decisions. This is where you come in and be firm with it. In this context, you have to be the one to tell them “okay you know what? Let’s do this. We are sticking to idea 1 but if that doesn’t fall through, then we can visit idea 2 and so forth” Create a timeline and deadline for it.

You also have to be creative and innovative in helping your client to get what they want. Don’t just stick it to the manuals. Go the extra mile! But of course, you need to get their consent first before you sprinkle your creativity on their work! Again, develop strategic alliance to better meet client’s needs.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions to your clients about their ideas and work because I feel this is imperative to give them the product of your services. Confidential is the key. Your client trusts you or else they wouldn’t hire you! Not only do they recognized your awesome set of skills but they trust you with their ideas and needs.

Together, you and your client will work through in solving their ideas and make it happen. Simply said, you are helping them turning their dreams and ideas into reality. and you will have one happy client!

Shadows of the night

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I am very delighted to share with you all that this wonderful poem of mine has been featured in Ministry of Poetic Affairs website! This would be my third time being featured by them.

Ministry of Poetic Affairs is an online poetry magazine and they offer an independent platform to promote writers and poets to share their work. They feature some of the most amazing writers and poets/ poetesses on their website (myself included :p) I love how they would notice your work and approach you to promote it and they would usually interview you on what inspires you to write them. To know more about them you can find them here: Ministry of Poetic Affairs.

They interviewed me what inspired this piece. you can find it here: Shadows of the Night by Little Miss S. They have edited my piece and incorporate it with their image.

I am very happy that I have been recognised for my work, my art. This gives me the courage to write more and to create more poems. I have always been in touch with my surroundings, I immersed myself and feel connected through the things I see, feel, smell, hear and taste. And I would write about these experiences.

I am ecstatic to work on something now!

“The hustle and bustle of the day fades away,
Replace the peaceful
shadows of the night,
Worries of the day gone,
compensate by the tranquillity
the night is ushered in,
such peace the darkness brings
it elicits the most creative
to come out and play.

-Little Miss S ”

If you like to do some collaboration work with me on any type of poem, please let me know. I would be more than happy to collab! Or if you like for me to write a poem for you to dedicate to your loved ones, reach out to me and I would love to help you out!

Thank you all for the love and support!

XX

Hashimah Writes