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WEAM NAMOU

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Living a Sacred Life as a Writer

November 28, 2020

Phil Rosette2

I met Phil Rosette in the 1990s at the Rochester Writers Group and then, three years ago, we reconnected at another writers group. When he learned I was interested to join this other group, where he was already a member, he sent my requests to the hosts (it was by invite only) and after I was welcomed to participate, he offered to meet me close to my home so I could follow him in my car and not get lost.

Earlier this year, in March, we ran into each other at Michigan Writing Workshop. With his bright smile which he wore regularly, he congratulated me on the publication of my books and for the workshop I was doing. I explained I’d been too busy to attend the writers group but planned to return in a few months. We wished each other good luck and said, “See you soon!” Yet by the time I returned in August, he wasn’t there. Then last week, I received a call from a friend with the sad news that Phil passed away.

Many from the various writers groups, some who I hadn’t seen for years, attended the memorial service yesterday. We watched the boards with the warm and loving photographs that showed the highlights of Phil’s 68 years of life – his wedding day, his toddler sons climbing over him as he sat behind his desk, him proudly walking his daughter down the aisle, his dogs smothering him with love, family picnics, and him just chilling with friends. Nearby was a table stacked with one of his two books, The Freya Project. It was placed in a beautiful ivory case, with a sign asking to take a copy in honor of Phil’s memory.

One of his sons started the service with a most touching eulogy, followed by Phil’s daughter who read a heartfelt poem called The Dash by Linda Ellis. Here’s the poem:

I read of a man who stood to speak at the funeral of a friend. He referred to the dates on her casket from beginning to the end. He noted that first came the date of her birth and spoke of the following date with tears, but he said what mattered most of all was the dash between those years. For that dash represents all the time that she spent alive on earth and now only those who loved her know what that little line is worth.

For it matters not, how much we own, the cars, the house, the cash, 

What matters is how we live and love and how we spend our dash.

So think about this long and hard; Are there things you would like to change?

For you never know how much time is left that can still be rearranged.

If we could just slow down enough to consider what is true and real

and always try to understand the way other people feel.

And be less quick to anger and show appreciation more

and love the people in our lives like we have never loved before.

If we treat each other with respect and more often wear a smile,

Remembering that this special dash might only last a little while.

So when your eulogy is being read with your life’s actions to rehash…

Would you be proud of the things they say about how you spent your dash? 

 

Based on what his family and friends said about him, the adventures he pursued, the dreams he manifested, Phil definitely would be proud of how he spent his dash.

This morning, I sat at my desk with my cup of coffee and watched through my window the mist in the fog and the squirrels running to and fro. I opened Phil’s book and read his bio to learn more about how he spent his dash:

Phil Rosette’s writing stems from his own life experiences, which span blue collar, white collar, military, and no-collar employment. Phil has been a busboy in England, a short order cook in the Berkshires, an international importer of rare and exotic cars, an assistant private investigator, and a racer of open-wheeled cars in England and America. He finished runner up in the 1980 SCCA National Championships. He did a tour in Vietnam as an Army helicopter gunner. His style is daring, and his voice unique.

I’d often said that it’s more important to have a great life than it is to have a great book because you could always convert your great life into a book but you can’t always convert a great book into a great life.

So, how are you spending your dash? What’s in your life that you’d like to rearrange so you could have that great life that will lead to a great story, and maybe one day, a great book? 

 

Planting Good Seeds

November 28, 2020

 

Whether planting a garden, creating a project, writing a book, or transforming our lives, we all need to have and follow an effective system, work hard, sweat, and wait for nature to take its course in order to see results.  Plant the seeds you want to see in your life, water those seeds regularly and then patiently allow the sun and Spirit do the rest.  

 

The Power of Persistence

November 28, 2020

Someone on Twitter recently asked me how I got into writing books, what was the process for me? I responded that I committed full time hours to it and worked with many professionals – from authors to editors to literary agents – as I revised the book. There’s more to it than that, of course, but Twitter allows only certain amount of characters to explain that process, so I’ll expand on the answer in this blog post.

When I initially started to write books, I placed the typewriter on my lap (this was before the computer era) and I began typing away. I did not bother studying about character or setting developments, first or third point-of-views, plots, or any of that fancy literary stuff. I just felt that I had a good story that was better than some of the junk out there and figured all I had to do was get it down on paper, turn it to an agent or publisher and voila, a book is born!

Well, over time, I realized the process was a little more sophisticated than that. Especially as English was my second language, I really needed the assistance of professionals in this field to get my story in order and tell it in an authentic and beautiful way.

Aside from commitment and working with professionals, the process also requires persistence. I recently visited Greenfield Village (yes again. I love that place so be prepared to read more posts about it) and as I rode in one of Ford’s Model T’s, the driver told of why Henry Ford named it the Model T.

Ford started production in 1903 with the Model A, then moved to Model B and C, progressing through the alphabet as he experimented with various models. Some were not production models, only prototypes. It wasn’t until 1928 that Ford offered an improved car that became the Model T.

The Model T was his first automobile mass-produced on moving assembly lines with completely interchangeable parts and marketed to the middle class. This car was so affordable that it changed the way Americans lived, worked, and traveled. More than 15 million Model Ts were built in Detroit and Highland Park, Michigan. After the Model T, Ford started all over again with the letter A.
So the process of executing anything, whether a car, a book, a building, or a lifestyle needs 1) commitment 2) working with professionals and 3) persistence.

It’s not a complicated recipe, but it is a long-term process. Here’s something to keep in mind – the strongest trees in the forest grow the slowest.

Book Review of My Book

November 28, 2020

This morning I received notification from Reader’s Favorite that they’d reviewed my book. I’d like to share the review with my readers as the experience I write about in this book was instrumental in helping transform my life from a struggling writer to an accomplished author. It helped me in many other ways as well.

Reviewed by Carine Engelbrecht for Readers’ Favorite

In an attempt to revitalize her creativity and particularly her writing career which had gone stale, Weam Namou enlists in an online shamanic mystery school. This book, Healing Wisdom for a Wounded World: My Life-Changing Journey Through a Shamanic School, chronicles the realizations of her first year of guided self-exploration. Spiritual insights are juxtaposed with biographical details as well as insightful historical notes as the author, who was born in Iraq, explores how her life path influenced her attitude to the obstacles and challenges she has faced. While facing frustrating cul-de-sacs in her career goals, a delicate balancing act is required to fulfill obligations to her family without neglecting her own inner nourishment. Along with Weam, we learn more about how to identify different types of nurturing energies, as well as the underlying significance within the feminine creativity. Only by recognizing society’s blockages within her soul, can Weam progress and reconnect with her own individual voice as a writer.

Healing Wisdom for a Wounded World by Weam Namou is an honest and detailed account of one year of self-exploration. Within the narrative, the author explores layers of cultural influence as well as personal history, and chronicles some of the challenges faced by young children when their parents decide to immigrate. But it is particularly meaningful, given her origins within the region often termed as the cradle of civilization. It is this that makes her story, in part, the story of us all. The Western mindset often indulges in a blissful ignorance of its roots and connection to Middle Eastern civilizations thousands of years old. Add to that the sacred fire of Native American wisdom and a pattern of intricate diversity is woven. In exploring who she is, Weam also holds up a guiding light to where we all come from, intellectually and culturally, and rediscovers some of the age-old struggles of the soul that continue to define our society. It is this that sets the book apart as more than a mere New Age memoir.

 

Originally posted by Reader’s Favorite at https://readersfavorite.com/book-review/healing-wisdom-for-a-wounded-world

My Life-Changing Journey Through a Shamanic School

Why Society Needs a Sense of Belonging

November 28, 2020

Why Society Needs a Sense of Belonging

I recently wrote two articles about the growing drug epidemic that has caused the death of three young members of our community within one month. As I covered the story and interviewed family members, a chief of police, and professionals in the medical industry, I became aware of how quickly this vicious poison is grabbing hold of people and ending their lives before they’ve had the chance to use their gifts and talents.

As a mother of two elementary school-aged children, I was troubled by the statistics. Michael Patton, Chief of Police of the West Bloomfield Police Department, told me that more than 50,000 Americans died from drug overdoses in 2015, the highest number ever, and they haven’t calculated the numbers of 2016.

According to 2016 date from Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, there were 1,275 deaths from an overdose of opioids, including heroin, in Michigan alone. That number exceeded the 840 deaths from traffic crashes and the 1,164 from gun deaths.

“We have a culture that depends on prescription drugs for pain management,” said Patton.

As I continued my research and interviews, I valued the efforts of people trying to educate individuals, families, schools, the medical industry and others about this issue, to establish prevention and ways for recovery. But I also wanted to know the underlying cause. What would cause these young people who had loving and financially well-off families to submit to a deadly path rather than try to reach their full potential? And what role does society play in this epidemic?   

George Abro, the uncle of a man who lost his life to an overdose, said, “These individuals are lost and if they don’t find something greater than themselves to occupy them, they’ll continue what they’re doing.”

This resonated with me. In my early twenties I experienced severe depression and what helped me break out of it was traveling to other countries. I used my freedoms and sought adventures wisely. This led me to not only discover the countless marvelous things God has created in the world but also to acquire a deeper appreciation of my home and country. I’d found something greater than myself that was available to nourish my heart and soul – God, Spirit, Creator (whatever you want to call it) – and my calling, telling stories.

Today I notice so many people taking for granted what is available for us. In an attempt to fit in, they twist into certain behaviors, buy certain brand names, put on a mask, go into the world and return home depleted and empty. They nourish their intellect, their emotions, their physical needs, but they neglect their spirituality. Even though it may be the very answer to their pains and sorrows, they pay less or zero money, time and energy for that aspect of their lives.

As a society, we have created a cycle of superficial cravings and materialism to the extent that organizations and businesses that offer services for suicide prevention and drug, sex, gambling, and food addiction keep growing – as do the senseless killings and other crimes. As a society, we can also break that cycle by returning to the ancient natural practices which our ancestors used, ancient practices that filled our hearts and souls with a sense of belonging.

Having a sense of belonging is different than fitting it. Fitting in is when you dress, do your hair, buy items and major in certain professions just because “everyone else” is doing it or because it’s glamorous and prestigious. It’s about gaining the approval of others.  Belonging is celebrating each person’s uniqueness, and by doing so, allowing them to see value in life, cope with painful emotions, and hopefully find their inner gifts and talents so that the money-led industries that are fighting for their attention are not able to recruit them into deadly paths.

One man, also an uncle of another person who overdosed, said, “That was a different breed.”

Well, why not abandon some of our shallow activities and help bring that breed back to life? It will definitely not hurt our society to have a simpler, more loving, compassionate and thriving society.

Here are the links to 2 stories I covered about the drug problem:

Dealing with Drugs: https://www.chaldeannews.com/features-1/2017/10/27/dealing-with-drugs

Arming the Community with Resources: https://www.chaldeannews.com/features-1/2017/10/28/arming-the-community-with-resources

WEAM NAMOU