I was inspired to become a social worker given my passionate commitment to help people ‘live a great life anyway’ … despite all the people, circumstances and situations that often compromise our best efforts to do so. As such, I attempt do so in a variety of ways. I am a counsellor working with people in my private practice to help people find ways to savor the moments in their lives rather than merely enduring them. I am also an EMDR therapist (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) and an ART therapist (Accelerated Resolution Therapy) invested in helping people process and heal from the traumatic events that often prevent them from living their best lives. And, in my role as a Certified Integrative Coaching Professional with The Ford Institute, I have been trained to help people transform any areas in their lives where they are feeling ‘stuck’ in some way, shape or form.
I have been a life coach for about 17 years now. One of the blessings of coaching is that it is done over the telephone, and so over the years, I have had the good fortune of working with oodles of wonderful individuals from all different parts of the globe! Notwithstanding that, I could never have known the gift that I was about to unwrap when I received this coaching inquiry almost four years ago from the Coaches Listing Page on The Ford Institute website. .
March-22-15 11:53 AM
Subject: Coach Page Inquiry
hi my name is fatemeh from iran. spring is start of our new year. i am studing the book “the best year of my life” in persian. can u send to me some schaduale?
I was delighted to discover that a woman from Iran was reaching out to me for coaching! Unfortunately, I did not have any space available at the time. And so, I responded by saying:
Hi Fatemeh …
How nice to find your coaching inquiry in my email expressing an interest in being coached! I trust you are enjoying “The Best year of Your Life”. It is such a powerful piece of the work offered by Debbie Ford and the coaching experience is one way of truly bringing the concepts into your life in powerful and transformative ways!
Unfortunately, at the present time, I do not have any space for new coaching clients. I expect that it will be about 4 months before I am able to take on another client. I realize that this is a long time to wait. You may prefer to seek out another coach … or … if you like, I can keep your email and contact you when I have some space available.
Please let me know what would suit you best. Either way, I wish you all the very best as you move into the best year of your life!
With warmest regards,
Generally speaking, when people decide they are ready to hire a coach, they do not want to wait. So, I was entirely surprised when I received her response:
thank you for u answer and your kindness. I will wait. I have started my new year and I will send to u my progress. spring is really a good time to start ….
with love and respect
It turned out to be even longer than four months before Fatemeh and I reconnected in December of 2015. In my coaching practice, I annually offer to provide my coaching services ‘pro-bono’ for one client and because we were just turning the corner into a new year, I was able to offer the pro-bono space for 2016 to Fatemah! I was eager to work with her and meet her via Skype because there was something about the energy of this magnificent being that touched me so deeply. And so, the most remarkable journey began … on January 15th, 2016.
And, what began as a coach/client relationship has grown into the meeting of two hearts … who are clearly very old friends (as Hafiz would suggest!). I am not sure either one of us had any idea we would feel so connected and that, three years later, we would still be meeting, on occasion, to reconnect and catch up with one another. And, I am holding hope that one of these days we will get to meet each other in person!
Fatemeh … or … Fatima (as I have affectionately come to refer to her) has done some of the most remarkable work. Not only internally (through her personal growth) … but … also externally (in her professional capacity as an educator). Fatima defines herself as a “teacher/explorer” and when we started our coaching relationship, she was about to make her first venture abroad by traveling solo to Europe. Our coaching agreement was centered around helping her overcome some of the fears she was experiencing in anticipation of her upcoming travels.
I learned very quickly that Fatima is whole-heartedly committed to making the world a better place. It didn’t take very long before I was sensing the genuine goodness of her being … her heart … her loving spirit. And, I knew that she was making a significant difference for all those touched by her kind and altruistic nature.
I have been so inspired by all that she is and all that she is doing, that I recently asked her if she would be willing to share her remarkable story with me, so that I could share it with all of you here on this “Better Because of You” blog. She expressed some reticence because she was self-conscious about her command of the English language. She requested that I edit her story to ensure that it reflected proper English. I responded by saying that I was reluctant to do so because I could feel so much of her joyous soul and benevolent spirit and compassionate heart in the way she strung her words together that I didn’t want to risk losing that energetic resonance in exchange for optimizing her spelling, grammar and/or vocabulary. And so, I didn’t. And, I trust that you will understand what I mean!
It is my absolute honor to share Fatemeh’s story with you here. And, although I feel a bit self conscious about publishing it because, within it, she has so very graciously elevated my presence in her world … I would most humbly suggest that we are seeing her own bright light projected in my direction. While her generous description of me warms my heart with fond appreciation, I trust you will hear the brightness of her spirit as you are touched by how her own sparkling soul is rendered visible in this impassioned story of a woman with a love filled desire to make a difference in the world. Here is Fatemeh’s story, in her own words:
And … my relationship with this exceptional soul is a genuine example of the humanity that loudly exists despite our differences in culture or geography or religious beliefs. Fatemah and I are in a relationship that sees well beyond the obvious … we know each other at the heart level. And our relationship is an example of what can happen whenever any one of us seeks to suspend our beliefs and our biases … when we decide to look beyond the superficial stereotypes and into the treasures of each human spirit.
And, to see the world through the eyes of this amazing soul … to feel her efforts to unify our global population is beyond extraordinary! And then … out of the blue … I received this parcel in the mail from her just this past December, 2018.
There were so many beautiful offerings reflecting her country and expressions of the cultural spirit of Iran. I truly appreciated her efforts to bridge the geographical gap between us because we live in a world where misperceptions of other cultures are publicly perpetuated and ‘others’ are misunderstood and marginalized with criticism and judgement. I am excited to share the contents because they reflect the heart and soul of our shared humanity.
One of the things Fatima sent to me was a parchment with my name written on it … in Persian. It serves as a reminder to me that regardless of the culture we inhabit or the language that use we use to name things … the essence of someone/something cannot be fully captured in the finite flow of ink, but rather … to be fully known … must be experienced at an energetic level.
Fatima also sent a most beautiful weaving called a “Termah”. My dining room table is now adorned with the beautiful tapestry. It serves to remind me of the threads of love that have been woven into the tapestry of all of our lives. For me, it reflects the exquisite beauty that can be created when we are wise enough to honor and blend differing colors and textures together. It is exceptional in it’s refinement and spectacular detail. Wikipedia states:
“Termeh (Persian: ترمه) as a type of Iranian handwoven cloth, produced primarily in the Yazd province. Weaving termeh requires a good wool with long fibers. Termeh is woven by an expert with the assistance of a worker called a Goushvareh-kesh. Weaving termeh is a sensitive, careful, and time-consuming process; a good weaver can produce only 25 to 30 centimetres (10 to 12 in) in a day. The background colors used in termeh are jujube red, light red, green, orange and black. Termeh has been admired throughout history … “
Fatima also included a little box filled with small gold figurines called “farvehar.” As she shared, they are intended to be symbol of “good thoughts, good words, good deeds” and are intrinsically related to the history of Iran from 1500 years ago.
As per Wikipedia, “The Faravahar (Persian: فروهر)… is one of the best-known symbols of Iran” and “is the most worn pendant among Iranians and has become a secular national symbol, rather than a religious symbol. It symbolizes good thoughts (پندار نیک pendār-e nik), good words (گفتار نیک goftār-e nik) and good deeds (کردار نیک kerdār-e nik).”
Also included in this package was a glorious painted plate which is called “Minakari”. It is absolutely exquisite in its beauty! I love the richness of the colors and the intricacy of the pattern is gorgeous. I found the perfect place in my new office to hang it so that all my clients can also enjoy it’s beauty … and should they inquire about it’s origin … learn about the abiding connection between Fatima and I.
“Minakari or Enamelling is the art of painting, colouring and ornamenting the surface of metals by fusing over it brilliant colours that are decorated in an intricate design. Mina is the feminine form of Minoo in Persian, meaning heaven. Mina refers to the Azure colour of heaven.” (https://surfiran.com/iranian-minakari-art-heaven/)
Fatima also sent me a beautiful scarf. It is so soft and, as I shared with her, “whenever I wear the scarf, it will be as though I am wrapped in a hug from you”.
There were also a number of other things that she thoughtfully included in her gifts to me. As I shared with her …
“The rosary beads. They feel so beautiful to the fingers. I shall count amongst my blessings … the heartfelt union of our souls. And, I shall display it in my new office, as a fond reminder of the deep connections we have with each other and the spirit of the divine that bridges any geographical distance between our souls.
And … the rose blossoms! They are so delicate and fragile and remind me that we must pay attention to the little blessings and blossoms of tender love and natural beauty that surround us. And, I shall sprinkle them on my shelf in my office as well.
And, the tiny figurine of mother and child … is such a beautiful depiction of how each and every one of us needs to feel the warm embrace of someone who cares deeply about us. “
Although there were a number of other things, I offer up this smattering of the gifts she sent so you might get a sense of her culture and herself. She has gifted me with so much and not just in the package that arrived via Canada Post. As I shared in an email to Fatima:
“I can so very much feel your loving presence in these gifts Fatima. And, I don’t know how to thank you enough for the blessings of your loving spirit that speaks to me in such meaningful ways. Your thoughtfulness is so very deeply appreciated. My life is so much better because of your presence in it!
And so … as I sit surrounded by the gifts of your spirit … I am basking in the joy of connection and love and all the divine energy that moves between us. You are treasured. Thank you again. I am so honored to have you in my life.”
And, as much as our relationship is unique and special … it is but an example of what can happen all over the world … if/when we accept an opportunity to connect at the heart level with each other. As you can see … Fatemeh/Fatima is a very exceptional soul. And … her message of love and unity is deeply needed as we collectively attempt to bridge the gap that often exists between our souls based on cultural or religious differences. If we dare to look beneath these perceived differences, we will find as Hafiz as contended … that all our hearts are, indeed, very old friends.
And … that said … I am honored to use this “Better Because of You” blog space to introduce you all to this exceptional woman. Please join me in celebrating this wonderful soul and all the loving energy that she brings to our world! And, please, may we heed her wise words:
“Love is a global language and its alphabet comes from all diversities and cultures and acting beyond ourselves.”
Fatima … I remain blessed to have come to know you and remain humbled by your loving presence. You do, in fact, make the whole world a better place!
With deepest reverence for your heartfelt being, ❤ Karen ❤
6 thoughts on “The World is a Better Place Because of You … Fatemeh!”
LOVE THIS!! What a BEAUTIFUL soul she is!! 💜💜💜
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That she is! It really has been a special gift getting to know her …
Karen. This is so beautiful and so amazing. You have touched so many lives in your career and you still keep giving. Bless you
Our connections enrich our lives in such meaningful ways. So glad to have your energy and presemce in my circle as well!
Oh my goodness Bestie! When this email landed in my inbox while in Tamarindo, I sensed that it deserved a chunk of uninterrupted time, as I anticipated that it would be an inspirational gift…and indeed it was. And so, here I sit waiting for our flight home from Liberia to Calgary (via Toronto) with tears streaming as I read Fatima’s incredible story and your beautiful tribute to her! It is such an inspiring example of how each of us on this planet are interconnected and how the universe will bring us together, if we chose to be open and live our lives from a place of love. Although the special bond that the two of you have developed shines through in these words, I hope that one day you two beautiful souls will have an opportunity to meet face to face. Thank you, Fatima and Karen, for sharing your inspiring journey with us!
With much gratitude and love,
Ahhhh … thank you for your appreciation and enthusiasm for the joyous bounds of connection that we share Bestie! And … I echo your Hope’s that one day our eyes will lock in person and the hug won’t have to be virtual! Safe travels to you! Can hardly wait to hear more about your trip! … and … hug you for real too!! 💛