x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Life lessons: Dr Mona Al Bahar

The university professor and charity worker offers her philosophies of life.

Dr. Mona Al Bahar, Deputy Executive Director for Care and Rehabilitation of the Dubai Foundation for Women and Chidren, pose for a portrait at her office. Jaime Puebla / The National
Dr. Mona Al Bahar, Deputy Executive Director for Care and Rehabilitation of the Dubai Foundation for Women and Chidren, pose for a portrait at her office. Jaime Puebla / The National

1. Feel positive and let go of all resentments. We can choose our moods and decide what affects us. Allowing negative feelings or ill will to enter and govern our daily life means depriving ourselves from being in peace or living a peaceful life; put simply, negative feelings can destroy. Always remember this equation: be positive = be healthy = be happy and productive.

 

2. Be open to everything, and attached to nothing. To avoid negative energy, we should learn to stop sticking to one line of thinking and spending precious moments of our lives defending our stance. We should allow ourselves to see the other side of the coin and enjoy learning and understanding from others. Be open to new ideas and opinions as we don't know what enlightenment opportunities are there by looking from another perspective. We should free ourselves from closed-in thinking and ticking all the regimented boxes and forms.

 

3. Don't let your history dictate your present moment. We usually give too much weight to incidents that happened in our past and give them the power to govern our present and future. If something bad happened in our past, it doesn't necessarily mean that our future won't be rosy and beautiful. Learn the lesson and let go of all past experiences; you owe yourself a fresh start.

 

4. Develop your physical and spiritual capacity. With all the stresses in our modern life, physical exercise becomes essential, but not enough. In addition to everyday physical workouts, we also need to work out on a spiritual level. To obtain mindfulness and to enjoy profound mental health, we should practise different techniques such as yoga, meditation and prayer.

 

5. Be assertive instead of aggressive. Assert your feelings, opinions or beliefs instead of becoming angry and defensive.

 

As told to Jemma Nicholls

 

The helpline at the Dubai Foundation for Women and Children is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week and can be reached on 800 111