Dana, and My Existential Crisis.

Guess who’s back (back again). It’s been a while I know. But after a 5-minute conversation with Dana* I am sorted(ish).

A little bit of background: I have disappeared because I had an idea. It seemed like a good idea. A new start.

So here is the thought path that started three years ago that took me on a wild goose chase, only to end up right back here with all of you lovelies:

(The parts between brackets are the sometimes low and far way voice of my rational mind)
1. “I want to be a better mother!” research research research Jai Institute for Parenting Course.
2. “I want to help others be better parents!” I take the Jai Institute for Parenting coaching course for 9 months.
3. “I want to give workshops!” (Started giving them. Love them)
4. “I should create a coaching something or other.” research research research. Ahl coaching is born.
5. “I need an Ahl website. It should have a blog. (I have a blog already!) “Ah, but it’s not a coaching one”.
Research research research.
6. “I want to register Ahl and have it all be above board.” Research research research. No such things as coaching license. How do other coaches coach? Research research research. They use a training license. Training licences need a degree I do not have. (Also, I am not a trainer.)
7. “I wish I could start blogging… but I need a website… and it needs to be perfect”. (Oh, wait! I have a blog site already) “But it’s not perfect, and it’s not about coaching.”
8. More workshops (loving this)
9. Had a baby.
10. “What do other parent coach websites look like?” research research research.
11. “How do I start a coaching business.” research research research. Have a hundred tabs open all the time then close them all without reading and start opening others. Research research research.
12. “I need a website.”  research research research. I’ll do it myself! Yeah… no.
13. “I should get a professional to do the website.” research research research. Wow, that’s expensive.
14. “I need to be a legal entity” research research research. Back to point 5.
15. “I should post to social media. Ahl doesn’t have enough followers.” (I have a social media account with followers already) “but it’s not about coaching. I need a new one!”
16. “I want to develop my coaching.” Research research research. I sign up for Erikson coaching course ’The Art And Science Of Coaching’.
17. More workshops.
18. I go to Italy to take a train the trainer course in Erickson’s “Parent s a coach” Course. It’s given by Marilyn Atkinson! “How lucky am I, seriously! Alhamdulillah.”
19.  I completed 192 hours of training! I am an Erickson Certified Coach! So proud to be able to say that!
20. Back to point 5.
21. I research how to start a blog (yes, I see the irony). Find out I have to first come up with ‘headlines’ that will grab people’s attention.
22. Research research research. I find these kinds of posts: “12 Blogging Mistakes That Make You Look Like A World-Class Idiot” and “The 5 fatal mistakes you are making that will kill your blog” and so on and so forth. Research research research,100 tabs open in safari. I need to learn this before I write another blog post.
23. Come up with 30+ headlines. (not a single blog post was written tho. Headline count keeps growing)
24. “I would love to start a book club through my site.” research research research “Other coaching sites don’t have book clubs. It’s ok. Maybe I need don’t need to be like other coaching sites” (remember Ya Mama?) “Yeah…but it’s not polished and cleaned and coachy”
25. Research research research. Choose a theme (family dynamics), choose books for the book club and create a sign in sheet. Plan out the schedule starting with the first book in September (Ha!). “But wait I need a website.”
26. Open my laptop and minimise safari after seeing all the tabs.
27. “Wait… what do I want? Why am I doing this? What was my goal? Maybe I should do something that involves research… not implementation. Become a researcher?” research research research.
Existential crisis.
At this point I can no longer touch Ahl, I can no longer touch Ya Mama. I am just… paralysed.
Enter Dana. “Bessma you’re being ridiculous” or something of the sorts.
We talked, and I realised that I feel the most ‘myself’… Here. I started writing this blog because I wanted to write. No reason other than I enjoyed it! The end goal of all those websites and methods I researched is to be a successful business, and I just want to write.
At the beginning of all this I did an exercise I found through research research research on the Simon Sinek website Start With Why. Through doing this exercise I found my “why”, and this was it:
Actually, I am not going to share it because I did this exercise with the idea of a coaching business. And this was when I first had my bright idea. I don’t think it applies word for word anymore. It’s a mission statement which doesn’t quite fit here. But the central theme was to share knowledge. I love finding new things out and sharing them with people. Anything I have found helpful in my day to day I have an urge to tell people about! Maybe they too didn’t know about this amazing. fantastical thingamabob I just read about.
I realize now that I was doing that perfectly well through Ya Mama. Why did I take something perfectly fine and put it aside to start something entirely new and, to be honest, forced?
I felt that for my thoughts to be heard and my help to be… helpful it had to come from somewhere more polished and perfect than here.
The thing is, I am not a more polished or perfect person as a result of all I’ve done. I am just a better me. And it feels disingenuous to ignore the less better parts of me that are still alive and kicking.
So when I do talk about (checks the 30+ headlines quickly) “If you only do one thing as a parent, let this be it! ” or “My children’s road to independence ” I can also talk about what I find difficult in the process, and the times it went wrong. The best lessons I have learned in life are from the mistakes I have made. I need a space I am comfortable making mistakes in, where my only obligation is to be me.
Side Notes:
1-This is not a judgement on the parenting coaches or blogs or websites that help start them. I have, many times, been helped by them. I myself have worked with two coaches who have been a fantastic support for me, and I admire them and the work that they do. I still pop back every now and then to get the support I need. I also do read things like “12 Blogging Mistakes That Make You Look Like A World-Class Idiot” to make sure that I am not looking like one. And to make your reading experience that much better. 
2-I am still coaching. It just happens when it happens. I have realised, with the few people I coach now, my time is full! If I were to advertise or create and promote the website, I would end up having to turn people down. So I will coach if and when someone who is committed and passionate about making a change comes along. I am happiest and more able to focus when I have one or two people I am coaching at one time, to be honest.
3- I am finding saying goodbye to that big mess I listed at the top both a relief and a little bit of a loss. Only because I admire the men and women, I Research research researched. I’m just happy to let go of what I think it should look like (like I always happily tell the mothers I work with).
4- I don’t listen to EMINEM. 
* Dana is one of the closest people to me. One of few people, outside of my sisters, who can tell me I am being ridiculous with the greatest amount of love. 


  1. Okay, this is the first of your blog entries that I have read and I have to say that I will be reading many more. Kudos to you for working on being a better parent and a better human being. Personally, I feel that too many people take parenting lightly.

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