I met Taslim Jaffer through our mutual experience of being chosen as the Top 30 Mom Bloggers in Vancouver in 2012, and I am honoured to feature her here today as one of the most creative people I know. Taslim is someone who will inspire you to find your own passion in life. She is one of us – a mom – with big dreams and creative ideas. I have only known her a short time but already know she is a kind and gentle soul who is trying to help others. Here is her story:
Have you ever sat down at the end of a long, monotonous day in your tattered pyjamas and felt something was missing from your life? Me, too. My husband often came home from work to find me cross-legged on the floor, staring blankly into space with our 10 month old daughter crawling in and out of my lap. Even though my daughter and I spent many days every week at my parents’ home, I felt isolated, alone and bored with my life. Sometimes it was like being alone in a dark cell, the only light bulb smashed to pieces on the floor.
Pretty bleak picture, isn’t it? But when I started opening up to other moms about the void I was experiencing, some of the responses I got contained a similar thread. Somewhere between gasping over the positive pregnancy test, and changing a runny, mustard-coloured poopy diaper at 3 a.m., something significant happened. And in my case, it was having an impact on my emotional health and my ability to enjoy life.
Don’t get me wrong. Motherhood wasn’t the reason for my descent into my most trying period…it was the catalyst to my most creative, passionate life.
Becoming a mother was my wake-up call, my reminder that I am so much more than I am letting the world in on.
While breastfeeding 100 times a day (and night), I had a lot of time to think. And I started remembering these things about myself that graduate school and a new career had forced out of my mind. I remembered how much I love writing. And I remembered how I used to live to volunteer for every cause that touched my heart. I remembered that I had strong passions, creative dreams and a much more joyful notion of what life was supposed to be like. At first conjuring up all these forgotten dreams pinned me against the wall in this, “How am I supposed to live such an awesome life with all this responsibility now?” funk until I started thinking: What if my daughter was in my shoes? What if, as a new mom, she told me she felt she had missed the boat on her dream life? I’d give her a hug and a kiss and say, “Pull up your socks, sweetheart! Life is what you make it!” So I took my own advice; I started a blog, connected with other writers, hung out at poetry readings, and started fundraising for a non-profit literary organization in Vancouver.
When my second baby, my son, was born, I continued with my work of passion. Surprisingly, I had more energy than I ever had before and carting him around to meetings and poetry readings was no big deal. There were still struggles, juggles and muddles that I had to work through – some that had me slumped on the kitchen floor crying for a chance to just shower for 5 quiet minutes. But life was so much more exciting than those days when I stared into space wondering who the heck I had become.
In July 2011, I started my blog, Let ME Out!! Releasing Your Creative Self, knowing I wanted to help people, especially other moms, remember their passions and incorporate fun into their lives. I decided to run a weekly series in which I encouraged readers to try different tasks: some geared toward spiritual awakening, some focusing on letting go of perfection and having fun while others supported issues like time management and childcare. Eventually, this endeavour morphed into my first workbook – Tuesday Tasks: 52 Activities Designed for an Entire Year of Creativity. Some of the tasks from my blog series are included; however, many of them are exclusive to this handy little book.
Why am I so big on creativity? I consider it to be a life-line…a get out of jail free card, if you will. By opening up our creative channels, by accessing this limitless pool that we ALL have inside us, we have the ability to increase the joy in our life.
What’s that saying? If Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy! Don’t you find that to be true in your home? I do.
One of the tasks in my workbook asks readers to consider their legacy – what it is that they’re leaving behind. And this led to my creation, Make-A-Wave cards. These beauties are inspirational and pay-it-forward in nature. After you read the quote, you are instructed to pass the card along to someone you care about…or to a complete stranger! I’ve had reports of these cards making it all the way to Malaysia, Hawaii, Hong Kong, Australia, and throughout Canada and the U.S. People are leaving them behind at coffee shops and gyms for other patrons to find, and delivering them anonymously to neighbours. And the best part is, my kids have watched me create these cards; they’ve come with me to introduce my products to local stores – and I’m hoping they learn more about who their mama is inside by seeing my soul shining in my work.
I want my children’s memories of me to be my legacy. I want them to remember me as a passionate dreamer, believer, and change-maker. I want them to know it’s not necessary (or even possible) to be perfect, but it’s very important to be exactly who they are.
Following my dreams has done more for my entire family than I could have imagined. That is why it is so important to me to share Tuesday Tasks with you – I believe it can be the gentle nudge or huge shove you need to follow yours, too!
Please check out the Rafflecopter entry form below and Lori will select one winner to receive a signed copy of my book. The contest will close on January 24.
In addition to the giveaway, I am putting on a special offer for all of you! If you buy a Tuesday Tasks book any time during the month of January, you will receive 3 Make-A-Wave cards FREE!
Good luck and I look forward to hearing from you!
Taslim is the voice behind the blog, Let ME Out!! Releasing Your Creative Self, co-author of inspirational anthology Heartmind Wisdom and creator of Make-A-Wave Cards. She is happiest at home, wearing wool socks and comfy sweats with her husband and two children, writing and fundraising for the literary arts. But don’t be surprised to find her on stage, too, spreading life-gained wisdom and joy. Connect with Taslim on facebook and follow her on twitter @taslimjaffer.
And the lucky winner is (drum roll) Jane Hamilton!