Muslimah Mind Matters

website now live…

http://www.muslimahmindmatters.com

 

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Testimonials from Healing Words Program participants

Testimonials

“The writing therapy workshop that I attended was very beneficial & therapeutic. I was able to reflect deeply & write about my feelings about past events & situations.

I look forward to attending another workshop perhaps in the future.”(A. Ishaq – Social Worker – Qld)

“Attending the writing therapy workshop provided a safe nurturing environment to explore perceptions, conditioned responses and gave the freedom to uncover true inner feelings. Princess is a worldly woman with a strong faith who facilitates interactive activities and guides you to let the pen take you on a journey of self discovery. She encourages you to share within a supportive group but only if you feel comfortable to do so. There is no pressure just a sense of peace. I was surprised what came forward for me – another layer on my self development journey.”(J. Edwards – Natural Therapist – Qld)

“Healing Words Program benefited me both by being able to tell my ‘story’ to myself, to other sisters in Islam, and most of all it lead me to a place where I could feel mercy and forgiveness for those who hurt me, as well as myself, and to feel deeper reliance on our Creator in all situations.”(A. Mrazek – teacher – Qld)

To find out more about Healing Words Program or for booking enquiries contact Princess Lakshman (Iqra) on:

phone 0451 977 786

email prlakshman@yahoo.com.au

LinkedIn Princess Reineeta Lakshman

Facebook Princess Reineeta Lakshman

Healing Words – Creative Writing Therapy Program

 

Healing Words

Creative Writing Therapy

Writing from your heart, without worrying about language, spelling, grammar, punctuation and structure, is therapeutic.

Healing Words is a Creative Writing Therapy Program where you allow your writing hand to express your innermost thoughts and feelings. It is private, unless you wish to share it. You can never write the wrong thing because there is no such thing as right or wrong when it comes to writing therapy.

Your writing hand will write words that will help you reflect on your life, help you acknowledge your current and past circumstances and goals. Your words will open windows in your mind and guide you through a journey of self-discovery. Your words will, at times, question you, confront you, comfort you, console you, even care for you. Your words, written freely and organically, may help heal you.
Healing Words  is ideal for people undergoing

  • terminal or chronic illness,
  • mental illness
  • depression
  • anxiety
  • displacement (refugee community),
  • post-natal depression,
  • depression,
  • arthritis,
  • dementia,
  • trauma
  • post traumatic stress disorder
  • grief/ loss
  • corrective services program

Healing Words is beneficial to health care workers, teachers, social workers, mental health support workers, and anyone else in the wider community who wishes to understand the benefits of using writing as therapy.
Allow yourself to write freely.

Allow yourself to heal.

 

Booking Form

 

Healing Words – Creative Writing Therapy

 

Half day workshop (8:30 am to 12:00 pm with 15 minutes Morning Tea break)

 

*Group of up to 6 $ 300

 

*Group of up to 10 $ 500

 

*Group of up to 20 $ 600

A take-home kit per participant including a journal, stationery, prompts and props will be provided by facilitator.

 

Please email Princess Lakshman on prlakshman@yahoo.com.au or call 0451977786.

* NGOs receive 10% discount.

Healing Words

Facilitator Bio

Princess R. Lakshman

Princess Lakshman is an engaging and interactive facilitator of Healing Words – a Creative Writing Therapy Program where you allow your writing hand to express your innermost thoughts and feelings and upon reflection of this free-intuitive writing, experience healing.

 

Princess’s rich life experiences and her craft of creative writing  have equipped her with empathy and skills  that are vital for facilitating such a therapy.

 

Her passion is to share this joyful experience of Healing Words  with people undergoing trauma, terminal or chronic illness, divorce, separation, displacement (refugee community), post-natal depression,  depression, anxiety, arthritis, dementia, corrective services programme and for health care workers, teachers, and anyone really, who feels they wish to express themselves without being judged and critiqued.

Writing from your heart, without worrying about language, spelling, grammar, punctuation and structure, is therapeutic and healing.

 

Princess is a qualified journalist, a facilitator, a published author, a freelance writer, a social activist and a community services worker. Her debut novel, ‘The Girl Child’, was launched in 2007 in India, Australia and New Zealand. Princess was nominated for Best Screenwriter in the HotMedia Film Festival in Washington D.C, USA,  for her original screenplay for a short film  entitled ‘Butterfly Wings’.

 

Princess is a hands on mum, an avid reader, a movie-buff and not to mention, a prolific writer. She  lives in sunny Brisbane, Australia. She writes novels, screenplays and feature articles in the areas of natural health. Her most favourite thing in life is to travel, read and write.To contact Princess, please email

prlakshman@yahoo.com.au or call +61451977786

International Women’s Day – My thoughts on it

Today on International Womens’ Day I have only one sentiment: If as a world we can only find a day in the calendar and dedicate it to women there is something not right with this world. We should not have to have a special day to celebrate women. It should be every single day that men need to appreciate and be grateful for the team-mateship women provide in their existence. We bear your children, we take care of your parents, we earn a living and then come home and do house work too. We have a mind of our own that contributes to your wellbeing. We pray for your success and share in your hardships. We stand by you when you need support. We work equally hard, sometimes harder and still struggling to get equal pay. We donot make wars and send troops out to fight, you men do that and in return we lose our sons, our brothers, our husbands. We put up with you! All you MEN out there, please stand up for the women of the world. Women do not need protection from you, we need your support, just like how we support you. Stop abusing us, Stop raping us, Stop staring at us from head to toe shamelessly, STOP treating us with inequality, STOP treating us as sex objects. RESPECT WOMEN!!!More Power to women.

My visit to the Refugee Detention Centre

Last night at 6:30pm, my daughter and I experienced something that will probably remain in our memories forever. We visited the refugee and asylum seeker detention centre at Pinkenba, Brisbane.

Mark Gillespie, a social activist (RAC – Refugee Action Connective Qld) in Brisbane who advocates for the rights to asylum for these refugees kindly gave us a lift to the centre. Thankfully we don’t live too far from the detention centre – only 10 minutes drive.

I was nervous from yesterday morning, wondering how it was going to be. My daughter, Aafiyah, was equally excited. We packed a bag of warm clothing to donate to the female detainees. Mark said it was okay to do so.

The first thing I noticed at the detention centre facility was large logos of this private company called SERCO. Earlier this morning I researched on what SERCO was and here is what Google search has provided:

Serco Group plc is a British outsourcing company based in Hook, Hampshire. It operates public and private transport and traffic control, aviation, military weapons, detention centres, prisons and schools on behalf of its customers. (wikipedia)

Okay…

As the car approached the detention centre complex, I noticed very simple, square, box-like quarters. The entire facility was fenced which I later found out are infra-red security fences. I also found out that the box-like structures are rooms that have bunk beds, a toilet with attached shower facility, a desk, chair and space to store any personal belongings – all this was described to me by a 12 year old very sweet and intelligent boy from Burma, I will call him Ahsaan, as I do not wish to reveal anyone’s true identities.

The security clearance at SERCO’s reception desk at the detention centre required us to fill out 2 forms and declare we were not carrying any illegal items like weapons, alcohol, drugs etc into the facility. We also had to provide 2 forms of ID, one with a photo and one with address verification. The donation bag we brought in was thoroughly checked. We were given visitor passes on a lanyard to pop around our neck. Mark got a locker and had to place my handbag, our mobile phones, car keys, all money, valuables etc as these are not allowed inside the facility.

We entered the facility with a SERCO staff, signed in the visitor book and entered another set of security doors into the world of human beings surviving on the thread of hope.

There is a saying that we can live a few days without food, a few hours without water, a few minutes maximum without air…but without hope, we die. Sadly some detainees have taken their own lives at these detention centres around Australia and the off shore ones in Manus and Christmas Islands. Because they lost all hope.

My daughter and I experienced glimpses of hopelessness in every single person we met last night. We also witnessed the happiness and joy they felt when they met us and felt loved and valued. They drew hope from us. They had plans for the future – to work, to live in a free society, to go to college.

The little ones are allowed to go to school. The private bus takes them to school accompanied by SERCO staff and brought back to the detention facility after school.

We were not allowed to to go past the common room area and the small open patio where we all sat down and chatted. There was a patch of grass around this open area and another infra red fence which separated this common area from the living quarters. There were other visitors.

The Burmese family, Ahsaan’s mother with children got on a boat from Malaysia to come to Australia to find her husband who had entered Australia few years ago as a refugee. The husband was there to visit them. He has his residency permit but the Australian government fails to reunite the family based on some stupid technicality. Inshallah the family reunites soon.

Then there was this young man from Somalia, 18 year old, who was brought in from Manus Island detention centre to the Brisbane detention centre because he needed heart surgery. I’ll call him Abu Salim…what a beautiful, soulful gentleman – so full of respect and humour. He shared his stories with me. He had witnessed massacres. His family is displaced – some in Yemen, some in Somalia…he hasn’t seen his mother for years now. He just kept running and running from place to place so he could live. Until he found a way to get on a boat and leave for a better place. Alas, the boat never arrived Australia because our coast guards intercept these boats and take them off shore to Manus Island and Christmas Island and keep these refugees in the detention centres indefinitely – no freedom what so ever! Under the UN Human Rights Commission everyone is entitled to asylum. Australian Government doesn’t see it that way, unfortunately!

Then there was Ziza, a beautiful 16 yr old Iranian, who fled Iran with her parents and younger brother because they spoke Arabic in their village and were persecuted by the Iranians who pick on people who do not speak Farsi! I noticed that Ziza was limping so I asked if she had a medical condition. I found out later that their visas were hanging on a thread, possibly a rejection, and this had upset her so much that she had inflicted harm on herself.

There were many others sitting around in little groups talking amongst themselves, looking bored. The TV was on. Some people were in the computer room using the internet. The large kitchen area had tea and coffee facility. There were a couple of catering staff dishing out dinners to the detainees. Some people ate, some couldn’t be bothered. I found out that the food was bland and no one had a choice regarding the menu etc. I was advised that there were planned excursions so that Muslims could attend Mosque for Friday prayers and every now and then an excursion to the city and parks etc.

The Burmese lady embraced me and my daughter and treated us like we were visiting her home. She quickly went to her sleeping quarters and emerged with a bowl of peanuts. Her son came back with 2 mugs of hot tea. I was overwhelmed by her welcome. She was wearing a beautiful watch which my daughter admired. Next thing we know she had another watch exactly like the one she was wearing, in a gift box, for my daughter. I wandered where she got it from…we told her we couldn’t accept but she insisted…she wanted to gift something to my daughter. My daughter was overwhelmed. Her son explained to us that they are all given activities to do in the centre and they are rewarded with tokens. At the end of the week they can spend these tokens in the little room filled with items like body products, cosmetics, watches, bags etc. They call this little room their “shopping mall”. The lady told me that she had so many tokens from winning her activities that she bought 5 watches. She wanted to be able to gift people something when she met them. It’s amazing to see the spirit of joy and giving from someone who doesn’t even have much of her own. I’m so thankful that my daughter saw this because she wrote about this moment in her journal last night and told me that she will never forget this woman and her generosity.

Soon it was 9:30pm and the SERCO guards came around politely and requested all the visitors to please make their way to the exit doors. My heart broke for Ahsaan’s little sister who huddled inside her daddy’s jacket, refusing to get out, refusing to let go off him. The guard had to pull her away from her daddy. Aafiyah, my daughter was deeply affected by this. She cried in bed last night, hugging me tightly.

Our experience at the detention centre was a real eye-opener. I am a grateful Australian citizen, truly I am. But there are foreign policies and border control policies that I totally disagree with. No asylum seeker deserves to be locked up. We all have an equal right to a safe home and the right to earn a living. Most ignorant beings on this planet would argue that these refugees are much better off in the detention centre, locked up, than to be at refugee camps and other unsafe war torn zones. I beg to differ. Mandatory detention is a inhumane.

Australia has people roaming around freely who actually deserve to be locked up – there are paedophiles roaming this country freely, wife beaters, drug paddlers, frauds, crooks, you name it…roaming freely because they were born here.

These refugees need people to advocate for them. Please do something if you can. Don’t be complacent. They are human beings…just like you and me. They deserve a free, safe life…just like you and me.

I couldn’t sleep well last night and whatever little sleep I got was disturbed with images of the stories I heard from these desperate people.

God created this earth without borders. How is it that one nation has managed to colonise the rest of the world and take over the lands from natives, create borders and impose restrictions on who can and can’t enter these lands.?? What has the world come to? Why have we allowed this to come this far where children are being put in prisons and not being given the right to reunite with parents? Who makes these rules? Why do we let them make these rules?

The taxpayers money is being spent in  paying SERCO…can’t Australia use that money to build a community where these refugees can live freely and with dignity? Why are Australian taxpayers paying a British private company so much money to imprison people who simply want to survive???

I will never forget my experience yesterday. I plan on visiting regularly. They are my people.

If you get a chance, pelase dedicate a few hours from your life and visit these people who are just like you and me. Visit the links below to find more info.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australian_immigration_detention_facilities

Locations

http://www.rac-qld.org/default.asp