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  • Valerie Hope

Ep. 24 - Time To Come Alive: "Praying For Love & Beauty" With Special Guest Mariam Alam, Graduate Student, Working Mom And Wife

NQS | Love And Beauty


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Time To Come Alive: "Praying For Love & Beauty" With Special Guest Mariam Alam, Graduate Student, Working Mom And Wife


This is one of my favorite things to do. Every episode, I have the opportunity to meet and have a conversation so that we can be even more conscious, more connected, and more creative by exposing you to new information. We have life perhaps transformation that's taken place or in progress. I'm going to introduce my very special guests in a few moments.

Before though, if you are on social media, please feel free to share that you're reading that way your friends, family and the people in your circle it all so have this conversation with you. Especially after we log off. Feel free to share it on your social media afterward, too, if you're watching the recording. Now before we begin, I like to always begin by preparing us to reading our conversation. It's a very special one. A wonderful friend as I said.

The moment now, I want you to sit comfortably or wherever you're standing to make sure that your centered and focused. Let’s start with a few deep breaths to get again centered and grounded. I'd like for you if you're comfortable to close your eyes or soften your gaze. A few deep breaths. As you do that, I want you to think of a way to acknowledge the divinity around you.

This mindfulness exercise comes from this Chopra center. It’s so appropriate for our conversation. Acknowledge the divinity around you, within you, and around you physically. If your spiritual faith or your beliefs guide you to a higher power, consider that. It's the energy in the Earth. Acknowledge that. Perhaps is even your higher self. Acknowledge the existence of that divinity.

As you continue to breathe deeply, I'm going to start by offering our gratitude. What's something small that you might be thankful for? It might be you have a chair to sit on and water to drink. What about something bigger? Perhaps, you have a job to go to or you have a child in your arms or your health. As you're considering the things that you're grateful for, now we move into acceptance. As you're considering this, think about where you might be experiencing resistance in your life. How might that situation be for your highest good?

We're acknowledging the divinity of everything. The divinity that's working with us and through us. Perhaps, there's something to be learned. What might that be? I'm going to move now into setting our intentions or the time ahead or they had. What guidance do you need? What visions do you have for who you are and who you want to be? What support might be important for you at this time? What's left to do is surrender so that whatever you're requesting, intending, grateful for, or accepting comes to fruition. That or something better. Acknowledge any guidance that you get will be the right guidance for you. With that said, take another deep breath and you may even focus your gates.

I want to first start off by introducing this whole friend of mine. Her name is Mariam Alam. Mariam, you and I met probably been over a year. I met Mariam through another mutual friend of ours. I remember our first meeting, there were so many sparks flying. We have so many ideas and I don't know how in such a short period of time I feel like we click well. So much so that I was sharing with Mariam at the time and our friend about masterminding and bringing groups together to accomplish greater goals. She was like, “We should do it.”

With her, her prompting and her enthusiasm, we begin a Mastermind. A small group of us who connected every month. I want to say for shy of a year and talked about what our goals are, professional goals and our challenges and greet one another and an honorary member of our Mastermind, her daughter Sophia who's also involved. She did not want to be left behind and she's been a part of all of our sessions since then. I know she's soaking it in. Anyway, I want to welcome you, Mariam. I'm so grateful that we have this conversation.

Thank you and for having me here.

First of all, let’s start off with what makes you enthusiastic and curious that you wanted to get all of that group of people together to share ideas and goals?

I feel that every single person is unique and they have great ideas. When we have these groups, come together and share ideas, there's something great that comes from that. Sometimes it's hard when we have an idea and we know how to work on the specific project or the specific idea that I have and I can do it in a perfect way. I want to do it by myself, but I've learned that it is best to have other and to have support. With that, the idea comes to fruition in a much beautiful and a better way.

That is so true. In our group, what made it also so special is you're from Pakistan. Our other friend Faria from Bangladesh and other friend Aisha. She's also from Pakistan and we have Era my sister-in-law from Spain. We have Sarah. I believe Sarah is from India. We had a very eclectic group of people. I'm curious since we began these conversations, what have you gotten out of it? You are the life force in starting the groups. I'm curious about what you got out of it.

After every meeting that we had together, I felt happy. We have ideas but when we get together, we talk about them then we take action. We always talked about things we wanted to accomplish then we worked on them for that month, got together and talked about, “How much did we get done?” It's the accountability. I would say, knowing that we're going to be getting together again in a month and we have to talk about what are my goal was and what I wanted to accomplish. It motivated me to work on that goal that we said when we were together.

You were so much better. I remember scrambling. I'm like, “We're meeting tomorrow.” I had to scroll through our messages to find out like, “What was the goal I said?”

I remember there are many times where I did meet that goal but I worked toward it.

I do remember there's one thing you and I talked about that we still have pending you were going to give me. Maybe it was something because of your your background in Dentistry.

Disclosing tablet.

Yes, where are we with that? I should say, ever since you move to Houston, Texas, it has made it a little bit more difficult to keep the same energy behind the group. Another thing I admire by you Mariam is that's thirst for learning that you have. You're one of the earliest supporters of this particular program and always so generous in your participation. I'm curious about what had you start participating in this program.

That first meeting that we had and that chemistry we had together. We were talking, the masterminding and getting together. You could go to a room or party or somewhere where there's like a whole bunch of people but then click with some people. You have that chemistry and understanding with them. I feel like I had that at our meeting at Chahi Nor’s place. I enjoyed our conversation.

I felt like it was beneficial because there are different types of conversations that we have with others and our conversation was beneficial if you both of us. I enjoyed that and I wanted to be part of the session that I wanted to listen and I benefited from them. The guests that that you had also. They bring their stories, journeys, and what they went through. I enjoyed all of that.

I appreciate that about you. The fact that we all come from different places and different mentalities. You shared quite a bit in the programs that you started and participated. I pulled a lot of things out of you. I always ask you, “Mariam, what do you think about that?” One of the reasons that I wanted to have you as a guest is because I felt that you had so much to offer and as I said, you’re generous about your business.

Is this going to be all about me and how wonderful I am?

We could make it.

Is that why?

You said something and the reason I'm pointing to this because you’re wonderful but also, pointing to it. You shared with me once because Ramadan was coming up. For people who are not familiar with Ramadan, there's a period of 30 days in Islam where there's a moment of fasting, prayer, community, and service. People that observe Islam have the opportunity to reflect oneself.

Ramadan just happened but you shared with me that a few Ramadan ago that you had a very specific intention. I remember feeling that was so fascinating. I never quite always hear about Ramadan being a period of fasting and that's what most of us get to know. Those of us who are familiar with it and giving to those who have less and family. I never quite heard what you shared from other people about what you intended or what you reflected. Can you share with us a little about how you use the time of Ramadan to set an intention for yourself?

People know Ramadan as the month of fasting but it is a month of Quran. Quran was revealed in Ramadan. It is a month of getting close to Allah Subhana Watala, our creator and our maker. Before Ramadan starts, I always make a list of what I want to achieve in Ramadan. The goal is to continue with those habits after Ramadan also.

It's a month of introspection. I always look at the year ahead from the past Ramadan and I think about what worked for me, what didn't, and what do I need to change or what are the habits that I want to get rid of or what are the habits that I want to have part of my life to be close to my creator and my maker. The month of Ramadan is all about knowing and getting close to a loss of Allah. When I say Allah, it means God. It's getting close to my maker, so that's huge for me what my goal is. I'll make a list of prayers.

Tell is your list this Ramadan.

In the past two Ramadan, I remember my sister telling me and this was this is when I was not married. She said, “Do you pray for yourself? Do you ask Allah Subhana Watala to help you find your future husband?” I said, “I pray for other things but I never prayed for a husband.” That Ramadan, I prayed for a husband and, I got married after that.

I don't want anybody to miss this. You generally spent Ramadan in prayer because that's part of it. Prayers you had before were about what? Until this prince.

My prayers are and they still are, it’s about asking Allah, my Creator and my maker to make me a better person. To make me the person that I want to be. I want to be close to him and I believe that when I am close to him, when I love him and by loving him the way to learn more about my creator and my maker and to love him it's through Quran. Ramadan is the month of Quran. It's to get to understand his book, Quran.

NQS | Love And Beauty
Love And Beauty: Ramadan is the month of the Quran.

Not just to understand it but also for him to give me the ability to act upon it. Not just learn but also to change the way of my life and apply what I learned from the Quran. Most of my prayers are getting close to him. As a Muslim, this is what I believe. When I'm close to him, I know that what he asks me to do will be best for his creation, for myself, and my family. It's the best thing.

I truly believe and this is one of the pillar of faith of Islam. What we call other Qadar. He knows best and whatever happens to me in my life, that's been written for me. That doesn't mean that I'm not going to work hard. I work hard. I do what I need to do, but at the end, it's what he will. What Allah, the maker will.

When we pray, we can change the destination and what's been written.

I believe that whatever happens in my life is going to be best because that's what his plans are. His plans are the best and I trust in him. I trust in him and I know that he will take care of everything. All I need to focus on is to be close to him. That's what most of my prayers are. It’s usually asking him that I want to be on that guided path. I want to learn the dean of Islam. I want to learn the Quran. I want to be close to him. I leave everything to Allah Subhana Watala. After that, I asked. I made a what we say Allah. I made a prayer, asked him and I got married.

Whatever happens in your life will be the best because that's what His plans are, and His plans are the best.

What exactly did you ask for?

I asked for a husband who was somebody that was also loved Allah Subhana Watala and also working on being a good person for others and for himself. I wanted to go to Umrah also to Saudi Arabia where Mecca and Medina is. I've asked for that and I want to do that after I got married. Alhamdulillah thank God that we went for Umrah after we got married.

It's poignant. It's important to know that in all practices at all different religions, the idea of prayer is enough to maybe honor our faith, and get closer to our divinity. Also, it's an opportunity to live out that best life and our destiny in in such a way. As you said very well, there's a plan and a path. We all have free will whether or not we choose to follow it. For you, you found an opportunity and a path perhaps it wasn't quite as clear.

You’re engaging in conversation with this case to follow the path that you want to go on next so it's almost like your co-creating and being able to consciously acknowledge this is the will. If it's part of the that plan, you accept it. That's beautiful because we have an opportunity to co-create that we do have responsibility to communicate.

We're grateful when we are needing and we will have an intention if we have the opportunity to have that support, our creator will do that for us. I want to back up because you did mention while back about stuff that you wanted more clarity on. I don't know if it was specific to being married or perhaps it was something before but you mentioned praying. You also wanted to have a better perception of yourself. Can you tell us more about that?

Again, that goes back to when we know our creator, we learn about ourselves. That goes back to knowing the creator. One thing, I don't want to forget. This is not what we were talking about. In Islam, there’s a saying of prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, that prayers are one thing. There is that what's written for us. We believe in that, but when we make a prayer that's something that change the destination of what's been written. I thought of that so I wanted to mention it.  It goes back to the fact I believe that when we know about our creator, it helps us to know ourselves.

One of the things that you mentioned to me, if I’m mistaken, about praying for beauty. There's something about your life and yourself that you also pray for. Do you remember this? No? That's all right.

We have these prayers. You can also call them like declarations. I know we talked about as a Muslim, before we enter the bathroom we say the prayer or you can say declare. It's not a prayer like where you're raising your hand and asking for prayer. It's a declaration. You say the word. We have these prayer words you can say before and after leaving the bathroom, before we drink milk, water, when we're looking in the mirror and changing our clothes.

I know you're talking about the prayer for the mirror when we are looking at ourself in the mirror. The prayer is that, “Allah, my maker, my Creator, the way you have made me so beautiful make my character as beautiful as I am.” I know you were talking about that so maybe that's what you were thinking about. That's one of them and all these other declarations/prayers that we have and we say before we do anything.

Sophia, do you agree with that? Are you making declarations too?

She does. We make one in the morning. What do we say?

What’s her declaration in the morning?

Alhamdulillah. In the morning when we wake up we say, “Alhamdulillah.” We thank Allah, our make, our creator for giving us another day, a beautiful day. When we go into sleep, it's very possible that people die in their sleep. They never wake up. It's their last time, so waking up thinking Allah for that another day and another opportunity and to be able to be up from that.

We have our eyes open on the other side by the sun rises. I want to go back to what you shared. There's something beautiful and that's probably why it's stuck with me. The declaration about having the beauty that you see, we take for granted. The creation is not just our external surroundings. It's not trees, oceans, roads, and buildings. That's not the only thing that's created. We, human, our flesh, this is creation. This is the manifestation of eight.

I love that. I love what you're pointing to is to think more creating me and whatever that creation is that is as beautiful as my character. That's meaningful because I can see how much of what we do in our society, especially. We look in the mirror to see do we look good? Do I have anything in my teeth? Does my hair look bad? This particular thing, is that right or the makeup or did I put the tie on staright?

There's all sorts of things that we focus on. I don't do this but I love the idea the opportunity to be in front of a mirror to see a reflection of myself and thank God for it or who he created or what the divine created as a matter of me. Also, how I as a human and the character that I have then gets to show up in the world. We are the action of our image in the mirror, but then that same image that we are thanking, grateful for and we acknowledge having been created by divine get to go out and be divine in another places. That's just a fantastic idea.

Gratitude. Allah says in the Quran, “The more you thank me, I give you more.” This is what I'm talking about. Our creator created us so he knows what's best for us. If you look at, for example, the sky, moon, sun, stars, the day and the night changing all of that. Allah says in the Quran, “Look at all these things. These are signs for you.” They follow his command. They follow what he tells them to do and so because of that, they're in harmony. Everything is going the way it needs to go.

NQS | Love And Beauty
Love And Beauty: Allah says in the Quran, "The more you think of me, the more I give you."

I feel that when we follow what he tells us to do then we also fall in in harmony. We get the contentment and the happiness also because we are following his command. He knows what's best for us. In the Quran, Allah Subhana Watala says that, “Sometimes things happen in our life and we may think that was the worst thing or that wasn't good at that time. You may hate something but that's good for you.” Later on we do learn.

This happens in our life, doesn't it? I have lots of stories where something happened. In my first job, I remember I wanted to work with this professor at his clinic and it didn't work out then I found another job. Later, he sold his practice and he came to work with us at that office where I move. Things like that happen. At the time, I didn't realize, “I didn't get that job. I wanted this job,” but the Creator knows what's best for you. The other one because he was planning I wasn't going to be there for too long and he was coming right to where I was going to be. It's Subhanallah.

NQS | Love And Beauty
Love And Beauty: The Creator knows what's best for you.

There’s always mysterious ways to move forward in life. I want to point back to something you said about gratitude. I'm not Muslim. I grew up with Christian beliefs and tradition, but I have so many brothers and sisters from different faith. It's been such a wonderful opportunity to hear reflected the values and the character that link us. They hold us all together. One of the things that you mentioned about gratitude I feel is something we make we do. We note and mentioned. What you pointed to is that we get more of what we're for.

That is a pretty strong habit. I will say during the holidays, during the Christmas holidays, my family got together with my brother and sister-in-law and my parents. I remember my sister-in-law out full sheets. She knows that I like to facilitate stuff. She's like, “Val, do you want to do this?” I’m like, “I do.”

Sisters are smart.

She's like, “Why don't you keep the kids?” A great way for me to babysit them but there was one of the sheets that was gratitude. It had a little starter words, “I am, I can, and I have.” What we ended up doing, we’re sitting around and this is with my 13 year old, 12 year old, and my 9 year old nieces. We sat around and we have those sentences, “I am grateful that I am smart. I'm grateful that I have a bed. I'm grateful I can you talk to my family.” There were 3 or 4 of each of them.

What I got from that experience was that there's so many ways in which one would be grateful. Not just for what we have which has been go to. Thank you for this job or this client or for this item that I own. I also started to notice that having those three different types of gratitude or things to be grateful for gave me a whole different level of awareness.

That wasn't December. Ever since that, every day at the end of the day, I will send my boyfriend a little WhatsApp message with the three things because I felt like I needed to be accountable for the gratitude I had. I have to admit that I ended on the last day of Ramadan, January to May. It reminded me of how many elements of life we do have access to, how many things we are able to accomplish and the things that I and the character helps me accomplish those things and being grateful. I did notice it became easier to trained my mind.

At the end of the day, sometimes I forgot what and I have to go, “They day before, I am, I can, and I have.” After a while, it didn't need much effort. I do want to mention that because what you're pointing to is we do get of what we are grateful for. I'm curious for you, Ramadan just ended. Tell us about how the experience of Ramadan was for you.

Ramadan was wonderful. Thank God. You asked me and I didn't answer your question, but I talked about my previous prayers. This Ramadan was all about thanking my Creator, my maker for what he has given me. I always asked him with this prayer. I asked him for a child. I wanted a child, I would say, “I want a child that I look at. I look at the child and that child makes me think of you and thank you when I look at that child.” This one was all about thanking because Maliha is that child. Alhamdulillah.

Every time I look at her, I thank him. I'm sure the parents who are reading know their child everything from beginning to as they're growing. You see amazing things like from when they're in the belly, their growth and when they're bored. In every stage, you want to thank him. It's a miracle. It’s like embryology when we study. It's amazing the whole process of how this all happens because anything could go wrong but most of the time, things go well and children are born normal. This Ramadan was about thanking him. As always, it's more reflecting upon habits, behaviors, what can I do to change for better, what can I do so that I could be close to you more. That's what this Ramadan was about.

imagine inherent in this time of reflection and prayer and self-control perhaps during this time. What has been or what is the most challenging part of it for you?

Ramadan is like our guests. We wait for it. We start getting ready like three months before because it's so short. It's only a month, so making a list of like what am I going to do? How am I going to use this time? It just goes by so fast and it's over.

Ramadan is like a guest. We wait for it.

Family as well. It’s time to be in community probably more so than you would during the rest of the year. what would be something that was challenging?

That's a good point. That's one thing that I need to work on. I always looked at Ramadan like it's time for me to be with Quran and just worship. In Islam, worship is not just reading the Quran and praying. Worship is everything like taking care of Sophia. That's worship. Going to work is worship. Preparing a meal for a family's worship. If you have the intention that you're doing it for the sake of your creator, that's all worship. This Ramadan, this was my first Ramadan with Mubarak.

NQS | Love And Beauty
Love And Beauty: It's all worship if you're doing it for the sake of your Creator.

Is he your husband?

With my husband. In the past, Ramadan has been my time to be with Allah Subhana Watala. I was at the Masjid. I was home working and coming home. Reading Quran and reflecting. This Ramadan, he's a different person and he's coming from it. It wasn't challenging but it's something that I had to work on is in Ramadan, it’s also important to be with your family like your friends and preparing meals and getting together. I had to be part of that this Ramadan.

Did you mean you were hosting the meals?

I did. Not every single day, but I did. I usually don't do that. I like to do that outside on Ramadan because I feel like all the time. I don't want to be in the kitchen in Ramadan. That was not challenging but a challenge as in I had to change my ways a little bit and it was a different Ramadan.

You point to something that's pretty is interesting because we are called during these occasions, whatever our spiritual or religious practices might be. They are times when the other expectation, the holiday time when there's family or friends coming. That's something I struggle with personally. We usually went out. We went to people's homes or someplace else to a restaurant or whatever. I didn't grow up in a family that hosted a lot of events. It's not something that's always very comfortable for me. It feels stressful, to be honest, having people in my space and having to prepare stuff. I have friends who are so gifted.

I love to host. I love preparing.

You had us come over and I had your food. I'm still waiting for items. You give me the spices.

It could be what you're saying about that your family didn't do that much but they're something about hosting and preparing food for people with friends and family. When everybody gets together and have that meal, I love it. I feel good about it. It’s only Ramadan when I don't want.

Specifically the time that most people need to be.

It’s that parties. That was something different this Ramadan.

What about your job? What is her experience in Ramadan now at this point in her life?

I have to say, I forgot. This was also a challenge because it’s hard. We would have to wake up to eat and she also wanted to wake up with us.

For the people who are not familiar with the process, if you will of the time Ramadan, can you give us a timeline?

From dusk to dawn. We could eat between 8:20 PM to 5:00 AM. We had our dinner then we had what we call Suhoor. That morning meal before we started our fast. I woke up at 4:00 or sometimes I wanted to wake up a little early to pray and what not. It was difficult because Maliha also wanted to wake up with me. That was also challenge. Again, Ramadan is a beautiful month. As I said, in Islam, everything that we do is worship. You think to yourself, “I'm taking care of her.” That's also worship, too and just wanting to have this feeling and want to do worship to Allah.

Mariam, in closing, now that you're in the space of life were you had been very well prayed for husband and your daughter. You have your daughter. I know you mentioned a lot of your prayers are about being able to not only learn about the Quran but also live by its principles. I'm curious about what's next for you? When you think about your life and what you want to accomplish or the vision that you have for yourself.

Learn about the Quran, but also live by its principles.

I'm so thankful and not just me. If we all look at our lives, these blessings that we're given. I want to be able to utilize the skills that I've been given to do something great to like better others' lives. I always think about especially children when it comes to doing something for girls, education especially. When about Pakistan and other countries where education is still not available to everybody. Not only that, education is there but it's not what it's supposed. To better education and the education system.

To give you some context in the Dallas area. We had some storms that down power lines and I've found that one of the areas of that was affected was our connectivity. That's one of the reason the internet went out. It wasn't because I was cunning off our conversation. You were sharing with us for the future. What are the rest of the vision?

What I would like to do is I want to do something for children. When it comes to education, I want to do  better. I'm from Pakistan and Pakistan’s education is still not available to all the children. Where it is available, it could be improved. It's still at a basic level. I want to do something where I better the education system. Not just for Pakistan but wherever. I'm going to start with Pakistan and also children. There are children who are orphans. There's so much that could be done. It's amazing when you get together with a group of people and you make goals and you work on it. It's not hard but it needs to get done. I would love to do something.

What is it about education and children that makes you so passionate about?

I love children. Education, especially. Again, it's not that education is needed for somebody to reflect upon themselves but it opens up paths and the intellect. It opens up many doors.

NQS | Love And Beauty
Love And Beauty: It's not that education is needed for somebody to reflect on themselves; it opens up the intellect. It opens up many doors.

What was your education for you because you studied in Pakistan as well, right?

Yes, and also, that's part of it. When I look back at my experience and what I had for education there. That's where it comes from. Looking back at those years that I spent there, I'm like, “Poor children. This could be so much better.”

Why? What happened? What was it about the experience?

In Pakistan, you have a choice of schools and different things. Children are under so much stress. You have 2nd and 3rd grade. A lot of it is memorizing things and I don't think it needs to be that way.

What would you like to see change?

There's so much. What I would like to do is I would like to do training for teachers and parents and go over the levels. You teach them what does the research say? What works best and looking at recent research to apply that and to help children to teach them instead of just memorizing and being under so much stress or have an exam. We would have exam once a year and that was it. That was your 100%. You either passed or failed your whole year. I would like to change different things. There's a lot to it.

It sounds like for you, your experience of education and what you've observed is not sufficient to support the development of children. Perhaps intellectually, there might be some areas like memorization skills.

Memorization skills are important. I'm not saying that's not important but there needs to be more than just that.

Why is that important to you? What is it about education? Of all the things that you could be interested in changing or impacting in your lifetime or in your world. What is that particular thing?

A big part of is that it does bring you back to, I could say me. For example my life, education has not only improved my life. The biggest way it has improved my life is to know my Creator. I remember sitting in a biochemistry class and the professor is going over the material. Not just Biochem. You look at biology or not. You don't even have to study all of that. Only looking the way our system works and everything. It's just so amazing.

You're like, “This didn't just come from nothing.” I know there's a creator and a maker. This is so perfect. This didn't just come out of nothing. Behind it's perfection, there is somebody perfect and I want to know him. For me, studying Islam, all of that came from sitting in class and thinking like, “I know there's a Creator. I know that there's somebody behind this perfection and I want to know him.” That's one of the biggest benefit that I would say that education has done for me.

There is a creator—someone who's behind this perfection.

It sounds like then one of the things that you discovered especially in studying science, which is so interesting that you got an opportunity to explore in a deeper way what was created through spirit and through God in this case and appreciate that a whole different level. On a molecular level, perhaps. It sounds like also for you, education has been disassociated from that awe and the greatness of everything that there is in the world, whether that's in the science that we study or history and cultures of people.

I can see that education for education sake just to be more knowledgeable may not fulfill the destiny of humanity. Knowledge for knowledge sake in other words. It sounds like when we get present and we're conscious of what that provides for us in our relationships to the planet, religions, or nationalities. Education takes on a much deeper much and more profound meaning that facts, figures, and being able to solve problems.

That's probably a conversation for another day because we can go down a whole different rabbit hole. I have a lot of educators in my family including myself. I get your commitment to making sure that is a better experience and a richer experience for children as well as for the teachers themselves. Mariam, thank you so much for your time.

Thank you for having me and for this opportunity. This was fun.

I know Sophia got it on the show a little bit. This is great and I can't wait for her to see herself years from now. She's like, “Mom.” Keep this in your vault. Again, I would want to thank everyone that participated in our session. Thank you all so much for sharing this time with us. If you're reading this, go ahead and share it with others so that you can also deepen your own conversations with your friends and family and see what takeaways you might have from my conversation with Mariam.

Looking forward to next episode. We have, I'll call it a fan favorite if you will, a couple, Francis and Kathy Conrad. They will be joining me. You may remember Francis, official travel coach. They are coming to the program and we're going to talk about how they support transformation on each other, the transformation of partnership. We talk about individual transformation but how does one transformation impact relationships and how important others transformations?

That should be interesting.

That unfolds. Thank you again. I'm sure that everybody that had an opportunity to read and also got so much from your own joy, your fate and what you had to share with us.

Thank you, Valerie.


Soren Kierkegaard: “Prayer does not change God, but it changes him who prays.”


Ramadan, a time dedicated to fasting, family, and faith, has also given Mariam Alam many opportunities to expand herself and her life. Her prayers brought to life the desires of her soul and manifested a husband, a child, and a deep sense of gratitude for all creation.



  • Everything you do is an act of worship.

  • The fact you exist is enough to bless the world.

  • Your prayer can change your destination.


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