1. I love yoga. I don’t dare call myself a yogi but I’d like to believe it’s in my near future. I do yoga 4-6 days per week and prefer heated vinyasa or heated power vinyasa over the more meditative and restorative types.
2. I meditate every day. I like to mediate in the morning and usually do guided meditations from Oprah & Deepak Chopra. Currently I’m listening to the 21 day guided meditation about the law of Dharma or Purpose in life. I also fall asleep every night listening to guided meditations.
3. I read every day. I prefer to read my paper books over online versions and at any given moment I have a few books all over the house that I’m reading. About 95% of the books are non-fiction and in the self help or spiritual realm. Some of my favorite authors are Eckhart Tolle, Tony Robbins, Deepak Chopra, Dalai Lama and Eric Butterworth.
4. I love to cook. Cooking while having a glass of wine and playing some background music is such a meditative process for me that I love it. It doesn’t feel like work. I like to experiment and rarely cook exactly by the recipe. I’m more likely to eat something out and try to make my own version of it than follow a strict recipe. This is why my Instagram is filled with music and food related pictures.
5. I’m a foodie. Although I love cooking at home I also love eating fine food at restaurants. There’s nothing better than having good food in good company with a nice glass of wine.
6. Dry red wine is my preferred libation. When I’m deep in writing I have wine almost every day. Wine helps me relax and dig deep in my mind. I write a lot of lyrics, poems and journal entries while drinking wine. Surprisingly, I can’t write music while drinking because I’m way too relaxed to get up and sit on the piano and play. It has happened but only with one glass or less.
7. I use coconut oil for everything. I cook with it. I use it as lotion. I use it on my face and hair. I also make toothpaste with it. My logic is if I can eat it, I know that my skin, hair and teeth will like it too.
8. I’m really crafty. I like to make things with my hands and learn to do new things. I screen print my Fatima T-shirts, water bottles, and totes. I learned how to do it because it allows me to have merchandize in smaller batches. I make natural toothpaste and body scrubs for my own use. I’ve also taken apart my laptops and cleaned the ventilators to allow it to cool properly.
9. I’m not a risk taker. I don’t gamble or place bets and very rarely play lottery. Although my life choices may make me seem like a hippie with not a care in the world, I am a calculated risk taker. I listen to my instincts and let answers come from within. I realize that my life choices of being a musician make me look like a risky person, but I feel that I have to do this. It doesn’t feel like a risk, but rather a higher calling.
10. I am a teaching artist. As a full time musician, often you have to work on different income streams and this is one of mine. I go into schools and teach songwriting as a way to deal with obstacles we all are faced with at times. All my students walk away with a recording of the song they’ve written. Lately I’ve been shooting music videos with my students as well. A lot of my work is with city kids and at risk youth which is at times challenging but worth every second when I see pride in their eyes.
11. I’m an entrepreneur. I am a songwriter but I am also an entrepreneur and a business woman. I have the happy go lucky artsy side of me but also the analytics driven business side as well. I do my marketing, sales and website upkeep. In order to do all that I have to wear all the hats that are necessary to make it all work. I often have periods of creativity and then periods of business. During this project I’ve learned to quickly switch between the two and do what is necessary in that moment.
12. I sing at Unity Church. On the religious front I steer towards more spiritual teachings like Buddhism and Unity. I was raised Muslim and I still describe myself as Muslim but I like to learn about others as well and singing at Unity of Rochester has been a blessing in meeting all the great people who accepted me delivering messages of divine power. If anyone needed proof that we are all the same it’s this right here that tells us that music and heart and soul and feeling the power within and of the universe is greater than us and we are all the same deep down.