Nothing in my life is as expected, as is the case for many other peoples lives too.

Today, I have yet another health procedure.  This is not the 1st, 2nd nor 50th doctor trip I take. If you asked me is this the life you expected to have when you hit 30? It would be a strong no. The picture I painted was definitely far from this. Part of the picture I painted was I would be happily married and with 2 or maybe 3 kids. Of course, I also expected I would be incredibly healthy. So on my 100th + doctor trip, I asked myself many questions:

As I contemplate these questions, I hear an internal voice within me say, this should not be how my life is – I had a plan. I increasingly repeated this statement both consciously and unconsciously this month as I experienced yet another heart break from yet another failed romantic relationship and another failed health treatment.

Unfortunately I do not have answers to share because for now I have none. What I do have is a gentle reminder, to myself and to whoever may be experiencing hardship, to breathe.

It is okay if life gets overwhelming, it is okay that life deviates from our life plan and it is okay if you feel confused, sad and a little mad while also figuring out how to make it beautiful again. That is the wonder of being human we adapt, grow and re-imagine.

Right now, i’m focusing on breathing in the here and now because there is nothing else for me to do. I cannot make my disease go away and I cannot make the man I love want to build a life with me, so all I can do is breathe. 

Lets, together, practice gratitude for the tiniest yet mightiest thing we are all experiencing which is  – breathing. Come, lets take three deep breaths together:







Remember you and I are alive. We are alive, we are breathing. Many people who have passed away would have wished for just one more breath. So in honor of being alive and for the potential beautiful surprises that life may be bring, lets breathe deeper than the second that just passed.  Lets repeat: 3, 2 and 1.

For now, I leave you with a beautiful poem by Mark Nepo that leaves me breathing a bit deeper (and I hope you as well) knowing it is okay for me to feel and see both beauty and sadness at the same time. Trusting that it will all be more than OK in the end of it all.

Everything is beautiful and I am so sad.
This is how the heart makes a duet of 
wonder and grief. The light spraying 
through the lace of the fern is as delicate 
as the fibers of memory forming their web 
around the knot in my throat. The breeze 
makes the birds move from branch to branch 
as this ache makes me look for those I’ve lost 
in the next room, in the next song, in the laugh 
of the next stranger. In the very center, under 
it all, what we have that no one can take 
away and all that we’ve lost face each other. 
It is there that I’m adrift, feeling punctured 
by a holiness that exists inside everything. 
I am so sad and everything is beautiful.

Mark Nepo


  • Aida Murad

    Entrepreneur Coach

    Aida Murad is an Entrepreneur Coach focused on founder well-being, an artist and passionate connector. She has worked for over a decade building social enterprises in the US and MENA region in education, fashion, food, health and technology industries. She is a firm believer in the power of creative industries to create social change and to showcase that she organized the first festival in the US to celebrate refugees talents in the creative industries. Previously, Aida co-founded a sustainable fashion company, managed over $300m in philanthropic and development funds for the public and private sectors as well as designed youth and entrepreneurship programs globally.

    She is a recipient of the 2017 FHI 360 Impact Award for Woman Leadership, 2017 Most Voted RAW Artist, 2017 Inaugural artist for GoARTful and 2016 FHI Emerging Leaders. Aida appears regularly on global TV networks and platforms including Harvard University, Reuters, Voice of America and TRT World speaking on the power of will in adversity. Today she spends her time advising social enterprises and foundations, serving as Co-Director for NEXUS MENA & Arab Diaspora, creating socially impactful art and writing for Thrive Global.