The truth about suffering…

For sure I’m not the first one to speak loud about the truth of suffering.

The Buddha, a couple of centuries ago shared the four noble truths, explaining in a philosophical way what suffering is all about and how we could escape from it (please see link below).

I went to visit one of my aunties yesterday, she had quite a severe stroke, spent couple of months in coma and when she woke up she found out she lost the usage of her legs, she is not able to speak anymore and her right hand is not responding at all.

She used to be very happy whenever I came to visit her and she was always spending a long time just kissing and hugging to show her appreciation…

Yesterday it was my turn, I came close to her, she was struggling to recognize me, then contact was established.

I came to her left side and held her hand she squeezed it and made me understand she missed me.

Then I hugged her and she started crying, and crying, and crying more…

I could feel her pain, she was upset and sorry about herself for not being able to move as she used to, upset about these legs which are not responding, this useless right arm and overall I could feel she was upset about what was left from her life.

I remember my grandmother always praying god “Allah la tmehmechni wala t7otni fi termina” which means “God please keep me away from mental illness and from physical incapacity”.

It makes so much sense…

What is left from our lives when we are not able to move around like we used to, to talk and crack jokes, to drive around and go to a remote place just to contemplate the sunset ?

Only little is left, but more than that, most of us are barely grateful for what they already have.

Breathing, talking, thinking, walking are not a given, they are everyday’s gift, that’s what is given to us to enjoy our lives, we should take the time to acknowledge it and be grateful about it, each and every day.

Life is not all about money, status and appearance, it is not about the rat race where we all end up miserable for counting what we don’t have…

Life is about enjoying what we have,

Being grateful about it and going through the vicissitudes with a smile, as everything is impermanent.

Thank you for reading.

The four noble truths

Miss Ambre

June 2018

Granny and I enjoying our time together

What meditation did to my life…

I remember the time in my life when I put too much pressure on myself, I wanted a job where I can earn more, a bigger flat, a bigger car, a new life partner, and a body in super shape.

I’ve put so much effort to get all these and the more I did work on it the less I got results.

I couldn’t find a “better” job, hence I couldn’t secure a bigger flat nor a bigger car and I was going so often to the gym I ended up with a severe muscle inflammation… Not to mention Prince Charming did not show up to help me soften my muscle pain…

All this stressed me out, I was thinking I was not good enough, seeing so many people around me growing in their positions and me stuck there, swamped.

It made me feel sad, upset and eventually restless.

Of course the more you ask from life and expect something the less you get it, but some people deal better than others with frustration 😊

It reached a point where I couldn’t sleep properly, I was just not able to function anymore, my laughter sounded fake and I had the feeling to be living a nightmare, but I was awake, wide awake.

When I hit rock bottom, I didn’t know what to do, I didn’t feel confident to talk about it to my friends although I have a great entourage.

So what ?

Miles Davis trumpet notes fade away and I can’t stop thinking about everything and nothing at the same time.

Oh… That link… www.dhamma.org

I find out there is a meditation course coming up in a month, but I was not supposed to take any days off in December…

I go and beg my boss, explaining how badly I needed this 10 days break, no phone, no talk, sitting 10 hours per day and living like a monk, waking up early sleeping late and having little food.

He looks at me, sees I’m really serious about it and also about how bad I feel, he gave me carte blanche and signed my leave request immediately.

I went there, in Ras Al Khaimah, did a Vipassana retreat, went through so much pain, so many thoughts, so many questions and doubts about what I was doing. Thought to leave a couple of times, then convinced myself to stay, I took a vow to myself not to let me down, no more,and definitely not this time.

I made it.

I felt so proud, elated, tired and relieved… So many emotions but also something deep, I had a glance at what “being at peace” could be.

It’s been almost 2 and a half years I’m meditating, it literally changed my life and made me a different person, more balanced, happy, less stressed, less hyper (although I still am).

Meditation helped me go through some difficult moments in my life with ease and a smile on my face, it is still helping me now, after a couple of months looking for a new opportunity, I could be stressed, overwhelmed and anxious.

Instead, I feel grateful for what I have,

I am enjoying every little minute with my family, and I carry on my researches and interviews with a smile on my face, full of hope and confident about what life will bring.

Salam means Peace.

Ambre N.

P.s. Vipassana retreats are free, another good reason to register…

Abu Kadra Canteen, teaching the philosophy of life…

Abu Kadra is a tiny canteen on 66 road heading to Al Ain, just in front of Ras Al Khor wildlife sanctuary.
I used to pull over quite often on the way back from work as I could have dinner for 10 dirhams; Nothing fancy two non-veg sandwiches and a mango juice, but it was fresh and more than enough to satisfy my hungry tummy.
Over the weekends I’d pass by to have a Karak chai, they have the secret recipe to make it delish !
Once, I was coming back from work feeling upset about an incentive I didn’t get and I kept on venting, boiling in anger unable to control myself.
Jaafar, one of the team members welcomes me with his usual superstar smile and says :
“Coming back from work madam?”
I reply quickly “yes”, thinking how disappointed I am about that work.
He asks me if I have days off;
I say yes! He asks “one or two days off” I say “well, two” what about you ?
He replies : we don’t have days off madam with a huge smile.
I am shocked…
I don’t know exactly what to think or say…

I ask : How many hours per day do you work ? He says “ we work around 12 hours per day with 10 minutes break”.
I frown…
Who in the world would employ people without allowing them to rest at least a day per week and not even a proper lunch break ?
I forget about “my” incentive, “my” anger and specially “my” attitude…
Jaafar and the 6 other team members work continuously for two years before they get any rest!!!
And… They never complain, they are never angry, they always smile and they always say “Alhamdulillah” which means they thank God.
The story of the tiny canteen allows me to get a better understanding about life :

I should be grateful for what I have, not complain and offer my best smile every day…
Abu Kadra story is about learning from people we meet, for me it was one of the most striking conversations.
These gentlemen allowed me to take some distance with my “little” problems I understood life is much bigger than “Me”, focusing on what we have makes us less angry than focusing on what we don’t or won’t have.
I’m eternally grateful for Jaafar and his coworkers as they allowed me to become a better person than I was yesterday.
Moral of the story is whatever situation you live, always take some distance, take time to think about it and feel grateful as there is always a lesson to learn.
Salam is Peace.
Ambre N.

Sofitel Krabi, Thailand sit back, relax and unwind…

Krabi is absolutely different from Bangkok, it is a small town, very green and quiet, the perfect place to kill the routine, discover new landscapes and immerse yourself in a serene and delightful environment. Upon arrival, I am really impressed with the colossal lobby, an open space with a nice mix between colonial and Thai architecture.
I am invited to sit comfortably to proceed with the check-in; warmly welcomed by the team and escorted to my room. The room is spacious and I decide to jump on the huge bed and immediately feel comfortable.
Sunset is coming and I want to discover the property and take some pictures, the images a quite dramatic, the sunrays lean on the pool and irradiate a warm and soft light all over. The pool is the second largest in Thailand, in total 7000 square feet and surrounds the rooms facing the beach.
The bar is an agreeable place to sit and enjoy the refreshing selection of drinks, I had a preference for the mojito, a great cooler given the outside temperature.
A few step away is the hotel beach, extremely quiet, some couples are enjoying the walk by the waterside. Given the rainy season, the sea is a bit agitated but in normal times it is crystalline and feels like a dream.
The night has come and I decided to go out and discover Khlong Muang; 5 minutes away in taxi from the hotel and came back after dinner to have a good night sleep to enjoy fully my visit to the Spa for the next morning.
Breakfast is served at the Venezia Restaurant close to the lobby, food variety is impressive and the staff is very friendly and makes everything possible to accommodate me.
Time to unwind… So Spa is located on the same level as the pool, it is a Thai building in the styles of temples, inviting for a lifetime experience.
While sitting and receiving my hibiscus welcome drink, I take some time to look at the statue in the midst of the pool and feel in peace. Perfect environment to contemplate the world, meditate and get rid of negative energies.
Kanya, my therapist is kind, soft and caring; she enquires about my painful spots and asks me about the intensity of the massage, the signature treatment « So Exhilarating Body Massage » starts with the famous feet washing ritual in a small basin decorated with flowers, after this, I am invited to lie down and close my eyes and enjoy the moment.
I would highly recommend to take this massage before getting on to the plane, I noticed my body was not in pain anymore thanks to the deep tissue technique which is a hard massage but with a soft result.
This stay was too short for me to discover the property in details, I would suggest staying at least 3 nights to be able to fully appreciate Sofitel Krabi and also take a tour with their personal speed boats to the islands.

Special thanks to Khun Nancy from the Public Relations team, Kanya from the Spa and all the hotel team for their care.

Hotel Sofitel Krabi Phokeethra Golf and Spa Resort
200 Moo 3 T.Nongtalay, A.Muang Krabi, Krabi 81000, Thaïlande
+66 75 627 800
For bookings : h6184-RE@sofitel.com

Carpe Diem,
Miss Ambre July 2015

Sofitel Krabi beach Sofitel_lobbySofitel_gqrden sofitel_pool

In the mood to KissKiss…By Guerlain

Miss Ambre wears KissKiss by Guerlain
She has incredible style. And sex appeal. She strolls through the streets of Dubai, floating on high heels. She looks elegant in anything and never overdoes it. Never too dolled up, never too much make-up, she excels in the art of effortless seduction. In her clutch, pressed between her fingertips, lies her weapon of lethal seduction. Her partner, her daily ally. Her KissKiss lipstick, a name that charms like a love letter. The lipstick that she never leaves home without.
KissKiss. It’s a story of seduction created by Guerlain in 1994.
KissKiss is not just another lipstick. It’s an iconic symbol of love with endless qualities. An ode to colour, the encounter between great artists, a prelude to the most beautiful kisses.

A celebration of French seduction,
A homage to eternal femininity,
The elegance of a timeless essential,
The whisper of a passionate kiss.

KissKiss By Guerlain

Available in Dubai Mall (Sephora, Areej)
Mall of The Emirates (Areej, Faces)
Marina Mall
Abu Dhabi Mall (Paris gallery)

Miss Ambre is wearing KissKiss 361 Excessive Rose

Get the brightest skin with Kaya !

I had the smart idea to stay for a few hours in the sun without sunscreen a few weeks ago and ended up having not so lovely freckles on my face and specifically on the upper lip. I started browsing the net and found an interesting link about Kaya’s miracles. In a very short time, my appointment was set with the team of Kaya Mirdiff City Center to try the new Q-switched technology. The laser treatment is not a lightening treatment in the sense that it is not meant to make your skin lighter by a tone. It is meant to make the skin texture more even and reduce the pigmentation due to sun exposure or ageing. I was welcomed by a very friendly team; the first step is a personalized consultation with a dermatologist. Dr. Rihane took time to explain to me why my skin got the pigmentation, the structure of my skin, and some advices to keep my skin in the best shape ever. After that, we lay down in the treatment room comfortably and the skin therapist starts with q skin cleaning and a gentle peeling to prepare the skin for the treatment. Then comes the time of the Q-switched treatment, I was a little bit anxious and did not want to feel pain, Dr. Rihane reassured me and adjusted the level of the treatment to make it painless. After 20 minutes, we are done, I look at myself in the mirror, I am very surprised, my skin is already brighter. The skin will be a little bit red because of the treatment for a few hours and the final result will be visible after 48 hours. In the evening, I did not want to put make up, but when I picked-up my friend and he asked me what I did to look younger and it made me feel so happy! This new treatment involves approximately six to eight sessions, depending on your skin and the way it reacts to the laser. Maintenance sessions are advised if needed. Dr. Rihane advised me avoiding extreme sun exposure and using a tinted sunscreen with a minimum SPF 50 as my skin is very sensitive and thin. Book now to look absolutely amazing after your summer break!
Kaya Skin Clinic everywhere in Dubai
Mirdiff City Center 04 283 9200 10 am-10 pm
04 283 9200

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Be proud if who you are and how you look without makeup

20140716-081946-29986972.jpg
Colbie Caillat, a Grammy songwriter/singer, recently released her song « Try » that talks about today’s beauty standards. Watch their incredible transformation from start to finish. I personally think they look beautiful throughout and even more so at the end. Don’t you agree? Here’s to trying less hard!