Yoga and meditation helped me find my way in Qatar

By Barbara (United Kingdom)

This is a quote my mum used to tell me every time I was getting something good in my life.  However, looking at how my life is shaping up and the experiences I have had, I challenge my mum! I wouldn’t say that I was born with a lucky star, rather I would say that I am the star that shined bright, by lighting the path I chose in life by knowing who I am, loving myself for who I am, and focusing on what I want.

Looking at the disruptive moments in my life, I can consider myself as quite a lucky person. I have had disruptive moments, however when reviewing them, I do not feel they have been major ones. I just see them as temporary roadblocks that I have faced with the mindset of getting over them, not getting stuck in the how and why and always looking forward.

Not being a sports person ever in my life, I discovered yoga and meditation almost 20 years ago, and I just loved it. There are 3 main learnings I got from the practice that have helped during challenging times:

  1. Our mindset limits before our body does it. Our own fears limit us.
  2. The importance of finding our own path, being ourselves, and doing the things that make us happy.
  3. Look at things from the outside to gain perspective.

I have lived in three different countries with my kids and husband, however living in the Middle East, Qatar, was the most disruptive experience in all senses. In theory my husband was starting in Qatar as the manager of a hospitality group, however when we got there there was nothing: no job, no house, no salary …  nothing. We found ourselves having to start from scratch in quite a challenging country and society. We had left a wealthy comfortable life to be in a hostile and extremely expensive place ,where we had to find our way alone.

On top of the pressure of having a huge monthly fixed cost for schools and basic housing, we moved houses six times in a year,  we did not have papers leading to the kids were expelled from the school, I found myself paying a driver that I crashed my car with to avoid calling the police, I had tea with Syrian refugees, and I even successfully managed to get the immigration department to arrange by papers using my working contract even if I was a woman and my husband had to be the head of the family.

Both my husband and I were so focused on finding our way that we did it: we ended up setting a catering company, serving hundreds of meals per day, managing events for over one thousand people, working up to 20 hours some days, giving service seven days per week, and demonstrating to ourselves that we were stronger than we could ever have imagined. Overcoming roadblocks just contribute to becoming even stronger.  Whenever anyone asks me about our experience in Qatar, I always say it was my best experience ever, as I consider all that it brought to me as a person and to the whole family.

So, if you ask me about whether I have a lucky star, I can assure you that we are the stars that shined bright and created our own light and luck.


2 thoughts on “Yoga and meditation helped me find my way in Qatar

19 January 2021

YOU are the hero, Barbara! What an amazing journey in a foreign country and through foreign internal territory ! Thank you so much for sharing your experience with us.

25 January 2021

Hi Barbara, I loved this and the three takeaways resonated super well with me. I wrote them down in my notebook! Thanks for sharing your story.

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