In her new book 37 Lessons on How to Gain from Loss: A Believer’s Journey from Trial to Triumph, spiritual coach and trainer Huma Z. Ahmed uses her expertise and personal experience with loss to offer advice to help others see their way through grief.
Huma Z. Ahmed is an Author, Certified Spiritual Self-discovery & Mindset Coach, Trainer, Inspirational Speaker, Youtuber and the initiator of Trial to Triumph movement which is all about learning “how to take your trials, losses and lacks as turning points of your life and transform them into triumphs, gains and abundance“.
Her mission is to heal, align and lead Women from trials, losses and lacks to triumphs, gains and abundance by empowering them with Spiritually Healthy Mindsets for Success and Excellence. Her methodology involves guiding women to use their hearts, heads and hands in harmony to create everlasting happiness in their lives. Her writing like all her other work focuses on the spiritual art of allowing restrained caterpillars the freedom of being enlightened butterflies.
37 Lessons on How to Gain from Loss
God created trials, so He could test you with your truth. You are born free, but you must learn to be free. 37 Lessons on How to Gain from Loss is my own story of remembering, realizing and reaffirming this basic human truth.
Drenched in pain, I had limped so far on the Road of Loss that I had lost my way back home. I finally approached the point of no return. However, upon setting my last step on the fall’s edge, I was thundered by yet another torment—of losing my mother. Finding myself trapped in the most turbulent flight for the next twenty-four hours, I was taxed by a tremendous choice, not between action and non-action, or belief and unbelief, but rather between choice and none at all. Would I resist or submit to my tribulation?
My story will resonate with every human being waiting to transform their tragedy into treasure.
Huma shared her thoughts on writing, productivity, good habits and writer’s block.
Do you have another profession besides being a writer? If so, what is it, and how does it contribute to your writing?
Yes. I am a Certified Spiritual Self-discovery & Mindset Coach and Trainer.
Simply put, coaching is inherently refocusing yourself towards desirable results by asking quality questions and listening actively for answers. Mindset work is consciously training your mind i.e. your inner beliefs and subconscious patterns by aligning your self-sabotaging and self-destructive thoughts and subsequent feelings and actions to constructive ones.
Here are a few ways in which my profession rubs off its colors over my writing. Firstly, with the help of these tools, I am able to weed out my own limiting beliefs and fears that hinder my progress as a writer and limit the quality of my writing by replacing them with constructive thoughts and actions. Other benefits have been refining the quality of the writing process, enjoying my writing endeavors and experiencing ease, flow and fulfillment during the process.
Moreover, my non-fiction self-help book, 37 Lessons on how to gain from loss—my own personal transformation story—is packed with lessons and simple action steps. Coaching enabled me to shape my own learnings into simple and practical action steps for my readers to follow and implement in their own lives thus, replicating transformations.
Secondly, what I learn from coaching my clients and other people who cross my path in life allows me to guide and heal others with similar challenges through my words.
What was your hardest scene to write so far?
For my latest non-fiction book, there have been quite a few difficult scenes to write where I had to constantly wipe off my tears while penning them down. One that was particularly hard for me was a scene from the chapter “The Plane Journey” from my book 37 Lessons on how to gain from loss.
It’s a scene where I am on my way to the airport for a journey of more than 24 hours to meet my mother who has been just shifted from the hospital to hospice. My phone flashes with a text from my brother with a supplication to recite for someone about to die. Although, I am blessed to be healed from my mother’s loss but writing it meant going back into the past and standing in that moment experiencing everything once again.
As a writer, I was confronted by a huge choice i.e. to prefer my own comfort over others and I chose the latter. As writers, we have to be clear about what we are writing, why we are writing it and for whom we are writing. Then, do whatever it takes to make it happen even if it involves reminding ourselves to get out of our own way and choose our purpose over our own selves.
What is your most productive writing habit?
I would say self-discipline. When you think about writing a 100,000 words novel, it seems like climbing Mount K-2 in the Himalayas. The thought itself puts you into procrastination. Having a practical routine that works for you is one of the most productive habits you can develop as a writer.
Having a set time and place to write every day even if it is as little as 30 minutes will make you productive and efficient generally raising the quality of your life overall and specifically as a writer. At the surface, it seems insignificant and might give an appearance of not achieving much but in the long run, it’s your key to building a successful writing career.
Personally, I was also taken aback several times just at the thought of accomplishing a book within 60,000 – 100,000 words. Therefore, I thought of a plan of action and developed it into a habit. Living one day at a time and living it big by setting a writer’s discipline routine had worked for me in getting past the initial overwhelm and just making it happen. I believe it can work for anyone who is struggling with procrastination. Before long, you will be standing at the top of Mount K-2 looking back at all those tiny daily steps you took with a smile.
Do you believe in writer’s block?
Yes and No. Let me explain.
Spirituality shapes me and my life. Hence, I approach everything from a holistic approach of mind, body, heart and spirit connection. You can be in any one of these two modes as an individual at any given time. A sender’s mode or a receiver’s mode. When you are in any artistic process such as writing, you are in the receptive mode allowing inspiration to flow through you from the spiritual realm into the 3D physical realm. Every creative person knows that at least subconsciously but the question is if they understand it.
When a writer gets stuck and cannot experience this creative flow with ease, it is labeled as “the writer’s block”. This is simply a lack of understanding of our own self, our current mode and being distant from the state of being. The following questions lend clarity. Where does the writer currently stand? In the sender’s mode. Where does the writer need to go? To the receiver’s mode. How can the writer get there? By being open to receive.
Creativity flows through you when you allow it. But, when you get in your own way by any kind of lack-mindset thought and/or feeling such as doubt, over-perfectionism, procrastination, problem-focused attitude, you disallow this universal connection to the spiritual realm and hence, you experience a block. Of course, you feel blocked because your channel is congested with sending signals of lack and is therefore not open to receive the abundance of creativity, inspiration, ease and flow.
What’s the best way to market your books?
I believe the best way to market your books is through brand development and using every channel and opportunity whether online or offline to grow your presence and outreach. This is not an overnight thing. It’s a gradual long-term process and involves time, effort and consistent and conscious action.
Clarify your author’s identity. What do you write, why do you write and who do you write for? Create a brand identity based on it. Be yourself and consider yourself as a brand. Present yourself to your audience through social media as well as through offline interactions as an author. Be present in their lives. Connect and engage with them by sharing your authentic author’s voice and message. Add value. Deliver consistently. Expand your market. Build a tribe that resonates with your author identity. Enjoy the process. Grow constantly and consciously.