Anokina Shahbaz

Welcome, beautiful soul, I'm grateful you are here. I hope you find something of value on these digital pages of mine.

Who I am...

A 30-something year old living in the outskirts of Chicago with my husband and 10-year-old rescue dog, Albert. Proofreader and copy editor by day, daydreamer and muse chaser by night. A daughter, a sister, a friend, a plant and dog mom, and most proudly, an aunt to four beautiful nieces and nephews. Graduate of two California State Universities with a Bachelor's degree in English and a Master's in Counseling. An imperfect Christian, learning how to be a branch abiding in Him, that I may bear much fruit. Chocoholic for life. Gnome collector (before they became popular). And an HSP always trying to find ways to reduce the noise of the world.

What I'm about....

I believe in soul mates, in miracles, and in the undeniable power of kindness to transform our world. My favorite genre of books is memoir because I am peculiarly captivated by and interested in how others spend their "one wild and precious life." Poetry and gifts are my love language. I wholeheartedly live by Maya Angelou's adage that "people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." I am forever searching for my divine purpose on this earth. Acts of compassion and kindness make me cry, as do a laundry list of other things. I agree with Rumi when he said that our task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within ourselves that we have built against it. I am fascinated by psychology and how we are wired from birth and what we become with the cards we are dealt. I think working toward healing our wounds is the most important contribution we can make to this world. Most weekends you can find me googling new coffee shops and dessert spots nearby to explore.

Why I write...

Primarily, to make sense of this whole thing called life. To understand myself and others and our human condition. To try to find the universal within the personal and the personal within the universal. My desire is to make the reader think more deeply about everything, and from that, hopefully gain some insight that will help them. It is also my form of meditation. As Gloria Steinem put it, "Writing is the only thing that, when I do it, it doesn't feel like I should be doing anything else." I write because it grounds me, it gives me hope that maybe everything is not going to hell in a handbasket. Writing is where I find myself and what I want to say. It is the medium through which I express my deepest hopes for our world and each other. It is the lens I use to fathom all the pain we carry, and ultimately, to lighten it — even just a little.

"Write like you're clinging to the edge of a cliff, white knuckles, on your last breath, and you've got just one last thing to say, like you're a bird flying over us and you can see everything, and please, for God's sake, tell us something that will save us from ourselves."
Alan Wilson Watts