From Red Carpet to Burka: My Journey of Transformation


Over 2 years ago, my favorite TV show, The Conversation, produced by Demi Moore and hosted by Amanda de Cadenet, invited me to share my experience as an actress and new mom moving from Hollywood to Arabia.

I wrote about loss of identity, loneliness, depression and the gift of traveling within.

I knew that something within me had been broken, displaced, shattered. But secretly, I'd wake up every day, waiting for the rubble of my inner demolish-ment to be cleared, dumped into the sea and forgotten about forever and ever.

I honestly thought that this demolition of who I knew myself to be would pass like a sour wave and leave me with a clear shore of happiness and carefree-ness to strut on. That everything would be back to normal again and this episode would be behind me.

As I write today, I know it wasn't an episode. It was a major life transition. A breakdown that would, at some point, inevitably, hopefully, lead to a breakthrough.

The deconstruction and reconstruction of the self were never meant to be clean-cut, organized into compact, airtight packages, nicely stored and fit on a shelf. Life is not The Home Depot.

For a woman who has always been in control, whether through my intellect, looks, social status or career, I suddenly panicked at the less than pristine condition I had gotten myself into. Overnight, I was a newly depressed, stay-at-home mom trapped in a compound in Arabia without my glamorous career, friends or clothes.

Shocked and ashamed, every day I fought with myself, looking for a way to clean this stinky mess I was in as if it were a bad diarrhea I could wipe, freshen up and dress up so I could hurry and present my perfect self to the world again.

I was trying to save face and maintain control over the ultimate wild, untamable beast: the human soul and its call to transform.

Since I have written that guest post, I have seen myself transform from an anxious, career-obsessed, beauty-addicted multi-tasker who was ruled by a jam-packed schedule and how others perceived her, to a much more authentic woman who is finally understanding that joy, fulfillment and harmony don't come from control, resistance and status but rather from slowing down, shutting out all the noise and doing the deep inner work of discovering who she truly is and what she truly wants.

In the process, massive shifts starting happening in all areas of my life.

Creativity blossomed. Adventures called. Pleasure deepened. Synchronistic connections sparked. Joy expanded. Life purpose started taking shape.

What inner journey are YOU on? What is YOUR call to transformation telling you? Are you listening or running away from it?

In the comments below, share how you are being called to change and transform. I’d love to know.

Welcome to my journey of transformation. I hope you’ll let me join you on yours.

With love,


4 thoughts on “From Red Carpet to Burka: My Journey of Transformation

  1. commented on April 6, 2015 : Love this and you! I feel so privileged to have been on this journey with you! 
    1. commented on April 13, 2015 : Hi! You haven't signed your name! Which of my beautiful friends and supporters are you?!
  2. commented on April 6, 2015 : My biggest learning in the past was to fiercely listen to me in my process and to trust my way of doing and being. Authenticity is a huge theme in my life, love and work. Respecting My own pace. Remaining Aware and present in my experience whether joyful or painful. Not doing so, comes with a heavy cost of disconnection and sadness.<br /> <br /> My present transformation is taking me towards these main themes:<br /> * embracing the spotlightS to share my knowledge with a much wider audience (which I'm NOT very fond of and I've been shying away from- yet there's a fire in my belly to light the light bulb in people's hearts minds and souls- I know I'll find my own special way of making it happen).<br /> *Asking for more help (because I just have one head and two arms and there's so much I want to get done).<br /> * Exploding my creativity (in any shape or form).<br /> * Connecting and co-creating with movers and shakers who share common values (because those are my people and I'm theirs)<br /> *Being fluid like water. Light as the wind <br /> With time I've mastered listening to my dissatisfactions which forced me to look at what I want right in the eye and find ways to make them happen in my reality- despite life distractions and challenges.<br /> <br /> Confession: I'm in love with transformation. With shedding that skin. The death of my old self and birth of the new. Looking at life at is it and loving what is.<br /> <br /> P.S. Rana, I'm happy you've embarked us on this journey. We need quality dialogues. We need to pause and ask ourself powerful questions. We need to normalize painful feelings. We need more of feeling that it's ok to feel a bit lost and confused, ugly and unskillfull and these unattractive states actually hold lots of wisdom and insights into our fulfillment and encourage us to move forward with joyfulness and purpose. Thank you for creating this platform to make this happen. I know those who will be transformed by you will show up- they know where to find you now. Smiles. Chérine
    1. commented on April 13, 2015 : Cherine, thank you so much for your powerful, honest and beautifully detailed comment. I know anyone reading it can relate to at least one, if not, several, or all of your points (like I did!)<br /> Firstly let me start by saying that you are one ambitious woman! Each one of these calls to transform is substantial, let alone, bunching them up altogether! Truth is, yes, they are linked and work beautifully hand in hand. My thoughts:<br /> *there is this modern-day mass assumption that in order to succeed and feel fulfilled we must work more. Truth is, we need to work BETTER not necessarily more. Knowing your pace, strengths, limitations, pleasures and dislikes allows you to tap into the frequency and flow that make you work, create and connect at your optimal state. So yes, I couldn't agree more: authenticity (i.e getting to know and respect yourself) is the basis for all the rest of the inner and outer growth journey (i.e life!)<br /> *Embracing the spotlight. Such a fascinating subject. I, for instance, am in your opposite category. If I am not "exposed" and connecting visibly with as many people as possible, I feel like a flower fading without light and oxygen. With the exposure of course can come many unpleasant drawbacks such as being judged, misunderstood, ridiculed, invasion of privacy, even insult, jealousy and flat-out hatred. But because I am simply wired as a "confessional artist", a person who must create from her own life and soul resources, I take any of those side-effects gladly because that is the only way I can create and share: rawly, vulnerably and in an exposed way. The limit of course being the wellbeing of my family and loved ones. Question: Isn't uncomfort of the spotlight simply an uncomfort to bare it all? (which is a very valid reason!) but isn't it just fear of shattering our self-image, mystery, the image or mystery, respect or opinion others have of us? Once there is a complete lack of importance on how we are perceived as others, doesn't this discomfort of spotlight simply vanish along with it?<br /> *Being fluid with what life gives you. That my friend if you are able to master, well you are a master. And mine too! It is especially difficult for ambitious driven and passionate people to be fluid because they have such a specific vision dream passion planted in their hearts and minds that they want to materialize and share with others. My amazing yoga teacher, Marie Besso used to always tell me that yoga is a metaphor for life because it is all about balancing EFFORTING and SURRENDERING. And it always stuck with me. We must effort with vision love passion and purpose, then when we have done that, immediately balance it out with letting it go. Repeat. easier said than done but a hugely powerful exercise.<br /> *You talk about confronting your dissatisfactions as a way of better identifying what you desire and seek. I could not agree more. I think there is an overwhelming trend, which I have been part of way too long, of constantly forcing yourself to be positive and upbeat at all times. I am naturally a positive grateful and happy person and I certainly adhere to the energetic principle of where your attention goes, energy flows. But I also believe we are complex beings and have a very diverse emotional landscape that needs to be respected and listened to. In L.A, as a new-age actress, I was all about remaining super positive at all times so that i could attract everything my heart desired and be as happy as I could be. Some of it definitely worked. Being positive grateful passionate and inspired gave me the drive to chase after what i wanted, meet equally inspired people and attract the right people and events into my personal life and career. BUT ALSO: it kept me from dealing with the truth. I was creatively blocked and addicted to perfection instead of allowing myself to be human and flawed. 2 attributes which I later learned actually make you a way more interesting person, creator, activist and thinker! My experience in Saudi shattered all those myths of constant positivity and perfection. It was harsh but ultimately such a blessing.<br /> <br /> Cherine, it is such a privilege to have you join me and us on this journey. You have started paving the way towards cultivating a more authentic happy self with last year and I am honored to be part of your tribe as well! Hopefully more and more women, men and children can start realizing-or remembering their truth- that they are not just allowed but that is it their RESPONSABILITY towards themselves and the world to be their own authentic true honest and unique selves.<br /> All Love,<br /> Rana

Uncover Your Thoughts
You Matter. We Want to Hear You.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *