Stories Of The Soul Podcast

By Najwa Zebian

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Category: Self-Improvement

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We live our daily lives thinking that no one can see what’s going on inside of us. We wish to be seen and heard. We wish for that pain to just go away. Stories of the Soul brings you stories of people you meet every day. It opens your eyes to the depth that lies beneath the surface of every person’s exterior, just like the depth that lies beneath your exterior. In Stories of the Soul, you will listen to interviews with people from all walks of life. You will learn the beauty of digging deeper with your everyday relationships. You will also realize that you are not alone and that you are part of a bigger community of those who believe in the power of stories. You will learn that you can rise after your fall. And that you can own your healing as you’ve owned your pain. This podcast will be the springboard to your healing. Are you ready?

Episode Date
011 | Najwa | Why Forgiveness Will Set You Free

We have a special show today as good friend and business partner, Corey interviews Najwa who shares her how her take on forgiveness has evolved over the years.

This show is a deeply personal one as Najwa shares some heart-wrenching details about how her near and dear ones caused her immense hurt and pain that changed the course of her life. Her struggle to forgive and forget affected Najwa’s mental and physical health. Sounds familiar? Has a refusal to forgive someone affected your well-being as well?

Forgiveness is a common theme that most of us grapple with on a regular basis. When we are not treated properly, our first instinct is often that of vengeance. There are yet others who refuse to forgive unless tendered a formal apology. Both these approaches are inherently flawed and end up hurting the person that matters the most – YOU.

Najwa reveals how she eventually reached out to her wrongdoer in their hour of need. Would you have done the same if you were in her place? Are you better off isolating yourself completely in such situations? And, was Najwa finally at peace when her wrongdoer apologized to her?   

In today’s show, listeners are reminded of the immense power of forgiveness. Listeners will learn how cultivating a forgiving attitude can help them retain the faith required to build new and healthy relationships. 

The gist of today’s show is beautifully surmised in this poem:

Today, I decide to forgive you 

Not because you apologized, not because you deserved my forgiveness

But because my soul deserves peace

Tune in now for some wonderful nuggets!



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Dec 04, 2019
010 | Corey | How to Bridge Emotional Distance with Your Parents

In today’s show, Najwa interviews Corey who discusses the challenges of being raised by a single parent. In line with the theme of our show, listeners will learn how Corey eventually managed to forgive both his parents and then move on with his life.

In the first segment of the show, Corey, Najwa’s business partner jogs his memory to share some of the first recollections of his childhood. One of his first memories is that of his mom crying after getting abruptly laid off. Is this when Corey realized that he did not have a dad? And, once this realization hit him, what defense mechanism did he adopt to deal with this pain?

As a teenager, Corey expressed his desire to connect with his dad. However, his mom put her foot down and prevented him from doing so. Did Corey hold a grudge against his mom for inflicting her opinions on him?

Finally, as a 21-year old, Corey had his first-ever conversation with his dad. How did this pan out? Was he nervous? Unsure about how to handle the years of pent up feelings, Corey’s defense mechanism kicked in, and he chose to have a “super casual” conversation instead. Should you mask your pain and refrain from discussing your most arduous feelings?

Towards the end of the show, Corey reveals that his relationship with his father has achieved some semblance of normalcy. Has he managed to let go off his emotional baggage, and finally move on with this life? Has Corey managed to forgive his parents?

If you are struggling to bridge the emotional distance with your parents or children, listening to this show will give you some excellent insights. Tune in now!


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Nov 27, 2019
009 | Alana | How I Survived Emotional Manipulation and Regained My Mental Well-being

In today’s show, our interviewee Alana shares her heart-wrenching and unbelievable tale of emotional manipulation. 

Our interviewee, an admirable young lady started struggling with postpartum anxiety in her thirties, met a charismatic and successful woman, a leader of a popular personal development company whom she thought would help her deal with this anxiety. Alana’s yearning for a powerful figure to lean on meant that she instantly started idolizing her “mentor”. 

However, the mentor had ulterior and self-serving motives.

Alana shares how she lost herself in the torrent of emotional abuse that followed. Because this emotional abuse was sugar-coated with false compliments, our interviewee explained away her poor treatment, and in the process lost herself and her own identity.

A year later, Alana hit her lowest lows. She shares how she resorted to therapy to regain her mental health and emotional well-being. 

So, how did Alana go from being fiercely independent to being servile and dependent? Why did she fail to see through this false façade of love? Should you avoid believing that people have your best interests in mind? In this segment of the show, you will learn why it is important to always keep your guard up, and recognize toxic and abusive people for who they truly are.

Alana shares how a vengeful attitude will boomerang to hurt the person that matters most – you. The latter segment of the show is particularly interesting as our interviewee shares how she managed to forgive the wrongdoings of her “mentor”. 

Listeners will learn how creating boundaries and maintaining communication can help you achieve closure. 

Tune in for some excellent insights!


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Sparks of Phoenix

Mind Platter

Nectar of Pain

10 Steps to Let Go of Them

Nov 20, 2019
008 | Jenan | The Devastating Effect of War on Children & Families

In today’s show, our interviewee Jenan recalls her move to Canada from war-stricken Lebanon and reveals the immense struggles she faced as she attempted to start a new life in a foreign country.

This show starts with Jenan remembering how 30 years back, in 1989, her family fled Lebanon to escape war and find a better, secure life. As a 17-year-old who barely spoke English, Jenan found this move difficult to stomach. Failing to recognize her parent’s wisdom, she blamed them for taking her away from her friends and culture.

In this segment of the show, listeners will get a first-hand account of the trauma and inner turmoil that war has inflicted on thousands of innocent civilians.

Did Canadians accept Jenan for who she was? In the initial years, were her poor communication skills a huge hindrance for her? And, did people take advantage of her as she yearned for acceptance and love? Here, Jenan reminds us how a state of inner turmoil causes us to internalize reactions and become over-sensitive to people’s comments and reactions. Listeners will also learn the importance of standing up to people who treat you poorly and take you for granted.

This struggle for acceptance pushed Jenan into an early relationship and marriage. Today, she leads a secure and happy life with her daughter.

How did Jenan finally achieve closure, forgive the war, the people who triggered it, and finally move on with her life? Wanting to say a “proper goodbye”, she shares how she went back to Lebanon with her 18-month daughter. In this extremely personal recollection, our interviewee reveals how she had an emotional breakdown as she visited her childhood home.

This heart-wrenching story is a jarring reminder about the devastating impact that war has on innocent civilians. Towards the end, we discuss President Trump’s inhumane immigrant policies which have separated children from their families.

 Tune in to this thought-provoking show now!


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10 Steps to Let Go of Them

Nov 13, 2019
007 | Yoda | How to Overcome Your Personal Traumas and Rediscover Freedom and Peace

In today’s show, our interviewee Yoda, a chef and author by profession, recalls a traumatic and deeply personal experience from her teenage years.

This show starts with Yoda recalling her life as a 17-year old adventurous teen. Her story revolves mainly around Louis, her childhood friend. As is common in formative years, Louis developed feelings for our interviewee. However, Yoda was dismissive of these affections.

To escape the monotony of small-town life, Yoda shares that she took to underage drinking and drugs. On finding herself alone on a Thanksgiving weekend, she decided to throw a big party where alcohol and drugs were freely available. Unfortunately, this evening of “harmless fun” had a tragic and unexpected twist.

At the party, Louis was shocked to see her with another guy. When Louis tried to express his feelings and Yoda, high on drugs, failed to acknowledge those feelings. Deep in emotional turmoil, Louis walked to a friend’s place, found access to a firearm and shot himself in the head.

The next morning, Yoda got a call from Louis’s mother, who was understandably quivering with rage. 

Yoda rushed to the hospital where she met Louis. Still, in ICU and under psychiatric supervision, Louis was not willing to talk about what had transpired. Fortunately, the bullet had missed Louis’s brain, and he had survived.

While Yoda tried to reestablish connection with Louis after this incident, eventually they drifted apart with Louis starting a new life in another town.

Yoda shares the guilt and shame that she experienced after this incident. Moreover, as her reputation took a hit, many of her friends started to avoid her.

We are forced to contemplate several questions after hearing this rather tragic story of teenage emotions. For instance, should Yoda blame herself for Louis’s failure to take rejection in his stride? Should teenagers deal with their peers and friends more sensitively? And, is it possible to recognize beforehand such depressive tendencies among children?

Towards the end, Yoda shares how after years of personal turmoil, she has finally managed to forgive herself and move on with her life.



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10 Steps to Let Go of Them

Nov 06, 2019
006 | Phillip Millar | A Compassionate Look at the Legal System and the Need to Cultivate Forgiveness

This show starts with our interviewee, Phillip sharing his background information. A lawyer by profession, he also served in the military in Yugoslavia back in 1992. Phillip shares how war perpetrated a lack of forgiveness among the Yugoslavian people. This experience of his resulted in a keen desire to help people on a mass scale.

How do you stop people from killing one another? How can you do your bit to get individuals, cultures, and groups to forget their animosity and forgive one another? While skeptics may deem this impossible, our interviewee’s story certainly proves otherwise.

Phillip then shares various client anecdotes which show how he is propagating forgiveness on a mass scale through his legal profession. While the law is meant to empower the wronged, often it is used as a tool to exact vengeance. Listeners will be reminded that such a toxic attitude tends to affect not only the wrongdoer but also you.

For instance, Phillip informs us that in divorce cases, the law is sometimes used as a weapon to satiate spite and hurt. But will stripping your partner off his/her assets make you feel better?

Phillip also talks about the many heart-breaking cases of rape that he deals with. What sort of legal compensation can you expect in such cases? Does the law award damages for counseling/therapeutic expenses? Listeners will get a “peek” into the judicial system in this segment of the show.

Next, you will learn about young boys and Phillip reminds us that, more often than not, these “criminals” are victims themselves.

Can you judge boys and men with a broken childhood? Would you have found your way through the maze of life without the presence of any positive role model? To further buttress his point, Phillip cites the example of the legal system in Scandinavia – a country with the lowest jail sentences AND the lowest crime rates in the world. In this segment, listeners will be reminded why understanding is the first step towards forgiveness.

If you are consumed by vengeance and/or struggling to forgive, this is a show you do not want to miss. Tune in now!



Najwa Zebian

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Sparks of Phoenix

Mind Platter

Nectar of Pain

10 Steps to Let Go of Them

Oct 30, 2019
005 | Sarah | What Poisons Your Water? Forgiveness Inside and Outside the Classroom

In today’s show, our interviewee Sarah, a teacher by profession shares how adopting a rational attitude has allowed her to forgive and forget. As a bonus, listeners will get a peek into the teaching profession as our interviewee discusses the many challenges that she routinely faces.

This show starts with Sarah sharing her background information. As an older person with rich and varied experiences, she has a refreshing approach to teaching. Listeners will learn how Sarah goes above and beyond her call of duty by attempting to connect with her students, and understand their problems on a personal level.

Sarah shares her experience with a difficult child who was facing umpteen challenges at school as well as home. Unhappy with the negative and somewhat outdated approach, she patiently managed to build up a deep personal connection with not only the child but also the child’s family.

But, how did her colleagues react to her radical teaching method? And, eventually why did this approach lead to friction at her workplace? In this segment of the show, listeners are reminded how your colleagues are prone to making quick and unfair judgments without any underlying rationale.

We are also reminded that, sadly, most of us have an extremely hard time accepting change.  Sarah goes on to share how she managed to forgive her colleague for her rather ungracious behavior.

What is the key to forgiving people who have treated you badly and caused you to hurt? Should you distance yourself completely from these people? Or, should you forget the past, and attempt to build a new relationship?

Next, listeners will learn how Sarah handles difficult and challenging children. She admits that her students often make remarks that are hurtful and uncalled for. In such stressful situations, how do you maintain an impersonal attitude and keep your eyes firmly on your long term goal?

Further, as a mother of three children, our interviewee also shares her parenting approach. How do you make a child or a teenager realize the gravity of their actions? Listeners will learn why having an open and rational communication channel is key to dealing with childhood issues.

Towards the end, our interviewee has some excellent advice for teenagers who are struggling with forgiveness. Tune in for some excellent pearls of wisdom!


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10 Steps to Let Go of Them


Oct 23, 2019
004 | David | How Forgiveness and Emotional Transparency can Help You Build Healthy Relationships with Your Parents

In this show, Najwa conducts an emotional and insightful interview that is full of great tips on how to build or mend a parent-child relationship.

In this show, our interviewee David reveals how his relationship with his father suffered a setback and they stopped talking for a while following a heated argument. A protective son, David stood up for his mother and asked his father to help out with household chores. His father did not take kindly to this suggestion, and, in a fit of anger, stated that he wished that his son was never born.

David, reeling in hurt and shock, distanced himself from his father. However, over time, he realized that he needed to overlook the negatives in his father, and concentrate on the positives instead.

In this show, we delve deeply into the nuances of a parent-child relationship and contemplate why relationships tend to go sour over time. We point out how men and women have different ways of tackling emotions and relationships. Men, particularly the older ones, have a difficult time expressing their feelings and showing vulnerability.

How can you, as a child, ensure that you don’t drift away from your father as you grow older? And, how can fathers understand their children, and do their bit to keep their bond healthy and strong?

The most important takeaway from this show is the power of forgiveness. David reveals how he ended the impasse with his father. Choosing to move on, David expressed how proud he was of his father. His older and now-mellow father completely broke down and hugged his son.

Hearing David recount his heart-wrenching personal experiences makes us realize that it is better to move on sooner rather than later. Are you losing out on years of warmth and laughter because you are not making the first move to mend your relationship? David urges listeners to avoid sliding into the typical mentality where emotional transparency is perceived as a sign of weakness.

We wrap up this show with some great tips on how to tackle anxiety and depression. Tune in for some excellent insights!

Oct 16, 2019
003 | Saira | Arranged Marriages: Breaking Out of Shame and Forgiveness

In today’s show, our interviewee, Saira shares her heart-wrenching story in which she experiences a failed marriage, physical abuse, financial abuse, and emotional trauma. How did Saira manage to forgive the people who put her through this distress? Read on as we reveal her amazing story.

Saira, Muslim by religion, was residing in Canada when she first met her ex-husband, a Saudi national. At the urging of friends and family, Saira ended up marrying her now ex-husband and moved to Saudi Arabia to stay with him. 

In a short marriage lasting barely 9 months, Saira conceived her daughter. Why did Sarah continue with an abusive relationship for so long? In this segment of the show, listeners will get a peek into arranged marriages which are present in many cultures around the world. You will learn that women across the globe, fearing a societal backlash, often sacrifice their self-respect and continue with an unhappy marriage.

When Saira returned home to Canada, her troubles did not go away. In fact, they simply compounded. She discovered that her sister-in-law had created misunderstandings between all her family members. And, if this were not enough, she also discovered that her sister-in-law was fleecing her mother and brother off hundreds of thousands of dollars.

So, how did Saira’s sister-in-law react when her intentions were finally uncovered? Did Saira and her family report her to the police? And, did Saira’s sister-in-law play a role in spoiling Saira’s marriage? As this shocking and sad story unravels, listeners will surely feel Saira’s pain and hurt.

Towards the end, Saira shares how her daughter constantly misses her father. Having grown up without a father, Saira can completely relate to her daughter. Can a single parent provide a healthy and wholesome upbringing to a child? Hearing the plight of her daughter will make listeners realize how divorce and separation affect young children. 

So, has Saira managed to forgive and move on? How have her experiences changed her outlook toward life?  Tune in for some excellent pearls of wisdom!


You Can Heal Your Life

Oct 09, 2019
002 | Jenna | Moving on From Eating Disorders and Numbing Methods, Gaining Powerful Habits for Building Self Love

In today’s show, Najwa interviews Jenna who shares her struggles with self-love and addiction. What are some of the negative consequences of a poor self-image? And, what are some effective ways of addressing these issues?

Jenna started grappling with self-image issues when she hit puberty at the age of 13. As her body started to change, she became obsessed with losing weight. Slowly but surely, this led to bulimia. How did this eating disorder have a ripple effect on all aspects of her life?

In the next segment of the show, listeners will learn how Jenna relied on drugs and alcohol to push herself through. What are the ill consequences of numbing your senses? Jenna shares how her approach fueled a need for instant gratification. This is what eventually pushed her towards a toxic and abusive relationship.

On realizing her follies, Jenna ultimately embarked on a painful but necessary journey of self-improvement, leaving behind love that she knew was true and pure but needed to be left behind. In the next segment of the show, Jenna has some excellent advice for those who wish to stop numbing and find the courage to face the realities of life once again.

To help listeners gain perspective, Jenna likens the self-improvement process to building a house. Like building a house, self-improvement requires patience and immense effort, especially when you are doing it for the first time.

This serves as a good segue to our next topic which is about building healthy relationships. Eventually, as Jenna cleaned herself up, she found healthy unconditional love – a love that is honest, transparent and without any agendas. Can you find true love if you do not love yourself? Was it a coincidence that Jenna transitioned to a healthy relationship once she sorted out her issues?

Finally, Jenna gives listeners a reality check and shares her concept of “building a home within yourself”. Even on finding true love, Jenna points out that you cannot lose yourself completely in a relationship. How do you ensure that the fine line between being grateful and being completely dependent is not crossed?  

If you are struggling with self-image issues, this is a show that you cannot miss.

Tune in for some excellent nuggets!


Atomic Habits

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Oct 02, 2019
001 | Welcome To Stories Of The Soul

This podcast was started because Najwa wants to connect with each and every one of us on a different level. To speak to us directly and share stories that will open our eyes to the world around us and let us know that we are not alone.

The theme for the first season of this podcast is “Forgiveness.” 

This is because Najwa personally struggled with this for a very long time and had a different understanding of what she thought it meant to forgive someone.

She openly shares her feelings about forgiveness, talking about the weight of the pain and how it made her feel and what it eventually made her realize.

Do you have the skills of forgiveness to become the best you that you can be?

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Sep 26, 2019