Get Real With Aseel

An empowerment podcast encouraging people to get real and embrace their authenticity to lead passionate and purposeful lives.

The importance of having a Mastermind Group in our lives should never be underestimated. This episode covers what a Mastermind group is and how you can go about starting one. The quality of your life depends on noone else but YOU.


10 Facts about Grief and Grieving

By Dr Bill Webster

One reason that we often find grief such a difficult challenge is that we have never learned what to expect. The following facts will help you understand some crucial truths about grief and grieving and how we can work through the process to find healing.

    1.  Grief is normal.

Grief is not a disease. It is the normal, human response to a significant loss.  People may encourage you to “be strong” or “not to cry”.  But how sad it would be if someone we cared about died and we didn’t cry or we carried on as if nothing had happened.  I’d like to think that someone will miss me enough to shed a tear after I’m gone.  Wouldn’t you?  When you lose someone special from your life you are going to grieve.  Our grief is saying that we miss the person and that we’re struggling to adjust to a life without that special relationship.  Admittedly, saying that grief is NORMAL does not minimize it’s DIFFICULTY.  It may be one of the most challenging experiences of your life.  But you are not crazy, or weak, or “not handling things”.  You are experiencing grief and after a significant loss that is a normal response. 

     2.  The worst kind of grief is YOURS

A loss is a very personal matter.  Your loss seems like the worst possible thing that could have happened to you.  Sometimes people ask if it is more difficult to lose a spouse than to lose a child.  Others question if it is worse to lose someone after a long lingering illness or if they die suddenly and unexpectedly from a heart attack or in an accident.  While these circumstances make each loss different, they are not important to you right now.  The worst kind of loss is yours.  When you lose a significant person from your life, whatever the relationship, it hurts and nothing takes away from your right to feel the loss and grief the absence of that person from your life. 

    3.  The way out of grief is through it.

Grief is painful.  Loss is one of the most difficult human experiences.  There is no easy way around it.  We may try to avoid the pain.  We may attempt to get over it as quickly as possible.  But most often it simply does not work that way.  Helen Keller said “The only

way to get to the other side is to go through the door”.  We need to find the courage to go through this experience of grief.  Learning this is a major key to recovery. 

    4.  Your grief is intimately connected to the relationship

Every relationship holds a special and unique significance to us.  To fully interpret our grief response we need to understand what the relationship brought to my life and therefore what has been lost from my life.  We may grieve the loss of a parent differently from the loss of a friend.  Each made a different contribution to our lives.  What we have lost is not the same and so we grieve differently.  Two individuals, both experiencing the loss of a spouse, may grieve quite differently because of the differing circumstances (the duration, level of happiness etc) of the relationship. 

    5.  Grief is hard work

A grief response is often referred to as “Grief-work”.  It requires more energy to work through than most people expect.  It takes a toll on us physically and emotionally.  This is why we often feel so fatigued after a loss or why we may feel very apathetic towards people and events.  The problem is often compounded by people’s expectations of us to be strong or pull ourselves together or to get on with life. 

    6.  Your grief will take longer than most people think

How long will grief last?  It is finished when it is finished.  The first few months may be particularly intense.  The first year is difficult: especially the first Christmas or Hanukkah, the first birthday, anniversary, Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day, “a year ago today day” and many other times that remind us of our loss.  All are difficult days and we need to anticipate them, know they are normal and be compassionate with ourselves.    Some     writers describe  the  second year of grief as the lonely year when the realization of the life without the deceased becomes even more of a reality.  Take your time.  As John Donne says “He who has no time to mourn, has no time to mend.”  Grief always takes longer than people expect. 

     7.  Grief is unpredictable

You may experience a wide variety of feelings and reactions, not just those generally associated with grief, like sadness, crying, depression etc.  Some of your responses may seem quite uncharacteristic.   “This isn’t like me”, you may think.  Grief is unpredictable.  We cannot present it in a neat predictable package.  Just when you think you have it figured out something comes along to surprise us.  In an unexpected moment, suddenly, without warning you find yourself missing the person again.  In fact the one predictable thing about grief is that it is unpredictable.

     8.  There may be “Secondary losses” to deal with.

The death of any individual, difficult as that may be by itself, may also precipitate many other changes in your life.  For some it may mean the loss of financial security, a home, or even their independence.  For some it may mean the loss of a role: eg the role of being a parent to a child who dies.  For others it may be the loss of our hopes and dreams of “living happily ever after” or enjoying retirement together, or having dad walk me down the aisle.  There may be many losses - environment, status, alteration of relationships - because of the death.  Each one has it’s own impact and each loss needs to be mourned.

    9.  Grief comes and goes

We have said that grief is not a disease.  If you have a sore throat, it is painful for a few days, then the pain eases off and gradually disappears.  Grief does not work that way, however. Our healing process is different from a sickness model.   Sometimes, at first, we do not feel the pain of grief because we are in shock and numb.  Often the pain is more intense some months after the event.  Even then grief is not unlike a roller coaster.  One day we feel pretty good,

the next we find ourselves in the depths of despair.  Just when we think we are getting over it we may experience another devastating setback.  This can be discouraging to those who do not know what is happening.   Most have not learned that grief comes and goes and takes much longer than most people expect.  We need to realize that this is the way grief works itself out and trust that the process, difficult as it is, is helping us work towards reconciliation. 

    10.  Effective grief work is not done alone

Society has unrealistic expectations about mourning and often responds inappropriately.  Most people do not understand what is normal in grief, expecting us to get over it quickly and expressing these expectations in a way that seems less than sensitive.   Many people mistakenly believe that grief is so personal we want to keep it to ourselves.  People mean well, but they are not being helpful.  Sometimes when people are using cliches or expressing unrealistic expectations we feel like shutting ourselves away.  Often they feel uncomfortable with our grief and so, shortly after the funeral is over, the person or the loss is not mentioned.  There sometimes seems to be a conspiracy of silence.  People are afraid to say or do the wrong thing so they say and do nothing which is possibly the worst thing.  Grieving people need to talk.  Not everyone will be willing or even able to respond to you.  In fairness, not everyone can.  Accept that and try to find a support group or a counsellor who can help.  Or talk to someone who has been through a similar experience.  I believe in the power of shared experiences, and often others who have been through the deep places can be a real help.  Grief is about coping with the loss of a relationship and often in a helping relationship, relief can be found.



Meet dog lovers like YOU!

March 2018, Toronto, ON. A dating app strictly for dog owners? Why not? Research shows that people with dogs are perceived as more approachable, happier and empathetic. And that’s what the team behind the app that allows you to set up playdates for your dog, or real dates for yourself on both iPhone and Android devices is banking on. Sniffr is the original dating/ lifestyle app for dog lovers.

Sniffr has been on the forefront of niche social networking apps allowing users to narrow their prospects from the ever increasing populations of what are now traditional dating apps such as Tinder and Bumble. Not limiting themselves to just singles, changing the relationship status allows couples to use the apps features to find doggie dates for their fur babies. Think of it as having all the social aspects of the dog park built into an app.

“People run into dog owners everywhere, at the park, on the street, in the elevator etc. Though interactions may be frequent, they are often brief and don’t allow for much more than small talk. Sniffr enables you to find those same owners and take the time needed to have proper interaction and set up that first walk or date. Sniffr is not exclusive to singles and allows the user to decide if they want to use its functions for their dog or themselves.” says Scott Darling, the app’s co-founder.

So, how does it work?

Users create a joint profile using photos of themselves with their dogs. GPS is used to locate other users and profiles are displayed in a scrollable 3x4 tile layout or through a map view. Sniff/like photos, favourite profiles and start a conversation, it’s that simple! You can even get coupons for local dog products and services.

Why is it a must have?

Sniffr has introduced The Sniffr Alert, a lost/stolen dog alert system that functions similar to an Amber Alert. With the touch of the screen, owners can instantly alert all users nearby with the photo, description and last know location of their dog. By moving away from the inefficient method of posting to other social media platforms and hoping for shares, Sniffr aims to significantly reduce the time in which dogs remain lost and increase the percentage of dogs returned to their owners.

About Sniffr

It's a dog-meet-dog world out there and the Sniffr app helps you meet dog lovers like you. Use the app to make new friends, plan playdates or real dates with other dog lovers nearby. Plus the Sniffr Alert system lets you instantly notify all users in the event your dog becomes lost or stolen. A MUST HAVE app for all dog owners!


Check it out for yourself: 



Salma Shehata
Co-founder Sniffr, Founder Sdot Media

As a Digital Project Leader, my objective is to effectively translate early concepts/visions into successful digital products. My broad experience in the digital market facilitates my success in large team settings to oversee every aspect of a project (i.e. Design, Development, Branding, Competitive Approach, etc.) come to fruition in harmony.  In her "downtime" Salma is a mother to two young children and a loving wife. 

Scott Darling
Co-founder Sniffr
As well as being a co-founder in Sniffr, Scott is a financial, business development and sales professional. He volunteers and sits on the boards for the young patrons groups for the The Art Gallery of Ontario and The Toronto Symphony Orchestra. Scott has also previously sat on the planning committees for both AGO Massive and The Arts and Business Exc

We can all use a push to get our lives to the next level. This episode discusses the importance of a mentor/coach. Enjoy!


When to say NO, why is it important and how to go about doing it. This episode has it all!


This is an episode that goes over my keynote speech at a recent event at UofT. Yalla Let's Talk aims to empower the Arab millennials, and address important topics that are often overlooked or stigmatized. I spoke about authenticity and my journey in embracing it. 


May 1 marks the one year anniversary for this podcast. This is an episode to reflect upon the reason I started and I owe it mainly to my mother. Women empowerment speaks dearly to me. My desire to inspire, impact and grow far far far outweighs my fears of judgement and failure. Putting yourself out there is never easy but it is the only way you can show the world who you are and allow yourself to discover and live your purpose. Thank you to all the listeners and to the people who were interviewed in my 1st year. I published a 100 episodes and had over 2000 listeners around the world! I am excited and ready for a better 2nd year ahead! STAY REAL


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