Grace Yacoub

Screen Shot 2014-11-20 at 12.17.45 PMWould you give us a bit of background about yourself? Briefly tell us who you are.

I am a 54 year old professional who has worked in design for more than 30 years. My creative talent has led me to pursue various types of projects. Recently I have been interested in understanding myself better and so I started incorporating writing, painting, yoga and exercise in my routine.

I am a sensitive, positive, and intuitive person with strong drive for growth.

Would you share with me what were some of your early experiences with reading, writing and art?

As a child I was exposed to stories through my mother. We used to tell our dreams and be encouraged to express our ideas on the walls of our apartment. I used to enjoy poetry classes and have read philosophy at university. This made me curious to know about many thoughts and hence ended up spending a lot of time in the library.

When did you decide to be a writer, and how did you know?

Very recently. I attended one of your retreats and realized its therapeutic power. But also its ability to transcend my feelings towards positive imaginative exercises that I enjoyed.

What was your family unit? Did you have brothers or sisters? Where did you grow up?

Grew up in Beirut during a civil war. Our family was made of three children. We were close and yet I felt quite apart.

What were the dreams of the future you had when growing up? Have you made any decisions in life based on those dreams?

I dreamt of a safe environment where I wouldn’t worry about bombs and the possibility of having the financial means to do what I wanted. Luckily I realized my childhood dreams but now I am looking for new ones.

What kinds of stories were you told growing up?

All sorts. What was important for me was the relationship between the hero and the villain.

Were there teachers or teachings that influenced you? How so?

Unfortunately I did not go to a good school so none of the teachers were inspiring. However, I took a course about Shakespeare at university and the passion of the teacher made me read a lot of his plays and analyze them.

What are the things in your life that make you the happiest right now?

Rediscovering myself. Exercising. Being good to people I love.

Do you have any daily rituals?

Walk in the morning. Exercise regularly. Started writing my dreams. I also like to nap for a few minutes after lunch.

Do you remember your dreams? Are there any specific ones that you recall giving you insight into you’re life that you’d be willing to share?

I do remember some of the strange ones. But they are quite complicated and I am still trying to figure them out.

What are three pivotal moments in your life? How did they come to be?

When I left Lebanon. A moment when I realized that I was given an opportunity to survive. When I started my company I wanted to work on the things I enjoyed and dictate the process. When I am looking for change as I know it is time for me to grow.

Do you have mentors or other working artists who influence you today?

No. But I am inspired by good writers like Proust and Marguerite Yourcenar and Edward Said.

What do you think is the most important contemporary issue?

Empathy

How did you come to have the creative pursuits and lifestyle you have?

Luckily my work is in the creative domain but I am trying to channel my time towards my aspirations.

What advice would you give those who would like to take a similar path?

One needs to spend time on his own to get to focus on his/her thought process without influences and interventions.

Who are your favorite contemporary artists/musicians/writers?

Mozart, Beethoven yet they are not contemporary. I am fascinated by Vivian Mayer’s story and work. Some of the classic painters like Carravagio and Turner.

What kind of control do you think you exert over your own destiny?

I am yet to discover my destiny. However, I am trying to exercise a lot of discipline to understand why I am here and detach myself from a lot of bad influences and traumas.

What are you own criteria for success?

Eloquence and wisdom

Has money or critical success influenced your creative decision making?

Early on in my career as I needed to succeed financially.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

Relax.

What do you want to be known for?

Lucidity

When you look forward in your life what do you hope to find there?

Peace of mind

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