Today I’m extremely happy to finally share the interview I did with one of my favorite authors, Mo Issa. I still remember the day, I finished reading his book, ‘The Shift’ and did the review post! There was so much to learn about inner awareness and the art of spiritual awakening from his book, and from his real life experiences. But I still had many questions for author Mo Issa and he kindly took the time to answer them all. You can visit his blog @ https://mo-issa.com/ or you can connect to his Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/moshifter/ to read more inspiring articles!
1. Please tell me a bit about your journey of self- discovery?
I lived a life of chasing success and much of its symbols, on a path that had been set by
my father and my environment. I plateaued and settled for a life of extreme comfort. I
indulged in things I found exciting, though with time I’d get bored and move on to the
next thing. I wasn’t completely fulfilled in life, but I wasn’t complaining. Then, a series of
misfortunes thwarted my perfectly balanced life—my nephew was involved in a near-
fatal accident, and banks threatened my then fifteen-year-old company with bankruptcy
because I had over expanded.
That woke me up. I started to ask myself questions, and as the quality and the
complexity of my questions grew, so did the realization that my old belief system didn’t
serve me anymore. I knew I had to change and wanted to change. Over the following
five years, I would embark on a self-discovery journey to deeply permeate my mind,
body, and soul. I read incessantly, as if I were on a mission to read every book ever
published. I went through various stages of exploration, from superficial to existential.
The self-discovery journey for me never ends; as humans we evolve and shift, but the
important thing is to never stop reaching deep within yourself to discover who you are
and find ways to serve humanity.
2. When did it dawn upon you that you wanted to be a writer?
My interest in writing emerged almost seven years ago when I began writing “Morning
Pages” as heralded by Julia Cameron in The Artist’s Way. I started writing a daily
journal where I would decipher my dreams, then go on to analyze my previous day’s
actions and consider in more depth the fears that were holding me back. I would also
celebrate my victories, remind myself of all my good qualities, and appreciate the
people and things in my life. This interest gradually developed into a passion for writing
as I wanted to share my observations and as my reading increased so did my writing.
Today, writing is the foundation on which I lay all other building blocks to produce a
better life for myself.
3. What inspired you to write the book The Shift?
Throughout my self-discovery journey I found myself sharing who I had evolved into, my
struggles and how I overcome them, and the six gifts that propelled me into my self-
discovery journey through articles on my blog as well as talks and deep conversations
with others. I put these together, to serve as a guide for people who were at the point
where I had been, at the point where they questioned who they are, why they had been
put on earth and how they can identify and live their purpose.
4. Why is inner awareness so important for us?
I believe a lot of people don’t know who they really are. They’ve just been defined by
society, their family, etc. based on standards that are not aligned to who they truly are.
This is why inner awareness is important, it allows you to know and own who you are,
and live a life filled with purpose, instead of moving around in circles. To be aware is to
take time and discover every detail about your life, what excites you, what dampens
your spirits, what makes you tick. It’s to find your flow, and be at one with it. Inner
awareness is the navigation that leads us to understand who we want to be, and what
we need to do to become that person. This helps us naturally gravitate towards a
5. What will be your next book about?
My next book is a memoir and yet untitled.
6. How do you define authenticity and vulnerability in real life? Are they
Brené Brown defines Vulnerability as “…the birthplace of love, belonging, joy, courage,
empathy, and creativity. It is the source of hope, empathy, accountability, and
authenticity. If we want greater clarity in our purpose or deeper and more meaningful
spiritual lives, vulnerability is the path.”
Authenticity is rooted in vulnerability. You need to be true to yourself to open your heart
and bare your soul. Vulnerability cannot exist without authenticity. Of course, being
vulnerable isn’t the easiest route, but we have this one life to live, and to create
meaningful human experiences we need to embrace vulnerability.
7. Why self-acceptance is important?
For self-acceptance to happen, one needs to ‘Know Thyself’, and to know who you are
is a journey of self-enquiry. You must know who you are, before you accept and
embrace that you’re an imperfect being. It’s to believe that despite the roads not taken,
your shortcomings, regrets and the like, you’re enough and you’re right where you’re
supposed to be. Self-acceptance allows us to love ourselves despite our flaws, and
once we love ourselves, others can freely love us for who we are.
8. What is your definition of ‘aliveness’?
I have simplified the whole meaning of spirituality into one sentence: Awakening my
aliveness. This awakening or spirituality means I believe in something bigger than
mankind. I believe in a supreme power with some worldly order. A power that has
created us in such perfection, as proved by the fact that we consist of trillions of cells all
going about their work in perfect unison. Ways of awakening to my aliveness includes
waking up with the sun, meditation, journaling, reading, exercise, being mindful,
indulging in solitude, not following society and its rules, self-expressing my creativity
and finding my tribe; people who believe in what I do and remind me that the work that I
do matter, that I matter. Every day, I look forward even more to what makes me come
alive, so that I can participate fully in this wonderful game called life.
9. Being a part of the world where we are judged every day, do you think being
authentic will be easy and acceptable?
Being authentic may not always be easy and acceptable because we’re in an era where
people love to hide behind facades and pretend all is well, even when it’s not. To be
true to yourself might not sit well with others, but it doesn’t serve you to settle for a life
you are not in control of. I believe change starts with one person, if I am true to myself, I
can influence the next person to be the same, and eventually others will do the same.
10. Any message you have for everyone?
In this age, it’s easy to want to be on that path where everything happens quickly and in
succession. For many, speed trumps direction. Yet, I find that some people only find out
what they really want to do getting to the end of their lives. Perhaps they were busily
following paths not meant for them, or chasing dreams that deep down they knew
wasn’t theirs to chase. I believe in taking time to discover and enjoy who we are. I
believe that direction is far more important and so if things seem to be
moving slowly, don’t punish or berate yourself. You’re very much on course. Step by
step, anything can be achieved.