Recipe: Spicy vegan ‘meatball’ stew

Hello darlings!

I forgot to plan something for dinner, so I made this stew impromptu! I had some vegan meatballs that I got from Ikea that I wanted to use, but I didn’t want to make a typical tomato sauce.

The spices I used were made to mimic the amazing Moroccan ras al hanout. We completely ran out of Moroccan spice mixes (to my Moroccan family reading this, I came up with this recipe last minute and didn’t have time to come over and take some from you ๐Ÿ˜ญ) so I tried to mimic it as well as I could with the individual spices in my spice cupboard.

I wouldn’t say it had the exact Maghrebi taste that I was hoping for, but it was super yummy in its own way! There’s no shame in not being able to replicate something fully, especially when you compare it to the spices you get from Morocco. I’m just glad it turned out beautiful and accessible for those who want to do something new with their spice cupboard.

I also used a lot of oil in this recipe to mimic the fat that comes out of meat when you have a meaty stew. It was wholesome and hearty and comforting and it really gave the stew a yummy texture, especially when mixed with the rich spices. I will make this again and again and again!

You can make your own vegan meatballs, or use whichever ones you have on you. Alternatively, you can use this stew with beans, chickpeas, or anything else you want! Make this recipe yours. I came up with it by using whatever I had in the fridge because I hate wasting food, so do the same! Trust yourself when it comes to veggies โค๏ธ.

Also, if you haven’t checked out Ikea’s vegan range, especially their hot dogs and meatballs, I would recommend you try ASAP. These meatballs are so clean. They’re soy free and made from chickpeas, peas, carrots, bell peppers, corn, kale, pea starch, onions, oil, and spices. They don’t try to mimic meat, but have their own unique rich taste and texture.

I love you all so much! Here’s the recipe for two (I ate it all by myself though)

So messy with a yummy side salad!!

Spices:
1/2 teaspoon of cumin
1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon of coriander powder or dried coriander
1/2 teaspoon of ginger powder (or chop some up and fry with the onion and garlic)
3-4 hairs of saffron or 1/4 teaspoon of saffron powder
1/4 teaspoon of sweet paprika
1/4 teaspoon of spicy paprika
1 bay leaf

Veggies
1/2 a carrot chopped
1 tomato chopped
1/2 bell pepper chopped
1 onion sliced thinly
3 cloves of garlic sliced thinly
1/2 handful of raisins
1tsp tomato paste

Additions
7 vegan meatballs
2 tbsp olive oil
Bread/rice/pasta/quinoa/couscous/carb of your choice
1L of boiled water

Would you believe this isn’t vegan?

Instructions
1. Cook up your vegan meatballs and set aside. If possible, try to overcook so they don’t collapse, because vegan meatballs aren’t always as sturdy as the meaty counterparts.
2. Heat the olive oil and once hot, dash your onions and saute on low-medium heat until they soften. Add your garlic and let cook slightly until fragrant/golden
3. Add all of your spices except the bay leaf and mix until everything is covered
4. Add the rest of your veggies except the raisins and mix. Once your veggies are also covered in the spices, add the tomato paste and mix again for 1 minute
5. Add the water and bay leaf and let boil for 3 minutes on high heat. Then lower to medium heat, cover and cook for around half an hour until the water has reduced significantly and the stew thickens up. Check every 10 minutes to see how it’s doing and if the water reduces too fast, feel free to add more. Whilst you wait, you can make your rice/pasta/couscous/quinoa. If you want to make brown rice, I have instructions on my Instagram here (I know how tricky it can be, but I made it easy).
6. The carrots should be soft by the time it’s ready and your stew should be just the right consistency for you. If you want it extra thick, mix some cornstarch in cold water until it dissolves and dash the cornstarch in the stew — I don’t think you would need to do that here, especially because we used a lot of oil at the beginning
7. When done, add the raisins and meatballs and mix to let the raisins plump and the meatballs absorb some of the sauce before serving

Enjoy! I don’t upload all of my recipes and healthy vegan hacks on here, so if you want more, feel free to head to my Instagram! xox

I love you all so much!

Diana xoxo

Instagram: @flowerknafeh
Twitter: @superknafeh

I’ve started to keep a dream journal. Here’s what I’m learning

Hello darlings!

In my pursuit of unlocking the subconscious mind and understanding my energy and spiritual self better, I’ve decided to start writing down my dreams the moment I wake up. Before doing this, I thought it would be useless, or even burdensome. I didn’t see myself as someone who dreams per se, or someone who receives messages from the “dream realm.” Regardless, I decided to try.

I saw an unused cute pink sparkly notepad, so I left it by my bed and decided to note down my dreams if I have them and remember them. Since then, I’ve been journaling every morning. What I find strange is that my sleep is often split into two because I regularly wake up to pray fajr (the sunrise prayer that we Muslims pray). I don’t remember any of my dreams before waking up for fajr prayer, but after fajr is when I feel like I’m actually dreaming.

I don’t know why this is. I’ve read in other highly spiritual circles (non-Muslim) that to increase spiritual capacity, you need to wake up between 3am-5am and that 3:33am has some significant spiritual power to it. In Islam, those time periods are usually when fajr prayer falls, or qiyam al-layl, which is the last 3rd of the night during winter. So even if the sun begins to rise at 6am, 3am is still powerful because it’s qiyam al-layl and some people do get up and worship before dawn for a powerful experience.

I’ll research this more, but if any of my readers have specific answers to this, please let me know.

Anyway, back to dreaming. I didn’t notice my dreams before unless they were memorable, or had certain people I was consciously thinking about or are close to my heart; or if they were traumatic or highly emotional. When I wanted to interpret my dreams, I used to ask people or I would look up specific symbols and search their Islamic meaning. I never thought about how I felt in the dream. I definitely believed there was more to dreaming than I knew, but I didn’t think much about it. The only way to explore this, I realised, was to actually connect with my dreams and start a journal.

It doesn’t take long. I’ve never spent more than five minutes journaling my dreams and when I don’t remember them (like this morning), I just went on with my day. I was still in my room when I ended up remembering it and I wrote it down, but if I didn’t I wouldn’t have minded. If you remember it during your commute, or some time during your day, repeat the details to yourself, or write them on your phone so they’re imprinted in your mind and then add to your journal when you reunite.

When you keep your journal, you may find common themes in your dreams that you didn’t notice before. Similar people (for me, I realised my siblings always feature in my dreams), similar colours, similar food, similar feelings. What that may mean will be different for different people, but you will be able to contextualise and resonate as you really learn about your subconscious and superconscious mind through your dreams. By journaling, you make the intention and effort to use the powerful tool that is sleep to unlock, release and reset.

Sleep state as a window to the subconscious mind

We spend a third of our lives in the sleeping state, so it’s clearly more important than our modern time perceives it to be. I remember one of my university lecturers told me to write down what I want to accomplish before I sleep and my brain will find a way to make it work the next day. It usually happened that way. So, this state of mind is powerful because not only does it help solve problems, but it takes us out of our ego and into our intuition. It’s just our intuition speaks to us through symbols and metaphors when we’re in the sleep state, so we can’t really decipher it when we wake up.

This is why having a relationship with your dreams is so important. By journaling your dreams, you’re giving them importance and you’re telling your superconscious self that you’re listening. You’ll find that naturally, you’ll understand yourself better.

The crazy thing is, you don’t need to find someone to interpret your dreams. The answers are all within us. Trust yourself when you’re analysing your dreams and really think about how you relate to your dream and how your dream relates to you. The more you do it, the better you get. If there are any symbols you’re confused about, then of course you can look them up and ask others, but really, treat your dreams as a part of yourself that is helping you learn about what you may have suppressed that you can’t access because you’re too busy thinking in your awake state.

Practicing feeling your thoughts through dreaming

One thing that I found difficult to connect with in the past was my feelings. I used to feel so strongly, especially because I was a very sensitive child. My sensitivity got me into a lot of trouble when I used to cry at the most random things; so I learned to suppress my emotions. As I got older, this suppressed my intuition and sacrificed my right to my standards, boundaries and opinions outside the rational realm. So when I started to become more in tune with my feelings, I developed boundaries and standards based on how something made me feel, as opposed to what is socially acceptable for me to accept. Everything in my life changed for the better.

To kickstart this process if you haven’t yet begun your journey of feeling your thoughts, feeling your dreams may help.

Asking yourself how you felt during your dream really helps because as you wake up, your brain waves are shifting from theta upwards, so you can identify core feelings consciously. The more you do this after you wake up, the easier it gets during the day. Progressively, though. Go easy on yourself and keep asking yourself how you feel. Identify core feelings in the midst of clouds of thoughts.

You can then ask your subconscious to give you answers during your dreams. I’m not at that stage yet, but I still try. I ask myself a question before bed, like “how do I sort out ___ dillema” and as my ego sleeps, my subconscious begins to unwrap the situation without the fear, anger, pride of my ego interfering. It’s the same as trying to figure something out when you’re relaxed about a situation. You’re not worried, so you can objectively find answers.

Understanding your dreams better also helps with lucid dreaming, which is pretty cool. I never understood why you would want to control your dreams, or even intentionally feel conscious that you’re dreaming whilst dreaming, but this is an important tool for people who have recurring nightmares.

I’ll read more about lucid dreaming and will update you all on my findings!

Here’s what you do if you want to start:

  1. Either buy a dream journal, or get a regular notepad and dedicate it to your dreams. Keep it on your bedside.
  2. When you wake up, write down whatever you remember and then date the dream (sometimes writing the date first distracts me)
  3. Write how you felt and how you currently feel being awake, either from the remainder of the dream, or knowing that you were dreaming
  4. Give thanks and forget about it. If you remember stuff during the day, jot them down as well.
  5. If you can’t remember your dream, either don’t write anything, or write how you feel right at the very moment you woke up. Don’t pressure yourself!

Good luck, I love you all.

Diana xoxoxoxoxoxx

Instagram: @flowerknafeh
Twitter: @superknafeh

Easy realistic vegan shawarma recipe (YES I GOT YOU)

Hello my loves!!

PSA: Most of my recipes are on my Instagram blog @flowerknafeh, so head over there if you want more regular recipe uploads!

It seems like yesterday, I was trying to establish my blog as a regular hobby and I used #BlogItIntoExistence to write about how I wanted to go vegan. Here I am writing a vegan shawarma recipe! So, this happened almost as an accident because I wanted to buy shiitake mushrooms, but I ended up buying a box of a mixture of shiitake maitake and oyster mushrooms. I made a mini vegan barbecue and just as the mushrooms were about to expire, I decided to wing it and make vegan shawarma.

I loved shawarma growing up and when I went vegetarian in 2014, it was something I really felt like I was missing out on. But I just went with the journey and if I was really craving shawarma, I’d cheat and have one. Of course I’d feel bloated and horrible after because my stomach wasn’t used to digesting meat. Later on, I would start using soy-based “meat” and even took a trip all the way to East London to try some vegan shawarma, but it still wasn’t it!

Looking back, I think it was the oyster mushrooms that gave the strong “meaty” taste and texture.

Doesn’t look vegan!

For mushroom haters, you wouldn’t eat unseasoned chicken and expect it to taste nice, right? So why would you do the same with mushrooms? Marinade, season and cook with love, culture and joy.

I wanted it pure, proper, tangy, juicy Arab style. Seasonings and everything. I decided to try to use these leftover mushrooms to marinate. I had around 150g of mushrooms left over so I winged it. I used around 2 teaspoons of the following spices:

The best thing is to use ready made shawarma spices. I used Abedo shawarma allspice – but here are the ingredients in case you want to use stuff from your own spice cupboard:

Black pepper, cinnamon powder, ginger powder, cardamom, summac, cloves, nutmeg,ย citric acid, mahlab (if you can’t find mahlab individually, skip it and add extra summac and use equal parts of everything but half the amount of nutmeg)

Essentially, use equal amounts of all the spices but add less nutmeg.

Additions:
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of garlic powder
1 teaspoon of onion powder
(Garlic and onion powder are used to help plant sources taste more “meaty”)
1 teaspoon of pomegranate molasses
1/2 an onion – chopped in thin slices

Technique:
– add 1tbsp of olive oil to your mushrooms and gently mix
– Add your spice mix gradually (if you want to taste the marinade, you can)
– Marinate in the fridge for at least 2 hours

Cooking instructions:
There are three ways you can do this
Oven:
– Cook for 30 minutes on gas mark 3, flipping them over halfway and adding your thinly sliced onions
– 5 minutes before it finishes, add 1tsp of pomegranate molasses (add gradually and more to taste), mix again and back in the oven
– If you want it to be more crispy, keep it in the oven for a bit longer
Pan fry:
– Fry on medium heat with the onions, adding olive oil or water if the onions get too crispy
– When almost done add your molasses and let sit until it’s crispy enough
Air fry:
– Fry it according to the instructions of frying thin veggies on your machine
– Flip halfway adding the onions
– When it’s almost done, add the molasses and leave for an extra five minutes

Assemble:
Really, just do it how you want to do it! I used pickles, tomato, lettuce, hummus and added some vegan mayo. With the leftover I went Lebanese style and sprinkled the shawarma over hummus!

I love you all! Don’t forget to share this recipe with all of your vegan friends – especially if they’re Middle Eastern! The struggle was real for me and I don’t want any of us Arab vegans to feel like we can’t eat our childhood favourites again!

Instagram: @flowerknafeh
Twitter: @superknafeh

Feeling forever fulfilled -#BlogItIntoExistence June 2020

A light shines within me, through me and around me and this light will forever protect me and attract whatโ€™s good. I am abundant, I am safe, I am loved.

This month’s mantra

I’ve come a very long way when it comes to feeling perpetually fulfilled! The problem is, I expect myself to do this all the time. I put so much pressure on myself to feel good, that it starts to make me feel bad.

In reality, and I know this very well because I have preached it on here countless times is that true mindfulness isn’t all about “feeling good”, it’s about feeling how you currently feel. When you’re human, there’s no way you can feel good all the time, 100 percent of the time. And we shouldn’t have to. We have a right to respond to our surroundings and have a right to our opinions, feelings and emotions. What I want to do, however, is feel fulfilled throughout life’s ebbs and flows.

I declare that I will feel fulfilled regardless of what I face. I will rest on the remembrance of God and will feel perpetually protected as a result. No matter what happens, I will remember that I am safe, I am being guided and I am never alone. I have my angels with me at all times who are watching over me and intervening to protect me under God’s will and I have a direct channel to the maker of the universe who listens to me and answers me. A direct channel with the maker. Wow.

When I see adversity, I want to remember God first. I want to have an “okay, I feel xyz and I honour myself for feeling my feelings right now. Through these feelings, I have God” approach. I don’t want to panic or turn on my fight, flight or freeze response. I want to remain present. I am present. I am happy. I am fulfilled.

With this attitude, I possess the key. I am in my power. I am in direct contact with God and I am able to create a duo that is unstoppable. My feelings are my best friend because they are my GPS system that when I can identify properly, I can separate intuition from ego in the same manner as oil and water.

Those around me will notice this energy shift, even if subconsciously. Those who seek to harm or control me will from now be repelled to do so because they can feel my closeness to God. They can feel that I am being protected and that I am constantly in communication with the almighty. A light will shine within me, through me and around me and this light will forever protect me and attract what’s good. I am abundant, I am safe, I am loved.

For these reasons, June will be pivotal for me. June is pivotal for me. This powerful blog post has set an even more powerful intention and I am basking in joy knowing that it is already done.

What are your intentions for the month?

I love you all

Diana xoxoxox

Instagram: @flowerknafeh
Twitter: @superknafeh

Mindfulness resource sheet for tired Black activists (every part of you matters)

My dear, beautiful Black readers. There are times when as a writer, I know my words may not be enough. I don’t want to write about how much I care for you all, how much I stand with your cause and why I believe Black lives matter (because they do point blank. If you’re questioning the humanity of another human, you’re the problem) and blog about my feelings. This isn’t about me and it will never be. I’m a bleached blonde Palestinian who looks and passes for “white” until the slightest part of my culture comes out of me (pretty much all the time because y’all know how Palestinian I am ๐Ÿ‘€๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡ธ). For this reason, I felt uncomfortable writing because I want to use my blog to genuinely help and I didn’t know how. Until now.

This morning, I was watching a video by thevillageauntie (Angelica Lindsey-Ali) explaining why she is refusing speaking engagements by non-Black Muslims to “educate” others on anti-Blackness in our communities. She’s right. We’re closest to our community and we have the most influence. She also spoke about how tired she is, how anxious she is, how fighting anti-Blackness affecting her relationship with her children, etc. As she was talking, I realised that I have tips from my own personal journey on how to calm the anxious mind, how to regulate thought, tackle self esteem, powerful duas, etc. I want to share them all with you.

Before anything, please follow thevillageauntie’s example and say no. When it feels tiring, say no. Those with genuine intentions will understand. Those without are obviously coming with narcissistic intentions. If they wanted to help you, they would care for you first.

To fellow non-Black Muslims, this isn’t the time for me to address us. I know a lot of us have lost friends and family during this as their true colours show, have had awakenings to bias, have to deal with moving past anxiety to speak, etc. I’ll talk to us later, in a different post; I promise. My intention is to not burden my Black readers in something I’ve written for them. All I will say right now is watch the video I linked above and be mindful. Check on your Black friends, tell them you love them, pray for them and ask what you can do for THEM. Be sustainable and mindful that the fight against racism doesn’t stop when the hashtags stop trending.

Enough rambling. Let me get started. I am not a therapist and I am not a yoga teacher, nor am I a Muslim scholar. I am a writer, a learner reiki healer (inshallah will be licensed when Covid-19 is over), a Muslim and a yogi and I am making this list from my independent study, advice from various mentors and personal experience.

Quientening intrusive thoughts with feeling

Once upon a time, I used to suppress my feelings. My thoughts used to run through my mind at what seemed like the speed of light. I used to feel overwhelmed, scared and helpless. I felt trapped in my own thoughts and I felt like they controlled me because I couldn’t catch them, let alone control them. Until I learned this one thing: thoughts are meant to be felt, not controlled.

What underscores your thoughts are your feelings that you have not processed. I encourage you to ask yourself how you feel at that moment. Don’t fight with your thoughts, because they are a part of you, but connect with yourself on a deeper level by asking yourself how you feel. What you’ll find is your thoughts and feelings aren’t as separate as you think and you identifying those feelings and trying to work through them will always quieten those thoughts. Have compassion for your feelings. Meditate on the child within that feels those feelings (I covered this + a guided meditation here).

Breathing techniques

Breathing is core. When you focus on your breath, youโ€™re focusing on the energy that is connecting your body to your soul, thus keeping you alive. Being in-tune with your feelings and breathing are foundations of mindfulness, which is why I put them both first. In my breathing practice, I was taught that to enter a state of relaxation, you need to breathe into your belly (diaphragmatic breathing) and generally your exhalation needs to be longer than your inhalation. There are some breathing techniques I learned as I went along and here they are:

4-7-8 technique: Breathe in for 4 seconds, hold for 7 seconds, out for 8 seconds. Repeat as long as you want (I do it for around 2 minutes)

Box breathing: This technique is where you breathe in, hold and out for the same amount of seconds for relieving anxiety and lowering stress levels. Some people do 3-3-3, whereas others do 4-4-4.

2-3-4 technique: Breathe in for 2 seconds, hold for 3 seconds, out for 4 seconds. A smaller version of 4-7-8 but it’s still effective and maybe even more if you want to work your way up to breathing deep

Kapalabhati: A pretty advanced yogic breathing technique, but I love it! This cleanses your lungs, releases toxins, purifies your blood, warms your body, clears your mind and you get a bit of an ab workout ๐Ÿ˜! This warms your body so don’t do on the first 3-4 days of your menses, if you have high blood pressurem pregnant or have heart problems. I want you to read about it properly before doing it (Chopra Centre has a good guide and clear instructions) but essentially, you take deep inhales and explosive exhales.

Nostril breathing: In kundalini yoga, I was taught that the left nostril is the feminine nostril that you breathe through for calming properties (stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system) and the right nostril is the masculine nostril that energises you (stimulates the sympathetic nervous system).

You can either do left nostril breathing by blocking your right nostril and breathing deeply through your left nostril (usually in for 4 seconds and out for 4 seconds but the longer the counts the more effective). You can also do alternative nostril breathing which is breathe in through your left nostril, out through your right nostril, in through your right nostril and out through your left nostril, then in through the left, etc.

PS: You don’t need to block your nostril through sticking your finger inside! Just pinch the outside of your thumb or index finger on the outside of your nostril.

Affirmation guide

Affirmations are very important because they rewire your brain! One of my favourite things to do is to listen to affirmations instead of music when I’m tidying up my room by going on YouTube. You can go on Pintrest to find a list of affirmations, or you can make them yourself! Here’s how:

  1. Identify how you’re feeling and what your consistent negative thoughts are
  2. Write them down (I am helpless, I have to do everything or I will be a bad activist)
  3. Write counter statements (I am powerful, I am allowed boundaries for the sake of my mental health and they make me a better activist)

It may feel like you’re lying to yourself or you’re being oblivious to the situation at hand, but you’re not. You’re rewiring yourself from within as you change the world. You’re creating a safe space inside your mind where you listen to yourself, connect with your breath, address your feelings and unlearning toxic messages you were fed during childhood. Do not use affirmations to hide your feelings. Use them as you feel your feelings so you can raise your self esteem and tap into a healthier emotional space.

Using yoga to calm the mind and body

Yoga poses are amazing for everyone! Each pose is good for your mind, body and spirit and has a different effect on you. Here are some relaxing poses that you can search and try:

  • Child’s pose
  • Downward facing dog
  • Forward fold
  • Sphinx pose
  • Cow face pose
  • Reclined eagle pose
  • Lotus pose (the lotus mudra can be done as well by sitting in easy pose and breathing deep)

Kundalini yoga meditations

Some people are not okay with chanting, and that’s okay. This is a comprehensive list for everyone regardless of their religion so take what you want and disregard what you don’t. I know many Muslim kundalini yogis who don’t chant and others who do and others who prefer to find the meaning of the chant before chanting. I’ll be linking the full meditation and summarising it.

Lotus open heart meditation

To open, strengthen and heal the heart centre. You put your hands in a lotus mudra and you chant, or breathe deep.

Kirtan Kriya (Sa Ta Na Ma Meditation)

This meditation brings a total mental balance to the individual. Your thumb touches your index finger as you chant sa (birth), middle finger as you chant ta (life), ring finger as you chant na (death), little finger as you chant ma (rebirth). You do this at different volumes explained in the link above. You can follow a guides on YouTube that sings, whispers and is silent with you to guide you.

Antar Naad Mudra

This meditation is said to help with creativity. You sit in easy pose with your hand touching your baby finger and chant the sa-re-sa-sa mantra. Again, you can find the mantra on YouTube or Spotify and chant with it. Usually done for 11 minutes.

Duas

I am Muslim, so I will put some duas. I’ll paste them in Arabic, transliterate and translate so anyone can use these powerful prayers.

ุงู„ู„ู‘ูŽู‡ูู…ู‘ูŽ ุงูู†ู‘ูู‰ู’ ุงูŽุณู’ู‰ูŽู„ููƒูŽ ุงู„ู’ููŽูˆู’ุฒูŽ ููู‰ ุงู„ู’ู‚ูŽุถูŽุขุกู ูˆูŽ ู†ูุฒูู„ูŽุงู„ุดู‘ูู‡ูŽุฏูŽุขุกู ูˆูŽุนูŽูŠู’ุดูŽ ุงู„ุณู‘ูุนูŽุฏูŽุขุกู ูˆูŽ ู…ูุฑูŽุงููŽู‚ูŽุฉูŽ ุงู„ุงูŽู†ู’ุจููŠุขุกู ูˆูŽ ุงู„ู†ู‘ูŽุตู’ุฑูŽ ุนูŽู„ูŽู‰ ุงู„ุงูŽุนู’ุฏูŽุขุกู ุงูู†ู‘ูŽูƒูŽ ุณูŽู…ููŠู’ุนูŽ ุงู„ุฏู‘ูุนูŽุขุกู

Allahumma inni as’alukal fauza fil qadaai’, wa nuzul-ash-shuhadaai’, wa aiyshaslua’daa’i, wa murafaqatal-ambiyaai’, wannasara alalaadaai’, innaka sammaiiud’dua

God, I ask You for success concerning my destiny, and feast with the martyr, and enjoyment with fortunate people, and the companionship of believers, and victory over my enemies. Only you can answer my prayer.

ุงู„ูŽู‘ู‡ูู…ูŽู‘ ุงุณู’ุชูุฑู’ ุนุงูˆู’ุฑูŽุชูู‰ู’ ูˆูŽ ุงู…ูู†ู’ ุฑูŽูˆู’ุนูŽุชู’ู‰ู’

Allahummastur ‘auraati wa aamin ru’aati

Allah, cover my faults, and change my fear into peace

ุฑูŽุจูŽู‘ู†ูŽุง ู„ุง ุชูŽุฌู’ุนูŽู„ู’ู†ูŽุง ููุชู’ู†ูŽุฉู‹ ู„ูู‘ู„ู’ู‚ูŽูˆู’ู…ู ุงู„ุธูŽู‘ู„ูŽู…ูู†ูŽ ูˆูŽ ู†ูŽุฌูู‘ู†ูŽุง ุจูุฑูŽุญู’ู…ูŽุชููƒูŽ ู…ูู†ูŽ ุงู„ู’ู‚ูŽูˆู’ู…ู ุงู„ู’ูƒูŽููุฑููŠู’ู†ูŽ

Rabbana la taj’alna fitnatan-llil qaumidh-dhalimeen, wa najjinna bi-rahmatika minal-qawmil-Kafireen

Lord, do not make me a trial for the wrongdoing people, and deliver me by Your Mercy from the oppression of disbelievers.

ุงู„ู„ู‡ู… ุงู‡ุฏู†ูŠ ุตุฑุฉ ุงู„ู…ุณุชู‚ูŠู… ู„ู„ูˆุตูˆู„ูŠ

Allahuma ihdeeni seerat al-mustaqim la wusuli

Allah guide me to the straight path to my destination

ุงู„ู„ู‡ูู…ูŽู‘ ู„ุง ุณูŽู‡ู’ู„ูŽ ุฅู„ุง ู…ูŽุง ุฌูŽุนูŽู„ุชูŽู‡ู ุณูŽู‡ู’ู„ุง ูˆูŽ ุฃู†ุชูŽ ุชูŽุฌู’ุนูŽู„ู ุงู„ุญุฒู’ู†ูŽ ุฅุฐุง ุดูุฆู’ุชูŽ ุณูŽู‡ู’ู„ุง

Allahuma la sahla illa ma jaโ€™altahu sahla, wa โ€˜anta taj-alul hazna idha shiโ€™ta sahla

Allah, nothing is easy except what You have made easy. If You wish, You can make the difficult easy.

ุจูุณู’ู… ุงู„ู„ู‡ ูˆุชูˆูƒู„ุช ุนู„ู‰ ุงู„ู„ู‡ ูˆู„ุง ุญูˆู„ ูˆู„ุง ู‚ูˆุฉ ุฅู„ุง ุจุงู„ู„ู‡

Bismillah wa tawakkaltu aโ€™la Allah wa la hawla wa la quta illa billah 

In the name of Allah, I trust in Allahโ€™s plan, there is no might, nor power, except for Allah

“Just for today”

A principle we are taught in reiki, where we set an intention and choose to live in peace for today. The human mind responds better when you have short term aims, so if you aim to be at peace “just for today”, your brain digests it better. It also helps you to practice living with intention, which is SO unbelievably important! I’ll write something in depth on this later and I’ll link here once it’s ready so you don’t have to keep checking back.

Here are the five reiki principles to live by (gratitude is very important because it takes you out of anxiety and puts you into the present moment):

Just for today I will not worry.
Just for today I will not be angry.
Just for today I will do my work honestly.
Just for today I will give thanks for my many blessings.
Just for today I will be kind to my neighbour and every living thing.

That’s all so far, I’m open to questions and more suggestions. Please tell me what you want from me and what I can do to support you. I’m all ears.

Love you all so much!!!

Instagram: @flowerknafeh
Twitter: @superknafeh

How to let go of attachment patterns and reclaim your life

Attachment is the route of all suffering –

Gautama Buddha

Hello, my loves!

Again, this topic is very important to me. Throughout my life, I measured my success based on my ability to control. If I could control outcomes of situations, I was victorious. If I had a goal in my mind, I used to measure success to how close I was to achieving it, or what actions I’m forcing myself to take that will take me a step forward. Laying back felt like failure and sitting out felt like rejection.

That was no way to live and I thank God every day that I’m out of this pattern.

It’s always good to have motivation to take inspired action to get to where you want, but sometimes, you need to slow down and ask if you really are acting out of inspired action, or anxiety? Are you putting a certain outcome on a pedestal and only allowing emotions to release and express themselves under specific circumstances? Do you deny happiness because you don’t feel worthy because you somehow don’t think you accomplished enough to deserve happiness? Do you suppress disappointment and dismiss negative feelings because you want to avoid confrontation with others?

It’s good to regulate how we react, but when we regulate how we feel, we begin to deny who we are. We deny our past, we deny our present, we deny a better future, and most importantly, we deny that sweet, innocent child that continues to live inside us that has the same wants and needs as that child did in its physical form, years and years and years ago.

Attachment patterns govern our relationship with other human beings. If you felt abandoned as a child, and internalised that feeling, you will always feel a sense of abandonment in your relationships until you address your issue with being abandoned. You may feel anxious at any inconvenience in your interpersonal relationships, only for the source to be hidden trauma or a suppressed memory. The memory or trauma could have been from a small event, or as a result of being mistreated by (most of the time a well-intentioned) adult, but it’s not the memory or the event that matters. It’s how it made your cute, innocent, baby self feel as a child.

That innocence will never go away, which is one of the best things about life. We were born a blank canvas with the world as our oyster, feeling like we can do anything. Those limiting beliefs we have were all learned behaviours. The fact that we still have childlike innocence buried in us in some way is a blessing, because we can tap into our infinite potential and unlearn all of that stuff that no longer serves us. This goes for attachment patterns, beliefs on money, beliefs on self, beliefs on what core school subjects you’re good at, whether you’re clean or messy; the list is endless.

For attachment patterns, the first thing you need to do is figure out what your attachment pattern is. There are countless books and videos to watch to learn about the different one. You can even find an online quiz to help you decipher if you need help. With awareness, comes power.

Then, you need to find your way of calming yourself when you’re in a state of stress, because your triggers to your attachments show up. When this happens, our mind starts to race and it feels like our thoughts are running around at 10000 mph. When this happens, you need to slow down by asking yourself how you feel. When this happens, you narrow the focus from the many thoughts that you can’t fully identify, to the few feelings that your thoughts are rooted in. These feelings don’t have to be related. You can feel a mixture of things and that is a perfectly normal part of the human experience.

Take a few deep cleansing breath, and ask yourself: “How do I feel?”

You’ll feel drawn to be more actively curious about one of the feelings. Pick it and try to unfold. Questions to ask yourself are: Why am I feeling this way? What experience does this remind me of when I was younger? How does this remind me of my relationship with my mum/dad/guardian? What memory does this feeling invoke? Here, you’ll find some answers that will put your current thoughts and feelings in reaction to something very recent into context.

Once that happens, you open your mind to the possibility that there are many more reasons behind another person’s actions. Thoughts like: “Okay, maybe I’m not being ghosted and ___ just needs some space”, “maybe ___ didn’t like what I said and told me because they want a better relationship with me because they like me, as opposed to wanting to humiliate me”, “maybe I overreacted, but I still felt like ___’s behaviour was unfair. I’ll admit to my overreaction, but stand my ground when defending myself because they were wrong”.

When you do this, you also find boundaries. You realise that maybe that person’s actions may not have been personal to you, but you would prefer that they clarified their intention. That is a boundary and an expectation of open and honest communication.

Meditate on your inner child

Diana is not Diana if she doesn’t talk about meditation ๐Ÿ˜‰. Seriously though, meditation is one of the best things you can do for yourself. I found that “visiting my inner child” through meditation really helps me. I see baby Diana as someone who is still living inside me and sometimes needs to be soothed. Things happen in adult Diana’s life and baby Diana gets triggered and needs to be calmed down.

Scientifically speaking, up until the age of 6, our brains were functioning on theta brain waves, which means we were absorbing the world in an almost trance-like state. This is why our infancy is so crucial to our development, because that’s when thought patterns that stay with us for the rest of our lives are formed. If we can’t understand this, we can’t unlearn the negative ones.

Inner-child work (I’ll write a whole post about it and my experience in practicing it in the future) is one of the most important things we do as adults. We need to find our scars and re-parent them. It’s a normal part of life. It doesn’t mean your parents were bad parents (for those who didn’t grow up around abuse, our parents are human after all and obviously made mistakes), or you are so “messed up” that you need to start again, re-parenting is about taking responsibility.

There are many guided meditations to follow on YouTube, just do a search and go on the best one. The intentions of meditating on your inner child are to recognise that your inner child still exists, to have empathy with your inner child, really internalise how sweet and innocent you were (and still are) as a child and how you deserve the absolute best and to tap into that part of yourself, befriend it and to heal the child that is hurting.

When you tend the needs of that child, you heal yourself. From personal experience, this works! If you’re not used to meditating, find a good guided meditation that you can listen to throughout your practice. Especially if you’re new to meditating!! Read my blog post on meditating for beginners if you need help. For my Muslim readers, I also wrote a post explaining why meditation is not haram, because I always get people asking.

A quick guide to the meditation of healing your inner child would be to:

  1. Take 21 deep breaths or do whichever breathing exercise you’re familiar with to calm you down
  2. Picture a beautiful forest or beach or playground and walk barefoot, familiarising yourself with the area
  3. See a child playing by themselves, sitting alone with their head down, however you feel best
  4. Walk closer to the child and realise that child is you (it helps to picture yourself as a 4-year-old)
  5. Look into its eyes and understand what this sweet child is feeling
  6. Hug the child, hold their hand, etc and say “I love you” – really show this child love until they feel better
  7. When the child feels better, take the child by the hand, start to play with them until you feel the innocent laughter in your heart
  8. Keep saying I love you, affirming what the child needs to hear (you’re valid, you’re beautiful, you have amazing hair, your emotions are amazing, your boundaries are precious, you’re allowed to cry, etc) and really make that child as happy as you can
  9. When you’re ready to leave the meditation, look into the child’s eyes and see its happiness, hug the child tight and say you’ll be back. Take them to a nice place that they’ll love and they feel safe.
  10. Take your focus back to your breathing, start to wiggle your fingers and toes, your hands and wrists and slowly bring yourself back to this dimension

Do this meditation as much as you want. I find that the more I do it, the better I feel and the more my inner child trusts me because I keep my promise to her. This has REALLY helped me with my own attachment patterns. If you want to feel the meditation more deeply, put your hands on your heart whilst doing it.

I barely scratched the surface on this topic so please take advantage of this introduction and go and do lots of research, or comment below/contact me on my socials with questions and comments that I’ll address!

I love you all so much!! Good luck!

Instagram: @flowerknafeh
Twitter: @superknafeh