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

Curiosity: Vitamin for the soul

Eid Mubarak my beautiful readers. I took a break during Ramadan to focus on my spirituality and to preserve my energy.

Curiosity is vital. Practicing living life from a state of curiosity will transform your life because you’re looking at life through a realm of possibilities as opposed to living in the sadness of the past and the anxiety of the future.

People tend to mistake curiosity for being nosy and intrusive. It’s actually the opposite. When you’re being intrusive, you’re attaching yourself to the lives and surface patterns of others. Curiosity is when we go within. We’re testing ourselves. We’re looking at how our egos react to things and why they react the way they do. When we’re curious about others, we’re trying to figure out how we relate to them.

When you approach your thoughts through curiosity, you’re silencing your fears. You go from judging yourself for feeling the way you do, to understanding your ego and trying to soothe it as if it’s a small child (which it technically is, because our ego protects us from being vulnerable to our deep seated fears that were formed through childhood). You’re giving yourself the empathy you need to work through your emotions and it slows you down so you don’t go through fits of extreme highs and extreme lows.

Without curiosity, you feed into your demons. They’re there, so denying they exist is putting leading you nowhere. We need to pass through our demons in the healthiest way we can. We do the inner work so we can address these demons with curiosity. Why are we so hurt? Why are we triggered the way we’re triggered?

Rather than feeding into your triggers, with curiosity, you can stand outside of your fear. You place a boundary with your trigger that whilst they may come and go, they cannot hurt you. They are thoughts that pass. You’re willing to listen and try to understand, but you are not willing to identify with your triggers and fears and let them take over you.

With curiosity, rather than saying “oh my God this is just horrible/scary/triggering”, you ask yourself what is it that you’re feeling. You ask yourself where these feelings are coming from and you give yourself the space to listen to your inner voice to see what it needs.

Your inner voice is a child in its innocence and empyrean in its power. Curiosity is the path to enter this state of mind. Here, everything is possible.

Rather than assuming, which are often thoughts based on patterns your ego notices and tries to protect you through telling you that you’re repeating situations that may have traumatised you (ie: abandonment, rejection, etc), you’re using curiosity as a healthy mechanism to nudge yourself in the right direction.

You take yourself out of the victim mentality of the ego by really trying to understand what is truly going on and bring yourself to real change. Asking yourself what is going on gives yourself the love, care and attention you deserve; even if you don’t get the answer immediately.

You stop assuming what’s happening in your body, you stop assuming the actions of others (called a non-mentalising stance) and you open the door of possibilities to interpret what may have happened. It helps you relax enough to actually ask!

Curiosity brings you back in the present moment. It disarms your fears and negativity and it helps you embrace every part of you without faking positivity, which helps to clear the path to bringing out the best in you.

Love you loads xoxo

Instagram: @flowerknafeh
Twitter: @superknafeh

Does feminine energy make you an anti-feminist pick-me?

I was inspired to write this after having a conversation with the amazing Samira (follow her dance page on Instagram @thepeachbum). The topic of femininity came up and what it means to be feminine and to embrace womanhood.

We all have masculine and feminine energy, regardless of the sex you were born and the gender you choose to identify with. Just like yin and yang, the energies merge within the same body in our own unique mix of duality influenced by how we were born and the circumstances that shaped us. The masculine in us chases, whereas the feminine in us receives. Sometimes we need to deliberately tap into our masculine energy, a blessing that doesn’t make us any less woman. All it means is different circumstances in life needs our energy to work in different ways.

Think of it as the left-brain vs right-brain dichotomy. Masculine and feminine energy is exactly the same, but on a spiritual and energetic level as opposed to a tangible biological level. This is all it is. You’re no less man, nor woman because you possess both energetic components.

I am a feminist. I love feminism, I love women’s rights and I love the foremothers who fought for me to have the freedom I currently do. I love that God has blessed me with masculine energy that makes me go and get what I want, hunt and chase and I love that God has given me feminine energy, which allows me to sit back, be present and get ready to receive. I love how I can switch between the energies at different times and I love how I am learning to accept these energies exist without viewing my feminine side as weak… anymore.

We are brainwashed to demonise the feminine

Before I get into this, abusive people, misogynists and gaslighters regularly try to use laws of energy to oppress women. What they do is throw them into gender roles and assume the woman, or the feminine is weak. They create myths that the feminine is emotionally unstable, fragile and incapable of leading, thinking or even working for herself.

One thing you see in such people is they are so out of touch with their own feminine energy that they have given up their God-given power to create, process and feel. They have such a rigid aura and so much trapped energy that they become bitter, overloaded, suppressed and toxic. Their hate for the feminine manifests into self-hate, because they are unable to embrace the part of themselves that nurtures, nourishes, receives and releases. Instead, they bury themselves in their egos and project their frustration on others.

When I talk about being brainwashed into demonising the feminine, I talk about my 18-year-old self who just started her degree in international politics and preferred to “sit with the men” during family gatherings because I looked down on “girly talk” about makeup. etc. Let’s unpack this very quickly.

Diana, 10 years ago, preferred to discuss politics because she was pursuing a degree in it. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. The issue lies in baby Diana associating feminine talk with being weak and unintellectual. In order to feel respected, baby Diana had to disassociate herself from liking girly talk and had to chase approval instead of receive it because she already feels fulfilled from within and is comfortable with switching between her wide range of interests.

But is being feminine a pick me?

Absolutely not. Being feminine is all about receiving, loving and accepting who you are. Being a feminist is knowing your worth and the worth of everyone else to refuse to accept anything less than a healthy system. There’s no contradiction here.

The secret binding mechanism between femininity and feminism is: EXPRESSING BOUNDARIES.

When you have boundaries, you refuse to settle for less. You refuse to receive less than what you deserve because you know your worth. You know you are ethereal, kind, evolving and expanding the way the universe expands; you expect your surroundings to grow with you. You refuse to accept less than what you deserve and you let it go. You use your feelings to assess whether something is good for you or not and you cherish masculine energy as something that drives you forward, whether it comes as an intuitive inspired action from yourself, or whether it comes from someone else.

To me, those are feminist and feminine values. You’re feeling, receiving, knowing and allowing. At the same time, you set your standard to yourself, others around you and society and you honour all mechanisms that take you to where you need to get to go.

‘Feel your thoughts’

This sounds counter-intuitive, but the best thing to do is recognise your masculine energy and embrace it as a part of you. The more you fight it, the more it fights you. God gave us all access to the masculine and feminine for a reason. Trust that having a higher masculine and higher feminine is in your best interest. Thank your masculine energy for being there when you need it the most and lovingly set the intention to go on a journey to understand your inner feminine energy.

Intention is everything, remember.

We spent our whole lives being conditioned into thinking that femininity is weak and useless. Yes, epiphanies exist and people do instantly snap out of their limiting beliefs, but we need to accept that the universe is constantly expanding. We’re a part of the universe, which means we too are constantly expanding, so we must accept femininity as a part of our expansion journey.

A pivotal part of finding femininity is to feel. A therapist once gave me this piece of advice and it changed my life: feel your thoughts. I’m amazing at rationalising my thoughts, but I used to find it difficult to feel them. I practice this daily by unpicking a few thoughts and I try to ask myself about the emotions behind this thought.

So: “This coffee is amazing” turns into “this coffee feels so warm, comforting, energising and homely. I feel so happy when I drink coffee because it reminds me of Sunday mornings when my dad used to heat up milk and put a tiny bit of coffee in it when I used to throw tantrums because I wanted coffee at such an early age.”

“This outfit is cute” turns into “this outfit makes me feel so confident and happy. I love the colour black because I associate it with class and mystery.”

“This queue is so long” turns into “I am starting to feel very restless, bored and annoyed. This queue is so long.”

When you find yourself boiling up, or getting happy, or feeling some kind of an intense emotion, just ask yourself questions about it and quietly unpack.

Unblock dem chakras

I was recently listening to Sotoda Saifi’s self love school podcast and she has an episode on feminine energy and feeling. Half of the episode explains feminine energy in the charka system and the other half is a guided meditation. She made a very interesting point that the sacral, heart and third eye chakras are feminine energy centres in the body.

The sacral chakra is where creativity happens. The heart chakra is responsible for your heart centre and your feelings and your third eye chakra is responsible for your intuition. I’m giving a very quick run-down, and I can go into chakras in more depth in another post, but working on these chakras through crystal healing, sound baths, yoga and engaging with the energy centres really helps.

I made playlists of different healing sounds for each chakra that you can find here.

Work on your creativity, work on feeling your feelings and work on listening to your body and trusting yourself. Work on sharpening your intuition by learning to manage and calm anxiety. Each are connected to the three chakras mentioned above.

But like I said, that’s a different blog post for another day. I just wanted to introduce you all to the idea and I want to direct you to this awesome podcast episode.

Thank you all so much for reading. I love you all and I wish us all happiness, growth and healing.

Diana xoxoxoxox

Instagram: @flowerknafeh
Twitter: @superknafeh

Is meditating haram?

I remember when I first started awakening, I remember coming across meditating and hesitating at the thought. As a practicing Muslim, I pray five times a day. Through my prayers, I should be connected to God and reach the epitome of spirituality.

But anxiety crawled all over my body. I had no idea what inner peace felt like because my mind was on autopilot, thoughts unregulated and my ego (nafs) was

Let’s go to the Qur’an: โ€œIndeed he succeeds who purifies his own selfโ€ (Surah 91 (Ash-Shams The Sun), Verse 9). Meditation is an exercise that helps you know, understand and purify yourself. When you sit and give yourself that gift of introspection, what you’re doing is tapping into the subconscious that records every bit of information you’ve taken in. We never forget, we only bury information. This is why you end up randomly remembering things from events that took place years ago that you haven’t thought about since it happened. Where’s the haram?

I’ve had people talk about them not needing to meditate because they have prayer. To me, that’s like saying you don’t need water because you have prayer. Each has a different purpose and the spiritual purpose of meditation is to work with your mind, work through your thoughts and understand yourself through the record of data that has been collecting our entire lives. We shut off our talking, egoic mind and we tap into the quieter mind that explains why we react the way we react.

Nowadays, many of us find it harder to mentally and spiritually commit to our prayers, even if we do all five, and then some. We were born and raised in a heightened state of capitalism. We grew up around computers and machines, fast food and having everything at our fingertips. Yes, living in the most digitalised era in human history yet has its perks, but it also means we’re functioning through basic physical needs and ego as opposed to feeling through higher states of being.

Meditating improves our concentration, it helps us enter within. Instead of thinking about what we want to “fix”, we slow down. We allow ourselves to process. We allow our mind to reorder and we tap into the deepest realms of our consciousness. We let go of worries, we let go of anxiety and we allow ourselves to just be. This is why when we’re stressed, we find it more difficult to focus on our prayer. We can’t just be, because there are so many things going through our head.

PS: I wrote an article on meditation tips here

The same way you can actually use the anxiety in prayer and pray through the anxiety by asking God for answers, we do it in our meditation practice and intend to release and trust that the answers will come. When you’re in a heightened state of being, you have access to parts of your subconscious mind that can explain. You’re not idolising your mind, you’re not praying to a different entity, all you’re doing is trying to get to know yourself better.

Guilt

From what I’ve seen by having discussions with many Muslims, they fear the guilt of potentially finding peace with meditation that they might not be able to access through prayer. Meditation is an exercise that helps you expand your perspective and tap into the energy of being closer to God because you’re not operating from anxiety. You’re training your mind. You’re connecting to your spirit and you’re by default bringing yourself closer to God.

You’ll find it easier to switch off and focus on your prayer when you’re praying. You’ll find it easier to be in the moment and have trust and faith that everything will be okay. Tawakkul is a much loved characteristic of the believer and it’s achieved when turning off your fight or flight and you enter into flow state.

You shouldn’t gaslight yourself or spiritually punish yourself if you can’t enter these stages. You shouldn’t normalise not being connected to your emotional and spiritual selfs. You should take steps to learn about yourself and connect to your intuition. You should have so much inner peace and your mind’s eye so clear that you are able to receive messages from God because you won’t be clouded by your anxiety.

Peace is a birthright. Happiness is a birthright. Manifestation is a birthright and it is all done by the will of our kind, benevolent Lord. Dua changes qadr, after all. Incorporate it into your spiritual wellbeing, work on turning off your fight or flight and allow yourself to receive the blessings of your Lord as you purify your soul with the intention of getting close to Him.

It’s our duty to tap out of the materialistic world. It’s our duty to meditate and enter flow state. You’ll find yourself accepting, receiving and perceiving from a place of love as opposed to anxiety. Your relationship with yourself will change, which will ultimately change your relationship with God.

Remember, He’s closer to us than our jugular vein. Your intention is everything. You’re not worshiping some deity or taking an alternative route to faith by meditating. Meditating is an exercise that has effects on your mind body and soul. Allow yourself to just be.

So, short answer: NO!

Here’s how I use my iPad to make the most of quarantine

Lockdown has been a challenge. I’ve been trying to make the most of it, but naturally, sadness and anxiety get the better of me at times. I’m not going to try to make everything go away and force us into toxic positivity. But, I want to make things easier for all of us and I’d like to share something that has helped me.

I bought an iPad when I was still a student and it was always there for me as my little study buddy. Venturing into adulthood, I didn’t really need it as much and it started to collect dust. Now, I only ever use my iPad when I’m travelling or if I need to for work (rare). Earlier this year, I was watching Adrienne Everheart’s video on entering the new year with a feminine makeover (yes, you can be feminist and feminine, but that’s another topic we’ll explore later on) and one of the things she suggested was decluttering your phone.

Initially, I snubbed at the thought. But I was intrigued, so I decided to delete old apps I don’t use, organise everything in folders and bung the folders in a second page instead of the front page. I only have three folders on my front page: one for navigation when I go out, one for self preservation apps and a third one for apps I use daily. The rest are in organised folders on a second page and my phone is super clean to look at. I also use my wallpaper for affirmations which I change every so often.

I used the same principle for my iPad. I deleted all of my old apps (though the apps from when I was a student are STILL there. I love my geeky legacy) and organised the ones I’m keeping in different folders. You can make folders for for productivity, education, games, exercise, media, entertainment, device tools, the possibilities are endless.

Then, you organise your folders into pages. This can really help those who have issues with duality. I have three pages on my iPad: A blank page, a page for entertainment, reading and fun and a page for tools and more serious apps. Having them like this makes it easy to organise my iPad and it changes the mood, so it doesn’t feel like I’m mixing fun with work.

The most important thing is to delete all social media! Before I did this, I found myself switching effortlessly from the magazines app to Twitter, or my iBooks app to Facebook. You want to make sure your tablet is a space where you can encourage mindfulness and to ensure you won’t enter a place. I found myself needing Instagram because I want to do IG Live workouts on a screen bigger than my phone, so I left myself with the options of either keeping it but putting it on a separate page of its own away from my other apps, or downloading it and deleting it as and when I need it.

Don’t forget to feel your feelings. We’re in strange times and we don’t need to be productive. Don’t let hustle culture force you to trap your emotions and stop you from processing. Take care of yourself and do what you need to do.

I appreciate you and love you very much.

Diana xox

Instagram: @flowerknafeh
Twitter: @superknafeh

Finding my peace in chaos – #BlogItIntoExistence April 2020

I haven’t done this in ages! But, words are powerful and intentions are the foundation to directing your power, so this series needs to get back into action. I remember starting this series thinking it would be easy to do even if I had to go on hiatus, but that’s not what this blog is about.

I had an almost year-long writer’s block. I was uninspired because I was being fuelled as I awakened and not writing meant I was respecting the integrity of my blog and respecting my readers by only putting my heart into what I write. Things are different now and I want to do nothing more than being consistent.

It’s fair to say that March was the strangest month of my life. I’ve been through my fair shares of ups and downs throughout my life, but this is the first time I feel the direct effects of society as we all knew it crashing down. My gym closed, going for a cute brunch with my friends became a death wish. My little dream of working from home and not having to wake up at 6am to commute was realised, but at the cost of going to the office means being a danger to myself and others around me. A trip to Planet Organic for some ombar and kombucha now needs gloves , two metre gaps between people and limits on what to buy.

I don’t see much changing in April. It’s weird how I’m not worried about it and I just adapted to this reality being the new normal. The human mind is just amazing. I don’t know what this month will bring, but I am setting a powerful intention to connect with my core.

I want to keep my first three chakras balanced and healthy so good energy can rise up to the remaining four. A solid foundation means it’s a lot easier to work through other energy channels.

It’s scary to think about worst case scenarios, but I need to trust that God will give me mechanisms to deal with whatever comes — good or bad. I need to keep my faith strong. I need to learn more.

I will read every day. I will do mindfulness tasks every day. I organised my Goodreads (find me there: @superknafeh) a few days back with shelves for different books. I also have a workbook shelf where I use those books to do mindfulness exercises every day.

Faith and knowledge will keep me grounded. I am excited to do yoga more than once a week and I am excited to see myself grow. I have fear, but I also have faith. I will feel them both, but live through my faith. I will come out stronger, healthier, happier and with enough agility to face the next few chapters of my life. The blessing God has planned for me are surreal and I must use this time to prepare in action, prayer and gratitude.

So it is. It’s done. Thank you.

Instagram: @flowerknafeh
Twitter: @superknafeh

Wanting others to ‘awaken’ says more about us than them. Here’s why

Awakening is a funny concept.

Often, the journey to enlightenment comes after going through a particular trauma and studying to find life beyond your egoic self. You go on a deeper life mission to find out about yourself and the rest of the world, you realise the beauty in oneness and you seek to share it with the rest of the world because “oh my God! If my life is so much better, imagine how everyone else will feel when they hear about this!”

Then you realise the process of healing isn’t linear. You realise there’s a plethora of healing methods and coping mechanisms as you enter a phase of trial and error. You try to unlock the shadow self, which gets messy and painful. You manoeuvre around the mess trying to clear it whilst walking towards the light of your “true” self outside of the ego.

Then you start to make peace with life and its ebbs and flows. You begin to view things from a higher perspective, but allow yourself the space and time to allow your emotions to process how you’re feeling. In fact, your feelings become your priority and something you honour as opposed to something to suppress in a bid to achieve this utopia of rationalism that we were conned into buying.

Ahh, it feels so good! We’re free, we’re awake, we’re spirits with bodies and egos, but we’re no longer bound by the myth that they are all we are!

So why isn’t anyone else awakening? Why is everyone around me suffering and I’m not?

It’s frustrating, I know. You see people suffering and you want to snap them out of it so they can live their best lives.

The real question is: What does their lack of spiritual awareness represent to you and what does it say about your journey?

Let’s be real. Who even said your awakening is done? If your ego is telling you to pressure others, you’ve got some more digging to do. Not that it’s shameful, it’s human.

Life is a mirror. Everything around us that causes us to emotionally react has a root in how we view ourselves and how we view the world.

Don’t just ask yourself why you want said person to awaken. Start off simple. What does this person represent to you? What emotions do you feel when you think about them?

Write them down. Happiness, hopelessness, frustration, anger, your need for acceptance, your need to be loved, your need to fix people/things, etc etc.

You may, or may not see patterns right away. Meditate on them and continue to do soul searching work to figure out what these patterns are and where they came from. Every day, you observe and release. When the inclination to try to control another person’s awakening comes, observe it.

You may realise that yes, you do love this person, but they spend all their time judging you that you want them to awaken so you feel accepted. You may realise it’s a part of your martyr/saviour complex where you don’t feel worthy unless you attach your happiness to the happiness of someone else. The reasons and possibilities are endless.

Path of least resistance

One of the laws of the universe is the path of least resistance. This means energy is more likely flow in the direction where there’s lots of tension. It’s a pretty beautiful law, but it’s also amongst the reasons people stay in toxic cycles throughout their lives because so many of us are afraid of the unknown and don’t take kindly to change. So the path of change tenses up.

It’s hard to see our loved ones suffer, but when we force people to leave their natural spiritual route, we make them suffer more. A spiritual awakening should never come from an interventionist stance. It causes more resistance and those unawakened will continue their path because it has the least resistance.

Our energies are intertwined. When you see someone enjoying a dish at a restaurant and you become tempted to try it not because of the dish itself, but because of the emotional and energetic reaction it invoked.

So really, even stressing about someone else’s journey is toxic. You need to find what it is within you that is causing your body and spirit to tense up and let it go.

Situations are different. Of course, when someone is harming themselves or others, direct intervention is needed to actively stop someone from doing something dangerous. Matters of the spirit are different. The most you can do is show the that there is another way, make them feel safe and let them be. Seek to inspire through your inner glow as opposed to pressuring from your ego.

You’re all beautiful. Sending you all love

Instagram: @flowerknafeh
Twitter: @superknafeh

Let’s clear our minds with tea – my current top five

Tea, glorious tea!

We’ve all been so stressed recently. We survived the end of mercury retrograde, a super full moon, a full moon in virgo and information overload about a certain issue that has taken over our lives, newsrooms and conversations.

I’ve been feeling so helpless and stressed recently and herbal tea has been one of my go-to’s to calm me down. Herbal teas have different benefits which work to detox your body, but they’re also so good for your mind and soul.

Even the process of making tea is soothing. Putting the kettle on, pouring it into a mug, holding the mug and letting your hands absorb the warmth whilst it infuses, smelling the tea as it brews… God โค๏ธ

You can find the teas mentioned in most places, especially health shops. I’ve posted links below, but you can get them anywhere.

Tulsi clarity by Pukka

This is one of my newly discovered favourites. I chose this first because I’ve been managing extra stress and when a friend gave me a sachet, it calmed me right down. I was initially sceptical about the taste, but it has a mild herby taste and takes to the sweet side.

Stress attacks the immune system and that makes us vulnerable to illnesses — something that we’re trying to stay away from in this current climate. Without mentioning the illness, we do need to take to herbs and hydration to keep our minds and bodies at optimum level.

Tulsi tea also has practical benefits for the immune system, because the plant itself is an immunomodulatory. It helps prevent certain respiratory illnesses (which is what the current pandemic is) ranging from coughs and the common cold to bronchitis and asthma. Tulsi fights inflammation, regulates blood sugar and fights oral bacteria so it’s another herbal way to keep your mouth nice and fresh.

It’s also good for your skin and amazing for people with acne!

Click here to buy

Moroccan mint green tea by Dragonfly

A friend at work gave me a tea bag of this and I’ve been obsessed! Once one of my many boxes of tea runs out, I’m adding a few boxes to my tea collection. A lot of my Moroccan friends and relatives use gunpowder green tea for their atay, so when I was brewing it, my expectations grew.

It tasted amazing. Usually, I find the mint overpowers the tea. There are times I love it, but other times, I want a more subtle minty taste. Gunpowder green tea has a smokier flavour, which I also love. The brew doesn’t taste exactly like atay, but it’s still yummy!

Gunpowder green tea has a higher percentage of caffeine so it’s great for energy. It’s also good at reducing cholesterol, good for the immune system, anti ageing and keeps your cells nice and healthy!

Click here to buy

White tea

White tea is a God send! I remember finding out about it around 10 years ago when someone tweeted about Clipper’s white tea with vanilla (yummy) and I was so curious to try it that I took myself to a health shop to buy a box.

After that, I began learning about different types of tea and herbal infusions. It’s similar to green tea but it is more concentrated in antioxidants (the same type, albeit) and is sweeter. It’s also slightly lower in caffeine.

For those who dislike green tea, white tea is something to consider. I hated green tea for the longest time (partially because I didn’t know which brands of tea to go for) and only stuck with white tea.

Click here to buy

Choco Chili by Yogi Tea

Yogi tea is one of my favourite tea brands. Their range is organic, ayurvedic and delicious and I loveeee how their tea labels have cute mantras. Tea is a relaxing experience and drinking it with nuggets of wisdom makes drinking tea so much more valuable.

Choco chili is my favourite tea of theirs right now. It tastes like a chocolatey chai, with spicy and sweet undertones to it.

The mixture contains cocoa seeds, chilli, liquorice, cinnamon, ginger, black pepper, carob, anise, barley malt, cloves, cardamom and vanilla beans. It’s very rich in flavour but is also high in antioxidants, has anti inflammatory properties and has herbs that have been used to treat symptoms of cold and flu.

It’s inspired by the xocolatl drink, something the Aztecs and the Mayans considered a drink of luxury and one for extra strength and endurance.

It’s also perfect with milk. I add a splash of plant milk, mix it up and enjoy.

Click here to buy.

Ginger Lemon by Yogi Tea

Disclaimer: I really don’t like ginger and lemon. But it’s so good for you and we’re all trying to boost our immunity. I bought this for my mum because she likes ginger and lemon tea, but if I’m going to review it, I have to make a cup myself. Here goes.

There are lots of ginger and lemon blends out there, but this stood out because it has liquorice root, lemongrass, peppermint leaf and black pepper — all of which are good for you and means you don’t get that typical isolated ginger and lemon taste (PRAISE DA LORD).

Lemongrass is amazing at reducing inflammation, works as a pain relief and helps to reduce fevers. Peppermint is good for headaches, clogged sinuses, low energy, helps fight bacterial infections and is good for menstrual cramps. Black pepper is also an anti inflammatory ingredient, high in antioxidants and improves brain function. Liquorice tea helps to reduce sore throats, protect the stomach lining and is good for your skin and teeth.

Not bad for additives to your typical ginger and lemon! This can also be another tea for PMS symptoms.

It’s been brewing for around 5 minutes. I definitely don’t feel disgusted by the taste, the way I usually do with ginger and lemon, but I don’t see myself drinking it for the taste. It feels healing to swallow and I’m loving the way the spices are warming my food pipe and chest.

Click here to buy.

There are so many more, but those will be for another post. Follow me on my Instagram for more tea-related fun and to join in our conversation on wellness! xox

Instagram: @flowerknafeh
Twitter: @superknafeh

PS: Affiliate links used in this post.