Filling my own cup – #BlogItIntoExistence September 2018

So, for the month of August, I didn’t blog apart from my #BlogItIntoExistence series! Sorry! Those who know me know it was a very hectic month. I was very uninspired most of the month and I didn’t want to write half-hearted posts that I’d rush just for filling a quota.

I also started my Instagram for my blog (mainly food) and I’ve been busy with it experimenting. So yeah, follow me!

View this post on Instagram

My loves, here’s an amazing breakfast idea for those with a sweet tooth. Healthy chocolate moose! I made this after I went for a blood test and needed an iron boost. 1 ripe banana 2 frozen dried figs 1 tbsp flaxseed 1 tbsp hemp seed 2 tbsp of raw cocoa powder Half a handful of pumpkin and sunflower seed mix 3 walnuts (or six walnut halves) Around 20 pieces of raw pistachio (enough to fit the palm of your hand Around 8 raisins A tiny tiiiiinnnyyy splash of orange blossom water (only if you like the taste of it – I’m obsessed) Around two to three splashes of almond milk (add more as you go along if needed) Put it all in a high speed blender or a food processor and whizzzzzzzzzz!!! And then add some fruits of your choice for topping. You can also add cinnamon, or nutmeg or vanilla or even zest like orange/lemon zest for flavouring either in the moose or as a topping. #vegan #breakfast #dessert #foodie #palestinian #healthy #iron #veggie #london #vegandessert #vegandesserts #vegandessertporn

A post shared by Diana Alghoul (@flowerknafeh) on

Anyway, this month, I’m working on changing my perspective. I’m working on trying to find the joy in life and chasing it in order to keep my focus.

What the f^%£?????

Basically, I’m working inwards to change my outward situation. There are so many things in life that I want to change at this stage. There are things that are a huge source of my anxiety and things that I am trying to manifest into my life. I know my energy is focused more on the anxiety of what I don’t have rather than trying to put in the spiritual and physical work to get what I want. It’s tiring, draining and disgustingly counterproductive.

I know with what I’m trying to manifest into my life isn’t a straight arrow the way manifesting everything else has been. Previously, I wanted good grades, so I studied hard. I wanted a nicer body, so I trained hard.

Then there were times I wanted to find my path and find out who I am, but it was nowhere near linear. I was stuck in my mind. I was floating between making choices, accepting fate and walking around with a blocked nose — I was able to see a road, but unable to smell it to know if it stunk or not. I just had to keep walking and hope for the best.

I’m in one of those situations right now. This time, however, I want to do it differently. I don’t want to stress about it. I don’t want to get scared. I don’t want anxiety to take over me. I want to be in control in this uncertainty and embrace it for the beautiful awakening journey it is.

I’ve been trying hard, but I recently came to the conclusion that the only way I do that is to quite literally “keep my eyes on the prize”. Everything above, below and around is just a part of the journey. I aim to embrace the journey, give thanks and understand that regardless what my situation may be, this is all prep-work for when I reach my destination.

I am letting go of the “how” and I am accepting that no matter what, I’ll get there. All roads lead to home. I will be okay, eventually. So why keep stressing? I believe that God will answer my prayers but I have tests to pass and lessons to learn on my journey. I need to be content without what I want in order to be in the healthiest and least co-dependent state to receive it.

Today, my day was completely made because I bumped into an old school friend (apart from parking being BRUTAL in London, this is one of the reasons I prefer public transport over driving any day) on my way to meet a current friend, whom I absolutely had an amazing time with. When this old friend and I saw each other on the train platform, we literally just hugged and spoke about everything that there is to talk about in the short time we had.

Him and I both had perceived unconventional career paths (I won’t be giving the details of the conversation out of respect for his privacy). He had a clear goal in life and a clear passion when he was at school and so did I. Writing was my passion from childhood and his passion was one I immediately remembered him by.

At school, we were both told that we wouldn’t amount to our passions and we should find something more realistic. With me, race was a huge obstacle because being 8 when 9/11 happened and feeling the first wave of post-9/11 style institutionalised Islamophobia in the Western world as a Westerner myself, I was told my view was one that could not be vocalised in the media.

For the longest time, I thought my only hope in journalism was if I left the UK and became one in a country where my views were more “accepted” — or just sell out where I’ll still find difficulties because my middle name is Mohammed.

Despite this, we both manifested our dreams. Alhamdulillah. I was so happy for him. The common denominator? I think it was love. Love for our hobbies and passions, which later turned into our careers. Because we were working from the heart, our hearts led us to our destination. I didn’t even study journalism and I was applying for safe jobs. I got rejection after rejection and found a way to do what I always wanted to do.

I’ve decided to take this lesson with me.I learned it a long time ago, but I never really processed it. When it comes to my latest goal, I want to experiment with having tunnel vision. I will be open minded with the “how” part, but I will not settle for anything less than the prize that God has written for me.

I will not lie, right now, it seems like nothing really is happening for me with this goal and this part of my life feels so incredibly stale. This moment is irrelevant though because it’s a moment in a greater journey. It’s a moment I have taught myself to appreciate because I’m learning to fill my own cup.

I’m going to start posting regularly again. Sorry for the unannounced hiatus!!

Love you all xoxox

Affirm: You are worthy #BlogItIntoExistence

I actually cannot believe I fell through with July’s Blog it into Existence!! I am absolutely loving the plant based life. I thought it would be a month of moping without cheese and yoghurt but I don’t even miss cheese. I have no desire to even buy vegan cheese! I’m learning so much about cooking and I’m learning how to make vegan meals that I can de-veganise easily and quickly if I’m cooking for non vegans.

Anyhoo, even though these Blog it into Existence posts don’t get much traction at all, I’m going to carry on with them because they’re good for me. Life isn’t always about clicks and retweets after all, right?

This month, I’m embarking on a conscious journey of healing. Without going into detail about my personal life, there have been things I have been struggling with, with one in particular being at the centre of my worries. 2018 has been characterised by healing the past misconceptions I carried on this one thing I’m trying to heal from. Now it’s time for me to superspeed this healing. I’m going to accelerate the process so much that I will shock myself with the results I’m setting myself up for.

I will read this blog post either half way through the month or in September with a smirk. I promise myself. I will remember the moment of sitting in the garden and drinking my aloe vera, strawberry and cucumber green tea and promising myself justice and smile at my own success.

38412113_1651085341684469_8932713732870504448_n
Hi future self – remember this? 🤗

The way I will do this is through self love. I have spent so many (necessary) months of beating myself up for something that has been so out of my control. I loathed myself into my own demise, though I thank myself or doing so because I stuck myself into a rut so deep that I had to do something about it.

I spent so long trying to “fix” things that I broke myself. I spent so long trying to ask God to rectify the situation in a way that would have belittled me that I undermined my own worth. I spent so long trying to find outside solutions that I threw away my inner self. Then came that time I tried to fix myself only to fix what is outside of me. Does that even count?

So if none of that worked, why not do this one selfish act and try to heal for myself? I will undo all of the debilitating thoughts in my head. Try it with me. We all have them. Think of something you want but can’t have, write down the debilitating misconceptions you fuel yourself with and come up with opposite affirmations.

For example, if you can’t find a job – you would most likely be telling yourself that the job market is difficult.

If you’re finding it hard to make money – you could be telling yourself that it’s hard to make money and that the rich have monopolised it all.

If you’re finding it hard to find love – you may be using the phrase “men are trash” everywhere or “women only want ….” and you’re embedding thoughts that you can’t have a good partner because there are none. I know “men are trash” is a more political phrase, but for the purpose of this, try to undo these thoughts. You’ll find yourself laughing at yourself and cringing, but you’re also cringing at the thought that there are no good men out there. This is an exercise for you.

Once you’ve made your affirmations, write them down and keep saying them. Keep telling yourself that you’re worthy, that you’re enough. We’re automatically programmed to belittle our worth and potential and it hasn’t been helping us, so what do we have to lose if we do the opposite?

I will do daily exercises to track my progress and to make sure I stay on track. A lot of them will be writing stuff down, creating a vision board and believing in the vision board and finding the happiness that my vision will give me in myself at that particular moment.

The thing is, we can experience the happiness we want without the things we think we need to achieve it. The irony is, without this happiness and conviction that we deserve what we want and it is possible to attain it, we will never reach it.

So for me, I am going to believe in myself. Believe in my power and believe in my happiness. I am going to give myself what I am seeking and I am going to watch it flow into my life. I may not need it to, because my trust in God’s plan is like no other, but I know it will.

Excited!

By the way – don’t forget to subscribe to my blog if you haven’t already! You won’t regret it, I promise 💕

Click here to learn more about the Blog it into Existence series and here to view older posts

♡Blog it into Existence – July 2018

Hello! We’re over a week into July and it’s been an amazing month so far. I’ve been growing, detaching and steering myself into healthier habits. It took me a while to figure out how I want to grow this month because last month was so turbulent with Ramadan, travel and trying to get back into the swing of things after returning to the UK.

So for June, despite everything, I managed to fulfill my aims. I’m reading a lot more and focusing on my nutrition. I went a bit downhill when I was on holiday because I ended up eating a lot of meat in Kuwait and I didn’t read much, but when I returned, I was in full force exercising, transitioning to veganism and reading.

I feel like I’m slowly but surely getting there and I’m taking small steps to build sustainable habits for a better self.

So, let’s start with this month! I have one pretty big one this time:

  1. Have a vegan month

    I am in love with veganism. Today, my colleague (who is also Arab and vegan) and I went out and we made the most amazing nutritious vegan tortilla wrap with a creamy cashew basil pesto sauce.

    Okay, so this is going to sound weird, but I was eating a Dairylea dunkers dip on Saturday and on the package, there’s a really cute drawing of a happy cow. The irony sunk into me as I was dipping the breadstick into the cheese that in reality, the cows aren’t actually happy because of the cruel factory farming industry. It broke my heart and I swore myself off cheese that moment.

    dunkersYou guys do not understand how guilty I felt finishing it! Haha! It’s a similar story to my vegetarianism, to which I have committed myself to for four years (minus some exceptions once or twice a year), because I swore off meat whilst eating it.

    I don’t want to label myself a vegan per se because that’s just putting a lot of pressure on myself and I can’t quite divorce the misconception that veganism is somewhat of a cult from my mind. It’s stupid, I know.

    For now, at least, I want to experiment with different recipes and have fun. When I made a vegan mac a few days ago, I genuinely enjoyed cooking it. It’s really made me rekindle my love for being in the kitchen and has helped me become more creative.

    Today, I went for lunch with my fellow newly-converted Arab vegan colleague (shoutout Alex and the mother of the world Egypt) and we continued our mini tradition of making salads. This time, we wanted it to be vegan and he was craving bread, so we got whole wheat tortilla wraps. It actually reminded me of eating a shawarma, haha!

    IMG_2332
    We stuffed the tortilla rap with jalapeno hummus, a vegan creamy pesto (made by blending cashews, chilli sauce, basil and lime until it’s creamy), edamame beans, seeds and random veggies we got. along with the pesto and flavoured hummus, we seasoned the veggies with vinegar and olive oil. Simple, fast, filling and nutritious!

    Even our non-vegan colleagues who were initially sceptical liked the pesto sauce and wanted the recipe!

    Trying out the vegan life has really helped me with my mental health, physical health and has taught me to trust my instincts, because most of the time, I make up recipes myself. I’ve also learned to compromise with adapting my food to meat eater palette because I come from a meat eating household and I don’t like to shove my lifestyle down anyone’s throat.

    I’m going out on Wednesday and when booking the lounge, I actually checked into the dietary requirements and saw that you can request a vegan meal in advance. I’m sure this is the first of many!

    I’m going to blog this experience, with recipes and tips on eating out. This is going to be very exciting!

Alright, I’m out for now!

See you next week my loves! xox

Click here to learn more about the Blog it into Existence series and here to view older posts

♡Blog it into Existence – June 2018

Hi guys! Welcome to the first post for the Blog it into Existence series!

So what I’m going to do is each month, I’m setting a list of goals that I want to achieve and steer directions into how to achieve them. I initially wanted to start a series reviewing the last month, but we really should be focusing on the present and future. Leave the past in the past.

We should all get into the habit of being present and thinking about the future in a positive way. Retrospectively reflecting on things is a good idea, but if we find ourselves worrying about the future, that means we’re stuck in the past. These are habits we need to actively undo.

A lot of my goals are very general and they are useful for others, so you’re probably going to find some useful things if you want to set similar goals. I have two this month 🙂

  1. Balance exercise and nutrition

    So before Ramadan, I was exercising at least 3 times a week. During Ramadan, I began doing well with my exercises, but I just began to lag. I also gave myself a leeway to relax a bit. But my nutrition was terrible; which I fixed in Ramadan. I taught myself how to make quick breakfasts in the form of last minute suhoors, I stopped eating junk food and I’m currently relying a lot on salads.

    I know when I get back to the gym, I will be completely motivated again (shoutout to Charline) and I know that I can balance my nutrition and not eat crap. So what I want to do is bring them both together so I can be superwoman.

    I’m going to meal prep, I’ll measure out and plan my snacks on days I’m at work and always have healthy nibbles in my bag for when I do go out. But with not eating or drinking for 19 hours a day, I’ve kinda proven to myself that I don’t need to eat when I get hungry. It’s a mental olympic.

  2. Read more books

    So, I’ve always loved reading and I don’t really have much space for more books because of the sheer amount of stuff I read (even when my mum throws out my books secretly as if I won’t notice that fiction book I read in 2012 has gone missing). I also don’t have as much time anymore. I switched to e-books last year and downloaded books on my iPad which did help, but I realised with that, I only ever read when I’m at home.

    It was difficult for me to read outdoors on a sunny day because of the glare and taking a huge arse iPad with me everywhere was inconvenient. So, I invested in a Kindle which is much lighter, puts less strain on your eyes and means you’re less likely to procrastinate because sometimes you can’t help going on Twitter in the middle of reading a book (sorry!). It’s also amazing because Kindle connects to Goodreads which means it’s easier to keep track of the books I’m reading and I can find stuff to read on the go at the same time.

    I’m really excited because I know I’ll be reading  a lot more this month. I’ve downloaded The Emotion Code. I can’t wait to review it.

    Feel free to add me on Goodreads and update your book journey with me: SuperKnafeh. If you guys want, I’ll do an Amazon idea list as well for recommended books and products.

Click here to learn more about the Blog it into Existence series and here to view older posts