Why you’re sending good vibes to yourself when you send them to others: a tawhid perspective

My loves, I hope you’re well.

This is inspired by the beautiful Agyeiwaa (@twerkgirlghana on Instagram – follow her!). We had a mini discussion about sending good vibes to those out there and hoping someone who needs it will catch it and I made a small comment about how important this is to me because one of the fundamental aspects of my faith is tawhid, Arabic for oneness.

With Islam being a strictly monotheistic religion, believing in the oneness of the Divine is a non-negotiable credence. Anything otherwise takes you out of the fold of Islam, and doing so is the only action or belief that does this. Growing up, I thought this was simply a boundary of religion, but it’s so much more than that.

As I embarked my spiritual journey, I found out about the law of unity, which is essentially oneness. The creator is one and the creation is one synchronistic wave of life. We have different organisms, different people, even different quantum realms, but essentially, we are all one, creations of Oneness and connected to this Oneness. Some people who talk about the law of unity also interpret this as being one with the creator, but that’s a different story altogether.

Knowing from my faith, fairy tales and all sorts of life lessons, I grew up believing that when you do good, it comes back to you. When you pray for others, the angels make the same prayer for you and when you give, you receive in abundance. No matter what our belief system is, we have all been cautioned about hurting others in case it comes back to you at some point in our lives.

Think about it. Almost 90 percent of all atoms are made up of hydrogen, an element which is present in all the fluids of the human body and can even be found in outer space. The Qur’an states that “the heavens and earth were joined together as one united piece and were then parted” (21:30), which means that even the angelic realm which we cannot physically access is part of this oneness.

The Qur’an also says that we as individuals were first created as one before being scattered into souls and beings.

“He created you from one soul. Then He made from it its mate, and He produced for you from the grazing livestock eight mates. He creates you in the wombs of your mothers, creation after creation, within three darknesses. That is Allah , your Lord; to Him belongs dominion. There is no deity except Him, so how are you averted?” — (39:6).

The lesson here is that while we are in separate bodies right now, not only were we created by the same source, we started out as one. This might explain why the hydrogen in our bodies can also be found in space.

Just how iron is at the centre of our earth at the core, iron is the centre of our bodies because it’s what our heart pumps blood to keep us alive, to which iron is an essential element of. This is in the same way, Surat al Hadid (the chapter of iron) is the 57th chapter out of 114 chapters of the Qur’an, with it being placed in the centre of the holy text.

You don’t have to be a believer to appreciate the synchronicity. It’s just there in its sweet manifestation of the universal concept of oneness and is one I am using because it resonates with me. It’s also an example that I view as the “heart” of my faith because as an atheist teenager, the story of iron was one that blew my mind and rocked my rational thought process.

Cue kindness and actions. If the ultimate law of the universe is oneness and we are all connected to the same divine source even though we are in different physical bodies, our actions bounce back to us because we only have one source managing the workings of everything and anything.

When we send love, we’re not actually sending it to something outside of the system in which we live. We are reflecting this love onto the universe that is ultimately within us and sending love to a person that was once the same soul as us. We may be physically parted, but whether you believe we were once one at the core, or are managed by one Divine source (or both), under tawhid, nothing we project to others enters into an abyss of nothingness. It comes from within and it returns to within.

Before we do anything, we say bismillah al Rahman al Rahim (in the name of God, the most Merciful and most Gracious). Al-Rahman (merciful) and al-Rahim (gracious are two of Allah’s 99 names. In Arabic, every word has a root and Rahman and Rahim have the same root word: rahm, which Arabic for womb.

Two of the most widely used names of Allah are rooted in a name for where life is created inside a woman’s body where the fetus is coddled in a bubble of safety, connection and unconditional love. As a woman, I can’t help but marvel at the sheer divinely appointed power and glory of feminine energy. No wonder patriarchy tries to suppress femininity in its corrupt pursuit of control.

So, if rahm is the root of al-Rahman and al-Rahim, we are all coddled in the same bubble of safety, connection and unconditional love. We are created with love (funnily enough, another one of Allah’s 99 names is al-Wadud, which means ‘the giver of love’), therefore when we send love, we receive more loving creation because love is a feeling that breeds creation in a physical and metaphysical sense.

(I have goosebumps right now)

Before I finish, I want to talk about overgiving. When we give from an empty cup and from the space of exhaustion, fear and anxiety, we produce more of that. Tawhid does not call for enmeshment and destroying your boundaries, nor does it call for manically giving just so you can recieve. It calls for mindfulness and surrender. When you fill your cup with love and give with love, you get love. When you empty your cup due to anxiety and give whatever you have inside, you get less until you ask for help and set a simple intention to operate from love. This is when your journey to awakening begins.

Know when you want for someone else what you want for yourself, you are a true believer, as said by the beloved Prophet Mohammed (PBUH). Also know that you must seek your right with honour, as also said by our final messenger. After all, he did tell us that a nation will not be sanctified if the weak cannot take their rights without surmounting obstacles. The balance is there.

Tawhid is an action and a belief, but it also reflects a system in which the Divine chose to fashion everything and anything. This is why healthy boundaries create healthy results, but also why we focus on the oneness via the Divine as opposed to enmeshment with creation in this earthly realm.

For me, knowing that there is connection and oneness everywhere helps to explain the workings of the realm that I’m navigating and helps to keep me mindful and aware, but the glorification of this magical system is something I owe the Creator. I do this as a duty every time I say Allahu Akbar (God is great), but it’s also a way to detach, release resistance and surrender as love, light and abundance effortlessly flow to me through the ultimate source energy.

You are one with your needs and desires, the boundaries you place and the love you send out to others. No good deed will go to waste. Internalising this protects you from lower vibrational emotions such as fear and envy because you know you are already one with everything you desire.

PS: I know this comes from a Muslim perspective, but I truly hope those who don’t follow the faith can too take from this ancient and divine wisdom.

Instagram: @flowerknafeh
Twitter: @superknafeh
Learn more about my distance reiki healing sessions via Zoom

I’ve been doing hypnotherapy and here’s my honest experience

Yes, you read the title properly. I have been doing hypnotherapy. It started mainly out of curiosity because I saw the amazing Sotoda Saifi offering a free session, which I took up. I found it so insightful that I ended up buying a whole package of sessions with her, which I found amazing.

I did some group breathwork and hypnotherapy sessions with Sotoda in the past, which I loved and found similar to a very detailed guided meditation. But with 1-1, the experience is more personal — you’re asked questions and you have to work with what comes up to go deeper into the planes of the subconscious mind.

The session started with Sotoda giving me a consultation, which I found helpful. It made me feel less nervous during my first time because I wasn’t going into the unknown. I am used to doing shadow work by myself and with therapists and healers, so I dealt with fear of the unknown when it comes to my mind years ago, but it’s always good to have that reassurance when you’re starting out something completely new.

My first experience was the one I felt the most change in my body. I remember my speech slowing completely and feeling really, really relaxed. I was emotionally connecting to the experience. The closest feeling I can describe is from childhood – when an adult tries to reason with you after a tantrum. You can rationalise, but you’re not holding back.

Other times I remember speaking fluently, but most times I was in between. Honestly, it doesn’t matter much because I’ve had breakthrough sessions in which I felt were perfectly normal conversations after the hypnotherapy, but after a few days, the magnitude of what we worked on dawned on me. When you work with the subconscious mind, it actually guides you and reveals what you’re ready to hear. This is why it takes a few sessions because when you rip one layer, another one is ready to come out.

What happens during session?

This, my beautiful friends is where I warn you that the hypnotherapist you work with must be someone you trust. I’ve (virtually) known Sotoda for a little under a year and from interacting with her and seeing how she treats her work with such love and care, I felt more than comfortable with choosing her as my hypnotherapist.

Read reviews, check their credentials and most importantly pray about them and trust your intuition.

With Sotoda, I discuss my week and how I felt after the last session and we choose something to work on. Sometimes, she suggests things like letting go of a certain pattern that I didn’t realise takes such a toll on my spirit, but most of the time it’s very free flowing and we work with where my mind takes me.

After having a chat, I’m guided into a state of deep relaxation, which is the key to effective hypnotherapy. If you’re feeling extra tense, let your hypnotherapist know and they’ll do more to put you into relaxation. It’s also a pretty good idea to breathe, meditate or to wind down in some way before hypnotherapy.

During the hypnotherapy, you’re fully aware. You are in control of what you say, but you’re also relaxed enough to allow yourself to listen to your mind and higher self freely. There was one time I had to open the door and I was able to fully get up and do it. But because you’re already relaxed, it’s easy to quickly transition back into accessing your subconscious mind.

The feeling after is subtle, but surreal. Depending on what you work on, you leave slightly amazed at what’s going on in your mind. Sometimes, you already consciously knew what the deeper issue may have been, but it becomes more apparent when you’re in that state of relaxation. You’re able to speak openly about it and understand it so you can let it go.

For me, the session itself never felt intense, but I felt it in the hours and sometimes days that followed. It’s nothing scary, or anything to be ashamed of. I felt them in pangs of epiphanies which I would try to feel along with. When we feel, we’re actually allowing our mind to flow freely.

But what next?

Sotoda’s hypnotherapy really elevated my spiritual journey. She took me to some truths that I wasn’t ready to admit to on a conscious level, but was deep down ready to let go of. I attribute this to her experience and intuition, but also the way in which she really reads the person in front of her with an open mind and kind ears.

You feel a transformation after doing a few sessions of hypnotherapy, but it’s a gentle one. I initially expected it to be a bombshell of realisations and rationalisations, but it was the opposite. You’re shedding beliefs that bring you to your truth and the light from within. It’s an avenue to get to know yourself at your essence as you create a distinction between your higher self and the stories of your ego. The fact that I had a hypnotherapist who helped me explore the reasons behind my expectations at the beginning really helped me because that in itself taught me a lot about myself!

Right now, I’m letting my sessions sit and I’m observing myself through my transformation. I’ll be doing a course with Sotoda on generational healing in a few weeks, so I’m giving myself as much of a break as possible. I practice gratitude every day to raise my vibration, I journal, I do yoga, meditation, prayer, reiki and breathwork but I’m only doing self-discovery when I feel called to.

Love you all SO unbelievably much and I promise, no more hiatuses on this blog. I realised that I go on a hiatus when I am working through something, but that’s because I take so much pride in my writing that I put pressure on myself to produce the best content. I’m finally ready to let go of this and trust the process and to rest in my unique expressive element.

I write because it’s my passion and God-given form of creative expression, which brings me closer to myself and closer to him. Alhamdulillah.

Lots of love, light and healing,

Di xo

Instagram: @flowerknafeh
Twitter: @superknafeh
Learn more about my distance reiki healing sessions via Zoom

Is manifesting transcending God’s will? A Muslim perspective

My lovelies,

I miss you all. Sorry for not posting as regularly recently, we went into lockdown in November and my creative drive just plummeted. I love this blog and love you all too much to churn posts for the sake of doing so. This is our sacred space.

I recently read a post by Sabrina in which discussing fitting Islam with New Age spirituality and it was very well referenced and had a lot of nuance to it. One of my besties, Yasmina, sent me this post and asked me what I thought of it, which inspired this post. Sabrina’s main point is that the two are incompatible — something that I, as a Muslim who actually takes inspiration from a lot of New Age thinkers agree with when it comes to the ontological perspective of the practice.

For many Muslims, the main issue with New Age philosophy is there is a lack of spiritual accountability, which is the reason I stuck to my Islamic truth. I believe my relationship with the Divine should be one of give and take. I have a code from God that I try to live by in exchange for endless doors to mercy and forgiveness, as I navigate life in my very human way. I have this, with the infinite possibilities that are available to me by simply asking the creator of all things.

This to me is manifestation. Sabrina herself likened such practices to Islam, but to associate manifestation with the “secularisation of spirituality” remains somewhat of a blanket statement and only through the perspective of the intrinsically secular New Age movement. The truth is, the manifestation process is powerful because it works. It’s the rule of God. We ask and we receive. Even when it comes to perceived failure, reasons behind us feeling like our prayers weren’t answered and our manifestations haven’t come into fruition are usually the same:

  1. We weren’t in the right frame of mind when we were trying to bring something into our lives. Just as there’s an etiquette to dua, there’s an etiquette to manifestation (positivity, conviction, gratitude, etc)
  2. We were asking from the nafs (ego), or a place of a lower vibration. We may want something, but it’s coming from a space that you can’t see beyond what you want for something greater to come to your life (see: Qur’an 2:216)
  3. Right request, wrong timing

This means manifestation transcends the material world because it means you’re having to understand why you want what you want in order to undo the subconscious blocks to allow it to come into “fruition”. It offers the same wisdom behind Allah knowing which dua to answer and in what way. We trust that Allah knows best, but we use our God-gifted curiosity to understand why things are the way they are.

We are always manifesting

By definition, manifestation is the deliberate creation of circumstances using your thoughts and feelings. The reason we have certain situations repeating through our story is that thought patterns and attachment styles is that they are embedded in our subconscious mind. We view things a certain way because that’s the story our egos are telling us.

Manifestation gives you control of the story you tell yourself (eg: if you tell yourself you’ve got bad eating habits, you automatically manifest an unhealthy lifestyle because that’s your story). It forces you to dig deep and ask yourself what story you’re telling yourself so you can heal trauma and rearrange your subconscious mind. This changes your perspective, which leads to you changing your results.

This happened to me with my friendships, my relationship with myself, my relationship with God (I had a story in my head that my duas are never answered and I had to reprogramme my mind to think otherwise through working on my issues with self-worth and rationalisation that Allah answers all duas), my relationship with food and many more things in my life.

When I decided to take control over the narrative I told myself as opposed to letting my ego run on autopilot and speak through trauma, doors opened for me like never before.

Where does qadr come into this?

In Islam, there are five pillars of Islam and six pillars of faith. One of them is to believe in qadr, which is to believe in the divine decree of God. For many, believing you can manifest your reality contradicts the whole concept of believing in a divine decree. In my opinion, qadr is something that on one can play with. Qadr is in the present moment and it’s the reason we are where we are today.

Rather than philosophising on this, let’s go to the words of the Prophet Mohammed (SAW) himself.

“Nothing can change the Divine decree except dua”. [Musnad Ahmad, 5/677; Ibn Majah, 90; Jami` Al-Tirmidhi, 139. Classed as hasan by Albani]

“No precaution can protect against the decree of Allaah. Du’aa’ is beneficial with regard to what has been decreed and what has not been decreed. The du’aa’ meets the calamity that has been decreed and wrestles with it, until the Day of Resurrection.” [Narrated by al-Tabaraani, 2/800 (33)]

“Whoever has the gate of du’aa’ opened to him, has the gates of mercy opened to him. Allaah is never asked for anything that He gives which is more beloved to Him than being asked for good health and well-being. Du’aa’ is beneficial with regard to what has been decreed and what has not been decreed. So, O slaves of Allaah, you must make du’aa’.” [Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 3548]

So yes, we do believe in a divine decree or qadr, but we also believe that our journeys can be shaped with our own intention through connecting with the Divine. Allow God to listen to what you want and answer your prayers. Follow the example of the Prophet Mohammed (SAW) by being in constant communication with the Divine.

Also, how do we know which event is a part of our qadr and which event is something that God tested us with to turn back to him through connecting with our higher self? Accepting qadr means accepting the present moment, so do that and shape your future through action and prayer, believing your future is in the hands of a benevolent power that knows us better than we know ourself.

Why do we need manifestation techniques if we have Islam?

I’ve asked myself this question many times and to answer it, I had to actually take part in manifesting and understand what it gave me. When I found myself writing down what I wanted as if it already was here (scripting), it made me feel better and put me in the right frame of mind to make my dua. When I made my yearly vision board, I entered a space of understanding my feelings better. How did I feel when I was sticking a photo of something onto my board? What does that say about my blockages? What do I find easy, what do I find difficult?

I use the tools to take me out of the yearning of the past and the anxiety of the future and I bring myself into a state that allows me to find adventure in the future instead of fear. This is called entering flow state and it’s an exercise that helps you flex the spiritual muscle that is tawwakul (trust in God). Not having tawakkul doesn’t make you a bad Muslim, it just means you’re too scared to trust. Working on it is a form of jihad.

All of this boils down to knowing yourself, understanding your blocks and tapping into a space of peace and positivity. The manifestation techniques are real because they help you enter a space of allowing yourself to receive.

Using the term “universe” to describe the Creator is just another way to secularise this spiritual practice that is embedded in all religion. To me, this isn’t a bad thing because it makes God accessible to people who have no religion, are starting their spiritual journey, or want to find the meaning of life in their own way. For those who have attained spiritual trauma under the hands of corrupt religious authority, this is perfect for them to bring a power higher than themselves into this healing journey.

Personally, as a follower of Islam, I prefer to refer to the limitless creative power as Allah or his 99 names. This is what works for me and these manifestation tools help me tap into a headspace that takes me out of my fight or flight mode by learning about myself, my fears, my blocks and my desires so I can train my mind to connect to my heart and tap into a place of meaningful connection with Him.

It’s no secret that New Age spirituality is secular, but that doesn’t make it bad. It just means some of its elements are incompatible for religious people. That’s fine, but that doesn’t mean we can’t use aspects of it that don’t contradict with religious beliefs to understand ourselves better.

I love you all so much.

Instagram: @flowerknafeh
Twitter: @superknafeh

Learn more about my distance reiki healing sessions via Zoom

Here’s why you’re burning yourself out and what to do

This age has been categorised by identifying ourselves with our careers. Our whole childhood education has trained us to do and contribute as opposed to just be.

Take, the innocent question of “what do you want to be when you grow up?” and the way we were trained to by well-intentioned adults to use childhood as a building ground to serve capitalist ideals. We went to class for a “future”, did homework so we could pass and go to university and then went to university, or training for a job. We were told to have realistic expectations and to not pursue dreams that could land us in financial trouble in the future.

We may have had creative outlets, but our identity was first and foremost, how we could contribute to capitalism and how we identified through its lens. Unless our passions were profitable, we were told to choose between what we love and what would let us lead the lives we love.

For me, writing was always my passion. I loved expressing myself through writing, but judged myself based on my grades, which naturally were fluctuant. I then went on to study politics and war at university and I identified myself as a student. Then I identified as a journalist and my highs and lows became dependant on how my career was going.

Little did I know, those perceived ebbs and flows were one single meander that is life and I was just navigating whilst plastering my identity to one tiny aspect of it.

Learn more about my distance reiki healing sessions via Zoom

After realising this, I stumbled upon an article that said adults should identify with their health goals as opposed to their careers. It seemed legitimate, so I started to do it. I became Diana, the health conscious person and my fitness definitely improved… until I had days it didn’t.

Then came the same feeling losing your sense of self, but based on a different hurdle. I soon realised that the problem wasn’t what I was attaching my identity to, but the fact that I was identifying with temporary aspects of life, full stop.

Really, there’s no step-by-step to stop burning yourself out. We all do it in different ways and for different reasons, which change throughout our lives. Sometimes, it’s a necessity, other times it’s a survival instinct and then there are times we become addicted to the feeling of success. What we can do, though, is identify with something else.

Identify with your higher self, your soul. It could be too much to comprehend for some, especially for my readers who are new to spirituality, so think of it as identifying with your breathing.

“I am my breath. I am how I breathe.”

Take yourself there. How fast are you breathing? How deep are you breathing? Does your breathing come from your chest, or are you taking deep, belly breaths? Without judgement, focus on your breath, slow it down, put your hand on your heart centre and just say “I am”.

The rest of those identities will change. Success is relative, material is temporary. Even the body we have doesn’t stay with us forever, but our soul self, the self that was created in a completely dimension, will forever be ours and us.

Just coming to this realisation is enough. When you find yourself drifting with stress, overworking and identifying with success, just know it isn’t you.

Yes, life gets stressful, things get in the way of us doing what we want, but those are things that happen to you — they are not you. They do not need to become a part of you.

Don’t judge yourself for how well you’re connecting with your breath or identifying with your soul. Just do it. Allow negative thoughts to pass. They are not you and they do not stay forever. That extra sale may boost your confidence and dissolve those disturbing thoughts, realising your home is within lets you take a step back, allow you to feel how you want to feel, reminds you your thoughts aren’t you. Your thoughts are thoughts that affect you, but that doesn’t mean they become latched to your identity.

Get comfortable with stripping yourself of all of those labels and not identifying with the temporaries around you. Meditate on yourself, let go of the world and view yourself as the raw ethereal being you are. This is the purpose of spirituality and spiritual practice. You honour where you are, but you identify with yourself on a spiritual level to clear the material clutter in your mind.

Yes, you may need to do it more than once and yes it may take a while to retrain your brain to change the way you identify yourself, but by just having the simple awareness, you’re doing more than enough.

Baby steps, small wins and lots of gratitude and love.

I love you all.

Diana xoxo

Instagram: @flowerknafeh
Twitter: @superknafeh

Learn more about my distance reiki healing sessions via Zoom

Becoming a reiki healer and ways to heal with Sotoda Saifi

My loves, I missed you all. I took a small break from blogging to calibrate and I feel so much better. I had an intense few weeks and I needed to go within to write to you all from a space of love and purity. One of the lovely things that happened was I became a reiki healer and can officially do physical and distance healing!

A couple of weeks ago, the amazing Sotoda Saifi and I did a podcast episode on healing. She’s a wonderful hypnotherapist who works with feminine energy and the breath. We had an amazing conversation discussing our personal healing journeys and how we used the power of tapping into an energy higher than our bodies to find peace and enter a state of flow.

What really struck me in that conversation is we both took very different paths, but led us to similar outcomes. Despite both of us immersing in prayer, healing our bodies and minds with our yoga practice (shoutout kundalini yoga – foeva my love) and really holding ourselves to account, her journey took her to breathwork and hypnotherapy, whereas mine has taken me to writing and more recently reiki.

What does this mean? Yes, you will cross paths with others and there will always be parallels between your healing journey and others, but ultimately your journey is yours. You can be guided to the same healing methods, but for different reasons.

One thing that really stood out when I used to go to kundalini yoga regularly before lockdown is we all started the practice to heal in some way. In my class, we were all there for different reasons. I befriended recovering alcoholics, people recovering from physical injury/disease, people on an emotional healing journey, people trying to find spiritual peace or simply try something new; you name it. We all took out our yoga mats, did our practice and drank a yummy vegan yogi tea straight after — sometimes discussing our life journeys if we were comfortable, other times just focusing on how good the practice was.

My journey taught me that very rarely you can fully relate to a person’s story or journey, but feelings are universal. Feelings are the key to empathy and they’re the hallmark of the shared human experience. You may not know what someone is saying, but when you try to understand how they feel, you’ve unlocked their essence at that moment.

The fact that healing is a journey that helps us elevate mentally, emotionally means we’re all on the same path to peace. The fact that there are so many avenues to it, holistic and modern, shows that our life journeys matter in the way we heal ourselves and the avenues we take to reach fulfillment.

This is why it’s important to honour your journey thus far. When I started my spiritual healing, one of the things that frustrated me was that there was no recipe to follow. You learn through trial and error whilst accepting support and unraveling your life. I see the wisdom behind this now. If we’re all so different, why must we find peace the same way?

Be gentle with yourself when you’re on this journey. Try different things. If you’re in a situation where you need to take antidepressants/mood stabilisers, don’t jump to the holistic way and ditch what already works for you — don’t feel pressured to be fully holistic from the get go either. Learn gently and slowly. Enter the spiritual world gently and honour where you are right now.

If you feel overwhelmed or don’t know where to start, start with this question: What do I love?

And just go from there.

Click here to listen to the podcast episode for more detail.

I love you all

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

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 👀🇵🇸). 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, you’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 😝! 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.

اللَّهُمَّ اِنِّىْ اَسْىَلُكَ الْفَوْزَ فِى الْقَضَآءِ وَ نُزُلَالشُّهَدَآءِ وَعَيْشَ السُّعَدَآءِ وَ مُرَافَقَةَ الاَنْبِيآءِ وَ النَّصْرَ عَلَى الاَعْدَآءِ اِنَّكَ سَمِيْعَ الدُّعَآءِ

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.

الَّهُمَّ اسْتُرْ عاوْرَتِىْ وَ امِنْ رَوْعَتْىْ

Allahummastur ‘auraati wa aamin ru’aati

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

رَبَّنَا لا تَجْعَلْنَا فِتْنَةً لِّلْقَوْمِ الظَّلَمِنَ وَ نَجِّنَا بِرَحْمَتِكَ مِنَ الْقَوْمِ الْكَفِرِيْنَ

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.

اللهم اهدني صرة المستقيم للوصولي

Allahuma ihdeeni seerat al-mustaqim la wusuli

Allah guide me to the straight path to my destination

اللهُمَّ لا سَهْلَ إلا مَا جَعَلتَهُ سَهْلا وَ أنتَ تَجْعَلُ الحزْنَ إذا شِئْتَ سَهْلا

Allahuma la sahla illa ma ja’altahu sahla, wa ‘anta taj-alul hazna idha shi’ta sahla

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

بِسْم الله وتوكلت على الله ولا حول ولا قوة إلا بالله

Bismillah wa tawakkaltu a’la Allah wa la hawla wa la quta illa billah 

In the name of Allah, I trust in Allah’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 😉. 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

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