I’ve let go of my old self… and having Covid helped

When people ask me to explain reiki to them, I usually tell them that it works by healing your aura, which affects your emotion body and then affects your physical state. It’s kinda weird because I actually saw this play out in catching Covid-19 last week.

The start of 2022 was really interesting and not like other years. Ever since 2018, I’ve been doing yearly vision boards to mark what my year would look like. This year, I felt uninspired by my little tradition and decided not to do it. Instead, I did some releasing by clearing out my whole room, my car and burning a piece of paper of all of the stuff I want to let go of. My reiki master Chetna Halai also did a release and calling in ceremony for the end of 2021 and the start of 2022.

So, yeah it was a very deep start to 2022, which uncoincidentally (we don’t believe in coincidences on this blog) is the year I turn 30.

I’ve had a few of my friends turn 30 before me and there was a lot of panic around the idea of entering this new decade. When I responded with calm, I was told to wait until I’m counting down the final weeks of being in my 20s. Here I am and not only am I calm, but I’m actually excited to turn 30. Really, it seems like a new way to let go.

Without realising I was doing it, 2021 became the year I let go of a lot of things. A crazy amount! I didn’t really set a full intention make it the year of letting go, it just happened by doing lots of energy work and finding myself in situations where I had to say bye to a lot of places, people, habits, thoughts and hobbies.

I will say that I set the intention to call in new things, so maybe I had to take out the old first 😉.

This time last year, I was doing some hypnotherapy sessions with my babe Sotoda Saifi and in one session, she noticed that I’ve been carrying a lot of ego connotations with my Palestinian identity, so she challenged me to do a session to let go of my Palestinian self. I was nervous because does this mean I would be obnoxious and forget my roots or stop being active? Regardless, I trusted her and I still cleared out the generational mess that naturally comes with being from one of the most volatile places in the world. It didn’t make me ashamed of who I was at all, but it cleared out some of the root chakra issues that come up when you or your ancestors have experienced different types of trauma such as war, siege, colonialism, slavery, etc.

Months later, when the massacre on Gaza happened and when my own neighbourhood, Silwan, was (and still is) being under threat of demolition, I didn’t feel distanced because I had let go of what I thought I had to hold on to be Palestinian. I still did everything that I do in my activism and journalism and felt all of the raw feelings that came with such a tragic situation, but I was able to manage the emotional effects of watching all of this unfold in a much more healthy way, which made me of more service.

In other words, my subconscious mind and aura were decolonised.

Then, I just spent lots of time doing other classes, sessions and courses with other modalities just for fun. At that point, it was less about achieving something and more to pass time and feel good. In that way, I let go of the outcome of the purpose behind doing all of this stuff and did it all because it’s fun… most of the time.

Fast-forward to January 2022 and I was having a very busy month, until I caught Covid-19 and had to cancel all of my plans and slow down to recover. Because I got rid of so much stuff around me, but most importantly, because I was already clearing out my subconscious mind, having coronavirus allowed the “letting go” process to continue.

On Tuesday, I spoke to Chetna about having Covid and she told me that it came to clear me out. At that point, the virus in me was at its peak and even though I felt weak, I did feel like I was doing a vibrational clearout. Now that I’m coming towards the end of my time in isolation, I really do feel like so much has energetically shifted and I am finally ready to be the next stage of who I am meant to be.

Treating every cough or sneeze as a physical release of trapped energy really sped things up. When your body releases through coughing, sweating, yawning, crying and other natural functions, you’re naturally releasing energy. This release is magnified in ways we can’t imagine when we note that our body is releasing energy and intending for such functions to be a release.

I look back at my 20s and I realise while I became a full-fledged adult, on an energetic level, my 20s were at times an extension of my teens in that I was purging all that did not resonate with me. I’ve chosen to release all of that now. I’ve chosen to stop identifying with everything that I used to identify with, but that doesn’t mean forgetting who I am.

Think of a certain identity that you may have. It could be ethnic, religious, social, political, etc. You’ve had experiences surrounding them. For example, you may have experienced racism. Letting go of your ethnic identity doesn’t mean no longer being what you are, it means you’re not identifying with the experiences you’ve had and connotations your ego creates.

Everyone jokes about the restrictions many Arab girls live with because parents tend to be more restrictive towards their daughters, whilst babying their sons. Letting go of being Arab doesn’t mean you’re no longer an Arab woman, it just means you’ve let go of limiting beliefs surrounding your personal freedom that has been fed to you by the story of coming from a certain ethnicity. By doing this, you’re becoming an energetic match to the vibration of freedom that you’ve always wanted but thought you could never have. As you keep this up and purge from years of being restricted by unrealistic cultural ideals, your reality will change.

Sometimes it’s not about keeping your vibration high. It’s about letting it sink when it needs to and using it as a chance to release and purge. Don’t hide from these low states, become curious about what they’re trying to tell you. What is your inner child saying to you? The secrets to healing and climbing up the vibrational ladder are actually in these low moments.

Without burning bridges, I’ve energetically tapped out of communities that no longer serve me and hold me back. Everyone is on their path and that’s okay. Not resonating with something doesn’t mean you need to demonise it.

By letting these identities and communities go through viewing them with neutrality and love instead of zapping them with emotional charge, you’ve put yourself in a powerful position because it means they don’t own you anymore. Anger and resentment will come up that will stop you from viewing things through unconditional love. Own that anger and work with it to heal it and rise above it. If you fight your negative patterns and feelings, they’ll fight you back, so just be neutral about an emotion and allow it to pass.

For me, everything is now starting to add up and make sense. Now that I’m looking back at the last few years of my life, I realise that nothing was a coincidence. I was meant to meet who I met, go through what I went through, read what I was meant to read, all of this to take me to this point. When? Just before I turn 30 years old. That doesn’t mean I won’t have more layers to unlock; life is beautiful that way.

I am in awe. My ego tells me I was supposed to achieve so many things I haven’t at this age and so does my community. I remember my dad telling me to hurry up and start my PhD so I don’t have to finish it into my 30s. Here I am without even a proposal and I honestly don’t mind because I realised that the PhD dream wasn’t even mine to begin with. It was just something that came with the reputation I had of being academic.

The most hilarious part of this is that even my old gym where I started my fitness journey closed down. This was the Virgin Active in Cricklewood which was right next to my old school. I remember going there feeling very nervous and intimidated when I first got my membership there as a teen when they had some special offer for us and I just wanted to leave. Minus the times I was working with a trainer or doing a class, that branch of Virgin Active was always the one where I had my worst workouts, even just days before it closed. While I miss the convenience of it, along with the reformer pilates and spin classes, I’m so glad it’s gone because I subconsciously still identified with the earliest memories I had of my fitness journey every time I walked in there.

The bottom line is that nothing can control you if you don’t identify with it. I have a vision for my future and a lot of it goes against all of these “identities” that I had to release. I think about this vision and I am at peace, in a state of joy, having so much fun and not tied down to anything that doesn’t serve me. And because I’ve let go of so much, there isn’t much weight holding me down to stop me from flying.

Here’s to 2022, here’s to turning 30, here’s to letting go and here’s to life. I’m so grateful.

And in the words of the amazing film that is 13 Going on 30, here’s to being thirty, flirty and FABULOUS!

Coffee shops and prophetic sayings on travelling

My loves,

I pray you’re blessed. I’m writing this with a cup of tea and a beautiful qasida in the background after spending a whole day in contemplation, meditation and life. It’s funny, life can be turbulent but the moment you have that warm mug of tea in your hands, you just forget. God’s mercy, eh?

This concept came to me last week. I’ve been waking up to pray tahajjud more than usual and it’s become my almost daily routine, just because I love how it makes me feel. I asked God a question at 4am and as I was about to go to sleep, I had this image of a coffee shop in my head. Simultaneously, the hadith “Be in this world as if you were a stranger or a traveller along a path” (reported by Ibn Umar) came to mind.

(For non-Muslims, a hadith is a saying by the Prophet Mohammed peace be upon him)

I’m no stranger to coffee shops. I love them. I love sitting alone and reading or blogging, I love having random conversations with strangers that take a very deep and spiritual turn (Coffee Plant on Portobello Road is the one for this) and I love the memories I make with friends.

Nothing warms my heart more than sitting with my best friends in a toasty cafe, with an oat milk americano on a winter evening, talking about life’s crazy affairs, whilst simultaneously watching people on the other side of the window passing by in their toasty coats and scarves.

Talk about Gilmore Girls vibes. Thank God for a woman’s ability to multitask, eh?

Back to my mini 4am visualisation. I started to really think about the way coffee shops are really the unsung heroes of society in the way they allow us to sit back and be present. Every single person who walks through that cafe would have been coming from somewhere and will be leaving to another place when they’re done. But for the moment they’re there, they’re just strangers having a nutritional, emotional and spiritual pick-me-up with a hot drink in their hands, flavour on their tastebuds and a whiff of humidity coming from the evaporation from their mug.

When I first came across the aforementioned hadith as a child, I was told it was a warning to me that this world doesn’t belong to me and I have no right to enjoy it. I was told that we must travel through this world with a hardened heart, because the enjoyments of life are only for those who disbelieve. It’s their world to enjoy and ours to suffer, as we enjoy paradise whilst they endure hellfire.

My heart knew that this wasn’t Islam and not the example of our beloved Prophet Mohammed, but I never felt into the hadith to really figure out what it means to me.

The dawn of my prayer, I realised the value of being a believer that is travelling. Our hearts are open to God and His creation, but from our ego’s perception, we detach. We travel through this world instead of taking ownership of it because our spiritual purpose is much higher than what is material. Just as my innocent younger self suspected, this Hadith is merciful advice to Muslims and non-Muslims alike. I took a sigh of relief as the truth came to me.

In a way, coffee shops are a modern depiction of travelling and pausing to find inner peace. Picture walking in a desert and seeing someone building a fire after walking a parallel path to them. They start off as a dot on the other side of the desert and they become bigger and bigger as your paths narrow to meet. You see what they’re doing and you help them, speak to them, and absorb the light and warmth they created as they share a drink with you. As you get up, you may find that your paths may continue together, or maybe not. Or maybe they do for a while until they get wider and you walk further away from each other until you become dots in each other’s sight again.

To me, coffee shops serve the same purpose as those fires. We gather somewhere warm to take a break from life and we allow ourselves to embrace the present. Everyone’s welcome, everyone’s taking their own space and everyone will leave to go back to travelling this sweet, crazy, raw dunya (world).

Weirdly enough, I got this image when I asked God for help because I was starting to fear losing something in my life. I found myself growing into a reality that was peaceful to me, especially after I gave up something for His sake. With this, came something beautiful, but I wasn’t sure if it was in my head or just a lotus waiting to sprout. I still don’t know. Sometimes I’m okay with not knowing, other times I’m not.

At one point, my heart became attached and it was starting to make me nervous. I hate uncertainty. I just wanted direct instruction and by praying, I wanted a definitive answer from the Divine. I wanted God to give me an answer in the way a fortune teller would. Sometimes this happens but now is not the time. It’s annoying, but look at what came out of it instead. Alhamdulillah.

I’m still confused and it’s making me feel sad. What I did get, however, was something better. A gentle nudge to the Islam I knew in my heart existed inside advice to relax, wrap my arms around the present and surrender to the unknown.

Allah told me to travel through this and to not worry about this potential loss because he is ar-Razaq (the provider). He told me to treat the moment as if it’s a chill out session in a café and to use my faith as a clutch that I cuddle between my palms the way I cuddle my oat milk americano as I laugh with my girls.

What’s meant to be will always come to be. Waiting can be uncomfortable and can invoke feelings of melancholy, but we’re passing by in this beautiful journey that is life.

Bismillah.

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

Burnout is real. We want to push as hard as we can at the expense of our health, but is it because we aren’t identifying with our soul?

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

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

Instagram: @flowerknafeh
Twitter: @superknafeh

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

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