Here’s why spirituality is activism

Hello my lovelies!

Join me in welcoming a world where Palestine will be free. Take a deep breath and feel the peace of achieving freedom and justice for all and feel gratitude that just as how systems of oppression are all interconnected, so are liberation movements; as we work for the freedom of one, we’re working for the freedom of all.

Before dedicating the last few years to my spiritual journey after a very sudden awakening, I was committed to political activism. I knew that there was more to the world, but I saw it as something that is outside of my personal scope. Then as I became spiritual and immersed myself in seeking knowledge of the divine, it became separate to my passion for freedom and justice and all — almost like a break from the emotionally charged space of activism.

Until I realised there is no separation.

The material world has a lot to do with unity — for example, trying to be an ethical consume. However, in the spiritual world, there is a plane of activism that we can tap into through our own connection to ourselves and the Divine. You can even embrace the two as one: what earthly hobbies feed your soul? How can you use your talents to serve?

Don’t underestimate your gifts and passions as vehicles for change. When you create, you balance your energy centres, bookmarking your energy on your product. This is why art, poetry, music, etc are so impactful in activism. Creating with love transfers love to others, which collectively energises the cause.

Sure, it’s not all roses. There will be tears, anxiety and a loss of inspiration. You’re human and dealing with some very heavy work. But when you do find that creative force within you, know you’re creating a better world with your world by expressing yourself from your deepest passions and God-given gifts.

A karmic cycle of love

The concept of self-care and spirituality being separate from radical politics is actually a very modern phenomenon. If we look at the theories, philosophies and religions that have inspired New Age thought, we see that humanity is a collective. We are able to manifest our personal desires because we are not separate from them. We just need to tap into that specific vibration to attract the reality in which we wish to live.

Just as we are not separate from our desires for ourselves, we aren’t separate from our desires for others. This includes justice, freedom and liberation. Just as how we are connected in a way in which we can sense when someone is about to call us, we are connected in a way through our spiritual energies to aspire for better for each other.

Call it dua, quantum theory, higher self, or even the belief that we are all one soul, material separation is an illusion and our individual energies mix with each other. Because of this, we are able to influence spaces that are not materialistically ours.

This is why I try to feel love and compassion for people whose situation I want to see improve, as opposed to sympathy. I do what I can to help when I have the means, but I do it coming from a place gratitude that they are getting help they need. With gratitude comes more abundance for ourselves and others. Sympathy reinforces whereas gratitude catalyses.

I’ve spoken to a plethora of Palestinians inside Palestine and in the diaspora, along with non-Palestinian pro-Palestine activists. Every single one of us have felt a shift in the mood. There’s hope, there’s love, there’s still anger (justifiably), but it’s coming with an emergence of calling for freedom from a space of conviction that it’s near.

Because of the power of social media, people are using their creativity to partake in activism and they are getting shared far and wide. From music, to poetry, to infographics, to blog posts. This isn’t only the tangible production of awareness and activism material, but the creative energy that comes out of this, which is through a domino effect, creating more and more. This is all happening on a subconscious level.

When we raise our vibration with the intention of coming from a space for pure love, we are sending this love out to the rest of the world. So when we take care of ourselves, we’re taking care of the rest of the world.

Minus the encounter of an energy vampire, have you noticed how your positive or negative energy rubs off on others? When you feel good, everything else feels good. Inconveniences matter less. This isn’t because your head is in the clouds and you’re ignoring things, but because your energy is affecting others around you.

This is exactly why energy vampires are able to make you feel bad when you feel good, even without speaking to you. Without a healthy energetic boundary (let me know in my DMs or comments if you want me to write a post on establishing this), certain places and people can suck the life out of you by being in the same room as you, or even when you think about them.

Taking the same principle and relating it back to yourself, when you fill your cup with remembrance of the Divine and come from a space fo connection, your cup naturally overflows to whoever you intend to send such good energy to. As you take care of yourself, you take care of others. This happens very subtly and subconsciously.

But just because we can’t see the immediate material side of this, it doesn’t mean we should dismiss it as a form of activism.

I’ve been lacking with protesting, but I’ve been praying over the protests. There was even a global tajjahud for Palestine that took place. Many souls coming and praying together for Palestine before the sun rises — one of the most blessed times in Islam.

In order to be able to operate on this level, self care is needed. Audre Lorde, the woman who coined the term self care, describes it as “not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.” Do not be ashamed to fill your cup and relax.

Burnout is the opposite of productivity, which means self care is the champion of productivity. If the illusion of separation keeps us disconnected (note the divide and conquer tactic of the British empire), connection creates a better world for ourselves and everyone else.

Just as how all systems of oppression feed off each other, all systems of liberation are connected to each other. When you fight for one cause, you’re fighting for others.

When we start from self, we foster a healthy connection with every other atom that God has created. We fill our cups and end up communicating through the higher/more spiritual self via each other’s electromagnetic energy fields. And even if you don’t believe in all of this, taking care of yourself makes you more productive.

Choose freedom, choose creativity and choose love. Set these standards for yourself and trust that you are raising the collective vibration for others to choose the same standard for themselves and the liberation movements they are working towards.

Our souls were once one soul and when God created Adam, he breathed his spirit into him — meaning we all have the spirit of God within us. There is no separation.

“Allah 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).

I love you all.

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

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

Is manifesting transcending God’s will? A Muslim perspective

More Muslims are learning about the Law of Attraction and diving into New Age theory. I explain why we actually need to manifest and how it can bring us closer to Allah

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

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

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

Navigating loss is hard, but here’s how we can make things easier

My recent loss was something I felt deeply. In practical terms, it wasn’t a real loss — it was a change in dynamic. That didn’t make it hurt less though.

I put myself in a situation where I had to be true to myself and ask myself what it was I wanted and if the situation in front of me added up. In many ways yes, but in many ways, no. I had to do the right thing and talk it out. It was a relief, but once it was over, I was overwhelmed with pain even though it wasn’t technically a big deal.

Usually, I do this very unhealthy thing of rationalising my emotions. This time, I honoured my emotions and felt them. These emotions aren’t a part of me, they’re simply visiting me. They need no rationale. They just need to be so I can let them go.

Don’t gaslight yourself

Honour your emotions. When it comes to feelings, rationalising can help, but it can also destroy. Rationalising may help you understand why you feel how you feel, but it can be your inner gaslighting tool.

A rule of thumb is if you’re making yourself feel worse, you’re not doing the rationalising properly. If you’re learning about why you’re feeling how you’re feeling whilst still processing, you’re doing it right.

What is gaslighting though? It’s a manipulative tool that makes you doubt your experience and sanity. You know when someone makes you feel a certain way and you express it to them and they blame you for feeling the way you’re feeling? Or they make you think you’re crazy? We can very well do this to ourselves by denying our right to our emotions.

Examples?

So, imagine you’re friends with someone and they’re moving to another city that’s an hour away. You know deep down you’ll see each other all the time, but you’re still feeling a huge sense of sadness and loss.

Honouring your feelings will sound like this:

“I know it may not make sense, but my heart has chosen to react like this and I’m going to allow it to go through this. If I need to cry, I will. There’s a reason I’m feeling this emotion more intensely than I thought I am but that’s okay.”

Self-gaslighting will sound like this:

“Wallah it’s not that deep. I’m being silly, I shouldn’t be feeling like this. This person is only an hour away and I’m clearly being stupid. I’m just going to take my mind off this whole situation because I can’t be a weak little sh*t and start crying.”

It’s okay to feel how you want to feel and it’s okay to honour your feelings. Sometimes, these feelings come from our subconscious making links to our past that we have forgotten about. Maybe it’s a symptom of borderline personality disorder, a condition which heightens our emotions. There are so many reasons.

Let through and let go

The only real way you can actually let go of your emotions is to let them pass through. It sucks feeling the pain of loss, sadness, uncertainty and a break in what became your new norm, but these feelings must be felt.

If you bottle them up, you will break down. It may feel like your world is crashing down at the time of letting your emotions passing through, especially if you haven’t done any shadow work prior to understand childhood triggers, but that’s a sign to go on a soul-searching mission. Start small by allowing your emotions to pass through. The cloud will pass and you will start to see the light.

Then in baby steps, continue and keep log. Revisit your emotions and understand your triggers. I know loss is a feeling I feel very intensely because as a child, I had a phobia of my parents leaving me at school. That’s the furthest I can consciously remember. Just knowing this has helped me understand myself so much more.

I feel better now. Stay blessed.

God bless xoxoxox

Why asking ‘why’ will get you what you want

Those who know me know I’m a serious believer in the fact that our spirituality is paramount to manifesting our external experiences. I’m consistently talking about manifesting, energy, kundalini, etc but at the same time when I’m alone or with my closest friends, my overthinking can go into overdrive.

Even though I know I shouldn’t, when I’m attached to an outcome, I go crazy with overthinking. I find it hard to calm my mind – this is especially the case in social situations. At times, if I’m expecting a very important call, I obsess about it until I’m forced to forget about it. The moment I go about with my day because I get busy is usually when I get the call. This happened to me with a parcel I was expecting recently and oh my God!

Even though I’m well versed about these laws of life and I’m very in tune with my spirituality, I’m human. But to get what I want, it means I need to not fight, but manure around my thoughts. One way to do this is to ask myself: why.

Think about it this way: when a thought sprouts, we grow it by answering one of these six questions: Who? What? Where? When? Why? How?

Say you’re trying to manifest a certain amount of money and you find yourself getting anxious over it, you tend to get anxious over when it will come to you, who will give it to you, where it will come from, how it will come to you and what the process of this money will look like.

By answering these five questions, you’re wasting your energy on the outcome. You’re entertaining your anxiety and you start overthinking which goes against the laws of the universe. The more you stress about something, the more you block it from coming into you.

So when you want to entertain a certain thought, what’s the best thing to do? Ask why.

Why do I want this money? Why do I want to do ____ with this money? Why will it make me feel good? Why do I want to feel good?

Then you can enter the what’s and who’s sporadically if it serves the exercise by asking stuff like: what will this make me feel?

The point of this is to take your mind away from the process of things happening – they tend to just happen in weird ways. I got my first journalism job after I was crushed when Al Jazeera (yooooo guys no hard feelings – God had a plan for me) rejected my internship application. Yes, I wanted to work for Al Jazeera but I wanted to work for them because I wanted to work in a Middle East journalism and I wanted to be free about being pro-Palestine affffff.

I didn’t get Al Jazeera, but I got a different job and that led me to working in a pro-Palestine news outlet and I got to write about Middle East everything. The what, who and how, when and where didn’t work out, but the why did. Eventually.

I wanted to make a difference with this blog, but last year, it was going on a completely different path. I had a very long period of writer’s block and I was very frustrated that I couldn’t write. Then, I changed. My inspiration changed and my vision for the blog changed because of my life experience. Yeah, it’s different, but the “why” behind my intention of blogging, which is to help others and to hash out my own thoughts coherently has manifested. Just in a different direction.

Let go – faaackkking hate it

This essentially, is what letting go is. Don’t let go of the desire. Just let go of the outcome. The problem is, because everyone talks about it, it seems impossible and unattainable.

All you really need to do is get the tools to re-train your mind. This shit takes time so please don’t beat yourself up. First of all, you need to understand that you need to train and re-direct your mind and thoughts to get this peace. Set an intention and do it.

This is why it’s so important to observe your mind and thoughts. I read this all the time but earlier on, I used to observe my thoughts and shrug.

“Okay, whatever I am observing me being an anxious wreck what the hell now ya flipping books/youtubers/etc???”

The thing that many forget to tell you is that when you observe, you need to do it with an aim. Allow the negative energy to pass through you but then you need to use the model of “who, what, when, where, why and how” to organise your thoughts and see what exactly is the source of the anxiety.

So, you could be anxious about timing, or a specific person, it could be you believe it’s unattainable. It could be anything. Then go in and thank the thought because it’s coming from your ego and as much as we like to demonise it, without it, we would be dead. A certain amount of fear is healthy after all.

After you thank it, you can either speak to the thought as if it’s a child and calm your mind down “I get you’re worried about ____ but this isn’t your job right now” or you can return to the original topic and instead of thinking about the outcome, you enter a state of flow by asking why you want what you want and continuing to ask why to each answer of each question.

When you do that, rather than attaching yourself to the outcome, you become in line with the emotion. That, along with a lot of conviction and patience is where you need to be for things to come into your life.

Guys, trust me, I know this is frustrating but we’re human. It’s easier said than done and I know this because I am still training my mind. Don’t give up though! xoxoxox

On loving unconditionally – is it really as ridiculous as it seems?

Loving unconditionally is an ideal that always felt unfair to me. It has always felt like an unrealistic ideal that only delusional people could attain through living in a bubble and being grossly naive. It seemed to me that to love unconditionally, one would need to live in a bubble and shut out all of their feelings, opinions and most importantly: standards.

I’ve always been told that loving unconditionally is emancipating. I’ve heard time after time in the plethora of self-help books, videos and podcasts that unconditional love is the way forward. The concept irked me because to me, loving someone is giving them a part of me. It’s sacrifice.

That was until I realised it’s my actual definition of love that’s warped, rather than the concept of loving unconditionally (I think I grew up listening to waaay too much Amr Diab, haha).

Last weekend was my turning point. I went to a vegan yoga festival and was supposed to get there for 3pm for the kundalini yoga class. My friend and I arrived late and missed the class so we went to the talk instead. We entered at a point and I heard something that I’m sure God planned for me to hear it.

He defined unconditional love in its truest form:

“When there’s someone who comes into this room, you obviously don’t feel love for that person the way you feel towards your closest friend, or partner, or family member.”

This one comment annoyed me so much that it forced me to think. How do I actually look at people when they walk in? I judge them. I look at what they’re wearing, how they carry themselves, what they say, etc. In other words, I attach myself to their experience and emotionally invest in their presence.

So, if the opposite of doing this is to love them, I must detach. How do I do this? Empathy.

Even empathy seems like extra work, but that’s only because we’ve associated with loving someone and having empathy with a form of martyrdom. In order to love, you must be willing to sacrifice and give a part of yourself to someone else. We only love if we’re able to, it’s never natural — or at least that’s what we’ve been conditioned to believe.

It all starts from within

I don’t believe self-love is to absolutely feel amazing about yourself at all times. It’s to detach from what you think of yourself to know the outside stuff is a fraction of who you really are.

It’s to allow yourself to view yourself as a whole being, not through the lexicon of your face, acne, lips, hair, body, financial situation, career etc. You don’t try to love yourself regardless of your perceived flaws, you simply don’t identify as a part of yourself as if it’s your whole self.

So really, to love yourself unconditionally is to detach and observe. Same with loving anything and anyone unconditionally. The same way you don’t attach yourself to the person who just walked into the room. You give them the space to be themselves without injecting judgement into their aura. That’s love.

Loving your lovers

With those whom you love in a more intimate way, the same rule applies. You love someone because of who they are in their whole true selves.

Naturally, we attach ourselves to people because of certain qualities we see in them that mirror what we have, or what we want. A man may love a woman because he projects a maternal standard that he has, which she seems to meet. The moment she stops being his version of motherly, his love for her ebbs.

To love unconditionally is to love regardless. This isn’t to say you become a doormat — rather it’s the opposite. You love someone enough to want to act upon it, but you have enough love for them and yourself when you realise your relationship is getting unhealthy.

With a strong sense of self that can only come with learning to love yourself unconditionally, you can draw boundaries or just let go.

Even after you’ve let go, you still love them unconditionally. Let yourself feel your feelings towards them, but don’t attach your worth to their presence. It’s that simple and that bloody emancipating.

PS: I know I’ve abandoned this blog for a year, I’ll get back to blogging again. I just need to develop a routine.

Trust your gut. Protect your energy.

I’ve been speculating a lot on gut feelings recently. For those who know me, I am a very spiritual person. I am also quite emotional. I hated this about myself for the longest time, but I’m learning to love my emotions as a part of myself. After all, they are our God given GPS guide, right?

It’s hard. We want to listen to our gut feelings and we want to just sail through our emotions, but egos, blockages and residence don’t allow us sometimes. There are times our egos take us into a whirlwind of emotions that we fake a gut feeling. There are other times that our gut feelings are so strong but we stomp on them because we are so insistent on getting what we want at that time in that place.

You know what? This shit is completely normal. It’s completely understandable and it’s completely human. Desire sweeps us off our feet. We think we want something without studying the reality of it and without wondering if we’ve created this placebo to pretend to fulfil our innermost deepest desires, or whether we want it.

This happens a lot in friendships and relationships. We idealise people and scenarios because we feel like they’re our saviours from a room within ourselves that we treat as a dumping ground which we don’t want to dive into and sort out. We plaster it with what we think are fulfilling interactions, but are simply just avoidance mechanisms.

We quickly build dreams on hopes that have no real foundation, because our ego at that time tells us it’s what we want. The whispers of our ego are so strong that we convince ourselves it’s a gut feeling. I’ve made this mistake a lot and I’ve paid some pretty heavy prices.

With gut feelings, they just come. One time, I was with someone I really cared about. Some things from this person that I used to see were more apparent to me. This person’s anger, emotional distance and somewhat dubious behaviour jumped out in my face. Before we had even managed to sit down, one reaction from one tiny instance stuck with me and I had a feeling that I would never see this person again in the context in which we were.

We sat down and I was quiet. I didn’t realise I was quiet until this person mentioned it. I looked at my orange juice and I realised it was almost finished within minutes; something I almost never do.

“You’re very quiet today. Usually I’m the one who’s quiet and you’re always talking and today it’s the other way around.”

I laughed and I tried to make an effort to speak, but something wasn’t right, even though the situation was completely normal. I just knew this wouldn’t last and I was grieving something that hadn’t even ended yet. An hour later, came the beginning of the end.

When your gut is telling you something, your senses are alive. You don’t know why and how, but they’re alive. You feel your internal space open up.

When you’re coming from a space of anxiety and “this just has to work out because I need it to” or “watch this bullshit will manifest – I’m so sure of it” or “I can’t function without ___ so it has to come back into my life”, these thoughts aren’t a gut feeling. Such thoughts are accompanied with desperation and panic. There’s an attachment to these thoughts that make us believe it’s the end of the world if they don’t manifest, so they must manifest because that’s how our lives have to be led.

Introspect saves us a lot. I’ve dealt with these by learning to enjoy my own company. I’ve fostered a sense of curiosity to battle my ongoing anxiety. Rather than needing things to turn out a certain way, I look at what this thing represents to me and I try to hold on to the underlying feeling.

For example, if you need to get into a certain academic institute to feel adequate, try replacing it with feeling proud of yourself for all that you’ve achieved to capture this adequacy you crave. That way, you’re detached, but you’ve also got enough energy to invest in actualising your dream rather than depleting it with stress.

Introspect also stops us from dragging on a friendship and relationship way after its expiration date. If you need to put in more energy to keep a spark, consider if it’s something that is meant for you or not. Yes, rough patches pop up. Yes, we must overcome and we must communicate, but if you feel like something is draining you and you’re jumping through hoops trying to fix what can’t be fixed, let go.

There’s a huge difference between giving up and letting go. Giving up is allowing things to crumble and breaking them so they shatter before your eyes. Letting go, however, is different. When true colours show, when problems arise that weren’t sorted out by communication, when toxic habits are far too deep, etc etc. You just know. Trust the feeling and peacefully move on.

If something is meant to be in your life, trust it will. People come back when they’re supposed to be and friendships rekindle at the right time. Breathe, trust yourself, love yourself and listen to yourself. Know that you’re self sufficient and nothing in this world that leaves you can make you less of who you are.

Just as I was writing this, an old friend messaged me. Turns out we had both been thinking about each other at the same time for the past few weeks. We really do communicate on an energetic level. Trust this communication happens and there are conversations our energies have had that we need to actualise in our physical lives. This includes gut feelings before goodbyes.

Trust your inner light because it’s guided by God.

Peace and love and light and all things amazing to you all.

Love you all xoxoxox