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

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

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

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

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

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

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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

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

Too anxious to meditate? I got you. Here are some tips

Hello lovely people.

I’ve had some people ask me about mediation and visualisation. Last week, I tweeted that I managed to treat my PMS cramps with visualisation when I was tucked into bed and was too tired to get pain killers. Since then, people have been wondering how to tap into this energy themselves.

Honestly, I didn’t know I was capable of doing this. I practice yoga all the time and I love meditation and mindfulness. I also believe in the power of the mind as a mechanism of healing, but I didn’t think I was spiritually awakened enough to to see results of pain relief if I tried it at this so-called “stage” in my spiritual journey.

But here we are. God really showed me the power of my own mind right there.

Before I do a deep dive, I want you all to understand the difference between fight or flight and flow state. If you don’t understand this, you won’t understand mediation.

The ability to meditate is our birthright. Naturally, we find adventure in the unknown. We’re able to close our eyes, allow our bodies to fall into sync with our higher selfs and trust. The reason so many of us find it so difficult to meditate is because our fight or flight is perpetually on and we can’t reach flow state.

Living the lives we do, we’re conditioned to be in a perpetual state of anxiety. We always feel as though we have to defend ourselves from something. This is when our fight or flight is on. It’s supposed to be a temporary state to get us out of extreme danger. But in this day and age, it’s the default.

Naturally, our default is supposed to be flow state. Rather than fearing the unknown the way the human body, humans are supposed to find adventure in the unknown. As opposed to associating the unknown with anxiety, we are supposed associate it with peace and enjoyment. Naturally, we’re supposed to trust it as a process and trust in the benevolence of the destination.

So where does meditation come into the picture?

If you cannot enter flow state, you cannot meditate. If you find yourself in your state of anxiety/fight or flight, all you need to do is recognise it for what it is and observe it.

How does this feel? Which parts of my body are tensing up? Am I shaking anywhere? How fast am I breathing? What may be happening?

Approaching your anxiety with a sense of curiosity calms it. Focus on how your body is feeling and be aware of the sensations. When thoughts come through, simply be aware of them too. Don’t fight your thoughts because they will fight back. Let them sit. And breathe. They can’t defend themselves when you’re flushing them out with breath-work.

There are many breathing techniques out there. One of my former yoga teachers taught me the 4-7-8 breathing technique, which I used when I had anxiety.

Breathe in for four seconds, hold for second seconds, out for eight seconds. Repeat until you feel better.

Breathing is core to meditation.

When you focus on your breath, you’re focusing on the energy that is connecting your body to your soul, thus keeping you alive. You can simply meditate by closing your eyes and focusing on your breath.

You can also look up different meditations. In kundalini yoga, there’s a plethora of meditations we use (if you belong to a religious faith and you feel uncomfortable with some of the chants, you can omit them or do a different meditation).

If you want, I can make a list of different breathing techniques.

Okay, but how do we visualise?

I taught myself visualisation through using guided meditations. Look them up on YouTube, Spotify or even yoga/meditation websites and find videos for different occasions or feelings.

When I visualised my PMS cramps away, I put my hands on my belly and imagined a warm gold ball loosening my muscles just because I felt like it. I could have imagined a red ball, I could have imagined massaging hands, the only restriction was my mind.

The trick is, I entered flow state through my breath. This is where beginners may need help because they need to be guided into relaxation. I still use guided meditations when I can’t seem to relax, want a fresh visualisation or want to do a yogic meditation.

See it in your mind’s eye/third eye

You don’t have to, but you can also use your pineal gland. Close your eyes, breathe and focus your eyes between your eyebrows. This is a very powerful state because you’re opening your third eye chakra.

Use healing/relaxing sounds

If you want relaxing sounds in the background, but not necessarily a guided meditation, you can use healing frequencies. I made playlists for each chakra you can use. You can even use playlists to time your meditation.

Most importantly, don’t worry about the amount of time you meditate. Just do it. Even if it’s for a few minutes. Progress is key. The last thing you want to do is stress about a mechanism we use to intentionally help us relax, heal and manifest.

Good luck and don’t hesitate to contact me on my socials if you have any questions xox

Instagram: @flowerknafeh
Twitter: @superknafeh

Image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay