Is it too much to ask for a good man? On subconscious patterns and healing trauma

Disclaimer: I use the Qur’an as an example because rather than telling Muslims how spirituality can be compatible with Islam, I like to show by using what is inherently embedded in our system of faith due to perceived controversies surrounding spirituality and Islam. These teachings are universal and can be applied to all or no faith systems.

Hi my lovelies!

I’ve had many conversations this Mercury retrograde and a lot of them have revolved around pressure, standards and whether it’s too much to not settle for anything less than what we want/desire/deserve. So many people are going from within and revisiting their standards, but it’s coming at a time of heightened anxiety and inner child triggers.

What I’m seeing from the majority of these conversations is that people are allowing trauma to dictate what is and isn’t possible. In a world of infinite realities, it truly is our subconscious mind that dictates our life. A particular feeling or vibration we may be stuck on actually comes from an unhealed part of our inner child.

This explains why you’re stuck in the same relationship pattern even after you change your circumstances or people in your life. There is unhealed trauma that keeps manifesting in different facets of your being and the only way to stop this to yield different results is to change your habits.

In terms of romantic relationships, one of the ways we look at this is through the ratio of masculine and feminine energy that is playing out within us. This constantly changes but seeing where we are can give us a more defined view of where our traumas lie.

A woman who describes herself as feminine that desires an alpha man may have some deep-seated trust issues from childhood which stops her from trusting and allowing the masculine to show up in his service. She may think that men are useless and not to be trusted, so weak men pop into her reality.

The wounded feminine will attract a wounded masculine, which creates an unequal polarity and dwindled attraction. This explains the “ick”: an incomplete energetic polarity that kills attraction.

Does this mean we manifest or deserve abusers? Absolutely no, but not understanding our karmic footprint and attachment style makes us realise how we may be vulnerable to letting in leeches, vampires and abusers. Understanding red flags in others is one thing, but understanding where we’re vulnerable to overlooking them is another. When we do this work, we create a space for inner child healing, deep spiritual growth and a transformed life.

Sometimes it isn’t about what happened to us to create our attachment style, it’s what happened around us. This is why we tend to replicate patterns of the relationship of our parents and/or closest guardians. We grow up thinking that what is around us is normal. If your dad was controlling, you’d subconsciously manifest controlling men because it’s what is normal to you, even if you consciously dislike controlling men.

The key is to free yourself from the normal that was imposed on you, through the way you were treated and the energy of others that your subconscious mind absorbed as a child. This is why I’m so passionate about reiki, because it can really help to supplement the work you’re doing by moving and releasing trapped energy that create traumatic feedback loops. As the energy moves, the resistance to doing the work weakens.

Read my post: ‘How to let go of attachment patterns and reclaim your life’ to learn more about inner child healing

If we take quantum theory into consideration, possibilities are endless. When we look at qadr/predestination, we see that even that can be changed. In Islam, we are told that qadr can be changed through prayer. “Kun fa yakun”, be and so it is, it says in the Qur’an.

We’re told that prayer is the weapon of the believer, but what does that really mean? When we think of prayer, we think of just connecting to and asking God for help. This is true, but it entails leaving the material world and going from within to the very source of existence to change things. This means we need to foster deep spiritual connection to see a change in our circumstances.

It’s why Allah doesn’t change our condition until we change ourselves (Qur’an). Yes, there is an element of sin and deeds, but another overlooked element is to do with our subconscious mind and how our underlying beliefs shape our reality.

So as we heal and become open to trusting and receiving, our reality changes because we’re opening ourselves up to freedom and happiness. What happens within controls the outside because our subconscious mind always looks for confirmation.

This is why healing can take time and is a lifelong journey. For the first eight years of our lives, we were operating on theta brain waves and some children operate from their theta brain waves up to 13 years old. This means our subconscious is actively absorbing, which is why our patterns tend to replicate the ones we’ve had since childhood until we decide to do deep intentional healing.

This is why without healing, what is healthy is either scary or boring, because it’s not something we’re used to. Our brain seeks to replicate what we know, which is why toxic situations can seem like “home”. To the brain, it’s safer because it’s familiar. As we release what is familiar, we’re able to rise above the toxic patterns that we find ourselves entering over and over again.

When we release our trauma, we become receptive to a dimension we don’t know of and then start to yield different results. We have access to blessings that we kept blocking because of our beliefs, programming, attachment to people, places and things; and refusal to accept better.

When we find peace, foster self love and close our energy field, we begin to say no and do so from a space of pure self love, because once we finally feel that love from within, we’d do anything to protect that peace in our heart space.

We then realise that when we expect men to be providers and protectors, we’re not asking for too much. We’re just entering relationships on autopilot, crossing the boundaries we didn’t even know we have and then asking whoever is in our life to be someone they are not. If we accepted a tie with a toxic person and were attracted to them from an unhealed space, how can we ever expect a healthy outcome?

Say no to toxic patterns, say no to stagnation, say no to unhealthy relationships and say no to having to fix someone to “grind and heal together”. Say yes to boundaries, yes to standards, yes to calling yourself out and yes to healing. Things will naturally fall into place because you’re releasing the conditions that created these unhealthy patterns in the first place.

Be unashamed of your standards and expectations. The only ones who will shame you are the ones who can’t meet you on your pedestal so they try to knock you off yours for a chance. Think of the times you said yes to something you weren’t comfortable doing. You ended up paying a price for it in the long run. So why set yourself up for paying for a price that you could avoid by saying no and staying true to yourself?

Discernment is key to answering this question, which is something we can only grasp when we’re connected, grounded and setting on to our lifelong healing journey.

I love you all.

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

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

I tried hypnotherapy with Sotoda Saifi and here’s how it transformed me!

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

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

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

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

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

What happens during session?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But what next?

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

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

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

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

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

Lots of love, light and healing,

Di xo

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

Is manifesting transcending God’s will? A Muslim perspective

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

The controversy behind sage and how to smudge properly and ethically

From appropriation to extinction, there are many controversies behind sage. Here’s a guide on how to be ethical when smudging, alternatives to sage and a step-by step!

Today, I took my friend to a spiritual shop for the first time and we saw sage sitting on the counter, so I started to explain how to use it. The lady behind the till started laughing and she told me that the moment the shop re-opened after lockdown, people were running in for sage. I love sage because it’s something that is prominent in my Palestinian culture, but I’ve been reading a lot of content written by Native Americans on cultural appropriation and the inflation of sage.

Sage is a very healing herb. In Arabic, we call it meramiya (مرامية) has a root in Virgin Mary’s Arabic name – Mariyam.

According to Palestinian folklore. In my culture, we drink it with the belief that it will cure anything. Funnily enough, a whole campaign had to be orchestrated at the start of coronavirus because many believed that all you need to cure the deadly disease was a few glasses of sage or camomile tea (or both, as my grandma used to make whenever I got sick). We don’t drink white sage, the sage we drink is called common sage in English.

In my culture, we also smudge. But instead of smudging sage, we use scented wood chips (bukhoor and oud). In the Gulf, my dad grew up on using incense sticks and would often find them in Mosques. I didn’t know this until I saw him buy some recently and he told me this! These traditions have been with us for thousands of years, but I’ve heard a lot of Islamic controversy on it with people thinking bukhoor (smudging) is bida’h (an innovation that deviates Islam) or shirk (to associate anything with God and the only sin to take you out of the fold of Islam).

I personally don’t understand why this is shirk because in order to associate anything with God or to declare polytheism, you need to intentionally do so. Also, bukhoor is something the Prophet Mohammed (SAW) used to use bukhoor for healing purposes and because it smells amazing. In fact, here’s a hadith by the Prophet himself:

Hadhrat Umm Qais Bint Mihsan narrates that “I heard the Prophet (sallallahu aleihi wa sallam) saying, “Treat with the Indian incense, for it has healing for seven diseases; it is to be sniffed by one having throat trouble, and to be put into one side of the mouth of one suffering from pleurisy.” (Saheeh al-Bukhari, Hadith # 5368, Kitab al-Tibb)

I did not know all of this when I looked into sage. I didn’t even make the connection between Native American spiritual healing and Palestinian physical healing of the herb! To me, I just read about it “clearing your space” and was initially taken aback. And then I found out that sage actually clears out up to 94% of bacteria in the air, improves your mood and helps to relieve symptoms of depression and anxiety through aromatherapy, kills off lingering scents from cooking without chemical air fresheners, releases negative ions in the air which neutralise the positive ions and so forth.

So on a somewhat scientific basis, I tried it out and loved it. From an Islamic perspective, it didn’t seem any difference to using bukhoor. Until I started to read about it the cultural appropriation and environmental element of it. My conclusion on this is that we should be mindful where this spiritual practice originates, but also understand that sage is famous for its healing processes in different parts of the world.

Sustainable sage and alternatives

Contrary to popular belief, sage as a whole is not endangered. White sage is the type of sage that is most commonly used for smudging and it is not yet on the Endangered Species List but conservationists are still concerned about the future survival because of overproduction. So yes, we do need to be careful. If we are going to use sage, we need to be mindful of how we use it, not erase its identity and make sure we do not ruin the environment, the local economy and lives!

This means, don’t buy sage from Urban Outfitters and try to buy from sustainable sources that actually help the economies that plant the sage. It’s also best to come up with alternatives to burning sage.

Some could be:

Oud

Rosemary

Yerba santa

Palo Santo

Sandalwood

Lavender

Pine

If you don’t want to burn anything, you could make sprays out of water essential oils of healing herbs, or use a himalayan salt lamp. Sound healing is one of my favourite ways to uplift the energy in my room as well!

How to smudge

Now, this is where we can differ because really, it’s an intuitive process. But we need to ensure safety so make sure your windows are open and you’re being careful around anything flammable. The sage is not supposed to be on fire, but you’re supposed to light it so that there is smoke coming out of it. Make sure you have something to fan the sage to keep the smoke going so you don’t have to keep lighting the sage. Traditionally, a feather is used (if you use one, make sure it’s responsibly sourced!!!!) but I just use any piece of paper around me.

The way I learned is to sage is to first sage myself before saging the room, objects or other people. This way, you’re energetically clean. It all starts from within, right? I do this through hovering the sage over my head so my crown chakra is cleansed and work down my chakra line, which is from the top of your head down to your pubic bone. I do this at the front and back and then do my arms and legs and I make sure I sage my hands and feet, because those are where you’re absorbing a lot of energy from outside.

If you choose to smudge another person, you repeat the process with the strong intention to heal the other. If you intend to smudge a room, you start by smudging outside the room and the door, then the door from the inside of the room. You do all corners of the room and places you sit/lay on because they absorb energy. It’s very important to sage your bed and inside drawers and cupboards.

You could also just leave the sage to burn in a well ventilated room and let it do its thing! Give thanks and trust it will clean the air, literally.

When you’re done, you can extinguish it with water, or what I do is I just leave it in a jar and close it so it doesn’t react to oxygen anymore and it will naturally extinguish.

I tend to sage once a month, but I’d recommend that you use your intuition. When you feel like you need an energetic pick-me-up, when you absorbed some negative energy from outside, or maybe you just want to sage for the sake of it. As long as you’re being safe, there’s no harm. What I also do is I mix up my energy cleaning. I use my salt lamp before I sleep so I can relax better. I also play my singing bowl when I feel like it, put on some Qur’an, or listen to healing sounds. If it makes you feel good, it’s valid!

I remember when we were younger and my dad used to smudge us with bukhoor, he used to smudge over his head and recite Qur’an and allow the bukhoor to travel. Then he used to smudge us the same way, reciting protective verses and chapters of the Qur’an.

PS: I am not an Islamic scholar so don’t take anything I say as an authoritative opinion

Love you all!

Instagram: @flowerknafeh
Twitter: @superknafeh

Learn more about my distance reiki healing sessions via Zoom

Six ways to charge your water to change your life

Here are six ways to use water to change your life and manifest your greatest desires.

Hello my darlings!

Water is the most important thing we consume. Up to 75 percent of our bodies are made up of water and we’re supposed to consume at least 2 litres of it a day and it keep our bloodstream clean, organs running and our mind, body and spirit popping. What we’re not told, however, is water is highly receptive to energy and its structure can be changed with intention (hence reciting Qur’an on water being perceived a legitimate form of ruqiya/exorcism, my fellow Muslims).

According to Japanese scientist Masaru Emoto, water is a blueprint of our reality and we automatically charge water around us using our vibrational frequency at the time. This means, if you’re feeling negative and you speak negativity into water, the structure of the water changes in response; with the same for positivity.

Have you ever seen images of rice in the exact same environment, with one jar having negative words being spoken into it, whereas another having positive words spoken into it? That was initially Emoto’s experiment. He used rice because rice is cooked by absorbing water, thus having a high water content. There are countless experiments online — here’s one.

For those still sceptical, Emoto also carried out very interesting experiments with water at a critical point for freezing, where he found that words with positive emotional contents produced beautiful looking crystals and those with negative emotional content produced crystals that had less of a coherent geometric pattern.

Charged water can be used for anything and it’s really up to your intuition to direct you to what’s best. You can drink it, bathe in it, put it in a spray bottle to spray your space or aura to ward of disturbing energies, add essential oils to cleanse the environment with aromatherapy, really, it’s your call!

Now that the explanation is over, here are six ways you can charge your own water!

1. Prayer

This list is not really in any particular order, but I want to discuss this first and foremost because praying into water is what got me fascinated about the way water can be charged. Growing up, I was told reciting Qur’an into water would give it healing properties; something my agnostic teenage self found difficult to believe.

In my Islamic tradition, we’re taught to recite prayers over water but to focus on connecting with God as opposed to the water. We are a strictly monotheistic faith so we attribute anything and everything to the Divine. Do your prayer as normal, either holding the container or sitting/standing over it and after you’re done praying, blow into the water three times. You can take baths in it or drink it. When I want a holy water pick-me-up, I recite Surat al Fatiha (the first chapter of the Qur’an) and blow and drink away. It takes 30 seconds, but the spiritual benefits are profound.

With prayer, connect with your heart. How do you connect with the Divine? If your religion has a holy water ritual, go for it. If you’re not religious, or your religion doesn’t have that, prayer is a heart-centred practice. Pray from your heart and let that energy bless your water.

2. Moonlight

The moon is known to affect all water, so leaving water in the moonlight naturally charges it with positive energy. The different phases of the moon influence the way in which plants, animals, and human life grow and behave. It’s no wonder the moon is seen as such a powerful mechanism in many ancient cultures.

Some people only make moon water on the full moon (when the moon’s energy is most prominent to us earthlings), but really, you can make moon water any time you want. All you need to do is get a glass bottle of water and let it sit outside, or indoors near a window.

If you want to take it to the next level, look up the different phases of the moon and see how nature responds and what the moon’s energy can offer the planet in each phase. Then make the moon water by leaving it out for one full night.

The moon is amazing in that it is very feminine and it has a similar cycle to a woman’s typical hormonal cycle. This is why periods are often referred to as “moon cycles” in the yogi world.

PS: Jennifer Racioppi has a cool post on how to use the moon for manifestation rituals.

3. Sunlight

Just as the moon has a certain energy, so does the sun. The star of our solar system and the ball of light that gives us life. Working with the sun’s energy can be very complicated if you don’t know what you’re doing. We’re told that we shouldn’t stare directly at the sun, but there are people who sungaze to balance their hormones and connect them to their intuition (please don’t sungaze unless you actually KNOW what you’re doing!!)

Unlike the moon’s energy, the sun’s energy is known to be masculine and operates on a 24-hour level the way the typical male body is known to do.

Sun water comes from the idea that sunlight can alter the chemical, physical, and biological properties of the water, leaving the sun-charged water to be more hydrating and purified. According to practices like Chinese medicine and Ayurveda, solar charged water is good for your emotional, physical and spiritual wellbeing.

There are different ways to make sunwater based on different traditions. The most common way is to like moon water, leave the water out in a clear airtight glass to allow the energy of the sun to penetrate. According to ancient Hawaiian tradition, it’s best to put the sunlight out in a blue glass bottle to relax you and connect you to your intuition.

According to Ayurveda, the effect of sunwater differs slightly based on colour of the glass bottle you use. What’s interesting is they use the colours of each chakra, which coincides with the colours of the rainbow. Sanskrit magazine has more information if you want to incorporate chromotherapy into your sun water making.

4. Crystals

So the pattern here, is, nature really does change the energy of water. Crystals give off a certain energy and infusing water in *clean* crystals gives the water healing properties of the crystal itself!

Crystals are formed through heat and pressure, with each type having different physical and metaphysical properties. Because there are so many different types of crystals, the best thing to do is to work backwards. Think of a certain healing property and research the crystal that is suitable. For example, rose quartz heals your heart and helps you to manifest love.

Then what you do (I am a hygiene freak so I have to) is clean the crystal using a mild soap and water. Get a toothbrush and scrub the crystal to make sure there is no dust or yucky stuff. After you know the crystal is clean, leave it in water for around 24 hours, or more. The longer you leave it the better.

Be aware that there are crystals that dissolve in water, so stay away from infusing them. Very unsafe. Do not forget to clean your crystal energetically. Cleaning crystals physically does the job if you intend to cleanse energetically too, but it doesn’t help to incorporate extra forms of energetic cleansing by using sunlight, moonlight, water, sound healing or reiki.

5. Affirmation

Going back to the Masaru Emoto experiment I spoke about at the beginning of this post, words matter. Speak good things into your water. Speak kindness, gratitude and words of affirmation. According to law of attraction principles, speak what you already want into the water as if it is already yours, such as: “I am a money magnet”, or “love follows me everywhere I go, because love is me” into your water and drink.

You can also label a bottle of water with an affirmation and drink from it.

However, to speak into water isn’t always enough. In our culture, words are very disposable and we don’t often speak energy into our words unless we are emotionally charged. This can’t work with infusing water with affirmation; you need to feel the affirmation as well as say it!

Backing up your words by infusing your energy into the water as you speak is the absolute key and is where people go wrong. So if you’re speaking abundance into the water, you must feel abundance.

6. Reiki

Just like prayer, I needed to infuse reiki into water to prove to myself I am truly attuned to this beautiful energy. If you’ve ever been attuned to reiki, you understand that the experience itself is deeply healing and spiritual. Then when you come back from your attunement, you’re between meditative bliss and egoic cognizance.

My reiki master (shoutout to the amazing Chetna) asked me to bring two bottles of water to my attunement, without telling me why. Once I became attuned, she asked me to send reiki energy into the bottle of water, again without telling me why. When I felt I was “ready”, she told me to drink the water. I drank it and it tasted relatively normal, but I was definitely gulping it.

Then she asked me to drink from the other water bottle I brought with me (they were the exact same brand of water) and that water tasted more metallic and less, fresh, I guess. This is when I knew my attunement was successful and how reiki works. It’s gentle enough to not overwhelm you with its effects, but still deeply healing.

If you’re attuned to reiki, all you need to do is hold the container of water and send reiki energy to it. If you’re attuned level 2 and up. you can send distance reiki to the water that you want to drink but don’t have it on you (eg: if it’s in the fridge). If you aren’t attuned to reiki, you can always get a reiki healer, like myself to send reiki to your water. Click here to check out my price list here if you’re interested.

There are many more ways to use water to change your life, but these are the ones that stand out to me at this stage of my life. Some are instant, others need time, but you always have a way. Water is crucial to your life, so drink it with intention.

Love you all!

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

Mindfulness resource sheet for tired Black activists (every part of you matters)

My dear, beautiful Black readers. There are times when as a writer, I know my words may not be enough. I don’t want to write about how much I care for you all, how much I stand with your cause and why I believe Black lives matter (because they do point blank. If you’re questioning the humanity of another human, you’re the problem) and blog about my feelings. This isn’t about me and it will never be. I’m a bleached blonde Palestinian who looks and passes for “white” until the slightest part of my culture comes out of me (pretty much all the time because y’all know how Palestinian I am 👀🇵🇸). For this reason, I felt uncomfortable writing because I want to use my blog to genuinely help and I didn’t know how. Until now.

This morning, I was watching a video by thevillageauntie (Angelica Lindsey-Ali) explaining why she is refusing speaking engagements by non-Black Muslims to “educate” others on anti-Blackness in our communities. She’s right. We’re closest to our community and we have the most influence. She also spoke about how tired she is, how anxious she is, how fighting anti-Blackness affecting her relationship with her children, etc. As she was talking, I realised that I have tips from my own personal journey on how to calm the anxious mind, how to regulate thought, tackle self esteem, powerful duas, etc. I want to share them all with you.

Before anything, please follow thevillageauntie’s example and say no. When it feels tiring, say no. Those with genuine intentions will understand. Those without are obviously coming with narcissistic intentions. If they wanted to help you, they would care for you first.

To fellow non-Black Muslims, this isn’t the time for me to address us. I know a lot of us have lost friends and family during this as their true colours show, have had awakenings to bias, have to deal with moving past anxiety to speak, etc. I’ll talk to us later, in a different post; I promise. My intention is to not burden my Black readers in something I’ve written for them. All I will say right now is watch the video I linked above and be mindful. Check on your Black friends, tell them you love them, pray for them and ask what you can do for THEM. Be sustainable and mindful that the fight against racism doesn’t stop when the hashtags stop trending.

Enough rambling. Let me get started. I am not a therapist and I am not a yoga teacher, nor am I a Muslim scholar. I am a writer, a learner reiki healer (inshallah will be licensed when Covid-19 is over), a Muslim and a yogi and I am making this list from my independent study, advice from various mentors and personal experience.

Quientening intrusive thoughts with feeling

Once upon a time, I used to suppress my feelings. My thoughts used to run through my mind at what seemed like the speed of light. I used to feel overwhelmed, scared and helpless. I felt trapped in my own thoughts and I felt like they controlled me because I couldn’t catch them, let alone control them. Until I learned this one thing: thoughts are meant to be felt, not controlled.

What underscores your thoughts are your feelings that you have not processed. I encourage you to ask yourself how you feel at that moment. Don’t fight with your thoughts, because they are a part of you, but connect with yourself on a deeper level by asking yourself how you feel. What you’ll find is your thoughts and feelings aren’t as separate as you think and you identifying those feelings and trying to work through them will always quieten those thoughts. Have compassion for your feelings. Meditate on the child within that feels those feelings (I covered this + a guided meditation here).

Breathing techniques

Breathing is core. When you focus on your breath, you’re focusing on the energy that is connecting your body to your soul, thus keeping you alive. Being in-tune with your feelings and breathing are foundations of mindfulness, which is why I put them both first. In my breathing practice, I was taught that to enter a state of relaxation, you need to breathe into your belly (diaphragmatic breathing) and generally your exhalation needs to be longer than your inhalation. There are some breathing techniques I learned as I went along and here they are:

4-7-8 technique: Breathe in for 4 seconds, hold for 7 seconds, out for 8 seconds. Repeat as long as you want (I do it for around 2 minutes)

Box breathing: This technique is where you breathe in, hold and out for the same amount of seconds for relieving anxiety and lowering stress levels. Some people do 3-3-3, whereas others do 4-4-4.

2-3-4 technique: Breathe in for 2 seconds, hold for 3 seconds, out for 4 seconds. A smaller version of 4-7-8 but it’s still effective and maybe even more if you want to work your way up to breathing deep

Kapalabhati: A pretty advanced yogic breathing technique, but I love it! This cleanses your lungs, releases toxins, purifies your blood, warms your body, clears your mind and you get a bit of an ab workout 😝! This warms your body so don’t do on the first 3-4 days of your menses, if you have high blood pressurem pregnant or have heart problems. I want you to read about it properly before doing it (Chopra Centre has a good guide and clear instructions) but essentially, you take deep inhales and explosive exhales.

Nostril breathing: In kundalini yoga, I was taught that the left nostril is the feminine nostril that you breathe through for calming properties (stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system) and the right nostril is the masculine nostril that energises you (stimulates the sympathetic nervous system).

You can either do left nostril breathing by blocking your right nostril and breathing deeply through your left nostril (usually in for 4 seconds and out for 4 seconds but the longer the counts the more effective). You can also do alternative nostril breathing which is breathe in through your left nostril, out through your right nostril, in through your right nostril and out through your left nostril, then in through the left, etc.

PS: You don’t need to block your nostril through sticking your finger inside! Just pinch the outside of your thumb or index finger on the outside of your nostril.

Affirmation guide

Affirmations are very important because they rewire your brain! One of my favourite things to do is to listen to affirmations instead of music when I’m tidying up my room by going on YouTube. You can go on Pintrest to find a list of affirmations, or you can make them yourself! Here’s how:

  1. Identify how you’re feeling and what your consistent negative thoughts are
  2. Write them down (I am helpless, I have to do everything or I will be a bad activist)
  3. Write counter statements (I am powerful, I am allowed boundaries for the sake of my mental health and they make me a better activist)

It may feel like you’re lying to yourself or you’re being oblivious to the situation at hand, but you’re not. You’re rewiring yourself from within as you change the world. You’re creating a safe space inside your mind where you listen to yourself, connect with your breath, address your feelings and unlearning toxic messages you were fed during childhood. Do not use affirmations to hide your feelings. Use them as you feel your feelings so you can raise your self esteem and tap into a healthier emotional space.

Using yoga to calm the mind and body

Yoga poses are amazing for everyone! Each pose is good for your mind, body and spirit and has a different effect on you. Here are some relaxing poses that you can search and try:

  • Child’s pose
  • Downward facing dog
  • Forward fold
  • Sphinx pose
  • Cow face pose
  • Reclined eagle pose
  • Lotus pose (the lotus mudra can be done as well by sitting in easy pose and breathing deep)

Kundalini yoga meditations

Some people are not okay with chanting, and that’s okay. This is a comprehensive list for everyone regardless of their religion so take what you want and disregard what you don’t. I know many Muslim kundalini yogis who don’t chant and others who do and others who prefer to find the meaning of the chant before chanting. I’ll be linking the full meditation and summarising it.

Lotus open heart meditation

To open, strengthen and heal the heart centre. You put your hands in a lotus mudra and you chant, or breathe deep.

Kirtan Kriya (Sa Ta Na Ma Meditation)

This meditation brings a total mental balance to the individual. Your thumb touches your index finger as you chant sa (birth), middle finger as you chant ta (life), ring finger as you chant na (death), little finger as you chant ma (rebirth). You do this at different volumes explained in the link above. You can follow a guides on YouTube that sings, whispers and is silent with you to guide you.

Antar Naad Mudra

This meditation is said to help with creativity. You sit in easy pose with your hand touching your baby finger and chant the sa-re-sa-sa mantra. Again, you can find the mantra on YouTube or Spotify and chant with it. Usually done for 11 minutes.

Duas

I am Muslim, so I will put some duas. I’ll paste them in Arabic, transliterate and translate so anyone can use these powerful prayers.

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

Allahumma inni as’alukal fauza fil qadaai’, wa nuzul-ash-shuhadaai’, wa aiyshaslua’daa’i, wa murafaqatal-ambiyaai’, wannasara alalaadaai’, innaka sammaiiud’dua

God, I ask You for success concerning my destiny, and feast with the martyr, and enjoyment with fortunate people, and the companionship of believers, and victory over my enemies. Only you can answer my prayer.

الَّهُمَّ اسْتُرْ عاوْرَتِىْ وَ امِنْ رَوْعَتْىْ

Allahummastur ‘auraati wa aamin ru’aati

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

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

Rabbana la taj’alna fitnatan-llil qaumidh-dhalimeen, wa najjinna bi-rahmatika minal-qawmil-Kafireen

Lord, do not make me a trial for the wrongdoing people, and deliver me by Your Mercy from the oppression of disbelievers.

اللهم اهدني صرة المستقيم للوصولي

Allahuma ihdeeni seerat al-mustaqim la wusuli

Allah guide me to the straight path to my destination

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

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

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

بِسْم الله وتوكلت على الله ولا حول ولا قوة إلا بالله

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

In the name of Allah, I trust in Allah’s plan, there is no might, nor power, except for Allah

“Just for today”

A principle we are taught in reiki, where we set an intention and choose to live in peace for today. The human mind responds better when you have short term aims, so if you aim to be at peace “just for today”, your brain digests it better. It also helps you to practice living with intention, which is SO unbelievably important! I’ll write something in depth on this later and I’ll link here once it’s ready so you don’t have to keep checking back.

Here are the five reiki principles to live by (gratitude is very important because it takes you out of anxiety and puts you into the present moment):

Just for today I will not worry.
Just for today I will not be angry.
Just for today I will do my work honestly.
Just for today I will give thanks for my many blessings.
Just for today I will be kind to my neighbour and every living thing.

That’s all so far, I’m open to questions and more suggestions. Please tell me what you want from me and what I can do to support you. I’m all ears.

Love you all so much!!!

Instagram: @flowerknafeh
Twitter: @superknafeh