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

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

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

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

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

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

What happens during session?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But what next?

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

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

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

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

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

Lots of love, light and healing,

Di xo

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Learn more about my distance reiki healing sessions via Zoom

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

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

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

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

“I am my breath. I am how I breathe.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I love you all.

Diana xoxo

Instagram: @flowerknafeh
Twitter: @superknafeh

Learn more about my distance reiki healing sessions via Zoom

Becoming a reiki healer and ways to heal with Sotoda Saifi

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And just go from there.

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

I love you all

Diana xoxo

Instagram: @flowerknafeh
Twitter: @superknafeh

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 ๐Ÿ‘€๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡ธ). 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, youโ€™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 ๐Ÿ˜! 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.

ุงู„ู„ู‘ูŽู‡ูู…ู‘ูŽ ุงูู†ู‘ูู‰ู’ ุงูŽุณู’ู‰ูŽู„ููƒูŽ ุงู„ู’ููŽูˆู’ุฒูŽ ููู‰ ุงู„ู’ู‚ูŽุถูŽุขุกู ูˆูŽ ู†ูุฒูู„ูŽุงู„ุดู‘ูู‡ูŽุฏูŽุขุกู ูˆูŽุนูŽูŠู’ุดูŽ ุงู„ุณู‘ูุนูŽุฏูŽุขุกู ูˆูŽ ู…ูุฑูŽุงููŽู‚ูŽุฉูŽ ุงู„ุงูŽู†ู’ุจููŠุขุกู ูˆูŽ ุงู„ู†ู‘ูŽุตู’ุฑูŽ ุนูŽู„ูŽู‰ ุงู„ุงูŽุนู’ุฏูŽุขุกู ุงูู†ู‘ูŽูƒูŽ ุณูŽู…ููŠู’ุนูŽ ุงู„ุฏู‘ูุนูŽุขุกู

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.

ุงู„ูŽู‘ู‡ูู…ูŽู‘ ุงุณู’ุชูุฑู’ ุนุงูˆู’ุฑูŽุชูู‰ู’ ูˆูŽ ุงู…ูู†ู’ ุฑูŽูˆู’ุนูŽุชู’ู‰ู’

Allahummastur ‘auraati wa aamin ru’aati

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

ุฑูŽุจูŽู‘ู†ูŽุง ู„ุง ุชูŽุฌู’ุนูŽู„ู’ู†ูŽุง ููุชู’ู†ูŽุฉู‹ ู„ูู‘ู„ู’ู‚ูŽูˆู’ู…ู ุงู„ุธูŽู‘ู„ูŽู…ูู†ูŽ ูˆูŽ ู†ูŽุฌูู‘ู†ูŽุง ุจูุฑูŽุญู’ู…ูŽุชููƒูŽ ู…ูู†ูŽ ุงู„ู’ู‚ูŽูˆู’ู…ู ุงู„ู’ูƒูŽููุฑููŠู’ู†ูŽ

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.

ุงู„ู„ู‡ู… ุงู‡ุฏู†ูŠ ุตุฑุฉ ุงู„ู…ุณุชู‚ูŠู… ู„ู„ูˆุตูˆู„ูŠ

Allahuma ihdeeni seerat al-mustaqim la wusuli

Allah guide me to the straight path to my destination

ุงู„ู„ู‡ูู…ูŽู‘ ู„ุง ุณูŽู‡ู’ู„ูŽ ุฅู„ุง ู…ูŽุง ุฌูŽุนูŽู„ุชูŽู‡ู ุณูŽู‡ู’ู„ุง ูˆูŽ ุฃู†ุชูŽ ุชูŽุฌู’ุนูŽู„ู ุงู„ุญุฒู’ู†ูŽ ุฅุฐุง ุดูุฆู’ุชูŽ ุณูŽู‡ู’ู„ุง

Allahuma la sahla illa ma jaโ€™altahu sahla, wa โ€˜anta taj-alul hazna idha shiโ€™ta sahla

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

ุจูุณู’ู… ุงู„ู„ู‡ ูˆุชูˆูƒู„ุช ุนู„ู‰ ุงู„ู„ู‡ ูˆู„ุง ุญูˆู„ ูˆู„ุง ู‚ูˆุฉ ุฅู„ุง ุจุงู„ู„ู‡

Bismillah wa tawakkaltu aโ€™la Allah wa la hawla wa la quta illa billah 

In the name of Allah, I trust in Allahโ€™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

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