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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Learn more about my distance reiki healing sessions via Zoom

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

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

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

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

“I am my breath. I am how I breathe.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I love you all.

Diana xoxo

Instagram: @flowerknafeh
Twitter: @superknafeh

Learn more about my distance reiki healing sessions via Zoom

Feeling forever fulfilled -#BlogItIntoExistence June 2020

A light shines within me, through me and around me and this light will forever protect me and attract what’s good. I am abundant, I am safe, I am loved.

This month’s mantra

I’ve come a very long way when it comes to feeling perpetually fulfilled! The problem is, I expect myself to do this all the time. I put so much pressure on myself to feel good, that it starts to make me feel bad.

In reality, and I know this very well because I have preached it on here countless times is that true mindfulness isn’t all about “feeling good”, it’s about feeling how you currently feel. When you’re human, there’s no way you can feel good all the time, 100 percent of the time. And we shouldn’t have to. We have a right to respond to our surroundings and have a right to our opinions, feelings and emotions. What I want to do, however, is feel fulfilled throughout life’s ebbs and flows.

I declare that I will feel fulfilled regardless of what I face. I will rest on the remembrance of God and will feel perpetually protected as a result. No matter what happens, I will remember that I am safe, I am being guided and I am never alone. I have my angels with me at all times who are watching over me and intervening to protect me under God’s will and I have a direct channel to the maker of the universe who listens to me and answers me. A direct channel with the maker. Wow.

When I see adversity, I want to remember God first. I want to have an “okay, I feel xyz and I honour myself for feeling my feelings right now. Through these feelings, I have God” approach. I don’t want to panic or turn on my fight, flight or freeze response. I want to remain present. I am present. I am happy. I am fulfilled.

With this attitude, I possess the key. I am in my power. I am in direct contact with God and I am able to create a duo that is unstoppable. My feelings are my best friend because they are my GPS system that when I can identify properly, I can separate intuition from ego in the same manner as oil and water.

Those around me will notice this energy shift, even if subconsciously. Those who seek to harm or control me will from now be repelled to do so because they can feel my closeness to God. They can feel that I am being protected and that I am constantly in communication with the almighty. A light will shine within me, through me and around me and this light will forever protect me and attract what’s good. I am abundant, I am safe, I am loved.

For these reasons, June will be pivotal for me. June is pivotal for me. This powerful blog post has set an even more powerful intention and I am basking in joy knowing that it is already done.

What are your intentions for the month?

I love you all

Diana xoxoxox

Instagram: @flowerknafeh
Twitter: @superknafeh

Here’s how I use my iPad to make the most of quarantine

Lockdown has been a challenge. I’ve been trying to make the most of it, but naturally, sadness and anxiety get the better of me at times. I’m not going to try to make everything go away and force us into toxic positivity. But, I want to make things easier for all of us and I’d like to share something that has helped me.

I bought an iPad when I was still a student and it was always there for me as my little study buddy. Venturing into adulthood, I didn’t really need it as much and it started to collect dust. Now, I only ever use my iPad when I’m travelling or if I need to for work (rare). Earlier this year, I was watching Adrienne Everheart’s video on entering the new year with a feminine makeover (yes, you can be feminist and feminine, but that’s another topic we’ll explore later on) and one of the things she suggested was decluttering your phone.

Initially, I snubbed at the thought. But I was intrigued, so I decided to delete old apps I don’t use, organise everything in folders and bung the folders in a second page instead of the front page. I only have three folders on my front page: one for navigation when I go out, one for self preservation apps and a third one for apps I use daily. The rest are in organised folders on a second page and my phone is super clean to look at. I also use my wallpaper for affirmations which I change every so often.

I used the same principle for my iPad. I deleted all of my old apps (though the apps from when I was a student are STILL there. I love my geeky legacy) and organised the ones I’m keeping in different folders. You can make folders for for productivity, education, games, exercise, media, entertainment, device tools, the possibilities are endless.

Then, you organise your folders into pages. This can really help those who have issues with duality. I have three pages on my iPad: A blank page, a page for entertainment, reading and fun and a page for tools and more serious apps. Having them like this makes it easy to organise my iPad and it changes the mood, so it doesn’t feel like I’m mixing fun with work.

The most important thing is to delete all social media! Before I did this, I found myself switching effortlessly from the magazines app to Twitter, or my iBooks app to Facebook. You want to make sure your tablet is a space where you can encourage mindfulness and to ensure you won’t enter a place. I found myself needing Instagram because I want to do IG Live workouts on a screen bigger than my phone, so I left myself with the options of either keeping it but putting it on a separate page of its own away from my other apps, or downloading it and deleting it as and when I need it.

Don’t forget to feel your feelings. We’re in strange times and we don’t need to be productive. Don’t let hustle culture force you to trap your emotions and stop you from processing. Take care of yourself and do what you need to do.

I appreciate you and love you very much.

Diana xox

Instagram: @flowerknafeh
Twitter: @superknafeh

Wanting others to ‘awaken’ says more about us than them. Here’s why

Awakening is a funny concept.

Often, the journey to enlightenment comes after going through a particular trauma and studying to find life beyond your egoic self. You go on a deeper life mission to find out about yourself and the rest of the world, you realise the beauty in oneness and you seek to share it with the rest of the world because “oh my God! If my life is so much better, imagine how everyone else will feel when they hear about this!”

Then you realise the process of healing isn’t linear. You realise there’s a plethora of healing methods and coping mechanisms as you enter a phase of trial and error. You try to unlock the shadow self, which gets messy and painful. You manoeuvre around the mess trying to clear it whilst walking towards the light of your “true” self outside of the ego.

Then you start to make peace with life and its ebbs and flows. You begin to view things from a higher perspective, but allow yourself the space and time to allow your emotions to process how you’re feeling. In fact, your feelings become your priority and something you honour as opposed to something to suppress in a bid to achieve this utopia of rationalism that we were conned into buying.

Ahh, it feels so good! We’re free, we’re awake, we’re spirits with bodies and egos, but we’re no longer bound by the myth that they are all we are!

So why isn’t anyone else awakening? Why is everyone around me suffering and I’m not?

It’s frustrating, I know. You see people suffering and you want to snap them out of it so they can live their best lives.

The real question is: What does their lack of spiritual awareness represent to you and what does it say about your journey?

Let’s be real. Who even said your awakening is done? If your ego is telling you to pressure others, you’ve got some more digging to do. Not that it’s shameful, it’s human.

Life is a mirror. Everything around us that causes us to emotionally react has a root in how we view ourselves and how we view the world.

Don’t just ask yourself why you want said person to awaken. Start off simple. What does this person represent to you? What emotions do you feel when you think about them?

Write them down. Happiness, hopelessness, frustration, anger, your need for acceptance, your need to be loved, your need to fix people/things, etc etc.

You may, or may not see patterns right away. Meditate on them and continue to do soul searching work to figure out what these patterns are and where they came from. Every day, you observe and release. When the inclination to try to control another person’s awakening comes, observe it.

You may realise that yes, you do love this person, but they spend all their time judging you that you want them to awaken so you feel accepted. You may realise it’s a part of your martyr/saviour complex where you don’t feel worthy unless you attach your happiness to the happiness of someone else. The reasons and possibilities are endless.

Path of least resistance

One of the laws of the universe is the path of least resistance. This means energy is more likely flow in the direction where there’s lots of tension. It’s a pretty beautiful law, but it’s also amongst the reasons people stay in toxic cycles throughout their lives because so many of us are afraid of the unknown and don’t take kindly to change. So the path of change tenses up.

It’s hard to see our loved ones suffer, but when we force people to leave their natural spiritual route, we make them suffer more. A spiritual awakening should never come from an interventionist stance. It causes more resistance and those unawakened will continue their path because it has the least resistance.

Our energies are intertwined. When you see someone enjoying a dish at a restaurant and you become tempted to try it not because of the dish itself, but because of the emotional and energetic reaction it invoked.

So really, even stressing about someone else’s journey is toxic. You need to find what it is within you that is causing your body and spirit to tense up and let it go.

Situations are different. Of course, when someone is harming themselves or others, direct intervention is needed to actively stop someone from doing something dangerous. Matters of the spirit are different. The most you can do is show the that there is another way, make them feel safe and let them be. Seek to inspire through your inner glow as opposed to pressuring from your ego.

You’re all beautiful. Sending you all love

Instagram: @flowerknafeh
Twitter: @superknafeh

RESOURCE: Chakra and Healing Sounds Playlists

Peace, my loves!

Yes, I know it has been a while.

Yes, I know I always start with this but trying to blog once a week was too much. It seemed like a chore and I wanted to focus more on my @flowerknafeh Instagram blog instead. Despite doing all of that, my heart truly finds peace when writing. I feel happy to be back here.

Yesterday evening, I was at an event hosted by @seedsofsalma where we spoke about energy, chakra, consciousness and Islam all in one. It was amazing to be in a space with fellow Muslim girls who also subscribe to ancient energy science. I took a lot of time to process the energy work I was doing and didn’t really like talking about it because I felt as though I knew too little. Now that I’m coming out of this period of introspect, I want to share a resource I was working on for a while: Chakra playlists and sound healing frequencies.

I’m still learning about the power of these frequencies, I’ll write more about them, but I have been working on different playlists for each chakra that I wanted to share with you all.

Root Chakra

Sacral Chakra

Solar Plexus Chakra

Heart Chakra

Throat Chakra

Third Eye Chakra

Crown Chakra

Here are some other meditative playlists that I have:

Meditations and misc

Affirmations for self love

Affirmations for healthy relationships

That’s all so far! I’ll add more as I continue to make more. Peace and love! xox

Why asking ‘why’ will get you what you want

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Let go – faaackkking hate it

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

He defined unconditional love in its truest form:

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

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

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

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

It all starts from within

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

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

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

Loving your lovers

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

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

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

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

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

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

Trust your gut. Protect your energy.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Love you all xoxoxox