Wednesday, January 6, 2016

2016.It all depends on you.

Assalam Aleykum Warahmatullahy Wabarakatuh!
Hey Guys!

As promised, here are the rest of my tips to an awesome 2016!If you haven’t read my previous post, I recommend reading it before going ahead with this one. All you have to do is click here.
Well, lets roll!

Practice Gratitude.
There’s something about giving thanks that ultimately humbles a person. As someone who is an adamant complainer (I know, I’m trying to work on it),one easily gets really caught up in all the hustle and bustle of life and suddenly one day you wake up and all you see is negativity. And it’s terrible. Giving thanks always helps me put things into perspective. Furthermore, it isn’t rocket science. What I like to do is start from within. For example I could ask myself, what qualities of mine do I love the most? And then move from there. My gratitude ‘mantra’ would sound something like ‘I’m grateful for my life and that I’m healthy and I’m better than I was yesterday. I’m grateful for my eyes and my hair, for the love I have for my family, friends and nature, and I’m grateful for Islam…etc. Alternatively, I would just say Alhamdulillah, which basically translates (in lay mans language) to OH ALLAH THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR EVERYTHING I’M JUST SO HAPPY RIGHT NOW I CAN’T EVEN BREATHE YOU DESERVE SO MUCH PRAISE  I’M JUST SO GRATEFUL YOU HAVE NO IDEA BUT YOU PROBABLY DO BUT EITHER WAY THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU SOOOO MUCH!!! *paraphrased*

However, sometimes you can get into a routine of just saying things for the sake of saying them. Like absent mindlessly saying Alhamdulillah or I’m grateful for water, the sun the trees…blah blah blah. That doesn’t really work, you need to go deep and be really sincere about what bounties you’ve been blessed with and I promise you will see a difference in your life; especially when you’re having a bad day, week, or even month.

Just Do it.
Did you guys know that I started a clothing business in 2015? Pink Apparel is by far one of my greatest achievements Alhamdulillah, and although I have so many obstacles to overcome, I’m not planning on giving up on this. Everyone has dreams and things they want to accomplish. However, most of the time we think too much about the hows and what ifs that we get discouraged because we feel that it’s too high of a mountain to climb and thus we end up giving up before even beginning.
Pink Apparel started as a closet sale. I was trying to get rid of some stuff that were wasting away in my closet but were still in really good condition, and so I figured, why not sell them? Whatever the outcome, I would sleep knowing I had put myself out there. Furthermore, running my own business is something that I’ve always wanted. Before long I was getting calls from people all over asking me whether I had more stuff and that I should inform them when I had new stock. And the rest is history!

The point of this is to show you that if you really want something, go and get it. I was in my third year of uni, going crazy with all my responsibilities, but that didn’t stop me.  Work with what you have and stop making excuses that you’re not ready yet, that the timing isn’t right, that the people around you aren’t right. At the end of the day, we are incharge of our own lives. Allah (sw) has given us all we need to pursue our dreams and goals.  If you don’t go after you want, it’ll be all on you, so just go ahead and do it.

Don’t ever give up on what is important to you.
For those who are avid readers of my blog, I salute you for all your support and for putting up with me. Sincerely speaking, I really appreciate you guys because you have no idea how many times I thought of deleting this blog. I felt like I had no direction and no idea what I was doing. But all your positive feedback and my love for writing reinforced me into not giving up.
Through this blog and other blogs that I love to read, I’ve learnt so much about myself and transformed into a much better person. Granted, I’m not there yet, but I’m getting there in shaa Allah. 

We live in such a fast paced society which has turned us into people who don’t really know the essence of taking time to hone your craft. We expect immediate results and if we don’t see them, give up without a second thought. We are constantly comparing ourselves to our counterparts, and using them as yardstick for success, but Rome was not built in a day guys, that’s just it. It may take a day, a month, or even years to get to where you want to go but that doesn’t mean that you won’t get there. Direction is so much more important that speed. And that’s something we need to constantly remind ourselves of. My question now is this, if it’s something that you love to do, what the hell are you waiting for? Get started!

2015, despite all the hardships, all the rants and complaints I filed against you, you were good to me. Or rather I was good to myself. The amount of change and growth that has overcome me is definitely incredible. I grew up, and I’m grateful to Allah (sw) for that. But I realize that it wasn’t the year itself that made the difference, it was the moments in the year. Moments that I decided to create and bring to life. Because once upon a time, 2015 was a new year, and now it’s dust and ashes, only memories remain. And so it shall remain with 2016.Its just a year. Old or new, it makes no difference. What causes a spark is the moments we decide to make out of it. To me, everyday is a chance for a new resolution, for a new goal, for an improvement and a celebration. A new year is a momentous affair where reflection is warranted, and people decide to be better or even to just be. It really all depends on you.

Monday, January 4, 2016

2016.To doing you and Praying more.

Assalam Aleykum Warahmatullahy
Hi Everyone!

As I write this post, it will be my third attempt at trying to make something out of my words. Not that the previous posts weren’t good enough, on the contrary, they just didn’t feel complete. The emotions they evoked and the messages they portrayed weren’t in unison with the direction I had in mind. I wanted to write something that was heartfelt but still beneficial to you guys. Normally, I write posts that speak to me first and foremost. My basic misanthropic rants (that we all enjoy, I know), are mostly written to help me put things into perspective, to speak from my heart and let  the negative stuff go. However I wanted this post to really be for you guys…but also ultimately for me because I’m the one looking through my experiences and conveying my thoughts; not forgetting that I’m also subconsciously a self- serving narcissistic Primadonna who can’t help it.
Lol just kidding!

No really though.

Eventually all the brain racking resulted in a light bulb going off and I thought, well what did I learn from 2015 that would help me become a better sailor for the rough waters of 2016? Then I thought, hey, these are some really great lessons (the narcissist in me, I told you I can’t help it), I should share them because you never know whose heart may be softened by this. So that’s what this is. My most important lessons from 2015 that will help mould me and you into better sailors, not only for 2016 but also for the future in shaa Allah.
Ps. this post turned out to be fairly long, so I decided to break it up. Hence I’m sharing my first two lessons today and then tomorrow I’ll share the rest in shaa Allah. I hope they help!
Oh and Happy New Year!

Do you boo. Seriously.
I know, this is an extreme cliché. However, words as important as these need to be repeated constantly because we don’t get enough of this. We need this in our lives, at least I do. Today’s society bombards us with so many identities and so many idols we ‘need’ to look up to and strive to be like, because otherwise our lives have no worth. And even though we’re onto their mind control games and strategies to defame our true selves, we can’t help but fall into their trap.

Just recently I caught myself. I caught myself allowing all these social media sites to dictate how I feel and live my life. My mom keeps telling me I’m addicted to my phone and I can’t help but hate her for saying that. But there is some truth to it, and not in the good kind.  I allowed a number to infiltrate the eerie parts of my head and coerce me into feeling worthless against my own will. Paying close attention to what everyone else was doing and forgetting that I was not them. That I was me.
That my writing was like me and my art was like me. Not like the one who’s writing I wanted to mimic. Or the one whose art made me feel inadequate. And certainly not like the one whose number of followers and likes and amazing pictorial composition made my life seem utterly mundane, that I couldn’t help but wonder what I was doing with myself. I felt like every second of my life was meant to be spent doing something extraordinary, that anything otherwise, would be me wasting my life away. But aren’t these humdrum moments what make the extraordinary part of life so extraordinary in the first place? I seem to have to constantly remind myself that there’s a big difference between being inspired and being obsessed.

However I caught myself red handed trying to sabotage my truth and I decided no more. Because where’s the fun in trying to transform yourself into a carbon copy of someone else? That only leads to misery and don’t we all ultimately just want to be happy? I realized that all this unnecessary pressure is only going to rain on my parade. So take my advice and just be you. We really don’t appreciate ourselves enough and its time we start doing that.

Pray about everything.
I had to get sick for me to realize that I needed to relax and chill out. A lot of you probably know by now that anxiety is not pretty. I used to think most people were like me, that they would think extensively about ongoing or imminent events to the point of a nervous breakdown. I thought that was normal. Everyone does that right?

Wrong. Actually, that is something that is quite bizarre to the rest of the world. I don’t know about where you guys come from, but here in Kenya mental disorders are still not considered as ‘legitimate’ illnesses by the society at large. Things like anxiety, depression, and eating disorders are seen more as ways of seeking attention, and unless you are surrounded by adequately informed people, you are blatantly expected to just…get over it. Finding someone who genuinely understands you, and wants to help you, especially one whom you feel comfortable enough to open up to, can be quite difficult at times. Acknowledging that keeping things bottled up inside is definitely an unhealthy way to go, I find that it really helps to pray. There’s a sense of relief that comes with knowing that there’s a higher power behind everything that happens. That everything happens for a reason and everything will eventually be ok.

I know that most of us turn to Allah (sw) when there’s something huge weighing down on us. But why not pray about the small stuff too? Like praying to have a good walk to the bus stop or asking Allah (sw) to bless you as you clean your house, or cook breakfast or make an art project. I practiced a little bit of this in 2015 and it impacted my life immensely. Having that positive consciousness that Allah (sw) is ever present in your life, guiding you, protecting you and blessing you constantly, helps put things in perspective especially when that anxiety bug kicks in and tries to drive you to dementia.
So as you eagerly anticipate the next three lessons that I’m going to share, think about and internalize what I just said ok? Ok. Happy 2016!