2012/07/23

How to be free and happy as a Muslim woman

How can I be free and happy as a Muslim woman?


Everyone that looks at islam from the the outside sees only the Muslim woman in Media. The one who is sad, berupted from her child in an attack from the terrorist-state of Israel. The one in Iraq who is covered up top to toe, looking sad, because everybody in her family has been killed or wounded. That is NOT a free and happy Muslim woman, because the free and happy Muslim women are NEVER in media, except for a few convertites sometimes. So how can you free and happy as a Muslim woman?


1. Notice your tendencies.

You and I, we both have our unique tendencies that distract us from the present moment. I’m a worrier, so I tend to think about the future and try to solve problems before they even happen.
What are your tendencies? What kind of thoughts tend to rob you of the now?
These questions will help you become more mindful about what is going on in your head, which in turn leads to mindfulness.
A few examples of tendencies that are very common are:
  • anxiety
  • worry
  • fear
  • pleasure seeking
A great tip is to write down your tendencies and how they tease you out of the now. Grab a piece of pen and paper, and just do it.

2. Practice non-acceptance.

Once you start becoming mindful of your tendencies, it’s crucial that you JUDGE yourself. Practice non-acceptance and embrace the faith you have.
The tendencies you have are there for a reason. They are signposts pointing to the areas of your life that need attention.
If you’re a chronic worrier, you need to start noticing whenever you begin drifting to the future. Become mindful, observe your thoughts, and breathe.
We believe our thoughts to be the authority on life, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Our thoughts are not just thoughts. Our thoughts are either from our-selves or from Shaytan. So beware of who is whispering in your ear. Read the Qur'an, say Aoudo billahi minna shaytan irrajim Allah - preserve me from Shaytan. 

3. Focus on your breath and dhikr.

Your breath is a powerful and simple way to anchor yourself in the present moment. Whenever you are having a hard time staying in the now, take deep breaths, and focus on your breathing.
You could even count your breaths or do dhikr and say subhanallah over and over again. Something I like to do is count to four on the inhale and four on the exhale or more often subhanallah, alhamdolillah, la illaha illa Allah, Allaho Akbar, la hawla wa la quatta illah billah.
It focuses the logical part of my brain on counting or remembering (dhikr) and allows me to focus on my breath. After a while I can release the crutch of counting or dhikr and just be.

4. Question your thoughts.

Your thoughts aren’t always right. In fact, they are rarely right, especially if they make you feel bad.
Question your thoughts constantly. When you start to feel negative emotions, use it as a reminder to examine what thoughts are causing the commotion.
Most people walk around all day letting negative thoughts cause negative feelings. We both know that nothing good can come out of this. But if you take your negative thoughts and repent for the things you have done that were against the sunnah of the prophet or the Qur'an, you will start feeling much more free and happy. If you cry, that is a good sign that you are on the right path. 
It takes discipline to be mindful, but the rewards are peace and happiness. Even researchers are discovering the power of emotions. Negative emotions not only have the power to make you feel bad, but can affect your physical health as well.
Whenever a negative thought arises, take a step back, and look at if the thought is true. Perhaps it is your nafs, your soul that is trying to impose something on you that you do not want to do, because of your faith. Perhaps it is a djinn, a shayateen. You have to remember Allah those times and say alhamdolillah and thank him for everything you have understood and everything Allah has done for you. Allah knows what is best for you. Perhaps he is protecting you from something that you do not know yet. Be patient. 

5. Use reminders.

Another great way to stay anchored in the now is to use reminders. The best reminders are those of dhikr and remembrance of the Qur'an and the hadith. If you know some part of the Qur'an by heart, repeat those verse for yourself.
Each time you say alhamdolillah or read Qur'an or do other dhikr, you are reminded of the present moment. Are you in the now, or are you somewhere else? Because it is only in the present you can change your past and your future. 
There are no limits to what you can use as a reminder. If you want to take this even further, you can add a new reminder each week.
Start using internal reminders such as dhikr and so on. If you keep doing this, you will be astonished at the results. You can use external reminders as well, as the people around you. Choose people you admire and want to look like or be like. They will remind you of who you could be and who you should be and who you are becoming. -lk 

6. Be determined.

Increasing the time you spend in the present moment can be a lot of work. If you’re serious about becoming more mindful, you have to be determined.
There will be times when you feel like you want to throw in the towel. You will face challenges, obstacles, and problems.
But if you’re determined, you will get through them. They are nothing but teachers on your path.
When you make becoming more mindful one of your main goals, you simply cannot fail.

7. Don't follow your passion.

I have noticed that the more I follow my passion and my hearts deepest desire, the more I am able to stay in the now but the twist is that if you follow your passion, then you will be misguided as well. Shaytan wants you to follow your passion, and that is his 24/7 work all day long. He wants you to deviate from the right path that God has put forward you. This is one obstacle that he lays out for you. Allah wants you to pass those hinders and continue the road, by only looking at the target - paradise. If you look at things in your way or follow your passion, then you will be misguided. That is more dangerous for you and your soul than following your passion right now. You will feel good for a moment, but for the long-lasting feeling you have to go away from your passions and work for your future goal. 
I enjoy every second of every minute when I’m working on something I love. My heart buzzes with joy and I feel amazing.
Writing is one of my passions. I love helping people improve their life. It makes me come alive, and it keeps me in the present moment. But, it have to be something that is in the path of Allah. Something that helps me not only in this life, but also my soul in the next life. If I do something that is considered haram like guitare-playing, then I will lose everything in the next life. So be careful with what you engage in. 
Inspiration flows effortlessly, and it’s almost like I am channeling someone else as I am writing. Find your passion and go after it, but let it be in lign with Allahs goal for you.
Becoming more mindful is done step-by-step. You do not have to go all-in. You only have to increase the amount of time you spend in the present moment each and every day.
If you do that, it’s impossible for you not to become a mindfulness master.

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