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Bold True Life
57 minutes | 3 months ago
Ep 22: Entrepreneurship, Motherhood, and Tending to the Woman Within – A Conversation with Sabrina Elizabeth
This month at Bold True Life, we’ve been thinking a lot about motherhood. One of us sisters (Meimuna) is a veteran while the other (Hanaa) is just getting started on her journey into the wonderful world of being a mom. So in an effort to prepare for the big change, we’ve been having lots of conversations on the topic lately. When we think of a mother’s role, the main focus is often on the children that she’s nurturing. But what about the mom herself? Doesn’t her well-being play a vital role in the well-being of the whole family? For today’s episode, our guest is a woman who specializes in just that – nurturing the nurturer! Sabrina Elizabeth is an ayurvedic practitioner, postpartum doula, and vaginal steam facilitator. She supports women to improve their menstrual health, fertility journey, pregnancy experience, and postpartum recovery. In this conversation, Sabrina shares how her own fertility struggles lead her to the work that she’s currently doing. We talk about how mothering can often be an all-consuming role and how easy it is to fall into the pit of neglecting ourselves along the way. But taking care of ourselves is essential for us to keep taking care of those dependent on us. And Sabrina shares practical tips and advice for how to actually do this. We also chat about spirituality in motherhood. Our guest shares about her personal experience in this regard too. Being a mom is one of most challenging jobs in the world, but it’s also amongst the most rewarding. And it’s full of profound gifts when we’re paying attention. It was such a delight having this discussion with Sabrina and having her remind us how special we are as both women and mothers. We can’t wait for you to hear this episode and soak up all her gems as well! Connect with Sabrina on Social Media: Instagram Website Stay in touch with us on Social Media: Instagram Facebook Want to keep talking? Check out this month’s blogcast. Happy listening!
13 minutes | 3 months ago
Blogcast: 9 Lessons I’ve Learned in 9 Months of Pregnancy
Are you ready for this? This is a question I’ve been asking myself a lot lately. Because I’m currently days to weeks away from giving birth. And I have no idea where the last 9 months have gone! It’s crazy to me how quickly this pregnancy has flown by. Especially because, in so many ways, life has seemed to slow down this year. But so much has changed also. Honestly, this has been a pretty weird time to be pregnant. There’s so much turmoil across the world. Yet here I am, navigating through a journey that’s often associated with so much joy. And the contrast has been hard to process and contend with at times. These past 9 months have been full of ups and downs – all the typical ones associated with growing a new life as well as some that I wasn’t anticipating. It’s included: adjusting to and being awed by the constant changes in my body, figuring how to baby prep for the first time, and accepting the fact that current circumstances require the type of healthcare I’m receiving to be different than what I had hoped for and expected in pregnancy. While it hasn’t been ideal and I’ve definitely had my hard days along the way, this experience has also been full of goodness and lessons. And for today’s post, I want to share some of those with you. So here are 9 lessons that I’ve learned (or relearned!) throughout these past 9 months of pregnancy: 1. Life doesn’t often fulfill our expectations… at least not how we originally envisioned. This is one of those reminders that I constantly need. And this year has been no exception. All that’s been going on in the world has led to a quite different pregnancy experience than what I imagined for myself. I’ve had to adapt to so many of the ever-changing circumstances over these past several months. And it hasn’t been easy. One thing I’ve been realizing is that it’s ok to acknowledge how sad this makes me and grieve my unmet expectations. In fact, I’m better off doing so. Because otherwise all the feelings of upsetness just build up. And they’ll find a way to come out sooner or later. So as I’ve been adjusting to each new situation, I’ve also tried to be gentle with myself and focus on taking things one day at a time whenever possible. 2. I can do hard things. This is a lesson I re-learned pretty early on in pregnancy. The first trimester was one of the most physically and mentally challenging periods of my life. Feeling sick to my stomach almost all day every day for 3 full months was miserable. And even the excitement of being pregnant couldn’t lift my spirits most of the time. Simple things like waking up in the morning, eating, and getting dressed suddenly required every ounce of effort I could muster. And soon I started to feel very lonely in this struggle. Even though I had plenty of support, the actual job of being pregnant was mine alone. And it was already kicking my butt. But thankfully, the weeks wore on and things did eventually get much easier. Looking back at those first few months, it’s amazing to me how I got through it. As difficult as it was, I survived. And I could do it again if I have to. Not that I’d want to if things could be different. But knowing and trusting that I can get through tough times definitely makes it a little easier to weather the storms of life. 3. My body is a miracle. I already knew this on some level. But experiencing the growth of a whole other human inside of me has been such a special privilege. Even though it’s involved some discomforts along the way, getting to see my body reach its full potential in this capacity has been incredible. And even the fact that it can withstand the challenges that arise along the way is a testament to how amazing this body of mine truly is. 4. My body needs plenty of love, affection, and nourishing to continue functioning miraculously. If there’s one thing that this third trimester has been reminding me lately, it’s that as much as my body is capable of – it does indeed have its limits. And respecting those limits is one of the best things I can do for myself right now. It’s only when I listen to my body and focus on meeting its needs that it can continue functioning optimally. Pushing it beyond these limits over and over again never ends well. 5. Help doesn’t usually come unless I ask for it. I have a hard time with this one. There’s a part of me that wishes people intuitively knew how to support me. Because asking for help, or worse asking for it repeatedly, feels pretty uncomfortable. And honestly, it gives me yet another thing to do in those moments when all I want is less on my plate. But when I do work up the courage and wherewithal to ask for what I need, it’s usually worth it. Because the people that care about me want to help me. Just because they don’t know how to yet, doesn’t mean they’re incapable. It means they need clear instructions or more information. Of course, this is more difficult to do when I’m not sure exactly what I need yet. And this particular predicament has come up a lot during this pregnancy because each experience has been so new. But even in those moments when I’m unsure, just asking for someone to listen as I sort through my thoughts has been really helpful. 6. Not being in control is an opportunity to build and practice trust. This is one of those lessons that’s echoed in many of the others that I’ve already shared. But I think it deserves its own explanation. There’s so much about pregnancy that feels completely out of my control. How I feel physically on any given day, the position of the baby, and the exact moment my labor will start are just a few examples of things I have almost no control over. Of course, I can take certain steps to help me have the best outcome in each of these situations. But at the end of the day, I can’t actually control every aspect of my circumstances. And this is not an easy pill to swallow for me. So lately, I’ve been leaning into and focusing more on trusting that things will work out just fine. Because my other option was constantly worrying and stressing about it. Which I did and still do sometimes. But practicing trust feels better. Trusting God, trusting my body, and trusting my baby to do what each of us is meant to at every stage of this process. 7. Different can be a good thing sometimes. As I talked a bit about in number 1 already – this pregnancy experience has been quite different than what I originally envisioned for myself. And most of the differences are due to situations that have nothing to do with my actual pregnancy. Current world affairs have certainly switched things up for so many of us. And as frustrating as it’s been – some things did still manage to work out pretty nicely. When my sister brought up the idea of planning a virtual baby shower, I wasn’t so sure about it. I wondered if it would actually be any fun and worth the effort. But she convinced me to go for it and the planning began. And even though I was pretty skeptical at first, it ended up being really special. It wasn’t at all how I ever imagined my baby shower to be, but one of the best parts about it being virtual was that my family overseas got to join us in the celebration as well. And this never would’ve been possible otherwise. Sometimes embracing the “different” that life throws our way can turn out even better than what we initially had in mind. 8. Every struggle also comes with blessings. It’s definitely been frustrating to deal with some of the unexpected challenges that have come up over these last several months. But each one has also reminded me how blessed I am to have sources of support around me as well as access to solutions. As inconvenient as it may feel in the moment, giving a bit of my attention to the good details in a “bad” situation has really helped me to reframe my perspective. If it weren’t for my baby being in a breech position for example, I probably never would have gone to a chiropractor for prenatal care. And while we’re still working on getting our little guy to flip, I’ve learned so much about what’s going on with my body over my last few appointments. And the chiropractor’s helped me to release an incredible amount of tension that’s been building up. So whether the baby flips or not, it’s been such a helpful experience. 9. Seasons of change can be some of the most creative and motivating times of our life. These past 9 months have included more changes than I could keep track of… all in an effort to prepare us for the even bigger change coming at the end of this journey. And I’ve definitely felt overwhelmed by all the decisions and plans we’ve had to make along the way. But something else interesting also happened in this process. At some point in my second trimester, I found myself feeling really motivated to make even more changes in my life. When I realized that these months being pregnant might be the last ones for a while that I could invest a good amount of time and energy into my own interests, something shifted internally. And I finally did a few things that had been on my mind for a while. I started recording and sharing EFT/tapping videos and I lead my first ever coaching and support group for women that identify as highly sensitive. Even though these projects felt scary and overwhelming to take on, I’m so happy that I did. And if it weren’t for all the other changes pregnancy has brought on, I honestly don’t know if I would’ve taken these leaps. The more I experience seasons of transition, the more I learn about myself. They can certainly feel paralyzing at times, but they also offer glimpses of clarity along the way. And those moments are worth seizing when they come along. Wrapping It Up Going through pregnancy has taught me so much about myself and life in general. And I’m sure this is only the beginning. Motherhood is going to be brand new territory and I can’t even imagine how many lessons I’ll learn along the way. I know the journey won’t be all sunshine and rainbows, but I can’t wait to see what’s in store for me during this next phase. As I adjust and acclimate to the new normal though, I’ll be taking a break from blogging. So this will be my last post for a while. I’m not sure exactly when I’ll be coming back yet or how exactly the blog will function when I do, but I hope to start writing again in a few months. Until then, I’m wishing you the very best. And I’d love to hear some lessons and reflections that are on your mind these days. What’s one thing you’ve learned (or relearned) recently that’s had a significant impact on your life? Let me know in a comment below this post or an email! Peace and blessings, Hanaa P.S. – Are you feeling stuck, overwhelmed, or uninspired by your life? Is there a challenge you’re facing or a goal you’d like to work towards? If you’re ready to take a bold, true leap in your life, I can help you. Click here to schedule a FREE discovery session with me.
41 minutes | 4 months ago
Ep. 21: Cultivating Community During Uncertain Times – A Conversation with Timaj Garad
This month at Bold True Life one of the themes that’s been coming up is navigating uncertainty. This can often be a scary and lonely journey. And these days, most of us are facing uncertainty in at least one aspect of our lives. So for today’s episode, we decided to explore this topic with a guest who’s particularly special to us – our cousin Timaj! Timaj Garad is a multi-disciplinary storyteller, Arts-Educator, Community Organizer, and Creative Consultant. Her art is autobiographical, working at the intersections of a black Muslim woman challenging injustice, unearthing truths, and healing. She’s graced over 300 stages and facilitated several arts-based workshops. And today, Timaj joined us here on the podcast! Our conversation centers around a beautiful poem that Timaj starts off the episode by performing for us all. From there, we dive deep into the topic of vulnerability and developing supportive communities around us. We chat about why it’s so hard to be vulnerable and how to practice in ways that feel safe. Timaj shares her insights from years of getting on stages in front of strangers as well as her vast experience with community building at the grassroots level. We also discuss the importance of ethics in community spaces. And Timaj defines for us what exactly a community that practices ethics means to her. It was such a pleasure for us to record this particular episode. And we’re sure you’ll enjoy and relate to the topic as much as we did. Plus, it begins differently than any other episode we’ve ever had… and this is definitely one opening that you don’t want to miss! Connect with Timaj on Social Media: Instagram Facebook Twitter Stay in touch with us on Social Media: Instagram Facebook Want to keep talking about this topic? Check out this month’s blogcast. Happy listening!
8 minutes | 4 months ago
Blogcast: How to Cultivate Community While Social Distancing
Hello there lovelies! I hope you’re doing well these days. Can you believe we’re already half-way through July? The summer’s in full swing, but it definitely hasn’t been the average one. Personally, I’ve been itching for a relaxing getaway these past few months – but it wasn’t meant to be this year. So instead, I’m trying to spend as much time as possible in my favorite local parks and gardens. Even though I can’t get away, it’s a blessing being able to soak up the serenity and beauty easily accessible to me. Something else that’s helping me make the most of this unusual summer has been maintaining my sense of community and connection. Practicing social distancing has changed a lot about my daily choices and interactions… Particularly while navigating through pregnancy. It’s been tough adjusting to not seeing close family and friends the way that I’m used to. So finding new ways to stay connected has been crucial these last few months. Our relationships play a vital role in both our mental and physical well-being. In fact, research shows that a good relationship is a bigger predictor of our longevity than obesity or smoking. So maintaining healthy ones is really important. But, of course, this can get complicated to manage during seasons of change and unexpected circumstances. If you’ve been having a hard time keeping meaningful connections over these past several months, you’re not alone. We’re all still figuring out how to adjust to this new, and constantly changing, reality of life in the midst of a pandemic. So for today’s post, I wanted to share a few tips that are helping me stay connected with family and friends in a healthy way these days. Below are 4 relationship habits that I’m trying to practice even more than usual lately. If you could use some ideas or inspiration in this arena, definitely keep on reading! 1. Set boundaries that feel right for you. During particularly stressful periods, our energy and capacity to hold space for others often changes. So even though you’re probably at home more than usual lately, keeping in touch with people can still feel quite overwhelming. Think about the types of interactions that you’re craving right now. What’s the most meaningful way you can connect with someone else today? Once you have an idea of this, you can focus on setting up plans that you’re actually up and available for. A few things to consider when coming up with meaningful ways to connect are: the amount of time and energy that you actually have right now as well as what feels like a safe and comfortable way to do so. If you don’t have the energy to chat for 2 hours, let the other person know you can do a 30 minute (or shorter) conversation instead. If you’re not ready to try meeting up in person, let them know that you’re not up for that yet – but you’re happy to have a virtual coffee date. Whatever boundaries you decide to set, remember to stick with them. That’s the only way that they’ll actually work! 2. Take time for yourself every day. These days, you’re probably seeing a whole lot of certain people (the ones you live with) and not much of anyone else. It’s definitely challenging to navigate close relationships when it feels like you have no space for yourself. So setting aside at least a few minutes of quiet time each day is extra important right now. Taking this time gives you the chance to recharge and focus on yourself for a little while. Carving out the time isn’t always easy, but it doesn’t have to be difficult either. It could be while you’re drinking coffee in the morning, taking a quick walk in the neighborhood, or even while you take a shower. Whatever time you can carve out, make it intentional. And try doing a little something that makes it feel extra good. Personally, I love lighting a candle right before I hop in the shower. It’s a small detail that has a big effect for me! 3. Take advantage of technology. Most of us aren’t meeting up with our friends in person lately. But that doesn’t mean we can’t still see each other. Technology offers us more opportunities now than ever before to connect with one another. Video chatting and voice messaging in particular are two great options for engaging with loved ones in a way that feels a bit more real. Of course, there’s nothing like being able to give someone a hug and truly sit in their presence. But using the other avenues available for the time-being can go a long way in helping you stay in touch and still feel close to your favorite people. 4. Join online communities and attend virtual events. Another thing many of us are missing lately is gathering with larger groups of people. Whether it’s a celebration, conference, class, support group meeting, or another type of event you planned to attend – it’s probably not happening in person right now. And, of course, that’s disappointing. But again, technology offers us the chance to make the best of this frustrating situation. If you’re missing having that connection with a wider community, you can participate in one virtually. Joining an internet group or forum, signing up for an online class, and attending meet-ups via zoom are all ways you can engage with more people during this time. It’s definitely not the same as meeting in person, but you can still create those meaningful connections. And so many organizations are offering new opportunities to do so these days. It’s worth taking advantage of them. Bringing it all Together This is a strange time in the world and many of us are experiencing some effects of feeling disconnected and isolated. Something I’ve personally realized is that I need people and that sense of support even more than usual lately. I also need extra quiet time to process all the news and changes that I’m constantly adapting to. It’s not one or the other, rather it’s both that are helping me navigate through this time. Could it be the same for you too? Finding the right balance is going to look a little different for each of us – because each of our situations is unique and nuanced. Taking the time to figure out what works for you could make a big difference in how you experience this current season though. So what type of connection are you needing these days? And how can you go about cultivating it? I’d love to hear your thoughts in a comment below this post or in an email! Peace and blessings, Hanaa P.S. – Are you feeling stuck, overwhelmed, or uninspired by your life? Is there a challenge you’re facing or a goal you’d like to work towards? If you’re ready to take a bold, true leap in your life, I can help you. Click here to schedule a FREE discovery session with me. Could you use a few minutes of self-care today? Check out my latest EFT/Tapping video!
44 minutes | 5 months ago
Ep 20: Unpacking our Role – A Pondersation on Learning How to be Anti-Racist
This month at Bold True Life, we’ve been having lots of behind-the-scenes conversations about race. The murders of Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, and Breonna Taylor have sparked a response that our generation has never seen before in this country. And we’ve been thinking, feeling, learning, and processing so much over the past few weeks. So for today’s episode, we decided to go ahead and record a pondersation and do a little processing out loud with you all. We talked about the emotions that’ve been coming up for us and reflected on the role we each have to play in this moment. The conversation wasn’t perfect, it pivoted in a few different directions, and we know there’s still a lot of learning we have to do. We even argued a bit about the “right” way to respond. Even though it got messy at some points, these types of discussions are so important. Because they’re how we grow. So join us as we delve into learning how to be an antiracist. Stay in touch with us on Social Media: Instagram Facebook Want to keep talking? Check out this month’s blogcast (and free gift) – happy listening!
10 minutes | 5 months ago
Blogcast: 10 Amazing Black Women… Plus a Free Gift from Me!
2020 has definitely been off to an intense start. We’re almost halfway through the year and the world’s been going through some major shifts – bigger than most of us have ever seen before. And this past month in the US has been a particularly important one. The country is confronting one of the biggest issues that’s existed since it’s very start – racial injustice. And witnessing it all unfold has been really eye-opening for me personally. But for this month’s blog post, it doesn’t feel quite right to share my personal reflections. While I’ve been having a lot of conversations on the topic and learning more each day, right now my voice isn’t the one I want to share. Instead, I want to highlight some incredible Black American women whose work I really admire. Each of these ladies has been showing up, supporting, and inspiring their communities (and me!) for years now. And I think you’ll appreciate them just as much as do! And then, at the end of this post I’m also sharing a little gift. So make sure to stick around till then Now, without further ado, here are 10 black women who I love to follow and learn from. The nature of their work ranges from activism to healing to creating so I’ve broken the list down into three categories. But really, all of these women could easily fit into each category because what they have to offer beautifully blends all three together. Activists Layla F Saad: I’m one of her newer followers, but I’ve been hearing about Layla F Saad’s work for quite a while now. She’s the author of Me and White Supremacy: A 28 Day Challenge to Combat Racism, Change the World, and Become a Good Ancestor. And it recently made the New York Times best-seller list! Layla’s also a speaker, podcast host, and she teaches about race, identity, leadership, personal transformation, and social change. Rachel Cargle: I’ve been following Rachel Cargle for a couple of years now and I’ve learned so much along the way. She’s challenged me to think more critically and notice my own blind spots. Rachel is a writer, lecturer, and public academic. She also facilitates workshops and leads an online community called @thegreatunlearn where she curates syllabi dedicated to learning outside of the white lens. And last year, Rachel was featured on an episode of Red Table Talk about unpacking white privilege. Khadijah Abdullah: I can’t remember exactly when I first had the pleasure of meeting Khadijah, but she’s been inspiring me ever since. She’s the executive director of RAHMA – an organization dedicated to addressing HIV/AIDS and FGM/C in faith communities. In addition, Khadijah runs a business called Playtime Sitters. Over the last few months, I’ve watched from afar as she pivoted to adjust her business model into one that meets families needs even while staying home due to COVID-19. And recently, Khadijah appeared on an episode of the Sister Act podcast for a discussion on the experiences of black women of faith. Teachers & Healers 4. Angelica Ali “The Village Auntie”: Angelica Lindsey-Ali is a certified sexual health educator, an intimacy and relationships expert, and the author of Passage: A 31 Day Guided Journey. Last year, my sister and I had the pleasure of interviewing her for an episode of our podcast and she shared sooo much wisdom with us! In fact, to this day it’s the episode with our highest number of listens. And she now hosts her own podcast called Lights on with Angelica Lindsey-Ali too! 5. Nedra Tawwab: Nedra Tawwab is a therapist who focuses on helping people create healthy relationships. I first came across her on an episode of the Therapy for Black Girls podcast about codependency. And more recently, I heard her on the Hey, Girl podcast in a conversation around navigating familial relationships. Her Instagram page is full of helpful reminders and pieces of wisdom on all things mental health including boundaries, trauma, and self-care. 6. Lauren Ash: I first discovered Lauren Ash through her podcast Black Girl in Om which I immediately fell in love with. She’s also a yoga + meditation teacher. Over the years she’s partnered with some big brands to create more healing spaces that specifically cater to black women. This includes the manifestation and journaling workshop she recently hosted in partnership with HBO. Creators 7. Imani Bashir: Imani Bashir is a writer, world traveler, speaker, and mother. She’s lived in several different countries with her family including Egypt, Poland and China. And they’ve traveled to even more! Her freelance writing covers a diverse set of topics including travel, motherhood, sports, and pop culture. And her work has been featured in many major publications including Glamour. Cosmopolitan Magazine, and The New York Times. Imani also recently published her first children’s book: The Takeoff Toddler. Last year, I had the chance to book a writing coaching session with Imani and it was incredibly helpful! 8. Hannah Hasan: Hannah Hasan is a spoken word artist, public speaker, and facilitator. She hosts storytelling events, masterclasses, and writing workshops. Hannah also runs a platform called EpochTribe (together with her sister Shardae) that’s dedicated to empowering and creating brave spaces for people to share their stories. Recently, I’ve had the chance to actually attend a couple of her virtual events and really enjoyed them. It takes a lot of effort to gather community in the particular way that Hannah does and she does it so well! 9. Alex Elle: Alex Elle is an author, wellness consultant, and host of the Hey, Girl podcast. Her most recent episode really hit home for me as she spoke about the intersection between blackness, rest, and action. And the rawness she shared her personal experience stuck with me long after I finished listening. In addition to writing and podcasting, Alex also hosts workshops and retreats focused on helping attendees find their voice through story-telling, poetry, and narrative writing. 10. Venus Clapback: I said that I’d be highlighting 10 women today, but this last one actually brings the count up to 11. Because the Venus Clapback platform and podcast is a partnership between two fabulous women – Coco and Muse. Their podcast and video series is dedicated to exploring and showcasing new paths to black woman joy. They cover topics ranging from relationships, to career, to community building, and everything in between. And they have a way of making me laugh every single episode. Their advocacy work and the community dialogue they’re creating are both much needed and really refreshing. And that brings us to the end of the list. The women above have all been great resources for me personally and I know you’ll find them just as amazing as I do. As you get to know and follow them, keep in mind how much time, energy, and effort they all put into showing up for their communities. And let’s each do our part to support them as well. Before you go, I wanted to leave you with one last gift today. Something that’s been extremely helpful for me over the past several weeks… and just about every time I’m feeling anxious or stressed. I’ve recorded a guided EFT/tapping video for dealing with overwhelming thoughts and feelings. I have to add the disclaimer that there’s a bit of background noise in the second half of the video, but I still think it’s worth sharing. So if you’re needing some healing and stress relief right now, this guided tapping is for you. Enjoy! And make sure to share the love with somebody else who could use it too. And of course, I’d love to hear how you’re doing as well. How have you been navigating through the last few weeks? What are you struggling with and what are you learning? Let me know in a comment below this post or an email. Peace and blessings, Hanaa P.S. – Are you feeling stuck, overwhelmed, or uninspired by your life? Is there a challenge you’re facing or a goal you’d like to work towards? If you’re ready to take a bold, true leap in your life, I can help you. Click here to schedule a FREE discovery session with me. Want to learn more about EFT/tapping? Check out our video series all about it! Leave a Comment
43 minutes | 6 months ago
Ep 19: From Surviving Trauma to Winning an Emmy – A Conversation with Laila Al-Arian
This month at BTL, one topic that’s been on our mind is courage. And in today’s podcast episode, we had a very special guest join us for a conversation all about it. Laila Al-Arian is an Emmy award-winning broadcast journalist and the senior producer of the documentary series Fault Lines. In this episode, we speak with her about dealing with trauma, resilience, and healing through meaningful work. Laila graciously opened up to us about an ordeal that she and her family went through for over 10 years as they found themselves navigating through the American justice system. And we discussed how that particular experience affects the stories which she features and tells on her show today. This is such a special episode to us because Laila’s story sheds light on a devastating reality that she and others go through every day. And we’re so grateful to her for sharing about it with us. This is definitely one conversation you want to tune into! We’re sure you’ll be just as touched and inspired by Laila and her work as we are. Connect with Laila on Social Media: Twitter Stay in touch with us on Social Media: Instagram Facebook
7 minutes | 6 months ago
Blogcast: Ramadan 2020 – Spiritual Growth During a Pandemic
This Ramadan’s been different. It’s a version of this month that I didn’t imagine possible. There haven’t been any iftar gatherings or nightly prayers at the mosque. And our sense of community has shifted into an entirely virtual experience. It’s also been different on a more personal level for me this year – since I’m pregnant, I’m not fasting at all. When I first realized what a huge shift in dynamic this Ramadan would be, I was pretty disappointed. I was already anticipating a big change next year after (God-willing) our baby boy arrives. So this Ramadan felt like my last chance in some ways. My final opportunity to experience this spiritual month as I’ve grown to know it. And I was really looking forward to taking full advantage of the community events that I’ll be less available for over the next few years. But instead, I’m getting some early practice doing Ramadan at home. And surprisingly, I’ve been enjoying it much more than I expected. It’s definitely felt quieter than usual. With everyone working mostly from home and not leaving for the mosque right after breaking fast, my family has been rushing a lot less than we usually do at this time of year. This has probably been the most refreshing aspect of the month. While I do miss spending extra time at the mosque, the last few weeks at home has given me a new perspective on connecting with God. Before Ramadan started, I was worried that all the changes would dampen my spiritual experience of this month. But somehow, being at home has done almost the opposite. Things are certainly different and it did feel strange at first. After a few days though, I started to notice myself appreciating this version of Ramadan. The mornings feel so much calmer than they have in the past. So I’ve been able to squeeze more quiet spiritual moments in right at the start of my day. And praying at home with just my parents and husband has been such a nice way to end each night together. Although it’s not the same as any previous years, this change hasn’t been so bad after all. Now that it’s almost over, I’m realizing that I wasn’t only disappointed at the beginning of this month. I was also concerned about how my spirituality would be affected. With all the newness of the situation, I wasn’t sure what to expect or how to show up yet. How does one do Ramadan in the middle of a pandemic? For me, the biggest difference about the holy month this year is that connecting with God suddenly became more of a personal responsibility rather than one I could count on the community to easily help me fulfill. Thankfully there’ve still been so many ways to connect and gain spiritual growth online. But there have been far more quiet moments than usual too. Moments when I’ve had to decide to show up even if I’m on my own. And that takes a special kind of courage. To sit with God one-on-one is an incredibly beautiful experience. It’s also quite scary though. Because taking time to be present with God also requires us to be present with ourselves. And as worthwhile as the experience is, it’s often uncomfortable at first. Until this particular Ramadan, I never noticed just how vulnerable it can feel to be present with God one-on-one. I didn’t think much about how it pushes us to lay down the masks and armor that we usually wear each day. And how what comes to the surface when we do isn’t always pretty. The way that difficult feelings might start to bubble up. Like unfulfilled hopes and desires. Along with disappointments, frustrations, and challenges in our lives. And the fears and worries that we have about the future. Because it’s all part of what sitting with God invites us to do. This seat doesn’t just force us to get uncomfortable for no reason. Rather, it offers us an opportunity. A chance to open our heart up and explore what’s really happening inside. To appreciate all the goodness within and also to recognize the pain. Sitting with God can take us places that we’ve never been and places that we’ve been afraid to go. It can break our heart in the process of healing it. That’s why it sometimes feels safer to do this in the company of others instead of all alone. Community can offer us a sense of comfort and security as we delve deeper into our relationship with The Divine. So this year is stretching many of us to new lengths. It’s definitely been teaching me a lot about my personal relationship with God. And pushing me to practice trusting Him more fully. To keep taking steps forward even though the road ahead is uncharted territory. But having faith that He’s with and guiding me all along the way. That’s the only way I can keep going. Yes, this Ramadan is different. For me, it’s opened up a new portal of connection. And finding an avenue to God available even in such an unprecedented situation has given me a sense of peace and hope that I didn’t know I was looking for. What about YOU? How’ve you been feeling this Ramadan? And what lessons have you been learning? I’d love to hear your insights in a comment below this post or an email! Peace and blessings, Hanaa P.S. – Are you feeling stuck, overwhelmed, or uninspired by your life? Is there a challenge you’re facing or a goal you’d like to work towards? If you’re ready to take a bold, true leap in your life, I can help you. Click here to schedule a FREE discovery session with me.
37 minutes | 7 months ago
Ep. 18 Are You Highly Sensitive? – A Pondersation on Navigating Life as an HSP and Embracing Your Unique Gifts
Have you ever been told that you’re too sensitive? Or found yourself overwhelmed with feelings in a situation that no one else seemed affected by? Does decision-making tend to take you longer than others? If you answered yes to these questions, there’s a good chance that you have the trait of high sensitivity – and it’s a trait that’s found in only 20% of humans. This month at BTL, we’re back with a new pondersation all about what it means to be a highly sensitive person (HSP). Several years ago, Hanaa discovered that she’s an HSP and in this episode we’re discussing what she’s learned about this trait since then. We talk about the struggles that highly sensitives often come up against as well as the amazing gifts they have to offer. And Hanaa shares how HSPs can protect their energy while navigating through the world. If this experience sounds familiar and you’re wondering whether or not you have the HSP trait, you can take this quiz over on Dr. Elaine Aron’s website. Now if you’re not a highly sensitive person, there’s a very good chance that you’re close to someone who is. And this episode will definitely help you understand them better and deepen your relationship. And you can check out the previous episode we mentioned with Marci Moberg, right over here. P.S. We also share some exciting personal news at the beginning of this episode about where we’ve been for the past couple of months. So make sure you tune in to get the short life update along with plenty of gems on navigating through the world as an HSP! Love, Hanaa and Muni Stay in Touch with us on Social Media: Instagram Facebook
8 minutes | 7 months ago
Blogcast: 5 Tips for Coping with Uncertainty, Unexpected Change, and Overwhelming Feelings
Helloooo Friends! It’s been a while! I took an unexpected break from blogging, but I’m officially back at it and it feels so good to be writing again. I’ve missed you all! And even though it’s only been a couple of months since my last post, the world feels very different than it did back in January. Just about all of us are experiencing some effects of the world-wide spread Corona Virus right now. And as a result, many of our lives have changed quite drastically in a very short period of time. To be honest, it feels really heavy for me to think about all the ways people are currently struggling and suffering around the world. Especially as I recognize my personal privilege and relative comfort during this time of crisis. But it’s also been a good reminder that none of our circumstances are ever guaranteed. Life is full of curveballs. But it’s not every day that the whole world is dealt various aspects of the same exact one. We’re all facing different types of complications that’ve come up due to this pandemic. Some of us much more than others. And all of you are on my mind and in my prayers these days. For this particular blog post, I thought I’d focus on one struggle that most of us have in common right now: anxiety. So many aspects of our day to day lives have changed recently. Practicing social distancing has physically separated us from our loved ones and closest friends. Grocery shopping has suddenly turned into a serious risk factor. And a lot of us are spending far more time at home than usual. Adjusting to all these new dynamics is unnerving to say the least. And getting used to all the changes in life’s rhythm hasn’t been easy. It always takes time getting used to a new normal. And with all the uncertainty around the virus, we have no idea how long this “new normal” will last. Adapting to change and uncertainty takes more energy than we often realize. So for today’s blog post, I want to share 5 things that’ve been helping me alleviate some of my own anxiety and settle into a new flow. It didn’t happen overnight, but these particular habits have been paramount in me feeling calmer and more grounded in this current reality. And of course I want to share them all with you! Are you ready for my list? Here we go: 1. Develop a New Routine: It won’t look the same as your old one, but that’s ok. Establish some new patterns for yourself to help you get going each day. Doing a few simple things like showering in the morning, changing your clothes, and drinking some tea could make all the difference in how the rest of your day pans out. Having lunch or exercising around the same time every day can help too. Whatever it is that you decide to do, the point is finding a schedule that feels good and works well for you and your circumstances at the moment. 2. Stay in Touch: Just because we’re physically distancing ourselves more from each other these days doesn’t mean that we can’t stay connected with those we care about. Phone calls, video conferencing, and even voice messaging with our loved ones and friends are all great options for maintaining our sense of connection to each other. And having ways to actually see and hear one another makes a big difference. There are even community events and meet-ups being hosted online these days. Taking advantage of these different avenues for interacting with others is so important right now. We need each other – especially in times of crisis. 3. Get Fresh Air: Most of us aren’t going very far these days, but you don’t have to stay completely cooped up indoors. Open the windows, sit out on the balcony or front porch, and take walks around the neighborhood. We all need the fresh air. And if you’re spending most of the day at home, getting outside for a bit will give you a nice change of scene, a chance to move your body a bit, and probably uplift your mood too. 4. Limit News and Information Intake: There’s A LOT of news coverage and social media posts about COVID-19 these days. But you don’t have to tune into all of it. Pick out a few sources of information that you trust and ignore the rest. It’s far too overwhelming otherwise. And information overload isn’t good for your mental or physical health. You can stay informed without getting totally inundated by all the news out there. 5. Take Time to Rest and Reset: There’s a lot of talk lately about taking advantage of this unique time. And while this is a nice sentiment, it’s going to mean something different for each of us. Not everyone has the time, energy, or interest to learn a new skill or do something seemingly “productive” right now. The whole world is experiencing a new and scary situation. It’s ok to feel unsure, worn out, and frustrated. So try to take the pressure off and give yourself permission to squeeze in some rest however you can. Take more deep breaths, light some candles, draw up a bath for yourself, take a nap… do anything that makes your day feel even a little more restful. It’ll give you the energy you need to handle everything else. Most of us never imagined life looking like it does these days. Things are pretty weird right now. And being mostly at home can bring all kinds of drama, trauma, and uncomfortable feelings to the surface. If that’s been the case for you, know that it’s totally normal. Life is feeling extra stressful and that stress will show up in different ways. It’s the list above that’s been helping me manage and adapt during these strange times. How about YOU? What’s one thing that’s helping you adjust to this new normal? And (for bonus points!): what’ve you been learning about yourself in the process? I’d love to hear about your thoughts and personal experiences in a comment below this post or an email! Peace and blessings, Hanaa P.S. – Are you feeling stuck, overwhelmed, or uninspired by your life? Is there a challenge you’re facing or a goal you’d like to work towards? If you’re ready to take a bold, true leap in your life, I can help you. Click here to schedule a FREE discovery session with me.
50 minutes | 10 months ago
Ep. 17 Finding your Purpose – A Conversation on Vision, Goal-Setting, and Meaningful Impact with Eman Idil
This month at BTL, we’ve been talking all about vision. And today, Eman Idil joined us on the podcast to continue the conversation! Eman is a journalist, fashion designer, yoga instructor, and law student. She’s a young woman whose brought so many big visions to life already! And in this discussion, she gives us a sneak peek of what it’s really like behind the scenes. We chat about Eman’s journey as a multi-passionate entrepreneur and how she figured out her life purpose along the way. Eman shares how she knows when a big idea is worth pursuing, her take on finding balance with a busy schedule, and how she reconnects with her creativity when feeling stuck. This episode is full of funny stories and wise lessons. Eman is full of honest and helpful advice for pursuing a big vision. So if you’re looking for some practical inspiration – make sure to have a listen! Connect with Eman on Social Media: Instagram Stay in touch with us on Social Media: Instagram Facebook Do you want to keep talking about vision? Check out our minisode and blogcast episodes all about it. Happy listening!
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