This is How I Made My Feel Good Journal

A few months back I wrote a blog post, Don’t Fill Your Diary With Negative Memories which had reached a lot of views. Today I am writing this blog post on how I made my Feel Good Journal at a time when things were a bit a difficult at my end. The Feel Good Journal really helped me cope with my problems in a positive manner and since now that Allah has solved my problem I wish to share about it with my readers.

Objective of my Feel Good Journal

The reason I made this Feel Good Journal was because I wanted to create something that will keep me grateful during the darkest days of my life. When I was going through the difficult situation I ended up talking all negative and becoming ungrateful for whatever I already had. Just so you know I hate been ungrateful and I am actually afraid whenever I utter ungrateful words. So in order to stop myself and make myself look towards the brighter aspects of my life I created this Feel Good Journal.

Materials Needed:

  • A pretty notebook that says, ‘Pick me up!’ whenever you look at it.
  • Some cute stickers (optional).
  • Different coloured pens.
  • Few positive quotes.

The how?

I already have a diary where I jot down my good and bad memories. Well, not exactly bad memories but rather I write in it about my problems and that helps me see the picture more clearly. So what I did was go through the start of this diary and selected all the good memories to be compiled in my Feel Good Journal. I used different coloured pens for different memories depending on the type of memory, relationship, ambition, or a fun day out.

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For people who don’t use a diary

If you don’t have a diary where you reflect your day to day activities then you can instead go through your smart phone gallery. Using a picture from each event of your life write at least one good memory.

This Feel Good Journal will help you during times when you will feel sad and depressed. It will keep you focused on the blessings that Allah has already blessed you with. Along with that, reading through your Feel Good Journal will divert your attention towards positive matters and will help you optimistically approach the problem.

How did you like this idea? Are you willing to try it out? Do let me know in the comments section below.

Jazakillah khairun kaseerun

Bullying! Another Silent KILLER

Yesterday I heard the news of an 11-year-old child who committed suicide in Bradford due to some children picking on him at school. I felt terrible to hear the news. At such an innocent age when the child should be worried about finishing his homework or going out to play with his friends, he was instead bothered by a bunch of kids already suffering from the superiority complex.

Bullying is becoming a serious issue in our society and it is now taking a toll at schools. A place where children should be feeling safe and secure, they are actually going through nerve wrecking situations. Few of the headlines that I came across regarding this child were actually blaming the mother for not giving attention to the child but Allah knows best what the real situation was. Right now instead of spreading the news in order to play the blame game it will be wiser to actually focus on how we can eliminate bullying from our society.

A Request: Please do not share the picture of the child because their family has requested so.

So how can we address bullying in our immediate environment? Well, it is not just the responsibility of one person but us as the members of the society as a whole need to look and act upon it in an appropriate manner.

Advice for Parents on Addressing Bullying

As parents, try your best to educate your child regarding the consequences of bullying someone. Give them examples of how they would feel if someone would make fun of them. Use stories from the life of our Prophets and Sahaba. Make the discussion interactive so that your child can accept if he or she is involved in bullying someone or is the victim of bullying.

In case, your child confesses that they are bullying someone, do not scold them. Scolding and punishing will only teach them that next time they shouldn’t be honest with you. Instead talk to him using the emotional aspect of how that child must be feeling each time he gets bullied. Reinforce your child for being honest and tell them that they will now have to fix what they have done wrong.

Next, help them in the process of fixing their mistake.

If your child is the victim….
Now if the situation comes out that your child is being bullied, I’d suggest that you give them as much support as possible. Find out who those people are and where is your child getting bullied. You will now have to confront this matter along with your child (not alone). If it is in the school then have a talk with the school authorities. If it is in the playground in your area then find out who the child’s guardians are and have a talk with them.

Advice for Teachers on Addressing Bullying

Teachers are the next important people to parents because they get to spend half of the day with children. During this time they need to be vigilant and observe if any student is getting picked on. As teachers, your sole purpose is not just to teach but to also help shape their personality and if a child under you is getting bullied then how are they suppose to trust any authority figure next time. Also, if some child is able to get out of bullying under your supervision then they will never learn to respect their authority figures in the future.

I’d say that you have a friendly discussion in the classroom to communicate about bullying. Address the consequences of bullying. You can also involve them by telling stories related to bullying and how it had impacted both the victim as well as the bully. Encourage your students to open up if they see someone getting bullied.

In case if cases of bullying come up you will have to get involved in them wisely. Find out the reason behind why the child is bullying the other child. Bullying always has underlying issues. Fix a meeting with the parents of the victim and the bully separately to help sort out the problems of both the children.

Advice if you see someone getting bullied

Stand up at all times if you see any child getting bullied. As a part of this society, you must take responsibility for addressing the problematic issues of your society. Bullying is no less than a crime.

You guys might be wondering that why am I showing so much concern for the bully. Well, most of the times bullies are a result of the bad consequences they have gone through. By just saving one child from the bully does not help in fixing the issue. We need to get to the root of the problem and that is to look into the matters that are causing the child to turn into a bully.

Do have a look at one of the article I had written for BabyGaga – What Causes Children to Turn Into a Bully?

Jazakillah khairun kaseerun

How to Live a Positive Life?

Since there is so much negativity in our environment I believe we should really learn to live a positive life. I come across very few people who take the opportunity to inspire and motivate other people. The other part I come across are only there to whine, complain and demotivate other people from believing in dreams. Then I know some of those people who are interested in becoming positive about life but find it difficult. So my blog post is basically for those who are really wish to live a positive life.

I have often being asked by a few close friends that how come I manage to remain positive about my life and future despite having problems in my life. And I am sorry but answering this question in a sentence will not do much justice. So I thought why not write a blog post in which I share my secrets to living a positive life.

You will all have to agree that each one of us are going through a tough time or have been through at least once in their life. There will not be a soul on this earth who will say that they are not having any problems in their life. Each of us have their own shortcomings and we have to deal with it no matter what. There is no easy way out of our problems.

So far these are the few rules I apply to my life to live a positive life:

 

Staying aware of other people’s sufferings

I believe that I am not the only one who has problems in her life. Allah tests each of us in many ways. Some are struggling to finish their education. Some are having problems finding a job. There are some who can’t find the right person to marry. Then there are those who are engaged but are not able to get married for several reasons. The list will go on. We are all facing some problem or the other. So I don’t feel bad that I am facing problems as well because it is a part of every normal human being’s life.

I look at people who suffer more than I do

Reading news online makes me ponder over the fact that there is so much suffering around the world. Lots of countries are under political instability thus people die there every day. The terrorist attacks have left so many families devastated. In addition to that, there are people diagnosed with harmful diseases and are living a painful life. There is so much more to add to this list. Orphan children, parents losing their children, some people have no family, some have no home and some have physical disability. With so much of these sufferings I feel ashamed to keep complaining about my problems. Instead Allah has given me the ability to think clearly and resolve these issues so why not do that.

I believe I am here for a greater purpose

Allah didn’t sent me in this Dunya to cry, whine and complain about what I don’t have. I am here in this world for a greater purpose. My time in this world is short so why waste time to feel about what’s wrong in my life. Why not look at what is right in my life and work towards attaining my goals. Why not work towards becoming a good Muslim and making this world a better place for those who are suffering more than me.

Allah tests His strongest servants

Each time I feel I am going through a lot I look at the life of our Prophets and Sahaba. They were pious, refrained from sinning, yet in order to spread good they had to face so many hardships. I am not even going through 1% of what they went through (Alhumdulilah) so what makes me feel like it is a lot. Moreover, these sufferings will only help wash my sins so why to be sad.

I have faith in Allah’s plan 

Allah is the best planner indeed. He brought us into this world and gave us so many abilities and skills. I believe in Him and what He has planned for me will be for my good. I do not know what the future holds for me but I live with this believe that whatever it will be things will turn out to be alright and these problems I am facing currently will soon be over Insha Allah.

By stating these points I no way want to boost that I am very positive person because there are certain times I am extremely cranky and negative. This point comes in all of our lives but I make it a point to not let negative feelings and thoughts take over my mind. I try breaking the cycle of negative thoughts and start focusing on what is already good in my life.

 

Do People Question You About Your Change?

Recently I have fallen in love with turning points in our lives. This is because they hold so much meaning for us and each one of it has some interesting story behind it. I too have gone through many changes. Through my observations there are a few things I have noticed which I would like to shed some light on. Before I go ahead with the topic let me clear that here I am talking about the positive turning points in our lives and how you can deal with the various questions people ask.

Face It!

The first thing that I have noticed is whenever one goes through some sort of change people around them give surprising looks.  Due to which we distance ourselves from such people and also behave rudely. Of course it is natural to act that way, to build a shield around yourself so that you wouldn’t have to answer the ‘How?’ ‘When?’ and ‘Where?’ again and again. Temporarily this technique may work out but in the long run you will feel isolated.

The best way to deal with this problem is to remain confident about what you are doing. Wear your best smile and don’t be afraid to tell them your journey towards this turning point.

Take Pride in Telling Your Story

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Some people will excitedly come towards you while others may give sarcastic comments. Whatever the case is just remain what you are. You know you are doing the right thing. You are satisfied with what you are doing so you don’t have to worry about the negative comments. Instead you should take encouragement from the positive comments. And if someone comes up to you to ask you about why and how it all happened, invite them for a cup of coffee and proudly pour out your whole story. Believe me, they will start respecting and will understand you better.

Influence Others As Well

Consider yourself lucky that you are now finally on the right track. So instead of looking down at others help them become better as well. You never changed in a fortnight. It took months, maybe years to reach this point. The only difference is you arrived earlier than others so now it’s your duty to support others in reaching this position.

Also, you will come across lost souls who will have no idea where their lives are leading. So help them find the right path. Lead them. Imagine yourself like that scientist who have discovered a new theory and now has to help others learn it.

You as an individual have the potential to make this world a better place. So keep improving and inspiring people around you because what goes around comes around as well.

My Niqab Is Not A Barrier But People

Since I started my niqab more than a year ago I have been questioned by a lot of people if it has ever been an obstacle in my path of success. In return all I do is smile widely because I feel sorry for this little yet precious piece of cloth to be considered a barrier for women in achieving her dreams.

I am a part time writer, a food and travel blogger. Being a food blogger I have been to lots of cafes and restaurants to try different cuisines and I have hardly had any issue in doing what I enjoy doing. Along with that, my part time writing job has made me work with non-Muslims and foreign clients and to some people’s surprise yes, I have done that all while being in my niqab.

In addition to that, I am also a psychology student and being a part of this field I have had to go to various places and meet different people some of whom were also suffering from severe mental illnesses. I have also been to the female ward of a psychiatric hospital and worked closely with them while doing clinical assessments and therapy. If anyone has ever worked closely with psychotic patients they’d know that how much they can misdoubt other people. But I have worked successfully with them despite wearing my niqab. I have even worked with little children and due to the place being quite public I had to keep my niqab on and the kids I had to deal with were as friendly as they were with my other non-niqabi colleagues.

The only time I have had issues in accomplishing my work was when people were not being co-operative and my abilities were being judged through my niqab. It is not this precious piece of cloth which is a barrier but rather what goes on in the mind of the person.

People complain that due to a woman’s niqab they have problem communicating with her because they cannot see her lips moving. But how come those same people spend hours texting and talking on phone and how does that is not a barrier in communication because you can’t see the person’s face even at that time.

Another issue I always get to listen to is the facial expressions are difficult to recognize. Frequently whenever I see a little kid passing by I like to give them a smile (while in my niqab), I mean it just happens on an involuntary level and I always get a smile back from them. So when a little kid who is not even experienced can recognize my eye movements how difficult could it be for an adult to make out my facial expression.

So what could be done to not become an obstacle for a niqabi?

 

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Give us acceptance

We niqabis don’t need questioning stares and lectures about how it can be a barrier for us. All we require is for people to give us opportunity to prove ourselves to be worthy with our work. We are anyways wearing this face veil for the sake of Allah and no one’s opinion will make us stop wearing it. So instead of wasting time and energy on something that is not going to work, why not get to work and talk business.

Focus on our words

One of the biggest issues raised for a niqabi is that people face difficulty communicating with them because of their face being hidden. What you can do to solve this issue is to hear a niqabi properly and focus on her words. You are not required to focus on her veil, her hidden face or even her eyes because the mere reason she is doing the niqab is to hide her face so she wouldn’t mind even if you are looking down but listening to her words properly.

You can easily identify a niqabi’s gender

When at a workplace and you feel afraid of a niqabi because you don’t know if she is a male disguised in niqab or not, you can simply go and communicate with her. Her voice and tone will provide you a clear indication of her gender.

Appoint a female for security purpose

For security reasons a female can be appointed to check the niqabi’s identity. We are very well aware of the laws and the rules and regulations so we wouldn’t mind giving proof of our identity for genuine reasons.

We communicate to men for genuine reasons

Many men feel hesitant when it comes to communicating with a niqabi. As long as you are talking business, like something related to the assignment or maybe you need help which only she can provide then you can ask her. Keep your gaze down and just state your question or problem and don’t forget to keep your distance.

Don’t be afraid of us

Since people can only see our eyes they sometimes feel afraid of us. Please don’t be so. We are humans just like you but just covered up according to the command of Allah (S.W.T). We mean no harm to you because we know that is not acceptable in the sight of Our Lord.

This niqab has in fact given me the confidence to do what I like. It has removed obstacles that could have come in my path of achieving success. I no more have to worry about boys hitting on me. In my workplace and in my university the men know their boundaries when communicating with me. The boundary that might have been difficult to set through words has already been set by wearing a niqab. So hasn’t it made my path towards my aspirations more smooth.

Ramadan Teaches Simplicity to the Wise

So Alhumdulilah we are at the second week of Ramadan and I’d really like to know how your Ramadan has been until now in the comment section below. Any words of wisdom shared will be appreciated.

Today I’d like to talk about instilling simplicity in our lives. In this blog post I will talk about how Ramadan helps us in understanding the beauty of simplicity.

Ramadan truly teaches us the beauty of adopting simplicity in life and this of course is only learnt by the wise because if we look around not everyone is pursuing for simplicity at the end of Ramadan. This is the second Aashra of Ramadan and by now many of our tables during iftar must be consisting of lesser dishes than compared to the first day of Ramadan. Now even a glass of water and few dates might seem enough to satisfy our hunger and this helps us to realize that even when Ramadan is over we don’t have to fill our stomachs to the extent that it bloats but just enough to provide us energy until the next meal. In fact eating in moderation also helps our body to sleep well and keeps us fresh when we wake up in the morning.

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It has been stated in the Hadith: “A believer eats in one intestine (is satisfied with a little food), and a kafir (unbeliever) or a hypocrite eats in seven intestines (eats too much).” (Bukhaari)

Also, when we are fasting during the day, our dry mouth and growling stomach teaches us the state of the poor who suffers from this state all year round. For them someone offering food is like how we feel during iftar, in fact they feel far more grateful. This is because when we are fasting we still know that in the evening we will get to eat but a person who is poor has no idea if they will even get to satisfy their hunger for that day. This should teach us to be humble when it comes to selecting food and not being choosy. Eat whatever is on your plate. When cooking at home, cook the amount that will be enough for the family and no extra has to be thrown away. When ordering at a restaurant, be mindful of your requirement so that not even a little grain gets wasted.

In addition to that, giving charity during Ramadan is another way to become humble in life. When we gift new clothes, accessories or even money to the poor, the look on their face of gratefulness, that excitement that they will finally have something to wear on Eid, should make us ponder that if someone can be grateful for just one pair of clothes (which they might have to wear the whole year round), do we have any right to whine about lack of clothes in a wardrobe?

So if you are wise, this Ramadan will In Sha Allah make you fall in love with simplicity. If not, then maybe you are yet to get into the spirits of Ramadan.

Jazakillah khairun kaseerun

 

Do We Always Need a Spark in Our Lives?

Ever since we start reading fairy tales in our childhood we start believing that our lives too should be magical. Especially girls are made to believe that happiness only exists in magical and special moments. Hence all our lives we wait for a spark to bring us joy.

When we are young, especially during our teen and young adult years, we wait for special occassions and events because that gives us a feeling of rush in the moment. We want our lives to be hot and happening. I still remember how crazily excited I was for my graduation lunch and then the parties that came during the school and college years. But as I have grown to be a woman I no more wait for that spark. I still of course love special moments and occassions but now I don’t anticipate for them. If they happen, I make the most of it if not then I simply love my quiet and serene life.

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One more thing that usually happens when we wait for a spark is that we stop living in the moment. We start living in our future with a bunch of expectations. When those expectations are not met, it leaves us feeling sad and depressed. Think of a time when you were worrying about your tomorrow so much that you had stopped living in that moment and what did you felt when that moment was over? I remember doing that a lot of times and I have truly regretted those moments.

I would just like to conclude by saying that more than anything, be grateful for a healthy and a peaceful life. You might not always need a rush of excitement but you will surely need a heart that is at peace and if that’s what you are in, then just thank your Creator.