Overcome Mental Limitations & Stand Out in Business w/ Nazia Khatun, Fitness Reborn

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You can’t win because nobody looks like you in the industry you want to enter? How can you stand out without losing what makes you you?
You feel defeated and misplaced? It’s completely normal, but know ONE thing: What makes you special are the vulnerable moments.

You can find strength in your experiences (both good and bad). Your surrounding doesn’t define you, your mental blocks don’t make you.

 

Alhamdulillah, Nazia Khatun, award winning fitness specialist speaks with us about:

 

  • Using your vulnerability as your strength
  • How to overcome cultural restrictions & mental limitations
  • Connecting fitness, religion, mindset and neuroscience
  • Why mental health and self love matter in business
  • How to make your voice heard, no matter what they say
  • Building a business in a crowded space
  • Finding and connecting to your right audience
  • How to speak to yourself and affirm
  • Authentic personal branding on Social Media

Comment below! Nazia’s question for you:

What is stopping you becoming who you want to be?

Leave it down in the comments, and share your diversity with us!

Don’t forget to subscribe to your Muslim Businesswoman Podcast & leave us a review on ApplePodcast – it truly (truly!) helps to bring more sisters to this channel & inshallah to benefit from the content!

 

Nazia Khatun Muslim Fitness Influencer Muslim Woman Podcast Shared Diversity with Sina Port
Nazia Khatun, award-winning fitness coach at Reborn UK talked with us about how to stand out and build a personal brand as a Muslim woman in business. She also talked about Sunnah health and how physical & mental health are interlinked with mindset. She gives practical tips on how to start a business while staying true to yourself.

 

 

Build a Career in Tech, Intentions & Growing a Community w/ Arfah Farooq, Muslamic Makers

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As a Muslim woman in business, we are constantly battling to grow our career while staying true to our values. But how can we truly live our full selves in a work environment that is not created to accommodate our Islamic values or traditions?

And what does it really take to grow a career in tech? Arfah Farooq, Co-founder of Muslamic Makers speaks with us about

  • How to build a career in tech
  • What really is representation in the media?
  • Navigating an Islamic identity in a corporate environment
  • Simple hacks to stop compromising your values and have difficult conversations
  • Building a personal brand as a woman of colour
  • Being a proud Muslim in the workplace
  • How to build a community based on trust and service
  • Making intention-based decisions in your career

Comment below! Arfah’s question for you:

Why do you do what you do?

Leave it down in the comments, and share your diversity with us!

Don’t forget to subscribe to your Muslim Businesswoman Podcast & leave us a review on ApplePodcast – it truly (truly!) helps to bring more sisters to this channel & inshallah to benefit from the content!

 

Arfah Farooq talked with Sina Port about personal branding for women of color & how to build a career based on your values and intentions as a Muslim woman in business.

 

Modest Networking – How to network effectively as a Muslim woman

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You want to find a fitting mentor, get in touch with the best collaborators or be confident to connect on networking events:

I’ve put together a quick guide for you to keep your values and convince people of your talents. This is made for you especially sister! The episode will make you understand how to network effectively while keeping your modesty, communicating confidently and leaving a positive impression on anyone you meet.

Leave your comment:
1. Which rule can you most identify with and why?
2. What are the top 3 skills you think one should have when practising modest networking?

How to practice modest networking

A lot of times I’ve been asked how I behave in situations where I want to establish business relationships, connect to other creators to collaborate, or gain contact to business leaders.

You will hear me saying this at the beginning of this episode – you need to grab one book that will change the way you interact with people. This book has the most horrible title in the world, while it is one of the most sold books in the world. The first time I got aware of it, was in 7th grade when I saw my brother reading it and you bet me I mocked him (must have been the worst little sister you can imagine). Now, I review it yearly to remind myself how to build long-lasting relationships of any kind.

The book is (and I still have the scrappy old version from 7th grade) “How to win friends and influence people”. It’s been a book that surprised me in every single way, one because it has stories from multiple historic people in it – from Theodore Roosevelt, Charles Dickens to Steve Wonder and many more – the book’s from 1937 but was updated regularly.

It shows you very diverse business situations, in which great leaders connected to people. And here are some of the techniques you can apply to your life (mixed with some personal accounts of my female Muslim 21st-century experience):

Be genuinely interested

What does this mean “genuinely”? Well, I can tell you what it doesn’t mean: it doesn’t mean acting fake and asking a question only to be able to answer it yourself. Like, what business are you in? Because you know I’m running this company that is doing blablabla. Or asking, so how was your last job? Because mine was horrendous, can’t believe I took so long to decide to leave blablabla.

Nope.

It’s about asking people questions that they wouldn’t expect from you. Questions that are purely about them. But that is still relevant to professional interaction.

  • Why did you navigate into this job?
  • What was your experience in this field until now?
  • Are you struggling with this issue that is recently relevant in your industry?
  • Where would you like to transition into and why?
  • I can see you are very passionate about XY, what do you think drew you to do this particular project?
  • what inspired you to create this business?

Ask questions, that they usually don’t expect people to ask, and be curious about what viewpoints they have on things. It really doesn’t matter if it really is your goal to speak about this particular topic, but trust me.

If you show genuine interest in people, they will show genuine interest in you.

Compliment

Being human, we have several blessing and several imperfections we face in our daily lives. One of them is our ego. We loooove to expand our egos, especially towards others we meet the first time.

Being human, we must learn how to take advantage of our knowledge, one being that we are all most interested in talking about ourselves. So how can we invert this knowledge for the purpose of networking? We think about how we can make others talk about themselves, how can we make them expand their s, and not even let them do it, but encourage it?

You’re dealing with humans. We, humans, love our egos. So get people to talk about themselves. You’ll win.

Compliments.

And not the cheap ones like, Aw I love your shoes (although that still works among us women) but try to dig deeper:

Talk about the strengths of the person you meet, admire their attitudes like confidence, positive energy. Ask them about what they love and what they’ve accomplished, their business (that you’ve obviously researched on), their sports (you noticed they just completed a charity marathon), a particularly interesting interview of them in a newspaper (don’t only know the prestigious name of the publisher but know what they talked about and mention it) or anything of that sort or after a talk for example, point out how they made you think more critically, or ask them about something they said in detail so they can elaborate on what they know.

Let them showcase their own accomplishments, strengths, expand their egos. Give exclusive attention to the person you are speaking with!

Have a positive attitude

We all know, we are struggling (especially in the West) in a lot of ways of establishing our full selves into work. The business field is not built to support our identities as Muslims and further as women, or people of colour. I get it, we have a lot to fight against as we go an pursue a career.

But do you really think people enjoy hearing your struggles all day? Yes, they need to know what its like in your skin, we have to raise awareness for the backlash and challenges we face regularly for things to change. But not in networking. Not if you want to create a professional connection to someone that can eventually be a part of your journey OUT OF your struggle. That can eventually be part of your victory.

Be positive. Answer in terms of challenges you face only when someone SPECIFICALLY asks you for it. But keep it short and most importantly: change the topic not to what holds you back, but what can bring you further. Talk about what you’re aiming to achieve. 

Smile, Be light and bright. Don’t you think other people have their own issues? They might have an annoying client, marriage problems or a sick mother. WE all have our battles to win. Do you think in this case, someone feels lighter and well about interacting with you if you remind him how bad you have it? NO

Even if you don’t feel like smiling. The person in front of you might go through a major crisis. They need you to smile. They need your positivity to not only feel connected to you but to always remember that you make them feel good. That you light up a stressful day or doubts, that you are the person they want to interact with to feel better and be visionary, inspired.

People like people who are positive, who smile.

A smile can change so much. You know what I mean. Be honest. You know how powerful it is. Practice honest and authentic happiness. And if you feel insecure, sad or stressed before you even enter a meeting, give yourself a fake smile. It is scientifically proven that the act of smiling releases endorphins, which gives you a feeling of joy and tricks your brain to eventually make you smile naturally.

Try it in your next conversation! While the person in front of you is speaking about something that excites them, or they find interesting, start smiling and maybe nodding (A LITTLE bit) and see how the person transforms into a smiling bubble of joy because she feels you are genuinely interested in what she says.

Of course, now we need to talk about where not to apply these rules. Namely with men.

Networking with males

Sisters, I am not telling you to avoid men 100%, it’s almost impossible in our “modern times” and especially when networking in a Non-Muslim environment.

These are really my own rules, and I know that many women out there have different ones, but these are the least I would like to give you on your way to have a thought about what kind of standards you’d like to set in your life.

Don’t target them

But don’t mix with them. What I mean with mix is, don’t seek them out of the crowd, don’t approach them yourself, especially not when they are around your age. It is different for men who might be old, let’s say about 10 years older than your dad. Then, you can actually aim to create a genuine mentor-mentee relation to them. But still, be aware to NOT apply the rules of smiling and complimenting to them AT ALL. Yes you can genuinely have a positive fae, like you would have when you school youneighbour’srs daughter in algebra, but understand the way you smile to avoid any wrong signs.

Personal details

Will come to this again in the next point but for now, the only personal detail that you might want to bring into a conversation is that you have a husband. Don’t push it into their face like, Yes so I have a husband and he is working in … NO. Let it flow in naturally like, currently I am exploring new roles in Dubai, as my husband and I will be relocating in January. Thats really the only thing to reveal, else – change the topic. No ones business what’s your personal status.

Your business is nobody’s business.

Keep it short and professional

If you talk to the male, keep it short. Don’t mumble on about personal experiences you had, don’t reveal too much of your personal situation, where you live or what you do on a daily basis. If you want to keep it professional, imagine everything to be a 100% professional. A rule of thumb: speak the way you wanted a female employee to speak to your husband. Short, straight-forward, no unnecessary storytelling and no loud laughter or excessive body expressions.

Keep your distance.

Literally, keep at least one meter between the male and you. You want to avoid (especially at events) that someone bumps into you and you get thrown at him (in a very dramatic way of saying it). You can bridge the physical distance by using your hands to talk, but don’t come physically too close to the man.

Timing.

Don’t ever reply in the evening, unless it’s an urgent email. If its a text, wait until the next day. Reply in the mornings and consider time differences. You don’t want to be in their personal space / meaning communicate with them while they are at home but always within office hours.

No WhatsApp

Another rule if possible – Take their phone numbers if you can to talk on the phone, but don’t add them into your WhatsApp. Unless you have a pure work-phone Whatsapp, then add the “office hours” in your description of your profile, so they understand it functions like any other office device. You don’t want them to feel like you are their friend they can text whenever they want.

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Be honest

A last rule I’d like you to engage with, is your level of honesty.

Compromises

We know as Muslim women in the workplace, there is always a certain type of having to defend yourself within relations to co-workers or in networking situations. We are discussing this point in our “How to find a mentor” episode, but for now circle this: Don’t you ever think of compromising high standards for anyone in business. What do I mean? Compromising on handshakes (episode), on clothing, on working within borderline-haram industries, on attending late-night meetings etc.

What always always works best is, if you clarify things from the beginning. An example: if you allow your daughter candy until she’s 10, you will find it very hard to ban sugar from your home and create a healthy food routine for her. But, if you raise her with the mindset of grabbing fruits, nuts or dates for sweets instead of candy from the beginning on, she will understand the standards you’ve set (at least for the home) and go along with your rules way easier, right?

Make things obvious from the beginning, don’t shake hands in the first meeting and then be surprised if it gets harder and harder to reject them afterwards. If you tell them in advance, they might even inform your future colleagues and you can all avoid an awkward situation. If you tell your consultants or recruiters you are not interested in promoting company projects with alcohol, underwear or violent videos games companies etc., they will look specifically for industries and companies that have high standards and you will automatically avoid a lot of negative acquaintances in your interview or career link-ups etc. If you present yourself like a person who has high standards and values, collaborators and brands will ask you to partner up because they are looking for your range of people and they will automatically pay and treat you according to how you present yourself to them.

Knowledge

Another guideline I’d  like to end up with, is your understanding of your own skills, knowledge and capabilities. We are not perfect. But when we want to leave a good impression, we always aim to at least appear to be.

Don’t

Don’t try to act that you know it all. Prepare, YES! Gain some more knowledge before you go to an event, before you meet a potential mentor, before you go to a business meeting. But understand your boundaries of knowledge.

WE said it before, your Number ONE rule is to make the other person feel important, valued and respected. That includes that you let them know how much you can learn form them. Don’t act dumb no! But understand that one of the most powerful phrases you can say is : I don’t know.

Followed by But I would love to gain your expertise. Could you tell me more about this? or I don’t know enough about this matter, but I will dig deeper and come back to you on this one.

  1. Will make the other person like an expert in this field. They will tell you what they know, so even when you go back and research yourself on this topic, you know what new things you can bring to the table.
  2. Will make the other person see your level of dedication to learn. This is one of the most powerful skills you can have as a human and that everyone who is genuine and intelligent will value in you more than anything= Your thrive to be a learning machine.

To sum up:

  • Be genuinely interested : ask questions
  • Compliment : be a good listener
  • Have a positive attitude : smile
  • Be honest

And now, I would love to hear from you:

  • Which rule can you most identify with and why?
  • What are the top 3 skills you think one should have when practicing modest networking?

Leave them down in the comments and share your diversity with us

Rate the Podcast on iTunes., it really helps us!

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How to overcome your limiting beliefs

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Thinking you aren’t worth the opportunities you are offered? Feeling you’re self-sabotaging yourself? That the things you’d think you wanted are actually not really important anymore because someone said it doesn’t matter and it’s actually bad to want it. You have a passion and imagination for a long time, but people tell you it’s impossible? You’re feeling super close to a breakthrough but suddenly you just stop and give up on your plans?

This episode will make you understand the limiting beliefs you have about topics like money, success, relationships or fame and how you can overcome them.  So take a journal and make some notes.

Because today is not the day you let your limiting beliefs win over your life.!

Leave your comment:
1) 
What are your limiting beliefs?
2) How can you bridge the gap between those false believes and reality to overcome them right now?

How to overcome your limiting beliefs

Today I want to start with WHY. Why are we speaking about this?

Because we all can remember the last time we spoke with someone about why we cannot do something, why its tough to achieve this thing, what is holding us back from reaching that thing.

We know. We know we are sabotaging ourselves.

Our generation is a generation of resistance, of people who are aware of what forces are facing them and what barriers are keeping them from their equal opportunities.

We know, the world is not fair. But is that really relevant?

Or do these things just feed into our already existing limiting beliefs we inherited from our families, communities, the media, random people we met in our studies or work?

Don’t believe people.

We will repeat this like a mantra.

Don’t
Don’t

Believe
Believe

People
People

and the last person you should believe is your own limiting beliefs.

Yourself that has been brainwashed into thinking that “fame is bad” (because those who had it misused it), that “money is only producing problems” (because your family never had much), that “politics is bad” (because those in power oppressed), that your “faith is flawed” (because people in your faith community sinned publicly), that “marriage is a burden” (because you’ve seen the women in your family suffer from abuse), that “men are trash” (because Twitter tells you so).

Don’t believe your present status

The Prophet (SAW) never believed those who said he was delusionary, he never believed those who attacked him mentally or physically, he never believed even his family when they didn’t believe he would make it. And what resources did he have? He created a global movement out of ZERO resources but the biggest power you could ever imagine – what Allah has written for him.

If he’d think about what he had right now, he’d never have made it. Someone who couldn’t read nor write worked for a woman, no financial backing. And you think you can’t achieve it because they say you’re wearing the wrong clothes for this industry? Because you don’t have a Silicon Valley investment? Because you didn’t graduate? Because your skin colour has the wrong shade? Because it never works, I tried to be healthy but not even my parents achieved it. Because that’s just not realistic?

Listen, up

Self-pity has never lead anyone to success. Get over your weakness and amplify your strengths, your privilege.

Redefine

Redefine your beliefs. Redefine the things you have beliefs about. What does money mean to you? What does fame mean to you? What does knowledge mean to you? Success? Impact? Leadership? And what do these words mean to you? Be very clear to get your own definition of what they mean. And then write down why you will achieve it, and why not.

You don’t need to understand HOW, not yet.

Just WHY.

Is it because you do it out of the right intentions? Because it will lead you to your ultimate goal or purpose? Is it because you are able to support those you love in the process of attaining it? Is it because you will feel better, present yourself better and inspire others through your self-representation with it?

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Who do you have on your side and who’s on the opposition?

Who’s your opposition?

Does the media tell you-you can’t? Does your family tell you, your friends, your co-workers or boss? Random people, who have failed and now feel entitled to prove you the impossibility of it?

Who’s with you?

Is Allah with you?

Now weight the scale and notice what is stronger.

Yup you got it. Allah never talked about you can’t have anything. Yes but only in Akhera…. Really?

Didn’t Salomon have everything in Dunya as well? Didn’t he ask to be the richest on earth? It’s not wrong to be asking for success, for fame, for money. But understand why and how it will serve your purpose.

And don’t get me wrong, believing is not enough.

Redefine your beliefs about terms that society has falsely defined for you. Success does not have a one-size-fits-all definition!

You have to DO

You must DO something, you must engage in the activity of Change.

Change yourself. Change your behaviours. Your habits. Change.

To change your beliefs, change your behaviours and habits.

How?

Here we go practical. Get your notebook (physical or digital) and write down what we’re going to solve here:

  1. Write down your beliefs
  2. Write down the reality (what have people achieved already, past or present, abroad or local, Muslim or Non-Muslim)

= write down what you need to change to bridge the gap

Is it to get another Job, charge for your next event or increase your hourly rate to get comfortable with handling more money? Is it taking the step to use your own voice to represent your brand by public speaking, social media or other to get used to the feeling of fame and being known for your work? What is it you can do RIGHT NOW to shatter your own limiting beliefs.

Because the only person who can do that is you.

The only person who can demystify your limiting beliefs is yourself.

Musa has prayed to open his chest and give him confidence, Allah says to Mohammed (SAW) in the Quran he has already opened your heart and with every hardship come two eases.

Surah Ash-Sharh

أَلَمْ نَشْرَحْ لَكَ صَدْرَكَ
Did We not expand for you, [O Muhammad], your breast?

وَوَضَعْنَا عَنْكَ وِزْرَكَ
And We removed from you your burden

الَّذِي أَنْقَضَ ظَهْرَكَ
Which had weighed upon your back

وَرَفَعْنَا لَكَ ذِكْرَكَ
And raised high for you your repute.

فَإِنَّ مَعَ الْعُسْرِ يُسْرًا
For indeed, with hardship [will be] ease.

إِنَّ مَعَ الْعُسْرِ يُسْرًا
Indeed, with hardship [will be] ease.

فَإِذَا فَرَغْتَ فَانْصَبْ
So when you have finished [your duties], then stand up [for worship].

وَإِلَى رَبِّكَ فَارْغَبْ
And to your Lord direct [your] longing.

We will talk about this so many times, believe me. Because this Surah is about self-believe and confidence in yourself.

It’s amazing how Musa and Mohammed (SAW) both are asking for confidence and self-assurance, and we really think we can work without it?

Obviously, we will need a reminder of the support we receive from Allah, to continuously become better in our beliefs and the actions we take on the basis of that.

And now, I would love to hear from you:

Leave your comment:
1) 
What are your limiting beliefs?
2) How can you bridge the gap between those false believes and reality to overcome them right now?

Leave it down in the comments, and, share your diversity with us.

Rate the Podcast on iTunes.

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More Episodes

Create vs Consume – How to get rid of insecurities and establish a legacy

Create vs Consume

How to get rid of insecurities and establish a legacy

 

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There is a point in our lives in which we all feel more encouraged, weak, disheartened or tired. And you know that is often the point where you feel like you just want to ignore your phone, your laptop, the tv, anything that holds you in front of something to watch and passively take into your system.

It’s completely normal, you know that you can learn a lot through media, maybe you get inspired or you just want to keep up to date what’s going on in your community, or in the industry you´re interested in. But then, what happens is that inspiration very quickly can turn into discouragement, into feeling inferior, feeling that the people you are supposed to learn from would crash you quickly in their competition. We know that, and still, it´s hard for us to understand how we can deal with the pressure.

That is the moment when we often see ourselves consuming more than we create.

It’s interesting to understand this concept but first, let’s talk about

What we mean by consuming and creating.

CONSUMING: this could be looking at other peoples media, photography, videos, listening to podcasts or audio media, checking out other peoples projects or website etc.

CREATING: doing it yourself. For example photography, videography, writing (!), doing a podcast, or simply cooking, baking, going out in nature, drawing, sketching, making plans, decorating, making clothes, re-organizing your apartment, learning a new skill etc.

What you can put into the category of “creating” has almost no limits, and that’s the most beautiful thing about all of this. It has no limits! You have no limits!

That brings us to what you can do against feeling weak, tired, discouraged etc when you see other people things and you consume a lot more than you create.
Shut things off and do! Find the balance in imbalance, create more than you consume.

What is most important about this is creating for yourself. Yes, that sounds so self-care-ish but it really is the most important.

Listen up fam:

  • don´t do for the sake of being better than others,
  • don´t do it for the praise or followers,
  • don’t do it for the feedback or recognition,
  • do it because you love doing it,
  • do it because you feel closer to your true self when you do it,
  • do it because it makes you happy.

+ Tip: do it first thing in the morning. Create before you consume.

Why?

Creation acts as a psychological reward.
Create before you consume. Creation acts as a psychological reward.
When you have a moment of success before you start consuming other peoples successes, you feel less intimidated and self-conscious and you can consume with a strong confident mind, less likely to be demotivated.

Motivation early in the morning will give you energy for the rest of your day and enable you to create better results in anything you do.

Plus, you can even apply things you will consume later to what you have just created, which gives you real inspiration to become better.

ANOTHER MAJOR POINT:
Consumption means not only mere consumption, make sure you redefine what you consume!

We all know, there are things (especially in media) that is beneficial and some things which are .. mhh how to say this diplomatically…unnecessary.

But how can we classify these things with the least emotion possible?

Well, we can easily say one thing:

If we can attain or upgrade existing knowledge, then that is beneficial consumption. Anything else isn´t.

We can listen to a lecture on productivity before checking out 10 YouTubers who talk about the same hacks and apps for 2 hours in different words and different animations, or we can check out books on fashion psychology before checking out 30 Instagram pages of bloggers and get lost in the hate comments.

There are literally beneficial things we can consume if we think with the mind of: What would we have done without social media?

Yeah, you either would have gone to the spaces which provide people of knowledge in your field or simply grab a book from the library.

And NO I am not suggesting to go to the library but take one advice and rather go to the book sources (maybe audiobooks on youtube or kindle, audible or any other book platform online) to engage with knowledge.

Always aim for the traditional or conservative sources too, they might have very different tools to do what you do, but you can learn so much from their philosophy.

You can understand their mindset and the way they predicted changes that are just happening, that understand mindsets of markets and that understand values.

Because that is the thing that media nowadays is lacking the most: VALUES!
Get the old sources and apply it to your current situation, you will learn from the really worth they left behind as their legacy.

Old sources are the key! Will always say one thing: we can remind ourselves of the hadith which tells us what we will leave behind when we leave this earthly being.

وعن أبي هريرة رضي الله عنه أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم قال: “إذا مات الأنسان انقطع عمله إلا من ثلاث: صدقة جارية، أو علم ينتفع به، أو ولد صالح يدعو له” ((رواه مسلم)).

Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported:

The Messenger of Allah () said, “When a man dies, his deeds come to an end, except for three: A continuous charity, knowledge by which people derive benefit, pious son who prays for him.” [Muslim].
English Book reference: Book 7, Hadith 949

If you can create knowledge that will benefit the people you leave behind, that is amazing.

But even if now, you are simply able to consume the knowledge that people left behind, that is a start. Create for yourself, because it benefits your self-worth, your love for the game. GO out and attain knowledge, consume the best in your industry. Not just currently but THE BEST EVER.

And then, aim to

 

Before you leave…

Download your personal Create vs Consume PDF here!

****

And now, I would love to hear from you:

1. What should you consume as a knowledge that would inspire more than discourage you?

2.    What could you create more that will make you feel more accomplished and push you to achieve legacy?

Rate the Podcast on iTunes.

 

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Wellness – Islamic Well-being

Wellness

Why I Fail 

 
I see women in my surrounding often fall short in prioritizing things like wellness, self-care and well-being. Because when we are stressed over money, how to finance our studies and deadlines from work, wellness is out of the window. What we don't realize, if we take care of our wellness, we might not drown in stress. 

You can't climb a mountain from the top, you have to start at the bottom. 

Wellness is at the bottom. If you can master the foundation, the climb won´t be as hard in the end. Becoming your own doctor (food is medicine).

First steps to take: take responsibility and stop blaming everything else. I need to put things aside and re-prioritize MY life. Love, family, togetherness and gratitude. If I have these realities circling in my consciousness, I can control my stress. Alhamdulillah


Wake up in the morning and ask yourself:

What is good?

Me, myself and I

What is good for me? What suits me? And what do I need to prioritize to make my first steps up the mountain?
For example: "I am going to take responsibility for my health and start controlling my destiny."

You are always at fault and you can always do better.

Islam teaches us to be proactive and the society we live in programs us to be reactive. It teaches us a way of life. If we would be proactive people, we could have saved ourselves from so many illnesses. Islam is a long-term solution for many issues and the society is so short-lived. Slow down and analyze your situation, focus on the long-term commitment and then your short-term things will become better. Fight your impatience. Although re-active mentality is in my blood but that is not an excuse. Replace the bad with better. 


Go back to the Sunnah (gratitude, smiling, fasting, eating clean, exercising,...)

AND NOW YOU, share with us your opinion and share this conversation with a sister.

Q: What is the one thing you can do right now to increase your wellness and self-care? Would it be hitting the gym, reading a book or simply making an honest dua?

Leave your answer down in the comments, and share your diversity with us.

 

Disclaimer: This is more a reminder to myself. Feel free to apply such philosophy to your personal circumstances, challenges and future goals.


And please don't forget to rate, like & share the Podcast on iTunes.

Watch and comment on Youtube

 

 

How to practice self-care as a Muslim woman? We always underestimate the meaning of well-being in Islam. To come back to our inner self means coming back to our tradition and listening to the intuition given from Allah.

Disclaimer: This is a merely personal view of an individual life. None of this is supposed to reflect or exemplify women, reverts, Muslims or even Islam. Self-identification is not to be seen in relation to a group but merely in relation to oneself. One might share this identity but must not publicly announce its speciality or an imagined community created by such. The sharing or not-sharing of identity (with ethnic, cultural, spiritual, gender-specific, nation or whatever other forms of identification) is neither good nor bad but remains personal and private to oneself. The author is voicing personal opinions and rejects any generalization or speaking-for-ization but rather aims to shed light on one of many diverse stories of one of many diverse individuals in one (or more) of many diverse contexts. Also, the author tends to create grammatically incorrect words to clarify perceived phenomena, opinions or feelings. This blog might include discriminating terms which are emotionally loaded by a long history of oppression and suffrage. Do not read this if you get offended by the cruelty of ignorance. This is still a place for peace and love, the way we all strive to live out our purpose.

 

Wealth – How to Get Rich

Wealth

How to Get Rich

 

You know these times when you watch Motivational Videos on Youtube? Yeah, I found some new ones. And they taught me the following:

Where your focus goes your energy flows.

I have to envision every day what I want in my life, to be able to achieve it. Clear goal setting.
Obviously what I did was, I took the video creator´s example of goal setting. Which was all material -either in property, money or status. And I went with it. Wrote down a property, status and things that I want to create but deep down, that wasn´t enough for me. So I added here and there how I want to live and what I want to master in.

Just some excerpts here: 
- A house on the water 
- 2 houses for my parents in a warm country
- Be a respected author
- Make 50 Million before 30
...

But to be honest, I am not satisfied. This does not sound like me completely. Yes, I would love to own a house by the water with a vintage writing machine and simply write stories and poems looking out my window wall to the moving water, clouds and birds, watching the flowers bloom in the garden and tomatoes light up the small vegetable farm while hearing my kids voices sing in the backgrounds. 


Yes, I would love this. But all this doesn´t depend on the house or on the decoration, on the wealth we possess. I would be peaceful just to be able to write freely on my own pace and conditions while hearing my kids play in the background. With my stopwatch nearby to see when I have to take the banana bread out of the oven. Wealth per se doesn’t make me happy, but the freedom, peace and health that I feel in this moment.

** 

All the wealth that you have been given, that you think can bring you closer to us, that is only true for those who for the one who believes in Allah and focuses on doing good and righteous deeds.

This brings me to why. Why am I writing? What does this imaginary lady create in her living space to contribute to humanity? In which way am I praising and worshipping Allah with my writing? Or the other things I do. Right now even the thought of having a ladies book club and Quran conversations makes my heart peacefully jump. But then what is my special place in this space? How can I add value to the (imaginary) ladies on my kitchen table?

Allah has divided up amongst you, your character, the good qualities that you possess.

So it is true, we are all here to contribute to each other with the special qualities that we individually possess thanks to Allah. The character that makes us unique, that contributes to others wellbeing. The niche market our personality can take in other people's lives. 

Just as he has divided up amongst you, the material things that you enjoy.

You see something? All these social media channels are there to compare our lives to others. Compare our likes to others. Our following, our status, our wealth. But Allah has divided these things deliberately.
Am I being challenged to be poor? Am I being challenged on being rich? Am I simply thinking what a blessing I am receiving, never much-respecting others battles? Or do I contribute with my privilege to other people´s lives?

Allah gives material things to those who he loves and those he does not love

Who of those am I? 

But he does not give the deen except to those, who he loves.

I am definitely one of those, Alhamdulillah.

So if you have the awareness and understanding of your religion, know that Allah loves you. 

May I never forget, how to value this love, how to bring it to others and how to enable my surrounding to gain access to their unique opportunity for such love. If god is willing, Inshallah 

A person does not submit to Allah until his heart and his tongue submits to what Allah has commanded and ordered him to 

What I may never forget is, that all I “possess” is never mine, it is that of my creator. Allah has created the things that I claim to own. So my ownership is not real. I´m just an agent that Allah has assigned to see how I use and spend the wealth he has entrusted me with. 
May I never forget that my benefit is in the Akhira. The Dunya is only a test. A test for me to show if I can take care of all the responsibilities that have been given to me. 


So my “life goals” must be changed. Changed into less claim for “ownership” but more responsibility to do good with my entrusted wealth. So I can invest that wealth into other creations of Allah to support them in their own test with the aim to reach Jannah.


**Basis of this reflection: The tafseer of Surah Muminoon 

Until next time,

السلام عليكم

 

Luxury goals are not about how much we have but what we make out of the things we have. Wealth is in the beauty of gratitude.

 

Disclaimer: This is a merely personal view of an individual life. None of this is supposed to reflect or exemplify women, reverts, Muslims or even Islam. Self-identification is not to be seen in relation to a group but merely in relation to oneself. One might share this identity but must not publicly announce its speciality or an imagined community created by such. The sharing or not-sharing of identity (with ethnic, cultural, spiritual, gender-specific, nation or whatever other forms of identification) is neither good nor bad but remains personal and private to oneself. The author is voicing personal opinions and rejects any generalization or speaking-for-ization but rather aims to shed light on one of many diverse stories of one of many diverse individuals in one (or more) of many diverse contexts. Also, the author tends to create grammatically incorrect words to clarify perceived phenomena, opinions or feelings. This blog might include discriminating terms which are emotionally loaded by a long history of oppression and suffrage. Do not read this if you get offended by the cruelty of ignorance. This is still a place for peace and love, the way we all strive to live out our purpose.

 

Time – Setting Priorities

Time Management

How to plan your day

وَٱلْعَصْرِ
إِنَّ ٱلْإِنسَٰنَ لَفِى خُسْرٍ
إِلَّا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوا۟ وَعَمِلُوا۟ ٱلصَّٰلِحَٰتِ وَتَوَاصَوْا۟ بِٱلْحَقِّ وَتَوَاصَوْا۟ بِٱلصَّبْرِ

By time, Indeed, mankind is in loss, Except for those who have believed and done righteous deeds and advised each other to truth and advised each other to patience. [Surah Al-Asr]

When I talked to the girls, I was literally so surprised. We all had different approaches to handling time and our schedule. Not only different but completely opposite to each other. But, you would never know, judging from the output.

We all get things done and we all achieve success- our own version of success. Now we all might seem similar from our sex, age, clothing (from a non-Muslim perspective), but in our versions of career, success planning, our diversity is undeniable. Law, education, sales and media, no planning, planning by writing entire research papers on the bus to work, planning in the head, in a notebook tick-off, (...) up to meticulously planning every single minute of the day (me).
We all have our own version of time planning.

But what we all do share, is the understanding that (in self-development terms):

Time is precious.

More importantly, time is the most valuable thing we have in our life because we lose it every moment and we have no chance ever to gain it back.

Now again,#YOLO might not apply to us, but still. We are here in Dunya only once and we are only given one chance to prove that we are worth entering Akhira.

The moment we chose to do A and not B means:
A is more important and urgent than B
, because

We are actually at loss everytime we choose one option.

We need to understand the value that we are leaving behind not choosing the other option!

Opportunity cost

Opportunity cost (not on our own value but on our lifetime´s value) works like this:

You ask yourself
"Is the value of A exceeding the cost of not doing B?"
Because if B is so valuable, and we are paying (with the most precious currency*), then we need to know if it is worth to lose the value of B for the sake of pursuing A.
Now getting out of the abstract.

Let´s take an easy example:
It´s 4.30pm, you need to hand in a report at 8 pm.
You are behind and are stressing out on finishing the last 5 pages. You are already sitting on your laptop for 3 hours.
You told yourself you want to be healthy, fit and successful at work.
You have a time-frame of 30min.
What do you do?

Option A:  you write another page for your report
Option B:  you work out

Now both options sound reasonably important.
The report will probably determine how far you get with your goal of being "successful" at work and you are behind in your work.
Now the work itself sounds more urgent, as it has a fixed deadline.

At the same time, you want to stick to your health and fitness goals because they are important to you, but it is something you set for yourself and it has not a contract-related deadline on it.

With usual important/urgent planning tools, you would categorize

Option A: important & urgent and
Option B: important & not urgent.

But if you consider your opportunity cost, your calculation will probably look like this:

If I don´t do Option A: I have to speed up my writing process and get half a page more done within each half an hour. I will need to be 100% focused on finishing this for the rest of the time.

If I don´t do Option B: I will have less energy in my body and my back will hurt, sitting on the laptop already for 3hours and probably having to sit there the next 3.5hours more. I will get tired, my legs will feel heavy and my mind will probably get tired from staring into the screen for such a long time.

Why so?
Well, here´s a  side-note:
Exercising fuels your energy makes you more focused and boosts your creativity.

Working out activates your muscles, relaxes your body in positions which require stagnancy (sitting on a laptop) and it prevents you from becoming sleepy or stressed out. Workout releases stress, gives you focus and improves your productivity. (read up more here)

So yes, I'll go for Option B, because I know the opportunity cost of it if I decide not to.

AND NOW YOU, share with us your opinion and share this conversation with a sister.

Q: How do you plan your days, do you have notebooks, journals,
you´re a mind-planner or you use some fancy planning tools?

Leave your answer down in the comments, and share your diversity with us.

Time is money. But more importantly, time is the currency we will never get back until we leave this life inshallah. We all have the same amount of this currency, so it depends only on us what we do with it. Time is a gift from god we need to keep safe by using it wisely.

Until next time,

السلام عليكم

 

 

 

Disclaimer: This is a merely personal view of an individual life. None of this is supposed to reflect or exemplify women, reverts, Muslims or even Islam. Self-identification is not to be seen in relation to a group but merely in relation to oneself. One might share this identity but must not publicly announce its speciality or an imagined community created by such. The sharing or not-sharing of identity (with ethnic, cultural, spiritual, gender-specific, nation or whatever other forms of identification) is neither good nor bad but remains personal and private to oneself. The author is voicing personal opinions and rejects any generalization or speaking-for-ization but rather aims to shed light on one of many diverse stories of one of many diverse individuals in one (or more) of many diverse contexts. Also, the author tends to create grammatically incorrect words to clarify perceived phenomena, opinions or feelings. This blog might include discriminating terms which are emotionally loaded by a long history of oppression and suffrage. Do not read this if you get offended by the cruelty of ignorance. This is still a place for peace and love, the way we all strive to live out our purpose.

 

Value – What is Self-Worth

Value

Means self-worth

value
/ˈvaljuː/
noun
1. the regard that something is held to deserve; the importance, worth, or usefulness of something. "your support is of great value"
2. principles or standards of behaviour; one's judgement of what is important in life. "they internalize their parents' rules and values" 
Source: google dictionary

I´ve been wanting to define "value" for myself for a long time.

Even just comparing two major yoga channels I watch which are built upon personal brands, I can see how individuals follow individuals and how characters seek characters which are familiar to them.

Understanding, that I am not made to serve everybody.

But that I was chosen to bring value to a specific type of people, which could truly, sincerely and fully benefit from what I can provide.

It's sad to say, but our energies are limited. And others attention spans as well. So I don´t try to fit everyone's mould. If you understand where I come from, you can relate and we share the same values and objectives, let's go with it and for it. But I don´t aim to be your perfect spokesperson.

What is in my authority is simply the drive to understand my value and to value my value. To reach the full capacity of my value and most importantly- speak for myself only.
I can´t say that someone else's experience is the same as mine, however, I can always personally relate to other´s experiences and learn my own lessons for my own life providing my own input.

For years (and somehow still ongoing) I didn´t know my value.

I didn´t know how big it was.

And to be very frank here, I´m not trying to elevate my self up to a level for personal display. But I see many girls that I teach do the same to them as I did. Not analysing what you can offer and what your deepest self is worth, with all knowledge, skills, experiences, attitudes, mindsets and yes also future possibilities. I strongly encourage us to understand that even the not-yet-achievements are our assets. And "opportunity cost" is an actual thing.

If you ain´t got me, you ain't got opportunity A-Z.

Simply speaking, we should treat ourselves (NEVER as a commodity) but as a jewellery. I remember Yasmin Mogahed telling to see yourself as a diamond. Would anyone offer a diamond to someone who says "I REALLY like this one, but maaan I only have one dollar, pound, Euro whatever"? Would you be like "Yeah, no worries you can bring it after some month if you see an opportunity to get in more money"?
NOPE. Thanks.

Don´t offer yourself under value

And yes, I am referring to all the sectors in our lives.
Be it personal relationships and someone refusing to bring in the amount of respect, support, communication, patience and gut it takes to get you ...
Or when I refer to simple job interviews and someone tryna sell you into a "growth opportunity" with half-of-the-price your qualifications are worth entry salary...
Or whether I talk about a friend who only calls you when she wants something but who is like, Can I call you back another time? Hm sorry its really busy right now..? Maybe we can meet the other week? WE  should definitely see each other again? But never gets back to check on you, when YOU have a problem!

All these scenarios, baby if you´d known your worth, you´d be so far by now. But no worries, we´ll catch up,

You see my bouncing off that wall of ignorance for my value.

 

AND NOW YOU, share with us your opinion and share this conversation with a sister.

Q: In what situation did you think "This is not what I deserve. I deserve more!", and what did you do to claim it? / How would you like to deal with it in the future?

Leave your answer down in the comments, and share your diversity with us.

Know your value. Believe in your worth. Define your self-value. Your character determines your self-worth. Believe in the worth you can bring to this earth. God has written it for you a long time ago. Claim it.

 

Until next time,

السلام عليكم

 

 

 

Disclaimer: This is a merely personal view of an individual life. None of this is supposed to reflect or exemplify women, reverts, Muslims or even Islam. Self-identification is not to be seen in relation to a group but merely in relation to oneself. One might share this identity but must not publicly announce its speciality or an imagined community created by such. The sharing or not-sharing of identity (with ethnic, cultural, spiritual, gender-specific, nation or whatever other forms of identification) is neither good nor bad but remains personal and private to oneself. The author is voicing personal opinions and rejects any generalization or speaking-for-ization but rather aims to shed light on one of many diverse stories of one of many diverse individuals in one (or more) of many diverse contexts. Also, the author tends to create grammatically incorrect words to clarify perceived phenomena, opinions or feelings. This blog might include discriminating terms which are emotionally loaded by a long history of oppression and suffrage. Do not read this if you get offended by the cruelty of ignorance. This is still a place for peace and love, the way we all strive to live out our purpose.

 

Inspiration – The myth of creativity

Inspiration

The process of creation, the myth of  creativity

There is a misconception of the word “inspiration”.

We are always told that great people, thriving entrepreneurs and succeeding individuals are always motivated and inspired by anything and everything around them.

Simply put, that´s a big lie.

You can´t say all great achievers are on their top game 24/7. If you believe that, and you apply it to yourself, you lose. Let's take the example of a writer:

If you only write in the feeling of inspiration, you will not create much value in anything. You cannot wait for this feeling. Not doing anything is not inspiring, so how can you expect your non-doing to inspire you?

Writing even if “I don’t feel like it” makes me create much more value than me confidently sitting on my desk with excitement to be inspired and inspiring. My deepest thoughts, when I feel like I have nothing, is often everything I wanted (without knowing that I wanted it).

Being lost can be productive. BUT only if I create. When I feel lost and I write (even about being lost). This might be my vulnerability, the closeness to my inner thoughts and feelings, the fears I tap into to neutralize, the secrets to uncover, the unexpected value that crystallizes. Whatever it may be, it can only come to light and down on my paper (or screen for that matter), if I write in a time “I don’t feel like it”.

Writer Dani Shapiro:

The productive despair, describing the feeling of a deep sea diver when she almost hits the bottom of the ocean floor, that’s when she hits that place and is able to push herself up again from there.

The pan-ultimate place. Feeling the inner-sensor of resistance, that is the place that can bring me up again.

That feeling in that place, where you feel the opposite of comfortable, that is when you can get up again.

Make the time sacred

Be routine-based, ritual-based!

When you are in that place of "I don´t feel like it", it doesn´t matter. Your body already told your mind: We are set up for this, We will do this, And we will do this right. Because everything is “set up” for you as if you would like to achieve something.

How does this being "set up"  look like?

It can look so so different for every single person here. Maybe you like to be in a nice coffee shop? You want to be in a clean room, light some candles maybe? Wear a nice dress and put on some jewellery, some fancy shoes even? Want some tea and fresh fruits on the side?

Just a quick reminder:

Your feelings don´t matter

(at least in the moment they don´t feel like it).

You are either here to see other people succeed, consume, sit down watch what other people do, or

You do it yourself.

Don´t be a consumer, be a creator. 

AND NOW YOU, share with us your opinion and share this conversation with a sister.

Q: What do you like to do to feel set up to create? What do you do to prepare yourself for success? How does the setting look like? What makes you feel most creative to create?

Leave your answer down in the comments, and share your diversity with us.

The myth of creativity affects everyone who wants to achieve greatness. Here is why you need to get rid of it: inspiration is not your hero. You are your only way to success. DO, CREATE, even if you don´t feel like it!

 

Until next time,

السلام عليكم

 

 

 

Disclaimer: This is a merely personal view of an individual life. None of this is supposed to reflect or exemplify women, reverts, Muslims or even Islam. Self-identification is not to be seen in relation to a group but merely in relation to oneself. One might share this identity but must not publicly announce its speciality or an imagined community created by such. The sharing or not-sharing of identity (with ethnic, cultural, spiritual, gender-specific, nation or whatever other forms of identification) is neither good nor bad but remains personal and private to oneself. The author is voicing personal opinions and rejects any generalization or speaking-for-ization but rather aims to shed light on one of many diverse stories of one of many diverse individuals in one (or more) of many diverse contexts. Also, the author tends to create grammatically incorrect words to clarify perceived phenomena, opinions or feelings. This blog might include discriminating terms which are emotionally loaded by a long history of oppression and suffrage. Do not read this if you get offended by the cruelty of ignorance.