This post is about exploring how spirituality has been the fuel for my growth over the past few months. I know spiritual talk isn’t for everyone but it is something that is important to me so naturally I do touch on it occasionally.
I have been hesitant to write this post because I feel like our spiritual journeys are so beautiful and private. I also feel like ultimately they are a matter between us and a Higher Being. However, if it helps anyone to get through what I did this year, I think it is worth it.
After many years of being ‘busy’, I have decided that I want to live life in the slow lane. Pottering about, ‘being mindful’ and soaking in the beauty around me, seems like a far better approach to life. I read once that the joy of life is not in the doing and having but it is in the being. I couldn’t agree more.
Ramadan, Fasting and the Healing Crisis is something I had to write today because I am feeling quite ill but determined to see the fasting through so I can reap maximum benefits inshAllah. So I have scraped myself off the sofa and decided to write this whilst I am feeling the healing crisis in full force. This applies to fasting outside of Ramadan too and as such is part of The 6 steps to wellness series.
Self Love is such a hot topic right now and I am always reluctant to mention it. However having experienced what it can do for the mind, body and soul first hand, I feel like I have to share its benefits to all who will listen. Especially now, during the beautiful month of Ramadan.
Progress not perfection is the aim in Ramadan & it all begins with Self Love
Why now? During Ramadan, many of us want to do our very best to do all the good deeds and to get the maximum benefit from the month. Naturally we all want to gain all the blessings that come with the blessed month, however what is expected from us is progress, not perfection.
The root of any thing that we do (in my mind) is self love because making progress becomes easier when we are fully accepting of where we are right now but want to improve. In this case I am referring to progress in spirituality, character development, mindfulness, how kind we are to others and ourselves etc etc because during Ramadan, where we are becomes crystal clear and so it is easier to make changes where they are needed.
So here are my top Self Love tips for Ramadan:
Decluttering – Having a clear out is more therapeutic than we imagine but with energy levels low, I usually leave this activity for before Ramadan or after the first few days of tiredness are over. Physically cleansing your space of things that you no longer need has a positive affect on mood going forward.
Stop comparing – During Ramadan you may see things on social media that may make you feel like you are not doing enough. Like you are failing in some way. Like for example, the perfect Iftar spread that you didn’t quite manage or the endless crafts that you never got round to doing with the kids. Social media is your space and just as you wouldn’t go around looking for examples of how everyone appears to be doing things better then you in real life, you can also avoid comparison on social media by muting any social media feed that is affecting you negatively and reminding yourself that you are doing great already. On the topic of social media, you are in control of what you see on your feed and fine tuning that, doesn’t take long. Follow those who inspire you and make you feel positive!
Have a morning power hour – I do this daily. I use my hour for prayer, meditation, journaling, breath work, exercise.
Allow yourself to do something you love – Yes it is Ramdan and your focus should be spiritual development but if you only focus on that, you may find that your burn our pretty quickly. There is no harm in doing something you enjoy. I love to read and I take time out to just lie down and have a read during the day.
Get enough sleep – With Sehri and Iftar being so far apart, it is essential that we are getting the rest that our bodies need so we feel our best.
Try Journaling – ‘People who have more self-love tend to know what they think, feel, and want. They are mindful of who they are and act on this knowledge, rather than on what others want for them.’ Psychology Today. Journaling really helps with self love. It helps you to tune into your feelings and then move forward in a positive way rather then a self destructive way.
Practice good self-care – You will love yourself more, when you take better care of your basic needs. Like I always say, self love is self discipline. People who love themselves nourish themselves daily through eating wholesome food, exercising, sleeping well, taking time for themselves and healthy social interactions.
Start each day by telling yourself something really positive – Do this whilst looking at yourself in the mirror. It can be anything. How well you handled a situation, how lovely you look today. Anything that will make you smile. I used to find this so cringeworthy but now it comes so naturally to me. We are so ready to tell others how amazing they are but struggle to tell ourselves the same things. Positive affirmations really are life changing.
Be realistic – There is no person on this earth that is happy every single moment of every single day. Because we are all human. We make mistakes, we feel emotions (good and bad) and this is OK. Allow yourself to be human. No two days are the same. You may feel great one day and you may do everything perfectly one day and the next day might be a disaster. Try to accept it and move on.
Don’t put too much pressure on yourself – Do what you can, Accept where you are and know that you are in the loving embrace of the MOST merciful and he wants what is best for you.
So what do you guys do to make sure you are honouring yourself daily? How does this help you to progress?