Spring Reading Wishlist

photo of person reading book on beach

Well, Hello there!

So, I thought I’d hop on here and quickly share some of the books in my Amazon Basket. I’m super excited to share these with you, and I cannot wait to bring some new inspiring energy into my life. Books are Healing and super comforting guys, especially being a Mother, it helps keep my ideas and joy for mothering in check.

So, these first (two) I’ve already ordered and I am actually holding the first in my hand, delivered just this Morning!

It is called Year of Yes. – The description of this book caught my attention as the Author like me, is a mother to 3 children. She is in search of a Mother -Work life balance and this totally felt close to home. I also just want to learn to say YES to myself more this year! It’s described as a hilarious read, which I so need in a self-help book. The author commits a year to herself and her growth by saying Yes and she basically shares it ALL!

She is an actress, and I was a little held back by not knowing the series but I’d rather not and anyway I am not much into them. Super excited to get stuck in this Spring holiday.

This Book is called Raising Boys in the 21st Century. It will hopefully arrive mid April. I am really interested in understanding boys, especially from age 7 onwards. I’ve been having my personal struggles as a mother and I just think it is a lack of understanding on my part, especially as boys enter school age and the changes in their hormones. I am hoping this book will give me more clarity and understanding in how to approach changes and support them.

The next few books are in my basket and saved for later!

I’ll list them down below in case you are interested. These will be for you if you enjoy reading books on Mental health, Parenting and Creativity.

1- The Artists Journey: The wake of the Hero’s Journey and the lifelong pursuit of meaning By Steven Pressfield.

2- The Inflamed Mind: A Radical new approach to Depression By Edward Bullmore.

3- The last Child in the Woods: Saving our Children from Nature-Deficit- Disorder By Richard Louv.

Tell me, What are you currently reading? Do you have any Spring reads listed in your Amazon Basket? Please share!

Love,

Ilham

Spring into a NEW You : Create Yourself in Seasons

photo of green leaf potted plants on window and stand

One of the best approaches I’ve taken in recent years to my life, is taking it in seasons. Not just in terms of happenings (circumstances) in life; which too has been a game changer! What I mean is, creating a new mindset, a fresh approach and giving myself and my energy a makeover; each quarter.

I realised that creating this habit of treating each season like a fresh start to life, would enable me to live better and more presently. I saw that each season was unique in what it had to offer, so I decided I would hone in on them- the weather, the activities, the clothes, the books, the foods, the beverages, the good and the not so good. Each season, required me to listen a little harder and make the changes accordingly. This provided me and my little ones with a rhythm and a flow to which each season would bring a new and exciting feeling. Becoming seasonal people has allowed us to live with less anticipation and embrace all that present living has to offer. We weren’t always like this and to be honest we’re still learning.

What I have found is that, as a Mother I have to be willing to give myself a seasonal make over. I have to create NEW intentions, a new mindset, new goals, new ways of getting out of my comfort zone each quarter. When I do this, things shift. I shift, by creating a new, more ambitious version of myself despite the failures of the last season, I choose to move forward.

I encourage you to spring into Spring with a new step, a rhythm and flow! If there is anything you think is holding you back, let go of it now with the season just gone. You are entering a season that requires you to bloom, and blossom, and everything around you is going to remind you of that.

Below, I share a few ways that you can create a NEW you this Spring or any other season for that matter!

58+ Stuning Minimalist Apartment Decor Ideas  #apartment #apartmentdecor #apartmentdecoratingideas

1- Create ONE new Self Maintenance routine that you never really considered for yourself to be important to keep up with regularly. Check in with yourself and create a small list. A fresh take on your look is a fun way to get new energy flowing.

Bring out your Spring hijabs, clothes, create a new meal plan, a list of new activities, treat your bed to some new sheets! Spread loving notes of change all around you. Notice how these things are all visible changes? Our minds have an amazing way of associating fresh or new with visible change. Really think about what that change could be for you.

woman in black hijab headscarf walking on field

2-  Plan something out of your Comfort Zone. Us Mothers have a funny way of being in the world, especially when our children are really young. What if we only let go of expectations, and predictability and lived a little more in the mess? in the unknown of things. What if we realised that our growth can only happen if we kicked fear aside and we did more of the things we’d hope our children to experience. What if we, ourselves experienced more of what we fear, and led by example. This Spring, plan something and do it for yourself to be able to grow out of fear and predictability. Invest your emotions, time, wealth into something that will grow you. This will be a gift to your children, tribe and community. As they say, there is no time like the present moment to dream anything up. Give each season a new breath to be remembered for.

white ceramic teacup with saucer near two books above gray floral textile

3- Create a Spring Reading List. Reading has to be an amazing way to step into a new season. Creating a reading list that inspires you and the season you are in is going give you a different outlook on reading. You’ll be giving each season something to remember it by and associate to. If you have been putting off decluttering; now is a great time to invest in some books that will help you welcome in the new season, especially if you are a sentimental person, or a hoarder!

There are many beautifully written guides out there which include life lessons that will help you delve past your initial story. One I read last year, and really enjoyed was called ‘Declutter your Mind’ and while it is about decluttering your mind, it also talks alot on decluttering your space and creating a new environment.

Book link: https://www.amazon.de/Declutter-Your-Mind-Worrying-Eliminate/dp/1535575085/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=declutter+your+mind+how+to+stop+worrying&qid=1554303703&s=gateway&sr=8-1

If you’ve ever wanted to learn something new, travel, work from home or anything in between, there is a book for it. I urge you to sit down and think of some of the things you’d like to improve or welcome into your life. I am currently sat making my personal Spring Reading List. 

With all that said, seasonal recreation of yourself will be something that will keep you going when things get hard. It welcomes change, it allows for forgiveness and space for new growth to take place, despite what has passed.

Love,

Ilham

 

Seek to Vision, dare to Dream

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There is nothing like the present moment to create something. Creating a vision every day, and acting upon it intentionally is what creates the vision you have for yourself and ultimately your life.

I’ve always been someone to visualise or dream up anything I wanted to come into flourish before acting upon it. I did this because it released something within me, that made me feel as though it was already there, happening or that I had reached or received it.

Being a Dreamer or someone who creates vision, is not for everyone. True dreamers are not in a hurry, they are not held back by their day-to-day work or enjoyments. They deposit a little each day, so as not to ”feel” the pouring into or the effort and time spent building. Yet, the work is done and the pleasure is received; though the vision incomplete.

They work at cultivating the feeling beforehand.

I believe there is beauty in cultivating this practise, because it helps one to truly be engaged in the NOW and enjoy the process of whatever you are preparing for. You enjoy the process as though you’ve received the reward. You cultivate an attitude by becoming what you visualise.

I encourage you to practice this; while still working towards whatever it is you are creating. You should try living everyday as though it is your ideal, finding habits to tweak daily to make it that much more like your vision.

Where there is vision, there is hope.

If you truly want to cultivate a dream and bring it to life, then try this..

Invest in yourself a little everyday

When you invest a little everyday, it builds up. To have a vision, you need to first develop yourself. Read more, Eat better, Pray, practise gratitude and all the in-betweens as this will create a stronger sense of self and a stronger sense of the direction you’d like to take or persue in life. Be dilgent in this pursuit. Often, most people neglect phases of life based on where others are at or a fear of wasted time. Where growth happens, there is no waste. Honour your seasons and embrace them fully.

Take time out to write your thoughts

When you write things down, they feel more real. Do not underestimate the writing, it creates a need for action. Write often, write the same intension again and again if you need to.

Create a vision board in real life or on pinterest

I underestimated this one, I found it to be ‘not me’ but I did it once, and I’d do it again! Creating a mental image that you cultivated with your very hands- seeds itself into your subconscious, making it something you’ve created and need to finish. It doesn’t necessarily have to be for something you want to physically attain\achieive or manifest, it could be a feeling you’d like to have more of in your life, or a place you’d like to visit. The list is for you to create. Try something new to help you create and dream a little harder.

Live your life ‘as if‘ already…

This Blog Post is all about that, when you cultivate a life of ‘as if ‘it’s already, you are better at truly welcoming it. It is more the feeling you’re wanting most of the time. So, if you truly want to cultivate anything worth working for in life, cultivate the feeling that should come with it. Otherwise, life will become a cycle of need and never reaching the vision because the last wasn’t lofty enough. Create a vision and feel it before it has arrived. Create a vision that aligns with your ideal self, create her, re-create her often; dare to dream.

My dear, I hope you are brave enough to visualise your story.

Btw, that’s my Dream/Vision Board above 🙂

With love

Ilham

A soulful Friday

good times & tan lines

Hello my loves,

I guess I said things a little out aloud! Apologies for my absence, but you know what I’ve learnt; that you’re only able to show up for anything as much as you are showing up for yourself. So, in short, you can only give, when you’ve given yourself equal amounts or more.

The last couple of Months have been me breaking through some DEEP work. What’s new eh?! ..the tests, and messages behind them I’m REALLY learning, God himself is teaching me.

So, whenever you feel crappy that, school and home didn’t teach you much. Be willing to ask Allah or welcome what HE wants to teach you. It is Abundant.

You are allowed to feel everything, you are allowed to hate the things that pop up and react to them as hideously as you sometimes do; but decree, you have to give in to. Once you truly do that (not fully there) personally, but what I have come to know is that whatever shows up within you, that internal rage and disbelief. That you can’t stand, that you feel isn’t YOU or who you want to be. Allow it, give it space. It decreases in affect as long as you are willing to learn and master what your ego\personality didn’t want to learn or accept before this point.

If you want to come closer to God, if you believe yourself to be a seeker, a spiritual person, learn about the ugliest parts of you, embrace the beauty in you that no one sees and thank Him for showing you.

Today I want you to do two things;

Number one; Renew your faith, act as if Allah is on your side (He is) and that He azawajal wants to see you win.

Number two; Go & download Operas Super Soul Conversations Podcast and listen to Her interviews with Eckhart Tolle on his Book ‘A New Earth’- Buy the book, follow along each Chapter, get your highlighters out and highlight. I am a busy Mother myself so I prefer to listen and enjoy, and get the ah ha moments FIRST and then in the evening read the Chapter and highlight some areas that stuck out.

Discover and work out a way that suits you, treat YOURSELF as a project.

With that, I wish you well and I sincerely hope that you’re able to take some action.

With Love,

Ilham

Continue reading “A soulful Friday”

2019 Growth Goals

Hello my loves,

I know, it’s been a while. I pray this finds you in the best of health and faith. I appreciate you all so much, especially those of you who’ve been around this long.

So, I just want to get stuck in, I thought I’d share a few of my goals openly to inspire, or ‘actually’ get me to do them by openly proclaiming them to you all! No regrets hopefully !

Firstly, my biggest goal this year is to react less and breathe through it more. To truly trust Allahs plan like I did in some of my hardest times, which is basically on going in this period of my life. The reward is in the first time.

The more I am learning not to disassociate and actually confront my feelings, the more triggers come to surface. Which means less stuffing things down but more reacting. While 2018 was learning to literally be OK with feeling and letting out reactions, 2019 will be more managing them effectively and putting in place ‘reacting’ fall back solutions for when I trip, such as a planned go to Self Care remedy\rituals. As opposed to feeling shame, or unhealthy guilt and spiralling down from there.

Secondly, My GERMAN!! issa German.. inna German.. land!

The German language, My Journey started at the end of 2016. I somehow got comfortable with my new skill and progress and got lazy about it by the end of 2017. I actually gave myself permission to fall off to heal if I’m honest. So, I’m going into this, this time for my kids, makes it a little more worthwhile. Self talk: You’re into languages Ilham, you got this. Haha!

Yoga and Tae Bo. These are my mash ups depending on what I am needing. I actually finally have a list which isn’t just  ‘do’ (exercise). I’ve been off it since October 2018 after some overwhelm. I want these to be my go to’s as part of my Self Care choices also. I wish to do one class a week, either, or. that is my intension. Anything more (which I doubt most weeks) is luxury.

I also would love to do regular morning and nighttime stretches as part of my habitual routine. Haven!

I plan to Read more and continue Healing. Honestly, there’s a thing about dedicating a Book to each Month of your year that is empowering!! If I cannot remember anything about that Month, if anything I’ll have a Book. One I’ve delved into, studied, sat in appointments with, took on Self Love dates, fell asleep with, and incorporated into my life. This will make any year in hindsight worthwhile.

YouTube and Blogging. Videography is a fairly new hobby. Although, I did study Media Studies as one of my subjects at College and it was a unit at Uni. I guess it’s a rekindled passion. I remember one of my first ever videos, filmed and edited alone was a documentary on type 2 Diabetes. With those hefty old school Cameras. Total flashbacks as I type this. So, what I’m saying is that, although Filming and Editing are skills I’ve relearnt and crafted this past year, especially since having kids and being tech illiterate may I add. I feel,  being sat in front of a camera was the ultimate challenge and I’m glad I have overcome it, for the most part. So my intension is to continue in growing my channels content and provide value through my mundane and healing. I am looking forward to this Journey in 2019 In sha Allaah!

Self Care. Water, the struggle is real. I have had the worst teenage age 30 breakouts of my life this past year! lol. I know it is part of the HEALING which is great 😉 and I accept it but I guess I can’t get away with not drinking anymore. So I want to get better, for my poor organs!!!

As for Self Love, forgiveness is what I am wanting to work on this year. Especially since reading EAT DIRT by Dr. Josh Axe. He mentions this as being a root to health problems, even though it is a spiritual thing. It has a huge impact on ones bodily and mental functions. Pretty deep huh. I considered myself to be one to easily forgive; until you are really tested..

So those are some of my personal GROWTH goals right there!! Anything else is Life stuff, Faith and Kids.

I would love to read some of your GOALS this year? Do you have similar ones or anything different to make us RETHINK ours?

Love,

Ilham

Codependent What now?

Hard news and new battles to fight. Ones I thought I had ‘control’ over or that I created balance somewhat for the short-term at least. The anxiety I was feeling before this news was surreal, like a painful intuitive gut feeling brewing inside of me weeks beforehand. I just couldn’t get myself to cry about something I so desperately wanted to cry about, that didn’t actually exist or hadn’t come into play; better put.  I was internally, perhaps overreacting. Until it came full force and I was able to release all that was brewing inside of me.

I began ruminating about the past and I got stuck there for a little while. I felt life come to a stand still again after all the work. Blame, shame, rage, anger, abandonment, resentment and everything else in between. Each time I gave myself permission to feel. I let go of..parts of these intense emotions.

Truly I am being taken back to myself and the Duas I have made.

I read earlier today, sometimes you ask and plead to God to perhaps remove a pain, or distress. To guide you, or to protect you and suddenly you wake up and your loved ones are removed from your life, you are tested with some of the things that you never wished to be tested with, if anything you specifically asked to not be tried with these things.

This hit home. And fearfully enough; it is for one to come back and do the work, the work that you stopped working on because you thought it wouldn’t show up again, that you were done.

Allaah says:

وَاعْلَمُوا أَنَّمَا أَمْوَالُكُمْ وَأَوْلَادُكُمْ فِتْنَةٌ وَأَنَّ اللَّهَ عِندَهُ أَجْرٌ عَظِيمٌ

“And know that your possessions and your children are but a trial and that surely, with Allaah is a mighty reward.” [Surah Al-Anfaal 8: 28]

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لَا تُلْهِكُمْ أَمْوَالُكُمْ وَلَا أَوْلَادُكُمْ عَن ذِكْرِ اللَّهِ ۚ وَمَن يَفْعَلْ ذَٰلِكَ فَأُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الْخَاسِرُونَ – 63:9

‘O you who believe, let not your properties or your children divert you from the Remembrance of Allaah. And whosoever does that, they are the losers.’ [Surah Al Munaafiqoon 63: 9]

I am awaking to the epiphany of just this.

Without going into too much, I wanted to link this article below which I intensionally sort out for, there are many variations of it but I thought this one was short and to the point. In hope this may help any Mothers out there dealing with intense emotions when it comes to their children. This may be a chance to heal and practise self regulation. It is fli….’ hard!

It is a product of your past, be easy on yourself (should take my own advice), you are human. You are not super human and this is the cycle of life. Do what you can, beleive you are enough. Leave the rest to God.

 https://ellievargastherapy.com/blog/codependency-in-parenting

I am going to be working on just this. It is a harsh reality and it is also a very difficult time in my life and I ask for Allahs aid, because without his wisdom and his kindness towards me in answering my Duas I would not be here. It is difficult working on making the smallest of differences, when you feel like you are going round in circles. There have been so many times, I was close to giving up on everything and on life even. Truth is, there are wounds and no one to help mend them except the One who created the both of us.

Keep hope and keep coming back to HIM, everyday in all your despair and feel a weight lifted each time you commit to try over, and over again.

Love,

Ilham

Also, a link to a video by a woman who has been a huge part of my healing Journey.

Books For Healing Trauma

Hello My Dear Readers,

 I often dream about writing here. This place means a lot to me, my previous blog also. I started back in 2013 one night while breastfeeding my second babe. I knew I needed it. However, what I didn’t understand is what it did for me.

I intended to film a video about this..but honestly, It’s not something I am ready to put forward.

I’d probably cry on you, get breathless. Say too much; or too little.

I am like an open book, you would probably be able to read my gestures more than my words.

Here I will share the Books that have helped me the most on my healing Journey.

I want to start off with a disclaimer; these books may reveal to you more than you had wished or asked for. It may cause you to lose some of the most beloved people to (you) in your life, in order for you to save your soul and sanity.

For some, bring you closer.

It will help you understand yourself deeply, you may have to live with these things but ultimately recovery is not about ‘getting over it‘ but rather managing it within your internal and external life.

Living with your trauma, but learning to live with it more peacefully.

These books by all means’ you will not be able to digest at once, and not everything will resonate. I humbly suggest for you to read the parts you need in those moments, then read it from cover to cover. Leave it for a few weeks or months even and come back to it sometime.

As you patiently mourn, and accept a new inner turmoil each week; you will go back to read that you have understood and successfully worked through a portion.

That is recovery.

Books:

Complex PTSD – From Surviving to Thriving By Pete Walker

This Book is for those who have suffered Narcissistic abuse by one, both parents or Caregiver/Spouse/Siblings/Friends etc. It explains codependency and where it stems from. You learn about the 4(F) models and where you/others may fit into them. It gives you a title, it names and identifies your situation to you in a way that you could NOT articulate yourself. It validates your pain and gives you realistic ways of working through ones healing. Most of the trauma you may have recently experienced, is a repeat of childhood conditioning and belief systems.

You can literally feel the Authors empathy; it’s warm. It helped me understand the cause of my Depression, Anxiety, Perfectionism and all the other isms’. It also helped in healing my depression because when one does not know the cause or root, then healing is almost impossible. Depression is a tough place to be. Without Allah I would not be able to comprehend all of this or be guided to this. This is one hundred percent a pleading DUA that I almost wanted to say was a slap in the face, but was granted to me.

Alhamdulilaah.

The Drama of the Gifted Child By Alice Miller

This Book was a hard one to read, emotionally. I don’t know if it is for everyone. I personally benefitted from it. Some parts felt like it was talking about me and it triggered me like the above book many times before I could continue reading it. A lot resonated but not everything. I could imagine and could completely empathise with those scenarios. About half way into the book I decided to read up on the Author and I was a little taken aback, no judgement at all though. Life is strange and I guess to each his own path.

The Body Keeps the Score (Mind, Brain and Body in the transformation of Trauma)

By Bessel Van Der Kolk

This Book allowed another type of validation through scientific background to explain trauma and how the brain aswell as the body are affected. What the brain looks like during trauma, before and after. What and how recovery looks like. It is filled with case studies for one to be able to relate to as well as comprehend. I enjoyed this book and I had a lot of ah ha moments. I felt it came at a good time. It will always be a place of return for me.

The Untethered Soul By Michael A. Singer

This Book shook my soul in a beautiful awakening way. With each Book I mention it will resonate differently with different people. The Author has a unique way of speaking to you and the style in which he wrote this book is captivating. I restored belief in myself, in what I am able to control on spectrum from how I choose to welcome goodness, to how I choose to welcome disturbance. If you want to practice mindfulness and this ability to observe your inner dialog without being your own critic, this book is for you.

It is an internal awakening, it is spiritual and I can’t put into words how this book made me feel; it was special.

Those were the Books that took me on a deep grieving, honouring journey this year.

Each Book revealed something new. 

I hope this benefitted you in any way and I wish you a healthy healing.

I’d like to remind you that in the end you have Allah, and He does not love oppression. 

Love,

Ilham.


 

Wednesday Musings

A deep breath as I begin. Laptop placed on my girls donut pillow- on the sofa where I ploked myself. Towel wrapped around my head; freshly washed hair for the win eh! Warm Tea, candle burning, balcony door wide open. 22:24pm.

Clean Landry ‘piles’ right eye reflections. Messy corridor, coats and bags from our swimming day. Even messier kitchen, dishes filling counter tops. Egrr.

Deep breaths, warm tea flowing through me. Hugging me and telling me that all those things do not matter as much as you wish they did. I smile, and agree this evening.

The happenings through your day. The way you felt; acceptance. The time you gave them; the listening and responding. The pleading and suggesting. The Comforting. The space given to allow flow. The opportunity you grew for them. Today, although nothing worth smiling about was where all this was validated. Your purpose in being here, your working on yourself.. is. not. in. vain.

What you are unable to indentify in your very self, you cannot indetify in others.

You must continue letting go and live in the moment, that place called future you know nothing about is made up in these very moments. So dwell in it. This now.

The Sun was caressing today; the Moon a kiss on the forehead tonight. The air, this September air. Is helping me to embrace the still, the need to only be challenged by and conquer the present day.

Acceptance.

22:52pm

 Goodnight!

Love,

Ilham

Recreating Yourself After Life Changes

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So, I am sure there are a million and one aspects and angles to this, but I just want to share a few that I am understanding and implementing in this phase after being on this Journey of Healing and Self Awareness\ Discovery for over 2 years.

Take lesson from the mess in order to grow from it. Pay attention more. Each distress comes with mourning and sometimes it is daily once you open up to it. Study, and regulate yourself. Place value in the lesson.

Take it one day at a time, and practice self forgiveness.

Be alone. Especially if you hate to be alone. You despise it even though you felt alone around those very people? all the more reason. Fight the fear, beat yourself up and lift yourself back up again. In being alone, you open YOU to being vulnerable with yourself. When you are vulnerable with yourself, this leads to self acceptance and the honouring of your true state.

Invest in yourself. Time, Money, Books. It will be hard, but do it in small doeses and increase it a little each time. Lest you overwhelm yourself or hinder yourself from fully reaping any benefits of your investment.

The foods you eat, it reflects where you are. Start with one part of your day where you do that well. A part of your week maybe? i.e. A Sunday green juice. I find that starting from the inside out works for me. You could be someone that prefers the outside in route i.e. Skin care or Personal style. Find what works for you and put in consistent but realistic effort.

Get out of your comfort zone. Take up and find new interests that will grow you and enable you to articulate yourself. It has to be uncomfortable and scary before it can be comfort and joy. Allow yourself to show up as your authentic self fearlessly and watch yourself heal and sprout.

Declutter anything that does not serve you. Especially the things you ‘believe’ to hold sentimental value. Who do you imagine and yearn to evolve into? Where do you see yourself to be? How would you like to feel? Ask yourself these questions occasionally, now is the time. Make space for inviting in the NEW, unless you let go of the old, there’ll be no birthing of who you are creating.

Anything that does not ignite joy in this moment, let it go.

Practise and take inspiration from people you admire. Sometimes one person does not posses everything you are working toward for yourself. I consider myself as multi passionate, with many interests and likes and so I search for inspiration in a variety of places. Remember not to seek inspiration too much because you might end up creating an unsustainable version of yourself. You will not be perfect in all aspects or areas, naturally you’ll be better and exceed in some areas; as opposed to others. Take that on board.

So, this brings me to my next and final thought. Prioritise tasks. You will get messy and messier for a while in this process in recreating yourself. You’ve got to make space for it somehow right?!. I guess you have to quit the catalogue home ambitions for a while. *note to self

Love,

Ilham