10 things you can do during the 1st 10 days of Dhul Hijja

Hello and welcome to my blog! Today is the 3rd day of Dhul Hijja, a holy month in Islam, and I feel like I’m wasting the days away. So to motivate myself to take advantage of these blessed days, and hopefully motivate you too if you’re Muslim, I decided to write the benefits of these days and the best deeds to do during these days if you’re unable to go to Hajj.

Hajj is One of the five pillars of Islam central to Muslim belief. It is the pilgrimage to Mecca that every Muslim must make at least once in their lifetime if they are able and is the most spiritual event that a Muslim experiences, observing rituals in the most sacred places in the Islamic world.

Dhul Hijjah – the 12th and final month in the Muslim year – began on July 10 or 11, depending on which country you live in, according to the moon sighting.

The month includes two key events – the Hajj pilgrimage and the second Eid, known as Eid ul Adha. It’s expected that Eid ul Adha will be on or around July 20.

To go to Hajj, you must apply and have sufficient funds (I assume it costs 5000$ a person). Those who are unable to go to Hajj can do other things to reap the benefits of these 10 days.

10 things you can do during the 1st 10 days of Dhul Hijja:

  1. Prayer: Extra prayers, especially during the night
  2. Fasting: Especially on the day of Arafah, the day before Eid
  3. Quran: Read or listen to Quran, and tafseer if you can
  4. Dhikr: The takbeer Al tashreeq is very much rewarded, but there are many other dhikr you can say
  5. Doua: Supplications are answered on the day of Arafa
  6. Charity: Good deeds are multiplied during these days, and what better deed than charity
  7. Sacrifice: Sacrificing a lamb is a sacred ritual done on the 1st day of Eid and the meat is distributed between family, friends, and poor people
  8. Social welfare: Acts of kindness and volunteering are greatly rewarded during these days
  9. Spread knowledge about these days and their benefits
  10. Eid: Eid Al Adha is a special celebration and it comes with a series of regulations and traditions

May Allah accept our good deeds from us during these blessed days and keep us from bad deeds.

Poetry Friday: Healing is a journey

Hello and welcome to my blog! It’s been a rollercoaster lately. Some days I just want to stay in bed. Other days I feel so motivated and inspired. Some days I check everything on my to do list. Other days I do the bare minimum and binge watch TV shows instead.

When you have no responsibility onto others, your bad days only affect you. But that rarely is the case. A lot of you have kids, siblings, a spouse, or parents in the same household, and when you need your space, they rarely ever give it to you. So what do you do? Well, speaking for myself, I lash out until I get my space. Sometimes I get my space for days or weeks in a row, followed by days or weeks of no space at all.

Then there’s the guilt over lashing out and the apologies, then wondering what’s wrong with me, why can’t I control my anger, and downright hating on myself. There’s also the frustration from circumstances and not being in tune with my goals (binge eating and not exercising).

Then I remember I’m on a journey.

I hit a rough patch lately, but I’m not always like this. Even day to day, I have small wins. Like today, I yelled at my son a bit, but I also played ludo with him, helped him organize his papers, mopped the house, made the beds, did the dishes and laundry, sat on the balcony with my son while we ate ice cream and I watched the trees blow with the wind and listened to the sound of birds chirping nearby.

I also lost my cool again tonight when he refused to brush his teeth, as he does every night, but I kept in mind that I’m on a healing journey and if I want to teach him to control his emotions, I need to learn to control mine. It really helped me calm down and calm him down.

Anyway, enjoy this poem I wrote today about healing with your loved ones:

Healing is a journey

I still have long to go

Looking back to where I was

I’ve lost my sight of shore

Stuck in survival mode

I forgot what’s it’s like to thrive

Hiding in my comfort zone

I needed to feel alive

And then you came and rescued me

I didn’t know I needed saving

All the things that you taught me

How could you be so amazing?

But half the time you drive me crazy

You’re the only one who can enrage me

Sometimes I feel like this is toxic

And other times it feels exotic

We’re all broken

In different ways

We can either heal together

Or go our separate ways

Watch the glass break in slow motion

Watch the waves move in the ocean

Watch me as I lay there broken

Watch me as I build myself again

Not one of us is perfect

I can attest to that

I can play victim all day long

But I know better than that

Working on my patience

Protecting my energy

Working on a balance

Will you heal with me?

Healing is a journey

And I’ve had some setbacks

It’s my rollercoaster journey

And this is my comeback

How is your healing going?

Throwback Thursday: Racism; A tale as old as time

Hello and welcome to my blog! I am a very nostalgic person. I often go back to old pictures and videos, reminisce about the old days (before I got married) and so throwback Thursday suits me perfectly. I have too many blogs to go through all of them (767 and counting), but it’s nice to see what was on my mind exactly a year ago.

On June 10th 2020, I wrote about racism:

Disclaimer: I was very reluctant to talk about this because as a white person, I didn’t think I had any knowledge of racism, but a lot goes unnoticed when you don’t pay attention.

Close your eyes and put your hand over your heart. What do you hear? A heartbeat. I bet you if a Caucasian or an Asian or an African closed their eyes and put their hand over their heart, they would hear the same thing. A heartbeat.

We all have the same internal organs. We all feel the same range of emotions. Happiness, sadness, fear, anger,… Love. So why are some people treated with more preference over others?

You see… Racism is a tale as old as time. When the Pharaohs were still around, there were kings and there were slaves. There was a hierarchy in the society, and if you were born a slave, you remained so all your life. That is racism based on social status.

Around the time of the prophet Mohammed PBUH, there was slavery. The prophet banned slavery and made it clear in Quranic verses and hadiths that no white man is better than a black man except by piety.

I don’t know how to address this. I don’t live in America, but I have been bullied in Lebanon because I’m half American. Some Lebanese are racist and hate Americans and think that Lebanese are smart and Americans are stupid. They pride themselves on their attributes and think of Americans as selfish and ignorant. I said some. The thing is when you don’t know someone, and you make snap judgments about them, you come to hate them and your mind wards off any evidence contrary to your fixed belief.

The same applies when you believe all African Americans are drug dealers, or all Asians are whatever stereotype Asians are given, or all Italians as mobsters, or all Muslims or Arabs as terrorists, that’s racism. You are judging an entire race by the actions of a few. There are American terrorists. There are French mobsters. There are Swedish drug dealers. Maybe. I don’t know. My point is corrupt people come in all ethnicities and colors, and so do kind good honest people.

We should treat people based on how they treat us, not by the color of their skin. Another thing I noticed while living in Lebanon, is that the only dark brown people I’ve ever seen were Ethiopian maids. I do not know Ethiopia, but this made me believe that maybe it’s such a poor country that women are forced to leave their country and work as maids in homes, and are often mistreated because their lives are so bad in Ethiopia. So after some digging, I found that:

Ethiopia has one of the fastest-growing economies in the world and is Africa’s second most populous country, with 23.5% of the population below the poverty line.

Let me tell you something ironic. Before all this drastic fall of the economy happened in Lebanon starting October 2019, 40% of the population lived below the poverty line. There are no statistics up to date, but I’ll bet in a year there will be around 60% Lebanese below the poverty line, which makes Ethiopians richer than Lebanese. So according to racists who believe Lebanese are better than Ethiopians because they have more money, this does not make sense.

Back to the racism problem in America. It is only prominant in America because there is such a wide range of ethnicities in the “Land of opportunities”. However, this type of racism is present worldwide. A lot of people are denied jobs or given less pay because of their skin color. As a result, people who are not white are more likely to be poor. Click here for the statistics regarding poverty in America.

Here in Lebanon, the Syrian refugees are only given jobs as janitors or construction workers. I know that Lebanon specifically has a problem with job opportunities. An overflow of college graduates and not enough jobs to move the economy. Again, I’m no expert, but you tell me. When a Syrian is payed an amount a Lebanese would never agree to work for, isn’t that racism?

Again, I’m not an expert in economy. I only know that racism is when you think you’re better than someone because of the color of your skin or ethnicity or social status.

Your kindness makes you better. Your generosity makes you better. Your humility makes you better. You thinking you’re not any better than anyone else, and that we are all humans, worthy or life, love, respect, and dignity, is what makes you, in God’s eyes, better than the racists who think they’re better.

I try not to provoke anyone with my writings. I say I’m like an ostrich, burying my head in the sand when I’m scared, but that’s a myth. Ostriches stick their heads in the sand to hide their eggs and protect their young.

I hope my words explained what racism is, because you can be racist without noticing it. You can go along all your life functioning with what you feel is the norm because that’s what everyone around you does. So if you see any signs of racism happening in front of you, speak up, say it’s wrong, and if you can, prevent it.

As long as white people are quiet about the racism that happens around them, it will continue to happen.Good night 😴

1. Racism is still ongoing. Despite the increased awareness, protests, petitions, it is just ingrained in some people.

2. The dollar is now 14,000LL and the poverty rate is 55% in Lebanon.

3. Ethiopia is not richer than Lebanon. According to Global Finance, Lebanon is ranked 107 while Ethiopia is 165. There is yet hope for Lebanon.

4. I was listening to a podcast yesterday about unconscious bias so I will correct myself for using the phrase “you can be racist without noticing it”. People with unconscious bias are not racist. Racism is intentional. If it’s unintentional, it’s unconscious bias.

Newest book available in paperback version!

Guess what? My paperback, “The best advice to improve yourself and your relationships,” is available to buy on Amazon for just 12.99$.

The content of the book is still currently on the blog, but you’ll have to read my blogs to find out where exactly. I’ll give you a hint. Advice.

I’ll delete most said blog posts soon for marketing purposes but you can always read a free sample of the book on the kindle app (go through my blogs to find out where. It’s in the title).

Did you check out the link to my paperback?

If not, why not?

Ramadan Series: When one door closes, another opens.

Hello and welcome to my blog! Welcome to the Ramadan series where I discuss universal concepts like kindness and inner peace from my experience and share my insight with you. Today is not the last day of Ramadan but it is the last day of the series. I tried to put the videos I was watching into use by discussing them but then I would watch several videos and I was too busy to ruminate over them.

Anyway, I really benefitted from watching these videos, especially with my anxiety and depression. They weren’t just spiritual boosts but also mental health boosts. For example, this vudeo about not getting discouraged and giving up when things don’t work out for you. How many times have we given up when we were so close to winning?

Remember that life is full of opportunities and as much as it’s important to take advantage of opportunities but it’s also important not to give up with said opportunities don’t work out.

There will always be other opportunities. It’s okay to be sad but don’t be discouraged.

Daily Reminder

Hello and welcome to my blog! I have given it some thought and as much as I want to share a daily reminder, it seems redundant, so I will collect several reminders and post them as Monday motivation for the forseeable future. So today will be the last daily reminder.

Today’s reminder is:

You’ll never feel 100% ready. Do it anyway.

Reminder from: https://21dayschallengeapp.com/app/challenge

I’m always hesitant to move forward. I’m afraid of failure. I’m afraid of disappointment. But sometimes you just have to go for it. Kind of like what I did with publishing my books.

Ramadan Series: Power vs. Respect

Hello and welcome to my blog! Welcome to the Ramadan series where I discuss universal concepts like kindness and inner peace from my experience and share my insight with you. Today I’m going to talk about the power versus respect dynamic.

What is power?

According to the dictionary, power is the capacity or ability to direct or influence the behaviour of others or the course of events. For example: “a political process that offers people power over their own lives”. A king has power. A politician has power. But does this automatically mean they have respect? Not necessarily.

What is respect?

According to the dictionary, respect is due regard for the feelings, wishes, or rights of others. For example,
“young people’s lack of respect for their parents is a modern day issue”.

The abuse of power

According to unesco.org “The abuse and misuse of power or authority in the course of performing work can occur both with external stakeholders and internally among staff. The effects can be damaging to morale and to working relationships.

Abuse of power or authority can take various forms. Examples include:

Bullying or harassing behaviour
Requesting staff to do personal errands or favours
Pressuring staff to distort facts or break rules
Interfering with the ability of a colleague to work effectively (i.e. by impeding access to information or resources)”

Do you give respect to get respect? Or is it the other way around?

There are so many blogs on Google that say yes. You must earn respect before receiving it. What does this mean? Well, I didn’t want to complicate things for you and gkve you 10 ways to earn respect. Plus, I’m honestly still working on it. I feel like my loved ones don’t respect me sometimes, and I feel that my behaviors may have something to do with it. My advice to myself and to you is to simply act in a respectable manner and treat others as you wish they would treat you. For example, if you don’t want people to talk about you behind your back, don’t talk about others behind their backs. If you don’t want to be yelled at, don’t yell at others. If you don’t want someone to emotionally manipulate you, don’t do that to others. Also, I feel like self confidence is key. My explaining myself and avoiding conflict and being hesitant to make decisions and being extremely moody don’t help my case either.

If you were in a position of power, what would you do?

Do you feel respected by others? Do you respect others?

Ramadan Series: Beauty standards and plastic surgery

Hello and welcome to my blog! Welcome to the Ramadan series where I discuss universal concepts like kindness and inner peace from my experience and share my insight with you. Today I’m going to talk about beauty and unrealistic beauty standards.

In society and on social media, it is advertised that you must look a certain way to be beautiful. You must be a certain weight, a certain height, have a certain complexion. Celebrities share their skin care routines which involve so many expensive products, and people like the Kardashians undergo botox and advertise slimming products. Many people are influenced by what they see and become very insecure about theur bodies and looks. Some even undergo plastic surgery because they feel their nose is too big, for example.

We were created perfect. Plastic surgery should only be done when necessary, as in the case of an accident or a burn.

Beauty standards are so unrealistic and cause a lot of problems with self esteem, especially in girls, but also in boys. They cause problems in marriages because men will look for a wife who looks like the ads he sees everywhere and women compare their husbands to hollywood actors (the beauty standards in Hollywood are very unattainable). They give funny toles to actors they perceive as ugly or not beautiful. Did you notice that? In society, overweight people are usually funny because they try to make up for their lack of self esteem about their looks and weight by humor.

Remember that the people in the magazines don’t even look like the people in magazines. They are often photoshopped and edited.

You don’t need to spend a fortune on skin care products just because some celebrity endorsed them or uses them. You don’t need to undergo unnecessary plastic surgery or get botox.

Yes you need to take care of your body by sleeoing well, hydrating a lot, eating healthy food and exercising often, but don’t let celebrities and social media make you feel like you need to change anything about your looks to be beautiful.

What about your looks are you insecure about? Why?

Have you ever done unnecessary plastic surgery? If not, have you ever considered it?

Self-reflection Sunday: Journal Therapy part 6

Hello and welcome to my blog! I’m currently detoxing from nescafe, not caffeine in general, but not entirely. Let me explain.

Ramadan is in 9 days and since I’ll be fasting from dawn until sunset, I can only have 1 cup of coffee before dawn. I usually have 2 cupps of coffee, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. So for the past few days, I’ve been drinking black tea instead of my 2nd coffee and in a few days I’m going to switch that even to green tea.

I know, I know, nobody cares. Anyway, today for our self reflection session, I’m going to continue with the questions from the current prompt I’m using (I have so many other prompts in line, you just wait).

Journal Therapy Writing prompt for Healing

What would your life be like if you didn’t have…?

My 1st thought was phone. My life without my phone is chaotic. My whole life is on my phone. My blog, my podcast, my friends, everything. My 2nd thought was my husband and son so it’s good to know they come second after my phone 😂.

If you had to pick one bad memory or experience you could rewrite the outcome, what would it be and how would you think of the experience differently?

So many things, honestly. For starters, my entire childhood. Just kidding. I keep thinking of certain memories and experiences and I realize that everything I’ve been through has shaped me to be who I am today. However, if I must choose 1 memory or experience, I’d choose my 1st trip to Turkey with my husband and I’d erase the events that ruined my mood for that trip and also focus on the positive aspects of that trip.

I hope you enjoyed these Self-reflection prompts.