The season of spring brings new life all around us - as we awaken from deep winter slumber.
It's a season of hope. It's a season to dream again. It's a season to believe again.
However, this year - 2020, it's a different kind of spring.
With the pandemic engulfing the globe and many loved ones leaving our lives, it may seem like a season to run away and hide.
Instead of hope, there is wide spread fear.
Instead of belief, there is wide spread disbelief.
Instead of dreams, it's like a horrible nightmare.
I acknowledge what is happening right now.
I'm in it with you - we are all in this together.
The plans you and I had for 2020 have all suddenly been squashed.
There's a good few things I've learned over the years of heavy trials and tribulations.
I've overcome many obstacles and no doubt - as my Queen Mama says - I have so many more to see in my lifetime (and I so don't want to!).
On March 28, I turned 40, and I could sit here and write about all those trying times - but I've actually learned lessons and have grown so much that those trying times don't feel trying anymore - even though at times I was at the brink of suicide!
Yes, that deep!
It was deep then - I couldn't breathe - I didn't think I could make it through another day.
But I carried on and here I am today to bring that hope back into our lives.
After this post is published, there may be more negative news, and it may even be personal to us, but I know that it too shall come to pass and God is the best of all planners.
This life is temporary - we know this - and we all have to leave for our afterlife one day.
Today, here, we are going to learn from what is happening and the unexpected things that continue to unfold daily, and we are going to spring into action.
We are going to take responsibility for our lives and whilst taking the current circumstances into consideration, create a plan for us.
Life is going to continue and we can't die until it is our time.
That is the truest fact and reality of our existence.
We can succumb to the current situation or get a grip on ourselves so we stay focused and calm during the storm.
Our family needs us - my elderly parents (and cats) need me right now and I need to be in the right frame of mind to be able to handle the situation and what God sends my way.
Amidst the uncertainty, fear, confusion, I must stay strong and focused and so must you - you are needed right now and always - we surrender to God's Will and follow His commands and the guidance from our beloved Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).
We must get prepared.
‘Oh you who believe! Fear Allah and behave with taqwa. Let every soul consider what it has prepared for tomorrow. Allah is surely aware of everything you do.’ (Qur'an; 59:18)
We will be questioned on how we used this pandemic to grow, learn, and become better and stronger humans.
‘Call yourself to account before you are taken to account. And weigh your deeds before your deeds are weighed.’ (Hadith Tirmidhi)
You may be hurting or angry right now, so take a deep breath, release, and for a moment, believe again.
Just believe again, and read on.
Here are the 7 steps that I'm taking daily to spring into action this season and do my part.
Yes, I too have my down moments - and that will happen - it is part of our being and day to day life - however, we must become strong to handle our emotions and what is written to happen and when the down moments visit us - because they will!
I hope these 7 daily steps inspire and motivate you too.
1. Connection - to our Creator - God Almighty.
I start here.
We must start here - for, to God we belong and to Him is our return.
He sent us here - it was His Will and He will take us back when He decides He wants us back.
Everything is already written to happen - it's in the Al-Luh Mahfuz - the Preserved Tablet - which is with God.
So it was written, so it shall be done and God does not burden any soul more than what she or he can bear.
What do we learn from this?
Firstly, that everything is already written to happen and that is the decree.
It just is.
Take a moment to reflect on this - really connect deeply to God during this time and then carry it with you throughout your lifetime - long or short.
We are all in isolation mode now - quarantine - and we don't have work to rush to - we don't have assignments to hand in - we don't have exams to prepare for - but the current exam happing now.
You have all the time in the world right now that you didn't have before because of your daily responsibilities, to stop and really, truly, connect deeply with God.
It's what you always wanted, right?
You got it now!
Secondly, since God has assigned us all with our unique burdens (yes, they may be similar - but still unique to each of us), He already knows we can handle it!
It's His promise that we can handle it.
So, why did He (swt) give them to us?
To see how we respond - are we grateful or not - and to purify us and to strengthen us.
Take this time to connect with Him and let's work on our daily prayers and daily Qur'an recitation.
This will really shape us to being who we are meant to be and we can understand all that is happening and why it's happening and start living a life of purpose.
You won't never need to read another conspiracy theory again!
(And I'm a conspiracist!).
Make a daily plan for your daily worship and study and get to it right now - see and feel the difference it's make instantly.
Start small but start now.
It will really help you during this time.
2. Perspective - reframing
We each see, feel, and experience life from our own personal world view.
All that we have been going through has shaped up our perspective.
My perspective to this pandemic will be different to yours and yours different to your family and so on.
We respect each others life journey and try and understand each others perspective.
Reframe what is happening around you and see if you can give it another meaning - a meaning more positive.
If we continue to keep ourselves stuck in, 'Why is this happening' and look for the negative answer, we will find it.
Do you need to get healthier? Eat healthier? Reconnect with God? With family? With your purpose here? Who you are? Need to slow down from the race of life?
What other meaning could you give to this which is more beneficial and positive for you right now?
It's there - if you seek it - and if you want it - it's there.
Affirm health and healing to yourself.
The more negative we consume - the more our immune will weaken - and the more susceptible to illness and dis-ease.
Yes, it does all start in the mind and with our thoughts.
What thoughts are running in your mind right now?
Are they helping you or making things worse and causing anxiety and panic?
STOP - reframe - choose new thoughts.
You know I specialise in mindset transformation. I took on a challenge for myself back in 2015 to start reprogramming my mindset and heal myself from toxic thoughts and a toxic life.
On the outside I was achieving educational success but on the inside I was entertaining sad and negative thoughts which lead to sad and fabricated stories - which never existed - but in my mind they seemed wonderful.
Why did I do this?
Long story short - starts in childhood and we keep the tape playing in adulthood.
So, what thoughts are you going to choose? Those which bring life and healing to you or those that will keep you stuck and in unnecessary pain?
You have a choice right now to choose healthy and positive thoughts.
And YES still wash your hands and take the precarious and stay indoors!
What we focus on increases - simple!
So, following from the point above, really, what are you focusing on right now?
When I watched too much news and kept reading everyones stories on social media - which, my heart and soul goes out to them and I pray for them, I started getting nightmares.
It started affecting my sleep which led to my low energy during the day.
Only two and a half years ago, my family and I were victims of an armed robbery hostage.
My life completely changed forever.
I barely slept for 13 weeks after the incident.
I'm still not out of the incident completely - I still have trauma and nightmares and sometimes daytime trauma.
All this led to my ill health and weakened immune.
I know what to do to help myself out of it.
So, action point, change your focus.
Start with your home environment, your bedroom, your closet, your books - get spring cleaning - it's spring after all. Get rid off the clutter and start creating healthy energy around you. Get to the spring cleaning tasks you wanted to ten year ago, NOW!
Change your focus - change your life. You have a choice.
Following from the above - as you clean up your physical environment - start pruning - just like plants and trees need pruning so they grow back healthier - we too need to start decluttering and pruning - keep that which you need and get ready to donate or get rid off that which you do not need.
Mindset - prune your thoughts - cut those which are harming you and choose those which will serve you and bring healing.
Social media - God knows we need to cut back on this!!! It's time to prune what you read online and what you watch and listen to.
Look, even I read the daily breaking news and keep up to date with the basics.
Read #4 above again!
Get pruning and bring in healthier air and space around you and within you.
Again, results are instant!
So, our 2020 plan may have been disrupted, however, we still need to plan.
You had a plan of action for getting your food supplies and the sanitisers right?
Review your 2020 plan - whether that's for your family life, your studies, your work, your career, you business, your health, your children, your pets - whatever is your flow right now, review your plan and taking current situations into consideration, rewrite that plan and schedule in what you need to for the next 3 - 6 - 9 months of 2020.
Personally, I'm a 3 month type!
So, although I'm reviewing the whole year for myself, I'm breaking my business goals down to the next 3 months each.
Also, Ramadan is literally upon us and I'm factoring that in too.
So, what can you review and replan?
There are things which you can take control of right now, so go ahead and grab your journal, diary, planner - just don't throw it out the window yet!
Review all the points above and take action on each point where it resonates with you and which is important for you and your life right now.
If something pops up in your head which I haven't covered then rest assured that pop up is important to you and for you so taking the above as a guideline, take action on what you need to - make that plan - stay focused - start pruning - let in positive light and healing - allow only specific information that will help you in your immediate health and safety - stay and keep informed - keep things in perspective - see them as they are, not worse, envision the better, and above all - get and stay connected to the One Above!
This is how I'm helping myself daily and my hope is that you too will help yourself to help your families to help all those around you.
If I don't follow the steps above then I'll be one messed up soul and THAT is not good for anyone - especially me!
Just like you, I too am in this with you and I don't want to be, but I'm here, you're here, we are all here.
Qadr Allah - God's Will - but He's also given us the ability to help ourselves.
Will you choose to help yourself?
Let me know in the comments below what resonated with you the most and what action steps you will take.
Sending you and your family lots of love, duas, light for your health, healing, safety, and protection.
Please do keep me and my family in your duas too.
[BTW, if we've just met for the very first time right now on this blog post article and you resonate with my words and you want to learn more about me and how I can help you, then I invite you to CLICK HERE to join my 'Inner Circle Tribe' and grab yourself some FREE Masterclass trainings to start learning from me right away. They'll really help you during these tough times. If you're a regular WBI'er then you're good for now - keep an eye out for the regular emails.]
Nadia Leona Yunis