Mondays Blues / Confidence

Thought I’d write this and share a little something from me to the world about confidence.

At one point in our lives, every single person feels self-conscious. 90% of the time, we feel this way because of our outside appearances, whether it be how we look, dress, or what car we drive. Our society has created very materialistic expectations, and not being able to keep up can sometimes really get us in a funk. BUT….. the truth is we are so so so much more than how we look, dress, or how much is in our bank accounts – and we all know it!

The best way to becoming more confident is to change our habits and behavior. A good personality will ALWAYS shine through. You are what you do, not what you say or what you look like. Here is my take on what confidence, and ways to achieve what you want in life!

The definition of confidence to me is being able to radiate and flourish in ways I didn’t think possible. It means trusting my self, and patting myself on the back regardless if I’m wrong. It means smiling at strangers and being filled with gratitude.

I’m not fully where I want to be, but I have goals. Working on oneself is one of the hardest things because we to come to terms with the awful things about ourselves. It scary, but very fulfilling. In the changing world, the only person we will ever have is ourselves, so might as well be happy with the person that you are!

here are my steps:

  1. Figure out who YOU want to be. Ask yourself questions like what qualities do you like in other people that you wish you had in your self? What are your flaws? Who are your role models? What are your beliefs? What do you like to do in your free time? What makes you angry? Question everything about yourself. Not in an “I suck why am I like this” type of way, but in a genuine “who am I” type of way.  This will take time, but thinking about these questions will help you realize more about your day-to-day life.
  2. Write it down. Write down everything from step one. Then write down who your mentors are, and why you look up to them. Write down the highest standard possible that you have for yourself. Write about what you want your future to look like. Even the simple things like, “I hope that one day I’ll drive a _________”. Write what characteristics you want your future spouse to have. Write what qualities you find amazing in your friends.
  3. Flip the page and write what qualities you see in other people that you don’t like. For example, you could say “I hate how ______ handles a situation”.  This will teach you so much about yourself.
  4. Write about your past, and how you’ve changed. We have all changed. If you are the same person you were a year ago something is wrong. Write about the positive changes you’ve made, and be proud. Recognize the negative ones, but have the mindset that you want to correct them.
  5. Remember that who you are today, isn’t who you will be tomorrow, and it isn’t who you were yesterday. Writing everything down, or even just taking time to think about these things will make you much more conscious. The next time you are put in an iffy situation, these lists will help you.
  6. Learn from what you wrote, and try to grow. Find people who you want to be like and shadow them. Don’t become them, but take the best from them. Tell them what you like about them. Show your gratitude to the people in your life, because a  will not only make their day, they will respect you more.

A personal example for me is that I always expect to be treated the way I treat others, and when someone doesn’t reciprocate I get offended. I find that sometimes people take advantage of me. I used to be really naive towards it, but as I grow I realize more and more what’s happening. Learning that not everyone is like me has probably been one of the hardest things. I’m a giving person, but the more I give the more people take without return. A quality that I thought was good about myself, turned out to be hurting me. Trying to find the balance between both is a new journey.

No matter what, we will never be able to change the way we look. Coming to terms with our outside flaws is sadly a life long struggle for many people. Becoming confident doesn’t happen overnight, it’s a gradual and slow process. What I’ve learned on this journey of self-discovery of mine is that the only thing we have control over in life is really just how we act. Our actions define us, the words we use represent us, and how we handle different situations will establish our credibility.

 

 

 

WORK HARD & BE KIND

WORK HARD & BE KIND

BACK TO SCHOOL!

Salam!
This post is going to be everything school! From study tips, the perfect study playlist, the perfect outfit, and the perfect duaa, I have got you covered!

real talk:

The first thing I’d like to remind everyone that motivation always has to be refreshed and renewed. I read somewhere once that motivation was like a shower. We take showers, but we get dirty, and so we have to take them again. That’s how motivation is – we buy new stationary, or hear a inspirational story and we feel energized and ready. But the responsibilities pile up, and the precedence we give schoolwork stops, and can eventually cause a unhealthy cycle. A tip of mine would be to follow a study Instagram or blog. This will give you daily, or weekly inspiration and hopefully motivate you!

Something that I’ve been trying to learn, and a tip I have is that sometimes we really need to get real with ourselves. There will be times that you feel the stress and build up of school on you, or the list of tasks growing but nothing getting completed. The BIGGEST tip that I can give is that self-discipline (when it comes to studying) will never be obtained in the future, it will ONLY be obtained now.

tips:

For this post, I tried to collect some of the best tips out there and I genuinely pray that anyone reading this has a year of success and opportunity.

here is a google docs that I found full of study tips!

here are some study tips that I picked out from Pinterest! I think these are the best ones, but I will link my Pinterest down below.

  • Study less, but study better. How well you study is NOT determined by how long you study. Five hours of studying while being on your phone, isn’t studying, its five hours of being on your phone. If you are distracted, your studying will be vague and broad, and you will be wasting your time. The most important things are to prioritize, set realistic timelines, and to try to reduce all distractions when studying. A good way to do this is by making detailed to-do lists, or keeping a planner.

Studying English:

  • Don’t read everything, but read as much as you can. Being able to fully understand what you read, rather than reading and having a broad understanding is way better. When you are reading for a class, ask yourself the questions, it will keep you engaged in what you read, and will give you a greater understanding.

Studying Math/Science:

  • Practice everyday! Do a little everyday. There is no need to overwhelm yourself, just practice practice practice. Make a cheat sheet, do all the steps in a problem, study the small concepts – it will help makes the entire corse easier.

 PLAYLIST

This a study playlistsI found on Spotify that I find myself listening too:

The one I created:

Outfit

For this post, I was styled by my friend Haneen Muhyeddin. She picked this outfit out for me, and I absolutely loved it! I am a true believer that if you go to school looking good, you will feel good, and that will result in you doing better in class. This outfit is perfect for school because it is simple, cute, and modest. It is comfortable, but the tatreez top gives the outfit a little extra personality, and makes it my own.

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IMG_0263.JPG    Photos taken by Sarah Muhyeddin

DUAA

Last but not least, you can’t study without Duaa. Here are some duaa links below:

I hope this post inspires you all to work hard, study strong, and overall motivate you to make this school year a success!

It’s finally Eid! After thirty days of tirelessly fasting Ramadan has come to an end. Eid is always a bittersweet moment, the bliss of not hearing “not even water?” again, but the sadness of knowing we will have to wait another year to witness this month over.

This Ramadan I definitely learned a lot! Not necessarily about Islam, but about myself (see previous post).

I wanted to share three things that I hope to remind myself for the next year, and I hope they will help you too. 🙂

1. “My life is a struggle between my need for acceptance, my fear of rejection, and a desire to not care at all.” This is a quote that I read, and it resonates with me a lot. Something that is hard on anyone is when people hate you because of certain things that you love about yourself. One thing that I pride myself with is that I know a lot of people, and I’m an easy person to have a conversation with. Hearing things like “she’s too out there” is something that really hurts me! It is not easy to let what others say about you not bother you. For me, what I hope to take away from this month is just accepting that no matter what, people will always disagree or hate, even on the things that we love about ourselves. It’s important for me that I recognize my strengths as a person, and use them to thrive.

2. The second thing I hope to take away from Ramadan this year is being content with my own self. Loneliness is something that I think everyone struggles with. What I’ve learned from good friends of mine is that the most important thing in love is to not waste our precious time waiting on someone who may never show up. I aspire to be the girl who goes to the movies alone and has a lovely time with herself, and even though it will take so much time to get there, when I finally achieve this self-love I know it will be great!

There is a poem from the book Milk and Honey that I really love,

“I do not want to have you

To fill the empty parts of me

I want to be full on my own

I want to be complete

I could light a whole city

And then

I want to have you

Cause the two of us combines

Could set it on fire”

I read this poem almost two years ago when I bought this book, and only really realized the meaning of it this ramadan.

3. The last thing that I will talk about in this post is that IT’S OKAY TO CUT TIES! “You’re so nice” used to be something that I took as a compliment. It still is, just depending on the context. Sadly, being nice and people taking advantage sometimes goes hand in hand. What happens in a toxic friendship is that one person is not as invested as the other. I just left a really toxic friendship, and even though the person is great, us together as friends wasn’t great. It takes courage to leave, because it means cutting out a large part of our lives. If a friend tries to control you, or makes you feel bad about yourself, they are NOT your friend. Allah tells us how important our friends are, and even though we sometimes try to fight out, our friends really do shape who we are. In one of my first posts I talked about how you should always try and stand with the smartest person in the room, and try to be their friend. Why? Because you are bound to learn something from the smartest person in the room. All relationships are investments, and when you look at the world like that it really changes your point of view.

I hope all of our fasts, duas, and good deeds were accepted this month. I leave you with one last thing, and it something I tell myself everyday. If Allah is the most merciful, most forgiving, who am I as his creation not to forgive?

 

even in my dreams I can’t win – a ramadan reflection

even in my dreams I can’t win –                     a ramadan reflection

I thought long and hard before writing this post. It’s a very personal one, and it’s not a topic that people often talk about. When I started my blog, I made a promise to myself that I would talk about the good and the bad, because that’s the only way I can stay authentic to myself. I hope this post finds whoever is reading it well.

A couple nights ago I heard a story about a Quran teacher in New York who molested four of his female students. Imagine going to learn Quran, but getting molested instead? I’ve been thinking non-stop about this story, but in a weird way it has brought me comfort.

The story itself isn’t what comforted me. What happened is absolutely disgusting. However, knowing that even the most “religious” of people, someone who has memorized the Quran and knows it well enough to teach it, has demons and skeletons, too. This Ramadan has been especially difficult for me because there is this constant feeling of guilt that stays with me. All of the mistakes I’ve made, all of the things i’ve done, they all stay with me. It sometimes makes me feel psycho just thinking about everything, and I get angry. Angry at myself, but also angry at God. I ask myself questions like why did this happen? Why to me? Why was I put into this situation? And even though I know it was a test, the feeling never leaves me. I get so angry that I just want everything to stop. To make it stop I have to forgive myself, and even though in my mind I have, in my heart I know I haven’t.

For me, I think the hardest thing in Islam is to obtain true Taqwa. Taqwa is when you see a path filled with thorns, but you still take the path, you just dodge and pass over the thorns. We, as Muslims and as human beings, always WANT and TRY to dodge the thorns, but sometimes it is inevitable.

The biggest thing that I wanted to work on this Ramadan was setting myself to a higher standard. I know what I want, and I’m determined, but I often find myself slipping. When Ramadan started I wrote down goals that I wanted to accomplish, and I have not accomplished any of them. I keep giving myself excuses for each goal, and even though I know that they are silly and unreasonable, I still accept them from myself. Ramadan hurt me this year because it showed me just how flawed I am. I’ve learned that it’s my personal nafs that is the monster, not always the shaytan, who I always blame my sins on.

Even though the start to my Ramadan has been rough, I hope to end it right. For me, coming to terms that expectation to achieve an extraordinary spiritual high this month is unrealistic for me. Understanding that I won’t be getting epiphanies on the regular, and knowing that my struggle is REAL and VALID is how I hope to end this Ramadan. I hope to end it by knowing that the habits I’ve built over the past 19 years in life are not going to be broken in 30 days. I hope to end Ramadan by forgiving myself, others, and starting fresh with my own relationship with myself. The entire dynamic of Ramadan changed for me this year. It’s not just about how many Juz I read, or how many nights I pray Qiyam anymore. It’s about learning to invest in myself, it’s about discovering what forgiveness is, and about acknowledging the flaws of my nafs.

NINETEEN!

I turned 19 on the seventeenth of May, and had a small get together at my house to celebrate the occasion. My entire party was made up of different DIY ideas that I saw on pinterest and youtube. I threw a very last minute party, and I invited everyone just two days before! The theme of my party was ice cream, with ice cream pool floats, a ice cream pinata, and cooler of ice cream sandwiches for dessert! I am super blessed to have been able to spend this day with family and friends.

Everything I used to decorate was stuff I already had or from target!

The first thing that I started to decorate was the outdoor gazebo that my party was going to be held in. A fun way that I decided to spice up the dull brown, was by adding pink streamers to the sides and putting fake flowers through them! It was such an easy way add some color to the setting!

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The next thing I did was I made sure the pool was clean (it didn’t last long with all the wind and leaves) and I blew up some ice cream shaped floats and put them into the pool. This was such a simple way of making the entire scene flow! Since I was having an outdoor party I wanted it to all look nice and correlate.

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Next I went back inside the gazebo and started decorating inside. This was the finished product of how it looked! I made a DIY balloon train, and stuck fake flowers on and in-between the balloons (the same ones used in the streamers). Keep reading to find out how I got all of these balloons to stick together!

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DSC00042As crazy as it sounds, after I blew up the desired amount of balloons I wanted, I sewed them together.

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Once I had a good amount of balloons sewed together, I started using duck tape to put more balloons on top, to create a more 3D look. DSC00025

The next thing that I did was I started to cut some pink fabric that I wanted to use for two different things. I bought plastic champagne cups that I wanted to tie fabric around into a bow, but I also wanted to tie some to the 19 balloons that I had. The balloons didn’t actually float, so I had to duck tape them to the gazebo. The fabric was added just for show and to create the allusion of real floating balloons.

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Now back to the cups, here and the cups before and after the bow: DSC00024

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The bow really makes the cups look more girly and a lot nicer then just being plain.

The next thing that I worked on was setting up the food. I didn’t have a whole ton of food at my party, but just the basics. I used a pink table cloth from target to create a brighter look, and the rest was just plain and simple! The white cooler in the middle is where I put the ice cream sandwiches. I also bought a pink stand from target that said “BAR”, and put it in front of the cooler, with the idea that it was an ice cream bar.

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A little extra piece that I added was this “Advice for the 19 year old” at one of the side tables. It was really fun reading what everyone said at the end, and I recommend having this at any party you have! It is so versatile and you can make it say whatever you want.

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If you’ve come this far I would like to say thank for reading my blog, and being a part of this. It really means a lot. I hope you learned something new, or got inspired.
Love, Noor 🙂

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Validation is for Parking

Validation is for Parking

This post was inspired by a book called Steal Like an Artist by Austin Klein. 

Silence. It is a beautiful, but also disastrous thing. Think about it. When you meet someone who is quiet what do you think about them? You might think they are shy, or depressed, or that they are awkward. Silence gives people the space to make assumptions about who we are. This leads to the question: why are we quiet?

I think the reason we are quiet is because we are scared we won’t be accepted. We are afraid that our work won’t be good enough, or what we have to say isn’t smart enough. I think sometimes we become so obsessed with finding ourselves to start our work, that we sometimes never start. For example, my blog – I put myself out on the internet not only because I have something to say, but so I can find something to say. My work is my writing. Sometimes it’s embarrassing to put my work out to the public, but I know that this is the only way to get better. I think I am obsessed with the idea of validation, but I think the best thing to remember is that validation is for parking.

A powerful quote to me is, “Find the most talented person in the room, and if it’s not you, go stand next to him. Hang out with him. Try to be helpful.” I love this because it applies to everything. Talent comes in every shape, form and color. It is so versatile and endless. Even if a person’s talents are not the same as you, you can learn from them. But, remember to be around people who will be honest with you. We can all use critique, and we need people in our lives to help us, because without it we won’t grow.

The last thing I want to say is to remember that nothing is original. Everything in this world was a stolen idea from something else. For me, I know that sometimes I discourage myself because I think that I am unoriginal. Believe me, remembering that everyone has a mentor, and everyone takes ideas from someone else will really take a chip off your shoulder. There is a funny saying that goes, “complain about the way people make software by making better software” said by Andre Torrez. This means, to me, that when we do choose silence, we should use it to create. To learn something new, to explore, and prosper.
-Noor

strength

strength

a few months ago when i created my blog the vision i had for myself was so much different than it is today. the reason that i created this page was for me to have a platform that i can unfold my thoughts, feeling, and creativity with the outside world. i felt like i had found myself and i was ready to give myself to the world. these past couple weeks i have been so unmotivated. no particular reason, just detached and uninterested. i think that i was so wrapped up in the idea of that I had “found myself” that i started to change myself to become this person in my head. honestly, i don’t even know if any of this makes sense – but i am writing this tonight because i am energized. tonight i feel soft and golden and beautiful and good and so i am embracing this moment and writing these little reminders that i hope will inspire you because they inspire me

  1. you become less, so you can become more
  2. be humble and de-emphasize yourself
  3. stop explaining you who are
  4. invent the present
  5. fondness will be reciprocated
  6. celebrate the moments you have with people, even if friendships with these people break off
  7. you’re multidimensional
  8. don’t apologize for how you feel
  9. someones prettiness doesn’t make your prettiness any less pretty
  10. “verily with hardship comes ease”