It feels like a long time since I last updated this blog. [blowing off imaginary dusts].
So this month’s theme on Light the Path workshop is People, Places, and Things that bring joy into our lives. It inspired me to create a few pages for my healing journey album. Here’s a peek:
And another one:
I’m loving the colour palette for this month’s kit – the combination of mint, green, blue, pink, brown, red, and yellow just works – so rich and vibrant. My blog post will be live on Theresa Moxley’s blog here on March 24th, so stay tuned.
I’m so excited to share my very first project with Light the Path. For this project, I documented about how I coped with the challenges that come with pregnancy, specifically during the third semester. Check out my full post on Theresa Moxley’s website here.
On the first page, I journaled about a significant incident related to the pregnancy challenges (journaling is blurred as it’s quite personal):
On the second page, I jotted down the coping techniques that I used to help myself get through the challenging situation:
On the last page, I turned into gratitude and journaled about the things I am grateful about, despite the challenges:
Check out my full post on Theresa Moxley’s website here.
Just want to share this layout I made to document some of the things that I am currently grateful for. There’s so much to be thankful for, but sometimes we have to put more efforts to recognize these blessings that may have gone unnoticed – maybe due to being busy or being in a negative emotional state – these things can make us focus on the imperfections around us, rather than the blessings.
Oh, and look who’s featured on the Gallery Standouts blog today – yay! Thank you Jenny for picking this page to be featured. I feel truly honoured to be featured today along with other stunning layouts.
No matter where we live, 2020 has been a challenging year for us. The pandemic has brought us together in this shared struggle – staying at home, living in the new normal, interrupted routines, constant anxiety about Covid-19, etc. I feel like this year has gone by at a very fast pace.
A lot of changes had happened in my life, personally, too. From being married in March to getting pregnant in April, and now waiting for the baby to arrive. It’s quite a lot to take in, honestly. More so being newlyweds and mom-to-be during the pandemic times. Baby shopping are mostly done online. Communication with my family also happens through Whatsapp and Facebook, and sometimes we video call each other or I would drop by at my family’s house when the time and my health allows. It feels quite lonely sometimes, going through this preparation phase with just the two of us (hubby and I) face-to-face while the rest of my family is ‘away’. It’s just not the same without my family’s physical presence. I miss them so much.
To cope with these feelings, I made this scrapbook page to document what I’m currently grateful for. Nothing too big or fancy, just simple things (especially technology) that helps me a lot during the pandemic.
I’d love to write more and elaborate on each item above, but it’s already late here. So I’ll end this post here.
I feel so humbled and excited at the same time to share the good news that I’m part of the 2021 Design Team for Light the Path – an online art workshop conducted by the awesome Theresa Moxley. Come check out the announcement here to learn more about us!
Light the Path is a monthly workshop on art journaling and memory-keeping (e.g. scrapbooking) for self-healing and creative expressions. It’s perfect for those who are on a healing journey, whether it be from trauma, mental health issues, or other experiences that can leave a big impact and are life-changing. Each month, you will be guided by different prompts to help you heal and create arts. By the end of the year, you will have an album which documents your self-healing journey – how exciting is that?
As part of the design team, I will be going through the workshop contents each month and create alongside with you. Here’s a sneak peek:
Just now I was reading the comments on a topic that I posted in an online Muslimah community forum. I posted asking for some advice and words of encouragement on dealing with mental illness, thesis, and pregnancy (which are what I currently have on my plate). They all shared their own experiences with pregnancies, which helped me feel less lonely in this struggle. The hormonal changes really affect me emotionally, mentally, and physically because it somehow intensifies my mood swings, which I’ve been able to manage pretty well with various coping skills prior to pregnancy.
With pregnancy comes its own set of challenges, so that, on top of the symptoms that I already experience with mental illness, sort of blends into something more intense than before. But what’s different this time is that I’m already practicing some coping skills and have already found the handfuls that would work with me. Journaling, scrapbooking, attending classes, doing charity, and exercising mindfulness all would help me to cope. I also find reciting the Quran to help lower my stress levels. Sometimes I’d stumble upon verses that feels so, so close to my current situations, which would usually make me cry. It’s so healing to cry too. I feel like the burdens would lighten up as the heavy feelings are released from my tears. I’d feel at peace.
Another thing that helps me is to lower my expectations on myself. This is something that I need to constantly remind myself to do. Because I’m used to setting high expectations (with the intention to avoid making mistakes), I’d get stressed if those [sometimes] unrealistic expectations aren’t met. So in a way, I was setting myself up for unnecessary stress and failure because those expectations are almost impossible to be met. These past few years though, after attending therapy sessions and learning more about mental health, I’ve come to realize how this unhealthy habit had impacted my mental health. So I’m slowly learning to set lower expectations – on my own self and also on others.
Back to the Muslimah community postings, one of the comments made me teary-eyed. The sister’s reply was empathetic and helped me feel validated. She also emphasized the need for more self-care and extra support from loved ones (e.g. husband) in this tough moment. All in all, their comments are really heartwarming and I truly appreciate that they take some time out of their busy lives to respond so beautifully. May Allah reward them all abundantly, amin.
I want to share what one of the sisters had shared in the forum on morning routines. Every morning, she does this journaling exercise to help prime her headspace for a positive start. So basically, what we do is to check-in with ourselves for 5-10 minutes by expanding on these four journaling prompts:
I am grateful for….
Looks simple, isn’t it? So let’s try…
I feel unsure about how to start with data analysis. I feel unconfident with myself, I don’t know if I could do it right. But I also feel that I could at least try first and give it a go. I can refer to the Qualitative Research workshop video for a guide on how to do this. InsyaAllah it can help a bit. If I need more guidance, I can just search on Youtube.
I am grateful for being in the final semester of my studies, for having finished the data collection phase (alhamdulillah – despite feeling unconfident and unsure too in the beginning). Most importantly, I’m grateful for this opportunity to study Psychology. I still remember the day when I consulted with my psychiatrist about this. He encouraged me to go for it and suggested that I read around the topic. I’m grateful for where this journey has taken me – here, today. Allah knows where I was before this. And for this progress, I’m truly grateful. Alhamdulillah.
I am enough. I don’t need to try to be like someone else to feel enough. I am enough with my strengths and weaknesses, past and present, limitations and all that. I don’t need to stretch myself thin in order to fulfill my goals. I am enough as I am, and I am able to access my full capacities to do my best in achieving my dreams. I am mindful of my strengths and weaknesses, and with practice, I am able to grow and do better step by step, little by little.
I see that I am capable of conquering the small tasks that I’ve outlined for today. InsyaAllah.
Motivational video from Dr. Mohamad Abdalla
I think that’s about it for this post. But before I go, I just want to leave you with this motivational video from Dr. Mohamad Abdalla about pursuing knowledge.
Okay, that’s all. Till then, have a great week ahead and take care!