Posted by: thestruggle4akhirah | August 21, 2009

Abdullah’s Haram Secret

Abdullah’s Secret Habit

Internal Communication Network Series pt.2

By Megan Wyatt

Abdullah has a secret that no one knows about. His secret has been with him for years, but has been buried by time as life has passed by. A few times a week he finds himself helplessly indulged in a bad habit that he can’t stop. He sits with himself in rage and anger every week as he struggles to understand why he can’t change, and why this ever started to begin with. Clenching his fists against his forehead he wonders why logic isn’t more powerful than the monster he has created inside. Why can’t he stop when this intense feeling comes…..

Many people are helplessly caged into patterns of behavior that they do not understand, they can’t stop, or control. Whether it is you or someone close to you that has ever fallen into a negative habit they can’t stop, you know how much time and energy is consumed.

What would life be like if you could discover why it started to begin with and make a permanent change?

Everyone in Abdullah’s community saw him as a leader, a model example of what a Muslim should be. He was active in always creating new programs and projects that brought benefit to the Ummah. The harder he worked the more he fought feelings of worthlessness and loneliness inside. It seemed no matter what he accomplished, nothing was enough to support him in changing or feeling good about himself. After the high of an activity died off, he was left with himself…

The strong emotions that Abdullah was after feeling when he indulged in his habit turned out to be love.

You might be thinking, “love?” Yes, love.

When it comes to negative habits, it can be tricky to determine why someone keeps it up, or how it started to begin with. What Abdullah learned when he worked with a coach was that he was triggered to sink when he was feeling insecure of himself and looking for a way to feel certain that he mattered.

Despite all of his community projects, he wondered if he was valued because he mattered or simply because his projects mattered. Abdullah was searching for self worth, and ultimately, to be truly loved.

After working with his coach, he uncovered that his secret was the root of the whole pattern. Something had happened to him when he was 11, and as a result of this, he felt shameful and bad. He never told anyone, so no one ever had the chance to assure him that this wasn’t his fault, and this would not and should not determine how he feels about himself.

As a result, he believed that he was at fault, and that he wasn’t truly a good person, and was not a person of true worth, or else nothing would have happened. From this moment, his life became an endless search to truly matter. To be truly loved.

When someone gains this kind of clarity, they break the strongest link in the chain that has been weighing them down. For the first time in perhaps their whole life, a person can find a real solution to a real problem.

What his coach will do in the coming weeks is show Abdullah how to find love and worth, first within himself, and second from others in ways that are healthy and productive. He will be challenging this old belief, and as a result within a few months time, he is going to be a radically different person.

But what if he never gave himself that opportunity? Or what if you never allow yourself the chance to be brutally honest with what you are after in your life, and instead stick to negative habits?

First of all, you will continue to live life being weighed down.

Second, you will consume time and energy searching after something you will never find in the places you are looking.

Third, your Akhirah is at stake because you continue to do things you know are wrong, and lose time that could be spent fisibilillah.

Fourth, as is the case with many people, you will hurt or lose people close to you in your life.

Behind every habit there is an emotion, a feeling that you are searching for. When you can tune in to your Internal Communication Network, you will be able to decode what it is you are really wanting.

Here are 3 things you must do in order to learn how to decode your message:

1) Revolutionize how you think! Learn how to discover for yourself over and over again what your real feelings and emotions are. You can do this by working with a coach who will support you in gaining clarity first on what you want to change, and then teaching you skills you can apply the rest of your life. This is the fast track to change and continue to grow in your life.

2) Focus on your “trigger” point. Just before you fall into the habit you want to change, sit quiet for 3-5 minutes, and ask yourself “what is it I really want right now?” And ask it again and again until you know with precision what you are really after. Log down your answer. (The next step would be to ask yourself “How else can I find this feeling?”)

3) Take Responsibility. To change means to end the blame game. No matter what happens, no one else is responsible for your life except you. If something happened in the past, it was a catalyst for where you are today. But today is yours. Take FULL responsibility for where you stand, and you will unleash strength and energy that will fuel your ability to change.

**In the story of Abdullah, you will notice we never discovered what his secret really is. When you work with a coach, you also do not need to disclose specifics about events in your life. The power of coaching is that with or without details, your coach can show you how to move ahead starting today.**

For more information on Muslim men struggling with” haram secrets” such as pornography addictions, please visit www.imancipate.com, with trainer Zeyad Ramadan.

Posted by: thestruggle4akhirah | July 30, 2009

Why are Women so Freaking Emotional !!

emotionsInternal Communication Network Series pt. 1

Mona is really angry with her children for screaming inside the grocery store. She snaps at them under her breath, and feels like, for the first time, hitting them on their hands. The more she scolds the children, the crankier they become, and their fighting with each other escalates, and so does her daughters shrieking. By the time they get home, everyone is angry, frustrated, and cranky.  She is fuming with anger. She sends her little children to their rooms, slams the door, and goes to the kitchen. Opening up the cupboard, she pulls out a bag of chips, starts munching, and sinks to the ground in exhaustion.

So many people waste, literally W-A-S-T-E time and energy in their life over emotions they can’t control, emotions they don’t even understand, and emotions that are freaking annoying more than anything else.

Females are supposed to be more “emotional” than males according to old wives’ tales, famous authors, and probably the president. (We could ask him, and spark some national debate!)

What women don’t understand is feeling a wide range of emotions does not equal being overrun by emotions. There is a huge difference, and for the sake, at least, of all the current husbands and future ones out there, it would be wise for women to take note.

“But how unfair, picking on the women…” I’m not picking on anyone. I am asking that women do what they do best: FEEL. Only feel with accountability.

Life can become unbearable if you play victim.  If negative emotions are running your life, or more than you would like, chances are you are not taking accountability for your life. Drowning in emotions seems so much safer than attempting to swim to shore. (The irony is amazing…)

So what is the solution? Female or not, emotions are messengers. Your job is to decode the message. For each emotion you feel on the surface, there is another one lurking below.

For Mona, a scenario like this happened over and over again. She would wind up tense and frustrated every time she went out with her children. She dreaded shopping or running errands with her kids.  After spending some time with a life coach Mona finally decoded the message.

Anger was a cover for deep shame and embarrassment . In her culture, if kids made noise in a public place, it was a sign that she was a bad mother. She was so worried that someone she knew would recognize her while she was out, and then judge her by the way her kids behaved. Never mind they were aged 4 and 5 ½, and a tough age to handle. Anger was the easiest emotion she could resource, and a well developed habit.

Can you imagine how many other places anger showed up in Mona’s life when she feared judgment or felt out of control?

Good news for Mona, is she is well on her way to being happier and less stressed. Not just with her kids, but her husband too!

So what about you? What happens if you don’t decode the message of your own emotions, male or female? The answer is that you will waste time, kill energy, and harm others close to you.

Spend a few hours, get a coach, and do yourself the favor of gaining an awesome understanding of the messages within your internal communication network.   And for the females, you can stay true to your nature of being emotional, only instead of negativity; you become a source of over flowing happiness, calmness, and serenity.

(*Side note – did you know men are incredibly attracted to a female who is expressing serene femininity* )


Posted by: thestruggle4akhirah | April 9, 2009

Practice Makes Perfect?

Bismillah

“Islam feels so hard to practice. I feel no matter how hard I try, I am going to be the people of Jahannum. It is so hard to be strong in high school…..”

“I really liked how you said that worship could be be going to the gym or doing homework…I have never heard that before…”

“I really am the person you described. I don’t believe in myself at all. How can I change that now….”

“You have really inspired me! I didn’t know that there is a career for Muslims who do what you do. I had cancer last year, and I now speak to people  who are diagnosed with cancer.  Is there a way for me to do that for Muslims….”

” I am in the category you described – people only motivated by money. I don’t want to have to ever ever rely on any man for money. This way I am always taken care of…… “

” I loved the exercise, but how can I ever figure out how to make this happen…”

“Your workshop was so inspiring! I never thought about all of this before……”

(comments from students)

college-day

I recently had the opportunity last Saturday to speak at UCLA’s Muslim College day, a program for Muslim high school students intended to offer them guidance, preparation, mentoring and inspiration for college. The event lasted all day, and I have to say I was impressed by the number of activities and workshops provided for the students, all developed and organized by the UCLA Muslim Student’s Association.

I did a workshop which geared towards helping the students clarify what they are passionate about and what inspires them. With this clarity, we formed a purpose statement.  As I spoke I wondered what was going through their heads. Was I reaching them, were they inspired?

After my workshop was finished, immediately a young brother came up to me with questions.  Soon after young sisters approached me with questions. Then there were 3 girls in the bathroom, outside at lunch, out in the courtyard. Every 10-15 minutes a different set of students approached me. Alhamdulellah, the workshop had gotten them interested and raised many questions for them.

As a youth speaker and mentor, I have always worked hard to present to the youth the fears and concerns I know they have inside of them before they have to ask. I want to create an environment where they feel validated, understood, and feel safe to express their deepest concerns and questions. Today’s Muslim youth are taught to think independently and challenge everything  based on the style of learning in the present educational system and the social environment that surrounds it; to formulate their own opinions and lifestyle. If we want to reach them and keep them close to the Deen, our methods of communication and presentation must peak their interest, and keeping the interest of an auditorium of Muslim youth who have enough electronic gadgets on them to entertain my children for a week straight is no small feat!

What I learned was that the same questions I ask adults, the same tools and exercises I do in my coaching is as needed if not more needed with our youth. And here is why.

There was 15 Mohammad* – who has a fear of failure in the Deen. He fears he will never make it to being a student of knowledge. He feels like he should give up.  What could be the result if that fear is left unchecked……how would it grow? Develop? Get stronger?

How about 17 year old Anisa* – who outwardly is beautiful, well spoken and I imagine makes friends easily, but feels she is not capable of working towards her dreams, who believes she isn’t good enough. What could be the results of this belief over the years….

There is 14 year old Ameena* – who is shy and lacks confidence in making friends and trying new activities, limiting herself from new experiences and happiness. How might this effect her decisions over the years….

In each scenario the following statement applies ” Practice does not make perfect, it makes permanence.” The more we “practice” certain behaviors, the stronger they become, and the pattern of results happens over and over again. As a coach, I help people attain those light bulb moments where they finally understand what has held them back all these years from true success in their lives. Most adults go back to a memory in their teenagers years where a negative belief or pattern begun.

Imagine if it could have been discovered then. And conquered then.

As one of the youth mentors there said in her email to me “I just wanted to express to you again how much I loved your presentation at college day. It really was great. I was particularly impressed by how you were able to get to the heart of the matter in such a short time! That is a skill I really need to master.”

I believe my work as a coach needs to reach a different generation insha’Allah……


*names changed from their original

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