Aisha Ahmed joined the 2nd cohort of the Productive Muslim Mindfulness Masterclass last December. Below is her story and how the Masterclass transformed her. Learn more about the upcoming Mindfulness Masterclass here.
So it was about 3 am on Friday in Nigeria, and my little girl had a fever. She also had a high fever the night before, but this time it was not going down. I reached out to the pediatrician’s office, and I was placed on a waiting list for an appointment. I looked at my to-do list for that day, and I had a major Clinical Pharmacy exam that morning at 8.00 am. By 7 am, as my baby’s temperature was finally down, I left her with the family setting out for my exam while waiting to hear back from the pediatrician.
Many of you readers might be in my same shoes some days: a full-time student, a working professional, and a mom – trying to balance your studies, career, and home. How do you stay sane, focused, and calm while juggling between all your roles and an ever-growing list of To-Dos?
Mindfulness Masterclass and Me
Mindfulness is a buzzword. Everyone seems to be talking about it these days. I never once considered that I would be learning about Mindfulness one day until I stepped inside the Mindfulness Masterclass at Productive Muslim. And I walked away with deeply meaningful tools for my spiritual-emotional well-being and a beautiful supportive community.
That morning, while I was driving to my exam, leaving behind my sick baby at home, what would you suggest I should have done to stay calm and focused?
My past self would have been too anxious and worried, not knowing what to think. But equipped with my new knowledge of Mindfulness, I knew I had to keep taking deep breaths to activate my parasympathetic system to calm down my brain’s fight or flight response, and I would do this while making Dhikr to cultivate the presence of Allah and His ever-flowing mercy.
Let me ask you a quick question: When was the last time you sat down between your busy day and took a few focused, deep breaths to invest in your well-being?
The best part about the Mindfulness Masterclass is how it revives the lost art of Islamic Mindfulness, how to cultivate the Presence of God to nurture ourselves spiritually why we are striving to be more Mindful. The intersection of the teaching of beautiful scholars like Ghazzali and modern-day research deeply resonated with my style of learning and self-development.
My Mindfulness Tools for greater Spiritual and Emotional Well-being and Productivity
|Before Mindfulness||After Mindfulness|
|I might have reacted to the events and not be productive spiritually or emotionally.||Stop and Remember God: |
I learned how to practice pause through the Masterclass. Just pausing for a moment gives us the ability to cultivate greater wellbeing. Just make some Dhikr, make Du’a, and ask Allah’s guidance before I move on.
|I would not know how to cultivate calmness in the middle of a series of stress-provoking events.||Breathe: |
I learned how taking a deep breath activates my calm, and before I move forward, I can keep breathing and making Dhikr.
|I would get carried away by anxiety, anger, or frustration.||Notice: |
I learn to notice my body’s emotions as they arise and label them to help me regulate them before they take me too far away.
|I would respond to my family in a less than ideal way and it would ruin my day and possibly the week trying to repair all the mistakes I made – internally and externally.||Respond: |
What would the Prophet (SAW) do? I can take some time visualizing his response before I open my mouth or get carried away. This helped me respond to my husband and kids more calmly and stay silent when I wasn’t at my best, and by the end of the day, my husband told me: “We are so lucky to have you.”
|Focus on all the negative things and make things worse for myself and everyone around me.||Create my own positivity anchor that can rescue me from stress and anxiety.|
Here was mine: “Interrupt anxiety with gratitude Aisha.”
The Islamic Mindfulness masterclass was a beautiful journey that I plan to keep going back to as you have lifetime access to this community once you sign up once. Join my colleagues and me at the next Mindfulness Masterclass, increase your awareness of your creator, and invest in your spiritual and emotional wellbeing.
Before I go, guess what I did once I got back from the doctor’s office after that crazy day?
I had another deadline! I sat with myself for a few minutes and then I got to work on this article.
Whether it is mindful breathing punctuated by Istighfar or a mindful wudhu followed with a khushoo-filled salah, the Mindfulness Masterclass was a gift that keeps on giving by Allah’s grace.