Amal Saymeh joined the 1st cohort of the Productive Muslim Mindfulness Masterclass in the summer of 2020. Below is her story and how the Masterclass transformed her life. Learn more about the upcoming Mindfulness Masterclass here.
During the Spring of 2020, right around when the world was going into lockdown, I was in search of more in-depth answers on what would make me feel fulfilled in life.
I had a thriving career in the scientific research and development field for more than two decades, yet I wasn’t fulfilled! My work became repetitive and my joy was zapped overtime. I tried many things like getting more career achievements and connecting with other high-performing individuals; it was great, but not lasting.
Mindfulness Masterclass and Me
I had been looking into western philosophies, concepts, theories, and books to find fulfillment. Now I wanted to learn more about the Muslim perspective on fulfillment, life purpose, and values which led me to the Mindfulness Masterclass at Productive Muslim.
Bringing God, soul, and the heart back to Mindfulness, the Masterclass grounded me in my own faith, which was the ingredient I lacked to be fulfilled.
Al-Ghazali’s profound statement on mindfulness as “to open a window that lets the divine light in” resonated with me and helped me find a deeper spiritual awareness that brought me peace and direction.
My Mindfulness Tools for greater Spiritual and Emotional Well-being and Productivity
|Before Mindfulness||After Mindfulness|
“I have to take a 5-minute break to pray Asr before it’s Maghrib time”, is what I used to tell myself fighting between completing my task and taking a break to pray.
|Vs. Mindful Prayer|
“How you are in your Salat is how you are in your life” – this takeaway from the Masterclass got me to reflect on how I pray.
Now I practice deep breaths to gather my mind in my Salat every time I get distracted.
“When you find a lack of presence in any part of your Salat, lean in even more.” – the masterclass taught me to be more present and take my time to pray rather than making it a last-minute to-do.
I noticed that the more mindful I am in my Salat, the more mindful I am in everything else I do.
|Distracted with Family|
“Mom! Were you even listening to anything we said? What did we even ask you?”
This is how my conversation with my kids sounded like for the last 3 years! I felt disconnected from my own kids. I had so much on my plate that I was struggling to be present for a simple question from my own kids.
|Vs. Prophetic Presence|
“The Prophet (SAW) used to be present with people. He did not only listen through his ears; rather, he turned his chest towards the person he was listening to as if he was listening through his heart.”
This Mindful Listening and Prophetic Presence practice helped me ground myself to be more present with my kids. I started noticing my distractions to technology and kindly brought my attention back to my kids as they were having some quality time with me.
|Lack of Fulfillment in Life|
All along, I was in search of something new to learn and apply; I was searching for growth horizontally by connecting with many beautiful humans doing amazing things, while forgetting the vertical growth to God Himself, the true source of fulfillment.
|Vs. A God-centered Purpose|
The Masterclass purpose framework took us for a deep dive into our divine purpose, and the dignity each of us was given on earth. The fact that God himself has made me worthy of being His vicegerent on earth can take away all insecurities and fuel my growth mindset.
The Masterclass also taught me to visualize my ideal future and my unique strengths to serve others in finding fulfillment within the scope of my divine, God-given purpose.
I developed a deep appreciation for Esfahani Smith’s quote: “The key to purpose is using your strengths to serve others.” It’s a beautiful way to live.
|Task Oriented Relationships|
I turned inwardly and asked myself: “What do I want for my relationship with my kids?” I realized that our relationships were focused on what we needed from each other – a series of tasks and expectations. We needed more mindful heart-connection.
|Vs. Gratitude Focused Relationships|
As we did the reframing and journaling exercises in the Masterclass, I realized that Gratitude would deepen my family relationship. The solution seemed simple, yet it was profound!
It was about expressing gratitude. Gratitude that we have each other, we can express our happiness and sorrow, listen to one another, and see and feel each other.
To be more intentional and grateful in each other’s presence.
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 to increase your awareness of your creator, and invest in your spiritual and emotional wellbeing.
Before I go, I want to let you know that a mindful life does not mean being silent and quiet all the time. According to your purpose, it’s about living your life, thriving in what you enjoy the most while using a treasure trove of tools to practice being present and enjoying the journey every step of the way.
And the beauty of God-centered Mindfulness? You do not have to do it alone – be present with Allah SWT and keep your faith as your guide as you start this journey to your best self.