Channel: Fatima Barkatulla
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Bismillah Alhamdulillah wa salatu salam ala rasulillah day brothers and sisters Assalamu alaykum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh and welcome to another m feed podcast episode. I'm your host Fatima barkatullah and today I have with me Lanka sonny. Lanka is a certified neuro linguistic programming NLP therapist. She empowers Muslim mothers, through her organization evolve and emerge through their transformational journey to being who, how and where they want to be for themselves and their children. She's originally from Nigeria, and is based in London with her husband and three children. And it says here she sips on more Earl Grey than she cares to admit. Okay, I said I'm really good.
blinka said I'm gonna put l in the intro. Really? Is that important to grace?
Mashallah, I like my tea as well. Do you like loose tea?
Too much faffing about
just get a cup. Put the bag in put the hot water. No, this. my in laws, they introduced me to loose tea. And they showed me a way of doing it so that you can just
just drop it in there and pour the water and you have one of those sips thingy Bob's? No, I don't need to you actually do what they showed you how to do it in such a way that Yeah, they're from India. So they loved it quite making their own tea. Yeah. Okay, their own mixture. But yeah, that's good. inshallah, we'll share it later.
So tell me like, I think I've seen you a number of times, giving talks. And there's just something about you. Like, I've always been really struck by the things that you've been saying in those talks. So I think the last time I saw you were speaking at Muslim, our writers summit, right. And one of the things you said really stuck with me because I was working on a book, and I am working on a book. And one of the things about, you know, when you're a writer, is sometimes the things you're writing about, are things that people have already written about, right? And so this voice comes and says to you in your head?
Why would anyone want to know what you think about this? Right? What makes you think you're the right person to write about this? There are hundreds of people who are much better qualified, or better writers than you. And one of the powerful things you said was, yeah, but nobody can tell it the way you do. And that really stayed with me, because, you know, that's absolutely true. People are not reading your book to hear what, so and so expert has to say about it. They want to know your take. Exactly. Exactly. And that and I think I remember the example I gave was, How many? How many copies of Goldilocks and the Three Bears? Little Red Riding Hood? Yeah. Do you find out in like, on
library shelves, bookshelves, and there are still new ones coming out? You know, and you'd think publishers, publishers will be like, we've heard this story a bazillion times, you know, let's just reprint
Why do we need your version. But there's always an author always brings their own nuance, a freshness, a uniqueness about it. And it's just like, every single one of us have our own unique blueprint, right? And so what we bring in the writing world would be unique as well, even if we're telling the same story. So do you think everyone has a story to tell? For sure, everyone has a story to tell, and that they should tell it? Whether they should or they shouldn't, is entirely I'm kind of like, I don't think there's any compulsion for someone to, but it's like, if you have been gifted with the ability to share a story, whatever it may be, that's something Allah has uniquely gifted to
you, you know, just like some people can draw, some people can some people can paint and some people can't. Some of these skills can be learned over time. But some people actually have the innate gift that is effortless to them. Right? And if you've been gifting Yeah, it's kind of natural. And if you've been gifted with the ability to tell a story, why, own it, Own your story, why not own it, Own your voice, Own your story own that, you know, your rights to and I think sometimes that's the thing. Some people feel like they they need permission from someone.
So we're giving you permission today, to tell your story. your story and your story. I think we were mentioning just when we met today is that one of the things we mentioned was that if you meet somebody you really
something and you you come to it from a place of you said curiosity, and humility and you think to yourself, I could learn something from anyone. Yeah.
That's like the most. You're just oh powerful. Yeah, yes, open, eating, you know, like reading something for someone like you especially, Mashallah who's endowed with knowledge, you know, Mashallah. So you could kind of, it's so easy when you're in a position of
knowledge, having knowledge is a privilege, you know, it's a privilege to have knowledge that some people don't. And so you could be like, go to a gathering. Okay, yeah, I know all of this before. yada, yada, yada. What are you gonna teach me? Or you could be like, I wonder what I can learn from this. And then you will walk away with something. And even though you may know that you've heard that Hadith 1000 times, you've heard that, but there's a nuance to it. Yeah, you hadn't that sister Reisen. And then, and it's like, you've just learnt it for the first time. Right? And that's why I love being in that place of constant curiosity, even like with my kids and stuff, constant
curiosity, what can I learn from this child? Right? I like I may, like, get, like, flustered at some point. And my eldest, he's 15. And he'll go. But man, wait, why are you stressed? Like? I don't know. I don't know.
Yeah, and it's just, you know, that ability to be curious about what's going on here. Rather than I'm the mom, you're the kids authority. I know. You don't know. Yeah. You just open yourself. I think that's huge. Because, yeah. You know, like, the past generation. I don't know if it's like that in the like, you've noticed that a trend like that in the Nigerian community, if there is such thing as a Nigerian community, but
amongst amongst Asians anyway.
I know that there's this kind of distance between parents and children of that generation, and parents would find it really hard to ever say, I made a mistake. I'm really sorry. Yes. You know, and they might do it in other ways. But that kind of ability to say sorry, or I didn't know, I didn't have it all figured out. Yeah, I was under a lot of pressure. Yeah. It's like, not done. Right. Yeah. It's, it's, it does take a certain level of self assurance. Yeah, to be able to say, I made a mistake, or even, I'm struggling, you know, or I'm having a bad day, like today is really whatever, just to come from a place of I'm a human, as much as it's really interesting, because I
had a client yesterday who she was complaining to me about her child, her son, not being able to open up to her about a certain thing. And and I said to her, so when was the last time you were vulnerable about some of your struggles in the past and told him about that. She's like, never,
you know, I've always wanted to protect them. I've always wanted to, like, hide it, hide it the best I can. And I said, well, you're simply holding up a mirror to your son, they're not you. Because in you being this, I can't show my emotions, he is doing the same thing to you. So suppose you did the opposite. Just like never thought that I was like we you met you are literally he modeled it? Yeah, you're modeling it to him. So he's probably thinking, I need to protect mum from worrying. I don't want mom to worry, I don't want her to x, y Zed. And you're getting like, oh, buddy, what, what's going on, but just model what you want him to write. But it takes so much to be able to allow
yourself to be seen as a human in front of kids. Because somehow as adults, we've been we've kind of created this notion that we are older, so we should have it all figured out.
And if we ever let them know, then they're going to not respect us like the world. Right? And I think comes from respect I don't Is it the same in like the Asian community like
that comes from is there's a story? Do you think that that distance that we had from our parent when I said distance, I mean, like, you know, they were fed, reverence, reverence? Yeah. They did create a reverence, you know, that kind of,
but I think it's probably to do with the fact that they grew up in a culture and their parents didn't do that kind of thing with them. Right? So and then we're here in Britain, where
everything is like touchy feely, right? And we were brought up to like, how do you feel and what do you think and you know, we really brought up
to really be in touch with our feelings. Sometimes I think a bit too much. Yeah. To the point where, like, you know, we're over analyzing and becoming neurotic about every little thing. But anyway, we've grown up growing up in that
culture. So I think maybe our generation sometimes yearned for that from our parents. Yeah. But I think it takes understanding, doesn't it? Some person can't give you, or it's very difficult for them to give you something that they never saw or understood themselves, you know, and and sometimes even have for themselves, you know, sometimes, you know, we seek from
maybe seek from a parent affection, but they, they berate themselves internally, every single day. How are they going to be able to show up for you? And if when with affection, when they don't even do that for themselves first, you know? And so, just, and that's why I love the premise of everyone's doing their best, the best that they can with what they have. The issue is that we assume that they have what they don't exactly where we want them to have what we need. Oh, yeah, exactly. Exactly. And we play like that.
unfair expectation. Yeah. And I don't know, like, if you've experienced that, a lot of breakdowns in relationships comes from unmet expectations that one had placed, not one had said, I will be able to meet. I think that's huge. I mean, especially, you know, just realizing that, that you know, your parents, for most people, their parents did the best they could with the knowledge,
you know, knowledge as in experiential knowledge, and just knowledge of the world, and resources that they had. I think once you accept that, that your parents, it's not out of like neglect, or, you know, most of the time, it's just like, it was just not something that they thought was important or more compassion. Yeah, I think it brings us compassion and understanding, and our children are probably
going to look at us in the same way.
Why don't you do this? Even though right now, we're, we're saying that we are doing our best, and we think so.
And for me, personally, that's been my, I guess, saving grace in my relationship with my father, for instance, who I didn't have an affection, relationship with. And I can look back and say, I believe he was doing the best that he could with what he had, you know, knowing that His childhood was a certain way. And he had these experiences, surely he couldn't have had the things that I say that I needed. And I'm saying this as an adult now saying that I needed those things as a child, maybe I didn't actually, I don't know, I was actually, you know, but we grow up. And then we look back on our childhood, and we say, Oh, this was missing. And that was missing. And you didn't give me this?
And you didn't give me that? And
but you did give me some things? what it was it that you did give, right. And that probably what you did give is the best that you could give me at the time. Yeah. And I think when you realize that it kind of changes any resentment is just a terrible thing anyway, just eats you up. Right? Yeah. But it gives you a new newfound gratitude towards your parents, you know,
because sometimes I think we, our generation doesn't try to empathize what it felt like for, for people, like our parents to travel all the way that they did, with no family with no, you know, just to be uprooted from their cultural background and, and to come all the way here
sometimes not know, the language,
face racism in a way that, you know, is not there now, you know, not in the same way at all.
And all of that, you know, all the struggles all the, and the license and the lack of Yeah, all of that. So Pamela, and I think if we were to be a bit more empathetic, it would bring us to a place of gratitude with our parents.
But what do you think? Like, do you not think also that sometimes, it's not that our parents generation?
Don't show love? right? Especially the men, right?
I think it's that they show it in a different way. Yes. Do you think that yes, yes. And it isn't words, remind me of that conversation with her you had with her with the five languages, right? And the fact that someone showing you love can come in multiple ways. And I see this with clients as well. You know, he's, he doesn't love me, what evidence do you have because he doesn't, you know, tell me like, Okay.
Let's consider other ways in other ways that he's actually showing you love. It's just not the way and I
I think that's our problem sometimes when we want something, and we decide that it can only happen in one way, that leaves us in a bit of a dilemma really, because we've said that if it's not this way, then we can't get in and we're going to accept them, then it does not even that is not i'm not going to accept it does not exist. It doesn't exist. Yeah. But you see, that's like a disservice to yourself. Because I, I'll give you an example. My my dad's right. When we got to a certain age, I think he stopped being like, kissy Huggy, you know, like, obviously, like,
when we're older, but I felt completely loved by him. Because the way he shows love when he goes abroad, if he sees a book, Father, love that book, he'll buy it. You know, if you see something years about something, he'll tell you, Hey, you know, there's that thing going on. There's this. And it means that he's thinking about you. Yes. And also, through acts of service. Yeah, so hit for him. It's like, if you need anything, you can call that. Yeah, he's there. Yeah, it doesn't matter what's going on? I think so service are the ones that we often eliminate in our minds. Yeah, I think probably the quickest gifts we see because it's like, but you know, for instance, when an act of
service has been done, and it's seen as something you should be doing anyway. So, a husband going out to work and whatever, right?
The woman wouldn't necessarily thank him or show gratitude to him for doing those things. Because this is your role, this is what you should be doing. And vice versa, you know, humans cooks for you, whatever, this is what you should really be doing anyway. So why should I, but the fact is, that person husband has gone out to grind for you to, to clothe you to shelter you. And that's for Yes, for himself as well. But it's also for you, that's something that we had. And I imagine if more of us showed that gratitude for those acts of service, you know, even just like your dad going, and subpanel, or seeing a seeing a book and thinking bottom, I would love that and bring it like
purchasing it, carrying it with him. But and, and anticipate the anticipation of handing it over to you and giving it to you, you have on multiple levels and multiple planes you've been on his mind. And just being on someone's in, you know, on someone's mind, is an act of love, but we don't, we don't see it in a way. It's kind of more meaningful than lip service, to saying like, it can be, you know, the fact that it's so much deeper than in some ways, you know, so I think love our parents show us love, if only we were to recognize their way of showing love. Yeah, yeah, I know that my father's way of showing love to us was by
in terms of monetary ways, and I remember in my 20s shunning that, like I think that was the only way he knew how to show love. Like he was deficient in some sort of waste. So panela you know, and, and you see it with I'll take the money with.
We see it with sisters. Also women whose husbands just give them give money, but they don't show affection in that way. Like but yeah, but I don't want not like it's not seen as something to be grateful for or to show it. Like it's not seen as anything really. Like he's just he can only show me love through money, but he can't show me love through words. But hey, there's some women who can get I love us, but they won't even get that.
We don't know our blessings, right? I would have loved if my dad got me some books like I was such a bookworm.
But he gave me the money so I could have gotten and bought my own books. Yeah. So So Pamela, that's really interesting. I mean, can you tell me a little bit about NLP? Because I mentioned it in the intro, and I think people have some misconception sometimes about it. Like how would you describe NLP? I love it. I love it.
Are you programming people's brains? Yes. Really? No.
Okay, neuro linguistic programming, you were referring to the brain.
And all of the things that the brain is, is exposed to so that everything that the five senses so it takes in everything So, and I love when I study. Like I remember coming across the fact that the brain that our senses are, it's been bombarded with over 2 million bits of information every single second. So we're hearing things we're feeding things. We're seeing things.
But we're not we're deleting most of that information because the brain would be overloaded.
By all of this information that is like all of the sensors that have been bombarded, right, so the neuro just focuses on the intake of
the intake of the information and how it's processed and things like that. linguistic comes from the language. And the wonderful thing is that the language, what language tells us a lot about what's going on in one's neurology. So what's going on in one's brain? So if someone says something like,
go and study, I can't go and study the court and I can't go inside. And because I'm a mother, and I don't know, whatever, that tells me that she's already got a limitation in her like, internally, she's got she's placed in a limitation and a barrier. And so she's telling herself something through language, she has languished what is going on inside, right. So she has shared a limitation that is going on inside. And for me, it's always so interesting listening to people talk, and I, like people, like my husband get really uncomfortable sometimes because he thinks I'm psychoanalyzing him all the time. I was like, dude, we're just having a conversation. It's okay.
I'm not, I'm really, it's not that deep. I'm not paying attention to everything you're saying. But you can, you can hear a lot you can hear and know a lot from what someone is saying. And NLP is always curious about that, because we don't make assumptions about your life. But if you say something, we know it's, there's something going on in here. So we will use base things based on what you say. And then the programming is really based about based on how we are programmed or not, not that we are programming someone, but how we are programmed. So through our values, through our beliefs, they that leads to a certain way of thinking way of doing way of being. And that's just our
own internal programming. So when it comes to neuro linguistic programming, what we're what our aim is to have an inside out approach to change. So unlike some other forms of therapy, where we're just oh, you see this, okay, maybe stop doing that thing?
And he wants to know, how are you doing that thing in the first place? And help Let us help you change how you do it? Because then you would go change you're doing right. So it's fossick? focusing on the how, and the why, to find out how to change the what, basically and it's, it's so could you could you give me like an example of a typical? No, that's like a typical, say, somebody come to you, can you give me an example of an issue that they might come to you with, that neuro linguistic programming could help them with? I'll give you a classic example of one of the clients I've had, she came with a fear of driving, driving specifically uphill, because she's had the experience of
rolling back and almost hitting a car behind her.
So one would think, just get on the train.
Yeah, whatever. But I wanted to get, I wanted to get curious about how she creates the fear, how she creates the aversion to driving. And one, what I looked at was the
so for instance, what images she had in her head, what thoughts she engages with internally. And then I took her through the process of actually dismantling that now the thing with NLP is that we have certain techniques that can help dismantle certain behavior and thought patterns, right. And those can be quite powerful in and of themselves. But a lot of NLP actually, the skill of NLP comes from using language to help someone dismantle their beliefs, their the permissions and the internal assumptions and help them to reach new conclusions that opens up more choice. So is it would you say things like affirmations, athletes should work to a certain degree, I like positive affirmations.
To a certain degree, however, like something that I teach to the ladies that I work with, is that you can tell yourself, you're beautiful, you're beautiful, you're beautiful, you're beautiful in the mirror, I'm beautiful, I'm beautiful. And there'll be that little voice that says, You lie and girl.
Lying, you lie, and you don't, and then we'd need to go, why is that not working? Then we need to look at her self esteem. Does she herself, her self worth, her self love, her self belief? And those are key because to helping the affirmations actually work. Because if you don't like believe that you're worthy of being here, if you think that you're a waste of space, of course.
You're beautiful is not going to help you. Right. And so that's why NLP is like focused a lot on the roots of the problem. I come I often say to my, my clients, some of my clients say you're a mind doctor, you know, you're like, you go in with the scalpel, and like, you get right in there and you sort it all out, clean up the mess. And then you come out and seal up nicely. And I think I like that analogy. So I'm rolling with that.
I roll with that. But for someone like it has got some bad, it's got a bad rap. It gets a bad rap come from it comes from the fact that language is powerful. And through certain language patterns, you can use it to manipulate people. So NLP has to be used with integrity. And with a clean Nia like a clean intention. So for instance, yes. And the thing is with NLP is embedded in a lot of advertising and presidential speeches and they know certain things they probably mean taught it in order to manipulate people to think a certain way, right. And that's just into people's fears tap into the brain. And that's the power of language Allah has given gifted us with language and it's so
powerful in the wrong hands it can be used to manipulate and that's that's the truth.
Side stem from, like, something that stems from NLP is hypnotherapy, which has also a bad rap. Like, oh my god, you kind of like using gin. But suppiler law, the thing about hypnotherapy is that it is simply a state of trance, as trance is a state of extreme relaxation. If you think of course, you're, you know, this harbor stories of where like, they are insular. Right? And they don't know someone has come in.
Whatever. That's because they are in trance. Yeah, they are completely disconnected from whatever's going on outside and, and that's that's literally what hypnotherapy is to be in such a state that's connected, disconnected, that anyone could say something and help you get certain results in your life. I think hypnotherapy is got a bad rap because people associate it with certain, you know, TV programs where they've seen,
you know, yeah, Paul McKenna, or whoever, you know, like, get somebody in a trance and then do something with it. Yeah. And so people think it's like that, but it from what I've researched about it, it's very much more about, like you said, accessing that subcon yourself at that subconscious level. I'm really into meditation, by the way. Really? Yeah.
I mean, I would say, Okay, let me not exaggerate.
I use meditation sometimes to help me to go to sleep. Okay.
Simply, I could use a thicker as well, you know, there is that. However, there was just a time when my husband was away from home a lot, regularly. And so I would be by myself a lot, obviously, the kids but without another adult. And
I would find, I tend to be very, like excited about things. And my mind would race and I would start thinking about so many projects and
stuff like that. And I found this nice little
meditation app. Right. And it really helped me to
let go of any thoughts and just relax before going to sleep. Yeah. So I've been using it for that. So you just listen it you just listen to the meditation app, and then that helps you to go sleep. Yeah, okay. I don't use it regularly. I'll use it when I feel that my mind is racing too much. And I need to sleep. I needed to switch switch to go into that kind of, you know, and go to sleep.
So just helps me with that. So I could see just from that, I mean, it's a simple thing, but just from that I could see how you know that kind of focus. Yeah, and accessing your subconscious can help you to kind of become very
at one with yourself. Sound sounding really weird.
Who are not who are not, you know, like, yeah, haven't had experience of it. Yeah. However, it's really not as it does sound, new age. It does sound New Age and it sounds and I think because it's so it sounds so New Age, it seems so far from Islam, and that's people are scared from straying into unknown territory, because they're worried that it's going to take them
into a minefield that will kind of go against Islam. But if you think about it, you know, as a panel, like when someone is engaging in the code, like really engaging in the code, and you're, and you're concentrating on what's being said, or what you're saying, You almost empty yourself. Exactly, yeah, you empty yourself and you are just literally praising Allah or whatever it is seeking forgiveness or whatever it may be that you're saying. And that's almost like the peak state of connection to Allah. You know, and I and that's how I think of Salah, like, real hoelscher that's deep, like, I've emptied all of my thoughts, all of my fears, everything. And it's just me in
conversation with the Lord of the woods. Yeah, if only we were to realize the gift that Salah is like, if we weren't to pray last time or brush or, you know, if we were to like, really give it up, give it it it took I think it would have is much more powerful than meditation. Yes. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. And I don't I don't have I don't hear many Muslims say that they meditate. So that was like, odd.
Because it's, it's nice to know that I go for a walk every day, in the morning after dropping my kids in the park. And there's this guy, right? In the middle of the park. Right? He's sitting there doing some meditation, and I just watch him sometimes, you know, it's like, really interesting. Like, he's lit. Like, when I say, literally by himself. It's like a big field with a one man in the middle.
In this pose, you know, and he's like, doing this meditation every single morning. He looks relaxed, right? Yeah. Yeah. But it made me realize Cipolla, like, at the moment is kind of hip to meditate. Right? Everyone's talking about it. And yeah. But as you mentioned, you know, we have, I'm not going to reduce Salah to being just a meditation. It's not not. But we do have that five times a day. ability to tap in. Yeah. Away from the world. Yeah. I think that's probably one of the causes, isn't it? Like people's feeling the need for meditation, the constant like you said, bombardment of information. The phones don't help, right. Like, well, it's the way we were using the phones, right,
constantly allowing ourselves to be attacked, you know, mentally with information. News, bad news. Good news. Yeah, it's too much. Yeah. But there is a branch that we can take. And that's why meditation does seem like such a, it's so attractive, because there's that yearning to switch off. There's that yearning to just empty, you know, just,
yeah, silence. I think one of the reasons why I don't have that aversion to meditation is in my school. We used to do it, like, regularly to my child. Yeah, in secondary school, there was a type of meditation, they do a relaxation exercise more to be more accurate. But it's very similar, you know, wow. Where you literally
tighten and release every part of your body from the bottom to the top. And you would, what did that do for the kids in the school? I'm curious, like, what was like the behavior on asleep? The first time
it was in PE, you know, and I don't know if it was in pee, but it was in a pee hole, right, like
a sports hall. And we were lying down on mats, right. And I literally fell asleep is a regular thing that you guys did not know it was regular. So in terms of behaved kids with behavior issues, what was that like in your school? Because I can only imagine that it would be like, a nice thing. It was amazing. I loved it myself. You know, I realized how connected our body is, to our thoughts. Yeah. Because what happened was, you could they did this exercise where you could literally see the difference between, like, say, a shoulder that you'd tensed and then relaxed. Yeah. Compared to your other shoulder. Like, literally, we are in a state of tension a lot of the time. Yeah. And we don't
realize it. And I think that's why sometimes we find it hard to fall asleep or, you know, they find out how to relax. Even something as simple as Take a deep breath, you realize that you have been taking shallow breaths. Yeah, absolutely. And someone says take a deep breath.
Because we don't breathe deeply. Yeah, so So probably gonna there are other I think before people become suspicious of something. Yeah. Like you said, You they they've got to look at the fact that it depends on the intention of the person behind it. And also
So there is wisdom and goodness in different techniques and different types of things. You know, it's not
we shouldn't be overly suspicious without doing some research. Yeah, looking into it. Yeah, absolutely. And I think that's where my personal openness with NLP because I started my journey with NLP started as a in the client seat I didn't make go in to learn about NLP so I benefited from it. Yeah, so it was only from benefiting from it personally that I developed that certainty that this is such good stuff. So I started my journey with NLP in the client seat as someone who wanted to go on a personal transformational journey, and then kind of like the roles reversed.
Okay, so I want to talk to you about evolving emerge, and about motherhood because on your website, you know that there's a lot of emphasis on the fact that you're helping mothers, you said,
in their transformational journey to being who, how and where they want to be for themselves and their kids.
Can you like, elaborate a little bit on that? Like, where does that?
Where does your desire to focus on mothers come from?
Okay, so that desire to focus on mothers literally came within the last few weeks, specifically mothers, from me coming out with the realization coming to the realization that 98% of the people, my clients and sisters who've taken my workshops and courses and things have been mothers, very few have not actually been mothers, whether they're married, whatever, it doesn't, actually, it's irrelevant. But the fact that most of these women have been mothers, it just I thought, let me just own it. Because I think my my aversion to saying that I worked specifically with mothers is because it was the fear of leaving anyone out. I didn't want to leave anyone behind. But I've come to the
realization that and hamdullah there are so many people in this field of helping others. Yeah, why do I need to be the one who helps everybody, right? Like there's, there's, there's no need to place that pressure on myself and hamdulillah if someone was interested in working with me, and they weren't a mother, I though there are so many other women that I can sisters that I can pass them on to you or refer them on to you know, Masha Allah who are doing incredible work. And so it came from my own.
Just stepping into the truth that I do work with mothers, I resonate deeply with mothers and their struggles as one myself as a mother of two teens and a toddler. So I've got a nice spectrum of, of experience. And just knowing also, also, I think more so is the fact that
like working with one sister is never just working with that one sister, working with that sister will impact how she is with her children will impact how they are with their children, a lot of the sisters that I'm talking to like who work who come to our programs with me,
they have been, they are only perpetuating a pattern of behavior that have that's been in the generations before them. And so I say to them, you can be the catalyst to change the future of your progeny.
You can change the direction of your progeny, because you're choosing to make to break from that pattern of behavior that isn't useful and hasn't hasn't been useful. and choosing something else. And that is quite powerful. For me the ripple effect of that, to know that
in Bethany lay Darla, I will have a positive impact on someone. And that besides being a sadaqa to jarabe, it anila is it goes further than just her it reaches out to everyone she has contact with. And those people they have contact with inshallah, and that for me is really inspiring. It motivates me. And to think that there'll be people walking on this earth long after they've gone, who benefited somehow from what I've worked with Hannah, do you think that sometimes, as women as mothers,
we don't realize the the power and impact that we really have if we were to recognize it, and an omen is coming out? I think it's coming out early. It's getting there. But we don't, we don't I mean, I don't know about you, Fatima? You know, like when you have a good day, your house is good. Yeah. And if Autumn is not having a good day, the household You mean the mood of the
air? Yeah, we can. Yes, we carry so much energy. Everyone's really happy when mom's happy. Tends tends to be the case. Yes, definitely. Yes. And it's, I don't know about it's never the same with men. When a man is in a good mood, yes, the woman might absorb that.
But he him changing in a bad mood for him being in a good mood, right? You come home happy and
we do this and but you see what I mean? Like we have so much even.
This is where the and this is really why I love that I in sort of sort of art where Allah says that he will not change the condition or change people until they change what is within themselves. This is the premise of the work that I do. Because if you work on yourself, and I've seen it as someone who was once passive aggressive, and was always having mood swings, and how that impacted my family, to now where the household like generally we're having so much banter you might not know who's the parent and who the kids are, you know. And that's just from me working on myself first not saying well, you should change, and you should change. And if he were to do this, and if she were to do
this, then I would be like this. I think that's often the narrative. But how did you realize that? That it starts with him start focusing on? Yeah, so it came from asking myself the question, if if you were to die today, lianca, what would your children say about you?
If you were to die, what would they say? How would they describe you? What would they say? And that answer The answer to that was so painful that I decided that that moment that we're not going out like that this is not the legacy that we're going to live, where your children will say, Well, she's always angry, and she's always shouting, and she never she's never praised me my life. I've never, she never says anything good about me. She's just always.
And that was my turning point. You know,
that was my decision that came from my decision, not necessarily, because I could see
the reflection of what I was bringing into my household moreso than maybe if I was living on my own, I wouldn't I probably wouldn't see it so much. But having children and that responsibility. It was weightier
upon my children are such a mirror on the to us. I mean, Sopranos is thinking that one of the practices that we have in our house, I don't know if you'd recommend this is every year we have a family meeting. When we do like an annual, it's like an annual review.
He's like, Oh, no, she's bringing a diary out.
My poor husband, right.
But he gets it, you know, he gets.
you gotta cut this out.
So we have this.
So we have this meeting, okay, a faculty meeting, once a year. And in it, you know, my husband hates it, but he understands the utility of it, right? So we'll sit down, usually at the end of the year, or at the end of the academic year, because everyone is like, going by that candidate, the human right. And we'll sit down and we'll say, okay,
what's working in our family? Our big questions, what's not working, right? And apart from like us doing by individual, going through each child and asking them, you know, what are your goals for the year and stuff like that? Okay. We also do this very painful inventory.
Of what would you like to change about our family?
I'm telling you, the first time we did it, it was painful for me to take here to hear the truth from your own teenage children. Oh, about how, how is stuff for them? How is this experience for them? You know, because I think as moms or especially like, if you've got if you're like, a quite an organized person, and you have these tick box, right, like, well, I've done this, I've taken them on this, I've done that I've, you know, I've done everything I'm meant to do. But how is how are they experiencing experience? Like, is so powerful?
Is it I mean, it's painful as well, like, painful, painful for him for you to listen to her? or temporary pain? You know? Yeah, it's, it's painful for parents to listen to. Yeah. Especially when you think I've done so much still, I've, I've worked so hard or, you know, there's so I'm thankful
I can start thinking that. You see, I know of instances in families where things weren't talked about like that. You
No. And children went year after year after year having problems and struggles that they could never talk to their parents about. And then what happens is that can then
blow out of
proportion and can even become a mental health problem. And then later on, sooner or later, you have to deal with it. That's, that's what I'm saying. Right? Yeah, there's this book. I don't know if you've seen it, right. It's called. There's no such thing as dragons. No such thing. No such things as dragons. Oh, dragons, okay. And it's a book about this, this boy. And he's got a little dragon in his house, right? And he's keeps telling his mom, mom, there's a dragon in my room. And she's like, Don't be silly. There's no such thing as dragons. And in throughout the book, like the dragon, he's there breakfast time, and he's there different times. And he's growing bigger and bigger and bigger.
And his mom just keeps saying, There's no such thing as dragons. That'd be silly. Yeah, until the dragon becomes as big as the house and takes over the whole house, and carries the house and starts walking off with it. And then the mom is like, oh, there is a dragon. Right. And she, and when she acknowledges that there's a dragon, it starts shrinking again. And then it.
So it's a good story. It's a good story, right? But when I looked at it, I thought, Wow, that is it. We do not want to face up to the problems when they're small. Yeah, right. And then we allow them to grow, allow them to grow, sooner or later, you're gonna have to notice it, it's gonna, it's gonna demand that you notice it, and face it. So better to face it when it's more manageable. And you can deal with it, rather than it becoming like a big.
Do you know what I mean? And I think that's why we started that practice of having those meetings that
my children and my family may have, may Thank you. Or they may not
For me, I love it. Because it's all about growth. And yeah, and
becoming better, you know, where there's always going to be something to work on. And that's just the nature of being a human being, because we you know, we're perfectly flawed.
And so there's always going to be something but you know, you know, what I love particularly about what you said, the,
you're doing something, but someone's experience of that thing that you're doing might be very different from how you're perceiving and how you're doing it. Right. And so, that gives you an opportunity for,
to really reassess yourself, you know, and to think, okay, so it wasn't taken as I had intended for it to be taken. So how can I like, what can I do better? And how can I improve? I see, I see, I'm all for that. For that, man. I really value the fact that you're, you're talking about how important mothers are. And, you know, I think if we can really encourage mothers, right, and bring out that knowledge in themselves of how important they are, and how pivotal, you know, to culture to society.
I think that's probably going to be the most powerful way to bring about any kind of positive change. And that's an epiphany. One of my clients had this week that I actually matter. Wow. Wow, isn't it? Isn't it sad that in our culture that we live in Unreal, motherhood, and mothers are seen as a side? Like, your kids are a side project? They're a side thing? Yeah. To your main career, right? Yeah, this main thing? Yeah. And then they're on the side. And they have to fit around it. And, you know, it's not seen as,
what's the word? You know?
a sibling. If you ask the sister, what do you do? Oh, I'm just a mom. You just don't you're just a Maya? Do you know the weight of your role? sisters, this is I really want to say this to you. Please never ever say I'm just a mom. Please never ever say that. No, because
being a mom is a massive responsibility. You are raising human beings, you know, humans issue the next carry them, generation of human beings. Right. And nobody has the influence that you have.
And that's scary as well. Right.
But at the same time, I think it's a kind of it's it's life, or it's a lifespan of that Allah forcing us to step up. Yeah. You know, yes, yes. And it always
When I look at my kids,
I'm always grateful that Allah gave them to me in order to be mean to me to fix up. But you know, it was through these children. Because I had the same issues that I had when I was in Egypt on my own. Then I have then I had when I, you know, when I was a mother with my children, so it's not that the issues would that I didn't have issues. It's just that having my children presented me, it was literally the mirror that I needed to actually find the face myself and say,
issues need to fix that. And I can't afford to ignore it. Yeah, cuz, because it's gonna consequences are too great. Yeah. So yeah. But I think there's a message of hope in that, because what it seems to me that you're saying is that,
even if you're not where you want to be, yeah, you can get you can get there you can for yourself and your kids and your family. And, and I think and this is something that I was speaking with someone today that we have the notion of perfection, that you need to be the perfect mother needs to be the perfect anything. 10 out of 10 score is not one that a human being can ever achieve. 10 out of 10 what Allah has given us is nine out of 10 less so it will, sound is not perfection, and if anything is excellent, so it's just the best that you can actually do. It's not the best, the best of the best. And I always say like Subhana Allah, if we were meant to be perfect, we would be like
the angels they don't even need to seek is to fight because they don't make mistakes. Their sole role is to worship and pray is to praise Allah. Right? We are eternally flawed, as what Allah says, like the door of his mercy is open to us. The door to Toba is open the door to forgiveness is open, because he knows even you who attended sn, there's going to be something that you flop on, there's going to be a mistake that you make because you're human. But I'm more merciful, like my mercy supersedes my wrath. You know, and for me, there's there's that hope that Yes, today might be a rubbish day. But you know, if Allah gives me tomorrow, and I can if I make tomorrow, I can decide
that today is a new chapter.
And I will make diff like, I will make amends today, here, I'll do things differently today.
I really love that message. You know, it's really so easy to
to get into a victim mindset, you know, where you feel like we've mentioned parents, you know, you feel like my parents should have done better my husband, my, this my that, you know, and I've noticed that when sisters
start thinking to themselves, you know what, I can't change the past, I can't change everything around me and I can't change other people. Fundamentally, I cannot force them to change. The thing I've got power over is myself. And I need to bring about the happiness, the joyfulness, the, the, whatever it is that I want to see in my life. I need to bring that about. Through action and through
myself. Yeah. Yeah. And I knew that people allow their thought the past to haunt them. Yeah. And to, you know, the past of the past things have happened, you've done things that you're not proud of. You know, you've made mistakes. Yes, you've yelled at your child. Yes, you've said some hurtful things, and those that that time has passed. And but yet we lament about the past, forgetting that we can create a new future based on the choices that we make today. Right? Our future is determined by art in our choices today. And we have an infinite number of choices we can ever we can always make which means our future has an infinite number of ways that it can play out. Absolutely. So if
we don't know what Allah subhanaw taala has written for us, right so we have no right to say I can't or that won't happen right? That I won't be answered with that wish of mine won't come true right just choose differently. Yeah, choose differently and with NLP The aim of NLP is to help us to see you've got more choice.
Well, you know what this reminds me of a recent episode of honesty talk. And for our viewers and listeners who don't know what Honest Tea talk is, you can look it up on YouTube. Honest Tea talk is like a it's just like a coming together Mashallah of our three sisters.
You describe it to us what is honesty talk? I love honesty talk. While we were also inspired by Jada Pinkett Smith, her red Table Talk, but she and her mom and her daughter come and they have
Have a conversation about whatever and they just bring it to the table real talk. And this comes from Alia Audrey Moran from solace. And sisters a chief who was who put out a message on Facebook one day and said, Would it be amazing if we had a Muslim version
on a seesaw and it was like, waiting for you to do it. She was like, Nah, I wasn't thinking but okay. And then we handle are we kind of the three of us so Samia Hasson from recite and reflect earlier, and myself, we literally come to the table with some tea, obviously, me Earl Grey. And we just talk about important matters matters that are important to the unmasked specifically to women, as well. And just wanting to have to create a dialogue, to create awareness and to just talk things out that we generally don't want to talk about. So we've covered quite a few topics so far, such as abuse in the Muslim community, which was the recent one, one of the recent ones. We've talked about
self love and forgiving ourselves. We've talked about the
depression. And that one was a bit controversial. And just about being real, also. So we've covered quite a few topics and Alhamdulillah it's, it's an opportunity. Yeah. And just thinking about honesty talk, like, for me, it's it has been, we get together, we have a conversation, it's good to drink some tea, have a good time. But when you get messages, like we got last week from a guy on YouTube, and he goes, I'm a white man, I'm Christian. And I love what you're doing. And everything you're saying is so universal. And we're like, we're talking about a law team, we've got this white Christian man who's just like, keep doing it.
You never know where the land, the message is gonna land. And this is this, for me is like just a metaphor for life. You know, you plant seeds, and you just don't know. You don't like the aim is to plant good seeds. So that whatever comes forth is beautiful and useful and beneficial for other people. And that has kind of changed how we viewed on is to talk in that isn't in LA, this can be a way to so much. Maybe fostering understanding, maybe people being open to wanting to know about Islam, maybe
people would kind of bring down all these misconceptions and stereotypes and, you know, people learning about their Deen in a in a way that they didn't like, one sister would say, Oh my god, like seriously. I didn't even know that spiritual, like, rigid religious abuse, like someone using the deen to abuse me was a thing. I just thought that's his right. Oh, okay. So now we've opened up the door for you to actually see what's really going on in your marriage, for instance, you know, so and hamdulillah for the it's it's been? It's been enlightening, and but it's been an honor. For me. It's been like a real blessing.
But I'm actually really interested to know what did you What have you thought of honesty talk as a viewer? What have I thought? Yes. It's always felt like, like busting onto the set. joining you.
That's the first Well, you know, we're gonna brush my first season two, yes.
Okay, cuz I love a good conversation with my sisters. Right?
I think for me,
I think it's that same thing that we were just mentioning about when there's a problem. And when there are issues in the community, right.
It's like that little dragon in the house. You know, and always gonna remember that it needs to you need to get that book. Yeah, it's such a good lesson for kids as well, you know, that when the dragon is little look at it. But what what I feel like has happened is on certain issues, the dragon is so big, that you guys have gotten together. That's it. We're gonna we're gonna notice the dragon. We're gonna talk about it. We're gonna, you know, it's overwhelming sometimes. Yeah. So I think I think is important is important. And
I think the first step isn't it is acknowledgement, yeah. And being able to open the conversation. So I see it as a way from, from what I can see a way of opening those taboo kind of topics in the first place. And then hopefully, I hope that you know, from that,
you know, people can start facing up and realizing No, these are things that we do need to address and we do need to, we can't just keep hiding them. And one of the things that I've found very powerful in the last episode was when you guys were talking about abuse, one of the things you mentioned
was about healing. Right? And about how
having experienced abuse, you can come out and heal. And I wonder if you could share with us?
What does that process look like?
See, the process of healing for someone who's been through abuse is, I think, is really individual. So I can only really talk about my personal process in, you know, as someone who was abused as a child, and, you know, is only really talking about it in adulthood. And I think, for me personally, it was to acknowledge that I was a victim. And I wasn't at fault.
Because a lot, there's a lot of victim blaming and shaming that occurs when it comes when, when you talk about abuse, what did she do? What did he do? What was their role to play in this, right? And so the victim can be seen as having brought it upon themselves. So I think one key, maybe one of the very first points to heal, is to actually say, this happened to me, I was violated, and it wasn't my fault. So again, that acknowledgement, definitely acknowledge acknowledgement and the separation of blame. Right.
I noticed you made a distinction between all you actually said you didn't like, I think the distinction between survivor and victim, I mean, some that you didn't feel you had to be called a survivor, I remember. Yeah. Yeah, I remember saying that. It's because some,
I mean, it's, it's all language, and it's all, whatever, if it helps you, you know, we're not going to have a debate about it, right. Some people don't like calling themselves a victim, because it makes it seem like they're still stuck in it stuck in that space. Like they are allowing what happened to it sounds to them as a weak position, a position of weakness, and survivor is one I have I have become victorious. And I have, you know, whatever. Some people will call themselves self, a survivor of abuse, but they're barely surviving.
You know, and it's enough for you to say, regardless of the label you decide to throw on yourself, it's enough for you to say, I went through this,
this happened to me, and it wasn't my fault. Right? You know, that enough is empowering, whether you call yourself a victim or survivor or, or a warrior, whatever language you want to use. Just that acknowledgement, that acknowledgement that this happened, I think that is
essential for you to be able to heal, because those who are stuck in a cycle of even just reliving that abuse, and not being able to step out of it, is that it's, there's still an element of blame. that's attached guilt of some sort or guilt. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. And another part of the healing process is talking about, you know, I, I don't see I see myself as just, I'm very grateful for the fact that what happened to me happened to me and I didn't talk about it to anyone, until I was probably in my 20s. But I didn't.
Allah gifted me with
I don't know what it was, but I wasn't a victim to it, like so I wasn't stuck in it. I didn't allow it to be a reason for me to not do anything that happened to me. So I hate all men. That happened to me. So whatever, you know, to end to be to victimize myself. Because it's one thing to be protect your rights perpetrated. And it's another thing to victimize yourself, you know, and almost become,
you become the passenger in that you become a passenger. And that's right. In the driver. Yeah. Yeah. Yes, it sounds so difficult. You know, it, it takes a lot to switch. I believe it takes a lot to switch from the space of
this happened to me. And so my life can only go in a certain direction. I'm not clean. I'm not this. I'm not only certain. I'm not worthy of
people like that, because they're too good for people like me, you know, to actually and that's why that's why I believe it's so important to acknowledge that this happened to you. You're not at fault this this wasn't your fault. You're not to blame that person is because then you can actually say, okay, that happened to me. I am still deserving of love. I Allah still said Kwan, and I'm here. I'm worthy to be here and where these exist and
Stepping into that worth and your worth as a human being, then you can decide different things for yourself, and the way and finally get into the driving seat to steer things in the direction that you want to steer them into you. So would you say that your
Islamic journey? Because I think,
in the past you've mentioned about,
seeking that authenticity seeking that authentic Islam, you know, and wanting to follow the Sunnah. And your journey, you're doing that? Do you think? Did that have any role? Or any? Did it help in any way? Or,
you know, it's interesting, because my Islamic journeys, highlights that spiritual awakening that Allah gave me.
I, it's interesting to ask him that question, because I haven't actually ever linked it to my own healing journey.
But I know that there were aspects of my personality and how I was that maybe in my adolescence, that probably stemmed from my abuse experience.
And so it was only, like looking back having, you know,
come back to Islam, because I was born in a Muslim family. So choosing Islam for myself,
I can see that if Allah hadn't gifted me with that, my life would have gone down a different path, and it wouldn't have been anywhere near where I am right now. And so my journey in Islam and my journey to, to get to know Allah for myself, and to build my own connection with Allah and things like that. definitely helped in me becoming obviously becoming who I am today. But in terms of certain patterns of behavior that I was engaging in, in my adolescence, I was out that cut, it did cut that, and hamdulillah. So that I was free. And I feel like that allowed me like real freedom from my experience. Yeah, that maybe without Islam, I wouldn't have had that complete freedom. Yeah,
I think I think it's quite common for people of our generation.
whose parents, you know, even even if you're brought up in a Muslim family, if, if your parents were part of a particular group, or if they had a particular cultural understanding of Islam? Yeah, I think it's, I'm noticing that it's quite is something common for our generation to have kind of wanted, it's like this desire to feel authenticity,
that they then had to sometimes,
you know, tell their parents or realize that their parents were not always right about everything, and then kind of go on their own journey. Yeah, yeah. And this is fueling my motherhood
in that, okay, so, I've come like, Allah has guided me back to Islam, I've learned about Allah, I've built a relationship with Allah. And I don't take it for granted, that my children, that that's not inherited, that my children won't inherit that, you know, I want them Yes, I want them to be like, on the dean, I want them to be. But I have to also succumb to the fact that just as I went on my own spiritual journey to find a lot to discover love to build my connection with Allah, my children need to decide for themselves and choose a love for themselves at some point. And that causes knots in my stomach, and sometimes sometimes because oh, that choosing alarm might not be right now.
It might not be right now that makes me emotional. But it's a it's a it's a it's a it's a reality, it might not be right now, but my daughter is that whenever Allah takes them, he takes them when he's pleased with them, and upon Islam. And whether that's not right now as in, they have to go in a bit of a detour, but they will find their way back to him at some point. And so even like I look at my parents are probably in a state of despair, like, Oh my God, this girl is going to give us everything our culture, like we brought her up on and I mean, I didn't go any way I didn't go wayward. I actually went further in the direction and now in hindsight, you know, it's panning out
and my mom and my dad are like, Abdullah Abdullah, because they went on their own spiritual journey to come back to Islam anyway, but it's just that feeling of okay. Okay, that belief and certainty and that's how, what can that just trust in Allah that
my children needs to choose a love for themselves? They need to try so hard. It's hard. You know, a few weeks ago, I was in a class with Chef chef Crum.
And he said, you have to give your children
The right to make mistakes.
Everyone makes mistakes. And we're all sitting there like squirming you know, like, because
I think it's so painful watching your child make, it's just like seeing them go towards a fire, right? And what you do to, to warn them and protect them and, and tell them no, and move that fire away and punch them even to get them out of the way of the fire. Right. And
when he said that, you know, it just it made me think,
you know, why are we so like, silly about it?
Because if you think about it, right? We went through so many things. Yes, we made so many mistakes. Yes. And it's probably because we made those mistakes that then it's so painful. Oh, my child's not making that. Yeah. Right. But if we were to be really honest, right.
those mistakes made us Yeah. You know, like,
there's one thing, teaching a child that something's
wrong, or teaching them that something's good for them. Yeah. And there's another thing I remember, my dad took me to Egypt and left me that when I was like, 16, and it was the first time I had to start praying for myself, you know, like, taking care of my own solos. Waking up for fudger. And initially, it was such a struggle. It wasn't happening. Let's put it that way.
Especially the fudgier. Right, right. Until I met this sister in the hospital that I was living in. And she would she would go around the whole hospital waking everyone up for fudger. And, you know, I woke up and I would pray and, and I'd say tight, you know what, everyone's getting so annoyed with you. Like, they don't want to pray fudger on time, you know, like, before Sunday, they want to lose sleep, they just want to wake up and pray whenever, like, why do you do it? And I'm like, the 16 year old like asking my friend and she was from the Philippines. And she said to me, Fatima.
If I'm planning on going to gender, I may as well drag as many people as I can with me.
And I just remember that, and I was like, wow, you know,
she she was the one who woke me up. And she she helped me to sort of realize that I had to take responsibility for my fudger Salah, you know, and the thing is that until you experience that period of Okay, your parents are not there. Nothing is stopping you. or making you pray. Yeah. Right. I could not pray and nobody would notice. Nope. Except for the fact that I know allies. Yeah. Right. So that that was that? Yeah. And it forces you then to have integrity with that. Right. But that wouldn't have happened if mom was watching over me, right? 24, seven, right. And I might have made some mistakes and had to go through that, in order to learn that difficult.
So like we've had those types of things, we've had other things as well, but we don't want our children.
For our children. It's that fear of saying that if we if we create an ounce of room,
they've just going to
go a different direction. So let's create an A room. But then without room there is there's no, there's no learning, because it's through that room that we actually trip that we fall that we actually look at to take stock that we
decided, Okay, that was not a good idea. You know, it just it even just looking at the story of Adam,
that the room was created for him to make that mistake. Right. Right, the room was created. Otherwise, you know, if it was just never make the mistake, but me, I think it's the learning or sort of the possibility of redemption. Yeah. That it's, it's through that mistake that we can actually then come closer to Allah and seek His forgiveness, you know, and that redemption is always there, that redemption is always that message is so important, because I feel like sometimes As parents, we people want to give the child the message that you can't make, you can't see and you can't make mistakes. But when they do, they don't know what they're supposed to do to come back. And
so the possibility for them coming back goes down because then they're thinking well, I'm stained now.
That's gone. But yeah, if we were to be a bit more if we were to be more acknowledging of the human condition, right? And say Well, look, you know what, I know you made that mistake or if you made that mistake, you know, you don't need to cover it up. You just need to deal with it now and make it right make it right with so my son for example if I think you fell asleep without praying a shot Yeah. In the morning, I could sort of have a go at him and say
And make him feel rubbish about it. Or I could say to him, Look, you really need to take responsibility for your issue. You know, don't you need to stay up until you've prayed it? But if you fell asleep, just pray that Isha. And do it. It's the heart. Do you see like it right? Just make it right. Make it right, make it and then move on and and just move on to the future. Yeah. But you know, that comes also, I feel like what I was saying what we were saying before, allowing them to know that we make mistakes, too, and allowing witness, not just for us to sin, but to actually acknowledge Oh, my God, I can't believe I did this today. This happened today. And I know I
shouldn't have done that. You know, I probably shouldn't have snapped at the woman in the, in the supermarket line. But
But yeah, I feel bad about it now. And if I saw her again, I might apologize. Do you see what I mean? Like, modeling it? Like you make mistakes, we make mistakes, to let them see how we fix it. And this is how we fix it. Yeah, you know, and we sin, we all make mistakes, but our Lord is the Most Merciful, and he's just waiting for us to come back to her way back is always there. So
what I'm thinking is, as long as the children are connected with Allah, as long as they're, like we as mothers keep a lot in their mind. And in their life. Yeah. Like you said, eventually,
life will force them to reconnect with them, because there's no other way of living this life. Right, successfully. So anyway, in my last family, protect our children and how long I mean, there was a wonderful piece of advice, I could talk to you forever.
You know, obviously, we should come to a close.
There was a wonderful piece of advice you gave me. I asked you in Ramadan about a situation that I had witnessed. I was asking you about teenagers. And you've created a space for teenagers, haven't you?
Kind of? Yeah, yeah, we were we have, it's something that I've been wanting to do is called honestly, me, honestly, me actually is interesting, because they chose the goals that I was
consulting at the time, they chose that title, and as a space for them to be able to freely be themselves and to come as they are, and to talk about things that matter to them as young Muslim goals.
And so we had an event, what would not Yeah, we had an event in before Ramadan. And it was those that honestly me Ramadan edition, where they could just come and share the highs and lows of teen Rama dining. And it was panela. As a mother.
As a mother, it was wonderful to kind of
how I could possibly be showing up and in amongst the my teens lives and
the struggles with Ramadan and the highs with Ramadan.
But it was just really to create a safe space because we I think safe spaces are needed. We need more safe spaces, spaces where we can actually just say, Hey, this is really this is what's going on with me. And just to be not even necessarily to be fixed for there to be a resolution. But just to have a safe space to be able to talk last year actually ran safe space sessions for sisters where we just had sessions came heterotopic
everyone felt good, good, good. And we left. But I realized that teens, they don't have that at all, like sisters have people they can talk to, but teens generally don't.
Because of this, they're scared of judgment. They're scared of her arms, her arm her arm, her arm. istockphoto lost offer a lot. So even when it came to finding the location, every single one of them said it can't be measured. Because we won't come. Really we will not come. So Pamela that that hit me. That hit me. Because it just shows how much we've distanced our teenagers, our youth from the masjid. I don't know if you heard the last episode of or one of the former episodes of feed podcast where she talked about the distance of the youth from the messenger. And what you're saying just just it just correlates it's true. They wouldn't talk.
They would not come.
They wouldn't even come if it was at the masjid. And these are nominally practicing families. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. So
imagine then who those who aren't so practicing, you know, how are we going to bring them to that? So for me, it was just a case of Okay, so we're going to just find a nice neutral space nice and bright, comfortable where we can have this conversation. That's what we did. And it was beautiful. And they asked me when's the next one and we haven't set a date. Oh, my God.
This sounds so so essential. marschallin Yeah. So in Ramadan, I asked you something related because I remember you mentioning that
There was some girls who actually admitted to you that Yeah, they were not fasting in Ramadan. Yeah.
Yeah, yeah. They were pretending to ask. Yeah. And so I asked you in Ramadan, you know, if, if a mother has a teenage son, and she suspects that he is bright, he's eating right, secretly, and he's not really fasting, then how would you advise that she approaches it?
And I don't remember what I said, you don't remember.
It was It was great. I wrote it down because it was so powerful. He said, one of the things he said was,
and I knew that by phoning you out to get a wise answer, Mashallah, because I think in those type of situations is so easy, right? To fly off the handle? Yes. Especially when the child is an adult islamically an adult now? And especially when you've spent all those years nurturing them, they know better? Yeah. So they know about Ramadan. they've practiced they know, it's just,
it's either a suspicion or reality that they are not fasting. Right. And you said to me, Well, the first advice you'd give is to stay calm.
And less essential. Yes.
And to kind of extract yourself from the situation, yeah, for a while. And I love that, because
we need to think we need time to think because the damage that could be done in that situation irreversible, could be so huge that the the problem that you think you have, would pale into insignificance, right? If you were to handle the situation in the wrong way. And you said to extract yourself, and then you said, Come back to the situation with curiosity.
And an example you gave was like, asking the child asking your child, you know,
there's a situation where, you know, a parent has a problem with the child, he's not fasting seems like the finding it too hard or whatever.
Right? What? Do you have any friends like that? Like, would you? What advice would you give a parent like that? Yeah. In that situation?
And then you said, what you'd ask them? What advice would you give the teen? Who's going through that?
So instead of this kind of accusing accusation type scenario where that's it, it's all over, you know. And, and that kind of thing you're you were advising to approach in that way. And I advised that way, because I'd used that method with one of my teens, when they had done something they shouldn't be doing as an adult as an Islamic adult. And, yes, I could have flown off the handle. Yeah, my Nigerian self wanted to fly. But I realized, well, you have to come back. And we want to talk about talk about Nigerian culture. I
just, I just knew that I wanted to, what's the purpose here? Is it for me to discipline them? Is it for me to put them down? Is it for me to tell them how bad they were? Or is it for me to actually create a connection, so that this does not repeat itself so that we can ensure that this, we can work towards this not repeating yourself, right? And how can I How can I? How can I appear? How can I show up in a way that will foster that connection, that will allow us to talk in a way that we can ensure that we can work towards it not repeating yourself, right. So I knew that if I also know flying off the handle, what's going to happen was going to go up, and there's going to be no
communication, they're not going to tell me anything, I'm just going to be ranting and raving, and they're probably just going to do the same thing. But better in secret.
Because that's generally what happens, right? This counter kids, kids just get better at hiding it, right. They just get rid of all evidence and just get really good. But if if that's what you want, carry on, you know, but often, that's not what we want. What we want is to be able to talk talk to them to help them to understand. And so that's why that's why I said, you know, come from a place of curiosity. But also if you kind of separate yourself and make it a third person, like it's a story, then it's not like confrontation. It's not confrontational, we're talking about someone else's issues, which is actually your issue. But we're talking about it from a third person, like a
distance, so it doesn't feel so threatening. So even the child and it makes you think, right, it would make them think about their own situation. Yeah. And with my team, it did. It really did make them think because they they first of all, they said, you know, they explained the reality of what the team was going through, because it was a perspective that the adult hadn't considered, oh, but didn't have to do and this could have happened and this could have been the reason blah, blah. And so what advice would you give to the team? Well, I probably tell them this. They're just self advising.
And that's more powerful because that comes from their own realizations. Their own lecturing. Yeah, that just goes.
Right. You know, and the second thing you said was
giving them the space to talk and talking from a from an eye position rather than a you position. Yeah. So this is the NLP Yeah. Language and the language languages. So like so instead of saying, You should have known better you this you that you were saying, you know, you should say, I, I care about you. Yes. And I'm worried about this. And
I want to help you guess right see, and then that thing there's no where's my defense mechanism coming from? Like, there's no defense mechanism because you're not shooting at me. You're actually just placing it on yourself. And now I'm more open to being like Okay, so this is what's going on. Right? And and when they loved me my mom can right and this is the same for I mean, yes for children but with any kind of conflict any kind of wanting to gain agreement or gain on the level pitfield with someone just using the iframe rather than the you because use is like you're accusing them and I is more like you're keeping it close to yourself rather than like shooting at them so that was
yes. And it's more honest in a way as well because you're sharing with them how it's affecting how this situation for you. Yeah, so that allows that again vulnerability. I think I could we could just carry on and we will invite you back in Sharla
because I'd love to explore some other things with you. Just lucky luck Aaron for joining me I'm sure that gets compensation you listeners and viewers that you will agree with me that it's been a really interesting conversation really beneficial.
Please do subscribe to the podcast please share it and tell your friends about it tell other sisters about it because you know how many times you're gonna find a conversation as honest as this you know, on the internet, it's not not so easy to find. So please do share it. tell people about the podcast on iTunes and wherever you get your podcasts from.
inshallah I will say thank you to linker does akeelah Heron for all your pearls of wisdom and salaam aleikum wa rahmatullah wa barakato.