Being Calm in the Chaos

Haleh Banani

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Salam aleikum. My name is Hala Banani I'm a mental health professional serving the community since 1998 Alhamdulillah this pandemic has shaken us to the core, whether it is dealing with staying at home businesses closing, losing our jobs or our finances and, and really struggling with everything that is happening it has shaken us. And we are all feeling much of the anxiety, whether it is stopping, going to work and stopping going to the to school, and not getting, let's say all the things that we had planned, the cancellations of weddings cancellation of Hajj and Umrah and, and the thing that hurts us the most is the closing down at the massage it's so we need to deal with

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this on a psychological level. And dealing with how to cope with the stress is just as important in dealing how to fight the virus. So having some level of anxiety is very normal at this point. We're all struggling with this. But I what I want to share with you today is that how to cope with this how to cope with the stress in a way that actually empowers you. And it takes you to be proactive, rather than being immobilized with the fear. Because if we are immobilized, we're not going to be good for anyone. And the focus is going to be how to deal with the fear, manage the anxiety and act in a way that is really the prophetic way of dealing with any form of anxiety. Bismillah was Salatu

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was Salam ala Rasulillah. So many of you may have heard about Maslow's need hierarchy. It is a way of categorizing our needs, our essential needs into five categories. And if you think of a pyramid, and on the bottom level, you have the physiological needs. This is your food, shelter, water, this is what you need to survive, right. And this is at the bottom, this is one of the most important things next to that you have your safety, right. And you need to once you have your food and water, you need to know that you're going to be safe, you're not going to be attack. Now, many of the people in war torn countries are actually in this state, they are operating at this level, where's

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my next food and am I going to be shot by a sniper, so they're operating at this level, okay. And if you're at this level, you're not going to be concerned about any of the other levels because it is a hierarchy of needs right? After that. It's love and belonging. So if you have your food, you have your home, you're safe, then you're going to think about I want to establish a friendship I want to have a life companion, okay. And that is love and belonging. After that is esteem. That's where you are growing learning and gaining knowledge. This is the place where you build yourself up. And at the highest point is self actualization. When you are self actualize. That is when you are not only

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focused on yourself, your own development, your own growth, but you are wanting to give back to the community, you want to have a positive impact. And I remember the first time that I heard about this was way back in 10th grade I was 16 in my psychology class, and I learned about this self actualization. And that became a goal like I want to achieve that I want to reach that. Now many of us were operating at these top three levels, we were either working on our relationships with our spouse, with our children, with the community members, it could have been many people were trying to seek knowledge, they were getting a higher education, maybe getting Islamic knowledge. And there

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were those who were giving back to the community focused on helping those in need right now what has happened is that we have dropped several levels, right? We are no longer focus on those things. We have dropped down to those basic needs, the physiological needs, am I going to have enough food? Am I going to have the shelter? Am I going to lose my home? And then the safety factor? Am I going to get this disease? Is this going to affect my family, right? And so we have dropped down and this is why our level of equilibrium has been messed up and we are feeling it. This is where the anxiety comes from. And the only way to cope with this is to get ourselves we need to get ourselves to those

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higher levels. So alhamdulillah most of us have those specific needs. Right? It is just a scarcity mentality that is scaring us. It is that panic buying that is making us feel like we don't have enough but we really do have enough

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hamdulillah and if we can get ourselves to shift from this mindset, because this, this mindset is going to really be limiting, we're not used to operating at this level of am I going to survive? Am I going to have enough food and water. And this is why a lot of people in the community are panicking, right? But if you start pushing yourself to the reach out, let's say you were social distancing ourselves for a reason, but you reach out, you are looking out for the people in the community, you are actually I honor you for tuning in right now. Because the fact that you're tuning in, you are in that growth mindset, right? You are there, you are here trying to learn. And we are

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focusing, so we're shifting up the levels of the hierarchy. And if you are at the point where you can say, You know what, not only am I going to take care of my family, and not only am I going to learn, I'm going to help the community however way I can. And so you will be operating from that self actualize position, and that will recreate the equilibrium, we need to bring back equilibrium because everything has turned upside down. And we have changed everything. It's amazing how this is the great equalizer, it does not discriminate, whether if someone is poor or rich, what religion they are, where in the world they are, this is the great equalizer. So we need to regain our

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equilibrium by focusing on those higher levels of hierarchy, learning, growing, focusing on ourselves and helping others in sha Allah. Okay? Now, it's really important how you think about things. And that's why I want to talk to you about our minds and how powerful it is. And it can either work for us or against us specially in times of panic like this, our thoughts are going to be so critical to manage, not when we have a thought, right, this thought comes, and we can either accept it, or reject it. Now, most people, the clients that I work with, I've worked with 1000s of people who suffer from anxiety and depression. And this is the way to address it. And most of them

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think you know, what, my thoughts are automatic, I have no control over my they just happen. But in reality, we do have control over our thoughts, because the thought will come and you will either accept it, or you reject it. So the thought may be that, oh my gosh, I'm going to die. I'm going to have this virus, and I'm going to lose my business, you know, and you can see, okay, am I going to accept this? Or I'm going to reject it. Many people have very basic thoughts. For instance, they could say I am I am a loser, I am not smart, I am fat, I am ugly, that these thoughts come. Now, if you choose to accept this thought, what's going to happen? Is that that thought, right, we have

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something in our mind called the reticular activating system, Ras for short, okay? The job of this RAS is to filter it filters is kind of a scanning mechanism. And what it does it filters, how does it base what it filters based on your thoughts? What's important to you? A very simple example of this is, let's say you go and you buy a red car, what do you start noticing the RAS is in effect, and as I did it, did it. Okay, here, there's a red car, there's a red car, there's a red car, and you start seeing those things that you're focused on. Okay. Now, on a deeper level, when you have a thought, this reticular activating system will scan the environment. And it will look for evidence

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to prove to prove this thought because the objective is that the mind wants to keep you sane. So whatever you're thinking, whether real or not real, it is going to it is going to look for evidence, it's going to look for evidence, and it's going to confirm it. All right. Now, what ends up happening is that when we are careless with our thoughts, when we are constantly having these negative thoughts of I am doing, I'm going to be destroyed, my finances are going to be lost. I'm going to lose my home, my family, when you have these thoughts, and you are not being selected. You are not choosing the thoughts that are going to serve you they actually disempower you, what's going

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to happen is that the reticular activating system, it's going to scan and constantly say that you are right, there's going to be evidence delille for every single one of these negative thoughts. And that's why you start feeling see I'm right, I'm right yes, we are going to die and we are going to have this affect us right. So what ends up happening is that we get really immobilized we are

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disempowering ourselves, we need to choose our thoughts that are that is going to actually serve us. Okay? So when you have a thought, let's say a very simple thought maybe someone says that they are they are stupid, or they are incapable, or they are thought, whatever it is, and they choose to keep this thought, and it's paired up with an emotion. And how does that becomes a belief? Let's say, how does that emotion is? How is that created? So let's say a student is in a classroom, and the teacher just tells them, You know what, you are stupid. I've had examples of my clients going through this, they were told they're stupid, they are incapable. And so now they have a thought, I am stupid,

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paired with an emotion of embarrassment and guilt and shame, then it becomes a belief. Now, when you have that the RAS scans the environment, and looks for evidences, Oh, see, yes, you are stupid, because you got a bad break. You see, this other person said you are. And this is it keeps increasing. And once you get enough delis, and you get enough evidence, it becomes a conviction. You are convinced. Now, why is this important right now, because we are now formulating a lot of thoughts, we need to really put our RAS on the, we need to put the RAS on the filter of what the things, the possibilities, the positive thoughts, because if these thoughts are not serving us guess

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what it is, we are definitely going to keep finding evidences, and it's going to become a conviction. And once it's a conviction, it's so hard to change. I remember a client coming to me, and she just she was a beautiful, you know, fit young lady. And she just broke down crying, and I said, What is wrong? And she said, I feel I am fat, ugly, and, and dumb. And that was the belief she had, and it was paired up with the emotion of guilt and shame. And what that did is that it limited her in her life. She dropped out of school, she always had low self esteem, and then it had become a conviction. Right? It was a conviction. She thought that that is that is a reality. But we went in

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and we unraveled that and made that a noose, we created a new conviction. And now mashallah, she's pursuing a degree in medical fields. So it's much harder once it becomes a conviction to change it. But it is possible, right? And this is the critical point where we need to choose very carefully, you can have fear based thoughts like it's over, we're done. I'm losing everything. And what is that going to lead to? It's going to lead to a victim mentality, that victim mentality leads to hopelessness and helplessness. And it immobilizes you, when you think you are hopeless, when you think there's nothing you can do, what does it do, you just you freeze, you freeze, because that

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fear sets the part of the amygdala, the part of the brain gets trigger into fight, flight, or freeze, and you are just only limited to that, and guess what happens all the other parts of the brain, they shut down. So your prefrontal cortex, this part of your brain that makes all the decisions, that is very level headed shuts down. And that's why when you are arguing with someone, let's say you're arguing with your spouse, or arguing with with your teen, or whoever it is, who stopped being logical, because what ends up happening, your amygdala has been turned on, you're in that you know, fight or flight mode, and the other parts of the brain are shut down. And you're not

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going to say rational things, you're going to say hurtful things. And this is why people are like acting out, and they're getting into panic mode. And this is why it is really, really critical for us to be aware of this and to shift. Now if you have faith based thoughts, right, this idea of Inshallah, I will tie my camel, I will take do my part, I will, you know, have that social distancing. And I will be extra careful with washing my hands and everything that I'm being told to do. And I put my trust in Allah, right. I put my trust in online, I know that this is all going to work out that will lead into possibilities, you will feel that you know what you are asking the most

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powerful and this Tawakkol is so critical, but I'm teaching you actually how to get to the telecoil because we're all we're hearing it all the time. Be calm, be you know, have faith have Tawakkol have trust, but the How to is critical and that's why the psychological perspective really empowers us because we realize that

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that we can choose our thoughts. And when we choose our thoughts, what ends up happening is that those thoughts, the RAS will work for us, it will keep searching for evidences that yes, we are going to make it through other nations have gone through this, there has been the play, we will inshallah recover from the recession, we will regain our health. And that possibility is so critical, we really need to have that optimistic outlook. And it really all starts from within, and one of my favorite verses of the Koran that I share with all my clients, whether they're dealing with their marriage, whether they're dealing with their you know, their depression, or they're

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dealing with their children, and they come in and they want this to be fixed, it's like here, you know, fix my spouse, fix my kids. But you know, what I ended up starting and I emphasize over and over again, beautiful verse of the Quran is that in Hola, hola, EULA Yiruma, the Bellman had Yuka, Yiruma IBM's was sent him, Allah will not change the condition of the people until they change themselves. And every time, every time there is a problem, whether it's in your marriage, you're not going to have that change until you look within and see, what do I need to do within myself? How can I control my anger? How can I deal with this in order to have a better marriage? How can I change

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myself as a parent, in order to bring about better results in my kids, it always has to start within. And so now with this epidemic, pandemic, excuse me, the pandemic, we need to start within ourselves, how are we handling this? What are our thoughts? What are our emotions? And are we demonstrating the faith that we have been learning about right? This is the metaphorical rainy day, the rainy day that we have been preparing for, right? All those hours in the massages, all those prayers, all the reading of the Quran, all the Tata we, what has that done for us? Right? It should be something that we can tap into, right? It's kind of like the ad that is storing food and is

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trying to, you know, store as much food in the summer for the long, cold winter. Months, right?

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We have stored it is there. Okay? So don't panic, realize that all that we have learned all of that knowledge we need to have it counts for us, not against us. And the only way that it can count for us is that we demonstrate faith, we demonstrate calm, we demonstrate patience, because this is what Allah has promised us that we are going to be tested. And now this is the big test. Right? This is a test of global tests. It's not your small little test that I got into an argument with my you know, whether it's a coworker or my spouse or my child, this is a global test. And we are all being examined just like when there is a big MCAT when there is a gr E and everyone is in the testing

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center, and they're serious and they're focused and they're like I need to pass this test. All of us are in that state of tests right now. We are all being tested and how we demonstrate our Fe is going to either determine whether we pass or we fail and we need to regain our strength regain our perspective, because Allah says

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while an absolute Nakhon be che in mental health he will do when he went up semana la Marley while I'm foresee what Samira got what bashes saw the 18, another beautiful, beautiful verse, and this is saying that, and we will surely test you with something of fear and hunger and loss of wealth, and lives and fruits, but give good tidings to the patient. Okay. So it is a promise, it is a promise, just like when the when your teacher tells you there's going to be a final exam. All right, there's going to be a final exam, you know, it's coming. You've been studying all along, hopefully, right? And if you've studied if you've done your homework, if you've showed up to the class, and you study,

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guess what you're going to do fine. All right. So now we got to really we got to tap into that. We tap into all the reserves, all the spiritual reserves, right? And have that just kind of empower us and know that everything's gonna work out fine. And it's all starts with your thoughts. You have to believe that you're going to be fine and choose those thoughts that empower you right

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It is the most empowering thing when you realize that you can choose your state of thought, right? And when you know that it is empowering Guess what? Then you're not going to be at the mercy of the next news that you read. Okay? Realize that not all thoughts are real. Not all thoughts are factual, not all thoughts. Not all thoughts are true. Once you realize that once you realize that these thoughts, you're having these thoughts, it's not necessarily the truth or reality are factual, right. And once you know that, and you're choosing, then you discard all the things that are not serving you right now. Our brain cannot distinguish between what is real and what is imagined.

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Right. So let me give you a very simple example. It is. Imagine right now in lemon, big, juicy yellow lemon cake, I want you to wash it. I want you to take a nice sharp knife. And I want you to imagine yourself cutting into this lemon. Now take that lemon and bite into it. What's happening? Are you salivating? Of course you are because guess what? Our mind as it imagines a lemon. There's a physiological reaction in our body. Our body is going to react to the thought they'll have a lemon by none of us have a lemon in our hands right now. But we all salivate it. What does that tell us? The brain does not choose between what is or doesn't distinguish between what is real and what is

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imagined. And when you know this, then you have to be very careful with what you're thinking about. If all day long. You're imagining Oh, I'm gonna get the Coronavirus oh my god, we're gonna die. Oh my god, we're gonna have a panic, you know, we're going to lose our finances, we're going to lose our business, we're going to lose her. Guess what is happening. Your body is reacting to every negative thought there's a physiological reaction, you're releasing cortisol, the stress hormone. And when this is released, guess what's going to happen to your immunity, it's going to go way down, you're going to be more susceptible to this virus if you are not controlling your thoughts. So it is

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just as important to have the psychological mindset, choose your thoughts, choose your emotions are as you are going to be more susceptible to the virus because your your immunity is going to be lower if you have cortisol being released, you know, moment after moment after moment, that really will have a negative impact not only on your emotional health, but on your physical health right. And many, many people will end up dying from a heart attack because of their worry because of the panic because of all these thoughts. Then they are going to die from the Coronavirus because they're not aware. So it is this awareness right? Life does not just happen to us. Our world does not just

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happen to us, we choose it. Now some people choose it deliberately. Okay, I am Hamdulillah I had the privilege of from high school being in training programs in leadership programs for over 10 years. And getting that kind of training, learning this as early as high school knowing that what thoughts and emotions how it affects us. And when you learn to manage that, then you manage your world. You are not just reacting because we cannot be people who are reactionary, we can't just, you know just get sucked into this chaos. As a believer. We have no choice but to be optimistic. This is another beautiful verse of the Quran. One of my favorites that I always use with my clients is that

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in Nahal Allah Yeah, Salman Rao Hilah he Lal komolika rune. Indeed, no one despairs of the relief from Allah except the disbelieving people here. Allah is equating pessimism with disbelief that this is very serious. This should shake us because many people are like, Well, I'm pessimistic. This is me. This is I'm a realist. I look for the negative things. Well guess what? As a believer, you have no choice but to be optimistic because when you're optimistic, when you see hope, when you see that there is a way off, that means you are affirming the names and attributes of Allah, you know that he is the overseer, you know that he is unhappy that he is the seeing and he is the most wise and he is

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I will do it. He is the love. And so when you know that and you have that peace and certainty in your mind

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that nothing is going to touch you, unless it is written for you, you are you are so convinced of that, that it will then that is what is going to make the difference. You have to have that conviction, right? And no miracle has ever happened without the conviction. Just think about Musa alayhis salam, he has the most ferocious army chasing him and they come to the point of the Red Sea. They're just everyone is like, we're doomed, we're dead, it's over. And what happened? Because Musa alayhis salam had that conviction. He's like, Allah is with us, we are gonna get through this, it was that conviction that a miraculous opening of the Red Sea happen. If we don't have that

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conviction, don't expect miracles. Without the conviction, we need to have the conviction. And that's so critical for us right now.

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Now, as far as practical steps, what is it that we can do in order to make sure that we can follow through and manage our anxieties number one is to have a leader mindset, you have to realize that you are a leader, whether it is in your home, whether it's with your family, whether it's with the community, you are a leader, and you have to take responsibility, this is not a time to fall apart. This is not a time to feel that oh my gosh, just said we're doomed and just give up. We need to have that leader mindset. And the Prophet sallallahu alayhi salam said, every one of you is a shepherd and is responsible for his flock. Now, Shepherd, I want you to imagine the word leader, right?

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Because this is what it's saying that you are a leader, right? You are a leader. And the leader of the people is a guardian and is responsible for his subjects. And man is a guardian of his family. And he is responsible for them. A woman is a guardian of her husband's home and his children, and she is responsible for them. The servant of a man is a guardian of the property of his master, and he is responsible for it. No doubt, every one of you is a shepherd, and is responsible for his flock. So I want to ask you, are you demonstrating faith? Are you demonstrating peace? are you demonstrating that level of trust, right, because right now, it's very, very critical, to choose to

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be calm, to choose to be compassionate, to choose to be centered. If you don't make those choices, you're going to be sucked into the chaos, and you're not going to do anybody any good. You are not going to be the leader of your household. If as a leader of your household, you are just anxious and depressed, and you're sitting in a corner just waiting for ruins. You are not serving the community or your family, you're not contributing positive energy, all you're doing is just consuming, consuming, consuming right? Now, if you choose to have that calm, if you choose to be level headed and say, You know what, regardless of what's happening, I am going to remain centered. And that's

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what is required. Many physicians are trained, right when there is in our training within the within the field of psychology, we need to know how do you how do you deal with chaos? How do you deal when someone is having a panic attack? How do you deal with someone who is on you know, they're about to have a rage, and there's fighting going on? How do you keep centered right? And physicians when they see someone having a heart attack, and everybody is yelling, screaming going crazy, not serving, not serving in any way. But those physicians who are trained, they will come and they will start the CPR, right because they are centered, they're calm, and they will actually save lives. You will save

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your own life. If you are able to stay calm and centered. That is the that is the message here. We need to remain calm. We need to stay centered and know that we are a leader and right now. Our kids are watching us they are seeing how are we handling the situation. If we are in panic mode. If we're just being greedy and going and buying everything off the shelf and not thinking about the you know the elderly or thinking about the people who don't have the money to stock up. If someone doesn't have the money to buy for the next three months, and they're not gonna have diapers for their kids. It's really really just sad that we are lacking this level of mindfulness. We have to be mindful of

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our thoughts we have

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to be mindful of our emotions, we have to be mindful of our actions. Because if we are not mindful, we are not being that we are not having the prophetic characteristics, the prophesy lifestyle, I guarantee if he was here, he would not be panicked by, he would not be feeling just greedy and thinking about himself, he would be wanting to, like help the community in the best way possible. So we need to always aspire to have those prophetic characteristics and to realize that being a leader and being centered, that's how we're going to serve our people in sha Allah. Right. And, you know, we have to be aware of the emotional tone, the emotional tone, because when we are getting nervous,

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when we are getting anxious and worried, then there's an emotional tone to it. And that is going to, we are releasing cortisol into our body, we are releasing cortisol in our body, and that is going to harm us, we can choose to drop dopamine and serotonin, okay, those are the feel good hormones, those are the things that are going to make us feel good. And we have to choose that right. And one of the ways that you stay calm in the chaos is to choose to stay away from the chaos, right, you have to distance yourself from the chaos in order to remain calm. Now, I'm not telling you not to be informed, it is very important to be informed, it is very important for us to get the news and any

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updates of what we need to do.

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However, it's not going to serve us if all day long, we are just scrolling, scrolling, scrolling and reading one article after another after another because what's going to happen every time you read an article, what happens is that that article is going to have an emotional and mental reaction and emotional and mental reaction. And it is going to make you feel so depleted. So lacking in energy. And that's why people who are getting the news all day long from the time they wake up in the morning, scroll, scroll scroll, first thing you do pick up the phone, read, read, read all day long, what is happening, your body has a physiological reaction, you're releasing cortisol all day long,

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you're feeling hopeless, you have victim mentality, you're feeling helpless, and you are immobilized, right. But if we choose, let's say, you just choose twice a day, I will check the news twice a day, just to make sure that I am informed because it is important to feel to be connected to be informed. However, it is a waste of time. If that is all you're doing. You cannot simply sit and wait for things to be in ruins. Okay, because we don't know how long this is, this is going to be more of a marathon, we need to think about sustainability of our behavior right now. And being stressed out to the max with that fight and flight mentality is going to ruin our health, forget the

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virus, you're going to either have a heart attack, or you're going to have a psychological meltdown. And it is not going to be helpful. So let's take those precautions and make sure that we are keeping it together in sha Allah. Okay. Now,

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when you are just consuming when you're consuming all of this negativity, what ends up happening is that you're going to give off negativity, right? Because you are in this negative state of mind. So you're going to pass on this negativity, which is actually poison, you are feeding your family poison. And none of us would ever dream of serving our family or our guests rotten food, who wouldn't do that, right? But we're doing that we are poisoning our families with all this negativity. So we need to really take control of this, we really need to make sure that we are managing what we are thinking what we are consuming, and how we are passing this all on. Okay. Now,

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another step. So one we said you have to have a leader mindset, you have to know that I got to be in control. I need to be calm and centered during all this second, you need to stop complaining, really, this level of complaining is having a very negative impact on you just like I said, Whatever you think about whatever you're saying has that physiological effect and you're spreading negativity. This complaint

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Think about oh my god, you know, are the What am I going through? Oh, the fact that the kids are at home, I'm not going to work and all of these that you complain and complain and complain, and all it does is that it brings you down and you bring everybody else down with you. Now there's a difference between complaining and let's say reporting, okay, you can make statements without all the emotional drama without all the negativity, you could just say like, Yeah, from, you know, I've, I've had to stop working, you know, several of my clients who are physicians, they'd have to close down offices that had to fire individuals, and you can report it without all of that all of the emotional baggage

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that comes along with it. Okay, I find that

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I find that this is truly a spiritual wake up for all of us. It is a spiritual wake up, it is telling us to truly take inventory of what is it that we have done? What is it that we're currently doing? You know, there's so many things that we took for granted globally, right, globally, we are on probation right now. And unless we make changes unless we really take this seriously and work within and change ourselves, then our condition is not going to change. So this spiritual wake up a wake up call needs to be taken seriously and in sha Allah with collective Toba with collectivist far with this mentality of I am going to push through I am going to make this happen then that is what

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is going to save us and the fact that it's right before Ramadan, I feel there is Hickman this, because we have a deeper motivation. If it had happened, let's say in July after Ramadan, let's say after hajj, there may not be the same level of urgency. So everything happens perfectly by Allah. And the fact that this is a month away. Ramadan is a month away, we are more motivated. And maybe that is going to push us to do those sincere Toba has to be committed to do more good deeds in order for a lot to give us back all the blessings that we were taking for granted and sha Allah. And you need to keep a scorecard. Okay, scorecard of how well are you doing based on what are these things

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that have the characteristics, the most valuable characteristics? are you demonstrating patience? Are you complaining less, and give yourself a score anywhere from zero to 10? How well are you doing on this? Some of you, I'm sure are getting a perfect 10 Not a perfect 10 out of 10.

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In the complaining department 10 Being you're complaining too much. Okay? Now, if that is the case, make it your goal. Tomorrow, I'm going to drop it down to at least five. Okay, and then the next week, I'm going to drop it down to like just no more complaining. Check yourself, how compassionate am I? How patient? Am I with the kids? Am I just now that they're whole, they're just going to yell and scream or everyone's going to just be in their little rooms and you're you're just gonna like the the marriage is gonna fall apart, the families are gonna fall apart. Take inventory, we really have to check ourselves, we have to give ourselves a score of how well are we doing? Because many

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people are very motivated when it comes to martial law, academics. They want that they want to be that a plus student they expect their kids to be a plus students, right? But what grade are you getting right now? What grade are you getting as a movement? Right? What grade are you getting? As a believer right now, within the way you're handling this, whether it is the hoarding, whether it is the greediness whether it is with the lack of patience or lack of trust, What grade do you currently have? Think of this, right? This is that pre semester like mid term, midterm, you're getting that kind of warning. Look, your your grade is getting low, you better straighten out, okay, straighten

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up. And so if up until now, it's okay you've been consumed by the media, you are overtaken by anxiety and you have handled this all wrong. It's okay. This is your time to change right now with me make a commitment that you are going to deal with this with calm with confidence with a certain with certainty that Allah will get us through this and you do your share by all the things I told you as far as controlling your thoughts controlling your emotions, reacting in a very civilized way. Then you are going to see results in sha Allah. Now we have to realize that see

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fear fear comes in for three different reasons. Okay? So there is the fear of loss. And this is what is really affecting people right now. So there's this fear of, oh my god, I may lose family members, I may lose my health, I may lose my job, I may lose, you know, my my savings or my home. This is real. These fears are valid, they're valid concerns, but are we going to get immobilized by it? Now, there is a flip side of fear of fear is confidence, right? So right now you need to have this mindset. What can I do? Right? Remember, I said, we can't have that victim mentality. Because if you have victim mentality, you're going to be stuck. You have to have that confidence. What can I do

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right now to turn things around? How can I gain confidence, maybe this is the time that I can finally focus on my health. Maybe this is the time that I'm going to be focused on my family on my family. This is the time when I can finally be focused on on my exercise on my eemaan on my, you know, on my recitation and my dog on my Toba, right, so you have to switch it around, shift your focus, because once you shift your focus, you shift your life, and that is going to be very critical for all of us to embrace in sha Allah, then, if you see opportunity in the midst of chaos, that's then that's when you feel at peace, that's when you are going to be that leader is going to be very

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different from everyone else, everyone else is falling apart. But you're seeing this as an opportunity, opportunity to be a better person opportunity to be a better moment of opportunity to give to your community at a deeper level inshallah. Now there is the fear of hardship. So we talked about fear of loss, right? We're worried about what we're losing. And then there's the fear of hardship, there is that fear of what if I get sick? What if I'm not going to be able to, you know, take care of my family? What if I cannot take care of, you know, what's gonna happen with all the finances all those issues, right. So that fear of hardship, right, is,

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is very real. And there are one of two ways of dealing with this, a lot of people prefer they get scared of the hardship, oh, my God, I don't want to, I don't want to, I don't want to think about it. I'm just going to numb my brain with so much Netflix, and so much entertainment, that I don't even have to think about this. That's like sticking your head in the sand. That is a really immature way of dealing with it, right? Because let's say if a tsunami is coming, and you sit there, you stick your head in the sand and pretend it's not there. You're not serving yourself, right? So it's not about numbing your brain or pretending it doesn't exist. It is about taking responsibility, and

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knowing and honoring it, honor the struggle, I know it's going to be tough, I know that there are certain things that we need to, we need to put into effect to make changes. And when you when you embrace the hardship rather than running away from it, that's when you're going to see the possibilities. And the third thing is the fear of the outcome or fear of pain, right? And many times you find that people catastrophize what they're doing is that they are afraid of what's going to come and they feel that the worst case scenario, they keep painting the worst case scenario, I'm gonna die. We're losing all our money, we're going bankrupt. The Elmo is falling apart. Like they're

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just thinking of the worst case scenario and what did we say about what your thoughts do to you? Your body is listening to what the mind is thinking. And so it is going to react physiologically. So we need to stop fearing and stop catastrophizing. Stop thinking, What is the worst case scenario, stop thinking that, Oh my god, we're all doomed. Have that outlook, that in sha Allah, I will do my best, and I will be a positive. I will be a positive contributor. I will do my part. And sometimes you do things and it's very, it's heroic to stay at home right now. It may not feel very heroic, right? It is not how we see a hero acting. But right now being the hero is staying at home. Being a

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hero is practicing social distancing, being the hero is taking all those precautions. And when we do that, when we're following the guidelines, we're being good citizens. We are being good moments and we are being optimistic. We trust in Allah and we know

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Oh, a miracle can absolutely happen, we can pray for it, we can fix ourselves and shift yourself up the hierarchy, the Maslow's need hierarchy, don't get stuck in the last two layers, don't be stuck in the first two levels of just thinking about your food and your safety, push yourself. So that's why I honor you, that you are tuning in, you're learning to grow, you're learning to know how to deal with this, whether it's spiritually or psychologically. And as you do that, you are going to regain your equilibrium back and I guarantee you are going to ensure Allah gain that equilibrium. If you do this, get yourself higher up on those need hierarchies, focus, limit your social media point

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twice a day, twice a day, get the news, that's it, because when you are consuming it all day long, it is really immobilizing you. And I'm sure that we can get through this with the help of Allah with that trust with that conviction with the tobacco and have that the RAS work towards you. By having those positive thoughts, those thoughts that we will get through this and visualize, it's so important to visualize the power of visualization is so critical to visualize yourself, that we have gone through this that we have, we have gotten in sha Allah, the cure, and things are back to normal, we are sending those positive vibes whenever we visualize a positive outcome. And if we do

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that collectively, then that is going to be amazingly powerful. So I pray that Allah guides us to have the right positive mindset that we have that possibility. And we have a mindset, that is not the scarcity mentality, that we're not just thinking, if I Don't snatch this from another person that I'm going to, I'm going to lose that. We have to have that sense of sacrifice, we have to think and with compassion, and have the prophetic characteristics in order to endure this for the long run, we're in it for the long run, we have to have sustainable mindset, we have to have a sustainable behavior in order to get through this together in sha Allah. And what I urge all of you

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to do in sha Allah is to support your massages, the massages have been here for us for years, and we have gone to the massages for the for the Jomar, for the Ramadan for the tarawih for the lectures, and you know, it is an extension of us. The massages are like family. And just like we would not abandon a family member when they are sick when they have fallen ill what would we do to them, we would nurture them back to health, we would take care of them until they are able to serve you to be healthy again. Right? So we cannot abandon them and think, oh, it's not serving me. So I'm not going to be there for my family member. Our massages is like family members, and we need to be there for

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them. So I really urge you to continue your support to the epic community to the epic message, because they are they are serving the community. We are following the rules by closing down the massages but the work has not stopped the work everyone is working double time everyone is putting forth effort to really be there for everyone in the community trying to give very powerful lectures and inspirational information. So what I want you to do is, what I want you to do is subscribe, subscribe to the YouTube channel, the epic YouTube channel, they are going to be releasing a lot of beneficial information in sha Allah and donate generously know that whatever you give for the sake

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of Allah is not going to be reduced. And right now you're going to be tested greatly because there is that fear of poverty, there's that fear of I'm going to need it my family is going to need it. But Allah promises you that when you give for the sake of Allah, Allah is going to increase you so many fold. So right now is the time to be generous, even though we may feel that they're scarcity. But the more you give the more you're generous the more you're calm and centered and you help the massages get back on their feet and to continuously support them during this very difficult time. Then Allah is going to shower you in sha Allah with mercy and blessings and we pray that we can in

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sha Allah returned to the massages we can do our Tara we we can have Ramadan in the massage but it really is going to take every single one of you and every single one of us to work on ourselves, make the necessary changes and inshallah come out of this thriving. Let's

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not just survive let's thrive to Xhaka lawfare Assalamu alaikum