It’s no doubt that 2016 has been a year of challenges in a way that’s so different than what many of us have ever faced.  People around the world have been vociferous about those challenges we’re facing as an ever-increasing globally-connected (and divided) community. Watching tv and checking social media are increasingly fear and anxiety-inducing activities rather than informative ones, which whether we think so or not, does have an effect on our subconscious mind.  

In order to deal with that, I’ve had to make some serious changes in my life. Many of those changes started before 2016 when it was evident that things outside of my control were going to most likely come to fruition whether or not I had anything to do with them. I began doing things like acupuncture, getting more massages, taking care of my skin and hair, looking at the appropriate vitamins and supplements when necessary, and of course always trying to grow and eat only the best quality food I possibly could. 

Even with all of those changes, I realized there was something else I needed to take a deep look at if my inner being was going to be balanced, happy and at more peace in a world that seems like it’s getting out of control. I began reading up on the power of positive thoughts (cliche, I know, but it works), training our minds to be more focused and having good thoughts about our own selves. I know and understand the power of prayer and dhikr (remembrance of God) and I was looking for more application of these things in different ways. Maybe you could call it spiritual enlightenment or higher consciousness, and positive energy or vibes, but I learned more and more about the importance of that in our lives and that even though these may be things we can’t see, they are things we can think and feel– and ones I no longer wanted to ignore and put away in my back pocket as though they don’t affect my day to day life. The more I give talks about halal and tayyib in relation to my recent cookbook, the more I want to dive deeper and deeper into how much we can benefit from both the practical application and the spiritual nature of our lives.

As I come to this realization, I want to share my thoughts with you on these topics, share my own journey, as well as encourage you to embark on your own, if you feel it’s something you desire for yourself. Just by sharing this with all of you, I can feel the momentum starting just as I type these words and ask you to come along and embrace the concepts of balance, gratitude and self-care, all of which are important elements to my own personal wellness and things I am striving for in 2017 and beyond, insha’Allah.

Maybe it will be in the form of more exercises I need like stretching; walks on the beach at sunrise; travel to exotic places where I can taste amazing global halal street food; gratitude for the little things that mean so much; affording myself the time and space to take care of my body, mind and soul. All of it, I hope! Insha’Allah.

 Today, right now, in this very breath of life we are blessed with enjoying, take a moment to think about what you need and what you want…

Will you make 2017 #myyearofwellness (for yourself), by joining me on mine? 

If and when you do, please tag @myhalalkitchen on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook and use the hashtag #myyearofwellness to show me what you’re doing to take care of you. Let’s inspire one another and give each other great ideas and motivation to do the same!


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