Buried injustices

Excavate this sadness

All the injustices

Not quite laid to rest

Jump in the graves of them

And exhume the body of grief

For your consumption?

Let’s be clear about what you’re asking for here

In my own time

I tend the graves

Of anguishes past experienced

You, grave robber

Desecrater

Have no right to visit here

It isn’t for me to dredge up the soil

Unearthing it all

Leaving the soil upturned

For what?

For you to confirm

That yes it is legitimate pain buried here?

I’m past that,

Way past asking for scraps

I’ve come to understand

That there’s a reason

You weren’t there for the burial

So when I tend the graves

Of all the injustices

Half buried before

Don’t turn up

In funeral blacks

Facimile fragility

Leaking from your eyes

You didn’t know the deceased

And your abject sadness

Are only theatrics

Done for the optics

More to the point

I don’t welcome it

Leave me to my grief

To the laying to rest of

Anguish and injustice

Stop demanding

That I uncover it

For your voyeurism

And vouchsafing

Be on your way

Stop not at these graves.

There is space for this emotion.

Money Mastermind

One of my amazing and brilliant friends had the bold and visionary idea to start a money mastermind group. It was an inspired idea to get our respective finances and money mindsets in order and we’re a couple weeks in and going strong.

Something that someone said on one of our group calls really impacted me, you know those moments where you hear something and you have to stop because the words resonate so much that it feels like they’ve physically taken hold of you and changed your perspective? So in that moment you’re silently re-examining everything you’ve ever experienced with this new possibility in mind. It was a big moment.

On the topic of something that scared us/dragged us far out of our comfort zone, I mentioned that spoken word definitely feels a whole word of scary to me, I wasn’t the only one who felt that way, on a tangent it’s interesting to me how many of my friends are “private poets” let’s call it (expressing the feelings through poetry in a very personal and not for public consumption kind of way).

The thing that blew me away? To paraphrase: “poetry is a means of you expressing how you feel, there’s no need for you to be comparing your poetry to anyone else’s, the thing that you really have to ask yourself is whether you believe your feelings matter.”

.

.

.

Wow!

Just wow. Even writing this out again from memory i’m still taken aback by it, their is so much truth in this statement, and when I ask myself, I know that on some level along the way I did learn or take on board the messaging that my feelings weren’t important.

I felt the words in my chest. Naturally I had to write about it. I’ve got some idea of where some of this messaging came from, certain life experiences etc. Saying that I also think that’s a large part of the messaging of our society, at least historically, I think things are starting to change, (though the pendulum effect might be taking place and it seems to be overcompensating and swinging really far in the direction of “my feelings matter more than anyone else’s”) .

Even still it’s such an important thing to consider whether on some level you hold a limiting belief to that effect, then having identified that, what will you do about that?

Take care

Find Words Weave

Met my Deadline, the fanfare sounds hollow

(Current background on all my devices courtesy of Knit picks with slight modification by me)

So I finally met my deadline. Yay I got my two thousand word essay submitted on time, just barely.

When coming up to a deadline does anyone else feel the pressure building and building and building… no one? Just me? *flops down with a dramatic sigh*

In a way I think I normally thrive on that pressure. The tension builds up, and I bolster myself by looking forward to that feeling of relief and joy that I usually get as soon as the essay has been submitted. However today that feeling was nowhere to be found, I submitted my paper in turnitin and I just felt like okay. That’s good. You got it done… okay.

Things just rang a bit hollow. You know? I talked myself into doing a little happy dance, just because one of my commitments to myself is to celebrate milestones along the way.

I’m wondering if the recent chapter in my life’s story book beginning its conclusion overshadowed my joy. Im not sure because in terms of that I feel very much at peace and have a deep sense of clarity and acceptance.

Maybe I pushed myself too hard towards the end and my brain just needs a reset. That happens quite often. I mean as much effort as I put into the planning, and as much as that made theessay writing easier, I did still end up writing up about one thousand eight hundred of those words between the hours of 1pm and 3:52 pm this afternoon. That’s pretty radical when i think about it.

Hmm, okay I’ve got it now. Writing is such an illuminating process. My conclusion and introduction were both very rushed, and I have a sense that they may bring my grade down, however a late submission would mean an automatic 5% deduction of my mark. So I chose to submit on time. My takeaway? Even if you have a great planning strategy, you still need to factor in time to write, proofread, and submit your essay.

Ah it’s good to have gotten a handle on my internal thouggt process through writing this. .

All day I just noticed myself being a bit slower, slightly more thoughtful, so very aware of my need in front of my Rabb, and grateful for the small things. Whilst these are all good things not being able to put my finger on why was sloghtly agitating.

Now I can happily get bavk to be grateful for things like taking my kids to nursery and not needing to lug the buggy up and down three flights of stairs, my youngest bubba is getting to be a big boy 😭😭Alhamdulillah

Take care

Azeezat Adeola,

Fine words weave

P.s. another commitment to myself is to get some writing on this blog once a week. At the very least.

Week 1 ✅

Honest Writing

person uses pen on book
Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

One of the things that sometimes hinders my writing is, I want my writing to be honest. I am aware that my truth may not hold true for someone else, and it’s in that difference that learning and interchange can happen. Why am I writing about this?
There’s been a topic that keeps coming back to my mind, and I guess in some ways I’m afraid to write about it, publicly at least.
When I think about the reasons why, I think a lot of it is due to the fact that as a child I was repeatedly taught that “it’s not everything, that you tell to everyone”, said differently, ‘keep your business your business.’ As a child how do you judge that? How do you know what are the things you share, and what aren’t? Sometimes you choose to follow the example of the adults/ caretakers who gave you that advice. Other times you become paralysed by the indecision and decide it’s safer to not share anything with anyone.
The thing is it that by the time you become an adult with the capacity to re-examine things and make those decisions according to your judgement, you have already formed the habit of a lifetime, and might not even consider re-examining the decisions that you made as a child, that likely no longer fit your current circumstances, or perhaps even work against the life that you desperately want to lead.
I recently finished reading (listening to the audiobook ) “Maybe you should talk to someone” by Lori Gottlieb, there were so many insights and lessons within it, and days later, I feel I’m still absorbing some of the gems of it. One such point of interest was when the author mentioned her therapists use of something I had come across before but inevitably fell out of practice with. Allowing for space between an action and your response, means you can intentionally choose what that response will be, as opposed to a reaction, (which from my view is more about neurological pathways that have been so travelled that they automatically come in to effect).

Sometimes it is okay to delay your response, sometimes it is okay for your response to be, I don’t know, or ‘I’ll take some time to think about that’.

So currently I’m not completely sure when or if I will write about this topic which is weighted, and emotional and really important to me. I’m going to allow myself to sit with that uncertainty no matter how uncomfortable a feeling that is (which i could write a whole other post about) and, not let it be a driver of my decision i.e. deciding never to write about the topic, or just put it all out there just to be rid of the feeling. I’m going to give myself time to formulate a response, and then take action accordingly, and also remember that if at a later date that decision isn’t working I can re-examine it and change my course of action.

Do you have lessons from your childhood that could use some re-examining? Have you done any un-learing? What was that process like for you? Do you make space between an action and your response? How have you found that practice? Do you have different thoughts to me?

I really love thoughtful conversations, please leave your thoughts in the comments, if you’re reading this.

Take care,

Fine Words Weave

Scaling back

Business blog time.

I’ve been able to spend some time really thinking about my business goals, reflecting on where I want to take the business, and also listening to the Being Boss podcast, (after finding a great article online from them about overcoming the fear of selling. ) What has come out of this process for me is the realisation that I need to explore this concept of scaling back.

At the moment I would say my brand could definitely use a more focused approach. I feel like at some point I became overwhelmed with all the different things I could be doing, and tried to do “all the things” only to then be perturbed by how challenging it all was.

Running a business is hard work, it can be a lonely experience too. Having a clear plan and regular habits in place makes things a lot easier.

I want Soul Knit Sew to be impactful, to have a positive effect on individual, local, and global levels. I guess it’s really a matter of planning out how exactly I intend to do that. Really getting some clarity around my vision.

With that said I’ll be taking some time out to work that out. Those orders I’m working on currently will be completed and sent out, but after that I won’t be accepting any new orders.

Thank you for your support up to this point, I’ve really enjoyed getting to know you.

Take care,

Azeezat

Exquisite

“Stop Digging!”

You hear in your mind

You’re not going to find gold here

Only pain and rocks and dust.

Keep digging

Just go on

Excavate and go deeper

You will find the fine pure beautiful exquisitiveness

Of your young innocent soul

Under all the dirt and soil and debris

Take it out

Shake off the dirt

It shines

So pure and Golden

It’s still you,

You’re still her

Pure

A Yoruba Proverb

In a conversation with my mother recently she mentioned a Yoruba proverb.

Eni ti eyan ma ku han, eyan okin fi ara pamo fun

Why hide yourself from the ones you’ll be exposed to when dead

Consider this, when we die there are certain people to whom responsibility will fall. Those who ought to wash our (respective) bodies and prepare them for burial, those it falls on to take care of the rites, and organise things. In essence they are those who must take charge of our bodies, the ones to whom the obligations and, in effect our bodies now belong.

What can be inferred from the proverb is that these people have a stake in our lives, and a responsibilty towards us after we are departed. We can not hide ourselves from them in death, so logically it does not make much sense to hide ourselves from them in life.

If we feel the need to hide our problems and or struggles from our nearest and dearest, shouldn’t we also consider that at a certain point these will become their struggles too?

We are planted in the soil of our particular situations for a reason. (I firmly believe that this reason is growth, and developing a firm rooted understanding of our ultimate purpose in existence; to worship the Creator). With our ultimate reliance being placed on the Creator we can develop an understanding that support can come in from varying places and indeed people.

Reflecting, it dawns on me that I’ve made a lot of errors of late, and the one person that understands the most about how I feel concerning those mistakes, is the person I have made those errors against. What I’ve learned from this experience is that those around us can, if allowed, shed light on issues from different perspectives and help us to clarify our understanding of things, and in that way enable us to come up with a game plan for how we wish to move forward.

There is great benefit to be found in seeking assistance, and also from assisting others. As it is said, Islam is Naseeha, that is, the good advice. We can benefit from consulting with people. We still have the right to disagree, of course and that right is ours no one can take it away from us, but the blessing of having those around us who are invested and actually want good for us is that we get to make use of the resources they offer.

At times these people might be friends they may be family, the key is that they are trustworthy and want good for us, not only on a superficial level, and because of that are willing to point out to us, or indeed help us point out to ourselves where we’re going wrong or falling short of the persons we are/aspire to be.

In brief; Life is difficult at times. There is no harm in sharing part of that difficulty with those who will be there for your body after you have left it.

Welcome to the world

Alhamdulillahi rabbil alamin, All praise and gratitude is due to Allah the Lord of all the worlds. Just over a week ago the new addition to our family was delivered safely into this world. I can not adequately express what a privilege, honour, and humongous blessing it is to become a parent once more. How awed and humbled I am that this honour was written for me again.

It is not possible to thank God sufficiently for all the blessings that He bestows on His creation, but it is possible to try and remember to be grateful always.

Alhamdulillah.

This poem has renewed significance.

My Lord is All-Aware.

Thank you for taking the time to read these musings, take care. Posts might slow down a bit as we get settled in.

Lots of love and hopes for your peace in this life and the next,

Azeezat

❤️✨❤️

Hospitalisation and How it Affected my Writing

I was looking back at some old blog posts on a different host site, and I stumbled across a long forgotten post from Novemeber 2010. In it I wrote

…So that’s what’s been going on with me. Well that and a stint in hospital, which I think had completely broken me.

I’ve not been able to write anything, which in turn has led me to be upset… but I just don’t feel things the way I used to. It’s weird and horrible, and I hope no one has to feel the way I feel.

My sense of humour has totally changed. Things I found funny before are now not nearly as funny. I have officially become an unenthusiastic person. It bites and I don’t know how to change it, or how to feel things anymore.

I’m not asking why. I accept that this is something that has had to happen, because it did actually happen, I just wanna know what to do about it.

Reading this seven years later and being confronted with that former version of myself is hard. My heart swells and remembers the faint echo of its old wounds whilst reading this post.

It was written shortly after I was sectioned under the mental health act and hospitalised. I am someone who is pretty open about this having been part of my life experience, though I feel where I come from, both from a cultural and religious standpoint, there is still at times a stigma attached to mental health problems, and being open about difficulties people face in that regard. I stand by my resolve to be open about my experience though, because it is through sharing, open discussion, and sincere reflection, that I believe we all learn, develop, and reach new levels of compassion and understanding.

What is very weird though, is that I’d forgotten that my writing slump coincided with my being sectioned. Prior to being sectioned, I would spend countless nights losing sleep because I was pouring out a new story idea, or working on a new poem, or just scribbling my feelings out in a journal. After being sectioned I just couldn’t do it. I tried, I tried to force myself to keep writing, I even attempted NaNoWriMo from my room on the triage ward, but it just didn’t pan out.

For perhaps the majority of my life words and writing have been places of refuge for me; from spending summers folding a4 sheets of paper in half, stapling them in the middle and designing books, writing endless stories fuelled by a youthful imagination, to journalling during my time in boarding school, even those angst filled poems that littered my teenage years. However, in the midst of one of my most difficult life experiences, that tool and solace was lost to me.

It was not that I couldn’t access writing, it’s just there was something off about it, even now it’s so hard to express this in a way that makes sense. It was almost as though in the same way that my self confidence had withered away during my time in hospital, the creativity I normally overflowed with when it came time to put my fingers to the keyboard or even pen to paper had shrivelled up too. I can still remember the desperate struggle to write, how huge of a mental block there seemed to be, how it was almost as though I’d lost not only the capacity to express myself, but also the will to do so. I believe this is very much a parallel to how things stood for me at that time mentally too. It took a lot of work to get back on an even keel, Alhamdulillah! I do feel that this experience, as much as it knocked me down, was useful in that it was a way to start rebuilding myself with a stronger foundation.

Eventually, painstakingly slowly my love of writing did return. I started of with a journal, a hot pink faux leather bound lined notebook; no dates or days, just blank lined pages a year after I left hospital. I didn’t write every day, in fact weeks would go by and I wouldn’t pick up my pen at all. When I did write, I would write a sentence here, a paragraph there, and there were a lot of days where I couldn’t find the motivation to get out of bed, talk less of the mental effort it took to pick up a pen and organise my thoughts enough to write what I was feeling.

I kept writing though. A new year started and I was still using that same hot pink diary… occasionally. Gradually I was recovering, and so was my writing. Things were not exactly the same, just as I had been altered by my experiences, I believe my writing was too. At times writing can still be a challenge, but I am so grateful that it wasn’t lost to me forever.

To anyone who’s found that mental health issues have negatively impacted their writing I wanted to just put this out there, don’t lose hope. It can come back, it may not be the same, but the challenging things that we go through in life don’t have to forever be dark ink blots on the pages of our life stories, we have the capacity to grow from and learn from our experiences. To transform the inkblots into fantastic illustrations of growth and starting points for change.

Lots of love

Stay Listening

Peaceful Parenting 💙🦋

My 23 month old is crying; his face is all crumpled up, and tears are streaming down his face. He’s got quite the pair of lungs on him, so the sobs that wrack his chest are pretty loud. I don’t immediately rush to shush him, or tell him not to cry, or even tell him that there isn’t a need to cry over small things. Instead I reach for the tools and skills I’ve been developing and learning from my peaceful parenting course. The ones that empower me to parent from a peaceful place inside. To not let the tides of my own emotions overwhelm the ship of my parenting. To listen to him crying, to be there with him in that moment.

The huge swell of panic that used to immediately overwhelm me, the need to just make him stop crying, at near any cost, that, alhamdulillah has gone. Sure it has not suddenly become the highlight of my day when my toddler starts crying and screaming, but slowly slowly I’m building confidence, finding pockets of peace and breathing room, to think and make decisions as opposed to just react. I’m learning to listen to his upset, and not have it rock me and my emotions. I’m able to put my trust in my Lord that my child’s behaviour right now does not mean in future he will be whatever it is I fear. Crying over sweets doesn’t mean he will become spoilt. Pinching somebody else doesn’t mean he will become a bully. It just means his behaviour is off track. It just means he is learning.

He needs my love, connection and listening most, when he is off track. It is exhausting work, any type of parenting is.

But, I’m able to recognise his cries now, for what they are. A way of letting me know that he feels disconnected, that he needs to reconnect with me. He as young as he is, is still subject to his emotions just as we all are. He also faces the challenges and tests that come with living life, and the best way I can foster intelligence both emotional and other kinds, and encourage him to learn ways to deal with these challenges, is to offer connection during these times, to stay listening, and to maintain the limits.

Traditionally speaking, I will be, and have been told, that his behaviour is something I should control, that it is disrespectful or rude for him to be upset by things (perhaps a certain household rule, or something I have told him he is not allowed to have), that I ought to punish him so that he learns to respect me. What I’m coming to realise, is that punishing him for expressing his need for connection serves only to push us further away from each other. The truth is, it is impossible to control anyone else. In fact at times even controlling ourselves can be a struggle. Rather it is Allah that is in control of all of the affairs of the heavens and earth.

One of the gems I picked up during the course which really shook me up, and made me contemplate, was this. My child as he is, is not yet accountable to Allah for his actions, at least not until he reaches the age of maturity. I however am. If his spilling a cup of water on the floor sends me into a rage, or initiates a huge over reaction on my part, then where does this show of injustice lie on the scale of parenting as an act of ibadah. Quite far from ihsan (the best) I would say. And very far removed from the person I want to be.

I have been giving a lot of thought to the woman I am, and the woman I want to be. My personal standards and the esteem I hold my soul in leave me unwilling to be reactive in my parenting approach. I want to be better, and do better. It’s a journey, and not an easy one mind you, but I’m ready and willing to put in the work bi’ithni’llah.