Muslimah Writer’s Journey Summit is on!

“There is a story only you can tell because you are unique.” – Na’ima B. Robert,

I am SO EXCITED! The content is inspiring, the dashboard looks gorgeous, and the Facebook group is thrumming with supportive sister-writer love.

The Day One line up of wonderful speakers looks like this:

Na’ima B Robert – The Story You Were Born To Tell
LaYinka Sanni – The World of Your Mind, The World of Your Pen
Aishah Adams – Aishah Adams

There’s still time to sign up here! Bit.ly/MuslimahWritersSummit

Reflections

IMG_7728Here are some of my poetry notes during Baraka Blue’s poetry workshop during his first visit to Malaysia. I flipped back a few pages and noted the date – 21/5/2014. Pre-babies. A lifetime ago. These were nights where I performed my poetry on the same stage as Jamal Raslan, Malaysian spoken word guru. Baraka Blue sat in the audience, my teacher thoughtfully watching my word play. My nights are now spent communing with my daughters, or simply enjoying the solitude when they are asleep. I have moved from the performance stage, a public space, to a very, very private space. Expansion, contraction. The cycle of life.

We’re on Day 9/30 of Baraka Blue’s online poetry workshop, and it’s such a treat, writing and reading poetry every single day.  I struggle with the discipline of writing daily, and being part of a safe, spiritual writing space has been so, so helpful and so, so healing. It is so exciting for me to lean into the spiritual practice of poetry! I’m learning so much from my teacher and classmates. Interestingly, writing poetry has been unlocking my creative juices for my fiction and creative non-fiction works. Woo! Bonus.

On those inevitable bad days, even writing a word will do. And the words add up to lines, lines add up to stanzas, and stanzas add up to poems. Speaking of poems, please scroll down to my Day 8 poem, inspired by Rainer Maria Rilke’s gorgeous, gorgeous poem You Who Never Arrived.

Reading Rilke’s poem, so full of haunting longing, catapulted me almost a decade ago, when I was a young student of knowledge in Jordan, I remember being torn by so much longing. Longing for the Divine, for marriage, for children….now that I’m in my thirties, alhamdulilah, I have the marriage and the children I always wanted. They simultaneously give me so much joy and also stop me from jumping onto my next plane adventure lol. Ah well. Gotta wait til my girls are older, then we can adventure around the globe together ❤

 

Day 8 Poem – Wanderlust

A decade ago
I sat upon a mountain and
sang qasidas to You
my fractured heart
only comforted by this –

one day, I would be gone
and these giants would
remain

my brother hovered behind me
making sure that
I wouldn’t fall off said mountain
or injure myself
in other ways

the traveller inside me still
longs for deep forests
blue desert skies
vast oceans
for in motion, I see You

I am homebound now
growing two daughters
from scratch
like bread, they rise

It’s harder now to
catch glimpses of You
when my days are filled
with so much minutiae

Sometimes –
From the periphery
You surprise me
– my youngest’s gummy laugh
my eldest’s fearless dance
I forget myself
for a heartbeat

and then I remember
and fall back to earth

You are so close! and yet, always out of reach

My Day 1 Poem: Home

Alhamdulilah, I’m on Day 3/30 of Baraka Blue’s online poetry course. I am loving the daily encouragement to write a poem (30 poems in 30 days!), and to read the poems from my coursemates. So much to breathe in and chew on throughout the day. I literally wait the entire day, until my daughters are fast asleep.

Our Day 1 poem was Rumi’s To Take A Step Without Feet. It took some reflection, time, refining and late night solitude, and here’s my response:

Day 1: Home

sit beside me, little ones
unfurl your hands and let me
read the constellations on your palms
the dewdrops of your innocence, paid for by
the blood of those who came

before

you, two tiny souls
burrowed deep, heartbeat to
heartbeat – grew, thrived, birthed
upon the waves of my pain
ancient, knowing eyes

every day

I was born thirsty
into hunger, carried across generations
cut from my roots
grew in hostile soil
you are my home now

teach me

how to breathe
swallow light
let go
hope
love

come

walk Home with me
may we sip, gently
cool, deep waters from the
hands of our Beloved
and never thirst again

Selamat Hari Raya!

eyeoftheheart_An-Online-4-Week-Contemplative-Writing-Workshop_June_July+_1_*resurfaces for air*

Belated Selamat Hari Raya, Eid Mubarak, maaf zahir dan batin!

SO. I’m still alive. Thank you to everyone who took the time to congratulate me on the birth of my youngest girl. My newborn is now a 5 month old baby! My toddler will turn three soon and will transform into a preschooler! I have never been so time-starved in my life!

Inhala, exhala.

I’m enrolled in this incredible online poetry course by Baraka Blue – Opening The Eye of The Heart. If you resonate with poetry being a spiritual practice, want to deepen your craft and connect to other like-minded souls…this course is absolutely for you. (FYI I’m not sure if there are any spots left – just give it a shot!)

Working through this incredible course is how I nourish myself, after an entire day of nourishing my daughters. Writing 30 poems in 30 days sounds like a gift beyond measure for me, in this stage of my life. Alas, my daughters will not tell me, “Mama, go ahead and fill your self-care cup by tapping into your love for poetry.” Well, at least not for another TWO DECADES.

So, here’s to me and all mamas who need to carve out time to recharge. I matter. You matter. We matter. Nourished mamas have more to give their little ones. Rinse, repeat.

**I wrote a draft blog post before this, about finally realising that I’m a Creative Rainbow Mother, and not an Earth Mother. But then my life swallowed me up again. Ha. So I’ll get around to publishing that soon. Ish. Soon-ish.

Rumi’s Mindfulness Course – coming up in KL!

rumimindfulnesscourseRumi and mindfulness – two of my favourite things. Combined? I can’t wait to find out! I’ll be attending the Wednesday morning classes, starting on 28th January 2015, inshaAllah.

Please scroll down to read the course outline, as described by the wonderful and serene Hafsa Hasan, holistic therapist.

RUMI’S MINDFULNESS

‘Seek the wisdom that will untie your knot. Seek the path that demands your whole being.’

6 WEEK CLASS SCHEDULE
(RM450 for the whole course)

Morning Class, Wednesdays 10am,
starting 28th January 2015

Evening Class, Thursdays 8pm,
starting 29th January 2015

Teenagers class, Sunday 5pm,
starting 25th January 2015

NEXT INTAKE will start 20th April

All classes take place at Caterpillar Studio , Sri Hartamas KL

Students will have a chance to attend a Mindfulness Jungle Retreat after completing the course!

In Rumi’s Mindfulness Courses I will also share with you the power of Metaphor, and Spontaneous Healing Movement, both of which were a big part of Rumi’s beautiful tradition.

Peace x
Hafsa

Click here to register 🙂

To learn more about Hafsa’s work, click here.

Digging Deep, Facing Self LIVE in KL, Malaysia! This Sunday 22nd Nov, 10 am – 1 pm @ Cufica

PrintI have wonderful news! Join my poetic coach and mentor, the talented Caits Meissner, this Sunday morning for a Digging Deep, Facing Self (DDFS) crash course ❤ Caits is flying down all the way from New York, bringing her suitcase of healing poetic balms to Malaysia for the very first time.

My sister Aisyah and I have the honour and pleasure of being amongst the DDFS alumni. Under Caits’ expert tutelage, both of us have had our poems selected for publication at the Islamic Museum of Australia! I hope that her deft touch, courageous prompts and compassion will inspire you into your own space of healing and wonder.

This Sunday night, join Caits Meissner, myself and a range of local artists for poetry performances around the theme “Deeper Consciousness”.

My deepest thanks and gratitude goes to the organisers for making this tour possible – Third Space, Poetry Cafe KL, Blubricks, Cufica, and the American Embassy – especially Jamal Raslan. Thank you for making it possible for me to meet Caits in real life!

If you love poetry, writing, healing and everything in between, please come and bring your loved ones. May this be means of adding beauty to our lives!

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