One of the habits I have really cultivated and held on to in my journey to self-improvement and self-discovery is journaling/writing.
Sometimes though I can’t find the right words to express what’s inside myself and so I do art instead, and once I do that I miraculously find the words for it too.
So this is a piece I did on ‘calm’ or ‘my calm’ and as I look at it, ‘calm’ speaks to me.
Calm stands alone. It doesn’t need support and it's powerful. As I was doing the page I intuitively felt that the word ‘strength’ had to go on the page too and maybe that’s because ‘calm’ is strength. Maybe our strength comes forth when we’re calm or maybe we need to be calm to be strong but strength definitely leans on calm.
The white flower is so delicate yet it stands alone so calmly. It has a dignity and strength in its calm that says ‘I’m strong, I’m scared. Don’t touch me.’
Calmness needs space and clarity. Everything on the page stands distinctly and clearly. There is no clutter. When we’re calm there is no clutter in the mind and there is no clutter in our space. Clutter makes calm impossible.
When calm, everything has time to be itself and shine forth like the leaf on the page. If in a chaotic clutter it would be on the floor and unnoticed. It would not demand attention or show any grace.
Nature seems to be the best at being calm. It stands still. The mountains stand still and calm. The trees are also still. They stand tall too in their own space and they don’t feel any need to compete with the mountains. They gracefully take their own space and wear their dignity like it’s their birthright. They don’t feel inferior to the higher mountains. They stand in their own power in their own grace. They are calm.
The mountains in turn don’t compete with the sky. Everything is calm and still in its own place.
The trees, the mountains, and the sky are separate yet together. In harmony. In calm. And the river flows gracefully and smoothly through them creating life. They don’t rush to guide it or steer it but let it flow unresisted as is its nature. . They recognize the infinite power of ALLAH all things. They do not seek to control like we humans foolishly do at times, thinking we have control when really we don’t. And all this reminds me of ALLAH’s words:
“And Man is Very Hasty”. Chapter 17: Verse 11
“Indeed, Man was created impatient and anxious.” Chapter 70: Verse 19
And then there’s me with my hands in prayer connecting with ALLAH up above and in that is my calm. Knowing that there is a greater plan for me, knowing that I’m part of the picture just like all the pieces in nature. Standing still and feeling ALLAH’s light and strength guiding me and taking care of me. That is where I find calm. That is where I find strength. That is how I stand tall. That is how I find peace.
Naturally, when I am in that space this dua comes to my mind:
حسبي الله لا اله الا هو عليه توكلت وهو رب العرش العظيم
For those of you who don’t know Arabic: HasbiyaALLAHu alaihi tawakkaltu wa huwa rabbul arshil azeem.Translation: ALLAH is sufficent for me, there is no God but HIM, upon him I rely and HE is the LORD of the great throne.
If ALLAH is taking care of the trees, the mountains, the skies, the Earth, the sun, the solar system, the universe, the heavens, and the arsh (throne) which is bigger than all of those how can I worry about HIM not taking care of me. How can I not be calm?
Sisters, I want you to find your calm because that is your strength. Connect with ALLAH. Let go of clutter in the mind, in the heart, and in your space.
Where and how do you find your calm and your strength?