Our January Inspirational figure is Sister Umme Hafsa from Inspired and Fabulous! After successfully defeating depression, Alhamdulillah, she formed her blog to share uplifting and inspirational messages with women from all across the globe. With beautiful tips and a wonderful combination of love, body, mind and soul posts; her blog offers all that you need!
Want to feel empowered and to start 2016 with a dose of self-love, passion and high ambitions? Read this exclusive interview with Sister Umme Hafsa!
1) What is the inspiration behind your blog?
I started blogging to share my message to the world. A few years before starting my blog, I’d gone through severe depression to point of praying to Allah that my life would end. It was an incredibly tough, heart-breaking and soul-crushing journey. It took me almost 2 years to completely heal myself from depression. That inward journey drove me to start my blog and share my insights.
2) Tell us more about your career and the challenges you’ve had to overcome.
I’m managing and growing my blog ‘Inspired & Fabulous’ full time. A lot of people underestimate the work needed to create a successful blog and brand. Especially when you’re starting out – some days you’re a web designer, web developer, copywriter, editor, marketer etc. One of my challenges has been a lack of skills, particularly in web development. It can be so challenging when your blog is facing a technical issue and you’re completely lost on how to deal with it.
3) What is unique about the coaching services you offer?
It’s a heart-felt coaching service. My clients mean the world to me :)) I love holding that space where women can be completely open and vulnerable with themselves. It usually means a lot of tears but that kind of honesty and openness is priceless, alhumdullilah.
4) As our theme for this month is Self Love, how would you advise women to truly tap into their potential as well as to love themselves for who they are, in spite of any imperfections that bother them or unwanted flaws?
To truly live up to your highest potential, dream your wildest dreams and follow them. Live whole-heartedly and authentically. Be fiercely committed to your life and happiness. When you set a goal to read Quran daily, follow through – actually do it. If yoga makes your body feel light and relaxed, schedule it in more often. You reach your potential by living beautifully and passionately every single day.
The essence of self-love is about giving to yourself. Giving to your mind, body and soul what you desperately crave from others. Self –love is about engaging in the activities that light you up, even for 5 minutes a day.
5) Women can be quite sensitive and may experience a series of emotions all at once, how do you think women can tackle their negative emotions and pessimistic thoughts?
Any pessimistic thoughts (which result in negative feelings) come from the ego – our inner mean girl. It’s that voice in our minds which says ‘you’re not pretty/skinny/smart enough’, ‘nobody is going to read your blog – who do you think you are?’ It breaks my heart when I hear that women actually believe those negative thoughts and pessimistic stories we tell ourselves.
The first step to overcoming these thoughts is to gently catch yourself, every time the negative thought pops up. Once you notice the thought, gently close the door on your mean girl and come back to the present moment. When we truly and whole-heartedly exist in the present moment those negative thoughts and feelings can’t appear. When you’re playing with your child or deeply focused in a project, negative thoughts don’t happen because you’re truly in the present moment and not having a conversation in your mind.
6) What are the factors that hinder women’s self love, development and growth? And do you believe they have the power to turn things around to their benefit?
A major factor is hanging out with your mean girl for too long. Also giving into excuses and procrastination because deep inside your truly not committed to your goal. All these factors can definitely be overcome! inshaAllah.
7) How much has your past experience helped you inspire and enhance the lives of the women you encounter?
So much! Without my previous experience of going through a horrid depression, I wouldn’t be where I am today. It’s through gruelling depression, hitting rock bottom and questioning everything in my life that I’m able today to help and relate to other women.
8) People say that positivity and optimism are contagious, would you agree?
Absolutely! Whenever I listen to one of my role model’s talks, read her book/articles, I’m brimming with excitement and happiness. The light that come from following your heart and living authentically is infectious!
9) When you are not blogging or coaching, what activities do you enjoy spending time on?
Learning – I love to learn, I only wish that someone would pay me for it 😉 Cooking is also a passion of mine. I love cooking healthy, fresh meals. It’s so nourishing and makes me so happy. I could happily spend the whole day cooking and then eating 😀 Though that doesn’t happen often.
10) What are some of the goals you plan to achieve in 2016?
In terms of work, to grow Inspired & Fabulous into a heart-centred business by launching online programs, life coaching packages and ebooks. I have an ebook on mastering self-love coming out soon inshaAllah. My personal goals for 2016 consist of being whole-heartedly committed to my health, happiness and life.
11) Anything else interesting you would like to share!
I’ve released the ultimate daily planner, which consists of 8 elements to boost your productivity, start your day from the heart, make self-love a beautiful priority and streamline your busy day. You can check it out here inshaAllah:
Want to read some of our interviews with other Inspiration sisters who are using their passions to improve the lives of others? Get healthy and fit with Aishah from Grains and Gains, amplify your youth and productivity with Amina from Youthly Hub, and get some blog tips and motivation from Najmah from By Najmah and The Muslim Bricks.
Who inspires you? Share with us, so we can be inspired too. In shaa Allah.
About the author
Ibtihal is a striving Muslimah currently majoring in Islamic Economics, with the intention of spreading awareness about Islamic shari’ah law in this field in sha Allah. At the moment, she enjoys writing Islamic articles to share the knowledge she gains with others, hoping to inspire and motivate herself and others to be positive contributors in this world.