RELIGION

The Magical Headspace Of Muslim Artist Noor Al-Mosawi

It's about "finding a grounding, stabilizing energy in our lives, regardless of what's swirling around us."

There's a lot going on inside Noor Al-Mosawi's head.

As a wedding photographer, the 34-year-old from the greater Toronto area spends her days telling other people's stories. Her Instagram feed is filled with elaborately dressed brides and loving couples sharing tender gazes.

But on the inside, her soul was still searching for solid ground.

"I recently walked away from an emotionally abusive relationship and I realized that I lacked a connection to my inner voice," Al-Mosawi told The Huffington Post. "Not knowing about what I thought, or how I felt about things."

Then, one day, Al-Mosawi decided to turn the camera on herself.

When she first started putting her self-portraits together, Al-Mosawi said it was strange seeing her face on the computer screen. But she pressed on, manipulating the space around her head to fit her mood.

She would start with an image of herself, keeping her face bare and using just a few dabs of eyeliner and mascara. Then, she'd add layers to the piece, mixing images that she had photographed with designs she created on Photoshop. 

The result is a series of 21 images, each paired with a quote from author Mark Gonzales' book, "In Times of Terror, Wage Beauty." The book is made up of short but inspirational lines of prose that guide the reader through what Al-Mosawi calls an "internal paradigm shift." It was these words, along with the support provided by her faith, family and friends, that helped spur the photographer's healing process.

"This series is about self-care, about finding a grounding, stabilizing energy in our lives, regardless of what's swirling around us," she said. "We have this space we can go to retreat, recalibrate and center ourselves."

See some of Al-Mosawi's  images below, and follow her on Instagram for more.

  • <span style="font-style: inherit;">"Know that if even the very physical nature of this world is impermanent, there is no way
    Noor Al-Mosawi
    "Know that if even the very physical nature of this world is impermanent, there is no way a wound could be infinite. Every scar will one day be the place where a future garden will grow."   "In Times of Terror, Wage Beauty," page 61
  • <span style="font-style: inherit;">"For we have vastly limited the definition of healing, loved ones. It is not merely the ab
    Noor Al-Mosawi
    "For we have vastly limited the definition of healing, loved ones. It is not merely the absence of pain, it is the presence of pleasure."   "In Times of Terror, Wage Beauty," page 47
  • <span style="font-style: inherit;">"In this moment, an echo is occurring across the globe. It is the human spirit craving to
    Noor Al-Mosawi
    "In this moment, an echo is occurring across the globe. It is the human spirit craving to be reminded one does not need permission to grow."   "In Times of Terror, Wage Beauty," page 12 
  • <span style="font-style: inherit;">"If no one has told you, your desire to heal is so damn beautiful even when the way you've
    Noor Al-Mosawi
    "If no one has told you, your desire to heal is so damn beautiful even when the way you've tried to heal your wounds is flawed."   "In Times of Terror, Wage Beauty," page 36  
  • <span style="font-style: inherit;">"Live. Love. Grow. Even if one cannot make life more beautiful, at least make it more bear
    Noor Al-Mosawi
    "Live. Love. Grow. Even if one cannot make life more beautiful, at least make it more bearable. This should be considered the base for being human."   "In Times of Terror, Wage Beauty," page 12 
  • <span style="font-style: inherit;">"What better way is there to shift a paradigm than by speaking in ways that encourage drea
    Noor Al-Mosawi
    "What better way is there to shift a paradigm than by speaking in ways that encourage dreams, laughter and imagination. For those acts of creativity are not luxury, short sighted or simplistic, they are essential."   "In Times of Terror, Wage Beauty," page 51 
  • <span style="font-style: inherit;"><span style="font-style: inherit;">"Say it with me:&nbsp;</span><br><span style="font-styl
    Noor Al-Mosawi
    "Say it with me: 
    Now is not the time to be timid.
    Now is not the time to be timid.
    Now is not the time to be timid."
      "In Times of Terror, Wage Beauty," page 21 
  • <span style="font-style: inherit;">"Let go of the doubt in the power of your story, even if it seems minuscule. Let go of the
    Noor Al-Mosawi
    "Let go of the doubt in the power of your story, even if it seems minuscule. Let go of the doubt in the power of your voice, even if you believe it is a whisper."   "In Times of Terror, Wage Beauty," page 34 
  • <span style="font-style: inherit;">"Possibility is a universe written in eleven letters. May your life be a love affair with
    Noor Al-Mosawi
    "Possibility is a universe written in eleven letters. May your life be a love affair with its definition, embodied and advanced with each breath."   "In Times of Terror, Wage Beauty," page 77
  • <span style="font-style: inherit;">"Educate the Human Heart. Elevate the Human Mind. Grow the Human Soul."</span>
&nbsp;
<spa
    Noor Al-Mosawi
    "Educate the Human Heart. Elevate the Human Mind. Grow the Human Soul."   "In Times of Terror, Wage Beauty," page 50 
  • <span style="font-style: inherit;">&nbsp;"Time is infinite, as are we. For one of the most powerful ideas a human being could
    Noor Al-Mosawi
     "Time is infinite, as are we. For one of the most powerful ideas a human being could ever engage is how we are far from dust in the wind powerless. We are the pivot point between all that ever was (ancestors) and all that ever will be (generations to come). Who are we then but ancestors in training."   "In Times of Terror, Wage Beauty," page 62 
  • <span style="font-style: inherit;"><span style="font-style: inherit;">"Gravity is an illusion to we who are born of starlight
    Noor Al-Mosawi
    "Gravity is an illusion to we who are born of starlight and thermodynamics. For what is starlight but energy? What are humans but energy? What is the 2nd law of thermodynamics but a reminder that energy cannot be created or destroyed? 
    What are we then loved ones, but infinite."
      "In Times of Terror, Wage Beauty," page 11 
  • <span style="font-style: inherit;"><span style="font-style: inherit;">"Even when your breath seems weak &amp; quivering, give
    Noor Al-Mosawi
    "Even when your breath seems weak & quivering, give thanks. Wounded though an exhale may be, it is scientific proof we are still amongst the land of the living. 
    That alone is reason for hope."
      "In Times of Terror, Wage Beauty," page 8 
  • <span style="font-style: inherit;">"For stories are the engine of identity. Language is the mechanics that construct our idea
    Noor Al-Mosawi
    "For stories are the engine of identity. Language is the mechanics that construct our ideas of self and other. Our love is the space fuel. Our imagination is the map that guides across this road trip of life. We are the drivers and starlight navigators. Now is the time to drive courageously."   "In Times of Terror, Wage Beauty," page 42  
  • <span style="font-style: inherit;">"Listen to your heart. Give thanks to those who came before, then leave behind a little mo
    Noor Al-Mosawi
    "Listen to your heart. Give thanks to those who came before, then leave behind a little more than what you were given. Do not limit intelligence to solely the mind. Be a genius of heart. Your genetics already are. Playing small only benefits your enemies."   "In Times of Terror, Wage Beauty," page 21  
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