I've been told this so many times but never really took it and applied it to my journey in Islam, but I should! Life as a revert/convert can be demanding at times. Once you say your Shahada you are expected (ideally) to change your habits, your daily life changes (for the better perhaps) to something completely different. This can be a blessing or hardship or both (as I feel) sometimes. You must take small steps or even crawl to reach your target - typical of me I want to run before I can walk and if I can't do that then I deem myself as a failure. Well, you know what - no more! I can't live with all the pressure and self-criticism, I am on a journey and it will take me as long as necessary for me to get to my destination. Ok, enough jabber, what I mean is that I am making slow changes to my lifestyle. First one, dressing more modestly. I have never dressed too inappropriately but I have realized that I do get some leering looks from men. I always felt (naive me) that not all men think 'like that' and that its not just my responsibility, they have to restrain themselves as well. Well, I still believe that but I do realize that you don't need to give them any 'fuel' (so to speak) to fire them up. So, along those lines I have made the conscience decision to wear longer skirts and pants only. Ok, I know that does not seem like a very big step, but it is a start for me. As well, I am trying to integrate Islam into my daily life more. One way is saying 'bismillah' before driving, or eating, or any other activity I do.
I am learning to crawl before I walk!!