20 Ramadan 2017: I think of …

He foresaw my every fall, my every sin, my every backsliding; yet, nevertheless, fixed His heart upon me. ― Arthur W. Pink

As we start the last third of this blessed month, I think of god’s mercy and love that enters our hearts when all else seems dark around us.

I think of god’s fairness in giving us all a set of strengths and talents that help us live a meaningful and fulfilling life.

I think of god’s wisdom and knowledge that allows certain tribulations to take place yet gives us other matters that give us hope and positivity for the future.

I think of god’s kindness that no matter how long we take to count our many blessings, we would never feel like we captured them all.

I think of god’s beauty as I look around and see the beautiful flowers, the magnificent skies, the chirping of the birds and the many beauty colors and designs they have together with the butterflies.

I think of god’s forgiveness as no matter how far we go and how much we divert from doing good in this world, god is always ready for us to come back and live our best lives for ourselves and for others as well.

With an open heart and an open mind, I ask god to uplift us all and give us yet the greatest days ahead with blessings, love and peace of mind and heart.

 

Image courtesy of khumthong at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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19 Ramadan 2017: It is time …

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. – Steve Jobs

We all know the state of the world these days, what we didn’t need is another tragedy. We woke up to the story of a burning building in London where many are believed to be in critical state or have moved on from this life. May those who have left their families and loved ones behind rest in peace.

What it did get me thinking about is how something like this awakens something in one’s soul that tackles despair…we have a limited time on earth and if it was our turn tomorrow, what have we left behind?

A good reputation? Helpful advice? Some charity? Knowledge? Anger? Materialistic behavior? Shallow advice? Envy? Greed?

We are what we leave behind … and we leave behind our words, our money, our work, our families, and our friendships … so are they in the condition we would like to leave it in?

We might not achieve what we hope to achieve but at least we can try and people know we tried.

It is time … it is time to be free of fears and expectations that are unjustified.

It is time … to go after what we want and share it with others.

It is time … to enjoy each other’s time while we still can.

It is time … to help those in need in whatever way we can.

It is time … to choose our words carefully.

It is time … to commit to excellence in whatever we set our minds to.

It is time …

 

 

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17 Ramadan 2017: It can be much worse

Such is life and life is such and after all it isn’t much. First a cradle. Then a hearse. It might have been better, but it could have been worse. – Norman Wisdom

One very effective way around feelings of despair is the power of imagination … imaging how different and worse things could be that brings us back to the circle of thankfulness and satisfaction with self, society and god.

I know, this might sound like a passive approach to positivity and change but the truth is that it cannot be ignored because yes, things could be much much much worse and our current situation can become much much much worse in a split second.

Take one moment, and imagine just one aspect that could be worse … believe me, your feelings of desperation will switch, even if temporarily or momentarily, to feelings of thankfulness.

There are so many negative things in our world today. Thank god for our safety. Thank god for clean water. Thank god for food. Thank god for a roof over our heads. Thank god for decent health to move around. Thanks to god always.

So again, why are we sad? It really could be much much worse.

I may not be where I want to be, but thank God I am not where I used to be. Joyce Meyer

 

 

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30 Ramadan 2016: Three Key Changes

By changing nothing, nothing changes.– Tony Robbins

RL

Today, on the last day of this blessed month, something weird happened … a lot of wrong things.

I was impatient … I procrastinated … I rushed … I was annoyed … I disregarded others … it was seriously a weird day.

I say weird because of the sheer irony.

After 29 days of trying to be a better person than I was before Ramadan, and after 29 days of recognizing my weaknesses with plans in place for how to deal with them after Ramadan…

Here I was on the last day doing THE THINGS I SAID I WOULD NOT DO AFTER RAMADAN!!!!!!

Then a dear friend reminded me that that in itself was a blessing.

As difficult as it was, I started to see that … I started to see that it was god’s way, within the blessed month, to reiterate the changes I need to make in my life.

… patience, priority, gentleness.

God was, is and will always be merciful.

 

 

Image courtesy of Vichaya Kiatying-Angsulee / freedigitalphotos.net

 

28 Ramadan 2016: What do we want?

Are these things really better than the things I already have? Or am I just trained to be dissatisfied with what I have now? ― Chuck Palahniuk

RLWhat do we really want?

I think, beyond colors, cultures and genders, we all just want to be happy.

While a stable state of happiness is not possible in that sense, it is possible to have a stable state of happiness if we accept the way things are, the way things come, the way things go … happiness is about acceptance.

Let us accept our spouses, accept our kids, accept our looks, accept our wealth, accept our friends, accept our jobs, … accept everything.

All of a sudden we will see that we live abundant lives full of blessings we can never thank god for.

 

 

Image courtesy of Kittikun Atsawintarangkul / freedigitalphotos.net

25 Ramadan 2016: True Reliance

The more you go with the flow of life and surrender the outcome to God, and the less you seek constant clarity, the more you will find that fabulous things start to show up in your life. ― Mandy Hale

RLHave you tried to let go? Like really let go?

I am not talking about not moving forward or problem solving or setting goals, I am talking about doing these things without holding on to a specific expectation or outcome … truly letting go.

I thought I did … until I realized I didn’t … and then when I really needed help … I did that, and the results were amazing.

How would you feel if you knew, you just knew, that everything was going to turn out exactly how it should and in the best outcome for you?

How would you feel if you knew that no outcome will be bad no matter how it looks?

How would you feel if you knew that if you really needed help, there was always – and I mean always – someone there?

Exactly! You feel invincible!

Nothing beats relying on god, and I mean truly relying on god where you take the steps necessary to complete a task to fulfill a dream without any hesitation or fear but at the same time knowing that no matter what steps you take, the outcome may be totally different but that it will always be better than what you had planned.

It is a tough one but it sure is worth a try … you will not be disappointed for he is always around, always seeing, always protecting and always providing.

 

 

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14 Ramadan 2016: Cherish them

But she wasn’t around, and that’s the thing when your parents die, you feel like instead of going in to every fight with backup, you are going into every fight alone. ― Mitch Albom

RLJust like in everyday life, I recently had an important career decision to make, and I didn’t know what to do. In my mind, all I saw was difficulty in every possibility.

I thought, I procrastinated, I worried, I complained … just unnecessary fear and unnecessary confusion.

I asked god to show me the way and I got my support from the strangest of people.

Ok, well, it is not that strange, but it was interesting to see that after losing my mom a year ago, I found a sense of support and comfort in my dad.

My dad was always wise and smart but mothers often are the first and main source of support, a role which seems like my dad is slowly assuming.

I can tell you that we don’t only need our parents, but we are never the same without them, it is like losing a part of you that you can never get back, creating a gaping whole that never ever ever closes.

With our parents, we never have to go anywhere alone.

With our parents, we never have to decide alone.

With our parents, we never have to worry or celebrate alone.

With our parents, near or far, close-knit or not, we are NOT alone.

In this Ramadan, I ask god to give all surviving parents a long life full of wisdom and bliss.

In this Ramadan, I ask god to forgive the mistakes of our deceased parents and help us always remember them in our hearts and minds.

Love your parents

 

 

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12 Ramadan 2016: Change *Signal*

Don’t let the fear of the time it will take to accomplish something stand in the way of your doing it. The time will pass anyway; we might just as well put that passing time to the best possible use. – Earl Nightingale

RLI heard an interview with a *now* coach and consultant who was asked why he left his previous prominent function which was well paid, highly respected and prestigious. His answer was simple, he did not feel that he could not serve well in that role.

WOW! He could not serve well …

We are commonly guided that it is time to change a job or role we hold or responsibility we have when we feel restricted, unmotivated, unhappy, not supported etc… but in this interview, it is when we do not feel like we are serving well.

This means that if we are in a job or carry out a responsibility and we do not feel like we are serving others in a way that suits us and in the greatest way possible, then we are or we will eventually feel restricted, unmotivated, unhappy, not supported etc…

In this Ramadan, and in these blessed days, it is not a bad idea to take stock of how we spend our time between jobs and responsibilities and identify where are not serving well … and either let go or change our mindset. For example, as parents our responsibilities includes taking care of our kids, and while we cannot let go of that responsibility, we can start look a this role as a role of service and focus on doing our best in it to revive motivation.

 

 

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26 Ramadan 2015: Today is Life … Tomorrow is?

“What day is it?”
It’s today,” squeaked Piglet.
My favorite day,” said Pooh. ― A.A. Milne

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Like the dandelion, we might be here today, but there is no guarantee for tomorrow.

I truly did not see how this was a character trait in my mom until she sadly passed away.

When I reflected on all her behaviors and actions throughout, let us say the last 10 years, I could quickly see that she never relied or believed that she could see the next day.

She always did things NOW.

When she wanted to speak to someone, she did it NOW.

When she wanted to buy something for someone, she did it NOW.

When she wanted anything … it was always NOW.

And while I sadly thought it was perfectionist tendencies, it was actually her not relying on what tomorrow brought.

I tried to implement this learning in my own life in the past two months and quickly saw her point.

If I delayed, I always paid another price to that delay, be it pressure, inconvenience or simply missing out on an opportunity to do good or an opportunity that would have benefited me.

The reality is we can’t guarantee tomorrow.

If my mom could pass away from the flu, we could pass away from anything at any moment.

My mom taught me …

to be NOW, to do NOW, to think NOW or else the best can pass you by

 

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21 Ramadan 2015: Beauty

Beauty is whatever gives joy. – Edna St. Vincent Millay

R21

I couldn’t have summarized it better than the quote above, beauty was definitely a priority for mom.

Whether it is through beautiful flowers in her garden, or the lovely necklace she wore that brought out the color of her eyes, or the surprise gifts she would constantly give others, or the way she organized and decorated her home, to the big deal she made out of life milestones from weddings, a new baby, birthday, to anniversaries – she was all about beauty.

She was pretty much the first one to remember my grandparents birthdays and anniversary and the first one to be happy for others and lend a helping hand when it came to weddings. It wasn’t always taken in as such, but that was her intent, she genuinely saw beauty in these milestones.

My mom’s grandkids miss her dearly, more than anyone can imagine, why? Because she brought beauty into their lives.

If people came and visited, there was beauty in the way she prepared for their visit.

You should see the favors she prepared for our weddings, until today, I have not seen anyone be so classy, generous and beautiful.

She brought spiritual and emotional beauty to things which was quite infectious.

She also found joy in sharing beauty with others, and that spread so much love around that after she passed away, and two months later, most of the people I know underestimated the beauty she brought into their lives.

My mom taught me that …

there is beauty in everything, and if we can’t see it, we can make things and moments beautiful, not necessarily materially beautiful, but spiritually beautiful

 

 

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