23 Ramadan 2017: Just when we thought

There used to be days that I thought I was okay, or at least that I was going to be. We’d be hanging out somewhere and everything would just fit right and I would think ‘it will be okay if it can just be like this forever’ but of course nothing can ever stay just how it is forever. – Nina LaCour

Can you relate to today’s quote? I certainly can.

Just when we think we can handle something challenging, something happens that blatantly shouts NOOOOOOOO.

As nothin in our lives are coincidental, I also happen to come across a talk about sadness blending it component so faith as well … and these are the tips that I thought I would share in this post for your benefit.

  1. Know that sadness will happen and even when good things happen, tough challenges will come up for this is life … life is a series of ups and downs … a series of thankfulness and patience … a series of joy and sadness … don’t be surprised
  2. Accept sadness, don’t fight it and just admit to yourself that you are sad and that is a right you have and let it be.
  3. Don’t befriend sadness even it is part of life. Move towards what is opposite to sadness … positive friends, positive environments, positive clothing, positive actions trying to get out of the “sad” situation
  4. Wait until the end … don’t assume the story has ended there especially when you have been unfairly treated or wronged as the root of your sadness. What goes around comes around even if we are not able to see it.

Life is full of sad moments … no one has been spared of sad moments, the key is to not befriend it, not complain about it, not to let it get into your heart.

Love life, live right and do good … and even if you think you are OK and sadness comes around again, it is OK … it is for a good reason.

You will be fine … I promise because god has promised we will be OK if our hearts are in a state of goodness.

 

 

Image courtesy of hinnamsaisuy at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

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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

16 Ramadan 2017: The Real You

Starve the ego, feed the soul – Unknown

As we approach the last days of Ramadan, it is worth looking back at the last 16 days and use the next couple of days to prepare for what it is we want, we hope, and we seek for the next year and beyond.

The last 10 days are special because those who fast this month believe that there is one special night that is bestowed on people who are genuine in their actions of worship, love and charity bringing great blessings with it where angels surround earth, the skies and the heavens above. It is also in this special night that our destinies for the next year are revealed, may they be great.

Reflection is key to this preparation as we have had 16 days to really see who we really are as fasting and the fasting month expose our souls in ways that are often more challenging day to day as we are busy at work, home, friends, and life more generally.

How were you with people? Did you gossip? Did you hurt someone with your words or actions?

How did you feel about people? Envious? Hoping for them what you hope for yourself?

How were you with your family? Your children? Were you angry? Were you kind and merciful?

How were you with money? Did you waste it? Did you share it with others through gifts and generosity?

How were you with work? Did you complete tasks with excellence?

How were you with god? Did you seek forgiveness for the *not so proud* things you did? Did you ask for all the things you want?

Ramadan is not about limiting food and drink, ramadan is about seeing who we truly are and working on what needs to improve and thanking god for the lovely qualities we have.

 

 

Image courtesy of dan at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

15 Ramadan 2017: Control

You cannot control what happens to you, but you can control your attitude toward what happens to you, and in that, you will be mastering change rather than allowing it to master you. – Brian Tracy

I spoke about destiny in an earlier post, in a larger sense, it is about letting go of events and matters in our lives that we cannot control.

Whether it is a child who is adamant about disrespecting, or a person determined to bring negativity to others, or natural disasters or acts of war, or even a bankrupted employer, these are all matters that we cannot control whatsoever.

What we can control however, is how we respond to them and more specifically, responding assertively to events out of our reach or influence.

The first step is to never blame oneself.

The second is to to recognize that just because a certain undesirable event is happening,  it does not mean that I am a victim of it without any say in how I can reduce its impact on myself and my loved ones.

The third step is to seek the learning and the change that is meant to happen within me as a result of me experiencing or witnessing this event for nothing is by chance.

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

Reinhold Niebuhr

 

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

8 Ramadan 2017: Help Others

The best antidote I know for worry is work. The best cure for weariness is the challenge of helping someone who is even more tired. One of the great ironies of life is this: He or she who serves almost always benefits more than he or she who is served. ― Gordon B. Hinckley

Get up and do something … and besides taking care of yourself and your loved ones … reach out and check on others … someone might need something … and if they do, help them or find the right person to help them.

This is the magic formula to not despair.

Help does not necessarily mean giving up a significant amount of time and money … it is “volunteering” information … a connection … a good word … hope.

If you can’t find someone who needs help, think of an area of knowledge, ability or leadership you have, and share it with the world either in writing or in action starting with your family and loved ones.

Do it swiftly, do it without seeking a return, it will change your life.

 

 

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

1 Ramadan 2017: No to Despair

“The greatest hazard of all, losing one’s self, can occur very quietly in the world, as if it were nothing at all. No other loss can occur so quietly; any other loss … is sure to be noticed.” ― Søren Kierkegaard

Welcome to another year and another 30 day journey with Ramadan Living!

Between negativity, loss and crises … the theme this year was not too hard to choose. Between making it real and between no to despair, I chose no to despair to bring everything that is hope and everything that is real, i.e. blessings that we do not always see.

On this first day of Ramadan 2017, I pray that we are all showered with god’s blessings, mercy and love and more importantly, we recognize them and see that there is no need to despair and that desperation leads to nothing but more desperation.

Happy ramadan !!!

Get ready for the start of another lovely journey through Ramadan!

 

Image courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

23 Ramadan 2016: What better giving than inspiration

The most important thing is to try and inspire people so that they can be great in whatever they want to do. – Kobe Bryant

RLWe always hear it from others, giving is far more effective in bringing in positivity and hope in one’s life than anything else.

No therapist, exercise, retreat, shopping or whatever other mean to self satisfaction can impact one’s life the way giving does.

Typically, giving is seen in the form of charity and social work, but in fact giving doesn’t have to be further than your own home.

Give others hope … give others inspiration … give them solutions … give them options … give them something … something to make life’s challenges and tribulation feel easier.

In these blessed days, I ask god to make us keys to goodness in every aspect of our own and other people’s lives.

 

 

Image courtesy of dan / freedigitalphotos.net

21 Ramadan 2016: Courage

You know, sometimes all you need is 20 seconds of instance courage, just literally 20 seconds of embarrassing bravery, and I promise you something great will come of it. – Benjamin Mee

 

If one had a choice between courage and perseverance, I would imagine that courage trumps the card.

You see perseverance gets us through good times, bad times, challenges, opportunities, and life more generally, but what gets us to recognize these times, challenges and opportunities is courage and as a result, have wisdom in how we approach these matters.

Without courage, we succumb to irrational fears and worries that make it difficult to see what and where opportunities lie. Without courage, we might see the good times as bad or the bad times as good. Without courage, challenges take over us instead of us taking over the challenges and brushing past them.

At some point, saying yes to everything was the big thing … today, having courage is.

During these bless days, may we find the courage to hope, wish and ask god for opportunities and dreams that make us the best we can be for ourselves, our families and humanity.

 

Image courtesy of Graur Razvan Ionut / freedigitalphotos.net

13 Ramadan 2016: No to news, Yes to life

If people in the media cannot decide whether they are in the business of reporting news or manufacturing propaganda, it is all the more important that the public understand that difference, and choose their news sources accordingly. – Thomas Sowell

RLFive years ago, I started to get the sense that news, both written and spoken, had a negative impact on me even if sub-conciousely.

Three years ago, I tried a pilot project to not read or listen to any news for 30 days of Ramadan 2014 and I continued that way until Ramadan 2015 when I started to allow news back into my life, minimally.

Now, Ramadan 2016, I can tell you that my experience in the past couple of years confirmed a few important things, news:

  1. Takes the exception and presents it as a norm
  2. Breeds fear in the hearts of people
  3. Exaggerates other people’ actions and words
  4. Subconsciously makes one negative about the future
  5. Dramatises events and/or other people’s actions

In other words, news is a source of poor mental health be it consciously or subconsciously.

Other than knowing main headlines, I ask god to help us turn off our TVs and stay away from online news which hurt more than benefit us.

The truth is that life is beautiful and:

  1. is filled with universal truths as a norm irrespective of differences
  2. there is nothing to fear is we continue to be ourselves in our decisions
  3. all of people’s actions and words are equally important and it is always best to either say good or say nothing at all
  4. positivity breeds positivity
  5. there is no drama over people’s actions and words, there are just decisions that other people take within their capabilities

Life is real … news is not!

 

 

 

Image courtesy of Suriya Kankliang / freedigitalphotos.net

8 Ramadan 2016: Breath of Fresh air … Words of positivity

May your life be abundant in hope, positivity and love, no matter what, no matter who, no matter where and no matter how.

RL

Positivity in Outlook

Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see a shadow. Helen Keller

Positivity in Behaviour

Did I offer peace today? Did I bring a smile to someone’s face? Did I say words of healing? Did I let go of my anger and resentment? Did I forgive? Did I love? These are the real questions. I must trust that the little bit of love that I sow now will bear many fruits, here in this world and the life to come. – Henri Nouwen

Positivity in Perspective

When you wake up every day, you have two choices. You can either be positive or negative; an optimist or a pessimist. I choose to be an optimist. It’s all a matter of perspective. – Harvey Mackay

Positivity in Change

The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun. – Christopher McCandless

Positivity in Negative Times

You’re going to go through tough times – that’s life. But I say, ‘Nothing happens to you, it happens for you.’ See the positive in negative events. – Joel Osteen

Positivity in Goals

If you fall behind, run faster. Never give up, never surrender, and rise up again against the odds. – Jesse Jackson

Positivity in Leadership

Remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion, to reach for the stars to change the world – Harriet Tubman

Positivity in Tribulation

The world is full of suffering, it is also full of overcoming it. -Helen Keller

Positivity in Individuality

Never be bullied into silence. Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no one’s definition of your life, but define yourself.― Harvey Fierstein

Image courtesy of dan / freedigitalphotos.net