4 Ramadan 2018: The Two Tales of Acceptance

Acceptance doesn’t mean resignation; it means understanding that something is what it is and there’s got to be a way through it – Michael J. Fox

Acceptance may be seen as a way of giving up, but I believe that acceptance is an active verb and state of being that one consciously decides to be in. The difference? Acceptance brings calmness and serenity, surrender brings resentment.

I always liked the way Henry Cloud and John Townsend spoke about boundaries and how not asserting them is signaled through feelings of resentment; a negative gut feel generating emotions of anger, sadness, bitterness, and confusion.

Acceptance that generates these feelings is the result of either not asserting one’s, or in the opposite sense crossing another’s, boundaries. Acceptance in this case is not acceptance at all and action is often needed to rectify underlying issues.

As a friend of mine reminded me today, we are not meant to be unhappy, and happiness comes from accepting that which is meant to be accepted and striving, calmly, towards changing it in a way that brings goodness to self and others.

So when is acceptance right? When it generates feelings of peace and comfort, openness and courage … now that is a state worth being in.

Photo by Ivana Cajina on Unsplash

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1 Ramadan 2018: Acceptance

Welcome O blessed month!

Welcome O blessed month of forgiveness, of self, of others, learning and growth.

This year’s theme is based on my experiences since Ramadan 2017 that included an interesting common theme of trying too hard to change that which is meant to be ‘as is’. I am not advocating that we not try hard to change things, but what has come up are learnings that truly embody … “accept(ing) the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference” – Reinhold Niebuhr.

I look forward to spending a new Ramadan with you and I ask god to make it blessed for all.

24 Ramadan 2017: Don’t Wait … Just Start

Do not wait; the time will never be ‘just right.’ Start where you stand, and work with whatever tools you may have at your command, and better tools will be found as you go along. – George Herbert

How many times have we found ourselves within a very busy period of time at work or in life with parents or with children or with limited time or money to actually do what we want. In what we want, I am talking about things that our hearts and minds literally shout for within ourselves but we try to ignore them because we “can’t” and we don’t see a “way”.

The truth is, we think we won’t be busy tomorrow and we can get started then or we think our parents or kids will not need much of our time tomorrow or we will have more money and and and. That might be true but the truth is that these are all priorities in our lives and will not stop or go away.

Our parents, our children, our work, our money and any other resources or blessings god has given to us, they are all a priority and we must be committed to them, but there is a calling and one must respond to that calling without delay with whatever we have access to today.

We just have to start and see where it takes us from there without any expectations.

This post is a call to recognize, listen and respond to the calling, you never know, maybe the calling is today because it is critical I take action today for success tomorrow as opposed to delaying things.

Start moving … even if slowly, start, you will always have an excuse, might as well start today.

 

 

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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

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 …

 

 

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici 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

14 Ramadan 2017: Why we struggle sometimes

If there is no struggle, there is no progress. – Frederick Douglass

Despite what we may see in life, be it in person or in social media, everyone struggles … everyone.

Looking back at all my previous and current struggles, I find this to be true … our struggles are stimulated by either something in the future that we need to be prepared for both in knowledge and resilience or something we need to learn about ourselves in order to lead happier lives.

Struggling with a business sale, struggles in relationships, struggling at work, struggles in health, struggling in school, they all uncover traits within ourselves that we need to work on or prepare us for what is to come in the future.

The key is to treat these struggles as such, means to self-improvement and happiness and not let them set in our hearts in the form of despair.

 

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

9 Ramadan 2017: We are all special

Don’t compare yourself with anyone in this world…if you do so, you are insulting yourself. ― Bill Gates

One of the causes of desperation is a worry about not measuring up, or not being as good as a person or another, or feeling “un”special because of a lack of attention online or offline and basically feeling inferior to others.

Inferiority is the antagonist of being the best we can be.

The key is to recognize that we actually don’t need to measure up to anyone other than ourselves. We should not seek to be as good as or better than anyone and we definitely should not seek our worth from other people’s attention, online or offline.

Earl Nightingale is one of my favorite inspirational speaker and thinker. So in today’s post, I wanted to share with you what he said about inferiority from his audio about self esteem.

People have an inferiority complex because they compare themselves to others.

Everyone is inferior in some areas and superiour in others. So a well adjusted person does not get bothered if someone is better than them in something. Inferiority and superioirity are reverse sides of the same coin. The coin itself is spurious.

You are neither … you are simply you. You as a personality are not in competition with any other personality because no one is like you. You are unique and no other person is supposed to be like you. God did not create one person and said this is it, he made each person unique.

We are all different and nothing is by accident.

Your job is to know yourself and like yourself.

You will accept the things you cannot do and appreciate the things you can do and accept yourself as one of a kind.

(Earl Nightingale)

During this blessed month, I ask god to give us a true perspective of ourselves and the ability to see the good in ourselves and be 100% original!

 

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

 

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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.

 

 

Image courtesy of artur84 / freedigitalphotos.net

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

 

Image courtesy of Serge Bertasius Photography / freedigitalphotos.net