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

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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 2016: Time for Resolutions

Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.  – Tony Robbins

RLWhile we might not always achieve them, setting goals guides us in terms of where we should at least intend to direct our energy.

Without goals, there is no accomplishment, and without accomplishment, one doesn’t move forward, and without moving forward, one is definitely moving backwards, and moving backwards means that we are not making our short time on earth really count.

People typically set resolutions at the beginning of the year, and I used to do that, but defining them mid-Ramadan, I have found, is the most optimum time to do so.

It is believed that Ramadan is not only a physically bounded time, be it in hours or days, for fasting. Ramadan is believed to be a time when everything, in the heavens and on earth, change to accommodate for greater goodness and less evil, satanic whisperings are at a minimum and what we are left with is a raw form of ourselves.

So having experienced the first 15 days of Ramadan, I am always astounded with learnings about who I am. I am more clear headed, more accepting of things and more calm … but at the same time, situations expose my weaknesses more than any other time of the year. Of course, I am talking about weaknesses that become barriers to us achieving our dreams, goals and living the best life we can and being the best that we can be.

So at mid-Ramadan I ask myself, what are my weaknesses and what am I going to do about them from now until next Ramadan?

So take a moment and look at yourself, what have the past 15 days telling you?

 

 

Image courtesy of 89studio / freedigitalphotos.net

 

8 Ramadan 2015: Positivity in Action

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

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Mom was a bundle of positive energy – nothing was impossible.

You want to do something? Do it! She would say.

You want to go somewhere? Go! She would say.

Worried that something was impossible? Try! She would say.

It can actually be annoying at times especially when one truly doesn’t feel up for it. But the truth is, she was absolutely right.

Why the negativity?

Do! Go! Try!

Our time is limited here, why wait and worry? Just move and do and if we get no for an answer, we try something else. No, is not a “risk”! It is simply an answer nudging us to “try something else” which may bring us much much more than expected.

Setback? No problem – THINK of another way!

Helpless? Do something!

Worried? Get up and move!

Upset? Clarify! 

The question is though, is positivity limited to action? What about words?

I would say a bit of both but not as we typically think.

I have met a lot of people with a lot of positive words, and while this is good and has a positive effect on others, it doesn’t necessarily mean that this person is positive. It may mean that this person knows how to influence and bring others into positivity but …

the key to positivity is action.

You want to see what positive looks like?

It is definitely not complaining and beating around the bush … they are moving, doing, finishing, calling, answering, asking … not today … not tomorrow … everyday … all with a smile.

My mom was DEFINITELY positive.

 

Image courtesy of samarttiw / freedigitalphotos.net

19 Ramadan 2014: I have a Dream

“I have a dream today” – Martin Luther King Jr

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As we start the last third of this blessed month, the third of salvation and countdown to the ‘farewell’, today’s thought is also a reflection …

I have a dream that …

  • what is wrong is seen as wrong through the assessment of harm to oneself and others
  • all accept and respect the differences within humanity, i.e. race, color, faith, and move on
  • no one tries to ‘fix’ others based on own opinions as opposed to research, study and discussion with an open mind
  • all focus on and look for the positive side of others
  • we all pardon
  • every person has the right and ability to provide their own products and services to an open market to make their own living
  • research is done for the sake of people and improvement and not money
  • gossip stops
  • no one wonders if food is ‘safe’ for consumption
  • we smile more
  • we all realise that no one is better than anyone
  • we all believe in a day of judgement and are accountable for our actions
  • all debts are fulfilled and everyone is free to start anew
  • children enjoy their childhood without being bombarded by consumerism
  • children are children until at least their teens
  • education is fulfilling, empowering and joyous for both young and old
  • we respect each other
  • we say ‘i love you’ and ‘i miss you’

I am not saying these are right or wrong. I am not saying you should like them or not. I am not even saying that I am actually doing all those I list. I am just sharing mine

… what is yours?

Image courtesy of samarttiw / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

Ramadan 9: In the Midst of It All

To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting.  ~e.e. cummings, 1955

Each Ramadan in our lives is unique … obviously because we change year on year … however, this year appears to be more challenging given the vast amount of information that is shared on various media sources in addition to being blessed with opportunities for all of us to share our thoughts and experiences through means not previously available. As much as we think we can control how much words can affect us, the subconscious is much more alert than we think and words do stick.

We decided as a result to keep this post as short as possible allowing for reflection on the quote above. We also wanted to allow for a prayer for all of us to remain steadfast on our good intentions, remain committed to our values, remain focused upholding justice with everyone and everything we do being able to see the difference between what is true and what is not and to simply, just be ourselves and be real.