Selfoptimization … as I see it

“Self-Optimization” is one of these modern words, which I learn when I come in contact with the world behind our mountains.
The word itself and everything it contains and stands for, seems to be a trend.
Self-Improvement, spending time with one’s self, making the most out of one’s self, self-care and self-help… I think all of these things can be very good and healthy, but they also can become an obsession and lead to a very self-destructive or egotistic path.

Making the best out of ourselves is a virtue for Muslims – taking care of our body, our soul and mind, striving to better ourselves every day, to become the best version of our self and to make the most out of our God-given talents, skills and opportunities, should be a life-long mission for us.
But for what purpose and for which aim?

To serve God, for sure, to worship Him, to live according to His rules and law, to be a steward of His creation, to spread love, light and peace, to take care of what He gave us into custody and to improve the quality of life.

It’s not about perfection, about speed and an inhuman strive for efficiency;
nor is it about fighting for our highest good without taking into consideration the needs of others, hard and unyielding.
The ridge between healthy optimization and destructive perfectionist delusion is thin.

I think we should strive to optimize ourselves in a very forgiving but consistent way:

Not as a selfish one-man-show, nor as a self-punishing, overwhelming act that puts ourselves down, at constant war with parts of ourselves that are never happy with what is. But as a gentle path of development and growth. In healthy balance beween taking and giving, beween doing and leaving, between change and acceptance.

So, Itto, stop the running, sometimes just let five be straight… everything’s well as it is… and now, cuddle the kids and then feet up with a coffee and a good book… happy weekend! Alhamdulillah.

a perfect non-perfect cup of coffee, for a great day, to live the best version of my self, as good as I can today… inchaallah! cheers.

 

A Family Manifesto

a wonderful summer has passed by… autumn is in the air, first snow on the summits we just hiked last month, and a new school year lies ahead.
While pondering over the great moments we had together as a family, I feel the urge to make these memories last. Life will change this semptember (it always does, I know…), as our youngest son enters first grade and our oldest one the public high school…
lunchtimes will be different and the togetherness we lived so many years on our campus has now to stretch, to widen and to open outwards.
I think we are ready for this, but I also feel that we have to give new meaning and sense to our family and consciously realize what the word and the community of “family” means to each one of us.

When I prepared the teamwork and leadership-training for our teachers, I came across a wonderful idea in Stephen Covey’s book (“Principle centered leadership”), the idea of a family manifesto. And it felt the right moment to create one before busy school life takes all over again. It felt so right to deeply connect before we go apart.

so I searched the net for creative ideas and I reflected over the things that I really wanted us to share and to realize; I informed the other family members about the idea, I made preparations and created an atmosphere of joy, excitement and anticipation. And then fixed a date where all would be present, undisturbed, for about two ours, with good food, candles and crafting materials. We put “Bismillah” on the top of our manifesto and collected memories, values and things that define, connect and are important to us.

I won’t share the result here, it’s far too personal and kind of sacred for the seven of us… I really feel blessed and grateful that we did this, alhamdulillah, … but I wanted to inspire you, just as I was inspired by others…. and I wish you a connection of love and the feeling of togetherness for you and your beloved ones, carrying you especially though the hard times of life … feeling the importance and the value of “family” as the basic unity of society, no matter what.

And for those who do not have family to share such a connection with, the idea can likewise be done with your circle of friends, your team at work or in every other unity you build with others.

Wishing you peace and blessings for you and your relationships.

more ideas: https://liveablissfullife.com/home-rules-for-the-family/

and also in Amanda’s books

 

Reality

Alhamdulillah..at least 30 minutes in the morning, a little chunk of quiet time for me…before a new day starts with all the craziness of family life and else…

I miss Ramadan and its peaceful atmosphere…but i really enjoy my morning moments with hot lemony water and coffee when the first sunlight shines through the window, subhanallah… it’s these little blessings in the midst of busy reality that give me energy and power to continue.

Wishing a blessed early summer to all of you!

Powerful future-Journaling

Since the age of twelve or so, I am writing a private journal.
With more or less regularity, I was always writing to process my feelings, to find relief, to structure my thoughts, to express my self, to “talk” to someone without risking being belittled or laughed at…

There were times in puberty, when I wrote to an imaginative friend whom I called “Anne” (like Anne Shirley from Green Gables); there were times when I just vomited out a lot of frustration, anger, hate and fear onto the pages; and sometimes I wrote more like a travel journal, about people and places.

Since ten years now, I am also writing this blog, which is for me, as well, a sort of a journal, to share, to report and to remind myself of the beautiful things, but also the ups and downs in my life.
I am still keeping my private journals, for sure; they still help me to keep sane, to hide and to unload in difficult times.

But since a few years, the style of my journals changed more into something I would call “journal of good hope”, “little book of goodness” or “journal of light”…

Over the years, I gave up, more and more, the writing about my frustration, the blaming and lamenting over things, and I stopped keeping my thoughts attached to past negative experiences.
I began to write more like a gratitude-journal, realizing all the big and small blessings in my everyday, talking about the things I am thankful for.

I also started to write more about the way I would love to live, how to be and about the person I would like to become.
And I began to fill the pages with beautiful pictures and photos from magazines to highlight my words, like a treasure map.

Since a year now, I mostly write positive affirmations to empower myself, to get rid of fears and hindering beliefs, to eradicate limiting thought-patterns and to totally reprogram my subconscious mind.
– Very hard work, I can tell you… because there are so many old and heavy beliefs, common valid values and sayings that seem to control my thinking in ways I do not want any more.
My journal now is more something like a wish-journal of how I would like my days, my self and my life to be.

When I feel overwhelmed by a situation or feeling tired, fearful and stressed, I take my little book and write about how I would like to see the situation or the day unfolding in the most beautiful way and how I wish the nearer future to be, inchaallah.

I often now begin my mornings with a cup of coffee and with writing a detailed description (in present) about how I wish everything to happen until the evening- every meeting scheduled, every task, all the chores and duties on my list –
I imagine the whole day in the most positive ways,
I thank Allah for the most beautiful outcome of each and everything, and by doing this, I train myself in prosperity consciousness and I gain a clearer picture of what I really want and aim for… without being lost, and without losing time with useless brooding and rolling problems.

This is magical, subhanallah, it helps me now so often to solve problems without mauling my head. It helps me to calm down and to stay positive despite the many challenges ahead… it really helps to make more and more positive things happen in my life, alhamdulillah, and I see how beautifully attracting this way of journaling is subhanallah.

How do you journal?
Or are you totally new to this?
Here is a nice article written by “living well mom” on another beautiful way of keeping a personal diary and on bullet journaling in general.

 

 

My daily dose of Positivity #7

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A glimpse into my private journal

A note to self and a medley of beautiful inspirational photos cut out from different magazines:

“I love my daily duties; they are a great way to exercise my body and mind!” 

Happy Sunday, dear readers and friends!
I hope you can take advantage out of the affirmations from the last few days –
I wish you blessings and a healthy bit of altruistic egotism – be good to yourselves,
because it is just then possible to be good to others as well !

Love and peace- Salam aleikoum.

 

 

How to do it all – or: the little black spot

Honestly, dear friends, I am very thankful that I do not have to fast this year. Allahu akbar! God knows best to whom He obliges or whom He frees from religious duties.
I am grateful that a breastfeeding woman is excluded from the duty of fasting if she feels that it would be harmful for her or her child.
And I strongly feel that if I would fast, it wouldn’t just be harmful for my own, but also for all of my children and family because I would just not have the mood and energy to manage it all.
Already the other duties, like praying, but first making proper wudu (washing before parying), are sometimes challenging to do properly and on time – yet they always help me to gain inner peace and a new freshness and clarity for the moment, alhamdulillah.
Also reading the Qur’an, which is normally a highly recommended thing to do during Ramadan, is not easy this year. I am far behind the actual hizb (daily part of pages to read to be able to finish the whole book in one month). But anyway, I read at least a few verses every day and gain new knowledge and tranquillity, subhanallah.

But what I am really learning, day by day, is to relax, to let go, to appreciate “the big white paper instead of spotting only the little black spot of dirt on it”.
– I mean I really learn to focus on all that goes well instead of concentrating on all the many many things that are dirty, go wrong or just aren’t as ideal as I normally wished – because I just cannot do it all and it would turn me crazy, insane and stressed if I’d think about all the things that could and should be done…


Looking at these beautiful flowers on my table, instead of seeing the little bits of dinner from last night under the table, gives me joy.
Going out, enjoying these beautiful mild spring days with the kids, instead of staying home folding laundry (ironing I gave up already many years ago;)), fullfills me with happiness and new energy.

Appreciating that the children love to help cooking, instead of lamenting on the chaos they sometimes produce then, helps all of us to have a table full of yummy things, alhamdulillah.

”Staying positive”, “Seeing the Good”, is something I remind myself often,
and believing in the law of “like attracts like” I try hard to talk only about and honour the good things every day

However, a certain level of cleanliness and order is essential to my wellbeing and the well functioning of a big family, but all these little details of a perfect household have to wait until later, inchaallah ;))

“God, with your guidance and strength I am capable.
I have enough time to finish all I want to accomplish today,
because I totally flow with the moment. Ameen.”