Mothering and spiritual growth

I am willing to change. I am ready to re-educate myself –

as a mother of five children, subhanallah, with such big age differences, from eleven months to fifteen years old, I have to be very flexible in my thinking and acting.
Sometimes I sit there, eyes and mouth wide open, asking myself how to respond to all the different needs, thinking how can it be?
there is the little one growing her first teeth, and there is the oldest one growing a beard, mashaallah. And in between, there are so many different phases of development, so many different questions, moods, areas of interest from toddler to puberty age…
some of the things are kind of repeating and well known, others are very very new to me.

Especially with the oldest one I recognize that time for educating actually is over… now it is time to trust, to have confidence, to let go.
Time to stop myself, hold me back (in fears, advices and doubts), to observe, and finally to enjoy the fruit of previous years of mothering…

As Jesper Juul so beautifully writes in his books “It is time to become a sparrings-partner, a source of feedback, trust and encouragement, someone who clarifies the rules, limits and boundaries of life without hurting or commanding.”
That’s what I am actually learning.
Sometimes this is painful, sometimes full of joy, but in any case, it is never boring and full of possibilities of growth for myself, together at the side of our eldest, alhamdulillah.
Thank you my dear son, tbarakallah!


very good book from Jesper Juul for parents of teenagers 

“My spiritual growth often comes to me in strange ways. It can be an incident with a child, a chance meeting or an accident, a dis-ease or the loss of a loved one. Something inside urges me to follow, or I am forcefully prevented from living in the same old way. It is a little different for each person. I grow spiritually when I accept responsibility for my life. This gives me the inner power to make the changes in myself that I need to make.” (according to Louise Hay)

Spiritual growth is not about changing others.
Spiritual growth happens to the person who is ready to step out of the victim role,
into forgiveness, and into a new life.

None of this happens overnight. It is an unfolding process. Loving myself opens the door, and being willing to change really helps to be a better parent too. Inchaallah.
On to new adventures!

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On my way…

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Quiet here means a lot going on on my mind in reality…. still and always learning so many things about life and me, alhamdulillah,
learning to use and treat more wisely the gifts Allah offered me, inside and around my self, subhanallah.
too many different and personal thoughts to type here
… but I wish you a very beautiful December… may Allah bless your ways!

لَا يُكَلِّفُ اللَّهُ نَفْسًا إِلَّا وُسْعَهَا ۚ لَهَا مَا كَسَبَتْ وَعَلَيْهَا مَا اكْتَسَبَتْ ۗ رَبَّنَا لَا تُؤَاخِذْنَا إِن نَّسِينَا أَوْ أَخْطَأْنَا ۚ رَبَّنَا وَلَا تَحْمِلْ عَلَيْنَا إِصْرًا كَمَا حَمَلْتَهُ عَلَى الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِنَا ۚ رَبَّنَا وَلَا تُحَمِّلْنَا مَا لَا طَاقَةَ لَنَا بِهِ ۖ وَاعْفُ عَنَّا وَاغْفِرْ لَنَا وَارْحَمْنَا ۚ أَنتَ مَوْلَانَا فَانصُرْنَا عَلَى الْقَوْمِ الْكَافِرِينَ –

Quran 2:286

“Allah does not charge a soul except [with that within] its capacity.

It will have [the consequence of] what [good] it has gained, and it will bear [the consequence of] what [evil] it has earned. “Our Lord, do not impose blame upon us if we have forgotten or erred. Our Lord, and lay not upon us a burden like that which You laid upon those before us. Our Lord, and burden us not with that which we have no ability to bear. And pardon us; and forgive us; and have mercy upon us…”

 

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Update 10’18 – training myself

More than six weeks that I’ve written my last blogpost here…
too many things are going on in my life and I rarely find time to pause …mashaallah…
a new school year recently began, with new projects, students and volonteers to care for, alhamdulillah.
Very busy days, but also very good days.

– Good, yet not easy – I feel (stronger than ever before) that my duty is to learn how to balance life with all the different responsabilities.
It seems as if this is a never ending learning opportunity for me, my path of growth which I have to climb on and on until I master it, inchaallah.

Sometimes I feel very at peace, quiet, fullfilled, in the flow and in control of everything, like someone who juggles all the balls in the air without loosing one…
and then, there are the moments when I feel just so overwhelmed by all and everything, as if all the balls fall down on me – heavyness on my shoulders, no quiet, no time to feel myself, no moment to charge my batteries…
But alhamdulillah, these moments are fewer since I better learned to make clear my boundaries and to express my needs, since I learned to listen to myself, to feel less guilty and sometimes to say “no” to others.
I am continously learning on this, learning to better divide my time between family and business, learning to be more effective, to work more efficiently in shorter time, to concentrate on what really has to be done by myself and learning to trust things to others.

Being with my baby is a great source of peace. And writing a positive diary helps me a lot – morning affirmations for a beautiful day to come. Sometimes I even sing those affirmations during hard times to empower myself…
And nature is always a great healer, subhanallah – so I often go out to air my brain,
and we try to take more family weekends off… like on these pictures, a little trekking just around the corner of where we live…

 

 

The man who is wise, therefor, will see his life more lika a bowl, a reservoir, than a canal.
The canal simultaneously pours out what it receives;
the reservoir retains the water till it is filled, then discharges the overflow without loss to itself …
Today there are many who act like canals, the reservoirs are far too rare …

You too must learn to await this fullness before pouring out your gifts,
do not try to be more generous than God.

Bernard of Clairvaux

 

… And I am reading, a lot.
Reading literature on self-imrpovement, on entrepreneurship and how to submit and delegate tasks, how to empower others and how to lead a better social business.
The (german) books of Stefan Merath, the founder of “Unternehmercoach” (the same traning I attendet last november in Mainz) are great sources of deep and meaningful methods and ways how to lead a more fullfilled and meaningful life as an entrepreneur.

So this is my update – maybe I am not writing about many new things, but I am definitely feeling a lot of change and growth inside, alhamdulillah.
And if you sometimes wait for news to come here, I invite you to have a look there ! (that’s where I am busy working most of my time)
Happy Autumn dear readers and friends, peace, light and love to you. salaam aleikoum.


Friday’s Couscous and more

In Morocco, it is a wide spread tradition to eat Couscous on Friday noon, together with guests and family – that’s what we also do most Fridays, and here I share some pics of the meal and preparation at grandpa’s house.
Happy blessed Friday to you!

The Prophet Mohammed (sas) advised others to eat together as he never ate alone when he had the opportunity to eat with another person:

When a food possesses four qualities it becomes perfect:
being halal, eating it with other people, having started with the name of God, and having ended with the praise of God. 39

 

    

He (sas) also said:

The best food in the eyes of God is that food which has many hands (i.e. many people) involved in eating it.  40

Eating food with people brings about abundance.
One person’s food portion is enough for two people, and two people’s food portion is enough for four.  41

And here you find some recipes on how to make the real steamed moroccan couscous and another quicker way.
Yummy! Bismillah!

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.” 

 

 

 

Happy Ramadan and how to feed a Family

Ramadan moubarak said dear brothers and sisters in Islam,
and love and peace to all out there!

I am a bit late… the holy month of Ramadan came quicker than I could realize and I have to admit that I am not really prepared for it, mashaallah; the Ramadan calendar is yet not finished and I am still thinking about the books I wanna read and the goals I have for this month.
I am not fasting this year since I am fully breastfeeding baby. Three month after birth, I am now slowly finding a rhythm and new structure for our life at home and for my work at school. Sometimes things go very smooth, but often it all feels like a huge thing to organise – and I often feel like a manager, the manager of our family: Scheduling eating-times, school, homework, chores, TV-time and family moments,  as well as managing the whole lot of feeding 6 (7) mouths, washing huge piles of laundry every day, never ending dishes and balancing the moods and different needs and wishes of so many people, alhamdulillah.

In doing it I still benefit of the knowledge and tools I learned when I read the books I mentioned years ago in this other blogpost  and also here.
And I am reading now some other books that help me structuring the whole thing.

Especially the whole question of “what will we have for dinner?” is a big topic, especially now in Ramadan, when dinner (Iftaar for breaking the fasting) is the main meal for three of us.
We cook all fresh from scratch and even if we sometimes would like to, we cannot buy ready-made stuff or canned-food here, nor can we call the pizza-service or go to a (fast-food-) restaurant, because there is none…
I thankfully have a lovely girl who helps me during weekdays with chores and cooking, subhanallah oua tbarakallah, …I wouldn’t be able to balance work and home without her…
but still, the question about what to eat is always a big thing and relies on me.

The wish to offer a variety every day (not always Tagine and Couscous), the consciousness and aim to eat organic and whole food and the question on how to meet the tastes and preferences of all while making sure that everybody is nourished in healthy ways are challenging.
I learned a lot by reading other mom’s and different food blogs, or from books like “Feeding a Family”. I learned to facilitate things with weekly meal-plans that rotate every two months, with precooking, by having a list of easy-peasy-meals (like the green omelette and vegetable sticks on the picture above) and by always making sure to have leftovers to create new things a few days later. Now in Ramadan it helps me to have the little things that come on the table everyday (like olives, dates, yogurt, tea, milkshake boiled eggs, Moroccan Harira-soup and sweet Chebbakia,..) and to add every day something special.

How do you manage the feeding of your family, what are your Ramadan favourites?