Prosperity Consciousness – or how to set a positive mindframe

It’s the end of a long and moving school year. I feel exhausted and really look forward to the holidays and some weeks off – I need a break!
During this year, times changed from hard to great, and around – not very stable, very challenging with many ups and downs the whole way long.

The end of a school year always means to look back, to reflect and to do the accountability; to look at the numbers, the results, and the facts, to take stock and to draw conclusions.
This is one of these moments, when I realize the big mission we took and when I feel the burden of our responsibility, mashaallah:
We are a social business and only able to exist and to grow thanks to the financial donations of others.
Our schools are totally dependent on external financing and the goodwill of other people. Therefore the existence of our business is always based on vague hope – hope to find people who like to support our work, and hope to get the money we need in order to continue….

At the same time, as social entrepreneurs of this campus, we have to offer security and stability to many different people who are dependent on our existence and good performance: our many employees, many students, parents, volunteers and the society…

Sometimes, all these facts and the reality feel like a big package to carry. Especially when I am stressed, tired or overloaded by work… it then all looks so huge, so heavy, so unsure, sometimes even hopeless and impossible. Astaghfirullah, audhu billahi!

And then there are the times, subhanallah, happily most of the time, when God gives me strength and belief; when He fills me with a clear picture of our mission and with the certainty that we will succeed.
Then I feel full of hope, energy, positive vibes and ready to go further, to strive to succeed and to grow this place of light and chances for all. Alhamdulillah. Then I feel so clearly that there is no other way to go, that we have to continue and to work on this big project of our life.

Maybe all of this, the back and forth, these ups and downs, the fear and the hope, the worries and the strength is normal for a leader to feel:
Feeling like a tool of God, humble, knowing how absolutely dependent we are on Him. Knowing for sure that there is nothing really to fear or to count on, except Him. Following the inner call, feeling inner peace and freedom, because nothing bad can happen. God will never let us fall. Everything is possible through Him.

In order to attain the possible, one must attempt the impossible;
in order to attain the impossible, one must attempt the absurd. 

according to Miguel de Unamuno y Jugo and Hermann Hesse 

Over the years I’ve learned several methods, how to handle these ups and downs and the moments of despair.
When I began to realize the responsibility and the power of influence I have with my work and attitude, I needed to take control. Seeing how much my mood and mindset directly influence the others around, I know now how important it is to stay strong and hopeful:
If I am positive, everybody can be positive
– and with an “yes we can”-attitude we can really move mountains together!

I read a lot and learned different tools on how to stay positive, how to believe in Allah’s bounty and blessings, how to take the path of a visionary and a leader, and how to develop prosperity-consciousness despite all the critics of the confirmed pessimists.
And because I think we all are kind of a leader in certain fields of our life, I share the list with you:

  • Most important: Know what you really want and what you wish for. Have a vision. Know your aims and your values. Be very clear, specific and focussed about it.
  • Picture these aims and wishes inside your head. Clearly visualize them as if they were already real.
  • Create treasure maps for all these wishes
  • Very important: stop the little man inside your head, the little Mr.Doubt, the shaitaan.
  • Work on a positive mindset and work off old and inhibiting beliefs (this is very hard and never ending work on your inner thoughts!).
  • Get enough sleep; take care of your health, body, energy and soul.
  • Read, say aloud, write and repeat positive affirmations and quotes of encouragement.
  • Keep a journal of your feelings and your mood.
  • Remind yourself of what you’ve already achieved, alhamdulillah.
  • Open yourself to receive. Allow yourself to be successful. Be ready for all the good, the blessings and prosperity out there.
  • Be very careful with whom you share your thoughts and vision.
    Avoid doubtful or negative people (all these “if’s”, “but’s”…).
    Protect yourself against their pessimistic influence. Never let stop yourself by others who didn’t really achieve a lot.
  • Take very, very much care with whom you spend your precious time, know that your environment has lot of power on your feelings and thoughts.
  • Spend time alone to hear your real inner voice.
  • If everything seems hopeless and thoughts are just negative: take a walk in nature or go sleeping – tomorrow the sun shines anew.
  • Read powerful and encouraging literature on prosperity or biographies from great people:
    The holy Qur’an, The Bible, Napoleon Hill’s: ”Think and grow rich” (he even writes very respectful about the power of prophet Mohammed (sas)), Catherine Ponder’s different prosperity books (beautifully related to our Creator), Prentice Mulford, Orison Swett Marden, biographies of great people and achievers, …
  • Make dua’ (invocations), Istikhaara, read Qur’an and deeply be comforted by the faith that nothing and no one can hurt us except by Gods will – in and through God everything is possible and absolutely and eternally good.
  • Make wudu (ritual washing) and pray, pray, pray!

And now, off into the vacations! Wishing you a wonderful summer friends!

Nothing is too good to be true; nothing is too wonderful to happen, nothing is too great to last.

The Prophet (sas) said,
“Allah the Most High said, ‘I am as My servant thinks (expects) I am. I am with him when he mentions Me. If he mentions Me to himself, I mention him to Myself; and if he mentions Me in an assembly, I mention him in an assembly greater than it. If he draws near to Me a hand’s length, I draw near to him an arm’s length. And if he comes to Me walking, I go to him at speed.’”
[Sahih Al-Bukhari]

… this means He will forgive his servant if he seeks such, will accept his repentance if he repents, will answer him if he supplicates, and will suffice him if he asks for something …
(Imam Nawawi, al-Qadi ‘Iyad, Sharh Sahih Muslim) 

 

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Life with five

Two month after birth.
And subhanallah, every week I feel stronger and more capable to handle a life with five children.

Everything seems so familiar with a newborn in our house, yet so very new and different. The older children all help and want to care for her which is of big help (most of the time ;)). Our life at home quickly adapted to our littlest one and now I slowly try to also find my way back to work.

I feel like her birth was a rebirth for my own self as well. I feel more vulnerable now, softer, deeper, and permeable. I feel like I have to redefine my role, my duties and my place.
Baby taught me a lot already before birth and she teaches me a lot now, about me, about my fears and blockages, about how to open for new ways, about patience and letting things go, about trust and confidence.

She is a gift, and I am very very thankful that God trusted us with her in our lives, alhamdulillah – astaghfirullah, in summer I was so down because of the pregnancy, and now we feel so blessed with her, Allahu akbar!
Gods ways are often inscrutable but always perfect.

 

_ 40 _

This week I turn 40.

Not only 40 weeks pregnant, but also 40 years in age.

Alhamdulillah.

Actually I feel a bit immobile and restricted due to the pregnancy, but in general I am happy to say, that I feel better year by year, subhanallah.
I feel (most of the time) very comfortable with aging, not as scared about it any more like a few years before.
I feel very ok with greyer hair, age spots, more wrinkles and the signs of becoming more mature, alhamdulillah.
I feel more confident and comfortable with my self, my body, my character (strengths and weaknesses); stronger, freer, and much less dependent on other’s opinion.
It is a good feeling, subhanallah, and having so many older and wiser women friends, I know that these can become the best years of my life, up until seventy and more, inchaallah.

Thank you Mama, Oma, Doris, Ursula, Dorothee, Christine, Tante Trudel, Fadma Aissa, Mel, Khadija (the Prophet’s first wife), Audrey Hepburn, Louise Hay, Indira Ghandi, Fuesun Holder, Mother Theresa, Byron Katie, and all the other beautiful and wise woman whom I know, who inspire me or whom I met in my life.

blessed be you all – no matter what age!! 

other posts of mine on growing and getting older:  https://ittosjournal.wordpress.com/2014/02/08/the-beauty-of-age/
https://ittosjournal.wordpress.com/2010/04/28/healing/
https://ittosjournal.wordpress.com/2011/05/20/raising/

 

 

Life is beautiful. Everything is well in my world.

This post I write in memory of Louise L. Hay who died yesterday at the age of 90.
I count her as one of the most important teachers in my life.

Although her teachings are not all convenient with my Muslim faith (I exclude these parts or replace for example words like “the universe” with “Allah”) and also not all her teachings were really new (sometimes a repetition of what other great people, even Muslim thinkers, already pronounced before her) she had a unique beautiful way to put things into words, very easy to understand and easy to apply.
She found the right words to explain things and to touch my inner system.

I really would suggest all of her books, calendars, etc.
When I was in a very difficult time of inner growth and development, about seven years ago, it was mainly through her writings (beside the Qur’an) God guided me to healing, hope and acceptance, alhamdulillah.

And until today, her books and affirmations accompany me through my every day.
I am very, very thankful to have been able to learn, through her inspiration, about:

 

The power of thoughts.

The healing and creative effects of positive thinking.

That life is a mirror of my inner beliefs.

That I always have the freedom to choose my own perception and thoughts.

That I first have to love myself before I am able to give love to others.

How to love and accept, myself and others.

To be good to myself.

How to treat myself well and how to accept the best for myself.

How to nourish my inner child, to forgive and release the past.

To cherish my God-given talents and gifts.

To use my God-given power to create everything possible.

To feel love, safety and trust instead of fear and doubt.

To feel courageous and competent.

Accepting.

To trust in divine destiny and that everything is and gets well.

Dancing with life

image © Alyssa Wilcox Photography 2017 

 

“I would suggest that if you spend less time running away from problems and trying to rid yourself of them – and more time accepting problems as an inevitable, natural, even important part of life – you will soon discover that life can be more of a dance and less of a battle.”

Richard Carlson 

 

From Organic Gardening to Permaculture

Spring: being outside, digging in the earth, weekend-gardening and actually learning a lot about how to change our already organic way of living into a real harmonious and reciprocal co-existence with nature and animals, way beyond sustainability.
We’re deep into permaculture, at home and in the school, with family, professionals from around the world and with the community: https://ecolevivante.wordpress.com/category/permaculture-vivante/

Happy spring to you and yours!

The three ethical principles of Permaculture are as follows:

  • Care of the earth
  • Care of people
  • Return of surplus to earth, animals and people

The Permaculture ethics compel us to take personal responsibility for our actions. We can either “choose to be part of the problem or part of the solution”, the choice is ours!

Twelve Permaculture design principles articulated by David Holmgren in his Permaculture: Principles and Pathways Beyond Sustainability:[17] 

  1. Observe and interact: By taking time to engage with nature we can design solutions that suit our particular situation.
  2. Catch and store energy: By developing systems that collect resources at peak abundance, we can use them in times of need.
  3. Obtain a yield: Ensure that you are getting truly useful rewards as part of the work that you are doing.
  4. Apply self-regulation and accept feedback: We need to discourage inappropriate activity to ensure that systems can continue to function well.
  5. Use and value renewable resources and services: Make the best use of nature’s abundance to reduce our consumptive behavior and dependence on non-renewable resources.
  6. Produce no waste: By valuing and making use of all the resources that are available to us, nothing goes to waste.
  7. Design from patterns to details: By stepping back, we can observe patterns in nature and society. These can form the backbone of our designs, with the details filled in as we go.
  8. Integrate rather than segregate: By putting the right things in the right place, relationships develop between those things and they work together to support each other.
  9. Use small and slow solutions: Small and slow systems are easier to maintain than big ones, making better use of local resources and producing more sustainable outcomes.
  10. Use and value diversity: Diversity reduces vulnerability to a variety of threats and takes advantage of the unique nature of the environment in which it resides.
  11. Use edges and value the marginal: The interface between things is where the most interesting events take place. These are often the most valuable, diverse and productive elements in the system.
  12. Creatively use and respond to change: We can have a positive impact on inevitable change by carefully observing, and then intervening at the right time.

Literature: Sepp Holzer, Masanobu Fukuoka, Bill Mollison

Information online:

http://permaculturenews.org/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Permaculture

http://www.docspicepermaculture.com/

http://www.geofflawtononline.com/

and more detailed articles on change from organic gardening to Permaculture:  

http://www.permaculturevisions.com/difference-between-organic-gardening-and-permaculture/

and on Islam and Permaculture:

http://www.treehugger.com/sustainable-agriculture/are-islam-and-permaculture-match-made-heaven.html

http://www.treehugger.com/culture/humans-are-trustees-of-allahs-creation-islam-the-environment.html

https://www.greenprophet.com/2012/01/interview-nadia-lawton-talks-about-permaculture-in-the-middle-east/

https://aworldofgreenmuslims.wordpress.com/2012/01/20/green-farming-and-islam-permaculture-in-jordan/

http://www.greenmuslims.org/a-brief-introduction-to-permaculture-sustaining-our-future-and-why-it-matters-to-muslims/

https://www.greenprophet.com/2013/05/ask-geoff-how-to-grow-a-forest-garden-free-permaculture-videos/

http://www.theecomuslim.com/2014/01/salah-hammad-urban-gardener.html

 

 

The horizons of the Infinite

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« …the desert, more than anything else, opens the human mind to observation, mediation and initiation into meaning.
…The relationship with nature was so present in the Prophet’s (sas) life from his earliest childhood that one can easily come to the conclusion that living close to nature, observing, understanding, and respecting it, is an imperative of deep faith.
Nature is the primary guide and the intimate companion of faith.”

Tariq Ramadan “In the footsteps of the Prophet”

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“Oh, my Lord! Open for me my chest (grant me self-confidence, contentment, and boldness). And, ease my task for me and make loose the knot from my tongue (remove the defect of my speech) that they understand my speech. And, appoint for me a helper from my family, Aaron, my brother. Increase my strength through him, and let him share my task that we may glorify You much, and remember You much. Indeed, You are of us Ever a Well-Seer.”

[Dua’ from prophet Moses, Qur’an 20 : 25-35]

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