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

 

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Reminder of the day

“Let your child see the joy in your eyes every time you meet. This is the greatest gift you can offer your kids” (according to Jesper Juul)

Be yourself, be authentic, be present, offer positive attention, an open heart… without losing connection with your own needs, keeping your own boundaries…

 

Know what you want!

A wish written down becomes a goal.
A goal broken down into steps with a date becomes a plan.
A plan packed with action and nourished by prayer becomes reality.

More on productive goal setting making a vision board here and here.

One thing I learned over the years and am still learning:
the better I know what I want and the more I express my needs and wishes in clear ways, the more precisely it will fullfill.
Actually making:
my visionboard for fullfilled summer holidays
and reading on clear and peaceful communication (Marshall Rosenberg: “Nonviolent communication –  a language for life”)

happy summer dear readers and friends!

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!

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.


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)