Summer Reading

August – time of vacation, of nothingness, of days spent without timetables and social obligations…
time to read without real purpose, just to the pure pleasure of it.

Some old summer-classics, beautiful Muslim fiction and a new field guide:

Anne Morrow Lindbergh “Gift from the Sea”
Naima B. Robert “She wore red trainers”
Rosamunde Pilcher “The Shell seekers”
Katie Daisy “How to be a Wildflower”

Happy summer days to you!

 

Preparing for this year’s Ramadan

The better I plan my Ramadan-days, the better I feel, making most out of this special month….
it is so easy to get distracted and lost by our own laziness, television, spending time in the kitchen, thinking about what to cook for Iftar, cleaning around and not making anything that really matters…
but there are so many thing that really do matter, things I want to do and accomplish during this sacred month.

I know, that the self-control we have to practice in not eating from dawn until the evening can help us in many ways to control also other parts of our lifes. This self-control can help us to improve and train the different “muscles of good habits”… giving up bad things and training ourselves in blessed ones…
and the hours we save by not eating can help us much in accomplishing things we normally would not being able to do during normal days, interrupted by coffee-, lunch- and tea-breaks.

In planning, defining and  organising my Ramadan, I find great help in the “productive Muslim” book from Mohamed Faris. I try to put the focus now on what really matters and making best use of the waking hours every day, inchaallah.
How and what d you plan for your Ramadan this year?


this year’s Ramadan calendar:
a bunch of paper-sticks, like flowers in a vase,… everyday with a little reminder of worship, blessing, beauty and love…

 

 

 

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

 

 

Anchoring Wellbeing

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

What have « Bob the Builder », Barack Obama and many celebrities from the sports-field in common?

They use(d) special gestures, words or phrases as a trigger to create positive feelings.

cup-out

NLP calls this repeated use of stimulants “anchoring”.
I am not into NLP – these techniques can surely be discussed critically and have to be treated with caution and mindfulness in regard to our religion – but I can see a benefit in consciously using special things as a positive anchor:
“Yes, we can!”; Allahu Akbar; alhamdulillah; …,
smells like that of porridge with cinnamon, that remind us of home, security and the bliss of childhood memories;
fist-bumps to evoke a feeling of strength and to express victory or success;
or the sight of a cup of coffee that immediately create a feeling of  pause and comfort…

Knowing these positive triggers an be very helpful in everyday life, to push the right buttons and to put ourselves in better states of (mental-)being.

For me it surely is the image of that cup of a warm beverage, that helps me calming down.
What triggers your optimism in an instant?

cup-look

interesting reads on the topic:

Shakti Gawain “Creative Visualization”

http://www.chopra.com/articles/from-chaos-to-calm-in-an-instant-how-to-create-a-positive-anchor 

 

 

 

entitled to be creative

streich1

We have winter vacation. It is time to be home, time to read, to range and rearrange, to realize a few renovation-projects, and time to relax and to retreat.
For me, the holidays we spend home are always an invitation to make things which I cannot do during schooldays.
For me, vacation in general is not about long sleeps and lying around, it is much more a time to be active, to listen to inspiration, to do something around home, in the garden or for myself.

Time spent creatively always fulfills me.
I totally blossom when I can do and make things in my own rhythm and at my “gusto”.
I then feel just as pure life is running through my veins; I feel lively and full of joy and gratitude, alhamdulillah.
After a day spent with at least one creative endeavor, I feel blessed and satisfied.
change

Being creative and making things does not necessarily mean to make “arts”. For me, the making of something and being creative can also be the cleaning of a long forgotten corner, redesigning an outworn skirt, capturing photos of everyday beauty, baking a fancy cake with a self-invented frosting out of fridge-leftovers, giving myself a new haircut, painting meaningful quotes in beautiful letters on old cardboard, restoring an old chair, planting flowers, …, and following  the flow of ideas by improving and beautyfying life in every possible way.

Being creative is like pouring out the beauty of our soul. It can be totally an act of worship and is often guided by divine inspiration. Maybe that’s why, beside the fact of having made something out of our time, it is so deeply enriching.

id-kuchen3you-can-do-it kaffe1

Along with the vast inspiration that can be found online, but also in our own soul (through the listening to our inner voice and intuition), there are many books that inspire and evoke creativity.
I’ve recently read and liked those:

  • Elisabeth Gilbert “Big Magic: Creative living beyond fear”
  • Sark “Succulent wild Women”
  • Jane Alexander “Spirit of the Home”
  • Amanda Blake Soule, all books
  • Elaine St.James “Living the simple life”
  • Martina Goernemann “Zuhause ist ein Gefühl”
  • John Seymour „The self sufficient life“

“Do you have the courage to bring forth the treasures that are hidden within you?”  asks one of them –
Yes I do, inchaallah.
What about you?

Wishing you a creative and fulfilled February! Peace and light, xoxo

 

Autumn Moments

herbstblumenherbsthome

It’s getting chilly outside, and home provides now comfort and warmth, especially in the morning, alhamdulillah.
The sky is crispy clear and the sun rises much later than before.
These weeks I spend my daily morning reading time with the following books:

Mohammed Faris “The productive Muslim”
Anthony Robbins “Unlimited Power”
Napoleon Hill “Think and grow rich”
Byron Katie “Loving what is”
Jesper Juul ” Aggression”

Happy October and happy new muslim year 1438!