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

 

Grounding Myself

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

schuhe

To be honest, I don’t feel entirely well these last weeks, mashaallah.
There were many decisions to make, many challenges to take and many visitors around at school, but also in our private life
– I feel exhausted and ready for a break. I feel ready for winter to come,  ready to draw back and to hibernate, just like an animal that crawls into his cave.
I observe myself sometimes arguing with reality,  wishing for things to be different, in fact just longing for some peace and quiet…
Here I’ve put down a little list of several things I try to do when I really feel at the edge to depression and need something to tear me out of the black hole:

  1. Drinking some freshly brewed yarrow/achillea-tea
  2. Making a treasure map of pictures cut from magazines to visualize positive goals
  3. Going outside! Alone or with the children, to breath fresh air and clean the head
  4. Making Istikhara and dua’ or reading Qur’an
  5. Reading self-help books
  6. Watching feel-good-movies (although it is very difficult to find hahal-ones)
  7. Making a gratitude-list
  8. Talking to a friend who can stand my tears, just listening, without trying to “save” me
  9. Investigating my belief system and affirming and auto-suggesting all things good
  10. Reminding myself that life is always for something good; that there is a reason behind everything and a learning opportunity for my highest good to be found in all.
    Alhamdulillah!

berge

favorite shoes from Gudrun Sjoeden 

wei wu wei – incha’Allah

wasserkessel

“wei wu wei” according to Lao-tzu is learning to do “not-doing”
–  being in the present moment –  letting things flow – trusting in our higher source, believing in the harmony of the Tao.

I want to learn this “not-doing”.
I want to learn to let go, to go with the flow, to let things happen, to trust in our eternal real origin and in the order of a higher plan.
I call this highest source God, “Allah”. It is the Unnameable. The yin and the yang. The origin of the good and the bad –  in fact, it is the neutral, the balance, the just middle, darkness and light, hidden but always present, the opposite without taking sides It is the center, the nothing yet everything. Everything is positive and meaningful, just as it is.

When we Muslims say in-sha-Allah, we are essentially connecting ourselves to that source, asking permission to make things happen as we have planned, because we deeply believe without the help of that Source  we can’t get much done. This form of supplication embedded within in-sha-Allah connects our plans to our spirituality and the Divine, to the Tao. And thus, without falling into the trap of fatalism, we practice, in the end, “not-doing”.
Thats’ how I understand “incha’Allah” and that’s waht I want to learn.

feuer

Practice not-doing, and everything with fall into place.

Do you have the patience to wait
till your mud settles and the water is clear?
Can you remain unmoving
till the right action arises by itself?

If you want to accord with the Tao,
just do your job, then let go.

freedom

And never say of anything, “Indeed, I will do that tomorrow,” Except [when adding], “If Allah wills.” And remember your Lord when you forget [it] and say, “Perhaps my Lord will guide me to what is nearer than this to right conduct.” [Qur’an: Chapter 18, Verses 23-24]

Inspiration here , here and here.

Starting the day positive

a-cup-of-positivity

Affirmations help me to take the right internal attitude every day.
I use them as a desktop-screen-saver, I write them on my chalkboard, on little pieces of paper everywhere, and some I put them around my mirror and on my office-table…

Here I share some sources of beautiful inspiration.
May you be blessed with everything good!

d9e1883b3b1182dd06b6c0b41bc67712

I train myself to approach every day with the kind of these intentions:

icandoit-louisehay

and when things are getting diffficult, I take a deep breath, I pray, I turn to God, I ask for His help
and I try to remind myself of these thoughts and this:

hay-quote to-dos-love

joy, love and peace to you and yours!

 

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!

Sources of energy – the Home

wohn8

My home is my castle, it is my source of power and a haven for me and my family, subhanallah.
Home plays one of the most essential roles in my living; in offering me room to simply be, to gather with the people dearest to me and to centre myself to be ready for life.

I am an interior designer and architect. That’s what I studied, that’s what I professionally learned, that’s where I own a master degree. But in fact, after my studies I never really worked in that field.  With a growing family and the developing school project, life led me elsewhere, alhamdulillah, towards education, social development and entrepreneurship.

home-laternen 1461682500_886739home-spule  home-sessel

But still and ever, deep in my heart, I am and I remain an interior creator.
I love creating and setting up rooms, I love to make people feel comfortable and at home in the world, in their body, in life. And even now, on a broader scale, I still create and design spaces where people can feel comfortable, in our school and at our campus.
Over the years, in creating spaces for the community, I learned more and more to protect and to consciously create a private space of ours. The busier and the more public our work-life gets, the more I feel the importance of privacy.
In a culture where doors often are wide open and the living is much outside and in community, this sometimes needs some courage to say “no” to the social “shoulds” and also some extra intentional adjustments to create room that is protected from exterior influences.
But after we have lived for more than four years in the middle of a busy school, we as a family felt the strong need to have a private and safe family’s sanctuary. We felt that, in order to live in peace together, to have the energy to work for and to serve society through our social business, we sometimes have to set priorities, to step back and close the world out. We felt that we have to ensure that each one of us is allowed and finds the possibility to unwind and to rest from the pressure and demands of the outside world.

teewohn2

So we put a lot of time and effort in creating this haven of ours. I read books, I learned about Feng Shui and electromagnetic fields, about de-cluttering, aromatherapy and the use of healthy materials. We got inspired by magazines and traditional craftwork and we collected and repurposed beautiful, sometimes very old and used things.

I’ve already written about it  several years ago. Our home is a place we cherish and we learned to improve on a regular basis. It is a place we develop together, we change, we adjust and we re-arrange according to our feelings and needs.
That doesn’t need expensive investments.
Sometimes it just needs a cleaning or a clearing of space.
Sometimes a little repurposing project can lift up the whole scene.
Or flowers from outside in an old tin can – yes, flowers, they are my favourite, they immediately bring life and beauty.
Also a candle can change a whole room for the better.
Or a positive affirmation written with chalk on the wall.
The ideas are endless and often really do not need more than some thinking and doing…

wohn4 wohn3

When I come home now, I really feel protected and nourished, subhanallah.
Every glance I make, in whatever direction or corner I look, provides me with something beautiful, comforting and healing: a beautiful picture, a handmade teacup, lovely sunlight or a soft pillow.
I learned to make sure to be every day welcomed by nice colours, fresh little flowers, a good scent and a soothing atmosphere. I make sure that eating, cooking and the chores are a pleasing thing to do, because everything around, the houseware, every material, work stuff and furniture is pleasing. I make sure that the rooms are always kind of tidy and providing place for a smooth living.

Home means to me tranquillity and feeling at peace. It’s the place where I can switch off from spotlights and the bustle of work, to gain new energy, in every corner and every room, alhamdulillah- I am very thankful for that, and I wish you peace, love and happiness in your homes!

wohn5

And Allah has made for you from your homes a place of rest and made for you from the hides of the animals tents which you find light on your day of travel and your day of encampment; and from their wool, fur and hair is furnishing and enjoyment for a time. (Qur’an 16:80)

wohn7

In setting up our house, we opt having a home that reflects and encourages our values and faith. Our main choices are made in accordance with Islam, hoping that our home invites angels and radiates with a sacred spirit.
Entertaining a peaceful home is essential for the functioning of a healthy family and thus for a healthy society. Guarding home privacy is vital in Islam to promote a tranquil and functional family structure. It is one of the significant Islamic values to have a positive vibe and atmosphere at home. The house should be a place of remembrance of Allah, a place of worship, a place that nourishes the soul on different levels. It should offer spaces for religious rituals and activities, further defined by humility through economical, earth- and human-friendly and sustainable designs. There should be no pictures on the walls that contain animate beings; no statues or anything that resembles statues; no dogs and no smoking. The Qur’an should be read out loud often and the everyday should be guided by values and manners that reflect Islam in the most beautiful way.

wohn6

Interesting further readings and articles:
Jane Alexander “The spirit of home”
Martina Goernemann – books
Article: http://www.islam21c.com/islamic-thought/propagation/is-your-home-an-islamic-home/
Article Outman, Aird, Buys : http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2095263514000740