Ramadan – with all senses

some natural-, food- and spiritual- inspiration  wishing you all wonderful and blessed last nights of this holy month!

http://tinykitchenvegan.tumblr.com

http://pinchofyum.com 

http://www.theroastedroot.net 

http://www.greenkitchenstories.com 

https://naturallyella.com

http://www.ohladycakes.com 

http://www.sugarfreemom.com 

   

Those who spend their wealth [in Allah ‘s way] by night and by day, secretly and publicly – they will have their reward with their Lord. And no fear will there be concerning them, nor will they grieve. (2:274) 

 

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. You are our protector, so give us victory over the disbelieving people.” (2:286) 

Anchoring Wellbeing

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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.

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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?

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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

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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.
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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.

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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

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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!

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favorite shoes from Gudrun Sjoeden 

wei wu wei – incha’Allah

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“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.

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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.

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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

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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!

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

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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:

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joy, love and peace to you and yours!

 

Autumn Moments

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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!