Past Present Future 01’17

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The new (miladi)-year 2017 just began, and even though it is still “new”, it also is already nearly two weeks “old”:
the white, blank pages of my organizer fill consistently, my last post is long ago, and while I’m observing the passing of time, I feel the need to reflect on things that passed and things to come.

Last year was full of change and development, sometimes very demanding and exhausting, but also promising and full of joy and beauty, alhamdulillah.
If I would have to put the essence of the last year into a few words, I would call it “transistion”.

A lot of my private life is very much related to my work life – in fact our school and everything connected to it IS our life – it is a life-project, present in our heart and mind 24/24h and 7/7days, alhamdulillah, and last year we had the chance to develop and realize many incredible things, alhamdulillah.
So, a lot of my reflections concerning the last year are related to the events and development of campus vivant’e and can be read on our latest newsletter here: https://ecolevivante.wordpress.com/2017/01/13/news-from-the-campus

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If I fade out the project and look at my personal last year, I see that I learned a lot about myself, I met very interesting people and made important life choices and changes. But there is, beside the very many other things, one thing that stands out in 2016:

It was the medical result we got last February that scientifically confirmed that our smallest son (3 years old) also is hearing impaired, just like our daughter, mashallah.
First, this was a shock and very sad news, even though we had suspicions since several months and were kind of prepared to the fact that he also is deaf. But it hurt. Just as it did 5 years before with our girl, and from time to time again.

But thanks God, subhanallah, the things changed to better and better; the burden of having two children who have difficulties to hear turned more and more out to be a blessing.
We got the chance to learn a lot together as a family and even with society here.
Through a professional volunteer from Berlin, who came living in our valley for more than three months, we, and the whole school (teachers, some parents and pupils), learned sign language and communication with the deaf. It was a real gift to see so many people beginning to happily signing and understanding each other.

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And it was and still is very touching to see especially our own two children evolving great communication skills between them and with others. Even our smallest boy’s capability to make himself understood by signs and words unfolds now in beautiful ways.
I can see how sign language helps him developing his spoken language and learning skills in general and how his older sister benefits from having a mate and someone who shares the situation with her. They support each other, they help and encourage each other, they grow and have fun together and they fight for their rights as 2 deaf children in a family of 4 hearing people.

It’s incredible to see their strength and courage in life. Allahumma barik.
So everything developed for the better, subhanallah, tabarakallah, and I am looking forward to accompany and to see those two little souls flourishing and growing in their own very special and  beautiful ways, teaching us a lot by just being who they are, inchaallah.

“after burden comes ease” – it’s so true, I assure you, we can count on HIM –  Allahu akbar!

Wishing you light, love, peace for 2017
and a never ending trust in God’s wisdom and the divine ways!

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ISLAM AND WORK _ when faith meets productivity

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early morning-me-time in front of the fireplace – reading and preparing for the day 

On our school’s blog I’ve recently posted some thoughts about the relation of faith and work, which I would like to partly share here with you: 

“In all our work, in our daily life with the pupils at the campus vivant’e , we are deeply guided by the teachings and rules of our religion, which is the religion of Morocco, Islam.
We try to practice our faith as a whole way of life, imbedded in all our doing, in the deepest sense of its meaning:

”Islam = Peace”.

If I want to put together our values, our mission and our goals, to describe the culture and philosophy of the campus vivant’e, the description would be:  “we are here to serve”.
We see our mission very much in serving – serving the pupils, serving others, serving humanity, serving a bigger purpose:

  • encouraging a meaningful development of each and every one here
  • motivating students (and teachers as well) to show, to develop and to blossom towards the most positive version of their self
  • support students to learn the skills needed for a fulfilled and meaningful life – for their own good and for that of society in whole
  • striving to always give our best and allowing others to give their best
  • building bridges between people and being a committed example of peaceful dialogue, nonviolent communication and respect towards all
  • inviting people (students, parents, teachers, volunteers and visitors alike) to be the positive change we wanna see in the world
  • assuring that everybody feels welcomed and accepted here, no matter who they are or what they believe “

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The following manifesto summarizes very well how we understand our work and action in relation to our religion. I totally speaks to me from the heart and I am very thankful for the work that the people from productivemuslim.com have put in it – Jazak Allahu khairan!
I would like to share with you the essence of their manifesto and of how I and my Moroccan team understand productivity in an Islamic way:

  • Pursue everything in life with an active intention
  • Seek spiritual connectivity & barakah (God’s blessings) in every moment
  • Fill your heart with abundant positivity
  • Plan your day, week, month, life in detail!
  • Rise early and seize the barakah (God’s blessings)
  • Aim for physical vitality
  • Pursue holistic learning for a holistic life
  • Take time to have fun!
  • Always be of service
  • Have commitment and discipline

The detailed manifesto is to be found here on this source : http://cdn.productivemuslim.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/ProductiveMuslim-Manifesto.pdf

In French 

In Arabic 

I wish you all a lovely beginning of winter. I wish you warmth, inside and out.
Salam aleikoum and peace, love and light to you!

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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 

Thank you, Obama!

barack-obama-yes-we-can Goodbye Barack Obama. God bless you.

Thank you for all the positivity you’ve spread. Thank you for all the philanthropy, the tolerance, respect and hope that shine through you.

Eight years ago, I felt that you would be a light for your country – and I think you were and still are.
Over the last weeks, I hoped that there would happen something magical, that you could stay in your role some more years.
Now reality is different, and we have to accept. I am sad that you had to leave for someone else. But I trust in God’s wisdom and in a good reason behind all. I am sure everthing will come as it has to come, even if we don’t understand.
I know your light will shine in other ways.  And now we all have to, and I am willing, to spread out a light of love, peace and kindness ino the world, just as you did.
Yes, we can!  Thank you, Obama.

barack-obama   yes-we-can  obama-think

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.

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.