It is often difficult, especially when the story is “ugly”, to see that it was necessary.
It is very easy to say and believe that things were meant to be in this way when we have a beautiful path we have walked to reach the destination we have today. However, when for example: a child is pulled out from under the rubble of a collapsed bombed building only to find their entire family has been wiped out, it is very hard to say: “it’s okay it was a part of the journey they had to lead, it is a part of Allah’s plan, it was a necessary hard life they had to lead to become who they needed to become”. The mind and heart are not willing to accept these things as “okay” and “God’s plan” or even, dare I say, an important happening in the child’s life. But would Andy Murray be the man he is today had he not been in that fateful classroom the day that the massacre took place? Would Thomas Edison have become the man he did had he not had the teacher who kicked him out and the mother who then shaped up his learning. Although both above instances possibly still not as traumatic as the above mentioned example of the child, and perhaps not many famous examples of people exist who have ‘survived’ such a horrible experience, but that does not mean to say that despite it being so much more traumatic and despite it not having any famous “happy endings”, that it too is not a necessary happening; that it too has not forged out of a hellish fire a truly magnificent person.
Not every famous person is great and not every great person is famous.
I think back to my beloved English Teacher, may he rest in peace, when he died there was no “state” funeral, and yet he was a man (like many others I am sure) worth of such! He touched and changed the lives of so many children who then have in turn gone on and continued his legacy multi-fold into the fabric of this world. Truly the Chinese proverb holds such truth, if you plan for 100 years, teach! The impact a teacher has cannot be measured, and a really great teach weaves their essence and teachings into the fabric of society and moulds it from the inside. Some of the stories we heard on his funeral were truly mind blowing and yet only the people who met him know his name; his impact however, reaches far far beyond. His childhood although was not the rosiest; and again, for him to become the great man he was, he needed to have faced the ugly side of life.
So why am I saying these things.
I want to invite you to see past your scars (we all have our own battles we have fought and scars that they have left behind), to what their presence has enabled for you and your journey. I want to invite you towards acceptance of a different level.
I want to invite you towards Gratitude.
And before you think anything, I want you to hear me out first.
Life sometimes has to put us through difficult learning curves to shape us; to enable us; to forge us. Every metal ore needs to go into the furnace to come out stronger purer and more in its ‘element’.
I do not know your story, I do not know your scars, but the experiences you have had and the people you have met along the way, have each in their own way, helped you into becoming the you who you are today; from the ones that put you down to the ones that picked you up, each in their own way have been necessary in your story.
If we do not brave the storm we cannot cross the seas to find our island paradise.
If you did not take this exact journey you would not have found your ‘island paradise’ with its ‘golden sands’ and ‘cool sea breezes’. Sometimes we head out to sea thinking we need to go into a certain direction and end up in a certain location. But Allah has His own plan for us. He does not want us to go to the island in the East, He knows the island we truly need is in the South. So, He sends our way harsh winds and rough seas. We can try fight it for as long as we can and not make much progress; or we can learn to harness the wind, work with the wind and go in the direction that life is taking us, and also trust in the direction life is taking us is what we need today. And when we stumble upon our true ‘island paradise’ and rest in its golden sands, only then when we look back at the journey can we truly appreciate that we needed to take it so that it could lead us here. Yes, it may have been horrible and hard, and tested us beyond our imagination, but we are here. We learned to battle our storms; we learned to tie knots we didn’t know how; we learned to control our sails to best harness the winds; we discovered uncharted territory and found we could manage our way safely through; we discovered our resilience, our patience, our determination, our perseverance is much more than we could have perceived. Sure, there may have been days when brother wind got too rough and mother nature rained on us hard and threw us about on harsh seas, we even got thrown over-board a few times, but Allah sent us our “saviours” to help us back on our boat. And while there were rough days there were days of sunshine and calm too; where father sun smiled down upon us and embraced us in its warmth, giving us strength to go on and showed us the way to go forward. If we didn’t face harsh winds and seas, we would not need any saviours in our life, if we didn’t get drenched by stormy clouds we would not appreciate the warmth of the sunshine…
I don’t want you to just see the silver lining in the clouds, I want you to feel the importance of the rain too. If there was no rain, there would be no life.
When a lightning strikes a dry barren land and causes fire and “destruction”, that very fire and destruction makes way for new life to grow from that barren land. The lightning ‘supercharges’ life back into the barren lands.
But why am I saying all this to you.
I want to invite you to think of things in a different light. Because thinking is the key!
Our reality is not what it is, it is how we see it.
Yes, sure there are somethings that are facts, but in and around the facts we paint a picture of a reality that we see.
For example, when we stub our toe, it hurts! – Fact!
But we then paint this fact with our colours: “someone put that there maliciously so we could get hurt”; “someone put that there carelessly and we got hurt because of them”; “I am so clumsy, so careless, I am hopeless, I keep getting hurt everywhere by everything there must be something wrong with me”… and so and so forth, we can paint it in any way. But the truth is, we stubbed our toe, and that is it. The rest are our formations, shaping up a reality. We need to separate out the facts from the colours we are superimposing upon it. The truth is we stubbed our toe - now we can exclaim ouch, rub our toe and move on with daily happenings like nothing happened; OR we can exclaim ouch, rub our toe and sigh or get annoyed temporarily and think need to watch where we are going a bit more before we move on; OR we can become angry and vindictive and blame someone for maliciously trying to hurt us; OR we can be angry and annoyed and blame someone for being careless; Or let our low self-esteem cause us to become guilt ridden and spiral into self-pity and self-loathing… etc etc.
SO, it all comes down to our thoughts.
If our thoughts are shaping up our reality; then by changing how we see things, think about things, can ‘change’ our reality; aka reframing. Reframing does not change facts, yet it can change how reality shapes up around the facts. Reframing can and sometimes does help some people; it can, for some instances, help to step out and take a different look at the scene (NB, this is not to say that one should create false realities and live in denial. No. that is of course also not healthy).
However, I am not going to be asking you to reframe anything.
No, the contrary, when we understand that our thoughts shape up reality, then we do not need to get too caught up in the realities that our mind is shaping up.
So actually, we do not need to reframe anything, if anything what we need to do is unframing. We need to remove the colour and see truth as it is.
Our thoughts are like glasses, by changing the lenses we change the colour. We can change the lenses all we want and every time we will see the picture with a different colour. But if we understand that the colour is superimposed and actually we can take off the glasses and see the picture as it stands then we don’t need to worry about any colour we can or may see the picture in. The truth is the picture, that cannot be change. When we can understand that the colours we see in any picture is what then induces the feelings inside of us; then just like we can detach the picture from the colours, we can detach our feelings from the truths. Our feelings are personal, they are superimposed because of the reality that we shape up; they are not inherent of the experience, they are not exclusively in and of the experience. The experience, i.e. truth, is just that – an experience – it is there for you to gain something of and from. Experiences do not have colours (our thoughts) or flavours (our feelings). We attach the colours and flavours to them. So just like we can attach them on, we can detach them too.
Now what does that achieve?
You live a moment: a vey horrid, cruel and cold moment; where a perpetrator heartlessly abuses you, physically assaults you and verbally abuses you. You feel the cruelty of the moment in the moment, you feel the cruelty of the moment years on too. No matter what you do, you cannot escape the ‘truth’ of the moment as being horrid, cruel, cold and heartless. You cried then, you cry now.
Now one can try to reframe it by saying: well the person was ill in their minds, they were partly drunk, they did know any better, etc. but nothing can actually change the ‘truth’ – your truth of the experience – because how you experience something is still a truth! That is how you experienced it! And yes, the truth is: you did experience a horrid, cruel, cold-hearted physically and verbally abusive moment, which no doubt has been life changing…
Now when we look at it from the perspective of our superimposing of colour and flavour, we can pick apart the experience in a different way.
You feeling the moment was cruel, horrid, cold and heartless, is your feelings of the moment. Although true, because that is how you experienced the moment in the moment, they are YOUR feelings. They are not exclusively in and of the experience itself, rather how you experienced the experience (one person can and may experience an experience slightly differently to another). You experienced it in this way because you thought of those abusive acts as being: cold, heartless and cruel. And yes, where majority people today would hold the same or similar views of an abusive act as such as being: cold; heartless; and cruel, it still does not make it the truth. The truth is: a person hit you and said some words to you. That is it, that is the truth.
It is our social dictates, which shape up our belief systems; these belief systems then go on to make us think that an act is: “negative”, “wrong” and “hurtful”. Undoubtedly the act of getting hit physically hurts our physical body, but so does falling out of a tree; so does over working our arm muscles in the gym; so does menstrual pain, or better yet labour pain. So why is one pain branded as “good” and one pain brand as “bad”; pain is just pain is it not? Does all pain still not equally cause us discomfort? Our morality does the branding; but where does morality come from?
As humans we have created certain codes, orders, systems, acceptable norms and behaviours, but even in that we have variations throughout different generations and cultures. It is these belief systems that control our thinking, that shape our thinking – that shapes our realities and our truths; but if we can take a step back and remove these parameters and then look at a situation we will find the situation to be neutral. Because that is all it is – a situation; an experience; an event. Without which future events, situations and happening cannot follow and unfold. A situation is just a domino in a line of dominos. The dominos are all just neutral, no one domino more important, or bigger, or smaller, than the other and yet each domino vital in its own right; even if one domino is missing the show cannot go on.
So with that said, it does not matter how you experience the domino. There is neither anything wrong with how you experienced it, nor is there any need to rethink of: how where or why the domino was as it was. It just was, and that is it. It was necessary because it was elemental for the show to go on.
When we can understand this, then we can let go of the colours and flavours that we have attached to the experiences, because although that is how we experienced them and it was vital for us to experience them how we did for the next domino to fall, at the end of the day all those experiences are just dominos in a line. Whether we have tagged an experience as ‘good’ or ‘bad’ is just our superimpositions and in a way ‘irrelevant’; how we may or may not have tagged them actually bares no relevance in the grand scheme of things, they are all just dominos in a line – each the same and each just as vital.
When we can view our past experiences as dominos and allow the colours and flavours to ‘fall off’, then we can free ourselves of the hold these feelings have had upon us; allowing us to fully embrace and carry on in our life without being weighed down by the weight of a heavy heart (because that is where all our feelings live on unless we can let them go). Whether an experience was ‘good’ or ‘bad’; hurtful or beautiful; made us sad or happy; angry or worried, it does not matter now. The experience is gone, it served its purpose which was to tip the next domino in line. It was a lesson, not a life sentence, you can let go of it. Whether someone’s behaviour was ‘right’ or ‘wrong’, ‘good’ or ‘bad’, does not matter, the branding is superimposed by our belief systems. How someone should or should not behave is based on parameters that we have imposed. When a mother leaves her baby and goes to work it is bad, but when a father does it, it is right; when a shark eats its young, its ok, but when a human beats their young, its wrong; when parents throw out there 18 year old, it’s good, but when a 50 year old throws out their 80 year old parents, it’s not. The human condition is full of contradictions and nuances, morality skewed to favour one or another; the social dictates work for some and not for others, some fit it some don’t. The more one attempts to micromanage and understand, the more life eludes us and leaves one bewildered.
The key is to let go.
The experiences brought to you in life are by the Will of Allah. They are necessary. Experience them as you do, true to yourself and the moment, but then let it go. The experience is here to shape you and your life; don’t cling on to them, don’t judge yourself or others on the bases of the experience, that is Allah’s job. Whether pleasant or unpleasant, let go of the feelings you have attached to the experiences, they served their purpose in the moment, but they are of no use to you anymore; they will just keep you anchored in the past. Even clinging on to happy memories keeps us anchored in the past, preventing us from seeing what is spreading its arms for us today. Sure, visit memory lane from time to time; but remember you are just a visitor, not a permanent resident!
You can rise above your feelings.
Yes, life may have hit some really rough ones your way, but each pitch was necessary. The behaviours of some people around you, although ugly and uncalled for, has nothing to do with you. It does not define you, it does not represent anything of and about you. They were hoops and hurdles you had to jump on your journey to here, where you are at today, to enable your journey to come this way. Like the rungs on a ladder they have fulfilled the purpose they had in your life and now you can move on from the fact that you tripped up and got hurt on them, you have climbed up much further ahead from that time, it was a lesson you had to learn from, not your legacy.
One can go around with ‘sands of time’ cupped in open palms to their perpetrators to show to them: ‘look how you have wronged me’, ‘please apologise and change your ways’. One can go to these people bleeding from the cut on their finger in hope for a sticky plaster, yet not get one. One often has to tend to their bleeding wounds theirrselves, applying pressure till the bleeding finally stopped on its own and eventually scarred over. Over time one learns they are not going to get a “sticky plaster” from them and have to find their own; so they turned away from them, but they do not let go of those grains of sand. No, instead they clinch on to them in their fist(s) in hope to one day still show to them these grains of sand to make them see and realise something from them. One can try to get on with their life, but with a clinched fist(s) no doubt it is hard to do things ‘normally’.
I am here to tell you: let go of those sands of time, there is no point in clinching your fist. When you open your fist you will find there is nothing left in there; those grains of time have long slipped out from your hand. No point in trying to clinch on, it won’t achieve anything, instead it is just preventing you from living your life comfortably now.
Even if you went to them and got them to admit that they have sharp edges you cut yourself on; them admitting is not going to make any difference to your life today, you have already realised that on your own and taken precautions not to get too close as to cut yourself off of them again. Them owning up to their sharp edges and offering you that sticky plaster now is not going to help you, you cannot go back in time and give yourself that sticky plaster it’s pointless for you now; you don’t have a time machine and if you did, you would go back in time and stop yourself from getting cut in the first place – not give yourself their sticky plaster.
So let go of your clenched fist, there is no point in keeping it clenched when there is nothing left in it and nothing to come of it. Let go and relieve yourself of the energy you are having to put into clenching your fist; open your fist and relax your hand, then see how much more easier it is to live your life without clench fists…
I don’t want one to have to reframe, rebrand, rethink their way out of anything.
Like the teaching of the Japanese Art of Kintsugi, I want for one to be able to stand tall and be ok to wear all their scars out, because every scar is proof of one’s strength and what they have overcome. We should not need to pretend or gloss over any aspect of our life, they have all made us the people we are today…
Life, is the experience of discovering ourselves.
I wish for one to be able to let go of the hold their past has upon them so that they can truly arrive in the present.
One does not need to meditate to find inner peace and presence of mind, all we have to do is let go of the past to arrive in the present (btw I have nothing against mediation, I think it is a fantastic tool as an intermediatory to help us process and let go of the past). When we arrive in the present that is when we find gratitude, true gratitude, for our life’s existence – inner peace, thus wellness comes as a side effect.
We do not need to be or become grateful when we discover gratitude, it lives inside of us in the form of humility.
True inner peace, gratitude, beauty and joy are not cloaks that one can wear, they are states of being. We cannot force our way to them, like a mirage the more you chase after them the further away they get. We will not be able to find and stay there when it is force, we have to arrive at them as a side effect to better living. They are not a destination, rather a way of living.
Let’s live well and let the rest take care of itself.
A Cultural Revolution is due.
For some time now I have been seeing this struggle with people from the indo sub-continent who have moved from there to the west or otherwise. Back there, there is a lot of house help and a lot of family support due to joint family living so people indulge in a lot of practices that frankly is not achievable to live up to outside of said areas. Not only due to the reason we don't have the same house help and family support, but also nowadays a lot of the women have to/or would like to work.
One such practice I find people drowning away in, is the practice of cooking a magnitude of dishes! Not just for parties, but also for daily meals! I mean talk about madness, these women come home from a full day of work, get in the house, straight away sort the children out. Getting them washed and dressed ready for bed, sorting through homework loads and ensuring it gets done, all the while preparing a feast for dinner??? I kid you not, a feast is exactly what it is: a meat curry dish, a veg curry dish, a kabab dish, a salad, rice, daal, nan some even make two meat dishes??? I mean come on!!?? Why are you trying to kill yourself?!! There is only so much any one person can eat and frankly even one well-made dish will be just as satisfying!!!
No one, but no one will come to ease your aches and pains when you have ground yourself to the ground and you sit in your old arm chair at 75, so for who and why are you killing yourself for today?
A little self-love, a lot of self-forgiveness and smart working attitude can do you a whole lotta good!! And I talk not only to the people who are outside of the indo sub-continent, but to those also who are in it! House help is a luxury not everyone can have all the time. Don't depend on it. Become self-sufficient, smart-working, self-loving people. Schedule in one chore per day for yourself, one each (age dependent) for your children and one for your Husband- we need men brought up in the indo sub-continent culture to "grow-up" and realize that we are not living in the 1930's when we were all part of the "creme"! We are living very fast paced lives in the 21st century. House help is a time of the past, stay at home women are but a few, if she is helping you with the finances, help her with the house! It's not a taboo thing anymore, it's called we are a family, we work and support each other. Thankfully the latter is a positive change though that is already coming about! I see a lot now, both in the indo sub-continent and out, men being very supportive of the wives working and helping them achieve that. I have the pleasure of knowing many kind hearted men who nurture their children like a loving father and not like the times when the theory was "children are meant to be seen and not heard". Thankfully there are now plenty of men who are more than happy to do the dishes or vacuum, or even help wash n get the children ready for bed, let's keep spreading this positive message and break free from that taboo once and for all!
Coming back to this change needed for day to day cooking. The way of the indo sub-continent is to eat in quite a “princely” manner. Having a long table laid filled with a variety of indulgences, but what then happens when you come to throw a party??? A celebration in a manner of speaking should be bigger and better more elaborate then the everyday, so now what happens when you already lay a huge table for the everyday then your celebrations need to be bigger and better. So you end up going OTT with cooking and decorating etc. which means man more hours of labour both before and after; and not to mention the amount of food always left over! And the amount of money spent on everything! Let’s thinking about scaling back maybe? And I am not saying any of this for my benefit, what do I care how much money time and effort you spend on your day to day or your special celebrations! I say this for you, for your wellness. Its ok to have less items on the table every day, its ok to enjoy simple uncomplicated flavourful foods that don’t span the length of the table. Make life easier for and on yourself. Make one veg dish and one meat dish at the most. Make one accompaniment with it, rice or bread not both. Lets make our lives easier for ourselves, not harder. The outside world puts enough pressure on us as it is, lets at least give ourselves a break! As you are “modernizing” your wardrobe, lets modernize our dining tables too perhaps. Let’s modernize our self-love too! We no longer have to be hard on ourselves because we think that is what we are supposed to do. Relax! Take a break, enjoy life, enjoy being with your family, not just serving them. The key as always is in the balance.
I am not pro or anti modern or traditional life styles, I am just saying don’t drive yourself to the ground by putting unrealistic pressures on yourself. Re-assess your life and make it easier for yourself. Its your life, your health; only you can look after it and do what’s best for it. The days of where women were looked upon as the servants of the family are gone, but the practices are yet far from gone. Let’s change that.
Knowledge is king
If you don't want it read, don't write it down.
If it is written it will be read!
I have lived by this saying my whole life.
Basically anything we do or say will be associated with our life, our parents lives, our children's lives, our grandchildren's lives forever and then some.
I think if we hold that in our minds and then do what we do, we will hopefully not be caught off guard.
This two pence comes in light of the big panic that has come to being, due to the new T&C's of WhatsApp.
I am not "anti" or "pro". I am just looking to raise awareness.
Knowledge is king!
If you know that all apps (especially "free" apps) are designed to collect and sell on data, tailor ads, program your mind and habits, be addictive, then that is half the battle.
It is much easier to avoid falling into a pit if you can see it.
I am not here to say stay away from social media or this app or that, I am simply saying this does happen ALL the time, with EVERY app, just be aware of it. I'm just here to shine the light on the existence of the pit(s).
I'm sure almost all of us have experienced the "oh my god is my phone listening to my conversations?? I just said about going to a holiday in Hawaii and now I am getting ads for it!!" moment, ("tailored ads"); but let me tell you I have had moments where I have THOUGHT of something, not said it out loud not wrote it to someone, not heard it and then thought it. No. Just a pure simple "innocent" "random" thought and it comes up in ads!?! ( I'll tell you why these two words are in quotation marks below)
Well the conversation followed by an ad is quite easy to understand, they ARE listening to us. (Watch "The social dilemma" movie if you have any doubts!)
But the whole thought being "read" thing?? 😱
Well, unless I have a microchip inserted in me, that really ain't possible.
So far to MY knowledge, that is not the case. (I could be proven wrong though, I do understand that is a very likely possibility too!)
However for this moment in time we will assume, said is not the case. So how can they "mind-read".
Well, it's not really "mind reading", but rather mind programming. YES! They programme your mind to have the thought.
"How?? For the love of God how??" I hear you ask.
Well, to be honest it's a lot simpler that you think; well, simpler than the lengths that DiCaprio had to go through in Inception. ( Again a brilliant movie if you have not seen it, go and watch this! ) But, basically the principal is the same.
The idea is planted inside your brain, but in a way where you believe for it to be your own. In other words your subconscious has been primed to have said "thought" - through ads. In fact, you may have already subconsciously seen the ad first, but as it did not "register" in your consciousness, you don't recall it. Then you had the "thought", most likely triggered by another not directly, but semi- related ad; and then finally, you see the ad again, but this time you actually see and register it.
So in actual fact you did not have an "innocent" "random" thought, but in fact, you had a thought that your brain had been primed to give.
I'm just gonna let you soak that one up.
As always, with kids especially, when things go too quiet one starts to wonder, what's cooking?
Well things have definitely been a-cooking here! I have embarked on a new leg of my journey of self discovery and self development.
I found myself exploring an old dream at the start of the year, (completely unconnected to the 2020 kurfufall, btw, I have to add! ) This exploring found me discovering and re-connecting me to my true calling.
You may have already somewhat fathomed my love of food by now I'm sure; but I'm sure by the same token you also know it's not just a love of food, but it's a love of real nurturing food. Food that heals all: body, mind and soul.
Well you may have noticed also that that is my theme running through my whole being and my blog too: health of body, mind and soul. Therefore on that note it most probably won't come to you as a surprise that I have always had a keen interest in Homeopathy, a medicinal art that looks at the whole being, and treats the whole being, body mind and soul.
At the start of this year I embarked on my journey of self development in the art of both Homeopathy and nutritional health, with a side serving of life coaching of course; might as well get a cert. that says I can do it too while I am at it right! After all these years, back to College! Yikes!
Well with a heavy investment on books galore I set my ship a-sail some many months ago and now in College I steadily chart my course for a destination just out of sight beyond the horizon, but I place my faith in Allah All Mighty that he may help me reach my goal! Insha Allah Ameen Suma Ameen
As I go "under-construction" I am sure you may have guessed I will have a little less time to spare to pop a post here and there, but rest assured I will not be abandoning my space here, I will pop little notes here and there as I go, both on my journey of development and for tips for your journey of development!
We are ALWAYS, learning, growing and living!
Here is to forever evolving life!
Here's a thought!
Thunderstorms, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes and volcanos all are notoriously know for the destruction they leave and the lives they claim, but how many of these do we ever try to harness or control or "re-direct". How many people who live in these high threat areas do we think to rehouse, out of concern and safety of these imminent threats? Hmm let me think. NONE!! I REPEAT NONE!
Why do we spend fortunes on building "earthquakes proof" and "flood proof" housing in these area instead of simply un-inhabiting them? Would it not be more wise and cheaper to just live somewhere else?? Yet we don't do that? No, we stand and we face these natural phenomenons head on?!
So why, may I ask, are we so fixated with controlling this current "natural phenomenon"? Infectious disease, is it not a "natural phenomenon"? Then why, I ask, are we so fixated with "controlling" it, "manipulating" it "re-directing" it, why are we causing more problems than solutions?
Why, may I ask, are we not letting life and people be? Why are we suffocating both the lives and livelihood of humanity?
Is it not MUCH BETTER to empower the people with knowledge of how to keep themselves "safe", how to keep themselves healthy, so that even if they do get a hit they can stand up and shake it off with relative ease?
Why are we not empowering people with self empowerment?
Is that not only much more efficient and effective in the long run, but also a better, more wiser course of action, than to try and dictate actions of the masses for unknown lengths of periods at a time for unknown amounts of times?
Actions that not only are crippling the economy, robbing the masses of their livelihood, proving to be detrimental to the future of the youth and their mental/emotional health, but also detrimental to our elderly and vulnerable, the very people whom we are thinking we are protecting through these very dictated actions? In actual reality what we are doing to our elderly and vulnerable is signing away their life to a fate worse than death of seemingly endless isolation and alienation from the living breathing life of society!
How? How, I ask, is this helping anybody!!! How!!
People who are meant to die, WILL DIE!!! you or me doing anything is not going to prevent every life that this or any other illness or natural phenomenon is destined to claim! Now you may not believe in predestined or fate or any of such things and I am not asking you to, but as a human you must at least understand that their is NO CHEATING DEATH! You may think that you have "out lived" your life expectancy, or cheated death if you have a narrow escape, but sooner or later it will catch you, it always does!
Now I appreciate all that said, no one wants to see their loved ones go, especially if they go in natural disasters or unnatural incidences or "pandemics", we feel as if they have been cheated on by life. And I fully understand and resonate with that sentiment, I do! That is exactly why I say, educate, educate, educate! empower, empower, empower!
You do have what it takes to take back the reins of your health and life in your hands! Take it out of the hands of others, you don't need multitudes of tests and drugs. What you need is to understand what YOUR BODY needs, how much sleep, how much exercise, how much fat, protein, carbs, vitamins, minerals, fun, inspiration, intellectual and creativity activity, its all unique to and for you. You are not a car battery out of a box identical to every other car battery out there ever made under a certain "type cast", requiring the same amount of acid and alkaline balance, needing to be wired up in the exact same way, needing to be looked after in the exact same way. NO!
You are an individual, a living and breathing individual, who needs to look within to see what you yourself need. No one lives your life, walks your walk, deals with the people and environment that you do or have to in the way in which you do.
So how can what you need in your life, to make your life better, healthier and happier be the same as what anyone else needs! It just can't! It does not work that way and SHOULD NOT work that way!
Mainstream medicine is now understanding this and trying to work at understanding and implementing it, but it's a long long way from being "freely" available.
Why not instead of spending billions upon bring the country to a crashing halt and then billions to kick start it again, only to keep doing it again and again, we actually spend the money where it can benefit not only the medical units across the world, but also the people that they serve?
Why not pour money into spreading this knowledge, deepening this knowledge and implementing this knowledge?
Maybe if we do so, you may actually find that some people who were "vulnerable" actually liberate themselves from said vulnerabilities and survive a hit that they otherwise would not have? Maybe by improving peoples health and healthcare instead of just delaying a deadly inevitable exposure to the a virus, we empower and equip them to face it head on, fight it and defeat it?
I don't want avoidable deaths to happen just as much as the next person, but what I am saying is that I don't think the way we are going about it is necessarily the most efficient and effective way of achieving said goal.
The way forward is not "locking in", but locking out and unleashing the power of true health and healthcare!
Learn and understand your body, for when the "war" begins, it's not what you have on the outside that matters, but what you have on the inside that sees you through to win the fight!
Build your body, mind and self, not fear!
To true health, happiness, knowledge and empowerment!
For it is not ignorance that prevails, but empowerment that perseveres!
To knowledge, because for knowledge there really is no substitute!
Across all my social groups I hear but one call, “overwhelm”. Why is this so? Does this not trouble you? The fact that so many people feel overwhelmed over our current state of reality really is disturbing on so many levels! Some people are overwhelmed by the amount of work that they have to do because a) their house help is no longer there and b) their family is at home so there is too much to do. Now I don’t mean to belittle anyone by saying chill you should be able to do all that, because no, it is not right for anyone to say that, no one knows the other’s situation, commitments, restrictions or abilities. But what I will say is the solution is actually simpler than you think!
This current life we are living is not normal! We are not going to be in this state forever, nothing is ever forever, that I can guaranty you! No one is coming into your home, no one is there to judge you, if you can’t manage to do everything you think you should do in one day then relax, there is always tomorrow! What you couldn’t get done today, can get done tomorrow, if it doesn’t get done tomorrow, then there is always another tomorrow! We put too much pressure on ourselves to live up to our own unachievably high standards! I am not saying lower your standards, its good to want to strive to becoming your ideal, but let’s ease off the pressure shall we! These are not normal times, so let’s leave those standards for normal times shall we. For now live how you can, make do with what you can do and for heaven sake get this message firmly across to your family, (for those that this concerns) you are not on holiday, you are not in the midst of a celebration, you are in the middle of a crisis!!! Food is on ration world wide! So stop acting like you are in a 5 star hotel and demanding for fancy dishes 5 times a day!! Come on you people wake up and look around you! There are families who have lost all income and have not enough food to get by, so let's stop pretending this is a very long public holiday because for a lot of people it definitely is not! (breathe breathe breathe, sorry I had to get that out of my system first!)
Now I do not mean to say by the above that we should be all worried and it’s doom and gloom, but I keep reading wives being demand upon to cook 5 times a day fancy dishes! That is outrageous if you ask me! Now is not the time to be living like a king, but a time to be living smart. Spend less time and ration on cooking; cook healthy, cook smart, cook fast and maximise your produce to its full capacity!
Suddenly parents have to do a lot more than their daily “normal” lives like being their children’s teacher, nanny, best buddy, fitness instructor, IT whiz, and heaven knows what else more! So at a time like this having to spend more time cooking than your normal daily routine is really not helping! Unless you are teaching your children to cook and using that as the day’s lesson plan you should really be spending the least amount of your time actually in the kitchen cooking. So let’s get this straight with our families shall we; don’t be a tart, cook smart!
Now that is just one pebble on the beach, there are far more pebbles to be touched upon.
Some people are being overwhelmed by their children and how to cope with doing right by them. Firstly, what is doing right by them? What you may think is doing right by them, might not be what it actually entails! Remember what I said above, these are not normal times so we need to let go of our “normal standards”. What do children need: food, warmth, cosy home, a whole lot of love and time! Once you have food ticked off, warmth and cosy home for most are thankfully already set. That leaves the two most vital ingredients for children, love and time! Yes children need to be educated, and they will be, trust in yourself, trust in them and trust in the act of education!
Education doesn’t come through books, books are limited to imparting precise and one dimensional knowledge, education is not dependant on books, it is dependant on the mind developing through all senses, processing all that it absorbs and deducing conclusions from it. That is learning! Once they learn, then they act on what they have learnt, then they learn some more from those actions and reactions. Retaining all of that learning and using it to aid one in life is what is called education! Education has no limits, subjects, restrictions, qualifications or quantifications, it just is!
You being present with your child not only teaches them that they are seen, heard, cared for, loved and safe; it teaches them how to live life, how to act when there is trouble brewing in the air, how to look after loved ones, how to manage the daily grind… how to be human.
For young ones your presence is all they need to learn so much! For older ones who you struggle to keep occupied with yet another game of monopoly, give them things to learn either with you through life skills or with you through researching a hobby, old or new, then either mastering it or compiling a presentation on it or otherwise. Or if they are into their late teens, allow them to manage daily life and it’s strings, which not only gives them a chance to experience it, but gives you a much needed helping hand in living through it. Or again motivate them to learn about something new that they may have always shown an interest in, remember it doesn’t have to be “intellectual”, it doesn’t have to be a part of the national curriculum. Learning is all around us, there is no limit to what, how and when you can learn something; embrace the act of learning! Don’t stress about what they might be “missing out” on, don’t stress over what they should be learning, take advantage of this unique opportunity life has just given them to learn something new, something completely different and unique to them and you.
Always remember we are not in a race against anyone, each individual brings to the table what they are, which is what “wins” them each opportunity in life. Don’t loose this opportunity to strengthen the beautiful uniqueness of your children, for that is who they are, that is what will carry them forward in life, that is what they need. League tables mean nothing in an interview in their dream field, passion is what shines through and sees them through!
Another thing I hear through the grape vine, lack of peace causing overwhelm. Some people are not worried about their children’s education or being demanded upon for too many meals, but they are struggling to find peace. Whether it is inner peace or outer home atmospheric peace. Either too many arguments are taking place or there is inner frustrations of being “cooped up”, or feelings of grief or loneliness due or restrictions on family contact. Or of course the big fear factor that is eating people up from the inside. Fear of not having access to essentials or fear of loosing family or fear of one’s own health. All of these leading to again feelings of overwhelm.
Now if you ask me this lack of peace is actually a more deeper rooted and greater problem than any of the others, regardless of what the reasons for it be. This actually exists in our normal daily lives and is either now just surfacing or compounding and sadly although the other two mentioned issues may well disappear post lockdown, this problem is one that will live on if not dealt with. But the good news is, as mentioned, this issue is irrelevant of lockdown, therefore it can be tackled irrespective of lockdown. This is not a matter of the mind, this is a matter of the heart! It can be insha’Allah tackled through healing of the hearts.
As always my first and foremost advice is hugging and holding. Children get easily overwhelmed and frustrated as do parents with their tantrums and demands as well as life’s demands. Hug each other and hold each other as much as you can, if your children are arguing just hold them, hear them don’t talk to them, just keep them in your arms until they recover. Honestly I kid you not, it works like magic, it will not only clear their overwhelming feeling, but also any that you may have been having. When you argue with your partner despite who started it, or who was right or wrong, stop shouting at each other and sit either in each others arms or next to each other holding hands and then talk it out, skin to skin contact can not only save the lives of babies, but it can save the life in your relationship. The best cure for arguments and overwhelm is holding and hugging, it diffuses the fire inside! Trust me! You might be thinking phish phosh, but it is not, chemicals are released and reactions taken place inside your bodies that is what calms you down, its not a load of nonsense its biology!
Now coming to feeling “cooped up” or grief or loneliness, I have touched upon this before briefly on my lifeline page on FB, but I will contemplate it further here.
If you are living with a family, as in are not entirely alone in a house and still then you are feeling cooped up or lonely then this should be an indication to you that there is something monumentally wrong here! A home is where one should always look forward to being, a family whom we live with should be all that we need to survive, it should be with whom we feel the happiest and safest with. If one is not feeling these things then its time to do a lot of deep reflection and soul searching! It doesn’t mean that there is something wrong with you or your family as per say, but what it means is that you are not feeling at home with them or in your home. Now this could be for a variety of reasons either you are longing something for yourself that which you do not yet have, like for example a job, a career, a direction, or you are longing a connection with your family that you do not have. The latter is actually a simple matter but a complex one to fix. The way to go about it is firstly self reflection, think about firstly with whom it is lacking and then what is lacking, what type of connection is it that you long for that makes you feel lonely even in your own home with your own family. Then the next step after you have diagnosed the problem is the bigger braver step of addressing it. Raise awareness to the individual(s) of firstly this issue then the root cause of it and how you think it can be tackled. This last bit is the most tricky one, because it no longer involves just you, it involves others. Now firstly the difficult part is getting them to appreciate that this problem is present in your connection and it is costing you, then once you get that sorted the actual bridging of this gap is going to take long hard persistent efforts on both(or all) persons’ counts. But it is not impossible!! If you keep working at it insha’Allah one day it will be accomplished. But bare in mind as it is something you need you maybe the one who may need to work extra hard for it, be extra persistent with it and maybe have to put in most of the effort for it, but to reap the rewards we must first put in the back breaking work.
Now the other side of this, sometimes we live with persons that no matter how hard we try with, a gap can not be bridged. They make you feel lonely and unwelcome, in this case if they are not your spouse or children, then maybe it is something that needs to be brought up and addressed, but if it is your spouse or your children, then things need more serious thought and intervention. Families come in all forms, shapes and sizes, only we ourselves can know the true nature of our situations and we must reflect deeply, but sensibly and with clarity not emotionally and seek a truly plausible solutions for ourselves.
Even if you feel that there is nothing “wrong” with your relationships with anyone, nor is your personal purpose bothering you and you think neither of those are the reason for you feeling cooped up, does not mean that they may well not be the issue, maybe it is just you not being able to pin point it just yet.
Emotions are complex, sometimes they show their source other times it may need a lot of time and uncovering to reach the actual source because it is covered up in so many layers. Imagine an onion, you have to peel back layer after layer to reach the core. Sometimes this can be achieved on one’s own, other times it may need professional intervention. Psychologists are great but sometimes we need a little bit more than just conversational un-peeling sometimes the helping hand of simple homeopathic remedies are needed to help us uncover deep hidden emotional upsets. Whatever the case there are avenues to explore this and reach peace insha’Allah. The first and most important step is to actually recognise that there is an issue to start of with.
I think I best leave it at here for the moment and let one sit with these thoughts, for the biggest leg of learning is done in the space of silence.
I wish you inner and outer peace.
May we all find our stride and learn to dance in this rain!
My aim has always been to avoid either extreme, to take an informed balance approach, now I have that semi down re the elephant, but its all the strings attached to it so to speak that I struggle with. This whole school closure thing has my mind and heart all up in a twist. For once I feel uncertain about what is the sensible approach.
Whether you believe this virus to be the threat they say or not, one thing is clear the government’s efforts are to contain it, and the only way inevitably will be to shut schools, no matter how much they appear to deny it now. Now whether it is the right thing to do or not, is not the issue for me here anymore. My issue is, if that is the case, that this will have to be the action and its just a matter of time, then why are we delaying it? (Apart from the obvious that its going to cost the government a packet and then some!) But on a personal level, the longer the schools are open, the more widespread it becomes, therefore the more chances of every school being infected increases day by day, its simple maths really! If you are going to take this action, is it not better you take it before you are infected, so to actually reap benefit from it? Even if one person is infected in the school, by the time it is confirmed it is to late and the damage done! Whether you believe it to be a threat or not, but common sense dictates if you are going to take an action for a certain result, should you not take it when you have a shot at attaining said result? You know that whole, strike when the iron is hot thing, ring a bell???
So here I stand torn between two pieces of my own common sense, I fail to see clearly what is sensible anymore? I mean it should be really very obvious shouldn’t it! I know the elephant, I can see the strings and yet I stand bewildered thinking am I the crazy in the room??
I don’t want to pull my children out of school and yet I can’t see the benefits of delaying the inevitable; when in doing so you only negate the result for which the action is to be taken for in the first place!
You can’t catch a plane after its has departed!
So alas I sit here as a person trying to live with common sense and as a mother who would like to make sensible and right choices for her children to the best of my mental, emotional and physical ability.
I think when one puts it in this way, there really is no choice, no dilemma, no confusion or doubt of the sensible!
In the war between a woman and a mother,
A mother is always right!
Here is to us all, to finding peace within ourselves, because at the end of the day when all is said and done and there is nothing but the quiet of the night, there is only one voice to be heard and to answer to, the little voice of reason within you!
To Self Peace!
Stay safe and happy!
following my heart
Here you will be able to find a window into what I am getting up to these days.
From cooking to teaching cooking, it's all happening!
I started off on my journey with cooking with the humble tea prior to entering double figures in age, but not quite like how people practice that art these days.
No those pots of tea where something of a time long ago when people gathered and experienced tea as an event. Nowadays it's plonk in that tea bag in hot water in your "to go" mug and rush out that front door like you are missing your flight, sigh!
One of my most fondest memories of childhood, is cooking with my mom, we made many a cakes together and laddos!! These memories are a big reason why I decided to post my recipes online. I find nowadays more and more people are afraid to cook, which I find really sad. I want people to share this experience with their children. Not only will they be gifting them a very important life skill, but they will be enriching both their children's and their lives with countless, precious, glorious memories!
Memories are worth investing in!
So how did I go from making memories to making catering meals... well as always one baby step at a time...
From cooking at an international food festival that my friends and I pioneered, to cooking for fundraisers. Bake sales and bread making classes, to teacher conferences; the steps join up and pave the way. They may say "and the rest is history", but history doesn't just happen, like it is so often implied, as they so casually say glazing over it.
No, it is lived and experienced.
If you want to get a piece of that experience, get in touch with me and we can share a little history making together...
As always, much love...
Standing by to help...
This space features my reflections, opinions, ponderings and from time to time announcements of what I am up to. It literally is me in my corner on my soapbox.
Seeking some direction or motivation for your thoughts or life then look no further!
OTHER BLOG SPACES:
Cooking Is The Season
Finding The Way
Hire A Chef
Lifeline Adult Mentoring
Story Train Series