When I was younger, I marked new years by each Ramadan. I have always been a huge fan of this month for lots of reasons. Of course, there is all of the benefits that Muslims believe occur during the month with added prayers, added giving, and of course, fasting to keep God first and foremost in your mind. Then, there is all the community activities. Large community dinners with friends and late evening prayers at the Masjid (Mosque). I love all of these things, but what I loved the most, is the 30 day renewal aspect of the month.
Each Ramadan, for as long as I can remember, I took on a 30 day experiment. Any of you who are familiar with me, know that I am a big fan of applying concepts in a real way for at least 30 days to see if they work. I was no different as a kid. Growing up in America, I sort of borrowed a practice from Lent and added it to Ramadan, each year, I would "give up" one thing for the month. Instead of items like food, since we were fasting, that was pretty much already being given up, I would give up a "bad" habit each year.
I gave up talking about people behind their back, added giving $5 away each day to a homeless person so someone could eat the meal I was not eating (this was back in the day where $5 bought you a good meal), added saying all the prayers (there are the obligatory ones and then a bunch of bonus ones), genuinely complimented someone for something they are great at each day, and my personal favorite, gave up any type of lying for 30 days. Now, I would not say I lie. At least, I would not have said that, until I gave it up for 30 days. There was a lot of telling people, I could not make it to an event because of some reason, that was, well, not entirely true. This was huge for me. I realized how hard it was for me to say no, without an explanation, and usually a somewhat made up explanation based loosely of facts.
This year for Ramadan, I have decided to give up suffering. This is the new radical concept I am working with right now in life and I have found that it is bringing me a lot of peace and also bringing up a lot of other supporting behaviors that I have been doing that need to gently be shifted. I love telling stories. I love writing. And, I love looking at ordinary events and sprinkling a little drama on it, you know, just a little to liven it up. However, as I am choosing to give up suffering, I am seeing, that by default, I am giving up drama (still not fully happy about this one... it is a process).
This Ramadan, I invite you all to join me. Choose a habit that no longer serves you. It can be complaining, talking about others, seeing people as out to get you instead of out to support you, etc, and give it up for 30 days. Like Ramadan, this does not mean you will not do it at all for 30 days. Instead, it means, you make a commitment to something that is bigger than you and do your best to grow into that commitment. Most Mulsims do not enjoy or look forward to not eating or drinking all day, they look forward to making their connection to God more important than their daily life activities. And, when the purpose is so much greater than yourself, the actions (not eating, etc) are actually not really that hard.
Jack Canfield has a chapter from his book, The Success Principles that says 99% is a B*****, 100% is a Breeze. It is so true. Once you commit fully, whatever you are doing gets easier. What will you choose to remove (or add) to your life this next month in a commitment to be a better version of yourself? A commitment to be the YOU that you know you are capable of being?
Ramadan Mubarik my friends. I pray that this month uplift us all. I always teach people to join in any holy days that anyone is celebrating, because that many people focused on their higher connection is a good energy to be connected to. So, whether you are Muslim or not, I pray that this Ramadan uplift you.
This year, may we all be a little kinder and little more open and understanding to others. May we see that there is no one right answer to so many of life's questions and instead pray for ourselves and each other to be guided by the One who knows all. May we be more present to our daily moments and may be complete our daily routines with more awareness. May only kind words fall from our mouths. May our hands only be involved in kind deeds that build the world and our feet only take us to places that bring us closer to the true remembrance of Who We Really Are. May we act as children of God and see every person around us, especially those we really do not like, as children of God as well. May we be peace on earth so that there may be peace on earth. May we release anything that no longer serves us and grow into the men and women that we know we are capable of being. May we bless each other in every moment of every day. May we make love, peace, and kindness our greatest priorities. May we have the courage and the tools to speak out in truth in the face of injustice in the most loving manner possible. May we take all the good that has been bestowed upon us and increase the gratitude in our hearts and generously share with those that are truly suffering and do not have enough. May our hearts be cleared of any hurt, anger or residual ick that is left and shine bright with the love and light of God. And, may each of us, walking our own paths, increase the level of compassion towards ourselves and each other.
Ramadan Mubarik - May your prayers be answered and your burdens be lightened.
5/15/2018 09:03:54 pm
Amina love reading your blog. May all the prayers and wishes in your blog cone true for all. Thank you for sharing!
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Hi! Welcome to my blog, Lunch with Cinderella. I love writing about my life experiences and the fact that they may help spur some cool experiences of your own. If you are here, leave a comment... I read them all and love hearing from you!
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