Ramadan Kareem

I was born a Muslim.

I say “was born” rather than “I am muslim” because now I choose to be one, even though my faith has taken it’s fair share of hits, especially with the way the news portrays the religion.  I have lead a pretty sheltered life, up until university, I could say that I was a devout Muslim, not that I have done anything that is against my religion to date, however, my devoutness has gone up and down, much like a roller coaster. When I went to university, I did some exploring, as most people would do. I read up on other religions, not because I didn’t believe what my religion taught but I suppose to better understand my own. I wanted to understand other people’s religion to better understand the way people think and to make sense of it all. It’s a daily mission, I suppose, it’s not easy to just follow a religion, without understanding it 100%. It opened my mind up as I have tried to look at things from various other perspectives. We live in such a diverse world and it really does amaze me. I have been fortunate enough to know and encounter people who are very different than me, in everyway and it’s a privilege to call some of those people my friend. 

Having said that, I’d like to emphasize my belief in God has been unaltered. It’s hard to explain it but my faith in Him has never changed. However, it is my belief in some of the stories of the teachings, which I find myself questioning and yet simultaneously, I am in awe of what the Qur’an (our holy scripture) has said. I won’t get into the details of it as the purpose of this post is to talk about one aspect of my religion, which is Ramadan.

It is the month where most Muslims fast in the name of the religion, to better themselves. It is a test for our patience, endurance and I suppose most of all, how grateful we ought to be that we are fortunate enough to break our fast at the end of the day with wonderful food. It teaches me to be generous and it is truly a month of giving. The reason for it to be a whole month, in my opinion, is because as popular theory also suggests, it takes 21 days to form a habit (though there are other studies that say 66 days). If we practice kind acts, after 21 days, surely kindness becomes a habit? This month we are meant to reflect (as the featured image shows, I suppose that’s what a person who is reflecting on life would look like?) and think about the bigger picture, to practice generosity, kindness, goodness and spread such acts of kindness. If people did follow this wholeheartedly, I do believe we would be living in a better world as I believe that kindness is contagious. Overall, at the end of the month, can’t speak for anyone else,  I feel that my soul is lighter, in terms of spiritually. I let go of petty things and there’s a lot about my faith that is reinforced, which has dimmed throughout the year, as a result of busy schedules.

I would love to hear your thoughts and opinions on this post.

In the meantime as Michael Jackson said, “If You Wanna Make The World A Better Place Take A Look At Yourself, And Then Make A Change”

Ramadan Kareem everyone, may God bestow his blessings and mercy upon us all and may we all be better and try to make this world better, one person at a time. 🙂

Selectively Curious©

Greek is difficult

Today was a relatively free day at work and didn’t have any emails coming in so I decided to start learning Greek, because well, why not?

I love languages and the culture behind each language. I feel the best way to really understand another’s culture is to immerse yourself into their language, their arts, their cuisines and so on. I have a problem with starting too many things and not really finishing anything, I feel sometimes my life is like a taster appetiser, where I try a lot of things but don’t really commit to a main dish. Maybe it’s because my passion tends to fade as quickly as it builds up.

Until today, I didn’t know that Greek was not a latin language, it’s hellenic and Greek is the only language that is hellenic. Their alphabets are quite confusing, I’ve spent a good two hours today trying to read the words, simple words and haven’t gotten around to reading it, yet. I’m ok at languages, I guess it helps that I speak two languages fluently and a few others, though I cannot speak it, my understanding capabilities is pretty ok.

I usually use the app duolingo, I’ve used it for Spanish and French, but I have some background in Spanish (which isn’t a difficult language to learn in my opinion, nor pronounce) and French so maybe that’s why touching up in these two languages isn’t difficult and it’s quite fun. Greek on the other hand, maybe I need more than just a basic app to help me read the language and better understand it. I don’t even understand the audio, when the lady pronounces the word for me to repeat it. It’s quite bizarre.

However, I am determined and within a month, I will speak basic greek. I think I will use the down time I have at work at the moment to my advantage and also touch up on my spanish, french and arabic, because I just want to. Let’s see how I progress. 🙂

Selectively Curious©

Are you too hard on yourself?

Yes! 

I like to please people and I like to be liked and yet I also do what I like. I’m a people pleaser but not a carpet, so to speak. The inspiration for today’s post stems from a few things, such as my job, my friends and the way that I am. 

Today at work I was given a task, which I didn’t do incorrectly but it wasn’t as it was expected to be done and it upset my supervisor. My mistake, in hindsight, is poor time management. I was given another task by a partner which was just as urgent and I should have communicated that with my direct supervisor. The problem is that I really wanted to complete the task myself. I ended up taking too long to turn it around, because of the second task and then the work product I delivered wasn’t great. I feel just awful about it and there isn’t anything I can do fix that. Ugh, tomorrow should be a better day! #needaholiday 

Now the friend issue, it’s most inconvenient. I have learnt to not trust too easily so I chose not to share something with her. I have since shared the information and she got upset about it because I didn’t tell her sooner, she now has her guard up and won’t speak to me as before. I understand her point of view but I’m not sure how to convince her that it isn’t personal and I don’t share everything with everyone, it’s just the way that I am. 

Quite a dilemma, it seems. I’m curious to see how tomorrow will turn out. 

You maybe curious the connection of the featured photo to this post. Well, I like rainbows and in days where I’m disappointed, I love how the simplest things such as a rainbow shining in darkness, makes me feel like everything is going to be ok. 🙂 

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Sensitive soul

The most difficult thing I’ve come to realise is trying to still be good to those who only do you wrong. When I was younger it would make me curious how my parents were always good to those, even if they were wronged. I grew up with such morals and have been taught that no matter what happens, always be kind. 

How do you maintain a balance? I am a sensitive soul, in hind sight, I always have been. I feel deeply about everything, whether it be happiness, sadness, confusion, anger, and anxiousness (can’t think of any more words to describe emotions). 

You may ask, what is a sensitive soul? Well for one, don’t be fooled by such individuals, they may be sensitive but they are far from weak. They have the ability to put aside their own needs and feelings to cater to those that need a boost. Their ability to feel deeply makes them great empaths thus helps them truly understand what the other person is going through. Often times people are unable to express how they feel and the sensitive soul will verbalise those feeling to the point, which shocks some people, sometimes. The emotions they feel are their strength as they allow themselves to feel deeply, thus making them able to handle a situation and controlling their feelings better than those who brush their emotions to the side. They can handle more than most because they’re used to feeling more than most. 

Being a sensitive soul also gives you a hightened intuition in someways because they notice everything, even the most minor details such as a expression change on someone’s face, which may have only lasted for a second. At times when logic makes no sense, their souls are able to come up with answers that does make sense. However there is a flip side, often such people have insecurities that cloud their intuition, as I have experienced many times and I think it’s important to listen to your intuition. Even if your mind tells you otherwise, listen to your inner voice, before the voice disappears forever. 

Being around a sensitive soul, you will notice that they give you their undivided attention (to be fair sometimes people drag on a story longer than it should be and I get distracted). They can judge a situation and give you what you need. Even if it is just someone to sit quietly with. There is comfort in silence. 

They have compassion on a deeper level and have the ability to move the world. Their kindness shines through their face and you can feel the genuine love they have to offer. They have so much to give and the ability to give wholeheartedly without being worn down. If anything the giving fuels them, especially when they see the joy on people’s faces. That is priceless. 

Selectively Curious©

Have you ever?

Have you ever looked at a full grown person and wondered what they looked like when they were babies?

It used to be my favourite thing to do when I didn’t have my ipod or a book to read on the tube (aka the underground train in London). Of course I would look away before any eye contact was made, didn’t want to be break the unwritten rule of “no eye contact”. I love how my imagination takes me to unknown territory. It’s not easy of course to picture a man with a full grown beard as a baby, or an older person who looks so tired and sick of life and it shows on the face.

Have you ever cut your hair? I don’t mean just snippets, trimmed but actually completely chop off your long hair into really short, ear length hair?

It’s absolutely the most liberating activity I have taken a part in and I’ve done it a few times. Usually when I feel that I’m losing control of certain aspects of my life and the frustration gets to me,  I pick up a pair or scissors and just cut it all off. I love it and it’s actually quite addictive. I probably would never shave it all off completely but who knows what the future holds.

Have you ever seen something and not believe your own eyes, something that may be paranormal?

When I was younger, I used to play the piano. I wasn’t very good but I would play random things, reminds me I should probably take it up again. Anyway, on one of those days, I was sitting by the window about to play and I see black smoke come out of a building opposite mine. One of the apartments was on fire and I could see the flames burning and in that moment I see a figure step out on to the balcony of his/her apartment and just lean on the ledge. I stopped and looked a little closer and I saw that the man’s (or well at least it looked like a man) arm was on fire and he was just standing there. I ran to go call my brothers to see what was happening but by the time we came back to the window, the man had gone. I still can’t believe what I saw. He was just standing there as his arm burnt.

Have you ever been electrocuted?

Just once and it felt really weird. My mom asked me to change a light bulb in the living room. I took the new bulb and walked over to the lamp that needed the change, barefoot. As I put my hand on the old bulb, to twist it out, I felt a shock go through my whole arm and my hand got stuck to the bulb. First impulse of any person, is to get away from the hurt, in any way. Since my hand was stuck to the bulb I moved away (all whilst screaming and shaking). It all happened so fast and the next thing I knew, the porcelain lamp had fallen and shattered on the ground. I broke free from the electrocution. Honestly, I didn’t even realise I was screaming until my brother came out and asked me why I was screaming.

Have you ever been determined and stuck by it?

Story of my life, which sometimes tickles me.

Selectively Curious©

I think I will re-read a book

I always thought/wondered why people would read a book more than one or even watch a movie more than once. Maybe it’s the comfort in knowing what will happen next, which is seldom what we can say about our lives. I feel there are so many books (or movies if you don’t read much) that you can read (or watch) and time is finite, so why re-read?

Well, maybe it’s something that many will say as I know it’s a book that many have read, one of my most favourite books is The Alchemist. I read it a very long time ago and it resonated with me, not to mention there was a character in the book that had my name: Fatima. The reason why I want to read it again is because I feel it’s enlightening. I’m stuck in a bit of a rut and reading something that will inspire me is just what I need. The book is about pursuing your dreams and it’s a delightful read, that fits my personality perfectly. It’s got adventure, dreams, positivity and even the desert. It was meant to be written for me! (Just kidding, I do tend to get carried away and even borderline narcissistic at times).

Featured image represents the promise that I will make to myself to do what I can to be inspired again.

Nowadays I lack inspiration, which is why I haven’t posted something in a while. I’ve caught the lazy bug too and I just don’t feel like doing anything but watching Frasier and sleeping. It’s quite a vicious cycle and I just feel tired all the time. I read an interesting article before I started writing this post, which you can read here but I can’t say I agreed with it. I’m not a negative person and if I want something, I keep trying until I get what I want (Please click here for an example). I am persistent, even though in my persistence I get lazy as I tend to also get bored easily. Sometimes even when you’ve tried your best things don’t go the way you want them to and it’s frustrating so I don’t agree with the article because it’s a little unfair to many of us who do try. Having said that, I agree with certain aspects of it, for instance even if you have faced a challenge which you are still trying to overcome, regardless of how many times you may “fail” I think it’s important to keep trying. Until when? Well I think it’s until you’ve made peace with the fact that maybe it’s just not meant to be or until you’ve found something better and it just magically worked out, easily.

As cliche as it may sound, the only true failure, in my opinion and the opinion of many others, is giving up.

Selectively Curious©

Cliche

What a lovely sight it is. The sun peaking, barely visible through the building it appears to be rising behind from.

This photo was taken about 2.5 years ago, it was a photo walk I participated in and it started at 5am, just before sunrise. I went with two other people, who back then were barely aquaintances, one of whom now I consider to be one of my dearest friends.

Anyway now that you know the story behind the photo I would like to discuss a few things. To start, apologies for not having posted for the past two days, my days haven’t been the most inspirational and work has been busy.

Moving on, have I mentioned how much I love the sunrise? I feel it is the most beautiful time of the day and the best part is that most people are asleep and it feels like you’re part of an exclusive club. Kind of like you have the privilege to see this spectacular show (aka the sun rising) only because you woke up early. What a delightful treat.

Thinking of sunrise makes me think about a new day and the endless amount of opportunities a day has to offer. Everyday is a new beginning, as cliche as it sounds, filled with adventures and excitement. Speaking of cliche, Catherine Opie once said “the biggest cliche’s of photography is sunrise and sunset.” That’s quite curious, only because, truly I’ve never thought of it like that. It’s very accurate, sunsets and sunrises are photographed so very often, it is a cliche and yet the beauty of it justifies the cliche somehow. 

My all time favourite cliche is “you cant please everyone” I call it my favourite because, I take it as a personal challenge and try to prove the statement wrong. I like to please and my friends always say that even if I have successfully pleased those around me, I am not pleasing myself, thus proving the cliche right. Little do my friends know, that nothing pleases me more than to know that I was responsible for adding a tiny bit of joy into someone’s life. Call me selfish, but I do get a rush out of it.

Also, since with every sunrise comes a new day, it’s time for me to sleep so I can catch the sunrise. As always, I would love to hear your thoughts.

Good night, beautiful people.

Selectively Curious©