My 3 words for 2012

http://www.chrisbrogan.com/3words2012/

I loved this post! I’d encourage you to read it as well.

My 3 words for 2012 are: Love, Live, Nurture.

Love:

I want 2012 to be the year in which I love myself & other unconditionally. I want to be able to spread love to everyone I come in contact with. I want to treat situations in my life with love. I’d like to live, breathe, sleep and love Love.

Live:

I want to focus on the art of living this year, I want to cherish life and drive home the fact that I will be here for a short while only. So I need to start living today, not after this or that occurs. Live will also be a reminder to be here, now. Not in the past regretting nor in the future worrying. Right here, living.

Nurture:

I want to nurture the artist in me, the creative being in me. I want to create beautiful things for myself and the world this year and for that I need to recover my hidden artist by nurturing it. Nurturing it with Love and allowing it to Live.

Here’s wishing eveyrone a fantastic year,

A.

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The 40 rules if Love

A fascinating book I recently read, here are the 40 rules of love.

The Forty Rules of Love and Life:

(Taken from “The Forty Rules of Love” by Elif Shafak.)

1) How we see God is a direct reflection of how we see ourselves. If God brings to mind mostly fear and blame, it means there is mostly fear and blame welled inside us. If we see God as full of love and compassion, so are we.

2) The Path to the Truth is a labour of the heart, not of the head. Make your heart your primary guide. Not your mind. Meet, challenge, and ultimately prevail over your nafs (false ego) with your heart. Knowing your ego (higher self/soul) will lead you to the knowledge of God.

3) Each and every reader comprehends the Qur’an on a different level in tandem with the depth of his understanding. There are 4 levels of insight. The first level is the outer meaning and it is the one that the majority of people are content with. Next is the Batun- the inner level. Third there is the inner of the inner. And the fourth level is so deep it cannot be put into words and is therefore bound to be indescribable. Scholars who focus on the Sharia know the outer meaning. Sufis know the inner meaning. Saints know the inner of the inner. The fourth level is known by prophets and those closest to God. So don’t judge the way other people connect to God. To each his own way and his own prayer. God does not take us at our word but looks deep into our hearts. It is not the ceremonies or rituals that make a difference, but whether our hearts are sufficiently pure or not.

4) You can study God through everything and everyone in the universe, because God is not confined in a mosque, synagogue or church. But if you are still in need of knowing exactly where his abode is, there is only one place to look for him: in the heart of a true lover.

5) Intellect and love are made of two different materials. Intellect ties people in knots and risks nothing, but love dissolves all tangles and risks everything. Intellect is always cautious and advises, “Beware too much ecstasy,” whereas Love says, “Oh never mind. Take the plunge!” Intellect does not easily break down, whereas love can effortlessly reduce itself to rubble. But treasures are hidden amongst ruins. A broken heart hides treasure.

6) Most of the problems of the world stem from linguistic mistakes and simple misunderstandings. Don’t ever take words at face value. When you step into the zone of love, language as we know it becomes obsolete. That which cannot be put into words can only be grasped through silence.

7) Loneliness and solitude are two different things. When you are lonely, it is easy to delude yourself into believing you are on the right path. Solitude is better for us, as it means being alone without being lonely. But eventually it is best to find a person, that person will be your mirror. Remember, only in another person’s heart can you truly see yourself and the presence of God within you.

8) Whatever happens in your life, no matter how troubling things may seem, do not enter the neighbourhood of despair. Even when all doors remain closed, God will open up a new path only for you. Be thankful ! It is easy to be thankful when all is well. A Sufi is thankful not only for what she/he has been given, but also for what she/he has been denied .

9) Patience does not mean to passively endure. It means to be farsighted enough to trust the end result of a process. What does patience mean? It means to look at the thorn and see the rose, to look at the night and see the dawn. Impatience means to be so short-sighted as to not be able to see the outcome. The lover’s of God never run out of patience, for they know that time is needed for the crescent moon to become full.

10. East, West, South or North makes little difference. No matter what your destination, just be sure to make every journey, a journey within. If you travel within, you’ll travel the whole wide world and beyond.

11. The midwife knows that when there is no pain, the way for the baby cannot be opened and the mother cannot give birth. Likewise for a new self to be born, hardship is necessary. Just as day needs to go through intense heat to become strong, Love can only be perfected in pain.

12. The quest for Love changes us. There is no seeker amongst those who search for Love who has not matured along the way. The moment you start looking for Love, you start to change within and without.

13. There are more fake gurus and false teachers in this world than the numbers of stars in the visible universe. Don’t confuse power-driven self centred people with true mentors. A genuine spiritual master will not direct your attention to himself or herself and will not expect absolute obedience or utter admiration from you, but instead will help you to appreciate and admire your inner self. True mentors are as transparent as glass. They let the Light of God pass through them.

14. Try not to resist the changes that come your way. Instead let life live through you. And do not worry that your life is turning upside down. How do you know that the side you are used to is better than the one to come?

15. God is busy with the completion of your work, both outwardly and inwardly. He is fully occupied with you. Every human being is a work in progress that is slowly and inexorably moving towards perfection. We are each an unfinished work of art, both waiting and striving to be completed. God deals with each of us separately because humanity is a fine art of skilled penmanship where every single dot is equally important for the entire picture.

16. It’s easy to love a perfect God, unblemished and infallible that He is. What is far more difficult is to love fellow human beings with all their imperfections and defects. Remember one can only know what one is capable of loving. There is no wisdom without love. Unless we learn to love God’s creation, we can neither truly love nor truly know God.

17. Real Filth is the one inside. The rest simply washes off. There is only one type of dirt that cannot be cleansed with pure waters, and that is the stain of hatred and bigotry contaminating the soul. You can purify your body through abstinence and fasting, but only love will purify your heart.

18. The whole universe is contained within a single human being – You. Everything that you see around, including the things you might not be fond of and even the people you despise or abhor, is present within you in varying degrees. Therefore do not look for Satan outside of yourself either. The devil is not an extraordinary force that attacks from without. It is an ordinary voice within. If you get to know yourself fully, facing with honesty and hardness both your dark and light sides, you will arrive at a supreme form of consciousness. When a person knows himself or herself, he or she knows God.

19. If you want to change the way others treat you, you should first change the way you treat yourself. Unless you learn to fully love yourself, fully and sincerely, there is no way you can be loved. Once you achieve that stage, however be thankful for every thorn that others might throw at you. It is a sign that you will soon be showered in roses.

20. Fret not where the road will take you. Instead concentrate on the first step. That’s the hardest part and that’s what you are responsible for. Once you take that step let everything do what it naturally does and the rest will follow. Do not go with the flow. Be the flow.

21. We were all created in God’s image and yet we were each created different and unique. No two people are alike. No two hearts beat to the same rhythm. If God had wanted everyone to be the same, He would have made it so. Therefore disrespecting differences and imposing your thoughts on others is tantamount to disrespecting God’s holy scheme.

22. When a true lover of God goes into a tavern, the tavern becomes his chamber of prayer, but when a wine bibber goes into the same chamber, it becomes his tavern. In everything we do, it is our hearts that make the difference not our outer appearances. Sufis do not judge other people on how they look or who they are. When a Sufi stares at someone, he keeps both his eyes closed and instead opens a third eye – the eye that sees the inner realm.

23. Life is a temporary loan, and this world is nothing but a sketchy imitation of Reality. Only children would mistake a toy for the real thing. And yet human beings either become infatuated with the toy or disrespectfully break it and throw it aside. In this life stay away from all kinds of extremities, for they will destroy your inner balance. Sufis do not go to extremes. A Sufi always remains mild and moderate.

24. The human being has a unique place amongst God’s creation. “I breathed into him of My Spirit,” God says. Each and every one of us without exception is designed to be God’s delegate on earth. Ask yourself, just how often do you behave like a delegate, if you ever do so? Remember, it falls upon each of us to discover the divine spirit inside and live by it.

25. Hell is the here and now. So is heaven. Quit worrying about hell or dreaming about heaven, as they are both present in this very moment. Every time we fall in Love, we ascend to heaven. Every time we hate, envy or fight someone, we tumble straight into the fires of hell. Is there a worse hell than the torment a man suffers when he knows deep down in his conscience that he has done something awfully wrong? Ask that man. He will tell you what hell is. Is there a better paradise than the bliss that descends upon a man at those rare moments in life, when the bolts of the universe fly open and he feels in possession of all the secrets of eternity and united with God? Ask that man. He will tell you what heaven is?

26. The universe is one being. Everything and everyone is interconnected through an invisible web of stories. Whether we are aware of it or not, we are all in a silent conversation. Do no harm. Practise compassion. And do not gossip behind anyone’s back – not even a seemingly innocent remark! The words that come out of our mouths do not vanish, but are perpetually stored in infinite space, and they will come back to us in due time. One man’s pain will hurt us all. One man’s joy will make everyone smile.

27. This world is like a snowy mountain that echoes your voice. Whenever you speak, good or evil, it will somehow come back to you. Therefore if there is someone who harbours ill thoughts about you, saying similarly bad things about him will only make matters worse. You will be locked in a vicious circle of malevolent energy. Instead for forty days and nights say and think nice things about that person. Everything will be different at the end of forty days, because you will be different inside.

28. The past is an interpretation. The future is an illusion. The world does not move through time as if it were a straight line, proceeding from the past to the future. Instead time moves through us and within us, in endless spirals. Eternity does not mean infinite time, but simply timelessness. If you want to experience eternal illumination, put the past and the future out of your mind and remain within the present moment. The present moment is all there is and all that there will ever be.

29. Destiny doesn’t mean that your life has been strictly predetermined. Therefore to leave everything to fate and to not actively contribute to the music of the universe is a sign of sheer ignorance. “The music of the universe is all pervading and it is composed on forty different levels. Your destiny is the level where you will play your tune. You might not change your instrument but how well to play is entirely in your hands. ”

30. The true Sufi/Lightworker is such that even when he is unjustly accused, attacked and condemned from all sides, he patiently endures, uttering not a single bad word about any of his critics. She/he never apportions blame. How can there be opponents or rivals or even “others” when there is no “self” in the first place? How can there be anyone to blame when there is only One?

31. If you want to strengthen your faith, you will need to soften inside. For your faith to be rock solid, your heart needs to be as soft as a feather. Through an illness, accident, loss or fright, one way or another, we are all faced with incidents that teach us how to become less selfish and judgemental and more compassionate and generous. Yet some of us learn the lessons and manage to become milder, while some others end up becoming even harsher than before. The only way to get closer to the Truth is to expand your heart so that it will encompass all humanity and still have room for more Love.

32. Nothing should stand between yourself and God. Not imams, priests, rabbis or any other custodians of moral or religious leadership. Not spiritual masters, not even your faith. Believe in your values and your rules but never lord them over others. If you keep breaking other people’s hearts, whatever religious duty you perform is no good. Stay away from all sorts of idolatry, for they will blur your vision. Let God and only God be your guide. Learn the Truth but be careful not to make a fetish out of your truths.

33. While everyone in this world strives to get somewhere and become someone, only to leave it all behind after death, you aim for the supreme stage of nothingness. Live this life as light and empty as the number zero. We are no different from a pot. It is not the decorations outside but the emptiness inside that holds us straight. Just like that, it is not what we aspire to achieve but the consciousness of nothingness that keeps us going.

34. Submission does not mean being weak or passive. It leads to neither fatalism nor capitulation. Just the opposite. True power resides in submission – a power that comes from within. Those who submit to the divine essence of life will live in unperturbed tranquillity and peace even when the whole wide world goes through turbulence after turbulence.

35. In this world, it is not similarities or regularities that take us a step forward, but blunt opposites. And all the opposites in the universe are present within each and every one of us. Therefore the believer needs to meet the unbeliever residing within. And the unbeliever should get to know the silent faithful in him. Until the day one reaches the stage of being the perfect human being, faith is a gradual process and one that necessitates its seeming opposite: disbelief.

36. This world is erected upon the principle of reciprocity. Neither a drop of kindness nor a speck of evil will remain unreciprocated. Fear not the plots, deceptions or tricks of other people. If someone is setting a trap remember so is God. He is the biggest plotter. Not even a leaf sits outside of God’s knowledge. Simply and fully believe in that. Whatever God does He does beautifully.

37. God is a meticulous clockmaker. So precise is His order that everything on earth happens in its own time. Neither a minute late nor a minute early. And for everyone without exception the clock works accurately. For each there is a time to love and a time to die.

38. It is never too late to ask yourself, “Am I ready to change the life I am living? Am I ready to change within?” Even if a single day in your life is the same as the day before, it surely is a pity. At every moment and with each new breath, one should be renewed and renewed again. There is only one way to be born into a new life: to die before death.

39. While the parts change, the whole always remains the same. For every thief who departs the world, a new one is born. And every decent person who passes away is replaced by a new one. In this way not only does nothing remain the same but also nothing ever really changes.

40. “A life without love is of no account. Don’t ask yourself what kind of love you should seek, spiritual or material, divine or mundane, Eastern or Western…. divisions only lead to more divisions. Love has no labels, no definitions. It is what it is pure and simple. Love is the water of life. And a lover is a soul of fire. The universe turns differently when fire loves water.
(©Elif Shafak.)

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A thought

The thought of him, takes me unawares
Drawing a sweet smile upon my lips
It jumps on me, reminding me of days
When the whole world sang of him
Of his smile, his laughter, his love
Of that which flipped my heart with joy
The thought of him, takes shape next to me
I feel his presence, fog like swirling around me
Exciting me, unraveling me, drawing me close
He grins as he sees
 my thoughts of him
I live & I die, my soul elsewhere
I could melt in him
All I have, all I’ll ever need
Is in this moment, holding on to me.

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Fish in a pool O.O

I am in his city, but without him it’s empty
I walk it’s lanes, he walks by my side.
I pass our memories, our ghosts still living them
I dream of his hands taking mine and caressing them
The cold of winter in his city
Reminds me of our shivers in the desert
The thought that he’s close by
Makes my soul fly
My mind wanders to where he might be
And my heart thumps with ecstasy 
I am in his city, sending my love
Hoping he can feel it, touch it, be it.

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Sleep

I used to be quite the fan of insomnia a few years ago, my personal record being around 72 hours without sleep ( that’s all I remember actually, it could have been longer), 72 glorious hours of hallucinations and half headedness ( you get to make up words when you are sleep deprived :p). Anyways, I got a new bed and forget all about insomnia until a few days ago :| I snuggled up and horror of horrors! I couldn’t doze off. My sleep pattern went to the lowest grades of hell but, being the genius that I am, I fixed it up again. Until yesterday that is.

What is about a long drive that keeps you up all night? I think I was too excited and hence stayed up all night after quite an exhausting day. Result? I was dozing off at the wheel enroute to AA. Yes I know, I suck. Sometimes.

Somehow, a bed never seems as appealing as it does when u r zooming at 120 kms knowing that a bed will not appear out of thin air. I was contemplating napping on the dunes. I have no idea how I made it to & back safely but el7amdella I did. But the adventure does not end here!

Apparently, sleep deprivation brings out the philosopher (read: mad human) in me. After a nap & a yummy meal at DM with a friend, I began reflecting on the best places to haunt in case of my demise. I settled on DM and/or terminal 3. Chuckling to myself as I imagined scenario after scenario of freaked out shoppers/passengers. Not to mention finally finding out what’s behind that secret closet in DM :|

So now I am finally in bed, blogging because my mind is demanding answers for a few questions:

1) if elevator doors can’t ‘sense’ u, does that mean that u r invisible?

2) if matter cannot exist without anti matter, does that mean that the existent u cannot exist without the non existent u? Is the non existent u out there somewhere in a parallel universe undoing all the things that u r doing?

And 3) what’s the opposite of promise?

Why don’t u guys wring ur brains out while I get my double dose of beauty sleep. Until then, please make sure u sleep.

P.S: u get bonus points if u can remember how many times I’ve said ‘sleep’ without looking. :p

Seriously, ta.

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Fear

One of my earliest memories is a terrifying one, I was alone with my mother at KHI airport and she was 8 months pregnant (she was trying to sneak on board :p) and suddenly she started screaming :| I was petrified! I really believed my mum would die ( this was confirmed by the ambulance medic, I’m sure he was joking but I believed him), then I fast forward to a hospital and a scrawny little sister. I was left alone for almost 7 hours on a bench outside the ward. I was actually proud of my 3 years old self :p

I think that was my first exposure to sheer terror, I don’t think I comprehended what death was but I knew I was alone as my family was in dxb. For many many days afterwards, I recall never leaving my mother’s side for fear that she would disappear.

Earlier today, I was exploring some of my earliest memories, the seed of emotions to come and programs installed. Fear has been a constant in my life, to the extent that I have labelled myself as a coward on many occasions and obviously tried to over compensate by acting brave. One of my greatest fears was that of being alone or abandoned and not belonging. I went to some extreme measures to cover that one up but I have finally learnt to accept it. I surprised myself by taking some courageous steps recently that would have made me cringe a year ago. Acceptance truly is wonderful.

In Thomas Campell’s My Big t.o.e, he mentions that love is the opposite of fear. When one loves oneself fear is merely an illusion. Another interpretation that comes to mind is that fear is the MISinterpretation of facts, when we attach our own meaning to some events they usually take on a fearful image. A few days ago, I was jotting down some thoughts when I had an amazing idea but the thought following it was one of fear, that I would not be able to apply it properly so why even bother? I caught fear red handed trying to cheat me out of my brilliant ideas :p

I guess awareness of fear really does strip the illusion away. I’ve spent 23 years of my life fearing things that never happened! And the few that did happen weren’t as bad as my wild imagination made me believe. Loving the fearful bits of me has proven effective, I have made a game out of it! Observing myself whenever I fall in that pit and sort of detaching and witnessing the facts without the cloud of my misjudgment.

Deepak Chopra mentions some of the physiological effects of fear, truly mind boggling. The seat of fear is the liver (or was it the kidney? I forgot :p) and the solar plexus is severely effected as well. I now notice what my body goes through when I’m afraid, it’s a very real and spooky physical experience. Transcendental meditation has helped my relieve some of the symptoms of fear though, I still recall the first time I practiced it last January, it showed me hidden parts of me that were unimaginable.

Here’s to accepting fear and living in the peace of loving yourself.

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Duality

I was listening to Dr Wayne Dyer speak about duality, about how life is like a series of valleys and mountain tops and I was amazed at how it resonated within me.
If you are at the very bottom of the valley, the only way is to go up. What’s harder to fathom is probably the opposite, if ur at the top then the only way is down. But I guess that is true.

In every celebration is a misfortune hidden and in every sadness lies great happiness. I sat down and wrote whatever I remember of my life, the ‘good’ bits and the ‘bad’ bits, I could see that in every so called bad event, there was some form of good hidden, I only had to change the way I looked at it. A profound thought struck me, I wouldn’t be who I am today had it not been for ALL the parts of my life, if one tiny thing had been changed, I most probably wouldn’t be here typing this right now.

The last thought pushes me to think of synchronisty and the chain of events. It literally baffles me to creep back along the chain of how certain things happened in my life. For example, I was trying to think of how I had come across a person who later on became a very good friend, it was mind boggling to think of exactly how, when and why we had been where we had been at that precise moment. What would have happened had we not decided to be there or changed plans?

Turning back to duality, since I heard about the alleged ‘break of personality’ I started researching it and come to the conclusion that we are everything. We are the good, the bad and the awesome. If we perceive ourselves as good then the bad must exist within us as well. The same goes for any bad aspect of ourselves. To believe that we can be entirely good OR entirely bad is a lie. I have realized that I spent a great deal of my life trying to be only half of all that I am, while denying and suppressing what I was told is ‘bad’. And then get surprised by what I had been to trying to suppress appear repeatedly in my life! Apparently, what I resist does persist.

Recently, through what I would have earlier imagined to be a horrible experience, I felt a profound sense of peace, almost to the extent of non attachment to my self and my story. It was an experience that would have driven me to tears earlier but which now didn’t raise that much of a reaction. What I felt instead was immense love and forgiveness towards myself, a thought struck me then, I tried to remind myself of every single horrible, blood curdling thing I had ever done but somehow all I felt was love and forgiveness. It was like rewinding the tape of my life and flooding it with so much love that it was beyond recognition.

And somehow, this feeling has stuck with me, this feeling of ‘its ok, you are deeply loved no matter what you do or do not do’. That doesn’t mean that I don’t have the odd moment of self criticism or I do not demean myself, it’s too engrained a habit to disappear overnight but it does not affect me as it used to, the experience now is more like a wisp of smoke, disappearing before it can be realized.

Maybe this is love or my imagination but it is beautiful to be at peace with yourself because of embracing each and every bit if you and feeling that all is well. And it is so.

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