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Keep the flow going(DW# 805)

ihsan mindfulness quran Sep 25, 2020
Yesterday, we discussed how the Creator has done Ihsan on the human being by making him in the best of makes, full of potential and it is his work to live up to this potential.

The Quran also reminds us that the obligation extends to include others in the bounties that we have been granted.
 
In Sura Qassas (the stories), we are reminded:
and do good (to others) as Allah has done good to you [Holy Quran 28:77].
 
This is part of a longer verse where people are advising Korah, a very wealthy and arrogant man, to not be arrogant, to use his wealth for good and to do act with Ihsantowards others just as God has acted with Ihsantowards him.

 

The verse reminds us that sometimes Allah gives man some great bounties much beyond his own needs so that he can pass them forward. That the gifts and bounties that we have been freely granted well beyond our own efforts are not to stop with us but in fact to be used in the service of humanity. That we are in fact...
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Human potential(DW#804)

The one who acts with Ihsan is called a muhsin (the one who does excellent things, beautiful things, acts with excellence, virtue and grace).
 
In the Quran, we are told that He, God is the first Muhsin, that He is Ahsanul Khaliqeen, the best of creators, and that He is the one

 

Who made good everything that He has created  [Holy Quran 32:7]

 

So God’s doing the beautiful began with creation itself, the crowing glory of creation is the human being, made in God’s most beautiful form.

 

In Sura Teen [The Fig], the Quran says:

 

Truly We created man in the most beautiful stature[Holy Quran 95:4]
 
Scholars remind us that this verse is one of the most emphatic affirmations of humanity’s exalted status, before which the angels were ordered to bow down. God declares in 38: 72:

 

I have proportioned him and breathed into him of My Spirit.
 
Here man is taken to mean all of humanity, male and female, believer and...
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What is Ihsan(DW# 802)

ihsan mindfulness quran Sep 22, 2020
Yesterday we started our discussion on verse 16:90 of the Quran where it says:
 
Indeed Allah enjoins justice (Adl) and kindness (Ihsanand generosity towards relatives, and He forbids indecency, wrong, and aggression. He advises you, so that you may take admonition.
 
Yesterday we talked about the first injunction in this verse, which was that of Adlor justice, a foundation of a healthy family and society.
Today, let us explore second injunction of the verse, that of Ihsan.
 
The Arabic word Ihsanis rather challenging to translate into English. It is derived from the root word h-s-n which appears almost 200 times in the Quran in many derived forms. Some of these are ahsana ("does good"), ahsanu ("is best"),  husnan ("good") and al muhsineen ("the good doers").

 

The word Ihsanis a verb which means to do or to establish what is good and beautiful. It is often translated as virtue or excellence but one...
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Do you feel guilty about negative feelings?(DW#732 )

Over the last few days I have been hearing some version of the following over and over again:
 
"I shouldn’t complain. I have it so much better than so many other people". "I am missing this and that. But really I should not feel bad about it. So much bigger stuff going on in the world".
 
This is true. Alhamdullilah. We certainly have it better than many many people in the world who are suffering so much. And it is very good to remind ourselves of that from time to time especially when we go down a negative thought spiral.
 
But here’s the thing: it is also okay to feel sad about something small that meant something to you. Disappointment over something that you were looking forward to that got cancelled. That you cannot invite anyone over for a barbeque even though the weather is getting better. That your favourite restaurant has closed its doors for ever. That you cannot run out and get something from the store.
 
That single mom who is also a...
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Recognize and act within your circle of control (DW#727 )

One of the most important things we can do to cultivate resilience is to recognize our sense of agency.
 
Agency is simply a fancy word for how empowered you feel or how much control or power you feel over your own life. This is where your energy and strength come from.
 
The truth is that there are many many things outside our control. There always have been and always will be. The present world situation has simply brought these into sharp focus.

And the truth is also that some things always were and still remain with our control. (Can you see that?)
 
Now, when we focus our attention to things that are outside our control, we give up our sense of agency. We feel powerless and therefore hopeless.
 
The way out of this feeling of helplessness and the panic that ensues is to become more mindful of where we are focusing our attention.
 
Is it focused on things that are outside our control or those that we have control or power over?
 
When going...
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Simple tools for growing resilience (DW#726)

We will begin a series titled Simple Tools for Growing Resilience and I hope that these simple reminders and practices will inspire us and motivate us to keep going, focus on what we can control, rise up to the challenges and keep doing our best.
 
Let us first define what we mean by resilience:
 
Resilience is the ability to face adversity, to go through challenges without being overwhelmed by them. It is defined as the the capacity to manage challenge and to recover from adversity.

Simply put, it is the ability to face adversity and to "bounce back" after we have been knocked down by life.
 
In other words, resilience helps us:

1)    Face challenges without being overwhelmed by them AND
2)    If we are overwhelmed or ‘knocked down’, it helps us get back on our feet quickly.

 

Resilience, then, helps us survive the worst day of our life AND it also helps us thrive every day of our life.
 
...
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I’m going on a sabbatical and you...(DW#725)

As we mentioned yesterday, a sabbatical is different from a vacation. It is a longer period away from work (anywhere from a month to a year or more) to step away from your regular job and focus on other meaningful activities.

 

Taking sabbaticals does require intentionality, some adjustment in your thinking, and of course planning and financial resources to see you through your time off.

 

The benefits of taking sabbaticals are really worth the effort, though.

 

Taking time off to switch gears, do some long range thinking, learn something new, or pursue other interests can rejuvenate you, not only personally, but also give your career a boost because you return with renewed energy and motivation. People who are about to take a sabbatical often find that they work harder and more effectively, knowing that a sabbatical is just around the corner.

 

I am going on sabbatical from Daily Wisdom until February to work on other projects and discover ways to serve you...
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Five reasons to take a sabbatical (DW#724)

We have been talking about the importance of taking time off for rest and relaxation as a part of our self care practice. Today let’s discuss another kind of time off which has a different but equally valuable purpose.

 

I am talking about a sabbatical. A sabbatical is an extended period of leave from your regular job or employment, the purpose of which is often travel, self growth or learning. While it is common in academia for professors to take a sabbatical in order to focus on their own learning, it is a concept which is gaining more acceptance even in the corporate world.
 

 

Here are 6 ways you can use a sabbatical from work:


1)   Learn a new skill or explore a new subject. If you have always wished you could deepen your expertise in your field, learn something new, or you are curious about a particular subject, a sabbatical is the perfect time to do this.
2)   Do some long range thinking. When we are in the midst of work,...

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Half the fun is in the planning(DW#723)

When we were young, I remember my dad talking about travel a lot. When we would ask when and how we would take all these trips to amazing destinations, his answer was: I don’t know exactly, but planning is half the fun!
 
Turns out that that my dad was on to something. Research shows that the biggest boost in emotional wellbeing related to taking time off actually comes from planning the vacation. A person can feel the effects up to eight weeks before the trip even starts!

 

So, enjoy and savor the planning process. Allow yourself to dream about what you will do and how you will spend your time.  This way you can maximize the benefits that come from taking a vacation and start to feel the effects of time off well before the scheduled vacation.  
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The perfect length of vacation(DW#722)

A study conducted by the University of Tampere in Finland suggests that eight days is the perfect amount of time to achieve the maximum amount of relaxation and happiness without growing bored or homesick.

 

It appears that the positive benefits of time off kick in on day one, but scientists speculate that it takes until day eight for people to fully shake off their responsibilities and work stress. This is when you get in the groove of a slower pace and really start enjoying downtime.

 

After day eight, however, the positive feelings begin to decrease and they fall rapidly after day 11. After this, you might begin to get anxious about what is waiting for you at work or you might begin to miss home.

 

So the next time you are planning time away, think about scheduling something between 8 and 11 days long.
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