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Recognize the yearning for the Divine (Quotes to live by)

This week we will be sharing some favourite excerpts from Rumi.

Here is today's excerpt about yearning and connecting with the Divine:

There is a candle in your heart, ready to be kindled.
There is a void in your soul, ready to be filled.
You feel it, don't you?

Rumi

And another favourite about finding the spiritual amongst the mundane:

Today, like every other day, we wake up empty
and frightened. Don't open the door to the study
and begin reading. Take down the dulcimer
Let the beauty we love be what we do.
There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.

Rumi

Here is a great introduction to Rumi's timeless verses:
The Essential Rumi by Coleman Barks

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Believe in magic (Quotes to live by)

And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don't believe in magic will never find it.

From Roald Dahl's last children's story, The Minpins. It is the very last line of that very last story.

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Come out of the sidelines and into the arena (Quotes to live by)

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.
Excerpt from the speech "Citizenship In A Republic" delivered at the Sorbonne, in Paris, France on 23 April, 1910

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Human freedom (Quotes to live by)

Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of human freedoms - to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way.
Viktor E. Frankl

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The journey towards wisdom

The journey to writing the "Daily Wisdom" emails started when I was a child.

An avid reader from nursery school, I would mark up my books with writing that I enjoyed and which inspired me. I started curating a collection of quotes while I was still in elementary school. These handwritten quotes still dwell in an old yellowing notebook titled "Quotable Quotes". It is quite interesting to reflect on my personal journey of emotional and spiritual maturity through the quotes that I have gathered over the years.

The words of wisdom that I still gather (now in Evernote!) from books and people, in poetry and prose, inspire me to live up to my full potential, to do the right thing and to see the bigger picture. They validate my life experiences, encourage me to try harder when I feel discouraged and provide a healing balm to the heart on days when sadness and negativity overcome joy and positivity.

As we celebrate the now over 200 editions of Daily Wisdom (can you believe it? small steps do...

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Be abusive (How to ruin a perfectly good relationship)

We have been talking about "How (not) to ruin a perfectly good relationship" this past month. We have covered lots of ground about what builds and destroys relationships.

It is now time to talk about some more serious things that destroy a relationship. These are "the biggies" - the behaviours that you really should stay away from if you want to keep your relationship healthy. They are also those that are harder to recover from without intervention and support.

Please note that the posts this week are of a sensitive nature. Some may be difficult to read, especially if you or someone you know is going through this stuff. And yet, these are very things that we really do need to talk about if we want to strengthen our relationships and transform relationships within our community. I encourage you to read them even if you think that they do not apply to you. Please feel free to share (discretely) with anyone who might benefit.

So today's edition of How to ruin a perfectly good...

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Keep score (How to ruin a perfectly good relationship)

Use your mind like a psychological bookkeeper and remember "the score" at all times. Remind yourself of the ways you give to the relationship and your partner doesn't.

Tell yourself things like:
A good marriage should be 50-50 (an untrue and dangerous myth, by the way. It is only distressed couples that focus on the 50-50 score keeping)

I'm always the one who takes out the trash.

Why am I always the one getting up with the baby in the middle of the night?

I'm always the one who says sorry and initiates affection. S/he never says sorry. It is so unfair.

Keep at it and your feelings about the relationship will quickly fester into a stew of resentment, ensuring that you stop being loving and start creating distance in the relationship.

Keeping score is a "me-centered" way of operating, by which you're elevating your role in the relationship to a place of superiority. And if you're "up," then your partner has only one place to land: down. Down in the swampy, stagnant pond of "not...

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As we say goodbye . . .

The days of Ramadan have been long and the nights much too short. We started with some trepidation about how we would manage with the heat and the thirst. Alhamdulliah, with Allah's grace and strength, the month has flown by much too fast.

As we approach the final few days of the Blessed Month, we may be feeling a mix of emotions: a tinge of sadness at the ending of the month of Blessings, Mercy and Forgiveness, a feeling of accomplishment at what we have managed to do or perhaps a feeling that we did not do as much as we would have liked. We may be looking forward to getting back to our normal routine and to our morning cup of tea.

Regardless of this array of emotions towards the ending of this month, many of us felt an increasing level of spirituality and we may be wondering of how to make the awesome feeling of closeness to Him and spirituality stay with us a little longer.

For many of us, this is the only time in the year when we change the focus of our attention from worldly...

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The kickstart question

Stanier in The Coaching Habit writes that "Coaching for development is about turning the focus from the issue to the person dealing with the issue, the person who's managing the fire."
 
Such a useful concept! What this means is that as leaders our job is not to know how to solve all problems. It is not even realistic to be able to solve all problems, is it? The person who is asking the question often is closer to the situation and has more information about the issue than we do.

(As an example, think of your 6th grader who is dealing with a math problem. He has attended the class recently and heard the teacher's instructions. Who knows more about the situation – him or you who has not attended a math class in several decades?)

So our job as a leader may be simply to help people uncover the answer that they already have within themselves.

This process is so much simpler than trying to solve or pretend to know the solution to every problem that others are having. So when you...

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The seven questions

So here are the seven questions that we have been exploring over the last few days. Regularly engaging in these reflections can be extremely beneficial in our spiritual and emotional growth.

Remember that asking the question and letting it simmer is more important than quick answers.

Repeat each question several times and use a journal to reflect on the answers.

1. What's your iki gai?
2. What are your core values?
3. Who matters most?
4. Where does my time go?
5. Which of my relationships are incomplete?
6. How do I keep my relationships complete?
7. What do I really really want?

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