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Let not aggressive speech upset you (DW#608)

Yesterday we discussed how to deal with aggression towards our faith and values. 

Today’s verse is related to the same idea. In Sura Yunus, the Prophet (saw) is told: 

And let not their speech grieve you; surely all honor belongs to Allah; He is the Hearing, the Knowing. [Quran 10:65]

 

As we have been saying, words are powerful. They have the power to heal and the power to hurt. Even if we work on being mindful of our words, reality is that not everyone will respond. We may still encounter aggression and criticism. And sometimes such words will greatly impact our emotional and mental wellbeing, especially if we sense that they are unfair and are motivated by hate rather than love. We may replay these words again and again in our minds, allowing them to fester and unbalance our wellbeing. We may lose faith and confidence in our beliefs by being subject to such hate speech.

 

This verse reminds us that the words that others may speak are not necessarily...
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Speak insightful words (DW#607)

These are they of whom Allah knows what is in their hearts; therefore turn aside from them and admonish them, and speak to them effectual words concerning themselves. [Quran 4:63]

The verse from Sura Nisa teaches the Holy Prophet (saw) how to deal with the hypocrites – those who professed belief with their tongues but harboured resentment and ill will towards the Prophet (saw). They were perhaps the most challenging enemy that he dealt with because they posed as friends and used covert means rather than open warfare to try and derail his mission. 

The Prophet (saw) is instructed to turn away from these disbelievers—that is, to avoid openly punishing them. Instead, he is to admonish them and seek to persuade them with penetrating words rather than confronting them aggressively with force. 

Scholars explain that turning away here may also mean to refuse to accept their excuses. Instead, he is to politely but firmly speak to them with Qawlan Baleegha,...

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Worship at night (DW#595)

And during a part of the night, say the night prayer beyond what is incumbent on you; perhaps your Lord will raise you to a praiseworthy position. Quran 17:79

Reflection: These verses from Sura Israa (The Night Journey) are addressed in the first instance to the Holy Prophet (saw) advising him that the best means of closeness to his Beloved Lord is to stay up and worship in the night when the rest of mankind is sleeping comfortably,

It is said that the fastest means of transportation towards Allah is to worship at night. During the day so many things occupy our time and mind. We are distracted and it is challenging to find silence, solitude and peace to communicate with the Divine. It is easier to connect spiritually with Allah during the stillness of night when the demands of work and family are on hold for the moment. It is also easier to be free of the ego-drives of looking good that can sometimes creep into our worship, especially when they draw praise from others.

There is much...

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Mental rehearsal (DW#577)

Yesterday we talked about how it is not enough to simply dream of an exciting future. 

Let me repeat that. 

It is not that dreaming of an ideal future is not important to manifest your dreams. 

It is. 

Very. 


However, it is not enough. So what’s missing?

You also need to visualize and plan for the work involved in achieving that goal or manifesting that dream.

Dr. Joe Dispenza in his book You are the Placebo, talks about how you can determine your future. One of the key ways, he explains, is through "mental rehearsing". 

[Controlling your destiny] "is possible through mental rehearsal. This technique is basically closing your eyes and repeatedly imagining performing an action, and mentally reviewing the future you want, all the while reminding yourself of who you no longer want to be (the old self) and who you do want to be. This process involves thinking about your future actions, mentally planning your choices,...

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Visualizing success is great except for this (DW#576)

Do you remember the sensation created by the book The Secret? After it came out, many many people started visualizing what they wanted and what success looked like for them, on a regular basis, believing that it was the key to success.

Here’s the thing: it is important to dream. It is also valuable to allow yourself to dream big and let your imagination come up with what wild success looks like. And to feel the good feelings that come from dreaming about these successes.

But you should know one big caveat.

Research shows that when you indulge in this type of day dreaming, it releases all sorts of feel good chemicals and hormones in your brain and in your body. And your brain and body are tricked into feeling that you have already achieved this ….. which in turn dampens your motivation to take action towards your goal!

WHAT???

Yes. Your strategy for success may actually be holding you back from the very thing that you are chasing. (I have been down this rabbit hole many...

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Productive procrastination (DW#573)

Can I share a secret?

When I am working on a creative project, such as writing, planning or working on a presentation, I get very productive. I clean out closets, cook up a storm, get my filing done, find great deals on Amazon, clean out more closets and drawers, organize the pantry . .

Anything to keep busy and stop feeling the anxiety that comes from producing meaningful work. . . .

I call it productive procrastination. A lot of stuff gets done.

Except what really matters.

Let’s not fool ourselves. Just because we are busy, it does not mean that we not procrastinating.

We need to make sure that we are doing work that really matters rather than merely busy work.

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The law of diminishing intent (DW#571)

Last week we talked about how we need to get into action when we feel inspired.

This week let’s explore this idea of inspiration a little more.

Jim Rohn (who happens to be Tony Robbin’s mentor) talks about what he calls the law of diminishing intent. The law of diminishing intent, he explains, is that the likelihood of doing something diminishes the further away you get from the initial moment of inspiration.

In other words, if we don’t take action when we are feeling inspired, and delay it, it becomes much less likely that we will take action in the future. Our intention to take action diminishes with the passage of time.

This applies whether we are talking about working on our relationship,

starting a new project or doing something that we have always wanted to do.

The more an idea sits on our "someday list" the less likely it is that it will actually get done.

So here is what we need to do on capitalize on inspiration and motivation when it does strike: get in...

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You don’t need to have it all figured out (DW#534)

Clarity of intention does NOT mean that you need to know or figure out how your intention will guide you, manifest itself or show up during this year. 

Of course, I do understand that this uncertainty will be more than some of us can bear. (not that any of us are control freaks of course …). But here’s the thing: An intention is not about certainty or having it all planned out. If we try to figure it all out and micromanage how we will live our intention and then how will others react etc, it will lead to a lot of frustration. 

This is simply about making an intention for ourselves about how we are going to show up regardless of what is happening around us. 
So please don’t let your need to certainty stand in the way. Commit to a one-word intention. Yes, just one. 

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Always Being Right (DW#504)

This type of thinking pattern essentially thinks: It’s not me, it’s you. It is not my fault, it is yours. No matter what the issue is, I am right, and you are wrong. Please don't confuse me with facts or evidence or what experts think because I am not open to influence.

With this distortion, the idea that we could be wrong is absolutely unacceptable, and we will fight to the metaphorical death to prove that we are right. We can see this distortion quite easily on social media platforms where people sometimes spend hours arguing with each other over an opinion or political issue far beyond the point where reasonable individuals would conclude that they should "agree to disagree". To them, it is not simply a matter of a difference of opinion, it is an intellectual battle that must be won at all costs. The idea that there may be another equally valid opinion is quite alien.

As you can imagine, always being right can make us slightly (!) insufferable, tiring and...

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The link between thoughts and feelings (DW#481)

Over the last little while, we have been talking about the link between emotion and motion – in other words how taking action can change your feelings. 

This week, let’s explore how we can sometimes get to the very source of negative emotions to prevent them rather than changing them once they appear.

Before I explain this further, let’s do a quick exercise. 

Imagine that your family is rushing to get out of the house in the morning and you are trying to do several things at once: get ready for work, make sure the children have everything they need for the day, feed them breakfast and connect with your spouse about the evening plans. It is one of those days and everyone is running a bit late. 

Get the picture?

Now, just as everyone is about to bolt from the breakfast table and get into the car/bus/bicycle, your six-year-old spills the entire box of cereal on the floor. Oooops. Now everyone will be late for sure.

What is your reaction? 

Do you think:...

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