Don’t let a few grey clouds blur your perspective
I find that one of the greatest sources of peace and tranquility are found in nature. It is absolutely amazing to be able to watch one of the most powerful forces in action and to watch the secrets of the universe unfold right in front of us.
As I walk through my usual ravine walk, I pass by a stream on my right. I crouch by its banks, listening to it and watch as it flows with such agility. There is a definite strength and power to it, yet there is also a beautiful lightness. The water from this stream travels far because it continues to move in the direction it is meant to move in. It knows its purpose and is persistent in getting there. Once you have realized your purpose, move in the direction you are meant to move in. Be light, be agile. There is a grander force in effect.
As I zoom out and appreciate the backdrop of the stream, I notice rocks that lie beneath its surface. Above it, branches of trees. Alongside it, the rocks and grass. Together, they co-exist. One does not necessarily take from the other, nor is there a need for specific space. Together, they form a masterpiece. Co-exist.
3) Each grows at its own pace
Early in October, I noticed that one tree’s leaves had turned red before the rest. Today, while most trees are starting to turn green, it is still bare. Yesterday, it was the most beautiful of all. And soon , it will be as beautiful as the others. But each tree grows at its own pace and each becomes beautiful in its own way. Be you
4) Impossible is nothing
The plants have minds of their own. They do not just grow in the most lush of areas but in all places. It has an ability to grow in places that one wouldn’t generally expect. There are no rules for nature. Impossible and possible are just figments of our imagination. Similarly, the sky is not your limit, your mind is.Believe
5)External forces cannot be controlled
This year, our Spring is a little cooler than usual. That means that the trees and flowers have taken longer to bloom. Humans, may be complaining, but the trees, the trees and the flowers know that after Winter, Spring will come. The tree or the flower cannot control the seasons. Similarly, we as humans, cannot always control the external, yet we endanger our health thinking we can. Let go.
“What has reached you was never meant to miss you and what has missed you was never meant to reach you.” Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H)
On the last part of my walk, I noticed a greener patch. As I looked closer, I realized that there was a water drain right above it. The grass is greener where you water it. Start watering the parts of your life you want growth in. Love yourself. Love others.
6) Despite everything, His Light Awaits you
To see these beautiful forces in play is quite mesmerizing. What is empowering, however, is that the same Creator of these powerful forces, created us. The Creator of the Noble mountains, and the powerful Ocean, is the one who created us. We, as humans, carry the same potential and beauty as nature. It’s high time we start living up to it.
“It is He who sends down water from the sky. From it you drink and from it come the shrubs among which you graze your herds. And by it He makes crops grow for you and olives and dates and grapes and fruit of every kind. Therein is certainly a sign in that for people who reflect. He has made the night and the day subservient to you, and the sun, the moon and the stars, all subject to His command. Therein are certainly signs in that for people who use their intellect. And also, the things of varying colours He has created for you in the earth. There is certainly a sign in that for people who pay heed. It is He who made the sea subservient to you so that you can eat fresh flesh from it and bring out from it ornaments to wear. And you see the ships cleaving through it so that you can seek His bounty, and so that perhaps you may show thanks. He cast firmly embedded mountains on the earth so it would not move under you, and rivers, pathways, and landmarks so that perhaps you might be guided. And they are guided by the stars. Is He Who creates like him who does not create? O will you not pay heed?”(Quran 16:10-17)
As I watched the sky turn orange yesterday evening when the sun started to set, quite a huge part of me wanted to leap up, and stop it from setting. Another day just gone. Time. My scrambling for time feels like I’m trying to cling to water, only to see it escape from my every tiny gap in my very tight grip.
However, as sunrise of the next day approaches, I watch the skies. The sun has not surfaced yet but it has started to light up the sky surrounding its rising and within minutes, it feels like the entire sky has been lit up with its powerful rays.
It is in watching this process that I realize the sign that has been given to us, fellow mortals. That to our finite eye, or our finite minds, it seems like magnanimous entities or grand characters go away. But, in reality, it is our limitation in being able to be outside of time and space that truly restricts our vision. For the lover of the moon, the long summer days may feel endless; and for the lover of the sun, the lengthy winter nights are never-ending. In those moments of darkness, when the sun has just set and you stare at the dark blue skies where the sun once shone, it is difficult to think of the time when it will surface again, but it shall.
The trees are amazing examples. The winter seems to void the trees of all its life, its once green leaves turn lifeless and fall to the ground and turn bare. Yet, as the Spring approaches, the tree springs to life in its most beautiful of forms, and is brought back at its peak. Just as it blooms in all its beauty, the sun rises in all its brilliance and so does the beautiful crescent moon. We will meet again , in all of our beauty.
Another example is the cloudy day. It gives us the false pretence that the sun isn’t present. While the clouds do block out the visible light, the UV radiation actually becomes stronger. In the same way, visibly and physically a person may no longer be with us but their force and their energy is very much still present, if not more. A person may not be with us physically but they are very much present and it is a matter of time before the clouds go away and the sun shines once again.
These signs found in all of God’s creation are reassurance of our meeting again. It’s never goodbye, its only see you later. And for the time being, for : the sunless nights, the moonless days, the endless winters :
Rest assured. You are not alone.
“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 shortsighted as to not able to see the outcome. The lovers of God never runs out of patience, for they know that time is needed for the crescent moon to become full.” – Shams Tabrizi
This one’s overdue.
In March of this year, I was in Cape Town. A couple of my friends had called me up to let me know they were going skydiving. This was something I had wanted to do for a while but the date did not fit into my schedule. I was surprised at the fact that I wasn’t antsy about it not fitting into my schedule. A weird sense of calm had overtaken me. If it was meant to be , it would be.
Funny enough, they weren’t able to go that week because of the weather conditions and had re-scheduled for the following week and had even booked me a spot. I smiled..maybe it was meant to be. They picked me up that Saturday and we drove about an hour out. Being about ten minutes away from the place – we received a phone call from them saying the weather conditions in that area were not suitable for the dive. Once again, I just looked out my window and figured : If it was meant to be – it would. My friends were pretty determined and searched up other companies close by. Sure enough, they found one half an hour further and booked our six spots.
I don’t know why but I wasn’t even scared. Before I went scuba diving, I was pretty sure I was about to die. Before I climbed Kili, I was getting serious cold feet but jumping out of a plane..just didn’t scare me and I couldn’t figure out why.
We arrived and got explained everything. I saw a guy wearing a T-shirt that said “Siyashova” on it. I had read about 3 guys who had biked from Cape Town to Cairo and figured this guy supported their cause and I asked him about it. He was actually one of the 3 who had biked from one end of Africa to the other – Mad Respect Ria!
We all got ready and I walked into the plane. It was a small plane that fit 6 people in. We flew up into the skies and had the beautiful Capetonian scenery surround us. I was totally mesmerized by it …but still no fear. Maybe, it was the fact that I was going as a tandem jump – attached to a professional. But still, I figured if the parachute doesn’t open – it doesn’t open.
Even as we forced ourselves outside the airplane , it was exhilarating – but no fear. Even when we were falling…I was watching the ground as it got closer and closer but I was not afraid. It scared me a little how calm I was about it all. I wondered what was wrong with me. But in hindsight, I think I had faith. Faith that it was going to be ok.
That day, I chose to jump out of a plane. Sometimes, we are forced to jump in life. We don’t know what awaits us a lot of the time. We scramble for a rope,for some kind of control , maybe even a constant. Yet, we are not always given that constant and scrambling for it leads to anger, resentment, and even rage. Jumping and being at peace are a difficult combination. But it is necessary. It reminds me of an Arabic term : “Tawakkul”. Roughly defined – it means having full faith in God and his plan. I’m not saying, sit and do nothing. I’m saying, try your hardest to get to where you want but sometimes things ARE out of your control. Know that you tried your best. If it is meant to be – it shall be. And if it’s not meant to be – it shall not be. Maybe something better is waiting!
When you are forced to make that jump, try and ENJOY the Freefall, however insane it may seem.
Last Night I was driving back home from work a bit later than usual. I’ve been thinking of going on a trip recently.I’ve been wanting to go since about the beginning of December and I actually really wanted to be there on my birthday which is in about a month. Anyways so I figured if the chance would come up I would take it, if not I would wait. Randomly about 2 weeks ago a friend sent me an email showing me and amazing deal going to exactly this location and the first day of the trip was March 31st which is a day after my birthday which is just as good because then I get to start my year there.It sounded awesome now I needed to see if I could go – if all the outside forces would allow for me to go.
Between then and now I have officially gotten the go- head from all parties.Now the only thing I need to do is register for the trip which are just my details and an uploaded picture of my passport. My passport is not with me where I stay but is just about 10 minutes away and that’s all that’s needed to start the process.
So I’m driving back from work and literally staring at the street that I’m suppose to turn into to pick up my passport from about 5 minutes away. I want to go into it but a little voice inside my head says ” you can go tomorrow, what will one day do?” And as I get closer and closer I get more and more fidgety because at the end of the day spots on awesome trips do run out in a day. But I end up driving past the road. But then suddenly something overcomes me and I turn my car around and turn into the street.
I wasn’t going to let this go. Why would I ? What was stopping me? My indecisiveness literally kills me. By watching that street pass I was watching an opportunity of a lifetime just go past me. Yes, if I try my hardest and it doesn’t work out – fine but why would I make this decision myself? Why would I deny myself my dream?
Side note: I had been really indecisive with choosing a group to climb Kili with too. And I had found the perfect group with the perfect size and safety and all and I delayed it by one day and when I emailed to ask her about payment she replied saying that one of the group members just added his brother and wife to the group and it was now full. My heart sank. Like Sank to the ground and below. I had been looking for so long for the perfect group and my fear stopped me and I lost it. I thank God I got to climb my mountain but man would I have been upset if I hadn’t and I had the opportunity. Pure regret.
I delay a lot of decisions – as much as I can at least. I think in my mind I think if I wait long enough and come up with enough excuses the decision will be made for me ( like it was for Kili). The trip deal will eventually expire, the plane will eventually get full or something will happen and then it’s out of my control so ” I tried.” If you don’t try and you lose it doesn’t suck as much as if you try and lose right?
But there’s been a change in me. The last 6 months have changed me. I’m learning to try and go for what I truly want. I’m not saying I didn’t do what I truly wanted for the last 4 years because I had a blast there but it was a race. I found it hard to even hear what I truly wanted. And now I’ve taken a step out of the race and I’m running my own race – going for my own dreams.
So, As I turned my car around, I promised myself that I’m going to start making more decisions actively.I’m going to try and take control of my life or whatever part I can control and the rest is left up to a greater force.I’ll start taking the small decisions first and hopefully won’t wait till the very last minute because at the end of the day hard decisions never get easier to make. Don’t pass up opportunities my friends – Grab them and LIVE! Sometimes you have to jump and believe in that crazy dream you have because if you don’t believe, how can anyone else?