Holistic Health and Living

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Success Lessons

The Road to Success

Road to Success

The Road to Success

Stop and look around. At the bus station. On the metro. On the roads. In the flood of cars we see everyday around us. What do you see? I see people running, constantly in motion, with worried expressions on their faces and a lost sense of why. Every person I come across is headed towards their destination, more often than not, it is either the office cubicle for their 9 to 5 job, or their school/college classroom for the quest of education.

But if you sit down with any one person, and ask why they spend every minute exhaustingly in abiding by the monotonous routine given to them through inheritance of the system, they are completely and utterly clueless.

Either a question of this nature will allow them to mark themselves as dumb and confused, or they were instantly label you as an ignorant fool to wonder why the world does what it does, and has been doing so since decades. Right?

7 billion people in this world, who are living by the same rules of success as the ones you are, how can they be wrong or deluded in the paths they have chosen as the ladder to the top. But, ask yourself, how many have actually made a name for themselves and achieved the phenomenal level of success man is capable of? How many have pursued a passion which created their supreme niche in the market and given this world a legacy to remember? A numbered few. There are signs for those who think.

We all are running, running after a concept of success, happiness, peace and prosperity which is not ours to begin with. In this rat race, we all forget the purpose of our personal existence and the fire that lies within to make miracles happen. We, instead, settle for ordinary, for the common and the standard. We let the passion inside us burn to dust and drown deep within bouts of unhappiness, depression, failures and regrets. What gives us the sheer power and dedication to break free from the chains of ‘what ifs’ and ‘buts’ we are continuously exposed.

Family

Parents – What are we doing?

Being a mother myself, I am, at times, left completely flabbergasted by the modern parent-child relationship and the failure of the institute of parenthood as a whole. I see sons spitting utter hatred and resentment in the faces of their father, I see daughters reducing their mothers to the role of an ignorant maid, I see children raising their hands, let alone voices, in front of the two most significant characters in their existence, and shockingly, I see parents accepting this deplorable reality with grim faces. Where have we come to, if the mother who gave birth and spent countless sleepless nights for our comfort, and the father who spent every waking minute tirelessly to earn for his family and provide a good life to them, are thrown on the streets as insignificant, unworthy, or undeserving of love and respect. If our society has ever, at any point in time, faced the question of whether parents are worthy of utmost regard or not, we have lost the game. And this is where the complete demolition of our social system, that we see evidently today, began.

However, being a mother, I also remember the sheer innocence in the eyes of my child the first time I held him. Everyday, I saw him absorb meanings, emotions, thoughts and beliefs to form his personality as it is today. A child, therefore, is nothing but the environment provided to him. Therefore, one can’t throw the blame of his misconduct solely on him, but, holding the society, and most importantly, the storywriters- the parents, responsible for however an individual is, at least partially, becomes an understood and harsh fact. The mother who was not able to tend to her child’s needs as he cried in fear or hunger, the father who could not put down his phone to pass a smile to his toddler learning how to ride his toy car, the mother who lost her patience on the 101th sleepless night and shook her baby in anger, or the father who couldn’t protect his daughter from unwanted eyes as he never noticed, all in their ignorance, played the most crucial part in building the lack of trust, compassion and self-esteem in the Youth we see roaming around with an epidemic of identity crisis and moral decline.

Parenthood-easily the most daunting job, with repercussions that go beyond generations, has unfortunately been misjudged, undervalued and misunderstood in the importance it was meant to have for a successful life, personal or professional, for every person. Bonding with your children since day 1 and inculcating hope, independence, creativity and self-worth is the most honorable task one can do, and the greatest gift one can offer to the society. The smallest acts leave the greatest impact, hence, it is essential to note which acts to engage in to leave a profound effect on the personality of our children, in a wholly positive way, to save our and their future. The day we realize what parenthood was ought to be, and we assign the effort into doing justice to that role, that day we just might be able to regain the social system that once was.

Health

Man is an Organic Being Living an Inorganic Life

Organic Fresh Vegetables
Stop and think. How much of your time do you spend as an organic, natural being in an entirely pure, untainted setting? From the moment you wake up and insert that fluoride-laden toothpaste in your mouth till the last GMO meal which you so enthusiastically devour as a healthy dinner, your every moment is filled with products and ways of living dictated by the man himself. Imagine, a car built to be run on petrol, filled with gas. That is how we have treated our bodies, minds, and souls, which were made to be bred and grown on organic living, but have been stained with synthetic and man-made infiltrations.

Amidst this unfortunate blend of natural and unnatural, man has become the victim of disease, illness, depression and havoc on his health and wellness. From autoimmune diseases to cancers and psychological illnesses, we have faced the most atrocious attacks on our health in the past few decades along with a steady rise in man-made interventions and inventions within all realms and walks of life. The connection is supremely evident for those to see, however, where should one draw the line between man-made and organic living, and what is the optimum way of being in today’s world with the way God has made us? These questions are ones to ponder over through experience, learning, and wisdom.

Health

Have you received THE CALL yet?

Quran

Dear Readers, now most of you would be born Muslims, identifying yourself with a Faith and religion that has belonged to your father and forefathers, or one that belongs to the state, and being born within these confined entities, you, too, call yourself a Muslim. My question, however, is simple. At what point in life, did you choose this lifestyle, this belief system, this set of moral and ethical decorum, this history and future, for yourself, consciously, if at all? At what point in life did you stop reciting the chapters of the Holy Quran as excerpts of a foreign language you barely understand, but which, for some unknown or unquestionable reason, hold utmost significance and sanctity, and started understanding what each word meant for you as a Muslim and as a human being?

The fact is, most of us never experience this moment. But for some fortunate or, as some may say, ‘unfortunate’ ones, this moment comes in the highlights of our life. That one life-defining, life-altering, monumental wakeup call from God above, can be at the best of times, or the worst of times, but while most rationalize it and reduce its importance to some worldly explanation, a very few choose this moment as their ‘calling’ and therefore, there and then, decide to be Muslims – reborn, revitalized and reassured.

Here begins their journey of Faith – no longer born Muslim, but chosen to be one, to live every waking moment upholding that identity and moving, step by step, closer to understanding and submitting to God.

(Verita is a Positive Living Institute which combines human behavior and social sciences with religious studies to understand truth from a nuanced perspective. Faith Matters is a one day willshop which focuses on embarking on a journey of transformation from the inside out, through the most vital component where the story started, and where all stories will eventually end – Faith).

Success Lessons

Change Now or Regret Later

Making a big change in life is pretty scary. You know what's even scarier? Regret!

Which road will you choose?

Every individual experiences a moment of calling in his life, where he stands at a crossroad to weigh the cost of change to that of no change. He can either opt to explore on undiscovered paths and unravel the treasures found, or he can continue on his monotonous journey of followership, blind behind hundreds treading on the same roads traveled most and traveled often.

In that moment of calling, where God gives you a chance to re-evaluate your life and benefit from the miracles lying behind the phenomenon of growth and change, most step back in fear of what might happen. Others, only take the plunge when those around them have done the same, so nothing unknown remains. Only few are lucky enough to take the leap of Faith, without a harness or safety net and land in heaps of opportunities awaiting these leaders and risk-takers.

This one moment saves you from regrets that most indulge in till their last breaths, hoping they had heard the calling, wishing they could go back to the crossroads and choose the scarier path, dreaming of the chance to relive their life without fear. These people are countless, lying on their deathbeds, nobodies, with common life stories and endless discontentment. The other group, is few, scattered, with tales unheard, some untold, some remembered as legacies and forces to be reckoned with, with lessons to impart and lives that are revered long after they are gone.

The difference is one and simple – some chose to hear the calling and welcome the new in their lives, no matter how horrifying it seemed at first, others, stayed hidden in the shadows of safety, never able to shine bright.

Family

Fatherhood – A Lost Treasure

Fatherhood - Father and Daughter

A man is raised with the image of being the unemotional, distant, breadwinner of his family. The alpha male is often revered in our society as unexpressive and strong in his ability to hide all feelings, good or bad, or not feel them at all. In this persona taught to our sons and brothers, directly or indirectly, we often paint the idea of an ideal father as the ultimate provider, maintainer, sustainer for his family – all good and positive traits, however, missing the key role of the guider, protector, advisor. So fathers set out for their journey of working their blood and sweat for more and more provision for their families, everyday, every minute, focused on their sole purpose of making sure all needs are met and wishes granted. Unfortunately, these needs and wishes are often limited to fancy vacations, latest gadgets, expensive schools, grande house and luxury living, seldom involving family dinners, father son football matches, heart to heart conversations, hands-on bonding activities and sharing of life lessons. In this terrible mistake, the father, despite his most dedicated efforts to building a strong family foundation, is left with children who slowly grow apart from him, year by year widening the gap of trust and understanding everytime another important life decision went unattended by their role model, or a significant event was missed by their hero figure.

And now we see a society where the generation differences between children and parents are mindboggling, in the ambience of mistrust, disrespect and misunderstandings, this once sacred relationship is now tainted with fights, arguments and an incredibly disheartening feel of emptiness.

As a consequence, like a traveller without a compass, these children are living their misguided lives one mistake at a time, indulging in immoral, unethical, media-driven values, following the wrongs and evils of the society which is completely and utterly parent-less. A society, financially developed, technologically advanced, however, morally corrupt, uncivilized, principally vacant, and easily fooled by the surrounding pressures, is the perfect replication of the reality of every household today.

Fatherhood, in its attempt to provide, has failed massively, to provide a safe, comfortable, clean environment to its offspring, and so, who was meant to be a beautiful teacher, is now no longer any more than a money-making machine, treated with the same love and respect, as he has unknowingly imparted.

Health

Cure Lies Deep Within

Death By Medicine

Every waking minute of everyday, we tirelessly engage in tasks dedicated to nurturing, maintaining and improving one aspect of the human existence- the body. We sleep, eat, bathe, embellish our bodies with clothes and makeup, we exercise and rest, and work all day to sustain this lifestyle we have chosen for ourselves. Rarely, if at all, do we spend our precious time and effort in polishing our hearts, minds, and least of all, our souls.

Beneath the cloak of our physical form, lies emotions, thoughts and a spirit which encompasses the most significant facets of who we are and what we are meant to do. Unfortunately, amidst this obsession with presenting our outer garment as most beautiful to the eyes of the society, we forget that real beauty lies deep within – in a beautiful soul. While the body can be decorated with fancy clothes and jewellery, the adornment of the soul is in acts of gratitude, forgiveness, empathy, compassion, love, trust and positive thinking.

As we forget this critical aspect to gain inner peace and harmony, we are, time and again, faced with terrible bursts of emotional, mental or physical illness manifesting the vacuum within. Stuck in a vicious fixation with the physical, we run to doctors and hospitals in the hopes of physically trimming the stems of these diseases and regaining our beautiful garment. But disease keeps springing back, as the root of the problem remains – a scarred and infected soul.

Readers, take the metaphor of an apple in a box. When the box that we can see starts decaying, we realize the apple inside has become completely rotten and spoilt. The box is similar to our physical packaging, and the apple is what in inside of us, while the packaging deteriorates much later, a slow decomposition of the soul has begun long ego, and that is the root, which we barely tend to. When we do, we treat our disease “miraculously” and permanently, when we don’t, we are left in a constant chase for temporary relief, gradually seeing life crumble to pieces before our eyes.

Health, Technology

Smart Technology or Smart People?

Death By Medicine

In our younger years of schooling, the genius in the mathematics class would magically calculate the most complicated of equations in his head in a matter of seconds, and leave the others dumbfounded at his superior grasp on the subject. As time passed, that genius vanished amidst a world driven by technology and we were reduced to an overly dependent reliance on the technique of calculators. Our brains became reduced to the understanding of the machine, rather than the understanding of the concept. and though we all hate to admit the embarrassing fact, but we began checking and re-checking whether 2+2 really equals 4 on the calculator. We stopped thinking, and we got swept away in constantly doubting the genius of the human mind, which, interestingly created the machines which substituted manual with automatic.

A similar tale rings in the corridors of the hospital today. A doctor’s visit can simply be broken down to one part where he would scribble down really expensive medication which is equally difficult to pronounce on a piece of paper with his name written in bold along with the name of the hospital, and the second part where he would “strongly recommend” a list of tests to be done so he may better understand your health condition.

The geniuses of the past, like the midwives, have been drastically replaced by renowned gynecologists and their smart technology, and the unfortunate state of affairs of pregnancies and deliveries today speaks volumes of the result. The more ‘advanced’ and ‘modern’ the expectant mother or doctor is, the more likely she is to end up with a C-section, nicely scheduled in between her spa date and baby shower. Long have we forgotten the beauty of the natural amidst the comforts of technology which has slowly but surely snatched away every ounce of psychological, physical, mental, and especially spiritual opportunity of growth from our lives and boxed it all up into a small gadget we carry around at all times, where once we used to carry our love, empathy and compassion for humanity.

Family

Choose Your Lovestory

Choose Your Love Story

Divorce. Separation. Unhappy Marriages. Late Marriages. The Torment of Rishta Hunting. Fights and Abuse. Here are some of the many ills this society is drowning in due to the collapse of the Marriage Institution. We are driven by images, stories and fantasies of the media to search for a happy ever after amidst a havoc of reality which is, instead, filled with horrifying tales of love that never is or never lasts. Can marriages be salvaged and can those hoping for a happy ending, actually get one?

The hope lies in between dream and destruction where our fantasies are tainted by a hint of reality but not completely extinguished from the mere possibility of finding a fairytale ending. In this hope there is a lot of understanding, growth and trust in the strength of the relationship of marriage. Unfortunately, deep within, most of us all, if not all, have lost faith in the institution of marriage, which hence, plays out for itself in the negativity we attach to it, only furthering our wrong beliefs. If, instead, we hop onto the wagon of Faith and see the goodness that can lie in marriage, we can take the first step towards finding our soulmate, in our current or future spouse.

Secondly, it is necessary to fully grasp and digest the meaning of a marriage which goes beyond candle night dinners and chocolate fountains, a happy marriage is hidden in those tiny moments of silence, the unexplained understandings and complimentary opportunities of growth. It is when someone allows you to reach your highest potential, that he becomes indispensable, because you are better off with them than without. Therefore, it is necessary to work towards becoming that beacon of light for your partner to let the romantic story write itself, with time.

Success Lessons

Shine out of the Crowd – Yes You Can!

Yes You Can!

Nowadays, a man’s drive and motivation to achieve is constantly put into doubt and question by countless obstacles in his road to success. Day in and day out, he is faced with numerous challenges, negativity and uncertainty which puts his passion into a whirlwind of ifs and maybes. Every time one bounces on a trampoline of hope and inspiration, he is pulled back down by either his own lack of confidence in his ability to reach the goals he has set for himself, or by the surrounding crowd of failures who are tied up in their own vicious cycles. Amidst the thousands who read self-help books on gaining motivation to succeed and listen to hundreds of seminars on the same, only a handful are lucky enough to fight the beast within which tells them they can’t do something. Therefore, despite immense capability and a dire need that every individual reaches his utmost potential, we are left with a majority of followers behind the fortunate few leaders.

The sad reality hits once more, when we walk around with labels we are continuously judged on the basis of, let it be of the gender we carry, or the religious affiliation we have, or merely the nationality we hold. Our failure is indistinctively categorized as the failure of a man/woman, Muslim/Christian, Pakistani/Indian. Success, hence, is no longer a personal matter, but a responsibility we have on the account of being whoever we are and acquiring whichever identity we do. Ask yourself, how many times you scroll through a list of highly successful people and notice the number of women or Muslims in the compilation, wondering why the ratio is such and accepting it as fate that our type cannot reach the pinnacle as easily as others can.

We provide excuses to ourselves for the lack of success we see around us, and find solace in the rarity of the success stories in our society – simply eradicating the will to achieve more, and reducing our life to a common, useless existence. But are we willing to live the rest of our lives as a mere number amongst billions or do we wish to shine and leave a legacy for decades to come? If you choose the latter, every time life reminds you that it is tough and difficult, fight back stronger than before with the understanding of the need to do so. Every time you are reminded of the hardships you will have to face to climb every step on the ladder of greatness, stop looking down below and start exploring the possibilities which lie at the horizon. Every time you hear someone tell you, you can NOT do something, firmly respond: YES I CAN!

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