Holistic Health and Living

Health

Health

Disease is Never Sudden

Disease is Never Sudden

The world loses too many good people, every day, at the hands of unexplained, sudden attacks of psychological or physical diseases. Leaving their loved ones devastated, unprepared, and shocked at the turn of the events they are now left to deal with. But I fail to understand how anything can happen ‘suddenly’ in God’s systematically perfect natural world, premised on laws and governed by unchanging principles. How then are we ever left unanswered or unequipped to handle life? The answer is the cold and bitter truth- it can not.

While disease takes a toll on our physical self long into the journey of destruction, the deterioration begins well before it starts showing to the outer world. The first and most affected entity of any human being’s existence is his soul. And unfortunately, most often than not, we aren’t even aware of the death we have already died spiritually. Unknowingly, we are on our way to the “sudden” cardiac arrest or “shocking” cancer growth.

What entails spiritual death? The moment we stop seeing life as beautifully and positively as it is, the chains we stop letting go of which keep us locked up in the regrets and grudges of the past, and the minute we begin to selfishly live for ourselves than for the greater good of the society at large, we have already dug our graves deep and dark. The moment we realize the need of our soul, we start to live for what’s deep inside rather than the cloak we are carrying only for the duration of our stay in this life, that moment, we will gain utmost peace and wellness and cure the scars of our soul.

The fact of the matter is: God’s laws of nature can never be changed or manipulated, if the only man understands what these are and how they function, can one finally get what he wants all along – health and happiness.

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).

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.

Factual, Family, Health

Wrong Rat Race

rat race

“Sorry, she is busy in her studies”, “You know how difficult the education has gotten for these children nowadays, she won’t be able to take out time for anything else”, “If only she could get all As, her life will be smooth sailing from there” – a numbered few quintessential phrases we get to hear from those driven, hardworking parents who want to see their children rise to success and stardom. Unfortunately, I have yet to hear “I wish she becomes the best mother one can be”, “If only I could find a place which would teach her to play her roles right”, “Women are the makers of generations to come, I will invest all time and efforts into teaching her the art of life, that’s the most important subject she needs to excel in”.

These thoughts are only hymns of my dreams, of a world where parents will stop running in the wrong rat race, both for their sons and daughters, where grades, numbers and rankings start defining how “good” a child is. Children are taught nothing about living a life, but all about making a living. In the midst of continuous competitions to be better than the girl next door, we often forget to ask ‘better in what’?, and there we get stuck in the vicious cycle of following the crowd, and finding no escape but in being like anyone else.

Step out of this entangled web which goes nowhere. Breathe. Choose to become the decision makers in your child’s life, and don’t be misguided by the pressures of the world. Do you want more degrees, which are laminated pieces of paper signed by an individual with a bigger degree than your child’s, often highlighting knowledge which becomes information as the years pass by and we stop implementing our learnings into every moment of our existence. Or would you prefer life skills which is knowledge that becomes wisdom with time and experience, a significant part of every step your child takes in her life. If this rat race was to develop, improve, better us, would we not to be standing as better humans beings, more civil, ethical, morally upright? But the state of affairs of mankind has deteriorated tremendously, and we stand today as worse but more ‘educated’ than before.
Think. Choose. Decide.

What race will your child be running?

Verita – Art of Living Institute is an initiative aimed to improving the quality of life in all arenas with the tools provided to us from religion, human behavior and social sciences.

Family, Health, Hope

The Sad State of Marriages

marriage

Ah! What beauty lies in silence! There I sat in my light brown couch on the wooden floor of my illuminated veranda, sipping on the warmth of my tea. The teeny tiny twinkling droplets fell poetically before me and I heaved a breath of fresh air amidst the crystal clear ambiance. In this picturesque setting, I flew down memory lane to those cherished moments I had spent with the love of my life. Her contagious laughter, our heart to heart conversations, the moments in time where we had pushed each other to greatness, the enormous effort we have invested day and night into the plans of the future, the love and the life, every memory, every moment, every minute triggered in me a plethora of emotions.

The piercing roar of the thunder brought me back to reality. There I sat, alone, lost in thought of the most important person in my life who was now a shadow of the past. Misunderstandings, fights, disagreements and arguments – a heart-wrenching tale of the fall of this sacred relationship. All was gone and shattered because of reasons which now seem minute and insignificant.

But why? Man lives in the here and now, he seeks instant gratification, he longs for immediate results, and he often sacrifices the wars of the future for the battles of the present. In our selfish endeavors, we magnify the flaws and weaknesses that, by definition of being a human, exist in our spouse. The pursuit of perfection and the desires which drive us often disallow us to appreciate the good. We fail to understand the beauty in our partner, the strengths, the strive and instead, focus far too much on the have nots. This lack of respect for the roles, the failure to acknowledge and value the interdependency of the relationships pushes us into a dark corner of unhappiness and dissatisfaction from our relationship.

10 or 20 years from now, when you hold your spouse’s hand and wave goodbye to your grown up children who are off to lead a life of courage, challenges and compassion, that success in front of your eyes will reduce the petty arguments and fights of today to a matter of insignificance. With all the time in the world, when you and the mother of your children can cherish the happiness, remember the highs and lows, and hold each other to growth in these years of age and experience, the problems of the past no longer have a place to linger around in your minds and lives.

Trivial clashes of everyday can either be ignored to win the relationship in the long haul, or can be clustered to blow up in an irreconcilable split of the two people who love each other so dearly. Every moment of pain and hurt can be exchanged for love and trust, every loss of small arguments can be bartered for a life of support and comfort. The choice is yours to decide what you value more. These everyday decisions formulate our destiny. You are the author of your own love story and you have the power to make each chapter one of joy or one of tragedy. Sustainable relationships, powerful families, successful generations and developed societies are the accumulation of such small instances of important decisions. The question is, what do you choose for your future self today, right now, at this very moment?

Suddenly the lightning struck and I shook the thoughts out of my head to find the rain had stopped, the clarity had blurred out and the water now stood still in a muddy puddle before me. The silence still prevailed but the beauty had faded. The moment had passed, time had gone, and my marriage, like the rain, was merely a thing of the past. I had lost everything.

Family, Health

Motherhood

motherhood

A prestigious degree draped over my shoulders, countless certificates and awards to my name, and excellence in my field of living day to day counseling others on matters of life, I carried along my name a confidence, a will and knowledge which minimized otherwise troublesome nuances of life into beautiful opportunities of growth, allowing me to shine brighter and prove myself further. Not a subject in school could I not master, not a competition in university I could not win, not a person in life I could not move with my words as poise as poetry, and as powerful as prayer. I could do it all, right?

2016. A New Chapter of Life. A new challenge, a new chance to outdo all others. I entered into a phase which had long been presented in its glory, glamour and horror. I had seen mothers in tears, in fury and in shattered pieces trying to make their way through a haunted, thorny path- Motherhood. But me? Oh please, I would set an unprecedented standard of perfection here as well. As the bubble of my picture perfect life burst right at my face, reality hit me harder than my mother’s chappal.

Unaware, ill-equipped and unprepared. No degree, certificate or award could sooth my strained eyes from all those sleepless nights, rejuvenate my drained body from continuous nursing, or freshen up the killer stench of countless diapers. I was taught rationalization, my baby cried for no reason. I was taught one-click convenience, my baby survived on my patience. I was taught self-focus and self-grooming, my baby was the centre of my attention. And suddenly, all my pride fell flat on the floor. I was completely clueless for the first time in my life.

One moment, and you hear that first cry. From a wife, a daughter, a friend, you become, a mother. One moment and your life is no longer yours. Every word you utter, thought you wonder, feeling you muster, is a chalk on a blackboard. Your child is the product of everything you could be forgiven for before, but now, will be shown as a reflection through your little one, for generations to come. A role so significant, so worthy, so difficult, yet, so ignored. With every tear that rolls down my cheek when I feel I can no longer gather the energy to move forward the way I ought to for the betterment of my child, with every sleepless night that passes and exhausts me further, my respect for womanhood and all those fortunate enough to be a part of it, only multiplies. Motherhood – what a wonderful rollercoaster ride.

Health, Informational

Modern Health

modern health

Cancer, Depression, Infertility, Diabetes, Obesity, Anxiety, Heart Attack, Arthritis, Abnormalities, Fear and Phobias – every person reading this would know at least one patient suffering from at least one of the abovementioned daunting list of diseases and ailments, and these are to mention only the disastrously terrifying. Otherwise, we have all regularly been victimized by the common cold, high fever, headaches, back pains and the usual ‘under the weather’ feelings. How has health deteriorated to a stage where we have become increasingly accustomed to gulping down medications and pills as a matter of habit and see no wrong in the number of people visiting the hospitals on a daily basis. Living a life with no medical prescriptions cluttering your bed side table has become a strange happening. If all these drugs and injections were to cure anything at all, why has the wellbeing of humanity in general constantly dropped since the past few decades while our medical expenditures have only increased?

Readers, I beg you to open your eyes and clear the fogged lenses with which we have started to view our world. Disease is common, Depression is widespread, the Downfall of Health is ever increasing, but nothing makes these natural. Once living up to 100 years, I hear people merely at the age of 50 giving up on their life and counting down the days to their end. I listen to absolutely mind boggling stories of teenagers suffering from diseases like Diabetes and Arthritis which were, by definition, associated only with age. I see cancer becoming an epidemic with the death toll rising profusely and not leaving any one safe from the tremendous fear of the name. I see doctors being treated like gods and thinking life and death are theirs to distribute. I see people revering hospitals and medicines like potions of immortality and blaming everything but themselves for the suffering around. I see pure havoc.

Where did we go so wrong so quick and stopped being bothered in the process? What does health really encompass and how are we so oblivious to something significantly central to our existence? What have we failed to understand about our bodies, our minds, our hearts, and most importantly, our souls that has caused such deleterious effects on our wellness? I’m sure quite a few of you out there will be looking in the mirror just about now and thinking Óh, but I am perfectly okay’. The question is, for how long? The disease we see manifested in its physical form is the last of all stages of health, much like the container with a rotten apple inside of it. We only see the container deteriorating after the apple inside has entirely decayed. The internal deterioration, therefore, is a process we rarely see or feel, but the repercussions are incredibly alarming for those who don’t understand the phenomenon of health consisting of a whole, not just our bodies. The depressed man will most definitely end up with a life threatening ailment a few years down the road, surprised at the outcome, but living the process since long before reality hit him.

So we all, in one way or another, are patients of our thoughts, our feels, our spirits or, eventually, our bodies. We are in constant pain caused by a decline in the wellbeing of one or another of the aforementioned, and in constant search of a cure for the same as well. The fact, however, is highlighted in the following hadith:
The Prophet (SAW) said:

“There is no disease that Allah has sent down except that He also has sent down its treatment.”

[The Book of Medicine: Sahih Bukhari]

.

So, what is the treatment? Was the cure in spending billions of dollars in the hopes of living a few more months or in the terrible fate of living life where medication replaces the air we need to breathe and we become enslaved to a monotonous routine of continuously trying to fix our bodies so we can live a ‘normal, happy life’. If it is as the Prophet (SAW) said it to be, why are we then time and again told ‘there is nothing that we can do further to help’ or that ‘the disease is incurable, we can only delay it’. Where is the promise of a cure to all ailments, what is the answer to the cries of thousands of mothers praying for the health of their children, of the hundreds of children being orphaned every day because of the untimely death of their parents, and of the millions of individuals hoping to die a peaceful death without hospital beds and wired injections?

If we continue living the way those around us do, we will inevitably end up at the same place they are, perhaps even worse. So before you are quick in concluding your health to be A-okay today, take a step to make sure you can still smile and celebrate your good health a decade from now. And ask yourself, are you really okay today? How sure can you be that the hidden process hasn’t already begun?

Health

Master your Emotions

emotions

I see people demanding respect their entire lives. The teacher at my school, the elders in my family, my boss at work, my husband and his parents, all people I come across in every walk of life seem to be insatiably hungry for this one rare piece of gem in a personality. And day in, day out, people work tirelessly to acquire ‘THEIR’ definition of respect, either through money, fame, games of power, or status. Most, if not all, often are left depressingly unsatisfied with this ordeal of effort which renders no reward.

The question arises, why? And here reality strikes hard. Forcing a polite smile on your face when the CEO of the company you have been working in since the past 2 years walks by, is an act of greed, not respect. Standing in front of the father of your children with your eyes lowered when he criticizes the decisions you make in the best interest of your family, is an act of fear, not respect. Rising with the oh-so- famous ‘Good Morning, Teacher!’ slogan memorized at the back of your head like a cassette on constant rewind, is an act of social conformity, not respect. ‘THEIR’ definition, hence, is flawed, and their efforts, thus, left in vain.

If respect isn’t found in mountains of money, or plays or power, how can one truly ‘earn’ respect? The quest begins from a simple question. I ask you, Dear Readers, who would you categorize under the box marked ‘Respect-worthy’ from amongst your social circle? And what characteristics does that individual entail to be viewed of such an honorable mention? My quest led me to one man whom I have respected throughout my life. Someone who has never deterred from doing and saying what is right and taking the most difficult step in the most poise of manners. A man of wisdom and integrity who has contained his most basic of instincts to rise above as the most supreme of creations. A man who has walked firm; not fumed by stones thrown at him in the line of fire by others; nor tripped by societal pressure of any sort. I have respected this man without greed, fear or conformity. I have respected him because of his ability to practice remarkable control over the fuel burning inside all of us – emotions.

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