Ramadaan Affirmations to keep you motivated

Make this Ramadan your best ever (Article posted in Citypages Magazine)

Did you know that you have the choice and the ability to make this Ramadan as fantastic and positive as you wish for it to be? Let’s explore how. Now, for all of us Ramadan is coming, and we will experience it. Each one of us will find something new, unique and interesting in the way we experience it. We would be able to distinguish our varied experiences by telling them to each other, and in doing so we will find we have similar challenges or differing outlooks.

You needn’t be Muslim only to experience Ramadan. In fact if it is your first Ramadan as a non Muslim in an Islamic culture this will be a time that you will be able t explore, learn and seek to understand what goes on during this month, what drives people to fast in this heat and what keeps their spirits energised throughout this period. Being a Muslim, it may be your first time in Kuwait this Ramadan, or perhaps the first time you fast in a summer like this, and even if there is nothing new for you really, you will still have a new and unique experience- an experience you choose to have. Ramadan is inevitable, it’s going to arrive and you will experience it anyway. Why not allow yourself to make this your ultimate experience thus far, an experience that is positive, fulfilling and one that brings joy to your heart and comfort to your soul. So how can we create this?

Our minds have filter systems, just like an air filter, that filters out the unwanted dust and other muck in order to protect the environment around us, and in turn protect and look out for us. If we understand how our filter works we can use it to optimise our thoughts about certain things. We have the power to choose if we will filter out negative thoughts, and people from our minds, and to what extent we protect our minds from absorbing negative energy. Having positive thoughts, translate into us feeling great. And when we feel great our actions demonstrate and glow in this greatness. By turning on our filters, we can choose the thoughts we want to have about Ramadan, we can choose who influences them. Would we allow complaints and moans and groans from others through our filters? Or are we going to seek out those positive people who illuminate with joy and abundance this Ramadan? The choice is yours.

Ramadan is a great opportunity to seek out its blessings and mercies, as they are abundant. And once we know what they are for us, we can focus on enveloping ourselves in the feelings these blessings bring to us, visualising how they will assist us in our own self-development and growth. We can grab opportunities to serve others in our communities, and watch how we can create a ripple effect on the people around us.

These are some affirmations that you could choose to rewrite and read every so often, or you may choose to come up with your own specific ones as you find new meanings that this month holds for you.

Ramadan brings me energy and a new spirit of self-reflection

My heart is open to generosity and kindness

As Ramadan grows on me so does compassion and empathy

I become more conscious about my words and thoughts

Ramadan propels me to look for creative ways to help others, my environment and Allah’s creatures

My hunger pangs draw me towards reflecting on my eating habits, towards simplicity and whole foods

My hunger pangs remind me to reflect on the poor, those in war zones, and the vulnerable

I am more conscious about caring for and conserving the earth that Allah has blessed me with

As my fast begins I reflect on building and enhancing relationships with my loved ones I create avenues to strengthen my family ties, through prayer and mealtimes

As I fast, I gain inner strength and success

The more grateful I am to my Creator, the more gratitude I am able to find around me

I am fortunate to be blessed with another Ramadan, and accept it with joy I have a powerful inner strength in mind and body this Ramadan

I release any fears in me and allow Ramadan’s blessings to shower me I attract healthy eating and lifestyle habits

I believe in myself and my ability to fast with complete submission to my Creator

As Ramadan embarks, so does my level of spirituality and faith to please my Creator

I choose Imaan, I choose sisterhood/ brotherhood, I choose community and giving

I Approach this Ramadan with an enhanced energy and attitude this year.

It is the perfect opportunity for mental and spiritual rejuvenation.

A day at the planetarium is a day well spent

Over the weekend we decided to check out the planetarium among other adventures planned for the day.

We started out with a Grand mosque tour, followed by visiting the Kuwait National Museum and planetarium and then a visit to the stables.

The Planetarium is inside the Kuwait National Museum. Another great part of the museum was the heritage section, really really interesting to see how Kuwaiti’s lived, the herbalist, grocer, bridal room, weavers, etc.

But back to the planetarium- we got there when an arabic show was on, so we watched a little just to get a feel, and needed to leave shortly thereafter- I got a copy of the schedule so that I can arrange to go back more often. Is is a great indoor activity for this heat, one that can be enjoyed by kids as well as parents, and entry is free!

The exact timings listed here for the English shows are:

Mondays: 9:30 am – Our Sky

11:30 am- Paper rocket

6:30 pm- Origins of life

Tuesdays: 10:30 am – Origins of life

12:00 pm – Infinity Express

5:00 pm – Paper rocket

6:30 pm – Stars of Pharoahs

Wednesdays: 10:30 am – Paper Rocket

12:00 pm – Stars

6:30 pm – Infinity Express

Thursdays: 9:30 am – Our sky

12:00 pm – Origins of life

5:45 pm – Infinity express

Fridays: 5:45 pm – Origins of life

Saturdays: 9:30 am – Stars of pharoahs

5:00 pm – Paper rocket

6:30 pm – stars

 

Have fun 🙂

 

A taste of South Africa, in Kuwait

Sawubona. Dumelang. Goie aand. Masah al Khair.  Good morning 🙂

Anyone who knows me, knows that I am not a meat lover- in fact I steer away from meat most of the time but today we decided to enjoy an African Night at the meat company @ 360 Mall.

 

I guess we have been yearning for home, longing to see fellow Africans, longing to hear the sound of the African Drum, and mingle with the friendly culture and people of my nation. They were so friendly that curly tops found herself spending the evening amongst them- she got to check out what the chef was up to, she had her own tour of the kitchen and restaurant by the manager himself and moved from one South African to the next- all speaking to her in a language she is unfamiliar with.

The meat company, while slightly on the pricey side, will not leave you disappointed. The food is good- you can try some really authentic South African dishes and you will enjoy the warm welcome and smiles of true South Africans at their best.

We ordered freshly squeezed juice, a prawn and tomato soup, some pap and chakalaka (Aouth African tomato chutney and polenta), chicken livers- really good, and a steak with brocolli and spinach on the side. The manager even threw in some welcome drinks, fresh mango and orange blend and a discount in the end.

 

Curly tops was treated like the guest of honor, she was awarded with a little South African badge and we had a special treat of drummers, drumming to the beat of Shosholoza as we continued our meal.

Excellent service, excellent staff and delightful food!

Beit Sadu, Gorgeous, Traditional, Tranquil

A few days ago I visited Beit Sadu for their chai dhaha event.

I have for a while been meaning to stop by but for some reason I just haven’t until just recently.

I really enjoyed the atmosphere, watching the lady using a loom to turn the wool into thread, the ambiance and the friendliness of those who were there.

The place felt very ethnic, rich with culture and tradition. Curly tops and I enjoyed sipping on chai, and dabbling into the yummy dates. I really loves these teapots, they weren’t for sale otherwise I would have bought one.

I would definitely love to visit again and I have been told that they will be starting again in September with free story telling for kids every Saturday morning.

Link

this strawberry ice cream is really rich, creamy and good for you

down to earth, a store and page on facebook that sells wholesome, eco and sustainable products posted a link about coconut oil. And this recipe looked like it needed to be made immediately and with urgency 🙂 http://coconutoil.com/coconut-oil-increases-cholesterol-yet-is-still-healthy-for-your-heart/   (Excuse the way I have added the link, I’m still trying to figure some things out here :p and wanted to share the recipe anyway)

Instead of making a pie with a crust, I just made the filling, poured them into little cups and placed them in the fridge as mini desserts.

I also poured some into ice cream molds that curly tops is looking forward to having this afternoon 🙂

These are wholesome, rich and nourishing. 🙂

Pink green smoothie this morning

This morning I popped a banana, papaya, melon, frozen blueberries and strawberries into the blender. I then added a whole lotta green leaves (a mixture of spinach, beet, and coriander leaves). I blended it up and then remembered I had some goji berries which I tossed in together with bee pollen and flax seed oil. I needed to add some water to get the blender going and later on to thin it out. Curly tops is a great judge of taste because if its something that doesn’t taste good there’s no way she will drink it, and she did. The whole glass full 🙂

I wish I was able to use all organic ingredients. My greens were organic from the sultan center (yasmin farms and sultan farms products), the others were regular ones. I good tip I did pick up was to get into the habit of soaking all my fruits and veggies is vinegar water, wash them up in it to remove all the pesticides and then rinse with clean water before eating and cooking with.

 

Expat life- make it or break it

About 10 years ago, I was still a teen. A group of Canadian volunteers came to South Africa on an exchange programme where they were placed in various NGO’s for a year where they could make a difference, absorb a new culture and experience the adventure.

There were some who engulfed themselves in the rich African culture- they braided their hair, had sleep overs in African homes, tried out the notorious taxi services, danced to the African beat. They would have certainly enjoyed a good meal of pap and marogo, or maybe a braai with some perfectly spiced boerewors and chakalaka. And when their year had ended they were heartbroken, enriched, enlightened and more developed than a year before. They loved their expereinces thoroughly.

On the other hand there was this one lady that I recall. She was painful, in agony, depressed and miserable. She drained those around her with her complaints and negativity. “Back home things are like this”, “back home this is better”, “back home the public transport is effecient”, “back home…back home …..back home”. She could not wait for the time to come for her to get back home. I actually think she left before  her contract was up.

The differences between the above types of peeple are that those who enjoyed the adventure CHOSE to enjoy it. They chose to be POSITIVE. They CHOSE to make the BEST out of every situation they encountered and took it all in their stride. While the later CHOSE to be miserable, she CHOSE to look for the flaws and cracks in every situation. She CHOSE to leave one foot in Canada and the other one dragging to South Africa. If both your feet are in the same place, how can you be comfortable?

All these interns experienced similar things, the same culture and country but their outlooks were vastly different. And yet, hearing the two stories you may be certain they were sent to completely different areas. The incredible difference is the choice each made in how they would perceive to experience what they would.

Watching these interns as the year unfolded turned out to be one of the greatest lessons I would learn, a lesson that would teach me how to survive being an expat, where you become an unknown, you dive into something completely foreign. Its culture, its people, its rules and regulations, its norms and values. All very contrasting, some really frustrating, some extremely challenging from what feels normal and right to you.

I made the choice to make it work, to seek out its advantages, its pleasantries, its uniqueness and rise above the very challenges that would test me, break me and push my boundaries.

Now the expat life is not all rosy, as people back home assume. They assume you travel, spend, socialise, and live a life far beyond theirs. One of the greatest challenges is being away from family, especially in times of grief such as death, illness, etc. The other challenge is that in your home town you have established networks, a reptation and a name that poeple may know you and your capabilities by, whereas the expat needs to start from scratch to build up a reputation, and sometimes force themselves to get out there and unnaturally meet people, to form relationships.

However all these challenges are steps towards your own personal growth, pushing your own comfort zones, and seeing how much you can achieve without all the cushions padding you. It is an incredible feeling of achievement and sweetness.

You can choose to make your expat experience work for you for the duration you choose to be one. Find the fun, the adventure and the positive aspects because they are there if you allow yourself to find it. You may have to scratch beneath the surface but doing this is well worth it.