Thursday, September 30, 2010

Appreciate Little things in your life: Inspired by CLICK The Movie

Imagine that you have a universal remote able to control your entire universe. You can forward, rewind to different parts in your life; you can escape illness, boring meetings, repeated activities... Imagine that you can mute all the noise out there and all voices you don't want to hear. Imagine you can control everything: events, sounds, colours and all your life just by a CLICK. This Fantasia makes the daily life of an architect rolled by Adam Sandler (I am one of his fans by the way) and released June 2006. I deeply enjoyed watching the movie and kept thinking of the idea for a while. I end up convinced that CLICK was not fantasia it was very realistic. We click all the time; we miss life procrastinating. We do things while out hearts are somewhere else. We live but are we really alive?

The universal remote, that controls our universe, is obviously our mind which controls our entire life. The mind valuates and devaluates things; making some among them enjoyable and the rest extremely boring. All of this perception is a result of previous experiences; of things we have been taught and things we have come across. We decide on a daily basis which things are important and which things are not and we never come back to question our decisions. We repeat them unconsciously and we end up missing the great moments of life; we end up with similar days, similar weeks; similar years and a life missed for nothing.

Certainly, huge achievements, unique inventions and big projects are very essential to our self-esteem. But as human beings, we look always for more. Famous people, busy people, business men and international stars usually miss the simple things and admit that ‘life is in the little things’. Things that Michael Newman (Adam Sandler) fast forwarded to reach the 'good' parts in his life but he missed the whole experience.

Too often we underestimate the power of a smile, a touch, a kind word or a listening ear, all of which have the power to turn a life around
-- Leo Buscaglia

Washing your face in the morning could seem a foolish answer for happiness seekers. Yet, if the mind is present, if we are conscious and not bypassing what we think are ‘unpleasant parts', if we think of people who are captivated, people who have to cross miles just to get some water, people who cannot or are not... Washing one’s face in the morning has to be a real bless.

When you open your window in the early morning and take a deep breath; see the beautiful sky and say hello to singing birds (which sings whatever happens), appreciate the moment. Really, this is what life is all about. You will win Oscars, write novels, conquer enemies but nothing is more beautiful than the tender morning breeze on your skin.

Eat your food whatever it is and appreciate it; there are people who don't have food, who die because of starvation, there are people who cannot eat, there are very busy people who miss breakfast today and the day after, then everyday. Eat slowly and enjoy everything.

When you meet people smile to them even if the road is so crowded even if there is no way you reach your work enjoy that you have a car while other people have to cross miles in order to reach a school or work. Appreciate the moment; look throughout the window and you will notice that birds are still singing. Smile to your co-workers, complement them. People are very important to our wellbeing. Some researches suggest that offline life is an assurance for a balanced healthy life while an online life style with no sufficient human interaction could cause physical misbalance and even illness.

When you come back home; a bubble shower won't ruin anything. They will still homework, uncompleted work, duties, series and a dinner to prepare. Yet, a bubble shower is a way to say thank you for your body for standing all the day long also a good way to start doing all other urgent or important things, relaxed. Do everything in your life and especially little things with joy love and appreciation.

Too often we don’t realize
What we have until it is gone
Too often we wait too late to say
“I’m sorry – I was wrong.”

Sometimes it seems we hurt the ones
We hold dearest to our hearts
And we allow foolish things
To tear our lives apart.

Far too many times we let
Unimportant things into our minds
And then it’s usually too late
To see what made us blind.

So be sure that you let people know
How much they mean to you
Take that time to say the words
Before your time is through.

Be sure that you appreciate
Everything you’ve got
And be thankful for the little things
in life that mean a lot.

Source of the Poem

Sunday, September 26, 2010

My New Article on AssociatedContent: Be an Achiever, Not Only a Good Desicion Maker

The purpose of any decision making process is to come up with an appropriate choice at the right time. That is why, decision makers have to be well-informed about the subject, sharp thinkers, able to consider all possible consequences and never panic when the time left is logically not enough.

However, on a daily basis, every individual takes decisions. When we do decide to quit smoking or to enroll for workout, we have already bypassed the hardest part. After all, that is the most important part of any change process. Yet, that is not the common case. Generally, it is easy to decide which choice to make and what is the right thing to do. Making decisions could be easier for us than turning them into a reality.

No matter what is the resolution we take, deciding is a very strong state of consciousness. Yet many people turn into perfect decision makers; they decide to do millions of things, while they have never changed anything in their lives. However, the enthusiasm generated by any decision doesn't persist for the needed time to get touchable results. In other words, a decision is a very crucial moment but not a lasting one.

To Keep reading click here.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

My Daily Happiness Comittment: Inspirational Readings

When I was a little girl, my father bought me the whole collection of Joha's stories (جحا an Arabic fictional legendary figure who was famous for his anecdotes). I kept the collection, my little treasure, in a box. Every time I read a story, I made sure that I put it back into the box and I was counting them every night before I sleep. Sometimes, I feel that reading is in my DNA:) . I love books and libraries; just seeing a lot of books brings joy into my soul. However, throughout time I have become a selective reader. I choose what to read and plan for that. Reading too much is not my target; I don't want to fall a victim of information overload. It is more interesting for me to read slowly and get moved by what I read; to practise an idea is better than to read millions of ideas without moving forward.

I choose to read on a daily basis. And I guess my perfect reading routine is one book a week (If I don't consider reading for a specific purpose). Further, I enjoy reading articles, news items, reports, opinions...

For news, according to some surveys The New York Times is the most visited news site; I personally like to visit the site from time to time and check the headlines but most likely to read the opinion section. (My graduation research dealt with analysing opinion articles published in the New York Times site discussing the financial crisis). Still, my favourite news site is The Independent. When I surf the site, I feel that I am holding the newspaper between my hands. I don’t know what is the most special thing about it; maybe its long classical articles or its layout; but there is something about the Independent, I can smell the ink. Robert Fisk reports and opinion articles are the best.

In French, my favourite is Le Courrier International, I used to buy it frequently. Le Courrier International translates selected opinion articles into French. Therefore, you have the opportunity to read Der Spiegel (Germany), El Periódico de Catalunya(Spain), Mainichi Shimbun ( Japon) and definitely more without any language classes obligation. I also read Le Monde; that is classic. I don’t question it, I automatically like to read Le Monde.

I love to check some blogs too. I like ThinkSimpleNow I love many articles there. One of my favourite articles is Design your life. Aliventures is a great blog too especially that the writer did realize a dream similar to mine making a living writing. Dumb Little Man is a very interesting blog too, where different writers share their knowledge and motivational ideas. A Daring Adventure is a blog that I have come acroos lately and I like reading it. The common thing about all these blogs is that they are discussing ideas and tips to make life better and more enjoyable.

Life Changing readings:

If I have to make a list of books that have changed my life, The Secret will come on the top. Reading it was a life changing experience. I felt so motivated, inspired and literally 'the world is mine' moodJ

One of the great e-books that has an impact on my life too was How to be Happy and have Fun Changing the Wolrd; it is a very great e-book that is freely available online you can download it and enjoy reading it.

My Current Readings:

*Books: I am currently reading a phenomenal book : The Power of Now: A Guide To Spiritual Enlightenment.

*Articles: One article a day from ThinkSimpleNow blog and other blogs.

Making Reading A Habit:

Reading is already a habit for me. Yet, many people don’t read (especially in the Arab World). Committing to a reading schedule requires a welling and awareness of how much reading is beneficial. During a busy day, we are not likely going to consider time for reading, however reading time should be sacred. You can start by 20 minutes a day till you reach an hour. An hour reading a day is extremely enough if you are a very busy person. Only through time reading will become a habit. Unfortunately, some researches claim that only until the age of 12 parents could help their children develop a reading habit, after that it is quite difficult to do. Still, you can educate yourself at any age. In addition to any reading choices you make; add some inspirational and motivational reading to your schedule. Mind’s fuel is thoughts; when you read positively you feed your mind with positive thoughts and what will happen your mind will develop more positive thoughts. Everything you read will become useful sooner or later. You won't start reading, if you don't decide to do.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Tough Days Happen

It was a tough day. I hate it when I am the reason of my own pain. I hate not to be able to explain or answer the question : why you feel this way? I have not chosen it. It is something outside my control. Call it energy, unbalanced chakras, hormones, unreleased negative emotions, over planning... Whatever! I hate it when I lose control. But my worst day since months turned to be a blessing, eventually. I needed some time off, I needed to clear that space between my ears and ask again what really matters? Me sure, and a lot of things in the world.

I made it; I made it thru a tough day. And I smiled in the end. Yesterday and today, I felt so needy to meditate. I wanted to close my eyes and fall into me. A part of me thought I was running away and a part was convinced that I am courageous enough to drop into the ocean of my being and let myself fall.

I really need to fall; not to think or rethink of it millions of times.

I was going to cancel my engagements but I wanted to give tomorrow its chance. No day should be decided according to predictions. Tomorrow the sun will rise, the birds will sing and I can live a mystery I would regret missing. My today won't decide tomorrow. I will only let it teach me that sometimes I have nothing to do except watching it happening. I tried TV, chocolate, shower, talking to mom, talking to friends, but nothing changed. My heart kept playing his sad song.

I am definitely responsible for what I feel and what I do. However, today taught me that there are things I wouldn’t be able to control. Friends that leave and don't explain it, dreams that your mind gives up on them, peace in a world that believes wars are cheaper... Things happen, yet happen for a reason.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

An Unforgettable Road

There is a road in front of our house that I used to watch when I was young. Usually, it is quite dark and in the end of it there is light. I remember during high school, whenever I felt down, I just looked at it through the window and wonder "maybe there is a way out of this". I used to be thoughtful and inquisitive. I can turn a tiny thing into a philosophical issue and find myself dealing with an endless struggle. And that road was my only hope. It was like telling "tomorrow will be better and just don’t worry everything is ok".

I guess my road was right. ‘Tomorrow’ was much better. I figured out a way to become my best friend and that changed how I perceive life. Now, I don’t watch that road frequently. I have created a road that connect me with my inner world. I am not afraid anymore of judgment, success or failure. I can handle being a human being. I am more open and more interested in life. I don’t feel any more like I am witnessing it happening. I am in now. I live literally. I don’t watch the road because I am walking onto it. And walking the road of life is different from watching it.

Friday, September 17, 2010

My Daily Happiness Commitment: An Inspirational Morning

I like to read about happiness. It makes me happyJ If my Google account has ever been checked by the CIA, agents would have found that I Google happiness, self-development more than I Google Facebook. Accordingly, I come across an interesting title: The Happiness project : Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun, published in 2010. Gretchen Craft Rubin, the writer, assigned a goal for every month such us adopting a healthier life style. The project aims at helping her find happiness. I have a similar one. My project started last year but it is not about monthly goals. I wanted to make every single day of my life a successful day. And successful does not mean productive or effective to me. It means happy. A happy day is about finishing things that I know will make my life better and also to try new things and treat myself like a Princess. Shortly, I try to make my life better every day.

"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit." –Aristotle

I am convinced that the only way to live the life I want, is by creating a daily project. Reading, working out, writing … are habits that I am trying to bring into my life. It is easy to do something for one time, but it is hard to make it a habit. Habits are created when a change comes true.

What we chose to do on daily basis is what we chose to do on a lifetime. The only difference is that a lifetime happens once and a day happens every day. That is why; I am working on my day as a separate project. A day is not enough to read all the books that I want to read. That is true. But a day is not supposed to be enough to live a lifetime, a day is perfectly enough to live a single day.

I don’t count hours or minutes. I don’t write strict to-do-lists. Time is not wasted and never could be; we don’t own it to waste it, we don’t have it to give it up, we don’t possess it to spend it. Time is not ours; is a sort of space we live in. That is why; I shifted my focus into activities. I pick my daily activities according to three basic criteria: Fun, Self-development, and Career.

The most enjoyable and insightful part of a day is just when I wake up .That moment is the most special one, then come other moments. My new goal, sit last week, is to wake up early and have a morning spiritual ritual. I usually, practice yoga in the morning. Lately, I have been trying new exercises that mix yoga and stretching exercises and I find them very refreshing. After doing them I usually love to dance and hug life. However, the ritual I want to bring into my life is a little bit more ‘intense’. I know that ‘intense’ and ‘spirituality’ do not look like going together. But what I mean is a richer ritual which includes yoga, meditation, laughing, reading and breathing exercises. During the last week, I have been practicing waking up early. I know that a habit needs time. That is why; I call it ‘my daily happiness commitment’. Happiness has to start with a clear, enlightened mind!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

حربي الخاسرة

أنت مجرّد حطام متناثر
من حولي
أنت غبار أبيض يلتصق بخطوط الشّمس
أنت لا شيء
تجلس وسط نقاط متتالية
يرسمها كاتب ساخر

ألتقط ذرّات الهواء
بيدي هاتين
أطبق عليك
بلا معنى
تبقى وسط زحام القدر
مرسوما على يدي
أنت فراغ
بين الماء والزيت
مجرّد هامش في دفتر الرّسم القديم
مجرّد نقطة حبر تلطخ تنورتي
في مفترق الطّرق
أجدك علامة مرور منحنية
بسبب العاصفة
هذا المساء
هذا المساء
رقصت الرّيح كاسطوانة الجاز
اختبأت أنت تحت كومة من البابونج المغلي
لن أختلط مواد كيميائية مجردة
لن أتعفّن من البرد
لن أجلس قطعة جبن صفراء مثقوبة
أنا مقبلة عليك
سأصب عليك مزيدا من البابونج المغلي
أنت تنطفئ
وأنا أسقط زهرة ياسمين واحدة
من الطابق الخامس

أروى الكعلي

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

My Dreamy Girl

I am a visualization expert. It is like I was born with it. I picture myself in all situations, doing contradictory things, taking a different role every time. I have seen myself a billionaire, a top model, a writer, a teacher, an actress, even a hotel owner...Just leave me for five minutes and I will travel the world inside my imagination. My funniest one is to picture myself in a home built of sweet and chocolate. Regardless of how much I eat, it remains the same (renewable home:) Additionally, I love colored balloons and I love flying holding a green one or a rose one. To fly is my eternal dream. I love butterflies because they can fly (and because they are cute, soft and colored. It is true they live for a limited period of time but making me smile is worth living).

Dreams are beautiful (my dreams especially). Einstein, my smartest scientist, says "imagination is more important than knowledge". A brilliant quote isn't?? Imagination is wonderland, where things are not really things. A space where physics has nothing to prove, logic finds nothing sensible, and impossible, gently, commits suicide. It is a self-created space.

I call myself a lucky girl because every time I cannot have or do something, I imagine it. I love that my eyes show me a beautiful world and I love when I close them that I can see a magic world; I can see the real me.

My future belongs to me

Oh, I like to listen to some people deciding my life. You know those who tell you what is wrong and right and how you get everything done. Every single day in my beautiful life, I am discovering that my mind still holds restrictive thoughts. Sometimes I win; sometimes they win but in all times I can handle any result. If my own mind tells me that I cannot and I won’t, how about others; especially, if many among them have never tried to question their thoughts.

We have two eyes to come up with different perspectives, observing any situation. People’s eyes are there to remind us that there are millions of ways to perceive any given situation. They are there to help us to shift our personal viewpoint and enlarge our limited perspective. They are there to tell us that things could be done and dreams could be achieved. Still, they are not there to decide our life style or our happiness.

I have a plan for my life. I know exactly what will be my career, and my life. I know the whens the wheres and the whats. However, we are advisors by nature. It is powerful and enjoyable to tell others what they should do. It is a win-win situation. We pretend to have the answer and generously are giving it to everyone. If it makes their life better we win if it makes their life worse we still win. It is not our life anyway.

I am continuously defending my life, and my freedom. For those concerned with designing my life, thank you but my future belongs to me.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

مازال بإمكاني أن أصمت

مازال بإمكاني أن أصمت

أن أفرغ عالما منّي

على وهم أبيض

مازال بإمكاني أن أقرر


البقية هنا

I am an original human being and this is an official version of me

When I checked on her FB profile and blog and writings, it was obvious that she was copying me. I have noticed millions of times that she loves the books and writers I love or talk about, read the websites I, frequently, visit… Everything I say or do, she tries, automatically, to do it too. Definitely, I am not a perfect person and perfection has never been my goal. Still, I see myself a special person that keeps in mind a different perception of everything. A thing that, I usually call my craziness or crazy Arwa. Inevitably, her behavior made me feel uncomfortable. It was strange to see things I like or dislike adopted by someone else; it was like they are stolen from me or that another person is trying to live the life I possess.

Naturally, as humans we learn by imitation. Kids look so funny and intelligent when they sit beside their parents and do the exact things parents do. That is how we learn. Even learning a new language or a new exercise starts as an imitation. We have, merely; to copy our teacher’s pronunciation or trainer’s pushups. Then, practicing will do the rest. We are ‘mimic creatures’. We start by copying till we find our original path. However some people find it easier to copy and harder to decide what they want out of life.

Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken.” Oscar Wild

I find Oscar Wild’s expression “everyone else is taken” very funny and simple. Simple thoughts are, usually, the truest. Undoubtedly, everyone else is taken and the only one left is oneself. As such, her behavior and my permanent conviction (me being original) leave no other choice for me but to question my life and find out my real self.

‘I am’ are considered the most powerful words in English. Because they are a conscious decision of what you choose you are, you were and you will be. Simply, being myself, is not simple; it is simpler to copy. That is why, we learn by mimicry. Yet, all the things I am doing and have done are my personal choices. They are decided by me, at least consciously.

I love writing, I am not copying anyone. I know deep inside that this is my passion and my dream remains, whatever happens, to make a living writing. People think that this is impossible, people are who they are. I am original!

I love journalism. I chose journalism at a time when everyone around me told me it is a waste of time, a hard and worthless career. Until today, some people ask me _not genuinely sure_ did you find the journalism, you have dreamt of? Is this what you wanted? After studying journalism for 5 years, I admit this is me. I answer them saying “perfectly, no!” and I wait to see the smile of victory and glory. Oh they were right! However, I keep my smile for me. The real answer is: “Perfectly, no, it is better that I have ever dreamt of. It was the best decision in my life!” The last 5 years were the happiest in my life. And look at me now a master student and still happy J

I love to read books; they are magic. I stand speechless in front their wonder. My favorite writer is Paulo Coelho (the day I get a card signed from him, I was literally jumping). Sometimes, I wonder does he live inside my mind. How can he know exactly what I am thinking of? I have no answer. I just know he writes about me, he writes things that I want to write about, that I stand for, that I love. I find reading a fun way to grow. I also love to read for other writers and enjoy some blogs.

I love self-development. When I was 17, it was my first time to be introduced to this concept. No need to mention that it was a wakeup call. Nothing could describe self-development better than ‘everything is possible’.

Those are my biggest choices in life. Still, my craziness is connected to simple things. I have a way to do things. I paint, dance, smile, laugh, and even breathe my way. I did not invent writing, reading, self-development, journalism or anything else that I love (sure I invented opening my umbrella under sun, or jumping from a sit to another like kids, or screaming in forests or saying insane things to mom and dad, still even those things I did not technically invent). Though, I did not invent all of this, I invented my own way to do, live, experience them. I simply choose on a daily basis. My unique DNA and finger print are unique for a reason.

It is not; totally, wrong to imitate in order to learn from others. Yet, it is a waste of time to give up yourself and life to live someone else’s life and be another person.

I stopped checking on my friend to be sure if she is copying my last idea or not. I have different priorities now: celebrating my uniqueness and cultivating my OWN WAY of living.