26 November 2015

happy me, happy kids

“kids who have happy parents are more likely to be happy. That's pretty awesome motivation to figure out how to be happier” 

I read this on a blog yesterday, and thought, Yes! It is definitely awesome motivation to figure out how to be happier. I remember being pregnant, and being constantly told, ‘be happy, think good thoughts, it will affect your child!' 

With every fibre of my being, I want my children to be happy, to see wonder everywhere, to create their own joy and let misfortune wash off their backs easily. I was an anxious and timid child, and I don’t want my kids to go down that path. 

This article in time magazine is super helpful, listing 10 steps on raising happy kids, with lots of additional links. It’s long, but worth a read. The list of 10 steps is repeated at the end in brief, in case you are as overwhelmed with info as I was! Moreover, the steps are likely to make both parents and children happier :P 

The things I will try: 
Teach (and practice) gratitude 
Praise effort rather than achievement 
Teach (and practice) optimism 
Active listening and labeling 
More play time 
More laughter 

this poster/infographic on the same topic is also cute and informative. 

24 November 2015


after climbing into his school bus, m will turn around without fail, wave at me and say 'bye mumma', with the sweetest grin, before ambling off to his seat. his enthusiasm is infectious, and i always wave off the bus with a responding smile.. that moment always elicits an 'alhumdolillah for these two beautiful blessings in my life'.. the smile carries me home, until i am back to the grind.

this past weekend i realized that i would not be able to carry the twins for much longer. tall, their legs already reach my knees when they are in my arms. carrying them since birth, i cannot fathom what this means right now.. sure, all kids outgrow being carried, but i did not expect this moment to come so soon. i still have some time, and i will be more conscious about it.. if i could just pause time a little..

H and i have started taking sabaq (religious classes).. not only am i happy for myself, but i am excited to share this religious journey with my spouse. i see it as a way to grow, individually and as a couple. Getting closer to allah is surely the purpose of this life, and doing that together with my partner is bliss.


20 November 2015

namaste; let's be human!

I am reading the sandalwood tree by elle newmark, which is a novel with two sets of stories, 100 years apart. An American woman in India during partition learns the story of two women living in the same town during the 1850s. as I read about the partition and its violence, I am struck by how little things have changed in today’s India. the following lines, “when you create borders based on ideology you create a reason to fight. When you live side by side, you create a reason to get along”, said by one of the characters about partition, really struck me.

Why is it that with so much history of violence and discontent before us, we humans have yet to learn how to live together in peace??

This wonderful poster is making the rounds on facebook, but world governments and extremists remain clueless. ‘other’ needs to be deconstructed. I am you, and you are me. And we are all god’s creation.

The Indian greeting ‘namaste’ means ‘the god/divine in me bows to the god/divine in you’. If only we could internalize this, live it out every moment.

17 November 2015

enjoying the moment

Since the twins, I find it quite difficult to live in the moment. While I have always been the kind of person who post analyzes everything, the twins have triggered a crazy loop of constant to do and worry lists. I also find it hard to just overlook the kids' crankiness and tantrums and enjoy myself.. This was particularly the case on our recent five day trip to Goa.  traveling with kids is hard, traveling with kids and another family requires even more juggling and patience and good humour.

Now, back home and in my own space, I will say that the trip was an overall success, with equal amounts of laughter and crankiness (kids’). In the moments of crankiness however, I was wondering why on earth we thought this might be a good idea..

Now I fondly recall the beautiful beaches, the sunsets, the kids laughter as they splashed in the pool or jumped at the waves in the sea.. the crying, the tantrums, the throwing up are just minor blips on a huge landscape.. why is it that I cannot see that when I am in that moment??

With my twins being three, I can foresee that this will be the case in many many more future trips. So what can I do to enjoy myself more in the moment??


02 November 2015

each day counts

Just before coming across this image on fb (from mentors channel), I had been planning to have a few hours of relaxation, reading and mindless internet surfing. Suddenly, it all seemed quite trivial in exchange for ‘one day of my life’.

On the other hand, every life needs relaxation. Books, movies, articles, quotes are all part of what make up life experience. So perhaps balance is the key.

The idea of exchanging your time and emotions for other things is important. If every minute of my day/life counts, then how many minutes are wasted in feeling anger/guilt/sadness, in thinking about doing something rather than just doing it, in being mean rather than kind, in pushing someone away?

This quote inspires me to be a better person, take more responsibility for how I spend my time on this earth. It reminds me of one of my favourite Rumi poems:

On Resurrection Day God will ask,
“During this reprieve I gave you,
what have you produced for Me?
Through what work have you reached your life’s end?
Your food and your strength, for what have they been consumed?
Where have you dimmed the luster of your eyes?
Where have you dissipated your five senses?
You have expended eyes and ears and intellect
and the pure celestial substances;
what have you purchased from the earth?
I gave you hands and feet as spade and mattock
for tilling the soil of good works,
when did they by themselves become existent?”

Which also reminds me that I have not read poetry for so long! Must remedy this immediately!