Thursday, 8 November 2012

A must-read

I just finished reading Elif Shafak's '40 rules of love'. Ms. Shafak's brings together the lives of people from 13th century Turkey and 21st century USA seamlessly, until the reader forgets where one ends and the other starts - and truth be told, it doesn't matter.
The book begins with exploring the life and beliefs of Ella Rubinstein, a woman who has turned 40 and who has a husband and 3 children and a financially stable life. She believes herself to be happy and at the same time, has started to question herself about her life. What more does she want? Why does she feel this sense of incompleteness? At this crucial juncture, she is given a manuscript to read and give her editorial comments. The manuscript titled 'Sweet Blasphemy' is by an new writer and is about the mystical relationship shared by the 13th century Sufi poet Rumi with his spiritual mentor Shams-i-Tabrizi.
Ella immediately feels a connect - both to the manuscript and to the writer - and she does something that shocks her: she emails the writer, a man she does not know. And thus, Ella sets off to discover the Rumi within her and in the process also finding her Shams. The book is about this journey - it is about self-discovery, it is about letting go of prejudices and about acceptance. Acceptance of both self and of the world around, for what it is.
This is truly one of the most enjoyable books I have read recently. Very engaging and powerful in its simplicity. As a Coach and Trainer, I found numerous messages that I can use in my training and coaching. It also drove home very powerfully to me again, the importance of accepting myself for who I am and for being non-judgemental about others. Why is the latter important? Because we are all on a journey and we are all on different stages of our journeys. I am not an authority on the journeys of others and I therefore am not an expert on the stages at which they are. My life's mantra of "Live and let live" has been reinforced.

Thursday, 5 May 2011

A creed to live be

Don’t undermine your worth by comparing yourself with others,
It is because we are different that each of us is special.
Don’t set your goals by what other people deem important,
Only you know what is best for you. 
Don’t take for granted the things closest to your heart
Cling to that as you would your life, for without them life is meaningless.

Don’t let your life slip through your fingers by living in the past or the future.
By living your life one day at a time, you live all the days of your life.
Don’t give up when you still have something to give
Nothing is really over … until the moment you stop trying.
Don’t be afraid to admit that you are less than perfect,
It is the fragile thread that binds us to each other.
Don’t be afraid to encounter risks,
It is by taking chances that we learn how to be brave.
Don’t shut love out of your life by saying it’s impossible to find.
The quickest way to receive love is to give love.
The fastest way to lose love is to hold on too tightly,
And the best way to keep love is to give it wings.
Don’t dismiss your Dreams. 
To be without dreams is to be without hope.
To be without hope is to be without purpose.
Don’t run through life so fast that you forget where you’ve been,
But also know where you’re going.
Life is not a race, but a journey to be savored every step of the way.

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Influence - by Joseph Norris

I came across this poem on 'Influence' written by Joesph Norris the other day. It has fulfilled its mission and influenced me deeply. I hope all of you, my dear readers, feel some empathy with these words too.

Drop a pebble in the water,
and its ripples reach out far;
and the sunbeams dancing on them
may reflect them to a star.

Give a smile to someone passing,
thereby making his morning glad;
it may greet you in the evening
when your own heart may be sad.

Do a deed of simple kindness;
though its end you may not see,
it may reach, like widening ripples
down a long eternity.