My favourite time of the year and why it means more than just fasting. Ramadan. The blessed month. Many people know it as a time in which Muslims around the world fast from dawn to dusk. But it means so much more. For me, it’s a time for reflection and change.
Rise: I’m by nature not a morning person. I’ve found that early to rise and early to bed leads to a more productive day. On a spiritual level rising early for morning prayers means a more centered me.
Ponder: An attitude of gratitude can really change the way you look at the big picture. It means taking time to recognise the good. It’s so easy to let the negative and painful moments in our lives overshadow moments of joy and happiness. Oprah refers to it as ‘the power and pleasure of being grateful.’ As hard as it may sometimes be I’ve found that allowing myself the time to relish and savour the good in a day lends to a more positive and healthier attitude. I love Elizabeth Gilberts’, of Eat, Pray, Love and Big Magic fame’s approach to recording her moments of gratitude. She uses a ‘Happiness Jar,’ where she slips in little notes everyday. It not only serves as a means of journalising your moments of gratitude but also has the lasting benefits of recording that moment forever, to be savoured and appreciated. I’m going to be starting my happiness jar this week.
Seek: To seek change is easier said than done. But in Ramadan, without some distractions, it’s a little easier. I’ve found it to be the best time to make little changes which have lasting effects. This year the happiness jar and prioritising time in the day, even if it’s 15 minutes, for spiritual upliftment is the change I seek.
Nurture: I speak of Ramadan as a time for change. But the reality is that it’s so easy to get overwhelmed in the everyday. Work, kids and life in general makes it easy to forget good intentions, but to effect change, the little steps I take everyday need to be nurtured for it to be lasting.
This is my Ramadan. I hope that all of you who are fasting have a blessed month filled with moments of positive change.
Do you use a gratitude journal or plan to do so? I would love to hear about it.