The holy month is upon us and for many, they look forward to it, ready to delve in. For others, it is tough and they don’t get a well-rounded experience due to many reasons. Either way, here are a few things you can do to prepare for Ramadan as well as benefit from it fully and turn it into an experience of spirituality and self-discovery.
Turn your awareness inwards: Ramadan isn’t just a time to refrain from food and drink. It’s a time to refrain from judging others and having expectations from the world outside. Start to shift your awareness from the outside world, to the inside world of your mind and your heart. How do you speak? How do you react? How do you behave? Don’t judge yourself either but just bring awareness to what you do and how. Learn more about yourself inside out.
Add some mindfulness to the awareness: Once you’re aware of what you do and why, start to add mindfulness to the process. Speak as you speak, react as you do, behave as always but try doing so with mindfulness and conscientiousness. Take a moment before you act and make room for those two things. See what that shift creates. Are you happy with the effect? What else can you add mindfulness to? Your thoughts? Your daily activities, as simple as cooking maybe? Your prayers?
Cleanse your heart: As you turn your awareness inwards and try to bring mindfulness to what you do, have you noticed something recurring that you can’t get rid of? A certain trait you’re not happy with? If you could physically take out your heart and cleanse it from one thing, what would it be? The worst thing you can do is beat yourself up about it and judge yourself for it. When someone complains about something, the first thing we do is jump on that complaint and try to make it go away by just dealing with the complaint itself. What about the need behind the complaint? What about the why behind that trait you don’t like? Start there.
Add intention to your life: Another thing you can do is instead of navigating through your life running from one thing to the other, pause and realize the intention behind what you’re doing. It’s probably already there, you just need to voice it so that what you do becomes more enjoyable. Why are you getting the groceries today? Why are you completing that job report? Is it just another task you want to tick off your to-do list? Or could there be a deeper intention that you can unearth to bring more value to this? Are you getting groceries to prepare a meal made with love that you can share with someone in gratitude of your blessings? Are you completing that report to add more value to the project you’re working on so that it’s backed up by facts and figures to support what you do? Add intention to the breath you take, the food you eat, the work you do, the conversations you have and see for yourself how different you feel about these things.
Find the small things, and the big picture: They say life is in the details. Are you chasing happiness? Are you chasing a big goal that seems unachievable now? What about the small things? Are you paying attention to them? Just as you brought your awareness & mindfulness to what’s within you, now you can start doing the same thing to what’s outside. See things for what they really are. Find the happiness or whatever you seek through the small things, heading towards the big picture. Enjoy the journey itself as you break it down to bits and pieces, learning a lot along the way.
Practice all these things and bring them on your journey through the holy month of Ramadan and instead of worrying about when the sun will set so you can eat, you’ll have yourself a month of new perception, appreciation, cleansing, mindfulness and a lot more. At the end of which, you’re a different version of yourself, one that’s more true, empty of any malice, filled with goodness and magnanimity. Give it a try and let us know how it goes.
Blessings to all and Namaste, the light within me honors the light within you :)