Breath

As I stood in front of the kitchen window, completely lost in a labyrinth of thoughts which spun and knotted like an Escher lithograph, my hazed eyes fell upon the thick green leaves of the tree outside and focused unknowingly on their movement as the breeze blew through them.
I was mesmerised.
The gentle sway and buoyant motion of each leaf, and of the tree top as a whole, softly stirred me awake from the worldly, crazed, speeding coma I’d been surviving through every day.
Surviving.

Somewhere, deep inside, I knew there was a desire to ‘live’ and not just survive.


That moment stripped me back to the bare essence of what I was – a part of the Earth. I was the leaves as they danced, I was the wind as it meandered around every curve of bark, I was the tree as it stood grounded against space and time.

For a moment so short, I was a human essence, a part of His wondrous creation, and every worldly worry spilled away from my being. “I’m here”.
I connected with the very breath that the Earth took in, and inhaled every breath it gave out.
This is what we are at our foundations, we are souls – boundless and timeless.

My phone vibrated on the table beside me and pulled me back into that worldly life, but did you know… sometimes it’s the short, simple but bounteous moments like those that help to reset our state of mind.
There is beauty in simplicity, and there is life.

I pray that all of your days be filled with such awakening and precious moments.

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Internal Supernova

We need more truth in the world – be it hurtful or affectionate, a painful truth is better than a beautiful lie. In the long run, it is more beneficial for all involved.
Words can have a powerful impact on others, however, without any actions or foundation to make those words binding, words can also be heart breaking.

 

To hear empty words can be more soul-shattering than never having heard them.

 

We live in a world of false ‘I love you’s, false gratitude’s, false comraderies and false promises.

 

Many people live in a state of constant silent pain due to being surrounded by people who claim to love them, and yet feel more lonely than they would have without those people around.

Many people pretend that everything is ok, and utter words of affection they truly, deep down, do not believe – however, deep down, they also know that the person they are saying this to knows… The ears can hear something, the mind can register it, the heart can even hope it to be true… but the soul (from where spouts that raw, pure instinct) can taste the bitterness of those empty words.
Yet, false smiles mean deeper heart ache for longer.

 

To be told a bitter, painful truth can cause soul-shattering pain for a while… but to live a lie is to live a torturous death every day. You lose who you truly are, and live in a constant state of insecurity, loneliness and darkness.

 

If the truth means to hold on tight, then hold on like it means your life, and if it means to let go and set one another free, then do so, so that both sides have a chance to find a place that they can truly feel loved, wanted and at ‘home’.

 

Also, we need to stop kidding ourselves. We do not hold on in empty, false relationships (of whatever kind) to avoid ‘hurting the other(s)’ involved… it’s done because we become cowards. We are afraid of change, we are afraid of a life where you don’t have even a false place to feel ‘there’, we’re scared of not feeling wanted (even if it is to be false), we are afraid of not being able to find that home.
But the truth of the matter is… you never had one to begin with.

 

I ask you all, dig deep within yourselves – touch those parts of your soul that burn your essence so that you may discover the truth – and ask yourself if it is true.
If you can honestly say with your heart and soul that it is, then tell them. To those whom you love that you love them.
Due to fights, arguments, distance, silence and more, people can become afraid to utter words of love or affection in fear of getting hurt – it’s a defence mechanism… but love is not supposed to be a war, my dears. If your walls are going up, then allow that love to bring them down.
Before it gets to that point where lack of affection causes the loss of all feeling, tell them.

If your soul tells you, an echo from deep inside, that it is not true… then tell them.
This may sound hurtful, horrible, even cruel, but what’s even more cruel is for someone to live on in a deception of being loved when they are not.
Allow your souls to speak now, so that decades are not wasted in a limbo of heartache and pain.

 

I have always been some to promote love and unity, but by saying the above it does not mean I am doing the opposite. If anything, exposing a truth allows for people to break those chains that were often hidden away or avoided, and set themselves free.

Love is such an easy word to throw around nowadays… but just because it’s used often, doesn’t mean that it should lose its true meaning.

 

There is no love without respect, without trust, and without honesty.

 

If you truly love someone, then tell them, and allow it to show through your words, your tone, your actions and your convictions.

 

Heart supernova.jpg

(Image from Space.com)

The Search for Beauty – Contemplation of a Child

Child – What is beauty?
Me – Beauty is, in essence, a reflection of the radiation of the light of your soul. It is the strength to conjure within ourselves the courage to stand by what is just and true, including our true selves.
It is a reflection of you.

Child – Hmm… what does it look like?
Me – It looks like shooting stars! They may leave momentary ‘scars’ across the blanket of the sky, but they shine so brightly that it leaves you speechless! It’s that twinkle you get in your eye when you find your heart feeling exhilarated – and that twinkle is also a reflection of you!

Child – Where can I find it?
Me – Anywhere that we look hard enough. It’s like going on a treasure hunt! When you set off in search of good things, they tend to find you instead! Just look hard enough!

Child – How do you ‘know’ that something is truly beautiful though?
Me – You don’t! You just feel it! Even if others may not see it as beautiful, as long as you do, that’s all that matters.

Child – Ukhti (‘sister’ in Arabic)? … How can I become beautiful?
Me – My love, you already are!

 

Looking for beauty

© Naziyah Mahmood, 2016.

I Am Me

To the lady who, out of ‘care’, said I shouldn’t be wasting my time on ‘fighting, sticks and swords’ because it’s not something a girl should be doing – thank you for your care, but I do not need your permission to do the things I love. If me empowering myself is something that is strange to your social norms for what ‘girl’s should and shouldn’t be doing’, then I’m happy to be the one who shakes your world.

To the misogynist who smiled and oh-so confidently said that my love for the sciences is only a fad, and that my academic and industrial experiences in the fields of space systems, aerospace engineering and astrophysics were only ‘decorative’ – I do not need your approval to carry on with my interests in these fields, or to feel a sense of worth in my accomplishments. Oh, also, for someone who so happily put it down to ‘a girl being given the easy route’, I went through more hardships to get to where I am than you can probably comprehend. I am proud of the work I have done in these fields.
(P.S. In one of your recent posts, you made a HUGE blunder in your calculation of a Schwarzschild radius by using 2c instead of c^2 – just thought I’d point that out, not that ‘I’ know anything about astrophysics though, right?)

To the person who said that my hijab doesn’t reflect my ‘British’ culture – I do not need your approval or your permission upon how I dress. I am from an incredibly varied background and sit on a line between many cultures. I have the freedom do dress how I like since my hijab isn’t out to offend anyone. Is it going to jump off my head and strangle you?
If I want to dress like a Jedi, then I will. If I chose to wear a panda outfit, good on me. If I, as I normally do, ‘compliment’ my martial arts uniform with something that represents my belief and who I am, then I will do so. Don’t worry, it will match and I will rock that look.

Most of all… to the media that seems to have created a new stereotype of what ‘modern’ Muslim women should be like – the ones who should jump to apologize for every act of terrorism or crime that has nothing to do with them, the ones who need to prove themselves in their community as an adequate British civilian by trying harder than the rest, and the ones who have to drape their national colours over their heads – I do NOT need your permission or approval to live. What you have done is create a new set of rules of “how you can be more British and integrate with society” for a large group of people who are ALREADY a part of society. YOU demonize them, then command them to behave in a certain way to ‘re-integrate’ into the world they were already living normally in.
The colour of my skin, the clothes that I wear or my cultural background is not a reason to create a new set of rules for me if I’m already living peacefully just like everyone else.

As long as I’m not hurting anyone, I will exist as I wish to exist, do what I want to do and be who I want to be.
If that scares you, guess what? I don’t need your permission for any of that, so get used to it.

Stop putting people in boxes.
I AM ME. DEAL WITH IT.

 

B

(Photograph by Linda Macpherson)