shine your light

Embrace being the person who genuinely cares. Step up, be the one who’s always ready to put in the hard yards, the one who isn’t afraid to love passionately and unreservedly. Allow yourself to be the person who wears their heart on their sleeve, who never runs from the depth of their emotions or the fervor of their hopes.

Stand as the person who has faith in the world’s tender side, in the gentle whispers of humanity that sometimes get drowned out in the noise. Be the beacon, the one who lights the way, who perseveres even when the going gets tough.

Be that person who makes others feel visible, the person who’s always present when needed. Take it from me, embody the persona of the one who truly cares. Because our world is starved of genuine concern, it’s tired of disinterest and indifference; and believe me, there’s nothing more formidable than someone who remains compassionate and soft-hearted in a world that hasn’t always reciprocated kindness.

In a world that often seems callous, be the exception. Be the person who cares and watch how you light up the world around you.

mortal mettle

Like a shipwrecked vessel adrift at sea, our earthly lives are but a fleeting voyage. As transient travelers treading the sands of time, we journey together under endless skies, our footprints traced temporarily along the shores of eternity. Though our mortal shells erode, our spirits sail on. (Photographed and styled by The Border of a Mind Studios from a beach in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates)

We all try to avoid thinking about it, but death comes for us all eventually. Though it makes us uncomfortable, reflecting on our mortality can inspire us to live more purposefully. When the clock of life stops ticking, fret not about the lifeless body you leave behind. Your loved ones will take good care of it—they’ll dress you up nicely in a white shroud before sending you off on your final journey.

Many will come to see you off – some taking time off work, others rearranging plans. They’ll stand around chatting like at a high school reunion before you set off on your last journey.

Your possessions – that Ukulele lying around you never learned to play, the fancy plates at home you never used, the clothes that hung unworn in your closet – they’ll all be passed on, sold off, or tossed out quicker than last night’s leftovers. The details of your material life will go on without you.

At the office, they’ll have your replacement before your obituary hits the papers. Your workload will be passed on seamlessly like a baton in a relay race.

Your finances and assets will go to your next of kin. Don’t be surprised if you continue to be analyzed and criticized even in death – people always have opinions, after all.

True friends will mourn you for a time, shedding tears over memories you made together. But the river of life keeps flowing, and they’ll soon be back to their routines. As for fairweather friends, they’ll forget you faster than a fleeting TikTok trend.

Your pets might tilt their heads confused, wondering where you went, but they’ll bond with their new owners soon enough. Loyalty has its limits.

Your smiling face in those photos on the mantle will gather dust, gradually relegated to boxes in the attic to fade from memory.

Your home will echo with emptiness for a while, but will soon be filled with the noise of someone else living your life.

In time, the pain will subside, the calls will taper off, and you’ll become just another name etched into stone, a distant memory.

For you, though, the real adventure is just beginning. A new phase of existence where worldly possessions and status symbols are meaningless. Where you take only what you gave – your compassion, wisdom, and light.

While you glance at these writings, let us remind each other to live and love fully now. Build spiritual wealth by touching lives. That’s the only currency that lasts. Make your mark on this world, because your chance is finite. But your soul is infinite.

human glow

Grains of wonder, speckled remnants of discoveries made along the shoreline. Tiny treasures cling to Ehan’s small toes, each step a keepsake of joyful play by the sea.

You know those little unfiltered moments that feel so human and real? I’m obsessed. The messy morning hair, the big yawns when you first wake up, the way your shirt rides up when you stretch. How the wind playfully tussles your locks when you’re outside. The kind of full-bellied laugh that makes your eyes water. Sleepy, dreamy eyes that say you stayed up too late talking. The butterflies in your stomach when you have a crush. An innocent smile that keeps growing into laughter until you’re crying happy tears. Bumping shoulders with someone as you walk side-by-side unable to contain your excitement. Blushing and stumbling over your words when you get all giddy. Those rare times when we can just be our true, unguarded selves, without pretense or self-consciousness. Just pure, raw, natural human moments. We don’t appreciate these fleeting instants enough. It’s the unfiltered realness of people that makes me fall in love with humanity.

the trek within

In the darkest valley, when all seems lost and failure looms, success flickers in the act of rising once again. In waking at despair’s midnight, abandoned and impoverished, and finding the will to face the coming dawn. Every new day survived is a small success. Original photograph by Nasna Nassir. Styled by Ajmal,

The road to success is not a straightforward highway to a glittering destination, but rather a winding footpath through darkened woods, lit only by the inner sparks of courage. No wise guide sets the course, each must follow their own inner compass.

For one lost in a fog of a drinking addiction, success may be a week freed from drink, a first glimpse of sunlight. For another trapped in creative drought, success could be three pages written after months adrift in a sea of blank pages. To someone recovering from illness, success may be simply taking six steps unaided, after legs long robbed of their strength. Success is not crossing the finish line but taking the next step, however faltering, on the onward trail.

Success isn’t about the sparkling Ferrari in your driveway, or the penthouse with a view. It’s not about the designer shoes that line your closet or the VIP contacts in your shiny new maxed out phone. It’s not about the Instagram-worthy photos of your family vacation in Bora Bora or the sprawling vacation home in Cape Cod. True success dazzles not in manifestations of wealth that fade like stars at dawn, but rather glitters in small precious gems of everyday life. In a child’s smile, a lover’s kiss, the quiet satisfaction of work done well. It blooms when one tends the garden of their character, watering discipline and nourishing perseverance. Success is about finding the strength to rise, like a phoenix from the ashes, when you’ve hit rock bottom. It’s about staring into the abyss, when everything feels like a dead end, and choosing to take that first step back towards the light. You see, success is not about the glitz and glamour. It’s about resilience, perseverance, and the audacity to keep on keeping on, even when everything feels lost.

In the darkest valley, when all seems lost and failure looms, success flickers in the act of rising once again. In waking at despair’s midnight, abandoned and impoverished, and finding the will to face the coming dawn. Every new day survived is a small success. Each breath, each tiny act of courage to march onward – that is the true measure. For when all is shadows, the next step is everything. Success isn’t a destination, it’s a journey. It’s not about reaching the top of the mountain, but the climb itself. It’s about the grit, the sweat, the tears, and the laughter along the way. It’s about standing tall, dusting yourself off, and being able to say, “I’m still here. I’m still fighting.” Now, isn’t that something?

sunset strolls

The amber glow of the setting sun stretches across the sky as my son and I step out onto the corridors. His tiny hand slips into mine, those perfect little fingers curling trustingly around my own. With our first steps, I feel the brush of his tiny fingernails against my skin. How many small discoveries has he made just today, hand-in-hand with his dad? For him, the world is an endless horizon of wonder yet to be explored.

I’m reminded of a treasured childhood memory that my own father recently shared with me. He described how he used to walk with his father, my grandfather, when he was just a young boy. Together they would set out on adventures, my father’s tiny hand clutching my grandfather’s weathered fingers. As they walked, my father would run his small fingers over my grandfather’s nails, tracing the contours and creases earned through years of hard work. For my father, those nails represented security and guidance. My grandfather’s hand was his anchor as he took his first steps into the vast world unfolding before him.

Decades later, as my grandfather took his final breaths, my father narrates that was overcome with the urge to once again feel those familiar fingernails. He reached for my grandfather’s hand and cradled it tenderly in his own. In that instant, he was transported back to his childhood when the world brimmed with promise and potential. Though it pained him beyond words to lose his father, my grandfather’s wisdom and empathy would persist through his son and future generations.

As I watch my young son experience each new sunset as a marvel, I’m filled with immense gratitude. One day, if I’m fortunate, he may walk with his own child in this same way, their tiny hand discovering the world while anchored securely in his. And one day, though my son will never meet him, a faint glimmer of my grandfather’s spark will glow within that child, lighting their way through new horizons, God willing.

For now, I give my son’s hand a gentle, knowing squeeze as the sun dips below the skyline. In his eyes, I see his grandfather’s spirit, that untarnished sense of awe and wonder. And in my heart, I offer up a quiet thank you – both for this present moment, and for all the future sunsets we have yet to witness together, again by the will of God. Each moment has a story and a memory to kindle. Never let a day pass without being in awe and grateful for whatever you’ve experienced on that day.

escape artist within

Imagine this: you wake up one morning, feeling restless and bored. You check your phone, hoping to find something interesting or exciting to do. But all you see are the same old messages, emails, notifications, and news. You sigh and get out of bed, dragging yourself to the bathroom. You brush your teeth, take a shower, and get dressed. You look at yourself in the mirror, wondering if this is all there is to life.

You go to work, where you spend hours doing tasks that don’t inspire you or challenge you. You deal with deadlines, meetings, emails, and calls. You try to be productive and efficient, but you feel like you’re just going through the motions. You don’t have any passion or purpose for what you do. You’re just doing it because you have to.

You come home, feeling tired and drained. You eat dinner, watch some TV, browse some social media, and maybe read a book or play a game. You try to relax and unwind, but you feel like you’re just wasting time. You don’t have any hobbies or interests that make you happy or fulfilled. You’re just doing it because you have nothing else to do.

You go to bed, hoping to fall asleep quickly and forget about your boring day. But as you lie in the dark, you can’t help but think: is this it? Is this what life is supposed to be like? Is this what I’m supposed to do for the rest of my days? You feel trapped and hopeless. You want to escape, but you don’t know how.

Does this sound familiar? If so, you’re not alone. Many people feel like they’re stuck in a rut, living a life that doesn’t match their true desires or potential. They feel like they’re missing out on something more meaningful and satisfying. They feel like they’re living someone else’s life, not their own.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. You can escape from this cycle of boredom and discontentment. You can create a life that is aligned with your authentic self and your deepest passions. You can live a life that is rich and rewarding, full of joy and adventure within your soul. No one else can do it for us. This is a repurposing that should happen within us.

Below is a mind map that might help.

Brush strokes of my 2 year old son | archives of The Border Of a Mind

First, you must find your why. You must ask yourself what is the reason for your existence, what is the meaning of your life, what is the dream that you have in your heart. You must listen to your soul, not to your mind or to others. You must find your passion, your purpose, and your joy.

Second, you must make a plan. You must decide how you will pursue your why, how you will achieve your dream, how you will live according to your values. You must be realistic, but not pessimistic. You must be flexible, but not indecisive. You must be courageous, but not reckless.

Third, you must take action. You must start moving towards your why, even if you don’t know all the details or all the risks. You must trust in the signs and the synchronicities that the universe will send you along the way. You must overcome the obstacles and the fears that will try to stop you. You must follow your intuition and your heart.

Fourth, you must enjoy the journey. You must not focus only on the destination or the result, but also on the process and the experience. You must not compare yourself to others or judge yourself too harshly, but also appreciate your progress and your growth. You must not stress over the problems or the challenges, but also celebrate the beauty and the wonder of life.

I hope this post inspires you to take the first step today.
Remember that you are not alone in this journey.

being tender

In the rush of life, we immerse ourselves in, it seems that tenderness has become a rare and precious commodity. We often forget the value of being kind and gentle, like the soft skin on our eyelids. Tenderness is a sweet collision of emotions that encompasses vulnerability, love, caring, kindness, hope, and warmth. It is an experience that we all crave and need.

The beauty of tenderness is found in the smallest things we do. It can be manifested in the way we kiss with a loved one, how we peel a banana, turn the pages of a book, or brush a hair off someone’s forehead. When we do something tenderly, we slow down, relish the moment, and find unexpected pleasure in the little things.

Tenderness is also about listening, empathizing, and understanding. It is about being present, holding someone’s hand, feeling their pain, and offering comfort. In today’s world, where even the smallest aspects can ensue into something to be anxious about, tenderness is especially important.

Let us take a moment to pause and appreciate the tenderness in our lives. Let us embrace the beauty of vulnerability and love, and be kind, gentle, and caring towards ourselves and others. In a world that can be cold and harsh, a little tenderness can go a long way in healing our souls. Let’s go.

fleeting intersections

the uncredited multitudes, whose names we neglect as we leave the theater, collectively create the movie’s essence. So too in our lives

As I traverse through the three and a half decades of my existence, I grapple with the transient nature of human connections. It is a reality that eludes romanticism or poetic grace. To those who have traversed my life’s path and those yet to do so: My love is yours. My longing, unending. Should you ever yearn for a return to me, you shall find the rear entrance unlocked.

In the world of cinema, it is not the musical accompaniment that entices the audience, yet it remains an indispensable element in enriching our visual and emotional experience at the theatre. So too, in life, are the myriad souls who subtly enhance our existence, though they may not occupy the limelight. The Careem cabbie suffusing your commute with good cheer. The office attendant who grasps the precise alchemy for your tea and coffee. The building maintenance expert who diligently rectifies an issue that has been gnawing at you. The familiar autorickshaw driver gifting you a hometown mango without embarrassment. The pediatrician offering a lolly pop to your toddler son after a checkup. The pharmacist who devotes extra moments to elucidate a doctor’s prescription with tenderness. In life, as in film, we focus on the stars – our lovers, family, friends. Yet the uncredited multitudes, whose names we neglect as we leave the theater, collectively create the movie’s essence. So too in our lives. Yet, it is those unsung heroes, whose names blur into the background as we exit the theater of life, that contribute to the wholeness of our life’s narrative. Think about it for a while.

contemplating the inner mirror

“A thought is a veil, not a reflection; thus, you dwell within a cocoon of thoughts, disconnected from the essence of Reality.” | Photographed and styled by The Border of a Mind

The reflective nature of existence

In the words of an insightful philosopher: “Why fear thoughts? For it is through them that we bring order to the world.” Yet, the very act of thinking has the power to veil reality so completely that we become blind to it.

In imparting wisdom to his disciples, he elucidated: “A thought is a veil, not a reflection; thus, you dwell within a cocoon of thoughts, disconnected from the essence of Reality.” This charming allegory by Anthony de Mello highlights the profound truth; life is a prism reflecting the depth of your inner thoughts.

Individuals often attribute their tribulations to external circumstances, endeavoring fruitlessly to transform their surroundings in the hopes of ameliorating their lives. This approach seldom yields success, as their thoughts remain incongruent. What the mind envisions materializes, regardless of one’s desires.

Life, as a mirror, reflects your very essence back to you.

Perceiving the World Through the Self

The world, as we perceive it, is not an objective reality but rather a reflection of our inner selves. If you perceive the world as precarious, you will seek evidence to validate this belief, perhaps by focusing on distressing news stories that confirm your convictions.

“Our environment, the world in which we live and work, is a mirror of our attitudes and expectations.”

— Earl Nightingale

Conversely, some individuals embrace the beauty of life, attracting delightful experiences as a consequence. These people are not naïvely optimistic, but rather prioritize joy in the face of adversity. Thus, we observe two distinct individuals manifesting dissimilar circumstances, driven by their prevailing beliefs dictating their reality.

The Malleability of Thought and Experience

Continuously, your conscious and unconscious thoughts shape the world around you, as reality becomes a mirror reflecting your inner realm. Should your thoughts be distorted, it is imperative to realign them with the truth. Failing to do so may lead you into the abyss of despair.

The power of choice lies within you. Reality manifests external conditions in accordance with your thoughts. Life is neither fair nor unjust; it merely confirms your thoughts as both the creator and the experiencer.

As our perception of life is an experience of thought, overthinking complicates our existence, constricting the aperture of our consciousness. Soon, all we discern when peering into the world is our own thinking mirrored back to us in the distorted reflection of self-awareness.

Embracing the Duality of Life ,the Illusion of Free Will

“The wise man smiles in adversity, gathers strength from distress, and becomes courageous through reflection.”

— Thomas Paine

Life flourishes due to its dualistic nature, comprising equal and opposite forces. Day yields to night, each complementing the other. Without darkness, how could one appreciate the light of day?

Many individuals ardently defend the concept of free will, yet it could be argued that free will is an illusion, veiling our unconscious beliefs as choices. Your decisions stem from ingrained beliefs established during your formative years, when your environment was outside of your control.

Life offers feedback regarding the congruence of your thoughts, enabling you to take corrective action. Consider your external environment as a reflection of your inner landscape. When observing an external event or situation, delve within to uncover the parallel, the connection.

Embracing Personal Growth

Many hold fast to the idea that their thoughts are unchangeable. This belief is flawed, as countless individuals have triumphed over limiting beliefs to forge empowering lives. Your existence is a tapestry woven from outcomes, symbols, and shadows. Positive and negative moments exist only in the meaning you attribute to them. Reality provides feedback to guide you in amending your course and constructing new circumstances based on a shift in awareness.

Personal development and self-improvement serve as the catalyst for enduring transformation, provided you commit to the inner work.

The impediment becomes the pathway.

The journey reveals the way.

The world is a reflection of your mind. If chaos and confusion reign within, your external world must mirror that. You must perceive what you believe, for you are the confounded thinker, the interpreter of all things. If chaos abounds within you, the sights and sounds you encounter will echo that chaos.

Life is the manifestation of your innermost thoughts and I truly believe this is where we can connect with the Almighty.

God bless.

Embracing Life’s Gifts: Transcending Boredom, Adversity, Discontent, and Overwhelm with Gratitude

In the spirit of expressing thankfulness for the blessings that enrich our lives, let us delve into the art of cultivating gratitude on a profound level. While the concept of “gratitude” might appear cliché or mundane to some, there is a deeper significance to this practice that can transform our lives, making them more fulfilling and abundant.

Let us explore a few scenarios to better understand this transformative power.

The Antidote to Inner Boredom

Gratitude can be the remedy for boredom. Imagine a moment where you disconnect from all forms of technology, sit outside without any form of entertainment or engagement, and simply exist. Such a scenario might initially seem unproductive or dull. However, this perception stems from our lack of attentiveness and appreciation for the present moment.

By shifting our focus to the sensations within our body, the rhythm of our breath, the interplay of light and shadow, and the intricate dance of life unfolding before us, we can attune ourselves to the inherent beauty and wonder of existence. As our awareness deepens, so too does our appreciation for the precious gift that is life. In this way, gratitude triumphs over boredom.

Navigating Adversity

Challenging situations often evoke feelings of frustration or unhappiness. Although it is natural to experience such emotions, we can employ gratitude to reframe our perspective on these difficulties. By appreciating the potential for growth and learning within each challenge, we can view adversity as a gift rather than a burden.

For instance, we can be thankful for the relationships in our lives, as they afford opportunities to develop patience and communication skills. A difficult coworker or family member can become an unwitting mentor, guiding us towards personal growth and strength. Similarly, the loss of a job can be reframed as an invitation to reinvent ourselves, acquire new skills, and embark on a fresh career path.

Even in the face of health struggles or the loss of a loved one, gratitude can be found. We can celebrate the time shared with those who have departed, and cherish the remaining connections in our lives. While pain and grief are inherent to the human experience, gratitude can help us navigate these challenges with grace and resilience.

Dissolving Discontent

A pervasive sense of discontent often arises from the habit of complaining about our circumstances or the actions of others. Unbeknownst to many, resentment is a subtle form of complaint that can erode our happiness. Gratitude, however, can counteract these negative emotions, fostering a more harmonious state of being.

By recognizing the narratives that fuel our resentment, we can choose to let them go and embrace gratitude instead. This shift in perspective can dramatically improve our emotional well-being and overall life satisfaction.

Alleviating Overwhelm

During particularly hectic periods, feelings of stress and overwhelm can become overwhelming. How can we cope with this emotional turbulence? By cultivating gratitude for the very aspects of our lives that contribute to our sense of overwhelm.

By appreciating each task on our to-do list, each request from friends or family, and each event that causes us stress, we can transform our perspective on these experiences. Rather than viewing them as burdens, we can cherish them as gifts. In doing so, we relinquish our stress and discover love amidst the chaos.

What do you think ?