change starts within

Real Change Starts Within Ourselves

We took the summer off but as a part of our back to school efforts, @action will be restarting our Champions of Change series where we work with our partners in media and civil society to profile young people doing extraordinary things in their communities.

To kick off we will be hearing from Leonardo Serrano from Los Angeles School of Global Studies, who participated in Civic Action Project a program of Constitutional Rights Foundation.

Growing up in Mexico as a Mexican-American Citizen was not easy but it offered me the opportunity to witness the struggles people suffer in both countries. Once back where I was born, LA, I realized that even I, a student who barely knew English, could take action. I’m one example that no matter what situation you are in, you can make a difference.

In January I became homeless, struggling with my job, school, and my living situation. When Civic Action Project (CAP) started, I saw a valuable opportunity to be the voice not only for myself but for the growing homeless community of LA.

I first took the initiative to persuade the senior class with my personal experience to choose the topic of homelessness for our CAP. Most seniors from Los Angeles School of Global Studies concentrated their efforts researching policies in two areas: the first, policies that criminalize the homeless community, and the second, proposals to increase access to affordable housing, shelters, and services.

At the end of the project we produced T-shirts to support our action, PSAs, a press conference in front of LA City Hall that was recorded by two local TV stations, and ultimately we delivered concise speeches to the council members. All of this to support, change, or eliminate different policies in the city of LA.

Thanks to this project my peers and I have the basic knowledge to keep striving for positive change anywhere we go.  Real change starts within ourselves, we have control over what we do and when. Nobody can tell us or decide for us when we want change or when to take action. For anyone who wants change but does not have the courage to do so I would like to say, don’t be afraid to reach out to people for help. Even if the first few discourage you, keep going you will find someone who will help.

-Leonardo Serrano

Shams Tabrizi’s 40 Rules of Love
  1. How we see god is a direct reflection of how we see ourselves. If god brings to mind mostly fear & blame, it means there is too much fear & blame welled inside us. If we see god as full of love & compassion, so are we.
  2. The path to the truth is a labour of the heart, not of the head. Make your heart your primary guide! Not your mind. Meet challenge & ultimately prevail over your nafs (self, psyche, soul) with your heart. Knowing your ego will lead you to the knowledge of god.
  3. You can study god through everything & everyone in the universe, because god is not confined in a mosque, synagogue, or church. But if you are still in need of knowing where exactly his abode is, there is only one place to look for him: in the heart of a true lover.
  4. Intellect & love are made of different materials. Intellect ties people in knots & risks nothing, but love dissolves all tangles & risks everything. Intellect is always cautious & advises, “beware too much ecstasy”, whereas love says, “oh, never mind, take the plunge!” Intellect does not easily break down, whereas love can effortlessly reduce itself to rubble. But treasures are hidden among ruins. A broken heart hides treasures.
  5. Most problems of the world stem from linguistic mistakes & simple misunderstanding. Don’t ever take words at face value. When you step into the zone of love, language, as well know it becomes obsolete. That which cannot be put into words can only be grasped through silence.
  6. Loneliness & solitude are two different things. When you are lonely, it is easy to delude yourself into believing that you are on the right path. Solitude is better for us, as it means being alone without feeling lonely. But eventually it is best to find a person who will be your mirror. Remember only in another person’s heart can you truly see yourself & the presence of god within you.
  7. Whatever happens in your life, no matter how troubling things might seem, do not enter the neighbourhood of despair. Even when all doors remain closed, god will open up a new path only for you. Be thankful! It easy to be thankful when all is well. A sufi is thankful for what he has been given but also for all that has been denied.
  8. Patience does not mean to passively endure. It means to look at the end of a process. What does patience mean? It means to look at the thorn & see the rose, to look at the night & see the dawn. Impatience means to be short-sighted as to not be able to see the outcome. The lovers of god never run out of patience, for they know that time is needed for the crescent moon to become full.
  9. East, west, south, or north makes little difference. No matter what your destination, just be sure to make every journey a journey within. If you travel within, you’ll travel the whole wide world & beyond.
  10. The midwife knows that when there is no pain, the way for the baby cannot be opened & the mother cannot give birth. Likewise, for a new self to be born, hardship is necessary. Just as clay needs to go through intense heat to become strong, love can only be perfected in pain.
  11. The quest for love changes us. There is no seeker among those who search for love who has not matured on the way. The moment you start looking for love, you start to change within & without.
  12. There are more fake gurus & false teachers in this world than the number of stars in the visible universe. Don’t confuse power-driven, self-centred people with true mentors. A genuine spiritual master will not direct your attention to himself or herself & will not expect absolute obedience or utter admiration from you, but instead will help you to appreciate & admire your inner self. True mentors are as transparent as glass. They let the light of god pass through them.
  13. Try not to resist the changes which come your way. Instead let life live through you. And do not worry that your life is turning upside down. How do you know that the side you are used to is better than the one to come?
  14. God is busy with the completion of your work, both outwardly & inwardly. He is fully occupied with you. Every human being is a work in progress that is slowly but inexorably moving toward perfection. We are each an unfinished work of art both waiting & striving to be completed. God deals with each of us separately because humanity is fine art of skilled penmanship where every single dot is equally important for the entire picture.
  15. It’s easy to love a perfect god, unblemished & infallible that he is. What is far more difficult is to love fellow human beings with all their imperfections & defects. Remember, one can only know what one is capable of loving. There is no wisdom without love. Unless we learn to love God’s creation, we can neither truly love nor truly know God.
  16. Real filth is the one inside. The rest simply washes off. There is only one type of dirt that cannot be cleansed with pure waters, & that is the stain of hatred & bigotry contaminating the soul. You can purify your body through abstinence & fasting, but only love will purify your heart.
  17. The whole universe is contained within a single human being - you. Everything that you see around you, including the things that you might not be fond of & even the people you despise or abhor, is present within you in varying degrees. Therefore, do not look for Sheitan outside yourself either. The devil is not an extraordinary force that attacks from without. It is an ordinary voice within. If you set to know yourself fully, facing with honesty & hardness.
  18. If you want to change the ways others treat you, you should first change the way you treat yourself. Unless you learn to love yourself, fully & sincerely, there is no way you can be loved. Once you achieve that stage, however, be thankful for every thorn that others might throw at you. It is a sign that you will soon be showered in roses.
  19. Fret not where the road will take you. Instead concentrate on the first step. That is the hardest part & that is what you are responsible for. Once you take that step let everything do what it naturally does & the rest will follow. Don’t go with the flow. Be the flow.
  20. We were all created in his image, & yet we were each created different & unique. No two people are alike. No hearts beat to the same rhythm. If god had wanted everyone to be the same, he would have made it so. Therefore, disrespecting differences & imposing your thoughts on others is an amount to disrespecting god’s holy scheme.
  21. When a true lover of God goes into a tavern, the tavern becomes his chamber of prayer, but when a winebibber goes into the same chamber, it becomes his tavern. In everything we do, it is our hearts that make the difference, not our outer appearance. Sufis do not judge other people on how they look or who they are. When a Sufi stares at someone, he keeps both eyes closed instead opens a third eye – the eye that sees the inner realm.
  22. Life is a temporary loan & this world is nothing but a sketchy imitation of reality. Only children would mistake a toy for the real thing. And yet human beings either become infatuated with the toy or disrespectfully break it & throw it aside. In this life stay away from all kinds of extremities, for they will destroy your inner balance. Sufis do not go to extremes. A Sufi always remains mild & moderate.
  23. The human being has a unique place among God’s creation. “I breathed into him of my spirit,” god says. Each & every one of us without exception is designed to be God’s delegate on earth. Ask yourself, just how often do you behave like a delegate, if you ever do so? Remember, it falls upon each of us to discover the divine spirit inside & live by it.
  24. Hell is in the here & now. So is heaven. Quit worrying about hell or dreaming about heaven, as they are both present inside this very moment. Every time we fall in love, we ascend to heaven. Every time we hate, envy, or fight someone we tumble straight into the fires of hell.
  25. Each & every reader comprehends the holy Qur’an on a different level of tandem with the depth of his understanding. There are four levels of insight. The first level is the outer meaning & it is the one that the majority of the people are content with. Next is the Batin – the inner level. Third, there is the inner of the inner. And the fourth level is so deep it cannot be put into words & is therefore bound to remain indescribable.
  26. The universe is one being. Everything & everyone is interconnected through an invisible web of stories. Whether we are aware of it or not, we are all in a silent conversation. Do no harm. Practice compassion. And do not gossip behind anyone’s back - not even a seemingly innocent remark! The words that come out of our mouths do not vanish but are perpetually stored in infinite space & they will come back to us in due time. One man’s pain will hurt us all. One man’s joy will make everyone smile.
  27. Whatever you speak, good or evil, will somehow come back to you. Therefore, if there is someone who harbours ill thoughts about you, saying similarly bad things about him will only make matters worse. You will be locked in a vicious circle of malevolent energy. Instead for forty days & nights say & think nice things about that person. Everything will be different at the end of 40 days, because you will be different inside.
  28. The past is an interpretation. The future is an illusion. The world does not move through time as if it were a straight line, proceeding from the past to the future. Instead time moves through & within us, in endless spirals. Eternity does not mean infinite time, but simply timelessness. If you want to experience eternal illumination, put the past & the future out of your mind & remain within the present moment.
  29. Destiny doesn’t mean that your life has been strictly predetermined. Therefore, to live everything to the fate & to not actively contribute to the music of the universe is a sign of sheer ignorance. The music of the universe is all pervading & it is composed on 40 different levels. Your destiny is the level where you play your tune. You might not change your instrument but how well to play is entirely in your hands.
  30. The true Sufi is such that even when he is unjustly accused, attacked, & condemned from all sides, he patiently endures, uttering not a single bad word about any of his critics. A Sufi never apportions blame. How can there be opponents or rivals or even “others” when there is no “self” in the first place? How can there be anyone to blame when there is only one?
  31. If you want to strengthen your faith, you will need to soften inside. For your faith to be rock solid, your heart needs to be as soft as a feather. Through an illness, accident, loss, or fright, one way or another, we are all faced with incidents that teach us how to become less selfish & judgemental, & more compassionate & generous. Yet some of us learn the lesson & manage to become milder, while some others end up becoming even harsher than before.
  32. Nothing should stand between you & god. No imams, priests, rabbis or any other custodians of moral or religious leadership. Not spiritual masters & not even your faith. Believe in your values & your rules, but never lord them over others. If you keep breaking other people’s hearts, whatever religious duty you perform is no good. Stay away from all sorts of idolatry, for they will blur your vision. Let god & only god be your guide. Learn the truth, my friend, but be careful not to make a fetish out of your truths.
  33. While everyone in this world strives to get somewhere & become someone, only to leave it all behind after death, you aim for the supreme stage of nothingness. Live this life as light & empty as the number zero. We are no different from a pot. It is not the decorations outside but the emptiness inside that holds us straight. Just like that, it is not what we aspire to achieve but the consciousness of nothingness that keeps us going.
  34. Submission does not mean being weak or passive. It leads to neither fatalism nor capitulation. Just the opposite. True power resides in submission to a power that comes within. Those who submit to the divine essence of life will live in unperturbed tranquillity & peace even the whole wide world goes through turbulence after turbulence.
  35. In this world, it is not similarities or regularities that take us a step forward, but blunt opposites. And all the opposites in the universe are present within each & every one of us. Therefore the believer needs to meet the unbeliever residing within. And the non-believer should get to know the silent faithful in him. Until the day one reaches the stage of Insan-I Kamil, the perfect human being, faith is a gradual process & one that necessitates its seeming opposite: disbelief.
  36. This world is erected upon the principle of reciprocity. Neither a drop of kindness nor a speck of evil will remain unreciprocated. For not the plots, deceptions, or tricks of other people. If somebody is setting a trap, remember, so is god. He is the biggest plotter. Not even a leaf stirs outside god’s knowledge. Simply & fully believe in that. Whatever god does, he does it beautifully.
  37. God is a meticulous clock maker. So precise is his order that everything on earth happens in its own time. Neither a minute late nor a minute early. And for everyone without exception, the clock works accurately. For each there is a time to love & a time to die.
  38. It is never too late to ask yourself, “Am I ready to change the life I am living? Am I ready to change within?” Even if a single day in your life is the same as the day before, it surely is a pity. At every moment & with each new breath, one should be renewed & renewed again. There is only one-way to be born into a new life: to die before death.
  39. While the part change, the whole always remains the same. For every thief who departs this world, a new one is born. And every decent person who passes away is replaced by a new one. In this way not only does nothing remain the same but also nothing ever really changes. For every Sufi who dies, another is born somewhere.
  40. A life without love is of no account. Don’t ask yourself what kind of love you should seek, spiritual or material, divine or mundane, Eastern or Western. Divisions only lead to more divisions. Love has no labels, no definitions. It is what it is, pure & simple. Love is the water of life. And a lover is a soul of fire! The universe turns differently when fire loves water.

a spark can ignite the matches of fantasized dreams and seemingly impossible feats into a reality.

a reality where hope fills the air and enters the lungs of each individual, circulating in the blood of those with troubled spirits

a reality where peace prevails and love radiates from wandering souls, conquering any boundaries that may threaten to break such tranquility

a reality where hatred is an illegal substance, and the stains of violence are removed from the foundations of the society

and the spark to ignite the flames of change may start with you.

—  change starts from within
Autumn spell for personal change

This is a spell that borrows from the power of the changing seasons to jump start a change within yourself. This spell works best with a specific goal in mind though a general “to be a better person” sort of thing can work as well.

What You’ll Need:

  • One (at least mostly green) leaf
  • One yellow-gold tone leaf
  • One red-brown tone leaf, the crunchier the better
  • A marker
  • A source of running water
  • A decently windy day

How It’s Done:

  1. On the green(ish) leaf write the words “who I am” and a few words that come to mind when you think about what you are trying to change.
  2. On the yellow(ish) leaf write the words “who I am as I change” and then “I am a work in progress” as many times as you feel you need it.
  3. On the brown(ish) leaf write “who I will become” and your goal.
  4. Standing with your back to the running water throw the green leaf over your left shoulder and proudly declare “I am no longer who I was!” (After all you are beginning the change in yourself by just doing this spell!)
  5. Moving away from the water crumble up the brown and as you let it go into the wind say “I am not yet the person I am capable of becoming.”
  6. Keep the yellow leaf with you as a constant reminder that you are a work in progress for as long as you feel you need it.
  7. When you feel you no longer need the yellow leaf bury it by the base of a tree and thank it for being a help.

That’s that folks. I hope this helps you kick off whatever change you feel like you need to make in your life and leads to a cheery, cozy, autumn season!

Feel free to tweak or modify this spell to suit your needs. I don’t even mind if you write it down in your personal book, just please note where it came from. Also please don’t upload/post this spell anywhere else and claim it as your own.

85% of all “ed-reformer” Twitter conversations:

Reformer: You know that time-honored “thing” we all do? Stop it, it’s terrible. I barely have research, but it’s old so it’s bad.

Teacher: I agree, but what about repercussions from my administration or district?

Reformer: Forget admins, forget everything! throw out all your desks for exercise balls. Never use a rubric, just grade with holistic tea leaves and visions! 

Teacher: But there wouldn’t be admin or district support for any of that!

Reformer: Then you’re not committed to your students, change starts within. I know my paycheck and way of life aren’t dependent on following anyone else’s mandates or rules, but that won’t stop me from patronizing you as if you’re ignorant, rather than attempting to juggle numerous requirements at once.

Shams of Tabriz’s 40 Rules of Love

Rule 1

How we see God is a direct reflection of how we see ourselves. If God brings to mind mostly fear and blame, it means there is too much fear and blame welled inside us. If we see God as full of love and compassion, so are we.

Rule 2

The path to the Truth is a labour of the heart, not of the head. Make your heart your primary guide! Not your mind. Meet, challenge and ultimately prevail over your nafs with your heart. Knowing your ego will lead you to the knowledge of God.

Rule 3

You can study God through everything and everyone in the universe, because God is not confined in a mosque, synagogue or church. But if you are still in need of knowing where exactly His abode is, there is only one place to look for him: in the heart of a true lover.

Rule 4

Intellect and love are made of different materials. Intellect ties people in knots and risks nothing, but love dissolves all tangles and risks everything. Intellect is always cautious and advices, ‘Beware too much ecstasy’, whereas love says, ‘Oh, never mind! Take the plunge!’ Intellect does not easily break down, whereas love can effortlessly reduce itself to rubble. But treasures are hidden among ruins. A broken heart hides treasures.

Rule 5

Most of problems of the world stem from linguistic mistakes and simple misunderstanding. Don’t ever take words at face value. When you step into the zone of love, language, as we know it becomes obsolete. That which cannot be put into words can only be grasped through silence.

Rule 6

Loneliness and solitude are two different things. When you are lonely, it is easy to delude yourself into believing that you are on the right path. Solitude is better for us, as it means being alone without feeling lonely. But eventually it is the best to find a person who will be your mirror. Remember only in another person’s heart can you truly see yourself and the presence of God within you.

Rule 7

Whatever happens in your life, no matter how troubling things might seem, do not enter the neighbourhood of despair. Even when all doors remain closed, God will open up a new path only for you. Be thankful! It is easy to be thankful when all is well. A Sufi is thankful not only for what he has been given but also for all that he has been denied.

Rule 8

Patience does not mean to passively endure. It means to look at the end of a process. What does patience mean? It means to look at the thorn and see the rose, to look at the night and see the dawn. Impatience means to be shortsighted as to not be able to see the outcome. The lovers of God never run out of patience, for they know that time is needed for the crescent moon to become full.

Rule 9

East, west, south, or north makes little difference. No matter what your destination, just be sure to make every journey a journey within. If you travel within, you’ll travel the whole wide world and beyond.

Rule 10

The midwife knows that when there is no pain, the way for the baby cannot be opened and the mother cannot give birth. Likewise, for a new self to be born, hardship is necessary. Just as clay needs to go through intense heat to become strong, Love can only be perfected in pain.

Rule 11

The quest for love changes user. There is no seeker among those who search for love who has not matured on the way. The moment you start looking for love, you start to change within and without.

Rule 12

There are more fake gurus and false teachers in this world than the number of stars in the visible universe. Don’t confuse power-driven, self-centered people with true mentors. A genuine spiritual master will not direct your attention to himself or herself and will not expect absolute obedience or utter admiration from you, but instead will help you to appreciate and admire your inner self. True mentors are as transparent as glass. They let the light of God pass through them.

Rule 13

Try not to resist the changes, which come your way. Instead let life live through you. And do not worry that your life is turning upside down. How do you know that the side you are used to is better than the one to come?

Rule 14

God is busy with the completion of your work, both outwardly and inwardly. He is fully occupied with you. Every human being is a work in progress that is slowly but inexorably moving toward perfection. We are each an unfinished work of art both waiting and striving to be completed. God deals with each of us separately because humanity is fine art of skilled penmanship where every single dot is equally important for the entire picture.

Rule 15

It’s easy to love a perfect God, unblemished and infallible that He is. What is far more difficult is to love fellow human being with all their imperfections and defects. Remember, one can only know what one is capable of loving. There is no wisdom without love. Unless we learn to love God’s creation, we can neither truly love nor truly know God.

Rule 16

Real faith is the one inside. The rest simply washes off. There is only one type of dirt that cannot be cleansed with pure water, and that is the stain of hatred and bigotry contaminating the soul. You can purify your body through abstinence and fasting, but only love will purify your heart.

Rule 17

The whole universe is contained within a single human being-you. Everything that you see around, including the things that you might not be fond of and even the people you despise or abhor, is present within you in varying degrees. Therefore, do not look for Sheitan outside yourself either. The devil is not an extraordinary force that attacks from without. It is an ordinary voice within. If you set to know yourself fully, facing with honesty and hardness.

Rule 18

If you want to change the ways others treat you, you should first change the way you treat yourself, fully and sincerely, there is no way you can be loved. Once you achieve that stage, however, be thankful for every thorn that others might throw at you. It is a sign that you will soon be showered in roses.

Rule 19

Fret not where the road will take you. Instead concentrate on the first step. That is the hardest part and that is what you are responsible for. Once you take that step let everything do what it naturally does and the rest will follow. Don’t go with the flow. Be the flow.

Rule 20

We were all created in His image, and yet we were each created different and unique. No two people are alike. No hearts beat to the same rhythm. If God had wanted everyone to be the same, He would have made it so. Therefore, disrespecting differences and imposing your thoughts on others is an amount to disrespecting God’s holy scheme.

Rule 21

When a true lover of God goes into a tavern, the tavern becomes his chamber of prayer, but when a wine bibber goes into the same chamber, it becomes his tavern. In everything we do, it is our hearts that make the difference, not our outer appearance. Sufis do not judge other people on how they look or who they are. When a Sufi stares at someone, he keeps both eyes closed instead opens a third eye – the eye that sees the inner realm.

Rule 22

Life is a temporary loan and this world is nothing but a sketchy imitation of Reality. Only children would mistake a toy for the real thing. And yet human beings either become infatuated with the toy or disrespectfully break it and throw it aside. In this life stay away from all kinds of extremities, for they will destroy your inner balance. Sufis do not go to extremes. A Sufi always remains mild and moderate.

Rule 23

The human being has a unique place among God’s creation. “I breathed into him of My Spirit,” God says. Each and every one of us without exception is designed to be God’s delegate on earth. Ask yourself, just how often do you behave like a delegate, if you ever do so? Remember, it fells upon each of us to discover the divine spirit inside and live by it.

Rule 24

Hell is in the here and now. So is heaven. Quit worrying about hell or dreaming about heaven, as they are both present inside this very moment. Every time we fall in love, we ascend to heaven. Every time we hate, envy or fight someone we tumble straight into the fires of hell.

Rule 25

Each and every reader comprehends the Holy Qur’an on a different level of tandem with the depth of his understanding. There are four levels of insight. The first level is the outer meaning and it is the one that the majority of the people are content with. Next is the Batin – the inner level. Third, there is the inner of the inner. And the fourth level is so deep it cannot be put into words and is therefore bound to remain indescribable.

Rule 26

The universe is one being. Everything and everyone is interconnected through an invisible web of stories. Whether we are aware of it or not, we are all in a silent conversation. Do no harm. Practice compassion. And do not gossip behind anyone’s back – not even a seemingly innocent remark! The words that come out of our mouths do not vanish but are perpetually stored in infinite space and they will come back to us in due time. One man’s pain will hurt us all. One man’s joy will make everyone smile.

Rule 27

Whatever you speak, good or evil, will somehow come back to you. Therefore, if there is someone who harbours ill thoughts about you, saying similarly bad things about him will only make matters worse. You will be locked in a vicious circle of malevolent energy. Instead for forty days and nights say and think nice things about that person. Everything will be different at the end of 40 days, because you will be different inside.

Rule 28

The past is an interpretation. The future is on illusion. The world does not more through time as if it were a straight line, proceeding from the past to the future. Instead time moves through and within us, in endless spirals. Eternity does not mean infinite time, but simply timelessness. If you want to experience eternal illumination, put the past and the future out of your mind and remain within the present moment.

Rule 29

Destiny doesn’t mean that your life has been strictly predetermined. Therefore, to live everything to the fate and to not actively contribute to the music of the universe is a sign of sheer ignorance. The music of the universe is all pervading and it is composed on 40 different levels. Your destiny is the level where you play your tune. You might not change your instrument but how well to play is entirely in your hands.

Rule 30

The true Sufi is such that even when he is unjustly accused, attacked and condemned from all sides, he patiently endures, uttering not a sing bad word about any of his critics. A Sufi never apportions blame. How can there be opponents or rivals or even “others” when there is no “self” in the first place? How can there be anyone to blame when there is only One?

Rule 31

If you want to strengthen your faith, you will need to soften inside. For your faith to be rock solid, your heart needs to be as soft as a feather. Through an illness, accident, loss or fright, one way or another, we are all faced with incidents that teach us how to become less selfish and judgmental and more compassionate and generous. Yet some of us learn the lesson and manage to become milder, while some others end up becoming even harsher than before…

Rule 32

Nothing should stand between you and God. No imams, priests, rabbits or any other custodians of moral or religious leadership. Not spiritual masters and not even your faith. Believe in your values and your rules, but never lord them over others. If you keep breaking other people’s hearts, whatever religious duty you perform is no good. Stay away from all sorts of idolatry, for they will blur your vision. Let God and only God be your guide. Learn the Truth, my friend, but be careful not to make a fetish out of your truths.

Rule 33

While everyone in this world strives to get somewhere and become someone, only to leave it all behind after death, you aim for the supreme stage of nothingness. Live this life as light and empty as the number zero. We are no different from a pot. It is not the decorations outside but the emptiness inside that holds us straight. Just like that, it is not what we aspire to achieve but the consciousness of nothingness that keeps us going.

Rule 34

Submission does not mean being weak or passive. It leads to neither fatalism nor capitulation. Just the opposite. True power resides in submission a power that comes within. Those who submit to the divine essence of life will live in unperturbed tranquillity and peace even the whole wide world goes through turbulence after turbulence.

Rule 35

In this world, it is not similarities or regularities that take us a step forward, but blunt opposites. And all the opposites in the universe are present within each and every one of us. Therefore the believer needs to meet the unbeliever residing within. And the nonbeliever should get to know the silent faithful in him. Until the day one reaches the stage of Insane-I Kamil, the perfect human being, faith is a gradual process and one that necessitates its seeming opposite: disbelief.

Rule 36

This world is erected upon the principle of reciprocity. Neither a drop of kindness nor a speck of evil will remain unreciprocated. For not the plots, deceptions, or tricks of other people. If somebody is setting a trap, remember, so is God. He is the biggest plotter. Not even a leaf stirs outside God’s knowledge. Simply and fully believe in that. Whatever God does, He does it beautifully.

Rule 37

God is a meticulous dock maker. So precise is His order that everything on earth happens in its own time. Neither a minute late nor a minute early. And for everyone without exception, the clock works accurately. For each there is a time to love and a time to die.

Rule 38

It is never too late to ask yourself, “Am I ready to change the life I am living? Am I ready to change within?” Even if a single day in your life is the same as the day before, it surely is a pity. At every moment and with each new breath, one should be renewed and renewed again. There is only one-way to be born into a new life: to die before death.

Rule 39

While the part change, the whole always remains the same. For every thief who departs this world, a new one is born. And every descent person who passes away is replaced by a new one. In this way not only does nothing remain the same but also nothing ever really changes. For every Sufi who dies, another is born somewhere.

Rule 40

A life without love is of no account. Don’t ask yourself what kind of love you should seek, spiritual or material, divine or mundane, Eastern or Western. Divisions only lead to more divisions. Love has no labels, no definitions. It is what it is, pure and simple. Love is the water of life. And a lover is a soul of fire! The universe turns differently when fire loves water.

—  The Forty Rules of Love by Elif Shafak
Demon Hunter* Chapter 3

18+ Plz read the tags. Fem!Reader

Chapter Summary: There’s not too much to summarize about this chapter. It’s still a direct continuation of the last one. The next chapter will be a little further into their “relationship”. 

AO3: http://archiveofourown.org/works/10702710/chapters/25099647

The water that surrounds your body is laced with fine oils. It smells of delicate florals and a hint of basil. Whether it’s the bath, the oils, or the demon’s constant influence, you are actually relaxed. So much so sleep that threatens to take hold.

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“A loaded mind is more dangerous than a loaded weapon”

We shot this video a couple months ago and sucks to see these scenes are still consistently playing out in real life…even down to this week. It’s disheartening sometimes to see that not much has changed when it comes to hate, police brutality n just overall people losing their lives too early. But when I wrote this song, it was to reassure myself that no matter what happens, they can’t take away our Soul, our confidence, our ideas, n all that makes us shine. This song isn’t a single but is still super important to me, so I paid for a lot of this outta pocket to make sure we got this out. Rest in peace to all those who have lost life due to senseless actions. As I always say, each one of us have the power to make a change, it starts within….the inner Light. “Light” ft @jeremih video out now.

eberronguy  asked:

A lot of people forget that America is both the third largest and third most populous country in the world. Large, racially diverse nations tend to have more difficulty with things like crime and healthcare because it has to be done on such a large scale. I believe in my country, and I will not insult it to staisfy anyone's hateboner. I would rather take the effort to instead fix things here.

Exactly. Change starts from within.

“I call this powerful music. Music that reminds us that we are limitless, powerful and capable! Messages that make us stop and think. Music that makes us get up and move! That’s the reason why music runs all of our lives and is the soundtrack to all great change. We can’t do it without the pulse, the beat, the rhythm, the word, the VOICE! Change starts from within and as I listen to these songs, I feel a little more love, a little more strength, a little more peace, a little more prayer, a little more determined and a lot closer to myself! I hope you do too. This is a salute to all that greatness that came before us and is within us now to continue on!”
With light and love,
Alicia Keys

Listen to Alicia Keys’s incredible playlist to honor Black History Month. 

The quest for love changes us. There is no seeker among those who search for love who has not matured on the way. The moment you start looking for love, you start to change within and without. - Shams Tabrizi *Shams represented Rumi’s primeval consciousness, unburdened with thought and learning. He is the wild spirit that inhabits the non-rational intuitive area of being, not necessarily as a chthonic force wedding to earth, but as that virginal aspect of the soul.

Lavi, for D.Gray-Man fanartbook Poison!

Intravenous therapy is the infusion of liquid substances directly into a vein. Intravenous simply means “within vein”, which I think is rather suiting when paired with Lavi, who’s starting to change from within his perception towards his friends, realizing they meant more than mere records on paper.

Hoping to make artbook in time for May’s Doujima (Doujin Market) in Singapore. 

Feminista!

It seems like the whole time I was growing up, the world was teaching me the role of women. From the first time I saw my mother cowering at my father’s feet, to the current state of insidious inequality, I’ve been confronted with the message that females are somehow weaker, less capable than men. I began questioning the validity of these messages early on, inspired by the women around me. My mother, my sisters, my friends, aunts and cousins - each one constantly refining the definitions of femininity, androgyny, and the true nature of equality in small ways through their daily routines. Sometimes these women discarded antiquated cliches of lady-like behavior in favor an assertive, can-do attitude. At other times they tried to squeeze themselves into someone else’s idea of womanhood. Either way, they helped me figure out that the tidy stereotype that was labeled “femininity” had to stretch to catch up with an evolving female consciousness.

My mother had found herself by stepping up to help my father in the male-dominated construction business; my girlfriends were pushing the boundaries too. The L.A. punk scene was densely populated by female musicians, artists, writers, photographers, roadies and more. These were the modern suffragettes in my life who, without banners or demonstrations, quietly led by example. Not that I oppose banners and demonstrations; I’ve participated in my share of marches, but it was the tiny changes that the women around me made in their personal lives
that spoke the loudest.

Patricia and I learned early on from auditioning male musicians that every one of them thought they were the next Jimi Hendrix or another Keith Moon. While most of the women we auditioned apologized in advance for not being very good, all the males wielded their axes with a bravado that seemed like second nature to them. Even the lamest male guitarist would talk up his skills, acting cocky and confident while the women underplayed their experience. After a bit of this, Patricia and I learned to adapt. We figured that when people wrote reviews about the band, they mentioned the two of us more often than they mentioned the guys. This gave us confidence and after awhile, we learned to do away with the modesty. It felt great to be able to say, “I’m a musician,” without feeling the need to tack on an apology.


Changing the way we spoke about ourselves as musicians and artists was like tossing tiny pebbles into a sea of conformity, making ripples, making waves, bringing about change that starts from within and spills out into the lives of those around us. The words were so powerful that the more often we said them, the truer they became. Now, when we stepped on the stage we weren’t asking for approval, we were flaunting our talent.

Photo by Louis Jacinto

Losing connections to friends and family

I am having a really hard time finding your normal ask page, sorry!
I just was wondering if I could get some insight or advice. Since the beginning of my spiritual awakening somewhere between 4-6 years ago, I have slowly lost connections to friends and family, especially in the last 2-3 years. I have a boyfriend and other than that all my other close relationships have dissolved, and I have found it incredibly hard to really connect with people… all the while its even more frustrating because I crave SOUL connection more than ever. Is this normal? Does it go away? Any advice? Thank you …. <3
goddess-gardens

This is actually more common than you think, part of the ascension process is about breaking away our old shell. When we start to break out of the old paradigm of the 3rd dimensional consciousness we go through a point of rebirth where we are able to go through a chrysalis or a cocoon state. This is the state where the universe desires for us to look more inward rather than outward into reality. The more we uncover within, the more our external reality starts to transform and change shape.

 In laymans terms this means that what no longer serves us starts to disappear and fade from our current reality. Old relationships, drama, lower vibrational people, old friendships, old habits, old places, 3d thinking/feeling, things we used to enjoy suddenly we no longer find enjoyable. it could also be the equivalent of emphasizing that your soul is literally maturing. Your consciousness is changing and so your reality automatically changes with it. Everything that you were recycling within your personal karmic bonds are breaking so that you and higher vibrational people, places, habits and things can take their place. It is a process but it doesn’t last forever. What we attract is what we are, so if our soul is going through an intense abrupt change, what we begin to attract also starts changing within our personal reality. 

When it is hard to connect with these old relationships, there creates a dissociation and sometimes it can be hard to move past this phase. However you aren’t going to stop loving your parents and friends just because you yourself are changing, you just are looking at things from a different perspective. If you feel alone on this journey, try connecting with like-minds in other places such as fb groups featuring indigo children, ascension, awakening, crystal children, starseeds,net, lightworkers.org etc. there are so many of us out there who are willing to listen and relate to you. Don’t even think you are alone on this journey. 

I hope this helps
love <3

I think consciousness, as a unit, is feeling some harsh imbalances. Isolation. Detachment. Inability to communicate to the world around us. Lots of fear and hate rolling in like a wave in every direction. It seems easier to recluse, hide in our burrow, or wait things out in our cocoon. To raise these nasty frequencies, we’ve got to cultivate our desire for change. It’s got to start within ourselves, it’s got to start within our relationships to others, within how we choose to live our daily lives. We must strive to vibrate higher individually and more lovingly to send out a powerful healing breeze to All. Energy continues to expand! But we’ve got to begin small! Embrace the power of intention! You project onto the world what you see inside, and you fail to project into the world what you fail to see inside. Become conscious of your thoughts. Thoughts become things. Choose the good ones. Every single thought that comes into your head has an impact on you. When you change those thoughts and think positive, happy, strong thoughts, they become things too. This won’t happen overnight.. or maybe it will. We’re all different. Start with the ‘one-pound positivity thought weight’ (hah) and build from there. When a negative thought comes into your head, thank it for showing up and dismiss it (peace, bye). Pay attention to the nourishment you are giving your body, heart, and mind and include focusing on the nourishment you are bringing to the lives of others. What are you putting into your body? What actions are you using your body and mind for? How are you spending your time? Who are you surroundings yourself with? Harness your environment! Practice compassion and forgiveness. Above all, be kind. Together, we are strength.