Monday, August 30, 2010

TUNA CHEESE CROISSANT

In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
May peace and blessings of Allah be upon Muhammad, the final messenger

Salam & hi to all,

this is something to share. For busy people like me, this is easy to make and you wont be frustrated of the output. Its risk free, even if they were spoiled, they can still be eaten :p

YOU ARE GOING TO NEED THESE ITEMS :-


CROISSANT (I BOUGHT THEM READY MADE FROM THE SUPERMARKET, HAVENT LEARNED HOW TO MAKE THEM :P )


KNIFE, TO CUT THE CROISSANT INTO HALF


ANY NORMAL BUTTER


SHREDDED CHEESE


CANNED TUNA IN OLIVE OIL. YOU CAN USE TUNA IN WATER AS WELL. YOU CAN USE DIRECT FROM THE CAN, OR CAN FRY WITH A LITTLE BIT OF OIL, GARLIC AND UNION, JUST TO ADD THE NICE TASTE AND AROMA.

STEPS

FIRST OF ALL CUT THE CROISSANT INTO HALF, YOU CAN CUT COMPLETELY OR LEAVE A BIT PORTION, SO THAT BOTH PIECES STILL ATTACH TOGETHER.


APPLY SOME BUTTER ON THE INNER SIDE OF THE CROISSANT, THIN OR THICK IS UP TO YOU


SPRINKLE SOME SHREDDED CHEESE


SCOOP AND PUT TUNA ON BOTH SIDE OF THE CROISSANT AND AGAIN SPRINKLE SOME SHREDDED CHEESE ON TOP OF IT


THIS IS HOW THEY LOOK LIKE. PUT IN THE MICROWAVE FOR ABOUT 2 MINUTES


WALLA ! COOKED


FOLD BACK THE CROISSANT AND THEY ARE READY TO BE SERVED.


AND THIS IS HOW YOU EAT IT :)
good luck !

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

MIND CAPABILITY

In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
May peace and blessings of Allah be upon Muhammad, the final messenger




To share with you, one of my other 'personal projects' is to do some study on myself pertaining to my running activity. did some experiment towards myself, on how to increase my stamina thus enhance my performance in running.

Sample experiment 1
Last week
I was so intensively focusing on getting the target of running 5km in 30 minutes, and kept on looking at the meter reading. Listened to running podcast (songs with high beats). Running pace, medium speed during the first 2 km and increase the speed after another 1km (3 km) and slowed down for another 500 meter and speed up again to complete the 4km (the most haha). Kept on looking at the meter reading and at times tried to sing along with the MP3 'singers'.

Sample experiment 2
Yesterday
I didnt strictly set any target, i told myself that i want to see how long would i take to get 4.5km at least. switch on the MP3, listened to Dr Imad's talk on Sabr and paid full concentration on the talk, as if i were in the lecture hall. did a 'stomach style' of breathing where i inhaled deeply imagining the air goes to my stomach instead of the chest. The first 2km achieved within less than 15 mins WOW to myself hehe...I ran steadily without shortness of breath. when i reached 4km i can feel the surplus of lactic acid all over my joints haha...and ran another 3 or so minutes just to get additional 500 meter. In total, i ran 4.5km in 33.o3 minutes. again wow! Alhamdulillah :)

findings 1: When there is a thinking constraint on achieving a goal i.e 5km in 30 mins, our mind would solely and comprehensively concentrating to reach the 5km with the existing muscle capability. this would result our gland secrets more endorphins and adrenaline would be rushed out to integrate with this short period of physical attempts. Due to the factor of worrying not being able to achieve the goal, the emotional repercussion to be encountered - frustration. This cause unnecessary anxiety and anxiousness. at that state of mind, we tend to perspire more perhaps, but trust me, it would be devastating tiring. This phenomena leads to a drop of running performance.

findings 2: When our mind is put elsewhere, what i mean thinking and processing others but running or getting to the target, we would running conveniently and i can say in comfort. we know that our muscles is to be used to run, but the energy consumption is enough to supply the force to get on moving (continuously running). the inadequacy of energy could be due to the lack of oxygen transported to our muscles or simply due to the inefficiency of lactic acid to supply the fuel for the muscles needs. Being relax in the mind really helps with the pace of running and inculcates to a better breathing pattern. The flow of oxygen to our muscles can be felt, as for my case, it did to me. Keyword - relax but active mind


CONCLUSION
running performance is related to the brain technology
(this conclusion is based on short marathon on treadmill(not for 100 meters)and using only 1 sample collection (that is me), therefore it cant be drawn as any statistic haha)
my free advice : pls get an appropriate consultancy from any recognized sport coach.

I am not a medical doctor but this is what i like to do, making experiment onto myself. i remembered last 2 years where i tried to take up an aqua life saving training class. it was funny when the trainer asked me about my swimming performance. i must be able to swim 6 laps (50 meter per lap) within 9 mins 15 seconds. i have practiced and trained hard but the most i could achieved was 9 mins 30 seconds. maybe due to the extra fat i had that time haha...thinking to pursue the training next year insyaAllah.

coming back to running, could it be a mind game as well as how it been related to cycling? i have been observing my performance all these while and i think it is. i recall an incident where i had a 'business argument' with a bad paymaster client, and after that, i became a bit stressful and after the office hour, i went to the gym with grudge (a bit haha). running in the evening carrying with me my moody state of condition, made me feel heavy. it was soooo hard to hit 4km. Its the mind game alright, but its not tricky after all. all we need be is to become a good 'game' player.

we seldom use our brain during our physical activities and seldom use our physical while thinking. just imagine if we combine the 4 elements of physical, mind, emotional and spiritual, what would happened to us that time? maybe this is what the super duper extraordinary people been hiding from us all these while, showing off their 'jaw dropping and big wow' special performances in the name of MAGIC.

In my personal opinion, still talking about the 4 elements, above all, the mind rules as everything must starts with the understanding on any idea prior to applying it to the other elements. just look at all the craziness around us now, people arrogantly declared that their ideology saves the world. This sick minded leaders would then put force on the people to emphasize their thinking and many were caged behind bars of the real locked rooms with bar steel (physical) and also bars built in their mind (mental). The problem is, we sometimes dont even realized that we are a 'prisoner'.

have you ever read over the net (also he wrote a book about this) that a man can bend a steel spoon using his mind? We dont know what else our brain can do and it is mentioned by many brainy researchers that, we are currently using just 10% of our brain. I remembered in the Quran, during the reign of Prophet Solomon (Sulaiman) (peace be upon him), there was a wise man, with the will of ALlah SWT, had miraculously moved the princess's castle by only using his mind! and it was done faster than a blink of the eyes! Subhanallah.

I think that is why Allah SWT gives the first verse IQRA' (READ) to our Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) for us, to explore on the real wisdom in life, starting with the earliest process, that is through reading. This will eventually lead to the mind to process and brings curiosity to know Him more, and gradually would open the gate to the garden that serves drinks of sweetness that is called iman :)

Sunday, August 22, 2010

BUSINESS COACHING AND HOPE

In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
May peace and blessings of Allah be upon Muhammad, the final messenger

I like the idea Dr Imad puts in his talk HOPE and i would like to relate it to business environment of understanding. This is going to be a bit technical of business issues, but i guess, my writing is not that technical therefore it is comprehensibly easy to understand (i wish haha)

As a business consultant and coach, I have witnessed horrific emotional condition of businessmen when their business empire colapse. Believe me, being there, during times of intense economic downturns, by just watching their tremendous stress, i felt the spark. Even now, looking at the economic crisis intensifies, some of my client didnt achieve any goal, whatever they name it, strategic goal, achievable goal, yearly goal etc..goals made by themselves, maybe because they were mired in micro managing their enterprises? Thats what i think, but not until i really sit down with them and listen to what they have to say. This is called a dynamic conversation. To be honest, sometimes, listening and just listening whining with the ahaa ahaa is really tiring. I might do day dreaming playing with my cats rather than to see a wreaked face in front of me, my bad haha..(just joking). Actually this is the best medium to test our skill in communication, we (business coaches) can challenge ourselves with the effectiveness and efficiency of communication and scale our performance.

How to deal with clients who seek our professional services during their despair time? Its a norm in anybody to lose their composure especially if they are faced with extreme difficulties and hardship, specifically with corporate issues. Who can help them in getting the 'idea' in order for them to have peace of mind and personal contentedness in order to stay focused on the greater tasks ahead of them?

As a business consultant, i know i am a person who gives consultancy, sits there and show sympathetic face for hours, actually, i dont have that patience haha...As a business coach, we sit there, with free judge mental attitude, 'big ears' to listen carefully, would provide the clients the right perspective not just in overcoming difficulties but also to help the clients in finding new opportunities amidst the crisis, the field that they themselves having knowledge and optimism to start venturing into. We dont suggest but we ask for their suggestions, suiting to their capabilities. Coach sees differently from what consultant can see. We ask the right question to be asked and we dont ask question that we have forcasted the answers. We act as if we dont know anything but show interest and enthusiasm in getting to know whats next and whats next with our 'weapons'. Interesting right? Thats why I love this job. Do you know that the science of business coaching began to bloom in late 90s as the world faced intense economic meltdown?

As in general, our role is to create the awareness among our clients on how to achieve their goal, using the pulling factors element around them. It other word, we are helping them to promote a well rounded psychological reinforcement for a better business environment. As for my case, i prefer the solution focus approach in coaching. It saves time and most of the coaching issues can be easily untangled.

Then, who solves the problem? We? ah aaa....not us. Business coaches are not angels who fulfill one's hope/wish to get it all over with. We just facilitate, and help using and applying our coaching techniques and methods to 'wake up' our clients' mind from being 'absent' to face the business chaos. Do you believe me, my coach buddy's told me that his client (he didnt disclose his client identity as its in the ethic of coaching) has kept his trade problems in his mind for more than 20 years but only voiced it out once being asked by that coach? How was that happened? with certain basic of listening tool technique, a coach would be given the trust he needs in order 'to dig' more. Trust between the 2 parties is important, and coaching presence with empathy is essential to be achieved in order to get this.

come back to my question just now..who solves the problem? the answer is the problem barrier would solves his or her problem with the help of others. Well, the others might just assist, but this is nothing close to predetermined succes written in anywhere. Therefore, with all the assistances and services rendered by consultants, counselors and coaches for example, the client need get up and start applying to his 'change management' and, put the hope and pray to Allah SWT to ease up the way for succes.

Actually, business coaching isnt just important to someone's career but also for the company and to whoever 'married' to his company haha...again, a coach doesnt lead a client to succes, but help the client in getting back to the right path to recovery. We will provoke the clients' mind or pose questions which the client may like, or dislike (normally we know the constructive questions are) as we see, that most of our client who is in despair in business, actually has lost sight of the most important strategies that will rebuild the business. They know that, but kept to them and to themselves. Its good if they were to admit it, as more ideas would surface and gradually, they would see the 'light' to get out from the the tunnel named 'great mess'.

Business coaches charge per hourly basis but setting hope and tawakkal (put effort and dua) to Allah SWT, costs zero penny.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

DESIGNING LOVE


Its Friday night, and I am in the mood to write. It has been many days I have been listening to Maher Zain’s songs, in office, in the gym and in the car. The music suits me very well, and the lyrics really captured my mind. Most all of the wordings are actually more than beautiful and went straight to my heart. I feel blessed, that I am not alone in searching for soul peace. I don’t know who is the lyrics writer is, I bet the writer must have experienced the inner battle between him and his good self, fighting and survived in his journey to find victory, the peace his soul been searching for. Actually, some of the songs were about the life story of what I myself have gone through.

Ok now, the topic is about designing love. Am I in love? Haha…I don’t trust in love anymore, I don’t know, till the time comes when Allah decides to change it. my heart belongs to Allah and I let Him decide totally. I just rejected another marriage proposal by another arab client of mine haha…poor him. I don’t understand some of my clients sometimes, they just didn’t get it. I care for their company’s welfare as I am their corporate adviser, not that I care for them personally. They must have been really misunderstood my concern for the real matter haha…Ops, i dont want to bore you with this issue, so let us go to our main thing that I want to share with you. Please read through and you will get the idea of what I am trying to get at, InsyaALlah.

tonight I would like to share about ‘love’ in my definition and the lesson I have been ‘taught’ by my Creator. It happened somewhere back in early 2008. I was in despair for my marriage failure, the business had not been taken care well, where it should be and everything were in a great mess. I remembered meeting few friends asking help to ease my court case for dissolving my marriage, and everybody seemed not to be helpful. My staff took my situation for granted, for I seldom come to the office to settle my personal problems, and the monthly collection was just enough to pay up the wages and office running expenses. To add more to my emotional burden, my ex husband snatched 2 of my babies, that time, my youngest Husna was just 3 plus, and I was indeed in great despair. I was really hurt and suffered emotionally, severe than any physical pain, deeper than any cut. My Husna was still a baby. i was really saddened by not having my baby in my arms.

Hatred, anger, sadness and worries were my 'companions' and they were very 'loyal'...when i missed my gals and looked at their pictures, I became outrageously angry but had no way to throw the tantrum. I thought i would be losing them forever. I was extremely sad but could not drop any tears for being a stubborn person, I thought I can combat this agony. Whenever I sleep, I felt at peace for I can forget all miseries and enjoy whatever ‘movie’ served to me in my dreams, hoping that I become the hero that can slash into pieces the kidnaper of my gals, so that my gals and I can be together again, and for good. I hated the situation where I was not in control of the situation, and wasn’t in any of peaceful state at all. One of the contributory factor was worrying my ex husband would deprive my gal from me, for the rest of my life. Eidul Fitr in 2008 was the saddest Eidul Fitr I have ever celebrated as nothing to celebrate but for completing my fasting and not having my gals. i didnt realize that at that current moment, i was the one who lost myself, gasping in darkness, in search of the real peace.

That time, I had decided not to rely on anyone for any favor. That time, friends for me were just for laughing time, bunch of bugs who 'take' but not to 'give'. My siblings were busy with their own lives but they were good at listening though, well it helped a bit. Having no one to turn to and losing hope that no one would want to share my problems, I resigned to the fate that everything happened were destined onto me and nothing can be done about it. worrying like crazy that I might grow old alone, losing my kids forever, being dumped in an old folks house, becoming a beggar etc etc were just like an automatic radio with an unseen ‘DJ’ disturbing my mind. I have tried to deviate my emotional problems with some sports activities like cycling, extreme swimming etc, but it was temporary. When I was alone, the unseen ‘DJ’ came to do his routine. Que sera sera, what will be, will be.

Like what was said in the other song of Maher's, water in the river will flow to the sea, I know that Allah is always there for me. To one extend, I thought of selling off my business and migrate oversea to start a new life. it was 2.30 am that time, I was alone, and couldn’t sleep. I could not think of anyone but Allah, and all my ‘life cd’ being played in my mind and there wasn’t any button for me to turn it off. My tears ran down like Niagara Falls, and I was so embarrassed to Allah for disobeying and being an arrogant person towards her Creator. Shame on me for ignoring my Lord who never hates nor turns His face away from me. I was the one who used to do that. I was the one.

I ‘watched’ the entire ‘cd’ and admitted all my sins. I pleaded guilty, admitted to all ‘charges’ and sobbed for His forgiveness. When I started to ‘talk’ to my Creator, I confessed everything and submitted to Him totally. I told Him that I accepted everything if those were the way of sentence or punishment for my past sins. I deserved it and I knew i have to be held responsible of my own acts. After a while, and it was really about few hours, i took ablution, and performed ‘solat taubat’ and ‘solat hajat’ asking for His pardon, and raising my hope to get my babies back. I had du’a to Allah asking Him to soften my ex husband’s heart to return them to me. I let go of everything like letting go a paper yatch in the river, if it sinks or flow, so just be it. I let Allah to decide and I would accept whatever the ‘verdict’ were.

It was a big relief. When I submitted all worries, sadness and anger towards myself, to my Creator, I felt lighter and the problems that I had were insignificant. The love and attention given by Him covered them all. Why do I said that? Its because, I never felt being loved and given the attention I need all my life, in such a way, a special way, its hard to describe. The feelings mixed, love, protection, attention, concern and forgiveness. The sweet and nice thing is, I still can feel it, and its nice to have the feelings back, though i dont have it everyday. Its just like a remedy to a poison in me. Thank you Allah. I know that I don’t have anyone who can soothe my sorrow and misery except Allah. I have no one to turn to except to Him. He observes and waits for me to ask His attention. How I had been so blind and dumb before. How couldn’t I feel His love for me before? He is always there for me.

This is what my soul had been searching all these while. Nothing matters after that. I know that Allah will take care of everything and it happened as thought. After 7 months, my ex husband returned my gals and it was like I was having Eidul Fitr ever since. Believe me, I never have the vengeful feelings towards my ex hubby. whatever he had done and yet to do now, is between him and Allah. I care less for any of his dues or obligatory responsibilities as a father to his children nor to remind him about his duties, for I have stopped worrying for any consequences. I rest my case. Allah will make it enough for me.

Worrying is wasteful and indeed it was really tiring. My ex husband is just another player in my life drama, which our story was unfortunately didnt turn out to be a happy ending epic. We dont always get what we hope, there is always hikmah behind everything, and everything happened for a reason/reasons.

To share with you my valued readers, i dont care about people saying on life begins at 40 or 50. i started to live when i realized where i came from and what is the purpose of my existence. now, I know who to turn to whenever I didn’t know what went wrong with my emotions and this feelings make adjustments which leads to my happiness now. I am a happier maryam, my business have grown better, my kids are growing before my eyes, and as a bonus, I am healthier for keeping my sports activities, Alhamdulillah. A lesson is learnt. I have 2 types of relationship i must be concerned of till the day i would be forgotten, that is with my Creator and with His creations. It really changed me and my perception towards what friendship really means. i want to be a stable person from the aspect of spiritual, emotional and of course physical, amin.

Allah’s love is pure, and it’s the real love all mankind been seeking for. He has designed a ‘software’ that no one can ever hack nor break it. the software says, the ‘hardware’ (our heart) will only be at peace when remembering Him. There is no substitute for this ‘software’, it’s a lifetime programme till the day ‘no place to run nor hide’. When we are hoping to be loved by humans, we know that its temporary and it (mawaddah) fades with time leaving sympathy (rahmah) to keep what is left. I wouldnt understand how sweet and unique this 'love' towards Allah feels like, if i havent encountered any of these miseries, if i havent gone through this priceless life experience and if i havent feel the pain of being a failure.

We are responsible in designing the shape of love towards our Lord, and believe me, He will return the love in much more better shape. All praises be to Allah and i am so grateful to be chosen in this life test. For this design of love i got, I wouldnt want to exchange for the worlds nor to turn back the time.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

THE MAN WHO FED AN OLD BLIND JEW

Salam & Hi to all,

it has been many many weeks i havent wrote anything, just finished my latest sports event which i've taken part, it was the Ipoh Century Ride 2010, which total distance of ride was 160km, completed within 7hours 35mins haha (the fastest was 4 plus hours only)

Anyway, i am going to write a true story tonight, about an old Jew who was blind, jobless, maybe did some beggar work near the market place to survive and also known by the public in that territory as a person whose mouthful with vulgar swearing towards the Prophet, Muhammad s.a.w. Surely he hated the Prophet s.a.w, more than he could say. Weird, he had never seen who he was swearing all those while. people who passed by would just ignore him be in his poor neglected condition. No one seemed to care of his welfare and considered as a nuisance....except to one man.

This one man, made feeding this old blind jew as his routine...until one day, this kind man stopped doing his usual feeding activity. As usual, that blind old jew would shout saying that the Prophet was the cause of his bad luck for that day and continue cursing the beloved Prophet s.a.w. as his way to throw his tantrum. He was governed by hatred which benefited him nothing.

On the day the Prophet wafat (passed away), the market place was not busy as before. After Saiyidina Abu Bakr was appointed to become the new khalifah (leader), he tried the best he could to continue what the Prophet s.a.w has been practicing during his reign. The sunnah was what the Prophet s.a.w left for us to follow were all in the knowledge of Saiyidina Abu Bakr. He felt that there was something still undone.

So, one day, he asked Saiyidatina Aisyah, her daughter and also the wife of the Prophet s.a.w, about what were the thing that the Prophet would be doing that was not known to him. He wanted to ensure the 'continuation' of the Prophet's activities during his life.

She told him that the Prophet used to feed an old blind jew at the market place. In no time Saiyidina Abu Bakr rushed to the market place and searched for the mentioned blind old jew. He saw an old blind man, sitting at a corner, busy cursing the Prophet s.a.w out loud. Realizing that there was a 'stranger' near him, the old man yelled at Saiyidina Abu Bakr asking him to go away. Saiyidina Abu Bakr told him of his purpose to be there was to feed him. The old blind jew scolded Saiyidina Abu Bakr telling him that he didnt want anyone but the only man who used to feed him daily.

Saiyidina Abu Bakr tried to convince him that he was the person who always feed him everyday. with anger he yelled 'no, you are a liar, the man's voice is soft not like yours'. Saiyidina Abu Bakr smiled and soften down his voice and tried to put the food into that blind old man's mouth.

Again he yelled saying 'the man who used to feed me, will never give me hard food, he will chew it first then slowly put it into my mouth, else i would be chocked!' in his full temperamental voice. Saiyidina Abu Bakr was saddened, his eyes were soaked with tears and ran on his cheek. he chewed the food to small pieces and kindly put into the readily opened mouth of that arrogant old man.

Then when he wanted to put another chewed food into the old man's mouth, again that ungrateful old blind jew yelled ' the man who used to feed me will never force feed me, he will wait until i swallowed the food completely...and he will do that until i am full ! '. Saiyidina Abu Bakr's hands were shaking for him couldnt bare his emotion and burst crying. It was a quiet moment, and after a while, he asked the old blind man who was the person who treated him with full of kindness and love.

with a sober tone of voice, the old blind man answered ' how would i know, he just came to me everyday, talk softly to me asking me whether i am hungry, and kindly feed me until i am full....i never asked his name anyway '. With tears and semi husky voice (due to refraining himself from sobbing), Saiyidina Abu Bakr told him that he man who fed him daily was the beloved Prophet Muhammad s.a.w., the man that he has been cursing everyday.

It was told that before his last breath, the blind old jew had converted to Islam. Islam came to him and he found Islam, through the beauty of akhlakh and sahsiyyah (attitude) of our beloved Muhammad s.a.w. The Prophet s.a.w could be praying and setting duas to Allah to give taufik and hidayah (way of truth) to the old man everytime to put food in his mouth. Subhanallah.

This story telling has no personal agenda except for educating the true beautiful character our beloved Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). we should be inspired with all actions and doings of kindness shown by the chosen one.

"..Be mindful of Allah, you will find Him before you. Get to know Allah in prosperity and He will know you in adversity. Know that what has passed you by was not going to befall you; and that what has befallen you was not going to pass you by. And know that victory comes with patience, relief with affliction, and ease with hardship."(al-tirmidhi:hadith19)