Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone Now!

 

highway-movie-hd-wallpaperI like the Bollywood movie – Highway – and especially this photo still (above). It was released more than three years ago. In this movie, the female protagonist (Alia Bhatt) discovers about life and herself.

There are several moments in this movie which I love; however, what piques my interest is that the character of Alia actually finds herself after she steps out of her comfort zone (in this case: her cozy home and luxurious life).

So, what is comfort zone? A place where you feel secure and at ease. It’s not bad right? I mean, you are comfortable, so you must be happy and content. Being in comfort zone indicates familiarity.  We live in the patterned world of our existence that keep us relatively comfortable and calm, and help us stay away from mental and emotional instability.

Unfortunately that’s not the case. The longer you stay within your comfort zone or in daily rut, the less happy you tend to be.

madiha 4The question is: If you want to stay in your comfort zone for entire life, then how will you know what it is like behind that invisible line?

“Move out of your comfort zone. You can grow if you are willing to feel awkward and uncomfortable when you try something new”. –Brian Tracy

The only reason that halts you to not cross that line is the fear of ‘what if’ you do not make it through. We fear to challenge ourselves mainly because we may fail or get hurt in the process. The problem is nothing ever grows when you stay in the comfort zone, except laziness, anxiety and fears.

higway 1According to wise folks, the only time you feel the magic happens is when you step outside your comfort zone.  Stepping out of your comfort zone is the most difficult task in your life and yet this gives you immense happiness.

It’s only when you push the boundaries of what you feel is comfortable, and challenge yourself to try new things.

When you go on an adventure, when you explore and experiment and, yes, take a bit of a risk; that’s when you learn and grow and, ultimately, you fulfil your passion and accomplish your desires and goals. You may have an inkling while moving out of your comfort zone but don’t fret because this is normal. Instead stand in front of the mirror and say it out a loud: ‘I am strong and I can do this, so bring it on!’

And who knows, you may also find contentment and meaning in your life outside your comfort zone just like the female protagonist finds it in the movie.

Shopping, Food And Much More…

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Photo by White Star

Accessible via Allama Shabbir Usmani Road, Block 13-D, Gulshan-e-Iqbal was established in the early 1970s. Over the years, the block has evolved from a sparsely populated residential area to a hub of commercial activity.

Thinking about jazzing up your home, consider heading to Block 13-D where several furniture and home stores are located. There you can find a wide range of dining tables, bookshelves, jhoolas, bed sets, vanity tables and cupboards. Not to mention, these furniture are also made-to-order.

One of the main attractions of these stores is the fact they offer reasonably priced wedding package deals for bridal furniture bedroom set – an ideal offer for newly married couples.

Other than furniture, you can also find a wide variety of stores dealing in curtains, carpets and mirrors to spruce up your home and that too on a budget.

There is plenty of choice in and around the neighbourhood when it comes to satisfying the appetite. For desi treats, head to Kashif Foods, Meerath Kabab, Baba Biryani Restaurant and Al-Shaikh Restaurant where you can devour kabab parathas, biryani, haleem, chicken tikka, gola kababas and paratha rolls.

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For fast food lovers, Pizza Point and Burger Lab are the go-to places where you can feast on delicious, juicy burgers and hot piping pizzas. And for those with a sweet tooth, a stop at Delhi Sweet Bakery is a must and grabs some fresh mithai, cakes and pastries on the go.

Walking through the neighbourhood, you will note the presence of well-maintained houses that have stood there for decades. Most of the houses located on the main road are increasingly repurposed and serve as commercial enterprises. An increasing number of banks, mosques, schools and wedding halls can also be found there, adding to the area’s appeal. Several grocery stores are located there, and cater residents’ daily requirements.

A few parks are also located in the vicinity where you can take a stroll or do mornings jog. In addition, Aladin Amusement Park, a popular recreational spot, is also few minutes’ drive away, where you can go with friends and family and enjoy rides on merry-go-round, ferris wheel, free fall, discovery, UFO ride, skater, bullet train, chairlift and many more.

If you are planning to buy a house in this area, do not give a second thought because this block has everything under the sun, be it parks, shops or eateries.

 

In Solitude, I Find Myself!

life hope 1

Photo credits: Online

A chaos filled inside me

No path is there to be seen

Everyday walking on a rough terrain

With nowhere to go, nowhere to reach

A quest of unknown territory

Feel a useless speck in a large scheme of life

Thoughts rampage and at the brink of insanity

Befuddle feelings and slow mind-numbing nothingness

Scary thoughts surround me everyday

Make me fall into deep pit

Complete meltdown and inability to face greatest life fears

Feed my addiction for perfectionism and measure my worthiness with material objects

No happiness, no contentment still I can find

Little do I know

In the midst of apprehension and uncertainty

I uncover my sense of purpose

All it takes a little digging to reveal the truth

In solitude, I seek solace

In solitude, I find myself

In solitude, I find God

The few lines above are my sentiments which I have gone through in the last few months. On the outside, I looked fine and healthy. But inside, a mysterious feeling was gnawing at me. I felt like my inner fear was slowly feeding on my soul. I was falling into a trap and nobody could see. I went under a cloak of invisibility. It was the time when I started listening and reading the materials that could inculcate some sense and relief to my mind and heart. And there it was, I read about Ishq Majazi (love for human) and Ishq Haqiqi (love for Allah). This made me see the world in a different perspective which I lost somewhere while living a meaningless life.

life hope 2

Online photo

When you love a human, you have expectations and emotions which make you restless and anxious all the time. And with this love are associated desires and wishes that are endless. Your heart is always on the lookout for new things and there is no direction in your life. You are also likely to experience heartaches, discontent, sadness and a fear of being abandoned by your love in any time of your life.

On the other side, there is one true love which spreads tranquility in your life and that is the love of Almighty Allah. It is at the times of grief, one finds comfort in the remembrance of Allah. Love so pure and true that bring calmness in your life. Where ever you turn, you see Allah in every being and in every element of this world. The anxiety and distress are replaced by happiness and contentment. There is such sweetness and pleasure in the name of Allah that by repeatedly invoking His name, every sorrow is turned into joy.

The love so pure gives you direction and replace your heartaches with fulfillment which you may not find anywhere. This love enables you to forget about your self (Nafs) and think beyond your desires and do something meaningful. Your main and only aim is to attain closeness to Allah and to achieve that you perform acts that bring you closer to Allah.

This love is not easy to achieve and you may fail many times, you can lose your direction and there is a slight chance for you to bounce back to your old life. But not for long because the sweetness and pleasure this love has brought in your life, will not let you stay away. Perseverance, patience and tolerance are keys to success and this is what keeps you going throughout the life.

Embrace this love and allow to let go of all the negative feelings brewing inside you!

 

For The Love Of Chai (Tea)

chaaye khana.jpgA good restaurant is one that transports you from the humdrum of everyday life into another world – a temporary cocoon of comfort. Chaaye Khana is such a place. Recently, I got an opportunity to go there at Lucky One Mall in Karachi. I was flabbergasted to see the ambience. Usually when you hear the name of the café, you expect it be a dhaba style, and therefore same was my thought.

Chaaye Khana literally means Tea House. There are several branches of the café in Islamabad, Multan and Karachi. When I entered the premises, I was taken aback with the gorgeous space filled with soaring ceiling, dim lights, bookshelves and artistic paintings on walls. Best place for the writers where you can sit and do creative writing. Also, you can play chess over there. Read a book if you like or just spend quality time with friends.

It’s a café which specialises in brunch, tea and desserts. Breakfast is served all day with variety of options like waffles, pancakes, eggs in many styles and aloo paratha, as well as brownies, cupcakes and lava cake. I ordered croissant with egg and cheese and special tea and it was very fresh and scrumptious.

If you are ardent tea lover, this place is for you. There is a range of regular and exotic tea varieties including herbal, oolong, Kenyan estate tea, white tea, Russian caravan, spicy chai, open sesame and many others. Personally, I find the presentation of tea very unique and interesting.

Staff was amicable and great service. For good food and ambience, I will rate this place 4 out of 5.

To Love And Be Loved!

life in perspectiveLast night, a random thought crossed my mind. When I shall leave this world who may shed tears on my funeral. My parents, sister and probably one or two of my closed relatives. That’s about it. I have a very small world which is good because less people you talk to, less drama in your life. But I also felt a pang of guilt that I am a selfish individual whose world revolves around I and myself. My parents and sister will feel sad because I am their blood. So it’s natural for them to feel that way.

Unfortunately, what is disheartening that I have never thought beyond my self. I have not helped any one ( and no monetary help is not what I am talking about). It’s about showing empathy to other people. I am not a bad person but in my life I have (intentionally) never thought to do something selflessly for other person. Not one moment I have given a thought to listen anyone or be there for a person. I always think that I don’t have friends in my down time but have I ever been there for them when they need me? Just to give a shoulder for them to cry on. The answer might be ‘No’… And not only friends, my fellow human beings. Doing something selflessly just to see them smile or even tears of joy makes all worth it. It’s as simple as that.

I believe that helping others is a great way to feel better about yourself. It can be a simple greeting with a smile, listen when someone talks, lend a shoulder to cry on, carry someone’s belongings to the top floor, run an errand for your aged neighbour, be a better friend or partner, cherish time with your parents, show concern to others and be compassionate, be gentle and generous even as simple as with compliments, be genuinely happy for others ( I know it’s hard but need to)… in simple words, find joys in giving and caring for others. Money buys you happiness but helping others will buy you contentment and satisfaction and probably few more people to shed tears on your funeral.

Mental Health: Dealing With Depression

 

mental health 1On November 26, 2018, I read about the suicide news of Rushaan Farrukh. It’s disheartening to know that a young girl, who was studying visual arts at BNU in Lahore, took away her life. Her last Instagram posts proved that she was suffering from depression.

I wonder what might be going through Rushaan’s mind when she was standing on the building’s roof. Giving up your life is not an easy decision rather it takes guts and a lot of negativities for Rushaan to jump off from that roof.

These days, youngsters and children are suffering from depression and the reasons are heartbreaks, failure at studies and bullying.

Depression is not a fluff; it’s real and valid issue. I do know what it’s like to be in this state because I had also gone through this phase. A couple of years ago, I had zero motivation for life and I totally gave up. It’s not because of bullying but yes I was heartbroken and this affected my studies. Despite being an A-Grade student I failed miserably at my fifth semester. And on top of that, my mother started looking for my rishtas because I turned 21, luckily I faced rejections many times (pun intended). Consequently, I felt bad and all of this just broke my spirit and I fell into depression.

At that time, I don’t know how and what happened but I only remembered that my parents, sister and most importantly my connection to Almighty Allah restored my strength.

Mental health is a big predicament and it should not be taken lightly. There are several mental health problems a person faces which include anxiety, insomnia and depression. Unfortunately, people suffering from these mental problems are mocked and derided by their surroundings and society.

mental health 2

Feeling anxious or low is normal but if this persists for longer period of time, then this is alarming. Depression is chronic, it can kill people. Depressed people tend to let their lives slide away from their hands. They feel safe in their own cocoon and don’t want to come out. Usually we think that people who are unsuccessful are depressed which is wrong. Several successful celebrities have also been reported to be in severe depression. Hollywood bigwigs such as Robin Williams and Chester Bennington (Linkin Park) took away their lives. In Bollywood, Deepika Padukone was the first female protagonist who came forward and acknowledged that she is suffering from high functioning depression. Now, Padukone helps create countrywide awareness about mental health.

So the question arises how to deal people with clinical depression? As society, it’s important to show concern and listen to the people who are depressed. Don’t shut them up by saying that you should be thankful for your life. The person is in pain and only he/she wants you to listen and not to be judgmental.

As parents, it’s important to build a relation with their children. During Zara Hat Kay Show, one of the psychologists, Aniqa, suggests to parents that they should teach gratitude and patience to the youngsters. These two traits are lacking in today’s generation and they want immediate results and if any mishap happens which is against their plan, they become impatient.

As far as my viewpoint is concerned, I don’t want to say anything to society because it won’t make much of a difference. I will directly say to the person, who is going through depression, try to revive your connection with your Creator. As Muslims, we believe that Allah calls you five times a day. The call to prayer is a reminder that the Creator is there for you. HE won’t abandon you in your misery. Talk to Allah because HE will listen to you. Pray to Allah because HE is the one who can boost your inner strength. Try to create a strong bond with Allah, who never judge you by your physical appearance and do not see your status; instead your Creator only sees your beautiful heart. Seek help from your Creator.

Remember you are above all these materialistic objects and do not let anyone belittle you because no matter how much we talk about humanity, or showing concern to people, nothing will change. There will be people who will demean you, who will say rubbish about you so DO NOT LET ANYONE COME IN YOUR WAY.

Nobody is perfect in this world, not me, you or not even your bully. This time will pass. And you just need to stay firm. And keep moving, you will eventually find a far better place.

Ranting: Clueless!

I am clueless about life. I don’t know where I want to go and what I want to do. It’s not like I don’t have goals in my life but most of the times I question myself is it worth it?

Apparently I look normal but  something is gnawing me deep inside which I have no clue of. This uncertainty is just melting away my vigor, my optimism in fact my whole being. I feel like a speck of dust in this immense universe who is useless, worthless and colossal failure.

Being clueless is not what I am proud of. I am not and I don’t know how it has crept into my system. Probably because I am far away from achieving my aim. Is it because of my fear or my habit of procrastination? I do know the answer but I don’t want to accept it.

I feel like my existence has no significance in this huge world

I am just a speck of dust in this immense universe

Every day is like a struggle for me

I am on a quest of nowhere

The self-realization is obscured under the burden of bafflement

Don’t know how long will it take me to find my path of self-discovery, my path of self-realization!