2023 — You are Here
As we welcome 2023, I chose the metaphor of “You Are Here”. When you walk in a mall or popular tourist cities, there are signs of “you are here” to give you a big picture of where you are situated amid all there is to see and do. As I was reflecting with a friend about 2022, I found this metaphor helpful in reflecting on the past and thinking about the future, as we all do when a new year begins. “You Are Here” is followed by “How are you living this life entrusted to you?”
Our community is still in shock at the loss of a young, brilliant human being- beloved son, brother, husband, father, cousin, nephew in the Iqbal family; loyal and adored friend; admired and giving community member- Dr. Sheeraz Iqbal. We are entering the New Year in grief and loss as this 46-year-old member departs at the height of career and community life after an 18 month battle with brain cancer. Yet, we console ourselves as we realize that Sheeraz lived a life fuller than many who live much longer. And Muslims (as many other traditions) believe that death is not the end of life, but the beginning of a new phase of the soul’s journey. It is an awakening in another form in another Universe.
This departure, so close to our families and community, heightens our awareness and consciousness of life itself. In our quiet prayerful moments, we go inward and reflect: How are we living our life- what are we focusing on? Where are we spending our time? How are we serving others? What legacy will we leave behind? How are we developing as individuals with all the faculties and bounties with which we are bestowed? How are we building and nurturing families and communities and future generations? How are we caring for this beautiful Planet in whatever limited way?
As we keep moving forward using our human agency and efforts to plan and do things, may we also be prepared for the destinies unknown or sudden that come along the way as Allah wills it. I am fortunate to get these weekly reminders in a most beautiful way by our Sufi teacher who integrates the latest Western quantum science discoveries with the ancient teachings of our faith and will continue to share this knowledge in my blogs. Thank you, dear friends, for your encouragement and engagement in these writings.
Wishing each one of you a year of mindfulness and meaningfulness; and above all gratitude of the precious gift of life, health, family, friends, and community, Inshallah.