Friday, 15 December 2017

Year end reflections

Hi beautiful readers!

Reflecting on this past year literally has my mind spinning! It has been the most phenomenal, life changing and, not co-incidentally, also the year I turned 40 😊 

I had heard many people say "Life begins at 40" ... and since I could not relate, it was just a phrase. Until this year hit me with it's hectic challenges, trials which made me look at myself in a whole new light, shifts in relationships and so much more. While I wouldn't say that life 'started' at 40; for me it certainly took a fundamental shift. 
I have had to let go of my (not so secret) control freak, who dictated that life had a plan, and an outcome determined by me. The biggest lesson I learnt this year is to "Let it go", to live with a purpose, but mindful that I do not control the outcome, nor the plan. It started very early this year, when we returned from our vacation, my eldest was off to university, middle son started Grade 11 and the baby embarked on his last year at primary school. For each one of them I had an idea of how I would 'manage' the year, until I accepted that it would be best for my eldest to find his own path, wherever that would lead him. In retrospect, letting go of the parental reins was the best decision, as he's really embraced his own identity this year, taking full responsibility for his own route. My two younger ones have also stepped into 'bigger' roles this year which is really encouraging to see. And in the same way, in every other aspect of my life, letting go has yielded such amazing circumstances that I cannot even begin to tabulate the blessings it has resulted in.

I have been privileged to have travelled extensively this year, and hold all these memories very close to the heart. A glorious family vacation, and a few months later, the long awaited pilgrimage, a journey which completely transformed my perception of life. I find myself more at peace, although it requires work to maintain my holistic outlook on life. The lessons I embraced on my journey are still fresh and sometimes habit, and old ways of doing things, creep back in. It's astounding how quickly I register when I start falling back into old habits,  that even my body will alert me! So during this year it has become a key lesson for me to listen to every physical reaction or symptom, as it is always indicative of something I need to examine within myself. 

I remember turning 30, and how devastated I was to be saying farewell to my 20's- there was a significant shift for me when I turned 30. Maturing of sorts. Turning 40 on the other hand was like a celebration, of a renewed start and facing the unknown without the need to know. I celebrated this milestone, my 40th year on earth, whilst on pilgrimage and it cemented a steadfast trust in the Divine, an understanding that life will unfold despite me and my plans. Life will happen as it is meant to, and I can make it difficult by trying to manage it, or embrace what has been decreed. It is certainly easier said than done, but it has resulted in a more balanced me, less stress and definitely less conflict! 

"Not once did Allah SWT say 'Worry about it' or 'Stress over it'
He said: 'Trust Me'"

And so todays lookpost was taken on a day when I had hectic deadlines, and was struggling to focus on work. Something inside me was yearning for the smell of the sea, to see the crashing waves and feel the sun on my face (even for just an hour). So I put my work on hold for a bit (something I would never have dreamed of doing before), and took some timeout with hubby on a drive to Kalk Bay. What an absolutely invigorating break midweek with my bestie it was indeed, and completely refocused my energy when I returned to work. I am clearly in work clothes (on the beach hehe), but just letting go for a short while in a week where things were a little crazy work wise, was the best thing to do! Just letting it go 😌
 






 









Outfit Details:

Human Image lace blazer
Calvin Klein Jeans t-shirt
Topshop pants
Nine West heels
Scarf old
Sunglasses old
Earrings from Make a Statement
Swarovski necklace purchased in Venice
Ted Baker handbag

Ciao for now, 
RuBe xoxo


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Sunday, 10 December 2017

This is Us...22 years later ❤️

Hello Readers, 

Today is very special, it marks the day I embarked on life with a forever teammate. Celebrating 22 years of partnership, of mutual growth, of learning and ever present support. Two years ago we marked the 20 year milestone, (read that post here) and it feels as if we have weathered another 10 years since then!

It's apt to say weathered, as things have not been easy these past two years for either one of us in our respective individual capacities, and yet it has also brought us the best realisations of ourselves. It has made us both stronger, clear on the way forward and what really matters. And with every personal challenge, you were there for me and I for you. The reciprocal encouragement, a boost for our low times, was paramount to our own personal growth. You give selflessly, take care of me, make me laugh and boost me up when things get a bit much. 
My darling hubby, you are an angel on earth, who has helped me heal, who has challenged me while filling my days with joy and love; standing by my side when things go awry ❤️.

This past year alone has been a whirlwind ride, we have experienced the most life altering journey together, spent 6 weeks alone in a hotel room, and emerged stronger, with a sense of rejuvenation. This #journeyofalifetime has captivated us and ensnared us in its majesty and has resulted in a bond with renewed grace. And while 2017 has been a year filled with intensity, for every single member of our family, we have grown closer with deeper understanding. There have been so many fundamental changes during this year, which started with our family vacation at the beginning of this year. Being away from everything familiar back home, making the most amazing memories, and spending every single day together for 2 weeks, was a catalyst to the extraordinary events of this year.

There is no magic formula to staying together for this amount of time, but I do believe that mutual respect, selfless love and acceptance of our vulnerability has played a huge role for us. I am eternally grateful that we crossed paths, I believe we were meant to be soul mates, bringing out the best in each other, each day ✨

For my life-partner, Ghaalid.,

All of our moments are cherished experiences,
We've travelled side by side on this journey, 
Forever evolving, always changing,
At times being forced to reroute our navigation.
There have been moments of discord,
Moments of disharmony, 
Which ultimately brought us closer,
Helped us grow and move forward on a new path.

We've meandered along this route, 
Welcomed three little angels as passengers,
As co-travellers on our route. 
They have brought new direction, 
Taught us new methods and compelled us to grow.
These little men have brought about a change,
Coerced new views and acceptance of new ways.

And all along, we have held fast to each other,
When we lost our way, 
When we climbed over difficult obstacles,
And when we had to tear down walls enroute.
All along we stayed true to our pact, 
We co-steered to our destination. 
Our route has been filled with the most unimaginable highs,
Joy in creating incredible memories,
Unconditional love in guiding our three little gifts,
Into wholesome young men.

I thank you, my co-pilot, for staying the course with me,
I thank you for making this voyage the most profound it could ever be.
I thank you for trusting me with all of you, 
And for embracing all of me.
Happy Anniversary my love!

Collecting our documents for our #journeyofalifetime was an outstanding moment for us this year
Our three treasures, present day
Roll back to 2010!
Our Euro vacation was the catalyst for a magical year!

Smile big, Laugh often, Never take this life for Granted


Because every picture tells a story :-D




It was one of the hardest things we had to do... leaving these 3 for 7 weeks!


Live simple, Laugh often, Love deeply
Another momentous moment for us this year, after our first Umrah
Our return home was such a joyous event!






Find Your Tribe. Love them Hard.

Happy Anniversary!!!


Caio for now,
RuBe xoxo


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Monday, 4 December 2017

#HajjSeries... Madinah continued

Asalaamu Alaykum Readers, 

I greet you with the universal greeting of peace...
PEACE
A feeling one experiences every single day in Madinah, this most beautiful and tranquil city. Each day one walks in the footsteps of our Great Islamic leaders, martyrs and caliphs (teachers of Islam). The Mosque of the Prophet (PBUH) is one of the most sacred sites in the world, and as I walked around the area of the mosque, the sanctity is so tangible it infiltrates the consciousness and even the body. Despite the intense heat, and the crowds, I have never felt such an overall sense of peace and wellness as I did in Madinah. It was as if my heart was home, and the daily trips to the mosque, the explorations and visits to historical sites was a mere orientation for my heart.

We spent 12 nights in Madinah, and during the pilgrimage we aim to emulate and follow the Prophet's  (PBUH) actions and rituals on this journey. My first intention was therefore to perform 40 prayer times in the sacred mosque, which was was easily achieved within this length of time. Whenever I travel, I am always keen on the history of the destination, it is therefore natural that I was wholly engrossed in the life and history of our Beloved Prophet (PBUH) in this serene city, which is a complete reflection of the way our Prophet (PBUH) lived and carried himself. This city which is his final resting place, houses his body as well as his spirit, which is evident with every single step one takes in this city. 

Our days in Madinah were spent in performing prayers in the sacred mosque, daily visits (if possible) to the Sacred Chamber (Rawdah Mubarak) which is the tomb of the Nabi Muhammad SAW, and buried alongside him in this tomb are the first two caliphs (teachers) of Islam, Abu Bakr RA and Umar RA. Each day upon entering the sacred mosque, which houses this tomb, I would utter salutations upon these three Great men, these men who have formed a constant presence in all my muslim school teachings and subsequent Islamic history lessons.  My first visit to the Sacred Chamber was an intensely stirring experience. It was moving on such a deep level, it's difficult to articulate and to actually put it into words. It was really such a privilege to be able to visit and pay respects to their tombs on a daily basis; these men, who fought, triumphed and spread the word so that I could practise my religion without oppression. 

It was a daily mission to get into the sacred chamber; and, for a woman, a carefully timed and planned event. I was extremely fortunate and managed to visit regularly without incident i.e. the long waiting queues, pushing, shoving and being interrupted whilst paying respects at the tomb. 
Algamudulilah🙏🏼 

For me, Madinah was a time of acknowlegdement of our Beloved Prophet PBUH and as such I was keen on visiting all the places he frequented, lived and prayed. In between the prayers and visits to the sacred chamber, we went to the outskirts to visit important historical sites. The most notable was our visit to the plains of Badr. On this ground, the most important battle, The Battle of Badr, took place, a battle where our Beloved Prophet PBUH triumphed in the name of Islam. It was an unbelievably scorcher of a day when we set out to visit this site, it could easily have been 50+ degrees, and our travelling group were still adamant on climbing down to the actual terrain on which the battle occurred. I was overwhelmed with emotion as I stood on the walls of the well, in which the opponents bodies were piled, and felt so emotional standing there as testament to the triumph of that day, 17th Ramadaan AH (624 CE). Just being able to visit this hugely significant site, is paying homage to those who came before... 

Apart from the Sacred Chamber being the foremost site to visit at Masjid Un Nabawi, there are  other areas around the mosque which have significant historical importance. The Green Dome, which is visible from the outside of the mosque houses the tomb, but was also the location of the Prophet's (PBUH) first residential quarters. Very close to this, there is a spot where Uthmaan RA, the third Caliph (teacher of Islam) and son-in-law of the Prophet (PBUH) was martryred. These are areas one walks through every single day, and I cannot stop picturing these events in my minds eye (with a pensive heart) as I traverse the grounds of the mosque. 
A little bit of a walk around the mosque, about 300m south west, reveals a tiny mosque, Masjidul Ghamama. This tiny mosque, which was merely an outdoor area during the time of the Prophet (PBUH) is not open for the 5 daily prayers, but is significant as the place where the Prophet (PBUH) performed the prayer for rain. And immediately after this prayer, the clouds (ghamama being the Arabic word for clouds, and also the name of the mosque) gathered and they were blessed with rain! It was also the outdoor spot where the Eid salaah was performed for a few years before the death of the Prophet PBUH.

There is so much more to say, and so much more to share... and as I write this I relive every single momentous experience. I feel every single emotion all over again! There really is no journey like this one, aptly dubbed the #JourneyOfaLifetime ❤️
I hope you enjoy going on this voyage into my pilgrimage through these little titbits as much as I enjoy sharing it 🕌

Look out for the next instalment of my #HajjSeries 



A selfie with some Indonesians, who love to hear about South Africa!

A stop at a well Bir Ar Rawah which dates back 1400 years, and served as a refreshment stop
for the Prophet PBUH and his troop on their way to The Battle of Badr. This well water is
believed to have healing properties.

Standing on the wall of the well where the opponents bodies were piled,
the well has since dried up (as seen behind us)


On a walking tour we stopped at the cemetary, Jannatul Baq'i which houses
many of the Prophet's (PBUH) relatives and companions

This is the area of the mosque which houses the tombs, the Green Dome is visible; and also
the first quarters of the Prophet PBUH

The tiny mosque, Masjidul Ghamama

While exploring and looking for places to eat, we obviously stumble across
some nice malls and shopping spots!

Also on the fringes of the mosque, an exhibiton of the 99 names of Allah 
There is a story related to each gate of the mosque



The hill on the far side of the plains of Badr, it has been established that Angels descended from this hill
to assist the Prophet PBUH during the battle. It is believed that the pinkish tinge of the hill (which is unlike any other  hills in Madinah which is just rock and black mountainous terrain) indicates the spot where the Angels descended

 A mosque has been erected at the spot which marks the command post of the Prophet PBUH during the
Battle of Badr.
Thank you for reading!

Ciao for now, 
RuBe xoxo

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