Saturday, 28 December 2019

Wrapping up this Decade

Hi beauties!

As this decade draws to a close, I find myself not only reflecting on this year and what has transpired, but also on what this past decade has brought. And boy, it has been an eventful one, filled with so much unexpected blessings and achievements, most of them not really planned in the traditional sense.

There have been so many areas of growth, expansion, change, and loads and loads of learning. At the start of the last century, my life was on a different course, I was still working feverishly in finance. I was mom to 3 young boys, juggling the crazy extra curricular driving with work, and being a home maker. I barely slept, I was constantly ON, studying part time and just about making time for my gym sessions. Whilst I was not really unhappy, I do remember my health taking a downward turn, my only kidney taking strain, as well as other major health issues popping up. It was clear that something needed to change; and yet it still took me a long time to come to terms with this and take the step toward the change.

During this last decade I started my blog journey (2012), left the corporate space (2013/2014), embarked on the entrepreneur path (2014), to mention a few of the life changing events. My professional journey has evolved so much in the past 10 years, which has transformed many times; into variations based on where I was at the time, what I've learnt and where my path has led me. At the close of the decade, I now find myself the office daily, working more than I did 10 years ago; however, with a distinct change ... I am now focused on growing our own businesses, engaging my passion for serving my fellow human, coaching, mentoring businesses and my continuous search for knowledge and seeing the world; and sharing this with others.

When I look at my 3 boys, who were all under the age of 11 at the start of the decade, I acknowledge that this has been one of the most rewarding area of growth and learning for me. I have had to learn to parent impressionable teens, nurturing them into young adults, being mindful of their individual personalities and characters. These young men have brought me such profound learnings, they have shown me how to look at myself critically and taught me what modelled behaviour should look like.  They have guided me on how to engage with them from a place of compassion, understanding and empathy while at the same time maintaining my parental responsibilities. This balance was the hardest thing to learn!

My personal path during these past 10 years has been nothing short of phenomenal, I have engaged and dealt with my childhood trauma with courage and grace. My past hurts are no longer regarded as millstones around my neck, and instead I am thankful for those tough times as they have shaped me into the individual I am today. There were scary moments of facing things which had been buried for years, but bringing them to light was so liberating and healing. All my inner work has enabled me to parent with awareness of my own weaknesses and when they creep into situations, I have learned how to manage my triggers and deal with my demons in my own way. 
We were immensely blessed to have received our invitation for pilgrimage (almost 3 years ago), a truly life changing event which literally fast tracked my own inner work. It put my entire life into perspective and shed light on my purpose on this earth. It taught me that my faith and the Divine is all I need to navigate my path. 

I have grown so much as an individual, my circle has diminished as I focused more and more on my own internal work and I have grown to understand human nature holistically. The biggest learning during these past 10 years has been to understand that forgiveness sets me free as much as it does the forgiven. That I am not qualified to determine who should or should not be forgiven, I am completely clear that my only focus should be on being the best I can be. It does not matter what anyone else says, does, or thinks as I cannot influence or change anyone else, I can only manage myself and my own actions; afterall I am accountable only for myself and those whom I have been tasked with the responsibility of nurturing and teaching.

This year hubby and I celebrated our 24th anniversary, and even the very foundation of our mariage has shifted during this last decade. Whilst we were both on our individual paths, focusing respectively on our own inner work; it has fostered appreciation, understanding and a stronger bond has been forged through our shared trials and tribulations. During my times of grappling with hurt, I found solace in my soul mate, and when faced with impossible situations, he supported me unconditionally. 🙏🏼

I am therefore heading into the next decade fully equipped to live to the best of my ability, to continue to seek knowledge, to be fully aware of my impact on the world and others, and to take responsibility for myself and my actions as I walk along my Decreed path. There have been so many firsts in this past 10 years, too many to list, and I remain eternally thankful to my Creator for all that I have been blessed with, for all that I have seen and experienced and for all the lessons which have strengthened me in so many ways, Algamdulilah. ♥️

Pics below are from my very first international birthday trip, as we usually only travel in December so that we can take the kids with us. This year we decided to break tradition and do a trip mid year, without the boys. And even though we had some work commitments, there was obviously time for holidaying as well!
Due to the heat in Dubai, I mostly wore silk dresses (like this one), light skirts and linen fabrics...

Wishing all of you a wonderful and prosperous 2020!
















 Outfit details:
Boldtique dress
Old Scarf
Birkenstocks Sandals
Desigual Backpack
Old Earrings

Caio for now, 
RuBe xoxo









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Saturday, 2 November 2019

Coming to terms with the entirety of myself...

Hey lovelies!

I found my way back and it feels good to be back after a while away! This post has literally been in drafts for over 2 weeks 🤦🏻‍♀️
I've been saying for a while that 2019 has really been challenging on many fronts and my time availability has really been limited. However, it was also filled with most amazing milestones, moments of joy and blessings Algamdulilah.

This year has presented many instances where I needed to do introspection, I had to learn how to manage myself in a range of trying situations, from work to family and social engagements. There are many things I have learnt about myself, some good and some hard to swallow, but at the crux of it, I have had to come to terms with the entirety of myself. And accept that my make up is that I have been Divinely created in a specific way for a particular purpose.

Through the course my life I have weathered a pretty tumultuous and difficult childhood, one I do not talk about often; because on the whole I have made peace with the fact that my life has been decreed this way. As tough as it may have been, it has ultimately shaped me into the person that I am today. I have sat with those who have caused me anguish during my childhood years, given pardon and made a conscious decision that my traumas will not trip me up. The impact that this approach has had on my life has been expansive to say the least, there is very little which I carry in my heart and I am aware of what triggers old wounds and behaviour patterns. I am constantly vigilant of living up to my best potential in my mission to serve my Creator. 

Hubby said to me the other day, that my life is very much a reflection of who I am; and that I am capable of moving from one rollercoaster (literally and figuratively) to the next without batting an eyelash. And if I just consider my life from as early on as I can remember, it has most certainly been one rollercoaster after the other, and over 30 years later it has not changed much. However, what has changed significantly is the way I deal with struggles, the way I place my Creator first which then activates the intention to take care of myself. I am clear that this has been my decreed path and lamenting my fate every time I am faced with an obstacle is not an option. So while there have been many instances of life kicking me in the teeth, I have always dusted myself off, wiped the blood off and barged straight ahead. I take my learnings, integrate what I need to, and gracefully thank the Almighty for the opportunity to move forward (again). 

So while it may look like I always have it all together, know that I too have had some serious life knocks, in fact I still have them, but I pull myself together and supplicate to my Creator for guidance. This methodology helps me maintain my equilibrium when life gets hectic, and gives me the stamina to forge ahead.

So when you feel like the odds are always stacked against you, know that you cannot change others, or the situation. You can only change your approach and the way you deal with these hurdles, if you reflect on your own part in things, you will experience a fundamental shift in your inner peace.

This dress was one I've been wanting to share with you for a while, it was such a lovely bespoke dress, which A Sense of Style put together for me in a matter of days. Aaliah is one of those beacons of light who makes me smile and laugh out loud just by being in her company. Get in touch with her to order your bespoke dress, or follow her Instagram account to see what her current range looks like. 

“Be melting snow.
Wash yourself of yourself.”
Rumi















Outfit details:

Dress by A Sense of Style
Scarf by RifWrapped
Ted Baker Heels
Forever New embellished bag
Earrings gifted

Caio for now, 
RuBe XoXo




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Saturday, 14 September 2019

My first-born turns 21

Hi lovelies, 

My regular readers would know that I've been swamped and hence my posts have been few and far between this year. It's unbelievable the pace at which things have been going this year, and everything I have been involved in has meant very little time for my blog. 

But, there is no other time like the 21st birthday of my first-born to force me to sit down, and take a moment to pay tribute to this milestone, for both him and us as parents.
It's really not a walk in the park, parenting in today's society, and yet it is most rewarding and fulfilling. It is one of the most important gifts and responsibilities which has been Divinely bestowed upon me. And with these past two weeks being fraught with emotion, critique and hate speech around gender based violence, I feel the responsibility weigh even heavier on my shoulders. To ensure that these young men, will model behaviour seen in the home, integrate it into who they are and take it into the world and their lives going forward. I pray each day that they are able to withstand the challenges that life throws at them with Grace, and with the consciousness of being respectful of ALL individuals at ALL times. And living the best version of themselves always ❤️

I became a parent at the tender age of 21, so my 42nd birthday was an extra special one, as Ziyaad wished me, he said "Happy 2nd 21st birthday Mom". It was an emotional time, where I was extremely nostalgic and as I reflected upon all the trials we weathered together as parents. I looked at our nuclear family and felt an immense sense of achievement; as any parent knows, having young adults in the home is extremely challenging and yet it has also enabled the greatest growth for me as an individual. Provided I am open to learning from these young men, open to listening to their viewpoints and acknowledging that the world has changed from what I know. 

When we discussed celebrating this young man, we debated so many options for his birthday, and we settled on no big bash and just a trip with mom (since our birthdays are literally 3 days apart). And as the time drew near for our trip, his campus schedule was so full, he was unable to get away, so it then quickly turned into a last minute dash to put together a birthday celebration. And from there, all my attention was focused on planning his party with very little time for his tribute. 

So Ziyaad, this is for you:

As you enter the next phase of your life, 
May you always remain steadfast
In your unwavering quest to be yourself.
I pray that your life is filled with more moments
to treasure than those which create angst.
You are an example to all of being fearlessly authentic,
Walking your path in your way, 
Regardless of the pressures of society. 
Hold your head high as you traverse this world, 
Always confident and crystal in your vision.

You are about to enter the world as an adult, 
Please remember to keep the fire of that young kid alive, 
Never allow the trials of life to dictate your orientation,
And,
Stay the course as you find your way, follow your passion,
And live your purpose. 
You have shown me what courage means, 
you have taught me the strength of LOVE, 
And above all,
You have shared your heart, your gentleness and joy with us,
For this we are eternally grateful,
Keep shining my son.
And we'll always be here to recharge those batteries ♥️


Some pics of our celebration of this young man:













Baby brother saying a few words

Younger brother paying his tribute

Dad representing me as well (I was wayyy to emotional to talk)

24 years married and boy we've weathered a lot!

Putting the finishing touches to his speech




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Friday, 26 July 2019

Hajj Lessons unpacked

 Aslm and hello lovely readers!

I know it's been a while since I've popped in over here, but I am slowly getting back on my feet after the past few insanely busy months. I was reflecting on how the first part of this year has literally sped by in a flash, and how much has actually happened! And before I knew it, Hajj season (yes it really feels like a season nowadays) was upon us and my heart and soul was catapulted into another reality. 

I always feel highly charged and emotional when people start departing for Hajj, and the overwhelming need to engage and share with them sets in. It's as if I would like to impart all the wonder from my own Hajj, I want to 'prepare' them for this most incredible journey they are about to embark on. And at the same time I am fully aware that no matter what I say (or write) about my absolutely magnificent pilgrimage, each individual will have their own unique experience. I am clear too that each person will have their own challenges as well as the most extraordinary blessings (both tailored just for them). Above all, I know that the experience is dependant on what the individual chooses to make of their Hajj; the concept of just embracing whatever you're presented with sets the tone for a spiritually fulfilled hajj.

This week marked the two year anniversary of our departure for Hajj, it was an emotional time for me as the day flashed in all its clarity through my mind. I felt as if I was reliving it all over again! I never really understood what previous Hujaaj was talking about when they said that Hajj is unlike any other travel, until I too was honoured to perform my pilgrimage. Having said that, even though the physical Hajj occurred two years ago, the impact, the lessons and insights continue every day and unfold in the conscious act of trying my utmost to live my Hajj. 

As more time passes, I understand this concept more clearly, as the lessons learnt during Hajj imbed themselves in my DNA. 
Some of the lessons I learnt during my journey of a lifetime, which is now becoming an instrinsic part of how I navigate the world and serve my Creator:
  1. Accepting the Grace, Mercy and Love of my Creator. This has to be the one lesson which was reinforced every single day during my Hajj. I could tangibly feel my connection and relationship with the Divine being strengthened with every moment I spent in supplication. Being cognisant of the fact that I was an esteemed guest in His place of worship, meant that I was chosen out of hundreds of thousands to be there during Hajj1438. And even being one of the masses, I still felt singled out and immensely blessed to be able to walk the streets of Madinah, to gain easy access to the Raudah and to enjoy close proximity to the Holy Ka'bah. I consciously aim to maintain the sincerity of those engagements and supplications with my Creator, it is a daily practice which I cannot function without.
  2. Understanding that we are all One. Every single pilgrim was on their own journey of a lifetime, each one from a corner of the globe, with very different circumstances; and yet standing on the same planes of Arafah, and performing the very same tawaaf and sa-ee. 
  3. Being tolerant of others. Since there are people from different countries, with different cultures and ways of doing things, one has to observe tolerance and understanding. Some travellers come from remote rural villages, others may be bedouins who live in the desert and you'll even find pilgrims who have entered the Kingdom on foot without any form of pre-planned accommodation (which we're so lucky to enjoy). In the same way back home, it is essential to drop judgements (and to be aware of it as an impulsive reaction) and find the place of understanding that someone else's behaviour is purely from their own orientation in the world. This creates a platform for authentic connection with others.
  4. When you're on Hajj and in the state of ihraam, everyone is equal, there is no class distinction, no overt display of wealth nor focus on worldly things. It becomes very clear that we're all equal as humans in the eyes of our Lord, Subgaanallah.
  5. Practice patience. For me this was something I had to train myself to exercise before leaving. I had no clue what I'd be faced with in Saudi, and had to learn to practice patience in every single aspect of my journey. From waiting on the bus, to walking at someone else's pace in soaring temperatures; from being ignored to being locked out of our hotel room, and then not being understood as we tried to remedy a situation. 
  6. Forgiveness. This was the biggest lesson learnt, and started with forgiveness of, and being gentle with myself first. Forgiveness is something we pray and yearn for from our Creator, and yet in our daily lives we feel entitled to withhold forgiveness based on how badly we feel we've been wronged. I have come to realise that forgiving means being sincere from the heart, making a pledge with the self to no longer hold onto the hurt and actual occurence, and to always be mindful of how I would like to be forgiven. And then to model that behaviour towards others.
  7. Surrender to Faith. Another important element of my Hajj; while I was able to plan certain things, the realisation that I do not control anything was never more evident than on my pilgrimage. My decision to have the best experience meant that I would need to surrender and allow faith to carry me through, even when it was difficult. And when I engaged this mode, it literally transformed my entire perception, and the difficulties turned into valuable insights for myself.
Be an ambassador for Hajj. 
Whilst this may not be a lesson, it was an intention I made when I completed my pilgrimage. I made a heartfelt undertaking to inspire others and to advocate the impact that Hajj has made in my life. There have been many trying times since my journey of a lifetime, and the way I deal with these trials and embrace what life presents has been a learned mechanism activated through my Hajj. My inclination now, is to first look at a situation from the perspective of truth, and what would please my Allah (SWT),  and then navigate my way to a solution from there. It is not always easy nor the popular way of dealing with things, but it is more important for me to know my heart is clean, my intention only to please the Divine, then I know i'm on the right path.

I have been pensive and introspective, and have had many aha moments since my Hajj, it has contributed to my own personal and spiritual growth and keeps bringing me back to path of serving the Almighty and my fellow human ♥️

Since it's been freezing, I have been layering to keep warm. This look is typical officewear, with a trench thrown over for those days I need to brave the cold walking to meetings.
All pieces are existing pieces from my wardrobe, and the trench is around 8 years old, when Trenery was still a new label.









Outfit details:
Trenery Trench Coat
Zara embellished knit
Soviet coated denim jeans
Scarfstop scarf
Aldo boots
Michael Kors Bag

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