Thursday, August 13, 2009

Ever realised how far you’ve come?

Have you ever really sat down and thought of how far you’ve come in life? I know I haven’t. I’ve been rushing about, chasing, running, but never really seeing.

A new perspective has taken over my life. I’ve realised, I need to sit down and take time to smell the roses, and as my dad says, see the trees, smell the air, unleash all concern. I think right now I need it more than ever.

I’m about to enter the biggest decision of my life. A life of new beginnings, new moments, breathtaking experiences and most certainly, challenging times as things often tend to be. However, I want to be fully present, alive in each and every moment.

My soul has been such, that I’m forever searching. Searching for growth, new experiences, greater ambitions. Yet, never have I taken stock of the growth I’ve achieved, the experiences that have given birth to wonderful developments in my life, and celebrating the success after having strived so hard.

Just recently, I was faced with an enormous intervention in my life. I knew it was there, all along, always lurking in the background, but never did I want to face it, so I did what I do best, and just kept on paddling like mad.

Until one Sunday, after a busy but restful break with Shahieda and Debbie at the Protea Hotel, I was doing the dishes with Raafiek and we got into chatting. I ended up speaking and it was as if the words couldn’t wait to get out. Right there, my heart was talking. But, this time, was I going to listen, or just ignore it, once again?… go back to being the swan above the waters once more, while I continued to paddle like mad, just as before? Or would I really listen to my heart’s call and step up to relinquishing its turmoil knowing that in this time, long-term memories are born?

I thought about it for days on end. Fought it. Embraced it. Then fought it again. Whatever I did I knew it had to come from me. It had to be my decision… and oh hasn’t it taught me a lot. This year has been rather interesting, very trying but certainly eye-opening and enriching.

In the weeks to come, I learnt that I’m only human, just like everyone else. Some of my friends call me Superwoman, and for a while I even thought so myself. Others believe I’m the calmest person they’ve met, and I may be, but the swan theory comes into play here. Not too long ago, my friend Nadia told me that I should realise how far I’ve come. I realised for a minute or two, but then rushed on anyway. Till it really hit me.

I’ve rushed all my life. Chased. Tried a bit harder. Strived a bit more. Gave a little more effort. But, don’t get me wrong, no regret lives in my heart. For if it wasn’t for that very nature of my own, I certainly would not be where I am today. A place I treasure. And, this follows on from the post titled: “The CAN-DO Girl”. I really know I am. Because, whatever comes my way, I can do! I won’t allow myself otherwise.

But, for now, with the dire need of my heart to enjoy this beautiful moment in my life, I will calm down, even just for a while. I will take in the air of each bright new day, not forget to thank Allah for allowing me the gift of life. I will listen to the birds chirping, smell the roses as I walk through our garden at work, see the clouds, mingle with my fellows and enjoy each and every moment.

I will enjoy this crazy but fun planning time with friends and family. And, as I stand on my wedding day, Insha-Allah (Ameen!) I want to be fully present in that moment, embracing it with every vessel in my body and lounging with its memory throughout my lifetime.

For now, its just me and the air I breathe...

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Why do we shout in anger?

I've just received this via email. Thought it so stunning, i had to share it with you!

A saint asked his disciples, 'Why do we shout in anger? Why do people shout at each other when they are upset?'

His disciples thought for a while, one of them said, 'Because we lose our calm, we shout for that.'

'But, why do you shout when the other person is just next to you?' asked the saint. 'Isn't it possible to speak to him or her with a soft voice? Why do you shout at a person when you're angry?'

Disciples gave some other answers but none satisfied the saint.

Finally he explained, 'When two people are angry at each other, their hearts distance a lot. To cover that distance they must shout to be able to hear each other. The angrier they are, the stronger they will have to shout to hear each other through that great distance.'

Then the saint asked, 'What happens when two people fall in love? They don't shout at each other but talk softly, why? Because their hearts are very close. The distance between them is very small...'

The saint continued, 'When they love each other even more, what happens? They do not speak, only whisper and they get even closer to each other in their love. Finally they even need not whisper, they only look at each other and that's all. That is how close two people are when they love each other.

'MORAL' said the saint: 'When you argue do not let your hearts get distant, do not say words that distance each other more, else there will come a day when the distance is so great that you will not find the path to return!'

Thursday, June 11, 2009

An ode to my cousin...

Little does she know the impact she’s made. Little does she know how much I appreciate. Little does she know that she is treasured… and little does she know that she means the world to me.

Nadia, my dear cousin, celebrated her birthday yesterday. And, I’d just like to take this moment to thank her for her presence in my life. For ALWAYS going the extra mile and for constantly assisting me, thinking about me and valuing my contribution.

You know couz, we’ve come a long road. And, without a doubt, I hope you know you one of the most important people in my life (if not then now you do hey!). Most often it takes sad moments in our lives before we really appreciate the worth of someone. The day I visited you in hospital was a defining moment for me. I learnt there was so much I wanted you to be part of and my thinking was overshadowed. But I’m a big girl now, and will never let that happen again.

I appreciate and value your presence more than you’ll ever know. Here’s to wishing you life’s very best! May you always walk a path of happiness, contentment and pure bliss. And, when days are dark as life hands us our share, you know I’m the one to call.

Wishing you love, prosperity and utter joyfulness!

Time – an untreasured resource

Does anyone really think of its value? Do you know its true worth in your lifetime? My personal opinion is ‘No’. I think many take time for granted. Many don’t make the most of it… and many don’t give it a fleeting thought.

It is something which just passes by… yet we don’t realise that as each day passes, that’s one day less to make our dreams come true! What have you done today to move closer to your goals? Have you taken the first step? Have you moved forward to your true heart’s intentions? Have you stepped up and headed to where you know you really want to be?

Don’t leave it for tomorrow… for today is now, and now is the only time you have.

"Well, that’s all I managed before my laptop battery died at 23:58. Good thing though since it was pass my bedtime. There’s lots more I wanted to add, but for now I’m sure you get the essence of my intention. I’ll continue again one day when I reach a similar wavelength. Love ya!"

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mother’s Day 2009

There was hustle and bustle in our home on the morning of 10 May 2009. I’m sure you’d think it was 8 o’clock at night… but it was surprisingly 02:00am in the morning.

My Dad, brother and I were getting the card ready… in scripted with a little note from each of us. We bought my Mom a black leather bag (something she’s wanted for a long time) and a box of Ferrero Rocher chocolates.

The look on my Mommy’s face when she opened the gift was too cute. Love you Mommy!

It was decided by the cousins that we’d do something different for our Mom’s this year. Usually they have breakfast at one of the sisters’ homes, or the husbands cook for the wives with all the sisters present. Quite a lovely ritual, I think. Having everyone together… and they usually share gifts between each other.

The sisters (Moms)

This means each sister will leave with 7 gifts each… gosh! I how I woudn’t mind that.

So, we took our Moms to Nino’s for breakfast. The view was breathtaking and the morning turned out beautiful considering it was cold and rainy just days before. We ended up being quite a bit of people… shoo!! Was lovely chatting to all the cousins and having all the aunts in one place.

Shahieda & I

Nadia, Raihaana, Shahieda & I

Breakfast was served, delicious! And of course I never went without my cappuccino with fresh cream.

An ode to my Mom:

Thursday, May 7, 2009

2 years of love

Time certainly in no friend to anyone. It rushes on by in scuttle but one can’t deny the unmistakable joy and blessings it brings in its fleeting.

It’s been two years! I still can’t believe it… although now, my life filled with love and honour, I could never ask for anything more. I feel content in each moment and so thankful to Allah for gracing me with such splendor, love and beauty.

Ya Allah, forever guide myself and Raafiek so that we will always please You and keep our promise to You Oh Allah, Insha-Allah, Ameen!

Thursday, April 30, 2009

The ‘Can Do’ Girl

So, this morning while applying my sky-blue eye-shadow to accompany my sky-blue poloneck and earrings… I took a moment to look at myself. In that moment my head was swarming with thoughts and I realised something. I’m the ‘Can Do’ Girl! Always have been.

When approached with a situation, I never assess whether I can do it, whether I am able to do it or even whether it fits into my current schedule… oh no! My first instinct when approached with a situation is “I Can Do It!”

That attitude has always brought me tremendous hope. It has lifted me on through the years and allowed me the possibility to be where I am today. It has certainly worked for me through many phases in my lifetime.

Being presented with new opportunities, brings new challenges of its own and with it comes the chance to grow. I’ve grown a lot from my experiences in life, the good and the bad. Algamdulilah… Allah has always been right by my side, spurring me on and holding my hand as I walk through those tough and storming moments.

With the new experience my life holds… leading up to my new chapter, I was faced with a situation I’ve never encountered before. A moment in my life when I was at the end of my tether… and with that brought that realisation that I now need to respect myself… just a teeny bit more. To ask myself permission for the things I endeavour, endure and encounter. And, I realised, as a good friend said to me, being able to say no or ask for help is not a weakness. Perhaps, my view point needs to change around that. I now believe it is a blessing… a blessing in that you allow another to share in the moment with you.

We all in life for a reason. We all here to build each other up. To please each other. To bring happiness to each other… and to help each other along the path of life. And with this comes my thanks… to all who love me, support me and wish me well… THANK YOU!

Because right now, right here… I’m EXACTLY where I’m meant to be… right here in all this madness fighting my way through and sharing my thoughts and this moment with YOU.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

A little breathing space…

Lately, I’ve been feeling a bit overwhelmed, I guess. I’ve always thought of myself as a capable being able to handle anything. But, lately, I’ve been reminded of my own mortality. A mere mortal, frail, fallible, vulnerable.

I must say it really was a harsh awakening. But, I’m getting there. Had a productive chat with Raafiek last night. I just don’t like what I sound like these days. This clearly is not me. I feel like I’ve lost my spunk, my spark! Shaheema, where is she gone to?

Where’s Shaheema? The girl who always fights for what she wants. I’m literally like a swan… calm above the waters (that’s how everyone sees me)… but underwater, I’m paddling like mad!

I spoke my heart out to Raafiek last night… lately, I’m just questioning everything. I don’t feel like i’m in the right place, I’m completely out of sync, completely in the wrong space, maybe even the wrong job.

Why do I lack the courage to follow my heart? But, that’s where it gets complicated. Following your heart doesn’t always amount to the right choice or the ability to get on with your present life with the same standard. I guess that’s where sacrifice comes in hey!

My studies are driving me completely insane… I mean really! I’ve never felt like giving up on something… especially once I’ve started it already! And, I must say, the thought of dropping this crosses my mind almost 10 times a day… and I keep fighting it. Raafiek – always my voice of reason reminding me why and Shahieda always prompting me that I can do it.

I’m having doubts about actually posting this post. I don’t think anyone’s ever seen this side of me. Shaheema’s always cheerful, positive and on the move. Right now, I’m sad, drained and not happening! Things are just really difficult right now… but I’m moving ahead… slowly… but I’ll get there Insha-Allah, and in the end, all this hardship will be something to smile back on.


Monday, April 27, 2009

Ruwayda & Faheem's Layla

Little Layla Abrahams was born on 22 April 2009 at 3:50pm weighing 3.2kg. I was meant to update my blog many, many months ago, but here goes.

For some reason i can't seem to upload the scans of her... but will keep on trying.

Ruwayda at the Baby Shower

Me and the Beautiful pregnant Mommy

Mommy & Layla - 1 day old

The happy family with Layla – 1 day old

Layla with her Mommy and new Aunty

Layla Name-Giving – 27 April 2009 (5 days old)

The Beautiful Parents

Isn’t she too cute!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Where is my head...

Gosh, I feel like I’m all over the place. If it isn’t work, its my studies or running around for wedding goodies. This is all very exciting… I must admit. But, in the same breath, I need to confess… I miss the days of lazing endlessly, not having anything to do at night but chill, or to just relax, let my hair down, have fun and just do plain and simple nothing.

Feels like years ago since I’ve enjoyed that life. The freedom, the joy, the mesmerisation! My life’s moved on so much from that point… to another summit of just trying to get by each day. When did life fill up so much! There just isn’t enough time to do everything and I find myself having to let things go. As my colleague said this morning, something’s gotta give. Although, I’m not used to that. I always try to make things work. I always give my best. I never give up. But, sometimes I guess we have to.

Sometimes I think if we have to let go of things, it makes space for the new. Except, letting go of things is very hard for me, greatly uncomfortable and leaves me feel uneasy for quite a long time. But, I must confess… I’m getting used to letting go… and instead of feeling amiss, I feel the opportunity and the new chances it brings along.

About two weeks back, I lost all my emails. I mean personal emails that I’ve captured and saved for 5 years! Things I’d love to look back on, things I’d love to review to assess my thinking at the time – just generally to look back on. And, I think I’ve gotten so used to being able to look back, that I never really look ahead. So, with the dramatic experience of losing all my mails from friends, family, colleagues, my motivational one’s, my teary one’s, the heart-wrenching ones and all my plea’s for help, guidance, etc., I’ve opened a new door to acceptance. Acceptance that it is just so and so I shall deal with it. It is kind of refreshing actually, to not have those mails to look back on, because they in the past, where they’re meant to be… and the future is uncluttered with more opportunity and space to thrive in new memories and love!

I guess there’s wisdom in everything and a reason why things happen. If my profile never became corrupt and I didn’t lose those emails, I’d forever have them to look back on without ever fully comprehending my present and being able to look ahead to the future! Allah knows best!

Anyhoo, I dunno wot I’m on about today. Just feeling really guilty that I haven’t updated my blog, so please accept my little offering into the fanatical mind of Shaheema!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Confirming our marriage plans with the Imaam

So, the date has been set for 11 October 2009. On calling Sheikh Abduragmaan Alexander to confirm that he would perform the nikaah for us, he requested a meeting with my parents and Raafiek’s parents.

Oi! I must say I was quite nervous. But, looked forward to it as well. The evening dawned beautiful, and instead of butterflies floating around Earth, I was convinced all resided in my tummy!

We entered Masjidul Quds… the masjied Raafiek and I have chosen for our Nikaah to take place. The masjied is huge and so beautiful. It is also the official host of all the all-night programmes on Laylatul Qadr.

We arrived at 19:00 just in time for our meeting… my parents were waiting for myself, Raafiek and his Mom. We sat down and started to chat. Funny how we wanted Sheikh Abduragmaan Alexander, Imaam of the Bridgetown Masjied to perform our ceremony at Masjidul Quds in Gatesville… he informed us that he had since moved to Masjidul Quds and was now the Principal and Imaam of that masjied for just a week at the time. Ah, destiny, you gotta love it.

The meeting went off well.. he took our details and ID numbers to complete onto the Marriage Certificate which will only be signed on the wedding day. He then asked me a question: “Shaheema, are you sure you want to get married?” I felt the tears well up in my eyes, “Yes, I’m sure,” I answered. He had to ask this in front of everyone to ensure that i was accepting Raafiek's proposal out of my own free will.

With everything set for the date, the Imaam and Masjied confirmed… we were on our way. The athaan for Eshaa just started so we decided to stay for salaah. After performing the sunnah for Eshaa and the two raka-aats to greet the masjied, we waited to perform salaah in Jamaah. I couldn’t resist taking a picture.

I left feeling fulfilled and blessed. May Allah forever guide me, my family and my new family to be, Insha-Allah, Ameen!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

I can feel Allah…

Today I thought of Allah! But, more than thinking I could feel His presence. A presence embalming me with serenity and tranquility.

I never thought 2009 could be any more challenging than what I envisioned before me… what with having to start my MBA, finally; marriage preparations and getting Smooches off the ground. But, nevertheless, I know it depends on how I view it. And, believe me, there is opportunity, if only I was brave enough to see it that way.

In and among all the madness, anxiety and sheer adrenalin that’s engulfed me lately… I feel a kind of stillness within. A kind of harmony unknown and long searched for. And, I know that can only be the existence of Allah. Why else would I be so content knowing that whatever my situation, I will succeed? Even though testing, I will try my utmost.

I chatted to Shahieda today, and my conversation with her just brought to the fore all I was trying to understand. How did I get to this place? When did I give up the control?

And, I realised, considering where I am I knew I couldn’t do this without the help of my Creator. At which point I relinquished myself completely to His Mercy knowing wholeheartedly that whatever was to cross my path, was at His Will and whatever was to be omitted, was at His will too and just not meant to be. And, in all that I will never understand, I’m only left to accept that it is so.

And, algamdulilah… with that I’ve learnt the true way to a blissful life. I’ve never been more at ease. Complete surrender. Utter brilliance. I love this feeling. Relinquish Yourself Completely. (I’m going to trademark the last three words!)

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Bursting at the seams…

Wow! Right now I’m ecstatic, elated, over-the-moon, blissfully happy!!! I’ve just been accepted to study my MBA! Wow!

I’ve been wanting to do this for ages!! Since like 2005! And, today, just a few minutes ago, I was accepted onto the course! Man if words could ever exemplify how I feel right now.

Funny how it happened… I always wanted to do it… but put it out of my mind because at the time I just couldn’t afford it. Every year I would log on to the universities and colleges to check, but still I couldn’t.

A month after Raafiek & I officially started dating, we made a set of goals for ourselves which we would like to achieve. One of it was: To obtain my MBA degree before the age of 29. Well, I don’t think I’ll make it for 29, but I’ll be pretty close if all goes well. And, if it doesn’t, then atleast I know I tried!

Early in December 2008, I was working at home while listening to 567 CapeTalk… Redi Direko was having a chat with the President of Wits University talking about MBA and its benefits… Right there I sat reminded of the dream I have to do this. I jotted it down as the first thing to do the next day when I get to work: 4 December 2008: Check for MBA course.

The very next day when I got to work a Turkish colleague of mine was sitting in the desk next to me… in the desk which is usually empty and only filled every two weeks for a week at a time when our editor pops into the office. I can’t quite remember how the conversation started… I think Ayla (colleague’s name) said she would like to go and study and I said I wanted to study for my MBA, she said she wanted to do the MBA as well… we got chatting about it all day… excited, did research, made contacts with institutions, she got info from a friend… and before we knew it… we were engrossed in all the info and excited beyond belief!

So, at about 16:00 that afternoon, I finally opened my diary… only to find the listing I made the day before: Check for MBA course. I looked at Ayla and asked her if we chatted about it the day before obviously forgetting where I was. She said: “No babe, today’s the first time we speaking about it. You weren’t even here yesterday, you worked from home.” I sat baffled and managed an: “Oh, okay.” Clearly Allah had a hand in this…

So, we made plans… we were going to get our applications ready, get all the certifications from the police station, take the ID pics… get witnesses to sign, etc, and we were going to send off our applications in the week of 12 January. So, yesterday, with everything ready… we couriered our applications over-night (14 January)… at a ghastly fee, but nevertheless. And today, 15 January, we received a call to say we were accepted!! wHoopeee!!

So, ya, a tough year ahead… but I have to do this… and Algamdulilah… everyone’s supporting me, my parents as well as Raafiek. Shukran! So, Insha-Allah, whatever happens will happen.