A New Chapter - Bismillah.

Nov 28, 2022

Dear Cherished Readers,

As salam o alaikum.

I have some big news to share, so do pull up with a coffee and cosy blanket on this sunny, frosty November morn, as I have done.  I've even added a squirt of cream and sprinkled on some chocolate, just for the occasion, so why don't you pause right here and go and get cosy before continuing?

(go on, I will wait here till you return)

As we know, life goes through its own seasons, just like Mother Earth... we have our winters, of rest and hibernation, biting cold and the need to stay indoors and reflect, and we have our summers, when love is in the air and our limits have no bounds! Gary Chapman says it so beautifully for marriages, yet I find this with all relationships and life as well:

My experience, both in my own marriage and in counseling couples for more than thirty years, suggests that marriages are perpetually in a state of transition, continually moving from one season to another—perhaps not annually, as in nature, but just as certainly and consistently. Sometimes we find ourselves in winter—discouraged, detached, and dissatisfied; other times we experience springtime, with its openness, hope, and anticipation. On still other occasions we bask in the warmth of summer—comfortable, relaxed, enjoying life. And then comes fall with its uncertainty, negligence, and apprehension. The cycle repeats itself many times throughout the life of a marriage, just as the seasons repeat themselves in nature.

Chapman, Gary. The 4 Seasons of Marriage: Secrets to a Lasting Marriage (p. XII). 

And boy, have we been through an extended winter recently... in fact, we could petition here and say we have been in an extremely long winter. I would fall, get up again, fall, get up again, and one day I couldn't get up. Without giving too much personal information to respect all souls involved, things ended up getting so bad that I ended up asking for my doctor for antidepressants to get me through, and Alhamdulillah they did get me through. 

Meanwhile, Jawad brought back The Financial Gallery back to life and embarked on a new property venture.  A franchise with Luke Stays. He needed help with interior design and asked if I could help - well, interior design has always brought me so much joy, so i said yes straight away!

And then my inner Wise Woman started to whisper things to me, and I listened to her and nodded... 'I hear you, let me think about this.'

And then, last week, as I was sat on my prayer mat, she spoke to me again... 

'It's time to stop coaching' she said.  And in that very moment, I realised how extremely happy I was working with Jawad as the co-director of Financial Gallery. And so I made a prayer for guidance and I am writing to let you know that I am taking an extended break from coaching and also that I am blissfully happy, mashaAllah and excited about a new chapter in our lives.

Jawad and I are on daily adventures, going to Dunelm, Ikea, B&M and B&Q and spending hours buying things online.  We are also getting locked out of properties and finding locksmiths (did you know you should always choose a locksmith who is part of the Master Locksmiths Association?).  We go for lunches together and plan and prioritise each day... 

Spring has come early!

In the world of nature, spring is the time for new beginnings. In my corner of the world, I know it is spring when the crocuses lift their heads above the soil and smile. They are soon followed by the daffodils and the greening of the grass. On occasions when the crocuses celebrate too early, I’ve seen them blanketed with snow, but this never seems to bother them. It is as if they know that winter’s last fling will soon give way to the reign of spring. Inspired by the courage of the crocuses, all nature begins to bud and soon blossoms into its full beauty.

Chapman, Gary. The 4 Seasons of Marriage: Secrets to a Lasting Marriage (p. 21). 

I will be stopping Cherished Seasons at the end of this month, and the Cherished Muslimahs have been so supportive and life-affirming for me - their messages of love and warmth brought me to tears! It has been an honour to give you all strength, conviction and empowerment.  I have had such love from my fellow coaching and therapists, too. I wouldn't be here without them!  Many a dear friend has been there for me and Jawad over the last few months, and they have been our rocks. Thank you, you know who you are.

I will be offering private one-to-one programmes for women who want to do The Work in their lives - I will be selective - so if you want to work with me, I am still here for you - get in touch.

And if you still have sessions pending, please, please rest assured that you can book them whenever you need them; I am still here for you.

And now, Jawad and I are property managers for short-term lets and serviced accommodation.  We rent properties from Landlords and guarantee them monthly rent, and we dress up the properties, kit them out and rent them as short-term lets via our franchise, Luke Stays, and all the other top sites like Air Bnb, Bookings.com, VRBO, Trip Advisor, Trade Stays, and more!  We decided to call this chapter of our lives 'Chapter 53', as Jawad turned 53 during it - this is the chapter where we choose joy, not getting overtired, not putting ourselves in stressful situations willy-nilly, and living a life of love and laughter, whilst dreaming of owning a campervan.

I am signing off with love, some cosy plushy cushions, a snuggly throw, and a coffee with complimentary biscuits.

All my love, 

 Sara.

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