Today marks the first of Dhul Hijjah, the beginning of one of life's greatest journeys for those who have embarked on it. May Allah swt reward all our fellow Hajjis with tremendous ease and patience IA Ameen. The tests that they will face over the course of the next 10 days will be immense, but at the end of it is great ease and joy... "know that victory comes with patience, relief with affliction, and ease with hardship" (Tirmidhi)
Change is necessary, and transformation is inevitable, when one sets off in life altering directions.
Today also marks the first day of a new journey I begin and share with all of you. Many of you have been asking for a few years now where is Eastern Toybox's website? What happened? I had put it on a pause of sorts while I sat and tried to figure out some personal changes in my life. After 17 years and 2 children, a mutual decision of divorce was made... as much as I had a great support system with my family and my closest friends. I was a bit lost when it came to professional support. I felt overwhelmed with my business in that regard. So the easiest but most difficult thing for me to do, was put the online business on hold. It was at its prime and had tremendous traction Alhamdulillah. Eastern Toybox's name had reached many corners of the world with just the aid of Facebook in a time when social media was still in its infancy.
Eastern Toybox was and is an extension of me. It was never just a business idea or a craft/skill I had that I wanted to share with the world. It was my first steps towards independence, expression and growth. I was 19 when I married, still coming of age and discovering who I am and what my potential was. For those of you who know me or watched me from a distance, know that I was in a situation with tremendous strain and emphasis on remaining hidden and literally live in a box, as this was a great virtue. No doubt it is for those who live by it, but this wasn't me. I looked for moments of relief and mercy, and found none. So I made sincere dua to Allah swt to send me an ease, a focus that would allow me to create my own. I was forced to "think inside the box". During this time, I was homeschooling my children and felt the need for beautiful Islamic resources that I could use to make Islam memorable and enjoyable as my children grew. From this situation emerged Eastern Toybox Alhamdulillah.
As I took a pause from my business life, and from my personal life to regroup and rediscover. I found the possibilities were endless.... a long tedious road ahead but vast and wide nonetheless, Alhamdulillah. Social media continues to grow and define how we interact with one another and how we market and do business. I noticed that as I had to learn and change my usual habit of staying hidden and out of the way, with it came clarity and understanding of myself. It's amazing how one compensates and adapts when they have no choice but to be a certain way for so long. I noticed my creativity and thought process works best when there are set limits and challenges imposed, because I know no other way. I've had to learn how to incorporate that and use it as an advantage in the world we live in. I had to merge my two worlds. So naturally a re-branding of Eastern Toybox was inevitable, but in essence it was a re-branding of Me....
I thank Allah swt for this tremendous life journey I've been on thus far, and would not change a thing! I thank all of you for your support, understanding and patience. My amazing family and dearest friends, your support and advice along the way has been invaluable Alhamdulillah!
Bismillah as I start my new journey ... Labbayk Allahumma Labbayk, Labbayk La Sharika Laka Labbayk, Innal Hamda, Wa Ni'mata, Laka Walmulk, Laa Sharika Lah.
Oh my Lord, here I am at Your service, here I am. Truly the praise and the provisions are Yours, and so is the dominion and sovereignty. There is no partner with You.
Ameen thumma Ameen