Friday 28 April 2017

Grief will give rise to healing

 Welcome readers, 

Life has an uncanny way of happening to open our eyes to things right in front of us, to reflect on things inside of us and acknowledge the grace with which we are blessed to live each day. Yesterday started off so beautifully for me, and by the afternoon it turned into one of anguish, shock and grief. We were informed of the death of a little 3 year old girl, who although she experienced bouts of illness, her death came as a huge shock to her family. 

Less than a year ago I wrote a piece on teenage suicide and how my eldest son had to deal with the death of a classmate ("Without the Darkness the stars can't shine", May 2016), and how he needed to be supported through his period of grief. At the funeral of this little girl yesterday, I witnessed the gut-wrenching, soul destroying grief of parents who have to deal with the mortality of a child, one still in her formative years. I cannot begin to imagine the dark space they find themselves in today, having to explain to the 6 year old sibling where his little sister is, wandering through the home she filled with her unique spirit. This period is the grieving, and takes the form of intense emotion, and yet it is an essential time which will heal the pain of loss. The varying states of emotion of shock, confusion, denial, anger, sadness, rage, depression and isolation all help one grieve- I have experienced all of these firsthand due to loss, and without giving the mind and body time to process it, one can remain in a grieving state for a very long time. I believe that whatever happens is by the grace of the Divine, and that from all trauma something else will emerge, however if we don't allow ourselves the space to deal with these emotions, one can become stuck in a very dark place. 

Healing will take its time, and if given the space, one will eventually resurface from the intense grief with a level of acceptance and a sense of peace. It is at this time we accept the grace of the Almighty, when we look ahead and start to mourn. Grieving and mourning are two very different states, one (grief) being the emotional aspect of the loss and mourning being a more ceremonial process, trying to move forward with the loss as a part of the journey and life. Mourning encompasses the period one goes through while adapting to the changes brought about by the loss. Yesterdays funeral reminded me of my own grief, and it was with sobering sense of empathy to realise what the parents have to still experience whilst grieving. I have only recently moved into mourning for a loss which occurred many years ago, and it was an important self-healing experience; and came with the acceptance and understanding that there was no other way it could have played out. The path was divinely set out, and I am merely a part of a greater plan. 

Today's look embraces the beauty of nature, and how we live each day by the grace of the Divine, we are all part of a greater whole. We all fit into each others space as we go on our way, and impact others and the environment  whether we know it or not. Our prayers, thoughts and words create a ripple effect and can be tangibly felt. So I strive to live consciously each day, grateful for every breath and the ability to make an impact. 

This outfit is put together with really old classic pieces, except the shoes (which are usually my weakness). 

Outfit details:

H&M oversize knit 
Mango embellished collar shirt 
Woolworths skinny jeans
ZARA loafers
Forever New hat
YSL bag
Dolce and Gabbana sunglasses from Sunglass Hut

Ciao for now,
RuBe xoxo

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Friday 21 April 2017

A New Landscape

TGIF Dear Readers, 

The Easter holidays are behind us and somehow it has not been as relaxing as I would have hoped. Having a lot of loose ends to tie up and work had me busy throughout the break, I am just so thankful for one day of the long weekend where we spent time with friends in Montagu... It was a brief respite from the crazy, and restored my senses, even if it was just a bit. 

The most significant change this holiday was having a young adult around, whose days were as long as mine, where he would return home after 12 hours of campus! He has taken to young adulthood like a trained pro, able to take responsibility for himself and make the necessary arrangements required to ensure his own success. Obviously, to get to this point, I went through many phases (read more here on the most recent one where he started university), the most notable being the nostalgic phase... Where I reminisced on so many milestones, funny moments and times when he was my little shadow. 

Parenting a young adult is whole new ballgame, on new landscape with a whole different set of rules. I don't think I have familiarised myself with the new rule book, finding myself constantly embroiled in some debate or fight about new boundaries (again!?) Last year, around the same time I was struggling with similar issues (read Defying the rules here) and in hindsight, so much has changed, that despite heated debates, I no longer feel mentally drained when engaging in new negotiations. In this past year, I feel I too have matured in terms of my parenting, I have simmered a little bit and am able to deal with the new landscape without too much resistance and fatigue. 

When parenting, there is so much new ground one has to cover every day, new challenges, both external and internal, that I have learnt so much from these young men. During this past year, whilst going through my own growth, I have also unconsciously developed new tools to deal with my young adults effectively. These new tools have all been developed with the help of my brood, their words of wisdom, their perceptions of situations and simplistic way of dealing with conflict. Without realising it, we have managed to set new ways of negotiation, and even though it feels like a fight, it is merely as simple as having to be ok that life today is vastly different to when I was young. I have had to listen to what their world is like today, and try to make compromises which would be suitable for both them and me. Without an understanding of their world; the boys and I would be at loggerheads every day and I would find myself mentally and emotionally drained. So with my ever evolving methods I continue to parent my young adult and two teens, while trying to maintain sanity and an remaining an integral part of their lives.

Today's lookpost features an oldie, a shirt dress which is probably older than 6 years, when Trenery was still a newish brand in SA. I love the bright coral colour, and the versatility of the dress which enables me to wear it in a variety of ways for a very long time!
I have added a favourite pair of Nine West SA heels, which is also a few years old - my go-to shoe brand which has now withdrawn from South Africa 😟, and a colourful Kate Spade sling bag purchased in Kuala Lumpur two years ago.

Outfit details:

Trenery shirt dress (old)
Forever 21 Leggings 
Nine West SA heels
Kate Spade bag (purchased abroad)
Sass Scarf from Stuttafords
Sunglasses from Zulululu
Mimco stacked rings with charms
Earrings purchased abroad
Lovisa neckpiece

Caio for now, 
RuBe xoxo

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Friday 14 April 2017

You are what you do...

Happy Easter to those readers celebrating! 

We have a holiday tradition in our home where we do an Easter Egg Hunt, even though we don't celebrate, the kids have become so used to the custom that they eagerly anticipate it. It was done this morning since it is Jumuah and we have all the kids home, with all the usual excitedness and dashing through the house and gardens.

I am so thankful for the long weekend, as the school holiday has not been the same with my first born still needing to get up early and go to campus. So mommy duties continued as normal along with work. Having the day 'off' gives me some time to plan, organise and generally do some reflection. 

This past week in our country has been fraught with tension, protests, bus strikes and political instability, and yet I have an immense sense of hope for this country I call home. I believe that each one of us can make a difference with small acts. Even though the rand has taken a plunge, South Africans are still travelling, there were no buses for a few days and yet businesses continued trading and our marches remained peaceful. I choose to operate from a hopeful perspective, focusing on the positive change that can be effected. This week someone said "Hope outlasts corruption" - these words had such an impact on me, it was a simple reminder that all over the world we have witnessed corruption, and yet, with hope and positivity it can be weathered.

The small things we can do to influence change is as simple as the things we say and do inside our homes. Where our kids absorb the words, the messages and instinctively adopt our values, not the ones we consciously teach, but the ones we unconsciously teach through our actions and words when we think no one is looking. Through our actions, they adopt their own perspective of the world, through our words and jokes they absorb the underlying meaning of what we're actually saying. We send them out into the world with unconscious ideas of what is just and of what is 'really happening' even if it is not what we would have chosen for them to learn from us. I am constantly on guard for the impact my words will have, and only say and do things which echo the values and ideals I want my kids to assimilate. This applies to life; my feelings on this country which I love, business and every single interaction with others - this is where they will learn more than what I actively teach.

"You are what you do,
Not what you say you'll do."

Today's outfit represents the my view that we are not that different from other countries in the world. As much as we experience upsets and disruptions in parliament, the same happens in some developed countries. Political leaders and parties who are only interested in the power and money, is a worldwide phenomenon. Without me condoning this, I am realistic enough to know that this is the way of the world. I know that whatever agenda is being pushed by a select few in power, will always face some resistance in some way. This is the reality of the world we live in.

This lookpost features a A Sense of Style ruched skirt, which she has re-introduced for Autumn, in a longer length. I am totally in love with flatforms and brogues and found the perfect combination of the two in a shimmery grey suede at Dune London. Two trends I have adopted and made my own, in this laidback work look.

My outfit:

ZARA lace sleeve t-shirt
A Sense of Style ruched skirt
Dune London flatform brogues
French Connection saddle bag (purchased abroad)
Giorgio Armani sunglasses from Sunglass Hut
Falke stockings
Burberry scarf
River Island Dubai earrings
Dior lips

Ciao for now, 
RuBe xoxo

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Friday 7 April 2017

Knowing my limits

Hi lovelies, 

For those of you who follow me on social media, you would have seen that I have recently stepped down from my role in the Islamic Fashion and Design Council of South Africa. This was a very profound week for me, as I had to come face to face with startling realisations and make some tough decisions. 

These realisations focused mainly around work, were all preceded by warning signs and whispers from those close to me; and when I evaluated the direction I'd like to pursue in terms of my future, the choices were pretty clear. It's rather easy to try and keep juggling too many balls, in fact for me it is easier to do that than to actually stand back and evaluate what I really need to do. I just juggle in auto mode. However, this week, accompanied by the crazy work schedule I was trying to manage, all directed me to one obvious decision. And in the same manner in which I exited the corporate world, it again took me a while to accept what I needed to do. But once the decision was clear, I took the step without hesitation.

I understood that something in my life needed to shift, to allow me the space to grow in the direction I know I need to go. Most of my weighty decisions are usually accompanied by prayer and the call for Divine guidance, as I believe things happen the way they are meant to. So I sat with the choice I needed to make, reflected on how my inability to make the decision sooner impacted my life and would continue to do so to my detriment. I contemplated what was necessary and what was non negotiable, and reassessed my priorities. With the insanely crazy year I have already had, its hard to believe that I haven't come to the conclusion sooner, that I needed to let go of things to be able to step into a new space.

What I have learnt, and will continue to learn... is to listen to my intuition and not ignore warning signs. I have learnt that letting go of something is not necessarily a bad thing, in fact it is essential to do this at least a few times in life. I have learnt that we cannot always determine exactly how the future turns out, we can only take each day step by step, living authentically and true to ourselves. I have learnt that ultimately whatever has been decreed, will be, regardless of the path we choose to take to get there. 

Today's lookpost is a light one, reflective of the space I find myself in today. I feel lighter and ready to face whatever comes my way, this super casual ensemble represents the openness with which I aim to approach life. 
The sequin parka paired with a black t-shirt and skinny jeans is an everyday chilled look, finished off with sneakers and an easy backpack, which I grabbed in London on my last holiday.  Perfect inspiration for mommies managing kids during the school holidays.

Outfit details:
Coast & Koi sequin parka
H&M t-shirt
Style Republic skinny from Spree
Adidas ZA sneakers
French Connection leather backpack
Woolworths scarf
Dream necklace from Lovisa

Ciao for now, 
RuBe xoxo

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