Friday 28 September 2018

What does it mean to be 'authentic'?

Welcome back lovelies!

The end of the year is rushing towards us, and again I am completely swamped with life and everything around me! And as usual, in my manic times I still have to take some time out for reflection, to give thanks and introspect. The thought that has been bouncing around in my head has been ... 'What does it mean to be authentic?'. The recent buzz word has been all over the place, this is my take on it...

The one thing I strive for is to be the best version of myself I can be, in reverence to my Creator, to honour the Divine in my life and serving in the path of my purpose. My intention is to be open to whatever has been decreed and for me to accept it with Grace. So each day, it is with the consciousness that the only way to serve my Creator is to be authentic, to be true to how I was created, to embrace my weaknesses and accept my strengths. For me, being authentic means not being concerned about others' opinions of me, it means living my Hajj every day and not getting caught up in unnecessary drama. We are so accustomed to drama, and inauthenticity that we do not even blink when confronted with it. Authenticity means being the same person in every space, in every interaction and knowing full well that there is no other way you can be. It means knowing my orientation to the world, my  tendencies to get caught up in this world and how to bring myself back in line. It means taking off the masks we journey with each day.

I believe that for me to be authentic, is to accept that I am human, predisposed to making mistakes and having to learn from them. I cannot believe that I am infallible, or always right, and need to constantly check myself and my intentions. Being authentic brings me peace in most of my interactions, it does not mean there will not be confrontations, or disagreements; but it does mean I'll deal with it in a way which will please my Creator. This is my benchmark for authenticity, if my actions will please the Almighty then I'm on the right track. My quest for authenticity does not entail pleasing other people or going against my own values and beliefs. It does not change from day to day, it is a constant way of living my life, being the same each day, taking responsibility for myself and my actions.

In the same way when I engage with others, I accept that they too navigate the world from their own perspective. I understand that like me, they too have been created a certain way, and that they are on their own path to their purpose. So there's no room for judgement of others, or for dictating how others should live. Instead the biggest realisation is that I am a role model, setting the stage for how my children journey through the world. My only hope is that they receive the message and take it forward... That this ☝🏼is what authenticity is.

This does not make me any more enlightened than anyone else, as I am on my own eternal journey of building scaffolding within myself. It is a continuous road I walk, with my loved ones as cheer leaders (and sometimes first aiders), being very aware that being 'authentic' is nothing more than just being comfortable to be yourself. Just being able to show up as you are, sometimes with bells and whistles, sometimes without and always with flaws- and being ok with it. Knowing without a doubt that I work as a package 😊

In today's lookpost I pair a sequin pants, with a casual top and silk bomber, paired with sparkly sneakers. This is a perfect representation of me, sparkly, imperfect, unconventional, seemingly uncomplimentary, and yet it all works when looked at holistically.




Outfit details:

Sequin pants (old)
Superbalist top
Huemine Image silk bomber (old) 
Adidas Stan Smith sneakers (purchased abroad)
Forever New pearl embellised bag
Giorgio Arman Sunglasses (Old)
Make a Statement earrings

Ciao for now,
RuBe xoxo

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Saturday 15 September 2018

Kindness is a Lost Art

Hey lovely readers! 

This past week has been a tough one, and since I'm not one to walk around with my whole life showing on my face, I tend to go through life with a smile and bounce regardless of what happens behind the scenes. I don't lament my fate or things that happen for too long, my motto is "where to from here?". And this is why I am so grateful for my family- my hubby, boys, my sister and bestie- they get me, they know what goes on behind the smile and know how to perk up my day. One would not guess at any distress behind the game face; I blame this on my tumultuous childhood, hence loads of practice at keeping things to myself.

So when I found myself sitting in the waiting room at the hospital to visit a family member this week, having just had a hectic day, feeling a bit low; and two strangers shared a smile and some kind words with me, it just brightened my day. It brought the sunshine into my day ♥️These were two sisters who recognised me from Instagram (this is how we started chatting), and we ended up having a really uplifting conversation. What struck me most about this interaction is that they showed up at just the right time to brighten my really gloomy day; and despite going through a rough time themselves (with a family member having had emergency open heart surgery), they were still really kind. It was not difficult for them show kindness to a stranger, in fact it seemed to be the way they engage with the world generally. As I made my way home, this conversation played in my mind and I realised a couple of things:
Kindness is a lost art, we go through life forgetting what it means to smile or share a kind word- and yet everyone we meet will be going through something we have no knowledge of. Everyone has their own story, everyone has bad days, and it is not necessary to know what their difficulty may be to offer some sunlight. 
It has become the norm to encounter kindness with strangers instead of within your immediate circle, in fact, your immediate circle will feel it ok to dump their bad days/feelings and frustration onto you. This is not ok, speaking about or discussing my issues calmly, is nothing compared to dumping onto somebody by venting anger and frustration on them. 
I live with the premise that everyone is human first, and therefore deserves respect as a human being first; before all the other roles, religion, status or whatever separation we perceive is presented. If I just look at every person the same, and treat them equally with respect and kindness, what harm is there in that? What do I lose? What does it take away from me? 
Absolutely Nothing!
By doing this with others, I know that I deserve respect too, and that respecting myself first is a critical piece in being able to respect others. It's also fundamental in being able to stand up for myself and to not allow myself to be disrespected.
More importantly, my behaviour and the way I engage in the world becomes a template for my kids. They see and learn by my actions and behaviour, so I have a responsibility to teach and raise young men with empathy, respect, consideration, tolerance and kindness. 

My chat with these two women, followed by a conversation with a friend about struggles she's having with her kids furthermore highlighted how unbeknown to us, others are going through some pretty hectic difficulties. They sometimes pale in comparison to ours. Some people are just trying to get through each day alive, and yet are still able to offer someone a smile. 
We don't always know what our purpose is on this earth, and we don't always need to know how we impact people, but what I do know is that we were not placed on this earth to abuse, belittle, gossip, attack and kill the spirit of our fellow humans. 

"Every Act of Kindness is a Charity"
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)

Today't outfit features pieces which have been in my wardrobe for a while, I have been digging out oldies to recycle this past month to rejuvenate for Spring. And then the rain cam along and demanded some layers!

Outfit Details:
Mango Skirt
Trenery Polka Dot Knit
Trenery boots
Pauls Boutique bag
Forever New Shawl
Jo Borkett Scarf

Ciao for now,
RuBe xoxo

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