Quotes and Inspiration

YOU CANNOT ALWAYS BE THE FIRE TYPE

I’m glad that you’ve finally begun to understand that you cannot always be the fire type. The wild, sparkling, bursting, high and superior type. You cannot always be the wanderer walking on a faint road in the middle of the night. You sometimes need to nestle yourself into the soft blanket, lose all the weight of your head to the soft pillow, close your eyes to all the hardships of your life and let relaxation fill these moments of silence. I know you sometimes like to sleep and not go out to a nightclub till 4 a.m. in the morning. I’m glad that you’ve finally begun to understand that the tent in the most beautiful part of a forest can only be adventurous for a night or two. That adventure can never give you the contentment that you get from lying on the floor of yo...

THE WOMAN I WANTED TO BE

Diane Von Furstenberg wisely said: “I didn’t always know what I wanted to do, but I knew the kind of woman I wanted to be.” Each and every single woman has special traits that distinguish her and set her apart by her beauty and singularity. There is no woman like me, just as there is no other woman like you. An even though we might not be where we are meant to be yet, we all know who we are and who we want to be. This, by itself, already gives us an immensurable value. When I was younger, in my final year of high school, I acquired the habit of searching for inspiration for everything I would do. I knew the kind of woman I wanted to be: elegant, intelligent, career-driven but still quite feminine – yet, I didn’t know how to become her. I would read books and b...

IT’S OKAY TO NOT BE OKAY

“Love yourself—accept yourself—forgive yourself—and be good to yourself, because without you the rest of us are without a source of many wonderful things.” ~Leo F. Buscaglia  It’s okay to not be okay.  I know that might be hard to believe sometimes, but it really is. We’re in the age of social media, where you follow people who seem like they have this perfect life, the life you strive for, but sometimes we forget that those people are the same as us. Social media is just a small glance into someone’s life and they only show the part they want you to see. I’m here to remind you that it is perfectly okay if you don’t have that glamorous life. It’s okay if you don’t take those flawless pictures and get to travel whenever you please. That might sound silly to say, but I know that I am one of ...

THE THEORY OF “THAT GIRL”

On any given day in any given place, there are girls; girls that are talking, girls that are eating, girls that are laughing, girls that are simply existing. Being a girl myself, I notice other girls. Maybe I look at the way they wear their hair, or internally compliment the shirt they’re wearing, or wish that I had a figure like theirs.   Some days, all I can think about is the fact that I’m not “that girl”.   I’m not the girl who is five feet two inches tall with a petite frame. I’m far from it. I’m five feet eleven inches with legs that crash together at the knees and a crooked spine that never got a chance to straighten out. You can’t pick me up and carry me around on a whim. If I was shampoo, she would be travel sized and I’d be shoved in your luggage. Sometimes, I wish I was a cute s...

JOURNEY OF THE CREATIVE SELF – HOW TO GAIN BACK WHAT’S BEEN LOST

As a child we think up imaginary friends, play in worlds unknown to others, and create without thought to surrounding outsiders. When I was 11 years old my mom bought me a small red leather notebook with gold dipped edges. I filled the pages with a story as my pen wrote effortlessly with scene after scene appearing in my head. Creating came easy. Fast-forward nine years and I sat in a creative writing class with a professor who assigned us the task of writing in a journal for 30 minutes a day. You would think that the young imaginative girl with the red leather notebook would have flourished with such an assignment. Yet instead I stared at the empty pages paralyzed. What changed? When we grow up and enter our teenage years, our self-understanding and awareness of others intensifies. Unfort...

IRMA

It’s three o’clock in the morning on Sunday, September 10, 2017. Hurricane Irma has only just begun its trek toward us in Florida. The walls of my house seem to sway with the wind. I can’t sleep. No matter. I must stay awake in solidarity with my little townhouse. The storm shutters rattle with discontent. I walk through the rooms, blind to what is happening outside. Other senses are enhanced. The silence of Irma’s lulls is as deafening as the roaring and howling of her angry winds. She taunts me with her silence. I feel her size, her might, as she grows and rages and nears with every hour. It’s maddening.  I watch my husband sleep and I’m relieved a bit. He worked so hard to prepare us when I became almost paralyzed with fear. Mind you, he’s from North Georgia, a land where category five ...

AN ESSAY ON FATE

Fate is contradictory; either you’re told that you must decide your own, or someone will sigh, bat their eyelashes dramatically at you and say, “It was fate.” Ultimately, who is it that decides? Are we to accept that there is a semi-controllable force directing our lives? You could say it was fate that you ended up in the same elevator as the cute guy from work, but you could also argue that your inner drive pushed you to it. Which is it?   It’s both.  Fate is the collection of every decision you’ve ever made. What you’ve been told about choosing your destiny is essentially true. It’s controlled by your choices. These choices could be as simple as going right instead of left at a stop sign, or as momentous as quitting your job. The difference is that each one leads you to a new realm: a pl...

WHAT DID I LEARN ABOUT MYSELF IN 30 YEARS

If you look back over the past 10 years and you recap all your desires, lists, prayers, dreams on sheets of paper and whispered plans just for the heart to hear, what would they say about you? This week I met an old friend, she was my first manager in the financial services industry. I haven’t seen her in almost 7 years. She decided to move to Brussels, but we kept in touch. Meeting her, I realized how much I changed since I met her 10 years ago. That’s what I learned about life. Coincidentally, yesterday – I read again about an old article about Victoria Beckham. Vogue Magazine had challenged her to write a letter to the 18-year-old Victoria, telling her everything she wanted to know about life in general and about things going on. It’s a great read that touches your sou...

DROP YOUR BUCKET

We were driving through Mbita, the village I’m in this summer, on a particularly rainy day. Through the rain, the traffic, and the chaos of the market on main street, I locked eyes with a little girl who was carrying what looked like a bucket of grain. She immediately smiled an, “I’m gonna get you,” smile, dropped her bucket, and broke into a full-on sprint, faster than what I ever would’ve assumed possible from such a small, barefoot child – in a dress I might add. Not wanting to attract attention, I quickly spun my head to face forward. The vehicle sped up, we were headed out of town. I smiled softly and thought maybe next time, kid. My mind moved onto other things as quickly as the vehicle did. I was thinking about my survey questions when out of my peripheral vision a small figure appe...

BARRICADES

I wrote this piece after a long hiatus from writing. I don’t know about you, but my worst fear is losing my gift of writing. As if time could take away the gift I worked so hard to craft. I think many writers have this fear. The fear of losing their magic. Even more so, putting pen to paper and uncovering things deep down inside maybe they weren’t ready to release.  XX, Ashley – Founder of Harness Magazine. Come find me – @adrelli – @harnessmagazine   “BARRICADES” And I miss the pen and paper in ways you couldn’t imagine An ice has frozen over what once was thick and beating I’ve built barricades So tall I can’t even let myself in And I’ve avoided The ink For its truth would unthaw what I am not ready to face The unknown The breaking without m...

THE HALL OF SHAME

I was made to feel ashamed for being a girl when I was growing up. Torn between my Indian and British roots. I am today the lotus that blossomed from the misogynous muddy waters.  In cultures across the globe women are framed with shame in one way or another. Shame comes in many forms. Labelling, belittling, disrespecting, insulting, abusing or just holding negative attitudes. Women in the west are not impervious to be made to feel ashamed. For example, menstruation is still so stigmatised. In some Asian cultures (not mine), girls are celebrated and showered with gifts for being fertile. However, here women hide tampons and sanitary towels, dodging every eye in sight like a ninja. Breastfeeding is another taboo. Women are also criticised for aging or putting on weight. Letting that saggy s...

PROVE YOURSELF

“Prove yourself”: a very commonly heard phrase that maybe your friends would have told you; might be your mother; your teacher must’ve asked you to prove yourself by getting straight As; could be the society that must have told you to prove your worth to the sexist, patriarchal society. Most probably, you would have told that to yourself before going to bed with tearful eyes gleaming in the mirror– “I need to prove myself. I need to show them what I am made of!” with full determination. But what if I say today that you’ve been clueless all your life, that what actually is the ‘proof’ that everyone is asking you to show for proving yourself? Since I was a little girl I have constantly heard other people asking my parents twice if they do not have a son because girls cannot be their he...

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