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DEAR TWENTIES

Dear 20s,  You turned me inside out and upside down.  Taking away everything that felt real to me.  Crashing through the illusions,   Bringing me to my knees,  Into pain so deep I thought I was on the verge of death.   But I rose, over and over and over again.  Continuing to reach for the light and taking the next step forward towards my redemption and rebirth.  Walking through the pain of generations of my family,   Saying, “ENOUGH!”  This stops with me.   May no one else ever feel the suffering that was passed down and brought upon me.  No more.  When your past was defined by lies, denial, repression, silence, manipulation, control, brainwashing, trauma and abuse it makes you swing the complete opposite direction because you know how damaging and destructive living in the shadows can be....

WHAT I FOUND IN FAIRBANKS

Booking spontaneous trips is a habit I got into after I turned 21. I wanted to go everywhere and see everything, which meant that anytime I had any extra money to spare, I booked a ticket and searched for the cheapest hotel, AirBnb or hostel around. In August, Chicago was hot and humid and I was tired and getting a little loony during my long retail days. During a lunch break, I decided on Seattle. It looked like my type of city: by the ocean, with plenty of culture and coffee. And so began my countdown for October and my continuous search for things to add to my list of sights and eats to check out while I was in Seattle.   My friend and I were on a brunch outing when she commented on my upcoming trip. With enthusiasm, I began sharing all my travel plans. That’s when the idea to visit Ala...

21 AND MENOPAUSAL: MY JOURNEY WITH ENDOMETRIOSIS AND ADENOMYOSIS

I am 26 years old and I have been through menopause four times throughout my life. Why? Because of endometriosis and adenomyosis. If you haven’t heard of these diseases before I’m not surprised. Whilst endometriosis affects up to a third of the world’s women, it is somehow still a medical mystery. In a nutshell, endometriosis is where the lining of the womb grows where it shouldn’t. Adenomyosis is an evil cousin where it grows in the muscle wall of the womb. There is no cure, there is no standard treatment, and there are too many doctors who are uneducated—not just about the disease, but how to care for people who have it.   My journey with endometriosis started at the age of 15, when I started suffering from severe pelvic pain which left me curled up in a ball unable to move. I landed in ...

WHAT IS THE #METOO FOR ME?

It’s 7 a.m. on a Sunday.  The sun is almost up and shining. I am looking around for my friend, but she is not here. I know for sure I was the last one getting out of the club, they closed the door behind me. Well, can’t be that hard to find my way back to the hotel.  While looking around where to go, this cute guy comes to me:  “Do you need any help?”  I remember him from the club, he was dancing with us at one point, but I am not really interested in hooking up with anyone.  “No, it’s fine, I was looking for my friend, but I think she ditched me for some guy. I will just head back to my hotel.”  “I can accompany you if you want!” I am thinking, it’s daylight outside, people are walking around, what can happen?! “Sure, why not!?”  “Wher...

TO BE A WOMAN

Great Women  To be a great woman means to know  the stories of others.  A great woman knows not only her own battles,  but those of the women that came before her,  and those that stand by her side.    A great woman does not watch  the others burn.    She takes their stories, their pain, their loss,  and she passes them on—  then fights to stop them from happening again.      Real Women  Real women   stand by other women.  They do not undermine  each other’s goals.  They fight together  and help other women  feel beautiful too.      Author: Sasha Temerte  Email: ironandwords@gmail.com   Your Bio: Sasha Temerte is a writer that tackles a diverse range of subjects, including social & political issues, mental health, and love. You can read more of her poetry on Instagram under the ha...

GRIEF WAVES

I’ve been thinking a lot about grief lately, and how just when I think I’m over the hump of feeling “back to normal”, something else happens – a celebrity dies, I hear a certain song, or have 10 minutes alone in the car after its parked. I start thinking about my dad and how he would have loved the movie “A River Runs Through It” or what he would say about my fluffy orange cat. I start thinking about “No Country For Old Men” and how I’ve never watched it, yet I see it in the three-dollar bin at Wal-Mart every time I go to buy vitamins. Grief has its triggers.   My father passed away three years ago on Black Friday. I was working retail worried about waking up on time when I got the call from my brother with the vague words ringing in my ears: “he’s not doing good, I think you should ...

HARNESS X 614 FEMALE ENTREPRENEUR GIVEAWAY

The holiday season is finally here. Can you believe it? It feels like just yesterday we were toasting to good health and happiness in 2016. It’s no secret that Harness seeks to empower women, and one of our FAVORITE things to do is celebrate women-owned businesses. What better way to celebrate than to share a few from our beautiful hometown of Columbus, Ohio? These women are exceptionally magical. Not only are they killing it in their respective areas, they’re also inspiring so many of us in the community. When we asked each of them to participate in this giveaway, they jumped without any hesitation. This is just a testament to how magical they really are. Without further ado, here’s the 411 on each of our amazing brands and their selected items for this week’s giveaway: Under Aurora: Tina...

BLUE IS A PLACE

The Blue Ridge Mountains are varied hues of blue at sundown. Cobalt, sapphire, navy and midnight blues against a sunset ripe with fire-burning clouds hanging low over heavens. These are heavens stretching far out to where the mountain peaks greet the sky. There I was with no cell signal, a flask of Jack Daniels and a sixer of unopened Budweiser. An open blanket of stars like loud graffiti mandalas stretched across the Southern sky. I played John Denver songs from my phone’s music library until my phone ran out of battery. I scratched out new poems in an old journal I’d thrown into my backpack at the very last minute. I listened to the choirs of cicadas and realized I was finally writing enough words again to call myself a writer. I was lonely. But this was only a loud cry for self and my s...

HARNESS X WOMEN THAT ROCK: DECEMBER FEMALE MUSICIANS

What better way to celebrate the female empowerment movement than through music? This month’s recommended artists are brought to you by Women That Rock, a movement created by women, for women. Dedicated to supporting and promoting up-and-coming female musicians and female-fronted bands, Women That Rock is cultivating a community of badass ladies who are creating amazing music and connecting with one another through their art. Follow Women That Rock on Instagram at @womenthatrock and stay in the loop on amazing lady artists, news & upcoming events. If you know an amazing female musician or girl-fronted band that needs to be heard, email their information to thewomenthatrock@gmail.com! BECCS: beccs is a Brooklyn-based musician from Boston. Part warrior and part goddess, beccs was hailed ...

I DIDN’T HAVE TO JUMP OUT OF A PLANE TO BE ADVENTUROUS

I used to think being adventurous was for others – the thrill seekers, the risk takers, the brave. It meant jumping out of airplanes, backpacking through the Himalayas or doing any number of other risky things that weren’t up my alley.  I shrugged it off and accepted that I wasn’t the adventurous type. But, with each passing year, I felt more restless, and I knew I needed ‘more’ from my life. I wasn’t sure what that meant, but it had to be something to make me feel more challenged, excited and alive. I needed something that allowed me to get lost in the moment and feel like a kid again.    Talking with friends, colleagues and other women led me to a discovery: I wasn’t alone. Women everywhere wanted to get out of their rut, feel the wind in their hair, and live a little. But, like me...

I AM A SURVIVOR OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

This is a very personal issue of mine. I have a lot of emotion and feeling about all the domestic violence we keep hearing about on the news. It happened to me back in the late 1990s and for years, I was ashamed to talk about it. Not anymore.  My situation started with arguments in which my ex-boyfriend decided one day to start hitting me with the small pillows that were on the couch. At first they were just regular arguments, but the arguments started becoming more frequent. Then they started happening more. And more. Then one day he picked up a pillow, one of the couch pillows, and started hitting me in the head, neck, shoulders and chest. I thought it was a one time thing. Nope.  Then it escalated even more. One day he walked up behind me and put his hands around my neck from behind. Th...

#SUPERWOMAN | AMANDA HESLINGA | FOUNDER OF ROCKS WITH SASS TALKS TO HARNESS

Amanda Heslinga is the creative mastermind behind the jewelry company Rocks with Sass. She is the true embodiment of a superwoman. She is a female entrepreneur who launched a business while battling Crohn’s Disease. We are so excited to share her journey with you today. Amanda, tell us about how Rocks with Sass was born? How did your journey begin? Rocks with Sass all began as a hobby; something to distract myself from my current health struggles. I was going through my first relapse, three years after I had surgery for Crohn’s Disease, and wasn’t feeling up to socializing or going out on the weekends. Instead I would curl up on the couch and create. The jewelry I made was never worn, but instead put on display in my apartment. Things that sparkle always seem to lift my spirits. I really h...

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