2013 Booster: “It was safe on that mountain of excuses, but a bird is meant to fly. I’m not meant to live there, hiding in clefts known as fear. And neither are you!” – Inka

I’m currently working in an organization aiming to empower women and protect children in West-Bengal, India.

Part of the mountainous plan is to make a project called Asha Kiran run as self-sufficiently as possible.

(Now would be a great time to open another tab and type in www.waasta.in, to find out more about this wonderful organization)

It is a complicated and challenging endeavour, but the hoped result is worth every obstacle fought and won.

Right now there is a lot of “no’s” standing in the way.

Quite simply, we need to see the “no” turn into a “yes”.

I know that doesn’t mean anything to you. But you can still pray it with us: no to a yes, no to a yes:)

Many of my passions and talents, even parts of my personality have been stifled and kept hidden by a devious lie; “Who am I to do anything of importance? I’m not qualified! And besides, look at ALL these talented, beautiful, brave souls that can do it so much better than I.

“Who am I to write songs? My voice is not like hers. Who am I to take photos? I’m not a professional. I am not enough. I’m happy to stand back and let others go and do.”

Only, that is not true.

Here—in the midst of project and product planning– I’ve felt like a baby bird, who’s mother nudges the little one with her beak and pushes the baby, right off the cliff.

“Off you go little one!” she says,

“I know your wings will carry you if you only open them wide and flap with all your might. You will look silly for a while, flap flap flapping your little wings, being tossed by winds greater then you. But as you try, you will learn. You will learn to read the winds, dive and soar. You will learn to fly with grace. Fly low and fly high. So off you go little one.”

It all starts with the nudge.

It was safe on that mountain of excuses, but a bird is meant to fly. I’m not meant to live there, hiding in clefts known as fear. And neither are you!

I’ve been asking myself; what purpose does downplaying my God-given persona and gifts serve? It serves NO purpose. Culturally we are taught not to give praise, lest a child become proud! So we learn to downplay and wrongly assume it to be the equivalent of humility.

How sad. How sad that the Creator, who made me with such inspiration, creativity, love and deep affection, now has to hear me say what an inadequate job He did. Should He not be the judge of His own creation? Seeing as I had nothing to do with the creation process.

I didn’t decide the size of my nose or the tone of my laughter. I didn’t pick my gifts or choose an IQ level fit for myself. It was all Him. For in Him I live and move and have my being. His opinion is that I am fearfully and wonderfully made.

You are fearfully and wonderfully made. Such sweet honour He lavishes on us, and honour is a great escort for humility, true humility.

I’m still at the very start. Often I want to flap my way back to the safety of the cleft. But I’m being taught and encouraged, gently challenged by the best.

Love,

Inka

****

Hailing from Finland, growing up in Turkey, and now working in West Bengal India–in a girls protection program. 21 soon 22 year old Inka Vappula is one of the two awesome contributors in a private fb group, “Don’t worry, chicken curry–a virtual scrapbook of Indian adventures”. In her own words: “I’ve only discovered this love for writing in the last 6 months or so, and thinking that anyone else would want to read what I write still sounds quite alien to me. But I’m practicing the art of jumping into challenges… and I guess this is a perfect chance to grow.”

Journey To The Past & Imperfection…

Part of discovering and embracing the person that you are NOW, means remembering the person that you WERE

…that is where I’m stuck.

I observe with both horror and amusement, the pounding fear and panic that is growing louder and harder with each successive Likes and comments pouring in on Facebook for the pictures labelled GLAM.

Even as I’m writing this, the likes won’t stop flooding in! On other days, I’ll be loving the likes, but as about now, the likes are driving me nuts!

That photo-shoot was done in 2010. Barely a year ago. And yet, as I look at those pictures, I wonder who’s that girl?

I’m not so sure if I’m willing to wear that gold sequin dress again… I’m not so sure if I like that giant faux diamond ring, still… I’m not so sure if I’m into this whole loud, glam, and shiny look anymore.

I may in the future. Maybe this is just a phase. But I’m not so sure now.

What I AM sure about, is that I’m not liking the unexpected attention.

And I’m wondering why?

I want to tell these people, no, no, no! Don’t like it! Don’t say anything!

With every Like, I feel like a pressurised volcano driven to explosion. And as the lava of tears are flowing, I am wondering what my strong emotions are really saying to me?

…deleting the album won’t solve anything.

As I spent a moment in silence and tears, I realised, what’s really freaking me out at this moment is a whole bunch of things, but mainly, my journeying into the past…

…and having a tonne of people watching me as I do it.

I’ve spent a good whole year running from my past.

All I want, is a clear look at my future but always at the back of my mind, were all my unfinished business.

ROX/STA… and the remaining dresses that have yet to be altered to be photographed to be sold. The website. The halfway written book… always the halfway written book!

It’s so much easier to just say goodbye to it all and start anew.

But I can’t deny there are 441 drafts of my book lying around, each page swimming with words and thoughts and stories just waiting to be shared.

I can’t deny that my heart still skips a beat, when Rae & May inquired on my ROX/STA dresses today…

So where do I go from here?

I don’t know… I’m still lost.

As I sifted through my old files looking for answers, I posted these pictures up, not expecting the kind of reaction it has triggered–in others and especially, in myself.

Each time somebody clicks Like on my old ‘me’ and my mind is yelling “This isn’t me anymore!” I feel like shutting down facebook to hide.

My plans, my priorities, my perspectives have shifted. My whole world’s changed. I have changed–I don’t know what to do with the New-Me yet.

I love her. But I also want the old me, to be loved–by me.

It gets a bit hard when lately, everyone’s been telling me they like me so much more now, that I’m so different now, that I’m better now, more beautiful now, more caring now, more everything now…

On one hand, I am happy. On the other, it’s human to think of the negative and wonder if I wasn’t lovable before?

That frame of mind puts me in a very bad place.

It’s time to switch over to a new perspective: The fact is, I AM better now.

And every person I meet, serves as a mirror, telling me so, though I’m not looking for it.

Instead of my failures, my past can now serve as a reminder of how far I’ve come. And in the midst of all this growing, I’ll always remember what a friend from Portugal once said to me, “Michelle, don’t be perfect.” 🙂

All my life I’ve struggled to be good enough. The break up last year have often left me feeling I’m still not good enough. But these gentle words always comes back to soothe me to a place of peace and calm…

“…don’t be perfect.”

And that, my lovers, is the truth.

No matter what journey you’re on, past, present or future, always remember, we’re human. We make mistakes, but that’s how we learn and grow. Embrace your imperfection. At all times, you are loved, as you are.

“…don’t be perfect.”

Love,

Mish.

****

“Fear less, hope more; Eat less, chew more; Whine less, breathe more; Talk less, say more; Love more, and all good things will be yours.”- Swedish Proverb

The Love Culture on FB: https://www.facebook.com/theloveculture

Work Is Love Made Visible

I’ve got a friend who looks like Asia’s version of Ashton Kutcher. Tall, not so dark, but handsome, he’s away on a major Adventure. As of now, he’s holed up in Groningen, “a small town at the northern part of Holland, very close to German’s border” he says.

Next, he’ll be off to Berlin for all of three weeks! We’re talking massive travelling here. Enough to make us all go green with envy! So it came as a surprise that out of anything he could’ve talked about, he chose to open up his heart.

What he said next, is something I’ve been hearing A LOT lately. It doesn’t matter if they’re 18 or 20, 24, 26 or 28, 29, 30 or 32, one by one, everyone’s been more or less saying the same thing to me: “I’m still very lost… I don’t know what I wanna do.” I don’t know why they choose to tell me that. All I know is that I’m very much just as lost as they are.

I hated it at first, but now I’ve embraced being lost with the full curiosity and wonder of a three year old.

But honestly, I did a whole lot of freaking out–half a year of totally freaking out–before being okay with being lost and being okay with freaking out over being lost!

I’ve discovered that it’s all part of the package deal.

I’ve also found that the longer I allowed myself to stay lost, the more I began to see things I never would have otherwise seen had I been on the fast and usual, easy route.

I’ve always gone in and out of the forest of life so quickly. I’ve never been lost long enough to see the hidden secrets of the jungle and the many treasures and adventures just waiting for me in there.

This time, I went in like Alice in Wonderland, not knowing Who I Am, just wanting to find my way home.

But as I ran around frantically trying to find my way out, I’ve slowly begun to see that everything around me was and is my Teacher all along. And they’ve been leaving me clues to Who I Am, all the while.

As I drank from the bottle of Wisdom and ate from the bread of Life, my Fear of the Unknown began to grow smaller and smaller as my Love for New Possibilities began to grow bigger and bigger.

I’ve come to the present conclusion that the answer to the question “Who Am I?” lies in knowing “Whose I am”.

As I began a deeper relationship with my Creator, I began to see that I am Made in Love, Made of Love and Made to Love. But knowing WHY on earth I’m here is not enough. I’ve learnt that we each have a powerful role to play.

And that is to share our Love Story.

The Plucking Of A String, is a Guitarist’s Love Story, strummed out. The Ink on a Canvas, is the Artist’s Love Story, painted out.  The Idea In A Line, is a Poet’s Love Story, crafted out. The Playlist on a Disc, is a DJ’s Love Story, blasted out. The Quiet Listening Heart, is a Therapist’s Love Story, hearing us out. I could go on and on but you know what I mean.

We’re lost because we’ve forgotten Who We Are.

When we rediscover “Who I Am”, we discover Love.

The world is just waiting for You to share You. Are you ready to share your True Love Story?

I’ve read a quote somewhere that sometimes, people need a story more than they need bread! They need it like oxygen. Your Love Story poured out, might just be the ray of Hope they’ve been looking for at the end of a very dark tunnel.

Khalil Gibran, said it so powerfully in poem, “Work Is Love Made Visible.”

Right now, am I still Lost? Very much so.

But it’s been an enriching journey and I know it’s just a matter of time before I find my way out. So while I’m here, I’m going to ENJOY it and learn from it as much as I can, and have fun with it while I can!

ps: Dolphins are one of the best example of Love Made Visible! Look at them doing some really phenomenal things with bubble rings. Who knew they could do something like that?! I didn’t! It’s AMAZINGGGG. And all the Dolphin did was BE a Dolphin. Watch and be Inspired!

Love,

Mish.

****

“Fear less, hope more; Eat less, chew more; Whine less, breathe more; Talk less, say more; Love more, and all good things will be yours.”- Swedish Proverb

The Love Culture on FB: https://www.facebook.com/theloveculture