Letters For Our Daughters

If you could write a letter to arrive in the mailbox of every little girl in the world tomorrow morning, what would it say?

‘I didn’t always know what I wanted to do, but I knew the kind of woman I wanted to become’

~Diane Von Furstenberg

(incidentally, if you haven’t checked out The Conversation with Amanda de Cadanet, do. Do it NOW.)

Deviance is art, darlings…..

There wouldn’t be a picture worth taking here if everyone was doing what they were ‘supposed’ to, would there?

Most people take the ‘safe’ route, fall into line, and behave because they’re scared of standing out. They stop thinking about what would feel good, what would satisfy their curiosity, what would blow their minds, because deviating from the prescribed route is just too damn risky. They’re worried about failing, or being laughed at, or finding out that they were wrong. And that’s fine….. so long as you’re willing to sacrifice the possibility of creating something amazing. So long as it’s okay with you to live a life of mediocrity, of stifling yourself, of commuting to your Average Jane job, in your cookie-cutter business suit, every damn day, with the gut wrenching feeling that you were made for so much more than this……..

When was the last time you did something different? Wore that crazy outfit that makes you feel like a million bucks, but won’t fit in with the other people in line at the supermarket? Went to a restaurant and ate your meal in reverse, dessert first, because you don’t give a hoot about parsnip soup starters and you want to be damn certain you have room for that ice cream? Went to that concert alone, because your friends decided they’d rather sit in the house and watch action movies? Decided to start your own business selling your artwork, instead of getting a ‘safe’ job at the restaurant around the corner?

Steve Jobs said it better than I ever could:

‘Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.’

Break the mould, kiddos. Hang out upside down. Rock everybody’s worlds. You’ll be the only one worth talking about 🙂

How would you encourage our daughters to be brave in their decisions? When was the last time you did something different, and reaped the rewards? Leave a comment and let me know; I’d love to hear your stories!

With Love,

Natasha

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16. Seanna

Dearest Daughters,

I hope you read. I hope you have a tree, or a corner, or a special chair on the fourth floor of the library where no one can find you, and I hope you find yourself in worlds that carry you away. So that, on days that just can’t seem to bring you back up, you always have something to take you a million miles away, even when you don’t have a car or a personal airport.

Be messy. Make messes and clean them up when you feel like it. Be self-sufficient when you want to be and know that you can always ask for help when you don’t. You’ll fight with your mother, sure – you’ll fight with more people than just her – but you’ll learn that if there is something you truly believe in, to the depths of your soul, it’s worth the tears.

Own a pet. Own many pets. Animals will bring you comfort even when you believe there’s none.

Don’t isolate yourself. Have friends. Have as few or as many as you want. Have someone in your life that you can talk to about anything, no matter what. And he or she will always be there for you and you will be able to contact them at times when you are lost in the middle of the park, or are on the other side of the world, by yourself for the first time, and just want to hear a familiar voice. Friends, real friends, become a different kind of family. And sometimes, they’re much stronger, if only for the fact that you sought them out and brought them into your life by choice.

Find something you love. Something that makes you dream of the future. Go to the theatre, see movies, watch ballet/jazz/tap, go to the orchestra. Indulge in the Arts as much as you can. Travel! When the opportunity arises, take it. Go. Leave. I mean it. See the world. Love the beauty that humans created and that already existed when we got here.

I hope you never stop moving. Don’t settle.

And when you find that person, be it man or woman, love them with everything in your heart. Share with them. Travel together, but know that if you can’t, he or she will still be waiting for you if they’re worth it. Make the things that should wait, wait. Don’t push, but don’t wait forever for someone that isn’t interested.

Heartache is fleeting. The loves that you think you find in your youth will be nothing compared to what’s waiting in the future.

Have fun. Be silly. Make love. Expand your mind as often as possible. And in the darkest of winters, remember that you will find your invincible summer.

Love simply, Seanna

(St Louis, MO, USA)

Letters For Our Daughters Interview at Lydia Magazine!

I’m thrilled to announce that Letters For Our Daughters has been featured in the gorgeous Lydia magazine!

I did an interview with the lovely (and super-talented) Kerri Jarema, who founded the publication:

‘Named for her Abuela (grandmother) and inspired by the long line of amazing women in her life, she decided to create an online space where like-minded females could come together. Here you’ll find these independent, smart, hilarious, confident, passionate and ambitious ladies who are ready to take over the world and all of the things that they love — music, film, television, fashion, beauty, books, food, DIY, style, art, photography, pop culture, humor and essays about real issues that are affecting us today.’

I love the witty, warm, and straight-talking atmosphere of Lydia, and it was an absolute joy to speak with Kerri. After a few months away from the project, her questions reminded me of how much Letters means to me, and how inspiring all of my readers and contributors are. I can’t wait to start hearing from you again!

Check out the interview here

Love,

Natasha

15. Lori

Child of tomorrow, you will be born into a fathomless universe, into an immense Life. The possibilities are truly limitless, bounded only by your own mortality. Know that your life is not predestined, but is a life that is yours to choose, yours to make real. This limitless life is the first and greatest gift I can give you. Your fate is not decided by where you come from, who your parents may be, how much money you have, or any circumstances of any kind. Like clay, you will mold your life into something greater than your circumstances, shape your inner world and sometimes even your outer world through your choices and your reactions. The power of transcendence is truly one of the greatest we can employ.

These are my wishes for you:
May you savor the fullness of life in its entirety, and allow all of its joys and sorrows to ripen and sweeten your soul.
May you have the courage to embrace and accept your deepest emotions and allow yourself to feel them to the utmost.
May you have the vision to see everything that happens to you as an opportunity to find a deeper meaning for your life.
May you have the wisdom to find the path that is right for you, and may you have the compassion to help others find their paths, even if their journey separates them from you.
May you feel love that is as deep as my love for you already is and will always be.

14. Ev’Yan

Dear Daughters,

You are beautiful, intelligent, creative, and talented. People will say this to you throughout your life and you probably won’t ever fully believe them (or me, for that matter), but this is the truth.

You will see other girls around you in your lifetime and you will compare yourself to them, thinking that they are more beautiful, more intelligent, more creative, and more talented. Conventional wisdom will try to tell you that you must cease in comparing yourself to others, but I’m here to tell you that comparing and contrasting is part of the human condition — just as worrying is, and loneliness is, and loving is. I have lived nearly 25 years on this earth and have yet to find a cure for comparing and contrasting.

So I think that instead of trying to stop comparing yourself to others, you should embrace your ability to see the differences between you and others. You should actively look at people’s lives, their beauty, their gifts with wonder. And you should openly admire their uniqueness, while in the same breath honor your own.

Everyone lives beautiful lives. Everyone is talented, everyone is unique, and everyone is (and thinks they are) important. There is such beauty in this, perhaps in ways you can’t begin to understand right now. But remember that not one life or existence or way of looking is better than the other.

You have brown eyes, she has green. They are both beautiful.
You have kinky, curly hair, she has straight. They are both beautiful.
You have chocolate skin, she has freckles. You are both beautiful.

Appreciate the beauty around you, dear ones. Do your best not to feel envy for what you do not have. Celebrate others’ uniqueness. Compliment it! But never, ever feel that who you are or what you have is inadequate.

You are beautiful.
You are intelligent.
You are creative.
You are talented.

You are perfect just the way you are.

With love,
Ev`Yan

for more insights by Ev’Yan, please visit www.sexloveliberation.com

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13. Kate

Daughters–

I want you to have kitchen dance parties. Scream every single word into a whisk or spatula and shake your booty like no one’s business. Let your hair down and giggle until you can’t even get the words out anymore.

This carefree nature is how I want you to live the rest of your life, too. You’ve only got one life to live, so live it dancing. Live it shaking. Live it screaming. Live it giggling.

Don’t live it taking yourself too seriously either. Please wear mismatched socks. Twirl your hair when you’re thinking. Walk on your tiptoes. Laugh louder than everyone else in the movie theater. Save the green M&M’s to eat last. Ask lots of questions. Make the same mistake twice. Stand up for yourself. Put glitter on everything. Drink copious amounts of coffee. Believe in miracles.

Also, try to see as much of the world as you can in your short amount of time. Each city will open up another part of your soul, so never say no to a new opportunity to explore. Indulge in one too many pints in London. String spaghetti Lady and the Tramp style with an Italian Stallion in Venice. Scuba dive at the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. Be humbled in Auschwitz. Strut your stuff down the Champs Elysees in Paris. And when you feel blue (we all do every now and again)—drive to the nearest coast, stabilize yourself in the sand, and let the ocean carry your sorrows away.

Most importantly, please live your life dripping in love. Find a new thing or a new person to fall in love with every single day. Your heart deserves it. Your soul deserves it. YOU deserve it. No matter what, you are always, always worthy of love.

Find love in your girlfriends. Seek out strong-willed, independent, loyal women in your life and never ever let them go.  These are the ladies you’ll want by your side when crisis strikes, or when you’re about to throw up from nerves at the altar.

Speaking of the altar, I want you to discover love in a mate, too. There will be lots of boys, but never give up hope in finding the right one. You’ll always hold a special place for the boy who first gently sweeps the hair out of your face and connects his lips to yours. Feel the energy in that first kiss, pretty please. Let that current of emotion run from your rosy pink lips to the tips of your fingers, and the very ends of your toes. Relish in that feeling, and then spend the rest of your life searching for the guy who makes you feel that way with every.single.damn.kiss. Be patient and know that he does exist, and he’ll love every piece of you. Best yet, he’ll make you feel like an extended, upgraded version of yourself.

Finally, I want you to absolutely be head over heels in love with yourself. This is the only way you’ll ever let others in. I understand this is much easier said than done. It’s a rigorous journey, but it is a necessary one in order to reach complete happiness. Please learn to love every curve, every stray hair, every hang nail, every mole, every scar, and every last bulge. These are yours and yours alone, and they are what you make you so special. Cherish yourself, treat yourself with kindness, and please—love your flawed, beautiful self wholly.

Infinite x’s and o’s,

Kate

12. Ana

Dear Daughters,

I find that women so often let themselves down by being self depreciating and bitchy. The solution is simple, BE NICE.

Be nice to yourself. When our friend comes to us saying ‘I’m fat / I’m a failure’ we listen, understand, smother them in the love and kindness that they need, we help them to justify things and to move on. We never tell our friend that she is fat, disgusting, a terrible person or a failure, so why do we say these things to ourselves? Self depreciation benefits nobody. Being nice to yourself is something that is only positive, it enables you to be the best version of yourself which means that you are a more positive force in the universe.

Don’t be nice to yourself by comparing yourself to others (‘I’m great because I have a better job than she does’). Try not to be nice to yourself by comparing yourself to other times in your own life (‘I’m so much more balanced that I was this time last year’). Comparisons spoil the concept of being nice to yourself, it adds an edge of negativity to what should be a positive experience. Secondly, it is unstable. There is always some distance to fall when you compare yourself to somebody with a better job, or to a time when you were in an even better place. Comparison gives you the opportunity to devalue things in the future, it’s sad to look back on something that was wonderful and devalue it. Look back on the good times in your past as times when you felt happy with where you were, not as times when you were in an inferior place. Striving for more is fantastic, but appreciate the the wonderful feelings that you had in the past for what they were. Be present: ‘I am so pleased that I am feeling so balanced’.

Be nice to others. Part of my personal life philosophy is that I should make time and conscious effort to be nice to people in order to spread a little happiness. A heartfelt compliment, a simple unprompted text message, email or phone call just to tell people how much they mean to you or that you are thinking of them can make somebody’s day but is something that we don’t always find the time to do. But make the time. Do it. It will make you feel good too.

It sometimes seems unnatural to just be nice to strangers, but every time a stranger has given me a compliment it has made me feel good and cost them nothing, so it is something that I make en effort to do. I don’t force it or try too hard, (you won’t find me chasing a stranger down the street shouting that their rain mac is simply the most exquisite shade of beige that I have ever seen), but if I see someone who has a beautiful baby / dress / gorgeous eyes and it feels right then I tell them and they pretty much always smile and feel good as a result. The odd person looks at me like I’m crazy or suspects that I may be about to attempt to steal their wallet, but that’s just life.

So in summary – don’t be afraid to be nice to yourself, to strangers or to the people in your life. Don’t worry if it makes the odd person feel uncomfortable – as the only alternative is that we all stop being nice and where would that leave us? Comfortably miserable.

It’s nice to be nice. Enjoy it.

Ana x

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