Loving yourself just the way you are

Dear friends,

This story is based on a series of true events that happened to me :-) (Grab your drinks and snacks, it's going to be a long and juicy post)

The story began 15 years ago when I studied fashion design in Milan, and one of my subjects was to create a trend for others to follow. This task is meant to train fashion designers to become trendsetters in the leading fashion industry.

So, how did we do it?

Our research started with people on the street, looking for "that" person, who stood out from the crowd in wearing something "new". "New/Nuovo" in the Italian language means forward/updated, which these people embraced themselves by wearing what suits them best, without wearing a single current-trend-setting item. They shine like a street star or a fashion icon and they become the source of inspiration for the fashion industry.

We then consolidated all the styles of these one-of-a-kind fashion people and collaborated them with elements such as nature, art, music, movies and events, to expand the possibilities of a single style to a series of the collection to appease the masses.


In other words, you and I could be one of the fashion inspirations for the fashion industry or for your friends without even you knowing.

So how do these Milano street stars embrace themselves and shine like a diamond? I was glad that I did my interview with more than 20 street stars and asked them about their styling philosophies.

Most of them have these common qualities:
• The mirror was their best friend (maybe this also explains why there are full mirrors in their lift lobbies)
• Knowing what their flaws and strengths are
• Know what looks best on them
• Refusal to read a fashion magazine
• Refusal to tailgate current trends

The acceptance of who they really were, was the key to finding how to choose wisely and to shine brightly.

Where do they shop for their clothing and accessories?
Items inherited from their grandparents or ancestors, weekend flea markets, thrift stores, Corso Como 10, countrysides or some of the unknown shops that are hidden in corners of the busy streets in Milan. They're willing to push a bit further by giving themselves a chance to look for things that are made for them. After all, fashion can be found everywhere as long as you have the eye for it.

Now, let's dive into a bigger question, how to become the best version of youself?

1. Accept who you really are. (everybody says that)
That sounds pretty simple, right? Or maybe not, as we live in a society where:

Many external voices keep telling you that you have to become someone else in order to be loved. In fact, these voices are from deep within yourself. You can only be yourself if you stop doubting who you are.

It is tough. Tough to accept that we are the only person who can hurt ourselves the most. If you can resonate with me, please realise that you are not alone. I was one of those who have, or still have doubts in my head, questioning myself whether I am good enough to be me.

2. Organizing your life
So how do I break free from these noises?
I realised that by listening to too many voices will turn me into a hoarder, and I can never have enough of "things".

So, I took 1 month to Konmari Methods all my belongings, from clothing to kitchen goods. Anything which doesn't spark joy to me or has served me for more than 6 months or so, I say farewell to them.

When I complete my Konmari tasks, I ended up surrounding myself with things that bring joy to me, and I got to see a clear picture of who I am and what I truly love. This process has helped me to face my current state of mind bravely and let go of things that I used to love (but no more the feeling of joy).

The feeling of letting go became the silent force which guided me to my intention of creating Wabisabi - a sustainable brand created by a previous perfectionist, to remind herself and others that it is the flaws that make you unique; it is the flaws that make you one-of-a-kind. 

3. In nature, nothing repeats
Besides Konmari Methods, nature has played a big role in reminding me of the nature of life. The breaking point came from a wise word from my friend, Joanne, sharing with me: "Everything is unique on its own. Look at the tree and its leaves, even though they are from the same root, but if you take a closer look, each of them is actually different and unique."

 Jack fruits leaves from the same tree

Seeing nature from a non-judgemental mind can help to clarify your thoughts. If we are born as unique as leaves, what's the point to look like someone else?

It's the sameness that kills your soul
To me, I see every one of us sprouting from a different root and yet so special on its own. Your essence is the leaves without painting, through eating, living, wearing and travelling, you are the painter who expresses your true feelings through this medium to communicate with the world.

It's about embracing yourself in every aspect of life slowly but surely. From food, lifestyle, clothing and travelling, you make a conscious decision to take care of your own well-being.

4. Let the beauty of slow heal your soul,
If you are lost
If you are in a panic mood
If you are flooded with too many noises
Take a deep breath and let your mind go back to where it used to be.

When I begin to doubt myself again, the secret in getting myself back on track, was to simply take a deep breath for 1-3 minutes to slow down my momentum. Slow, helps to filter noises and bring you back to peace. You can only make a conscious decision when you have a PEACE of mind, isn't it? :)

5. Endless curiosity
Remember how we used to play when we were kids. We played hard and asked all sorts of big questions that will undoubtedly annoy our parents. That curious mind is the lighthouse to guide you in the dark.

Curious what makes you curious?

Is it life? The bird flying up in the sky? Mankind? Or anything that you think is too small or big to write them down. Do it anyway, because this is how I finally started to learn and practise biodynamic farming after dreaming it for 10 years. Never too late to start! :)

You can use any medium that you are comfortable with, writing, painting, journaling, anything that makes you curious enough to try, which will open another door for you.

"Expectation is the root of all heartaches - William Shakespears"
We only live once, so give yourself that me-time to explore and find out what interests you the most, and enjoy the journey without expectation. One day,  you will realise that you have become the best version of yourself by doing what you truly love, without trying to be someone else.

Let me wrap up this article by leaving you a short note on how to be that one and only you in this world.

1. Acceptance of who you really are
2 Surrounded yourself with what you truly love 💕, including materials, media, news and relationships with your friends and family
3. In nature, nothing repeats,  just like you and me :)
4. Slow down your momentum and keep on moving, you'll then discover "beyond the fog, lies clarity."- anonymous
5. Let your curiosity open up endless new doors for you

Thumbs up 👍👍👍👍 for my friends who have read this far. It means that you did enjoy the read or care enough about yourself to want to action to welcome a better you :)

We are all born with that special gift to do what we were meant to do, waiting for us to discover it. No matter how long it might take, I pray for any of you to have the courage and perseverance to continue on this self-discovery journey.

And I also want to let you know, from the bottom of my heart, that you are all beautiful, meaningful and wonderful in your own very unique way.

Be beautiful; be YOU,
Waee Waee