Entries Tagged as 'Favorites'


Tell me your story of failure and here is mine

Posted by: Naz Laila

I know you have many wonderful stories of your amazing life. Stories of achieving your goals, securing your dream job, working hard and getting the perfect score, finding your soul mate, creating a successful business, writing a best seller book, making your parents proud and so on.  These are terrific stories, and I am sure you will be excited to share them.

But today I want you to tell me your other stories. The one that is not so great.

The one, which fills you with fear and shame. The story of your greatest failure and terrible mistakes.

Tell me the story when you failed because you didn’t try hard enough. Also tell me about your heartache when you have tried your best, yet you have failed.

Tell me about the mistake you have made because you were young and didn’t know enough. Also share with me about the mistake you have made when should have known better.

Be Brave

It is easy to share your story of a failed business venture when you have already built an emperor, but it takes enormous courage to share the failure while you are struggling with it. And I want you to practice courage today. Your courage will give someone else the voice to tell his or her own story.

I know shame and fear of judgement will try to keep you away from showing up with these difficult stories and I fell into that trap as well.

For a long time my concept of failure and mistake existed only in the stories of great and successful people. Failure, even in it’s tiniest form was so humiliating and degrading in the culture I grew up with that I have never dared to try something that I was not very good at it. I associated my self worth with the grade of my exams.

When I moved to Australia, one of the biggest cultural shocks was, to see people trying new things and accepting failure as part of the process. I didn’t know how to embrace that attitude.

I continued to live my life with the fear of facing failure at some point in my life. That fear pushed me to become a perfectionist. An enormous amount of stress and anxiety were my companion in that journey for many years until it ended last year when I failed a small component of my medical specialist exam. I worked hard for that test and I was quite confident that it would be fine, yet I failed.

Facing my biggest nightmare brought the most surprising gift.  I felt liberated from the pressure of being perfect. I could finally give myself the permission to try new things, to create art and to accept my imperfect self. I started to change the way I define my success.

My fear about failure was rooted in the long held believe that failure will take away my sense of belonging. It will make me unworthy of love and respect. Now I  know that the deepest connections are created when you trust somebody and your honest raw stories are the essential part to create that trust. The tale of your struggle can empower as many people as your story of triumph could.

So my friend, today BE BRAVE and share your story with the world. I also want you to be gentle and kind to yourself as this process of owing your failure is a difficult journey. If you feel little scared that’s ok too (I guarantee you are not alone).

On another rough day, when failure will strike me hard and discouragement and hopelessness will try to suffocate me, I will come back to your story and YES YOUR STORY MATTERS.

If you enjoyed this post, please subscribe to A Gentle Rebellion and share this post with others.

With Love and Gratitude,



May you give yourself the permission

Posted by: Naz Laila



May you have the audacity to dream the impossible.

May you believe in your dream even when the world ridicules you.

May you have the courage to surrender and trust the process.

May you embrace the uncertainty with grace and faith.

May you approach every journey with curiosity.

May you let go the fear of judgement and show up with your story.

May you let the power of gratitude transform you.

May you experience the blessings of unconditional love and acceptance.

May you allow forgiveness to mend your broken heart.

May you choose kindness over cleverness.

May you shine with the beauty of your soul.

May you let the colours of butterfly make your heart soar.

May you find joy in the simplicity of a meaningful life.

May you be gentle on your soul when you struggle to overcome failure.

May you give yourself the permission to be the WONDERFUL YOU.


If you enjoyed this post, please subscribe to A Gentle Rebellion and share this post with others.

With Love and Gratitude,



The journey ‘from tragedy to comedy’

Posted by: Naz Laila

I was surprised to see him reading so late at night. I asked my husband what was he reading. He was so engrossed he didn’t even reply. When I asked him again he replied, “oh this book is so good, once you start you can’t put it off”. Once I started to read I realized he was right about this book  ‘The Happiest Refugee: My journey from tragedy to comedy’ by Anh Do (named Australian Book of the Year).



Unravelling of Mystery with Layers of Colours

Posted by: Naz Laila

I pause for sometime to let the excitement settle down for a moment. I read through the page again, look at all the beautiful paintings. I close my eyes; no, it’s not just the excitement to play with colours, it’s not just the impulse to get into another course, it something deeper and bigger than what I have ever felt but I can’t put a name to it. I take few deep breaths and press the sign up button.

The next four weeks fly away with the things that were on the schedule and also with the things I never saw coming. I lose my track of time and date.

By the time we bring our daughter back home after 5 days ordeal at the hospital, I am overwhelmed and exhausted. My body needs to rest but my heart needs to heal from the emotional roller coaster. I log in to the class of Flora Bowely’s Bloom true course. I watch the class video with my little girl who is still very weak and tired but amazed to see Flora playing with the colours and music. While I set up my paintings she joins me and her eyes lit up when she gets a canvas and dips her brush into mummy’s special paints. As we both paint side by side an immense sense of gratitude and peace starts to heal my heart.




As the strokes of warm colours cover the blank canvas I feel alive again. I feel excited to try all the different tools and colours. I start to connect with all the other wonderful creative women of this group. We share our excitement, our fear, our works. It feels amazing to see so many different paintings using the same technic and colour schemes. I feel ready for the next step.

I bring out my new colour palate, I feel a little unsure but remind myself “ there is no right or wrong way, there is no formula, there is no mistake, you can always change it later”. I trust Flora’s word and keep painting with layers of blue and green. I look at the painting again and a rush of self-doubt washes me over. I stop. I desperately look for meaning into these layers of colours. I feel an urge to know where is this painting going. I know I need to let go of any preconceived idea but the uncertainty suffocates me. I check our group’s updates. So many amazing paintings, their layers are so perfectly placed, such a nice display of vibrant colours, perfect placement of different strokes. I look at my painting again. Some colours are too bold, some areas are too smudgy, and they don’t make any sense yet. I don’t like it. I ask myself “Why”?

Is it because my introvert side never felt comfortable to stand out, to make bold choices, to take the unconventional path or to follow the road less travelled?

Is it my hard coded logical brain needs the comfort of familiar pattern, too afraid to take risk, too weak to embrace the uncertainty?

Suddenly this painting with all its overlapping marks, bold colours, white patches and dark circles becomes a reflection of all the mistakes I have made in life, all the things I wish I had done differently, all the things that went wrong despite my best effort. Every time I look at the canvas I despise the whole process. Part of me just wants to wipe out all “wrong strokes, wrong colours”. But I don’t react, just walk away from it.

My mind starts to play all her tricks “the scarcity technique” ‘you don’t have enough time, right colours, a good studio, to create a beautiful painting’. Then comes the “comparison complex” ‘everybody else have figured it out, their paintings are amazing, they are more talented’. Followed by “self doubt”, ‘so what do you thing you are doing?Have you ever done any art work? It’s a ridiculous dream, it’s never going to work. You should have started earlier.’

I don’t fight with all these thoughts. I don’t push them away.I know they are here to protect me from the heartbreak of a shattered dream. I just let them to be there. I don’t act to them anymore, I become ‘A Gentle Rebel’.


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I go out for a walk in the nature. I take a slow walk, stopping many times to look at the beautiful autumn colours. I enjoy the sunshine while my girls blow bubbles. I see them playing and laughing for the simplest of reason. I think of how sick my daughter was just a few days ago. I think of the very fragile nature of our life and why it is so wroth of nurturing, enjoying and living with a passion and dream. This reminds me of all of those instances when life suddenly changed its courses and landed me in a different but better place than what I planned for. How following my heart led me to experience many magical moments and brought immense joy. I start to see beauty around me. I feel grateful for this quite afternoon.

I bring out the canvas and paints again. I let my guard down. I let go of my need to control, the urge to plan everything, the desire to be perfect and the fear of uncertainty. I feel ready to open my heart to the whispers of the universe, to the guidance of the divine force and to experience the beauty from within.

‘The uncertainty’ now brings more possibility. “The mess” is just the beginning of a new story unravelling all its mystery.

With love and gratitude



How to navigate through all your commitments, interests and projects without feeling overwhelmed.

Posted by: Naz Laila

start today

start today

It could be a beginning of a new year, or a new start after a transition when we often feel too excited and enthusiastic and set too many goals to achieve and make more commitments than we can ever manage.

We get interested in too many things. We put down our names in too many groups, we subscribe to numerous newsletters, and we enrol into multiple courses. We create too many social network accounts than we can actually remember. All these activities drain our energy and leave us with hardly any time to do the actual work or to create anything meaningful.

Still we continue all these because we are afraid of

Missing out on interesting stuff

Not keeping up with the new trends

Not making the connections with others

Feeling left out