To A Thirteen Year Old Girl-You Are Not Alone

Posted by: Naz Laila

My dear little girl, I know you are going through a difficult time. Life hasn’t been as nice as you wished it to be.  Many parts of your life has changed suddenly and left you wondering “WHY ME?”

You don’t want to be ‘the odd one out’, the one who is not lucky enough to have a perfect life.  You don’t know how to fix all the broken parts. You don’t know where are you heading, your safe shelter is lost.  This is a dark and lonely place and you don’t know how long you have to walk to find the light.

I know your tender heart is heavy with all the pain. I know you are trying your best to carry on, to hide your tears from the world, to keep a perfect smile even when you are falling apart. You are afraid that your imperfect story will make you unlovable. You are sacred to lose your sense of belonging; you don’t want to take a chance.

Some days you feel like giving up, it is too hard to pretend all the time, too suffocating to carry the heavy weight of a happy girl.

Beautiful things

I want you to know that you are not alone in your struggle. I have been in your place, that place of loneliness, covered with dark shadow of hopelessness and unworthiness. I felt I was the only one in my surroundings going through a rough time. I was angry and sad. I had spent many a nights burying my face in the pillow and many a days hiding my face behind the big thick books.  I felt crippled inside but I tried to carry a happy face. I didn’t have the courage to share my story; I didn’t want to be ridiculed. Little did I know, I was not alone in that struggle.

Years later, I have learned that many of my friends were also carrying a hurting heart. They were also scared to share their imperfect stories. We all had a little messy part of our stories that we didn’t want to reveal. We all pretended to have something that none of us actually had, “ A perfect life”.

So today, I want you to feel your emotions, do what your soul cries for. Cry if you want to, be sad if you must be. And then when you search for your answers in the vastness of the dark black sky, just know there are thousands more tender eyes looking at these twinkling lights and searching for the same answers.

My dear little girl, I can not  just take all your pain away, I can not mend your broken life now but I can tell you, YOU ARE NOT ALONE.  I know that for sure.

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With Love and Gratitude,





Gratitude and Joy

Posted by: Naz Laila

I am doing  the Gift of imperfection e-course with Brene Brown and we were sharing our stories of finding joy and practicing gratitude last week. I had a’ A-h-a moment ‘, when I heard Brene saying ” through my research I have found that joyful people are not grateful, rather grateful people are joyful”.

I can now see how I have invited more joy and peace in my life this year. I have not had any major change in any aspect of my life (finance , relationship, job , health, etc).  However,  I have experienced a major shift in my attitude and perspective since I have started to write down about the things that I am grateful for. It is not a detail gratitude journaling  but a simple list of things that I am so thankful for and know in my heart that I have been very fortunate to have them in my life.

There were hard days when I felt stuck in a dark place, lost in my path to see the beauty and struggled to find  the meaning. All those times that gratitude list worked as a guide post to bring joy and peace in my life.  From  experiencing the everyday beauty to having a wonderful family celebration, I am immensely grateful for each of these wonderful blessings.

I have created a photo collage of some the  things that makes me grateful and joyful.


simple pleasure

simple pleasure

Unconditional love

Unconditional love

Beautiful Nature

Beautiful Nature and photography


Family and a wonderful  celebration ( my brother’s wedding)

Creativity, painting

Creativity, painting

Culture and Food

A vibrant and rich culture and Food


I would love to know where do you find joy? What are you grateful for this year?

With love and gratitude,


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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.

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With Love and Gratitude,



Everyday Beauty-Rain Drops

Posted by: Naz Laila

This is a weekly photography series to share the everyday beauty, a process that helps to slow down and appreciate the little wonders around us.

I am a little obsessed with rain and rain drops. I can spend hours looking at the beautiful ripple effects rain drops create. This week we had a few shower here and one afternoon I tried to capture the beauty of rain drops.

DSC_0651 DSC_0652 DSC_0624 DSC_0650 rain drops

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

With Love and Gratitude,



Spring Colours

Posted by: Naz Laila

Spring brings out  splashes of colours in nature but every time I think of Spring I think about the colour Yellow. May be its because the first day of spring in Bangladesh is a special day when all the girls and women wear a yellow dress. Young or old, rich or poor, they bring out their yellow dresses. Its such a vibrant scene that just cheers you up. Now it’s been ten years since I have moved to Australia and I still miss that first day of spring in Bengali Calender. Now I indulge myself with the wonderful arrays of spring colours around me. I am sharing some of those spectacular colours  here.

Rose DSC_0333 DSC_0343 white rose DSC_0386 DSC_0494 DSC_0495 pansy poppy



This post is part of our October blog circle and it is about beautiful Autumn in Northern Hemisphere. Here are the links of those wonderful posts.

Amy Riddle

Ginger Deverell

Sandy king

Vickie Martin 

Robin Heim