This week, we launched our Inspirational Journal together with our collaborator, The Hidden Good. In the spirit of spreading good energy, we invited five women who inspire us — Bertilla Wong (co-founder, The Closet Lover), Beatrice Tan (founder, Klarra), Aarika Lee (marketing director of Elementary Co and musician), Krystal Tan, (director, Blue Sky Escapes) and The Hidden Good’s board of director Wu Jiezhen — to give us a little glimpse into their inner garden: What inspires them? Which of the five words — Joy, Still, Light, Vision or Bloom — do they feel a special connection with at this moment? How are they overcoming the challenges that have come with 2020? And more. This is our conversation with Aarika.
Joy to me is the sound of laughter and warm hugs
What inspires you to do what you do?
Aarika Lee: My children. I know that at the end of the day, I want to make them proud. I hope that they remember how important it is to follow their hearts, and to never give up especially when it gets tough. I know I can't protect them from everything, but I can be there to tell them I went through it all and came out just fine. And the only way for me to do that is to keep doing and chalking up those experiences. :)
Which word — Joy, Light, Still, Vision, Bloom — resonates most with you? What does it mean to you?
AL: Joy to me is the sound of laughter, warm hugs and a cool breeze blowing against my face.
How has Covid-19 impacted you, and how did you overcome it?
AL: Covid-19 has really made me confront a lot of things about myself that I think I didn't really have to before. Up until this year, I thought that I was pretty resilient and tough — mentally and emotionally, but Covid has been a very sobering experience. I was also very hesitant about accepting the idea of this being the "new normal" which made it very hard for me to cope with what was going on. I don't think I've overcome it entirely, but I am so grateful for a strong support system in my husband, family and friends — that I'm able to go to them as I am, even at my lowest and to be received with love and patience. Speaking with them helps me remember that I am not alone, and that everyone is experiencing a bit of a loss in 2020 — some in greater ways than others. I think focusing on the positive and the good things that we have has really helped me, and prioritising time to do the things that bring my release (like dancing in my living room, singing at the top of my lungs in the shower or the car — the “anyhow things”. People exercise, I know, but that's what I do that makes the harder days better.
Who would you gift the journal(s) to, and why?
AL: My sister. When we do get the chance, we have very long and deep conversations about what we've been thinking and feeling — life conversations are a big thing. The journals offer really achievable and relatable mindful practices that I think she would enjoy and that we could do together so I'm going to gift her one of the books for her birthday next month, specifically “Bloom” because she's really brimming with so much potential right now and I hope she sees how amazing it's going to be once she sees that in herself, too.
Read the next conversation with Krystal here.
#InspirationalJournal #byndartisan (Photos courtesy of interviewees.)