SPOTLIGHT: HARINI ON THE ROAD LESS TRAVELED

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More blossoming young millennials are nurturing their passions in creative ways to make an impact on the world, and we love highlighting their stories!  Harini Madheswaran is one of the people we admire the most – a modern-day dreamer who weaves her artistic nature and generous spirit into everything she does as a writer, nurse and advocate for Save the Children.  We are in awe of her humanitarian essence, her global perspective and her deep drive to help others. Get inspired and discover her tips on opening yourself to the road less traveled, to new experiences and brighter possibilities! For anyone who needs inspiration or a virtual hug follow Harini @optimistpundit on Instagram and on her blog Harini The Human Blog !

An outfit is many times like creating a painting of yourself to showcase to the world. Like “Hello world, this is me. I can be sweet and feminine, I can be an edgy rock star, and I can be a bum sometimes too.

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1.  Tell us about yourself as an artist, nurse and writer!

 From a young age, like many other creative souls, I was drawn to nature and art! Doodling was my favorite pastime, but I loved reading most of all; I loved sinking into a book and exploring a new world. Reading was my adventure. This really inspired my love for writing—from poetry to short stories, I loved experiencing the imagination of the written word. In a lot of ways, I love using my creative side as a nurse. I love my job! It is so rewarding. I get to leave work feeling great about what I am doing and have done during that shift. It really opened my eyes to the true strength of humanity. 

2.  You are a very global person and lived in India until moving to the US at the age of 8.  How do these two different cultures inform who you are and what have you learned from both your homeland and America?  What part of being Indian do you hold dear and how does your heritage inform your style? Can you tell us any stories about the differences in culture?

The best part of growing up in two different cultures is that it helped me be very open-minded. It has taught me that there is so much more to the world than what we are shown – whether it be on the news or what we are taught in school. The biggest part of being Indian that I hold dear is how big the term family can really be. It is a very community-oriented society—especially in the smaller cities and towns. 

3.  Tell us about your personal style and aesthetic. What inspires you and how do you choose your outfits?

 My personal style really depends on my mood that day. When I want a little bit more confidence on a particular day, I gravitate toward my leather jacket and outfits with a little more edge. And funnily enough, I dress for the weather. If it’s a dreary, cold spring day, I’ll wear my best yellow. During the summertime, I do love wearing dresses. That’s the power of fashion. We have so many opportunities to dictate our own emotions through it or change our mood that day into something more positive. I am a big believer in a good lipstick. Lipstick can help you embrace and channel your inner badass. 

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My life philosophy and my style philosophy are basically to try new things constantly. I really want to work on testing my comfort zones and getting out of them. How will you know all that you can do if you don’t test yourself?

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4. You recently started a beautiful blog Harini The Human about your philosophies of changing the world.  Could you tell us more about your blog project and what inspired you to start writing?

Writing has always been an outlet for me. Growing up, I was the most introverted person you could meet. I went through some rough patches that really made me into the person I am today. Those experiences were crucial – they helped see the world in a different light. In a way, my blog helps me take action to do my part to make the world better. It is my art form. It also allows me to release any internal anxiety in a positive light!

5. Please tell us more about how you got involved with Save the Children, and how our readers can help make a difference.

 April 10th-12th I got the opportunity to participate in Save the Children Action Network’s (SCAN) Advocacy Summit. It was such an incredible experience. I originally got involved with SCAN because coming from a land where I’ve seen states of poverty first hand, it is hard to put these issues outside of your mind. In DC, I got to speak with Members of Congress and staff who work with Senators and Representatives. We are trying to pass two bipartisan acts: the Reach Every Mother and Child Act (REACH) and the Social Impact Partnership Act (SIPA). If you think about it, these are issues that really everyone cares about. We all want children to succeed in all walks of life. The REACH Act will ultimately save 15 million children and 600,000 moms by 2020 if passed! Can you imagine the impact these minds would have in the world? The SIPA Act will make high quality early education more accessible to low-income families. 90% of a child’s brain is already developed by age four. So much learning takes place before they even set foot into a school system. You can get involved by going to savethechildrenactionnetwork.com to learn more!

6.  Do you have any naughty indulgences?

 Haha, Nutella. Plain and simple. 

7. Favorite books?

 I love Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaleed Hosseini. Of course, Harry Potter and co. were my best friends growing up. If you’re looking to get your next fix of magic, I recommend Lev Grossman’s The Magicians series. I have read book one and am in love. Although, a fair warning, there is some mature content, but it is wildly intriguing. 

8.  Favorite movies?

Right now, I love “A Theory of Everything.” So beautifully done. I’m also a sucker for most romantic comedies. It’s the NF in me. 

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9.  How do you stay so positive, motivated, focused, and expressive? Where do you turn to fill up your well of inspiration? 

 Finding people who are so passionate about something and seeing them fuel that into an incredible art gives me life. Take a mini vacation anytime you feel a lack of inspiration. Go do something you wouldn’t normally do and try to do it by yourself. Challenge yourself. Whatever the channel is don’t ever be afraid to use what you’ve got. What you have to say is important and beautiful. Go for it!

10. We were very touched by your article titled “Girls”.   Are there lessons that American women could learn from Indian women?  

 A strength I see with Indian women is that in today’s society they know fully that they are amazing creatures! Young women especially are fighting for more equality. Girls are wearing what they want without fear of what anyone might say. They are pushing the limits set upon by society in a way that respects our tradition while being their undeniably amazing selves. 

 11.  Describe a couple of your favorite pieces of clothing to wear and why – what do they mean to you?  How do they let you express yourself everyday?

 My leather jacket is really just my favorite item of clothing. It adds an edge to an everyday outfit. An outfit is many times like creating a painting of yourself to showcase to the world. Like “Hello world, this is me. I can be sweet and feminine, I can be an edgy rock star, and I can be a bum sometimes too”. It lets you display so many layers of yourself and is never limiting. 

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Valentina & Francesca

Valentina & Francesca is for the millennial individual who sets the direction to her life with optimism and an unwaveringly open mind. A high-impact, laser-focused digital platform generating unique content inspiring connected women to discover their personal style. Valentina & Francesca enhances your brand’s story with bold contemporary narratives celebrating confidence and power in a smart, irreverent way within a highly engaged community.

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