Women Rising | A letter of thanks


Today is International Women's Day. A day dedicated to the honoring of a group that has been historically oppressed, subjugated, and under-appreciated.  A day to signify the need for a sea-change as the world begins to understand the true value of a woman. And a day, especially in the wake of the #metoo movement for all of us to come together through encouragement, community, and support. 

As we participate in this transformation toward a new age of revering the feminine, I too seek to honor the women who have made me who I am. I have truly stood on the shoulders of giants - giant hearts, giant spirits, giant minds - and for those brave, bold, and beautiful women I am grateful.

One such woman, pictured above, is my late maternal grandmother, Dolores. A woman I never got to meet as she died of breast cancer when my own mother was in her early twenties.  Nevertheless, I've always felt a deep resonance and connection with her image. My mom has often told me that we are so energetically similar, and despite the fact that we haven't met in this life, I somehow feel her presence and love even today.

In an effort to celebrate her and many others on this special day, here follow small tokens of my appreciation:

To my Grandmother Dolores: Thank you for your fierce self-discipline, your snappy sense of style, your red rose earrings, and (as I'm told) your graceful listening skills. Your suffering was not in vain, and I hope - even today - to offer you healing through my own spiritual journey. 

To my Grandmother Tooba: You are the only grandmother I have ever known in this life. Pushing five-feet-tall you have still been an absolute giant - raising children on your own at such a young age, moving across the world to America and teaching me that love of family always (always) comes first. Thank you for all the gummy bears, the smiles, and the unparalleled Persian food. 

To my own Mama: Thank you for teaching me about devotion and absolute trust. Thank you for being a living angel/saint and a space-holder of unconditional love for a modern family. You are magnificent, you have taught me all I know of love - you are truly a phenomenal woman. 

To my sister: Thank you for setting the example of a vibrant, independent, intelligent woman who knows and creates exactly what she wants. Thank you for listening to me, being an incredible mentor and an even better friend. Thank you for your boundary-pushing O.G. spirit. Thank you for including me in your life from the beginning. 

To my Aunts: Thank you for showering me with love, food, and prayer over the years. Thank you for your unyielding and unwavering support.  Thank you for your thoughtful cards and your kisses. I treasure each and every one of you. 

To my cousins: Thank you for your friendship, your laughter, and for illegally teaching me how to drive on the highway when I was 15. Our memories are seared beautifully and indelibly in my mind, punctuating my childhood with so much joy. 

To my friends: Thank you for growing with me side-by-side. For staying in touch despite all sorts of diversions and for helping me see things differently. You each inspire me and are a living embodiment of an authentically empowered woman. Your unique light brightens a dark world. 

To my Wandering Wellness tribe: Thank you for encouraging me to step into my power as a leader. Thank you for showing up for yourselves again and again (and again). Thank you for helping me transform D.C. into a place of consciousness, mindfulness, and community.  Thank you for being the leaders and creators of the future. Thank you for being vulnerable, and courageous. Thank you for laughing and transforming with me. This work is for you. 

To my teachers: Guru Jagat, Lisa Avila, Jamie Graber, Tara Lemerise, Marjorie Shovlin (and SO many more), thank you for breaking the mold, and for expanding my awareness of what women can (and need) to do in the world. Thank you for taking risks, making me laugh, and for kicking me in the butt when I needed it. I respect, admire, and honor you more than you'll ever know. 

And now - dear reader - I charge you:

Who are the women you are grateful for?

How can you celebrate and thank them, in your own way today? 

Let us create a movement of revering the women who run the world. It begins with you.