I wrote this letter to my daughter on her first birthday and shared in publicly on Facebook and in my newsletter. It felt vulnerable and right to share. I received such moving responses from people that I decided to share the letter and a response from my colleague Cody Remaklus.
You are one today! Thank you for being here in this life with us. You stood today for the first time! I love witnessing your learning process, your beauty, poetry, fierceness and joy.
You are turning one at a wild time in our history. There is a man running for president that has no empathy for or understanding of women. He embodies the root of so much of my suffering in this life.
I will do everything in my power to support you to listen to and trust your body, to know your own beauty and worth. I will support you to trust your gut and speak up or leave situations that don’t feel good to you.
I support you to change your mind. I support you to feel. I want to protect you from anyone who does not respect you and your body.
The work I am doing in this world is to support people to learn to feel their bodies and express themselves. I am an artist, a mother and teacher. You are helping me know who I am.
You teach me to be present.
You play and laugh and crawl and climb and laugh. Your hands are soft and strong and open. You move with grace, humor and curiosity. You love music, dancing, voice, breath, food, kisses and nursing. You love your brother, your daddy and all the warm people that surround you.
You inspire us all. Happy birthday!
Thank you for a being such a peaceful warrior Tiffany. You and your daughter are an inspiration to me, as is my wife and almost 10 month old daughter Noa (and son Macy). I am currently doing some Feldenkrais training time in Chicago, away from home and family. Feeling the sting of distance, the turmoil of our current times, as a nation and simply as a human. I do not know what the future holds, but I do know that my reaction to "the times" I can hold, and that I will aspire to do so with hands like Adia's and Noa's.
Furthermore, I will continue to be the type of man, father, husband, artist, teacher, that nurtures. And I will do so with an inner strength that does not need to be advertised, nor validated, but that will nevertheless stand as an example to all, through kindful, cautious (not fearful) action. Thanks to many teachers in my life, (but most literally in this moment to Moshe Feldenkrais) I know our baby girls' hands hold the evolution of human kind.
The best way to answer gross generalizations, fear mongering, or homogenization of individuality is through authenticity. In the process of meeting and cultivating ourselves we experience our human condition. There is great empathy that comes with that. We learn that we are not made of extremes, but the whole of yin and yang. We learn that every action has a reaction until infinity so everything we do, say, project creates a ripple effect. It all matters and none of it matters unless there is an authentic source. You, Tiffany are an authentic guide, for me, your family and first and foremost yourself.
Your fellow peaceful warrior,