Growing up I never saw anything like this photo. Ever. I didn’t even think it was possible. As an Asian American female who grew up in a predominantly Jewish community, I grew up being able to explore and understand other people’s cultures but at the expense of my own. Even though Korean was my first language, I stubbornly pushed it away. Even though the food I ate and the things I celebrated were normal and good to me, I hid and put it away. Throughout the years, I staggered in between being Asian and being American until I came to the realization that this identity is already whole. It is already two sided. It is complementary. I don’t need to swing from one side of the pendulum to another to be more ___ or less of ____.
Back in January 2018, I went to a women’s retreat where 19 strangers from across the states came together in Seattle to reflect, talk and share about what makes us who we are. What happened was basically a weekend (read: 48 hours) of deep talk and personal story telling. The weekend was guided by the question: WHAT DOES IT LOOK LIKE FOR ASIAN WOMEN TO FLOURISH AND THRIVE? What resulted was a safe space to be ourselves, share our fears, dreams, struggles, as well as celebrate our accomplishments, wins and goals.
It was beautiful to witness, experience and be a part of. And something my younger self would’ve wanted sooner.
The stories I had and the thoughts I’ve never shared, weren’t met with a “huh? What do you mean?” They were received with open arms and a “oh yea…. I know exactly what that is like. It’s like ______ right?”
There is something magical that happens when you share yourself – your vulnerable self- with someone (especially a stranger) and they catch you and they get you.
This buried confidence emerges.
You feel safe to be you.
You realize you’re not alone.
You realize that you’ve never been alone.
You realize your story is something that needs to be shared…. and with more conviction and more volume.
You realize you need to do this now. For yourself and for those who need to see/hear it.
I walked out of that weekend and came back home to LA wondering why I ever even questioned myself in the first place. I came back feeling thankful for having shown up authentically as myself so that others can see me for who I am… and grateful that I can be seen and acknowledged for who I’ve worked to become. I returned feeling clearer on my personal mission and philosophy of life… and with an understanding of how that translates into an every day habit and way of being.
I’m so happy to announce that The Cosmos, a community for Asian women to flourish and thrive, launches today in NY, SF, LA. Their mission is for every Asian women to be seen and heard. My friends Karen and Cassandra are the co-founders of this powerful movement.
I challenge you to post an image of what flourishing and thriving means to you… and to tag 3 Asian women you admire to keep it going! Include @jointhecosmos, #CosmosChallenge #JoinTheCosmos #PressforProgress.
If you also thought something like this could never exist… well now you know.
And you can come join us.
Come sit with us. Talk with us. Cry with us. Laugh with us.
In honor of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, they are raising $10,000 by May 1. You can support the community here and check out what events are coming up next that you can attend.
See what I wrote about how flourishing and thriving means to me on Instagram. I try to live it out everyday. 🙂
What does it look like for Asian women to FLOURISH and THRIVE? 🙌🏻👆🏻🙌🏻👆🏻 _ Join the #COSMOSCHALLENGE~~ post a photo of what flourishing and thriving means to you on 3/8 and write a caption that answers: “I flourish and thrive when _______”. TAG 3 Asian women with #cosmoschallenge to share their stories too! _ This #InternationalWomensDay, we want to hear every Asian woman’s voice in the global gender parity movement. Join us 🙌🏻 @jointhecosmos _ @asiangirlsunited @brazenasians #empoweringwomen #empoweringwomennow #asianamerican #asamcreatorrollcall #aapi #beingasian #futureisfemale #femaleempowerment #universal #womenunited #progressnotperfection #womensupportingwomen #femalepower #bethechange #powerinunity #strongwomen #JoinTheCosmos #PressforProgress #IWD2018 #AsAmRollCall #sisterhood👭
About The Cosmos:
They produce transformational Leadership Retreats, Workshops, and Events that empower Asian women to live their best lives. Make a pledge to support the community today.
In the meantime, stay tuned for updates on my own business I am launching!