A Letter to My Mom

In honor of Mother’s Day, I want to make a special testimony to my Mom. And to all Moms. To the unsung heroes of our lives who inspire– and sometimes prod us– towards our own version of greatness.

Dear Mom:

I challenge you to make your life a masterpiece. I challenge you to join the ranks of those people who live what they teach, who walk their talk. ~Tony Robbins

I wanted to start out my Mother’s Day message to you with this Tony Robbins quote. It reminds me so much of you. Not just because you gave me my first Tony Robbins book (which quite literally changed my life forever) but because you have always challenged me to make my life a masterpiece.

You live what you teach. You walk your talk. And you’ve taught me to do the same. Mothers Day

Let’s look at some of the important ways you have touched me…

Yoga: I remember when you took me to yoga when I was 12. You know, I hated it. 🙂 But it taught me important lessons. How to slow down. How to breathe. How to become physically strong at my core. How to embrace health from the inside out.

Meditation: You opened up new worlds to me when you made sure early on I knew about guided imagery, meditation, and mental training techniques. Tools that I still use. Every. Single. Day.

Nutrition: At 14, you convinced me to stop drinking sodas (One of the best things I ever did for my health). At 15, you ‘invited’ me and my sister to become vegetarian alongside you. Your gentle encouragement in the area of nutrition has transformed my life into one of healthy bounty.

Books: You always shared with me your love of books. You taught me how to speed read. You kept me nourished with a constant stream of library books; you made sure when I turned the last page on one book, a new one always appeared magically to fill its place. You always liked to share your favorites with me. But ceded gracefully when you realized you had no chance to compete with my intense passion for Agatha Christie.

Cooking: When I was only six years old, you registered me for cooking classes. Some of my fondest childhood memories are of cooking with you in the kitchen.

Culture: You wouldn’t let me watch TV after school. Instead, you registered me in an array of afternoon classes: piano, ballet, jazz, swimming, karate, and languages. You never stopped giving me the gift of learning.

Career: You urged me to go to Veterinary School when I was only 18. You encouraged me to join the army after university. Even though I was an officer in the Brazilian Army, I got to work at a U.S. Army lab in Rio where I learned how to be an independent molecular biology researcher. You supported my decision to move to Germany, then the U.S. to pursue my dreams. And the rest—as they say—is now history.

You worked hard and you overcame a lot.

But you always did it with grace and strength. And by your glorious example, you made me strong and independent. You never stopped challenging me to learn and grow and to become the very best possible version of me.

And today—Mother’s Day–my heart is filled with gratitude.

At each step of the way, you were planting seeds. Seeds of knowledge. Inspiration. Motivation. And challenge.

And all those seeds have borne fruit. Today I stand before you—humbly—as a grown woman who loves cooking, healthy food, books and reading, yoga, meditation, and visualization. A woman who is trying– one baby step at a time—to make her life a masterpiece.

From those seeds that you planted, I’ve grown into a tree that I’m proud of.

And I hope you are too.

So from the bottom of my heart, thank you, Mom.

And thank you to all the Moms out there.

You are indeed the wind under our wings.

Happy Mother’s Day to all!

P.S. In honor of Mother’s Day, we are delighted to share with you Chef Fran Costigan’s eternally sublime recipe for 24 Karrot Cake. For me, carrot cake represents all the comfort and warmth of our home kitchens–with our mothers standing squarely in them.