I only ever see public announcements of gratitude at the end of books or in the middle of acceptance speeches. And I know it will be a while before either of those things happen, so I’m preparing now, because this blog is one of my biggest projects to date and I know I wouldn’t be here without a ton of support.

And let’s face it: do any of us really even need a reason to do this?! To publicly announce how grateful we are for the ones we love? Accomplishing something isn’t a pre-requisite for appreciating what brought us to this point along our journey. The story of my life, and yours, is never solely and fully our own: it’s constantly being shaped and co-authored by countless amazing humans.

So this is the spot where I wanted to stop, turn around, and simply say thank you. Thank you for lifting me up when I was too weak to recognize my worth. Thank you for holding the hope when the future felt too uncertain and scary. Thank you for just being there.

Martin Scott- I am the young woman I am today because of you. Your generosity enabled me to fall in love with the practice of yoga, and you are at the heart of why I have the privilege of teaching it. I always trip over my words when I want to tell you how much it all means to me, because so much of the magic and healing in my life has manifested from knowing you. You gave me a gift I can only hope to continue to pass along to my students. You have no clue just how far your kindness has multiplied and expanded in various forms through the impact you’ve had on everyone you’ve taught and met throughout the years. You are forever my biggest inspiration. Cheers to you, the beautiful space of Union Yoga that you created, and the next chapter of your journey. Thank you, thank you, thank you.  

Rumika- You, sweet girl, are one of the best things that has ever come into my life. Knowing you and being able to call you my best friend is a privilege, one I hold close to my heart. I’m constantly inspired by your courage, intelligence, and passion for social justice. You are the kindest, gentlest soul I know, and I know you’re laughing as you read this because you’d disagree with me. I would know because you think the same of me 😉 You think that your fears, insecurities, temperament, doubts, and sadness don’t make you worthy of this kind of praise. But it’s the fact that you rise above, in spite of all those things, that make you who you are, that make what you accomplish even more amazing. Thank you for always being there, in spirit, even you’re miles away. You’re always on my heart, and just knowing I can reach out to you amidst all the chaos in this world comforts me like nothing else, like we’re in on on this secret that everything is okay because at least we get each other.

Coach John- I seriously don’t know what I would do without you. Knowing you are just a phone call away is the most reassuring thing in the world. Even though we’re miles apart, I feel oddly safe venturing out into the unknown knowing I can call you at any time of day and break down in tears or tell you all about my next adventure or big dream. My love for the game of golf was fueled because of you, your teaching and passion for the game. And this love has taken me on countless adventures, has expanded me in countless ways, and connected me with people I otherwise never would’ve met. You’ll always be my coach, because the best part about high school was being on your team, and one of the best things about life is being on your team. No matter where we end up meeting, whether back home or in Portland or anywhere in between, we will forever have sushi dates and you will forever be modifying my swing 🙂 Hopefully one day, it will make you proud. Also, P.S., If I ever get married, I can’t think of anyone else I’d rather have than you walking me down the aisle. I love you!

Phil- I feel so lucky and blessed to have met you over a year ago at the golf tournament. I know it was fate we were placed in the same volunteer group! The sheer amount of love, support, and desire to learn about me and my passions has been a priceless gift, one that has on many occasions been the only thing that has gotten me through the day. You are my golf grandpa and I am so grateful for your kindness, which constantly inspires me to live a wholehearted life of paying it forward. I can’t thank you enough for everything you do. I’m still in awe at the magic of it all, that we both adopted one another into each others’ lives. It comforts me to know that I can meet someone as kindhearted as you, that this much love and support can come into my life so unexpectedly. I hold onto this when I’m sad or unsure of the future, so thank you for instilling that faith within me. You’re proof that love isn’t limited to family and it always shows up in the most obscure of places, and for that I am so grateful.

Hannah- You show me what it means to be a confident, empowered, creative woman, and I am grateful for, and inspired by you constantly. Our talks, your advice, and our laughs lift me up to a whole other level of happy. My life would not be the same without you. I love you so much.

Janell- You are truly one of the most beautiful, strongest women I know. Your courage, bravery, and strength in carrying your family through the tough times is nothing short of incredible. It has been an absolute blessing getting to know you and your family. I have so much love and gratitude in my heart for our friendship and I consider myself the luckiest girl that one random part-time job led me to meeting you. You have so much love to give, it’s so beautiful. You’re the best. 

Mom- Thank you for loving me always, for giving me the opportunity to create a better life for myself. Thank you for believing in the beauty of my dreams and for encouraging me to follow them, despite us both not knowing how they will continue to unfold. Thank you for your patience in putting up with the worst in me and reminding me of the good, for loving me unconditionally. I don’t think I’ll ever understand the extent to how much you care, how much you’ve sacrificed for me, and how hard you work to lift me up. It’s immeasurable, and I know for certain I wouldn’t be doing the awesome things I’m doing today if it weren’t for you. You’re support is the foundation for everything magical in my life. Thank you

Corinne- You are proof that social media can create social good, and connecting with people like you is the reason why I do what I do! I feel so honored and lucky that I get the chance to work with you, to collaborate, and to spread your insight and miracle-mindedness to others who will benefit and heal so much from it all. Knowing you have overcome so much through ACIM is honestly the one thing I can hold on to when I am feeling really, really down. You are a huge inspiration to me and I look up to who you are as a leader, a writer, a teacher, and an empowered, authentic, beautiful woman. Thank you for being you. I love you so much! 

Brian- Thank you, thank you, thank you. For everything. For the love you gave me so unconditionally, for supporting and encouraging me, for comforting me when I was in desperate pain, for reminding me of my worth and goodness when I didn’t know how to show up fully for myself. I never knew my heart could feel so much, and for that I am eternally grateful and simultaneously petrified that life can be so simultaneously tragic and beautiful. I now know what it means to love. So many moments with you were full of so much warmth and purpose and comfort. I could spend ages re-living all the good parts and it would never be enough. I look back on everything we’ve been through and I’m filled with gratitude: for everything I have become because of you, and I’m proud and honored of who you are because of me. You and our friendship has been the biggest miracle in my life. I wouldn’t change it for the world, because now I know I can do absolutely anything. You and I are proof of that. I’ll love you, always.

Eric Corey Freed – Little did I know that a random email request from a babysitting site would lead to a semester-long internship at a green building non-profit and the chance to meet and get mentored by one of the coolest, funniest guys in the world! I know, I know, but just let me thank you okay?! Okay. Our meet-ups, all the follow up emails with resources, and your support of my vision and ideas fuel my fire to keep going like nothing else. No one inspires me to dream bigger, & think bigger than you do, and the funny thing is that I don’t think you even realize you do this for countless of others,  just by being you. I look up to you in a million different ways. Your success, drive, and ambition remind me I have permission to follow my dreams, and your faith in me propels me forward when I run out of reasons to keep going. You will forever be the coolest guy I know. I know you’ve heard it all before, but I guess you can just add my name to your list of fans. Thank you, thank you, thank you

Madison- You have shaped my life in many more ways than you probably realize. You led me toward my first two real loves. And if it weren’t for your suggestion that I consider teaching, I don’t know if the thought would’ve ever crossed my mind.You are my best girlie and I feel so comfortable telling you anything, knowing you’ll never judge and you’ll always support me. And despite the dozens of people in my life I’m lucky to call a friend, it’s you that go to first to reveal my heartache and new exciting plans. Thank you for the countless times you have been by my side to listen to my stories, encourage my dreams, and just laugh with me. You are one of my best girls and I always feel so at home with you. Thank you for that 🙂

Ryan- You are, quite honestly, one of the most magical things that’s ever happened to me. Hands down. I’ll be re-telling our first encounter for as long as I live, because knowing that life can surprise me by introducing me to someone like you is the very thing that I hold on to when I get anxious that there’s nothing more to look forward to, nothing worth living for. You are quite simply the answer to that question I ask myself every so often. Is this all worth it? Yes. In a world where I am constantly glancing back over my shoulder, eyeing my depression and wondering whether or not it will overshadow me, the universe locked me outside of my car and dropped me off right in front of your restaurant. It whispered “trust, it’s okay, there’s more to come,” and I felt that when I hugged you for the first time. Safe. Loved, before I even knew your name. Everything felt familiar, like I was meant to meet you long before we met and I’m meant to know you for years to come. The amount of sheer dedication, passion, skill, and commitment you have to your craft fuels me to work even harder at what I do. You’re proof that dreams grounded in hard work are possible. I have so much love and gratitude for you. It’s an honor and a privilege to know you and call you my friend. 

Gabrielle-  You, my sweet friend, mean the world to me. I know you don’t see it yet, but you will do big, amazing things with this life of yours, and you’ve already begun. You don’t know how much I admire your grace, your intentionality, the way you carry yourself in this world… it’s such a soft, yet resolute strength. I see so much of myself in you, and I’m so honored to support you along your journey, listening to your stories, worries, and dreams. You are wise beyond your years, and I have no worries about your ability to succeed and find your way. It’s an honor to call you a close friend.

Eliana- You’re the longest relationship I have ever been in! Almost two decades of friendship in spite of all the changes we’ve been through, we are still here, loving each other from afar but still making the time to check in and update each other on our lives. I will forever be looking up to you and your seemingly endless supply of wit, humor, and intelligence. You are the coolest, most bad-ass girl I know, and your confidence in who you are as a person and your physical and mental strength inspire me constantly to keep pushing myself to new limits. Thank you for your countless phone calls with words of wisdom, for listening to all my stories of heartbreak, to walking alongside me even though we’re miles apart. You’re an incredible human being Eliana. I love you with all my heart. 

Kend Grace- You’re halfway around the world and we’ve never met in person but yet I feel like you’re my long lost sister. Your courage and strength in carrying on despite what you’ve been through is nothing short of amazing. Your fight is my fight, and your bravery in sharing your recovery and the messiness of it all reminds me I have permission to do the same. You, and your story, is a gift to us all.  I hope you know that, and I hope you continue to share, because you’re making a difference sister, a big difference, just by being you. Thank you, always.

Andrew- You are by far one of the most sincere, kindest gentlemen I’ve had the pleasure of knowing. During our time in school, I was always inspired by and admired your quiet confidence, humility, and intentionality. I’m excited to see where life takes you because I have no doubt you’ll do awesome, amazing things. Thank you for being so kind in supporting this blog launch. Even though we hadn’t talked in ages, it was still so uplifting to catch up and hear what you’ve been up to.