“Our work should equip the next generation of women to outdo us in every field. This is the legacy we leave behind." — Rupi Kaur, "Progress"
I'm going to be an aunt.
Let me rephrase—I'm already an aunt, but this time I'm going to be an aunt to a baby girl.
My nephew is already the coolest kid, and nothing makes my heart warmer than chatting with him about all things Harry Potter and watching him run around my mom's yard with my dog (seriously, he and my dog LOVE each other, and nothing is better than that).
But a baby girl—this is different somehow.
The women of our family get to impart our lineage on her, what it means to be a strong, self-sufficient, compassionate and vulnerable woman.
So I'm considering: what do I want this little girl to know me as?
How do I show up in this girl's life from the start to exemplify the strongest, the most fragile and the most tenuous truths of being a woman?
To show her that wonder and play are essential at any age.
To show her that nature is our source and energy.
To show her that sometimes quiet softness is itself strength, and sometimes a ferocious roar is needed for a revolution of what is right.
To dig in the earth with her and show her the roots that bind us.
Her mama is already strong and soft and fierce and kind.
This baby girl will have many extraordinary women to show her what taking ownership of her femininity can look like.
I want to live up to the task too.
I want her to know she is a born leader—and that any of us are leaders too with warmth, cultivation and the support of community.
I want her to know that "woman" is synonymous with "strength," and that she is beautiful in all the ways the world may forget to tell her.
That her brain is her compass, but her heart is the magnet that guides its arrow.
I want this girl to know, because she is the future.
And I share this with you not only because I want one little girl to learn.
You see, you and I, we were born wild and the world has tried to domesticate us—by teaching us how to be "good" but not how to be true to our instincts. We're in a process of gradual unlearning to get back to our basic, wild feminine natures.
The unlearning is our work, but what if we could prevent the domestication in the first place?
I want girls of the next generation to grow up wild and stay wild—outspoken, intuitively driven, in touch with their heart's knowing and connected with the literal ground beneath their feet.
Yes, I want my niece to retain more of her wildness from the start. To be a formidable beast with heart and soul and gut-driven insight.
But it's not just about one girl, or even the generation of girls she will belong to.
I want all of us to wholeheartedly believe what we are capable of.
To speak out. To be visible. To be vulnerable and brave and raw and resilient.
You can and you already are.
You are the future too, no matter your age at this moment.
What do you want the girls and women in your life to know about themselves and the fundamental nature of being female?
Tell your truths and your fears from a place of honesty and self-compassion. Act accordingly. Share your lessons and your heartbreak, your tender seedlings and your growing triumphs.