Ritu Bhasin
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5 Brilliant Women I'm Celebrating Today

 

In my humble feminist opinion, every day is international women’s day. But the official International Women’s Day, celebrated every year on March 8th, is a formal opportunity for each of us to step back and appreciate the contributions made by women at every level—despite the barriers in our way, and despite how far we have left to go. Here are 5 brilliant women who have inspired me recently, and who I’m taking a moment to celebrate today.

1. Oprah

 
 

Like millions around the world, I’ve admired Oprah for decades. For me, Oprah is THE ground-breaking woman of color creating change in this world. She’s the person who first opened my eyes to the possibility that I, too, could be powerful. And her power is enduring—she’s never been more relevant or more powerful than she is right now (just check out her recent Golden Globes speech above for proof)! Of the bazillion reasons to love her—her TV network, her philanthropy, her Super Soul Sundays, and so much more—what I love most is the incredible work she’s done teaching people how to heal their own woundedness.

2. Esther Perel

 
 

Speaking of woundedness, as I continue working to heal my own wounds related to the infidelity of past partners, I can’t get enough of Esther Perel’s work. She’s been a game-changer in terms of redefining monogamy and how we view relationships. I just read her latest book, The State of Affairs, and was struck by its powerful exploration of how hurt and pain show up in how we treat our romantic partners, and what’s wrong with our current definition of marriage. Her books, podcast, and TED Talks (see above for a particularly great one) are essential for anyone interested in what makes romantic relationships healthy and lasting.

3. Valarie Kaur

 
 

Activist Valarie Kaur is kind, insightful, deep, and inspirational. Her message of Revolutionary Love is a salve on the hurt caused by the many acts of racism, violence, and hate that have erupted since the last US election. I’m so proud that a fellow Sikh, Punjabi woman is out in the world making waves with a message rooted in love—both self-love and love for others. Her message is more important now than ever before, which is probably why millions around the world have watched her videos. Valarie’s spirit is infectious, and her newly minted TED Talk above is a must-watch!

4. Verna Myers

 
 

Verna Myers is one of the most positive people I’ve ever been lucky enough to call a colleague, mentor, bestie, and sista. She’s the perfect combo of kick-ass social advocate and deep spiritualist, working tirelessly to interrupt biases and build cultural competence in corporate America and beyond. I’m inspired by her commitment to self-growth, her compassion, and her deeply loving attitude. (And I also love that I can yuk it up with her about literally anything.)

5. My Mom

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I’d be remiss not to include my mom on this list, because she has continued to inspire me throughout my life. As she courageously battles not one but two life-altering illnesses—rheumatoid arthritis and Alzheimer’s—I’ve watched her persevere with grace and limitless positivity. That she can move through such suffering with strength, will, and laughter is incredible to see, and it’s just one of the many gift she has offered me in my life.

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I’d love to hear about the kick-ass women you are celebrating today! Comment below or connect with me on social media to share about the women who are inspiring you.

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