This week we have the pleasure of sharing the lovely Medea Kalantar as our #FEMMFEATUREFRIDAY! Originally from Georgia U.S.S.R, Medea immigrated to Canada when she was just four years old. Today, Medea is a reiki master and practitioner as well as a published children’s book author. We love how Medea was empowered by her own story. It is so inspiring to see how she found a way to teach some of life’s most significant lessons through her own journey, coming from a diverse and multicultural background.

Medea recently released her book entitled Honeycake: A Family of Spices, which is the first installment of her brand new children’s book series called Honeycake. Each book teaches one valuable life lesson and gives caregivers and children the tools to overcome obstacles in their everyday lives. These books help caregivers teach their children about acceptance, how to do random acts of kindness, have honest and open communication, and practice gratitude. Children also begin to discover how to meditate and how to manage their emotions when things don't go their way. Look out for the rest of the books in the series called, Honeycake: Help I Swallowed A Butterfly, Honeycake: Special Magical Powers, Honeycake: A Circle of Trust, Honeycake: Counting All My Blessings.

We love that Medea reminds us of how truly unique we all are. We each have an important story to tell and she encourages us to embrace our truths and share them with the world. The only way we can genuinely connect with each other on a deeper level is by opening up, which Medea beautifully illustrates through her storytelling. Shedding light on what makes us different brings compassion, understanding and positivity to the darkness. Thank you Medea for showing us how to lead the way for the future generation.

Written by Alessia Rotino

Artwork by Chloe Bruderer (@chloeheartsart)

Artwork by Chloe Bruderer (@chloeheartsart)

What do you love most about being a grandmother? What are the main differences you experienced when stepping into this role?

I love everything about being a grandmother. There is no better feeling in the world. My heart is so filled with so much love for my beautiful grandson Lukenzo. I light upevery time I see him. But the best part is watching my beautiful daughter Shanaz step into the role of motherhood. I’m learning so many new parenting skills from her as she has been one of my best teachers. I admire how beautifully and consciously she's parenting her son Luka.

The main differences I’ve experienced since stepping into this role is the wonderful magical relationship, I have with my grandson Luka. I’m not full of the guilt or have any anxieties of parenthood or the complex feelings that arise in a marriage like I did when I was a mother. You can relax and just be you. As a grandmother, I’m able to spend my time loving my grandkids, instead of focusing on raising them.

Why do you believe we should celebrate our ethic backgrounds and diversity? What impact has multiculturalism had on your life and the woman you are today?

It’s important to celebrate our ethnic backgrounds and the diversity in our countries, workplace, communities and schools. I feel being exposed to various culturalracial, and ethnic groupsis important. We can learn so much from one another, but first we must have a level of acceptance, respect and understanding about each other.Cultural diversity enriches all of our lives.

The biggest impact that multiculturalism has had on my life was when I found out I was going to become a grandmother. It inspired me to write my new children’s book series called Honeycake. My stories are all based on my own family, whose members come from diverse ethnic backgrounds. I was born in Georgia U.S.S.R and came to Canada when I was 4 years old and my husband Esfandiar was born in Iran and immigrated to Canada in 1987. Our children Shanaz and Jean-Diar both have partners that have diverse ethnic backgrounds, Brandon and Reilly. Our beautiful little Luka has a mix Georgian, Persian, Jamaican, Chinese, Portuguese, Indian and Guyanese.This unique mix is a perfect recipe, and it’s the reason why I call my grandson my little Honeycake.

In my first installment of the series, Honeycake: A Family of Spices, the grandmother (the literary version of myself) explains why she calls her grandchildren “Honeycakes” while she teaches the fictional character Nala how to bake a honey cake. Through imagination, the grandmother details how each delicious ingredient represents a different family member and his or her unique ethnic background.

The book is a story about acceptance and celebrating the backgrounds that make us unique. Like the spices in a honey cake, our different flavors blend together to create the single beautiful entity that is humanity. At the end of the book there is a recipe for readers to follow so they can make their own honey cake.

What does acceptance mean to you?Why is it important that we learn how to practice acceptance in our day-to-day lives? 

Acceptance means no judgment! With all the negativity around diversity in this day and age, I feel it’s very important to create books with positive messages that showcase a diverse multicultural loving family. The idea of a common human bond through the blending of culture and national origins is beautifully represented as mixtures of exotic spices in a manner that children can easily understand.

Just like the ingredients in the honey cake we can teach our children about diversity and acceptance because eventhough we look different and come from different places, we are all part of one race…THE HUMAN RACE. In this beautiful world we live in, WE ARE ALL ONE. 

My hope is that if we instill these valuable lessons to our youth at an early age, we can shift the universe into a positive direction.

If you could go back in time and give your younger self one piece of advice, what would it be? 

The one piece of advice I would give to my younger self would be: “Don’t be so hard on yourself”.

What’s your definition of a YGTGirl?

A female that is accepting, kind, strong, smart and bold! Who is committed to their personal growth, healing and living their best life! Who will celebrate their unique cultural background, the strength in their voices and who wants to inspire others to do the same!