We had the good fortune of connecting with Pani Sabet and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Pani, how has your background shaped the person you are today?
Hi there. Well, I’m from the capital of Iran, Tehran. Growing up in a westernized part of the city where the music, fashion, and many interests are very similar to the States. My household was kind of Americanized as well, especially compared to most of the other kids at school. Me and my brother would fight over who gets the headset to listen to Backstreet Boys, and we would rock out to Metallica and, well, Spice Girls. My favorite movies were Spy Kids and Charlie’s Angels. I would come home to my mom playing Madonna so loud I could hear it from the hallways.

My family was also not religious and quite open-minded, actually. My mom had a tremendous influence on me always and still does. I’m glad as I view her as one of the most intelligent and ahead of her time women I have ever seen. The school system was callous in Iran. Being free-spirited or curious was not encouraged. Rules were rigid, and you had to obey, or you would absolutely be in trouble. I was always a great student, but my problem was questioning things, especially the things they would teach us at school that I just knew were not right. For instance, to hate anything and anyone who doesn’t think like us, as a country and as a religion. My mom kind of raised me and my older brother like that. She would invite us to read books and be curious and ask questions. To think logically. That culture was not welcomed at the school. Mixed with my rebellious personality, I would get in a lot of trouble, and my poor mom was asked for at the school office many, many times a week. She was a regular, to say the least, haha. After questioning the beliefs the school principal was trying to implement in us in one of her speeches, I remember one time. Obviously, it turned to this big thing where she accused me of instilling the wrong ideas in my classmates’ heads; she told me, “You know what? I think you should leave this country very soon.” And don’t get me wrong, even though I love my country very much and am very proud of being a Persian woman, I wanted to get out. I felt suffocated. I felt like I wasn’t going to be myself there; they wanted me to be particular characteristics that I just wasn’t like quiet and conforming. So when I turned 18, I told my parents I wanted to go live in the States, where my mom’s side of the family has lived for quite some time. They wanted me to move to Germany, where my dad’s side of the family lives, but I chose the States, land of the free. I craved freedom more than anything. I wanted to select everything for myself, what to study in school, how I would dress, how I would speak, how I would think, and how I would think of the world around me.
Fortunately and god willing, my move was organized quickly, and I was here in no time. I frequently think about my past, and I appreciate what it has taught me and the more developed and broadened perspective it has given me. If I could go back, I wouldn’t change a single thing.

Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Yes, absolutely. I am the host of the Speak Your Brain podcast, where I select my guests personally and interview and converse with them for about an hour. Depending on the guests and their field of expertise, I will tailor my questions to them, ensuring an optimal conversation that will be educational, relatable, funny, and captivating for the listeners. My theory is that if the guest is an experienced and knowledgeable person, and I’m prepared with great questions, we will have a good flow in the conversation resulting in us enjoying our discussion. And if we’re enjoying the conversation we’re having, chances are the listeners will too. There are many takeaways from each episode, and I learn so much after each discussion. I’m also currently working towards obtaining my Masters’s degree in Psychology which is my field of most interest. The content I put out on my social media is all consciously curated to lift up my audience, add to their day, invite them, alongside myself, to look at specific topics or questions that fascinate me. People really seem to enjoy it, and that’s all I care about, to have a positive net effect.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?

Well, I’d have to see which friend it is and what their vibe is. But if it was entirely up to me, I’d start with some hikes and time in nature. LA is a big and iconic city with not much of a nature scene, but if you know the right places, you can find some beautiful hikes and trails that would take your breath away. Okay, maybe they won’t take your breath away, but you’ll at least pull out your phone to snap some pics for the gram. There are some great hikes me and my friends like to go on Sundays in Ojai and many in Santa Barbara. So many healthy restaurants and cafes. Nowhere has as many healthy options as LA, and I’m very grateful for that. I like going to the beach to read, journal, and tan or rollerblade on Venice beach and look at the stores. If my “friend’ is up for it, we can check out some of my favorite workout studios in LA. Pilates, Yoga, Spinning, and breathwork are some of my favorite classes to take, and there are many good studios around here. After spending some time in nature and getting a good workout in, then we can check out some of the town’s best spots for dinner and drinks. I know some chill lounges we can hang out and chat at or go to a house party unless my friend is into clubbing, which then depending on how much I love this friend, I may leave them on their own or cave in and go with them, but it’s definitely not a favorite activity. Haha.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My first shout-out would be to my mom. Someone who has taken such a unique way to raise her kids in a country like Iran. She took influence from no one and listened to no one, and did what she thought was the right thing to do. She was a brilliant and aware mother. She was into yoga and meditation since I was a kid, healthy eating and healthy living, positive thinking, and being conscious creators of our own lives. And so many more trendy things now, but back then, she was indeed a pioneer for her generation and the country she was from, and no one else really knew about this stuff. She has greatly influenced me growing up, and I really look up to her and think she’s such a unicorn. She’s my best friend now, and I consult everything with her as I don’t think there is anyone more intelligent and trustworthy, so I’m very grateful for her.

The second shout-out would be to my ex-boyfriend, Diego. Even though we’re not together anymore, hence the word ex, I have so much love and respect for that man. He helped, inspired, and taught me a lot and had a tremendous role in starting Speak Your Brain.

Website: www.speakyourbrain.com

Instagram: pani

Youtube: speak your brain

Image Credits
pani (me)

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