In writing this blog, I relived lots of scary memories. I experienced a healing process through sharing my story. I invite you to write about your early life traumas and share your stories as well. Together we can heal our hearts and stand up for the next generation.
Why should we tell our story
Why is important that we have our voices heard and that we come out of hiding? Men, women and children have been sexually assaulted, humiliated, shamed over many generations and what is the reaction? More shame and humiliation. Why should we stay hidden and let the Patriarchy put us back in our closet of shame?
To me staying silent amid such courageous Truth Telling going on right now is destructive and regressive. Almost every woman I meet has been victimized by actual or attempted sexual assault. To deny these experiences is burying our pain and hurt and sending it down the generational stream to our children and grandchildren. It is unacceptable!
I have had my own experience of a near rape in High School. I was lucky enough to have escaped but it left an indelible mark on me. I felt totally responsible for this event and deeply shamed. It was not my fault but I took it on and did not speak about it for many years.
I judged myself.
This was just one of many experiences that eroded my self esteem and my belief in my own talent. This led to an eating disorder and a stream of bad relationship choices.
Yoga, Meditation and Ayurveda to the rescue!
Finding the path of yoga and Ayurveda helped me and so many others heal from this early life trauma. I discovered an inner strength I never knew I had and provided skills to heal my eating disorder. I was literally trying to stuff my feelings of unworthiness and trauma to keep them from surfacing. I was trying to take control of a place inside that was totally out of control, fearful and traumatized.
By practicing yoga and learning about Ayurveda I was able to bring my body into balance with nature. I was able to connect to the deeper essence of who I am… The place that is beyond personality and ordinary mind.
Through the practices of yoga I learned to connect to my Higher Self on a daily basis. By adopting good healthy Ayurvedic habits, my nervous system calmed down and I began to sleep more deeply. I finally experienced a deep self-love and respect for the first time in my life. I was able to maintain a healthy weight without obsessing about my diet and exercise. I was free!
The behavior of the men who took advantage of me over the years is reprehensible to me.
How do we as a society address this total disrespect and violence?
The Root Cause
What is causing this behavior according to the wisdom teachings of Yoga and Ayurveda?
At the root of this behavior of violence and domination is the feeling of being separated from others. The Yoga wisdom teachings call it Mayiya Mala, the veil that shows us how different we are from each other; a different race, age, culture, generation, class, gender, sexual preference.
Otherness is what triggers our feelings of separation. This veil cloaks our true nature which is totally connected to the Oneness in us all.
It is hard to see the beauty and oneness in someone who belittles, humiliates, and disregards your feelings as worthless.
Both men and women are at fault in empowering the patriarchy.
I heard a woman on a podcast last week laughing at how Trump mocked Christine Blasey Ford. She let out a loud, huge, belly laugh as she shared how funny Trump was when he mocked this victim of sexual assault at a rally.
Where do we go from here?
Where do we go from here on finding the humanity in folks with whom we disagree? Since the confirmation hearing of Brett Kavanaugh, many of my students, friends, and colleagues have sunk into a rage and depression about where do we go from here.
Their own trauma triggered, they are anxious and feeling lost as to what can possibly come from this. What is the lesson we need to learn from this darkness?
The Next Generation
As a yoga teachers and health coaches we need to take a stand for the well being of ourselves, our students, our daughters and granddaughters. We need to ask how do we train our sons, husbands, nephews, and grandsons to be sensitive, aware and respectful around women and girls?
We are called to discover an inner “Source” that will enable us to become resilient and strong enough to stand up to centuries of misogyny and the all powerful Patriarchy.
The practices and wisdom teachings of Yoga and Ayurveda are pathways to help cultivate an awareness and inner strength in both men and women to find a new way forward.
Finding New Leadership
Knowing at a very young age that independence was very important to me I sought out other independent spirits who had non-traditional paths. They were leaders in a new entrepreneurial feminist movement.
I was totally on board. My new friends were women like Molly Fox and Cate Stillman who have blazed new trails of leadership in the wellness and healing professions.
Why should you find your authentic path, your SwaDharma?
Finding the right path is good for the soul. By becoming an entrepreneur I see myself and many women finding their way around the Patriarchy. Being in professions where women excel and hold positions of power, I see women learning to share their power instead of holding others down in order to feel more powerful themselves.
Taking control of your own destiny
When I became a Yoga Health Coach 4 years ago, I began to work with men and women who want to step into their own power and realize their true potential. I am seeing people blossom and grow in new ways. They become more confident and self possessed. They take on skills to help them find their own inner voice and the source of their creativity. I see my students take on new health habits that bring them mastery over how they feel about themselves.
By stepping into power in your own life you can encourage your kids, grandkids, elders step into their own Swa Dharma. Everyone who steps onto this path affects the well being of everyone around them. It is magical!
The Next Right Step
In order to heal our society we need to share power and authority with both men and women.
We need to share the wisdom teachings of yoga and Ayurveda with the next generation and empower them to step into their own “True Path”.
We need to train the next generation of girls and boys to respect each other and not get caught up in trying to fit in by compromising what we know is right for ourselves and our bodies and hearts.
- Teach them to recognize true intimacy is not only physical but emotional.
- Train our young boys to have emotional intelligence and not objectify girls and women.
- Choose leaders who are awake and want to empower women and men in new roles.
The economies of countries who educate women are much stronger. Women will educate their children and help our society to evolve.
This will free both men and women to to step into their true path.
Let your voice be heard. I welcome dialogue about your own experiences of finding your own voice and true path.
If you are looking to empower yourself and become more independent, I highly recommend the path of a Yoga Health Coach. If you are currently a yoga teacher and struggling financially this will give you more financial freedom and autonomy. Studying with Cate Stillman had been immensely empowering to me and so many others.
“Embrace your suffering and let it reveal to you the way to peace” Thich Nhat Hanh