ME.TOO

The #MeToo movement smashed the ceiling and shed light on a major crisis. Women, and men, no longer have to sit in silence with sexual abuse, assault, and harassment. #MeToo is a way for victims to become survivors.

It hits home on a personal level for me. I began writing about my experience with sexual assault as the movement came to the surface. Whether in the workplace, or elsewhere, no one should be made to feel unsafe by perpetrators using their superiority as a means of aggression. No one should be victimized period.

Now is the time to take back control from our abusers. Silence only gives culprits more power over us; speaking up reminds survivors of their strength. How does ME.TOO affect you?

MY.STORY

After a trip abroad, I came back unsure of what had happened to me. It took years to fully realize what had been done: I had been sexually assaulted. What solidified it for me was checking out the Department of Justice website and realizing that everything about my experience fell into the defined category of rape.

MY.MIND

My mental health became unstable in the months after the assault. I became catatonic from depression. Bipolar disorder surfaced and led to a diagnosis. And I felt lost. It took years to finally be found again.

MY.VOICE

Slowly but surely, I spoke up. And it made all the difference. My mental health symptoms are now at a bare minimum. I am honest with my therapist about what I am feeling, and what I continue to go through. And I found my voice, choosing to use it to help others like me take back control of their lives.

We have the power to speak up. I wanted to use this post to share a bit about my story, my mental health challenges, and my voice — finally found.

I’ll leave you with this: champion people instead of breaking them down. The #MeToo movement shows just how many of us have been affected. Be a part of the cure, not part of the disease. And be the light you have always been, because you are not alone.

For a safe place to talk with professionals about sexual assault, call 800.656.HOPE (4673) – the National Sexual Assault Hotline.

I am not what happened to me. I am what I choose to become. — Carl Jung

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NAMA.STAY

What are the physical benefits of yoga? And how can it perk your mental health?

Practicing yoga for the past 15 years, I have noticed my balance, stamina, and gracefulness improve. Yoga has been a staple of the positive way I feel about my body. The added benefit? It is a practice of patience that calms my hyperactive brain. Let’s investigate the ways yoga supports a healthy MIND.BODY&SPIRIT. Namaste.

What can yoga do for your physical health?

My love for yoga began with the added stretching to my sports routines — lacrosse and running. Flexibility made it great for joint pain, and the poses were new to me and fun to practice.

Physical benefits include:

  • flexibility
  • balance
  • strength
  • circulation
  • energy
  • metabolism

What does yoga do for your mind?

The amazing thing about yoga is that it is a practice of mindfulness. Meditation can be incorporated into the practice, calming the brain and focusing on the activity at hand. When I amaze myself with what my body can do for me during yoga, I gain positive body image.

Mental health benefits include:

  • stress relief
  • positive body image
  • focus and attention
  • chronic pain
  • decreased anxiety
  • improved mood

What does yoga do for you spiritually?

Whether you are religious or atheist, yoga can be a spiritual experience. Becoming one with your breath, your center, and grounding technique may bring a sense of spiritual awakening within oneself.

I find that yoga sets up my day and night for better connectivity to my thoughts, and it helps me believe in the good of the world. I am closer to my soul, as it heals while I practice.

There are many different types of yoga, and they can benefit all ages and body types. I highly recommend it for the above reasons of physical, mental, and spiritual benefits. Do you want to give yoga a try? Check out your local studio, or download an app or video to get started. And I truly believe you will NAMA.STAY with it.

Ohm.

 

Yoga is not about touching your toes, it is what you learn on the way down. – Jigar Gor.

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BE.BOLD

I want to take a minute to tell you something amazing. Finally, I am finding my voice. Finally, I know how to say “No.” Finally, I am living my life, unafraid of being my assertive, strong, and kind self. Now, it’s time to BE.BOLD.

I grew up thinking anger was an un-pretty emotion. I often stuffed my feelings deep inside myself, and turned my anger inward into depression. Today, with coping skills, I am channeling anger, sadness, and even joy into a healthy expression of my mood. Finding the upside to feeling an emotion that you are uncomfortable with can make it more digestible, and release the tension and anxiety that may come along with it. Today, I vow to notice my feelings, without judgement, and find the root cause. Expressing your emotions can save relationships with friends, family, and significant others. Don’t live in fear of your feelings. Embrace them, and BE.BOLD.

ASSERTIVE.VS.AGGRESSIVE

Many times, my assertiveness has been wrongly seen as aggression. Viewing myself as a strong, independent woman, my assertive moments were shot down many times, and often left me feeling insecure and unconfident.

Want to know the real aggressive case? It’s the people who put you down for feeling smart, capable, and decisive. I used to sink to a lower level, and get upset with the toxic relationships I had with the people who kept me feeling weak. No one should make you feel guilty, stupid, or “too pushy” when you are asserting yourself.

definition of assertive

1disposed to or characterized by bold or confident statements and behavior 

SAYING.NO

Do you find it difficult to say “No?” Still, I have trouble with this one. I think a lot of it came from being taught to be polite and people-pleasing, but in my later years it developed into a real issue.

Practice this two-letter word on the small things: if you don’t want to go out somewhere, say No; if you don’t have time to help someone with a favor, say No. No should NO.LONGER be a BAD.WORD. This is one of the greatest words of our language, it is empowering and assertive and so not selfish. No is an honest word. Be genuine with the things you just don’t want to do, and say NO.THANK.YOU. We can still do it in a polite way…

USE.YOUR.VOICE

The more you use your voice, the more you learn about yourself. No life should be lived in silence, fearful or unsure or numb to our emotions.

So, I challenge you to be assertive, say no thank you, and find your inner voice. Go forth, and BE.BOLD!

Read more about the benefits of BEING.ASSERTIVE on PsychologyToday.com.

Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind. — Dr. Seuss
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