Shape who you are and want to be.

I was sitting on the couch in my Dad’s room and it was a day before a big interview. I was nervous, worried and excited! I was on the brink of switching career paths to truly build up towards where I envision myself. This was around three months ago. The economy was (is) in a bad place. COVID was (is) on the rise. Civil unrest was (is) hopefully revolutionizing the focus onto BLACK LIVES. There were and are so many emotions. But all in all, it was a thinning time, where things were tough in the entire world. I really wanted to push myself to find something new and my parents supported me to chase my dreams. My efforts to align with my authentic self is a long journey. There were a lot of failures that led to this point, but those were what shaped and helped me build up to my authentic journey. The reason that I’m sharing this isn’t to talk about success, but to identify what it means to shape yourself.

Back to before the interview. I told my dad I was nervous because this was so new to me. He said in response, “Knowledge you can acquire, but that who you are, will always be.” I felt a wave of relief wash over me. It felt freeing to understand that I could literally shape, mold and control the formation of what I want to do and be in this world. There were no prescriptions, definitions or keywords that needed to force me to be some kind of way. I chose to do what I really wanted. Knowledge, skills and values are all learnable. But, they are only valuable when you take the time to understand your passion. I was constantly restraining myself to fit into a certain paradigm or structure, but it felt controlling and not honest to who I am. So, I took the time to look within. Even through the most trying times, I found peace through the detox. My colorful inner world was something I wanted to play out externally. I am who I am. I can shape, do and strive for who I want to be. This world is diverse. There are so many options. There are so many facets to serve the world in YOUR OWN best way. Nobody can light the fire for you, but you yourself. SO, I shaped myself! I figured that even though I don’t really know much about a certain field, I am a strong listener and learner. I can pick up on workings really quickly when I enjoy what I’m doing. I can confidently say it was one of the most reassuring moments in my life when I believed that I CAN DO what I want.

There is just so much to explore and learn in this world. We have to find ways to maintain a mindset that nurtures liberal learning, sharing and understanding. Knowledge can be through experiences, events and classes. We are always learning. It’s certainly humbling to recognize that we are such little string beans in a huge bowl of soup. We can shape ourselves. Knowledge can deepen our understanding to manage our inner connections. There is power in who you are. There is power in your individuality. Don’t let anything restrict, restrain or regulate the real truth of who you are. Continue to shape your own voice, journey and path.

Building Habits for Peace

  • pandemic: COVID-19.
  • terrifying leadership – president?
  • death of George Floyd. He was arrested because he was trying to buy a pack of cigarettes with a counterfeit $20 bill. He was 46 years old. He died Monday in the city he moved to for a better life. Several people caught him through their iPhone cameras during his last breaths. Floyd was held down by a Minneapolis police officer’s knee. The video shows Floyd pleading that he is in pain and can’t breathe. Then, his eyes shut and the pleas stop. The officer, Derek Chauvin, was arrested on Friday and faces charges of third-degree murder and manslaughter, according to Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman (1, 2). As said in the words of George Floyd’s brother, Philonise Floyd, this was a ‘modern day lynching (3).’

It’s a disharmony of events. A falling apart of the fabric that holds community. A time that will be greater than the Great Depression of 1929. This is a part of our history forever. A marking of the tragedies that represent the traumas that fragment our society. It almost feels as if a Pandora Box of nightmares were opened to show the underlying atrocities. We can’t hide from the depths of racism, inequality and inaccessibility to healthcare, sexism, injustice and ignorance that contributes to the pandemic. We are now at the forefront, facing it head on.

I have hope though. I have deep sincere hope in people that there will be a rebirth. Through this time period, I believe that the revolution we need to make begins within ourselves. Amidst this pandemic of riots, disharmony and hardship, we can refocus our energies to guide us to find our strengths. Changing little behaviors, such as being more active, going for a run, practicing meditation, sending positive messages and reading more about the things you truly love bring harmony. I recommend Deepak Chopra’s 21 day of abundance meditation guide. These audios have been so charging and helpful in boosting an abundance mindset.

I insist for justice to begin from within. Cleanse and work on yourself to recollect. There is a whole new challenge we will take on once we are strengthened and vitalized within our own bodies.

(1) https://www.mercurynews.com/2020/05/29/why-george-floyd-was-arrested-and-what-happened-in-the-minutes-following/

(2) Obama’s Statement

Image

(3) https://www.cnn.com/2020/05/30/politics/george-floyd-brother-talks-trump/index.html

Boundaries, Relationships and Culture

*Trigger Warning: Content may include strong material.

Learning how to make new boundaries can be tough. Boundaries matter deeply in every segment of our society. An overarching idea of boundaries is present in our daily lives. These boundaries have an impact locally, nationally and globally. We are all effected by them and direly influenced by the way they are enforced. We’re in a pandemic right now, and we have to maintain a 6 feet distance from one another; respecting this boundary means respecting one another’s well-being, health and life. It’s taken a while to recognize the importance of this “social distancing.” Similarly, it’s taken a while for me to be more cognizant of boundaries in relation to “relationship management.” Consumed by the constant need to feel involved, it is easy to forget understanding the individual limits and capacity each person has. And, I guess, I’m saying this out of my mindset: as a people-pleasing person, it can be so difficult to get out of saying YES. It can be frustrating when someone doesn’t respect unsaid boundaries. And it can totally lead into an unsafe culture. Advice is often given from one’s own perspective — the limitation of empathy all together. What is a relationship? What are the boundaries that we each want to set in order to really create a safe space? What is the significance of creating a safe space?

It’s fascinating how relationships work. Relationships help communities thrive based upon the health and wealth they bring. When communities build stronger relationships, they work in congruence. As humans, we are interdependent upon one another. I used to get really weighed down by the idea of “independence.” It used to frustrate me, consume me, and trouble me when people pointed out: You have to be independent. I was really trying my best, but I felt a little lost in the way to find what that even meant. It is so so much deeper than that. Independence doesn’t mean that you can’t have support, but it’s actually about creating ideas and forming newness among a crowd of supporters. Studies have proven how deeply relationships affect our overall well-being [1]. Science has shown that the amygdala isn’t just about responding to danger, it’s also about safety.

Successful companies that have an incredible work-culture present this type of interplay. The one thing that strikes the strongest in creating a culture of cohesion are belonging cues. Google is filled with belonging cues. People feel a part of a team. They work well through the understanding that their body is constantly feeling safe, connected and immersed in projects. Particularly, on May 24, 2002, Google’s founder Larry Page wrote a note on the wall stating, “These Ads SUCK.” Google’s competition with another big company called Overture was not going well. Google was not accomplishing the task of matching up the right words or terms to the appropriate ads. Jeff Dean was one of the last people to see this note. He was on the Search team, he had literally no business doing this work. But it deeply intrigued him, so he sat down and started working on it. Somehow, after hours of tinkering with the problem, he found the solution. AND IT WORKED. It boosted the engine’s accuracy by double digits. Advertising was providing 90 percent of Google’s revenues. When Jeff Dean was interviewed, he said that he barely remembered the moment. He said, “it was normal.” His response showed that this type of effort was normalized. Therefore, achievement wasn’t rooted in managing what it brought the individual, but it was focused around the problem. They didn’t manage their status — they worked in unison, quickly, efficiently and without making it about anything else other than the problem at hand.

Google won because it was safer. It was a safe place to connect. People felt comfortable working on tasks. When safe communities are formed, people can work more cohesively, sustainably and in unity. Cohesion isn’t a task of intelligence; it’s based on signals of safe connection. BOUNDARIES and respecting those lines that we can push off to the side as “blurry.” Tackle the complexity with simplicity. Relationships, unity and working in teams bonds people to work on a task. It pushes people to come together and manage their power to allow it to manifest into something bigger than themselves.

Belonging cues are necessary for our well-being. Connecting and being a part of a community is healing. If you want to produce work, one must learn how to find ways to keep the amygdala at peace. Yoga, meditation and mindfulness allow us to reconnect with every part. We create a safety barrier around ourselves to face and shelter the peace within us. As we progress into these unprecedented times, remember to connect, find peace and work with your community. I’ve learned a lot on maintaining safety, peace and boundaries in different aspects of life. I’ve learned how to be more acutely aware with how I make boundaries to bring in connectivity through my mind, body and spirit. I have so much hope.

Create a space of safety and present those belonging cues to your loved ones. Designing a culture of safety allows for higher levels of productivity. Keep shining my folks!

[1] The Culture Code: The Secrets of Highly Successful Groups by Daniel Coyle.

Uncovering Feminism through Covid-19

Corona Virus has isolated us, demanded a change within our mental mindsets, and tested our ability to maintain positivity.

As humans, we have a strong component that separates us from computers and robots. We have emotions. Critical to the fabric of our humanity, we commit ourselves to this practice of working through our emotions. We ground ourselves in understanding the feelings internally and the emotions we present externally. We assume that we understand ourselves enough to constantly keep going forward, but do we truly? Covid-19 has been a forced time for reflection, home time, check-in with reality, and to recognize that we actually need to slow ourselves to be human. People are getting sick, dying, hurting and feeling depressed. Each news showing presents us with a new challenge. We hear of the doctors, health-care professionals and grocery store people doing their work and carefully keeping distance. As we keep progressing in this pandemic, we progress in the limits of our systems and the hardships we are constantly battling: lack of ventilators, masks, gowns (PPE in general), testing, loan relief, and more. Dr. Ahmed, pulmonologist in New York, stated that “the patients are very sick.” She continued to add that “This is a very severe lung injury. It is affecting people of all age groups [1].”

The SARS-CoV2 is a respiratory virus, meaning that it can enter and invade your respiratory system. Metaphorically, our land has been hit by a lack of genuine care towards people. We seem to have forgotten the values that make us understand and provide for those in need. However, this pandemic has gained some traction towards unity and community. It’s not time for individualism. It’s easy for me to say this and type about it so casually, but it’s even harder to make a change out of it, to DO something about the fact that our healthcare system has turned into a monetary giant — compromising the health and well-being of our people. At this time, we should practice mindfulness, fullness and wholesomeness. What else can we do at this time? We can control our emotions. We can control the perceptions. We can control our own mannerisms to make this better. Therefore, we must take this seriously. We must keep our bodies in alignment with our minds to maintain a fit health set to push forward.

As a personal goal, I have been practicing a 21 days of abundance podcast led by Deepak Chopra. It is all based on meditation and internal work. It works off of the abundance mindset. I have also been baking more in the kitchen to take my mind off of stress factors. Measuring, singing and pouring all the ingredients to see the final product of a deliciously home-made cake, brownie or scone!

Broaden the horizon of the limitations we place in our own societal norms, a feminist approach, to challenge the knowledge issues we have to face in the unprecedented and uncertain times of today.

Here is a brief mechanism of the Corona Virus:

“Of note, just because two different types of viruses are both considered respiratory viruses, doesn’t mean that they are the same in other ways. The many viruses that cause the common cold including four other types of coronaviruses (OC43, HKU1, NL63, and 229E) behave very differently from the SARS-CoV2. Similarly, the SARS-CoV2 is not the same as the flu virus. Repeat, they are not the same. If you were to ask whether the flu and COVID-19 were equivalent, the answer would be no times no. As Yoda would say, the same they are not SARS-CoV2 and the influenza virus. SARS-CoV2 gets into your respiratory tract when you breathe in respiratory droplets that have the virus or smear the virus on your face with your grubby fingers or some other contaminated object. The infection tends to begin inside your nose, you know that place in which you may periodically put your finger. The virus looks a little like either a morning star, one of those spiked medieval weapons, or a spiky massage ball.

SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus

These blood vessels bring blood from the rest of your body that is low in oxygen and high in carbon dioxide, a waste product of metabolism. The alveoli serve as swap markets or little eBays where oxygen from the air that you breathed in is exchanged with the carbon dioxide in your blood. The carbon dioxide goes into the alveoli, where it may be exhaled up through your respiratory tract and out through your nose and mouth. The blood that is newly infused with more oxygen subsequently travels to the rest of your body to provide all of your cells with the oxygen that they need to do stuff like live and help you take selfies of yourself.

You can see how your lungs are so important and should be among your top five favorite organs. When your alveoli don’t work properly, your body can become starved of oxygen and unable to get rid of carbon dioxide. Things can quickly go downhill after that happens.

If the viruses and the resulting battle make it down to your lungs and alveoli, it can become a pneumonia. Pneumonia is when your alveoli become inflamed and get filled up with fluid, pus, and other types of gunk. Gunk is a technical term for cells and other stuff. This can happen in one or both of your lungs, assuming that you have no more than two. Developing a pneumonia is when the infection gets really serious.”

[1] https://www.foxnews.com/media/dr-ahmed-on-working-in-ny-hospital-amid-covid-19-pandemic-its-extremely-tough

[2] https://www.forbes.com/sites/brucelee/2020/03/21/how-does-the-covid-19-coronavirus-kill-what-happens-when-you-get-infected/#f441abd61466

Listening to your Inner Voice

You know that feeling you get when something really isn’t okay but you just hold your voice down? You know when you’re so deeply aware of something not being okay that you just feel it in your body? Learn that your body means it. Build the trust with your senses to believe it. We’ve been cultivated with an awareness to know when something is right or wrong. It’s a deep caring of the roots that hold you to the ground. It’s something that we overlook so often because of the constant speediness in this society. We want results quick. We want our responses fast. We want everything done.

I chased too many goals superficially without following my intuition. I wanted to get into grad school, so I did everything to get into graduate school. And I got it, but it was more just to prove it, not because I wanted to go through the process of it. I dropped it because I knew it didn’t fit with my authentic self and how long could I continue achieving something that wasn’t even me? Student loans are no joke. It was an expensive lesson; an expensive “I’m showing it to you world, I can do what I want.” But that’s because I was centering the values of others voices more than my own. I was agreeing to the prescriptions applied to me. Being a “doctor” and “caregiver” was a typical role for women to fall into, and so I followed without the cognizance that my meaning to do was not aligning with this role. I denied my instincts and pushed forth. A privileged issue of course, but nonetheless a denial to outsource my true strengths to serve communities in a more meaningful manner.

I didn’t listen to the inner voice that told me I had other goals to achieve. I knew that I needed a period of discomfort though, I needed to reflect on what would be my offering to this world. And now, I’m learning. Listening to your inner voice is the path to inner peace. It’s the solution to the internal havoc that we create for ourselves; it’s an answer to the panic and anxiety that we leak. It’s the reason we live in a society of losing meaning. Learn to follow your own path; listen to the inner voice that guides you.

Re-position Narratives: Healing

Police cop: “That’s what you get when you have beauty and brains.”

Attorney: “What he wrote was repulsive, he is a creep.”

Neighbor: “Don’t talk about it too much, you don’t know what other people will say.”

Indian Uncle: “You’re too nice.”

Through all the commentary, I would react at times. At other times, I would silently eat them up. I didn’t realize that these remarks would store within my memory – a part of my journey forever. Instead of seeing the wrong in the actions of what had happened, I was placed under the light. I questioned so much of my character during these formative moments. I wondered, do I really come off as too nice? Do I give too much? And as a process of self-realization, I have been socialized to be generous with the needs of others, factoring others requests over my own well-being. This is common among women of color. However, the judgement underlining these comments was a narrative that I disliked. It positioned me to welcome such behavior, as if I did something to ask for it. I needed to build boundaries for self-protection.

As a form of protection to move on, I immersed myself in studying for graduate schools. Instead of coping with the root of the damage, I believed that pushing it into a portion of my brain where I couldn’t find it would be better for me. This was a form of dissociation. I wanted it to be completely unrelated to my story. This was not healing. It was like placing an adhesive bandage upon the wound. Instead of finding wholesomeness, I found pieces and fragments of my identity. And it was anxiety-inducing, so I stayed away from the self-work. I was afraid to come to terms with how deep it had hurt me. I deleted all social media in response and constantly feared my sense of safety. I didn’t want to share it with everyone. Additionally, studies have found that survivors of trauma are perpetually suspended between the impulse to reveal and the desire to conceal their traumatic experiences [1]. The concealing process negates their ability to heal, form mechanisms to cope with stress and adjust to their surroundings in a healthy manner. But life isn’t about portions and pieces, it’s about a unity. We live as a unit and we are a unit.

When some form of trauma occurs in our lives, there’s a tendency for people to say “move on,” “get over it,” “it’s not a big deal, people have it worse,” or “at least your health hasn’t been impacted.” But these are all minimizing factors for the in depth damage that such instances have upon someone’s feelings and emotional well-being. And it is a part of your health. Rather than engaging with the truth of such damage, one is told to cover it up. With that, voices of these challenges become covered. And healing is stopped. When challenges arise again, we forget how to reason with it. Instead of facing it, we seek to quick solutions. But, this only hinders the process of authenticity. Intentional understanding and self-awareness of the triggers that commit us from engaging in self-harm. Authentic self means understanding the deep meanings behind how we see and perceive ourselves in moments of turbulence. If we don’t take time to reflect, we let go of the necessities that nourish our bodies to work cohesively.

Living in unity is harmonious. Living in the narratives of others is harmful. Inciting your own narrative is important. To reach authenticity, we must work to find the voices of those unheard. Piece together the silenced.

[1] Richman, S. (2004). From Hiding to Healing: A Psychoanalyst’s Narrative of Personal Trauma. NYS Psychologist, 16(3), 2–7.

Yoga Meeting: Prof. Gail Abrams

Professor Gail Abrams, a yoga/dance teacher and professor for years, made the time to meet with me over this weekend. She taught in a liberal arts college for 30 years and shared her deep knowledge on movement and the importance of movement through culture, history and time. Movement is highly indicative of the way we understand, engage and share. Story-telling is all about movement. The way we hold ourselves at interviews is different from when we watch a movie in our family room. Each movement points towards an intentional sharing. Professor Gail Abrams introduced to me the concept of Somatic Yoga. Somatic Yoga was coined through Thomas Hanna. Somatic Yoga is all about first-person analysis of the body. First-person analysis means that it is based upon the internal experience of oneself, not upon an external experience. Physiology and medical treatments are based upon an external understanding. However, somatics is all about the internal experience. It unifies the internal experience with the future and past understandings of how one experiences matters. Furthermore, Yoga Somatics is a framework that highlights sensory motor amnesia.

Sensory motor amnesia explains the functioning occurring as we analyze our own experience, our own body. It is the conscious awareness of the movement that we are constantly doing. Descartes philosophy is explored in this type of yoga, “I thinktherefore I am.” The basis of this is argued against with, “I am self-aware, therefore I act.” This explains the first-body experience that somatics tries to understand. The body is a part of the system and the way we explore the body is shined through an experience from within. Therefore, self-awareness and cognizance of what the body is doing helps to explain and support the bodily movements. Self-awareness is key in understanding how to act in a more acute way. In this sense, sensory motor amnesia is a philosophy that shares how to heal the body through internal experience and awareness. For example, if one part of the body is no longer in peace with the other part of the body, then awareness has to be brought to the forgotten area. When awareness is brought, then the functioning can be refined to relieve the lack of movement or sensation avail in that area of the body. The unknown becomes known and the forgotten becomes relearned. This creates a functioning conscious system, where each movement is understood and defined through learning.

Yoga is truly powerful. Somatic Yoga can heal deep traumatic pain that rests in areas of our body that we are unaware of. Keep reading, challenging and perceiving new forms of awareness through daily practice. I feel deep appreciation and gratitude towards Prof. Gail Abrams for meeting with me and introducing me to this concept. It is still taking me a while to grapple with it; it’s incredibly restoring!

Here is an article associated with this post: http://www.drupal.oepf.org/sites/default/files/journals/jbo-volume-2-issue-2/2-2%20Hanna.pdf

Sensory Motor Amnesia is a state that occurs universally. It is a result of long-term stress upon the body.

Yoga: Healing Domestic Violence

As human beings, we are vulnerable. We make mistakes. We are born with open hearts and minds. We allow some people to see that. And as inhumane as it can be, others may take advantage of that. Then, those actions, formative moments, or reminders get lodged into our memories as trauma. Domestic violence is common around the world. This article will share about Domestic Violence in the United States.

According to the CDC, 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men encounter physical violence by their intimate partner at some point during their lifetimes. About 1 in 3 women and nearly 1 in 6 men endure some form of sexual violence during their lifetimes [1]. In 2014, they measured that 19.3 million women and 5.1 million men in the United States have been stalked in their lifetime. 60.8% of female stalking victims and 43.5% men reported being stalked by a current or former intimate partner. These are only reported cases. The numbers would be deeply affected by the population focus. For example, if women of Color were chosen as a study group, the statistics would be significantly skewed, especially because they have centuries of Genetic Trauma to also cope with in their body.

In further detail, studies share that yoga is a helpful intervention for depression and anxiety disorders, which may be beneficial for survivors of trauma. Preliminary research using a model of trauma-sensitive yoga, developed by the Trauma Center at the Justice Resource Institute in Brookline, Massachusetts, has shown a reduction in severity of PTSD symptoms and frequency of dissociative symptoms, and gains in vitality and body attunement [2]. This research study showed that after 10 sessions of yoga participants exhibited statistically significant decreases in PTSD symptom severity and greater likelihood of loss of PTSD diagnosis, significant decreases in engagement in negative tension reduction activities (e.g., self-injury). The control group in this study were women, who attended the Women’s Health Seminars. They showed significantly less positive results. Trauma is something so deeply nuanced that trying to offer a one-step-method places humanity at a disadvantage. One medication cannot resolve this issue.

In a clinic, hospital members tried understanding trauma survivors’ relationship to their bodies before doing any work. They used a “body awareness scale.” Then they formed a control group, which was a patient trauma group in dialectical behavior therapy (DBT). The first round of results found that the patients who were doing yoga were feeling so much better [4]. Trauma-Sensitive-Yoga revealed profound affects in the patients, which led to re-connection to the world, awareness, and healthier relationships.

As shown, several research studies have guided us towards a deeper understanding for healing. Self-healing and preservation goes beyond medical treatments. There are several combinations of works that must be done to resolve the depth of emotional damage in our bodies. Through pressed emotional damage, one must heal through the affect of yoga. Domestic violence leads to deep trauma that is stamped into our system. Therefore, engaging with yoga benefits the whole body and leads to solutions for our well-being. Yoga is a source for healing and deep self-awareness.

[1] Huecker MR, Smock W. Domestic Violence. [Updated 2019 Oct 27]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2020 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK499891/

[2] Clark, C. J., Lewis-Dmello, A., Anders, D., Parsons, A., Nguyen-Feng, V., Henn, L., & Emerson, D. (2014). Trauma-sensitive yoga as an adjunct mental health treatment in group therapy for survivors of domestic violence: A feasibility study. Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice, 20(3), 152–158. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ctcp.2014.04.003

[3] Rhodes, A., Spinazzola, J., & van der Kolk, B. (2016). Yoga for Adult Women with Chronic PTSD: A Long-Term Follow-Up Study. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 22(3), 189–196. https://doi.org/10.1089/acm.2014.0407

[4] West, J., Liang, B., & Spinazzola, J. (2017). Trauma sensitive yoga as a complementary treatment for posttraumatic stress disorder: A qualitative descriptive analysis. International Journal of Stress Management, 24(2), 173–195. https://doi.org/10.1037/str0000040

[5] L. Stankovic (2011) Transforming Trauma: A Qualitative Feasibility Study of Integrative Restoration (iRest) Yoga Nidra on Combat-Related Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. International Journal of Yoga Therapy: 2011, Vol. 21, No. 1, pp. 23-37.

Reclaim your Body through Yoga

Living in a constant fear of being hurt isn’t normal. Living in reactions isn’t healthy. Living in anxiety is painful. Living is not a force, it is a flow. A flow of energies engaging our actions.

Living in the present is beautiful, engaging, re-vitalizing and energizing. Living in modes of healing is motivating. Living in the essence of inner peace is sacred.

Living in bare awareness and existence can be challenging. We live in a world of judgement. We live in a world that lacks validation. Unfortunately, we are all a culprit to this socialization. And sometimes, it hurts me beyond words to be aware that I have done that. Being self-aware is the first step. Partaking in action is the second.

Yoga is a process of engaging life back into our body system. It is a practice to heal the deep hurt that drains our well-being. Our feelings that remain unexplained, yet cause so much pain can be identified through yoga. The feelings of a lost friendship, broken relationship or death of a loved one run so deep that mindful practice to nourish our bodies with resources is necessary. Yoga helps achieve the balance our body needs when there has been an imbalance due to trauma, toxicity or any deep emotional damage.

Trauma-sensitive yoga is a form that is specific to the needs of survivors. It promotes self-compassion and deep understanding. I am in constant healing from the trauma that has depleted and taken away my energies from me. I am trying to relieve my hurt by practicing yoga.

From the book, Overcoming Trauma through Yoga, Yogis discovered there are two primary roots for physical suffering. “One is craving and it’s many effects: greed, grasping, clinging, addiction.” The other form of trauma is aversion: fear, terror, hatred, avoidance. Yogis well aware of trauma have been able to re-establish the imbalance of fear and switch off this control. This systematically establishes feelings of well-being and re-engages the reactions and feelings towards trauma.

Trauma-sensitive yoga can replenish and guide our body towards healing. Let this bring light to your soul. Reclaim the damage that has been placed in your body. Reclaim your body.

Idealism? or Change?

Why is the first response, “You’re too idealistic” followed by more undermining remarks? Why is it that when I get angry for being “questioned” for my capabilities that I’m told to be over-dramatic? Why was I asked what my “background” was when I was giving an oral exam in dental school? Does it matter what my background is even if I get questions wrong? What assumptions was the Professor making about me at that time?

A woman with a dream or passion is radical. Women who do dare to believe in themselves are constantly told to be too idealistic, sometimes too ambitious, a little too dreamy. Women who are expressive are called out for their emotions being out of control, overly dramatic, sometimes a bit too much. Women who take their careers seriously are stated as bitchy, “nose up in the air.” Women who can’t maintain social lives are ostracized, too “involved with work.” Passion relays to being “too fierce” for women. Sometimes even their own women friends lose to share their perspectives. Women feign in solidarity.

On the other side, when men are passionate, ambitious or business oriented, they are told to be powerful. When men show any sign of emotion, they’re shed with praise. They’re instantly told to be sensitive, caring, empathetic and marked with positive words.

When a woman walks into a room, especially a woman of color, she is instantly challenged to work harder to prove her abilities, whereas, when a white man walks in there’s a form of relief and confidence instilled.

Although this will not change in a single day, we can act towards doing one step every day to make it better. Through intentional movement, action and saying, it is more achievable.

We live in a patriarchal world, so: Embrace Change.