Trust your gut. Empower yourself. Speak out.
As woman, you are forced to deal with a lot of very unfortunate situations. No, you do not ask for it and no, it is not acceptable. Unfortunately, this has been brought to my attention in a number of ways recently. My most recent situations all ended without harm, and honestly are not unique to what most women deal with and experience each and every day. But it does not change the fact that they are unacceptable and that no woman should have to deal with them.
The most important thing I have learned is to trust your gut, no matter what. Listen to your inner voice. Do everything you can to empower yourself in the moment and take control. And then, when you are in a safe situation, speak out. Make sure people know what happened, what was wrong, and how it made you feel. Chances are, you will have to say it more than once. But be confident in what you felt. And stand up for yourself.
You deserve to do what you love. You deserve to feel safe. You deserve to smile at people without fear.
As someone who practices yoga (and as a woman), there is a segment of the population who automatically sexualizes you and your practices, no matter how sacred they are to you or what you do. But do not allow them to control your experience.
The more we practice yoga, the more we become in tune with our true self and are able to listen to our gut instinct. We know when a situation is off or inappropriate. The ability to hear our gut empowers us and can help us handle ourselves and those situations with safety. Let your practice teach you how to listen to your inner voice, to know your strength, to help you heal, and to bring you peace through all challenging things.
- Trust your gut
- There is a voice inside of you that speaks. Sometimes, we let society or our mind silence it. But the more we practice, the more we learn to listen to this voice. When you gut speaks, listen. Do not question it. It is there to help guide you. And your practice allows you to hear it more clearly.
- Put yourself in the power position (physically and mentally)
- When someone wants to make you feel uncomfortable, you have a choice. Notice the way they are trying to make you feel, and step into the way you want to feel. Likely, they want to make you feel scared, vulnerable, and weak. Instead of giving them what they want, take control. Turn the tables, make it clear that you are in control and you are confident. If someone is trying to make you feel vulnerable, it is because they are the weak one, not you. Don’t allow them to make you feel anything less than the powerful woman that you are.
- Don’t be nice. Be strong.
- There is a time and place to be nice. And there is also a time and a place to draw the line and make your boundaries clear. If someone makes you feel uncomfortable, you never have to worry about being “nice” to them. If you find yourself doubting this, think about what you would regret more: making someone think you were short with them or finding yourself in a situation you don’t want to be in?
- Get out of the situation
- Take control. Set your boundaries. And get out of the situation immediately. Take every safety protocol you can. Sometimes this means speaking out in the moment, and unfortunately, sometimes it means waiting it out quietly until you are in a safe enough situation to get away. Whatever it is, take the safest option in the moment and get out.
- Tell someone, immediately.
- Once you are in a safe situation, do not hesitate, SPEAK OUT. Even if “nothing” happened, your gut knows if something was off and you owe it to yourself and others to speak out to prevent something happening in the future.
- It is also absolutely necessary for the institutions around you in these situations know what happened and how you felt so they can address the necessary safety protocols. They want to help, but they can’t if you don’t tell them. Don’t wait. Speak out. And often, if necessary.
- Do not question yourself
- If you felt it, you felt it. Don’t doubt it or yourself. Turn that doubt into action. Speak out.
- Let yourself feel it. All of it.
- Chances are, not matter how strong or scared you felt, it will probably shake you up a bit. Let your practice heal you. Feel through it. Feel angry, sad, frustrated, the lot of it, don’t deny yourself those feeling. Fell all of it. Breathe through it. Let your practice heal you. Let our practice empower you. Find peace from within. And take action.
- Empower yourself
- Do what makes you feel strong. Take a self-defense class. Climb a mountain. Go on a run. Unroll your mat. Gain the tools that will give you the confidence to take on whatever comes your way.
- Trust yourself
- Come back to your mat. Come back to yourself. You are strong. You are compassionate. Know that you carry everything you need within you.