It is a big deal: It happened to me

orange-the-world-w-ilf-logoThe unusual topic of conversation seems to follow me.  At business meetings, dinner parties, and coffee dates, people keep talking to me about their childhood abuse.  It makes sense:  my story of abuse motivates my work, and I don’t stop talking about my mission to end violence in every home {TEDTalk}.  Because I share my vulnerable story, people open up to me; some tell of severe cases, others of the occasional slap or scream.  It must be human nature to diffuse pain and suffering because most say that they deserved the abuse.

Let me tell you this… I did not deserve it.

I did not deserve to be beaten because the baby pooped in his diaper and smeared it on the wall.  The baby was one years old and I was five.  I was told to watch the baby, and I was watching the baby.  Regardless, I did not deserve to be hit.  Nothing a child does merits physical pain and emotional suffering – even if it’s to “teach a lesson.”

This is but one incident of parental anger and rage that was not right.  My life of violence was a big deal to me as a child, but it became even bigger when it reared its ugly head after I became a mother.  In my TEDxTalk , I describe how I had to fight the beast inside me for the sake of my own innocent child. I believed, and still do, that “if we do not claim our abuse, we will repeat it.”  It was a big deal to my son that I never beat him. It was a big deal to me that I saved a new generation from violence.

We all have a Moral Imperative to end violence in the world, the majority of which is done towards women and children.  November 25 is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and we must all use our voices to make the issue of Gender-Based Violence a big deal.  I will be using my voice in my home country, Trinidad, during the 16 days of Gender Activism Against Gender-Based Violence, to ensure that the issue of violence is not ignored as part of my work with  Maverick Collective and Population Services International (PSI).  I am Trinidadian and am proud to be.  I am, however, not proud that violence is so pervasive and normalized.  Many Trinidadians are of the opinion that violence is needed to “discipline.”  This is not so.

There is much research that shows children who receive violence suffer not only in the present moment but also long into the future.  According to the Centers of Disease Control  abused children are plagued with a long list of repercussions from depression and suicides, to inability to maintain healthy intimate relationships, to becoming abusers themselves.  So if childhood abuse is so common in Trinidad, no wonder 1 in 3 Trinidadians have experienced physical violence from their most recent intimate partner, according to a PSI-Caribbean study.

Reports of crimes related to sexual assault and domestic violence increased by nearly 50% between 2013 and 2014 according to the UN in the Universal Periodic Review of Trinidad and Tobago.  But it doesn’t have to be this way.  Abuse doesn’t have to keep happening to children.  Relationships don’t have to be plagued with violence.  It starts with you. Determine your Adverse Childhood Experiences Score to understand how your childhood may have affected your physical and emotional growth.  If violence happened to you, it is a big deal.  But you also have the power to end it, in your own home, starting today.

Let’s #orangetheworld together, because TOGETHER WE ARE MIGHTY!

With Love & Light,

Indrani Goradia | Founder
Indrani’s Light Foundation

Are You A Victim of Domestic Violence this Election Day?

election-night

Today is Election Day {Note: This was written on Election Day on November 8, 2016}.  As most of us in the United States know, we have been experiencing an unprecedented amount of stress, anger, and emotion around the Presidential campaign. I have to wonder what this kind of stress has on families inside their own homes.  I wonder if this kind of campaign and political chaos has CAUSED mental, physical, or emotional abuse. Well, I did some research. One USA TODAY news article published in October caught my attention ….

USA TODAY – Presidential race causes spike in crisis center calls
Brittany Horn, The (Wilmington, Del.) News Journal 9:09 p.m. EDT October 18, 2016

My suspicion was correct.  According to the article, “In the weekend following the release of Trump’s comments about how he comes onto women, the National Sexual Assault Hotline saw a 33 percent increase in calls, according to the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network.” In the State of Delaware, there was a spike of 42% in hotline calls alone.  That kind of increase has not happened since the 9/11 attack.  This news story seems to directly relate this increase in hotline calls and website activity to the accusations against Donald Trump, his “bullying” style behavior during the campaign, the well-known “secret recording” on the bus with Billy Bush, and multiple other kinds of statements and behavior Trump has expressed.

I can’t even imagine what the TRUE reality of the numbers of domestic violence victims there are on THIS day alone.  I wonder how many women are being emotionally held hostage from voting in the U.S. this year because they wish to cast their vote for Hillary Clinton.  I wonder how many women are being physically, emotionally, and mentally abused by their male partners, after they return from the voting booths.  Are they “taking one for the team?”

I realize I’m writing about the women victims only in this blog.  I’m not ignoring the fact there may be many men in our country who are suffering the same reality.  But I can’t ignore the numbers of women who are the primary victims.  “In Delaware, 75 percent of all domestic violence victims in 2014 and 2015 were women, according to statistics from the Delaware Domestic Violence Coordinating Council. These acts of violence against them come in the form of assaults, rape, threats and emotional abuse and vary in frequency and severity.” (Brittany Horn, The (Wilmington, Del.) News Journal)

The reason for my blog today is to reach the women who are, or will be victims of domestic abuse today.  I also want to reach the women and MEN who KNOW someone who may be a victim of abuse due to Election Day.  I implore you to reach out for help, or support someone who needs help!  TODAY will be one of the most important and historic political moments in history, and who knows HOW many women and their children will suffer tonight as the results of the election start reporting.

There are some things you can today to stay calm:

  • To help with whatever you are feeling today, and remember you get to feel whatever YOU want, watch this video of Indrani sharing a singing-bowl meditation to ease your stress and heal the world: https://www.facebook.com/indranislight/posts/10154740707869048
  • If you are suffering from abuse, or need to seek help, please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233. They can guide you to local assistance right away
  • If you are feeling overwhelmed with stress, or need to talk through feelings that have come up during this election, join us for our Live A Brighter Life Virtual Class this coming Thursday, November 10th at 6pm PT.  It is absolutely free, and we will be talking about letting go of shame, the dangers of shame, and acknowledging triggers. Here is the link to join us: http://bit.ly/2dPNEIR

Please know you have help and support out there.  We can teach you tools, and give you support around living a brighter life after the election.  There are professionals at the National Domestic Violence Hotline that are ready to send you help if you need it.  Reach out!  We are here.

With Love & Light,

Amy Jaffe | Indrani’s Light Foundation
Director of Education & Training

 

Are you out there?

are-you-out-thereAnother Domestic Violence Awareness Month comes to an end.  Indrani’s Light Foundation, along with hundreds of other organizations around the country promoted DVAM through social media, public events, emails, fundraisers, and other creative ideas.  I did some research about whether or not the month of October has been effective for domestic violence prevention organizations.  The first DVAM formed in 1987, and evolved from the “Day of Unity,” which was held in 1987 by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

Although there is no hard data about whether or not DVAM has had a direct impact on the decrease of domestic violence, we CAN inform you that the rate of domestic violence has dropped 63% since 1994. (*Bureau of Justice Statistics)  Although this is a promising statistic, the sobering fact is that, in the next five minutes it may take you to read this blog, 100 people will have been abused by an intimate partner in the United States.  And this statistic DOES NOT include the number of mental and emotional abuse victims.

Just imagine for a moment, what the actual number of victims there are, who are suffering from physical, mental, and emotional abuse on the planet right now?  There are hundreds of thousands of women, men, and children in crisis right this very minute, and I am wondering if we are making a difference.  We blog, post informative and educational posts, produce videos to impact people, send out emails every week, and speak on stages about domestic violence prevention.  But are we doing enough?  Can we do more?

At Indrani’s Light, we are a small team who is passionate and determined to support Indrani Goradia’s mission to END violence against women and girls globally.  We are currently focusing on domestic violence in the United States, and work every day to build interest, and recruit people to help us teach our Live A Brighter Life curriculum in their communities to educate the public.  We formed the “Caregiver Project,” in which our trainers travel to women’s shelters and teach our curriculum to the shelter staff, and prevent them from burning out of this very emotionally charged career.

One day I asked Indrani how she stays focused on her mission, and how she keeps from getting discouraged when people do not seem to get involved in helping women and girls. This is what Indrani said … “A future free of gender violence starts with a single daily action from you.” (This is the first thing you will read on our website)  She went on to explain that she helps one woman at a time, and so should I.  We ARE making a difference because we are TAKING ACTION. We may need to work hard to recruit just one ILF Trainer, but that trainer will be worth every minute of effort.  Indrani told me we are doing this work for our children, our grandchildren, and their children.  This mission will not be accomplished overnight, but we will do our damnedest to be the part of history who changed the world, and made violence against women and girls a distant memory.

As I sit here ready to post, yet another, repetitive recruitment post on Facebook ….. I wonder if I’ll get 10 or 20 “likes,” or one comment. What I KNOW is if I post a cute dog or cat video on Facebook, I will get 28,000 views, 25 shares, 300 likes, and about 10 comments. What are we battling with when it comes to awareness and education about human rights? Have we burned the public out on the dark side of the world in which they need to close their eyes and ignore the pandemic of abuse?  I know there are people out there who feel called to help victims of domestic violence, but how do we reach them?  How can we get them to TAKE ACTION?

I will end this blog by asking a single question:

ARE YOU OUT THERE?

If you are ready to help one woman or child from being abused again, please click on this link and join us for our next Live A Brighter Life Class.

With Love & Light,

Amy Jaffe
Director of Education & Training | Indrani’s Light Foundation

 

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Fall Virtual Live A Brighter Life Evening Class

We have officially launched our fall LIVE virtual Live a Brighter Life Night Classes, taught by our Director of Education & Training, Amy Jaffe, and some of our certified LABL Trainers.  As we near the holiday season, we felt this was a wonderful opportunity to teach you the tools to start practicing your boundaries, and saying “No” to your friends, family, and others in your life.  It’s also a great time of the year to take care of yourself, and practice more self-care. We’ll work on some tools to move through some guilt and shame feelings as well.

fall-2016-labl-imageFor the first time ever, we will be teaching the Live a Brighter Life curriculum in the evening so that more people can attend after work, cooking dinner, getting the kids ready for bed.  Classes will be taught from 6pm – 7:30pm PT starting Thursday October 27th. These classes will be held every Thursday evening for the next six weeks (excluding Thanksgiving in the U.S.).

(We realize this time will be quite late for our East Coast community members, hopefully you can still make it live)

If you join us for this free 6-Class series you will learn the tools you need to change your life by:

  • October 27th – Setting boundaries that will protect you and help create healthy relationships during the upcoming holidays
  • November 3rd – Delivering a “Positive No” that will open up your time and energy so you can say “Yes” to what is important (A strong “No” leads to amazing “holiday yeses!)
  • November 10th – Building resilience to feeling shame in your life (let’s face it, time with family can bring up a lot of….stuff)
  • November 17th – Ending the habit of putting everyone else first, and taking care of yourself (holidays can be exhausting, let us help you take care of yourself)
  • December 1st –  Creating a more positive and meaningful day, every day (make this one of your best holidays ever!)
  • December 8th – Being present, and reclaiming yourself!

(Completing this 6-Class series is also the first step in becoming a Live a Brighter Life Trainer.  If you are looking for a way to make an impact with your volunteer work, we would love to add you to our growing list of trainers!)

We made it very simple to sign up.  Just click on THIS LINK and fill out the short form. You’re done! If you need to miss a class …. It’s okay!  We are recording every class so you can listen to it later and catch up for the following week.  I will give you a little homework after every class … but you’ll love this kind of homework!

I hope to see you THIS Thursday at 6pm!

SOCIAL MEDIA SHARING

We could also use your support in spreading the word about our Live A Brighter Life Class. You can use the following text on Facebook, twitter, or your social media platform of choice to get your friends and family involved in stopping the silence:

Facebook: Hey friends! I’m signed up for the FREE Live A Brighter Life online class with Indrani’s Light Foundation starting this THURSDAY at 6pm PT. Will you join me?  We can support each other through this holiday season! Here’s the link for details: http://indranislight.org/labl-2016/

For twitter: @indranis_light is offering their FREE virtual Live A Brighter Life 6-week class starting on Thurs, Oct 27th http://indranislight.org/labl-2016/

With love & light,

 

Team ILF

 

 

Break the Silence: LIVE CALL with Indrani

indrani-in-india-2Indrani Goradia has just returned from India after continuing her global mission to end violence against women and girls. She visited a different city on this trip, and brought back some lessons from her experience there. Indrani was able to teach our Live A Brighter Life classes to groups of women and men, who did a phenomenal job in participating and learning about boundaries, saying “No,” guilt and shame, and most importantly, self-care.

This trip to India was special. Indrani wants to share her experience, and some of the feedback she received from the men, in particular. The lessons Indrani learned from India brought her back home with an urgency to “Break the Silence.”indrani-in-india

As we recognize Domestic Violence Awareness month here in the United States, we need to make real change, and stop domestic violence globally. We MUST talk openly about the issue, not just on Facebook, or YouTube, or when standing in front of big audiences.

We need to break the silence and talk with each other, openly and honestly. Daily.

 

If you want to join Indrani for this LIVE CALL on Thursday, October 20th, 2016 at 10am PT | 1pm ET, all you need to do is use the following information (no email address or option required):

live-call-with-indrani-oct-2016rConference Dial-In Number:
(605) 562-3140
Participant Access Code:
694881#
Canadian Caller Instructions:
Dial: (559)546-1400
Then proceed with regular conference line numbers above.

If you would like to receive a reminder about the call, and hear even more from Indrani, you can sign up for the call here:

http://indranislight.org/break-the-silence/

We could also use your support in spreading the word about this live call with Indrani. You can use the following text on Facebook, twitter, or your social media platform of choice to get your friends and family involved in stopping the silence.

  • Facebook Post |  Stop the Silence: Join me on October 20th at 10am Pacific Time to listen to Indrani Goradia speak about the newest lessons she has learned about ending domestic violence globally http://bit.ly/2ewKDPf
  • For twitter | Stop the Silence: October 20th Indrani Goradia shares what she has learned about ending domestic violence globally http://bit.ly/2ewKDPf

 

Love and light,

Team ILF

 

 

Finding Your Strengths

finding-your-strengthsOne of the workshops we teach at Indrani’s Light Foundation is called “Finding Resilience.”  We talk about the importance of shame resilience, understanding the attributes of empathy, identifying your shame story, naming your trusted network of people, and lastly, we explore your strengths that help you through your everyday life.

Are you facing a challenge that is coming up soon?  Maybe you are planning to have a difficult conversation with a friend, or family member?  Or maybe you need to ask for a raise.

Right now you may be in “survival mode.”  We often numb ourselves from our true feelings, needs, and desires.  We can also lose our sense of identity and our values.  But in order to lead a full and meaningful life, we must reconnect with ourselves.  This mean we connect with our deeply held values.

In order to recover from the survival mode, we must find our strengths.

The first thing we ask people to do is to take the VIA Character Strengths Test.  This is a place to start to begin identifying some of your most powerful strengths.  Go to {this website now} and take the free test.

What strengths are you bringing to the table?

The second thing we’d like to offer you is a personal, short meditation from Indrani to help you find your strengths.

In the past, think of something you did that you were proud of.  What were the strengths that made this happen?  Were you brave?  Did you have a love of learning?  Maybe you used humor, or practiced gratitude.

Focus on the memory, and bring it with you when you go ask for that raise, or have the difficult conversation with your friend or family member.

Here is Indrani’s meditation, “Finding Your Strengths.”

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*Meditate With Indrani* ~ Stop at the Drive Thru

Meditate with Indrani imageToday’s 3-minute meditation is about giving you permission to experience 5 percent more joy today.  Indrani has provided a “Drive Thru” meditation for those of you who need to check in with yourselves during a busy day.  There are times when we are unable to sit still for awhile to take care of ourselves.  Hopefully this short meditation will give you the time you need to tap into a little more joy.

Namaste.

Indrani presents ….  {“Stop at the Drive Thru”}

 

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[Live A Brighter Life}

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[The Caregiver Project}

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Of all the things I’ve lost, I miss my mind the most

lost imageI lost something the other day (not my mind … I am coming to that).

It was a device.

A device that kept me connected to the outside world.  A device that helped me to accomplish my mission to end violence to women.

It was my iPad.

First, I reached out to a friend to go to my house to see if I left it there. Nope, not at home. Then I thought that I must have left it on the plane. My heart sank.

So I was about to give up, but then remembered I had used it to Skype earlier in the day. My heart felt happy. So it had to be somewhere in the hotel room.

Unless I took it to a restaurant and left it there.  My heart sank again

I decided to call my “MacGyver.”  Her real name is Amy Jaffe and she keeps me sane, along with my other ILF Team members, Stacie and Jeremie.

Amy says she could launch my iCloud account to help me locate it.  After a few minutes she said, “It’s in the building, where you are now?

I began to furiously search again.
I even looked in the mini bar!
I could not find it ANYWHERE, and my room is small!

I was desperate.
I was also going nuts!

It was time to give up, so I tried to take a nap.
Then …. BOOM! I reached out and inserted my hand between the mattress and headboard, and THERE it was. My heart felt happy.

Okay, so now, how do I relate this to when I feel out of control and losing my sane mind? The mind that keeps me connected to my inner wonderful world?

What do I DO when the crazy mind wants to hijack me?

First, I can call a friend. I can allow my friend to offer ideas of where my mind could be. My friend could ask funny questions like, “Where did you see your mind last?” “What were you doing when you realized that you had lost your mind?” “Does your mind usually wander off without your knowledge?”

Okay, so the last two questions are not funny. They can actually help.

My responses can be something like, “Well the last time I had my mind was before the conversation with Mother, Father, child, boss, customer service person, husband, ex-husband, etc.”

Get it?

You get to THINK out loud about when last you were in control of your own mind.
When you have sorta-kinda identified when you lost it, you can rest quietly knowing it is close at hand!

It’s somewhere in your space.

It may be hiding in a closet, afraid of the crazy mind that took over, but it is not gone forever.

You must practice extreme self-care at this point to locate it and coax it back to you.
I decided to take a nap, remember?

** You can download our self-care module here and find an easy self-care tool and begin to practice it.

I use the tool of gratitude every night before I go to bed.  Some nights I am so wound up that my crazy mind tells the better part of me to, “Just forget about all that stupid gratitude.  What is it getting you any way?”  Then my sane mind has to say, “I will even be grateful that I can ignore that unhelpful message,” and then begin to write down my gratitude list for that day.

In the meantime, here is a short 12-minute meditation to help you to settle into some peace and tranquility.

Love and light,
Indrani

 

*Meditate With Indrani *
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*Meditate With Indrani* ~ Sit With a Wise One

Meditate with Indrani imageIndrani would love to share some of her meditations with you.  Her desire is to assist you in beginning a meditation practice, if you do not have one.   If you have a meditation practice, these weekly meditations will help you to work on living a brighter life.

Today’s 12-minute meditation is about sitting with someone who is very wise.  Is this person Nelson Mandela?  Mother Teresa?  Buddha?  Jesus?  Maybe it’s a close friend whom you admire, and consider them very wise.  Indrani will help you breathe in the wisdom this wise person has to offer you.  You can breathe in compassion, forgiveness, future thinking, or maybe a big dream of changing the world.  You will come to see that the wisdom from this person does not just belong to them …. it belongs to YOU.

“Sit with a Wise One” Meditation Recording:

*Meditate With Indrani *
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Click here to access her FREE meditations

[Meditate with Indrani}

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Live A Brighter Life
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[Live A Brighter Life}

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[The Caregiver Project}

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*Meditate With Indrani* ~ Opening Your Heart

Meditate with Indrani image

Indrani would love to share some of her meditations with you.  Her desire is to assist you in beginning a meditation practice, if you do not have one.   If you have a meditation practice, these weekly meditations will help you to work on living a brighter life.

Today’s 8-minute meditation is about opening your heart and loving yourself unconditionally.  Self acceptance is the first step to loving ourselves without condition.  Listen to this meditation carefully, and then go to the mirror and say to the person you see, “I love you.”

“Opening Your Heart” Meditation Recording:

*Meditate With Indrani *
recording series

Click here to access her FREE meditations

[Meditate with Indrani} 

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Live A Brighter Life
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Click here to access our FREE online recordings

[Live A Brighter Life}

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Send us to Houston
for the
“Caregiver Project”

Click here to support us with a click of a button

[The Caregiver Project}

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