Welcome to this Brighter Life Bit #33. For this lesson, you can listen to the original teaching at the 1:18:00 minute mark of the Class 5 recording. You can download the audio from the ILF website here.
Self-full vs. Selfish – Indrani shares a story that will help you understand the difference.
What can you do to restore yourself?
Do you believe if you go get a massage instead of your partner, that you are being selfish?
Can you really feel “Self-Full” if you ask for what you want, or need?
Get up off of your chair or couch, and start marching in place. It sounds silly, but give yourself a few minutes of exercise and clear your head.
Have a conversation with your best friend or partner, and ask them to give you permission to do something for yourself and not have to feel guilty, or selfish.
Take action, and begin to THRIVE, not survive.
Share your experience with us. What did you add to your calendar? Share your comments below this post.
Welcome to Episode #20 of the Live a Brighter Life Podcast!
In this episode of the Live a Brighter Life Podcast Indrani speaks with Andrea Scher. You will learn:
Andrea’s personal story and experience with “hiding her light” as a child.
How Andrea practices encourage and compassion to live “big.”
What is the difference between joy and happiness?
Are you measuring your “joy factor?” Are you “joyful” enough?
Indrani looks at how she can use this teaching to help women live a brighter, more joyful life.
A little about Andrea Scher
Andrea Scher is the creator of Superhero Life where she believes we all learn together to use our voices, share our superpowers and live life in full color. As an artist, photographer, life coach + mentor, Andrea redefines what it means to be a SUPERHERO — ‘cause in her world, it’s got nothing to do with capes, spandex or sidekicks and everything to do with tenderness, intuition & baby steps of bravery. See more at www.superherolife.com
Have you heard about the United Nation Women’s “ORANGE THE WORLD” campaign yet? Indrani has joined forces with them for their 16 days of activism to end violence against women and children.
Indrani is publishing a personal video message every day during the UN Women’s campaign, and TODAY, she is sharing an important message about treating ALL of your emotions with respect. When you can do that, you can begin to end violence within yourself and other people. It’s an action that starts with “Self.”
Indrani encourages you to Google, “The Guest House” by Rumi. But before you do, take a look at Indrani’s “Day 4” personal message. Watch it here:
Please share this video on social media!
Let’s END violence against women and girls together!
I have devoted a large part of my life speaking up against abuse towards women and children. I am so grateful to have been invited by TEDxPortOfSpain to speak about this unspeakable topic. Children are beaten with impunity in Trinidad, as in other places.
And adults even boast about the beatings they HAD to give.
I spoke to a group of local high school students from 11th and 12th grades, and one of the girls said that her little 10-year-old brother “asks” for abuse when he annoys or frustrates her. This allowed me to address the statement, “You asked for this” when (insert behavior of person being beaten) takes place and the abuser then gives themselves absolute permission to abuse with impunity.
These very adults will even go to work the next day and openly tell about the beatings they “had to give” because the offending person was “asking” for it because of the offensive behavior that was displayed.
Children are expected to know all manner of mature behaviors …. to never make mistakes or have accidents like spilling milk, or breaking household items. But adults do not expect themselves to exercise mature restraint when dealing with children. Children, therefore, by their very nature of being a child and being childish, will be accused of having “asked” for a beating.
We must have public dialogue and discourse if we are to change attitudes about child abuse.
One mother came up to me after the TEDxPortOfSpain talk with tears in her eyes and said she beats her 12-year-old and wants to stop.
She asked me how to stop.
I told her very clearly that the only way to stop is to STOP. We cannot “phase out” abuse. It is not like trying to stop drinking too much coffee by drinking one less cup per week until the body gets used to less caffeine.
A child who is being beaten needs to feel a complete ABSENCE of the beatings for them to understand that abuse has ended. Furthermore, the abuse has to stay GONE and must be replaced with positive behaviors from the offensive caregiver. Children must be taught that they are worthy of love just as they were taught that they were unworthy and therefore abused.
The adult who is doing the abuse may be able to say they are ” hitting less,” but the child cannot comprehend “less.” Only “NO More Hitting” makes sense. I could see the pain on the face of the mother who came up to me. She carried on the generational abuse because she thought it appropriate.
If we can all speak up in favor of measured responses and alternate ways to address the behaviors of both children and parents, we may have a bigger chance of ending this disease of abuse.
We must mainstream this conversation.
We need to educate girls who are being abused to not accepting abuse as girlfriends and wives.
We need to show how abuse in childhood links those abusive behaviors to the populations in jails and to the prevalence of abuse in their childhood homes.
One other young mother I met said she only does a small slap to the leg of the 3-year-old and only once.
She said she can see the child’s face, and see how shocked and scared she becomes. The mother even sees “the slap comes out of the blue” as far as the child is concerned because she can see the surprise and the subsequent hurt in the child’s face.
I know, from personal and persistent experience that abused children learn very quickly that the offending caregivers are NOT safe people and while we say we still love them, we know in our hearts we do not trust them.
The adult in me wonders if we can truly love those we do not trust. Perhaps we simply “mouth” the words, “Love You” because the words are culturally acceptable and it is not so acceptable to say, “I am unsafe with you and I do not know what I feel about you.”
I know as an adult if I have a history of people treating me inappropriately I keep them at arms length and always have an exit plan. My trust in them as a safe place disappears and can never return.
Children are not sophisticated enough to have this skill and they are also powerless to do anything about their environment.
We really have to keep the dialogue alive and we all have to be a part of ending violence in our own homes.
Let us step up. Share this story AND my TEDx Talk with your family and community. We are all in this together. Together we are mighty!
Often in life, (at least in mine) I find myself in the midst of a conversation that started off nicely, turned a better corner and then BAM, something flies out of someone’s mouth that takes me out of my pre-frontal cortex.
What’s a Pre-frontal cortex you ask?
Well, it’s that part of the brain where language and executive function reside. When you are in your PFC, you are measured, you have the language you need at the ready, you can laugh at yourself and see things as not so personal, etc.
You do all of this and more, without even realizing all the smoothly excited dance moves you are making. It comes from a place of peace and groundedness.
When the PFC is hijacked, by an event such as physical abuse, or by mean spiritedness such as verbal or emotional abuse, the PFC goes offline. It’s like a total black out. You are left groping in the darkness without anything familiar to navigate your surroundings.
In this case it’s really very hard, almost super human, to reach for your best self.
You need some executive functioning to reach for your best self BUT the executive functions are no where to be found.
What to do?
I have seen myself make a bad situation worse, multiple times, by striking out as if my life depended on my response.
Almost as though I have my hands up and pleading for my life.
It feels that urgent….but it has never been that urgent.
I am fortunate that my life has never been threatened in real life, however, the life I have lived in my head sometimes feels like it is being threatened.
Those times, I now realize are the times when my PFC is offline.
I have been training myself to be quiet in those times.
I have been practicing silence in those times.
I offer my practice of silence to you and it needs to be followed up with introspection after the incident.
Introspection can take place with a coach, a therapist, a non-judgmental friend or with journaling.
Write down the incident as you remember using as much detail as you can.
Then also write down a measured response firmly standing in your PFC and replay the scene and SEE yourself delivering the measured response.
Notice if you feel like you want to have many responses, all of them from your best self.
Try this technique out in a few situations over the course of 30-45 days.
Then begin to notice if there are certain people who are likely to hijack you.
Take note of who they are.
The next time you are with them, begin to notice how they are with others.
Do they pounce on others they way you feel they pounce on you?
Study these people like a private detective.
Begin to speak their words even before they say it (silently in your head).
I know a person who is so very oppositional that if they hear the sky is clear they will immediately try to prove the sky to be cloudy. They LOVE to rile people up….it’s their sport of choice.
When I am in such a situation I have started to say, “Nope, not playing this game today.”
Then I leave the room.
The first few times I did that my heart felt like it was trying to escape my chest.
I was sweating like I was running a marathon in 100 degree heat.
It took a while for me to TRAIN myself to deal with this person in these situations.
I am very good at it now.
Know that new behaviors take practice. You have to be patient with yourself. You have to practice in your head and out in real life.
Practicing in your head is like rehearsing for a part in a play. Your part, your play and YOU are writing the new script.
You know the famous William Shakespeare quote “All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players.”
Play your part well. Write your own script.
Love & light,
Donate to Indrani’s Light Foundation
Your donation will be used towards eradicating gender violence, training community leaders and sharing behaviour-change tools with people who are ready to leave violence behind and create a brighter, more peaceful world.