On May 3rd 2019 Indrani was recognized as a champion of gender equity and justice for both her global work to lift women and girls out of poverty, and her domestic work to improve the level of care for domestic violence survivors by teaching front-line advocates resilience against compassion fatigue and burnout.
Indrani was so excited to receive her award from Vagina Monologues writer Eve Ensler.
After the event Indrani recorded this video for you to talk about how it feels to be recognized, whether that recognition is something small or something big, and to encourage you to take a tiny step forward with whatever goal or dream you are envisioning.
Now it is your turn to answer Indrani’s questions:
What is it you want to do?
Why do you want to do it?
What are a few first steps you can take right now?
Leave a comment below with your answers to these questions so Indrani and the ILF Team can share your journey.
Sakhi for South Asian Women (Sakhi), New York City’s first South Asian American women’s organization and an award-winning nonprofit that combats domestic and sexual violence in NYC’s South Asian community, celebrated 30 years of service and advocacy at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine at its gala ‘Honoring the Power Within’, on May 3, 2019.
The dictionary defines flourish as: to be in a vigorous state, to thrive. To be in its or in one’s prime; be at the height of fame, excellence, influence, etc. To be successful; prosper.
According to Felicia Huppert, director of the University of Cambridge Well-Being Institute, flourish means “having high positive emotion, plus being high on any three of the following: self-esteem, optimism, resilience, vitality, self-determination and positive relationships.”
When I close my eyes and think of the times that I have felt like I was flourishing in my life…I see those times when I had goals and was driven toward them. This does not mean that there were not challenges or obstacles that tried to trip me up. I remember significant challenges that at times, kept me paralyzed. I often felt like I was sinking and had no one to support me.
It was the continual goal setting that enabled me to move, creep ahead and slowly arrive at a better frame of mind.
A few days ago someone asked me how people get strong enough to handle emotional upheaval. I admitted that I had no magical answer except that it is a little like deciding to sink or swim. By this, I mean it’s a matter of emotional life or emotional death.
Sometimes giving up in the short run allows you to save what physical energy you do have and wait for a better time to invest it.
Emotional upheaval is never comfortable. You can learn, however, how to get increasingly more comfortable in your discomfort.
Being able to accept reality without wanting “magical” solutions is par for the course.
Practice makes you better. There is no perfection in the game of life.
Giving up in the moment does not have to mean giving in to whatever happens. It simply means retreating to refuel and recharge.
Be kind to yourself…you are worth it.
Yesterday I had the chance to “fix” a problem for someone.
This person called me and they were sad and crying. I am a good fixer.
I am a really good fixer.
Then, I took a few moments to ponder if this was something that I really wanted to deal with.
I decided to not do it.
Why would I not do it?
The answer is so very simple.
I did not have the emotional bandwidth.
I could not sustain what needed to be done for them with everything that needed to be done for me.
I was already experiencing stress just from hearing the request and I knew if I did not pay attention to what was happening with me internally, I would make decisions that I would regret.
This skill did not come easily. I have been NOT paying attention to my own self for the majority of my life. Whenever I met someone who was able to decline “fixing” others I was amazed. I felt like I would never get to the point where I would be able to stand firm in a decision that was good for me.
But I was wrong.
The book that saved me from a fate of “chronic people pleasing” is The Power of a Positive NO by William Ury. I encourage you all to read this book. Inhale it slowly and digest every word.
I will give you one of the tips that Ury presents in the book. He says that people fail to say NO in the following ways:
We accommodate because of fear of reprisals if we say no.
We avoid the person all together so that we do not have to deal with the issue.
When avoiding does not work we feel trapped and acquiesce but with
anger. We end up shouting and blaming the other person saying “you made me do it.”
No one can make you do anything.
The words that people speak can be hurtful and you can feel abandoned because those involved did not see your point of view…but that still cannot MAKE you do anything.
We end up doing things because we cannot stand the “pressure” and we give in.
Building up resilience to “pressure” is what we need to do so that we will be firm in our resolve to stay in our own business and mind our own life.
Sitting in the midst of the pressure from outsiders can feel like you are going to cave in, but you will not. Your body is strong and will not collapse. It is your resolve that collapses. Allow yourself to feel the pressure and share the painful experience with a trusted friend or therapist. That is exactly what needs to happen in order to build
up resilience. It takes time. Only YOU can do it. No one can “give” you the strength to sit with the discomfort. It is a decision you have to make in order to save your own sanity.
If you don’t save your own sanity who will?
If you are not minding your own life, who is?
Love and light,
Give to Indrani’s Light Foundation
Your support will be used towards covering the costs of the free one-day or two-day, in-person training the ILF Team provides to the advocates at domestic violence organizations across the United States. Your support has already paid for training in Texas, Oregon, Washington, California, Pennsylvania, Alabama, and Illinois.