Imagine you’re sitting at a holiday dinner table with your mother, daughter, niece, an aunt and a cousin. Look around the table at the faces of the women in your life that you love and admire. One of the women sitting at this table has been sexually abused. The statistic is about one in five women. Could this be considered of epidemic proportion?
What about men? This isn’t just about women being the victims. The men deserve equal attention. Why on the whole is it men as the victimizer? Why do they do it, and how do we change it?
The sexualization of girls in children’s shows and in Halloween costumes, the sexual exploitation of women AND men in the sale of items such as cologne, cars, and the mundane and typically wholesome cup of soup, says so much about our skewed and sexualized society. Often the scales are tipped to one end of the spectrum or another – out of balance and misunderstood. Either we are repressing our sexuality, misunderstanding it and saying it’s wrong or outright exploiting it.
We are born sexual beings but many of us are taught that it is wrong to feel this energy; sexual energy, kundalini, the core of the creative force. Even Mary had Jesus through immaculate conception and was blessed enough to to forgo the sin of sex. Sex is psychologically shamed in cultures and religions around the world. Yogi Bhajan talked about the misunderstanding and denial of sexual energy.
Sexual energies are not shameful, they are the force of life and when purified fill us with beauty and radiance. We are born with this energy and we feel it. We grow up asking questions, experimenting in our blindness of overwhelming feelings of misunderstood temptation. This sets us up for tough learning lessons later on.
I have read several articles by yoga teachers having helped students recover from sexual abuse, but not anyone’s personal story and how a yoga and meditation practice helped. So I’ll tell you mine.
My stepfather recorded me taking showers and undressing in the bathroom through a hole in the ceiling where a bathroom fan used to be. I was 15 when I finally discovered it. He would come into my bedroom, which was more his office then my bedroom, and at 4 and 5 am pay bills, write letters, etc meanwhile slamming drawers and doors to purposely make noise to wake me. I was a twelve year old who had to wake up for school the next day. Stacks of adult magazines greeted me the first time I went into the basement, shelves and an office filing cabinet full of magazines with naked women on the cover. I would find him at night, after we had all gone to bed watching adult movies. There was more… but I have painted the picture.
He may have been kind in the eyes of some, but in mine my stepfather was a tyrant. He was mean, manipulative, authoritative and afraid. He was not a kind man to me, but I have compassion because I do understand sometimes people have to fight against who they are, against the hand that they inherited and it is not easy. Society and family genetics can deal us a harsh reality to overcome and find peace in. Some peoples brains just don’t work right from birth. For my own peace of mind I have great compassion for the victimizer and the victim. I think truly no one wants to be a tortured soul. My stepfather is gone now and though I know people who see him in a different light, and I am happy his life had some grace in it, this is my truth. I would wish he, and all have the same opportunity of healing as I do. I don’t think he did, but that grace has fallen to me. I’m grateful every day for it.
Sexual abuse is not just physical. It can be quiet, manipulative, lurking in hidden places shrouded in shadows, feeding on our fear and weaknesses. It poisons families. Growing up I do not remember hearing anything addressed in school, or see much about sexual abuse or the relationship between men and women. Even when the entire fifth grade saw me in a bra accidentally and then greeted me with 50 whistling and hooting kids did any adult come to me and speak to me, or tell them to stop.
Over the years my Kundalini Yoga practice has taken my anger and turned it into radiance. Each breath of life in each meditation, and movement of each kriya has taken a piece of pain and turned it into a light to shine on truth. Kundalini Yoga brings me to a place of neutrality, and acceptance. It has changed me. It has given me courage, healing and hope. It has allowed me to be the forgiving, and kind person I want to be! The only way to know it is to experience. To take the risk, put yourself into the hands of something greater, give yourself totally to it. Trust that you can.
Our April Monthly Free Class is a meditation to Conquer Self Animosity that I have been practicing this past month. I have also been working with the meditation to Burn Inner Anger and the kriya to Relieve Inner Anger with the intention to connect with repressed anger = inflammation in my body, and 11 recitations of Sopurkh. Onward to fully digest all that anger, and emotion!
The yoga and meditation to relieve anger has been powerful and a little painful…but it is worth it. When I have built up my practice of the kriya and meditation for several days in a row I have had intense stomach sensitivity and tiredness, but I feel lighter.
We chant Sopurk to pray for the men in our lives, but also to pray for ourselves. Sopurkh is said to be for soul mates and lovers, but what it does, in my experience is balance our relationship to the masculine energy, clearing and transforming all that may have weighted us down. It has renewed my perspective and released unseen unforgiveness I had towards the father figures in my life, and the men of my past relationships. Find out more about Sopurkh here.
Iv been seeing more clearly how the relationships of my youth has shaped my adult life. They effected my self esteem, ability to make decisions, and made creating a solid foundation for my life challenging. However, I’m very blessed that I have learned through these experiences and people, the person that I do not want to be, and that the divine has provided me with the tools to be who I really want to. A kind, loving, and strong woman.
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