How To Take Back Your Power In A World Where Women Are Encouraged To Shut Up
Over the past week, 34 women have come forward saying Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein sexually harassed or assaulted them, including powerful names like Gwyneth Paltrow, Angelina Jolie, and Ashley Judd. It's a painful confirmation that even the most powerful women among us are still preyed upon by deplorable men, and that even those with the loudest, most commanding voices were rendered silent.
These startling revelations are coming out decades after the fact, and they serve as a clear reminder that however far we've come, women are still being silenced, fearing for their careers, their reputations, and their safety. Even more troubling, women often blame themselves when they experience sexual harassment.
"It must have been my fault. It must have been something I said. Was I flirting with him? I shouldn’t have told that story. I shouldn’t have gone to his hotel room," wrote screenwriter and showrunner Liz Meriwether of the sexual harassment she endured at the hands of a powerful man in an essay for The Cut last week. "What can I do about it? Who do I tell? I don’t have enough money for a lawyer. I don’t want to suddenly become unemployable because of something he chose to do to me." Her sentiments are all too common.
The outpouring of rage that's unfurled on twitter, in the media, and throughout Hollywood has been significant. As we've been too many times before, we're fed up. Fed up with not getting paid as much as male colleagues, with unwanted, aggressive sexual advances, with the subtle messages of "you're not good enough" sent by everyone who's looked the other way, allowing abuse to go unchallenged.
While these reminders of injustice are infuriated and destablizing, they're also reminders for us to tap into the tremendous inner resources available to us. The healers and leaders in the wellness world know the power of inner strength and how to draw upon it in moments like these, and every day. Get in touch with your power and flex your confidence. The time to be heard is now and forever more.
Care for your body and breathe.
"To me, inner power is a combination of inner strength, confidence, peace, awareness, presence, truth. Building up your inner power means building up all of those things—move your body, feed it well, care for it, speak positively about it out loud and in your mind, breathe, open your eyes and your heart, and stay in the moment. And the key is doing all of these things all while being 100 percent true to you." —Shauna Harrison, world-famous personal trainer and mbg class instructor
Know your strength.
"Believe in yourself and push forward. Be good at what you do and don’t back down. So many of us have innate, deep empathy and understanding. It makes us more compassionate and emotionally intelligent. That used to be looked at as a deficit, but it is absolutely a strength as it allows you to read a room, understand a situation, treat people with respect. Those are incredible skills that can help you break through any situation. So don’t forget you; don’t get lost in their rules. Create your own." —Tal Rabinowitz, CEO and Founder of The DEN Meditation
Take a stand and watch your inner power grow.
"Over time, I've realized that as a woman, the power in holding a space of integrity and boundary for myself serves as a glass shield of protection. It's very easy to put my own thoughts and beliefs aside, but I finally realized that every time I took a stand for myself or women around me, although very difficult, my inner power grew. As women, the more we source this power and cultivate our boundaries that support our inner truth, we take another step up. Step by step, while we focus on our power, we become stronger." —Mona Dan, herbalist, acupuncturist, and owner of Vie Healing
"I think that 'speaking up' in your daily life about who you are and what you stand for—in both verbal and nonverbal ways—is the most important thing you can do to own your power in a world that wants you to do otherwise. It might feel awkward at first, but it's essential. How in the world can we expect to stand up for ourselves (and others) in public if we're afraid to do so in private? We must actively practice living a life that is authentic and loud in our day-to-day so that when the hard moments come around—and they always do—we are already in the habit of staying true to ourselves." —Katie Horwitch, founder of WANT (Women Against Negative Self-Talk)
Whatever makes YOU feel empowered—do that.
"As a woman, I have watched myself fear my own voice, my thoughts, my opinions, and my needs over the years to make others feel satisfied, respected, seen, confident, and a myriad of other things. While doing so, I have completely shut down and shut out my own need to feel safe and watched myself give away my power.
"Wherever and whatever helps a woman feel empowered, safe, and strong inside her heart, body, and mind, I say do that. Whether it’s yoga or a form of movement to feel strong; meditation and mantras to feel empowered and safe to explore you and your needs; or being around other women and men who lift you up and remind you of your power, your worth, and your innate strength. I feel a great amount of emotion and respect for the ones who have shared their stories with us in recent days and can only hope it will allow all of us in society to begin new conversations, new alignment, and a platform for women to speak from their truth and power." —Kelsey Patel, spiritual empowerment coach and mbg class instructor
Still working on finding your own personal power? Here are six transformative truths that empowered this woman to love herself on her own terms.