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June 24, 2019
Word of the Week: Self-Empowerment
It was a brisk sunny day in April, a week before my 31st birthday, and my friend and I decided to meet up for some intention-setting in Central Park. We found a nice spot on a grassy hill away from all of the tourists. As soon as we sat down, I let out a sigh of relief. This was the first break from schoolwork and biz work I had given myself in months.
I pulled my travel pack of crystals out of my canvas bag and placed them neatly on the lawn: an amethyst with shards of black obsidian for protection, a tiny blue celestite for intuition, a citrine for prosperity, and a two-pointed clear quartz for communication. My friend opened up her backpack and took out her journal and her favorite oracle decks. I spritzed the air with the lavender hand sanitizer I bring with me everywhere. We were ready.
My friend began our little ceremony with a beautiful grounding meditation. She instructed me to find a comfortable posture and close my eyes. The sun was really starting to come out now. It was a familiar sense of warmth that I hadn’t felt in a long time. It made me miss home. California, that is. NYC didn’t feel like home yet. I took off my winter coat and laid down on top of it. I closed my eyes and soaked up all the rays. “Start settling into this moment,” my friend said.
With every inhale and every exhale, I sank deeper into the meditation. I pictured myself dancing in the sunshine. Surrounded by nature. Listening to the sound of the ocean. My happy place. Weightless. Joyful. Carefree.
As if from a distance, I hear my friend’s voice as she offers prompts during the meditation: “Where do you desire to focus your energy this next year? What are you no longer available for? What parts of yourself need reclaiming?”
I immediately thought of the yoga retreat I attended nearly a year ago. The one that was supposed to be a splurgy vacation for myself when I left my job. The one at the fancy healing center everyone raved about. The one where I was sexually violated, sick from food poisoning, and videotaped without my consent (you can read more about this saga here).
As soon as that memory entered my consciousness, my stomach flipped upside down. My throat tightened. And my heart began to race. It was clear my body still held onto the ickiness from that experience.
When the meditation came to a close, I fluttered my eyes open and turned to my friend with a look of determination.
“I’m getting a refund from that yoga retreat,” I said.
“YES! Get it girl!” she exclaimed.
What I realized during the meditation was that even though I couldn’t erase what had happened to me, I didn’t have to sit back, relax, and let it all be ok. I wasn’t a damsel in distress. Staying silent felt like giving my power away to people who didn’t deserve it. I wanted to do something. I needed to do something.
I called up the healing center, asked for the director, and explained what had happened. I didn’t yell, complain, or threaten. I spoke from the heart and told the director this refund was important to me to create the closure I needed to move on with my life. He understood. No questions asked.
I received the refund check last week, exactly one year from the incident. While I’m feeling a lot of feels right now, I’m mostly filled with appreciation for the Wonder Woman inside of me. The one who kept fighting. The one stood up to the bad guys. The one who became the hero of her own story.
There’s a Wonder Woman inside of you, too. Don’t swallow your pain. Don’t wait to be saved. You don’t need anyone’s permission to say what needs to be said. If it feels scary to stand up for yourself, call on your inner Wonder Woman. She is ready to fight for you whenever you need her.
Ask Yourself: Where in my life have I given away my power to others? What steps can I take to stand up for myself and take my power back?
Weekly Mantra: I am not a damsel in distress. I am Wonder Woman.