Like me you have probably become aware of the #MeToo campaign which highlights the level of sexual harassment that women experience throughout their lives.
As we can see, it has been an underlying epidemic that females have tolerated for thousands of years in all areas of life.
But I’m uncomfortable with the idea of saying #MeToo and adding my voice to social media.
I don’t deny that I’ve had some unsavoury and traumatising experiences growing up that I would rather forget. My yoga and meditation practice has (and continues) to help me heal from this.
However the #MeToo campaign leaves me hanging. It feels a little bit like watching a tragedy on the news and feeling helpless to ease the pain of those involved. I observe friends saying #MeToo on social media and then I start to worry and wonder about them and their experiences.
It also hangs guilt and shame on the wrong shoulders – of the decent boys, teens and men who don’t want to treat women that way. Perhaps If I were a man, maybe I would lower my gaze and no longer feel confident engaging with females.
But if I sit and reflect on the #MeToo campaign through my meditation practice, I have a sense that …
- it is about the beginning (not the end) of this conversation between everyone so we can raise awareness
- and it is about education and how we mindfully navigate our way through this underlying, unspoken agony of so many.
So how does mindfulness fit in with all this?
Many people don’t realise that meditation is more than feeling calm and living a good, easy life. It is about helping us find new solutions, finding inner strength and changing the mental and emotional landscape of our lives and those of future generations.
So when I say ‘I meditate on this problem’ … I open my mind and heart to the potential of change. I take off my human blinkers and I drop in the question or the worry.
Then I return my attention to my breath so that my heart can speak and my mind can hear.
If we meditate on…
If we meditate on the pain and anguish many women go through from girl to adulthood, perhaps we become inspired to finding new ways to help our young females have the confidence to say “enough” or “no”. Or the courage to report it if it happens to them.
If we meditate on the perpetrators motives for causing this pain and anguish will we learn and understand more about what happened to them in their life that said this behaviour towards women was okay? Will it help us change the way we communicate and teach our young boys and girls of today?
So we must meditate to find the power and confidence within us to speak up when we see something that feels out of balance. Not to condemn or control but to raise awareness – keeping our hearts open to all involved.
Whilst Mr Weinstein is held up as the villain of the peace, he isn’t alone and he didn’t do it alone. He was aided by men and women who knew it was happening but said nothing.
We must meditate on the problem to find an inner, heart-felt voice that helps guide us step by step, untangling this human mess to find compassion, kindness, a voice of strength, an acceptance of pain and anger.
We must meditate on ways to help our society to teach young men to become fathers to sons and daughters that help them demonstrate balance, love and relationships in the most kind and considerate way.
We must meditate on ways to help our society to teach young women to become mothers to sons and daughters that help them demonstrate balance, love and relationships in the most kind and considerate way.
And as we meditate on all these things, and follow the heart-felt action it inspires, we must teach our children the same mindful skills when they face similar challenges.
Decent human beings
I believe that if we teach our children meditation and mindfulness, they become these decent human beings we are all trying to be today. They mindfully choose a life that offers them peace both in the quiet easy times and in the challenging ones.
Our children become the pioneers of peace in a society that is heavily ruled by the head and which detaches sex from love. They learn to lead the way, stepping into their hearts in those challenging times – their true source of grace, power and peace.
And when our children fall down in adulthood, which they will do, their meditation practice helps them to find the resilience to survive, the willingness to forgive, the empathy to educate and the creative strength to find a new solution to old ways.
Meditation and mindfulness seems so simple – and it is. We consider it as a means to help our children feel calm, focus and concentrate, sleep better and pass exams.
But it is so much more than that. It helps each and every one of us access our own inner-knowing so that we cherish each other and the world we live in.
I hope you can practice and teach children whenever you can. Together we can change lives.