Often, I am preoccupied whether to tone down my message, opinion or thoughts. Other
times, I am worried that I am being too passive about certain statements, opinions, and
perspectives. Ever since we decided this is a blog format, and no longer a newsletter,
I think the pressure has been significantly reduced. I only ever get positive feedback from
our readers. Especially, last month.
THIS MONTH, I HAVE WRITTEN TWO TOTALLY DIFFERENT PIECES, AND THIS MORNING,
I THOUGHT, I SHOULD CONTINUE ON THE THEME OF SHAMING.
What is specifically intense when speaking about shaming, is language and culture.
Each culture has a diverse emphasis on certain cultural values, and also on wording, and
expressing those values, attitudes, norms, and beliefs.
I WANT TO SPEAK ABOUT HOW WE SHAME WOMEN IN OUR CULTURE.
Women shaming here is enormous. It is often subconscious, or perhaps it isn’t seen as
a problem..it is in fact presented as factual. People shame women as if it is a fact that this
is how women are. To a point, the shaming of women is normalized.
Have you ever heard: ‘women can’t drive?’ ‘when you have too many women together
working together, the space becomes a chicken coop.’ ‘women are awful at orientation’
???? I am sure you have heard many other things too
... and had the honor of meeting 8 strong, intelligent and very
independent women. They we are all very different from one another,
what I saw in them is that they were not afraid to be feminists.
Here, culturally, depending on your age, it is considered a bad thing to
be a feminist. If the idea of feminism is only representing the white
middle class, upper class woman, then I too am not in accord/aligned
with feminism. I don’t actually want to discuss feminism. I want to
discuss how we as a culture shame women. It really breaks my heart
that so many women do it to one another. Instead of celebrating
each other, we put each other down. Instead of creating a space for
difference, we shame the difference.
I GOTTA SAY, THAT I WAS NOT RAISED IN SUCH A GENDERED SOCIETY.
I ALWAYS FELT FULLY CONFIDENT AS A GIRL. I DIDN’T FEEL LESS
CAPABLE AS A WOMAN.
I for sure felt sexually objectified especially here in Europe. My male
peers in my early twenties, in Czechland, had a very specific idea
about what women can do, shouldn’t do, can look like, say, and all the
things under the sky...I was shocked really. Because I was free. I felt
equal to them(the guys). They didn’t see me equally. Not only that, the
women also fell into the pattern of speaking of other women poorly.
I often feel like it is taboo to speak about the controversial real issues
in our society...that too is shamed.
Of course I am curious, one of the first things that people say is ‘well
who do you hang out with? My people don’t speak like this, behave
like this, are not like this’ Therefore absolving themselves of any
responsibility or accountability. If we allow people to shame others,
because they are different, then we are supporting that view. It
doesn’t magically disappear.
Attitudes change, because those attitudes are confronted, and worked
on. They don’t just vanish. How can we be more mindful, kind and
caring when we are speaking about people who are different?
Yogis, are taught that we are all one. This is one of the main
philosophical principals of Yoga. We are ONE. This does not mean we
are all the same. So how do we allow for all these differences to exist,
If we are all part of the same value system then we can more easily
apply this worldview. We don’t all value the same things. So learning
to be mindful when we speak doesn’t come naturally to some.
One of the reasons why I believe in reducing SHAMING or eliminating it,
is because it works on dismantling hierarchy, it can also chip away at
patriarchy, racism, agism, ablism, and the EGO. It shifts the power. It
takes a lot of practice, and it really needs to be a collective en mass
movement, so that the next generation is different.
The next generation is already going to be different, but the previous
generation doesn’t have to hold on to ‘how things used to be’,
because maybe that was not serving freedom for all. Currently,
we are living in a very divided time, of haves and have nots. The
separation is enormous. Yoga is also very fluent in discussing
connection. It is about unity rather then separation
We as a group have so much to really fight for now. We need to stay
united, not divided. As the planet needs our attention, and we have
to step down from our high horses, we can together achieve much
more then when we are divided.
MEANWHILE, WE ARE ALL LOVE. WE ARE ALL CAPABLE OF LOVE, AND
WE NEED TO REPRESENT OUR VIEW FROM THIS PRECISE PLACE OF
LOVE, RESPECT, AND KINDNESS.
This is what you can also observe on your mat. Are you loving, and
kind? Or are you competitive, and stern? How is your expression?
How is your breath? Are you aware of those around you? How do you
I think shaming is outdated. It is something like diesel...coal. It is
something like white supremacy, it is something like misogyny, fat
shaming, it’s time for us to change our attitudes. To learn to behave
from the heart, to show that jealousy doesn’t create freedom, love,
nor kindness...it is the opposite in fact.
It is a good idea, to take a moment on your mats, in your chairs, and
where ever you are right now. Take a moment and reflect how you
love. Is it possible to love more? Is it possible for you to feel love? So
many of the most inspiring people in my life, always remind me to go
from that place, and to be fierce, just, and kind. I offer it to you, not
just here, but in classes and retreats, in my friendships too. Let’s be
united for what is coming.