By the time you’re 10 years old your subconscious has formed and thereafter differentiates between acceptable and unacceptable behaviors. For example, if you grew up with a mother or father who was a big drinker or smoked cigarettes, then your subconscious considers these activities (or bad habits) as acceptable behaviors. Behaviors that are more easily adopted by you because they’re acceptable to you. Thus, if you experienced or witnessed domestic violence in your youth – like more than 10 million children do in the United States every year – then domestic violence has permeated your subconscious and has become acceptable. Not good. Actually, it’s pretty pathetic that a child unknowingly accepts domestic violence at no fault of their own. It’s also pretty pathetic that a child has to identify the concept of LOVE with such traumatic visual and emotional experiences. And it’s horrible on the child’s mother (or father in some cases), to experience the physical, mental and emotional poison of domestic violence. Poison because domestic violence permeates a victim’s body, mind and spirit, oftentimes causing irreparable damage. Damage to the victim’s self-confidence and self-esteem.
That’s why my charity, The Boulevard Zen Foundation, is striving to bring the benefits of yoga to women and children survivors of domestic violence – everywhere. To help rebuild their SELF, because yoga is all about the SELF, and to teach these women and children how to respect their minds and bodies with the amazing physical and lifestyle benefits of yoga. Our compassionate and well-trained teachers also lead by example and serve as a living testament to how anyone can better themselves with the help of yoga.
Over the past year I have personally taught more than 100 women and children living in domestic violence shelters. I know that look in their eyes that says “I’m not good enough” and “I can’t do it”. A look that I’ll always counter with, “Yes, you can do it, and yes, you can believe in yourself”. Because I do and I know they can. Be well, believe & achieve! – R