The cycle of domestic violence occurs when abuse or victimization is passed down from one generation to the next. More specifically, it’s when children learn destructive behaviors from their parents, and then carry these acceptable behaviors with them into their lives. It must be broken. Case in point: Last night a friend called me to talk about his 22 year-old neighbor who was being verbally accosted by her drunken boyfriend. He said the screaming and shouting from the jackass was so bad that he was concerned for her safety and wasn’t sure what to do. And this wasn’t the first time this has happened. In fact, he said it was a regular event. He also said that when he passes the young gal in the hallway, he feels her insecurity and lack of self-confidence as she always looks away, avoiding any type of eye contact or conversation. Why does she put up with that crap, and what can he do to help her gain the self-confidence to get rid of the bum, my friend asks? Breaking the cycle of violence begins with re-building one’s self-worth and turning acceptable behaviors into non-acceptable behaviors. Like choosing to respect oneself everyday by making healthy choices and by constantly strengthening your body and your mind. Because it’s all about the choices we make. And each good choice leads to another good choice, and so on and so on. So respect yourself and make the healthy choice. Because anything is possible…if you believe you can.
Yesterday I went to San Diego to teach with The Boulevard Zen Foundation yoga teachers Carolyn and Jen. It was our monthly workshop class for everyone at the shelter including kids, moms and staff. Although our turnout was rather light, we spoke with one staff member who explained to us in one word why the moms were reluctant to join in the fun. Self-confidence. Most of us know a thing or two about self-confidence, or a lack thereof, when it comes to challenging the mind or the body with something new. And that’s exactly what a new fitness program does – it challenges the mind and body in ways that are unfamiliar to us. Thus making it hard and undesirable – at first. With the imperative words here being “at first”. Because it gets easier. It truly does. The hard part is just getting started. I explained to her that beginning a new yoga program with our teachers is like swimming in the ocean. At first you walk in with the water around your ankles. Then you wade a little further, up to your knees, then waist, and ultimately you’ll take the plunge and dive in. And if you’re fearful of those crashing waves, you may not take the plunge right away, but over time you will gain the confidence to go further, advancing to the next level, gaining momentum and confidence every step of the way. And that’s what it’s all about – gaining self-confidence through action and advancement that will certainly spill over and positively affect others areas of your life. So if you haven’t already done so, take the plunge and get started today with a new fat burning fitness routine. Because who doesn’t have 15 minutes a day to respect themselves?