Twisting the Plot: Reset the Body, Reset the Mind.

 

by Alyssa Exposito

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We have all felt it one way or another, that all consuming pressure in which every situation we are apart of is evaluated- where every evaluation is fixated on determining our intelligence, personality, and/or character. We fill ourselves with the questions that ultimately prevent us from growth. We associate our “best selves” with our most perfect selves. But what if we had it all wrong? Last week, Dr. Cecilia Dintino, co-founder of “Twisting the Plot”, a science-based creative solution for women over 50 that provides practical guidance for understanding, reevaluating and repurposing one’s life, discussed the concepts of how one can connect the body and mind by exploring fixed and growth mindsets.  The best way to describe a fixed mindset is being dealt with a hand, and spending the entire game (life) convincing other people that you have THE BEST hand, in hopes no one calls your bluff.  Where as growth mindset, one takes this hand and looks at it as a starting point for improvement. The hand you are dealt with is not the end-all-be-all, instead we can see it as an opportunity to “embrace the NOT YET.”

INTROSPECTION: HOW CAN I TURN MY LIMITATIONS INTO MY ASSETS.

It is incredibly empowering to share and be vulnerable about the aspects that we find ourselves in constant evaluation of- Will I fail or succeed? Will I look smart or dumb? Will they accept or reject me? Most of the times we answer these questions without attempting to try.  I found myself thinking how often I have placed situations and experiences into boxes that were either “good” or “bad,” which meant I did the same for my traits.  What Cecilia taught us about fixed mindset, is that it is very detectable and we can return to our bodies to show us: strength, peace and calm, and delight and connection. How does one do that? Simple. Breathe. Place your hand on your heart. There is your choice.

NOW WHAT?

Like most things, our mindsets are a process, think about the amount of time it took you to learn a certain skill, now think on why you would ever miss the opportunity to learn? This is what growth mindsets can show us and we can  shift our fixed mindsets by:

1.     Learn to hear your fixed mindset voice- the one who feels the need to be perfect, where failure cannot exist.
2.     Recognize you have a choice- Breathe. Do not give away the rights to your present and future to others.
3.     Talk back to your fixed mindset, with a growth mindset. Remember: It is not about NEVER.  Reframe it to not yet.
4.     Take growth mindset into action- get creative and curious. “ How can I make this playful and light?” “What if I challenged myself, without judgement, to do ‘x,y.z’?”

The best way to truly adopt more of a growth mindset is to ask of others and MOST importantly of yourself is for feed(forward) not feedback. Continuously ask “What is next? How can I do this differently?” When you catch yourself asking these questions it only means you are getting better, you are expanding. This means you are embracing the growth, potential, awareness and curiosity of your life.

 

#MeToo

by Leanne Shear

 
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Last month, we held one of our most important and impactful “Strong Women Uplift Each other” events yet: “SWUE: Me too.”

This past October, dozens of survivors started speaking up against the sexual harassment that they’ve endured, and that cascade appears to have only just begun; and the now-familiar #MeToo mantra has only itself just begun to put into words the amount of sexual harassment and assault women are forced to face on a daily basis. 

While this isn't a new narrative, it is clear that women are ready to talk about and actively fight against this abuse, and Uplift, being a place where we not only foment physical strength, but also trust, safety, and support,  stood ready and willing to lead the discussion, sparked by the stories of our courageous colleagues/hosts of the evening, Cassie and Kara, and compounded by the many stories other women were brave enough to share that night. 

We learned a lot. First, there are all sorts of kinds and levels of abuse and harassment (physical, mental/emotional, verbal etc.), but what they have in common are a resulting feeling of deep shame, worthlessness, and often, a fear of intimacy. And those repercussions are why women so frequently stay quiet, or make excuses to cover up our pain.

As a group, we asked ourselves how to create accountability for ourselves and/or other women in difficult or abusive situations? What moments cause us to finally leave the situation and/or to take action? After all, statistics show that the average woman goes back to her abuser seven times.

We learned that the victim of abuse or harassment has to get to a place of empowerment herself—no one from the outside can force her to leave until she is ready herself, and shame around that is the biggest barrier to speaking out. Friends and family can be there without judgement, remind the survivor of her worth, and help to empower her until she is ready to take the next step. And that’s exactly what we did at our powerful SWUE event: talked about these issues in a supportive community, and began the process of reclaiming our power. We shared, we listened, we supported.

As we discussed all of the nuances of the abuses of power embedded in the patriarchy under which we live, we extolled the many “micro moments” in the #MeToo movement and beyond, which will progress it, and eventually lead to big moments of true societal change. Our “SWUE: Me Too” was one such micro moment, and we at Uplift are dedicated to continuing the conversation….and changing the equation.

Helpful Links:

NYC Domestic Violence Hotline
Rape & Sexual Assault Resources (NYC) - Emergency Care Info, Hotlines, Counseling/Support, Legal Help, and additional information
How #MeToo Could Move From Social Campaign to Social Chance (CNN)
Exhale to Inhale - Yoga for Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault Survivors