Self-Worth In The Age of Sexual Assault

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Many of you who have followed my work know that I have been an advocate for women and girls my entire career. It’s why I write this blog. What you may not know is my work in domestic violence and sexual assault prevention. It is something I have done for many years in addition to my political career. I serve on boards and commissions whose work it is to not only bring awareness to the issue of DV and Sexual assault, but to advocate for policy and programs to serve victims.

Four years ago, R & B singer R. Kelly was due to appear in concert here in Las Vegas. You all may now be familiar with the years old accusations against him which include sexual assault of underage girls thanks to the documentary Surviving R. Kelly produced by Dream Hampton which recently aired on Lifetime network. Though the world was shocked to learn of his treatment of women and girls, some of us have been familiar with these accusations for many years.

In an effort to shut down the concert, I launched a coalition of concerned women who worked diligently to bring awareness to the singers alleged atrocities committed against women and girls and to shut down the concert. Though we were not successful in stopping the concert we were successful in getting media coverage and bringing attention to his alleged crimes. I’m proud of the work that the coalition did to stop the concert and I’m proud of the work we continue to do on behalf of women and girls.

Considering the documentary Surviving R. Kelly and the work I helped spearhead to stop his concert four years ago, I received calls from people asking what I had to say about the documentary and was I pleased that it aired. Rather than speaking on the documentary I have chosen to direct my energy to what is most important to me and that is doing the work to ensure that young women and girls (and boys too) understand their value and worth. I want to make sure that we are providing spaces and tools for young people to develop a healthy sense of self-worth and value. If you have ever experienced domestic violence or sexual assault you may feel like a part of you has been stripped away. You may feel like you have no value. I want to tell you that though you may have been victimized you don’t have to take on a victim mentality. Your experience does not have to become your story or your identity. Your experience of assault is not who you are. It is part of your experience, but it is not the totality of you. Your power is internal and comes from your Divinity. It can never be stripped from you nor can it be diminished.

If you need to, please get professional help to guide you through your healing process. Get whatever support you need to get healthy. But whatever you do, always know that no matter what your experiences are in life, they don’t define who you are.

In luv and dessert,

Leisa Monique

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Same S@#& Different Year?

Depending on your perspective (and what I’ve seen on social media) 2016 was a challenging year for many folks. From the deaths of loved ones to career changes to the elections, many people were just ready for 2016 to be over. Personally, 2016 was a glorious year for me. I too experienced the deaths of loved ones including my youngest brother Rocky but for me, 2016 was one of the best years I have experienced for many reasons.

What made the year so glorious for me is my perspective on life. For one, I refrain from labeling anything “good” or “bad”, “right” or “wrong”, “better” or “best.” For me, these labels introduce judgment, judgment of our circumstances of life and judgment of the space that we are currently in. If you have followed my writing for any length of time you know that my perspective on life is that we are always right where we are supposed to be and that whatever is happening in our lives at any moment is exactly what is needed for our growth and our evolution into the person that we were created to be.

We tend to look at the events of our lives and try to categorize them or explain them instead of just allowing them to be and looking for opportunity in them. We compare our lives to the lives of others and how we think our lives should look instead of how they actually do look. This is the point where judgment and emotion comes in. We ask the question “Why me?” and “What did I do to deserve this?” We take things personally.

Whether you consider 2016 to have been a challenging year for you or whether you consider it to have been a great year, understand that 2017 will bring many of the same experiences with it because that’s how life works. People are going to die, careers will change, relationships will begin or end, and pain may be experienced, but so will joy.  It will be up to you to decide how you view these experiences. Will you view them through a lens of challenge, or will you view them as an opportunity to grow into your best self? Perspective is everything and it will determine whether your 2017 is much like your 2016 or if it will truly be the best year of your life.

We are imbued with the power to create the life that we want. What’s important to understand is that in this process of creating, any beliefs, fears, practices, or patterns that we hold onto that will hinder with our creation will be challenged. For example, if your desire for the new year is to save money, then whatever belief or practice that you have had in the past that has prevented you from saving money is going to come up in order for you to work through it to get to the place where you can save money. If you desire a romantic relationship but have experienced nothing but heartbreak in the past, then whatever beliefs or relationship habits that you have that have contributed to your heartbreak are going to come up so that you can work through them. Understand that it is for your good and comes up to help you get to the place where you can attract a partner that you can be happy with and sustain a relationship with. It is not here to hurt you.

When these things come up embrace them and know that you are right where you are supposed to be and that what is here for you in any particular moment is just what you need in order to get to the place you want to be.

2017 CAN be the best year of your life but it will be up to you to take the necessary steps to make it so. Making plans, setting goals, creating vision boards, journaling, and the like are all great ways to help create what you want for the new year, but they are only a part of  the plan. Understand that you will experience emotions, doubts, fears and many of the same things that you did in 2016. Also understand that it’s OK. Putting a system in place to help you through these times is one of the best things you can do to help make 2017 your best year.

I recommend a solid spiritual practice as part of the system you create for yourself to help you make this your best year. Whether that system includes meditation, prayer, writing, music, dancing, working out, baths, making luv, or sitting still (daily desserts is what I call them), work to put something in place to help you manage the challenges of the upcoming year because they will come! Remember our motto here at EMDF: “Live and enjoy life FIRST because the problems of life will always be there!”

Whatever you decide to put in place make sure it includes starting your day off with a daily dessert to help you get in a positive mindset to get you through the day. This is part of my personal practice and I can assure you it helps tremendously when life happens! Just remember that everyday is what you make it so while working to make this your best year ever, make ever day of this year your best day!

In luv and dessert,

Leisa Monique

Magnificent Monday-Recalibrate Your Life

Already this morning I’ve seen the “Manic Monday” and other posts about how horrible Monday is for some. This always baffles me because I look at Monday as the beginning and a perfect opportunity to decide what kind of week you are going to have. I look at is as a perfect time to calibrate your week.

I know it’s the first day after the weekend but that is the perfect time to move past your previous week and start over on your goals and desires. Maybe you didn’t get done all that you wanted to get done in the previous week; Monday is a perfect day to decide to finish it. Maybe you experienced some challenges in the previous week or over the weekend; Monday is a perfect day to move past those challenges. It’s a perfect day to decide that you are going to have a productive week. It’s a perfect day to decide that you are not going to have the same kind of day or week that those around are you are having. It’s a perfect day to decide that YOU are going to live the life that you want to live.

 If you have traditionally dreaded Monday and looked at it as the worst day of your life, I implore you to recalibrate and change your outlook on Monday. It’s the beginning, a clean slate and you and only you get to decide how your week is going to go. Regardless of how those around you are behaving, choose to be happy today. Choose to be in peace today. Choose to be an example of what Monday can really be.

In luv and dessert,

Leisa Monique

Photo source: weightwatchers.com

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Treasure

Yesterday was one of the most challenging days of my life. After an accident that sent a pedestrian to the hospital I began to question a lot. I felt absolutely awful about what happened and kept wondering why did it happen in the first place. I have learned that life gives us experiences that we need in any given moment for our growth and evolution but I gotta tell you, this one sent my mind wondering and even feeling a little down.

In my meditation this morning I was reminded of who I AM: Luv. I was reminded of all of the times that I have demonstrated luv including at the scene of the accident yesterday which turned out to be a tremendous blessing mostly because of the people that I met. During my meditation, this tune erupted in my Spirit and once again, I was reminded of who I AM: a Treasure of the Divine.

 I want to remind you that no matter what happens in our daily lives we are luv’d. Don’t allow the events of daily life to cause you to question who you are at your core. We all are presented with challenges and sometimes make decision that causes us to wonder “what the hell was I thinking,” but none of that changes who we are at our core.

We are human and in our humanness we don’t always do things the way we think we should. But just be reminded that inherent in every challenge or problem lies the solution or the answer. Look there. For surely you will find your treasure.