October is one of my favorite months for many reasons. I love the changing colors of the leaves, Halloween candy, sweaters and boots, and yes, pumpkin spice!
October is also the month that my sweet, Grandma Annie died in 2010, and during this time of year I like to celebrate her memory and the lessons she passed on to me.
Grandma Annie was a survivor of many of life’s adventures, including breast cancer and domestic violence.
She was also the woman who taught me to take care of myself, to walk with my head high, to always extend a loving hand to those in need, and to fill the shoes that the world had set out for me to wear.
More than anything and better than anyone ever could, my grandma Annie taught me that in order to love anyone I had to first learn to respect myself. She was a contradiction in many ways, staying with my grandfather for so many years.
Through it all she seemed to stand her ground, despite the pain and struggle. She learned to care for herself in ways that were new to her – she began exercising, learning new recipes for health, and took up a daily meditation.
This TedTalk by former President Jimmy Carter will outline why women’s human rights should be elevated. But pay special attention to WHY he makes this statement.
You see, President Carter is just like my grandma. He loves his children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren so deeply that he wants nothing more than the best of everything for them. At the very least, he would like them to live in a world where women are not mutilated, murdered, beaten, or sold into slavery for sex.
And even closer to home, he states clearly that, rather than quietly accept the inequality in pay, diminished opportunities, and sexual assault that we have in the US, we should create a world where our daughters, nieces, friends, granddaughters, and the girls living down the street can enjoy a life without those threats and challenges.
Like the lessons from Grandma Annie, I understand that in order for us to help create change in the world we have to first learn to respect ourselves, a lesson I take very seriously.
This month, I hope you take time to reflect on how you take care of yourself and ask yourself these questions:
- What do you eat?
- How do you take care of your physical body?
- How are you taking care of your emotional, mental, and spiritual self?
- What whispers of encouragement have you been ignoring that you are ready to listen to?
Women’s Health Month at SBG is about your health, our community, and the future we share based on what we all do today. Thank you for your work, your practice, and your love.