|Kelsey practicing titthibasana|
Valentine's Day always seemed sort of tacky and silly to me. It was either a day of pressure or a day of loneliness--and neither seemed to embody the ‘love’ the holiday professes to. That USED to be my Valentines Day. But a year and a half ago, I was attacked by a stranger. He threatened and then raped me. Everything changed. You can read about my journey here.
Several months later, for my birthday, a friend, a girl friend, gifted me this book:
V-Day is a global activist movement to end violence against women and girls. V-Day is a catalyst that promotes creative events to increase awareness, raise money, and revitalize the spirit of existing anti-violence organizations. V-Day generates broader attention for the fight to stop violence against women and girls, including rape, battery, incest, female genital mutilation (FGM), and sex slavery.
So now Valentines day, or V-day, means something new to me. It is not only a day of love, or as we call it in Sanskrit, Bhakti, now it is also a day of vaginas--a day to talk about them and appreciate them, to please them and protect them- it is a day of Vaginas.
Around the time of this discovery for me, I went back to yoga. And that is where the real healing began. Getting on my mat each day was TERRIFYING. Not because it was physically difficult (this is, after all what I do for a living), but because it meant spending time in my own body after months of distraction, disconnection, and distance. You see, the scariest place to be is outside your body,. It’s then that you make poor decisions, or say hurtful things, or treat your body as less than the miracle it is. It got easier, and I started to love my body again, I started to love my vagina again, because there wasn’t really a difference between the two at this point. I started to believe what my therapist, energy worker, and mother had been telling me: I was not ruined, I was not broken, I was not damaged.
|Kelsey back on the mat|
Nowadays I spend my time organizing the Utah Valley V-day Event and helping others get inside their bodies here.
Are you in a tight place right now? If so, what are you doing about it?
I had a sudden and unexpected change in time constraints and finances about a month ago that put me in a tight place. This time has been a great reminder of non-attachment to things or outcomes. I have found great peace and happiness in living a more one-day-at-a-time lifestyle.
What do you want to get done this year?
This year I want to successfully direct Utah Valley’s Vagina Monologues, attend the Ashtanga Confluence, begin my training in Acroyoga, take a two week road trip cross country and maybe do some school along the way. ;)
What inspires you?
Literature, especially poetry. Lately I have been reading Caroline Kennedy’s anthology She Walks In Beauty; A Woman’s Journey Through Poems. It’s a great collection of poems discussing everything from love to childbirth to fashion.
What is your favorite legwear?
Anything I can move in--I can’t stand wearing something tight if it doesn’t also stretch. I need to be able to sit on the ground with my legs in lotus at all times. So I guess tights fit in that category!