Orange The World 2017

16 days of social media activism for #OrangeTheWorld 2017: raising awareness for the UN Women’s Campaign to #LeaveNoOneBehind.

~ November 25th, International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women & Girls, until December 10th, Universal Human Rights Day ~

As a human being, a girl, a woman, and a survivor, I thank the United Nations Women for the opportunity to come together and energize our online space with a global focus on this Intention in Action.

I see activism as an opportunity not only to express, and put our knowledge out there, but also to learn, and take in new information. Each day of the campaign, I tried to share a reflection that relates directly or indirectly to my experience as a survivor of sexual violence.

Ultimately, although this is a celebration for the elimination of violence against women and girls, whether we identify as a girl or a boy, a woman or a man – ending violence against one benefits the wellbeing of all.

May we stay active! 

Day 1 (Happy International Day for the Elimination of VAWG!)

#OrangeTheWorld 1/16 🍊✊️✨ “More than 35% of women worldwide have experienced either physical or sexual partner violence or non-partner sexual violence. That is 818 million women—almost the total population of sub-Saharan Africa and almost three times the population of the United States.” – Sources: WHO (2013) Global and regional estimates of violence against women: Prevalence and health effects of intimate partner violence and non-partner sexual violence. Klugman, J., Hanmer, L., Twigg, S., Hasan, T., McCleary-Sills, J., and Santa Maria, J. (2014). Voice and Agency: Empowering Women and Girls for Shared Prosperity. Washington, DC: World Bank. http://www.vawgresourceguide.org/overview 🍊🌎🍊🌍🍊🌏🍊 #Kapotasana #Ashtanga #Yoga #YogaWithSandi #WomenAndGirlsEmpowerment #GenderEquality #VAWG #RiseUp #EndSexualViolence #Nonviolence #UNiTE

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Day 2

Day 3

#OrangeTheWorld 3/16 🍊🌍🍊🌎🍊🌏🍊 Violence could be considered a form of communication in which the perpetrator tells the victim that he or she is worth less than whatever initiated the act of violence. The message of violence is therefore one of degradation. Violence demeans, devalues, and diminishes the victim’s sense of self because that self has been marked down beneath the perpetrator’s agenda. For the victim, this results in a disconnect with one’s fundamental sense of worthiness and integrity, whereby, it feels nearly impossible to determine – or to feel determined – about one’s value, one’s potential, one’s connection with life. You got marked down – so what are you really worth? On the other hand, the healing from violence brings up these fundamental questions whereby we are given the opportunity to reconsider and rediscover what we base our values upon. These are reflections from my experience. 🍊🌏🍊🌍🍊🌎🍊 #Violence #Nonviolence #Healing #HealingRape #HealingSexualAssault #Communication #Value #Worth #Respect #RiseUp #VAWG #UNiTE

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Day 4

Day 5

#OrangeTheWorld 5/16 🔶 “Why should I stop, why? the birds have gone in search of the blue direction. the horizon is vertical, vertical and movement fountain-like; and at the limits of vision shining planets spin. the earth in elevation reaches repetition, and air wells changes into tunnels of connection; and day is a vastness, which does not fit into narrow mind of newspaper worms. why should I stop? the road passes through the capillaries of life, the quality of the environment in the ship of the uterus of the moon will kill the corrupt cells. and in the chemical space after sunrise there is only sound, sound that will attract the particles of time. why should I stop? what can a swamp be? what can a swamp be but the spawning ground of corrupt insects? swollen corpses scrawl the morgue's thoughts, the unmanly one has hidden his lack of manliness in blackness, and the bug… ah, when the bug talks, why should I stop? cooperation of lead letters is futile, it will not save the lowly thought. I am a descendant of the house of trees. breathing stale air depresses me. a bird which died advised me to commit flight to memory. the ultimate extent of powers is union, joining with the bright principle of the sun and pouring into the understanding of light. it is natural for windmills to fall apart. why should I stop? I clasp to my breast the unripe bunches of wheat and breastfeed them sound, sound, only sound, the sound of the limpid wishes of water to flow, the sound of the falling of star light on the wall of earth's femininity the sound of the binding of meaning's sperm and the expansion of the shared mind of love. sound, sound, sound, only sound remains…” – Forough Farrokhzaad, It Is Only Sound That Remains (continued in comments) 🔶 #FemalePoets #FavoritePoets #ForoughFarrokhzad #Feminine #Strength #Vision #Words #Sound #Ashtanga #Yoga #Kapotasana #YogaWithSandi #KeepGoing #DontGiveUp

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Day 6

#OrangeTheWorld 6/16 🍊🌎 Today I made it to my 30th day in a row of writing at least 750 words a day. This feels great. Writing has previously – throughout my life and schooling – been more like pulling teeth. Painful! Nevertheless, I published a whole book of poetry in my early twenties and was a prolific writer, smoker and drinker while writing back then too – but then, experiencing trauma, I stopped writing. Stopped. Froze. For so many years. Just couldn’t get into the groove of feeling any inspiring connection with the words. But slowly, little by little, it’s like the words have started to move past the blocks and it feels like something is melting. Heart Warming. Writing is a fantastic way to sort through all the intelligible and unintelligible thoughts in our head. It’s a way of thinking things through. Tending the soil. Tempering in oil. To feel a steady flow of words to the page, even if they’re not all poetic or focused, simply feels great – like good farming or something. Thanks 750Words.Com for keeping track! 🍊🌎 #healing #healingtrauma #healingviolence #writing #endvawg #leavenoonebehind #survivors #speakupspeakout #selfexpression #contemplation #dharana #ashtanga #yoga #750wordsaday #30daystreak #mentalhealth #healthyhabits

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Day 7

I wonder if I hadn’t been raped while making a movie in India, and even before that, if I hadn’t been a young apprentice sexually involved with my filmmaking “mentor” while making a movie in the USA, whether I would actually be making movies today – here or there or somewhere else in the world. Somewhere other than the one place I feel safe – at my mom’s house, at age 36, healing the broken pieces of my life and reconnecting with my creative will, one day at a time. Just wondering. #OrangeTheWorld 7/16 🔶 #LeaveNoOneBehind #EndVawg #EndRape #EndRapeCulture #EndSexualViolence #StartANewCulture #Healing #HealingWithYoga #Ashtanga #Yoga #Karandavasana #Courage #Survivors #SpeakUpSpeakOut #Filmmaking #YogaWithSandi

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Day 8

Healthy eating is an essential part of healing the body & mind for everything. We Are (on a deeply pragmatic level) The Vibrations We Eat. Personally, I have chosen a predominantly plant based diet since I was about 10 years old but I only definitively stopped drinking milk and eating dairy products (like dairy based cheeses and fresh dairy yogurt that I used to enjoy making) after my experience of sexual violence in India. 🇮🇳 🐄 That experience gave me a real, visceral understanding of the horror and disgust that factory cows can feel: utterly exploited. 💔 I do not want to contribute to that feeling any further in any way whatsoever, and I’ll do what I can to help others wake up to this cycle too. Quitting dairy has been a liberating choice. I have since discovered so many plant based alternatives to dairy that are tastier, healthier, and karmically cleaner than the violent suffering we otherwise inflict upon cows. If you think it’s impossible to go dairy free – educate yourself on what most milk cows live and die like in this country 🇺🇸. Try something new. Compassion is delicious. #OrangeTheWorld 8/16 💛🌿🍊🐄❤️🐮💛🌿🍊 photo thanks to chrome webstore #leavenoonebehind #cows #animalsarepeopletoo #endvawg #ditchdairy #gotcompassion #healing #sexualviolence #healingviolence #healingrape #healingassault #healthyeating #respect #ahimsa #karma #plantbased #plantpowered #vegansofig #njvegans #govegan #vegan #goodvibes #healthandwellness #veganwithsandi

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Day 9

Day 10

We can have body flab, mental flab, emotional flab, motivational flab, and financial flab. 😭 Fitness is not just for the body. 💪 We’ve got to strengthen, stretch, and maintain our muscles in all areas… but the body is like a vortex of all these dimensions, a focal point to begin learning how to firm up. 💛 In terms of Healing sexual assault – I feel that assault is a kind of (though often invisible to others) accident, after which you lose the ability to use your multidimensional muscles. Healing has to address muscle recovery in multiple dimensions. 🕉 This month I’m starting some more ab work to see if I can find my firm belly six pack. 🔮 In fact, connecting with the strength of the belly is naturally empowering, as it is the spatial center, the digestive center, and on a subtle body level, the center of self assertion, action, confidence. ☀️ Join me (especially if yer one of my fitness and yoga friends) and post one of your favorite ab exercises to help empower #survivors and tag me and #OrangeTheWorld so we can do it too! @unwomen 🍊🍊🍊 #OrangeTheWorld 10/16 #LeaveNoOneBehind #MeToo #Fitness #Fitfam #BodyWisdom #Strength #Survivors #EndVawg #EndSexualAssault #HealingViolence #Healing #Empowerment #Abs #Core #FightingFlab #FlabFighters #HealthAndWellness #BellyMeditation #SubtleBody #Ashtanga #Yoga #YogaWithSandi

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Day 11

Day 12

#OrangeTheWorld 12/16 🔶 Reconnecting to the knowledge of our bodies (and not to what the media, doctors, family, friends, and pick-your-panel-of-judges say about our bodies) is an essential process to healing the epidemic of sexual assault in our culture. When we can know and respect our own body, we are less at the mercy of others opinions and actions, we are more connected to the present than to past experiences, and we come to understand our situation as workable, changeable, and liberational. 🔶 Yoga empowers us in this way. 🔶 Do you know if you’re working your abs or your hip flexors? Can you feel the difference within your body? “The abdominal muscles are core muscles, but they are not the only muscles we refer to when we speak of core training or core strength. The core group also includes: Erector Spinae Multifidus Hip Flexors (includes psoas) Diaphragm Pelvic Floor” – http://www.verywell.com/meet-your-abs-the-abdominal-muscles-2704644 🔶 #LeaveNoOneBehind #VeryWell #EndVawg #EndRapeCulture #Healing #HealingViolence #HealthAndWellness #BodyWisdom #HealingWithYoga #Abs #Core #Quads #Backbends #Strength #Flexibility #VivekaKhyati #Ashtanga #Yoga #YogaDaily #Plantbased #Plantpowered #Vegan #VeganStrong#YogaWithSandi

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Day 13

I had no plan to do any #socialmediaactivism for 16 days but when the @unwomen campaign popped up on my feed I jumped in and discovered I have a lot to say on the subject of violence against women and girls, particularly as pertains to healing from sexual violence. There is a part of me that wishes I could just move on and get over my own experience, but the truth is that I can’t until WE do. It’s not just about ME. Knowing this, I feel #NOSHAME in talking about this subject. To the contrary, I feel #EMPOWERED to #SHARE with so many others who are fighting a daily battle to heal, transform, #RECONNECT with life on all levels. #METOO 🦊 I was moved most of all by the theme to #LEAVENOONEBEHIND and today I wave this banner because What HURTS even more when you go through #TRAUMA is the discovery that your friends and your family, indeed the world at large, do not get sidelined with you. The game goes on as if nothing happened and you get to see all the plays you would have liked to make but somehow you can’t because you’re hurt And nobody knows how to get you back on the field. In fact, only YOU can get back on the field when you’re #READY. I do believe however, if WE in our respective communities and societies, seek better #EDUCATION as to the extent of this #sexualassaultepidemic, and how and what we can each do about it, then we can reduce the violence and improve the recovery time. Therefore, it is like we have been called as #SURVIVORS who have the #FREEDOM to #speakupandspeakout, to do so, to keep the #CONVERSATION ALIVE. #OrangeTheWorld 13/16 🍊🌲 #Healing #HealingViolence

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Day 14

#OrangeTheWorld 14/16 🔶🌲🏘🌲🔶 #Repost @refugees (@get_repost) ・・・ “I want other women to see that we can do anything, and to learn from my example.” . Who said laying bricks is a man's job? Meet Amina, a single mother of six children and a refugee from Sudan, who has taken up a job of a bricklayer after she finished vocational training courses supported by UNHCR. . Amina was the only woman enrolled in masonry training. Today she helps other women in Ajuong Thok refugee camp to fix their shelters at no cost. . In Ajuong Thok refugee camp half of almost 9,000 households are headed by women. . 📷 UNHCR /Anita Corluka #16DaysofActivism, #EndViolence, #OrangetheWorld, #RefugeeStories #Woman #Strength #SouthSudan #Sudan #YesSheCan, #Bricklayer

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Day 15

How often do we stop listening to someone because we disagree with them about something? We get stuck at a certain point, and suddenly we think there is nothing more to do or learn with this person or group because we’ve judged them to be this or that which we don’t agree with. The problem with getting stuck like this is that we cease to grow in our relationships. We withdraw into the greed of always wanting to be acknowledged as right. In fact, listening is righteous. We can listen to another side and disagree, without having to get turned off from the possibility of ever agreeing on anything again. Indeed we may even learn from the differences. Like Tic Tocs in Mysore Ashtanga. We have to flip back and forth while remaining centered. This is dialogue. This is growth. This is balance. This is practice. I think it’s actually easier to practice it on the mat but I am trying to practice it in the world as well. Listening is giving. We can be more generous than we yet know! ☯️💜 #OrangeTheWorld 15/16 🍊 #LeaveNoOneBehind #EndVAWG #Healing #HealingViolence #Listening #Generosity #Learning #Mysore #Ashtanga #Yoga #NadiShodhana #Sadhana #TicTocs #Plantbased #Vegan #Plantpowered #Backbends #Handstands #Strength #Flexibility #Fun #8Limbs #HealthAndWellness #YogaWithSandi

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Day 16 (Happy Human Rights Day!)