fbpx

Relationships

Sisters Rising: A Call to Lift Each Other Up

Looking back to my high school years, I recall the frequency in which my girlfriends spoke things like, “Girls are so caddy” as if it were some unwritten, non-debatable truth.

Looking to the popular culture narratives that bombarded us (and they seem not all that different today) sitcoms, movies and storylines seemed to uphold the same expectation and stereotype:

Women stab each other in the back.

It seems as if everywhere I look, from magazines, teen TV shows and Hollywood films, the unquestioned narrative of women pitted against each other have been weaved into our consciousness.

With multi-billion dollar cosmetic, apparel, and dieting industries profiting off the basis of us not feeling good enough, the rate of sexual assault and rape experienced by women worldwide holding depressing statistics, and patriarchy creating a wide web of inequalities, including the wage gap of women and men for the same work, you think we’d be banning together instead of splitting each other apart.

The truth is, a great deal of this very problematic paradigm that does not celebrate and uphold the brilliance of the feminine thrives on the basis of women being divided.

Girls, there are enough forces in the world aiming to chew us down and make us feel less than perfect.

Let’s refuse and reject the social conditioning that tells us to break each other down and instead, choose to lift each other up.

We Are Not in Competition

Too often, in relating to other women, we find ourselves in the pattern of comparison. Whether in real life or through social media, we find ourselves sizing ourselves up to other sisters. This habit can be used to either diminish our own unique traits and qualities by thinking they are less than another’s, or belittling those of others to affirm our own beauty.

Another person’s beauty is not the absence of your own.

We have the opportunity to reflect each other’s unique beauty and expression. We have the chance to affirm our own worth by refusing to diminish our charm by sizing it up to another’s.

Let’s seize the moment to be mirrors to each other’s individuality and magic. Let’s choose to love ourselves and our sisters fearlessly as we are.

Choose to be a force that supports other women in feeling adequate and perfect as they are.

Be a collaborator and help sisters climb up to their greatest potential and view of themselves.

You’ll discover that when you empower women, they help lift you up too.

Dissolve Body Policing

Advertising, representation in media and the fashion industry already present us with a limited, finite window of what’s considered conventionally beautiful. And unfortunately, it does not present the loveable, strong, wide and diverse bodies, shapes and sizes we all lead our lives in.

Be mindful of how you relate to, think about and speak of your own body as well as those of your friends, family, and acquaintances.

Speaking poorly of another person’s physique isn’t only rude and straight up cruel, but it may also reinforce insecurities others’ may be experiencing in relating to their bodies.

Women already are rained down on by scrutiny seemingly everywhere in society.

Don’t add fuel to these destructive flames.

ALL bodies are beautiful, perfect expressions of creation.

There is not one type of physique that is worthy of our celebration and awe.

ALL bodies are vessels and temples of divine human potential and essence, deserving of our respect and praise, regardless of what shape or size they come in.

Show Gossip the Door

Our harsh words and judgments only have the potential to create pain and doubt in others, not to mention the impact it has on those spreading verbal poison into the world.

Let’s bring an end to upholding the stereotype of women’s disloyalty and instead learn to foster dialogues with other women, especially when they’re difficult and even ugly.

Conflict in relationships is inevitable, even within friendships with girl friends. We can either cause unnecessary rifts in our lives by bashing someone we ultimately care about behind their back or face our conflicts head on, welcoming resolution and the potential to grow from our challenges.

Find yourself babbling on about women you don’t even know? Our words and thoughts shape our reality. Do you want to live a life filled with negativity and judgment? Change your script and instead use the power of your thoughts and words to compliment the sisters in your life.

Be A Shining Example

The truth is, even if you open yourself up to other women, some may not want to take the bait.

You may still encounter sisters who will judge you and try to break you down.

You have a choice: reflect that pain by dishing more back or be a shining, open hearted example.

Celebrate your journey of dismantling socialization that has kept you separated from uplifting, life-changing connection. Be a pioneer for other sisters that may have not found their way yet.

The process of no longer tearing sisters down is one of letting down our guard and getting honest with our behavior. Because the truth is, we’ve all participated in the dissection and pushing down of each other at some point, including myself.

We are forgivable and able to move forward with greater integrity and standards.

No matter how much our culture persuades us to be divided, we have the choice to rise above that programming.

When I gave myself permission to dissolve these obstacles and limitations that held me back from connecting with other women on deep levels, I opened myself to some of the most transformative, healing friendships of my life.

The authenticity of women cheering each other on, reflecting each other’s strength and capabilities when we doubt ourselves while celebrating the harvest of our successes throughout life is a force that can heal the entire world.

Your tribe of sisters awaits you, a badass crew of comrades stoked to empower each other… all you need to do is let go of harmful patterns that push each other down and instead choose to lift each other up.

Let’s rise together.
Mahalo,

Alyse

Cultivate Your Support System – Letting Go – Part 3

In Part 1 of Cultivate Your Support System, we talked about the powerful transformation that can happen when you allow yourself to be vulnerable.

Part 2 followed up with the importance of speaking your truth. Both aspects are incredibly important pillars when you’re trying to build a community of support for yourself.

Another foundational piece of building a support system is learning how to let go.

We build a solid foundation of support by releasing all expectations of others. By expecting nothing from others, we get so much in return.

Buddhist teachings tell us that suffering can only occur when we attach ourselves to certain

  • thoughts
  • beliefs
  • material goods
  • people
  • or anything else
In order to be at peace, we have to let go of attachments and the idea of permanency.

When we detach ourselves from one particular idea…

  • we allow room for growth and change
  • we are better able to cope when things don’t go as planned
  • we put ourselves in a more positive mindset

This is highly beneficial, because change is inevitable. Which means, if we prevent situations from changing because we’re scared of losing something, we are fighting a losing battle. The world is constantly changing, and we must change with it.

As many of you know, leaving Hawaii was one of the hardest things I’ve had to do. This hardship came from the attachment I had to my loving home for the past four years. There are so many reasons to be attached to this beautiful place.

  • It provided structure and stability
  • It was the first place I felt I really belonged
  • It provided nurturing and delicious food for my body
  • It was a place of true and beautiful community support

We can all justify reasons to remain attached. When I deliberately decided to let go of the emotional ties to the land that has taken care of me for so many years, I immediately put an end to my suffering. This does not mean I am happy or elated about the situation. I still feel sadness. The difference is that I do not feel despair. I do not feel like a piece of me is missing. I simply feel sad.

It can be hard to think we are giving up things we love, but we must make a mental shift from “I am giving this thing up,” to “I am honoring myself by letting go. I am opening myself up to new, exciting, and healthy changes.

I believe that this next chapter in my life will bring me to exactly where I need to be.”

When we hold on too tightly, we remove all possibility for new pathways to grow.

In terms of relationships, the same idea is true. For example, have you ever felt jealous when your best friend started hanging out with someone new? If so, your attachment to your friend is too strong.

If you could release your grasp on that relationship, you would open up the door for many new and amazing possibilities. You might also become friends with this other person, making the best trio ever, or you could find a new friend who would be a great addition in your life, alongside your current best friend.

No matter how much we love a person, place, idea, or thing, we must be willing to accept the fact that nothing in life is permanent or guaranteed.

This reduces suffering when things inevitably change, which allows you to maintain or raise your vibrations. This keeps you in a state of flow, openness, acceptance, and abundance. It keeps you ready for all that life has to offer.

Tips for Letting Go
    1. Be curious about what can come into your life when you loosen your grip of attachment.
    2. Ask for what you want, but be willing and open to something different occuring.
    3. Put TRUST in the Universe. Say this out loud with me, “I trust and believe that the Universe has my best interest at heart.”
    4. Be mindful! Be willing to admit to yourself when you are holding on too tight.
    5. Be nonjudgmental. Everything that happens in life has a purpose. Do not judge your situation, simply acknowledge it for what it is. Ex: “I am leaving my home,” rather than “I am leaving my home, and this is bad.”
Benefits of Letting Go
    1. You are making room to expand and grow.
    2. You will allow new and wonderful relationships to enter into your life.
    3. Others around you will feel free and more attracted to you.
    4.Your suffering will be greatly reduced.

Learning to let go and see the world through non-attachment is a freeing and beautiful way of living. I hope these tips bring you some peace along your journey.

With love,

Alyse

Cultivate Your Support System – Speaking Truthfully – Part 2

Being honest is one of the most beautiful acts of kindness you can give to your fellow human beings.

And building a support system is all about giving as much as it is about receiving. Some of the many benefits include…

  • Gaining relationships that actually matter. If you have been following my story at all, you know that I believe more than anything that we attract what we put out into the world. When we are genuine with our words, we attract friends and family who resonate with our truth. This means we will be around like-minded people who also speak truthfully and genuinely.
  • Bonus: We learn to stop caring about others’ unhelpful or judgmental opinions. When we tell our truth over and over again, we start to see that those who agree with us gravitate towards us, and those who judge us fade away
  • Additionally, being honest with others sends messages, such as, “I trust you with my truth. I know that you understand me, because I understand you, and you are also safe to be honest with me. I will not judge you.” Isn’t this a wonderful way to interact with the people we love the most?
  • Raising vibrational frequency. When we speak in a way that is dishonest, it always comes from a place of fear. Fear lowers our vibrations and puts us in a state where more fear is likely to occur. We must resist the fear that comes with being honest, and trust that honesty is indeed the better path, even if less traveled.
  • Living more healthily + authentically. When we aren’t honest in every way, we have to remember which lie we’ve told and to whom we’ve told it. We have to make sure we don’t contradict ourselves. This is true even for the lies that we’ve only told ourselves, and it’s simply exhausting. Being honest reduces the stress and increases energy, because we no longer have to keep track of all the inconsistencies.

By being honest in every situation, we build support beams everywhere we are, and we develop a strong, supportive community for ourselves. This community is one we can trust, because we know it has been built in honesty.

The consequences of being honest doesn’t always feel too great. Our truth might cause arguments, hurt feelings, or discomfort, and most of us are trying to avoid negative experiences like this.

The key to being honest without causing harm or conflict is to always listen before speaking. There are a few simple but very important concepts that must be understood here.

How to be better listener + tell your truth more authentically.
  • Don’t interrupt others.
  • We often interrupt others so we don’t forget what we want to say. The reality is, sometimes it’s ok to forget our thoughts. Sometimes we change our minds after remaining silent for a moment or two. Allowing others to speak first helps you get clearer on your own thoughts, so you don’t get stuck saying things you didn’t really mean.
  • Make statements when you are certain.
  • If you’re feeling unsure about your thoughts, don’t voice them as a fact, or maybe don’t voice them at all (use your best judgment in each situation). When we say things as if they’re factual when really they’re just an opinion, an opinion you’re not really sure about anyway, we make others uneasy. When we only make 100% true statements, we earn the respect of others by increasing our credibility, which further adds to our support system.
  • State your intention upfront.
  • Starting sentences with, “I just want to tell you this, because it’s been bothering me, and talking about it out loud with you will help me feel better. Is that ok?” will immediately make the other person more receptive to what you have to say. You’ve explained that you aren’t trying to attack them, and you’ve asked them their permission before continuing on. This might feel awkward at first, but I promise you will soon start to reap the rewards of this new way of speaking.
  • Understand the context of the situation by…
  • Asking open-ended questions. Open-ended questions are ones that cannot be answered by “yes” or “no.” They require the other person to give a longer, more thoughtful answer, and often start off with “what, where, who, when, how,” and never start a question with, “why.”
  • Asking yourself if your honest opinion will help the situation. Think about all the ways this can occur. For example, will it be helpful to tell your best friend that you no longer want her to buy you gifts? At first, you might think “No! That would hurt her feelings, how would that be helpful?” Well, if you’re trying to live a minimal life, this might help her understand that material gifts aren’t your favorite type of affection. She may then start getting you experience gifts, which would benefit your relationship in the long run in so many ways. Remember to state your intention before saying potentially hurtful statements.
  • Asking if right now is the best time to state your truth? Would it be best to speak your truth exactly in this moment, or should you wait for a better time? Be honest with yourself, and don’t let fear be a determining factor.

Lastly, and most importantly, remember to practice with love for yourself and for the ones around you. Change is possible, but only when you see through the lens of love.

With love + honesty,

Alyse

Cultivate Your Support System – Being Vulnerable – Part 1

We hear it all the time: find your support system.

But what does this really mean? How do we do it?

The answer is simple, but not always easy. We “find” support by creating support, and this often takes time and intention. We must be willing to do this work. Having a group of individuals whom you can call upon in times of need or joy is invaluable, and it occurs through being

  • vulnerable,
  • speaking our truth,
  • and letting go of all fear and judgements.

Vulnerability:

There is tremendous power in being vulnerable.

Some benefits include:

  • Creating a space for enormous growth
  • Strengthening your ability to be compassionate
  • Closer relationships with the ones who matter most to you

We are all unique and beautiful in our very own way, and the people around us deserve to see more of who we truly are. When we show our true selves to others, we offer them a rare gift, because no one else can truly replicate what we are.

Hiding from others says, “I don’t like me,” “You won’t like me,” “I have nothing to offer,” or “You don’t deserve all that I have to offer.” You DO have a lot to offer, even if you can’t see it right now. In fact, the more you allow others to see you, the more you will start to see your own gifts in a brighter light.

Society has conditioned us to keep our thoughts to ourselves.

Things we’re told not to talk about or show others:

  • When we’re sad.
  • When we’re angry.
  • When we’re elated with joy.
  • When we’re proud of ourselves.
  • When we love or appreciate others.

The positive? We can change any. time. we. want. It’s true. The power to change is always within us, even when the outside world remains exactly the same. We can choose to open our hearts and stay true to ourselves by allowing vulnerability in.

Being vulnerable is a skill, and it doesn’t happen overnight, so…

Where can you practice this skill?

Online:

The Internet is full of online support groups, and this is a great place to start. Remember to find spaces where tolerance is key. In the community guidelines, violent and hateful language should never be permitted. Positivity and support should always be the main focus.

At Raw Alignment, community is arguably our most important resource. That’s why we’ve created Facebook groups like The Raw Alignment Community, The Raw Alignment Movement, and a closed Facebook group for every retreat we have.

In Person:

Our favorite options, of course, include in-person support, such as…

  • hanging out with friends and family who lift you up
  • cook meals
  • watch movies
  • take walks
  • play games
  • joining meet-ups and other groups in your community
  • meetup.com
  • nextdoor.com
  • any local community events you can find
  • the Raw Alignment retreats
  • come see how others have come together to form sisterly and brotherly bonds they never knew imaginable

Tips for strengthening your vulnerability skills:

  • Practice mindfulness, and then listen to your gut
  • Look to yourself for validation – not others – and then be a role model
  • Don’t assume anything. Ask questions from a state of genuine curiosity.
  • Release all expectations you have of others

Questions to ask yourself:

  • How am I reacting right now, in this moment?
  • What is causing me to react this way? Is it something internal, external, or something in between?
  • How do I want to show up in this situation?

Not only can you change your own life, but you can also encourage others to live their most authentic lives. Role modeling vulnerability with your actions provides a safe, nonjudgmental space for others to show up as their true selves, and this is how positive community is created.

It starts with you.

Mahalo,

Alyse

Releasing Love That Does Not Serve You

Are you hanging onto a partner who does not value your presence in their life? Does your relationship inspire feelings of self-doubt and lack of confidence instead of sparks of aliveness? Are you constantly feeding your time and energy into a one-way relationship when your other doesn’t meet you halfway?

If your relationship feels loveless, hostile and stingy, this message is for you.

How do you feel in the presence of your love? If your answer reveals pain, mistrust and a closed heart, consider this your wake up call to reassess if you are in a relationship that serves your highest potential or fails to nourish your growth.

The time is now.

Our thoughts shape our reality and inform our choices by shaping what we believe to be possible. Feeding the fear that you won’t experience love again is not only enforcing a limiting belief, it’s accepting an utter lie as truth. Each and every one of you possesses unfathomable depth to offer to a partner.

You are worthy of a relationship that adds value to your life, appreciates and respects your needs and desires and celebrates all that you are.

And the sooner you embrace these truths in place of the false views that keep you holding onto lower vibrational relationships, the sooner you’ll make room for partnerships that truly nourish you and your growth.

It can feel frightening bringing a partnership to an end. Not only do we create great emotional and at times logistical entanglements with lovers (such as shared homes, friends, activities), but we also grow accustomed to not facing the occasional loneliness that can come from being alone.

Do not let the fear of loneliness stop you from making room for the beloved that will make you give thanks it never worked out with all the others.

Make room in your life to rediscover yourself in the rebirth of breathing life back into your energy by releasing those who drain it.

We can only attract that which we perceive as possible. What qualities in a partner do you desire?

Name what you’re calling in. Get clear on what you want.

Do you desire a relationship filled with laughter and enthusiastic curiosity? Do you crave a lover who supports you in your life purpose and pursuits? Do you long for a companion who listens patiently and with deep understanding when you share vulnerabilities?

Start believing you are deserving and worthy of this kind of love.

You are strong and capable of transforming your life. It begins with you rejecting abuse and people who don’t see your worth. Love and respect yourself and when you set this bar where it belongs, you will not accept anything less. You don’t deserve anything less.

Make room in your life for someone who treats you the way you treat yourself: with compassion, consideration and love.

Find the courage you take the step. It already dwells within you.

~*~

You are courageous and able to release all that does not serve you.

You are deserving of loving relationships that nourish and encourage your growth.

You are worthy of a life of passionate love and awe-provoking connection.

It begins with you.

Mahalo,

Alyse