Redefining Mental Illness

Narcissus, from Greek mythology, gazing at his reflection in a pond

As I am reminded of the tale of Narcissus, the boy from Greek mythology, who was so in love with his outer beauty that he lost his life to it, I can’t help think of the many people who drown in the illusion of who they they think they are.

Certainly loving oneself for who one truly is, is fantastic but when we love ourselves for our material possessions or accomplishments we easily fall into Narcissus’ trap. Not realizing we are trapped, we easily continue to fuel dysfunctional patriarchal, ego driven structures and mindsets that inevitably lead to more pain and suffering.

Today, I invite you to consider how unhealed narcissism may lead to places where unhealthy people think they are healthy and healthy people think they are unhealthy- perhaps offering a new way to look at mental illness.

Mental health labels

Mental health professionals have created a whole slew of labels to describe people who cannot cope in society. According to UPMC HealthBeat mental illnesses can be categorized into five categories:

  • Anxiety disorders.
  • Mood disorders.
  • Schizophrenia and psychotic disorders.
  • Dementia.
  • Eating disorders.

We are often conditioned to believe that there is something wrong with a person suffering from any of these conditions. Of course, anxiety, mood swings, confusion, forgetfulness and not being able to feed ones body adequately make it difficult to function and contribute to society.

I offer a different perspective. Given the way many people are treated and still segregated today, perhaps we ought to look at those who do not suffer from any of these conditions, as out of balance, rather those who do.

A narcissistic mindset that plunders the earth, and rewards cut throat competition, unfair distribution of resources, abuses of power, lack of empathy, stealing, cheating and lying may very well give rise to a “healthy” person losing all sense of clear thinking.

Let’s take a closer look at how patriarchal pillars that have become toxic may lead to confusion over what it means to be truly healthy and well.

Controlling

Patriarchal structures and mindsets that have become toxic seek to control what people think, do and say. Countless examples of this are found in many of the judicial, legal, corporate, educational, government and medical institutions still standing. Is someone truly healthy when they control people and events, or are controlled in return?

Close your eyes, connect to your breath and bring your awareness to how and why you personally collude with these controlling structures and mindsets. How and why do you control or are in turn controlled at home, at work, socially with your friends and in society? Notice what comes up for you….

Hierarchical

Patriarchal structures and mindsets that have become toxic fuel a sense that certain people or groups of people are more deserving of resources than others. Countless examples are seen today where certain professions, countries, talents and skills are more valued than others. Is someone truly healthy when they accept that certain people are more deserving of having basic needs for food, shelter, safety, respect and kindness met while others are not?

Close your eyes, connect to your breath and bring your awareness to how and why you personally collude with these hierarchical structures and mindsets. How and why do you support hierarchies at home, at work, socially with your friends and in society? Notice what comes up for you….

Competition

Patriarchal structures and mindsets that have become toxic feed into behaviour that supports deceitful behaviour and the wearing of the false mask to meet goals. Think of the student who cheats in an exam, the aspiring social climber who hides his true thoughts to be accepted into a group, the athlete who takes drugs to win a race, the ambitious employee who discredits a fellow colleague to win a promotion… Is someone truly healthy when they do, and are encouraged to do, whatever they can to get what they want just because they can get away with it?

Close your eyes, connect to your breath and bring your awareness to how and why you personally collude with these competitive structures and mindsets. How and why do you compete at home, at work, socially with your friends and in society? Notice what comes up for you….

Conclusion

Dysfunctional patriarchal systems create a divided society. As more and more people come into balance and heal what they need to heal, there is certainly a good argument to be made that these traditional structures, support and are perhaps even the cause of much of craziness, confusion and may I even suggest “mental illness” in the world. The invitation is to rediscover the light in these patriarchal structures so they can continue to offer the needed structure without squashing the human spirit.

Namaste,

Nicole

Nicole Rolland is the author of  “Stepping into Consciousness- A Guide to Living a Life of Joy, Meaning, and Abundance” . 

You can visit her anytime at Nicole Rolland Yoga, Meditation, Mindfulness (NRYM) www.nicolerolland.com to learn more about her classes, programs, mindfulness coaching, as well as, her blogs, podcasts and other healing tips to help you experience and remember the wholeness and perfection you are.

www.nicolerolland.com

What you need to know about stopping narcissistic abuse in the work place

A business man's hands manipulating a string puppet

In my last blog How to protect yourself against emotional, mental and financial abuse in marriage I discussed narcissistic abuse in the context of marriage or in a relationship with your significant other. Today, I would like to continue the discussion with respect to the workplace where emotional, mental and financial abuse can run a mock as well. How do you stop narcissistic abuse when you believe your boss, your employee, a subordinate, a colleague or even a client is engaging in abusive narcissistic tactics?

All abuse relates to misuses of energy and losses of power. The abuser takes energy from another and the abused allows the energy to be taken on some level. As a result, power is lost and equilibrium is looking to be re-established. The work environment is ripe territory for this to happen as power relationships are unequal and often unstable. Employees want to keep their jobs, employers want to hold on to their staff while keeping them motivated and productive, companies want to satisfy their clients while making a profit, and colleagues want to get along with each other. Generally speaking most people want to avoid conflict and are reluctant to rock the boat.

Identify where, why and how you are losing power

The first step to stop the abuse is to look at the power you are losing. Here the point is to build awareness of your energy and how the energy drainage is affecting you without judging or trying to fix the situation.

  • Where is it happening? With whom …
  • Why is it happening? What unmet needs are at play for both so called “abuser” and “abused” : Needs for recognition, to be liked, to stand out, to get promoted, to get job done, to stay under the radar, to make enough money to give you the freedom you are seeking, to be profitable….
  • How is it happening? What strategies are being used: triangulation, gazlighting or silencing?

Narcissistic abuse is all about taking someone’s energy to boost their own power rather than learning to cultivate, manage and grow it themselves. This can be done by using narcissistic weapons of triangulation, gaz lighting and silencing . To learn more about power you may like to refer to chapter four “Embracing and Growing Power” in my book Stepping into Consciousness- A Guide to Living a Life of Joy, Meaning and Abundance.

Close your eyes, connect to your breath…Bring your awareness to how you are losing your power: Working too many hours, not being paid a fair wage, surrounded by uncommitted staff, being taken advantage of by your employees, being belittled, criticized, facing too many demands at work, not having the needed resources/training to do your job, not understanding your job, not having a safe, clean environment to work in…

Take responsibility

If you are losing your power you are allowing this to happen on some level. Notice what fears are controlling you and permitting the abuse, without judging or trying to fix anything. Are you worried about losing your job, not getting that promotion you want, being short staffed, not being liked or admired, not wanting to complain or rock the boat, not getting the job done. Compare these fears with needs that you outlined earlier.

Close your eyes and bring your awareness to these fears and notice whether or not these fears are creating the situation and if they are a result of any unmet needs outlined earlier. Notice anything else that comes up for you.

Take action

Taking action always starts with accepting the situation as is. Once you have a clear picture of how you are colluding with the behaviour and notice the tactics being used, you can gain a new perspective on the situation. You suddenly move out of victimhood and realize you have a lot more power to reclaim your energy and restore equilibrium within your energetic system. Sometimes the awareness will cause the shift you need, sometimes the awareness will need to move to acceptance and sometimes more drastic action will need to be taken to resolve the conflict. The goal is always to honour both parties and find win/win solutions rather than pointing fingers, punishing or getting rid of the problem which will simply perpetuate a narcissistic culture at work.

Conclusion

When you work towards stopping narcissistic abuse at work or in any area of your life, you are really healing your own narcissism which is simply the shame you hold where you do not accept yourself for the perfection you are, as well as, any associated fears and judgment that go along with denying your true nature. Yoga, meditation and mindfulness practices help you heal your narcissism by building awareness of your body, mind and spirit so you can connect to who you truly are and to what really matters.

Namaste,

Nicole

Nicole Rolland is the author of  “Stepping into Consciousness- A Guide to Living a Life of Joy, Meaning, and Abundance” . 

You can visit her anytime at Nicole Rolland Yoga, Meditation, Mindfulness (NRYM) www.nicolerolland.com to learn more about her classes, programs, mindfulness coaching, as well as, her blogs, podcasts and other healing tips to help you experience and remember the wholeness and perfection you are.

www.nicolerolland.com

How to protect yourself against emotional, mental and financial abuse in marriage

miniature couple sitting on a heart

If you are in any kind of relationship with a narcissist, the risk of losing your power to emotional, mental and financial abuse is great. To learn more about how shame, silencing, fear and judgment fuel narcissism you may want to go back to my blogs What is the root cause of narcissism and what can you do about it, and How to stop narcissistic silencing so you can start listening. The point is not to shame anyone for being a narcissist or try to eradicate it as a “necessary evil” as that will just reinforce it, but rather to build awareness of how you manage your energy and the energy of those around you. All too often we end up losing so much more than we bargained for and become diminished as a result. In the context of marriage or a relationship with your significant other, narcissism can lead to devastating results- emotionally, mentally and financially.

Narcissistic abuse happens between partners when one of the partner takes more energy from the other than the other has to give. No one is to blame and it is everyone’s responsibility to manage their own energy- again, please stay away from shaming anyone- your partner or yourself. Because narcissists have so much unhealed shame, they believe that the only way they can increase their power is by taking it from others. They do not see that they have the ability to manage and grow their own power. As a result they play dirty: they can lie, make their opponent question their sanity, silence, belittle, discredit, isolate and triangulate to list some examples of tactics they use to empower themselves at someone else’s expense.

Who is at risk ?

If you are fully enmeshed in a narcissistic marriage, you and your partner are embroiled in tit for tat power struggles: your partner criticizes you, you criticize in return, she steals your money so you steal hers, she makes fun of you so you make fun of her, he has an affair so you have one….Society reinforces and even rewards this with the limiting beliefs and lies we tell ourselves: it’s ok to have an affair- everyone has them, I am entitled to more of our joint assets because I make more money than you, If I am paid more I am worth more, your contribution is less important than mine….

Close your eyes, connect to your breath and bring your awareness to how you engage in power struggles with your partner…

Narcissists need to feel needed

Because narcissists are so disconnected from their true nature, they need to feel important in relation to others. They will make others needy so that they are needed. As a consequence, they create dependency relationships with their partners, children, parents, employees, colleagues. Whenever there is any kind of dependence, the risk for abuse is great: dependence for money, security, friends, affection, status, recognition… As long as you associate these with your identity you will do whatever you can to amass more money, security, friends, affection, status, recognition… to ensure your survival.

Close your eyes, connect to your breath and ask yourself what you believe you absolutely need to survive in this world? Notice what comes up…Who would you be if you lost this? What would happen if you lost it?

Narcissistic abuse in marriage

Narcissistic relationships foster inequality where one partner is entitled to more of the resources than the other, competition where partners compete over their share of the available resources, division where partners seek to isolate the other with a divide and conquer mindset and control by controlling their domain of influence ie. money, children, home, friends…This inevitably leads to emotional, mental and financial abuse.

  • Emotional Abuse: When there is a limiting belief that one partner’s needs are more important than the other’s so it’s ok to have affairs, isolate, reward and punish.
  • Mental Abuse: When there is a limiting belief that one partner’s thoughts are more valid than the other’s so it’s ok to belittle and make fun of, engage in gossip, lies and triangulation.
  • Financial Abuse: When there is a limiting belief that one partner is entitled to a larger portion of the financial resources so it’s ok to make unilateral financial decisions and not show transparency.

How to protect yourself

  1. Identify the pattern and take responsibility. If you are married to a full blown narcissistic you obviously attracted it in the first place and gave permission to the dynamic- you no longer need to perpetuate the pattern.
  2. Take charge of the situation Emotionally: Manage your emotions, go after your dreams and do what you love. Mentally: Regain power over your mind and thoughts. Seek professional help to discover your truth and establish your boundaries. Financially: Regain power over your finances by taking back half of your joint assets and building your own wealth. Get legal, accounting, as well as financial planning advice.
  3. Take action: Once you have established the presence of abuse, you are then well positioned to decide to stay and work at the relationship or cut ties. This all depends on whether you and your partner together decide to heal from narcissism. If one partner wishes to heal from narcissism and the other doesn’t it is impossible, in my opinion, to remain in loving partnership. If this is the case the one who wishes to heal from narcissism needs to unplug as quickly as possible. If neither wishes to heal, I believe you can work together to set new boundaries, find compromises, and continue to bargain and barter power to maintain a semblance of equilibrium. If both partners wish to heal, this to me is the perfect opportunity to help each other reach their greatest potential and may even be the reason why you were attracted to each other in the first place.

Conclusion

As you begin to connect to who you are and are looking for ways to manage your own energy without needing to take it away from someone else, your narcissistic tendencies will slowly melt away. You will then gravitate less and less to narcissistic people and will become more and more self sufficient. In turn, I believe the narcissistic institutions of old will be replaced by more caring government that cares for all its people, compassionate legal system that focuses on rehabilitation rather than punishment, intelligent education that rewards learning rather than results and prestige, wise financial counsel that highlights equitable distribution and possibility for greater wealth for those who wish it, holistic health care that integrates body, mind and spirit. Learn more about how my principles of OTFG together with a daily yoga, meditation and mindfulness practice will help get you there so you can help others get there too.

Namaste,

Nicole

Nicole Rolland is the author of  “Stepping into Consciousness- A Guide to Living a Life of Joy, Meaning, and Abundance” . 

You can visit her anytime at Nicole Rolland Yoga, Meditation, Mindfulness (NRYM) www.nicolerolland.com to learn more about her classes, programs, mindfulness coaching, as well as, her blogs, podcasts and other healing tips to help you experience and remember the wholeness and perfection you are.

www.nicolerolland.com

How To Stop Narcissistic Silencing So You Can Start Listening

Do you ever feel silenced or notice that you are silencing someone else? Being silenced, in any form, is never a pleasant feeling. By the same token, listening to a truth that makes you uncomfortable is equally unpleasant. A truth feels good if it’s one you agree with and live by. However it feels less good when it ruffles your feathers. Though the need to silence is a legitimate one and I get that, having experienced being silenced myself, as well as, silencing others, silencing is not a loving thing to do. I offer some tips on how to stop the silencing cycle so you can start listening and move into your heart.

What does it mean to silence others?

Silencing to me is all about not listening to a truth and preventing someone (including yourself) from sharing the perfection of their true nature. Humans are meant to shine so when they are prevented from shining (or preventing themselves) from shining they are being silenced. To shine of course means different things to different people. Take a few minutes and bring your awareness to how you like to sparkle? What do you do that makes you glow with the radiance that you are? Breathe…and notice what comes up for you.

I see that all truths are part of the one great Truth that we are Truth. I discuss this more fully in Chapter Six “Discovering and Living Our Truth” of Stepping into Consciousness- A guide to living a Life of Joy, Meaning, & Abundance so in effect all truths are equal. If this is something that resonates with you and you are curious about expanding your consciousness to the frequency of love you may want to get a copy of my book .

Get Your Copy Here

Silencing is also a narcissistic tactic used to uphold a truth as being right rather than wrong. Narcissistic behaviour is fearful and distrustful. It fears being wrong, made fun of, isolated, making a mistake… When you question the motive behind a truth being shared or the authority of the person sharing a truth, as if some people have a right to share truths and others don’t, you are choosing a narcissistic viewpoint.  I believe that if you are committed to living from the heart you absolutely need to get over this limiting belief. To learn more about my views on narcissism you may want to go back to my previous blog What Is The Root Cause Of Narcissism And What Can You Do About It?

As a self protective mechanism, silencing can also protect you from truths that are painful or that you are just not ready to hear. There are countless examples that demonstrate this point. For instance, the world was not ready for Galileo’s truth that the world was round so he was silenced, Germany did not have the courage to silence Hitler but Hitler was all too eager to silence others. Leaders and followers of all kind continue to silence others by ignoring, threatening, punishing, hurting, excluding, insulting, with holding favour, not taking responsibility, playing “dumb”…

How have you been silenced? How have you silenced others?

The Silencing Cycle

Living in Fear and Judgment……>Silencing….Not accepting the Truth of who you are….>Living in Fear and Judgment…

Bring your awareness to how you collude with this cycle in your various interactions and notice what comes up for you:

  • At home: with your partner, siblings, parents, children…
  • At work: with your colleagues, boss, employees, clients, competitors…
  • Socially: with your friends, your acquaintances…
  • Out in the world: with strangers, social media, the internet, professionals, institutions…

Now bring your awareness to how you could stop colluding with this cycle by adopting the following principles of living from the heart:

  • Practice non judgmental awareness rather than judgment
  • Practise OTFG: Openness, Trust, Forgiveness and Gratitude
  • Accept yourself as whole and perfect
  • Be guided by your soul rather than your ego
  • Bring in qualities of allowing, letting go, unity, equality and cooperation

and notice what comes up now for you…

Much love and gratitude,

Nicole

Nicole Rolland is the author of  “Stepping into Consciousness- A Guide to Living a Life of Joy, Meaning, and Abundance”  and the owner of Nicole Rolland Yoga & Meditation (NRYM)Nicole Rolland Yoga & Meditation Yoga, Meditation and Mindfulness Coaching
www.nicolerolland.com

What Is The Root Cause Of Narcissism And What Can You Do About It?

Narcissism can be considered the shadow side of healthy self love where a person falls in love with an image of who they think they are rather than their true self. Narcissistic behaviour will go to extreme lengths to protect this image. Narcissists are disconnected from their  true nature and enjoy using patriarchal tools of  control, division, establishing hierarchy, and fostering competition to meet their needs. Matriarchal qualities, on the other hand, favour letting go, unity, equality and cooperation. I see that the dual reality is more paternalistic, whereas oneness is anchored in a matriarchal mindset (Please note that in my teachings patriarchal and matriarchal have nothing to do with gender so please do not go into any gender bias here). So, what causes narcissism?

Shame leads to narcissism

Shame is archetypal and thrives in duality and dies in oneness. What does this mean? Basically the more you live in a reality where you judge something as worthy/unworthy, right/wrong, good/bad the more you will live in a place of shame. On the other hand, when you are able to move to a place of oneness where everything is perfect just the way it is there is no shame because there is no judgment of right/wrong, beautiful/ugly and good/ bad. There is simply what is.

 Shame goes hand in hand with judgment

Wherever there is judgment there will be fear. Wherever there is fear there will be shame. Ergo judgment, fear and shame are one and the same. There can be shame in being a woman, but also in being  a man; in being poor, but also in being rich; in being ugly, but also in being beautiful; in being young, but also in being old… Remove the fear and the judgment and you remove the shame.

Judgment….. > Fear ….. > Shame

What is at the root of shame?

The root of it all in my opinion is the fear of being “you”- a “you” that is unique and different from the rest. I believe this fear is deeply ingrained because of the fear of being judged. Who likes to be judged? From working with many clients over the years, not many is the answer. What would you do to avoid being judged? What have you done in the past to avoid being judged? What have you judged? Take a few minutes, breathe and notice what comes up for you….

Perhaps  you felt compelled to hide your true thoughts and feelings to fit in, to not stand up for something you believed in, or conversely, to stand up for something you did not believe in. Whatever strategy you chose, you chose it for a reason that made sense to you at the time. Thankfully, you can now learn more about your fears and how to move past them so you can live mindfully in my Ten Week Mindful Living Program which begins September 19, 2019  in Montreal. You will finally get all the answers you need to love yourself for who you are, just the way you are. 

The root of all shame is pretending you are like everyone else and hiding your uniqueness 

How are shame and narcissism connected?

The more someone buys into the dual reality of the patriarchy, the more that person is surrounded by judgment and fear. As a result, he may feel pushed by the need to prove that he is right at all costs. Narcissists do this by elevating themselves by putting others down. A narcissist cannot see her own perfection so cannot rely on her own inner power to elevate herself. Consequently, she steals it from others. Learn more about narcissism by reading my blogs on narcissism .

How to heal shame?

The more you buy into a story that being “you” is wrong, the more difficult it will be for you to remember your true self. When you can tap into the perfection of your true nature, you can heal the deep seated shame of being uniquely you and find your place in the oneness of life.

Oneness Does Not Mean Sameness 

Just like your arm is different from your leg- they are both one with your body and when they work together they can help you get from point A to point B more efficiently than if you relied on one or the other. So too are you different from your neighbour, but just as important. 

When you heal shame, you can heal any narcissist tendencies you have that you or anyone else is better/worse, superior/inferior,  or more/less worthy somehow. Here are three steps to heal shame:

  • Practice self- acceptance: Step out of judgment and fear
  • Build community that is right for you: Find your tribe 
  • Show vulnerability: Connect to your inner perfection  

To properly understand how to remember the perfection that you are and have always been and to apply the principles you need so you and your loved ones can heal from shame once and for all, it’s important to read Stepping into Consciousness- A Guide to Living a Life of Joy, Meaning, and Abundance.

Get your personalized copy of Stepping into Consciousness- A Guide to Living a Life of Joy, Meaning, & Abundance Today.

Namaste,

Nicole

Nicole Rolland is the author of  “Stepping into Consciousness- A Guide to Living a Life of Joy, Meaning, and Abundance”  and the owner of Nicole Rolland Yoga & Meditation (NRYM)- Yoga, Meditation and Mindfulness Coaching

T (1) 514.824.8510
​info@nicolerolland.com 

www.nicolerolland.com

How To Keep Your Ego In Check So It Does Not Hinder Your Spiritual Growth?

Living aligned with values and truth is not always easy and, even less so, when you feel pressure to compete in order to survive. With the recent explosion of all things related to wellness and health, yoga is feeling the pressure too. The proliferation of yoga has attracted a lot more resources than it has in the past, making yoga a more attractive commodity. However, dovetailing on this popularity is “bottom line” thinking needed to survive in what has become, to me, a cut throat market. This in turn, compromises yoga’s very foundation as a spiritual practice.

I believe yoga is spirituality and spirituality is yoga- they are one. Spirituality is in the realm of the soul and resides in the loving heart. It is not possible, in my humble opinion, that spirituality is connected to something other than true love. That to me, is just not spirituality. Running a business, on the other hand,  happens with the help of the ego in the head. Inevitably the ego will but heads (excuse the pun 🙂 with your Spirit. So what can you do, as a student of yoga to keep your ego in check so it does not stand in the way of your spiritual growth?

    1. Commit to your spiritual growth. One of the  many Universal laws that govern life states that if you are not growing you are shrinking. Therefore, in my opinion, when you commit to your spirituality you are also committing to growing spiritually.  Spiritual growth cannot happen unless your spirit is running the show so your ego needs to take a back seat. There is a steep learning curve here and it doesn’t take long before realizing that moving your ego from the front seat to the back takes work and then getting it to stay there takes time.
    2. Understand growth is out of your control. Growth does not happen in a vacuum. Your Spirit is unbounded and limitless and cannot be contained. There are many components to spiritual growth. First of all the three dimensions of Body/Mind/ and Spirit need to expand. Sometimes the three grow in unison and sometimes they don’t. Furthermore your B/M/Spirit needs to keep pace, without getting too far ahead or too far behind, with the growth of others around you. This further gets complicated by the fact that every living thing has a consciousness that vibrates differently and is seeking others that vibrate at the same speed. Growth seems to have a mind of its own so all you can do is learn to flow with the river. Like a flowing river, at times the flow is strong, at others it is weak and then at others it appears stagnant.                                                                                           
    3. Notice the role your ego is playing. Your ego will want to keep you trapped in fear where you will be worried about your “safety”- lacking in financial resources, in danger or isolated somehow. This fear will push you to be in a constant state of wanting more- To fortify your fort and stockpile resources, as it were. This need for more is what keeps you trapped in stress and anxiety until you realize that you will only feel safe when you connect to your true nature. Nothing outside of you will ever provide true safety. No amount of money, status, friends, job will ever be able to create the  “safety” you are looking for. Greed and waste are the bi-products of the ego chasing after what it thinks it needs to be safe rather than what it truly desires to be free. The ego is never happy with what is. Spirituality is all about dwelling in the perfection of the present moment.
    4. Notice the role your soul is playing.  When you experience love, peace, trust and are in a place of oneness with all there is, you are living in your soul and being guided by your inner wisdom. This wisdom wants you to remember your soul and connect to its perfection.  In Oneness there can be no competition only cooperation. How can you compete with yourself?  Does your hand compete with your foot? No they both work together, honouring the different roles they each play. Likewise, how can you compete with your neighbour who is part of the same whole as you ?
  1. Notice attachments and practice detachment.  Notice what you are attached to: money, spouse, friends, family, children, pets, home,  status, health, job, addictions, youth…Detaching from your attachments does not necessarily mean letting them go, it means realizing that your “happiness” does not depend on them. Like everything in life, the magic happens when you begin to accept.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Namaste,

Nicole

Nicole Rolland

Nicole Rolland is the author of  “Stepping into Consciousness- A Guide to Living a Life of Joy, Meaning, and Abundance”  and the owner of Nicole Rolland Yoga & Meditation (NRYM)

Nicole Rolland Yoga & Meditation
Yoga, Meditation and Mindfulness Coaching
T (1) 514.824.8510
​info@nicolerolland.com

Six Practical Tips to Stand Up To The Patriarchy And For What You Believe In

I don’t know about you, but I am rather distraught about recent news items. It’s easy to feel powerless and ignore egregious injustices happening in the world and this trend seems to only be gaining momentum. Rather than waiting for the proverbial saviour, I believe we can each help reverse the tide by pushing out of our comfort zone. This means standing up to the patriarchy and for what we believe in.

I have said this before, the patriarchal mindset was helpful for a long time, it has accomplished great things and a lot of good has come out of it. However, I also believe it’s gone as far as it needs to go. What is needed now is change- Change to a more caring and loving way of interacting with one another.

In a previous blog “Is Colluding With The Patriarchy The Only Way?“, I defined what the patriarchy means to me- as any structure that is controlling, divisive, hierarchical and competitive, I  offered five things you can do to build awareness and suggested a new vision of how you could live more lovingly with your neighbour. Today, I share some actionable steps to stand up to the patriarchy and create change. Yes, change is possible- when everyone does their bit together, mountains can be moved.

  1. Get Angry                                                                                                                              Get over any limiting beliefs that your anger is wrong. This notion that anger is wrong is a foil the patriarchy uses to control you. When basic human rights are violated you have every reason to get angry. Face any ingrained fears of being labelled angry, an angry person, having anger issues, crazy, hysterical, irrational,  or being accused of having some kind of mental illness…                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Historically real change has happened in the wake of  angry men and women who have allowed their anger to fuel action: The Civil Rights Movement, the Sufragettes, the Resistance, Political Revolutions… Leaders of these movements did not always appear to be zen, peace loving people, they wanted change and their anger galvanized action. By the same token, some of the most calculating psychopaths we know of appear calm, composed and charming on the surface. Healing anger is not about eradicating it but learning to express it in healthy ways.                                                                                                                                                        You don’t need to start a movement or lead a march to make a difference, but you can give yourself permission to feel what you are feeling and hold it in a loving space. It then becomes easier to express in a safe way, and used as a catalyst for change. Anger (and all emotion for that matter) appears to make people uncomfortable when it gets unleashed. Inevitably this happens as a result of it being kept under lock and key.                                                                                                                        Learn to safely express anger and harness it to support rather than harm 

2. Share concerns                                                                                                                  There is a genuine need to belong and be part of a pack and that is fine, but when this need is also laced with a fear of being kicked out for expressing valid concerns this becomes problematic. Rather than respecting differing points of view, these concerns get perceived as criticism and negativity by the narcissistic mindset rather than ideas and opinions worth listening to.                                                                                                                                                  Whenever any group punishes, in any way, its members for voicing concerns they are reinforcing principles of control, division, hierarchy and competition. This can unwillingly push people to become so enthralled with embracing group think that they become  cheerleaders, often cheering just for the sake of being seen as a team player rather than cheering because their heart is truly into it.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Learn to voice and listen to concerns with compassion  

3. Get curious 

When you are learning to stand up for what you believe in, judgement is not helpful. Whether you are judging yourself or someone else, judgment will get in the way by keeping you trapped in duality. Instead, choose to become curious. Curiosity helps foster empathy so you can look at a situation from different angles without getting emotionally charged. “ummm interesting that she/he/I said/did/thought…wonder why that was said/done or thought…” Get over any worries about making  a mistake, being misunderstood or judged .                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Your ego may fear standing out from the pack because you have no doubt been punished in the past for ruffling some feathers. You may have received the message that it was safer to stay on the sidelines. I believe that your true self always accepts the reality of any situation you are in without judging it in a binary fashion. As more and more stand up for what they believe in, it becomes easier for others to follow suit. This happens  because the quantum field of consciousness changes each time a new person finds the courage to say “enough is enough!”.

Learn to practice non judgmental awareness 

4) Take action                                                                                                                       Weigh the costs of taking a stand and determine how much you are willing to risk. Are you willing to leave your job because your boss is asking you to act out of integrity with yourself? Are you willing to share a controversial opinion at a party with your peers? Are you willing to defend a friend, a colleague, a child whom you believe has been unfairly treated? Are you willing to post a concern on Facebook when you are in the minority, “FB like” a controversial comment or simply share a personal message no one else will see. Whatever your comfort level, take some kind of action and push yourself beyond what you would do normally.

Learn to weigh the cost, decide how far to go and take some form of action

5) Trust Life  

The patriarchy teaches us that if we don’t follow the rules or when we make a “mistake” we will be poor, alone, unprotected and therefore will suffer and be unsafe in the world.  This belief keeps us shackled to the patriarchal mindset. My opinion is that when we believe our needs will be met they will be and when we believe that they will not be, they will not. If you want to free yourself from the hold the patriarchal mindset has over you, you can start believing that it is safe to be yourself and to be your own master.                                                                                                                                                                            In your heart, you know you will be fine if you leave that job that depletes you, that marriage that demeans you, those friends that criticize you, those colleagues that don’t respect you. It is in your head, that you feel worry and fear. You have the power within your heart to do what it takes to feel nourished, honoured and accepted.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Learn to trust the wisdom in your heart 

6. Keep It Simple 

The patriarchy wants you to believe that you need a lot of “stuff” to be safe and you need to be “busy” to be productive. This is another limiting belief that keeps you shackled to the patriarchal system. How can you afford your house, cars, schools, clothes, trips, parties and fun unless you continue to accept the rules dictated by the patriarchy? You have choices and there are alternatives. You do not need these distractions you only think you do.                                                                                                                                                                          Learn to connect to what you truly desire rather than what you think you need.  

Change can happen, mountains can be moved and everyone can make a difference when they stand up for what they believe in by unshackling themselves from the hold controlling, hierarchical, divisive and competitive patriarchal systems and people have over them. Replace judgment with curiosity and practice non judgmental awareness. Use your anger to fuel you towards positive action. Trust that everything will be fine by listening to your heart and then it will be easy to simplify your life.

Remember, you are doing your best and are a student in the earth school of life learning to love, just like everyone else and this, like everything else I say and write about, is just my humble opinion.  

Namaste, be kind to yourself!

Nicole

Nicole Rolland

Nicole Rolland is the author of  “Stepping into Consciousness- A Guide to Living a Life of Joy, Meaning, and Abundance”  and the owner of Nicole Rolland Yoga & Meditation (NRYM)

Nicole Rolland Yoga & Meditation
Yoga, Meditation and Mindfulness Coaching
T (1) 514.824.8510
​info@nicolerolland.com

Is Colluding With the Patriarchy the Only Way?

You most probably collude with the patriarchy to some degree and who can blame you? The patriarchy has been running the show for a long time  and appears to provide a strong foundation to an affluent and secure life. I believe it is now time to let it go and replace it with some thing else.  There are certainly benefits to buying into the patriarchal way of life hook line and sinker, but there are pitfalls as well. Lets take a closer look…

First of all, let me clarify what I mean by patriarchy. I am referring to structures that are hierarchical, competitive, controlling and divisive in nature. I am not referring to any version of the “me too” movement, or women controlling the world in any way shape or form. For the purposes of this article I am discussing alternatives to the patriarchy (which include both men and women) controlling the patriarchal systems that were  established  thousands of years ago  with  the fall of the Pagan earth ways. These structures have served us well in many ways. Though we are beginning to see new structures take root, the old patriarchal systems do continue to govern how we live, how we love, how we raise our children, how we worship, how we learn, how we punish, how we are entertained and how we interact with friend, foe and neighbour. Perhaps they do their job, but do they do it as well as they could and at what cost?

The problem with these systems , as I see it, is that they have created too much separation between people and have disconnected us from our true nature. People are stressed, depressed and living in fear. Eventually, this fear burns a hole in the soul and pushes people to act against personal principles of integrity. Sure, many people know the difference between so-called notions of “right” and “wrong” and have some form of moral compass but to what extent do they live by this compass.  What do you do to stand up against what you believe to be an injustice? Society teaches us at a young age to stand down and to shut up. The patriarchy teaches us to value status, money, appearance and public recognition above all else. But, what about its impact on heart and soul…

Furthermore, we need to examine whether the patriarchy truly offers us the affluence and security we believe it does. Every day we read about hard working, educated people that have followed the “success” rules of the patriarchy and are suddenly made redundant, lose their jobs, see their pensions wiped out, fortunes stolen, families broken up or possessions destroyed. And yet we continue to believe that this system is the only way – a system that enslaves us to money, status, possessions, where nothing is ever enough. And then, for those who have managed to hang on to money, status and possessions well into their old age what have they lost in so doing? health, family, love….

Mother nature is sending out a cry for help and she has had enough. She is tired of being abused and seeing many of her children suffer while others look away. You can take a stand by doing your bit to let go of the hold the patriarchy has on the world. I am pretty sure this will happen soon enough in any event (the signs are obvious)  so you can chose to dig in your heels, erect higher walls around your personal  kingdom, refuse to accept that the current situation is not sustainable and needs to evolve or you can chose to be a leader and help the process along. If you chose the latter, here are some tips you may find helpful:

  1. Notice the role that money, status, possessions play in your life. Just notice without judging yourself in anyway.
  2. Notice choices you make to attract more money, increase your status and acquire more possessions.
  3. Ask yourself who you would be if you lost your money, your status and/or your possessions and conversely if you suddenly acquired any/all of these.
  4. Take a risk, a small risk perhaps, but a risk all the same to stand up for something you believe in.
  5. Imagine a world where people were loved for no reason at all, just for being who they came into this world to be- Imagine and dream….

Imagine and dream a world into being where it is possible, safe and actually encouraged to be loving, kind and compassionate to everyone you come into contact with and in all you do. Imagine a  world where you not only tend to your garden but to your neighbour’s as well, a world where everyone matters, a world where  you look to serve and to support. Imagine if everyone did this…..Let your imagination soar.

Namaste,

Nicole

Nicole Rolland

Nicole Rolland is the author of  “Stepping into Consciousness- A Guide to Living a Life of Joy, Meaning, and Abundance”  and the owner of Nicole Rolland Yoga & Meditation (NRYM)

Nicole Rolland Yoga & Meditation
Yoga, Meditation and Mindfulness Coaching
T (1) 514.824.8510
​info@nicolerolland.com