4min readPolitics 05 August 2019
Marianne Williamson is certainly the most unique competitor to join the campaign trail with a mission of bringing love into politics. While we often hear her plans for transforming America, E! News surveyed the presidential candidate on what has helped transform her into the powerful, revolutionary woman she is today.
The 2020 presidential campaign has seen an outstanding lineup of candidates from all walks of life vying for their party's nomination. While they're usually seen hashing it out on the debate stage, offering up their political stances in effort to persuade the American people, E! News got more down to earth with the candidates to find out who they are through the lens of today's pop culture. While most shared some not too surprising details about what their motivations and interests are, one candidate certainly stuck out the most with some unique responses.
Whether or not you have familiarized yourself with her work, there is no denying that her vision for our country, and humanity, is unlike any we've seen on the political stage thus far. As an activist, entrepreneur, New York Times best seller and most recently, Democratic candidate for the 2020 presidential elections, Marianne Williamson has extensive, well-rounded experience and knowledge on an array of topics ranging from wellness to politics.
In a survey conducted by E! News, Williamson revealed an interesting ritual she practices before public speaking which is to pray for the happiness of the audience. While the other candidates typically practice a ritual that calms their nerves or better prepares them for their speech, Williamson takes the selfless route in wishing others well rather than turning her focus inward. While her personal ritual is intriguing in and of itself, such a selfless act is unsurprising of Williamson, who has dedicated her life's work to spreading love and deepening our commitment to world peace. Positive thinking and prayers of happiness have been a longstanding ritual for the activist. In a 2012 interview with her friend Oprah Winfrey, Williamson shared that before a meeting, job interview, or any event in life, it is important to send love in our minds to the situations and people involved. She expressed, "the only thing going on here is, I am going to bless that person, they are going to bless me. I don't know if I'm supposed to get that job. My only agenda is that God's will be done."
There's no doubt Williamson's approach to politics and presidency is far from that of our current president. In fact, her mission for this campaign has been to bring love into politics by falling in love with what America can mean. In an interview with Carrolspaper, she stated, "Trump has turned fear into a political force. We must turn love into a political force." She strives to achieve this by bolstering the awakening in American consciousness to overcome the Trump administrations reign of fear with love, as opposed to combating hatred with hatred.
In addition to her ritual, Williamson shared that A Course In Miracles , scribed by Dr. Helen Schuman, was the book that made the most lasting impact on who she has become. The three-volume religious text serves as a "complete self-study spiritual thought system" that teaches universal love and peace. Unlike an autobiography or traditional written work that the other candidates favored, A Course in Miracles requires readers to transform into more conscious beings who knit love into the framework of their beliefs and actions. Not only has this book inspired Williamson to lead a better life, but inspired her to become an author and teach her understanding of the text to others on a global scale. The lessons learned from A Course in Miracles have laid the foundation for Williamson's current political platform and have set the tone for how she believes the country must be run and where it must be led in order to be successful in functioning for the greatest good of all.
Williamson's selfless acts and wishes for our country is certainly a refreshing break from the negative banter between the current presidential cabinet and the public. Rather than focusing solely on temporary results, Williamson's hope is to encourage spiritual growth among the American people, restore our connection to nature, and equip us with the tools needed to fulfill our life's purpose.
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For decades, women have been unknowingly suffering from PSD and intergenerational trauma, but now Dr. Valerie Rein wants women to reclaim their power through mind, body and healing tools.
As women, no matter how many accomplishments we have or how successful we look on the outside, we all occasionally hear that nagging internal voice telling us to do more. We criticize ourselves more than anyone else and then throw ourselves into the never-ending cycle of self-care, all in effort to save ourselves from crashing into this invisible internal wall. According to psychologist, entrepreneur and author, Dr. Valerie Rein, these feelings are not your fault and there is nothing wrong with you— but chances are you definitely suffering from Patriarchy Stress Disorder.
Patriarchy Stress Disorder (PSD) is defined as the collective inherited trauma of oppression that forms an invisible inner barrier to women's happiness and fulfillment. The term was coined by Rein who discovered a missing link between trauma and the effects that patriarchal power structures have had on certain groups of people all throughout history up until the present day. Her life experience, in addition to research, have led Rein to develop a deeper understanding of the ways in which men and women are experiencing symptoms of trauma and stress that have been genetically passed down from previously oppressed generations.
What makes the discovery of this disorder significant is that it provides women with an answer to the stresses and trauma we feel but cannot explain or overcome. After being admitted to the ER with stroke-like symptoms one afternoon, when Rein noticed the left side of her body and face going numb, she was baffled to learn from her doctors that the results of her tests revealed that her stroke-like symptoms were caused by stress. Rein was then left to figure out what exactly she did for her clients in order for them to be able to step into the fullness of themselves that she was unable to do for herself. "What started seeping through the tears was the realization that I checked all the boxes that society told me I needed to feel happy and fulfilled, but I didn't feel happy or fulfilled and I didn't feel unhappy either. I didn't feel much of anything at all, not even stress," she stated.
Photo Courtesy of Dr. Valerie Rein
This raised the question for Rein as to what sort of hidden traumas women are suppressing without having any awareness of its presence. In her evaluation of her healing methodology, Rein realized that she was using mind, body and trauma healing tools with her clients because, while they had never experienced a traumatic event, they were showing the tell-tale symptoms of trauma which are described as a disconnect from parts of ourselves, body and emotions. In addition to her personal evaluation, research at the time had revealed that traumatic experiences are, in fact, passed down genetically throughout generations. This was Rein's lightbulb moment. The answer to a very real problem that she, and all women, have been experiencing is intergenerational trauma as a result of oppression formed under the patriarchy.
Although Rein's discovery would undoubtably change the way women experience and understand stress, it was crucial that she first broaden the definition of trauma not with the intention of catering to PSD, but to better identify the ways in which trauma presents itself in the current generation. When studying psychology from the books and diagnostic manuals written exclusively by white men, trauma was narrowly defined as a life-threatening experience. By that definition, not many people fit the bill despite showing trauma-like symptoms such as disconnections from parts of their body, emotions and self-expression. However, as the field of psychology has expanded, more voices have been joining the conversations and expanding the definition of trauma based on their lived experience. "I have broadened the definition to say that any experience that makes us feel unsafe psychically or emotionally can be traumatic," stated Rein. By redefining trauma, people across the gender spectrum are able to find validation in their experiences and begin their journey to healing these traumas not just for ourselves, but for future generations.
While PSD is not experienced by one particular gender, as women who have been one of the most historically disadvantaged and oppressed groups, we have inherited survival instructions that express themselves differently for different women. For some women, this means their nervous systems freeze when faced with something that has been historically dangerous for women such as stepping into their power, speaking out, being visible or making a lot of money. Then there are women who go into fight or flight mode. Although they are able to stand in the spotlight, they pay a high price for it when their nervous system begins to work in a constant state of hyper vigilance in order to keep them safe. These women often find themselves having trouble with anxiety, intimacy, sleeping or relaxing without a glass of wine or a pill. Because of this, adrenaline fatigue has become an epidemic among high achieving women that is resulting in heightened levels of stress and anxiety.
"For the first time, it makes sense that we are not broken or making this up, and we have gained this understanding by looking through the lens of a shared trauma. All of these things have been either forbidden or impossible for women. A woman's power has always been a punishable offense throughout history," stated Rein.
Although the idea of having a disorder may be scary to some and even potentially contribute to a victim mentality, Rein wants people to be empowered by PSD and to see it as a diagnosis meant to validate your experience by giving it a name, making it real and giving you a means to heal yourself. "There are still experiences in our lives that are triggering PSD and the more layers we heal, the more power we claim, the more resilience we have and more ability we have in staying plugged into our power and happiness. These triggers affect us less and less the more we heal," emphasized Rein. While the task of breaking intergenerational transmission of trauma seems intimidating, the author has flipped the negative approach to the healing journey from a game of survival to the game of how good can it get.
In her new book, Patriarchy Stress Disorder: The Invisible Barrier to Women's Happiness and Fulfillment, Rein details an easy system for healing that includes the necessary tools she has sourced over 20 years on her healing exploration with the pioneers of mind, body and trauma resolution. Her 5-step system serves to help "Jailbreakers" escape the inner prison of PSD and other hidden trauma through the process of Waking Up in Prison, Meeting the Prison Guards, Turning the Prison Guards into Body Guards, Digging the Tunnel to Freedom and Savoring Freedom. Readers can also find free tools on Rein's website to help aid in their healing journey and exploration.
"I think of the book coming out as the birth of a movement. Healing is not women against men– it's women, men and people across the gender spectrum, coming together in a shared understanding that we all have trauma and we can all heal."