….the personal quotes of Alexis Carra, Daya Vaidya,  Laura Emanuel and  Rachel Hollon

“When someone bullies, you create an extraordinary possibility for yourself: they are more afraid of you than you are of them. You are the one shining so bright that those bullies try to dim your light so they feel better about themselves.

So, keep holding true to who you are by sticking to your word, staying focused, positive, and grateful. When things get hard, create opportunities to learn from them and to give back. Anytime we are grateful in the face of a challenge new amazing opportunities open up.”

~ Alexis Carra

“Bullies are cowards who belittle others in order to feel better about themselves. They have no real power; it is all an illusion. And illusions can only occur when it is dark, one is looking away or we are being silent.

Never be silent. A bully’s illusion is shattered when you stare into a their eyes, refuse to look away and open your mouth to tell all who will listen. With each person you tell, a Bully’s power is weakened and they can no longer hurt you.”

~ Daya Vaidya
“Today I worked with a female director who hugged me when I walk in the door as she greeted me and at the end of rehearsal she hugged me goodbye as well. Her hugs were warm and safe; she hugged with her full body and spirit. When I complemented her “hugging skills,” she told me about her mother. Her mother believed that a child needed 13 hugs a day to achieve in life at a basic, positive level. This mother wanted her children to be over achievers so she ensured that she hugged them at least 13 times a day. Everyday 13 hugs or more.

This director ‘s rehearsal studio was one the most supportive, collaborative and affirming environment that I have been in as an artist. A result of such a positive environment was the absolute freedom to be yourself and feel accepted. OK—so I can’t directly say this was all because she received at least 13 hugs a day, but it got me thinking. What if we all received 13 hugs a day? Think how loved we would feel. Think how loving we would act toward others. The ripple effect of positivity and acceptance would be massive.

Unfortunately, the reality is we usually don’t get the hugs we need. Lots of times we get the opposite of hugs. We get used to wanting so much to be hugged and being hurt when we don’t get what we need. Instead of feeling loved, we feel alone.

So in those times, we have to learn to give those hugs to ourselves. To support, love and accept ourselves. This has been one of the hardest lessons for me to learn- I’m not very comfortable affirming myself, it ‘s much easier to find things that are wrong with myself. But every day, I have started to practice loving and accepting myself. I felt a little silly at first—but mostly because I wasn’t used to finding things about myself that I liked. I started small, just simple things that I felt proud of. But soon a feeling of accepting my uniqueness started to grow. I started to embrace things that made me quirky instead of reject them. (And even if I didn’t love a particular quirk, at least I started to laugh at it!) I know this is just the beginning of my journey, but I am committed to “hugging” myself 13 times a day. It sounds like a good number to me.”

~ Laura Emanuel
“To any young woman tormented by her peers, I would share that more often than not, the very things you are being made fun of for, are the very things you’re tormenters wish they had. As hard as it is, if you can take a step back and realize that the pain they’re causing you is coming from their own place of pain, then you can raise your head a little higher and respond from your own place of grace.

If someone is making fun of you, it’s usually because they recognize your uniqueness, and haven’t figured out how to create that for themselves. Keep following your heart, know that there is no one else in the world exactly like you, and trust that the best is yet to come.”

~ Rachel Hollon