Jessamyn Stanley believes that power exists in our wounds.
The body image activist and naked yoga instructor has built a platform around physical wellness, but she's no stranger to cultivating self-worth. After difficult times in her life facing bullying and spiraling confidence, Stanley is sharing how she got through them.
Jessamyn Stanley on Turning Pain Into Power
"Whatever your most traumatizing event is, the most triggering thing, that's the moment when you were being tested. It is never a moment of weakness," she tells Sonia Baghdady of Advocate Now.
While some periods in life may be painful, Stanley believes that those times will bring the most growth. The biggest question to ask in turmoil is, "What can I learn here?"
'There's always so much more to learn from that place than there is from any moment of joy, any moment of happiness," she explains, adding, "You learn about yourself when you're in pain."
Stanley says that focusing on the positive parts of life, however small, can reframe your state of mind. And she believes that there is also something positive to find.
"Even after the worst things happen, there's always some kind of silver lining. And it's sometimes so macabre at the moment that you can't even process it. But it's like, Wow, that's a rainbow. Let me just lean into that rainbow," she says, continuing, "We as queer people ... we're always looking for the rainbow, always trying to find a smile."
While mental exercises are necessary, Stanley also believes that physical exercises work to benefit both body and soul. She says "there's so many different ways to just be able to connect to the skin that you're in," but one of her primary ways is through naked yoga. Stanley teaches nude yoga classes on her OnlyFans, an exercise she says can bring people closer to their bodies.
Whichever process you use, Stanley stresses that healing is an ongoing effort, as she says it's still "something that I'm learning every day." She also notes that's no reason to give up.
"Every moment when I thought it was the end, it wasn't the end then. So why would it be the end now?" Stanley says.
For more interviews like these, watch Advocate Now on The Advocate Channel.