Guest Spotlight: Leslie Rangel
This week's guest blogger is Leslie Rangel. She is a morning anchor for Fox 7 in Austin. Leslie has created an online yoga platform for journalists.
Yoga for Journalists
By: Leslie Rangel
I believe being an empowered woman means knowing your voice matters and you are enough. It means speaking your truth and knowing your voice and perspective carries weight and value.
It means knowing it's ok to not be ok and taking the time you need to heal from current and past wounds.
Yoga for journalists is the fruit of my life's work. As a young TV journalist I was made to feel I was not worthy or good enough. I had times where I wished I looked different, thinking my looks were the reason I was experiencing microaggressions or getting overlooked for jobs I'd worked hard for. I felt the news topics I was championing for and pushing to cover weren't being met or seen with the level of importance I knew and still know they have. I was mentally in a bad space. I was sad and broken, thinking about how much life I had sacrificed for a career that wasn't giving back that same energy.
Drinking and even shopping were things I was starting to turn to as a way to cope. My temper was short. I noticed I was becoming cynical and losing my love and passion for storytelling. I felt lost, a different person.
Then I found yoga. Yoga for me is so much more than "stretching." Yoga helped me find ways to cope with the anxiety and burnout I was feeling. Through yoga, I used breath and movement to help lift the veils of those limiting beliefs that were embedding themselves into my mind. Yoga gave my peace and strength to know all those lies I was starting to believe about myself as a journalist and a woman were toxic. Yoga saved my life by teaching me positive ways to cope when life in news would and will undoubtedly get difficult. Now I'm sharing that with others. This business is beautiful, but it can swallow you whole. It's important to arm ourselves with tools to build strength and resilience, especially for journalists of color. So much yoga research exists out there proving it helps with depression and even PTSD in combat veterans. Why wouldn't it help us as journalists?!
So that's why through yoga for journalists, I want to teach others we break the news, news doesn't break us. In the words of journalist, Maria Hinojosa, "Journalism is our mission. Journalists of color, journalists of conscience, the role we play in this country, we carry such a responsibility.... I won’t give up."
Don't believe the lies others tell you about your worth. Your voice matters. The way YOU see the story matters. Know that it's ok to not be ok. Let yourself be human as we navigate this career. Remember that "no" is a complete sentence. Don't feel guilty if you need time off. Listen to your body and your mind and know it's ok to say no.
More importantly, you are worthy, you are enough and never forget what your mission is as a storyteller and journalist. You're a human first, and a journalist second.