About Lindy

Hi there! I’m Lindy Ariff, the founder of ‘I AM A ROCKSTAR’ and I am here to tell you my story, and why I am a rockstar.

A little bit about me: I am a master’s level social worker who is fiercely passionate about healing and celebrating the strength and courage to survive adversity and grow stronger because of these challenging experiences.  I am intimately familiar with the courage it takes to transcend our stories and transform our lives.

And yes, I’m the founder of this project but I am not perfect, I still have days where I struggle and have to remind myself to be brave. Together, we can move mountains.

My Story

When I was 18 years old, my freshman year of college I lost my virginity through being date raped, and that was confusing because I was so scared, I froze.  It was like I was seeing the whole experience from above, like from the ceiling and I couldn’t think or move or say or do anything.  And afterwards I remember feeling really embarrassed, scared, and ashamed all at the same time.

I thought that the first person I had sex with was the person I was supposed to be with, so I dated him for many months.  And he was verbally, physically, and sexually abusive. He would punch holes in walls, jump on me and have sex with with my body, hold my head and force me to give him blow jobs, scream at me, tell me I was horrible, and yell at me when I couldn’t orgasm.  He broke tables and chairs and one night he pulled a butcher’s knife out and I thought I was going to die.

But I didn’t.  And I made it through it.  But it took a long time for my mind to get the update that this traumatic experience was over.  And I went through years of PTSD, flashbacks, depression, and anxiety to the point of not being able to pick out what I was going to wear that day without having a panic attack.

And so a few years after my first abusive relationship I found myself in another sexually, verbally, and emotionally abusive relationship.  When I finally found the strength to leave him I said to myself, never again is this going to happen.  And even though, I went through a pretty severe depression following that experience, I made a commitment to work on myself and grow and do the self work needed to heal and find my own inner strength and confidence.

My Healing Journey

I was really lucky to be living at home at the time, so I could afford to spend a few months gathering my strength and finding the courage to heal.  I would wake up every morning, pour myself some tea, go outside and I would read and journal.  At that time in my life, SARK was a godsend and I would fall asleep with her books next to me.  In my journey to connect with myself I found a local meditation center and started to sit and learn to meditate with them several times a week.  I started to learn about training my mind to be more peaceful and calm. So I went on to travel the world, get my masters, and do so many things that I am so proud of but I always knew that there was a major part of me that still needed healing, even though the PTSD symptoms had quieted down.  Even though I was beginning to recognize my own courage and strength from overcoming these really challenging experiences, I was, and still am, overcoming a lot of sadness and loneliness.

In 2007, after months of reading self help books and journaling in my parent’s garden, I stumbled upon my first mindfulness meditation weekend.  For two agonizing days I sat in silence and my mind was anything but still. I would jump at every sound and could barely focus on my breath for longer than a moment.  In those moments I prayed for strength to help me get through this and I believe that gave me faith to keep going.

This determination and belief that there was hope and I could one day create space in my life for even a moment of peace kept me going, meditating, continuing my education, and seeking out modalities of healing.

A few years later, in 2010 I reconnected with an old friend who turned out to be this amazing partner and the man I feel so blessed to be married to today.  But for awhile there it was really tough.   I was getting triggered all over the place, I loved him but I was also terrified of him at the same time. I knew that my mind was still stuck in a lot of my past experiences and I was really having trouble seeing my husband as the sweet, loving person he is.  It’s like my mind was telling me he was a scary wolf and I need to run far away from him.  Even though the rest of my mind knew that that was silly, but It was really tough to know what was real.  And it was really hard because I wanted to live my life from a place of clarity and be fully present, and able to access all of my past experiences from a place of wisdom.

In early 2012 I serendipitously walked into a Rapid Trauma Resolution Training and met Dr. Jon Connelly and my life changed forever.  I had several RRT sessions and afterwards, for the first time, maybe ever, my mind quieted. And I felt different. I could feel my body again and began practicing yoga, which has been a major part of my healing journey.

“The courage and strength that you have learned through these experiences will make you strong and brave, even though it won’t always seem that way.”

To My Younger Self

I particularly remember a time when I was 20 years old and I had just started to understand that this first sexual experience that I had had was nonconsensual, it was rape, I was really scared and felt really alone. So I went to my friends apartment, and I remember she was like 8 months pregnant, huge belly, and I told her that I was going through some stuff and I was scared to sleep alone. She had this tiny bed and she let me sleep there next to her. And that next morning I woke up with the first shimmer of clarity and light that I’d felt in years.

On that first morning of clarity, and I imagine myself sitting next to my younger, 20 year old self in bed and here’s what I say to her:

I sit next to you in bed, you are still asleep but I hold you in my arms and whisper, “hi, good morning, I’m you but way older. I love you and I’m here help you out.  You’re not alone anymore, I’m here now.  I know that it has been really tough and I’m so proud of you for getting through these past couple of years.  The courage and strength that you have learned through these experiences will make you strong and brave, even though it won’t always seem that way.

Today is a new day, and this morning you will wake up with the first sense of clarity you’ve felt in years.  You will feel lighter.  You will begin to understand that what that guy did to your body was wrong.  And what happened wasn’t your fault.  It’s not about deserving or karma, sometimes tough things happen and it forces us to evolve to find our true strength.

That night you were raped didn’t have anything to do with what you were wearing, or the way you looked, or your weight…. what happened that night was because of him, not you.  You are a good girl.  And sometimes in really tough situations when we feel really scared, we freeze.  And that’s ok because that was your body’s way of protecting you and you couldn’t have done it any differently.  But it’s over now, you are safe.

Your job wasn’t to save him.  You did what you could to bring brightness to his life, which is extraordinary, but that’s not the job of a college girl, that’s the job of a trained professional.  Your job is to be in college, have fun, bring your light and joy to the world around you.

And I know that you believed in fairytales and that the person you lost your virginity with was supposed to be the one you marry, no matter how awful the experience, but that’s a fable, it’s not true.  And I am so proud of you for surviving those months of abuse.  But that’s over now, he no longer hurts you and he never will again.

You are a good girl, and what that guy did was wrong, but it has nothing to do with you.  That guy and anyone who has ever touched your body in any way that didn’t feel good then or later, never touched who you truly are.  At your very center, your soul center, the wisest part of you, you are light.  Pure, clear, peaceful, beautiful light.  A light that’s always present.  And what is extraordinary about light is that nothing and no one can ever touch light.

You have survived this and you will survive everything.  And I can’t tell you that the remainder of your 20s will be easy, but I can tell you that you will get through it.  And that you will do some amazing things and have fun along the way, in fact you will spend years traveling the world all by yourself.  And you’ll finish school and then go on and get your masters in social work so you can help others.  You’ll learn to meditate and you’ll find your way back to the yoga mat.  And I know that you love the desert but you will find a man one day who is worth moving for, who will treat you really well, who will love you and inspire you.  But before you reconnect with the man you will marry, there will be one more challenging and abusive relationship, and you will get through that too.  And when you survive that experience, your bravery and courage to heal will shape your destiny.

And in about 7 and half years from today, you will find yourself sitting in front of a man that can only be described as a white haired wizard, and he will have the healing key that will change your life forever.

You will get through this and you will heal. You will be so amazed by this wizard that you will continue to learn and heal from him and those who have studied under him.  And then you will go on to heal others in the same way you were healed.  And the reason that you will be such a powerful and affective healer is the strength, bravery and courage from your own transformation.