Woman Wednesday: Marina Yanay-Trainer


Meet my gal pal Marina. We were co-staff for my favorite program ever, Hands of Peace. While roommates for the summer, she taught me a lot about her lifestyle as a raw vegan. While I didn’t become a vegan, she did teach me how to be creative with my food and to mindlessly eat healthier. She’s also a fellow #bosslady as she owns and runs Soul in the Raw, an amazing resource for various recipes and mindful activities.

“For me, being strong is about vulnerability and compassion. Practicing compassion is extremely difficult at times, but it results in making connections with other humans, and also staying connected with yourself.

We can be compassionate to anyone – yes, even people who have hurt us the most. One of the events that has shaped me most was being sexually assaulted. When I was sexually assaulted, I truly learned what it means to feel powerless. This powerlessness rendered me a victim – not because I am a victim, but because I chose to live as a victim, with victim mentality, for many years.

At the same time, this powerlessness also allowed me to open my heart to other powerless beings. I started to connect with the suffering of animals, who were being slaughtered simply for my eating pleasure, and this led me to choose to become a vegan. I started to connect with Palestinians – who I, as an Israeli, previously believed were my oppressors as an Israeli. I started to see power imbalances in our world, very clearly. And I even began to see the place where my rapist came from – a disempowered place of victimhood, just like I was in now. Compassion does not equal forgiveness necessarily, or rendering someone “right”. It just means better understanding a situation and all who are involved, for the betterment of yourself and others.

Life is not a zero sum game – we are here to make things feel good for everyone. I firmly believe that with every decision, be it on a personal or universal level, it is possible and absolutely necessary to include the needs of everyone.

During this journey, I realized that I could never make things feel good for me, and to lift others up, if I am constantly living in victim mentality.

One of the things I work on most as a business-owner at @SoulintheRaw is lifting myself up so that I could lift others with me.

Being strong is scary for many women. It is scary for me. I learned that I am afraid of my own greatness, so I often run away to my “victim” place, where I am comfortable.

But truly being strong means exuding your own compassionate greatness, whatever it is, and in this way, setting an example for others to join in.”