Thursday, December 10, 2015

Face Book posting: Men who hit women are scrum

My history of living in an abusive relationship and experience of sixteen years working with batterers and my Unity principals, tell me a different story. Many of the men I have worked with grew up in homes where they were taught how to behave this way. They were victims of abuse as children. They lived in homes where they were taken to churches that told them they were the boss and women and children were subservient to males. Domestic violence has a very long history in the world.

Please don't misunderstand, what they did and/or do was and is wrong. Calling them names or beating them up will not undo the harm they have done. Nor will it change the future for other women and children. This is where we really can make a change. Abuse isn't just hitting someone, it is the way we talk to and treat each other. How many of us have given an evil eye warning to one of our children to get them to stop what they were doing? (Intimidation).  How many have spanked their child and called it discipline? (Fear), no lesson is taught in hitting a child except to fear adults. When we discipline in love with a clear lesson children learn how to become compassionate, loving adults. They learn not to speak with abuse or act with abuse because it is wrong to do so.

People who abuse other people have learned a thinking pattern that gives themselves excuses and reasons why this time using abuse is the right thing and even the only thing to do.  This time it is okay to treat someone differently than I want to be treated because...  

When we use these excuses we are pushing down that voice inside that knows it isn't okay. We relieve our "guilt" by explaining it away.  We push the responsibility of our behavior on to another.  "If you hadn't said that or done this I wouldn't have to do the things I do".  At Nonviolent Alternatives, this is called "blame shifting" Shifting the responsibility for my words and actions to another.  By doing so, it becomes easy for me to see myself as a victim, convincing myself I had no other choice, they made me do it. We have been conditioned to see the level of abuse which reaches a level that breaks the law, that isn't where it starts. There is probably long-term abuse which has reached the level where law enforcement is now interceding.

Abuse is abuse no matter if it reaches the legal definition or not and can go on for many years and never reach the level that law enforcement becomes involved. This is the abuse that is carried from one generation to the next. I have watched people look at children and say things like "those kids have no respect" if I live in a home where respect isn't taught then where do I learn to be respectful?  As we go through this holiday season may we rethink our values and those we want our children to have.  Be the shining light of example in a child's life.  Each child deserves at least one healthy parent, let that parent be you.

Blessings and happy holidays to all.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Fear Mongering

Stop following the rhetoric of the fear mongers. Fear is exactly how people become controlled. Intimidation by a bully. Our current condition of the world is not a border problem, this is a bully problem. Sitting behind a microphone on a TV or radio talk show spouting fear and hatred toward a person or group of people isn't the way to alignment and peace.

Any time we don't know about something, we fear its existence, we blame that for our situation in life. We make that the reason for all our problems. I have watched posts that have woven the Paris attacks in the continuous degrading and belittling of President Obama in to the mix of reasons for blaming him for all the ills in the world and our personal lives. Statement of finding hate and killing message in the Qumran. How many statements of violence exist in the Bible? (see Violence In the Bible NPR)

Which each attack on any portion of humanity, we become more and more fearful of what we don't know.  I suggest we stop being lead around by the loudest voice and investigate the source of the fear and the agenda behind it.  Why is it is so important for us to find fault in others? How does this help me to grow as human being with a heart and mind of my own. When I follow for the sake of following I have no idea where I might be lead to.  When I choose my own path, my journey, seek my own knowledge I find a greater understanding and a desire to do no harm.

When I  am look inward I question the fears and explore the basis of my own belief system. What is the truth I find?  I find I choose not to live in fear, I choose not to hate, I choose not to blame others for my life condition. I do choose love, I do choose peace, I do choose responsibility for myself and I do choose not to allow others to determine how I feel about the world and the people in it. Namaste.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Paris November 13, 2015

As all were busy living their lives, attend quiet dinners, evenings with family or attending a rock concert, unknown forces chose to bomb, shoot and kill these unsuspecting souls. The survivors and us are left with disbelief, grief and no understanding of what happened.

As a follower of Unity and the principles with which we are taught to live by, this is unfathomable in comprehension. I was even advised by one good intentioned friend, to not be naive and know "they" are heading our way. In my Unity belief it is said "Thoughts held in mind produce like kind", so for me I shall not use or say words like get even, this is awful though at the moment it feels this way.  I choose however to shine the Light of Love as brightly as possible. To share healing words to comfort those hurting. To ease the devastating feelings one feels from the trigger event which will arise from this news.

I pray each and everyone who chooses to voice an opinion will do so with words of grace and kindness knowing it isn't an acceptance of the actions which caused such damage, but for the grace and healing power the words deliver to those in need of them.  I cannot deny that even within myself I desire justice for the wrong done.  I have to however question what exactly is justice. Does that mean an eye for an eye, a wound for a wound, a hurt for a hurt?  I think not. From my own journey to the here and now, I have found for myself, these thoughts and these feelings of justification for retaliation only create more hurt and do not heal, but rather promote only more of the same. If I want to heal the wound I cannot do so by causing more injury.  When I cut myself cooking, I do not cut it farther to make the wound better. No indeed, I tend to the wound, protect the wound and figure out how can I avoid this in the future.

I know there will be many who say this analogy is far too simple, but is it?  Where exactly do we find the answer if not in simplest of solutions?  I ask you think about the feeling you experience when someone takes the simple action of holding your hand and standing in silence.  May we today, tomorrow and forever after reach out to take the hand of a stranger without fear or expectation, rather to demonstrate our willingness to assist in the transformation from misunderstanding, fear and hate to a better understanding in the fearlessness of love and acceptance.


Thursday, November 12, 2015

Middle School Child Dead From Heroine Over Dose

Update: (They had been friends since middle school. The facts still remain the same)
Today I read on a family member's social media page a classmate of her middle school child died from a heroine overdose. Yes middle school.  Addiction is an equal opportunity disease, knowing no boundary in age, gender, social status or nationality or family.

As a licensed addictions counselor, I have seen many people in a place so dark one might ask themselves "how did they choose this"? The answer is they didn't choose it.

From the outside looking in it might appear one is choosing, however no one wakes up one morning and says to themselves, "today I am going to be an addict". It starts out as simply and as easily as one drink or use to ease the pain of the loss of a loved one, the need to fit in, the ability to talk to a stranger to somehow feel "normal", and comes in many forms from gambling to eating disorder. In the beginning there seems to be this acceptable reason why one time won't hurt. I get the rush, relief or what ever it is I am seeking at the time and my brain is given a signal "oh this helped, felt good, relieved the pain if only for the moment". The more I give "reason" to the use, the more I use, the more I use the more I have to use to get the effect I got in the beginning. The mind is altered (lots of evidence in this area). If stopping was easy more people would do it.

In sixteen years of doing this work, I have witnessed so many who try and relapse. Family and friends help them in the beginning and after a time of stopping and using again, family and friends decide there is no use in helping and withdraw from the addicted person seeing them and the situation as hopeless, if they really cared about themselves or me they would stop". When the addict needs support the most,it is gone.

As a family member or friend we don't do this because we don't love the addict, rather we love them immensely and it is too difficult to watch a loved one be sucked into the vortex of darkness and use. Hate the disease but love the addict. Support doesn't mean ignoring the use, it means directing the addict to help. it means not judging. it means not "rescuing" them from themselves, When we rescue and remove consequence we enable the use. Refrain from pointing a finger and trying to lay blame.

Continue to be supportive, by providing help like taking them to support group meetings such as AA or NA and staying for open meetings with them, offer to drive them to a counselor. Learning about how the addiction starts and how it pulls its victims in so deeply. Most importantly love them and let them know you will always love them and support their recovery, but cannot participate in their denial or continued use.

Additionally seek support for yourself. Attend an Al-Anon meeting. Learn the signs of addiction and seek reliable help.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Faith and Trust

Faith: Belief without evidence. When I listen to the words of others I have faith what they say is true.

Trust: Belief with evidence. When I look at the evidence of their actions which shows me if there is negative trust or positive trust. Negative trust, you never do what you say you will, so I can trust you to not live up to your words.  Positive trust, your words and actions are integrated.

With faith we step forward in a relationship and hope that what the other person is telling us is the truth about them. We can think of any relationship we have had, we meet someone and over a period of time they will give us evidence by words and actions that will help us to determine the type of trust that is built between us. Will there be NEGATIVE trust or POSITIVE trust.

What is negative trust? Negative trust is build when I tell my child over and over again I will do something with them on Saturday.  Saturday comes and I never do what I said I would do.  Each time I have a reason and each time I say I am sorry and each time I say please understand I just have a lot going on right now.  My child wants to believe and trust me; however the only evidence they have is I don’t do what I say I will do.  This evidence is the building of negative trust. It is the bases then for all other interactions between us. My child begins to understand that when I speak the words are only words.

Positive trust: I follow through on what I said, when I say I will do something I do it.  I demonstrate to my child they can trust the words I speak knowing there is integrity woven in them by the actions that follow.

This occurs in all relationships; with partners, mothers, fathers, family and friends. Let my actions demonstrate the foundation of my character everywhere I go. My destiny lies in my words and actions.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Be Kinder Than Necessary

Be kinder than necessary ", ( words to live by ) ~~ said a family member of one of the Charleston nine -- who's family member was killed inside of the church !! ~~~ May God richly bless her !!! ` These precious souls never cease to amaze me with their love, and forgiveness, and great wisdom (as posted on my friend Carolyn’s page FB).

 This posting prompted thought within me as to how this is only the tip of the iceberg for the African-American people.  African-American people have spent a life time of being kinder than necessary to people who weren’t kind to them. They have been forced to accept and live with what was forced upon them.  African’s were living their lives and happy in their home land, then white men stalked them, trapped them, brought them to the United States where they were bought and sold, beaten and raped.  Even when they married they were always at risk of being separated at the whim of a master they didn’t ask for or want. Their children were taken from them; they were forced to watch as their own were tied and beaten.

Today the African-American neighbor still struggles to be called equal to be seen as worthy, to fight for freedoms which by constitution should already be theirs. We watch daily African-American men compete and try and are still told they aren’t enough and then are called lazy and useless. I ask how many others would survive the message of hundreds of years of being told “not good enough?”

Today I stand humbly next to my African-American friends and pray for them and for myself.  I pray that all humans will one day walk in love, peace and acceptance of one another.  Love is the most powerful essence in the world. When we find a way to spread truth, love and compassion as easily as we spread hate and destruction what a different world this will be.


Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Parenting or Abuse

With all the publicity the mother of the Baltimore teen that grabbed him, punched and threw him into a fence I find this an opportune time to offer another point of view.  Many people still believe hitting your child (and only your child the neighbor child is off limits), is a good from of discipline. I offer this for consideration.

Children learn from parents, not just by what the parent says, but also by what the parent does. Children learn respect based on the respect in the home.  When I correct my child do I respect them in the process?  If I yell or spank I do not show my child respect?  I do however get them to stop the behavior not because they respect me, but rather they are afraid of me.  

Punishment for inappropriate behavior still needs to respect the child.  If I were misbehaving would I want someone to hit or spank me, to yell or scream at me? NO! So why would I believe it would be okay to do the same to my child? When parenting with respect I teach my child respect. I teach them how to respond to others when others are not being respectful.  I teach them to think about their actions (what they say, what they do).  I teach them to listen to their own conscience as to what is right and wrong in order for them to choose a better path.  Children learn how to act from their parents.  If I wouldn't want something said or done to me, then why would I say or do it to my child?

Parenting with integrity requires a whole new set of ideas and options.  I have to be creative and I have to be willing to spend the time it takes to "teach" a child, not just boss them around. If this mother had been videoed hitting any child but her own, the conversation around her actions would be completely different. She would have most likely been arrested.

Treat others the way I want to be treated is a great guide-line for all of us.  I don't know where the exception came from that gives an exception if it is my own child the transgression is against. Spare the rod and spoil the child doesn't mean to hit them.  It does mean to guide them in the directions you want them to go.

Note to the media and CBS in particular:  When listening to the morning broadcast today (April 29, 2015) I was amazed at the way the news anchors encouraged her actions and even cheered her own to possible be the "mother of the year".  If this is what mother of the year looks like, I don't want to be one.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

What do my thoughts produce for me?

Thoughts held in mind produce like kind (Unity).  A belief I hold to and have even proven to myself is true.  One of the reasons I try to only post positive thoughts and encouragement each day.  I only want good thoughts held in my own brain.  As I am human and still think negatively from time to time, I have learned to recognize those negative thoughts sooner and switch the path to a different topic and direction.  My conscience is my guide and living to my highest good is important to me.

It occurs to me that I and others I know or have had contact with, use the cloak of humor and satire to disguise the negative thoughts that create the negative actions.  We say unkind things about others and ourselves and write it off to “it was joke” wow, just lighten up don’t take it so serious.

Age is the one that stands out most to me today.  If I were to believe all the messages media (TV commercials, posts about getting old, and the losses associated to the process) I’m not sure I would want to get up in the morning.  My two step plan is this I am skipping over as many of these posts on my FB page as I can. If one catches my eye and I do read it (sometimes I just can’t help myself-excuse for not following my plan) my step two is to think in a positive manner of what I just read.

Example: You know you are getting old when “The little old gray haired lady you helped across the street is your wife”.
 My response:  How fortunate to have a husband that cares this much for me after all these years.
We all need a chuckle now and again and to be honest I enjoy a few of these from time to time, I just don’t make them a daily diet.  I don’t let them linger in my mind to become my belief about me and my life. So as we post each day, let us try to keep the humor and thoughts at a higher level lest it drags us to the bottom.

Today’s thought held in mind:  I breathe in and feel the knowing of life and its infinite possibilities no matter my how long the road of my journey has been.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Unity, A Course In Miracles, Abraham are you Crazy?

Over the past few days I have read many articles in disagreement with "A Course In Miracles, Abraham Hicks, organizations (churches) like Unity (where I attend) just to name a few.  Many believe all of the aforementioned are no more than cults and anyone following their beliefs and teachings are simply cult members being lead around by our noses.

One such article suggests "if you can't prove it, it isn't true".  Hmmm.... the only requirement in any of these alternative beliefs is that one explore and determine for one's self what one decides to believe in.  I also notice many of those authors spewing concern and outrage at the fact I might have a different view of my own life and belief system would have me choose a "religion" based in fact and connected to a respectful and recognized sect such as Baptist, Methodist, Catholic, First Christian"... you get my point. How many can "prove" the parting of the Red Sea, the burning bush Moses spoke to when he climbed that mountain, the crippled and maimed that Jesus healed when walking among us, his resurrection?  Are these not stories, ideas, beliefs that have been written down and in some cases many years after the fact? Are we not asked by the chosen few following strict doctrines, to believe and follow only what they as faith leaders want us to believe?  That to do otherwise will surely lead us to no good end and we will burn in Hell forever. One such leader said, to follow any idea other than the laws and beliefs of organized religion is to only be a lost sheep following other lost sheep and no good can come to me or anyone who strays from this straight and narrow path which has been so carefully laid for me to follow. Okay now I am really scared.

I have to wonder just what it is that intimidates them about me thinking there might be something different or better our there for me? Could it be my wondering from the flock lessens the control they once held over me. Following my heart and how I choose to believe in a God, Higher Power, or Spirit denies them what? Being a free thinking person with her own ideas, concepts and conclusions is a risky business. Following one's own heart isn't for the timid or meek I am telling you.

For many years I looked and desired to find something that made sense to me about how I felt and believed. I could never put it all together when sitting in the pew listening to the man in front of me saying I was no good and a sinner and if I didn't stop my evil ways God would surely send a lighting bolt from above and bring me to my knees. I can tell you as a ten year old this was a pretty scary message.  Why was it that a loving caring God would want to hurt me and punish me for not obeying rather than assist me in learning a better way?  When I remember the kindness and caring with which my own earthly father treated me even when I didn't always follow the rules, to hear this leader of God tell me how bad I was just didn't resonate with what I was feeling on the inside.

A few years ago I walked through the doors of Unity of Indianapolis where I was welcomed with open arms, no judgement and invited to simply be. "BE" in a place that was filled with unconditional love, encouragement to feel good about the me I knew I was, and to share the space with others like me. To this day no one has said "no you are wrong" and every week I am encouraged to question more and to find and follow my own path to happiness and well being.  I invite anyone reading this to take a step out of the fog open your mind and follow your heart for that is where true love and peace lives.  It is the acceptance of self and understanding it is okay to be a Spirit having an human experience that makes me happy.  Much love and light to you always.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Women Should Cover Up (Justifying the wrong)

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month postings have begun to bring attention to this subject. This was the first story I saw as I signed on to Face Book today.
“Telling all men not to rape is somewhat simplistic. I’m certainly not justifying the evil in any way-but…”
  • Women didn't get rape in the 1700’s they wore clothing that covered them from head to toe.
  • When you look like a slut, you get treated like a slut.
  • It’s like looking both ways before you cross the street; you wouldn't  because it is dangerous. You have to protect yourself again the danger.

Yes you are justifying rape.  Telling men not to rape is exactly what we should be saying. Sexual assault isn’t about what I am wearing or not wearing.  It IS about power and control. Men have been raping for as far back as time has been documented.  We are still living in a rape culture.  Men are still taught they are superior to women.  Television, movies, commercials, advertising all sexualize women and few people are objecting to it, including women.

The culture we live in tells girls and women in order to be seen you must look a certain way.  If you use your body and looks you can have a blank check... (Provided you are willing to participate in the very behavior that exploits you and other women).  Teaching our sons to not look at women as objects as toys, or that in some way women are somehow lesser than being male is exactly the right thing to do. 

*Following is an open letter from a father to his son: 

 Seeing a Woman: A conversation between a father and son
August 14, 2013 —
Someday I am going to have to have the conversation with my son.  No, not the conversation all parents dread giving and all kids are mortified having.  I enjoy making people uncomfortable so that conversation should be fun.
No, I’m talking about another conversation.  The one that happens after I catch his eye doing what male eyes do well – following an object of lust.  We will probably be out at the mall, because that’s what dads do with their sons, and I’ll catch the look.  Maybe we’ll go to the beach and see it.  Doesn’t matter where it is, there will come a time when I will see it.  And then it will be time for this conversation.
Hey, come here.  Let me talk to you.  I saw you look at her.  I’m not judging you or shaming you.  I know why you did.  I get it.  But we have to talk about it because how you look at a woman matters.
A lot of people will try and tell you that a woman should watch how she dresses so she doesn’t tempt you to look at her wrongly.  Here is what I will tell you.  It is a woman’s responsibility to dress herself in the morning.  It is your responsibility to look at her like a human being regardless of what she is wearing.  You will feel the temptation to blame her for your wandering eyes because of what she is wearing – or not wearing.  But don’t.  Don’t play the victim.  You are not a helpless victim when it comes to your eyes.  You have full control over them.  Exercise that control.  Train them to look her in the eyes.  Discipline yourself to see her, not her clothes or her body.  The moment you play the victim you fall into the lie that you are simply embodied reaction to external stimuli unable to determine right from wrong, human from flesh. Look right at me.  That is a ridiculous lie.
You are more than that.  And the woman you are looking at is more than her clothes.  She is more than her body.  There is a lot of talk about how men objectify women, and largely, it is true.  Humans objectify the things they love in effort to control them.  If you truly love a person, do not reduce them to an object.  The moment you objectify another human – woman or man, you give up your humanity.
There are two views regarding a woman’s dress code that you will be pressured to buy into.  One view will say that women need to dress to get the attention of men.  The other view will say women need to dress to protect men from themselves.  Son, you are better than both of these.  A woman, or any human being, should not have to dress to get your attention.  You should give them the full attention they deserve simply because they are a fellow human being.  On the other side, a woman should not have to feel like she needs to protect you from you.  You need to be in control of you.
Unfortunately, much of how the sexes interact with each is rooted in fear.  Fear of rejection, fear of abuse, fear of being out of control.  In some ways, the church has added to this.  We fear each other because we have been taught the other is dangerous.  We’ve been a taught a woman’s body will cause men to sin.  We’re told that if a woman shows too much of her body men will do stupid things.  Let’s be clear: a woman’s body is not dangerous to you.  Her body will not cause you harm.  It will not make you do stupid things.  If you do stupid things it is because you chose to do stupid things.  So don’t contribute to the fear that exists between men and women.
A woman’s body is beautiful and wonderful and mysterious.  Respect it by respecting her as an individual with hopes and dreams and experiences and emotions and longings.  Let her be confident.  Encourage her confidence.  But don’t do all this because she is weaker.  That’s the biggest bunch of crap out there.  Women are not weaker than men.  They are not the weaker sex.  They are the other sex.
I’m not telling you to not look at women.  Just the opposite.  I’m telling you to see women.  Really see them.  Not just with your eyes, but with your heart.  Don’t look to see something that tickles your senses, but see a human being.

My hope is that changing how you see women will change how you are around them.  Don’t just be around women.  Be with women, because in the end, they want to be with you, without fear of being judged, or shamed, or condemned, or objectified, or being treated as other.  And that’s not just what women want.  That’s what people want.  Ultimately, it’s what you want.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

I Can Say What I Want

Today I read a posting which said: “I like when I don’t have to be careful about what I say. That’s when you know you're with the right people.” (Spirit Science)

Caution to not confuse this with saying whatever I please because I know you well. In the work I do with families of domestic violence it has been my experience abusive people use familiarity as a justification to say or do what they want. For example: one session we were discussing the use of words that are considered profanity.  I was trying to draw out the thinking behind the actions. Many times the thoughts are “that fuckin’ bitch”.  I was having difficulty getting the group to use the language that is inherent to their habit level thinking which produces abusive actions. I stopped and asked why they were having difficulty saying those words in class.

Them: I am trying to be respectful to you.
Me: Why do you believe you need to be respectful to me?
Them: Because you are a woman and you are older and the teacher.
Me: I see.
Me: How long have you known me?
Them: The answers range from 1 week to 26 weeks based on the client’s attendance.
Me: I see. So what I am hearing you say is I deserve more respect from you than the people you profess to love the most (mothers, fathers, wives, girlfriends, and children).
Them: Well they know me and how I am. I am with them all the time so I say what I want. You know when people get to know you that’s just how you talk.

No matter how well I know someone I still am required to be respectful, kind and considerate. Many times abusive people have habit level thinking of no matter what I say, my "wife, husband, child---whomever, understands that's just the way I am. In these families, there is more consideration given to strangers than the people they profess to love. Even in the most intimate of relationships there is still the need for basic respect.  Being able to tell you anything is much different than saying anything I please.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Cinderella 2015 (Be courageous and kind)

In many of the women’s sessions I facilitate we often speak of the fairy tales we remember from our childhood and how many ended with “happily ever after”.  Additionally we discuss how we have all looked for the fairy tale and came up disappointed when our “Prince Charming” was really the “Duke of Earl”.  Tonight a friend and I attended the newly released Cinderella movie and were surrounded by dozens of “Cinderella’s” some in jeans and tennis shoes and some with small tiaras, wands in hand, bejeweled purses, blue dresses and yes “glass” slippers.  I watched as they took their seats to be swept away into the Disney magic.

 At this point you might be asking yourself why did this sixty-six year old women go to a children’s movie without a child in tow.  The short answer is I had to see if it was the same as I remembered the story to be and was it still a happily ever after ending.  Well, yes and no.  While the story still follows the original story line, there was a different under lying message of the importance of being you.

Cinderella’s mother instilled in her (before her untimely death) the importance of being one’s self, being courageous and kind to others no matter how they might treat you.  Then ending was a little different from the animated version I saw years ago.  The prince still had to seek out his princess, only when he found her before she would even try on the slipper she said he would have to accept her as she was.  Not a princess, because she wasn't but as a person and the importance of having courage and being kind.  Therefore just as our beauty takes the hand of her new love she looks over her shoulder and says to her step mother, “I forgive you”.  Let us never forget to see the magic in the world, especially when it feels like the world may be falling down all around us.  And may we all find the courage to be ourselves no matter how others may see us, or try to change us and the ability to be kind when doing so isn't the easy choice.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Women: We Can Be Our Own Worst Enemy

What would we all do without Face Book, Twitter or all the other means of posting our deepest thoughts and craziest moments?  Running through my own feed today it came to my attention just how many postings are directed at women.  Not all of them deliver a message worth reading, imagine that.  Today my favorite was one telling the reader the "the most dangerous animal" in the world was a silent woman sitting with a smile on her face. This tidbit was supplied to the reader through a radio station's post.  Thank you Alice 105.9 Denver, CO for your insightful understanding of the female psychological state.

This is the United States and we still have the freedom of speech so they may post all they want.  Today's blog is the response given to these postings by women.  After going through other postings it stands out that many of my own gender (female if you don't know me), join in and promote the degradation of our gender. Ladies we are at times our own worst critic.  We talk about each other and put each other down. We stand with the "popular" afraid of not being accepted.  We build walls of protection from fear of being vulnerable. We are so busy worrying about what someone else is thinking about us we don't live the life we are meant to live.

Today I encourage each of you to think about your own life:
  • What are the messages I send to others about myself and women as a whole?
  • Do I give respect to myself and others?
  • Do I stand silent when my voice needs to be heard?
  • Am I part of my own belittlement?
  • Do I hide in the shadow so I won't be seen because it feels safer?
Affirmation for today: I open my eyes to the world and seek enlightenment of my soul. I believe in myself and encourage others to do the same. ~Namaste~