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Tuesday, March 31, 2015. Wikipedia has a detailed page of background and introductory information about the Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) Adverse Childhood Experiences Study.

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Here is a link my great researcher friend told me about today.  Highly recommended!

ACEs Connection – Healthy, happy kids grow up to create a healthy, happy world

Here is a description of this site:

About

This community of practice uses trauma-informed, resilience-building practices to prevent Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), and to change systems to stop traumatizing already traumatized people.  ACES CONNECTION NETWORK OVERVIEWACEsTooHigh is a news site for the general public on all things ACEs-, trauma-informed, and resilience-building.ACEsConnection is a social networking site for all people interested in implementing ACEs-, trauma-informed, and resilience-building practices.

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and The California Endowment. Provide funding and support.

GOALS

Prevention, Resilience-Building and Systems Change. Prevent adverse childhood experiences (ACEs); build resilience in individuals, families and communities; change systems so they no longer traumatize already traumatized people.

Community of Practice for Collective Impact. Support cross sector collaborations in all 30,000 cities and towns nationwide through in-person and online actions.

ACESTOOHIGH.COM

Solutions-oriented news site. Reports on the epidemiology, neurobiology, biomedical and epigenetic consequences of ACEs, and resilience research. Covers how people, organizations, agencies and communities are implementing practices based on the research. Includes developments across all sectors- education, juvenile justice, criminal justice, public health, medicine, mental health, social services, cities, counties, states, and more.

ACESCONNECTION.COM

Community of Practice for Collective Impact. What comes after Facebook? Interest-based communities of practice. A community of practice is a type of social network in which people work together to set and implement goals. Collective impact is the commitment of a group of people from different sectors to a common agenda for solving a specific social problem. ACEs Connection is a community of practice that uses trauma-informed and resilience-building practices to prevent ACEs and further trauma.

Distributed Network. Instead of a top-down effort, this is a cross-sector, community effort. Engages and empowers a critical mass of ACEs-, trauma-informed, and resilience-building champions. The move from a few centralized networks to many overlapping distributed networks enables residents, advocates and professionals to participate equally across sectors and geographies to create change.

Social Network. A focused social network for people implementing or interested in implementing ACEs-, trauma-informed, and resilience-building practices in their personal or professional lives. Members participate in blogs, discussion forums, live chats, private messaging, webinars, in-person meet-ups and events, shared documents, photos, videos, audio files, calendars, and social hooks with Facebook and Twitter.

Information and Resources. A staff of journalists, tech, media, and social service professionals monitor the site and are available to answer questions at any time. Staff scan all major media outlets daily and post a cross sector collection of ACEs-, trauma-informed, and resilience related stories. Members are emailed Daily Digests and Weekly Roundups, collections of the top stories, reports, and research across media. An interactive movement map tracks member locations. A resource center houses tools for presentations, advocacy campaigns, and community collaborations.

Goal-Oriented Action Groups. After joining ACEs Connection, members can start or join groups. Groups are either geography-based (city, county, region, state) or topic-based (pediatrics, criminal justice, education). Groups can be public or private and as small (two) or large (hundreds) as needed. Groups are a vehicle for planning, implementing, and evaluating the process of becoming ACEs-, trauma-informed, and resilience-building. Groups are not for discussions only and are best utilized in conjunction with in-person meet-ups. All groups create collaborative working documents to track progress including: Assets/Gaps Map, Timeline, Goals/Action Plan, and Successes/Outcomes.

Community Management. The start-up, growth, and maintenance of groups are facilitated by Community Managers. ACEs Connection Community Managers assist in identifying, training, and mentoring group Community Managers. Together, they work with group members to develop and implement goals, strategies, and action plans through online and in-person activities. They blog relevant info, post events, feature member activities, coordinate working documents, and schedule in-person meet-ups.

There is no cost to become a member on ACEsConnection.

To join ACEs Connection, go to http://www.acesconnection.com/join and create a profile. Be sure to provide your first and last name as your Display Name.

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Here is our first book out in ebook format.  Click here to view or purchase –

Story Without Words:  How Did Child Abuse Break My Mother?

It lists for $2.99 and can be read by Amazon Prime customers without charge.

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Leave a Comment »

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Saturday, March 28, 2015.  I discovered this, one of my all-time favorite books, in 1989 as I blazed through my art therapy graduate program at the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque:  Eskimo Realities (1973) by Edmund Snow Carpenter.  In its pages I found a description of a world view reflected in language and in art creations that resonated within my own heart of hearts.

Carpenter described in this book how the Eskimo language of these arctic-circle people has over 200 words to meticulously describe snow, and how wind is described not in terms of where it blows from but rather by where it is headed and what influence any particular wind might have upon whatever lies at the end of a wind’s path.

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I see wind as being a mystery within a mystery:

Consider, how the wind, faithful to that which God hath ordained, bloweth upon all the regions of the earth, be they inhabited or desolate. Neither the sight of desolation, nor the evidences of prosperity, can either pain or please it. It bloweth in every direction, as bidden by its Creator.” — Bahá’u’lláh.  Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, US Bahá’í Publishing Trust, 1990, p. 346

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I do not remember wind from the early years of my childhood before we moved from Los Angeles to Alaska a month before my 6th birthday.  In fact, I don’t think I ever noticed wind at all until after my 7th birthday when we moved up to our mountain to homestead.

From that point forward wind alive along the valley and across the mountains captured my attention.

I had no words and therefore no ability to think about the horrors of the abuse I had suffered from my (mentally ill, psychotic) mother from the moment of my birth.  I had no words, no thoughts about my experience of suffering.  When awareness of wind, when wind itself came into my life I finally had an experience that I know now was about wind being a reflection of how I felt.

The sum total of how I felt, of my feelings as they had no words and were invisible to everyone including myself.  Feelings came and feeling went.  When I was being screamed at I felt scared.  No word for that.  When I was beaten I HURT.  No words for that.  When I was next put into solitary confinement I often cried and cried – as quietly as I could – often for hours, hidden alone as I was.

No words for that.

Suddenly there was WIND and to me the wind was the FEELING of the earth, the stone, all that grew upon it, of the clouds, the melting glacier rivers, of the beauty I recognized everywhere upon that mountain.  Wind was life itself.

Wind was the feeling of me, of all the feelings of me, in me, through me.  All the feelings I had no words for, no names for.  Wind and me were silence given force and sound.

The feeling of the wind was a “one thing” to me.  Not consciously, of course.  Not in words.  Wind does not need or ask for words.  It has its own pulse, its own rhythms, its own sound – whispers, sighs, moaning, roaring — as it shoves and pushes, twists and turns, sometimes invisibly dancing past everything in its way.  Wind has its own effects.  Sometimes it meets itself coming and going.

Wind is a feeling.  Wind found me.  Wind adopted me.

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In the present moment………………..

I am in the middle of the one day per week I take for myself.  My me day.  My quiet day in between the days I care for my young grandsons.

On this day I am again with the wind.

Last Wednesday evening my ex-husband (I will call Frank) telephoned me to invite me to a dinner that took place last night at a Golden Corral buffet restaurant as we were joined by two of his brothers and their wives, along with my daughters.

Frank and I separated in 1984 and divorced in 1985, at which point his entire family that I had been a part of for ten years also divorced me.  Abandoned me?  I had had not seen or spoken to Frank for 30 years until I returned to this area (North Dakota) October 2013 to help with my grandsons.  At this point Frank was divorcing his wife of 30 years who he could not be free of me fast enough to marry – way back when.

I had not seen or spoken to any of these four extra ‘exs’ since Christmas 1983 until last night when I joined them all for dinner.  Why the invite?  Why did I go?

Because the wind blew through my life yet again on a pathway strange to me.  I certainly had some rocky moments from the time of Frank’s call until Thursday evening when I decided to go to this dinner simply because I was asked to.

The experience was pleasant enough.  Frank paid for my dinner.  I ate too much along with everyone else.  The whole event felt like it was taking place in a time warp, to be sure.  And today?  The aftermath for me?

I am yet again among the uncountable times I have trusted in the connection I have with the wind simply working to let it all go.  Let it go.  Let it go.

I believe in God.  I believe God has purposes and plans, reasons for things that happen that will remain mysteries to me until I get to the next world where I hope for SOME explanations.  At least for some things I have lived through because there sure have been – and continue to be – some rough ones.

Sometimes I suspect God lets us finish difficult things at one point of our lives because we have done all we can do and even all God expects us to do, wishes for us to do.  And we can move on.  I moved on from those painful divorcing years.  Thirty years later I am back here and VOILA!

Maybe God sometimes hands our “school papers” back to us down the road as if saying, “Here!  There is more for you to work on here.  There is more you can learn.  There are some more steps you can take here to improve the strength and goodness of your soul.”

Well, I sure had another school paper returned to me to work on last night!  I cannot avoid having feelings.  Yes, some certain sadness at how “things” turned out.  These are all good people.  Salt of the Earth people.

I just did not belong!

But then, I know now and this realization came to me very strongly and clearly when I put my key into my apartment’s lock last night and stepped inside my so-temporary home here.  “No, I did NOT belong in that marriage.  I did NOT belong in that family.  But, then, I know now I really do NOT belong ANYWHERE.  I never have.  I never will in this lifetime.”

I am passing through.  I am a traveler.  I wander.  I am a wanderer.  My perennial image of my current phase of life resonates with Mary Poppins (who will become Mary Poppout come next September when I hope to return to the high desert borderlands of southeastern Arizona).

I can’t see that I ASKED for the life I have lived on many significant levels.  I believe God gives us two kinds of destinies.  One belongs to Him and is irrevocable to be endured with dignity and grace.  The other kind of destiny is one we CAN influence by choice.

And last night?  I claim to myself that I believe in trust, faith, love, grace, forgiveness.  That dinner almost felt like a kind of “last supper” to me.  It was not easy.  But, then, perhaps the most important lessons of our lives never are.

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Here is our first book out in ebook format.  Click here to view or purchase –

Story Without Words:  How Did Child Abuse Break My Mother?

It lists for $2.99 and can be read by Amazon Prime customers without charge.

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Leave a Comment »

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Monday, March 9, 2015.  Well, I sure have been out of the writing loop lately!!  Too busy just plain living these days, it seems.  Young children are busy-makers – and there goes TIME!

I certainly have writing thoughts race across my mind as if they belong on some continually streaming billboard of invisibility, but THIS article caught my attention LOUDLY enough to get me to stop to create a post to drop this link into:

Mental Health May Depend on Creatures in the Gut

The microbiome may yield a new class of psychobiotics for the treatment of anxiety, depression and other mood disorders

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Gut reactions.  Gut feelings.  Gut instinct.

Our mainstream American culture is poorly suited at teaching its populace that we are what Dr. Daniel Siegel calls a species with an “embodied mind.”  Our right brain hemisphere is especially gifted in its connection to ALL of our body wisdom.  My guess is that we know far more than we are used to letting ourselves KNOW that we know!

We can always learn more about paying attention to the SYSTEM that is “us alive.”

Fascinating journeys, folks!  Fascinating!

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While there is no money for me in my mention of this herbal-vitamin supplement here, I am taking it daily now and find it extremely helpful.  That means a lot to me, so I thought perhaps other readers might wish to take a look:

Source Naturals Theanine Serene with Relora

  • Contains the amino acids L-theanine, to support relaxing brain wave activity
  • Contains taurine to ease tension, as well as the calming neurotransmitter GABA
  • Features magnesium to support muscle and nerve relaxation
  • Contains calming holy basil leaf extract and Relora®to gently soothe away the tension in your body
  • 2 tablets daily, or as recommended by your health care professional

++++

Here is our first book out in ebook format.  Click here to view or purchase –

Story Without Words:  How Did Child Abuse Break My Mother?

It lists for $2.99 and can be read by Amazon Prime customers without charge.

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Leave a Comment »

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Wednesday, February 18, 2015.  Today is another day of BITTER, cruel cold weather.  There won’t be any more movement around town today than is essential.  The very cold temperatures showed up here in Fargo very late this winter.  And even strangely in Bisbee, Arizona it is 72 above – VERY remarkably, unseasonably warm as their entire winter has been.

We live with the weather on this planet and weather the weather of the human heart, as well.  Weathering the weather of earth and heart occupies us for our lifetime!  Some weather life with grace, some with terror.  Thankfully there are some people who are ahead of the curve in their ability to define not only problems but also to offer workable solutions.

I am just stopping onto the blog this morning to post a very useful Youtube video presented by Dr. Gordon Neufeld, one of the world’s top experts on human development, as he talks about an important topic a friend of mine mentioned to me this week in regard to an in-school anti-bullying campaign some local teens in her area are presenting in their community.

I don’t think information on bullies and bullying gets much clearer than this:

Gordon Neufeld on What Makes a Bully

This full talk is about 70 minutes in length.  Here is a short preview:

Bullies Their Making and Unmaking Preview

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There are bullies in the home, school, workplace, on the streets, in the political arena, in sports and on the internet, and we can certainly even bully our own self!  What on earth makes humans BE MEAN?

An online dictionary search for definitions for “bully” and “bullying” lead off into words like “intimidation” and then to “cruelty.”  Not a beautiful picture!

CRUEL

Short definition —used to describe people who hurt others and do not feel sorry about it: causing or helping to cause suffering : terrible and unfair

Full Definition — 1:  disposed to inflict pain or suffering :  devoid of humane feelings <a cruel tyrant>

2a :  causing or conducive to injury, grief, or pain <a cruel joke> b :  unrelieved by leniency

Synonymsatrociousbarbaricbarbarousbrutalbrutebutcherlyfiendish,heartlessinhumaninhumanesadisticsavagetruculentvicious,wanton, red in tooth and claw

Antonyms:  benignbenignantcompassionategood-heartedhumanekind,kindheartedsympathetictenderhearted

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Here is someone who offers solutions —

Dr. Gordon Neufeld specializes in information about human attachment from birth throughout the lifespan.  He developed a theory of attachment that includes six stages in the development of the capacity for relationship, the construct of polarization that explains both shyness and defensive detachment. His model of attachment is universal in both its application (adults as well as children) and implementation (school as well as home).

“Dr. Neufeld’s legacy is the meta theory of development he has constructed from joining the dots until a consistent picture emerged. His comprehensive model has evolved from years of synthesis and distillation. The result is an integrated developmental approach rooted in depth psychology, grounded in the developmental paradigm, saturated in attachment theory, congruent with current neurological research and honed by forty years of professional practice, parenting and personal reflection. In a world of fragmented knowledge, esoteric terminology, strategies divorced from their philosophical moorings, and a smorgasbord approach to treatment, Dr. Neufeld’s approach is a breath of fresh air.

“His insight model provides a refreshing alternative to the current cognitive behavioural fare, as well as to the medical ‘disorder’ approach. Dr. Neufeld’s approach has clear and practical implications for practice and treatment, regardless of one’s arena of involvement – child, adolescent, adult, marital or family.”  (CLICK HERE for more info on Neufeld’s website)

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While there is no money for me in my mention of this herbal-vitamin supplement here, I am taking it daily now and find it extremely helpful.  That means a lot to me, so I thought perhaps other readers might wish to take a look:

Source Naturals Theanine Serene with Relora

  • Contains the amino acids L-theanine, to support relaxing brain wave activity
  • Contains taurine to ease tension, as well as the calming neurotransmitter GABA
  • Features magnesium to support muscle and nerve relaxation
  • Contains calming holy basil leaf extract and Relora®to gently soothe away the tension in your body
  • 2 tablets daily, or as recommended by your health care professional

++++

Here is our first book out in ebook format.  Click here to view or purchase –

Story Without Words:  How Did Child Abuse Break My Mother?

It lists for $2.99 and can be read by Amazon Prime customers without charge.

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Leave a Comment »

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+DESTINY AND TALENT

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Thursday, February 12, 2015.  There have been nearly two million views of this video of a young boy “conducting” music that was posted January 25, 2015 on Facebook by iVillage Australia.  What I see when I watch it is an expression of the purest kind of joy!  Is this what TALENT looks like?  Is talent always matched by a deep inner fascination with something so very particular?

Here is another video posted of Facebook by Kocaeli Üniversitesi of a little girl evidently with the same conducting passion!

I think there is a natural strong link between innate talents (aptitudes, abilities) that a person is born with and their aspirations, interests, desires and passions!!  I think that as humanity continues to evolve we will as a species recognize that it is in everyone’s best interests to help our young ones identify what their talents are as we foster their development.

Everyone is born with some variation of capacity AND a particular aspiration of their soul.  If we guaranteed the right conditions to everyone born each person would naturally bloom into the gifts they have to offer the world.  We would then have “unity in diversity” on our planet where peace, joy and health existed for all.

Yes, this scenario is a vision that is still of the future for humankind.  But we ARE moving in that direction.  We will figure out what conditions are necessary for every human on earth to have a life from conception forward of health and well-being.  We will as a species evolve and master a different kind of consciousness – and therefore a different kind of conscience – that will enable us to work together for the common good of all.

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Children just don’t DO these kinds of things unless their entire being is part it!  (There have been over 15 million views of this video of a 7-year-old.)

Or this 3-year-old Asian Random Dancer of whom the judge asks, “What kind of upbringing did he have that makes him so calm?”

Are “child prodigies” so different from children who might display far more subtle talents of every variation?  There are an infinite number of ways human gifts appear within and among us.  Gifts in science, language, arts, music, dance, sports, invention, diplomacy, mechanical interests and abilities, engineering, technology, gifts with relating to people, animals, culinary gifts, agriculture, dreamers and doers of ever caliber and kind.

ALL to be found fascinating and worthy of encouragement and development.  ALL to be respected, honored and appreciated!  If someone’s capacity leads them to pursue a Fortune 500 career while somebody else’s takes them to a cashiering job for the rest of their lives – NOTHING about greed or ego is what adds value to choices of the heart.

It is NOT always EASY to get there!  Talent takes the involvement of an “Attachment Village” to protect, affirm, value and encourage not just the chosen few but the entire collective talent pool within the entire human race.

It will take some time to get there – generations yet to come – but I believe this is the inevitable direction of our specie’s evolving and maturing destiny.   This is the ONLY right way to go.  I am confident.  THIS is our future!

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While there is no money for me in my mention of this herbal-vitamin supplement here, I am taking it daily now and find it extremely helpful.  That means a lot to me, so I thought perhaps other readers might wish to take a look:

Source Naturals Theanine Serene with Relora

  • Contains the amino acids L-theanine, to support relaxing brain wave activity
  • Contains taurine to ease tension, as well as the calming neurotransmitter GABA
  • Features magnesium to support muscle and nerve relaxation
  • Contains calming holy basil leaf extract and Relora®to gently soothe away the tension in your body
  • 2 tablets daily, or as recommended by your health care professional

++++

Here is our first book out in ebook format.  Click here to view or purchase –

Story Without Words:  How Did Child Abuse Break My Mother?

It lists for $2.99 and can be read by Amazon Prime customers without charge.

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Leave a Comment »

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Wednesday, February 11, 2015.  Every child born anywhere on our planet deserves the same chances to have all its needs met and its human rights guaranteed, but the conditions of their lives are far from equal.  Every year I track the latest yearly report from the United Nations on the State of the World’s Children.  Today I found a most beautifully presented collection of information that can be accessed at this link as it also contains important reports from years past that have been created by UNICEF:

The State of the World’s Children reports

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The most recent information can be accessed at that link.  Following in this post are the main categories from the most current UNICEF report which includes beautiful photographs.  The full report can be accessed here:

The State of the World’s Children 2015: Reimagine the future

Innovation for every child

Around the world, an innovation revolution for children is growing – often in the most unexpected places – and increasingly led by young people themselves.

Fueled by creativity, connectivity, and collaboration, new ways of solving problems are emerging – in tech design studios and university laboratories, in development organizations and corporations, and in kitchens and community centres.

To mark the 25th anniversary of the Convention of the Rights of the Child, this edition of The State of the World’s Children highlights the work of remarkable young innovators who are already reimagining the future – and invites the world to join this rising movement to advance the rights of every child.  From this site:

About the report

“As we mark 25 years of the Convention on the Rights of the ChildThe State of the World’s Children calls for brave and fresh thinking to address age-old problems that still affect the most disadvantaged children. In particular, the report calls for innovation – and for the best and brightest solutions coming from communities to be taken to scale to benefit every child.

“The Convention itself was an innovation that recognized children as people with rights that must be respected equally to the rights of adults. It has helped drive remarkable progress for millions of children, but far too many are still being left behind.

“The report highlights how new ways of solving problems – often emerging from local communities and young people themselves – can help us overcome age-old inequities that prevent millions of children from surviving, thriving and making the most of their potential.

“To finish unfinished business, we need to innovate. This means creating interconnected systems and new networks of problem-solvers that cross sectors, generations and geographies. It means scaling up local solutions to solve global challenges – and adapting them in new contexts. It means shaping new markets and spurring the private sector to design for development. It means creating solutions together with communities, and with a view to including all their members – preventing innovation from widening gaps. It means doing things differently, to drive change for children.

“In that spirit, this year’s State of the World’s Children is different. It is inspired by the remarkable work unfolding in countries and communities around the world. It is guided by the principles for inclusive innovation that UNICEF is helping to develop. And much of its content is crowdsourced – emerging out of the experiences and insights of people who are actively working to make the world better for every child.

“Over the past year, UNICEF has convened a continuing series of Activate Talks, global symposia that are bringing together young inventors, innovators, business people, artists and others to talk about the innovation they see, need and are helping to drive. Many of their stories are included in the essays and ideas presented here. In fact, this year’s report includes the greatest number of essays – by the greatest number of young people – since UNICEF published the first State of the World’s Children in 1980.

“This is also the first fully digital State of the World’s Children, with interactive and multimedia content. Users are invited to personalize their experience by browsing through categories or by tailoring the content with a series of tags, allowing them to engage with the ideas that mean the most to them. The digital platform also connects them to an innovation community and a constellation of open-source ideas through an interactive world map.

“We invite you to join this conversation, share your own ideas and experience, and create connections that might just bring about exponential change for the most disadvantaged children. Who knows what ideas you might inspire, what actions you might inform, what collaborators you might find, what change you might make.

“Don’t think of this as UNICEF’s report. Think of it as yours.”

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How are innovators creating a better world?

By pushing boundaries, challenging assumptions and sharing their creative solutions. Use the categories below to explore their work, in their own words.

Many voices, many stories

In countries and communities across the globe, people are doing remarkable things to make the world better for every child. Here are some of their experiences and insights. — STORIES ARE AT THIS LINK

Shaping change to benefit all children

Will rapid change accentuate or diminish the extremes that separate children who want for almost nothing and those who are deprived of almost everything? In an increasingly connected world, problems cross borders – and solutions must do the same, linking global and local problem solvers to push the boundaries of the possible, try out unconventional approaches in new places, and accelerate progress towards a future in which all children can enjoy their rights. As the global development community plots its course for the post-2015 era beyond the Millennium Development Goals, the choice is ours to make. — Read the report

Join a global community of innovators

Tell the world about something innovative that you are working on, or that someone you know of is doing. Help discover the next big idea that could change the world for children. — Map your innovation

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While there is no money for me in my mention of this herbal-vitamin supplement here, I am taking it daily now and find it extremely helpful.  That means a lot to me, so I thought perhaps other readers might wish to take a look:

Source Naturals Theanine Serene with Relora

  • Contains the amino acids L-theanine, to support relaxing brain wave activity
  • Contains taurine to ease tension, as well as the calming neurotransmitter GABA
  • Features magnesium to support muscle and nerve relaxation
  • Contains calming holy basil leaf extract and Relora®to gently soothe away the tension in your body
  • 2 tablets daily, or as recommended by your health care professional

++++

Here is our first book out in ebook format.  Click here to view or purchase – if you can.

Story Without Words:  How Did Child Abuse Break My Mother?

It lists for $2.99 and can be read by Amazon Prime customers without charge.  Reviews for the book on the Amazon.com site are welcome.

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Leave a Comment »

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+UNIQUE

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Tuesday, February 10, 2015.  It is snowing heavily today.  Large flakes, some appearing nearly like birds aiming directly at my windows.  If my hearing was acute enough would I be able to hear them tap against the glass?

It remains one of the most useful centering thoughts of my life to contemplate the fact that somehow – somehow of the obvious and not even remotely obvious collection of miracles in this sphere of material life we all occupy at this moment in time – it is the uniqueness of every snowflake crystal that has ever been or will ever be that lets me know there is far more to this life of ours than anyone can really imagine.

I don’t think we will ever be able to grasp the complexity of life!

There are a LOT of snowflakes dancing outside at this moment!  Enough that someone out on a long empty stretch of highway would not be able to see their way clearly enough to drive safely.  Every flake uniquely different.  Every human being uniquely different.

Yet snowflakes mostly share common characteristics with one another.  Certainly humans also share with one another common characteristics that actually make us far more like one another than different.  It’s not always easy to see that fact.

Same with music.

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As I learn to play piano I listen to a lot of piano music on the Pandora radio station I am continually shaping to reflect music I would like to learn how to play.  I just encountered this lovely gentle song – Tally’s Lullaby played by Karen Marie Garrett.  It reminds me of all the goodness in life.  The goodness is always here no matter how hard life might be at times.

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I also found a prayer this morning that particularly mentions LIGHT.  Without light in the world we could not have the contrast of shadows and darkness.  But it is only the light that is real, that is eternal.  Darkness and shadow are illusions in this world of material existence through which we can discover the nature of life here on this plane of existence.

O Thou kind Lord!  O Thou Source of ancient bounty, of grace, of generosity and bestowal!  O Thou Healer of sicknesses!  O Thou Sufficer of needs!  O Thou Light of Light!  O Thou Light above all Lights!

O Thou the Compassionate!  O Thou the Merciful!  Do Thou have mercy upon the bearer of this Tablet, through Thy most great mercy and Thine abundant grace, O Thou the Gracious, Thou the Bounteous.  Guard him, moreover, through Thy protection, from whatsoever his heart and mind may find repugnant.  Of those endued with power, Thou, verily, art the most powerful.” (READ MORE HERE)

Every human being carries a story engraved upon the ‘tablet of their heart’.  We might not find people to hear our story in this world, but I believe in the next world one of the great gifts we will all receive is an explanation for the sufferings of this lifetime.  I know that might not seem much of a consolation to MANY in THIS lifetime!

There are children born into families where severe challenges of sickness (including addictions and mental illness), ignorance and/or immaturity prevent the adults who are entrusted to provide love, safety, security and protection for these children from caring for them.  There are families where adults directly harm children.  We know this happens.

For those who survive severe trauma in childhood it can be very hard to make sense of what happened to them.

Like being lost alone in a blizzard with snow so deep movement is nearly impossible, direction to safety cannot be found, threat to ongoing life is very real, and daylight has turned into darkness – time might be slowed down to only one breath after the next one.  Waiting for the storm to pass….

We make it through.

Then what?

We transcend our story.  We are all so much more than what happens to us!

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Everyone is an artist working in the studio of life, and one of the most useful and extremely helpful tools for our creations is available to EVERYONE free of charge beginning at this link –

How to Start a WordPress Blog – A Step-By-Step Guide

An internet tablet to write words from the heart, to post pictures, videos, music – whatever you want!  Creations can be ‘published’ to remain private or they can ‘go live’ publicly.  MANY choices are clearly laid out at the above link included in the wide array of formats provided by WordPress – again, all free of charge!

Every blog, as a working tool for the creativity of individuals, is as unique as a snowflake.

Perhaps TODAY is the day to give YOUR blog a try and make it fly!

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While there is no money for me in my mention of this herbal-vitamin supplement here, I am taking it daily now and find it extremely helpful.  That means a lot to me, so I thought perhaps other readers might wish to take a look:

Source Naturals Theanine Serene with Relora

  • Contains the amino acids L-theanine, to support relaxing brain wave activity
  • Contains taurine to ease tension, as well as the calming neurotransmitter GABA
  • Features magnesium to support muscle and nerve relaxation
  • Contains calming holy basil leaf extract and Relora®to gently soothe away the tension in your body
  • 2 tablets daily, or as recommended by your health care professional

++++

Here is our first book out in ebook format.  Click here to view or purchase – if you can.

Story Without Words:  How Did Child Abuse Break My Mother?

It lists for $2.99 and can be read by Amazon Prime customers without charge.  Reviews for the book on the Amazon.com site are welcome.

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Leave a Comment »

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Monday, February 9, 2015.  I found it delightful today to refresh my thinking about the Waldorf school method of educating children and the philosophy upon which it is based.  This would be my absolute top #1 choice for educating children.  Here is some basic information with links to a more comprehensive description of the world’s most rapidly growing approach to education.

Take a few moments to imagine being a child again who was able to attend a school such as these are!  I cannot imagine victimized children ever being ignored and allowed to suffer should they be a part of an educational setting that works like this does!  ALL children need to thrive – in every way possible!

Why Waldorf Works

is the official website in North America for this method of education:

The Association of Waldorf Schools of North America (AWSNA) is proud to bring you Why Waldorf Works, a definitive source of news and information about Waldorf Education. Here you can explore this remarkable approach to educating children that boasts an 85 year history in North America.

Waldorf Education has grown from its humble beginnings in North America to include 160 member schools across the continent and 14 teacher preparation institutes, 1 school entirely adapted for children with special needs, 1 school adopted by Native Americans and 8 schools with educational programs designed in partnership with farms practicing organic or biodynamic agriculture. So as you can see, this independent school movement has grown to have a huge reach and influence across the continent and remains as exciting and challenging as the day it started. The following pages contain a lot of rich news, information and resources about Waldorf Education. Here’s just a snap shot of some things you will find.

For up to date news about Waldorf Education around the world click on News & Events in the drop down menu. You can read about Waldorf graduates, information about conferences, teacher education, or educational trends. And if you want to stay current on Waldorf news, be sure to sign up for our Email Alerts on the left-hand banner.

If you want to learn more about this association of independent Waldorf schools click on any of the AWSNAbuttons above. The Find A School button will help you search for schools by name, continental region, or internationally.

If you like history and are interested in knowing how Waldorf Education came about click on the Waldorf Education button.

Teacher Preparation will tell you everything you need to know about how to become a Waldorf teacher.

And if you love books and want great reading material the Books&More button will take you to our on-line store where you can buy books about Waldorf Education as well as quality books for children.

And if that’s not enough you can always subscribe to Renewal: A Journal for Waldorf Education. This magazine has great articles about all aspects of Waldorf Education. It is published twice a year and is well worth the read.

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Waldorf Education: An Introduction

What Is Waldorf Education?

For the Waldorf student, music, dance, and theater, writing, literature, legends and myths are not simply subjects to be read about, ingested and tested. They are experienced. Through these experiences, Waldorf students cultivate a lifelong love of learning as well as the intellectual, emotional, physical and spiritual capacities to be individuals certain of their paths and to be of service to the world.

Developed by Rudolf Steiner in 1919, Waldorf Education is based on an understanding of human development that addresses the needs of the growing child. Waldorf teachers strive to transform education into an art that educates the whole child—the heart and the hands, as well as the head.

When you enter a Waldorf school, the first thing you may notice is the care given to the building. The walls are usually painted in lively colors and are adorned with student artwork. Evidence of student activity is everywhere to be found and every desk holds a uniquely created main lesson book.

Another first impression may be the enthusiasm and commitment of the teachers you meet. These teachers are interested in the students as individuals. They are interested in the questions:

  • How do we establish within each child his or her own high level of academic excellence?
  • How do we call forth enthusiasm for learning and work, a healthy self-awareness, interest and concern for fellow human beings, and a respect for the world?
  • How can we help pupils find meaning in their lives?

The Waldorf curriculum is broad and comprehensive, structured to respond to the three developmental phases of childhood: from birth to approximately 6 or 7 years, from 7 to 14 years and from 14 to 18 years. Rudolf Steiner stressed to teachers that the best way to provide meaningful support for the child is to comprehend these phases fully and to bring “age appropriate” content to the children that nourishes healthy growth.

READ MORE HERE if you wish to explore this fascinating approach to educating the whole child.

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Here is another website of information on Waldorf education that is hosted privately:  Welcome to Waldorf Answers!

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While there is no money for me in my mention of this herbal-vitamin supplement here, I am taking it daily now and find it extremely helpful.  That means a lot to me, so I thought perhaps other readers might wish to take a look:

Source Naturals Theanine Serene with Relora

  • Contains the amino acids L-theanine, to support relaxing brain wave activity
  • Contains taurine to ease tension, as well as the calming neurotransmitter GABA
  • Features magnesium to support muscle and nerve relaxation
  • Contains calming holy basil leaf extract and Relora®to gently soothe away the tension in your body
  • 2 tablets daily, or as recommended by your health care professional

++++

Here is our first book out in ebook format.  Click here to view or purchase – if you can.

Story Without Words:  How Did Child Abuse Break My Mother?

It lists for $2.99 and can be read by Amazon Prime customers without charge.  Reviews for the book on the Amazon.com site are welcome.

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Leave a Comment »

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Friday, February 5, 2015.  One thing I know is that I was never given – from the start of my life – the experiences people need in order to be able to – allowed to – anthropomorphize human beings:

transitive verb:  to attribute human form or personality to

intransitive verb:  to attribute human form or personality to things not human

My reality in this world is simply not the same as it is for nearly all other people.  At age 63 I can state this fact as fact.  I know what I know.

Essentially, then, in my reality the processes of ATTACHMENT that create human beings from the start of their earthly life are NOT essentially about what I suspect other people are tempted to think they are.  Attachment, to me, is not about “lovey-dovey” squishy warm fuzzy coo-coo ga-ga Hallmark moment cushy interactions.

Attachment, even as the developmental neuroscientists now describe it, is a literal biophysical process by which earliest caregivers of infants literally DOWNLOAD their brain and nervous system into the rapidly forming body-nervous system-brain of the next generation of humans on earth.

Attachment does not need to be a perfectly orchestrated process to be effective in creating healthy, happy humans.  It just needs to be “good enough.”  This “good enough” varies from culture to culture as it works to literally create “cultural personality traits.”  Variations between safe and SECURE attachment and variations of INSECURE attachment involve HOW people process emotions and social interactions, what they pay attention to, and eventually what they value and the choices they feel validated to make within their culture.  (All of these processes, by the way, are deeply invested in the way the early forming critically important brain region called the Anterior Cingulate Cortex (ACC) builds itself from birth.)

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What to humans respond to?  What do they avoid?  Patterns of attachment directly express themselves by how emotions are regulated – or not.

How early do all these processes begin?  Treat yourself to this!

Now, watch THIS:  Tronick Still Face Experiment

Attachment, if looked at musically, is about patterns of harmonizing.  It is about attunement and resonance, sound and silence.  I take sound to include even expressions of experience that can be read/heard with the eyes as well as with the ears.  The infant faced with the ‘disappearance’ of its mother for those brief two minutes wasn’t able to discriminate how it knew what it knew.

The baby was essentially left all alone with its rapidly forming little (inadequate to face life) brain disconnected from the power-information source of its mother’s brain over the course of her immobility.  This is not an “anthropomorphic” “warm-fuzzy vs not” kind of experience, no matter how much we wish Hallmark moments into our lives.  It is biophysical.

Attachment experiences build babies into adults from the moment of conception forward.

What would have happened if that mother had been directly responding to that baby with hostile, violent rage and aggression?

It happens.

I know.

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Developmental experts state that experiences conception to age 3 (the end of toddlerhood and entrance into preschooler stages) are the most important ones of a person’s lifetime.

I would ask the question, “Was that baby in the still face experiment SUFFERING during those two minutes of disconnect from its mother?”

I cannot help but follow with this.  If that baby WAS suffering then how as an entire culture do we believe it is perfectly OK for mothers to disconnect from their infants from birth as they place them for 50+ hours per week into daycare settings that by default take mother away from baby?

We can break apart answers to that question any way we want to, but from my point of view if any kind of suffering is created long-term in very young children their physiological development will be altered in the direction of an adaptation to what their body-brain responds to as trauma.

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I am thinking this morning of something that sits here within me now unbidden by me.  My psychotic (seriously mentally ill) abusive mother recorded in her diary when I was 20 months old that I did not wet my clothing mornings after remaining dry all night.  All fine and good except she notes that she “did not have time to put Linda on the potty until 11 am.”

At that time Mother was pregnant with her 3rd child.  My older brother was three.  Mother was torturing me.

She was not EVER “in contact” with me.  She did not attune to me.  She did not resonate with me.  Her mental illness required that she torture me and keep me as miserable as she possibly could.

I would have known at 20 months old the terrible response Mother would have had to me IF I had NOT suffered until she chose to allow me to use the potty.  Mother found ways to control my life to suit her psychosis throughout the 18 long years of my childhood.

I KNEW how to suffer.

Somehow, as I process my current healing crisis I am understanding that my being able to suffer created in me an equal inability to recognize suffering in all young ones.  Somehow it made me so that although I could – and did – (words just left me….) – oh, TOLERATE incredible suffering I have NO TOLERANCE for tolerating the suffering of little ones.

None.

Attunement, resonance, mirroring – compassion, common sense, a willingness to put the needs of little people before the desires of adults whenever possible – and appropriate caring responses PREVENT suffering in little people.

Simple as that.

While I never experienced ANY of this in my early life and in fact experienced the hell of its opposite, these patterns are perfectly clear to me.  And, I must say, getting clearer yet!

Would I say that ALL mothers MUST be present and/or available to their offspring 100% of the time during their first 3 years of life?

On the grounds that it might incriminate me, I will postpone answering that question except to say that I see no possible way that the “abandonment” of infants by their mothers for massive periods of time during early life DOES change HOW humans develop away-from-optimal in many critically important ways.

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(If an infant is being abused primary care by others is of course needed.  And, as I have stated before, care of little people by older children was the pattern most present during our evolution but mothers WERE available when needed by their infants.)

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While there is no money for me in my mention of this herbal-vitamin supplement here, I am taking it daily now and find it extremely helpful.  That means a lot to me, so I thought perhaps other readers might wish to take a look:

Source Naturals Theanine Serene with Relora

  • Contains the amino acids L-theanine, to support relaxing brain wave activity
  • Contains taurine to ease tension, as well as the calming neurotransmitter GABA
  • Features magnesium to support muscle and nerve relaxation
  • Contains calming holy basil leaf extract and Relora®to gently soothe away the tension in your body
  • 2 tablets daily, or as recommended by your health care professional

++++

Here is our first book out in ebook format.  Click here to view or purchase – if you can.

Story Without Words:  How Did Child Abuse Break My Mother?

It lists for $2.99 and can be read by Amazon Prime customers without charge.  Reviews for the book on the Amazon.com site are welcome.

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Leave a Comment »

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+HEALING CRISIS

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Thursday, February 5, 2015.  I wish I could write what would be a ‘coherent’ account of what the processes are that I am going through right now, but I would be highly surprised if I will.  By all accounts being unable to tell a ‘coherent’ life story narrative as an adult who lived through severe trauma in their early life is exactly how adult insecure attachment disorders are assessed.  With a trauma history such as mine is I am fully aware that I will be victimized by trauma stored in my body when trauma triggers appear in my ongoing life – for the rest of my life.

I am in the midst of what can be termed a “crisis of healing” or a “healing crisis.”  I am also thinking of a term discussed in my art therapy graduate program 25 years ago:  State of emergency.  These states happen when important aspects of injuries from any trauma, but certainly from severe early abusive trauma, begin to literally emerge.  Make themselves known.  Whether or not anyone can understand what is being drawn forth for healing.

I am describing what I am going through right now as being one of the vastest, complicated and BIG trauma-triggered crises of my life.  It all began to appear so innocuously about 3 weeks ago.

Fargo, North Dakota where I am “camped out” until the end of next August as I care for my youngest grandson who just turned 2 ½ – I will simply refer to him as the toddler – has a Blue Law which prohibits any retail store from opening before noon on Sundays.  My daughter, her hubby, the nearly 5-year-old grandson and the toddler stopped by to pick me up for a jaunt at noon to the nearby Sam’s Club.  The experience was a DISASTER for me and I am still reeling from the repercussions.

Toddler, as I manage his little life Monday-Friday for 9+ hours, is absolutely READY for a nice nap after lunch at noon.  He was NOT ready for a foray through the aisles of a mega store and let EVERYONE know how absolutely MISERABLE he was.  I reacted.  Or rather, I tried NOT to react in dismay and panic as in “WHY is this happening to this precious little boy?”

I attempted silence in the most grandmotherly way as I scooted my own cart around to pick up my basics.  But my BODY let me know (Out of nowhere?  Not.) with sudden explosive diarrhea that sent me tailspinning out of the store that TO ME and IN ME something was terribly awry.

I have not felt well since.

As that trauma trigger experience began to further display my true reaction over these passing days (To what?  I am only now beginning to understand.) I found my entire midsection felt internally paralyzed and my digestive system just stopped working.  I had to start asking the questions that matter:  What am I trying to digest right now?  What is it that I cannot stomach?

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Now. Here comes the really important and tricky part to put into words.  If you do an online search for the terms “stop the storm borrowed attachment” you can locate some of my past writings about how I have understood my own process of having been SO ABUSED throughout the entire 18 years of my childhood from birth and did NOT abuse my own children.

I am learning more about that on a MAJOR deep level right now.

I was absolutely unable to tolerate even that ‘minor’ (I know it did not feel minor to him) ‘suffering’ of my grandson as he was so desperately ready for his nap.  I could do NOTHING at the time to spare him what my body powerfully recognized as his suffering.

I am processing that I have an EXQUISITE ability to detect suffering in children and a POWERFUL drive response to STOP that suffering.

It is IN MY BODY!  It is a part of who I am.

I learned how to foster safe and secure attachment with my children when they were little under ONLY profoundly traumatic circumstances.  I know that because my entire childhood was profoundly traumatic.  I have known for a long time that my ability to prevent suffering in wee ones was honed when my youngest brother was born when I was in 8th grade.  Mother did not want to be bothered with knowing he existed when I was home.

I would be brutally abused any time I did not meet Mother’s standards (as well as any other time her ‘mood’ dictated).  I had to keep the baby silent and invisible to her and there was ONLY one way for me to do that.

I had to ‘read’ his every signal of need and respond to keep him HAPPY.

Well, nature creates needs in little ones that are not THAT hard to meet – although the ‘giving’ to these little ones IS work.  I just kept my brother happy.  Whatever it took.

In other words, as my current healing crisis is telling me, I met his needs so that he DID NOT SUFFER.  Remove suffering from little ones?  They are happy.

Logic 101.

BUT, at this point in my healing this is all SO MUCH BIGGER.  As I described in my book Story Without Words it was the unique demand of Mother’s terrible psychosis that she create a hell exactly for me and that she keep me in there ALWAYS – so she did not have to suffer.

That was my life from birth.  As I suffered, my siblings were free to play, to grow.  Of course our home was BAD NEWS on so many levels that harmed my siblings, including the fact that they witnessed what nobody should being done to me, but at least the kind of suffering that was demanded of ME did not touch them.  Suffering was my job.  Even to spare my father.

But until this healing crisis I am moving through right now I never understood how much a part of the cells in my body it is for me to STOP THE SUFFERING of little ones.  My grandson was NOT suffering in his mother’s eyes due to missing naptime; probably not in most of her generation’s parents’ eyes.  But my standards are, formed through such a history of trauma, that any suffering I COULD prevent – I BETTER prevent.

OR?  OR WHAT?

Whatever is happening to me right now involves some kind of ‘re-feeling’ and ‘re-thinking’ everything I have ever known about myself as a mother (I was pregnant with my first child in 1970), and now as a grandmother (and even as a sister).  I can feel it – I am ‘being changed’ from the core of my being outward.  This is HARD WORK HEALING.

This is ‘sickening work.’  (So many FEELINGS!)  What happened to me in the first 18 years of my life was SICK!  Mother was SICK beyond belief!  (So was my father to NEVER protect me, etc.)

These are big wounds I am talking about.  I suffered so much that if I EVER even consider looking in a wider circle at what I lived through to learn more about those experiences than I already know, I shut everything down in my thoughts immediately.

I never get past this:  I simply SHOULD NOT BE ALIVE.  There is NO understandable way I survived what I did and am still here.

BUT.  I am evidently learning to understand on a much deeper level more about the nitty-gritty workings that allowed me to not only NOT abuse my children, but to do SO MUCH MORE good for them than I can imagine I ‘should’ have ever been able to do.  I did everything in my power to prevent them from ever suffering.  In doing that I “accidentally” did things right.

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There are mysteries here.  I count on them being explained to me in the next world.  BUT when some parts of those mysteries come to be faced in my body – and then inescapably by me who lives with this body – I count on some important healing benefits coming into my life now.

NOT an easy process.  To be discovering now that something so precious, so positive, so sacred to me as my relationships with my children and my grandchildren is so intertwined with my experiences of trauma is profoundly disturbing to me.  This healing crisis is literally – creating one big ‘chunk of change’ in me.

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And – a welcome great mystery that we met in this crazy life – I cannot even begin to imagine how I would be getting through these difficult stages of my life right now without my amazing friend who lives half a nation away from me.  He is always on the other end of my telephone when I need him with the utmost caring, compassion, empathy, understanding, knowledge, wisdom and love.  Thank you, Sandy, with all of my heart and soul!  Thank you!

++++

While there is no money for me in my mention of this herbal-vitamin supplement here, I am taking it daily now and find it extremely helpful.  That means a lot to me, so I thought perhaps other readers might wish to take a look:

Source Naturals Theanine Serene with Relora

  • Contains the amino acids L-theanine, to support relaxing brain wave activity
  • Contains taurine to ease tension, as well as the calming neurotransmitter GABA
  • Features magnesium to support muscle and nerve relaxation
  • Contains calming holy basil leaf extract and Relora®to gently soothe away the tension in your body
  • 2 tablets daily, or as recommended by your health care professional

++++

Here is our first book out in ebook format.  Click here to view or purchase – if you dare.

Story Without Words:  How Did Child Abuse Break My Mother?

It lists for $2.99 and can be read by Amazon Prime customers without charge.  Reviews for the book on the Amazon.com site are welcome.

++++

Leave a Comment »

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