HUNTERS BEWARE: OUR CHILDREN ARE OFF LIMITS!


This morning I watched a video of a 7-year-old girl who was almost abducted at a Wal-Mart in GeorgiaChild fights off would-be abductor.

It reminded me of an experience I had a couple of days before Christmas while shopping at the Fox Hills Mall in Culver City.  My granddaughter was visiting L.A., as was I, and she wanted to stretch her $40 to get a few gifts. So, my mom and niece suggested she start at the Wal-Mart located in the mall.

After I made certain the girls kept a good eye on their grandmother/great-grandmother, my plan was to sneak out and get a “Hello Kitty” bracelet made for my granddaughter without her getting a whiff of the surprise.  As I began walking from the back of the huge store to the exit, a little girl, I’ll call “Brandy,” with stringy blonde hair and the sweetest face appeared just a couple of feet from the end of the aisle. Brandy called out to me. Surprised, I continued toward her and she asked me for help.

It’s amazing when little people have the veracity and calm to approach a stranger for help and know exactly who to trust. Brandy told me that she had lost her family, but when I asked about her mother, she said she was at home. My first fear was that  she had been abandoned, but in her gibberish, I realized that Brandy had been with other family members.

Brandy quickly grabbed my hand and we started walking as I called out to the shoppers, “Small child lost! Anyone looking for their daughter?” I asked Brandy if it was alright for me to pick her up so people could see her better. (It was also better for my back.) She gave me a darling smile. Apparently, she, too, wanted to be carried.

Brandy had a remarkably calm demeanor and conversed with me like we were old friends. I was particularly touched by her comfort with me. She kept one arm gripped around my neck,  and at times placed her head on my shoulder, drawing my motherly love around her like a protective tigress.

Hearing my call to the Wal-Mart shoppers, a young male security guard walked up to us and said he’d take the child. I politely refused and could feel her relief as her grip tightened. Our bond had become special and she felt assured I’d take her to safety. I offered the guard to walk with us, guide us to the customer service, and, most importantly, to make a “lost child” store announcement. I convinced the guard, “it’s not personal, dear, but the little sweetheart chose me to help her find her family because she felt safe with me.” It was clear that I wasn’t going to release her to anyone that was not her family.

The security guard left us, but crossed paths with us again a few minutes later. Again, I requested that he make an announcement that a little child was looking to be reunited with her family. It irked me that something as simple as making a full store announcement was not the immediate response of the store security. By now, a male and female security guard were aware of the child’s dilemma, but neither had made any motion to make an announcement.

In the meantime, I heard a voice a few feet away, “Picking up strays now, are you?” Then, laughter ensued as my niece and granddaughter walked up looking amazed and amused. Little Brandy waved her hand from left to right at them both and asked, “Is this your family?” The gesture was so cute that we all burst out laughing. I managed to answer affirmatively. The three of them began a conversation, and then, my mom appeared looking bewildered. She thought I should turn the child over to the store security. We all exclaimed, “No!” That’s when Mom really saw Brandy. That darling child had engaged her, too.  A few moments later, a tattered looking young man with a boy about 5 years old spotted us.

Brandy’s wide smile was indication enough to let us know that they were her family. Still holding on to me like I was her dear friend, she cheered, “That’s my daddy!” It took her a second to let me go, as she thanked me with a squeeze. I handed her over to her worried-looking father. With a look of embarrassment and relief, he thanked me profusely.

Mom, the quintessential grandmother and great-grandmother walked over to Brandy’s father and had a grandmotherly chat with him. As we were leaving Wal-Mart, we asked her what she told him.  Mom shared, with raised brow, that Brandy and her brother had been allowed to play hide ‘n’ seek under the clothing racks  (something her children would have never been allowed to do, by the way) when Brandy got lost. Mom’s wise words to the father were, “This is not the climate to leave your children unattended, even for a moment.” He seemed to digest her words well and with appreciation. We were all glad it turned out so gracefully.

My best advice for a parent is that you teach your children good survival skills while keeping them prayed up. Watch them with a hawk’s eye, as much as you are able. That 7-year-old who was almost kidnapped fortunately got away. It’s often not the case. Keep your little ones close to you, especially  when you are in places where they can easily become lost or get snatched. The beasts who steal children are hunters and have the patience of hunters.

Build a trustworthy network. Your children are worth every moment of your time. Above all treat your children with love and respect. They grow up faster than you can imagine.

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#Occupy Oakland’s General Strike Video: Massive Solidarity March


#Occupy Oakland’s Nov. 2 General Strike occurred on last Wednesday. It was a most auspicious day, with Oakland’s infamous diverse population gathered in unity to support a Peoples‘ march and rally on behalf of enacting a true occupation. Some of those marching came with groups, organizations, family, friends, co-workers, alone, but they came. It was an awe-inspiring sight and experience. I marched with Angela Davis. She was bombarded with people who knew her place in the Movement was iconoclastic. She didn’t feel that way at all. She was thrilled to see the people united and empowered to provoke, inspire, motivate and march for change.

Let the world see the spectacular example of a city unified in Solidarity. Look at the number of people who walked and protested peacefully and powerfully. The violence only served to make folks think the overall Strike was a fiasco. NO! It wasn’t! There were over 50,000+ marchers! They were marching to close down Oakland’s Port, and they did!  This was my experience, People Empowered to Stand in Unity! POWER TO THE PEOPLE!

Take a deep breath…exhale slowly


My Lake Chabot hike photo by Dafina Kuficha

These days are filled with fascinating natural occurrences. Arizona has experienced its second major dust storm in a month. Over 241 tornados touched down in Alabama and the midwest, leaving uncountable and in some cases, insurmountable, damages, including loss of life and property. The news is not reassuring but actually serves to keep fear at the forefront of our lives. Stress plays an all too major role in our everyday lives and many of us need a way to handle it effectively. Well, here’s a 10-20 breathing exercise that may not be able to prevent high blood pressure but it can keep it from rising. Sometimes we just need an easy way to handle our stress and the right type of breathing can be the answer. Your breath can be of great aid to your process or it can hinder your process by keeping you feeling fearful and inflexible. Remember, deep breathing is essential to good health.

Acupuncture also aids you in deepening your breathing practice as it aids the respiratory system in improving its function. Choose to have vibrant  health by taking time to deepen your breathing with the Hara Breathing Exercise Technique and open yourself to practices that improve your health.

HARA BREATHING EXERCISE TECHNIQUE

Hara breathing is done to relieve the body, mind, and spirit of all types of stress.  If you feel weak or overwhelmed, scared or angry, breathing into the hara will ease these feelings.  Breathing into the hara region allows you to contact your reservoir of energy, and then helps you to root it.

Find a place of quiet, peacefulness.  Make sure the clothes you are wearing are loose fitting, especially around your waist.  You may lie down, sit down or stand up to perform this breathing technique.  It may feel more comfortable to either lie down with your knees slightly bent (to take pressure off your lower back), or to sit in the lotus (crossed-legged) position. (Careful of too placing much pressure on sore knees)  Begin with natural breathing, allowing your body, especially your jaws, neck and shoulders, to relax.

Begin by taking three deep, cleansing breaths, inhaling slowly through your nostrils, while expanding your abdomen, and finish by exhaling slowly through your mouth.

Now, inhale slowly through your nostrils to the count of five (“one thousand one” and so on).  Place your tongue at the roof of your mouth.  Feel your inhalation all the way down to your hara, the region located about one inch below your navel.  As you inhale to the count of five, your abdomen should be expanding as your diaphragm is moving downward.  Hold the breath for another five counts.  Exhale by removing your tongue from the roof of your mouth keeping your mouth slightly open.  To the count of five, slowly, quietly exhale like a cool breeze.  If a feather were placed in front of your mouth during the exhalation, it would not be moved, so quiet and calm is the exhaling breath.  Continue this exercise without pause between inhalation and exhalation.  As you become more adept with this breathing exercise, you may wish to hold the breath longer.  Increase the count gradually as you are ready for it.

Practice hara breathing daily for at least ten to twenty minutes in the mornings and evenings. You will immediately notice improvement in your inner feelings and in your overall physical health. Feel free to use this breathing technique when you are facing challenges in your life’s daily activities.  You can do the exercise for a few moments  or for ten to twenty minutes, once a day or twice a day or throughout the day. At the end you’ll feel much calmer and refreshed.  Your choices, options, possibilities and opportunities become clearer when you are calmer. Enjoy deeper breathing and better health.   Ashay!

Spring Forward (part 2)


"Awakening" photo by D. Kuficha

It has long been written that the world as we know it will be forever altered by 2012. The need for a global consciousness of global respect, love and appreciation for all life cannot be understated.  We have passed the time for only having recognition and concern for our own problems. Yes, the spiritually-disenfranchised of this nation continue to support devastating wars and conflicts around the world. In so doing, the propagation of fear and terrorism is being used to further us away from our goal of global harmony.  Spring is the season of new thought and new ways of looking at old situations.  We are charged with taking evolutionary steps in the direction of inner peace, then world peace.  We have many movements coming forth to allow bring this goal to its fruition. One such goal is A Day of Global Silence.  The first date is07/07/07.  Spread the world and read the article on this website that will tell you how to use silence to create inner and global peace. Please lend yourself to this effort and spread the word for Silence. Shhh…”Be still and know that ye are daughters and sons of the Most High!”

It is through honoring the truth in our spirits, taking care to rest, eat well, speak truth, speak kindness, think high thoughts, and by respecting all life that we are most likely to remain strong, centered, focused, loving, caring, considerate, enthusiastic, helpful, encouraged and encouraging, motivated and motivating, inspired and inspiring. Many of us will suffer through our own or through the sufferings of others. One thing is certain, no matter how difficult, ridiculous, or fearful things may appear, ALL IS IN DIVINE ORDER. Take quiet time to honor yourself, your thoughts, feelings, fears, or confidences and to attune with greater frequency to the Divine Self, whatever you name IT, God, Allah, Jah, Yahweh, Jehovah, Mother Spirit, Infinite Spirit, Wakan Tanka, Holy Breath of All Life, Jesus, Buddha,Krishna, and so on. Remember also to honor the ancestors of ancient or recent past without whose lives yours would not be. The old folks put it aptly, “always remember where you’ve come from.”

QI GONG EXERCISES TO CALM THE INNER SELF: 

In the Huang Ti Nei Ching Su Wen, the Yellow Emperor, Huang Ti, asks Ch’i Po, “How can one achieve a tranquil atmosphere?” She answers, “By avoiding transgressions of the laws of nature.” One of the ways to avoid (too many) transgressions is through proper use of the breath. Perhaps one or all of the following three qi gong exercises will lively up your qi.

HARA BREATHING TECHNIQUE

Two important reasons for performing Hara breathing technique are to relieve the body, mind, and spirit of any type of stress and to circulate and strengthen the body’s qi (vital energy).  If you feel weak, overwhelmed, scared, angry, or just stressed out, breathing into the hara region will ease these feelings.  Breathing into the hara allows you to contact your reservoir of energy, and then helps you root it.  In so doing, you are bringing in the vibration of optimal health to your being.

Find a place of quiet peacefulness. Make sure the clothes you are wearing are loose fitting, especially around your waist.  You may lie down, sit down or stand up to perform this breathing technique. I find it more comfortable to either lie down with knees slightly bent or place a pillow under them to take pressure off the lower back, or sit in lotus (crossed-legged) position. Begin with natural breathing, allowing your body, especially your jaws, neck and shoulders, to relax.

Yoga birds balancing postures photo: D. Kuficha

Take three deep, cleansing breaths, inhaling slowly through your nose, expanding your abdomen, and exhaling slowly through your mouth. Now, slowly inhale through your nose to the count of five (“one thousand one” and so on). Place your tongue at the roof of your mouth. Feel your inhalation all the way down to your hara, the place located about one inch below your navel. As you inhale, your abdomen is expanding and your diaphragm moves down in a full breath. Hold the breath for another five counts. While exhaling, remove your tongue from the roof of the mouth, and slightly open it. To the count of five, slowly and quietly exhale through your mouth likening the breath to a cool breeze. NOTE: If a feather were to be placed in front of your mouth during exhalation, it would not be moved, so quiet and calm is the breath of the exhalation. Breathe continuously without pause between inhalation and exhalation.

Practice this technique daily for at least ten to twenty minutes in the morning and evening.  You will soon notice improvement in your inner feelings and in your overall physical health.

Copyright 1996 Dafina Kuficha, L.Ac.

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I AM GLOBAL PEACE!


 

Global Silence Logo designed by Wendell Wiggins

I am Global Peace!


Rather than complain about all the things

going wrong on Earth planet,

I choose to give thanks for all that goes right.

I choose to focus on the loving care I witness, receive and give daily.

As I focus on that love, I am strengthened,

and have more love to give to myself and to others.

As I focus on that love, I am compassion,

and have more compassion for myself and for others.

As I focus on that love, I am forgiveness,

and have more forgiveness for myself and for others.

As I focus on that love, I enter into the golden Silence,

and in the golden Silence I connect with peace.

As I connect with my inner peace,

I connect with the global vision of peace, with Immaculate Love

and harmony for all life and its conditions.

In the holy Silence, the answer to “how” is revealed.

It starts with me, with every “me” in the world .

The peace piece is an inward journey.

The world will not know peace without it!

"Florida-sunset" Art & Photo by Eugenia Morrison

Peace Be still and know that we are

Daughters & Sons of the Most High.

 

HOUSE OF LITE: A Transitional Home for Mothers and their Newborns


Treasured Health Gems

THE HOUSE OF LITE: A transitional home for mothers and their newborns

Maddy Oden  is a great light for the birthing community. Perhaps that’s from where the name for her foundation’s new project, House of Lite was derived. Maddy is founder and CEO of the Tatia Oden French Memorial Foundation, whose mission is “dedicated to empowering women, specifically in the area of childbirth and pregnancy. We are dedicated to saving the lives of those giving life to others.”

Maddy’s deep dedication came with a price, the loss of her beautiful daughter and granddaughter during birth. In December 2001, Tatia Oden French entered a well-known and well-respected hospital to deliver her first child. She was 32 years old, in perfect health, and looking forward to a natural childbirth, without any interventions or drugs. There were no problems during the pregnancy. According to her doctore’s calculations, she was a little under 2 weeks overdue. She was given the drug Cytotec, also known as Misoprostol, to induce her labor. Cytotec was manufactured to treat ulcers. Neither the FDA nor its drug company, Searle, approved the drug to induce labor. In fact, “in August 2000, due to increase of “off label” usage, Searle distributed a letter warning against its use in pregnant women.

In addition to Cytotec being an abortifacient, the letter explains that it can also cause uterine rupture and death associated with using it to induce labor. Tragically, Tatia’s doctors didn’t heed that warning. Ten hours later, Tatia experienced hyper-stimulation of her uterus, a rupturing, an amniotic fluid embolism (AFE) was released. Because baby Zorah was also distressed, the doctors performed an emergency Caesarian Section. Both mother, Tatia, and baby girl Zorah died during surgery.

Tatia Oden French Memorial Foundation was formed in March 2003 to “give ALL women of childbearing age complete information concerning medical interventions and drugs which are administered during childbirth. We do this hoping that women may then be able to make FULLY informed decisions regarding the birth of their children.”

Four years after her overwhelming loss, Maddy Oden began to dedicate her life to birth. She became a doula, a volunteer doula, who rarely, if ever, charges for her services. Most of Maddy’s clients are on welfare and lives in areas besieged with violence. One day after visiting an expectant client in west Oakland, Maddy returned home and watched the evening news. A man had been brutally murdered just a block or so from the young mother’s home.

Deep concern overtook Maddy and she resolved that evening to help young expectant mothers living in danger zones, living on assistance, living under extreme conditions. A mother of three herself, Tatia and her brothers, Maddy knew what it was like to rear children in poverty. She was blessed, however, to raise up and be able to provide each of her darlings with a good life and good education. The more she pondered, the more she realized she could do to help lighten their load. And, that’s how Tatia Oden Memorial Foundation began its new project, the House of Lite.

Oakland is about to become home to a new kind of transitional living house. The House of Lite has a single-minded goal, get the mothers off welfare while teaching them how to develop effective life skills that will aid them in living quality lives.

According to Maddy, “Research has shown that ‘where’ you live significantly impacts the quality of life you have. When you change the type of environment a person lives in, it’s much easier for them to be able to change the trajectory path they’re on in their life. Their self image improves and they can do whatever their mind and passion tell them they should be doing for their lives.”

I asked Maddy what makes this transitional house different from others? She replied that it will be located in safe, attractive residential areas like Lake Merritt or Trestle Glen.  It will be close to transportation, fresh food grocers and ancillary services, without the stress and pressure that comes from living in a war-torn neighborhood where violence and gunfire wreak emotional havoc.

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