Archive for the 'Featured' Category

Bigger Than Penn State

Friday, August 10th, 2012

Media stories of childhood sex abuse have filled the airwaves of late; from the Penn State trial of Jerry Sandusky to the ongoing Catholic Church scandals to the first conviction of a high ranking church official. While these stories stir our outrage, their telling and re-telling truly only reflect the tip of the iceberg when it comes to both the enormity and secrecy surrounding childhood sexual abuse. In fact, childhood sexual abuse makes up more than ten percent of the millions of reported childhood abuse cases in the US.

Worldwide, research shows that up to 36% of girls and 29% of boys have suffered child sexual abuse and coercion. According to the World Health Organization, these statistics represent 150 million girls and 73 million boys under the age of 18 who experienced forced sexual intercourse or other forms of sexual violence. That number increases substantially when you include the vast sexual slave trade market that holds millions more children in its grasp. Most shocking of all is that even these numbers are considered to be only fractional because sexual abuse carries such profound taboos that the vast majority goes unreported by the victims themselves.

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Teaching Love in the Class Room

Thursday, July 26th, 2012

One of the greatest gifts of the work I do is hearing the inspiring stories from our readers about how they make love work in their personal lives and career.  Learning how to receive the goodness and love surrounding us is a lifelong process and, even as children, we must learn that we are worthy and loveable.  Here is one fine teacher’s method which could be adapted to your own family.  Thanks for sharing it with us…

“I retired from the elementary classroom last year after 36 years, most of them with 11 and 12 year-old students.  Love that age and the changes that occur during the grade 6 year.  Every year, usually on a drab January or February Friday afternoon, I would hand out an index card to each student and have them put their name on one side.  I collected them. Then, sworn to secrecy, I gave the rules:  1.  you will get a card, not your own, and I want you to peek at the name and then write one compliment on the other side anonymously.  It could be about a strength or anything that makes this person special or unique. 2.  After this activity, try really hard not to tell the person what you wrote, even if it’s a best friend.

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National Abandonment

Friday, April 27th, 2012

Perhaps the single most devastating emotional pain we suffer is abandonment. Millions of children know this experience as their primary relationship to their parents, and the effects are wide-ranging and long-lasting.  Abandonment is rarely about the person being left,  it is most always a reflection of what is broken in the person doing the leaving.  Yet the abandoned person rarely perceives this, instead the message of unworthiness  and the belief of being  fundamentally unlovable is planted deep inside of us. Almost like a dormant genetic trait in the human genome, most of us seem to carry the potential for this erroneous belief. Tragically, most of us also have plenty of opportunities that trigger it.

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Healing Container of Love

Monday, February 13th, 2012

“For one human being to love another: that is perhaps the most difficult of all our tasks, the ultimate, the last test and proof, the work for which all other work is but preparation.”  -Rilke

Imagine if we began our relationships with the vow,  “I take you as my burden, to have and to hold from this day forward.”  Call me jaded, but I think if people understood that committing to love someone over time is agreeing to the most enriching burden you will ever carry, we would leave each other less.  We would enter the challenge of relating with our eyes open  and be prepared for the  serious heavy lifting  that love takes. We would not get married expecting it to be a long-term romantic getaway.  We would know that our relationships are the most loving chance we have to grow up.

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How We Lose

Wednesday, January 4th, 2012

“Courage is not simply one of the virtues- it is the form of every virtue at the testing point.”  -C.S. Lewis

I can’t get the Stanford kicker, Jordan Williamson, out of my heart.  Watching him struggle to maintain his composure with the game on the line, not once but twice and each time coming up short was for me the most heartbreaking moment of the game.  He missed only two kicks in the whole season and I imagine, of the thousands of footballs that he has kicked in his short life, most all of them were on target. He sobbed at the end of the game, the media blaming the loss of the game on the kicker.

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Revolutionizing Education

Tuesday, November 29th, 2011

What if our kids really believed we wanted them to have great sex…What if they really believed that we want them to be so passionately in love with someone that they can’t keep their hands off them?  What if they really believed we want them to know their own bodies?”  -Al Vernacchio

Taking Sex Education out of the dungeon that it has lived in over the last 30 years is an epic step towards wholeness in our society.  One courageous teacher, Al Vernacchio, is doing just that in his class Sexuality and Society, at a small private school near Philadelphia.  He may well be the first teacher in this county that has taken the bold step to go beyond the fear/disease-based instruction model built on the abstinence training which dominates our schools and has allowed pornography to become the only readily available form of sex education for our youth. Vernacchio’s ground-breaking curriculum explores both the depth and breadth of sexuality issues that most teens grapple with, including how to recognize and form your own values, understanding sexual orientation, discussions about safer sex, sex in relationships, sexual health, and the emotional and physical terrain of sexual activity.

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The Collapse of the Honey Bees

Tuesday, November 8th, 2011

Half of all the honey bees on the planet have died in recent years.  A startling fact when you consider not only the impact that this has on the food chain and our food supply, but the even deeper metaphor that this represents for our culture.   The disappearance of the bees has been named “Colony Collapse Disorder”  and one well-known bio-dynamic bee keeper featured in the new film by Taggart Siegel,  Queen of the Sun, commented that the bees are actually showing us that this disorder is our own.

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A Legacy to Steve Jobs

Friday, October 14th, 2011

I am still thinking about the premature death of Steve Jobs. Last night I watched the commencement address he gave to Stanford graduates in 2005. He said that every day he asked himself: “If this were my last day, is this what I would be doing?” This was a real thought for him at the time; because he had just been given what he thought at the time was a free pass from his first cancer diagnosis.

The heart of his message was about figuring out how to love your life.  Finding what you love to do and letting it lead you in both the occupations you take on and the personal relationships that fill your life is the soundest advice you can live by. It is the single thing that all deeply accomplished people share, that their legacies and their contributions were driven by what they love.

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Touch Heals

Tuesday, September 27th, 2011

I have written more than 120 articles about touch but have just recently learned its powerful healing effect firsthand.  The last several days,  I have been wracked with a painful pinched nerve in my upper back that has exhausted me. My best healing practices haven’t been working and the amount of energy that managing the pain has taken up has left me bereft. Last night, even sleep evaded me. The only thing that has provided any relief at all has been the warmth and pressure of my husband’s healing hands.

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Embodied Emotions

Monday, September 19th, 2011

Monday mornings often create this jarring emotional space in me. I am never fully prepared for the alarm and especially on weeks that are looming with large events, I wake with uncertainty and sadness. I don’t always know where my sorrow comes from, sometimes I have a clear and ready story about some injustice perpetrated or received. But more often lately it is just another color that lives in me that needs space to breathe and a compassionate regard.

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