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Published by Ben Lawless

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Published by: Ben Lawless on Sep 14, 2010
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 C  o  v  e  s  c  u  l     p  t   u  e  :  “   V  e  u  s ”   b    y  M a   y  e  e T  h   o m  p  s  o 
Volume 25, Number 5 September
October 2010 • A publication of the Women’s Community Center of San Luis Obispo County 
Women’s Press September & October 2010
Women’s Press
Cver Ar
 Mary Dee Thompson
I have loved art most of my life and havebeen sculpting since the seventies. WhileI occasionally work in clay, I prefer working directly in wax and casting inbronze. My work is generally gurativeand small in scale. My earlier work washeavily inuenced by Henry Moore witha focus on the female form.In my current sculpture, I playfully explore the human form. I find naturalmaterials that suggest a figure. I thenmore fully develop the figure with waxand cast it directly into bronze usingthe lost wax process. I apply patinas tothe cast piece to express the underlyingfeeling of the work. While my current work is clearly inu-enced by Giacometti, it expresses my ownpersonal vision—one that is whimsical,imaginative, and feminine.
Call rAd Rep
Women’s Press 
is currently in need of some bright andenergetic folks to join theadvertising team.Hours are exible, pay isbased on commission, andin many cases we just needpeople to keep contact with the advertisers wecurrently have.If you’re interested in joining our team,contact Robin Rinzler atmedeee8@aol.com
Leer rm he Edr
 A few weeks ago, I took my kids on a trip to the Pacic Northwest, specically Oregon, where we traveled almost all over the state. While in Portland, my daughter Maddie, noticing all thehomeless people in the city, quipped, “Man, if I were homeless, I’d want to live in San Luis Obispo where the weather is much better.” While a cute observation, she isn’t much o. Te Maxine LewisMemorial Homeless Shelter and the Prado Day Center both report an increase in their popula-tion. Furthermore, according to a study conducted by the National Association of Home Builders,taken during the second quarter of 2010, San Luis Obispo county ranked 3rd on the list for leastaordable places to live. We fall only below New York City and San Francisco. With such high prices, perhaps there’s a correlation between how many people are struggling inthis economy in this county. Sadly, not a day goes by that I don’t notice someone on the streetasking for help. Fortunately, I also notice how many people in this community strive to give back. As we enter the holiday months, I implore you to give back, and as our next Voices around theable asks, “How do you give back to your community?” I’m interested in what you’re doing. Youcan send your responses to womenspress.slo@gmail.com.If you have an opinion that warrants more than just a few words on the subject, write an articleand send it in. Our deadline for the November and December issue is October 10th. With an array of articles and opinions to publish for our county to read, I’m sure we can enlighten our viewersabout the many ways we can help others in our county.
Courtney Brogno
Wme’ Pre
Voices, views, and visions of the women of San Luis Obispo County, California 6,000 free copies distributed in SLO County • Subscriptions are available 
Managing editor
Courtney Brogno
layout & design
 Ashley M. Kircher & Benjamin Lawless 
advertising teaM
Courtney Brogno Robin Rinzler 
 WeBsite adMin
 Benjamin Lawless & Matthew Dixon
 Sonia Paz Baron-Vine  MaryAine Curtis  Inglis Carre-Dellard  Ruth Cherry  Jeanie Greensfelder  Laura Grace  Judythe Guarnera  Hilda Heifetz  Lisa Jouet  Angie King  Heather Mendel  Berta Parrish Robin Rinzler  Adele Sommers  Andrea Zeller 
 Jane Hill  Judith Bernstein June Beck  Kathleen Deragon MaryAine Curtis  Shantel Beckers  Suzanne Delinger  Renee Sante 
Women’s Community Center of San Luis Obispo County  A 501(c)3 not-for-prot  public corporation PO Box 15639 San Luis Obispo CA 93406 Ofce located at  4251 S. Higuera St., #800 San Luis Obispo CA 93401(805) 544-9313wccslo@gmail.comwww.wccslo.org wccslo.blogspot.com
subissions WELCoE
Te Women’s Community Center of San Luis ObispoCounty, founded in 1974, under the name Women’sResource Center, exists to educate, enlighten, andempower women and their families in San LuisObispo County by helping them seek new ways toexpress and develop themselves to be a center for therepository and exchange of information of interestand concern to women through workshops, seminars,classes and other outlets; to facilitate communica-tion with other women’s resources both locally andnationally. WCC produces the
Women’s Press 
infurtherance of these goals.
Women’s Press September & October 2010
Body & Soul
B H W-AOn my last trip to Germany, I made aninteresting discovery. My old and very goodfriend told me that she had joined a belly dancing group. Wow! I was impressed andfrankly this was the last thing that I wouldhave expected from her. I had known hermore as an athlete. She liked to bike andswim, or she was running around town onher rollerblades. What had happened toher, or had I simply failed to perceive whoshe really was? Anyway, I was very excitedto join her at her next belly dancing class tosee what I obviously had not seen before inmy friend.Before I talk about what I experienced withthat group, I must rst share with you my prejudices. I thought belly dancing wasfor slightly overweight, but very femalelooking women. It was an erotic dance for women that enjoy showing o their curves.Te music gets on my nerves if I am notused to it, like listening to heavy metal inyour 80s. Tat’s enough confession aboutmy prejudices right now. Let’s move on to what I actually experienced after I decidedto encounter this event with an open mindand a lot of compassion.My friend introduced me to the group of  women participating in the class. What I saw  was not what I had expected: living proof that any prejudices are worthless and unfair.I met a group of maybe ten women. Tey  were practicing for an upcoming show andthere was a lot of excitement and chatting inthe room. Te participants’ ages ranged fromthe mid-twenties to the mid-sixties. Tey  were the nicest women you can imagineand by far neither overweight nor showingo or exposing various body parts. Tere were retired women, an actress, a house- wife, a manager... you name it. Teir bodiesvaried too. Some were rather skinny, othersmore slender or a little bit chubby in certainareas. Some women moved smoothly, othersmoved a little bit more stiy, but what they all had in common was a certain feeling forrhythm and music. Tey obviously had a lotof fun, and I witnessed female power andspirit at its best. What an experience!Te group practiced their show danceon and on, and I could not get enough watching them. Tey moved their hips andbellies in a way that I could not. Tey obvi-ously managed to build a lot of stomachmuscles and their bodies radiated themessage: Look at me; I am beautiful; I amself-condent; I am in connection with my body. What a delight to watch them. All of the women expressed beauty and elegance intheir dancing that had nothing to do withperfection. Tere was no perfect body, butthey all looked fantastic and in synch withtheir inner -self when dancing.I learned a lot that afternoon, and one biglearning denitely was that belly dancing isnot just an ordinary dance, but a wonderfulform of being a woman. It does not matter if you are skinny or chubby, young or old, tallor short, or whatever. What counts is thatyou are in synch with yourself. It is impor-tant that you are able to accept who you are—the total package. Women are often unhappy about theirlooks and do not accept what they see in themirror. Te media feeds us with pictures of beauty that we feel we cannot compete with.Forget all that! Instead embrace who you areand also love the little imperfections we allhave. Beauty has nothing to do with per-fection but with attitude and acceptance.If you still do not believe what I am saying, join a belly dancing group and experience itfor yourself. For me the whole event was aneye opener. Suddenly even my athlete friendappeared to me in a new light. I saw herfemininity and beauty in a way I have notseen before. When she danced to the music,I saw a beautiful and self-condent womanthrough and through, and that conrmed tome that we are what we feel and not what we pretend to be.If you want to nd encouragement andempowerment, I invite you to visit my blog:
Hertha Wolf-Arend
is a business coach and writer located in Paso Robles, California. She used to write a column for a local magazine,she gives motivational speeches before women’s organizations and events, and she works withlocal business owners and managers to support them in their leadership skills and personal development. Hertha is devoted to support-ing women in business, with a focus on womenin middle management who are aiming at a career in the higher ranks or who want todevelop their own business. For more informa-tion visit her website: www.HWA-Coaching.com or read her blog, address above.
Let Your Belly Dance
Photo by Afonso Lima

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