Volume 25, Number 4 • July & August 2010 • A publication of the Women’s Community Center of San Luis Obispo County

August 14th | Mission Plaza | 10am - 5 pm

Day With Creative Women

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Women’s Press
Women’s Press would not be still going strong, as well as all the other great things they do for the community. Also, a reader sent me in a thought provoking question for this issue’s Voices Around the Table: Do you think the institution of marriage is outdated? I’d love to hear your responses, so please send me them at womenspress.slo@gmail.com. You can find this months Voices responses on page 18.

Women’s Press July & August 2010

Courtney’s Quill
Summer is in full swing, and I’m loving it. My tomatoes are starting to ripen, my zucchini is overwhelming my actual love of squash, and little eggplants are starting to form. My garden is what keeps me refreshed every summer, and though I’m no master gardener, I love how much I learn each year about the life process of plants. It’s also a good reminder about life in general—birth, growth, mistakes, disease, and eventually death. I feel like I understand the universe so much more after summer ends.

Yelena Kozlova

Cover Artist

And finally, this is our annual creative issue, so please take a look at pages 8 and 9 to see all our great entries. I love receiving all of this. It makes me realize how many talented But the end of summer is not near yet, and women and men we have in this commuthis summer we at Women’s Press want nity. to remind you once again of Day With Creative women, being held August 14th Enjoy your summer. Enjoy gardening. Enjoy in Mission Plaza. It is surely a day you watching the life cycle. And please enjoy our don’t want to miss. Please see our spread in this issue. And come out and support the little Press. Women’s Community Center, who puts this event on for the community. It’s their biggest fundraiser, and without the WCC,

Courtney Brogno

Yelena Kozlova is from Sunnyvale, CA in the Bay Area. She’s a student at Cal Poly. She was first interested in traditional drawing and painting, creating beautiful work that was pleasing to the eye, but later became attracted to using art as a form of communication and sending a message to the viewer. In her work, she combines elements of traditional fine art and the clarity of design to make the work aesthetically pleasing while being able to convey a clear message. In her poster for the Day With Creative Women, she highlights the great contributions many talented women provide to the art field. The event is a wonderful way to showcase those contributions.

Women’s Press Staff

• Voices, views and visions of the women of San Luis Obispo County, California • 6000 free copies distributed in SLO County • Subscriptions are available • Managing Editor / Courtney Brogno / womenspress.slo@gmail.com • Layout & Design / Ashley Kircher & Benjamin Lawless • Advertising Team / Robin Rinzler / medee8@aol.com • Website Administrators / Sonia Paz Baron-Vine & Benjamin Lawless • Sonia Paz Baron-Vine • MaryAine Curtis • Inglis Carre-Dellard • Ruth Cherry • Jeanie Greensfelder • Laura Grace • Judythe Guarnera • Hilda Heifetz • Lisa Pimental Johnson • Lisa Jouet • Angie King • Heather Mendel • Jen Mowad • Berta Parrish • Robin Rinzler • Adele Sommers • Jill Turnbow • Andrea Zeller • Berta Parrish • Jane Hill • Judith Bernstein • June Beck • Kathleen Deragon • MaryAine Curtis • Monica Rosecrans • Shairee Collins • Shantel Beckers • Suzanne Delinger • Renee Sante

Contributors

Volunteers

Articles, essays, opinion pieces, letters, artwork, poetry wanted & appreciated. The Women’s Press reserves the right to edit all submissions for content, clarity & length. Contact womenspress.slo@gmail.com or call 805-544-9313. Submissions will also be posted online at www.womenspress-slo.org. The opinions expressed in the Women’s Press are those of the authors & do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Women’s Community Center. The Women’s Community Center does Submissions Welcome not necessarily endorse products or services advertised in the Women’s Press. The Women’s Community Center of San Luis Obispo County, founded in 1974, under the name Women’s Resource Center, exists • to educate, enlighten, and empower women and their families in San Luis Obispo County by helping them seek new ways to express and develop themselves • to be a center for the repository and exchange of information of interest and concern to women through workshops, seminars, classes and other outlets; • to facilitate communication with other women’s resources both locally and nationally. WCC produces the Women’s Press in furtherance of these goals. Women’s Community Center of San Luis Obispo County • A 501(c)3 not-for-profit public corporation • PO Box 15639, San Luis Obispo CA 93406 • Office located at 4251 S. Higuera St., #800, San Luis Obispo CA 93401 • (805) 544-9313 • wccslo@gmail.com • www.wccslo.org • wccslo.blogspot.com • Business Card (3 ½” x 2”) / One Issue: $65 / Six Issues: $295 • 4” x 5” / One Issue: $125 / Six Issues: $565 • Quarter Page (5” x 7”) / One Issue: $175 / Six Issues: $790 • Half Page (10 ¼” x 5”) / One Issue: $270 / Six Issues: $1215 • Full Page (10 ¼” x 10 ¼”) / One Issue: $470 / Six Issues: $2115 • Business Profile (Logo / photo and 250 words) / One Issue: $190 / Six Issues: $855 • Workshop Listings (3 ½” x 2” / 50-75 words) / One Issue: $35 / Six Issues: $160 • Website Leaderboard (Top of page / 468 x 60 pixels) / Two Months: $60 / One Year: $270 • Website Sidebar Square (300 x 250 pixels) / Two Months: $50 / One Year: $225 Contact Robin Rinzler (805) 801-3235 to set up an ad today.

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Women’s Press July & August 2010
By Inglis Carre’-Dellard, M.F.A. I am sitting quite still and contemplating an elegant white calla lily that is sharing a vase with some other flowers on the table in front of me. Over the past several days it has begun to slowly relax its tight green and white scroll, which still conceals the glowing yellow rod at its center. I am mesmerized by the lights and shadows created by its sensuous folds and the complexity of its network of fine veins. I love the way it reaches upward, claiming the space around it in a dynamic way that commands my eye to follow its spiral all the way out to the delicate spur at its apex. I jump when the phone rings and glance at the clock. A half hour has passed beyond my awareness. I had been wrapped in a blanket of stillness that silenced my yammering internal voice and drew the flower and I together into a sacred dimension of awe. What is it about certain forms, colors, sounds, and scents that is powerful enough to make us pause, transcending our ego-self for a short time so that we can have an experience of communion? Our intellect can analyze all of the associations, archetypes, traditions, and symbolism embodied

Body & Soul 3
in the white calla lily, but ultimately, we are left with a mystery, without which our world would be dull and cold. Each of us carries within us a vocabulary of images, sounds colors, and scents that seem to have the power to transport us into a state of awe. Perhaps our object of contemplation is acting as a catalyst to bring about an intimate encounter between our divine core and the great ocean of divinity that flows all around and between us. Think of an ink painting by a Zen master consisting only of a small bird on an arcing blade of grass, balanced by a large blank area. The main content of the painting is not the bird, but rather the vast emptiness beyond, into which the bird invites us to venture, acting as a sort of “guide,” as the lily was for me. What are your “lilies”?

What Are Your Lilies?
Got Passion?
By Ruth Cherry, PhD Years ago I viewed the movie Pay It Forward in which a teacher assigns the class a project to make the world better. One student’s suggestion: Do a favor for three people, each of whom does a favor for three more, continuing forever. Last week I read the book. Our local author, Catherine Ryan Hyde, has written more than 15 books, but Pay It Forward has achieved the greatest national attention. I started reading her books when I needed a fiction break from reality. But her books carried me deeper into what it means to be a human. Life (in her books as well as in the world) confronts us with challenge—pain and loss and disappointment and yearning and unexpected love. In her books, Hyde acknowledges these trials and artfully depicts humans accepting their challenges. We read about individuals who find heroic strength within themselves just by being themselves and doing their

Photo by Marco Michelini

Inglis Carre’-Dellard, M.F.A. is a Los Osos artist, teacher, and creativity facilitator. For information on creative block removal or a free copy of her creativity newsletter, contact her at ingartist@yahoo.com or call 805.534.9693.

lives divide us. Accepting the challenge to Pay It Forward, I have involved myself in small but needed ways in a few acquaintances’ lives—a ride to the doctor, a trip to the grocery store, washing some dishes: all simple tasks but impossible for the Not only does Hyde enlighten our current recipients to perform on their own. situation, she inspires us to be ourselves more fully. Hyde’s genius lies in the fact In these small acts, I have found comfort that she does not ask us to reach heights in experiencing my oneness with others. of accomplishment to further societal It’s not based on acceptance or approval. goals. She simply asks us to awaken--fully, It’s an acknowledgement of the realizawith depth and with presence. She chal- tion that we are in this together. And that lenges us to live consciously every second, consoles. Any one of us is not alone and in every decision, in every interaction and our struggles are not singular and incomprehensible. By moving to that basic level with integrity in our solitude. of humanity, I am confirmed. I confirm Perhaps Pay It Forward touches us because another when I recognize her in her it is so simple and so immediately appli- humanity. Her human needs, after all, are cable. Today each of us can do a favor not different from my own. for someone who needs help. This simple exercise teaches us that we are all con- I recommend Pay It Forward to anyone nected, that we share a humanity which who struggles, to anyone who needs to unites us more than the details of our find meaning in the minutes of her day, best every day. We learn about forgiveness and the courage to move ahead. We see self-hate transform into self-acceptance and then extend into acceptance of those who hate.

to any human sensitive to the challenges of being human. I also recommend it to anyone wanting to enlarge her experience in the world. If you have met your goals in life and are open to being shown greater depth, this is the book for you. Want some joy? Pay it Forward. Need some connection? Pay It Forward. Want to be more than you’ve ever been? Pay it Forward. Today and every day. The commitment to live open-heartedly in caring service will bring a passion to your life you haven’t imagined.

Ruth Cherry, PhD, is a clinical psychologist in private practice in San Luis Obispo, CA. Her specialty is midlife when psychological and spiritual dynamics merge. Her five books and guided meditation CD are available at her web sites, midlifepsychology.com, meditationintro.com, and God-Life-You.com.

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Body & Soul

Women’s Press July & August 2010

Photo by Marek Bernat

Standing In The Stillpoint Of The Opposites
By Barbara Atkinson

“When you make the two one, and when you make the inner as the outer and the outer as the inner, and the above as the below, and when you make the male and female into a single one — then shall you enter the Kingdom.” Jesus in the Gospel of St. Thomas “The human mind rarely sees beyond these opposites to the Greater Unity that necessitates them. But the mind can awaken to Greater Unity, and in this lies the purpose of Creation and of humankind.” Reb Yerachmiel ben Yisrael
Over and over again we hear or read about the term duality in certain spiritual literature. Intellectually, we understand what the word means, but we may not fully internalize its meaning. The unabridged edition of the Random House Dictionary of the English Language states that duality (as a state of being dual) means having a two-fold, or double, character or nature. Note that in this definition, the “character or nature” of something is single, one thing, while dual describes this oneness as being two-fold. In other words, two sides of the same coin. Using this metaphor, Life and wholeness, is the coin, while all the aspects of duality that we associate with mundane life—right/wrong;

heaven/earth; perfect/imperfect; good/ bad; whole changes our perception but doesn’t mean question/answer; me/you; birth/death—are the we are blind to the perception of duality around two sides. us. We acknowledge the emotions of happy and sad, the judgments of good and bad, but we no Neither side of the coin of Life makes up the longer align or identify ourselves with either. We whole coin. Yet what do you get when you align and identify ourselves with the Stillpoint acknowledge and combine the two sides? at the center of the opposites, which is Divinely You get Divine paradox because the sum (the inspired and full of paradox. In this Stillpoint, Stillpoint) is greater than its parts. which accepts each moment as it is, we participate with Life because everything is a part of Combine right and wrong and you find God, in God, and participates as God. Even so, Compassion. God is more than the sum of Its parts—Divine Add love and hate and you come to paradox again. The ultimate duality is God/ Forgiveness. Self; transform consciousness and this duality Combine good and bad and you arrive at becomes a unified whole—you are not separate Non-judgment. from the Divine, from All That Is. When we Combine male and female and you achieve pray to something, we pray to that part of ourBalance. selves of which we are not yet conscious. Standing Give your will to Divine Will and you in the Stillpoint, your life can be the prayer. birth Creative Expression. Combine hope and despair and you Our usual concept of who we are includes discover Trust. duality; this causes struggle as we identify with one side of the coin or another: we are in resisBring Heaven to Earth and you find Peace. tance. Yet, we can make the choice to allow The nature of the Divine is couched in this what is and acknowledge Love, the Divine, in paradox and told in the language of mythol- each moment.* In that Stillpoint we awaken ogy. This is why we can become befuddled in to the fullness and joy of Life. We continue our attempt to understand everything with learning as consciousness continues to expand, the intellect. But with this nature, Spirit is not but we no longer learn through struggle. Our captured within one definitive belief system, but purpose is to recognize and accept the wholeprovides for many paths. Regardless of our path, ness of each moment, to remember Spirit in this, we honor Spirit by “showing up for Life,” i.e., our sacred and symbolic life. Odd as it sounds, being present as we accept what is, including there is nothing you need to “do” really, no all parts of ourselves. We can choose to see only practice, because you are whole now. You are one side of the coin at any given moment, or wonderful now. we can begin to see the coin as a whole, in toto, and reap the benefits of Divine paradox. The I’m not suggesting this happens with speed and choice is ours and ours alone. To see Life as a ease, although it can. To look within and accept

our own foibles and pitfalls, to see our wholeness and move out of the mainstream of thought is an act of courage. It’s one thing to intellectually get the concept of non-duality--that you are whole now, just as you are. It’s usually quite another to truly embody that concept by living it, and it’s not an end you can work toward; there is an act of grace involved. Yet this evolution of consciousness is our heritage. It is a process as real as the physical evolution of our bodies and brains. Side by side, the physical and unseen have shared a process of evolutionary learning—expanding in conscious wisdom and expanding in physical adaptation based on that consciousness. There is a genetics of consciousness just as real as our physical genetics, and this radically effects our awakening process – how we experience Spirit is within the context of our individuality. Nevertheless, the goal is the same—to stand in the Stillpoint of the opposites, fully accepting ourselves and Life as it is in each moment. This is an act of Love that opens the door to a lifetime of Love and you have the key, now.
*This isn’t about passivity – clearly you vote for one or another candidate, may be working towards making the world a more equitable place for all, and working to change something in your life. This is about accepting what is in any given moment even as you work for any desired change.

Barbara Atkinson can be reached at batkinson2@earthlink.net for questions or comments.

Women’s Press July & August 2010

Body & Soul 5

Photo by Janusz Gawron

The Heart Way
By Ashley Howard, M.Ed A friend of mine wrote to me this morning and started the email out with, “Long time no news!” This is the same friend who encouraged me over a month ago to continue to write even during the times that I’m less than motivated to do so. My life has been a whirlwind since the New Year began, and inspiration to write has been few and far between. My friend’s friendly reminder spoke to me this morning, and as a result, this entry was born.  Last issue I wrote about falling in love again with San Luis Obispo (SLO) County and with myself. In my opinion, falling in love has got to be the most amazing feeling! I can recall consistently being in a euphoric state during my stay in SLO County last fall. Every moment seemed serendipitous, life was as easy as the breeze, and opportunities and new experiences were in abundance!  I can recall feeling and vocalizing that my heart felt as though I was choosing to leave SLO County prematurely. Within weeks of my stay, this county felt like home. My heart said to stay and my head said to go! My heart felt at peace, while my head created a sense of urgency to go, do and see more, more, more!  After writing for months about what it means to be living in the stream of life, and following your heart, I had a brief relapse, and must admit that I followed my head. The last few months abroad most definitely served a purpose, some of which is clear in this moment and more of which I’m sure will be revealed in hindsight.  This reminded me of one of my favorite books called The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz. One of those four agreements is to be impeccable with our word; while the others are to always do our best, to not take anything personally, and to not make assumptions. Practicing all four agreements on a momentary basis is ideal, though sometimes simply adopting one of the four can be a challenge. In my case, all four of these agreements were practically thrown by the waste-side in my recent past. As I write this, I feel as though I’m publicly telling on myself; however, I know that the lessons that were learned through this experience are worth sharing.  From my past writings, people have told me that I have been inspiring and educational. This is precisely one of the reasons that I haven’t written recently. I was still in the heart of the whirlwind. The dust was not settled and hindsight had not yet provided any clarity for me to share. I had plenty to write about, though my thoughts were not a reflection of the four agreements that I was and am actively, and whole heartedly, pursuing once again. This is the reason for the ‘long time no news.’  ing our ego and emotions (a.k.a. pain body), which in my experience have proven to not be aligned with my true hearts’ desires, and my purpose.  I hope that this inspires you to continue to follow your heart and not your head. When in doubt, remember that your heart will show you the most efficient and enjoyable way; while your mind will show you an alternate, less easy, and less breezy route! So the choice is yours: do you feel like floating, or fighting the current through this stream of life? Do you enjoy being immersed in the whirlwind where you can’t see the light because you are blinded by the dust? 

Time is an illusion, and words such as seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, and years are simply reference points for all that there really ever is: The Now. In this moment, right now, the whirlwind is over. The dust has settled in my life, and I can see more clearly. I can see that every experience is, in fact, as it should be and does serve a purpose whether the experience feels From this moment forward, I hope that you bitter, sweet, or somewhere in between.  will join me in consciously, and consistently, choosing what I would like to call, The Heart One of my dearest friends recently told me Way. Sure, there may be relapses along the that his heart knew what his mind could way, but we all know that the experiences not yet comprehend. I found his statement that stem from a relapses serve a purpose to be quite profound not only in the context too. In this case, the purpose was confirmathat he was referring to, but also in reference tion– that my heart did, in fact, know what to life in general. It is my belief that our my mind could not yet comprehend. heart is guided by our spirit, and our spirit is guided by our Creator who ultimately knows best. Our mind, on the other hand, is influenced by many external factors includwww.body-temple.com

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Body & Soul

Women’s Press July & August 2010

Going with the Flow

Photo by Ivan Vicencio

By Laura V. Grace

“Follow the Tao and live in harmony. Cultivate character and develop your highest potential. Te and Tao are the way of life. Abandon either and the Tao abandons you.” – 23rd verse from the Tao te Ching

language, but the “Way” seems to be one translation. According to the Tao, life is dynamic, not stagnant; life is like a river, constantly flowing and forming new currents and patterns. To follow the Tao is to be fluid and flow with the current, like a river. There is a flow and cycle for all things including life itself: birth, death, and rebirth. Emotions, creativity, and our bodies all have their own cycle, too. In the world, signs direct us on our way in life. Traffic lights tell us to walk (or not), geese fly south ushering in the coming winter, and our soul urges us to follow its calling in any given moment. We know how to read these signs of nature, weather, and spirit; they help to guide us on our journey.

In many spiritual treatises, mostly written A few times a week while walking to my favorite café, I have the privilege of crossing paths with someone who resembles a wise Native American elder. This woman possesses the look of infinite peace within her eyes and face. When I ask her, “How are I am currently experiencing a “soul shift,” you today?” she always smiles serenely and and it’s something I’ve experienced at every replies, “I’m going with the flow.” turning point or meaningful passage in my life. When we allow ourselves to sink into “Going with the flow, hmmm...” This is the natural rhythm of life, we know it. We something that is difficult for some of us feel more connected with our soul, more because there are times when we struggle alive, even though the changes we are experimaintaining our peace of mind, keeping our encing may be challenging. This reminds me balance, and feeling connected to our higher of the uplifting movie The Legend of Bagger selves. With a myriad of external diversions Vance. Although the golfer, Randolph (Matt confronting us from every direction, flowing Damon), believes he has “lost his swing,” with our soul’s natural rhythm and with the his caddie, Bagger, who also represents his universal current can be very challenging, higher self (Will Smith), reminds him that indeed. he could get it back if he would only stop trying so hard and let it flow naturally. This, It has been said that the Tao te Ching of Lao he pointed out, was how he would experiTzu is one of the most frequently translated, ence his “authentic swing,” the swing that is widely read, and deeply cherished books desirous of finding him (not the other way in the world. It has been said that the Tao around); the very swing that is inside all of us possesses the answer to every single one of and connects us to one another. Bagger’s wise life’s challenges and questions. The word advice encouraged Randolph to remember tao has no similar relation to a word in our one simple truth: to get himself out of the way.

Where do you need to “get yourself out of tend to resort to shallow breathing. Breath, the way?” In what area(s) of your life are being the life force that flows through us, is you blocking the natural flow of life? When a precious gift. do you feel you’re pushing too hard, or, perhaps, preventing yourself from receiving The 29th verse of the Tao states: the opportunities or resources the universe wants you to have? “…Trying to control leads to ruin. Trying to grasp, we lose. For example, when I’m not allowing life to Allow your life to unfold naturally. Know flow through me, I might sit down to write that it too is a vessel of perfection. only to end up with paragraphs of ideas that Just as you breathe in and breathe out, there I eventually delete. The deadline may be is a time for being behind; tomorrow and not even the first paragraph a time for being in motion and a time for is written. If frustration surfaces for a length being at rest; of time, I know it’s time to get up from a time for being vigorous and a time for my desk and take a long walk, preferably being exhausted….” barefoot, along the beach. And often, after an hour of listening to the crashing waves, Trust that you are connected to a divine feeling the salt air against my face and the flow that is leading you to higher ground. sand beneath my feet, I’m refreshed and There’s no need to push, and there’s no inspired. Back at the computer, my fingers need to rush. Imagine how much simpler type, the words flow, and the task before me your life would be if you trusted that everyis successfully completed. thing that is happening are guideposts along a path that is naturally true and correct. Most often than not, we need to get quiet Remember that you deserve to feel aliveness so the natural flow of life can move through and harmony in your life and that requires us. Spending time in nature and practic- being in the flow. ing deep breathing can be very effective in getting centered and becoming grounded. The word te in the Tao te Ching may be translated as “nature” and Lao Tzu looked Laura V. Grace is the Spiritual Leader for to nature as the ultimate example of how to the Circle of Spiritual Enlightenment in be in the flow. San Luis Obispo (www.spiritualcircle.org), an interfaith spiritual community. Laura is Getting grounded allows you to receive also a teacher and spiritual director, and a the energetic flow of love and support that member of Spiritual Directors International. is yours to have. It enables you to remain A syndicated columnist for more than twenty balanced and fully present. It also teaches publications, Laura has penned 200 articles on you how to become aware of your own spiritual growth and is the author of the books natural cycles of energy. When we’re caught Gifts of the Soul and The Intimate Soul. up in “pushing” to “make things happen” we

Women’s Press July & August 2010

Body & Soul 7

Nurturing Wabi Sabi
By Jeanie Greensfelder

Ring the bells that still can ring. Forget your perfect offering. There is a crack, a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in. — Leonard Cohen

1400’s when Murata Shuko, a Zen priest, to smile at my flaws and those of others, changed the traditional tea service from gold value fleeting moments, and attend to life’s and jade to simple wood and clay. stages of birth, aging and death. Today the Japanese tea ceremony captures the wabi sabi spirit when cherished, aged pots and cups are used. Friends sit and sip, share stories of imperfect lives, take time to connect with one another, and remember that life is uncertain. The words wabi sabi feel like good company, fun to think and say. Most of us have favored cups, worn and beloved clothing, objects from childhood, and other valuables that are simple, modest, and mysterious in their appeal. They can become symbols and reminders. Notice and nurture the precious imperfections intrinsic to life. Take time to connect with people, places and things that are meaningful to you. Most important, treasure yourself. http://www.dancinginthefootstepsofeve.com

Photo by Ali Farid

My sister Ginny introduced me to wabi sabi, the Japanese tradition that values the beauty In our hectic consumer culture, noticing of imperfection. My sister smiled and said, and nurturing wabi sabi provides balance. “Now when we look in the mirror, we can say, ‘Wabi sabi!’” Even in Japan wabi sabi has been compromised by a corporate style of beauty that Wabi suggests rustic simplicity and sabi the ignores the polarities of life and mortality. beauty that comes with age. With origins in ancient Chinese Tao and Buddhism, wabi Developing a wabi sabi attitude and seeing sabi shaped Japanese culture in the late the beauty in imperfection, I’m encouraged

Spirituality Matters
Living In the Moment
By Heather Mendel As we watch, seemingly powerless, at what greed and corporate insensitivity does in the ongoing tragedy in the Gulf, we have a perfect opportunity of rethinking our own vision for the planet and the human family and realize the power of our thoughts. I would like to share the some of the ideas I received a few weeks ago in an email of the message from the Indigenous Grandmothers, an esteemed council of 13 holy elders representing diverse prayer lineages around the world: “You are desperately needed now. We ask you to cast, anchor, and hold the Net of Light steady for the Gulf of Mexico. This crisis is affecting the entire world, and humanity is asleep. Wake up! Animals are dying, plants are dying, and your Mother is writhing in agony. If you hold the Net of Light steady at this time you will help stave off further catastrophe. You have been lulled into a false sleep, having been told that others will take care of this problem. This is not so. And this is not the time for you to fall into oblivion. Determine now to stay awake, and once you have made that commitment, think of, cast, and hold the Net of Light— hold it deep and wide. Amplify its reach to penetrate the waters of the Gulf and dive deep beneath the crust of Mother Earth. Anchor it at the earth’s core and as you hold it there, ask it to unify with the mineral kingdom of this planet. It will do this and will harmonize with all the solid and liquid mineral states on earth-including oil and gas. The Net of Light will call these minerals back into harmony. Whatever human beings have damaged, human beings must correct. This is the law. You cannot sit back and ask God to fix the mess humanity has created. Each of you must throw your shoulders to the wheel and work. We are asking for your help. Step forward now. This is the Net of Light that will hold the earth during the times of change that are upon you. First move into your heart and call on us. We will meet you there. The Net of Light is lit by the jewel of your heart, so move into this lighted place within you and open to the Net of which you are a part. Bask in its calming presence. It holds you at the same time that you hold it. Now think of magnifying your union with us. We, the Great Council of the Grandmothers, are with you now, and all those who work with the Net of Light are also with you. There are thousands, even millions now connected in light. Along with this union, call forth the power of the sacred places on earth. These will amplify the potency of our joint effort. Then call on the sacred beings that have come to prevent the catastrophe that threatens to overwhelm your planet. We will work together. Think of, cast and magnify the presence of the Net of Light in the Gulf of Mexico. See, imagine or think of it holding the waters, holding the land, the plants, the sea life, and the people, holding them all. The Net of Light is holding them steady; it is returning them to balance. Let the love within your lighted heart keep pouring into the Net of Light and hold, hold, hold. Calmly and reverently watch as the light from your heart flows along the strands of the Net. It will follow your command and continuously move forth. As soon as you think of it, it will happen. We ask you to practice this for only a few minutes at a time, but to repeat it throughout the day and night. We promise that this work with the Net of Light will do untold good. We are calling you to service now. You are needed. Do not miss this opportunity. We thank you and bless you.” We can choose to watch, silent and powerless from the sidelines, or step forward to be part of a movement that will make a difference. The choice is ours.  L’shalom In peace

http://www.dancinginthefootstepsofeve.com http://www.wordartist.com  http://sacredfemininematters.blogspot.com/ http://twitter/celebratingeve

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Day With Creative Women

Women’s Press July & August 2010

This year marks the 36th year of Day with Creative Women, sponsored by the Women’s Community Center of San Luis Obispo County and joined this year, by the SLO County Commission on the Status of Women. Applications for a vendor booth are now available and space is filling up fast!
Visit wccslo.org on the web and click on “Creative Women” to download the application form. If you do not have access to the Internet, please call 544-9313 and leave your name and mailing address so we can send an application to you. WCC welcomes the return of our regular vendors this year and looks forward to meeting new creative women who are joining us for the first time! At press time, the following vendors have already registered for this signature event: copper wire dragonflies by margie ashley handmade vintage style jewelry by barbara millburn handcrafted jewelry and bead work by susie reese of firelight creations hand blown glass art by diane miller of lucky ducks wire art jewelry and crocheted water bottle covers by pamela newman of harmony creative designs wickless candles, offered by sandy walton fused glass yard art and jewelry by rosi lusardi jewelry by marilyn dannehower of mad dreams designs a woman owned mobile car mechanic – julie polak and margot silk forrest’s ever popular sassy feet shoe embellishments and custom painted shoes

Day With Creative Women

Saturday, auguSt 14th 2010 M iSSion P laza 10:00 aM – 5:00 PM

Music is always a large part of this event. Opening the fabulous entertainment lineup will be the fabulous Motowners, a local Cayucos group who love their music! Cheryl Aiona, the lead singer with her very powerful natural contralto, is a Hawaiian who grew up in the Bay Area. Listen to the harmonies of their female singers, known as the Wall of Women, or WOW! Returning to the Mission Plaza amphitheater stage for a repeat performance will be the Central Coast Celebration Chorus, an a cappella women’s four part harmony choral group that encourages community participation as they sing in the Barbershop tradition, the “Fun Flutes”, led by Bonnie Richan, and our own local drumming group, led by Kathleen Deragon. The music turns to jazz with pianist Dawn Lambeth, whose specialty is danceable music, and who has performed at the Monterey Jazz Festival, the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, the Smithsonian, and clubs throughout California. The afternoon line up also includes Maheyla and the Ritual, performing a wide variety of roots and genre music, Middle Eastern belly dance and world music performers, and a duo of Steel Drums.

Long time attendees of this event will remember Francesca Nemko, who returns to perform her inimitable style of spoken jazz with bass accompaniment, and rounding out the afternoon is Swing and Rock music band Chick Tuesday, led by singer Buffy Doran. Day with Creative Women provides an opportunity for women artists and artisans to display their talents and sell their wares. This event has graced the Mission Plaza in San Luis Obispo on the second Saturday in August for the last 36 years. If you create art or hand-crafted items, you are invited to display and sell your works. Non-profit organizations are invited to provide the community with information about their services. Business women interested in promoting their services may also secure a spot for this celebration of all types of creative women. Booths are still available but are disappearing fast! If you want to be part of this event, call the Women’s Community Center now at 544-9313 or download the application from wccslo.org/ Day with Creative Women is a fundraising event to benefit the Women’s Community Center of San Luis Obispo County, dedicated to the empowerment of women, and

the SLO County Commission on the Status of Women, serving as the voice for women to the County Board of Supervisors. For more information, check the website http://www.wccslo.org, call 805-544-9313, or email wccslo@gmail.com. As with all major events open free to the public, lots of volunteer work is needed behind the scenes to make the event a success. WCC also welcomes your help as a volunteer – either now as we make all the arrangements and also on the day of the event itself. Volunteers are needed to staff entrances and direct traffic, relieve the vendors as necessary, staff the WCC able, act as runners and troubleshooters, and lots more! Volunteers get a T-shirt to help people recognize them if there is a problem during the day.

Women’s Press July & August 2010

Day With Creative Women 9
PeNITeNT

By Jeanie Greensfelder Seed! Teeth holes in the bird feed— a delicious day turns to turmoil. I shift from being benign to murder. At the check-out counter, the woman commiserates, offers her two cats. Tonight I feel my green friends, who raise kale, cabbage and cucumbers, who compost and bake flax-laced crackers, play You could’ve, You should’ve as I lie awake thinking of the mouse who thought he’d found heaven

Artwork by Patti Sullivan

THe seNsUaL NaTURe Of TRees

By Barbara Atkinson
A gentle rustling breeze Breathing in my ear. Singing an aroma, A whisper I can hear. The tenderest of lovers Caressing with their leaves; The rites of Spring’s flirtations Gently tugging at my sleeve. Long and stretched to greet them, My body as a loom; Trees weave their mysteries round me In nature’s undulating womb.

I saW YOU...

By Ginny Conrow Driving into town, I saw you, this morning, a woman peddling her heart out: white, lumpy thighs, plain helmet, inexpensive bike. A good half course behind the sleek, the muscular, the swift, the experienced riders, you peddled on, and I blessed you in my heart.   From my kitchen window, I saw you, late this afternoon, your stride was painful, determined, slow, barely a jog/walk. The bored high school volunteers at our gate merely glanced your way, thankful to be relieved of their lonely post at the furthest station from the finish line. I blessed you in my heart.   From my deck, I saw you, on the dirt road, a single mile to go. Noticeably absent were the fans, the volunteers offering water, and fellow triathletes. Alone, yet brave, you persevered, virtually unnoticed. But, I saw you. I blessed you and thanked you from my heart; grateful for your gift to me of... courage.

faces

By KH Solomon
I met her first along a darkened beach, her softly shining face seen through the mist as she cast silver highlights on the sea. Since then I’ve come to know her manifest and learned her many names, and I have seen and seen her face again in the faces of her daughters. I have seen her in the pink-haired girl in trendy clothes who fends off oppressions of teen life long enough to work hard at things her own — poetry and singing — for it is her season of the waxing crescent. I have seen her in a woman’s child-like sense of awe welling up raw and unrestrained before nature’s grand or strong, or merely exquisite, the sites of our forbearers, the holy or the plain. I have seen her in the sea-nymph stepping from the blue with hair slicked back,

salt water running down her form, with glistening breasts and nipples taut, her smile and joy infectious — wild. She is at once the epiphany of life and its creatrix. I have seen her in a nurse’s passion taking on another’s hurt to share, perhaps dilute their pain, and in her anguish for each human soul that lies submerged beneath a tangled mind, and in the silent tears that later come. I have seen her in a mother’s love and in the giving, always giving — first birth and suck, then lessons, setting limits — finally freedom and push if need be, to become the new. I have seen her in the teacher who shapes young minds with scissors and colored paper, and spins webs of nascent community in the corners of playground games and reading groups.

I have seen her in my lover’s eyes, eyes that have shared the visions of our lives, of children grown and married, grandchildren born and growing, eyes that just now beckon me and promise. I have seen her in the woman who’s bared her breast to knives, her skull to poisons — but tonight who walks for life round a candle-lit track, pushing before her the wheelchair of a sister. I have seen her in the poet speaking sounds and images that seduce the mind, suspend the intellect, so we listen with our hearts as she tells pieces of her own. I met her first along a darkened beach, her softly shining face seen through the mist as she cast silver highlights on the sea. And I have seen and seen her face again in the faces of her daughters.

10

4251 S. Higuera Street, Suite 800, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401 | 805 544-9313

Women’s Community Center

THE MISSION OF THE WCC IS:
• TO maintain an accessible center to collect and exchange information of interest and concern to women • TO organize and facilitate workshops, clinics, seminars, classes, and support groups on subjects of interest and need • TO engage in and facilitate interaction among local, state, and national agencies and organizations working to benefit women

BETTER Supervised Visitation
BuILDING eNDurING TIeS THAT eNrICH reLATIONSHIPS Our newest project and one we are very proud to offer to the San Luis Obispo County is the BETTER Supervised Visitation Program. We provide trained Supervision Monitors for non-custodial parents on a sliding scale with fees as low as $10 per hour, allowing children to spend good quality time with their noncustodial parent.

Family Law Action Committee
DeALING WITH DIVOrCe 3rd Wednesday of each month – 7 PM Jan 20, Feb 17 and Mar 17 $10 donation SeLF-rePreSeNTeD LITIGANTS’ CLINIC 4th Tuesday of each month – 5:30 PM Upcoming: Jan 26, Feb 23 and Mar 23 Reservations required. $40 donation

Calling All (or most) used Tech equipment
By Robin Rinzler Our newest fundraiser involves collecting items that would otherwise pollute our landfills. These items listed below will bring money to The Women’s Community Center, and will be recycled properly or fixed and resold. Don’t throw these in the trash, call us now and see if we can turn them into much needed cash for the WCC!

• • • • • • • • •

Cell phones Ink Jet Printer Cartridges Laptops & Notebooks MP3 Players Digital Cameras (still & video) Radar Detectors GPS Devices Radar Detectors Kindle & Sony Book Readers

A Nomination
By Robin Rinzler Sonia Paz Baron Vine joined the Women’s Community Center in 2008 and has been a valuable asset to the organization. She and her two children, Tatiana and Dmitri, have helped with our Day With Creative Women, both in the planning and implementation of the event, making sure that it was a huge success. She videotaped and posted to the WCC blog the Day With Creative Women as well as our Christmas party. She has acted as a translator for our Pro Per Clinic and put in too many hours to count in our office, answering phones and working on the computer. She has contributed to the Women’s Press in articles and poems, and has created the wccslo.blogspot.com web page for the WCC. Through her foundation, Mellow Swan, she has adopted children from Russia, victims of Chernobyl, and saw to it that they received the medical attention they needed. It is for this and other selfless contributions that she has been nominated for the Isabel P Ruiz Humanitarian Award. We are very hopeful that Sonia will be recognized for her outstanding humanitarian accomplishments and honored with this prestigious award.

These items can be working or not, damaged or not. Drop off your item or items at the Women’s Community Center, 4251 S. Higuera Street (where Los Osos Valley Road dead ends into S. Higuera Street) and we can turn that into $$ for our many projects! Call 544-9313 if you have any questions! Thanks for your support!

Women’s Press July & August 2010

Motherhood 11

San Luis Birthing Surprise

Photo by Joan Kocur

By Renee Sante`

There have been some exciting new developments recently in our town which will broaden the choices for women and families. A long-standing desire by mothers and midwives is coming to fruition: a new birth center is in the works at the San Luis Business Center where Higuera meets Los Osos Valley Road. Dr. Tiffany Dietrich and Edana Hall are teaming up to provide what is essential to healthy birthing for mother and child with all the comforts and warmth of home. Edana Hall has been practicing midwifery in SLO county for 26 years. She is a In researching the trend in birth, Jennifer Licensed Midwife and a CPM at a national Stover, President of the Birth & Baby level. As a midwife, she believes“we get to Resource Network, says, “For the 20 years nurture the mothers, help them nurture that I have worked in our community as a their children, teach them about nutrition, doula and birth educator, I have heard over become an intimate part of the family life, and over from expectant moms, ‘Why don’t and provide a continuity of health care from we have a birth center here? I’m not confi- prenatal to postpartum. There is a closeness dent to birth at home but I don’t really want which forms with the families that in turn to go to the hospital either. I would love to sparks a connection with other mothers in birth at a birth center.’” In her recent article the community. The quality of care extends for the New Times, Jennifer researched far beyond labor and birth.” the cost of birth and the how that will be impacted with the Health Care Reform Bill Having had Edana’s expertise at both my just signed by Pres. Obama. children’s homebirths and the friendship that’s grown over 22 years, I can say that Did you know that 42% of all births in the midwifery brings a dimension of compassion US are paid for through Medicaid? Now and warmth that I will cherish for a lifetime.

women will have a choice of how they use that money. They can choose to have a Certified Nurse Midwife attend them in a hospital or at a birth center. This doesn’t just represent more freedom for women to choose the birth they want, it also represents a huge cost savings to the Medicaid budget. The average hospital birth with a doctor costs approximately $20,000. It sky rockets to $60,000 for cesarean section. The average cost at a birth center is $5000. If only 5% of women choose this option it will mean millions of dollars each year saved.

It has also given women the creative possibility of how to birth; water births have become an option and a norm at many birthing centers now. There is an aesthetic value (light, color, beauty, sound, aromas, privacy) that is important to the well-being of the mother, which has come from home births and has inspired the transformation of hospital birthing spaces.

to need interventions, and therefore safer for mother and child. With her husband, she has begun the remodel of a 3,000 square foot facility in the San Luis Business Park. “We are excited to be a part of bringing this to our town.” She has opened the facility up to midwives, practitioners, and educators. There will be a library, living room, kitchen, three birth suites with birthing tubs, as well as a classroom and office space. It will be a family-friendly space where all can participate at whatever level they choose. They are currently planning a fundraiser for August and a grand opening the beginning of September, 2010. The combined efforts of many from our community are working to build this long-hoped for facility. If you would like to be a part of the effort, there will be a wish list on the upcoming website: sanluisbirthcenter.com.

Dr Tiffany Dietrich has come to our community from Washington with a background in midwifery and as a naturopathic physician. She has been practicing at birth centers for 10 years and feels that the time has come for our community to embrace this effort. “We have 15 freestanding birth centers in the state of California. The mission of the San Luis Birth Center is to provide care and support to women and their families in the areas of pregnancy, birth, childbirth, education, doula services, breastfeeding support, parenting classes, and holistic health care. We envision a center where the primary goal is to provide safe and conscientious care through both education and commuRenee Sante` renesante@gmail.com For nity outreach programs, “she believes. In more information you can call 548-0606. And her experience in birthing centers, “women see photos of the lovely birth suites at Andluz choose the smaller, more intimate spaces” to get an idea of the aesthetics at to labor in. When the mother is relaxed, www.waterbirth.net secure, and has privacy, then birth flows in a natural way. It make labor easier, less likely

12 Local Perspectives
unsung Heroine

Women’s Press July & August 2010

Sarah rudd-Lawlor
Facilitating Inter-generational Mentoring

On Becoming 60
By Linda Smith This year I turn 60, and as I look in the mirror, I wonder where did all the years go? Forty came and went, then 50, and now 60. Jeez, I didn’t notice those gray hairs there before; where did they come from? And those extra pounds? Is that really me? So what if my young girlfriends dress up in skimpy cocktail dresses to go to the movie to see Carrie and her friends in “Sex and the City.” That doesn’t hurt my feelings one bit; instead I’ll slip on my robe, grab a mug of hot chocolate, turn on the TV, and watch Betty White in a rerun of the “Golden Girls.” For my birthday, my daughter gave me a copy of What We Know So Far: Wisdom Among Women. This book follows my reading over the decades of books like It’s Only Too Late If You Don’t Start Now: How to Create Your Second Life after 40 and Fifty on Fifty: Wisdom, Inspirations and Reflections on Women’s Lives Well Lived. What’s with the “well-lived” at only age 50? My aunt Willow Mae in South Carolina lived to be 103 – now that’s well-lived! Congrats, 60 and retired. Well, now I can get that long awaited Senior Club Card over at Home Town Buffet, but that retired part, hmmm… Whoever said that a woman retires, should have said that a woman “tires.” I wonder where I put that bottle of Geritol? So time to get some hair coloring, jump on that Thigh Master, and swing by Victoria Secret. Seventy is not that far off!

By Berta Parrish There are some pretty awesome Bigs with some equally wonderful Littles. Plus, there are fantastic staff members who recruit, train, screen, pair, and assist them. Then, there are the dedicated volunteers and donors who support all of them in so many essential ways. Fortunately, there is the committed and energetic Sarah Rudd-Lawlor who encourages, inspires, and manages everyone. These people come together at the award-winning Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) of San Luis Obispo County, a fabulous youth mentoring organization. Starting as a volunteer, then as a Program Specialist, Sarah became Program Director in 2007. Naturally, she is also a Big Sister. “Spending time with my Little brought back memories of the people who believed in me and lifted me up,” she explains. “I wanted to do that for someone else. In addition, being with my Little helps me focus on the little

at relating to their parents and peers. But most of all, they love having a special friend Big Brothers Big Sisters of SLO County serves who is just for them!” an important need for boys and girls between the ages of 6-18 as well as offering a rewarding The future of both BBBS and Sarah looks experience for adults. Its mission is to help very promising. The community continues children reach their full potential through to generously support BBBS through fundone-to-one, professionally supported, and raisers such as this summer’s Big Event Wine safe mentoring. Since 1995, over 1300 children Tasting and Auction, Golf for Youth Classic, have been involved in a mentoring relation- and British Invasion concert. Always seeking ship or in one of the school-based programs. personal as well as professional improvement, At Sinsheimer and Nipomo Elementary Sarah is working toward a Masters Degree Schools, high school and college students in Public Policy from Cal Poly, specializing mentor pupils during weekly supervised activ- in social policy and community responsibilities and at alternative high schools, mentors ity. Knowing the immense benefits of having guide students through employability skills a mentor, she plans to intern with a Cuesta training and career shadowing. College instructor next fall. As Program Director, Sarah has lots of warm and fuzzy stories: “It’s a time to be a kid again for the Bigs. Go for an adventure. Be playful. Rediscover activities that you loved as children and share them with someone now. The Littles,” she adds, “get better at school and at decision making and Every since moving here from the Bay Area in 2005, Sarah feels that it has been “one positive, amazing thing after another.” At the same time, she has facilitated many positive, amazing things for the youth, schools, volunteers, and the communities in our county.

things, the most important things in life.”

Linda Smith is retired and lives and plays in San Luis Obispo. Like Erma Bombeck, she believes that “If you can laugh at it, you can live with it”.

Women’s Press July & August 2010

Local Perspectives 13
the bus from Pittsburg last night; it seems veil. I tried jabbing my elbow into his ribs to he split his pants seam. loosen his grip. It didn’t work. We recessed as a sweet-looking couple, my head on his I’d stayed with friends on Riverside Drive shoulder. for the last two weeks. I’d worked nights the month before, and the school adminis- We ate lunch in a dining room at the tration chose that time to paint our dorm Cathedral House. I didn’t eat much since I rooms. I rode the subway to 110th Street, still felt nervous about the large wedding. and slept in our apartment during the day, My family didn’t go in for big celebrations. while Jeremy worked at St. John the Divine. Jeremy tells me we had cupcakes because We ate dinner together. Then he drove me as recently-graduated students, we couldn’t through Central Park to Bellevue, so I could afford a wedding cake. We changed and finish my student hours. then prepared to leave on our honeymoon. My father makes it to the service. He’d missed my official graduation ceremony four months earlier when he got stuck in traffic. For our wedding we had a standby waiting to give me away, just in case. anniversary of our meeting. In two years, we celebrate our Golden Wedding Anniversary. Time flew with the speed of a hummingbird’s wings, but details remain etched in memory as clearly as autumnal light. We had three children, survived a fire and a flood, moved seven times, returned to school, changed jobs, and spent 25 years in one community. Those children grew up, married, and had children of their own. One of our children died. I view today’s photos and see our gray hair and wrinkles. Last spring, I told our 18-year old granddaughter that I met her grandfather at her age. She and her friend looked speechless. The locales may have changed from New York to California, with a 40-year hiatus in central Pennsylvania, but the central characters feel the same inside as they did then. I told her that one day she may tell her grandchildren the same thing. And I tell others about the perils of going to birthday parties.

Going to the Chapel
By Kathy Bond September 29th 1962, 10:30 a.m. We marry in a gray stone gothic cathedral two football fields long in New York City. Bishop Horace W. B. Donegan stands at the high altar looking resplendent in cope and miter. Choir boys sing and the state trumpets startle people when they emanate from the back of the building.

We’d paid a dollar for a pale blue 1950’s Plymouth sedan with a solenoid problem. The car came from a seminary professor, essentially a gift. The dollar satisfied legal registration requirements. Starting it involved Jeremy popping the hood and I remember making our vows, looking jumping said solenoid. directly into Jeremy’s eyes as we did. We knelt during the Eucharist, and proceeded Our family, friends, and wedding party had out to Handel’s Water Music, originally assembled to send us off. We had a Vermont written for Henry VIII to ride the royal farm destination, and the car a hole in the barge down the Thames. flywheel, so the group probably said a few more prayers for us. My bridegroom called at 7 a.m. to locate the On our first walk as newlyweds, Jeremy sewing box. His younger brother Brian rode took my arm and inadvertently snagged my Looking back, this October marks the 50th Jeremy and I met two years ago at a birthday party at the General Theological Seminary in Manhattan. We had a New York City courtship, our schools across town on two different rivers. Today, I meet my two bridesmaids and maid of honor in Jeremy’s office to dress. I’d brought the borrowed gown to the cathedral earlier in the week. Our wedding day dawned brightly. Indian summer had arrived in the city. It may swelter later; for now we enjoy cool air.

Imagine That Nothing Stands in Your Way...
By Adele Sommers If asked about your greatest obstacle to business or professional success, would you say, “funding”? I often suspect that our finances aren’t our greatest barriers, but perhaps imagination and insight are. For example, if you currently have a business plan that was written to attract seed money, how useful is the content? Many plans are static, formal documents that are meant to impress potential financial backers, but do not necessarily serve as living, breathing roadmaps. And if you already have sufficient funding, should you skip the business plan altogether? For either situation, below are seven essential exercises to contemplate. You can incorporate the answers into a traditional business plan, or create an adaptable slide presentation that powerfully communicates your business vision to others. 1. What are your “business success criteria”? Do you have a crystal clear idea of the types of business undertakings that align with your gifts, talents, passions, and strengths? 2. Do you know who your target audience is? Do you know which audiences are best suited to, or are already seeking, what you plan to offer? 3. Who are your competitors, comparables, and potential collaborators? Competitors consist of other companies currently offering the same or similar products or services, companies that could offer the same or similar products or services in the future, and also companies that could remove the need for your products or services. If you have no close competitors, look for comparable businesses offering similar products or services in related industries. If they osition (USP)? Do you know how to produce complementary wares, they convey the benefits of your products might become affiliates or collaborators. and services? 4. Do you know your Strengths, In conclusion, once you’ve completed these Weaknesses, Opportunities, and exercises, you’ll have a powerful business Threats? You can determine the internal manifesto. It will contain a set of guiding factors under your control (your principles to inspire financial backers and business strengths and weaknesses) prospective employees, partners, or clients. and external factors (opportunities and threats) via a “SWOT analysis.” 5. Is your business navigating in a highly competitive ocean? Are you planning to Adele Sommers, Ph.D. is a business perfordo business in a domain already filled mance consultant who helps entrepreneurs with competitors, where there’s only align their life passions with their business a small chance of thriving? If so, read purpose. She also guides organizations through Harvard Business School’s Blue Ocean “tactical tune-ups” and “strategic makeovers” Strategy. in individual or group sessions. Contact her 6. What are your vision, mission, values, today for a free initial consultation at Adele@ and core beliefs? Have you identified LearnShareProsper.com, or 805-462-2199. a purpose, visionary goals, and a set of guiding values to aim your business endeavors toward the right targets? 7. Have you crafted a unique selling prop-

14 Local Perspectives

Women’s Press July & August 2010

Photo by Aleksandra P.

The Case Of The Controlling Pants
By Judythe A. Guarnera I took a speech class at City College when I was in my 40’s. All the students in the class appeared to be in their teens or early twenties. I wanted to tell a funny story, but wasn’t sure if what I saw as funny would connect with these young people and make them laugh. Appreciation of humor seems so generational.

were all the same basic style. I pulled two pair, different sizes, off the racks —two sizes, because, as the young mother of four children, the size I wore varied by style and sometimes by how much chocolate I had consumed in the last month or so.

In the dressing room I slid my shoes off, slipped out of my skirt, and stepped into the first pair of pants. They were barely over my ankles when they refused to go any further. Since I consider myself a realist, I knew I had about as much a chance of reaching the end goal of buttoning them around my waist as I did of being the first woman astronaut on the moon. I managed to get the pants off without too much difficulty, since they had Perplexed as to what topic I should choose, rebelled at the beginning of their journey. an incident provided the fodder for what I hoped would be my funny story. I was not The second larger pair made it past my one of those women who had to have a ankles with ease. Encouraged, I straightregular fix of shopping on a regular basis. I ened up so that I could work them the rest usually succumbed when my clothing needs of the way up my legs. Ah, this is more like had reached a critical mass (or lack, thereof). it. My relief was short-lived as each inch the The day my last good pair of jeans split at pants navigated the unfamiliar terrain of the seams when I bent over, I knew that I my body where they encountered more and had reached that point. more resistance. Tug, tug, and finally, they slid over my hips. I made it, I crowed. My favorite style pants were bell bottoms because throughout my whole life, muscle Once more, my smugness proved premature. and joint pain has plagued my existence. Although I tugged some more, I couldn’t get Their wide legs suited my inflexibility. So, I the gap between the sides of the zipper close thought, no big deal, I’d just go back to the enough to zip. I took in a mighty breath, same store where I had purchased that com- sucked in my stomach to the point of pain, fortable pair of bell bottoms. and the zipper closed smoothly. I brought the two sides of the snap together and I was To my dismay, changing styles had taken in. I let out my breath. Everything stayed in jeans from the wide and comfortable (the place. I began to turn in front of the mirror sublime) to the narrow and fitted (the ridic- to admire my profile. Not bad. Four kids and ulous.) My first look told me that the jeans I still look good in a pair of jeans.

Feeling proud of myself and my appearance, I didn’t hesitate. These babies were mine! Did I mention ‘premature smugness?’ Unsnapped, the pants refused to make the return journey down my body. Here I was, in a dressing room with the spanking new blue jeans stuck tight to my body. I can do this. I just need to do everything in reverse. I took another deep breath and sucked in my stomach again. I wouldn’t say the pants slid down, but I was able to wiggle them down past my tummy and hips.

feet are stuck in your pants, you can’t fall gracefully. So, you thud. As I lay on the floor, moaning in pain, the cramp gradually eased. I sat up and managed to tug the pants off one foot and then the other, all the while hoping that no one had heard the thud.

Did I buy those pants? They did fit and they did look good, but was I willing to go through that kind of a struggle each time I wore them? And what if they shrank and got even tighter? Should I try a larger size Little did I realize that the battle had just which might be easier to get on and off, but begun. The material had bunched around wouldn’t look good when they stretched and my calves and would go no further. As I sagged? tried to bend over and tug the pant legs from the bottom, my leg began to cramp; that put By then, thoroughly humiliated and a halt to my efforts for a few uncomfortable depressed, I donned my skirt, hung the minutes. offenders back on the rack, and slunk out of the store. I think I’ ll just wait until the Okay, time to try again. I can do this. My styles change again. After all, nothing in life little pep talk seemed to be working and I is certain except death, taxes, and changing pushed them a little further down my legs. styles. Once more progress halted. Trapped again. I tried to balance on one foot and reach down The jeans had won; they were in control. to pull the jeans off the other one, which resulted in a foot cramp this time. By then Case closed. I was dancing/hobbling on one foot, trying to get the raised foot flat onto the floor to P.S. I got an “A” on my speech because my relieve the cramp. young classmates were rolling on the floor laughing the whole time I was talking. (They If you have ever struggled with panty hose, should laugh; they have to lie on the bed or which capture your two feet about six the floor to get their jeans up.) inches away from each other as you try to work them up your leg, you can imagine how ineffective my efforts were. Still cramping, I lost my balance and thudded to the floor. I discovered that when your

Women’s Press July & August 2010

Local Perspectives 15

Stop pleasing others, just be yourself
By Hertha Wolff-Arend Many women, especially in a business environment, seem to believe that they have to play certain roles to achieve certain goals. Women often want to please, and they definitely don’t want to disappoint other people’s expectations. The effort to please others usually results in disappointment and frustration for the pleaser. We are giving and giving, but we still have the feeling of not being fully respected and appreciated. What is wrong with us? Why don’t we get the attention and the respect we deserve? The answer is simple. The more we please, the more we lose our identity and personality. If you are not able to say “no”, you do not leave space for yourself to unfold your personality. If you deliver everything in a manner that is expected, you do not leave room for surprises. Imagine a life without surprises? Isn’t that a boring and uninspired picture? Now imagine that this is who you are. You are predictable, always delivering without questioning or arguing. I know you hate this image, but this is what happens when your main intention in life and in particular in business is simply to please. You lose your authenticity, which means you are not developing your personality with all the edges and scratches that make a person a personality or simply authentic.
Photo by Paolo Ferla Photo by Bill Davenport

How many toads does one have to kiss?
By MaryAine Curtis Once upon a time there was a young maiden with a gentle golden heart waiting to be swept up onto the magic carpet of her dreams. The tale of the magic toad was told to me, and it seemed to be the only means to get to the beloved, that one holding my heart throughout time. But alas, there are so many toads. How do I find the one that may be my prince? Perhaps the painting on my wall of The Frog Prince will give me a clue. Is it really there to remind me of the many wishes that my hopeful heart has wished? But then perhaps it’s foolishness to dream this dream once more.

We play with each other through words and innuendos, titillating our senses safely from home. He may not even be a prince, but he writes as though he is. Of course I respond as though I am his Princess, his goddess, his delicate flower. Who will ever know? I can be anyone I wish to be. It’s all in my mind after all. Oops. I fell in love, revealed my heart, and he disappeared just like that. Poof! As I fall, it all vanishes. Now my heart is broken, and I resolve to discover me and romance myself or forever tuck my heart safely away. Simple play, it doesn’t stay. Once I had a lover on the internet; it’s like modern day frog picking. I’m saddened by my loss, feeling jaded and gullible after all. We never met. An entire life time romanced in a matter of days, cast away.

I am wandering along the path of self discovery and reminiscing. How do I love with complete abandon and continue to love myself when I How many toads does one have to kiss fall. Is this how my soul journeys through this Come back to the question, “What is wrong to find the prince? The heart of a hopeful life dancing as if no one is watching? Is love of with us?’ The answer is that nothing is wrong, but there is artificial and authentic romantic like me will always ere on the side myself all that really matters? behavior. Playing the role others impose on of potential. There is so much. Is it him? Is it me? I listen to the most romantic music To have the love and attract even more is us is an artificial act, while choosing to be and stirrings in my heart for The ONE creation. Following my heart in shameless who we want to be and acing accordingly that uplifts me and makes me whole. Great abandon may be the key to all that is me. reflects an authentic behavior. Of course, I passion to become the most that I can ever The music holds me and bends, encouraging assume that we are talking about behavior be fills me. The love enhances every cell. the passion as I fall. My mind misconstrues and actions that take place within the system the meaning of the moments and pursues a of laws and the ethical rules. The answer is Once I had a lover on the internet. He was lifetime. Listening to the music, each song as simple as that: What is more appreciated a knight in shining armor. Truly. He played has an ending no matter how beautiful the and respected? The original or the copy? knights in the Renaissance Faire. Oh, his melody, no matter how much my heart rides You pick the original, because it is real and flowery speech prompted me to fly away the highs and softness and the power, it ends. valuable. If we translate this metaphor to you and how you act, I want to encourage into such bliss. The words, the music were so you to be real – be the original. captivating and so sensual as he played my And I’m left once again with me. ethereal body. Betraying my resolutions, my You do not have to be perfect to be successbody responded like a finely tuned violin to ful in life and business, but you have to be the love-filled words spoken. www.maryainecurtis.com authentic. Allow your personality to unfold,

live the life you want to live, and accept the fact that you cannot always please others. Once you acknowledge that you are not perfect, that you are not just a copy of an ideal picture, and that you have edges and scratches, and even show some signs of aging (or patina), once you fully embrace who you are, you will get all the respect and attention you desire. If you want to be loved and respected for whom you are, you have to love and embrace yourself first. People notice when they are dealing with a woman who is authentic or if they are dealing with a woman who is simply playing a role, whatever that role might be. In a business environment, especially in competition with men and other women, maintaining authenticity leads to success. Being the way you are takes less effort and energy than pretending to be somebody you are not. Furthermore, someone who is real is more believable, while someone playing a role struggles and wastes a lot of energy not to make any mistakes that might disturb the picture she is trying to present. Just as you like to look at your favorite original in a museum or gallery, you will enjoy your life as a real person but not by trying to be a mere copy of what you believe others want you to be. If you want to find encouragement and empowerment, I invite you to visit my blog: www.beawomanandactlikeone.com

16 Local Perspectives

Women’s Press July & August 2010

The real FACTS: A book review
By Sue McMeans Author Michael Arkin is a former Independent State Hearing Officer who was appointed to hear and determine contested cases between school districts and parents as part of the Special Education Hearing Office in Sacramento, California. A former United States Department of Justice trial attorney in Washington, D.C., he engaged in a private law practice, first in Southern California and later in the Mother Lode country of which he writes. His Northern California law practice was balanced among providing legal services as Chief Trial Counsel to Child Protective Services, as special counsel to the Superior Court for children in high conflict child custody cases, and as counsel for battered women referred by the Women’s Crisis Center. He received undergraduate degrees from George Washington University and the University of Oklahoma with a major in psychology, and minors in sociology, philosophy, and English. He received his law degree from the University of Oklahoma.

was a large cover-up afoot in her case. I subsequently wrote a letter to the editor of the Amador Ledger about how county staff often engages in cover-ups when they’ve badly botched a case. I spoke in generalities rather than mentioning specific cases. Perhaps I should mention here that I worked for San Luis Obispo County for 20 years; most of that time as the Chief Deputy Public Guardian/Conservator. During this time I saw many cover-ups because of poor decision-making processes and actions, or lack thereof, of incompetent and/or uncaring employees. After my letter was published in the Amador Ledger, I received a call from the office of an attorney I’d never heard of before--Michael Arkin. I subsequently talked to him and found we had many concerns in common. My husband, Andy, and I made arrangements to meet with him during one of my trips to Amador County to support Karen in court.

Sacramento. But he continued to have a burning desire to tell the stories from the Foothills, in an effort to spur action to bring the system into balance. Out of Balance, his current book, is the result. While his book is written as fiction, much of it is based on actual cases. Some of these cases have been published in the L.A. Daily Journal in the past. I still have copies of some of these L.A. Daily Journal articles. Out of Balance may be somewhat slow reading initially because it explains how the system works for people who are not well versed with the law, domestic violence, and how the courts operate, but it quickly picks up the pace and reads like a psychological thriller, keeping you on the edge of your seat to the conclusion of the book. Quite frankly, once I started the book, I could not put it down. I have seen other reviewers say this also. One reviewer from Southern California said, “As entertaining as the book was, I was educated about a world beyond my comfort zone --- abusive parents, victimized children and the intimate scenes of life on illegal drugs. Any reader of this book will want to be more of a watchdog in his neighborhood and looks for signs of abuse. I predict that it will become required or at least recommended reading in courses on domestic abuse. Five stars for a book that opens your eyes and makes you want to make the world a better place.”

he became a Court Commissioner hearing family law cases, he had not realized how political domestic violence is. He said he’d always thought that if you did the crime, you should do the time. He indicated he’d learned very quickly that his simplistic belief simply was not true. There are too many double standards and exceptions in the system, particularly for those in certain lines of work who commit domestic violence. Michael does a great job of addressing these specific concerns as well as many others in his book. There are many of us who are hoping that Michael’s book will be widely purchased, read, and discussed so that it will help create mainstream knowledge of problems within the system so that many more people will become interested and involved in seeing that needed change occurs. A Glimpse Inside a Broken System: “Out of Balance,” by Michael Arkin (PublishAmerica, Baltimore, MD., $19.95). Out of Balance can be purchased at Amazon. com, BarnesandNoble.com, ABEbooks. com, Hein and Company (Jackson, Ca.), Sustenance Books (Murphys, Ca.), Bookworks (Albuquerque, NM), Frontier Mart (Corrales, NM), directly from the Author (signed) at 1041 Angel Road, Corrales, NM 87048, and from all bookstores (on order) through Ingram Book Distribution Company.

I first met Michael Arkin by coincidence. I and other grandparents and foster parents formed a group many years ago know as, “The Real F.A.C.T.S.,” or “Forum on Abused Children and the System.” Our group was developed to address concerns about problems within our county’s Child Welfare System and Family Law Courts. We spent a great deal of time educating our- After dinner, the kids were sent off to do selves and networking with others who had, home work and get ready for bed. We and still have, similar concerns. spent hours exchanging information, documentation, and concerns about what we I came to know Michael Arkin through a all considered to be a very poorly run syssomewhat circuitous route from networking tem--a system that served itself rather than with others around the state. Somewhere serving the persons entangled in it. He told along the way, I met Karen Anderson us that whenever a mistake was made or and Connie Valentine of the California harm had been done, it was covered up and Protective Parent Association in the Davis/ the people involved were effectively silenced. Sacramento area. Karen is the founder of the Michael talked about having been threatened organization known as “Courageous Kids.” by Amador County staff to stay away from When I first met Karen, I learned from certain cases unless he wanted them to make her of her own divorce and custody case sure he never worked anywhere again. He felt and how horribly it had been mismanaged then that his hands were tied because he had by staff and the Court in Amador County a large family to support. Michael and his to the extreme detriment of her children. wife, Laura, have ten children between them. There was a strong appearance that her case had intentionally been mismanaged. From Eventually Michael was appointed to adjuactual evidence I saw from the Amador dicate special education cases and his Sheriff’s investigation, it appeared that there home base changed from Angels Camp to

After Karen’s court hearing, we drove to Angel’s Camp, where Michael’s office was located in a beautiful old building on the main street right in the heart of town. It was around 5:00 p.m. when we arrived. Michael had many things he wanted to discuss with us and we had many things to discuss with him as well. Because of the political climate in Amador County, he did not want to be over heard by any county staff. He therefore invited us to his beautiful home in the The book does a great job of pointing out real foothills for a wonderful home cooked meal problems within the court system and county with his wife and kids. agencies that deal with abuse and divorce.

It is not only Michael’s hope, but mine as well, that people will begin realizing the scope of problems within these systems and the extent of damage that they do unnecessarily so that better solutions for families can be found. Much of what goes on in the whole system today is simply taken for granted or ignored and many of those in the system don’t want the “boat rocked.” There are too many people making too much money from participating in this dysfunctional system. To them, a closer look resulting in any change would be bad. Most of us know that the way domestic violence is treated varies from person to person. It is more political than not, and therein lies one of the big problems with how it is handled within the system. One of our county’s former Court Commissioners whom I’d known for years told me that until

Women’s Press July & August 2010

Local Perspectives 17
as provide valuable solutions for women’s issues and concerns to our Supervisors. It is your voice that is important. It is your voice that we want speaking through us. Please take a moment to go to the website (www.slowomen.org), download the survey, and FAX (805 788-2007) it directly to the By Paulette Claire Commission. Your anonymity will be respected and your answers will be an imporThe San Luis Obispo County Commission tant link to your Board of Supervisors. on the Status of Women is an advisory group that submits a yearly survey of the Go to the Commission’s website, slowomen. needs of the county’s women to the Board org, be sure that you are on the home page, of Supervisors. It is during the next four note that towards the center of the page months that you will see Commissioners you will see “SLO County Residents,” and out into the community with clip boards click the “English Language” or “Spanish and surveys in hand. Women of the county Language” survey, download it onto your also have an opportunity to download computer, print it, fill it out, and FAX, 805 the survey directly off the website (www. 788-2007, or mail it to the post office box slowomen.org) and FAX (805 788-2007) it listed below. You can also call (805) 788-3406 to the Commission. Your survey answers and a survey will be sent to you. are an important part of the yearly presentation to the San Luis Obispo County Board If you would like to become involved with of Supervisors. San Luis Obispo County’s Commission on the State of Women, join us at our next During monthly meetings, the needs of meeting, July 1, 6:15 p.m., Coast National women in the county are addressed. Over Bank Board Room, 500 Marsh Street, San the past two years, the needs of women Luis Obispo. Your voice in our county is have been primarily financial concerns and important. health issues. These issues have been the focus of numerous discussions, Women’s Way to Wealth presentations, and collabora- Where to find us: tion with other organizations also concerned San Luis Obispo County Commission on the about women’s issues. These are often times Status of Women the same issues that women face throughout California as well as throughout the nation. Post Office Box 15116 San Luis Obispo, CA 93406 With your help, the commission can meet their objectives and support the equaliza- (805) 788-3406 tion of women in our community, gain cosowo@gmail.com knowledge of women’s needs, collaborate slowomen.org and use resources in our community, as well

Commission on the Status of Women

Photo by Marina Avila

Old Dog Comfort
By Kate Updike O’Connor “How’s the old boy doing?” I ask as I drift to a stop alongside Riley and his owner. I am out for a morning bike ride and Riley is out for his morning walk. I’ve met up with him before. “He’s doing great!” the handsome man whose name I do not know answers with a huge grin. I love dogs. I especially love old dogs. I always stop to say hello and share a moment with the owner’s permission. This man tells me, with both pride and incredulity, that Riley will be seventeen on December 5. The old dog’s short legs plod as if each step is earned and his joints are stiff. His hearing’s gone, the owner tells me, but Riley can still see through cloudy eyes. He walks without a leash and stops every few feet to sniff his favorite spots, and displays the kind of confidence of a dog who walks the same route every day. Another bigger dog, on a leash, approaches, and Riley’s posture lifts and his tail wags briskly. I barely know Riley but I can see that he’s a happy, friendly dog. I set my bike down and walk slowly toward him. I crouch and put myself in his line of vision. I want to pet him, but I don’t want to startle him. He stops and gives me a tentative kiss, lets me run my hand over his back. I don’t know what breed he is. I don’t care to ask. It’s enough for me to know his

name and his age. I can imagine his life from touching him. It’s a simple, full life. A morning walk and an evening walk sufficiently meet his needs, especially since his master strolls leisurely a few paces ahead, never in a hurry, always happy to accompany him for one more day at least. Dinner is kibble and a glucosamine tablet to ease the arthritis. His master has provided a suitable bed, firm yet soft, to rest his old bones in, and Riley spends much of the day there. He no longer needs to bark at the mail carrier. But he’s up and running to meet his master when he hears the car in the drive. They both look forward to a quiet evening at home together. I had the pleasure of an old dog’s company once. His twice-daily walks were the high points of his day, too. He was all dog on his walks, no matter how slowly he eventually moved up the hill homeward. I took to carrying my cell phone that last year because I worried he might collapse. Actually, I worried a lot about losing him. Riley’s owner says his old dog has seen him through good times and bad. I know what he means. My old dog did the same for me. A happy old dog has nothing to prove. He saves his energy for his walks and his loved ones. So I feel honored when Riley stops to acknowledge me and lets me pet him. He must sense my need. He knows I still miss my old boy.

18 Local Perspectives

Women’s Press July & August 2010

Edana Hall Licensed Midwife
mothersbirth@holisticmidwifery.com 805-801-3806 New office and Birth Center opening: San Luis Business Center @ Higuera & Los Osos Valley Rd. San Luis Obispo, CA

Where is the most peaceful place to visit on the Central Coast ?

Photo by Benjamin Lawless

Melanie Reese Senn

Jen Kaplan

Nighttime, the picnic  table in my own  At any one of our beautiful wineries, drinking backyard, sans children. wine with friends. Leslie St. John The Hydrolucinogen room at the sanitarium in SLO--cool blues, purples, white-silvers; watercolors, thick linens, a deep metal tub; and the room has a private deck. It’s an oasis in town, a quiet place to reconnect with my own voice (all the other “should/should not” voices are momentarily shushed). There, she speak in poems, paintings, dance...  Christine Dewart Morning hikes up Bishops during the week were a great way for me to find some peace of mind. I also enjoyed night drives out to Avila to swing on the swings, listening to the tides roll in. Just taking a walk downtown in the mornings is peaceful--whether you’re passing by the cute old men taking an espresso break from cycling at Uptown(which I still cannot call Black Horse), or it’s a Wednesday morning and you hear the children clapping and singing from inside Boo Boo Records. Michelle Butera Most peaceful place for me is in Big Sur. Limekiln is beautiful as well as the spot where the the big sur lodge is. The fresh air and quiet beauty is the best. Berta Parrish When I need a peaceful place to seriously ponder life’s challenges, I go to Sweet Springs in Los Osos.  It is a beautiful and serene environment with paths for wandering, birds for watching, and benches for sitting.    The  freshwater ponds,  the saltwater marsh, and the Monterey cypress and eucalyptus groves  create a  womblike ambiance which provides shelter and inspiration. When I cross over the bridge, it’s like entering sacred space. MaryAine Curtis I have several oak trees that I like to hike to in the county that are very peaceful and rejuvenatig places for me to re-connect to my spirit. This is where my inspration comes from. The top of any of our gorgeous mountains brings me great joy as I look over the beauty of our earth.

Next month our Voices around the Table question is: Do you think the institution of marriage is outdated?
Please send responses to womenspressslo@gmail.com

Women’s Press July & August 2010
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National Organization for Women

NOW Calendar July • July 2: • July 2: • July 4: • July 9: • July 15: • July 18: • July 19: Civil Rights Act signed into law, 1964 Amelia Earhart’s plane is lost in the Pacific Ocean, 1937 In Baltimore, where she is the only printer, Mary Katherine Goddard publishes the Declaration of Independence,1777. birthday, June Jordan, poet, civil rights worker, 1936 Jocelyn Burnell discovered pulsars, 1943, for which her supervisor received Nobel Prize in physics Geraldine Ferraro nominated vice president, Democratic Party, 1984 first Women’s Rights Convention, Seneca Falls, NY 1848

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GALA office, now located at 1060 Palm St., SLO Third Tuesday of every month at 6 pm.

3rd Tuesday of every month at 6:00 pm

NOW Goals
• Support reproductive choice • Work to eliminate ALL violence against women • Fight against sexual harassment • Encourage tolerance and diversity • Promote feminist issues • Commemorate Roe v Wade (Jan 22) • Celebrate Women’s Equality Day (Aug 26) • Participate in Farmer’s Market • Support feminist politics

• July 20: NOW regular meeting, 6 PM • July 21: birthday, Janet Reno, 1938

• July 24: birthday, Bella Abzug, 1920 • July 29: August • Aug 3: • Aug 6: • Aug 6: • Aug 7: • Apr 10: • Aug 13: • Aug 14: • Aug 17: • Aug 23: birthday, Maggie Kuhn, founder Grey Panthers, 1905 anniversary of Hiroshima; Women’s Peace Day Voting Rights Act outlaws literacy tests; suffrage finally extended to African American women, 1965 birthday of Elizabeth Gurley Flynn, labor organizer, helped found ACLU, 1890 birthday, Dolores Huerta, 1930; co-founder United Farm Workers birthday, Lucy Stone, pioneer for women’s rights, 1818; kept her own name at marriage Day with Creative Women, Mission Plaza NOW regular meeting, 6 PM Fannie Farmer opens Boston cooking school, introducing standard measurements for recipes, 1902 birthday of Jacqueline Onassis, 1929; established White House Historical Association, 1994

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Women’s Press July & August 2010

Coordinator’s Corner
By Angie King We’ve already had two elections this spring, and we’re gearing up for the “big” one in November. I hope women realize their votes can make the difference in how this state and country is governed. One hundred years ago, women in America were protesting the fact that they could not cast a vote on their own. It was often said, by men of course, that the women’s opinions were registered by their husband’s votes. But who knew how true that was? No one asked the women! The groundswell for women’s right to vote increased when the world went to war in 1914, when men were gone, fighting, and women ran things at home. A precursor to the same groundswell of progressive change after World War II; this protest in the early part of the last century finally brought suffrage for women in 1920. It may seem we don’t need to remember our herstory any more, with women in the senate and the state governors’ mansions, with women running major governmental agencies and advising presidents. But those who forget history, as Santayana once famously said, are doomed to repeat it. The numbers of women registered to vote are decreasing, not increasing. The numbers of women in representative positions in government are decreasing, not reaching parity with men. And many of the primary rights women fought for are being eroded every day, like the right to quality affordable health care and child care and equal pay for equal work, and…. the list goes on. One way to make sure our rights are protected is to work for ratification of the CEDAW. This groundbreaking document, the Convention on Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Women, was adopted in 1979 by the UN General Assembly, but has not been ratified by the United States. It defines what constitutes discrimination against women and sets up an agenda for national action to end such discrimination. By accepting the Convention, governments commit themselves to undertake a series of measures to end discrimination against women in all forms, including: • to incorporate the principle of equality of men and women in their legal system, abolish all discriminatory laws and adopt appropriate ones prohibiting discrimination against women; • to establish tribunals and other public institutions to ensure the effective protection of women against discrimination; and • to ensure elimination of all acts of discrimination against women by persons, organizations or enterprises. Countries that have ratified or acceded to the Convention are legally bound to put its provisions into practice. They are also committed to submit national reports, at least every four years, on measures they have taken to comply with their treaty obligations.

Women’s equality Day is August 26th
Let the Whole Community know!
Here’s some news of note about mothers and August 26th marks the day the 36th state legislature ratified the 19th Amendment to the US Constitution, making it official: all women have the right to vote. Beginning in the 1840’s as a whisper among women abolitionists and temperance supporters, women took the tactics and strategies developed in those fights and used them to advocate for suffrage for themselves. However, it took 72 years from the First Women’s Right Convention in Seneca Falls, in 1848, until that date in 1920 for our goal to be realized.

In countries where the treaty is in effect, the lives of women have improved dramatically. Mortality rates in childbirth have gone down; wages have increased to allow women Since 1971, August 26th has been celethe means to care for their families; laws brated as Women’s Equality Day, a chance
Continued in Coordinators Corner, p. 21

Continued in Women’s equality Day, p. 21

of Trustee to reinstate the team and avoid future violations of this sports equity law. Stay tuned for further developments when Cuesta College Tennis Team Title the OCR report is made public. IX violations: We held a very successful event on May 6 presenting the timely issue SARP’s Walk a Mile in her Shoes: This of Title IX violations at Cuesta College. annual event brings out the best in fashion Title IX, passed in 1972, requires all educa- footwear – and the men really do walk a tional institutions receiving federal money mile in high heels. NOW had a booth at to ensure that women receive equal oppor- the event, selling t-shirts, as shown in the tunity to participate in sports. Cuesta picture! has been in violation of this requirement before, in 1994, and made changes to its Up coming local events: SLO NOW athletic programs to bring it into compli- will have a table at the WCC’s Day With ance. However, in January 2010, Cuesta Creative Women on August 14. Come abruptly cancelled the women’s tennis team, visit us and learn more about NOW. We despite the acute interest and participation will also volunteer again at the Morro Bay by the players and their coach. The Office Harbor Fest on October 2-3. If you would of Civil Rights of the Department of Justice like to help us (we receive a donation for our is currently investigating. SLO NOW col- efforts), let us know at slonow@kcbx.net. laborated with the SLO branch of AAUW in presenting a panel of Title IX experts, the And, don’t forget August 26, Women’s tennis coach, and one of the players on the Equality Day, commemorating the ratifiteam. We continue to urge Cuesta Board cation of the 19th amendment to the US

NOW News

Constitution giving women the right to vote. SLO NOW will be at Farmer’s Market on August 26 to bring community awareness to this important right – so timely this election year. Don’t forge to register to vote and to change your registration if you have moved or changed your name. Ratify Women: Thirty years after the passage of the Convention on Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), the United States has still not ratified this international treaty, making it the only industrialized nation not a party to it. NOW’s Global Feminist Strategies and Issues Committee asks all feminists to sign an on-line petition to ask President Obama to place ratification of CEDAW before the Senate. Go to www. ratifywomen.org. Until the US is officially a signatory, we can hardly ask other countries to live up to their obligations under the treaty, or claim to be a leader in the fight for human rights. See more about

CEDAW on these pages, or visit now.org. NOW assisting FBI to define gender based crimes: For a long time, it seemed violence against women was so “normal” that officials were loath to single out crimes against women as a special category. But times change, and society has evolved in its understanding that women are often attacked merely because they are women. It took over 20 years, but there is now a federal law prohibiting gender-based hate crimes. The Hate Crimes Prevention Act, passed last year, expands the scope of the Justice Department’s ability to investigate and prosecute bias motivated crimes based on a victim’s actual or perceived sexual orientation gender, gender identity, or disability, and authorizes the collection of data on these crimes. NOW has met with the FBI to help define the terms in implementing the data collection requirement.

Women’s Press July & August 2010
“COMING TO CONSCIOuSNeSS, THe exPerIeNCe OF A LIFeTIMe” A workshop at Cuesta College SLO Campus, Building 4700, Room 4760. Six Saturday mornings from 10:00 a.m. to noon beginning 8/14 and ending 9/25 (no class on Labor Day weekend). Fee: $76.

Bulletins 21

Coordinator’s Corner Continued
Continued from page 20

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prohibiting violence against women have become stronger and better enforced. While conditions for women in the US were already better than in many other countries, we still have many areas where our lives could be improved. The new federal hate crimes law recently passed by Congress expands the definitions and circumstances in which violence against women is treated as a hate based crime. The Lily Ledbetter bill, passed last year, expands the time limits to register wage discrimination complaints. But there is still Bring writing materials and the book to discrimination against women. every class; book available for purchase first meeting only ($15).  Website: bobbetyler.com.   National NOW will be directing its efforts toward ratification of this treaty in the Questions?  Call Cuesta College Community coming years. Our chapter will have a table at Farmer’s Market on August 26, Women’s Programs: (805) 546-3132. Equality Day, celebrating our right to vote and providing literature on CEDAW. Join LeArN THe LANGuAGe OF YOur DreAMS us and learn more about what you can do to ensure equality for women When: Saturday, August 28th Time: 1:00 PM – 5:00 PM Price: $55.00 Facilitator: Dorothy Segovia, certified Life Coach Using her prize-winning book (Searching for Soul; A Survivor’s Guide)  as a model for bringing one’s life to consciousness, and borrowing liberally from the work of psychoanalyst C. G. Jung, author Bobbe Tyler will lead participants in reading, discussing and writing to a deep and meaningful level of the psyche as they respond to six key “inner life” questions awaiting serious consideration.  Personal stories will not be discussed. Be Well Center 8810 Morro Road, Atascadero 805 460-9907 www.BeWellLiving.net   Imagery from your dreams is the language of your soul. Discover how your dreams are teaching you to live a more energetic, balanced life. All you need is an understanding of your own symbolic images. Learn to develop your dream recording skills. Through collage, movement, and reflective journaling you will learn to access your dreams.

Women’s equality Day Continued
Continued from page 20

for us to remind ourselves of the power of the ballot. A chance to celebrate the changes in our society brought about by the influence of women voters. And it is also a chance for us to reflect on what women can do and must continue to do for the future. This year. NOW celebrate Women’s Equality Day, August 26, by having a table at Farmer’s Market displaying the Statue of Liberty symbolizing women’s struggle for equality, culminating in the 19th amendment. Come visit us and sign the various petitions to bring about true women’s equality – support for CEDAW, equal pay for equal work, an end to violence against women and sexual harassment, access to quality child care for working women, access to full health care options for women, and all the other items on our agenda that YOU know we need. See you there!

V. I. P. Vegetarian Inclined People Come join us for a wonderful time of great food, fellowship and fun! You are invited to an all vegetarian potluck and guest speaker the 4th Wednesday of each month at the Arroyo Grande Women’s Club Located at 211 Vernon St From 6-8pm. Bring vegetarian dish to share, own place setting and a dollar to help cover costs. Call Nicolette for more details: 805-710-3090

• NORTH COUNTY: Atascadero – The Coffee House and Deli, Starbuck’s at Von’s Plaza, Green Goods, Player’s Pizza, Harvest Health Food Store, North County Connection, Senior Center, Women’s Resource Center/Shelter Office, Curves. Paso Robles – Cuesta College North Campus, Café Vio, Curves, DK Donuts, Panolivo French Cafe, NCI Village Thrift Shop, Paso Robles Health Foods; Templeton – Twin Cities Hospital, Templeton Market & Deli, Affinity Chiropractic, Kinship Center, Jobella’s Coffee; Santa Margarita– Santa Margarita Mercantile. • NORTHERN COAST: Baywood – Coffee & Things; Cambria – Cambria Connection, Cambria Pines Lodge, Chamber of Commerce, Gym One, Azevedo Chiropractic, Lilly’s, Alloco’s, Cambria Drug and Gift, Bob & Jan’s Bottle Shop, Linn’s, Donna’s Nail Salon, Cookie Crock, Rainbow Bean and Coffee Shop; Cayucos – Cayucos Super Market, Kelley’s EsPresso & Dessert, Ocean Front Pizza, Chevron Station, Mobile Balloons; Los Osos – Starbuck’s, Baywood Laundry, Cad’s, Carlock’s Bakery, Chamber of Commerce, Copa de Oro, Garden Café, Los Osos Deli Liquor, Volumes of Pleasure; Morro Bay – Backstage Salon, Coalesce Bookstore, Coffee Pot Restaurant, The Rock, Southern Port Traders, Sunshine Health Foods, Two Dogs Coffee, La Parisienne Bakery. • SAN LUIS OBISPO: Broad St. Laundry, Cool Cats Café, La Crepes, Edna Market, Booboo Records, Creekside Center, GALA, Marigold Nails, Palm Theatre, Susan Polk Insurance, Utopia Bakery, Unity Church, Zoe Wells, Naturopath, Cal Poly Library and Women’s Center, Center for Alternatives to Violence, Chamber of Commerce, Cuesta College Library, EOC Health Services Clinic, HealthWorks, Healing Alternatives, Laguna Laundry, Linnaea’s, Monterey Express, Natural Foods Coop, New Frontiers, Nautical Bean, Outspoken Beverage Bistro, Phoenix Books, Planned Parenthood, West End Espresso & Tea, San Luis Obispo Housing Authority Office, SARP, The Secret Garden, SLO Perk Coffee, Spirit Winds Therapy, The Studio Fitness for Women, Uptown Cafe, Yoga Centre, Ahshe Hair Salon, Apropos Clothing, Soho Hair Salon, Hempshak, YMCA, KCBX, Salon on Monterey, Jaffa Café, Med Stop (Madonna Plaza), World Rhythm and Motion, Steynberg Gallery, Correa Chiropractic, High St. Deli, Sunset N. Car Wash, Jamaica You, United Blood Services. • SOUTH COUNTY: Arroyo Grande – Mongo’s, Act II Boutique, Central Coast Yoga, CJ’s Restaurant, Curves-AG, Cutting Edge, EOC Health Services Clinic, Girls Restaurant, Grande Whole Foods, Chameleon; Avila Beach– Avila Grocery, Custom House, Sycamore Hot Springs, Inn at Avila, Joe Mamma’s; Grover Beach – Back Door Deli, Cindi’s Wash House, Nan’s Pre-owned Books, Therapeutic Body Center, 30-minute Fitness; Halcyon – Halcyon Store; Nipomo – Anna’s Creekside Coffee House, Healing Touch Spa, Curves, La Placita Market, Healthy Inspirations, World Gym, Trendy Sister Salon, Senior Centers; Pismo Beach – Honeymoon Café, Pismo Athletic Club, RETurn to JOY!; Shell Beach – De Palo & Sons Deli, Seaside Cafe, Steaming Bean. • SANTA MARIA: Café Monet, Hunter’s Landing, Library, Curves on Main and on Broadway, Lassen’s. • ORCUTT: Loading Dock, Oasis Spa.

22 Resources

Women’s Press July & August 2010

ABUSE

Adults Molested as Children Support Group (AMAC) Rape Survivors Support Group, SLO Support Group for Sexual Assault Survivors

Drug & Alcohol Services

MOMS Club of South SLO county Partnership for Children

781.4275

473.2548; www.southslomomsclub.org 541.8666; ask for Beth 460.9016 781.1600
Real F.A.C.T.S. (Forum on Abused Children) Social Services Support for Kids Coping with Domestic Violence

Creative Mediation

549.0442 544.9313

Narcotics Anonymous

Dealing With Divorce Depresson and Bipolar Support Alliance Group

549.7730 and 800.549.7730
Overeaters Anonymous

545.8888 781.6406

541.3164

Center for Alternatives to Domestic Violence North County Women’s Shelter & Resource Center,

SCA, SLAA & SAA (Sex, Love & Romance Addictions)

927.3703

Divorce Discussion Group

461.6084

489.2990, saintbarnabas@sbcglobal.net
Eating Disorders Support Group Grief Drop-In Support Groups Project Lifesaver

TOPS (Take Off Pounds Sensibly)

929.1789 www.tops.org
Women for Sobriety

(inc. domestic violence support groups) 461.1338
SARP (Sexual Assault Recovery & Prevention)

473.6507
Hotline

546-3774; free, meets weekly in SLO

215.536.8026 www.womenforsobriety.org EMERGENCY/CRISIS

544.2266, multiple meetings avail. 548.0909 www.projectlifesaverofslo.org
Safe and Sober Support Group

CHILDREN & FAMILIES
546.3755 www.bbrn.org

545.8888 or 800.656.HOPE (4673)
Women’s Shelter Program of SLO

Birth and Baby Resource Center Childcare Resource Connection

www.slohotline.org 800.549.8989

Sexual & Rape Prevention (SARP)

781.6401 www.womensshelterslo.org

545.8888 or 800.656.HOPE (4673)

473.6507

ADDICTIONS
AA Meeting

541.2272 or 800.727.2272

Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA)

Temporary Restraining Order & Victim Witness Program 781.5821

St. Barnabas (Depression/Divorce/ Grief)

489.2990 www.stbarnabas.ag.org

541.3211

Adult Children of Alcoholics (ACA)

498.2176
Al-Anon

534.9204 927.1654

Cambria Connection (12 step support) Casa Solana

“A child’s voice in Court in SLO County” A.D.A.P.T. (Aid in Divorce Adjustment 541.6542 Problems Today) Children’s Services Network 543.0388 781.1847 Alzheimer/Dementia Resource Center First 5: Children & Families 800.443.1236
Commission

EMOTIONAL SUPPORT

Transformations Counseling Center

Free monthly workshops 541.7908

FINANCE/BUSINESS
800.540.2227

Consumer Credit Counseling Services

781.4058; ask for Susan Hughs 462.0726; ask for Barbara
La Clinica De Tolosa

Alzheimer’s Association

Homeschooling in SLO County (HSC)

547.3830

GAY & LESBIAN
541.4252

Women’s Recovery Home 481.8555
Chemical Dependency intensive outpatient program

CALL–Concerned Agoraphobics Learning to Live

Gay and Lesbian Alliance of the Central Coast PFLAG.Parents & Friends of Lesbians & Gays

238.5334 489.9128

543.3764

541-9113

La Leche League Migrant Childcare Program

Co-Dependents Anonymous (CoDA) Community Counseling Center

Compulsive Eaters Anonymous, H.O.W. Concept

542.0577 (SLO), 927.1654 (Cambria), 466.8600 (North County) 543.7969

438.3889

SOL (Single Older Lesbians)

546.1178 www.ceahow.org

544.4355 and 466.3444

Mostly socializing! Call 474.9405

Women’s Press July & August 2010
HOSPICE
Hospice of SLO County, AIDS Bereavement Group

Resources 23
892.5556
Cancer/ Breast Cancer Support Groups

READERS/WRITERS
Adult Literacy

Self-Realization Fellowship

544.2266 and 434.1164

543.1481 ext. 3 for information

Hospice Partners of the Central Coast 543.7969 Celiac Disease Support Group 782.8608

Caregivers of Aging Parents

541-4219

Sunday Services 995-1599
Homeless Shelter

Creative Writing Group Nightwriters

WOMEN’S CENTERS/SHELTERS
781-3993
Housing Authority

748-2676; contact Gloria 549.9656; contact Shirley Powell
Sisters in Crime

JOBS/CAREERS
AARP

226.9893

Endometriosis Association

788.2643

www.endometriosisassn.org

543.4478 461.1338

Cal Poly Foundation Cal Poly University Cuesta College

Jobline 756.7107 www. calpolyfoundation.org http://calpolyjobs.org 756.1533 http://www.cuesta.edu Jobline 546.3127
The Creekside Career Center

Enhancement, Inc. (for breast cancer survivors)

http://SinC-CCC.blogspot.com

771.8640 www.enhancementinc.com
EOC Health Services Clinics

SENIORS

North County Women’s Resource Center, Shelter Prado Day Center (for the homeless)

Adult Day Care

no or low cost reproductive health services 544.2478 (SLO); 489.4026 (Arroyo Grande) No or low cost reproductive health services 542.0900
Hearst Cancer Resource Center

489.8894 (Arroyo Grande); 434.2081 (Templeton); 927.4290 (Cambria)
Adult Protective Services

786.0617 www.pradodaycenter.org
Women’s Community Center, SLO

544.9313

Women’s Shelter Program of SLO

788.2600 or 237.3014 www.slocareers. org
Department of Rehabilitation

Healthworks of the Central Coast

781.1790

Caring Callers

781.6400 – 24 hour crisis line www.womensshelterslo.org

547.7025 x 17

Computerooters:

549.3361

Computer help: 489.6230

OTHER WOMEN’S ORGANIZATIONS

Mission Community Services Corporation Women’s Business Partners

542.6234

Department of Social Services:

Altrusa International, Inc.

595.1357 www.mcscorp.org www.jobhunt.org 788.2601

IC Interstitial Cystitis/Painful Bladder Syndrome

Private Industry Council (PIC)

3rd Thursday, SLO, 7 -9 pm 464-0564 785.0132

In-Home Support 781.1790 Nursing help for the terminally ill 781.5540 781-5821

481.1039; Cici Wynn, President 781-0922 Karen www.aauw.org
Camping Women Hadassah.SLO

American Association of University Women

Long-term Care Ombudsman Services of SLO County Lymphedema Education & Support Group

Elder and Dependent Adult Advocacy and Outreach – Victim Witness Assistance Center Foster Grandparents.Senior Companions

440.2723 www.campingwomen.org 543.9452

LEGAL

California Rural Legal Assistance

544.7994

Core Mediation Services Creative Mediation

2nd Monday, 4-5 pm, 782-9300
Parkinson’s Support Groups

782.9200

544.6334 medeee8@aol.com 549.0442 781.5821
Lawline District Attorney’s Office – Victim Witness Center Family Law Facilitator

466.7226 (Atascadero/Templeton) 481.7424 (Arroyo Grande) 541.8633 (SLO)
Planned Parenthood

Senior Peer Counseling

OTHER GROUPS & GATHERINGS
544.3399 or 783.2383

Free, trained in.home counseling for 60+ 547.7025 ext. 15

Central Coast Peace and Environmental Council Uplift Group Singing and Support

SPIRITUAL

SLO 549.9446

Stroke Support Group

Awakening Interfaith Spiritual Community

788.3418

471.8102 (SLO)

Caregivers of Stroke Survivors

788.2099 541.5502

544.2266 (SLO) 238.4411 534.1101

Lawyer Referral and Information Service Pro Per Divorce Workshop

The Wellness Community - Cancer Support Women’s Support/Therapy v (general) Women’s Healthcare Specialists

Meditation, Sunday Services, Classes. Open to all. 772-0306 awakeninginterfaith.org
Circle of Spiritual Enlightenment

Sunday @ 6pm, at the Senior Center 1455 Santa Rosa.

541.1963; www.spiritualcircle.org
New Beginnings Church

Hungry Hearts Spiritual Community

RC liturgy with womanpriest 546.8672 Every Sunday, Coalesce Bookstore, MB

544.9313 543.5140

Please send additions, corrections or deletions to: womenspress.slo@gmail. com or leave a message at the WCC: 805.544.9313. Last update 7/7/10.

Senior Legal Services

544.4883

POLITICAL
Code Pink

MEDICAL SUPPORT/SERVICES
ALS Support Group (Lou Gehrig’s Disease)

www.codepinkslo.org; ososousaville@ charter.net
Commission on Status of Women

Mira Vista Apartments
11153 El Camino Real Atascadero CA 93422 ph/fax 805.461.1143 www.miravistaapts.com

227.4785 or 674.4162
Alzheimer’s Support

788.3406; www.slowomen.org
Democratic Women United

547.3830, 534.9234 (SLO/Los Osos) 888.488.6555
American Cancer Society

541.4252

League of Women Voters

San Luis Obispo 543.1481, 238.9657 Templeton 434.3051 541.9113

543.2220

Anorexia Nervosa & Bulimia Support Group Arthritis Foundation

NOW (National Organization for Women)

www.kcbx.net/~slonow/ slonow@kcbx.net

Safe • Clean Quiet • Non-Smoking

Women’s Community Center PO Box 15639 San Luis Obispo, CA 93406 805 544-9313

325

Clare Lowery L.Ac.
Acupuncture & Herbal Medicine Licensed for 20 Years
Shirodhara oil treatment 805-541-6772 ClareLowery.com