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Volume 25, Number 6 November & December 2010 • A publication of the Women’s Community Center of San Luis Obispo

po County

Painting by Flo Bartell

2 Women’s Press Women’s Press November & December 2010

Letter from the Editor Courtney’s Quill Cover Artist

Change: A word that encompasses this issue in several ways. First, ou’re looking at a shorter version of Women’s Press—a significantly
Flo Bartell
shorter version. Due to the slow economy, Women’s Community Center is struggling to cover the costs of printing and distributing
At age ten, Flo began private art study in South
Women’s Press. We thought long and hard about going solely online—this does seem to be the wave of the future—but I am a tradition-
Carolina. Though her passion for art continued, she
alist (I refuse to buy a Kindle!). I want something tangible in my hands when I read. And while, yes, I do have a smart phone and often
pursued a career in education and mental health.
peruse the news while waiting in line at the grocery store, I haven’t been able to let go of reading the news only online. So, we made a
After many years working in those disciplines, she
compromise: we cut the paper in half and saved significantly on production costs. Unfortunately, we couldn’t fit every submission in, so
opened a needlework business, taught needle arts,
please go to our website to read other articles and essays online.
and designed children’s clothing, quilts, embroidery,
There have also been other changes brewing here at Women’s Press. After two wonderful, amazing, thought-provoking, mind-expanding, and needlepoint. She also began to study art again.
community-loving years, I’ve made the decision to resign as managing editor. As much as I love, love, love editing this paper, my family
and sanity were slowly taking a back seat to my love for volunteering. It was a tough decision and I admit that there were several times that Retiring to Los Osos, California in 2003, she contin-
I wavered and changed my mind, but in the end, I had to submit to the fact that I’ve just got too much on my plate to do it all. And after ued her art study at Cuesta College. Now Flo divides
spending two years reading the wonderful advice from our “Body and Soul” contributors, I knew my decision was the correct one. her time between family, art, and writing. Inspired
largely by nature and the human form, Flocurrently
Around the same time as I made the decision to leave, Ben Lawless had also made the decision to step down from his long standing post enjoys expressing her view of the world through the
at the paper as web and layout designer. Ben, as you’re well aware, has been with Women’s Press for five years. He has guided this paper texture and intense colors possible with wax medium
along in more ways than I’ll ever be able to express. But Ben works full-time and has been finding it more and more challenging to devote and pigments.
the time needed to Women’s Press.
Flo’s paintings have been accepted into amateur and
For all of us, we leave with sadness and yet such love for the work we have done and the work that will continue. We thank you, our professional exhibits, appeared several times on the
readers and writers. You, our audience, kept us alive through both our difficult personal times and our times of joy. We shall miss you cover of She Magazine, and have been adapted for
greatly, but we know that every other month we can reconnect when a new issue of Women’s Press comes out. needlepoint by Designing Women. Her designs have
been included in Sew Beautiful Magzine.
Finally, with change comes opportunity, and so for anyone interested in the best volunteer job in the county—managing editor of
Women’s Press—please email the Women’s Community Center at

With love and gratitude. — Courtney Brogno

Submissions welcome
Women’s Press
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Women’s Press November & December 2010 Body & Soul 3

The Three R’s

for the Holidays:
Releasing, Receiving,

Photo by Andrea Kratzenberg

walked in, and entering the third stage, reaching out for help when you need it, you enter into this holiday season, may you
By Laura Grace
which is joining with your Higher Power, or acknowledging your feelings, sticking to a experience the three R’s that the labyrinth
the healing forces at work in the world. It budget, planning ahead, saying “no” when was created for: Releasing, Receiving and
Since embarking on a delicious three month has been said that each time you walk the necessary, and maintaining healthy habits Returning.
sabbatical, I have been drawn to walking labyrinth you become more empowered to which includes your spiritual practice.
labyrinths on Sunday mornings. Labyrinths find and do what your soul is reaching for.
are an archetype, a divine imprint, found In my own life, I’ve seen how tempted I
in all religious traditions in various forms As we approach the holiday season, you can become to abandon some of my healthy Laura Grace is a nationally acclaimed
around the world. The most well known lab- might be wondering, “What do labyrinths practices during the holidays. When family author, speaker and teacher. Laura is a
yrinth is located at Notre Dame de Chartres have to do with anything?” Labyrinths are is in town and the kids are running around member of Spiritual Director’s International
Cathedral in Chartres, France. In Native a powerful way to connect with your deeper and there’s no privacy, well…you get the (, Co-Founder of the Circle
American culture labyrinths are called the self, and during the holidays, it’s especially picture. Finding a place of quiet, yet alone of Spiritual Enlightenment, and the Spiritual
Medicine Wheel or the Man in the Maze. important to foster that connection. We are space to journal, meditate, or just take a Director of the Circle of Grace (www.spiri-
The Celts described it as the Never Ending all familiar with some of the biggest holiday deep breath, can be challenging. And that’s, an organization dedicated to
Circle. One feature they all share is that triggers, including: why getting outdoors and walking a laby- raising consciousness through education in
they have one path which winds in a circu- rinth can be the perfect antidote. spiritual diversity and deep personal growth
itous way to the center. Relationships— After being thrust together and transformation.    Laura has a back-
for several days, family misunderstandings There are several labyrinths throughout the ground in world religions, developmental
My husband and I have been longtime lovers and conflicts can intensify. Yet on the other Central Coast and one I especially enjoy is psychology, and  integrative studies. She  has
of the labyrinth: a path where there are no hand, facing the holidays without a loved located at St Mark’s Episcopal Church in been trained in the areas of psycho-spiritual-
dead ends. The labyrinths we used to build one can leave one feeling lonely and sad. Los Olivos. But you don’t even have to travel ity, Neuro-Linguistic Programming, dream
were designed from the Chartres Labyrinth that far. Right here in San Luis Obispo analysis, and Gestalt therapy.  Laura is a
model. We would invite the public and Finances—With added expenses for food, County, in our own backyard, are laby- student of the Tao Te Ching, Siddha Yoga,
take great pleasure in creating a beautiful travel, and gifts, the holidays can put a rinths open to the public. Sycamore Mineral and A Course in Miracles. Having attended
11-circuit labyrinth along the sands of Morro strain on your budget. Springs Resort has a lovely labyrinth directly the New Seminary and One Spirit Seminary
Strand. Together, we would embark on the across Avila Beach Drive from the entrance in New York, Laura is an interfaith minister,
three stages of the “walk”: 1. Releasing: Physical/Emotional Demands—Shopping, to their parking lot. The first labyrinth I ever teacher, renowned speaker and spiritual coun-
Letting go of the details of your life. This entertaining, spending time with others, walked in our area was at St Paul’s Episcopal selor. Laura authored the books Gifts of the
is the act of shedding thoughts and distrac- can be draining physically and emotionally, Church in Cambria, located next to their Soul and The Intimate Soul. She is a syndi-
tions and a time for opening the heart and leading to more stress and creating a vicious Quiet Garden. cated columnist for more than 20 publications.
quieting the mind. 2. Receiving: Reaching cycle of activity-fatigue-stress, and so forth. Her site is
the center and contemplating what is there Last Sunday, as I walked the labyrinth in
for you to receive. 3. Returning: Following Some practices for remaining centered Los Olivos, my creative juices began flowing
the same path out of the center as you this holiday season entail being realistic, and my heart was filled with inspiration. As
4 Body & Soul Women’s Press November & December 2010

The Nature of Bliss

By Barbara Atkinson
We don’t become still to find God;
“One must be utterly abandoned are no longer dazzled by it; there is no longer and so on. Because these emotional peaks
a division between what you experienced as we are still to become aware of God are necessarily short-lived, we rush here and
to God… otherwise all is folly and warmth and the warmth itself. You are not manifest within us. there to find more, creating instead a good
meaninglessness.” —Carl Jung separate from it. Now extend this metaphor deal of struggle for ourselves. Attached to
to a bath of that Light with no tub; every- There are those of us who try to avoid the highs, we may assume the peaceful state
thing that exists is in the bath with you, and knowing our true Self; we are afraid of described above to be boring, blah, a flat-
“There are two ways to lead your life. everything, including you, is this bath of what we’ll find. Deeply judging ourselves line experience. But this is not so.
One is as though nothing is a miracle. Light—the Light of Divine Love expressing and others, we avoid the responsibility and
itself in form. (This is not just intellectually acknowledgment of our discontent through Bliss is the experience of kinship with All
The other is as though everything is a understood; it is experienced.) a constant distraction of television, clutter, That Is, the culmination of the rebirth of
miracle.” —Albert Einstein chatter, and the like that robs us of ourselves Self, of Being, and is without those high
This is the Bliss that is talked about in some as we invest our energy and emotions in the peaks (and their ever-present partner,
spiritual literature. It is not the high emo- other. By this avoidance we shortchange our valleys); yet it is full of wisdom and love, so
Think of a winter day when you are very tional state with which we often associate it. opportunity to invite balance into our lives deep, it is ever vibrant. Glowing with a perva-
cold. You decide to draw a nice warm bath You can’t will this state into being; in right and know our own Divinity. sive sense of well-being, it does not participate
that is just right, and when you get in that time, it comes as a gift of grace. You experi- in past reflection and regret or in the anxiety
perfectly warm bath you find yourself ence a kinship of Spirit with all that is and And then there are those of us who become of what the future may bring. It lives in the
bathed in joy. You ooh and ah with glee as no longer identify with duality. Resistance attached to the peaks, the ooh and ahs when moment—in the glistening vibrancy of Love
you begin to warm up. The coldness ekes and separateness fall away as Love envelops we first put our “cold body in the nice warm that is nature, is each person and is every-
out of you, dislodged by the warmth. you and lives through you. Though you bath,” and grab onto that “high” as bliss, thing—and is full of Beauty and the boundless
still grow and learn, you do so without mistaking excitement for joy. We are afraid Knowledge that exists in the Now. It openly
Imagine this as being bathed in Light as struggle. Unshakeable in all things, you to let go, trust, and allow true, sustained Bliss accepts the sacredness present in all Life,
you come into balance with All That Is “flow with the river” and its current carries (Love) to bubble-up from within. We seek to including our own. In this calm state of sus-
and realize this Light is within you and all you. Thoughts and emotion come and go as recreate another peak, and use our will and tained Bliss, your life is the prayer and blesses
around you. Your comfort level is sustained you observe them but do not attach to them. energy to try and “make it happen.” It can all creation.
by Spirit—not too hot and not too cold. Simply put, you are a witness to the passing even become some kind of addiction like
And what at first was a peak experience of parade at the same time as you exist and create sex, food, the perfect body or image, money,
ooh and ahs as your body adjusted to the within it. This continuous state of reverence possessions, work, gambling, alcohol, endless
water may seem temperate now because you brings contentment and joy. spiritual workshops and experiences, drugs, Barbara Atkinson,
San Luis Obispo, CA

Do you spend quiet moments ref lecting on your life?

By MaryAine Curtis

Do you spend quiet moments reflecting on to absolutely follow my heart in surprising adrenaline, but it’s false energy and ultimatelyIt has taken me years to realize this one simple
your life? Do you wonder how circumstances ways. I have been compelled to listen and act depleting to all involved. Shopping to feel truth. Now I eat guiltless chocolate because
taught you to be strong, wise, naughty, invisi- on ‘my inner wisdom and voice.’ It can be better, having an affair, or  gambling are all I love chocolate. The taste gives me joy.
ble, loving, and passionate? Some lessons were extremely difficult to follow this because it false energy supplies and ways to avoid really Fortunately, we have better and better choc-
hurtful, causing shame and guilt to enter your sometimes means letting go of people in order looking within oneself. Instead of under- olate to enjoy now. You can listen to the voice
heart and close it down. When wonderful to have greater peace within myself. Has this standing and awareness, guilt is created. Guilt inside that speaks truth and agree to follow
experiences happen, it may be hard to fully ever happened to you? is a useless and heavy process. that voice. That’s what I do. It takes practice.
feel the exquisite pleasure because of the hurt It’s about the bigger goal of having peace of
that weighs on your heart. Does this sound When it’s my ego demanding my atten- How can this be avoided? It’s simple. You have mind and making that more important than
familiar? tion like an inner brat, it feels like to change your priorities and stop doing that the gold shiny object that only gives tempo-
adrenaline with spiky erratic energy. Yuck, it’s which brings on guilt. Stop buying into it and rary satisfaction.
2010 has been a year for me to participate in draining, dramatic, and addictive. Addictive choose to do something different. Own your
“A Year to Live” as a group. energy gets in the way of the inner voice that responsibility for the actions that are chosen. What do you really want with this life? Will
is the guide of your soul’s path. You can tell Be aware of the wake that your actions create you follow your soul’s path and follow your
This has brought joy, sorrow, healing and if you’re on your soul’s path by listening to and how actions affect people around you. By inner wisdom? It’s your choice.
much reflection on my life and actions. your body. being aware of yourself and how situations
Re-reading my journal revealed a connection affect you later, you begin to see the outcome
to experiences that influenced later decisions Addictive energy is about the drama and or the payoff of what you choose to do. MaryAine Curtis
Women’s Press November & December 2010 Body & Soul | Motherhood 5

The Wisdom of Plants

By Inglis Carre’-Dellard, M.F.A.
the integrity of the whole being as well as hundreds of life dances are taking place at
The wise gardener breaths in the garden’s slower, more balanced, and deliberate growth, once, each dancer becoming its dance.
lessons along with the fragrance of roses. She which has fullness and abundance, providing
knows that nurturance and protection allow a firm foundation for the future. In the face When the dancing winds down and the
the seeds of potentiality to express their own of severe trauma, the carefully built, many mad scattering of seed is over, the proud old
unique language of beauty. New, sweet, and branched life holds firm while the crisp, plants rest in the twilight, their bark scarred
innocent, the tender miracle of baby petunias, impulsive shoots break off. with sacred tattoos. The stooped and knotted
kittens, and people causes their caregivers to bonsai tree has long ago cast off nonessential
speak nonsense to them in a higher voice. Each life in the garden evolves in the center parts and stands forth clad in its most essen-
of a cluster of relationships that shape and are tial and luminous self. The gardener extends
The gardener carefully observes, cheers life’s shaped by their touching. A plant that is inof- her hand to feel the springiness of youthful
unfolding, and learns. fensive when small can grow into a mighty green crowning her old friend of thirty-two
vine that strangles its neighbor. One calen- years. Two messages of knowing flash into her
Growth is inspired and fed by drinks from dula pales and dies in the growing shadow of heart from her fingertips: There is nothing to
secret underground rivers, as well as dances an ambitious tree. Another crawls along the fear, and all living things respond to love.
in the sunlight. Growth requires sustenance, earth until it escapes the darkness and lifts
and the strongest survivors have developed its head triumphantly in the sun. Colonies
structures for the storage of sweet water and of small grasses intertwine in a cooperative Inglis Carre’-Dellard, M.F.A. is a Los Osos
dreams against times of need. sharing of nutrients at the feet of two old sun- artist, teacher, and creativity facilitator. For
flowers leaning on each other, while chubby more information and a free copy of her cre-
The wise gardener knows that fast, impetu- cupid bees transport love offerings between ativity newsletter, contact her at ingartist@
ous, one-sided growth doesn’t contribute to the flowers. The garden is a pavilion where, or call (805)534-9693.

Our Three Judges Sharing Your Story

By Ruth Cherry, PhD did in the past is unimportant to this judge By Jennifer Stover important than birth? My guess is women have
for he focuses on the present and the future. been sharing birth stories since the first woman
He knows you have another choice and spoke. We have shared them around fires, at
We’re given trials as part of our life journey. chance today and tonight and tomorrow. I love stories. I have always loved stories: quilting bees and baby showers.
An expected good doesn’t materialize. A stories read to me as a young child, stories that
friendship ends badly. We lose what we His concern is the very long term. He will opened the world to me or my eyes to possi- Telling your story, speaking your truth, unbur-
thought we’d gain. Surprise disappoint- support you in learning what you need to bilities, stories that got me through bad times. dening yourself of pain or grief, or expressing
ments dot our days. What do we do? learn and he doesn’t limit you or pressure you. There are books and characters from my child- your delight, surprise, power, or joy is impor-
You may have all the experiences you want. hood that are dear to me like treasured friends, tant for you, for pregnant moms, and for
For each trial we’re assigned three judges. Our He doesn’t condemn you for your choices or Jo from Little Women or Bilbo from Tolkien’s all of us, for you are imparting your wisdom
inner Critic has been with us seemingly forever. love you less but he does insist that you grow. Ring Trilogy. I learned so much by seeing the woman to woman through a story. Any collec-
Characteristically, he responds, “It’s your fault. world through these wonderful author’s eyes. tion of stories on a single topic which includes
Just another example of how you are not good The first judge has the loudest voice and the many different perspectives and experiences is
enough.” We sigh and hurt and feel ashamed. most familiar one. The second judge allows A few years ago I went to the National Story a powerful learning tool. So I started a local
That’s his job—to shame us and hurt us and us to look at the first judge without being Telling Festival in Tennessee. It was so much Birth Stories project. I am collecting stories and
leave us further away from our Adult. destroyed. The third judge opens our hearts fun just sitting in the damp autumn cold lis- will be posting them to my blog which can be
and allows us to believe in ourselves. Because tening to expert storytellers sharing their easily accessed by women in our community.
The second judge is the Observer we he knows that we deserve the highest and craft. I could have sat there for a week. Some
practice when we meditate. The Observer the best, we can know it, also. We can learn told folktales or children’s stories. Some told If you would like to be part of this project,
is grounded, has no agenda, and is present to listen to this judge and to see the world as historic tales, others far-fetched or nonsense please e-mail me your birth stories at jjm-
to what is at each second. The Observer he sees it and to see ourselves with his gen- stories. But the stories I enjoyed the most were Let me know if I
notices… and releases… and notices… and tleness and compassion and trust. Lovingly, grounded in the storyteller’s personal history, can include your first name. I would like
releases. No matter what is the Observer he invites us to grow into ourselves. culture, or tradition. These are the important to always include where and when you gave
maintains detachment, never condemning stories; the stories that pass down who we birth. Please include the name of anyone
or belittling, just acknowledging. are and how we feel about it. They preserve a you felt helped you through the process in a
Ruth Cherry, PhD, is a clinical psychologist time or place through oral tradition. positive way. If you want you can also include
The third judge is the divine I Am. This judge in private practice in San Luis Obispo, CA.  the names of people who you feel impacted
knows your core is good and deserving of Her specialty is midlife when psychological Birth stories are important. Your birth stories your birth experience in a negative way or
good. Your behavior doesn’t affect this judge’s and spiritual dynamics merge. Her five books are important. They are especially important you can chose to speak about them without
total unconditional acceptance. Whatever you and guided meditation CD are available at to share: woman to woman, decade to decade, attaching a name. To read the stories go to
her web sites, and God- generation to generation. This is the stuff that is at the core of us. Yes, I know there is more to a
woman than birth, but is there anything more Make your story count!
6 Motherhood | Local Perspectives Women’s Press November & December 2010

Recycling for mom and the earth Help Make Every Home
By Renee Sante a Safe Home
children’s store, I’m always open to new and
Recycling has become more important different things.”
than ever these days. It not only saves the
planet but, can save stress on the  demands Indeed, you will find more new items, such
of raising a family. For 22 years, Colleen as the popular Bob strollers, which were
Twoomey has been providing quality goods invented and made locally by a SLO dad;
for the growing family, based on the old tra- Ergo packs created by a mother in Hawaii;
dition of passing things along or recycling. Little Ones shoes designed by a local
When I asked her what inspired her to begin, mom; and Mellissa and Doug toys. These
she said, “My daughter was a year old, out- days, keeping up on brands, recalls, and
growing her stuff so quickly. There was knowing the market is vital. For example,
only one store in San Luis  which  had used a couple years ago a law was enacted to
clothing. Recycling wasn’t that popular back protect children from lead in paint used on
then. But realizing that you’d spent a lot of toys primarily made in China. It was sug-
money on things that you could no longer gested that all these toys be thrown into
use, made it seem practical.” the landfill, which didn’t sit well with Ms.
Twoomey, who wrote her congressper-
As the saying goes: “Necessity is the mother son. She researched the stipulations and
of invention.” Colleen decided to open a modified what she carried, making sure
store in Los Osos called Merry Go Round, they were safe. Her store is one of the few
even though she was working another  full- places around where you can recycle toys, as Photo by Bill Davenport
time job.  As her family grew, so did the most places will no longer carry them  due
stores, and she soon opened a second store to the demands of product research. And it
in Los Osos and then another one in San is one of the best places to find inexpensive By Erica Bashaw and economic abuse.
Luis Obispo. “There’s been constant growth, costumes for Halloween.
good experiences, and people have always In the coming weeks the Women’s Shelter The Women’s Shelter Program is commit-
been grateful we’re here.” Indeed, with “The best time of year is coming up soon, Program of San Luis Obispo County will ted to recognizing and responding to our
Johnson’s Children’s Store closing, infla- September 18-October 31. We started begin placing handcrafted donation boxes community’s need for comprehensive multi-
tion, and the economy, Merry Go Round carrying Halloween costumes years ago. in local businesses as part of its inaugural cultural domestic violence and child abuse
is holding a niche for people of all walks of We’ve gone from 300 to over 1200 last year. Home Safe Home campaign. They are not services. We understand that domestic
life. It’s vibrant, with new moms, grandpar- To get a costume for $10 that they will wear ordinary donation boxes, however. Each violence and child abuse, in their fullest
ents, dads, and children coming to play and once or play in, is a great value. We buy all is an approximately 1-foot-tall wooden scope, impacts primary victims, family
see what’s new. There’s been a community of year to prepare. It’s great  to see how happy “house” with a donation slot on the “roof.” members, society, and future generations.
families, some of whom have become long- these parents and children are picking out The houses signify our efforts to support With this in mind, it is our goal to stop the
term employees, like Nancy Amato, who’s just the right one. It’s the most fun we have!” survivors of Intimate Partner Violence cycle of violence by providing crisis interven-
been with Colleen for 18 years. With more and more chain stores coming (also commonly known as Domestic tion, emergency shelter, advocacy, treatment,
onto the retail landscape, some of which Violence). They embody our desire for prevention, and education.
“I’ve seen children grow up and come in to come in for seasonal periods (ie Halloween every home to be a safe home.
trade and buy things for their babies. My & Christmas), capitalize and move on, it’s Our houses will make their debut during
patrons are my friends,” says Colleen. It’s good to have the continuity of knowing The houses were built at the California the 2010 holiday season (November and
still a small business, which in this economy someone will be there through the many Men’s Colony’s carpentry shop. Hayward December). If your business is open to the
can be challenging. “I couldn’t afford to years of raising your family. Providing a Lumber, San Luis Paints, and Home public and you are interested in hosting
open a business today in this area. My rent place to exchange your goods, find the Depot provided materials and supplies. a house, please contact Erica Bashaw at
has quadrupled, worker’s comp and insur- things you need, in a family-friendly envi- Women’s Shelter staff and volunteers then or (805) 781-6401
ance have increased, and I could never afford ronment is comforting. There’s a play room, put their own creative touch on each of extension 223. For more information about
the money it would cost to buy inventory, if a nursing room, and always a good time to the 30 houses. Donations will support the campaign and to view a list of “host”
it weren’t for recycling.” Having to move be had.  Recycling has helped Colleen raise our outstanding programs, which in turn businesses, please visit us online at www.wom-
her store 2 years ago from Laguna Plaza to three children, provided work for many serve survivors. Your support and donations
Madonna Plaza was challenging because the moms, and affordable goods for families. allow us to empower IPV survivors to leave
rent doubled.  Colleen has never advertised Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) is abusive relationships and seek assistance.
as word of mouth has served her well and If you haven’t had the pleasure of shopping defined as a pattern of coercive behavior
allowed her to keep prices down. What’s at Merry Go Round, it’s located in the used by adults or adolescents to control
the secret to success and staying afloat? Madonna Plaza next to Radio Shack. their partners through physical assault or Erica Bashaw is a 4th year Public Relations
“Listening to my customers, what their needs Colleen trades or buys clothing, toys, the threat of it. No two IPV situations and Pre-Law student at Cal Poly. She is the
are, keeping the quality good and prices and furniture  on Monday, Tuesday, and are alike, but the goal is always the same: Volunteer Public Relations Coordinator at the
low (less than half of what retail normally Thursday mornings from 10-1:30. The store Batterers want to control their intimate Women’s Shelter Program of San Luis Obispo
is), and appreciating their business,” Ms. hours are Mon-Friday, 10-6pm and Saturday, partners through fear. They attempt this County and is currently organizing the inau-
Twoomey replies. “Since we have no other 10-4pm. For more information call 545-8878. through physical, sexual, psychological, gural Home Safe Home campaign.
Women’s Press November & December 2010 Local Perspectives 7

Wealth And Riches

Reasons to
Make Simple

Photo by Alessandro Paiva

By Adele Sommers, Ph.D. nections, you can market yourself using So, unlike the young birthday girl whose
videos. A video résumé or brochure could By Kathy Bond family doesn’t have much cash, our older
Powerful Reasons to Make consist of you talking about yourself or daughter Angie actually had a healthy
Simple Marketing Videos explaining your products or services. As I know a young girl whose family checking account at the end of her life. It
prospective clients, employers, or business survived foreclosure, bankruptcy, job just couldn’t save her, or buy another day of
As you might be aware, videos are cur- partners hear you speak, they’ll soon feel loss, and moving. As I looked around at life, another hour, another second.
rently the most searched-for content on the as if they already know you, and will be her birthday party, however, I saw aunts,
Internet! They’re credited with the ability to more comfortable doing business with you. uncles, cousins, grandparents, and friends Angie died in late April 2009, a month
quickly generate high rankings in Google crowded into that small front lawn and before her daughter’s 18th birthday and high
and other search engines. Are you wonder- Building a Blog Following, house. We ate a four-layer chocolate school graduation. She’ll never see her son
ing just how or where you would use video cake that her father baked. She opened finish school, marry, or have children. She
content to highlight your online business Subscriber List, a ton of presents, and thanked everyone. could send her daughter on a graduation
or profession? Below are three angles for or Membership Site We laughed, sang, and talked, and on trip to Europe, but Angie’s final journey
creating videos to boost your online visibil- that hot November day in the golden meant having her ashes scattered in the
ity, credibility, and authority. Linking relevant YouTube videos from California late afternoon sunlight, you Susquehanna River, part of the Chesapeake
your blog can increase traffic and social could hear conversations and laughter of watershed, that empties into the Atlantic.
Promoting Books or Products media buzz. When creating your own three generations.
videos, be sure to instruct viewers at the Two different scenarios: decide who’s richest
There are many creative ways to use videos end to visit your Web site. By contrast, our daughter, Angie, had a in this fable of a princess and a queen, a
to promote your own products. If you are sizeable estate by the time she died. woman who lived intensely and died in mid-
writing a book (or e-book), you might At your site, you may want to have an life, or a young girl with her nose pressed
want to also create a video trailer to go e-mail sign-up area to collect subscriber If you’re in Hospice, with its end-of life against the window of her old condo, the
along with it. names to continuously grow your list. If definition, you can access your life insur- only home she knew, but with a future.
you have an information product or offer ance policies. Angie could buy a car, pay
A video trailer is a promotional piece that a service, you could use one or two “teaser” hospital and doctor bills, and establish I also met another young girl who knows
tells some part of the story, or highlights videos to pique your prospects’ interest. trust funds for her children. It put her in the price of everything, but I wonder if she
some of the benefits of your book (perhaps Then you might invite people to sign up the driver’s seat, for her Maryland hospice knows the value of things. I gaze at the pink
even exaggerates the benefits in a comical to access even more video content inside team included a financial planner. But not bracelet made by my four-year old grand-
or dramatic way). Think of the trailer as the of a password-protected membership area, even that much money could change the daughter, that I treasure and wear happily,
“movie premier” of your book. for example. outcome of her cancer prognosis. and I wouldn’t trade it for a gold, jewel-
encrusted one from the finest store.
In fact, you might even make a series of In any case, there are plenty of ways to use
videos with the same theme, which will video in your marketing campaigns!
thereby help “brand” your material. One
example of an e-book trailer that did
extremely well is “The Jackrabbit Factor” Adele Sommers, Ph.D. is a business perfor- Mira Vista Apartments
(now on YouTube), which features inspiring mance consultant who helps entrepreneurs 11153 El Camino Real
visuals, melodic music, and a thought-pro- align their life passions with their business
voking story. A paper version of the book purpose. She also guides organizations Atascadero CA 93422
sells on Amazon, and the author also gives through “tactical tune-ups” and “strategic ph/fax 805.461.1143
away the e-book for free. makeovers” in individual or group sessions.
Contact her today for a free initial consul-
Marketing Yourself tation at, or
Safe • Clean
If you’re seeking employment, expanding
your services, or making new business con- Quiet • Non-Smoking
8 Local Perspectives Women’s Press November & December 2010

Unsung Heroine Hunkering

Down into
Janice Mehring: Fall
Following her By Kalila Volkov

Destiny It used to be that in New England

autumn called out from the crows
in the tawny fallow fields.
It sweetly scented the morning with fallen
frost crept along window ledges
and wood smoke ushered in starry evenings.

The changes are oh so subtle now

being a California girl
and yet I feel the need to drape myself.

The shift comes on in light brushstrokes.

I smell it faintly in the air
I feel its dampness on my skin
angles of light drop lower and lower
as breezes push harder and deeper.
These touches bring me heady anticipation of pie
and other oven treasures
that bond my little family and warm us on
By Berta Parrish she joined the Cuesta Master Chorale and remembers that “balancing family and chilly nights.
became a cantorial soloist at Congregation school was very challenging. But my soul
Beth David in SLO and Congregation Ohr was being fed. I was immersed in learning Our foggy summer is so damp and cold,
At one time in our lives, we have all felt the Tzafon in Atascadero. When she sang sacred and personal spiritual growth. I had to I welcome the glow of sunny autumn
frustration of paralyzing indecision. Which music, she experienced a connection to God focus on the journey and not worry about its comforts, its mellowing of days
should we listen to: the longings of the soul and became a conduit for others. The enthu- the end result. Even if I didn’t complete turning into long dark evenings
or the practicality of the mind? Our dreams siastic reaction of the audience contributed the training to be a rabbi, it was worth it when we go inside and turn on a light
are weighed by the ratio of costs to benefits to her growing awareness that this gift for myself.” a perfect image for why we are here.
and gains to sacrifices. Often, we reject or should be nurtured and shared, possibly as
postpone our deepest desires to take care of an ordained cantor. Janice was ordained in May and is
other people or more urgent needs. However,
an authentic “inner knowing” won’t go “I wanted to learn, but I was frustrated and
now serving as a “singing rabbi” at
Congregation Ohr Tzafon (Light of
The Explorer
away; it waits and grows until we acknowl- discouraged with the logistics. Seminary the North), affiliated with the Union
edge it and surrender to its potential. Then, takes five years of study and focused dedica- for Reform Judaism. Additionally, By Barbara Atkinson, November 1997
as so beautifully portrayed in Paul Coelho’s tion. How was I to do it with a family and she is committed to fostering inter-
popular fable The Alchemist, the entire living here, not in LA where the seminary faith understanding as a member of the Watching Africa on television,
universe conspires in helping us achieve it. is?” she recalls. SLO Ministerial Association and serves The wide open plains once unknown,
as the Interfaith Liaison for the Jewish I wonder about the adventurous life,
Nevertheless, it takes a huge leap of faith to Serendipitously, a stranger she met at a spir- Community Center of San Luis Obispo. And me sticking so close to home.
commit to such a journey into the unknown itual retreat provided the needed insight by She believes that “there is more than
future, as Janice Mehring experienced at asking, “What would you do if there were one path to God. We need to go beyond There is a romance to wandering,
the age of 45 when she decided to become a no boundaries?” Well, she knew the answer finding common ground in our faith tra- And I am captive to its call.
rabbi. Without realizing it, her passions for to that question. He also provided two bits ditions to mutual respect and honoring But the voice I feel comes from within,
music and for healing prepared her well for of advice that moved indecision to decision: our differences.” Echoing vast expanses and disintegrating walls.
this calling. After being a physical therapist
in Southern California, she moved to the Don’t underestimate what loved ones will do Janice Mehring listened to her soul’s call I am an explorer of creative places,
Central Coast in 1985 to join her chiroprac- to help you accomplish your dreams. to fulfill her destiny and the universe Of spaces still unseen.
tor husband. She eventually started a private conspired with supportive family, I feel things I’ve never felt before,
physical therapy practice in Los Osos. Put together a team of people to support you. encouraging friends, and surprising coin- Hear songs I’ve yet to sing.
cidences. She found the persistence and
The responsibilities of the practice, and With the encouragement of family and strength to overcome the obstacles and do This inner safari is limitless,
eventually motherhood, kept her from friends, she entered the Academy for Jewish what is God’s will for her life. Harbors the discerning, spiritual eye.
singing for almost 20 years. A college Religion, CA and spent five years com- Full of courage and loving wisdom,
reunion was the impetus to begin again, and muting weekly to LA for classes. Janice What would you do if there were no boundaries? It discovers the world that never dies.
Women’s Press November & December 2010 Local Perspectives 9

One More The Gull

Nature Poem By Rose Marie

By Jane Elsdon A gull poses on the sand

A moment later soars, glides, dips,
Your nature is quiet as high desert at dawn, Rides a wave,
quiet as a wilderness trail twisting upward Returns, stands
to the remote sculpture of a Sierra summit. Scanning the sea.

Quiet is the air you breathe, the quality I wait but he will not move again
of love in the room you inhabit. Until he has a reason,
It is the luxurious warmth and security Sees a ripple,
A quickening of the waters.
indivisible from your tall, lanky frame,
and your beloved peaceful presence. He senses my presence,
Our home is silent without you. For I am watching;
But, though alien, I am
Your recliner is overstuffed with silence, Inconsequential.
an overpowering,  raucous silence He does not need
rowdier than a Lakers game or ESPN. To be fed,
It fills and permeates every room, Caressed.
seeps into every crack and crevice.
It molds my moods, before it sweeps me up While I who need these things
Marvel at his savage freedom.
into the welcome realization
how blessed I am, for your absence Instinct swivels his neck

Nurturing Kairos
is only temporary.  Any moment now As it swivels the necks of
Boys on street corners,
you will walk through the door. But he will never wake up
Years from now with regrets.
Guilt is a strange and second guessing. Photo by Xx
But there is a sense like ours,
When we walk a dark street late at night By Jeannie Greensfelder Kairos is transcendence, infinity, reverence,
That makes him strain into the sea silence, joy, passion, love, the Sacred.
Searching out the invader. Near Dublin a gardener named Gus greeted
We have much in common. me, “ 'Tis a beautiful day. We Irish crave Kairos is intimacy with the Real. Kairos is
sunshine.” This white-haired, blue eyed time at her best. …Kairos is Spirit’s time.
man shined light into my trip when he
told me not to count the days I had left in We exist in chronos. We long for kairos.”
Ireland, but to live in kairos, not in chronos.
Ancient Greeks honored chronos and kairos. If entering kairos appeals to you, think
Chronos refers to sequential time, and kairos about ways to slow time down, to step into
(named for Zeus’s son Kairos) suggests going the parallel universe of timelessness. I like
outside of time, into an eternal moment. to take three conscious breaths at different
times during the day. Sitting quietly and
My days in Ireland expanded as I watched releasing my “to do” list, knowing when
the clock less and relaxed into enjoying I pick it up again, I’ll feel fresh. Spirit can
people, nature, and myself. I wrote poetry be found in simple, everyday moments:
each day and spent time each morning noticing a toddler’s joy, feeling water in the
thinking about my dreams. shower, and being grateful for the gift of
being alive.
When I got home, I found a quote by Sarah
Ban Breathnach that explains why kairos is Calendars and chronos still rule, but revisit
elusive: your priorities and save time for yourself,
family, friends, spirituality and nature.
“Chronos is clocks, deadlines, watches,
calendars, agendas, planners, schedules,
beepers. Chronos is time at her worst. Jeannie Greensfelder slocoastjournal.
Chronos keeps track. …Chronos is the com/docs/geniespocket.html amuseandmuse.
world’s time.
10 NOW News Women’s Press November & December 2010

Coordinator’s Corner NOW News

E conomic Justice: Paycheck Fairness Act - S.3772-- which the House adopted in early
By Angie King 2009, will close loopholes in the Equal Pay Act of 1963 and create incentives for employ-
ers to follow the law. NOW supports passage of the PFA as an important step the US
Senate can take to help working families. Both our senators are co-sponsors. Of critical
It’s Holiday season – again! And, while I have lots to be personally thankful for--as importance is a provision in the act that would prohibit retaliation against employees
we all have – it’s been a hard year for the nation and the world. Wars are still being when salary information is shared. Newly analyzed data from the U.S. Bureau of Census
waged, real people are dying needlessly, money is being wasted, misused, and pocketed for 2009 show an unprecedented number of women now are family breadwinners due to
by greedy corrupt functionaries, depriving you and me of safe streets, fully resourced rising unemployment among men -- making pay equity vital not only to family economic
public schools, money to strengthen our economy by investing in future looking tech- security but to the nation’s economic recovery as well. On average, the pay gap costs
nologies and manufacturing. women about $11,000 each year in lower income, more than $400,000 over a lifetime.

According to a book by Joseph Stiglitz and Linda Bilmes (The Three Trillion Dollar War: R eproductive R ights: The federal government has released pre-regulatory model guide-
the True Cost of the Iraq Conflict), the estimated cost of the war in Iraq is really far too lines for the implementation of the anti-abortion rights provisions that was tacked on to
low if one takes into account the broader impact on the US economy: cost of treating the Affordable Care Act to secure the votes of a handful of religious fundamentalists in
veterans, cost of oil, decreased economic investment in the war area, increased federal Congress. These rules require health insurers who participate in exchanges, to segregate
debt and the economic meltdown of the past 3 years. Think what America might have funds for abortion care. This does a grave injustice to women; insults those paying into
been like with that money being used for productive uses. No wonder we’re depressed. plans -- young, old, women, men, as well as payroll account administrators. The burden-
some monthly “two-check” requirement will likely lead to the end of private coverage for
The sense that the needs of ordinary people don’t count has even affected (or infected) abortion care, even for women with the luxury to afford their own insurance premiums.
NOW. There are allegations which we had kept quiet about, but which are now publicly
being aired (see “American Electra” by Susan Faludi in the October 2010 Harper’s) that On the gay and lesbian front: 1. DADT: NOW condemns the Senate’s failure to repeal
the current NOW leadership “stole” the last election, and are systematically eviscer- the U.S. military’s discriminatory Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT) policy. This policy,
ating the treasury for their own ends, thereby depriving the grass roots chapters, the which bars lesbians and gay men from serving openly in the military, has resulted in the
lifeblood of the organization, from getting their members’ dues. This is the major source unjust discharge of more than 14,000 service members. The measure would not have
of income for the chapters and provides the financial basis to fulfill the NOW mission taken effect until the certification of the much-awaited Pentagon report on implementa-
to take action. So, without money, there’s no action. Without action, injustices go un- tion of the policy’s repeal, due Dec. 1.
redressed and un-acknowledged. Your local chapter is one of those victims.
“Women and men who dedicated their lives to serving their country have had their
But at least we now know more about those injustices and costs in SLO County. The San careers ended -- not because of their job performance but because of their sexual orien-
Luis Obispo County Community Foundation Women’s Legacy Fund recently produced tation,” said NOW President Terry O’Neill. “The tide has officially turned on this issue
the results of its study of what SLO County women need and the obstacles preventing -- 57 percent of people now say that openly gay service members should be allowed to
them from fulfilling those needs. Not unsurprisingly, the main needs are education and serve in the military. Why can’t the Senate do the right thing?” asked O’Neill.
basic needs (food, clothing, shelter, medical attention, etc). Duh. The main obstacles
facing women in the county are financial management, legal assistance, housing, health 2. DOMA – On July 8 a federal court judge in Boston ruled that the federal Defense of
care and child care. Again, duh. NOW has argued these issues since our founding in Marriage Act is an unconstitutional violation of a state’s ability to define marriage as well
1966, but I guess it’s official now that there’s reported data. The question is what will we as a violation of the US Constitutional guarantee of equal protection. DOMA, passed by
as a society do about this information? a Republican controlled congress in 1996, defines marriage as occurring only between one
man and one woman in all federal laws. It denies to same sex couples who legally marry
It goes back to the question of money. If we stopped spending our public money on an the more than 1,100 benefits, protections and responsibilities afforded to other married
unwinnable, immoral war, we could provide for those basic needs and education and couples and allows individual states to refuse to recognize same sax marriages performed
health care and child care. I hope this election will result in the needed change in our in other jurisdictions. NOW urges Congress to repeal DOMA by passing the Respect for
priorities. That’s my wish for the holidays. Marriage Act pending in the House. Rep. Capps is a co sponsor.
1124 Nipomo Street, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401 | 805 544-9313 Women’s Community Center | Resources 11

By Angie King As you know, the WCC office for the past Thanks to the SLO County Law Library, we As 2010 draws to a close, WCC says thank
year has been in the San Luis Business are now holding our clinic in the law library! you to everyone who helps us out – writing
Center, convenient in many ways, but not We are very excited about the new collab- for, getting ads for, and distributing the
very private and not very welcoming. Our oration. The library likes it because more Women’s Press; volunteering at one of
lease was up over the summer, but with Day people are exposed to the resources available our regular family law activities, includ-
with Creative Women in August, we didn’t to the public; the lawyers like it because it is ing court watch; and, of course, for your
actually plan to move until the beginning in the courthouse and close to their offices, monetary donations that keep us going.
of September. Just after the last issue of the making it easier to volunteer their time; and More and more people are in precarious sit-
Women’s Press went to print, the WCC found we like it because it gives us more stature in uations, increasing the calls to the office for
our new home. While we missed announcing the community. The clinic is still the 4th help. We are trying to do more this year,
our move last time, we are pleased to let Tuesday of every month at 5:30 PM. If you but have less to work with. The County
everyone know where we are now. It’s a very need our help, please call ahead to register. grant was halved and overhead costs are
welcoming, 2-room suite in the back of an up, including insurance for BETTER.
old-adobe style building at: The other good news is that the BETTER Please consider a year-end gift to WCC.
program keeps growing! The courts are now
1124-D Nipomo St. in downtown SLO including us in their orders regarding visitation You can donate directly through our
and the calls are flooding our office. Of course, web page:
The good news is we love it; it’s comfortable, the down side of all that increased volume is Another way to donate is to register us as
affordable, and has just the right amount of that we need your help more than ever! We your friendship club code when you use your
room for our classes and seminars. The bad really need people in the office to handle the Scolari’s card. Our code is 5472. Register on
news is that there’s no free parking. We’ve calls. Someone willing to take over scheduling line at
already helped the city’s finances by incurring visits and interviews with new clients would be and WCC will receive 1% of all your purchases!
parking tickets! If you drop by, either walk or awesome. Please consider giving us a morning
park in one of the city parking structures. or afternoon once a week to help out. We are Happy Holidays.
all volunteers, even the board, but there is only
The other big news is that with the move, so much one person can handle. Call the office
we changed where the legal clinic is held. or email us to volunteer.

EMERGENCY/CRISIS JOBS/CAREERS Women’s Healthcare Specialists

Resources Hotline
w w 800.549.8989
Cuesta College
Jobline 546.3127
http://w w
Sexual & Rape Prevention (SARP)
NOW (National Organization for
For a more complete listing, 545.8888 | 800.656.HOPE (4673) The Creekside Career Center
788.2600 | 237.3014 w w
visit the Temporary Restraining Order & w w
Victim Witness Program
Thanks! 781.5821 Mission Communit y Services READERS/WRITERS
Women’s Business Partners Adult Literacy
EMOTIONAL SUPPORT 595.1357 | w w 541-4219
Alzheimer’s Association
SARP (Sexual Assault Recovery & California Rural Legal Assistance
Communit y Counseling Center 544.7994 Adult Protective Services
545.8888 | 800.656.HOPE (4673) 543.7969 781.1790
Creative Mediation 788.2099 Department of Social Services:
Women’s Shelter Program of SLO
781.64 | w w 549.0442 Law yer Referral and Information In-Home Support
Service 781.1790
Pro Per Divorce Workshop
Gay and Lesbian Alliance of the 544.9313
Drug & Alcohol Services Central Coast Please send additions,
781.4275 541.4252
corrections or deletions to:
Women for Sobriet y PFLAG.Parents & Friends of Lesbians & Gays MEDICAL SUPPORT/
215.536.8026 | SERVICES or leave a message at the WCC:
SOL (Single Older Lesbians)
474.9405; Mostly socializing! EOC Health Services Clinics 805.544.9313.
CHILDREN & FAMILIES no/low cost reproductive health services
544.2478 (SLO) | 489.4026 (Arroyo Grande)
Childcare Resource Connection HOSPICE Last update 10/29/10.
541.2272 | 800.727.2272 Long-term Care Ombudsman Services
Hospice of SLO Count y, AIDS of SLO Count y
First 5: Children & Families Bereavement Group
544.2266 | 434.1164 785.0132
781.4058; ask for Susan Hughs Hospice Partners of the Central Coast Planned Parenthood
782.8608 549.9446 ( SLO)

Women’s Community Center

PO Box 15639
San Luis Obispo, CA 93406 325

805 544-9313

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