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{ Volume XXIII, Number 5 } September & October 2008 A Publication of the Women’s Community Center of San Luis Obispo

po County

Cover art: “Essence” by Gail Lapins

3 Light in My 6 Avoiding Breast 8 Day With Creative 12


Mourning Cancer Women Thank Yous

4 Holding Effective 7 Voices Around 10-11 Maternity Care


Meetings the Table Choices
2 Women’sPress Wometn’s Press | September & October 2008 | womenspress.slo@gmail.com

Drum Circle Magic Cover Art


by Gail Lapins
I’ve always found autumn to be a mentally
productive time. Perhaps it’s because I was
Part Three: Rhythmic Empowerment Journey is a series of narrative, figurative,
bronze sculptures that examine the quest
born in the fall? Or is it that way for every- for purpose. The sculptures focus on the
one? The change to cooler temperatures journey of the spirit as it searches for the
and shorter days after the warmth and long sacred, rather then the destination itself.
days of the summer has us spending more Speaking to the duality of strength
time inside, putting on more clothes, and and vulnerability, the repetitions of pat-
reducing our activities—all of which con- terns signify the unifying rhythms of life
tribute to more time to reflect. as well as universal events through time.
In any case, fall is here again and I find The use of the circle in many of the sculp-
myself once more pondering many things— tures expresses a sense of the wholeness of
the flow of life being a major one. I turn 60 life and is a metaphor for the conscious and
in October and I just found out I am going the subconscious. The multi-layered pati-
to be a grandmother. I am surrounded by nas on the sculptures represent the complex
remarkable women my age who, like me, patterns of relationships with the figures
see this upcoming last third of our lives as depicted as androgynous to symbolize the
a rich time for getting involved in activi- universality of man and woman.
ties that had to be put aside as we raised our
children and went to jobs each day: writing, Photos by Richard Gormley
dancing, singing, drumming, playing with Women’s Press Seeks New Editor
By Francesca Bolognini  to become teachers as well, eager to share
clay, painting, taking photographs, hiking, their new found skills, and create bonds of Our current editor is resigning in Decem-
boogey boarding. We embrace our roles as Welcome back to the Circle. We have friendship in the process. Sharing and grow- ber, and the Women’s Press is seeking another
elders and are assuming responsibility for already explored some key areas, such as the ing together is a valuable function of the woman to take the reins of managing the
offering our wisdom to our neighborhoods, rhythmic nature of the universe in Part 1 circle. Some are more adept at holding the paper. The job is a volunteer position.
community, and families. We are aware of and our personal connection to the sound bass, some the rhythm, and others are fine A manual that overviews the processes,
the pervasiveness of Spirit and allow time of a particular drum in Part 2. The next log- soloists. The trick is to see that everyone has tasks, resources, and contact informa-
for being open to what it can tell us. ical step is to take what has been learned so a chance to try each of these parts, get to tion for doing the work will be available
For me, another insight at this stage of far and explore some of the infinite applica- know their drumming “personality,” and to guide you. You will be working with a
my life is the connection to nature. I have tions. enjoy its evolution. This approach incorpo- small advertising team, a distribution man-
never been an outdoorsy person, but I am Let us say that you have begun to access rates a bit of all of the above suggestions, ager, and a layout designer. Proofreaders are
drawn recently to be outside, quietly feeling your innate rhythmic sense, have acquired especially if one has a video or CD or two available.
the sand between my toes, the surf lapping a drum which gives you great pleasure to at home that offer instruction and rhythm You will have the opportunity to meet
around my ankles, listening to the sound of play, and are looking for opportunities to to practice to between circles. However, interesting and committed women writers
rocks and soil under my hiking boots, tilt- gain confidence and proficiency. There are once you get the hang of it, playing along and community figures. Here briefly is a
ing my face to the sun and the breezes. It many options from which to choose and with favorite musical selections at home is list of job duties:
is a comfort to be away from things man- I recommend that you explore several, as also quite fun. When I was learning to play • Confirm print dates
made—cities, cars, electronic devices. It you may be surprised by your own capa- bongos, I had a friend who would drop by • Set themes (or not); enrich current
makes it easier to reflect on the intercon- bilities and the level of personal connection to jam to Steely Dan albums. We would content; create new content categories
nectedness of life. A recent retreat to Kauai which comes from sharing rhythm. One of play very fast. It was a blast. • Send out e-mail soliciting content and
reinforced the importance of being in these options is to find some friends who Scientific studies have proven (see www. notifying distribution manager and
nature even as a comment by a Hawaiian already drum and ask them to include you remo.com/health) that recreational drum- advertising team of print date
woman gave me a new perspective about and maybe give you a few pointers. This is ming can lower high blood pressure, raise • Arrange for cover art
technology: aware that those of us on the a very casual approach which can lead to the strength of your immune system, • Monitor submissions, which includes
retreat would be flying home to different many fun times in an intimate social set- improve mental function and social inter- communication with writers as needed
places on the planet, crossing time zones ting. Another approach would be to find a action. Not surprising when you think that • Edit submissions (or arrange for edit-
physically and later in our e-mail commu- teacher and take drum instruction or pur- people have been keeping rhythm as long as ing)
nications with one another, she character- chase an instructional video and learn a we have existed. So, explore, play and until • Send to layout designer with content
ized this as “folding time.” bit at home, methods which work well for next time, keep the beat! list
So I realized it is about balance: func- beginning to learn a particular ethnic style, • Proof PDF files of layout (or arrange
tioning in spaces and places we have created such as African, Cuban, or Arabic. How- for proofing)
but also in spaces and places that nature has ever, the excitement is in actually playing Drum Circle Keeps Growing! The paper comes out every two months,
provided. Together they create the whole. with other people. so the bulk of the work occurs the last two
As always, this issue contains women’s We now have 70 women on our drum-
With beginners, I usually start a group, weeks before printing, usually at the end
wisdom about many things. Enjoy. ming e-mail list. We have been meet-
show them the basics, and then build upon of the month. The paper’s website needs to
ing in South County but if you want
that foundation with each new circle. be developed, so one future task could be
a gathering in your area of the county,
Whenever we meet there seem to be a few to work with someone to enrich the web-
let me know: womenspress.slo@gmail.
new people, so I review the start up info site. A database also needs to be developed.
com. Also use that address to ask to
briefly, and let them assimilate technique Choose to work alone. Build an editorial
be put on the notification list.
Women’s Community Center Board as we go along, allowing the other members staff. Form an editorial collective.
The outgoing editor is available to
Angie King, President
answer your questions. Contact her at
Sonia Paz Baron-Vine
womenspress.slo@gmail.com.
Robin Rinzler

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September & October 2008 | www.womenspress-slo.org | Women’s Press LocalPerspectives 3

Light in My Mourning My Visit to a Women’s


Collective in India
By Hilda Heifetz utterly devastated and had lost her hold on
the meaning of her own life. Of course, my By Lynn Levine
During the summer of 1972, shortly after only hesitation was that what worked for
my husband’s death, I visited my friend, one person is not necessarily the answer for In November, 2007, I joined a Global
Natalie, who lived in Honolulu. Our talk, another. But Natalie felt her friend would Exchange delegation to Kerala, India.  I
not surprisingly, was mainly about how I benefit in her own way, and so I agreed to have been to South East Asia before –
was coping with my big loss. Her interest her suggestion. Nepal, Bhutan, and Thailland – and was
and compassion encouraged me to share The guidance I referred to actually waiting for the right opportunity to experi-
the profound insights that surfaced to help began during the latter part of my hus- ence India and it happened. 
me. I cannot say that they came because I band’s illness. This was a period of every Kerala is known to development scholars
called on them. At the time, I wanted her to kind of effort to defeat its progress, even to for its high material quality of life achieve-
know that the guidance I received emerged hope for a cure. And the idea of “hope” that ments - 98% literacy rate despite slow eco-
mysteriously from some source of untapped attended the struggle was always expressed. nomic growth and low incomes.  In wealth,
wisdom. Hope was a power in itself, or so we wanted Kerala falls below the average for India as a
Natalie urged me to describe in more to believe. But as we watched the illness tak- whole.  In social progress, it is considerably
detail what I had been referring to. What ing over, we faced the darkness of despair. more advanced.  Along with Kerala’s long
a life bereft of his presence – his physical history of progressive social policies, two of
wisdom had revealed itself exactly? Is it At that point, some inner source emerged
presence? Was there a hidden wisdom that the most powerful factors are a tradition of
helpful to me even now, she wanted to to counsel me. I was to recognize that I
would make itself known again? Are there participatory democracy and a strong com-
know. She listened carefully as I tried to should all along have depended on “faith.”
greater meanings to these experiences than mitment to female  education—almost all
express what I had been illuminated by— It went on to point out that faith accompa-
I knew? What I was shown was a larger girls complete primary and secondary edu-
what seemed to be delivered in a silent voice nies us in the present, moment-by-moment,
view of what I always called the gift of life. cation.
with great significance. I tried to put it into step-by-step. While hope might lighten the
I saw that life is more than a gift, that it is Being actively involved in the
my own words. heart, it is really only a promise and a view
an engagement with the whole cosmic pro- Womens’ Movement in the U.S. and
After giving me all of her attention of the future! This shift from hope to faith
cess, a responsibility to participate in the working for social justice and equal rights
throughout, she hesitantly made a request created for me a detour from the darkness
movement of the universe, an inter-depen- for women, I was extremely interested
she “hoped I didn’t mind.” I welcomed the of approaching despair. It gave me strength
dency of everything. I am compelled to play in the lives of women in Kerala.  We vis-
request I told her. So she wanted to ask if to do each moment’s requirement and trust
I would be willing to share my experiences in the nature of things – order or chaos. ited “Sakhi,” a resource center and wom-
with a friend of hers who had just lost HER When my husband’s illness finally took Continued on p.14 ens’ collective and met with Ms. Aleyamma
husband. It seemed that her friend was him, would I find the resources to deal with Vijayan, the leading woman activist of Ker-
ala.  Sakhi has been functioning since 1996
and is based in Trivandrum, the capitol of
Kerala, South India.
Yes, I’m One of “Those”! The ultimate goal of Sakhi is to work
towards a society without discrimination
varies greatly depending on when the cats based on gender, caste, class, ethnicity, and
By Jill Turnbow
have decided I’ve had enough sleep. The religion.  Sakhi attempts to analyze and find
Hi. My name’s Jill and I’m a cataholic. moment I stir, sigh, or shift a toe, it’s open the root cause of all types of oppression and
Yes, I am one of THOSE women. Single, season. Loud purring commences, the discrimination and evolve perspectives, atti-
lives with cats. I know it’s a stereotype but pouncing on my head begins, and a wres- tudes, and programs which can transform a
I don’t think I can control it except to vow tling free-for-all heats up at the foot of the society to an equitable and just one. 
that I will never increase the house load. bed. And if any or all of these efforts fail to Kerala is in the forefront of decentral-
Currently I have three cats, which is one rouse me, the little one heads for the win- ization  because of devolution of funds
more that I swore I would ever have so I dow and starts banging on the mini-blinds. and staff.  At least 10% of funds under the
hold little hope of keeping the aforemen- That usually does the trick. Once my feet Women’s’ Component Plan enabled women
tioned vow. hit carpet, all three tear out of the bedroom to come closer to the governing system
As I write this paragraph, the young- for the kitchen, invariably stopping mid- through self-help groups, neighborhood
est of the herd is curled up next to me fast way to look back in disbelief that I am not groups, and various micro level people’s
asleep. The older of the three is across the hot on their trail. So I find myself verbally organizations, and women’s participation is
room spying on me with her saucer-like defending my need to stop by the bathroom minute so mom can have caffeine. Good increasing at the local level.
eyes that always seem to be saying, “what??” first. That causes all three to turn back in kitties. And during that minute of waiting, Some of the activities of Sakhi are 
I don’t know where the third one is but I disgust, follow me into the bathroom, sit at I am suddenly a gift from Heaven. Weav- Women’s’ Day Celebration, Library and
just heard something crash in the living my feet and cry out loud that I am not pee- ing in and out of my ankles, purring and Documentation Centre, developing man-
room so I’ll assume she didn’t like where I ing fast enough. rubbing, I am loved and cherished as much uals on gender planning, budgeting and
put the flowers on the coffee table. They One skill I have mastered, though, is as any food provider can be. And I know auditing;  support of survivors of violence;
are very opinionated, these animals. feeding cats and making coffee at the same that once the food dishes hit the floor, my campaigns against violence on women;
The only part of my day that has any time. I have somehow convinced these job is done and I am left to my own devices women’s shelter;  governance of life skill
type of routine is daybreak. And I don’t animals that food can not come out of the for the rest of the day. But for that one education for adolescents; supporting grass-
mean “first light of day.” I mean MY day- can until coffee goes in the pot. They have minute of adoration and attention, I will- roots women’s’ collectives and networking;
break, which is whenever I wake up and resigned themselves to waiting one extra ingly scoop poop out of a box. and legal assistance.
“Knowledge is power and informa-
tion collection and dissemination is one of
the primary activities of Sakhi.” Go to
www.sakhikerala.org to find out more.

Nurturing “Pippa Passes” Moments


By Jeanie Greensfelder
On my evening walk, a girl about eight
years old dashed along the street with a red
plastic bag flying behind her like an inflated
kite. She was luminous in the setting sun
and her red bag translucent before she dis-
appeared in the distance. A few minutes
later I turned a corner and heard a jarring
thump. The girl had jumped from a neigh-
bor’s plum tree with her bag full. Plopped
on the ground, she bit into a fruit.
Her joy became mine. I remembered
being eight, risking my hand to reach
through a chain link fence to grab a plum Treating Children with Autism / Sensory Disorders
before the barking bulldog chased me away. When I’m reminded of Pippa, I notice
my reactions to passersby and appreci-
Lawrence Bardach, OTR / L
The flavor!
Pediatric Occupational Therapist
When a stranger moves me, I call it a ate how we unknowingly have an effect on    !www.Playpaththerapy.com
“Pippa Passes” moment after the poem by each other.
Robert Browning. In high school, I strug- And with the smallest effort, a smile, I 805-481-7529
gled with this lengthy poem, but the theme can knowingly affect another.
stayed with me: an Italian waif meanders Observe your feelings around people today.
through her town unaware that she touches Might you improve someone’s day with a smile
the lives of those who see her. or an act of kindness?
4 WomenatWork Wometn’s Press | September & October 2008 | womenspress.slo@gmail.com

Speaking to Create and Attract What You Want, Part I Holding Effective Meetings
By Dianne Legro
Are you aware of the incredible impact that
Can Be Easier than You Think!
your thoughts have on your reality? Are you
using the Universal Laws to create the life By Adele Sommers
you truly want? These very basic principles
have the power to change your life and help I’m sure you’ve experienced those typical
you manifest your dreams. “headache” meetings! You know the kind
I’m very fortunate in that I am person- I’m talking about — the ones where the
ally living my dream. I love being a profes- key players are running late, no one knows
sional speaker and I thoroughly enjoy the exactly why the meeting was called, and
work I do as a speaking and presentations everyone’s sitting around wondering, “Will
skills coach. I help healing professionals, this last 20 minutes or will we be here all
authors, entrepreneurs, service provid- day?” Good question!
ers and “in-tune” executives learn to speak Meetings held for the wrong reasons,
in public in an authentic way. We work that don’t involve the right participants, or
together to develop their skills so they get that don’t use a disciplined meeting process
outstanding results. can waste the time, resources, and funding • Set a “no interrupting” rule.
Speaking is the undisputed best way to of the business and everyone involved. • Stop, repeat, and clarify the points
grow your business. Everyone with a com- To counteract these frustrating prob- people are making.
pany or service needs to learn to speak pro- lems, this article reveals four techniques for • Test for closure before moving on to
fessionally. When you deliver a presentation running great meetings and following up the next agenda item.
that has immediate value to the audience, afterward. Making a few simple changes to • Record decisions, action items, and
you prosper. When you clearly convey your use these laws together to create and attract the protocols for running meetings can shift due dates for each topic.
value, you generate more and more busi- what you want as a speaker. It is extremely the dynamics from chaos and confusion to • Summarize the key decisions and
ness. successful in public presentations and it productivity and progress. action items before closing.
When you effectively use body language, works even when you are speaking only to 1. Be sure you really need a meeting • End on time.
expression, voice, presence, and a strategi- yourself. before scheduling it. 4. Follow up afterward with summa-
cally designed core message, you will suc- The most powerful contribution you can Respect your colleagues’ busy schedules. ries and action items.
ceed beyond your wildest dreams. And make to the quality of your future reality is Don’t set up a meeting unless: After you’ve completed all of that hard
when you know how to communicate with to consciously choose the words you think • You really need the cooperation of sev- work, you can avoid having everyone’s ideas
large audiences from a stage, you can gener- and speak. The vibrations, resonance and eral people at once. and decisions simply melt away by send-
ate star power and charisma. frequency you emit through your words • The attendees must contribute to, or ing out a summary that contains the fol-
I made a discovery several years ago puts in motion the Law of Correspondence, will be affected by, a vital decision. lowing: 1) each topic, 2) the key points of
about how the Law of Attraction can which states that your outer world is merely • You want various people to listen and each topic discussion, 3) all decisions made,
increase your business exponentially. It can a reflection of your inner world. When you respond to what others have to say. and 4) action items and due dates. At the
help you live the life of your dreams, too. change your thoughts and convey those 2. Send out a meeting notice and end, it might include the next meeting’s 5)
Using the Law of Attraction when thoughts orally, your outward reality will agenda well in advance. proposed agenda, 6) date and time, and 7)
addressing an audience is the key to cre- inevitably change to harmonize with what Give your attendees plenty of advance location, if known.
ating what you want. Combined with the is going on inside you. This is the scientific notice — for example, at least a week. Be With a little fine-tuning, you can con-
complimentary Universal Laws of Reso- basis for the Gandhi’s quote, “ You must be sure your meeting notice includes: 1) meet- vert your meetings from “profit stealers”
nance and Correspondence in the speaking the change you wish to see in the world.” I ing date, 2) starting and ending times, 3) into “profit boosters.” The process will
arena, the result is extraordinary. It’s abso- love the modernized version, as well, sim- purpose, 4) attendees, 5) location with transform the quality of group collabora-
lutely transformational for speakers and ply stated, “If I want to change the world, I directions or access instructions, and 6) the tions and breathe new life into your morale
presenters. You are speaking a transforma- must start with myself.” proposed agenda. and productivity!
tional Language of Success when you use In Part II, I’ll discuss how to start using 3. Conduct the meeting effectively by
them together. these laws as a speaker. using facilitation techniques. Adele Sommers, Ph.D. is a business per-
It is so exciting to learn about these • Start on time; don’t reward latecomers formance consultant who helps entrepreneurs
tools and feel the flow of movement and Dianne Legro is a national speech coach to by waiting for them. align their life passions with their business
“attraction” energy when you use them. We individuals and corporate groups. She is a key- • Decide on times for each topic and purpose. She also guides organizations through
have always known that words have vibra- note speaker and will help you to speak like a stick to them. “tactical tune-ups” and “strategic makeovers”
tion, frequency and resonance, a fact that is pro and increase your business. Contact her at • Follow the agenda; avoid hopping in individual or group sessions. Contact her
based on the Laws of Nature. Now you can Dianne@diannelegro.com. around. today for a free initial consultation at Adele@
• Discourage side discussions. LearnShareProsper.com, or 805-462-2199.

NURSING
NEW DIRECTIONS FOR KIDS
Occupational Therapy for Optimal Living & Learning
Celebrating 4 “Sensational” Years!!!!

HOME?
WHO? HOW?
 Kids ages 0-12 who need a  1:1 sessions
boost with learning, to build  Groups: (Handwriting, Senso-
motor, social and sensory rimotor)
If you have loved ones in a nursing home or about processing skills.  Parent education and training
to enter a nursing home – do not “spend down” WHAT? WHERE?

their assets. Nearly ALL the assets of nursing  Develop physical, cognitive  New Directions for Kids
and social skills through K-Mart Shopping Center,
home residents can be SAVED. Their care will purposeful play. Arroyo Grande
remain the same. Nursing home residents have  Boost self-confidence
legal rights. Learn federal and state health with academic success
insurance laws that work for the resident. in a safe, nurturing and
fun environment.

Law Offices of  Educate parents with skills to


support their child at home

Geraldine E. Champion and at school.

805-473-4747 For Information: Please call Sande Rutstein, OTR/L


Pediatric Occupational Therapist
Call to hear about upcoming seminars! 805-474-6811
www.ca-elderlaw.com www.newdirectionsforkids.com
5

Building a Healthy Community:


Sexual Assault Prevention
By Ali Hatcher, SARP Center Education Services Coordinator

T
he Sexual Assault Recovery and Prevention (SARP) bombards us with messages that reinforce these harm- Young men need as many positive male role models
Center’s mission is to transform the lives of sexual ful attitudes. Becoming aware of the source is one way as possible. Role models remind them of the opportu-
assault survivors, their families and the community we can begin to solve the problem. nity to resist mainstream expectations of being “tough,”
through hope, healing and empowerment. Their vision When asked if sexual assault is just a women’s issue, “strong,” “emotion-less” and “aggressive.” Regardless
is to create a world that is free of sexual violence. They most disagree that “it is not because men, although of how pervasive the popular messages are, having just
are contributing articles regularly addressing issues less frequently than women, are assaulted too”. This is one ally that gives permission to treat women as equals
around sexual assault. correct, but if men were never victims of sexual assault, can greatly influence a young male’s behavior.
When we say “prevention,” we mean something would it still just be a female issue? The reality is, men The reality is that we know young men not only can,
very different than when we say “risk reduction.” Pre- are essential in the movement to end sexual violence. but want to have a role in ending sexual violence. The
vention means stopping something at the source, Not because most perpetrators are men, but because MyStrength Clubs give them a place to do this. All com-
before it happens. Risk reduction, on the other hand, is all men are potential allies. munity members have an opportunity to support the
doing the best we can to stay safe, given the possibility Currently, we are in the process of an exciting shift in male movement of ending sexual violence, by encour-
of harm. When we focus on sexual assault prevention, prevention strategies. Experts are acknowledging that aging male involvement and advocating for programs
we are striving to change attitudes and beliefs in order if we are to achieve a healthy community, we need to like the MyStrength clubs. Prevention takes determina-
to create an environment where sexual assault does foster healthy attitudes. This means males supporting tion and hard work, just as holistic health and healing
not exist. Changing attitudes and beliefs is not easy, it anti-violence and anti-aggression and females being does. But when we decide to talk about it, look deep
means deconstructing one’s reality at an individual level empowered by positive self esteems. to the source, and collaborate, seemingly unobtainable
and a community level. In 2005, the SARP Center was chosen as a pilot results become possible.
To consider this further, let us examine our own site to launch a primary prevention program called The SARP Center currently holds a MyStrength club
health. Many of us know what is required to have a the MyStrength Campaign. The campaign includes a at Lopez High School in Arroyo Grande. In addition,
healthy body: eat well, stay active and reduce our MyStrength club where young men, age 14-18, can they facilitate the sister program, Girl’s Empowerment,
stress. We also know that there is more to being healthy meet on a weekly basis to learn about healthy mascu- at 3 other locations. Please encourage the young men
than having a healthy body. Having a healthy commu- linity and how to be an ally. Graduates of this program and women in your life to talk to their teachers and
nity is essential to our personal health. A healthy com- emerge with a new foundation and tools to actively principals about having these clubs in their schools. For
munity is one that promotes safety, respect and trust. participate in ending violence toward women. This more information or to help support Prevention Educa-
Whether we notice it or not, our environment plays program includes “Bystander Intervention” where men tion at the SARP Center, please contact Ali Hatcher, the
an integral part in our health. So, while we take steps discuss how they can intervene if they see others com- Education Services Coordinator at 545-8888.
towards achieving a healthy body, what steps do we mitting acts of sexual harassment, dating violence, date The SARP Center has been serving SLO County for
take towards achieving a healthy community? rape, or unhealthy relationship behavior. In addition, over 31 years. We offer a 24-hour crisis hotline, coun-
Violence, sexism, racism, homophobia and discrimi- these young men take on the noble task of deconstruct- seling, advocacy/accompaniment, education, and self
nation are all toxic to the health of a community. When ing their own “masculinity.” They consider questions defense. All services are free, anonymous, confidential,
these behaviors are present, we can feel threatened, like “what does it mean to be a man?” Then compare and available to survivors or significant others, ages 12
disrespected and unsafe in our everyday lives. Unfor- that with “what does society expect of us as men?” and and up. For more information contact the SARP Center
tunately, mainstream culture, supported by the media, “what are the qualities of the ‘real men’ in our lives?” at 805-545-8888 or online at www.sarpcenter.org.

Female Body Parts


By Judith Amber to try to relieve the bleeding and went home
to wait for the lab report. When the news
Female body parts: moist; secretive; came, I was at a meeting with three women
unknown. Vagina, cervix, uterus, ovaries, colleagues. The call came: no malignancy,
fallopian tubes—words I rarely heard grow- just a dermatoid cyst. I burst into tears and
ing up in the 1950’s. My parents approved was hugged by the three of them. Among
of covered body parts. At age 10, I wore taf- women, a meeting agenda can include
feta dresses that swished when I moved, vel- female body parts.
vet dresses that begged to be stroked. But After another year of more cramping
what lay underneath the dresses and my and flooding and attempts to remedy the
pink panties was a mystery. situation, I considered a hysterectomy. This
The first time I got a good look at my seemed to make me a questionable femi-
female body parts, it was the 1970’s, a time nist as many felt that the high number of
of bone crushing honesty and feminist hysterectomies was due to the bias of male
power. At the clinic, an enthusiastic young doctors. But at that time (late 90’s), I had
woman doctor was determined to relieve exhausted my options and decided to go
me of my ignorance, conducting my pelvic ahead.
exam like a museum docent giving a tour of A few days before the operation, I found
Renaissance masterpieces. myself wandering around in a district of
“Would you like to watch?” she asked art galleries. Just when I had begun to relax
rhetorically, brandishing a large magnifying and to escape my bodily fixations, I came
mirror. Then every body part was lovingly upon an incredible exhibit. Hanging from
identified as I viewed it for the first time. the ceiling by plastic filaments were numer-
A good teacher, she periodically inquired, ous white shapes. They looked exactly like
“Did you see it (cervix, clitoris, labia)?” wombs, bladders, and fallopian tubes! I
Skip about thirty years and I had stab- wandered among them, and then turned
bing pains each time I had my period. I toward the less stressful work of another
went to a friend’s birthday party and spent artist – statues of gods, goddesses and Bud-
most of the time in the bathroom, doubled dhas.
over in pain which was accompanied by Finally the day came to say good-bye to
monsoons of bleeding for which the clinical most of my female body parts. Before the
name is “flooding.” After many floodings, I anesthesia, I made a special request of my
visited a gynecologist and learned that I had doctor: “Please leave a small part of my cer-
that common misery, fibroids. But when I vix”. I had heard that this enhanced sexual
One of the most difficult things a family can go through is to watch their loved
went in for an ultrasound, they discovered pleasure, but it really wasn’t that. It was a one struggle with the use of alcohol or other drugs
that my right ovary had a cyst or tumor, deep attachment I felt to a somehow essen-
malignant or benign. tial part of myself. I longed for a memento A SUPPORT GROUP
Since my mother died of ovarian cancer after so many years with my female body for
at age 48, I couldn’t put off some kind of parts. “Of course,” she agreed, and I surren- families dealing with substance abuse
procedure. I had a laparoscopy and a D&C dered my body to her care.
For More Information Contact: Pam Miller, LMFT
(805) 473-8311 Lic.#MFC35690
6 Body&Soul Wometn’s Press | September & October 2008 | womenspress.slo@gmail.com

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Avoiding Breast Cancer Lunar Landscape So Now I Have Cancer... 


By Sonia Paz Baron-Vine By Sonia Paz Baron-Vine
By Marleen Walmsley EMF Exposure
Why do we believe that if you can’t see Cold metal surrounds me, the sound of the So now, I have cancer
Emotion As Cause it, it must not be bad for us.   Or it really scanner  I join a new sisterhood
Our breasts, designed to nurture isn’t there.   This is true of cell antennas and this solitude... my time is so precious now
and give, are right there by the heart, the and cell phone exposure.   Just for fun, go in the silence I close my eyes and I wish I could do all those things
seat of consciousness, and next to the to www.antennasearch.com and type in remember... I left for tomorrow…
lungs where grief is stored.   Studies indi- your street address.  It will give you free up- my first bra, how lovely it looked! but I am weak,
cate the incidence of breast cancer is to-date report of cell antennas and towers   this chemo taste..
far higher in women in crisis – divorce, within 4 miles of your address.   Your health how proud I was of my little breasts like drinking ten cups of coffee
death of a loved one, mother/child rela- is affected by a 2.5+ mile range.   I rented how much fun it was later to burn it makes me cranky…
tionships, a romantic break-up, severe a cabin in the mountains for several weeks and swim free at the beach topless I look exotic with this scarf
neglect, abuse, criticism, or from just giv- while finishing my book and couldn’t figure but I miss combing my hair...
ing too much.   Men seem to have heart out why I felt like roadkill. Flu-like, unable I remember under the moonlight when The kids take my picture.
attacks or prostate problems, while women to sleep, brain fog, nausea...  I ran an anten- his hands touched them I know they are worried
manifest a broken heart in their breast nasearch.com report and learned that there the feeling when my daughter fell asleep, and I smile brave for them,
tissue or ovaries.  Painful unexpressed emo- were 1140 cell antennas in the surrounding glowing like a summer’s peach as they take turns by my side
tions, toxicity, and poor nutrition can all trees and 65 camouflaged cell towers over after drinking my milk Soon I will know if this battle is my last one,
play a role in cancer. Physiology is vastly 200 feet high.   Atascadero, by the way, is And now I see my reflection under the I drive home and take my time,
affected by our perceptions and emotions.   loaded with antennas.   Studies indicate x-ray lights, stopping to buy rose-colored sunglasses...
  that such EMF and microwave exposure and the compassion in my doctor’s eyes...
Your Breathing vastly increases the likelihood of cancers, she shows me the film,
Ever notice when you’re anxious you ADD, hormone problems, sleep disorders, it looks like a lunar landscape
sort of hold your breath?   Over time, this emotional disturbances - the list is exten- and there... a little crater,
habit drives CO2 levels in the blood way sive.   Ditto for over-use of cell phones, a sure sign she says....
up, creating a high acid, low oxygen ter- WiFi, even the batteries in hybrids.  Go to
rain that invites illness, including can- www.YouTube.com and type “cell phones
cer.   Awareness of the breath is ever so and corn” in the keyword search.   You’ll
important. Fully breathe in and out nice see corn popping when placed next to four
and deep through the belly. It’s a power- cell phones.  Consider the effect on tissue!
ful anti-oxidant, anti-aging technique.   Where to find Women’s Press
By the time a child is two years old, the Getting Tested All Libraries and the following exceptionally fine establishments!
body has forgotten how to breathe.   After Mammograms, one of the more
that, breath is all in the upper chest. unpleasant procedures we women have to • NORTH COUNTY: Atascadero – The Coffee House and Deli, Starbuck’s at Von’s
  undergo, are not only outdated, they’re not Plaza, Green Goods, Player’s Pizza, Harvest Health Food Store, North County
Connection, Senior Center, Women’s Resource Center/Shelter Office, Curves. Paso
Nutrition As Medicine that accurate.   It might be a good idea to
Robles – Cuesta College North Campus, Café Vio, Curves, DK Donuts, Panolivo
You are what you eat and what you ask your doctor for a thermography test.  It
French Cafe, NCI Village Thrift Shop, Paso Robles Health Foods; Templeton – Twin
think.   When illness strikes, the body measures with heat (thermo-) to detect tis- Cities Hospital, Templeton Market & Deli, Affinity Chiropractic, Kinship Center,
knows how to get well if it has those two sue abnormalities, and is far less unpleasant. Jobella’s Coffee; Santa Margarita– Santa Margarita Mercantile.
things going for it.   Think of what you   • NORTHERN COAST: Baywood – Coffee & Things; Cambria – Cambria
really want, not what you dread.   Think Taking Care of You Connection, Cambria Pines Lodge, Chamber of Commerce, Gym One, 7 Sisters,
healthy.   Organic everything, good pure Feed your body what it needs to be Azevedo Chiropractic, Lilly’s, Alloco’s, Cambria Drug and Gift, Bob & Jan’s Auto
water not stored in plastic, and little else well again.   Internal (colon) cleansing or Shop, Linn’s, Donna’s Nail Salon, Cookie Crock, Rainbow Bean and Coffee Shop;
for several weeks with a juice fast one day once-a-week juice fasts.   Good friends. Cayucos – Cayucos Super Market, Kelley’s EsPresso & Dessert, Ocean Front Pizza,
a week. If you’ve been living on processed Enough sleep. A secure family unit.  Com- Chevron Station, Mobile Balloons; Los Osos – Starbuck’s, Baywood Laundry, Cad’s,
foods and sodas, get cleaned up.  An amino munity.   Music, massage, art, being loved. Carlock’s Bakery, Chamber of Commerce, Copa de Oro, Garden Café, Los Osos Deli
acid needed for toxic elimination is Citrul- Laughter! Soft belly breathing.   Posi- Liquor, Volumes of Pleasure; Morro Bay – Backstage Salon, Coalesce Bookstore, Coffee
line.  Amino acids are precursors of protein, tive thinking.   Forgiveness. Take time for Pot Restaurant, The Rock, Southern Port Traders, Sunshine Health Foods, Two Dogs
if you remember.  If Manganese is blocked fun.   If you don’t have time now, when Coffee, La Parisienne Bakery.
for some reason (stress does that) and there’s will you?   Make time.   The cardinal rules • SAN LUIS OBISPO: Broad St. Laundry, Cool Cats Café, La Crepes, Edna Market,
not enough Citrulline available, the body of glowing health. Other countries don’t get Art Café, Booboo Records, Creekside Center, GALA, Marigold Nails, Palm Theatre,
can’t detox, and Vitamin D and kidney cancer like we do.   We Americans are too Susan Polk Insurance, Utopia Bakery, Unity Church, Zoe Wells, Naturopath, Cal
bicarbonate are affected.  You can’t get well frenetic, too processed.  Slow down. If every- Poly Library and Women’s Center, Center for Alternatives to Violence, Chamber of
if you’re full of toxins. Get that urea cycle one followed these ways of being, I prom- Commerce, Cuesta College Library, EOC Health Services Clinic, HealthWorks,
running efficiently so it can eliminate toxins. ise you that HMOs would be nearly out of Healing Alternatives, Laguna Laundry, Linnaea’s, Monterey Express, Natural Foods
Citrulline is really important to heal cancer. business.  And oh! Wouldn’t that be lovely. Coop, New Frontiers, Nautical Bean, Outspoken Beverage Bistro, Phoenix Books,
N-Acetyle Cysteine is also a good ammo-   Planned Parenthood, Rudolph’s Coffee & Tea, San Luis Obispo Housing Authority
nia eliminator.  Both counteract something Suggested website reading:   Office, SARP, The Secret Garden, SLO Perk Coffee, Spirit Winds Therapy, The Studio
called Bombesin, a substance that acts like • www.enhancementinc.com (Morro Fitness for Women, Uptown Cafe, Yoga Centre, Ahshe Hair Salon, Apropos Clothing,
a growth hormone to cancer tumors.   The Bay breast cancer support, retreats and Soho Hair Salon, Hempshack, YMCA, KCBX, Fairchild Salon, Jaffa Café, Med Stop
other thing to remember is that cancer can- programs, Shoosh Crotzer, Director) (Madonna Plaza), World Rhythm and Motion, Steynberg Gallery, Correa Chiropractic,
not live in an alkaline environment.  It can • www.ions.org (Institute of Noetic Sci- High St. Deli, Sunset N. Car Wash, Jamaica You, United Blood Services.
only thrive in a low oxygen, high acid ter- ences - world’s largest cancer remission • SOUTH COUNTY: Arroyo Grande – Mongo’s, Act II Boutique, Central Coast
rain.   Processed and fried foods are highly study and center) Yoga, CJ’s Restaurant, Curves-AG, Cutting Edge, EOC Health Services Clinic, Girls
acidic.   A glass of water with a pinch of • www.biointegration.com (for info on Restaurant, Grande Whole Foods, Kennedy Club Fitness, JJ’s Market, Chameleon,
baking soda once a day helps a great deal emotion-as-cause and how the body Brave New Wares; Avila Beach– Avila Grocery, Custom House, Sycamore Hot Springs,
to alkalinize the pH.   Sounds too simple energies work) Inn at Avila, Joe Mamma’s; Grover Beach – Back Door Deli, Cindi’s Wash House, Nan’s
but it really works to normalize the pH. • www.pubmed.gov or www.wikipedia. Pre-owned Books, Therapeutic Body Center, 30-minute Fitness; Halcyon – Halcyon
  com  for general encyclopedic medical Store; Nipomo – Anna’s Creekside Coffee House, Healing Touch Spa, Curves, La
The Other No-Nos  information Placita Market, Healthy Inspirations, World Gym, Trendy Sister Salon, Senior Centers;
Microwaving, fluoride in toothpaste, Pismo Beach – Honeymoon Café, Pismo Athletic Club; Shell Beach – De Palo & Sons
chlorine, sodas, aspartame (Sweet ‘N Lo, Marleen Walmsley is a naturopathic educa- Deli, Seaside Cafe, Steaming Bean.
etc.), EMFs, and MSG. (For some reason, tor and author of an e-global newsletter, New • SANTA MARIA: Café Monet, Hunter’s Landing, Library, Curves on Main and on
some women get breast cysts (not tumors Paradigms In Healing and conducts workshops Broadway, Lassen’s.
but cysts) from drinking coffee.  So if there for medical professionals in the US on natural • ORCUTT: Loading Dock, Oasis Spa.
is a lump, have a checkup to see if it’s a cyst, approaches to healing.  She can be reached at
then lay off the coffee.  The cyst will usually clarityandhealth@yahoo.com.   See www.clar-
go away.)  ityandhealth.com    
September & October 2008 | www.womenspress-slo.org | Women’s Press Voices 7
In what do you place your faith or hope when confronted with
Voices Around the Table: personal, global, and environmental issues?
Jill Turnbow Gina Whitaker to help me create community, listen to all Mary Heacock
I hate to generalize and just say “people” When I have a personal dilemma, I put voices, understand the world and reach out God.
because it has been people that have torn my hope in the understanding I can achieve to others in love.
my faith and hope apart. But I also con- about my problem from research and talk- Anne R. Dunbar
tinue to meet and learn about people who ing to trusted friends and family members. Kathy Myers After many years of study in science
have integrity, heart, and compassion. I put When I am confronted by the current I do believe in a Higher Power, though I and philosophy, I notice that the world is
my faith in knowing that even a handful of critical state of the planet, both socially can’t make an exact statement as to how governed by fixed laws. These laws do not
decent, honest people can and will make a and environmentally, I have tried to put I envision or imagine that power. I change and are evident in all areas of life.
difference. my hope in my leaders, but they believe that power or “God” serves The stability and trust in the laws which
have let me down all too often only for our good. But it is up to govern my world are important to me. I feel
Susan Hoffman in recent us to do the work! God doesn’t just confident resting in the cyclic nature of all
When I start to feel discouraged sweep in and make everything bet- life, the polarity and balance of observable
and lose faith that people ter. We have been given the insight occurrence, and the emergence of new life
can come together and and intelligence and ability to see what from the ashes of all which passes. I believe
solve the over whelm- is right and how to fix what is wrong, in the benevolence of the source of such a
ing it’s-too-late-it’s but it is up to us humans to take on the system.
hopeless feeling— responsibility. The fault I find in most orga- The order and balance that I observe in
current political, his- nized religions is that they look to “God” the world around me supports my faith in
environmental, per- tory. I must as the one who will make all decisions and benevolence, thus when indi-
sonal, and complex put my hope final determinations, who vidual reports of chaos and
global issues, I always in community. will make sure “His” cruelty come my way, I
seem to returnto the Building commu- people are protected know that there is equal
black and white photo nity means looking when all goes awry, manifestation of order
image of Anne Frank out for each other, etc. This is an easy way and kindness some-
at age 12, smiling, and caring for one another, to defer responsibility. where. The Yin/Yang
her famous quotation learning to sacrifice for The way I see “God” is symbol also speaks to me
from her diary entry of someone else’s needs. that He/the Universal of this balance and order. It is
July 15, 1944: “...in spite This is very difficult Power, however you want so simple and yet so profound;
of everything, I still believe and I have not yet been very to label God, will work in balance, polarity and beneficence,
that people are really good at successful, but I am a survivor, tandem with us to do good and simple and satisfying.
heart.” She always restores my faith and I put my hope in my intelligence to take care of each other and the Let time and patience do their per-
to never give up hope that one day, if not and willingness to learn new ways to solve Earth. But “He” is not going to jump in fect work. I often say to myself,
today, people will get past all the differences the critical problems of my day. I also put and make it all better! “Pray to God but tie up your camel.”
and work together for the greater good of my hope in action, for action is the way to
this abundant, beautiful, blue-green planet move forward. Victoria Buser Kathy Bond
earth where we all live and want to love and Lastly, I put my hope and faith in the I place all my hopes in GOD as I under- God.
be loved in return. words and deeds of prophetic women and stand him. When all hope is gone and I
men who have shown me the way, as well have forgotten everything...I ask God for Linda Seeley
Nancy Lee Grantham as in my ancestors. I also put my hope in a light....and a light never fails to appear. I place my hope in the knowledge that
A power greater than myself. God. my religious faith, Unitarian Universalism, there are millions and millions of other
Tara Storke people all over the world who are commit-
I place my hope in a Higher Power ted to a peaceful and bountiful future for
with a plan. I can’t believe it would be left the ones yet to be born. I have faith in the
up to us mere mortals. That being said, I great web of life.
also believe that we each need to be respon-
sible and behave with compassion, aware- Michele Brooks
ness, and sensitivity. Mother Nature is I have an optimistic world view, insan-
magnificent and can be quite unforgiv- ity maybe, the triumph of optimism over
ing if we do something really stupid. experience. I see the goodness in great and
small acts of many individuals and some
Kathy Bornino countries. I can feel and see when I make a
I place my faith and hope in the Divine difference in someone’s life, or in my com-
Being aka God aka Great Spirit aka Con- munity. I feel best when I am doing my
sciousness aka Love aka Light. The stars part, recycling, driving slower, buying veg-
reveal divine order, and so do crystal patterns etables at farmers market. I feel my sense
Women’s Car Clinics in water molecules that come from a pure of belonging swell. Maybe that is my faith
source or have been returned to purity by when I commune with like-minded per-
Saturday, September 13 Saturday, October 11 simple folks sending gratitude and love into sons, drumming, boogie boarding, cam-
Warning Lights and Gauges Preventative Maintenance them, for just one example. I have seen and paigning for healthcare reform and Obama.
heard of so many examples of dark periods I rely on my good friends and few family.
“Does that light on the dash What it means, is everything they that gave way into brighter ones, that I have
REALLY mean I have to stop? do really necessary, and what no doubt we are being guided into greater Terre Dunivant
Or can I drive home and call effect does it have on a car’s light at exactly the pace we are willing to go. The law of attraction - visualizing what I
my mechanic?” These and longevity and performance? The want (not what I don’t want). Feeling grate-
Brenda Keeney ful for what I have and hopeful about what
other questions about the mysteries of the manufacturer’s
The Creator or Universal Life Force. I want.
information displayed on the recommendations answered and “Energy flows where attention goes”
dash are answered. why your mechanic might tell Pam Logan means putting my energy into the things I
you different. Prayer. I guess it always comes down to hope for. “What we resist, persists” means
that, especially personal issues. It is the one giving power to the very things we hate/
thing that I turn to when nothing else will fear. To focus on the bad is to amplify the
soothe the sense of helplessness. Sometimes bad. To focus on the good is to do more
The cost of the clinic is a donation to the global and environmental issues feel over- good. It’s a choice: where will you put your
Women’s Shelter of San Luis Obispo County. whelming and out of reach–but prayer usu- attention and energy?
ally assuages the fear from those things as Examples:
Class starts promptly at 10am and will be completed by well. • I am for PEACE (not anti-war).
• I practice PEACE (not non-violence).
11am. Time for questions will be from 11:00 to 11:30.
Jeanie Greensfelder • I create ABUNDANCE (not make war
On a personal level I trust the mystery on poverty).
To register call (805)541-2407 Ext. 13 of being alive in this amazing universe. For • I’m looking forward to a PROGRES-
or email Kathleen at 71187@charterinternet.com. world issues I trust that the tipping point, SIVE president (not impeach Bush).
The clinics will be limited to 20 people. when the momentum for change becomes • We are MAKING PROGRESS
First come first served. unstoppable, will arrive in time. Loving indi- towards a healthy environment (not
viduals who take personal steps to improve fighting global warming).
the environment have created an epidemic
that is on the move around the globe. Betsy Mcdonald
Hopeful signs remind me that small efforts God.
matter and that we can make a difference.
8 CreativeWomen Wometn’s Press | September & October 2008 | womenspress.slo@gmail.com

Day With
Creative Women
A Beautiful Day
WCC would like to thank publicly the fol- all the entertainers who donated their tal-
lowing businesses and individuals for their ents to our cause. They are: Tribal Mosaic,
contributions to our event. New Fron- Chrome Addicts, Central Coast Flutists,
tiers, Von’s, Albertsons, Peet’s Coffee and Julia and Brett Mitchell, Inga Swearingen,
Tea, Scolari’s Trader Joe’s, Blue Bird hair Debra Windsong, and our own Central
salon, Core Mediation Services, Poor Coast Drummers.
Richard’s Press, SLO Graphics, KCBX, El We also want to thank the community
Dorado Broadcasting, Mapleton Commu- for showing your support of our vendors
nications, New Times, Joy Dinman, Alli- by participating in Day with Creative
son Beavers, Cassie Carlson, Amber Furr, Women and we hope you all mark your cal-
Gryphon Sociity/Gatehelp, Carolyn Kruse endars for next year, our 35th, to be held on
Foundation, Pacific Capital Bankcorp, and August 8, 2009.

Researching Crows: Interview with Suzan N. Vaughn, human and animal psychic
By Susan Howe ity being confined without exercise. I helped After  marrying and moving to an area
dispel some of that toxic energy allowing that had no broadcasting jobs, Suzan turned
SH. You said you are  currently doing people to handle the horse and help him her 15-year part-time “on the side” psychic
research. About what?  out. Another case was a dog whose owner practice into full-time work. Then she tried
SV. I am researching the needs of was worried because she didn’t eat. We the same telepathic technique on animals
crows, yellow jackets and gophers. Harmo- asked the dog to let us know it  wanted to she’d been using on people and it “worked
nious living requires negotiation with other stay with its human companion by eating. like a charm.” As she practiced, miraculous
species and knowing what they need to At the end of the session it went straight to changes in the behavior and health of her
thrive is where it starts. My client is  an the bowl and ate.  That kind of thing hap- animal clients  offered her  undeniable evi-
organic farmer who doesn’t use poisons pens all the time. dence that the work was her path, and her
so he’s allowing me to try communication People often wonder how this work can practice grew by word of mouth. Hired by
instead. be done by phone but Suzan explains that Petco to do readings at grand open-
SH. How did you come by this profession telepathy is not restricted by time or space ings  across Washington state (free for the
and get trained? and she can “tune in” to an animal through customer) led to work with rescue groups
SV. From reading, self-study and prac- its human companion on the phone. and shelters’ fundraisers. PetCo has again
tice. My early learning came from Jane Even if you don’t know Suzan, you hired her for their  San Luis Obispo grand
Roberts’ Seth Material books. Seth describes may recognize her voice. She  spent nearly re-opening in October.
himself as  an entity who lives outside of a decade in  her first career  as a broad- Stories from her many sessions are
time and space, and he helped  me under- cast journalist on  KVEC radio, serving offered in her book Dispatches from the Ark:
stand channeling and the availability of as news director and AM talk show host, Pages from a Pet Psychic’s Notebook, released
evolved beings willing to help us. where a guest was a pet psychic. She had in May 2008.
SH. That is a vulnerable position to reveal. just adopted Rusti, a stray red chow-chow, “With practice and discipline, anyone
What is the most surprising case with which who had been traumatized, was mangy and can do this work,” she says, “but dedication
you have dealt? hungry. The pet psychic reassured Rusti that to meditation and personal spiritual evolu-
SV. A  horse that had spent his life rac- she now had a “forever” home and human tion are required. I suspect it also has to be
ing  was abandoned at a boarding facility. companion,  and that her puppies had part of your life purpose,” she says. 
His energy was almost to the point of insan- all gone to good homes. Suzan said the calm
that came over the dog was dramatic.

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September & October 2008 | www.womenspress-slo.org | Women’s Press CreativeWomen 9

Unsung Heroine presents


Karen Merriam A Monthly Series of Spiritual Workshops
Healing the Planet, Healing Ourselves
Save the World
By Berta Parrish Temple Beth David, 10180 Los Osos Valley Road, San Luis Obispo
The prayer “Mitakuye Oyasin,” (“All my Third Thursday of Each Month • 7-9 pm • $20
relations”) opens any Lakota gathering. It
acknowledges the oneness and harmony
among people, plants, minerals, animals, Contact womenspress.slo@gmail.com or (805) 541-6874 for more information.
even the air itself, as well as ancestors. Simi-
larly, Karen Merriam, social worker, writer
and environmentalist, reveres the inter-
relationship and interdependence of the
animate and inanimate in the web of life. What works for Karen is helping to heal
Furthermore, she believes that “if we listen personal and environmental traumatic inju-
deeply and openly, we will see and we will ries. She currently trains volunteers for the
know that something is terribly wrong.” Community Crisis Response Program for
Seeking an appropriate response to this Hospice of SLO. She has also conducted
intuitive inference led Karen to study the workshops for law enforcement, medical,
process and effects of trauma. Her extensive mental health, and social service profes-
experience as a clinical social worker and sionals. Her book, Searching for Connec-
grief counselor combined with her training tion: An Exploration of Trauma, Culture,
as an Emergency Medical Technician and and Hope (Truthsayer Press, 2006), offers
as a member of SLO Sheriff’s Search and insight and encouragement to anyone
Rescue K-9 Team (with her English cocker affected by trauma.
spaniel, Babe) uniquely prepared her to Putting her ecological unease into activ-
perceive the connection between personal ism, Karen presently chairs the Santa Lucia
human trauma and planetary environmen- Chapter of the Sierra Club. In addition to
tal trauma. a shared mission to preserve irreplaceable
In most traumatic situations, people feel wildlands and wildlife, she values the rela-
that they are going to die unless someone tionship with other environmental advo-
or something intervenes. After exhausting cates. “To be alone would be unsustainable.
their energy, resources, and hope, they sur- I need to be part of a community to share
render and stop trying to save themselves. my deepest concerns. We can’t afford to be
Even after rescue and physical recovery,
the psychic damage can rob someone of
silent anymore. We must bear witness to
the planet’s suffering just as we bear witness October Workshop
self-esteem and resilience. Karen explains, to each other’s suffering.”
“Trauma is manifested by fragmentation In this age of anxiety, technology addic- Embodied Career Exploration for Women
and disconnection. The solution, then, is tions, and Nature Deficient Disorder, Kar- Thursday, October 15 cal statue-like images, then bring them to
the opposite – connection with other peo- en’s holistic perspective reminds us of an life; forum theater where you reenact real-
ple, with nature, and with ourselves.” We essential aspect of existence: “The healing of Access group inspiration and body wisdom life experiences and, as a group, practice
empower ourselves and avoid despair by our human lives depends on the health of through authentic movement and inter- different actions for different outcomes.
making a conscious choice to do some- all life. We are the Earth, not separate. The active games and exercises. Through inter- Kristina Bennett has a Masters degree
thing proactive. What keeps us engaged way back to wholeness is through the essen- active theater, become more present and in psychology from Antioch University and
varies from person to person. Therefore, she tial kinship of all things.” alive to the moment—more compassionate, has studied interactive theatre and dance
advises, “Do what works for you. It may be spontaneous, effective, and intimate. Tools for 15 years.  She is passionate about using
gardening, raising children, or volunteer- Karen Merriam’s website is in the “playchest” include mutisensory creativity and movement to bring about a
ing.” www.searchingforconnection.com Go there games; image theater where you represent world in which everyone is valued for the
for further information about Karen, trauma, thoughts, feelings, and ideas through physi- unique gifts they bring.
and her book.

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10 LocalPerspectives Wometn’s Press | September & October 2008 | womenspress.slo@gmail.com

Editor’s Note: Maternity Care: Challenges to Our Choices


I received the following letter from local
midwife Edana Hall (to the right), along
with the Jennifer Block opinion piece from Women of SLO County:
the LA Times (below) and documents from I hope you will take the time to read this organizations. Indeed, it seems their state- our nation? Why, as the article states, are
ACOG and AMA that she references in her opinion piece by Jennifer Block (printed ments and resolutions often have the weight the majority of infants born before sponta-
letter. I decided to dedicate space in this below), addressing a recent resolution by of law. Women are increasingly limited in neous labor occurs?
issue to the topic of women’s choices for the AMA and a recent formal statement by their options for maternity care, as ACOG I am concerned for the women of our
maternity care in this country. I sent out ACOG concerning maternity care in our and now the AMA define the standards of nation and the women of our immediate
Edana’s information to my Women’s Press country. care for our nation. community. I am concerned for the health
distribution list, to local midwives, and to As a homebirth midwife, I provide care The statistics in this opinion piece deserve and wellbeing of our next generations of
women I knew who had used midwives, to women seeking out of hospital birth. I close scrutiny. If less than one percent of infants coming into this world.
soliciting comments and reactions. am licensed by the California State Medical births in America take place at home, where I hope you will consider running a piece
The responses I received are printed Board to attend women with normal preg- are these troublesome outcomes mani- on this important aspect of our current
here. To see the ACOG and AMA nancies and births. festing? Why are we second to last among healthcare system. The good people of our
documents as well as information on how In the last several years, there has been industrialized countries in maternal mortal- community deserve to be informed con-
midwives are licensed in our state, go to an increasing pressure on women to con- ity? Why are caesarean and episiotomy two sumers.
www.womenspress-slo.org. form to the standards set forth by these two of the most common surgical procedures in —Edana Hall, LM, CPM

Big Medicine’s Blowback On Home Births


Why Do U.S. Doctors Strong-Arm Women Into Our Standard Maternity Care System?
By Jennifer Block Planning a home birth with a midwife This has led to an epidemic of pre-term Compare that to this information in
may sound old-fashioned -- maybe you births in the United States. A 2006 survey Britain’s NHS-issued handout my friend
You’d think the healthcare establishment think it sounds crazy -- but a solid body showed that the majority of babies are now was given at her first prenatal appointment:
would have bigger fish to fry than Ricki of research shows that for healthy women born before the spontaneous onset of labor, “There is no evidence to support the com-
Lake. (The 47 million uninsured, maybe?) who seek a normal, nonsurgical birth, there which leaves them more prone to breathing mon assertion that home birth is a less safe
But Lake’s recent documentary, The Business are several benefits. At home, a woman can and feeding difficulties. Caesareans are also option for women experiencing uncom-
of Being Born, which includes footage of her get one-on-one care and monitoring from contributing to a rising maternal death rate, plicated pregnancies.” In a joint statement
own delivery of her second child at home, a midwife trained to support the normal announced by the Centers for Disease Con- last year, the Royal College of Obstetri-
was on the agenda at the American Medical labor process. The mother-to-be is free to trol and Prevention last year. cians and Gynecologists and the Royal Col-
Assn.’s annual meeting in mid-June. Lake move about, eat and drink, sit in a birth Which is why some women, such as lege of Midwives said, “There is no reason
was personally name-checked in a Resolu- tub—Britain’s national health guidelines those in the film Lake produced, choose why home birth should not be offered to
tion on Home Deliveries introduced by the call water the safest, most effective form to give birth somewhere other than a hos- women at low risk of complications, and it
American College of Obstetricians and of pain relief. A woman will be helped to pital. Their choice is backed by sound sci- may confer considerable benefits for them
Gynecologists: “Whereas, there has been give birth in positions that are effective and ence. Studies of “low-risk” women in North and their families.”
much attention in the media by celebrities protective: sitting, squatting, on hands and America planning out-of-hospital births The AMA’s statement calls for legisla-
having home deliveries, with recent ‘Today knees, even standing. with midwives have found that 95% give tion that could be used against women
Show’ headings such as ‘Ricki Lake takes The physiological birth process is auto- birth vaginally with hardly any medical who choose home birth, possibly resulting
on baby birthing industry.’ “ The AMA matic: hormones fire, the cervix gradu- intervention. The largest and most rigorous in criminal child-abuse or neglect charges.
ultimately passed the resolution without ally opens, the uterus contracts, the baby study to date, published in the British Med- The group says this is about safety, but with
the Lake citation, but not before the Holly- descends, muscles engage. An optimal birth, ical Journal, found that in North America, no credible research to back up its claim,
wood media got wind of it and, overnight, one in which mother and child emerge as babies were born at home just as safely as in this argument falls flat. Women are sim-
home birth was thrust into the mainstream healthy as can be, is one that begins spon- the hospital. ply caught in a turf war over the maternity
light. taneously, progresses on its own and con- Organized medicine can’t believe this. market, and it would appear that the physi-
It’s about time. cludes with the least amount of intervention Dismissing the research evidence, the AMA cians’ groups are perfectly willing to tram-
Last year I flew to Britain to be with a necessary. resolution states that “the safest setting for ple the modern medical ethic of patient
good friend for the birth of her first child. But hospital maternity care in the U.S. labor, delivery and the immediate postpar- autonomy -- grounded in our legal rights
She’s American but married into Britain’s is typically not supportive of this process. tum period is in the hospital” or an accred- to self-determination, to liberty and to pri-
National Health Service, lucky duck. The More than half of women are induced into ited birth center. In its own statement vacy—in their grab for control.
differences in the prenatal care she got there labor, or it is sped up with artificial hor- earlier this year, the American College of If these groups were truly making
were striking. First and foremost, she never mones; the vast majority of women labor Ob/Gyns went even further, implying that maternal and child health a priority, they’d
saw a doctor. As a healthy woman with a and push in the desultory flat-on-the-back women who choose home birth are self- be reforming standard maternity care, not
normal pregnancy, she saw midwives. And or leaning-back position; and (perhaps not ish and irresponsible: “choosing to deliver strong-arming women into it.
one of their first questions to her was, “So, surprisingly) nearly one-third of women a baby at home ... is to place the process
would you like to give birth in the hospital end up giving birth through major surgery, of giving birth over the goal of having a Jennifer Block is the author of “Pushed: The
maternity ward or at home?” the caesarean section. healthy baby.” Painful Truth About Childbirth and Modern
Maternity Care.”

A Personal Story
My name is Patricia Pinkerton and I By the time I became pregnant with my wanted the baby to be able to take the pres- More than ever I understand that preg-
have chosen to have prenatal care from third child, I had done a lot more research sure and the trauma of childbirth as much nancy is not an illness; it’s a wonderful stage
a Licensed Midwife and a trial of labor at and reading. I was confident in my birthing as she wanted me to be able to do it, but in a woman’s life. I wish that the health care
home for the birth of my third child. decisions this time. I was at peace with my the risk to the baby was too great in such a professionals would treat it as such. I know
My own personal experience dates back choice to go with a licensed midwife and a condition. that they are pressured by the hospitals and
to the Middle Ages, but back when I was trial of labor at home despite my two previ- I was devastated. I had worked so hard. their policies, and the hospitals are pres-
giving birth in a clinic in a suburb of Mal- ous caesareans. This was the only way I was I reluctantly scheduled a caesarean. I was sured by their insurance, and the cycle goes
aga, Spain. The nurse spoke as much Eng- going to get a trial of labor, which I knew ushered into surgery in tears. I finally got around. Somewhere along the line, every-
lish as I spoke Spanish, and through a was the safest option for both me and my excited when my husband yelled, “It’s a one forgot about the women and the babies
miscommunication, I wound up starting baby. boy!” My tears became tears of joy when I that are being affected by the way child-
to give birth as I walked down the corri- I met with my midwife, and I told her heard that I had another son. He was beau- birth is handled by the medical model in
dor from my room to the delivery room. I everything about me. After going over my tiful. Nate was born on June 19th. He died America. I also understand that childbirth
made it just in time. It was a quick and easy records, she told me that if I ate right, edu- June 20th. comes with its risks, whether in or out of a
birth, and in hindsight, if I had a choice, I’d cated myself, exercised, and rested that I The doctors assured me that there was hospital setting. I am willing to take these
choose that standing position. was a good candidate for a trial of labor. I nothing I could’ve done to make this out- risks and the responsibilities that go along
When I got pregnant with my second was delighted and I began my prenatal care. come different; it’s a genetic condition. with them.
child, I realized that there were many doc- My visits with her focused on my whole No baby with this condition—Bilateral It just flicked through my mind that
tors that would not even take me due to my wellbeing: emotional, physical, spiritual. Renal Agenesis causing Potter’s Syndrome there may be some dark plot to depress
previous surgery. My new doctor allowed She cared about it all. -- had ever lived. Even if an ultrasound had this country to the status of a third world
me to try to labor for my second birth. Shortly after my due date, my mid- detected Nate’s condition, nothing could nation where women are submissive, quiet,
When my labor failed to progress as fast as wife recommended a non-stress test and have been done to save him. Even if we had and kinda scared . . . The ravings of a para-
they wanted it to, I opted for another cae- an ultrasound, which indicated a very low known that Nate had no kidneys early on, I noid lunatic? And yet….? I dunno. There’s
sarean. I was devastated. On 12/08/06, my level of amniotic fluid. My midwife broke would’ve gone through my entire pregnancy plenty of historical precedent for that sce-
baby was born. the news to me that I was not going to get a knowing that my baby was going to die. nario. It just makes me wonder.
trial of labor with my third child either. She
September & October 2008 | www.womenspress-slo.org | Women’s Press LocalPerspectives 11

Babies are People, Too! Home Birthing? Why Not?


By Linda Seeley sensation from the waist down. After the By Anne Peterson much more recent than mine and happened
epidural, she cannot walk nor go to the in a huge hospital in the San Fernando Val-
Babies are people, too. That’s the best reason bathroom, necessitating the placement of a There’s something fishy about a medi- ley, where she spent 17 hours of torture, cli-
to choose a midwife to care for a mother urinary catheter. The nurses check her, and cal system that trumpets itself as being the maxed by a caesarean anyway, because her
and child during pregnancy, birth, and the when they feel that she is ready, they tell most advanced in the world yet comes in doctor was unavailable and the fill-in didn’t
postpartum period. Midwives know and her to push. “Push what?” she asks, “I can’t second to last among industrialized coun- want to be involved until he had no choice.
respect the relationship between mother feel anything.” No wonder almost 35% of all tries for infant mortality. It should be bet- It’s a wonder my daughter-in-law and
and baby, father and baby, and the environ- births in this country end in caesarean sec- ter than that. Perhaps the deterioration granddaughter survived. It was scary. Of
ment and baby. tion! If she does manage to push the baby came at about the same time the Health course, my daughter-in-law has no inten-
We now know that the fetus can hear down, the doctor comes into the room to as Care Profession became the Health Busi- tion of repeating that horror.
very well by the 19th week of gestation. the head is delivering. He or she catches the ness and  King Drugs and Emperor Insur- Midwife-attended home births are pre-
He or she responds to noise with kicks and baby, cuts the cord, and most often hands ance evolved. Doctors are concerned about sented by some medical professionals as
movements of arms and bodies. Hearing baby off to a nurse who will suction out being sued if anything goes wrong. It’s so dangerous that mothers choosing that
the same music every day can soothe her. secretions, put a wrist band on the baby, more lucrative and convenient for doctors possibility might be brought up on crimi-
She recognizes her father’s voice if Father put ointment into the eyes, wrap the baby to plan around caesarean sections, so more nal charges of child endangerment or cru-
speaks to her daily during the pregnancy. up, and hand it to the mother. and more of them are happening. Proba- elty. Never mind that the midwives are fully
What do these known facts tell us about This is a good outcome. bly a growing number of women are per- trained and usually experienced in the natu-
babies? That they are sentient, feeling beings But how could it have been with the suaded that it’s safer and more controlled ral occurrence of birthing a baby, assuming
who know how to connect with others of care of a midwife? The midwife finds all than whimsical Nature. It seems to me that it’s a normal, low-risk pregnancy. Without
their owns species before birth. aspects of the pregnant woman’s life to be having a baby has become more a matter surgery.  It looks to me like another intimi-
What does this have to do with mid- important: family relationships; diet; exer- of avoiding fear, pain, and inconvenience dation of women by Higher Authorities. 
wives? Midwives treat pregnancy and birth cise; her own birth history; history of sex- than ever before. There are more caesareans, Alternatives are few. A recent survey of three
as a normal, natural event in the process of ual or emotional abuse; attitude towards episiotomies, and epidurals than ever. And local hospitals showed that French Hospi-
human development. They recognize the childbirth; and, of course, medical his- yet the mortality rate goes up. Are women tal provides warm tubs for the imminent
profound attachment that can and should tory. One task of the midwife is to build being sold a bill of goods? mothers, though they climb out to deliver,
grow before, during, and after birth – the trust with the pregnant woman and to use My own personal experience dates back but Arroyo Grande doesn’t have any birth-
attachment that is often interrupted during each appointment as an opportunity for to the Middle Ages, but back when I was ing facilities at all and Sierra Vista has the
the modern birth process. teaching. Midwives tell women about the giving birth in a suburb of Malaga, Spain, normal stuff. It seems like a limited choice.
Let’s take a very brief look at a typical complex hormonal changes they are expe- I found an obstetrician, a fully qualified It just flicked through my mind that
pregnancy and birth in the United States in riencing, and they emphasize the impor- specialist, who ran a clean, well-equipped, there may be some dark plot to depress
2008. About 90% of women choose a phy- tance of the natural birth process to assist well-staffed facility. I was the only woman this country to the status of a third world
sician. Physicians spend an average of 5-6 baby’s bonding and attachment. They teach giving birth just then, so I got full attention. nation where women are submissive, quiet,
minutes at each prenatal visit. They ask the that contractions, though painful, are nor- Unfortunately, the nurse spoke as much and kinda scared, where most of the other
woman how she’s doing; they listen to the mal and positive signs of change and not English as I spoke Spanish, and through a used-to-be-normal ways of life are falling
baby’s heartbeat and measure the size of the to be feared. Midwives have deep faith in miscommunication, I wound up starting apart, ignored, and underfunded. . Is there
uterus. They check make sure that all the the ability of almost every woman to give to give birth as I walked down the corri- some great conspiracy among the oligarchy
lab work has been done, and then they leave birth naturally and freely, and they see that dor from my room to the delivery room. I to keep the population ignorant and poor
the room. When labor starts, the woman when women can be themselves, they rise made it just in time. It was a quick and easy and scared so that they can suck the juice
quickly goes to the hospital where she is to the occasion. And they recognize each birth, and in hindsight, if I had a choice, I’d out of us and use our young for cannon
told to disrobe, put on a hospital gown, and baby as a unique human who has a purpose choose that standing position. My experi- fodder in their get-richer wars? Surely these
then she is attached to a monitor, where her on Earth, to be honored and valued for his ence was unique, I think, but it just goes to must be the ravings of a paranoid lunatic.
baby’s heart is constantly checked. In 80% or her journey to this time on our planet. show that there are plenty of other options And yet…? I dunno. There’s plenty of his-
of births in the United States, the woman elsewhere than what we get stuck with here. torical precedent for that scenario. It just
receives epidural anesthesia, removing all Linda Seeley is a Certified Nurse-Midwife My daughter-in-law’s experience was makes me wonder.

Responses from Midwives and Mothers


Rani Shah, mother to two beautiful, mid- a sacred rite of passage for women, babies, No, it’s not about safety. Stats show 400 births, that included prenatal care, 90
wife-birthed girls! and their partners and families. It is one of homebirth babies have excellent outcomes percent of which were successfully com-
AGOG and AMA are ludicrous in the most empowering experiences a woman compared to hospital births. One of the pleted at home, I know the natural process
thinking they are the end all and be all to can go through and for generations the essential components of homebirth is the works.  These included the two births of my
how a woman should give birth! Why not medical establishment has taken this rite prenatal care every woman receives. During younger children, and three of my grand-
ask the thousands of women who did give of passage away. Instead labor has become that process, many factors can be addressed children.
home birth? Why not ask the thousands of a feared event with medication and surgery before the birth. Of course, the midwife will I know from personal experience the
women who wished they could have had a initiated too easily and too early. As with not keep a woman at home if she should value and safety of the natural process,
home birth? I birthed my two girls in hos- any medical procedure, we are grateful for need the technology the hospital offers. including screening potential mothers
pitals, but both were delivered by wonder- the advances in medicine that can save lives It’s so clear that hospitals are perfect for for high-risk pregnancies.  It is empower-
ful midwives. These midwives gave me time when needed. But when heroic measures emergencies, but most births are uncom- ing for parents to have this choice and not
and comfort throughout the entire process, are not needed, the best place to give birth plicated, joyous events meant to be experi- be manipulated by a system that does not
unlike many doctors who just show up for is at home or in a free standing (not hos- enced at home, with family. honor that choice nor the natural process of
the actual delivery and seem to get all the pital) birthing center where a woman can birth.  We need to do everything we can to
praise, not to mention the money, for the fully be in  her power and rise to the great Sue O’Connor, CPM, and former Calif. keep this choice on the table, and I encour-
small amount of time spent with the whole challenge of delivering her child. This not Association of Midwives Chairwoman age all who’ve had the experience to speak
child, including the mother and families. I only prepares her for motherhood with all Our freedom of choice in this great up for that right, and this freedom.
do believe that doctors are wonderful and of its challenges but also prepares her for country has been eroding for many years. 
can indeed provide much needed lifesaving life. Having risen to the great challenge of According to George Carlin before he Renee Sanpei
procedures. But as far as introducing life labor and succeeded, she has within herself died, we really have no real choices or free- Recently I received a copy of a resolu-
into the world, I will take the whole jour- the power to face what life will bring – the dom,   just meaningless choices, like paper tion introduced to the Congress to prohibit
ney with a midwife over that of a “doctor” felt sense that this, too, she can handle. or plastic, smoking or non-smoking.  homebirths in this country. The AMA has
any day. Hopefully it’s not at that point, but, we attempted on several occasions to solicit
Sylvia Alcon, retired midwife seem to have  an uphill battle to remain a political support for their agenda. It gave
Michele Brooks, nurse It’s important to notice that countries country with true freedom of choice.  The me an opportunity to have some stimulat-
Watch the new documentary The Busi- where trained midwives attend birthing right to choose medical treatment or not ing dialogue with my midwives and recall
ness of Being Born.   women in their homes are also countries was lobbied for and won by the Christian the extraordinary experiences of my chil-
that have universal health care. Scientists in the early 20th century.  The dren’s homebirths. The first point that I take
Zoe Wells, ND What could be more powerful than right to choose where to die is still with us, issue with is their reference to homebirth
As a naturopathic doctor and previous birthing a fresh human being? Insurance just barely.  The right to choose our birth- as a “fad.” It’s almost laughable since hos-
naturopathic midwife who attended women companies want the money from birthing; ing place is being questioned and attacked pital births are relatively new on the time-
giving birth in Oregon, I am not surprised money after all is power and they want it constantly by the medical community.  This line. Most human beings have been born
but again disappointed by the AMA’s focus all. I think women in our country will be comes out of the prevalent context, that at home for centuries. My parents, grand-
on limiting women’s (and families’) birth able to have far more choice in childbirth birth itself is a medical crisis—thus needs parents, and their very large families were
choices. I worked with many families in once we have universal health care. constant medical observation and interven- all born at home. When I contemplated
Oregon (the state with the highest rate If the government were truly concerned tion—not a natural process.  It is a thorn having a home birth vs. a hospital birth, I
of home births) who created completely about safety for babies and mothers, how in the side of current medical thought that researched the issue. I wanted to make an
healthy, conscious birthing experiences could they allow high levels of pollution in homebirth is still allowed, and they have informed decision and ensure the safety of
which I have no doubt greatly affected the the air these new ones breathe? Why would been vehement about their intention to my child. I interviewed all the midwives in
long-term well-being of their children. Cal- they not pass a bill, as in some countries, extinguish this parental right for the past the county, as well as going to obgyns and
ifornia and most of the US has long medi- which gives new mothers a year to take care thirty years.  seeing what values and norms they held.
calized labor and restricted the beauty and of their baby and guarantees their job when Having retired from a successful mid-
power of the birthing experience. Birth is they return? wifery practice of 30 years, attending nearly Continued on p.14
12 NOWNews Wometn’s Press | September & October 2008 | womenspress.slo@gmail.com

This Page Presented by the National Organization for Women


The purpose of NOW is to bring women into full participation in the mainstream of American society NOW !

Coordinator’s Corner Calendar Coming Out Day


By Angie King September 1:
• Birthday Queen Liliuokalani of October 11 has been designated National
Summer is usually a slower time, time to Hawaii, 1838 Coming Out Day, as a day to take action
smell the flowers and taste the ripening September 4: aimed at making the world a safer place
fruit, but it is also the lull before the storm. • 1995, fourth UN world conference on where lesbians and gay men can in fact
This year is election year and the storm will women, Beijing, China “come out.”
be bigger than ever, with so many con- September 6: Coming Out Day is rooted in the 1987
trasts between the two candidates. Ironi- • 1971, NOW adopts lesbianism as “a March on Washington for Lesbian and
cally, polls are showing a very close race. legitimate concern of feminism;” first Gay Rights with its AIDS Quilt display.
Your vote is even more important. Please national organization to do so That event is widely regarded as pivotal for
do not fracture the process by voting for a September 15: the gay community, bringing together and
third party or independent candidate. You • Four girls killed in Birmingham church politicizing lesbian and gay men and turn- NOW Chapter # CA 565
are taking the risk that it is your vote that bombing, 1963 ing the tide on treatment for people living PO Box 1306, SLO, CA 93406
puts McCain and the neo-cons back in the September 16: with HIV and AIDS. It was the first time SLONOW @ kcbx.net
White House. • NOW regular meeting, 6 PM the AIDS Quilt had been unfurled on the http://groups.myspace.com/~slonow
And, by now, I hope all the Hillary vot- • Birthday Karen Horney, first to chal- national Mall. NOW was there, having
ers - and we were legion – have realized it’s lenge phallocentric psychologists, 1885 defined lesbianism as a legitimate concern
not in our own best interest to continue September 20: of feminism since 1971.

Election News
to “hate” Obama and threaten to vote for • 1884 Equal Rights Party nominated Feminists need to support all our sisters
McCain as a protest. Sorry, ladies, Hillary is women candidates for US president in the struggle to be free of stereotypes and
not perfect, any more than any of the guys. and vice president live as individuals. Coming Out Day should
Isn’t that what we have fought for: the right be a day of celebration and joy. Check out NOW kicked off the election season on
to be equally as bad and/or good? Please October 4-5: the Human Rights Campaign website for Women’s Equality Day last August 26th,
quit beating a dead horse. Maybe next time, • Morro Bay Harbor Festival, NOW more information: hrc.org with a forum composed of women involved
another woman: start thinking of whom Fundraiser It isn’t easy, often, coming to terms with in city and county level political offices.
now. And, maybe Hillary on the Supreme October 7: one’s sexual preferences and choices and NOW hosted a panel composed of aspir-
Court isn’t such a bad idea either. But first, • Congress authorizes women in military even more so in a culture that stigmatizes ing, current, and retired women legislators
we have to get the GOP out of our lives. academies and penalizes that choice. Despite the gains from the County, the Cities of Atasca-
But before we get to the election, there’s October 10: of the last 20 years (and they are signifi- dero, Morro Bay, Grover Beach, and Pismo
stuff happening in September and Octo- • California women win vote, 1911 cant), there are still obstacles and women Beach, with many of their fans and support-
ber, mostly October. NOW has the chance October 11: are still the hardest hit. For example, the ers in the audience. The discussion centered
to earn some money by volunteering at the • Birthday of Eleanor Roosevelt, 1884 military policy of “don’t ask, don’t tell,” around how running for office as a woman
Morro Bay Harbor Festival, held the first • National Coming Out Day which discriminates against lesbians and is different, whether Hillary’s campaign has
weekend in October. This year it’s October October 15: gay men, discourages openness and hon- changed the political climate, and, in gen-
4 and 5, Saturday and Sunday. Please con- • Love Your Body Day esty. Despite the need for troop strength as eral, how gender affects elections.
tact us at slonow@kcbx.net to volunteer for October 16: we overextend our military across the globe, It’s been a long election season so far
our crew. We sell beer scrip and check peo- • Margaret Sanger opens first birth con- women are being discharged as homosex- and promises to be longer still – as this
ple’s ID and it’s lots of fun and a great way trol clinic in US, 1917 uals at a rate more than two times greater goes to press there are still 2 months before
to talk to your friends, hang out around the October 17: than gay men. the election, and the much-hyped “October
great music offered at the festival, and earn • Birthday of Mae Jamison, 1st black And now the marriage issue is on the fall surprise” has yet to be sprung. All we can
us some money to boot. woman astronaut, 1956 ballot (again) and whether to support it has say at this point is to advise you to inform
October 11 is Coming Out Day to cele- October 21: become a topic asked even of the presiden- yourself of your own candidates’ positions
brate our diversities and October 15 is Love • NOW regular meeting, 6 PM tial candidates, who are trying to dodge it. on women’s issues so you can correct the
Your Body Day, a chance to realize you October 26: For Coming Out Day this year, write a let- inevitable mis-quotes by others, and be
are beautiful just the way you are. See the • Birthday of Hillary Clinton, 1947 ter to the newspaper expressing your oppo- informed about those of your candidate’s
related articles for more information about sition to the marriage ban proposition. See opponent(s) so you can point out where
these commemorative holidays. the article on this page “Election news” for they are contrary.
more information on this proposition. So far, we know there will be a proposi-
tion to ban gay marriage and one to require
parental consent for minors’ abortions
(again). Prop 4 is the abortion proposition,
Love Your Body Day which supporters are calling “Sarah’s Law”
Get Involved — Join NOW! Concerned about the messages imbedded
while at the same time acknowledging that
the young girl for whom they are naming
in the advertising to which middle and high this proposition did not live in California,
San Luis Obispo Chapter school girls were being exposed in print and and would not in any event have come
National Organization for Women on TV, NOW Foundation established Love under the language they are proposing. It is
Every woman doesn’t have to join NOW, just the 142 million who are Your Body Day as an educational tool to another scare tactic in this presidential year.
help girls overcome the incessant barrage There is currently a lawsuit to make the
discriminated against! of advice: “take this pill and look thinner proposition backers change the language in
Name: _ _____________________________________________ ” and “use this beauty product and look the voter pamphlet, which has delayed any
sexier.” Focusing on deconstructing those further publicity about it.
Address: _____________________________________________ messages to show how damaging they are Proposition 8 is the marriage ban and
City/St/ZIP: ___________________________________________ to girls’ health and self esteem, the Foun- is being funded primarily by out-of-state
dation also uses positive images, showing financial interests. Recent polls show Cali-
Phone: _______________________________________________ girls and women of all sizes and shapes in fornians pretty evenly divided, so we need
Regular Dues ….$40 healthy activities. to make sure to counter the mis-informa-
Sliding Scale…..$15-39 Amount enclosed: ________________________ The facts are appalling: by 4th grade, tion, beginning with the proposed title.
80% of girls have been on a diet and 95% Anti-equality advocates call it “Limit on
of diets fail; only 5% of females have the Marriage” while the Secretary of State’s
Send your check and this form to “supermodel” body shape. Models weigh office is calling it “Eliminates the Right of
PO Box 1306 23% less than the average woman, a three- Same-Sex Couples to Marry.” That about
fold increase from 20 years ago; US spend- says it all.
SLO, CA 93406 General Meetings ing on weight-reduction programs, diet Check out the League of Women Vot-
Chapter # CA 565 11573 Los Osos Valley Rd, #B, SLO foods, and beverages exceeds $33 billion ers or NOW or National Women’s Political
slonow@kcbx.net every year. Caucus web pages for more information.
3rd Tuesday of every month Love Your Body Day this year will be
at 6:00 pm October 15. Indulge yourself that day, dress
the way you want, not the way you think
others want you to; eat or don’t eat, or have Powerful Woman’s Motto
ice cream for breakfast; get some exercise. Live your life in such a way that
Check out the NOW Foundation web- when your feet hit the floor in
site on this topic: loveyourbody.nowfoun- the morning, Satan shudders
dation.org and says, Oh shit, she’s awake!
September & October 2008 | www.womenspress-slo.org | Women’s Press Body&Soul 13

Spiritual Awakening for the Highly Sensitive, Empathic Nature (HS/E)


By Barbara Atkinson • Forgiving yourself, Life, and others – to give way, to yield, and grace gently in uncovering these issues that hold you
you are strengthening your sense of self flips your ego from being in the lead back. Your job is to notice.
Editor’s Note: Following are the (ego) through stages 1-4 so it can yield to being in service to Spirit. However, And why take the time to notice?
to Spirit this journey is usually taken in stages. Because this way the ego becomes whole
essential notes from our May workshop • Surrendering to the Self: letting the So why learn about your HS/E nature? enough to give way; it’s on the path to real-
that the presenter wanted to provide to HS/E identity go (non-identity with Because when you come from a place of izing that life needn’t be a struggle. You have
thoughts, emotions or personality as feeling less than, in this case the non- to shift your entire way of thinking about
you HSP’s who couldn’t make it! We
you give way to the Divine) approval of a highly sensitive nature by the sensitivity, empathic knowing, judgment,
will print it in two parts. Next issue Three Principles culture and yourself, you need to find out love, and life. It’s the key to the Holy Grail:
will include Resources and Tips. • Spirituality is the net that holds and all you can about that nature. You have to remember, to awaken you, Spirit speaks
informs your day to day life. reeducate yourself, reprogram your think- through your individuated HS/E nature.
• Your personality, your ego and its ing, own what is, and come to accept your Once fully awake, the only nature you
Five Stages in a HS/E Awakening (stages
thoughts and accompanying emotions HS/E nature. identify with is your spiritual nature.
often blend together)
(of which your HS/E nature is a part), Before ego can give way, it has to come So get the books, listen to teachers with
• Becoming aware of your HS/E nature
are not who you are. You have them, to accept itself, to stop defending and react- whom you resonate, go to workshops, do
• Noticing how it has impacted you –
but they don’t define you. They are not ing. Learning about and accepting your the practices, notice, walk the talk, know
how it colors your story (this is where
your identity. nature is a part of that, and this step (which when enough is enough, and live your life
healing begins & continues through
• That life force that is Spirit moves in encompasses stages 1-4) often takes a num- with Spirit.
#4)
you, through you, and enlivens you. ber of years. It’s where our shadows lurk,
• Accepting what is: embracing your
It is you; it is your identity. When you the ones we must uncover, accept and inte- Barbara Atkinson is a spiritual teacher with
HS/E nature;
know that experientially in your bones, grate. Your inner self will attract the experi- a website that includes information on the
you wake up. Ego has become ready ences and relationships that will assist you HS/E nature, www.theblisspapers.com

Faith: The Foundation For Every Dream


By Laura Grace Could she achieve balance in her life?” The last person who demonstrates an
Being faced with many unknowns, Kris- unusual strength of character is a woman
For me, faith is another word for posi- ten felt compelled to move forward, taking whose spiritual growth has led to a well-
tive thinking. When real faith grips one small step at a time. She kept one eye spring of courage and kindness. “Hannah,”
you, you develop a mind-set that looks focused on her dreams, and the other eye like the others, has overcome many fears
for the best in everything, refuses to give centered on the present moment. And now, by following a heart filled with faith. This
up, finds a way around (or through) after having courageously faced each fear, past year, Hannah resigned from her job,
every obstacle, and presses on to victory. she has created an entirely new landscape sold her home, and bid “farewell for now”
—Norman Vincent Peale for herself. In fact, just a few weeks ago, to her loved ones. Why? Because Hannah is
In what do you place your faith? In your Kristen purchased her first home and con- embarking on a transformational life expe-
work? In another? In your own heart? Faith tinues to nurture her thriving business and rience. Hannah is in the process of com-
is an aspect of consciousness. Therefore, we build a strong relationship with her son. pleting a two-year assignment with the
either have faith in fear or faith in love. As The next two people who exemplify Peace Corps. At nearly 50 years old, this
I write this, four people come to mind who heartfelt faith are a couple undergoing sig- brave soul has chosen to commit her time,
are following their hearts and took leaps of nificant life changes. “Sharon” recently energy, and healing talents to those in need,
faith as never before. These are people that resigned from a secure position in the med- in a part of the world completely unknown your highest good in every single area of
I have come to know through my minis- ical field and she and her husband “Tim” to her. your life, and never mind the rest. Today,
try, people who are placing their faith not have just sold their home and all of their Perhaps you admire these people and are ask yourself, “What are my dreams? What
in the shadowy illusion of fear, but in the belongings. In exchange, they purchased asking, “How are they able to accomplish do I wish to accomplish before I die?” Fol-
unlimited power of Love. an older Volkswagen van and are about to so much?” “Why are they able to make low your heart and let faith in love be your
The first person, “Kristen,” is a woman embark on a cross-country tour on wheels. their dreams come true?” We see others and guide. Namaste.
who went through a painful divorce a few Sharon and Tim are both in their late 40’s think they must have something that we
years ago. Willing to let go of an unhappy and have decided that they need not suc- don’t. In truth, they have nothing that you Laura Grace is the Spiritual Leader
marriage, Kristen knew that she had to cumb to traditional societal standards and I don’t have. We are all provided with of the Circle of Spiritual Enlight-
become financially independent and assume regarding age or retirement status in order the same amount of courage and faith. The enment in San Luis Obispo, CA:
full responsibility for herself and her son. to experience a meaningful life. Having difference is, Kristen, Shannon, Tim, and www.spiritualcircle.org. Laura is also
Doing so brought forth many questions: dedicated their life to growth and awaken- Hannah have removed their faith in fear the author of the books Gifts of the Soul
“Was she competent enough to manage ing, these two adventurous spirits are step- and replaced it with faith in love. and The Intimate Soul. Visit Laura at:
the enormous responsibility of taking care ping out of old comfort zones, knowing Starting now, be willing to accept there www.lauragrace.net or call: (805) 748-7506
of her son and her newly created business? their faith will continue to navigate them is an immense power silently working for
along their soulful journey.

Spirituality Matters: We Create Our Own World With the Words We Speak
By Heather Mendel or, on the contrary, say careless, unkind, as well as find ourselves equally surprised by
and hateful words, that once uttered are every unkind word or act we witness. The
As we approach the Jewish New Year, Jews impossible to take back. The Holocaust, latter should never allow us to accommo-
all over the world are taking time to con- Heschel reminds us, did not start with con- date to the violence all around us.
sider the year just passed and contemplat- centration camps and gas chambers, but The Jewish New Year does not celebrate
ing the year to come. It is believed that rather with evil words and defamatory pro- the birth or life of an individual, but rather
during the month leading to the High Holy paganda. the birthday of the world. Consider this a
Days we need to make peace with those we We can commit this year to examin- perfect time for all of us to consider our
have offended and forgive those who have ing the content of our words. In addition words to one another as we contemplate
offended us. Without this, we are not ready to expressing the busyness of our daily lives, the world we are creating for ourselves, our
to ask for Divine forgiveness— the essence how many words do we use, on a daily families, friends, and communities.
of the day of Yom Kippur, the Day of level, to express our wonder at the miracle Heather Mendel has focalized wom-
Atonement. of being alive? This sense of mystery con- en’s spirituality groups for the past 15 years.
Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel’s spiri- nects us to the spiritual patterning of exis- She can be contacted through her website at
tual legacy is an inspiration for us all at tence. Heschel remind that when we die, www.wordartist.com, and also e-mailed
signal moments such as these. His teach- we cease to be surprised. Alive, we should at heathermendel@charter.net or called at
ing reminded us of the significance of our be surprised by the miracle of each sunrise 544-4933.
words, which according to Jewish belief,
creates worlds. Just as Divinity spoke the
world into being, as the story of Creation
in Genesis tells us, we, too, create our
world with the words we speak. The biblical
story could have stated that God sculpted,
painted, or sang the world into being;
instead, the world was spoken into life. Academy Travel School Travel Connections &
Our words are sacred. They are tools Leaders in Travel Training Social Club
we use “oh-so-easily,” forgetting the power Leaders in Connecting People
that they carry. We can build families and Academy Cruises & Tours
“In the Creamery”
communities of caring, love, and friendship 570 Higuera St. Suite 225 Email atc@iTravelConsultants.com
through the words that express our thoughts San Luis Obispo, CA 93401
14 Events&Workshops Wometn’s Press | September & October 2008 | womenspress.slo@gmail.com

Bulletins Women’s Community Center


Save the Date for a Darfur Slideshow The Feline Networks “Fix-a-Feline”
November 9, 2008 at 2pm Low Cost Cat Spay/Neuter Program
Janice Kamenir-Reznik will present a
slideshow of her trip to the refugee camps
The Feline Networks, an all-volunteer,
non-profit humane organization, is offer- Family Law
in Chad which demonstrates how Solar
Cookers are Saving the Women of Darfur.
ing certificates towards the cost of spaying
and neutering the cats of SLO and South Our mission is:
Action Committee
County. To participate in the program, • TO maintain an accessible center to
Congregation Beth David please call 549-9228, ex. 707. $45 towards collect and exchange information of Dealing With Divorce
10180 Los Osos Valley Road. female cats, $25 towards a male, and most interest and concern to women
RSVP Beverly 545-5868 vets in the area accept these certificates. The 3rd Wednesday of each month – 7 PM
• TO organize and facilttate workshops,
Dept. of Animal Services offers $20 certifi- Upcoming:
clinics, seminars, classes and support
cates for spay and neutering throughout the Sept. 17, Oct. 15 and Nov. 19
North County Women’s Shelter and Re- groups on subjects of interest and need
county as well. For more information, call Talk with other women who have
• TO engage in and facilitate interaction
source Center Seeks Volunteers the DAS in SLO at 781-4400, in Oceano been there, done that in a supportive,
among local, state and national agen-
The North County Women’s Shelter and at 473-7100 or in Templeton at 434-4290. non-judgmental environment.
cies and organizations working to ben-
Resource center needs volunteers to pro- For even more information on the “Fix- $10 donation
efit women
vide assistance to victims of domestic vio- a-Feline” program, or to find out how to
lence. If you’re willing to help women enter adopt, volunteer or make a donation, go to Call for Volunteers Self-Represented Litigants’ Clinic
the shelter during non-business hours, on www.felinenetwork.org 4th Tuesday of each month – 5:30 PM
Hear ye, hear ye! The Women’s Commu-
an as-needed basis, please call the Center at Upcoming:
nity Center is looking for a few volunteers
461-1338. Training is provided. Volunteers IONS present Laura Grace Sept. 23, Oct. 28 and Nov. 25
to help with several projects. We could use
are also needed for transportation, child- Get family law advice from local
Sunday, September 21, 1:30pm, the Cen- some help with general office duties and to
care and other activities like fundraising attorneys and/or paralegals.
tral Coast chapter of IONS (the Institute of monitor family court proceedings (Court
and furniture moving. For more informa- Reservations required. $40 donation
Noetic Sciences) will feature Laura Grace Watch).
tion on how you can help, call the Shelter
at 461-1338. on the Metaphysics of Transformation.
Please meet at the Coast National Bank Call 544-9313 for information
Boardroom (rear entrance) 500 Marsh St.,
Insomnia, Depression and in SLO. A $5.00 donation is appreciated.
Seasonal Affective Disorder For more info, contact Diana Cornelius at
Saturday, September 13th, from 10am-
2pm, Infinite Dynamics will host a one-
627-1501.

day workshop, “The Brain Link…Insomnia, Creativity Club presents


Mourning
Continued from page 3 make me whole. As important, that which
Depression and Seasonal Affective Disor- “Embrace Your Inner Male!” he left with me was his immortality and
der.” Infinite Dynamics is located at 811 El my role to the fullest. I must not drop out presence for the rest of my life. I could
Capitan Way, Ste 100 in SLO. Learn about Come dressed as your Inner Male & learn
intentionally. then move on, in some ways enriched and
causes and solutions through nutrition, how to use music, movement and journal- So what did my husband take with empowered and sensitized.
body retraining and Asian medicine. Pre- ing to unleash your natural, manifesting- him, what did he leave with me, what is a Having prevailed, Natalie arranged
registration is requested. Call 805-594-1061 male energy.
relationship all about? Are there practical a meeting with her friend in mourning.
or visit www.infinitedynamics.com answers? It seems there were and still are. I shared all the above with her, giving and
Joslyn Adult Recreation Center: 950 Main
For there appeared an awareness of how taking turns with questions and com-
Street, Cambria, CA
Dine Out Against Elder Abuse a relationship is created by how much of ments. We talked and she wept, smiled,
Saturday, November 8th - Noon to 4:30pm.
Monday, September 15th, Coco’s and Car- $58 Creativity Club members/ $65 non- ourselves we invest in it. And that which I nodded, frowned, and then took my hand
rows Restaurants throughout Califor- members gave to my husband was no longer needed to say: “Thank you so much. You gave me a
nia will helping to fight elder abuse. Each by him and had to be reclaimed in order to survival KIT!” We both cried.
Pre-registration required! Call 805-259-5727
restaurant will donate 10% of your total
bill to Elder Peace, a citizen’s action group Poems for Endangered Places to be Read
dedicated to serving victims of elder
abuse. For more information, visit The public is invited to a poetry reading and
www.centeronelderabuse.org book signing for Poems for Endangered
Places at the Steynberg Gallery, Septem-
Homebirths
Continued from page 11 two water births at home, both successful.
ber 28, from 3-5 pm. Seven poets, referring I was nurtured mind, body, soul and spirit.
Volunteer for Literacy to themselves as Plein Air Poets, have trav- The midwives I interviewed had extensive I am still close to my midwives, whom I
The Literary Council for San Luis Obispo eled to vulnerable sites in SLO County and libraries and literature, which they were respect tremendously. In closing, I want to
County has an urgent need for volunteer written about our landscape. The result is happy to loan me. pose these questions: Is it really a good idea
tutors. A free, 2-part Tutor Training Work- a beautiful book that honors the Central After researching it, finding that over to legislate where we are born or die? And ,
shop will be held Saturdays, September Coast. “This book is an imperative read half the mothers in SLO county who with statistics showing that homebirth is far
20th and September 27th at the Literacy for those who love our county,” says poet worked with obgyns were coerced into cae- safer than hospital birth, is this experiment
Council office, 1264 Higuera, from 9AM Glenna Luschei. According to Congress- sarean sections, and realizing that my child’s of being born in hospitals over the past 50
to 3:30pm. For more information, call 541- woman Lois Capps, “These poems inspire and my welfare may be trumped by the years really working?
4219 or visit www.sloliteracy.org us to pay attention to our precious and vul- insurance company or the convenience of You can do your own research by going
nerable coastlines, hillsides, farmlands and the doctor on call once I entered a hospital, to MANA.org (Midwives Alliance of N.
Donate Your Bike small towns and protect them for future I decided to work with a team of midwives. America), where one of the links you will
generations.” For more information, con- They came to my home every month (every find is “Statistics @ Mana.org.”  Or con-
Bikes for Tikes is once again collecting
tact Jane Elsdon at 805-466-0356 or Paula week my last trimester) and did prenatal tact Midwifery Care of the Central Coast
new or old, unused bicycles to be distrib-
Lowe at 805-710-1160. care. We sat in the yard over a cup of tea at 473-7878. We need to hold the line on
uted to women’s shelters, homeless shelters,
Toys for Tots, and needy families through- and discussed all facets of birth. They were keeping this freedom as its impact is deep
out the county. Bikes of all sizes, even hel- SLO Vocal Arts Ensemble 2008-2009 Con- open and supportive of my needs. I had and profound on our children and society.
mets in any condition are accepted. But no cert Season Begins!
cash donations, please. For information on The SLO Vocal Arts Ensemble presents a
how you can donate your bike, email Jim World in Harmony! beginning with their
Ellman at jimellman@yahoo.com or visit holiday concert, “Christmas from Around
www.bikesfortikesorg.com the World, Dec. 5th, 6th, and 7th. Then for
spring they will offer “Spring Into a New Looking for...
Dreaming of a New Lifestyle?
A new 80-acre intentional community
World, April 24th, 25th, and 26th. And
this year they are expanding their venues to A BETTER
is now available in Templeton. A house,
guesthouse, or rooms may be rented by
include Cambria and Paso Robles. Coming
in June of 2009, the Vocal Arts Ensemble CARE
open-minded, sincere people interested in
actively participating in a small, healthy
will once again participate in the California
International Choral Festival and Competi-
tion. These three performances are sure to
PROVIDER
community. Individuals or families are wel- Connecting you to SLO County’s
come. Rooms start at $675, including util- be glorious, so become a season ticket sub- most gifted caregivers.
ities. E-mail your information and why scriber to get first choice seating and spe-
CALL US FOR A FREE ASSESSMENT
you are right for this community to joyof- cial discounts. Go to www.vocalarts.org to
life101@me.com order tickets or call 805-541-6797. 805-528-7778
Caregiver Registry
September & October 2008 | www.womenspress-slo.org | Women’s Press Resources 15
ABUSE Hospice of SLO County (inc. miscarriage/stillbirth 541.8633 (SLO)
Adults Molested as Children Support Group (AMAC) support) 544.2266 or 434.1164 Planned Parenthood
545.8888 Project Lifesaver SLO 549.9446
Center for Alternatives to Domestic Violence 548.0909 Stroke Support Group
781.6406 Safe and Sober Support Group 471.8102 (SLO)
North County Women’s Shelter & Resource Center, 473.6507 Caregivers of Stroke Survivors
(inc. domestic violence support groups) Senior Peer Counseling 544.2266 (SLO)
461.1338 Free, trained in-home counseling for 60+ Women’s Support/Therapy v (general)
Rape Survivors Support Group, SLO 547.7025, ext. 15 534.1101
Talk/Listen - Emotional support Women’s Healthcare Specialists
545.8888
SARP (Sexual Assault Recovery & Prevention) 489.5481 544.4883
545.8888 Transformations Counseling Center
Free monthly workshops 541.7908 POLITICAL
Support Group for Sexual Assault Survivors Code Pink
545.8888 FINANCE/BUSINESS ososousaville@aol.com
Women’s Shelter Program of SLO Consumer Credit Counseling Services Commission on Status of Women
781.6400 www.womensshelterslo.org 800.540.2227 545.8412; Dawn Williams
ADDICTIONS Democratic Women United
GAY & LESBIAN 541.4252
AA Meeting Gay and Lesbian Alliance of the Central Coast League of Women Voters
541.3211 541.4252
Adult Children of Alcoholics (ACA) 543.2220
PFLAG.Parents & Friends of Lesbians & Gays NOW (National Organization for Women)
498.2176 438.3889
Al-Anon slonow@kcbx.net
SOL (Single Older Lesbians)
534.9204 Mostly socializing! Call 474.9405 READERS/WRITERS
Cambria Connection (12 step support) Adult Literacy
927.1654 HOSPICE 541-4219
Casa Solana AIDS Bereavement Group (Hospice) Creative Writing Group
Women’s Recovery Home 481.8555 544.2266 748-2676; contact Gloria
Chemical Dependency intensive Hospice of SLO County Nightwriters
outpatient program 544.2266 and 434.1164 549.9656; contact Shirley Powell
541-9113 Hospice Partners of the Central Coast Sisters in Crime
Compulsive eaters Anonymous, H.O.W.Concept 782.8608 http://SinC-CCC.blogspot.com
546.1178
Drug & Alcohol Services JOBS/CAREERS SENIORS
781.4275 AARP Adult Day Care
800.549.7730 788.2643 489.8894 (Arroyo Grande);
Overeaters Anonymous Cal Poly Foundation 434.2081 (Templeton); 927.4290 (Cambria)
541.3164 Jobline 756.7107 Adult Protective Services
SCA, SLAA & SAA (Sex, Love & Romance Addictions) Cal Poly University 781.1790
461.6084 http://calpolyjobs.org 756.1533 Computerooters:
TOPS (Take Off Pounds Sensibly) Cuesta College Computer help: 489.6230
929.1789 http://www.cuesta.edu Jobline 546.3127 Department of Social Services:
Women for Sobriety The Creekside Career Center In-Home Support 781.1790
http://www.womenforsobriety.org www.slocareers.org 788.2631 or 788.2690 Nursing help for the terminally ill 781.5540
215.536.8026 Department of Rehabilitation Elder and Dependent Adult Advocacy and Outreach –
549.3361 Victim Witness Assistance Center
CHILDREN & FAMILIES Mission Community Services Corporation 781-5821
Birth and Baby Resource Center Women’s Business Partners Elder Law, Geraldine E. Champion, Attorney
546.3755 www.bbrn.org 595.1356 www.mcscorp.org 473.4747
Childcare Resource Connection Private Industry Council (PIC) Foster Grandparents.Senior Companions
541.2272 or 800.727.2272 www.jobhunt.org 788.2601 782.9200
Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) Senior Ballroom Dance club
“A child’s voice in Court in SLO County” LEGAL 489.5481 dg17@juno.com
541.6542 Core Mediation Services Senior Peer Counseling
Children’s Services Network 544.6334 medeee8@aol.com Free, trained in.home counseling for 60+
781.1847 District Attorney’s Office – Victim Witness Center 547.7025 ext. 15
First 5: Children & Families Commission 781.5821
781.4058; ask for Susan Hughs Family Law Facilitator SPIRITUAL
Homeschooling in SLO County (HSC) 546.3769 Circle of Spiritual Enlightenment
462.0726; ask for Barbara Lawyers Referral Services/Legal Aid Alternative 995.1390; www.spiritualcircle.org
La Clinica De Tolosa 238.5334 788.2099 Awakening Interfaith Spiritual Community
La Leche League Pro Per Divorce Workshop Meditation Monday evenings 7-7:45 pm
489.9128 544.9313 Open to all. 772-0306 awakeninginterfaith.org
Migrant Childcare Program Senior Legal Services Hungry Hearts Spiritual Community
544.4355 and 466.3444 543.5140 RC liturgy with womanpriest 546.8672
MOMS Club of South SLO county Meditation Group
473. 2548 MEDICAL SUPPORT/SERVICES
ALS Support Group (Lou Gehrig’s Disease) Mondays, 7:30–8:30 PM; 772.0306
Partnership for Children New Beginnings Church
541.8666; ask for Beth 227.4785 or 674.4162 Every Sunday, Coalesce Bookstore, MB
Real F.A.C.T.S. (Forum on Abused Children) Alzheimer’s Support Self-Realization Fellowship
460.9016 534.9234 (LO); 547.3830 (SLO); Sunday Services 995-1599
Social Services 547.3830, 534.9234 (SLO/Los Osos)
781.1600 888.488.6555 WOMEN’S CENTERS/SHELTERS
Support for Kids Coping with Domestic Violence American Cancer Society Homeless Shelter
473.6507 Paso Robles 238.9657 781-3993
Anorexia Nervosa & Bulimia Support Group Housing Authority
EMERGENCY/CRISIS 541.9113 543.4478
Hotline Arthritis Foundation North County Women’s Resource Center, Shelter
www.slohotline.org 800.549.8989 892.5556 461.1338
Sexual & Rape Prevention (SARP) Cancer/ Breast Cancer Support Groups Prado Day Center (for the homeless)
545.8888 or 800.656.HOPE (4673) 543.1481 ext. 3 for information 786.0617
Temporary Restraining Order & Victim Witness Caregivers of Aging Parents Women’s Community Center, SLO
Program 781.5821 547.3830 (AG); 927.4290 (Cambria); 544.9313
EMOTIONAL SUPPORT 227.7135 (PR); 547.3830 (SLO); 543.7969 Women’s Shelter Program of SLO
Celiac Disease Support Group 549.8989 (crises), 781.6401 (business)
A.D.A.P.T. (Aid in Divorce Adjustment Problems Today) 226-9893
543.0388 www.womensshelterslo.org
Endometriosis Association
Alzheimer/Dementia Resource Center www.endometriosisassn.org OTHER WOMEN’S ORGANIZATIONS
434.2081 or 534.9234 or 888.488.6555 Enhancement, Inc. (for breast cancer survivors) Altrusa International, Inc.
CALL–Concerned Agoraphobics Learning to Live 771.8640 www.enhancementinc.com 481.1039; Cici Wynn, President
543.3764 EOC Health Services Clinics American Association of University Women
Co-Dependents Anonymous (CoDA) no or low cost reproductive health services 781-0922; Karen
542.0577 (SLO) 481.5093 (Grover Beach) 544.2478 (SLO); 489.4026 (Arroyo Grande) Camping Women
927.1654 (Cambria) 466.8600 (North County) Healthworks of the Central Coast 440.2723 www.campingwomen.org
Community Counseling Center No or low cost reproductive health services Hadassah.SLO
543.7969 542.0900 543.9452
Dealing With Divorce IC Interstitial Cystitis/Painful Bladder Syndrome
544.9313 3rd Thursday, SLO, 7 -9 pm 464-0564 OTHER GROUPS & GATHERINGS
Depresson and Bipolar Support Alliance Group Long-term Care Ombudsman Services of SLO County Central Coast Peace and Environmental Council
927.3703 785.0132 544.3399 or 783.2383
Divorce Discussion Group Lymphedema Education & Support Group Compassion & Choices (or Final Exit)
489.2990, saintbarnabas@sbcglobal.net 2nd Monday, 4-5 pm, 782-9300 800.247.7421 or 489-5481
Eating Disorders Support Group Parkinson’s Support Groups
546-3774; free, meets weekly in SLO Please send additions, corrections or deletions to:
466.7226 (Atascadero/Templeton) womenspress.slo@gmail.com or leave a message at
Grief Awareness Group 481.7424 (Arroyo Grande)
489.2990, saintbarnabas@sbcglobal.net the WCC: 805.544.9313. Last update 09/08/08.
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