Kindred Media http://www.kindredmedia.org Sharing the New Story of Childhood, Parenthood, and the Human Family Mon, 27 Jul 2015 14:28:10 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Radiant Attention (Shared Attention Is Telepathic) http://www.kindredmedia.org/2015/07/radiant-attention-shared-attention-is-telepathic/ http://www.kindredmedia.org/2015/07/radiant-attention-shared-attention-is-telepathic/#comments Fri, 10 Jul 2015 18:08:58 +0000 http://www.kindredmedia.org/?p=16703 Join Michael Mendizza on a Parenting As A Hero’s Journey Virtual Retreat!  The shared attention between parents and children, between all of us really, I maintain, is telepathic. Recall Rupert Sheldrake’s studies on feeling watched and with animals. The question, of course, is the degree that we are sensitive and attentive to this subtle radiant […]

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Join Michael Mendizza on a Parenting As A Hero’s Journey Virtual Retreat! 

The shared attention between parents and children, between all of us really, I maintain, is telepathic. Recall Rupert Sheldrake’s studies on feeling watched and with animals. The question, of course, is the degree that we are sensitive and attentive to this subtle radiant communication. Sadly, mostly we are not which leaves our young children, who are innately sensitive and aware, stranded and disconnected.

READ THIS BOOK NOW
READ THIS BOOK NOW

I admit that my reference for this claim is uncommon. You see, I have had the wonderful experience of knowing, traveling, interviewing and observing J. Krishnamurti for over a decade and for the past thirty five years directing and editing various programs exploring his insights. At the heart of this is what he called a ‘silent mind.’ That is, a mind and therefore body and emotions that are not constantly churning with electrochemical babble. Carly Elizabeth lives in this silent state but I do not. What does that say about our relationship?

Imagine sitting quietly on a park bench and a man or woman incessantly chattering to themselves in an unknown language sits beside to you. You can feel their agitation, their body almost trembling with the ebb and flow of their self-induced jabber. Are they mad? How related would you feel? Without subtle and near constant telepathic attunement this is how we often appear to our young children and pets.

It is easy to experience this. Our stupiding technologies create this disconnect along with our self-absorbed, often distracting, incoherent thoughts. Here you are, having tea, deeply engaged with a close friend and the ‘text-bing’ chimes on their dumb-phone. He or she compulsively, like Pavlov’s dog, salivates as they pet their most trusted acquaintance. With two hands now, thumbs flying, they pound away some urgent message leaving you stranded, your shared meaning and telepathic atonement shattered. Can you imagine a more dramatic example of attention deficit? And they don’t even notice it took place. Imagine now that this simple example is what Joseph Chilton Pearce calls the ‘model imperative’ for evolution’s next great effort – our children.

I am deeply involved in a new book project exploring the resonance between Krishnamurti’s silent mind and Buddhist practices based on several years and over sixteen hours of candid conversations with the first Prime Minister of Tibet in exile who is one of the Dalai Lama’s closest advisors. Gathering attention is the first prerequisite for enlightenment, enlightenment meaning having a mind, body and emotions that are truly clear and sane, not distorted, confused, anxious and distracted. If one can gather and hold one’s attention without distraction or falling asleep for four hours they have earned the right to move on to the next challenge, that of using this attention combined with rational thought to dissolve all the fantasies and illusions that what we call normal thinking creates. With this new standard let’s return to the model imperative we and our dulling technologies are presenting to our children.

Krishnamurti observed that thinking dulls our being present and aware, dulls our telepathic attunement with our children and everything else. Strap dumb-technologies to our forehead and this dullingness compounds ten to the tenth. Lost in a flood of distracted dullness we sit on the bench with our children and don’t even notice what we and they have lost. Far better to take our cues from our young children and rediscover who we really are.

Expanding Human Potential by Supporting Those Who Care For Children
Expanding Human Potential by Supporting Those Who Care For Children

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Are You Feeding A Brain Toxin To Your Babies? http://www.kindredmedia.org/2015/07/are-you-feeding-a-brain-toxin-to-your-babies/ http://www.kindredmedia.org/2015/07/are-you-feeding-a-brain-toxin-to-your-babies/#comments Thu, 09 Jul 2015 20:34:47 +0000 http://www.kindredmedia.org/?p=16698 The Fluoride Action Network (FAN) launched a nationwide billboard and poster campaign warning parents that fluoride, served to over 270 million Americans in their tap water, and often mixed with infant formula, is classified as a chemical “with substantial evidence of developmental neurotoxicity” by the EPA. The billboards ask, “Do you really want your child […]

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The Fluoride Action Network (FAN) launched a nationwide billboard and poster campaign warning parents that fluoride, served to over 270 million Americans in their tap water, and often mixed with infant formula, is classified as a chemical “with substantial evidence of developmental neurotoxicity” by the EPA.

The billboards ask, “Do you really want your child to drink a neurotoxic chemical?” and urge citizens to “stop artificial water fluoridation,” and to get more information from FAN’s science-based website FluorideACTION.net. The first billboards are in Fircrest and Tacoma, Washington, as campaigners around the country prepare to follow suit.

Fluoride chemicals are added to public water supplies in a futile attempt to reduce tooth decay. Even fluoridation promoters now admit that, if fluoride works at all, it works topically. So, there is no need to swallow it.

Fluoride was recently classified by leading scientists Philip Landrigan and Philippe Grandjean as a developmental neurotoxin in theMarch 2014 journal Lancet Neurology, and research now shows that fluoride can damage the fetal brain, adversely affect newborn babies’ behavior, damage the central nervous system of fluoride-exposed workers, and affect performance on neurological assessment tests.  Forty-four human studies now show fluoride reduces IQ; 17 at levels the US EPA claims are safe.  Over 100 animal studies show fluoride can directly damage the brain; with another 30 animal studies showing fluoride impairs learning or memory — including four published in 2014.

“Unfortunately, fluoridation promotion is not science-based but is politically motivated.  While it’s important to avoid fluoridated water especially for infants, it’s imperative that parents contact legislators and tell them to stop adding unnecessary fluoride chemicals into the public’s water supply,” says Paul Connett, PhD, FAN Executive Director and co-author of The Case Against Fluoride.

Developmental neurotoxins are capable of causing widespread brain disorders such as autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, learning disabilities, and other cognitive impairments.

In March, an article published in the peer-reviewed journal Environmental Health was the first to systematically look at the relationship between the behavioral disorder and water fluoridation.  The study, “Exposure to fluoridated water and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder prevalence among children and adolescents in the United States: an ecological association,” found that “each 1% increase in artificial fluoridation prevalence in 1992 was associated with approximately 67,000 to 131,000 additional ADHD diagnoses from 2003 to 2011.”

Besides being unaware of fluoride’s neurotoxicity, most parents are not informed that routinely mixing infant formula with fluoridated water increases babies’ risk of dental fluorosis (discolored teeth) without any benefit. Bottle-fed infants in fluoridated communities get about 200 times more fluoride than breast-fed babies. The CDC reports that 41% of teenagers have dental fluorosis – a physical marker that too much fluoride was ingested while their teeth formed. Dental fluorosis is increasing.  Black and Hispanic children have higher rates of fluorosis than White children.

“The last children that need to lose IQ points are children from low-income families, and yet they are precisely the children being especially targeted with fluoridation programs, largely because 80% of US dentists will not treat children on Medicaid,” says Connett .

“This is a classic case of good intentions going awry,” said Dr. William Hirzy, a former risk assessment specialist at the US EPA and FAN’s Washington, DC, representative.

John Mishko, a Fircrest chiropractor who helped to raise the money to rent six billboards in the area is heartened that local dentists who have done their homework are speaking out against fluoridation. Mishko says, “Together we have done everything we can think of to get our local and state officials to end this well-intentioned but outdated practice. But, as long as the majority of the public is unaware of the dangers involved – especially the threat to our children’s brains – we can make little progress. The media is not helping us to get the message to them – so we have been forced to use this method.”

Connett says, “If our government agencies (HHS, CDC, FDA and EPA), professional bodies (ADA, AMA, APHA etc) and the media were to do a professional job on this issue, the continuation of fluoridation would be unthinkable. Sadly, they are not. And the public is not being informed of the dangers posed by fluoridation. So FAN must do the job for them.”

The Fluoride Action Network is the leading educational and advocacy organization on issues of fluoride toxicity, and remains vigilant in monitoring government actions that threaten to impact the public’s exposure to fluoride.

Healthy Water NW https://www.facebook.com/HealthyWaterNW

Photo – http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20150708/234285-INFO

 

SOURCE Fluoride Action Network

 

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4 Reasons Women Should NEVER Breastfeed in Public http://www.kindredmedia.org/2015/07/4-reasons-women-should-never-breastfeed-in-public/ http://www.kindredmedia.org/2015/07/4-reasons-women-should-never-breastfeed-in-public/#comments Thu, 09 Jul 2015 20:06:21 +0000 http://www.kindredmedia.org/?p=16692 You’ve heard them all – flawed, biased “reasons” for shaming, mocking or punishing women breastfeeding in public spaces.  Kristina Kuzmic takes on the cultural biases in a humorous and enlightening way: “Women who are breastfeeding in public are really trying to steal your husbands with their… milk engorged breasts.” Congratulations to Virginia for passing a law […]

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You’ve heard them all – flawed, biased “reasons” for shaming, mocking or punishing women breastfeeding in public spaces.  Kristina Kuzmic takes on the cultural biases in a humorous and enlightening way: “Women who are breastfeeding in public are really trying to steal your husbands with their… milk engorged breasts.”

Congratulations to Virginia for passing a law to protect mothers breastfeeding in public this July 1, 2015.  Read the exclusive Kindred story here.

Breastfeeding Resources

Kindred and Families for Conscious Living’s Breastfeeding Bookstore

Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine. The Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine is a worldwide organization of physicians dedicated to the promotion, protection and support of breastfeeding and human lactation. Its mission is to unite into one association members of the various medical specialties with this common purpose.

Eats on Feets. Community Breastmilk Sharing. Eats On Feets facilitates a world-wide network of parents and professionals who have made the informed choice to share or support the sharing of breastmilk.

Human Milk Banking Association of North AmericaHuman milk is a precious resource. Even with milk banks, the availability of donor milk is very limited. Sometimes, a mother chooses not to breastfeed, or for whatever reason is unable to breastfeed. Some babies MUST receive human milk in order to survive. In these cases, doctors will prescribe human milk for the child. In a perfect world, all babies would receive breastmilk, either from their mother or from a donor, and the artificial milk industry would be very limited. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if “formula” were only available by prescription?

Human Milk 4 Human Babies, HM4HB. HM4HB is a global milksharing network, a virtual village, comprising thousands of people from over fifty countries. We are mothers, fathers, adoptive families, grandparents, childbirth and breastfeeding professionals, volunteers, supporters, donors, and recipients that have come together to support the simple idea that all babies and children have the right to receive human milk. We use social media as a platform for local families to make real-life connections and come together as sustainable milksharing communities where women graciously share their breastmilk. HM4HB is built on the principle of informed choice: we trust, honour, and value the autonomy of families and we assert they are capable of weighing the benefits and risks of milksharing in order to make choices that are best for them.

La Leche League. Our Mission is to help mothers worldwide to breastfeed through mother-to-mother support, encouragement, information, and education, and to promote a better understanding of breastfeeding as an important element in the healthy development of the baby and mother.

Natural Weaning

http://www.drmomma.org/2010/09/natural-weaning.html

A Natural Age of Weaning

http://www.kathydettwyler.org/detwean.html

Natural Weaning Age

http://thebabybond.com/NaturalWeaningAge.html

Watch Your Language

http://www.drmomma.org/2010/04/watch-your-language.html

The Joy of Nursing Toddlers Photo Gallery

http://www.drmomma.org/2011/02/joy-of-nursing-toddlers-photo-gallery.html

AAFP Statement Breastfeeding Past Infancy

http://www.drmomma.org/2010/03/aafp-statement-breastfeeding-beyond.html

Mothering Your Nursing Toddler

http://astore.amazon.com/peacefparent-20/detail/0912500522

How Weaning Happens

http://astore.amazon.com/peacefparent-20/detail/0912500549

Breastfeeding Older Children

http://astore.amazon.com/peacefparent-20/detail/1853439398

Adventures in Tandem Nursing

http://astore.amazon.com/peacefparent-20/detail/0912500972

 

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How Childcare Policies Are Undermining Our Children’s Capacity To Love http://www.kindredmedia.org/2015/07/how-childcare-policies-are-undermining-our-childrens-capacity-to-love/ http://www.kindredmedia.org/2015/07/how-childcare-policies-are-undermining-our-childrens-capacity-to-love/#comments Wed, 01 Jul 2015 21:13:58 +0000 http://www.kindredmedia.org/?p=16682 Its a strong title:  ‘How childcare policies are undermining our children’s capacity to love’.  Its likely to put fear into the heart of every parent who reads it.  That’s the last thing I want to do. Yet how do I communicate what the science is telling us?  What words are most effective for me to […]

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Its a strong title:  ‘How childcare policies are undermining our children’s capacity to love’.  Its likely to put fear into the heart of every parent who reads it.  That’s the last thing I want to do.

Yet how do I communicate what the science is telling us?  What words are most effective for me to use?  How do I get the attention of the government and policymakers, so that they understand that the implementation of recent policies are doing that scary thing:  undermining the ability of many of our children to trust love?

Loving takes resilience. That’s one way to describe the key message of attachment theory. To love fully as an adult, you not only have to be open and vulnerable – you have to do that in the knowledge that you could lose the person you love. They might die; they might get mad at you and storm out; they might break up with you; they might disappear and you would never see them again. Our mind hates even the idea of that loss. It makes us feel sick and panicky and hopeless. In fact, some people hate the idea of loss so much that they give up on loving fully. It’s just too scary to risk that sick, apprehensive feeling. That’s why the blogger Ann calls pain the “underbelly of love”.

Attachment theory helps us to see that what we are aiming to do in the earliest years of life is build up children’s resilience. We are trying to pack their brains chock full of the neural pathways of hope and reassurance and trust. We are trying to grow physiological triggers that will allow feel-good hormones to flood in when the going gets tricky. And it will get tricky. That’s inevitable. To be an adult human being is to know loss.

Resilience is a kind of emotional muscle. It is the capacity to get back up when loss has knocked hope out of you. It is the capacity to crawl out from underneath the duvet, when you’d rather stay where it is warm and dark and safe. When you’d rather stay there forever.

Its true, loss and disappointment and hurt won’t kill you. You can survive from underneath the emotional duvet. But you cannot THRIVE from underneath the emotional duvet.

E4DCF234-546D-4B47-9C10-E9847B37CA95If we help children to have experiences of safety early on, then we build the strongest emotional muscles possible. Conversely, when we give them experiences of deep loss early on, we weaken those budding emotional muscles. That’s another way of describing ‘insecure attachment’: people who have had their resilience compromised early on. Loving openly and trustingly is harder for insecurely attached people. Loving requires more energy from them, carries more risk. They stay under the emotional duvet for longer when knocks come along. Some never really manage to come out from underneath it at all; its too scary. The best they can manage is dreaming of being loved.

The stories I am hearing lead me to fear that our latest governmental childcare policies are undermining young children’s resilience in ways that are totally unnecessary – and unintended. The financial streams that have been set up are causing parents to move their children to new childcare providers, and thus to break the existing relationships in children’s lives. All we would need is some different governmental financial streaming, and those heartbreaks would not be necessary.

Let me share one story that illustrates my concern:

Last week, I had a conversation with a childminder whom I hadn’t seen in a bit. When I asked her how things were going, she replied, “I’m about to be out of business.” “What?” I replied, in total surprise. She explained: “I’ve lost all my children. It’s the increased government funding here in my local authority in Scotland. Its only being applied to nurseries. The funding doesn’t cover childminders. All my parents got places in nurseries, so the children are leaving. Even the youngest ones, who are only two years old. And there’s no new ones coming in to replace them, for the same reason.”

0094aSTEPSWhat a wrench for the kids. I recalled the stories I had heard this childminder tell, of outings to dance classes in the local gym, of looking for bugs in the back garden, of making sandwiches together. Her eyes always danced with delight. The children would be losing that joy. That would be replaced by a sense of loss, for some time to come. That permanent parting would leave a scar in their budding emotional muscles. In fact, if those children, who had experienced such shared joy as bugs and sandwiches on a daily basis, never see her again, then effectively the funding policy will have created for them a bereavement.

That’s a strong term: bereavement. We don’t usually apply it to professional childcare arrangements. Yet it is accurate, from a child’s point of view. If a childcare provider has been working in a way that promotes secure attachment, as practice guidance encourages, then the child will naturally have come to love that provider. That’s what’s supposed to happen for children, when they spend all day long with someone they feel safe with and have fun with. They are supposed to come to love them.

That’s another word we don’t typically use in relation to childcare: love. We don’t use it because it makes many adults feel uncertain, threatened, confused. Love is something that happens in personal relationships, and childcare in Western societies is usually a professional one. What is the place of love there? Parents easily end up worried: ‘If my child loves the childcare provider, and she spends more hours in the day at childcare than with me, then might my child love that person more than me?”

If that last question sounds a bit extreme to you, start talking to parents. Tons of them carry that secret fear. I know; some of them whisper that fear to me, asking for reassurance that their child will still love them even if it is someone else giving them cuddles during the day, someone else’s perfume on their child’s jumper, someone else sharing their child’s first steps. It is understandable that parents would feel anxious. That is why, when researcher Jools Page has tried to tackle this difficult topic, she devised the term professional love’, in order to explicitly separate this from ‘parental love’.

We need some strategy that enables us to look at this stuff. When we adults are scared, it blocks us from being able to see our children’s fears. The worries about terms like ‘love’ and ‘bereavement’, which I’ve been using here, come from an adult perspective. From a child’s perspective, loving, and thus loss, and thus bereavement, make perfect sense in relation to childcare.

Young children don’t think of the people with whom they spend their day as ‘professionals’. Children’s brains are wired for relationships. Their brains assume that the adults are in that setting because they want to be, that they are there for the fun of it, that they are there out of love for the children. Children intuitively think of staff as ‘Auntie Emma’ or ‘Uncle Mark’. Even if that terminology isn’t allowed in a setting, and the custom is stick to more informal names like ‘Janet’ or formal labels like ‘Mrs Cousins’, young children’s brains still function at the personal level. That is inevitable. That is how young human brains are wired: for relationships, for love.

So when children have to be parted from people with whom they have bonded, it hurts. Its painful. It’s supposed to be painful when you have to say goodbye forever to someone you love. Even if you can’t conceive of ‘forever’, your brain quickly realizes you are missing the sound of their voice, and how they smell, and the feel of their cuddle, and the way they smile as they hand over a plate of cheese and biscuits. As an adult, we’d call that heartbreak.The same parts of our brains are engaged when we are in emotional pain, like heartbreak, as when we are in physical pain.

When we ask a 3-year-old to cope with heartbreak, we ask more than their budding emotional muscles are really able to cope with. We create a rip, a tear, a wound that will leave a scar. That’s what studies like the ACE study are trying to tell us: that relationship traumas early in life leave lasting scars.

ACE Study Pyramid

I am guessing that, by this point, some readers will be thinking: ‘Are you serious? The ACE study doesn’t talk about nursery provision. It deals with serious stuff, like abuse and drugs use and divorce. You want me to think of changing childcare provision as a possible trauma?? But that’s ordinary. Kids do it all the time.’

Precisely. That’s my point. We adults often move children across daycare providers fairly casually. We do that for a host of reasons that are legitimate and important: because we changed jobs, because a new setting opened up closer to our home, because the government made funding available that would help our family budget.

It is easy to make that move without giving deep thought to the emotional impact on the child. We may sense there will be a bit of short-term confusion, but it may never occur there could possibly be any long-term impact. The common use of adult-centred language only strengthens our culturally blinkered perspective: ‘childcare arrangements’, ‘professional’, ‘transition’.

What happens when we try out the child-centred language of ‘love’, ‘heartbreak’, and ‘bereavement’? How does that simple shift impact on our awareness – and on our decisions about how to help our kids THRIVE?

I do not want to make any parents or childcare staff anxious. What I want is to compel us all to be more curious, more reflective, more aware. The trouble is that the depth of children’s emotions is often uncomfortable for us to fathom. It causes us all sorts of conflict:

I think of the young mum who wrote to me because she was thinking of foregoing the free childcare hours funded by the government. She wanted to leave her child with his existing provider, because she thought he was happy and settled there, but that provider couldn’t offer government subsidised places. This was causing arguments with her husband, who thought she was wasting money by being over-protective.

What I would like most of all is for local and national governments to ensure that, as parents are offered financial advice about childcare options, they are also offered emotional advice about attachment.  

Then more young marriages and young emotional muscles might be protected from this source of distress.

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I’d love to hear your own thoughts on childcare arrangements and emotional connection – whether you live in the UK or beyond.

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Touch Is Where We Meet http://www.kindredmedia.org/2015/07/touch-is-where-we-meet/ http://www.kindredmedia.org/2015/07/touch-is-where-we-meet/#comments Wed, 01 Jul 2015 15:50:51 +0000 http://www.kindredmedia.org/?p=16670 Join Michael Mendizza on a Parenting As A Hero’s Journey Virtual Retreat! We don’t need to go to an ashram to become enlightened. Experience resonates throughout the brain and body like solar winds shimmer in the northern sky. Watching and feeling Carly Elizabeth unfold each day is like that; brilliant, exponential, utterly appropriate, perfectly age […]

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Join Michael Mendizza on a Parenting As A Hero’s Journey Virtual Retreat!

We don’t need to go to an ashram to become enlightened. Experience resonates throughout the brain and body like solar winds shimmer in the northern sky. Watching and feeling Carly Elizabeth unfold each day is like that; brilliant, exponential, utterly appropriate, perfectly age and stage appropriate, never the same, not even for a second. What a miracle. You and I are that too if we are sensitive enough and quiet enough to notice. Carly is a good teacher whenn it comes to sensitive, quiet attention. As good as it gets.

Can you believe it? Eleven months young, wanting to touch, explore and experience – everything. The key to her unfolding light (and yours and mine) remains. Empathic appreciation, caring and profound respect for what my dear friend and mentor Joseph Chilton Pearce called Evolution’s End, reaching for the stars, the very tip of billions of years of evolving complexity. How far will she reach? How broad and deep will her understanding and compassion be? What undreamed of possibilities will she uncover, savor and develop? Or will fear, what others think, tether her to a conformist post, repeating the same old, again and again?

Like an Olympic gymnast, her eyes on the gold, walking upright is the goal de jure. Flipping over and crawling was the last big breakthrough. Now, for several months Carly has been crawling, exploring cupboards, opening and closing bottle tops, drawers, jars, putting things in and out. A master of our wooden staircase she stands in the middle of the room, arms outreached, balancing, then one step after another. Seven steps is the best so far. My eyes are as big as hers. I am constantly amazed at her effortless drive, attention, intelligence and resolve. By effortless I don’t mean without effort. I mean that Carly’s expansive resolve is without inner conflict. There is the concentrated effort and learning of complete attention and there is the stress of moving forward with the breaks on. They are very different.

It is difficult for the adulterated adult mind to experience directly without abstract concepts imposing between sensation and action. One of the nearly infinite gifts that true innocence offers, and Carly is that gift, is opening a window in the adult mind to the wonder of quiet direct seeing, listening and action. Attunement demands that we experience and relate to the child as they are rather than how we want, need or expect them to be. In this way being with Carly is a meditation. One becomes still, quiet, words and the thoughts words cast become transparent, whispers instead of freight trains roaring. The shared meaning of this experience and the next becomes obvious, clear. Appropriate action flows like Fred Astaire dancing with Ginger Rogers. Carly trusts this quiet but very active attunement. The foundation of our relationships is built on trust and the play this trust invites.

Touch is where we meet and I touch Carly Elizabeth every chance I get. I rub her feet, play and sing Itsy Bitsy Spider with my fingers on her tummy, hold her close when we walk. Friend and colleague for over twenty years, James W. Prescott, PhD, impressed in all our conversations, and strongly, the importance of affectionate touch and movement. ‘Pleasure is the glue that binds human relationships,’ he says. It is the absence of safe, playful touch (sensory deprivation) that leads to addiction and pathological violence. Swinging, rolling on the ground, rocking as she drifts off to sleep; today I placed Carly on a big pillow and pulled it like a spinning magic carpet on the living room floor, she laughing with delight. Touch, movement and quiet but dynamic attunement is where we meet.

I’m in no hurry for words and Carly Elizabeth will be walking when it is the perfect time for her, not me or the neighbor next door. In a very short month Carly will be one year-young. It is a miracle. We have learned so much together. I can’t believe it has been almost a year and we have only just begun.

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American Government Wipes Recent Vaccine Injury Data From Public Website http://www.kindredmedia.org/2015/06/american-government-wipes-recent-vaccine-injury-data-from-website/ http://www.kindredmedia.org/2015/06/american-government-wipes-recent-vaccine-injury-data-from-website/#comments Tue, 23 Jun 2015 19:24:49 +0000 http://www.kindredmedia.org/?p=16660 Many are not aware that in the US there is a federally operated vaccine injury compensation program (VICP) that Congress created under the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act. The US Court of Federal Claims in Washington DC handles contested vaccine injury and death cases in what has become known as “vaccine court”. The VICP is […]

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Many are not aware that in the US there is a federally operated vaccine injury compensation program (VICP) that Congress created under the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act. The US Court of Federal Claims in Washington DC handles contested vaccine injury and death cases in what has become known as “vaccine court”.

censorshipThe VICP is a “no-fault” alternative to the traditional civil court lawsuit and was established in 1986 after a string of high-profile lawsuits had slammed vaccine manufacturers.

At the time, parents were suing vaccine manufacturers after their children were brain injured or died following federally recommended and state mandated DPT (diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus vaccine). There were several DPT injury lawsuits against the vaccine makers in the 1970’s and early 1980’s that resulted in multimillion dollar jury verdicts.

At that point the vaccine manufacturers threatened to stop producing DPT, MMR, and oral polio (the only childhood vaccines at the time) if the civil litigation continued. Rather than raising safety standards and compelling vaccine manufacturers to  ensure they are producing the least toxic vaccines – Congress passed the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act, and shielded the vaccine makers from most civil liability related to their products.1

The American Public – Not the Vaccine Makers – Pay the Costs of Compensation

The federal VICP compensates vaccine victims not from a fund paid into by vaccine manufacturers, but through a federal trust fund that collects a 75-cent surcharge on every vaccine given (the combination MMR vaccine, for example, has a $2.25 fee tacked on to it because that shot contains three vaccines). So not only are drug companies making big profits from selling mandated vaccines to government and vaccine producers, they are also held legally blameless for both vaccine injuries and deaths and don’t have to pay a cent to those injured by their vaccines.

The VICP contains a Vaccine Injury Table that lists vaccine side effects that are known to be caused by vaccines. In order to win uncontested federal compensation for a vaccine injury, a person must prove he or she developed certain clinical symptoms and medical conditions on the Table within a certain time frame of receiving a certain vaccine, and that there is no more biologically plausible explanation for the vaccine-related injury or death.

If a clinical symptom and medical condition is not on the Vaccine Injury Table – or developed outside of the accepted timeframe, the vaccine injury claim is contested by the US Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and the US Department of Justice and is adjudicated in the US Court of Federal Claims (“vaccine court”). In Vaccine Court, the vaccine injured plaintiff must prove, usually via medical records and statements from a medical expert, that the vaccine could have caused the injury.

NPR detailed the story of Lisa Smith, a woman who was healthy until she received a flu shot and, a few days later, realized she couldn’t walk and had developed severe pain in her legs.2

Lisa had developed Guillain-Barre syndrome (GBS), an autoimmune disease of the nervous system. GBS is in the process of being added to the official Vaccine  Injury Table. She only learned of the VICP after a friend told her about it. She filed a VICP claim and was awarded a settlement of an undisclosed amount.

Many People Are Not Aware of Vaccine Court

In 2014, there were 542 vaccine injury compensation claims filed in the VICP. Of the claims, 365 were compensated for a total of $202 million, with settlements ranging from tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars.3

What you’ll notice is that very few of these claims are publicized or disclosed to the public in any way. It is obvious that the government does not want to publicize the existence of the VICP because the more Americans learn that there are vaccine injuries and deaths  – those that have been vetted and compensated in a court of law – the more they may start to question the safety and of vaccines.

There is a government VICP website, which is run by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), an agency of the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).

It maintains vaccine injury claim statistics that have historically been updated monthly – until the government mysteriously removed more than a years worth of data earlier this year…

US Government Removes Vaccine Injury Court Statistics from Public Website

According to investigative journalist Sharyl Attkisson, in March 2015 the US government removed the latest vaccine injury court statistics (data from 2014 and 2015) from a publicly reported chart.4

HRSA stated they removed the data in order to sync up with data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which is only current through 2013 and details the number of vaccine doses given in the US.

However, Attkisson noted there had been a sharp uptick in VICP awards for children and adults filing vaccine injury and death claims and the data was no longer included on the HRSA websites “adjudication” chart, which distorted the reality of what’s happening in vaccine court. As Attkisson reported:

Since January of 2014, the number of flu vaccine cases conceded by the government is more than double the previous eight years combined. The adjudication chart only reflects half of the current number.

Concessions won by flu shot victims since 2006
Chart shows (through 2013): 42
Actual number (through April 2015): 88

Also on the rise is the number of vaccine injury cases the government has ‘conceded:’ up 55% in a little over one year. As a result of the recent website changes, neither of these trends is reflected on the current ‘adjudication’ chart.”

In addition, the HRSA website has been altered to make VICP stats harder to find. The adjudication chart used to be the first item on the statistics page, but was replaced by language stating vaccines are safe and effective.

Since 1998 through June 1, 2015, HRSA reports that 14,812 claims were filed in the VICP. The total paid out to vaccine victims was about $3.1 billion. While 4,121 were compensated,  9,904 have been dismissed. Further, the majority of vaccine injuries never make it to vaccine court. According to Attkisson:5

Only about one injury case for every million doses of vaccines is compensated in vaccine court. Adverse events occur more frequently, according to vaccine warning labels, but rarely end up in the little-known vaccine court.”

Getting Compensated Through Vaccine Court Isn’t Always Easy…

While the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) was originally set up to give vaccine-injured Americans an expedited, non-adversarial, less expensive administrative alternative to a civil court lawsuit, today it is the “exclusive remedy” for those seeking compensation for serious vaccine injuries.

Many vaccine victims are left waiting without support and financial assistance for years on end, while their case snakes its way through the federal governments red tape. Some VICP claimants even say they felt “attacked” by the government that was supposed to help them.

Another problem has been a lack of public awareness that this program even exists. Reportedly, federal officials operating the VICP have vowed to publicize the program, promising to improve the website to make its literature to make it easier to understand.

They’ve also stated they will seek to increase awareness among health care providers, parents and expectant parents, older adults, Spanish speaking adults, as well as civil litigation and plaintiff attorneys.6

What actually happens remains to be seen. Several years ago, a comprehensive consultant report about publicizing the VICP was created at a cost of $300,000.  However, few recommendations were ever implemented.7

Moreover, VICP directors didn’t begin taking action on publicity until after a congressionally requested Government Accountability Office (GAO) inquiry began last year.

Public outreach has also been largely ignored since the programs inception. The Associated Press also claims it found evidence suggesting that “the government seems intent on keeping the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program’s public profile low.”8

How Common Are Vaccine Injuries?

When the VICP was first created, if the injured party was denied compensation or was dissatisfied with the amount of the award, they could then proceed with a civil lawsuit with certain restrictions, depending upon the case.

Unhappy with this partial liability protection, drug companies kept pushing for complete liability protection and, in 2011, convinced the US Supreme Court majority to rule that federally licensed and recommended vaccines are “unavoidably unsafe” and that the VICP should be the “sole remedy” for all vaccine injury claims.9

I think it’s worth repeating, in case you just glossed over it: The reason you cannot sue a vaccine manufacturer for injury or death is because vaccines are “unavoidably unsafe.” At this point, vaccine manufacturers have virtually no incentive whatsoever to ensure the safety and effectiveness of vaccines that are recommended by federal health officials and mandated by state health officials.

The question you’re probably wondering is, so how safe, or unsafe, are they? The answer is, no one really knows, as appropriate safety studies haven’t been conducted.

It’s important to understand that ALL vaccines carry a risk for provoking an immediate acute adverse reaction, such as anaphylactic shock, fainting, or having a seizure, which could be truly life threatening if you’re driving a car or crossing a street, for example.

Further, vaccines can impair and alter immune system responses and can also cause brain inflammation (encephalitis or encephalopathy) that may lead to permanent brain damage.

In addition, as Institute of Medicine Committees have pointed out in published reports, some individuals are more susceptible to suffering harm from vaccines because of biological, genetic, and environmental risk factors but, most of the time, doctors cannot predict who will be harmed because there are few scientific studies that have evaluated vaccine risks for individuals.10

Problems with a One-Size-Fits-All Vaccine Program

It’s now known that the microbiome influences our health and that an individuals gut microbes may help determine their immune response to vaccines. For instance, infants that responded to the rotavirus vaccine had a higher diversity of microbes in their gut, as well as more microbes from the Proteobacteria group, than infants who did not mount the expected immune response.11

Further, there has been little scientific research into how vaccines affect your genes and it’s likely different for every person because no two people are identical in terms of inherited genes, environmental exposures, or epigenetic influences that contribute to biodiversity.

There’s really no way to predict which genes will be affected, but the US government recommends, and many states mandate the same vaccine schedule for every American.

Yet, each individual will have a unique response to any given vaccine based on their age, current health status, and microbial makeup. In addition, we’re also epigenetically predisposed to respond differently in terms of the vaccine side effects we might develop.

The fact is vaccines appear to cause mild or no reactions in some people but clearly can cause devastating reactions in others. Here are just some of the ways vaccines can impair or alter immune responses and brain function:

  • Some components in vaccines are neurotoxic, including heavy metals such as mercury preservatives and aluminum adjuvants; residual toxins like endotoxin and bioactive pertussis toxin; and chemicals like formaldehyde and phenooxyethanol
  • The lab-altered and genetically engineered viruses and bacteria in vaccines may impair immune responses and do not stimulate the same kind of immunity that occurs when the body responds to an infectious disease
  • Foreign DNA/RNA from human, animal, and insect cell substrates used to produce vaccines may trigger serious health problems for some people
  • Vaccines may alter your T-cell function and lead to chronic illness
  • Vaccines can trigger allergies by introducing large foreign protein molecules into your body that have not been properly broken down by your digestive tract (since they are injected). Your body can have an allergic reaction to these foreign particles

Protect Your Right to Informed Consent and Defend Vaccine Exemptions

With all the uncertainty surrounding the safety and efficacy of vaccines, it’s critical to protect your right to make independent health choices and exercise voluntary informed consent to vaccination. It is urgent that everyone in America stand up and fight to protect and expand vaccine informed consent protections in state public health and employment laws. The best way to do this is to get personally involved with your state legislators and educating the leaders in your community.

NVIC Advocacy poster

THINK GLOBALLY, ACT LOCALLY.

National vaccine policy recommendations are made at the federal level but vaccine laws are made at the state level. It is at the state level where your action to protect your vaccine choice rights can have the greatest impact. It is critical for EVERYONE to get involved now in standing up for the legal right to make voluntary vaccine choices in America because those choices are being threatened by lobbyists representing drug companies, medical trade associations, and public health officials, who are trying to persuade legislators to strip all vaccine exemptions from public health laws.

Signing up for NVIC’s free Advocacy Portal at www.NVICAdvocacy.org gives you immediate, easy access to your own state legislators on your Smart Phone or computer so you can make your voice heard. You will be kept up-to-date on the latest state bills threatening your vaccine choice rights and get practical, useful information to help you become an effective vaccine choice advocate in your own community. Also, when national vaccine issues come up, you will have the up-to-date information and call to action items you need at your fingertips.

So please, as your first step, sign up for the NVIC Advocacy Portal.

Share Your Story with the Media and People You Know

If you or a family member has suffered a serious vaccine reaction, injury, or death, please talk about it. If we don’t share information and experiences with one another, everybody feels alone and afraid to speak up. Write a letter to the editor if you have a different perspective on a vaccine story that appears in your local newspaper. Make a call in to a radio talk show that is only presenting one side of the vaccine story.

I must be frank with you; you have to be brave because you might be strongly criticized for daring to talk about the “other side” of the vaccine story. Be prepared for it and have the courage to not back down. Only by sharing our perspective and what we know to be true about vaccination will the public conversation about vaccination open up so people are not afraid to talk about it.

We cannot allow the drug companies and medical trade associations funded by drug companies or public health officials promoting forced use of a growing list of vaccines to dominate the conversation about vaccination. The vaccine injured cannot be swept under the carpet and treated like nothing more than “statistically acceptable collateral damage” of national one-size-fits-all mandatory vaccination policies that put way too many people at risk for injury and death. We shouldn’t be treating people like guinea pigs instead of human beings.

Internet Resources Where You Can Learn More

I encourage you to visit the website of the non-profit charity, the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC), atwww.NVIC.org:

  • NVIC Memorial for Vaccine Victims: View descriptions and photos of children and adults, who have suffered vaccine reactions, injuries, and deaths. If you or your child experiences an adverse vaccine event, please consider posting and sharing your story here.
  • If You Vaccinate, Ask 8 Questions: Learn how to recognize vaccine reaction symptoms and prevent vaccine injuries.
  • Vaccine Freedom Wall: View or post descriptions of harassment and sanctions by doctors, employers, and school and health officials for making independent vaccine choices.

Connect with Your Doctor or Find a New One That Will Listen and Care

If your pediatrician or doctor refuses to provide medical care to you or your child unless you agree to get vaccines you don’t want, I strongly encourage you to have the courage to find another doctor. Harassment, intimidation, and refusal of medical care is becoming the modus operandi of the medical establishment in an effort to stop the change in attitude of many parents about vaccinations after they become truly educated about health and vaccination.

However, there is hope.

At least 15 percent of young doctors recently polled admit that they’re starting to adopt a more individualized approach to vaccinations in direct response to the vaccine safety concerns of parents. It is good news that there is a growing number of smart young doctors, who prefer to work as partners with parents in making personalized vaccine decisions for children, including delaying vaccinations or giving children fewer vaccines on the same day or continuing to provide medical care for those families, who decline use of one or more vaccines.

So take the time to locate a doctor, who treats you with compassion and respect and is willing to work with you to do what is right for your child.

 

Photo by Shutterstock/djmilic

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Birthkeeper Summit And Protest Video http://www.kindredmedia.org/2015/06/birthkeeper-summit-and-protest-video/ http://www.kindredmedia.org/2015/06/birthkeeper-summit-and-protest-video/#comments Sat, 20 Jun 2015 15:59:26 +0000 http://www.kindredmedia.org/?p=16640 The ACOG ‘action’ was part of the Birthkeeper Summit which took place in Berkeley April 30th – May 3rd 2015.  The protest at ACOG’s Annual Meeting was on the last day of the Summit. What is a BirthKeeper? A Birthkeeper is anyone, anywhere, who feels called to guard and protect our most precious birthright, that of being […]

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The ACOG ‘action’ was part of the Birthkeeper Summit which took place in Berkeley April 30th – May 3rd 2015.  The protest at ACOG’s Annual Meeting was on the last day of the Summit.

What is a BirthKeeper?

A Birthkeeper is anyone, anywhere, who feels called to guard and protect our most precious birthright, that of being born healthy and loved into a sustainable  and just world. We respect and protect the relationships that support the life-giving capabilities of mothers. Mothers who are birthing the future generations of humans. We Honor our primary relationship to  Our Mother Earth who sustains and nourishes all life.
Motto: Healing Birth is Healing our Earth
Archetype/model of living: MotherBaby MotherEarth is our primary, immutable relationship.

The BirthKeeper Summit

The BirthKeeper Summit, was held at Berkeley City College, Berkeley, Calif., from April 30 to May 3, 2015, to launch a grassroots social movement for a paradigm shift which brings a maternal focus of care and compassion to life and birth systems. Attendees discussed and promoted our most precious birthright: being born healthy and loved into a flourishing and just world, which honors women and protects the life-giving relationships of MotherBaby MotherEarth.

The BirthKeeper movement strives to move forward efforts to build health and wealth equity with frontline groups who are recipients of the bulk of the social inequity now seen in the care of mothers and babies. The BirthKeeper movement understands the relationship between the health of the environment and the health of future generations of life. It also understands the necessity of supporting the Primal Period of human life — from before conception to a child’s first birthday, including birth –as a human rights issue. The BirthKeeper movement will hold annual summits and public actions in support of its values. Sunday, May 3, BirthKeepers will hold a public action in front of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists Annual Clinical and Scientific Meeting in San Francisco, Calif.

The BirthKeeper Summit is building coalitions with aligned social change organizations. We are inviting BirthKeepers from diverse grassroots movements, including human rights activists, environmental health and social justice advocates, spiritual leaders, wellness promoters, birth and midwifery activists, and birthworkers. Those in the continuum of prevention will be joining us: environmental and reproductive health, social and rights activists, and those working in healing services: therapists and medical professionals to lifestyle segments: parents, fathers, women, youth, grandparents with a global, regional and local emphasis. A few affiliated organizations are: Association of Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology and HealthCalifornia Indian Environmental AllianceCenter for Environmental HealthIdle No More SF Bay AreaWorld Organization of Prenatal Education AssociatesPhysicians for Social Responsibility- SF Bay Area.

Featured speakers included:

  • Katsi Cook,aboriginal midwife and environmental activist for health and reproductive justice· Loretta Ross, authority on human rights, reproductive justice, hate groups, racism, and violence against women· Dr. Michel Odent, author of Childbirth and the Evolution of Homo Sapiens· Robin Lim, midwife activist and CNN Person of the Year, 2011

Program tracks of speakers include: Clear: dealing with internal and external oppression; Embodied: how biology is being changed; Social: cultural influences and how to change current harmful systems. There will be plenary sessions, workshops and open opportunities for interaction and learning, as well as celebration of art and music. Affinity groups will be given space and time to self-organize. Exploring the local resources of Berkeley for meals and entertainment will be included in the schedule. Over 300 attendees are expected from across the globe including Australia, Uganda, England, and North America.

Discounted tickets to: activists, organizers, birth professionals, couples/parents, self-employed, freelancers, non-profit employees, and those in need. Subsidized tickets to: youth, students, pregnant mothers, single mothers or fathers, and speakers. There are 15 volunteer work partial scholarships available for$50 for those who can work for the entire summit. We are strongly encouraging women of color and doulas of color to apply.

Child care will be provided for a nominal hourly fee. Lapbabies are always welcome!

‘Woman is the first environment. In pregnancy, our bodies sustain life. At the breast of women, the generations are nourished. From the bodies of women flows the relationship of those generations both to society and the natural world. In this way

the earth is our mother, the old people said. In this way, we are women are earth.’ — Katsi Cook

The BirthKeeper Summit was inspired by the Institute of Feminine Arts and Sciences and Jeannine Parvati Baker, and a portion of its profits will go to training future midwives. Schedule of speakers is subject to change.

What if MotherBaby MotherEarth was the first consideration? Vandana Shiva, Indian environmental activist and anti-globalization author’s response:

‘We would substitute profit and greed and power and control with love, and sharing and caring. They would become the predominant expressions of what it means to be human. As a result of it, we would stop the violence against the earth, and we would stop the violence against women, and we would stop the violence against children. We would put back in the equation that which creates health and well-being for all, for the earth, all her beings, as well as all future generations.’

Location:Berkeley City College, CA

Registration link BirthKeeperSummit.com

 

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Put Your Children To Work http://www.kindredmedia.org/2015/06/put-your-children-to-work/ http://www.kindredmedia.org/2015/06/put-your-children-to-work/#comments Thu, 18 Jun 2015 22:55:04 +0000 http://www.kindredmedia.org/?p=16634 Summer is upon us and it is relatively quiet at my house. It wasn’t always that way. My husband and I raised four children–the oldest was thirteen when the youngest was born. Summers meant lots of activity and a full table for lunch every day. I was the stay-at-home parent and had no desire to […]

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betsy and luke onion harvest - BLOGSummer is upon us and it is relatively quiet at my house. It wasn’t always that way. My husband and I raised four children–the oldest was thirteen when the youngest was born. Summers meant lots of activity and a full table for lunch every day. I was the stay-at-home parent and had no desire to haul the kids around to keep them entertained. We had plenty to do at home.

I wanted my children to be productive members of our family and, from a young age, gave them opportunities to do that. They were responsible for keeping their rooms clean, picking up after themselves, bringing firewood up to the house in the winter as needed, and doing things when asked, such as setting the table or folding clothes while they watched TV. Those are the things I can think of off the top of my head (the youngest is 28 and the oldest is 41, so it’s been awhile). I’m sure they could add to the list. Actually, setting the table was usually the job for the youngest. When we moved to this house in 1984 I put the dinner dishes on a shelf in a low cupboard so that our daughter, age 2, could reach them and set the table by herself. I believe they were all grown before I got around to moving the dishes to an upper cabinet.

Summertime, however, was different. There was garden work to do, and plenty of it. I told them they had to give me an hour of their time each weekday—even the little ones. The first week after school was out (they went to the school that sent a yellow bus around every day), I let them sleep in and decide when they would put in their hour. Since the work was usually in the garden it didn’t take them the whole week to decide it was better to get up early and put in their hour before it got too hot. I remember someone telling me they were happy their children were on the swim team because it got them out of bed every morning to be at practice by 9. When a public pool was built nearby, we joined and our children went there, but not because of swim team. They all learned how to swim and, to this day, prefer rivers to pools anyway.

travis betsy and luke painting the fence - BLOGI would choose age-appropriate jobs for each of them. They would weed, mulch, and pick. They learned entomology when we identified insects in the garden, deciding if they were good or bad ones. In order to keep the Mexican bean beetles and Colorado potato beetles in check, I would pay them a penny for each beetle they picked off the beans or potatoes and a nickel for each egg cluster they smashed. Let me tell you, a child who struggles with math in the classroom has no problem adding numbers in his head to tell you how much he is owed under these circumstances. Sometimes their job was to paint the fence.

We were all in the garden at the same time, and it took some managing on my part to keep everyone at their job—happily (which was a requirement). By the time their hour was up, they had thought of enough things to do to keep themselves occupied for the rest of the day. Legos were a part of their lives, especially on hot afternoons, but they were also free to make things, spend time in our small woods, play with neighborhood friends, and when they got old enough, ride their bikes to Ashland—about 3½ miles away. Of course, those were the days before video games. The TV was turned on for shows like Reading Rainbow, Secret City (an art show), and sometimes they watched a cooking show.

travis and betsy juicing tomatoes -BLOGOn the days there were things to can, especially snap beans and tomatoes, they were expected to help with that. Sometimes it was in addition to the garden work, and sometimes it was instead of. We would all sit around the table and talk while we worked. I remember having a young one in the high chair with his/her own knife and cutting board. The work got done and it never required anyone ever getting any stitches. By the time the second oldest learned to read I would choose books from the library that the two oldest could read and let them take turns reading a chapter at a time while the rest of us worked on the beans. It gave the reader a break from the beans, honed his reading skills, and kept everyone quiet and interested. It was a pleasant time. With the tomatoes, they washed, quartered (more knife work) and sometimes worked the Victorio strainer.

One of the best things that came out of summers at home with the kids was the Summer Lunch Café and it wasn’t a work requirement. When he was about eleven, our oldest came up with the idea to make lunch, with the help of his brother, age seven. They had decided to play “restaurant” and, on their own, found all the choices in the kitchen for lunch and made a menu, which, among other things, included all the condiments in the fridge. When their restaurant opened, they seated me and their little sister and took our order. I don’t remember what we had that day—it could have been peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. What I do remember is that it was a nice break from me making lunch and we all had a good time.

The children continued to play restaurant whenever the spirit moved them during the summer, with the next in line moving up to either helper or manager as the older ones got “real” jobs elsewhere. By the time Betsy (third child and only girl) was in charge, with her younger brother as helper, the oldest (Jarod) had his own lawn business and would occasionally be home for lunch when he was working in the area. Betsy was the one who named it the Summer Lunch Café and would put a tip jar out if Jarod was there. Often he would ask her in the morning if the Summer Lunch Café was going to be open that day and was happy to enjoy what he had started so long ago.

This book by Cindy Conner
This book by Cindy Conner

Although it was often through garden work that my children contributed to the household each day, I would sometimes give them the choice of housework. They could choose to dust and sweep the living room or clean the bathroom instead of putting in their time in the garden that day. Cooking could be an option for your kids to contribute to the household. My kids came up with the Summer Lunch Café on their own and enjoyed watching the cooking show on PBS (I don’t remember which one). With the proliferation of cooking shows on TV, sometimes involving children, your children may be inspired to make dinner on a regular basis, or at least help, as their contribution to your household. Just like with me in the garden with all the kids at once, it would take some guidance and management on your part, but the skills they come away with will be with them forever.

When I started selling produce in 1992 I hired whoever was a young teen at the time to be my paid helper on market days. There was still the “one hour for the family at no pay” requirement on the other days. If you ask my grown children today, they will probably tell you that they had more chores than their friends did at the time, but they have no regrets. When they were old enough to get a “real” job they already knew how to follow directions and to keep at a job until it was done. I received good feedback from their bosses, who said that wasn’t always the case with young employees.

To describe those summers when our children were growing up as busy would be an understatement, and I wouldn’t trade them for the world. I know times have changed and there are many distractions in this digital age, but I hope you take the time to arrange regular occasions to have your children do meaningful work alongside you this summer. You will get to know each other in a way you couldn’t otherwise.

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Innocence For Children – Beginner’s Mind As Adults http://www.kindredmedia.org/2015/06/innocence-for-children-beginners-mind-as-adults/ http://www.kindredmedia.org/2015/06/innocence-for-children-beginners-mind-as-adults/#comments Mon, 15 Jun 2015 00:57:02 +0000 http://www.kindredmedia.org/?p=16619 Carly’s attention deepens, distills and expands. She doesn’t miss a thing, not a sound or speck on the floor, the tone of my voice, tension in my body or the ever-changing emotional expressions we share. The play look has taken root. In a glance the chase is on, laughing and rolling together on the floor. […]

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Carly’s attention deepens, distills and expands. She doesn’t miss a thing, not a sound or speck on the floor, the tone of my voice, tension in my body or the ever-changing emotional expressions we share. The play look has taken root. In a glance the chase is on, laughing and rolling together on the floor. The absorbent mind is what Maria Montessori called it, absorbent because it is not preoccupied. Her attention is like the wind touching, experiencing, indeed absorbing, creating new patterns of relationship with every leaf on every tree. The greatest challenge we face is steady attunement with this unfolding miracle. We are mentors and completely responsible, moment by moment, 24/7. That’s intense and it is a blast.

READ THIS BOOK NOW
READ THIS BOOK NOW

Innocence allows this absorbent attention to explore freely, without a center that fear creates, a phrase used by J. Krishnamurti to describe what he called a mind that is silent. Innocence means entering into this experience and the next without prejudgment, with what martial artists call ‘beginner’s mind.’ Carly Elizabeth is too young to be infected with a social-ego, an image of her-self based on judgment and comparison. That inner narrative will unfold with concrete language in less than a year. That is ‘the center’ that, once created by judgment, judges, anticipates, predicts and self-censors to win approval (pleasure) and avoid shame (pain). Carly Elizabeth is innocent and if my attunement is deep I too can slip into innocence with her. Can you remember what that means?

Is it possible to retain innocence and beginner’s mind as one grows into language and culture or is ‘the center’ a necessary defense, an essential copping strategy to navigate an increasingly narcissistic and self-centered world? Is it really a jungle out there, a dog eat dog, winner takes all world? How best do I prepare Carly Elizabeth to meet her future? What if narcissistic selfishness is an infectious pathology, a form of insanity? Is going even a little crazy an appropriate defense or does creating an effective self-defense compound the problem? I have actually wondered about these things for forty years.

Aikido is based on the insight that we are all brothers and sisters. As such, any act of violence is pathological, a form of mental illness. It is the compassionate responsibility of the Aikido Master to protect the crazy person from harming him or her, and of course anyone else including the Master until the insanity is replaced with a clear perception that harming another is actually harming one’s self. Explain that to the corporate-military-industrial-complex.

At the heart of Buddhist philosophy is the deep awareness that we don’t really understand what we actually are and how we are related to everything and because of this, our normal delusional state, we end up doing all sorts of crazy things that harm ourselves and others. Nearly all Buddhist practices are designed to dispel this delusion, the insanity that causes our violence. But is it possible or even desirable to remain innocent in a mad world? This is indeed an old question.

JOIN MICHAEL MENDIZZA ON A VIRTUAL RETREAT!
JOIN MICHAEL MENDIZZA ON A VIRTUAL RETREAT!

Innocence: from Latin innocentia; harmlessness, from innocēns doing no harm, blameless, simplicity; absence of guile or cunning; naiveté, free from moral wrong; without sin; pure: as innocent as a child, not involving evil intent or motive, not causing physical or moral injury; being harmless. Gee, I feel this way with Carly. Why not hold and expand this state to include others; Pixel the cat sleeping under my feet, friends, family, colleagues, the guy who almost ran me over texting while jogging? Being an Aikido Master implies an extremely well practiced state of innocence. It blossoms when the heart and mind are free, unafraid, quiet, sensitive, alert, attentive, full of energy, touching and being touched by this unique moment that will never be again. There is a feeling of care and kinship (with all things) when innocent.

Unconditional love and innocence are twins. But innocence does not exist in our comparison crazed, fearful, increasingly narcissistic, plugged in – tuned out world, and therefore unconditional love for most, most of the time is just a phrase. In the East there is a phrase called ‘a direct contact high.’ It means, being with another who is in the state of innocence resonates and we catch the joy and the bliss if we are not talking to ourselves. Being with Carly is like that when I shut up and just listen with all the senses. Krishnamurti described innocence in his Notebook:

Quietly, it came, so gently that one was not aware of it, so close to the earth, among the flowers. It was spreading, covering the earth and one was in it, not as an observer, but of it. There was no thought or feeling, the brain utterly quiet. Suddenly there was innocence so simple, so clear and delicate. It was a meadow of innocence past all pleasure and ache, beyond all torture of hope and despair. It was there and it made the mind, one’s whole being innocent, one was of it, past measure, past word, the mind transparent and the brain young without time.

That’s good enough for me.

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Dr. Shefali Calls For An #EndShame Movement http://www.kindredmedia.org/2015/06/dr-shefali-calls-for-an-endshame-movement/ http://www.kindredmedia.org/2015/06/dr-shefali-calls-for-an-endshame-movement/#comments Sun, 14 Jun 2015 23:06:43 +0000 http://www.kindredmedia.org/?p=16614 Read Dr. Shefali on Kindred. A Call to Action! Our Children Need Us Now! I invite you to join me in the #ENDSHAME movement. I hope you are inspired to share this message and change the way our children are treated on social media. Don’t forget to pass it on with #endshame. It is imperative […]

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Read Dr. Shefali on Kindred.

A Call to Action! Our Children Need Us Now!

I invite you to join me in the #ENDSHAME movement. I hope you are inspired to share this message and change the way our children are treated on social media. Don’t forget to pass it on with #endshame.

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BUY THIS BOOK NOW

It is imperative that every parent and every social media user hears this message.

WRITTEN BY: Dr. Shefali Tsabary as heard in video message:

I am here to articulate how our children feel if they are shamed in public

Because if our children could express their feelings and make their voices heard, this is what they might say to the parents in their lives

Mom, dad, how would you like it if you made a mistake at work and your boss shaved your hair off and posted it on the company’s website?

Or your mom caught you smoking pot in college and made you wear a t-shirt of shame to be worn publicly for all to see?

Or if I took a video of you when you were yelling or screaming at me because you were tired and I sent it to all our friends and family.

How would you feel knowing that you had no control over how your parents treated you?
Knowing that the two people you trusted the most in the world could betray you so publicly?
Knowing that you were not allowed to make mistakes and still keep your dignity?

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Am I not a human being just like you?
Prone to unconscious mistakes, bad choices and judgments just as you are?
Then why, why, are children not treated as human, like adults are?
Why are we treated as chattel, property, puppets and minions?

I am here to say I AM A HUMAN and I know I deserve dignity
I came to you so you could honor my soul, nurture my worth and preserve my spirit
Yet it is you who annhilates my very essence
In the name of parenting, in the name of love, in the name of teaching

I am a child and I am here to end the shaming of all of us
It is time for you, mom and dad, to now look in the mirror
To wake up, to grow up, and become the person you were meant to be
The parent
The guardian
The usherer
Of my Soul

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