• Certified Transpersonal Hypnotherapist ; Past experiences: Dream Analysis /10 Years Experience •Psychotherapist / Use of Gestalt, Jungian, Zen, Reality and Energy Therapies /10 Years Experience •EMDR • Men and Their Journey: the neuroscience of the male brain, and the implications in sexuality, education and relationship • Women: Their Transformation and Empowerment ATOD (Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drugs) / 21 years experience •Ordained Interfaith Minister & Official Celebrant • Social Justice Advocate • Child and Human Rights Advocate • Spiritual Guide and Intuitive • Certified Reiki Practitioner • Mediation / Conflict Resolution • “Intentional Love” Parenting Strategy Groups • Parenting Workshops • Coaching for parents of Indigo, Crystal, and Rainbow Children • International Training: Israel & England • Critical Incident Stress Debriefing • Post-911 and Post-Katrina volunteer

MSW - UNC Chapel Hill

BSW - UNC Greensboro

"An Unending Love"

This blog and video is devoted and dedicated to my daughter, my grand daughters, and my grand son. They are hearts of my heart. Our connection through many lives..... is utterly infinite.

The Definition of Genius


"ONLY LOVE PREVAILS" ...."I've loved you for a thousand years; I'll love you for a thousand more....."

The degree of our enlightenment is the degree of passion that we will have for the whole world." ~The Greystone Mandala

~The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.

Winston Churchill

"Do not go gentle into that good night, Old age should burn and rave at close of day; Rage, rage against the dying of the light. Do not go gentle into that good night."

Dylan Thomas


In “Conversations with God”, by Neale Donald Walsch, there is a warning I think of. I refer to it as the Atlantis passage, and I've quoted it a few times before." As I have said, this isn't the first time your civilization has been at this brink,"

God tells Walsch. "I want to repeat this, because it is vital that you hear this. Once before on your planet, the technology you developed was far greater than your ability to use it responsibly. You are approaching the same point in human history again. It is vitally important that you understand this. Your present technology is threatening to outstrip your ability to use it wisely. Your society is on the verge of becoming a product of your technology rather than your technology being a product of your society. When a society becomes a product of its own technology, it destroys itself."

Friday, December 23, 2016

7 Disturbing Facts About Trump's Personality - Janet Altom / Alternet

7 Disturbing Facts About Donald Trump's Personality

Senator Al Franken, who formerly made his living in comedy, recently made a weirdly unsettling observation about Donald Trump. He never seems to laugh. And it’s true. The New York Times [3] reporter to whom Franken made the comment did some research, observing Trump at events where normal people tend to crack up, like the Al Smith Dinner. Though Trump smiles, he never laughs outright.
“I don't know what it is,” Franken says.
We don’t either, but it’s creepy.
An abundance of pieces have been written about Donald Trump’s malignantly narcissistic personality, his lack of impulse control, his gnat-like attention span on any topic but his own fabulousness, his complete disregard for the truth, and the fact that he's a racist, sexist bully [4] who may also be fairly unintelligent.
All true.
But he also has some weird and disturbing personality tics that are less frequently mentioned, but which nonetheless give us the heebie jeebies.
Here are seven of Donald Trump's worrisome quirks.
1. He has never done drugs.
Trump has never smoked a cigarette or had an alcoholic drink. All respect for those who have had an addiction problem, or decided to abstain after some time as a drinker, or who simply don't like alcohol—but never to have tried a mind-altering substance of any kind is just not normal. It also shows a lack of curiosity and a fear of losing control.
Trump has said the alcoholism and early death of his older brother turned him into a life-long teetotaler, and maybe that is true. He won’t even have a cup of coffee, though. Seriously, who does that? That’s not normal.
He has also said in many interviews that his biggest piece of advice for his kids when they were growing up was not to do drugs. Really, that’s it, dad? That’s all you’ve got?
Of course, Trump has tried to cash in on other people’s drinking habits with Trump vodka, which failed.
2. He’s a germophobe in the extreme.
Trump has called the practice of shaking hands “barbaric." He won’t shake hands with his children’s teachers because teachers are in touch with too many germy kids. Then again, it’s hard to imagine he has attended too many parent-teacher conferences. Teaching children, after all, is germy women’s work.
His germophobia [5] is such that he is unwilling to push ground-floor elevator buttons because they have been touched by too many people (the masses).
Perhaps on the belief that it distances him from germs, he drinks with a straw and eats pizza with a fork, which is fine if you’re from Chicago, but definitely not New York. He even explains his penchant for fast food in terms of what he imagines to be its cleanliness. “I’m a very clean person,” he told Anderson Cooper on the campaign trail. “I like cleanliness, and I think you’re better off going there than maybe someplace that you have no idea where the food’s coming from. It’s a certain standard.”
He has spoken about how he loves to wash his hands, and does it as much as possible. (Here’s a theory: maybe his hands got so tiny from all the washing. He wore them away.)
He has openly boasted about never changing a diaper on any of his five kids, probably as a result of his germophobia, plus sexism and wealth.
Some have speculated that Trump’s germophobia and anti-immigration stances are related, since he sees immigrants as potential carriers of disease. But really, all the unwashed masses are carriers of disease for Trump, so he must stay in his high tower.
3. When he does shake hands, he does it in a very weird way.
Whenever possible, Trump avoids shaking hands. When he absolutely has to shake someone's hand, he has a weird habit of aggressively pulling [6] the person in close to him, so that the person practically has to hug him. When the fellow (it is usually a fellow) offers any resistance, the whole dance can become a fairly awkward arm-wrestling match.
No word on whether Trump pops a Tic-Tac before pulling the person in closer than they would really like to be.
4. He has a 10-year-old’s mentality about bodily functions.
Especially the notion that women have bodily functions. He has made weird comments in interviews about being blissfully unaware of whether his wife Melania has ever used the toilet. And when Hillary Clinton had to use the ladies room (at least, we think that’s where she went) before a debate, he called it “disgusting.” He used the same word about a female lawyer who needed to excuse herself to pump breast milk to feed her infant. That is not what Trump seems to think breasts are for and he finds it repellent.
Ten is the age Melania Trump suggested Trump acts sometimes, and that was part of her explanation to Anderson Cooper about why Trump bragged to Billy Bush that women just let him “grab them by the pussy.” Melania knows what 10-year-olds are like, since her son Barron is also 10.
5. He doesn’t have any pets.
Trump will be the first president in 150 years [7] not to have a pet, if you count James Polk’s horses. It does not even appear that Trump likes animals much, if his family's enthusiasm for trophy hunting is any indication.
He has been publicly criticized [8] by the Humane Society of the United States for having cozy relationships with anti-animal welfare zealots who rake in profits from puppy mills, agribusiness, trophy hunting, factory farming, and horse slaughterhouses.
Being a self-confessed clean-hands freak may be part of the reason Trump dislikes animals, and certainly his run-in [9] with a bald eagle did not help warm him up to animals. Recent science has shown that caring for animals is a big part of what teaches us empathy, since domesticated animals are completely dependent on human beings.
6. He has bizarre ideas [10] about exercise and sleep. 
We already know that Trump does not have much regard for science as he gears up to gut climate change mitigation and voices the view that vaccines might cause autism. But he also does not hold much stock in basic common sense or the recommendation of health professionals.
The fast-food-loving germophobe-in-chief also has some notion that exercise is bad for you. This may be based on his theory that the human body is like a battery, and if you use up the energy it’s all gone, or because he has had friends who have needed knee surgery because of working out. Trump also tends to latch onto one example and overgeneralize: if there is a cold day he thinks climate change is a hoax, and if someone he knows had a cute baby after considering an abortion, it means all women should be punished for having abortions.
Trump also seems to think that needing sleep shows weakness, and claims only to sleep three or four hours a night, which leaves him plenty of time to tweet at people who have affronted him.
“I’m a guy who lies awake and thinks and plots,” he told New York magazine [11] in 1992, somewhat terrifyingly. Among the things he likes to plot, he said, are revenge strategies. Adequate sleep is tied to mental health, and what Trump expressed smacks more than a little of paranoid tendencies, but don’t take it from us. Three professors [12] of psychiatry are also concerned about Trump’s mental fitness to be president.
7. The suit thing.
Trump is never seen in anything but a suit, and since he doesn’t sleep much, he probably doesn’t even don silk pajamas at night, a la Hugh Hefner.
A suit is fitting attire for a businessman, but he reportedly also violently demanded that his college-age son wear a suit to a baseball game by one account. Donald Jr.’s college dorm mate recounted the story [13] on Facebook during the campaign. "Don Jr. opened the door, wearing a Yankee jersey,” Scott Melker, now a Florida Realtor, wrote. “Without saying a word, his father slapped him across the face, knocking him to the floor in front of all of his classmates. He simply said 'put on a suit and meet me outside,' and closed the door."
Don Jr. was a freshman at the time, and yes, they were going to a Yankees game.
None of the Trump sons have been seen in anything but suits ever since, except when big-game hunting in Africa. Ten-year-old Baron is sometimes seen in a polo shirt, though even he is often seen in a suit, which is weird.& Disturbing Facts

Saturday, December 17, 2016

ALERT! New Video: Watch Wisconsin Election Officials Reject Hand Counts After Electronic Scanners Make Big Mistake | Alternet

New Video: Watch Wisconsin Election Officials Reject Hand Counts After Electronic Scanners Make Big Mistake | Alternet

Is spanking discipline or abuse? MOST IMPT: Does it work?

Is spanking discipline or abuse?

It's common, it's cultural, it's legal in all states in the nation. But does spanking work?
I grew up with two kinds of spanking. My mother, a gentle and affectionate Brit raising four small children without much support, rarely spanked. Well, she often smacked our butts, jokingly, affectionately, with a laugh, sometimes followed by a tickle or hug. If that’s spanking, she was doing it wrong. It wasn’t a punishment. It became a joke between us. My father — Irish, angry, probably a survivor of extreme corporal punishment as the eldest of 10 — was the designated disciplinarian. And, if we did something worthy of punishment, he would be called upon to deal it out. Even if not called upon, he often raised a hand.
Since those days, spanking has lost its veneer of normality. Twenty years ago, studies showed that 74 percent of parents used spanking as a disciplinary practice. Research suggests many parents now feel torn about this age-old parenting practice. In a survey of 3,000 parents across the country, only 19 percent of parents believe spanking is part of the standard parenting toolkit, but 53 percent say that threatening a spanking is moderately to extremely important and 1 in 4 parents admit to spanking their children “a fair bit” to “very often.” (The truth of such self-reported numbers may in fact be higher because the behavior ignites such disapproval.) Suffice it to say, spanking is not dead. Parents continue to decide where they stand on the issue more based on their own family history than a single cultural consensus.
When it came to raising my own children, it didn’t take much soul searching. My mother and I are close. I confide in her. My children love her. The opposite is true of my late father. We were never close. I didn’t trust him as a child and refused to leave him alone with my own children. So they weren’t close to him either. At best, my siblings and I survived him. Possibly, according to some compelling research, not even that. “Being hit by parents is a very stressful experience,” explains Murray Straus, Professor of Sociology, founder and Co-Director of the Family Research Laboratory, University of New Hampshire, and the author of numerous defining books and research studies on corporal punishment. “And it is a chronic stress that, for a third of American kids, begins in infancy. The average age of cessation is 12. So it is a chronic stress for 12 years. That affects the brain.”
Knowing firsthand how I feel about the parent who hit me and somewhat familiar with compelling research on the negative outcomes, I fell firmly into the no-spanking camp when it came time to raise my own kids.
But what is spanking? The dictionary definition — to strike especially on the buttocks with the open hand — leaves a lot to be desired. How hard? How many times? Is it a joking swat to the bottom or a euphemism for a belt to bare flesh? Researchers have specified further that spanking is done with intent to discipline and that it does not leave a mark or bruise. But this still leaves a lot of questions unanswered.
Regardless of the exact definition, more than 100 studies agree on this point: Spanking is not only ineffective, it has negative outcomes. “Parents have no way of seeing the damage done,” explains Straus on a recent video. “Because it doesn’t show up for months — or years — later.” The official statement on spanking from the American Academy of Pediatrics puts it like this: “The more children are spanked, the more anger they report as adults, the more likely they are to spank their own children, the more likely they are to approve of hitting a spouse, and the more marital conflict they experience as adults. Spanking has been associated with higher rates of physical aggression, more substance abuse, and increased risk of crime and violence when used with older children and adolescents.”
Deciding not to spank and not doing it, though, are two different things. Even Straus acknowledges that as some point parents face the decision again, less rationally, when negotiating peer disapproval and fury a toddler tantrum. “The advice that professionals give,” says Straus. “Is to avoid spanking if you can. And everyone accepts that. But if you are the parent of a two-year-old, it only takes a day to discover” that this is harder than it seems.
Faced with rambunctious toddlers, I spanked each of my kids. Once.
Like my mother, I did it wrong. My son laughed and tried to spank me back, undermining the entire effort and making me laugh. So I changed tactics. My daughter laughed and repeated what I was telling her not to do so I would spank her again. In both cases, it became a game. It was clear from my small experiment, that in order to use spanking as a deterrent, I would have to hit these babies who trusted me with enough force to hurt them. Why would I do that? So, since I couldn’t bring myself to really spank my children, I explained why their behavior was inappropriate instead. That took more patience but it was effective. Both of my now-teenagers are respectful, helpful proto-adults.
“If there is any age when you should not attack a child,” advises Straus, “it is when they are an infant or toddler because that is when the brain is in its period of most rapid development and most easily set on the wrong track.”
Spanking occurs in most of the historical record. It predates the Bible. But it was not always a way to discipline children. It started out with willing, adult (female) participants — usually as part of pagan fertility rites. (There are a few examples of this throughout history, but during the Lupercalia festival Roman priests spanked willing women to help them overcome infertility.) The Biblical proverb — “he who spares the rod hates his son, but, he who loves him is careful to discipline him” is often cited to defend spanking, but according to experts that may be a misinterpretation. In a time of shepherds who used a rod to steer sheep, it was more likely a metaphor for guiding a child. Even if this phrase was intended literally, another Proverb also prescribes punishing disrespectful children by having birds to peck out and eat their eyes. No one advocates for that.
The word discipline means — at its root — teach. It does not mean to beat or punish. Another phrase often used as an edict to spank kids “spare the rod, spoil the child,” is also attributed to the Bible. But it’s not. It comes from a satirical poem, Hudibras, by Victorian-era novelist and poet Samuel Butler, and the phrase refers to sex, not parenting.
None of this is really relevant, though. Somewhere along the way, in most cultures, and all throughout history, smacking unruly children became a thing humans do. And these proverbs and phrases are among the many ways we have managed to find reasons, euphemisms, rationales, and excuses for the practice, even though decades of science says it’s not only ineffective but has lifelong negative impacts on children. The more violent the culture, the more the children get smacked. (Or perhaps it’s the other way around.)
The recent case of Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson points up another problem with spanking: It’s very hard to determine when it has crossed over to abuse. Peterson whipped his 4-year-old son with a tree branch stripped of leaves — a switch. The beating left welts, broke the skin, and left marks all over a small child who was helpless in an altercation with an adult professional athlete. If Peterson had done that to someone his own size, he would be in prison. But because he did it to his 4-year-old child, he might have been within the law. Peterson called it a whooping much like he received at the hands of his own parents — and deemed it reasonable discipline. (He accepted a plea bargain of a fine of $4,000 and community service, so it will not be decided in court.) He credits his own father’s beatings with his own wild success as an adult. Though there’s no evidence of this, Peterson’s experience does track with studies that show children who are spanked or beaten are more likely to hit other children, their own children, their spouse, and others when they grow up. It’s not surprising: their parents taught them that hitting someone is an effective way to resolve conflict and “teach someone a lesson.”
According to a Google search on Adrian Peterson, whether whipping a small child with a tree branch is abuse remains a matter of debate in our culture. Striking a child, as long as it’s within the context of reasonable discipline, is legal in all states. But spanking — when dealt in anger as it often is — sometimes crosses over into our legal definition of child abuse. So the courts are often left deciding what blows are abusive and which are parenting. That’s one reason that more than 40 countries have outlawed spanking entirely — from Norway and the Congo to Brazil and Israel. If it’s not allowed at all, there is no gray area to dispute.
Just because our parents did it — or their parents did it — is no argument to continue to do it. Our parents and theirs did a lot of things we don’t do anymore —serve laudanum-spiked baby bottles, ride in cars without seat belts, arrange marriages, and drink alcohol during pregnancy — because we learned that they’re bad for us or our children. I’m lucky that I was so bad at spanking. My kids trust me. My father, who rose to the task and behaved like the father his father taught him to be, was an old man before he could admit that he regretted that role and wished for a different kind of relationship with his children. Much too late.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

"Dear Elf On the Shelf Haters: Get Over It!


Dear Elf on the Shelf haters,
I feel you. I really do. The Pinterest perfection spamming every social network with Elf on the Shelf ideas annoys me too. Oh, your Elf took a poop and it looks like a Hershey’s kiss?! How clever. But, if you can ignore those who take it too far for a minute, there is magic in that cheap, creepy elf.
It’s the same thought process we must use with the teen pop stars. When Bieber was big, I actually wrote a defense of his music. “Justin Bieber doesn’t suck!,” I proclaimed. Just because the hardcore, passionate fans are in our face and skew the headlines, is it fair to dismiss the kid’s obvious talent?
“The instant and life-involving obsession pre-teen girls are bound to attach to anything they are interested in becomes an instant lead weight against credibility,” I wrote. “It’s like making a deal with the devil, you can have all the success of your dreams, but first you need to sell your (credible) soul.”
And so it is with the Elf on the Shelf. The rising tide of popularity it has created has brought the inevitable backlash.
I get it. It’s become too much. People are taking it too seriously. The oversharing of your friends has risen to such a cacophonous crescendo that you can no longer thumb scroll through your feed without seeing those creepy vacant eyes staring back at you through the screen, daring to tell Santa that you don’t believe.
Why do we do it? Why do we concoct all these crazy mythologies for our kids? From little green footprints on toilet seats, to hidden chocolate eggs, to swapping out missing teeth, why has parenting risen to David Copperfield levels of illusion-making?
Because we like it when our kids believe. We love nurturing that naive faith in the impossible. We like it when a 5- and 7-year-old will debate over dinner how Santa can get inside houses with no chimneys. We like it when our kids start to question just a little bit and ask for video evidence of the magic that happens in our house. We like it when, after staying up all night editing that magic, they believe once again.
There are those who go a little crazy with Elf on the Shelf and, frankly, they’re ruining it for the rest of us. The over-achievers set the bar high, the kids talk at school, and well .. suddenly my boys want to know why our Elf, George, doesn’t bake cookies and string lights in our house. George just sits there.
Could parents putting the Elf on the Shelf in silly situations be a coping mechanism? A way to help them believe they can still have grown-up fun surrounded by childish magic? Could Elves hitting on Barbie, swinging from tequila bottles, or playing poker with the stuffies be like the inside jokes in Shrek and other Disney Movies? Just a little something to keep parents interested in the silliness of childhood?
Perhaps. And yes, it’s a little much, but just as with Bieber, Miley, and One Direction, we can’t dismiss something because the fans are annoying. It’s okay to appreciate the Elf on the Shelf for our own simple reasons.
“As adults we don’t need to make Christmas magic for kids, we just need to not (mess) it up with our crazy,” Lyz Lens tweeted this week. And it’s true.
I, too, wish those who were so eager to share their cleverness would dial it back a bit. But that’s the world we live in. The Instagramming of meals, the tweeting of random thoughts, the Facebooking of freakish Elf behaviour.
Despite that, I look forward to every morning in December as the boys scurry around the house searching for our elf, George. Sleep stuck in their eyes, blankies dragging at their feet, hair standing on static end, they rush around trying to find this magical piece of plastic and felt. And when his hiding place is uncovered, they cheer “I found George!” and high five each other before running to tell their parents of their successful hunting expedition.
And, for a few seconds, the terrible news of the day fades away, the crankiness at the lack of sleep drains, and I smile too. Magic. Belief. Wonder. The impossible has become possible. And everything in the world is perfect. It doesn’t need to be complicated. Our elf never gets too wild, I don’t post daily pictures of what he does. He just moves around, sits on assorted shelves, and brings us immeasurable joy.
So get over it, Elf on the Shelf haters. This little guy is a wonderful addition to the magic of the season, and he’s not going anywhere.

"there were no words, but images flooded every cell in her being ...

"there were no words, but images flooded every cell in her being ...