Category Archives: media

Freedom Cry: The RE-Abolitionist Movement

If you know nothing else about your GoodWitch/ BadWitch, you know that I’m all about personal FREEDOM for all. I coach it for personal and business living, I try my best to maintain it in every sphere of my life. But the fact is…

We are NOT all free! So all the more, Happy Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. While some people make it a tradition to jump on a Freedom Train to celebrate, this also made it the perfect day to bring to light a topic I have known about only on its periphery for the past five years in every state in America (and around the world): Human Slavery Trafficking. While most of us associate it with sexual slavery trade, the numbers show that only accounts for about 20% of the slavery occurring, oftentimes, right under our very noses. Domestic slavery still exists! It’s 2012, our culture is not used to seeing or thinking about slavery as a current practice. 

Dr. David Bastone, PhD, professor at USF, took a year sabbatical to travel and research this modern day event, and figure out ways people can come to action. He calls it the Re-Abolitionist Movement. His site NotForSaleCampaign.org is chockful of eye-popping info, and actionable options. The social site SlaveryMap.org notes real sightings and case notations of documented slavery cases possibly in your neighborhood and all across these free United States.

No one is free until we all are.  —Simone

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Calm Ass(ertive) Goddess & LoA Coaching.

Blowing a gasket stuck revving at Neutral? Stop struggling, it doesn’t have to be so hard! Learn how to align your enerCHI and get what you really want. Transform—modern life. Email me at: coaching@stillsitting.net.

 © 2009-2017 ManifestGroup and Simone da Rosa. All rights reserved.

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Word! Deleting Slut & Ho from Our Vocabulary(inspiration)

“Slovenly language corrodes the mind.” ~ John Q. Adams

“We ought to esteem it of the greatest importance that the fictions which children first hear should be adapted in the most perfect manner to the promotion of virtue.” ~ Plato

“Nobody can make you feel inferior without your consent.”  ~ Eleanor Roosevelt

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Juicy Relationship Coaching for Leaders and Individuals.

Mondays money, work, purpose dilemmas. Thursdays family, relationships, love dramedy. Send your brewing questions on how to thrive—not just survive— modern life to: coaching@stillsitting.net.

© 2009-2017 ManifestGroup. All rights reserved.


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Word! Deleting Slut & Ho from Our Vocabulary (BW)

Words hurt — but only if you let them. I’m a staunch believer of the playground wisdom, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me” to this day. Yet it is undeniable that words are powerful. One of my favorite pieces I wrote ‘Don’t Be A Pussy’ was about the harmful effects of the ubiquity of misogynistic, negative slang phrases. My rant is easily extendable to abating words like Slut, Whore and ‘Ho from our vocab because, while used obviously derogatorily, they are more dangerously ubiquitous. When we are so familiar with a thing that we no longer see it, hear it, or are aware of its true meaning anymore, is when it has an insidious power to do its deepest damage to our individual psyches, our collective culture — because this negative slam-slang is just accepted as a fact or a truism. But I am a Big Picture seer: when female power and the word “vagina” are cute-isized and made non-threatening as hoochie, vajayjay, and other dumbed down terms, it’s hard to avoid recognizing a pattern of misogyny and the fear of female power still runs deeply in our society, culture, and most of the world at large even in the 21st century. Hillary Clinton at this year’s TED Women’s Conference on The Empowerment of Women & Girls: “We need to reach out to faith leaders and community leaders to change the perception and treatment of girls, and to persuade men and boys to value their sisters and their daughters, their talents and their intrinsic worth.”Words are powerful. As I say at my zen pop culture blog, “Use your power for good” by: 1) Knowing who you are; 2) don’t give fear of other’s opinions (just words) of you the power to paralyze or stunt you; and 3) shed a light on or speak out against ignorance whenever you hear it as a “that’s how everyone talks”-ism. No it isn’t.

How do you feel about words like “bitch” and “’ho” used interchangeably for “women” or “girls”? Do you talk about this with your daughters?  — BadWitch

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Juicy Relationship Coaching for Leaders and Individuals.

Mondays money, work, purpose dilemmas. Thursdays family, relationships, love dramedy. Send your brewing questions on how to thrive—not just survive— modern life to: coaching@stillsitting.net.

© 2009-2017 ManifestGroup. All rights reserved.

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Voting, Elections and American Teenagers

What’s the count for your teen voting tomorrow? The importance of voting and reasons teens should get involved with their future today.  — BadWitch

Readers Are Spellbound & Perplexed…

Dear GWBW — Please help me motivate my teenager to vote!! We feel so strongly about this but somehow it’s not discussed or encouraged enough in school and he just doesn’t see the point and has even made some pretty cynical comments (“it’s rigged,” and “It doesn’t change anything anyway”) about the process. We’ve already tried the arguments: “You are the future of this country,” and  “it’s important for you to voice your opinion” and nothing works. Elections are right around the corner, please help.  — Ballot Buster

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Dear Ballot Buster,

Sorry we only just saw your email (anyone else having difficulty reaching us in email please PING US AGAIN) — but as we’re still in time (squeeeak! VOTE ON TUESDAY, November 2, people!), here goes.

I agree with you and MTV that it’s important for teens to vote. Let’s start with what you’re facing: the average teen isn’t informed about the issues, isn’t a taxpayer, and is only concerned about any issues that may or may not affect him (i.e., the draft, or possibly sexual orientation issues.). Try giving him a broader understanding about why voting is important (hundreds of thousands of people have fought and died for our right to vote which many of us now take for granted. At least know that it’s still NOT like this (free and open society, rights to express oneself — and the vote necessary to maintain those privileges) everywhere around the world today, son. A free, dynamic, growing and evolving society (especially one as young as America, much like you) takes the involvement of its citizens to voice their opinions (by voting) and stand for something (care about themselves and the community (local government) they live in and the larger society (federal government) they will eventually die in). Give more reasons as you find/feel them.

Try appealing to your son’s stage-typical self-concern: our country is still not in peace time, you may be called to serve; you may not be able to picture it, but it’s a fact that your future starts now and money (taxes and services), gas costs, healthcare to retirement issues all affect you and your friends now, etc. Kids should understand that the constitution, for instance, is not a static document guaranteeing its rights (including freedom of speech, of or from religion, from cruel or unusual punishment, and from unreasonable search and seizures). Freedom is responsibility, and voting is just the beginning.

Share your personal story about voting, whatever it may be. What does your son care about in the abstract? Maybe you can connect it to a current proposition or local/state candidate’s stance.

Vote because you’re an American, young sir, because you won’t always be one…a kid. Start early, vote frequently (joke in a single election, my challenge to you moving forward). If you haven’t already, register to vote for the next election now.

Vote on November 2,

BadWitch

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Dear Ballot Buster,

First explore MTV Rock the Vote designed to influenced younger voters to make their voices heard. Complacency now can take us more than a few steps backward.

Start the conversation again. There is a black family in the White House. Does your son really believe that if the voting was rigged THAT’S who  “The Man” would put in the Presidency? When we vote we begin to turn the wheels of change. And there are some major changes in the work.

In California we are looking at legalizing marijuana, which is another good example of how the system is NOT rigged. Choices of leaders who will help those in financial stress during these ongoing nationwide economic struggles and those who are bought and paid by corporations for whom enough money is never enough are at stake in this election. Does your son really believe these choices will not effect how much he has to pay for college, what classes he can take and how much or little financial aid will be available to him? If he’s not going to college, does he think these choices won’t effect how and if he finds a job anytime soon?

Mind you, my thoughts reflect my own liberal leanings, but whatever your beliefs and choices are get out and vote. The vote elects the people who can make the changes. The vote makes the changes. The system may be flawed, but it’s not rigged. It may turn slowly, but every vote is needed to make a move at all.

History is on your side with this one, pull from it to make your point. Use the logic of the rebellion of the vote, which should be effective with a teenager.  Change can happen, but only if we all rock the vote!

Let your voice be heard,

GoodWitch

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Juicy Relationship Coaching for Leaders and Individuals.

Mondays money, work, purpose dilemmas. Thursdays family, relationships, love dramedy. Send your brewing questions on how to thrive—not just survive— modern life to: coaching@stillsitting.net.

© 2009-2017 ManifestGroup. All rights reserved.

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CBS Money Watch Picks Up StillSitting & St. Bernard Project Partnership Story

 

 

 

 

 

 

NEW ORLEANS, LA – We are proud to announce our online de-stress program StillSitting(.net) has partnered with the New Orleans-area, Presidentially recognized non-profit St. Bernard Project to help rebuild its thousands of community members and their mental health.  StillSitting offers an accessible and private alternative to cope, heal, and re-set for in-need residents who can’t recover from one disaster before the next storm, hurricane, oil spill, housing challenge hits them. Add employment, and (mental and physical) health services cuts to the mix and you have a perfect storm for depression, PTSD, bi-polarism, and other more “mundane” chronic stress disease issues (including heart disorders, obesity and diabetes) to set in and take root in this hard-hit community. This is against a cultural backdrop in which mental health disease, its issues and even seeking help remain closeted or taboo topics. Traditional support like family and friends, and churches are waning and many have closed.

The  in-house Mental Health & Welllness Program of the award-winning St. Bernard Project promotes clinically-proven de-stress tools that are complementary to those within StillSitting — but they simply can’t get help to the multitudes of people who need it by themselves. StillSitting offers online accessibility and a privately self-paced channel of assistance and support. We are committed to our work to help the clients of St. Bernard Project rebuild…mental and physical health and wellness.   — BadWitch

Images: (boy) Caroyln Cole. // St. Bernard Project Development Director & Co-founder Liz McCartney, CNN.

SS-SBP-newsrelease-GWBW (PDF)

© 2009-2017 ManifestGroup. All rights reserved.

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Working Parents Guilt. Dancing With the Stars and Beyond

No dancing around it. Our society is still conflicted about the role of the “good mother.”    — BadWitch

Readers Are Spellbound & Perplexed…

Dear GWBW — Ok my circle of friends includes men and women and we can’t agree on the Kate Gosselin on ‘Dancing with the Stars’ thing. Should any primary caregiver spend so much time away from their kids?   — Dances With Guilt

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Dear Dances With Guilt,

Whatchoo talkin’ ‘bout, Willis? Kate was working to support her kids via this show, not simply raising her celebrity or party time. Given that, I am not one who subscribes to the notion that what qualifies primary caregivers is only lots of face time with growing, developing kids. Quality counts. Also among primary caregivers’ responsibilities to children, is ensuring their kids’ circle of trustworthy, accountable adult guides/-ance is as wide as (relatively) possible. I don’t believe mommy (or daddy) at home is the only way to raise healthy, happy kids — now or even during Donna Reed daze.

Parenting is individual, but from the viewpoint of a former child whose mother loved working outside of the home, and then alternated having to stay home for a couple years with previously having a nanny, it’s not about the number of hours spent with kids, but consistency and structure of foundation of the family vision/mission— the kind of consistency I’m talking about, from a kids’ point of view, extends to when the parents are home or out of the house. This builds a true Northstar that kids can understand and rely on. Personally, when I think of “mommy at home” my first image is of mine crying out of frustration (no judgments!, she also baked cookies and played with us quite un-conflicted). The consistency and love in our home and family let me know undoubtedly that I was loved and wanted, but also that my mother was frustrated by her bubble with low to no daily adult stimulation. I Got how happy her work fulfillment made her, and how much easier and happier we were as a family unit when those things were in place. I was 6, the same age the Gosselin sextuplets are, I wasn’t confused (and doubt my brother was, either); kids are smart. Yep. Love, and happiness- and esteem-building are the consistency I’m talking about.

Did you ever watch their 5-season reality show (Jon & Kate Plus 8)? That mama ain’t no angel! But I’d love to get your take after your group debates what impact the actions of their “too-famous-to-get-a-job” dad who left them to have his mid-life crisis, then banned the show (the family’s primary income) from being produced without him, might have on their childhood development.

No guilt needed,

BadWitch

UPDATE: Cosmic unintended timing notes – Congratulations Nicole Scherzinger DWTS winner. R.I.P. Gary Coleman.

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Dear Dances with Guilt,

What?! So we have kids and then we’re suppose to hang up our dancing shoes forever? I think that’s how we end up with Texas Cheerleading Moms who live through their kids to a super-unhealthy degree.

As I heard it, she had a dance studio built in her basement, practiced there and then traveled to tape the show. So, is she not suppose to work on her career because she;s needed at home wiping noses? Isn’t that why God created babysitters? After all, how is she suppose to support said kids if she ends up as a reality TV footnote? “*Was married to a putz. Had 8 kids and a short run reality TV show on TLC.”

As a mother, you do not push out a kid, sign the birth certificate and turn in your juju so you can be a capri-wearing-cropped-bobbed-hairdo-having-lunch-box-stuffing mother and nothing else.  Kate Gosselin spoke up, said she wanted to be on Dancing with the Stars She got her chance and worked hard to make the most of her dream. Now people want to judge her for reaching her dream while having the nerve to have kids? Really, if folks spent more time worrying about doing what is necessary to achieve their own dreams, there’d be a lot less hate and envy in the world.

I, too, am a single mom reaching for her dreams. I work full time and have extra curricular activities that do not include my children. However, I am in constant touch with my kids’ teachers, a member of the PTA, a cupcake baker, play date host and easy-listening my door and my arms are always open kind of mom. I believe showing my children the example of a hard-working, loving mom who knows how to multi-task and go after her dreams is one of the most potent gifts I can give my two girls.

Kate may not be the best dancer, but juggling rehearsals, performance and parenthood, I give her a 10!

More Mojo for All,

GoodWitch

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Image: ABC, Adam Larkey

Juicy Relationship Coaching for Leaders and Individuals.

Mondays money, work, purpose dilemmas. Thursdays family, relationships, love dramedy. Send your brewing questions on how to thrive—not just survive— modern life to: coaching@stillsitting.net.

© 2009-2017 ManifestGroup. No materials may be used without expressed written permission.

Bully Schoolyard, Parents Want Discipline

Bullying in schools is pushing its way around again. Studies show girls bully emotionally and boys bully physically and emotionally. When bullying respects nothing and no one, and the parents won’t do anything about it.   — BadWitch

Readers Are Spellbound & Perplexed…

Dear GWBW — I’m at my wits end! My daughter is getting bullied at school by another girl. This has been going on for months. Now, my daughter’s backpack was stolen last week, but the school library books from the backpack returned! WTF?! I’ve tried talking to this girl’s parents, but they refuse to believe their “little angel” would do anything wrong. They think my daughter provokes the abuse! Again, WTF?! What can I do? This is an impossible situation for our whole family and, of course, most especially, my daughter.  — Over This Bully Bullsh–

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Dear Over This Bully Bullsh–,

It sounds like you need to get the school involved—teachers , principal. I know a lot of times kids who are being bullied are unwilling for their parents to get involved, but getting this out in the open is the only way to get this to stop. The bully needs to know there are consequences for her actions.

Now, as far as the girl’s parents protecting their “little angel,” remember bullies are made, not born. Something is clearly troubling this girl to leave her over-flowing with aggression. I’m not saying this to blame or excuse the parents. It sounds like it is time to have a hard-nosed talk with her parents. If you really believe this girl is responsible or the missing backpack, have her parents check her room. No one deserves to have their personal belongings stolen. No one deserves abuse. If they still don’t get it, go through the school.

Remind your daughter to go through the appropriate channels when the bullying starts. Trying to handle it her self simply isn’t working. Also, both you and your daughter should do some self-esteem and stress management training. Work with her to give her the tools she needs to grow into a confident  woman. Remind her that tomorrow may hold an entirely different future. Don’t let her get stuck here, seeing herself as a victim. Give her the tools to rise above it.

My heart and my prayers go out to your family. Constantly dealing with someone else’s misplaced aggression is frustrating, depressing and maddening. You need to remember and remind your daughter that petty tyrants are our best teachers. Help your daughter define how she contributes to the situation. Does she retaliate instead of seeking assistance from a teacher? Does she refuse to stand up for herself, protecting her rights? Changing our behavior has the effect of changing a dynamic and with it people’s reactions. Remind her that bullies target those who they will get a satisfying reaction from–once achieved they continue to bully to get more of that reaction. If your daughter stops reacting or changes tactics by telling a teacher, there is a good chance the bully will move on to another target.

Talk to your principal. What strategies do they have in place to deal with bullies? Research and connect them with groups that do bully workshops. Get other parents involved and educate the educators if need be. Be proactive.

Sending you waves of support,

GoodWitch

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Dear Over Bully Bullsh–,

What right thinking person would disagree that our schools, not just should, but need to be a safe haven for children against bullying? When today’s bullies come in all shapes, sizes and social ranking, but often teachers and schools are still opting for the elaborate Time Out (and resulting in yet more bullying to suicide), it’s way past time to step up our tools. I’m not usually a fan of attempts at legislating how people get along, but the apparent lack of good parenting, and schools’ tied hands, against this well-noted rise in school aggression, anger and bullying, seem to call for it. This national epidemic is in need of Congressional legislation to help in providing teachers and schools training, proactive peer counseling/motivation techniques and supportive rules and laws against violence and bullying. Hey, if it takes laws to get the job done, perhaps our larger society’s PC-silence, violence enabling and anti-violence laws will toughen up to reflect this disturbing and growing trend of child disrespect, coarseness, and bullying-as-conflict-resolution (learned and perpetuated by their own slack online-social mores, violent video games and movies, and a seeming lack of adult guidance to civility and cooperation).

Closer to home, what can you do to help and support your daughter, and foster in her trust and openness in relationships, rather than cynicism and negativity and — stop bullying now ? Try eating dinner together as a family. Limit TV daily viewing (studies show each additional hour spent in front of the TV per week at age 2-1/2 corresponded to a 10% increase in being bullied by peers; the finding suggests these kids are “learning to be just a passive receptacle”), and stick to it! My mom didn’t let us go out and play until our homework was done; adapt this to your schedule but the rule is: “Responsibilities first.” Encourage cooperation between your own children and their friends, e.g., homework to sharing and giving away (charity) toys and even TV time — then don’t forget to recognize and applaud their constructive activity, e.g., “Good job – I appreciate your helping your brother without my asking you to.” Help them build habits of cooperation, civility and connection that will serve them well on and off the schoolyard, and into adolescence and adult citizens of our society at large.

More on Bullying from us...

BadWitch

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Juicy Relationship Coaching for Leaders and Individuals.

Mondays money, work, purpose dilemmas. Thursdays family, relationships, love dramedy. Send your brewing questions on how to thrive—not just survive— modern life to: coaching@stillsitting.net.

© 2009-2017 ManifestGroup. No materials may be used without expressed written permission.