Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Did you have the talk yet ?

 As you raise a child you find yourself in the role of a storyteller, a teacher and  a bit of a walking encyclopedia (I wish I was a Google but instead I just use it all the time).

Your first forays are teaching them the basics, eating, listening to you, talking, walking.  Their curiosity grows and you seem all knowing to them, because basically you are.

I love learning so sharing that with my kids, reading to my boys and generally imparting what I know and going to find out more if I didn't was right up my alley.  I was the teenage girl that my boy crush called Eggbert, with affection.   Though if I was to be fair he was pretty easily impressed by fairly common knowledge.   I enjoy the process of listening and learning from those who can explain things that are beyond my current knowledge base and yes my friends now tease me about all the "facts" I store and share.

Being a parent is about teaching them to love learning.  It is not what they retain as much as stroking their curiosity, not dismissing their questions even when you are tired and have no idea and frankly could care less who would win the imaginary fight between the Hulk and Thanos.  I say Hulk because the grumpy green guy is still on the side of good and after all comics are about right winning out over wrong.

As they grow their questions may remind you of all that you do not know, or have forgotten.  This is the time I find I am teaching my boys patience, and sometimes my own lack thereof.   Teaching them that no one knows it all and that they should know how to find out might be more valuable than the feeding of info I have done up to this point.

Then there are the talks... you know the uncomfortable for us and somewhat for them ones.   The talk about sex, yes it is a good thing, yes it is fun, yes it comes with responsibilities.  You do not need to talk mechanics because frankly they find that as gross to do with a parent as you do.  You do need to talk about consent, appropriate age, what not to do and safe sex along with contraception.  I did not do all of this at once with my soon to be 13 year old, I am not done, this comes in bits as they ask and they do not need the whole discussion in one shot I have found.

The talk about drugs and alcohol is hard for me.  The dangers, the chances that they will try something and most of all the availability of drugs that can kill scare me, I want to duck and cover.  I want to pretend I do not know of them.  I can't and boy it is uncomfortable because you do not want to make it like some of our parents, unrealistic scare tactic that did not work, nor downplay it.   It is an ongoing discussion.  Pointers welcome.

The last of the "talks" for me is the one about how to be a good person, to be kind, to know when to push back and when to stand up for yourself or for others.  To have confidence in yourself so you are not mean to others to make yourself feel better about who you wish you were.  I want to raise kids who appreciate others, respect the planet and recognize when they may have a bias.  These are not only talks but also actions - these are learned as they watch how you act and let's be honest we are all assholes at some point.

Maybe the thing I take away from being a parent is what I have tried to do in my life, talk and listen. I smile and think of one of my closest friends and how he and I barely can finish what we have to say because the other jumps in with additional info or questions, he fascinates me because of this and our friendship grows me (of course I hope the same is thought of me by him).

I watch our world and while I do not agree with all those who say "what's wrong with the world today?", it's the same crap that has always been wrong with the world we just see it live time now, I do wonder when did we stop disagreeing and started just yelling?  When did we stop thinking of how do we find middle ground and agree to have different view points?  When did being right and sticking by someone or something we chose become more important than learning and evolving our thinking when that person or those ideas fail?

Did you have the talk yet?  Maybe it is not just with our kids, maybe we need to have the talk with one another for our kids.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

It's still mama in any language

It's fascinating to me that in almost every language the word for mother is the similar and the word for father can vary so much.   Of course because I love research and word origins I had to look it up before I wrote this blog.   It is tied to the sounds a baby makes and particularly around the sound they make often in their babble for hunger, the addition of breast feeding murmur (or bottle feeding if that is how you had to go) is also an addition to this "mmmmamamma" sound.  At the very core mama is the main part of their survival, their comfort and their feeding at the time they are totally reliant on another person to do this.

Now fast forward to say modern day teenage years and mama becomes Ma or eye roll Mother and it is the symbol not of nourshiment often but of everything that is impeding you from doing every stupid thing that as teenager you know you cannot live without, but do.

Go a little further and you suddenly realize that most mothers were not your nemesis and hey looky that as you become a mom yourself they actually suddenly seem to have useful advice, who knew ?? Take few more steps in years and they need you in ways you needed them when you were more helpless and can they really be mortal?

As mother's day approaches I am awed and flawed with what I am as a mother myself.  This balance of not reigning in your instincts to protect them paired with the need to help them grow and be independent thinkers and held together with a love that you could not imagine is hard to capture into words.  I was not one of those people who loved babies from an early age, I did not babysit, did not have any interest frankly in holding anyone's baby through my twenties.  Sure they are cute and have a unique sweet smell but they were for others to coo over.  This girl smiled politely and moved on.  I am convinced it was paired with my underlying fear also of what kind of mother would I be.

I am an independent person who hesitates to rely on anyone, working on it- not easy, so what did that mean for my ability to give that up for another being?  I was not even sure I wanted children until my 30s when I had a relationship with a man who was just truly the whole package.  Smart, attractive, interesting, well rounded, thought I was perfect exactly as I was but there to support and push me to be the person I wanted to evolve too.  It happened after I broke up with the man who would later become my husband.  It was a whirlwind romance and then he told me he knew he would never want children.  Partially due to our age difference, which hadn't been a thing for us until then even though it was considerable, and mostly because he just knew it was not what he wanted.

Many judged him negatively for this, I didn't.  I understood and appreciated the honesty.  It made me realize that knowing I had the option to have them was a lot more in line with what I wanted then knowing I would not have any.

I do not regret ending that relationship, it is a great memory and to be loved like that is part of the reason I grew in many ways.  In ways that add to the mother I am.

Being a mother these days though is hard in different ways than it was for our parents.  It is a never ending list of things you are expected to do and do well that we so easily agree to, because we do not want our children to think they are not worth it and that is what we are told will happen.  We need to be nutritionists not just common sense food suppliers, we need to have project management ability to ensure that we give or have found ways for our kids to get to a well rounded set of activities (read more than one), we need to understand science and question because we are bombarded with incorrect information about everything from sunscreen to medicine, we need to have a good knowledge of what our kids are doing 24/7, what the latest technology is, the apps and shows they watch and if we cannot do this without also being successful, fit, well read, informed about all topics -- well then we are not really being the best mothers we can be.   Or so "they" tell us.

I am a dedicated mom, as are the women I know, but give me a break.  I try and balance their food by cooking most of their meals with mostly organic food but McDonald's is not crack and the occasional meal from there will not doom them.  Do I think they will will suddenly fall apart just because I got non-organic milk here and there?  NO.   I encourage their interests and cheer them on at their big moments but they need to be happy to be at their activities not for me but for themselves.  I picked physicians for them that I connect with so I do not need to do their job and get a medical degree, they encourage discussion but in the end I trust my ability to pick people who are not out to harm my children.  Apps and screen time and gaming move at the speed of light, I do not.  So I have to rely on the fact in part that I have created a safe environment for my boys to share what they are doing paired with the random checking of their devices.  I enjoy working and I am not a size 4, good for you should you be, but I am conscious of what I eat and how I look.   It is a struggle and I do not need to hide that from them but tell them it is ok to come to me when they do.

I am teaching my boys to embrace their mistakes, and learn from them, just like I do.  To enjoy the moment instead of checking off the box and most of all to know that I love them unconditionally. To find that person that makes them feel like they too are the total package.

The mother - child relationship is not an easy one so this Mother's Day enjoy remembering those things that your mother did with you that made you the person you were.  If you lost your mother then share those memories with someone you care for.  If you chose not to be a mother share your strength to be a woman who embraces that choice and shows the future generation how to be comfortable with who they are not who society says they should be.  If you could not have children then be the woman who seeks and gives support to others in the same situation - that is motherhood too.

Most of all I am embracing the fact that to be a good mother you have to appreciate the other women in your life and be there for them.  For moral support, for sharing of pick ups and drops offs and for lots of laughter and reminders that we are all learning on the job.  Thank you for your friendship and the wine ladies.

Happy Mother's Day

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

It ain't me babe ..

Image result for it ain't me babeI know you are supposed to, because i get told from every angle, love going to every kids sports activity that they participate in.  You are there for them, for EVERY game, supposed to be paying attention, cheering them on and on and on.

I frankly do not like it - there I said it - let the wrath of the perfect things you have to do these days as a mom come down on me.  I like attending some, none of the baseball ones (seriously just writing that made me cringe a little), sports but man what is it with the expectation that you have to be there for every one when this has no interest for you.  It is not a good example for your kids - no really it is not.  You are teaching them to go with the herd mentality.  I will buy the equipment, pay for the lessons and yes even attend at least half if not more, but if one parent is already there and enjoys this why do we need both of them there when one obviously does not enjoy this.

I do not like bleachers, the bugs, the nasty grass touching my feet (urban girl - ok with it).  I do not have a clue what is actually going on for the most part because my brain is in daydream mode during baseball, all I know is that when my kid is up, I mimic the lingo and give a big shout out.

Since I already failed uber mother of the year chances already while I am on the topic when did it become the expectation that we as mothers, regardless of whether we work in the home or outside of it, have to basically be personal assistants to our kids?

I am having my Norma Rae moment, writing this on May 1st International Workers day, and saying no more.  I will be there when I need to be, will be there for the big things, and teach my kids that validation comes from their own sense of accomplishment not from constant reinforcement from mom.  That does not mean I have to cater to their every need, plan their social lives after the age of 9 and make sure they are constantly entertained.  These are all life skills they need to develop.

I will continue to partake in the military precision planning of pick ups and drop offs but I need some me time, that comes without laundry and chores or constant feeling that someone is about to burst in and need something.  They are all capable of not starving at this point in their life and I swear I do not move the commonly eaten foods just to mess with them and dominate with my knowledge of where the (insert item here) that is in their face is.

We have set the bar so high that I cannot imagine what the next set of parents will have to do to match it and beat it (quit all jobs, get hired by mini army we created to cater to them?).  They need to learn to be independent, set goals and deliver on them with asking for help not helped just because we are there.

I love my kids, and I like a lot of other kids that they are friends with.  I actually had a great experience this past Saturday driving my oldest son and some of his friends, who I have known since they were months old, to and from a party.  Their slightly wobbly voices dipping lower, their conversation pretty diverse about lands traveled to and lands to be seen, their ease of talking to adults about a range of subjects.  I volunteered for that, I will do it again.

Is it not enough to do the things they need, the things you enjoy with them and only some of the things they need support on (splitting the difference when possible with the other parent?) anymore?

So to all of you who love being on the sideline at every game THANK YOU - please wink at my kid too - I will be there for some, I will be there in the way my kids are raised and I will be doing my thing without remorse for many of these missedgames - their father will appreciate your being there too with him.  He loves this stuff.  I on the other hand am all about the other things my kids are into and let's not kid ourselves our children will all have plenty to talk about at therapy no matter what we think we are doing amazingly well.

I am woman, I am strong, I am ok with making myself a priority too. Like Bob Dylan sings "it ain't me you're looking for ...babe".

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

No still means NO but you have to ask the question to know that

I finished watching "13 Reasons Why" with my almost 13 year old son and it was one of the most powerful things we have ever seen together.    I know he is mature enough to handle the content but he is also still in a formative phase understanding who he is and his growing place in the world.   He is also navigating the world of middle school and soon high school, with it's puberty, posturing, bullying, popularity contests and all those other things we as adults can look back at and wonder why we let them take such an important role in our lives.

The main theme is about bullying and the consequences of that, of how lost some kids might feel but the underlying theme is about sexual assault and the way we as a society still treat our girls and women.   Think about it the names alone are only for women - slut, whore, skank, easy.   Boys and men don't get that they get a high five for getting sex, maybe their downside is the need to lie about how much sex they may have had.   We still hear the despised term "good girl" to imply it somehow makes a girl a better person if she doesn't have sex.   We vilify girls for wondering about how to embrace how they look, to show off a curve or two and then give them clothes choices that play into that objectification as a sexual being who really shouldn't like sex to begin with.

Who made up this shit???  Women, girl, boys, men should enjoy sex -- it doesn't make you a better person if you choose to not have it nor does it make you worse it makes you a person who decided to make a choice with your body.  It is about being old enough to handle the choice.

This bizarre ritual of making girls into "less than" because of sex, into objects to treated as parts and then mistreated based on what they do with or is done to those parts, paired with the use of power that men are given has continued to lead to the sexual abuse we see.

I know of no woman that I am friends or even casual friends with that has not experienced some form of sexual abuse in their life.   Let's do this again I KNOW OF NO WOMAN and I know hundreds of them who I have had discussions with that does not have at least one story.

They range from being touched in public places on our asses, rubbed against in public spaces while we try and move just enough to not make a scene,  to kissing a bit longer while we keep pushing away from a boy that didn't actually move away from us, to just not being asked.  There are the cases of course where it went much further than that - where the girls were raped.   No one forgets any of these, these moments are burned into your brain long after they have faded from the feeling on your body.   The too many times that we all can talk about the times that "No one even asked if it was ok to kiss you - to touch you".    It did not stop even when you said no.   It was someone you liked and you felt you had to because otherwise you may lose them and then you lost yourself when that person betrayed you by telling everyone that it was just a piece of pussy.  A piece - just a piece of ... that is all you are reduced to.  A piece of inconsequential nothingness that you take with you for the rest of your life.   As for the men who do this they do it because they can.  This is not about sex - this is about power, they have it, they can do what they want.

We need to watch "13 Reasons Why" and we need to watch it with our male children because we cannot allow the girls to be asked how much they had to drink, what they were wearing, how come they said yes at first and then no, how come they didn't fight back, how come????  We need to ask how come anyone thinks it is ok to have sex with someone who is passed out ?  How come you feel that you can touch a girl as you want but you wouldn't sit on the hood of your friend's brand new car for fear of damaging it?  How come we do not start with asking the girls if they know it is not their fault that someone took away their ability to say NO, with drugs, with drinks, with just not giving a shit if they said it.

I worked as a rape and domestic violence crisis counselor for 10 years, taught others to be volunteers, and the one thing we learned was that survivors just want to get some control back over their bodies and to have someone tell them it was not their fault.  It is never their fault - even if they are buck naked and drunk and begged for it, when they say no it is NO, when they are not in a state of mind to make a decision oh yeah it is NO.   Men are better than that excuse too many abusers use "I couldn't stop"  - they can stop they choose not to.

It is uncomfortable to watch the show - to have your son ask why would someone do that - to deal with sex questions but if we don't who do we think will?

Sexual assault lives with the survivor forever, I see this from the way the pain still flashes across the faces of anyone who tells their story.   I feel it in my voice when I share my own instances.

We cannot let powerful men get away with harassment and rape because they have money just like we cannot let powerful men get away with these things because they are poor or they rape a religion's core beliefs to say women are theirs for the taking.

No means NO always and we owe it to all to understand that but we have to teach our youngsters that they need to ask even if it seems obvious.  We also need to stop using labels on women that tell them they do not control their own sexuality - like slut, whore, easy - they are not ok to use because they enable the culture of woman having to appear reluctant to not be shamed about it which predators use.  It is time we all said NO to sexual assault.

Monday, April 17, 2017

13 and 1 Reasons Why

They, you know "they" who know everything and who are never wrong, say you should try and eat most meals with your kids as this is a good way to connect with them and to establish a way to have conversations about their day.  I grew up in a house where my family could not always eat together, as both my parents worked, but I always ate with at least one of my parents.  It was like that up and down the streets of my neighborhood - you went home to eat dinner.

Now sometimes these dinners could be horrible in my house, as in many others, where conversation could be at the whim of my father's mood.  I saw a few homes where it was silent.  I saw a few where everyone talked over everyone else and the mood was energetic.  I sat with my mom and dad and had some of the most interesting discussions on everything from geography to art to science.  My dad was an autodidact who either knew something about most things or loved to help me find out about it. Our dinners were never silent.    I do not know if these were the "conversations" they talk about but I do believe there is something to sharing a meal, with family, kids, friends that is bonding.  It is why I have never insisted on my kids eating things they do not like and have made many a two different meal dinners.  I want it to be our time and laughter not about a fight on the merits of eating asparagus.

Yet one meal a day is really not enough even if it is a good start.  I want to be part of my kids lives in a way that they know they can come to me with anything, and while I may not have a positive reaction I will have a fair one and help them.   I do this through texts, notes, calls and letting them talk.  I mean they talk a lot and sometimes the subject is one that makes me want to sort of run, I do not want to hear how to beat level x in any video game, I don't book I listen and try and ask questions that keep them talking.  It is the connection and frankly we expect kids to listen and absorb what we think is important shouldn't we model this by doing it for what they think is important to them ?

The other thing that seems to work for me with a 10 and an almost 13 year old boys is finding time to watch tv shows with them.  Yes I said TV shows, yes screen time.   The way it works is that we find something we all like, or one child and I like. Each has shows we all 3 watch and each has shows that they watch only with me.  The balance of mothering 2 children is done with military precision - the perception of not getting same amount of anything from water in a glass to time with mom is monitored better than any drone by my two.  They do not begrudge the other's time they expect the equivalent.

So with my 2 we watch "Stranger Things" - I say it often but whoever started streaming services is a hero of mine.  I like it because it is well written and the kid actors are amazing, the storyline is spooky without being too crazed for me and I admit I like the whole time frame it is set in.  It has taken me back to my own teenage years lived in the early 80s, Le Sports Sac anyone??  It gets them talking about school, being a kid and of course the fascination of asking me "did you do that?" for some scenes.   No I did not have the adventure of finding an "upside down" world but I would have loved it.  

With my 2 I also watch "Death in Paradise" which is a strange show for kids their age to like - but it is a murder mystery Brit show that takes place on a gorgeous island and I think they like the detective solving skills of the main character who is just slightly goofy yet brilliant.   It transports us to a warm place and has us debating who done it.

My younger son and I tend to gravitate toward shows that are British detective shows - no clue why but they tend to be our genre of choice.

My older son and I watch "13 Reasons Why" together.   We decided to do this because it seemed really relevant to his almost teen self.   If you do not know what this is, the show is about a girl who commits suicide after a series of bullying incidents and bad choices with social media on the part of her peers that spiral out of control.  This has been a difficult watch because it happens, it happens more than we might think and it has increasingly dire consequences.  It has led to discussions with my son about his responsibility as a male to not demean girls.  It has led to disagreements on the main character's reaction to certain situations, he "oh it wasn't that bad this time and she gets so crazy" me "because it is constant and to her it was another big deal in a series of them".  It for sure has led us to discuss what he would do in certain situations.

The two of them also tend to like watch "Scorpion" with me - nothing like geeks who are sort of cool saving the world.

To me time with kids is fleeting and while at times it seems overwhelming and that they take up every moment of your time, the reality is that it goes as fast as the cliche states.   They watched little kids shows with me and asked those great questions about why, though for a while I thought the word "why" was my nemesis and non-stop, things were a color or a shape.  They watch different shows now and still ask why but the questions are harder sometimes to answer.  We do as a family still practice my father's curiosity seeking "look it up" with so much more information and easier to find via Google.  

I find the time we spend is not only about the shows but about the time they have to feel that we can talk about things that are on their mind, they still like a good snuggle and I alternate between laughing with them to a slightly wistful smile tied to my knowledge that they are getting taller, older and most of all heading toward the point where I will not be their first choice for snuggles and tv shows.




Monday, April 10, 2017

What would Jesus do ?

As an atheist many people think I am anti-religion but really it just means I do not believe in deity worship or organized religion.  I can easily see other life in other planets, other universes but the idea of a singular, or even multi, "higher being" and all the rules that man makes to justify how this, or these, deities need to be worshiped that just doesn't mean anything to me.    I find no comfort or need for that kind of being in my own life.  The other thing people think when they hear I am atheist, is that it means I do not believe in having scruples.  Actually it is my deep conviction that we should treat one another and our planet, and the other parts of space, with respect and kindness and worry about continuously improving life not only as we have it but for those long after we have been gone that was part of how I came to be an atheist.  I found no doctrine that did that even though they all claim to.   There are a few more clarifications that I feel as an atheist that I need to get out there as there seems to be lots of confusion.

First of all you do not have to whisper or ask me to whisper that I am an ATHEIST.   It is not an admission that I have ritual slayings in my house -- the irony of having ritual anything is not lost on me.  I am not a satanist either, I know but really I have gotten asked, I do believe people choose either through conscious decision or mental illness to do things we can all agree to call evil (genocide, anything to do with harming living children, serial killers, torture -- yeah we are on same page).  I do not hate religions, I just cannot agree with the many ways they are used to negatively judge others for things that some man at some point in time decreed he did not agree with or worse to justify those things I deemed evil before.   I understand their purpose and if you get comfort from them or find the need to connect with your heritage with them well then that is what you need - doesn't make it wrong or right it makes it your opinion.

Of the many historical religious figures,  after much research, I find that Jesus is my favorite. Oddly enough not because I believe he was the son of a god but because I believe he wasn't.   It is almost easier to be a better than the average person if you are a deity.   It is hard to be a leader and ask that all people are treated well if you are not.

Jesus who all religions acknowledge lived was a simple man who asked of all those who followed him to be kind to others, to give to those in need if you have more than you need.  He was able to treat Mary Magdalene with the same respect by all counts that he treated Judas, and we know who betrayed him.   Yet he did not judge Judas either.

I find myself wondering as many around the world celebrate the holiday that really defines them as Christians, the horrific torture and death of a man who until the end chose not give up his hopes for the better in humanity even when they displayed the worst, how do so many use his name as justification to be more like those who nailed him to a cross?  

Jesus - what would Jesus do when laws are made that disempower those who had very little to begin with ?  what would Jesus do when women are treated as there for the taking by men or told to cover up because they inherently are too sexually powerful and men cannot "help" themselves? what would Jesus do when the planet he thought a higher being created is not treated with the care and polluted at will?  what would Jesus do when people are discriminated against for just being themselves (note to all things like the fact that we look different, homosexuality all came before the whole religion thing)?

I do not know what he would do but based on all that is written about him, and there is loads, I would like to think that this atheist understands he would be more about forgiving and accepting than brandishing hate.   I would like to think that as I always cry seeing him and the others carrying their crosses, being whipped, being tortured that we learned from that not that it is acceptable to have others crucified but that in what appear to be his final words the word "forgiveness" is prominent with acceptance.

For all the religions out there one person seems to be woven into all of them, some who believe will see this as divine connection, for others like me it will reaffirm my belief in people.  That most of us are good and that is why the one man who spoke of this appears in all of them.

What would Jesus do ?  Probably just ask us to stop and think of that in terms of doing right by others.

Happy Spring

Monday, March 27, 2017

When you can finally exhale



As the end of March is upon us it seemed a good time for a blog about women as it is Women's History Month in the US.   

I try and look at the positive in life as a rule, look at the gains, learn from mistakes and hope we are all moving forward as a people.   However, when I start to look at the way that women have been treated and still continue to be so from pretty much the beginning of recorded history it takes a lot to hold on to the optimism and not let anger replace it. 

There are periods of time where women were not only equal to men but actually in charge, history rarely looks at their accomplishment without having to add some sort of terrible character flaw to them though.  Their strength described often negatively and do not get me started on the sexuality part. Women and sex - they should provide it but they should not enjoy it seems to be short version.  

Though even in this day and age women's rights are tentative still and we still discuss things like "when it is acceptable" to beat your wife -- short answer NEVER - in places far (Russia just passed a law that first offenders are not going to be harshly treated for beating their wives) and near (Mississippi on March 2017 voted down a measure to have domestic violence as one of the grounds for divorce - you read that right 2017, March Women's History month).  

Let's not even get started on the vile comments about rape and the fact that women have to debate what they can do with their own bodies.  

What can we do?  We can support other women, we can support men who see us as partners, we can collectively say a big get the hell out of here to anyone who doesn't, we can ask those who claim in the name of religion that women are inferior to look at how that is in direct conflict with the tenets of all religions to be good to your fellow people,.   We can raise women who understand their worth and we can raise men who appreciate those same women, who add to their self-confidence instead of trying to control it.  

In the spirit of supporting other women I wanted to use this blog to highlight someone who I am humbled to call a friend.

My friend Amy works with an organization called Exhale to Inhale.  They provide yoga and meditation services to survivors of partner and sexual abuse.   Yoga - the practice of respecting your body's limits and acknowledging your strength.  These survivors are taking back their bodies and their minds. The organization  "Exhale to Inhale was founded in 2013 by Zoë LePage, while a senior at Barnard College. Zoë named her initiative Exhale to Inhale, the idea being that sometimes we need to let go of that which is holding us back in order to open ourselves up to new possibilities. We need to exhale to inhale. Zoë’s vision: bring the healing power of yoga to survivors of intimate partner violence, especially those who would most benefit from the practice, yet might not otherwise have access to it. "

In an ideal world we would not need places like Exhale to Inhale because it should be as simple and instinctual as breathing - sexual assault and partner violence are not natural and should never be "normalized".   .   

We do not live in an ideal world but we do live by our ideals. We cannot stop it all but we can help in many ways heal those who experience this.  

I will not give you recognition by giving names or publicity to those who seek to harm us through laws or doctrine but instead I will hope to shine the light on those who do heal and selfishly do for others. 

If you want to get more information, donate time, donate money, donate your good will to share this information and just say it is NOT OK ever then you are already doing more than you give yourself credit for.  



How Can You Get Involved?
 Help Exhale to Inhale win $40,000 in the NO MORE Challenge!
Because of the money we were able to raise in 2016, we are now reaching more survivors than ever before. We are on track to more than double the number of people we were able to reach last year. Join us in bringing survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault one step closer to experiencing the power of choice and possibility! http://www.crowdrise.com/exhale-to-inhale-nomorechallenge


Join the MOVEMENT for MEANING

Did you know that every 98 seconds someone in the U.S. is sexually assaulted? April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month and we are taking this opportunity to help draw national attention to this human rights issue, and to the Exhale to Inhale mission. Join the movement whether you Om, Spin, Box, Dance or Zumba! Ask your home studio to donate the proceeds from a regularly scheduled class, or schedule a special class to benefit Exhale to Inhale. Sign up on our website at http://exhaletoinhale.org/move-for-meaning-in-april

To learn more watch  5 minute documentary