Blog Archive

Blog Categories

Antioch
Administration Services
Sound Circle Eurythmy
Greenlinepaper
Custom Web Development
Waldorf Shop
Conscious Media Network
Eden Foods
holistic corner store
tierravillage
Eurythmy Spring Valley
Eden project
Badger
www.northwaters.com
Camphill
slow parenting
Isis Biodynamics
Center for Anthroposophy
True Botanica
Cloverhill School
Lifeways
virga botanicals
Weleda USA
Rudolph Steiner Clinic
Rethinking Cancer
taruna
Brittaniesthyme
Acorn Designs
Acorn Designs
Antioch
Administration Services
Sound Circle Eurythmy
Greenlinepaper
Custom Web Development
Waldorf Shop
Conscious Media Network
Eden Foods
holistic corner store
tierravillage
Eurythmy Spring Valley
Eden project
Badger
www.northwaters.com
Camphill
slow parenting
Isis Biodynamics
Center for Anthroposophy
True Botanica
Cloverhill School
Lifeways
virga botanicals
Weleda USA
Rudolph Steiner Clinic
Rethinking Cancer
taruna
Brittaniesthyme
Brittaniesthyme
Acorn Designs
Antioch
Administration Services
Sound Circle Eurythmy
Greenlinepaper
Custom Web Development
Waldorf Shop
Conscious Media Network
Eden Foods
holistic corner store
tierravillage
Eurythmy Spring Valley
Eden project
Badger
www.northwaters.com
Camphill
slow parenting
Isis Biodynamics
Center for Anthroposophy
True Botanica
Cloverhill School
Lifeways
virga botanicals
Weleda USA
Rudolph Steiner Clinic
Rethinking Cancer
taruna
taruna
Brittaniesthyme
Acorn Designs
Antioch
Administration Services
Sound Circle Eurythmy
Greenlinepaper
Custom Web Development
Waldorf Shop
Conscious Media Network
Eden Foods
holistic corner store
tierravillage
Eurythmy Spring Valley
Eden project
Badger
www.northwaters.com
Camphill
slow parenting
Isis Biodynamics
Center for Anthroposophy
True Botanica
Cloverhill School
Lifeways
virga botanicals
Weleda USA
Rudolph Steiner Clinic
Rethinking Cancer
Rethinking Cancer
taruna
Brittaniesthyme
Acorn Designs
Antioch
Administration Services
Sound Circle Eurythmy
Greenlinepaper
Custom Web Development
Waldorf Shop
Conscious Media Network
Eden Foods
holistic corner store
tierravillage
Eurythmy Spring Valley
Eden project
Badger
www.northwaters.com
Camphill
slow parenting
Isis Biodynamics
Center for Anthroposophy
True Botanica
Cloverhill School
Lifeways
virga botanicals
Weleda USA
Rudolph Steiner Clinic
Rudolph Steiner Clinic
Rethinking Cancer
taruna
Brittaniesthyme
Acorn Designs
Antioch
Administration Services
Sound Circle Eurythmy
Greenlinepaper
Custom Web Development
Waldorf Shop
Conscious Media Network
Eden Foods
holistic corner store
tierravillage
Eurythmy Spring Valley
Eden project
Badger
www.northwaters.com
Camphill
slow parenting
Isis Biodynamics
Center for Anthroposophy
True Botanica
Cloverhill School
Lifeways
virga botanicals
Weleda USA

LILIBLOG

  • Mother's Day Weekend Giveaway!!

    LILIPOH Magazine is giving away a free hardcover copy of Acorn by Yoko Ono to one lucky mom!!

     

    This is a beautiful meditative book...."In Acorn, she offers enchanting and thought-provoking exercises that open our eyes—and all of our senses—to more creative and mindful ways of relating to ourselves, each other, and the planet we cohabit." (amazon.com)

    http://www.amazon.com/Acorn-Yoko-Ono/dp/1616203773

     

    Leave a comment here or on our facebook page telling us why you are grateful for mom or the amazing woman in your life and you will be entered into our drawing.  Winner chosen on 5/12/2014. 

    Full story

    Comments (14)

  • Understanding Child Discipline: Self and Social Awareness

    Whenever I am asked to speak or write about discipline my first question is always this: what do you mean by discipline? Do you mean getting your child to do what you want? Is it blind obedience you desire, or are you wishing for your child to demonstrate self-discipline, that magic balance of impulse control on the one hand and motivation on the other? I will assume that your desire is to have a child who is self-disciplined. To achieve this, you need an understanding of human development, because the very same action will elicit one result at one age and a totally different result at another.

    I see parents who treat their teenagers like toddlers or their toddlers like teenagers—with disastrous results! Self-discipline is a balance between impulse control, which is holding oneself back, and motivation, which is a moving oneself forward toward a goal. This is similar to driving a car. We must propel it forward to reach our intended destination and show restraint by braking and steering clear of fixed obstacles. While this may take some time to learn, it is not a complicated process. It is when there are other vehicles with other drivers, with their own destinations and levels of skill that things get tricky. What is required for a safe and satisfactory journey is simultaneous awareness of one’s own vehicle as well as the other cars sharing the road. This is where convention, with such things as solid yellow lines and clearly marked road signs, comes in handy.

    And this is where my analogy ends, because we are not really talking about driving cars. We are talking about driving bodies and souls, with all their peculiarities, through a life that has no white and yellow lines and no clearly marked road signs. This requires a highly advanced stage of development! Surely you don’t expect your child to possess this skill already? Because, if you do, you will become frustrated and have an adult tantrum. Self-discipline is both self-awareness and a social awareness. How does a child develop this capacity? Human beings progress from a state of total dependency, through a stage of “dependent inter-dependency,” and finally, if all goes well, to a state of “independent inter-dependency.” (Note: complete independence is a myth. No one would survive without some form of inter-dependency).

    Each stage of human development has its own biological and emotional needs. A need met is a need met forever. An unmet need will continue to seek satisfaction, even long after it is age-appropriate. Behind it all is the urge to survive. This manifests in two primary strategies—to belong and to be free. At first, these two strategies appear to be in conflict, but it makes sense when viewed from the perspective of an entire lifespan.

    The human infant is the most vulnerable creature on Earth.  He cannot survive on his own. At birth, the urge to belong is strongest—it is essential for survival. This is where attachment comes in. The infant needs a strong emotional attachment so that, no matter what happens, it knows you will not abandon him. Slowly and incrementally, the young child shows signs of exercising freedom, yet in the first nine or so years, the child’s need to belong is greater his need to be free, no matter what behavior he exhibits. A nestling may flap its wings, but it is not ready to fly out of the nest! Going back to the car analogy for just one moment: I’ll bet that nobody ever told you that being a parent meant driving your own car while simultaneously teaching someone, who hasn’t learned the language yet, how to drive his!

    Blind obedience is starting to look good! And, in the very early stages of a human being’s life, it is good. Where it runs afoul is when the parents aren’t clear about the temporary role of blind obedience in their child’s development, or they practice it inconsistently, usually as a last resort. Your young child needs consistency, clearly defined boundaries, and patience.  Blind obedience through the use of intimidating force will ultimately backfire. This stage of discipline is much like dog training—one must be clear about what one wants and what the child is capable of, be consistent, be gentle, be firm, and the parent must train himself or herself to give the command only once! It differs from dog training in that the dog’s needs for blind obedience are life-long. the human being, on the other hand, is striving towards autonomy (self-governance), and it is an aware parent who always keeps this in mind. You may employ the characteristics of a dog trainer with your young child, yet with full awareness that this is but the initial stage of their training towards self-discipline.

    It is essential to hold the big picture in mind even as you negotiate the small decisions. Who makes the decisions? You, the parent. It is a modern myth and a tragic abdication of authority to assume that the infants or young children make the decisions, or that they should be making decisions. the result is that they will feel too “free” and they won’t feel securely attached, resulting in co-dependence or counter-dependence later in life. It is common for otherwise “conscious” parents to confuse a child’s innate intelligence with the ability to make decisions. i will attempt to clarify this: making decisions is the parent’s job, and listening to the child’s innate intelligence is part of the process of coming to a decision. Parenting is a process of guiding a child to self- governance. You begin by example and gradually involve the child more in the process. The most common error is giving a child too much decision-making privilege (freedom) too soon. Learning to make decisions is a process that takes years!

    A rule of thumb here is to hold them back (“belonging”) until it no longer works. How do you know if something is not working? By your child’s anti-social behavior. It is then up to you to determine whether the child requires more “freedom” or more “belonging.” You will know you are right when the behavior disappears.

    I will give you an example. When my son turned seven, he fell in love with baseball. He asked to join a little league team.my response? “Not yet.” I told him that competing before you have the skills can lead to bad habits, one of which is cheating.  So, instead we played “friendly ball” for two years. Then, when my son turned nine, the real rules began to matter very much to him. One day, when his dad let someone get away when he could have tagged him, my son exploded on his dad, yelling and even hitting him, which he had never done before. In that moment i could see what was happening. I said, “We’ll talk when we get home.” When we got home, he and his dad and I sat down, and then I said, “You know that it was not okay to hit your dad. What i am seeing is that this type of play is no longer suitable for you. I think it is time for you to join little league.” He did and he excelled.

    Another example has to do with guns. My motto was, “We don’t play with guns. Guns are not a toy.” I would always give an alternate suggestion for what that stick could be, but I never allowed it to be a gun. So, when my son was 13, a mom called to say that her son was having an airsoft gun party for his birthday and she wanted to check with me first before inviting my son. I went to my son and said that he had been invited, but that he could not go, because “we don’t play with guns, and every family is different”. Have you ever seen time-lapse photography of a flower wilting? That’s what my son looked like when I said this to him. What had worked in the past was no longer working. So I withdrew and did some soul- searching. I owned my fear of guns and violence, and I remembered what was most important to me when i was 13—to be trusted. So I went back to him and said, “I think you want me to trust you.” He perked up immediately. I let him go. I had to trust that he would not become violent or want to play with guns every weekend. Actually, he never played again.

    When your young child does not respect your authority, it may be a symptom of a need to revert to an earlier stage of decision-making. (When an older child exhibits the same symptoms it might mean just the opposite!) In this situation a child either attempts to ignore you or to boss you around. The child can also be contrary or verbally or physically abusive. What the child is saying is that he feels no boundary, and because of this, he feels insecure. If the child succeeds in aggravating you enough perhaps you will explode, and then the child will know where the boundary is. A parent whose attention is distracted, perhaps by work or worries, but distracted nonetheless, often have children who behave like this. It takes quite a lot of attention to set just the right limits that your child needs to feel safe, yet still have room to grow. When you set a boundary, you are creating a membrane. The pressure on either side of the membrane needs to be roughly equal, or the membrane will rupture. What is called “acting out” is this membrane rupturing. A sound parenting practice is every time you say “no,” also say “yes,” and every time you say “yes,” also say “no.” think of the “no” as belonging, and the “yes” as freedom. For example, whenever i told my son, “we don’t play with guns,” I also said, in the same breath, “but that stick is very useful for putting out fires” (a fire hose nozzle) or “spotting pirate ships” ( a hand telescope). Another time, when my son was 12, he asked to play video games and fell into a slump, because he thought for sure I would say “no” as usual. I surprised him by saying, “I can see that you really want to meet the world, so I am not going to say ‘no,’ but I’m not going to say ‘yes’ to everything. Let’s find a game that we can both agree on.” We did and he excelled.

    Because of the way I parent, I can only think of one time my son’s behavior said, “I need you to rein me in.” That was when he was six and I was picking him up from school. He was spraying a friend with water from his water bottle and his friend was not enjoying it. When I told him to stop he paused, looked at me, and did it one more time. I knew that one day he would shift his need for authority from me to his dad, but this was too young. What happened next still fascinates me.  I became furious in a very clear-headed, non-vindictive way.  I was using anger to re-establish the boundary! The result was that he became calm, and cheerful, and compliant. and I learned a lesson about maintaining boundaries.

    The shift from mother’s authority to father’s came when my son was almost 14. He was becoming increasingly disrespectful to his seven-year-old sister and me. He also began to demonstrate complete disregard for my authority. If I reminded him to do a chore or his homework he just ignored me. A couple of times I felt furious, but inside I knew that something was changing for him. Namely, his need for guidance was shifting from mothering and its protective shield, to fathering and its access to the wider world. I confirmed this by experimentation. Every time he ignored me I called his dad and asked him to make the same request. Result: instant compliance for his father. So, rather than fight what I considered a natural development, I devised (with the help of my parent coach) to support it. Father, son and I sat down and came to a new agreement. His part was doing his chores with only one reminder, and respecting his sister and me with no reminders, and for taking on the job of after-dinner-dishes (which was a big deal for him!). My part was to relinquish all decision-making pertaining to him over to his father. The only way I could bring myself willingly into this agreement was to understand his need for autonomy and to trust that everything I had done to protect him up to this point was enough. It was one of the best moves I ever made. The next day he was friendly and playful, engaging me in a mock-sword fight with soda straws. A few days later he confided to me how nervous he was about a school dance. I knew that I would not have access to this part of my son if I was still trying to parent him like a younger child. Again, he excelled.

    Are you beginning to see a pattern here? Every time my son acted out, I looked for the message in his anti-social behavior. I didn’t just try to stop the behavior. I made it clear that the behavior was not acceptable (the “no”) and provided what he was needing (the “yes”). When his developmental need was met the anti-social behavior stopped on its own. Discipline isn’t about getting a child to do something; it’s about finding out what a child needs. It is about governing so that the child may gradually develop the skills necessary to be self-governing. This process takes years and requires a commitment to finding the appropriate balance between freedom and belonging.

     

    Thea blair is the mother of a 17-year- old son and 10-yearold daughter. She is a Waldorf teacher, and a pediatric massage therapist. She operated a successful, Waldorf-inspired pre-school out of her home for 14 years. Observing the amazing results of touch (our first language of belonging) in resolving children’s emotional stress led her to learn peer massage. She now works as a parent and teacher coach, and a touch educator.

                                                                                                              www.theablair.com

     

    From LILIPOH Issue 69 VOL. 17, Fall 2012--order back issues by emailing [email protected] or [email protected]  

    Full story

    Comments (0)

  • Preparation for the Year's Greatest Cosmic Mystery

     

    The Lenten season is not only a time of abstinence, it is also a season of preparation. Over the years I have created a way to engage with this mood of preparation that is informed by the understanding that each day of the week is related to one of the seven planetary spheres, and in turn, each of these spheres to a specific teaching of the 8-Fold Path of the Buddha, as per Rudolf Steiner.

    There are nearly seven weeks of Lent, including the Holy Week from Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday. So, there are the seven days of the week; the seven weeks of Lent; the seven planetary spheres; there are also seven planetary seals; and the seven teachings + one overall contemplation in the 8-fold path.

    Aligning these elements to one another throughout the Lenten season supports our preparation for the sacred Festival of Easter (Note: Because Easter is a movable feast, its date changes each year, so this contemplation must be adjusted from one year to the next, as was the intent with the original Calendar of the Soul).

    What you will need:

    1. Calendar with pen

    2. Journal

    3. Harmony of the Gospels, which lists the events in the life of the Christ and

    where they occur in each of the Gospels

    4. Eight-Fold Path descriptions as rendered by Rudolf Steiner, esp in Guidance in

    Esoteric Training

    5. Planetary Seals (optional)

    6. Five minutes each day from March 5 to April 20, 2014

     

    Each week of the seven weeks is dedicated to a planetary sphere and the day of the week to which that sphere aligns, like this:

    March 1 to 5, 2014 includes the three days of Carnival (from Saturday to Tuesday), culminating in Mardi Gras (Tuesday, March 4), followed by Ash Wednesday, March 5.

     During these five days, I contemplate the events of PALM SUNDAY, as they are listed in the Harmony of the Gospels (Jesus triumphantly enters Jerusalem. He weeps over the city as doomed. At eventide, He returns to Bethany, having first entered the temple, and sternly looked around upon all things). This activity is described in each of the Gospels, so throughout these five days, I will spend time each day reviewing the story/description. 

     

    From Ash Wednesday, March 5 to Sunday, March 9 at sunset, I contemplate the events of HOLY MONDAY (Moon day) of Holy Week.

     

     *From March 9 to March 16 at sunset, HOLY TUESDAY (Mars day)

     

    *From March 16 to March 23, HOLY WEDNESDAY (Mercury Day)

     

    *From March 23 to March 30, MAUNDY THURSDAY (Jupiter Day)

     

    *From March 30 to April 6, GOOD FRIDAY (Venus Day)

     

    *From April 6 to Palm Sunday, April 13, I contemplate the events of HOLY

    SATURDAYfrom the Holy Week (Saturn Day)

     

    And then, during the Holy Week from April 13 to Easter Sunday April 20 this year, I contemplate the events of EASTER SUNDAY (Sun Day) from the Harmony of the Gospels. 

    What to do:

    1. Mark the dates on your wall calendar (ie March 9 to 15, Mars; March 16 to 23, Mercury; March 23 to 30 Jupiter; and so on)

     2. Set up a journal with at least seven pages, with at least one page for each day of the week, and enough room in each section for noting insights/experiences and creating imagery.

    3. Each day of the week, spend five minutes with the story of that day. For example, from March 9 to March 16, each day, I will spend five minutes contemplating the story from the Harmony of the Gospels that is about Tuesday of that week (Christ interrogated by the High Priests). What I am looking for is how this story reveals its mystery when I consider it on Monday, then on Tuesday, then on Wednesday, and so on, throughout the week. So I get the perspective on the Christ being interrogated by the High Priests first on Monday, then Tuesday, then Wednesday, or, in other words, I am trying to develop a sense for the events of the Holy Week as they are viewed through the lens of the different planetary spheres. So what does this interrogation look like from Moon, from Mars, from Mercury, from Jupiter, from Venus, from Saturn, from Sun? Rudolf Steiner repeatedly described the Mystery of Golgotha as a cosmic event taking place on the stage of Earth where humanity could see it. This makes it possible, I believe, for us to enter more fully into the way the cosmos also participated...

    4. Each day, contemplate the 8-fold path teaching that belongs to that day of the week. So again, from March 9 to March 16 this year, I will consider, each day, the teaching for Tuesday/Mars Day, which is RIGHT DEED, especially as it is described in Guidance in Esoteric Training.

    5. Each day, or perhaps at the beginning or end of the week, I will create the planetary seal for that week's planetary contemplation. As an example, if I create a Holy Week Journal, then on the page I have prepared for Mars, I will draw the Mars Seal on that day...Ideally this type of preparation will lend itself  to further understanding of the Mystery of Golgotha out of my individual initiative and understanding. There are volumes of materials available for further study, and I especially recommend Emil Bock's Holy Week section from his book The Three Years.

     

    Each year we celebrate the Easter Mystery and each year the cosmos arrives at a unique alignment, indicating that we must find the expression of this mystery ever and again anew from one year to the next.

     

    My hope is that this contemplation will support us in finding our way to this year's Mystery, and I very much appreciate hearing about your experience!

     

    The last New Moon of the winter season arrives this Saturday, March 1st, so this is a good time to get organized for this kind of contemplation.

     

    Mary Stewart Adams ~ A Time for Gathering Stars ~ [email protected]

     

    *You can hear Mary’s  program The Storyteller's Guide to the Night Sky each week on Interlochen Public Radio. The program airs each Friday at 7:49 am, during the local broadcast of NPR's "Morning Edition", and is updated on the Interlochen website each week.

    Mary Stewart Adams ~ A Time for Gathering Stars ~ [email protected]

     

    All content copyright 2014 Fairy Tale Moons, LLC

    Full story

    Comments (0)

  • Chunzhigu College

     

    With the aim of cultivating talents that are working for the future eco-community, Chunzhigu College is the first independent Waldorf College in China associated and sponsored by The Modern Administrative University of Beijing, which is one of top ten private Universities in China. We provide academic education to students from all over the world, who are interested in the work and philosophy of Rudolf Steiner, including Waldorf Education, Art, Rhythmical Massage, Community Development, BD Agriculture, Movement Education, Eurythmy and Anthroposophical Medicine.

     

    The College offers both full-time and part-time education programs. All of the programs are designed and taught by international anthroposophists, artists and experienced Waldorf teachers from all over the world. At Chunzhigu College, teachers and students from different cultural backgrounds are meeting and working. Steiner’s teaching begins from the West and finds its way into the old wisdom of the East with a renewed China specific curriculum that is emerging through conversation and study together. Since the college is now based within the Chunzhigu community near the Phoenix Mountains, students work on the first BD farm of China and have a practicum in Chunzhigu Waldorf School (grades school and kindergarten). There are also many enriching cultural opportunities with Chinese festivals, arts and concerts.

     

    Our future belongs to the awakening and involvement of Youth within our movement through anthroposophical study and its many branches of learning. A Bachelor’s degree is provided and hopefully a Master’s degree in the future. The College is located in the Phoenix Mountains with clean air and spring water. Dragon Spring Buddhism Temple and Peach Garden Taoist Temple are nearby within walking distance. All programs are bilingual, in English and Chinese language. We welcome students from abroad to join us.

     

    We are living and working for a better world maybe not only in China, but even for the whole planet. We ride on the crest of a renewed China as it takes on an ever emerging important position in the world global village. Steiner’s words and wisdom have found their way here from the west and now resound strongly in East after one century.

     

     

    * Full-time programs

         a. One year Foundation Study

         b. One year Foundation & Waldorf Study  ( *Grades school  *Early Childhood)

         c. Two years Waldorf Teacher Training Program ( *Grades School  *Early Childhood)

    * Part-time Programs

             a. One year Anthroposophy Foundation Study

             b. Two Years Waldorf Teacher Training Program (*Grades School *Early Childhood)

             c. Two Years Observation Study Program

             d. Two Years Spacial Dynamics Training Program

             e. Three years Art & Sculptural Program

             f. Three Years Rhythmical Massage Training Program (first one in China)

             g. Three Years Waldorf Community Development & School Management Program

    (For g, we are working together with Guangzhou and Chengdu as the initiative)

     

    We are looking for: Teachers, Students, Volunteers, Funds and Support Teachers:

    a.Full-time experienced Waldorf grade school class teacher for Chunzhigu College.

    b.Full-time experienced Early-Childhood teacher for both Chunzhigu college and school.

    c.Full-time English Teacher for grade school.

    d. Part time block teachers for adults education.

    Students and Volunteers

    Students from all over the world who interested learn and experience Chinese language and Culture and Waldorf Education

    Funds

    This is a non-profit program, We need your support:

    a.Fund for student aid;

    b.Fund for teachers scholarship;

    c.Fund for artists from minority nationality areas.

    d.Fund for a Anthroposophy and Waldorf Education Library

    Support

    Our community is very young. We need your support. We look forward to work with you and your school in these areas: teachers exchange, Mentorship, practicum and internship.

     

    Website:www.chunzhigu.org    Weblog:http://blog.sina.com.cn/springvalley10

    Email: [email protected] [email protected]

    Contact: Ning Yuan Yu, 917-5530465(US),00886-18810816390(China),

           Baoling Wang, (00886) 18911270593

    Full story

    Comments (0)

  • The Berkshire-Columbia Investment Network

    The Berkshire-Columbia Investment Network : Supporting the Local Economy through an Association of Investors and Borrowers

     

    On July 10th,2013, the Berkshire-Columbia Investment Network had its first regular meeting at the Quaker Meeting House in Great Barrington, Mass. About twenty people attended, most of them small investors anxious to help support the development of local business in the Berkshire-Taconic region of western Massachusetts and adjacent Columbia County, New York. Sauerkraut Seth, who developed his experience at the Hawthorne Valley Farm in Harlemville, N.Y.,  presented his product and his plans for expanding production. He was looking for about $50,000 to acquire a production facility and new machinery for fermenting cabbage. A local investor had already indicated she was willing to provide about $20,000. to help him expand his business. Seth was followed by David Frost, an engineer, seeking funding for his injection plastic molding business for which he was in the process of seeking a patent. He could foresee the growth of local production and saw the opportunity for a unique blending of the arts and industrial design and production in the Berkshires. Steve Nelson, a local businessman with many years of experience was interested in developing a local solar leasing company, pointing out that most solar leasing companies are large California based organizations who install solar equipment for free, sending electricity to the grid, and take their earnings out of state. Why not keep that capital here as well as expand local employment he asked. The last presenter was Michael Tesoro whose pasta sauce was a local favorite in Guido’s and other specialty food stores in the area. He too wanted to expand production and had recently negotiated a lease with the city of North Adams for an unused school building. He was looking for about $400,000 and was willing to consider giving an investor an equity position in the business.

    Each presenter was faced with a host of questions and each responded quickly and well. Some had received help from Keith Girouad, the director of the Small Business Development Center in Pittsfield, whose task is to foster the development of small business in the region.

    The Berkshire-Columbia Investment Network does not make any investment decisions as a group, nor does it recommend any particular investment. It sees itself as a matchmaker, or a conversation facilitator, replacing what used to exist in small towns and local communities, extended family networks and local banks that served local business and local entrepreneurs. It is in the process of becoming a membership association.

    The idea for creating a platform or a conversation between small organizations seeking funding and small or medium sized investors grew out of a set of talks between the members of the organizing group, Rich Lumma of Spencertown, Chris Schaefer and Robin Zeamer of Great Barrington and Peter Buckbee and Maia Conte. In particular we do not trust the large banks and Wall Street, where tired of not receiving any interest from our savings, and felt that a relationship should be created between local businesses needing funding and local investors wanting to support a local sustainable economy. The idea that we wanted to know how our money was working in the world, to connect our will and intentions to a transparent financial process which served the common good was also important to us. We were inspired by the LION ( Local Investment Opportunity Network ) initiative in Port Townsend, Washington, which over the last five years has put over 2 million dollars to work in their local economy.

    For more information or to become a member go to www.berkcolumbiainvest.org

    Christopher Schaefer

    Full story

    Comments (0)

  • Mind Garden

    Imagine… a place where love is being planted…

    Where creative thoughts are expanding…

    Pushing out the yuck.  Where

    Positive plans and beautiful dreams

    are a new Reality.

    ~Celest Askins

     

    Full story

    Comments (0)

  • Sharing an Article from LILIPOH's Fall Issue...

    Looking for 'God with Skin On'

     

    By Leah Walker

     

    She stood in the doorway.  A second-grade education, a horribly abusive childhood, a prisoner.  She hadn't attended the last seven meetings of her Talk to Me program.  The facilitator had asked her to set a goal of reading aloud before the class, hoping to encourage her growth but instead inadvertently scaring her away.  Yet, here she was.  She had returned, and was asking to come in.

     

    As a prisoner, this woman is part of an invisible and forgotten population, existing in a sensory-deprived environment of obvious and extreme social isolation and behavioral control.  Most prisoners are “hungry for everything,” including the commonplace:  color, meaningful activity, interaction with others....  An inspired organization, Truth Be Told, seeks to feed a few of these hungry souls in two correctional facilities in Texas, Hilltop in Gatesville, a state institution, and Lockhart, a privately operated facility.

     

    Truth Be Told offers three different semester-long programs:  Talk to Me Speaking, Talk to Me Circle and Talk to Me Movement.  They run concurrently, twice per year, serving approximately 75 female participants each semester.  In all three programs, participants explore their biographies, in particular, the story of how they came to live behind bars.  Talk to Me Speaking takes its shape from Toastmasters and tends to attract extroverts, those who enjoy attention.  Talk to Me Circle was designed, in part, to meet the needs of introverts; with a focus on writing, participants work more privately with their inner world of thought and feeling.  Finally, Talk to Me Movement was added for the more active, kinesthetic learners.

     

    The first homework assignment is central in value:  the lifeline, upon which participants plot experiences and decisions they believe led to incarceration.  Eventually, participants focus on three core experiences.  It is a powerful exercise for anyone to take a life situation and ask:  What three key events led me here?  Talk to Me programs culminate in participants “telling their story” through a speech, a written composition read aloud, or a short performance, first, to their classmates and then to a small audience at graduation.  Having worked through it inwardly, it is key that participants share their story with others.  Talk to Me programs increase self-understanding, develop trust, improve communication skills, and shift participant focus from past wrongs to present strengths and future possibilities.  Further steps are possible through Discovery (Talk to Me Level Two) where creative arts, tools for life-renovation, and practices for personal and spiritual growth are taught. 

     

    About the Co-creators of Truth Be Told

     

    They were aware of one another long before they spoke.  Their sons were in school together.  One day, Nathalie invited Carol to join her in a small writing group.  As their friendship developed, Carol came to feel she had to tell Nathalie she was a recovering alcoholic.  Nathalie acknowledged Carol’s courage in choosing sobriety and speaking her truth.  Carol was surprised.  She had feared rejection and hadn't for a moment imagined she’d be embraced instead.  Not long after, Nathalie asked Carol to tell her story to the women at the Lockhart Unit enrolled in Talk to Me Speaking.  With some trepidation, Carol agreed and immediately knew she'd found a calling.  Carol’s contribution led to the development of Talk to Me Circle (the writing program).  Thirteen years later, impassioned volunteer activity has become a respected, growing non-profit organization.

     

    The ways Nathalie Sorrell and Carol Waid are alike is a short list.  They are storytellers to be sure.  They share a love for people and a deep commitment to the work of Truth Be Told.  They respect and use the twelve-step program.  Both are fast talkers with strong and delightful southern accents.  But their similarities might just about end there.  As is true of many partners, Nathalie and Carol are a study in contrasts, both conflicting and complementary.  For example, when approached by a program participant who is struggling, Nathalie might offer the proverbial swift kick in the seat of the pants, saying cheerfully, “Use the tools we're giving you!"  Carol, on the other hand, would offer reassurance in a tone and with words that would give a figurative hug.

     

    Nathalie is a talkative extrovert who is unafraid of authority figures, a highly useful characteristic in negotiating prison bureaucracy, guards, and wardens.  As a professional public speaker, she has a strong presence and is able to command attention easily.  By contrast, it is not Carol's nature to step forward and speak out, and she would never dream of approaching the warden of a prison if it were not for the women she serves.  Some affectionately refer to Carol as "a heart on two legs."

     

    Nathalie and Carol have met great challenges in working together and over many years now have made a rare and rewarding effort to understand one another.  For this writer, it is clearly evident that their perseverance is essential to the efficacy of Truth Be Told.  Carol and Nathalie will not ask more of the prisoners than they ask of themselves.  They take their responsibility for self-exploration and open communication seriously.  Inspired by the determination they witness in the prisoners, they dig deeper, and their vulnerability makes them good and worthy leaders.  I would argue the grit of Truth Be Told exists first in Carol and Nathalie, individually and as co-creators.  Said grit includes courage, mettle, backbone, strength of will, steel, resolve, perseverance, guts.

     

    Programs Born Of and About Biography

     

    Nathalie is a self-described “church lady” who for many years applied her natural gifts for leadership within her congregation, Toastmasters, Wishcraft, and other programs of self-development.  Following two startling experiences with homeless individuals, something began to gnaw at Nathalie.  How many times had she considered Matthew 25?  “Feed the hungry, clothe the naked, tend to the sick and imprisoned...  Until you do this to the least of these, you have not done it to me..."  "I had always ministered to people like me--upper middle class, white women.  And they're not on that list!” she exclaims.  One day, Nathalie’s biography changed quietly but earnestly when a maid, obviously sick with the flu, entered her hotel room to clean.  While Nathalie journaled on the balcony, her discomfort grew.  A deep feeling drove her to reach out, first to this maid with prayer and a small gift of money (all she had at the time) and, within a year, into a new level of service, the work with prisoners.

     

    Carol describes herself as a “bar-fight girl” and wonders at the grace in her life that somehow kept her from seriously injuring someone or landing in jail.  Images from Carol’s past are painful for her, and she wishes especially for her children that it had been different--not filled with her drinking and marital violence.  Her story was changed dramatically by a car accident and steadily through her commitment to twelve-step work.

     

    By giving away Carol's and Nathalie's nicknames for themselves, I may now have risked the reader's judgement.  The novelist and storyteller Chimamanda Adichie warns:  If we hear only "the single story" we will invariably misunderstand.  "Bar-fight girl” and “church lady” do not begin to describe the many facets of Carol and Nathalie.  And the word “prisoner” does not sum up an individual who is incarcerated; nonetheless, the word conjures the single story, one we think we know.  The single story is a pigeonhole, a way in which we imprison one another.

     

    It's in the Telling... and the Listening

     

    Without a trace of emotion, a woman tells of how she shot and killed her husband while her baby lay on the bed in the same room.  Emotionlessness, or dissociation, is an exquisite coping strategy, where one is guarded from the difficulty of remembering.  Others, in telling their stories, feel the impact deeply.  Re-traumatization can occur and in such cases creative outlets are provided.  But it is also observed that trauma is transformed through the storytelling.  From time to time, a participant approaches the podium, shaking with fear, crying perhaps, and then slowly a moment comes when she relaxes, her facial expression changes, and she returns to her chair visibly altered.  She may report she "feels like herself again." 

     

    The German poet Friedrich Schiller wrote, "Become who you are."  For this, oftentimes, something must be exposed or burned away, and it is painful.  The question is for any of us:  Can I bear to look?  Can I bear myself through the difficulty of facing my past?  Do I dare speak the truth?  The unabashed goal of Truth Be Told is transformation.  Talk To Me programs encourage participants to risk the chaos, the emotional trial that deep self-exploration requires.

     

    While finding oneself involves an inner searching that typically occurs in solitude, transformation is not fulfilled alone.  It is well understood in the field of human development that we come to know who we are not in isolation, but through interaction with others.  It is cliche but true:  we need to be heard.  Where one is greeted with some measure of acceptance, what was long buried--whether secret trauma or subverted self--may emerge and be transformed.  One may find a new beginning.  Although there are mundane terms for this, such as "rehabilitation" and "reform," it is not going too far to call it resurrection.

     

    It may be one of the great mysteries of human existence:  What happens when people confide in one another?  How is it that we enter into a conversation with a deep sense of shame or overwhelming fear and, if we are willing and courageous--and warmly received--emerge peaceful, lighter, less burdened?  And why do we risk it so rarely, being open about who we are and what we’ve done?  None of us is without error and regret, and yet we are reticent to share.  What will happen if I let you know who I am?  Will I be rejected or "sent to my room"?  And thus, we imprison ourselves.

     

    For centuries, peace with one’s past has been sought through confession.  If we are able to free this age-old idea from all negative connotation, then we may perceive in it something of the archetypal human relationship.  In sadness, brokenness, confusion, I come seeking a blessing—I hope to be restored by your warmth and forgiveness and encouragement.  Talk to Me programs culminate in no less than a moment for each participant where such a possibility exists, where being accepted makes her acceptable.

     

    One biography influences the other.  Hearing your story changes the way I see and feel about mine.  We "work on" one another, give shape to one another's lives, perhaps even create one another.  At any moment, in any given conversation, each of us can be, as Nathalie says, "God with skin on."

     

    The practical benefits of the Talk to Me programs are many.  Graduates may return in the role of mentor to a new group, which adds strength to the ongoing program.  Mentors have the opportunity to give back and in doing so again realize a change in their self-image, from “one needing help” to “helper"--they may even see a new role for themselves in society, a real step towards potential success beyond bars.  In facing their parole board interview—a daunting task—imagine the support prisoners gain in having found self-acceptance and in having developed the ability to speak clearly and present themselves strongly.  Truth Be Told graduates are better prepared to advocate on their own behalf.

     

    Stepping Into a New Space

     

    The woman who stood in the doorway had found the courage to read in front of the class after all, had found the strength to risk rejection, and was asking to be allowed to be vulnerable.  She explained, "I wrote something myself, and I've been practicing."  Carol hesitated knowing program policy prohibits the return of one who leaves, but something urged her to allow the exception.  And this wounded yet brave individual stepped over the threshold back into the group and, while the others listened, began to tell her story.

     

    For more about Truth Be Told, please visit:  www.truth-be-told.org

     

    Leah Walker lives in Austin, TX, and is a faculty member of the certificate program of the Center for Biography and Social Art.  For more on the subject of biography, please visit:  biographysocialart.org

    Full story

    Comments (0)

  • Creating Space for Summer

    Creating Space for Summer

    By: Marsha Johnson

     

    Creating space for summer now comes into our busy lives.  We feel the point of the summer solstice arrive, we know that the time of light has bloomed to its fullest extent possible, we can see the nights linger just beyond the horizon, as the light is filling the sky and our world.  Late night walks can still be taken with the sun gleaming long and low on the landscape, and the gentle hush of the evening lasts forever.  The children often begin to suffer as bedtime approaches as they feel drawn out, out into that sunlit night, to stay up late, to be immersed in the gentle moon-like sunlight, late in the evening!  And so we feel this approaching time of the year, and in our deepest hearts, we also feel the impending counter-time of year, on the opposite side of the globe.  We feel this deeply in our being, that winter solstice being held there, in the shortest day of the year.  We can intuit that balance of these forces in a polar-sense, on the one hand, full brilliant golden warmth, on the other side, full velvet darkness of the long night.

     

    In our homes, as we are preparing here in the northern hemisphere on planet Earth, we have an urgency to clear the space, clean the surfaces, organize the materials, and begin something new.  We need clear and clean vistas of space in our minds, in our souls, in our homes, and even in every room and the refrigerator to let in the new season, summer, and prepare in earnest for the business of leisure!  Here are some simple hints for helping yourselves and your family into this beautiful new time of year!

     

    First, take time to walk about your home and observe.  Better to do this after the children are asleep or even better, before they are awake.  Take a mental inventory of your home.  How are things arranged, what is present, what prevails over the home, what is the mood?  Is it the hurry hustle of school days, or the clitter clatter of too many plastic items?  Are there places where objects have accumulated without reason, are they spaces that are inviting for the eye or the body to move about or stretch?  What is your vision of a summer time residence?  Walk about the yard or garden as well and begin to vision, what needs to be here for the summer experience for my family?

     

    Now be careful about the end of the school 'time' and put away the materials and items that we would use during the school year.  Gather and find lost pencils, crayons, sharpeners, finished books and papers, take time to bind the loose papers into a volume, tuck things into a neat storage container to save for September, rearrange the desk for recreational art projects, a nice box with scissors, glue, fresh art pad, a container of portable pencils or crayons, ready for the field, ready to go in a pack.

     

    Clean and wash paint jars, brushes, paint boards, and apron.  Clean glass water jars and bleach the paint rags, fold and store neatly.  Round the corners of any extra painting paper and store it flat, in a paper or cloth wrap, to wait for the fall.  Organize the handwork basket or box, and order the needles, knitting supplies, tape measures, threads on the ring, sewing scissors, fold the fabric neatly and store in a handy place.  Have the children roll balls of yarn to make a lovely basket of colorful wool, ready for summer projects to use up those yarn ends and bits.

     

    The school is officially closed on a particular day, with a celebration and a picnic or party.  School books are stored in the permanent library as the bedroom or living room bookshelf is now open for those weekly trips to the library to discover new authors and recreational summer reading time!  Oh, I love summer reading time!  We find out when the read-aloud time is at the local library and mark it on the calendar!  Oh yes the summer calendar:  we create this for these 10 weeks of bliss!  When are the local live musical events, when are we vacating our homes to be away to somewhere else, when are story times, festival times, camping week ends and so on.  We make this calendar to hang in the dining room where we can see what each day and week has in store for us, in the way of river and beach trips, for berry picking and jam making, for community gatherings and park play exploration days....

     

    Now that school has been put away, the next task is to examine the home and its furnishings and consider, how can we create a summer landscape in our home?  Can we move items around to improve air flow and cooler breezes; can we add blowing white silk curtains to the baby's room to show us the beautiful movement of the wind?  Can we hang a fairy house drape over your bed with thin white fabric and a twisted stick wooden ring to create a mysterious midsummer night effect for sleeping?  Can we do some origami folding and make small birds to hang from stick mobiles to drift or little sailboats to add to the feeling of summer?

     

    Can we clear away winter clutter of boots, coats, wool hats and mittens and hang up sun visors, flip flops, a bag with big towels and sunscreen, a couple hand shovels and a roll of newspaper and some matches for out the door river trips?  Do we have a bowlful of beautiful sea shells on our front porch table to muse through (not the purchased kind which is not a very nice industry in the world but ones we have found)?  Can we clear the counter and find the glass pitcher, ready for lemonade and iced tea?

     

    Locate the Popsicle making equipment for using juice and yogurt to make delicious homemade popsicles with chopped fresh fruit inside!  Locate the BBQ equipment and clean it, ready for grilling on hot summer nights.  Set up the fire pit or chiminea with small wood logs and kindling, ready to enjoy. Put out the lawn furniture in strategic spots and plant in the garden, the bean teepee or sunflower house.

     

    Change the colors in your home to sea green, pale blues, cool pinks or golds. Stitch up new cloth napkins with summer designs-this is an easy project, you can hem by hand, and each family member has a nice cottony new napkin for the table designed with summer images.  Fill a bowl with water and float a blossom or two.

     

    Find the sports equipment for the bigger kids and fill a basket by the door with what is needed for outdoor play, such as sidewalk chalks, ropes, balls, and Frisbees.  Take time to play family outdoor games with flashlights or sets like croquet or badminton.  The children will never forget the times parents played with them.

     

    In the dietary habits of the home, lighten up on the foods, think green and think lighter, sandwiches of cucumber and thin cheese, fruit at every meal, smoothies for breakfast.  With older kids, have each one take a night and choose a menu and make simple dishes for the family supper, while eating outside often and going for picnics once a week.

     

    In your own heart, lighten the mood by reading happy books, some silly reading.  Attempt some creative writing, journal the mood of the weather or paint it daily or draw a new nature friend, a leaf or flower, in your personal journal each day.  Imagine the creative power of seeing your mother go outside each day, sit down, and draw in her personal book!  Simple pencil drawings-just enjoy, don't rush and don't worry.

     

    For me, it is about clearing out unwanted furnishings, cleaning counters and spaces, seeing smooth surfaces with inviting summery items, cloth tablemats on porch furnishings, shifting colors in the bed sheets to paler cotton choices rather and darker flannel ones.  We can create this mood around us, with our physical objects.  That is the easy part, but we also need to shift our inner selves, to adopt light moods, sillier songs, joyful moments, and carefree feelings!  We can be so focused on our home education and we can get very serious about it, this is major work here, mister! But we must be able to rise like the lightest yeast cinnamon roll dough and fly about with the birds of summer, to show the children that we can be freed from some of the earthly cares and woes that can feel so heavy in winter...and we can go out into the gossamer days of July and August, and absorb the sun energy, to draw into ourselves this life giving gold, to harbor and nurture, for the dark days of winter that will arrive!

    I feel like the Martha Stewart of the Waldorf World!  Try a few things and let me know, please, how did it affect you and your family?

    ~Marsha Johnson is a long time Waldorf teacher and school founder in Portland, Oregon.  She currently teaches at Shining Star Waldorf School and has a website on Yahoo under Groups Waldorfhomeeducators, and a site http://www.magicofwaldorf.com . 

    (Article edited by Jodi Carnes-LILIPOH Magazine)

    Full story

    Comments (0)

  • Autism and Ego Organization Development in Children

                        Autism and Ego Organization Development in Children

    Basil Williams

     

                Autism is a developmental disorder that has a wide spectrum of presentations in children, usually shown initially before the age of four.  It is classified by the American Psychiatric Association under the term Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) (1).  ASD can vary between two extremes of a high-functioning autism called Asperger Syndrome to a low-functioning autism with multiple kinds of clinical presentations in-between.  Autism was first documented by Leo Kanner in 1942 with the description of a small number of cases that were then uncommon.  Since that time, however, the incidence has increased yearly, especially after 1980.  In 1942, 1 in 10,000 children were affected by autism, whereas the incidence is now as high as 1 in 88 children.  A large recent study in South Korean schools found the incidence to be 1 in 37 children.

    Milestones

                 The Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers* should be followed if there is a suspicion of autism.  Broadly and briefly, a baby should return a smile by four months and should babble by six months.  By nine months, a child should play with toys and by twelve months, play peek-a-boo.  Youngsters should be able to say three words by ten months and fifteen words by fifteen months.  The child should be able to begin to put words together and participate in pretend play at twenty-four months.  Then at three years of age, the child would be able to answer questions of who, where and what.

                 Between approximately two and a half to three years of age, the child remembers one of his or her first life experiences.  It may have been an important memory in the child’s daily life and the memory could be either pleasant or painful.  It is in this important time period when the child first identifies oneself as “I” and develops the earliest stages of ego-organization development. This is an important milestone in the life of the child and there is the emergence of the sense of self and core being.  “Johnny wants candy” or “Me wants candy” becomes “I want candy.”

                The question arises among many therapists, physicians, public health officials, school officials and parents: “What is the cause of ASD and why has it increased so dramatically in recent years?”

                Perhaps one can expand the concept of autism in a new way that may help explain its origin and eventually lead to new forms of therapies.  As Albert Einstein once said, “You cannot solve a problem with the same mindset that caused the problem in the first place.”  There must be openness to new concepts and ideas to try to solve this puzzle of human development. 

    Causes

                The concept that there is a progressive development of the ego-organization or “I” in a normally developing child is a basis for understanding the underlying cause of autism or ASD.  A child with ASD does not have a normal development of the ego-organization or “I”.  He or she may develop a markedly reduced ego-organization and in very severe cases of ASD, may never develop a normal ego-organization or “I”.  The child with Asperger Syndrome may have the least ego-organization impairment, but he or she still has difficulty with normal social adjustment.  The individual ego-organization is the child’s highest member that fails to penetrate normally into the physical and life body.  This failure of the normal development of the ego-organization by the child with ASD is then unavailable or deficient in directing the activities of the soul.  With failure of the normal ego-organization or “I” development, steps can be taken to prevent and also develop appropriate therapies.

                 Genetic predispositions and environmental factors such as exposure to pesticides and/or heavy metals can be causes for ASD.  Birth trauma is a known factor as well.  Macro cephalic children by ages five to twelve months were found to be five times more likely to develop ASD than children who had a normal circumference of the head.  Older mothers, multiple births and intrauterine exposure to toxic substances have been reported to produce a higher incidence of autism.  A Dutch study found that there was a higher risk of autism in babies with a low Apgar reading at five minutes, breech presentation, gestation less than 35 weeks and a parental history of schizophrenia like psychosis or affective disorder.  Other studies have shown that mothers who took the antidepressants Prozac or Zoloft during pregnancy had a higher risk of autism among their offspring.  Dr. Shawn Centers, DO who cares for children with autism states, “Research has shown that autistic children are twelve times more likely to have suffered birth trauma or complications than non-autistic siblings.”  He further states, “Birth trauma, diet, electromagnetic field exposure from cell phones and wireless transmissions and xenobiotics-substances foreign to the human body that are increasingly prevalent in the environment are significant co-factors in the development of autism.”(3)

                 Many children with autism cannot significantly break down large dietary proteins such as casein and gluten.  These peptides are incompletely digested and are absorbed out of the small intestine directly into the blood circulation, causing abnormal opiate receptors stimulation that increases the brain serotonin levels.  The increased amounts of serotonin in the body have been reported to be present in between sixty to ninety percent of autistic children.  Dr. Centers further states: “These high serotonin levels may lead to sensitivity to touch, loud noises, the tags on clothing, and so forth, and eventually cause a child to enter an extreme self-focused autistic state.”(3)

                Childhood vaccinations have created the most controversy, as proponents of vaccines feel from statistical data that vaccines do not cause autism and all vaccines should be given on specified times in the life of the child. More research needs to be done and the large epidemiological studies of vaccine usage say nothing about individual risks. However, some oppone feel vaccines should not be given at all. There are many parents, physicians and researchers whose views lie somewhere in-between.

                One of the main issues of contention is the presence of Thimerosal in the older vaccines. This substance has been removed from many of the vaccines, but it still exists in some. The Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccine does not contain Thimerosal.  Some parents with autistic children have related to me the following, concerning their children after a series of vaccines were given: “My child who developed autism was fine until he or she was given multiple vaccines.”  The vaccines by themselves may not have been the only factors that contributed to the autism, but they may have tipped the scales as an underlying cause for this condition.  Many proponents of reduced vaccine use feel that they should be given as single injections and at a longer interval of time between vaccines - especially before the age of four.  A more thorough discussion of this subject can be found in the booklet on autism (2).

    Treatment and Therapies

                One of the major therapies of ASD requires working with the twelve senses of the developing child.  The four lower senses of life, touch, balance and movement relate directly with the four higher senses.  The four higher senses are hearing the other, speech or word of the other, idea or concept of the other and the Ego or ‘I’ of the other.  The lower sense of life gives the child the ability to understand the ideas of the other.  The sense of touch as a lower sense has to do with recognizing the self of the child and leads to recognizing the Ego of another.  The child’s sense of balance is the foundation for the sense of hearing of the other.  The sense of body’s movement in space supports the sense of speech or the words of the other.  The four middle senses of smell, taste, sight and warmth bring the world into the autistic child and they become aware of their relationship to the world. (5)  The following therapies have been helpful in treating children on the autism spectrum.  Each therapy requires a trained therapist and the participation of a physician who is familiar with the therapy. 

                Eurythmy by a trained curative eurythmist is an important therapy for the autistic child and can be helpful for the development of all the twelve senses.  Bernard Auditory Training has been used to desensitize overly sensitive hearing in autistic children.  In speech therapy, it is important for the children to have freedom and flexibility of movement, in order to understand another person’s spoken word.  Music therapy and rhythm may bring emotion and pleasure to autistic children.  Major breakthroughs in autistic children’s development have occurred when therapists have worked with music therapy.

                 Rhythmical massage addresses the ego-organization through the therapy of touch, which has a direct bearing upon autistic children.  This therapy can also be very beneficial for helping the ego-organization and astral body to slip more easily into the hardened physical and life bodies of these children.  Cranial Osteopathic manipulation by trained physicians has shown improvement in autistic children who have had cranial compressions due to birth trauma.  (4)  “Extra Lesson” also supports the twelve senses and helps with the developmental needs of a child.

    Oil dispersion bath therapy by specially trained therapists can be helpful for the ego-organization development and children may need different oils, depending upon their individual constitutions and special needs.  Some children with ASD have shown improvement with homeopathic and Anthroposophical medications. 

    The Handle Institute utilizes different methods of treating ASD.  Some of these practices are nutritional guidance, movement therapies, passive practice for development of new neural pathways, support of the vestibular system and equilibrium, exercises for proprioception and programs for desensitization of stimuli.  Therapeutic riding has been especially helpful for pupils who are withdrawn and may have difficulty with speech.  Spatial Dynamics is a movement therapy that may help the children’s relationship to their own bodies and surrounding spaces.  This is accomplished through appropriate movements and gestures.

                 Nutrition is an important part of most autistic children’s therapies and only a few thoughts can be given here.  Finding the different allergies or intolerances to different foods and providing elimination diets can be very therapeutic for many autistic children.  In many children with ASD who have vitamin and mineral deficiencies, there have been marked improvements in their condition after treatment.

                Environmental toxins, heavy metals and radiation from electronic technology have increased significantly, especially since the 1980’s.  During this time, the incidence of autism has increased the most.  The use of Pesticides on fruits and vegetables and GMO seeds have also increased and these foods sources can be replaced by serving biodynamic or organically-grown foods.

                Older children and adults with ASD may have astounding gifts and abilities in different fields such as mathematics, writing, art, music, engineering and other creative activities.  They can have exceptional intelligence with high IQ abilities.  The children with autism have many challenges to overcome with their various disabilities and the role of the caretaker is to bring out their inner potential so that they can make the most of their lives.  The caregivers can guide the autistic children to the many kinds of therapies and help the children to expand their world, enrich their experiences and help them to develop special skills.

                Autism requires a multi-system, whole-body approach for an understanding of the causes and therapies for ASD.  Ultimately, the ego-organization of an autistic child must be able to master, secret, convert, overcome and make one’s own every foreign substance or stimuli that enters his or her body.  If this process cannot be accomplished adequately within the growing child, then normal ego-organization development may be inhibited and some form of ASD will express itself. Specific therapies were briefly described either singly or together that may help the emergence of the ego-organization or the Core Being into the developing child or young adult with autism.

     

    Dr. Basil Williams, D.O., an Osteopathic Physician, is board certified in Anthroposophic Medicine, Internal Medicine, Sub-Specialty Infectious Disease and is a Member of The Cranial Osteopathic Academy.  He is semi-retired and lives in Ghent, NY.  For a more thorough discussion of Dr. Basil Williams’ recent research on causes and treatment of ASD, please request his free up-to-date ninety-one page booklet (2). [email protected]

     

     

    References:

    1.  American Psychiatric Association 2000, DSM-1V-TR

    2.  Basil Williams, DO, A Study of Autism as a Lack of Normal Ego Organization Development in Children with Probable Etiologies and Therapies. Dec. 2012

    3.  Schierhorn, Carolyn ‘’ DOs combined range of approaches in battling autism’’ Journal   DO, July 2009

    4.  Sorrell, Margaret, March 2008 “Autistic Spectrum Disorder,” The AAO Journal : 11-18

    5.  Steiner, Rudolf. Lecture 7-9:  The Riddle of Humanity. August 1916, GA 170Rudolf Steiner Press, London 1990.

     

     

    *The Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers for Parents is a method of evaluating toddlers for autism and was developed in America by neuropsychologists Diana Robins and Deborah Fein and clinical psychologist Marianne Barton.  This method is used for screening children between 16 and 30 months of age to asses for the risk of autism or autistic spectrum disorder (ASD).

    Full story

    Comments (422)

  • Job Opening for Uriel Pharmacy

    Experienced Creative Leadership needed to take successful small-scale niche manufacturer of anthroposophic medicines to the NEXT LEVEL.

    Scientific background not essential, training will be provided, but strong organizational and leadership skills ARE ESSENTIAL. Enthusiasm and hands on attitude important, both in making products and supervising staff. Owner is engaged and motivated to assist in the training.

    Currently there are 12 full time employees, 7 in production, and sales are growing on strong demand. Strong leadership, communication and social development skills needed for this leadership position, focusing on Production. Friendly openness to anthroposophic healing modalities. Creative mind to perceive Big Picture needs and solutions.

    Other responsibilities that will be part of the job are:

    ·       FDA Compliance Oversight

    ·       Communicate with and report to owner

    ·       Arrange and verify training/cross-training

    ·       Develop skills and leadership in production staff

    ·       Identify the skills and potential of production staff

    ·       Regular communication with colleagues in other areas

    ·       Help with implementation and training of open book management

     

    Located on 4 acre farmette in rural East Troy, Wisconsin, 40 min. SW of Milwaukee. Additional businesses are being incubated: Farm/Gardens, Tours, On-Site Medical Practice. Uriel Pharmacy is open to add a satellite location as it develops into a multi-faceted company. Our present sales are 95% mail order.

     

    Salary will be based on experience and skills.  Profit sharing benefit is available. Please send your resume and letter of interest to [email protected]

     

    Deadline for applications: September 30th, 2013

    Confidentiality for applicants will be maintained

    Full story

    Comments (0)

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. 5
  6. 6
  7. 7
  8. 8
  9. 9
  10. Next page