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A Night in Nineveh

Nineveh was an ancient city on the eastern bank of the Tigris River in Mesopotamia, which is modern-day Iraq. It is one of the oldest and greatest cities in antiquity. The area was settled as early as 6000 BC and by 3000 BC had become an important religious center for worship of the goddess Ishtar.

“Nineveh was the superpower of her day,” my pastor once said during a church sermon. “It required three days to circle metropolitan Nineveh. And the Ninevites lived large. They enjoyed the best chariots, the finest food, and the most exotic entertainment. It had an extensive business and commercial system like none in the world. In addition, it had ruled the world for 200 years and was the strongest military power. Sounds familiar?”

Yes, very much so.

Nineveh is where Jonah was swallowed for three days and three nights by a whale. It’s where he was called to preach, to help its people repent and change their ways. Despite its great power, this ancient city was attacked and reduced to rubble by a number of groups as Nahum had prophesied. Nahum was a minor prophet whose prophecy is recorded in the Hebrew Bible or Old Testament. By 612, the city was left lost and buried until its rediscovery by archaeologists in the mid-19th century.

What happened in recent times to that region is truly tragic. After the advancement of ISIS in 2014, most of Nineveh was emptied of the Assyrian Chaldean Syriac people for the first time in thousands of years. 12,970 homes, 363 churches and 140 public properties were destroyed. The people who fled ended up living on the streets and in tents in the city of Ankawa, Kurdistan. Every effort was made by ISIS to destroy one of the oldest and most influential cultures in world history, bulldozing cemeteries, desecrating ancient churches and burning irreplaceable books. Without a country, minority groups were, and still are, bombarded from every angle with Arab, Kurdish, Iranian, Syrian, and western influences.

In response to this catastrophe, a young group of Americans of Mesopotamian heritage quickly formed a nonprofit organization called Shlama, which means “peace.” Peace is what they ultimately wanted to give back to their community so that they can thrive and prosper in their native lands. Today, most families who remained in Iraq have moved back to their villages. Shlama continues to be fully committed to supporting them in rebuilding their lives.

The organization’s board members are very creative. They provide a spreadsheet that states the name of the donor, the amount they donated, and a link to a short YouTube video that portrays how and for whom the money was used, with photos of the receipts.  In each video, the recipient(s) express their situation, thank the donor by name and address how the money has touched them. This not only shows where the money went, but it also creates a relationship between the donor and the recipient.

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Currently Shlama is organizing a mission’s trip to Iraq in March and before that, they’re having a fundraising event on March 1st called A Night in Nineveh where I’m honored to be the guest speaker. I’ll be sharing stories about the women of Ancient Mesopotamia, the history of education and schools in that region and healthcare and doctoring, and I’ll be talking about the marriage customs of the olden days. At this event, there will be lively music, great food, and a number of fun stations where you get to experience the colorful and rich traditions of ancient Mesopotamia.

The name Mesopotamia was changed to Iraq by the British in the early twentieth century when they occupied the region. Up until the 2003 US-led invasion, the general public was not aware that this area is the cradle of civilization. Writing, the first school, law, literature, a map of the world, and the idea of dividing time and space into a multiple of 60’s started in this historic land. Man’s most important invention, the wheel, was devised in Mesopotamia, as was plumbing, the plow and the sailboat. Iraq is the birthplace of Prophet Abraham, supposedly the site of the Garden of Eden, and where many biblical stories occurred. The first writer in recorded history was Enheduanna, a woman from ancient Iraq. She lived, composed, and taught roughly 2,000 years before Aristotle and 1,700 years prior to Sappho. Before the “golden age” of Greece.

It’s unfortunate that the region where science, astronomy, and numerous inventions were a prominent way of life has become the exact opposite of what it once was. But it’s inspiring that the youth connected to its ancestors have not forgotten their heritage and are highlighting it in celebratory and humanitarian ways.

For more info about the event, visit https://www.shlama.org/events

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The World of Wellness

I was at the hospital a few days ago, waiting for my mother’s procedure to be done. She had a blood clot in her left arm which needed to be removed in order for the blood to flow through the arm. I decided to take the stairs from the fourth floor to the first floor to grab a coffee from Starbucks. On each level, there were signs encouraging one to walk and take steps to maintain a strong heart and have a good night’s sleep. That’s interesting, I thought, that we, the two-legged ones, are encouraged to do a movement that ought to be a regular part of our routine when other animals, especially the non-domesticated ones, don’t need to be reminded. I take walks every day unless something urgent prevents me from doing so, like being here with my mom in the hospital.

Over the centuries, humans have steered very far from doing the simplest tasks that bring us joy and good health. The proof of the pudding is in the eating. It’s rare for us these days not to encounter obesity at every corner, even in children. People have become obsessed with food and, for the most part, abandoned nature and exercise, not necessarily a regiment exercise but the act of, for instance, mopping the floor in an old fashioned manner. In Iraq and even here in America, the woman in my family mopped the floors using the famous posture known in yoga as downward facing dog. It was an excellent way to clean and stay fit and we didn’t have to go to a yoga studio to do it.

“As both a stretching and strengthening asana, downward dog provides incredible balance for mind and body,” says Lauren Weisman, senior yoga and Core Fusion teacher at Exhale Spa in Santa Monica, California. “It also targets your upper and lower body at the same time, so you’ll feel it in your hands, arms, shoulders, back, calves, hamstrings and even the arches of your feet.”

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Our relationship with food and nutrition is tumultuous, to say the least, and it has created thousands of harmful diet fads. The word diet first appeared in English in the 13th century. Its original meaning was the same as in modern English, “habitually taken food and drink.” But diet was used in another sense too in the Middle and early modern English periods to mean “way of living.”  

What is your way of living? That’s what matters. How do you care of yourself in a world that is bombarded with unhealthy ways of living?

Given my upbringing in an eastern country and my teachings of shamanism and other ancient traditions that were passed down to me, I have learned quite a bit about health and wellness. I have learned the importance of balancing our yin and yang energies, our Sacred Wheel – the physical, emotional, spiritual, and intellectual aspects of ourselves. As a storyteller, I see how our words and stories affect our way of life. I’ve been sharing these ancient teachings through my books, workshops, and spiritual and writing retreat, and I’m very happy to see the world embracing this new but technically old way of life as, frankly, they’ve come to realize they have no other choice.

Over the years, I’ve met and collaborated with many practitioners and experts working to help people transform their lives and to make this world a better place. Diane Dovico is one of them. She and I have formed a friendship based on our desire to serve.

Diane is the Integrative Wellness Program Administrator at the Alliance of Coalitions for Healthy Communities. She creates and facilitates educational programs, initiatives, and campaigns for all who live in Oakland Country. Diane spent 21 years as the Executive Director of the Royal Oak Community Coalition, a nonprofit and has over 40 years of experience facilitating successful collaborations between individuals, families, businesses, schools, and social organizations to address challenging social conditions and creating sustainable solutions.

Diane played a pivotal role in helping me with the administrative aspects of The Path of Consciousness, the spiritual and writing conference and retreat that took place last October. This year, she invited me to be one of many wonderful speakers at the World of Wellness (WOW) Symposium taking place on Saturday, February 9. WOW’s goal is to equip the audience with take-home skills they can do on their own.

Diane asked me to discuss narrative therapy as she’d attended one of my workshops at the Royal Oak library and found the topic fascinating.  The other speakers have many fascinating topics as well, from the powerful role that art can have on your overall health and healing to mindfulness medications to promote greater mind/body healing. This event is a beautiful way to be reminded of the ancients, of techniques that were used thousands of years ago which need to be brought into our daily lives today.

The World of Wellness Symposium is Saturday, February 9th from 9:30 am to 2:00pm at UFCW Hall – 876 Horace Brown, Madison Hts., MI  48071. The doors open at 9:30am and the program begin at 10:00 – 2:00.  A light breakfast and lunch will be served. Early registration is encouraged at: www.tinyurl.com/ACHCWOW2019 For more information, like us on Facebook: www.tinyurl.com/infoonWOW2019

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Avatar: The Compassion Project

There are so many people doing great work in our neighborhoods. Do we know who they are? Do we utilize their skills and talents or do we spend our day in front of the television and on our electronics, viewing and complaining about what isn’t going right thousands of miles away? 

If we try, we find what we’re looking for. It might take days or years, but in the end, we connect with that which lives within us – whether it’s love, fear, success, or the desire to do good in the world. And most of the time, we find it in our backyards. Myself, I keep connecting with people who are interested in improving their lives and the lives of those around them. They want to raise consciousness, knowing that that would lead to a healthier and kinder humanity.

Bestselling author and yogi Sadhguru said that if we want a better society and not just better laws, we have to create a more stable life for our youths. We need to find profound thought-out solutions and not simply react with one violent act against another violent act. The world will not change with stricter laws and more protests, he said, but with individual transformation. A transformed person lives in a cultivated way not because they fear the law, but because they have magnificent ideas about themselves that go beyond their physical nature. Each time a person transforms, they then can help someone else transform, and so on. Then violence would go down considerably. 

I truly believe in that, and I also believe that we don’t do the world any justice by constantly holding up negative images for people to see. Yes, there’s a dark side that should not be ignored, but the way to heal our earth from that and shift it to a better direction is by creating conscious solutions. This is why I love organizations such as Avatar.

Avatar is a series of self-development courses founded in 1986 by Harry Palmer. It enable you to rediscover your self and align your consciousness with what you want to achieve. It’s a way to experience your own unique insights and revelations. In this program, no one will tell you what to believe or who you are. It’s you finding out about you. 

One of the best parts of working with Avatar is that it is tailored to people’s own interests,” said Derek Stottlemyer. “People work on areas that are meaningful to them.”

Derek had attended one of my talks at the Theosophical Society last year, and during the fall, I saw him again at the Unity Church of Farmington Hills. That’s when he told me about Avatar. Derek has been a licensed Avatar® Master for 4 1/2 years, delivering the material to students locally as well as at four International Courses each year in Orlando. He is active in many groups locally and is promoting the development of Conscious Cafe’s in the area.

Derek is involved in the Compassion Project, often working at expos and events to share the compassion exercise and invite people into further explorations with the Avatar tools. This effort takes the compassion exercise (one of 30 in Section 1 of the Avatar Course) and makes it available on a folding card that is easy to share. The original goal was to reach 1 million people, and now we are going for our 6th million. It has been translated into 34 languages and has been shared all over the planet.

Prior to Avatar, he had been a Peace Corps volunteer, spending a little over three years in the Dominican Republic working with small farmers on sustainable practices. Upon returning home he taught himself programming by creating software for guitar players which introduced him to web-entrepreneurship. He has been the tech lead for several startups as well as global projects.

“The Avatar organization believes we can create a better world by raising human consciousness one person at a time. In alignment with this goal, The Avatar Course is a nine day, non-religious course that allows a person to reconnect with their true spiritual self. And along the way, students on this course discover the source of their issues, problems and concerns, learn ways to resolve and eliminate those issues, problems and concerns, and as a consequence gain the ability to create the life they want. This is known as living deliberately.”  — R. S.

Derek had me do the Compassion Exercise during our interview and it’s really something you should take the time to do, especially as you prepare for the New Year. 

Avatar Card

If you would like to know more about Avatar or to schedule a free info hour (by phone or in person) feel free to contact him at (248)635-8216 or at derek@explore-avatar.com

To learn about the compassion project, visit: https://theavatarcourse.com/the-compassion-project-eng.html
To learn more or request a personal Avatar experience – visit: https://explore-avatar.com/derek/info-request

 

The Healing Power of Memoir

A few weeks ago I sat next to Angela Rochon at Marcus Grill, enjoying the Christmas luncheon hosted by Detroit Working Writers. Angela recently had her first book published, a memoir called Fatherless. I remember many meetings over the years where Angela shared her writings for this book with the DWW critique group. I always enjoyed reading about her Italian relatives and the kitchen flooded with various ingredients and aromas. It reminded me so much of my Chaldean family and culture. 

Angela’s book is really about her father, Angelo. His family was joyful, hard-working, devout, and kindhearted, except for Vito, the murderer. Born to a widwo who was widowed again, Angela helped raise his half siblings. Sicilian immigrants in steel-city Youngstown, Ohio cherished this thoughtful boy. World War II brought him to Algonac, Michigan, as a leader of men.

“Hope and love were his signature features,” said Angela. “The village embraced him, commending his kindness.”

Angelo became wealthy, but haunted by the memory of hunger. He built a church and treasured his family, who soon became fatherless.

During our lunch, Angela and I spoke about how we each felt writing our memoirs, the healing power in the process. We traveled centuries back, visited family stories we never knew existed, understood the root of some feuds, and in our hearts, reconciled a lot of relationships. Through our memoirs, we also shared beautiful memories, including our culture’s customs, cooking, and celebrations.

Fatherless, which spans two centuries, describes Ellis Island immigration, world wars, the Great Depression, national prosperity, and recessions. In it, there’s a reconciliation after a fifty-year feud. Angela writes, “Instead of Ancestry websites, Aunt Agata and I researched our ancestry at Ellis Island, sharing the date with our family. We discussed details. Our memory mining conversations became her gifts to me. Mine were her brief diversions from her deteriorating health.” 

In writing memoir, happy scenes comfort us while difficult ones arouse a painful past. But they also help us understand and stop reliving that past. When you take the time to look at a situation from beginning to end, when you write it down, you’re able to see it from a different perspective. Maybe you blamed one parent for an incident without having sat down and putting yourself in his or her shoe. Taking the time to look at your memories objectively and to make sense of them helps you come to terms with your feelings, with old wounds. It shows you family patterns, such as in Angela’s case, sudden deaths at early ages, resilience, and reconciliation. 

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As a psychiatric therapist and an educator who held management positions in university and secondary schools, Angela’s experiences led her to teach memoir writing, guiding reminiscence groups, grief support, and doing public speaking. She continued writing throughout this time, winning awards for her poetry, as she published work in newspaper columns, magazines, and academic journals. She earned the Toastmasters International DTM. 

For her memoir Fatherless, Angela went as far as doing genograms that placed six generations in relation to each other, prompting memories and giving her reader concise visuals. Genograms graphed generational effects of tragedies and joys and focused on medical, genetic, or emotional relationships.

Writing memoir is healing, and it’s also fun. Angela recalls a grandchild calling the Statue of Liberty “the Statue of Literally.” 

“It is,” said Angela. “All my genes literally are from Italian immigrants to New York City.” 

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Contact A. M. Andino Rochon at a.m.rochon@aol.com to comment or schedule Mining Memories or Introduction to Genograms events or speeches.

Some upcoming events:

 

02/07/19:

Legacies of Life Memories, 6 PM, Algonac/Clay Library, 2011 St Clair River Drive, Algonac MI 48001, Reservations requested at 810 794-4471

 

02/21/19:

Legacies of Life Memories, 6 PM, Algonac/Clay Library, 2011 St Clair River Drive, Algonac MI 48001, Reservations requested at 810 794-4471

 

02/28/19:

Legacies of Life Memories, 6 PM, Algonac/Clay Library, 2011 St Clair River Drive, Algonac MI 48001, Reservations requested at 810 794-4471

 

03/05/19:

Legacies of Life Memories, 11:30 AM, Port Huron Senior Center, at 600 Grand River Ave, Port Huron MI 48060, 810 984-5061, 800 297-0099

Embracing Your Passion

As 2018 comes to an end, I’ve been winding down and reflecting, looking back at a fulfilling and productive year with family, friends, and work. Some of the highlights were starting my weekly show on January 2nd, having my first spiritual and writing retreat, called the Path of Consciousness, and establishing a nonprofit organization, called Unique Voices in Films. Through the process, I met the most wonderful people and invited them on my show to share their inspiring stories. One of these people is Joseph A Drolshagen.

Joseph is an author, transformational coach, and a speaker, sharing the stage with world-renown teachers such as Mary Morrissey. For over 23 years he has worked with individuals, helping them build their dreams. He has appeared on numerous radio programs, writes a monthly column called “Coaches Corner” in the Magic Happens magazine and has a Youtube Channel. Check out Thursday’s Coaches Corner with Joseph A Drolshagen!

During the summer Joseph led a workshop at the Unity Church in Farmington Hills where he talked about some of the challenges he faced growing up in a society that places pressure on men to make a lot of money to succeed and to be competitive and winning. Earlier in his life, he did what was expected of him, had the ideal corporate job, but he knew deep down that he was living someone else’s dream. He one day decided to throw away the expectations, embrace his own passions, and live his own dream. His decisions transformed his life, leading him to live in the mountains of South Carolina, to write a book, called Life’s Lessons, and to provide coaching in an effort to help others transform their lives as well.

To learn more, visit Joseph’s website www.IFGTcoach.com

“I’ve worked with people who dread Mondays and the work week ahead,” he said. “They start the week already feeling worn out and tired. I help ignite their dreams so they feel re-energized with passion and excitement toward living their dreams.”  

Joseph asks,

  • How would it feel to wake up Monday mornings excited about how you’re spending your week?
  • What would being creative look like for you?
  • How can you breathe life into our dreams on a daily basis and do so with ease and enjoyment?

“Some of my clients who were in a relationship lacking passion or seeking to bring an awesome relationship into their life, felt lonely and let down, and craved a love relationship,” he said. “I helped them build a strong vision of the relationship they want in their lives.”

Joseph asks,

  • What is your vision for a special love relationship?
  • How would it feel to have a real closeness and true heart connection?

“I’ve worked with people who have struggled with their health and wellbeing,” he said. “Through building the dream of a life of vibrancy, health and true happiness, their lives are literally transformed. Some have come off of anxiety medications and moved from a life of worry and fear into soaring into their greatest vision and dreams.”

Joseph asks,

  • How would you feel to wake up in the morning with vibrancy and excitement to get your day going?
  • How would you spend your day based on having energy, health and passion?

“I’ve worked with clients who battle with time and money freedom,” he said. “They work so hard and are so tired by the weekend that they didn’t have the time or energy to enjoy the benefits of all their efforts. But through opening up their dreams and bringing those forth with passion and abundance they had the chance to enjoy traveling to wonderful places with breathtaking surroundings like Alaska, Hawaii, National Parks, France, waterfalls, and camping.”

Joseph asks,

  • How would you feel waking up seeing the ocean and taking a morning stroll on the beach, or enjoying sitting near a breathtaking waterfall?
  • What is that dream place for you?
  • Where would you go?
  • What would you do if you knew you had time and money freedom on your side?

“It all starts with a clear vision, with a single decision,” he said. “Some people live for 90 years. Other people live one year 90 times, and continue to repeat the same patterns holding them back. The number of years we live is limited, but your life doesn’t have to be.”

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Sharing the stage with Mary Morrissey in L.A. during a Life Mastery Institute event, to inspire and motivate over 400 people.

At the end of the workshop, Joseph did an exercise that I found really effective. I ended up scheduling a one-hour Strategy Session with him where we talked about my wanting to create more of a balance between family and work. He’s offering anyone who sees this interview a complimentary Strategy Session (just tell him you saw his interview or read this article).  

I’ve been fortunate, and smart enough, to work with some of the best coaches, and it has helped my life on a personal and professional level. If you want to build momentum for 2019, take advantage of this generous offer, to really ignite your passion and dream, and to have a blessed New Year!

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To learn more, visit Joseph’s website www.IFGTcoach.com

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Resources for Change and Growth

Recently I was asked what some of my favorite books and resources were when I created my very first vision board and during the time of major changes in my life. I was asked this during my recent Vision Board presentation at the Path of Consciousness Conference and Retreatand my Envision Your Author Success workshop at the Detroit Working Writers Conference.There are so many different resources available but only what resonates with us personally will be helpful in our growth. I have had – and continue to have – many wonderful mentors that have helped me on my path. We are forever growing, changing, and evolving. It’s such a beautiful process.

FAVORITE RESOURCES:

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You Are the Placebo by Dr. Joe Dispenza to overcome major pain issues, his meditation was very helpful and life changing, then used at a later time to work on personal growth and development. Dr. Dispenza offers the science behind neuroplasticity in his book for those with inquiring minds.

The 7 Secrets of the Prolific: How to Overcome Procrastination, Perfectionism, and Writer’s Block by Hilary Rettig to overcome perfectionism and free self to create. As a previous perfectionist, this was a huge game changer. Highly recommended.

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You Can Heal Your Life by Louise L. Hay to work with pain and difficulty. Insightful and helpful in removing blocks.

The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom by Don Miguel Ruiz reveals the source of self-limiting beliefs that rob us of joy and create needless suffering. This book offers a powerful code of conduct that can rapidly transform our lives to a new experience of freedom, true happiness, and love.

Listening to Tara Brach speaking about concepts such as RAIN, forgiveness, and acceptance. An excellent resource for coping with chaotic times.

Marie Kondo   “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” is a book that truly changes how we manage our space. A great way to think about all the baggage we hang onto and how to clean up our energy and physical spaces to move our life forward.

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Tim Ferriss and The 4-Hour Workweek   A highly useful book for finding new ways to think about living life. Step out of the old paradigms and systems and look at the world in a brand-new way.Four Hour workweek

Edgar Cayce  An excellent resource for many decades. This website offers trustworthy and quality tools for astrology and access to the akashic records.

Hayhouse Podcasts and any podcast that helped me to learn more about my path were helpful including anything about entrepreneurship, blogging and writing, and lifestyles.

Big Magic

Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert – With profound empathy and radiant generosity, she offers potent insights into the mysterious nature of inspiration. She asks us to embrace our curiosity and let go of needless suffering. She shows us how to tackle what we most love, and how to face down what we most fear.

A Course in Miracles by the Foundation for Inner Peace

The Tapping Solution by Nick Ortner is a well written resource about Tapping, also known as EFT, the practice of combining intent with the energetic body. Or jump right in with my favorite Brad Yates who describes his YouTube channel as “Tapping videos to help you move through limiting beliefs and enjoy an ever-greater abundance of health, wealth and happiness, which you deserve. Create the life of your dreams!”

Talk Like TED by Carmine Gallo presents helpful information for public speaking. I also found that attending a few Toastmasters meetings to be helpful as well.

Thoughtless Magic and Manifestations by Richard Dotts is similar in concept to Dr. Joe Dispenza’s work in regards to neuroplasticity. A great resource for creating your vision.

Directing Your Destiny: How to Become the Writer, Producer, and Director of Your Dreams by Jennifer Grace

Take Time for Your Life by Cheryl Richardson Packed with useful exercises, checklists, personal stories, and a wealth of resources, Cheryl Richardson’s program will show you how to step back, regain control, and make conscious decisions about the future you’d like to create.

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Writing Spirit by Lynn V Andrews is a book that shows us how to channel our own spiritual and intellectual energy and balance the need for love with the desire for power.

Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life by Anne Lamott is a classic that offers valuable writing advice.

 

I would love to hear about your favorite resources and how they changed your life – please comment and share!

 

Sonya Julie

Recently I was asked what some of my favorite books and resources were when I created my very first vision board and during the time of major changes in my life. I was asked this during my recent Vision Board presentation at the Path of Consciousness Conference and Retreat and my Envision Your Author Success workshop at the Detroit Working Writers Conference.

There are so many different resources available but only what resonates with us personally will be helpful in our growth. I have had – and continue to have – many wonderful mentors that have helped me on my path. We are forever growing, changing, and evolving. It’s such a beautiful process.

Favorite Resources:

downloadYou Are the Placebo by Dr. Joe Dispenza to overcome major pain issues, his meditation was very helpful and life changing, then used at a later time to work on personal growth and development. Dr…

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The Goddess Within

It was such a joy to connect with a woman writer who shares my Mesopotamian roots and my interests in the role of feminism within a patriarchal culture where, Helen Talia says, “We need to end the finger-pointing and place ourselves back on the roadmap to honor our feminine power as we turn to self-care.”

Helen is a CPA, Assyrian feminist, and writer and contributor for the Chicago Tribune. I read her article “Gender and Engenderment” published by the Tribune in 2013 and, appreciating her perspective, felt I must quote her in my upcoming book Mesopotamian Goddesses: Unveiling Your Feminine Power (publication date January 6, 2019 and available for pre-orders). I also invited her to come on my show to further discuss this topic.

The land of milk and honey, known as ancient Mesopotamia and the cradle of civilization, is located between two rivers: the Tigris and the Euphrates. Mesopotamia is mostly modern-day Iraq and Kuwait and parts of Iran, Syria, and Turkey. It is the setting for much of the Old Testament, including the Garden of Eden, the birth of Adam and Eve, and Prophet Abraham.

Some of the most significant developments or inventions credited to the Mesopotamians include writing, the wheel, agriculture, beer, sailboats, irrigation, religious rites, and separation of time into hours, minutes, and seconds (the clock). Many “firsts” were discovered there: laws, contracts, written music, doctors, bicameral congress, mitigation, mathematics, astronomy, and much more.

A great number of stories come from that region, but up until the last hundred years or so, it seemed as if the men had single-handedly built the civilization that influenced the city-states as we know it today. What role did women play in the building of this great empire that gifted us with our modern-day lifestyle? Well, they had plenty of roles which ranged from writing to brewing beer. Every male triad had its feminine counterpart, wrote Russian noblewoman and co-founder of the Theosophical Society H. P. Blavatsky in Isis Unveiled.

In her article, Helen writes that in ancient civilizations such as the Sumerians (3500-1750 B.C.) and in Hinduism (2000 B.C.), where spirituality was more customary, women were regarded in high esteem and hailed as deities, mainly due their ability to procreate. Yet as man strayed away from spirituality and scrimmaged into organized religions, the divine being engendered a male-image (one supreme being), ruler of all, heaven and earth. The dominance that birthed Judeo-Christian, and later Islam, three domineering religions, all founded in the Middle-East, gave way to the very woman, once hailed, to became the ultimate sacrifice – veiling, stoning, honor killing, and female genital mutilation.

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Through the research for Mesopotamian Goddesses, I discovered that there was a design and rhythm to the Garden of Eden, a balance and harmony. Then, women lost their power through a pattern of falsehoods. We live in a time of vision when people are searching for a new and more balanced way of life. To create that balance, we first have to heal the earth by opening up these stories and putting them back onto the page and into our collective memory. To bring forth a transformed understanding of feminine consciousness, and create a healthy marriage in society that’s based on equal male and female energies.

“In the Assyrian culture, without a doubt, motherhood is hailed as the highest role that a woman will take on in her lifetime,” says Helen. “However, in the Western societies, the Assyrian woman has also taken on additional roles, mainly working outside of her home. And while this is a highly praised socio-economic role, the Innana in all of us, without a question, has been neglected… due to pressed schedules, competition, or our own desertion.”

In the year 2013, she pointed out that women who take on social issues are likely to be more outspoken and have a proactive approach that offer change in present systems, yet are also quickly shunned and cast out by their societies which lack democracy in their backbones. And that it is in these same climates that you will find the only women who climax to power are the ones who stand on the crutches of men.

She is right, but things are quickly changing, especially in America where we’re witnessing a rise with women in political, social, and religious roles. Women are stepping up to help restore peace and balance into our lives. Together with their male counterparts, we have a wonderful opportunity create a beautiful future for our children and grandchildren.

The Authors Guild Co-Ambassadors

The Authors Guild of America, the nation’s oldest and largest professional writing organization, with approximately 10,000 members, has served the collective voice of American authors since its beginnings in 1912 in New York. Earlier this year, the Guild expanded its national outreach by launching 14 regional chapters to host a variety of programs serving members in their local writing communities.

Twenty-eight Guild members were chosen to serve as ambassadors to lead the first group of chapters, in Los Angeles, San Diego, the Bay Area, Washington, D.C., St. Petersburg/Tampa, Chicago, Boston, Detroit, Raleigh-Durham, Las Vegas, New York City, Cleveland, Philadelphia, and Seattle. The two members selected to serve as ambassadors in Detroit were myself and Violet St. Karl. The first time I met Violet, we enjoyed discussing ways to design literary events and programs and we discovered we had so many other interests in common.

Violet’s first novel in her series, Collection of the Negatives, is available for pre-orders. The book will be published January 11, 2019, making her the first Albanian-American science fiction and fantasy author. St. Karl is a German translation of her Albanian last name, which is the surname she writes under, as her Albanian name has four constants in a row and is often too difficult for English speakers to pronounce.

Violet’s love affair with science fiction and fantasy began at the tender age of four when she was introduced to the film Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, but it took nearly three decades and nudges from the universe to focus on writing. While living on the Upper West Side of New York, Violet learned her apartment was the former site of Edgar Allen Poe’s farmhouse, where he completed writing The Raven. Although an interesting fact to share, she shrugged it off as coincidence and was unconvinced to give writing and the stories in her head any attention. It wasn’t until the following year that her mind changed, as she once again, without prior knowledge, found herself living in the former residence of a famous writer. After learning that not only the flat but the room she was sleeping in belonged to Mercè Rodoreda i Gurguí, a famous Catalan writer, Violet believed it was a bold attempt from the universe to push her to write because, she says, “Coincidence doesn’t strike twice.”  

The dictionary describes coincidence as two or more events coming together in a surprising, unexpected way without an obvious casual explanation. There have been many studies about coincidences. Austrian biologist Paul Kammerer believed that coincidences arise out of unknown forces, or waves, that he called seriality. Psychiatrist Carl Jung in the 1950s came up with a similar idea, his so-called synchronicity theory, to describe these remarkable occurrences. Regardless of the scientific meanings that try to define them, these experiences can be valuable or worthless depending on how we listen to them.

Many good writers I know have fallen short of materializing the articles, poems, or books they want because they’ve ignored numerous nudges from the universe. They felt paralyzed by fear, lack, inferiority, or dependence on a person or an institution to validate their work. In Violet’s case, she stopped to think of what’d occurred, looked at the situation, listened to the message being communicated, and took action. Today she’s celebrating the result of her hard work.  

Violet lived for over a decade in New York, and after her return, she’s proud to be representing the Authors Guild as co-ambassador. When not writing or focused on strengthening the local literary community, she is planning which country, city or restaurant to explore next. She says that outside of writing science fiction, travel and food are her other two passions. I’m very excited to work with her to help nurture and expand the literary community in Michigan.

Recently, we met up with Andrew Raupp, also an Authors Guild member, at Skyline Club’s monthly event in Southfield. Andrew is the founder of STEM.org, a credentialed journalist with over 15 years of international experience, and he’s the organizer of Skyline Club, which is hosting our next Authors Guild event on Tuesday, December 11 at 6 pm. Our guest speaker will be Joseph Drolshagen, the author of Life’s Lessons.

Joseph

Joseph will discuss how to explore your creative passion in the New Year. (light refreshments will be served) For more information, visit https://leadership.pagecloud.com/ Please RSVP by emailing detroitchapter@authorsguild.org

Special thanks to those who support our literary world! 

Authors Guild             Dec. Event2 Dec. Event

A New Chapter in Female Reproductive Physiology

Over three decades ago, Dr. Kuldeep Verma invented an entirely new medical concept in women – that the oxidation reduction status of the uterus at the time of conception influences the outcome of fetal gender. This redox status alternates between two consecutive mental cycles. Conception in one kind of environment leads to boys and vice versa. This led to the development of the world’s first real preconception gender planning test as well as earliest fetal gender detect test.

“All women have alternating boy-girl-boy-girl specific cycles naturally,” said Dr. Verma. “And this phenomenon is genetically controlled. Hormones in their natural concentrations are extremely powerful.”

Dr. Varma successfully tested about 1500 preconception samples to prove the point and 92% couples were naturally getting the baby of their choice just by conceiving in the right cycle. The success rate has increased today to 94%. This is without any medications, gender diets, douches, moon theories, etc.

“I discovered that the conception locks the existing redox environment till the fetus is miscarried or delivered,” he said. “She stops alternating after conception just like she stops menstruating. This is a new chapter in female reproductive physiology which will soon find its way to medical books.”

Dr. Varma has long history of accomplishments as a biochemist. In 1976, he won President Invention Award in India for inventing a portable micro filtration as little as two drops using in-built vacuum as well as pressure.  As a research associate in molecular biology in North Carolina State University, he successfully created genetic libraries, isolated and validated a gene for esterase enzyme from pesticide resistant insect and recommended its use in soil bioremediation. Now it’s a full-fledged department at NCSU. It is there that he also developed a new way to manufacture an iodinated chemical and demonstrated its effectiveness in deactivating reverse transcriptase enzyme of HIV virus.

“This has the potential of controlling HIV virus,” he said. “My son used this data to get admission to medical school”

For a decade, Dr. Verma worked for the Detroit Wastewater Treatment Plant, which process one billion gallons of water per day. He observed that the management is being played by corrupt suppliers and contractors by selling harmful and useless chemicals to the plant. The plant was buying chemicals worth $150 million per year and then spent approximately $75 million per year to repair the problems caused by these chemicals which including enormous foaming, explosions and corrosion of machinery and tank walls.

“Foam used to come out of building and filled the roads,” he said. “I suggest to the management that I can solve these problems if I am allowed to study the redox potential of water throughout the plant. There were some visionaries who agreed. Within a year, he provided effective solutions to dewatering and foaming problems in the plant. Since then, the foaming issue has been completely eliminated. DWTP won an award on efficiency in 2017. He continued developing and patenting new approaches to wastewater processing, advising operators to add chemical based on oxidation reduction potential of water rather than pH, BOD, DO.

“The local steel industries and chemical suppliers hated me because they could not now dump their ferrous chloride waste in rivers or lakes due to EPA regulations and also because I exposed them for selling inferior product to the City of Detroit,” he said. “They forced the management to kick me out. I preferred to retire and pay full attention to my own business, Urobiologics. I’m so glad I did.”

His dedication to this work has helped thousands of couples from all over the world, for an affordable cost, have a balanced family. Couples in current economic conditions cannot afford large families. The practice of just keep trying to get one baby of desired gender leads to multiple babies of same gender.

“Soon the blame-game starts and leads to domestic violence,” he said. “In absence of any scientific method, this continued, but no more. We think that smaller balanced families will make happy communities with lesser spousal abuse or domestic violence.”

Dr. Verma explained that whereas man provides both X and Y chromosome bearing sperms, the uterus preferentially selects either X or Y, depending upon the kind of cycle she is in. By collecting urine samples at home, women from any country can ship them through couriers of their choice at their own cost. It is perfectly legal to ship urine samples across international borders under “Exempt human Specifications.”

“Pregnancies are occurring anyway, why not target the conception to balance the family?” he asks, adding that it’s simple. “To conceive a boy, try in a boy cycle. To conceive a girl, try in a girl cycle.”

To learn more, visit https://urobiologics.com/ or contact (313) 574-7500 drverma@urobiologics.om

This is how PreGender Preconception test works.

Interview with USA Today Bestselling Author

Janel Gradowski is a USA Today and Amazon #1 bestselling author who emailed me earlier this year inquiring about the Path of Consciousness spiritual and writing retreat. Checking out her website, I was impressed by her accomplishments and immediately drawn to all seven of her book covers. They portray a smart, strong and unique woman who is creative in many ways and places, including in the kitchen.

“My book covers always hint at what will happen in the story,” she later told me. “It could be the culinary competition that my main character, Amy, is competing in or events that are happening in her life. Since it’s a cozy mystery series, there’s also a skull and crossbones included somewhere on every cover. I love that my cover artist, Lyndsey Lewellen, always does a good job in conveying Amy’s confidence and creativity.”

Janel and I have several similarities: we care how women are portrayed in our books and on the book covers; we are both prolific writers; coffee is an integral part of her writing process; exploring new places and going on culinary adventures are a few of the passions that fuel our creativity.

Beyond her culinary mystery series, Janel has also had many flash fiction stories, her first writing love, published both online and in print. Her next book will be in the women’s fiction genre. The main character is a solo entrepreneur who has worked so hard to establish herself in the business world that the rest of her life has fallen apart.

“The new story will detail how the main character will go from living only for her work to enjoying her life again,” Janel said. “I think it’s something that a lot of women can relate to, putting ourselves last in order to help everyone else.”

I definitely can relate to that. In my four-part memoir series, Healing Wisdom for a Wounded World: My Life-Changing Journey Through a Shamanic School, I share how hard I worked on myself to establish boundaries, follow my dreams, and allow myself self-care.

After a few months of emails, I met Janel in person at the spiritual and writing retreat. We connected on a deeper level. Within a matter of three weeks, we saw each other several times even though the drive to my side of town is some 90 minutes. One reason is that, outside of writing, we have a love and appreciation for a lot of similar things. In our last gathering, we barely discussed writing and yet we had a great time because, after all, there’s more to life than writing. There’s life!

I’ve often advised emerging writers that, along the writing journey, it’s important that they keep their priorities straight and have a balance rather than obsess over their writing. What’s the use of having a great book if you have a lousy life? These days especially, having a great life can easily translate into a great book.

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At the Path of Consciousness spiritual and writing retreat

Janel lives in rural central Michigan surrounded by farm fields and wildlife, a community that has a yearly Corn Festival. Her family consists of her husband, a son, and a daughter. She has a plant named Hitch. She followed her intuition, started her writing career later in life but easily succeeded. She’s into things like energy healing, aromatherapy, malas, mantras, journaling, law of attraction, manifesting, energy crystals and smudging. She loves that her hair is turning gray, says that “Silver hair rocks!” and her favorite quote is by George Eliot: “It’s never too late to be what you might have been.”

Given her personality and involvement in spiritual work, Janel and I evidently also have many similar beliefs. Janel believes that the right thing to do is not always the easiest; the more one uses their intuition, the stronger it becomes; a person is in charge of the vibes that he/she projects into the world; we get what we focus on – thoughts become reality. And my favorite belief of hers – which I learned through my shamanic apprenticeship and which I’ve been teaching for years now – is “When I change the stories I tell myself about my life, I change how I live my life.”

http://www.janelgradowski.com