The Real Measure of Your Wealth

From: Tiny Buddha  

Amazing Skies

Editor’s Note: This is a contribution by Julie Hoyle

“The real measure of your wealth is how much you’d be worth if you lost all your money.” ~Unknown

A wonderful story from the yogic tradition highlighting the true meaning of wealth goes something like this:

There was once a beggar who spent his days sitting under an old banyan tree on the side of a dusty road that led to a bustling town. The man had been begging in that spot for years, rattling an old tin can hoping that passers-by would feel compassion and offer alms.

Yet, at the end of each day he would only have collected one or two rupees, barely enough to buy a dry chapati and a cup of sweet chai.

One day a wise man approached. Witnessing the beggar’s plight he called out, “My man, why are you wasting your days begging in this way? If you dig right where you are, you will discover great treasure!”

Desperate about his impoverished situation and intrigued by this idea, the beggar decided to take the wise man’s advice. Using his bare hands he began digging the earth under where he had been sitting.

To his utter amazement the beggar discovered a huge bag of rare, gold coins.

Dancing with joy he declared, “Had I realized I was sitting on top of great wealth I could have eased my suffering years ago!” 

I was once like the beggar, always seeking ways to fill the empty bowl of my perceived lack, believing that if I worked and saved hard enough I would ensure financial security. However, on October 6th 2008, the bubble of that illusion burst when my husband and I discovered our bank had dramatically collapsed.

Suddenly finding myself looking into the grim face of my worst possible fear, I knew I had to change my understanding of what the energy of money represented and discover the source of true wealth.

As a young adult, I had inherited a strong work ethic from my father along with a subconscious belief that money was “hard to come by.” As a consequence, I had become terrified of lack and even more terrified of loss.

Though I had recognized this unhealthy energy dynamic years ago when starting out on my spiritual path, and grew determined to face and transform ingrained fears, here it was again in a form that could not be ignored.

Committing to pulling the old beliefs out by the roots, I kept drawing strength from entries I had made in my journal a few months earlier. They came in the form a wise man whose “voice” was so strong, powerful, and imbued with equanimity that I was compelled to listen.

The first message was an insistent directive I had heard repeated while waking up early one morning. It was:

“Why are you sitting on your wealth? You have been given everything! What are you waiting for?”

And intriguingly another message had been:

“You are exhausted because you are repressing the energy of your own creative impulse, which is your true wealth.”

Now I became acutely aware of being presented with two choices. One was to descend into contraction, panic, and despair. The other was to accept what was unfolding, view the situation from an elevated perspective, and use the messages like a lifeline.

Choosing an elevated perspective, I knew my soul was urging me to take action and find the courage to share my intuitive gifts rather than continuing to hide out of fear. It was definitely time to start digging in.

With that awareness I formed an intention to heal the financial and creative dynamic, realizing one was simply a reflection of the other:

  • First: I accepted the financial loss as a gift, immediately resolving to turn it into a positive, abundant experience.
  • Second: I wrote a statement in my journal declaring, “Fine! If we have lost everything, let this be a beautiful starting point. I vow to spend the rest of my life living in alignment with my gifts, skills, and talents.”
  • Third: I began to work on the situation energetically. When I sat quietly and asked: “How does this financial situation manifest in terms of a fear-based image?” I saw a dark pit, descending deep into the ground which had the power to suck me in, draining all my energy and resources. The title I gave it was: “Bottomless Pit.”
  • Fourth: On inquiring, “What can be done to transform the fear into expansion and abundance?” I began to feel a sense of empowerment and began directing light to the image, working on reducing the size of the opening.

For weeks after, every time fear began surfacing in response to lack, I would visualize the hole becoming smaller and smaller until it was completely gone.

In its place, rising up and out into the universe, I visualized a strong web of light, like a vast tree, spreading its golden limbs into infinity. This image reflected the belief that we receive limitless resources if we share the abundance of who we are, rather than believing in scarcity and limitation.

The gift of losing everything was amazing. It forced me to face my subconscious fears around lack and take responsibility for transforming them into something creative and beautiful.

Since then, the universe has led me to numerous vehicles for creative expression, which have included articles for Mind-Body-Spirit magazines, two books, and several online courses.

Three years on, our financial situation has also taken a graceful turn for the better with a large percentage of our savings unexpectedly reimbursed. I am also feeling more vibrantly alive, energized, and aligned with purpose as formerly repressed creative energy has been allowed to flow unencumbered.

If like many people worldwide you are facing your own financial challenges, have the courage to dig in and access what is available to you right now, right where you are.

Give yourself the abundant gift of engaging in your own self inquiry by asking the following questions:

  • Am I sitting on hidden gifts, skills, and talents?
  • Is there something I have always wanted to do and have kept putting off?
  • What am I most afraid of in relation to the expression of abundant goals for my life?
  • Starting right now, how can I begin to make my dreams a reality?

If you are willing to engage in this work, you will have access to the unique beauty and vast richness of your own personal treasure. Over time, you will also arrive at a place where you are immensely grateful for any financial challenges you have had to embrace and transform.

Through suffering and loss, we often recognize that when we have the courage to be who we are, rather than procrastinating or hiding in fear, we are the source and embodiment of abundance. 


You can always close your eyes, but you can’t close your ears…

Heard this song a while back, and revisited it today because I heard a song on Pandora by the same artist (Calle 13).  I thought it was pertinent to share because the dolphin has been continually showing up as a theme in my current life, and because I know the Universe Conspires, I must honor this revelation with a very important message.  Please be warned, viewer discretion is advised.  However, as citizens of this planet, it is our responsibility to HEAR…

 Lyrics below in Spanish and English for your convenience.

Muerte en Hawaii (Spanish)

Yo he peliao con cocodrilos
Me he balanceado sobre un hilo cargando más de 500 kilos
Le he dao la vuelta al mundo en menos de un segundo
He cruzao 100 laberintos y nunca me confundo

Respiro dentro y fuera del agua como las focas
Soy a prueba de fuego, agarro balas con la boca
Mi creatividad vuela como los aviones
Puedo construir un cerebro sin leer las instrucciones

Hablo todos los idiomas de todos los abecedarios
Tengo más vocabulario que cualquier diccionario
Tengo vista de águila, olfato de perro
Puedo caminar descalzo sobre clavos de hierro

Soy inmune a la muerte
No necesito bendiciones porque siempre tengo buena suerte
Ven conmigo a dar un paseo por el parque
Porque tengo más cuentos que contarte que García Marqués

Por ti, todo lo que hago lo hago por ti
Es que tú me sacas lo mejor de mí
Soy todo lo que soy
Porque tú eres todo lo que quiero (x2)

Puedo brincar la cuerda con solo una pierna
Veo en la oscuridad sin usar una linterna
Cocino lo que quieras, yo soy todo un chef
Tengo sexo 24 – 7 todo el mes

Puedo soplar las nubes grises pa que tengas un buen día
También se como comunicarme por telepatía
Por ti, cruzo las fronteras sin visa
Y le saco una buena sonrisa a la “Mona Lisa”

Por ti, respiro antes de morirme
Por ti voy a la Iglesia y escucho toda la misa sin dormirme
Sigo siendo el Rey, aunque no tenga reino
Mi sudor huele a perfume y nunca me despeino

Se pelear todas las artes marciales
También se como comunicarme con los animales
Mientras más pasa el tiempo me veo más joven
Y esta canción la compuse sin escuchar como Beethoven

Por ti, todo lo que hago lo hago por ti
Es que tú me sacas lo mejor de mí
Soy todo lo que soy
Porque tú eres todo lo que quiero (x2)

Death in Hawaii (English)

I have fought with crocodiles
I have balanced on a wire carrying more than 500 kilos
I have traveled around the world in less than a second
I have crossed 100 labyrinths and never once gotten confused.

I breathe both in and out of water like seals
I am fireproof, I catch bullets in my mouth
My creativity flies like airplanes
I can build a brain without reading the instructions

I speak all the languages of all the alphabets
I have more vocabulary than any dictionary
I have the sight of an eagle, the smelling prowess of a dog
I can walk barefoot on iron nails

I am immune to death
I don’t need blessings, because I always have good luck
Come with me for a walk in the park
Because I have more stories to tell than García Marqués

For you, everything I do, I do for you.
It is because you bring out the best in me
I am everything I am
Because you are all I want.

I can jump rope with only one leg
I can see in the dark without using a lantern
I cook what you want, I am a great chef
I have sex 24/7, all month long

I can blow the gray clouds away so you can have a good day
Also, I know how to communicate telepathically
For you, I cross borders without a visa
And I can bring out a smile from even the Mona Lisa

For you, I breathe before I die
For you, I go to church and listen to the whole mass without sleeping
I am still the king, although I don’t have a kingdom
My sweat smells like perfume and my hair is never disheveled

I know how to fight all the martial arts
Also, I know how to communicate with animals
As more time goes by, I look younger
And I composed this song without listening, like Beethoven

For you, everything I do, I do for you.
It is because you bring out the best in me
I am everything I am
Because you are all I want.


Before we were slaves: Great Kings and Queens of Africa

Delight yourself by learning your royal lineage:)

Affonso I 
King of the Kongo 1506 to 1540
Affonso I was a visionary, a man who saw his country not as a group of separate cultures, but as a united  nation fully equipped with advanced knowledge and technology.
Affonso I was the first ruler to modernize Africa on a grand scale. Because he saw progress as a healthy mix of physical and spiritual development, Affonso made it possible for his people to practice new skills in masonry, carpentry, and agriculture. He also streamlined Kongo politics, established one of the most modern school systems in Africa, and later became the first ruler to resist the slave trade.
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Sunni Ali Ber 
King of Songhay 1464 to 1492
When Sunni Ali Ber came to power, Songhay was a small kingdom in the western Sudan. But during his twenty-eight-year reign, it grew into the largest, most powerful empire in West Africa.
Sunni Ali Ber built a remarkable army and with this ferocious force, the warrior king won battle after battle. He routed marauding nomads, seized trade routes, took villages, and expanded his domain. He captured Timbuktu, bringing into the Songhay empire a major center of commerce, culture, and Moslem scholarship.
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Idris Alooma 
Sultan of Bornu 1580 to 1617
For two centuries before Idris Alooma became Mai (Sultan) of Bornu, Kanem was a separate land whose people had been driven out by their nomadic cousins, the Bulala. It took one of Africa’s most extraordinary rulers to reunite the two kingdoms.
Idris Alooma was a devout Moslem. He replaced tribal law with Moslem law, and early in his reign, he made a pilgrimage to Mecca. But the trip had as much military as religious significance, for he returned with Turkish firearms and later commanded an incredibly strong army. They marched swiftly and attacked suddenly, crushing hostile tribes in annual campaigns. Finally Idris conquered the Bulala, establishing dominion over the Kanem-Bornu empire and a peace lasting half a century.
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Behanzin Hossu Bowelle- 
The King Shark 1841 to 1906
Behanzin was the most powerful ruler in West Africa during the end of the nineteenth century. He was determined to prevent European intervention into his country, but readily welcomed European visitors, taking precautionary measures to prevent their spread of influence. To defend his nation’s sovereignty, he maintained a physically fit army, which included a division of five thousand female warriors.
The people of Dahomey often referred to their monarch, Behanzin, as the “King Shark,” a Dahomeyan surname which symbolized strength and wisdom. He was a fond lover of the humanities, and is credited with the creation of some of the finest song and poetry ever produced in Dahomey.
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Cleopatra VII 
Queen of Egypt 69 to 30 BC
The most famous of seven matriarchs to bear this name, Cleopatra rose to the throne at seventeen. The young queen is often erroneously portrayed as Caucasian, however, she was of both Greek and African descent. By mastering many different languages and several African dialects, she became instrumental in reaching beyond the borders of Egypt.
Striving to elevate Egypt to world supremacy, Cleopatra enlisted the military services of two great Roman leaders. She persuaded Julius Caesar and , later, Mark Anthony to renounce their Roman allegiances to fight on behalf of Egypt. each, however, met his death before Cleopatra’ s dreams of conquest were realized. Disheartened, Cleopatra pressed as asp to her breast, ending the life of the world’s most celebrated African queen.
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Hannibal 
Ruler of Carthage 247 to 183 BC
Regarded as one of the greatest generals of all time, Hannibal and his overpowering African armies conquered major portions of Spain and Italy and came close to defeating the mighty Roman Empire.
Born in the North African country of Carthage, Hannibal became general of the army at age twenty-five. His audacious moves-such as marching his army with African war elephants through the treacherous Alps to surprise and conquer Northern Italy-and his tactical genius, as illustrated by the Battle of Cannae where his seemingly trapped army cleverly surrounded and destroyed a much larger Roman force, won him recognition which has spanned more than 2004 years.
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Hatshepsut 
The Ablest Queen of Far Antiquity 1503 to 1482 BC
Hatshepsut rose to power after her father Thothmes I was stricken with paralysis. He appointed Hatshepsut as his chief aide and heiress to the throne. While several male rivals sought to oust her from power, Hatshepsut withstood their challenges to remain leader of what was then the world’s leading nation.
To help enhance her popularity with the peoples of Egypt, Hatshepsut had a number of spectacular temples and pyramids erected. Some of the towering structures still stand today as a reminder of the first true female ruler of a civilized nation. She was indeed the “Ablest Queen of Far Antiquity” and remained so for thirty-three years.
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Ja Ja 
King of the Opobo 1821 to 1891
Jubo Jubogha, the son of an unknown member of the Igbo people, was forced into slavery at age 12, but gained his freedom while still young and prospered as an independent trader (known as Ja Ja by the Europeans). He became chief of his people and the head of his Eastern Nigerian City State of Bonny. He later established and became king of his own territory, Opobo, an area near the Eastern Nigeria River more favorable for trading.
As years passed, European governments, mainly British, attempted to gain control of Nigerian trade. Ja Ja’s fierce resistance to any outside influence led to his exile at age 70 to the West Indies by the British. The greatest Igbo chief of the nineteenth century never saw his kingdom again.
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Khama 
The Good King of Bechuanaland 1819 to 1923
Khama distinguished his reign by being highly regarded as a peace-loving ruler with the desire and ability to extract technological innovations from Europeans while resisting their attempts to colonize his country. Such advancements included the building of schools, scientific cattle feeding, and the introduction of a mounted police corps which practically eliminated all forms of crime.
Respect for Khama was exemplified during a visit with Queen Victoria of England to protest English settlement in Bechuanaland in 1875. The English honored Khama and confirmed his appeal for continued freedom for Bechuanaland.
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Makeda 
Queen of Sheba 960 BC
She gave the king 120 talents of gold, and of spices very great store and precious stones; there came no more abundance of spices as these which the Queen of Sheba gave to King Solomon.” (Kings 10:10)
The Biblical passage refers to the gifts Makeda presented King Solomon of Israel on her famed journey to visit the Judean monarch. But Makeda’s gifts to Solomon extended beyond material objects; she also gave him a son, Menelek. The boy’s remarkable resemblance to his grandfather prompted Solomon to re-christen Menelek. Solomon later re-named his son after his own father, the legendary King David.
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Menelek II
King of Kings of Abyssinia 1844 to 1913
Proclaimed to be a descendant of the legendary 
Queen of Sheba and King Solomon, Menelek was the overshadowing figure of his time in Africa. He converted a group of independent kingdoms into the strong, stable empire known as the United States of Abyssinia (Ethiopia).His feat of pulling together several kingdoms which often fiercely opposed each other earned him a place as one of the great statesmen of African history, His further accomplishments in dealing on the international scene with the world powers, coupled with his stunning victory over Italy in the 1896 Battle of Adwa, an attempt to invade his country, placed him among the great leaders of world history and maintained his country’s independence until 1935.
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Moshoeshoe
King of Basutoland 1815 to 1868
 

For half a century, the Basotho people were ruled by the founder of their nation. Moshoeshoe was a wise and just king who was as brilliant in diplomacy as he was in battle. He united many diverse groups, uprooted by war, into a stable society where law and order prevailed and the people could raise their crops and cattle in peace. He knew that peace made prosperity possible, and he often avoided conflict through skillful negotiations.
Moshoeshoe solidified Basotho defenses at Thaba Bosiu, their impregnable mountain capital. From this stronghold he engineered a number of major victories over superior forces.
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Mansa Kankan Mussa 
King of Mali 1306 to 1332
A flamboyant leader and world figure, Mansa Mussa distinguished himself as a man who did everything on a grand scale. An accomplished businessman, he managed vast resources to benefit his entire kingdom. He was also a scholar, and imported noteworthy artists to heighten the cultural awareness of his people.
In 1324 he led his people on the Hadj, a holy pilgrimage from Timbuktu to Mecca. His caravan consisted of 72,000 people whom he led safely across the Sahara Desert and back, a total distance of 6,496 miles. So spectacular was this event, that Mansa Mussa gained the respect of scholars and traders throughout Europe, and won international prestige for Mali as one of the world’s largest and wealthiest empires.
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Nandi
Queen of Zululand 1778 to 1826 AD
The year was 1786. The King of Zululand was overjoyed. His wife, Nandi, had given birth to a son, his first son, whom they named 
Shaka. But the King’s other wives, jealous and bitter, pressured him to banish Nandi and the young boy into exile. steadfast and proud, she raised her son with the kind of training and guidance a royal heir should have. For her many sacrifices, Nandi was finally rewarded when her son, Shaka, later returned to become the greatest of all Zulu Kings.To this day, the Zulu people use her name, “Nandi,” to refer to a woman of high esteem.
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Nefertari 
Nubian Queen of Egypt 1292 to 1225 BC
One of many great Nubian queens, Nefertari is heralded as the queen who wed for peace. Her marriage to King Rameses II of Egypt, one of the last great Egyptian Pharaohs, began strictly as a political move, a sharing of power between two leaders. Not only did it grow into one of the greatest royal love affairs in history, but bought the hundred year war between Nubia and Egypt to an end. It was an armistice which lasted over a hundred years
Even today, a monument stands in Queen Nefertari’s honor. In fact, the temple which Rameses built for her at Abu Simbel is one of the largest and most beautiful structures ever built to honor a wife. And to celebrate peace.
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Nehanda of Zimbabwe 
Born into a religious family, Nehanda displayed remarkable leadership and organizational skills, and at a young age became one of Zimbabwe’s two most influential religious leaders
When English settlers invaded Zimbabwe in 1896 and began confiscating land and cattle, Nehanda and other leaders declared war. At first they achieved great success, but as supplies ran short, so did battlefield victories. Nehanda was eventually captured, found guilty, and executed for ordering the killing of a notoriously cruel Native Commander. Though dead for nearly a hundred years, Nehanda remains what she was when alive – the single most important person in the modern history of Zimbabwe, and is still referred to as Mbuya (Grandmother) Nehanda by Zimbabwean patriots.
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Nzingha 
Amazon Queen of Matamba, West Africa 1582 to 1663 
Many women ranked among the great rulers of Africa including this Angolan queen who was an astute diplomat and excelled as a military leader. When the slave-hunting Portuguese attacked the army of her brother’s kingdom, Nzingha was sent to negotiate the peace. She did so with astonishing skill and political tact, despite the fact that her brother had her only child killed. She later formed her own army against the Portuguese, and waged war for nearly thirty years. These battles saw a unique moment in colonial history as Nzingha allied her nation with the Dutch, marking the first African-European alliance against a European oppressor.
Nzingha continued to wield considerable influence among her subjects despite being forced into exile. Because of her quest for freedom and relentless drive to bring peace to her people, Nzingha remains a glimmering symbol of inspiration.
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Osei Tutu 
King of Asante 1680 to 1717
Osei Tutu was the founder and first king of the Asante nation, a great West African forest kingdom in what is now Ghana. he was able to convince a half dozen suspicious chiefs to join their states under his leadership when according to legend, the Golden Stool descended from heaven and came to rest on Osei Tutu’s knees, signifying his choice by the gods. The Golden Stool became a sacred symbol of the nation’s soul, which was especially appropriate since gold was the prime source of Asante wealth.
During Osei Tutu’s reign, the geographic area of Asante tripled in size. The kingdom became a significant power that, with his military and political prowess as an example, would endure for two centuries.
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Samory Toure 
The Black Napoleon of the Sudan 1830 to 1900
The ascendence of Samory Toure began when his native Bissandugu was attacked and his mother taken captive. After a persuasive appeal, Samory was allowed to take her place, but later escaped and joined the army of King Bitike Souane of Torona. Following a quick rise through the ranks of Bitike’s army, Samory returned to Bissandugu where he was soon installed as king and defied French expansionism in Africa by launching a conquest to unify West Africa into a single state.
During the eighteen year conflict with France, Samory continually frustrated the Europeans with his military strategy and tactics. This astute military prowess prompted some of France’s greatest commanders to entitle the African monarch, “the Black Napoleon of the Sudan.”
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Shaka 
King of the Zulus 1818 to 1828
A strong leader and military innovator, Shaka is noted for revolutionizing 19th century Bantu warfare by first grouping regiments by age, and training his men to use standardized weapons and special tactics. He developed the “assegai,” a short stabbing spear, and marched his regiments in tight formation, using large shields to fend off the enemies throwing spears. Over the years, Shaka’s troops earned such a reputation that many enemies would flee at the sight of them.
With cunning and confidence as his tools, Shaka built a small Zulu tribe into a powerful nation of more than one million people and united all tribes in South Africa against Colonial rule.
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Taharqa/Taharka 
King of Nubia 710 to 664 BC
At the age of sixteen, this great Nubian king led his armies against the invading Assyrians in defense of his ally, Israel. This action earned him a place in the Bible (Isaiah 37:9, 2 Kings 19:9).
During his 25-year reign, Taharqa controlled the largest empire in ancient Africa. His power was equaled only by the Assyrians. These two forces were in constant conflict, but despite the continuous warfare, Taharqa was able to initiate a building program throughout his empire which was overwhelming in scope. The numbers and majesty of his building projects were legendary, with the greatest being the temple at Gebel Barkal in the Sudan. The temple was carved from the living rock and decorated with images of Taharqa over 100 feet high.
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Tenkamenin 
King of Ghana 1037 to 1075 AD
The country of Ghana reached the height of its greatness during the reign of Tenkamenin. Through his careful management of the gold trade across the Sahara desert into West Africa, Tenkamenin’s empire flourished economically. But his greatest strength was in government. Each day he would ride out on horseback and listen to the problems and concerns of his people. He insisted that no one be denied an audience and that they be allowed to remain in his presence until satisfied that justice had been done.
His principles of democratic monarchy and religious tolerance make Tenkamenin’s reign one of the great models of African rule.
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Thutmose III
Pharaoh of Egypt 1504 to 1450 BC

Thutmose III was a member of one of the greatest families in the history of African royalty. A family which laid the basis for the 18th Dynasty of ancient Egypt. But it was his family which also was the source of his greatest frustration, as he always believed he should have come to power before his sister,
Hatshepsut, and was angry over this for most of his life. Ironically, though, it was the assignments she gave him which not only helped in his rise to power, but also helped him learn and understand the responsibilities of his royal position.Thutmose III eventually overcame his anger to become one of the most important Pharaohs in Egyptian history. A man who will be remembered as a great warrior who strengthened the sovereignty of Egypt and extended its influence into Western Asia.
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Tiye
The Nubian Queen of Egypt ca. 1415 to 1340 BC
 

Now it came to pass that, in the 14th century BC, a wise and beautiful woman from Nubia so captured the heart of the pharaoh, she changed the course of history.
Amenhotep III, the young Egyptian ruler, was so taken by Tiye’s beauty, intellect, and will, he defied his nation’s priests and custom by proclaiming this Nubian commoner his Great Royal spouse. He publicly expressed his love for his beautiful black queen in many ways, making her a celebrated and wealthy person in her own right. He took her counsel in matters political and military much to heart and later declared that, as he had treated her in life, so should she be depicted in death…as his equal.
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Askia Muhammed Toure 
King of Sonhay 1493 to 1529
A devout Muslim, Askia “The Great” ruled and administered Songhay strictly according to Islamic Law. He divided his country into provinces, each with a professional administrator as governor, and ruled each fairly and uniformly through a staff of distinguished legal experts and judges. At times he fought established tradition to rule in the best interests of his people by adjusting the taxes to reduce the burden on the commoners.
Askia Muhammed Toure united the entire central region of the Western Sudan, and established a governmental machine that is still revered today for its detail and efficiency.
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Queen Amina 

Queen of Zaria 1588-1589 
The elder daughter of Bakwa Turunku, who founded the Zazzau Kingdom in 1536, Queen Amina came to power between 1588 and 1589 A. D. Unlike her younger sister, Zariya (from whom the city of Zaria derives its name), Amina is generally remembered for her fierce military exploits.

A brilliant military strategist, many wars she fought, and all she won. And, through her conquest, she expanded the area under her reign by erecting great walled camps during her various campaigns, and Amina is generally credited with the building of the famous Zaria wall. She is today remembered – by some fondly, by others less so -as “Amina, Yar Bakwa ta san rana,” meaning “Amina, daughter of Nikatau, a woman as capable as a man.”

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Emperor Haile Selassie I (1892-1975),  “King of Kings. In 1935 there was just one man who rose out of murky obscurity and carried his country with him up & up into brilliant focus before a pop-eyed world. But for the hidden astuteness of this man, there would not now be the possibility of another world war arising out of idealism generated around the League of Nations in behalf of Ethiopia. But for His Majesty Haile Selassie, the year 1935 would have been a distinctly different year. If by some unhappy chance the Italo-Ethiopian war should now spread into a world conflagration, Power of Trinity I, the King of Kings, the Conquering Lion of Judah, will have a place in history as secure as Woodrow Wilson’s. If it ends in the fall of Mussolini and the collapse of Fascism, his Majesty can plume himself on one of the greatest feats ever credited to blackamoors. – January 6, 1936, Time Magazine Man Of The Year

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IMHOTEPThe world’s first known genius

Imhotep was the royal advisor to King Zoser during the Third Dynasty of Kemet. Regarded as the world’s first recorded multi-genius, Imhotep was an architect, astronomer, philosopher, poet and physician. As an architect he was responsible for designing the Step Pyramid and the Saqqara Complex. During his lifetime he was given a host of titles, among them:Chancellor of the King of Lower Kemet, the First after the King of Upper Kemet, High Priest of Heliopolis and Administrator of the Great Palace. As a physcian, Imhotep is believed to have been the author of the Edwin Smith Papyrus in which more than 90 anatomical terms and 48 injuries are described. This is well over 2,200 years before the Western Father of Medicine Hippocrates is born. Some 2,000 years after his death, Imhotep was deified by the inhabitants of Kemet and was known later as Asclepius, God of Medicine, to the Greeks. His very name, Im-Hotep, translates as the Prince of Peace. His tomb near Memphis became a sacred place and the site of pilgrimages for those seeking a cure. As a philosopher and poet, Imhotep’s most remembered phrase is: “Eat, drink, and be merry for tomorrow we shall die.” There still remain many bronze statuettes, temples and sanatoria bearing his name, as is depicted in the picture of the statue at the left.

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  SENWORSERT I (PHARAOH OF THE 12TH DYNASTY) 
Senwosert I was a Twelfth Dynasty King of Kemet (1897 BC). Also known as Kepre Kare Senwosert I, he was known to the Greeks as Kekrops and Sesostris. Interestingly enough Herodotus, Greece’s Father of History, reported that Greece had once been conquered by a king named Sesostris. Greek mythology also indicated that the legendary founder of Athens was an Egyptian named Kekrops.
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  THE GREAT MUTOTA (1440)
The year was 1440. The King was Mutota. In any other European country he would have been known as Mutota the Great. He and his council was quick to see that even the most advance states each standing independently and alone, were doomed to European criminal exploits unless unified into a single nation with a strong central government. This also should be achieve through voluntary association if possible. Mutota and the new leaders understood this very well. Therefore, Mutota, in 1440, began the campaign to carry out his grand design. This was a great plan aimed at nothing less than uniting Africans into a vast empire that cut across South Africa below the Limpopo river, and covered Zimbabwe with an indefinite boundary beyond the Zambezi River in Zambia, and on over Mozambique to the Indian Ocean, sweeping southward again to re-posses the entire coastline fronting the New Empire. This area contained the majority of the world precious metals such as gold, copper, tin and iron held in over 4000 mines. After 30 years of struggle, unity was finally achieve in 1480 into the Empire of Monomotapa.
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  NARMER (THE FOUNDER OF DYNASTIC KEMET-3200 B.C.)
Narmer or Aha was called Menes by the Greeks. Regarded as the founder of Dynastic Kemet, he led an army from Upper Kemet in the south to conquer Lower Kemet in the north around 3200BC. Upon victory Narmer united Upper and Lower Kemet into one nation. One of Narmer’s first tasks was to build a city on his newly conquered lands. Here he was met with a difficult task as the Delta region was covered by an immense swamp. To remedy this situation, Narmer drained the swamp by actually diverting the course of the Nile River. Upon this new land he built a city which he named Men-Nefer:The Good Place. This city served as the capital of Kemet for several centuries. An Arab traveler writing as late as the Middle Ages reported the city “stretching a day’s journey in every direction.” The Greeks would rename Men-Nefer “Memphis,” a name that even today honors an African king who lived nearly 5,000 years ago.
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  CANDACE (EMPRESS OF ETHIOPIA 332 B.C.)
Alexander reached Kemet (Ancient Egypt) in 332 B.C., on his world conquering rampage. But one of the greatest generals of the ancient world was also the Empress of Ethiopia. This formidable black Queen Candace, was world famous as a military tactician and field commander. Legend has it that Alexander could not entertain even the possibilty of having his world fame and unbroken chain of victories marred by risking a defeat, at last, by a woman. He halted his armies at the borders of Ethiopia and did not invade to meet the waiting black armies with their Queen in personal command.
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The Placenta Cookbook

For a growing number of new mothers, there’s no better nutritional snack after childbirth than the fruit of their own labor.

By Atossa Araxia Abrahamian 

Published Aug 21, 2011 

A fresh placenta simmers with ginger, lemon, and a jalapeño pepper.

(Photo: Kathryn Parker Almanas )

 

Jennifer Hughes’s placenta was delivered ten minutes after her first child, just before midnight on March 31. It was on the large side, with a liverish texture and a bluish tinge; it measured nine inches in diameter and weighed a pound and a half. Placentas are considered biohazardous waste by the medical Establishment and are usually disposed of accordingly. Some hospitals send the afterbirth in formaldehyde to a pathology lab for analysis before it is carted off by a tissue-disposal service; others toss it out with bloody miscellany in special containers.

 

 

But in the birth plan that Hughes brought with her to Beth Israel Medical Center, she specified that she wanted to keep her placenta, for cultural reasons. Complying with New York State health regulations, which says that hospitals “may, at the request of a patient or patient’s representative, return a healthy placenta for disposition by the patient,” the hospital allowed her to take it home, and even packed it up for her.

In some cultures, it is customary to bury the placenta and plant a tree over it.

Hughes had other plans. She was going to eat it.

Early the next morning, a 28-year-old woman named Jennifer Mayer is driving a Subaru from Manhattan over the Brooklyn Bridge with an opaque takeout container in the passenger seat. Inside the container is a gallon-size Ziploc bag, and inside the bag is Jennifer Hughes’s placenta.

Mayer—an upbeat, blue-eyed blonde from upstate New York—is a professional placenta-preparer. Her job is to transform placentas into supplements that are said to alleviate postpartum depression, aid in breastmilk production and lactation, act as a uterine tonic, and replenish nutrients lost during pregnancy. Her clients are mostly middle-class, like Hughes and her husband, Doug, who are college-educated, in their thirties, and live on a gentrifying street in Crown Heights. On this dreary April morning, Mayer is driving the afterbirth to their apartment to begin preparing it.

 

“It’s the freshest placenta I’ve ever worked with!” she says, glancing over at the container as the car lurches through traffic. Mayer speaks about the organ in tones most women reserve for newborns: “perfect,” “beautiful,” “precious.”

 

Her enthusiasm isn’t unfounded. The placenta feeds the baby until birth, filtering toxins while letting in vitamins, minerals, oxygen, and other nutrients from the mother’s bloodstream. It even helps reduce the risk of transmitting viruses, including HIV, from mother to child.

Mayer, who also works as a massage therapist and doula, first became interested in placentas as a student at the University of Colorado. After reading up on the purported benefits of consuming one’s afterbirth and learning that a client was planning to try it, Mayer decided that she wanted to offer her customers placenta capsules: dried, ground afterbirth packaged into a clear pill no bigger than a regular vitamin supplement.

The technique, called encapsulation, was not widely practiced in Colorado and, until quite recently, was practically unknown on the East Coast. But Mayer found a doula who conducted training sessions with donated placentas, and started her business, Brooklyn Placenta Services, shortly thereafter.

“They’re happy pills,” Mayer says. “They’re made by your body, for your body. Why wouldn’t you want to try?”

 

In 1930, the researchers Otto Tinklepaugh and Carl Hartman described a female macaque monkey eating her placenta. “After licking the afterbirth, she begins the grueling task … of consuming this tough fibrous mass,” they wrote. “Holding the organ in her hands, she bites and tears at it with her teeth.” Tinklepaugh and Hartman could not determine the precise reason why macaques—and virtually every other land mammal—eat their own placenta. To this day, the reasons remain unclear.

Mark Kristal, a behavioral neuroscientist at the University of Buffalo, is the country’s leading (and quite possibly only) authority on placentophagia, the practice of placenta consumption. He has been researching the phenomenon for twenty years, and concludes that it must offer “a fundamental biological advantage” to all mammals. What this advantage is, he writes in one of his papers, “is still a mystery … in fact, a double mystery. We are not sure either of the immediate causes … nor are we sure of the consequences of the behavior.” But placentas have carried a special spiritual significance in some cultures. In ancient Egypt, it had its own hieroglyph, and the Ibo tribe in Nigeria and Ghana treats the placenta like a child’s dead twin. In traditional Chinese medicine, small doses of human placenta are sometimes dried, mixed with herbs, and ingested to alleviate, among other things, impotence and lactation conditions. And in modern medicine, doctors often bank umbilical-cord blood to treat genetic diseases with harvested stem cells.

According to Kristal, the first recorded placentophagia movement in America began in the seventies, when people residing in communes would cook up a placenta stew and share it among themselves. “It’s a New Age phenomenon,” he explains. “Every ten or twenty years people say, ‘We should do this because it’s natural and animals do it.’ But it’s not based on science. It’s a fad.”

Continue reading here


Butterflies

This morning as I opened my car door, and pushed my sliding car seat forward to slip my lunch bag behind my seat, I noticed I had a guest.  It was a beautiful butterfly with  it’s wings closed as if it had just landed on a flower.  It baffled me as I thought about how and when the butterfly floated into my car, and without me noticing.   I know it had to have been inside for at least one day, as I hadn’t been in my car since the day before yesterday.  I blew on the butterfly to see if there was a chance that it was still alive, but as I suspected, it was not.  I began to feel a rush of emotions come over me: sadness, pride, compassion, sympathy, longing, and love.  Here I was, unsuspecting, receiving what I now view as a symbol, a gift, message of what’s to come.  This butterfly, for a reason not yet known to me, chose to lay itself to rest in my presence, promising me transformation, everlasting knowledge, and freedom.  I learned that butterflies are associated with death and rebirth, much like their life cycle.  They represent the souls of people who have passed away, as well as a sign of new life.  It could be that the spirit of my great-grandfather, my cousin who was taken away from our family a couple years back, or the soul of someone or something I have not yet met has come to pass a message.  It could be a symbol of life that I am now charged with bringing into this world.  Whatever it’s meaning, I feel honored by the visit, and wanted to share it’s beauty with you.

 



Intro to Chakra Energy

Everyday we stimulate our chakra centers in one way or another, for example, through the different thoughts we have or physically through our senses. Daily we energize our centers, consciously or unconsciously, through various methods. Below is one basic interpretation of the Chakras.
Root or Base Chakra
Colour Association Red
Sanskit Name Muladhara
Location Base of spine, coccyx
Lesson Survival–The right to exist. Deals with tasks related to the material and physical world. Ability to stand up for oneself and security issues.
Imbalances Anemia, fatigue, lower back pain, sciatica, depression. Frequent colds or cold hands and cold feet.
Root Stimulants Physical exercise and restful sleeps, gardening, pottery and clay. Red food & drink. Red gemstones, red clothing, bathing in red, etc. Using red oils such as ylang ylang or sandalwood essential oils.
Spleen Chakra
Colour Association Orange
Sanskit Name Svadisthana
Location Below navel, lower abdomen
Lesson Feelings—The right to feel. Connected to our sensing abilities and issues related to feelings. Ability to be social and intimacy issues.
Imbalances Eating disorders. Alcohol and drug abuse. Depression. Low back pain. Asthma or allergies. Candida & yeast infections. Urinary problems. Sensuality issues as well as impotency and frigidity.
Spleen Stimulants Hot aromatic baths, water aerobics, massage.Embracing sensation (such as different food tastes). Orange food & drink. Orange gemstones and orange clothing. Using orange oils such as melissa or orange essential oils.
Solar Plexus Chakra
Colour Association Yellow
Sanskit Name Manipura
Location Above the navel, stomach area
Lesson Personal power–The right to think. Balance of intellect, self-confidence and ego power. Ability to have self-control and humor.
Imbalances Digestive problems, ulcers, diabetes, hypoglycemia, constipation. Nervousness, toxicity, parasites, colitis, poor memory.
Solar Plexus Stimulants Taking classes, reading informative books, doing mind puzzles. Sunshine. Detoxication programs. Yellow food & drink. Yellow gemstones and yellow clothing. Using yellow oils such as lemon or rosemary essential oils.
Heart Chakra
Colour Association Green
Sanskit Name Anahata
Location Center of chest
Lesson Relationships–The right to love. Love, forgiveness, compassion. Ability to have self-control. Acceptance of oneself.
Imbalances Heart and breathing disorders. Heart and breast cancer. Chest pain. High blood pressure. Passivity. Immune system problems. Muscular tension.
Heart Stimulants Nature walks, time spent with family or friends. Green food & drink. Green gemstones and green clothing. Using green oils such as eucalyptus or pine essential oils.
Throat Chakra
Colour Association Blue
Sanskit Name Visuddha
Location Throat region
Lesson Relationships–The right to speak. Learning to express oneself and one’s beliefs (truthful expression). Ability to trust. Loyalty. Organization and planning.
Imbalances Thyroid imbalances, swollen glands. Fevers and flu. Infections. Mouth, jaw, tongue, neck and shoulders problems. Hyperactivity. Hormonal disorders such as PMS, mood swings, bloating and menopause.
Throat Stimulants Singing (in the shower), poetry, stamp or art collecting. Meaningful conversations. Blue food & drink. Blue gemstones and blue clothing. Using blue oils such as chamomile or geranium essential oils.
Brow or Third Eye Chakra
Colour Association Indigo
Sanskit Name Anja
Location Forehead, in between the eyes.
Lesson Intuition–The right to “see.” Trusting one’s intuition and insights. Developing one’s psychic abilities. Self-realization. Releasing hidden and repressed negative thoughts.
Imbalances Learning disabilities, co-ordination problems, sleep disorders.
Depression Thyroid imbalances, swollen glands. Fevers and flu. Infections. Mouth, jaw, tongue, neck and shoulders problems. Hyperactivity. Hormonal disorders such as PMS, mood swings, bloating and menopause.
Brow Stimulants Star gazing. Mediation Indigo food & drink. Indigo gemstones and indigo clothing. Using indigo oils such as patchouli or frankincense essential oils.
Crown Chakra
Colour Association Violet
Sanskit Name Sahasrara
Location Top of head
Lesson Knowingness–The right to aspire. Dedication to the divine consciousness and trusting the universe. Learning about one’s spirituality. Our connection to the concept of “God” or a higher intelligence. Integrating one’s consciousness and subconsciousness into the superconsciousness.
Imbalances Headaches. Photosensitivity. Mental illness. Neuralgia.Senility. Right/left brain disorders and coordination problems. Epilepsy. Varicose veins and blood vessel problems. Skin Rashes.
Crown Stimulants Focusing on dreams. Writing down one’s visions and inventions. Violet food & drink. Violet gemstones and violet clothing. Using violet oils such as lavender or jasmine essential oils.

Ways to Energize Your Chakras

Everyday we stimulate our chakra centers in one way or another, for example, through the different thoughts we have or physically through our senses. Daily we energize our centers, consciously or unconsciously, through various methods. Following is a list of common ways we charge our chakra centers:

Thoughts
Thought is an energy form. Science has proven a positive thought allows our energy to flow freely and unrestricted. Whereas, negative thoughts decrease energy within our body. Every thought (whether mental or emotional) is connected to a chakra. For example, a passionate thought is a red energy stimulant, but an angry thought decreases one’s positive red energy flow. This means that continual angry thoughts will lower your root chakra’s energy.

The Sun
This is our most important energy source. Through light all the seven color energies flow from the sun’s rays to the earth. People, animals, plants, minerals, water and our chakras receive energy from the sun’s light. (If you are not able to enjoy the sun for a few hours daily, add a quality full spectrum light bulb to alight source in your work area or in a lamp at home.)

Food
When the sun’s rays bless all plant life, it gives the plant life/energy. Once the plant absorbs energy, the color energy that remains is the energy of that fruit, vegetable or flower. Without this energy our body could not assimilate the nutritional value of the food. Balance your chakras daily by eating foods that contain each of the seven color energies (that’s why the doctor always said to eat a plate of different colored foods… for the color value!).

Visualization
Meditation & Breathing (Yoga). Since thought is an energy form you can stimulate your chakra centers through meditation, visualization or breathing energy into your various chakra centers. By adding the color intention adds additional power from a chakra’s vibration.

Gems/Minerals
Gemstones and minerals are also energy forms. For example, crystals contain a similar crystalline structure as the human body. Crystals amplify energy and can be programmed (e.g. computer chips and watches). Wearing gemstone jewelry or placing gemstones and minerals in your environment is a simple way to absorb the stone or mineral’s healing vibrations.

Color Bathing
(One of my favorites!) Water is a conductor of energy and color is an energy. While lying in the colored water your body absorbs the vibrational frequency from the color. Take the time to give back to your body and soul! While bathing, balance that chakra by thinking about what you would like to achieve from that specific energy and maybe add the correlating aromatherapy oil. Do not use chemical food coloring to dye your water. I recommend Colour Bath™ by Colour Energy Corporation, as it is totally organic and therefore safe to use.

Aromatherapy
Essential oils are the pure essence of the plant or flower. Every oil has a vibration that correlates to a color. Oils contain the healing properties of herbs, flowers or plants. Use only therapeutic quality oils (inexpensive oils may contain toxins). Also never apply oils directly on your skin (dilute with a carrier oil or in a bath).

Music & Dance
Music effects us in a positive or negative way. Every musical note corresponds to a color and chakra center. Certain sounds can stimulate an emotional, mental, physical or spiritual response. E.g. Listening or dancing to primal music, such as the beating of drums, can energize your physical body and stimulate your root chakra.

Toning & Sounds
We can vocally make sounds to vibrate at the same frequency as various organs in our body. Regular toning can help keep our body’s organs functioning properly. Noise pollution can be very disturbing to our environment. Surround yourself with sounds, which make you happy and productive!

Color Tonations
By shining of light through various color filters directly onto the body, the vibration of the color will be absorbed through your skin effecting the designated area.

Solarized Water
Charge water by filling a colored glass with water or by placing a colored filter in front of a glass of water and let the sun’s rays kiss the water with color energy. Make sure the glass is not leaded and of a clean color hue.

Syntonics
Is the use of color through the eyes. Via our eyes color stimulates our pituitary gland, which in turn releases hormones connected to the correlating organ of the same frequency. Therapeutic eye glasses that are manufactured with various colored filters can be simply worn whenever you need a boost of a certain color or chakra energy. Make sure the color eyeglasses are 100% UVA & UVB coated if wearing outdoors and again the exact color tint of the lens is very, very important. Note: Unless the color glass manufacturer or distributor is aware of color therapy, chances are their colored lenses are not made for healing purposes.

Decor
Use colors consciously in your home or work environment to give you more positive and productive energy. Paint a room or add different colored pillows, artwork, carpets, etc.

Clothing
What we wear will influence our mood, mind and energy level. Light penetrates through our clothing amplifying the color energy we are wearing. The more vibrant the clothing the better the energy transfer.

Art & Color
Art and color can be used as an outlet to either express or stimulate. Surround yourself with the colors, which are suitable for what you need to accomplish in that area. Use calming colors in your bedroom and mentally stimulating colors in your workspace.


Matthew Lynch: Creating a Gender Responsive Learning Climate for Girls

July 15, 2011

Matthew Lynch says that we need to expose girls to great women in history as we support them in the complex modern world.

matthew_lynch
Matthew Lynch

 

In a responsive model of instruction, teachers seek out and include examples of achievements from both genders. While women and women’s classroom parity has come a long way since the days of Dr. Edward Clarke, it is still difficult to find curriculum texts that reflect an equitable picture of female accomplishments. Progress has been slow to incorporate gender-fair terminology into textbooks. Girls need to read about role models in science and mathematics—not just see pictures of women in lab coats with occasional references to females in the text.

The accomplishments of minority women, women with disabilities, local women from the community, and working class women all are important to help present a complete, realistic and equitable picture of female role models in society. It is valuable for young women to see the variety of ways in which females can impact their communities and their society, regardless of race, ethnic background or financial status. Teachers help overcome the gender inequities and change present perceptions by presenting accomplishments, experiences, and hard work of both men and women.

A balance of the particularistic and the inclusive is required. It is not healthy or productive to promote the historical female experience as completely negative—or to emphasize the struggles and minimize the triumphs—such an approach presents an unrealistic picture and may produce bitterness. Nor is it positive to emphasize men as the “oppressors”—this fosters resentment. Balance promotes equitable, respectful, and cooperative relationships with men in society.

There are many important reasons to emphasize women’s achievements. One of the most important is to build girls’ self-esteem. Blame the magazines, the movies, the models—blame Barbie—pin it on the pin-up girls, but the fact remains: girls struggle with the mixed messages about body image. Particularly impressionable adolescent girls struggle with bulimia, anorexia and the obsession with weight, and sometimes self-inflict injuries and other damage to their bodies.

Many girls who are bulimics and/or cutters have indicated that these actions are the only aspects of their lives over which they have control. Teachers lack the ubiquitous influence of the media to manipulate girls’ self-image. Advertising often pitches to the fundamental needs of the subconscious mind. Sex sells, to be frank—and while we cannot deny it, we do have some means to counter it.

Girls must be guided to see their potential in areas other than the physical. One helpful strategy is to acquaint young girls with the accomplishments of great women, including: Phyllis Wheatley, Marian Wright Edelman, Rosa Parks, Clara Barton, Mary Shelley, Jane Addams, Shirley Chisholm, Elizabeth Blackwell, Sacagawea,Wilma Mankiller, Isabel Allende, Deborah Sampson GannettDolores HuertaFrida KahloMaya AngelouSonia Sotomayor, Margaret Sanger, Unity Dow, Sally Ride and other women who overcame great odds to be strong and successful.

Each of these women is a standout figure in history or in society because of her hard work, her inner strength and her determination. In a society where supermodels and sex appeal are overvalued, adolescent girls must be reminded of their important inner qualities.

Dr. Lynch is an Assistant Professor of Education at Widener University. Dr. Lynch’s scholarship is intended to make a redoubtable, theoretically and empirically based argument that genuine school reform and the closing of the well-chronicled achievement gap are possible. Dr. Lynch is the author of three forthcoming books; Its Time for Change: School Reform for the Next Decade (Rowman & Littlefield 2012), A Guide to Effective School Leadership Theories (Routledge 2012), and The Call to Teach: An Introduction to Teaching and Learning (Pearson 2013). He is also the editor of the forthcoming 2-volume set, Before Obama: A Reappraisal of Black Reconstruction Era Politicians(Praeger 2012).

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South Sudan ‘free at last’


By ALEXANDER DZIADOSZ AND JEREMY CLARKE | REUTERS

Published: Jul 9, 2011 18:00 Updated: Jul 9, 2011 18:16

JUBA: Tens of thousands of South Sudanese danced and cheered as their new country formally declared its independence on Saturday, a hard-won separation from the north that also plunged the fractured region into a new period of uncertainty.

The president of South Sudan, Salva Kiir, stood next to his old civil war foe the president of Sudan, Omar Hassan Al-Bashir, who now leads just the north, at a ceremony to mark the birth of the new nation.

Under-developed, oil-producing South Sudan won its independence in a January referendum — the climax of a 2005 peace deal that ended decades of fighting with the north.

Security forces at first tried to control the streets in the south’s dusty capital Juba, but retreated as jubilant crowds moved in overnight and through the day, waving flags, dancing and chanting “South Sudan o-yei, freedom o-yei.”

Some revellers fainted in the blistering heat as South Sudan’s parliamentary speaker, James Wani Igga, read out the formal declaration of independence.

“We, the democratically elected representatives of the people … hereby declare Southern Sudan to be an independent and sovereign state,” said Igga before Sudan’s flag was lowered, the South Sudan flag was raised and the new anthem sung. Kiir took the oath of office.

People threw their hands in the air, embraced and wept. “We got it. We got it,” one man said as he hugged a woman.

The presence of Bashir, who campaigned to keep Africa’s largest state united, was a key gesture of goodwill.

It will also be an embarrassment to some Western diplomats at the event. The International Criminal Court has issued an arrest warrant for Bashir on charges of war crimes in Darfur.

Bashir gave a speech congratulating the new country. “The will of the people of the south has to be respected,” he said, ading that both states had to maintain peace.

North Sudan’s government was the first to recognize South Sudan on Friday, hours before the split took place, a move that smoothed the way to the division.

The United States, China and Britain signalled their recognition of the state on Saturday, according to official statements and government media reports.

“After so much struggle by the people of South Sudan, the United States of America welcomes the birth of a new nation,” said US President Barack Obama, stopping short of announcing any immediate changes in longstanding US sanctions on Sudan that Khartoum has been hoping will be lifted.

Dignitaries including UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and the leaders of about 30 African nations attended.

In a possible sign of the South’s new allegiances, the crowd included about 200 supporters of Darfur rebel leader Abdel Wahed Al-Nur, fighting Khartoum in an eight-year insurgency just over South Sudan’s border in the north.

Earlier, the supporters of Nur’s rebel Sudan Liberation Army faction stood in a line chanting “Welcome, welcome new state,” wearing T-shirts bearing their leader’s image. One carried a banner reading “El Bashir is wanted dead or alive.”

Traditional dance groups drummed and waved shields and staffs in a carnival atmosphere.

The crowd cheered as Kiir unveiled a giant statue of civil war hero John Garang, who signed the peace deal with the north.

Kiir offered an amnesty to armed groups fighting his government and promised to bring peace to troubled border areas.

“I would like to take this opportunity to declare amnesty for all those who have taken up arms against Sudan,” he said.

“I want to assure the people of Abyei, Darfur, Blue Nile and South Kordofan that we have not forgotten you. When you cry, we cry. When you bleed, we bleed. I pledge to you today that we will find a just peace for all,” he said, adding that he would work with Bashir to achieve those goals.

“Today we raise the flag of South Sudan to join the nations of the world. A day of victory and celebration,” Pagan Amum, the secretary general of the South’s ruling Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM), told Reuters.

Seeds of future tension

Khartoum’s recognition of the South did not dispel fears of future tensions.

Northern and southern leaders have still not agreed on a list of issues, most importantly the line of the border, the ownership of the disputed Abyei region and how they will handle oil revenues, the lifeblood of both economies.

At the stroke of midnight the Republic of Sudan lost almost a third of its territory and about three quarters of its oil reserves, which are sited in the south. It faced the future with insurgencies in its Darfur and Southern Kordofan regions.

Sudan now shrinks to being the third largest state in Africa, with about 1.86 million sq km of territory.

In Khartoum on Saturday, one sign of the new national order was the disappearance of some English-language and SPLM-linked newspapers. The north said it suspended them on Friday as they were published or owned by southerners — an ominous signal for more than 1 million southerners left in the north.

Many northerners see the separation as a loss of face.

Analysts have long feared a return to war if north/south disputes are not resolved.

The United Nations Security Council voted on Friday to establish a force of up to 7,000 peacekeepers for South Sudan.

Mostly Muslim Sudan fought rebels in the south, where most follow Christianity and traditional beliefs, for all but a few years from the 1950s in civil wars fueled by ethnicity, religion, oil and ideology.


Live your dreams

But not in the cliché way we often think of that is usually the message for seemingly impossible or incredibly difficult pursuits from our childhoods…

But rather, truly live what you dream.

According to psychologists,  only 5% of our life is controlled by our conscious mind, and 95% of the time controlled by the subconscious.   What this means is that as humans, most of us haven’t even began the mission of living.  I don’t know about you, but to me that is an astonishingly disheartening thought!

But fret not my friends; there is certainly hope!  It starts with a process of deprogramming.  That tiny 5% of our awareness that’s being used is powerful indeed.  Little by little, we can begin to take ownership of our minds and reclaim, percent by percent, what we are most often unaware if.

A great place to start is with a dream.  Ever get the feeling that you had a dream, but you can’t remember any of it?  Or worse yet, you remember a dream when you first awake, but later on in the day you have completely forgotten?  If you simply write down your dream somewhere as it comes to you, something extraordinary will reveal itself.  Our dreams say a lot about the state of our spirit.  Each dream offers a clue as to what’s in our subconscious.  It does not mean, however, that what you dream will manifest itself, but rather that dream could be trying to show you what you are afraid of, capable of, anxious about, procrastinating for, or what you should be doing.  It gives insight into relationships and emotions.  But how will you get the message if you don’t take the time to reflect on it?  Write it down!

Think before you speak.  I must admit I would become annoyed when I heard this phrase because it was usually coming from my mother when I said something she thought was ignorant!  Most of the time she was right…  Too often we are busy saying what comes to us without even considering what it means to other people, and even to ourselves.  Or, we are thinking of what our comeback will be to a person with whom we are conversing, which means we are not even truly listening to what they are saying.  If we take the time  to think each time we wish to say something, there will be less to apologize for in the end.  Additionally, our thoughts will be meaningful and perhaps even received better (not that receipt is a pre-requisite).  The biggest takeaway here is we are capable of governing, assessing, filtering, and mindfully creating (as opposed to simply repeating/regurgitating what others have said at some point) original thoughts.

Face your  fears.   If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you.  If you do not bring forth what is within, what you do not bring forth will destroy you (The Gnostic Christ, Dead Sea Scrolls).  Most of us are guilty of keeping our skeletons hidden, for if we do not see them, they are not there.  Except, they really are there, and they are preventing us from being useful to ourselves and to other people.  When you become afraid, really take a look at the reason.  What is it that is causing that fear?  What experiences or people have shaped that perception?  And how can you release yourself from it?  We are only bound to our fears if we do recognize that we possess the key.  Life is full of uncertainties, but it is also full of beauty.  Suffering does not underline our position on Earth.  When we realize this, we then allow ourselves to move about the Universe freely, for we are guided by love and not fear.  Fear makes us do ugly things like kill, steal, and destroy.  Fear is the reason for oppression, discrimination, and hate.  The current state of our planet is because we have allowed fear to rule us, which is why it is more important than ever to face your fear!


 

So, my friends, the time has come for you to live your dreams.  But not in a fantasy way that usually ends with “happily ever after”.

But rather, in a way that will guarantee you, and every other organism on this planet (and potentially the Universe) has the opportunity to experience the true meaning of LIFE.

 

None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free. 

-Goethe



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