global meditation for peace

Global #Meditation for #Peace! 8/8/14 noon EST USA. DO IT! Meditate with millions!

The Spiritual Warrior

if you haven’t heard yet, on august 8th at 9am PST (12pm EST) Deepak Chopra, along with Gabrielle Bernstein, India Arie, and other amazing spiritual educators, are hosting the largest global meditation in history.  i don’t know much about it, but i’m always so energized by people uniting together under in hopes of peace, love, and meditation.  if you’re interested in signing up, click here!  only 10 days left!

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Guest Post: “Why Gender Identity? Why Now?” by Connie Dunn

I am honored and excited to continue this week of highlighting two ground-breaking children’s books in the areas of gender and sexual orientation identities (two topics dear to my heart since my doctoral research centered on them) by giving you a chance to meet another author and get to know her work: Connie Dunn is guest posting on my site, today. Welcome, Connie!

Why Gender Identity? Why Now?

by Connie Dunn

connie_dunn photo

In a world where bullying has gone online and children and youth, who act or look different, are more likely to get bullied, is it any wonder that gender identity issues cause those individuals to be at a higher risk. It is concerning and the statistics prove it….

Suicide is the second leading cause of death among young people ages 10 to 24. Suicide attempts by LGB (Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual) youth and questioning youth are four to six times more likely to result in injury, poisoning, or overdose that requires treatment from a doctor or nurse, compared to their straight peers. Nearly half of young transgender people have seriously thought about taking their lives, and one quarter report having made a suicide attempt. LGB youth who come from highly rejecting families are 8.4 times as likely to have attempted suicide as LGB peers who reported no or low levels of family rejection.

from http://www.TheTrevorReport.com

Hate crimes continue to grow. In Oakland, CA, a teen, who identified as female, wore a skirt to school last November and another teen at the school set the skirt on fire. The teen had second and third degree burns. In Cleveland, Ohio, two trans-women (MTF or Male to Female) were killed in two different incidents, both were considered hate crimes. Hate crimes in New York, San Diego, Canada, and many other places identify gay and lesbians as the victims. The trend of increased hate crimes now show that anti-gay crimes and anti-racial crimes are about equal, according to Brian Mustanski, Ph.D. in an article published in Psychology Today (June 2013).

When I first introduced my new book When Panda Was a Boy: A Collection of Stories on Gender Identity for K-8, I was joyfully surprised that it was met with:
“This is so needed in the world!” “Where have you been?” “I wish I had this book when I was young.”

I actually was prepared for people’s negative responses over what can be a controversial topic. Instead, I have been pleasantly greeted with open arms, which definitely says a lot about how LGBTQ people of all ages are being met by the larger community. But make no mistake; this is still a “hot button” issue.

Panda- Cover

BUY HERE! http://publishwithconnie.com/whenpandawasaboyonamazon

When I first decided to write these stories, it came from my heart strings being pulled. I just couldn’t imagine anyone throwing out a child over their gender identity, whether that be trans (transgender, transsexual, or gender neutral), bisexual, gay, or lesbian. Our gender choices come from our DNA. No one wakes up one day and says, “Hmmm, I think I’ll be a ‘trans’ today.” Instead, it’s something that brews within their core being. Children as young as 2 ½ may begin showing tendencies toward the opposite gender than what their genitalia mandates. It doesn’t mean that they will ultimately be a trans. If a child is supported for who they are in all capacities, they will grow up to be who they are supposed to be.

One hurdle our society must get over is that people who are LGBTQ don’t seek it out as a rebellion; it is part of who they are. It’s in their DNA, which is not changeable. There are no choices to override DNA; it’s simply who you are just like your eye or hair color is part of who you are.

More youth and young adults are supporting trans by identifying as trans, which can be transgender, transsexual, or gender neutral. While most supporting people may be heterosexual; they also want to buck the binary system. There are many people who just don’t want to be “genderized.”

When young children begin to explore who they are between three and five years of age, sometimes as young as two-and-a-half, they explore gender. What happens is that our parents redirect us toward a stereotypical gender based on acceptable societal standards. When a little boy starts to play with dolls, a parent or other adult may say, “Boys don’t play with dolls!” So, they learn: “it’s not safe to be who I am.” These children stuff down these feelings. They don’t really go away; they just get pushed down inside of us. When a little girl wants trucks and cars, a parent will usually say, “Girls don’t play with cars and trucks, they play with dolls.”

Then, when these children go through puberty, another “who am I” comes up for them. This identity extends into gender but also includes their spiritual, religious, political, fashion, virtuous, non-virtuous, and so many other things. Gender is a huge part of who we are and what role we play in family and society. Again, these teenagers explore, but some will again be redirected to stereotypical gender roles. Once again, these youth learn: “It’s not safe to be who I am.” Maybe when these people get into their 20s, 30s, or even into midlife, they will again explore to find “who they are.”

This is also why I wrote When Panda Was a Boy. Young children explore gender, but they don’t often see themselves in storybooks unless they fit into that stereotypical role. Parents do not have the communication skills to deal with these issues, because it just isn’t discussed in most parenting circles. There are few role models in society, so my stories help parents find the right responses to support their children through their gender identity searches.

The stories in When Panda Was a Boy “are gentle stories and I approach the stories in a natural and age-appropriate way.

  • In “Amara’s Birthday Request,” Amara asks her mother for a penis. When Mom explores this with Amara, she finds out that Kamal, a boy at school, has told her that girls cannot sail a ship. Her mother assures her that she can do whatever boys can do. That’s all Amara needed to know.
  • In the story, “When Panda Was a Boy,” Lisa doesn’t want to have a tea party with Grandma, even though Grandma is wearing her fun tea party hat. Instead, Lisa wants to jump in mud puddles with Panda, her stuffed bear. When Grandma encourages the tea party, Lisa tells her that she’s all done being a girl. Lisa is very adamant about not doing any girl things. She tells her Grandma that she’s going to be a boy. Lisa finally asks Grandma if she will still love her if she’s Max or Fred. Grandma assures her that she loves Lisa even if she is Max or Fred.
  • In “Charlie Is a Girl,” we explore some of the obstacles that Christina faces in becoming Charlie. She takes charge in talking with the principal to make it all work out for her to start her school year as Charlie. She even takes a copy of the law that was passed giving her the right to be Charlie, but she finds the biggest item on the agenda was what “restroom” was Charlie going to use? They even worked that out by giving Charlie a key.

Handling things in age-appropriate ways are best, as long as that doesn’t mean stereotypical talk, such as “boys don’t dance, they play football” or “girls don’t play football, they dance.”

These types of statements may seem harmless, but what the child cannot say back to you is that he or she doesn’t feel that gender on the inside. We actually harm kids by telling them what is appropriate and what is not appropriate for their gender. Some crossover is natural. Sometimes it is a sign that there are tendencies toward being trans. Time always tells. Being supportive in this growth is just as important as helping them learn to walk or ride a bike.

When children feel guilty that they cannot be the child that you, the parent, wants them to be, they often cope with these feelings by trying to commit suicide or committing suicide. As parents, we want to help our children to become the best they can be. Why is it so hard to not see being lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, or transgender as part of who our child is? To ask them not be who they are is to reject them. Our children try, but failing in that, they move on to depression and manic depression and suicide. No one really wants that for their child.

Children who have a bad self-image, which LGBT children are prone to have, are at higher risk of being bullied. This behavior can also be fatal. A fragile child may not be strong enough to battle with a bully. Again, suicide is often what they see as their best choice, “so no one has to deal with the outcast.”

It is my hope that When Panda Was A Boy will help children in grades K-8 to feel normal about their gender choices, both in to whom they are attracted and to what gender they are inside. No matter what gender is on the outside, children as young as four or five may express their inner gender. Parents can help their children by being supportive and following their lead.
*****************************************

Connie Dunn is an author, speaker, and book writing coach. Her book, When Panda Was a Boy: a Collection of Stories on Gender Identity for K-8, is available in paperback and Kindle from Amazon.com (http://publishwithconnie.com/whenpandawasaboyonamazon).

Connie also teaches people to write and publish their books. You can find other information about her, her books, and courses at Publish with Connie (http://publishwithconnie.com/)

To receive a FREE Parent’s Guide: 10 Tips for Parents on Talking about Gender Identity to Your Children Sign up at: http://whenpandawasaboy.publishwithconnie.com.

Supporting gender and sexual orientation diversity is important: It’s sometimes a matter of life and death

Children’s Book Review

Made By Raffi by Craig Pomranz

by Sally Ember, Ed.D.

July, 2014

It’s not often that two people who knew each other as teenagers both become authors around the same time, but here we are, Craig Pomranz and I, both from Olivette, MO (a suburb of St. Louis), finding this new outlet for our creativity!

Craig is one year younger but was two grades behind me in our high school due to district entrance deadlines. It was quite “scandalous” at the time that I chose him to be my among my good friends, because I was a popular, powerful senior and he was a lowly sophomore in our three-year, Ladue Horton Watkins High School in 1971.

Why did I pick Craig out of and lift him from the kiddie pool? Because he was amazingly talented, charismatic, charming, intelligent, fun and earnest, even then. At our almost-clueless ages of 15 and 16, we bonded over musical and dramatic theater, party games, sex, jokes and movies.

We were also both not exactly cis-gender or completely heterosexual. In those ways, we kind of “met in the middle” and found a lot of common ground. We are still doing that, over forty years later. Craig and I both have wanted our experiences to be utilized so that we could be helpful to younger people in our professional work (as I have) and our writing.

This spring, Craig authored and this month published s wonderful, unique children’s book, Made by Raffi, that I’ll let him tell you about from an email he recently sent to me:

“I wrote the book to support young boys and girls who are perceived as ‘different’ because of their appearance or hobbies. It is a funny, colorful book with a serious message and will interest those who care about promoting diversity and embracing our differences, as well as all children seeking to fit in. This is an important topic for today…”

Craig went on to explain: “I have really become interested in the idea of how we tell our kids what is ‘appropriate’ activity based on gender. Most of the parents of young kids I know are trying, on the one hand, to let them follow their own interests, but on the other are concerned about their kid’s fitting in and not being teased. As a result, atypical hobbies and behaviors are only encouraged so far.”

He knows I AGREE with him completely, so he asked me to review and help promote his great book. Here I am, doing just that.

Buy this book. Share it with younger readers and even younger pre-readers. Talk about it. Allow Raffi’s story to raise questions and stimulate important conversations. Donate it to schools, libraries, homeless shelters, runaway hostels, children’s hospitals, youth mental wards, rehab centers.

I mean it. Made by Raffi should be everywhere so that gender disphoric and gender diverse youth can find it. It doesn’t matter that it’s a “children’s book.” That just makes it an easy read, brief but pithy. Also, the brevity and easy language mean that a young person who still has trouble with reading or whose English isn’t great could understand and benefit from it.

Why do I do this when I’m not a professional book reviewer? Because supporting gender and sexual orientation diversity is important: it’s sometimes a matter of life and death.

Craig wrote to me to share “some shocking stories”:

  • “A principal told a boy he could not bring his ‘My Little Pony’ lunchbox to school because it was a ‘trigger’ for teasing and bullying.

  • “The same week, a girl was expelled from a Christian school because of her short hair, perceived masculine look and interest in sports.

  • “A woman in Portland killed her child of four because she thought he ‘acted, walked and spoke like a gay person.'”

Craig continued in his email to me: “I would love to help those raising children—-and that includes parents, teachers, friends and relatives (the wide range of ‘families’ out there)—-who have had to deal with the issues of teasing and bullying and the difficulty we all have in defining who we are.”

From the book’s description:

Raffi is a shy boy who doesn’t like noisy games and is often teased at school. But when he gets the idea of making a scarf for his dad’s birthday, he is full of enthusiasm even though the other children think it is ‘girly’ to knit. Then the day draws near for the school pageant, and there is one big problem: no costume for the prince. And that’s when Raffi has his most brilliant idea of all — to make a prince’s cape. On the day of the pageant, Raffi’s cape is the star of the show.

Raffi cover

Age Range: 5 – 9 years

Grade Level: Kindergarten – 4

Hardcover: 40 pages

Publisher: Frances Lincoln Children’s Books (July 29, 2014)

Illustrated by Margaret Chamberlain

Buy link: http://www.amazon.com/Made-Raffi-Craig-Pomranz/dp/1847804330

If you read the book, let Craig and others know on Twitter @MadeByRaffi

LIKE and comment on the book’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/MadeByRaffi

I am so proud of my dear, longtime friend, Craig Pomranz! Spread the word! Visit his new blog!
http://craigpomranz.com/made-by-raffi/

Bonuses!

Craig sent me some snippets from readers all over the globe who have already shared and appreciated Made by Raffi. Here are a couple of those.

From a man in Istanbul:
Today I enjoyed to preorder your beautiful and meaningful children book for my cousin. Especially here in Turkey we need to learn respect to the one who is different than us. Thanks for your effort to make the world a better place to live.

Another fan wrote and sent Craig a photo:
I just wanted to send you this lovely picture of Isak, 7 years old, who has been inspired by Made by Raffi (Norwegian edition) to knit a scarf for his younger cousin (maybe as a Christmas gift). His mother tells me that they have been reading the book several times now, and that he’s trying to read it by himself, too. Greetings from Norway!

Isak

Sally Ember’s CHANGES Google + HOA (Hangouts On Air) Start August 6

Sally Ember’s G+ HOAs 60-minute shows, CHANGES

G+ HOA with G+ logo

from ncedchat.blogspot.com

are going to be on Wednesdays, 9 AM CST (Central Time, USA), about three times/month. Premier show: August 6.

Next shows: August 13, 27, Sept. 10, 17, 24.

CHANGES‘ topics will vary a lot, including insights, humor, information, reviews, tips, personal/professional stories, and more. Sally and special guests will provide whatever we believe is useful and interesting to authors, writers, thinkers, readers, social marketing newbies and others.

I will also be learning how to and then posting these as podcasts as well as on YouTube so the CHANGES HOAs can be accessed as archived videos/audios any time.

If you’d like to be a guest or suggest a topic or guest for CHANGES, please contact Sally: sallyember@yahoo.com

google-youtube

from http://www.webinarsonair.com

Guests must have access to Google+ Hangout On Air/You Tube video tech (webcam, appropriate camera and audio quality, bandwidth) and be comfortable with being on camera and on the air before being on this show.

Suggestion: if you’re a newbie to HOAs or a bit camera-shy but want to get involved and be a guest on Sally Ember’s or anyone else’s, first get acquainted with all the great help available for free “out there.”

Check out some of Sally’s mentors and ongoing inspirations:

Meloney Hall‘s “Lights, Camera, HOA” http://bigupticksocial.com/overcome-live-camera-shyness-introducing-lights-camera-hoa/ Here is a link to the episode that features me, Sally Ember, and Michael Daniels’ and others’ great info, with many laughs! You can then get to the new episodes from that channel. Every Monday, 1 PM PST. https://plus.google.com/u/0/events/ciouo2m50c6vrror6eeei9105hc

Denise Wakeman‘s “Adventures in Visibility” http://denisewakeman.com/hoa

Ryan Hanley‘s “Content Warfare” http://www.ryanhanley.com/

Shawn Manaher‘s “Author Hangout” http://bookmarketingtools.com/blog/category/hangout/

Mia Voss‘ HOAs http://themiaconnect.com/

Ron Bincer‘s youtube tutorials http://www.thehangouthelper.com/

Martin Shervington‘s YoutTube tutorials and PDFs, http://www.martinshervington.com/

Rebekah Radice‘s tips and posts http://rebekahradice.com/

Mike Daniels‘ “User2User-Live!” G+ group https://plus.google.com/u/0/communities/101944073205735325459

Rayne Dowell has her own site and info on it, such as this:
“Your YouTube Channel & HOA Practice Sessions”

If you’d like to practice HOA’s to improve your Hosting skills these are a few things to keep in mind.

You can host an HOA from your personal profile or your Page, each one can have its own YouTube Channel.

There are 3 basic types of HOA’s:
1. SHOAE (Scheduled Hangout On Air) – created from the Hangout option under the Google+ menu
2. Event – created from the Event option under the Google+ menu and can be created in a community
3. Public Event/Private HOA – created from the Event option under the Google+ menu

There is another option, a CCHOA (this is a community centred HOA, which is created by a page and is more advanced (+Heather Kraafter +Michael Daniels and +Andrew Hatchett are the experts on this if you’d like more info)

► In each case, after you’ve hosted any one of these types of HOA’s, your YouTube channel will hold the end product (video).
► If you are planning on using your personal profile or page in the future to host your own HOA shows, you may decide to mark your practice sessions as ‘private’, giving only a circle access to them.
► You cannot assign access to a g+ community on the YouTube side, only a circle.
► For example, I’ve been practising the Public Event/Private HOA-type of HOA, I’m not able to enter the url and add this video to this post, because the video is marked ‘private’ and shared with a circle (those people in the circle will be able to watch the video, those not will see a black screen).
► If you add or remove a name from your g+ circle, YouTube will then give or remove access to that video based on your circle.

This is what I’ve learned so far about HOA’s and YT. If I’ve come to any conclusions you haven’t, please do let me know – questions are welcome!

Here is a link to Rayne’s youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCNh4hA1l5mW_DoM2qtDlVKQ

There are many others who generously and spectacularly teach us/show us how to use G+ HOAs. I honor them all!

If you are a newbie to the entire world of Google+, there are many who can help you learn about it. Here is one link to a great guide: http://www.scottbuehler.com/social-media/beginners-guide-google-plus/

Remember: the only constant is CHANGE!

impermanace Buddha changes

from meditationstreet.com

Are YOU ready for CHANGES? What will you do with CHANGES?

Sally Ember’s CHANGES Google + HOA (Hangouts On Air) Start August 6

Sally Ember’s G+ HOAs 60-minute shows, CHANGES

G+ HOA with G+ logo

from ncedchat.blogspot.com

are going to be on Wednesdays, 9 AM CST (Central Time, USA), about three times/month. Premier show: August 6.

Next shows: August 13, 27, Sept. 10, 17, 24.

CHANGES‘ topics will vary a lot, including insights, humor, information, reviews, tips, personal/professional stories, and more. Sally and special guests will provide whatever we believe is useful and interesting to authors, writers, thinkers, readers, social marketing newbies and others.

I will also be learning how to and then posting these as podcasts as well as on YouTube so the CHANGES HOAs can be accessed as archived videos/audios any time.

If you’d like to be a guest or suggest a topic or guest for CHANGES, please contact Sally: sallyember@yahoo.com

google-youtube

from http://www.webinarsonair.com

Guests must have access to Google+ Hangout On Air/You Tube video tech (webcam, appropriate camera and audio quality, bandwidth) and be comfortable with being on camera and on the air before being on this show.

Suggestion: if you’re a newbie to HOAs or a bit camera-shy but want to get involved and be a guest on Sally Ember’s or anyone else’s, first get acquainted with all the great help available for free “out there.”

Check out some of Sally’s mentors and ongoing inspirations:

Meloney Hall‘s “Lights, Camera, HOA” http://bigupticksocial.com/overcome-live-camera-shyness-introducing-lights-camera-hoa/ Here is a link to the episode that features me, Sally Ember, and Michael Daniels’ and others’ great info, with many laughs! You can then get to the new episodes from that channel. Every Monday, 1 PM PST. https://plus.google.com/u/0/events/ciouo2m50c6vrror6eeei9105hc

Denise Wakeman‘s “Adventures in Visibility” http://denisewakeman.com/hoa

Ryan Hanley‘s “Content Warfare” http://www.ryanhanley.com/

Shawn Manaher‘s “Author Hangout” http://bookmarketingtools.com/blog/category/hangout/

Mia Voss‘ HOAs http://themiaconnect.com/

Ron Bincer‘s youtube tutorials http://www.thehangouthelper.com/

Martin Shervington‘s YoutTube tutorials and PDFs, http://www.martinshervington.com/

Rebekah Radice‘s tips and posts http://rebekahradice.com/

Mike Daniels‘ “User2User-Live!” G+ group https://plus.google.com/u/0/communities/101944073205735325459

Rayne Dowell has her own site and info on it, such as this:
“Your YouTube Channel & HOA Practice Sessions”

If you’d like to practice HOA’s to improve your Hosting skills these are a few things to keep in mind.

You can host an HOA from your personal profile or your Page, each one can have its own YouTube Channel.

There are 3 basic types of HOA’s:
1. SHOAE (Scheduled Hangout On Air) – created from the Hangout option under the Google+ menu
2. Event – created from the Event option under the Google+ menu and can be created in a community
3. Public Event/Private HOA – created from the Event option under the Google+ menu

There is another option, a CCHOA (this is a community centred HOA, which is created by a page and is more advanced (+Heather Kraafter +Michael Daniels and +Andrew Hatchett are the experts on this if you’d like more info)

► In each case, after you’ve hosted any one of these types of HOA’s, your YouTube channel will hold the end product (video).
► If you are planning on using your personal profile or page in the future to host your own HOA shows, you may decide to mark your practice sessions as ‘private’, giving only a circle access to them.
► You cannot assign access to a g+ community on the YouTube side, only a circle.
► For example, I’ve been practising the Public Event/Private HOA-type of HOA, I’m not able to enter the url and add this video to this post, because the video is marked ‘private’ and shared with a circle (those people in the circle will be able to watch the video, those not will see a black screen).
► If you add or remove a name from your g+ circle, YouTube will then give or remove access to that video based on your circle.

This is what I’ve learned so far about HOA’s and YT. If I’ve come to any conclusions you haven’t, please do let me know – questions are welcome!

Here is a link to Rayne’s youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCNh4hA1l5mW_DoM2qtDlVKQ

There are many others who generously and spectacularly teach us/show us how to use G+ HOAs. I honor them all!

If you are a newbie to the entire world of Google+, there are many who can help you learn about it. Here is one link to a great guide: http://www.scottbuehler.com/social-media/beginners-guide-google-plus/

Remember: the only constant is CHANGE!

impermanace Buddha changes

from meditationstreet.com

Are YOU ready for CHANGES? What will you do with CHANGES?