Page 1

{ Volume XXIII, Number 5 } September & October 2008

A Publication of the Women’s Community Center of San Luis Obispo County

Cover art: “Essence” by Gail Lapins


Light in My Mourning


Avoiding Breast Cancer


Holding Effective Meetings


Voices Around the Table


Day With Creative Women Thank Yous

10-11 Maternity Care





Wometn’s Press | September & October 2008 |

Drum Circle Magic I’ve always found autumn to be a mentally productive time. Perhaps it’s because I was born in the fall? Or is it that way for everyone? The change to cooler temperatures and shorter days after the warmth and long days of the summer has us spending more time inside, putting on more clothes, and reducing our activities—all of which contribute to more time to reflect. In any case, fall is here again and I find myself once more pondering many things— the flow of life being a major one. I turn 60 in October and I just found out I am going to be a grandmother. I am surrounded by remarkable women my age who, like me, see this upcoming last third of our lives as a rich time for getting involved in activities that had to be put aside as we raised our children and went to jobs each day: writing, dancing, singing, drumming, playing with clay, painting, taking photographs, hiking, boogey boarding. We embrace our roles as elders and are assuming responsibility for offering our wisdom to our neighborhoods, community, and families. We are aware of the pervasiveness of Spirit and allow time for being open to what it can tell us. For me, another insight at this stage of my life is the connection to nature. I have never been an outdoorsy person, but I am drawn recently to be outside, quietly feeling the sand between my toes, the surf lapping around my ankles, listening to the sound of rocks and soil under my hiking boots, tilting my face to the sun and the breezes. It is a comfort to be away from things manmade—cities, cars, electronic devices. It makes it easier to reflect on the interconnectedness of life. A recent retreat to Kauai reinforced the importance of being in nature even as a comment by a Hawaiian woman gave me a new perspective about technology: aware that those of us on the retreat would be flying home to different places on the planet, crossing time zones physically and later in our e-mail communications with one another, she characterized this as “folding time.” So I realized it is about balance: functioning in spaces and places we have created but also in spaces and places that nature has provided. Together they create the whole. As always, this issue contains women’s wisdom about many things. Enjoy.

Women’s Community Center Board

Cover Art

Part Three: Rhythmic Empowerment

Photos by Richard Gormley

By Francesca Bolognini Welcome back to the Circle. We have already explored some key areas, such as the rhythmic nature of the universe in Part 1 and our personal connection to the sound of a particular drum in Part 2. The next logical step is to take what has been learned so far and explore some of the infinite applications. Let us say that you have begun to access your innate rhythmic sense, have acquired a drum which gives you great pleasure to play, and are looking for opportunities to gain confidence and proficiency. There are many options from which to choose and I recommend that you explore several, as you may be surprised by your own capabilities and the level of personal connection which comes from sharing rhythm. One of these options is to find some friends who already drum and ask them to include you and maybe give you a few pointers. This is a very casual approach which can lead to many fun times in an intimate social setting. Another approach would be to find a teacher and take drum instruction or purchase an instructional video and learn a bit at home, methods which work well for beginning to learn a particular ethnic style, such as African, Cuban, or Arabic. However, the excitement is in actually playing with other people. With beginners, I usually start a group, show them the basics, and then build upon that foundation with each new circle. Whenever we meet there seem to be a few new people, so I review the start up info briefly, and let them assimilate technique as we go along, allowing the other members

to become teachers as well, eager to share their new found skills, and create bonds of friendship in the process. Sharing and growing together is a valuable function of the circle. Some are more adept at holding the bass, some the rhythm, and others are fine soloists. The trick is to see that everyone has a chance to try each of these parts, get to know their drumming “personality,” and enjoy its evolution. This approach incorporates a bit of all of the above suggestions, especially if one has a video or CD or two at home that offer instruction and rhythm to practice to between circles. However, once you get the hang of it, playing along with favorite musical selections at home is also quite fun. When I was learning to play bongos, I had a friend who would drop by to jam to Steely Dan albums. We would play very fast. It was a blast. Scientific studies have proven (see www. that recreational drumming can lower high blood pressure, raise the strength of your immune system, improve mental function and social interaction. Not surprising when you think that people have been keeping rhythm as long as we have existed. So, explore, play and until next time, keep the beat!

Drum Circle Keeps Growing! We now have 70 women on our drumming e-mail list. We have been meeting in South County but if you want a gathering in your area of the county, let me know: womenspress.slo@gmail. com. Also use that address to ask to be put on the notification list.

Angie King, President Sonia Paz Baron-Vine Robin Rinzler MAILING ADDRESS: Women’s Press Women’s Community Center 880 Industrial Way San Luis Obispo, CA 93401 805.544.9313 Managing Editor: Kathleen Deragon Layout & Design: Benjamin Lawless Photographer: Lynda Roeller Distribution Manager: Charlene Huggins Advertising Team: Beverly Cohen, Carol Dawn, Benjamin Lawless

Submissions Welcomed!

Articles, essays, opinion pieces, letters, artwork, poetry wanted & appreciated. The Women’s Press reserves the right to edit all submissions for content, clarity & length. Contact or call 805-544-9313. The opinions expressed in the Women’s Press are those of the authors & do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Women’s Community Center. The Women’s Community Center does not necessarily endorse products or services advertised in the Women’s Press.

Evelyn Adams Barbara Atkinson MaryAine Cherry Bailey Drechsler Anne Dunbar Cynthia Fatzinger Angela Henderson Margaret Hennessy Jane Hill Susan Howe Roberta Youtan Kay

Dianne Legro Heather Mendel Berta Parrish Adele Sommers Jill Turnbow Jacqueline Turner Andrea Zeller

Journey is a series of narrative, figurative, bronze sculptures that examine the quest for purpose. The sculptures focus on the journey of the spirit as it searches for the sacred, rather then the destination itself. Speaking to the duality of strength and vulnerability, the repetitions of patterns signify the unifying rhythms of life as well as universal events through time. The use of the circle in many of the sculptures expresses a sense of the wholeness of life and is a metaphor for the conscious and the subconscious. The multi-layered patinas on the sculptures represent the complex patterns of relationships with the figures depicted as androgynous to symbolize the universality of man and woman.

Women’s Press Seeks New Editor Our current editor is resigning in December, and the Women’s Press is seeking another woman to take the reins of managing the paper. The job is a volunteer position. A manual that overviews the processes, tasks, resources, and contact information for doing the work will be available to guide you. You will be working with a small advertising team, a distribution manager, and a layout designer. Proofreaders are available. You will have the opportunity to meet interesting and committed women writers and community figures. Here briefly is a list of job duties: • Confirm print dates • Set themes (or not); enrich current content; create new content categories • Send out e-mail soliciting content and notifying distribution manager and advertising team of print date • Arrange for cover art • Monitor submissions, which includes communication with writers as needed • Edit submissions (or arrange for editing) • Send to layout designer with content list • Proof PDF files of layout (or arrange for proofing) The paper comes out every two months, so the bulk of the work occurs the last two weeks before printing, usually at the end of the month. The paper’s website needs to be developed, so one future task could be to work with someone to enrich the website. A database also needs to be developed. Choose to work alone. Build an editorial staff. Form an editorial collective. The outgoing editor is available to answer your questions. Contact her at

ADVERTISING RATES for publication-ready ads:


Beverly Engel Jeanie Greensfelder Ali Hatcher Hilda Heifetz Charlene Huggins Laura Grace Angie King

by Gail Lapins

Business card:

$50/one issue 4" X 5": $100/one issue

Quarter page:

$140/one issue

Half page:


Shirley Kirkes Mar Elizabeth McGregor Mary Norby Sonia Paz Baron-Vine Barbara Perry Anne Quinn Robin Rinzler Lynda Roeller Renee Sanpei Dawn Williams Karen Wood

$215/one issue Full page: $375/one issue Workshop Listings 3.5” x 2”

$250/year (6 issues) $500/year (6 issues) $600/year (6 issues) $1075/year (6 issues) $1875/year (6 issues) $35 an issue logo $10 extra

Business Profile: (Logo, Photo & 250 words)


Color Ads: Add 25% Ad Design/Layout available at an additional charge Publication-ready defined as high-resolution (minimum 300 dpi) digital files in one of the following formats: .tif, .ai, .psd, .pdf, .jpg, or .eps

6000 free copies distributed in SLO County. Subscriptions available.


September & October 2008 | | Women’s Press

Light in My Mourning By Hilda Heifetz During the summer of 1972, shortly after my husband’s death, I visited my friend, Natalie, who lived in Honolulu. Our talk, not surprisingly, was mainly about how I was coping with my big loss. Her interest and compassion encouraged me to share the profound insights that surfaced to help me. I cannot say that they came because I called on them. At the time, I wanted her to know that the guidance I received emerged mysteriously from some source of untapped wisdom. Natalie urged me to describe in more detail what I had been referring to. What wisdom had revealed itself exactly? Is it helpful to me even now, she wanted to know. She listened carefully as I tried to express what I had been illuminated by— what seemed to be delivered in a silent voice with great significance. I tried to put it into my own words. After giving me all of her attention throughout, she hesitantly made a request she “hoped I didn’t mind.� I welcomed the request I told her. So she wanted to ask if I would be willing to share my experiences with a friend of hers who had just lost HER husband. It seemed that her friend was

utterly devastated and had lost her hold on the meaning of her own life. Of course, my only hesitation was that what worked for one person is not necessarily the answer for another. But Natalie felt her friend would benefit in her own way, and so I agreed to her suggestion. The guidance I referred to actually began during the latter part of my husband’s illness. This was a period of every kind of effort to defeat its progress, even to hope for a cure. And the idea of “hope� that attended the struggle was always expressed. Hope was a power in itself, or so we wanted to believe. But as we watched the illness taking over, we faced the darkness of despair. At that point, some inner source emerged to counsel me. I was to recognize that I should all along have depended on “faith.� It went on to point out that faith accompanies us in the present, moment-by-moment, step-by-step. While hope might lighten the heart, it is really only a promise and a view of the future! This shift from hope to faith created for me a detour from the darkness of approaching despair. It gave me strength to do each moment’s requirement and trust in the nature of things – order or chaos. When my husband’s illness finally took him, would I find the resources to deal with

My Visit to a Women’s Collective in India By Lynn Levine

a life bereft of his presence – his physical presence? Was there a hidden wisdom that would make itself known again? Are there greater meanings to these experiences than I knew? What I was shown was a larger view of what I always called the gift of life. I saw that life is more than a gift, that it is an engagement with the whole cosmic process, a responsibility to participate in the movement of the universe, an inter-dependency of everything. I am compelled to play

Continued on p.14

Yes, I’m One of “Those�! By Jill Turnbow Hi. My name’s Jill and I’m a cataholic. Yes, I am one of THOSE women. Single, lives with cats. I know it’s a stereotype but I don’t think I can control it except to vow that I will never increase the house load. Currently I have three cats, which is one more that I swore I would ever have so I hold little hope of keeping the aforementioned vow. As I write this paragraph, the youngest of the herd is curled up next to me fast asleep. The older of the three is across the room spying on me with her saucer-like eyes that always seem to be saying, “what??� I don’t know where the third one is but I just heard something crash in the living room so I’ll assume she didn’t like where I put the flowers on the coffee table. They are very opinionated, these animals. The only part of my day that has any type of routine is daybreak. And I don’t mean “first light of day.� I mean MY daybreak, which is whenever I wake up and

varies greatly depending on when the cats have decided I’ve had enough sleep. The moment I stir, sigh, or shift a toe, it’s open season. Loud purring commences, the pouncing on my head begins, and a wrestling free-for-all heats up at the foot of the bed. And if any or all of these efforts fail to rouse me, the little one heads for the window and starts banging on the mini-blinds. That usually does the trick. Once my feet hit carpet, all three tear out of the bedroom for the kitchen, invariably stopping midway to look back in disbelief that I am not hot on their trail. So I find myself verbally defending my need to stop by the bathroom first. That causes all three to turn back in disgust, follow me into the bathroom, sit at my feet and cry out loud that I am not peeing fast enough. One skill I have mastered, though, is feeding cats and making coffee at the same time. I have somehow convinced these animals that food can not come out of the can until coffee goes in the pot. They have resigned themselves to waiting one extra

Nurturing “Pippa Passes� Moments

minute so mom can have caffeine. Good kitties. And during that minute of waiting, I am suddenly a gift from Heaven. Weaving in and out of my ankles, purring and rubbing, I am loved and cherished as much as any food provider can be. And I know that once the food dishes hit the floor, my job is done and I am left to my own devices for the rest of the day. But for that one minute of adoration and attention, I willingly scoop poop out of a box.

In November, 2007, I joined a Global Exchange delegation to Kerala, India. I have been to South East Asia before – Nepal, Bhutan, and Thailland – and was waiting for the right opportunity to experience India and it happened.  Kerala is known to development scholars for its high material quality of life achievements - 98% literacy rate despite slow economic growth and low incomes.  In wealth, Kerala falls below the average for India as a whole.  In social progress, it is considerably more advanced.  Along with Kerala’s long history of progressive social policies, two of the most powerful factors are a tradition of participatory democracy and a strong commitment to female  education—almost all girls complete primary and secondary education. Being actively involved in the Womens’ Movement in the U.S. and working for social justice and equal rights for women, I was extremely interested in the lives of women in Kerala.  We visited “Sakhi,� a resource center and womens’ collective and met with Ms. Aleyamma Vijayan, the leading woman activist of Kerala.  Sakhi has been functioning since 1996 and is based in Trivandrum, the capitol of Kerala, South India. The ultimate goal of Sakhi is to work towards a society without discrimination based on gender, caste, class, ethnicity, and religion.  Sakhi attempts to analyze and find the root cause of all types of oppression and discrimination and evolve perspectives, attitudes, and programs which can transform a society to an equitable and just one.  Kerala is in the forefront of decentralization  because of devolution of funds and staff.  At least 10% of funds under the Women’s’ Component Plan enabled women to come closer to the governing system through self-help groups, neighborhood groups, and various micro level people’s organizations, and women’s participation is increasing at the local level. Some of the activities of Sakhi are  Women’s’ Day Celebration, Library and Documentation Centre, developing manuals on gender planning, budgeting and auditing;  support of survivors of violence; campaigns against violence on women; women’s shelter;  governance of life skill education for adolescents; supporting grassroots women’s’ collectives and networking; and legal assistance. “Knowledge is power and information collection and dissemination is one of the primary activities of Sakhi.� Go to to find out more.

By Jeanie Greensfelder On my evening walk, a girl about eight years old dashed along the street with a red plastic bag flying behind her like an inflated kite. She was luminous in the setting sun and her red bag translucent before she disappeared in the distance. A few minutes later I turned a corner and heard a jarring thump. The girl had jumped from a neighbor’s plum tree with her bag full. Plopped on the ground, she bit into a fruit. Her joy became mine. I remembered being eight, risking my hand to reach through a chain link fence to grab a plum before the barking bulldog chased me away. The flavor! When a stranger moves me, I call it a “Pippa Passes� moment after the poem by Robert Browning. In high school, I struggled with this lengthy poem, but the theme stayed with me: an Italian waif meanders through her town unaware that she touches the lives of those who see her.

When I’m reminded of Pippa, I notice my reactions to passersby and appreciate how we unknowingly have an effect on each other. And with the smallest effort, a smile, I can knowingly affect another. Observe your feelings around people today. Might you improve someone’s day with a smile or an act of kindness?


Treating Children with Autism / Sensory Disorders

Lawrence Bardach, OTR / L

Pediatric Occupational Therapist    !




Wometn’s Press | September & October 2008 |

Speaking to Create and Attract What You Want, Part I By Dianne Legro Are you aware of the incredible impact that your thoughts have on your reality? Are you using the Universal Laws to create the life you truly want? These very basic principles have the power to change your life and help you manifest your dreams. I’m very fortunate in that I am personally living my dream. I love being a professional speaker and I thoroughly enjoy the work I do as a speaking and presentations skills coach. I help healing professionals, authors, entrepreneurs, service providers and “in-tune” executives learn to speak in public in an authentic way. We work together to develop their skills so they get outstanding results. Speaking is the undisputed best way to grow your business. Everyone with a company or service needs to learn to speak professionally. When you deliver a presentation that has immediate value to the audience, you prosper. When you clearly convey your value, you generate more and more business. When you effectively use body language, expression, voice, presence, and a strategically designed core message, you will succeed beyond your wildest dreams. And when you know how to communicate with large audiences from a stage, you can generate star power and charisma. I made a discovery several years ago about how the Law of Attraction can increase your business exponentially. It can help you live the life of your dreams, too. Using the Law of Attraction when addressing an audience is the key to creating what you want. Combined with the complimentary Universal Laws of Resonance and Correspondence in the speaking arena, the result is extraordinary. It’s absolutely transformational for speakers and presenters. You are speaking a transformational Language of Success when you use them together. It is so exciting to learn about these tools and feel the flow of movement and “attraction” energy when you use them. We have always known that words have vibration, frequency and resonance, a fact that is based on the Laws of Nature. Now you can

Holding Effective Meetings Can Be Easier than You Think! By Adele Sommers

use these laws together to create and attract what you want as a speaker. It is extremely successful in public presentations and it works even when you are speaking only to yourself. The most powerful contribution you can make to the quality of your future reality is to consciously choose the words you think and speak. The vibrations, resonance and frequency you emit through your words puts in motion the Law of Correspondence, which states that your outer world is merely a reflection of your inner world. When you change your thoughts and convey those thoughts orally, your outward reality will inevitably change to harmonize with what is going on inside you. This is the scientific basis for the Gandhi’s quote, “ You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” I love the modernized version, as well, simply stated, “If I want to change the world, I must start with myself.” In Part II, I’ll discuss how to start using these laws as a speaker. Dianne Legro is a national speech coach to individuals and corporate groups. She is a keynote speaker and will help you to speak like a pro and increase your business. Contact her at

NURSING HOME? If you have loved ones in a nursing home or about to enter a nursing home – do not “spend down” their assets. Nearly ALL the assets of nursing home residents can be SAVED. Their care will remain the same. Nursing home residents have legal rights. Learn federal and state health insurance laws that work for the resident.

Law Offices of Geraldine E. Champion 805-473-4747

Call to hear about upcoming seminars!

I’m sure you’ve experienced those typical “headache” meetings! You know the kind I’m talking about — the ones where the key players are running late, no one knows exactly why the meeting was called, and everyone’s sitting around wondering, “Will this last 20 minutes or will we be here all day?” Good question! Meetings held for the wrong reasons, that don’t involve the right participants, or that don’t use a disciplined meeting process can waste the time, resources, and funding of the business and everyone involved. To counteract these frustrating problems, this article reveals four techniques for running great meetings and following up afterward. Making a few simple changes to the protocols for running meetings can shift the dynamics from chaos and confusion to productivity and progress. 1. Be sure you really need a meeting before scheduling it. Respect your colleagues’ busy schedules. Don’t set up a meeting unless: • You really need the cooperation of several people at once. • The attendees must contribute to, or will be affected by, a vital decision. • You want various people to listen and respond to what others have to say. 2. Send out a meeting notice and agenda well in advance. Give your attendees plenty of advance notice — for example, at least a week. Be sure your meeting notice includes: 1) meeting date, 2) starting and ending times, 3) purpose, 4) attendees, 5) location with directions or access instructions, and 6) the proposed agenda. 3. Conduct the meeting effectively by using facilitation techniques. • Start on time; don’t reward latecomers by waiting for them. • Decide on times for each topic and stick to them. • Follow the agenda; avoid hopping around. • Discourage side discussions.

• Set a “no interrupting” rule. • Stop, repeat, and clarify the points people are making. • Test for closure before moving on to the next agenda item. • Record decisions, action items, and due dates for each topic. • Summarize the key decisions and action items before closing. • End on time. 4. Follow up afterward with summaries and action items. After you’ve completed all of that hard work, you can avoid having everyone’s ideas and decisions simply melt away by sending out a summary that contains the following: 1) each topic, 2) the key points of each topic discussion, 3) all decisions made, and 4) action items and due dates. At the end, it might include the next meeting’s 5) proposed agenda, 6) date and time, and 7) location, if known. With a little fine-tuning, you can convert your meetings from “profit stealers” into “profit boosters.” The process will transform the quality of group collaborations and breathe new life into your morale and productivity! Adele Sommers, Ph.D. is a business performance consultant who helps entrepreneurs align their life passions with their business purpose. She also guides organizations through “tactical tune-ups” and “strategic makeovers” in individual or group sessions. Contact her today for a free initial consultation at Adele@, or 805-462-2199.

NEW DIRECTIONS FOR KIDS Occupational Therapy for Optimal Living & Learning Celebrating 4 “Sensational” Years!!!! WHO?


 Kids ages 0-12 who need a

 1:1 sessions

boost with learning, to build motor, social and sensory processing skills.

 Groups: (Handwriting, Sensorimotor)  Parent education and training



 Develop physical, cognitive

 New Directions for Kids

and social skills through

K-Mart Shopping Center,

purposeful play.

Arroyo Grande

 Boost self-confidence with academic success in a safe, nurturing and fun environment.  Educate parents with skills to support their child at home and at school.

For Information: Please call Sande Rutstein, OTR/L Pediatric Occupational Therapist 805-474-6811


Building a Healthy Community: Sexual Assault Prevention By Ali Hatcher, SARP Center Education Services Coordinator


he Sexual Assault Recovery and Prevention (SARP) Center’s mission is to transform the lives of sexual assault survivors, their families and the community through hope, healing and empowerment. Their vision is to create a world that is free of sexual violence. They are contributing articles regularly addressing issues around sexual assault. When we say “prevention,” we mean something very different than when we say “risk reduction.” Prevention means stopping something at the source, before it happens. Risk reduction, on the other hand, is doing the best we can to stay safe, given the possibility of harm. When we focus on sexual assault prevention, we are striving to change attitudes and beliefs in order to create an environment where sexual assault does not exist. Changing attitudes and beliefs is not easy, it means deconstructing one’s reality at an individual level and a community level. To consider this further, let us examine our own health. Many of us know what is required to have a healthy body: eat well, stay active and reduce our stress. We also know that there is more to being healthy than having a healthy body. Having a healthy community is essential to our personal health. A healthy community is one that promotes safety, respect and trust. Whether we notice it or not, our environment plays an integral part in our health. So, while we take steps towards achieving a healthy body, what steps do we take towards achieving a healthy community? Violence, sexism, racism, homophobia and discrimination are all toxic to the health of a community. When these behaviors are present, we can feel threatened, disrespected and unsafe in our everyday lives. Unfortunately, mainstream culture, supported by the media,

bombards us with messages that reinforce these harmful attitudes. Becoming aware of the source is one way we can begin to solve the problem. When asked if sexual assault is just a women’s issue, most disagree that “it is not because men, although less frequently than women, are assaulted too”. This is correct, but if men were never victims of sexual assault, would it still just be a female issue? The reality is, men are essential in the movement to end sexual violence. Not because most perpetrators are men, but because all men are potential allies. Currently, we are in the process of an exciting shift in prevention strategies. Experts are acknowledging that if we are to achieve a healthy community, we need to foster healthy attitudes. This means males supporting anti-violence and anti-aggression and females being empowered by positive self esteems. In 2005, the SARP Center was chosen as a pilot site to launch a primary prevention program called the MyStrength Campaign. The campaign includes a MyStrength club where young men, age 14-18, can meet on a weekly basis to learn about healthy masculinity and how to be an ally. Graduates of this program emerge with a new foundation and tools to actively participate in ending violence toward women. This program includes “Bystander Intervention” where men discuss how they can intervene if they see others committing acts of sexual harassment, dating violence, date rape, or unhealthy relationship behavior. In addition, these young men take on the noble task of deconstructing their own “masculinity.” They consider questions like “what does it mean to be a man?” Then compare that with “what does society expect of us as men?” and “what are the qualities of the ‘real men’ in our lives?”

Young men need as many positive male role models as possible. Role models remind them of the opportunity to resist mainstream expectations of being “tough,” “strong,” “emotion-less” and “aggressive.” Regardless of how pervasive the popular messages are, having just one ally that gives permission to treat women as equals can greatly influence a young male’s behavior. The reality is that we know young men not only can, but want to have a role in ending sexual violence. The MyStrength Clubs give them a place to do this. All community members have an opportunity to support the male movement of ending sexual violence, by encouraging male involvement and advocating for programs like the MyStrength clubs. Prevention takes determination and hard work, just as holistic health and healing does. But when we decide to talk about it, look deep to the source, and collaborate, seemingly unobtainable results become possible. The SARP Center currently holds a MyStrength club at Lopez High School in Arroyo Grande. In addition, they facilitate the sister program, Girl’s Empowerment, at 3 other locations. Please encourage the young men and women in your life to talk to their teachers and principals about having these clubs in their schools. For more information or to help support Prevention Education at the SARP Center, please contact Ali Hatcher, the Education Services Coordinator at 545-8888. The SARP Center has been serving SLO County for over 31 years. We offer a 24-hour crisis hotline, counseling, advocacy/accompaniment, education, and self defense. All services are free, anonymous, confidential, and available to survivors or significant others, ages 12 and up. For more information contact the SARP Center at 805-545-8888 or online at

Female Body Parts By Judith Amber Female body parts: moist; secretive; unknown. Vagina, cervix, uterus, ovaries, fallopian tubes—words I rarely heard growing up in the 1950’s. My parents approved of covered body parts. At age 10, I wore taffeta dresses that swished when I moved, velvet dresses that begged to be stroked. But what lay underneath the dresses and my pink panties was a mystery. The first time I got a good look at my female body parts, it was the 1970’s, a time of bone crushing honesty and feminist power. At the clinic, an enthusiastic young woman doctor was determined to relieve me of my ignorance, conducting my pelvic exam like a museum docent giving a tour of Renaissance masterpieces. “Would you like to watch?” she asked rhetorically, brandishing a large magnifying mirror. Then every body part was lovingly identified as I viewed it for the first time. A good teacher, she periodically inquired, “Did you see it (cervix, clitoris, labia)?” Skip about thirty years and I had stabbing pains each time I had my period. I went to a friend’s birthday party and spent most of the time in the bathroom, doubled over in pain which was accompanied by monsoons of bleeding for which the clinical name is “flooding.” After many floodings, I visited a gynecologist and learned that I had that common misery, fibroids. But when I went in for an ultrasound, they discovered that my right ovary had a cyst or tumor, malignant or benign. Since my mother died of ovarian cancer at age 48, I couldn’t put off some kind of procedure. I had a laparoscopy and a D&C

to try to relieve the bleeding and went home to wait for the lab report. When the news came, I was at a meeting with three women colleagues. The call came: no malignancy, just a dermatoid cyst. I burst into tears and was hugged by the three of them. Among women, a meeting agenda can include female body parts. After another year of more cramping and flooding and attempts to remedy the situation, I considered a hysterectomy. This seemed to make me a questionable feminist as many felt that the high number of hysterectomies was due to the bias of male doctors. But at that time (late 90’s), I had exhausted my options and decided to go ahead. A few days before the operation, I found myself wandering around in a district of art galleries. Just when I had begun to relax and to escape my bodily fixations, I came upon an incredible exhibit. Hanging from the ceiling by plastic filaments were numerous white shapes. They looked exactly like wombs, bladders, and fallopian tubes! I wandered among them, and then turned toward the less stressful work of another artist – statues of gods, goddesses and Buddhas. Finally the day came to say good-bye to most of my female body parts. Before the anesthesia, I made a special request of my doctor: “Please leave a small part of my cervix”. I had heard that this enhanced sexual pleasure, but it really wasn’t that. It was a deep attachment I felt to a somehow essential part of myself. I longed for a memento after so many years with my female body parts. “Of course,” she agreed, and I surrendered my body to her care.

One of the most difficult things a family can go through is to watch their loved one struggle with the use of alcohol or other drugs

A SUPPORT GROUP for families dealing with substance abuse

For More Information Contact: Pam Miller, LMFT Lic.#MFC35690 (805) 473-8311



Wometn’s Press | September & October 2008 |

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month Avoiding Breast Cancer By Marleen Walmsley Emotion As Cause Our breasts, designed to nurture and give, are right there by the heart, the seat of consciousness, and next to the lungs where grief is stored.   Studies indicate the incidence of breast cancer is far higher in women in crisis – divorce, death of a loved one, mother/child relationships, a romantic break-up, severe neglect, abuse, criticism, or from just giving too much.   Men seem to have heart attacks or prostate problems, while women manifest a broken heart in their breast tissue or ovaries.  Painful unexpressed emotions, toxicity, and poor nutrition can all play a role in cancer. Physiology is vastly affected by our perceptions and emotions.     Your Breathing Ever notice when you’re anxious you sort of hold your breath?   Over time, this habit drives CO2 levels in the blood way up, creating a high acid, low oxygen terrain that invites illness, including cancer.   Awareness of the breath is ever so important. Fully breathe in and out nice and deep through the belly. It’s a powerful anti-oxidant, anti-aging technique. By the time a child is two years old, the body has forgotten how to breathe.   After that, breath is all in the upper chest.   Nutrition As Medicine You are what you eat and what you think.   When illness strikes, the body knows how to get well if it has those two things going for it.   Think of what you really want, not what you dread.   Think healthy.   Organic everything, good pure water not stored in plastic, and little else for several weeks with a juice fast one day a week. If you’ve been living on processed foods and sodas, get cleaned up.  An amino acid needed for toxic elimination is Citrulline.  Amino acids are precursors of protein, if you remember.  If Manganese is blocked for some reason (stress does that) and there’s not enough Citrulline available, the body can’t detox, and Vitamin D and kidney bicarbonate are affected.  You can’t get well if you’re full of toxins. Get that urea cycle running efficiently so it can eliminate toxins. Citrulline is really important to heal cancer. N-Acetyle Cysteine is also a good ammonia eliminator.  Both counteract something called Bombesin, a substance that acts like a growth hormone to cancer tumors.   The other thing to remember is that cancer cannot live in an alkaline environment.  It can only thrive in a low oxygen, high acid terrain.   Processed and fried foods are highly acidic.   A glass of water with a pinch of baking soda once a day helps a great deal to alkalinize the pH.   Sounds too simple but it really works to normalize the pH.   The Other No-Nos  Microwaving, fluoride in toothpaste, chlorine, sodas, aspartame (Sweet ‘N Lo, etc.), EMFs, and MSG. (For some reason, some women get breast cysts (not tumors but cysts) from drinking coffee.  So if there is a lump, have a checkup to see if it’s a cyst, then lay off the coffee.  The cyst will usually go away.) 

EMF Exposure Why do we believe that if you can’t see it, it must not be bad for us.   Or it really isn’t there.   This is true of cell antennas and cell phone exposure.   Just for fun, go to and type in your street address.  It will give you free upto-date report of cell antennas and towers within 4 miles of your address.   Your health is affected by a 2.5+ mile range.   I rented a cabin in the mountains for several weeks while finishing my book and couldn’t figure out why I felt like roadkill. Flu-like, unable to sleep, brain fog, nausea...  I ran an report and learned that there were 1140 cell antennas in the surrounding trees and 65 camouflaged cell towers over 200 feet high.   Atascadero, by the way, is loaded with antennas.   Studies indicate that such EMF and microwave exposure vastly increases the likelihood of cancers, ADD, hormone problems, sleep disorders, emotional disturbances - the list is extensive.   Ditto for over-use of cell phones, WiFi, even the batteries in hybrids.  Go to and type “cell phones and corn” in the keyword search.   You’ll see corn popping when placed next to four cell phones.  Consider the effect on tissue!   Getting Tested Mammograms, one of the more unpleasant procedures we women have to undergo, are not only outdated, they’re not that accurate.   It might be a good idea to ask your doctor for a thermography test.  It measures with heat (thermo-) to detect tissue abnormalities, and is far less unpleasant.   Taking Care of You Feed your body what it needs to be well again.   Internal (colon) cleansing or once-a-week juice fasts.   Good friends. Enough sleep. A secure family unit.  Community.   Music, massage, art, being loved. Laughter! Soft belly breathing.   Positive thinking.   Forgiveness. Take time for fun.   If you don’t have time now, when will you?   Make time.   The cardinal rules of glowing health. Other countries don’t get cancer like we do.   We Americans are too frenetic, too processed.  Slow down. If everyone followed these ways of being, I promise you that HMOs would be nearly out of business.  And oh! Wouldn’t that be lovely.   Suggested website reading:   • (Morro Bay breast cancer support, retreats and programs, Shoosh Crotzer, Director) • (Institute of Noetic Sciences - world’s largest cancer remission study and center) • (for info on emotion-as-cause and how the body energies work) • or www.wikipedia. com  for general encyclopedic medical information Marleen Walmsley is a naturopathic educator and author of an e-global newsletter, New Paradigms In Healing and conducts workshops for medical professionals in the US on natural approaches to healing.  She can be reached at   See    

Lunar Landscape By Sonia Paz Baron-Vine Cold metal surrounds me, the sound of the scanner and this solitude... in the silence I close my eyes and remember... my first bra, how lovely it looked! how proud I was of my little breasts how much fun it was later to burn it and swim free at the beach topless I remember under the moonlight when his hands touched them the feeling when my daughter fell asleep, glowing like a summer’s peach after drinking my milk And now I see my reflection under the x-ray lights, and the compassion in my doctor’s eyes... she shows me the film, it looks like a lunar landscape and there... a little crater, a sure sign she says....

So Now I Have Cancer...  By Sonia Paz Baron-Vine So now, I have cancer  I join a new sisterhood my time is so precious now I wish I could do all those things I left for tomorrow… but I am weak, this chemo taste.. like drinking ten cups of coffee makes me cranky… I look exotic with this scarf but I miss combing my hair... The kids take my picture. I know they are worried and I smile brave for them, as they take turns by my side Soon I will know if this battle is my last one, I drive home and take my time, stopping to buy rose-colored sunglasses...

Where to find Women’s Press

All Libraries and the following exceptionally fine establishments! • NORTH COUNTY: Atascadero – The Coffee House and Deli, Starbuck’s at Von’s Plaza, Green Goods, Player’s Pizza, Harvest Health Food Store, North County Connection, Senior Center, Women’s Resource Center/Shelter Office, Curves. Paso Robles – Cuesta College North Campus, Café Vio, Curves, DK Donuts, Panolivo French Cafe, NCI Village Thrift Shop, Paso Robles Health Foods; Templeton – Twin Cities Hospital, Templeton Market & Deli, Affinity Chiropractic, Kinship Center, Jobella’s Coffee; Santa Margarita– Santa Margarita Mercantile. • NORTHERN COAST: Baywood – Coffee & Things; Cambria – Cambria Connection, Cambria Pines Lodge, Chamber of Commerce, Gym One, 7 Sisters, Azevedo Chiropractic, Lilly’s, Alloco’s, Cambria Drug and Gift, Bob & Jan’s Auto Shop, Linn’s, Donna’s Nail Salon, Cookie Crock, Rainbow Bean and Coffee Shop; Cayucos – Cayucos Super Market, Kelley’s EsPresso & Dessert, Ocean Front Pizza, Chevron Station, Mobile Balloons; Los Osos – Starbuck’s, Baywood Laundry, Cad’s, Carlock’s Bakery, Chamber of Commerce, Copa de Oro, Garden Café, Los Osos Deli Liquor, Volumes of Pleasure; Morro Bay – Backstage Salon, Coalesce Bookstore, Coffee Pot Restaurant, The Rock, Southern Port Traders, Sunshine Health Foods, Two Dogs Coffee, La Parisienne Bakery. • SAN LUIS OBISPO: Broad St. Laundry, Cool Cats Café, La Crepes, Edna Market, Art Café, Booboo Records, Creekside Center, GALA, Marigold Nails, Palm Theatre, Susan Polk Insurance, Utopia Bakery, Unity Church, Zoe Wells, Naturopath, Cal Poly Library and Women’s Center, Center for Alternatives to Violence, Chamber of Commerce, Cuesta College Library, EOC Health Services Clinic, HealthWorks, Healing Alternatives, Laguna Laundry, Linnaea’s, Monterey Express, Natural Foods Coop, New Frontiers, Nautical Bean, Outspoken Beverage Bistro, Phoenix Books, Planned Parenthood, Rudolph’s Coffee & Tea, San Luis Obispo Housing Authority Office, SARP, The Secret Garden, SLO Perk Coffee, Spirit Winds Therapy, The Studio Fitness for Women, Uptown Cafe, Yoga Centre, Ahshe Hair Salon, Apropos Clothing, Soho Hair Salon, Hempshack, YMCA, KCBX, Fairchild Salon, Jaffa Café, Med Stop (Madonna Plaza), World Rhythm and Motion, Steynberg Gallery, Correa Chiropractic, High St. Deli, Sunset N. Car Wash, Jamaica You, United Blood Services. • SOUTH COUNTY: Arroyo Grande – Mongo’s, Act II Boutique, Central Coast Yoga, CJ’s Restaurant, Curves-AG, Cutting Edge, EOC Health Services Clinic, Girls Restaurant, Grande Whole Foods, Kennedy Club Fitness, JJ’s Market, Chameleon, Brave New Wares; Avila Beach– Avila Grocery, Custom House, Sycamore Hot Springs, Inn at Avila, Joe Mamma’s; Grover Beach – Back Door Deli, Cindi’s Wash House, Nan’s Pre-owned Books, Therapeutic Body Center, 30-minute Fitness; Halcyon – Halcyon Store; Nipomo – Anna’s Creekside Coffee House, Healing Touch Spa, Curves, La Placita Market, Healthy Inspirations, World Gym, Trendy Sister Salon, Senior Centers; Pismo Beach – Honeymoon Café, Pismo Athletic Club; Shell Beach – De Palo & Sons Deli, Seaside Cafe, Steaming Bean. • SANTA MARIA: Café Monet, Hunter’s Landing, Library, Curves on Main and on Broadway, Lassen’s. • ORCUTT: Loading Dock, Oasis Spa.


September & October 2008 | | Women’s Press

Voices Around the Table: Jill Turnbow I hate to generalize and just say “people” because it has been people that have torn my faith and hope apart. But I also continue to meet and learn about people who have integrity, heart, and compassion. I put my faith in knowing that even a handful of decent, honest people can and will make a difference. Susan Hoffman When I start to feel discouraged and lose faith that people can come together and solve the over whelming it’s-too-late-it’s hopeless feeling— current political, environmental, personal, and complex global issues, I always seem to returnto the black and white photo image of Anne Frank at age 12, smiling, and her famous quotation from her diary entry of July 15, 1944: “ spite of everything, I still believe that people are really good at heart.” She always restores my faith to never give up hope that one day, if not today, people will get past all the differences and work together for the greater good of this abundant, beautiful, blue-green planet earth where we all live and want to love and be loved in return. Nancy Lee Grantham A power greater than myself. God.

In what do you place your faith or hope when confronted with personal, global, and environmental issues?

Gina Whitaker When I have a personal dilemma, I put my hope in the understanding I can achieve about my problem from research and talking to trusted friends and family members. When I am confronted by the current critical state of the planet, both socially and environmentally, I have tried to put my hope in my leaders, but they have let me down all too often in recent

history. I must put my hope in community. Building community means looking out for each other, caring for one another, learning to sacrifice for someone else’s needs. This is very difficult and I have not yet been very successful, but I am a survivor, and I put my hope in my intelligence and willingness to learn new ways to solve the critical problems of my day. I also put my hope in action, for action is the way to move forward. Lastly, I put my hope and faith in the words and deeds of prophetic women and men who have shown me the way, as well as in my ancestors. I also put my hope in my religious faith, Unitarian Universalism,

Women’s Car Clinics Saturday, September 13

Saturday, October 11

Warning Lights and Gauges

Preventative Maintenance

“Does that light on the dash REALLY mean I have to stop? Or can I drive home and call my mechanic?” These and other questions about the information displayed on the dash are answered.

What it means, is everything they do really necessary, and what effect does it have on a car’s longevity and performance? The mysteries of the manufacturer’s recommendations answered and why your mechanic might tell you different.

The cost of the clinic is a donation to the Women’s Shelter of San Luis Obispo County. Class starts promptly at 10am and will be completed by 11am. Time for questions will be from 11:00 to 11:30. To register call (805)541-2407 Ext. 13 or email Kathleen at The clinics will be limited to 20 people. First come first served.


to help me create community, listen to all voices, understand the world and reach out to others in love. Kathy Myers I do believe in a Higher Power, though I can’t make an exact statement as to how I envision or imagine that power. I believe that power or “God” serves only for our good. But it is up to us to do the work! God doesn’t just sweep in and make everything better. We have been given the insight and intelligence and ability to see what is right and how to fix what is wrong, but it is up to us humans to take on the responsibility. The fault I find in most organized religions is that they look to “God” as the one who will make all decisions and final determinations, who will make sure “His” people are protected when all goes awry, etc. This is an easy way to defer responsibility. The way I see “God” is that He/the Universal Power, however you want to label God, will work in tandem with us to do good and to take care of each other and the Earth. But “He” is not going to jump in and make it all better! Victoria Buser I place all my hopes in GOD as I understand him. When all hope is gone and I have forgotten everything...I ask God for a light....and a light never fails to appear. Tara Storke I place my hope in a Higher Power with a plan. I can’t believe it would be left up to us mere mortals. That being said, I also believe that we each need to be responsible and behave with compassion, awareness, and sensitivity. Mother Nature is magnificent and can be quite unforgiving if we do something really stupid. Kathy Bornino I place my faith and hope in the Divine Being aka God aka Great Spirit aka Consciousness aka Love aka Light. The stars reveal divine order, and so do crystal patterns in water molecules that come from a pure source or have been returned to purity by simple folks sending gratitude and love into them, for just one example. I have seen and heard of so many examples of dark periods that gave way into brighter ones, that I have no doubt we are being guided into greater light at exactly the pace we are willing to go. Brenda Keeney The Creator or Universal Life Force. Pam Logan Prayer. I guess it always comes down to that, especially personal issues. It is the one thing that I turn to when nothing else will soothe the sense of helplessness. Sometimes global and environmental issues feel overwhelming and out of reach–but prayer usually assuages the fear from those things as well. Jeanie Greensfelder On a personal level I trust the mystery of being alive in this amazing universe. For world issues I trust that the tipping point, when the momentum for change becomes unstoppable, will arrive in time. Loving individuals who take personal steps to improve the environment have created an epidemic that is on the move around the globe. Hopeful signs remind me that small efforts matter and that we can make a difference.

Mary Heacock God. Anne R. Dunbar After many years of study in science and philosophy, I notice that the world is governed by fixed laws. These laws do not change and are evident in all areas of life. The stability and trust in the laws which govern my world are important to me. I feel confident resting in the cyclic nature of all life, the polarity and balance of observable occurrence, and the emergence of new life from the ashes of all which passes. I believe in the benevolence of the source of such a system. The order and balance that I observe in the world around me supports my faith in benevolence, thus when individual reports of chaos and cruelty come my way, I know that there is equal manifestation of order and kindness somewhere. The Yin/Yang symbol also speaks to me of this balance and order. It is so simple and yet so profound; balance, polarity and beneficence, simple and satisfying. Let time and patience do their perfect work. I often say to myself, “Pray to God but tie up your camel.” Kathy Bond God. Linda Seeley I place my hope in the knowledge that there are millions and millions of other people all over the world who are committed to a peaceful and bountiful future for the ones yet to be born. I have faith in the great web of life. Michele Brooks I have an optimistic world view, insanity maybe, the triumph of optimism over experience. I see the goodness in great and small acts of many individuals and some countries. I can feel and see when I make a difference in someone’s life, or in my community. I feel best when I am doing my part, recycling, driving slower, buying vegetables at farmers market. I feel my sense of belonging swell. Maybe that is my faith when I commune with like-minded persons, drumming, boogie boarding, campaigning for healthcare reform and Obama. I rely on my good friends and few family. Terre Dunivant The law of attraction - visualizing what I want (not what I don’t want). Feeling grateful for what I have and hopeful about what I want. “Energy flows where attention goes” means putting my energy into the things I hope for. “What we resist, persists” means giving power to the very things we hate/ fear. To focus on the bad is to amplify the bad. To focus on the good is to do more good. It’s a choice: where will you put your attention and energy? Examples: • I am for PEACE (not anti-war). • I practice PEACE (not non-violence). • I create ABUNDANCE (not make war on poverty). • I’m looking forward to a PROGRESSIVE president (not impeach Bush). • We are MAKING PROGRESS towards a healthy environment (not fighting global warming). Betsy Mcdonald God.



Wometn’s Press | September & October 2008 |

Day With Creative Women A Beautiful Day

WCC would like to thank publicly the following businesses and individuals for their contributions to our event. New Frontiers, Von’s, Albertsons, Peet’s Coffee and Tea, Scolari’s Trader Joe’s, Blue Bird hair salon, Core Mediation Services, Poor Richard’s Press, SLO Graphics, KCBX, El Dorado Broadcasting, Mapleton Communications, New Times, Joy Dinman, Allison Beavers, Cassie Carlson, Amber Furr, Gryphon Sociity/Gatehelp, Carolyn Kruse Foundation, Pacific Capital Bankcorp, and

all the entertainers who donated their talents to our cause. They are: Tribal Mosaic, Chrome Addicts, Central Coast Flutists, Julia and Brett Mitchell, Inga Swearingen, Debra Windsong, and our own Central Coast Drummers. We also want to thank the community for showing your support of our vendors by participating in Day with Creative Women and we hope you all mark your calendars for next year, our 35th, to be held on August 8, 2009.

Researching Crows: Interview with Suzan N. Vaughn, human and animal psychic By Susan Howe SH. You said you are currently doing research. About what?  SV. I am researching the needs of crows, yellow jackets and gophers. Harmonious living requires negotiation with other species and knowing what they need to thrive is where it starts. My client is  an organic farmer who doesn’t use poisons so he’s allowing me to try communication instead. SH. How did you come by this profession and get trained? SV. From reading, self-study and practice. My early learning came from Jane Roberts’ Seth Material books. Seth describes himself as  an entity who lives outside of time and space, and he helped  me understand channeling and the availability of evolved beings willing to help us. SH. That is a vulnerable position to reveal. What is the most surprising case with which you have dealt? SV. A  horse that had spent his life racing  was abandoned at a boarding facility. His energy was almost to the point of insan-

ity being confined without exercise. I helped dispel some of that toxic energy allowing people to handle the horse and help him out. Another case was a dog whose owner was worried because she didn’t eat. We asked the dog to let us know it wanted to stay with its human companion by eating. At the end of the session it went straight to the bowl and ate.  That kind of thing happens all the time. People often wonder how this work can be done by phone but Suzan explains that telepathy is not restricted by time or space and she can “tune in” to an animal through its human companion on the phone. Even if you don’t know Suzan, you may recognize her voice. She  spent nearly a decade in  her first career  as a broadcast journalist on  KVEC radio, serving as news director and AM talk show host, where a guest was a pet psychic. She had just adopted Rusti, a stray red chow-chow, who had been traumatized, was mangy and hungry. The pet psychic reassured Rusti that she now had a “forever” home and human companion,  and that her puppies had all gone to good homes. Suzan said the calm that came over the dog was dramatic.

$5 off

with $25 purchase or more not valid when purchasing gift certificate/furniture

After marrying and moving to an area that had no broadcasting jobs, Suzan turned her 15-year part-time “on the side” psychic practice into full-time work. Then she tried the same telepathic technique on animals she’d been using on people and it “worked like a charm.” As she practiced, miraculous changes in the behavior and health of her animal clients  offered her  undeniable evidence that the work was her path, and her practice grew by word of mouth. Hired by Petco to do readings at grand openings  across Washington state (free for the customer) led to work with rescue groups and shelters’ fundraisers. PetCo has again hired her for their  San Luis Obispo grand re-opening in October. Stories from her many sessions are offered in her book Dispatches from the Ark: Pages from a Pet Psychic’s Notebook, released in May 2008. “With practice and discipline, anyone can do this work,” she says, “but dedication to meditation and personal spiritual evolution are required. I suspect it also has to be part of your life purpose,” she says. 

FLUTE INSTRUCTION & PERFORMANCE Serving Students of All Ages NEW: Beginning Recorder Lessons

A Children’s Store 570 Higuera St. Suite 190 in the Creamery in SLO 10:30 - 5:00 Tues.-Sat. Tel: (805) 593 0226

We also buy...

New & Gently-used condition baby & toddler clothing, furniture, gear, toys & maternity products. Call for an appointment.

Bonnie Richan 805-748-6087 Current Member: San Luis Obispo Symphony San Luis Chamber Orchestra


September & October 2008 | | Women’s Press

Unsung Heroine

Karen Merriam


A Monthly Series of Spiritual Workshops

Healing the Planet, Healing Ourselves By Berta Parrish The prayer “Mitakuye Oyasin,” (“All my relations”) opens any Lakota gathering. It acknowledges the oneness and harmony among people, plants, minerals, animals, even the air itself, as well as ancestors. Similarly, Karen Merriam, social worker, writer and environmentalist, reveres the interrelationship and interdependence of the animate and inanimate in the web of life. Furthermore, she believes that “if we listen deeply and openly, we will see and we will know that something is terribly wrong.” Seeking an appropriate response to this intuitive inference led Karen to study the process and effects of trauma. Her extensive experience as a clinical social worker and grief counselor combined with her training as an Emergency Medical Technician and as a member of SLO Sheriff’s Search and Rescue K-9 Team (with her English cocker spaniel, Babe) uniquely prepared her to perceive the connection between personal human trauma and planetary environmental trauma. In most traumatic situations, people feel that they are going to die unless someone or something intervenes. After exhausting their energy, resources, and hope, they surrender and stop trying to save themselves. Even after rescue and physical recovery, the psychic damage can rob someone of self-esteem and resilience. Karen explains, “Trauma is manifested by fragmentation and disconnection. The solution, then, is the opposite – connection with other people, with nature, and with ourselves.” We empower ourselves and avoid despair by making a conscious choice to do something proactive. What keeps us engaged varies from person to person. Therefore, she advises, “Do what works for you. It may be gardening, raising children, or volunteering.”


Save the World Temple Beth David, 10180 Los Osos Valley Road, San Luis Obispo Third Thursday of Each Month • 7-9 pm • $20 Contact or (805) 541-6874 for more information.

What works for Karen is helping to heal personal and environmental traumatic injuries. She currently trains volunteers for the Community Crisis Response Program for Hospice of SLO. She has also conducted workshops for law enforcement, medical, mental health, and social service professionals. Her book, Searching for Connection: An Exploration of Trauma, Culture, and Hope (Truthsayer Press, 2006), offers insight and encouragement to anyone affected by trauma. Putting her ecological unease into activism, Karen presently chairs the Santa Lucia Chapter of the Sierra Club. In addition to a shared mission to preserve irreplaceable wildlands and wildlife, she values the relationship with other environmental advocates. “To be alone would be unsustainable. I need to be part of a community to share my deepest concerns. We can’t afford to be silent anymore. We must bear witness to the planet’s suffering just as we bear witness to each other’s suffering.” In this age of anxiety, technology addictions, and Nature Deficient Disorder, Karen’s holistic perspective reminds us of an essential aspect of existence: “The healing of our human lives depends on the health of all life. We are the Earth, not separate. The way back to wholeness is through the essential kinship of all things.” Karen Merriam’s website is Go there for further information about Karen, trauma, and her book.

Mama’s Meatball Fine Italian Cuisine

Dine-in • Take-out • Full Catering Service All three locations are open: Mon.-Sun. 10:30 AM to 9:00 PM 570 Higuera St., #130 • San Luis Obispo, Ca 93401- tel. 805.544.0861 New Locations: 325 Pier Ave. • Oceano, CA 93425 • tel. 805.473.2383 In Avila Hotsprings • San Luis Obispo, CA 93405 • tel. 805.627.0288

Also, order on line:

October Workshop Embodied Career Exploration for Women Thursday, October 15 Access group inspiration and body wisdom through authentic movement and interactive games and exercises. Through interactive theater, become more present and alive to the moment—more compassionate, spontaneous, effective, and intimate. Tools in the “playchest” include mutisensory games; image theater where you represent thoughts, feelings, and ideas through physi-

cal statue-like images, then bring them to life; forum theater where you reenact reallife experiences and, as a group, practice different actions for different outcomes. Kristina Bennett has a Masters degree in psychology from Antioch University and has studied interactive theatre and dance for 15 years. She is passionate about using creativity and movement to bring about a world in which everyone is valued for the unique gifts they bring.



Editor’s Note: I received the following letter from local midwife Edana Hall (to the right), along with the Jennifer Block opinion piece from the LA Times (below) and documents from ACOG and AMA that she references in her letter. I decided to dedicate space in this issue to the topic of women’s choices for maternity care in this country. I sent out Edana’s information to my Women’s Press distribution list, to local midwives, and to women I knew who had used midwives, soliciting comments and reactions. The responses I received are printed here. To see the ACOG and AMA documents as well as information on how midwives are licensed in our state, go to

Wometn’s Press | September & October 2008 |

Maternity Care: Challenges to Our Choices Women of SLO County: I hope you will take the time to read this opinion piece by Jennifer Block (printed below), addressing a recent resolution by the AMA and a recent formal statement by ACOG concerning maternity care in our country. As a homebirth midwife, I provide care to women seeking out of hospital birth. I am licensed by the California State Medical Board to attend women with normal pregnancies and births. In the last several years, there has been an increasing pressure on women to conform to the standards set forth by these two

organizations. Indeed, it seems their statements and resolutions often have the weight of law. Women are increasingly limited in their options for maternity care, as ACOG and now the AMA define the standards of care for our nation. The statistics in this opinion piece deserve close scrutiny. If less than one percent of births in America take place at home, where are these troublesome outcomes manifesting? Why are we second to last among industrialized countries in maternal mortality? Why are caesarean and episiotomy two of the most common surgical procedures in

our nation? Why, as the article states, are the majority of infants born before spontaneous labor occurs? I am concerned for the women of our nation and the women of our immediate community. I am concerned for the health and wellbeing of our next generations of infants coming into this world. I hope you will consider running a piece on this important aspect of our current healthcare system. The good people of our community deserve to be informed consumers. —Edana Hall, LM, CPM

Big Medicine’s Blowback On Home Births

Why Do U.S. Doctors Strong-Arm Women Into Our Standard Maternity Care System? By Jennifer Block You’d think the healthcare establishment would have bigger fish to fry than Ricki Lake. (The 47 million uninsured, maybe?) But Lake’s recent documentary, The Business of Being Born, which includes footage of her own delivery of her second child at home, was on the agenda at the American Medical Assn.’s annual meeting in mid-June. Lake was personally name-checked in a Resolution on Home Deliveries introduced by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists: “Whereas, there has been much attention in the media by celebrities having home deliveries, with recent ‘Today Show’ headings such as ‘Ricki Lake takes on baby birthing industry.’ “ The AMA ultimately passed the resolution without the Lake citation, but not before the Hollywood media got wind of it and, overnight, home birth was thrust into the mainstream light. It’s about time. Last year I flew to Britain to be with a good friend for the birth of her first child. She’s American but married into Britain’s National Health Service, lucky duck. The differences in the prenatal care she got there were striking. First and foremost, she never saw a doctor. As a healthy woman with a normal pregnancy, she saw midwives. And one of their first questions to her was, “So, would you like to give birth in the hospital maternity ward or at home?”

Planning a home birth with a midwife may sound old-fashioned -- maybe you think it sounds crazy -- but a solid body of research shows that for healthy women who seek a normal, nonsurgical birth, there are several benefits. At home, a woman can get one-on-one care and monitoring from a midwife trained to support the normal labor process. The mother-to-be is free to move about, eat and drink, sit in a birth tub—Britain’s national health guidelines call water the safest, most effective form of pain relief. A woman will be helped to give birth in positions that are effective and protective: sitting, squatting, on hands and knees, even standing. The physiological birth process is automatic: hormones fire, the cervix gradually opens, the uterus contracts, the baby descends, muscles engage. An optimal birth, one in which mother and child emerge as healthy as can be, is one that begins spontaneously, progresses on its own and concludes with the least amount of intervention necessary. But hospital maternity care in the U.S. is typically not supportive of this process. More than half of women are induced into labor, or it is sped up with artificial hormones; the vast majority of women labor and push in the desultory flat-on-the-back or leaning-back position; and (perhaps not surprisingly) nearly one-third of women end up giving birth through major surgery, the caesarean section.

This has led to an epidemic of pre-term births in the United States. A 2006 survey showed that the majority of babies are now born before the spontaneous onset of labor, which leaves them more prone to breathing and feeding difficulties. Caesareans are also contributing to a rising maternal death rate, announced by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last year. Which is why some women, such as those in the film Lake produced, choose to give birth somewhere other than a hospital. Their choice is backed by sound science. Studies of “low-risk” women in North America planning out-of-hospital births with midwives have found that 95% give birth vaginally with hardly any medical intervention. The largest and most rigorous study to date, published in the British Medical Journal, found that in North America, babies were born at home just as safely as in the hospital. Organized medicine can’t believe this. Dismissing the research evidence, the AMA resolution states that “the safest setting for labor, delivery and the immediate postpartum period is in the hospital” or an accredited birth center. In its own statement earlier this year, the American College of Ob/Gyns went even further, implying that women who choose home birth are selfish and irresponsible: “choosing to deliver a baby at home ... is to place the process of giving birth over the goal of having a healthy baby.”

Compare that to this information in Britain’s NHS-issued handout my friend was given at her first prenatal appointment: “There is no evidence to support the common assertion that home birth is a less safe option for women experiencing uncomplicated pregnancies.” In a joint statement last year, the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the Royal College of Midwives said, “There is no reason why home birth should not be offered to women at low risk of complications, and it may confer considerable benefits for them and their families.” The AMA’s statement calls for legislation that could be used against women who choose home birth, possibly resulting in criminal child-abuse or neglect charges. The group says this is about safety, but with no credible research to back up its claim, this argument falls flat. Women are simply caught in a turf war over the maternity market, and it would appear that the physicians’ groups are perfectly willing to trample the modern medical ethic of patient autonomy -- grounded in our legal rights to self-determination, to liberty and to privacy—in their grab for control. If these groups were truly making maternal and child health a priority, they’d be reforming standard maternity care, not strong-arming women into it.

By the time I became pregnant with my third child, I had done a lot more research and reading. I was confident in my birthing decisions this time. I was at peace with my choice to go with a licensed midwife and a trial of labor at home despite my two previous caesareans. This was the only way I was going to get a trial of labor, which I knew was the safest option for both me and my baby. I met with my midwife, and I told her everything about me. After going over my records, she told me that if I ate right, educated myself, exercised, and rested that I was a good candidate for a trial of labor. I was delighted and I began my prenatal care. My visits with her focused on my whole wellbeing: emotional, physical, spiritual. She cared about it all. Shortly after my due date, my midwife recommended a non-stress test and an ultrasound, which indicated a very low level of amniotic fluid. My midwife broke the news to me that I was not going to get a trial of labor with my third child either. She

wanted the baby to be able to take the pressure and the trauma of childbirth as much as she wanted me to be able to do it, but the risk to the baby was too great in such a condition. I was devastated. I had worked so hard. I reluctantly scheduled a caesarean. I was ushered into surgery in tears. I finally got excited when my husband yelled, “It’s a boy!” My tears became tears of joy when I heard that I had another son. He was beautiful. Nate was born on June 19th. He died June 20th. The doctors assured me that there was nothing I could’ve done to make this outcome different; it’s a genetic condition. No baby with this condition—Bilateral Renal Agenesis causing Potter’s Syndrome -- had ever lived. Even if an ultrasound had detected Nate’s condition, nothing could have been done to save him. Even if we had known that Nate had no kidneys early on, I would’ve gone through my entire pregnancy knowing that my baby was going to die.

More than ever I understand that pregnancy is not an illness; it’s a wonderful stage in a woman’s life. I wish that the health care professionals would treat it as such. I know that they are pressured by the hospitals and their policies, and the hospitals are pressured by their insurance, and the cycle goes around. Somewhere along the line, everyone forgot about the women and the babies that are being affected by the way childbirth is handled by the medical model in America. I also understand that childbirth comes with its risks, whether in or out of a hospital setting. I am willing to take these risks and the responsibilities that go along with them. It just flicked through my mind that there may be some dark plot to depress this country to the status of a third world nation where women are submissive, quiet, and kinda scared . . . The ravings of a paranoid lunatic? And yet….? I dunno. There’s plenty of historical precedent for that scenario. It just makes me wonder.

Jennifer Block is the author of “Pushed: The Painful Truth About Childbirth and Modern Maternity Care.”

A Personal Story My name is Patricia Pinkerton and I have chosen to have prenatal care from a Licensed Midwife and a trial of labor at home for the birth of my third child. My own personal experience dates back to the Middle Ages, but back when I was giving birth in a clinic in a suburb of Malaga, Spain. The nurse spoke as much English as I spoke Spanish, and through a miscommunication, I wound up starting to give birth as I walked down the corridor from my room to the delivery room. I made it just in time. It was a quick and easy birth, and in hindsight, if I had a choice, I’d choose that standing position. When I got pregnant with my second child, I realized that there were many doctors that would not even take me due to my previous surgery. My new doctor allowed me to try to labor for my second birth. When my labor failed to progress as fast as they wanted it to, I opted for another caesarean. I was devastated. On 12/08/06, my baby was born.


September & October 2008 | | Women’s Press

Babies are People, Too! By Linda Seeley Babies are people, too. That’s the best reason to choose a midwife to care for a mother and child during pregnancy, birth, and the postpartum period. Midwives know and respect the relationship between mother and baby, father and baby, and the environment and baby. We now know that the fetus can hear very well by the 19th week of gestation. He or she responds to noise with kicks and movements of arms and bodies. Hearing the same music every day can soothe her. She recognizes her father’s voice if Father speaks to her daily during the pregnancy. What do these known facts tell us about babies? That they are sentient, feeling beings who know how to connect with others of their owns species before birth. What does this have to do with midwives? Midwives treat pregnancy and birth as a normal, natural event in the process of human development. They recognize the profound attachment that can and should grow before, during, and after birth – the attachment that is often interrupted during the modern birth process. Let’s take a very brief look at a typical pregnancy and birth in the United States in 2008. About 90% of women choose a physician. Physicians spend an average of 5-6 minutes at each prenatal visit. They ask the woman how she’s doing; they listen to the baby’s heartbeat and measure the size of the uterus. They check make sure that all the lab work has been done, and then they leave the room. When labor starts, the woman quickly goes to the hospital where she is told to disrobe, put on a hospital gown, and then she is attached to a monitor, where her baby’s heart is constantly checked. In 80% of births in the United States, the woman receives epidural anesthesia, removing all

sensation from the waist down. After the epidural, she cannot walk nor go to the bathroom, necessitating the placement of a urinary catheter. The nurses check her, and when they feel that she is ready, they tell her to push. “Push what?” she asks, “I can’t feel anything.” No wonder almost 35% of all births in this country end in caesarean section! If she does manage to push the baby down, the doctor comes into the room to as the head is delivering. He or she catches the baby, cuts the cord, and most often hands baby off to a nurse who will suction out secretions, put a wrist band on the baby, put ointment into the eyes, wrap the baby up, and hand it to the mother. This is a good outcome. But how could it have been with the care of a midwife? The midwife finds all aspects of the pregnant woman’s life to be important: family relationships; diet; exercise; her own birth history; history of sexual or emotional abuse; attitude towards childbirth; and, of course, medical history. One task of the midwife is to build trust with the pregnant woman and to use each appointment as an opportunity for teaching. Midwives tell women about the complex hormonal changes they are experiencing, and they emphasize the importance of the natural birth process to assist baby’s bonding and attachment. They teach that contractions, though painful, are normal and positive signs of change and not to be feared. Midwives have deep faith in the ability of almost every woman to give birth naturally and freely, and they see that when women can be themselves, they rise to the occasion. And they recognize each baby as a unique human who has a purpose on Earth, to be honored and valued for his or her journey to this time on our planet. Linda Seeley is a Certified Nurse-Midwife


Home Birthing? Why Not? By Anne Peterson There’s something fishy about a medical system that trumpets itself as being the most advanced in the world yet comes in second to last among industrialized countries for infant mortality. It should be better than that. Perhaps the deterioration came at about the same time the Health Care Profession became the Health Business and King Drugs and Emperor Insurance evolved. Doctors are concerned about being sued if anything goes wrong. It’s more lucrative and convenient for doctors to plan around caesarean sections, so more and more of them are happening. Probably a growing number of women are persuaded that it’s safer and more controlled than whimsical Nature. It seems to me that having a baby has become more a matter of avoiding fear, pain, and inconvenience than ever before. There are more caesareans, episiotomies, and epidurals than ever. And yet the mortality rate goes up. Are women being sold a bill of goods? My own personal experience dates back to the Middle Ages, but back when I was giving birth in a suburb of Malaga, Spain, I found an obstetrician, a fully qualified specialist, who ran a clean, well-equipped, well-staffed facility. I was the only woman giving birth just then, so I got full attention. Unfortunately, the nurse spoke as much English as I spoke Spanish, and through a miscommunication, I wound up starting to give birth as I walked down the corridor from my room to the delivery room. I made it just in time. It was a quick and easy birth, and in hindsight, if I had a choice, I’d choose that standing position. My experience was unique, I think, but it just goes to show that there are plenty of other options elsewhere than what we get stuck with here. My daughter-in-law’s experience was

much more recent than mine and happened in a huge hospital in the San Fernando Valley, where she spent 17 hours of torture, climaxed by a caesarean anyway, because her doctor was unavailable and the fill-in didn’t want to be involved until he had no choice. It’s a wonder my daughter-in-law and granddaughter survived. It was scary. Of course, my daughter-in-law has no intention of repeating that horror. Midwife-attended home births are presented by some medical professionals as so dangerous that mothers choosing that possibility might be brought up on criminal charges of child endangerment or cruelty. Never mind that the midwives are fully trained and usually experienced in the natural occurrence of birthing a baby, assuming it’s a normal, low-risk pregnancy. Without surgery. It looks to me like another intimidation of women by Higher Authorities.  Alternatives are few. A recent survey of three local hospitals showed that French Hospital provides warm tubs for the imminent mothers, though they climb out to deliver, but Arroyo Grande doesn’t have any birthing facilities at all and Sierra Vista has the normal stuff. It seems like a limited choice. It just flicked through my mind that there may be some dark plot to depress this country to the status of a third world nation where women are submissive, quiet, and kinda scared, where most of the other used-to-be-normal ways of life are falling apart, ignored, and underfunded. . Is there some great conspiracy among the oligarchy to keep the population ignorant and poor and scared so that they can suck the juice out of us and use our young for cannon fodder in their get-richer wars? Surely these must be the ravings of a paranoid lunatic. And yet…? I dunno. There’s plenty of historical precedent for that scenario. It just makes me wonder.

Responses from Midwives and Mothers Rani Shah, mother to two beautiful, midwife-birthed girls! AGOG and AMA are ludicrous in thinking they are the end all and be all to how a woman should give birth! Why not ask the thousands of women who did give home birth? Why not ask the thousands of women who wished they could have had a home birth? I birthed my two girls in hospitals, but both were delivered by wonderful midwives. These midwives gave me time and comfort throughout the entire process, unlike many doctors who just show up for the actual delivery and seem to get all the praise, not to mention the money, for the small amount of time spent with the whole child, including the mother and families. I do believe that doctors are wonderful and can indeed provide much needed lifesaving procedures. But as far as introducing life into the world, I will take the whole journey with a midwife over that of a “doctor” any day. Michele Brooks, nurse Watch the new documentary The Business of Being Born. Zoe Wells, ND As a naturopathic doctor and previous naturopathic midwife who attended women giving birth in Oregon, I am not surprised but again disappointed by the AMA’s focus on limiting women’s (and families’) birth choices. I worked with many families in Oregon (the state with the highest rate of home births) who created completely healthy, conscious birthing experiences which I have no doubt greatly affected the long-term well-being of their children. California and most of the US has long medicalized labor and restricted the beauty and power of the birthing experience. Birth is

a sacred rite of passage for women, babies, and their partners and families. It is one of the most empowering experiences a woman can go through and for generations the medical establishment has taken this rite of passage away. Instead labor has become a feared event with medication and surgery initiated too easily and too early. As with any medical procedure, we are grateful for the advances in medicine that can save lives when needed. But when heroic measures are not needed, the best place to give birth is at home or in a free standing (not hospital) birthing center where a woman can fully be in her power and rise to the great challenge of delivering her child. This not only prepares her for motherhood with all of its challenges but also prepares her for life. Having risen to the great challenge of labor and succeeded, she has within herself the power to face what life will bring – the felt sense that this, too, she can handle. Sylvia Alcon, retired midwife It’s important to notice that countries where trained midwives attend birthing women in their homes are also countries that have universal health care. What could be more powerful than birthing a fresh human being? Insurance companies want the money from birthing; money after all is power and they want it all. I think women in our country will be able to have far more choice in childbirth once we have universal health care. If the government were truly concerned about safety for babies and mothers, how could they allow high levels of pollution in the air these new ones breathe? Why would they not pass a bill, as in some countries, which gives new mothers a year to take care of their baby and guarantees their job when they return?

No, it’s not about safety. Stats show homebirth babies have excellent outcomes compared to hospital births. One of the essential components of homebirth is the prenatal care every woman receives. During that process, many factors can be addressed before the birth. Of course, the midwife will not keep a woman at home if she should need the technology the hospital offers. It’s so clear that hospitals are perfect for emergencies, but most births are uncomplicated, joyous events meant to be experienced at home, with family. Sue O’Connor, CPM, and former Calif. Association of Midwives Chairwoman Our freedom of choice in this great country has been eroding for many years. According to George Carlin before he died, we really have no real choices or freedom,   just meaningless choices, like paper or plastic, smoking or non-smoking.  Hopefully it’s not at that point, but, we seem to have  an uphill battle to remain a country with true freedom of choice.  The right to choose medical treatment or not was lobbied for and won by the Christian Scientists in the early 20th century.  The right to choose where to die is still with us, just barely.  The right to choose our birthing place is being questioned and attacked constantly by the medical community.  This comes out of the prevalent context, that birth itself is a medical crisis—thus needs constant medical observation and intervention—not a natural process.  It is a thorn in the side of current medical thought that homebirth is still allowed, and they have been vehement about their intention to extinguish this parental right for the past thirty years.  Having retired from a successful midwifery practice of 30 years, attending nearly

400 births, that included prenatal care, 90 percent of which were successfully completed at home, I know the natural process works. These included the two births of my younger children, and three of my grandchildren. I know from personal experience the value and safety of the natural process, including screening potential mothers for high-risk pregnancies.  It is empowering for parents to have this choice and not be manipulated by a system that does not honor that choice nor the natural process of birth.  We need to do everything we can to keep this choice on the table, and I encourage all who’ve had the experience to speak up for that right, and this freedom. Renee Sanpei Recently I received a copy of a resolution introduced to the Congress to prohibit homebirths in this country. The AMA has attempted on several occasions to solicit political support for their agenda. It gave me an opportunity to have some stimulating dialogue with my midwives and recall the extraordinary experiences of my children’s homebirths. The first point that I take issue with is their reference to homebirth as a “fad.” It’s almost laughable since hospital births are relatively new on the timeline. Most human beings have been born at home for centuries. My parents, grandparents, and their very large families were all born at home. When I contemplated having a home birth vs. a hospital birth, I researched the issue. I wanted to make an informed decision and ensure the safety of my child. I interviewed all the midwives in the county, as well as going to obgyns and seeing what values and norms they held.

Continued on p.14



This Page Presented by the

Wometn’s Press | September & October 2008 |

National Organization for Women The purpose of NOW is to bring women into full participation in the mainstream of American society NOW !

Coordinator’s Corner Calendar By Angie King Summer is usually a slower time, time to smell the flowers and taste the ripening fruit, but it is also the lull before the storm. This year is election year and the storm will be bigger than ever, with so many contrasts between the two candidates. Ironically, polls are showing a very close race. Your vote is even more important. Please do not fracture the process by voting for a third party or independent candidate. You are taking the risk that it is your vote that puts McCain and the neo-cons back in the White House. And, by now, I hope all the Hillary voters - and we were legion – have realized it’s not in our own best interest to continue to “hate” Obama and threaten to vote for McCain as a protest. Sorry, ladies, Hillary is not perfect, any more than any of the guys. Isn’t that what we have fought for: the right to be equally as bad and/or good? Please quit beating a dead horse. Maybe next time, another woman: start thinking of whom now. And, maybe Hillary on the Supreme Court isn’t such a bad idea either. But first, we have to get the GOP out of our lives. But before we get to the election, there’s stuff happening in September and October, mostly October. NOW has the chance to earn some money by volunteering at the Morro Bay Harbor Festival, held the first weekend in October. This year it’s October 4 and 5, Saturday and Sunday. Please contact us at to volunteer for our crew. We sell beer scrip and check people’s ID and it’s lots of fun and a great way to talk to your friends, hang out around the great music offered at the festival, and earn us some money to boot. October 11 is Coming Out Day to celebrate our diversities and October 15 is Love Your Body Day, a chance to realize you are beautiful just the way you are. See the related articles for more information about these commemorative holidays.

September 1: • Birthday Queen Liliuokalani of Hawaii, 1838 September 4: • 1995, fourth UN world conference on women, Beijing, China September 6: • 1971, NOW adopts lesbianism as “a legitimate concern of feminism;” first national organization to do so September 15: • Four girls killed in Birmingham church bombing, 1963 September 16: • NOW regular meeting, 6 PM • Birthday Karen Horney, first to challenge phallocentric psychologists, 1885 September 20: • 1884 Equal Rights Party nominated women candidates for US president and vice president October 4-5: • Morro Bay Harbor Festival, NOW Fundraiser October 7: • Congress authorizes women in military academies October 10: • California women win vote, 1911 October 11: • Birthday of Eleanor Roosevelt, 1884 • National Coming Out Day October 15: • Love Your Body Day October 16: • Margaret Sanger opens first birth control clinic in US, 1917 October 17: • Birthday of Mae Jamison, 1st black woman astronaut, 1956 October 21: • NOW regular meeting, 6 PM October 26: • Birthday of Hillary Clinton, 1947

Get Involved — Join NOW! San Luis Obispo Chapter National Organization for Women Every woman doesn’t have to join NOW, just the 142 million who are discriminated against! Name: _ _____________________________________________ Address: _____________________________________________ City/St/ZIP: ___________________________________________ Phone: _______________________________________________ Regular Dues ….$40 Sliding Scale…..$15-39

Amount enclosed: ________________________

Send your check and this form to

PO Box 1306 SLO, CA 93406 Chapter # CA 565

General Meetings 11573 Los Osos Valley Rd, #B, SLO

3rd Tuesday of every month at 6:00 pm

Coming Out Day October 11 has been designated National Coming Out Day, as a day to take action aimed at making the world a safer place where lesbians and gay men can in fact “come out.” Coming Out Day is rooted in the 1987 March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights with its AIDS Quilt display. That event is widely regarded as pivotal for the gay community, bringing together and politicizing lesbian and gay men and turning the tide on treatment for people living with HIV and AIDS. It was the first time the AIDS Quilt had been unfurled on the national Mall. NOW was there, having defined lesbianism as a legitimate concern of feminism since 1971. Feminists need to support all our sisters in the struggle to be free of stereotypes and live as individuals. Coming Out Day should be a day of celebration and joy. Check out the Human Rights Campaign website for more information: It isn’t easy, often, coming to terms with one’s sexual preferences and choices and even more so in a culture that stigmatizes and penalizes that choice. Despite the gains of the last 20 years (and they are significant), there are still obstacles and women are still the hardest hit. For example, the military policy of “don’t ask, don’t tell,” which discriminates against lesbians and gay men, discourages openness and honesty. Despite the need for troop strength as we overextend our military across the globe, women are being discharged as homosexuals at a rate more than two times greater than gay men. And now the marriage issue is on the fall ballot (again) and whether to support it has become a topic asked even of the presidential candidates, who are trying to dodge it. For Coming Out Day this year, write a letter to the newspaper expressing your opposition to the marriage ban proposition. See the article on this page “Election news” for more information on this proposition.

Love Your Body Day Concerned about the messages imbedded in the advertising to which middle and high school girls were being exposed in print and on TV, NOW Foundation established Love Your Body Day as an educational tool to help girls overcome the incessant barrage of advice: “take this pill and look thinner ” and “use this beauty product and look sexier.” Focusing on deconstructing those messages to show how damaging they are to girls’ health and self esteem, the Foundation also uses positive images, showing girls and women of all sizes and shapes in healthy activities. The facts are appalling: by 4th grade, 80% of girls have been on a diet and 95% of diets fail; only 5% of females have the “supermodel” body shape. Models weigh 23% less than the average woman, a threefold increase from 20 years ago; US spending on weight-reduction programs, diet foods, and beverages exceeds $33 billion every year. Love Your Body Day this year will be October 15. Indulge yourself that day, dress the way you want, not the way you think others want you to; eat or don’t eat, or have ice cream for breakfast; get some exercise. Check out the NOW Foundation website on this topic:

NOW Chapter # CA 565 PO Box 1306, SLO, CA 93406 SLONOW @

Election News NOW kicked off the election season on Women’s Equality Day last August 26th, with a forum composed of women involved in city and county level political offices. NOW hosted a panel composed of aspiring, current, and retired women legislators from the County, the Cities of Atascadero, Morro Bay, Grover Beach, and Pismo Beach, with many of their fans and supporters in the audience. The discussion centered around how running for office as a woman is different, whether Hillary’s campaign has changed the political climate, and, in general, how gender affects elections. It’s been a long election season so far and promises to be longer still – as this goes to press there are still 2 months before the election, and the much-hyped “October surprise” has yet to be sprung. All we can say at this point is to advise you to inform yourself of your own candidates’ positions on women’s issues so you can correct the inevitable mis-quotes by others, and be informed about those of your candidate’s opponent(s) so you can point out where they are contrary. So far, we know there will be a proposition to ban gay marriage and one to require parental consent for minors’ abortions (again). Prop 4 is the abortion proposition, which supporters are calling “Sarah’s Law” while at the same time acknowledging that the young girl for whom they are naming this proposition did not live in California, and would not in any event have come under the language they are proposing. It is another scare tactic in this presidential year. There is currently a lawsuit to make the proposition backers change the language in the voter pamphlet, which has delayed any further publicity about it. Proposition 8 is the marriage ban and is being funded primarily by out-of-state financial interests. Recent polls show Californians pretty evenly divided, so we need to make sure to counter the mis-information, beginning with the proposed title. Anti-equality advocates call it “Limit on Marriage” while the Secretary of State’s office is calling it “Eliminates the Right of Same-Sex Couples to Marry.” That about says it all. Check out the League of Women Voters or NOW or National Women’s Political Caucus web pages for more information.

Powerful Woman’s Motto Live your life in such a way that when your feet hit the floor in the morning, Satan shudders and says, Oh shit, she’s awake!


September & October 2008 | | Women’s Press


Spiritual Awakening for the Highly Sensitive, Empathic Nature (HS/E) By Barbara Atkinson

Editor’s Note: Following are the essential notes from our May workshop that the presenter wanted to provide to you HSP’s who couldn’t make it! We will print it in two parts. Next issue will include Resources and Tips. Five Stages in a HS/E Awakening (stages often blend together) • Becoming aware of your HS/E nature • Noticing how it has impacted you – how it colors your story (this is where healing begins & continues through #4) • Accepting what is: embracing your HS/E nature;

• Forgiving yourself, Life, and others – you are strengthening your sense of self (ego) through stages 1-4 so it can yield to Spirit • Surrendering to the Self: letting the HS/E identity go (non-identity with thoughts, emotions or personality as you give way to the Divine) Three Principles • Spirituality is the net that holds and informs your day to day life. • Your personality, your ego and its thoughts and accompanying emotions (of which your HS/E nature is a part), are not who you are. You have them, but they don’t define you. They are not your identity. • That life force that is Spirit moves in you, through you, and enlivens you. It is you; it is your identity. When you know that experientially in your bones, you wake up. Ego has become ready

to give way, to yield, and grace gently flips your ego from being in the lead to being in service to Spirit. However, this journey is usually taken in stages. So why learn about your HS/E nature? Because when you come from a place of feeling less than, in this case the nonapproval of a highly sensitive nature by the culture and yourself, you need to find out all you can about that nature. You have to reeducate yourself, reprogram your thinking, own what is, and come to accept your HS/E nature. Before ego can give way, it has to come to accept itself, to stop defending and reacting. Learning about and accepting your nature is a part of that, and this step (which encompasses stages 1-4) often takes a number of years. It’s where our shadows lurk, the ones we must uncover, accept and integrate. Your inner self will attract the experiences and relationships that will assist you

in uncovering these issues that hold you back. Your job is to notice. And why take the time to notice? Because this way the ego becomes whole enough to give way; it’s on the path to realizing that life needn’t be a struggle. You have to shift your entire way of thinking about sensitivity, empathic knowing, judgment, love, and life. It’s the key to the Holy Grail: remember, to awaken you, Spirit speaks through your individuated HS/E nature. Once fully awake, the only nature you identify with is your spiritual nature. So get the books, listen to teachers with whom you resonate, go to workshops, do the practices, notice, walk the talk, know when enough is enough, and live your life with Spirit. Barbara Atkinson is a spiritual teacher with a website that includes information on the HS/E nature,

Faith: The Foundation For Every Dream By Laura Grace For me, faith is another word for positive thinking. When real faith grips you, you develop a mind-set that looks for the best in everything, refuses to give up, finds a way around (or through) every obstacle, and presses on to victory. —Norman Vincent Peale In what do you place your faith? In your work? In another? In your own heart? Faith is an aspect of consciousness. Therefore, we either have faith in fear or faith in love. As I write this, four people come to mind who are following their hearts and took leaps of faith as never before. These are people that I have come to know through my ministry, people who are placing their faith not in the shadowy illusion of fear, but in the unlimited power of Love. The first person, “Kristen,” is a woman who went through a painful divorce a few years ago. Willing to let go of an unhappy marriage, Kristen knew that she had to become financially independent and assume full responsibility for herself and her son. Doing so brought forth many questions: “Was she competent enough to manage the enormous responsibility of taking care of her son and her newly created business?

Could she achieve balance in her life?” Being faced with many unknowns, Kristen felt compelled to move forward, taking one small step at a time. She kept one eye focused on her dreams, and the other eye centered on the present moment. And now, after having courageously faced each fear, she has created an entirely new landscape for herself. In fact, just a few weeks ago, Kristen purchased her first home and continues to nurture her thriving business and build a strong relationship with her son. The next two people who exemplify heartfelt faith are a couple undergoing significant life changes. “Sharon” recently resigned from a secure position in the medical field and she and her husband “Tim” have just sold their home and all of their belongings. In exchange, they purchased an older Volkswagen van and are about to embark on a cross-country tour on wheels. Sharon and Tim are both in their late 40’s and have decided that they need not succumb to traditional societal standards regarding age or retirement status in order to experience a meaningful life. Having dedicated their life to growth and awakening, these two adventurous spirits are stepping out of old comfort zones, knowing their faith will continue to navigate them along their soulful journey.

The last person who demonstrates an unusual strength of character is a woman whose spiritual growth has led to a wellspring of courage and kindness. “Hannah,” like the others, has overcome many fears by following a heart filled with faith. This past year, Hannah resigned from her job, sold her home, and bid “farewell for now” to her loved ones. Why? Because Hannah is embarking on a transformational life experience. Hannah is in the process of completing a two-year assignment with the Peace Corps. At nearly 50 years old, this brave soul has chosen to commit her time, energy, and healing talents to those in need, in a part of the world completely unknown to her. Perhaps you admire these people and are asking, “How are they able to accomplish so much?” “Why are they able to make their dreams come true?” We see others and think they must have something that we don’t. In truth, they have nothing that you and I don’t have. We are all provided with the same amount of courage and faith. The difference is, Kristen, Shannon, Tim, and Hannah have removed their faith in fear and replaced it with faith in love. Starting now, be willing to accept there is an immense power silently working for

your highest good in every single area of your life, and never mind the rest. Today, ask yourself, “What are my dreams? What do I wish to accomplish before I die?” Follow your heart and let faith in love be your guide. Namaste. Laura Grace is the Spiritual Leader of the Circle of Spiritual Enlightenment in San Luis Obispo, CA: Laura is also the author of the books Gifts of the Soul and The Intimate Soul. Visit Laura at: or call: (805) 748-7506

Spirituality Matters: We Create Our Own World With the Words We Speak By Heather Mendel As we approach the Jewish New Year, Jews all over the world are taking time to consider the year just passed and contemplating the year to come. It is believed that during the month leading to the High Holy Days we need to make peace with those we have offended and forgive those who have offended us. Without this, we are not ready to ask for Divine forgiveness— the essence of the day of Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel’s spiritual legacy is an inspiration for us all at signal moments such as these. His teaching reminded us of the significance of our words, which according to Jewish belief, creates worlds. Just as Divinity spoke the world into being, as the story of Creation in Genesis tells us, we, too, create our world with the words we speak. The biblical story could have stated that God sculpted, painted, or sang the world into being; instead, the world was spoken into life. Our words are sacred. They are tools we use “oh-so-easily,” forgetting the power that they carry. We can build families and communities of caring, love, and friendship through the words that express our thoughts

or, on the contrary, say careless, unkind, and hateful words, that once uttered are impossible to take back. The Holocaust, Heschel reminds us, did not start with concentration camps and gas chambers, but rather with evil words and defamatory propaganda. We can commit this year to examining the content of our words. In addition to expressing the busyness of our daily lives, how many words do we use, on a daily level, to express our wonder at the miracle of being alive? This sense of mystery connects us to the spiritual patterning of existence. Heschel remind that when we die, we cease to be surprised. Alive, we should be surprised by the miracle of each sunrise

as well as find ourselves equally surprised by every unkind word or act we witness. The latter should never allow us to accommodate to the violence all around us. The Jewish New Year does not celebrate the birth or life of an individual, but rather the birthday of the world. Consider this a perfect time for all of us to consider our words to one another as we contemplate the world we are creating for ourselves, our families, friends, and communities. Heather Mendel has focalized women’s spirituality groups for the past 15 years. She can be contacted through her website at, and also e-mailed at or called at 544-4933.

Academy Travel School Leaders in Travel Training

Academy Cruises & Tours “In the Creamery” 570 Higuera St. Suite 225 San Luis Obispo, CA 93401

Travel Connections & Social Club

Leaders in Connecting People Email



Wometn’s Press | September & October 2008 |

Women’s Community Center

Bulletins Save the Date for a Darfur Slideshow November 9, 2008 at 2pm Janice Kamenir-Reznik will present a slideshow of her trip to the refugee camps in Chad which demonstrates how Solar Cookers are Saving the Women of Darfur. Congregation Beth David 10180 Los Osos Valley Road. RSVP Beverly 545-5868

North County Women’s Shelter and Resource Center Seeks Volunteers The North County Women’s Shelter and Resource center needs volunteers to provide assistance to victims of domestic violence. If you’re willing to help women enter the shelter during non-business hours, on an as-needed basis, please call the Center at 461-1338. Training is provided. Volunteers are also needed for transportation, childcare and other activities like fundraising and furniture moving. For more information on how you can help, call the Shelter at 461-1338.

Insomnia, Depression and Seasonal Affective Disorder

The Feline Networks “Fix-a-Feline” Low Cost Cat Spay/Neuter Program The Feline Networks, an all-volunteer, non-profit humane organization, is offering certificates towards the cost of spaying and neutering the cats of SLO and South County. To participate in the program, please call 549-9228, ex. 707. $45 towards female cats, $25 towards a male, and most vets in the area accept these certificates. The Dept. of Animal Services offers $20 certificates for spay and neutering throughout the county as well. For more information, call the DAS in SLO at 781-4400, in Oceano at 473-7100 or in Templeton at 434-4290. For even more information on the “Fixa-Feline” program, or to find out how to adopt, volunteer or make a donation, go to

IONS present Laura Grace Sunday, September 21, 1:30pm, the Central Coast chapter of IONS (the Institute of Noetic Sciences) will feature Laura Grace on the Metaphysics of Transformation. Please meet at the Coast National Bank Boardroom (rear entrance) 500 Marsh St., in SLO. A $5.00 donation is appreciated. For more info, contact Diana Cornelius at 627-1501.

Saturday, September 13th, from 10am2pm, Infinite Dynamics will host a oneday workshop, “The Brain Link…Insomnia, Creativity Club presents Depression and Seasonal Affective Disor- “Embrace Your Inner Male!” der.” Infinite Dynamics is located at 811 El Come dressed as your Inner Male & learn Capitan Way, Ste 100 in SLO. Learn about causes and solutions through nutrition, how to use music, movement and journalbody retraining and Asian medicine. Pre- ing to unleash your natural, manifestingmale energy. registration is requested. Call 805-594-1061 or visit Joslyn Adult Recreation Center: 950 Main Street, Cambria, CA Dine Out Against Elder Abuse Saturday, November 8th - Noon to 4:30pm. Monday, September 15th, Coco’s and Car- $58 Creativity Club members/ $65 nonrows Restaurants throughout Califor- members nia will helping to fight elder abuse. Each Pre-registration required! Call 805-259-5727 restaurant will donate 10% of your total bill to Elder Peace, a citizen’s action group Poems for Endangered Places to be Read dedicated to serving victims of elder abuse. For more information, visit The public is invited to a poetry reading and book signing for Poems for Endangered Places at the Steynberg Gallery, September 28, from 3-5 pm. Seven poets, referring Volunteer for Literacy to themselves as Plein Air Poets, have travThe Literary Council for San Luis Obispo eled to vulnerable sites in SLO County and County has an urgent need for volunteer written about our landscape. The result is tutors. A free, 2-part Tutor Training Work- a beautiful book that honors the Central shop will be held Saturdays, September Coast. “This book is an imperative read 20th and September 27th at the Literacy for those who love our county,” says poet Council office, 1264 Higuera, from 9AM Glenna Luschei. According to Congressto 3:30pm. For more information, call 541- woman Lois Capps, “These poems inspire 4219 or visit us to pay attention to our precious and vulnerable coastlines, hillsides, farmlands and small towns and protect them for future Donate Your Bike generations.” For more information, conBikes for Tikes is once again collecting tact Jane Elsdon at 805-466-0356 or Paula new or old, unused bicycles to be distribLowe at 805-710-1160. uted to women’s shelters, homeless shelters, Toys for Tots, and needy families throughout the county. Bikes of all sizes, even hel- SLO Vocal Arts Ensemble 2008-2009 Conmets in any condition are accepted. But no cert Season Begins! cash donations, please. For information on The SLO Vocal Arts Ensemble presents a how you can donate your bike, email Jim World in Harmony! beginning with their Ellman at or visit holiday concert, “Christmas from Around the World, Dec. 5th, 6th, and 7th. Then for

Dreaming of a New Lifestyle? A new 80-acre intentional community is now available in Templeton. A house, guesthouse, or rooms may be rented by open-minded, sincere people interested in actively participating in a small, healthy community. Individuals or families are welcome. Rooms start at $675, including utilities. E-mail your information and why you are right for this community to

spring they will offer “Spring Into a New World, April 24th, 25th, and 26th. And this year they are expanding their venues to include Cambria and Paso Robles. Coming in June of 2009, the Vocal Arts Ensemble will once again participate in the California International Choral Festival and Competition. These three performances are sure to be glorious, so become a season ticket subscriber to get first choice seating and special discounts. Go to to order tickets or call 805-541-6797.

Our mission is: • TO maintain an accessible center to collect and exchange information of interest and concern to women • TO organize and facilttate workshops, clinics, seminars, classes and support groups on subjects of interest and need • TO engage in and facilitate interaction among local, state and national agencies and organizations working to benefit women

Family Law Action Committee Dealing With Divorce 3rd Wednesday of each month – 7 PM Upcoming: Sept. 17, Oct. 15 and Nov. 19 Talk with other women who have been there, done that in a supportive, non-judgmental environment. $10 donation

Call for Volunteers

Self-Represented Litigants’ Clinic

Hear ye, hear ye! The Women’s Community Center is looking for a few volunteers to help with several projects. We could use some help with general office duties and to monitor family court proceedings (Court Watch).

4th Tuesday of each month – 5:30 PM Upcoming: Sept. 23, Oct. 28 and Nov. 25 Get family law advice from local attorneys and/or paralegals. Reservations required. $40 donation Call 544-9313 for information

Mourning Continued from page 3 my role to the fullest. I must not drop out intentionally. So what did my husband take with him, what did he leave with me, what is a relationship all about? Are there practical answers? It seems there were and still are. For there appeared an awareness of how a relationship is created by how much of ourselves we invest in it. And that which I gave to my husband was no longer needed by him and had to be reclaimed in order to

make me whole. As important, that which he left with me was his immortality and presence for the rest of my life. I could then move on, in some ways enriched and empowered and sensitized. Having prevailed, Natalie arranged a meeting with her friend in mourning. I shared all the above with her, giving and taking turns with questions and comments. We talked and she wept, smiled, nodded, frowned, and then took my hand to say: “Thank you so much. You gave me a survival KIT!” We both cried.

Homebirths Continued from page 11 The midwives I interviewed had extensive libraries and literature, which they were happy to loan me. After researching it, finding that over half the mothers in SLO county who worked with obgyns were coerced into caesarean sections, and realizing that my child’s and my welfare may be trumped by the insurance company or the convenience of the doctor on call once I entered a hospital, I decided to work with a team of midwives. They came to my home every month (every week my last trimester) and did prenatal care. We sat in the yard over a cup of tea and discussed all facets of birth. They were open and supportive of my needs. I had

two water births at home, both successful. I was nurtured mind, body, soul and spirit. I am still close to my midwives, whom I respect tremendously. In closing, I want to pose these questions: Is it really a good idea to legislate where we are born or die? And , with statistics showing that homebirth is far safer than hospital birth, is this experiment of being born in hospitals over the past 50 years really working? You can do your own research by going to (Midwives Alliance of N. America), where one of the links you will find is “Statistics @” Or contact Midwifery Care of the Central Coast at 473-7878. We need to hold the line on keeping this freedom as its impact is deep and profound on our children and society.

Looking for...

A BETTER CARE PROVIDER Connecting you to SLO County’s most gifted caregivers.


805-528-7778 Caregiver Registry


September & October 2008 | | Women’s Press


Hospice of SLO County (inc. miscarriage/stillbirth

541.8633 (SLO)

SLO 549.9446

471.8102 (SLO)

544.2266 (SLO)



support) 544.2266 or 434.1164

Center for Alternatives to Domestic Violence


North County Women’s Shelter & Resource Center,


Rape Survivors Support Group, SLO

Free, trained in-home counseling for 60+ 547.7025, ext. 15

SARP (Sexual Assault Recovery & Prevention)


Support Group for Sexual Assault Survivors

Free monthly workshops 541.7908

Women’s Shelter Program of SLO

Consumer Credit Counseling Services

Adults Molested as Children Support Group (AMAC)


Project Lifesaver


Safe and Sober Support Group

(inc. domestic violence support groups) 461.1338

Senior Peer Counseling


Talk/Listen - Emotional support


Transformations Counseling Center








Gay and Lesbian Alliance of the Central Coast

Adult Children of Alcoholics (ACA)




Cambria Connection (12 step support)

Mostly socializing! Call 474.9405

Casa Solana

AIDS Bereavement Group (Hospice)




Women’s Recovery Home 481.8555

Chemical Dependency intensive outpatient program



781.4275 800.549.7730



929.1789 215.536.8026

Compulsive eaters Anonymous, H.O.W.Concept Drug & Alcohol Services Overeaters Anonymous SCA, SLAA & SAA (Sex, Love & Romance Addictions) TOPS (Take Off Pounds Sensibly) Women for Sobriety


PFLAG.Parents & Friends of Lesbians & Gays SOL (Single Older Lesbians)



544.2266 and 434.1164


Hospice of SLO County

Hospice Partners of the Central Coast



Jobline 756.7107 756.1533 Jobline 546.3127 788.2631 or 788.2690


Cal Poly Foundation Cal Poly University Cuesta College

The Creekside Career Center

Department of Rehabilitation

Birth and Baby Resource Center

Mission Community Services Corporation Women’s Business Partners

Childcare Resource Connection

Private Industry Council (PIC)


541.2272 or 800.727.2272

Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA)

595.1356 788.2601

Planned Parenthood

Stroke Support Group

Caregivers of Stroke Survivors Women’s Support/Therapy v (general) Women’s Healthcare Specialists


545.8412; Dawn Williams



Commission on Status of Women Democratic Women United League of Women Voters

NOW (National Organization for Women)



748-2676; contact Gloria

549.9656; contact Shirley Powell

Creative Writing Group Nightwriters

Sisters in Crime


Adult Day Care

489.8894 (Arroyo Grande); 434.2081 (Templeton); 927.4290 (Cambria)


Computer help: 489.6230

In-Home Support 781.1790 Nursing help for the terminally ill 781.5540




489.5481 Free, trained in.home counseling for 60+ 547.7025 ext. 15

Adult Protective Services Computerooters:

Department of Social Services:

Elder and Dependent Adult Advocacy and Outreach – Victim Witness Assistance Center Elder Law, Geraldine E. Champion, Attorney Foster Grandparents.Senior Companions Senior Ballroom Dance club

“A child’s voice in Court in SLO County” 541.6542



District Attorney’s Office – Victim Witness Center

781.4058; ask for Susan Hughs

Family Law Facilitator


462.0726; ask for Barbara


544.4355 and 466.3444

Children’s Services Network

First 5: Children & Families Commission Homeschooling in SLO County (HSC) La Clinica De Tolosa 238.5334 La Leche League Migrant Childcare Program

MOMS Club of South SLO county

Core Mediation Services







Lawyers Referral Services/Legal Aid Alternative Pro Per Divorce Workshop Senior Legal Services

473. 2548


541.8666; ask for Beth


Senior Peer Counseling

Circle of Spiritual Enlightenment


Meditation Monday evenings 7-7:45 pm Open to all. 772-0306

RC liturgy with womanpriest 546.8672

Awakening Interfaith Spiritual Community Hungry Hearts Spiritual Community Meditation Group

Partnership for Children

ALS Support Group (Lou Gehrig’s Disease)

Mondays, 7:30–8:30 PM; 772.0306

Real F.A.C.T.S. (Forum on Abused Children)

Alzheimer’s Support

Every Sunday, Coalesce Bookstore, MB

Sunday Services 995-1599

227.4785 or 674.4162

New Beginnings Church


534.9234 (LO); 547.3830 (SLO); 547.3830, 534.9234 (SLO/Los Osos) 888.488.6555

Self-Realization Fellowship


Paso Robles 238.9657






543.1481 ext. 3 for information


547.3830 (AG); 927.4290 (Cambria); 227.7135 (PR); 547.3830 (SLO); 543.7969



549.8989 (crises), 781.6401 (business)



481.1039; Cici Wynn, President

no or low cost reproductive health services 544.2478 (SLO); 489.4026 (Arroyo Grande)

781-0922; Karen

No or low cost reproductive health services 542.0900



3rd Thursday, SLO, 7 -9 pm 464-0564


544.3399 or 783.2383

2nd Monday, 4-5 pm, 782-9300

800.247.7421 or 489-5481

466.7226 (Atascadero/Templeton) 481.7424 (Arroyo Grande)

Social Services

Support for Kids Coping with Domestic Violence

EMERGENCY/CRISIS Hotline 800.549.8989

545.8888 or 800.656.HOPE (4673)

Sexual & Rape Prevention (SARP)

Temporary Restraining Order & Victim Witness Program 781.5821


A.D.A.P.T. (Aid in Divorce Adjustment Problems Today)


434.2081 or 534.9234 or 888.488.6555


542.0577 (SLO) 481.5093 (Grover Beach) 927.1654 (Cambria) 466.8600 (North County)


Alzheimer/Dementia Resource Center

CALL–Concerned Agoraphobics Learning to Live Co-Dependents Anonymous (CoDA) Community Counseling Center Dealing With Divorce



Depresson and Bipolar Support Alliance Group Divorce Discussion Group


546-3774; free, meets weekly in SLO


Eating Disorders Support Group Grief Awareness Group

American Cancer Society

Anorexia Nervosa & Bulimia Support Group Arthritis Foundation Cancer/ Breast Cancer Support Groups Caregivers of Aging Parents

Celiac Disease Support Group Endometriosis Association

Enhancement, Inc. (for breast cancer survivors) EOC Health Services Clinics

Healthworks of the Central Coast

IC Interstitial Cystitis/Painful Bladder Syndrome



Housing Authority North County Women’s Resource Center, Shelter Prado Day Center (for the homeless) Women’s Community Center, SLO Women’s Shelter Program of SLO

Altrusa International, Inc.

American Association of University Women Camping Women Hadassah.SLO


Long-term Care Ombudsman Services of SLO County

Central Coast Peace and Environmental Council

Lymphedema Education & Support Group

Compassion & Choices (or Final Exit)

Parkinson’s Support Groups

Please send additions, corrections or deletions to: or leave a message at the WCC: 805.544.9313. Last update 09/08/08.

True wealth is about more than money. It’s about achieving life.® Let us help you achieve what matters most to you. Contact a Merrill Lynch Financial Advisor today. RAMIREZ/SIPSAS Financial Advisory Team Helen Sipsas, CRPC® Financial Advisor (805) 596-2227 1020 Marsh Street San Luis Obispo, CA 93401

© 2008 Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated. Member SIPC.


Near Downtown Deluxe Continental Breakfast Pool & Spa Fitness Room Guest Laundry Suites

2050 Garfield Street San Luis Obispo, CA 93401 Toll Free: 800.544.7250 805.549.9911 Fax: 805.546.0734 SUPPORTERS OF WOMEN IN BUSINESS!