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

Voices, Views and Visions of the Women of San Luis Obispo County

Volume XXII, Number 1 January & February, 2007

Creative Women Book Reviews Body and Soul Perspectives on Superwoman Women at Work

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National Organization for Women Community Bulletins and Workshops Resources for Women Where to find the Women’s Press

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Cal Poly Women’s Programs and Services and the Women’s Press bring you


Films By, For and About Women A National Film Festival Saturday, March 10 Cal Poly Business Rotunda Bldg. 3, Rm. 213 FREE parking

4:30 - 5, Pre-program entertainment 5 - 6:30, Showing of LUNAFEST films Contact 805-544-9313 or regarding tickets and maps to the campus

Tickets $10, $7 Students and Seniors (over 62)

UnsungHeroine LUNAFEST is a national traveling fundraising film festival of short films by, for, and about women dedicated to promoting awareness about women’s issues, highlighting women filmmakers, and bringing women together in their communities. This year, its sixth, Cal Poly Women’s Programs and Services and the Women’s Press are sponsoring this event locally on the Cal Poly campus on the Business Rotunda in Building 3, Room 213 from 4:30 – 6:30 PM on Saturday, March 10. Thus far, LUNAFEST, which is sponsored by LUNA, the Whole Nutrition Bar for Women, has raised over $100,000 for the Breast Cancer Fund and over $250,000 for other women’s nonprofits. 15% of the proceeds of our local event will go to the Breast Cancer Fund and the remaining profits will be shared by Cal Poly Women’s Programs and Services and the Press. This unique film festival will highlight women as leaders in society, illustrated through

nine films by women filmmakers. The films range from animated shorts to fictional drama, and cover topics such as women’s health, body image, spirituality, relationships, cultural diversity, and breaking barriers. LUNAFEST films are pulled from the top festivals across the nation including Tribeca, the Los Angeles Short Film Festival, and London International Film Festival. Topics of this year’s films range from quirky animation to touching documentaries.

We are looking for sponsors for this event as well as volunteers to work on committees. Call the Women’s Community Center 544-9313. See the list of movies, p. 2

Nancy Castle: Blending Business and Values for Success By Berta Parrish Nancy Castle, entrepreneur, political activist, mother, and former editor of Women’s Press and Board Member of the Women’s Resource Center (now the Women’s Community Center) , is considered a Superwoman by her friends and colleagues. That’s quite a moniker to embody. Yet, she does it with grace, expertise, and an infectious passion for helping people achieve their goals. Not unlike Superman fighting evil, Nancy defines a Superwoman as “one who uses her magic powers for good.” In contrast to the fictional hero, she is accomplishing her mission in the very real interface between government and media.

After devoting years of effort and anxiety to start AGP Video with Steve Mathieu, (the company specializes in government video production, presenting it on cable television and on the Internet), Nancy realized that she had to reduce the pressure. Committed to increasing access to the complicated government process by filming, distributing, and archiving meetings, she knew that she was “always just one connector away from failure.” Therefore, she had to find ways to wind down from the long and stressful days. Now, she paints vibrant images to renew her creativity; listens to music and reads romances to

Continued in CASTLE, p. 13


Women’s Press | January 2007 |


Welcome to the new year, Readers, I and all the volunteers for the Women’s Press look forward to a year of growth for the paper and involvement in activities such as the LUNAFEST (described on the front cover) and our Second Annual Retreat, to be held early in the fall. We now have a new assistant editor, Amelia Free, and a new distribution manager, Paula Sigman. They will both lighten my workload and contribute to the input I get from all volunteers on what content to include and how to make the paper meaningful and interesting to you and make sure it’s where you can find it. Our advertising team is out there contacting businesses who want exposure to our readers, women with voices, views, and visions. We need women willing to cover South County, North County, and the northern coast. You earn a 20% commission for each ad, a 10% one-time development bonus for new accounts, and will get paid 35¢ per mile for mileage accrued during advertising sales. Call Jacky Lopez (541-4492) if you want to earn some extra money, meet business persons contributing to your community, and help the Women’s Press pay for operating costs. Several pages in this issue are connected to the concept of “Superwoman,” with many women giving their viewpoints on the pressures that word can impose. It started in the ‘70’s and is still a problem for women. I believe that our artists — in all media — are our truth tellers. Therefore, I want to start highlighting local artists whose work makes us examine thoughtfully the world we live in. If you are one of those artists or know one, contact me. For this issue, read on page 3 about the photography exhibit of Ani Garrick’s work, at the SLO Art Center until February 18. I am always open to ideas for content – themes, issues, interesting local women to profile – so always feel free to call (474-6444) or e-mail with your suggestions. May this year be for you one of health and joy,

Dear Editor, I disagree with the comment in the NOW article about science books about women that “science and technology will cure the world’s major social problems - poverty, illiteracy, disease”. Problem solving and fighting disease is the masculine way. The woman’s way is intuitive knowing, wellness, cooperation, and balanced living. Balance can be brought back into the world by a transformative process that brings the feminine back into the world. Vidya Cicchini Thanks to my wonderful children, great friends in Code Pink and other wonderful friends in SLO, I had a unique, meaningful, and OUTSTANDINGLY WONDERFUL 80th birthday celebration on Oct. 14 at the Community Room of the SLO Library.  This is how it all happened:  The theme for my party, one of my children’s idea, was to raise some money for Code Pink, and boy, did we!!! It was a great event: my son’s band came from Olympia, Washington, and Jim Page, an international folk singer and satirist (and a friend of my son’s), came from far away and performed for over 100 people there to celebrate with me. Fun, too, was a dessert auction with the proceeds from that and a donations no-host bar going to Code Pink. Folks were SUPER generous and I was just thrilled with such birthday presents!!! Days later people were talking about what a great time they had -- a few said to me “It was the best party I’ve been to in my whole life”!!  Well, it was the best party of my whole life, too.  I was bathed in loyalty, fun, humor, thoughtfulness, warmth, and LOVE. Oh, I forgot to mention, we raised over $2000 for Code Pink!! Lynne Levine

Your Opinion Send your letters to: Women’s Press–Your Opinion Women’s Community Center 880 Industrial Way San Luis Obispo, CA 93401 Send e-mail to :


LUNAFEST Movies See Cover for More Information MANN KE MANJEERÉ Singer Shubha Mudgal vocals portray the journey of a courageous domestic violence survivor. The story of the music video was inspired greatly by the life of a young Muslim women, Shameem Paathan. Born into a well-to-do family and the daughter of 7 sons, Shameem fell in love, and much against the wishes of her family married the man of her choice. That she made the wrong choice soon became apparent. When her son was three and a half years old, Shameem finally decided to fend for herself. She went through a series of businesses and finally she learned how to drive, an unheard of occupation for a women in her society. She now drives her own van in Ahmedabad, ferrying passengers. PLUM FLOWER Plum Flower takes place in 1948 China. It was a time when female infanticide was a normal occurrence for poor rural communities. Females could not carry on the family name, so they were less desirable when too many were born to one family. Plum Flower is about a mother and father facing a staggering moral choice when they have a fifth daughter. It is based on the true story of the filmmaker’s family. SLIP OF THE TONGUE Be careful what you ask a stranger at a bus stop; a look at perceptions of beauty, ethnicity, and body image define “ethnic makeup.”

BREACHED A Mexican women is nearing delivery and is determined to have her baby on American soil.

CITY PARADISE London is a big city, and for those new to it, it can sometimes seem quite scary. But Tomoko, who arrives from Japan to learn English, accidentally discovers a mysterious, secret city underground, inhabited by friendly little aliens and beautiful blossoms. After she finds it, everything changes. TOP OF THE CIRCLE Who is at the top of the food chain? This experimental performance piece explores the cycle of life and death--and bacon bits.

DEAR TALULA Filmmaker Lori Benson is a quintessential downtown New Yorker who was diagnosed with breast cancer just 14 months after the birth of her daughter, Talula. With much grace and humor, Benson brings us along as her friends and husband document an emotionally charged year. We thus become part of Benson’s inner circle and are privy to her most intimate thoughts, vulnerabilities, and discoveries. The profound experience makes the filmmaker confront her own mortality and ultimately strengthens her connection to her true self.

(“Your Opinion” in subject line)

KYLIE GOLDSTEIN-ALL AMERICAN A documentary about a Chinese adopted, All-American 6-year old.

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January 2007 | | Women’s Press

Editor’s Note

Artist’s Statement My work is an attempt to crystallize some of the most profound feelings of life and freeze-frame human vulnerability. No matter what one’s particular history, an ability to ground oneself is of utmost importance in order to function sanely and to cope in these difficult times. Paradoxically, it is within the container of oneself, the human vessel, where one finds a safe space, a sacred place… As literal model in much of this imagery, I have explored my interior landscape and confronted realms rarely consciously acknowledged. Initially tentative, I became a willing traveler and documented the journey, haunted by hor-

Viewing “Fragile: Sacred Vessel” By Beverly Engel When I first walked into the section of the San Luis Obispo Art Center set aside for Ani’s latest exhibition I was impressed by the space. The walls had been painted Pomegranate and Deep Mauve and the photographs were beautifully and professionally displayed around the square room. The place looks classy and it drew me in. But the dark subject matter of the photos was at first off-putting, even for me, a long time admirer of Ani’s work. The photos in the first series, entitled, Sacred Vessel: Fragile Container are raw, intense, and painfully honest. You see a close-up of woman’s neck and lower face, her mouth contorted in a painful scream, her neck muscles straining in pain. My first instinct was to walk away and move on to the next series. But I stood transfixed by the details and the emotions. Ani’s skill is evident — her photos look more like fine charcoal and pen drawings than photographs — but there is more than technical skill here. There is real brilliance in the way she captures human emotion and stays with it. How she invites you to join her in her exploration of the human experience. I moved on to another section of Sacred Vessel: Fragile Container. These photos seemed out of focus and had a more luminous quality — an interesting juxtaposition to the previous photographs. They spoke to me of the invisibility that women often experience in the world and the pain that comes from that invisibility and there was a transformative element to them. The next series, entitled, Sacred Vessel: Birth Marks shows pregnant women’s bodies from very unique angles. In some of the pictures you initially cannot tell what you are looking at, in others the body is right in your face and sometimes difficult to take in because they are so raw. These are not like the air-brushed photos of a pregnant Demi Moore or Britney Spears on the cover of Vanity Fair. In these photos you see what pregnancy actually does to the body — the stretch marks, the painfully swollen breasts and belly.

Sacred Vessel: Birth Marked is the title of the next series and it is even harder to take in than the first series. Here we see a woman grimacing in utter anguish. Her pain is so raw and intense that the photos verge on the grotesque. I want to look away but I keep being drawn back in. The anguish is painfully familiar yet my mind wants to view the photographs from the advantage of a spectator — “It is her pain, not mine.” Ultimately, though, I am unsuccessful in my attempts at denial. The final series — entitled Fragile: Culture Shocked — is less difficult to look at and I breathe a sigh of relief. This has been quite a roller-coaster ride. But at closer inspection I see the pain and anguish again and am reminded of how painful it sometimes is for us to face what we must face every day — war, the loss of innocence, the sterility of modernism, the loss of connection. When you go to see Ani’s photographs go with an open mind and, even more importantly, an open heart. Allow yourself to become immersed in the depth, intensity and meaning. If you are brave enough to resist your impulse to walk away you will be rewarded with a poignant experience that will remind you of what it is to be truly human. You’ll be reminded of what it feels like to immerse yourself in your own and other people’s pain. It took courage for Ani to bare her soul in this way (except for the pregnant women series, these are self-portraits), and you come away from the experience a little more willing to touch your own feelings concerning your own particular journey in life. As Ani stated in her interview for Black and White Magazine (February 2003): “The pictures capture my experience going deep into myself and experiencing the depth of what it is to feel about life, about certain situations that are both personal and universal.” I believe Ani’s work succeeds in helping the viewer to do the same.

“Garrick began a body of work that is a cathartic act of selfevaluation and self-revelation… They show universal feelings and truths created through the personal motif of the self-portrait. What we are witness to are private moments of intense letting go, that express anger, revulsion, fear and anguish, presented in a public forum. The remarkable thing is that as viewers we don’t feel voyeuristic, and that is due to the fact that the feelings expressed are known to all, and the movement during exposure wipes out the reference to a specific person and gives us instead an image of an anonymous stand-in for ourselves.” — Art Center’s Tim Anderson in Art News concerning the series Sacred Vessel: Birth Marked

rors and fears past and present, navigating on the edge of a chaotic world. I traversed the challenging, creative path, which ultimately strengthened and provided hope for the future… My love of the fine arts is evident in these gelatin silver prints, as I try to replicate photographically the moodiness of other artistic media. My process presents a different way of working within the black and white medium, yet pays homage to traditional photographic purity and all image-makers who have inspired me…

— Ani Garrick, 2006

I’ve devoted a whole page of this issue to Ani’s exhibit because when I viewed her work it gave me permission to scream, to wail, to weep. I knew I needed to. Immediately I understood all the reasons why these self-portraits are in such pain — and you will, too. So I wanted you to also have the opportunity “feel” her photos. We need to acknowledge our pain — and give ourselves permission to express it. Pain is a message — that all is not well. Ani gave herself permission and her work is a gift that encourages us to do the same. As Beverly Engel reflected to me after viewing the exhibit, its title, Sacred Vessel, aptly describes a woman’s body — more fragile than a man’s and yet strong enough to hold and birth human life. More importantly, because of our immense ability to be empathetic, women carry the world’s pain. Pain. For all the blood shed on purpose, for deliberate deaths. For violence visual, verbal, and emotional in the air, on screen, and in print. For hungry neglected children. For abused women. For never being satisfied with enough. For fouled earth, air, and water. For hearts not big enough to care for all beings. I hope you will bring your mothers, daughters, husbands, partners, and friends to the exhibit and have dialogues with one another about all the sources of shared pain. May we all commit to finding ways to lessen it within each’s capabilities. Our expression of that pain acknowledges it and hopefully can guide us to use our wisdom and work with other women to make our world a more nurturing and peaceful place.

Birthmarked: Reportage

forty By Sharon Coleman her skin hair eyes allowed her to remain — forged papers and she went about the streets even school until it was almost the end — betrayed and sent a death camp when she returned getting back was giving birth one, two, three, maybe four une famille nombreuse but forty years later she tells her son if i knew things would not get better all this continues somewhere i would not have brought more children or this is what her son has said to me. Sharon Coleman will be reading this and other poems at a special reception for the exhibit on January 13. See announcement below.

Special Reception: Saturday, January 13, 6pm December 18 - February 18 San Luis Obispo Art Center 1010 Broad Street, SLO 543-8562


Women’s Press | January 2007 |


Winter Gardening on the Central Coast By Pam Thomas

Clarity Through the Noise Review By Charlene Huggins Amy Goodman, host of Democracy Now!, honors the importance of her job and delivers the day’s headlines with a gravitas sadly missing from the tepid, canned spiels spewed by the talking heads of most television and cable news networks. On Sunday, November 12th, she delivered her message to a standing-room-only crowd at the San Luis Obispo Veteran’s Hall to promote her new book Static: Government Liars, Media Cheerleaders and the People Who Fight Back. Her message is simple, “Speak truth to power.” The enthusiasm of the crowd revealed the populace’s need to hear the truth and that is the goal of her new book. She begins by analyzing the catastrophic events in August 2005 when Hurricane Katrina caught the country and the current occupant and his administration grotesquely negligent as the storm brutalized the American Gulf Coast. Ironically, the corporate media finally did what it is supposed to do: “they reported what they saw, not what they were told.” Images of dead bodies floating through the flooded city, starving Americans stuffed into the New Orleans Super Dome, and people trapped on their roof tops screaming and begging for help revealed a truth rarely seen

on television and egregiously edited from the war coverage in Iraq. Goodman argues that the media has been the megaphone that the Bush Administration has manipulated and controlled as they promote their agenda creating a separate and distorted reality. A plethora of examples are cited in the book. This book is an important work for citizens who feel the media has failed them; for those who desire to know in detail stories that are overlooked and dismissed in popular media; for those who recognize the manipulated perceptions and false realities being created by the government, corporate media, and a small gaggle of pundits “who know so little about so much in explaining the world and getting it wrong.” Goodman’s muckraking journalism is invaluable in promoting and keeping an honest, wellinformed democratic country. We need to hold our officials accountable for the policies and agendas they create, and this cannot be achieved if lies are sold as truths and our journalists speak for those in power and forget that “Free speech is democracy’s last line of defense”. Fortunately Goodman knows her job and does it well.

Soul-Sick Nation Review By Amelia A. Free Our global situation is dire. Faced with increasing and destructive global warming, pollution of all of our natural resources, and escalating political and economic activities based on obsessions with greed and global domination of resources, we, the people of the United States and Mother Earth, are faced with the need to create and enact new paradigms for living in harmony with each other and our finite planet. Jessica Murray’s book, Soul-Sick Nation: An Astrologer’s View of America, is a timely and astute analysis of our current dilemmas viewed through a lens that deftly integrates geopolitics, psychology, and spirituality. The lens Ms. Murray employs is a cosmic one, translated through the tool of astrology. This integration provides the reader with an insightful, hopeful, and forwardthinking model for understanding and responding to the coming shift of consciousness on our planet. Ms. Murray is sounding an unflinching wake up call to all of us to take notice that our world is in crisis. Contrary to popular belief, astrology is not the caricatured practice of making voyeuristic predictions regarding personal romantic or financial interests. Rather, it is an ancient scientific art that was utilized by sages, philosophers, and political leaders alike as a guide to understanding choices that could be made in any given situation. As Ms. Murray writes, “Astrology is an

ideal way to approach issues that are rancorous and frightening, because it is a way of perceiving that is exceptionally pure and abstract.” Ms. Murray uses her mastery of astrology to reveal the underlying strengths, weaknesses, and hidden motivations that lie at the heart of America’s birth chart, thus uncovering our true potential as a nation in our current global situation. She combines an even, rational tone with grace, wit, and humor in this work, allowing the reader to transcend any biased, partisan views of our nation and to engage in a unified inquiry of how we can, as a community of 300 million Americans, transform our country from its current profane state into one that is sacred. Ms. Murray guides the reader through that inquiry with a warm and intelligent hand, carefully pointing the way through the global catastrophe looming before all of us at this juncture in history. This is a must-read book for spiritual and political leaders, astrologers, psychologists, and cultural creatives alike. Jessica Murray has practiced humanistic astrology in San Francisco for 30 years. She is a widely published essayist and a graduate of Brown University, where she studied traditional psychology. She can be reached through her website at

As winter rains arrive on the Central Coast, it is easy to focus attention away from your garden, thinking that Mother Nature will take care of things during this less intensive season. Certainly, when sufficient rains come, we don’t have to think about watering as much, and can temporarily shut off automated irrigation systems, but are there other gardening activities to consider during this cooler, wetter part of the year? We are fortunate to live in a mild weather area, and yes, there are things to do in the garden in winter. Deciduous trees, shrubs, and fruit trees do undergo a period of dormancy in winter, and this is an ideal time to prune them. Pruning helps stimulate new spring growth, increase air circulation and light exposure, and will help with the overall health of your woody plants. Things to look for are removing dead branches, crossing branches, weak branch attachments, and “double leaders” in trees (two co-dominant and competing main trunks). Shrubs like Mexican sage (Salvia leucantha) will benefit from cutting old stalks to the ground to make room for new replacement stems. Pruning is also a great way to make cosmetic adjustments to enhance the shape and scale of your tree or shrub. A special group of shrubs that benefit from winter pruning are hybrid tea roses. Prune to reduce their size, cut out dead wood, and manipulate the direction of new spring growth. It is also the time of year to plant bare-root roses, which won’t require pruning until they’ve been

in the ground for at least a year. Look for them now at your local nursery. Another group of trees and shrubs to plant now are our California natives. With beauties such as California lilac (Ceanothus sp.), Buckeye (Aesculus californica), Catalina Ironwood (Lyonothamnus floribundus), Manzanita (Arctostaphylos sp.), California anemone (Carpenteria californica), Sage (Salvia clevelandii), and Currants (Ribes sp.), we are spoiled for choice. Planting natives in the winter helps these plants to adapt more readily to their new surroundings. The cooler, rainier conditions reduce transplant shock, and create favorable conditions for root establishment. Using native plants in your garden also promotes a sense of place, this wonderful place called California. They work ecologically with our local weather and soil conditions, and require less water. By using native plants in your garden, you will attract native pollinators (like hummingbirds and butterflies), and create an inviting habitat for birds and other wildlife. Happy winter gardening! Pam Thomas is a Cal Poly-educated horticulturist with fifteen years experience working at public botanic gardens. Her business, Paloma Landscaping (458-9207), provides consulting, design, maintenance, and pruning services using California native and Mediterranean plants.


January 2007 | | Women’s Press


Becoming All That We Might Be The Magic of Consciousness By Gina Turley

By Heather Mendel There is an old Jewish tale told about Rabbi Zusya who believed that when he died and appeared before his God, he would not be asked why he was not like Abraham or Moses. He would be asked why he was not Zusya. His concern was that he would not have an answer. When our lives are ending and we attempt to account how we spent our time on earth, we will not have to ask ourselves why we were not like any other great leader, artist, musician or poet. We should ask were we ourselves? In order to answer this we need to know who we are — a basic question we confront on the start of our spiritual journeys. When asked “Who are you?”,most of us answer with our names and will them go on to list various aspects about ourselves in terms of family relationships, gender, work, religious affiliation, nationality, vocation and interests. For example, I could answer that I am a woman/wife/mother/American/Jew/artist/ writer. How would you answer the question? As we try to deepen the search, we will perhaps reach a point where we can acknowledge that we are each identical sparks of Divinity robed in totally unique possibilities and potentials. It is awesome to consider that never before and never again will there be an exact replica of ourselves on earth. We each have a totally novel opportunity to affect this world because of who and what we are. As a new year begins, we can take the opportunity for personal assessment. Are we making the most of the gifts that we were given to be used in this life-time? How can we make sure that we are living up the highest potential within us? We can start by asking how much time we invest in those things about which we feel passionate and how much simple joy do we experience each day? The two, I believe, go together. How, after death, do we want to be remembered? We all live very busy lives by choice or by necessity. As women it is so easy to overlook the needs we have to care for ourselves. What better gift can we give ourselves at the start of 2007 than the commitment to take some time each day or week to devote to things that make

us happy. Perhaps spending a ten-minute period in daily meditation, or making sure to look at (and actually see and enjoy) the sunset each day. Perhaps we are fulfilled by spending a while each week in nature, reading for pleasure, engaged in a creative hobby or listening to music that relaxes and refreshes. As we list those things that really bring us pleasure, perhaps we are close to knowing who we are and what we want to do with our time. We all have much to do and many people who need our time and attention. I am always reminded that on any airplane voyage we are told in case of emergency, to put on our own oxygen masks first before we try to assist anyone else. Great advice for our everyday lives too. As we begin to get in touch with who we really are, we can start to think about whether we are being all that we might be and if not, where we can start to make some small changes that will help move in the direction that will allow us to answer the question “Who are you?” with the answer, “At least some of the time, I am a fulfilled and content spiritual being on this human journey as I fulfill my roles to the best of my ability.” Heather Mendel has focalized women’s spirituality groups for the past 15 years. She can be contacted through her website at, e-mailed at or called at 544-4933.

I’ll See It When I Believe It By Susan Wood Who among us does not want a fulfilled life, a life of ease and grace and abundance? How can we have such a life? What do we have to do? What has to happen to make such a life possible? My own opinion is that we need to start with belief, or faith. Once we have faith, we realize there is nothing we need to be or do or have, other than allowing ourselves to grow. Once we believe that something is possible, everything else starts to fall into place. Once we have faith that we already are what we need to be, accept our circumstances, and take responsibility for ourselves, we begin to take action and grow into being our authentic and unlimited selves. Belief, according to the dictionary, is a state or habit of mind in which trust or confidence is placed in some person or thing. What if you don’t have that state or habit of mind? That’s not possible—you do, but you may not be aware of it. If you do or you don’t like what is happening in your life, look closely. There is a belief there that is producing that result for you. Become aware of what you believe, then choose whether you want to continue to believe it. Is the belief serving you? Would another belief serve you better? Are your beliefs focusing on what you don’t want, or on what you do want? For example, do you believe there is something about you that “is not good enough” when you constantly compare yourself to others? Perhaps you would like to lose weight. Instead of focusing on the “problem” of too much weight,

start visualizing yourself as your thin self-- and start focusing on the solution. You cannot create what you want by focusing on what you do not want. As you begin to develop more constructive beliefs you will find that your life will become easier. You do not necessarily need to know the solution — when you begin to image and visualize what you want, you will begin to take action and the “how” or the solution will gradually unfold. As you practice believing in a positive sense, you develop faith: Faith that things are OK, that you are OK, that life is OK. As you practice more, you begin to know that things are great, that you are great, that life is great. Belief frequently requires proof, but faith does not. Grow into the state or habit of mind in which trust or confidence is placed in some person or thing and you will grow into faith. It does not matter what person or thing you have faith in, or what you call it—self, higher power, God, etc.—it’s really all the same. Expose yourself to and align yourself with ideas and people with strong positive beliefs. Read, listen, and discuss. You’ll be amazed at how you will grow! Susan Wood is a Certified Life Coach, who usually coaches by telephone and serves clients across the country. She will happily provide a free session for anyone wanting to explore what coaching with her is about. or 805-771-9706.

I dare to say that most of us at one time or another imagined ourselves as a magician or fairy princess or prince with magical powers and possibly a wand to create our magic. We believed in our hearts that magic was real in our moment of make-believe. Reality does not dress us up in wings and give us a wand to flash around with words like abracadabra, yet we do have the ability to create the consciousness and thus the world we live in by the mere words we say. Our words can be expressions of our beliefs and if we want to believe in a positive world, we have to speak about it. When you say, “Housing is really tough in this town,” “Relationships are just complicated,” “Men are pigs,” “Women are just competitive and jealous,” “No one ever listens to me,” etc., then you are magically creating the world in which you believe – because what we believe is what we see over and over again whether anything else is there or not to see. The truth is our world is much broader than what we have learned to believe. The question is, do we believe we can create what we want? If you don’t believe me, just try it. Start tapping into the consciousness of what you want to believe instead of what you do not want to believe. What you want does exist, it just takes

using your will to see it. How about saying to your self and believing it, “There are a lot of people out there who want to pay money for (your talent here),” “There is affordable housing in San Luis Obispo County,” “My town is a safe place to raise my children,.” “There are a lot of people for me to relate to and become friends with in this town,.” “My partner and I are evolving and becoming more intimate,” “There are some really loving, compassionate women and men in this town,” and so on. The truth is, life has many possibilities. If we recognize our wand of will, we might just create, see, and become what we want. Just how much do you believe? How much magic do you have? Trust yourself and you will see your life and your situation change into what you want. It’s up to you to decide what direction you want your life to be. It is up to you to be the magician. Gina Turley facilitates SloGranola, a grassroots family support group in San Luis Obispo County, where you can find connection through activities led by parents, support group discussion, and play groups for all ages. To be a part of a growing group you can log on to


Women’s Press | January 2007 |

Health Tips for the New Year... Again?

All SLO County Libraries and the following exceptionally fine establishments!

By Maria Foster Geez, how many tips can we get via email, newsletters, TV advertisements, etc.??? I mean, don’t we all know what to do to be healthy by now?  I do and I’m still 10 lbs. overweight!  So, what’s the problem with us anyway?  Why can’t we just do what we know to do and lose that weight?  Because we’re human that’s why. We get caught up with the day-to-day stresses and forget to take care of ourselves. Well, here are 3… yes, only 3… tips that have helped me get re-focused and will hopefully inspire you enough to GET BACK ON TRACK and live healthy! 1. Stop beating yourself over the head. So, the holidays are over and you ate too much.... it’s time to face it for what it is and get over it.  We ALL want to have a good time during the holidays and eating seems to be a central way of doing it. 2. Get your foot on the gas pedal and keep it there. Have you ever driven with someone who can’t decide whether they want to go faster or slow down?  Their foot is constantly going from the gas to the brake pedal! That’s how we are when it comes to healthy living.  We go at a really good pace for awhile and then slam on the brakes as soon as we feel that Starbucks cravin’ coming on!  Okay, so now it’s time to cut your braking time in half.  Instead of having that Reduced Fat Banana Chocolate Chip cake from the coffee shop and going to Applebee’s for lunch, decide on one or the other and reduce your pit stops to no more than three a week instead of five. Okay, here’s the last one: 3. Stop going for the gusto and start small. I remember when my dad used to make the weekly pasta dinner with the fancy meatballs, sausage, garlic bread, etc.  Yea, I used to pile that stuff on my plate like there was no tomorrow and then go for seconds!  We’d all be crashed on the couch and living room floor for hours after that. 

Then, there was dessert time...bloating vanilla ice cream and rich caramel topping regret...some of you know what I’m talking about. The rest of you who don’t...please don’t read on because you are completely and utterly perfect. Now, for those that cant’’s time to just change one thing about what you eat...just one!  Maybe try excluding the table salt, taking one meatball or sausage instead of one of each, or skipping the garlic bread this time.  I’m telling you your little changes WILL make a difference!  And, when you do make those little decisions each and every day, soon you won’t even be thinking about what you’re missing...only enjoying what’s on your plate and how your clothes feel.  NOTE: Do not try any of these tips at home...just DO them every day and NEVER, NEVER, NEVER give up!   Maria Foster is a Certified Personal Trainer, Group Instructor, and Massage Therapist at the SLO County YMCA.

The Fascia Straight Jacket: An exercise to get unstuck By Marleen Walmsley The fascia is the sheath that binds individual muscles and organs. It is a clear, highly elastic protective coating. Emotions and traumas are stored there. When the body is on overload with them, you get what is referred to as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and whatever other name allopathic medicine labels gives it when they can’t figure out what causes it. It’s also referred to as body armor. When you are in touch with your spanda or life purpose, your spirit, your innermost desires - you’re in touch with the natural rhythms and cycles trying to move through you. Everything flows. Take inventory of your energy body, be really conscious of where the blocks are so can you release them. Your world will open up once you do that. So within so without. So without so within. Here is a technique that is excellent to unblock spanda, but also good for diagnosis. It allows the filling in of holes, picks up and re-inflates what’s sagging, breathes into the gaps and fills them. The meridians interface with the world around you on the surface. It’s the meridians that Chinese medicine and acupressure focus on to heal. There are 12 major meridians, or electrical energy pathways, throughout the body. But the nadis are experiential. It is the nadis that experience the holes. There are hundreds of nadis throughout the body. 1. Imagine a blue light from the center upper forehead. And imagine it proceeding to: 2. The throat 3. To right shoulder joint down to elbow to wrist.

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4. To thumb, index finger, mid finger, ring finger and then pinkie 5. Back to wrist to elbow to shoulder 6. To thymus point (breastbone area) to left shoulder, to elbow, then wrist 7. To left thumb, etc., wrist, elbow, shoulder 8. To thymus to heart center 9. To right nipple, center, left nipple, back then center 10. 1” down, then belly button, then 4” down 11. Right ovary, right knee, right ankle 12. Big toe to baby toe 13. Up to ankle, knee, right ovary to 1” below belly button 14. Repeat all on left 15. Last stop is the 2nd chakra (at pubic bone) to the tummy button to heart to thymus to forehead. When disconnected from spirit/spanda, habit takes over. The body tells you that you are unhappy: sinusitis, mucous discharge (the body’s interface with the outside world is membranes), rashes, arthritic joints (stuck in a brittle world), and chronic fatigue. When you are centered and in the moment, the body is happy – it isn’t expressing these things. Marleen Wamsley is a naturopath in Morro Bay. She is host-producer of Healers Who Share, an educational TV program on Ch. 2 for those without health insurance. She writes a global naturopathic newsletter and teaches workshops for medical professionals called New Paradigms In Healing. To reach her, call 771 9172 or e-mail her at

• NORTH COUNTY: Atascadero – The Coffee House and Deli, Starbuck’s at Von’s Plaza, Carlene’s Café, Green Goods, Player’s Pizza, Harvest Health Food Store, North County Connection, Senior Center, Women’s Resource Center/Shelter Office; Paso Robles – Café Vio, Chelsea Bookshop/Café Novella, Curves, Old Mission Coffee House, Wilmot Market, DK Donuts, Panolivo French Cafe, NCI Village Thrift Shop, Paso Robles Health Foods; Templeton –  Magic Windows Coffee Café, Twin Cities Hospital, Templeton Market & Deli; Santa Margarita– Santa Margarita Mercantile • NORTHERN COAST: Baywood – Coffee & Things; Cambria – Cambria Connection, Cambria Pines Lodge, Chamber of Commerce, Gym One, La Crema, 7 Sisters, Azevedo Chiropractic, Lilly’s, Alloco’s; Cayucos – Cayucos Super Market, Kelley’s Espresso & Dessert, Lily’s Coffee House, Ocean Front Pizza, Chevron Station, Chamber of Commerce; Los Osos – Starbuck’s, Baywood Laundry, Cad’s, Carlock’s Bakery, Chamber of Commerce, Copa de Oro, Garden Café, Los Osos Deli, Valley Liquor, Volumes of Pleasure; Morro Bay – Backstage Salon, Coalesce Bookstore, Coffee Pot Restaurant, The Rock, Southern Port Traders, Sunshine Health Foods, Two Dogs Coffee • SAN LUIS OBISPO: Art Café, Booboo Records, Creekside Center, GALA, Marigold Nails, Palm Theatre, Susan Polk Insurance, Susan Rodriquez Insurance, Utopia Bakery, Unity Church, Zoe Wells, Naturopath, Cal Poly Library, Center for Alternatives to Violence, Chamber of Commerce, Cuesta College Library, EOC Health Services Clinic, Garden St. Essentials, HealthWorks, Healing Alternatives, Jamaca You, Karen Hale Chiropractic, 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, Two Dogs Coffee, Uptown Cafe, Yoga Centre, Ahshe Hair Salon, Apropos Clothing, Soho Hair Salon, TomMel Beauty Center, Hempshack, YMCA, KCBX, Fairchild Salon, Jaffa Café • SOUTH COUNTY: Arroyo Grande – Natural Balance, Mongo’s, World Gym, Act II Boutique, Andreini’s, Central Coast Yoga, CJ’s Restaurant, Country Kitchen, Curves-AG, Cutting Edge, EOC Health Services Clinic, Family Chiropractic, Girls Restaurant, Grande Whole Foods, Hunter’s Landing, Kennedy Club Fitness; Avila Beach– Custom House, Sycamore Hot Springs; Grover Beach – World Gym, 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, Slender Lady, Brianna Nicole Spa, World Gym; Pismo Beach – HealthWorks, Honeymoon Café, Pismo Athletic Club, Zadok’s; Shell Beach – De Palo & Sons Deli, Seaside Cafe, Steaming Bean • SANTA MARIA: Café Monet, Hunter’s Landing, Library, Marian Medical Center, Curves on Main and on Broadway, The Bookworm, Lassen’s. • ORCUTT: Loading Dock, Café Ole


January 2007 | | Women’s Press

Superwoman?! Who’s idea was this anyway?

Superwoman vs. Perfectly Imperfect

By Amelia Free

By Barbara Atkinson

Superwoman?! Who’s idea was this anyway? Certainly not a woman. Just like the corset, the speculum, the forceps, and brassiere, this word needs to be examined with utmost suspicion. Historically, relationships have been defined according to the needs of the military/industrial complex (M/I) and what it determines to be necessary to fulfill its needs. In WWII, when men went to war and there were not enough physical bodies to fulfill the needs of the war machine, the M/I launched a campaign for women to fulfill the former roles of men to meet the need of the M/I. And women did so, flying military planes, serving on construction and maintenance crews, and offering support services. Once the war was over, women were “convinced” by the M/I that their “patriotic duty” was to retreat into their homes and kitchens and give back to their men the high-paying jobs women were allowed to fulfill only when their “men” were absent. The M/I invented lots of new domestic appliances (washer/dryers, dishwashing machines, etc.) to lure women from the economic field back into the domestic field, which paid nothing and which did not acknowledge the importance of child-rearing education of which women were the primary purveyors. Women’s work has always been devalued, demeaned, and dismissed in our society. And, women bought the seduction. And, they have continued to allow themselves to be seduced into service of the M/I complex. In the 1980’s and 1990’s, women were seduced into the idea that a two-income family was necessary to survive. This is an irrational and untruthful statement. Given our wealth, each and every family should have plenty to ensure the future of their children. Yet, the CEO’s of major corporations would have us believe otherwise. It is a lie.

I am a 45-year-old woman who participated in the M/I induction of believing that my worth should be determined by my value in a patriarchal society. Patriarchy invented the idea of superwoman in order to seduce women into fulfilling professional roles determined by patriarchy. It doesn’t work. It never did, though we have, as women, deluded ourselves into thinking it does. For a woman to survive in the M/I complex, she has been required to become a MAN. This is insane. We ask women to do the same jobs as men, AND, in addition, fulfill her role as caretaker and nurturer of children, our future generation. Men have NOT fulfilled their part of the bargain, taking over the caretaking of our children and ensuring the future of our nation and planet. The entire burden has fallen to women. This is an impossible task. It is an abusive situation, constantly asking women to do far more than her fair share of work on the economic and domestic front, yet also instilling within her guilt that she has not done so. Superwoman? Indeed. How about Superman? Where is he? We have chosen to ignore the fact that men have not held up their part of the bargain in equality of the sexes and still get away with their failures based solely on the fact that they are men. I want to see an article on Superman and his abilities to fulfill not just the economic, dollar provider role, but also nurturer of his own children. It is time for us to discard the definitions of men as to what women are supposed to be and live by our own definitions. Women continue to demean themselves so long as they choose to use this word, invented by men, to define themselves.

Surprised by Intelligence? By Hilda Heifetz It seems that I always find evidence that all living things have intelligence and consciousness. Of course, there are varying kinds and degrees, according to their nature. A few remarkable examples come to mind. For instance, there’s my bamboo plant that has now recovered from its life-threatening condition. But a while ago, when it was drying out and fading, I was surprised to see that, at the same time, it had started to blossom! In my experience, bamboo doesn’t blossom. So I called the owner of a nearby nursery about this phenomenon, and he explained: “When it knows it might die, bamboo starts producing seeds to perpetuate its kind.” Is that too romantic to believe? Well, he’s a pro and I remain impressed by my bamboo’s sublime intelligence. And then there’s the psyche of animals who have their own way of knowing and remembering. When I was invited by my then-sweetheart (who become my husband) to meet his family at their home, it included their Chow dog. Looking out the back window, I watched the dog run around the yard, always coming to a sliding halt at one particular place. I saw no reason for this pattern, and when I asked what he was doing, I was told, as if it were obvious, that “there used to be a fence there!” An interesting memory... and a

I always knew I wasn’t superwoman, so there was no reason to try. Today, it’s reported that the majority of married women who work outside the home still find themselves being responsible for the housework and childcare. As a single mom for most of my adult life (I’m post-kids now), once I got home from work, I needed down-time. If I stacked anymore on, I would crash; I just knew that innately. I know single moms who worked two jobs or worked and then went to night school – difficult for even married moms. I wouldn’t have survived that much activity, nor would have my kids in their early youth. It’s just the way it was. Nevertheless, I thought I should do more. Feminism offered choices Some of this we unwittingly fostered in the early days of feminism. We wanted the choices men had, so aside from working for equality, emulating men (as opposed to being fully ourselves) became the fashion for many: we wore suits with scarf ties, became more assertive, more sexually aggressive, and may have thought working outside the home a more noble profession than motherhood alone. Initially, we were feeling our way, and sometimes made things harder on ourselves by superimposing maleness on our feminine selves to get what men had (a confusion still being expressed by some young women and the media). Most of us hadn’t learned yet about the balancing of yin and yang. Later, we more readily embraced our femininity and realized what we fought for was equality to express ourselves in the workplace and household -- the choice to be in the workplace, or not, the choice to have kids, or not. As time went on, the work of being a mother, which had taken a backseat earlier, was being readily recognized for the value it held. Workplace and government-sponsored childcare became a major issue. Spirituality took hold of many of us as patriarchal religion was questioned and a genderless God was reborn for many. Feminism became softer, not weaker. But other, deep-rooted patriarchal influences played a much larger role in the cult of perfectionism. Superwoman perfectionism seeks power over vs. power within The idea of being a superwoman is about power. Not innate power, but power over things – over time and over others; it’s masculine conquest. It’s seeded with perfection-ism and the pre-feminist, “just-won’t-die” idea of woman-

Peak Experiences By Jeanie Greensfelder

reminder that we humans also limit ourselves by phantom fences! As a last example, there was this incident when I was a nursery school teacher and my son was one of my pupils. How early in life do we show more insight than is expected by adults? When my son was acting up, counting on the indulgence of our relationship, I took him by the hand into the next room to stay until he could quiet down. I felt the other children needed me to show that I was fair and impartial. I turned to them for their approval and was greeted instead with their protest, “But he’s your son!” How illuminating! They preferred devotion to detachment, a mother’s love to a teacher’s discipline!

People during and after peak experiences characteristically feel lucky, fortunate, graced. — Abraham Maslow The psychologist Abraham Maslow identified peak experiences as having “a special flavor of wonder, of awe, of reverence, of humility and surrender before the experience of something great.” Maslow believed peak experiences simply occurred and that we couldn’t make them happen. However, Colin Wilson, an English philosopher, found that when his students discussed peak experiences, they had them more frequently. Wilson theorized that we could train ourselves to notice life’s wonders and increase the frequency of peak experiences. After experimenting, I agreed with Wilson.  I stopped on walks and named daily miracles. I focused my attention on friends and family with an increased appreciation. I called my new habit ‘living on the mountaintop’ where I viewed many peaks. When you see life with wonder, you experience more high spots.

as-mother/woman-as-whore, and now add thin-woman-as-power-professional, volunteer, and gourmet cook. It’s blatantly there for us to witness on MTV, in movies, and classes on pole-dancing for your man. It’s housed in the plethora of young school girls being pressured to “go down” on guys because it really isn’t full sex. Hey, sexuality is great. Being recognized for the value you bring to the workplace is great. Having and taking care of kids is great. Doing volunteer work and/or creative art or crafts is great. Buying into the idea that you can do all of these things well and at the same time is crazy-making, and when all is said and done, it’s about allowing others to have power over us. True power, creative power, comes from within and isn’t about catering to cultural and media pressures or what others want us to be, or being better than others. Innate power is a tremendous force used to fuel and strengthen our love of self so that we may love others. Now, for the most part, our daughters are schooled knowing they have professional opportunities and, barring fundamental Christian upbringing, that they are equal to men. That’s the talk anyway. But music that denigrates women, sexuality for both sexes as power “over,” and a media and consumerism that glamorizes being all things to all people, of trying to have and be it all, belie the reality that awaits young women as they face the complexities and pressures of work, marriage, child-rearing, household-ing, and finances. Choose perfect imperfection Although, I know it’s hard to buck the trends of culture, and youth begs us to conform, I haven’t written this as poor us, the victims of the scam of superwoman imposed on us by others. After all, we have to buy into it. Rather it’s up to us to teach our daughters and friends to believe in themselves, their innate worth, and to take responsibility for the choices they make and with what they choose to agree, to show them conformity isn’t all its cracked up to be. They need our support when they are pressured from all sides to be pop culture’s idea of the perfect everything to everyone, capable of doing everything – everything but meeting their own needs. They need to know that behind any superwoman is the hidden sadness of perfectionism. Let us remember and demonstrate that we are all perfectly imperfect. We are enough.


Women’s Press | January 2007 |

Superwoman Dis-enchanted

Superboomer Remembers

By Berta Parrish

By Anne Schroeder relationships. Slowly, lifestyle change by lifestyle change, authentic balance from within replaced the superimposed, programmed, cultural imperative of taking care of everything and everyone. The hidden curse of Superwoman – perfectionism – also weakened as I generalized the Good Enough Mother theory to every aspect of life. It suggests that adequate maternal behavior allows a child to develop into a separate, effective individual. There is a tipping point when the “enough” point is reached, which means that quite a bit of “not good enough” is okay until the scale tips. Hence, parents can actually make a few mistakes before absolutely ruining their children. Although hypothesizing the impact of mothering on infant development, the “good enough” criterion freed me to experiment and to make mistakes. Recently, my forty-year old daughter sobbed, “Am I a wimp? I can’t do what everyone else seems to be able to do.” As a recovering Superwoman, I instantly recognized the insidious enchantment and gave her my timeworn copy of Gifts from the Sea – the real magical ingredients to contentment.

“What Will We Do Now?” The “New” Modern Phenomena of the “Superwoman”

coats.) I canned applesauce and peaches, and picked strawberries for freezing. For me, the decade of the ’70s was war. College had taught me that fulfillment awaited the liberated woman. After graduation, the world opened its doors and I danced through, finding myself caught up in a dizzying blur of conflicting wants and needs. Having my own money was intoxicating, better than staying home like my mother, baking cupcakes. In those early years I couldn’t tell the enemy from myself, but I started with the easiest target — my husband. I started reading Redbook and Cosmopolitan, and learned to negotiate a better division of labor. I understood because women’s magazines explained it to me: men hadn’t been raised to step up to the metaphoric dinner plate. Most men did what they wanted and women did everything else. And what men didn’t want to do was to care for babies, cook, shop for food, or clean house. By 1973, girls I worked with started splitting into two groups. There was the “my husband is a bum and I can do better” camp, and there were the ones like me who were tired, disgusted, and trying to figure out how to “have it all” without rocking the marital boat. I was one of those who stayed and figured out how to restructure the marriage contract—but it was hard work. Forty years ago, the Superwomen of the boomer generation began a metamorphic blast into uncharted cosmos. By trial and error we managed to blend tradition with Women’s Lib. It took dedication, courage and patience—and energy most of us didn’t know we possessed. Now Superwoman has become Grandmother Crone — but that’s another story. Anne Schroeder writes from Atascadero, Her memoir, Ordinary Aphrodite, is under consideration for publication. She wrote Branches on the Conejo: Leaving the Soil after Five Generations.

“Super” Woman Carol Dawn by Margaret Hennessy

by Frances Yee Some say our generation has it all, can do it all, and there’s the overwhelming voice saying that we should do it all. The young women of today often hear teachers encourage them to “pursue a professional career” and elders suggest, “Follow your passion.” Nonetheless, both of these messages are usually voiced with the subtle societal expectation that young women will someday become wives and mothers. Importantly, young women who become mothers are expected to maintain their youth by dressing according to fashion trends and remembering the obsessive mantra, “Must work out!” This paradigm for the modern woman has existed for several generations, evolving to fit each new generation of women. My current generation is at the brink of either being pushed off the edge into the deep recesses of womanhood or straight into the role of the Superwoman. However, there are many reasons why many young women, myself included, are desperately clinging onto that brink, uncertain of how we can fulfill these roles. On the one hand, many of today’s women honestly desire professional careers, yet, an equal number of them feel a sense of duty and an obligation to pursue professional careers simply because they have been allowed the education and opportunity to do so. On the other hand, many women fulfill themselves by assuming the role of wife and mother, while others feel trapped in these traditional roles. For the modern woman, there seems to be a constant conflict between the personal and private spheres of life that often places them in a limited set of choices they do not wish to make – that of sacrificing

In 1968, I was there at the lift-off of the Social Revolution. The ride was dizzying. I entered Women’s Lib, the “You Can Have It All, Baby,” the “Take-Home-the-Bacon, Fry-It-Up-In-aPan” era. Overnight I became a working mother waiting for a promise: like the song says, the good times are coming. No paper diapers, no fast food, no delivered pizza, I pulled meat out of the freezer the night before I needed it. I cooked from scratch unless we wanted Kraft macaroni and cheese—which we had once a week. I washed clothes and hung them on the clothesline in the dark before work, and plucked them off in the dark when I returned home. I ironed everything we wore until I met my new best friend, Poly Ester. I washed dishes by hand, and sewed most of our clothes (including my husband’s wool shirts and down

Image courtesy

“Hello, my name is Berta Parrish, and I’m a recovering Superwoman.” It took me a long time to overcome the addiction to the “I can have it all” fantasy labeled the Superwoman Syndrome. Under its spell, my life was just as out of control, stressful, unhealthy, and unhappy as a substance abuser’s. I had managed to outgrow the enchantment of childhood fairy tales, like Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty, to forge independence and discover my own aspirations, talent, and power. But it wasn’t so easy to recover from the pressures to be Superwoman. The images of Superwoman are everywhere. She’s a Corporate Whiz, Domestic Diva, Dream Lover, Soccer Mom, Volunteer of the Year, Mrs. Clean, and nurse all rolled into one. The storyline is an updated Cinderella story with a twist: Superwoman slaves in the house working for the entire family and she works outside the home all day! Somehow, with profiles and movies of successful career women with happy families and clean homes, I thought that as a liberated woman that I, too, was entitled to “have it all, all at once.” Entranced by such mythical expectations, I tried to balance the diverse demands of a career, husband, children, church, continuing education, community, and selfhood -- only to end up out-of-balance, feeling overburdened, exhausted, resentful – and, of course, constantly guilty. If this sounds familiar, then you might be a closet Superwoman wannabe! Seeking an antidote, I read Anne Morrow Lindbergh’s Gift from the Sea. The “island precepts” from a famous, busy, talented, wealthy, and resourceful woman encouraged me to establish new priorities. This book gave me permission to simplify my outward life, find a central purpose, discover my inner strength, stay close to nature, accept change, and nourish valued

one for the other. Do we make our life choices as women because we feel the need to experience what society defines as a fulfilling and successful life? Or are those choices motivated by what we truly desire? While many young women know both what they want out of life and the reasons behind their choices, a considerable number of us are adrift in a sea of uncertainty. It seems that, whatever choice is made, whether it leans toward a professional career, or toward having a family, or both, criticism of the woman abounds. The pressure to fulfill the different parts of the Superwoman dynamic exists and signifies a very real dilemma that women face today. Should women continue to pursue powerful positions in businesses and also play the soccer mom? And how realistic is it for a woman to advance her professional career and simultaneously take care of a house and family? Clearly, society needs to redefine what constitutes success for women. Both men and women are constantly reinforcing society’s expectations for women to do and be everything. This relentless stress only adds to the pressure for young women to assume the Superwoman role. Women who do manage to fulfill the role of the Superwoman are phenomenal, but other women are just as praiseworthy, and their life choices should be equally respected and appreciated. Women should live their lives by their own standards and expectations and decide for themselves what a successful and fulfilling life means to them. Frances Yee is a student at Cal Poly.

Quiet and unassuming, Carol Dawn, greets each day as a new challenge. I first met her about three months ago when I began to put together a marketing team for the Women’s Press. I called and asked if she had ever done advertising sales before and she replied, “No, but I enjoy talking to people and would like to give it a try.” I soon discovered that this soft spoken, gentle lady was a very capable, effective, and dynamic salesperson. Her secret? She really cares about her clients and they know it! She exudes a soothing, calm presence and people feel it. But how did she arrive at her current state of emotional balance and professional success? Her story is no less than amazing. At the tender age of 16, she eloped with the “love of her life.” Although she was pregnant, she was determined to graduate with her class. Because of health complications caused by the pregnancy, she was confined to a hospital bed and worked with, Miss Cooley, the Dean of Women at SLO High School, to study and keep up with the rest of the students at the school. A month after her son Don was born, she realized her dream and graduated with her class. She thanks Miss Cooley for this. She assumed the role of mother, wife, and student while attending Cuesta College to get her nursing degree. She also worked part time to support her new family. The marriage failed and Carol Dawn became a single parent and on her own. She married for the second time and had another child, Mickey. A health care practitioner by profession, Carol Dawn left nursing to start her own holistic health practice 22 years ago (and has established

an excellent reputation in the community). On June 30, 1998, while driving her 11-year old son Mickey to school, a tragic car accident took his life and put Carol Dawn in the hospital with serious injuries. She recovered after a long period of physical therapy. She speaks lovingly of Mickey and has made peace with his untimely death. She is grateful for the time they had together. He was her “sunshine child.” At present, she fills her days with helping others through her holistic therapy and is not afraid of what tomorrow may bring. She lives life one day at a time and fills every moment with things that are meaningful. She continues to grow by trying new things and is always eager to learn. I have learned a valuable lesson from Carol Dawn. She does not try to be Superwoman. She is just a Super Woman to everyone who knows her. 


January 2007 | | Women’s Press

Voices Around the Table: Eve, 55 I try not to use the tired cliché, “I’m too busy” when I’m asked to consider adding another item to my “To Do List”. All women are busy. It’s what we do. So, for me to tell someone I can’t help them because I’m busy feels like I just told them their work is not as important, or they’re not as busy. Telling someone no when my help is needed is my greatest challenge. I don’t deal well with the pressures of being a Superwoman. Mostly it’s about sleep. I don’t sleep well because I wake almost nightly to sort, arrange and re-arrange “my list” sometimes for hours. I don’t take care of myself. Taking care of me cuts into the time I need to get everything else done. Being aware this is not good doesn’t help me to eat regularly or get up to exercise. On the rare occasion I do, the guilt gets me each and every time. It’s hard to be part of the change in the world. Acknowledging I want to be-- is to me what defines a Superwoman. We whittle away at each task, knowing it’s important, each and every day. We accept the challenge to be the change, dig in and do the work. Jacqueline, 50’s Now that my children are grown and out of the house, I no longer feel the pressure to be ‘SUPERB.’ There was a time (as a single mom of two kids) when I commuted back and forth to work a full two hours a day. Not only that, but I also cooked, cleaned, transported carloads of little gymnasts, and managed to occasionally (because of guilt), volunteer at schools. I was not just Super, I was exhausted! Ah … those were the days! Today, I am not a Superwoman nor do I care to carry that weighty label any longer. Freedom is bliss! Jill, 49 Well... I am just not able to address the Superwoman issue. It’s pretty easy to be a superwoman when you don’t have kids, a husband, or even a real job.  My cats think I’m pretty super but I think it’s only because I remember to put food in their bowl.  And for me, that is an accomplishment.  Sarah, 22 I don’t worry anymore about what other people think.  I’m just super at the things that matter like spending time with my family and doing my job well rather than fretting over things that won’t mean anything to me in 5 years. Dorothy, 45 I am 45 years old and do not have children, so I usually reserve the Superwoman syndrome for full-time working mothers with husbands. But I realize that as a single creative artist (writer, songwriter) - I do strive for the SuperArtist role: think Sheryl Crow! Stress that comes from comparing myself to other women makes me feel small and contracted. Grounding myself in my almost-every morning practice of journaling helps take the pressure off. My writing practice helps me know that I took time to nurture myself and that makes me feel good about myself. When I’m feeling really stressed from working full time, school part time, and co-editor of my college literary magazine, I remind myself that I followed my intuition to get to this place. I’m free to make changes as necessary, but I either trust myself or I don’t. Also, it helps to remember that life is not a comparison! Shana, 60 Ah, but there are no more pressures to be Superwoman... it’s great to be 60! I am who I am and, as Popeye said, “it’s all that I am!” Alyson, 60 Well, I hardly see myself as superwoman. I thought that was reserved for wife/mommy/volunteer/whatever women who have overflowing plates in their lives. My life these days is rela-

How do you deal with the pressures to be Superwoman?

tively subdued comparatively, though I have to keep working at it. Granted, I used to be this creature; however, a series of life-crises and a lot of deep reflection on what is really, truly important in life changed all of that and put me on the path I follow now:  Be true to who I am; Keep it SIMPLE; Trust ‘Upstairs’; Think of Others, but remember my SELF as well; SLOW DOWN (what’s the rush? we’re all ending up in the same manner anyhow - and I’m in no particular hurry to get there); Really, really, REALLY just “do life” each day and “be here right now.”  No one knows how long they have, how much they will be able to accomplish, and what life will dish up tomorrow. I find that  the most important learnings I’ve had are the growth of compassion for others and a willingness to let go of judgmental thinking about others when it crops up. Wanda, 52 Under my casual business clothes of non designer shirts and stretch jeans, I wear the Super S costume. It has not been easy having this multi-hatted role of a 52-year-old woman, end of the boomer generation, physician, mother of two, wife, and daughter of aging parents. I am a child of an Ozzie and Harriet household. My mother stayed at home, made our school lunches, and answered the door when we got home from school. My father was an engineer for the US Department of Defense outside of Washington DC, worked 9-5. My life has been an endless sacrifice for family, for career, even for myself. I worked part time 12 years to be at home as much as I could with the kids and still maintain my sharpness at my job. I worked full time only starting eight years ago. Besides overseeing the household budget (my husband is self employed as an internist) and earning the major portion of the household income, I assumed the lion’s share of the responsibility for managing my son’s insulin dependent diabetes when he was nine years old. When diabetes entered our home, it was impossible to leave work at home! Anyone who understands this illness knows the intensity of worry, decision making on an hourly to daily basis. Thank goodness for a husband who likes to cook, has dinner prepared daily when I get home from work around 6-6:30 on an average day. We often have disturbed nights of sleep several times a week with on-call duty, not to mention the countless nights of interruption when I got up to check my son’s blood sugars. Sadly, we never get back those lost hours of sleep. As the kids have transitioned out of the home to college, it hits me that I have given so much of myself that I have to rediscover my interests and re-invent myself. Do I really know who I am, who I was? Who is that woman under the Super S persona? Anne, 59 I opted out of the Superwoman competition early. According to my mother, I announced at age nine that I didn’t plan to get married, because I was going to be a writer and wouldn’t

have time to deal with a bunch of screamy babies. I’m sure my pronouncement had more to do with my annoyance at my baby sister’s recent arrival than with any budding feminism on my part, but my statement turned out to be predictive. I married only briefly, never reproduced, and I am indeed writing for a living. My sister, on the other hand, married and mothered three fantastic sons, as well as going to law school. I’m grateful to her, and much in awe, but I’ve never envied her hectic, supermom existence.     Paula, 50’s For me the word Superwoman never enters my mind... I believe we women go day by day, follow the path that we setup for yourselves and go for it... be it mom, spouse or business women, whatever the roles are we choose to participate in.

Vidya, 50’s I am not a superwoman — I am a woman warrior. I have learned bravery in the face of chilbirth and motherhood. Each child I carried and bore while in a US Army uniform, and each one I fearlessly birthed without medicines. One child I gave to infertile parents after I was raped; one child I raised until he was twenty, a brave, loving, flying spirit the world will be forever touched by; and one child was a warrior before he was born, and today packs his rucksack and medic kit, leaving with the 325th Infantry, 82nd Airborne Division, to serve the best he knows how in Iraq. I am not a superwoman - I am a woman of knowing, mysticism, and healing. I know there is another way: of self responsibility, harmonious living, intuitive communication with people,

Continued in VOICES, p. 10

Thought for Food Plunging into 2007, fresh with inspiration to change and improve our life! Congratulations! But, often inspiration becomes discouragement as we are unable to maintain our new habits. What happened? Perhaps the excitement of what we desire is overwhelmed by what we can actually do. What if there was Sandy Muran, just one easy thing you could do that would impact your whole Clinical Nutritionist life? I think there is. Simply increasing the amount of water, fresh, filtered water, (no substitutes, please) on a daily basis can impact your health and beauty now and throughout your life. Here’s how drinking half your body weight in ounces every day can change how you look and feel. Begin your day with a cup of warm water with the juice of 1⁄2 a lemon. This is a simple way to stimulate your organs of detoxification. During the night your body has been busy in repair and maintenance. Breaking the mini-fast with warm water and lemon juice begins to clear the debris. Before you leave home, set out the number of bottles of water you will need to meet your intake goal. Carry them with you and drink water when you are thirsty, need a break from work, and are hungry before meal time. Giving your body the fluid nature intended allows it to perform the myriad of metabolic activities required for health. Results? Your skin will regain its youthful glow now that you are hydrated and eliminating wastes. Your body will not retain fluids that are too concentrated to be eliminated; regaining a healthful fluid balance while losing excess fluid weight. Eliminating waste and toxins decreases your risk for the inflammation that precedes disease states, slows aging, decreases your appetite and increases your energy due to a reduced burden. Now, don’t you feel happier with all you are accomplishing? Plunge into the New Year, be gentle with yourself and your resolutions. Simply drink more of nature’s elixir of health -- pure, fresh, clean water.

Wellspring H e a l t h S e r v i c e s

1405 Garden Street • San Luis Obispo • 805-548-0987



Women’s Press | January 2007 |

How Do YOU Choose to Be Happy?

How to Manage Business Growth By Andrea Zeller

By Denise Nickeson Recently, one of my clients, struggling with the issue of commitment, believed her “commitment” to staying in a relationship conflicted with her “commitment” to being happy. I told her rather than trying to be happy all the time, our goal should be to experience joy in our lives as often as possible. Our “pursuit of happiness” should really be about a pursuit of finding out what brings us joy in life. Our discussion brought to mind an article by Denise Bissonnette. She is a well known speaker and writer in the field of career development, counseling, and job development. In a recent newsletter, she offered this experiment, which I challenge you to try. 1. Grab a pen and paper and finish this sentence ten times: I would be happier if… (To get the most out of this article, take a few minutes to do this before reading on.) 2. Now, compare your list with the two lists below. How many of the items on your list resemble these responses: I would be happier if… …I made more money. …I had more time for myself, my family, and my friends. …I lived in a better (prettier, warmer, less expensive) place. …I was in a more truthful (honest, romantic, committed) relationship or marriage. …I was healthier (thinner, younger, older, prettier, sexier, smarter, etc). …I had a job with less stress (better boss, different co-workers, more pay, more independence, greater flexibility). …I lived in a house that was more spacious (had a bigger yard, was in a nicer neighborhood, with better roommates). …my life was less stressful (more exciting, more adventurous, more fun).

Mind Your Business:

…I had a new car (a better computer, a sailboat, a timeshare in a beautiful place, more vacation time, a new house, less debt, a better sex life). …I were retired (independently wealthy, a stay-at-home parent, self-employed). Now, how many of the items on your list resemble these responses: I would be happier if… …I lived more simply. …I spent less money. …I followed my heart. …I had less need for new toys, clothes, jewelry, shoes, hair products, etc. …I set clearer boundaries with those around me. …I made better use of my time. …I stopped comparing myself and my circumstances with others. …I was more accepting of my body and my outward appearance. …I communicated better with my partner/spouse. …I brought more fun into my life. …I engaged in creative endeavors. …I stuck with my diet and exercise plan. …I was less self-absorbed and found a way to help someone less fortunate. As Denise says, the first list may bring us happiness, but for how long? The immediate pleasure derived from acquiring material things is short-lived and we will eventually come back to ask, “So what else is there? Now what do I want?” So make your list again with joy instead of happiness in mind. Reprinted by permission, Denise Bissonnette, Diversity World -

What happens when your small business vision comes alive and customer activity accelerates? How does the super businesswoman manage it all and keep her vision on track? There are several things you’ll want to consider to be properly prepared for the growth of your small business. 1. Stay focused! The best way to maintain focus is to have a clear WRITTEN business plan. You’ll want to write this before you get enmeshed and overwhelmed in day to day activities of your business. A good business plan maps out and coordinates all aspects of your business. Know your future goals and plans. Writing a business plan is the single most important thing you will do! It provides you a road map and helps to keep you on the right track. 2. Match resources with needs. Look for and hire the right people. Know your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Hire people who fill the gaps – who have strengths where you are weak. And, be sure to have enough working capital on hand. The number one reason for business failure is not having enough cash to pay bills. Think carefully about all the needs your business will have and plan ahead to have resources available to take care of these needs. You may want to ask for help in creating a cash flow projection. 3. Coordinate your team. The best way to coordinate your team is to have clarity of roles, responsibilities, policies and procedures. You can provide this clarity with a good solid Policies and Procedures Manual. The manual shares the business history, vision, mission and displays the overall of structure of your organization. Then, each position needs a clear

job description detailing the roles and responsibilities of that particular position. Then you’ll want to list out your business policies. Policies serve multiple needs: they provide clarity of how your business will operate as well as providing protection for the business. Adhering to clear policies can protect you from all kinds of vulnerabilities like people pushing you to do things differently all the time thus creating confusion, and, in serious instances, putting the business at risk legally. Employee policies are an easy example – you must treat all employees the same or you are vulnerable to discrimination suits. Here’s some easy to understand definitions: Definition of Policy A policy is a formal statement of the position of your business on key aspects of its operation. It is a governing principle that mandates or constrains actions. Definition of a Procedure A procedure is an explanation of the sequence of events/actions required to be undertaken to implement the particular policy.  Procedures provide detailed information that enable staff to appropriately apply policy. Writing policies and procedures can be overwhelming. Get help from your support network! 4. Tap into your support network Every good business woman has a solid support network Mission Community Services Corp. and Women’s Business Partners is a great place for support! Take an hour to visit us, or e-mail me at In fact, if you are writing your business plan, a policy and procedures document, or a marketing plan, e-mail me for a template to guide you. It’ll make your job easier. Andrea Zeller, Executive Director of Mission Community Services, coordinates Women’s Business Partners (WBP) to ensure all community resources are leveraged and optimized to support entrepreneurial women. WBP serves everyone interested in establishing self-sufficiency through small business ownership while primarily focusing assistance towards socially and economically disadvantaged women. (805) 595-1357.

VOICES Continued from p. 9 animals, plants, and elements, understanding, and healing. After an experience of a life-threatening concussion, I began nursing studies and eventually served mostly elders in their homes, teaching and empowering them towards self care. I grow a beautiful vegetable garden and live in a home I have made a sanctuary, and I invite people to come and share in the fruits. I am not a superwoman - I am one who bleeds. My blood is powerful and healing, and when I bleed, purification takes place, and my prayers are stronger. I am not a superwoman - I am both male and female. I have lived and experienced the ways of men, not to imitate them, but to stand amongst them in my own power and truth. I do not embrace the ways of the world, and the twogender box the world creates. I have a right and left, a masculine and feminine side of my body. I am not a superwoman: I am a dreamer and peacemaker. I am not here to kill or fight, but to harmonize the opposing forces in this world. In my dream state, I play the flute: the tones are heard by all spirits in and beyond this world, bringing all to remember their innate beingness. Elizabeth, Age 41 How do I deal with the pressures to be Superwoman? I pour a cup of tea and take a hot bubble bath.

When I was married, I let myself feel that burden. My home had to be orderly, my kids were dressed in the latest styles, I had parties and manicures and lunches--but I have since learned that the pressure to be Superwoman isn’t an outside force; it comes from within. Now I see that no matter what the situation, there is strength in celebrating my lack of perfection. I single-handedly showed my children a special holiday season--complete with traditions, gratitude, and comfort. That makes me Superwoman. I paid my mortgage this month. That makes me Superwoman. I survived the week that my kids went on vacation with their dad. That definitely makes me Superwoman. Sometimes, simply finishing the dishes before I go to bed makes me Superwoman. I am Superwoman, and so is every other woman I know. We dedicate our lives to bettering the world. Even if we choose not to have a family, there is a special energy in us that drives us to care for people. I know so many women who put all of their might into making other people’s lives better. Not because they have to, not because it makes them look perfect, but because it makes them feel perfect. It makes them Superwoman.


January 2007 | | Women’s Press


Align Business Purpose with Life Passions The Power of Purpose By Dianne Legro

By Adele Sommers Do you have a tremendous fondness, desire, or enthusiasm for what you do for a living? If so, congratulations! You’re most likely pursuing your passions in life. On the other hand, do you know what happens when you choose a business direction that’s not aligned with your life passions? You end up settling for an opportunistic approach toward your livelihood instead of selecting an endeavor that fuels you and helps you make a special contribution to the world. You may have found yourself hopping from idea to idea, from career to career, or from business venture to business venture, accomplishing less than you’re capable of achieving. If this sounds familiar, you’re probably picking things that are convenient, but that you’re not passionate about doing. Below are three reasons why using a strategic alignment approach is crucial in helping us to develop and pursue goals that are worthy of our time and energy. Alignment Reason #1 – Marketing message: When we’re unaware of how our life passions align with our business purpose, it’s difficult to design branding and marketing materials that communicate with laser-like precision what we represent. And even if we are clear about our passions but haven’t fully integrated them with other predominant themes in our lives, we can still send confusing messages to prospective customers, clients, partners, and employees. Alignment Reason #2 – Maintaining momentum: When we skip the step of investigating our higher purpose, especially when considering a mid-life business transition, the results can come back to haunt us. It’s easy to become burned out in any startup scenario. If the venture is not one we’re passionate about, we’ll have

“The purpose of life is a life of purpose.� — Robert Byrne

a difficult time gathering steam and developing momentum. Alignment Reason #3 – Competitive advantage: Pursuing what we love imbues our work with magnetic sparkle that attracts not only customers and clients but also potential business partners, adding to our competitive strength. Furthermore, if we can elevate our business passions to the level of a compelling cause, we will be in a better position to entice prospective employees through our business philosophy. A vision-based attraction is particularly important during the startup phase when other forms of compensation tend to be especially low. It thus helps us further cement our competitive advantage by enabling us to recruit a stellar team. In conclusion, from sending crystal-clear and compelling marketing messages, to maintaining our business momentum, to developing a distinct competitive advantage around an appealing cause, nothing speaks as powerfully as doing what we love. 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, or 805-462-2199.

Women Entrepreneurs Expo 2006 Women need to celebrate and come together to support, network and empower each other. Last November, over 30 participants set up at the Monday Club, which provided a place where strong business connections began and will grow. As women we are always looking for highly effective ways to attract new customers, enhance our professionalism, spend more quality time with our families, seek out new and exciting opportunities and interact with women who can provide a support network to help us be successful. All without having to spend big money. By being part of an expo, you come face-to-face with exhibitors offering opportunities, products, and services to help you create leads and reach that next level of success.

A purpose is different from goals and intentions. Our lives need both. As a speech coach, identifying purpose clearly is the number one factor that creates success for my clients. All other messages pour from this core truth. For many, this process of discovery is a profound deepening and life event. Purpose poses two questions for us: “What is my purpose?� and the larger question, “What is life’s purpose?� These questions dovetail perennially. One leads the other in a dance that, with practice, ultimately creates meaning. How do you clarify your purpose? Where are the clues? The first clue is to look at what irritates you! One of my mentors gave me the suggestion some time ago that our destiny is linked to our irritation. I found it to be true that when I have a hot spot around an issue it is usually because I see something that I care about and would like to fix. Many times I have recognized my purpose in the middle of my irritation. Ponder these questions: What irritates you? What thoughts won’t leave you alone? What are the patterns and “family� of issues connected with your irritation? What message does this bring you? What dimension of the world are you here to fix? What solution are you bringing to the world? What do you want to correct through your work? What do you want to create through your work? My colleague Ian Percy in his wonderful book The Profitable Power of Purpose gives us a short formula that works. Because (your irritation) I am committed to (The grand correction) or (the creation you bring to this irritation to make the world a better place). Ian also includes the idea that “The bigger the problem, the richer you will be.�

You can break this big purpose statement into subsets: What I want to correct, and What I want to create. My core message process for your marketing and speaking also draws from these and other questions: What does your life experience make you an expert at? What is your mission, goal, or calling in life? What problem will it help people solve? What need will it help people satisfy? When you get crystal clear on the core meaning to your business or service, others also repeat it happily on your behalf. Final tip: Want to know how you are on the right track with your message? When you LOVE to tell people what you do and find yourself telling others about yourself anytime anywhere. That’s when you know you have finally got it right. Is this you yet? It can be. Dianne Legro is a voice specialist and speech coach for professionals. Her expert coaching makes your process a fun, meaningful exploration into your best self. Dianne offers keynote speeches, group workshops, and sees clients one-on-one. Contact her today for a free 15-minute consultation. 805-5349535

Attend our next Expo: April 18, 11am - 2pm SLO Women’s Network 805-546-3724








Women’s Press | January 2007 |

This Page Presented by the

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 By Angie King “May we live in interesting times” is an old Chinese curse. We are certainly living in interesting times, but I hope it is not a curse. Indeed, the fall election results gave many of us hope that our country can indeed regain its constitutional balance. Let’s all be supportive of the new Congress and wish them luck. Women made great gains in the last election; 140 women candidates for Congress, 12 women candidates in the Senate. Of 36 governor’s races, 10 had women candidates – and 5 were already in office, running for re-election. If we don’t start building a base of experienced women politicians, of both parties, and of all political persuasions, we will never be able to field viable women candidates for President. Right now, let’s see, there’s Hillary, and… that’s just it. We cannot pin all our hopes on one woman. Reproductive health care is still a priority issue (see reproductive rights article in this issue). That issue is, in my opinion (and setting aside the fiasco in Iraq), the biggest reason for our gains this last election. Women have had enough! More good news. There is a new president of national Planned Parenthood who has lots of political experience herself. Ann Richards’ daughter, Cecile Richards, has been named head of the national organization and has great plans to move it – and the health care movement – into an advocacy mode. Ms. Richards has run election campaigns; she helped Jane Fonda fight the teen pregnancy epidemic in Georgia through the Turner Foundation; and she counts among her friends a whole host of highly placed politicians in DC. She says: “We have the potential to swing the vote in 2008 and 2010, and that’s a lot of power. We’re taking on the opponents of choice in the states and districts where they live. Planned Parenthood is going to become more political so that health care can become less politicized.” Here in San Luis Obispo, the local chapter of NOW is again sponsoring a movie and discussion to celebrate the Roe v Wade Supreme Court decision. Join us on Sunday January 21 at the Palm Theatre. See the accompanying article for details. 2007 will be a year full of promise and renewed hope. Join NOW and stay involved.

Reproductive Rights Update In January 1973, the US Supreme Court established a woman’s constitutional right to control her own reproductive health, including the right to terminate a pregnancy. Ever since, the right wing has been trying to take that right away from us. In the 1980’s, challenges to state laws brought restrictions on who can perform abortions, and where; what information must be provided to the woman beforehand; set conditions under which minors may or may not obtain health services; etc. All of that presumed the legitimacy of Roe and attempted to chop away at the wide range of rights the Constitution afforded. Abortion opponents do read the polls, and they understand that the majority of people in the United States support legalized abortion and do not want Roe v. Wade repealed. So, the radical right works around the edges of the law in an attempt to deny access to more and more women. These strategies have ranged from subtle, under-the-radar efforts to bold, even violent measures. Two tactics One tactic has been to focus on young women and poor women, creating as many barriers as the law will allow. Another approach is to target specific abortion methods. Sensational descriptions of a rarely-used procedure helped conservatives pass the so-called “Partial-Birth Abortion Ban,” which Bush signed in 2003. In reality, the ban was cleverly written in a way that would deter physicians from performing a different procedure, the one used in most abortions

Celebrate Your Right to Choose 33rd Anniversary of Roe v.Wade “The Handmaid’s Tale,” Palm Theatre, January 21, 2007, 10am The Dems may have taken back control of Congress, but they may not be able to undo all the damage to women’s rights inflicted by the previous Congress. Laws restricting access to women’s health care and by extension, abortions, are still on the books. Your right to choose is not yet safe. This next term of the US Supreme Court includes cases challenging Roe v. Wade and the court is still ultra conservative. Will abortions remain legal? The San Luis Obispo chapter of the National Organization for Women invites you to join us at the Palm Theatre on Sunday, January 21, 2007, to celebrate the fact that there has been a generation of women born with control of their

own bodies, and to contemplate the dread of a future where women may no longer lose that. Join us for a viewing of The Handmaid’s Tale, the movie made from the book written by Margaret Atwood, and a discussion of the issues it raises. Doors open at 9:30 AM; the film will begin promptly at 10 AM to allow us time for discussion afterward. Refreshments will be served before the film. Tickets are $10 each, and are available in advance from members of SLO NOW or at the door of the Palm Theatre on Sunday January 21. For information, call Angie King at 543-5140 or Leslyn Keith at 782-9300.

February 15th is

Susan B. Anthony’s birthday As most feminists already know, Susan B. Anthony, born in 1820, was at the forefront of the first wave of feminism in the mid-19th century. She and Elizabeth Cady Stanton met at a world anti-slavery congress in London and became life long friends. They organized the first women’s rights convention in Stanton’s hometown, Seneca Falls, New York, in 1848. Until her death, Anthony traveled the country urging women to stand up for their rights, including as a first and essential step, winning the right to vote. In 1872, Anthony attempted to vote in the fall elections in New York. She was, not unexpectedly, arrested and brought to trial for the federal crime of voting without the right to vote. She was convicted and fined $100. Always the eloquent speaker, when asked if she had anything to say in her behalf before her sentencing, she replied:

Yes, your honor, I have many things to say. My every right, constitutional, civil, political and judicial, has been tramped upon. Robbed of the fundamental privilege of citizenship, I am degraded from the status of citizen to that of a subject, and not only myself individually, but all of my sex are, by your honor’s verdict, doomed to political subjection under this, so-called, form of government. I have been tried by laws made by men, under a government of men, interpreted by men and for the benefit of men. The only chance women have for justice in this country is to violate the law, as I have done, and as I shall continue to do. ‘Resistance to tyranny is obedience to God.’ It took until 1920 for her words to convince the men of the country of the righteousness of her cause. She did not live to see the 19th Amendment finally pass, but she is truly one of our heroes in the fight for women’s equality. Raise a toast to her on February 15th.

after 13 weeks, and it failed to include an exception to protect the woman’s health. The Supreme Court is currently considering two challenges to that ban. Fetal personhood Now the right wing is working on another tack – to establish the fetus as a “person” and therefore, subject to its own constitutional rights. So why is establishing “fetal personhood” important to our opponents? Take a look at this language from Roe v. Wade: “If this suggestion of personhood is established, the appellant’s [Roe’s] case, of course, collapses, for the fetus’ right to life would then be guaranteed specifically by the [Fourteenth] Amendment” In other words, if they can convince the Supreme Court that “times have changed” since Roe was decided and that a fetus should now be recognized as a “person” under the Constitution, then abortion would immediately become an act of murder in every state across the country. It is this prospect that fuels today’s fetal missionaries, such as Senator Sam Brownback (R-Kan.), U.S. Representative Chris Smith (R-N.J.), and a few old white men who work in a nearby white house. Here’s the progress they’ve made in just the past few years: 1) The Bush administration added new regulations to the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (S-CHIP) in 2002 that classified a fertilized egg as an “unborn child” eligible for health insurance. They said the change was needed to cover prenatal care — but it was really just “cover” for another fetal personhood initiative. The same year, Bush told the Advisory Commis-

sion on Human Research Protections (under the Department of Health and Human Services) in 2002 to consider embryos as “human subjects.” 2) In 2004, Bush signed into law the socalled “Unborn Victims of Violence Act,” which amended federal criminal laws to create a second, separate offense for killing or injuring a “child in utero,” thus transforming even a fertilized egg or zygote into a child — a person — under that federal law. Although the stated purpose was to protect pregnant women from violence, conservatives in Congress quickly killed a substitute that would have doubled the penalty for any crime against a pregnant woman. This law covers only crimes committed on federal land, so it has limited actual application — but it is another step in the march toward fetal personhood. 3) Prosecutors across the country are using child abuse and neglect statutes to criminally charge women for actions that potentially harm the fetus, claiming for example that pregnant women were “delivering” drugs to “minor children” through their umbilical cords. 4) In 2005 and 2006, three bills were introduced in Congress that would severely punish doctors unless they tell women seeking abortions (contrary to medical knowledge) that “your unborn child” will feel pain in “the process of being killed in an abortion,” offer her anesthesia for the fetus, and get a signed statement that she received the information. The “Unborn Child Pain Awareness Act” (HR 6099). As usual, the deceit starts with the title itself, which uses the word “unborn child” when it should say “fetus.” This so-called “fetal pain” bill was narrowly defeated in the closing days of the 109th Con-

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

NOW Calendar January 3: • Birthday of Lucretia Mott, early suffragist, b. 1793 January 11: • Birthday of Alice Paul, founder of National Women’s Party, b. 1885 January 15: • Martin Luther King, Jr. Day January 16: • NOW chapter meeting January 21: • Celebrate Roe v Wade, 10 AM, Palm Theatre January 22: • Roe v Wade decision, 1973 January 26: • Birthday of Julia Morgan, architect, b. 1872 February 3: • Birthday of Gertrude Stein, b. 1874 February 4: • Birthday of Betty Friedan, b. 1921 February 7: • National Girls and Women in Sports Day February 15: • Birthday of Susan B. Anthony, b. 1820 February 20: • NOW chapter meeting February 21: • Birthday of Barbara Jordan, first black congressmember, Texas, b. 1936 February 25: • Birthday of Virginia Woolf, b. 1882

gress, but is already on the right wing’s agenda for the 110th. However, with at least 20 new reproductive rights supporters entering the 110th Congress, it is unlikely to come up in the next session. There is little scientific information on how women might be affected by the application of fetal anesthesia, perhaps in addition to their own anesthesia. What will doctors tell women about the potential hazards posed to their own health of additional anesthesia? The language specified by the bill makes only one mention, in the final sentence, “there might be some additional risk to you associated with administering such a drug.” 5) There have also been numerous state efforts to add to the list. In 2003, Bush’s brother in the Sunshine State appointed a legal guardian for the fetus of a 22-year-old severely mentally disabled woman who became pregnant after being raped. The woman had already given birth by the time the appeals court ruled against Jeb and his anti-woman squad, stating that a fetus is not a person, and therefore not eligible for a guardian. This time. And of course the South Dakota abortion ban, which was defeated in a voter referendum, was called the “Women’s Health and Human Life Protection Act.” The ban law said that “life begins at the time of conception,” and that “the guarantee of due process of law under the Constitution of South Dakota applies equally to born and unborn human beings [...].” Though South Dakota’s ban was turned back by dedicated feminist activists, there are dozens of

Continued in RIGHTS, p. 13


January 2007 | | Women’s Press


Women’sCommunityCenter Family Law Action Committee Dealing With Divorce

3rd Wednesday of each month – 7 PM Upcoming: January 17, February 21 and March 21 Talk with other women who have been there, done that in a supportive, non-judgmental environment. $5 donation Our mission is: • TO maintain an accessible center to collect and exchange information of interest and concern to women • TO organize and facilitate 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

Women’s Press presents


Self-Represented Litigants’ Clinic

4th Tuesday of each month – 5:30 PM Upcoming: January 23, February 27 and March 27 Get family law advice from local attorneys and/or paralegals. Reservations required. $25 donation Call 544-9313 for information/

A Powerful Process for Reviewing, Re-Envisioning and Re-Creating the Second Half of Life

WEEKEND OF APRIL 7 AND 8, 2007 Temple Beth David, Los Osos Valley Road, $250 • Learn innovative techniques to help you re-envision how you want to live the rest of your life • Identify the obstacles and limiting beliefs and behaviors that prevent you from moving forward and living a joyous life • Discover powerful tools that will help you to move more creatively into the future • Experience your personal renaissance by fulfilling undeveloped parts of yourself Beverly Engel, M.F.T., is the bestselling author of 18 self-help books and is an internationally recognized expert in women’s issues and relationships. She has been a psychotherapist and workshop leader for 30 years. Heather Mendel is a spiritual director, calligraphic artist, writer and storyteller. She has facilitated spirituality groups for women for the past 15 years.

For a full description of the weekend and a pre-registration form, go to www. or or call: (805) 528-7544 Our first Intermezzo Workshop was highly successful. Some participants said that it actually changed their life! Proceeds benefit the Women’s Press.


Continued from Cover relax; and dances to exercise. Most of all, she “listens to the stones” – a meditative practice using crystals and gemstones – to attune, energize, and uplift her spirit. Each of us, she says, “needs to find that thing that takes you out of your rut and opens you to change.” These healthy habits enable her to meet the increasingly complex challenges of a business on the cutting edge of technology and public service. Gov. Schwarzenegger recently mandated the streaming (live Internet video-feed) of all

public government meetings. As the only company in California that is currently meeting this expectation, AGP Video is well placed to lead others in the state. Nancy believes this success is because they approach everything they do as artists: “We see each moment as brand new, and seek to do the best that we can in that moment.” Nancy Castle’s magic is not supernatural or fictional. The energy to create and to succeed comes from living her values, doing what she loves, and helping others succeed – a potion we can all concoct to become Superwomen for our families, businesses, and communities.

RIGHTS Continued from p. 12 states that either have unconstitutional bans on their books or persistently propose similar ones, most of which classify fetuses as persons deserving legal protection. Every year, state legislatures across the country consider dozens of measures that would create a legal status for embryos and fetuses separate from that of the woman bearing them. Taken together with the appointments of two anti-woman Supreme Court Justices and several anti-woman chiefs and advisors to key entities such as the Department of Health and Human Services and the FDA Advisory Panel on Women’s Health (see below), these affronts to women’s rights comprise a substantial undertaking — an organized effort to supply the Supreme Court with an abundance of references for an argument that fetal personhood should be legally recognized. Every state and federal measure that calls embryos and fetuses “children,” unborn or otherwise, is a resource in the right-wing’s “RoeBe-Gone” reservoir, waiting to be tapped. Sticks and stones may break our bones, but words can also hurt us, contrary to the old saw. “Sack Keroack” U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Mike Leavitt has nominated Eric Keroack, a doctor who opposes contraception, to oversee

U.S. birth control funding as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Population Affairs. In spite of the many messages received by his office, Secretary Leavitt hasn’t rescinded Keroack’s appointment and, despite several requests, refuses to meet with representatives from NOW. With more pro-choice supporters in Congress next year, NOW intends to ask them to demand that Eric Keroack be removed from overseeing our country’s family planning programs and funds. The Deputy Assistant Secretary for Population Affairs oversees $238 million “designed to provide access to contraceptive supplies and information to all who want and need them with priority given to low-income persons.” Dr. Keroack has a long history of opposing contraceptive use, supporting ineffective abstinence-only educational programs, and working against a woman’s right to abortion. He is the medical director of A Woman’s Concern, an anti-contraception, anti-abortion network of so-called pregnancy counseling centers based in Boston. Their website states that “A Woman’s Concern is persuaded that the crass commercialization and distribution of birth control is demeaning to women, degrading of human sexuality and adverse to human health and happiness.”

What’s happening at new ART Works Center of 5-Cities Hosted by Brave New Wares Development Group • FOUND Treasure Gallery, open MondaySaturdays 10am - 7pm • FOUND Treasure (FT) Workshops with day/evening schedules, 10am - 9pm. FOUND Treasure beginning workshops feature fun and innovative eco-crafting techniques developed to create beautiful lamps, mirrors, tiles, frames, and more from your rummage. Techniques include mosaic, collage, decoupage, and wild craft; also learn to wire your lamps and upholster a footstool or simple chair or bench. • SHARED OPEN-Studio space is available for aspiring eco-artisans. • Prospective members of the “All Women’s Creative Cooperative” will meet each Saturday at 1-3 pm A co-op Orientation precedes each week’s free lesson. • Entrepreneurial Class Series for Artisans, Saturdays, 9am - 11pm. • SUNSHINE Saturday Sale from 8am 1pm — when the sun is shining on the parking lot at 1200 East Grand. 15% of proceeds are pledged to SLO children’s charities. For more information call Eve at 815-8700, or stop by and visit Brave New Wares at the ART Works Center, 1200 East Grand Avenue, Arroyo Grande, Monday-Saturdays.

Women’s Empowerment & Self-Defense Workshops Maximize your chances of avoiding a sexual assault! The Sexual Assault Recovery and Prevention Center proudly offers this four-hour workshop to help empower and protect the women in our community. This workshop will focus on improving your awareness and assertiveness skills, and will teach physical techniques that can help you escape a dangerous situation. Remember - your best weapon is yourself: your mind, your voice, and your body! This free class is open to women of all athletic abilities, ages 12 and up. Workshops rotate monthly between Paso Robles and Shell Beach and are 4 hours long. Upcoming Dates: Paso Robles: January 8th and March 5th Shell Beach: February 5th and April 2nd Please contact the SARP Center at 545-8888 for more information or to sign up for a workshop.



Women’s Press | January 2007 |

Women’s Self-Defense Class United Martial Arts Association in cooperation with Central Coast Yoga is proud to announce an exciting new program for women!

SARP in need of volunteer crisis counselors Take Action! The Sexual Assault Recovery and Prevention Center of SLO County is seeking compassionate men and women to work as volunteer crisis counselors/advocates. Volunteers work with teen and adult survivors of sexual assault and abuse, providing support and advocacy. The CA State-certified training program will be held February 13th through March 22nd on Tuesday and Thursday nights from 5:45 to 10:00pm. More information and applications for the training program may be obtained online at  or by contacting the SARP Center at 545-8888. Applications must be received by February 7, 2006.

Beginning January 9th, 2007, Sensei Dahrla Mailman will be teaching a Women’s SelfDefense class at Central Coast Yoga in Arroyo Grande. This class will run in 8-week sessions, 2 classes/week. Tuesdays & Thursdays - 1 to 2 P.M. Cost will be $199 Call 473-3102 or e-mail Sensei Dahrla @

January is National Mentoring Month

North County Women’s Shelter in Need of Volunteers The North County Women’s Shelter is in need of volunteers to provide assistance to victims of domestic violence. One of the most critical needs at this time is for volunteers willing to carry a phone that will connect them with clients on evenings and weekends.  These volunteers help women enter the shelter during non-business hours.  There is no need to counsel those who are picked up and taken to the shelter.  Training is provided, and volunteers are used only on an as needed basis.  The North County Women’s Shelter relies on volunteers to help support the shelter program and provide direct services to victims of domestic violence.  Volunteers are also needed to provide transportation, court appointments, brochure distribution, and help fundraising.  For details call the North County Women’s Shelter at 461-1338.

Community Counseling Center Winter, 2006 Weekly Support Group Schedule All groups are held at Community Counseling Center 1129 Marsh St., SLO All groups are $5/person/session NO DROP-IN GROUPS Call 543-7969 to inquire CURRENT GROUP CLOSED ACCEPTS NEW MEMBERS AGAIN in EARLY MARCH: Anger Management Therapy Group Monday Evenings – Call for time ­NOT for people seeking court-mandated treatment or who are in a current domestic violence situation. SEEKING PARTICIPANTS – Leave name and number; you will be called when group is ready to begin: Lesbian Support Group Monday Evenings – Call for time Moving Through Divorce: Support Group for Divorce-Related Issues Tuesday Evenings – Call for time Sunset Group: Adult Children of Aging Parents Thursday Evenings – Call for time Couples Group: Creating Loving, Intimate Relationships Saturday Mornings – Call for time

January has been designated as National Mentoring Month. Youth mentoring can make a big difference in the life of a child. It strengthens the family, positively influences the behavior of the child and is rewarding for the adult mentor. Nationwide studies conclude that children in mentoring programs do better in school, are less likely to get into trouble with the law, and have a higher self-esteem. Big Brothers Big Sisters was founded in 1904 and is the largest and most effective youth mentoring organization in the United States. Big Brothers Big Sisters of San Luis Obispo County has been serving the Central Coast since 1995 and has matched more than 850 children with caring adult role models. For more information on becoming a Big Brother or Big Sister, call 781-3226, or log onto

Explore Use of Passive Solar Design

San Luis Obispo: Slo Astrologers is a group whose mission is to provide classes and group discussions for those with an interest in astrology at all levels. Workshops for 2007 begin January 2nd and will continue the first and third Tuesday of each month from 7 - 8:30pm at theCoast National Bank Community Room at 500 Marsh Street in San Luis Obispo. Visit their website: Workshops are free. If you would like more information please call 805-546-3420 or email

The sixth event in the SLO Green Build Educational series LEARN BUILD SAVE will be held at San Luis Obispo’s Temple Beth David. The event, entitled “The Sun Also Rises,� explores the use of passive solar design principles to achieve building comfort, day lighting & ventilation, in the context of one of San Luis Obispo County’s premier examples of sustainable design, the new Temple Beth David. Applying these principles to existing structures to improve comfort and efficiency will also be covered. Our presenters will be architect Polly Cooper, from San Luis Sustainability Group, and professor Robert Pena, from Cal Poly’s Department of Architecture. While geared towards building professionals, all interested members of the general public are welcome to this event. WHEN: Wednesday January 24th, 6:00 – 8:30 P.M. A brief tour of this new facility will take place from 6-6:30 p.m. WHERE:  Temple Beth David, 10180 LOVR (Los Osos Valley Road at Foothill), San Luis Obispo, CA COST:  FREE! MORE INFO:  visit the web @ or email:

Your Ad Could Be HERE

New class in Course of Miracles The Course of Miracles is a spiritual philosophy, teaching the means to return to peace and unconditional love. Where: St. Timothy’s Church, 962 Piney Way, Morro Bay When: 2nd and 4th Saturday of each month, beginning January 13, 2007 Time: 4:00 PM to 5:30PM How: Each class will include lecture, meditation and fellowship For more information: Contact Cindy Maynard 748-5987 or Virginia Barrows 786-4725


Women’s Business Network of SLO Trade Show & Business Expo Wednesday, April 18th, 2007 11am-2pm (set-up time at 10am) Location: Monday Club 1815 Monterey Street, SLO (Corner of Grand) 805-546-3724

















January 2007 | | Women’s Press


Adults Molested as Children Support Group (AMAC)

Talk/Listen - Emotional support

Center for Alternatives to Domestic Violence

Transformations Counseling Center



(inc. domestic violence support groups) 461.1338





North County Women’s Shelter & Resource Center, Rape Survivors Support Group, SLO

SARP (Sexual Assault Recovery & Prevention) Support Group for Sexual Assault Survivors Women’s Shelter Program of SLO


Free monthly workshops 541.7908

Parkinson’s Support Groups

466.7226 (Atascadero/Templeton) 481.7424, 473.1714 (Arroyo Grande) 544.1342 (SLO)

SLO 549.9446

471.8102 (SLO)

544.2266 (SLO)






Consumer Credit Counseling Services



Mission Community Services Corporation Women’s Business Partners

Gay and Lesbian Alliance of the Central Coast

Planned Parenthood

Stroke Support Group

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


PFLAG.Parents & Friends of Lesbians & Gays




SOL (Single Older Lesbians)

Mostly socializing! Call 474.9405



545.8412; Dawn Williams



League of Women Voters



544.2266 and 434.1164


Women’s Recovery Home 481.8555




781.4275 800.549.7730

Cal Poly Foundation

AA Meeting

Adult Children of Alcoholics (ACA) Al-Anon

Cambria Connection (12 step support) Casa Solana

Compulsive eaters Anonymous, H.O.W.Concept Drug & Alcohol Services NA Overeaters Anonymous



929.1789 215.536.8026

SCA, SLAA & SAA (Sex, Love & Romance Addictions) TOPS (Take Off Pounds Sensibly) Women for Sobriety

CHILDREN & FAMILIES Childcare Resource Connection

AIDS Bereavement Group (Hospice) Hospice of SLO County

Hospice Partners of the Central Coast

AARP 788.2643

Code Pink

Commission on Status of Women Democratic Women United

NOW (National Organization for Women) SLO Green Party

Younger Women’s Task Force

Jobline 756.7107


541-4219 Jobline 546.3127

549.9656; contact Shirley Powell 788.2631 or 788.2690




544.1414 (SLO); 748.9070 (Arroyo Grande); 434.2081 (Templeton); 927.4290 (Cambria) 788.2601

Computer help: 528.3892

In-Home Support to the Elderly/Homemakers help with ADLs 781.1790 nursing help for the terminally ill 781.5540

544.4347 or 481.1793,


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

Cal Poly University Cuesta College

The Creekside Career Center

Department of Rehabilitation

Mission Community Services Corporation Women’s Business Partners Private Industry Council (PIC)

541.2272 or 800.727.2272

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



Core Mediation Services

781.4058; ask for Susan Hughs

Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA)

Adult Literacy Nightwriters

Sisters in Crime

Adult Day Care


Department of Social Services:

Children’s Services Network


First 5: Children & Families Commission


Homeschooling in SLO County (HSC)

La Clinica De Tolosa 238.5334 La Leche League

Lawyers Referral Services/Legal Aid Alternative


Migrant Childcare Program

Pro Per Divorce Workshop


462.0726; ask for Barbara

District Attorney’s Office – Victim Witness Center


Family Law Facilitator



544.4355 and 466.3444


473. 2548


541.8666; ask for Beth






534.9234 (LO); 547.3830 (SLO); 226.8669 (Templeton) Caregivers of Early-Stage Alzheimer’s 547.3830, 534.9234 (SLO/Los Osos)

MOMS Club of South SLO county Partnership for Children

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



Senior Legal Services

ALS Support Group (Lou Gehrig’s Disease) Alzheimer’s Support

American Cancer Society

Paso Robles 238.9657

Anorexia Nervosa & Bulimia Support Group


Arthritis Foundation


Cancer/ Breast Cancer Support Groups

543.1481 ext. 3 for information

Caregivers of Aging Parents

Equal Singles 60+ Meet Monthly

Foster Grandparents.Senior Companions Senior Peer Counseling

Circle of Spiritual Enlightenment


Sunday service, 10–11 AM; 772.0306


Mondays, 7:30–8:30 PM; 772.0306

Every Sunday, Coalesce Bookstore, MB

Awakening Interfaith Spiritual Community Central Coast Jewish Historical Society Meditation Group

New Beginnings Church


Homeless Shelter






549.8989 (crises), 781.6401 (business)

Housing Authority North County Women’s Resource Center, Shelter Prado Day Center Women’s Community Center, SLO


547.3830 (AG); 927.4290 (Cambria); 226.8669 (PR); 547.3830 (SLO)

434.2081 or 534.9234 or 800.443.1236


Co-Dependents Anonymous (CoDA)

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

(for breast cancer survivors) 771.8640


Community Counseling Center


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


A.D.A.P.T. (Aid in Divorce Adjustment Problems Today) Alzheimer/Dementia Resource Center

CALL–Concerned Agoraphobics Learning to Live

Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance Group Eating Disorders Support Group

546-3774; free, meets weekly in SLO Hospice of SLO County (inc. miscarriage/stillbirth support) 544.2266 or 434.1164 Safe and Sober Support Group


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

Senior Peer Counseling

Endometriosis Association Enhancement, Inc.

EOC Health Services Clinics

Healthworks of the Central Coast

no or low cost reproductive health services 787.0100 (SLO); 773.4500 (Pismo); 610.8865 (Atascadero)


Long-term Care Ombudsman Services of SLO County Lymphedema Education & Support Group

2nd Monday, 4:00-5:00 pm 782-9300 for info

Women’s Shelter Program of SLO

Altrusa International, Inc.

481.1039; Cici Wynn, President




Women’s Network, SLO


Central Coast Peace and Environmental Council

544.3399 or 783.2383

800.247.7421 or 458.5481

Compassion & Choices (formerly Hemlock Society) Please send additions, corrections or deletions to: or leave a message at the WCC: 805.544.9313. Last update 01/10/07.



Women’s Press | January 2007 |

Apothecary Skincare Boutique

Melissa, owner of Apothecary Skincare Boutique, was on her way to graduate school in sociology when she became interested in a Holistic Health Practitioner Program featuring herbology and then went on to study skincare. When she began her studies, she worked in an acupuncture massage clinic and was greatly inspired working with America Escobar, a talented wellness practitioner. Melissa, now a Licensed Esthetician, had experienced severe skin problems as a teen and then on into adulthood. She believes that if she hadn’t taken care of her skin with quality skincare products the result would have been much more severe acne scarring. However, she did develop inflammation and allergic responses to many synthetic substances in products on the market for skin care. That is why she is so pleased to offer the Epicuren line of products whose natural ingredients are from the Brazilian Rainforest. These plant enzymes were origi-

nally developed to help burn victims regenerate healthy skin. In her boutique, you feel suddenly relaxed by calming colors, sounds of water, and beautiful décor, because she believes that pampering oneself should serve as a mini-vacation from our high-stress modern lifestyle. She personally develops individual programs to meet each client’s needs, using just the right products for optimum results. Melissa says, “Self-esteem is so important, especially for women, and when you look better, you feel better; healthier and happier.” She takes appointments Monday-Saturday. Acupuncture and colon hydrotherapy are also offered. Her office is in SLO Integrative Health at 1318 Garden St., in SLO. Learn more at @ or call 805-712-4307.

Expert Care for Lymphedema and Chronic Swelling

Leslyn Keith, M.S.,OTR/L, has a Master’s degree in Occupational Therapy. The turning point in her professional career came while interning in Aquatic Therapy, during which she worked intensively with Lymphedema patients. Leslyn realized she had found her new direction. She became nationally certified in the Vodder Method , and, in 2001, decided to open her own business to specialize in treating this condition. Lymphedema is a chronic disorder that results from the accumulation of protein-rich fluid in body tissues, often caused by injury, scarring, infection, and cancer treatments involving lymph node removal and/or radiation therapy. If untreated, body parts (usually an arm or leg) become swollen and painful. Early treatment is best since symptoms worsen over time, limiting function and maybe even to serious infection. Complete Decongestive Therapy can reduce swelling, improve wound healing, and prevent life-threatening infection.

Leslyn’s associate, Michelle Johnson, OTR/ L, has been an occupational therapist since 1991, and is also nationally certified. She personalizes your program, taking the time to evaluate and address individual needs. “I like to think of our clients as being pampered,” says Michelle. These expert therapists offer a full program; measuring and supplying compression garments, offering appropriate exercises, education, tips on skin care and adaptive equipment if necessary. They also offer continuity of care, with follow-up and support groups as well as convenient out-patient services at locations in Paso Robles, Atascadero, Nipomo, and Santa Maria . A prescription is necessary to initiate treatment. Medicare and other private insurances (with pre-authorization) are accepted for services. Main office: 1061 Murray Ave., San Luis Obispo. (805) 782-9300

California Wellness Center

Meet Dr. Molly Stevens, D.C. Dr. Molly Stevens suffered from severe migraines as a child. Desperate, her parents tried everything until, at the age of seven, she started the chiropractic treatments that changed her life. She was no longer plagued with pain. While attending Cal Poly, majoring in kinesiology and pre-physical therapy studies, she met Rex Stevens, who was destined to be her partner. Their career paths paralleled as they went to Parker Chiropractic College in Dallas and also did post-graduate work in chiropractic neurology. Molly specializes in women’s health issues such as fibromyalgia and depression. She also enjoys working with pregnant women (pre-and post-natal) and children. She has worked with children with neuro-behavioral problems such as, autism, ADHD, etc. “I want all kids to growup healthy and for the parents to learn healthy

ways to live. We believe the only true cure is prevention,” explained Molly. Dr. Stevens helps her clients look at their lifestyle, habits, and choices as contributing factors to their physical condition. She thinks of the body as a house, with its foundation a healthy diet, good water, air, balanced emotion, etc. She takes the time to listen and assist clients to meet their goals for optimum function. Open 8:30 AM -6 PM and Saturday by appt., the California Wellness Center strives to be a resource center through networking with other professionals and asking the appropriate questions to clients to direct them to the best referrals to meet their needs. They have three professional chiropractors and a certified massage therapist on staff.


SLO Integrative Health Body Cleansing Through Colon Hydrotherapy

Terry Allard worked in her Santa Barbara clinic as a colon hydrotherapy practitioner for 18 years. Jessica Huston was one of her clients. After experiencing enormous benefits from these treatments, Jessica decided she would like to help others as well, using this form of therapy. She studied with Terry, became certified, and they began working together. Seeing a need for a northern location, they envisioned a Center integrating other special therapies and SLO Integrative Health was created in 2006. Other practitioners at the Center include an acupuncturist (herbologist) specializing in women’s issues, Patrick Paine 5411980, and a licensed esthetician, Mellisa Handley. 805-712-4317.  Terry and Jessica both individualize each client’s treatment plan so that it works with their lifestyle and meets their own health goals. They

Make New Friends, Meet New People... Volunter With The Women’s Press! Call 544-9313.

take the time to educate each  person and walk them through every step of the detoxification process. Colon hydrotherapy is a safe, effective method for removing wastes from the large intestine without using drugs or stimulants. This cleansing empowers all systems to function at their optimum, affording cleansing on many levels. “It could be a very important piece in getting the body, mind, and spirit back into balance,” said Terry. Colonics assist with such conditions as constipation, poor digestion, environmental toxins, PMS, acne, fatigue, depression, bloating, and arthritis. Effects may range from very subtle to life changing. “Consistency with regular treatments is important to get the best results. This isn’t a one-time cure-all,” states Jessica. For more information or to make an appointment, call (805) 541-2219.

Ask us about buying a business profile for $149. Call 544-9313.