30 October 2017

Wisdom from the Earth: Deepening Connection with the Web of Life

Focus Talk by Chris Farrow-Noble

October 19, 2017
Lighting the candle,
May the sun bring you new energy by day,
May the moon softly restore you by night,
May the rain wash away your worries,
May the breeze blow new strength into your being,
May you walk gently through the world and know its beauty
all the days of your life.
-Apache blessing

I’ve always felt closely connected to the Earth and Nature. My parents sometimes said, in a half-joking, half-serious way, that Nature was their religion. In my younger years, my natural highs were in the middle of nature – camping on the deep pine needles beneath the pines; hearing the sound of my skis on the dry snow and seeing the bluest sky between dark greens; or walking a shoreline, hearing the slip and slide of the water over rocks and sand, feeling content and peaceful. I chose to spend my precious free time in nature…hiking and camping in New Zealand, Switzerland, New England. In 2000 I had the life-changing experience of five weeks in East Africa among the elephants, leopards, wildebeests, rhinos, hippos, snakes, and 200 types of birds.

In more recent decades, my connection has been less intense. Now, living in the city, among buildings, streets, and primarily human-made structures, I’ve felt more separate from nature. I haven’t hiked, camped, or skied in years. I long to walk on an open beach, but instead, my steps take me around beautiful urban blocks with lovely trees. In the demanding pace of today’s life, I can sometimes go for days without registering nature around me.

And now, with the crisis front and center and all around us about the dangers that our natural world is facing, I am brought, face to face, with the absolute need to pay close attention to Nature. I’m aware of melting glaciers and widespread people and animals dealing with winds, water, hurricanes, and temperature. I am more aware of the impact of human beings on our tender, fragile yet resilient planet.

In fact, at this moment, each of the four primary elements is speaking to us on a global scale: Air and Wind ravaged recently in the form of Hurricane Edna, Jose, Maria and Orphelia in Ireland and Scotland. Wildfires continue in Northern California, the Northwest, and Portugal. Water is presenting itself in many forms – floods from Hurricane Harvey and Edna, tsunamis, low reservoirs. Earth is moving significantly in earthquakes and mudslides.

Yet since 1999 I have had a relationship with the labyrinth, and this companion has brought me opportunities to experience the web of life around me. These ancient designs have offered me chances to co-exist and create with the four elements. As an example, on my field-mown labyrinth in Maine that Chris and I created in 2005 for our wedding, I honored the four directions with the four elements, as represented in some Native American cultures. In the East, I honored Air and Spirit by placing a double drum for walkers to beat with a wooden stick. In the South, I honored Fire and placed a cairn of stones to represent Creativity, inviting people to add their stones. In the West, I honored Water and placed a blue bowl of fresh water for the Unknown, inviting walkers to cool themselves and the path with its moisture. In the North, I honored the Earth and placed a sitting Buddha on an oak stump with a mat for kneeling. Upon reaching each of these directions, I often paused, contemplated the element and its effect on me, asked for guidance or direction, and then walked on, slowly. I walked often from 2005 to 2014.

Then, in January 2014, I committed myself to walk a labyrinth every day and to record my experiences in order to explore this as a spiritual practice. I had never done anything every day for a year; I didn’t grow up with a religious practice of praying, meditating or even attending church regularly.

My joyful news today is that I have just published my journal of this year! (Hold it up.) Little did I know that one of the most profound results of this experiment would involve my relationship with Nature and the people in my life. I hadn’t felt an ongoing connection to nature for years. Yet through 2014, I felt a familiar intimate pull to Nature…to be more closely aware of all that was happening around me…and inside me…and in relationship to the people of my life. Let me share a few incidents from my book:

Page 95: “June 12. A low-flying Northern Tarrier Hawk was hunting close to the tips of the field grasses, dipping down with a slanting dive to hunt for small birds or mammals. He or she spanned the distance from MacArthur’s driveway to the far edge near the road. Now another large bird, perhaps the juvenile Eagle, flew and settled on a high branch of the highest evergreen at the small cluster of trees or copse at the corner. It wasn’t there long before it dropped down behind the tree. Perhaps it too caught sight of some meal. “
Page 102: “June 26. Oh, look! A turtle in our driveway! Turtle came to the labyrinth walk. Turtle with its earth wisdom and ancient presence. My neighbor says it is probably a snapping turtle, black shell, no color, probably a female laying eggs in the sandy driveway. The turtle moved slowly toward the trees. When I went back outside, she was nowhere to be seen. Imagine! Our first big turtle came to our walk.
And a profound learning experience from Nature, my teacher, from October 21st (page 156)
“Today is the day that Jake died. Today is the day I found Sparrow on the deck by the hot tub. I placed it on a large boulder down by Parker Stream. This is the third time that I’ve found a dead bird on the day that someone important in my life has died:
• May 19, 2002: I found the nest of dead birds and empty eggs in Lake Arrowhead on this day when Bette Noble died.
• October 23, 2002: I found a dead bird under the bush near the Bird of Paradise in front of Mom and Dad’s house on this day when Dad died.
• Today, October 21: I found a dead sparrow on the back deck on this day when Jake died.”
I rediscovered that my connection to Nature was always present, even when I only saw ordinary insects and plants. Increasingly I felt these small beings acknowledged my presence:

(Page 107): “July 4: One of those brilliant neon turquoise insects was on the side of the blue water bowl in the West. I moved it slightly to help it get out, and it fell back in. I got it out again, and it hopped immediately onto my hand. Then it flew to my shoulder and then to my back. I wasn’t certain where it was, but I kept walking to the Center. It was on me the whole way to the Center because when I arrived there, it dropped off onto the rocks. I like to imagine that it chose to walk the labyrinth with me. “

I recall this moment vividly. I am grateful that I had slowed down enough to register it as I experienced it. I can’t know with any certainty the existence of its awareness of me, but I can share what happened.
While walking the outdoor labyrinths in various seasons, I personally felt the impact of water, wind, cold, warmth, humidity, rain, ice, snow and the changing of the seasons. I felt the resemblance to walking the highlands of Scotland in April; I could see the devastation of the microburst on my mini-ecological sphere of the labyrinth. I could feel the relief of the snow-laden branches as I shook the extra weight of snow off. I smiled at the resistance of ice on the bottom of the bricks when I tried to move them before they had thawed. I deeply missed the connection between the soles of my feet and the earth when I had to stay inside and walk a finger labyrinth. Metaphors abound.
As I wrote my daily journal entries, I sometimes added a simple Thank you. Not to any particular deity or person or god, just a simple expression of thanks for something from that day. Some examples are “Thank you for the soft light so I could walk the labyrinth after dark; “Thank you, dear old Norway maple, for being there when I’m not, and when I am!” (page 112) “Thank you for this time of walking prayer.” (page 63)

I have also sensed a deeper connection to the intricate layers of life and death, present, past and future, through my nighttime dreams. I have kept dream journals since 1985 and am always stunned when I experience people who have died as well as those who are still living. My mother, Eleanor Dietrich Farrow, died on March 19, 2016; I have dreamed several times of her since then, as well as my dad, and other relatives who have died. Dreams can be critical connecting thread between this life and beyond. Here are two family dreams: The first is a dream on August 22, 2016, exactly 40 years to the day after my younger brother Don died. It’s titled “Don.”
Dream Journal, red flag)“I am bringing some tray or food to give to people under a tree in the city. I put it down on the ground and, suddenly, the person who was there stands up, straight and tall. It is Don! He says, “I was expecting a representation from you.” He is right beside me, fully seen – his face, his body. I am so aware that I haven’t seen him this fully or completely in my dreams. “

The second is a joyful one of my mother from July 15th of this year, entitled “Mom and her Suitcase.” (Dream Journal, yellow flag)

I am near Mom when she flops into a large roomy fabric suitcase and says, “I love this suitcase!”  I don’t really see her face.”

So, in my youth I chose to be in nature for recreation, inspiration, and beauty. During my full-time teaching, being single, and co-parenting time, I spent far less time in nature. In the last 15 years, I have found connection again through the labyrinth pathways and precious time with my loving new husband, Chris. Throughout my life, I have always treasured connection and sustained links with family and friends in my daytime life and nighttime dreams.
Yet now, I have a desire to connect at a deeper level with the compelling call of nature. We are in a crisis. I want to offer my gifts of writing, singing, and photography. I liken my voice to a stone thrown into still water with expanding ripples emanating from that stone. I want to be such a stone, as well as part of the rippling actions. I want to help inform others of the potentially catastrophic changes in our natural world. We are interdependent and influenced by each other’s actions and lack of actions. I want to be a positive force within a community of people who are taking steps forward together.

Nature, like nightmares, is calling to us, screaming at us to pay attention and take action. I want to “add my voice into the fight,” as Phil Ochs wrote so profoundly in 1966 in his song, When I’m Gone.
I’ll close with two verses from this song. Please join me.
All my days won’t be dances of delight when I’m gone
And the sands will be shifting from my sight when I’m gone
Can’t add my name into the fight when I’m gone
So I guess I’ll have to do it while I’m here.

There’s no place in this world where I’ll belong when I’m gone
And I won’t know the right from the wrong when I’m gone
And you won’t find me singing on this song when I’m gone
So I guess I’ll have to do it while I’m here.”
By Phil Ochs
© 1966 Barricade Music Inc
Rise Up Singing, page 229.

Thank you for being here today.
Chris Farrow-Noble, October 19, 2017

Link to the worldwide labyrinth locator is:  https://labyrinthlocator.com

30 March 2017

WomenExplore Lecture and Discussion Forum reflects on significance of media

The following is a reposting of Johnathan Kindall's review of a day at WomenExplore's lectures on 16th March 2017.  It was published on 21st March 2017 in the Daily Free Press, the independent student newspaper at Boston University.

Stephanie Leydon speaks Thursday afternoon at the Democracy Center
about how media acts as an informer and manipulator in today’s society. 

March 21, 2017  by Johnathan D. Kindall

WGBH television and radio reporter Stephanie Leydon met with a group of Boston residents and students at the Democracy Center in Cambridge Thursday afternoon to discuss power, problems and importance of modern media and communication.
WomenExplore, a longstanding lecture and discussion forum, hosted the talk. The self-characterized charity with an educational focus was officially founded as the Theological Opportunities Program at Harvard Divinity School in 1973, but the origins of the group stretch as far back as the 19th century.
Every spring and fall, WomenExplore holds a 10-week lecture series. A different guest speaker is brought in every week, and the listeners discuss a topic for nearly two hours. The theme for the Spring 2017 sessions is “From Monologue to Dialogue: Building Community.”
Lindsa Vallee, of Brookline, has attended WomenExplore meetings for more than a decade. Vallee, who moderated Leydon’s lecture and discussion, said she finds every meeting uniquely stimulating.
The topics, speakers and discussion keep my brain alive,” Vallee said. “They keep me thinking and aware of new issues.”
Each guest lecture is preceded by a “focus talk,” a short presentation from a member of WomenExplore that opens up the floor and prepares the minds of the group for the topic at hand.
Barbara Villandry, from Nashua, New Hampshire, provided the focus for Leydon’s lecture.
Villandry reflected on the days of Walter Cronkite and Edward Murrow, and reminded many of the attendees about a time where it seemed as if the news could be wholly trusted.
She voiced her concerns with the current state of the media, going as far as to draw comparisons between now and the times of Joseph McCarthy and his Communist witch hunt.
The pendulum swings both ways,” Villandry said before giving the floor to Leydon. “And I hope that we will soon be back to a place where truth reigns supreme.”
The event then transitioned into Leydon’s lecture, which was centered around her recent attention to partisan divisions and the media following the 2016 presidential election. The title was “The Media: Informer or Manipulator? The Public: Discerning or Naïve?”
In the months since the election it’s been my professional obsession,” Leydon said to the audience. “I can’t get enough of the divide story.”
Leydon’s feature on WGBH, “Greater Bostonians,” often focuses on individuals and their personal stories. The show’s mission is to highlight those passionate about social change.
People let me into their homes and there’s a human connection,” Leydon said.
However, that connection isn’t always easy to make, she said.
We’ve moved beyond identity politics, to politics being our identity,” Leydon said.
She continued to explain how, when she is working on segments for “Greater Bostonians,” many of those walls thrown up in defense of political identity start crumbling.
She drew on these grounded, everyday stories in her lecture.
One such story was that of a New Hampshire couple named Ben and Laura. The two, who had never been particularly active politically, were faithful Trump supporters in the election.
Leydon talked and checked in with the couple at multiple points throughout the election process, and her coverage of real, hardworking and honest Trump supporters resonated with a lot of her Boston listeners, some of whom had never met an ardent Trump fan in person.
Leydon said she wishes the mainstream media would have paid more attention to smaller stories like this during and after the election. She characterizes stories like Ben and Laura’s as a “window to our collective identity.”
She also said she believes that such a focus would begin to bridge the gap between the two sides of the political spectrum. She emphasized the importance of a media-literate public that can recognize blatantly false news and has the skills necessary to seek out truth.
The basis for media literacy is critical thinking, she said, but specific and catered media literacy classes in schools could be a vital step in the process.
I don’t know how we have a discerning public without a media literate public,” Leydon said.
Vallee agreed with the necessity of starting a dialogue, which is exactly what WomenExplore is attempting to do with their lectures and discussions.
The election results tell us that there hasn’t been enough dialogue in our country,” Vallee said.
Vallee said she believes that anything that opens up a discussion can create a more united country.
Leydon does not plan to stop telling the stories of real, everyday people on either side of the political divide anytime soon, commenting that even the discussion following her lecture gave her ideas for new stories.
I’m a journalist,” Leydon said. “When I go out, I have a microphone and a camera. Sometimes I remember to bring a pen and paper. But most of all, I have my ears to listen.”

03 November 2016

Where's the Hope?: Innovation in Education

Focus talk given on 6th October 2016
—Jan Rosenberg

My journey as a teacher began in 1978, when I was a reading tutor in a public school in Hartford, Ct. All of my students came from one of the poorest housing projects in an economically challenged city. Two years later I moved to Maynard MA. From then until my retirement in 2009, I worked in the field of special education within public middle and high schools in high socio-economic status communities. Since retirement I have been a long-term substitute teacher, and an ESL tutor in Lowell. I also taught two summer sessions of the reading program at the Boston Arts Academy, remediating reading skills with rising tenth and eleventh graders.

At the outset I would like to state my core beliefs. First, robust public education, while a challenging project, is essential to democracy. Strong teachers’ unions support, rather than harm, quality education. Teaching again has to be made viable as a profession and as an entrée into the middle class. Finally, I believe that the underlying inequities of our society have to be addressed. Generally speaking, poor students have less opportunity for a high quality education that those living in high SES communities. It has been over fifty years since the War on Poverty and Civil Rights Movement, and yet, according to a recent article in the Christian Science Monitor, “school segregation has become even worse in recent decades. A report by the US Government Accountability Office earlier this year found that the percentage of public schools with high concentrations of poor and black and Hispanic students has nearly doubled since 2000.”

In my view the two most significant and large-scale drivers of change in education over the last two decades have been the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, and the voucher/charter school/corporate reform movements. NCLB demanded greater accountability via yearly tests of student achievement in the areas of reading and math as determined by each state. If the required improvements were not made each year, schools, were punished with decreased funding, and ultimately, by state takeover. Because absolute, not relative improvement was sought, schools were labeled as failing even if improvements in performance had been made. Having had students enter high school with minimal reading, writing, or math skills, I can say that I strongly believe in accountability around student learning. However, as a full participant during those years, my observation was that the testing regime contributed to increased anxiety for both teachers and students, impacted negatively the amount of time devoted to learning, and increased “teaching to the test”. On the other hand, I observed a principal-led initiative around writing responses to open-ended questions that was easily actionable, and which made a significant difference both in school culture and in the student performance of that school on the NAEP (National Assessment of Educational Progress), which is a yearly assessment given to a random group of students that predated NCLB. By 2015 so much criticism of No Child Left Behind had accumulated from across the political spectrum, that Congress took away the national features and replaced it with the Every Student Succeeds Act, passed in December 2015. ESSA limits the role of the federal government, but continues to require annual testing between third and eighth grades.

The second driver of change has been the voucher/charter school/corporate reform movement. While its history is very long and complex, it has roots both as a parent-led movement to increase options and successful educational experiences for their children, and as a libertarian free-market economy belief in a profit-based education system in which resources are controlled by private entities rather than locally-based and publicly elected school boards. Therein lies the problem! This cause has been taken up by the Koch Brothers and their related network as well as other billionaires, like the Walton family. Public schools and teachers are to them, examples of how regulation does not work. While we have many excellent charter schools in Massachusetts, we also have Question #2 on our November ballots. If approved, this would lift the cap on charter schools, and divert, over time, greater amounts of money from the public schools, as well as removing local decision- making from the school districts with regard to any new charters.  So, what else is wrong with this picture? More charters essentially leave the problem of inequity in access to quality education untouched. Charter schools can choose their students in a way that leaves out the neediest. In addition, national experience with charter schools indicate that without greater oversight and transparency, charters are vulnerable to corruption and fraud. Finally, the effectiveness of charters has not been demonstrated in a consistent manner.

So what has happened to educators as a result of these two large drivers of change? Working conditions have deteriorated, and it has become more difficult to not only recruit, but to hold on to excellent teacher candidates who might have entered the field. Schools and teachers have been told to do more with less AND score higher on tests. Teachers have been demonized; there has been a very active campaign to eliminate tenure and procedural safeguards for teachers in conflict with their administrators. In fact, there has been an active campaign to deprofessionalize teaching, placing inadequately trained people into classrooms. Emphasis has shifted from qualitative to quantitative evaluation systems, with punitive rather than collaborative consequences, akin to the punitive responses to insufficient growth on NCLB scores. Inadequate resources for the support of students with learning needs and mental health issues continue to be the norm rather than the exception. At the same time teachers have been confronted by increasingly complex students with learning needs, mental health issues, and language challenges in their classrooms. Corporate reformers are also pushing online monitoring of student performance and universal data collection, as well as personalized teaching via digital device – another way to eliminate teachers!

So where’s the hope in education? I see hope in a number of corners. As a special educator, I see hope in the growing research base on addressing dyslexia, specifically when and how. There is no need, if we choose to make resources available, for students to suffer through k-12 without knowing how to read. Similarly, I see growing improvements and sophistication in how to work with students on the autism spectrum, including how to transition such students to the worlds of work and higher education. I also see great hope in the Massachusetts initiative to create trauma-sensitive schools, which has the potential to impact a large number of students. Yet another source of hope for education includes such programs as CARE for teachers, or Cultivating Awareness and Resilience for Educators. It is a unique program “designed to help teachers reduce stress and enliven their teaching by promoting awareness, presence, compassion, reflection, and inspiration- the inner resources they need to help students flourish socially, emotionally, and academically”. Hope also lies in the many teacher-led initiatives to improve the quality of curriculum, pedagogy, and delivery of services, about which one rarely hears.

Ultimately, hope lies in an informed citizenry, committed teachers who are respected and well-paid, and in the students themselves, who are very much worth fighting for.


09 June 2016


—A message from Lindsa

The Watertown library is hosting a showing of the film SHE’S BEAUTIFUL WHEN SHE’S ANGRY, by Mary Dore and Nancy Kennedy.  The date is June 22, a Wednesday evening, with screening and discussion.  The tag line for the film is: “a dive into 2nd wave feminism”.


13 April 2016


Karen Voght, Wellness, Inc.
Good morning! Thank you inviting me to speak about The Body in Motion, and for this opportunity to share my passion for bringing wellness skills to children early on in their lives ...through their ABCs.

I'd like to 1st introduce you to my esteemed colleagues. This is Adam and Eve, the first human bipeds who needed to adapt to earth's pull of gravity on their new 'upright posture' and freed-up hands and feet. And this is Valkyrie, a NASA Robot in training. When they heard I'd be speaking to Women Explore, about bodies in motion, they asked to form a panel. They'd been wanting to practice for CSPAN, so they gave me their script and assigned me the role of interviewer! (BTW, they apologize for their lack of attire, but we thought it best for you to see their body's inner support network of muscles, and why they need to keep them in balanced and in good working order for the inner and outer wellbeing of our species)
They understand that biped muscles are designed to behave like faithful soldiers who non-judgmentally 'repeat directions' sent to them by physical, imagined, and artificially generated stimulations. This includes encrypted language codes, which, as sensori-motor representations, get programmed into their body's automatic responses systems ...just at different levels of awareness. What originally conditions them will retrigger their memory recall.
The process of language encryption begins in utero. This altered the way bi-pedal children began developing motor memory differently than when their parents communicated primarily through body language. With alphabetically linguistic mothers, children's muscles began to respond to the sounds of their mother's phonemes in the 7th month in utero. A different muscle responds to each phoneme (sort of like the keys on a piano). No two children will respond to the same phonemes with the same muscles, and each will have a slightly different time pace. It appears that children produce similar motor responses to similar human and simulated speech sounds: NOTE: Studies done on babies' mothers show that replacing a mute mother's lack of voice by a tape recording placed on her womb in the last trimester would enable the baby to incorporate those primary sounds of language (*Condon, W. )
This research made us wonder how today's world, increasingly filled with the artificial sounds of machine-produced languages, might possibly have the potential to alter the very 'nature' of a child's ability to RESPOND to the early sounds of his or her own 'mother'. As Natural language processing technology has become the holy grail of companies like Google, Microsoft, Facebook, etc., we began to question how alphabet-related technologies might be increasingly influencing the wellbeing of a biped child's life as well. It is these questions, and our concern over the increased impact corporate profiteering is having on the wellbeing of our society, and the future of our children, that has the panel in a quandary, and what we would like to explore with you today:
ADAM would like to start by sharing his concern. ...A long time ago, he detected that the direction his and Eve's lives took 'seemed' to have been scripted by the very first copy of a Biblical Story, published by the new Guttenberg Printing Press, that allowed it to be 'economically marketed' to people worldwide ...the remote source of its words unknown and unverifiable (containing only 1st names and mostly unconfirmable dates). In that story we were driven out of Paradise for eating an APPLE, and cast into a frightening, yet fascinating world of wild UNKNOWNS, with the need to forage for food, and find protection as the first human 'bipeds' subject to earth's pull of gravity on our muscles. As facilitators and organizers of increasingly flexible body's movements, supporters of upright postures, and recorders of the impact our new heel-toe ergonomics would have on mapping the GPS of our brains, we learned ways to move, survive, and flourished in nature's environments as nomads, hunters, gatherers, and agriculturalists, through the cooperative power of our smart bodies, brains,& imaginations. Ubiquitous Alphabet writing and reading tools, however had begun to forever change the STORIES of our lives.
EVE ... lately we feel as though we are being rescripted into a more modern day STORY version of The Land Of Oz In The Age Of Digital Machines. Ironically, it is also a time where yet a bite of another APPLE again seems to be becoming a big source of societal change! We understand that the way the mobility of our bodies maps our immobile brains determines what type of a life we live. But these day's our muscles feel quite underappreciated, afraid they can't keep up with the pace of change, and concerned they may soon be unemployable!
You see, generations of over-dependency on fine-motor, audio-visually taught alphabet education for the masses slowly diminished our body's need to move to communicate ... displacing the rich information acquired by our other bodily senses (why Shakespeare may have become so famous); increasing toxic stress buildup; and altering our capacity to sense natural vs synthetic pheromones (the scent of a human, etc), to touch and comfort, perspire and inspire, to explore, invent, rest and emote, and even the way we reproduce. Increased lack of our X-lateral, bipedal body movements led to progressively sedentary and domesticated lifestyles ... changing O2-CO2 ratios/heart strength, blood flows, unevenly balanced right - left brain mapping, foresight and ability to plan, to modulate our emotions, and to maintain the pull of gravity's force on the larger muscles of our hips, legs, pelvic and spinal regions. But most important has become the loss of our capacity to detect truth and generate predictability in an age where a universal communication tool for the masses can instantaneously edit and rescript a user's reality from a distance, along with their user's capacities for movement that is
fundamentally vital to maintaining body health and wellbeing on planet earth.
“Today’s brain is a consequence, not a precursor of symbolic language. Language can change our response
system faster than evolution changes our genes”. T. Deacon, Author, The Symbolic Species.
ADAM ALPHABET TOOLS EXPANDED into alphabet keyboard finger-typing tools; computers; internets; smart phones; chat rooms, emails, texts, blogs, touch screens, and software ...endless forms of upper body, fine-motor communication devices. Soon, it seemed that, with the right tools, anything or anyBODY could be photo shopped into or out of a story's appeal and intent. TV, Disney movies, and online games altered our brain's synaptic threshold levels with larger than life, colors, sounds and actions of fantastical characters to levels unable to have been previously perceive by our bodies.
Artificially enhanced levels of perception began to make mere mortals (earthlings) appear insignificant, especially as movies combined overloads of simulated auditory 'noises' which foster a state of disassociated hearing that weakens connections between words and pictures.
Eve & Adam requested to bring this to your attention as they now see a societal pattern that is increasingly impacting our youth, namely, the speeding up of fine-motor eye tracking movements while physically disconnecting the body's larger motor movements through the ubiquitous use of screen technologies. Reading and listening skills become disrupted as pop up adds, scrolling texts, dubbing, and digital news trackers on screens take our eyes and ears in different directions that do not always synchronize voice messaging with the images seen on the screen. The ubiquity of such devices increases peer pressure to fit in. Unfortunately, increasing numbers of industries are being spawned that market stories which capitalize on levels of societal anxieties, and then develop products to 'comfort and heal'.
EVE Today, governments, corporations and educational institutes increasingly employ DIGITALLY ALPHABETIZED STORY TELLING to market their products. We live in an increasingly convoluted world where fear sells. Their stories incorporate language elements of fear and comfort to capture their buying audience's attention. Incorporating our muscularized bodies into their storylines has even led to corporations now being legitimized as real people by the supreme court.
ADAM & EVE SAMPLES of this duplicitous marketing strategy abound:
Where would cosmetic companies, Insurance companies, and Legal systems be if we were not increasingly bombarded by constant advertising stories preying on our vulnerable natures?
Facebook's thumbs-up logo now connects all our bodies with only one digit on our hand. (Facebook dependency)Their bodiless Emoji are increasingly replacing language as part of our younger culture's internet communications. Even China markets are now looking into creating a common bodiless language of emoji with Facebook. Do they ever wonder how a child in utero will learn the phonemes of that language?
GOOGLE rebranded to ALPHABET (a brand word every child world wide will readily recognize!) Yet warns those that use AdBlockers will not be allowed to use their Search engine.
APPLE claims to protect privacy while it tracks and records each stroke we TYPE with, and designs Siri, their natural language processing assistant, to be a universal voice that also tracks our locations and inquiries ... all while inserting terms of service that overwhelm any mere mortals capacity to read or interpret.
Political campaigns create stories/ Big tech investing creates stories
Media chooses which stories to air that will constrict our muscles and hype up our adrenaline. Military/Wars/gun manufacturers all have a story: ISIS vs over-domesticated, sedentarily bred and educated citizenry. One and all is able to advertise their wares on Facebook as the number of internet searches (clicks) and purchases generate markets and income for their cause.
Surveillance technologies abound: ( http://www.buzzfeed.com/peteraldhous/spies-in-the- skies?ncid=newsltushpmg00000003 ) What if there is a typo error or a similar address spelling!
BIG PHARM repeatedly speed product side-effect warnings across their TV screen commercials: Do they miss any part of our bodies that can't get diseased?
Health ethics cannot keep up with the speed of changes to our bodies and brains from precision medicine, neuro technologies, and computerization of medicine.
Spam and bots provide huge numbers of CLICKS that help prioritize Social Media marketing messages.

Space stories help our bodies escape to the moon and other planets only suitable for robots, while we watch real children & their families on planet EARTH experience the largest migration since World war ll. Religions have always communicated through the power of stories _____________________________________________________________________________________ VALKYRIE HOW WILL OUR CHILDREN LEARN TO MOVE? Babies muscles are magical as gravity has not yet taken over. But commercial enterprises take over earlier and earlier as they learn the value of entraining kids' muscles to use fake money charge cards ... turning them into trained consumers as soon as their little digits and eye muscles adapt to fine-motor accuracy tracking skills. Earth parents and educators can't compete with digital fantasticality and its impact on youths' addiction to fiction. Fantasticality has replaced humanitality. Who among us is safe from being written into a STORY and STORED at some unknown Corporate data bank in the cloud. And now, they've learned that Neuro tissue has the ability, if you punch/type in information to it, it will take you to your goal! Heaven help us if there is a neuro-typo Spellchecker doesn't catch!!
Yes we are well on the way to becoming a new hybrid earth species. But, as an astronaut robot, I do wonder how future earth children will learn to move as space stories increasingly excite and incite their muscles and their minds for life in space only suitable for a robot (0 gravity in Space alters emotional capacities), especially now that Astronaut Scott Kelly, upon return from one year in space, lets us know about the eye, bone density, emotionalities, and muscle atrophy risks of space ..AND that his feet don't get to touch ground and foster the benefits of X-laterality in micro gravity environments.
1. It looks like we may have been seduced again by an APPLE to put too much trust into an increasingly universal alphabet writing tool held in the palm of our hands!
2. OR, is it that original sense of warmth, comfort, nurturance, and freedom from gravity in the mother's womb that causes us muscles to seek gravity-free space adventures?
3. OR, or is it the calm feeling Alpha Waves trigger when our eyes look up toward the heavens that frees us from the constant Beta Wave activity of our eyes darting from left to right to read all of those alphabetically encrypted stories!
Thank you for exploring this quandary with us today.
  1. As stories can fake-out our interior motor responses and feelings that exhaust and damage, as
    well as enhance our immune systems, ask yourselves 'Whose lips, hips, and fingertips your own words are moving when YOU speak/read/write/teach/learn/self-talk/imagine/dream/and tell secrets or tall tales!
  2. Be sure to ALPHABETIZE lots of kindness and caring into your words.
  3. OR, at the minimum, GET THEE TO AN ALPHABET PT !(http://www.alphabetfitness.org)
    ©2016. Wellness, Inc.

01 April 2016

About Karen Voght

On Thursday 31st March 2016 WomenExplore was privileged to hear a "panel discussion" presented by Karen Voght, Founder/CEO Wellness, Inc., MA/WA,  Global Health Through the ABCs www.alphabetfitness.org on the topic of "The Body in Motion", a part of the Spring 2016 lecture series on the theme "Caring for Ourselves... Caring for the World...  Creating a Healthy and Meaningful Life from the Inside Out".

Karen Voght is a Long Island - raised child; transplanted to W. Hartford, CT for her adolescence; a Graduate of Psychology; and the co-author of the original Child-care Licensing Laws for the State of CT, Maternal & Child Health Care Div.  She became a successful entrepreneurial Real Estate developer in Wrentham, MA while raising 2 very entertaining children; and has spent the last portion of her life applying her love of research and innovation to generating stress prevention tools for young children to help them grow up healthy, happy and well.  She became the founder/CEO of Wellness, Inc., and her creative tool of choice became the alphabet! 

         Karen had done a large amount of testing her program's concept developments with inner city YMCA preschool programs - primarily Hispanic 4-5 year olds - and discovered that many inner city impoverished areas did not have the wherewithall to expose their children to the potential for wonderful imagination, so she set out to find possible causes. Those causes narrowed down to an excess of life stressors within families and communities;  lack of natural play and active body movement due to unsafe neighborhoods;  and lack of healthy adult role models (parents and educators).

         Being aware of the imagination's need for rich sensory stimulations and fully cross-lateralized body movements Karen set out to redesign the 26 letters of the alphabet (a learning tool learned by all children) into Alphabet Fitness Fonts to activate children's bodies while they were learning the fundamentals of alphabet communication skills!  Her typable font character would become the children's literacy and fitness coaches.  Chimp Shakespeare's ABCs taught the 3-4 yr. olds alphabet yoga-like workouts, and Akiddo Kids font taught body language communication to the older children.  Miss Spells was saved for smaller groups of just girls (like in the Democratic Republic of Congo's all-girls school)  She even designed the first Alphabet Fitness Puzzles with her Chimp fonts for Chimp Sanctuary fundraisers, and a special Miss Spells' Boston Herald Puzzle edition for literacy..  Please feel free to find tons more at the Alphabet Fitness website: www.alphabetfitness.org.  Many free downloads are there for you, your children and grandchildren to exercise their bodies along with their classmates and playmates; brothers, sisters, and cousins; parents, grandparents, and educators too!

         As Karen is concerned about corporate profiteering on the future of our children’s wellbeing, she'd like to EXPLORE the topic of her talk today: "JUST WHO IS MOVING OUR LIPS, HIPS, AND FINGERTIPS IN THE DIGITAL AGE?"!