Archive for May, 2008

Women for Women – Empowering survivors of war

I have been holding on rather too tight to the idea of this post. I wanted it to be perfect. I was hopeful that in an exchange of letters with my own ‘sister’ in Nigeria I would gain permission to tell her story. However, given the time and logistics this will only delay telling you about what I believe to be a really important and nourishing initiative.

I first heard about Women for Women through friends and soon after I had the privilege to hear founder and CEO Zainab Salbi speak at a conference. Ms. Salbi was the breakfast keynote on what we had all expected to be a informative October morning, yet by 9.30am we were far more than just educated, we were emotional and humbled.

Women for Women is an organization set up to help survivors of war, they are the only organization solely dedicated to women’s development needs that operates in the heart of conflict-afflicted areas in countries such as DR Congo and Iraq. They also continue to have a long-term commitment in post-conflict countries like Bosnia and Herzegovina and Rwanda, critical given emergency relief agencies, the media and public attention have long since moved to focus on the next crisis.

“It is essential that we pay attention to what women go through as they live through war and as nations are rebuilt. We often only see women in grassroots communities as the victims of wars, but they are the true active participants in rebuilding their nations. The women we serve are the unseen warriors for humanity. Their weapons are not guns but guts. If we can stabilize the women we can stabilize their communities and their countries. As each woman engages in a multi-phase process of recovery and rehabilitation, she opens a window of opportunity presented by the end of conflict to help improve the rights, freedoms and status of women in her country. As women who go through our program assume leadership positions in their villages, actively participate in the reconstruction of their communities, build civil society, start businesses, train other women and serve as role models, they become active citizens who can help to establish lasting peace and stability.

Women begin in our Sponsorship Program where direct financial aid from a sponsor helps them deal with the immediate effects of war and conflict such as lack of food, water, medicine and other necessities. Exchanging letters with sponsors provides women with an emotional lifeline and a chance to tell their stories —maybe for the first time. As their situations begin to stabilize, women in our program begin building a foundation for their lives as survivors.” Source

The organization make the process of getting involved very simple. You can choose where in the world you would like to help a woman or you can ask for the organization to use their discretion and match you with a woman and country that needs help most, $27.00 a month is then debited directly from your account. You will receive a profile of the woman who becomes your ‘sister’ for the year and are encouraged to write letters to her, but I tell ya, once you receive your sister’s photo little encouragement will be required.

Now I realize that the charity is named Women for Women but frankly the guys among you can still partake by sponsoring a woman in honor of your wives, mothers and sisters, I am sure the thoughtfulness will have great impact. If you want to be involved yourself, while there are a few countries where you are unable to sponsor women namely DR Congo, Sudan and Afghanistan there are still many other countries and women to help.

In talking with Patty Pina, WFW Grassroots marketing officer, she emphasized that “…we can all be the source of change in the world. Stronger women create stronger nations, taking action now will cause a ripple effect through generations…..”

I ask that you visit their website , read the stories and seriously consider what luxuries or other items you might be able to go without for the remainder of ’08, or invite someone to partner with you to raise the funds. I know that together, you and your sister will create powerful positive change in the world.

With love and compassion

© The Red Barn Cooperative

Would you like to read about nourishment in all its guises twice a week? We issue ‘Nourishing Conversations’ to our subscribers every Monday and Thursday, click here to subscribe by email or if you prefer to use an RSS reader you will find the orange chiclet up on the right…


It’s a holiday……

Rest and enjoy.
C & P

© The Red Barn Cooperative

Tammie & Misty – Live Love Now

Tammie – Happy, Willing to help, blessed & grateful
Misty – Committed, genuine, courageous, fun

The Live Love Philosophy

OUR BELIEF is that a little LOVE makes a big difference.
OUR MISSION is to make Love real in the world – through our actions, investments and special events.
OUR TIME to Live Love is now.

“Live Love Now” – great words where did the inspiration for them come?

Live Love got started long before the official launch this February. Both of us were involved in a Metalogue group that met over a 10 year period. We were asked as a part of this group to continue the practice of how to live love in every moment. Tammie wanted to know ways to create a more loving environment in her family (because this is often the hardest practice field). Several years later Tammie felt called in her morning prayers to make LIVE LOVE bumper stickers. Although she often questioned the call, the launch was set forth 2 years later!

You recently had a concert in San Diego. Could we hear a bit about that?

Our LIVE LOVE launch was on Feb. 14th, 2008. We asked local musicians to donate their time to our campaign launch and 8 amazing artists said “YES!”, Eve Sells, Gregory Page, Sven-Erik Seaholm, Lisa Sanders, Joe Rathburn, JohnFoltz, and Carlos Olmedia.

They sat in the round and each played 3 songs. The night was magical and we all knew we were a part of something larger. Each artist also donated a song on our LIVE LOVE CD (a limited run, still available on our website).

What inspired the musicians to get involved?

The musicians were happy to help, and their generosity was amazing. They all believed in the cause and they regularly do benefits to pay it forward!

What are some ways people can Live Love Now?

The easiest way for people to get involved is to ask yourself: ‘How can I LIVE LOVE NOW for myself, for others, and for the planet AND act on my insight?’.

We would encourage you to visit our website and tell us your stories of LOVE in action. We have a 100 day challenge that began with our launch on Feb. 14th. In a pay it forward model, we are asking you and others to LIVE LOVE in a given moment and challenge those you know to do the same. It is our intention that our site encourages global kindness and serves as a record of these acts. We would also LOVE for individuals to share this message with our t-shirts, bumper stickers and CDs!

Misty, what thrills you most about living love in the moment?

What thrills me the most about LIVE LOVE in each moment is how much it challenges me each instant….To breathe, to focus on what is positive, to remind myself how my thoughts shape my reality. I find that the more present I am (really in the truest sense of the word)
the easier it is to live love with myself and others. Often, however, I find that my mind goes quite a bit faster than NOW speed and judgement, criticism, anxiety,etc… creeps in. This IS the thrilling part of being at the forefront of this movement. Since jumping in with Tammie I can honestly say I have never been so challenged and thrilled!!!!

Tammie, what is most thrilling to you about living love in the moment?

Feeling like I am choosing to be a part of something bigger than myself. When I choose to feel love and act from love I acknowledge the oneness of everyone and everything. The recognition that all things are full of the greatness of God inspires awe and the desire to Love. The call to Love is exciting and scary all at the same time…so the word thrilling is perfectly fitting!

“Spread love everywhere you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier.”
Mother Teresa

Tammie, Misty thank you for your courage and commitment to bringing more love to our planet one person, one act at a time. Thanks also for the reminder that the heart responds to acts of kindness.
Take Care,

© The Red Barn Cooperative

Would you like to read about nourishment in all its guises twice a week? We issue “Nourishing Conversations’ to our subscribers every Monday and Thursday, both RSS feeder or email subscriptions are available. Just click the link up on the right.

Nourishing moments – Taking notice

I have already mentioned my predilection for bubbling over and this blog entry couldn’t help but effervesce a few profoundly nourishing moments that have occured over the last few weeks.

Pangea Day

Well there were both snacks and cuddling up in this household. It was an incredible event and as predicted I did get through many a kleenex during the 4 hours. For those of you who wanted to be part of it but couldn’t you can still view the films that were shown at For those of you who did watch they have posted more award winning films to the line up. I HIGHLY recommend that you take some time to watch a selection and take part next year. It was heart warming to see the audiences around the world, even the British audience who were gathered outside Somerset House in the middle of the night were dancing to the closing ‘World Drum circle’. Scholar and writer Karen Armstrong closed the event with a call to action, “Look into your own heart and discover what it is that gives you pain and then refuse under any circumstance what so ever to inflict that pain on any body else”.

Serious Play

This was a nourishing highlight that had me giddy with anticipation. Three days of inspirational speakers, rope jumping and yummy food and goodies. This biannual event held by Art Center College of Design covered topics as vast as the next rover that is going to land on Mars, the intelligence of crows, what it is like to live a full and curious life as a double amputee, the coke and mentos guys, Origami as science, and visionary architecture, all under the guise of PLAY a necessary part of who we are. It was a mind expanding gathering of topics and people that will keep me on a high for weeks. But the nourishing story here is the topic of Play in our lives, Stuart Brown the Founder of the National Institute for Play stated that the opposite of play is NOT work it is in fact Depression. So if you feel you haven’t played recently, try it on, you will feel so much better for moving, laughing, going fast, twirling around, communicating playfully or bonding with others on a team. Children do not have the monopoly on play they just do it so well! Act like a child just once this week and feel your heart soar.
National Institute for Play.

Spring Cleaning

Yes really, in fact we will be having a nourishing conversation on this very subject very soon. In the meantime I wanted to share that we had several spring cleaning conundrums; firstly was the disposal of our 9 year old sofa. It has served us so well across four moves in three states, it has been with us through the arm waving days of Dawsons Creek, the heady days of Gilmore Girl romance, seen us be held in suspense by Aaron Sorkin’s West Wing and it now sits to witness all the drama of Grey’s Anatomy. It has also endured a few xbox ‘sit ins’, many thrills and spills and a burrowing puppy. It really is ‘time’ yet given all we had been through together we now seem to be hanging on to it out of sentimentality compounded by the graphic visual of our sofa balancing on the top of a landfill. Our much considered solution was to contact greendumptruck who are going to responsibly remove our old faithful (with ceremony) to make way for our new ‘green’ construction hemp sofa which brings me both to my point and the link that I have promised to share with many of you. The Story of Stuff, the animation on this site takes around 20 minutes to watch but it is well worth it if you want a recap on what the manufacturing and disposal chain really looks like or to consider your role as consumer, to help with some of your own spring cleaning decisions and more importantly to share with less enlightened souls than yourself.

I did however recently enter full blown consumer mode when buying the cleaning products to take on said cleaning. Having tried many green cleaners and using baking soda in the tub (it works!) I finally decided to convert all our products to Mrs Myers, our house will be smelling of lemon verbena some time soon, no really it will…..

Another area that saw a clean out was the make-up drawer. Just over a year ago I was made aware of ‘Skindeep’ the cosmetics database and I have to admit that even after reading about the lethal chemicals that were regularly making contact with my skin when they really shouldn’t even be coming within 2 feet of me, I still clung on to that Dior mascara and that Urban Decay sparkly green eyeshadow. So have I thrown everything out? No. But I have made a considerable dent, pretty much have my ‘chemicals of choice’ under control and a renewed commitment to making sure what comes into the house and gets lathered onto our faces or bodies is harmless. To see what might be toxic in your products check out Skindeep.

The last element I want to include in this topic was the question ‘Where was all our electricity being used?’ We finally made a concerted effort to go around the house plugging and unplugging all our appliances until we got our electric meter disc to spin at a speed that was a lot more satisfactory to our pockets and the planet. This has included actively unplugging all our chargers when not charging a phone, headset or computer and turning our computers off (not just to sleep) and unplugging them EVERY time they are not in use. It has made an incredible difference to our bill!

The awareness of what stuff we have in our house (yes there is still more to tackle, the comic collection REALLY needs to be sold – hint) but the first phase clean out has made me feel lighter, I have a sense of accomplishment and I am more able to concentrate on some of the priorities in my life. It is amazing what the benefits of a clean out can be.
What new thing can you do this month to contribute to the care of yourself and the planet? Sign up for daily tips at Ideal Bite.


I didn’t make it out there this year but as a result of this West Coast desert festival we had a group of good friends come visit with us before they traveled back East. For me being able to kick back with good friends around the BBQ is very high on my list of nourishing things. Marc and I have decided that one of our nourishing intentions for the summer will be to have many stress free BBQ’s and make the most of our home.

How do you want to remember Summer ’08 and what are you doing to make it so?

Have a fabulous week…
With warmth and sparkle

© The Red Barn Cooperative

Would you like to read about nourishment in all its guises twice a week? We issue “Nourishing Conversations’ to our subscribers every Monday and Thursday, both RSS feeder or email subscriptions are available. Just click the link up on the right.

Bill Hayward – Transformation through awareness

Authentic, Leader, Silent Warrior, Teacher

Bill you started 2008 by doing quite an intensive Meditation Retreat, tell us a little bit about that.

I have declared 2008 as the year of transformation for myself. In order to kick-off this transformation, I attended a 10-day meditation retreat. This retreat was phenomenal!!! I mean, WOW, what an experience that I will never forget. This style of meditation, Vipassana, was so intense. Imagine not being able to talk and make eye contact with anyone for 10 days as well as being on a vegetarian diet.

This experience not only taught me about discipline, but it also taught me about centering myself, purifying my mind and eradicating suffering from my life. I walked out of that experience with such a different outlook on life. Incorporating this meditation has been a valuable resource in my coaching practice. I have been able to tap more deeply into my intuition and it has allowed me to help my clients deepen their learning about themselves. I look forward to keeping this meditation experience alive for the rest of my life.

Sounds quite difficult. What was your biggest challenge?

You would think that the biggest challenge would be not talking for 10 days; however, it wasn’t. I think the most difficult part was staying focused on my breathing and sensations and not letting my mind wander.

Another challenge was staying still for a certain length of time without moving; this was also another discipline to master. Mastering this art of stillness provides more focus on the awareness of sensations in our bodies and to take note that these sensations (good and bad) are not permanent and that there is no need to react to them, but just to be aware of them. This awareness is tied to life and how we do not always need to react and crave sensations and emotions. All this is linked to purifying the mind and eradicating suffering from our lives.

How are you keeping this alive everyday?

“Being in the experience” for 10 days was very enlightening. I have incorporated meditation in my morning routine, which helps “kick-off” the day to a great start. I keep my meditation environment very simple by reserving a small space in my office with a meditation pillow. During the day, I add focus on my breathing which helps me in the clearing of my mind and staying focused.

What areas of your life do you see most transformed by this experience?

Adding meditation to my life has really helped me slow down and relax. On top of my coaching, I also have a full time job. It has helped me to stay more focused on my work and think more clearly. It has also helped me in my relationship with my other half as well as with my friends.

What would you recommend to someone who is considering making meditation a part of their lives?

Since our daily lives have become more complicated with more responsibilities, new technologies, and added stress; I fully recommend anyone to find a way to take care of themself and incorporate meditation into their daily life. My course was pretty aggressive; however, I came with very little to no meditation experience and dived right into it. I would do it over again; I plan to take another course later this year.

Vipassana meditation is taught around the world. My course was taught in in northern California and is provided twice a month. One can find more information on this meditation by checking out

Thank you Bill, as a fellow meditator I agree it is a great way to take care of yourself, I find Jack Kornfield PhD very powerful too.

© The Red Barn Cooperative

Would you like to read about nourishment in all its guises twice a week? We issue “Nourishing Conversations’ to our subscribers every Monday and Thursday, both RSS feeder or email subscriptions are available. Just click the link up on the right.

Judy Weiland – Flower Power

Mother of five, student of Nutrition and BioEnergetics, Coach, Homeopath & Bach Flower practitioner

Judy, tell us what you find interesting and beneficial about Bach Flowers.

What I find interesting and beneficial is best said in a quote by Dr. Edward Bach, creator of Bach Flower Essences:

“The actions of certain flowers, shrubs, and trees that grow in the wild raise our vibrations and open our channels for the reception of the Spiritual Self to flood our natures with the particular virtue we need, and wash out from us the fault that is causing the harm. They are able, like beautiful music or any glorious uplifting thing that gives us inspiration, to raise our very natures to bring us nearer to our Souls, and by that very act bring us peace and relieve our sufferings. They cure not by attacking the disease, but by flooding our bodies with the beautiful vibrations of our higher nature, in the presence of which disease melts away as snow in the sunshine. There is no true healing unless there is a change in outlook, peace of mind, and inner happiness.”

Since I started using Bach Flowers, I personally have experienced a wonderful shift in energy and health. Of course I want to share that with all my friends and family, and anyone in need. They are truly a gift!!

How are the essences formulated?

The Bach Flower Essences are homeopathically prepared remedies. Today they are prepared in the same manner as Dr. Bach practiced when he first discovered them in the 1930’s. There are two methods of preparing the Mother Tinctures.

1. The Sun Method, used to make 20 of the Essences of delicate blooms in the height of growth in summer. In a bowl filled with spring water enough flowers are gathered to crowd the surface. The bowl is left in the sun for 3-4 hours until the blooms wilt and bubbles form in the water, this shows the essence ot the flowers has crossed into the water. The Essence water is poured into a bottle and topped with an equal amount of brandy. This “Mother Tincture” will keep its potency indefinitely.

2. The Boiling Method, this is used to make 18 of the Essences from trees, bushes, and plants that mostly flower in the early part of the year before the sun has reached its full strength. The flowers are gathered and boiled in water for about 30 minutes, filtered repeatedly and poured into bottles with an equal amount of brandy to preserve and protect against bacteria.

To make the stock bottle for sale two drops of Mother Tincture is added to 30ml of 27% brandy.
I make combination bottles from the stock bottles. Once I decide which Essences are best for a person, I fill a dispenser bottle with a dropper full of spring or purified water, then add 1-2 drops of up to 7 Essences. Dosage, 3 drops under the tongue 3 times a day. One may add a couple drops to their water bottle and sip on it throughout the day for an impulse of the Essence with each sip.

I am wondering if that “wonderful shift in energy and health” is actually due to the brandy!? Joking aside, what ailments do you find the essences are most effective for and can children use them too?

Ha Ha!! I think a shot of Christian Brothers might do a better job for that little shift!!! :0)
Seriously, Dr. Bach classifies the different flowers into seven groups.

1. For those who have fear.
2. For those who suffer from uncertainty.
3. For those who lack sufficient interest in present circumstances.
4. For those who feel lonely.
5. For those who are oversensitive to other’s influences and ideas.
6. For those who are suffering from despondency and despair.
7. For those who over-care for the welfare of others.

The 38 remedies are then divided more specifically within these groups.
Children totally benefit from Bach Flowers, as do pets!!

How do you accurately assess which category someone falls into, I know some people (read – mothers) who wouldn’t even own up to being #7!

There is a questionnaire that I find very useful. I have people do this on their own time and at their own convenience. They need to make sure to check only those questions to which they can say a definate YES answer. As for the categories, this helps the practitioner during observation as a nice, quick reference.

The # 7 category is “For those who over-care for the welfare of others” Within this broad category are many sub-categories, and the choice of flower would depend on the symptoms.
For instance, the Bach Flower used for:
Intolerance – Beech
Possessiveness, selfishness – Chicory
Mental Rigidity – Rock Water
Over Enthusiasm – Vervain
Dominance – Vine
As you can see there are many different areas within the category, this is true for each of Bach’s Seven Groups.

What is the deal with Rescue Remedy? It seems to get recommended for general health.

Rescue Remedy is a composite of five remedies: Star of Bethlehem, Rock Rose, Clematis, Impatience & Cherry Plum.

Rescue Remedy works for everyone. The combination of flowers has a universal effect because it addresses a transcending archetypal reaction pattern of mankind. Bach was ahead of his time in describing what we have since discovered from stress research. The interacting patterns he recognized are:
A reflex to play dead – for example, losing consciousness – Star of Bethlehem
Overreacting nerves, which lead, for example, to panic – Rock Rose
An exaggerated need to act immediately – Impatiens
Fear of losing control, as evidenced in tension or trembling – Cherry Plum
An impulse to deny reality as evidenced in, for example, the desire to lose yourself in dreams -Clematis

Within a minute of taking Rescue Remedy, the body’s self-healing mechanisms are reactivated.
Rescue Remedy should be taken only on occasion and not on a regular basis. Rescue Remedy does not replace regular Bach Flower Therapy. It can be seen as a preliminary step to it.

Judy thanks so much for sharing your enthusiasm and expertise, I am completely fascinated by it all.

You can contact Judy at and if you want to meet a practitioner in person Judy also recommends looking in your area, many times a Homeopath will also work with Bach Flowers.

© The Red Barn Cooperative

Would you like to read about nourishment in all its guises twice a week? We issue “Nourishing Conversations’ to our subscribers every Monday and Thursday, both RSS feeder or email subscriptions are available. Just click the link up on the right.

Nourishing Conversations – Community through film

We are interrupting our regular interview format to remind you that Pangea Day is almost here!

If you have been hiding under a rock or have just been a tad busy recently let me give you the quick overview…

Pangea Day, May 10th, 2008
4 hours. 24 films. A new way to see the world.

“Pangea Day taps the power of film to strengthen tolerance and compassion while uniting millions of people to build a better future.

In a world where people are often divided by borders, difference, and conflict, it’s easy to lose sight of what we all have in common. Pangea Day seeks to overcome that — to help people see themselves in others — through the power of film.

Sites in Cairo, Kigali, London, Los Angeles, Mumbai, and Rio de Janeiro will be linked live to produce a program of powerful films, visionary speakers, and uplifting music.

Movies alone can’t change the world. But the people who watch them can.” Source

I advise you get snacks, cuddle up with your favorite people and spend these four hours getting in touch with the fact that you are watching the same film at the exact same time as a person in Cairo, Kigali or in another city on our planet. Also wonder at the possibility that while you are watching, in the very moment that you may feel the urge to laugh or cry, maybe they do too. Maybe even more curious is the possibility, that you are watching the same film at the same time as someone you see everyday in the street and yet you experience the films in a completely different way.

I predict that Saturday will provide goose bump moments and a sense of worldly connectedness that you may not have tapped into for a while or possibly ever.

If you have the urge to be part of this global event with your local community there is a map on the web site where you can find people in your area who are already planning their Pangea party, whether that be in their home, community center, church or school.

If you prefer to go it alone all you need to do is check that your cable provider has ‘Current TV’ the channel in partnership with this event. FYI, Sky is running it in the UK but in the US current TV is pretty much only offered with the following providers (sorry I didn’t research the rest of the world..)-

DIRECTV – Channel 366
DISH Network – Channel 196
Comcast Digital – Channel 107 (Most cities), Channel 125 – (Dallas & Seattle)
Time Warner Digital – Channel 103 (New York City), Channel 142 (Los Angeles)
AT&T U-Verse – Channel 189

So if you don’t subscribe to any of these, you could always book a Jet Blue flight and fly to a destination of choice that is 4 hours away and watch it on the seat-back Directv monitors OR less radically you could drive around your neighborhood with the perfect hostess gift looking for satellite dishes, when you find one, ring the doorbell and make friends OR you can always watch via your laptops too.

If you do decide to take part, even if it is just for half an hour, we would love to hear your thoughts so return with your comments! Just to give you an idea on timing the films will be running on Saturday as follows – 3am – 7am Tokyo, 7pm – 11pm London, 2pm – 6pm USA East Coast, 11am – 3pm USA West Coast

And if you would like to take a peek at some of the work being created it is worth checking out the ‘Anthem series’, films made of one country’s citizens singing the anthem of a different country e.g the French sang the Star-Spangled Banner, my favorite element of the films is what happens to each of the flags at the end of them, go check it out….

What is Pangea day?

With warmth, sparkle and snacks

© The Red Barn Cooperative

Would you like to read about nourishment in all its guises twice a week? We issue “Nourishing Conversations’ to our subscribers every Monday and Thursday, both RSS feeder or email subscriptions are available. Just click the link up on the right. We would be honored to have you join our community.

You can post your own nourishing lists at My nourishing Top Ten we love to share them.

May 2008
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