Wednesday, April 14, 2010

A Long Term Solution for an On-Going Problem

Why Don't They Just Get a Job?
One Couple's Mission to End Poverty
in Their Community
Authors: Liane Phillips and
Echo Montgomery Garrett
Publisher: aha! Process Inc.
ISBN: 978-1-934583-37-1

No one sets out to live their life in poverty, on welfare or serially jobless. Even before the current economic crisis, there were too many Americans chronically unemployed or having no opportunity for job training. As a former Social Worker and longtime American taxpayer, I am able to see both sides of this issue. In our society, there are many people considered unemployable. There are a variety of reasons for this. Many just do not have the financial means to continue education, and are left with no real marketable skills. Some people are truly driven into the welfare system because of circumstances beyond their control and lack the support; emotional, logistical, etc., to crawl back out. The "multiple generation" welfare share does come into play, also. It's probably the area most attacked by many as an abuse of the system. But if your mother never learned from her elders about motivation, ambition, personal skills,and the personal satifaction they offer, she probably won't know how to teach them to you. It's a vicious circle, and a tough situation for those involved. We won't solve that issue overnight, but it can be addressed successfully.

Thanks to a retired corporate couple, the people of Cincinnati now have a way out of the vicious circle that poverty often becomes. When Liane and Dave Phillips retired, they were at loose ends. With lots of energy and their shared corporate talents and experience, they started a revolutionary program. Their program is called Cincinnati Works. It's a nonprofit, member based organization changing the welfare landscape. It's a program that can (and should) be available thoughout this country.

To give an example of the success of Cincinnati Works, 80% of the people trained and hired into the community have retained their positions. That's a really incredible retention rate when you acknowledge that government funded programs of this type generally average a retention rate of 20 to 25%. Thousands of families have moved from welfare and poverty to self sufficiency and the personal satisfaction it can bring. The Phillips and their groundbreaking program have won numerous awards and the recognition of the Harvard Business Review.

The authors of this book have done an outstanding job. The writing style is clear and concise, and the story is moving, entertaining and inspirational all at once. With lots of attention to detail, it's easy to see how the plan can be duplicated. If this is not enough to convince you buy this book, the fact that a portion of the profits will be donated to Cincinnati Works (a program that really DOES work) should cinch the deal for you. If I could personally afford it, I would purchase copies of this book for every welfare and poverty program in the country. Utilizing this type of program would change the way the system works or doesn't work, in many cases. Highly recommended by this reader!

What Do You Know about Indigos?

Indigo Awakening: A Doctor's Memoir of
Forging an Authentic Life in a Turbulent World
Author: Janine Talty, DO
Publisher: Elite Books
ISBN: 978-1-60070-63-7

Indigo Children. You may have heard this phrase before. It was coined some twenty years ago, by Nancy Ann Dappe. It appears in her book "Understanding Your Life Through Color", published in 1982. Indigo Children is a term that describes the attributes of a particular group of people, commonly known as Indigo. You may share these characteristics yourself, or know someone who does. Characteristics include: great empathy, a sense of purpose, well developed intuition and a connection, nearly psychic, to the people the Indigo is close to, altruism and a keen, sometimes emotionally painful awareness of the feelings of people around them. Indigos are often nearly overwhelmed by a feeling of responsibility for everyone and everything around them. They have a strong sense of justice and fair play. Many Indigos have a great resistance to authority and authority figures, especially if they believe the authority figure is untruthful, biased or unjust. They tend to avoid being in large groups when possible. The feelings of individuals in a crowd are felt by the Indigo, and with so many people, the feelings and emotions coming at them are so great and varied that dealing with it mentally is many times exhausting; mentally, emotionally, spiritually and often even physically it leads the Indigo personality to feel drained, exhausted and overwhelmed.

Indigos feel so much sympathy and empathy for others, they generally tend to have poor personal boundaries, causing them to be overwhelmed by anxiety and worry for others, wanting to solve everything. Indigos often are whole brain thinkers, perceiving concepts as fully developed pictures, unable to view simply a portion of a situation, overwhelming them with what may look insurmountable.

Indigo Awakening relates the author's personal story. It's different from most of the books available on the subject, because they are written by people not living as an Indigo. An Indigo faces situations, experiences and difficulties in a way that is unique to their perceptions; it only makes sense that an actual Indigo would offer a more clear and concise view of just this experience, a level of understanding of the concept that others often do not fully grasp.

Dr. Talty shares a truly inspiring story, the honesty and truth to her experiences rings so true that the reader feels well connected her, as one is to a friend as opposed to just an acquaintance or author in general.

Indigo personalities are often described as being in the world but not of the world. Social norms and customs are hard for them to understand and comprehend. The ceremonial rituals seems meaningless to them. Most Indigos have difficulty participating in celebrations such as graduations, birthdays and what other people consider to be landmark personal experiences. Organized religion in general and its ceremonial use of ritual in particular seems empty, meaningless and often unnecessary and false to them. If they participate at all, it's usually to appease the desires of family and friends.

This book offers an extremely fascinating and thoroughly enjoyable read. If a family member, friend or coworker is Indigo, the book will give the reader invaluable insight into their way of thinking and coping. It will help them understand why the Indigo does the things they do and how to make a personal relationship with the Indigo fuller and more rewarding. Be warned that the author holds opinions and beliefs that may seem odd or downright ridiculous to some readers. However, use the ability to move beyond that, because even it you don't share the author's particular view of some aspects of the world or its future, you will find knowledge here that will prove valuable to your relationship with the Indigos you care about personally. Unique and touching, it's a book I highly recommend!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Change Your Life, Find Your Way

Frame Shifting: A Path
To Wholeness
Author: David K. Banner
Publisher: Loving Healing Press
ISBN: 978-1-932690-55-2

We all know what we are supposed to do with our lives in general: achieve success, work hard, obey the law, honor our responsibilities and commitments, etc.. But in our society, most of us are not really given the answer to how to get there and how to define this often elusive success for ourselves. What about personal happiness and a sense of purpose? How do you come to define who you are and what gives you that sense of purpose and fulfillment? David Banner undertook a long, winding and often arduous journey within himself and successfully found his answer. We are fortunate that he chose to share this personal journal with us, and give us a blueprint for our own search for purpose and fulfillment.

A buzzword in the business world now is "paradigm". The concept of paradigm is a set of beliefs or mental models that limit what you can see, and limit your area of experience and reference to what you do see. If you can't see it, you don't know it's there. Similar to looking out a standard window; you are limited to a specific viewing region. What you see out that single window is limited, but what you see out a bay window is a larger view with more dimensions. Actually step outdoors instead, and your view is greatly increased and clearer, with more available directions to look, and no restrictions by the frame of the window to block your view. It's a bigger frame on the picture, so to speak that adds to your view, thus the title of this outstanding work, "Frame Shifting".

Step by step and with detailed instructions and thorough explanation, Banner covers subjects that include ego, the development of the ego, the laws of attraction, empathy, attunement, emotion, roleplaying, vision, God, spirituality and more. I especially appreciated the fact that while written with a view of God and spirituality, it doesn't endorse or embrace any particular dogma or doctrine. This makes the book applicable to such a wide range of people and the various life experiences and beliefs they may hold. It would indeed be a pity for a book this well written to exclude anyone. The number of people searching for just this kind of guidance is huge, and it's great approach and innovative view is a welcome addition to the current available studies in philosophy.

I would heartily recommend this book without reservation. It offers a rare clarity into the journey of human existence and personal fufillment. I hope it garners the attention it deserves.