Education and Knowledge

THE MAGICAL UNFOLDING: HOW I PUT MAGIC BACK INTO MY LIFE

Sometimes life’s magic reveals itself to you in little moments, sometimes you only see it in retrospect. Helen’s 8-step process will empower you to trust your unfolding pathway through life… Helen Rebello is the author of the highly-anticipated The Magical Unfolding: 8 Magical Processes for Peace, Potential and Purpose (RELEASED 25 October 2018). An intuitive mentor, self-development teacher, and former tutor at The College of Cranio-Sacral Therapy in London, Helen has spent over a decade empowering soulful women to find more meaning and magic in their life and unlock the courage to live and work on their terms. www.helenrebello.com When I was 19 years old, I had a life-saving “awakening”. After 18 months in a controlling, abusive relationship, living in fear and trapped in the belie...

HOW IS THE MOVIE INDUSTRY STILL MISSING THE BIG PICTURE?

In the wake of all the backlash from the movie Sierra Burgess is A Loser, I wanted to view the movie myself before letting other opinions taint my idea of the movie and its themes. I was excited most of all to see Shannon Purser as the main character after falling in love with her as Barb on Stranger Things. I loved that I was finally going to see a female lead with someone who looks so much like my peers and get to be in love. However, the movie did not seem to disprove the feelings of those who scrutinized the movie.   While I won’t rehash what everyone has ultimately said about the controversial script, casting, and themes of the movie, I will say I am very disappointed that the movie industry used a bigger girl as a way of drawing in an audience for her to be incredibly problematic. Sh...

PARKLAND: REFLECTIONS ON A NEW SCHOOL YEAR

The 2018-2019 academic year begins, and new expectations are in place for my students and myself. Anticipation, excitement, fresh purpose, all converge to create momentum. But this fall, a new feeling is tossed in the mix— a deep-seated unease fueled by over 20 US school shootings between January and July 2018, and by what may come.   When I started teaching, it never occurred to me that it would become a hazardous profession, that I would begin a school year with active shooter drills. I should’ve reached retirement without experiencing such a thing. Combat pay isn’t the kind of pay raise we educators seek.   And no, this bizarre time is not “the new normal.” I hate guns, and I hate even more that I know what AR15s and bump stocks are. Sickening.  A vicious cycle, that’s what this has bee...

“THAT’S JUST THE WAY IT IS”: A RESPONSE TO BEING ACCEPTING TOWARDS SEXIST BEHAVIOR

“That’s just the way it is,” was what my mother had told me when I complained to her about how hard it is to be a working woman, how differently you were treated because of your gender. “That’s just the way it is,” was what she said again when my brother asked why it was easier for men in a working environment.  Now I know my mother meant no harm at all, but it was disheartening to hear her say something like that. “That’s just the way it is” – but it shouldn’t be, right? Why should it be a norm for gender to denote how a person should be treated? It shouldn’t be – and yet, it is.  In the context of my country – Singapore – there is still an air of traditionalism that exists with the older generation. Of course, with the younger ones, there is a ripple of unease, an undercurrent of realiza...

IS FAKE NEWS REALLY A NEW PHENOMENON?

When I was a teenager in the 1980s everyone knew someone who had a friend of a friend who had flushed an alligator down the toilet that had grown into a sewer monster or knew the lurid story about some rock star or movie star who got a hamster stuck in their derriere and had to go to the ER because a friend of their friend’s mother was a nurse at that hospital. We spent hours pontificating about these “true” stories, which in reality turned out to be urban legends.   Although the phrase has changed, the principle has remained much the same. Today instead of huddling around a half-eaten pizza, sharing tantalizing stories at a slumber party, people are huddled around their smart phones and computers consuming these types of “stories” or as they have been coined, fake news. And the effects ha...

WHEN YOU BELIEVE IN YOURSELF AMAZING THINGS CAN HAPPEN

“The Power of Thought” is the title of one of my presentations. It’s amazing how this four word sentence means a great deal; I learned this lesson early in life.  When I was a young child I developed vitiligo, which is a condition that causes depigmentation of parts of the skin. In the sixth grade, I was bullied every day because my skin looked so different; bullies would call me “cow” because of the visible spots on my body. It was an experience I will never forget, and I knew deep down that the way bullies made me feel wasn’t how I really felt inside. Even though my skin was different, I still felt confident. One night, after a very bad day at school, I decided that I was the only one who could put a stop to the bullying. So, I mustered up the courage to stand up to one of the bullies an...

ALGORITHMS OF INTOLERANCE

Despite having an insurmountable volume of information at our fingertips, how is it that our capacity to tolerate opposing views seems to be diminishing? We live in divisive times, there’s no doubt about that. On one hand, we are living in the most progressive time in human history; our societies are multicultural, in many countries same sex couples can legally wed and women in most cultures have the same legal rights as men. But in opposition to the very idea of liberalism, we’re seeing a resurgence of opinions and behaviors that show how many in our world are still vehemently opposed to the progressive direction of travel. I’m not shy about expressing my views and I make no secret of the fact that being called a ‘bleeding heart liberal’ does not offend me – in fact, I have genuine concer...

BINGEABLE TRUE CRIME PODCASTS

This month’s “bingeable” list will feature different True Crime podcasts. The True Crime podcast genre has become increasingly popular over the past couple of years, due to the popularity of Netflix’s Making a Murderer, HBO’s The Jinx and of course, Serial. There are many different formats of True Crime podcasts – serialized, where one story is told week after week, or non-serialized, in which a new story (or even multiple stories) are told each episode. The style of the podcasts can also vary – some are more casual, where the host(s) will joke and chit-chat with each other, while other podcasts take a more serious tone, and leave the comedy out of the story-telling. It all depends on your personal preferences, and one format isn’t necessarily better tha...

THE THIRTY-SOMETHING STUDENT

Starting university as a fresh faced 18-year-old set free from the town of Mum and Dad was some of the best years of my life. Making lifelong friends, partying way too hard and using my student loan to pay for Topshop clothes and tickets to gigs for bands I hadn’t heard of. That was just one experience of university life, however within the dominant cohort of 18 and 19 year olds, there were some wiser souls, the ones who were navigating the trials of university later in life. I graduated 10 years ago with a degree I have relied heavily upon to keep myself employed to continue buying festival tickets (not so much the Topshop stuff; 30-something me just cannot pull them off). Working in social services is something I continue to be passionate about, but I had another goal in mind: to study l...

PROJECT 4293

We’ve all suffered through high school classes and groaned, “I will never, ever need to know any of this!” Possibly, we won’t. Fractions rarely come up in casual conversation. What we do talk about, though, is how to become whole from the fragments of ourselves. How to find answers, and hopefully teach others. Project 4293, Inc., the largest student-run organization in the country, is a nonprofit dedicated to teaching the most important lesson: tolerance. Project 4293 strives to help those whose lives have been shattered by intolerance by finding the answers that can help the victims feel whole. Through education, protection and advocacy, says co-President Alex Cywes, Project 4293 attacks bigotry and injustice. It sponsors and helps to pay for the fees of sexual assault victims and victims...

THANK YOU, JERRY

Steve and Gerry announce they are getting divorced in June 2004.  Gerry tells her children she’s gay towards the end of November 2004.  Gerry tells her children that she is transgender at the beginning of June 2012.  Gerry became Jerry.  I’m one of Jerry’s children.  Despite what some conservatives, some researchers and even some children of LGBTQ parents will say.  I am okay.     My Story  I remember the first time I heard about someone having a transgender parent.   I was watching the E! reality show, Dr. 90210, which told the stories of different plastic surgery patients in the Los Angeles area. One particular episode that aired in 2008 would end up serving as a major foreshadowing moment in my life.  I know you’re probably thinking, how in the world did a reality show foreshadow my act...

THE GIRL WHO IS FIGHTING BACK AGAINST THE ADDICTION OF SELF INJURY

  Self-harm is a very taboo subject. I’m sure if you have ever come across someone who has self-harmed in the past or continues to, the first question that enters your mind is ‘why’. The answer to this question is coming from someone who used to use self-harming methods as a way of coping & dealing with my emotional pain. It seems so strange almost to so many people, why would you want to inflict deliberate pain on yourself? It’s all about the mind and the endorphins that the body produces when it gets an injury of some kind. When I was growing up, I did mild self-harm, when I was anxious or upset I’d deliberately cause carpet burns on parts of my body (face, arms, knuckles). I would also deliberately claw my cheeks with my fingernails in anger and upset. Since I’ve become an adul...

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