World Mom, Tes Silverman, is @BabyCenter today! #maternalhealth

World Mom, Tes Silverman, is @BabyCenter today! #maternalhealth

As part of World Moms Blog’s collaboration with BabyCenter’s Mission Motherhood™, our World Moms are writing posts on maternal health around the world. In today’s post, Tes Silverman writes about the loss of a baby in the Philippines due to lack of access to medical care.

“Despite my difficult pregnancy, I consider my situation lucky because in many places around the world, heading to the hospital for life-saving remedies is not always the reality. I recently interviewed a woman in the Philippines, Pia Arguelles, and her experience of delivering a premature baby was, tragically, quite different.

Pia’s story began just like any mom who was excited to be giving birth to her fourth child. Since she never experienced any complications in childbirth before, she didn’t expect that this one would be any different. However, the baby was born prematurely after only six months with a weak heart, which led to a four-month hospital stay to try to prevent complications.”

Read the full post, “Could Pia’s baby have been saved if she lived somewhere else?“, over at BabyCenter’s Mission Motherhood™!

Jennifer Burden

Jennifer Burden is the Founder and CEO of World Moms Network, an award winning website on global motherhood, culture, human rights and social good. World Moms Network writes from over 30 countries, has over 70 contributors and was listed by Forbes as one of the “Best 100 Websites for Women”, named a “must read” by The New York Times, and was recommended by The Times of India. She was also invited to Uganda to view UNICEF’s family health programs with Shot@Life and was previously named a “Global Influencer Fellow” and “Social Media Fellow” by the UN Foundation. Jennifer was invited to the White House twice, including as a nominated "Changemaker" for the State of the World Women Summit. She also participated in the One Campaign’s first AYA Summit on the topic of women and girl empowerment and organized and spoke on an international panel at the World Bank in Washington, DC on the importance of a universal education for all girls. Her writing has been featured by Baby Center, Huffington Post, ONE.org, the UN Foundation’s Shot@Life, and The Gates Foundation’s “Impatient Optimists.” She is currently a candidate in Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs in the Executive Masters of Public Affairs program, where she hopes to further her study of global policies affecting women and girls. Jennifer can be found on Twitter @JenniferBurden.

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Women and Spirituality: An Interview with Dr. Elizabeth Denley of #Heartfulness (Part – 2)

Women and Spirituality: An Interview with Dr. Elizabeth Denley of #Heartfulness (Part – 2)

“Please join us in the 2016 #Heartfulness Meditation Conference in the USA. If you are a World Moms Blog contributor, or reader, or  fan, please contact us (worldmomsblog@gmail.com) for a free pass.”

Part – 1 of Dr. Elizabeth Denley’s (Trainer, Heartfulness Institute) interview is published here. Part – 2 is below.

Our Senior Editor, Purnima Ramakrishnan in India recently interviewed Dr. Denley for World Moms Blog.

Purnima Ramakrishnan: Generally women are very emotional people, how to ignore that, when trying to become more spiritual, or tuned within into the heart?

Dr. Elizabeth Denley: You are right. I noticed a huge change in myself. I think the practice itself is the solution for this. It is in our nature to easily get hurt by what other people do. We easily feel the pains of our children; we worry about them, when they are struggling as teenagers, when they are facing peer pressure. If our husbands have problems at work, we carry them, just like we do for ours. We have hormonal cycles. Our monthly cycles affect our emotions. All these things are there.

In Heartfulness Meditation, we have this process called “cleaning”, I read this article written by one of your writers, Sophia from USA about the benefits of Heartfulness Guided Cleaning process. This cleaning process can be at the end of the day. I became an ace cleaner. And I am glad.

We also clean out emotional responses. If one hangs on to self pity, worry, hurt, it eats her up. What we do is, we recognise our emotional responses, and we let them pass. Worry, anxiety, hormonal changes you cannot switch it off. So, observe it. Clean it. Relax, breathe. Just take a pause.

A point comes in the spiritual journey of a human being, where work is done on the spiritual anatomy of the heart. At that time, these things do not have the same impact. One has more poise, and a more balanced way of responding to the world.

I do get angry, but the intensity is lesser these days. I am able to manage it better. All this has happened as a result of the practice of meditation and the cleaning process.

PR: How does spirituality empower women?

ED: I was part of the feminist movement in the 70s in Australia. When I came back to Australia, I was active in the government funded women’s health centres and extremely involved in women and their roles in modern western society. A similar wave is happening in India, right now, as I can see. Young women are getting educated; they are having careers, balancing family, and trying to live a fulfilled life.

What is feminism?
I think it is the ability to love, ability to create harmony, in the family, and country. Masculine roles are much more assertive. Getting ‘there’ and achieving in an ego driven way, whereas female role in any organization is a harmonizing role.

I don’t mean women can’t or should not do. I mean that they can do much more effectively. The feminine way of coordinating, harmonizing, unifying, of loving, that is one of the important roles of feminine, I think so. Women have a huge role to play in society.

Once we start valuing these important qualities in ourselves as women, the society starts valuing us. Mother is the glue in a family. Behind a man is a successful woman. A CEO in an organization, or a school, org, or an Institute – everywhere there are these Hidden roles! They may not necessarily be at the top or forefront. A woman has to value this unique quality in her. When she starts valuing herself, everyone around her starts valuing her too.

Society functions most effectively when man and woman harmonize and support each other, when they complement each other, rather than see each other as competitors, as more empowered or less empowered comparatively.

A work place has to have a nice balance between men and women. Men and women need to be there for each other. The education system has many teachers as women. They support each other. A school system is always a strong unit. The corporate sector is slowly catching up with this. So these are some examples of the importance of female role.

Now this word “empowering” is to allow a woman to feel good about the feminine, instead of making her feel bad about being born as a woman. But if it is sense of power, then we are barking up a wrong tree. This sense of “empowerment” is wrong for men too.

According to me, to have “power”, that is to control or influence others is not the way forward to humanity. To do that would be a destructive way forward. The masculine way forward was like that, and the feminist movement happened because of that.

Women meditating

Women meditating

So, I think empowering women is to bring back the balance, to value, to cherish, to support and complement the female roles in all cultures, society.

For example, somebody should not be embarrassed to say she is a housewife. That is a sad thing to happen. Women raising children and supporting her husband is as important a role, to being a CEO of an organization. Raising kids is  the future of humanity.

Until we start to change our viewpoints, we are not empowering women.

PR: What is the role of women in spirituality with regards to her family, community and society? And how to fulfil that?

ED: Spirituality is nothing but giving. Creating unity, harmony and love are associated with spirituality. As a mother, we always give. It is our function. How can u have children and not give? Even to bear a child, you give up your individuality. You wake up in the middle of the night, EVERY.SINGLE.NIGHT, to feed your baby. You don’t sacrifice. It is a natural part of giving. We do everything to support the child.

This is spirituality. We are in a better place than our brothers to embrace spirituality – to give unconditionally, and with love.

PR: How to strike a balance between being confident and feeling serene and content within?

ED: In spirituality we are interested in excelling. We do everything we would like to do. We don’t want overconfidence. We don’t want egotism. Humility is important for spiritual growth. Humility is not feeling bad about oneself. What I mean is, “I see my place in the world. There are other people who are greater. Everyone has their place.” A garden has many flowers, not just one.

Humility is that little plant or flower knowing that there are other beautiful things too, but nevertheless its presence also makes the garden beautiful. So humility brings its own confidence. With an attitude to wonder, a willingness to grow and change, one gets a joyous confidence that the universe will teach me what I have to learn.When I integrate confidence and humility, I can do the best I can, at all times.

PR: If there is one message you would like to share with women who have started practising Heartfulness Meditation, what would that be?

ED: Take interest! That is the most important thing. You can find solutions for anything when you are interested. Evolve to become a better mother, a wife, a human being. You, as a group of women are taking so much interest in maintaining this blog, and unifying women across the world, and you contribute with your interest and energy. It is so popular, and there are so many women looking up to it, learning through it, and it is changing lives of women across the world. So, interest is the most important thing.

Take interest in Heartfulness Meditation, and observe it changing your lives.

If you would like to meet Dr. Denley, you can connect with her through social media, email her or meet her in person at any of the US Heartfulness conferences coming up in June! She is chairing one of the breakout sessions in Detroit and will speak about “Heartfulness Education for Creating a Resilient, Well-Grounded Student.” She will interact with the audience and outline the educational initiatives of the Heartfulness Movement, such as the Conscious Living Program, U-Connect etc., and their impact so far.

A limited number of free seats to the Heartfulness conferences are available to contributors and fans of World Moms Blog. You can register here! http://conference.heartfulnessinstitute.org/register

Register for the Meditation Conferences

Register for the Meditation Conferences

Please contact us (worldmomsblog@gmail.com) for a free pass.

This is an original interview of Dr. Elizabeth Denley to World Moms Blog by Senior Editor, Purnima Ramakrishnan.

Photo Credit: Heartfulness Institute

Purnima Ramakrishnan

Purnima Ramakrishnan is an UNCA award winning journalist and the recipient of the fellowship in Journalism by International Reporting Project, John Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. Her International reports from Brazil are found here . She is also the recipient of the BlogHer '13 International Activist Scholarship Award . She is a Senior Editor at World Moms Blog who writes passionately about social and other causes in India. Her parental journey is documented both here at World Moms Blog and also at her personal Blog, The Alchemist's Blog. She can be reached through this page . She also contributes to Huffington Post . Purnima was once a tech-savvy gal who lived in the corporate world of sleek vehicles and their electronics. She has a Master's degree in Electronics Engineering, but after working for 6 years as a Design Engineer, she decided to quit it all to become a Stay-At-Home-Mom to be with her son!   This smart mom was born and raised in India, and she has moved to live in coastal India with her husband, who is a physician, and her son who is in primary grade school.   She is a practitioner and trainer of Heartfulness Meditation.

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Women and Spirituality: An Interview with Dr. Elizabeth Denley of #Heartfulness (Part – 1)

Women and Spirituality: An Interview with Dr. Elizabeth Denley of #Heartfulness (Part – 1)

“Please join us in the 2016 #Heartfulness Meditation Conference in the USA. If you are a World Moms Blog contributor, or reader, or  fan, please contact us (worldmomsblog@gmail.com) for a free pass.”

This is part – 1 of the interview. Part – 2 of the interview with more insights is published here.

Dr. Elizebeth Denley, Trainer, Heartfulness Institute

Dr. Elizebeth Denley, Trainer, Heartfulness Institute

Dr. Elizabeth Denley, a trainer and practitioner of Heartfulness Meditation (HFN) calls herself, “a student of the heart.” For the last twenty-six years she has been practising a heart-based meditation and facilitating and teaching others in that practice. She spends most of her time in Sydney Australia and Chennai India (my hometown!), and has two adult children.

Her undergraduate degree and PhD are in the field of ecology, and she has always had a deep interest in the relationship between science and spirituality, the human mind and vibratory heart, and the nature of the universe. She is also a musician and a writer, and has been active in values education and training for the last twenty years. She also heads the “History and Archives” department of the Heartfulness Institute as the Director.

Our Senior Editor, Purnima Ramakrishnan in India recently interviewed Dr. Denley for World Moms Blog.

Purnima Ramakrishnan: We want to get to know you! Tell us a little bit more about yourself as a mother, as a professional, as a meditator.
Elizabeth Denley: I am 60 now. I have lived a very eventful life. I was born in Australia, South of Sydeney. I have always been interested in learning, exploring, and studied music and dance as a child.

My parents encouraged me to explore life. They were not religious which helped me explore most of the spiritual traditions with an open heart and mind.

After high school, I joined medical school, but did not like it much, so I moved to biology studies and studied Ecology. I couldn’t cope up with the emotional life at Stanford University, which drove me to the quest towards spirituality.

After my post doctoral studies in the US, I moved back to Australia, and got married. My husband worked for the United Nations, with the Doctors Sans Borders, so we traveled a lot. My daughter was born in Paris. and when we were in Geneva, I discovered Heartfulness meditation in 1990. A week later, I met the then spiritual guide Chariji, and that was a turning point in my life — when I discovered my purpose of life. All the research work done on mind, matter, heart, and life studies made sudden sense to me.

In 1991, I became a trainer of Heartfulness meditation. And my son Lucas was born. We moved back to Australia. I was a home maker for a decade, while parenting and volunteering for the Heartfulness Institute in teaching meditation and doing administrative work for the organization.

In 2000, I moved back to the business world, and worked for 10 years, before finally retiring in 2010. It was very tough for me, because I never liked money and business. I always shied away from it. I was disgusted with the world. Then I understood business is about communication and relationships in a different scale. It was a very disillusioning experience, but it also taught me to grow up and handle my emotions.

PR: How has practicing meditation for “25” long years affected your life?

ED: It has transformed my life. I used to be very emotional, which did not enable me to live a really fulfilling life. I was capable and successful in what I was doing, but there was always something fundamentally missing in my life. I tried Tai chi. I tried other spiritual techniques. They all led me to something new and different, and eventually I tried Heartfulness Meditation.

At the time I was a typical western woman who grew up in the 60s and 70s. I was not able to deal with my life. I was frustrated and when I tried Heartfulness meditation, I knew evolution within me had started. It was a turning of the tide. Life did not overnight become easy. It was no magic wand. However, I knew the purpose of my life, and I knew how to deal with the rest of things that did not matter so much.

PR: Tell us a little bit about your children (because we are the World “Moms” Blog!). How has your meditation practice helped your kids?

ED: My Heartfulness practice made life easier for them. My daughter was 2 years old, when I first met my teacher. She had me as her mother before I started meditating whereas, my son was conceived when I was meditating. My son’s path in life is so much smoother. I am a better mother as a result of doing this.

Firstly, I am more straightforward, I am happier. There is more joy in me naturally.

Also my children were brought up in an environment, where there is a bigger love than what I or their father could offer. They grew up in an atmosphere which was charged with an atmosphere of Universal love. These like-minded people were open hearted. Not everybody is perfect. But there was genuine willingness to work on oneself, and open hearts and evolve.

My children have had their struggles. They had their teenage years. But they also had the ability to maneuver obstacles. They had the ability to smoothly sail.

PR: It is difficult to find time to allocate for meditation in today’s busy lives, when women are balancing jobs, parenting, home, and more. How did you find that elusive 30 minutes in the morning?

ED: When I first started HFN, my husband was travelling a lot with the UN. He was out of Geneva most of the time. And I had a 3 year old. Many times my daughter Gerry woke up at 5 AM. So, I waited. I fitted my spiritual practice around family life. And still today I would do that when there is a necessity. There are no hard and fast rules for women. Often I would meditate after feeding Lucas in the night!

There are, of course, a set of guidelines for the best time to meditate, which is at dawn.
But at times, it is not always easy. It is not always straightforward. You have to find and build your own rhythm. No woman is selfish – to tell her family – “I can’t help you now- because I am meditating.” So fit the practice around family life. It is a matter of being flexible.

Check out Part – 2 of Dr. Elizabeth Denley’s interview here.

If you would like to meet Dr. Denley, you can connect with her through social media or meet her in person at any of the US Heartfulness conferences coming up in June! In fact, she is chairing one of the breakout sessions in Detroit and will speak about “Heartfulness Education for Creating a Resilient, Well-Grounded Student.” She will interact with the audience and outline the educational initiatives of the Heartfulness Movement, such as the Conscious Living Program, U-Connect etc., and their impact so far.

A limited number of free seats to the Heartfulness conferences are available to contributors and fans of World Moms Blog. You can register here!:  http://conference.heartfulnessinstitute.org/register/

Register for the Heartfulness Conferences

Register for the Heartfulness Conferences in June 2016!

This is an original post to World Moms Blog by Senior Editor, Purnima Ramakrishnan. 

Photo credit to the author. 

Purnima Ramakrishnan

Purnima Ramakrishnan is an UNCA award winning journalist and the recipient of the fellowship in Journalism by International Reporting Project, John Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. Her International reports from Brazil are found here . She is also the recipient of the BlogHer '13 International Activist Scholarship Award . She is a Senior Editor at World Moms Blog who writes passionately about social and other causes in India. Her parental journey is documented both here at World Moms Blog and also at her personal Blog, The Alchemist's Blog. She can be reached through this page . She also contributes to Huffington Post . Purnima was once a tech-savvy gal who lived in the corporate world of sleek vehicles and their electronics. She has a Master's degree in Electronics Engineering, but after working for 6 years as a Design Engineer, she decided to quit it all to become a Stay-At-Home-Mom to be with her son!   This smart mom was born and raised in India, and she has moved to live in coastal India with her husband, who is a physician, and her son who is in primary grade school.   She is a practitioner and trainer of Heartfulness Meditation.

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World Mom, Purnima Ramakrishnan, is on @BabyCenter today!

World Mom, Purnima Ramakrishnan, is on @BabyCenter today!

Purnima Ramakrishnan 600

Purnima Ramakrishnan is a Senior Editor for World Moms Blog in Chennai, India.

As part of World Moms Blog’s collaboration with BabyCenter’s Mission Motherhood™, our World Moms are writing posts on maternal health around the world. In today’s post, Purnima Ramakrishnan of India writes,

“…I recently had a conversation with a mother who is a local domestic worker in my hometown. She travels just under an hour from her village and works, here, in Chennai. We began by chatting about our children (as all mothers love to do, right?). When I asked how many children she had, she told me that she had 3 living and also a son that had died at birth over 30 years ago. The news was a shock to me, and I asked about her story…”

Read the full post over at BabyCenter’s Mission Motherhood™!

–World Moms Blog 

World Moms Blog

World Moms Blog is an award winning website which writes from over 30 countries on the topics of motherhood, culture, human rights and social good. Over 70 international contributors share their stories from around the globe, bonded by the common thread of motherhood and wanting a better world for their children. World Moms Blog was listed by Forbes Woman as one of the "Best 100 Websites for Women 2012 & 2013" and also called a "must read" by the NY Times Motherlode in 2013. Our Senior Editor in India, Purnima Ramakrishnan, was awarded the BlogHer International Activist Award in 2013.

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USA: The Mother on a Refugee Boat

USA: The Mother on a Refugee Boat

HumanityWashedAshore

I have a story about being a mother and a refugee.

It was 1949, in the middle of Chinese civil war. A mother trying to escape from the war-torn China got on a refugee boat in Guangzhou with her 3-year-old and 1-year-old.

The boat was sailing to Kaohsiung. Soon after they left the port, the two children started to cry. People on the boat were afraid that the kids crying would attract the communist navy searching for refugees on the sea, and were going to throw the kids into the sea.

The mother fought against those people with all her strength, promising that she would stop the children crying. She took off her blouse, put the two kids under her arms, one on each side, and then put her nipples into the kids’ mouths. Comforted by their mother’s breasts, the children calmed down. The mother kept nursing her children until they arrived in Kaohsiung safely two days later.

The mother in the story was my grandmother. Those two children were my father and my uncle.

I heard the story from my grandmother when I was a little girl. It’s been such a long time that I almost forgot about it, or I never really paid attention to it. I was too young to understand what being a mom, or being a refugee is really like.

Then the #HumanityWashedAshore image of a 3-year-old Syrian boy lay dead on the beach shocked the world. It is reported the boy, Aylan, drowned with his mother and 5-year-old brother on a short run from Turkey to the Greek Island of Kos.

The image shocked me, too. I thought of my 2-year-old, more than that I thought of my grandma. For the first time, I tried to imagine what it really was like for a 20-year-old young mother to get on an over-loaded refugee boat with two toddlers and to continue to breastfeed them for two days in the middle of the sea to flee from violence, oppression and poverty. How hard, or how dangerous it could be? My grandma said, “we could have died.” Now I knew she was serious.

Aylan was not one person. Three more children died last night trying to cross that TWO MILES to safety.

Aylan could be my dad, or my uncle, or any of us. War was never very far away from us. It’s often just one generation or two miles away.

Aylan’s father told The Telegraph, “let this be the last.” I hope so but highly doubt it. History repeats itself. When will we ever learn?

Read more: Things we can do to help. Now.

This is an original post to World Moms Blog by To-wen Tseng of California, USA. 

Photo credit to Europe Says OXI.

To-Wen Tseng

Former TV reporter turned freelance journalist, children's book writer in wee hours, nursing mom by passion. To-wen blogs at I'd rather be breastfeeding. She can also be found on Twitter and Facebook.

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