Call me crazy, but I love storms. I hate driving in them and I despise going out while it’s storming, but the best feeling is being nestled in your bed, your lights off, and just enjoying a sense of peace from the pecks of the rain hitting your window and the rumble of thunder in the background. It’s the best sleep ever.
I understand that it’s quite common for people to fear not necessarily the storm aspect but the results of a bad storm. Whether it’s a tornado or a hurricane, obviously storms can create hazardous situations. It’s been many times that people have found themselves seeking shelter in a storm room, hallway, basement, or even a bathroom when storms threaten our safety, but I can honestly admit that I’ve never felt the need to “take cover” during a tornado or thunderstorm. I can find all of the comfort and protection I need wrapped in a blanket with my head buried underneath a pillow in my bed. Slightly crazy, but for me it’s a blissful feeling.
How do I find peacefulness among all of the chaos that’s going on outside my bedroom window? I don’t think that I’ll ever have a logical answer for that question but I do have an explanation that may seem wacky to most people. Weather storms are relative to the constant storms that we all face in life. If I could gather one thousand random people from multiple demographics, ethnicities, countries, and religions they would all have one thing in common: dilemmas in life. No one is exempt from struggles or storms. That’s what I like to call them.
Growing up, my mother always told me, “You’re either entering a storm, going through a storm, or coming out of a storm.”
That is the true circle of life, Lion King!
When she would say this, it would make me feel some type of way because if you overthink the statement, it can have an underlying morbid theme. However, when I became older and started to face these storms alone, I was able to understand the hidden message behind my mother’s words. “How are you going to handle your storm?” Where are you going to find your peace?
I find my peace spiritually and through my faith. Without having something to trust in, I can easily get trapped in the storm that’s coming toward me. If I don’t seek shelter within the arms of God, then my personal “storms” will immediately grab me and absorb my life.
Instead of focusing on the storm, I have to remain focused on the promises of God and the hope that he has for my future. Spiritually, God is my bed that I can snuggle in my blanket and rest my head on while the storm attempts to destroy my life. I can rest peacefully and know that he replenishes, provides, and protects me through everything.
Ultimately, this is why I enjoy storms. It gives me the opportunity to rely on someone greater than myself. It’s like a faith building strategy too, if you must add something logical to this message. However, I’m a free spirit and a believer in the unexplainable, which is why it’s easy for me to believe in a God who would create tumultuous tornados yet you can find peace within the eye. It’s just another way for nature to be a testament for our life.
Since it is Women’s History Month and we live in a world where women make at most 77 cents for every dollar that a man makes, it is important that we stay encouraged and continue to fight for what is rightfully ours. With that being said I just wanted to highlight three young ladies all under the age of 20 who are stepping out, speaking up, and showing that age is truly nothing but a number.
Zendaya Coleman- The 19 year old singer and actress has always made it known what she believes in and she refuses to allow anyone, especially a “dude in a suit,” to change or rearrange her dreams. She has called out a magazine for photoshopping her without permission and has released a Barbie doll featuring her dreads and all. She has proven that feminism is about fairness and she has taken steps in her career to get women that much closer to equality.
Amandla Stenberg- The 17 year old actress known as Rue from the Hunger Games, has had a lot to say about Women of Color and has encouraged young girls to take an interest in STEM. She even won Ms. Foundation of Women’s Feminist Celebrity of the year.
Rowan Blanchard – The 14-year-old actress from the Boy Meets World spinoff, Girl Meets World, has had a lot to say about women’s right. She wrote a powerful essay about the intersection of women and how White feminists rarely consider the needs of Women of Color and Trans Women. She has always used her voice and knowledge to lift and educate others, which is commendable for someone so young.
I say all this to say that you are truly never too young or too anything for that matter to make a change. It is easy to think that you are not capable of making a difference because of your age, race, size, gender, or situation. However, that is simply not true. It is never too late to get up and just go after it, whatever IT is.
The parents in this generation are in a very unique predicament. We are in a world where vaccines, outbreaks, home births, Surgical births, GMO’s, Naturopathic care, birth defects, Organic food, and reclaiming our right to make educated decisions are on the rise. Yes, many of these are contradictions to themselves; like GMO’s and Organic food both being on the rise, but this is the reality of 2016. It is crucial for parents to rise up and educate themselves to make decisions that they know are suitable for their families. In this interesting time, this is really key in handing down the power of doing research and standing up for what is right to the next generation. This is a movement of empowerment, in many realms.
These are some of the many reasons Colleen Chapman founded the Non- Profit Organization O.H.A.N.A. here on the Island of O’ahu. Her whole drive is to create a “Healthy future for our children and community.” O.H.A.N.A. stands for O’ahu Healthy Agricultural Neighborhood Alliance. The group started just recently in September of 2015 and is still ramping up to add members to the group and solidify their role in the community. Colleen knows that they are passionate about four main points:
Colleen really hopes to spread knowledge with this organization to families on O’ahu and inform them about the reality of Environmental threats, GMO’s, agricultural knowledge that every family should possess and the boldness to stand up for the healthiest and best options for our Island! Colleen lived out this mission by her recent submittal of testament for the HB2564. This bill intended to create a vegetative buffer some between GMO’s crops and schools. This is a solution to something that, honestly, I never even knew was a problem! This just goes to show how powerful it is to have women like Colleen Chapman creating Organizations like O.H.A.N.A. to educate the community on topics that everyone will care about if only they were EDUCATED on these topics!
We cannot sit around and be Naive anymore. Colleen really hopes to make the understanding of these bills and legislative issues easy for the public so that they can play their role in effecting positive change for the next generation and our own, by voting, lobbying, and doing their part within their own neighborhoods. If this is something that you are interested in learning more about, or are well versed in these topics and want to join forces with O.H.A.N.A. Then please Get in touch with Colleen!
To connect with Colleen you can find them on their Facebook page! Also if you do not have this as a Local Resource to you Reach out to Colleen to see what some other options might be for you! She is a wonderful Wealth of Knowledge!
Kathe and Kaja Gibbs are a mother & daughter duo that serve Oahu women and families in the childbearing years as Licensed Midwives. They offer well-woman’s health care, midwifery care for pregnancy, birth, postpartum, and birth photography/videography! They are passionate about empowering women and creating community amongst mothers. Kathe is a longtime Licensed Midwife who provides Women’s Health Care as well as Home Birth/Birth Home Services to Mothers from the coming-of-age years, through pregnancy and birth, and completion of the childbearing years. Kaja is like-minded and a recent graduate and Licensed Midwife, thrilled to join her mom and live the dream of practicing together. When I had the honor of meeting these women, I was met with open arms and bright eyes! They are undeniably passionate about women reclaiming our right to birth at home, and to do so with a powerfully supportive community behind them!
Kathe has been practicing Midwifery for three decades all over the world, allowing for very unique and diverse experiences. These experiences opened Kathe up to powerful doctrines, educational relationships, experiences and vigor for increasing awareness in women about normal physiologic, instinctual, empowering birth and parenting! In her travels, Kathe learned about women’s health, healing, movement, bodywork therapies, homeopathy, naturopathy, and nutrition. Kathe has attended more than 1,600 out-of-hospital births in her years of practice and there is no sign of her wanting to slow down. Actually, I see an intensity in her and in her daughter
Kaja to continue their work to effect even more change in the birthing world!
Kaja moved to Hawaii to embark on a nursing school path in order to become a CNM. During that time, she became pregnant with her daughter and had an amazing, documented home birth with her mother as her Midwife. That experience reaffirmed to her that becoming a Midwife was what she wanted to do. She began her training in California with her mother for two years, and then completed her training in the State of Washington to receive certification as a CPM, and then on to become a Licensed Midwife. Kaja put her certification to work at a local birthing center, as she and her mother cultivated a big move back to Hawaii.
In my interview with the two, I was impressed by the way they complemented one another and their wealth of knowledge! They had imagined partnering together to support women in their birthing experiences, and now they are thrilled that they are in Hawaii doing just that. Kaja recalled memories of “sitting in the corner of the birthing room” when she was old enough to watch her mother assisting laboring mothers. She knew then that was her inspiration to go down the path to be a Midwife herself! It took several years to get where she is now: with much ‘due diligence’ in education, clinical training, and dedication to this work.
Kathe opened up about her history of becoming a midwife as well! She was actually in the FIRST class in the FIRST state to offer Midwifery Licensure! She was licensed in 1981 in Washington state, and after a move back home to California was among the first midwives to become licensed there. Her wonderful career is blossoming into fulfilling a long-held vision: to create a sanctuary for women, a center for women’s
health care and family wellness…a place to go, receive information, support, share… She mentions that women are very open-minded during pregnancy because they are aiming to do their best in birth and beyond. She feels that this then is the time most ‘ripe’/receptive for education and information.
Just exactly what services do Licensed Midwives provide? What are their education and training? Consumers and professionals alike are confused. It has been studied and proven that midwifery care for women out-of-hospital for the low-risk population, is as safe, if not safer, and is definitely more cost-effective, as well as demonstrates improved statistics on a range of maternal/child health matters. Midwifery care has always existed worldwide, and its resurgence into primary care in the U.S. is yielding fantastic statistics! It’s time to for midwifery care here and now.
This realization inspired Kathe to create the film: “Birth – A Full Circle of Seasons in the Childbearing Year”, which showcases Kaja’s photography. It has the intention of opening women up to the possibilities of safe, sacred, family birth in an out-of-hospital setting. It is not a documentary Kathe claims, rather she describes it as “to be experienced through the senses: eyes, ears, heart, mind, spirit! It is a visual landscape of that transformative year”
Kathe and Kaja are located in the Hawaii Kai area in a beautiful space where women come together to begin building community with events, support circles, film showings and receive personalized family-centered health care. These women are stunningly involved in the community, effecting positive change and passionate about working with women and families.
You can meet these powerful women in person, and view a clip of the film at this summer’s Mama Makeke, June 25, 9:00 am – 1:00 pm at the WAC in Hale’iwa. See you there!
To connect with Kathe and Kaja, please check out their websites:
www.hawaiimidwives.com | www.borntwobirth.com
Corporate America is full of great opportunity and deep land mines. As you climb the corporate ladder, it’s critical that you learn the career pitfalls through shared wisdom instead of personal experience. Although experience is the best teacher, learning from others can help you miss the mistakes and mishaps that could be avoidable.
Here are five words of wisdom that were passed on to me from career mentors and professionals:
- Stop asking if you can have it all. Men have been doing it for years, so the question is unnecessary. Just go after what you want and just do it.
- Balance is not only important but it’s necessary. Don’t spend so much time investing in work that you forget the ones and things that truly matter.
- Attire does matter so dress for the job you want, not for the job you have.
- If you’re in the midst of a difficult conversation via email, it’s best to type your response and hold off on sending it.Walk away or come back to it later in the day to review the draft.This will allow you the opportunity to ensure the appropriate tone and response. When in doubt, save draft.
- Do not participate in gossip. Simply don’t do it. People that you think are not paying attention, see and hear it all and your association with the drama can become detrimental to your career growth.
What are some words of wisdom that have helped you navigate your career?
An unfortunate reality centers around the need for higher education in America and the lack of resources and support around educating students (and alumni) about student loan debt. it is the responsibility for the borrower of the student loans to learn the various outlets, payment plans, and resources available to them.
For people like me, I have both private and federally funded student loans. Federal loans are regulated by the government and often have lower rates and loan forgiveness plans for respective fields. Private loans are at the discretion of the lender and often vary through the terms and conditions within the loans.
Some people accept that student loans are a part of life and plan to pay them for the rest of their lives; I refuse to be one of them. As crazy as it sounds, I’ve always declared that I will be free from student loan debt– or all debt for that matter. As I began my journey last year, I found out some things that are truly eye-opening, and worth sharing with you.
Student loans can never be included in a bankruptcy.
Contrary to all other forms of debt, by law student loans can never be forgiven into any form of bankruptcy. They are also transferrable after death (which will be noted within the terms and conditions). This means that for some, family members and loved ones will be responsible for your debt after you die.
Private Loan interests can roll into the principal amount, and it’s legal.
When I originally signed for my loans– my collective amount for undergrad was approximately 35K. during my forbearance period after graduation, the principal grew from 35K to 55K. How in the world did that happen?! Well, during forbearance periods after graduation, the maximum amount of interest accrues on the loans. Once your forbearance period is over, the lender can transfer your interest amount to the principal, essentially securing the payment of that interest for that time given. The worst thing anyone can do is continue to place student loans in forbearance when they have the funds to pay them. It will only hurt you in the long run.
Co-signers can be released.
After you have paid your loans for some time and have made on-time payments, borrowers can request the lender to release the co-signer from the responsibility of the loan. There are quite a few required steps to make this happen (like an age requirement, credit check, proof of income, etc.) but it’s worth investigating. Im sure the co-signer will be grateful.
Loan consolidation is not always best
With student loans, borrowers can consolidate (also called refinance) student loans ONE time during the lifetime of the loan. Most decide to do that to minimize the multiple interest rates, which can ultimately lower the monthly payment. For those who want to pay the loans off before the expected term end date, loan consolidation may not be best. Why? With a large loan amount, it’s much harder to pay that off vs. multiple small loans. It’s easier to see a “light” at the end of the tunnel if you’re focusing on paying off a student loan of 10K instead of a large loan of 80K. If you go this route, always tackle your lowest loan first and use the Dave Ramsey Domino effect and move to your next loan to pay off.
Student loan debt doesn’t have to be a part of our lives for the rest of our lives (and potentially the remaining lives of your loved ones). Be proactive and get educated on the options that are available to you!
Do you have any additional tips to share?