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Be a Goddess: 7 Characters that Make Us By CATHERINE CALARCO

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Women
Be a Goddess: 7 Characters that Make Us By CATHERINE CALARCO

Catherine and Nadine discuss wisdom of the ages and how to master authentic leaderhsip in todays technology enabled world. We will discuss the main teachings Nadine has garnered along her journeys. She will be sharing simple tools to better decipher our complex selves and what it entails to live an authentic life.

Among others – she will share a simple blueprint to answer the question “how can I lead a meaningful Life?”; she will tell us about a creative way to look at the different characters that live in us all (our inner “RoundTable”); she will remind us of ancient Greek myths and how relevant they are to understand who we are, here and now; she will decipher current political events through the lens of ‘ancient schools of wisdom’ and timeless psychological processes taking place in all of us, no matter which culture or era in history we belong to.

Together, we review how to integrate the wisdom of the ages into the use of technology for career, family and community.  The tools and technology to empower the 7 characters and be the full goddess that we are in today’s world.

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Now What? By Eli Weiss

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Variety
Now What? By Eli Weiss

After such tremendous shifts in 2016 from the IUCN, to CITES, and to the US Presidential election… Now What? Tune in with Eli Weiss on Our Wild World Talk Radio as we go back to 2012 and hold the cards to the future. We’re on the razors edge of what we choose to implement good or bad.

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Congress Should Not Be a Part-Time Job by Rebecca Costa

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Capitol Building, Washington, USA

Capitol Building, Washington, USA

What if the next President of the United States decided not to move to the nation’s capital? After the election, they announced plans to fly into Washington on Monday — keep office hours on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays — and return home on Friday. What if they were comfortable sleeping on the sofa in the Oval Office, showering at the gym, and eating in the staff cafeteria when they were in town?

What? You don’t like the sound of that?

Welcome to the United States Congress.

According to former Senate Majority Leaders, Tom Daschle (D) and Trent Lott (R), members of Congress presently work together three days a week, or less. So, no one knows any one any more. There’s no camaraderie, no communication, no socializing, no nothing. Given this environment, its no wonder government leaders can’t find common ground. Compromise takes time, cooperation, give and take. It’s a lot like a marriage — and we all know what the stats on
long distance relationships look like.

So how bad is it?

The latest stats reveal that 78 percent of those elected to Congress now spend 40 out of 52 weekends a year at home. Tim Roemer, former representative from Indiana claims that Congressional “commuting” is taking a serious toll: “Despite a $174,000 salary, members of Congress do the job we elected them to do only ‘part time.’ The rest of the time, they are chasing money for their re-election campaigns.” Which means time away from the nation’s capital, and business. The days when leaders bonded over children’s birthday parties, a weekend neighborhood barbeque, and working side by side into the night to pass legislation, are all long gone. In fact, so many Representatives and Senators now commute that no voting is scheduled on Mondays and Fridays.

With Congress spending less than a third of the year working together, the partisan divide has become untenable. It’s become such a serious issue that veterans like Daschle and Lott felt compelled to come together to author Crisis Point: Why We Must — And How We Can — Overcome Our Broken Politics In Washington And Across America. According to the career statesmen, the key to working together is spending time together. Though Daschle and Lott were the top leaders of their respective parties, they found a way to pass three balanced budgets and enact historic reforms. Speaking out on this topic, Daschle explained the role living and working in Washington D.C. played in facilitating compromise, “You have to know people in order to work with them. And in order to work with them you have to be able to communicate with them. None of that happens today. They (elected officials) are going to be in Congress 109 days this year out of 365. That doesn’t make sense . . .”

But it turns out, according to the law, it does make sense. The U.S. Constitutionrequires members of Congress to maintain residency in their home state. No Congressperson can serve who “shall not, when elected, be an Inhabitant of that State for which he shall be chosen.” Which means, once elected, an official can’t just up and move to Washington — they’re committed to keep one foot in both places.

And there’s a second reason elected officials feel pressure to spend time in their home state: the skyrocketing costs of re-election. Since 1986, campaign budgets have jumped 62 percent for the Senate, and 344 percent for Representatives. So fundraising and maintaining voter support back home is now an around the clock job. Never mind the pressure to raise money for their respective parties.

Senator Tom Harkin, the longest serving Democrat in Iowa echoes Daschle and Lott’s concerns:

“It’s not as much fun in that we’re so consumed with other things. Here’s what I mean — we used to have a Senate Dining Room that was only for senators. We’d go down there and sit around there, and Joe Biden and Fritz Hollings and Dale Bumpers and Ted Stevens and Strom Thurmond and a bunch of us — Democrats and Republicans. We’d have lunch and joke and tell stories, a great camaraderie. That dining room doesn’t exist any longer because people quit going there. Why did they quit going? Well, we’re not there on Monday, and we’re not there on Friday. Tuesday we have our party caucuses. That leaves Wednesday and Thursday — and guess what people are doing then? They’re out raising money. The time is so consumed with raising money now… that you don’t have the time for the kind of personal relationships that so many of us built up over time.”

But according to Eric Wang, attorney and senior fellow at the Center for Competitive Politics, the real reason politicians spend so much of their time securing campaign donations is because contribution limits have not been adjusted for inflation since 1974. “(In 1974) an individual could give $1,000 per election to a candidate, and a Political Action Committee (PAC) could give $5,000 per election to a candidate and $15,000 per year to a party committee. Had those limits been properly adjusted for inflation, those limits today would be $4,814, $24,070 and $72,211, respectively.” But the cap today is much lower: $2,700, $5,000 and $15,000. So, to make up the difference “candidates spend more time chasing after a greater number of contributors for their own campaigns and their party committees.” Other research appears to buttress Wang’s idea that the unintended consequence of smaller campaign contributions is that politicians have to devote more time to fundraising. Studies from the Center for Competitive Politics reveal that 7 out of 17 states with high or no limits on campaign donations scored “above average” for quality of governance. Yet, out of 16 states that have strict contribution limits, only 3 scored “above average.”

So, working backwards, raising the limits of campaign contributions would go a long way toward freeing up elected official’s time.

Second, voters need to elect Congressional candidates who are willing to abide by the same standards we have for the Oval Office. They must commit to move to the nation’s capital and work together, on behalf of the American people, five days a week. No more part-time governance, sleeping on the couches in their offices and showering at the gym. Members of the House and Senate receive a $1.2 million annual expense allowance, as well as free flights between their home and Washington D.C. — all paid for by taxpayers. So it’s fair to demand they use this allowance to maintain a residence where they work.

Third, Congress needs to schedule important votes on Monday and Friday. Daschle observes, “Why not have votes on Fridays and Mondays and keep people in the legislative body for the entire week?” If you want people to stick around, give them a reason to.

Lastly, when it comes to chasing campaign money, Daschle suggests, “We should not allow members of Congress to raise money while we’re in session. That way they wouldn’t have to be racing all over the country on weekends. The American people want to see Congress get things done first of all. They’d like to see them working . . .they want to see them end this incredible money race.” Longtime Congressman, Lee Hamilton, concurs, “They (members of Congress) don’t get to know each other. When they do interact, they are often in confrontational settings. Legislation is a very complex process. It takes a lot of time, a lot of give and take, and you cannot force it.”

But what we can force is a five day work week and a commitment to live in Washington D.C. We wouldn’t stand for a part-time President and there is no reason for Americans to accept less from Congress.

WILL THE PARTIES LINE UP BEHIND TRUMP AND CLINTON? by Rebecca Costa

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WILL THE PARTIES LINE UP BEHIND TRUMP AND CLINTON? by Rebecca Costa

As we near the end of the primary season and the reality of a national contest sets in, the question on everyone’s mind is whether voters will come together to support their party’s nominee. Romney and other GOP leaders have publicly stated they will not support frontrunner Donald Trump. On the other hand, polls show that many Bernie Sanders supporters would rather sit the election out than cast their vote for Clinton.  In short, both leading contenders face serious obstacles when it comes to unifying their parties, let alone the country.

First, Trump.

Though he won three states on Super Tuesday and has secured roughly half the delegates needed to win the GOP nomination, last week party leaders secretly gathered to block Trump from the general election. Politico obtained a copy of an invitation sent to Republican leaders which read, “Please join other conservative leaders to strategize how to defeat Donald Trump for the Republican nomination, and if he is the Republican nominee for President, to offer a true conservative candidate in the general election.” According to political insider, Roger Stone, the Republican Party has, “cooked up a strategy…to steal delegates from Trump so that he’ll fall below 1,237 on the first ballot, and then, before the second ballot, to present one of their (own) group … as the Savior of the Grand Old Party.”

Given opposition from the most powerful members of his party, can Trump bring the GOP together?  He can if he follows these 3 simple steps:

For openers, make certain his competitors join forces with him.  Though Trump is widely known for his deal-making skills, pundits were completely caught off guard when Chris Christie and Ben Carson aligned with the frontrunner.  If he’s successful at negotiating similar support from Rubio, Kasich, and later, Cruz, the GOP starts to come together right then and there.

Second, redefine who the GOP voter really is.  This week on The Costa Report, cofounder and Executive Editor of The Weekly Standard, Fred Barnes, explained how the demographics of the GOP is changing. “A major reason for Trump’s emergence as the frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination is his appeal to these overlooked (working class) voters. While the RNC was concentrating on appealing to its five “demographic partners,” (Hispanics, Asian and Pacific Islander Americans, African Americans, women, and youth) Trump was studying Rick Santorum’s book Blue Collar Conservatives.”  Even GOP leaders opposed to Trump can’t deny the fact that he’s engaged a previously untapped voter – recruiting record numbers of discontented, frustrated working class Americans to vote in the primaries.  Can the GOP afford to alienate the new recruits by circumventing their newfound hero?  Doubtful.

Lastly, to unify his party Trump will have to soften his language on controversial topics, and grow vocal on issues on which ALL voters agree – issues such as lowering taxes and abolishing the IRS.  Last year the Pew Research Centerfound that 59 percent of Americans feel “there is so much wrong with the federal tax system that Congress should completely change it.” Any candidate who appeals to 59 percent of voters is likely to experience success similar to Ronald Reagan, whose entire presidential campaign was based on tax cuts.

Next up, Clinton.

Whereas Clinton has the support of the Democratic establishment, she hasn’t been pulling the kind of primary numbers needed to win a national election.  Not like Trump or Sanders. What’s more, 95 percent of all Democratic voters say they don’t want Sanders to throw in the towel and support Clinton.  And over one third of Sanders’ supporters say they will not vote for Clinton if she is the nominee.

Recently, a number of online petitions have begun appearing on websites such as Change.org, where over 10,000 signatories have promised not to vote for Hillary if she is the party’s choice.  Samantha-Jo Roth reported in theHuffington Post, that Sanders voters see Trump as a better option than Clinton because they want a non-establishment, Washington outsider. According to Calvin Priest, political organizer with Socialist Alternative, “If Bernie does not run all the way through November, the field will be left open to Trump to tap into the massive (Democratic) anger at the establishment. This can cause lasting damage, as many people who could have been won over to Bernie’s platform will be repelled by Clinton’s establishment politics, and won over instead to Trump’s right-wing, anti-immigrant, anti-worker message.”

When it comes to unifying the Democratic Party, it looks as if Clinton has as rough a road ahead of her as her Republican counterpart.  So, what, if anything, can she do to pull her party together?

First, she needs Sanders to join her.  Sanders supporters are urging him to run as a third party or ‘write-in’ candidateshould he lose the nomination and a defection would deal a deathblow to Clinton’s chances.  While one third of Sanders supporters claim they will not vote for Clinton, that still leaves two thirds up for grabs. Two thirds that Clinton will need in a contest against Trump.

Second, Clinton must leverage the Democratic establishment to assert influence inside and outside the party.  That means securing endorsements from popular Democrats who have large followings – such as the current President of the United States.  The unanimous support of influential Democrats will go miles toward unifying the party.

Finally, Clinton must put distance between claims that she, and her husband, have been the victims of an “organized right wing conspiracy,” and that she has been unfairly scrutinized for her use of a private email server, her handling of Benghazi, and sizable speaking fees to financial institutions. To win Republican crossover voters, Independents, and those who are frustrated with “partisan politics as usual” and don’t want 4 more years of gridlock – Clinton will have to refrain from partisan rhetoric and prove herself capable of conciliation and compromise. Along these lines, she needs the endorsements of prominent Republicans and Independents with whom she has worked well with in the Senate and as Secretary of State. And similar to Trump, it would serve Clinton well to turn her attention to issues on which the vast majority of Americans agree, steering gently away from serving the special interests of specific demographic groups.

And there you have it.  Three tactics each of the Presidential frontrunners can deploy to bring unity to their parties, and the country at large.

Those concerned that the primary season has done irreparable damage to each party’s nominee’s ability to bring voters together can rest easy.  With more than seven months before we line up to cast our final decision – any doctor would tell you, that’s plenty of time for paper cuts and black eyes to heal.

 

Self-Justification in Politics and Life: More Dangerous Than Lying by Dr. Suzanne B. Phillips

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Self-Justification in Politics and Life: More Dangerous Than Lying by Dr. Suzanne B. Phillips

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In the current political climate the title of Travis and Aronson’s book “Mistakes Were Made: But Not By Me” is a rationale by leaders that many worry about. It brings to the forefront the human tendency to Self-Justify and the positives and negatives associated with it. A closer look reveals that when self-justification of negative actions becomes the automatic response in our personal or political lives– the impact is more dangerous than lying.

Read more here.

JOB NUMBER ONE FOR THE NEXT PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES by Rebecca Costa

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JOB NUMBER ONE FOR THE NEXT PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES by Rebecca Costa

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As of today, there have been 12 Republican and 9 Democratic primary debates, with more to come.  In each exchange the candidates have been asked to explain their priorities. Donald Trump listed border security at the top of his list.  Sanders said an equal economic playing field for all Americans was key.  Kasich claimed the $12 trillion deficit was a national emergency. And Cruz promised he would devote his first 100 days in office to repealing the Affordable Care Act, the Iran nuclear agreement, Common Core, and every other measure Obama put forth. From job creation, terrorism and immigration, to tax and education reform, the candidates have offered an impressive list of “top priorities.”

But are these issues really job number one for the next President of the United States?

Probably not.

And here’s why: none of candidate’s plans, intentions, or detailed programs matter if the impasse between the two parties persists.  Think about it: would Clinton or Sanders have better luck getting the Senate to confirm a Supreme Court nominee than Obama?  Would they be more successful at getting anything through the current Congress?  And how about Cruz or Trump?  Cruz’s track record of bringing members of the Senate together is on par with Trump’s claim that he can unify Hispanic, Muslim, women and black voters.

This week on The Costa Report, former Senator from Arkansas, Mark Pryor, compared the standoff between the Congress and Executive Branch today with similar conditions eleven years ago.  As Bush was preparing to submit his court nominees, the Democratic leadership announced they would filibuster all of the President’s nominees.  To which the Republican establishment fired back threatening to change the filibuster rules to stop the Democrats.  And for a while we faced an irresolvable stalemate – with neither side willing to back down.

Recognizing that holding up confirmations for partisan reasons was not good for the American judicial system, seven Democrats and seven Republicans – later known as the Gang of 14 – bypassed powerful party leaders in order to broker compromise. According to Pryor,  seven Democrats agreed to keep the party from filibustering so long as the seven Republicans promised not to change the rules.

So is a similar compromise possible today?

Pryor says it’s unlikely.  When asked if there are seven Democrats and Republicans who could come together Pryor said, “I was counting the other day… and there probably would be 14 that could come together today, but let me tell you, it was hard… the Republicans lost elections over that… because they were accused of working with Democrats.” In an interview with the Associated Press, Pryor expressed even more skepticism, “We thought it was a fairly toxic political climate then, but it’s worse today. There aren’t as many moderates.”

So, it turns out, number one for the next President isn’t building a wall or fixing the economy.  It’s not terrorism or creating jobs or getting rid of the IRS.  Every one of these issues is a nonstarter if the next President has a greater polarizing effect than Obama. This year, voters would do well to take a look at the field of candidates in this light: which candidate will make the current impasse worse?  Who is going to be able to work with the Senate and House?   Who can get something done?

According to Trump, the same skill set he uses to bring parties with differing agendas together in business is transferrable to the political realm.  And while that might sound theoretical, he isn’t the first to make this assertion.Herbert Hoover, George Bush, and Mitt Romney all had strong business negotiating skills they believed would benefit government.  But according to The Washington Post, presidential candidates with business backgrounds don’t have an advantage when it comes to running the economy: “The startling bottom line is that the nation’s GDP has grown more than 45 times faster under presidents with little or no business experience than it has under presidents with successful business careers. And on average, when there has been a successful businessman in the Oval Office… GDP growth has been negligible. On average, under presidents with successful business experience, GDP has increased 0.12 percent. And under presidents with little or no business experience, GDP has grown 5.46 percent.”  The same skills business leaders use to get deals done don’t seem to produce the same results in governance.

On the other hand, Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton, doesn’t show any proof of being able to unify the two parties to get legislation through.  She says Republicans “don’t like her” and has spent two decades claiming the “right wing conspiracy” is persecuting her and her husband. She calls the email and Benghazi scandals “partisan” and has gone so far as to say that the enemy she is proudest of having made are “the Republicans.”

Yet former Senator from Mississippi, Trent Lott, recently told The Hill that after she is elected Clinton “would be much better about reaching out and actually trying to work with the Congress.”  According to Lott, Clinton would take a page from her husband’s playbook and begin reaching across the aisle to get deals done. And he has a point.  To this day, Bill Clinton is admired for his mediation skills with legislation like the Welfare Reform Act and the most comprehensive national deficit reduction plan in recent history.  But that was Bill.  Hillary is not Bill.

At the turn of the century, John Adams, was also concerned with the damage political gridlock could cause his country.  Adams wrote: “Presidents must… unite the two parties, instead of inflaming their divisions. They must look out for merit, wherever they can find it; and talent and integrity must be a recommendation to office, wherever they are seen, though differing in sentiments from the president, and in an opposite party to that whose little predominance brought him into power.”  Senator Pryor agrees. “Unfortunately our society is very divided right now… we need leaders who can bring us together instead of divide us.”

DEATH OF THE CAMPAIGN BLUEPRINT by Rebecca Costa

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DEATH OF THE CAMPAIGN BLUEPRINT by Rebecca Costa

When it comes to political campaigns, the past used to be the best predictor of the future. But no more. Speaking on The Costa Report, political history buff and host of MSNBC’s Meet the Press Daily, Steve Kornacki, summed up the 2016 Presidential race, “New rules for politics are being written in real time right now. And finding out what those rules are is invigorating!”

So what’s different about this year?

As it stands today, a billionaire businessman who has never held elected office, who has offended women, Hispanics, and the Pope, offered no program specifics, and spent far fewer campaign dollars than his competitors, has managed to maintain a double-digit lead for ten months – causing every pundit and journalist to begrudgingly admit they were wrong about Trump.  They expected his run to be as short-lived as Giuliani or Gingrich.  And if the old rules still applied, it would have been.  But as Trump moved from state to state – violating every tenet that defines “political correctness” – his popularity grew.  The working class – once a Democratic stronghold – began switching teams.  As did soccer moms concerned with security, young people worried about job opportunities, and retirees who face entitlement cuts when the economy falters.  Kornacki observed, “Trump has been leading, on average, in national polls since July now. None of the candidates in 2012 – who were running against Romney – ever led for more than 3 weeks at a time …we’ve clearly established that he (Trump) is something very different in Republican politics, in American politics.”    Managing editor for the New York Times website, David Leonhardt agrees.  Leonhardt recently recanted his skepticism about Trump’s effectiveness, “We were fooled by history. Neither Mr. Cruz nor Mr. Trump resembles any candidate who has won a major party presidential nomination in the last 50 years. They have scant support among governors, senators and other leaders in his party.”

Which brings us to the second reason this election is different from any other. Endorsements have historically been one of the best predictors of who wins the primaries.  But in 2016 endorsements haven’t packed quite the same punch. Currently, third place GOP contender, Marco Rubio, leads the GOP race in political endorsements, rounding out the number of Senators and Representatives that have pledged their support with a recent stamp of approval from South Carolina Governor, Nikki Haley.  Along with a thumbs up from popular Evangelical leader, Bob Vander Plaats, second place contender, Ted Cruz, has garnered the support of (S.C.) Representative Mark Sanford and other GOP influencers.  Yet none of these endorsements have significantly closed the gap with front-leader, Trump.  Though Trump hasn’t secured a single major political endorsement outside of former Vice Presidential candidate, Sarah Palin, this year establishment support isn’t translating into voter support.

Meanwhile, the Democrats are also struggling with an entirely new ball game. Whereas the party’s popular vote used to parallel their super delegate vote, in 2016 these may part company.  If the current trend continues, Bernie Sanders may be the voters’ choice, but Clinton – who has already secured 384 super delegates – may take the prize.  Sanders is lagging behind with only 44 super delegates.

Adding more controversy to the mix, polls suggest that Sanders voters won’t support an establishment candidate – Clinton or otherwise. According to Kornacki, “The democratic blue collar white voters are siding strongly with Bernie Sanders over Hillary Clinton… If Clinton is the nominee, these voters might be up for grabs.” Translation: if Clinton is the nominee, Sanders supporters may turn to the only non-establishment candidate left standing – Trump!  “There were all sorts of rules of presidential campaigns that the political scientists of the world thought they had come up with that made all these campaigns almost preordained in terms of the outcomes,” said Kornacki. “Those rules are blowing up right in front of us in this campaign.”

But it’s not only the public’s passion for insurgent candidates that makes the 2016 race so interesting. The rule of thumb used to be that the candidate who raised the most campaign money had a clear advantage, but this is also proving to be untrue. Washington Bureau Chief for The Wall Street Journal, Gerald F. Seib makes the point, “The accepted wisdom headed into the 2016 cycle was that the combination of wide-open races and looser campaign-finance laws would make the race more expensive than ever—and that, by extension, whoever had the most money would have a big advantage. Not so. The most well-heeled Republican candidate, Mr. Bush, has slowly but surely faded. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, backed by a well-stocked super PAC—one of the unregulated campaign organizations sucking up big donations—was gone before the first frost.”

From the surprise success of non-establishment candidates to changes in the way endorsements and campaign funds influence elections, the algorithms that strategists, party leaders, and pundits, have relied on are being rewritten in 2016.  A Presidential election like no other in American history is underway.  And win, lose or draw, Trump and Sanders have left an indelible mark on how candidates will campaign in the future.

WHEN IT COMES TO VOTING, IS IT EVER RIGHT TO ABSTAIN? FIVE-TIME PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE RALPH NADER HAS A BETTER IDEA

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WHEN IT COMES TO VOTING, IS IT EVER RIGHT TO ABSTAIN? FIVE-TIME PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE RALPH NADER HAS A BETTER IDEA

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No one would argue whether the right to vote is a cornerstone of democracy.  Or whether the U. S. is dominated by a two-party system – parties which will soon choose their 2016 Presidential nominees.  Assuming recent polls hold, in November Americans may be asked to choose between billionaire businessman, Donald Trump, and former Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton.

Here this episode and many more on The Costa Report.

Be Aware

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Be Aware

With higher personal awareness and respect for others, more and more of us are seeing the manipulations and intellectual dishonesty too often represented in the media, social media, politics and corporations. I invite those who seek to understand and co-create to connect in any way we can for our future, our economy, our planet and our communities. Unlike never before, we now have one or two degrees of separation from the people and wisdom that will guide us. First, though, I ask myself, what I choose to invest my energy and wisdom in. It starts within. It starts in spirit. Then it moves to seeing ourselves and others. Then courage moves us to take our path. We include all cultures, perspectives and we learn from difference and from conflict. And we learn to take the time the relationship requires.
Ken Photo
We feature Ken Cloke on Be Aware; “Collaboration as the highest road to the self. It constructs a higher order of creation.” Ken is a brilliant visionary with a large heart. He also shows us so much about our own awareness that comes through conflict.

Also, featured are Cheryl Cardinal and Ryan Robb talking about engaging First Nations.

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