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Hearing The One Voice

Taking Counsel In A Circle
When we sit in a circle together and share our thoughts and feelings, we participate in a powerful, unifying practice whose origins stem from the very beginning of human time. All early cultures practiced some form of this ritual, which gives each individual in the group a voice, and at the same time reveals the one voice, and the ultimate unity, of the group. This profound and simple way of talking and listening has experienced a modern rebirth in counseling, social work, and spirituality.

Most circles benefit from the presence of a leader who opens the circle by calling in angels, spirit guides, and ancestors-beings of light who will be present with those taking counsel. The leader may announce a theme for the circle, or one may simply evolve from the unstructured expressions of each participant. The circle continues for as long as feels right, at which point the leader may summarize what has been said, perhaps leading everyone in a moment of silence before the circle disbands. One of the most powerful components of this work is the talking stick, which can be any object-a crystal, a flower, or a candle-that is passed around the circle from person to person. The person holding the object speaks until he has fully expressed his feelings, and no one else interjects, interrupts, or even responds until they are holding the stick. This enables people who have a hard time speaking out to express long buried feelings and points of view. This is powerful because in a! community it is often what is not said or acknowledged that causes the most pain and suffering.

The circle, which contains no hard edges or angles, is the ideal container for these difficult truths. As we hear the many perspectives the subject at hand inspires, we begin to see that our individual truth is just one of many. Our own hard edges begin to soften as the circle flows from one person to the next, and each wave of words cleanses us of one more layer of mental and emotional armor, freeing us to be closer to the people around us. Try using counsel during your next family meeting, school class, or any setting where you feel a centering communication method is needed.

Source:Daily Om

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Alternative Therapies Might Aid Fertility

Sandee Deppiesse and her husband, Scott, tried for three frustrating years to get pregnant. For their final desperate attempt, the couple tried acupuncture.

“My doctor gave me a 5 percent chance [of getting pregnant], given my age,” said Sandee, who is now 40. “And so I started looking, because I figured there had to be a way.”

“The longer things go, the more things you’re willing to try,” said Scott.

Sandee sought out San Francisco acupuncturist Angela Wu, who treated her with the ancient Chinese therapy.

“[Wu] just said, ‘I will get you pregnant. Don’t listen to those doctors,’ ” Sandee said.

More Western doctors are recommending acupuncture to couples with fertility problems. Dr. Vick Sahakian of UCLA believes it can reduce stress for women trying to get pregnant.

“It can improve pregnancy rates by improving blood flow to the uterus where the embryos are basically implanted,” he said.

A study by German researches found that women who used acupuncture while undergoing in-vitro fertilization increased their success rates by almost 50 percent. Sahakian said his own patients have expressed confidence in the procedure.

Tiffany Hecht is one of them. She was skeptical at first, but no longer.

“I can tell the difference from the last three in-vitros that I produced more eggs,” she said. “And to me, that is a huge sign that it is working.”

Mind-Body Program

Acupuncture is not the only alternative therapy available. A Harvard University mind-body fertility program is gaining popularity throughout the country.

The program encourages couples to share the feelings of frustration and shame associated with infertility.

“There is a lot of sadness that comes with it and a lot of pain and it’s really a lonely place to be,” said one woman in a support group.

The program also uses meditation and yoga techniques that help elicit a relaxation response to release hormones that aid reproduction.

“I think we try to control things and force them,” said psychologist Laurel Kline. “And you can’t force an egg and a sperm to get together and implant. I tell people that all the time. Part of it is you have to let go.”

The result, according to a Harvard study, is a 55 percent pregnancy rate for those who took the mind-body course.

Alternative therapies may still raise some eyebrows in the scientific community, but many of these couples say they have all the proof they need. The Depiesses say it worked for them — twice.

“I think I have two beautiful kids,” said Scott. “So yes, I believe.”

Sources: ABC News’ Judy Muller filed this report for World News