Haiku: Writing to Liberate the Soul!

Haiku Poetry is the basis of much of my work including workshops with youth, training for mentors/teachers and my newest addition has been teaching as part of the Options for Living and Learning Program offered for inmates in the DeKalb County Jail (DeKalb County, GA).   Haiku is an ancient form of Japanese poetry that uses 17 syllables to tell a big story with few words usually configured as 5 syllables on the first line, 7 on the second line and 5 on the third line.

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(The above picture depics HHW training with mentors in Georgia)

I named it Healthy Haiku to symbolize the organic flow between health and wellness, poetry and other creative arts.  I started this work with children in 2006 and over time realized that adults can benefit from the same information and process – especially parents, teachers and mentors. Three publications and 11 years later,  I find myself loving the work with the inmates – many of whom are parents and others that want to become parents and mentors.  The time spent with them has me at my creative best, helping them to see the infinite possibilities for their lives created anew! The Healthy Haiku process guides them through lessons about nutrition, self-esteem, forgiveness, creations of vision boards and so much more.   A typical lesson (not that any of them are typical per se!) starts with meditation, power cards, followed by the main lesson which always involves some type of creativity on their parts, and we close with evaluations and Namaste (the Divine in Me – Greets the Divine in You!).

I am there to challenge them to “Step into their Power” to stop being mediocre (which it way overrated anyway) and to be about the business of being on their Divine soul journey. Enough with the distractions and playing small. Marianne Williamson reminded us in her famous poem Our Deepest Fear – that ” Your playing small doesn’t serve the world!” Sometimes they get mad at me and it is during those times that I know that I am pushing some buttons and taking them to the edge – heading to a breakthrough. It is uncomfortable there – and there is nowhere to hide and nowhere to go but up!

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(Random picture of female inmates in class – Not taken at Dekalb Jail)

Recently I asked them read a play that I co-created with my teen theater group (Y.E.S. 4 Health, Inc.) some years ago entitled Drive-Thru Justice.  The play highlights health disparities regarding diabetes in the African-American and Hispanic communities. Some of them didn’t quite get the play which the youth loved. Based on science, facts, very dramatic – filled with humor and excitement.  One woman said it was racist. Not – it was based on facts and was meant to educate primarily African-American and Hispanic audiences about diabetes – how you get it, how it is prevented and one community’s struggle to make a difference in health outcomes in their community by highlighting the negative consequences of fast food consumption. One woman who refused to read any of the characters for two weeks straight, was singing under her breath as we wrapped up the class.  I told her that I forgot that she was a singer and asked if she knew “His Eye is on the Sparrow?” and if she would sing it next week in the funeral scene.  Her face lit up with a smile as she proudly proclaimed that she knew it and would be happy to sing it next week! It’s so on!!!Yes! I accept the challenge of making this work relevant to their lives!

Several classes focused on Powerful Words and Thoughts v. Words and Thoughts that Zap your Power!  The writing and reciting of poetry is the last phase of the exercise that starts with brainstorming about the issues for each class. Both Men and Women’s classes this week produced phenomenal poetry summing up their thoughts. Again, haiku is brief but some of them are so powerful that they can leave you breathless. Here they are.  You be the judge.  I am already biased…(in a good sort of way!)

I am so open

To strive for a better life.

Only I can change!

I have the power 

To Encourage the young Kids

Don’t do what I did!

We will go home soon.

They can’t hold me here forever.

God has forgiven Us.

Life is not my Enemy.

Turn negativity into

Positive Energy!

(Not haiku but great words) 

I am a Spiritual Being.

I control my own destiny in Life.

Love is the Greatest Power of All!

(Not haiku but great words)

I am somebody

Who’s talented and gifted.

There is always Hope!

We can do good work

Help a community [thrive]

And see kids achieve!

I am a Black Queen

Who will prosper and Succeed-

Accomplish and Live!

Worthy on this day

Smiles became joyful women

Survivors old Souls!

Seven children born.

Six boys and 1 girl are mine.

Throughout this life time!

Women of soul gets

Tired, mean, weak sometimes.

But as one we all Survive!

I have a big heart.

Anything can be Wonderful!

Always positive!

I am very gifted ~

Blessed by the one who strengthens

With love and giving!

I’m my obstacle.

I’ll rise like dirty birds.

Keep your faith alive!

Stepped up and took control.

No one else will ever know

The road I took here. 

I’m just somebody

Who will let everybody

see I’m no Victim

of my circumstances

in the world!

(Not haiku but great words)

I can do anything

Through God who strengthens me.

A woman I am proud to be,

Gifted and talented, 

No limit on my Destiny!

(Not haiku but great words)

Grew up in Brooklyn

Had to fight my wrongs.

Loved money, women and cars.

Then my eyes opened to the universe

My God and the stars!

(Not haiku but great words)

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Dr. Imani Ma’at is a Health Educator and Behavioral Scientist, Author and Speaker with 22 years of service at the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Her education includes a Master in Education from Harvard and a Doctorate in Health Education from Teacher’s College of Columbia University. Her most recent book in the Healthy Haiku Series is Healthy Haiku 3: How to Fight Childhood Obesity One Poem at a Time. This book is a great resource for teachers, parents, mentors and others. It includes science, fun and creative strategies to address  nutrition and lifestyle to prevent obesity in youth and all family members. For more information and to book her for speaking engagements and workshops please fill out the information below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Liberating Incarcerated Minds Continues in DeKalb County, GA!

Someone asked how the women’s class was today. Very nonchalantly I mouthed – It was good! No – it was “freakin” amazing. I have been teaching a Healthy Haiku Wellness Program for inmates as part of the Options for Living and Learning program offered by the Dekalb Sheriff’s Office. The majority of classes have been with women but I have had a couple of opportunities to teach males.

The course pulls together and uses the best of my training and experience as a health educator, researcher, author, speaker and global humanitarian. Haiku is an ancient form of Japanese poetry that uses 17 syllables to tell a big story with few words.* We actually write poetry sometimes, however we incorporate lots of exercises and role-play that pushes them off into the great expanse and challenges them to redefine their reality and their futures. Always reinforced is the fact that jail time is temporary. Most of them are not hardened criminals heading to prison, although a few may be. The majority of my students have committed petty crimes and are in jail pre-hearing or pre-sentencing because they lack the resources for bail.

One young woman looked up at me during a class. I honestly do not remember the particular topic. However she looked up at me and said she had been trying to figure out why she was in there [jail] because she had not done anything. She then said that she realized why she was there, because she was supposed to hear what I had to share. The next week she told me that she was going home as all charges were dropped. I was so happy learn that this bright, talented and very intelligent young lady was going back to the community with some new tools to orchestrate her life.

My closest friends and family know that my class at the jail is perhaps the highlight of my week as I get to share and be creative from a space of caring and non-judgment. Due to the high turn over rate in the county facility, for many of my students I may have only one or two shots to make a difference in a way of thinking and being that will carry them forward in a more powerful and positive way.

This week’s exercise after meditation and reading of inspirational cards, was an interviewing exercise that had the women paired up and interviewing each other about their passions, skills and abilities and opportunities for improvement in order to “Step into their Power.” A room full of inmates was transformed into conference suite with a Manager, a Professional Author and Speaker, A Comedienne, a Chef, a Hair Stylist, a Singer, a preschool educator and so much more. I challenged them to show us what they had. We heard some really funny unrehearsed comedy and one young lady sang a beautiful rendition of His Eye is on the Sparrow.  The preschool teacher told us that she didn’t mind  changing diapers and wiping runny noses and reiterated that teaching infants and toddlers was truly her passion!

On other occasions we had a guest, Brigitte Keane who presented Laughter Yoga, which had the women laughing, clapping, crying (the kind of laughing so hard it makes you cry – cry) and having incredible healthy breathing fun. People in the facility were trying to figure out what in the world was going on that day! One of my repeat students who has unfortunately moved on to prison, smiled for the first time. I told her that it was nice to see her smile and I realized that her solemn look was due to missing upper front teeth. In this environment, no one judged – it was way too much fun! We have also done vision boards with power words to define their lives and futures, sessions on self-forgiveness, radical forgiveness of others, and Ho’oponopono.

Ho’oponopono (ancient Hawaiian healing technique) which has each person take total responsibility for everyone and everything and uses a clearing technique that consists of 4 simple phrases said to ones-self: I love you; I’m sorry; Please forgive me; and Thank you! Since learning the Ho’opononpono (described in Joe Vitale’s book entitled Zero Limits, (2007) about the healing work of Dr. Hew Len of Hawaii in a mental health wing of a maximum security prison) the women have shared experiences where they used these phrases to resolve conflicts with family members during visits and with other inmates as well. Earlier classes covered topics such as nutrition, violence, smoking, drinking and drug use!

This work, and the breakthroughs that occur feel like nothing short of magic. It is hard to explain. The repeat students enter the room with hands in prayer position on their chests greeting me with “Namaste” (The Divine in Me greets the Divine in You!) Wonder where they learned that?!  I share everything that I know to be helpful in building them up and expanding their world beyond the confines of the temporary jail walls. The occasional tears that are shed usually reflect a release and love of self that had been buried – for serving time for their crimes and for being mad at themselves for making bad decisions and for getting caught up and arrested. Self -love is one of the common threads of each class as well as Stepping into Their Power (I formerly had a Blog Talk Radio show entitled Stepping into My Power).

Perhaps my reason for writing this is not so much to revel in the success of my work at the jail as it is to reinforce the importance of loving yourself everyday in order to make healthy and right choices in all of your affairs. Life as we know it gets very complicated and downright scary sometimes. If we move from a place of love for self and understanding for others – because we are truly reflections of each other, we will see better outcomes and more people standing in their truth and in their power.

I will end this segment with a poem written in class by one of my former students:

I’ve been searching for the Light

But there’s too much smoke in between.

I’ve been searching for the Light

It seems so far fetched maybe too extreme.

I’m searching for the Light

Which seems beyond my fingertips.

Still searching for the Light

I still can’t seem to see.

Searching for the Light

Which has always been within Me!

 

Peace, Love and Blessings Y’all!

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Dr. Imani

Updates and Coming Events: I have an incredible deal for new Wellness Coaching Clients which includes Six Months of Free Coaching. Yes, you read that correctly! Send me an email for details to: imanimaat@gmail.com.

Change Your Water…Change Your Life!  Learn how  Join us on September 9th and 10th at the Lou Walker Senior Center 2538 Panola Road, Lithonia, GA  30058. Free Health and Wellness Presentation Friday 7-9 (Don’t Miss it!)

*Learn more about the Award-winning Health Haiku Poetry series of workshops and publications.

Liberating Incarcerated Minds with Healthy Haiku

When I first approached the County Jail system it was a good will gesture to offer to conduct one Healthy Haiku workshop for women in lock up. As a result of our first meeting they quickly learned the value of my workshops and officials offered me the opportunity to participate in a new program for inmates by conducting two workshops a week for 8 weeks at a time.  Upon learning  approximately 83% of the women in lock up at this facility were there pre-hearing and pre-sentencing because they did not have the money to make bail, I was even more motivated to share these empowering workshops with the women.  Hence the poverty connection to who sits in jail and who does not.  Most, but not all are young and African American. They have children and families. They have dreams and ambitions – many of which have been subdued and subjugated to another space and time “maybe in my next life.” My mission – and I do choose to accept it – is to wake up those dreams – re-ignite their passions and goals and reasons for being! Encouraging them to be the best that they can be! No easy task for this population. Haiku – an ancient 17th Century Japanese form of poetry that uses 17 syllables to tell a huge story with few words – becomes the gateway for giving them everything I’ve got for building self-esteem, self-love, trust, radical forgiveness, creativity and the return of their voices. Healthy Haiku workshops, originally created for children – I soon learned that parents in general, and women in particular needed to learn this information as they are the primary nurturers – builders or destroyers of self-esteem and the ones that shop for the household (more often than not!)

I waited until after the second set of workshops before sharing on this Blog.  My waiting pales in comparison with the waiting of these women. Most are very young – waiting: waiting in jail for their hearings,  waiting to be united with their children, husbands, other family and friends. Some are awaiting sentencing.   My goal is to help to build them up – mind, body and spirit – to help them to find their voices through discussions and poetry writing about health and wellness. Imagine women who can’t wait to start taking wheat-grass juice and alkaline water on a regular basis!  Just eating healthy food on a daily basis is something to look forward to upon their release.  I  remind them that this “station” in life is temporary and that better life, better days filled by better mindsets, self-esteem and passion for making their lives better – is in their future!

During the workshops we do individual and group exercises, brainstorming and writing. Each participant presents her original poetry to the group, once encouraged to stand straight, speak up, articulate and clearly enunciate.  Communication skills are key to  their effectiveness in negotiating a system that has very low expectations of them based on past interactions. Fueling their new skills and attitudes are Dr. Marianne Williamson’s “Our Deepest Fear (is not that we are inadequate, but that we are powerful beyond measure!”) and other positive words and works.

I write this blog because they asked and because it becomes a link between them and the outside world. It is a way to share their words and their hearts. I feel breakthroughs!  Some tears -which I remind them is part of the releasing and healing process – and lots of laughter.  I celebrate their little steps.  When they recite their poetry with the group, I introduce them as ” the Fabulous (and their name). I want for this Blog to be about them – not about me. Their poetry speaks volumes of who they are and of their potential!

I’m in Love with Self

No…I’m not conceited,

Just not going to be Defeated!

 

Now Eye love myself

Before that was a hard task

Where did my love go?

 

If you love your kids

Tell them as much as you can

Let them know you care!

 

Don’t neglect yourself.

Fall in love with who you are.

Fall in love with you!

 

Flying high above the sky

Looking over my life that I’ve deprived

Flopping wings seeking my dreams!

 

Us against the world, My baby

I’ll never abandon you.I’ll always love you

God is within us, Never against us!

 

Happiness you are…

My breath, my life, my shinning star

My dream com true…You~

 

A Grandfather’s Love (my Title) next 3 poems by some person

I loved you when you were here

I missed you now that you’re gone

I wish you could be near to guide me!

 

I have a son that

Needs me more than ever

He’s a ton but I am a proud mother!

I wish he could have met you

So tiny and fragile~

I know you would have loved him too.

I even gave him your middle name, Michael!

 

Whom am I? – Some say I am just a Lady

Some say  I’m a daughter.

And others say I’m a Child of God.

But I tell you I’m all of the above!

Beautiful Black Woman!

 

Why try to hurt me?

That disrespectful tongue of yours.

You would know, or would you?

 

What’s a second chance?

If you’re leaving with no plan?

Time to prove to the man

That we’re worth a second chance!

 

Many  positive comments from the participants:

This class was very pleasant. It made me step out of the negative…if only for a moment!

I always enjoy this class. It lets me realize how much joy is in me!

Love this class!

Lots more to share……next time!  Namaste! The Divine in me Greets the Divine in You! (My greetings as they leave the class!)

(Please check out my most recent book: Healthy Haiku 3: How to Fight Childhood Obesity One Poem at a Time!   a resource for the entire family…On Amazon.)

Howling at the Sirens: Reducing the Noise and Increasing Happiness During the Holidays

What a strange title for a Blog about how to reduce the incidence of heart attacks during the holidays.  Prior to having Rottweilers as pets, as a health scientist formerly with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, I researched and often contributed to the body of knowledge concerning high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, heart attacks and how to prevent all of the above. A lot of people go on line for updates about health and wellness including how to prevent heart attacks. A popular resource, WebMD recently posted that ”

“We certainly know that there are certain risk factors for coronary artery disease. There’s obviously smoking, hypertension, dyslipidemia [high cholesterol], diabetes, lack of exercise, and age,” says Robert A. Kloner, MD, PhD, a researcher at Good Samaritan Hospital in Los Angeles and a professor at the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California.

Since having our dogs we have noticed a strange occurrence.  They, like the coyotes in the woods adjacent to our home in Stone Mountain, GA – howl when they hear sirens.  Well at first (12 years ago) it would happen once in a while – perhaps several times a week.  Now it happens about 12 times a day and that concerns me. Other than the loud noise of our three dogs and sometimes their cousins in the woods howling and disturbing my peace, it now, for me signals emergencies in my neighborhood – many of them possibly heart attacks due to poor diets and lifestyles of residents in my area. I see what people are buying in the local stores and I am all too familiar with the local health stats. So the scientist in me is curious about the correlation between dogs and coyotes howling with an increase in heart health risk factors in my community. They are actually howling as I type……

With the coming holiday season – Thanksgiving through New Years- there is a noticeable increase in the “noise” from our dogs.  Over consumption of processed foods rich in fats, sugars, salts and devoid of nutrients – in addition to alcohol consumption place people at risk for increases in high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke and heart attacks during the holidays. People also tend to reduce physical activity while sitting around and sharing quality time with friends and family.

Here are some quick and fun tips that families can do to stay healthy over the holidays (and always!):

  • Fresh fruit and veggie challenge: have a contest (everyone can put $5  -or more in a bowl) each time someone eats a fresh fruit, vegetable including fresh juice – they get a point. Some one must be designated to keep the spread sheet or everyone gets their own. At the end of the the holidays (or designated time period) the one with the most points receives the funds!
  • Family walks: Every evening after dinner, the family can take a nice walk through the community or somewhere safe and with proper lighting. Family can be comprised of family units, neighbors, relatives etc to ensure safety and numbers.
  • Learn new recipes that ensure nutrient rich food intake and reduced calories. Can also be structured as a contest. Be creative!
  • Drink at least 8 glasses Alkaline or clean purified water daily. Make sure everyone in family has their own glass or BPA-free plastic bottle (glass is better though). Encourage water consumption throughout the day. Keep refilling throughout the day!
  • Jumping jacks begin!  If you are physically able, do group jumping jacks, jump-rope or bike-riding.  Make family exercise a routine this holiday season and continue it as a tradition every day!
  • Limit animal products and fats which have been proven to increase the risk of heart disease and heart attacks.
  • Turn off the television.  In some homes it runs non-stop. If it is not on it forces you to get creative about how you spend your time. Being active burns calories. Just do something instead of sitting for hours!
  • Get a copy of Healthy Haiku 3: How to Fight Childhood Obesity One Poem at a Time for lots of additional health tips good for the entire family.

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Dr. Imani Ma’at is a Health Scientist (formerly with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for 22 year) Author, Speaker, Radio Talk Show Host, Wellness Coach, and Creator of the Health Haiku Workshops Series.

Click here for more information and booking options.

This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, or prescribe any sickness or disease. It is recommended that you consult with your physician or other health care practitioner before starting any new health regiment or routine.

Childhood Obesity Sucks Big Time! There is No Need for the Children to Suffer!

Are there children in your family or life that are overweight or obese?  One in three children and teens is obese.  This is an epidemic that is touching the lives of so many.  Oftentimes obese and overweight children suffer with emotional and physical problems that go unaddressed.  They are often the first to be bullied and the last to be chosen for the sports teams.  They also are at-risk of having life-long obesity and other health challenges.

Dr. Imani helps to “Lighten Up” the situation with poetry and fun with the third book in her Award-winning Healthy Haiku Series entitled: Healthy Haiku 3: How to Fight Childhood Obesity One Poem at a Time!  This book is filled with the science that parents, teachers and mentors want, and the fun activities and poetry that children like!  For example the book includes role play activities that – once the lesson has been taught, the curriculum offers an opportunity to practice what they have learned in a fun way.  Participants also have an opportunity to write and share their own poetry or prose about nutrition, exercise, and life’s challenges and accomplishments. The bottom line is Building Self-Esteem and Reinforcing Positive Behavior Change!

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Currently in Production – Order your Pre-Publication Ebook Copy at a Huge Discount Today!

Only $4.99 Now

Buy Now!

Price will go up at the end of the month once published!

This is a great resource for Parents, Teachers and Mentors!

Right on Time for the New School Year!

Dr. Ma’at is and Health Scientist and Educator with over 30 years of experience who worked for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for 22 years.  She has 4 advanced degrees from Harvard, M.I.T., Columbia University and Mount Holyoke College.  ALong with her team of experts. Dr. Ma’at is available for workshops for all school grades, churches, YMCAs, YWCA’s etc.  Don’t  wait! Book Now for the Fall Semester and the 2015-2016 Calendar Year! They travel around the Country and Globally!

Haiku for Healthy Children and Teens: Healthy Eating to Prevent Obesity. A Resource for Mentors, Teachers and Parents

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So what do you know about Haiku anyway?  Okay let me remind you: Ancient Japanese form of poetry that uses 17 syllables (or beats) usually configured as 5~7~5 on three lines that makes a big or significant statement with few words. Ah, 3rd grade Language Arts class maybe?  I always thought it was fun and have been creating Haiku and other poetry since being introduced to it in the 3rd grade.  Yes, I know that not everyone learned about Haiku in school, but I wish they had! Haiku for Healthy Children and Teens is the 3rd in a series of books devoted to sharing important health issues with youth and people that care about the physical and emotional development of young people – with the assistance of Haiku and other creative literary forms. For me, the series is the perfect marriage of public health – the world in which I have worked for over 25 years and poetry- my first literary love!

The spotlight on Obesity in children has been shining brightly by our First Lady – Michelle Obama through the National Let’s Move Campaign. Eating healthy is a very important part of that platform that has reached most communities in the U.S. According to the First Lady:

“In the end, as First Lady, this isn’t just a policy issue for me. This is a passion.

This is  my mission I am determined to work with folks across this country to

change the way a generation of  kids think about food and nutrition.”

We are very much on the same page.  As a Harvard and Columbia University trained Health Scientist and Educator with 22 years of experience at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), I have seen entire communities at disproportionate risk for obesity and health complications related to obesity (diabetes, heart disease, hypertension and more). The old saying ~ we are what we eat~ is so simple, yet so overlooked. It also becomes environmentally complicated with “food deserts”  the absence of major grocery store chains in low-income communities, as well as health food stores and other providers that offer a rich variety of high quality natural and organic foods and supplements.

As we teach children the importance of healthy eating as well as the meaning of healthy eating – with real examples – and empower the parents to prepare healthier meals, we can in fact prepare to change the obesity profile of many families and communities.  The closer to natural – organic fruits, vegetables and some grains – the healthier the children will be.  Here is an example of a haiku that I wrote relating to fruit and a child’s wonder! Notice that the first line contains 5 syllables, the second line contains 7 syllables and the third line contains 5 syllables.

“Age 4 discovered

Mango’s sweet succulent taste

while in Jamaica!”

I remember little else as vividly about that first trip to the birthplace of my mother and 3 of my grandparent’s  than the taste of a mango and the lime tree which fell victim to my shaking and eating its  fruit until my body broke out in a cleansing frenzy.  Yes, I distinctly remember having little bumps all over me for a couple of hours. Instinctively, my body knew exactly what I needed.  In retrospect I recognize the itching and bumps as being a cleansing reaction – a natural body response to maintain health, protect and balance itself. When I conduct Healthy Haiku workshops with small children and I ask them to name foods that are good from them.  They invariably call out the names of fruits and vegetables. Do you think their little hearts do not know what is good for them instinctively?

“What would life be if

There were no Apples to eat?

My all-time best Treat!”

I am so delighted to continue this important series with this book that will come with training and webinars for mentors, teachers and parents in order to guide them on the use of this and the previous books in the series.  In researching for this manuscript, I discovered and became absorbed into the Haiku works of literary giants such as Richard Wright, author of Native Son, Black Boy and many other rich historical classics.

“As the sun goes down

A green melon splits open

And juice trickles out.”

                                           Richard Wright

Healthy Haiku merges the poetic arts with language literacy and competency. My goal is to contribute to the body of English Language Arts  (ELA) Common Core State Standards with a fun, creative and unique approach that can be used by teachers and families across the country.  This volume will be released initially as an Ebook for easy access at low cost in order for it be affordable for all. Stay tuned for the release in early October.  Please Like our Facebook page for updates: HealthyHaiku and visit our Web site.

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Healthy Haiku for Professional Development

Are you Ready for a Powerful, Unique and Fun Professional Development Program?
Healthy Haiku Workshops are fun, creative, educational, help to create team spirit and workmanship, and reduce sickness and absenteeism. Looking for something exciting and different to bring to your staff or faculty?
Objectives:
* Enhance Communication Skills
* Learn about Specific Health Issues to reduce Sickness and Absenteeism
* Learn how to Write and Perform Haiku Poetry
* Role Play to Reinforce Health Messages
From Professional Development to Teacher and Faculty Training, this is not the typical office Professional Development retreat where the budget gets spent, employees have a few days off and everyone returns to work with little changes and differences in the work environment. This program is  an interactive, hands-on, no snoozing, no losing workshop! These workshops were originally designed for youth, however they quickly expanded to groups of adults who found them enjoyable and educational!

Book us Today! Get a 30 minute Free Consultation to discuss the needs of your group or corporation.

Puppy Litter Reminds Me of the Keys to Natural Health and Wellness

Have you ever watched a dog deliver puppies? What an amazing experience! One of our soon-to-be 3 year old dogs had 7 beautiful puppies last night. Assisting and providing for her through the process was truly a privilege and a gift that I have never experienced in all of my years of raising dogs. I do mean privilege because I remember going through all-natural child birth 27 years ago as though it happened yesterday, Even though members of my family gathered around me, I kept feeling as though I wanted to be left alone and away from any on-lookers.

We have always received our dogs long after they have been weaned from their mothers. In preparation, she vomited prior to the delivery, but that signaled to me that she was almost ready deliver the puppies. She had labor contractions just like a woman and of course I recognized them right away. Her sides expanded and her body shook! She looked a little scarred and I could tell that she was in significant pain. However watching her dive in head first into pure instinct mode was simply amazing! After searching for a few minutes for a birthing location, she quickly decided upon the big dog house on the deck which provided sheltered space – a place where she could protect her puppies and deliver in semi-privacy. She delivered 7 healthy, beautiful puppies in the space of about 2 hours. Instinctively she released each from the birth sac and licked them clean for sanitation and to make sure that they were breathing and strong. After being cleaned, they latched on to her nipples immediately (or as soon as they could find their way to the spot). So yes, I was all engaged in wonder and amazement! What a beautiful natural process.

How close are you to being fit, healthy, and at your optimal weight? What if you are at the age of and ready to reproduce? Can you handle it? What would you need to do to prepare? I am not speaking of the obvious – suitable mate, husband, father, donor – no judgement – that part is on you. But what about your physical body? Have you been eating healthy, natural, organic foods rich with vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that your body needs? Or have you been eating whatever your palate is yearning for at any given moment? Are you drinking a high quality of alkaline water to make sure that you are properly hydrated? We make life choices on a daily basis. Some support our highest good in terms of health and wellness and many do not.

In ancient cultures the term natural childbirth would have been considered an oxymoron! How else does one have a baby but through the natural process? Duh?? We are gradually getting back to a simple definition of natural health and wellness. One that includes a healthy diet, limited processed foods, limited dairy, limited wheat, limited meats, limited sugars. In fact the increased presence of these foods in our diets over the past 100 years, not to mention larger portion sizes, is directly correlated to present day trends of obesity, high blood pressure, cancer and kidney failure. A good rule of thumb with eating prepared food is to ask if it looked like that when it was growing? The further it looks from how it grew, the greater the chances are that it will not serve you well and may actually harm you.

During the labor, delivery and now nursing stage for the puppies, our dog ate very little and when she did take in nutrients she opted for water, our smoothie recipe loaded with nutrients and minerals and meat (no processed dog cereal).

In our community outside of Atlanta, Georgia, our neighbors are  95% African American. It is a predominantly middle-class area however the unsettling sound of blaring sirens – usually about 15-20 daily (I track them because our dogs howl at the sirens) continues to increase. As a Health Scientist who worked for many years to reduce racial and ethnic health disparities at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, I know that the leading cause of death of all Americans (including African Americans)  is hypertension, high blood pressure, and heart disease. We are talking about thick sluggish blood and clogged arteries. How did we get so sick? How did we get so far away from nature in how we eat and live?

We could take notes from the animals – who, no mater how domesticated we attempt to make them – they are guided by instinct. Instinctively We also know what to eat, how much exercise to get, how much water to drink.

The message here is simple, tap into your inner wisdom in terms of what is healthy for you. Tap in to discover the diet and lifestyle that will deliver you to optimal health and wellness and change your quality of life. Read and search for the information on line too. There is very little that is new under the sun! Get quiet and just think about it. Every time you take in something that is harmful to your health and well-being an internal alarm goes off. My challenge to you is to start taking notice – acknowledge the alarms – and make little adjustments by what you hear! It is not magic, but rather instinct and science all wrapped up in one.

Please come back and read some more.  I will be sharing free tips on how to achieve optimal health and wellness through diet, juicing, alkalizing, and so much more.  Also tune in on Wednesdays 10-11:00pm EST to the Stepping Into My Power Blog Talk Radio Show. Are you Stepping Into Your Power by being the healthiest you that you can be? Let’s continue the discussion.

Visit my web site to learn more about my health and wellness offerings and programs. Invite me to speak at your next event!

 

Love & Light!

Dr. Imani Ma’at

 

Global Pain Experience is No Joke… Natural Relief is On the Way!

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Roughly 1.5 billion people around the globe are in pain and experience symptoms of inflammation on a regular basis. Pain is the number one reason why people seek medical attention. —More than 100 million Americans suffer from chronic pain at a cost of around $600 billion a year in medical treatments and lost productivity, according to a report from the Institute of Medicine (IOM) ( —http://www.webmd.com/pain-management/news/20110629/100-million-americans-have-chronic-pain).

—Pain affects more Americans than diabetes, heart disease and cancer combined. Pain is cited as the most common reason Americans access the health care system. Now that is Major!!! —It is a leading cause of disability and it is a major contributor to health care costs. According to the National Center for Health Statistics (2006), approximately 76.2 million, one in every four Americans, have suffered from pain that lasts longer than 24 hours and millions more suffer from acute pain —(http://report.nih.gov/nihfactsheets/ViewFactSheet.aspx?csid=57.

We (FGXpress) are building a global network of people ~ doctors, chiropractors, naturopaths, physical therapists and lay people that want to assist people in addressing their pain naturally.  FGXpress is a new Division of Forevergreen International – a publicly traded company that has been in existence for 11 years. With a dual listing from the Food and Drug Adminstration (FDA) as a Class 1 Medical Device for Pain (and the look and feel of skin) and an Over the Counter (OTC) product, FGXpress PowerStrips are a patented fusion of modern energy and ancient herbs. PowerStrips when worn daily deliver  energy to  the parts of the body that need it. The ingredients include: a proprietary blend of Fermented Korean Red Ginseng, Silver Ion, Germanium and a base of minerals ( Calcium, Magnesium, Potassium) and Marine Phytoplankton alpha 3 CMP.

The the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for the new Forever Green building was just held in Orem Utah. The energy and excitement were amazing. People were there from around the world. We are so excited to be a part of this global movement to relieve pain naturally and are inviting others to join us if you see the vision. You can share this product locally, nationally, globally or all three!

Learn more about the global magnitude of pain as well as the importance of natural approaches such as the FGX PowerStrip for pain by listening to the  BlogTalk Radio Show: Stepping Into My Power which aired on April 2, 2014. Provide your contact information below for a Free Sample of the PowerStrip.

Until next Time,

Peace, Love & Light!

Dr. Imani Ma’at: 800-773-9314, imanimaat@gmail.com,

For more info and orders: Click Here

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New Ebook Fuses Haiku and Public Health to Address Childhood Obesity!

Our third book in the Healthy Haiku Series entitled:

Haiku for Healthy Children & Teens (Vol. 1): Healthy Eating to Prevent Obesity. A Resource for Mentors, Teachers and Parents

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is dedicated to children and teens. Childhood obesity has been the subject of a major health campaign (Let’s Move!)  by First Lady Michelle Obama. It has been a powerful and effective campaign in so many ways – for so many communities.  However, even though it has gained a lot of visibility and support as a public health issue, obesity among children and teens is approaching epidemic proportions.

Once again blending art and public health, this book is packed with scientifically sound information, poems and activities that can be used by families, teachers and mentors.

Haiku for Healthy Children and Teens provides information and strategies for Mentors, teachers, parents and others concerned about the health of young people; and  offers the spark to turn on the “health light”  or power source prompt” in youth who are brilliant by design – from birth. The Haiku and other poetry are meant to serve as platforms for discussion, dialogue and creativity leading ultimately to informed choices that reduce risks associated with unhealthy and uninformed dietary choices.

If there are young people in your life that are important to you, you definitely want to share this book/workbook with them!  Included are lots of activities and places to create your own poetry about food choices and nutrition!

Coming Soon! Expected Release Date: March 1st! Please take our poll and let us know if you would like updates on this book, related programs and services as well as other books in the Healthy Haiku series! Thank you for your continued interest and support!

Dr. Imani Ma’at

“Reinventing Wellness”

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