Archive | February 2014

WWN Spotlight: Dr Adaeze Ifezulike’s amazing new book- “Understanding Contraception”!

Every once in a while, the Whole Woman Network community celebrates the achievement, passion and dedication of phenomenal women who have empowered us through their commitment to issues affecting the overall well-being of women, especially black women, at home in Africa and in the diaspora.

Understanding front cover (2)This season, in view of the upcoming International Women’s Day, WWN proudly honours Dr Adaeze Ifezulike, she’s the amazing brain and heart behind the Sexual Wellbeing Network. She is a Family physician/General Practitioner, GP who is passionate about sexual and emotional wellbeing in women.

Dr Adaeze has written a book to further equip women with more insights and knowledge, so that they can make more informed and empowered choices. Her new book: ‘’Understanding Contraception: A guide for black ladies’’ is a must-have for every woman!

Here are some reasons why ‘’Understanding Contraception’’ should be on your ‘must buy’ and ‘must read’ list this 2014:

  • Are you often confused about what contraception to use and often ask yourself: what is safe, what are the long-term effects, are there ethical and environmental considerations etc ?
  • Have you been faced with an unplanned pregnancy when you least expected one?
  • Have you or someone you know had their lives turned upside down by an abortion in the past?
  • Are you a friend, sister, aunt, colleague, mentor, leader, and often have people approach you informally on the issue of contraception and sexual health?
  • Want to read about and learn from real life stories about contraception, infection prevention/control, reproductive facts and the mind-body connection of choices?
  • This book advocates for fidelity among couples and abstinence among young people, while also talking about practical options and solutions. Are you a professional counsellor, coach, therapist, faith leader, trainer who is seeking additional resources in your toolkit?
  • Are you simply curious about the various options out there and seek to empower yourself with more choices?
  • Are you past child-bearing age and would want your daughter(s) to benefit from being equipped with great and objective information on contraception?
  • Would you love to read a book written by a woman just like you, who fuses empathy and expertise, because she herself faced the dilemma of an unplanned pregnancy? You will identify with the stories of women from Dr Adaeze’s caseload.

If any of these apply to you, then  you should really give yourself a gift by checking out this new book and labour of love from Dr Adaeze Ifezulike: ‘’Understanding Contraception’’

Understanding Contraception is full of engaging, humorous, insightful and authentic stories about real women like you and I. It is fun and easy to read. You would also love the cartoons and illustrations done by Caricaturist Rick Coleman. ‘’Understanding Contraception’’ answers the questions you have been unable to ask your doctors and health professionals about contraception.

Here are what other industry leading experts and thought leaders are saying about Dr Adaeze’s book:

“Understanding Contraception’’ fills a major gap in knowledge and should be made widely available to women from all walks of life both in the UK and all over the world.’’
~Naana Otoo-Oyortey MBE, Executive Director, FORWARD (Foundation for Women’s Health Research and Development)~

“This book will teach you about fertility control and infection prevention by wrapping sexual and reproductive facts with real-life stories from Dr Adaeze’s caseload. Maybe some of the cases will remind you of friends or relatives. Maybe they’ll remind you of yourself.”
~Dr Susie Logan MB ChB MD (comm.) MRCOG MFSRH Consultant Gynaecologist, National University Hospital  Singapore. (Former Consultant in Sexual & Reproductive Medicine NHS Grampian Aberdeen, Scotland, UK).~

 CLICK ON THIS LINK to order your copy of “Understanding Contraception”!

AMAZON UNDERSTANDING CONTRACEPTION DR ADAEZE IFEZULIKE

Then, take a moment to post a comment on Dr Adaeze’s Facebook page, or visit and share her blog with others in your network.

You are all awesome and we appreciate you being part of the WWN community.

Make it a great life, live purposefully, passionately and powerfully!

-WWN Management Team

Advertisements

The Night the Soldiers Came (A song for my motherland).

An original poem (Updated February 26, 2014).

Floetry: The Night the Soldiers Came.

soldierss“Men suspected to be members of the Islamic Sect, Boko Haram, today Tuesday Feb 25th launched an attack on students of the Federal Government College Buni-Yadi, Yobe state, Northern Nigeria, killing 59 students (or more)…” Hausa Service BBC reports

A tribute to all the innocent souls around the world, lost in senseless orgies of violence and acts of error. A moment of silence for the men, women and children who died too soon. And a prayer for those who are left behind, but mourn still. A song dedicated to the heart of the world, my Africa, and to my beautiful, bruised and broken homeland, NIGERIA. May the dead find eternal peace and may the living find the hope to rise up into the light and embrace the joy of a brand new day! OZOEMENA: May this horror never happen again, God, may it never repeat itself again!

The night the soldiers came (A song for my Motherland)

The night the soldiers came, in the harmattans of ’68, brandishing machetes, guns and slaughter knives; crude accessories for the task at hand. Grown men leaking in their pants, afraid to stand up and fight, for the birth of a still-born nation, this doomed land of the setting sun!

Women screaming and wailing to a God now unknown. And begging forgiveness for whatever sins beget this horror. Heads and limbs and eyes, severed, chopped and plucked from neighbours and friends and kinsmen. Our sisters already dead from the shock of having babies ripped away from their wombs.

That night the soldiers came, in the harmattan of ’68, asking for the blood of the Biafrans. And we, gangling teens that we were, chose to speak a different tongue, and  bowed to an alien God. And so they let us live, but killed the living spirit within.

The night the mob came, in the night of ’98. We heard them at the gate, chanting their songs of revenge and hate. Brandishing machetes, guns and slaughter knifes; crude accessories for the task at hand. Our young men stood tall and proud, draped in the colours of the rising sun. They sang long forgotten melodies, accompanied by the voices of their ancestors: “Nzobu, ‘zobu, Enyimba, enyi!”

We stood there, helplessly, old and feeble and re-lived the nightmares of the  harmattans of ’68. Déjà vu! Painful visions of heads and limbs and eyes, severed and plucked from neighbours and friends and kinsmen. Our sisters already dead from the shock, of having babies snatched from their wombs alive!

And so when they approached, and again asked for the blood of the Biafrans, we watched proudly as our sons spoke the proud tongue of their fathers. And we lifted our heads up to Jehovah.

We fought till the last man stood no more. And reclaimed the lost dignity, of our defiled maidens and emasculated sons. And then we drew our last on the enemies sword. And whispered with conviction: ‘Ozoemena! ozoemena!’ We thought that the nightmares were over and we’d been reborn to live free forever, in this new land of the rising sun.

Until the harmattan of 2012, when they arose again. This time they came, not under the guise of uniforms, fighting an ambiguous war. No, they came for total destruction of everything that gave light and learning. They came in new colours as ‘BokoHaramites’ and we sat and watched helplessly, cowardly and hopelessly, as the cycle of pain began all over again!

Now in ’13, we weep again for the loss of innocence. Only this time, the tears are a sham, because we feel nothing, our hearts are numb as we feed the spirits of consumerism and mask the reality around us. From East to West, North to South, we have become the monsters we flee from and fight against. All around us visions of heads and limbs and eyes, severed and plucked from neighbours and friends and kinsmen.

And now again in 2014, on the eve of the centenary celebrations of a journey which started in 1914. The BokoHaramites strike yet again, and re-open our unhealed, jagged pain.

This time, they struck at the innocent souls of children who slept innocently, in an institution built to propagate the spirit of unity.

A lost people, their clueless rulers and teams of sycophants, guzzle the champagne of young blood and feast on the souls of their unborn heroes.

And collectively, as a people, we sit, helpless on the sidelines, our ‘religious leaders’ making laws that propagate hate, yet refusing to fight for freedom, truth, life and love.

We fly around in private jets and designer gears, unsuccessfully trying to mask our deep-rooted, hidden fears. For we know deep down, that it affects us all-the rich and the poor, whether we find ourselves at home or in the diaspora.

We know that one day soon, these cowardly soldiers of hate and ignorance, will appear at our doors and unleash their horrific, crazy and gruesome dance.

In broad daylight, we fire on, preaching and spreading this gospel of apathy, at home and even across many a river and mountain. To the streets in Britain, to the Queen’s court and into her gate. And it comes full circle, the forced union of 1914, this sham of a marriage that continues to plague its off-springs. Cutting short their lives, ripping apart their hopes and dreams.

Everyone is affected. We are all infected with the poison of this insidious evil and violence. We rise against one another, kith against kin. In an orgy of kidnapping, greed and senseless killings. We have become a people who burn our children to death. We watch the show of shame in broad daylight, without breaking a sweat. Openly, in the giant coliseum of our streets, even recording it for posterity.

We pray on the mountain of deceit and whisper a faint-hearted ‘Ozoemena!’ As we all take our cue, siddon dey look  cluelessly or pray for ourselves and dear brother Jona. Let’s act now in faith and not just wait around passively, for the next waves of another vicious cycle of our never-ending storms of pain and shame! Isn’t it time we re-visited and rebuilt this imperfect union?

© ‘Kego Onyido (2010-2014)

The answer is always to love and love more….

LOVE“When I despair, I remember that all through history the ways of TRUTH and LOVE have always won. There have been tyrants, and murderers, and for a time they can seem invincible, but in the end they always fall. Think of it–always.” ~Mahatma Gandhi~

WWN Reflection 02.19.2014: “There were dark times in our history; when twins were thought to be evil and murdered in ‘evil forests’, a time when blacks were slaves and ‘properties’ of their owners, when women couldn’t vote, wear pants, inherit property, young girls were crudely mutilated and circumcised, when widows had to be punished with gruesome acts if they outlived their husbands, (such as drinking the water used to bathe the corpse, sleeping overnight with the corpse!) And the horror is that some of these practices still persist in some places across Africa, even till this day!

I remember an incident that shocked us as a nation in the 90’s when a man was brutally beheaded in Kano, Northern Nigeria. Even more crudely, his head was paraded on the streets, as a sort of effigy, on a stick, with a crowd chanting in glee, all because of prejudices based on faith/creed/tribe. And there have been many, many such unbelievable incidents since then….

It is interesting that to this day, people still use MIS-use biblical/quoranic verses to support their ‘beliefs’. The danger of thinking that another human being is ‘less than’, breeds a society that is disconnected from decency and such environments are fertile grounds for darkness to reign supreme. Nothing good ever comes from this fallacy. And so today, more than ever, we must be careful not to make laws and treat people based on hate/fear/prejudice. To disagree with someone’s choices does not give us a license to degrade, punish or destroy.

Perception is projection and what we are, is invariable what we see reflected back at us. And the biggest ‘devil’ that we should fear is the shadow that lurks within each of us and clouds our sense of justice, love and forgiveness. We create the society of our dreams or nightmare, the choice is ours. fUTURE

Often, we are quick to take on the role of God and become quasi-judges of others and in so doing, we make our lives difficult and complicated. We forget that the most important teaching and role that we are called upon is really simple: To love God and to love our neighbours as ourselves. We forget that it is in love were we all created, with love were we moulded and through love were we redeemed.

We sometimes depict closed judgemental values and see others as different, separate or less than we are. This is at the heart of our dis-connect and pain as a society. And yet, perhaps, the more universal truth is that we are all connected, grace abounds to all and we each have the capacity to heal, share, connect, create, tap into and bear witness to God’s love in our lives.

The power of UN-conditional love gifts us with the ability to be free and also free others around us. We are all invariably connected and we are called to hold SACRED SPACE on behalf of one another. May love find you willing, ready and open. The freedom we enjoy now, is but an answer to another person’s cry, sacrifice and prayer from the past. Someone dared to stand up and fight for the path we tread today.

Whose path are illuminating with your light? Who are you standing up for? How are you spending your money to uplift the world around you? Who are you lending your time to? What are you expending your energy on? And who are you offering prayers for? The answer is ALWAYS to love and if that fails, simply choose to love even more!”

Have an abundantly blessed day. Remember to sow seeds of love, service and value.

In the words of my beautiful friend Shelley Lundquist : “If you think with your head, there are many answers BUT if you think with your heart, there’s only ONE.”

——————————————————————————–

The preceding is a guest post from Juliet Ume, MBA –Strategic Interventionist, Wealth Management Consultant & Leadership-Coach at Whole Woman Network. Juliet is the author of the upcoming book: ‘UN-Locking Your HeArt of Leadership.” She is an avid Life Connoisseur and a passionate advocate of WomEntrepreneurship, Leadership Training, Investment & Financial Literacy for women. Her mission is simply to engage, educate and empower women (and men), regardless of their levels of income or background, to return to ‘wholeness’ and live Healthier, Sexier, Wealthier Lives using Faith-based, Scientific and Universal (Common-Sense) principles! She shares her daily reflective posts on: www.facebook.com/wholewomannetwork. Follow her on Twitter: @wholewomaninc, @julietumeinc

Love thy Neighbour

Month 2 – A Fitness Journey: Staying the Course …

Dear members of WWN community,

One month ago, when I embarked on this journey, I knew it would not be an easy one. Ladies, was I ever right!!!! I went to the Good Life fitness centre at Hillcrest mall on the next day. After just 5 minutes on the elliptical, I felt like I was literally coming apart. All my joints ached and my heart rate was just very far from normal.

I actually entertained the thoughts of calling it quits and sticking to my usual exercise routine; one-hour walks in the mall (when the weather’s really hot or on the streets(on those cool mornings/evenings).  Two things stopped me: The first reason was that I remembered what Christina(an amazing staff of  the gym who’d signed me up) had said to me about adding all the other elements-weights, aerobics, cardio, etc.

I have always been an advocate of children especially teenagers eating healthy and living active lifestyles. So, I must confess that the second huge reason why I didn’t give in and abandon the gym was that it was packed full with teenagers. (GoodLife Fitness has an amazing summer program where teens get to use the gym for free and that particular location had over 1,100 teens registered as participants).

I know this for a fact; my teenage daughter registered too and a lot of her friends were there.  So, the fact that some of those teens knew me personally and would notice that I exercised for only 5 mins! was enough to spur me on and keep going. And exercise I did, for one full hour!!!

The next day was a bruiser because I woke up with aches and pains every where on my body but I also felt a sense of deep accomplishment.  I went to the gym again and same thing on the next day and so on for the next 10 days….So here I am, ten days later. I feel more energectic, I’m definitely sleeping better, working more productively and best of all-I’ve burnt five pounds (5 lbs) and still counting.

Remarkable enough, just the fact that I exercise everyday just seems to automatically trigger a better and healthier eating lifestyle for me. I’m suddenly drinking only water and tea (decaff),  no pop, coffee… taking lots of fruits and vegetables, I’m eating whole grain bread and pasta (Still working on the rice thing, cos I loooove my rice-fried, jollof, coconut, white, curried…hmmmmn. One step at a time!

I’m going to be meeting with my doctor (the amazing Dr Mary Caracoglia of Women’s Health Center in Oak Ridges), to work out the right food and fruits to eat, the right vitamins for my age,…I just think its better to be well informed and educated about my options cos I don’t want all my hard work at the gym to get wiped off by the wrong stuff going into my mouth!

P.S: Oh yeah, and by the way, I rewarded myself with a beautiful Pulicati Bag and BCBG cocktail ring. A girl’s got to stay motivated somehow, right? 🙂 Lol.

A Year From NowIs there an area of your life you wish to transform? Is your health, weight, overall level of fitness and well-being at a level you wish to improve upon? Health is wealth! Decide today to start making incremental changes.

And every once in a while, shake things up and take a HUGE unexpected step that will stretch you (run a marathon or walkathon, register for a group dance program, participate in a holistic cleanse etc.) Nothing changes if nothing changes. Talk is very cheap, calibrate on your action. TAKE ACTION! Have an awesome week!

So talk to you all again in a month! Share your fitness stories- your successes and challenges in your journey. Remember, the destination is not the real deal, rather, it is the person you transform into during your journey! Join the conversation on our Facebook Page.

P.S: Are you up for a 10-Day Organic cleanse? Take the challenge with David Sandoval’s Celebrity Healthy Cleanse. It is celebrated as the fastest, healthiest, simplest and least expensive weight management solution on the planet! Click Here to Register and Order Today.

Month 1 – A Fitness Journey: it starts with a single step

————————————————————————————————–

Remember, you are not ordinary, you are divinely unique.

You are WOW (Wonderful One-of-a-kind Woman)!

w(H)olistically Yours,

Whole Woman Network