Wednesday, November 14, 2012
Wow. I can't believe it's been so long since I wrote here. My life has been crazy as always and although I've wanted to write several times about things going on in the months I either didn't have time or just lost the urge along the way.
This time I'm really writing...and it's about the 13th of November, the New Moon, Solar Eclipse, and Diwali Festival (Hindu Festival of Lights) day!!! And Mercury is in Retrograde. So while the planets are shifting the energy of the Universe, some of us may feel shifts within ourselves as well. I'm feeling it in extremely strong vibrations!!!
This is the time to end the past and old habits, and welcome new ones. Similar to New Years resolutions. The Diwali, also called Festival of Lights is one of the biggest festivals celebrated in India by Hindus and apparently the celebration day changes each year, depending on the moon cycle. So, for it to fall along with the New Moon and Solar Eclipse day in November is not a coincidence. I am not a Hindu, however this week long traditional festival where Hindus all around the world light candles to drive darkness away, and welcome new beginnings feels like whats going on inside of me...things are shifting inside...some feelings and cravings are going away, leaving room for new beginnings and new changes to occur. So, the Hindus must know what they're doing I think, their nature coincides with the energy shifts in the Universe. And this is something actively felt by many individuals, including myself. Of course, astrologically some people may be more sensitive to feeling these shifts then others, but I don't know much about Astrology. I go by my feelings and instincts, and I am feeling some shifts and new things happening in me.
When I told about my feelings and how the energy of Diwali is coinciding with the moon and eclipse effects, my new amazing Indian friend said that at times I seem more Hindu than he is. It's funny but true...I love the Indian culture, and the more I learn about it, it feels like my own or that I could fit in easily:)
About the New Moon, and the time to start new beginnings. This one now, is more potent and effective to also leave the past behind, let it be, and maybe letting it go with forgiveness. Because really we can't control our lives as much as we would like to. Things happen when they're supposed to happen for a reason. And while leaving the past behind, focusing on the moment, staying in the moment with whatever sensations and feelings life is offering at any particular moment (while continuing to breathe and without holding your breath) is an important shift. This is the way to Awareness, and understanding what is really going on inside of you, learning to listen to yourself. Breathing through any difficulty that you may be facing in life. (Holding your breath would mean you're not dealing with the situation). And then whatever the future is holding for you, you'll know that its going to end up being wonderful no matter what. Remember, life can not go dark forever. So, no need to worry about that either, or plan every detail of the future. Life is too hard, complicated and mysterious to worry about the past or future. However, the way we human beings are, influenced by our egos, and experiences, worry is something we will have to deal with at some points in our lives.
Breathing is important here. Especially when we are faced with any kind of difficulty in our lives. Breath and air is the essential life force called Prana in Yoga. Without breath, life wouldn't exist. And when we hold our breath, it creates stress in the body. There is also scientific evidence that breathing from the nose is more important for health, than breathing from the mouth (unless your nose is stuffed up of course). The importance and ways of breathing is thought in Yoga. However, this would be another topic to write about later. Meanwhile, you could consider thinking about what this means to you...Have you noticed if you breathe from your nose or mouth more often? and What would happen if you started to breathe from your nose rather than your mouth?
I absolutely can tell from my experiences that, if I don't practice yoga and breathing exercises for some time, I get more anxious, and out of breath, and then find myself breathing from my mouth at times. I can confess that I wasn't practicing much yoga this summer, it was a stressful summer (in which I needed yoga) but I just wasn't in the environment I could practice in. And as a result, I got even more stressed which also resulted in some allergy attacks which I was not expecting since I thought they were all gone from lots of Acupuncture sessions. However, I was avoiding my daily practices.
Now, I have come back to my daily yoga practices and to Acupuncture and Ayurvedic healing practices which are helping out a lot. And then just recently during a Family Constellation session I realized that I finally have moved along (forward), and do not look back at my parents support any longer.
Also, it has now been 2 years in October that I've been living in Turkey. I did want to do a Second Year Anniversary celebration but I was too busy doing touristy stuff with an American friend who was visiting and I think I forgot about it. However, I definitely have been feeling more settled in especially since I got back from Bodrum (was there for 3 months in the summer), back in my personally decorated, colored, safe home and new job. I have been feeling some positive changes about to happen soon, I think because I felt more settled and accepting of the country, although I of course still have many disagreements since it's still a culture I'm learning.
What also happened is that I finally felt that I am really Turkish in deed!!! No matter how much I may want to deny this, and I may seem more American at times, I have the Turkish roots in me. However, this doesn't change the fact that I feel and act Turklish still. Now, I am able to accept my Turkish roots and honour them within me because it is part of what I received from my parents.
So, the month of November this year seems to gather many celebrations...a New Year, acceptance of my roots and family, letting go of the past, and welcoming new beginnings. I feel ready to go bungee jumping almost!!! haha not really:))
So I'll end this note with a quote from Sianna Sherman, a very wise yoga teacher who's workshop I just attended a week ago in Istanbul. She answered the question "What kind of Awareness is Yoga about?" at a Turkish newspaper interview: " At first, you start to have more energy and you start to feel good. You slowly start to notice things in life that you couldn't notice before because you've been tired or life was chaotic. So, this awareness has a physical and spiritual effect. After this process, you start to see the bigger picture, rather than the little details. At the end of the Yoga journey, you'll be seeing the forest!"
I loved her amazing energy as well as Seane Corn who was teaching together with Sianna. I highly recommend meeting both of them!!!
Posted by K. at 5:15 PM
Tuesday, April 17, 2012
Bir yol. Dağlardan, orman içinden, su kenarlarından geçen dik, bazen düz, bazen taşlı, bazen camurlu yollar. Bu yollar eski köylerden, tarihi yerleşim alanlarından, müthiş manzaralar eşliğinde geçerek esrarengiz ve rahatlatıcı bir hava akımını başlatıyor. Bir yerlerde bu yollar, patikalar birleşiyor, ve sonra yine ayrılıyorlar. İşte bu yolların birleştiği noktalardan biride Faralya köyündeki Patika Merkezi.
Buranın nasıl bir yer olduğunu anlamak için internetten bakmak araştırmak yetmiyor, oraya gidip kendi gözlerinizle görüp, kendi bedeninizle tecrübe etmeniz gerekiyor. Orada kalarak, bahçede büyüyen doğal şifalı bitkilerin sayesinde hazırlanan yemeklerle, içeçeklerle, yogayla, manzarası, doğası, havası, insanları ve kesinlikle bu projenin ana damarı, kalbi olan Erol ile sohpetler ve belki ev yapımı şarapları sayesinde tam oracıkta oraya aşık olmak gerekiyor. Belki bu da yetmiyor, oradan bi ayrılmak gerekiyor, oranın değerini daha iyi anlayabilmek, özleyebilmek ve geri dönüş planları yaparak bu yola, Patika projesine katkıda bulunmak için.
Yağmurlu bir Salı günü varmıştım Patika’ya, Ölüdeniz, ve Kelebekler Vadisi manzaralı ve nefes kesen dar virajları olan dağ yollarından. Nisan ayında bahçe bayram ediyordu. Baharın gelmesiyle tüm ağaçlar yeşerirken, rengarenk çiçekler her yerden bana gülümsüyordu, aralardan fışkıran otlar, papatyalar kaplamıştı Patikanın kendi yollarını. O dönemdeki sevgili gönüllü çalışanlar, Meriz, Una ve Sandra’nın yardımlarıyla güzelim taş evime yerleştikten sonra açık Akdeniz manzarasına daldım. Erol günlük güzellik uykusundaydı:) Sonra uyandığında bahçenin turunu verdikten sonra hep beraber mis gibi yemekler yedik, Patika üzümlerinden ev yapımı şarabı içtik ve gece uykumuza daldık. Ertesi gün pırıl pırıldı. Güneş arada bi yüzünü gösteriyor, havayı ısıtıyordu. Bende çevreyi, bitkileri, dağları, manzaraları keşfetmekle meşgul buldum kendimi. Gönüllü çalışanları, köyden gelen yardımcılar, ustalar, Erol ve o ortamda yaşayan herkes tam bir doğal çevre oluşturarak doğayla uyumlu bir şekilde bahçe, yemek, ev yapımı, ev onarımı, vs. gibi işlerle uğraşıyorlardı. Permakültür. Yani permenant culture, süreklilik sağlayan bir çevre. Doğayla iç içe yaşayarak, ondan almakla kalmayıp, ona geri vererek. Tam anlamıyla geri dönüşüm uygulayarak.
Ben bu doğal oluşuma, Erol’a ve çevreye seyrekalmıştım. Çok yorgundum geldiğimde, İstanbul, şehir yorgunluğu vardı üzerimde. Konuşacak ne halim vardı ne de çok isteğim. Tam istediğim gibi izole, sessiz, sakin bir yere gelmiştim sonunda. Patika’nın akışına bırakıverdim kendimi, geri kalan herşeyi unutarak. Arada salata için otlar topladım, bahçenin çiçekleriyle masaları dekore ettim, mersin ağacının yaprağını keşfettim, ve çay yapımında kullandım, vs. yani bende ordan burdan ufak ufak bu çevrenin bir parçası olmuştum. Bazı günler ve bazı saatlerde çevrede olan işlerden dolayı elektrik kesintileri, ve su sorunları oluyordu, geceleri soğuktu, yani tam bir dağ köyü hayatı gibiydi. Geri kalan dünyadan tamamiyle kopmuştum, ve aslında bu durumdan memnundum. Bu hal bana çok iyi geldi. Zaten oradayken başka şeyleri insan nasıl düşünebilir bilemiyorum. Yapmam gereken Yoga Terapi eğitimi için ödevleri bile zar zor konsantre olarak tamamlayabildim. Tek isteğim sanki doğayı tüm duyularımla içime çekmek, kucaklamaktı; doğa ile bütünleşmek. Bir bebeği sever gibi sevdim doğayı, bu doğal çevreyi. Ormandan denize inen yolları keşfettim. Havlamayı pek seven şirin beyaz köpek ve şirin keçilerle, sürekli gülümseyen köylülerle karşılaştım. Diğer yolları, tarihi patikaları tam bulamadığımdan keşfetme şansım olmadı bu sefer. Patika’ya en yakın sahil denilebilinecek yer, hiç öyle düşündüğünüz gibi bir sahil değil. İlk gördüğümde gözlerime inanamadım. Böyle bir yer daha önce görmemiştim. Kalbim durdu sanki, nefesimi de tutmuş olmalıyım ki hafif esrarengiz ve ürkütücü görüntüsüyle bedenim bi yandan alarma geçerken bi yandan doğal oluşumun, renklerin verdiği uyumla beraber güzelliği de beni heyecandırmaya başladı. Tepeden bir kaç dakika bakakaldım kayalıkların içersindeki muhteşem doğanın bize sunduğu esrarengiz sahile. Ve sonra dik bir yamaçtan indim sahile. Ufak ama müthiş kristal kayalıklarla, çakıl taşlarıyla şekil almış, tam anlamıyla turquaz ve kirlenmemiş serin suların yer aldığı, krater görünümlü bir sahil diyebiliriz. Su soğuktu ve mayom yoktu. Fakat ben bir şekilde o sulara kendimi bırakıverdim:) O kayaların, suyun, ormanın, etrafdaki kokuların, havanın şarhoşu oldum. Amerika’da yaşadığım yıllarda Boston şehirinden de arada bi uzaklaşmak için trenle gittiğim Rockport adındaki şirin ve kayalık bir kasabayı hatırlattı bu sahil bana. Rockport, yani taşlimanı anlamına gelen bu kasaba okyanus kenarında ve kayalıkların tepesinde şekillenmiş bir kasaba. Kayalıklardan müthiş açık okyanus manzarasına seyre kalırdım, taze yengeç ve sonrasında yaz ise ev yapımı dondurmalarından yiyip, kış ise zencefilli havuç corbası içip, ilginç taşlar, kristaller, vs gibi şeyler satan dükkanlarda gezip tazelenmiş olarak Boston’daki evime dönerdim. Fakat, Faralya köyündeki bu sahil çok daha güzeldi, ya da farklı bir güzelliği vardı diyelim. Rockport’u hatırlatsa bile ikisinin de kalbimde çok ayrı yerleri var.
Günler geçtikce ve yorgunluğumun yerini temiz hava, dinginlik, sakinlik aldıkca, ben sadece bulunduğum çevreyi gözlemlemekle kaldığımı fark ettim ve ayrılık vakti yakınlaşmaya başlamıştı. Son günümde o ufacık ama kayaların sayesinde müthiş enerjiye sahip olan sahilde güneşe karşı meditasyona oturdum. Kimsecikler yoktu, güneşin ısısı ve ayağıma kadar gelen dalgaların sesleri ve serinliği eşliğinde bir meditasyon. Yinede sanki hiç oradan ayrılmayacağım gibi hislerle, İstanbul’da beni bekleyen işler, öğrençilerim, müşterilerim, ailem, ve sorumlulukları tamamen unutarak devam ediyordum oradaki yaşamıma. Sanki İstanbul başka bir dünya, çok eskide kalan buğulu bir hayat gibi. Aslında, çok da yanlış değil. İstanbul’a geldiğimde şok içinde kendimi uzaya gitmiş falan gibi hissettim. Patika’da toplam 5 gün kalmıştım halbuki, beni oraya bağlamaya yetmiş demek ki. Daha önce yine Amerika’da yaşarken gittiğim Kripalu yoga merkezinden de 1 hafta sonrasında buna benzer hislerle ayrılmıştım. Ve daha 3 gün oldu İstanbul’a geleli, geldiğimden beri içimde bir hüzün kaplı. Şehir içinde, tanıdık ortamların içersinde çevreme alışıyor gibi oluyorum ama bi yandan da sanki burası benim ait olduğum yer değil. Üstelik Erol ile konuşmak istediğim bir sürü konu vardı, Patika’da öğrenmek istediğim, deneyimlemek istediğim bir sürü neler neler...ne oldu onlara? Sanki aklım durmuştu oradayken, ya da başka bir diyarlardaydım. Belki de Patika’daki yaşam ayaklarımı yerden kesti.
Aklım hala Patika’da, dağlarda, ormanlarda, kayalıklar içersindeki sahilde...nasıl geri dönmeli oraya acaba...
Saturday, February 18, 2012
Hello, finally I start writing again in 2012. This first article of the new year may be a bit too specific and detailed but I would appreciate you taking the time to read it.
You may have heard some things about breastfeeding if you are pregnant, or know someone who is pregnant. You may have even heard about a person called a Breastfeeding Counselor or Lactation Consultant and asked “Who is this person?” Or maybe you thought why need a breastfeeding counselor, isn’t breastfeeding a normal natural path anyway? Don’t worry; these are common questions, and I plan to clarify the meaning of these in this article.
I would like to start by clarifying the difference in the meaning of these titles. This is important especially in Turkey because this relatively new profession was started in the USA through a group of women who volunteered to help mothers and babies breastfeed in the 1950s. As this profession evolved into more pronounced certifications, through the support of the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF this profession became Internationally standardized and an essential part in promoting breastfeeding in the world. Thus, most literature in Breastfeeding and Human Lactation is in English. Although many books are translated into a variety of languages, the widely used textbooks in this area are not yet translated into Turkish. In the USA, a Breastfeeding Counselor sometimes referred to as a Lactation Counselor or Breastfeeding Educator is an individual usually certified through a National Association. Their certification is usually based on specific experiences and knowledge, and in order to continue their credentials they are required to participate in continuing education. In Turkey, from my experiences, these individuals, collectively referred to as ‘Emzirme Danışmanı’, may or may not be certified through an International or National Association and their certification is not necessarily standardized. However, Lactation Consultants, short for International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC), are individuals internationally certified through standardized and regulated Associations. To become and IBCLC, one is required to gather certain hours of experience in helping mothers and babies breastfeed and then pass an International exam. This process is regulated by the International Board Lactation Consultant Examiners (IBLCE). Then, the practice of an IBCLC is regulated by the International Lactation Consultant Association (ILCA). This process and the Associations are supported by WHO. So, the difference really lies in the meaning of the words Counselor and Consultant.
Now that I’ve clarified the meanings of a Breastfeeding Counselor and Lactation Consultant, I would like to continue with explaining what these individuals actually do. This is important. In short, the aim of a Breastfeeding Counselor and Lactation Consultant is the same: To promote, protect, and support breastfeeding. However, there are some slight differences in the responsibilities of an IBCLC. An IBCLC is a consultant specialized in providing the needs and concerns of the breastfeeding mother-baby pair. Their responsibilities are determined by WHO and ILCA. These are:
- To prevent or diagnose and solve any breastfeeding difficulties.
- To evaluate, diagnose, solve, and follow up on any breastfeeding difficulties that may occur. Some of these issues are: Latching problems, engorgement, infections, mastitis, or premature, weight issues, allergies, and other special situations.
- To promote, protect, and support breastfeeding worldwide. This can be achieved by offering breastfeeding classes or personal lactation consultations to women, families, the public, and health professionals.
- When needed working with a multidisciplinary health team to help diagnose, and solve the breastfeeding issue that a mother-baby couple is experiencing. This includes referring mother and baby to other specialized health professionals.
- Follow the ILCA Ethics Code. This is also known as the WHO Code: International Code of Marketing Breastmilk Substitutes. This includes several princibles that generally aim towards providing the baby with safe breastmilk substitutes in the rare case when breatmilk is not available. In summary, the artifical feeding needs to be offered in a way that resembles breastfeeding as best as it can, and the correctly labeled artifical substitute can only be offered to a mother by a health professional. No free breastmilk substitutes are to be given to health professionals or mothers.
Actually, it is possible for a Breastfeeding Counselor to have similar qualities, experiences and education of an IBCLC. However, the part that is especially important is that the Breastfeeding Counselor in Turkey may not be regulated by WHO or a National Specialized Association. Of course I’m not saying that in Turkey you can only rely on the advice of an IBCLC not a Breastfeeding Counselor. I am only hoping to help you understand the difference between these two qualifications in order for you to choose the counselor or consultant that meets your specific needs.
Currently, in Turkey, there are only two IBCLCs including me which is a small number compared to other countries. Universally, almost every country has several IBCLCs. They usually work in hospitals, birth centers, clinics, or independently. The concept of a Breastfeeding Counselor is becoming prevalent in Istanbul and in 2011 the Ministry of Health has started offering Breastfeeding Courses to Nurses. However, in many countries, when there are difficult breastfeeding situations that require medical attention, an IBCLC consultation is preferred. And more IBCLCs are preferred to work as the Breastfeeding/Lactation Consultant at a hospital. In my experience, the breastfeeding courses offered in Turkey are limited and remain very basic, and continuing education of a Breastfeeding/Lactation Consultant is not routinely encouraged. There seems to be no special course that examines Breastfeeding and the Human Lactation scientifically which could educate individuals to become an IBCLC. Since research on breastfeeding benefits and lactation still continues extensively and may sometimes change what we offer mothers and babies, it is especially critical that a Breastfeeding Counselor or IBCLC stays up to date.
Furthermore, volunteer based support groups for breastfeeding mothers are limited in Turkey. The first La Leche League International (LLL) group was established in Ankara in 2011. This is an internationally well-known support group, however it is not professional counseling, it is designed as a mother to mother support group to help breastfeeding mothers establish a community where they can share their experiences and continue breastfeeding. These kinds of support groups usually help mothers successfully breastfeed for longer.
In consequence, according to the 2009 UNICEF data on Turkey, the babies who exclusively breastfed for the first 6 months, and the babies who breastfed up to 2 years of age are 42% and 22%, consecutively. Compared with World standards, these are very low percentages. There is still a lot to be done to promote, protect and support breastfeeding in Turkey. What YOU can do is inform your friends and community about the concept of a Lactation Consultant. You could start by promoting my services in Istanbul which are, Breastfeeding with Awareness Classes every 2nd Wednesday evening of the month and personal Lactation Consultations as home visits. Let’s support each other by sharing!
- International Board Lactation Consultant Examiners (IBLCE )
- International Lactation Consultant Association (ILCA)
- World Health Organization- Breastfeeding
- La Leche League International (Volunteer Support Services to Moms)
- www.kellymom.com (An informative side prepared by an IBCLC)
- Book: The Womenly Art of Breastfeeding, by Weissinger, West, and Pitman, La Leche League, 8th Edition. (Turkish version: Emzirme Sanatı, La Leche League International, Gün Yayıncılık).