I am always interested in the studies of crime statistics, probabilities and scenarios. Certainly these studies yield important information and can act as prediction indicators of the occurrence of crime but the information they gather, simply put, are generalities. IF such and such is in place, THEN we may assume that x,y,z will follow. Basically, when it comes to crime indicators, I think the if-then scenario concludes the following predictability reliability: Sometimes. When it comes to predicting whether or not a certain person will commit a violent crime one must consider the individual with their ever changing experiences, chemistry and soul status. I am sure that even the most organic of us cannot predict with any certainty what another will do from one moment to the next.
No one is immune from crime. If we were, we wouldn’t need all those statistics, probabilities and studies to predict its occurrence in the first place. Life itself is an “if-then” scenario. If we are in the path of any number of scenarios that manifest into a violent crime, then we must know what to do. Danger is always brewing somewhere.
In terms of safety, we simply are safe until we are not. Sounds simple but it is true. Here’s another if-then scenario to think about. If you learn nothing, then you will know nothing. Although our basic instinct may be to survive in the face of danger, that often is not enough to actually survive. It is not enough to want to survive if you don’t know how.
Logically speaking, there are just too many threatening scenarios to think about preparing for. At the end of the day, we live with so many risks all around us that it just doesn’t make sense to consider them all and wonder which one we will most probably have to deal with. We rely on studies and statistics, to make educated choices about our safety based on our best guess of where we fit into those statistics and that is helpful, however, crime doesn’t always make sense therefore statistics can not be 100% accurate and only so much of our society can be patrolled at once.
Simply put you will never really know what is coming your way until it is happening.
The only thing we can really rely on is ourselves. The best defense to the myriad of risks that ebb and flow around each of our interactions in life is to know where we stand within them. By it’s very nature, violence is not a predictable event. If it were, no one would become a victim, and clearly, there are victims of violent crime every day all day long.
What safety really becomes is another if-then scenario. Simply put, if I am attacked, then I need to know what to do to survive. If I know what to do then it doesn’t really matter if I am attacked. I know how to defend myself so I will. That skill will help me get out of trouble. It is the same way that I approach renting a car at the airport. If I know how to drive, then it really doesn’t matter what make or model they hand me the keys to. If I know how to drive, then I will and increase my chances or arriving safely because I have the basic skill. You cannot always predict which threat in life you will have to deal with, but if you know how to protect yourself, then your chances of survival increase no matter what situation you find yourself in. But only if you have the skills.
We are not born with appropriate self-defends strategies because the nature of threats against us change with the climate of the era. However, it is essential that we do learn to protect ourselves because we never know which situation we will be handed. Without skills, we live a life of chance of which threat we may actually encounter, and common sense tells us that it is not a matter of If, but a matter of when.
Mindset Self-Defenese offers workshops, products and a cutting edge magazine dedicated to the self-defense, personal protection and safety of women. Learn more at http://www.mindsetselfdefense.com
Milan, Italy, otherwise known as the fashion capital of the world. Many fashion lovers dream of Milan and the treasures they will find there amongst the famous shopping plaza Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II. The truth is, treasures will be found in Milan, fashion will be found, Italian architecture will be found, the adventure of being in the hustle and bustle of the city will be found, a blend of modern design and historical familiarity will be found, and yes even some really, really good cappuccinos will be found.
Picture this, a busy city. One minute you are riding a crowded tram trying to navigate through heavy traffic It stops for a brief second and you must hurry to get out at your stop or you miss the opportunity. You make your way through the rest of the city by foot, walking fast as is the flow of the city, and try to avoid being hit by a Vespa that’s zooming through busy traffic You dodge the Vespa, turning into a narrow alleyway, and suddenly it’s like you are in a different place at a different time. The atmosphere becomes serene as you look around at the beautiful, looming, traditional,Italian style architecture. The traffic noises become more distant and almost soothing. The sun shines in over the top of the buildings to illuminate the alleyway, birds chirp, and suddenly it hits you, you are in Italy! Charming, romantic, passionate Italy.
At first glance Milan is modern and industrial, but as you make your way through the city to the Galleria, you find that Milan keeps much of its historical charm intact. The famous Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II and the cathedral “Duomo” are prime examples of historical Italian architecture within the modern industrialism.
The Galleria itself houses numerous high-end designer shops as well as infamous cafés and restaurants. As a lover of fashion, I made this vast plaza a top priority during my stay in Milan. I was not let down, the atmosphere and architecture in themselves are worth seeing. The galleria is one of the world’s oldest shopping centers, it was built between 1865 and 1877. The atmosphere within the structure is romantic, charming, and historical (with a contradictory modern vibe). The structure itself is made up of two glass arcades that intersects into an octagon, topped with a glass dome and cast iron roof. This central covering to the Galleria covers the streets that connect two other historical structures- The Piazza del Duoma and Piazza Della Scala.
Read the rest of the article along with facts, tips, and a snapshot of Micha’s trip details (on pages 13-15 of the Independence Issue) here.
Micha Wilhoite grew up traveling throughout Europe. She is a travel enthusiast and enjoys sharing some of her travel experiences in our “Venues” column.
Arguably the most important part of life is to be in relationships with other people. A good relationship, whether with a family member, friend or spouse/significant other, is a great blessing.
However, human interaction is complicated, and sadly, some relationships turn sour and can become outright harmful. Abuse can be physical and/or psychological and can cause enormous harm to the person on the receiving end. What, if any, remedies does the law offer a victim of domestic abuse?
The tool most readily available is an Order of Protection, (also called a Restraining Order, an Injunction Against Harassment, etc.). Such an order, properly issued and served, prohibits the
perpetrator from having any contact with the victim(s) and can even prohibit the person from going near the victim’s home or work. One can be obtained by applying in person at the court nearest you. If contact occurs, the perpetrator can be charged with a crime, and if caught, they will be arrested even if the contact is nonthreatening or non-violent. A person convicted of violating a protection order will likely be ordered to complete a violence intervention program and could be sentenced to jail time.
When should you get an Order of Protection?
For instance, if your ex is messaging you 400 times a day about getting back together, and you have asked that they stop but it continues, you may want to consider getting a protective order.
Even if none of the messages contain any threats of injury, this can be harassing and stressful. Of course, if threats are uttered or physical violence is perpetrated, a crime has been
committed, which deserves police attention in addition to providing a reason for a protective order.
Once the order is signed by the judge, the person against whom it is issued (the Defendant) has a right to respond. Upon being served, the Defendant can request a hearing and contest the
allegations. Here in Arizona, any incident alleged must have occurred within the previous 12 months. If the incident occurred outside of the previous year, the order will be dismissed. An order is in effect for one year unless renewed for good cause, and they can be dropped early upon the request of the protected party.
If the relationship between the two parties is that of spouse, lover, significant other or parent of a joint child etc, the defendant is prohibited from possessing firearms during the duration of the order. If the defendant is caught possessing a firearm during while subject to an order, felony charges can be brought for “Prohibited Possessor of a Firearm.”
Due to being a cynic and apt to state the obvious, A protective order does not protect anyone from a person who ignores it. Earl; the man of song lyric notoriety “who walked right thru the restraining order,” comes to mind (The Dixie Chicks), but it is a tool that ups the ante on a perpetrator after the fact.
Always use common sense; in imminently dangerous situations call the Police!!! If the situation is ongoing, seek help from family and friends, religious or other non-profit organizations that focus on helping victims of abuse. In addition, many prosecutors’ offices have Victim Advocate Groups that assists crime victims during the perpetrator’s court process. Although not a legal system remedy; do not overlook martial arts training both armed and un-armed for the most extreme situations; the skills learned can be beneficial outside the realm of abusive relationships.
Notes of caution. There are two disturbing phenomenon surrounding protective orders. First, there are victims of SERIOUS PHYSICAL ABUSE who do not even report the incident to the police, much less have a protective order in effect! For your own sake and for the sake of those who love you, please do not find yourself in this category.
On the other hand, sometimes alleged perpetrators are framed by a person hiding behind a protective order and concocting accusations out of spite. For the sake of others, avoid belonging to
this category.On a positive note, many defendants report that they have greatly benefitted from the violence intervention classes they took after violating a court order. They have gone on to happier, more peaceful lives and healthier relationships.
Magnus Eriksson is a Criminal Defense Trial Attorney based in Scottsdale and is currently licensed to practice in the Sate and Federal Courts of Arizona. contact Magnus at: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Women’s Self-Defense Workshop on March 1, 2014 was such an empowering experience. Throughout the workshop participants became aware of several things;
1. There are so many misconceptions when it comes to self-defense & attacks against women.For example, the neighborhood is safe, using common sense will prevent attacks, and there is no way to get away from a stonger attacker,therefore compliance is best.
2. How to utilize tactical thinking instead of emotional thinking( getting past the anxiety) in life-like scenarios.
3. How to establish strong verbal boundaries and portray confidence so that we are not seen as a victim and therefore are less likely to become a victim.
4. That women have so many weapons to utilize if we are faced with an attack that have nothing to do with size, weight,or strength. We can do damage by using tactics like knee kicks, open handed hits, scratching ( we have nails!), biting, poking eyes etc.
I talk about lifestyle quite a bit, more specifically martial arts or the warrior lifestyle. So what is it?
I remember when I started training in martial arts; I was 11 years old and I started studying Kenpo Karate. My Sensei at the time had a “mat chat” with a group of us. There were 15 or so children in the group and Sensei had us huddle up for a story. Sensei started by asking us to imagine a set of twins growing up together in virtually identical ways. As they got older seemingly small differences started to emerge. One of the twins would get up early every day and review the school work he had done the day before and make sure he was fully prepared for the day ahead. The other twin would sleep in and rush to get ready at the last minute, sloppily throwing together what he needed for the day. The twin who got up early generally had enough time to eat a good, healthy breakfast and pack a good lunch for the day. The other twin would grab whatever was available and then buy chips and snacks from the vending machines. After school, the early bird twin would go home and immediately do his homework and make sure his tasks and chores were all finished. Following that he would spend the remaining hours exercising, riding his bike, or participating in other physical activities. The other twin would come home, eat fast food or candy, and then play video games and spend the minimum amount of time available to do some of his homework, often times not having enough time to finish it.
The story had more depth to the behavioral patterns in both twins but I do not remember them all. What I remember most was the construct of the story and the questions Sensei asked after. At the conclusion of the story, Sensei asked us kids what differences we saw in the twins. It was clear what they were, so the next question he asked us was, what would be the differences between the two in a week’s worth of time. Not much right? So, then Sensei asked what would be the differences in 6 months or a year? Well, at this point the conversation got real interesting. Some kids said that the one twin would be out of shape from playing video games all the time and eating junk food so much. Others talked about the twin having bad teeth and cavities due to the bad diet. Others talked about the poor grades the twin would get because he never did his homework completely, and was always ill prepared for the day ahead of him. This list went on and the funny thing is that we children really saw the side effects of the “bad” twin. Rarely did anyone comment on the side effects and successes the “good” twin would receive based on his lifestyle.
“Instead of explaining why you’re complaining, change your reality altogether.”
When we think of what holds us back, we generally think of things outside of ourselves. It’s our rational mind’s way of finding a source for the “problem” and the ego’s way of shirking off responsibility and true independence. While the people, places, and situations around us may not be ideal, our reality is contingent upon the state of being we choose to create from within.
Many of us are familiar with those people in our lives who will seize any opportunity to complain about their current situations. Not only will they complain, but they’ll endlessly explain their justifications. When these people receive help, however, they typically reject it outright or don’t put enough faith and trust in the potential solution in order for it to make a significant change. This is because these types of people aren’t actually looking for their situations to change; they’re simply lost in their created cycle and refuse to make the necessary changes to get out. After all, doing the same thing over a long period of time can bring us to a nice sense of complacency, no matter what the situation is like.
The next time you feel the desire to complain or explain why you’re complaining, try using the same amount of effort to come up with creative solutions around the issue at hand. When we focus on the negative aspects of a situation, we will call more of that into our lives. Instead, focus on what it is that would make you feel happy, fulfilled, and abundant. Do this until you can feel it in a real, visceral way, and don’t be afraid to “dream big.” When you’ve captured that feeling, hold onto it and fuel that energy into all that you do, all that you feel, and all that you are.
Ironically, many of the times we face opposition or feel as though we’re dealing with a problematic situation, we’re not dealing with our own issues at all, but rather the issues we’ve taken on from others. For example, we all have met people who’ve said “I wish I could do ______ with my life.” Though what’s filled within the blank often seems farfetched, most times it’s quite achievable, albeit sometimes by being tweaked a bit. As beings living on this Earth and within the scrutiny of “society,” we tend to shoot ourselves down before we’ve had a chance to fly. We think, we feel, and we stop. What we should really be doing is thinking and feeling less about our current situations and instead take action to gain tracking on our future. Then, once we’ve made several real attempts, we can better gauge where we are and what we can put in place to get to where we want or need to be.
Your effort should always be indicative of what you desire. If you’re willing to complain about something 10 times a day, you should be just as willing to put the effort forth to usher change into your life 10 times a day. If these numbers don’t match, be honest with yourself. The goal is to reach a point in which you don’t feel it necessary to complain at all and naturally strive to change your life in positive, impactive ways. If you’re living solely in your mind rather than creating your physical reality, you’ll never be satisfied. Don’t be afraid to make what seem like mistakes, either. Be brave enough to step outside of your comfort zone and share yourself with others and with the world itself.
The body is an extraordinary vessel that gives us the opportunity to experience life here on Earth. It heals itself and asks for very little. Though our bodies are not who we are on a soul level, they must be respected. It’s important for us to treat them with the right care and consideration in order for us to optimize our Earthly experience. Know what you’re putting into your body. You wouldn’t blindly take up someone else’s belief system that’s thrown at you, and the same should be true for your body. This holds true on both a physical level and how you view your body.
When you’re choosing the foods you eat, research what they contain. Try your best to eat a healthy, well-rounded diet. So often we deem food and exercise as “things for other people,” but simple changes can have profound effects – not experienced or felt until they’re put into practice. The better we treat our bodies, the higher our energy will be, and the more adequately prepared we’ll be for the challenges we face and the things we’d like to accomplish.
Be sure to not let the opinions or lifestyles of other people overtake you. Though you should be receptive to science and information provided to you, it’s incredibly important to live life on your own terms. If people around you have a body image issue, don’t take their issue on yourself. Be comfortable in your body, listen to it, and work in concert with it. The more in sync you are with your body, the more you will be in all areas of your life. The best practice to put in place with the body is one with discipline. If you’re not a person who naturally thinks to exercise or eat properly, start making a list and follow it one task at a time without glossing over all of it and feeling overwhelmed. Some people have a hard time taking initiative on their own, so seek out community and try to get a friend or a group together to exercise or construct some meal plans together. Not only is it helpful to have people in your circle who are on the same page, but it’s fun and exciting and will help elongate the momentum you build.
Taking action on a soul-level is the most important thing you can do for yourself. Your soul is who, what, where, how, and why you are. If you don’t connect to it, your foundation will be rocky at best. Because the soul is not a physical entity, people often make the mistake of thinking it’s wishy-washy and can be viewed and treated as such. That mentality can’t be farther from the truth, and should instead be approached with as much discipline and severity as any other part of your life. Grounding or centering yourself will help you cope with the stressors and drama of living life as a human being. If you’re sensitive, you’ll pick up on other people’s energies easily and sometimes it’s hard to tune these frequencies out. Most of us in our daily lives encounter a vast array of people, both online and off. Without noticing it, we’re picking up on the vibrations they emit – and usually, we’re taking them with us into our very private, sacred places within us without even noticing it. This is one of the root causes of having anxiety or feeling “off” without good reason. If you’re feeling this way, start to peel the layers off like an onion. Whenever an untoward thought or feeling creeps its way into your being, single it out and affirm that it is not a part of your life path or what you need to experience at this time. Keep repeating this until you’ve sent away all that no longer serves you.
When you experience thoughts or feelings that make you uncomfortable but are in fact lessons you need to experience, simply quiet the mind and step into your own private stillness. Then, ask what it is you need to learn from this lesson and how you can process it in an non-harmful, peaceful way. This method can be put in place in all areas of your life with all issues. Remember that the experience is not the same as how we interpret it; though Earth can be a very rigorous and grueling place to grow and evolve, we endure experiences because they’re for our higher good – or someone else’s. If you have a traumatic experience but process it in a healthy way, you can then go on to share the experience with others in a beneficial way which can help prevent pain and turmoil in their lives.
Another great way to connect to the soul is by means of breathing exercises and meditation. So many people write these two things off because they’ve been branded as something exclusive to monks or spiritual masters. On the contrary, these two processes are readily and easily accessible to all. When doing a breathing or meditation exercise, focus on quieting the body down. Get yourself into a comfortable position that won’t distract you in any way. This can mean lying down, sitting upright in a chair, sitting pretzel-style on the floor, or any other position that resonates with you. There truly is no wrong way – it is your experience, and yours alone. When you’ve gotten comfortable, visualize a white light pouring in from the top of your head down through to your toes. This represents pure, cleansing energy that helps to wipe out all the debris within you in all forms. Once you’re filled with this light, take a deep breath in through the nose and visualize this air as being entirely pure, safe, clean, positive, and invigorating. Hold your breath for a few seconds and then exhale through the mouth. The exhale should represent the emptying out of anything negative or that which you wish to do away with. The meditation part generally happens quite naturally after the breathing exercise. Simply relax and enter a very serene, safe place within you that isn’t contingent upon anything Earthly or man-made. Most people find this to be a place of rejuvenation and will receive some of their best ideas for creative projects or future endeavors.
After you’ve connected with your soul, you won’t differentiate you and your soul as being apart from one another. You’ll simply feel connected, whole, and at one with the Universe. All of the best and most important work comes from this place within you, so trust in it and allow for it to grow into something magnificent.
“I am fully capable of taking charge of my life. I’m making the commitment in the present moment to use my energy for the betterment of my life as opposed to the destruction of it. I become the reality I allow for, and I choose the reality that serves my highest good and the highest good of those around me.”
Kaiden Blake, recognized internet personality and artist, is currently anticipating the release of his forthcoming book. Kaiden’s incredibly strong bond with his fans, inspire personal empowerment across the globe.