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CustomFit Workplace blog

The CustomFit Workplace blog is part of the MomsRising.org Open, Flexible Work blog. It is a place where workers, managers, educators and Human Resources professionals can share their insights and questions. The views expressed in this blogs aren't necessarily representative of the CustomFitWorkplace.org initiative or of MomsRising.org policy positions. Interested in blogging? drop us a line

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5 Reasons I Take Retreats

“Are you listening to your life–what is it trying to tell you?”  Renee Trudeau

Stephen Cope, MSW, author and director of Kripalu’s Institute for Extraordinary Living says retreats don’t change our lives as much as they change where we stand in relationship to our lives—and our capacity to see the hidden possibilities there.

I grew up watching my parents take personal retreats–mostly meditation retreats–beginning in the early 1970s. I wasn’t really sure what they did or what happened during these periods when they were away, but I do remember how peaceful, grounded and loving they were when they returned from these respites.

Now retreats-whether it’s a one-day personal retreat at a nearby  greenbelt or a weekend or week-long experience out-of-state–have become essential to how I run my life. I think they’re one of the best investments I can make (in  myself!) and I consider them to be as essential to balanced living as oxygen.

I take retreats to support me in:

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What High Quality PreK IS vs IS NOT: HINT Wear A Smock

As my friends and I – many teachers and all parents of school aged children – hustled this weekend to make sure our children were ready for the new school year, I found myself being asked many questions about early learning. In addition to being mom to five and an early childhood educator, I am a foot soldier for the new statewide initiative, PreK for PA (www.prekforpa.org). Literally. Going in and out of preschools, HeadStart programs, parent meetings, and legislative offices -  I speak to the incredible value high quality early learning has to our communities. I left a wonderful classroom of preschoolers to help more of their peers be able to access high quality early learning.  A couple weeks ago I helped train over 4,000 NYC new UPK teachers in  high quality pre-k education. Over more than two decades, nature based and developmentally appropriate practices implemented during play have show the most success for children;s happiness, success, and overall readiness for kindergarten. 

So, these days I get alot of prek questions. 

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Why mothers are key to formulating public and economic policies that work

The following post, with minor modifications, was first featured in the Honolulu Star Advertiser as an op-ed last week, right before Hawaii’s state primary.  The first sentence of the editorial read:  "As this primary season comes to an end..."  

Ironically, the primary did not end as Hurricane Iselle hit parts of the state, impacting the ability of some residents to cast their ballots.

So one polling location will re-open this Friday to serve those who were not able to vote, but it's still unclear whether they will truly be able to exercise their rights as citizens because many of them still lack water and power, and are even lacking food.

While I knew that a hurricane could hit our island when I submitted the op-ed, I of course had no idea what the impact would be on our elections.  And when I now look at photos of roofless homes, fallen trees, and Big Island residents lined up for food and water, one of the final sentences in the op-ed takes on more meaning:  

"Significantly, the word “economy” comes from the ancient Greek, oikos, meaning household."

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Schedules That Work for Workers

A few weeks ago, President Obama convened a White House Summit on Working Families, an event attended by national leaders in business and labor. The event was designed to put the issues of working families under a national spotlight.

I was proud to participate in this event, representing the AFL-CIO and millions of workers throughout the country, and I wrote at the time that collective action following the summit would be the true measure of the summit’s success. While the summit brought much-needed attention to urgent issues facing working families, we need real solutions to help us meet the challenges we face.

So I applaud Reps. George Miller (D-Calif.) and Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) for taking an important step to deliver on the promise with their introduction of the Schedules That Work Act last month.

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Pregnant Police Officer in Florence, KY Pushed Off the Job Due to City Policy

Office Lyndi Trischler is pregnant, lives with her one-year old daughter, and will soon have to move out of an apartment she can no longer afford because she’s been pushed out of her job. This is all because her employer, the City of Florence, Kentucky, will not permit any City employees to work with medical restrictions, unless they have been injured on-the-job.

As reported by the Washington Post yesterday:

“At five months pregnant with her second child, Officer Lyndi Trischler found that the gun belt she was required to wear on her 10-hour patrol shifts pulled painfully on her expanding abdomen. Her heavy bulletproof vest was so tight that she struggled to breathe. She began having heart palpitations.

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