AwareNow: Issue 13: The Heart Edition

Scroll for more

Page 1

AWARENOW

ISSUE 13

T H E AWA R E N E S S T I E S ™ O F F I C I A L M A G A Z I N E F O R C A U S E S MATTERS OF THE HEART DR. DELA TAGHIPOUR

(ON THE COVER)

NO NEED FOR SIGHT WHEN YOU HAVE VISION LEX GILLETTE

HEART & SOLE MATTHEW WALZER

NEW HEIGHTS IN HOPE CHAUNTE LOWE

DISABILITY & DESIRE COCO DE BRUYCKER

IF WE ALL JUST WERE AUBREE DANIELLE

WITH LOVE & EXPECTATION PROVIDENCE BOWMAN

THE LIGHT THAT WE GIVE JOEL CARTNER

THE FEARLESS MOVEMENT CHARLOTTE ALEXANDRA

THE HEART EDITION

TRUTHS AT THE HEART OF IT ALL


SUICIDE IS A PREVENTABLE MENTAL HEALTH CRISIS. YOU C A N BE TH E O NE TO STA RT TH E CONVERSATI ON . H F T D.O R G


THE HEART EDITION

AwareNow™ is a monthly publication produced by Awareness Ties™ in partnership with Issuu™. Awareness Ties™ is the ‘Official Symbol of Support for Causes’. Our mission is to support causes by elevating awareness and providing sustainable resources for positive social impact. Through our AwareNow Magazine, Podcast & Talk Show, we raise awareness for causes and support for nonprofits.

O5 THE CAPTION OF MY SOUL

42 DISABILITY & DESIRE

STEPHANIE

COCO DE BRUYCKER

10 HEART & SOLE

46 THE LIGHT WE GIVE

MATTHEW WALZER

JOEL CARTNER

50 THE FEARLESS MOVEMENT

15 WHAT IS LOVE

CHARLOTTE ALEXANDRA

MARY DAVID

54 HEALTH OR BUST

16 MATTERS OF THE HEART

BECKY KOETS RICHARD

DR. DELA TAGHIPOUR

20 NO NEED FOR SIGHT

60 SECONDHAND HEART

LEX GILLETTE

DAISY CHUTE

79 TRUTH

MIKE DIAMOND

82 SILVER LININGS NED STRANGER

84 HOW TO GET HIGH FOR FREE JACQUELINE WAY

87 CREATOR’S CALLING OGIMAA

92 LEADING WITH HEART KELLY LOVELL

26 NOT SO RANDOM KINDNESS

66 WITH MY SINCERE APPRECIATION

30 NEW HEIGHTS IN HOPE

68 WITH LOVE & EXPECTATION

98 WHAT WE HOLD

36 WHY CAN’T WE CURE MS?

71 DEAR DR. JENNY

100 ONE LOVE

40 WHAT IF WE ALL JUST WERE

74 AGENT FOR CHANGE

ALICIA SERRATOS/TANITH HARDING

LEX GILLETTE

PROVIDENCE BOWMAN

CHAUNTE LOWE

DR. ROBERT PACE

DR. JENNY MARTIN

AUBREE DANIELLE

95 ARTICLES WITH ALEX

ANGELA BUSHESKA/ALEXANDER TAYLOR KRISTEN MARTIN NICK BOTTINI

DENIS MURPHY/TANITH HARDING

GET READY JOIN THE AWARENESS TIES COMMUNITY

I AM AWARE NOW.

www.iamawarenow.com

www.IamAwareNow.com

AWARENOW / THE HEART EDITION

3


The world has struggled together for an entire year over Covid. In so many ways it has taken so much death and despair to bring us together, to rise up, to know we are not alone. We have endured hate and riots, sorrow and misleadership. We have lived through lies and violence, and if you are reading this you made it thus far. So, there’s no reason to stop now. I can not stress enough how all of these negative events have somehow made us stronger. Know that we are in this together and connected by the human cause that we all share. Let’s focus and nd strength together. United way can change the very course of humanity. There is light and laughter waiting for us all. I have faith we can survive and thrive side by side. We need only to be aware and act accordingly. As one human race there is much we can do, as one person with a story this still holds true. One story at a time, we can inform and inspire, working together to raise awareness. Last year we shared 182 stories, each of which possessed the power to educate and empower. These stories, on many days, gave me the strength and the courage to go on. The stories you’ll nd here in ‘The HEART Edition’ tell me that 2021 is going to be an absolutely magical year build with hope and lled love. Thank you for changing the world with us by sharing one story at a time.

ALLIÉ McGUIRE Editor In Chief & Co-Founder of Awareness Ties Allié is a Taurus. She started her career in performance poetry, then switched gears to wine where she made a name for herself as an online wine personality and content producer. She then focused on original content production under her own label The Allié Way™ before marrying the love of her life (Jack) and switching gears yet again to a pursue a higher calling to raise awareness and funds for causes with Awareness Ties™. Connect with Allié on LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/alliemerrick JACK McGUIRE Production Manager & Co-Founder of Awareness Ties Jack is a Gemini. He got his start in the Navy before his acting and modeling career. Jack then got into hospitality, focusing on excellence in service and efficiency in operations and management. After establishing himself with years of experience in the F&B industry, he sought to establish something different… something that would allow him to serve others in a greater way. With his wife (Allié), Awareness Ties™ was born. Connect with Jack on LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/jack-mcguire-609339186

www.IamAwareNow.com @AWARENESSTIES @AWARENESSTIES @AWARENESSTIES

www.IamAwareNow.com fi

fi

AWARENOW / THE HEART EDITION

4

fi

What seemed unimaginable has happened, and must now be managed.


‘SIGNS OF EN COURAGEMENT’

One particularly difficult day I found these little notes to be everywhere: in the hallway, in the bathroom, in quiet places where one would go to collect themselves. I’m sure these words lifted many people at just the moment they needed. Thank you, to whoever you are. AWARENOW / THE HEART EDITION

www.IamAwareNow.com

5


EXCLUSIVE PHOTO SERIES BY STEPHANIE

THE CAPTION OF MY SOUL LIFE THROUGH THE LENS OF ANOTHER

In ‘The Caption Of My Soul, Stephanie shares her view of the world through a lens most of us never have the chance to look through. With photos and captions, she tells the story of a day in the life on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic.

‘ANOTHER DAY, AN OTHE R COLOR’

Small, colorful honor badges: we are still going strong.

www.IamAwareNow.com

AWARENOW / THE HEART EDITION

6


‘PA USE’

In the midst of all the chaos, this energy exchange with each other is significant. “How are you feeling? What can we do? I see you, you see me.” These brief moments of compassion hold us together..

7

AWARENOW / THE HEART EDITION

www.IamAwareNow.com


‘ST ILL A LIV E’

Walking the eerily silent city streets, these messages of resilience and hope keep reminding us that this too, shall pass. Be kind, stay safe, and keep going.

STEPHANI Respiratory Care Center & Urgent Care
 www.awarenessties.us/stephanie In March of 2020 I found myself to be on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic. I felt right away that this was history in the making, but at the end of the day my words seemed to fail me. There are times when our words cannot give justice to the experience at hand, so I decided to use my love of photography as a platform to capture my perspective when such moments reveal themselves. I am a healer by nature, compassionate and deeply empathetic. Photography has always been a passion of mine, and photography has always felt tied to empathy. Capturing these moments on lm will allow emotions to be felt through time. Our emotions will remain timeless, and perspectives will remain preserved.

fi

AWARENOW / THE HEART EDITION

E

8

www.IamAwareNow.com



For the rst time in my life at 17, I put my shoes on by myself. MATTHEW WALZER

SNEAKER LOVER, CHANGE MAKER, ADVOCATE FOR UNIVERSAL DESIGN & VOICE FOR EQUALITY FOR THOSE LIVING WITH A DISABILITY

fi

10 AWARENOW / THE HEART EDITION

www.IamAwareNow.com


EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH MATTHEW WALZER

HEART & SOLE

A LETTER THAT LED TO ACCESSIBILITY FOR ALL Is it possible for a single letter to change an industry? Matthew Walzer’s letter did. In 2012, his now famous letter written to Nike, was opened, read and responded to - not only with acknowledgement but with action. Matthew wrote with a request for shoes he could put on by himself. Matthew has Cerebral Palsy. Now, as a result of his letter, he also has a pair of shoes he can put on with no assistance required. Allié: With so much change needed to provide accessibility and equality for people with disabilities, most people don’t know where to start, but you did. You started with shoes. Your letter to Nike resulted in the development of the company’s rst hands-free sneaker - Go FlyEase. Living with Cerebral Palsy, what does a shoe you can put on by yourself mean to you Matthew: When I rst put shoes on independently at the age of 17, that moment was a culmination of all of the things that I struggled with in my life to that point. There was a time in my life where I wasn’t sure if that moment would happen. It truly gave me independence that I never had. I was able to go away to college at FGCU and thrive and get my degree. The rst night in my life that I spent on my own was at freshman orientation, and that wouldn’t have been possible without shoes that I could put on independently. And to know that because of my letter. millions of other people with disabilities now can put a pair of shoes on without assistance, that means the world to me.

HEART & SOLE EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH MATTHEW WALZER

www.IamAwareNow.com

?

fi

fi

fi

11 AWARENOW / THE HEART EDITION


Allié: You started with a letter to Nike for a better design. You continued on to work with them and became part of that design, as you were involved in the process of what would ultimately result in the Go FlyEase. Tell us what this experience has been like for you and about your relationship with Tobie Hat eld Matthew: My collaboration with Nike was from 2012-2015 and resulted in the original Flyease shoe, the Lebron Zoom Soldier 8 Flyease. When I rst talked to Tobie, he wanted to know what my needs were as it related to a shoe. I explained that aside from a lack of dexterity in my hands, I also have a lack of dorsi exion and plantar exion in my feet. Because of this, it’s dif cult for me to get my foot down and into a shoe. Tobie presented me with a rear entry concept that allowed me to slide my foot in from the heel. From there, Nike would send me prototypes to try and I would give my feedback and insights on how the shoe could be improved when it came to materials, support, the length of the velcro straps and the cables, cushioning etc. While I didn’t work on the Go Flyease, It is terri c to see Nike expand on the Flyease line and this new shoe is going to continue to help so many people
 
 
 Allié: Back in 2017, you were involved with the launch of Tommy Hil ger’s Adaptive clothing line. Tell us about this line and what Tommy Hil ger did that you’d like to see other designers do as well Matthew: I actually met the former CEO of Tommy Hil ger, Gary Sheinbaum, when I spoke at the White House in 2016 for the Design For All event. Later that year they reached out to me to model for the launch of the adaptive men’s line for Tommy Hil ger in fall of 2017. The line features clothing with easy closure mechanisms such as magnetic buttons, velcro and more. I would especially love to see other companies produce adaptive swimwear that is both functional and cool looking. Being a Floridian, I’m at the beach and in the pool often, and yet nding a pair of board shorts that don’t need to be tied isn’t easy.
 
 
 Allié: From shoes to clothes there are a number of products that need to change to provide better accessibility. Beyond what you wear, can you share a few examples of other products where you’d like to see changes in design for people with disabilities? Matthew: I look at the automobile industry in particular as an area I’d like to see some big changes in. You look at the hype around self driving cars and the luxury that they can provide. But what many people don’t necessarily realize is the bene ts that this technology can provide for people with disabilities. I happened to be legally blind in one eye and this hinders my ability to drive at night. Other individuals might not to Be able to drive at all. I truly believe that Everyone should have the ability to enjoy the freedom and independence of getting to being able to get to where they need safely and independently.

“…because of the amazing shoes that Nike gave me, I thrived.” 
 Allié: Last year, you wrote a blog post entitled, ‘Together’, on your site ‘Against All Odds’. You spoke about how we’re all in this together and how we’re all on the same team. I want to reference this quote: “All of us play most of the same “games” in life, but people with disabilities typically have a much longer road to the title, making victory so much sweeter.” To date, what is your sweetest personal victory Matthew: My sweetest personal victory was going away to college at FGCU and living on my own and having a such an enjoyable college experience. There were some adjustments with making sure certain things were accessible for me, but through those experiences and that growth, as well as because of the amazing shoes that Nike gave me, I thrived. I graduated in four years in 2018 with a business management degree with a concentration in sports.

fi

fl

fi

fl

.

.

fi

fi

?

www.IamAwareNow.com fi

fi

fi

fi

fi

fi

12 AWARENOW / THE HEART EDITION


We need to see more universal design, not just in clothing, but everywhere. MATTHEW WALZER

SNEAKER LOVER, CHANGE MAKER, ADVOCATE FOR UNIVERSAL DESIGN & VOICE FOR EQUALITY FOR THOSE LIVING WITH A DISABILITY

13 AWARENOW / THE HEART EDITION

www.IamAwareNow.com


“If we are able to send a rover to Mars, then there is no reason why we can’t level the playing eld of innovation and be more conscious of what it means to serve all people with disabilities.” Allié: Many minority groups suffer from inequality. Matthew, as a member of the largest minority group in the world, people with disabilities, what is the biggest barrier we as a society need to overcome? What does a world of ‘inclusion’ look like to you Matthew: To put it simply, for so long people with disabilities have been forced to adapt to the world. It’s time for the world to start adapting to us, and understand and deliver on the changes that we want for a more inclusive world. Universal design for all Allié: We’ve heard all about what you’ve done so far. Love to hear what’s next for you Matthew: I’m hoping to get other companies on board with developing products that can serve everyone. We are so good at moving fast in the world of technology. If we are able to send a rover to Mars, then there is no reason why we can’t level the playing eld of innovation and be more conscious of what it means to serve all people with disabilities. I can’t stress that enough. ∎

fi

.

www.IamAwareNow.com

!

fi

?

14 AWARENOW / THE HEART EDITION


‘REFLECTIONS’ ORIGINAL POETRY BY MARY DAVID

WHAT LOVE IS

To everyone who has sought to learn and unlearn the meaning of love.

Love is birthed

dressing up and showing the world ho

Plus, he was charming and smooth

when life

perfect your life is.

and for the first time

springs fort

Mama would smile

I felt beautiful.

Between a mother and her child.

She and Daddy’d hold hands. And they’d

Only I never got that “choice.

The first faces that welcomed me

Beam at me

If I ever did say no,

to this space we call

for playing the part.

Life

That’s how I learned what love is.

he would beat me so badly I barely survived.

I didn’t understand

He reminded me that I was worthless – but he chose me anywa

I don’t know what they said

when Daddy came into my room

and that was something,

But the kept me alive.

and told me to undress

it was everything, especially since I was

They were all I knew.

and to keep it a secret.

Nothing

That’s how I learned what love is.

I said I didn’t like it,

were my parents.

but he said I was his They taught me how to walk.

Favorite

How to spea

That’s how I learned what love is.

That’s how I learned what love is. If it weren’t for the day that he left me for dea

How to rea They taught me

Sometimes I felt dirt

I’d probably be dead.

Not to cry

Sometimes I felt confuse

But once he was gon

when daddy reached

But when I crie

I started to come back

for the bottle

Daddy said I was rotten

or when the neighbors

And I believed him.

The flashbacks are rea

called the cops

That’s how I learned what love is.

But so is my progress In my healing, I found

at Mama screamin so loud you were sure someone had died.

When Mama found out,

Forgivenes

That’s how I learned what love is.

I was relieved as much as I was scared.

for myself, and for my journe

Until she got jealous.

I found strength and I found hop

They taught me to ac

And called me a whore.

in who I am becoming.

Toug

That’s how I learned what love is.

I saw through all the pai My WORTH.

Forget those awful things! Sundays

That’s why I felt empowered

This is how

are for

when the guy I ran away with told m

I know

smiling at churc

Now, I would get money

what love is

laughing gladl

and a choice of yes or no

MARY DAVI Actress, Spoken Word Artist, Activist & Lawyer
 www.awarenessties.us/marydavid Mary is a storyteller and advocate for survivors of domestic violence, child abuse, and sexual trauma. Drawing from experiences of overcomers of trauma and her own journey from victim to survivor, Mary creates powerful narratives and highlights pivotal realities through television and lm, legal advocacy, and beyond. As a United Nations Advisor on Women and Children’s Issues, Mary defended the rights of domestic violence victims and disenfranchised populations before the United Nations General Assembly. She also handled nearly 2,000 criminal cases as a prosecutor in Baltimore City, including numerous cases of assault and sex crimes. When not creating art, Mary promotes the advancement of women and ending gender-based violence as Communications Director of UN Women’s Los Angeles chapter.

www.IamAwareNow.com fi

w

e

e

y

d

y

n

l

.

t

d

e

.

y

,

.

h

d

D

y

k

.

h

s

d

.

.

h

15 AWARENOW / THE HEART EDITION


Matters of the heart are woven in my core… DR. DELA TAGHIPOUR

PHYSICIAN, MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT & AWARENESS TIES AMBASSADOR FOR HEART DISEASE

16 AWARENOW / THE HEART EDITION

www.IamAwareNow.com


AT THE HEART OF THE MATTER BY DR. DELA TAGHIPOUR

MATTERS OF THE HEART AWARENESS IS WHERE WE START

You feel your heart pounding in your chest. You suddenly become aware of your own breathing. Your muscles tense up and you feel a little sweat dripping down your neck. Your adrenaline is at an all-time high, and the feeling in your chest intensi es. Could this be love? Or are you having a heart attack? Well, it's February, so all bets are off. February is the perfect time to talk about all matters of the heart. From the explosion of a love-marked holiday that indulges our cravings for chocolate and romance, to our timelines being ooded in red for American Heart Month; February is all about your heart.

“…before COVID-19 and all her variants, heart disease was the number one killer of both men and women in the United States, taking a life every 36 seconds.” If your heart is racing but your Valentine isn't the reason why, knowing the signs and symptoms of a heart attack can mean the difference between life and death. This may be especially true for women because they can have subtle symptoms of a heart attack that may be missed, like extreme fatigue, indigestion, memory problems, or even fainting. Both men and women may get chest pain or pressure, jaw, neck or back pain, nausea, or shortness of breath. Stroke symptoms may also differ. Both men and women may have numbness or weakness in the face or extremities, may have trouble speaking or understanding speech, vision problems, trouble walking, or have a severe headache. Women however may experience generalized weakness, disorientation, fatigue, nausea, or vomiting. These differences were not always well-studied, but thanks to advocacy for increased research and awareness, we now understand that cardiovascular disease causes 1 in 3 deaths each year in women and kills more women than all cancers combined. Hopefully this awareness means more lives can be saved. Heart disease as a killer has taken a bit of a back seat amidst this global pandemic. However, before COVID-19 and all her variants, heart disease was the number one killer of both men and women in the United States, taking a life every 36 seconds. Similar to COVID-19, heart disease places a disproportionate burden on Black men and women, a risk worsened by the fact that heart disease itself puts individuals at higher risk for more severe complications when contracting COVID-19 As a woman, as a Preventive Medicine physician who works in vascular medicine, as a person who survived a heart condition, and as a granddaughter who lost my grandparents to cardiovascular disease, matters of the heart are woven in my core, as is the desire to make a dent in those deadly statistics.

fl

www.IamAwareNow.com

.

fi

17 AWARENOW / THE HEART EDITION


Learning the realities of the heavy burden of heart disease can hopefully encourage us to address the problems earlier on. DR. DELA TAGHIPOUR

PHYSICIAN, MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT & AWARENESS TIES AMBASSADOR FOR HEART DISEASE

18 AWARENOW / THE HEART EDITION

www.IamAwareNow.com


Learning the realities of the heavy burden of heart disease can hopefully encourage us to address the problems earlier on. However, temporary disruptions in preventive care due to lockdowns and delays in routine visits have been a silent contributor of heart attacks and strokes during the pandemic. This can mean missing an annual exam is the difference between high blood pressure going unchecked, diabetes going uncontrolled, or an EKG not catching an early sign of a bigger problem Other changes during the pandemic have also impacted heart health. Shifts in diet and exercise habits can contribute, as does increased stress, and decreased socialization which can affect physical and mental health. So, what can be done? Feed the soul and the heart! This includes knowing your health status, so if you have delayed your routine care, consider getting yourself scheduled. Learn how to recognize the signs and symptoms of a heart attack and stroke, make healthy choices when you can, and nd ways to incorporate exercise into your pandemic lifestyle. Even 12 minutes of vigorous exercise is enough to trigger changes that bene t your cardiovascular health. Find safe, at-home self-care routines that satisfy your physical, social, mental, spiritual, and emotional needs. After all, your heart bene ts from your overall well-being. ∎

Heart Attack Symptoms CHEST DISCOMFOR Most heart attacks involve discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes, or that goes away and comes back. It can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness, or pain DISCOMFORT IN OTHER AREAS OF THE UPPER BOD Symptoms can include pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw, or stomach. SHORTNESS OF BREAT With or without chest discomfort. OTHER SIGN May include breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea, or lightheadedness.

Stroke Symptoms FACE DROOPIN Does one side of the face droop or is it numb? As the person to smile. 
 ARM WEAKNESS
 Is one arm weak or numb? Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward SPEECH DIFFICULT Is speech slurred, are they unable to speak, or are they hard to understand? Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence, like "the sky is blue." Is the sentence repeated correctly TIME TO CALL 9-1If the person shows any of these symptoms, even if the symptoms go away, call 9-1-1 and them to the hospital immediately Source: American Heart Association (www.heart.org)

DELA TAGHIPOUR, MD, MPH, MB Physician, Medical Correspondent & Awareness Ties Ambassador for Heart Disease
 www.awarenessties.us/delataghipour Venous and Lymphatic Medicine Fellow, Medical Journalist, and Activist. Prior training in Preventive Medicine at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and General Surgery at Howard University Hospital Dr. Delaram Taghipour spent two years as a Research Fellow at the Clive O. Callender, M.D. Howard-Harvard Health Sciences Outcomes Research Center, contributing to the eld of outcome disparities; authoring or coauthoring several abstracts, posters, manuscripts, and presentations. Dela also had the opportunity to propose grants to help better de ne the impact of Medicaid expansion via the Affordable Care Act on patients’ outcomes; contributing to one of the seminal health policy debates of this generation.

.

fi

?

fi

fi

.

www.IamAwareNow.com Y

A

.

?

H

fi

T

Y

fi

1

G

S

19 AWARENOW / THE HEART EDITION


I’m doing something that goes against what people believe I should be able to do. LEX GILLETTE

4X PARALYMPIC MEDALIST, 4X WORLD CHAMPION & KEYNOTE SPEAKER

20 AWARENOW / THE HEART EDITION

www.IamAwareNow.com


EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH LEX GILLETTE

NO NEED FOR SIGHT BLIND AND BLESSED WITH VISION

Four time Paralympic Medalist, four time World Champion, world record holder, Lex Gillette is an athlete, a speaker and an icon for inspiration. He is also blind. Allié: It’s hard enough just being a kid, let alone being a kid who’s black and blind. As a kid in the south, faced with racial inequity on top of a visual disability, where did you nd your strength growing up Lex: I had a strong example in my mother. She’s a woman, a black woman, and she also has a visual impairment. Although she is a person with a disability, I never saw her that way. She provided lots of love and guidance. She worked, always made sure I had food to eat, made sure I had the opportunity to participate in extracurricular activities, and I always had what I asked for under the Christmas tree. I say all of that to say, she faced challenges as a woman, as someone who is black, and as a person with a disability, but she never let that deter her from making a way for herself or for me. I am from North Carolina, it wasn’t always the nicest place to be, but my mom carved her space regardless of racism and other inequitable treatment. I saw her drive every single day, and that provided the foundation for me to have a similar drive and mindset.

NO NEED FOR SIGHT EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH LEX GILLETTE

?

fi

www.IamAwareNow.com

21 AWARENOW / THE HEART EDITION


“That feeling of ight, soaring above people's perceptions and expectations, that is a feeling like no other.” Allié: At 19 years old, you won your rst Paralympic silver medal in the long jump. You’ve gone on to set world records, while gaining more titles and medals. That said, what is it about the ‘long jump’ that you love most Lex: It’s the opportunity to challenge myself. To run as fast as possible, to experience that feeling of top in speed, to leave the ground and y. There’s so much to talk about from a metaphorical standpoint. People's expectations are the equivalent of gravity. Sometimes people intentionally, and unintentionally, do/say things to hold you back. When I’m on that runway training and competing, I run, jump, and for a moment in time I’m defying gravity. I’m doing something that goes against what people believe I should be able to do. That feeling of ight, soaring above people's perceptions and expectations, that is a feeling like no other Allié: Your story reminds me of Amazing Grace, “blind, but now I see”. When you lost your sight you found your vision. To those hearing your story for the rst time, can you describe what that means for you? Lex: Listen to the song. “Amazing grace, how sweet the sound”. Finding your vision is hearing the perfect tune. It’s bopping to the beat of your song. The song that you’re creating for yourself and the world to hear. “I once was lost, but now I’m found”. Finding your vision means you discover your path, the path that you create, the path that leads to the destination that you see. When you have no goals, no aspirations, no vision, you feel lost. “Was blind, and now I see“. We all experience blindness at some point in life. I experienced it literally and guratively, but what helped bridge that gap for me is this. Everything that has been created and everything that will be created always begins with a vision. You see it within yourself, and within others, before it’s able to transform into reality. The gap that lies between you and your vision closes only when you decide to put in the work Allié: You use your body to jump farther than others, but you use your voice to push others further. Tell us about your purpose and passion for speaking Lex: I’ve been blessed to have a platform, and it’s a platform that continues to grow. Having this platform comes with a responsibility. It’s sharing experiences on the basis of helping others; it’s talking about our challenges, and even sharing our successes. I want to exhaust everything within me in hopes of relating to others and helping others. There are a lot of voices in the world that aren’t heard, but if I hear those voices, I can amplify them with the platform that I have. That’s important. Sure, I like speaking for the purpose of being inspirational, but my real purpose is to encourage people to take action, to think differently, to be innovative, to transform in a positive way Allié: While blind, not only do you ‘see’ better than most, but you sing better than most as well. In addition to your talent on the eld, you have talent on the mic. Jack and I heard you sing a song near and dear us - Blackbird. What does this song mean to you? (Oh, and if you feel like breaking into song with even just the chorus feel free to do so. Lex: One of my favorite lines of that song is “take these broken wings and learn to y”. Society wants us to believe that we have to be perfect and that’s so far from the truth. It’s OK to make mistakes, it’s OK to fail, it’s OK to fall down. We learn to embrace those imperfections and use them to push forward in life. Listen to it. “Take these broken wings and learn to y!”. You don’t learn to y having perfect wings.

)

?

.

fl

fi

fl

.

www.IamAwareNow.com fl

fi

.

fi

fl

.

fl

fi

fl

22 AWARENOW / THE HEART EDITION


You don’t learn to y having perfect wings. LEX GILLETTE

4X PARALYMPIC MEDALIST, 4X WORLD CHAMPION & KEYNOTE SPEAKER www.IamAwareNow.com fl

23 AWARENOW / THE HEART EDITION


"Some of my darkest moments have produced the brightest lights.” Allié: For those who only see the present but feel lost without a vision for the future, what advice would you give for those looking for direction in life? Lex: You’re not that far from a breakthrough. It probably sounds cliché but it’s true. Some of my darkest moments have produced the brightest lights. I heard a speaker once use this analogy. We are all seeds, and a lot of times we feel buried, trapped, weighed down in all of this dirt, the dirt of life. Guess what though? You can look at it as dirt or soil. Seeds need soil to grow. They need water and sun. You may be weighed down by the perils of life, but you might be getting planted. We should all be striving to get better, to grow, and soil promotes growth. So when you’re feeling weighed down, you’re just being planted. Take action, change your attitude, and you’ll start to realize the growth from the soil. You thought it was too much weight to bear, but it was just what you needed to grow and protrude above earth. ∎

Learn more about Lex www.lexgillette.com Follow & connect via instagram: @lexgillette

Keynote Speaker: Lex Gillette PRESENTED BY SPEAKINC

www.IamAwareNow.com

:

24 AWARENOW / THE HEART EDITION


WE WILL NO LONGER ASK FOR PERMISSION

TO CHANGE THE WORLD

BUT WE WILL ASK FOR YOUR HELP WITH A DONATION OF $50 OR MORE, YOU’LL RECEIVE THE AWARENOW UNISEX RECYCLED T-SHIRT.

YOUR SUPPORT WILL HELP US KEEP THESE STORIES TO RAISE AWARENESS SEEN AND HEARD.

AS WE KEEP AWARENOW MAGAZINE FREE FOR MILLIONS OF READERS EVERY MONTH.

SELECT YOUR LEVEL OF SUPPORT www.IamAwareNow.com

(Vis it our site & cl ick ‘Supp ort’ .)


There are so many things you can do to make a difference for people in the world and it’s a great feeling. ALICIA SERRATOS

YOUTH VOLUNTEER, ACTIVIST & 2020 GLOBAL YOUTH AWARD WINNER

26 AWARENOW / THE HEART EDITION

www.IamAwareNow.com


‘GLOBAL GOOD’ EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEWS BY TANITH HARDING

NOT SO RANDOM KINDNESS FROM SEED LIBRARIES TO CAR MAINTENANCE FOR OTHERS

Alicia Serratos is a 14-year-old activist, wrestler, girl scout and all round super hero. She volunteers her time to several different causes, has started seed libraries, planted community fruit trees, collected legos for underprivileged kids, taught girls the basics of car maintenance and is connected to some of the worlds greatest change makers. No surprise that she was also a Global Youth Award Winner 2020 and joins me now to talk about her (not so random) acts of kindness. Tanith: Alicia, I am in awe, that’s quite a list just in your introduction and I know it’s just an overview of the amazing things you do. Where did it all start? Alicia: My volunteering started when I was pretty young. I started Girl Scouts in Kindergarten, but my mom did some volunteer work when she was younger and my grandmother was a school principal. Mom always tells me stories of things she would do for others. Mom felt it was really important for us to incorporate giving back into our lives, just like learning math or participating in a sport. It felt so good to see other people happy. There are so many things you can do to make a difference for people in the world and it’s a great feeling. Tanith: You won a Global Youth Award in December for Alicia’s Seeds, can you tell us more about that project and why it’s important to you Alicia: The 3 Sisters Seed Box is a Seed Library in a box. It contains everything you need to start a Seed Library in your community. It works like a regular library, but instead of checking out books, you check out seeds. You take the seeds home, plant them, grow crops, harvest some and let some go to seed. Then, you harvest the seeds and return them to the Seed Library for others to use. It's a sustainable way to provide a resource for others to grow their own food. After putting my second Seed Library together when I was 9, I got to see kids and adults learning things they never knew. I brought in a whole sun ower head, lettuce owers, peas and a few other samples of seeds growing. When I asked if anyone knew where lettuce seeds came from nobody knew. It was so neat to see their faces when I showed them. I felt like I was teaching them something and they would actually be doing something with what they were learning. Everyone should know where their food comes from. Tanith: You are now tackling the important subject of ‘Fast Fashion’ to raise awareness about textile pollution with Second-hand Sister and RiPurpose. How can people get involved Alicia: I'm still learning myself, but I think that's what makes it fun and relatable. I knew a lot about pollution and recycling, but I had no idea the effects of fast fashion and textile pollution. I love all the projects I have done, but wanted to work on something that would really impact my generation and teens. I love fashion and clothing and when I started to dig into it, I was really surprised about what is happening. I see a lot of in uencers do videos and posts about their "hauls" and the clothes they can buy cheap. I'm sure they have no idea what goes into that bargain pricing. So, I thought I'd try to raise awareness, but also try to make it fun and incorporate some of the joy that comes with shopping. Of course it's best only to buy what you absolutely need, but there needs to be a middle ground. I think having a few extras if they are sourced sustainably is a good start. With Second-hand Sister, I'm creating videos highlighting different second hand stores and the things you can get there. I try to incorporate facts about things that contribute to fast fashion and textile pollution. With RiPurpose, I am picking up items I nd at thrift stores and giving them a fresh look with custom designs I hand paint. I'm hoping to incorporate patches and even altering items once I'm a little more handy with my sewing machine. I don't ever want anyone to feel judged, we are all still learning and there is so much information out there. I want to work to provide solutions and get people excited about making a positive change in their lives for our planet. It also has given me a source of income that allows me to donate back to causes I hold close to my heart.

fi

fl

?

www.IamAwareNow.com fl

fl

?

27 AWARENOW / THE HEART EDITION


Tanith: Alicia, you are such an inspiration to other young people out there who might think that age is a barrier to creating change in the world. What would you say to them Alicia: There’s no better time to get involved than today. There’s no better age to make change than whatever age you are now. We all have the ability to do something. I work on a lot of big projects, but I have also incorporated small acts in my daily life. Things like recycling, composting, beach clean up, using a reusable water bottle instead of plastic bottles. Those are things everyone can do. If it's a bigger project, it's great to get friends involved and nd an adult willing to help. It can be a parent, teacher or other mentor. There are so many organizations that people can get involved in like Girl Scouts, 4-H, Radical Monarchs and more. I think it's really important to have the support and I've been lucky enough to have a lot of supporters along the way. Doing good things feels good and feeling good is contagious. So grab a friend, come up with a plan and get to work Tanith: What is your greatest ambition in life and what is next on the list for Alicia Alicia: There’s a lot I want to accomplish and probably more than I can think of right now. I have been wrestling for 4 years and I really love everything about it. I want to continue the sport and help grow it for girls everywhere. I hope to one day qualify to compete in the Olympics. Then, I would love to coach an all girls team and incorporate a community service aspect to their training. I am also have a really good time with RiPurpose and could see myself doing that for a long time. Picking up second hand items and giving them new life and selling them, always donating a portion of the proceeds to organizations that are making a difference. I will probably nd other causes that interest me along the way and my plans could change. I do know that volunteering, giving back and making the world a better place will always be a foundation I can build upon and incorporate into anything I decide to do. ∎ Learn more about Alicia aliciaserratos.wordpress.com TANITH HARDIN Director of International Development, The Legacy Project, RoundTable Global
 www.awarenessties.us/tanith-harding Tanith is leading change management through commitment to the RoundTable Global Three Global Goals of: Educational Reform, Environmental Rejuvenation & Empowerment for All. She delivers innovative and transformational leadership and development programmes in over 30 different countries and is also lead on the international development of philanthropic programmes and projects. This includes working with a growing team of extraordinary Global Change Ambassadors and putting together the Global Youth Awards which celebrate the amazing things our young people are doing to change the world.

fi

?

fi

!

www.IamAwareNow.com ?

:

G

28 AWARENOW / THE HEART EDITION


Everyone should know where their food comes from. ALICIA SERRATOS

YOUTH VOLUNTEER, ACTIVIST & 2020 GLOBAL YOUTH AWARD WINNER

29 AWARENOW / THE HEART EDITION

www.IamAwareNow.com


Find your t… CHAUNTE LOWE

4X OLYMPIAN & BREAST CANCER SURVIVOR/ADVOCATE www.IamAwareNow.com fi

30 AWARENOW / THE HEART EDITION


EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH CHAUNTE LOWE

NEW HEIGHTS IN HOPE OLYMPIAN, CANCER SURVIVOR & MOTHER OF 3 GOING FOR GOLD IN TOKYO What does a 4-time Olympian, breast cancer survivor, motivational speaker and mother of three do while at home during a pandemic? Train for the Olympics to represent the US for the High Jump, of course. Chaunte Lowe is going for gold in Tokyo. Allié: With a mother who was an addict and a father who was incarcerated, you went to live with your grandmother where you found solace. For so many young people who feel ‘lost’ without a mother, a father or either, what advice would you give to feel ‘found’? How did you get through Chaunte: I think that it really started with realizing the fact that the things that were happening with my parents were cyclical. My mother came from a broken home where my grandfather abused my grandmother and it was just a whole cycle. She ended up getting in an abusive relationship and found depression. She really suffered through those things that turned to her looking for medication to numb the pain. With my father he ended up nding drugs early on and ended up losing his scholarship to college and got back into that cycle. I think by me realizing early on that it was a cycle from generation to generation in my family, I wanted to stop it. Not only because I saw where that path led, and I knew that I didn't want that to be part of my life but eventually I knew that I wanted to have kids and have a family, and I did not want that to be their future.

"Don’t try and t in someone else’s box. Find your t, be great at something, and get out.” When I was in sixth or seventh grade I had the chance to live with my grandmother, a single grandmother. She kept me out of trouble by keeping me busy. The two places that I went were the sports eld and to church, that was it. I think that as kids who might be going through that same situation now, do not underestimate the value of the opportunities presented to you at this age. It may be academics, it may be sports, it may be extracurricular activities, but nd something to really nd your place. Find your t. Be great at something. You could be a great student. It will afford you more opportunities to change that cycle in your life. Don't fall victim to it and know that you can change it if you take advantage of the opportunities that are presented to you. That is the advice that I would give. Don't try and t in someone else's box. Find your t, be great at something, and get out. Because I knew my mom loved me. I knew that if given the choice, you wouldn't have made the decisions that she did if she didn't feel so powerless to do those things. And so I know that it's something that I could never start. It was one of those things that if I ever started it was a roller coaster that I was on.

fi

?

fi

fi

www.IamAwareNow.com fi

fi

fi

fi

fi

fi

31 AWARENOW / THE HEART EDITION


“Right now, we have to work with what we have because time is not on our side…” Allié: You felt something was wrong. Literally, you felt a lump and brought it to the attention of your doctor. Your doctor dismissed it and advised you to come back when you were 40. You didn’t accept his advice, you sought out a second opinion months later when the lump was larger and so was the cancer. After a double mastectomy and chemotherapy, as a young woman, as a black woman in America, do you feel the system failed you? What advice do you have for other women who are told they are ‘too young to have cancer’? 
 
 Chaunte: In one way I could say, yes. But because I knew that the system was faulty and awed. The same thing that caused me to know that something was wrong with my body was the same that caused the doctor to dismiss it. You’re young. You’re t. You’re athletic. Because I was young, t, and athletic I was very in tune with my body. I understood the changes in my body. I knew what I was looking for. I knew that if there were any changes to my breasts, to my breast tissue, to my breast density, something that wasn't there before… I knew that those were alarm bells. Going to websites like that American Cancer Society, Komen, and any website that is really putting up that information on breast cancer. Make yourself aware of it In America, 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer. The disparities for African American women diagnosed with later stage, more severe breast cancers, and dying from it are higher than our white counterparts. So when you know that to be true, you can't just take what a doctor tells you at face value. You have to be your own advocate. So when one system failed me with the doctor dismissing a clear lump that was found in both the ultrasound and the mammogram, another system didn't fail me. It gave me empowerment, hope and information. That system says, “You have to get your own information, be your own advocate, listen to your body, know your normal, and if anything doesn't satisfy you then continue to keep pressing until you nd an answer that yields the results that you need.” You are going to have to know your body more than anyone else. The doctors are not coming and doing your monthly self breast exam. The problem that I think is relevant in our system right now is that they tell us that we really should not care about our breast health until we are 40. But the problem is we have 18-year-olds, 22-year-olds, and 25-yearolds being diagnosed with stage 3 and stage 4 cancer. They are not making it to their 40th birthday. So something in that system has to change. Our rst line of defense is checking our breasts monthly, knowing what we are looking for and knowing what our breasts feel like. If you have a regular lump or you are lopsided, you need to know that. If they are both straight and they are now lopsided, that is a change. Whether that is a positive change or aesthetic change, it is still a change that needs to be paid attention to. One bit of advice that I found was actually on social media where a girl that was diagnosed with cancer said that if your doctor ever refused to give you the diagnostic test that you want, tell them that their refusal to give you that test needs to go in your le. And when you do that, they do NOT want to do that because if something is found afterwards they are found liable. So that is a way to press on and get those exams. Nobody wanted to give me a mammogram. Unfortunately, I had to exaggerate some stories to just get one, but had I not than I would have never gotten one. I think I was turned down three times before I got one, and I think that the reason I got one was because I realized the key words I needed to say in order to get one. It is very unfortunate because that's just ‘the standard’. There has to be legislative change, but we know that legislative change is slow and long coming. So, it makes more sense for us to be that rst line of defense. Right now we have to work with what we have because time is not on our side when it comes to these things. Rght now what we have is knowing our normal and advocating for our bodies.

fl

fi

fi

fi

www.IamAwareNow.com fi

.

fi

fi

32 AWARENOW / THE HEART EDITION


“Instead of my life ashing before my eyes, their lives (without me) ashed before my eyes.” Allié: Upon receiving your cancer diagnosis you said, “My rst thought was, ‘I’m going to leave my children without a mother.’ My second thought was, ‘There’s no way I’m leaving my kids without a mother.” That’s what you said to yourself. What did you say to your kids Chaunte: I think that they saw the worry on my face. There was an eleven month time period where I had this lump in my body being told was a lymph node, being told not to worry about, or come back for a visit in six years. But as an athlete, I know that lymph nodes swell because of infection, bacteria, sickness, or something like that and I had done all of my due diligence to where lymph nodes should have started to shrink and gone back to normal size. Instead, it was growing. It was changing shape, and it was changing texture. I got to the point where I was doing nine self breast exams a day. I was walking around the house going “aghhh”. They see that worry on my face, and so it was something that had become a part of the whole family, where it nally hit the boiling point, like no he's wrong we are going back. So, the time period from when I went back the second time and actually got the diagnosis was only eight days. They knew I had gone to the doctor. They knew that I had had the biopsy, because I had the little surgical tape and everything, but I took them with me to the appointment. I was so sure it wasn't breast cancer. You are used to being positive. I waited until we got home. The drive was one hour. It was very quiet, and then as soon as we got home I told them. I was like, “The lump was cancer.” And everyone just broke down. In that moment when we were all crying, we were all crying separately, because we were all hurting so badly. We couldn't come together at that moment. And I was in my closet with my husband and I was apologizing to him that we started this journey together, that I was going to have to leave him, and that he was going to have to take the responsibility of the kids. A second apology was that there were so many things I still have left to teach them that I had not yet done. So, instead of my life ashing before my eyes, their lives (without me) ashed before my eyes. And, I was just compiling a list of all the things I still had to do and wondering if I still had enough time to do them. When I calculated that I did not have enough time to do all these things, I said, “No. I can't go. The job is not done. I can't go. I still have a lot of things to do, and nobody else is t to do this job but me.” That’s when I decided to ght.

NEW HEIGHTS IN HOPE EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH CHAUNTE LOWE

fi

fi

fi

fl

www.IamAwareNow.com fl

fl

?

fi

fl

33 AWARENOW / THE HEART EDITION


If I didn't feel like pain was temporary, I wouldn't be able to endure it. If I didn't have love for others, I wouldn't push through. CHAUNTE LOWE

4X OLYMPIAN & BREAST CANCER SURVIVOR/ADVOCATE

34 AWARENOW / THE HEART EDITION

www.IamAwareNow.com


Allié: So many parents, Jack and myself included, have been homeschooling during this pandemic and struggling with this shift. Your shift has included not only homeschooling, but recovering from chemo, and training for the Olympics. So many of us have been searching for strength. Where do you nd yours Chaunte: De nitely, number one, it has been my faith. It has been the thing that has anchored me. My faith and my hope. If I didn't feel like there was something to look forward to, I think that I would crumble and give up. If I didn't feel like pain was temporary, I wouldn't be able to endure it. If I didn't have love for others, I wouldn't push through. and I think that when I was talking about that sacri ce where I was doing it for other women I think that right now everyone is forced to be strong. Everyone is being forced to be resilient. Yeah, we can go outside without a mask and stand next to people and cough in their ear. Of course, we could do that. Instead, we are sacri cing for everyone. We’re sacri cing to get a handle on this. We willfully give up those things that we normally do because we understand that it is going to better our world and give us a better chance at ghting this COVID disease and its variants. It’s about giving us time to understand it. And we don't just do it for ourselves. We do it for our children , we do it for our parents, our grandparents. We want to see and hug grandma. Everyone wants to hug grandma. Grandmas give the best hugs. But we understand that it might not be safe to be around grandma right now. I think that we are all being forced to be brave and I am very glad that I had the opportunity to do it rst. I’ve had practice. I’ve tried it out. I feel like my experience has prepared me for this. It’s hard. It is hard. There are times where I want to sit in the corner of my closet and break my diet - eat ice cream and chocolate and cry. I think we are all there, but this I do have hope is temporary. You know I think that we have to give ourselves grace, we have to take it one step at a time, celebrate the victories, but at the same time nd ways to let go of the shortcoming very quickly. You have to have a short memory when it comes to those things. If your child did not log into all their classes and get all their assignments done today it's no big deal. It's not as big of a deal as we make it out to be. I think it's great because it syphons out all the things that are not important. It allows us to focus on the things that are. If some of the things that are not important don’t get done, well, thats okay.

Allié: The road to the Olympics is a long one. You’ve walked it (jumped it) 4 times now. On your 5th journey, this time to Tokyo, where are you on that path? Emotionally and Physically Chaunte: So, it’s kind of hard because every day you open up the computer and they are cancelling the olympics, they're not. They are vaccinating everyone, they're not. I’ve kind of tuned that out, and I am going to prepare as if it is happening. I will be ready when it happens. So, I am trying to put myself once again in the best position possible to make my fth olympic team and perform well when I get there. I am excited. It’s gonna mean more than anything to win a metal. It's like, “When I was old as dirt, I was still jumping?!

Allié: You’ve already mastered so much, and yet you continue to set your heights higher. With a 5th Olympics and Masters Degree on the horizon, what message of hope do you have for those seeking and reaching for more Chaunte: I would say the rst thing is that it has to be something that is meaningful to you personally. So, if somebody asked me, “Hey, would you like to be the peanut butter champion of the world?” that's not gonna do anything for me… It has to be something that has sustainable meaning. And I think that it’s very important to monitor progress towards those goals. As you meet small incremental goals, you have to set another one out of reach. I think that is what propelled me so far. I didn't just come out one day and say, “I am gonna be the world record holder”. That was never it. It was just taking one step at a time, and once I cleared that hurdle, taking that standard and setting it a little higher. I think that for anyone who wants more, after you reach your goal, enjoy it for a second. Then have a short memory, and go for the next one. Continually have progression to meet more dif cult goals one little step at a time. That’s what's done it for me. ∎ Learn more about Chaunte www.chauntelowespeaks.com Support her on her road to Tokyo: www.awarenow.us/chaunte-lowe

?

fi

?

fi

fi

.

fi

fi

www.IamAwareNow.com fi

:

fi

fi

fi

fi

fi

35 AWARENOW / THE HEART EDITION


There are huge hurdles to curing MS, not least of which is the complexity of our immune system. DR. ROBERT PACE

NEUROLOGIST AND DIRECTOR OF NEUROIMMUNOLOGY, MEMORIAL INSTITUTE FOR NEUROSCIENCES

36 AWARENOW / THE HEART EDITION

www.IamAwareNow.com


‘KEEPING PACE WITH MS’ EXCLUSIVE COLUMN BY DR. ROBERT PACE

WHY CAN’T WE CURE MS? AN UNFILTERED & UNADULTERATED RESPONSE

With strong opinions can come strong language. Please be aware that as AwareNow is rated ‘O’ for original and organic content, we are more than proud to publish the good doctor’s words in their original state that embody the honest response he’s given with passion for his profession and respect for our readers in bravely providing the bold truth. - Allié M. A few months ago, I was asked a surprisingly complicated question by the husband of one of my longtime MS patients. John has made the 2+ hour trip for every one of Shelly’s appointments for the past 9 years (FYI, “John” and “Shelly” aren’t their real names - cause I ain’t no snitch). He comes in part because he’s a devoted husband, and in part because he loves to give me shit. So, after updating me on their twins and criticizing my unkempt hair and beard (he’s a cop and an ex-marine), he hit me with the ol’ “Why haven’t you nerds cured MS yet?” I couldn’t come up with a good answer at the moment. I should’ve just fallen back on the rst skill taught in medical school - La Prima Doctrine Medicina - which so states: When you don’t know the answer to something, say a bunch of science-y shit until the asker zoneth out. Instead, I just stammered out a “Why can’t we…? Because, uh, well… Dude, the immune system is… it’s really, uh… complicated”. Of course, several witty responses came to me later on the drive home, like “because there’s no money in curing diseases!” or “why can’t you cure your stupid face?”. But his question also made me realize that, although I’ve bored Shelly and John (and most of my other patients) many times with rants about how cool and complex the nervous system is, we’d never really discussed how cool and complex the immune system is. I should’ve highlighted the enormity of what he was asking more eloquently.

“An analogy is the defense for a country.” There are huge hurdles to curing MS, not least of which is the complexity of our immune system. We’ve known for three-quarters of a century that MS is rooted in the immune system, but we’re still not even close to understanding how deep and tangled those roots go. Simplistically, the immune system’s job is defense. It’s made up of all of the cells whose job is to defend us from threats - both external (like bacteria or viruses) and internal (like our own cells metamorphosing into cancer). It also encompasses the way those cells communicate with each other (via chemical signals like cytokines) and the environments in which they do their jobs. Thus, the immune system is more than just some white blood cells. An analogy is the defense for a country. There isn’t one organization that protects everyone from everything; there are thousands. We’ve got different branches of the military for certain things, local police forces for others. Individual buildings may have their own security guards, individual people may have bodyguards, some clubs may have bouncers. We’ve got door locks, fences, neighborhood watches, car alarms, deposit boxes, bicycle helmets, guardrails, and movie ratings. We have FEMA, the FAA, the DHS, and the CDC. We even have a goddamn Space Force. Ideally, all of these elements and organizations work together in our best interest, utilizing the best and most ef cient strategies to meet each unique demand. This is always how it works out in real life, right?

.

fi

www.IamAwareNow.com

fi

37 AWARENOW / THE HEART EDITION


Our immune system is much the same – diverse cell groupings doing different jobs, all with the same general goal of “defense”, forming layers upon layers of complexity. And each of these layers can get incredibly sophisticated. How sophisticated, you ask? Well, for example, our stomach lining can adjust the immune cells it expresses in anticipation of eating different types of foods, pro-in ammatory cytokine release in our skin varies based on our mood, and the mother of a newborn has receptors on her lips that analyze the bacteria on her newborn’s skin so that she can secrete the appropriate protective antibodies into her breast milk (thus giving her an evolutionary motivation to kiss her newborn’s face). So, yeah… Really fucking sophisticated So why do sophisticated immune systems sometimes go rogue and start attacking their own cells? You may as well ask why police of cers sometimes hurt the citizens they are supposed to protect. One could point to a general state of things - say, systemic racism – and determine this to be the cause of an event. But, in reality, this could only possibly be one factor in the event. Any individual event will have many unique circumstances leading up to it. By removing a contributing factor, you may be able to reduce the overall number of events, but it would be unrealistic to think they would never happen again. Immunologic events, and the cells involved, are just as complex. We tend to distinguish immune cells based on what they generally do. B-cells generally make antibodies, neutrophils typically respond quickly to threats, TNF-alpha usually signals cell necrosis. But the individual actions of these cells vary - sometimes wildly - across different times and situations. Our treatments are able to address only certain factors that contribute to autoimmune events. They can’t stop individual immune cells from ever triggering a maladaptive response. To complicate matters further, we are observing these events from millions of miles away. Or rather, the events are on a scale millions of times smaller than our senses can perceive. Imagine trying to understand a border con ict between two alien civilizations on a distant planet based on a handful of grainy photographs that you took with a hobby telescope. Any conclusions you drew would be based heavily on guesses and assumptions. And that’s just trying to understand the situation – imagine trying to intervene. And yet, despite the enormity of this task, there has been an absolute explosion of advancement in the management of MS in the past few decades. The rst treatment that made a positive difference in the long-term outcome of MS – beta interferon - was introduced in 1993. In less than 3 decades (which is the blink of an eye when it comes to medical science) we have more than twenty different treatments, with more on the way. Realistically, being able to completely cure MS may still be a long way off. However, we’re fast approaching the ability to completely control it for more and more people. So, John (if that’s even your real name) - if you’re reading this* - just pretend that I answered your question with a question of my own: “Why haven’t we nerds cured MS yet?? Well why haven’t you meat-heads stopped crime yet?!” Boom. ∎ *If you’re really reading this, please don’t kick my ass next time I see you. You know who you are ROBERT PACE, M Neurologist and Director of Neuroimmunology, Memorial Institute for Neurosciences
 www.awarenessties.us/robert-pace Dr. Pace cares for and has expertise in a variety of neurologic conditions. He is passionate about demyelinating conditions of the central nervous system and holds a fellowship from the University of Michigan in clinical neuroimmunology and MS. Along with Dr. Aburashed and Dr. Cote, they make up the provider care team in the MS center at Memorial Healthcare Institute for Neuroscience. He has experience using a variety of immunomodulating and suppressing agents and also lectures nationally regarding treatment options in Multiple Sclerosis.

fl

.

.

www.IamAwareNow.com

fl

fi

D

fi

38 AWARENOW / THE HEART EDITION


NOW STREAMING

LISTEN IN. CLICK THE PODCASTS BELOW.

AwareNow™ Podcast is the 'Of cial Podcast for Causes'. Presented by Awareness Ties, AwareNow is rated 'O' for original and organic content to raise awareness for the causes we're all tied to, through personal stories and exclusive interviews. Tune in as we raise awareness a story at a time about topics that aren't always easy to talk about through conversations that are sometimes hard to have. Together, we are aware now. Listen and download. Available via Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts & more.

S U B S C R I B E

fi

A W A R E N O W P O D C A S T. C O M


What if I was me and she could be he and we could forever be we… AUBREE DANIELLE

SPOKEN WORD ARTIST & EQUALITY ACTIVIST

www.IamAwareNow.com

40 AWARENOW / THE HEART EDITION


ORIGINAL POETRY BY AUBREE DANIELLE

WHAT IF WE ALL JUST WERE A QUESTION AND VISION VOICED

Jack and I are always honored when the words of Aubree Danielle grace the pages of AwareNow. Through spoken word, she makes a statement always echoing equality and working to level the playing eld with love. It’s words like hers and stories like those shared here that will raise awareness a line at a time. Please do read, listen and share. - Allié M. My name is Aubree Danielle, a young creative ghting for social change. I live my life by treating others how I would want to be treated, this is displayed in my poem “What If We All Just Were” This poem is about my experiences growing up as an African American woman in America and breaking generational cycles. I believe it is vital to our societal development that we treat people with kindness, respect, and most of all love. Whether you agree with how someone chooses to live their life or not, at the end of the day we are all human and deserve to be treated as such. ∎

Learn more about Aubree In addition to being a poet, she’s a baker with a business of her own… @aubreescakerybakery

IF WE ALL JUST WERE BY AUBREE DANIELLE

fi

.

www.IamAwareNow.com fi

41 AWARENOW / THE HEART EDITION


We need to let go of the fear to emotionally touch each other. COCO DE BRUYCKER

ACTRESS WITH CEREBRAL PALSY & ADVOCATE FOR EQUALITY IN THE ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY Photo Credit: @heikerost.com_photographie

42 AWARENOW / THE HEART EDITION

www.IamAwareNow.com


DISABILITY & DESIRE

WORKING, LIVING & LOVING WITH A DISABILITY From raising funds to put herself through college to raising awareness to put an end to discrimination for those with disabilities, Coco de Bruycker is raising people up simply by showing up as an actor and voice. On a side note, Coco, has perhaps the best Instagram pro le we’ve ever read: ‘Licensed word player. Falls in love for a living. Cerebral Palsy included. Based and made in Germany’. Allié: You were ready to give up on life, but then you read Beethoven’s story. How did his story give you the strength and will to live Coco: I’ve always been a huge fan of Beethoven, since I was 10 years old and he has always accompanied my life in some way. And I fell into a hole when I was 15 because I felt misunderstood and mis tting. I just couldn’t make sense of myself… why I was here, why I was here the way I was and I also felt pretty lonely because I was a twin at birth, but my sister died shortly after we were born. I felt pretty guilty for being myself and for being alive. And then Beethoven came back to me… I had multiple biographies around me and I’d been listening to his music a lot. And there was his last letter that he wrote and never sent, his suicide note. He was ready to give up on life when he noticed that he was losing his hearing. And I was reading this letter, sitting on the oor in my room and I looked around: with all my books and my music and the paintings. And I thought: “Man, there are still so many books to read and so much music to explore, I don’t wanna go just yet!

“…as artists it’s our job to verbalize what we all feel but nobody dares to say.” That’s why street art is really important to me. I think it’s amazing to have so many gifts just around you. There is so much vibrant art out there people just share with you for free. That’s why I enjoy being an artist so much. I like to say, as artists it’s our job to verbalize what we all feel but nobody dares to say.
 
 Allié: You dance every day to raise awareness for mental health. How did the daily dance for mental health come about Coco: Oh, the #15secondsadaydancechallenge got its name because a story on Instagram is 15 seconds long. And it was originally inspired by Sara Radin, a New York-based journalist. She talked with me in the past about Disability and Sexuality and I saw her dancing on her stories sometimes. And I thought, oh, that’s cool! Why don’t we do it every day? Because I love dancing, I’m a natural dancer, I don’t do it professionally but I’ve been dancing by myself every time I was feeling low, but alone, in my room for no one to see, so then I thought: Well, why don’t I share it and see what happens? My hope was that I could get people to join me dancing. It’s so cute because now we fostered a little community: someone from Mexico recorded her little brother dancing to Billie Jean and tagged #15secondsadaydancechallenge. We’re slowly getting people to move and come together. And now, especially in quarantine people send me messages on how it motivates them to work out or smile for a moment. Connections like these really move me. Also, people can request their favorite music and I then dedicate a dance to each person making a wish. That way we really created a little family there. I dance both when I feel motivated, uplifted and discouraged. I feel like that’s when it’s actually healing and doing the work.

?

fl

fi

www.IamAwareNow.com ”

fi

43 AWARENOW / THE HEART EDITION ?

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH COCO DE BRUYCKER


Allié: ‘Heart Talks’ on Instagram result in interesting conversations. Please share the story behind this inspiring content Coco: Heart Talks were created pretty recently. I wanted to create an outlet to have “the tough conversations” because speaking from the heart is hard. So it’s a little bit of a wordplay: It could be the heart-talk but it could also be the hard talk. I think hard questions and having these conversations makes us human and are a part of the human experience. Plus, I’m always intrigued by what drives people and what’s their why. And I’m really lucky because turns out, I have really cool friends. We have a different artist on the show every week, people from all walks of life: we have artists on there, writers, coaches, comedians… It’s a space for what makes us human and let your heart talk

Allié: ‘Bombshell’ the series on Fearless. Fill us in! What’s it all about? Please provide us with the insider’s perspective Coco: Bombshell is a series now streaming on Fearless and Amazon Prime created by Jonathan Andre Culliton. We both went to New York Film Academy. It’s the rst show lead by a gay trans person struggling with what we all go through: Dating in L.A. is freaking confusing. And the very best about the show is that it includes an animated penis mascot, that’s why you watch it, haha...

.

.

.

www.IamAwareNow.com fi

44 AWARENOW / THE HEART EDITION


Allié: Disability doesn’t displace desire. Let’s get a bit more personal and have a conversation about your Patron pro le. We’d love to hear your personal and professional perspective on intimacy as it pertains to disability Coco: It’s actually a great way to tie up everything we talked about. I feel like the depression I had as a teenager is also connected to the fact I couldn’t see myself as a woman. I could see myself as a little, clumsy kid with cerebral palsy being taken care of. But every time I heard the word “woman” I was picturing that perfect creature entering the room, making heads turn: Like Scarlett Johansson or Viola Davis. Like a queen. I just couldn’t see myself that way, though. And I’m not a person who de nes myself by my disability. Most of my friends rather forget that I’m different, which is funny, and I nd myself fall behind by accident… I usually need help down the stairs without a railing and then it’s up to me to speak up and remind them: “Can I have a hand?” I always take this as a compliment And it’s been a process for me, both personally and professionally. I just couldn’t see myself as a woman. Acting is what really helped me. I had a major break-through playing sensual roles being cast as Lady Macbeth once in acting school. To me it was a proof to myself that I could be sexy and seductive. It’s still a work in progress. I’m not alone with that. ∎

Learn more about Coco www.cocodebruycker.com Follow & connect via instagram: @cocodebruycker

DISABILITY & DESIRE EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH COCO DE BRUYCKER

.

.

www.IamAwareNow.com

fi

:

fi

45 AWARENOW / THE HEART EDITION fi

“I just couldn’t see myself as a woman. Acting is what really helped me.”


It’s the kindness of a perfect stranger that can act as the brightest light in the dark. JOEL CARTNER

LAWYER, AWARENESS TIES OFFICIAL ADVISOR & COLUMNIST

46 AWARENOW / THE HEART EDITION

www.IamAwareNow.com


‘UNYIELDINGLY HUMAN’ EXCLUSIVE COLUMN BY JOEL CARTNER

THE LIGHT WE GIVE

PERFECT LIGHT FROM PERFECT STRANGERS 655,000 people die from heart disease in the U.S. each year.1 Cardiovascular diseases are the number one cause of death worldwide, taking an estimated 17.9 million lives per year.2 A recent study placed the cost of bringing a cancer drug to market at 757 million dollars.3 The cost of cancer treatment in the U.S. is astronomically high. It’s pretty hard to pin down an “average cost of cancer treatment” type of number, but if you want to get an idea of the nancial impact of cancer, take a look here4, it’s honestly mind-boggling. Each of those statistics is massive and, in my opinion, terrifying. In looking into the sheer scope of the things Awareness Ties is focusing on this month, I found myself confronted with this feeling of “what can I do against a problem so big?” I think we’ve all felt that way at some point or another, and maybe even especially in the last year. As I found myself confronted with the yawning chasm that is these problems, my brain started reflexively looking for happy things, and I found myself returning again and again to these two perfect strangers about a year and a half ago. AUGUST 2, 2019, UNION STATION, NEW HAVEN, C Picture this… a twenty-something, skinny, thoroughly disheveled looking guy sitting half asleep in the train station’s Sabarro Pizza (read a hole in the wall). He hears a train platform announced. With a jerk, he sits up and mumbles, fairly audibly, “oooook, let’s do this.” He then stands, slings a full duf e bag and briefcase across the front of his body, almost falls over, shakes his head, takes a few very wobbly steps, and proceeds to fall over into a, thankfully, unoccupied table. Freeze frame. Take a second. Try to think about what you would think about this guy? What would you do? Offer a helping hand? Ask if he was ok? Stand back and let him handle things himself? Worry that he was in some way unstable? Shocker, I was the disheveled guy in the Sabarro. How did I get there? Well… I had just nished taking the Connecticut Bar Exam forty-eight hours prior. Before that, it was a grueling three years of law school that had broken me down physically, mentally, and emotionally to my barest bones. That process led directly into what was, in many ways, an equally grueling two and a half months of studying for the Bar itself where I sat in a maelstrom of physical pain, anxiety over the future, and absolute terror that after all that effort and sacri ce I wouldn’t even pass the Bar. Earlier that day, I had helped movers put the vast majority of my belongings into storage as I returned to North Carolina, where on August 12th, I would have a surgery the extent of which we wouldn’t know until I was on the operating table. My career plans were to move to D.C…. at some point… after I’d recovered from the surgery with the mystery timeline. I was a mess. My nerves were shot; I was leaving the place I had contentiously called home for three years, I was sad, and I was in pain. At that moment, I was headed for Hartford, where my only plans for two days were to sleep, eat, watch T.V., and sit in the relative silence of an Airbnb for some much-needed decompression.

fi

.

fl

www.IamAwareNow.com T

fi

fi

47 AWARENOW / THE HEART EDITION


“…we can control the light we bring into the world.” All of that and more was swirling somewhere in the deep recesses of my mind, but before I toppled into that table, I was really just running on autopilot. As I fell, however, all of that stuff came swirling to the surface, and I remember thinking, “Really?! I just want to get to my train, is that so much to ask!?” In the grand scheme of things, this tumble into a table was nothing. But I had been so beaten up by life at this point that this minor struggle would’ve left me in much worse shape than it should have. I don’t know what I looked like to the other people sitting in the restaurant, but it probably wasn’t good. I was sleep-deprived, shaky, sweaty, and probably had a fairly deadened look in my eyes. If someone hadn’t helped me, I would’ve managed. I would’ve gotten up, smiled sheepishly to the room, and then tottered off to my platform somehow. I’d have sat in my feelings for the train ride and then shoved them back down to greet my hosts and carried on. It’s just how I’m made. But that sadness and exhaustion also would’ve deepened, and who knows how much more effort I would’ve needed to put in just to keep going over the next several months. The chasm like the chasm I can see when I look at the big problems would have yawned open before me Instead, even as I made contact with the table, I heard two sets of feet get up, and as I shoved myself back to standing, two guys came up to me and said, “Hey, why don’t you let us carry those?” They walked me onto the train, put my luggage in overhead, and one of them put his hand on my shoulder, looked me in the eye, and said, “look after yourself,” they smiled as I said “thanks” and left. They couldn’t see all the trouble swarming in my head. What they could probably, see was a sleep-deprived guy having trouble with his bags. But they stepped in anyway and did what they could to help. What would have been sadness was replaced with this warm little kernel of light and the general feeling that things would work out in the end. I’m not saying they vastly changed the direction of my life, but for that stretch of time, they did lighten the load. And considering I only interacted with them for, maybe, ve minutes, I think about them a lot. Especially when I feel overwhelmed by the scope of some problem, they remind me that something small can tip the scales in the right direction The odds of any one of us solving some giant problem like the cost to treat cancer or the prevalence of heart disease are small. But we can control the light we bring into the world. You could’ve looked at me in that train station and maybe have seen that I was having a rough time, but most of the time, when my life is hard, the average person probably can’t tell. The same can be said of people with some heart conditions; I’ve known cancer patients that looked for all the world as they normally did while in treatment. Everyone is facing something, and it’s not always as big as cancer or heart disease, but it is always relevant. So, what if we all tried to be a little more like those guys in New Haven? What if we all promised to do what we can to lighten the load, even if it doesn’t look big? What light might we bring to what chasm then? Sometimes, when faced with the enormity of all that is trying to stagger through this world in whatever way we can, it’s the kindness of a perfect stranger that can act as the brightest light in the dark. 1

https://www.cdc.gov/heartdisease/facts.htm#:~:text=Heart%20Disease%20in%20the%20United%20States&text=One%20person%20dies%20every%2036,1%20in%20every%204%20deaths 2 https://www.who.int/health-topics/cardiovascular-diseases#tab=tab_1 3 https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0167629616000291 see also generally, https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/11/health/cancer-drug-costs.html 4 https://costprojections.cancer.gov/expenditures.html

JOEL CARTNE Lawyer, Awareness Ties Of cial Advisor & Columnist
 www.awarenessties.us/joelcartner Joel Cartner is a lawyer and public policy professional with Cerebral Palsy Spastic Diplegia and Retinopathy of Prematurity. Cartner has a background in public health, disability, and education law and policy. He received his J.D. from Quinnipiac University School of Law and his B.A. in Political Science from the University of North Carolina Wilmington. Cartner currently lives in Washington D.C. where he works as a Document Review Attorney while seeking legislative employment.

.

fi

.

www.IamAwareNow.com

fi

R

48 AWARENOW / THE HEART EDITION



Finding your fearlessness means nding your own worthiness… CHARLOTTE ALEXANDRA

FOUNDER & CEO OF ELEVEN 11 MEDIA NETWORKS Photo Credit: @the.ekhomedia

fi

50 AWARENOW / THE HEART EDITION

www.IamAwareNow.com


‘FEARLESS’ EXCLUSIVE COLUMN BY CHARLOTTE ALEXANDER

THE FEARLESS MOVEMENT A BEGINNING OF FEARLESS DIALOGUE IT’S TIME TO FACE OUR FEARS When we share our stories of overcoming our fears and show our most vulnerable self we are able to inspire others to do the same. We can inspire them on their path to creating a business they are proud of, a life they love or a mindset that will take them places I have ensembles of some of the world's leading business coaches, entrepreneurs and public speakers to come together to help the world face their fears to create a global movement where people can discover their inner fearlessness This month I travelled to Malta with good friend Shaman & core coach Richard Henssen to meet with Xandru Grech (a world record holding athlete & public speaker), in the highlight of the Malta Social Impact Awards - an annual event where the community comes together to show random acts of kindness One simple act of kindness is sharing your stories, unafraid to speak your truth and show your strengths and especially your weaknesses. It’s only when we confront ourselves with our weaknesses and acknowledge our fears that we allow ourselves to realise that these fears are an illusion. In reality, we are much stronger than we could ever imagine.

THE FEARLESS MOVEMENT FEATURING CHARLOTTE ALEXANDRA, RICHARD HENSSEN & XANDRU GRECH

.

www.IamAwareNow.com

.

.

.

51 AWARENOW / THE HEART EDITION


Photo Credit: @the.ekhomedia

WHAT DOES BECOMING FEARLESS MEAN ? There definitely isn’t one definitive answer. I compare it to seeing our life as a movie. We often give others the control of the “script” of our lives, where we end up being the sidekick in our own life story. It’s a story where we are confronted with our fears (i.e. the evil villains) and we are forced to find our superpowers (i.e. our fearlessness) Finding your fearlessness means finding your own worthiness, your own validation, your own love for yourself. It results in becoming the best possible version of YOU! It’s having the superpower to be the person you want to be. It’s having the life you want to live Personally, my biggest fear used to be public speaking. After moving from London to a small village in Belgium where I didn’t speak the language, I was bullied, laughed at, and felt completely out of place. For a long time this left a mark on my voice. As a singer and tv presenter, I was confronted with these fears on a daily basis. It was only when I got in touch with my inner voice that I realised that I wasn’t really afraid. It was in fact the illusion of fear and memories from the past that were withholding me from becoming fearless It can be very overwhelming when all the focus is on you. However, being in the spotlight is where you get to shine with your own light and your passions and share your unique talents to the world Today, I am sharing my passion and my true voice with you by singing the exclusive premiere of my new song ‘Fearless’, telling my story of overcoming fears through music to inspire you to face your own fears and find your inner fearlessness.

CHARLOTTE ALEXANDE Founder & CEO of Eleven 11 Media Networks
 www.awarenessties.us/charlotte-alexandra Charlotte Alexandra, founder & CEO of Eleven11 Media Networks is a business mentor, empowerment coach & serial entrepreneur with a passion for Media. She is on a mission to help You unlock your fullest potential! Helping people around the globe expand, grow, connect and to build a business they are proud of, a life they love and a mindset that will take them places. After kickstarting her career in Marketing + Advertising following a journalism & communications degree, she decided to launch Eleven11 Media Networks. Creating a platform for likeminded creatives to collaborate on spreading a positive message through media. Her work as both an entrepreneur and a media coach has provided her with an international network of inspirational and influential associates ranging from entrepreneurs, business leaders, public speakers & celebrities - uniting and combining their talents to make to world a better place.

.

.

www.IamAwareNow.com .

R

!

52 AWARENOW / THE HEART EDITION


A WORLD OF CONTENT

FOR THE CAUSES YOU CARE ABOUT

SUBSCRIBE TO KNEKT.TV WITH CODE ‘AWARENESS’

USE THIS CODE FOR AN ANNUAL SUBSCRIPTION FOR $11.11 (INSTEAD OF $29.99) WHEN YOU SIGN UP FOR KNEKT TV TO ACCESS OVER 13,000 VIDEOS, SERIES, LIVE STREAMING EVENTS


I am excited to be a walking billboard for living at. BECKY KOETS RICHARD

BREAST CANCER & BREAST IMPLANT ILLNESS SURVIVOR www.IamAwareNow.com fl

54 AWARENOW / THE HEART EDITION


EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH BECKY KOETS RICHARD

HEALTH OR BUST

FROM IMPLANT TO EXPLANT FOR HEALTH Four years ago, Becky Koets Richard was diagnosed with breast cancer. After a double mastectomy and treatment for the cancer, Becky underwent surgery to reconstruct her breasts, after hearing about the implants' safety and use by millions of women. Millions of women can’t be wrong. Right? Wrong. As it turns out, Breast Implant Illness is a real problem with a real solution. Allié: After your reconstructive surgery, what symptoms did you start having Becky: This is an interesting question because for me, many of the BII symptoms mirrored the chemotherapy symptoms that i experienced. The difference was, instead of feeling better in the months after chemotherapy ended, I watched my health continue to decline. I had so many symptoms: Chronic fatigue, brain fog, dif culty concentrating, dif culty nishing sentences, muscle pain/weakness, joint pain/stiffness, dif culty sitting and getting up from chairs, dif culty sleeping, hair loss (after my hair grew back from chemo), in ammation, blurred and double vision, hypo thyroid, gynecological problems such as ovarian cysts, heavy vaginal bleeding that led to a hysterectomy, low libido, bruising, gastrointestinal issues such as colitis, diarrhea 6-7 times a day, the inability to digest food, ringing in my ears, heart palpitations, numbness and tingling in my hands, elevated in ammatory markers in my blood and osteoporosis. I was simply exhausted all the time. Walking to the mailbox would feel like an overwhelming task. My weight after chemo was 135 pounds. A few years later, I was down to 115 pounds. At 5’10” that’s pretty thin. I often wondered if my cancer had creeped back and I was dying

HEALTH OR BUST EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH BECKY KOETS RICHARD

fi

fi

?

fl

fl

www.IamAwareNow.com

.

fi

fi

fi

55 AWARENOW / THE HEART EDITION


Allié: You went for so long with no answers. You saw doctors of all kinds and went to appointments of all sorts. After no results from the medical community and advice to accept your ‘new normal’, you kept searching. Eventually, you found your answer online. Tell us about your nding of Breast Implant Illness (BII) and about how you felt when you found it Becky: I was actually trying to come to grips with how I could just settle into this “new normal” and try to live the best life that I could for my husband and my children. I’m a glass half full kind of gal. I was so profoundly grateful to be alive after cancer. I was trying so hard to just move on. I describe it to people by saying it's like walking around after a hurricane. There’s destruction everywhere. Fragments of the life that you loved are just broken and strewn around under all this mess. I was picking up the pieces of my life and trying so hard to put them back together but nothing t together anymore. Everyone else is just so happy that you’re “done” with treatment and you’re stunned… feeling so physically, emotionally and spiritually assaulted… stripped down to nothing. The world keeps moving at it’s busy pace and you feel left behind, dangling by a thread. I was scrolling through facebook one evening and I saw an article with the words “Breast Implant Illness” and I remember thinking: Wait, what? Breast Implant Illness? What in the world is that? I clicked on the article out of total curiosity. As I read through the article, I saw all of the symptoms that I was dealing with. I was in shock. I just started to cry. For the rst time in years, I had hope. This could be my answer. I showed my husband the article and he looked at me and said, “Get them out. We have to get them out.” Allié: Gravity tells us that what goes up must come down. BII tells us, with regard to implants, what goes in must come out. You had your explant a short time ago. How are you feeling now Becky: It’s been miraculous for me. I knew going in that I could have this explant surgery and still have symptoms. There is no guarantee. There is really no test you can take to determine definitively that you have BII and the surgery has to be done correctly, removing not only the implants but the capsules as well. Not every surgeon who puts them in has the skill and experience to properly remove them. I had to do my homework. There is a great website called Healing Breast Implant Illness. It's a wonderful resource for women who don't know where to start. It has information to guide you through every step of the way and a wonderful support group on facebook with over 133,000 members. Even with all this online support, the fact of the matter is that we are left to make this “hail Mary” decision to cut our bodies open with simply the hope of recovery. I’m so grateful I did it. I feel like I'm finally getting my life back. I woke up out of the surgery with none of the neck pain that was so bad some days, I could hardly turn my head. I thought maybe it was just the sedatives but it hasn't returned. About 90% of my symptoms have vanished. I am just so very grateful

"When we connect with others, it gives our pain purpose.” Allié: From breast cancer to double mastectomy to chemotherapy to breast implants to explants, Becky, you’ve been through so much. After all of this, in what ways have you become stronger Becky: You know, sometimes life can heap a whole lot of crap onto us, can't it? I have realized something magical about that. Crap makes the BEST fertilizer. The trick is, we have to try to stop the urge to resist it. If we can somehow learn to sit with our hard times and be open to how they can change us and fertilize our hearts. Dif culties in our lives can cultivate some pretty valuable things. Pain cultivates empathy. Suffering cultivates compassion. These things can gift us the greatest thing in life… human connections. When we open ourselves up to experience life’s dif culties with this perspective, we can connect with others in a way that was never possible before we walked that painful path. When we connect with others, it gives our pain purpose. Purpose is what leads us to true happiness and ful llment. It begins to answer the question, “What is the meaning of it all?”

fi

fi

fi

.

fi

?

?

fi

www.IamAwareNow.com

fi

.

56 AWARENOW / THE HEART EDITION


I feel like I'm nally getting my life back. BECKY KOETS RICHARD

BREAST CANCER & BREAST IMPLANT ILLNESS SURVIVOR www.IamAwareNow.com fi

57 AWARENOW / THE HEART EDITION


“I'm living a happy, healthy, active, strong, sexy and stylish life… with no boobs.” Allié: Your story is a powerful one that needs to be seen and heard by those who have implants and by those who are considering them. If there was one piece of advice you’d like to share from all of this, what would it be Becky: As far as reconstruction goes, just take your time. Don't feel rushed into placing expanders or choosing either way. We seem to make so many decisions when we are still in shock from our diagnosis. I didn't even know that waiting was an option. Look for support groups on facebook for each of your options. Just join, look and listen. Ask questions in these groups. These women have already been through it and you can get a perspective that no physician (with all their good intentions) can give you. These groups are a plethora of priceless information. Use it to your advantage. After diagnosis, I just wrote down one thing every day that I was grateful for. Some days I just wrote one word. Other days I was astonished at the number of things that flowed from the pen. It just brought my head back to a good space. As for women who are considering breast augmentation for cosmetic reasons, I believe ALL people have the right to informed consent. Every woman should be informed about BII and the symptoms. Every woman should know that the FDA recommended a box warning be placed on all implants (the same warning recommended for cigarettes). Read the 2019 FDA study of over 99,000 women that found breast implants increase your risk for rheumatoid arthritis, other autoimmune disease, stillbirth and melanoma. Knowledge is power. Make an informed decision. Of course, my advice is DON'T DO IT. It's just not worth it. I tell people that I would rather go through chemotherapy again than live with BII. It’s a living hell that no human should ever have to endure Allié: One more thing, Becky, a personal question. How do you feel about your body now? After the double mastectomy, the implants and then the explants, you no longer have breasts. How do you feel as a woman Becky: THIS is the most amazing and surprising part of my story. I absolutely LOVE being at. There's a freedom in being at that I never even imagined. As women, we are shackled with spending endless amounts of our daily energy on what I now call “boob monitoring’. A constant stream of thoughts like: Is the shirt too tight? Is this V-neck too low? Can you see my bra through this shirt? Are my nipples showing through my shirt? Should I change into that other bra? On and on and on. Every bit of that is completely gone for me. For weeks, I would reach for a bra to put on only to remember that I don't need one any more! I keep telling women that they have no idea how oppressed they are! At this point, I refuse to wear prosthetics. I don't think they are bad in any way. Some women love them and feel more comfortable wearing them. I am excited to be a walking billboard for living at. I want to normalize that image for everyone. Look at me, folks! I'm living a happy, healthy, active, strong, sexy and stylish life… with no boobs. Yup, I said that. I want the next woman who is diagnosed to think, “Hey, I know a woman who is living at, and she’s pretty cool. Maybe that can be a viable option for me, too.” ∎

?

?

fl

fl

fl

www.IamAwareNow.com .

fl

58 AWARENOW / THE HEART EDITION



…something that should have felt overwhelming somehow felt very intimate and magical. DAISY CHUTE

SINGER, SONGWRITER & RECORDING ARTIST

60 AWARENOW / THE HEART EDITION

www.IamAwareNow.com


EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH DAISY CHUTE

SECONDHAND HEART

A FIRSTHAND ACCOUNT ON A LOVE SECOND TO NONE - MUSIC Beginning her career in music at the age of 15 with her first album, a critically-acclaimed jazz record, Daisy Chute is a folk/ Americana singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and regular on the London music scene. Singing, songwriting and recording her own projects, she has also collaborated on projects for tv, films and games with the likes of David Attenborough and Radiohead. In addition, Daisy is also the co-founder of HEARD Collective (an artist collective who promote and support women in music) and the co-writer of COVEN (a gig theatre show about witches). Whatever the project, her heart is all in. Allié: What is the rst song you ever sang to a live audience? How did it go and how did you feel? Daisy: Growing up I was quite an extroverted toddler and was always singing and making up songs, but my rst proper solo performance was when I was aged 9. I was cast as Young Cosette in the Cameron Mackintosh tour of Les Miserables when it travelled up to my home city Edinburgh. I sang a beautiful song called Castle On A Cloud and distinctly remember being up on this huge revolving stage singing for three thousand people and yet not being able to see anything but a vast vacuum of darkness and a tiny faraway TV screen showing the musical director conducting the performers. It was a bizarre experience - something that should have felt overwhelming somehow felt very intimate and magical.

SECONDHAND HEART ORIGINAL SONG BY DAISY CHUTE

fi

www.IamAwareNow.com

fi

61 AWARENOW / THE HEART EDITION


As a songwriter you are constantly exercising your empathy muscles and trying to imagine and relate to the lives of others. DAISY CHUTE

SINGER, SONGWRITER & RECORDING ARTIST

62 AWARENOW / THE HEART EDITION

www.IamAwareNow.com


Allié: When did you rst know that you wanted to make music your career Daisy: I suppose it followed naturally on from that rst professional job when I was 9. Even at that age I knew I enjoyed living in that moment of performance. I also loved the camaraderie you feel when you’re in a cast or with other musicians and performers. At that point I hadn’t yet fully understood the importance of the audience - to me they were quite remote during that period in Les Mis, but later as I began to perform more regularly and in smaller venues I enjoyed feeling and seeing the effects of music on people, and enjoyed being able to affect a mood or atmosphere in a room myself. I was lucky to have incredibly supportive parents who would take me to lots of concerts and shows growing up which inspired me and helped me shape my own ambitions. I am indebted to them for encouraging and enabling me to study music and to pursue a career in the arts, especially in those early formative years. Allié: Your voice resonates with such emotion both onstage and in the studio. When listening you can tell that you absolutely love what you do. What do you love most? Recording in the studio or performing live Daisy: First thank you so much! That’s very lovely of you to say. It’s a tough one choosing between recording and performing - both are forms of performance I suppose, but one is with an audience present and only exists in a singular place and time (though maybe not so much anymore with everything being so easily documented), while the other is more solitary and more permanent. They both have their own advantages. I enjoy the freedom of live performance and the fact that every live show is unique, as well as being able to feed off the audience and the energy in the room - I’ve certainly missed that this year! But the studio is wonderful for being able to create something without feeling observed. You can get lost in the possibilities of layering sounds and arrangement ideas. I also love the writing process, although sometimes it can also be painful if it’s not happening naturally and you enter an editing mindset too soon. But I feel amazing after I’ve spent a day improvising and writing music. It’s a different kind of high from the high you get from performing. I wouldn’t be able to choose one over the other! Allié: A gig theatre show about witches? What?! Sounds amazing. Please tell us about COVEN. Daisy: Yes! I’ve had a great time working on COVEN with Rebecca Brewer - a talented theatre maker/performer who approached me to work together after hearing me at one of my folk gigs. Rebecca and I are in uenced by other gig theatre shows featuring actor-musicians like Hadestown which have a similar feel and aesthetic and borrow from both theatrical/storytelling traditions as well as the more informal style of gigs you have in the music world. This has been my rst time trying to write a full collection of songs on a theme but it’s an ambition I’ve long held. The show is currently about 1 hour in length and features around a dozen original songs. We’ve just completed our rst Arts Council England funded phase of R+D in which we’ve collaborated with a shadow puppeteer, sound healer and magic consultant to begin to bring in other elements to the show. The whole show sprang from a single lyric ‘you burn our bodies but we’ll burn down your society’, which perhaps is a good summary of the themes of the show. COVEN is about the persecution and mass execution of over 200,000 so-called witches in the witch trials of the 16th-17th centuries; it aims to unravel our idea of what a witch is and to give political and socio-economic context to a witch craze which swept across multiple continents and centuries. Heavy stuff I realise! But the show has a lot of light and shade and whilst we hope our point comes across we also ultimately want to move people and to entertain them too of course!

fl

?

?

fi

www.IamAwareNow.com

fi

63 AWARENOW / THE HEART EDITION fi

fi

“You can get lost in the possibilities of layering sounds and arrangement ideas.”


Allié: Secondhand Heart is a new release for you. Share the story of this song and what it means to you. Daisy: Secondhand Heart is a song I actually started to write a while ago at a time when I wasn’t con dent in my songwriting abilities. I set it aside, like I did so many other songs at the time, and only came back to it in the past year during the lockdown when I was looking for more material to share on live streams to keep my concerts varied. People seemed to be really drawn to the song and it helped me give it another chance. The song is about how a rst love haunts you as you go into future relationships and how even though the next relationship might be better and ‘ t like a glove’, it’s always competing with that rst love that affected you so deeply. The song is part of a series of songs I’m releasing over the next 6 months as part of a new project called ‘Daisy’s Singles Club’ which I launched on Valentine’s Day (as a little intentional pun!) I’m raising money on a crowdfund at the moment which will help me record, release and promote the songs and build a little momentum as I go into the album launch and touring plans for next year. It’s on a site called Rocketfuel run by a team who have been amazing to work with and very helpful to independent artists - www.rocketfuelhq.com/daisy-chute 
 Allié: If you could sing only one song for the rest of your days, what would it be Daisy: Ahh this is impossible! I’ll go for the rst song that popped into my head - a song called Troubadour Boy, which has been released so you can hear it on Spotify, iTunes, Amazon, Bandcamp, YouTube etc. - you can nd me @DaisyChuteOf cial most places. The song was written as I was beginning to work with a producer for my debut originals album which is due out next year. It marks a gear change in my career but it’s also a song that explores the idea of being a musician and what you might be giving up by choosing that path. At the time my relationship was ending with my ex - I knew he was more serious about settling down and moving out of London, and I wasn’t ready for the idea of settling down at that point. It felt like I was choosing between a career or a relationship, and so Troubadour Boy was a meditation on that. The protagonist is actually not the musician though they are the one in a relationship with the musician and competing with their love for music. It was my attempt to put myself in another’s shoes and see it from their perspective. As songwriters you are constantly exercising your empathy muscles and trying to imagine and relate to the lives of others. It certainly helped me understand his perspective more and made me realise this was not a career that would be easy to balance with other hopes and dreams I may have in the future. All the same it’s a career I have loved having and hope to continue to have, especially considering these dif cult times for our industry. Here’s hoping for a brighter future! ∎ Learn more about Daisy www.daisychute.com

fi

fi

fi

fi

?

fi

www.IamAwareNow.com fi

fi

:

fi

64 AWARENOW / THE HEART EDITION


NOW PLAYING

T U N E I N . C L I C K T H E E P I S O D E S B E L O W T O WAT C H .

AwareNow™ Talk Show is a series of conversations on social causes. In this national broadcast, a selected cause serves as the topic for a raw, un ltered panel discussion among a diverse group of individuals. Prior to the one hour live conversation, a thirty minute preshow sets the tone with musical performances, poetry, stories and statements. From actors to artists to athletes and impact leaders to industry legends, featured panelists share personal stories and perspectives to raise awareness for relevant issues and identify actions viewers can take to change the narrative and bring sustainable change to our communities. A national broadcast with global reach, AwareNow is featured on KNEKT TV and available on Apple TV and Roku.

S U B S C R I B E AWA R E N O W TA L K S H O W. C O M

fi

65 AWARENOW / THE HEART EDITION

www.IamAwareNow.com


Small acts of kindness scream some of the loudest messages. LEX GILLETTE

4X PARALYMPIC MEDALIST, 4X WORLD CHAMPION & KEYNOTE SPEAKER

66 AWARENOW / THE HEART EDITION

www.IamAwareNow.com


WITH MY SINCERE APPRECIATION LET THEM KNOW THEY’RE WORTH IT

One of the many perks of being a professional athlete is getting to partner with brands like Panasonic, Intel, Nike, and P&G. There’s a lot that I love about these relationships and one of those things is the product. Imagine walking down to your mailbox and you have a ton of packages waiting for you. It could be brand new training shoes and apparel. One of those boxes may have a brand new computer inside, and another might have a fancy shmancy 4K camera. In the case of P&G, it could be a box with an assortment of some of our most popular household and self-care brands like Tide, Dove, and Gillette. Unfortunately, there are athletes out there who may never get to experience this which is why I consider myself extremely blessed. I decided to do something I hadn’t done in many years. I took the time to sit down and write notes, by hand, to those who I worked closely with in my sponsorships. Just a reminder, I’m blind, and for the record, blind meaning not able to see anything. You’d be surprised how many people question what it is I exactly see. I’ve had a lot of people scratch their head on this. “You’re blind? Like you can’t see me?” No, not at all. “Are you serious? I mean, you’re able to do all of these amazing things.” I’m not lying. I promise But, like I was saying, I decided to send handwritten notes to my sponsors. I gured it would be a great way to show my gratitude, and since I don’t write regularly, it would be a nice challenge for me This is how it all went down. Imagine a thank you card lying on the table. A buddy of mine took an index card and placed it on top of the thank you card. I carefully wrote my note, using the edge of the index card as a guide. As I nished each line, my buddy would slide the index card down an inch so that I could continue writing. After a bit of time, I completed all of my notes Here’s the thing. Is my handwriting legible? “Sure it is,” says the blind man. It’s probably not the best out there, but you’d be able to make out the message. When we engage in random acts of kindness, some of the details become minor. In other words, are you going to be concerned over terrible handwriting, or are you going to smile because someone took the time to sit down and show their gratitude and appreciation? Are you going to be focused more on the chicken scratch, or will you be impressed that someone would take time out of their day to show you a little love You see, when others present us with unexpected kindness, it makes us smile. It makes us feel good inside. Someone went out of their way to do something for you. That says a lot. Time is a resource we cannot get more of. Once it’s gone, it’s gone. I challenge you to show someone kindness today. Identify someone who you can show appreciation to. Let them know that you exhausted a bit of your time especially for them. That alone says so much, and with everything that’s going on in the world currently, it wouldn’t be a bad thing to let someone know that you’re thinking of them. Small acts of kindness scream some of the loudest messages. So get out there and show someone just how much you appreciate them. Let them know they’re worth it. Make their heart smile.

LEX GILLETT 4x Paralympic Medalist, 4x World Champion & Keynote Speaker
 www.awarenessties.us/lex-gillette Lex Gillette has quickly become one of the most sought after keynote speakers on the market. Losing his sight at the age of eight was painful to say the least, but life happens. Things don’t always go your way. You can either stay stuck in frustration because the old way doesn’t work anymore, or you can create a new vision for your life, even if you can’t see how it will happen just yet. His sight was lost, but Lex acquired a renewed vision, a vision that has seen him become the best totally blind long and triple jumper Team USA has ever witnessed.

?

.

fi

www.IamAwareNow.com .

.

67 AWARENOW / THE HEART EDITION E

fi

NO NEED FOR SIGHT WHEN YOU HAVE VISION BY LEX GILLETTE


…there is someone out there who will look at you in ways that you didn't think were possible. PROVIDENCE BOWMAN

AWARENESS TIES PROJECT MANAGER & COLUMNIST

68 AWARENOW / THE HEART EDITION

www.IamAwareNow.com


PERSONAL STORY BY PROVIDENCE BOWMAN

WITH LOVE & EXPECTATION, YOURS TRULY LESSONS LEARNED ABOUT LOVE

When I think of the word love, I automatically think of the word accolade. I think of love like an award, a privilege, a special honor that is granted to some, but not all. A pedestal, something that I have seen other people stand with next to a partner or by themselves; but never somewhere I have as easily placed myself. Love in reality isn't an accolade, it isn't a participation award, a plaque or a trophy. Love is a path, love is a journey, and love is a ght. Here is what I have learned ghting the good ght 1. Words and the meaning that they grasp hold so tightly to what makes me who I am. For me, words are love. Each one of us speaks a unique love language, one that not everyone is uent in. You are going to have partners that are not going to be able to grasp your depth and the cosmic makeup that illustrates itself to who you are. That is okay. There is someone who does. There is someone who knows when to step in, knows what to do, knows what to say; someone who knows how to engage you 2. Love is something that can be really hard to wrap our heads around; it's a journey, that’s why they call the person you love your soul mate. We can wrap ourselves in our shame sweater or allow anxiety to sleep in our bed, but why can't we rest in the fact that if someone is undeniably our soulmate, our souls will inevitably mate. Do not second guess yourself when 205 of the 206 bones in your body tell you this isn't right 3. We do not need to let anxiety and the all-encompassing feeling of “I just love to be loved” pave our path. We all love to fall in love, to be desired, and for someone to notice us. As a young woman I am guilty of this at times, but the same goes for everyone. Human beings love to be loved but the problem with that today is that sometimes the glasses that we wear are a little more rose-colored than they honestly should be. If you are being treated in a manner that dips below your standards, you are far better off alone 4. Do not let people remind you of your age or how they were having children at your age; just as love is a journey and a ght, so is life. No two are the same. You do not hear the same love story twice 5. You do not deserve a twenty rst century relationship. My generation of twenty somethings has created a bubble encompassing social media and the powers of read receipt stamps. You do not deserve that. You should not desire that.You do not deserve to be cheated on, ever. I do not care how extravagant the circumstances present themselves as. You do not deserve to feel like you are the only one in the relationship. Love is a street that runs two ways. You cannot be involved in a relationship if you are the only credited author. You deserve to be treated like the most important and precious person in the world. You are not a 2am text message or a car honk.

.

.

.

fl

.

:

fi

www.IamAwareNow.com fi

fi

fi

fi

69 AWARENOW / THE HEART EDITION


Be patient, because there is someone in this world that will never associate your presence and worth with the word “settle”. 6. You truly deserve to be appreciated. Do not give yourself the space to sell yourself short. Do not allow yourself to harvest an environment of fear. It's hard to think about sometimes, but relationships end. It would be negligent to plan a life that is bursting at the seams with life without expecting a life with no heartbreak, or no hard lessons Learned 7. The biggest piece of advice from my 21 year old single self is: If you would not marry them, do not date them. If you do not know; wait. I know that patience is overrated, and that is one of the main reasons that God created Tinder, but it is okay to wait Be patient because there is someone out there who wants to make the dreams that you have for yourself today, tomorrow, and for the next ve years, their dreams. Be patient, because there is someone out there who will look at you in ways that you didn't think were possible. Be patient, because there is someone in this world that will never associate your presence and worth with the word “settle”.

PROVIDENCE BOWMA Awareness Ties Project Manager & Columnist
 www.awarenessties.us/providence-bowman Providence Bowman is a college student attending Grand Valley State University, studying International Relations. She is passionate about using her words for good and is currently piecing stories together in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She loves to spend her free time traveling, with her head in a book, and by the water. She lives everyday by her mantra that we are here to pursue opportunities and “go be awesome”.

www.IamAwareNow.com

.

fi

.

N

70 AWARENOW / THE HEART EDITION


It can be helpful to acknowledge that grief is tied to the depth of love we hold. DR. JENNY MARTIN

LICENSED CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST, AUTHOR & AWARENESS TIES OFFICIAL AMBASSADOR

71 AWARENOW / THE HEART EDITION

www.IamAwareNow.com


EXCLUSIVE COLUMN BY DR. JENNY MARTIN

DEAR DR. JENNY

THE DOCTOR IS IN AND TAKING QUESTIONS Dr. Jenny Martin is a clinical psychologist in Chicago, IL who specializes in culturally sensitive, insight oriented therapy. As our Of cial Ambassador for Mental Health Awareness, she offers advice to our readers in this monthly column. A special thank you to Jenny for bringing her expertise and insight to AwareNow. Have a question you’d like to ask, submit it here: www.awarenessties.us/dear-dr-jenny Dear Dr. Jenny Feeling so disconnected to my family lately. Because of the pandemic, I've not seen my kids who are grown and out on their own or my parents who are alone but wish that they weren't. I'm afraid to meet in person because of COVID. This distance to keep everyone safe is so hard. How can I stay connected to them while feeling so far away. Cheryl M Denver, C This question has been dif cult for me to answer. I have read it over and over and nd myself struggling for ways to help. I feel this, too, Cheryl. After a lot of re ection, this thought came to me: You are so, so connected to each of them. If you weren't, this wouldn't be so hard. I think it can be helpful to acknowledge that grief is tied to the depth of love we hold. The pain of separation re ects the level of attachment. Sometimes I take solace in this fact, and I am reminded that the dif culty we feel now is also evidence of the meaning our relationships hold. Love is the only permanence we really get, and I am grateful that you have so much of it to hold. In the meantime, I wish you strength and bravery as you navigate the intense challenges of physical separation… I will be attempting the same thing over here Dr. Jenny Martin

fi

.

www.IamAwareNow.com

fl

fi

fi

,

fl

fi

O

.

72 AWARENOW / THE HEART EDITION


Dear Dr. Jenny Lost lately. Not sure how to nd direction. I dropped out of college because after changing my major several times, I still didn't know what I wanted to do. Feeling lost now more than ever. Ideas Jasmine M New Orleans, L Hi Jasmine. First off, it is fully ok to feel lost. When we are lost, it means there is a freedom, too. You know, on average, people change their careers 3-7 times. The fact that you changed your major several times tells me you have diverse interests and a large range of potential. Not everyone knows from day one what they want their future to look like, that is ok! A few more tangible ideas, though. Have you spoken with a career counselor? They often have assessments and tools for helping students determine their values and goals. These can be very helpful. Another idea is to become aware of what you choose to do when you are fully left to your own devices. What draws your attention? What routines do you like? Take note if you are energized by problem solving, communication with others, or creatively thinking on your own, etc. If you become aware of these patterns, it may help you to better learn what kind of an environment/ career would be best suited. The nal tip I have is to remember that sometimes the best decision is simply to make a decision. Whatever you pursue in college will have value- regardless of where you end up! My bachelor's degree is in music and songwriting and now I am a clinical psychologist! I never saw that coming, but now I am thankful for the unique path I took. I wish you all the best Dr. Jenny Marti

HAVE A QUESTION ABOUT MENTAL HEALTH FOR DR. JENNY? Submit what you'd like to ask: www.awarenessties.us/dear-dr-jenny If your question is selected, you will be noti ed, and it will be featured in AwareNow Magazine.

DR. JENNY MARTI Licensed Clinical Psychologist, Author & Awareness Ties Official Ambassador
 www.awarenessties.us/jenny-kristen-martin Dr. Jenny Martin is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist in Chicago, IL. Her private practice, Gemstone Wellness, specializes in working with adolescents and adults touched by depression, anxiety, trauma, loss, purposelessness, and issues related to race, sexuality and gender expression. Jenny possesses an extensive background in the arts, speci cally in music, and she enjoys incorporating creative mediums to facilitate emotional expression. Jenny received both her Masters Degree and her Doctoral Degree in Clinical Psychology from the Chicago School of Professional Psychology. She completed her Bachelor's Degree in Music and Songwriting at Berklee College of Music.

?

!

www.IamAwareNow.com fi

fi

fi

fi

N

A

n

,

.

73 AWARENOW / THE HEART EDITION


It was during my global walkabout that I became aware how curiosity was the unsung antidote to so many of our individual and collective challenges. DENIS MURPHY

TRANSFORMATIONAL COACH & CO-FOUNDER OF ROUNDTABLE GLOBAL

74 AWARENOW / THE HEART EDITION

www.IamAwareNow.com


EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH DENIS MURPHY

AGENT FOR CHANGE

HEALING & TRAINING FOR TRANSFORMATION Denis Murphy is a leading transformational coach, change agent, energy medicine practitioner, visionary, soon to be author and co-founder of award winning training and transformation company, RoundTable Global. He has 15 years experience of extensively traveling the world learning about mindset, healing, exercise, nutrition, massage, physical rehabilitation and martial arts to help people experience long-term and profound healing and transformation and he joins me for this month’s issue of AwareNow. Tanith: Denis you spent a lot of time traveling the world to learn about the body and mindset - what inspired you to embark on the journey and where did it take you Denis: The short answer centres around curiosity and the open mindedness it leads to, it was the driver that took me around the world. It was during my global walkabout that I became aware how curiosity was the unsung antidote to so many of our individual and collective challenges. As I helped more clients and interacted with different cultures, I noticed how a closed and rigid mind impacted our mental and physical health compared to an open and curious one I visited over 60 countries. It led me to knowing myself better. It took me to the edge and back mentally, emotionally and physically so I could nally allow the honest me to surface, so I could honestly heal and transform. I’m now able to take others on a similar journey so they can realise just how powerful they are, especially in our ability to self-heal.

“We have overcomplicated a system that is designed to be simple and effortless.” Tanith: Working both one to one and delivering programmes globally you’ve helped many people heal from illness and physical pain in timeframes thought to be impossible, how do you do it Denis: It’s a bold claim I know, but my con dence comes after thousands of hours with clients who’s ailments have disappeared during our rst session or in the days and weeks that followed. Many clients come to me exhausted, confused and frustrated, they have accepted outdated and repackaged wisdom that kept them in a survival-based mindset. I help my clients create a different mindset that enables them to heal themselves in the way humans have been designed to heal. Profound and long-term healing and transformation is much more simple than we have been led to believe. It takes someone to start the journey to unlearn what they know about self-development and healing to access this simplicity and possibility It’s liberating to realise we don’t need to go down these never-ending tunnels, to no longer feel the need to use energy intensive, mind-over-matter tools and techniques to ‘control and conquer’ our way through life. We have overcomplicated a system that is designed to be simple and effortless. The effortless I am referring to is the feeling that comes from getting pro cient at any skill. If we consider we have become experts at the survival-based one we have inherited, it’s time to put the same effort into developing a new one that sees us experience what thriving feels and looks like.

.

?

?

www.IamAwareNow.com fi

.

fi

fi

fi

75 AWARENOW / THE HEART EDITION


I no longer ‘accept’ what I have been told is true. DENIS MURPHY

TRANSFORMATIONAL COACH & CO-FOUNDER OF ROUNDTABLE GLOBAL

76 AWARENOW / THE HEART EDITION

www.IamAwareNow.com


“Acceptance and labelling are two key ingredients that when added together act like kryptonite to long-term healing and transformation - they postpone our ability to heal ourselves.” Tanith: Many people accept illness and pain as part of life but you believe that everyone can heal, no matter what, what’s your best advice for preventing illness Denis: A large part comes down to understanding the impact these aspects have on our ability to heal and transform. I no longer ‘accept’ what I have been told is true. This can be counterintuitive to people who have spent a while in the self-help and spiritual arenas, because they’re constantly being told to accept what we can’t control or change. If we look at this from a different perspective, life is subjective - what one person thinks they can’t change, another person has already don ‘Acceptance’ and ‘labelling’ are two key ingredients that when added together act like kryptonite to long-term healing and transformation - they postpone our ability to heal ourselves. If you look at a glass and accept that it is a vessel for water. Then it becomes just a vessel for water. However, if you don’t accept it is a water glass what can it become? A paper weight, door stop, rolling pin, stencil, flower pot…the list is vast Now think about the difference between two people sharing a hospital room, both have the same paralysing injury and apocalyptic diagnosis. Why is it one goes on to spend the remainder of their days in a wheelchair while the other makes a partial or full recovery? What’s the difference between the two? One accepted their fate and ‘label’ while the other didn’t Next be aware when you are playing the waiting game. When we don’t get help until the last minute when our symptoms are screaming for attention. We could have listened much earlier when they were a whisper, but we’ve become so good at justifying waiting we revert to one of the oldest coping mechanisms we have - we ‘hope’ it will go away So how can we prevent illness? Don’t complicate it with outdated ‘spiritual’ concepts like ‘acceptance’ or modern day psychological and medical interpretations that like to ‘label’ everything. I make sure that while my clients are on the journey to realising they are a powerful self-healing organism, they also learn how to listen to and recognise the language of their mind-body. And like other languages which have various dialects, we all have different symptoms we can exhibit.

.

www.IamAwareNow.com ?

e

.

.

77 AWARENOW / THE HEART EDITION


Tanith: The current pandemic has created a lot of fear in the world and people will be experiencing stress and anxiety, many for the first time. What should they be doing to help themselves Denis: There’s nothing ‘wrong’ with surviving, especially when it’s an emergency situation, but it’s not a sustainable strategy for life. At some point, if we want optimal performance, at any age, then a brand new mindset is needed, one that no longer has a foundation based on survival-based, control and conquer philosophies. And this is exactly how we are currently approaching COVID-19 We know stress contributes to our health. The question is, what makes us stressed in the first place? It’s our mindset and the way we perceive the world. Put two people in the same situation and one person will become stressed and fearful and the other not. This comes down to experience, skill level, spiritual beliefs or many other things, the point still stands - the individual and their mindset/perception is what determines how they feel and respond My advice for anyone concerned about ‘COVID-19’ or any other label, is to start the process of communicating with their mind-body in a way they would their closest friend and confidant. Have a conversation with your mind-body in the knowing it ‘has your back’ rather than trying to ‘hold you back’. From here possibilities grow, fear declines and we heal ourselves Tanith: You are currently working on your rst book, when can we expect to see it in bookshops and what else do you have in the pipeline Denis: It has been a fascinating process as I keep having new realisations and I love the creative process of writing them down. With that said, I am very con dent that the book will be out this year - I just have to decide if I will selfpublish or get a publisher And as for what’s in the pipeline. Over a decade ago I started dreaming about creating physical healing centres all over the globe, where I would offer these skill sets to the local community. I have just started forming a team to help me bring this to life virtually. It will be an academy that will take people through an immersive and comprehensive journey to learn the philosophy I offer. While that’s going on I will continue to help our corporate clients through our training and development company, RoundTable Global, as well as help individuals through my coaching sessions. ∎

Learn more about Denis www.denisliammurphy.com Follow & connect via Instagram @denisliammurphy TANITH HARDIN Director of International Development, The Legacy Project, RoundTable Global
 www.awarenessties.us/tanith-harding Tanith is leading change management through commitment to the RoundTable Global Three Global Goals of: Educational Reform, Environmental Rejuvenation & Empowerment for All. She delivers innovative and transformational leadership and development programmes in over 30 different countries and is also lead on the international development of philanthropic programmes and projects. This includes working with a growing team of extraordinary Global Change Ambassadors and putting together the Global Youth Awards which celebrate the amazing things our young people are doing to change the world.

?

www.IamAwareNow.com .

fi

fi

:

.

:

?

.

G

.

78 AWARENOW / THE HEART EDITION


What does ‘truth’ really mean? MIKE DIAMOND

TV PERSONALITY, DIRECTOR, INTERVENTIONIST & AWARENESS TIES OFFICIAL AMBASSADOR

79 AWARENOW / THE HEART EDITION

www.IamAwareNow.com


‘THE CONSCIOUS OUTLAW’ EXCLUSIVE COLUMN BY MIKE DIAMOND

TRUTH

WHEN PEOPLE AREN’T LOOKING Truth. We hear the word all the time. It’s become a buzz word echoing through the self help, spiritual world for centuries. Find your truth, be yourself, be authentic, become enlightened. But what does truth really mean?

“…because it’s the right thing to do.” People talk about the importance of culture, values and self improvement. I truly believe our truth is to be compassionate, empathetic and show we have heart and love for each other. It’s easy when we are winning in a feast but what about in the hard times? Being a caring person in a famine shows people who we really are. It’s doing the right thing when people aren’t looking because it’s the right thing to do. Anyone can post a picture on social media giving a homeless person money. Do it when no one is looking, do it because you have a heart. We are all here to nd out potential. Be an engine and drive people. Give light, love and positivity, and be that one person that helps someone shine. Not tomorrow, right now! ∎

MIKE DIAMON TV Personality, Director, Interventionist & Awareness Ties Of cial Ambassador 
 www.awarenessties.us/mikediamond Mike Diamond is a Television Personality, Director, Life Coach, and Interventionist. Known for his work on the hit TV shows NY Ink and Bondi Ink Tattoo Crew, which is currently nominated for a Logie Award for Best Reality Series. Learn more at www.themikediamond.com.

fi

www.IamAwareNow.com fi

D

80 AWARENOW / THE HEART EDITION


Creatively, this observation time is very important. NED STRANGER

SONGWRITER & WRITER

81 AWARENOW / THE HEART EDITION

www.IamAwareNow.com


‘MUSIC WITH MEANING’ EXCLUSIVE COLUMN BY NED STRANGER

SILVER LININGS

A MUSIC INDUSTRY RESET TO A KINDER PERSPECTIVE The complete ‘grind to a halt’ of the music industry (at least, in terms of touring and gigging, for the most part) has at least propagated two silver linings The rst silver lining is that it’s given a lot of musicians a LOT of extra time. Sometimes this isn’t a good thing - you can use those spare hours to think, and it’s (very) easy to overthink, especially in thinking about your goals, your process, your audience But for a lot of people, artists in particular, this time can be channelled into just observing, experiencing the world around you, and rarely are any of us doing too much of that Creatively, this observation time is very important. A lot of my best lyrical and melodic ideas form in a vacuum; when I’m neither doing, nor thinking… they seep into my mind while I’m walking nowhere in particular, or staring out of a window. Often, the busier I am, the less creative I’m able to be

“A step back can change your perspective…” This is probably not news to most people. But more relevant (to an issue centered on kindness and the human heart) is the second silver lining: a reset button, which in turn brings a change of perspective and increased focus on the wellbeing of those around you It’s easy to get caught up in your goals as a musician, the achievements you can use to prove to the people around you (including friends, parents and, yes, yourself) that ‘things are going well’. This success-based mentality is rarely healthy, except insofar as it helps you set your rough strategy and short term goals A step back can change your perspective away from this focus on your own success, which at best is viewed through the lens of what you want to achieve more organically by being a songwriter, and at worst forms a sort of obsession with numbers and validations. Or at least, it has done with me. Instead, I’m now thinking of the broader music industry, seeing the effect a pandemic and its pillage of live music opportunities is having on my friends and colleagues I’ve felt very lucky in that, by spring 2020, I had already decided to take an extended break from touring or regular concerts. I’d spent several summers in a row gigging in a new European city every single week and just wanted a sustained period of time without seeing an airport, hire car, or concert rig. I knew I needed it for the sake of my writing productivity, not to mention my carbon footprint.

.

.

.

www.IamAwareNow.com …

.

.

.

fi

82 AWARENOW / THE HEART EDITION


< Insert text here. >

But the extended break has also allowed me to see things far more from other musicians’ perspectives… It’s helped me realise that, where before I would lter all their successes and beautiful new releases through the lens of my own career and how it related to what I was creating, what I was achieving, now I focus more on them as a human being in the same boat as me, just trying to carve out a living as a creative in a world that is ghting against them It might sound a little mercenary that this is how I used to experience much of the music around me, but in truth (and I am quite tough on myself, especially with things like my thought processes) I have to admit that it took a long break and a reset to realise I was being quite sel sh about my music career. However dif cult things have been (far more for other people), I am at least thankful for the realisations that have not only made me realise how grateful I can be for the positives in my music career, but also more supportive when the live music industry eventually gets back to some semblance of normality. ∎

NED STRANGE Songwriter & Writer
 www.awarenessties.us/ned-stranger Ned is a songwriter, writer and recovering law student.He turned his back on a promising career in the city to focus on his true passions - music and writing - forming indie-folk act August and After with a close friend from university. Several years later, they'd built a loyal London fanbase and toured various European countries, securing millions of online streams across the world and features in The Independent, BBC Radio and numerous of cial Spotify playlists. Ned launched his solo project this year with a series of new singles, exploring the boundaries between indie-folk and electro-pop.

.

fi

www.IamAwareNow.com fi

fi

fi

R

fi

83 AWARENOW / THE HEART EDITION


Here’s the kicker, it’s good for you and the world. JACQUELINE WAY

INSPIRATIONAL KEYNOTE SPEAKER, PHILANTHROPIST & FOUNDER OF 365GIVE

84 AWARENOW / THE HEART EDITION

www.IamAwareNow.com


‘THE WAY TO HAPPINESS’ EXCLUSIVE COLUMN BY JACQUELINE WAY

HOW TO GET HIGH FOR FREE IT WON’T COST YOU A DIME (JUST A LITTLE TIME)

Billions of dollars are spent every year on pharmaceutical and recreational drugs for reasons we have all experienced including stress, anxiety, depression, and pain. We want that “high” that is so addictive will do and try almost anything to get there. What if I told you, you could get it every day, it doesn’t have to cost you a dime and in fact it’s built into our DNA. I’m the first one to admit that I have tried many different methods to create that “high” feeling over my lifetime. Many were not healthy choices or habits I created to numb the stress and pain that life seems to cause us. But I stumbled over a new addiction with my 3-year-old son that gets me “high” every day. Here’s the kicker, it’s good for you and the world. It’s called the “Helper’s High” and our brains and bodies are hardwired for it.

“It’s free, it’s fast and so simple a 3-year-old can do it." In 2014, I took a 365-day journey with my 3-year-old son that led me to understand how every human being is born with the ability to get a natural high, feel happier, reduce stress and increase your wellbeing every single day. It’s free, it’s fast and so simple a 3-year-old can do it. Yes, I did say a 3-year-old. No, we did not sit and meditate on a mountainside in Tibet or walk 1000 km across the desert or ingest some plant-based remedy in search of this high. In fact, it was simple and close to home. We did one thing to give back to the world every day for 365 days. I started this little project with my son thinking I was just teaching my him to be a good, compassionate human being but what I didn’t know is we were setting off a chemical reaction in brains and bodies that made us feel happy, love, motivated and a big high with every act of giving we completed. The Science of Giving (aka: pro social behavior, Random Acts of Kindness, Doing Good) has been studied by neuroscientists and proven by researchers that giving is good for you - mentally and physically. They call it “The Helpers High.” The good news is you do not have to be a neuroscientist to understand it how it works. I didn’t make it past grade 10 science class and I remember it this simple way: GIVING IS YOUR DAILY D.O.S.E OF HAPPINESS. It’s a simple acronym I use to remember some scienti c terms that we should all understand because it affects your health, happiness and can actually increase your life expectancy. And when they say happiness is an inside job they are not kidding - it’s in your DNA.
 
 If you haven’t heard of these special chemicals and hormones in your body let me do a formal introduction. Each play a huge role in our brains and bodies creating feelings of love, motivation, happiness and even pain management. When you learn how you can get all these natural “drugs” ring and wiring together you have become your own personal pharmacists. You will start to rewire brain to see the good and be the good in our world.

fi

fi

www.IamAwareNow.com

85 AWARENOW / THE HEART EDITION


DOPAMINE: THE MOTIVATIONAL (GOOD & BAD) HABIT FORMER You may have heard of dopamine before. It’s been in the news in reference to why people get addicted to video games, social media, porn, drugs – even sugar. It’s our motivation button. Without dopamine you aren’t motivated. It’s the reason procreation happens in humans. Dopamine res when your having sex. It can be “medically” induced with drugs (legal and not) they manufacture it in cigarettes, but it can also be triggered with action. The big brands know this they get you addicted to the dopamine hit and the why we get “addicted” to things like video games, and social media. Dopamine helps form habits that keep you coming back for more. The kicker is it doesn’t last for long and if you want the feeling of motivation and excitement you have to keep coming back for more or you don’t feel so good. It’s why there is a “like” button on all social handles. It brings you back again and again for another dopamine hit. OXYTOCIN: THE LOVE DRUG KEEPS US SOCIAL CONNECTE Oxytocin is all about love. It’s affectionately referred to as the “hugging drug” because it is released by the brain during physical contact with others. It’s the feeling of love, friendship, or deep trust. We know humans are social creatures and oxytocin is the answer to why. One of the huge bene ts to oxytocin is it boosts our immune system and unlike dopamine which is a quick hit to our system that’s eeting, oxytocin has a long- lasting effect that makes us feel calm and safe. The best part is it doesn’t just affect you but everyone you share it with. When you give, or you are kind to another person, they will get an oxytocin hit as well. Giving like love in action and it spreads! SEROTONIN: THE HAPPY HORMONE THAT CREATES POSITIVE FEELINGS Serotonin is that feeling when you cross the nish line. A sense of deep pride and happiness that just courses through your body from head to foot. You may have won an award or you have been recognized for an accomplishment at work or school. It’s positive psychology at its best ooding you body with positive emotions and you didn’t even have to pay to see a therapist. Serotonin makes us feel good but it’s also good for your body increasing your wellbeing and positive body functions. You do not have to be a spiritual guru or win an award every day to get some. This is happiness ring from inside your body with just small intentional acts of giving you are ooding your body with serotonin. ENDORPHINS: THE RUNNERS HIG Have you heard of the term “The Runner’s High?” It’s understood by people that exercise because just when you think you can’t keep going because every muscle in your body hurts your endorphins kick in and you sail to the nish line. Endorphins are essentially released in response to pain. It’s our bodies natural pain killer so skip the opioids and morphine and start giving! You don’t have to run a marathon to getting your endorphins going - a smile to a stranger or good joke for a friend will get your endorphins ring. It really is easy and simple to get a daily DOSE of happiness. If you take just a moment to think that our bodies and brains were made to feel good when we do good is pretty remarkable. After giving for 365 days, I can tell you it’s addictive. I want my “Helper’s High” every day and I have rewired my brain, so I look for opportunities to give. The Key: Make it a daily habit just like brushing your teeth. Your life becomes meaningful and you become so rich in what so many are searching for - happiness every day. ∎ JACQUELINE WA Inspirational Keynote Speaker, Philanthropist & Founder of 365give
 www.awarenessties.us/jacqueline-way Jacqueline Way is a dedicated world changer. Her soul purpose is to inspire and educate the hearts and minds of people globally to create a happy, meaningful life. She expresses her purpose through her charitable organization 365give created and inspired by her son with a simple vision to “Change the World 1 give, 1 day at time.” She is a world-renowned keynote speaker with one of the most watch TEDx Talks “How to Be Happy Every Day – It Will Change the World” Every day she is committed to living the highest expression of who she is as a human being through her work and by touching the lives of others.

fi

fl

D

fi

fi

fl

fl

fi

www.IamAwareNow.com fi

H

Y

fi

86 AWARENOW / THE HEART EDITION


Our soul is connected within our bodies, but it is part of everything in this world. It's part of the environment. OGIMAA (ACHA-KOOH-WAAY), JIM

ANISHINAABE KNOWLEDGE KEEPER, CHIEF OF FOOTHILLS OJIBWAY ON TURTLE ISLAND

87 AWARENOW / THE HEART EDITION

www.IamAwareNow.com


‘FROM THE BEGINNING TO NOW’ EXCLUSIVE COLUMN BY OGIMAA (ACHA-KOOH-WAAY), JIM, ANISHINAABE KNOWLEDGE KEEPER FROM FOOTHILLS OJIBWAY ON TURTLE ISLAND

CREATOR’S CALLING FROM THE BEGINNING TO NOW: LESSON 4

Once again, I'm talking to you from here on what we used to call Kânata, it became Canada. It was one part of this world we call Turtle Island (this includes North America). The Anishinaabe people always maintain the connection to Turtle Island, in spirit. What I mean by that is there are spiritual ties, spiritual connection, in my leadership. People call me Ogimaa (Acha-Kooh-waay), which means leader of the sky. I maintain that, because it has to do with the Spirit. That’s how we had our connection to the beginning of the creation, for this part of the world - Turtle Island. We had everything that’s part of the Spirit. I like to introduce myself, addressing myself, in the language that I was given, in this part of the world called Turtle Island. There is no English word to what I was saying about my clan, about myself being part of this world, or saying what I get from this great land and the world. I'm introducing myself as a leader and my governance at this time, that's part of this world, I call Turtle Island. Creator, God, created everything that we enjoy today. I follow the structure, natural order of everything, as the way it was meant to be. Today, I will talk about what I said in my language. I want to talk about what we are given. Because the creator knew what we were going to need and everything about us. Everything that we need is provided for us. We need to be on this land. We need to be in this world Everybody's part of this in the world. There are other islands like the Turtle Island and this place is known now all over the world as Canada. But the word is Kânata in our language meaning ‘clean land’. Today I want to talk a little bit about how we're connected to everything, and the value for everyone. We must all value water In this part of the Turtle, there’s mountains, and those mountains have symbols. God wrote those symbols himself, because of the rst people of this land. They’re part of who we are. It is part of our own identity. Imagine if you understand that and your connection to that land. You will know the spirit of that land, and of those places… the things that were put there... that have life and also spirit. Spirit in order for things to grow… in order for things to live. It all has to have a spirit, like us as a human... a physical human being. We have a physical life. We also have a spirit life, what we call our soul. Our soul is connected within our bodies, but it is part of everything in this world. It's part of the environment. One of the spiritual connections is to the land and to the water that comes from the mountains, the mountains that I talk about. Those mountains have symbols looking like a human being because it is about life… Because it is about us - spirit. When you go to the mountains… there is snow and it doesn't matter how late in the summertime. There's snow up there in the mountains. Glaciers are in the mountains. There's one part here we call Columbia Ice elds. There are so many other glaciers that are in the mountains here and in other parts of the world.

.

fi

www.IamAwareNow.com

.

fi

88 AWARENOW / THE HEART EDITION


“We must be kind to that spirit in those mountains that the good water is coming from.” Water comes from those glaciers, because mountains have a spiritual responsibility to look after the water and look after the ice migration. At the same time to cool this beautiful earth of ours and keep it cooling down. Then there are the four elements of seasons, that all have a purpose. This is natural and the way God intended it to be, so that water is part of it Water has a purpose. It has the spirit. It has life. It is needed for everything to grow and regenerate life. You are given everything that you need through water. Creator, God, made sure to take care of us. We must take care of the spirit at the same time The glaciers that are in the mountains are not just ice but there is a purpose for it. Those symbols that are there because there are spirits that take care of that part of responsibility for us. It is our responsibility to respect. We must be kind to those mountains. We must be respectful to those mountains. We must be respectful to that spirit that looks after that water in those glaciers and takes care of the water that ows from a mountain… ice cold water… that goes all over the world. There’s way more than that… that's one part of this world. There's mountains as symbols of faces and Creator put those things there for a purpose. Creator has put spirits there for a purpose. God himself put those there and there are different parts of this, or they're in different places. However, you need that water. The plants need that water. Animals need that water. Human beings need that water Future generation, they're going to need food. Our food source needs that water. Potatoes, corn, barley and anything we plan on growing. The spirit is needed to grow. We’re a part of that. It’s very important that we respect that. That's why we must think of the spirits. Everything that we rely on God has given us… to rely on today and tomorrow, and for every future generation. And that's a long time… into the future. We must respect that spirit at the same time We must be kind to that spirit in those mountains that the good water is coming from What if we destroy that spirit… or if we destroy the heart of those rivers, the glaciers, where they come out from those places? That's the heart of the spirit… that's the heart of that water, we enjoy today. They are there for a purpose, to take care of us and to take care of that water Like I said, nothing is going to grow without that water. I don't know how many percent of water in our bodies. We look at the trees. The roots of those trees are rooted to the ground, and those trees need that water. That water goes into the air, to clean air. When you go to the mountains you feel the fresh air. Coming up on the mountains, coming out from the glaciers and coming out on the snow. It melts and it comes down this way. Those headwaters come from those mountains too and many humongous trees. They have a responsibility to the oxygen….as part of the water. A tree doesn't grow or know life if it doesn't have a spirit. Everything that's alive has Spirit. We cannot grow anything without the water because they need it, like the animals that are out there, a deer, caribou, everything. That includes all plants that also have spirit and for some animals those are the only medicines that they have to function.

.

.

.

fl

www.IamAwareNow.com .

.

.

89 AWARENOW / THE HEART EDITION


We need these plants too. They are symbols like the strawberry plant. If you look at it as a symbol of the heart, and it looks like a heart, you will know Creator put it there to connect our hearts to the environment, and it prepares us to stay connected. This has a big part in our lives and everything in the environment That water has a purpose all over the world. Everything needs water and it's heart is in those mountains. Everything that we eat relies on the water. We must take care of it. Creator, gave us this responsibility to respect. Respect the water. We don't go dump things into the ocean. We mustn't go dump anything into the rivers. I see if it's going to make the water stick. I see if it's going to destroy the Spirit. God put those things there for a purpose. Like the mountains. Why did he pile that rock, so high, that snow can always stay up there? It has a purpose for us. We must not go and destroy that spirit, that looks after the environment and looks after us Let's not think short term, and not think 5 to 10 years from now. Think longer... for our future generations so they can enjoy the things that we enjoy today. Because whatever happens to the water… whatever happens today, tomorrow… happens to man, to the food source, to everything. When the water is all contaminated… only then we’ll realize we're doing this to ourselves. We cannot blame anybody. We're doing it to ourselves, and we're doing it to our children, our future generation, our grandchildren... our great grandchildren... the ones that are not even born yet There are ways to work with and respect that spirit with protocol. Not only one side of protocol, there is our side of protocol which is the spirit side on the land we were put in. That is why there is one sun. One air. One human. We are all humans. We all have spirit. We all have soul. And we are all part of this world, part of this great land of ours, and Mother Earth. I’m at the Turtle Island, but these are things I think about. These are things we need to think about because whatever happens to the Anishinaabe, is going to happen to all of us. Everything we enjoy today is not going to be there if we don’t look after the water This is why it is important to understand the spiritual side of us, and the spiritual side of this world….the spirit of the mountains… the water… the foods we enjoy There are workers out there like farmers and sherman that provide food for us. All crops, need water to grow the food to feed the people of the world. It has to have spirit to have life.

.

.

.

fi

www.IamAwareNow.com .

.

90 AWARENOW / THE HEART EDITION


If we destroy a mountain, we destroy a spirit that is there to look after life, and the heart of the water. That’s a disaster. We already know Mother Earth needs us because she is alive. That is why things grow We have to think about that environment we are part of. We depend on the environment. We must take care of and respect the ecosystem… We must respect the spiritual gift we are given, and our own need to be human and spiritual people at the same time. That is why we have soul. That is the way God created everything and wrote those symbols. Water… and life… and spirit are from those glaciers Thank you for listening Migwitc

Respectfully recorded by Kathy Kiss. Edited by Shenna Frencheater. Notes: Creator is Calling. This is part of a series of lessons teaching ancient wisdom, preserved by a true knowledge keeper, who grew up and was educated only in the way of First People. In this lesson, we are called to remember that we are physical and spiritual and interdependent with all of creation. Consider mountains, trees, minerals, water and ice throughout the world. Water migrates… It moves without political boundaries. Consider the activities in mountains throughout the world… every extensive watershed and the interdependence needed for survival. It matters that we protect Mother Earth. ∎

Sleeping Indian Mountain near Jasper Alberta

Sleeping Indian Mountain near Jasper, Alberta Photo Credit: Shenna Frencheater

OGIMAA (ACHA-KOOH-WAAY), JI Anishinaabe Knowledge Keeper, Chief of Foothills Ojibway on Turtle Island
 www.awarenessties.us/ogimaa I am Ogimaa (Acha-Kooh-waay), I begin with words from my own language to say hi to everybody. My identity… which is… because God put me in this part of the world is my Annishinaabe language and name. That means “leader” for people and environment here. So I am not saying I am the leader of Turtle Island but that’s what that means. It is an individual’s name, which is a spirit name that we carry on from our traditional culture and lineage in this part of the world. We were put here on this Turtle. This Turtle Island is massive.

.

www.IamAwareNow.com .

M

.

h

91 AWARENOW / THE HEART EDITION


Integrating emotional intelligence with reason, heart-centered leaders understand that fostering human connection and understanding surmounts being right. KELLY LOVELL

SOCIAL ENTREPRENEUR, SPEAKER & CEO OF BRIDGINGTHEGAP VENTURES

92 AWARENOW / THE HEART EDITION

www.IamAwareNow.com


LEADING WITH HEART SYNCHING WITH THE HEARTBEAT OF HUMANITY

What is the future of leadership? What actions do we need to solve the global challenges humanity faces? Our monthly theme “the truth is in the heart of it all” points us to the answer—leading with our hearts. As a social entrepreneur and global youth ambassador, I have witnessed leadership in action from great leaders of the present and future. I have had the privilege of meeting senior leaders across all dimensions and facets of life— Fortune CEOs, current and former Heads of State, the President of the UN General Assembly and senior policy of cials, and even Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II—along with learning the stories, training and collaborating with the next generation of leaders and young changemakers across 100+ countries. Across generations, borders and roles, there are common traits that make certain leaders I have met memorable and it isn’t their status or triumphs, but rather, their heart.

“…the success of a leader is in uenced more by their capacity to develop emotional intelligence than knowledge and reason alone.” Heart-centered leadership is de ned as having the wisdom, courage and compassion to lead others with authenticity, transparency, humility and service. But what does this really mean and how do we become heart-centered leaders Today, leadership is commonly associated with power, control and authority. There is a discordant belief that a leader must show strength and composure at all times; thus, showing emotion is discouraged. This image of a leader is in direct con ict to the psychology of the mind and how humans create connection. The mind is what sets intelligent life apart. We analyze and base our connection to living things based on the degree in which the entity can feel and exhibit the autonomy to make decisions and act. An entity that feels but doesn’t have autonomy to make decisions is often viewed as inferior and in need of care (e.g. babies, animals etc). That which has autonomy but lacks feeling (e.g. computers, AI) fails to establish an emotional connection with us and we, therefore, typically lack respect for its wellbeing. Without feeling or autonomy, the entity is determined lifeless. And, as you may have guessed, the magic combination for building human connection is for an entity to exhibit both feeling and the autonomy to make decisions. This principle is proven throughout history and sheds light on the reasons why feared leaders lack the loyalty of their people (without demonstrating a capacity to feel and show compassion, followers lack the emotional connection with these leaders) and why leaders like Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., Nelson Mandela were able to mobilize mass movements of change, commanding the hearts of people still to this day Accordingly, leadership cannot exist without feeling and the success of a leader is in uenced more by their capacity to develop emotional intelligence than knowledge and reason alone. A heart-centered leader learns to transcend the dominance of the rational mind and nd power not from control of circumstances and beliefs but rather from within. Integrating emotional intelligence with reason, heart-centered leaders understand that fostering human connection and understanding surmounts being right.

?

fl

.

fl

www.IamAwareNow.com

fi

fi

fl

93 AWARENOW / THE HEART EDITION fi

BridgingTheGap To A Better Future EXCLUSIVE COLUMN BY KELLY LOVELL


“Emotions are not a detriment to leadership, they are the gateway to it.” What would the world be like if we stopped judging facts and instead sought to understand everyone’s perspective and needs? What if we replaced the time we spend casting blame and arguing about who is right with taking personal responsibility in having a part in resolving the situation? How would our lives be different if we prioritized uplifting others, instead of tearing them down to get to the top We must remember it’s lonely at the top because we make it so. Compassion, empathy, kindness, generosity are essential traits found within the hearts of leaders and revered by their followers. When we learn to lead more from our hearts and less with our head, we make these traits part of our daily lives “No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted” - Aesop. Humanity connects on the basis of shared experience and emotion. Our memories are created through feeling. Random acts of kindness are one of the best ways to foster human connection. Through my work, I have traveled around the world, met in uential people, participated in grand events and visited historic places (including Buckingham Palace). When I look back on these experiences, it’s the random acts of kindness that stand out and that I remember in my heart. I recall the time I almost missed my ight home from London because the tube station didn’t have an elevator and how a man helped me carry my 50 lbs suitcase down ve ights of stairs to the tube. I remember when my credit card wasn’t working and the cashier helped pay for my meal. I remember when I wasn’t feeling well and one of my peers left early with me to make sure I got back safe, walking all the way back to the hotel in the rain without an umbrella I remember the young changemakers I have met in my travels, that despite personal tribulations and their own painful experiences, rose above it all to speak up for justice and the human rights of their peers. Every act of kindness, compassion and generosity leaves footprints on the hearts of others that can last throughout lifetimes. You don’t need a title or leadership position to be kind or practice empathy, you need only an open mind and a heart. Emotions are not a detriment to leadership, they are the gateway to it. When we lead with our heart we develop deeper connections with people and ourselves. We learn to listen and respond, instead of reacting to life. We become in sync with the heartbeat of humanity. ∎

KELLY LOVEL Social Entrepreneur, Speaker & CEO of BridgingTheGap Ventures
 www.awarenessties.us/kelly-lovell Kelly Lovell, a 19-time award-winning entrepreneur and three-time TEDx speaker, empowers young people to prepare for the changing workplace and solve global challenges. In addition to being the CEO of BridgingTheGap Ventures and MyEffect, Inc., she is the founder and Global Chair of YOUNGA Forum. Lovell is globally recognized for her expertise in the future of work, youth-led innovation and social entrepreneurship. Her youth networks reach young leaders in 200 countries and her leadership impact has been recognized by distinguished leaders including the Queen of England, former heads of state and representatives of the G7, G20 and the High-Level Political Forum.

.

fl

fl

fi

www.IamAwareNow.com ?

fl

L

.

94 AWARENOW / THE HEART EDITION


No matter how small or oversized the contribution, we all have to take action. ANGELA BUSHESKA

FOUNDER & CEO OF ENROUTE

95 AWARENOW / THE HEART EDITION

www.IamAwareNow.com


EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW SERIES BY ALEXANDER TAYLOR

ARTICLES WITH ALEX FEATURING 1M2030 YOUTH LEADERS

ANGELA BUSHESKA Alexander: Angela, please tell me about yourself

Angela: I am Angela Busheska, a 19-years old unshakable optimist coming from North Macedonia. I am an upcoming engineering student at Lafayette College, innovator and speaker, but before all, I am a big dreamer & doer who is passionate about solving problems I've personally encountered. I try to transform all the negative events of my life into positive solutions, creating a better tomorrow As a victim of severe bullying, I’ve organized a TED-ED anti-bullying campaign on motivating victims to rise through adversity. As an oil spills sufferer, I’ve created an eco-friendly petroleum cleaner to reduce the negative effects caused by the disaster. Last but not least, living close to the most polluted city in the World, Skopje, North Macedonia, I’ve taken a step further and started the organization, EnRoute, to break the stigma that an eco-friendly lifestyle is a huge and expensive transformation. As our masks save lives, our reduced carbon footprint can too Alexander: Tell me about EnRoute Angela: EnRoute (www.enroute-app.com) is an organization that exists to showcase that we don’t need to re-invent the wheel to be more eco-friendly. Our goal is to help, inspire, and educate humanity to harness the small everyday actions and reduce their carbon footprint, one gram at a time. Our method is creating an application for sustainable alterations in each person’s daily lifestyle to create a large collective impact. We utilize the power of technology for good, creating an ecofriendly mobile application that facilitates an entirely personalized and actionable approach through the power and passion of Generation Z The application assists us in traveling with the least CO2 emissions. It helps us to check whether a product is sustainable or organic, while shopping for our goods. To make our experience even better, with each eco-friendly action we take, we receive points that could be later used to receive sustainable rewards. In short, it is the ultimate eco-friendly one-stop-shop, connecting eco-conscious individuals on one side, with eco-friendly businesses on the other Alexander: What inspired you to create the initiative Angela: The capital city of my country, Skopje, has been listed by the World Health Organization amongst the cities in Europe with the highest concentration of CO2 emissions in the air. It is estimated that annually 4,000 people die prematurely because of air pollution. What struck me the most is that even though 77% of the people want to live more sustainably, 61.6% of those surveyed foresee an eco-friendly lifestyle as an overwhelming transformation. The majority of the citizens feel unmotivated to take any action and don’t know how much they pollute the environment. On the other side, those who are aware of the contemporary situation and are exploring additional ways to live ecofriendly fall into the trap of greenwashing. If a corporation’s environmental claims turn out to be false, they could inadvertently contribute to harming the environment instead of acting sustainably by supporting the company. EnRoute would allow for verifying the sustainability of these products. Finally, I decided to raise my voice because we should no longer consider climate action as a privilege. If someone else is living it, we can’t tune it down like a radio song. No matter how small or oversized the contribution, we all have to take action. In alignment with that, I chose to create EnRoute.

.

!

?

.

www.IamAwareNow.com .

.

.

96 AWARENOW / THE HEART EDITION


Alexander: What elements of your journey so far in life have given you the con dence to launch your initiative Angela: I rmly believe that no one is too young, too small, or too uneducated to make a difference. As a young woman in STEM, leading a social enterprise, I want to amplify and stand for my generation's strong voice. Of course, our success would not be possible without the thriving international community that EnRoute has built in less than seven months. Leaping into a bridge year with Global Citizen Academy, I've received powerful skills for a lifetime of social impact, taking leadership as a practice rather than a job title. Collaborating with life-changing organizations as Artem NexGen, Global Changemakers & Seavus Accelerator, not only I've discovered the ultimate beauty of social entrepreneurship but established an incredible network of ground-breaking friends, acquaintances, and mentors who stand behind our progress Additionally, I am really humbled to see that in this stage, EnRoute has been awarded the Social Impact Award of 2020 & The Grand Prize of Girls’ Voices for Change Contest. Last but not least, the greatest motivation comes from the incredible effort of our ambassadors and passionate members. Their actions give me a checkmark that EnRoute is the new wave of change to reduce CO2 emissions, one gram at a time. Alexander: What is your message to your fellow youth Angela: If you think that once the COVID-19 pandemic is over, everything will go back to normal, I am sorry to inform you that the silent pandemic called climate change will still go on. And in fact, in a not-so-quiet manner. In 2020, 2 million people died due to the actual pandemic, but 8 million due to carbon footprint. According to the newest scienti c research, we have less than ten years to save Planet Earth from catastrophes and signi cant destruction But there is still time if we act today! EnRoute is currently Beta Testing its application. We are inclined to hear the impact from change makers worldwide. In less than 10 minutes, you will be able to not only join an international family and reduce your carbon footprint but receive all bene ts of EnRoute, once it is of cially launched. ∎

Let’s harness the power of small activities to make big changes and write history together. 
 Sign up to be a beta tester: www.surveymonkey.com/r/2J9TFKS Learn more about EnRoute: www.enroute-app.com Follow & connect via Instagram @enroute_app

ALEXANDER TAYLO Founder & President of Artem NexGen
 www.awarenessties.us/alexander-taylor Alexander Taylor is a public speaker and youth ambassador that empowers young social entrepreneurs to address societal, community, and environmental issues. He is the Founder & President of Artem NexGen and Youth Ambassador to The Global Challenges Forum in Geneva, Switzerland, representing the 1M2030 Initiative in partnership with the United Nations Institute of Training and Research, as well as an honors student at Morehouse College. He developed Artem NexGen and scaled 1M2030, as international youth leadership organizations, to provide access to professional opportunities for youth leaders of the rising generation and to raise 1 million youth leaders towards UN sustainable development goals beyond 2030 respectively.

fi

?

.

fi

fi

fi

?

www.IamAwareNow.com fi

:

.

R

fi

97 AWARENOW / THE HEART EDITION


WHAT WE HOLD

BY: KRISTEN MARTIN

98 AWARENOW / THE HEART EDITION

www.IamAwareNow.com


‘THE ARTISTRY OF ANXIETY’ EXCLUSIVE COLUMN BY KRISTEN MARTIN

WHAT WE HOLD

AN ARTISTIC EXPRESSION OF ANXIETY From our book, “Your Therapist is Anxious, Too” (www.youranxioustherapist.com), this painting is from the chapter, “What We Hold”

“Our vessels can only store so much…” The idea behind this painting is to urge us to reserve the precious space we have for all that lifts us up, and release what weighs us down. To be purposeful, and mindful of what we choose to hold dear, and what we choose to let go of. Our vessels can only store so much, and it’s important to recognize when we’ve reached our capacity. I loved working with my sister in nding ways to translate these messages into art.

KRISTEN MARTI Broadway Actress, Artist & Awareness Ties Of cial Ambassador
 www.awarenessties.us/jenny-kristen-martin Kristen is a Broadway actress residing in NYC, where she appeared in Wicked and Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark. National Tours include Wicked, A Chorus Line, 42nd Street & Cats. "Through acting we are forced to empathized with, as well as deeply evaluate the human condition. Our mental health journey dictates so much of how we react to each and every moment of our lives as it unfolds. I want people to embrace the great care we should consistently be gifting our minds. I want people to feel comfortable expressing their struggles as well as triumphs. I believe the current stigmas still surrounding mental health is not only primitive but dangerous. I’ve struggled with my own mental health, and my goal is to help break down those barriers surrounding what is simply part of the human experience."

www.IamAwareNow.com fi

N

fi

.

99 AWARENOW / THE HEART EDITION


We are one… Your only challenge in life (if you choose to accept it) is to live fearlessly from this truth. NICK BOTTINI

AUTHOR, SPEAKER & COACH

www.IamAwareNow.com

100 AWARENOW / THE HEART EDITION


‘MUSIC FOR MENTAL WEALTH’ EXCLUSIVE COLUMN BY NICK BOTTINI

ONE LOVE

THE TRUTH ABOUT LOVE In the world of songwriting, the word ‘love’ pops up fairly often. Very often, in fact. There are songs about young love, a new love, a dying love, a lost love, a past love. These romantic songs are probably the ones that rst spring to mind. But, of course, there are also songs about other kinds of love. Songs about family love, or the love of a country, a pursuit or an object. There are also songs about the love of our fellow brothers, sisters and cousins of humanity. And then, to go one level deeper, there are also songs that point to an even more fundamental love than that, a love at the heart of it all. A kind of universal love. A Love Supreme, as jazz titan John Coltrane put it. Though there are various meanings to this word love, if we’re not mindful of them, it can sometimes seem that there is an almost hackneyed side to talking about love at all. It can sound a bit trite. That’s certainly how it used to sound to me. And in certain circles we can think of ‘love’ as a kind of no-go topic because of a fear of it not sounding professional enough. But is it really that inappropriate to suggest that a business could love its customers? Or is it really serving anyone to avoid speaking the fact that a teacher could love his students? Is it really that weird to suggest that a musician could fall in love with her audience, or even with a single note in the practice room? After being loved into being the person I am today by my friends, family, coaches and mentors I don’t think so any more. In fact, to quote the talented Mr Stevie, I think that ‘love’s in need of love today’ Part of the process of training to be a transformational coach has meant that I’ve ended up having a lot of 1:1 coaching myself, in which I’ve had many a limiting belief challenged and softened. And the main thing I’ve noticed over time, as my beliefs have softened, has been that I’ve noticed myself become more loving. Not just to others, but primarily to myself. More kind. More impactful in the world. More self-aware, you might say. I feel like I’m learning to slow down and just be me, and in the process, it seems to help other people too. And because of this (and because of my profession perhaps) it now looks absolutely essential to me for my own development and the bene t of my clients to have my own coach. So to this day, every couple of weeks, I have a regular 1:1 session with an outstanding coach and author by the name of Ankush Jain. Ankush has an amazing ability to be a gentle, yet strong, loving presence in my life. Sometimes in our sessions he will tell me stories about how his thinking, his actions and his life have been changed as a result of a session with another outstanding coach by the name of Steve Chandler, his coach. By the way that he talks about him, Steve has clearly had a huge impact in Ankush’s life, which in turn has impacted me through Ankush’s way of showing up on our calls. But what does Steve (who is also an author) put his transformation down to? In his books he’s written many times about the impact that his coach has had on him. A legendary coach – another Steve – Steve Hardison. So why mention all these coaches and their coaches? Well, because a recent insight that has only really begun to fully sink in for me has been the ripple effect of love. The power of deeply impacting just one person, because it sets up this kind of chain reaction. As a business owner, and especially as someone who is involved in the music industry, it can be common to talk about the impact you make in the world purely in terms of numbers. You might say you have 4,000 Facebook followers, or however many streams on Spotify, but how many people’s lives are you really touching? And it’s as if, increasingly, we are living in a world that praises the shallow interaction with other humans and impatiently fearfully skates over the deep, personal relationships that actually change lives. Just think how rare it is for someone to truly listen to you. Or to do something for you with absolutely no expectation of anything in return. In my line of work I sometimes encounter people who are (innocently) focused on being seen to make an impact, but in the process of chasing the publicity and hedonistic rush of so-called ‘success’, they can miss the truth at the very heart of it all – that being a true, authentic, loving, full expression of yourself in the world and actually taking the time to carefully pour

fi

fi

www.IamAwareNow.com

.

101 AWARENOW / THE HEART EDITION


your full presence into loving is the single most valuable thing you can do. And even more than that – it doesn’t just have to be with the people you feel you are supposed to love, like family and friends. It can be done with everyone you encounter. Every object even. But here’s the rub – this means being able to love those who can seem to annoy or trigger us. And the same goes for those who we’ve been conditioned to ignore. Or those who we think reject us. Why? Because an even more fundamental, yet challenging truth is that when it comes to loving ‘others’, it turns out there aren’t any.

“Love is what you are, not what you do or feel.” Spiritual teachers may talk about oneness, or universal mind, or God’s loving presence, but at the heart of any form of spiritual teaching is the discovery that loving (and fully experiencing) ‘others’ is in fact loving yourself, and this I don’t just mean poetically or metaphorically. I really want to underline this. I mean it quite literally. We often presume a kind of inherent separation between these apparently separate entities we call ‘people’ and that somehow it’s as if the sense of sharing a Being (a togetherness, a oneness) can only be experienced as a kind of illusion of your nite human mind. This is like treating the feeling of love as if it’s merely a temporary mood swing. But instead I’d offer this – what the gurus throughout the ages have actually been pointing to is that it actually works completely the opposite way around. It is the assumed separation that is the illusion. And it is the oneness that is the pre-existing fact. Love is what you are, not what you do or feel. Because who you truly are is universal awareness. Steve Chandler describes this same-other paradox beautifully in his book Creator, a book that I highly recommend and have started gifting to clients. He says ‘we are the multiple personalities of God’. Now, I’m not religious, but as far as I can tell, although we may seem at times to be physically separate, whenever I’ve taken the time to really investigate this, I’ve found that spiritually we seem to be truly one. One Love We are love itself, but we have the ability to forget that. Who you are is love, is oneness, but a oneness that can sometimes masquerade as separate from itself. In truth, however, there is no separation. There is no separation. Never has been. You are love. You are me. You are because I am. We are one. And your only challenge in life (if you choose to accept it) is to live fearlessly from this truth.

You may say I'm a dreamer But I'm not the only one I hope someday you'll join us And the world will be as one Lyrics from ‘Imagine’ by John Lennon

NICK BOTTIN Author, Speaker & Coach
 www.awarenessties.us/nick-bottini Nick Bottini is the author of the number one bestseller Just Play: The Simple Truth Behind Musical Excellence which was endorsed by Grammy winners, music industry professionals and mental health experts. Nick is also a speaker and transformational coach to the music industry and for over ten years has worked with musicians at all levels from competition winners, child prodigies, entrepreneurs, conservatoire students, sports people, to aspiring professional musicians and international rock stars. For more info about Music For Mental Wealth visit: musicformentalwealth.com

fi

.

www.IamAwareNow.com

I

102 AWARENOW / THE HEART EDITION


NOW AVAILABLE ON AMAZON


THROUGH THESE STORIES WE SHARED

I AM AWARE NOW. www.IamAwareNow.com

R E A D , L I S T E N & WAT C H

T h e M a g a z i n e , T h e P o d c a s t & T h e Ta l k S h o w