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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

TRAFFICK TO TRIUMPH ELIZABETH FRAZIER

(ON THE COVER)

A SURVIVOR WITH BANDS OF SUPPORT

SPEAKING HUMAN SIMON MARMOT

THE FREEZE FRAME MARY DAVID

HIDING IN PLAIN SIGHT NICK BOTTINI

THE COMMON THREAD JACQUELINE WAY

SOL RISING & SHINING DJ SOL RISING

MANOLO’S MONUMENTS MANOLO VALDÉZ

SLEEP SURRENDER

LAURA WESTCOTT & CHRIS MARSHALL

THE HUMAN EXPERIENCE MIKE DIAMOND

STOLEN DREAMS

ISHAAN SHAH/TANITH HARDING

THE HUMAN EDITION

STORIES THAT TIE US ALL TOGETHER

AWARENOW

ISSUE 12


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 HUMAN 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. 

06 A NEW PANDEMIC

32 CLIMB EVERY MOUNTAIN

74 STOLEN DREAMS

08 THE HUMAN EXPERIENCE

38 MANOLO’S MONUMENTS

78 TO BE HUMAN

10 TRAFFICK TO TRIUMPH

46 ANCHORS IN A STORM

80 THE FREEZE FRAME

18 HIDING IN PLAIN SIGHT

50 THE CAPTION OF MY SOUL

84 A REDIRECTION OF REJECTION

22 INNER CHILD

54 SLEEP SURRENDER

88 ENDING EXPLOITATION

24 SOL RISING & SHINING

62 SPEAKING HUMAN

92 CREATOR’S CALLING

28 NO CAUSE & NO CURE

71 THE COMMON THREAD

96 DEAR DR. JENNY

CYNTHIA KOHLER

PROVIDENCE BOWMAN

MANOLO VALDÉZ

MIKE DIAMOND

JOEL CARTNER

ELIZABETH FRAZIER

STEPHANIE

NICK BOTTINI

LAURA WESTCOTT & CHRIS MARSHALL

KRISTEN MARTIN

SIMON MARMOT

DJ SOL RISING

JACQUELINE WAY

CHARLOTTE ALEXANDRA

ISHAAN SHAH/TANITH HARDING JACK MCGUIRE MARY DAVID

NED STRANGER

MEENAL SACHDEV/TANITH HARDING OGIMAA, CHIEF & KNOWLEDGE KEEPER DR. JENNY MARTIN

I AM AWARE NOW.

www.iamawarenow.com

WWW.IAMAWARENOW.COM

AWARENOW / THE HUMAN EDITION

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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

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As we welcome in a new year, it’s impossible not to look back at 2020 and quite quickly realize it was one of the hardest year many of us have ever endured, we saw a global pandemic take over 400,000 lives just here in America and over 2 million world wide. Too many of our lives will never be the the same after 2020. We also saw a political wave of uncertainly and unrest wash over us - something that has also affected so many in so many ways from a lack of urgency on environmental matters to the massive societal issues we still face with race and equality. 2020 was an absolute eye opener for causes I had thought we had progressed further in. I read something that has stuck with me, and I feel so many can relate: “The world hasn’t changed, you can just see it differently now.” There comes a time when the harsh realities must be seen and heard, in order for us to become aware and then to act for positive change. What we can all take into 2021 is hope and the knowledge that we all endured 2020 together. With raised awareness we can move forward with con dence and conviction taking responsibility in 2021 for creating a better future. I know times are tough, but I know we are tougher than any obstacle man made or otherwise. Awareness Ties, through our AwareNow Magazine, Podcast and Talk Show, pledge to raise awareness and promote actions for positive and sustainable social change. We will no longer as for permission to change the world. However, we will ask you to join us as we change it together. Please subscribe (for free) to support: www.awarenessties.us/subscribe

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.AWARENESSTIES.US LINKEDIN.COM/COMPANY/AWARENESSTIES INSTAGRAM.COM/AWARENESSTES TWITTER.COM/AWARENESSTIES

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Human traf cking lies behind a mask laden in manipulation and coercion. PROVIDENCE BOWMAN

AWARENESS TIES PROJECT MANAGER & COLUMNIST WWW.IAMAWARENOW.COM fi

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PERSONAL STORY BY PROVIDENCE BOWMAN

A NEW PANDEMIC

THE MASKED CRISIS OF HUMAN TRAFFICKING We have been living in a time where a pandemic has consumed our lives for the past year. A virus that has affected every single one of our lives. Coronavirus has spread like wild re. An event that has not left our news stream; an event that has played a role in everyday life of 2020. Human traf cking is a silent pandemic. A pandemic that hides behind multi million dollar companies and unregulated labor laws, pictures of women on websites and people who simply thought they were making the best decision to provide for their families. Many of us have been taught to believe that slavery was abolished the moment Congress passed the 13th Amendment on Decemeber 18th 1865, but globally there are 40.3 million victims of human traf cking in this given moment. Human traf cking is one of the most diverse crimes in our world. It is modern day slavery that does not discriminate gender, sex, race or where you call home. Human traf cking is a crime that denies tens of millions of people in this world the freedom that they deserve. Human traf cking is something that happens under our noses, appears in the news everyday, and happens around the world. It is a crime that can be found in every corner of the globalized world that we live in, including our own. We have seen many unprecedented crisis rear their ugly heads this year in the United States; astronomical unemployment rates, a global pandemic, heightened mistrust in many public institutions, and an ever growing systemic racial and economic inequality. These factors are a perfect storm for human traf cking; a recipe for social outcomes that can have a profound impact in the United States. We hear of human traf cking in sweat shops, red light districts, and surrounding international borders. If we look a little closer we can see that human traf cking is also prevalent in our suburbs, rural towns, and our cities. We hear of girls being exploited for the use of pornography and photos, we hear of the boys being drafter to become child soldiers, we see the women becoming mail order brides in order to provide for their families back home. The power and danger that lies in human traf cking is that there is no one way to do it. There is not a single strategy, a particular way one nds themself in that industry. There are many paths that lead to a horrible outcome. Human traf cking lies behind a mask laden in manipulation and coercion. A mask of false promises of a better life, a place to live, and money. A deep rooted issue that stretches into our economy, international relations, and government. An issue that plays a role in the lives of those that are rich and poor, our neighbors and those who live 1000 miles away, men and women. There is no easy way to solve a global pandemic; there is no one way to solve a global pandemic. Slavery still exists, and it is the most pro table and omnipresent as ever. We can take action everyday by starting with awareness. By acknowledging that slavery is present, and that it is going to take a global battle cry and everyday action to put an end to the silent suffering of millions. 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”.

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We can’t wait for the change. We must create the change. MIKE DIAMOND

TV PERSONALITY, DIRECTOR, INTERVENTIONIST & AWARENESS TIES OFFICIAL AMBASSADOR AWARENOW / THE HUMAN EDITION

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‘THE CONSCIOUS OUTLAW’ EXCLUSIVE COLUMN BY MIKE DIAMOND

THE HUMAN EXPERIENCE DON’T WAIT FOR CHANGE. CREATE IT.

The start of 2021 has shown us that we still have a lot of spiritual work to do. The underlying anger and frustration keeps us divided when we need to come together now more than ever.

“We must sit in silence alone and listen to it.” Personally, I believe we are all spirits having a ‘human experience’. However, the opposite seems to be true right now. Thinking with a scarcity mindset and attacking each other brings us no happiness or peace There is an intelligence that connects us all We must sit in silence alone and listen to it. This source connects us all. It doesn’t separate us. Unfortunately, people are afraid to go within. There is a famous saying, “If you don’t do the work in the darkness, you will be exposed in the bright lights.” Right now, we can see that so many people haven’t done the work that needs to be done. We must come together as spiritual beings having a human experience and knowing we all share one divine creator. We can’t wait for the change. We must create the change.

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.

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I got through the unimaginable. ELIZABETH FRAZIER

HUMAN TRAFFICKING SURVIVOR, FOUNDER OF HERO BANDS

10 AWARENOW / THE HUMAN EDITION

WWW.IAMAWARENOW.COM


EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH ELIZABETH FRAZIER

TRAFFICK TO TRIUMPH A SURVIVOR WITH BANDS OF SUPPORT

“There are times when you see and hear a story that brings you to tears instantly. This is one of those stories. Please note that in this instance the tears are attributed to both sorrow and joy - sorrow for innocence lost and joy in strength found. The story of Elizabeth Frazier is one I’ll never forget. It is my hope that you won’t either. It’s my hope that you will remember and remind others of the reality of traf cking. Once you hear her story, my hope is that you’ll share it, as awareness needs to be raised and action needs to be taken to stop a crime against our youth that is often hidden in plain sight. The voiceless need a voice. Let that voice be hers, yours and ours.” -Allié M.

“The earliest memory I have of being sold for sex was age 4.” There are times in life that are hard. Some days I didn’t think I could get out of bed. And, if I’m being completely honest, I still have days like that—more than I’d like to admit to When I was younger, I seemed to have the perfect childhood. Everyone that saw me or knew me thought that I lived a charmed life. However, behind the scenes was a completely different story I endured severe abuse for 20 years. I was also sexually traf cked. The earliest memory I have of being sold for sex was age 4. As a child, I didn’t realize how wrong those things were. I was told I was special and loved, but love was used as a weapon to keep secrets. I was threatened with many things, but losing the love of my parents was threat enough to keep me quiet as a child. I didn’t want to be the one to destroy my family. I didn’t realize until adulthood that I was never truly loved or protected As a teenager I started cutting, hitting, or doing anything I could to hurt myself—partly because I hated myself and partly because I felt nothing. Physical pain was a small something I could feel. It allowed me to nally feel some release and control over my life. Self harm is something not understood by many and I was looked at as ‘crazy’ and mentally unstable when, in reality, I was just in so much anguish for the things going on in my life that I didn't know what else to do The traf cking continued into my early 20's, when I nally moved out of state with my husband and son. My life, my husband's life, and my son's life were being threatened and it wasn't until we moved that I felt safe enough to cut off contact with those from my past. It was time. I needed to focus on healing and on the little family I was building I began to realize how the abuse I suffered started to destroy me. The shame I felt almost killed me - literally. I attempted suicide in 2009. Luckily, God wasn’t ready for my life to be over. He knew I still had things to do.

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“I have forgiven, but not forgotten.” The demands of living a functional life were hard enough. Postpartum depression got worse with every baby. It was a spiral of despair that I couldn't see an out from. I would sob for hours a day. My entire body hurt from the crippling depression that came on more suddenly than I was used to. I wanted a mom - someone to hold me, so that I could feel unconditional love pour over me. I wanted a mom to swoop in and play with my other kids while I took a nap. I wanted a mom who I could cry on. I wanted to be cared for. I missed the idea of a mom; I missed what I wanted to be real. I still miss that nurturing in uence, but I have learned to be that for my kids and, in turn, for myself After years of therapy, the patience of an incredible husband, and a few other heroes, my life is now one lled with love. Real love. It took a lot of work, and I had to go to some really dark places, but I did it. I have forgiven, but not forgotten. The scars I have from hurting myself have faded a lot, but I am grateful for them. I look at them and they remind me that I am a warrior. I got through the unimaginable - Elizabeth Frazie Founder of Hero Bands

ELIZABETH’S STORY THE POWERFUL, PERSONAL STORY OF A FAMILIAL TRAFFICKING SURVIVOR

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Allié: Familial traf cking (the abuse or exploitation of a victim at the hands of someone they know) happens more than people know. Family is supposed to provide safety. When it was your own family involved in your traf cking, where did you nd any sense of safety while growing up Elizabeth: As a child, the safest place I felt was at school. My 5th grade teacher in particular really helped me feel loved and cared for. It was the rst place I remember feeling safe. Ever since then, I have searched for places and people that make me feel the same way she did. Allié: Survivors of traf cking are often scared, ashamed and embarrassed about speaking to others, especially those closest, about their experience. What advice would you give for survivors trying to nd their voice? Do you think talking about it is necessary for healing? Elizabeth: I can only talk from my own experience, and it has been very healing for me. It has also been very painful at times and I have sometimes wondered if sharing was the right thing to do. I know for me it was, but I also know that it isn’t something all survivors need to do. My advice is to learn to trust yourself. If it feels right to share and you feel safe in doing it, take small steps in sharing what you are ok with. Some people may not be able to handle it, and that’s ok. It’s painful when that happens, but eventually your people will nd you. And all the pain will have been worth it...eventually. Allié: If you are being traf cked, what is the rst step you need to take to escape it Elizabeth: This looks different for everyone and I really wish there were a one size ts all check list. I had to learn to feel safe within myself and then slowly started nding people I felt safe with. And I would spend as much time around those people as I could, which helped me grow stronger and more con dent. Once I felt safe within myself and had a network of people I felt safe with, I was ready to break away and involve law enforcement if necessary, which was also scary. Just know every tiny step you take will be terrifying, but breaking away, getting therapy, wearing my Hero Bands and loving myself is what nally brought me peace.

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The scars I have from hurting myself have faded a lot, but I am grateful for them. ELIZABETH FRAZIER

HUMAN TRAFFICKING SURVIVOR, FOUNDER OF HERO BANDS WWW.IAMAWARENOW.COM

14 AWARENOW / THE HUMAN EDITION


“Hero Bands was started with the hope of giving hope…” For the past few years I have worn what I call my Hero Bands. I have many, all with different words. When I wake up in the morning I go to my dresser and look at all my Hero Bands. I have 20 or more to choose from. I think about what I need most that day. Sometimes it's peace, sometimes it's strength, sometimes it's both - so I wear two. Actually, I'm pretty much always wearing two. They remind me of what I want to be, of who I really am. Because, honestly, I still often forget Words are powerful things. They can change our way of thinking, our views, and our actions - for good or for bad. Hero Bands are a daily reminder of who we are and who we want to be Maybe you can relate to some of this story, and maybe you can’t. But, we’ve all been through hard things. We aren’t here to compare trials or judge others. We are here to lift and help each other through those hard times. Whether it’s the death of a loved one, illness, miscarriage, abuse, depression, anxiety, work, kids, nances, marriage, or any other number of struggles, we all know what heartache feels like. The cause of the pain may be different, but the feelings are the same My intention in sharing my story is not to draw attention or upset anyone. My intention is to give others hope that life can still be amazing, no matter what we've gone through. Hero Bands was started with the hope of giving hope - to give a daily reminder that life is worth living, that we can do hard things and get through hard things Because I was sexually traf cked, I’ve chosen to donate $2 for every item purchased to charities dedicated to helping stop sex traf cking - Elizabeth Smart Foundation and Fight The New Drug (FTND) You can also DONATE A SAFE BAND for a child that has been rescued from sex traf cking. When you purchase one of these bands, we stamp your initials next to an encouraging word, so each child knows there is a real person that cares about them and is invested in their recovery. You'll receive an email with a photo of your donation before it's mailed to OUR. Their director of aftercare delivers the bands personally to each child. All ‘Safe Bands’ bands made at cost for kids rescued from sex traf cking, are donated to Operation Underground Railroad so that every rescued child knows they are seen and loved from someone around the world - Elizabeth Frazie Founder of Hero Bands

Want a Hero Band for yourself or for someone you care about Visit www.herobands.com Use the code ‘AwarenessTies’ for a 15% discount.

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‘MY REFRAIN’ ORIGINAL POETRY BY ALLIÉ MERRICK MCGUIRE

NO THANKS

I’m dedicating this piece to an acceptance of errors - those I’ve made in the past and those that I’ll make in the future. Regardless of when they occurred, I accept that I am human and innately will error from time to time. This piece is also dedicated to my recent diagnosis of MS - my acceptance of the condition, all the things it changes, and all the things it doesn’t.

I don’t feel the need To bind words In an electronic stat In a word document Or excel workshee No cells for my syllables Than you very muc I’m touche If my words not carefully spelle Are misspelle I forgive myself for tha And applaud my attemp To employ applaudable vocabular In a grammatically simplistic societ If I’m to be called the oddit

I’m od And that’s fin These words are min I own thes So pleas If you need a wor But a fancier versio Control Shift F7 Will provide a conversio No need to open a book to fin Words not networked to your min Let your fingers do the talkin Click, click, click, clic Put down the pape Toss out the Bi

Your quic Not m I’m slo I write as I g And I don’t feel the nee To bind words In an electronic stat In a Word documen Or Excel workshee No cells for my syllables Than you very muc I’m touched

NO THANKS

AN ACCEPTANCE OF ERRORS (AND MS)

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What we can easily overlook is the mind’s innate ability to quieten all by itself. NICK BOTTINI

AUTHOR, SPEAKER & COACH

18 AWARENOW / THE HUMAN EDITION

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HIDING IN PLAIN SIGHT THE TRUTH (WITHIN) WILL SET YOU FREE

Allow me to describe something that you will no doubt have noticed – you know this feeling. Maybe you’ve recently taken some days off. Perhaps in the past you’ve been on a holiday, or you’ve at least managed to get a change of scenery. Maybe you switched off the screens for a few hours, had something of a digital detox and you found the space for some quality alone time with a good book. Or, just possibly, you’ve been delightfully absorbed by something for a few hours – be it baking, playing a musical instrument, painting, or gardening – in some ways, the task itself here is irrelevant. But whatever the apparent reason, most of my clients have noticed speci c moments in their lives when instead of the mind racing, it seems to quieten and thinking appears to come to a natural stop, or at least they stop noticing it in quite the same way. They express this kind of moment in all sorts of different ways. They might say, ‘I was able to fully relax’. Or, ‘I managed to switch off’; ‘I unplugged’; ‘I connected with myself’; ‘I really lost myself in the moment’. This kind of occurrence is, of course, very pleasant and because we can often want to hold on to it or recapture it, we can end up going looking for an external cause. ‘Why did I feel so good?’, we ask. We might put this mystical mental quietness down to the holiday. Or the task. Or a meditation practice. But because of that, what we can easily overlook is the mind’s innate ability to quieten all by itself

“A world of personal thinking with information, facts and gures, but all of it grounded in beliefs we either adopted or rejected.” Here’s the reason why this peace of mind, this sense of wellbeing, can seem elusive: because of our conditioning. As soon as you rst began to learn language, you started to feed the world of labels and beliefs. The creation of the intellect. A frame of seemingly ‘personal’ thinking. And it’s a very valuable ability to have, especially to the child that is making sense of the world for the very rst time. This labelling helps you distinguish one part of the continuous, in nite psychological experience from another. It is how you claim the body as ‘you’, for example. It is how you compare one object of experience to another. At school we use it to learn historical dates or scienti c formulas. Words in a foreign language. We learn to repeat other people’s ideas. We adopt those ideas as traditions and cultures – rules for how the world ‘should’ be. We study certain academic procedures. A world of personal thinking with information, facts and gures, but all of it grounded in beliefs we either adopted or rejected. This intellectual framing of reality can claim to be a kind of intelligent super-computer that we constantly need to exercise lest we lose something essential. We reward children for nurturing their ability to intellectualise, but too easily we can surreptitiously teach them that the intellect is king and that intuition is the poor relative. Anyone reading this who considers themselves an artist, a musician, a creative or a spiritual being knows that this is faulty logic though. There’s a spurious Einstein quote that’s done the rounds for several years now that goes something like this: ‘The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honours the servant and has forgotten the gift.’ Now, while those words themselves may not be those of the great physicist (though it is well-known that Einstein did in fact work very intuitively), something important was being pointed at, I feel. If you believe that intellectualising (or ‘thinking’) is a virtue and is somehow what you tacitly derive your value as a human being from, then subconsciously it’s not a huge leap to believe also that it is somehow negligent or unintelligent to allow the mind to sit idle for a while. How many times in your life have you been told (or told others) to ‘concentrate’, or ‘think’, or ‘make an effort’ or ‘remember’ something important? And we wonder why we nd it hard to stop overthinking!

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‘MUSIC FOR MENTAL WEALTH’ EXCLUSIVE COLUMN BY NICK BOTTINI


“…what might your life be like if you could spend it more intimately knowing your own ‘being’, rather than trying to become a human doing or a human thinking?” So here’s a little experiment for you, and just allow yourself to really slow down as you do this. Hear between the words. Wherever you are reading this article. Just stop. Right now. Imagine that you are a new born baby with no knowledge of language. No sense of any ‘past’. No expectation of any ‘future’. No sense of culture or tradition. You return to the same pure awareness, free from all belief, that you were the day you were born. All you know is right here. Right now. In the truth of your own direct experience. What happens when these words slow and quieten and you just allow yourself to be? You momentarily step off the hamster wheel of adulthood, just like you do anyway on the meditation cushion; or on the beach; or in the practice room; or in the kitchen; or anytime the monkey mind disappears. Come back and rest as your being. Awareness. Consciousness. After the experiment you can return to these words and consider this: what might your life be like if you could spend it more intimately knowing your own being, rather than trying to become a human doing or a human thinking? You live each day as if it were your rst. What might you see with a wide-eyed fresh perspective? What would you question or discard that had otherwise made complete sense whilst on blind autopilot? What might you take a stand for? It’s funny – sometimes it’s these details that are closest to us that we are most blind to. It can be hard to stay open minded about the people closest to us, for example. But even closer to us than the dearest people in our lives are the false beliefs we cling to. The invisible beliefs we have that don’t seem like beliefs. The ones that look like facts. And as we get closer still, you start to look at the so-called ‘facts’ about yourself. The ‘I can’ts’, and the ‘I ams’. And, ultimately, the closer to reality you get, you end up with self-enquiry. Who am I? And then you come full circle, you come home, because you discover that that same silence that sometimes mysteriously emerges spontaneously, might just actually be who you are, rather than a pleasant feeling that you accidentally stumble across What if the most overlooked, and underestimated part of the quest for wellbeing, resilience and heaven on earth is that you already have - everything you seek within you. But truly – not just poetically or metaphorically. Not you the body. You the essence. To close, this is how the author Sydney Banks once put this pathless path into words “You’re searching for silence…everybody in the universe searches for silence…whether they know it or not…because everybody in the universe is that one, same, superconscious state…playing the game of life. And in this game of life we all search for ourselves. Now that’s just words saying ‘we all search for ourselves’. When I say ‘selves’ I mean inner selves… the thing that created the life in the rst place.”

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

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NOW AVAILABLE ON AMAZON


INNER CHILD

BY: KRISTEN MARTIN

22 AWARENOW / THE HUMAN EDITION

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‘THE ARTISTRY OF ANXIETY’ EXCLUSIVE COLUMN BY KRISTEN MARTIN

INNER CHILD

AN ARTISTIC EXPRESSION OF ANXIETY When my sister and I rst started circulating ideas about our book, she would send me chapter topics/themes, and I would attempt to bring that message to life in a painting. Of course it was my personal interpretation, but I also wanted it to resonate with the readers. I loved creating this particular painting entitled, “Inner Child”, because it was such a wake up call to myself. As we get older we start to weigh ourselves down with layers of expectation, disappointment and insecurity. Imagine piling all of that negativity onto the shoulders of the child we once were. If we simply take a moment and connect back to our child within, how would we care for that child now? How deep would our empathy run for that sweet, innocent and open hearted being I hoped this painting would remind us all to be kind to ourselves. To give ourselves room to breathe and grow. To speak to ourselves the way we would speak to our inner child, and to be patient and loving to the person that child became.

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."

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With my music, I hope to uplift humanity and awaken others to nd the calling within. SOL RISING

INTERNATIONAL DJ, PRODUCER & OFFICIAL AMBASSADOR FOR AWARENESS TIES

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SOL RISING & SHINING

AN INTERNATIONAL DJ SUPPORTING THE HUMAN CAUSE Love at rst listen. This is a common response to the music of Sol Rising. Producing tracks with the ability to transcend standard genres and limitless labels, he taps into 'the human element' that ties us all together. As we launch the AwareNow Podcast, www.awarenowpodcast.com, we will raise awareness with the music of Sol Rising setting the tone with beautiful beats for each story told. Also honored to have Sol Rising a member of the Awareness Ties family as an Of cial Ambassador: www.awarenessties.us/solrising Sol Rising’s original soundscapes evoke feelings of inspiration and bliss through an eclectic mix of electronic music, mid-tempo, downtempo, chill-trap, ambient and loBorn in Vancouver BC, raised in Fair eld Iowa, Sol Rising began meditating at age four with a walking mantra technique. His mother took him to visit numerous spiritual teachers, who inspired him on the spiritual path he walks today. As a teenager, he became a hip hop fanatic. His rooted interest in hip hop led him to learning the art of scratching — using turntables as musical instruments. Sol Rising soon became one of America’s top scratch DJs, winning second place at the DMC, the world’s most prestigious DJ competition and rst place at Scribble Jam, the same competition that Eminem competed in along with other notable underground artists After graduating in the top 5% of his accounting class at University of Iowa, he realized accounting was not his path. A journey to India illuminated his true calling — to light up people’s awareness of their true nature through music. This led him to study audio engineering and production at Pyramind Studios in San Francisco, CA

“Music is air. Breathe in. Breathe out.” 


Now a successful Producer with 19 albums released, Sol Rising has been streamed over 65 million times on Spotify and Apple music. He has licensed music for brands such as Apple, Clarks Shoes, Hotels.com, Snapchat, Airbnb and US Polo as well as a placement in Academy Award winning director Paolo Sorrentino’s latest lm “Loro.” Sol Rising has been featured in major media outlets including The Washington Post and Yoga Journal. Sol Rising is an international touring DJ playing festivals in the US, Canada, Europe, Asia and Australia at festivals such as Wanderlust, Burning Man and Lightning in a Bottle.

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FEATURE STORY ON SOL RISING


DJ Competition Highlights 2002 Scribble Jam Champion
 2003 Washington DC DMC Champion
 2003 DMC Battle for US Supremacy Runner-up
 2004 Kansas DMC Champion
 2004 Vinyl Kombat Boulder Champion
 2003 DMC US Finals 4th Place
 2004 DMC US Finalist
 2004 Vinyl Kombat US Finalis 2012 DMC SF Champio 2012 DMC US Finals 4th Place Event Highlights and Venues

Opening Act

Wanderlust Festival, Burning Man, Lightning in a Bottle,

Steel Pulse, Matisyahu, Slick Rick, KRS-One,

Symbiosis, Techno Tribal (Harmony Festival); 4500 People,

Rahzel, Ja Rule, Zion I, Chali Tuna, Collie Buddz,

Earthdance Main Stage DJ, Oregon Country Fair, Northwest

Arrested Development, Dead Prez, Lyrics Born,

Reggae Festival, Summer Meltdown, Mystic Garden Party,

Brass Bows and Beats, Mountain Brothers,

Benbow Music Festival, Slims, Temple SF, Supper Club, 1015

Beatjunkies, Atmosphere, Brother Ali, Eydea and

SF, Shattuck Downlow, House of Blues Chicago, House of Blues

Abilities, Cannibol Ox, Murs, DJ Vadim, Abstract

Las Vegas, Nation Washington D.C., Dalai Lama San Jose Event

Rude, Beats Antique, The Polish Ambassador

THE JOURNEY SOL RISING

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For so long I thought my path was one of numbers, columns and rows. Then my numbers became notes, as my columns became beats. My rows became rhythms. SOL RISING

INTERNATIONAL DJ, PRODUCER & OFFICIAL AMBASSADOR FOR AWARENESS TIES

27 AWARENOW / THE HUMAN EDITION

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There was nally proof that my pain was not just a part of ‘normal’ life… CHARLOTTE ALEXANDRA

FOUNDER & CEO OF ELEVEN11 MEDIA NETWORKS WWW.IAMAWARENOW.COM fi

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EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH CHARLOTTE ALEXANDRA

NO CAUSE & NO CURE

AN EMPATHETIC EXPLANATION OF ENDOMETRIOSIS As the saying goes, ‘you don’t know what you don’t know’. Endometriosis is one of those conditions with no cause and no cure that goes ‘unknown’ by many who have it and many more who don’t. Charlotte Alexandra is working to change that. - Allié M. Allié: Currently, 1 in 10 women (ages 12 - 52) are affected by endometriosis. 200 million women worldwide suffer from this condition that has more variables than constants. You are one of them, Charlotte. With no known cause and no known cure, how do you make yourself feel better?
 
 Charlotte:  According to my family I’ve always been a ‘survivor’. First of all, I was born 2 ½ months prematurely and doctors feared I might not make it, but I never gave up the ght. In my early teens, doctors said I would end up in a wheelchair due to a severe hip dysplasia from the prematurity, but by luck I received my rst pair of high heels for my 13th birthday and found they not only assisted me in walking but also in gaining more con dence - providing me with a sense of female empowerment & fearlessness. It was a feeling that made me realise that despite the odds it was possible to turn a negative situation into something positive About 2 years ago, around my 35th birthday, I discovered I have Endometriosis, commonly known as polycysticovaries syndrome. It’s a condition affecting more than 10 percent of the female population. However, a lot of women don’t even realize they have it or think it’s a part of normal monthly PMS. Similar to PMS, symptoms of Endometriosis include painful periods, heavy bleeding, fatigue and hormonal imbalances. In some cases, Endometriosis can lead to infertility. After struggling with immense pain for more than 30 years for at least 2 weeks a month, there was nally proof that my pain was not just a part of ‘normal’ life, and despite the fact that I looked ne on the outside, I had in fact been suffering from a hidden disability. Although the diagnosis came as quite a shock, there was also a sigh of relief, and instead of focusing on the negative, I once again decided to focus on the positives. I decided I was going to help women around the world by creating more awareness about this condition and inspire people to stay positive and reach their goals in life despite their hurdles. My personal mantra has always been, “Whatever happens, good or bad, you decide if you’re happy or sad. Personally, I have discovered that meditation, a healthy balanced diet, no alcohol and most importantly surrounding myself with like-minded, inspirational people has had a positive impact on my condition.
 
 
 Allié:  Endometriosis seems to be one of those conditions where people totally get it or they have no idea. Please share with us what your experience with endometriosis has been like. What has been the hardest part of living with this condition that is invisible to others but very real for you? Charlotte:  There are still a lot of misconceptions about endometriosis and luckily more people, even celebrities, are speaking out about this invisible disability. The hardest part is when you tell people you don’t feel well, and they don’t believe you because according to them you look ‘great’. People look at photos of models or celebrities in magazines and social media and can’t believe this person could be ‘ill’ because they look beautiful...but true beauty isn’t just on the exterior. It comes with being vulnerable and most signi cantly it comes with being the real you - including all your ‘imperfections’.

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“You have the opportunity to be an inspiration to so many people around the world.” Allié: What advice would you have for others who are suffering with an invisible disability?
 
 Charlotte:  It’s important to be true to yourself and honest to others about your disabilities. It’s de nitely nothing to be ashamed of. Instead, be proud of yourself. You are showing how much strength and determination you have to pursue your goals despite any obstacles you face. Share your stories. You have the opportunity to be an inspiration to so many people around the world Life isn’t always picture perfect. Some days there might be struggles or obstacles in your way. However, YOU are the one who can decide how to turn something negative into something positive. So, surround yourself with positivity...and never stop believing in yourself.

Charlotte Alexandra, Founder & CEO of Eleven11 Media Networks (www.eleven11media.nl), is a business mentor, empowerment coach & serial entrepreneur with a passion for media. She is on a mission to help people unlock their fullest potential by assisting people around the globe to expand, grow and connect while developing a business they are proud of, a life they love and a mindset that will take them places.

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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

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


I am grateful for the mountains; they have made me stronger and given me a better viewpoint on this one beautiful life we get to live. CYNTHIA KOHLER

POTS AWARENESS ADVOCATE

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EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH CYNTHIA KOHLER

CLIMB EVERY MOUNTAIN HEALTH DECLINED & LIFE REDEFINED WITH POTS

“Do you have a ‘spirit twin’? I do. Allow me to introduce you to Cynthia Kohler, one of my best friends since 3rd grade when we met in Mrs. Cronk’s class in Newaygo, Michigan at the Velma Matson Elementary School. Cynthia and I have been through life’s very high ups and very low downs together, we always manage to meet each other in the middle with new victories to share or battle marks to compare. When facing POTS, Cynthia shared the following with me and now with you in hopes of raising awareness.” -Allié M. Allié: For those that don’t know, what is POTS Cynthia: POTS (Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome) falls under the Dysautonomia umbrella… as in, your autonomic nervous system is dysfunctional. So all of the things I can’t control (that are normally automatic) like my heart rate, blood pressure, temperature, digestive system and even serotonin in my head are not functioning correctly. With POTS, my blood pressure is extremely low and my heart rate jumps 30-50 bpms just by standing up. It feels like my blood is moving at a glacial pace while my heart is beating like I’m running a marathon. Blood pools at my feet and the blood vessels in my legs are trying their best to pump it back up, but failing. Lack of blood to the brain leaves me lightheaded, nauseous and feeling like I may pass out.

“We practiced how to respond if mommy ‘fell asleep’. Soon after, I was set up for a tilt table test which ultimately provided the diagnosis for POTS." Allié: For so long, you didn’t know what you had or how to treat it. For you, it was not only an invisible illness but an undiagnosed disease. How were you diagnosed with POTS Cynthia: I rst started reading about POTS after being diagnosed with MALS (Median Arcuate Ligament Syndrome). After having 2 MALS surgeries, I started noticing more of the common POTS symptoms: a racing heart, chronic fatigue, brain fog, dizziness, blurry vision, digestive issues and emotional changes. One of the most alarming signs to me was how almost every time I got out of bed I would immediately need to lay down because I was so light headed.  Stairs also became incredibly dif cult. By the time I would reach the top of my stairs I would be out of breath, my legs felt incredibly heavy and I would feel on the verge of blacking out.  I was afraid for my young children and how they would be if I passed out. We practiced how to respond if mommy “fell asleep.” Soon after, I was set up for a tilt table test which ultimately provided the diagnosis for POTS.

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“One thing I did…writing a letter to my future hurting self to remind me that I would get through.” Allié: As an invisible illness, POTS can’t be seen - only felt. For those of us who don’t live with this condition, please share how it makes you feel Cynthia: You are right, aside from looking exhausted much of the time, it’s hard to see how POTS feels to those living with it. Sadly, many with POTS are met with comments like “but you don’t look sick.” Living with POTS is exhausting, both physically and emotionally. No one is more frustrated with my inconsistent levels of energy and ability to do everyday living than I am. Some days I feel like I am a glimmer of my old self again and other days, especially when in a are, I feel like getting out of bed and moving around the house is a big accomplishment. The longest are I had lasted six months and there were many days spent in bed, that was a very tough season.  My head is foggy, I get many headaches and feel nauseous and weak after eating. My nervous system gets stuck in ght or ight so my senses are in a crazy heightened state.  I wear earplugs to quiet the noise and have to have the lights off or wear sunglasses. I smell everything.  I am usually cold, I don’t sweat when I should so I get very overheated in the summer months and will choose to stay in.  I can tell when the weather’s going to change because my body will go into a are with the drop in barometric pressure. You feel a bit out of your mind, because these things are normally regulated for you but everything is feeling out of whack.

Allié: What kind of treatment has helped you Cynthia: There are many initial things I did for treatment: compression stockings, increasing salt intake, changing my diet, loads of hydration, meditation and tolerable exercise. These helped moderately but in the last couple of months I have been on an upswing. Three things that I attribute this change to: medication, nature and therapy. My POTS specialist (also a game changer to have someone who really understands your illness) started me on medication to decrease muscle weakness (on top of already being on meds for low blood pressure) and I noticed the improvement right away for how long I could stand without feeling weak. Secondly, I went on Zoloft. I’ve tried antidepressants in the past with no help but this one has done wonders for me in calming my nervous system. I honestly have not felt this calm in a loooong time. It helped with my tolerance for noise, chaos and bright light. We moved to a small house in the woods with many acres of trails. I have no stairs to climb anymore and everyday I am outside, grounded to the earth and taking in lots of fresh air and sunshine. On days I couldn’t walk far I sat in the hammock but now I am hiking 2-3 miles a day in the woods. Finally, therapy has been huge. While many of my sessions have had to be virtual I have learned tools to really help through the hard days of POTS as well as managing stress and emotions in my personal life. One thing I did that I will share was on a good day, writing a letter to my future hurting self to remind me that I would get through! I also wrote down all my tools for coping with bad days so that I had easy access to a plan when my brain was too foggy to think of one. Finally I created a wellness plan, more of a vision of what I wanted for my future and plans for how to make it happen. I set a goal for myself to hike up the huge hill, my mini-mountain, on our property for 50 days straight and was able to accomplish it.

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So, all of the things I can’t control (that are normally automatic) like my heart rate, blood pressure, temperature, digestive system and even serotonin in my head are not functioning correctly. CYNTHIA KOHLER

POTS AWARENESS ADVOCATE

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“I’ve been given the wonderful opportunity to lter my life through a lens of what really matters…” Allié: What have you learned in living with a chronic illness Cynthia: So much… so many things. When you have hours upon hours in bed, you have a lot of time for re ection.  We as a family learned sacri ce and contentment.  Plans were constantly changed or cancelled.  I discovered new ways to connect with my kids that I could do reclined or on a golf cart or a seated scooter. We didn’t have to change our values to t with my condition, we changed how it looked to accomplish the goal. We accommodated. I’ve learned the importance of relationships with people who can witness your struggle, empathize and love you through it. I’ve learned it’s equally if not more important to love others and take the focus off of myself and seek opportunities to do so. I have had to learn to have love for my body even when it may feel like it’s failing me. I heard a quote that “when you have air in your lungs, more things are working right then wrong in your body,“ and I believe that to be true. I have had to learn to not get sucked into depression when it feels like the bad days are outnumbering the good days. I have learned to cut through the bs in life.  I don’t have the energy for stress and negativity so I focus on the things that bring joy, ful llment and stretch me towards personal growth.  I’ve been given the wonderful opportunity to lter my life through a lens of what really matters, and to ask myself what do I really want my life to contain. Allié: What do you hope for everyone to know about POTS Cynthia: I share all of this because I know how hopeless it can feel and how lonely it can be. I felt like at times I had kissed death’s front door and sometimes wanted to let myself in... whatever you may struggle with, please never give up on yourself or give up on seeking solutions. If you know someone with a chronic illness like POTS, you can help by listening, learning what you can about their diagnosis, believing when they tell you how they feel and by being patient with their ability or often inability to make plans or participate in the same way they used to. One of my favorite movies of all time is ‘The Sound of Music’ and in the last few years of my journey with chronic illness, the song Climb Every Mountain has come to mind on more than one occasion. Most of the time it’s not EVERY mountain but rather, the mountain in front of me at the moment. Some days are extremely hard and others are full of wonderful experiences and deep conversations. I am grateful for the mountains; they have made me stronger and given me a better viewpoint on this one beautiful life we get to live.

Climb every mountain Search high and low Follow every highway Every path you know

Climb every mountain Ford every stream Follow every rainbow 'Till you nd your dream

A dream that will need All the love you can give Every day of your life For as long as you live

Climb every mountain Ford every stream Follow every rainbow 'Till you nd your dream

Follow Cynthia’s story on Instagram as she shares her journey with POTS via @riseuppotsie. “I have good days, bad days, I’m over it days, I’m awesome days, too tired days, crawl under the covers days, get outside days, I’m overwhelmed days...and every day, I show up. That is where the strength lies, in just showing up.”

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The sculptures have a different life, depending on the environment they’re in. MANOLO VALDÉS

SPANISH CONTEMPORARY ARTIST

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EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH MANOLO VALDÉS

MANOLO’S MONUMENTS MANOLO VALDÉS ON THE PUBLIC ART EXPERIENCE

“The moment I saw the images of Monumentales Égeries by one of Spain’s most acclaimed and best-selling contemporary artists, Manolo Valdeés, I was eager to have a conversation. Impressed by the heaviness and lightness coexisting in his work, I couldn’t help but feel close and connected as it mirrors these times of past and present heaviness only sustained by the hope of lightness in the future to come. I asked for an interview. He graciously accepted with his wife providing translation.” - Allié M. Allié: Manolo, your monumental art is featured in exhibitions around the world, with your most recent ‘Monumentales Égeries’ in Paris through an initiative by Opera Gallery. As opposed to privately shown indoors in a gallery or museum, your work is being publicly displayed outside in the ‘City of Light’. As an artist, how fo you feel with work presented as public art Manolo: In an outdoor exhibition when publicly shown, I feel a lot of responsibility because of the expectation I have for making people think or feel. I’m very hopeful and happy for a positive response in a place I love - Paris. The place in uences the response to the pieces. Paris is already so beautiful. The sculptures have a different life, depending on the environment they’re in. With an outdoor exhibition, the reaction of people is also affected by when they see it. It’s a different experience in the day than it is at night. Reactions are different also based on the culture, the society. Public spaces, for me, are very interesting. What I like is for people to stand in front of a sculpture or a painting and feel very free. I like people to have a free interpretation, because I like that diversity and for people to react they way they want to react. It’s very interesting for me to see the different experiences had with my work in different countries and societies. It gives me a lot of insight. Allié: With this exhibit, you have these monuments that are so heavy, but there is nothing but lightness that is portrayed. It’s such a beautiful juxtaposition that is brilliant. Manolo: I liked to give negative space to these sculptures to make them seem lighter. Playing with the heads with the decorations gives balance and lightness. Allié: Going back to the ‘environment’ of the artwork, if we look at ‘time’ as an environment, in this time of the pandemic I feel that public art is really important for supporting public health. Let me ask you this. Do you feel your public monument art helps to support public mental health. Manolo: In any time, not just now, it gives happiness. We live in New York’ where there are always artists exhibiting. As a consumer, I like that. I enjoy that. I am happier. It gives you a better quality of life. Between happiness and health, there is a combination of feelings. It makes you feel better. Allié: Champs-Élysées, while beautiful before, looks better with your art Manolo: (laughs) I don’t know, but that makes me happy.

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“Art of each era always gathers elements from the past; art is a succession and an eternal addition”. To celebrate how important arts and culture are on a global level, Opera Gallery collaborated with The Comité George V to install ten monumental sculptures by globally-acclaimed artist Manolo Valdés that will adorn Paris’ prestigious luxury George V Avenue until January 2021 As a global arts enterprise during these difficult times, Opera Gallery is dedicated to showcasing the best art world-wide despite national lockdowns. Installed before the French lockdown was announced, this unique public sculpture exhibition in Paris is a continuation of the work Opera Gallery have been doing in London as part of Mayfair Sculpture Trail Public art is the only way to physically engage with art in a safe environment as hundreds of galleries and museums have been forced to close during the pandemic. Passers-by are able to enjoy Manolo Valdés’ breath-taking monumental sculptures on both sides of the avenue, alongside paragons of luxury retail from Louis Vuitton, Hermčs, Bulgari as well as emblematic Palaces such as the Prince de Galles, the Four Seasons George V and the Fouquet’s; these prominent institutions are strong supporters of the arts One of Spain’s most acclaimed and best-selling contemporary artists, Manolo Valdés is renowned for his monumental sculptures and is one of the rare artists of his generation to include painting, engraving and sculpture into his practice. Valdés’ flair for playful and tactile aesthetics have made him one of the most sought-after artists for monumental public installations around the world, with works at Place Vendôme in Paris, Park Avenue in New York and Chateau de Chambord in the Loire Valley, to name a few. His unique style is one of the most innovative of the second half of the 20th century and his śuvre is a stunning interpretation of the History of Art, and a glorious tribute to Classics as well as the artistic greats such as El Greco, Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse and Constantin Brancusi. According to Valdés, “Art of each era always gathers elements from the past; art is a succession and an eternal addition” Monumentality in Valdés’ śuvre is well-suited to the urban landscape with the round and horizontal shapes that fit perfectly in the avenues and parks, as they soften the rectitude of street lines and building vertical outlines. The artworks presented here are also technical “tour de force”, as some stretch almost seven meters’ wide.  The Menina, an emblematic figure of his work and reminiscing of Diego Velázquez, is also featured in this selection in a variety of bright resins: orange, blue, lilac and black. They stand as echoes of fire opals, sapphires, amethysts and black diamonds featured on the luxury jewellery shops of the Avenue George V. This vibrant blue is a signature hue for the artist and is known among connoisseurs as the “Valdés blue” Manolo Valdés: Monumentales Égeries is a true ode to femininity. Fascinated by matter and its properties, the artist uses aluminium, bronze, resin and stainless steel to reveal the classical theme of the female portrait under a new light. The sculptures’ stylised heads, bedecked with crowns and headdresses often bear the name of actual women such as Ariela, or Muses and divinities such as Clio which he created after Sandro Botticelli’s own Clio - Valdés’ rendition is an ovalshaped head, embellished by a geometric construction of straight lines Valdés’ busts with delicate, soft features allude to women caught in a moment of absolute serenity: their ataraxia refers to their idealised portraits in the tradition of Ancient Egyptian, Buddhist or Roman statues. In Valdés’ imagery of women it is not their erotic potential but rather their ability to interact with their environment, and relation to the public space they are situated in. The artist creates his muses from looking at the world around his, which can be seen in his Mariposas series that was inspired by an extraordinary scene he caught at Central Park where he met a woman surrounded by a swirl of butterflies. The two sculptures Cabeza de Mariposas and Mariposas illustrate this scene on the Avenue Manolo Valdés: Monumentales Égeries is an exhibition of public sculptures and is an important collaboration between Opera Gallery (in London and Paris) and The Comité George V.

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Manolo Vald s, Reina Mariana, 2019 PHOTO CREDIT ERIK LASALLE, COURTESY OF OPERA GALLERY

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Manolo Vald s, Cabeza de Mariposas (Green) 2018 PHOTO CREDIT ERIK LASALLE, COURTESY OF OPERA GALLERY

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Manolo Vald s, Infanta Margarita (Black) 2020 PHOTO CREDIT ERIK LASALLE, COURTESY OF OPERA GALLERY

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Manolo Vald s, Ariela, 2011

PHOTO CREDIT ERIK LASALLE, COURTESY OF OPERA GALLERY

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Manolo Vald s, Infanta Margarita (Violet) 2020 PHOTO CREDIT ERIK LASALLE, COURTESY OF OPERA GALLERY

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The only way through is together. JOEL CARTNER

LAWYER, AWARENESS TIES OFFICIAL ADVISOR & COLUMNIST WWW.IAMAWARENOW.COM

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‘UNYIELDINGLY HUMAN’ EXCLUSIVE COLUMN BY JOEL CARTNER

ANCHORS IN A STORM GETTING THROUGH IT ALL TOGETHER

When I think about Cerebral Palsy (CP) it seems like it ought to be fairly straightforward. It's not the natural pick for hidden problems or much discussion in the realm of invisible disabilities. It comes with a weird gate pattern, muscle spasms, balance issues, and (I think) most people at least guess at some level of pain. Mostly, highly visible issues. The pain, and the sheer mental effect of having a lifelong condition are where the less visible issues come to play. I've gotten pretty good at pushing through that pain when it comes to the general public. What people don't see is the impact of dealing with that pain every day and how exhausting that is. It's one of the ways I deal with pain and disability that I want to highlight here, though. I don't deal with CP alone, and that brings into focus another hidden aspect of living with a chronic condition, the "family" (friends, whomever) I can best describe the dif culty of balancing my loved ones and my condition with this: Some people will tell you that the hardest part about having a disability is the disability itself, but for me, the hardest part has always been seeing the people I love see me in pain. There's a horrible fear and anxiety of needing support, but being afraid that if the illness takes over ( i.e., what if I get sad, angry, hopeless, etc.), will it take my people down with me too? The answer to that fear ends up being trust and communication; trust your people to help you through the dark stuff. You wouldn't expect them to deal with something like this on their own, so why should you I'll get back to the concept of trust, but for family members of people with chronic illnesses, it's also worth noting how we started: When I was little, one of my older sisters used to do my physical therapy with me (so that I would actually do it). Sometimes, they wouldn't stretch with me; I'd just hold her hand and "squeeze how much it hurt." My brother sat and played video games with his fairly moody adolescent brother for hours on end. My parents somehow managed to work full-time jobs, get a Ph.D., and raise four other well-adjusted children while also seeing to my insane medical needs. At one time or another, both my parents and my siblings have all held my hand while I dealt with all the pain and struggle life has thrown at me, to name just a few of the ways my family has made sure I was ok over the years. I cannot begin to fathom the sacri ces that were made, but I can appreciate the love At some point, however, I became acutely aware that what was happening to me did not occur in a vacuum; it affected my family and friends too. As I got older and the pain and anxiety got worse, my instinct was to wall off the part of me that externalized pain. If I didn't let it show, then it couldn't hurt the people I cared about. I was still a functional human. I had friends, goals, and interests, but with so much of me constantly trying to act like I was always ne, I also got distant. I de nitely wasn't as good at pretending to be ok all the time as I thought I was. There was some pent up anger, fear, and many other things, and I'm sure I hurt people along the way because of it. I don't have particularly concrete advice on how to avoid this particular pitfall. What I can say is that by the time I got to law school, I think life had just beaten me up enough to make me realize, stubborn as I was, I couldn't live life in isolation. I also de nitely needed to be ready to hear that letting the scary emotions in wasn't going to kill me. Then I needed people around to show me that letting the emotions out (in a non-explosive manner) wouldn't kill me either... and then sit with me while I did. Don't get me wrong; I've still got a long way to go. I still don't love talking about feeling scared or really talking about the high pain days other than saying it's a high pain day, and I still default to "I'm ne" way too easily, but I'm getting better. That progress is all down to the people that love me.  

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Despite all the dif culty living a life with CP entails, and despite the sacri ces it necessitates for those around me; we are bound together by love. We talk so often in the context of major illnesses, let alone chronic illnesses, about the dif culty for the patient, but I know it can be dif cult for loved ones as well. The only way through is together.

How do I tell the story of a life with a chronic condition on a day-to-day level? As a nal thought, I spoke with Allié and Jack recently about a question that had been rattling around in my head. It proved to be a great reminder for me, and hopefully, it will be for you as well. My question was: how do I tell the story of a life with a chronic condition on a day-to-day level? I questioned whether opening these relatively small keyholes into what life with a chronic condition is actually useful. The exhaustion of pain, interacting with loved ones, and anxiety - they’re all such small pieces of the bigger picture and trying to put together that picture is hard, and I was frustrated. But after our conversation, I was reminded that when your circumstances put you on the margins, or when the things you deal with often go unseen, talking about it at all is a step in the right direction. All we can do is commit to continuing to talk using whatever opportunities we can. Any view into the ‘room’ is better than none at all.

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.

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296 “I leave for work before sunrise, I get home when after sunset and I haven’t seen my family in months, and goodness knows I’m not the only one. Through it all, I am grateful, even if my expression says otherwise. This is day 296, at the time of this photo, of Covid-19.

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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.

THIS IS SCIENCE “We started 2020 with an unmeasurable fear, and we have ended it with hope. Thank you to the men and women who have made this possible. We are more grateful than we could ever express.

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THIS TOO SHALL PASS A collective of love notes at the entrance of our hospital. We will rebuild. We will survive. We will live and love again. The daily motivation.

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STILL IN OUR HEARTS “This means the absolute world to see. As we are all isolated, worried and confused there are still glimmers of hope and support. We love you right back.

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.

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I’ve never been one to follow the herd… LAURA ‘AURA’ WESTCOTT

CLASSICALLY TRAINED SINGER, CO-FOUNDER OF PHOENIX RISING & FOUNDER OF MUSIC FOR MENTAL WEALTH

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EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH LAURA ‘AURA’ WESTCOTT & CHRIS ‘WOOD’ MARSHALL

SLEEP SURRENDER GIVING IN FOR GOOD REASON

So often people pride themselves on pulling all nighters and needing little sleep to do lots of work. Seldom do people take pride in sleeping longer or deeper. However, it is with quality sleep that we nd our waking selves more productive and better aware. Like water and air, sleep is a requirement that when met with a greater quality and quantity can bring bene ts beyond our expectations. So, how do we get there? We don’t force it. We allow it. We surrender to it. Through sung and spoken word, Laura ‘Aura’ Westcott, with composer Chris Marshall present a holistic option for giving into sleep and getting needed rest. Allié: Laura, as a classically trained singer, what was it that made you want to use your voice as an instrument to support sleep and meditation

“I love singing and trained classically but there’s very little room for personal creative expression in choirs.” Laura: I have been listening to guided meditations for the past 15 years and have a pretty good sense for what works in terms of the voices. I am very sensitive to sound, so if the voice doesn’t sound right it’ll have an adverse effect on me. When I record voice overs for Aura, I close my eyes and imagine giving the listener a big warm hug! I am the voice of a meditation app in the USA called Mindwell which gave me hundreds of hours to practice various voices and sounds to evoke certain moods. We started off creating two versions - one with guided voice over and one without but decided for ‘MetaMorphosis' to just focus all our energy on creating one epic meditative soundscape to help heal listeners from suffering. I found last year incredibly challenging, so the pain you hear in my voice is real. I love singing and trained classically but there’s very little room for personal creative expression in choirs. Although my versatile range did enable me to hop between the Tenor and Soprano sectors - which was rather fun! When my friends kindly bought me a voice recorder for my birthday during the rst Lockdown, it gave me the freedom to experiment with an array of sounds, old and new, in the comfort of my own home. I explored different timbres to capture moods and often found myself mimicking the sounds of instruments Chris used. We have very similar tastes in music. You’ll hear nods to Vangelis, Tangerine Dream, Cocteau Twins, Jean Michel Jarre, Björk… I’ve never been one to follow the herd… so expect lots of new stuff to come!

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“Writing music is essentially story telling instead of words we use harmony, melody, rhythm and sound placement.” Allié: When I went to the symphony for the rst time as a child for a school eld trip, I remember falling asleep. I was quickly nudged awake by a teacher and instructed to stay awake. As a composer, Chris, when I’m sure there is a desire for people to be aware of each note and all nuances of what you create, when it comes to this collaboration with Laura, that desire is just the opposite. As a musician, can you explain the satisfaction you nd in this Chris: Writing music is essentially story telling - instead of words we use harmony, melody, rhythm and sound placement. The great thing about this collaboration with Laura is that we wanted to achieve the sense of relaxation but without the clichés, and to do this by exploring three quite distinct themes.  It’s very possible to listen to these as a wash, and drift off to sleep - and this is indeed the intent of ‘Somewhere In Time’. Equally though, the palette is full of interesting sounds, surprises and turns. I had to travel my own road of discovery in creating these though - there are many, many ideas that ended up muted on the nal mix. In most cases because they were too much for a sleep/relaxation track, they had to be pared back. If I hear someone has drifted off to sleep that’s great, but I’ve also loved hearing feedback from other musicians who have picked up on a particular musical element that I placed very carefully.

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We wanted to achieve the sense of relaxation but without the clichés… CHRIS ‘WOOD’ MARSHALL

COMPOSER, PRODUCER & ENGINEER

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“I basically rebelled against all of my classical training.” Allié:  Of what you’ve created together, I’d love to hear from each of you what your personal favorite piece is and why Laura: As a cheeky cherub rule bender, I am going to give MetaMorphosis as my answer to your question, but brie y share what I love about the others too! I only met Chris one week before Lockdown, so our collaboration is based purely on trial and error! MetaMorphosis is my favourite because we’re nessing our sound and direction. We wrote our rst track, Somewhere in Time, to help people sleep. Poor mental health and sleep deprivation is a global crisis and so many people suffer unnecessarily I chose Latin as the predominant language for Aura as I would rather people have the freedom to take their own journeys than being forced in one direction. I learnt Latin at school and contacted my primary school teacher, Michael Webb, to help translate my script after realising I was a bit rusty after so many years! People seem to like the Latin, especially British actor Stephen Fry (also the voice of Calm’s meditation app) who described Somewhere in Time as “Beautifully Somniferous”. I adopted a cat a couple of years ago (well.. she adopted  me) who makes a cameo in all three. Her purring was a huge comfort for me and also triggers ASMR (auto sensory meridian response) to soothe listeners to sleep. We wrote Dreamland to encourage people stuck indoors to use their imagination and find peace and purpose. It was inspired by the seaside funfair in Margate I used to go to as a kid. My inner child came out to play as I wrote the script and included hidden references to the rides e.g. “Looping Star” as a metaphor for the rollercoaster we’re all riding together. I bought some caterpillars for MetaMorphosis and watched them transition, hatch, bleed and y for the rst time. It looked painful, so I channelled anguish in my voice. You’ll also hear me giggle, sigh and hiss… I basically rebelled against all of my classical training. When I left The Times newspaper to start my rst music company, the cartoonist Peter Brookes designed a butter y tattoo of a treble clef with wings as my leaving present. He always called me “Butter y Girl”, so this track has been a long time coming and is literally etched into me! I explore my deeper range in MM to capture the isolation and solitude inside our cocoons. Also, my con dence grew and I felt more comfortable experimenting with my ideas; for example I made the hatching sounds by scraping the top of a Weetabix with a spoon The entire planet is going through an epic transition together right now; which is brilliantly bonkers when you think about it. If our music can bring some comfort to people during this time of uncertainty, then our job is done! Chris:  MetaMorphosis. By this time, Laura and I had developed a pretty good understanding of how we worked as a team. In Lockdown there was no way we could be in the same place, so all the vocals were recorded remotely and then aligned with the music. It’s not the most spontaneous way of working and certainly not the quickest, but satisfying for me because I spend a huge amount of time on production. It’s probably the sort of thing that has to be done in isolation to avoid one of us going crazy. MetaMorphosis is the most musically ambitious with its ‘movements’ through struggle, breaking out and freedom.There are quiet evocative passages, suspenseful buildups, and sequenced sections all brought together with angelic vocals.  

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So there’s a beautiful modulation to the nal G major chord that appears nowhere else in the piece. I always smile and nod to myself when I hear it

Allié: What’s next for your collaboration? Laura: We have begun working on the ultimate journey into the unknown… passing on. It’s not an easy subject to talk about, but we have to. I was scared of death until recently when a childhood friend told me she is now losing her battle with cancer. I’m currently channelling my pain juxtaposed with her peace about her own passing for our next soundscape ‘Other Side’ Chris: Music has been a central part of my life since almost my earliest memory (which oddly enough is of sitting on a horse somewhere in Rome when I was two). My early career was spent working as an engineer working almost exclusively producing Heavy Metal and Rock, but I have always been a huge fan of electronic ‘progressive’ styles including Vangelis and Tangerine Dream, and emotive classical music by composers such as Saint-Saens, Debussy and Chopin. Whether I’m noodling on my own, or writing for release Music is my doorway to tranquillity and mental nourishment. These pieces try to encapsulate those positive energies - if they help others in some small way that’s a wonderful thought.

For more information on Aura visit www.liinks.co/aura “Aura is literally hypnotic. I felt as calm as an egg.” - Joanna Lumley "It is hypnotic & highly delicious like slowly licking a toffee-apple in the sun and then falling into a drowsy sleep…" - Stephen Fry

METAMORPHOSIS EXPERIENCE A MAGICAL TRANSFORMATION FOR SHEDDING OUR OLD SELVES AND BURSTING FREE FROM OUR COCOONS AS WE SOAR INTO THE COSMOS

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I had also recently bought a couple of analogue hardware synths, which I deployed for many of the music parts as well as effects like the butter y wings beating. There are many parts of these I really like, but perhaps my favourite is the very end. Laura isn’t a fan of minor keys for meditation music (I happen to adore them!), but we did want to make sure this arrived at a positive conclusion rather than just fade away.


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ANNOUNCEMENT FROM AWARENESS TIES

TABLE OF CAUSES

THE BUILDING BLOCKS FOR RAISING AWARENESS Before we get to the ‘Table of Causes’, let’s start at the beginning of the story. Awareness Ties™ is a social impact platform that we built the foundation for 3 years ago. Through our AwareNow™ Magazine, Podcast & Talk Show, we connect with content raising awareness for causes one story at a time. Our mission is to support individuals and nonpro ts organizations with sustainable resources for the causes they are tied to. With our ambassadors and columnists, we reach a global audience of over 17 million readers per month through Awarenow Magazine and our publication partnership with Issuu™ where we feature exclusive interviews and personal stories to raise awareness. Access to the AwareNow Talk Show is provided to an international audience through our production partner, KNEKT TV, with our episodes available on Apple TV & Roku. With the addition of the AwareNow Podcast, our content is also available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts & Google Podcasts. Through this increased accessibility, we work to raise awareness for multiple causes at a whole new level Now that you’re up to speed with the Awareness Ties story, you’re ready to join us at the table we just built…

Awareness Ties is proud to unveil the ‘Table Of Causes’. The building blocks for raising awareness, here are 25 of the causes we support through original content, organic campaigns and online resources. Grouped by their cause colors, each block de nes a cause with its name, pronunciation, symbol and statistic. symbol While each cause affects different people and in different ways, every one of them is tied to one cause - ‘the human cause’.

What exactly is ‘the human cause’? Empathy. Empathy is the capacity to understand or feel what another person is experiencing from within their frame of reference, that is, the ability to identify with another to understand what they are thinking and feeling To support any cause, empathy is required. It’s an ability innate to the humanity. When activated, empathy has the power to form connections with compassion. Good done anywhere begins here. And so it is that ‘the human cause’ serves as the cornerstone of our table of causes. Whatever your cause may be, if you’re seeking a label, its the one cause that ts all.

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We humans are really very funny creatures because we are completely driven by emotions. SIMON MARMOT

FOUNDER OF MARMOT, INC. MARKETING

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EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH SIMON MARMOT

SPEAKING HUMAN COMMUNICATING WITH EMPATHY

As the Founder of Marmot, Inc. Marketing, a leading full design & digital marketing agency based in Sydney, Australia, Simon Marmot, with his super powers of insight, empathy and strategy, is all about building emotional connections. A veteran in marketing for 30 years, he is dedicated to innovating at the intersection of technology, media and humanity. Allié: When it comes to communication the ‘emotional connection’ is required. In a day and age where successful communication is often measured by the number of likes or volume of shares, why is it that connecting emotionally is essential for a sustainable win? Simon: We humans are really very funny creatures because we are completely driven by emotions. So many of our decisions are emotionally driven whether it is subconscious or not or whether we even like to admit it or not we are always acting on our motivations.  This is actually what makes us human.  So when it comes to buying products or services this ‘emotional connection’ between the brand and the customer is even stronger or rather more important.  Check the powerful quotes below to help summarise the power of an emotional connections:

“We now know that emotion, intuition, long-term memories, and the unconscious make up 85% of our motivations.” Antonio Damasi Dornsife Professor of Neuroscience at USC

“The essential difference between emotion and reason is that emotion leads to action while reason leads to conclusions.” Donald Caln Former Director of the Neurodegenerative Disorders Center at the University of British Columbia

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“…the metrics are not and should not be about likes and shares and comments.” To expand a little bit on the meaning behind these quotes and why they are super relevant in a marketing sense. In a nutshell these quotes simply mean that we don’t buy things based on the price or the attributes of the product, we are buying it because of the emotional connection we have to the brand and the story they are telling us and how we are resonating with this story in our guts (you have heard of ‘gut instinct’), and our hearts. This is where decisions are made… and then the message goes to the brain and the brain tries to talk you out of the purchase decision. “You don’t need an extra pair of shoes, surely. You already have 10 pairs (and one pair just like them), plus you don’t really have enough room in our closet left. But who cares… when you fall in love with a pair of shoes I can promise you will be buying those shoes no matter what noise and internal conversations you will be having with your very very smart self/brain.  I used to work at Saatchi & Saatchi many moons ago and they taught us all about the ‘power of emotion’ and therefore to always be searching for a ‘big idea’ or rather a ‘BIG EMOTIONAL IDEA’ when connecting with customers via marketing campaigns. So they came up with this concept called “Lovemarks” and ‘what is the future beyond brands.

So to further answer your initial question… the metrics are not and should not be about likes and shares and comments. The success or failure of a campaign is whether or not you have emotionally connected with your customers and whether it is positive enough to create a feeling that resonates so much with your audience segments that they want to go out and buy your product or service.  The beauty of emotionally connected marketing (which is what I call “Marketing Nirvana),  is that when you get it right you will a) have a very loyal customer i.e. in fact it will be “Loyalty beyond reason’ which simply means they will never ever buy any other product or service in the category (EVER AGAIN), and b) they will become advocates of your brand (yes like an unpaid ambassador) and promote your brand to as many friends, families and colleagues that can talk to about their experience and feelings they have towards your product or service.  Think about the Sein eld episode when Jerry was talking about ‘His Chiropractor” as only his guy was the best in town… but everyone has the best chiro, tennis coach, perfume or new pizza restaurant you absolutely must eat at.

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Allié: In order to authentically connect on an emotional level, is getting personal required Simon: In short, the answer is YES.  If you look at the Lovemarks chart, you can see that one of the pieces of the emotional connection puzzle (if you will) is indeed to get ‘personal.’ It is the fastest way to break down the barriers we as consumers have to STOP as many messages (that include new brands, sales messages, that includes all advertising) getting under the radar into the brain, guts or heart area. When discussing this with clients and colleagues I talk about Star Trek and their ‘force eld.’ The stronger the brand equity that has been built up in our subconscious for a particular brand the stronger the personal force eld is for competitive products or services. For example if you use a particular type of toothpaste, you mostly will always buy the same one. Well we are not really looking for new ads for toothpaste brands. In fact, subconsciously we have shut it down and are not accepting any new messaging through our force eld for toothpaste brands. See the thing is, we humans are lazy. We actually want to make the most limited amount of decisions possible in a day. When we emotionally connect with brands, and in some instances create a “Lovemark” (loyalty beyond reason), this helps us fast track the sales purchase decision process, which reduces stress in our bodies… Great! One less decision I need to make today. I already know what toothpaste I like to buy. But to get to this point of course we need to get personal in our stories to get customers to relax enough to take ‘onboard’ the brand messaging, but more importantly to create empathy which drives the emotional connection to the heart and guts, which by now we all know these are the places where the decision making process is done.  Getting personal can be done in so many different ways. Getting real people to tell real stories. Or create advertising or content that creates an experience that can invoke an emotion with the user that could be heartfelt, humorous, sometimes even sad to help break down the barriers and get the story ‘cut through’ is key to success when it comes to marketing.  Allié: What is your favorite part of your work? After 30 years of service in this industry, what are you proudest of Simon:   A great question. My favourite part of my job, hands down, is creating the brand and marketing strategies for my clients to help them ‘outsmart not outspend’ their competitors so they can transform their brand, grow their business and scale their pro ts.  Before we explain further what this actually means I think it is important to lay out the 4 step marketing journey to brand transformation and stardom, using an emotionally connected idea that solves a real customer truth.

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“…it all comes back to strategy.” So many businesses and brands get caught up in the exciting advertising, content, and performance marketing campaign activity. Anyone can do this really, but coming up with a brand strategy that is powerful enough to get through people's force eld and connect with their heart is something that excites every bone in my body. The psychology of it all, and really studying people and what is driving them to purchase a particular product or service.  Then turning over every stone to nd out the one “Gold Nugget '' of information/ feelings/ solution or story that will compel someone to get their wallet out and purchase is everything for me. Don’t get me wrong, I love creating videos and putting together multi-channel online and of ine campaigns and using creative, design and UX to blow people's minds, but getting the thinking right rst simply means that the campaigns will work much better so the client needs to spend less money marketing to get a better end result.  But as you see...it all comes back to the strategy What am I proudest of over the last 30 years?  Well rstly I am super proud to be a Dad of 2 monkeys - I have a 2 year old boy called Luc and a 6 year old boy called Jacob. I love being a Dad and I spend every minute I can with them to be a part of and ‘capture’ as many magical moments as possible. Life is about ‘magical moments’ I am also proud of what I have achieved over my career, speci cally going out on my own 9 years ago now, leaving the corporate world and starting my own Full Design and Digital Marketing agency. Not only are we still around but we have created a multitude of awesome campaigns across many verticals and industries for the likes of Dilmah Teas, Re ections Holiday Parks, Allianz Insurance, Jose Cuervo, Marriott, Destination NSW Travel, IKEA and many many B2B brands and smaller SME’s who were ghting to scale against their bigger competitors. I love a David & Goliath story. In terms of campaigns that I am proud of - two come to mind REFLECTIONS HOLIDAY PARK Owned by NSW Crown Holiday Parks Trust, the Trust is a $55M turnover business, and manages 37 holiday parks NSW with a focus on ‘nature’ oriented offerings ▪ Devised the new “Nature Never Felt So Good” tagline which enables the organisation to compete without the larger marketing budgets of its competitors, and on a different level (‘emotional’) playing eld ▪ Since the tagline was introduced and the consolidation of 3 different brands under one new umbrella, the business has been repositioned successfully in the marketplace to scale and take market share from competitors ▪ Launched the brand through a multi-channel integrated campaign, incorporating YouTube videos of stories from personalities and customers, print, digital marketing, trade / expo, blogger outreach, SEM, SEO, PR and email marketing. ▪ As a result, their online bookings grew a whopping 55%, making them 59% of total bookings. The conversion rate saw a staggering 57% growth, in turn increasing online revenue by 68.1

DILMAH TEA Re-branding activation launch through In uencer Marketing Event / Experience/ Social Media Campaigns, where we held 2 events with 60 of the biggest in uencers in Australia to tell real tea stories and create a contemporary type of ‘High Tea’ where even the food created was done using tea infusions in all our creations.

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Life is all about magical moments. SIMON MARMOT

FOUNDER OF MARMOT, INC. MARKETING WWW.IAMAWARENOW.COM

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Allié: For those who seek to emotionally connect, both personally and professionally, what advice would you give Simon: The more you can emotionally connect with the people around you, whether it be personally or professionally, the more ‘magical moments’ you will have, and more importantly the more magical moments you will create (and notice). The more present you are, the more connected you are the more you will be able to relax into life and the situation at hand. The more fun and amazing times you can share with these people around you. The more magical moments you have the better your life will be The advice I would give if you wanted to take more out of life by connecting emotionally both personally and professionally is this… Let’s tackle personally rst 1. Learn to meditate. If you already are a meditator then meditate more.  Meditation is scienti cally proven to relax your mind, body and soul and to increase physical years of life on this planet.  I learnt Vedic Meditation around 20 years ago and it changed my life.  The more you meditate the better you get to know yourself, the more calm and present you will be in all situations and the more emotionally connected to the world, your work your family the bigger community and the better your life will become
 2. Be honest with yourself and the people around you.  Be as open and as transparent as you can be and allow life to happen all around you.  Listen to your gut instinct it is always right and will keep you out of trouble.  How many times have you said to yourself “Oh damn I wish I wished I had listened to my gut instinct” and you were disappointed in yourself. 
 3. Be kind. Be kind both to yourself and to the people and world around you.  The world has gone mad clearly and we cannot control anything at all except how you deal with information, stress or good times coming at you.  (see point 1 - the more you mediate the better you can control the stresses life throws at you) Now, professionally. Here’s how to create a better, more emotionally connected brand 1. Position your brand. What do you stand for, why should anyone care and what is the real solution you are providing?  Look at the Simon Sinek’s, theory and exercise on Why, What and How (https://youtu.be/ IPYeCltXpxw) as this is the perfect place to start by telling real, authentic stories that people can resonate with. By doing so you are automatically standing out from the big corporates who love and cannot get away from telling boring corporate stories 


2. Tell better stories. Create experiences that entertain, inspire and educate through videos and other powerful content channels. Create content that makes people want to see your brand time and time again not push them away from your brand.
 3. Get your customers curious. We do this by creating a hook and solving a big problem for them. And in some instances we create the problem they didn’t even realise they needed solving.

Learn more about Simon and Marmot, Inc. Marketin www.marmot.com.au Follow Simon on Instagram (@SimonMarmot)

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“The more you can emotionally connect… the more ‘magical moments’ you will have.”


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Since the beginning of time love has been woven through the fabric of the human experience. JACQUELINE WAY

INSPIRATIONAL KEYNOTE SPEAKER, PHILANTHROPIST & FOUNDER OF 365GIVE

70 AWARENOW / THE HUMAN EDITION

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‘THE WAY TO HAPPINESS’ EXCLUSIVE COLUMN BY JACQUELINE WAY

THE COMMON THREAD WHAT RUNS THROUGH EVERY HUMAN BEING

I will always remember the day I held my son in my arms for the rst time. Unlike most women I was not in a delivery room at a hospital or at home. I had not spent nine months nurturing and caring for my unborn child while it grew in my body. Instead, I learned I had become a mother from a phone call. Just days later my husband and I took a short drive to meet our rst child. An 11-week-old baby boy that had been chosen for us not by us. We signed the adoption papers sight unseen promising to make him part of our family forever. A dream that had lived in my heart fueled by the common thread that runs through every human being on our planet – love.  We pulled up to a small townhouse that was our son’s temporary foster home. I thought my heart was going to leap out of my chest. I knew I was walking toward my destiny. The door slowly opened, and I saw my son swaddled in a blanket in the arms of his foster mother. I stood in the front door and she handed me this beautiful little person and she simply said, “Meet your son. I took him in my arms and in that moment the entire world stopped. It was just the two of us connected beyond any time or space reality. There was no fear in his eyes being put into the arms of a stranger. Instead, I received the greatest gift of my life - a smile. I held him close as tears of joy streamed down my face and I whispered in his ear “I’ve been waiting for you. I will love you forever.” It was the rst moment in my life I had felt unconditional love. We knew very little about our son. His cultural heritage, the religion his birth parents practiced or didn’t practice, his IQ based on genetic history, how tall he would be or even the colour of his hair. None of it mattered. We didn’t even know if he had all his ngers and toes and it did not matter. Nothing could stop the ow of love radiating from every cell of our bodies. It changed my “perceptual” idea of love. I understood in that moment I had the ability to love another living creature without any preconceived expectations or boundaries set by society. I was free to love. Since the beginning of time love has been woven through the fabric of the human experience. The mythical Greek Gods of love still shoot arrows through our Hallmark cards. All religions preach and teach about love with their own version of a “superior” being that loves all the children of our earth. All cultures have love songs that raise the hair on the back of our neck. We watch romantic movies that make us feel warm and fuzzy from the inside out. We read books that take us into the hearts of ctional characters experiencing a journey of love so many wish to take. We search for it, we try to buy it, we even try to pharmaceutically recreate it in our bodies. But what we have learned about love is it comes from within us not from outside in. This isn’t just spiritual or religious guru talk. Science can now show us that love is literally in our DNA. The biological make up of human beings has a hormone that has been deemed our “love hormone” called Oxytocin. It starts a remarkable chemical reaction that res and wires through our bodies and brains. It’s like an internal set of reworks that all work together creating that feeling we call love Imagine it’s like a switch that turns a light on or off.  When you ip a light switch, energy runs through the wires to the lightbulb. The lightbulb turns on giving light to a dark room. You can’t actually see the energy running through the wires to the light bulb. But you know the bulb will turn on and give light if the energy is owing, and the switch is working. 

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“Giving is love in action.” Love works the same way. When you ip the oxytocin switch on, you light up with love. You can’t see it but you can feel it running through your body with every positive emotion you are feeling. Professor Barbra Fredrickson explains the emotion of love in her book ‘Love 2.0: How Our Supreme Emotion Affects Everything We Feel, Think, Do and Become’: “We typically think in western culture of emotions as belonging to a person—being con ned to one person’s brain, mind, or skin. People co-experience emotions, especially positive ones, and when they do, that’s when they are reminded in an experiential way that they are part of something larger than themselves. It is where we experience our common humanity. So how do you turn on your “love switch” during what is considered to be one of the most dif cult times in modern human history? Remember to turn on your switch every day.  1. Remember love is a renewable resource. It’s always there whenever you want it, but we need to make sure our switch is turned on. Do a daily check in and see how you are feeling. Love shows up in all positive emotions like happiness, excitement, inspiration, hope, kindness and compassion.  
 2. If love is created from the inside out, it has to start with love for yourself. Self-love books, seminars, webinars, training etc. is a billion-dollar business for one reason. We measure ourselves against everyone else and come to the conclusion we are not enough. We are our greatest critics, not our biggest fans. Find parts of yourself you can love and appreciate them every day. 
 3. Most importantly give love every day with no expectation of any in return. It can be as simple as a smile to a stranger.  A helping hand to a person in need. A kind note. Sharing a meal. Taking care of another living creature such as an animal or the planet we all share. Giving is love in action. The quote “You Get What You Give” isn’t just a pretty image on Instagram. Your life is a mirror re ection of what you put out to the world. If you want love – give love It’s so simple. We just make it complicated. The next time you look at another person that has a different colour of skin, speaks a different language, is a different gender or practices a different religion. Look beyond it all and remember the common thread that connects us all. Love

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.

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I’m determined to take action to ensure everyone has access to basic human rights and that generations to come can grow up in a slave-free world. ISHAAN SHAH

FOUNDER OF STOLEN DREAMS

74 AWARENOW / THE HUMAN EDITION

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‘GLOBAL GOOD’ EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEWS WITH TANITH HARDING

STOLEN DREAMS

ISHAAN SHAH YOUTH ADVOCATE FOR MODERN HUMAN SLAVERY AWARENESS In 2019, Ishaan Shah was recognised at the Global Youth Awards for his incredible commitment to raising awareness of Modern Human Slavery via Stolen Dreams, a website set up after, aged just thirteen, he saw a documentary that changed his life. Learning that children around the world were being exploited for labour and sex he decided to raise the issue at his school where he realised that none of the students were aware that slavery still exist today. We are delighted that he is joining us for this month's HUMAN edition of AwareNow to share his journey with us. Tanith: Ishaan, you’ve done so much to raise awareness about modern human slavery in the last four years, what was it about that documentary that made you so determined? Ishaan: Watching that documentary was the rst time I heard that slavery still existed. I had learnt about the TransAtlantic Slave Trade and its abolition in 1833, however, I didn’t realise that slavery continued to persist, hidden in plain sight. Today, there are over 45 million people trapped in slavery. 1 in 4 victims are children and knowing that there are people held against their will, stripped of their dignity, humanity and freedom I knew I had to do something about this. That was the inspiration for Stolen Dreams - I’m determined to take action to ensure everyone has access to basic human rights and that generations to come can grow up in a slave-free world. 

Wherever there are vulnerabilities traf ckers are ready to exploit. Tanith:  What is the de nition of modern slavery and human traf cking and who are the people most at risk of exploitation Ishaan:  Modern slavery is the act of forcing someone to work against their will through coercion or physical or mental threat and restraining their freedom of movement physically or psychologically. When a victim is owned or controlled by an employer, dehumanised and treated as a commodity or property that has been bought or sold. Slavery involves a number of highly exploitative practices including forced labour, bonded labour or debt bondage, forced marriage, forced child labour, organ traf cking, sex traf cking, state-imposed forced labour and human traf cking to name a few Human traf cking is the act of recruiting, transporting, harbouring or receiving victims through force, coercion, abduction, fraud, deception, abuse of power or vulnerability for the purposes of exploiting them into a form of slavery. Transportation could be across international borders, state boundaries or even between rooms, houses or farms. Slavery is an umbrella term and anyone could be a victim of modern slavery. Wherever there are vulnerabilities traf ckers are ready to exploit. 71% of victims of slavery are women and girls. 1 in every 130 globally are subjected to a form of modern slavery. 99% of victims of sexual exploitation are women and girls.

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Ishaan: Over 45million people are trapped in slavery, more than at any point in human history - with the true gure likely to be higher. This gure doesn’t include the over 150 million children engaged in child labour. What I have found through my activism is that people are shocked that slavery still exists including adults and Members of Parliament I have spoken to – and these are the people running our country. So awareness is key. Another alarming aspect is that slavery is closer than we think. It’s in the clothes we wear, foods we eat, technology we use and potentially on our high streets. Fast fashion brands, food companies, electronics companies are all pro ting off exploitation and using slave labour in their supply chains. Even at the car wash and nail bars are all at risk of being victims of slavery. A recent report by Justice and Care, an anti-slavery organisation, con rmed that there are over 100,000 victims of modern slavery in the UK

“…each of us as individuals can play a part in the ght against slavery.” Tanith: How can people reading this join the ght against slavery and also protect themselves from potential threats Ishaan:  It’s really important to acknowledge that despite how harrowing and barbaric and complex and dehumanising this crime is, each of us as individuals can play a part in the ght against slavery Educate yourself and spread the word. Familiarise yourself with what slavery is. Visit Stolen Dreams’ website or Unseen UK have a great page that details how to spot the signs. Spread the word that slavery still exists and that we are encountering it every day Stay safe online. Be aware of your e-safety, don’t talk to people that you don’t know, stay safe on apps by familiarising yourself how to spot the signs of cyber traf cking, sexual exploitation and grooming. Have conversations with friends and family about what you’re doing and who you’re talking to online. Write to politicians. Government policy is instrumental in the ght against slavery so establishing policy to ensure that companies are being transparent about their supply chains and ensuring that policy is in place to protect victims who have perhaps been traf cked illegally from abroad who are not citizens or have no documents.  Get your local government to adopt a strategy that helps tackle slavery through raising awareness, training emergency services how to spot the signs and respond and establishing robust, effective and safe support for survivors Support anti-slavery organisations working to end slavery. Grass root organisations rely on donations to keep safe houses and support programmes running across the world. You could start a fundraiser or sponsored event! Engage with their content on social media – this helps to boost engagement and allow their message to be spread wider. Consume consciously. With brands looking for cheaper sources of labour, slavery is often the solution to increasing pro t margins. The industry of slavery makes over £120 billion in illegal pro ts. So buying ethical clothing, second hand, locally sourced goods, thrifting, sharing and reducing the rate at which you buy can help slow the demand. Whenever you’re about to buy something new, ask yourself, ‘Do I really need this?’ and ‘Who made this?’. 

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Tanith: What for you are the most alarming statistics that people need to be aware of


ISHAAN SHAH EXCLUSIVE GLOBAL GOOD INTERVIEW BY TANITH HARDING

“It’s not a topic that is spoken about often.” Tanith: I am in awe of your achievements at such a young age, what is next for Stolen Dreams and what are you own dreams for the future Ishaan:  Thank you so much. I think with this whole global pandemic and everything going on at the moment, I’m just trying to make it to the end of the week For Stolen Dreams I think we just want to continue to engage people with actively driving positive change around this issue. It’s not a topic that is spoken about often, we want to start opening these conversations and ensure that action is taken – by us as citizens, by businesses and government. We will continue our work until every human being has access to basic human rights. It’s going to be a challenging journey especially with navigating these rough waters that COVID is posing but it’s exciting to see how the anti-slavery movement is progressing and to partner and learn from other organisations out there doing incredible and tremendous work! 

Learn more about Ishaan and his work to raise awareness. Visit stolendreams.co.uk and www.walkfree.org/reports/stacked-odds 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.

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We will no longer ask for permission to change the world. JACK MCGUIRE

FOUNDER OF AWARENESS TIES

78 AWARENOW / THE HUMAN EDITION

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PERSONAL STORY BY JACK MCGUIRE

TO BE HUMAN

THE CAUSE THAT TIES US TOGETHER WHAT IS IT TO BE ‘HUMAN’ As we navigate a very hard time in the human race, the most important aspect we must all understand and hang on to, is the fact that we above all other species have the ability to change the future, choose the role we play and join others to build a more effective and collective path to a sustainable future It does not matter what political belief system you follow, what diet you choose, what corner of the planet you live in or how close your family is. Each and every person we encounter is ‘human’. Realizing this fact can absolutely move the human cause forward One of the key characteristics that makes us human seems to be that we can create alternative futures by making deliberate choices based on facts, knowledge and experiences. Animals without such a capacity cannot be bound to a moral responsibility, but we are Once we become aware of our actions and their consequences, we have an obligation to change. This becomes our human cause. Be aware that our very existence is under threat of extinction by our very own human activity. We are the only species on this planet capable of deliberately plotting a path toward a desirable long-term futur Instead of focusing on the negatives that each and every person is capable of we choose to focus on the positives that can propel us and the entire planet into a mutually respectful and sustainable world Maybe, just maybe, humans have learned enough from anger and endured enough pain that we can move past it, collectively acknowledging that we need every single human to change their actions to sustain life on our planet with regard to one another, to all species and to our environment, regardless of our race, gender, political position or religious beliefs We are the only ones that can change this course. We will no longer ask for permission to change the world. However, we will ask for your help to be that change

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Thank your body and mind for the times the freeze response has protected you. MARY DAVID

ACTRESS, SPOKEN WORD ARTIST, ACTIVIST & LAWYER

80 AWARENOW / THE HUMAN EDITION

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FEATURE STORY BY MARY DAVID

THE FREEZE FRAME

AN INTUITIVE RESPONSE TO TRAUMA DEFINED “Fight or ight” has become such a well known phenomenon that many forget or do not even know that it is an incomplete reference. Signifying the ways in which people react when faced with danger, these sympathetic responses are actually part of a group of three intuitive mechanisms which we channel in the presence of stress:

1. FIGHT
 exerting some form of aggression towards an attacker or source of dange

2. FLIGHT
 running away from an attacker or source of dange

3. FREEZE
 remaining completely still in the presence of an attacker or danger
 The freeze response has been utilized by humans and other animals to elude predators since the beginning of time. Essentially, it means “playing dead” in hopes that an attacker gets lazy, arrogant, or looks the other way just long enough for the victim to escape. Historically, we know that freezing has served a powerful purpose. And yet, this physiological, uncontrollable response is almost entirely disregarded in cases of sex crimes, domestic violence, and many forms of verbal abuse1. It is also disregarded in the workplace

“Why didn’t you ght back? “Why didn’t you just get up and walk away? The problem with these arguments (and society as a whole) is their failure to recognize and accept the overcoming power of the freeze response. They also glorify the ght and ight responses over the freeze response when there is no scienti c or justi able reason to do so. None of the responses to trauma, whether ght or ight or freeze, are chosen. They are biologically, physiologically driven. None should be valued or judged as better or worse than another. The effects can be even more complicated to unravel for victims of complex trauma, unresolved trauma, and longstanding trauma. Not only may their bodies have intuitively gone into freeze mode in the past, but their trauma response may be additionally burdened with life experiences and conditioning that sti es them further. Cultural and societal expectations play a profound role as well.

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This means that when a woman has been assaulted by her husband, or a man grew up being abused by his mother, it may take these individuals longer to formulate a response when confronted with subsequent stressors, such as a boss who unexpectedly throws them under the bus in the middle of a board meeting. They may not refute false accusations made against them even though they know the assertions aren’t true, and even though their abuse took place 10 years earlier. All that matters is that they are in a scenario where someone in a position of power has once again backed them into a corner, signaling danger. On top of that, their bodies have learned that speaking up or defending themselves will only make things worse. Better to wait. Ride out the unexpected outburst than to engage. It is one of the most frustrating, complicated, lingering effects of trauma. A simple sound in the middle of the night or a belligerent coworker can cause a victim to shut down. You can imagine the challenges facing victims who seek to rise up the ladder in the corporate world, run for of ce, become partner at a law rm, or conquer any cutthroat industry where bullish, combative behavior is the norm and may even be exalted. With women severely underrepresented in these elds and simultaneously comprising the bulk of survivors of domestic violence and sex crimes, this can hardly be a coincidence. What’s worse, the victim and everyone else involved usually blames the victim for their trauma response and residual effects of trauma. We forget that our bodies carry the weight and our tissues retain the memory of our traumas long after the danger is gone. If this is you, there is no reason for shame. You are not the problem. Your response is not the problem. The freeze response is an adaptive trait2, backed by science and research, that serves a very real purpose. It is an instinct like any other. The instinct is hardwired, programmed into your body, and it was designed to protect you. In the same way that you do not shame yourself for removing your hand from a hot stove or shading your eyes from the sun, you should not shame yourself for this. Another thing you should know is that many, many people respond to trauma by freezing. You are not alone if this is how your body reacts to danger. You are actually in massive company. I have spoken with countless victims who, in a case of sexual assault or verbal abuse, go straight to the freeze response. Lastly, it is of paramount importance that you practice self-compassion when your freeze response is triggered. No matter what prompts you to freeze, the fact that you react in this way is a sign that your body recognizes its worth and is doing its job. Thank your body and mind for the times the freeze response has protected you. Even amidst whatever abuse or trauma you experienced, your freeze response was a form of self-preservation. Your freeze response is not a defeatist attitude. It is not consent. It is a tactical tool of warfare and combat that has been employed since the beginning of time. Liken yourself to a WWII soldier playing dead on the battle eld after a failed assault. They were being strategic and so are you. You too are brave. And you’re still here, so that’s a testament to your success.  While domestic violence may encompass verbal abuse, verbal abuse can and often does extend outside of scenarios of domestic violence and intimate partner violence. That is what is being referred to here 2 While freezing is a biological response, it enables us to adapt to an environment of danger. 1

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.

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‘REFLECTIONS’ ORIGINAL POETRY BY MARY DAVID

DOUBLE EDGED you wicked slug

the

you taught me how to

you demand I be assertive

with the brusque, rough hands of a butcher you

Fail

to anyone outside the home

unceremoniously throw what's left of me

you blamed me for i

yet indoors

into the arena

Gaslighter, Gaslighter

to the crowds,

you tie me

and then

that's all you know.

to the stake of subservience

demanding to see before you a Gladiator damning me

All the things I learned about strength and winning

if I don't win with

Are from answered prayers

pluck off the petals of my voic

the most fanfare

that I becom

 > Volum

and thickest blood

  nothin

 > Ton

on my hands.

        lik

Castrate my personalit

            you. 

 > Inflectio    > Pitc

Where was I to learn how to be anything bu

 > Gestures

prey,

 > Mannerisms

deferential asphyxiate my independence.

at the mere hint of adversity?

Have thoughts about this? Suggestions for an upcoming re ection? I want to hear them! Connect with me @MissMaryDavid on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

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There’s nothing to feel rejected about. NED STRANGER

SONGWRITER & WRITER

84 AWARENOW / THE HUMAN EDITION

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‘MUSIC WITH MEANING’ EXCLUSIVE COLUMN BY NED STRANGER

A REDIRECTION OF REJECTION 3 WAYS TO TURN REJECTION INTO BETTER WELLBEING

Everyone, even the continually ‘successful’ in life, will spend the majority of their time in a state of failure, rejection, struggle or boredom. How well you manage those numerous down periods de nes your level of success. How quickly do you bounce back from setbacks? How much do you embrace the struggle of trying to achieve something against the odds? How likely are you to look at a long queue of other people wanting the same thing you do and say ‘bring it on’

Am I Art Garfunkle to his Paul Simon, rather than the other way round, despite the respective hairstyles? For all the streams, the awesome gigs, the radio interviews, the tours around Europe, and so on… when I look back on the last ten years of playing with my band (‘August and After’), over 90% of the time was spent NOT getting the things we wanted. We might perform to a sold out crowd, but only after dozens of gigs, where the number of people in the band outnumbered the audience (sometimes three to one). We might get an interview on BBC Radio, but only after sending hundreds of unanswered emails My solo project has been quite a strange and humbling experience. I went from playing concerts to packed venues in London and getting tens or hundreds of thousands of streams per song, to having an audience of my mum and my girlfriend (who’s basically part of the band anyway) and having to start again I’ve had a lot of pretty negative thoughts, asking myself the following: Am I doing things really slowly? Is there already too much music in the world? Was my bandmate always the good one? Am I Art Garfunkle to his Paul Simon, rather than the other way round, despite the respective hairstyles? Have I missed my chance?” And so on This past year has been all about building resilience – training myself to manage the boredom of doing the same things every week to try and grow consistency, to deal with rejection, even from the playlisters that used to feature every new song we released But there are still moments when my good mood can be instantly turned into a bad mood because of one tiny rejection email that I wasn’t even surprised to receive. I’ve sat back for a few weeks to think about how I’ve dealt with rejection, and come up with 3 things I nd useful when I’m feeling especially down.

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1) FOCUS SOLELY ON WHAT I CAN DO BETTE I nd it so empowering to keep reminding myself that it’s up to ME to write better, produce better, lm better… not up to any tastemakers or listeners to give me the outcome I want This is not just about nding positives in failure – it’s about reimagining rejection to have nothing to do with the person doing the ‘rejecting’. It’s my duty to make content that other people nd interesting, and no one owes me anything. Reading my email is already more than I can expect, let alone replying to it. So when I send out a hundred emails to tastemakers (blogs, radio presenters, playlisters), there are two ways I can measure myself. I can either focus on the response I get – how many replies, how many people said yes, and so on… Or I can focus on what I did and how I could do it better, because unless 100% of people said yes, there is by de nition room for improvement in the pitch. Are the lyrics and the music the best I can write? Did I put enough effort into the production, grabbing the listener’s attention? Was my email subject line enticing enough? Did I take the time to build a personal identi er into each email? Did I send enough (polite) chase emails The reason I nd this approach so liberating is that by focusing on improvements, I’m refusing to admit that I’m being rejected by THEM – it’s ME that hasn’t done enough to earn their acceptance. It’s far more exciting to think about the stretch of time ahead as a sort of quest to nd the best song out there in the world. Once I’ve found it, I’ll know. Until then, I have more room for improvement – and this has to be exciting. If it’s not, I’m spending my life and pursuit of happiness on the wrong thing. So I’m no longer waiting behind a metaphorical queue of other people pitching for the same playlists, hoping I’ll get a yes – instead, I’m working to nd the best possible thing to bring to the table, so that when it’s my turn, the music is so irresistible that they can’t help but say yes.

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2) LOOK BACK WITH AFFECTION ON PREVIOUS STRUGGLE Sometimes I think back to the early days of ‘August and After’ – inviting people to Facebook events and sometimes having literally zero people show up, trying to work out the best way to position our microphone in my bandmate’s bedroom (without realising we were using the wrong end of it), getting no replies to the hundreds of emails we sent out trying to get our music featured somewhere, anywhere When I think about those times, I feel a warm glow of nostalgia. We spent a lot of time being rejected (or just being ignored) and feeling lost and having no clue where to even begin, etc. But primarily we were following a dream, having a laugh, and learning a lot over the way Do I remember the passages of time sending out emails? No. Do I remember nishing our recording session early to go and play ve-a-side football? Yes. (In particular, I remember being better than my bandmate...) This makes me realise that these periods don’t have to feel like failure – it is possible for me to enjoy the struggle and I’ll no doubt look back with affection on this year and the early months of ‘Ned Stranger’ in just the same way

3) REMEMBER THAT THE PEOPLE ‘REJECTING’ ME ARE PEOPLE TO Sometimes it’s easy to forget that you’re not the only person in the world. Every single person I send an email has their own struggles, their own people rejecting them, their own unful lled needs. One of the most powerful people in the world, the US President, is about to be publicly and of cially rejected by millions of people in his own country, possibly (hopefully) enough to take away the thing he wants the most Because I feel extremely lucky to have the friends, the health, the opportunities and the ambitions I do, I generally feel like a very lucky person. I think about this mental wellbeing stuff a LOT and whenever I send someone a pitch email, I believe on balance I’m probably happier than they are. Why does this make me feel better? It’s not out of some spiteful feeling of glee that the person I’m being ‘rejected’ by is somehow getting their comeuppance… It’s because it brings me back to that rst point: that I have all of this in my own hands. The reason I spend so much of my time writing music and sharing it with people is that THAT is the way that I try to make people happy. It gives me a sense of value, even in ‘rejection’, that I even have the power to make other people happy if I try hard enough It also stops me from feeling like the higher echelons of the music industry are like a sort of exclusive happy place, where others are trying to get in, to attain that happiness too. Instead, we’re all on the same plane – I just have my own goals and I’m trying to reach more people and make them happy with my music So there’s nothing to feel rejected about.

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.

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MEENAL SACHDEV

LOCAL COUNCILLOR FOR HERTSMERE BOROUGH COUNCIL AND DIRECTOR OF SHIVA FOUNDATION 88 AWARENOW / THE HUMAN EDITION

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ENDING EXPLOITATION

A MOTHER’S MISSION TO BRING TRAFFICKING TO AN END Meenal Sachdev is Local Councillor for Hertsmere Borough Council and Director of Shiva Foundation, a corporate foundation whose mission is to foster collaboration between and increase capacity of organisations working to prevent exploitation and support survivors of human traf cking. She has 20 years’ worth of experience in social impact from building leadership programmes and working on community empowerment to tackling issues such as modern slavery, human rights violations and access to education - she joins me for this month’s Human edition. Tanith: Meenal, you have been tackling the issue of modern slavery and human rights violations for 9 years now. What inspired you to get involved   Meenal: After my son was born, I stumbled across a phenomenal lady, Anuradha Koirala, who received the CNN Hero of the Year award in 2011 for her ght against child sex traf cking in Nepal. The stories of widespread issues relating to child traf cking troubled me. As a mother of two I felt the need to act This was why my husband and I started Shiva Foundation. As parents with a platform we felt it was our duty to ght for those whose children had been taken, who might have been tricked into circumstances or felt powerless to act At the time, the UK Modern Slavery Act was coming into place, we learned this crime was just as rampant in this country as in faraway places. Businesses were being called to take responsibility in operations and supply chains which have gone unchecked and increased risk of exploitation around the world. Local authorities were being given responsibility to identify cases and support victims, while many didn’t even understand what modern slavery was. We knew we had our work cut out for us within the UK

“Collaboration is the cornerstone of our work.” Tanith: Shiva Foundation is doing such important work to help end human exploitation. Please tell our readers about the organisation and your role as Director Meenal: Shiva Foundation aims to address root causes of exploitation and modern slavery in the UK. We create tools that build the capacity of business, government agencies, NGOs, and consumers to address this heinous crime. A large part of our work is developing awareness about causes of modern slavery in the UK, developing and building guidelines and models that can be implemented across business and local government to ght the issue. The most rewarding part is ghting for a cause that I am deeply passionate about. Human traf cking and modern slavery are human rights violations that shouldn’t exist. I’m working with a committed team to ght this crime. While it’s important to spot the signs of exploitation once it’s occurred, we aim to move towards stopping it from occurring in the rst instance. Collaboration is the cornerstone of our work and what enables the most long-lasting results when it comes to ghting for any cause.

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EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH MEENAL SACHDEV BY TANITH HARDING


“All of them have potential to have exploitation…” Tanith: I was really shocked to learn that modern slavery is the second largest criminal industry in the world! What industries do you think people would be most surprised to learn are contributors Meenal: All of them have potential to have exploitation in their business, as it’s a risk factor for anyone that has a supply chain and employs workers. Factors that lead to increased risk include businesses using multiple agencies for recruiting, when supply chains are complex and lack transparency and in countries where employment standards are low and unprotected. Workers are vulnerable when they’re at risk of having their workplace entitlements denied or lack capacity or means to secure their entitlements. These workers are usually employed in low-skilled, low-paid jobs with little security. Factors that increase vulnerability include (1) migration status if workers do not know their rights, fear deportation or are undocumented, (2) language skills, (3) recruitment fees as many workers from abroad take out loans to cover recruitment costs making them more reliant on whatever job they get, (4) homelessness, and (5) lack of social network, meaning the worker is more reliant on their exploiter.

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Tanith: In addition to your role at Shiva Foundation you’re also a Local Councillor for Hertsmere Borough Council and set up The Hertfordshire Modern Slavery Partnership along with many other initiatives to support those at risk. What made you decide to become a local councillor and how does it impact your work with Shiva Foundation Meenal: I’ve done a lot of work abroad, especially in India and Africa before I had children. Once they came along, I became more aware of local volunteering opportunities and was drawn to contributing to issues on my doorstep. As a mother, I wanted to model the importance of civic duty.  My roles at Shiva Foundation and the Council impact each other positively and creatively. As an Indian woman myself, one of the rst things I did was organise BAME speci c training. Statutory agencies came together to learn about FGM, honour-based violence and domestic abuse, all of which could be impacting residents from this background. In 2015, the passing of the Modern Slavery Act opened the eyes of many to the fact that this crime was happening in the UK. One of the rst projects was the Hertfordshire Modern Slavery Partnership. Aiming to bring coordination to the region by providing a space for statutory and non-statutory organisations to share learning and raise awareness. The partnership is made up of over 100 statutory and non-statutory partners working collaboratively tackling modern slavery and human traf cking

Tannith: You are extremely passionate about making change in the world and protecting vulnerable people. What should readers be looking out for and what action can they take if they suspect that somebody is being exploited Meenal: As individuals we can build awareness about the issue and understand the severity of the problem, learn about the signs and report any concerns we have As parents we can help children understand the risks out there – whether through gangs and drug traf cking, or child sexual exploitation which can be facilitated through social media platforms. As consumers, we can keep ourselves informed. Most companies will have modern slavery statements that you can access online. Demanding visibility and transparency is important and where companies are not doing enough, you can pressure them through writing directly, using social media or boycotting their brand. Criminal networks are coordinated and pervasive – to get ahead of them, we all have to be part of the solution.

Learn more about Meenal and her work. Visit www.meenalsachdev.com and www.shivafoundation.org.uk 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.

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Without the spirit, nothing will grow. Nothing will ever heal. OGIMAA (ACHA-KOOH-WAAY), JIM

ANISHINAABE KNOWLEDGE KEEPER, CHIEF OF FOOTHILLS OJIBWAY ON TURTLE ISLAND

92 AWARENOW / THE HUMAN EDITION

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‘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 3

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. Sometimes we need to help ourselves with that spirit. We are not only physical. When we take something from the land, like food, we need to acknowledge the spirit. That's why we used to have pot-latches or call feasts (an invitation open for all on the physical or spiritual side to be together), for all the spirits including who people call Creator or some people call God. He provided everything that we need here… just like in other parts of this world, there is a food source Everything that we take from the land grows from the land because we need it. Everything that God has provided for us is what we need. It wasn't created by a machine. It's created by God Himself. In order for us to have that well being, we need to take care of the Spirit. Some people call it a soul. But everything out there has a soul, has a spirit, like us. We need to acknowledge that spirit. Anything that's moving, everything that's growing, everything that’s alive has to be respected because life has spirit, not only the physical There is spirit to grow food. I need that. I need soil. But I'm going to acknowledge that soil, because soil has spirit. Some people might call it a soul Sometimes we need to fall back to that soul. Sometimes we need to fall back to that spirit, because the physical cannot provide everything that we need. I guess that's what they call ‘well being’ which is a good life, because  everything is good in it. It needs spirit. It needs to be physical. It needs a soul and human… two together We cannot go wrong because God has given us everything that we need. Sometimes when we take something for granted by not giving back, by not respecting the spirit, it could be a soul - somebody's soul. Sometimes we cannot help ourselves, but we need that spirit and the physical to guide us so our own source comes from life and provides energy… spirit energy. Without the spirit, nothing will grow. Nothing will ever heal Spirit will take care of you. Spirit will guide you. Spirit will protect you. Spirit will prevent things that may come at you. Spirit will get you to succeed with well being and there is a physical side. 

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While we are here physically, why not respect the spirit? We are people. We are a part of the creation. It is up to us to decide what we're going to believe. This is why God gave us free will. We decide. He provides everything that we need. What if that’s water? We need that water. Water gives you life. Water grows things. We are all here in this world, wherever we are, because of spirit and God himself has provided everything that we need… the physical side and the spiritual side. Everything that we need that comes from spirit. So if you look at the soil, some people might just see dirt or soil, but we all come from that creation. We all come from that soil, whether physical or spirit. That's why things grow.

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94 AWARENOW / THE HUMAN EDITION


If you plant corn, or strawberries, or maybe a cherry tree… or maybe potatoes… Spirit will do what Creator has intended to do because he created it for us. Sometimes we need to think about the physical and the spiritual side of things, because everything has maintained itself on its own for thousands of years. It was for us because God has provided that spirit for everything that we need. I think that’s well being. The physical and the spiritual together. It is part of the environment, the air, the water, the sun, the energy. We are part of that! We need to respect and acknowledge that spirit when some are using too much without acknowledging the spirit. This can get us sick because we don’t maintain the spirit. We take, which is the physical side, but we don’t acknowledge spirit… This is why pot-latch happened for sharing the food and eating with spirit. Some of us might not believe the spirit never dies, but the spirit continues to live, which is afterlife. While we are here physically, why not respect the spirit? It is part of the foods we eat and how I maintain my life, respecting the spirit. What I mean by that is not only at the table, but when I take something from the land I respect the spirit. I share with the spirit and if we do that we are not only healing ourselves but the world, the land We call this Mother Earth because she is alive. She can grow things like humans grow people - children. She is no different. She is our mother. She grows different things in different parts of the world Everything I just talked about… is Gods creation. There is God. There is Creator. He created everything that we need, and I think that is well being. If we take care of everything, we are given what is needed. It’s always going to be there, not for us to take for granted but to live a good life and have well being and for our children, our grandchildren, and our great grandchildren and yet to be born. I think we must take care of the spirit, so those people can maintain the connection. Those children that come to be born are part of our spiritual ways. We need them to know to respect spirit and the physical. We need to look at that part of spirit life. Humans and Spirit and Soul. Mii'gwetc (“Thank you” in my language. Respectfully recorded and submitted by Kathy Kiss

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.

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It takes effort and dedication to build new habits while under tension, but I promise you, it is worth that ght. DR. JENNY MARTIN

LICENSED CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST, AUTHOR & AWARENESS TIES OFFICIAL AMBASSADOR WWW.IAMAWARENOW.COM fi

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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 I know I should be really excited about 2021, because 2020 was so hard, but instead of feeling happy and optimistic, I'm feeling anxious and scared. Advice? - Charle Well, my therapist alarm bells sounded as soon as I read the word “should.” Charles, this word is so problematic in my eyes that a whole chapter of my new book revolves around helping people to dismantle their relationship with this icky word. Hear this: the pressure you are feeling is essentially coming from a lie you are either telling yourself or receiving from your environment. In order to release some of this anxiety, it is crucial to examine its root. We have no power over our feelings! (thoughts, a bit, actions, yes, but feelings, no). If you are anxious and scared, then those are your true, real feelings. Those are the things that you- dare I say- should be feeling. Nothing changes because a date on the calendar ips. There is still much to fear and worry over. I’m with you! Try to practice telling yourself that it’s ok to be scared and anxious. Try to recognize those feelings from an observational standpoint, rather than a judgmental one. When you are able to do this, a really wonderful thing happens: the fear and anxiety tend to quiet down a bit. We must validate our feelings to have a chance of moving through them. In practicing this, you might nd that there’s room enough for fear and optimism to exist together. All my best to you I’ve been drinking a lot more during the last few months, with the events I feel attacking us from all directions. Covid, loss of jobs and our horrible President and national leadership,I nd myself only nding safety of numbness in a bottle, I fear that my mental state is dependent on alcohol, do you have any advice on protecting our bodies / minds without alcohol in these dark times? - Donal Feeling the need to escape reality makes a lot of sense right now, Donald. Not only are we being hit from all sides, we don’t have the typical outlets and support we’ve built over the years to help us cope. Alcohol offers an easy way to dull the stress of it all. I commend you for recognizing that there is a psychological connection between stress and alcohol use; not everyone can see that. The rst, best thing you can do is validate the intensity of the stress you are experiencing. It is major. Because high alcohol use can become a major health risk, I strongly encourage you to nd a therapist. We need to process the different elements of stress as they come, or else they will snowball into a potential avalanche later. While drinking does help in the short term in numbing the stress, it prevents the processing of the stress leading it to accumulate. Expressing the heaviness you are experiencing is crucial. This can come in many forms: talking, journaling, exercising, etc. This is the time to experiment and try new things to assist with “wringing out the sponge of suffering” as I like to describe it. The more you can release stress through healthy outlets, the less you will feel the need to numb it. It takes effort and dedication to build new habits while under tension, but I promise you, it is worth that ght.

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Finding it hard to breathe when I turn on the news. Feel like I'm in tears with every headline these days. I know I could just turn off the news and pretend what's happening isn't happening, but I don't want to run away from what's real. What should I do about this anxiety I get from the news? - Rache The inundation of fear, trauma, confusion, and pain we are faced with on a near daily basis can truly feel too much to bear. Especially now with how embedded information is within our social networks, it can feel inescapable. Add the fact that many of us can't or don't feel comfortable leaving our homes with regularity, there is little to do but absorb what the internet and television pour out. While imperfect, my best advice is to set clear, de nable limits for news and information intake. This is so much easier said than done, but it can be extremely helpful. For example, give yourself three 15 minute chucks within your day to check news, browse social media, or turn on the TV. Or, bundle that into an hour at some point in your day. Hold yourself accountable to the limits you set. This helps you discover what your balance between ooding and avoidance looks like. The second part to this is guring out what to do with the time that was once spent consuming media information. What happens in that space? Might it lead you to something more comforting? Try to work to that being the goal. We need to nd ways to balance the anxiety of living in this current world. Try to work to intentionally nurture what that is for you. I'll be trying, too.

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-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.

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AwareNow: Issuu 12: The Human Edition  

In 'The Human Edition' we share the stories that tie us all together. In this issue we feature 21 personal stories and exclusive interviews,...

AwareNow: Issuu 12: The Human Edition  

In 'The Human Edition' we share the stories that tie us all together. In this issue we feature 21 personal stories and exclusive interviews,...

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