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Inside Look! America’s Mental Health Crisis

THE POWER Of CONFIDENCE

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FOUNDER AND EDITORIAL DIRECTOR

Cassandra A. Tindal Writers At Large The Community

Editor In Chief Cassandra A. Tindal

Executive Photo Director Cassandra A. Tindal

Chief Columnist Cassandra A. Tindal

Creative Art Director Justin Ackerman

Book Editor Justin Ackerman

Interviews / Director Cassandra A. Tindal

Design Editor Cassandra A. Tindal

Graphic Designer Justin Ackerman

Articles

Articles, Senior Editor: Cassandra A. Tindal Fashion, Beauty & Style:

Fashion / Director Stephanie Cain

Beauty and Style / Director: Denise Pereau Contributing Writer: Denise Pereau Consulting Editor: Victoria A. Tindal Marketing Brand Assistant

Director:

Victoria A. Tindal

Fashion, Beauty & Style Editor: Denise Pereau

Art Deputy Art Director: Senior Designer: Cassandra A. Tindal Digital Image Specialist: Justin Ackerman Editorial / Publisher / Producers: By: ISSUU Photo Editor: Cassandra A. Tindal

Copy: Digital & Print Edition: By: ISSUU Images and Photos & Ad Contributors: Pamela Reaves Harriet Rosebud Hannah Jane Chleo Helms Tasheka Crytal Myers

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Content

Mental, Emotional & Spiritual / Life Articles:

Fashion, Beauty and Style § § § §

Closet Solidarity: pg. 35-41 Next Issue By Denise Pereau: pg. 53 Jean –Ralph Thurin Fashions: pg. 59-79 Art Of Hannah Fashions: pg. 97-99

Entertainment, Who is Who

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Transforming the face of psychiatry: pg. 29-34 Inside America’s Mental Health Crisis: pg. 45 Mental Disorder Review: A Brief Review: pg. 46-48 When Loving Your Mother Hurts: pg. 49-54 Last Articles: Dream Relationship to a Daily Struggle Life With a Narcissist: (article from last issue, pt. 1) pg. 55 Breaking Free from a Narcissistic Relationship: pg. 57-57 Two Psychopath Try To Kill Us All: pg. 81-87 Stepping Into The Light: pg. 91-96 Take Your Power Back: pg. 101-102 Its Not The Yellow Elephant In The Room: pg. 103-106 The Benefit of Lucid Dreaming: pg. 129 -133

§ § § Business Insights § § § Do You Have What It Takes To Make § It on Wal Street? Women and Wall Street. § Pg. 26-28 Your Best Lifestyle 4 Success

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The Great American Hat Show, Harriet Rosebud: pg. 17-18

Experts In Pink, Holistic Health § §

Nutrition: A Higher level of Wellbeing Pg. 115-116

Mental Health News Radio § Kristin Sunanta Walker: Pg. 89-90

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The Power of Confidence: Pg. 9-16 On Fighting The Good Fight, Cierra Kaler-Jones: Pg. 19-24 Shape It Up - Nicole Simonin: pg. 119-120 Care Beyond Beauty: pg. 121-122 Back To The Cutting Board: pg. 109-114 Resilient Women, Kimberly McGowen: Pg. 125-126 4


Your Best Lifestyle 4 Success Fashion, Beauty & Style Influencers

Finance and Business Insight Women’s Emotional, Physical & Spiritual Wellness

WOMENZ Straight Talk - HOT Topics Who Is Who / Entertainment 5


FOUNDER AND EDITORIAL DIRECTOR

Cassandra A. Tindal Writers At Large The Community

Editor In Chief Cassandra A. Tindal

Executive Photo Director Cassandra A. Tindal

Chief Columnist Cassandra A. Tindal

Creative Art Director Justin Ackerman

Book Editor Justin Ackerman

Interviews / Director Cassandra A. Tindal

Design Editor Cassandra A. Tindal

Graphic Designer Justin Ackerman

Contributing Writers and Authors: Mental, Physical & Spiritual Wellbeing / Lifestyle Articles: Amanda M. Flowers, Ph D., Clinical Phycologist, Researcher. Angela Clack, PsyD, LPC Judith Orloff, MD New York Times best-selling author of The Empath’s Survival Guide. Evelyn M. Ryan Author, Writer, Certified Life Coach, Producer Kathleen (Kat) O’Keefe-Kanavos, Author, Writer, Producer, Media Host.. Cindy Papale Hammontree, Writer, Author, Health & Wellness Life coach. Sabrina Ironson, Dietary Nutritionist, Wellness Coach

Contributing Writers, Authors: Health Articles Amanda M. Flowers, Ph D., Clinical Phycologist, Researcher. Angela Clack, PsyD, LPC Judith Orloff, MD New York Times best-selling author of The Empath’s Survival Guide:. Connie Bramer Published author, speaker and cancer survivor. Kathleen (Kat) O’Keefe-Kanavos, Author, Writer, Producer, Media Host.. Cindy Papale Hammontree, Writer, Author, Health & Wellness Life coach. Sabrina Ironson, Dietary Nutritionist, Wellness Coach

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FOUNDER AND EDITORIAL DIRECTOR

Cassandra A. Tindal Writers At Large The Community

Editor In Chief Cassandra A. Tindal

Executive Photo Director Cassandra A. Tindal

Chief Columnist Cassandra A. Tindal

Creative Art Director Justin Ackerman

Book Editor Justin Ackerman

Interviews / Director Cassandra A. Tindal

Design Editor Cassandra A. Tindal

Graphic Designer Justin Ackerman

Fashion, Beauty & Style Articles: Interview / Article: Cassandra A. Tindal Producer and Host: Cassandra A. Tindal Syndicated Columnist and Contributing Writers: Contributing Writer: Denise Pereau Fashion, Beauty & Style Columnists Contributing Writers and Editors: Fashion, Beauty & Style Articles: Denise Pereau WST - Fashion, Beauty & Style Columnists Contributing Writers: Business / Who Is Who Business Articles: Contributing Articles / Business and Entertainment Fashion - Productions

Contributing Writers and Editors: Your Best Lifestyle 4 Success, Wellness Articles: Cierra Kaler-Jones Writer, Author, Coach Sabrina Ironson, Dietary Nutritionist, Wellness Life Coach Pamela Reaves Author, Writer and Coach Christina Pirello Emmy Award-Winning Host of Christina Cooks Nicole Simonin Physical Therapist, Fitness Nutrition Specialist, Health Coach.

Harriet Rosebud, The Great American Hat Show

Producer, Executive Director and Designer 7


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THE POWER OF CONFIDENCE By: Pamela Reaves

A Woman Who Lives Life From a Position of Power

Pamela Reaves (Model) – Hat By: Harriet Rosebud

I

am a powerful woman, and now that I am in my early sixties, I can say without

reservation, I live and enjoy life from a Position of Power. This declaration does not come from a place of arrogance, but rather a lifetime of experiences that run the gambit. I have experienced tremendous joy as well as agonizing sorrow. I have achieved gain as well as suffered loss. I have been overjoyed because of an abundance of blessings, and I have questioned why I've had to stay in the valley of despair far longer than I thought was fair. Yet it is this vast experience that has created the woman I've become. While I enjoy the honor of being held in high esteem by others, I also enjoy the tranquility that comes from humility. There is a quiet strength in humility. In the movie "American Gangster" it was Denzel Washington's character, Frank Lucas, who said in one scene, "the loudest one in the room is the weakest one". If that be the case, then it is not unreasonable to reach the conclusion that there is a certain power in "quiet". This revelation about the power of quiet strength is one of many rewards that comes with aging. I've also learned that there is power in silence.

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THE POWER OF CONFIDENCE By: Pamela Reaves

W

hen we evolve, at some point, we realize

that our power is not solely for us, but we are empowered to empower others. One of my favorite lifestyle gurus, Hal Elrod, says that the more value you bring to the lives of others, the more valuable you become. The woman who I am today has been called upon to coach, guide, inspire, and motivate other women to acknowledge and embrace their power. As I have moved through life and navigated my personal journey, I have discovered that the Creator has specific reason for each life. He is not an arbitrary deity, but the architect of a specific plan for me to impact the lives of others. My vision is that the cornerstone of my impact will inspire and motivate women to accept their supreme value regardless of background. Women especially have the propensity to devalue themselves for fear they will be regarded as arrogant, snooty, or difficult.

These types of concerns compel them to make that unbelievable leap wherein they convince themselves that if they compromise their values, or God forbid lower their standards to appease the obtain of their attraction, they will neither be attractive nor desirable to men. Then there is that fear that other women will dislike or become jealous. This fear is not to be taken lightly because we know that jealousy is dangerous and viscous. These are misguided assumptions. The man who will enhance a woman's life; bring joy to her life; be a pillar of strength when she's not at her strongest, will be attracted to the woman who knows and walks in her own power. Stuff happens to all of us, and a man who thinks with clarity will appreciate the woman who can hit the ground running and handle their business if necessary. Women who are committed to next level living and building a power network won't be jealous of the woman who can pour into them, offer sage advice, or inspire them to step into a realm of greater greatness.

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I

hate human suffering in any form, and seeing it motivates me to

do something about it. One of my favorite quotes states the following: "The truth sometimes hurts, but it always heals."(c) P. Reaves. In this regard, among my core principles the commitment to deliver the truth unfiltered. That's exactly what audiences get whenever I speak publicly. The unfiltered truth is not offensive if your heart is right. People aren't stupid and know when it comes from the heart. When that is the case, they will accept the unfiltered truth in the spirit in which it is intended. I'm not a big fan of the phraseology "keeping it real". That's because I have witnessed too many instances, especially on social media, where keeping it real seems to be a license to criticize, belittle, or diminish. When you're about power living, as I am, you don't want any parts of "keeping it real" if it comes from a place of mean spirit. I love being a woman, and one of my most passionate endeavors is to inspire other women to live and enjoy the highest order of womanhood. Men and women are always asking me about me. Power is my Law of Attraction and this is the energy that attracts them to me. Although I am in my sixties, part of the attraction is that I'm not viewed as a typical woman in her sixties. When I entered my fifties, I decided that I would define the experience of being fifty, and I've stuck to that premise. Living life from a Position of Power means that you have authority, influence, and control over what happens to you in life. Even when something isn't seemingly going in the direction you desire, you can still assume and operate from a Position of Power. For example, if you're having an argument that you're not winning, you can exercise power by merely walking away. The desired result is not be decimated by the other party. When you walk away, you are leaving on your own terms. That's power because you took control over how the argument would end (walking away).

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I

created a coaching tool that I call TAPS. TAPS includes

the four pillars of all success and/or greatness. It stands for Transformation; Action; Power; and Source. TAPS can be applied to every part of your life. My latest initiative is a series of unique books. The series is called "Queendom Principles - The Highest Order of Womanhood�. In this series, I am sharing with readers the principles that are responsible for my blessing of living and enjoying the highest order of womanhood. These books will turn on the light of understanding as to why I am constantly referred to as "Queen" and treated accordingly.

I have many joys and have had the privilege of pursuing all of them. I have enjoyed an illustrious career in Corporate Real Estate for more than 30 years. After the age of 50, I became a Certified Professional Coach, Published Author, Motivational Speaker, and created my own line of skincare products. One of many things I love about being a woman is that we are ever-evolving. I have a friend who hosts an event called "Push the Dream". When she asked me to speak at her conference and wanted to know what I would be speaking on, my response was "The Dream Has No Expiration Date." If you asked me to leave one thing with your readers, it would be to keep going because as long as you're alive, there is no expiration date on turning your dream into your reality.

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The Great American Hat Show, Afrikon Forever returns to planet Africa. We will explore the continent, It’s rich culture, traditions, music and fashion. The Show will tell the history of The Five Queens of Africa, unfold the planets natural resources in Mineral X and showcase the the colors of the Majestic Cats. These stories are told through a fashion lense and creative dance movements. Featuring The New Face of Rosebud Dr. Sheila Elliott. 17


The Great American Hat Show! Producer: Harriet Rosebud

H

arriet Rosebud, is one of the most well-known African-

Pamela Reaves (Model) Face of Harriet Rosebud In 2014.

American milliners in the country, Who has been designing and manufacturing hats for more than 20yrs., with clients in the U.S. and in Canada, some of whom will travel to “The Great American Hat Show.� A unique fashion production, produced by Harriet Rosebud since 2001. Where she presented this year's theme as Afrikon Forever, it is a futuristic look into planet Afrika. The April, 2019 show took the audience on a winding journey throughout the continents rich background, exploring natural resources, captivating history and culturally diverse people, That tells the extravagant story through an fashion lense and art form, with creative dance movements. The fashion line-up this year included the following designers: Larry Underground, Princess Jenkins, John Ashford Shoes, Taylor Row Sean and Harriet Rosebud. Where designers used all art forms to showcase their designs. Each year this event takes place at the: 440 W. 57th. St., New York, NY 10019.

Dr. Sheila Elliot (Model) Face of Harriet Rosebud In 2019. Photo Credits: Harriet Rosebud

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Cierra Kaler-Jones

Kaler-Jones was the second woman of color to secure the title of Miss New Jersey.

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Cierra Kaler-Jones is a teaching artist, writer, and rising scholar based in Washington, DC. She has had her writing featured in Education Post, Nia Magazine, Midnight and Indigo, and on Ebony.com. She has been recognized internationally for her social justice work with students and was a guest speaker at the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans and the United States Department of Education. Her speaking credits also include the 2015 Mark Conference and most recently she gave a TED talk at the 2018 TEDxFoggyBottom conference.

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She

is currently a Ph.D. student in the

Department of Teaching and Learning, Policy and Leadership at University of Maryland College Park studying minority and urban education. Her work examines how arts-based practices can be used as critical tools to encourage student identity development, expression, and activism. In 2014, Kaler-Jones was the second woman of color to secure the title of Miss New Jersey, and dedicated her year of service to offering free visual and performing arts lessons to students along the East Coast and advocating for educational equity. She used this platform to expand her community program, The Young Artist Empowerment Project, which delivers culturally relevant arts-based programming in which students, specifically girls of color, examine issues of leadership, goal setting, mental / emotional / physical health and wellness, and social justice. She lived out her childhood dream of competing for Miss America in 2015 and was a finalist for the Miss America Quality of Life Award.

Kaler-Jones was the second woman of color to secure the title of Miss New Jersey.

When she isn’t researching trends in education or speaking to students about the transformative power of sharing their stories, she teaches dance classes for all ages and levels, choreographs for companies and studios, and is a fitness instructor.

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On Fighting The Good Fight By: Cierra Kaler-Jones The past few days have been incredibly trying. I am exhausted, angry, frustrated, disappointed. As my alarm pings powerfully at 7:00am, I slam the snooze button, as it’s a reminder of another day I have to get up and face the disappointment that I feel in my own country. This is not to be political. At my core, I believe in the tenants of our nation, including the importance and value of acknowledging the different ideologies that shape our worldviews. As an educator and researcher, I encourage students to willingly engage in uncomfortable conversations as a form of growth and expansion of their minds and lived realities. No matter your political views, no matter whether or not your candidate won, you still need to wake up and recognize that the state of our nation is one that is not equal and the current state has only put a spotlight on issues we’ve been facing. When I say I am disappointed, it is for very real and very personal reasons. I write this to make sense of and give voice to my own story, but more so as a hopeful acknowledgement of what my (and our) role is in moving forward towards a brighter tomorrow. As a daughter to a Pacific Island-White mother and Black father, I’ve heard the stories of how people used to spit at my parents while they held hands in the street. As a survivor of sexual assault, I’ve experienced the pain and trauma that accompanies being physically violated. As a woman of color, I’ve been called derogatory names and feared for my life after being stopped by an officer. As the partner, daughter, and sister of Black men, I’ve had to hug them a little tighter and hold my breath every time they step out of the house. This is my reality. This is my lived experience. In working with students around the art of storytelling, I’ve learned how incredibly powerful it is in shaping social justice conversations because you can’t look someone in the eye after they’ve told their story and tell them they’re wrong. Our stories shape who we are. They shape how we see and view the world. They shape the way we interact with others. We are experts of our own stories. That is the beauty of storytelling – no one person or viewpoint is right or wrong. Continue… 22


As a researcher and advocate of issues surrounding girls of color and storytelling to encourage social justice conversations, how do I continue to affirm the stories and voices of the students I work with? How do I tell them that they still matter in a world where hate rhetoric is spewed not just from the leader of our country, but those they work and go to school with everyday? How do I encourage them to continue to pursue their dreams, no matter how extravagant, when they don’t see others in power that have similar lived experiences or even simply value their lived experiences? How do I tell them to keep pressing on when they fear for their lives not because of one person, but because of the following that that individual has gathered and how those people now feel empowered to voice and act on their hatred? How do I tell young people that their bodies are sacred, their love is validated, and that their expression of religion is beautiful? How do I, myself, continue to fight on and do the good work, despite feeling like I can barely take care of myself, let alone try and uplift those I’m dedicated to serve? How do I provide a safe space for students to decompress and process when I’m still processing myself ? These are the questions I’ve been asking. Today was the first time I had a glimmer of hope and realization that changed my perspective. As I sat in a meeting discussing how we could best support our students, I remembered that I’ve always lived with the mindset, “one person at a time.” As I am fueling the anger and frustration into negativity, I could be moving those feelings into action. I am here(we all are here), right now, in this moment of monumental history that will forever change our nation. God set me and you in this moment because we are the ones who are going to shake things up and see to it that there is great change. One person. You could touch one person’s life in fighting the good fight and their life, their lived reality and experience, will forever be changed. Do you know how powerful it is? Someone’s whole world can change because of you. We were put here in this moment because we are equipped with the heart, the drive, and the tenacity to see to it that our babies, our next generation of future leaders, will not have to live in a world of inequality. Continue…

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I have hope. As frightening as it may be, I have hope deep down in the core root of my very being. Why? I get to be a part of history. I get to be the change. I get to work with young girls of color and help them recognize their worth. I get to educate and inspire young girls of color to pursue levels of education and achievement they never even dreamed possible. I get to have conversations with college students about their stories and change my perspective on topics that I was once unyielding about. I get to provide spaces for students to unpack their thoughts and watch them grow through the difficult process of understanding why they think the way they think. I get to be a leader in a time of darkness. I have all this possibility in front of me to fight the good fight, even when it’s hard, even when it hurts, even when I can’t get out of bed, I get to keep fighting for what I love. You know what? Heck, this had made me feel as though all of the things I resist doing out of fear of being unqualified I can absolutely do. Maybe, just maybe, you’ll see me in office one day – where I’ll be fighting the good fight. That is where the glimmer of hope comes in. All of this to say, do not give up. You were fighting the good fight long before and there’s no reason to stop now. Do the internal work. Heal, scream, cry, take a day, but please, do not give up. Check your biases and your privileges. Let a young person know that they are loved and enough. Look in the mirror and tell yourself that you are loved and enough. Reach out to those who need a little extra support. Take care of yourself. Eat, sleep, and drink lots of water. Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and keep fighting because that’s what you were put onto this earth to do. Don’t give up fighting for what you believe in. I sure won’t. I will fight harder, stronger, and more passionately because it’s not about me – it’s about all the little ones in our country that are the future of America who need to see and know what love, acceptance, tolerance, and celebration of differences truly looks like.

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Business Insights

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Do you have what it takes to make it on Wall Street? Have you always wanted to learn how to build your own financial portfolio, but don’t have the time or resources to invest in learning the ropes? Join us for our online cohort and learn the fundamentals of global finance, including: § § §

Investing Trading on the Stock Market Wealth Management

The E4 curriculum is based on 4 principles: Educate, Equip, Empower and Establish. Dr. Jamillah Mantilla has been training business leaders and offering global finance education classes since 2015. She has opened the doors of her classroom and created a virtual learning experience for those looking for an affordable alternative to traditional business school. GBI’s E4 Wall Street Trading & Wealth cohort is a digital learning community. Interactive online classes promote peerto-peer engagement through email and social networking platforms. Classes are offered in an accelerated 12 week curriculum. Anyone with a will to learn and access to a computer and internet service can participate.

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Lauren Simmons, is the youngest and only 23 year old full-time female trader at the New York Stock Exchange, and the second AfricanHow Companies are Leading the way to GenderAmerican woman in history to wear the coveted badge. Equality for women Impacting The Workplace and

Financial Banking World Bloomberg’s, (BFGEI) named Bank of America once again as leaders in the development and success of gender equality and women in the workplace, and was included in the Bloomberg Financial Service Gender-Equality Index (BFGEI), an annual listing of companies demonstrating leadership in their policies and disclosures in support of gender equality. Anne Finucane, Bank of America’s vice chairman said, that investing in women is an investment in the future. The way we support women everyday is by connecting women to the opportunities, tools resources and financial solutions they need to succeed. Bank of America was among 52 firms listed in 2017 year’s index, based in part on its strong representation of women at all levels, talent development programs, industry-leading benefits, and leadership on gender issues in communities

Traders Lauren Simmons, right, works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange,

Bloomberg’s Gender-Equality Index, The Gold Seal Bloomberg’s gender-equality index is the first of its kind, to track the performances of companies that are leaders in advancing women globally. Inclusion in Bloomberg’s GenderEquality Index has become the gold seal for companies around the world to publicly demonstrate their commitment to equality and equity in the workplace.

L’OREAL LISTED IN BLOOMBERGS (GEI)

Women On Wall Street

L’Oréal is included among the top 100 Bloomberg 2018 Gender-Equality Index which highlights companies that have made strong commitments to gender equality. L’Oréal achieved the maximum score in the Community and Product categories.

Breaking into this heavily male-dominated field of Wall Street trading, is an area that still represents a small minority since few women apply for jobs in trading, deterred by its decades-old reputation as an “alpha-male territory” and misconceptions about skills it requires. . And has not seen much change, although firms are working hard to improve their gender ratios.”

L’Oréal has a long-standing commitment to gender equality and a firm conviction that it is a strategic lever to increase wellbeing at work, fuel creativity and innovation, and boost performance and growth. In 2016, women represented 70% of the Group’s total workforce, 46% of the Board of Directors, 33% of the Executive Committee and 48% of the Management committees. L’Oréal is committed to maintain a high gender equality standard subject to regular audit certifications. Since 2011, the Group works with two independent organizations: EDGE (Economic Dividends for Gender Equality) and GEEIS (Gender Equality European and International Standard) that conduct in-depth, rigorous audits of current staff and hiring policies for many of its subsidiaries.

Banks’ efforts to change that have intensified over the past year with the emergence of the #MeToo movement and growing shareholder calls for disclosures on workforce diversity.

Don’t Let Fear Stop You Lauren Simmons had this advice for other women: “Don’t let fear stop you. If you sit around all day thinking, ‘Oh, I’m the only female or the only minority, the only woman,’ … that is a distraction all day long. You can’t sit and dwell on the distraction. Do what you’re meant to do and do it well. You got this.”

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The power of empathy & intuition will open your heart and empower your life 29


Transforming the face of psychiatry, Judith Orloff MD asserts that we are keepers of an innate intuitive intelligence so perceptive that it can tell us how to heal — and prevent — illness. Yet intuition and spirituality are the very aspects of our wisdom usually disenfranchised from traditional health care. Dr. Orloff is accomplishing for psychiatry what physicians like Dean Ornish and Mehmet Oz have done for mainstream medicine — she is proving that the links between physical, emotional, and spiritual health can’t be ignored. She was called in The Nation Magazine, one of the “FRONTIER PEOPLE” in health who was not satisfied with the existing order and pushed for an expansion of knowledge. Dr. Orloff is a New York Times bestselling author and is on the UCLA psychiatric clinical faculty. She specializes in treating empaths and sensitive people in her Los Angeles based private practice. She has spoken at medical schools, hospitals, the American Psychiatric Association, Google-LA, Fortune Magazine’s Most Powerful Women’s Summit, and alternative and traditional health forums — venues where she presents practical intuitive tools to doctors, patients, and everyday people. In response to her work, The Los Angeles Times calls Dr. Orloff “a prominent energy-based healer.” Continue…

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Top 10 Characteristics of an Empath The trademark of an empath is that they feel and absorb other people’s emotions and/or physical symptoms because of their high sensitivities. They filter the world through their intuition and have a difficult time intellectualizing their feelings. As a psychiatrist and empath myself, I know the challenges of being a highly sensitive person. When overwhelmed with the impact of stressful emotions, empaths can have panic attacks, depression, chronic fatigue, food, sex and drug binges, and many physical symptoms that defy traditional medical diagnosis. But an empath doesn’t have to feel too much and be overloaded once they learn how to center themselves. The first step is to acknowledge that you are an empath. Here are the top 10 traits of an empath from my book, The Empath's Survival Guide. See if you can relate to them. 10 Traits of an Empath 1. Empaths are highly sensitive Empaths are naturally giving, spiritually open, and good listeners. If you want heart, empaths have got it. Through thick and thin, they’re there for you, world-class nurturers. But they can easily have their feelings hurt. Empaths are often told that they are “too sensitive” and need to toughen up.

About Dr. Judith Orloff Judith Orloff, MD is the New York Times best-selling author of The Empath’s Survival Guide: Life Strategies for Sensitive People, upon which this article is based.

2. Empaths absorb other people’s emotions Empaths are highly attuned to other people’s moods, good and bad. They feel everything, sometimes to an extreme. They take on negativity such as anger or anxiety which is exhausting. If they are around peace and love, their bodies take these on and flourish. 3. Many empaths are introverted Empaths become overwhelmed in crowds, which can amplify their empathy. They tend to be introverted and prefer one to one contact or small groups. Even if an empath is more extroverted they prefer limiting how much time they can be in a crowd or at a party. 4. Empaths are highly intuitive Empaths experience the world through their intuition. It is important for them to develop their intuition and listen to their gut feelings about people. This will help empaths find positive relationships and avoid energy vampires. 5. Empaths need alone time As super-responders, being around people can drain an empath so they periodically need alone time to recharge their batteries. Even a brief escape prevents emotionally overload. Empaths like to take their own cars when they go places so they can leave when they please.

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Top 10 Characteristics of an Empath (continued) 6. Empaths can become overwhelmed in intimate relationships Too much togetherness can be difficult for an empath so they may avoid intimate relationships. Deep down they are afraid of being engulfed and losing their identity. For empaths to be at ease in a relationship, the traditional paradigm for being a couple must be re-defined. 7. Empaths are targets for energy vampires An empath’s sensitivity makes them particularly easy marks for energy vampires, whose fear or rage can sap their energy and peace of mind. Vampires do more than drain an empath’s physical energy. The especially dangerous ones such as narcissists (they lack empathy and are only concerned with themselves) can make them believe they’re unworthy and unlovable. Other vampires include The Victim, The Chronic Talker, The Drama Queen and more. 8. Empaths become replenished in nature The busyness of ever day life can be too much for an empath. The natural world nourishes and restores them. It helps them to release their burdens and they take refuge in the presence of green wild things, the ocean or other bodies of water. 9. Empaths have highly tuned senses An empath’s nerves can get frayed by noise, smells, or excessive talking. 10. Empaths have huge hearts but sometimes give too much Empaths are big-hearted people and try to relieve the pain of others. A homeless person holding a cardboard sign, "I'm hungry" at a busy intersection; a hurt child; a distraught friend. It's natural to want to reach out to them, ease their pain. But empaths don't stop there. Instead, they take it on. Suddenly they're the one feeling drained or upset when they felt fine before. As an empath myself, I use many strategies to protect my sensitivities such as fierce time management, setting limits and boundaries with draining people, meditation to calm and center myself, and going out into nature. Being an empath is a gift in my life but I had to learn to take care of myself. Empaths have special needs. It’s important to honor yours and communicate them to loved ones.

Dr. Orloff is a psychiatrist, an empath and is on the UCLA Psychiatric Clinical Faculty. She synthesizes the pearls of traditional medicine with cutting edge knowledge of intuition, energy, and spirituality. Dr. Orloff specializes in treating empaths and highly sensitive people in her private practice. Dr. Orloff’s work has been featured on The Today Show, CNN, the Oprah Magazine, USA Today, and the New York Times.

Adapted from Dr. Judith Orloff’s book, The Empath’s Survival Guide: Life Strategies for Sensitive People. 33


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Closet Solidarity

_ By Denise Pereau

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Closet Solidarity _By: Denise Pereau

When shopping recently, it dawned on me that consciously or subconsciously, we all make choices everyday that bind us together in the context of kindred spirit, most conspicuously in the clothing we buy and wear. Garment messaging has taken the fashion industry into a realm beyond charity fundraising as declarations of closet solidarity draw us together in peaceful protest, empowerment or backlash. Clothing with hot topic messaging and graphics continues to trend with no end in sight. Wardrobe color selections unite us further, allowing us to claim affinity to movements without uttering a word, our bodies, billboards promoting passionate commitment to personal causes or political rhetoric. T-shirt messaging has never been so positively encouraging or purposefully repugnant. Inspiring phrases such as “Never the less She Persisted”, “Love Not Hate Makes America Great”, and “Black Lives Matter”, or the inflammatory; “There are Three Useless Things In Life, A Dull Knife, An Unloaded Gun and Liberals”, or “Fake News Reporter”, define political stances threaded onto our person generating instant support or censure.

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Closet Solidarity (Continued…)

2LV, which translates to; To love, To live, is a Tshirt messaging concept set to launch June 29th, 2019. Founded by Chloe Helms, a young schoolteacher and entrepreneur who recognized a need to build confidence in both children and adults has faced her own personal struggles regarding bullying and mental health issues. Her passion for helping others to realize their true self worth is the driving force behind her company that she hopes to take global. Standing in front of the mirror wearing 2LV clothing, messages of empowerment read back to the wearer. Chloe states, “Daily positive affirmations such as, My Future is Bright, or Tougher Than My Troubles, help the wearer to face the day on a positive note. We can’t live life to the fullest until we learn to love ourselves.”

Chleo Helms

2LV Messages of Empowerment

Continue…

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_By: Denise Pereau

Female Solidarity in Support of Women’s Issues Clothing narratives in stride with political ideologies may seem bold and new, but historically, people have been uniting through statement dressing for quite some time.

Congresswomen, Alexandria OcasioCortez

The Suffragettes of the early 1900’s donned the color white in protest to identity themselves in support of women’s right to vote, a fight that was critical to help solidify a women’s place in society, equal to that of men. More recently, female Democrats in the House of Representatives wore white to President Trump’s State of the Union address in a show of female solidarity in support of women’s issues such as equal pay, reproductive rights and affordable health care. Uniting millions of women from every race and creed in worldwide protest is the iconic pink pussy hat, an important piece of feminist history. Worn during the January 21st, 2017 Women’s March in Washington, DC, The Pussy Hat Project was founded to renounce vulgar commentary against women by President Trump and to support the fight against the repression of women’s rights through political activism. The streets of Washington flushed pink in peaceful protest, an experience those of us there will never forget. My hat, ready to spring back into action, sits in repose on the closet shelf. (Continue…)

Women of Congress Wore White for the 2019 State of the Union Address

The Pussy Hat Project Women’s March In Washington DC,

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Kente

cloth,

a

colorful

textile

originated in Africa, is iconic fabric worn with pride and solidarity by African Americans especially during celebrations like Kwanza, but first gained attention in 1958 when worn by Ghana’s first President, Kwame Nkrumah when he visited Washington, DC to meet with President Eisenhower. The colors woven into the cloth, rich in symbolism, denote significant meaning. Blue stands for love, green symbolizes growth and energy, red means violence and anger, white means goodness or victory, gold means wealth and royalty, and black signifies mourning or old age.

_Article By: Denise Pereau


Closet Solidarity (continued…) Who

could forget the iconic peace sign protest symbol of the 60’s, forever woven into the fabric and culture of our country? Tie-dye became ubiquitous, representative of the “make love not war” era, a message that still resonates today. Hanging in my closet is a fringed leather vest replete with a turquoise blue and white beaded peace sign, a relic from my hippie days and my frustrated rage against the Viet Nam war. Discarding it would be nothing short of sacrilegious. Maria Grazia Chiuri is an Italian fashion designer, and the creative director at Dior.

In the fashion sphere, logos have been used for decades to reinforce brand recognition, turning us into human commercials, optimally to generate global trend solidarity. Seeking ways to enhance brand recognition beyond logo identification while using the runways to make political allegiances public has recently become an expected part of the creative process for many designers. But at what cost? How can a design house recover when the cause du jour shifts and inventory stalls? Staking consumer solidarity on causes that can be supported indefinitely like ethically produced goods and sustainability in manufacturing practices, are issues critical to the future of the fashion industry along with the future of our planet, causes that designers seem to be steadily embracing outside of the political arena. And thankfully, consumers are jumping on board.

Continue…

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Closet

Solidarity (continued…)

Street wear or “art-wear”, favored by Philadelphia designer Hannah Jane, found on line at theartofhannahjane.com, is noted for its originality and ethically produced practice. Hannah uses recycled fabric in all of her design work, primarily denim, and her trademark hand painted animals showcase her commitment to help save endangered species, a cause that made her the darling of last fall’s NY Fashion Week.

Hannah

says she also loves to personalize garments for her clients by writing messages that have meaning for them. “My artwork is an important part of my designs, and I’m committed to the process I’m going through as a business woman to ensure my clothing is made as ethically and environmentally sound as possible. For now I have complete control, but as I expand my brand, I need to be sure that we will not leave a negative footprint on the planet from producing the line.”

In short, we are what we wear, instantly communicating to our tribe a sense of

solidarity, united through meaningful messaging be it political alignment, passionate cause, or fashionable neutrality. It’s up to us to discover how to make choices that will have a positive impact on the world we live in prompting the question, “What’s in your closet?”

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In Our Next Issue

Fashion, Beauty & Style

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e’ll delve into the exciting

impact technology is having on every facet of the fashion industry. Think computer modeling, ultrasonic welding, laser cutting and 3D printing. Learn about fabrics engineered to protect the wearer against disease carrying insects spreading the Zika Virus, Malaria, West Nile and Lyme’s Disease. And get expert advice on choosing clothing with sunscreen protection. Stay ahead of the curve with “Womenz Straight Talk” Magazine 42


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INSIDE

America’s Mental Health Crisis! 45


Mental Disorders: A Brief Review By: Amanda M. Flowers, Ph.D. Mental disorders comprise an array of illnesses that substantially impact functioning across day-to-day activities. Although we all can experience emotional distress at times, this becomes a problem when patterns of thoughts, moods, and behaviors pose considerable disruption to routine lifestyles (e.g., home, work, and school). These patterns may appear suddenly or they may develop gradually over a period of time. When left untreated, they can lead to chronic mental (e.g., social isolation, self-harm, and harm to others), behavioral (e.g., family conflicts, missed work, and legal problems), and physical (e.g., heart disease, diabetes, and weakened immune system) disabilities. The effects are temporary for some (e.g., sadness due to a periodic stressor) and long lasting for others (e.g., financial challenges that lead to homelessness). The onset of mental health challenges can begin at any age, with most individuals experiencing some symptoms early in life. Mental disorders are not caused by a single source (e.g., specific weaknesses) or character flaw (e.g., laziness), but a combination of factors tend to contribute to an individual’s unique challenges. Some of these risk factors include genetics and inherited traits, brain chemistry, medical conditions, hormonal changes, environmental toxins, abuse and neglect, stress and trauma, and drug or alcohol abuse. When concerned about the mental status of yourself or someone else, it is important to take note of potential warning signs. Some of symptoms that may cause a detriment to yourself or others include: §

§ §

§ § §

trouble functioning in situations one previously coped well with (e.g., lack of motivation, poor concentration, or decrease in memory at work or school); individuals no longer seem like themselves (e.g., poor personal hygiene, changes in eating habits, or increase or decrease in sleep); radical changes in thoughts (e.g., paranoia, obsessive conversations, or difficulty relating to others); drastic changes in moods (e.g., excessive worry, persistent sadness, or suicidal ideations); extreme changes in behavior (e.g., unreasonable hostility, changes in sex drive, or violence); increases in physical complaints (e.g., stomach problems, headaches, or pain not explained by a medical condition). Continue…

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Mental Disorders: A Brief Review By: Amanda M. Flowers, Ph.D.

E

ach mental disorder has a different set of diagnostic criteria, with some symptoms overlapping across multiple disorders (e.g., anger can be a symptom of a mood, personality, or trauma-related disorder). In addition, it is common for some individuals to suffer from simultaneous mental health challenges (e.g., anxiety and substance abuse). In turn, it is difficult for individuals to determine the specific disorder(s) for which they experience. Thus, a comprehensive psychological evaluation is necessary to determine the correct diagnosis for a subset of symptoms. Some, but not all, of the most common types of mental disorders include: §

§

§

§

§

§

Mood disorders: shifts in mood (e.g., feelings of hopelessness or excessive confidence), activity (e.g., loss of interest in healthy activities or increases in risky behaviors), and energy levels (e.g., severe fatigue or over excitement), such as major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, and seasonal affective disorder; Anxiety disorders: intense fear (e.g., fear of being watched, anticipation of threats, or avoidance of public settings) and nervousness (e.g., excessive concern about specific objects or routine situations), such as panic disorder, specific phobias, social anxiety disorder, and separation anxiety disorder; Trauma- and stressor-related disorders: exposure to a stressful situation (e.g., job loss, relocating, and terminating a relationship) or traumatic event (e.g., abuse and neglect, natural or man-made disasters, and military combat), such as acute stress disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder, reactive attachment disorder, and disinhibited social engagement disorder;

Substance-related and addictive disorders: the abuse of mood-altering drugs or alcohol that may lead to dependence, withdrawal, or the onset of other mental health challenges, such as alcohol-, cannabis-, inhalant-, opioid-, and stimulant-related disorders; Schizophrenia spectrum and other psychotic disorders: false beliefs (e.g., delusions that someone is plotting against you) and perceptions (e.g., hallucinations of nonexistent people or things) that cause one to detach from reality, such as schizophrenia, delusional disorder, schizophreniform disorder, and schizoaffective disorder; Personality disorders: long-term patterns of maladaptive thoughts (e.g., extreme distrust or sensitive to rejection), feelings (e.g., unbalanced selfimage or self-centeredness), and behaviors (e.g., attention-seeking or disregard for others’ rights), such as antisocial, borderline, and narcissistic personality disorders. 47


Mental Disorders: A Brief Review By: Amanda M. Flowers, Ph.D. (Continued‌)

Appropriate diagnosis and adequate treatment are essential for managing symptoms and coping with mental health disorders. Treatment approaches (e.g., therapy or counseling, medication, lifestyle changes, support groups, and hospitalization) are selected based on the type and severity of one’s problems. It is pertinent that individuals initiate services as early as possible to prevent symptoms from getting worse over time. Unfortunately, stigma and cultural norms often hinder one’s willingness to seek professional help. Likewise, severity of symptoms may pose as an obstacle for receiving treatment. In addition, poverty and social oppression can make it difficult for patients to follow through with appointments. Friends and family are sometimes the driving force to prompt their loved ones to receive an assessment and treatment. Thus, it is important that we all pay attention to warning signs within ourselves and among others. Then we must commit to being honest with ourselves and having open conversations with others about all of our concerns. It not only takes a village to raise a child, but it takes a village to enhance the mental wellness of ourselves and those around us. Commit to being a part of that village today, whether that means attending to your own mental health needs, taking the steps to protect yourself from the danger of others, or assisting a loved one with getting the help that they need.

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When Loving Your Mother Hurts: Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers Angela Clack, PsyD, LPC

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very little girl dresses up in her mother's clothes and heels, plays in her make-up and

wigs and even models her mother's mannerisms while fantasizing growing up and being like a grown woman like her mother. I remember playing in my mother's make up as a young girl and being chastised for wearing her precious red lipstick, "take that off...that is for grown folks." I do believe the color of red lipstick was once the forbidden apple of Eve (smile). The mother daughter bond is created in utero, well before the child is birthed into the world. Most women treasure the pregnancy journey and also fantasize about the birth of their precious little joy, planning to dress her in every shade of pink that exists. While for other women this expectancy of the developing person inside is not experienced as a joyful event. As a psychotherapist, there is a group of women who I work with in my practice that suffer emotionally from the absence of a loving and nurturing mother. They do not share fond memories nor fantasies of a close emotional bond with their mother. In fact, as adults they find themselves finding ways to minimize and for some avoid contact with their mother. Instead the experience of daughters of narcissistic mothers is described closer to the 1981 movie Mommy Dearest with actress Joan Crawford. Except, the abuse with narcissistic mothers is more often emotional abuse and manipulation and rejection. Daughters of narcissistic (difficult) mothers (aka maternal narcissism) find themselves indebted to the emotional and sometimes physical needs of her mother and an incessant intrusiveness in the daughter's personal life. These women find themselves caught up in the emotional turmoil, ambivalence and conflict of a mother who devalued, rejected, undermined, dismissed, and rejected her intertwined with the confusion of bizarre expressions of love and affection...all by the same person who is "supposed" to love you unconditionally and be your "safe" person. This emotional entanglement leaves the daughter pondering, "Will I ever be good enough?" And not just good enough for her mother because she already believes she will never meet her mother's unrealistic demands and expectations (yet she continues to try year after year ) but this now permeates into all other relationships. The daughter questions her worthiness and the ability to ever have healthy interpersonal relationships. 50


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When Loving Your Mother Hurts:

Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers (Continued‌) Angela Clack, PsyD, LPC

D

aughters of narcissistic mothers show up in psychotherapy feeling defeated, guilty, lost

without an identity of her own, confused, and angry. But it's the guilt that seems to eat away at her soul one crisis after the next with the difficult mother. It seems unheard of to "hate" or "not like" or to "tolerate" your very own mother. The daughter of the narcissistic mother dare not share this feeling nor thought with anyone who has never lived the life as a daughter of a self-absorbed, emotionally needy (sometimes emotionally devouring) mother. I mean, she did give you life! You wouldn't be here without her. How bad can it be?

Consequently, the daughter feels paralyzed as an adult woman by the unconscious life-long patterns that show up as the inner critic and internal messages that she has internalized from her mother about who the daughter is or is not (validation). These messages have her second guessing every decision she makes in her life, or at least, not without running it by her mother and getting the OK. In these often co-dependent relationships it’s difficult to ascertain where the mother's identity (existence) ends and the adult daughter's identity and sense of self begins. Whenever the daughter makes a decision that would not be in agreement with mother's expectations the narcissistic mother experiences this as a "narcissistic injury," "a personal slight," and a poor reflection of her (the mother).

Daughters of difficult mothers need to hear that none of this is her fault. She is who she is (or not) as a result of the relationship with their primary feminine figure who has unmeet emotional and psychological needs of her own. This is not to blame the mother . No, that would be counter to the daughter's journey toward healing. We have her-story (the mother's lived experience) to help us understand how this dysfunction developed. Many of the daughters of narcissistic mothers that I work with are caught in an intergenerational legacy of dysfunctional mother-daughter relationships that extend generations beyond them. This is called collective trauma.

My favorite therapy declaration is you may not be responsible for what happened to you (i.e., you didn't created the trauma) but you are responsible for your healing. We are all accountable for our own lives and feelings. 52


When Loving Your Mother Hurts: Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers (Continued) Angela Clack, PsyD, LPC Where does the healing begin? In Difficult Mothers, Adult Daughters: A Guide For Separation, Liberation & Inspiration, by Karen C.L. Anderson, the author, herself as a survivor of a narcissistic mother, states that "the key is to take a radical stand, give up being a victim of your childhood, and become willing to see how you've been the one keeping these hurts alive." In other words, start with reclaiming your power and asserting yourself as a person separate from your mother. When the mother -daughter relationship becomes too toxic, this may require setting stronger boundaries that than the daughter is ready to commit to. Sadly, this becomes a quandary in psychotherapy. Again, because the daughter feels guilty and indebted to her mother's survival and her own survival, establishing and maintaining boundaries can feel like an emotional betrayal to both mother and daughter. Yet, in order for healing to occur, the daughter will need to see that while the work to become her own person may initially be painful, she can shift her personal narrative from a victim of not being good enough, unworthy, or whatever other negative messages she’s heard growing up to being the most authentic, happier and healthier woman she can be and have happier and healthier relationships. Your mother does not need to (and likely is not going to) change in order for you to be free. It's a total mindset shift and decision to find your value and worth apart from how it has been defined for you and how you have (until now) lived. Daughter, you must believe and embrace that you will survive the unhealthy emotional enmeshment/diffusion of your mother's need to live vicariously through you and her need dictate to you how to be in this world. Anderson believes that you can have relationships that are no longer defined by the self you've needed to be in order to stay bonded to your mother, but which are now grounded in wholesome qualities such a mutual respect, honor, trust and genuine care. So you might ask again, where does the healing begin ? It begins within. It begins with love and forgiveness for ourselves and our mothers. This includes an invitation to do your work in psychotherapy to truly break bonds and wounds that no longer serve you. Reference: Anderson, Karen C.L. Difficult Mothers, Adult Daughters: A Guide For Separation, Liberation, & Inspiration.Coral Gables, FL: Mango Publishing group, 2018.

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Angela Clack, PsyD, LPC

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From the Dream Relationship to a Daily Struggle: Life with a Narcissist (Chapter (1) From Previous Issue.)

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as it a dream come true? I’d been longing to find my Prince Charming and his

assertive wooing was so enticing. Was it a fantasy that he desired a relationship instantly, calling it “love at first sight” and affirming I was fortunate that he chose me? He said I’d never have to worry about anything financially, ensuring that raising our children would be stress-free. He took pride in dressing me elaborately for his colleagues, always presenting our relationship as the center of the party. I’d never been around someone with such dignity; his intellect and generosity were captivating. He took me on adventures with all of his friends, accompanied me to fancy dinners, and romanced me so diligently. The day finally came when this fairytale was no longer a dream and he proposed with a beautiful diamond ring. But, when the honeymoon ended, things started to change. Just overnight, his adoration became a daily routine of disproving my integrity. As I look back, I can clearly see the foundation of our relationship was never about me. I’m so lost, what do I do, I took a vow, but this was not the life I envisioned with “the man of my dreams.” Is this your story? As a mental health professional, this is the complicated story we often receive from women of all backgrounds despite the empowering initiatives for gender equality. Living in a society that continues to view women as inferior, the narcissistic man feeds into this to exhort his power. His manipulation and lies are easily perceived as thoughtful compassion until his goal is achieved. Once he possesses his target lady, the layers unveil and his true nature is seen. His assertiveness that was previously appeasing, becomes very intense and filled with forceful superiority. The genuine love and romance he once displayed, turns into persistent sexual duties to fulfill his needs. The financial security he had promised, becomes a means of control to ensure co-dependence of his woman and children. The intellect he displayed so humbly, is now held over her head through criticism, belittlement, shame, and deceit. It was once an honor to be by his side at social gatherings, now he monitors her interactions and shields her from friends and family. Each time he sees her spirit grow weak, he tells her she’s “lucky” to have a man with such prestige. He knows this will discourage her from gaining the courage to leave, all while she ponders this very thing. But she asks herself, “Is he right? If I leave, how will I ever provide for our children financially?” She answers herself by saying, “I must endure all the heartbreak in order for our children to succeed.” It’s very common for victims of narcissistic abuse to tell themselves, “all couples overcome trials and tribulations.” Then these women ground themselves in faith that they’ll work through it. Year after year, she chooses to stay because he says it will be an embarrassment for their family if she prevents them from raising their children the “traditional” way. Over the years, her guilt increases infinitely as he blames her for all their problems and rejects the idea of counseling. As their loved ones see the cycle of abuse grow steadily, he promises to change but his motives are filled with greed. Every day she asks herself, “Should I stay or leave, this isn’t the life I imagined with the ‘man of my dreams.’” She reads book after book about changing the course of their relationship, but his self-centeredness makes the mission completely impossible. Her heart grows weary from the emotional distress, financial abuse, and physical threats. She often asks herself, “They call him a narcissist, but what does this mean?” and the answer to her question runs all so deep.

To be continued…

By: Amanda M. Flowers, Ph.D.

Living In A Society That Continues To View Women as Inferior, The Narcissistic Man Feeds Into This To Exhort His Power.

Continued… (Chapter Two) Next…

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Breaking Free from a Narcissistic Relationship By: Amanda M. Flowers, PhD.

I’m back, I’m healed, I’ve been set free. It’s been a long journey; do you remember me? I’m the one who thought I’d found my Prince Charming and was going to live the ultimate dream. It didn’t take long to realize it was all a fantasy, but I remained married to a man with a narcissistic personality. Then I did it, I grew brave, I conquered the battle; I made an escape plan and didn’t care that he was frazzled. I sought treatment, embraced change, and got out of that mess. I built a new life that’s free from strife and stress. God has truly transformed me and I feel so blessed! Now I’m encouraging other victims to put their courage to the test. This is the ending that all mental health professionals want to hear. Knowing they lived so many years being controlled and manipulated, then to see the day our clients finally break free. Narcissists are coercive and use belittlement as a weapon to target their victims’ insecurities, leaving injuries of emotional trauma that run so deep. Many are also victims of physical threats; thus, understanding this disorder is helpful when developing an escape plan. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) is the standard handbook used by mental health professionals to diagnose mental disorders. The DSM-5 indicates that the essential feature of Narcissistic Personality Disorder is a pervasive pattern of grandiosity, need for admiration, and lack of empathy, as indicated by at least five of the following: § § §

§ § § § § §

has a grandiose sense of self-importance; is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love; believes that he or she is “special” and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or highstatus people (or institutions); requires excessive admiration; has a sense of entitlement; is interpersonally exploitative; lacks empathy; is often envious of others or believes that others are envious of him or her; shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes.

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Breaking Free from a Narcissistic Relationship By: Amanda M. Flowers, PhD.

For some, terminating a relationship with a narcissist feels like an impossible mission. Individuals with this personality disorder take over their victim’s life; thus, growing a support system can be key when gaining the confidence to leave. For many, departing the relationship does not feel safe. A support system is truly essential in this case; a trusting friend or two who knows your situation and can assist with your escape. If possible, prepare ahead by opening a separate bank account, keeping gas in your tank, and packing a bag with everything you plan to take. Don’t forget important documents (e.g., legal, medical, personal, and financial) and all of the things that will still bring you value once your pursuit is complete. Remember, when preparing each step of the days to follow, only use phones and computers that your abuser can’t monitor. It can take a lot to set your plan in order; don’t forget to warn the police of the perpetrator’s violent tendencies and your planned escape. Keep building your evidence with documentation (e.g., pictures and journals detailing the abuse). Prepare a list of emergency contacts that will provide protection once you vacate (e.g., addresses and phone numbers for organizations and shelters). Then, once your exit is complete, enforce boundaries that will keep you safe which may include filing a protection order to keep your abuser away. Breath deep, stand your ground, take time to heal; shoot for the stars, the time is now, your bravery and courage are playing out.

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Fashion, Beauty & Style Influencers

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Jean-Ralph Thurin, Chief Designer A graduate of the prestigious Parsons School of Design, Jean-Ralph Thurin became enthralled by the fashion history of top Haute Couture Houses of Dior, Givenchy and Oscar De La Renta. Growing up, JeanRalph learned to sew by watching his grandmother. He was fascinated by her ability to make clothes with little more than fabric remnants and thread. In high school, although he was not yet formally trained, JeanRalph followed in his grandmother’s footsteps as he fulfilled the multiple requests from classmates to make their prom dresses and so began his career in fashion.

A Luxury Bridal Design House custom-made adjective; (of suits, dresses) made according to the specifications of an individual buyer As his love for couture grew, Jean-Ralph learned to hone his skill and mastered the art of sewing. Each garment reflects the care of his craftsmanship and is intricately and beautifully finished. Paying attention to every detail. His vision is to give every bride what she seeks on her wedding day - to feel exquisitely beautiful and selfassured because her wedding dress reflects who she is in that moment! “Every bride is different, and I’ve learned to listen, really listen to each and every one of them”, says Jean-Ralph. By paying close attention, and through the process of collaboration, JeanRalph Thurin captures your essence and designs and creates a wedding gown that is authentically you!

An Unparalleled Design Experience When Jean-Ralph Thurin opened his Design House, his primary mission was to serve brides looking for the ultimate experience: seeing their perfect, dream wedding dress come to life right before their eyes. Jean-Ralph Thurin is committed to making every bride's dream come true. Whether you choose a wedding gown from our exclusive collections or have your dress custom-made. The process is exclusively focused on the bride's needs and desires. § The experience begins with a private consultation during which Jean-Ralph Thurin designs your custom-made wedding gown. Time is spent discussing your vision, style, fit and fabrication § Once designed, a muslin of your wedding dress is made in order to create the pattern § Measurements are expertly taken and a tailored fitting experience focused on emphasizing your positive attributes ensure a custom-made fit, so you look your best on your wedding day § Your wedding gown is then constructed with only the most luxurious bridal fabrics, accented with exquisite accessories and custom details

Your Dreams – Our Devotion – An Unparalleled Design Experience 60


What is the Inspiration Behind Your Latest Collection?‌ The inspiration behind the Shimmer collection was the allure of the shimmering NYC skyline at night! Incorporating glamorous fabrics, crystal embroideries, coupled with elegant bodyhugging silhouettes. _JEAN RALPH-THURIN

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The Shimmer Collection

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The Importance of Detail… Details play a huge part in the dress-making process because I always am searching for ways to differentiate my designs and make them special for my brides. –JEAN RALPH-THURIN

Who Is Your Ideal Client?… My ideal client is someone who wants to feel like they’re in a one-of-a-kind dress on their big day. I really work hand in hand with my brides on helping their vision come to life, they are just as much of the creative process as I am and I believe that is truly what distinguishes the JRT process. I love brides that welcome the creative process as well as ones who are open-minded. _JEAN RALPH-THURIN 69


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JRT EVOLUTION / SPRING 2019 My JRT Evolution Collection was inspired by the success of the HUE Collection. I wanted to continue the awakening of my design philosophy of being able to inspire my brides to feel comfortable and confident, embracing their uniqueness, essence and beauty.

_Jean Ralph-Thurin

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JRT Rouge 2018

Rouge 2018 was inspired by the strong, fierce and beautiful women in Marvel’s Black Panther Movie. I chose to go with bold colors, accompanied by royal gold accents in rich Silk Mikado fabric.

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How has the industry changed since you started?‌ The fashion industry for designers has moved more to the online and digital space. When I first started out in the industry in-person appearances, print magazines and press coverage was everything for budding designers but now with the accessibility of information from the internet and social media age, having that online presence is of key importance to stay relevant in the industry. _JEAN RALPH-THURIN

What Would You Like To See More Of In This Industry?‌ I would like to see more camaraderie and networking between designers in the same or similar design fields. _JEAN RALPH-THURIN

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HUExJRT

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The inspiration all started with... my amazing bride Shaq Robotham who came to me wanting a custom gown with a see-through effect that would perfectly match her skin tone. From there, began the journey to find the perfect nude tone which was more challenging than expected, but through our dedication and vision we were able to find the perfect hue for Shaq. With the HUExJRT Collection, any bride, will be able achieve their dream wedding dress look without having to compromise the beauty of their complexion. - Jean-Ralph Thurin

HUExJRT 78


What Big Plans As Designer Do You Have For The Future Of Your Company?‌ I plan on truly revolutionizing the way a bride goes about her wedding gown shopping process. I would like to be the leading name when it comes to custom wedding gowns in the U.S. I also am in the works of having some styles in a few stores so that is also very exciting. _JEAN RALPH-THURIN

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81


Two Psychopath Try To Kill Us All! Article By: Ramona Phillips – Trauma Defeated

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y mother is screaming for help, I wake up, go to her room and she is lying on the bed bleeding. She has been been stabbed three times, just missing her heart. I call the police. Her psycho ex-boyfriend, Walt, followed her home and tried to murder her. Mr. Walt, short, stocky, light-skinned, mole on his face, healthy, kind of cute but crazy. I am 11 years old watching him become obsessed with my mother. He questions every move she makes and is very jealous. My mother is short 5’2 built, stylish, Indian hair and beautiful, sometimes wearing wigs of different styles. She is angry at times, stubborn, feisty, prideful and a little bit crazy herself. She’s a fighter, she suffers in silence always trying to be strong for us. She loves her family, outspoken, an artist, poet, serving others and loves to sing old-time gospel. A few weeks later, in bed sleeping. I hear windows breaking, I smell smoke, I jump up, run to the stairs. It’s Mr. Walt he started a fire on the stairs, trapping us all upstairs. My cousin leaps over the railing and runs out the door to get help. Mr. Walt disappears, we never see him again. Mom meets Kenny sometime later… Kenny, a light-skinned, 5’11, with two personalities. Kenny is jealous and creepier than Walt. I would peek in the bedroom and watch him in the mirror talking to himself. He would say “I am a pretty Motherfuc…” I hear Mr. Kenny and my mother auguring while we are watching Soul Train on TV. I come out of the room, and he has a large knife, threatening her at the top of the stairs. I duck under them and run down the stairs, almost hitting the front door, he shoots to me, “get back up here!” “I will kill your mother and your sisters and bothers! I turned to go back up the steps hoping he does not stab me in my back. My mother talks him off the ledge, he leaves, thank God. He later returns. I am in bed smell smoke, Kenny starts a fire in the kitchen. Thank God again for divine intervention. We move to another home. Mom has a hard time breaking up with Kenny, and he keeps coming back. I come home from school, I am thirteen, My uncle Jim now lives with us, tall in stature, thick like a lumberjack. Continue… 83


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r. Kenny has my mother at the top of the stairs again holding her at knifepoint. Terrified, we call uncle Jim for help. He runs down the stairs with a hammer and starts to hitting Kenny in the head. We are horrified and run into the back yard to hide. My mother calls the police, he is taken to the hospital. Later, we’re in bed and hear someone walking up the stairs towards the bedroom. We jump up. It’s Mr. Kenny, head bandaged up, he says, “where is your mother?” in his threatening voice. We run to the other side of the bed, “I don’t know where she is. He leaves. A few weeks later, my sister and I coming out of the store, see Kenny walking down 52nd street with the same brown work boots, dark khaki pants and brown jacket. He looks like a zombie in a trance, focused and just walking. He is walking in the direction of our home. Running to the pay phone, I called my mother. She is on the roof waiting for the police. Kenny is pushing the door trying to break in. He has just stabbed his new girlfriend 30 times. Sadly, the lady he murdered has seven children and her oldest son found her dead. I feel so sorry for the children whose mother was killed by Kenny. That could have been me discovering my mother’s body. Kenny was arrested in front of my home, just before being put in the van, he looked up at my mother and says, “thank you”. We never saw him again.

WOMENZ STRAIGHT TALK INTERVIEWS: Ramona Phillips – Trauma Defeated.

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Ramona Phillips (Trauma Defeated )

THE INTERVIEW! Cassandra: Ramona how has the trauma you experienced earlier in life impact you to write this chapter “Trauma Defeated”, in the book entitled ”Tear The Veil”? Ramona: I wanted to share my story with others, to give them a glimpse of what it looks like to have been a victim of a horrible and traumatic experience, and to know that you can survive your painful past, and that hope and healing is possible. Cassandra: How early on in life do you remember experiencing some type of trauma? Ramona: When I was around 3yrs. old I watched my mother run into a burning house to save a little boy. That was my first real frightening and traumatic experience. But after my mom and dad split up, when I was 5yrs. Old, she began to find herself in very abusive relationships with other men, who she brought into our home. I found my mother in bed stabbed three times. Including experiencing multiple death threats against her, and her children's lives. And at the age of 15 one of her ex-boyfriends almost murdered me, out of revenge against her.

Ramona Phillips: Trauma Defeated Cassandra: How did this experience effect your life at that time? Ramona: I felt confused, afraid, angry, depressed and alone. These feeling of anxiety began to over-whelm me. I felt that I had no one to comfort me, or who understood what I was feeling. I don’t remember being genuinely loved or encouraged by my mother, she was angry most of the time and did things out of anger that really hurt me. At 14yrs. old I turned to drugs and alcohol, and became so angry that I wanted to hurt others who hurt me. But, some how I managed to take control of those thoughts and feelings. At 19yrs. Old I was raped. I felt guilty and as as result I was afflicted by self-shame and blame, towards myself, and became the victim of unhealthy relationships and men who mistreated and abused me. Continue… 85


Cassandra: When did you realize that you possibly needed to seek help? Ramona: At first I didn't think I needed help. I thought that everyone else needed to change. For example, after being married, my abusive husband who also attempted to kill me, he definitely needed help. I grew up around disfunction all of my life, to me this was normal. I felt that life was not on my side. That some people got dealt and good hand, and that others didn’t. Cassandra: Did you ever feel that you needed to get help for your drug and alcohol abuse? And when?

I Blamed My Mother For Putting Our Lives At Risk With A Psychopath Who Hurt Me Very Bad, And Who Was Responsible For My Near Death Experience!

Ramona: After feelings of helplessness, I finally surrendered. I needed to rid myself of my own demons, and so I decided to get help. I started my recovery 27yrs.. ago. I left everything behind and flew to a rehabilitation facility in Tampa Florida. I participated in self-help groups, and also learned that God was not mad at me! Cassandra: Did you blame anyone for what happened to you? Ramona: Sometimes I blamed my mother, my two ex husbands, and myself for being in sick relationships. I blame my mothers ex-boyfriend for my near death experience, and the scars on my body that I live with as a reminder of my past. Cassandra: What have you discovered through all of this? Ramona: I have learned to love and forgive myself first. To value my self-worth most of all. It’s important to get to know me, and what is healthy and what’s not healthy in a relationship. I now learn how to really get to know people better, and how to say no when it’s something I’m not for, regardless to other peoples opinions. I learned that it’s important to trust your own instincts, and that in order to heal, you have to forgive those who hurt you. By the way I still attend support groups and meeting when I think it’s necessary, and to trust God in the process. Continue…

Ramona Phillips, (Trauma Defeated)

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Host: Cassandra Tindal Interviews Guest: Ramona Phillips

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INTERVIEW

(Continued…)

Cassandra: What are you doing to help to educate, inform and empower other who are also victims of trauma? Ramona: I share my story to inspire others and to give them hope. I authored a chapter along with 17 other women who experienced trauma, in the book: “Tear The Veal” By: Publisher and Visionary, Dr. Fumi Hancock. I tile my message in the book as, “Trauma Defeated”. I am a author, speaker and life-coach. My message is shared on platforms during conferences, universities and multi-media broadcasting platforms. Cassandra: What is your most important “Womenz Straight Talk” Message? Ramona: That we are loved my our creator. No matter what you do or don’t have, how you see yourself or what negative things people have to say about you. If you’ve experienced trauma from any physical, emotional and any mental abuse, you can choose to defeat it. You are not responsible for other peoples actions or what happed to you. How we feel is important. Let someone you can trust know what’s going on. Don’t be afraid to get help.

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Kristin Sunanta Walker is the CEO of the technology consulting firm, everything EHR, and the founder of the Mental Health News Radio Network. She’s also a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, and an advocate for survivors of childhood trauma. She has interviewed leaders in the behavioral health community such as CEO’s of technology companies, counselors, best-selling authors, and global experts in the field of Behavioral Health. Her show is downloaded in over 171 countries and continues its reach with inspiring guests from every corner of the world. Kristin is on the board of several organizations within Behavioral Health as well as the subject matter expert regarding EHR technology. Multiple strategic partnerships and speaking engagements about childhood sexual abuse, narcissism, and behavioral health technology keep her traveling schedule extremely full as well as being a sought after guest on other popular podcasts.

“ I still need to do things that help me heal those areas that were damaged by the predators that were in my life…”

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Stepping into the Light _By Erin Mahone

As someone who lives and breathes mental health in virtually every aspect of my life, it is difficult to remember the time when I was in pain, hiding, and unable to fully express my struggle to myself or the world. For the past 5 years, I have been a vocal advocate committed to ending the stigma that surrounds mental health and related issues. I tell stories, sing songs, write, produce, facilitate, and speak reminding people everyday that it is ok to step into the light of our own imperfections, to own them, to own our stories. But it wasn’t always like that for me. For the first three and a half decades of my life I believed in my core that I had to earn the right to be loved, to be worthy of the life I envisioned for myself. I had to do everything the way you are “supposed” to. I had to show-up with gusto everyday. I believed I had to prove, and explain, earn, and apologize for my existence every second. There was only one problem, I never did anything the way I was supposed to. I had to work REALLY hard at EVERYTHING.

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ntreated anxiety and depression kept me trapped inside my own head and standing in my own way. At times in my late teens and early 20’s I made stupid decisions that put my life at risk more times than I’d like to admit which acted to reinforce the belief that deepdown I was garbage. I am, and always have been, a performer, a singer, and a writer. When I was young, I thought I wanted to become a Broadway star. It just made sense to want that. I could sing, I could act, and everyone told me that’s what I should do. So, I tried. I went to New York, I did all kinds of ridiculous acting work, children’s theatre, dinner theatre, singing in bars, and a lot of bartending. But untreated anxiety and depression kept getting in my way. I would often get so anxious before an audition that I would either just cancel and stay home, or I would go and embarrass myself. Or worse, I would get cast and then become so overwhelmed by the process that I would have to drop out of the show. I hate to schmooze, I hate to hob-knob, and I generally hate everything that is required in the world of self-promotion...unless it can be done on the sofa. 92


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Stepping into the Light

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By Erin Mahone

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t took me so long to realize a few important things. First, I did not want to be on Broadway. Part of the anxiety and the self-sabotage was truly that I just didn’t want to do what I was doing. It’s funny because I didn’t know back then that I could be an artist the way I currently am, in this beautiful, cathartic, collective way. Twenty years ago I thought I was supposed to suffer. I thought misery needed to be a part of the process. It’s quite a cliche at this point in my life. That’s the old way of thinking that an artist has to suffer for their art. Today we know differently. Today we understand that asking for help, getting on medications if that’s what you want, meditating, yoga, reiki, or a million other mental wellness practices are, not only acceptable for an artist, emotional wellness makes the art BETTER.

Second, and most importantly is the realization after many years of therapy, writing, meditation, and medication, I do not have to earn my right to be happy. I am breathing so I am worthy. In case you need to hear that today please know - you are breathing so you are worthy. Being alive is all we need. Before I got the help I desperately needed for my mental illness I was not able to internalize this truth. The lies that fear and uncertainty tried to make me believe about myself were all I could hear. They were so loud. Imagine a drill sergeant screaming with a bullhorn in your face every minute you are awake telling you that you are worthless. That’s anxiety and depression. For me at least. The help I received has allowed me to quiet those voices.

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In May 2014, I produced my first one-woman show called “It Runs in the Family.” This collection of songs and stories was a love letter to my family, my struggle, and my debut in the world as my true and honest self. I stood on that stage and shared the truth of growing up in a family surrounded by other people’s mental illnesses, my own mental illness, and how desperately I have always tried not to get my “crazy” on other people. I had no idea what to expect when I stepped on that stage for the first time. Would people understand? Would they still love and respect me? Would they treat me differently? I had to find out. 94


Stepping into the Light

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By Erin Mahone

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hen the curtain closed on that first performance, I knew with certainty that by stepping into that terrifying light I had changed the course of my life forever. Endless throngs of people came up to me that night, and continue to after every performance, thanking me for speaking out and for doing so with love, humor, and humility. I could never have known how many people had been hiding just as I had been hiding my entire life. Through the creation and continued performance of that show and now other related projects, I realized that it is in the removing of the mask and embracing our own vulnerability that people love us more, respect us more. When we are hard and covered in that protective shell we spend so much time worrying about the shell that we don’t have the energy to connect with others. I removed the shell and everything changed. When I realized the sheer magnitude of people who were also waiting for the right time and a safe space to begin the process of telling their own stories I knew what was next for me. I would make the space that I never had and I would open it up for others. We would join hands, step into the light side by side, and hold space for those who weren’t ready yet. In May of 2017, I created the #IfYouCouldSeeMe project because I believe in the power of stories for change. These art and storytelling events shine light into the darkness, help us all to see the humanity in ourselves and in others, and can be the place where big change begins. The normalisation of conversations around mental health is essential if we ever expect to have comprehensive, effective services to help people recover. We have to speak out. #IfYouCouldSeeMe was only an idea, an intention, until brave, incredible people had the courage to join me in bringing it to life. During #IfYouCouldSeeMe events, we speak about our mental health diagnoses, sharing stories of triumph, disappointment and perseverance. Our pictures hang from the walls, enormous posters (2 ft x 3 ft) showing every flaw and wrinkle but also bringing to vivid life the magnificent, individual spark of each participant. Sadness, mania, aversion, irreverence, hope, kindness, pensiveness as seen through the eye of our magnificent photographer and co-conspirator, Dean Whitbeck.

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Stepping into the Light

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o one is disposable. Learning to tell my story has been the most healing, empowering and enlightening experience of my life. Everyone deserves love, acceptance and dignity. There is no end to the power that comes with finding our voice and embracing the pieces that we all try to hide from the world. In this process, we reclaim our narrative and remind others that they are not alone in their grief, struggle and feelings of ‘otherness’. The worst thing that a person can feel in this life is invisible. To be seen is to be truly alive.

Erin Lessin Mahone (Photo courtesy TEDxCrestmoorPark)

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rin Mahone is the author of the book, If You Could See Me: Life, Motherhood, and the Pursuit of Sanity. She is the founder of the #IfYouCouldSeeMe project, the creator of two onewoman shows It Runs in the Family, and a new show SharkWoman Meditates. Erin is a student at Longwood University where she is getting her Master’s Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. She lives in Virginia with her husband, three children, and a furbaby named Kismet. 96


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Womenz Straight Talk is honored this month to highlight Evelyn M. Ryan, an abuse recovery expert, author, blogger, consultant, podcast host, life-coach, and business woman.

Ms. Ryan, a survivor of decades of abuse, is the author of the groundbreaking book, Take your power back: Healing Lessons, Tips and Tools for abuse survivors. She has authored over a hundred articles on narcissistic abuse and related subjects and has been interviewed numerous times for radio and magazines. She also is featured in the film, Empath.

Evelyn M. Ryan is also the founder of Yourlifelifter, and host of the Take Your Power Back Podcast, the premier web-based information centers for narcissistic abuse survivors and others seeking emotional freedom from codependency, self-esteem issues, and other pain-based addictions. Evelyn is committed to educating and empowering abuse survivors to tap into their own healing power, take down the barriers to healing, and replace pain-based thinking with truthbased thinking.

Evelyn invites you all to join the growing Yourlifelifer, healing community on your favorite social media sites and listen to the raw, honest, power-packed healing episodes on the Take Your Power Back Podcast. Here are a few of her truth-packed shows:

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The Toxic Tango of Empaths and Narcissists Signs You’re Dealing with a “Narcissist” Posing as a Healer What Does Loving Yourself Mean? Power Imbalance in Abusive Relationships How We Give Up our Power in Abusive Relationships Stages in Healing After Narcissistic Abuse What Do Boundaries Mean? Why Do We Need Them? Navigating Women’s Issues in 2018 Sexism and Power Dynamics. Spirituality and Codependency.

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_Evelyn M. Ryan

Abuse recovery expert, author, blogger, consultant, podcast host, life-coach, and business woman.

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It Is Not The Yellow

Elephant In The Room _By: Connie Bramer

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are some things we just don’t discuss with someone who is facing a serious illness. It is not appropriate to ask, “So what’s your prognosis?” or “Do you think they got it all?” The standard “How are you doing?” or “How are you holding up?” are the questions that everyone seems asks. The deep seated truth is that those of us who have or have had an illness, reply back with our usual, “I’m doing ok.” But are we really? The diseases that we view as taking a toll on the body are always thought of as physical ailments, and we ignore the mental and emotional aspects. Some people are, indeed, “fine,” while others are struggling. Many can’t get out of bed and are truly battling with feelings of extreme sadness and even depression.

Research finds 17 health conditions associated with higher rate of suicides Continue…

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It Is Not The Yellow Elephant In The Room (continued…) According to a WebMD article, Dealing with Chronic Illnesses and Depression, “it is estimated that up to one-third of people with a serious medical condition have symptoms of depression.” If you are a cancer patient receiving chemotherapy in a room with five other people, at least two of you have symptoms of depression. That’s two too many, but the cold hard truth is that physical diseases often come with them mental and emotional challenges. Unfortunately, it’s a package deal. Questions such as, “How will I support my family while I am ill? What will happen to my job if I have to take a leave of absence? Will I make it to my daughter’s wedding?” These are legitimate questions for those facing a serious illness. The worry is as exhausting as the treatments to cure them. Most of us are silver lining people. We try to see the bright side of things, even an illness. We say things like, “There are people much worse off than me, so I need to keep my chin up” to temper our own feelings of worry and sadness. And for some, the speaking of these words doesn’t always equate to the desired outcome. Depression is real, and often times our loved ones miss the signs. They think that it is normal for someone to be struggling with sadness because they are ill. Physical illness and depression are not mutually exclusive.

Michael Schroeder of U.S. News & World Report In the article, Combating Suicide Risk Associated with Physical Health Conditions, states “There’s growing evidence that physical health conditions could be a factor in predicting whether a person may be a higher risk for taking their own life.” In this same article, Brian Ahmedani, director of psychiatry research at Henry Ford Health System in Detroit, led research in a study of U.S. patients that found 17 different health conditions - from migraine, cancer, congestive heart failure and stroke – were associated with a higher rate of suicide. When you think about it, it is fathomable that someone dealing with the strife of an illness, especially the physical pain of it, might be depressed and at some point contemplate suicide. Continue…

_By: Connie Bramer

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It Is Not The Yellow Elephant In The Room _By: Connie Bramer

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hat can we do about it? If you are facing an illness and are having feelings of depression, talk to someone. Reach out to the people who love and care about you, and if that makes you uncomfortable, go talk to your medical provider, clergy or a counselor for help. We have a team of physicians and nurses to help us through a physical crisis and depression should be no different. It is not the yellow elephant in the room.

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gyrb.org To help Connie cope with her illness and maintain some semblance of sanity, she blogged about her daily cancer adventures.

Hire Connie to Speak at Your Event

Maintaining her sense of humor was vital to her recovery and she shares these stories of laughter and triumph in her memoir, “How Connie Got Her Rack Back."

Connie speaks at various events, sharing her comical stories, life lessons and thoughts on “don’t sweat the small stuff.”

Constance (Connie) Bramer, Founder and President of Get Your Rack Back Inc., is a published author, speaker and cancer survivor.

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Kat Kanavos - The Queen of Dreams About Kathleen (Kat) O’Keefe-Kanavos: VIDEO Podcaster, three-time Breast Cancer Survivor, and Dream Expert seen on Dr. Oz, DOCTORS, NBC, & CBS. Her Divine Dreams diagnose her illness. Kat and Duke U Dr. Larry Burk co-wrote, Dreams That Can Save Your Life. She’s a Syndicated Columnist, TV Producer/Host and award-winning Author/Lecturer who promotes patient advocacy and connecting with Divine-guidance through Dreams. “Don’t tell God how big your problems are. Tell your problems how big your God is.”

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Christina Pirello

Internationally, Emmy Award-winning TV show Christina Cooks

and holistic nutrition expert, is back to the cutting broad with nourishing meals that heal your body, mind and soul in her new cookbook, full of delicious, nutritious meals that’s Ooh! so good to your taste buds. She is one of American’s preeminent authorities on a healthier lifestyle utilizing natural and whole food. This bright, free spirited, vivacious redhead with an radiant personality delivers a much-needed message to the world. She made it her purpose in life to show the world that everyone can look their best and feel great too, by learning to correctly select the best ingredients you have available. Christina’s love affair with food began at a young age when she spent many happy hours cooking with her mother, who centered the family life in her Italian kitchen which gave Christina great joy and prepared her to understand the healing power of food, that was put to the test when at the age of twenty six, she was diagnosed with terminal leukemia and was told by her doctor that she had only months to live, and to prepare herself for the inevitable. But as fate would have it, a chance meeting with (her now husband) Robert Pirello would change her life forever. Robert a whole food advocate, helped Christina change her lifestyle and diet based on healthy eating, incorporating whole and unprocessed foods. 110


Your Best Lifestyle 4 Success

Back To The Cutting Board Internationally, Emmy Award-winning TV show Christina Cooks and holistic nutrition expert, is back to the cutting broad with nourishing meals that heal your body, mind and soul in her new cookbook, full of delicious, nutritious meals that’s Ooh! so good to your taste buds. She is one of American’s preeminent authorities on a healthier lifestyle utilizing natural and whole food. This bright, free spirited, vivacious redhead with an radiant personality delivers a much-needed message to the world. She made it her purpose in life to show the world that everyone can look their best and feel great too, by learning to correctly select the best ingredients you have available. Christina’s love affair with food began at a young age when she spent many happy hours cooking with her mother, who centered the family life in her Italian kitchen which gave Christina great joy and prepared her to understand the healing power of food, that was put to the test when at the age of twenty six, she was diagnosed with terminal leukemia and was told by her doctor that she had only months to live, and to prepare herself for the inevitable. But as fate would have it, a chance meeting with (her now husband) Robert Pirello would change her life forever. Robert a whole food advocate, helped Christina change her lifestyle and diet based on healthy eating, incorporating whole and unprocessed foods.

Christina says that this changed her life! Christina over came the odds and in the process developed an expertise in cooking whole, natural foods. From the time, she was utterly convinced of the close relationship between diet and health. She found her life’s calling was to help others discover the importance of this relationship in their own lives. Christina studied and became an expert in Traditional Medicine, Ayurveda, acupuncture, and macrobiotics; earned a master’s degree in nutrition; and has authored seven cookbooks on the subject of healthy eating and natural living. Advocate For Better Food Labeling Today, the 54-year-old American chef remains cancerfree and on a mission to educate the public about the integral relationship between food and health. In addition to writing five cookbooks and hosting PBS's Christina Cooks, she advocates better food labeling, sits in Senate sub-committees on nutrition, works with the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine and has launched an overseas tour company that serves local dishes using whole, vegan ingredients. Most recently she founded a program to raise public awareness about children's nutrition.

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Your Best Lifestyle 4 Success

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ancer of various forms was in Christina’s family; the majority of her grandmother's 16 siblings had also died of it and so had some of her grandfather's family. "Of course I have cancer," she muttered to herself. But when doctors directed her to start chemotherapy immediately, she rebelled. "I thought, Oh my God, my mother lost her hair three times and [was so] sick. It couldn't make my mom better, or any one of my relatives. Thinking should I go through all this and die anyway? No. I'll live my life and I'll die when I die." So, she went home and packed her bags to live out her last days in Italy, the home of her maternal ancestors where she had lived for a year, cooking and painting, when she was an art student and amateur pastry chef. But she never made it to Italy. A sudden and dramatic change in her approach to food saved her life and completely changed its direction, she says. Today, the 54-year-old American chef remains cancer-free and on a mission to educate the public about the integral relationship between food and health. In addition to writing five cookbooks and hosting PBS's Christina Cooks, she advocates better food labeling, sits in Senate sub-committees on nutrition, works with the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine and has launched an overseas tour company that serves local dishes using whole, vegan ingredients. Most recently she founded a program to raise public awareness about children's nutrition. When Christina met Robert her husband, he was a professional runner who was into macrobiotics. His mother had died of a brain tumor and he also had lots of cancer in his family. He read about a doctor in Philadelphia who cured himself from cancer [with macrobiotics] and decided to take his cooking class. She said, that when her and Robert met, that he had been eating this way for 10 years and was a really good cook. He explained that what you feed yourself infuses your blood, and blood is the first thing to heal in illness. I thought it was either the biggest nonsense on the planet or the best kept secret. He gave me a copy of The Cancer Prevention Diet by Michio Kushi. During Christina’s cancer diagnosis Robert, cleared her cabinets and started teaching her to eat and cook. While her doctors agreed to religiously monitor my blood, with the agreement that they could intervene if she was deteriorating. Christina explains that she was very tired out but, didn't feel that bad. But her mother didn't feel that bad either and no one in her family had horrible symptoms before they died either. So they started cooking, and four weeks later she was in remission. The doctors said that it happens with this disease and that it won't last, her not get my hopes up. For the next nine months Christina did go in and out of remission, but as the months went on it was more and more remission. Part of the healing also was from Robert's love? Without him, she would most likely have died. She believes that half the reason anyone gets well from disease is the support and love from those around you. Robert's vision of macrobiotics, health and wellness also created their business and his vision keeps it fresh and alive. Christina Said’s, I am the face, the teacher. He is the visionary.

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Spicy Asian Coleslaw You’re going to love this twist on an old-fashion favorite coleslaw! Gone is the heavy creamy dressing. The mild character of green cabbage relaxes the middle of the body, aiding digestion and helping you manage stress. The deeply rooted energy of carrot will draw the essence of the dish deep into he body, providing strength. The cucumber cools and refreshes, and the spicy dressing moves your body’s energy and gives you a sparkle.

SLAW • 2 to 3 cups finely shredded green cabbage • 1 carrot, finely julienned • 12 to 15 snow peas, strings removed and left whole • 1 small English cucumber, peeled, very thinly sliced • ½ small head radicchio, finely shredded • 2 to 3 fresh scallions, finely minced

LEMON-SPICE DRESSING •

2 to 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Juice of 1 lemon

1 teaspoon champagne vinegar

1 teaspoon powered mustard

1 teaspoon powered ginger

1 teaspoon brown rice syrup

½ to 1 teaspoon white miso

Small handful sliced almonds, lightly toasted, for serving.

To make coleslaw: Bring a pot of lightly salted water to a boil and cook the cabbage until crisptender, about 1 minute. Drain well. Blanch the carrot in the same water, keeping it crisp, about 30 seconds. Finally, cook the snow peas until bright green, about 1 minute. In a large mixing bowl, combine the cabbage, carrot and snow peas with the cucumber, radicchio, and scallions. To make the dressing: Whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, champagne vinegar, powered mustard, ginger, brown rice syrup, and miso until well combined. Adjust the seasonings to taste, make it a little sharper, sweeter or spicier, depending on your preference. Mix the dressing into the vegetables and allow to stand for 10 – 15 minutes before serving to allow the flavors to develop. Just before serving, stir in the sliced, toasted almonds. Serve warm or chilled.

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MILLET WITH SWEET VEGETABLES AND CORN We all love comfort food: It makes us feel so nurtured and satisfied. Nurturing is millet’s special calling. In this recipe, millet and sweet vegetables combine to create a wonderfully relaxed energy, nourishing our middle organs-the organs that govern how well we manage stress in our lives-the spleen, stomach, and pancreas.

• ¼ cup minced yellow onion • ¼ cup minced winter squash • ¼ cup minced carrot • ½ cup organic corn kernels (fresh or frozen) • 1 cup of yellow millet rinsed well • 5 cups of spring or filtered water • Pinch sea salt • Small handful pumpkin seeds, pan toasted, for serving

Makes 3-4 Servings

Layer the onion, squash, carrot, corn an the millet in a heavy pot. Gently add the water, then cover and bring to a boil over medium heat. Add the salt, cover, and reduce the heat to low. Simmer until all the liquid has been absorbed into the millet and the grain is creamy, 25 to 30 minutes. Stir gently to combine the ingredients and transfer to a serving bowl. Serve immediately, garnished with freshly toasted pumpkin seeds.

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EXPERTS IN PINK _Cindy Papale-Hammontree _Sabrina Sanchez-Hernandez

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“Health is a state of complete harmony of the body, mind and spirit. When one is free from physical disabilities and mental distractions, the gates of the soul opens"

NUTRITION: A HIGHER LEVEL OF WELLBEING _SABRINA HERNANDEZ-CANO, RDN, CDE,NC

Anyone can be diagnosed with breast cancer even without having obvious risk factors. One in eight women will develop breast cancer in their life time. There have been many who were shocked when test results revealed there was a lump in their breast. I have friends, cousins, aunts, colleagues, clients and even my own mother- who were taken by surprise by the news of this health crisis. They felt their healthy lifestyle, eating well etc. would shelter them from this diagnosis. That is why I believe there is so much frustration with this diagnosis. We do the best we can with the food we eat, our exercise routine and our environment. However, there is no guarantees that will equal a disease-free life and we would do well to remember that health is a journey, not a destination. As such we need to be aware of risk factors, then aim to reduce them.

EXPERTS IN PINK Cindy Papale-Hammontree and Sabrina SanchezHernandez

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On the Town Food Tours With: Audrey Wiggins / Owner & Operator

Join us for one or more of the food tours made available to you, family and friends, and get started on your tasting journey!

www.onthetownfoodtours.com or Contact: 1-866-316-5081. 117


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I am an ACE Personal Trainer, Physical Therapist Assistant, Fitness Nutrition Specialist and ACE Health Coach. I help successful women who are over 40 gain control over your mind and body so you can feel great in your own skin!

“What do you mean?? …Doesn’t everyone starve themselves for as long as possible then have a huge binge eating session because you just can’t keep it together any longer?” Yes, this was my M.O. for most of my life.

I thought that was “normal eating”. Restrict. Sacrifice. Then go completely out of control and eat anything and everything. Then back to restrict and sacrifice. I never had a “weight problem” where “the scale says I weigh too much”. But I did have a “how-I-think-about-myself-weightproblem” (a.k.a. body image issues). Continue…

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What Makes Shape It Up Unique?

1.

First we are going to do some mind sweeping. No I am not erasing your brain! But we are going to figure out why you do the things you do. Once you change how you think about things it get a whole lot easier to lose weight. So we are going to do some spring cleaning. Figure out what is holding you back from taking action on your goals.

2.

Moving your body IS important but you need to move your body in a certain way‌and everyone is unique and different which is why I will custom design your workout program to get you the results you desire and guide you into making your changes permanent.

3.

How you fuel your body is key. I do not give out diets but will teach you how to look at food and help you decide what your body needs to thrive.

Stop Doing Workout Designed For 20 -Yr. Old's!

Your Biggest Obstacle Is In Your Mind

You Don’t Have To Suffer To Lose Inches

So are you ready to eliminate those mental blocks and get a leaner, healthier body that you feel comfortable in??

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Care Beyond Beauty… -Tashiek Hawkins

“How do WE define beauty?” I’ve heard clichés like “Beauty is in the eye of the

Beholder” or “Beauty is Skin Deep” and social media got us believing beauty is all about attractiveness and appearance! (Can we say “Selfie”) Well Friends... If I can keep it real and have some “Straight Talk” with you, that’s only partially true. If we are honest with ourselves, we have become obsessed with ALL things Beautiful. I know this because I have served in the beauty industry for more than 25 years. Statistics show that Beauty is a billion dollar industry, it continues to grow in comparison to other industries and doesn’t plan to decline any time soon. AND... Let’s not forget that Beauty is NOT only about personal appearance, it trickles into almost any industry like, health, wellness, fashion, entertainment, art, nature, real estate, automotive, and the list goes on. Whenever we want to LOOK Beautiful, what do we do? We buy everything from makeup to hair, nails, clothes, shoes, purses, jewelry, even cosmetic surgery. Heck, if we are bold enough to admit it, we will try to beautify anything, our home, car, office, you name it and I’m sure we’ve tried it (lol). BUT... I am here to tell us that TRUE BEAUTY can only be found in the spirit of LOVE! Love Conquers ALL things and changes the perception of everything. SORRY, NOT SORRY if I got too deep but it’s my assignment to speak to you in Love, in Spirit and in Truth! If I still have your attention, I want us to take a moment to reflect back on a time in life when we didn’t feel LOVE or we didn’t think our LOOK was beautiful, we then took an emotional risk of acquiring something (no matter the cost) hoping that it would fill the void.

For example, we had a challenging week at work or at home, we decide that a new look or fresh hairdo will somehow make everything better, we book an appointment (feeling guilty about being able to afford it), go to a salon or a stylist that can do bomb hair and charges top dollar, they possibly overbook appointments, then we irritatedly spend the entire day at the salon and at best, leave looking cute. Then, we get in the car and realize that we spent way too much money, we got lost in the salon life shuffle, no one bothered to ask or cared about our wellbeing and then we pull off looking halfway beautiful and feeling worse emotionally (sigh) Well Friends, I totally understand and I have good news for you... LOVE, FAITH, HOPE & BEAUTY still exists in this world and every experience will not be like that. If you will, please allow me to cordially introduce myself, My name is Tashiek, I am the Owner and “Covered Care Hair Loss Center” and Visionary of the “Covered Care Community”. I am a licensed Cosmetology Educator, Master Cosmetologist, Hair Loss and Hair Restoration Specialist. I have the privilege to connect with people from all walks of life and they entrust me with not only their beauty needs but they trust me with every area of their lives. I have witnessed transformations that have uplifted brokenness, boosted confidence and binded spirits of suicide and depression. My personal mission and prayers and are to promote positivity by incorporating Holistic Care & Wellness into every service or product that we provide. That’s the Beauty of Covered Care Solutions!

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Care Beyond Beauty…

HAIR LOSS IS DEVASTATING… COVERED CARE HAS SOLUTIONS!

Our Mission is to revolutionize Patient Care by COVERING ALL Hair Loss concerns and CARING for Patients – Mind, Body & Spirit! Our Vision is to be the premier Hair Loss and Personal Care resource for Patients and Healthcare Providers Our Core Values are Love, Faith, Hope, Compassion, Confidence, Comfort and Care! Covered Care was created to bridge the gap between Patient Care and Healthcare for patients that lose their hair from medical treatments. Our Private, Non-Surgical Hair Loss and Personal Care solutions help patients feel Comforted, Confident and Beautiful. We are an accessible resource to Healthcare Providers because we realize there is a correlation between patient personal care, patient recovery rate and mental well-being. Education and real-life patient experiences allow us to customize plans that cater to the specific needs of the patient.

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Kimberly McGowan -Author of Resilient Women

K

imberly McGowan is a woman that believes everyone has a soul-mate because the soul will die without a connection. In order to have solid meaning relationships of any kind a person must first know of their value and that value starts with having two things; Self-Acceptance and the other is self- confidence. Two different concepts woven into one idea and that is to allow a person to be the best version of themselves that they can possible be. I believe that women are the ultimate decision makers when it comes to relationships because we decided who we want to be with and who we decide to have children with. Kimberly is on a mission to help women increase their self-confidence to find success in Relationships of the heart. A certified Matchmaker and Relationship coach, she has 20 years plus years of marriage under her belt. She has been a mentor to young the women in the community.

This wife and mother is also an educator she has a M.S.Ed from Concordia University in Education. She has gone from working in corporate to being a Boss. She has combined her passion for Education with her Love of Love and teaching other's how to Love. In her recent book Resilient Women Kimberly talks about a daughter growing up with the connection she wants with her dad. It is the Ultimate book about having daddy issues and the profound nature this relationship has in the place of young girls. It’s also about forgiveness. She is an advocate for love in all areas: Self, Personal, and Professional. Her gift is finding people where they are and helping them through the struggles of love.

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K

imberly McGowan is a Motivational Speaker, Author, and Relationship Strategist. Her clients are women 40+that are looking for ways to improve Relationships with Mr. Right, or assistance with finding him! Kimberly has developed programs that have transformed the lives of men and women from Relationships to Confidence. Kimberly is Co-Authored books on how to Thrive Against All Odds. Her personal story of fighting through adversity is inspiring and empowering. Most recently she was featured in the ISOnline giving advice on where to meet your soulmate and how to start a conversation that says "I'm Single". Currently Kimberly lives, works, and enjoys her time in the Midwest with her husband of 2 decades and their 2 children.

Balanced Relationships Life is about relationships and we want those relationships to be Happy, Healthy, and Harmonious. There is no road map on how to create these relationships. We learn about relationships from our primary care-givers and the models that we see can be healthy or unhealthy. Our personal and intimate relationships must show vulnerability, trust, and openness. If these traits are betrayed we then create a shell protects us from pain and prevents us from joy. Can I share a secret with you? A healthy relationship can be learned and a unhealthy relationship can be changed. 126


Essex Chase Apartments (856) 612-5558

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Community Features & Amenities

§ State–of-the-Art Clubhouse § With complimentary Wi-Fi, § Coffee bar and large flat screen HDTV’s § Outdoor heated pool

§ Fitness Center with filtered water station § Barbecue & picnic area § Handicap accessible 128


Kat Kanavos - The Queen of Dreams About Kathleen (Kat) O’Keefe-Kanavos: VIDEO Podcaster, three-time Breast Cancer Survivor, and Dream Expert seen on Dr. Oz, DOCTORS, NBC, & CBS. Her Divine Dreams diagnose her illness. Kat and Duke U Dr. Larry Burk co-wrote, Dreams That Can Save Your Life. She’s a Syndicated Columnist, TV Producer/Host and award-winning Author/Lecturer who promotes patient advocacy and connecting with Divine-guidance through Dreams. “Don’t tell God how big your problems are. Tell your problems how big your God is.”

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Research and Benefits of Lucid Dreaming in Our Waking World: Linda’s Story By Kathleen O’Keefe-Kanavos

“You must learn to control your dreams or your dreams will forever control you.” ~ Wayne Gerard Trotman, Veterans of the Psychic Wars

W

hy should we care if we dream? What’s in for us?” As a Dream Expert, Dream Therapist, and Dream Author, the question of how, or even if, our dreams can be of benefit to us in our waking world is often asked of me during telesummits, in emails for my Dream Columns in magazines like Womenz Straight Talk, and during dream therapy sessions with clients. (Continue…)

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Your dreams, especially lucid dreams, are an incredible resource of guidance in your waking world. According to Wikipedia, Lucid dreams are different from any of the other dreams we may have during the night because the dreamer is aware that they are dreaming. During lucid dreaming, the dreamer may be able to have some control over the dream characters, narrative, environment, and most importantly the outcome. Yes, it has been written by many dream and sleep experts that your dreams are just “rapid-fire brain waves during the sleep state that make no sense and have no benefits to our waking world.” Even the esteemed Father-of-Dreams Dr. Sigmund Freud took a psychodynamic approach to dreams as “wish fulfillment” and “day residue.”

Kat Kanavos - The Queen of Dreams Dreams can be a microcosm of our waking world. So what are they saying and why are they saying it if it is unimportant?

Kathleen O’Keefe-Kanavos

I beg to differ with these esteemed and learned professionals because I have the proof. If what they say and write were true, the book proposal for Dreams That Can Save Your Life: Early Warning Signs of Cancer and Other Diseases would not have gone into a bidding war two weeks after being sent to publishing houses, and made available on bookstore bookshelves eight months later.

Continue…

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Why is the book making such a big statement in the dream and medical community? Because, the lucid, diagnostic, and precognitive health and medical dreams shared by the 30+ patients in it were validated by medical pathology reports. This is new research. There has been plenty of research on sleep but very little research on dreams. What makes these specific Lucid Dreams so different from all the other dreams written about in medical journals and books? They were part of a blind study between lucid dream diagnosis and medical diagnosis. And, the dreams won when they were validated by the medical pathology reports. The dream diagnosis came first and then came the validation by medical pathology reports. The published research by Dr. Larry Burk proves that dreams are not just random mental images fired off by the brain during sleep. The lucid medical dream stories prove that dreams have a purpose and serve a purpose in our waking world, such as saving our life. It also proves that dreams are a means of inner-communication that is very important during our waking life. Dead people don’t have a waking world. One of the biggest benefits of Lucid Dreaming is the ability to control and change the ending of the dream. This change, or dream control, can be a form of psychotherapy. An example is a client of mine who had a recurrent Lucid Dream of her abusive dead father. Linda’s dead father began to appear in recurrent lucid dreams to tell her he loved her. These dreams had been recurring for many years, and they angered my client because she wanted her father to leave her alone. The lucid dreams were taking a toll on her health, wealth and relationships. Her father’s invasion into her dreams was causing her loss of sleep which was affecting her health, which kept her from work, which caused financial stress, and caused Linda mental and physical anguish. Her marriage was also suffering from the Lucid Dreams that had become Lucid Nightmares.

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The nightmare would always begin with a knock at the door. In the dream Linda and her husband were sitting on the couch in their dark living room watching TV when the knock came. Linda’s husband would stand up to answer the door and although Linda would shout, “No! Don’t answer the door!” he opened it anyway and Linda’s dead father would step into the room and say, “Linda, I love you.” This would cause Linda to scream and wake up. My advice to Linda was to take control of her dream by becoming aware that she was dreaming when she heard the knock on the door, and then change it’s ending. We made a Dream-plan. Rather than screaming herself awake the next time she saw her father in her dream, she was to stay in the dream and change the ending by doing three things: § stand up § greet him § And tell him she loved him, too. At first, Linda was resistant to this plan because she said she did not love her father, in fact, she said she despised him. “Somewhere deep in your heart your inner daddy’s-little-girl still loves him so you will not be dreaming a lie. Let your Inner-selves be a part of this healing process.” I said. Reluctantly, Linda agreed when she realized that without changing the ending of the lucid dream, it would continue as a recurrent nightmare and control her waking life as well as her dream world. A week later Linda called me with some amazing news. “I don’t know what happened to the hate I had been harboring for my father, but during the dream when my father stepped into the room and told me he loved me, I threw my arms around his neck and said, ‘Daddy, I love you too.’ The dream shifted into another dream, and I continued to sleep. I did not wake up screaming. It has been over a week, and the dream has not returned. I feel great because I have had a week of undisturbed sleep. I am going for a job interview tomorrow, and I feel better than I have in such a long time. “ The Lucid Nightmare stopped, and she never had them again. Her life healed. She no longer needed to attend expensive psychotherapy sessions that were not working. Her lucid dream was her psychotherapy. Taking control of her dreams and changing the ending gave her control over her life and changed both her dream world and waking world. Change your Lucid Dream ending and change your life for the better, forever. Try it. What do you have to loose besides the sleep you are already loosing?

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Profile for Womenz Straight Talk

WOMENZ STRAIGHT TALK  

Special Edition: An inside look at America's Mental Health Crisis; and real straight talk article's featuring Pamela Reaves "The Power of Co...

WOMENZ STRAIGHT TALK  

Special Edition: An inside look at America's Mental Health Crisis; and real straight talk article's featuring Pamela Reaves "The Power of Co...