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“Being diagnosed with breast cancer was singularly the most terrifying moment of my life.”

Dear Aunty Mae

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Springing Forward w/ Katie Barratt


This is the Air I Breathe w/ Patience Hemenway


4 Surefire Ways to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes w/ Dr. Nicki Steinberger


The Power of Living by Design w/ Esther Graham


Dear Doc


Change, Choice and Commitment w/ Tara Hall


Exclusive Interview w/ Sarah Flynn




Editor’s Note

Healthy Hair is Good Hair w/ Shakell Rolle


Dreamers Who Take Action Change the World w/ Duquesa Dean


The Journey of Self Discovery: Find Your Way Back to You




W: https://duquesadean.com/index.php/evolve-magazine FB: facebook.com/The-Evolving-Woman-Magazine —


CO N T R I B U TO R S Katie Barratt Patience Hemenway Dr. Nicki Steinberger Esther Graham Tara Hall Shakell Rolle

SUBSCRIPTIONS SUB SC RI B E O NL I NE www.duquesadean.com

E D I TO R ’ S N OT E Spring is a time for new beginnings. During springtime, we see the blossoming of new things all around us. Nature springs into life with flowers budding and blooming. Spring is a time for us to jump forward; to take chances on ourselves, to plant the seeds of our dreams and patiently nurture those seeds to success. Spring forward into action to start a new life, a new beginning, a new business, a new hobby; a new you! Spring is a time for us to look forward with

anticipation. It’s a time to plant seeds that we will nurture so that we yield a great harvest. As we head into the Spring season, embrace this season of new beginnings. Spring into action. Embrace your dreams and goals. Believe in yourself, in your vision and in the future. Allow yourself to blossom. Allow your inner beauty to shine bright and to spill happiness into the world! I wish you a bright, warm and beautiful Spring season!

Duquesa D. Dean Editor The Evolving Woman Magazine

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, e a M Aunty

I lost my mother, my eldest sister and two uncles in the past eleven months. Many days I feel lost, depressed, and simply overwhelmed with life. I don’t want to commit suicide or anything, but my heart aches and I feel physically tired and emotionally drained all the time. On top of the family deaths, I am struggling managing my three kids with their online learning. I am a devout Christian and I know that I am blessed since I still have my job but many days I struggle to get out of bed. I have been praying and reading God’s word but there are many moments I struggle to stay positive.

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Dear Evolving Woman, Whew, I feel you my sister and I wish I could just sit, hug and love on you today. Firstly, let me commend you for being brave enough to share on your emotional and mental challenges. It takes a strong woman, who is self-aware and love her kids to admit when something is not as it should be. I can’t imagine all of what you feel but as a mother, godmother and aunty let me tell YOU, I am here for YOU; praying for YOU, cheering YOU on and prepared to connect with YOU physically if YOU wish. I also want to recommend that you consider sharing your challenges with a trusted friend, a pastor, or trained psychologist / therapist in your proximity. Now I want to be very clear, my recommendations for you to connect with a licensed psychologist or therapist is because I want to make sure you connect with the best resources available to you and sometimes that means speaking to those who have been professionally trained. Friends and Pastors provide great support but we both know, we are not going to let our friend or Pastor deliver our babies if they are not a gynecologist, despite how much we love and trust them. Sometimes we simply need professionals to help us process

and navigate through difficult times. If I may share something personal with you too, even Auntie Mae has benefited from the help of licensed therapists in the past. My strong evolving woman rest assured, it’s ok to pray and see a therapist. God is not insecure, so He won’t be mad at you if He had to help you through a psychologist. I send peace, love, and more strength your way today.

Dear Auntie Mae, I recently watched Amanda Gorman’s poem at the United States of America Inauguration 2021 and was left in awe. As a millennial, I was very much impressed that she was given the opportunity to recite one of her poems at such a prestige event. I must also admit though, I felt a little jealous and wondered if I was wrong for feeling this way? Dear Evolving Woman, Indeed, the world was captivated and left in awe after Amanda Gorman’s excellent rendition of the “Hill We Climb”. I am not sure however, if I am qualified to tell you if how you are feeling is right or wrong. On Inauguration day what we saw was a wonderful display of the talent Amanda invested in and developed over time. The groundwork she had put in over the years, prepared


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her to answer and shine when opportunity presented itself. Without dimming Amanda’s light, the same can be true for anyone. I would therefore say to you, that every day you wake up acknowledge that you too are presented with a platform to shine. It may not be the Inauguration stage, but as Amanda said, “there is always light, if we are only brave enough to see it, if we are only brave enough to be it”. Evolving woman, I encourage you to channel any discomfort you have from watching Amanda’s performance into motivation to work on your own talents and when your opportunity comes, you will shine just as bright as Amanda did or ever brighter. To submit a question to Aunt Mae, email auntmae@theevolvingwoman.co.

Springing Forward Written By: Katie Barratt

Hello, I’m Katie Barratt and I love wine. For me wine is so much more than what is in the bottle. It’s the stories beyond the glass, the people, the vineyards, the secrets of the cellar. It’s the culture, the history and the joy that wine brings. It’s the emotion, the beauty and the magnificent scenery. Wine is a magical experience. Well, it

can be, if you let it. I’m passionate about demystifying the mysteries of wine and sharing joy, knowledge and laughter with anyone who’s willing to join me. Wine Fairy as a business, www. winefairytours.com, started in 2009. I’ve dedicated my life to learning about wine and through my studies and 27 years of experience in hospi-

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tality, food and wine, I love to taste, learn and laugh about everything wine, travel and food. I’m living the dream, touring and traveling the world sharing wine, knowledge, joy and laughter with guests and like-minded folk. To me, Spring in the vineyards is all about new growth and springing forth to a new growing season.

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I always speak of vines in the feminine even though most cultivated grape varieties are hermaphroditic — their flowers have both male and female reproductive structures and can self-pollinate and produce fruit. Yet like us women, when they are young, they are flexible with a youthful glow, it takes time to develop roots and become comfortable with ourselves. With age, they become more structured and continue to grow and evolve. Each passing year reduces the ability to reproduce and fruit growth slows significantly, but there is an increase in quality, intensity and wisdom. In winter, we cosy up to keep warm and build up our energy reserves. We hibernate and so does the vine. She gathers nutrients from the soil and relishes the rain that soaks her roots, so as Spring arrives, we literally watch life evolve. Bud break is a signal that a new vintage is beginning, luminous leaves reach for the sun, like an early morning yawn, a stretch that invigorates a sense of renewal and rejuvenation. It’s time to break free with passion and joy. It’s a transformation of the energy source built up during the winter stored in the trunk and roots. This power rises, then bursts out into glorious growth. Although springtime is exciting

in the vineyards, it’s also a very risky time of year. Threats of pests and disease abound, and Mother nature is moody. Much like in life, one has to be careful, mindful and nurture this new development that emerges.

serve it at the correct temperature. The lighter the wine, the cooler it should be. Start out around 39-46 F, and a touch warmer for richer, oaked styled white and rosé wines. For reds, start at 54F through to 65F for the full- bodied styles. Always As the season progresses the serve lightest and driest before buds blossom into delicate pin- heaviest and sweetest. head sized flowers, determined to be grapes, the fruits of the When pairing wine to food, the vine. old-fashioned adage of white wine with white meat and red Are you seeing the similarities wine with red meat no longer and symbolism to life? applies. Rather focus on the weight and intensity of each We need to take time to nurture and find a balance between the our souls, really gather the en- two. ergy and fill our own soul cups to share the joyous overflow. The 5 senses of taste; sweet, sour, salt, bitter and umami Only we have the power to nur- play a critical role in influencture our new growth as we set ing the sensory sensation. Add forth, out into the world, rec- fat and spicy as criteria and the ognising our own flowers. Deli- cause and effect on the palate is cate as we may be, celebrating mind-blowing. For example, we the strength that stands within all know that fat is flavour. Fat us, preferably with wine glass adds to the weight and mouthin hand. feel of a wine yet can leave a residue on the palate. Choose a Speaking of wine, as the sea- wine that is high in acid which sons change so should the cuts through the fat and leaves wines we choose, serve and a fresh clean finish. drink. One should drink wines to suit the season and of course Wine is all about balance, as your palette preference too. are most things in life. We follow a balanced diet; we strive A white wine with an elegant for a work/life balance. The structure and fruity character, vine excels when the soils, sunor a gorgeous rosé, is a de- shine and rainfall is balanced. lightful treat on a Spring day. A When you are living with balcooled red wine crafted with fi- ance in your life, you are living nesse would be equally tempt- with peace and harmony every ing. day. Balance comes in physical forms, emotional forms, even a To ensure the most enjoyment spiritual form. out of your wine be sure to


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“For me wine is so much more than what is in the bottle. It’s the stories beyond the glass, the people, the vineyards, the secrets of the cellar. It’s the culture, the history and the joy that wine brings. It’s the emotion, the beauty and the magnificent scenery. Wine is a magical experience.” So, as we enter this new season, I encourage you, springing forward, to find your true balance knowing that may mean something different to each of us… for me, it’s a bottle in one hand and a glass in the other. Cheers, clink, clink. Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/winefairysa https://www.facebook.com/groups/ Taste. Learn.Laugh Patreon - https://www.patreon.com/ user?u=35533587&fan_landing=true Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/winefairysa/ Join Katie for a Virtual Wine Experience here. https://www.winefairytours.com/virtual-fairy Please support this small business and South African wines.


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Written by: Patience Hemenway

With every step I took, I reflected on all that I had overcome to be a part of that graduation ceremony. You see, shortly after enrolling in graduate school, I found out I was going to be a single mom. We all know a few people who started something and did not complete it because of various legitimate hurdles. Most of the young women I started the Master’s Program with ended-up dropping out of graduate school to start their new families. Despite facing the challenges and hearing the discouragement from others, I purposed within my heart to spring forward and to complete what I started. Maybe you are in a season in your life right now, where you think your hurdles are too much to overcome. I want to encourage you to keep pushing ahead. Challenges provide us with the opportunity to tap into our inner strength and to beat the odds; to recognize that we are in a season and as we know, seasons change. My season changed with this graduation which was a success not just for me but also for my late Grandma, my two children, Grace who was three and the Aaron who was in a car seat. Fast forward to Spring of 2016. I was so pumped, having landed my dream job after graduation. In the beginning, I would show up for work happy, passionate and ready to give my all. As time went by, my honeymoon days on my job became a distant memory. My workplace became increasingly hostile. Most days it was a struggle to get out of bed, let alone

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This is the Air I Breathe

I remember walking up the steps of the graduation stage at my university to receive my master’s degree in August of 2015. My heart was full, tears of joy running down my face. I couldn’t believe it, this was the dream my late grandmother Grace had for me.

go to work. This was so disheartening because it was with determination to attain the lifestyle that I wanted to have for my family that I had invested deeply in my education so I could change my zip code and not go back to living in low-income housing. Dreading the hostility I would face at work, I would pull into the parking lot and suddenly start feeling nauseous. Every day at work, I kept acting strong. I reported to management about the workplace hostility that I was experiencing. I was being sabotaged and bullied by a toxic clique led by a racist individual in my small office. Management/ HR turned a blind eye or would at most, slap people on the wrist which provided no incentive for the offenders to discontinue their behavior. I remember getting physically ill to the point where I was going to the emergency room twice a week. The triage staff of the biggest emergency facility in my State knew me by my first name. I had become popular, but for the wrong reasons. Have you ever been at a point in your life/ career where you were forced to make a choice? As you can imagine, my productivity at work was affected, as I was not sleeping well nor eating. It got to a point where I had to choose between my health or job. In desperation I reached out for help from powerful, successful, career women in my network. I wanted to know if what I was experiencing was normal workplace behavior. They shared their individual experiences and knowledge on how they navigated such storms as well as shared their psychotropic drug lists with me. I realized that having panic attacks, running

to the ER was a total waste of time and my insurance premium, and that prescription drugs were not an option for me. I found a strategy that helped me to take control of what was happening to me. Whenever I stepped outside, left the toxic environment, and BREATHED, my thoracic region opened naturally, allowing me to fully exhale and inhale. My chest tightness eased whenever I turned on one of my favorite songs, “This is the Air I Breathe”. This routine became my religious experience; I took breaks often to leave the building, it saved me! I started journaling and documenting everything that was happening in my life. I also bet on myself and attended personal development trainings. This ignited my passion to tell my story. I became an international bestselling author of the book ‘Breathe with Me, A Guide to finding Peace in the Storms of Life’ where I share my story as well as 11 powerful breathing techniques that I still use to overcome daily stress and anxiety. If you are reading this and you have had an experience with life/workplace stress and anxiety, I would love to hear your story and to interview you as a special guest on my TV Show ‘Breathe With Patience, From Anxiety to Serenity’ which airs on Mondays at 5pm EST. We need other women to know that they are not alone and to share our success techniques with them so that they too can overcome anxiety. Please visit: www.patienceserenitygrove.com FB & IG Breath work saved me and I am sure it can help you!

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4 Surefire Ways To Prevent Type 2 Diabetes In 2021 WRITTEN BY: Dr. Nicki Steinberger

While all hands are on deck for the COVID-19 pandemic, there’s an epidemic that’s been snowballing to great proportions since 1994. Type 2 diabetes, a condition, not a “disease,” is diagnosed late in the game of your health, which is no game at all. Denial is comforting for only so long before it morphs into anxiety. Understandably, you want the nagging symptoms to go away, fear the worst-case scenario, and pray your discomfort will subside: fatigue, irritability, mood swings, excess thirst, constant urination, depression, and those unrelenting sugar and carbohydrate cravings.

was published and endorsed by Dr. Christiane Northrup.

In 2010 at age 45, I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. I set out on a journey to reverse the condition with lifestyle practices, which I did effectively in 12 months. I switched gears from a career heading to psychotherapy and began leading community workshops in the San Francisco Bay Area on diabetes and sugar addiction. In 2019, my book, Wave Goodbye to Type 2 Diabetes: 16 Holistic Practices to Prevent & Reverse Diabetes, & Reclaim Joy, Vitality, & Plenty

Information overload leads to procrastination and overwhelm. Picking up bits and pieces from a variety of health care protocols or mentors can be confusing and result in a scattered approach to your wellness. Choose ONE path to follow and give it a good run for at least 6 months to evaluate the outcome.

While I hope to catch you in prevention, my approach for reversing diabetes is similar. Let’s jump into 4 ways you can take action right now to begin your wellness journey: 1. Say YES to a Plan, Support, and Accountability

Your plan should include 3 pillars of a healthy lifestyle: A PLAN of eating, a PLAN of exercise, and a PLAN of stress-re-

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duction. Since we heal when we step out of isolation and into community, receiving support is important; it’s not a solo endeavor. This could be by way of a local group, teaming up with a friend, or working with a coach or holistic health care practitioner. The support you receive should include an accountability component. When there’s at least one person attentively receiving you, you’ll be more apt to show up for yourself and your “teammate.” Having someone honor your intentions and practices in a loving, non-judgmental manner encourages you to keep going, and moves you along the progress line of your efforts. Accountability communications can be done via phone, text, email, video, or a shared Google document.

Dr. Nicki Steinberger T H E E V O LV I N G W O M A N

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2. Dedicate Yourself to a Sacred Morning Ritual

tion. If you approach getting healthy via behaviors only, your success will be short-lived, much Every morning you are given the opportunity like a diet. to set the tone for your day. Each day builds a month; each month a year; each year a life. As Has focusing on mindset failed you in the past? you cultivate the most beautiful, sacred space for If so, it’s likely due to working with mindset conyourself in the morning, you actively step out of cepts rather than an effective practice, such as the passenger’s seat and into the driver’s seat of The Shadow & Light Framework™. One familiar your health and life. Allow your morning practice mindset concept is “think positive.” While this is to become non-negotiable time for yourself. helpful, it’s limited in scope, and omits significant pieces of the bigger picture. Such concepts don’t Choosing to start your day by taking care of your- prompt you to raise awareness—the true goal of self will correct the endless cycle of intending to mindset work. squeeze in time later in the day only to have it disappear. Having a morning ritual makes it easy to In summary… batch your practices. For example, within a brief amount of time you could hydrate, meditate, When you’re truly ready to feel physically and stretch, read, journal, and recite gratitude and af- mentally energized on a whole new level, and refirmations. If you’re able to include 30 minutes of claim your health, it’s not rocket science that’ll get exercise, even better. you there. You get there with a plan, support, and accountability. When resistance arises (and we 3. Ditch Sugar and Processed Carbohydrates want it to), you can then get to work with a dedicated mindset practice. If you do this, you can’t When it comes to type 2 diabetes—preventing NOT heal; you can’t NOT transform. Preventing or reversing—one rule of thumb is to ditch (or and reversing type 2 diabetes is just one thought greatly decrease) refined, processed sugars and away. carbohydrates. This includes sugars such as honey, maple syrup, coconut sugar, agave, and high fructose corn syrup. It also includes grain flour Nicki Steinberger, Ph.D. is a health psychology products which convert to glucose quickly, such coach, author, and speaker. She’s the creator of as bread, crackers, pretzels, cookies, and muffins. The Shadow & Light Framework™ and Ditch the Sugar! Academy, an interactive membership. Be mindful of those sugary drinks, even the so- Grab her free checklist, 7 Sugars to Avoid to Boost called “healthy” fruit sweetened beverages. While Immunity, Kick Your Addiction, & Prevent Diabeat first this might seem daunting, getting over the tes at DrNickiSteinberger.com/7sugars. Join Dr. peak of excess sugar consumption will become Nicki’s community, Joy, Vitality, & Plenty at Dreasier. Now more than ever, we have healthier NickiSteinberger.com/community. alternatives to choose from, such as almond and coconut flour breads and baked goods. Purchase a copy of the book: DrNickiSteinberger. com/wavebook 4. Integrate an Effective Mindset Method Practice Daily Social Media: FB: facebook.com/drnickiphd Your thoughts and beliefs create your outcomes. IG: instagram.com/drnickisteinberger In addition, if you don’t program your mind, your Clubhouse: @drnicki mind programs you. Therefore, an effective mindset method practice is the queen pin foundation to your long-term, sustainable health transforma-


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The Power in Living by Design Written by: Esther Graham

Why? Why? Why? It’s 3:00 a.m. and my brain wants an answer. And like an inquisitive 3-year-old, it won’t let go. Why am I here? Why is this happening to me? Why do I have to do this? I know this might sound a little crazy, but that’s actually the perfect place to be—even though it really doesn’t feel like it when you’ve jolted awake in the wee hours of the morning. Why? Because it’s the tap on the shoulder you need to stop living in default and finally start designing the life you want.

LIFE HAPPENS AND WE PUT DOWN OUR GREATNESS In my personal experience and as a pastor and a coach, when we face difficulties and trau-

mas, we often lose sight of who we are. And to compound the issue, the people who are the mediocrity mongers in our lives try to push us back in our small box because they don’t want to be alone living in the dullness of the status quo. They lack faith and live-in fear of change or moving forward. When we allow ourselves to listen to them, we end up dimming our light and downplaying our innate greatness, so we don’t capture their attention by shining too brightly. As a result, we deny our gifts and the talents that make us great, pushing away the very things we need to lean on to come through the situation stronger than before. That’s when we start losing who we are. And that’s when the three-year-old in your brain starts waking you up at 3:00 a.m.

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GREATNESS IS IN OUR DNA We weren’t meant to live a defeated life. We were made in God’s image. We are divine creations and by definition that means we are absolutely perfect as we are. We were meant to shine. At conception, each one of us was given something great that makes us unique. Different from everyone else. A special gift to make our positive difference in the world, in our own way. When we use our gift, we become empowered by it. Things start to flow. We feel better. And beautiful things, events and people come to us, adding to the momentum of greatness. Lifting us higher. Faster. And all it takes to gain back the power we’ve given away is a choice. One single decision to become intentional about who we want to be and the difference we want to make. Then all you have to do is hold that as your guiding light to live the life you want.

LIVING BY DESIGN Once you have made that choice, there are four simple steps to start living by design. #1 – Get quiet and connect with your authentic self. The real you is the one that is closest to God. It’s the highest version of yourself with wisdom and insights that will never steer you wrong. You just have to start listening. Ask for guidance and then listen for the answers. And pay attention to your soul’s feelings. That’s God speaking to your authentic self. #2 – Decide how you want to live. Get clear on your values and what you value. Not what society, your parents or your spouse says it should be. YOURS. Only you can create your legacy. And you do it with every decision you make and interaction you have. You build a legacy of greatness when you let your authentic values be your guide.

#3 – Discover your passions. The true gifts God has placed inside you come easily. They are the things you wake up and go to bed thinking about. You lose time doing them. Other people compliment you on your skill and they wonder how you do it. The more time you spend in the joy of using your gifts, the brighter your light will shine. And that will bring new people and new opportunities into your life. #4 – Walk out your plan. We can quickly slide back into our default habits, which is why you have to decide to live by design every day. That’s easier to do when you have a plan. Detail your vision of the future. Create your goals. Set your milestones. Become intentional about how you will live out your day. And know that you don’t need to make huge changes all at once. Even needlepoint advances are still moving you toward the person you want to be and the future you want to create. From there, celebrate the amazing things that happen because you finally started to live your life by design! Social Media: FB: https://www.facebook.com/FDDWomen website: https://www.fddwomen.com/home

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I have a few questions about heart disease What is heart disease? Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a general term for conditions affecting the heart or blood vessels. Coronary artery disease (CAD) is actually one of the most common of cardiovascular diseases and it refers to the narrowing of the arteries supplying blood to the heart blocking the flow of oxygen-rich blood to the heart muscle. Heart disease is often termed cardiovascular disease (CVD), and coronary artery disease (CAD) and, is the leading cause of death worldwide. Heart disease has traditionally been referred to as a man’s disease. However, according to the 2013 World Health Assembly, heart disease was identified as the largest killer of women. Unfortunately, despite public awareness of heart disease over the years, many women underestimate their risk of developing heart disease and subsequently, its serious complications (heart attack, stroke). What are some of the major risk factors for developing heart disease? Traditional risk factors for developing heart disease include age, high blood pressure, smoking, diabetes, and, abnormal cholesterol levels. The older a woman gets (age >55years), her risk of developing heart disease increases. Research has shown that due to woman’s higher life expectancy, her overall mortality rate from heart disease is higher. Even though older women are more at risk, women of all ages who have risk factors such as obesity and type 2 diabetes should be concerned about heart disease.

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The risk of heart disease is strongly associated with family history. Like age, family history of heart disease is non-modifiable. In other words, an individual’s genetic makeup can not be changed. Therefore, if an individual’s first-degree relative (father, mother, and sibling) has heart disease or premature coronary artery disease, that individual may be at an increased risk of also becoming affected. High blood pressure or hypertension, a common medical condition, is a significant risk factor for heart disease. At age 65 and older, women are more likely than men to get high blood pressure. Often times, the risk of hypertension is underestimated and elevated blood pressure readings are either not aggressively managed, or, in some instances, ignored. High blood pressure is often times referred to as the silent killer because many people do not know that they have it. And, if left untreated, it may lead to heart attacks and strokes. Diabetes is also a significant risk factor for heart disease as women with diabetes compared to men with diabetes, have a 40% increase in the risk of coronary heart disease. Obesity is known as a typical risk factor for heart disease. However, according to the American Heart Association, studies have proven that the distribution of body fat more than BMI is a stronger predictor of heart disease. These studies demonstrate that women who carry fat in their upper bodies and bellies were more likely to develop cardiovascular disease than women who carried fat mostly in their legs. High cholesterol can increase your risk


of heart disease as it can lead to plaque buildup in the arteries leading to narrowing and subsequent blockage of the affected blood vessels. Another unique risk factor for heart disease include oral contraceptive use in women who smoke. Collagen vascular disorders such as systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and rheumatoid arthritis are more prevalent in women. Cardiovascular events are the major cause of death in women affected by these diseases. These inflammatory conditions tend to accelerate the hardening and blockage of the arteries. As a result of this aggressive process, women with SLE in the 35- to 44-year-old age group are more than 50 times more likely to suffer heart attacks than those not affected by this disease. What are some of the symptoms and signs of heart disease? Often times, early symptoms of heart disease are not recognized until they become more serious. Compared to men, warning signs of CVD in women are often regarded as ‘atypical’ and tend to go ignored, unrecognized or misdiagnosed. Women may actually have a heart attack without the typical chest pain or pressure. Instead, shortness of breath, fatigue, dizziness, and, even upper abdominal pain may be presenting symptoms of heart disease. Swelling in the legs can also be a sign associated with heart disease. Nausea, and, vomiting, often diagnosed as gastroesophageal reflux, may be atypical presentations of heart disease as well. What can be done to prevent heart disease? General prevention of heart dis-

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Dr. Ghandi Thompson

ease largely involves lifestyle modification. Making smart choices such as maintaining a healthy weight, engaging in regular aerobic exercise, smoking cessation, aggressive blood pressure control, and diabetes and cholesterol management can prevent heart disease. Avoidance of sugary drinks, adequate consumption of vegetables, fiber-rich whole grain foods, fruit, fish, nuts, legumes, low fat dairy products and lean meats can decrease the risk of heart disease. A proper diet and physical activity will prevent obesity, and, maintain healthy blood sugar and cholesterol levels.

Smoking cessation and avoidance of second hand smoke can reduce the risk of heart disease. Awareness of a family history of heart disease can lead to actions to reduce an individual’s risk of heart disease. Lastly, it is important to seek regular preventative medical care. Regular wellness exams identify risks and incorporate important and appropriate health screenings in order to prevent heart disease and its subsequent complications. To submit questions to Doc, please email deardoc@theevolvingwoman.co

Change, Choice and Commitment Written by: Tara Hall

What is a life unfulfilled? Maybe it’s a dream that has not yet been attained. Or, one you are still soul searching. Have you ever asked yourself that question or just wondered why others around you seem to “have it all” or get all the “good breaks?” Either way, you must know you are still in control of the outcome for your life and it’s certainly not too late to adjust the sails. Change is choice! And, once you make that choice, stay committed to the action required to realizing it. Some have given up before it’s been given the right amount of time to take hold. I know this because it’s exactly where I was approximately 5 years ago. From outward appearances my life was intact i.e. the career, family, home, cars and marriage. All the things we tend to pray for to create that sense of stability. Yet and still, there was something inside that was unfulfilled and I kept saying internally that there was more in

and for me. Have you ever felt that way? If so, you are absolutely not alone. I knew one day I wanted to have a business. In what? I didn’t know and I wanted to inspire people. Who? I didn’t know either. It wasn’t until I took inventory right about the time I was entering graduate school in 2011 when I had finally achieved a personal goal of mine dating back 19 years prior. When I crossed the stage in 2015, in front of over 13,000 people to be one of the 1200 graduates that Tuesday evening, I realized change, choice and commitment helped me finally achieve that goal! Once I put down the excuses, pushed fear aside and took action, I arrived at a place I wanted to be. What’s the relevance of me sharing this? I want women to know that it’s really ok to forgive yourself for not acting sooner, or behaving out of alignment with where you know you should be or for putting your gift aside as if it doesn’t matter when it really does.


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However, it’s not ok to know something new, then do nothing with or about it. When we know better, we tend to do better. If we take a good long look in the mirror and confront ourselves with what we know to be true, like I had to do, we can make the necessary adjustments with the sails in our life to commit to new actions, behaviors and visions for our future. Give yourself the permission first, bless and release the past because that was the lesson for your next season. Now, over 10 years later since graduation day, life drastically changed. I now assist others with a simple equation I learned a few years ago through my training. This equation is the foundational formula towards your success…E+R=O. It’s recognizing that we have no control over life’s (E)vents, however the (R)esponse to those events is where our power is held. That power rests in our thoughts, behaviors and image of our future. This is how we deter-

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mine what (O)utcome we want. Take this simple formula as a stepping stone to “Springing Forward” to your next. It has helped me to get from thinking about a business to launching a training and development one in 2019, from submitting my first publication as part of a book anthology in 2018 to publishing my book in 2020 and now to publishing my third book project in 2021 which includes 11 female leaders who share their stories of perseverance. Would you believe me if I told you, I never thought any of this was possible? I certainly did NOT, yet I continued to believe and imagine my future looking and feeling differently. I always heard people say if “I can do it, you can do it” but I didn’t believe it until I became one of the people doing it. Take the inspired action to go from unfulfilled to living out loud with your dreams. Find a community of support, get connected to someone who can catapult your goals alongside you. There are no secrets to success but there are key principles to get you there. As a certified success trainer and coach, I work the principles because they work. Now it’s time for you to go to work! Cheers to your success and live that fulfilled life you have envisioned. To stay connected with Coach Tara, follow her on her social media platforms: https://www.facebook.com/theinspiredsolutions https://www.linkedin.com/in/tarahallms/

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SARAH FLYNN Being a breast cancer warrior is a badge of honor you carry well. Tell us about your journey. What were some of the emotions you struggled with during that period? Where did you find support? What message of hope do you have for women facing cancer? I will be very honest and say that this is the first time I am publicly speaking about my journey through cancer. Thank you for giving me this incredible platform to be able to share my experience with other women. Being diagnosed with breast cancer was singularly the most terrifying moment of my life. I was diagnosed right after I turned 41, which is very young. I went to my annual exam, and my routine mammogram quickly turned into a diagnostic mammogram. Which turned into a biopsy. Which turned into surgery. Which turned into radiation. It was a cascade of tests full of bad news, and nothing can fully capture how terrifying it was to hear them say the “C” word. It was Christmastime. I was a single mom. I had just begun dating the man of my dreams. This couldn’t be happening to me. But as a team, we kicked cancer to the curb – my kids, my (now) husband, and an incredible group of friends and family who did everything from folding my laundry to kissing away my tears. Approximately eight months later, after two lumpectomies and radiation therapy, I rang that blessed bell at the doctor’s office to celebrate being cancer free. But it wasn’t over yet.

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Almost one year later, at my final checkup with my surgeon, they found cancer again. This time, it was in both breasts, and it was two different types. The reality of the situation hit me immediately - a mastectomy was the only answer. I was grateful I had a course of action, but beside myself with anxiety and fear. The thoughts came like a flood: I was a newlywed. What would happen to my love life? I was a dancer. What would happen to my career? I was so very scared of what the future held, but there was no way I was going to let cancer win. So, on November 8th of that year, I lost both of my breasts, but I gained a beautiful future full of life and love. Can we talk about my husband for a moment? Most men would jump ship and get as far away as they could if they had just started dating a single mom who was diagnosed with cancer. Who signs up for that when they’re dating?! Well, he obviously is not “most men”. Because of his steadfast, continual love and support, I was able to spend my energy fighting. He cared for my kids, he never missed an appointment, and he made sure I had every need met.

When the second battle came, I made sure that people were checking on him. So often, we forget that the best way to help a cancer patient might be to support their spouse or partner so that they have the strength and emotional capacity to tackle the day-to-day stress of caring for them. I knew I needed to call in the troops, and my girlfriends washed my hair in my kitchen sink, organized meal trains, drove my kids to activities... it was an incredible outpouring of love, and I was so grateful to have people that kept us lighthearted and focused on healing. For any warrior woman who is fighting the fight this moment, I offer you this: YOU WILL WIN. Rally your troops and ask for help. Your mind is a powerful weapon. Keep laughing, even if it feels artificial or inappropriate. It is so critical to your mental health and your body’s ability to maintain positive energy for healing. You will come out of this battle not only victorious, but truly valuing each day and having your life, love, and legacy completely reprioritized. The battle with cancer was not your only hurdle to overcome. Share some of the life lessons you learned along the journey? The lessons gained are quite simple, no matter the struggle. You are in charge of your life. No one else determines right and wrong for you. No one gets to dictate your belief systems. And certainly no one is entitled to ownership of your mind, body, or spirit. The sooner you find a community or tribe who can help you live your authentic self “out loud”, the sooner you will find yourself free to design a life you love. What was the defining moment in your life that changed your attitude from “not having enough” and “settling for less” as normal, to creating your ideal life? After my divorce, I was a complete wreck mentally. Fortunately, that transition was the wakeup call I needed to begin to reshape my life authentically and honestly. I began blogging and journaling in the voice of the woman I knew that I was, somewhere deep down inside -- a strong, inspi-


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rational, audacious queen who was not afraid to talk about financial independence, embracing sexuality and femininity, being a box breaker, and shaking up the status quo. I called her “Lady Grey”, and not only did I start writing like her, but I also began performing on stage as her! I started a vintage burlesque and vaudeville troupe and started slowly exploring her incredible power and poise. Over time, these external exercises allowed me to step into my greatness internally, and I see no difference between Sarah Flynn and Lady Grey now. She is me! Queens rise up, inspire, motivate, and provide guiding lights for others. What is your most precious memory about being a beauty queen? What inspired you to compete in a pageant? This is going to sound like a total “pageant girl” answer, but my most precious memory as a queen was when I had the opportunity to host a tea party for all the local queens who were competing at the county level for the title I had won the year before. They were so excited to be together, not in front of audiences or judges, but simply to just enjoy making new friends and laughing with other young women. I was so proud. What are some of your life’s passions? I am a dancer. I spent my childhood at the dance studio and owned an arts academy for almost 15 years. I have been really blessed to perform everywhere from Broadway to the Sydney Olympics. I also love to write, and I am currently working on a new Lady Grey book that I think you and your readers will love! I will keep you posted on the details. Helping empower women to take the steps needed to heal old wounds, let go of rules and expectations that do not serve them, and truly embrace their identity with boldness and confidence is probably my number one passion. From teaching young people to casting unique body types and ages in my shows, I keep working on this philosophy, trying to touch lives one at a time to change the world.

What would you tell other women today if you were going to try and influence or shape their lives? Take the first step. Look in the mirror and ask yourself if you are living your authentic life or if you are trapped behind a mask or a veil. What inspires you to live outrageously and to coach other women to the same? Life is too short not to live outrageously! Why would you waste another day living the life some other person or system has designed for you? Step into your greatness, Queen! Embrace your vision. Leverage your gifts. Change the world in the way only YOU can. And design a life that YOU love. It is never too late to do this work, so just begin. If you had to start over right now, what would you do differently? Oh, good grief. So many things. I would have studied abroad and spent more time getting to experience other cultures earlier in my life. It opened my eyes to how narrow my world was when I began to see how others lived. I would travel more! What are the things that bring you joy? Quiet mornings. Cafés in Paris. Rodin’s sculptures. White glove service. Seeing someone light up when they discover the key to unlock a struggle. Vintage everything – hair, makeup, clothes, dance, dishes… you name it! And most of all, my family. I love the fact that my husband buys me flowers and makes me laugh all the time. I love the creativity and passion my children show in their unique pursuits. What would you like your legacy to be remembered as?

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I envision a world where women find freedom to explore and pursue their dreams, to live authentically and to experience acceptance and fairness in society. I hope that when I look back, my legacy is that I have helped blaze that trail, changing lives, pushing people to think outside the box, and leading by example. What programs do you have in the pipeline and how can women find more information? I am so very excited to announce that I will be hosting an exclusive, intimate retreat for women in Paris in 2022, with the focus on being an “outrageous woman” and stepping into your feminine power. For more information, you can sign up to receive updates here. https://www.live-outrageously.com/booking You also can check out my podcast, Live Outrageously with Lady Grey, where I interview inspiring world-changers about their outrageous lives and their advice on how you can live more outrageously, too. As a special offer for readers of The Evolving Woman, I’m encouraging women to schedule a “coffee talk” with me. Here is a link straight to my calendar so you can do just that! I would enjoy making beautiful connections with other women and growing our worldwide network of queens. If you are interested in learning more about one-on-one coaching, I would love to chat. You can either use the link above to book a Zoom call or you can send an email directly to my inbox at sarah@ live-outrageously.com. Websites: https://www.live-outrageously.com/booking https://www.liveoutrageously.com/ Social Media http://www.facebook.com/outrageousladygrey https://www.instagram.com/lady.grey

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M A R C H 2021

Healthy Hair Healthy Hair Healthy Hair Healthy Hair Healthy Hair Healthy Hair Written By: Shakell Rolle

is good hair!

My name is Shakell and I’ve never had a relaxer. Natural hair is something that I’ve always been associated with. Growing up; as far back as primary school, I was often teased for being one of the only girls with natural hair.

ral hair had a stigma as being childish and unkempt and senior school was the time to be grown, you know?

When I entered junior and high school I was still one of the few girls who had their natural, unprocessed hair.

That is why I was dumbfounded, when I went to college and ‘being natural’ was the new fad. Everyone was sporting their new puffs and twist-outs without any judgment or criticism. I thought to myself, finally the way we were born was deemed acceptable.

This was strange because, at that time, if your hair wasn’t processed in primary school, by the time as you were in high school those curls would definitely be permanently straightened. It was unusual because natu-

Anyone that knows me, know that I loathe the term “good hair”, often used by the black community. For me, how “good” your hair is, is not determined by the texture of your hair, instead it is determined by the health of it.

In 2017 God gave me the vision to start my business and to call it Adorning You, based on the scripture 1 Peter 3:3-5 which says, “ Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. 4 Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. 5 For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to adorn themselves. One of the core purposes of my business is to care for natural hair. It’s my goal to make sure that each of my client’s confidence is boosted when leaving my salon. In caring for natural hair, I deal with a wide range of textures and lengths. Regardless of the texture, one of the main ways to promote healthy natural hair and length reten-

Before any protective style, your hair should be treated and properly moisturized, especially if you are intending to keep the style for more than 4 weeks. I advise my clients to listen to their hair. We are usually aware of when our hair is lacking moisture, which is when the hair tends to feel a bit coarser than usual. If our hair is lacking protein, we tend to experience more breakage. If we are in need of a trim, we would encounter more knots and tangling, mostly at the ends of the hair. Protective styling can only be as effective as possible when the hair underneath is well taken care of. The purpose is to preserve the existing health of the hair. One of the main services I provide for protective styling is braids. The key for proper protective braids is a technique called ‘tucking’. This technique involves ensuring that the client’s hair is completely ‘tucked away’ into the braids; where as little hair as possible is exposed to the elements, especially the ends of the hair; which is the weakest part of the hair strand and is more prone to breakage.

Healthy Hair Healthy Hair Healthy Hair Healthy Hair

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tion is through proper protective styling.

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My motto is “Healthy hair is Good hair!”, and that’s my top priority. Even though I’ve never had a relaxer, I had a life changing experience when I got a silk press and all of my curls were utterly destroyed. I had to transition and then I chopped off all of my dead ends. It was after this occurrence that caused my desire to promote healthy hair to increase even more.

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Healthy Hair Healthy Hair Healthy Hair Healthy Hair In this photo we can see where I was able to change the client’s hair color by using the tuck method. Her natural hair is bleached blonde, but we were able to achieve an overall look of 1b/350 braids with her hair almost completely concealed. If the hair can’t be seen by the eye, it can’t be affected by the elements. This demand for braids propelled me into expanding my business, by introducing the Adorning You pre-stretched braiding hair, which comes in a number of color options. Here’s our braiding hair in #613, used for these knotless braids.

A lot of ladies are afraid to return to their natural hair because of the possibility of having a certain hair texture. I am a proud natural hair activist and I say, if you feel the urge, give it a try, you just might love it! Natural hair is not some monster, it’s the way that God created us. Remember, the only “good hair” is healthy hair!

Healthy Healthy Healthy Healthy Healthy Healthy

Email: adorningyoustudios@gmail.com Instagram: @adorningyou_studios

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Dreamers who take action change the world! Written by Duquesa Dean

These are the people who see possibilities, take action, fall, stand, try again, fail a thousand times and find another way to try again. Big vision goals are possible. There is NO impossible dream! Think about people like Mary Jackson, an American mathematician and aerospace engineer who in 1958 became the first African American female engineer to work NASA. Or Harriet Tubman who escaped slavery to become a leading abolitionist. She led hundreds of enslaved people to freedom along the route of the Underground Railroad. Or even Malala, a Pakistani activist for female education and the youngest Nobel Prize laureate. These three women, are proof, that when we believe in our dreams and take action, stay in continuous action, face our fears, boldly create new paths, we can achieve even the larg-

Once you identify those big picture goals, break them into smaller achievable action steps. This will help to build momentum, provide motivation and provide evidence that our goals are indeed possible. As we look forward to making 2021 a year that brings us more joy, happiness and that brings us closer to achieving our expanded vision, I encourage you to become the Chief Architect of your life. Literally. A dream without a plan is failure waiting to happen. Embrace this New Year with a new attitude towards goalset-

This was a game changer for me and a secret to me superseding my goals every year. We can’t do the same thing over and over again expecting different results. That’s insanity Would you take bolder and more consistent action if you had a plan that outlined every step your journey? Challenge yourself to change your system. Do something different in order to experience different results. Truly make 2021 your year. Social handles: https://www.facebook.com/duquesaddeanfanpage https://www.facebook.com/ThePowerOfHERGlobal website: www.duquesadean.com

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Today I challenge you to enlarge your vision for your life. Identify your dreams and expand that vision. Create the ten year picture of your life and then reverse engineer the steps to achieve those goals.

ting. Shift from creating resolutions and begin to create the blueprint to make your dreams reality.

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est and most impossible dreams.

The Journey of

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f Self-Discovery find your way back to you

After all those broken relationships, and all that betrayal committed by the men I once loved, I never thought the love I desired was a reality. After all, love was for people who believed in fairy tales … right? As little girls, we are nurtured by books and movies that tell stories about women who either find their knights in shining armor or are maidens in distress, waiting to be rescued by a prince. These fantasies help us to believe in the “magic” of love. But, as an adult, this seems all too good to be true. For many of us, love isn’t magic. It’s painful. Whether we relate more to the “magical” love or a “painful” love, God might be saying something different: Love is taking the risk to intentionally learn about someone, while also exposing your own vulnerabilities, desires, and dreams. Love is sometimes compromising what you want for someone else’s benefit. Love is forgiving their faults — and not growing to resent them because of their shortcomings. Love is tolerating occasional bad moods, differing opinions, and selfishness.


In retrospect, I must admit that most of my love relationships were not the greatest partnerships. Most of them were painful. Yet, like the books and movies that influenced my young mind growing up, I continued to seek someone to “complete” me. And don’t so many of us do this? Sometimes in relationships, we can spend a lot of energy investing in, and ensuring, that our partners are comfortable, happy, and secure. Sometimes, we do it to our own detriment. Of course, we understand that God loves us — and that His love is fully satisfying. However, it’s our nature (and God’s design) to seek out human love and human companionship. But, because we love like humans and not like God (you know … imperfectly), we get it wrong sometimes. Once, after a particularly bad breakup that left me deeply hurt, I knew it was time to find my way back to me (and to God) especially since I felt so lost and so alone. Finding my way back to me wasn’t an easy process. Self-discovery takes work, but it helps us to know who we are at our core as children of God, what we enjoy, and what we want in life. How can we discover ourselves the way

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God created us to be? We have some tips; keep on reading! Practice love and acceptance. Repeat affirmations daily to build and increase self-confidence. Discover activities that you enjoy — with friends or alone. Take yourself on dinner dates. You’re worth it! Be kind and nurturing to yourself. Discover strengths, passions, and talents that may be hidden inside you. Establish and maintain boundaries. Identify what is non-negotiable in a relationship. Realistically identify the qualities desired in a partner. Clearly communicate those boundaries for better understanding. Openly and honestly address situations when boundaries are crossed. Identify red flags, and act accordingly. Ask others in your community to hold you, and your partner, accountable. Finding your way back to you will be a journey of self-discovery, self-love, and self-value. If you take the time to enjoy your current season (and stop focusing on finding love urgently), then you’ll be able to enjoy the here and now. The truth is, no matter our season, we can all experience this joy in life. It’s the intentionality in enjoying everything about life – our families, our friends, our careers, and our passions. The joy of living! God’s word teaches us, “He who finds a wife finds a good thing” (Proverbs 18:22). The man of God (your man of God) will find you, but only after your journey to find yourself. The one thing we can all take away is this: Learning to love oneself is the first step toward finding true companionship and love. Self-discovery, self-love, and self-value all help us enjoy our lives, and ultimately, our relationships — when they show up at our doorstep, in God’s perfect timing.


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Profile for DuquesaB

The Evolving Woman Spring 2021 Edition  

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