Rochester Woman Online August 2022

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Photographed for the August 2022 cover of Rochester Woman Online is vice president of community engagement for Goodwill of the Finger Lakes, Jennifer Boutte, Boutte was photographed on location in Rochester, NY by Jolana Hollister with fashions by Goodwill.


“In this world there is no force equal to the strength of a woman determined to rise.”

As Rochester Woman Online launches the latest edition of the area’s premiere women’s online magazine, we are excited to be able to showcase our August 2022 cover woman, Jennifer Boutte of Goodwill of the Finger Lakes’ inspiring story. A Rochesterian born and raised, Jennifer has maintained a lifelong commitment to making our community more equitable, more accessible and a place made for everyone to live. As vice president of community engagement for Goodwill of the Finger Lakes, Jennifer continues her passion with veracity and determination. Enjoy her story starting on page [22]. We hope you continue to enjoy all of the amazing articles and women we bring to you each month. Know someone who would be perfect for a cover, a feature or a highlight? Do you have a business that is you want tot promote to an audience of over 100k? CONTACT ME TODAY at






Rochester Woman ONLINE is the premier professional woman’s online publication in the Greater Rochester area. Our feature articles address major topics that interest local women. Each issue includes articles on health, fashion, fitness, finance, dining, lifestyle and personal perspectives, as well as a spotlight on local area women. The electronic magazines are distributed freely through your favorite app store and will be in your inbox electronically by the first week of every month. The publication is available free of charge. Please feel free to contact publisher Kelly Breuer at 585.727.9120 or you can email us at Download our current media kit at www. Therochesterwomanonline.commagazineispublished12

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I’m always inspired knowing I can make a difference in the lives of others — family, friends and communities alike.

Who are some of the strong women you feel have inspired you?

A Rochesterian born and raised, Jennifer Boutte has maintained a lifelong commitment to making our community more equitable, more accessible and a place made for everyone to live. As vice president of community engagement for Goodwill of the Finger Lakes, Jennifer continues her passion with veracity and Wedetermination.satdownand spoke with Jennifer about her life, her joys, her career and more. Tell us a little bit about yourself and your history. Who is Jennifer Boutte? Rochester native and proud City School District grad of Edison Tech. I went on to Delaware State University, ranking in the top 10 of Historically Black Colleges and Universities, and later went to Roberts Wesleyan College to complete my bachelor’s in whoofI’minmanagementorganizationalandmaster’sstrategicleadership.alsoaproudmotheronedaughter,Aaliyah,willbeattendingNorth Carolina Central University in fall 2022. What does your role as vice president of community engagement for Goodwill entail? As vice president of community engagement, I oversee all fundraising and development, marketing and public relations for Goodwill of the Finger Lakes. With my team of seven, including four who directly report to me, I also manage the Good Neighbor Program. What inspires you?


What do you feel makes you a leader, especially within your role dealing with community engagement for Goodwill? Being unafraid to go where the people are. You can’t serve people without knowing what their needs are. With our Good Neighbor Program, we have the ability to immediately provide essential goods among other services. And when we can’t provide the services people in our community need, we can connect them to our roster of more than 40 community-focused partners.

When I started this role, I was seeking something where I could impact the community on a greater scale. Goodwill of the Finger Lakes is an organization with a lot of moving parts, and after looking at and understanding the social enterprise model, I realized there were opportunities to take the organization into parts of the community that they didn’t historically impact.


I would say the women in my family — especially my late maternal grandmother—and my circle of friends, my mentors and women like Michelle Obama. Women who are strong, fearless and full of grace. What do you feel is the key to women empowering other women?

The key to women empowering other women is understanding and honoring the importance of sisterhood. Be intentional about recognizing that every woman has a perspective and story that isn’t far different from yours. Although we all come from understandthatsomebackgrounds,differenttherearesharedexperiencesweshouldhonor,andcelebrate.

And as for the future, only God knows!

#4 This is a new role for you. Tell us a little about how you decided to take on this role and what your plans are for the future.

What’s one piece of advice you’ve been given that you’ve never forgotten?

Name a female leader you look up to for mentorship and guidance. My mother, Joyce, and two aunts, Cathy and Shirley — affectionately known as “Sallie’s Girls.” I always consult the three of them. Whenever I’m experiencing a teachable moment, a character-building moment, a decision-making moment — I look to them. They’ve already figured out how to navigate through the waters of leadership and life. While my experiences are different from theirs, I always look to them as a reminder of the shoulders of the women who came before me in building the woman I am today. If you could do one thing you have never done, what would it be and why?

Tell us about some of your goals and dreams for you personally and professionally.

I am a firm believer that everything happens in its own season. Things that I have aspired to do up until now have worked out the way they’re supposed to. And everything that I’ve done has led me to where I am now. It’s all part of the journey. What is something that makes you truly happy? Traveling with my daughter. We love exploring new and fun destinations, especially where there’s delicious food, gorgeous art and fun shopping.

Share one quote that you feel defines you and your vision.

My favorite scripture is Psalm 46:5 — “God is within her, she will not fail.” It inspires me to keep going, keep pushing, and knowing that while the climb may be tough, the view from the top is worth it.


Never let the room change you — you change the room. What do you feel are the most important attributes of a successful leader in 2022? Being empathetic, listening to understand as opposed to listening to respond, being trustworthy, keeping the lines of communication open. And always being true to who you are. How do you continue to grow both personally and professional? What have been some things that have worked well for you, and some that have not? I stay connected to my faith, always being ready for a challenge and making it a point to never stop learning. Local job opportunities, while all critical to my professional growth, have shown to me the leader I want to be versus the leader I didn’t want to be.

Personally, I’m excited to witness and support my daughter’s new journey as an undergraduate at an HBCU. It’s a wonderful experience as a mom to watch her grow up and find her own way.


“The key to women empowering other women is understanding and honoring the importance of sisterhood.” { STORY

To continue to operate in places and spaces that Goodwill of the Finger Lakes didn’t have a presence in prior to my appointment, and to continue to expand our partnerships with other community organizations across the Finger Lakes region while, in turn, strengthening our community impact.

Professionally, I anticipate a lot of growth in leadership over the next two to five years. I do want to get more involved in engaging and serving others on a national level and eventually on a global level. I want to provide hope. It’s fantastic that we can provide immediate goods and supplies, but providing hope — going beyond the service — is what truly motivates me.

What is your vision for the programs and outreach you’re in charge of?



Continuous outreach — community impact is solely dependent on not being afraid to go where the people are. If you cannot connect to them, you cannot equitably serve them.

What have you found to be the best way to get the community involved?

Tell us about running for Monroe County clerk three years ago. What was this experience like? Would you do it again?

I still have some learning to do, some growing to do, some exploring to do. Only time will tell.

To be continued. Tell our audience something people may not know about you. I love to express myself in poetry, and love to cook and travel — especially to destinations near water. Where will we see you next?

Where were you prior to taking on this role with Goodwill? Did that experience help you transition into this new career path easier?

I was at CDS Life Transitions, serving as director of development and community engagement. Working with our housing division made me realize just how important it is to stay connected to and build relationships with the communities that we serve.

Running for Monroe County clerk was an opportunity based on principle, not politics. Honoring democracy means that everyone deserves a choice. That said, my running was more about serving people than securing the seat.


Would I do it again?

“I’m always inspired knowing I can make a difference in the lives of others — family, friends and communities alike.”

“I do want to get more involved in engaging and serving others on a national level and eventually on a global level. I want to provide hope.”

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DATE: 12:00–1:30PM

Tell us about your business, how it started and what you currently have in the works. In 2014 I had decided to venture into entrepreneurship within the cannabis industry alongside my husband Jayson. We started Metavega Corporation in 2014 as a indoor growing equipment supplier. We started with one product and literally drove up and down the east coast, knocked on doors and sold it one by one. We were able to build strong relationships with other small businesses which really helped us to solidify our place in the industry. Today we sell multiple products to hundreds of hydroponic retail stores and smoke shops throughout the Incountry.2021, we decided to expand our portfolio and open Flower City Hydroponics in Fairport, NY. We wanted to bring our expertise of the cannabis space to our local community. It provide us a more in depth connection with the growing BY MURRAY YARAVITZ

First and foremost I am a mother to two wonderful children Maliya who is 4.5 years old and Givani who is 2.5 years old. I have an amazing husband and business partner Jayson and we have been married for 6 years this month. My professional background initially started in the accounting and finance field. I graduated with my bachelors degree from Rochester Institute of Technology in finance with a minor in economics. I also obtained my MBA from St. John Fisher College with a focus in accounting. After completion of my MBA I was recruited to work for Ernst & Young (EY) LLP as a public tax accountant. I have held numerous positions within the accounting field throughout my 10 years in corporate America. What made you decide to become part of the cannabis industry? I spent many years of my professional career in corporate which gave me a tremendous amount of experience that I am grateful for but, it truly did not fit who I am or what I was seeking for my own self efficacy. I grew up in a family of entrepreneurs and always dreamed of forging my own path in business. I was familiar with the cannabis world even from my high school years and knew that the industry was one that had so much potential. My husband Jayson has a tremendous background in cannabis and we made the choice to venture into the legal market as indoor growing equipment suppliers. Both of our backgrounds paired together made my decision to enter the cannabis space an easy one. With this came a lot of risk but we had passion for cannabis and loved the community of people that existed within it. Has being a woman hurt you in the industry? I have been in the cannabis industry for almost a decade now and seen a lot within those years. I wouldn’t say that being a women has hurt me in the industry but rather made it difficult at times to be heard or seen. Starting out on the wholesale side as an equipment supplier we had to travel and meet store owners to try and sell our products and I can remember being completely ignored with all questions being directed to my husband Jayson. It was almost as though I was his assistant and that was my purpose for being there. Jayson began to notice this and began directing them to speak with me or I would have to personally insert myself in order to show my knowledge cannabis and the products associated with it. Over time I began gaining the respect of those owners but it was not always easy. Fast forward to today, I definitely have seen the climate change and there are so many women entering the cannabis space and crushing it! As more women begin to enter this space the walls start to break down and we begin to normalize the presence of women in cannabis.




Britni, tell us about yourself and your background?


The office of cannabis management has done a wonderful job in making the information surrounding the application process accessible but ultimately the responsibility is on the applicant to build an executable plan. With that being said, it has not been easy. What most fail to see is that the amount of work that is required to apply and build a proper business plan is extensive. We incorporated Flower City Dispensary in 2020 and have been working diligently on ensuring that we are compliant and that our communities are being considered. You must do your due diligence to seek out banking, insurance, security and so many other facets of this application process. You must also consider the fact that you will have to personally financially invest in achieving this license. Seeking legal counsel is highly recommended and does not come without its cost. You have to be all in! Do you find it challenging being a female entrepreneur in a male dominated field? What do you do to set yourself apart?

50 ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE : AUGUST EDITION 2022 { SHIFT+CONTROL } community which is one of my favorite parts of being a retail store owner. Currently, we are applying for a NYS CAURD license for retail dispensing of cannabis here in NYS as a women minority, social injustice applicant. We want to bring safe and regulated cannabis products to our local community. Our main initiatives are to ensure that reinvestment and support is being given right here in Monroe county. We plan to offer an array of jobs and education to those seeking a career in cannabis.


Did you face a stigma being involved in the marijuana industry? How have you overcome it? The stigma that exists in the cannabis industry is a very real thing and unfortunately has caused a lot of false perceptions about what this wonderful plant can do. I have personally spoke with husbands that grow cannabis “It is imperative as a makeup artist to be comfortable in doing makeup application on every ethnicity and every walk of life.”

I feel that I’ve been able to set myself a part by educating myself with industry knowledge and by building strong relationships with other businesses within the cannabis space. It has taken many years to gather the experience needed to be successful in the industry. I had to truly immerse myself in cannabis product knowledge, growing processes and understanding consumer behavior. Obtaining this insight has really helped to propel me in the cannabis industry. What would you say is the most rewarding part of owning your own business?

With women entering the cannabis space and collaborating together the challenges once faced are diminishing.

I find it less difficult today than in prior years to navigate through what most would see as a male dominated industry. We as women are much more empowered today than ever before and have the credentials to execute our own businesses and be successful.

What has it been like trying to get your dispensary license in NYS?

There are so many rewarding parts of owning my own business such as the impact that I get to see that we make in our local community. To be able to provide revenue to our local town, create jobs and collaborate with other local small businesses is just amazing. To be able to build interpersonal relationships with our local community of growers and get to know them and their families on such a personal level makes what we do very special and I consider myself lucky to have these relationships. To learn from them as well as have the opportunity to educate them in return is by far one of the best parts of being a business owner.

One of the biggest challenges that I have faced being a women in cannabis is at times being respected as someone who has an understanding of industry products, growing techniques and processes or someone with the business aptitude to be the business owner. At times I have felt I had to do more to be seen or respected than a male counterpart. With that being said, this has become less of a challenge as more women have entered the cannabis space. We are proving our place in this industry and are showing that we are here to stay.

What are the biggest challenges you have come across being a female business in the cannabis industry?

How do you promote your business when there are such heavy regulations on social media? With cannabis being federally illegal it can be difficult to promote on social media platforms. We do our best to be creative and create content and use verbiage that does not imply cannabis. We do our best to focus on our brand and highlighting news and other businesses within the cannabis industry. Most importantly it’s our customers that create the content by sharing their experiences with us and choosing to share it with others on various platforms. It’s awesome to see content generate organically.

I believe that in order to be a pioneer of anything you must be able to go beyond this mindset of judgment for a greater purpose. To help improve the quality of life for people is something that is worth pushing forward for.

How do you juggle being a successful business woman and family life? It can be extremely difficult at times to juggle being a business owner and running a home. I do my best to always make sure when I am home with my children that I am present in what they are doing. I plan and schedule their activities and build my work life around them. This is one of the benefits of being an entrepreneur, you are able to be more flexible with time opposed to a 9-5 job. I also have a wonderful sister who helps support me and enjoys spending time with them as their aunt. My husband also does a great job coordinating with me as a parent and business partner to ensure we get things done. It’s truly my support system that helps make everything come together. There are times however when my work gets done after the kids are in bed because I never want to lose time with them. It truly is a balancing act and accepting that all anyone can do is their very best to try and fulfill all the responsibilities they need to in just a days time. Can you share information and insight about the team of women that you work with to make this all happen?

I can see the greater picture of what the cannabis industry can bring and I am confident in standing behind it no matter the stigmas that are attached.



The fact that cannabis is set to provide tremendous revenue for our communities and provide job opportunities to so many is worth pushing forward for.

The cannabis industry is booming and women are leading the way. Why do you think this is?

I believe that women in 2022 are not just the typical stay at home mom but rather highly educated, highly motivated individuals who have dreams and goals that they want to reach.

When I think of the team of women that I work with to make this all happen, I think of the network of women that I have had the opportunity to collaborate with. I have been very lucky to meet many wonderful women in the cannabis space embarking on so many different endeavors it’s been fascinating to see. From cannabis cultivators, to consumption businesses, cannabis attorneys and cannabis tech professionals these women “The stigma that exists in the cannabis industry is a very real thing and unfortunately has caused a lot of false perceptions about what this wonderful plant can do.”

because their wife has MS and it eases her pain. I have friends and family that use cannabis to help with their PTSD from the military and cannabis helps them to function and be of sound mind.

Women are powerful and in a lot of ways underrepresented and so it does not surprise me that we have begun leading the way in this fast growing cannabis industry. We have the caliber and tenacity to build businesses and build relationships that will set the tone for the next generation of young women. We have all been able to learn how to navigate being a wife, being a mom and still run our own company’s. Times have changed and women are rising to the occasion. What advice do you have for women looking to make an impact in the cannabis space? My advice would be to make sure you do your research. Everyone is eager to enter the cannabis industry as its set to generate a tremendous amount of money, but it’s critical that you plan and plan accordingly. This market is still so infant with so much still uncertain so it’s best to do your due diligence before just jumping right in. I always tell people to try and look at the skill sets that they already have and how they can be applied to the cannabis space. Look at all the hair care, skin care and foods that are now infused with cannabis. Think outside of the box but always stay true to what you already know. Who or what inspires you as a woman entrepreneur? The women that has inspired me the most in my life is my mother. It was through her life that I obtained and learned some of my greatest strengths. As an immigrant from South Korea I watched my mother rise in the very male dominated industry of construction. I can remember her having to fight that much harder to be noticed or build a name for herself but this never stopped her. Her will to succeed and her strong work ethic outshined all the negativity that surrounded her. Her kind heart and strong regard for integrity were the building blocks of her reputation and always served her well. These are just a few attributes of hers that I continue to carry with me as I go through life without her. Last year I unexpectedly lost my mother, my best friend and my biggest fan. She is and will always be who I hope to be and who I want to make proud.


“One of the biggest challenges that I have faced being a women in cannabis is at times

Three pieces of advice I would give to other women looking to get into the cannabis industry is to educate yourself first on the various products that exist, current market conditions, legal requirements and the actual cannabis plant itself. Gather as much information as you can to better prepare yourself.


What are 3 pieces of advice you would give to other women looking to get into the cannabis industry?

My current focus has been to obtain the NYS CAURD license to be a retail cannabis dispensary and begin to dispense legal, regulated cannabis products right here in upstate NY. It’s our vision to provide cannabis products to our community in a safe and professional manner. To create jobs and generate revenue to be reinvested into our local communities. Cannabis dispensing will be normalized at some point just as you would go to the liquor store for beer or wine. Our hope is that we can be a part of introducing cannabis in the proper way. It’s critical that our communities begin to have access to products that improve quality of life or even for recreational purposes. It’s equally important to ensure that our communities are educated properly on the consumption of cannabis which we focus heavily on as a business. We want to get it right the first time and we believe with our depth of industry knowledge and experience we can help NYS to achieve this.

accomplished women and we as a whole provide support to each other to make it all happen.

benefit to just be yourself to allow others to see your true capabilities and to earn trust. Business cannot be done effectively without trust so always try to adhere to high standards of integrity and you will go far. What is next for you?


You may think what does One Tough Mother have in common with a beautiful, statuesque pageant queen? I met Jessica Fabus Cheng while lobbying congress for the Muscular Dystrophy Care Act. (MD Care Act) I remember walking across Capitol Hill with Jessica. She stopped and pulled something out of her bag. She handed me her camera and asked me to take a picture. Jessica, the true pageant queen struck a pose, holding her Mrs. Metropolitan sash. It was the local title she had while competing in the Mrs. New York America pageant. Watching the staffers and congressional representatives pose with a pageant queen was an thewasaudienceIpageantMrs.askingaInbeenDuchennewayIlitexperience.enlighteningTheirfacesjustup.JessicaknewbeforedidthatthiswasauniqueofraisingawarenessforMD.Wehaveclosefriendseversince.July2021,IreceivedphonecallfromJessicaifIwouldattendtheNewYorkAmericaandcheerheron.wastheonlyoneinthecheeringforherIdelightedwhenshewonMrs.NewYorkAmerica title. She would compete for the national title of Mrs. America 2021. I flew to Las Vegas in November 2021 to watch her compete. She was phenomenal, but I could tell something wasn’t quite right as Jessica didn’t have the sparkle and shine, she usually did. I was worried but didn’t want to cause additional stress during her competition. It wasn’t until after the pageant that I discovered she was battling a severe health problem. This month had the pleasure to interview Jessica to discuss her love for pageantry and her future plans. What made you decide to get into competing in Pageants? I originally wanted to do pageants as a child. My mom was decidedly against it, but I felt a deep connection to it from the start. I participated in my first and only pageant as a kid in 1995, after babysitting for nearly a year and raising my own money. That experience taught me so much about the depth of my own convictions and holding fast to my dreams. During that time, people came out of the woodwork to help me, and it made me realize that when people see your passion and mission, they are often willing to assist. I continue in pageantry to this day to advocate for and bring more awareness to a disorder called Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

What effect did you think pageantry would have on your advocacy work for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy?

One of the biggest advantages of being a titleholder while doing advocacy work is the memorability factor. Even with a local title, wearing a sash in a congressional meeting is pretty uncommon. Duchenne muscular dystrophy is under the umbrella of a rare disease, although it is the most common form of muscular dystrophy diagnosed in childhood across all races and ethnicities. I wanted our lawmakers to not only remember the stories behind this disorder but to realize that this is not just some obscure cause that very few know about. Standing up and speaking up through advocacy for Duchenne carries so much importance for the families it directly impacts. I wanted our congresspeople to understand that the families and individuals affected by Duchenne are worth fighting for, and with something unique like a pageant sash or crown, the mission is memorable and stands out in a special way. Many congress members and their staff often remember me because I wore my sash in advocacy meetings.



One of the most basic is that people with Duchenne are not defined by their condition. People with Duchenne are graphic designers, engineers, authors, advocates, musicians, poets, biologists, artists, and the list goes on. This doesn’t directly have to do with the pathology of this disorder per se but in my humble opinion, it is really key that we see people as fellow human beings and respect them as such. This is why my platform is what it is – “The Power of Your Story” – it is the sharing of human experiences that connects us powerfully to each other. Years ago when I first shared my own personal struggles as a carrier of Duchenne publicly, a few individuals thought the information was “too personal.” But that resistance was short-lived because the impact of my vulnerability on the community far outweighed any opinion of me. I believe in an “I go first” mentality when it comes to sharing stories because it opens up the possibility for someone in a similar situation to be strengthened or encouraged by it. Even if they don’t choose to share any of their story publicly, the fact remains that someone verbalized something similar to their experience.

I have a close family member who was diagnosed with Duchenne in the early 2000s, which lead to the women on my mother’s side of the family getting tested for carrier status.

As time has gone on, my connection to this platform continues to grow and deepen. The years spent advocating and helping encourage others in the Duchenne community to lift their voices have allowed me to meet and connect with so many incredible souls not only throughout the state of New York but around the United States and the world. I’ve connected with people in Africa, the Dominican Republic, and Australia, for example. This is because Duchenne touches every country on the globe and is not unique to a specific group of people. It reminds me that although I am only one person, there is a vibrant tapestry of support and community that exists, with many focused-on change and healing. Duchenne is a complex rare disease. What are some of the key things that you would want to tell someone that isn’t familiar with the disease?

You also had a pretty serious health scare after you competed in the Mrs. “I chose Duchenne as my platform because it affected not only my entire family but my relationship with my future husband (at the time) and our plans for having a family. ”

I know you as a fierce Duchenne MD advocate on the hill, will you continue to raise awareness for Duchenne?

I chose Duchenne as my platform because it affected not only my entire family but my relationship with my future husband (at the time) and our plans for having a family. Carriers like me have a 50% chance of passing Duchenne on to a child, for example.

Duchenne muscular dystrophy is an X-linked genetic disorder, hallmarked by progressive muscle loss and weakness.

So in that sense, Duchenne is complex not only in the medical and physiological sense but in the mental and emotional areas as well.

Absolutely. The promise I made to myself when creating my platform was that it had to be something I would continue doing and growing in when I was done competing in pageants. Being a pageant titleholder has only fueled my fire to continue serving others and championing families in the Duchenne community. I think it’s important what you do after the pageant just as much as before and during. You are creating a legacy for yourself, and continuing to pursue excellence after a year of service ultimately makes the world a better place.

Over time, Duchenne affects the body systemically, ultimately leading to the deterioration of the skeletal, cardiac and pulmonary (lung) muscles. Life expectancy is increasing as our treatment modalities are getting better, especially in the last 10 or so years, but it still is only around the age of 30. Affecting about 1 in 5000 (or 1 in 3600 in some estimates) live male births, the genetic condition is commonly passed down from the mother. These women are called “carriers” and I am one of them.


Why did you choose it as your platform?

Can you tell us, what Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy is?

World Duchenne Awareness day is September 7, what do you plan on doing to support it? Well, the entire month of September will be a special month, as it’s Duchenne Awareness Month, or “Duchenne Action Month” as I prefer! I plan on highlighting Duchenne and Duchenne advocacy on my social media accounts, talking to families in the Duchenne community and attending events - notably by Canine Companions for Independence, Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy, Kindness Over Muscular Dystrophy, and the Coach to Cure MD Tackle Duchenne homecoming game at Utica University near Syracuse, NY with some friends in the community! You recently crowned your successor, what will do next?


America Pageant in Vegas, can you tell us about that, and how you are doing now?

couple of full body scans to check for metastasis. As of now, it looks like the scan is negative for cancer spread, and I am incredibly humbled and grateful for that, given that my tumor had a few aggressive qualities. I thank God. The takeaway for me over this past year was learning to give myself grace under pressure. As I have matured, I have learned to value quietness and trust greatly. Throughout my year of service, I found it important to continue to advocate for Duchenne and be present in the community despite my health struggle. I am grateful for the journey I am on and will continue to hold to my faith and go wherever God leads. To learn more about the organizations that Jessica is supporting visit: kindnessovermd.orghttps://www.https://canine.orgparentprojectmd.orghttps://www.worldduchenneday.orghttps://www.

Two weeks after being crowned Mrs. New York America I discovered a mass on my neck. Instead of solely focusing my time on preparing for a National pageant and serving as a state titleholder, my time immediately was divided between titleholder duties and radiationcompletedinunderwentcancerslesscarcinoma,knownformdiagnosedafterInmyAmericaablebehowIprofessionalwenttheaddedhavereturnedofbecauseIappointments.doctors’wasscared,especiallyevenafterabiopsymynecktheresultswereinconclusive.Iayoungfamilywhichalayerofsadnessinbeginning.Astimeonandasamedicalmyself,Iknewwasfacingsurgery,yetimminentthatwoulddeterminedifIwastocompeteatMrs.orevenfinishyearasatitleholder.Januaryof2022andthepageant,IwaswitharareofthyroidcancerasHurthlecelloccurringinthan1%ofallthyroiddiagnosed.IanothersurgeryAprilandIrecentlyaroundoftherapyandhada

“One of the biggest advantages of being a titleholder while doing advocacy work is the memorability factor.”



Working in a high-stress job, credentialed position, or leadership where you literally feel that the stress is crushing you could be the villain, because the stress mounts up until you just can’t handle it anymore. The BIG THREAT, BURNOUT. When your work-day no longer feels powerful and you are struggling to get up and keep going, this is a sign of the need for a radical shift. You may be on the precipice of burnout. And let me tell you, it is NOT easy to come back from this space. And you, Goddess, need to crush your day rather than be crushed by it. Burn out. It is a real deal. And when you do not listen to the signs of forthcoming burnout, you will be crushed. Stress compounds, just like compounded interest, your body logs in the stress to your internal drive system (nervous system) and eventually your body begins to give out under the toxic load of mental, emotional and physical stressors. Most of my clients report the pending burnout as suffering from back pain, insomnia, headaches, PMS, anxiety and weight gain. And there is also chronic illness where the body turns an attack on itself and starts plummeting for no apparent reason. No matter what, you feel Andhorrible.trustme I have been there too. So why aren’t you able to dissipate or resolve stress to a degree that your body bounces back and remembers its intelligence? Usually it is because you are not stopping long enough to revitalize your internal operating system. And you may not possess the CORE intelligence – “CQ” – to process and release stress effectively. CORE intelligence is the ability to use breathing, awareness and movement to consciously engage with your toxic stress load and release it from the body, mind, and emotions - and especially from your nervous system. It’s like, well, an orgasm. Your core intelligence knows how to build and release. And once activated things shift, sometimes in only one session.


When I entered into this work as a coach and healer, teaching people to dissipate stress in the heat of the moment I saw this pattern of crushing stress causing dis-ease in my clients. They suffered from fatigue, anxiety, pain, weight gain, autoimmune disease and depression. Most of all, they lacked the ability to consciously connect with their stress to release it.


Women trying to do it all, single moms, moms of many kids, kids suffering, business owners, and business leaders - they were all carrying a toxic load because they lacked the inner neurological technology to mindfully connect, let go, and pull in new, healthy Theenergy.American Psychological Association states that stress negatively affects “all systems of the body including the musculoskeletal, respiratory, cardiovascular, endocrine, gastrointestinal, nervous, and reproductive systems.”


Or Being Crushed? Bounce Back with BreatheFit! You want to make things happen, but you lost the will to get out of bed. You feel your life slipping away and you don’t know what to do…. Do you yearn for the days where you would say, “I crushed it today!” Has this feeling left? Or maybe you have never had it?





“CORE intelligence is the ability to use breathing, awareness and movement to consciously engage with your toxic stress load and release it from the body, mind, and emotions - and especially from your nervous system.”

● Is your breath shallow and quick?

72 ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE : AUGUST EDITION 2022 { SHIFT+CONTROL } our stress – or is it crushing us? The answer is obvious – stress is winning. In fact, stress is affecting people at younger and younger ages - our children are under extreme stress. As millennials mature, they may be facing challenging health issues, according to a “Health of America” report released by Blue Cross/ Blue Shield on April 24, 2019. andLetandworldtoolsstress!I’veothermovement,peopleaclosed“fix”wouldwouldn’t.asmoveMOVE!wouldtheiraWhenathehighTypeincludingprevalencereportreports/[https://]Theirshoweddramaticincreasesintheofsomehealthconditions,depression,hyperactivity,IIdiabetes,hypertension,andcholesterol.Thereportstatedthathealthofmillennialsbeginstotake“majordecline”atage27.Iwasworkingwithpeopleaschiropractor,I’dhavemyhandsonspineandavoiceinmyheadscream,‘GetupandBREATHE,Theyneededtotakeactionandthroughthestressthatshowedupstuckenergyintheirbody.ButtheyInstead,thewomenIcoachedreturnweekafterweekformetothem.Idecidedtomakeashift,andmychiropracticpracticetoopenmindfulfitnessspawhereIcouldhelplearntohealthemselvesthroughbreathwork,coaching,andformsofself-care.givenyoutheproblem.WomenhaveNowlet’sgiveyouevolutionarytoreallychangethis.Becausetheneedsyoutoleadwithenergypositivepower.merepeat,youareneeded,wantedimportant!

●BreathClose your eyes. Notice your breath just the way that it is, without changing ●anything.Areyou breathing?

● Are you holding your breath?

● Heal your relationships ● Communicate clearly The list goes on….

● What is the rhythm of your breath?


For now, sit tall in your chair, plant your feet on the ground, close your eyes… and Why?breathe.Because your breath is the most efficient pathway for you to access the CQ you’ve been missing this whole time. The basis of freedom from this stress crushing you is your breath. BreatheFit is the breathing practice that we use in Evolve Coaching. As BreatheFit coaches, we direct women to breathe while they are coached, using certain breath techniques and rhythms to achieve a neurological reprogramming to what you desire. I also help you connect with neuro-energetic breathing – breathing with awareness and intent to achieve a desired outcome, building a core transformer so that in the heat of the moment you can transmute dark sludgy energy to high powered energy. And one of the outcomes is, you guessed it – stress relief! Which means manifesting the life you desire.` Conscious breathing will allow you to: ● Activate body awareness ● Access and release stored stress or ●tensionMove through emotional, mental, or physical obstacles ● Manifest what you desire

● Is your chest rising and falling, or is the movement only in your belly?

● Do you care about your breathing?

Think about it – you wouldn’t be alive if you weren’t breathing. You can live for weeks without food, days without water, but only minutes without breathing. Breathing is your body’s natural way of building energy, releasing toxins, and letting go of stress. And you won’t believe how conscious breathing will amp up your overall fitness, health, and well-being!

● Are you breathing through your mouth or through your nose?

Join us at the Your Red Carpet Event, Sept 24, 2022 at Urban Euphoria, LLC in Rochester, NY or online live streamed and experience one of our Evolve Women breathing techniques called the Red Carpet Inner Upgrade Journey. eventbrite.comhttps://yourredcarpetevent.

The first step to conscious breathing is to pay attention to your breath. And the first step to paying attention is to close your eyes. To connect with your breathing, it’s essential to remove external stimuli and begin to listen inward. When you are staring at a computer or phone, eyes open, your energy is pointed outward. When your eyes are open, sensory-neural stimulus is constant. Closing your eyes turns your energy inward toward yourself and allows you to sense your body (yes, we said it – SENSE your BODY!)

EXERCISE: Checking in with Your

● Can you feel the breath move through your body?


“And you, Goddess, need to crush your day rather than be crushed by it.”


Dr. Pam Denton is a fitness expert, international speaker, healer, coach, and founder of Positive Evolution Consulting, Evolve Coaching and GoddessCORE Fitness. Her intensively researched mind-body approach to empowerment has helped thousands of leaders plug into their innate power and activate the law of attraction for unstoppable success. She is the author of numerous books, including She Means Business, Leadership Evolution, Messages from Spirit and Journey to Female Power. She is well known for her work with women in business and is the founder of many programs for women, including Project Woman Mastermind and the Rise to the Top Training. She served three terms as President of the Syracuse, New York chapter of the global network FemCity. In 2016, she created three successful conferences: The Intuitive Expo for Mind Body Leadership, Inspire Leadership Conference, and Superpower Your Success www.positiveevolutionconsulting.comConference.

I totally get it. I do. It feels like none of this matters to him. Everything from the topic that you were discussing before the implosion, to you and the entirety of your relationship. Let me start with this, the vast majority of the time it DOES matter to him. Your relationship matters to him. YOU matter to him. Probably far more than you realize. He wants to please you. To make you happy. He is not doing any of this to upset you. There is one simple reason he doesn’t answer the question. He doesn’t know.



And Other Terrifying Questions

I know what you are thinking…What? How can that be? It’s a simple question! Yes. And you are not wrong. He doesn’t know how he is feeling because we have not given men language for emotion. Quite the opposite. We have conditioned them from a very young age to not feel - Don’t cry. Suck it up. Don’t be weak. Don’t be a sissy. Man up. All of these messages tell men that emotions are a weakness, not something they are supposed to experience in any meaningful way, with a few exceptions, namely anger, happiness and on a few specific occasions, sadness. (More on this later.) And if they do feel something, they have to shove it down. So even if he does know or have some inkling, experience has told him that he absolutely should not express it. That deer in the headlights look? That is the outward expression of all of this going through his mind in that moment: How DO I feel? I don’t know! Well maybe there’s this, but I’m not sure that’s right and even if it is, can I tell her? Will she think less of me if it do? Crap, she’s getting upset waiting for me. I know it’s probably going to lead to a fight, but I’ll give her the safest answer I can think of... And then proceeds to say good, fine or okay. He KNOWS you want something else. He KNOWS where this is going to lead. And in his mind, he is in a no-win situation. He must either tell you something he knows you don’t want to hear and prepare for the impending argument or risk being less than in your eyes. Or if he really doesn’t know how he feels, there isn’t even a choice and yet, he still knows the fight is coming. So he braces for it.



How many times has this happened to you? You are having an intense moment or conversation with your partner and you ask something along the lines of “how do you feel?” or “how does this make you feel?” He immediately gets a deer in the headlights look, shuts down and answers with either good, fine or okay. None of which are emotions. And none of which cover the topic at hand. You feel the rage building in your body, like he has both keys to your nuclear detonation button and has no qualms about using them. What happens next? Often times it’s a fight that starts by you responding with one of the following: “Why won’t you ever tell me how you “Whyfeel?”isn’t this important to you?” Or my favorite, “Fine, don’t tell me!” And the downward spiral begins… You both walk away wondering why does this keeps happening? Why can’t you connect? How many times do you have to have the same fight? And is it even worth it?


Remember anger? One of the few emotions we do allow men to express? In those few moments when he’s weighing his options, he’ll choose the fight over losing any status in your eyes. First, because the latter is something he cannot and will not risk. And second because he can do anger. He KNOWS anger. All those emotions that we have conditioned men not to feel? They don’t simply not exist or just bounce off of him. They get shoved down and eventually have to go somewhere. Unfortunately, it often all comes back up and gets channeled into anger. At this point you may be thinking, now what?? I’m not going to live in a relationship where we don’t talk about our feelings! While the situation is not hopeless, you do need to understand you are up against a lifetime of conditioning and messages about what a man is “supposed to be.” Some of which you, consciously or unconsciously, also hold. Remember him worrying about being seen as less than in your eyes? That is not an unfounded fear. Somewhere along the line, maybe not with you, he has learned this the hard way. So what can you do? If he is open to it, suggest a quality men’s group. They can be a safe space to start unpacking all of this, a place where his relationship is not hanging in the balance. If this is not an appealing option to him, or maybe in conjunction, there are plenty of other things that you can do. Keep in mind that men sometimes feel things differently, which is why I am a huge proponent of men’s groups. Though there are certainly things we as women can offer, as emotions are a comfortable place for many of us. Please, please, please be open and honest about this! Don’t try to change him without his knowledge. Tell him that you understand he has been told his whole life that emotions are a weakness, that you truly do want to know how he feels and it won’t change how you feel about him. Though this last one is something you will have to prove as well. Just saying it is often not enough. He’s got history with that, too. Let him know you are there to support him along the way. Be prepared for some push back as asking for and/or accepting help is also something he has been conditioned not to do. Start small. Something that is not big and heavy and crucial to the relationship. You can begin by talking intellectually about what you each think is the “appropriate” response to have in specific situations. This starts the process of giving language to emotions. Once he is comfortable with those conversations, you may want to share where you feel things in your body when experiencing emotions in each specific situation. Keeping in mind there is no right or wrong way to feel. He may feel something very different. This starts to bring context so he can begin associating a sensation with a particular Understandemotion.thatthis is largely new to him. He’s not going to get it right straight out of the gate. Yes, this is all second nature to you, but put yourself in his shoes. Think about all the levers and buttons in the cockpit of a commercial airline. To a seasoned pilot, it all makes perfect sense. And they can probably hit the right one without even looking. To the rest of us? It’s overwhelming to even think about! So give him grace and have patience. It’s going to take time. You didn’t learn to navigate the entire spectrum of emotion overnight. Don’t expect him to either. This leads us to our next topic: Happy and Amy~~~~~~~~~~~Angry….Bliss,JD, MBA, is the founder of The Warrior cOre, which offers coaching, workshops, men’s groups and retreats to help men identify and shed the conditioning from family, society, religion, educational systems and culture, of what a man is “supposed to be” and learn to live as the humans they are, independent of these constraints. Please visit our website or schedule a Discovery Call.

“How many times has this happened to you? You are having an intense moment or conversation with your partner and you ask something along the lines of “how do you feel?” or “how does this make you feel?” ”

NOTE: To all non-binary readers – this and other articles are written from a binary and usually heterosexual perspective, not to be exclusionary, but rather because our conditioning is binary. It starts with the proclamation “It’s a girl!” or “It’s a boy!” Other ways of being generally show up well after these statements and long into the conditioning. The other reason is that non-binary, non-hetero identifying people tend to be much further along in the process of undoing conditioning than those who identify as binary and/or hetero.


Fostering Organizations Unite! Children Awaiting Parents (CAP) is excited to partner with Fostering Greatness, Inc.! The CAP team invited Leah Angel Daniel, Founder of Fostering Greatness, Inc. to their Rochester office to learn more about her story and why fostering is so important. Leah said “I have my own story to tell.” She went on to say that even after moving all the way to California to pursue other dream job roles, and get away from the foster life, her true mission kept calling her back. She says she grew up in the foster system in Buffalo, NY along with several siblings—all roads kept leading her back to Buffalo. The universe seemed to keep pushing her in this direction; so, she gave in and quit resisting her true calling. In 2018 she founded Fostering Greatness, Inc. a 501c3 non-profit organization built on the mission to inspire hope, confidence and opportunity for children in foster care.


Leah’s goal is to give every foster child a voice and an opportunity to change their future. She says, “this is my life purpose, I am a doer and I need to change the narrative.” When asked, how CAP and Fostering Greatness, Inc. can increase awareness, Leah’s response was Matthew 18:20 “When two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.” Together both organizations strive to break the cycle by showing kids that there is hope in their future, if only they choose to change their narrative. When asked who is responsible for the future of foster children, she said, “everyone has a responsibility.” All children are our future, if you cannot open your home to foster, you can donate, mentor or Tovolunteer!learnmore about Leah and her organization, please visit Fostering Greatness, Inc. Leah is also on her way to becoming a published author! Her book, I Shall Not Be Moved: My Extraordinary Journey from Trauma to Triumph is set to release in late October. Leah is an inspiration and we are honored to be a part of her story. On behalf of CAP and all the children we serve, thank you for your vision and passion for helping foster youth find their way! BY LAURIN MCKNIGHT


“Leah’s goal is to give every foster child a voice and an opportunity to change their future. She says, “this is my life purpose, I am a doer and I need to change the narrative.”


Get your SHE Boss Collection Today. New Etsy

Your biggest fears about having your voice, being alone or even stepping out of the current lifestyle should not keep you from exiting a negative relationship. Take the time to truly reflect on your relationships in life…are they healthy or unhealthy?

If you find that your answer to one of those questions hints at either an imbalanced relationship, toxic + unhealthy relationship, or even might be an abusive or traumatic relationship, a therapist and/ or coach can help you better understand what’s going on by providing you with a safe place to process through the emotional distress, develop and set healthy relationships boundaries, identify and create healthy communication strategies, as well as understand if the relationship is healthy and appropriate to continue to be in. Most importantly, discover and enhance your relationship with yourself in order to know your value + worth, as well as what you deserve in a healthy, pleasurable relationship. If your relationship isn’t making you happy or improving your life, you might need to get out!


I always emphasize to my patients and clients that when you stop working in a relationship (any type of relationship, even the relationship with yourself), you become co-existing, and this can cause many unhealthy shifts in the relational space. It’s also important to know that what you put into it is what you get out of it…it’s not going to just work itself. A relationship takes what I call havedon’tbeandalsooneEffort.InvestmentrelationshiptoEffort.Investment”,“Willingness.andneedsbebalancedonallends;theandtheWillingness.cannotbesided.Thisworkshouldbefun,exciting,fulfillingpleasurable.Itshouldn’tdauntingordreadful.Nowgetmewrong,weALLmomentsinourrelationship where it might feel that way, but it’s only a moment, it’s not an ongoing pattern, feeling or thought. When thinking about your relationship with someone, ask yourself:

● How do I feel after spending time with this person?


Dr.Xo,LoveBossFollowlisting/1274497725/she-boss-collection!!!onInstagram@shebossdrj.SHECollectionlinkinbio.toallmySHEBossesJ RELATIONSHIPCHECKREALITY


● Do I provide and receive support + feedback in a balanced way with this ●person?Isthere ever a time I feel scared, unsafe or pressured by this person?

Healthy or Unhealthy?

● Am I able to talk + express myself openly and freely with this person?

● What are the things that I really like about this person? The things I don’t like about them?

It’s no news flash that relationships are ongoing work by all parties, so why do we allow them to get put on the “back burner” at times or take for granted the importance of continuously doing the work?

As always, keep doing you by continuing to Boss Up, Rise Above + Represent like a SHE Boss!

● Do I look forward to seeing them or do I make up excuses to avoid having to see them?


92 ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE : AUGUST EDITION 2022 { SHIFT+CONTROL } “As always, keep doing you by continuing to Boss Up, Rise Above + Represent like a SHE Boss!” { SHE BOSS }

Instead of adopting the “go big or go home” mentality, focus on making small, steady, and sustainable changes to your diet and exercise program.

Aim to add a serving of fruit or vegetables to each meal. Go for a 10-minute walk during the day. If you slip up a bit, shrug it off and get right back on your plan as soon as possible.

Making the decision to lose weight, improve your eating plan, and increase physical activity is a great start to transitioning toward a healthy and fit Still,lifestyle.overhauling your lifestyle from one in which you’re sedentary and eating mostly “dirty” foods to one in which you’re exercising regularly and eating mostly whole foods, is not without its challenges both extrinsically and intrinsically. Oftentimes, it’s the voice inside of our own minds that can represent the biggest challenges. In this article, I want to share 7 negative thoughts that sabotage your weight loss goals and how to clap back at that negative chatter!

Yes, it’s true that in order to lose weight, you need to create a hypocaloric environment whereby you’re burning more calories than you consume each day. This can be accomplished through a combination of increased energy expenditure (exercise) and decreased energy intake (reduced-calorie However,diet).

while you will need to reduce your calorie intake, you do not need to completely eliminate or avoid an entire food group. This can create feelings of deprivation as well as lay the groundwork for an unhealthy relationship with food, which may ultimately cause you to abandon your diet altogether and binge.

#2 “Go Big or Go Home” Going big or going home alludes to the “all or nothing” mentality in that if you’re not all in on something (like dieting), then you’re wasting your time. This type of mindset can lead to the non-stop jumping on and off the diet bandwagon, which almost always leads to individuals gaining weight over the long term as opposed to losing it.

#3 “I’ll Never Achieve the Results I Want”


#1 “I Can’t Eat…”

Having negative mindsets or using negative self-talk can be one of the biggest detriments to your challenges success. Some experts recommend talking to yourself in the 3rd person, as this can improve self-control and keep emotions in Putcheck.into practice, this means that the next time you’re having negative thoughts, imagine that it’s a friend who’s coming to you with the problems. You wouldn’t berate or bash them for not losing weight as quickly as they wanted, so why do it to yourself?!

Instead of classifying food as morally “good” or “bad”, consider all foods lie on a neutral playing field. Sure, certain foods will make it easier for you to stick to your nutrition plan and feel fuller on lower calories (fruits, veggies, whole grains, lean proteins), but it doesn’t make you have to avoid all manner of savory or sweet indulgent foods. There can be a time and place for all foods.

#4 “I Don’t Look Like Her (or Him)”

Comparing your results, physique, or performance in the gym to another individual is a recipe for disaster. Unless you are a professional athlete who gets CHANGE YOUR MINDSET, CHANGE YOUR LIFE! BY ALYSSA STIVERS

#5 “Losing Weight is Too Complicated” Weight loss can seem complicated, especially if you’re tuned into social media where you’re bombarded by all sorts of conflicting messages -- carnivore vs keto vs plant-based, low carb vs low fat, counting calories vs intuitive eating. But, the truth is that weight loss is a relatively simple process (but that doesn’t mean it’s always easy). To lose weight you need to be in a negative energy balance where you are burning more calories than you’re consuming each day. To accomplish this most efficiently it helps to reduce calorie intake and increase physical activity (i.e. exercise).

#6 “I’m Not Seeing Results Fast Enough” Magazines, blogs, and social media bombard the masses with the allure of rapid weight loss. Just think how many times you’ve seen a headline along the lines of “lose 15 pounds in 5 days” or “lose 3 inches in 3 days.” These salacious advertisements set unrealistic expectations in the minds of many individuals. As such, when they start dieting and they don’t experience rapid weight loss in under a week, they’re left feeling discouraged. The truth is you don’t want “rapid” weight loss. In order to get rapid weight loss, you’re most likely following a diet and/ or exercise program that isn’t sustainable over the long term, which also means you won’t maintain your results.

#7 “I Messed Up So the Whole Day is a Bust” This negative thought is an extension of the “all or nothing” mindset I mentioned We’reabove.all human, which means we’re bound to have a slip-up here or there. Plus, sometimes life happens - work function, birthday party, anniversary, etc. - and you’ll be presented with food options that aren’t exactly on your diet really gonna tell Grandma Phyllis you don’t want her famous quiche?!

Realistic weight loss is 1-2 pounds per week. This is a sustainable amount of weight loss and isn’t so aggressive that you risk losing muscle mass.

98 ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE : AUGUST EDITION 2022 { SHIFT+CONTROL } “Oftentimes, it’s the voice inside of our own minds that can represent the biggest challenges.” { BARBELLA BOMBSHELL }

compensated based on their ability to dominate their competition, there is absolutely no reason for you to compare your results to someone else’s. We are all starting at different points from a baseline of health and fitness. We all have different backgrounds, different genetics, different life circumstances. Instead of comparing yourself to someone else at the gym (or on social media), compare yourself to yourself. Look back at your training log and see what you did last week and where you can improve this week. Review progress photos to see just how far your physique has come.

When you do have something off your meal plan, the important thing to remember is to not beat yourself up. Not all hope is lost. You haven’t ruined anything or failed. Accept what you did, understand why you did (or ate) it, and get back on track with your weight loss plan ASAP. Need help getting on track, physically, mentally, and even financially!? Become a BarBella BOMBSHELLBOMBSHELL!bomb·shellbäm

SHel n. one that is stunning, amazing, or BarBellaBNFdevastating. has lived the lifestyle successfully for 5 years to develop the Bombshell program -- the results of which are transformational and designed to create the most stunning, amazing, devastatingly incredible version of you, that exists. The Bombshell combines BarBellaBNF’s holistic paradigmatic approach by targeting the mind, the body, and the spirit -- to create the complete bombshell effect. Ready, Set, Look315STIVERSwww.BarBellaBNF.comGLOW...Good;FeelGood, Alyssa ��

I figured out that I didn’t want to look back on my life and realize I didn’t do anything for me. I only have one life, so why live it at the bottom of the list. So, how can you start listening to yourself? Good question! I have a lot of thoughts on that one, but here are my top six tips.



Lesson #3: Listen To Yourself. We, as women, are raised to ask for others opinions, make sacrifices for our partners, put ourselves at the bottom of the priority list, and not ask for what we want. If we do these things then we will have a good life, find a good partner, and be accepted. This ideal that’s been ingrained in our DNA for hundreds of years has caused an epidemic. What is this epidemic you ask? We don’t listen to ourselves.



For years, it took me days to make decisions, because I felt I needed to get everyone’s opinions about it first. I needed to make sure my decision was acceptable and validated. Because we live in a society where people need external validation. We seek it out. We want all those likes and comments on what we do in life. We want our family and friends to agree with our decisions. We want to know that we are accepted and doing the right thing. I have seen this same thing happen with my friends, family, and clients. We spend more time making sure others agree and understand our decisions, rather than just listening to ourselves. But, external validation is not necessary. You are allowed to listen to yourself and make decisions directly related to what you want or need.

You will be able to work through your problems with more awareness and self-connection than ever before. You will start to see the links between your thoughts and your actions. Your emotional intelligence increases and your self-confidence will take a huge Youboost.will make smarter decisions, communicate better, and listen more effectively. The power that listening to yourself provides is endless. How amazing would all that be?

You do actually know the answers to your questions. You don’t need to explain. You can just not like something. Getting validation from others is helpful but not necessary.

Two, be patient. Change takes time, so just keep taking it one moment at a time.

Three, focus on you, rather than on others. You are the only one that will be guaranteed to be around you for the rest of your life. So, take care of you and remember to put yourself first. Four, mindfulness. This can be as simple as 2 minutes of listening to your body, feelings, and thoughts each day. Do it while you eat, or when you lay down to go to sleep. It doesn’t take DEVAN ROBINSON

One, be kind to yourself. Treat yourself the way you treat others when you know they are trying to do their best.

“You will make smarter decisions, communicate better, and listen more effectively. The power that listening to yourself provides is endless.”


Do you remember your first story?



Don’t know much about genetics, but I started having ideas in my brain that I thought would make for great stories.

As you grew older, was there a topic you found fascinated and wanted to write about?

I am always excited when I get to interview someone that has a lot going on in their lives! And let me tell you, this man here - has some amazing things that have happened, are happening and are about to happen!

Dexter: I most certainly do. The very first screenplay I have ever written. It is a teen romantic comedy titled “Under Your Spell”. It is about a high school student who is asked to hypnotize the captain of the basketball team into being her best friend’s date for an upcoming dance. Unfortunately, he’s already got a date for the dance; his date happens to be his very spoiled girlfriend!

Tammy: A story many teens I’m sure could relate to! Mine was in grade school, can’t remember the name but it was about an apoplectic event that ended with a paradise like environment. Even back then, I enjoyed the horror genre.


Tammy: Dexter, it’s such a pleasure to be able to interview you. Thank you for the opportunity! We have a lot of ground to cover, so let’s jump right in. You are an award-winning screenplay writer. Let’s go back to the very beginning. As a child, were you a storyteller? Were you one of the kids that told a story around a campfire or were you one who preferred to write them down in private?

Dexter: Believe it or not, I’m the only one in my family who writes for a living. I started out writing short stories and poems in my late teens and early 20s.

Tammy: I like it when a writer has passion for something, the passion seems to draw you in more. Making a topic more interesting due to their passion. Even though I didn’t pursue writing until I was in my 30s, looking back, I realize my first story sort of set the path for my future writings, too. Is there a particular style of writing you like to use such as first person, etc.?


Dexter: I wasn’t much of a storyteller when I was a child. I was more of a listener to other people’s stories. I was definitely a kid who preferred writing stories in private. I wasn’t the campfire stories type.


Tammy: Listening in of itself seems to be a lost art. Sometimes, just hearing a story vs. really listening makes a world of difference in relaying the story back. Is there anyone else in your family that writes? Do you think genetics help one write?

Dexter: The style I have used since I started screenwriting (and continue to do so) is the three-act structure. I learned

Dexter: Absolutely. Hypnotism has been a subject that has intrigued me since I saw a demonstration of it in the fourth grade. I’ve also seen it on TV shows and in feature films. It was (and still is) a male-dominated field, and I’ve wanted to write a story with a female hypnotist. That was the inspiration for “Under Your Spell”. I’ve incorporated hypnotism into virtually all of my screenplays.


Tammy: I find the idea of genetics maybe being a part of a talent a fascinating concept. I had a grandfather who was a college English professor. I have often wondered if I had any more relatives that were writers. I like to think that perhaps because of him; I like to write.

When creating a story, do you like to have strong characters, perhaps breaking barriers not typical? If so, is there a reason?

Dexter: I strongly believe the two most important things in any screenplay are story and characters. No matter how great the action sequences and/or special effects are, you have to find the story compelling and have characters you actually care about. Strong characters are very important, but just as important as trying to bring something unique and different in all my screenplays. For example, my feature script, “Second Dance”, is a family-friendly story about belly dancing, a beautiful and graceful art form that is sadly misunderstood by some people. I wanted to give belly dancing the integrity and respect it so truly deserves with “Second Dance”.

Dexter: To date, I have written eighteen (18) feature film screenplays and thirty-three (33) short film screenplays. They represent a diverse array of genres: comedy, drama, fantasy, horror, science-fiction, thriller, and Western.

Dexter: I have had the good fortune to have won 20 awards. My dramatic feature script, “Second Dance”, has won the most awards for me, winning six. The horror feature script “Mistresses of Sleep” has won five awards. The faith-based script “Journey to Ivory Lane” has won four awards.

Dexter: Believe me, it is always gratifying to receive an award or accolade for one of my works. However, I’ve never been one who


“As for characters, I like it when a writer can make an unusual character relatable to the reader. Allowing the reader, a better understanding of a character they may have never encountered.”


Let’s talk about your awards. Why don’t you break them down for us and tell us what you have received?

The fantasy script, “Ethereal Mystic”, the horror script, “Enslavement”, and the thriller script, “Destination Yesterday”, have each won one award. My horror short script, “Unleashing the Beast”, has won two awards.

Tammy: That’s amazing. I love that you are so diverse! I have yet to step away from my comfort genre zone. Although, writing magazine articles has been letting me test the waters.

Tammy: Certainly, an amazing accomplishment and one to be very proud of! Do you find yourself more motivated to write even more when you receive an award? Or do you enjoy the glow but continue to write as usual?

this from the late screenwriting guru Syd Field through his books, especially “The Foundations of Screenwriting”. I couldn’t afford to go to screenwriting classes growing up, so I became a self-starter by buying and reading Syd’s books. Act one is called “The Set-Up”: you have to set-up your script answering three questions: who is the main character, what is the story about, and what are the circumstances of the subject of the Youstory.have to answer all three questions within the first 20-30 pages of the script and create a plot point. That’s the incident that takes the story and spins it in another direction, and it leads to act two (The Confrontation). The stakes go higher in this act, which represents the majority of the script (between 40-60 pages). There is another plot point at the end of act two that spins the story in another direction, which leads to act three (The Resolution). That represents the climax of your story (between 20-30 pages). The three-act structure is the most effective writing style for me, and I wouldn’t want to go with any other style as a screenwriter.

Tammy: That was extremely informative and interesting, thank you! I have often wondered about the rhyme and reason to screenplay writing. I could never figure it out. They say writing and screenplay writing are different techniques. They can be a hard barrier to cross, but I must say you have done it effortlessly!

Tammy: I agree. When it comes to a story, no matter what the topic, I try to do a lot of research so that if the reader wonders if it is true, might research themselves and realize it is. Which in turn gives them the chance to learn something new. As for characters, I like it when a writer can make an unusual character relatable to the reader. Allowing the reader, a better understanding of a character they may have never encountered. How many screenplays have you written? Are they all in the same genre?

Are there any shout outs you’d like to drop for the ones who are helping you raise your stories?

Dexter: I mentioned Angie Faro, who’s making “Thanatophobia”. I’d like to give her a shout out. I also want to mention a great writer/producer named Paul McFall, whose company Pulse Pounding Productions have optioned a couple of my scripts. I’ve also worked with Paul on a couple of horror feature scripts (“Demonik” and “Heart of Ice”). Todd Pierce is a film producer from Colorado who is helping me with the development of “Second Dance”.


Tammy: That is inspiring. Obviously, whatever you have been doing is working. I see no reason to change! Are there any projects you have going on right now? What about the future, any exciting things coming up?

Dexter: I have an upcoming short script project that will be faith-based, like my feature script “Journey to Ivory Lane”. It will be more of a comedy. Something very exciting is happening in August of this year.

Tammy: Wow! That is exciting! I look forward to seeing your work visualized! How can one find out about your work? Dexter: I can be found on Facebook, but if people want to contact me via email, they can reach me at

Tammy: There you have it, a behind the scenes of a screenplay writer. Too often we forget about screenplay writers. The ones who make it possible for a story to take its next step into becoming visual for us.

Don’t be surprised when one day after enjoying a story that has been visualized, you see in the credits, screenplay writer Dexter Williams, and remember him from here!

Good luck Dexter, you have had success. You are having it now and there is still so much to come for you and your creative future. May you always enjoy the fruits of your labor!

A process that is not always easy and yet this man makes it look effortless!

Tammy: They say it takes a village to raise a child. In this case, our stories are our children.

Actress/filmmaker Angie Faro will be shooting my horror short script “Thanatophobia”, and it will be my very first produced credit as a screenwriter. I’m very confident Angie will do something truly scary and cool with my story, which she absolutely loves.

“I wasn’t much of a storyteller when I was a child. I was more of a listener to other people’s stories.” rests on past achievements. I try to push myself towards the next great project.



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The Past and Present Through

During this time, I was buying a lot of work clothes since I hadn’t fully transitioned all of my items back to Rochester. Doing this allowed me to mix and match my clothes and not break the bank since I was saving up for a Interestingly,house.



I am beyond excited to introduce myself to you as a new Rochester Woman Online Magazine contributor. When Kelly reached out to me about writing a column, I accepted without hesitation; thrifting is what I do. It played a major part in a crucial chapter of my life, and it’s my happy place, so why not talk about it? My goal is to inspire you to go out and thrift, refine your current wardrobe and define who you are in this world. Make a statement with your clothes each day. I would like to give you all some history about me so you can better understand why I am the thrifty woman I am today. I was born and raised in Rochester, NY. If you’re a native, I lived on East Main Street (1506, to be exact). Growing up on that street in the ’80s, you would see a second-hand shop called the THRIFT STORE if you went east toward Goodman Street. My mom, sister and I would walk to that thrift store during rain, sleet or snow to shop. Going to the thrift store as a child was a treat; we got to pick out whatever we wanted — within reason. I say that because I still remember a pair of ice skates I wanted that my mom refused to buy for me. But when it came to clothes and toys, we could definitely get what we wanted without hesitation. Growing up, I didn’t know a thrift store was a second-hand shop. To me, it was just like McCrory’s downtown, only closer. Even though I got my clothes from a second-hand store, in my eyes as a child, everything was new to me, and I loved everything I would get from the thrift store. Once we moved from the east side of town, we didn’t really thrift anymore. It was no longer a necessity. was definitely a different outlook and reason from when I was little. In 2016 I decided to move back to Rochester, NY. A few months after I moved back, my mom told me that she had been diagnosed with colon cancer. I was devastated, especially since she had been in remission from Leukemia for over 25 years. She was undergoing chemotherapy and radiation prior to her surgery, so she had good and bad days. When Saturdays arrived, we would get out of the house as much as possible. Our norm was to drive out to Batavia, NY, to shop. My mom loved the Long John Silver and Kmart out there. One Saturday, out of the blue, she suggested we go thrifting instead. I hadn’t been thrifting with my mom since I was a child, so I was extra excited to go thrifting with her. And just like that, our new norm was waking up early to go to the Goodwill in Victor, NY, to shop the color of the day for ninety-nine cents. After that, if she was still feeling up to it, we would head over to The Clothes Mentor to shop some more.

I noticed that I was getting compliments left and right JOY OF BLENDINGBYSHONTÉOFORI



Taste of the Islands Mobile Service is a business that offers Mobile Bar Services, Catering, and I also sell Individual food plates and drinks as well. We have a variety of services to make sure your party, or gathering is taken care of.


Tell us about yourself and your background?


Tell us about your business, Taste of the Islands Mobile Service? What type of business is it?


What are the main services your business provides? My business provides Mobile Bar SErvices & food catering. I also sell beverages and food plates as well every other weekend. What do the words “Beauty Lies Within” mean to you? To me Beauty lies Within means to find beauty in your inner self. Find what makes you beautiful on the inside and allow it to shine so bright that people and also yourself can see your true beauty and all the attributes you have to offer. What would you say is the most rewarding part of owning your own business? The most rewarding part of owning Taste Of The Islands mobile service is seeing the amazing vibe I bring to every event I always say even if I can bring joy to a person with a drink of food just for that moment it fills me with so much joy because you may not ever know what a person is going through. What are the biggest challenges you have come across being a minority owned female business? One challenge I faced was not being taken seriously as a female Afro Latina and for some people to doubt my greatness and power as a woman to overcome obstacles as a minority

My name is Cecil Wright. I was born on the Beautiful island of Puerto Rico in Rio Piedras to my wonderful parents Sarahi Baez-Opio and my father Hector Roman. At the age of 4 my mom wanted to move to Rochester, New York to build a better home for my brothers and I so we all moved here where I watched my mom work hard to make sure my brothers and I had a great life. I started working when I was 14 years old at McDonalds and when I turned 17 I got hired at Dunkin donuts. I pushed myself to become better. I met my high school sweetheart and now husband Derell Wright at Thomas Jefferson High School. We graduated from high school. I had my first child May 20, 2010 and shortly after on April 5, 2011 I had my other bundle of joy and I became a wonderful mother of two beautiful girls Ariana & G’nia Wright. After working several jobs I prayed that God gave me the opportunity to spend time with my daughters more. I prayed for a job that consisted of the same hours as my daughter’s school time and that I would have weekends and holidays to spend with them. God answered all my prayers. In April 2016 I started a position at the same school my daughters attended and I have been teaching for 7 years at EMHCS and it has been an amazing experience and it’s even more rewarding because I have time for my family and now my business. What makes you hustle? My mom taught me the true meaning of hustle for your family and to always make them my #1 priority in everything that I do because as a woman you want to teach your daughters to always hustle for what they want to achieve in life.

“To me Beauty lies Within means to find beauty in your inner self.”


What has been your biggest hurdle to try and overcome since opening your business? The Biggest hurdle was understanding that it takes time for your business to flourish. It will not happen overnight but when it does it is a very rewarding feeling. What has been the best compliment you have ever received? A personal compliment I have received was that I have a good heart and that I am very caring and a selfless person. As a business owner one compliment I received was that my drinks were delicious and affordable and that my food was amazing and the presentation for my food and drinks were on point and amazing. What skills do you feel you posses that will make clients want to use your services? I have one year and a half of bartending experience. I also have ten plus years of customer service experience and I love to cook and allow others to experience that one bite at a time.

children can keep and expand with our motto always in mind: FAMILY FIRST. What is next for you? I would like to expand and have a food / mobile bar truck but also my dream is to have a little spot where customers can enjoy amazing food, drinks and music at an affordable price.


Tell us one thing most people don’t know about you. One thing people don’t know about is that I once didn’t have confidence in myself or in my ability to succeed. Who or what inspires you as a woman entrepreneur? My daughters inspire me as a women entrepreneur because I am showing them that even if you have a family you can still push yourself as women and you can accomplish anything they set their mind to. How do you juggle being a successful business woman and family life? I schedule my business times so that I have time with family as well. My husband Derell always comes with me to all events. He is very supportive! Alongside me I have my brother-in-law Deshawn Wright that helps me bartend big events. My mom Sarahi Baez-Opio and my daughters help me with inventory and my mom Sarahi and occasionally my uncle Abraham also help me with cooking when they can. Apart from family time that I spend with them they also play a huge part in Taste of The Islands Mobile Service. Do you find it challenging being a female entrepreneur? What do you do to set yourself apart? In today’s time I don’t find it toandfamilythinkingbecauseaboutBelieveititcareersortheirchargeseeanentrepreneursbecausechallengingfemaleareatalltimehigh.YoumanywomentakingandbuildingownbusinesshavingamazingsoIdon’tfindchallenging.Ifindveryrewarding.IIampassionatemybusinessIstarteditaboutmyandourfuturehowIwouldloveleavealegacythatour

Do you use social media alot to promote your business? What is your favorite platform? Yes I use social media to promote my business. My favorite social media platform is Facebook.

My name is Nita Ray aka ‘Nita B’. I’m a multifaceted Artist, Entertainer and Entrepreneur from Rochester, NY. I am a single Mother of 15-year- old, fraternal twins, with many aspirations. I have worked in Radio as a Voice Actress for over 11 years, appearing on local stations like Rochester’s 1039 WDKX, as well as syndicated stations across the globe. I truly love art, drama, music, cinema and writing. Since I could talk, I have been performing comedy, poetry and music for my family and friends. I grew up with my Father as a clean Christian Comedian and my Mother, a Minister. As a child and through my early teenage years I was very active in the Fine Arts Ministries at my church, New Life Fellowship, whether it was singing in the youth choir, flag ministries, acting in stage plays, and even the Sunday Morning announcements under the Audio-Visual department. I was always ready to put on a show. As a youth, in my spare play time, I carried a tape recorder around, pretending to be the host of my own talk show called “Kickin it wit Nita”, where I was not only the host, but the DJ and the guest, which led me to discover that I could change my voice so many ways. In later years, during my junior and Senior years of high school¸ I studied and completed the Radio and Television broadcasting course at the Eastern Monroe Career Center.


Tell us about yourself and your background?

When I graduated high school, I found out I was pregnant with my twins and decided to put my entertainment dreams on the backburner and to take a new career direction to better provide for my family. In 2010 I graduated from Continental school of Beauty and became a licensed Esthetician, Nail Technician and Waxing Technician. For the next few years, I worked in several spas and even offered services out of comedians for over 10 years, opening up for comedians such as DL Hugely, Bill Balamy, Karlos M and Rodney Perry just to name a few. I have been in several stage plays including Grace Flores’ productions “Details in the water” and “Yesterday”. I was nominated several years however in 2015 I was the Roc Award recipient for Best Female Poet. My love for poetry led me to discovering my love for rapping and making music. In 2019 I released a musical project called ‘Nita B. Honest’ and followed up by Producing and starring in my own sold out- one women show for my Birthday. From there, I started focusing on creating a momentum with my musical career, until the pandemic hit in 2020. I lost my job and had to find another way to take care of my children. A friend of mine suggested that I start offering nail services again since everywhere else was closed and the demand was high. She flew into town, I gave her a custom pedicure, The Nita B Pretty Pedi, posted it on my social media and received a lot of positive feedback. As things opened back up and the traffic slowed down, I started offering more services like massage and make up enhancement. I truly enjoy pampering people and providing affordable services, especially to individuals who might not be familiar with, or take the time for a self-care regimen. Although I’m focused on expanding my services and clientele, in hopes to open a Full-Service Spa Salon with my sister Fantasha aka ‘Hair Nurse Fanta”, I MC



All Things Nita B Productions encompasses my entertainment services such as hosting, voice acting, writing and producing songs, jingles, content creating and brand promotion and more. With me you’re getting an experienced, comedian, rapper, poet, actress and motivational public speaker. Although they are not productions, I consider my personal traveling spa services to be a full-on experience as well. I offer Make up, full body massages, and natural nail care services, Including my signature Pretty Pedi. Under my Nita Lovez Da Kids services, I also offer hosting, facepainting, character appearances and more for youth parties, festivals, and school / church functions. Do you find it challenging being a female entrepreneur? What do you do to set yourself apart? Absolutely! My biggest challenge use to be knowing my worth and selling myself short. I had to learn my worth and to stand on it no matter what. Once I started truly owning my brand and my purpose, better opportunities started arriving in my life. I encompass my brand in everything I do, from wearing black and yellow daily, to decorating my home and wardrobe with bumble bee esthetics, or to the old fashion business card in every hand that I can, I’m always marketing myself. it costs to invest in myself its only right I feel confident to charge what I charge and accept nothing less.

What makes you hustle?

I have also ventured back into content creating and performing as well. For the last two years I have been back on stage performing both covers, poetry, standup comedy and original music, at local venues and festivals, including being featured twice for the French Quarter R and B Wednesday, opening for Grammy nominated Jimmy Highsmith Jr at the Juneteenth Festival, and most recently, The Roc Summer Soul Fest at Frontier field. my greatest aspiration in life is to leave a positive mark on the world thru my many gifts and talents.

What are the main services your business provides?

What would you say is the most rewarding part of owning your own business?

All Things Nita B productions is just that, All Things NITA. In all honesty, I just knew I have several different hustles and it was time to legitimize them by making my business official, branding and marketing myself as a full-on Entertainment package and Experience. My business is still a baby however I’m fully confident it will grow as I am booked for more gigs and continue to create my own content and produce my own shows.

I love making others feel good. Weather it’s from comedy or a makeover, making others feel better, from the inside out, is healing for me. It’s such a dope feeling to be able to open someone up to a spa service they may have never experienced had they not booked with me. But nothing tops hearing ‘’Queen I remember you from when you use to hustle your cds at the plaza and I respect your grind …and your bars!” These are things that really let me know I’m doing something right. What are the biggest challenges you have come across being a minority owned female business?

Tell us about your business, All Things Nita B Productions? What type of business is it?

There is an ugly stigma attached to black Queens that we must degrade ourselves sexually to get ahead or be respected.


“Since I could talk, I have been performing comedy, poetry and music for my family and friends. I grew up with my Father as a clean Christian Comedian and my Mother, a Minister.”


A lot of Black women are mishandled or labeled difficult in these industries when they don’t take the bait. It’s just dumb really.

I don’t know if it started with selling girl scout cookies, or selling elaborate boondoggle keychains, before the age of 10 but it’s just in me, I guess. It’s just knowing no matter what you must make it happen. I could be down to my last dime and I’m going to find a creative way to ‘get it out the mud’ before looking for a handout… even if that’s collecting bottles, selling my paintings, face painting in the park or traveling massages and pedicures. YOU CAN DO SOMETHING! I’m not saying getting help, or even working a 9 to 5, makes anyone less of a hustler but I get a thrill from flipping nothing into something and building upon that. There was a time when I was jobless, carless and almost homeless and I passed out my cd for donations just to stay afloat. And then there is now where I’m more stable, driving, thriving and hustling so I never have to be in that position again, and most Importantly to show my children that you can truly be whatever you want to be in this world but you gotta HUSTLE!

Do you use social media a lot to promote your business? What is your favorite platform? Yes! Matter of fact, Follow me now on all platforms @nitab585! Go do it now!!! lol What has been your biggest hurdle to try and overcome since opening your business? Staying consistent and disciplined. In entrepreneurship and being A boss, no one is going to get it done but ME. It’s demandin, but I know I have to keep going for the freedom I want. As outgoing as I am, I can be very introverted at times and I have days where I don’t want to cater to anyone else’s needs, but then I take time to regroup. I make sure I’m keeping up on my own self-care regimen , setting boundaries, and refocusing on my goals. What has been the best compliment you have ever received? My massages are the best! That’s it! That’s all! Lol Honestly though, it blesses my spirit whenever someone tells me they enjoyed a show or a service. What skills do you feel you posses that will make clients want to use your services? I’m lovable, relatable and provide quality customers services that caters to each client’s needs. Tell us one thing most people don’t know about you. I was inducted into Toastmasters after winning 1st place in the 15th Annual Otis Young Motivational Public Speaking Competition in 2014. Who or what inspires you as a woman entrepreneur? All the Queens in my family from my mother Janice, my sisters, my aunts, my cousins, my grandmothers, both alive and transitioned on, my Ova Mutha ( I don’t like the word step mother), my godmothers, and all the Queens on their grind, one way N another across the world! I love you all so much.

“I could be down to my last dime and I’m going to find a creative way to ‘get it out the mud’ before looking for a handout…”

I also would like to honor the late Ms. MG Avery and Mrs. Langston of WDKX. You both inspired me more than you’ll ever know. You are greatly missed. Above All things I am motivated and inspired by my twins, Timyra and Timarian because passing down a legacy and wealth, for generations to come is what keeps me on my hustle. I love you both! How do you juggle being a successful businesswoman and family life? I have a great tribe and I’m learning to utilize my resources better. I’ve learned that setting boundaries and sticking to a schedule is key. I’m not superwomen, I don’t have to try to be.



What do the words “Beauty Lies Within” mean to you? Beauty Lies Within reminds me that everyone has a special something inside them. It’s not what’s on the outsidethat makes people beautiful, it’s having a beautiful spirit that is the most beautiful quality to have. What is next for you? I’m currently in the studio working on another project, and more visual content is on the way! Be sure to follow my fb: Nita B and my Ig and TikTok @nitab585 for updates and content! I look forward to dropping my podcast this fall on YouTube, “Kickin it wit Nita”. And as far as Spa services go, Finding and opening a location with my sister is always the goal and in the works. For now, I strive to stay booked and Bizzy, offering mobile services in the comfort of your place or mine.

138 { SHIFT+CONTROL } “’Queen I remember you from when you use to hustle your cds at the plaza and I respect your grind …and your bars!1” { BEAUTY LIES WITHIN }


5. Use Social Media

A very simple way to communicate with a potential client is to follow up with an email. Create an email sequence that will be sent out periodically with a call to action. Keep the frequency of your emails in mind and direct them to visit your website or promote them to take action. Also consider sending out weekly blog updates, topics of interest, and promotions your running. This helps nurture prospects and create a brand recall so that your company is the first thing that comes to mind.


Social media is a powerful tool that allows you to connect and communicate with your prospective customers. Encourage your followers to talk with you through social media platforms and share valuable content that will keep them engaged.

Here are 10 strategies you can use to connect with prospects that should be part of your marketing process.

Although following up is very important and yet a simple task many business owners dread the follow-up. The key is consistency. You want to initiate the follow-up within 24 to 48 hours of the first contact. This can be done through a quick call, email, or text message. If you forget to be consistent and follow up, your prospect can forget about your business and move on to another company.

4. Send out Emails

1. Maintain a Database

3. Build Relationships When you follow up with prospects you’re building a connection with them. Listen to what they say and ask questions to figure out how you make their lives easier with your product or services. When you establish a good relationship with a potential client they will remember the value you have shared and start seeing you as an industry expert.

You’re excited that you met with a potential client, the conversation was great and they expressed interest in your products or services. A week goes by and you have not heard back from them and now you’re wondering what went wrong. Many business owners forget one of the most important steps in the sales process and that’s follow-up. If you’re not following up you’re losing potential business. Following up gives you an opportunity to build a connection between you and the prospect and your brand. You want to be sure that you are consistent and plan out how often you will reach out to your prospects. If you forget to be consistent and follow up, your prospect can forget about your business and move to another Follow-upcompany.

When you’re going through your leads from phone calls, emails, website inquiries, social media, or networking events that you have attended, map out a plan of action. Create a guideline of how you’re going to follow up and how often.

2. Create a Process


is the process of completing an activity where you turn a prospect into a customer. It is crucial to a business’s success, and the faster you follow up, the more likely you are to close the deal. Studies have shown that 78% of customers buy from companies that respond first. Many business owners fail to keep up with their prospects when reaching out and a good way to stay ahead is to maintain a Customer Relationship Management system (CRM), like Hubspot or Salesforce to track your communication with potential prospects. You want to have a process in place so that you’re staying on top and reaching as often as you can. Sometimes that prospect isn’t thinking of you and has many things going on in their life. But when you reach out, you then become top of mind so when they are ready to move forward you are the one they call.

6. Respond Quickly I mentioned earlier that potential customers buy from companies that respond first. It’s important to balance speed and POWER IN FOLLOW-UP

All of your prospective customers should be organized in a system that has complete contact information and notes on your conversations. Update your database after every follow-up. This will help you make a note of the customer’s needs and requirements.


8. Get Customer Insight

“You want to have a process in place so that you’re staying on top and reaching as often as you can.”

7. Create a Welcome Email

Following up with your customer after the sale or during their customer journey ask them for feedback or a customer testimonial. Ask them if they are satisfied with the service or product so far and improve the customer experience.

with a quick response that doesn’t seem cookie cutter. Add personal details when responding to a prospect.


Help build a long-term relationship and welcome your customers soon after the deal has closed. Take this opportunity to share what the expectations are from both your company and your customer.

9. Send a Thank You Note

10. Contact Old Leads


Not every prospect is 100% ready to move forward with your product or service. Stay in touch with your prospects and continue to follow up. 80% of sales require at least five follow-up calls before getting a sale.

I hope you find these strategies helpful in your business. Always remember to Follow Up, Follow Up, Follow Up. Implement a regular follow-up routine in your business and stop leaving money on the table. Need more information to help grow your business? Conversance Business Solutions is a leading administrative support and consulting firm that provides a variety of virtual assistant services and business support. Reach out to us today at 585-484-0038. Visit us online www.

In the welcome email introduce other products or services you offer and share content that will be helpful throughout their customer journey.

Well after the sale and customer journey now it’s time to show your appreciation. Keeping in touch is a great way to upsell or make a new sale. Customer retention is extremely important for any business which helps increase your profitability. When you lose a customer without knowing what went wrong it is hard to identify areas of improvement.





For our latest edition of She Hustles Talks,we are excited to bring you a woman who doesn’t want to just have a seat at the table, she wants to stand on top of it! Paula Amico-Gabriele is recently married, a mother, real estate agent, and has just finished renovated her dream home in Palmyra, NY and is now our latest cover woman! We hope your enjoy her interview with She Hustles and that it helps inspire you and others to break the traditional mindset and bust through those glass ceilings!


Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background and what led you into the real estate field. Well, where to begin? It’s generally easier to speak about others but here goes; I am a 54-year-old wife and mother. I have a son and a daughter (20), cancer survivor, equestrian and lover of all things Real Estate, decorating and always trying to learn something new! What made you decide to purchase the home in Palmyra, and totally renovate it? How long did the process take? husband and I had driven by it several years ago when it became for sale, but we were a little late with our inquiry so, when it came up for sale again, there was NO way I was going to miss this opportunity! We went back many times and the vision of what it could be was as clear as day What has been your biggest client success story? I have a lovely client who went through some very personally challenging life circumstances which caused her to uproot her entire life; we sold her farm in Newark, NY and she ended up moving to a beautiful farm in Bergen, NY . Her strength was incredible and inspiring. She is now living her happily ever after. Who were mentors that encouraged you or inspired Actually, I would have to say my mother was the first, she was a Realtor with Nothnagle Realtors back in the day. My mom was always “on”; having 7 children was something to marvel at, The Juggle seemed effortless. How do you balance being a successful real estate agent and your family life, especially after just getting married recently? My husband owns Marina Auto Group he is my greatest champion and advisor, anything I struggle with he is willing to offer his knowledge and advice. Having great support tips, the scales What kind of person do you feel makes a successful female entrepreneur especially in the real estate market? In my opinion, a fierce lady who is willing to put

“What you see is what you get.. the same bountiful energy I use in my daily life, I apply to each and every one of my clients.”


ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: AUGUST EDITION 2022 155 { SHIFT+CONTROL } on with that load to carry. What’s the best advice you have received in business that you wish to pass on to our readers? Never stop networking, not matter where you are! Someone always knows someone looking to buy/sell What did you do before becoming a real estate agent? I owned a business called “Errands for Elders”, It was beautifully rewarding but sadly I would be heart broken when one of my clients passed.. How do you stay motivated especially in such a crazy time in the world? I live a pretty fast paced life not much slowed down for either my husband or myself, waking up healthy every day is motivation enough.

What’s your favorite thing to do in your free time? Riding my horse Gemma, talking about horses, smelling horses, being at the barn.. lol. Can you sense my obsession?! What’s unique about the service that you provide to your clients? What keeps them coming back to you? What you see is what you get.. the same bountiful energy I use in my daily life, I apply to each and every one of my clients. I am crazy responsive because that is what I would want in a realtor.

What’s one of the toughest decisions you’ve had to make and how did it impact your life? Ahh, good question! This would be letting go of the people or things that do not help you to achieve, support or guide. Where will we see you next? Life is a betterandforwardadventure;wonderfulIlooktoeachdaycanonlyhopeit’sthanthelast!

“Life is a wonderful adventure; I look forward to each day and can only hope it’s better than the last!”




How do you feel being a woman in a man’s world? Being an upcoming female DJ in a male dominated field definitely has its challenges. Similar to being a first generation black female in a male dominated Engineering field at a PWI. There’s definitely, at least in my experience, an innate uncomfortability.

What’s your favorite song you never play? Whew, I would have to say, I actually listen to a lot of afrobeats and alternative R&B myself opposed to being mainstream often throughout my sets. Afrobeats have definitely made their debut so I would say a song or two in the alt category would be


When at an event or party, I was always super attentive to whoever the DJ was and still am- listening to how they blended, watching the energy shifts and dips in the crowd- and as a party goer myself, I fell in love. I already loved music, from feel- good base you can feel in your chest, to lyrical geniusness and musicality. Do you find it hard being a female in a male dominated industry?

I love watching people enjoy life. I love curating an endless vibe for them to do so. I’ve had people come and share with me how much my set improved the bad day they were having. That’s the reward. It lights me up, because it’s confirmation that I deserve and am meant to be here.

Tell us about yourself and “DJ East Harmony” Where did you get your DJ name? Well there’s a couple parts here, being that it’s a two part name, and I’m so glad I get to finally share its creation. So growing up in church, I think is where I derived my original love for music. My absolute favorite part of singing in the choir would be the breakdowns, each voice class is singing completely different words,which you’d think would be a bit chaotic, but somehow, it actually would all come together in the most beautiful way. In High School, some friends of mine had started messing around singing during lunch, so much so, we actually got a gig unintentionally. My favorite part as an alto in the group was helping others find their “harmony”. “East” came about after bringing up a name idea to my college roommates at RIT. After reviewing, one day I was walking and it was such a nice sunny day. I thought about how the sun rises. How it comes up. In the East... East derives from that enlightenment; I’m an upcoming DJ, I’m rising. What makes you hustle? My grind mentality comes from my vision. I am a strong believer that everything has purpose, and so does making this dream a reality. This vision wasn’t given to me in vain; I know undoubtedly that I am meant to do great things in this industry. Is being a DJ your main business or do you have another profession/ career? During the day I work remotely for Triple AAA as a Member Contact Representative for roadside assistance and membership. Why did you want to work as a DJ? When did you start your career? I attended RIT and throughout the years watched a couple of our DJs in the community prepare for graduation.

When I walk into a room, everyone just stares. And it’s like you can feel the thoughts “what is she about to do?” “is she any good?” My LLC is currently just me and the majority of my gigs are personal requests. I find it hard to connect, work with or “team up” on events in this field when I’m one of few females in the game. What would you say is the most rewarding part of being a DJ?

“My grind mentality comes from my vision. I am a strong believer that everything has purpose, and so does making dream a reality.”


Girls That Dance x Masego, Sabrina Claudio’s Unravel Me and oh definitely Cashmere Cage x, to give a rounding of my style. Why do you think there aren’t more females in your industry? Well transparency here, I’m not confident that we’re super welcomed... Just like we’ve had to fight for our rights to vote and to be in other varying industries, I think DJing has its own qualms as well. Moreover, I think when you think of females in the industry, it’s more probable to think of a recording artist before a DJ. We have made huge strides there. What don’t people tell you about being a DJ? They don’t tell you that Djing is a PERFORMANCE. You firstly have to stand for however many hours, engage with the crowd via MCing and/or dancing. It’s definitely more than just tucking your head down and being in the screen. I find that my favorite DJ’s know how to perform. Who has inspired you personally and professionally? DJ Tygga Ty is definitely my local and first point of reference. I remember when we chatted at some RIT gigs he did and he was offering to DJ house parties for like $40. I think I paid something like $80 for my 21st birthday. He was out there hustling physical mixtapes, and going to college. He’s the voice of my DJ drops which he gifted. His skill is STILL unmatched in Rochester as far as I’m concerned. And there’s definitely some ladies I follow that inspire me on the net.

Do it. Make the leap. If you wake up with it, go to sleep dreaming it, sip your coffee and think of it? Do it. And worry about the rest later. You will find the tribe of support that is willing to help you succeed. What is your favorite platform to promote on and why? I would say Facebook. It’s where a majority of my support base is, and often where I get my DJ leads from a supporter tagging me in the comments or referring me. What is the favorite part about what you do? In the actual craft I would say I absolutely love blending. The freedom in the creativity with DJing; no boxes to check just your own ear and vibes. How do you juggle the late nights and long hours with your personal life?

DJ XOXO KDOT, DJ DiamondKutz and DJ Ash B to name a few. Is it more difficult to be a successful female DJ and earn your place in the industry? It’s something that no one in any industry wants to address, but I believe so. I’ve been doing this for about 4 or 5 years now holistically, and I definitely witness the energy firsthand. What are the biggest challenges you have come across?

I don’t haha. No uhm it’s not too bad typically. The worst of it would be if I double or triple booked myself for the day so I’m more winded for the next set. A day in the life of East? Consists of day job work, networking, organizing my Serato library, and lots of self care in the form of gyming, reading/ learning something new, “fooding”, spending quality time with my favorites, and enjoying the sun. Somehow it all fits into a 7 day week

What are your next plans? Where will we see DJ East Harmony Next? This is actually a great question for me to provide a sneak peek of insight. I think lttle do people know I don’t plan to just be a DJ. I have short to long term goals and the immediate one I will share with you today will be producing.

Some of my biggest challenges to date would be financing myself. My day job prior to this was Contact Tracing for the state which was obviously temporary. That led to me depending on my gigs and paying myself through payroll when the time came. There’s so many things I want to invest in and overtime it becomes pretty costly. What would you say or wish to other aspiring female DJ artists?


“Being an upcoming female DJ in a male dominated field definitely has its challenges. Similar to being a first generation black female in a male dominated Engineering field at a PWI.”

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What makes you hustle? I enjoy being able to have freedom. Being an entrepreneur has given me the opportunity to create multiple streams of income. With my income flow, I will grow a steady income flow and expand my business where money makes itself. This is my goal for the next big 10.

To live in a man’s world is tough. I struggle with finding a voice and receiving recognition for the works that I do. What do you do to set yourself apart? My business isn’t gender biased , however just like the men, us women stick together. I’m a relatable woman who talks about what’s common for everybody. I don’t pick and choose sides even if I see what’s being done in the background. What people will notice about me, is that I’m raw, and I stand on my own opinions and beliefs. Being able to provide a different outlook to others has helped me to set myself apart from others. What would you say is the most rewarding part of being an entrepreneur? The best decision I could have made was going into business for myself. It has been an powerful,independent,awakening journey in these 6 years of becoming. What I will say I love most, is people from all over the world noticing me and making the choice to do business with me. What’s your favorite book you have read and why? I love T.D Jakes and his daughter Sarah Roberts books “Women art thou art


Born and raised in Rochester NY where Fredrick Douglass and Susan B. Anthony paved the way for women just like me. I have had the opportunity to stay in the heart of the most influential and historical neighborhood; Mayor’s Heights, for the past 7 years. In those 7 years it’s no surprise that my creative spirit took over, allowing me to leave my teaching job and pursue a writing career. I have held many titles over the years, but an Author is one that I carry with grace.


What made you decide to open Phenomenal Expressions? Becoming a businesswoman was instilled in me from my father owning his own barbershop for over 20 years. After leaving the corporate world when the pandemic hit, I knew I wanted to create a legacy of my own. I made the choice to turn my hobby into my dream job. What type of business is it? I provide Book Services; book coaching for those looking to publish. I offer Book Editing for those in their final stages of writing. I also create Anthologies for those who want to collaborate on certain topics. What are the main services your business provides? The main service I provide is Book Editing. I offer affordable editing for fiction and non fiction novels, magazines and private documents/ contracts. I charge a consultation fee and set up meetings before a contract is written up, to discuss the type of editing the client wants done. I accept all genres and offer Proofreading, Copy Editing and Structural Editing. All pricing is based on word count. Do you find it challenging being a female in a male dominated industry?

Tell us about yourself and your background?

Who has inspired you personally and professionally?

The competition as a female in the writing industry has been fairly odd. As a reader before I was an author, I would read 5 books a month of all types of genres and that is what the average reader would do, when they genuinely love to read. To have women be petty in an industry where books can be accessible online for the world to view was a shock and disappointment.

What are the biggest challenges you have come across? Learning new tones and writing patterns from those of different ethnic backgrounds was a hurdle as an Editor, but it has opened me up to having no limits. What would you say or wish to aspiring creatives?

My business motto is to be expressive in your beliefs, goals and motives. Always go after what you want and don’t be afraid to ask for help as well as doing things for yourself.


org What is the favorite part about what you do?

I love to network and build with others. I have created my first Anthology by collabing with other writers and businesses from all walks of life and all over the USA. Titled “The Miseducation of Becoming an Adult’’ which is located on Amazon, featuring multiple topics that are going on in the world for those 18 and older. Did you always know you wanted to be an author?

“Olivia’s School Choice”

“The Curves of her Smile” “The Miseducation of Becoming an Adult” What is next for you?

I have two upcoming Anthologies for 22-23 year. An ALL Male Anthology where men come together and write about the war on Men in America today. As well as a Professionalism Anthology where adults come together and talk about how to get and keep a job. The dos and don’ts in the workplace and what it takes to be a business owner.

“A Friends Keepsake”


Frederick Douglass, Susan B Anthony, J.K Rowling, T.D Jakes

I am inspired by the greats.

“After leaving the corporate world when the pandemic hit, I knew I wanted to create a legacy of my own. I made the choice to turn my hobby into my dream job.“ HUSTLES TALKS loosed” and “Women Evolve”. Their books are very much uplifting and with their gifts of preaching they have helped align me into who I am today. What do you think makes for a successful editor? In order to edit properly, one has to have a complete understanding of the message the writer is trying to convey. The most important steps for all editors is to first gather enough information from the writer , briefly read over what is being processed and come to an agreement first of what type of editing the writer wants to be completed before making your own personal editing. What about an author? An imagination will take a writer so far as an author. It takes me on so many roller coaster rides, with many stories that I cannot wait to share with the world. If I could have a half of the type of imagination that J.K Rowling has I will be all set as an Author. She has helped me with tapping into true writers lioness. What don’t people tell you about being a female entrepreneur?

What is your favorite platform to promote on and why?

I love to promote on all platforms because the more accessible I am the more eyes I have on me. Phenomenal Expressions can be found via Facebook. Instagram - quietstormsuthor Website- www.phenomenalexpressions.


I knew at the age of 8 that becoming an author would be something that I would do. I spent so many years in the educational field after giving birth to two girls that I have pushed this passion of mine to the side to educate myself as well as create a steady income for our family. I am now at a point where I can multi-task and give back to myself. What are your favorite services you provide? Book Editing and Coordinating Anthologies are two popular ways to bring in money in this industry. For me, my business brings in not only money, but a chance for me to become better at my craft as well as networking and building connections that can help give back to the youth. What has been the best compliment you have ever received? People love my books that I have written so far. I have self published, children and adult fiction as well as non-fiction;

176 { SHIFT+CONTROL }{ SHE HUSTLES TALKS } “I enjoy being able to have freedom. Being an entrepreneur has given me the opportunity to create multiple streams of income.” { SHE HUSTLES TALKS }



Helping women express their personalities through their fashion.

Gray’s studio

fashion. All of our garments are designed, cut, & sewn in Peggy town of Buskirk, New York. WEBSITE: MY-SITE-10034622SHADESOFGRAY.SQUARE.SITE/ I PHONE: Phone: (518) 686-4195

I currently reside in Chesapeake, VA. I am a Business Education teacher for Southampton County Schools. I attended Norfolk State University where I obtained my Bachelors of Science in Marketing. One of my greatest accomplishments to date is acquiring my Master’s Degree in Marketing from Capella University. January 2019 was the start of my modeling career and Statuesque Boutique. I am also a multi-published model.


There have been several instances where I have been asked how to start a business. What are the biggest challenges you have come across being a minority owned female business especially in the fashion industry? Staying motivated is a major challenge. You have to be your own cheerleader. There are so many fashion designers and boutiques out there and it is easy to get discouraged by the competition. You have to believe in yourself when no one else does.

As a child, I was self-conscious about my height and weight. It wasn’t until my Aunt Stephanie called me Statuesque and the name stuck with me ever since. I’ve always loved fashion. I first started by learning to personalize t-shirts. When I was selected to walk in my first fashion show in 2019, one of the designers dropped out. The organizer asked if anyone knew of any designers. I asked if I could feature my t-shirts in the fashion show. The rest is history. Statuesque Boutique has evolved from signature t-shirts to selling a wide variety of clothing. What type of fashions do you showcase, and what is one staple “must-have” item? and large belt is a “must- have” staple item for me. Large belts look good on just about any body type. It cinches you at the waist and instantly defines your shape. What do the words “Beauty Lies Within” mean to you? There are many beautiful people on the outside but are ugly within. “Beauty Lies Within” means that one is thoughtful and integral. She is considerate of others and cares about their well-being. She brings joy to those who come in contact with her.

Do you use social media alot to promote your business? What is your favorite platform? Social media is major component I use to promote my business. I would say Facebook is my favorite.

What has been your biggest hurdle to try and overcome since opening your business? I would say staying relevant is one of the biggest hurdles. You have to keep your target audience engaged. One has to be ready to make changes as necessary.



Tell us about yourself and your background?

What would you say is the most rewarding part of owning your own business? Inspiring others is one of the most rewarding parts of being an entrepreneur. When someone finds out I am a business owner, I am asked so many questions.

I have been featured in several fashion shows as a model and a designer. I have committed to using my platform to encourage body positivity.

What makes you hustle? My parents are the reason for my hustle. Both of my parents made sure that I had what I needed growing up. They struggled to support me and send me to college. I want to make sure their efforts are realized and accomplished. I hustle because I do not want to work for someone else for the rest of my life. I want to be in control of my future. Tell us about your business, Statuesque Boutique and how you got started.

“Statuesque caters to women’s sizes small3X. We carry professional attire to sexy and chic fashion items. A bold and large belt is a “must- have” staple item for me. Large belts look good on just about any body type. It cinches you at the waist and instantly defines your shape.”




*37 million Americans have CKD and millions of others are at increased risk. This is equivalent to one in 3 adults. This number increases to 1 in 2 over the course of a lifetime. *Diabetes and high blood pressure are the two leading causes of chronic kidney *Africandisease.Americans are 3 times more likely to develop CKD than caucasions; Hispanics, Pacific Islanders, Native Americans and Seniors are at increased *Earlyrisk. detection can help prevent the progression of kidney disease to kidney *Kidneyfailure. disease is the 9th leading cause of death in the United States. *Every year, kidney disease kills more people than breast or prostate cancer.

The Northeast Kidney Foundation is a voluntary health organization dedicated to preventing kidney disease and enhancing the lives of all those affected. Formed in 1972 as a philanthropic gift of Edwin and Rhoda Sperber, the Foundation provides services to patients, family members, the general public and clinical and academic professionals throughout the Northeast. The mission of the Northeast Kidney Foundation is to improve the quality of life of those affected by kidney disease and related condition; to increase organ donation; and to empower those we serve to be an effective voice for better healthcare at the local, state and federal levels. Your support of the Northeast Kidney Foundation provides vital funding for patient and family services; patient, public and clinical education; local research programs; and healthcare advocacy. Please consider joining our efforts! What We Do.

*Hypertension causes CKD and CKD causes *Persistenthypertension.proteinuria (protein in the urine) means CKD is present.

4. Don’t smoke.

2. Drink plenty of fluid, especially to prevent kidney stones.

6. Eat a well-balanced diet and follow any dietary guidelines suggested by your doctor.

Who We Are.

5. Exercise and maintain a healthy weight.

* shape health policy

Kidney disease is silent – it can develop for years with no noticeable symptoms. High risk groups include those with diabetes, hypertension and family history of kidney disease. Kidney disease is common, harmful, and treatable. There are no noticeable symptoms until an advanced stage of the disease. Know your risk factors and be tested, especially if you have a family history of diabetes or hypertension. For more information email info@ Herehealthykidneys.orgaresomesteps you can take to prevent kidney disease.

* increase organ donation

3. Prevent or treat high blood pressure and diabetes.


7. Avoid any unnecessary drug use. If you or someone you know is at risk of or has chronic kidney disease, contact us today! We are here to help!

* raise awareness Facts About Kidney Disease.

1. Know your risk factors!

The mission of the Northeast Kidney Foundation is to improve the quality of life of those affected by kidney disease and related conditions by early identification, intervention and prevention; to promote organ donation; and to empower those we serve to be an effective voice for better healthcare at the local, state and federal levels. We accomplish our mission through multi faceted community programs including those that: * provide direct assistance to patients * educate healthcare professionals, patients and the general public

*Heart disease is the major cause of death for all people with CKD.

*Glomerular filtration rate (GFR) is the best estimate of kidney function.

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I did not do enough, think enough, be enough, plan enough. Narrative. Sound familiar? In reality, I tried hard, I trusted, and it didn’t work out. Whether it is work, school or relationship I know you have probably been there.


Pause is never particularly satisfying but needed between the ground and the sail upward. A heavy anchor helps.


Like my meditation practice that, in most but not all cases, stops me from spinning my wheels at night.

To blame myself would be to deny any effort I’ve put in over the last twelve Itmonths.istheend of August. Just about to turn into Vata or windy season. A season of change and movement that you can feel when you step outside in the morning. I will need my roots more than ever.

I can easily get blown away without them on the float to wherever the next step is. To get confident in my own way of finding grounding and pausing before jumping to the next thing.

Root To Rise. If you have taken yoga classes, you might be familiar with the phrase. Root to rise. Simply put, the instructor means root through your feet to rise to stand tall. I can certainly fake a rise without a root in a yoga class. To the untrained eye, they would think I was standing just as well as anybody. But without the rooting down through my foot muscles it just doesn’t feel as good. It’s not as strong. When I can feel my feet or my hands press into the ground and my heart lift away from it I have more lift. More power. I can embody the feeling of a little sapling growing out of dirt, that little extra bit of OOMPH it takes to pop out of the soil.

I sit here, writing this at 1 AM, after moving my business two times in less than 13 months. I feel unrooted. Yoga props schlepped into a corner of my parents’ living room for safe keeping. I googled root to rise to find some yoga origins and instead found another Upstate NY Business Owner’s apology to their customers for what they cannot control. Like I had to apologize for something that was not my fault, to so many customers today. I will call those customers again tomorrow as I realized at midnight, I rescheduled them at a new location during a street festival where there will be no parking. I just realized I left a corner of equipment at the studio and need to try to return before dusk when the landlord might change the locks. My initial thought as I sat here was that I did not do my root work. I did not study what foundation I wanted to lay. I just got swept up with the wind of where to go next. Flighty. Too fast. All rise, no root. I have three texts and five emails scheduled to go out at 8 AM to contacts to see where I should move next. But no. That is my default story. Like it is so many women’s default story.

A pause allows for creativity, for a new fire to build where it was once snuffed out. To stoke the flames of a heart that forgot to be so damn impressed and in love with myself to speak and acknowledge and practice gratitude for all that I have done right this year. To step forward with a new wisdom that I never had before because I took a pause. To bring more clarity and compassion to myself and others. Rising to the top of my mountain and looking out and what I’ve created, big and small. The hills I’ve leaped over with grace.

If you need to stop denying and start celebrating yourself, please join the day retreat I’m co-hosting at Mendon Ponds Park on September 25th. We will work through all of our energy centers. Beginning with a grounding meditative practice through nature. We’ll find our way to rise through empowerment coaching, body-positivity workshops with a professional photographer, reiki, yoga, breathwork and an outdoor celebration of ourselves. And of course nourishment. Rooting and rising are both equally tough on an empty Forestomach.more info or to reserve your spot call Kaitlyn at (585) 200-7209 or email KaitlynBest,,Ihopeyoutimetoacknowledgeallyouhavein2022andtakepausebeforeforward.

222 ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE : AUGUST EDITION 2022 { SHIFT+CONTROL }{ LIFE IN BALANCE } “Root to rise. Simply put, the instructor means root through your feet to rise to stand tall.”

Women's Empowerment Workshop Sunday, September 25th, 2022 from 11:00 AM - 5:00 PM Venue: Mendon Ponds Park Reservations and More Info: journey to celebrate yourself-womens-empowerment-retreat-tickets382587548657

One side of the family may grieve with a solemn, thoughtful service. While the other side may have a gathering of food and memories. There is no wrong way. The deceased would have loved either way. For they loved you for being different from others and would want you to find the closure you need.

Not particularly a topic any of us want to discuss, but one we all inevitably will have to deal with, so let’s talk about it. Or, perhaps, let’s sit here and think about it quietly. My point is, we all deal with grief differently. But as an outsider, looking in to offer condolences, how do you know what the person you are trying to console needs?

The bottom line is, you don’t! You can never truly understand their loss. Even if you had experienced a similar loss, it still is not the same. For you two are not the same person. A touchy subject, to say the least. However, I do think letting the grieving person know you feel their pain and respect it helps more than you may realize.

The end is a personal choice, their last wish to be fulfilled and should be respected as such. But what about the ones who find closure in a showing or a funeral? It’s a difficult time with different viewpoints, with all having to be taken into consideration. This is where you need to be aware of other’s needs and desires. I have to say; I am quite proud of how my husband’s family has dealt with their loss. While respecting the last wish, they then took upon their selves to proceed with what would help them with their closure. Emotions run high during such a difficult time. Faulting the ones dealing with their own loss over a last wish that was not their own is not something that needs to be added. Guilt over not doing more is already there, regardless if it is before or Althoughafter.there may not be a viewing or even a memorial service, due to their last wish, does not mean you cannot choose different ways for your own memorial service. Different items, for your own keepsakes.

My point is, nothing should stop you from grieving. Not final wishes, not money, not time, not distance. You have the ability to do it in your terms. Which, when you think about it, is as it should be. Now that we have addressed the final wish, what to do with the remaining belongings? Again, I have to say my husband’s family handled this perfectly. Brother and sister first up. Deciding what was important to them to keep. Keeping items that were special to them that reminded them of their loss. Items that may not have hold any importance or worth to someone else but are priceless to them. This is what a family is supposed to do. Allow ones, while grieving in their own way, have some sort of memento that gives them a happy memory in a difficult time. Then any heirlooms, or photos that may have been in the family, going to the deceased’s own siblings if wanted. Next up grandchildren, then other relatives and then friends. Sounds overly simplified, but in reality, it shouldn’t have to be hard. What is hard is going through the items themselves. Even as an outsider helping, you realize you’re not only packing up someone else’s memories but their life. A used bar of soap, or toothpaste… honestly, was heartbreaking for me!



Realizing those were hard for me made me realize how much harder it was for the family packing up items they had bought for holidays, pictures taken or things made as a child. Let alone the everyday items, such as clothes neatly folded in a laundry basket, all

We just experienced a loss in our family. My mother-in-law. But more importantly, my husband’s mother. My loss is in no comparison to his. His pain, though, is what I am focusing on. How to help him and how to guide him with what needs to be done. But more importantly, how to bring up fond memories to show she will always be with him.

For memories are our key to dealing with loss. Our memories preserve our fondest times together with our loved ones. They never change or are misplaced. They go with us, wherever we may go. Many people use a funeral for a way of closure. Unfortunately, in this day and age, funerals are not like they used to be. Families and friends are spread out more, so visiting a gravesite is not as easy. With that in mind, a person may choose to be cremated.


In time, it will get better. In time, the tears will not come so often. In time, memories will bring smiles back. Just give yourself time, to grieve.

Rest in peace, Julie Vreeland. Through our precious memories of you, we will eventually find peace, too.

There is no room for family drama but a time for healing, understanding and respect for one’s dealing with the loss, too. However, the loss of a parent, no matter who you are, is a scar that runs deep. A scar that no one knows the depth but that person.

heartbreaking and overwhelming. But memories none the same. A bittersweet reminder of our loss.

Sure, there will be friends and even other family that may be just as close or closer to your heart. Time and distance

can weaken a link, but a parent in the end was still your starting point. Your own mortality comes forward after a death of a parent, as well as your own relationship with your children. It is a somber time. A time for reflection.

“However, the loss of a parent, no matter who you are, is a scar that runs deep. A scar that no one knows the depth but that person.”


A time of joyous memories. A time to cry. The thing you must remember, all of those are tied with a thread. Time.

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Angela looks nervously around her new apartment. This is where she will know once and for all if it was her, or if it had been the house, she lived in. Angela had lived with her parents while going to college. This apartment would be the first time she had ever lived alone. Growing up, Angela had a strange relationship with her dead sister. Sissy, her sister, died tragically when Angela was only four. Both of her parents were so distraught over losing their favorite, they embrace the idea that Angela could see and interact with her sister. Not only did they embrace it, they encouraged it; however, Angela was not as happy with the idea as they were. In fact, she was terrified! Many nights Angela would scream in terror that Sissy was in her room. Sissy would steal the blankets, Sissy wanted to play, Sissy wanted to hurt her! When Sissy was alive, she had often accused Angela of any wrongdoing that happened in the house. If something got broken, it was all too easy to blame a four-year-old. Once Sissy died, it seemed as if the roles reversed. Anything that happened now became Sissy’s fault. At least, that was what poor Angela tried to explain.

Their parents tried to prepare Sissy for the major change that was about to come. Thus, the reason “Sissy” became her nickname. Her parents wanted her to feel important that she was going to be the big sister. Instead of feeling proud, Sissy felt nothing more than abject jealousy. Sissy liked being the only child, and she intended to be the only child!

The accidents that occurred to poor Angela over her first four years led her parents to believe she was simply accident prone. They grew tired of the bumps and bruises that occurred on Angela and the trips to the doctors for a broken bone here or there.


The day Angela cut a big chunk out of her pretty long hair, it was Sissy’s idea. Of course, mother then had to cut all of her hair off to make it look even. While doing so, she scolded Angela that Sissy would have never done this. She had been a perfect child! How mother wished Angela would be more like Sissy! Toys were suddenly getting destroyed, only for Angela to blame Sissy. Father was extremely angry with Angela, siding with mother on how Sissy would have never done such a thing! Meanwhile, when mother and father packed up Sissy’s belongings after she died, they found many toys violently destroyed. Neither parent would admit to themselves that Sissy could have done such a thing. In fact, it was all too easy to think that Angela must have done it. Even though Angela was far too young to cause that kind of damage to the toys. Faulting Angela, rather than scarring their memories of the perfect daughter they had lost, was the route they Sissychose.was four years older than Angela.

Their parents had tried for many years to have a child. When Sissy was conceived, they were older and ready to spoil their only child. Angela, on the other hand, was a surprise; an accident.


Plus, Angela was much more of a handful than Sissy had ever been! From the beginning, Angela cried all the time. Sissy never did that! It took forever for Angela to learn how to crawl, even longer to walk! Sissy had done both effortlessly. And at four years old, Angela still didn’t speak. Sissy spoke for her! Angela was always underfoot, never wanting to be alone. Barely potty trained with still wetting the bed at night. Instead of being concerned, they had convinced themselves Angela was just lazy. They began to resent Angela. They missed the days of having only one child who had none of these problems. Poor Angela. Of course, she cried all the time. Sissy had been torturing her from the very beginning! Any time Angela was left alone, Sissy would poke, prod, pull her hair, anything to be vicious and get her to cry.

It had been safer to sit in the middle of the room than crawl or walk, for Sissy would just knock her down! As for talking, Sissy wouldn’t let her talk! For fear of Angela being able to tell their parents what was really going on. To be so young, Sissy was surprisingly good at hiding what she did to Angela! Looking angelic at all times. Sure, Sissy would be around when Angela would cry, but she was just trying to comfort her, help her. Playing the part of a concerned big sister


However,beautifully.even at such a young age, Angela’s instinct to survive had kicked in. Trying desperately never to be alone for the torture to continue. Unfortunately, at night Angela was most fearful for Sissy would come to her room often, silently and deadly. Angela would wet the bed, because she was terrified! One day, Sissy was playing with matches in her closet. Angela, realizing this may be a new way for Sissy to hurt her, quickly closed the door on Sissy. Startled, Sissy dropped the lit match, and it set the small closet on fire. Terrified, Sissy tried to open the door, but Angela leaned against it until it was too hot. She then ran down to her mother, who was watching TV, and told her that Sissy was in danger. By then, it was too late. That night Sissy visited Angela in her room; however, she was no longer the cute little girl that Angela’s parents knew. No, this was a monster burned beyond recognition. Her parents reassured Angela that Sissy was there to protect her, and she never had to be afraid. Sissy was her big sister and loved her. Angela’s young mind learned to cope with the sightings of her burned sister; however,

Sissy stands in front of her bed smiling. The evil looking burnt child actually looks happy to see Angela. Angela screams out, “What are you doing here?”

Sissy speaks in a raspy harsh whisper, “I missed you. Unfortunately, so did mother and father.”


Angela takes a deep breath and tries to clear her mind and focus on the present. No more thoughts about Sissy. Sissy had tried ruining her life for far too long. It was time for Angela to be free! A couple of weeks pass and Angela begins to relax in her new apartment. No sightings of Sissy whatsoever. Her parents had not even bothered to come and see Angela in her new apartment. It was as if they had completed their job of raising her and now no longer had any interest in her. Angela was fine with that; she was more than capable of living on her own. Then one night she gets a phone call from an old neighbor, “Is this Angela?” Angela answers the person on the phone groggily, “Yes, it is and who is this?” The man’s voice hesitates, “It’s uh, Mr. Nelson. I lived next door to your parents.” Even not fully awake, Angela catches the mistake the man makes, “Lived? Has something happened?”

“And now I have come for you because I can’t find them. They are gone and I need someone, even if it is the baby sister I never wanted!” the things Sissy did were another matter. Eventually, Angela learned to keep her mouth shut about Sissy and deal with the Herconsequences.parent’sresentment towards her only grew. In fact, once while cleaning up a mess Sissy had caused, Angela’s mother had screamed at her saying she wished it had been Angela that had died in that awful closet!


While in high school, Angela looked forward to going to college and escaping that dreadful house. Many times, she had begged her parents to move away. Neither one of them had a desire to leave the house that once had their precious Sissy alive and well in it. If there was any chance Sissy was still around, even after death, they were not going to leave her! You would think her parents would have been just as anxious for Angela to leave for college as she was to go, but instead, they forced her to stay home. Almost as if it was a punishment for Sissy’s death. Not that they knew the truth. In fact, Angela could barely remember that day. Did she really hold the door or had she wanted to hold the door but became too scared and ran to tell her mother?

The fireman said the flames went up so quickly and burned so hot that Sissy would have perished immediately. The small area would not have given Sissy much time to escape.

The man stumbles, “Yes, I am afraid there has been an awful fire. The house is completely gone.” Angela is wide awake now, “And my Mr.parents?”Nelson sighs, “I am afraid they were in the house when it happened.” Angela becomes completely silent. Mr. Nelson continues, “The police are here and would like to know your address so they can come over to talk to you.” Angela manages to whisper out her address before she drops the phone in fear of what she is seeing in front of her.

Angela is confused, “What do you mean?” Sissy becomes defiant, “I got tired of hearing how much they missed you! I started doing things so they would remember me, pay attention to me, but they turned on me!” Sissy glares at her, “They began to realize you had been right all along and how bad they had treated you. You were their favorite now. They were going to sell the house and try to make things up to Terrified,you.”Angela asks, “Sissy, what have you Sissydone?”looksquite pleased, “I forced them to stay at that house. In a fire I set, they burned like me.” Sissy tilts her head as she looks directly at Angela, “And now I have come for you because I can’t find them. They are gone and I need someone, even if it is the baby sister I never wanted!”




When I am in situations like this, the healthcare professional version of Cathy is present. Calm, cool, and asking appropriate questions while understanding healthcare is not provided at record breaking speed like you see in medical dramas on TV. My husband hates going to the doctor or hospitals. My ability to remain calm helped him to remain calm(er). My soothing energy helped him relax as he was facing his fears and mortality. Because I wasn’t being controlled by my emotions, I was able to temper my husband’s emotions, treat the providers with the respect they deserved, ask appropriate questions, advocate for my husband in his time of need, and learn a few things I didn’t know prior to this experience.

In the end, is that not a wonderful gift to provide for your loved ones? After hearing from the cardiologist what was happening inside my husband’s body; after I knew what we had not known and the plan for treatment; then emotional wife Cathy was able to cathartically release the stress. To cry, thank God for sparing his life, and start processing the recent day’s events. I don’t share all this to scare or depress anyone. I share it to help paint the picture that we all think “it won’t happen to me”. But it does! We all experience a health crisis at some point in our lives with ourselves & loved ones. When these unforeseen “storms” arise we have the tendency to take on that “fight-or-flight” response. Stress and fear take over and we react emotionally and potentially inappropriately. Being unprepared creates fear of the unknown coupled with potentially unrealistic expectations often leaving those trying to help us or our loved ones in the firing line. The staff in healthcare facilities often shrug it off, understanding it is what it is, but that does not make it okay.

I’m certainly not saying the story always ends with a happy ending. Honestly, BY CATHLEEN FAVARO

I always say it’s important to have a plan for a healthcare “storm” because they come at any time, to anyone, at any age. My now six-year-old grandson was born with a congenital heart defect requiring open heart surgery at 6 months old. All the prenatal checks leading up to his birth showed nothing, but there we were as a family learning about everything, seeing doctors, and praying. A friend of mine was 39 when her husband fell over 20 feet at work onto pavement and sustained a traumatic brain injury. I was 31 when I heard the words “You have cancer”. A single mom and sole source of income for myself and my children suddenly deciding if I could afford to go out on disability and how I would manage. Most recently it was my husband… I knew my husband has not been feeling well, but my stubborn man kept dismissing my urging him to go to the ER. When I walked into our bedroom on that Saturday morning a couple weeks ago and found him laying across the bed in agonizing pain, he could no longer dismiss my concern. He refused an ambulance, so I drove him (crazy decision and NOT recommended, but I did) and quickly announced to the first person I saw that my husband was having a cardiac event and required urgent care. They performed a stat EKG and blood work. He was in fact having a heart attack. He was likely going to require an angiogram and stent(s) but it was Saturday morning and they were going to “watch him”. He couldn’t eat or drink for long periods of time in case they decided to do the procedure sooner. Then mid- afternoon, when they were not going to do anything, they would allow him food and drink. This went on for 3 days with the procedure not happening until Monday afternoon with an anticipated discharge for Tuesday afternoon. His coronary artery was 90%-95% blocked. It could have been “the BIG ONE” the cardiologist said. What a blessing he is still here! Ignoring the symptoms in hopes that it would go away DOES NOT work.


The past few years changed how care was delivered to an extent. As time goes on, we now see there was some lack of information, some misinformation, and some of the “conspiracy theorists” may not have been as off point as it looked in the midst of the chaos and stress. With wellness taking a spotlight and health “storms” always coming, it’s time to get back to facts and live our best lives! I hope you join me! September 1st is also the relaunch of my Podcast on Spotify called Plan For Wellness! Subscribe today! Or www.seniorwellbeingsolutions.comvisit!

“I always say it’s important to have a plan for a healthcare “storm” because they come at any time, to anyone, at any age.”


My goal in my business is to partner with you before that happens. To help you develop a better understanding for wellness and how our environment, diet, and medical history impacts us throughout our lives. Providing you with a plan for the unforeseen and how to effectively advocate for yourself and your loved ones. To remain cool, calm, and collected in the face of fear and the unknown to better process what is happening. To help you be informed and make informed decisions.

To learn what we can do to prevent illnesses, understanding warning signs, and become more informed consumers in our medical system.

my husband’s situation doesn’t have an ending. He never liked taking medication and now has a pill box. He must alter his diet and lifestyle. The changes and adjustment coming home is also quite challenging. It is challenging enough to change your lifestyle habits when you WANT to. You prepare for a start date and plan for the changes. However, when faced with a life and death situation being told to change and being unprepared for it, it is even more challenging. This is why I have decided to add a new subscription service to my website with monthly newsletters, members only videos, free access to my webinars, and other added seasonal gifts and surprises to help people throughout this process.



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How did this come about? Well first this group of amateur college hockey players were selected and trained vigorously to compete in the 1980 Olympic Games. And for us, two things took place. First during a wine tasting, two-time Olympic Gold Medal Seed Skater Cathy Turner same into a wine tasting in Greece being run by a very good friend of mine. Cathy tried our Finger Lakes Semi-Dry Riesling and asked if she know who she was? Cathy loved the taste and a conversation took place where Cathy indicated that she would like to do something with us in the future. I meet her and we discussed the possibilities. The second thing that took place was I was reading a copy of a local newspaper where and article indicated that an effort was taking place to fund the Miracle project. I was able to find the group spearheading the effort to determine how we could get involved? I talked to Cathy at length about this opportunity.


I’m hoping that the fans of Travel with Agness Wine Cellars haven’t moved on as my column has been absent from Rochester Woman publications for a little bit. I am so sorry about the time away and I missed communicating with everyone which I truly enjoy and like to share my experiences. The recovery has been difficult to return form after having a stroke, but I’m back now and ready to provide some great information to share – and this is something that many will be very interested in attending. Yes, only six months from now, or even sooner, New York’s Olympic City Lake Placid will be hosting the 2023 World University Games in January. What is significant about this event =- everything! First, this is the first global winter amateur contest and New York is going all in. The Olympic Development Corporation of New York is the organization at the center the upgrade and return of the Placid Olympic venues to Elite World Class status. I have visited Lake Placid many times over the last year and half to meet with officials heading this massive venture which also includes the building of an Olympic style village to house the athletes, trainers, and officials during the course of the Games. During one of the recent visits I was able to tour several of the upgrades and even was able to watch the practice runs of the mixed arial team as they prepared for the last winter Olympics Games where they took the Gold Medal. The centerpiece of the work has to the reconstruction of the of the Lake Placid Hockey Arena where the Miracle on Ice in 1980 took place and became what has to be the most famous Hockey Game in the United States history. I didn’t get the opportunity to go inside, but according to the Olympic Development Corporation nearly 100 million dollars and was under budget. The hockey arena is being renamed after the coach Herb WhyBrooks.have I travelled so many times? Well, if you happened to see the interview on Spectrum News 1, you would see why. Last year on the Fourth of July, Agness Wine Cellars announce our support for the construction of the tribute to the USA Hockey team for the Miracle on Ice Statue. This is no ordinary statue, it will be full sized bronze of the entire team on the medal stand with their USA jackets and their gold medals pointing to the sky indicating they were number 1 as recreated in the movie “Miracle”. The statue will be placed at the main entrance of the arena.




244 ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE : AUGUST EDITION 2022 { SHIFT+CONTROL }{ SHE HUSTLES TALKS }{ SHE HUSTLES TALKS } “New York’s Olympic City Lake Placid will be hosting the 2023 World University Games in January. What is significant about this event =- everything!” { TRAVELING WITH AGNESS } of training in Lake Placid NY and it became her second home. She got to know the players on the Miracle Team and travelled extensively with the team captain Mike Eruzione supporting the US Winter Olympics. So being our donation chairperson. Cathy was also featured on the cover of Rochester Woman magazine and her story is quite amazing of her accomplishments would say we had a lot in common as Agness Wine Cellars also has two International Gold Medals for our Riesling. So how the donation works is quite simple as you buy a bottle of our Finger Lakes wines and we provide a donation. Based on the number of times visiting the Lake Placid and surrounding area, I can make a few suggestions. First, book your hotel stay now as the rooms will disappear rather quickly. I can’t emphasize that strongly enough! Buy tickets to the sports you want to see as those will be purchase quickly as well. As far as fine dining options, the number one choice for me has been the Mirror Lake Inn (proper attire is absolutely necessary. A nice option would be the Cottages which might be seasonal. Lake Placid. One thing that has become very apparent that Lake Placid is now a great place to have some gold medal beer at places including Lake Placid Brewery, Big Slide Brewery. and Great Adirondack Brewing Company to name a few.




?MUVSU? What Moves You? is philanthropic social justice art. The MUVSUment invites others to support my mission, to gift every woman returning home from prison a 1-ofa-kind MUVSU bag, by purchasing MUVSU bags. Personalized message notecards from the customer and me are placed inside each bag. The gift of an empty bag is significant because when women are incarcerated, we lose our Thepossessions.emptybag represents a new beginning and a fresh start. Each customer gets to carry a unique handmade product, help a woman in need, and tell the story behind the bag she carries; and the woman who is being gifted is assured that people care and want her to succeed in her journey to re-enter society.,Creativeof?MUVSU?,relentlesslylentherandexperiencetoaroundtheinordertochangepeopleviewjustice-womenandsystemic mass




Johnson and I met at a leadership training where she is the facilitator. It is always my hope to build relationships with women like Melody who care about changing systems that oppress people. Mission accomplished! In August 2022 Melody, through her creative company Divine Coverings, LLC, purchased bags that she will customize/bedazzle (see photos) to be sold at Melody’s in Auburn, NY, which is the first Black woman owned coworking/event/retail space for female entrepreneurs in Cayuga County. This collaboration is exquisite and it moves me … ?MUVSU? What Moves You? asexposure,utilizeprofessionals“IimportantandneeddesignedforspecificallyDivinecom/melodyscny/https://www.instagram.Coverings’productsaredesignedtoaddbeautytoawoman’sworld.Inadditiontocreatinganddesigninguniquelybeautifulproducts,DivineCoveringsiscommittedtohelpingadvancetheKingdomofGodandtosupportingcommunities.Throughpartnershipwithchurches,schools,studentsandnon-profitorganizationsinavarietyoffundraisingeffortsforcommunityandministry-focusedinitiatives,upto40%ofprofitisregularlydonatedtothesepartnerships.’s,locatedat128GeneseeStreet,Auburn,NY13021isahybridmembership-basedspacewomenentrepreneurs.Melody’sisspecificallyforwomenwhoaspacetogrowtheirbusinessbuildcommunity.CommunityisforMelodySmithJohnson,wantedtodesignaspacethatfemaleandentrepreneurscouldtogrowtheirbusiness,gainandforustoworktogetheracommunitythatsupportseach

Bags can be purchased in Dallas, Texas at Well Grounded Coffee Co. https:// Tha Alkaline Hour https://thaalkalinehour. com/ and the Pan African Connection Bookstore https:// ?MUVSU? invites collaborations that integrate social justice and creatives by asking What Moves You? how can you help? [and] then the magic



Melody’s, located at 128 Genesee Street, Auburn, NY 13021 is a hybrid membership-based space for women entrepreneurs. Melody’s is designed specifically for women who need a space to grow their business and build community. Community is important for Melody Smith Johnson, “I wanted to design a space that female professionals and entrepreneurs could utilize to grow their business, gain exposure, and for us to work together as a community that supports each other.” Melody’s offers retail space for women-owned product-based businesses to showcase their products year-round. In addition to the co-work desk stations two private spaces are available. A designated office/space conference room for meetings or zoom calls, and an office available to sub-lease with a private entrance. The space is flexible and offers room for cozy events up to 50 people. www.


and Goliath... until it wasn’t. Meet David and Goliath, two dogs surrendered to Animal Care Sanctuary in December 2021. The two brothers spent the winter getting to know the lay of the land and playing with other animals. After a few weeks, a family adopted David. Sadly, they could not adopt Goliath because he didn’t pass the cat Monthstest.went by, and while David was enjoying time with his new family, Goliath was still at the sanctuary waiting to find his forever home like his brother.


David’s adopters regularly checked the ACS website and grew sad whenever they saw Goliath. Finally, David’s new dad couldn’t get over the fact that Goliath was still at the shelter and decided to do something about it.

The brothers immediately ran right up to one another in excitement.


After four months without his brother, Goliath was adopted. He was so excited to meet his forever family but had no idea what was to come next. After getting out of the car at his new home, Goliath ran inside to a wonderful surprise: a greeting from his brother!

Whether it be nerves or the stress of being in a shelter, Goliath loves his new cat sibling. He even does a happy dance when he sees a cat! Goliath goes to show that patience is necessary with any animal. If you give them time and care, they might surprise you. The staff at ACS is grateful for our time spent with the two brothers. They truly have a one-of-a-kind story that ends with them spending the rest of their days in their forever home. Together! We couldn’t be happier for them.




Know who you are and what you want to convey to the world through style, exude confidence, even if you’re having a bad day. Your clothes say how you feel about yourself and the image you project to the world. Not how you feel that day, case-and-point, when I feel a little under the weather, I try to find the brightest, statement look that I can so that my look doesn’t become to mood; I prefer that my mood succumbs to my look (style).

Remember, you can be elegant in jeans, denim is the most versatile pieces you can have in your wardrobe, it’s all how you put the look together, (or how your stylist puts the look together for you). I have been stopped multiple times at the grocery store asking me where I came from or where I am going, and I reply, ‘the grocery store’, or the ‘the hardware store’. I’m not “dressed up”, this is who I am. Fashion editor, Elsie DeWolfe says, “if you are healthy, fit, and well dressed, you can be attractive”, it is not necessarily about good Fashiongenes.allows you to be a chameleon, but your style is the overarching ingredient to your “look”. People become style icons, not only because of their look, but because of the ease in which the exude self-assurance about that look.

Invest in those statement items, you will get a return on your investment annually. What sets you apart?

The classics: in my humble opinion, you can never have too many LBDs (little black dress), add to your collection, a classic white shirt, trench coat, ballet flats, classic high heel pumps (closed in), a great handbag, tote, clutch, classic time piece (watch), accessorize, accessorize, accessorize, no size limit, easy wardrobe update.

A change or update in your style, can change your attitude and since attitude is 90% of everything, a style modification can change your life, be effortlessly stylish. You can be comfortable, self-assured, and stylish all at the same time.


Confidence is powerful. Learn how to purchase the right clothes for your body type. Style is both external and internal. Dress for yourself but dress the way you want to be addressed. Define your own style, a stylist assists you in perfecting it. What silhouettes do you like (and look good in)? What colors look compliment your skin (undertones)? (No one wants to look washed out). Once again, what is your body type? (This is the crux of your own personal style). It is perfectly acceptable to flaunt your flaws, we all have them. When styling for my clients, I accentuate their assets, don’t shy away from them. For example, one client who was pear or triangle shaped wore tops that covered her hips, I purchased items that accentuated her hips in a thoughtful way, it did not overpower her look, but brought balance and attention to the art and not necessarily the body. She was pleased with her new look. My mother is my style icon. My mom hails from the “I Love Lucy” era (I know I’m dating myself), when you got dressed up to go to the butcher, hat, gloves, heels, and handbag. Whether she goes to the doctor’s office, church, the post office or to a friend’s home, she is dressed to the nines, so I got it honestly.

Fashion can be bought Style one must possess – Edna Woolman Chase. To refine your own Personal Style, contact me @lydialifestylecoach on IG or on my -Lydiawebsite.Dean-Reese



If you don’t want to be basic, don’t wear basic pieces. There’s a difference between staple items and basic pieces. Before you buy, ask yourself will this look good on me? Do I feel good in it? Buy fun pieces that you love. Women of a certain age should no longer focus on trends (I did not say that you should not buy an item or two) but focus on statement pieces that aid in curated looks that are both eye-catching and eternal.


I was a professional speaker but when asked to introduce myself, and tell the group what I was currently doing, I panicked.

“Hi, my name is Robin, a three-time runner-up for high-level jobs. I currently stare at my computer, pick my daughter up from school and have no idea what to do Instead,next.”Isaid, “Hi I’m Robin, a former broadcast journalist, now pursuing my own video content business.”

Looking back, I was missing the real point. I wasn’t even considered because it was assumed I did not play, and it was easier to ask another male.


When you start seeing other women as an important part of your networking journey, you will discover how empowering it is.

Twenty-five years ago, I chalked it up to a “guy golf” thing. My heart sank. I did not play golf at the time, but I knew I was missing an opportunity to connect on a personal level with my managers. I did not speak up or ask to join. I can’t remember why I did not say something, all I know is I regretted the decision to slink back to my desk. I have always wondered if it would have mattered. The social exclusion made me question what I was missing by not having this informal opportunity to get to know my superiors, and for them to learn more about me outside of work.

I took a new job at a competing television station ten years into my broadcasting career. It was a wonderful opportunity, high profile, more money, and I liked my new boss. He appreciated my talent, and it was a relief to finally feel valued by Amanagement.secondreporter was hired. On his first day in the newsroom, my boss invited him to play a round of golf with other male members of the management team.

No one laughed or dismissed the idea. They were impressed and believed me. For one-year, I attended ever monthly meeting. The forum was all about true connection and figuring out how to help each other personally and professionally. These women were the seeds that helped grow my business from an idea in my head into to reality.

It was during those meetings that I met an attorney. She had a client who interested in creating videos for his website. Her recommendation led me to my first longterm client. I look back on that time and I’m grateful for the women who made my transition from employee to business owner easier. Those meeting would lift me up and energize me for days. I didn’t need wine or a pastry, I had a group of positive, like-minded women who motivated me. You don’t need to play golf to get ahead in business, but I now understand the importance of time spent fostering relationships through shared experience. As women, we need to cultivate our own feel you are too busy to network due to obligations to your family, elderly parents, or the dog, consider caregiving for yourself. Focus on a once-a-month connection with a friend, colleague, or client. Be intentional and thoughtful with your time. Trust me, you have an hour or two to Leveragespare.your social norms by inviting people to do something in a comfortable and convenient setting. Take a walk with a neighbor, join a co-worker in the coffee line, or invite someone to try a new restaurant after Haveworkoneor two professional friends and invite them to recruit one or two of their friends out to breakfast or for happy hour. My one friend introduced me to nine other professional women out of my work and social circles. They are an email or a text away, thanks to one simple invite on a Tuesday Madelinenight.Albright once said, “There’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women.” Relationship building is a critical part of any job.

About a year into my career search, I met a woman who invited me as her guest to come to a meeting were female business owners all gather to “connect and raise each other up.” At this point I had been toying with starting my own small business and was exploring how to monetize my skills as a video storyteller.

When I left my television career, before I formed my business, I attended networking events. It was a full-time job trying to figure out the landscape of the corporate world and where my skills fit in. It was like speed dating, quick conversations, and an exchange of business cards, hoping your five-minute elevator pitch resonated and would eventually lead to a call. It never did.

The demographics of the gatherings got younger and younger, leaving me feel disconnected, and wondering how thirty years of experience became so trivial. I transitioned to the coffee, muffins, and fruit circuit. It was not any better. Instead of drinking bad wine I ate breakfast.


The act of packing all of it into the togo containers, because most of the time the staff in the kitchen doesn’t realize it’s a to-go order, as we are not a takeout restaurant. All of the time and energy taking away from in person diners, and then to be tipped $0 dollars for the work we did so the convenience of you just popping in to get your families meal, is an embarrassment to your upbringing. I understand getting bad service from time to time which can decrease the tips amount, but let’s face it, on a whole with limited amount of working staff these days, I recommend if your going out to eat or even calling in a take out, do yourself a favor and tip. And tip accordingly. We remember those who don’t tip or leave that dime as a rude reminder that you personally have no clue what it means to work in the food industry or have ever worked for tips. We remember you for next time, so we can make sure you are not getting our undivided attention, or getting your drinks asap. We Remember that your the type of person that will run a server back and forth to fulfill your extra blue cheese, and a side of ice needs for no tip. And won’t be so quick to come see if everything is ok. Tip your server, tip your bartender and tip that person who went out of their way to get your meal for you. I think everyone should work in the food industry at least once in their lives. I can always distinguish from the ones who have and those who have not. It’s an immediate courtesy that comes across. And speaking of courtesy, let’s talk about kids in restaurants whose parents leave them unattended. Wait, I’ll save this one for another article. So in conclusion the message here is, If you can’t afford to tip, then you cannot afford to eat out. Period. Servers are not your servants. TIP ACCORDINGLY

So here’s a topic I’d love me to touch base on, tipping. Specifically in the food industry as that’s where I have personal ties to. I began working in the food industry at the age of 14 washing dishes in a local bar/restaurant in my hometown. I have since told as many kids that if you can work in a restaurant, you will always have a way to make money. People will always want to eat. But that’s not what this month’s article is about. I want to talk about individuals who choose to either eat out, or have someone prepare a meal for them to “pop in real quick” to pick it up. And to inform you that the people who are interacting with you to bring you that experience are getting paid on a tipped minimum wage. Here in NY that wage is right around $8 per hour, and so the tips that they are still paying taxes on, is mostly what they are utilizing as a Maybepaycheck.the folks who don’t tip, didn’t realiz this, or maybe they feel it’s too expensive to eat out and to tip. Here is my take on this, and I feel very strongly towards this. If you want to have someone else interact with you, get precisely what and how you want a meal, treat you with kindness and a friendly banter and go out of their way to ensure this, while also maintaining numerous other families food and Dino d experience, then make sure your equating a tip into your budget. Local restaurants are not fast food joints who are now getting the minimum wage rate, but if you cannot afford to tip feel free to go through a drive through and not have to tip. Or I’m my opinion if you cannot afford to tip accordingly, stay home and cook for yourself. It’s that simple.



Also, ordering takeout at a restaurant and tipping $0 is one of the rudest acts a person can do. Let me break this down for you. Pretty much when your calling it’s peak eating times so the establishment is already busy with customers who have decided to come in and experience a dinner out. The puu hi one call takes away from the in person interaction of the customer in front of the person at that time. The time on the phone making sure you get exactly what they need.

262 ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE : AUGUST EDITION 2022 { SHIFT+CONTROL } “Or, in my opinion, if you cannot afford to tip accordingly, stay home and cook for yourself. It’s that simple.” { KARMA SPEAKS }


It’s time for self care and reflection. Imagine cultivating inner peace to reduce stress and anxiety. As you clear your inner world, your outer world lands into balance. Join my free Webinar and discover the 3 principles for being able to truly cultivate balance in your everyday life to have more clarity and vitality!

Key # 3 Being Compassionate

Loving yourself and filling your reservoir first so that you have even more positive energy to share By being calm, clear and compassionate you’ll naturally come up with creative solutions to everyday occurrences in your life, and find the time for you. I invite you to join like-minded individuals to explore these principles to bring balance back into your life, attracting an open flow of health, wealth, and happiness. The FREE Live Webinar event is being held on Thursday, September 15th at 2:00 PM. If you can’t make it, there will be an Encore Event on Saturday, September 17th at 1:00 PM. The training will be interactive, and we’ll have fun! You’ll walk away with hands-on tools to bring balance back into your life. These can be applied anytime of day, wherever you are. (But I don’t share these tools with everyone.)

The Webinar will be a prequel to my Brand-New Course Being in Balance, a 7-Week Live Online Course. It will launch on October 6th. This will equip you with tools for a lifetime! Please sign up for my newsletter to learn more.

If you’re like me, you aspire to achieve balance in your personal and professional Imaginelife. making time for your health and fitness. Being happy and financially flourishing. Expressing your creative nature. Nurturing your family and Butfriendships.theproblem is you don’t have enough time or space, and the world is filled with uncertainty. You feel a responsibility to take care of everyone and everything. At times this feels like a heavy burden to carry. Instead of taking care of yourself, you overcommit yourself. This is a recipe for burnout. In our 24/7 culture, we’re led to believe that we have to work long hours and be 100% available. You feel like you have to do it all - all the time. Take care of the house, family, career. Juggle all the balls in the air Isimultaneously.callthistheSuperhuman Syndrome. The good news: there is a way OUT. That way out is going with-IN.


Alana Cahoon is a master teacher of meditation, conscious leadership and energy healing. She is the author of Amazon Bestseller Mindfulness, Mantras & Meditations.

You want to feel alive. With a sense of freedom and purpose. You want your life to flow with ease and grace, and trust that everything will be ok.

In Your Every Day Life

Key #1 Being Calm Nurturing your soul and finding peace within to bring more balance to your life by being proactive instead of reactive Key #2 Being Clear Embodying Daily Intentions for yourself to live more clearly, and to be centered and focus on what matters most

FREE ONLINE TRAINING: 3 Keys to Cultivating Balance and Harmony in Your Everyday Life Thursday, September 15, 2022 at 2:00 andliveableDiscoverMindfulness,FounderAlanaPRESENTER:Saturday,FREEcom/webinarhttps://www.beinginbalanceacademy.REGISTRATION:PMENCOREEVENT:September17,2022at1:00PMCahoon,MindfulnessCoach&ofGrow2BUandAuthorofMantras&Meditations.the3principlesforbeingtoaccessyourinnerwisdomtoabalancedlifeofclarity,vitality,creativity:


266 ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE : AUGUST EDITION 2022 “By being calm, clear and compassionate you’ll naturally come up with creative solutions to everyday occurrences in your life, and find the time for you.” { MIND, BODY & SPIRIT }

3 Keys to Cultivating Balance and Harmony in Your Everyday Life Discover the 3 Principles to Access Your Inner Wisdom to Live a Balanced Life of Clarity, Vitality, and Creativity. A Free 75-minute LIVE Online Event with Alana Cahoon, Mindfulness Coach, Founder of Grow 2 B U and Author of Mindfulness, Mantras & Meditations. Register Now! September 15 @ 2 PM B e i n g I n B a l a n c e A c a d e m y . c o m / W e b i n a r


Additional handy tips:

Some of the best credit cards out there offer perks such as free travel insurance, price protection, extended warranties, exclusive discounts, and more. Even if you already have a credit card through an issuer, it’s worth checking the website periodically for updates on reward offers.

• A common credit card benefit is purchase protection, which allows consumers to file a claim with the issuer to receive replacement, repair, or reimbursement for any eligible stolen or damaged items. This is a perk that you have when you purchase an item using your credit card. Check with your card’s issuer for more details.

According to the Federal Reserve, 74% of all purchases in the US are made with credit cards. Americans are masters of using them. However, the same cannot be said for paying them off. The average American household carries approximately $6,270 in credit card debt. That said, when used responsibly, you can make your credit card work for you and reap benefits including cash flow flexibility and reward perks. With discipline and planning, you can incorporate simple habits that will let you reap benefits without the dangerous downsides. Here are some things to keep in mind when you are applying for and using credit cards: Credit Score – There are 5 factors that determine your credit score: payment history, how much you owe, length of credit history, types of accounts you have, and recent credit activity. 35% of your credit score is based on your payment history. By spending only what you can afford and paying your bill in full and on time every month, your credit card can help you sustain a higher credit score. Every time you miss a payment, you negatively impact your credit score. Pay your bill in full and on timePaying your bill in full and on time will also help you avoid interest charges and late payment penalty fees. You can even pay a few times a month if it helps you stay ahead. It’s so easy to set reminders about payment due dates as well as set up payments automatically or ahead of time.

• Log in to your account once per week or every few days in order to stay on track with your spending.


• It’s easy to slide into credit card debt when those little purchases add up, so use your card for big purchases instead. Here’s a trick – save up for your big purchase in cash first. Then, after you make the purchase with your rewards card, you’ll have the money to pay for it right away and get the rewards as well. Alternatively, make the big purchase, then pay if off over a few months under a strict timeline, knowing that you will have to pay some interest.


Stick to a Budget – You can use your credit card for purchases as a complement to your budget until you have worked through your predetermined spending limits. This is a great way to help you stick to your budget, but you can also earn rewards for purchases you would be making anyway. Credit cards offer tools on their websites to track spending. Restrict Yourself – We’ve all received those letters in the mail informing us that our credit limit has been raised. This can make it very tempting to be prolific in the way that your card is used. If you are worried that you might overspend, you have the power to lower your credit limit to something that is manageable on a monthly basis. If you don’t want the company to change the limit, set a limit yourself and then put the card away until the next month, or until you pay the card off.

Rewards – People who master the art of taking advantage of credit card rewards really know how to make their cards work for them. Cash-back, loyalty points for hotels, and frequent flyer miles all can be earned just by using your card for regular expenses. It’s important to keep track of when these rewards and make sure that you redeem them before they expire. So many credit card users don’t track reward points and miss out.

Understanding your cards features and benefits - Even if you are not interested in credit card rewards, you can still receive the benefits of a card.

The perks and rewards of credit card usage can be amazing, but only if you balance spending with discipline and good sense.


the Public Relations and Community Engagement Specialist for The Summit Federal Credit Union.

ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: AUGUST EDITION 2022 271 { SHIFT+CONTROL }{ SHE HUSTLES TALKS }{ SHE HUSTLES TALKS } “The perks and rewards of credit card usage can be amazing, but only if you balance spending with discipline and good sense.” { FINANCIALLY SPEAKING }

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As an artist, I am continually being forced to trust my creative decisions. Through a lot of practice and building up my resiliency, I have learned that when I listen to my inner voice, aka my gut, paintings begin to flow through me and onto the canvas. There’s also been a beautiful bonus of speaking my truth with love and conviction without trepidation. But it wasn’t always like that. Like so many of you and most of my students, the trust falls of not ruining what we deem either precious or just a fear to even begin or go forward is difficult and anxiety-provoking. Especially during these times when women’s rights are being suppressed or taken away. Our voices are being shoved down and drowned out. They want us to follow along peacefully so that they can maintain control. No one has a right to your voice and your purpose being stripped away. Building up our resolve takes patience, and a true feeling of self-love to achieve. Recollect your first day of school or a new job where you knew virtually no one and didn’t have a clue about what your new journey was going to look or feel like. The butterflies it produced seemed overwhelming and threatened to take your breath away. We forgot that everyone there was either having that same experience or had already faced that. We also lost sight of the fact that we not only didn’t have to be perfect on day one, but also that there are people there who are willing to guide you through the growing pains. For some, it ends up being the time we made the most friends, found our greatest joy or celebrated our biggest successes. There were most likely moments of growth and pain that informed us what it was we wanted and needed for our souls. Recall times that maybe those moments weren’t so wonderful. You got served up a platter or disappointment, frustration, or pain instead. You dreaded going to school, work or a function that inevitably would evoke angst or even panic attacks. One of my most difficult times came during my college years. I used to cry in the college parking lot for 3 ½ years because my major was accounting. (My dad thought that would be the best, most financially stable career path…. “Artists always struggle financially.”). I was too young, afraid, and stubborn to give in and listen to my heart. That got me nowhere good. I felt alone and hopeless every day. It took a mental toll on me that required years of self-work and therapy to undo. It also helped me to see my path more clearly and be unapologetic about following it with vigor and abandon.

It made us feel like we could do or be anything. That little girl was invincible and a glorious ball of sunshine. She let her light touch all the darkest places and ignited them with her fire.



Over time, we lose that innocence through large and small traumas. We reluctanly bend towards what is deemed “socially acceptable.” Life becomes restricted and our creativity skills dimished. They got hid away in a closet, afraid to even peek out, for fear that they would be judged or laughed at. As a kid that was bullied and ostracized, I lost my joy for creating. I was sure that I couldn’t make a good decision unless 50+ people gave it a green light. Even then, I agonized over whether it was the right one. (I suspect this sounds all too familiar for a lot of you reading this. Most of my students relay stories that mirror my own, so I know we aren’t alone.) This common roadblock has prevented so many of us from blossoming into the person we are truly meant to be. When you allow fear to become your guidepost, the options we choose inevitably lead us towards roadblocks and increased moments of living small. We shove down our desires for ones that present as “safe.”

I’d ask you to think about yourself at your happiest as a child and how unafraid you were to be a ham it up in front of the camera, posing like a supposed model would. Or tackling new projects, activities or experimenting with new ideas. I loved to try out weird colors in my coloring book and mix colors together to see what they made. Applying them randomly with complete abandon was so much fun! Times like these felt like pure bliss. We had a fun story to tell at the dinner table and to our friends, encouraging others to try this new-fangled thing we believed we were the only soul to have discovered. You had zero cares about what anyone thought about it or their judgment of you. You just carried on your merry way, expanding on the fun new thing, or searched out a new one.


Listening To Our Inner Voice

No one will question them nor ask more of us. This kind of existence is so unkind and never allows you to experience true joy. Joy is a birthright we frequently forego, believing that we don’t want to cause an issue or be seen as an annoyance. Being the “good girl” is drilled into us from birth in today’s patriarchal society. Making us small and muffling our voices is their mission because they seek to maintain their reigning power and dominance over us. Gary Zucav states in his book, “The Seat of the Soul” that all human

“There’s also been a beautiful bonus of speaking my truth with love and conviction without trepidation. But it wasn’t always like that.” suffering derives from a desire for power and control. It is time to end our suffering, but it begins by each of us going inward to unleash our loving purpose on this earthly plane. Looking to those our ego sees as superior to ourselves allows doubt and indecisiveness to take hold and become hard to shake. When we haven’t practiced the art of letting go and standing up for what we want and deserve, it can feel overwhelming to begin. The societal expectation of being the person who colors in the lines and makes everything perfect narrows our ability to see something challenging as the adventure your 7-year-old self would have happily thrown caution to the wind for. So, what happens when you let your hair down and decide that today is the day you will do what your heart gracefully asks us to move towards? You are meant to do great things! Becoming the person that inspires others to do the same nurturing practice gives strength to those who may not have believed they were capable of doing that for

The most beautiful and effective way that I have found to relieve myself from that fear-based pattern is the 5-5-5 breathing technique. You simply by taking a five-count breath through the nose and hold it at the top for five. Then, let it out of your mouth for another five-counts and hold it again at the bottom for five. Do this however many times you need to come back to center. When we reconnect to our most basic form of being, we realign with love and become grounded and peaceful. Notice how you feel and rest in that space for a moment. Then say, “thank you.” This creates grace for yourself and allows you to do that for others. We can self-regulate and not regret our next action. Freedom from ill-chosen actions once we build that skill allow us to grow and find enormous contentment. You also build a trust in yourself, and others begin to know and sense you are someone they can look to for good advice or a shoulder to lean on that is soft and kind.

Letting go of own ideas and trusting what else could await us and nudge it in the right direction is meant to open us up to trying new techniques or experiences in all areas of our lives. Your joy and momentum increase and suddenly you gain confidence that can be utilized during your next hard Beginmoment.tothink

Intuitive Painting classes and workshops, I inextricably who it is that has trepidation with putting down color or covering up an area that isn’t working anymore. It’s a reflection of my own self-doubt. Where the difference lies, is in the fact that I have developed resiliency to possible failure when taking risks. I’ve failed so many times only to pick myself up again and use what I just learned to find new paths of successful art practices. Every misstep in our journey jogs us towards righting our course to something better.

Self-limiting beliefs are what keep us hidden away and small. They restrict our entire being; even the breath.

Building our resilience to criticism, mistakes or judgment is your get out of jail free card. Trusting that we have always had it within us to make the right choices in our lives opens up golden opportunities we could have never imagined while we remained in a state of fear. We can hold steady and know that we are living in a state of Divine love. There is only blissful light there. It reminds me of what Glenda, the Good Witch told Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz; “You’ve always had the power, my dear. You just had to learn it for yourself.”


about an obstacle in your life that has left you unsure and with the inability to decide how to proceed. What has it prevented you from doing and experiencing and can it ever get you there? Most likely it won’t. Now, lean into moving with a leap or even baby steps towards the thing that feels better to your soul. Does your heart and your mind believe it’s achievable and attainable? If not, what is blocking you from believing you’re fully capable of cultivating joy?


There are multiple types of muscle soreness that you may experience during or after your workout. Not all muscle soreness is created equal. Soreness during your workout or shortly after is called acute muscle soreness. This soreness arrives when you are nearing your last set/rep or pushing your way through an intense bout of exercise. This type of soreness will dissipate shortly after the exercise is over. If you experience pain during an exercise, this is likely due to an injury or using improper form during an exercise. Improving your form or modifying your exercise to prevent long-term harm is essential. Physical Therapy is an excellent start if you experience pain during your workouts. As we said earlier, never push through the pain. If your soreness arrives 2448 hours after your workout, you are experiencing delayed onset of muscle soreness (DOMS). Your DOMS will typically peak after 2-3 days, and the pain will subside. This type of soreness will most likely happen if you are new to exercise, change your workout style, or intensify your workouts. Is DOMS a normal part of the workout process? Yes, it is absolutely normal! You must push your body above and beyond your regular activity to change your muscle strength. When pushing heavier weight or changing your workout style, you produce tiny microscopic tears in your muscle tissue. When this happens, your body stimulates the inflammatory process. The inflammatory process brings minor swelling to the muscle tissue for healing. During this healing process, your muscles grow stronger, and you will slowly gain the strength needed to withstand that exercise. This is why your workouts get easier over time. When you do the same exercises repeatedly, your body adapts to that exercise. When your body adapts to the exercise, you will maintain your progress; however, the muscle growth stops. This is why it is essential to switch up your exercise routines. You can do this by changing your workout weights, reps, and styles. What can I do to reduce the soreness of DOMS? REST Rest is just as critical as the workout itself. One great way to rest is to break up your workouts. Work on one or two muscle groups at a time. This means that if you worked your biceps on Monday, you would want to give your biceps a break for a day or two, allowing the healing process to take place.

MASSAGE THERAPY Massage is a great way to increase blood circulation. When you increase the blood circulation, you increase the healing time of your recovery. Massage can also feel great on the muscles. Are there ways to avoid DOMS altogether? I am not sure that you will want to! While the muscle soreness can be uncomfortable, it is a sign that


STRETCHING Slow movements are a great way to relieve the discomfort of DOMS. Movements including swimming, walking, or dynamic range of motion should feel great on your muscles. This type of movement does not delay or increase the inflammatory process; however, it will lessen the discomfort of DOMS.

HYDROTHERAPYCRYOTHERAPY/ Cold packs or ice baths are a great way to decrease the symptoms of DOMS. Heat can feel suitable for short durations of time. Heat will increase the inflammation process, so you want to limit your heat to no more than 15 minutes. Soaking in a warm tub with Epsom salt is another great way to ease your muscle soreness.


Being sore after a workout is completely normal. But why does the soreness not show up for 24 to 48 hours later? You are experiencing Delayed onset of Muscle Soreness (DOMS). It is essential to understand that pain and soreness are two completely different Painfeelings.isan indicator that something is not right. It is essential to listen to your body and have an awareness of how your body expresses pain vs. soreness. Everyone has a different pain tolerance. Pushing through pain can cause long-term damage to your joints and your body. During this article, it is important to know that we are referring to soreness, not pain. So what is DOMS, how much soreness is too much, and what can you do about it?

• Always cool down

“There are multiple types of muscle soreness that you may experience during or after your workout. Not all muscle soreness is created equal.” your muscles are growing stronger. For those who work out regularly, you learn to be comfortable with the discomfort and sometimes look forward to it. Some ways you can lessen the soreness is to • Stay hydrated • Warm-up • Increase your resistance and weights slowly


As we mentioned, acute muscle soreness and DOMS are different from pain. Pain is a warning that something is not right. Physical therapy is a great way to start if you are having pain with your workouts. Wellness 360 Physical Therapy and Massage Therapy, PLLC, offers the best of both worlds. We offer physical therapy to decrease or reverse your joint pain; we offer multiple fitness classes with modifications for you specifically. We modify our workouts according to your needs for long-term fitness support. We also offer massage therapy to ease your post-workout muscle soreness. Find out more at www.

{ WELLNESS 360 }

VH: With my two oldest kids I followed a typical allopathic medicine path. We went to the doctor and did what they told us to do. We were lucky that our kids didn’t have any big illnesses. I transitioned to using the oils as I learned more. At first it was just let’s try this. I had ten oils and a reference book. It made me feel empowered. I raised my two youngest on essential Alloils.four of my kids use essential oils all of the time. They know what they like and what makes them feel better. I use diffusers in my home. This allows me to give them the oils I think they need on a given day. CD: What is in your essential oil back to school kit for your kids?

VH: My oldest is my son, he is 18, and I have three daughters, 15, 11, and 8. We are all musical. My kids each play the piano plus another instrument. My son wants to pursue a career in music. My oldest daughter is very driven and focused on grades. My 11-year-old is my wise child and my youngest is pure sunshine.

VH: Always OnGuard protective blend for immune support and protecting them emotionally. If I run out of OnGuard I diffuse Holiday Joy, which has a similar chemical profile. Adaptive calming blend to support anxious feelings and to empower them to deal with uncertainty. Wild orange, the oil of abundance, and peppermint because it always smells good. I like to diffuse a healing blend of thyme, lemon, and peppermint. For my older kids I have Digestzen digestive blend and Breathe respiratory blend for things that might hit. They choose oils from the Emotional Wellness Kit to support themselves Myemotionally.twoyounger kids each have

CD: How did your approach to caring for your children change after you discovered essential oils?

This is an excerpt from my podcast interview with essential oil expert Vanessa Hansen, taped on August 12, 2021 CD: Vanessa, how did you first become interested in essential oils?

CD: When you first discovered essential oils you had three small children. You now have four children. Tell us a little bit about your kids.


VH: I first discovered essential oils about 11 years ago. I was living in Rochester, my husband was in graduate school, and I had just had my third baby. I developed chronic sinus issues. I went to Lori’s Natural Foods and asked for help. The employee told me to try oregano oil. I looked at the wall of oils and I was overwhelmed. I asked which oregano oil I should use – he just shrugged and gave me the store brand. It worked; I got better! Sometime later I was at home in Southern Utah, having sinus issues again. I bought oregano oil and had a horrible experience. The oil actually eroded my ear. I knew essential oils had power and I knew they were not all created equal. I continued to educate myself about essential oils. I learned that it is critical that the essential oils you use be 100 percent pure. I also learned how to use them safely and effectively.


their own set of the kids blends. The bottles are color coded making them safe and easy for kids to use. The Stronger blend offers intense emotional support. Tamer supports digestion. Steady is similar to Balance grounding blend.


Peace, bliss, and balance…

2. For your kids diffuse OnGuard protective blend every morning before school to provide immune support.

3. Be intentional, keep it simple, and build as you learn. Thank you, Vanessa, for sharing your story and your wisdom. I am grateful to have you as a friend and mentor. Thank you to all who read my column and follow me on social media.

Here are my three simple strategies:

“I continued to educate myself about essential oils. I learned that it is critical that the essential oils you use be 100 percent pure. I also learned how to use them safely and effectively.”

CD: Vanessa, I always like to leave listeners with three simple strategies. You have offered so much useful information and advice. How would you summarize it all?

1. Begin with yourself and learn before you introduce them to your family. A simple way is to choose a few essential oils that resonate with you and diffuse them in your home. Incidentally, everyone will benefit!

VH: Well, first of all, take care of yourself. You are giving up a lot to raise good human beings. Nurture who you are and give yourself lots of grace. A therapist told me that all kids need is to feel safe and loved. Everything else is gravy.



Articles inside


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