RWO's February 2021 Edition

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SHE HUSTLES TALKS

HIGHLIGHTING WOMEN ENTREPRENEURS

So Much More... - WHAT ABOUT THE MEN? FEATURING DANIEL BALDWIN

- WOMAN ON THE RISE: ANNIKA D’ANDREA - UNAPOLOGETICALLY AUTHENTIC WITH CHRISTINE GRANDIN

In This Edition...

- EMILEE: THE STORY OF A GIRL AND HER FAMILY HIJACKED BY ANOREXIA

- TRUTH TEA WITH TALENA SKYE - VAUGHN JACOBS SKIN - SAVON SPEAKS

Maja Milićević-Klugh SO MUCH MORE THAN JUST A PRETTY FACE




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MAJA MILICEVIC KLUGH : NOT JUST A PRETTY FACE

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{ TABLE OF CONTENTS }

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REGULARS

REGULARS

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WHAT ABOUT THE MEN? Daniel Baldwin

190

PRODUCT HIGHLIGHT Vaughan Jacobs Skin

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WOMAN ON THE RISE Annika D’Andrea

280

THE KEFI WAY

92

ALL ACCESS

198

A MODERN APPROACH

266

UNSTOPPABLE WOMAN

270

CHILDREN AWAITING PARENTS

86

SAVON SPEAKS

362

HER EDGE

244

WOMEN IN POLITICS

240

286

KARMA SPEAKS

100

BUSINESS TALK

252

IN HER OWN WORDS Rebecca Jaffarian

TRAVEL WITH AGNESS WINE CELLARS

234

RWO READS & WRITES

258

I AM...

376

MANIFESTING YOUR TRUE PURPOSE

290

ANIMAL CARE SANCTUARY CORNER

96

AFTERNOON COCKTAIL

206

THE PACE OF GRACE

386

MOVING BEYOND MY YOUNGER YEARS

326

THE LOVE OF WORDS

214

TRUTH TEA WITH TALENA SKYE

354

RISE ABOVE YOUR STORY

218

COACHING WITH KRISTIN B.

226

UNAPOLOGETICALLY AUTHENTIC

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SPECIAL FEATURES 76 EMILEE 111

SHE HUSTLES TALKS K. Victoria Pohotgraphy Everyday Hands Kristen Joy Martin Rachel Walker L Shot Photography Diane Chester Miracles LaBella Boutique

FASHION & BEAUTY 276

DR J’S BEAUTY

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BEAUTY TALK

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SCALP NY

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REGULARS (CONT)

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HEALTH & WELLNESS

304

THE LITTLE BLACK BUDDHA

350

MIND, BODY & SPIRIT

388

SEEING THE SIGNS

308

SEXUALLY SPEAKING

318

B. MOR

340

LIFE IN BALANCE

324

YOU MATTER

366

BLISSFUL BALANCE

330

TAMMY’S TIDBITS

372

MENTALLY THINKING

352

312

WELLNESS 360

CRYSTAL’S CORNER

312

NURTURING HANDS

358

TRACY TALKS

344

LADIOLOGY

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THE PERFECT SCORE

382

ZESTFUL AGING

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A WOMAN’S PERSPECTIVE

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{ FROM THE PUBLISHER }

“Behind every successful woman is a tribe of other successful women who have her back.”

I

n the latest edition of Rochester Woman Online, Just we are excited to have the stunning, smart, and inspiring Maja Milicevic Klugh as our latest cover woman. From Serbia, this beauty is much more then a pretty face, including a highly educated engineer, model and mentor. Read all about her, and check out some of the amazing images taken of her from local photographers wearing amazing fashion designs from all over the country starting on page [18]. See just why she has it all: beauty and brains. Plus, you won’t want to miss some of our amazing and inspiring special features including Linda and John Mazur’s interview about their daughter Emilee, and their book now available on Amazon, Emilee: The Story of a Girl and Her Family Hijacked by Anorexia. Read all about their incredibly inspirational and also heart wrenching journey starting on page [76]. We also have Central NY actor, producer, and one of the “infamous” Baldwin brothers, Daniel Baldwin starting off our all new column called “What About The Men?” starting on page [44]. You won’t be disappointed reading about all about him being a Baldwin, raising 2 young girls, his promise to PJ and lots more!

T T

ON OUR COVER

Rochester Woman Online would like to welcome Maja Milicevic Klugh to the list of incredible cover women. Photographed by Karlie Lanni of Lush Light Photography with a custom designed “Tie Dress” by LaCarrie Byer, owner of L’Couture by LaCarrie and hair by Tiffanie at Salon Bella Vita and makeup by Jess Kohlmeier.

Then don’t miss out monthly special section, She Hustles Talks starting on page [107] featuring local women owned business and lady bosses that are hustling including cover woman and RWO photographer, Keisha Grissett of K. Victoria Photography. Followed by some incredible women including Lauren Goetz of Everyday Hands, Kristin Joy Martin and so many more amazing ladies. Thank you for joining us for another amazing issue. Stay tuned as we launch our sister publication Buffalo Woman Online coming in April 2021, announce new Pop Up’s in the ROC/CUSE/BUFF, launch our global publicaition Influential Woman Online and that’s not even close to everything! STAY TUNED because you won’t want to miss any of it!

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www.rochesterwomanonline.com


{ A LOOK AT OUR TEAM }

PUBLISHER EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT CREATIVE DIRECTOR/GRAPHIC DESIGN LEAD PHOTOGRAPHER PHOTOGRAPHY

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS

Kelly Breuer Ayanna Jackson Kelly Breuer Brody Wheeler Jeff Gerew Michele Ashlee Kameron Ashford Rob Daniels KL Storyography

K. Victoria Photography Brandon Vick Albert Jones Lynea D’Aprix Photography L Shot Photography

Dr Pam Denton Robin DeWind Bonnie Floyd Alana Cahoon Lisa Wagner Judi Swanson Savon Holt Denise “Karma” Clifford Tracy Simone Dr Shanelle Benson Reid Johnny Williams Catya Polland Tammy Vreeland Rumella Cameron Beth Parry Cindy DeCarolis Crystal Banfield Gabriella Rose Fiederlein Angela McGhee Terry Daniele Giovanna Walton Jarod Schoonmaker Kristin Bauer Gross Latiffany Anderson Keisha Grissett Annette Campbell MaKenzie Hogarth Kristin Joy Martin

Maja Milićević-Klugh Amanda Ashley Cindy Scribani Kelli LaPage Talena Skye Dr Pebble Kranz Evelyn Spruill Sharlyn Christine Grandin Letitia Torres Heidi LaDuca Adelina Gonzalez Diane Chester Linda Mazur Daniel Baldwin Vaughn Pickney Angela Duncan Rebecca Jaffarian Raquel Walker Annika D’Andrea Felicia Gadson Randy Agness Katina Karl Bre Morris

ADVERTISING SALES

Kelly Breuer

SOCIAL MEDIA DIRECTOR

Toni Natalie

WEB DESIGN & MANAGEMENT

Network Rochester

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 networkrocqueen@gmail.com. Download our current media kit at www. rochesterwomanonline.com. The magazine is published 12 times a year by Rochester Woman ONLINE. Copyright © 2021 Rochester Woman ONLINE. No part of this magazine may be reproduced or republished without the consent of the publisher. Rochester Woman ONLINE is not responsible for unsolicited submissions, manuscripts, photos or artwork. All such submissions become the property of Rochester Woman ONLINE and will not be returned.



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{ FOR A GOOD CAUSE { {SHIFT+CONTROL COVER STORY }} }

MAJA MILIĆEVIĆ-KLUGH BY KELLY BREUER

Who is Maja Milićević-Klugh? Well, for the February 2021 edition of Rochester Woman Online, she happens to be our latest cover woman. I had the pleasure to sit down with this beautiful, smart, and brutally honest lady to find out, who exactly is Maja Klugh. For those of you that know her, or have watched her walk our runways, you know that there is so much more behind the flawless makeup and silky dark locks then just a pretty face. She is a truly inspiring woman who didn’t start modeling until her 30’s. She is an educated engineer. She is all about family and friends and empowering those around her.

I started modeling in my 30s because I wanted to push myself out of my comfort zone. People always asked me if I was a model, so I said to myself, let’s try it esepcially since when I was in my 20s I wasn’t able to afford it. I started modeling later in my life then what is usually normal because getting a degree and my education was my number one priority. So no, it really wasn’s something I always wanted to do, but it definitely came

How and when did you start modeling? Is it something you always wanted to do? 18

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What is your favorite part of doing what you do? Being able to work in different areas, with different individuals, so I can always share my experiences and grow. Seeing things from their point of view is my favorite thing. Even if we don’t see eye to eye, I always love to hear how other people perceive things, or life. Do you have any advice for other females of any age wanting to jump in to modeling and what the most important thing to remember is ?

So tell us about Maja Milićević-Klugh? Where are you from? Tell us about your family and your background. I am from Serbia, (ex Yugoslavia), in the Mediterranean area. I grew up in a very modest household with strong family values. We were so loved that we never knew that we were poor. What is being poor? It is state of mind. It is not about possessions for me.

in the World for engineering and got my degree so that I can work in almost any engineering company. I always tried to position myself to work smarter, not harder. Engineering is where I excelled.

naturally for me one I started. I know your background is in engineering...Can you tell us a little bit about that. I was always into art, painting, and even played the piano. But, I had to be practical because my hobbies were so expensive to pursue. I picked the college that is recognized everywhere

Don’t just jump into modeling. Get your college degree and education first, or while you are doing modeling. Modeling should be a hobby, not your total source of income. You will get very frustrated and drained because it doesn’t just happen over night that you are a runway star or super model. Modeling gigs are few and far between, atleast the paid ones. Do it for the fun of it and see what comes out of it!


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“I have been very blessed and fortunate to be able to work with such a diverse group of individuals. For a little girl from Serbia, it is a dream come true to be able to get pampered, wear all these beautiful creations and be the one to fullfil the artists vision. ”





{ { SHIFT+CONTROL COVER STORY } } “I started modeling in my 30s because I wanted to push myself out of my comfort zone. ”

What has been your biggest challenge during the pandemic? Being away from my family in Serbia has been very hard for me. I really have missed all of them since I haven’t seen them in 3 years now and the pandemic only made that harder! Not seeing family for many during this time has been hard. Hopefully we will be over it all soon.

No favorites of any kind really. I have been very blessed and fortunate to be able to work with such a diverse group of individuals. For a little girl from Serbia, it is a dream come true to be able to get pampered, wear all these beautiful creations and be

Living in Germany, Finland, along with many places in USA, and even Mexico made me realize that I can adapt to being part of any community on both professional and personal levels. It is a dream come true and I am so grateful for the opportunity to be able to travel and be successful in my career which makes my personal life successful too.

In modeling, many casting auditions I have been rejected because I am too tall, pretty, sophisticated, exotic, don’t look my age...

Who has made the biggest impact on your life and why? That would have to be my parents who raised us to be very disciplined, hard working, respectful, kind and honest. I always guide myself with those family values and want my family and homeland to be proud of me.

the one to fullfil the artists vision. I just really enjoy and love working with everyone, both designers and photosgraphers.

Who has been your favorite fashion designer to work with? What about your favorite photographer?

What do you know now that you didn’t know 10 years ago about yourself?

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What was the biggest obstacle you faced in your life, and how did you overcome it? My appearance was my biggest obstacle. I had difficulties getting a job as an Engineer because I don’t look like the “typical” woman Engineer! What is a woman Engineer supposed to look like exactly? On the manufacturing floor they would not take me for seriously because of my looks. They would say, “What does she know?”

What has been your biggest success both personally and professionally and why?

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That I am capable to be an Engineer, a Teacher, a Volunteer and even a Model, which is only possible in the USA. It is the best country in the world.

None of it stopped me from growing stronger, more successful, smarter, and more determined! I became more kind, humble, giving, approachable, and easy-going because I didn’t let all the negativity break me. Don’t become like them, or then they have won. Be an example, a role model with your good deeds and pure intentions. That is my motto. What made you interested in engineering? What about modeling? I have always been a nerd and


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COVER STORY } } { { SHIFT+CONTROL “I love when people tell me how approachable and easy going I am! Is there any other way to be? ”

knowledge is power. No one can take it from you, so love learning, breaking stereotypes and creating your own path. The same reason why I decided to pursue engineering is why I decided on modeling! How many Engineers are models and vice versa? Why not? Life is way too short to fit in a box. I am way to fabulous, classy and sassy for it!

never gets easier! We become tougher by turning pain into power! What are your goals as a model? How do you see yourself progress in this field, especially since getting

Always remembered to treat people the way you want to be treated. My mission in this life is to change the world by being kind every opportunity I have.

What is your favorite form of social media in 2021 and why? All social media if it’s used to spread love and positivity. We all need to support each other and be there for one another. Social media can be a great tool for that if used correctly.

What has been your biggest accomplishment in your career thus far? Determination got me to conquer a lot of things and master the impossible. I see myself as someone who is still developing and evolving accomplishments.

Resilience! Always telling myself: It

How do you communicate with people? Are you patient? Are you friendly? Most important is to listen and have a very open line of communication. I love when people tell me how approachable and easy going I am! Is there any other way to be? We are all the same and no one is better than the other.

Are there any resources, or even advice that someone has given you that has really helped you on your journey?

What do you think your unique skill(s) is that has helped you become successful?

The biggest gain is meeting and getting to know so many different people from different levels of experience to just being able to inspire one another.

What sort of settings/ clothes/brands do you prefer to shoot for, or wear? into this field when you were older? Honestly, I don’t have any set goals as a model. Doing it for fun and goodness of heart is all I care about.

Don’t have any preference. I always go with the flow and make the best out of it. Remember, someone put time and effort to create certain designs so you should be honored to wear them and be part of their vision. ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: FEBRUARY EDITION 2021

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“Determination got me to conquer a lot of things and master the impossible. I see myself as someone who is still developing and evolving accomplishments.”

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{ {SHIFT+CONTROL COVER STORY } } “Remember, if other people can do it, you can do it. No one is better than the other, but it is ok to fall apart some times.”

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COVER STORY } } { { SHIFT+CONTROL “No time to waste! Someone gives you an opportunity, use it and create beautiful art.”

Many people have unrealistic expectations and ideas about modeling. How have you overcome these? Nothing to overcome...just make it happen. No time to waste! Someone gives you an opportunity, use it and create beautiful art. Even if you need to change clothing at a public parking lot or bathroom, just do it. 99% of modeling is not glamorous. But, you make it look that way by being professional and resourceful. Good models are always ready to

receive criticism, they actually embrace it since it helps them to improve in their job, and become better models. Do you find this to be the same in the engineering world? I really don’t see it as criticism. I see it as instructions, or directions which I use to better myself. This is especially true with photographers since I don’t see what the person behind the lens sees. The same goes with Engineering. Always observe and don’t try to change things. Be part of the process by improving it

with growing tougher, and stronger as team. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? Hopefully having a couple of toddlers running around and enjoying family life all while teaching, modeling, engineering and volunteering. Remember, if other people can do it, you can do it. No one is better than the other, but it is ok to fall apart some times. Just rise up next day like Phoenix out of the Ashes and conquer the world!

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{ { SHIFT+CONTROL COVER STORY } } “Just rise up next day like Phoenix out of the Ashes and conquer the world! ”

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“My appearance was my biggest obstacle. I had difficulties getting a job as an Engineer because I don’t look like the “typical” woman Engineer!”

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your hair WE ARE READY TO GET CREATIVE WITH & MORE!

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{ WHAT ABOUT THE MEN? }

YOU AREBALDWIN ENOUGH. DANIEL BY NICOLE HEROUX WILLIAMS I PHOTOS BY NSP STUDIO BY KELLY BREUER I PHOTOS BY BRODY WHEELER

“WE ARE ALL HALF OUR MOM AND HALF OUR DAD.” This is what actor, director, producer, single father and well as you may know, one of the famous “Baldwin Brothers”, Daniel Baldwin said when I asked him why he agreed to being on the cover of Central NY Woman Online magazine’s as the first ever man on the cover. He also said he was excited. He likes things that are not stereotypical and not the standard. As we were up in the suite getting ready, he called his brother Billy on facetime and we were all chuckling as he asked, “Why did they pick you for the cover of a woman’s magazine?” His reply was. “Well someone has gotto do it.” as he laughs. Daniel also said, “Why not have a woman on the cover of a men’s magazine?” He’s done a lot of work, along with his brothers and sisters for breast cancer in his mother’s name with the Carol M. Baldwin Breast Cancer Research Fund. At 91 years young, his mom is still a very strong precense and role model, (frankly a saint) especially raising the Baldwin brothers. He said, “Yup mom is a tigress.” In the late 80’s she developed breast cancer, had a double mastectomy 44

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and announced 2 years later that she was starting a breast cancer research organization and she was going to use her son’s celebrity status to help her find a cure. Daniel says, “She was a maverick. Right up there with Susan Koman.” As we got to spend the day together during his photoshoot at the Craftsman Inn & Suites in Fayetteville, I got to talk to Daniel more in depth about so

many different things. We discussed what it was like growing up with such an amazing and strong mother and how he is raising his two young daughters with the values he was raised with. His daughters joined us for the shoot and watching them interact, and the love and respect they have for their father was truly heartwarming. Especially in this day and age. But, one of the greatest things I took away from our interview was how much he is all about family.

Some condier him the bad boy of the Baldwin bunch. Getting to know him now, I think he is just a big teddy bear at heart. He hit a big milestone this year turning 60, and decided that it was time for some changes. Eating better, excersizing and losing 60lbs in 6 months is helping him to live his best life. There is so much more to tell about Daniel Baldwin. Where do we start? Well, how about a little question and answer with Central NY Woman Online. What was it like growing up with such a big family in CNY? Growing up on Long Island and then in Syracuse was really the best of both worlds. The island was so close to NYC that I was influenced by its global media forces. At the same time I would be in Syracuse seeing family under the protective cover of high family values and morals that nurtured and shaped us as children. Some fun facts...Daniel’s parents met while attending Syracuse University. Carol Baldwins father was a football coach at SU back in the day and played for the original 1923 Buffalo Bills.. Daniel was telling us how the Baldwin’s have


{ CNY INSPIRING WOMAN }

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“Love. Love is the most important thing to teach them. It doesn’t matter what they do, the fact that they know that I unequivocally love them and that there is nothing that they can’t say to me.”

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{ WHAT ABOUT THE MEN? } “Wow, where do I begin? Can I lay down to answer this one? Did you say the “Whole magazine was about me? LOL”

the longest legacy at SU with the most graduates in the history of the school. He said it is over 70 family members. But none, of the kids went there. Daniel was a graduate of Ball State University with a degree in Psychology. He says being an actor and majoring in [psychology has helped him create the different personas he has to portray in his films. What do you think your biggest strength is and why? I think my biggest strength is my passion. When I’m passionate about something

or someone I am an all or nothing , “All in” type of person. I am loyal to them, I live it and breath it.

had no uncles or GOD parents who were in the business. So 4 knuckleheads making a living at this was quite rare.

What has been the the best and worst thing about growing up as a “Baldwin Brother”? Wow, where do I begin? Can I lay down to answer this one? Did you say the “Whole magazine was about me”? LOL Ok, seriously, being one of four who have had some success in the acting world has been fun. Please remember that our father was a school teacher. We

I think the hardest part is that we are always lumped into the same bin. When one of us got in trouble we all were judged, and trust me I was many times the source of the attention. The good thing has been how much of a positive influence we have been able to be for charity. Particularly, the Carol M Baldwin breast cancer research fund ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: FEBRUARY EDITION 2021

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{ COVER STORY }

{ WHAT { WOMEN { COVER ABOUT WHO STORY THEROC MEN? } } }

“I promised PJ that if he got clean for 2 years I would take him to run with the bulls in Pamplona Spain. He got his two 2 years, in fact he got 3. Sadly PJ relapsed and overdosed before I could take him to run.”

The four of us brothers, as well as my two sisters have raised a lot of money and helped many people. I’m proud of that. What is the best and worst thing about being considered a celebrity, and how has that affected your children? I think the hardest things about the fame game is managing expectations. So many people need help, want you, your time, or name, appearances, money, etc. You want to help as many as possible. All of these causes are just and worthy, but I have children and a life of my own so choosing who and when has been quite hard at times. That’s what’s nice about having 4 of us though. As Daniel was doing his photoshoot, I decided to ask him some questions about his documentary, “My Promise To PJ”. Who exactly was PJ? What was his promise? He began by telling us about how PJ’s dad was the first guy to kiss his sister when living in Massapequa, Long Island. Everyone started joking about how the PJ’s got around and we were all laughing before getting to see clips from the documentary, which by the way were not at all what I expected. You can watch it at https://www.imdb. com/title/tt13502594/ 50

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Tell us about “your Promise To PJ” and how it got started. What did it mean to you to be able to fullfil this promise? My documentary “My Promise to PJ” was exactly that. It started as a promise that I made to a young man who’s parents I knew since I was 5 years old. I was helping him get sober off of a terrible

heroin addiction and I promised PJ that if he got clean for 2 years I would take him to run with the bulls in Pamplona Spain. He got his two and in fact he got 3. Sadly PJ relapsed and overdosed before I could take him to run. Two years after his death I was still suffering from his loss, so I decided to keep my promise and go run with the bulls for him. I dieted and trained for 5 months. I lost 57 pounds and I took my tired old butt

and flew to Spain with PJ’s ashes and ran with the bulls. The documentary chronicles the journey I took. It gives a voice to his family. It is the first film or television project that has all four of us Baldwin brothers in it. It allowed me to fullfil my promise in an attempt to move on from this loss. Along the way I learned some valuable lessons, which you can watch the documentary to find out more. You won’t be disappointed. We then talked about being a single Dad. Raising two young girls, one of which turned 13 just a few days after the shoot and he joked saying, “Is there a book I can read. One about being both a mom and a dad.” I asked him what the most important thing he could instill in these young ladies was. His answer was just one word, “Love.” “Love is the most important thing to teach them. It doesn’t matter what they do, the fact that they know that I unequivocally love them and that there is nothing that they can’t say to me.” They have a very healthy fear of there dad.


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“ I think the hardest things about the fame game is managing expectations. So many people need help, want you, your time, or name, appearances, money. You want to help as many as possible.”

“They know they have consequences to their actions if they have done something wrong. But they feel safe to to tell daddy if they have a dark secret,” he says. They trust him enough to come to him for anything. The pandemic has definitely raised some issues for any parent. Daniel say’s , “It has been very challenging for me in many respects being a single parent during this time. Trying to juggle family, career, my girls needs and virtual schooling.” But, judging from what I saw spending the day with all of them, he is doing a pretty amazing job! What would the girls say is their most favorite thing about growing up with you as their dad? I think my daughters would have to say that there favorite thing about me as a dad is how safe they feel. They know that daddy is their friend, but more importantly that daddy protects them. I am a single father without very much help. My girls see how hard I work for them. Now that was my answer for BJB!!!! You know how we look at time as BC and AD. Well, in my family we have an additional reference, it’s BJB.

That’s Before Justin Bieber. Now if you asked my girls what’s their favorite thing about their daddy? Ask after I get them backstage for JB’s concert. :) How have you changed in the past 20 years? I have lots of goals and desires. I’d like to keep making films that make

a social statement. I would like to finish raising my girls, get them to college, and then maybe focus on some of the things I have had to sacrifice in order to raise them. It would be nice to meet someone to share all of this with. Someone who knows The LORD and wants to hold my hand, and lastly I would not rule out politics at some level. I have had a checkered past, but I’ve also come

out the other side pretty well. Let’s see what happens next. Why do you decide to stay in Central NY all these years? I raise my kids here because of the values here and because of the community here. I have a lot of family here and when I first came here I thought I would see them so much. I have learned that they have their own lives that they live. My mom and sisters are here so I get to see them much more than I did when I lived on the West Coast. Not so much my cousi’s and nieces, but my family has expanded beyond my blood living in CNY. Do you plan on acting again in the near future? What about producing or directing? I am scheduled to work on multiple films in 2021. Now, if we could just figure out this whole COVID-19 thing and get back to work already!!!! I have a secret project I’m trying to shoot in February and March right here in Syracuse but I’m not sure we can pull it off. Stay tuned.

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{ WHAT ABOUT THE MEN? { SHIFT+CONTROL } } “Wow, where do I begin? Can I lay down to answer this one? Did you say the “Whole magazine was about me? LOL”

I can honestly say that I think we made a bold choice for a man on the cover of Central NY Woman Online, but wasn’t he the perfect one? Hope we were able to show you that Daniel Baldwin is an not just an American actor, director and producer.and the second oldest of the four notiorious 56

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Baldwin brothers. He is a single father, a son of a strong woman, and doing his part to help his community and beyond be a better place. Whether it is fundraising for the Carol M Baldwin Breast Cancer Research Fund, or talking and helping others on their recovery journey, he is always more then accomodating to lend a hand and his ear.

“This is just the beginning. I have a lot more to come.” Tune in as we go live on February 3rd from the Craftsman Inn and Suites and talk more with Daniel about some of his future plans and more about his weightloss journey and beyond.



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{ WHAT ABOUT THE MEN? { SHIFT+CONTROL } } “You know how we look at time as BC and AD. Well in my family we have an additional reference. It’s BJB. That’s Before Justin Bieber.”

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“I have had a checkered past but I’ve also come out the other side pretty well. Let’s see what happens next.”

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{ SHE HUSTLES TALKS } } { WOMAN ENTREPRENEUR

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WOMANENTREPRENEUR ON THE RISE } } { {WOMAN

ANNIKA TRICIA D’ANDREA PHOTOS BY KEISHA GRISSETT

Tell our readers a little bit about yourself. Who is Annika D’Andrea, and where did you grow up? I am a passionate, dedicated and ambitious girl from a small island with big dreams. I was born and raised in Westmoreland, Jamaica - a rural area with little to not much exposure to city life. I emigrated from Jamaica as a teenager and moved to the United States. Growing up in rural Jamaica, I was surrounded by hardworking, dedicated individuals and understood from an early age the importance of hard work. I was raised to respect others and dream big. I was also taught that I had the ability to achieve anything I dreamed as long I worked hard. This is a belief I have carried with me throughout my life experiences, and have taught my own three children who are now young adults.

started my career as a Certified Nursing Assistant and knew immediately that I needed to advance my career. While going to nursing school and being employed in different nursing homes, I quickly discovered that in order to

What made you decide to start your own business and become a female entrepreneur? At around 6 years old, I started helping and caring for those in need. At that young age, I would help people in my church and the community with any tasks that I was physically capable of doing. As I grew up, I had first hand experience of what it’s like to care for a loved one, without having the resources and support available to provide respite and other much-needed services. I wasn’t sure exactly what my career path would be, but I knew it had to include caring for those in need. I

business like Tender Loving Family Care? As my career in health care began, I knew my calling was providing quality health care for those in need. After conducting my research and building good rapport with members of the community and healthcare institutions, I learned how beneficial a business like Tender Loving Family Care would be. Tender Loving Family Care was truly borne out of my desire to help and care for others. After years of working in nursing homes and different healthcare organizations, I knew many people had a desire for receiving quality care and services in the comfort and familiarity of home whilst maintaining some form of independence. I knew that my business model would offer that and quality care. As a business owner, what are your top three priorities? The clients I serve are always my number one priority. They are the reason I formed my organization. My employees are also one of my top priorities. As a servant-leader, I know that having a strong team is paramount to my business’ success. My devotion to my employees and communities is what will allow my business to continue to thrive.

make a significant impact, I needed to start my own business. What made you decide to open a

My family is also a priority. As a business owner it is so easy to become consumed with work while overseeing a successful business. It is important for me to make ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: FEBRUARY EDITION 2021

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“I was raised to respect others and dream big. I was also taught that I had the ability to achieve anything I dreamed as long I worked hard.”

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{ {WOMAN ENTREPRENEUR WOMAN ON THE RISE } } “I started my career as a Certified Nursing Assistant and knew immediately that I needed to advance my career.”

my family a priority in my work-life to ensure that I always spend time with them. My desire to be successful is driven by them and I don’t want to ever lose sight of that. How do you market your business, and which tactics have been most successful, especially during a pandemic?

If you had the chance to start your career over again, would you do anything differently and why?

1. Resilience 2. Assertiveness 3. Passion

The only thing I would have done differently is stepping out by faith earlier and starting Tender Loving Family Care. I am constantly in awe of how much we have accomplished and the many lives we have impacted.

Who has been your greatest inspiration?

We re c e i ve m a n y referrals. We also utilize social media, radio, television and speaking at different community events. The most successful and rewarding are referrals - it is a testament to the great work being done at Tender Loving Family Care as we find many families are spreading the word of how pleased they are with our services and recommending us to friends and other loved ones. What was your key driving force to become a female entrepreneur and starting this type of business. Key driving force is my desire to help people. Working in health care provided me with an unfiltered view of caregiving and I knew that this was one meaningful way I can help others and enhance their lives. 70

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There are so many inspirational and influential people in my life. That is one of the things I am so grateful for. I draw inspiration and strength from several of those individuals. In business, I always have great love and respect for Bob Fox, CPA. In my personal life, my mother is my greatest inspiration and certainly one of the people that I draw such strength from. I am also inspired by my amazing children, who are so intelligent, loving and kind. If you were to write a book about yourself, how would you name it?

My experiences shaped me into building the business model I have today, however I always wished I had started my business of caring for others earlier. What would you say are the top three skills needed to be successful in your business and as a female business owner?

The title of my autobiography would probably be Country Girl With Big Dreams: Walking in My Purpose. This speaks to my life experience at a young age, my desire to help and care for others, and then finally realizing and walking into that purpose. How do you define success?


{ WOMAN ENTREPRENEUR }

TENDER LOVING


{ WOMAN ON THE RISE } “After years of working in nursing homes and different healthcare organizations, I knew many people had a desire for receiving quality care and services in the comfort and familiarity of home whilst maintaining some form of independence.”

My success is defined by the positive impact I have on the lives of people I come in contact with and the legacy I will leave for my amazing children and grandchildren. Is word of mouth working to your advantage, or do you have other marketing strategies to be successful?

Do you fight complacency or let your guard down? Fight complacency, yes. It is so easy to be complacent, but my persona allows me to discover new ways to build upon and advance myself and business.

will expand to more markets and serve many more clients. I also believe we will develop innovative programs to keep our community and our clients engaged and build upon our group of companies to offer a wider range of healthcare services. Do you think being a minority has helped or hindered you in business?

To be successful in any business, it requires multiple marketing strategies and plans. Word of mouth is always the most rewarding, but in this era, to adapt to the many changes in our economy it is always important to utilize a variety of marketing strategies to ensure you have a successful business.

Neither. My business is successful because we pride ourselves on the exceptional service we provide. Our employees are great at what they do and are passionate about healthcare, caring for, and helping others.

Do you spend more time lighting fires or putting them out? Throughout my career I would say putting them out. I have always been a creative problem solver and many of the clients we have served came to us after trying a different strategy and were unhappy with the outcome. I am a problem solver by nature and always thinking of ways to solve an issue or improve someone’s experience or opinion. 72

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Where do you see your business a year from now? What about 5 and 10 years? Growing. We never stop learning, and with learning comes growing. I believe Tender Loving Family Care

to our clients

Having a strong team and consistently providing good services are what has helped Tender Loving Family Care. We are proud to be a successful minority-owned business and promise to always deliver the highest quality service

For more information, check out www. tenderlovingfamilycare.com





{ { SPECIAL FEATURE }} } { CNY INSPIRING WOMAN SHIFT+CONTROL

VANESSA’S STORY

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{ IN THEIR OWN WORDS }

EMILEE BY LINDA & JOHN MAZUR I PHOTOS BY MICHELE ASHLEE

Your book that has been recently released on amazon and audible about your daughter Emilee describes her as “ A beautiful, young woman — a talented athlete and musician, raised in a loving home, surrounded by friends — undermined by a ruthless inner voice that claimed her body and her spirit.

Scholarship to attend Wells College. At every opportunity, Emilee was on the go, doing things with friends and family. She loved life.

Emilee: The Story of a Girl and Her Family Hijacked by Anorexia reveals the cracks in our health care system, the institutions we are taught to trust, as well as our own prejudices and misinformation about eating disorders, mental illness, and addiction.

I didn’t know a lot about the disease, but when I look back on my life there were

Before Emilee was diagnosed with anorexia, did you know anything about this disorder?

Tell us a little bit about your daughter Emilee and what she was like growing up prior to her eating disorder. Emilee was an extremely compassionate soul, we first noticed this when she was two years old, in the tender way she attended to and looked out for her baby brother. Emilee was bright, athletic, and kind. Her smile and her energy lit up a room. She was musically talented and loved playing the violin and playing soccer. Emilee adored children and was a favorite babysitter. Animals, especially dogs, held a special place in Emilee’s heart. She was quick to lend a hand and help a friend, and she was the friend others turned to for support and advice. Emilee was thrilled to receive The Citizenship Award in eighth-grade. She was also the recipient of a Women’s Leadership

several people that I knew, who most likely had anorexia. One of them was a friend I went through grammar school with. It was evident she was painfully thin and shy. Her mother told her friends that her daughter was different, and she wanted us to understand that eating was hard for her. At that time, most people had never heard the word, anorexia. Because I was a child myself, I accepted the explanation and didn’t think too much about it. Karen Carpenter’s

death, in 1983, made society aware of anorexia and how deadly it could be. Before Emilee got sick, I had limited knowledge about the disease, yet I felt compassion and understood no one would starve themselves on purpose. How did this disorder affect your family in the beginning? What about later on as it progressed? We took the diagnosis seriously. We were concerned and supportive and we were confident Emilee would get the help she needed. We didn’t panic. We saw Emilee enlisting a counselor and an eating disorder therapist. Emilee became closer to us, even moving back home for seven months because she knew she needed more support. As the disease progressed and Emilee struggled, it became more and more difficult for all of us. We were supportive, Emilee was close by, and we stayed very connected because we were perpetually worried, but she often resented our efforts to help her. Our daughter was not herself. Her brain became increasingly more malnourished, and the eating disorder was controlling her. Her brain and her life were being hijacked, right before our eyes. We kept trying everything we could think of and were advised to do to help her. We lived in a state of fear. When did you start to notice changes in her? Tell us about some of the signs that if you knew now you may have been able to help her with sooner. ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: FEBRUARY EDITION 2021

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{ IN THEIR OWN WORDS } “We took the diagnosis seriously. We were concerned and supportive and we were confident Emilee would get the help she needed. We didn’t panic.”

When Emilee was finishing up her last two years of an accelerated Doctor of Pharmacy program we noticed when she came home that she was anxious. Emilee complained she was having trouble sleeping and turning off her mind. She was diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder. Emilee would later tell us that this is when the eating disorder began taking hold, though she would remain a normal and healthy weight for another two years. I’ve learned that sleep issues and heightened anxiety are often symptoms of other underlying issues, and that the person experiencing them may not be telling you the whole truth. In your book you provide a very intimate and realistic account of how your world was turned upside down by your daughter’s anorexia. What made you and your husband decide to write the book? We wanted to honor our daughter’s wish to have her story told to help others, and we wanted to honor her memory and her battle. What is your main goal in sharing your story? There is a tremendous amount of shame and stigma that keeps individuals and families from reaching out for help. We want to stop the stigma and begin the conversations that need to happen inside and outside the medical community, to raise awareness, evoke compassion, improve treatment, and change policy. The typical anorexic patient is said to have different family dynamics which 78

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typify them. In general, the anorexic family is seen as highly rigid and controlling, or at least perceived that way by the patient. In reading about your family and Emilee, this doesn’t seem to be the case. What do you think led your daughter on this path? There are many myths surrounding anorexia. Eating disorders affect families of all types and people of all ages, races, genders, socioeconomic backgrounds, and sexual orientations. It is true that individuals with anorexia are often perfectionistic, driven, and competitive, and those are traits that we inherit biologically. There are many athletes and high achieving individuals who develop eating disorders. Emilee was a high achiever, and she was perfectionistic. We never pressured our children athletically or scholastically, we just told them to do their best. Eating disorders often develop in adolescence but people can develop an eating disorder at any age. And times of stress can be a factor in the development of an eating disorder. It is said that biology loads the gun, and the environment pulls the trigger. We believe the pressure of the accelerated graduate program contributed to Emilee developing the disease. When you first realized Emilee was anorexic, can you tell our audience what some of the things you tried to do were and where the health system fell short? We read many books on anorexia and we helped Emilee find a counselor. Jack and I also began seeing a counselor. When things got harder for Emilee, she came

home to live, for seven months. That was a time we treasure. Emilee made progress, gained weight, and began building her own home, however, a little over a year later, Emilee said the eating disorder was getting the best of her and that she needed more help than was available in the Rochester area. She went to another state for treatment, but she was back home ten days later. Her insurance provider stopped payment after she gained two pounds, due to the fact that she was at 75% of a low-normal Body Mass Index. Residential Treatment costs upwards of $30,000 a month. Her insurance company also refused to pay for her to be treated at the outpatient eating disorder center that had recently opened in Rochester. Initially, it was the insurance provider that let her down. They told her she wasn’t sick enough to remain in treatment. It seems our current health system is the one that really failed Emilee. What do you think could have been done differently that could have helped save Emilee? I believe Emilee would have benefitted from a mental health system that consisted of a team that communicated with each other, inside and outside of hospitalizations. We need a system that gets people the help they need before they are rendered to ill function. We need the medical community to receive more education about eating disorders, so eating disorders are recognized and treated sooner. We need the insurance industry to be on board with recommended treatment, they are part of the team. We need a system where there is collaborative,





{ SHIFT+CONTROL } } { IN THEIR OWN WORDS “We need a system that gets people the help they need before they are rendered to ill function. We need the medical community to receive more education about eating disorders, so eating disorders are recognized and treated sooner.”

I could think about was what Emilee was going through. It wasn’t supposed to happen the way it did. It all came down to a decision that had to be made on the spot, a misunderstanding, and a legal system we had no experience with. What is one bit of advice you would tell parents in this situation that you wish someone had told you? Take the diagnosis o f a n o re x i a a s seriously as would a cancer diagnosis. Or even more seriously than a cancer diagnosis. The mortality rate associated with anorexia is 12 times higher than the death rate of ALL causes of death for females 15-24 years of age, according to the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders (ANAD). Without treatment, up to 20% of people with serious eating disorders will die (ANAD). Do you think the healthcare system has made any progress at all since 2010? 82

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Yes, I believe there has been some progress made. Recent research is helping physicians and other medical professionals understand more about the disease and how it affects the brain. The progress that’s been made is a start, it’s a ripple in the water, but we need to make waves. We have a long way to go and a lot more to learn.

that she was witty, funny, humble, and hard-working. She liked being athletic and strong. She would tell you that we shared a very special, close relationship, and that she loved her family, her friends, and that she loved helping people. She had hoped to one day to volunteer her time with autistic children. She loved children, animals, and most especially, she loved her dog, Duncan. As far as what she would say about eating disorders, I think she would say, she wished they didn’t exist. Maybe someday they won’t. Is there anything else you would like to share with our audience?

What are some of the things you think that Emilee would want us to know about her? What would she say to others with eating disorders? Emilee would want you to know

Through our journey we’ve discovered that everybody knows someone with an eating disorder. There is hope and people do recover. The earlier treatment can begin and the sooner families and loved ones can learn how to support the person with the illness, the better. Shame, stigma, and the eating disorder itself, stop people for reaching out for help. This is true of all eating disorders. Individually and collectively, we need to do better.


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SHE HUSTLES TALKS} } SAVON SPEAKS {{ {SHE HUSTLES TALKS

12 ROUNDS BY SAVON HOLT I PHOTOS BY ALBERT JONES

Life is way more than rolling with the punches. But rather more, how do you take each blow. Are you ready to glove up and take on life blow for blow? Life gives you two options, to win or to lose. I don’t know about you, but I want to be prepared to win. Not preparing is preparing to fail, I’m ready for my trainer. Let’s suit up so we can spar until I get it right.

trust and listen to those who guide us along the way. They show us the possibilities and show us things we wouldn’t always see. Those are the people who are in our corner coaching us. Every good fighter has a great, and trustworthy corner. That corner

I bet you never looked at boxing in the light of life, but boxing can be full of gems and life lessons, if you pay close attention. With life, you get out of it what you put in. Like boxing, if you don’t prepare properly, you will lose. Life is hard work. We must give it our all to be successful. Trying to figure out life’s complexities and taking strides to learn from our mistakes, just like boxing, is difficult. We must know our opponents and study their boxing style to outbox them. WHO IS IN YOUR CORNER? Life is no different. We must learn what best suits us. We will make mistakes at times, but if we study those mistakes and where we went wrong, we can bounce back even better and be more prepared if the situation occurs again. There comes a time in our lives when we realize we can’t do it all ourselves; we need teachers, mentors, and coaches to help, teach, and guide us to our destiny. In boxing, they are our trainers. We 86

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consists of a person or persons who will encourage, empower, provide constructive criticism, pushes you and holds you accountable. If you are willing and wanting to grow, you will welcome and value thoughts and

opinions of those in your corner. THROW IN THE TOWEL I don’t know about you, but no one told me that life would be easy. I wasn’t born with a silver spoon in my mouth—everything that I have I had to earn. Life doesn’t care about you having a bad day; it still goes on. If a fighter is taking a beating, then his corner may throw in the towel. In life, we can take on so much that we feel defeated. It is okay to take our losses and regroup. Now don’t mistake me for taking an “L” for being ok with a loss. Take your “L,” regroup and re-strategize for the next opportunity. Don’t ever feel embarrassed about your failures. Embrace them because they are learning experiences. Our failures make us better if we learn from them. People may not like you but your come back will make them respect you. Intentional Punches For some strange reason, people want to see you lose. And believe it or not, some people enjoy watching others suffer and fail. One thing I learned about boxing is, if you’re an angry fighter, you tend to make more mistakes. When you are calm and remember to stick to the plan while in the ring, you land more intentional and impactful punches. Some fighters get anxious and excited and start wasting energy. Their blows don’t connect to their opponent or


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“Life teaches us to build a solid foundation to make us stronger than whatever tries to knock us off our feet. Please know some hits will hurt, some may even knock us on our ass, but that’s ok. Just don’t let the life get knock out you.”



SAVON SPEAKS { {SHE HUSTLES TALKS} } “Life is way more than rolling with the punches. But rather more, how do you take each blow. Are you ready to glove up and take on life blow for blow?”

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some people enjoy watching others suffer and fail. One thing I learned about boxing is, if you’re an angry fighter, you tend to make more mistakes. When you are calm and remember to stick to the plan while in the ring, you land more intentional and impactful punches. Some fighters get anxious and excited and start wasting energy. Their blows don’t connect to their opponent or don’t count. As viewers, we see all these punches being thrown, and we think, “this fighter is going to win this fight because he threw more punches.” But when the judges show the score card, we discover that the fighter who threw fewer punches won because his punches connected and had more power. Don’t worry about what everyone else is doing. Focus on yourself and make sure every move you make is with a purpose and intentional.

If we want respect, we must give respect. Have you ever heard trainers or fans of fighters say, “make them respect you?” In boxing, respect is

RESPECT IS EARNED, NOT GIVEN

earned by making your opponent feel the power in each blow. Your opponent understands the consequence they

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must endure fighting you. This is how you earn respect. We must hit back hard enough to show that we will not back down to life and the hardships that may come with it. Boxing teaches us balance and discipline. Fighters are trained to keep their balance. Life teaches us to build a solid foundation to make us stronger than whatever tries to knock us off our feet. Please know some hits will hurt, some may even knock us on our ass, but that’s ok. Just don’t let the life get knock out you. Nobody likes to be knocked out (k.o.). My coach always said, “you can’t teach heart.” Which is true, life may knock you down but have enough heart to get back up and go at it again. No matter how many times it knocks you down, GET BACK UP!


{ SHE HUSTLES TALKS }

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ALL ACCESS} { {SHIFT+CONTROL }

BLACK HISTORY MONTH BY DR SHANELLE BENSON REID

It is Black History month 2021 so as a representative; I decided to meander away from my typical path. These are tumultuous times in our nations history, but dare I say no more than any other period. There are some watching in awe and disbelief and there are others watching with familiarity. While I watch this story that is America unfold, I hold tight to my ancestors who fought to give me the ability to live this life with conviction, determination and endurance. My next day is my best day; our next day is our best day. Together, we will laugh cry, learn and grow. Our trajectory is Onward, Upward and Beyond. ONWARD Just when you think life could not get any better, boom, we are catapulted into the greatest stage of our lives. We are finally free. Free to move forward, to grow, to develop into the people we knew we would become, let freedom ring. We stand erectly, boldly, confidently prepared to teach, to lead, to rule. We are Royalty. We are Strength. We are Power. We are United! UPWARD See further, climb higher, we will get there. Reach, stretch, maintain momentum. Keep rising, we are near the top. We decided. This is our mission, our journey. Our time is now. This is our moving forward

process, our ceremony. Daunting, defeating and depressing at times, but we are destined. We are divinely designed for ascension. BEYOND Our inability to see it does not discount its existence, witness, close your eyes and envision. Travel afar, surpass expectations, blaze the trail, light the way and mark the territory. We knew we were built for greatness. We have known our entire life. All of our work has steered us to this point. Now take the next step, the rest of our life awaits. GREATNESS We deserve our best. We began great, were forced into bondage, yet now we rise. Be patient but be determined. Our bodies have been broken, so we may be frightened but significance and success are on the other side of fear. This is our revolution, our transformation. We are the gift, the present, the now. Behold the wonders. Witness the majesty.

We Are More Than An Idea. We Are The Inspiration. We Are Favored. Let Go And Become. Give Life. Seek Silence. Gain Wisdom. Be Still And Know. We Are The Movement. We Are The Creator. We Are As Grand As The Universe. We Light The World. Embrace The Lessons Of Life. Choose Wisdom And Compassion. Find Meaning In This Experience. We Become What We Think. Welcome Truth. Truth Brings Love and Unity. By: Dr. S. R. Benson Reid

MAJESTIC We Are Magic…Witness Our Magnificence. This Moment Is Our Miracle. We Are One. This Joy Is Reserved For Us. Let Love Find Its Way. Be Awake, Attentive And Intentional. Our Thoughts Shape Our World. What You See Depends On Perspective. We Are The Light. The World Needs Us. ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: FEBRUARY EDITION 2021

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{ AFTERNOON COCKTAIL }

“F.O.M.O, NO MO!” BY AMANDA ASHLEY I PHOTOS BY JEFF GEREW

WHAT ROLE DOES F.O.N.S (FEAR OF NOT SUCCEEDING) PLAY ON“FOMO” (FEAR OF MISSING OUT)?

often lead to the feeling that there’s no end in sight. There will ALWAYS be work to get done; but when it comes to your mental health and your quality

All trendy acronyms aside… Working around the clock is the true common trend among many small business owners and entrepreneurs. The fear of missing out on the next big opportunity has us tied to our phones at hours, chained to our emails, and constantly scrolling our feeds.

The laundry list of “To Do’s” can 96

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What measures our success aren’t the number of hours we put into our work week, or how many leads, followers and “likes” we have; but the difference we make within the time we dedicate to our values. It’s time to star penciling YOU in: - Take a break and allow yourself a moment to breathe. - Allow yourself to sleep in.

It’s also the root cause of what leads most to feeling overworked, burned out, agitated, restless and unbalanced. So I ask you this; what good is success if your sanity and the ability to enjoy the basic liberties of functioning as a human are compromised? We are aware that all systems will fail to perform optimally without a periodic reboot or recharge; and it is no different with humans.

and recharged our devices, we can heighten our potential, and lead happier, healthier and more fulfilled lives.

- Enjoy your surroundings, take part in seasonal activities. - Surround yourself with those who bring you joy and laughter.

of living, those things can wait. If we personally “Rebooted” as often as we refreshed our browsers

- Meditate, the best way you know how. - Enjoy a good meal with people you care about.


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{ AFTERNOON COCKTAIL { SHIFT+CONTROL } } “Reconnect with yourself in all the ways that help you to experience life for what it’s truly worth.”

- Talk to someone, journal, and find healthy methods of airing out your own personal grievances.

indicator will flash and sound when things are off balance, so listen up and stop ignoring the warning signs.

- Watch a good movie.

Reconnect with yourself in all the ways that help you to experience life for what it’s truly worth. Declutter and refresh, and truly... you’ll find yourself at your best.

- Enjoy a day trip to somewhere peaceful and beautiful. Your body, mind and spirit red light 98

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____________________ Afternoon Cocktail is now available on Itunes, Spotify, I heart Radio, Stitcher, Amazon Music, Google Music, Alexa, etc, so catch up on your inspiration and keep spreading good energy to those around you! Live Videocast every M/W/F livestreamed and archived at



{ BUSINESS TALK }

BLACK WOMEN IN BUSINESS BY RUMELLA CAMERON

In the spirit of Black History Month, I wanted to share some statistics with you. Did you know that Black women represent 42% of new women-owned businesses? For many years, Black women were creating businesses at a rapid pace prior to COVID. The majority of Black women-owned firms grew 67% from 2007 to 2012, compared to 27% for all women, and 50% from 2014 to 2019, representing the highest growth rate of any female demographic during that time frame. (Forbes) Although black women are the fastest-growing entrepreneurs, we face a huge coronavirus threat. So as a Black women-owned business myself, I have been searching for financial relief, grants, and other resources that can help us during these unmanageable times. There’s tons of information available on the PPP or the EIDL loans, and other programs out there but why would that be a considered relief? They are offering debt pretty much. What about ‘Free Money’ that can really help us? I did come across some grants that were specific to women-owned businesses. Today, I will share with you what I believe will provide the most value to you and your business. What is a Business Grant? First thing first, a grant is money that is given to a person, business, nonprofit, or corporation from federal, state, county, local governments, private businesses, or corporations. There are a number of companies, nonprofits, and government agencies providing essentially free money 100

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to small business owners in the form of a small business grant. And the best part? Grants do not require repayment of any kind. 1. Merchant Maverick Opportunity Grant The program will award $10,000 grants to a total of four businesses each year. This year, the Opportunity Grants will focus on businesses owned by Black women. Our latest data study, The 10 Best States for Black Female Business Owners, shows that Black women are

severely underrepresented in the business community—despite equaling roughly 7% of the US population, our research found that Black women run 0.74% of all employer firms in the country. In addition to receiving a $10,000 grant, each business selected will be profiled on our site over the next year, giving the winners a chance to share their small business story, promote their brand, and raise awareness about

the problem their business addresses. Learn more here: Merchant Maverick Opportunity Grants 2. LISC’s Small Business Relief Grant LISC bridges the gap between government agencies and corporations with capital and the businesses and projects that need it. They facilitate many grants and other local funding opportunities, including the Small Business Relief Grant targeting businesses in rural areas. Grants of $5,000-20,000 will be awarded to small businesses located in rural communities (those with a population of 50,000 or less) who have been impacted by COVID-19, with emphasis on underserved communities. Grant funds may be used for: ● Operational costs (including rent and utilities) ● Payroll ● Vendor debt 3. Amber Grant This grant isn’t for a very large amount of money, but it is easy to qualify and apply for. Named after a young woman named Amber who died before being able to fulfill her entrepreneurial dreams, the Amber Grant awards $10,000 to a woman-owned business every month. At the end of the year, one of the 12 monthly qualification winners wins another grant for $25,000. Submission dates: The submission deadline is on the last day of every month; the winner is announced in the first week of the following month.


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{ BUSINESS TALK } “Did you know that Black women represent 42% of new women-owned businesses?“

● Entry requirements: Open to all female entrepreneurs age 18 and up living in the United States or Canada and who pay a $15 application fee.

any country; Science & Technology Pioneer Award applicants must also be in the field of technology or scientific innovation.

in professional services.

● Website: ambergrantsforwomen.com

● Website: cartierwomensinitiative.com

4.Cartier Women’s Initiative The Cartier Women’s Initiative Awards is one of the largest and most prestigious women-owned business grants, but the competition is steep.

5. Women Founders Network Fast Pitch Competition The Women Founders Network is an organization that provides both capital and mentorship to women business owners. WFN is an excellent grant opportunity if you have an innovative

● Entry requirements: Open to earlystage, women-owned businesses with high growth potential. Must be US based and have received no more than $1m in outside funding.

Cartier offers two different grants for women-owned businesses: The Cartier Women’s Initiative Regional Awards provides seven laureates (one from each of seven global regions) $100,000 each, and 14 finalists (2nd and 3rd runnerup businesses from each region) $30,000 each. Cartier’s Science & Technology Pioneer Award provides one $100,000 grant to the winner and two $30,000 grants to the runners up. ● Submission dates: The 2021 submission deadline was July 31, 2020, and applicants who have not been selected will be informed of the status of their application by March 2021. The next call for applications has been postponed to Spring 2022. ● Entry requirements: Open to womenrun, for-profit, early-stage, revenuegenerating, sustainable businesses from 102

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company that you want to take to the next level. The organization’s Fast Pitch competition selects five finalists to receive free grant money and free professional services each year. Through two rounds of voting, judges select the five top female founders, who then pitch their companies in a “Shark Tank”-style competition to compete for more than $30,000 in cash prizes and over $50,000

● Submission dates: Applications for the next WFN grant open in Spring 2021.

● Website: womenfoundersnetwork.com Conversance Business Solutions is a full-service administrative support, and consultancy firm, ser ving businesses from small to mid-size nationwide. Our team specializes in various virtual assistant services and onsite support tailored to meet each of our client’s needs. Whether we work as an extension of your team for one-time projects or long-term engagements, we bridge the gap between where you are and where you want to be. We hope these tips were helpful. Get in touch with us today at 585-484-0038 or visit us online at www.conversance.biz for your business needs.


WE DELIVER SOLUTIONS FOR YOUR PROBLEMS WHO WE ARE? Conversance has been providing virtual assistance to businesses of all types from small companies to enterprises since 2015.

WHAT WE DO? We are specialized and efficient service providers who ultimately become valued business partners. We work as an extension of your team for one-time projects or long-term engagements.

SUPPORT We offer solutions and customized plans.

STRATEGY Define your vision and your goals.

ANALYSIS A better service for your company.

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BUILD STRONGER TEAMS

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SPECIAL INSERT

SHE HUSTLES TALKS WOMEN OWNED BUSINESSES

FEATURING:

- EVERYDAY HANDS - KRISTIN JOY MARTIN - BLISSFUL IMAGE - L SHOT PHOTOGRAPHY - DIANE CHESTER - MIRACLES LABELLA BOUTIQUE - RACQUEL LMT - AND MORE!

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K.VICTORIA’S KEISHA GRISSETT PHOTOS BY K. VICTORIA PHOTOGRAPHY

Welcome Keisha Grissett to the She Hustles Talks lady boss covergirl gang in Rochester Woman Online. I had the pleasure of chatting with this “hustler” about her business, what makes her hustle, her photography and so much more. Here is what she had to say. Tell our audience a little bit about who Keisha Grissett is and your where you come from.

it a career. I told him I was scared to get into that business, but he and I made a deal and I agreed to give it a try. This led me to being a photographer today. And actually, my husband told me I should use my middle name for my business. So, thats how K. Victoria came about. What kind of gear do you use?

Keisha Grissett is a wife, a mother, a sister and a daughter. I was born in Atlantic City, New Jersey but was raised in Newark. I went to West Side High School ( where I met my husband ) and graduated. I use to homeschool my kids for about the last 5 years.

How do you educate yourself to take better pictures?

I would say Keisha Grissett is a laid back person that loves to relax and eat all kinds of food. I also love to spend time with my family. That is basically who I am and a little bit about myself. When did you launch K. Victoria Photography? I launched K. Victoria Photography in 2019. I decided to look into photography more when a good friend of mine and my brother, Chris Summner came to my home and told me I should make

I decided to become a photographer because I realized how incredible I felt when taking pictures. I was always into art, so photography to me was another way to express myself. I love how I see a picture through my own eyes. Plus, I love to be a part of someone else’s memories whether it be with a business, or their family, or showing their creativity and talents. Being a photographer is not my job, but my passion. I wake up thinking of ideas on how I can take photos of people.

The gear I use most is a Canon T2I and a Canon T7I, with lenes including a 40 mm, 18-55m, 85mm,and 70 to 200mm Canon lens. Why did you decide to become a photographer?

I educate myself by actually looking on YouTube and watching alot of videos. I also ask other photographers questions. There is always something new to learn in photography. I can watch the same photography video 5 times and get something new and different from it ever time. Then when I’m studying my passion, I would put what I learn into my own images, but do it my own way. I love to learn new ideas and lesssons on photography because that’s how I’m going to get better. Which photographers influenced you, and how did they influence your thinking, photographing, and career path?




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SHIFT+CONTROL {{ SHE HUSTLES TALKS} } “Actually, my husband told me I should use my middle name for my business. So thats how K. Victoria came about.”

This is a good question. Well, there are a couple of photographers who I really like to work with and inspire me. Let me say, all photographers are amazing in their own way, but the ones that have inspired me, or have given me advice in Rochester would have start with Albert Jones. He once told me if I came to a fashion event to always wear all black. I also asked photographer Rob Daniels one time about which camera I should purchase and he told me his favorite and I bought that camera. Chris “Goodknews” Cardwell let me come to his studio once and watch him do a photoshoot and gave me tips. Let’s not forget my brother Blank Kanvas who is always giving me advice on my passion.

camera and equipment before I started actually taking photos. I was learning as I would take pictures. I didn’t know much about a Canon at all. but as I started taking photos I would start noticing more things about my camera more and more.

But the one who has been teaching me about lighting, pricing, and what kind of gear to get to shoot better photos, plus showing me how to use my camera the correct way is my mentor, Jay Ceaz. So the photographs you see today are because of that man there. I truly appreciate all his advice and his mentorship.

What has been your biggest challenge being a female entrepreneur in the photography field?

I also watch alot of photographers on YouTube like Manny Ortiz and Jessica Kobeissi, I love the way they take pictures and how they teach me how to make my photography passion even better. What is the one thing you wish you knew when you started taking photos? I just wish I knew more about my

What makes you hustle? What makes me hustle is definitely my kids. To show my kids they can be and do whatever they want to do when they grow up. Yes it will be hard, and you will lose sleep sometimes, but if you want it that bad you will work hard and it will happen. I want to show them that if I can do it, they can too. Being their mom will always make me hustle.

My biggest challenge would have to be when I first started I was intimidated by other male photographers’ work. But as I start doing my own thing, I realize we all take pictures in a different way, and that’s what I love. Being a female in the photography business I see all kinds of photographers now. I see women and men doing what they love to do. What do you feel is your specialty and why? I would have to say I love taking photos outside. You can use natural light most of the time and I like the wind blowing in someone’s hair to

give me a certain look. I like the different kinds of backgrounds you can put your model in when you’re outside, rather than having a plain backdrop I can have a park, or beach, or downtown in the city. What is your favorite thing about working with your subjects? Working with my clients means alot to me to get to know them as a person and their different personalities. This will show in their photos. I want them to feel confident and be able to be comfortable with me to pose them and feel free. That’s why I ask them what kind of music they listen to and more about themselves. I like to find out there likes and their dislikes, that way they can trust that I will not have them looking crazy or out of their element. It is more personal. What is one thing you would like to learn? Wow. I dont think it’s just one thing. I know there are things I want to learn about, but if I could choose I would have to say it would be learning more about taking photos at night. I would love to learn more about lighting for nighttime photoshoots. What are three things that have helped make you successful? 1. Keep studying my passion. 2. Being confident in my work. 3. Being humble . ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: FEBRUARY EDITION 2021

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{{ SHE HUSTLES TALKS} } SHIFT+CONTROL “I decided to become a photographer because I realized how I felt when taking these pictures. I was always into art, so photography to me was another way to express your art.”

What would you say is your primary style?

day, that week, that month works. So, thats why it’s K. Victoria Style.

My primary style is what I call K. Victoria Style. I love colors and trying new things. but mostly I love colors. I also would say I have an urban style, but then again whatever I feel that

What do you like to do when you are not working your business?

and ethopian food. I am a foodie, or chill at home with my family and just relax, watch a good movie, or play a game with my kids.

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{ { SHE HUSTLES TALKS} } SHIFT+CONTROL “My biggest challenge would have to be when I first started I was intimidated by other male photographers’ work, but as I start eddoing my own thing I realized we all take pictures in a different way, and that’s what I love.”

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{ {SHE HUSTLES TALKS } } SHE HUSTLES TALKS

LAUREN GOETZ BY KELLY BREUER

Everyday Hands, Inc. is here to help when you need an extra set of hands! With with their help, your elderly parents remain independent while they tackle the small things that pile up in their everyday lives.

I needed a change, and I needed to be in charge of my own destiny. So, I started my own business in a completely different field of helping elderly clients with their every day needs.

When things are chaotic for your family, Lauren Goetz and her team are there to perform light housekeeping and aid you with any errands that need to be done. She is even available to help with parties! Above all, your family is her family. At a moment’s notice, she will be there to do what she can to help and provide a personal touch on every interaction.

W. Irondequoit has one of the largest populations of 55 and over in Monroe county, so it is perfect for my business

Recently, I was able to talk with Lauren about her incredible journey, expanding her business, and so much more. She truly has an amazing drive and really care about her clients and helping them. Especially during the pandemic, her services proved to be invaluable to her elderly clients. Here is what she had to say to Rochester Woman Online.

I decided to open my own business, Everyday Hands. A lot of people think I’m franchised because I have done such a good job branding my business. I started out small, but there is a big need for my services, so who knows where the future will take us. What is your favorite part of doing what you do? Helping the seniors, especially the ones in their 80s and 90’s is by far the best part of what I do. They have so many stories and different perspectives. I just love the interaction. I am a people person. A lot of them don’t have any family or because of Covid aren’t able to see them, so they look forward to me coming. What was your key driving force to become a female entrepreneur?

to be located here. I live here with my husband and our 2 cats.

So tell us a little bit about your self and your background...

What made you want to become a female entrepreneur?

My name is Lauren Goetz and I was born in Greece, New York but have resided in West Irondequoit for over 25 years. I worked in the accounting field for over 25 years and realized

In 2017 I started working with some of my senior neighbors and realized that I really enjoyed it, and there was a huge need for help for seniors just doing daily things. So, that is when

I always envisioned myself working for someone else… But, I had all sorts of jobs, and it was just never a fit. “Turns out this boss it a bitch,” she laughed. I never imagined becoming a visiting nurse, or having my own business, but it just comes naturally to me. I didn’t set out to save lives, but it seems to be an offshoot and what I am meant to do. As a business owner, what are your top three priorities? ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: FEBRUARY EDITION 2021

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“This is a job that really comes from the heart. I think you either have it or your don’t. It is not something you can train someone on.”



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{ SHE HUSTLES TALKS } “Turns out this boss it a bitch.”

• Honesty. Trust. • Having people trust me in their homes. • Having people not be judged and to be themselves. I really pride myself on that. What would your clients say is their favorite thing about working with you? Probably that they can depend on me. It gives them a sense of feeling safe. When I say I will be there I

am there. Plus, they would say my personality… I am a ball buster. I am from Greece after all. What is most important to you and why at this point in your life? Feelng like I can make a difference. Being laid off so many times, you feel like you are just a number. For so long I was a single mom, and it was so hard. Now, I get to work hard for myself and not someone else and see the results.

What keeps you up at night? I need an employee or employees. Someone that has the passion and drive and compassion to work, like me. Someone who doesn’t mind cleaning toilets. Someone who I can trust with my business reputation. Having so much work, and knowing there is so much more of a need for my services keeps me up trying to figure out how I can provide it. What are the daily challenges you face owning your own business?


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“I didn’t know I was capable of more until I was kind of forced into it.”

I hated being an accountant. I hated what I was doing. I didn’t know I was capable of more until I was kind of forced into it. But, having the accounting background has really help me run my business. So I guess it all works out for a reason.

got creative and started getting their groceries. Parts of it changed and parts just were down right weird. I made a lot of new connections through GRAPE. Getting in front of the other professionals made a huge difference

What is one thing you have done that you do not regret? I joined the Rochester Women’s Network. It has grown my skill set and also my confidence. It is the single best thing I could have done.

How did Covid affect your business? It affected it in a couple ways. I had some seniors in senior living facilities and lost clients because of it because I was not being able to go in. People were scared to have me come in. I 138

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Not in my case. Most caregivers are female. My primary market and target audience are women and caregivers that are females taking care of their family members. Probably 75% of the calls I get are from female caregivers. This is a job that really comes from the heart. I think you either have it or your don’t. It is not something you can train someone on.

What are your plans for 2021? Growth. I had to get out of my comfort zone. Covid isn’t going any where fast. There are so many people that don’t know that the help exists. I need to hire a couple employees so we can reach more and help more people.

male makes any difference in what you do?

in growing my network and getting my name out there. So it was bad and good for me. But in the end my skill set and business have provided to be essential, especially during Covid for so many clients. Do you think being a female vs

If you are interested in finding out more about the services that Lauren and Everyday Hands p r ov i d e s , y o u can check out their website for more information a t w w w . everydayhandshelp. com


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SHIFT+CONTROL { { SHE {{HUSTLES SHE HUSTLES ENTREPRENHERS TALKS}} }} SHEHUSTLES ENTREPRENHERS

KRISTEN JOY MARTIN A little over two years ago, I quit dieting and obsessing over my body and I’ve never been more content and happy! I decided it was time to make a change and learn how to love, respect and appreciate my body, no matter what my pants size is or what the scale says. In fact, I don’t even know what the scale says anymore because it doesn’t matter! My main focus over the last two years has been to intentionally focus on how my body feels and focus on being HEALTHY! Not just healthy in my body- but healthy spiritually, emotionally, and mentally as well. All of my years of chronic dieting and self loathing made me a really unhealthy person despite the few times I got “thin”. I can distinctly remember the time I lost 60 pounds and was able to fit into size 4 pants for the first time ever in my life. I was thin, but I was thin by obsession. I was never satisfied and I obsessed about food all day long. I lived for weighing myself every day in hopes I would be a couple ounces lighter than yesterday. I received a ton of compliments and congratulations from people when I got thin (because that’s what we think should be celebrated), and yet I was mentally and emotionally so unhealthy- not really something to celebrate. I truly believe we have such a skewed way of thinking about what healthy means. Even when I competed in a pageant, the swimsuit portion states it’s to show our “commitment to health” and I was 142

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unbelievably healthy but told I needed to lose weight to be more competitive. THIN doesn’t equal healthy. Truthfully, some of the thinnest, most “in shape” women I know are some of the most unhealthy women and struggle with chronic thoughts and obsession about

their body. I see so many women living in obsession but mask it by calling it health and fitness. About two years ago, I had a massive awakening and I remember asking myself if I wanted the story of my life

to be about constantly trying to lose weight? Did I want the majority of my thoughts in my life to be about my body, the scale, stressing over food etc., or did I want to make the choice to STOP? And the truth is, I don’t think I was asking myself these questions. I think this was something that God laid on my heart because He knew if I didn’t get over this I was going to miss my life. I have spent so many countless hours, shed an unbelievable amount of tears and wasted so much of my life worrying about my weight and body that there almost wasn’t any room for God‘s calling in my life or anything else. The fact is, I was SELF obsessed and there wasn’t any room to step into my gifts and calling because I was so busy with myself! From the time I woke up to the time I went to bed, the majority of my thoughts were about my body and stressing out over food! When I woke up each day, I wouldn’t eat or drink anything until I weighed myself and if the scale didn’t say what I wanted it to, my entire day would become a train wreck. My entire identity and worth was wrapped up in this. Do you ever notice that when a group of women get together at some point the food/diet/weight loss conversation always comes up? Someone is always talking about what diet they are on, someone always feels guilted into saying she needs to get in shape and inevitably we hear conversations surrounding food that go like this:


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{{{ SHE HUSTLES SHE HUSTLES TALKS TALKS} }} SHIFT+CONTROL “A little over two years ago, I quit dieting and obsessing over my body and I’ve never been more content and happy!”

“Ugh, I would really love the burger but I’m going to be good and get the salad”, or “I’m going to be bad and get the burger”, or “I can’t have that because I’m on a diet”. Seriously, pay attention and you will realize that as women we have become so conditioned to talk “food and diet” all the time. We wear our diets and fitness goals like a badge of honor. Now, let me add my disclaimer here. I am 100% for health and that includes healthy habits like moving your body and nutritious foods! I also know there are many health related reasons for weight loss and changing food habits. I’m not suggesting we should just be happily unhealthy, what I’m referring to is an unhealthy obsession with our bodies, food, weight loss and these things becoming major distractions from living our lives. For anyone struggling with these things, I want you to know that you are NOT alone! There is a staggering statistic that says 91% of women are unhappy with their bodies and roughly 55% of women are on a diet. These numbers are crazy! It makes sense why diet and body talk always comes up since almost all women have it on their mind all the time. I also want you to know that if you want to free yourself from an unhealthy relationship with your body and food, you also aren’t alone! There is a huge body positivity movement going on thanks to social media and influencers, bloggers and vocal women saying ENOUGH! In fact, one of the reasonsI have been able to make this shift is because I started letting the right women influence my life and I removed anyone and everyone from my social media and life that made 146

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me feel less than or like I needed to lose weight to live a happy life. I removed diet culture and body obsession from my face and replaced it with inspiring women who spoke on body positivity, women’s empowerment, goals, dreams, vision, mindset, etc. and I chose to stop wasting my time starving my body and start feeding my mind, spirit and heart that was starved for so long. Another tactic I used was to get intentional with my thoughts, talk and actions. I started holding myself accountable to negative self talk, diet conversations, calling myself “fat” and I got rid of my scale! I also got rid of clothing that wasn’t supporting me! I didn’t need to keep things in my closet that didn’t fit because they were constant triggers for me to revert back to my old unhealthy way of thinking. It was honestly amazing how refreshing it was to clear out my closet and walk in and feel peaceful! Oh, and you want to know what else is crazy? After I stopped obsessing over food, all of my cravings stopped. I no longer had the desire to binge and I don’t ever feel like I have to finish a meal because it’s a “cheat” meal and I “can’t” have it again for a week etc. I truly have so much more balance and joy in my life now. Girl, life is literally waiting for you!! Let’s go get it!! You know that quote “everything you want is on the other side of fear”? Well, I definitely think it’s true, but I also think that “everything you want is on the other side of letting your crap go”! I think we’ve truly become so obsessed about our weight and our bodies to the point where we are missing out on so much life and all that God has for us! I truly believe it’s become

a tool to distract us and keep us busy worrying about ourselves instead of stepping into our BEST selves, all that God has for us and serving others. There is absolutely nothing wrong with taking care of yourself, having physical goals, wanting to get stronger or wanting to feel better. In fact, I believe all of that IS healthy and promotes a healthy life. Self care is healthy, obsession is not. I also want to add that the journey to a healthier mentality takes time. I don’t look at every inch of my body and “like” what I see, but I do look at every inch of my body and know that, despite some areas I would like to change or some parts of my body I’m not crazy about- I LOVE who I am, I am enough, my body is beautiful and my worth has absolutely nothing to do with my body. My body, your body, is actually the least interesting thing about us. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to miss out on my life and purpose because I spent all my time focused on my body. No double chin or belly roll is going to keep me from living and enjoying life anymore! It’s honestly been amazing how much personal growth and change has happened in my life since making room to think about other things! I am a completely different person than I was two years ago and I’m still the same pants size, imagine that! This transformation inspired me to pull the trigger and open the boutique I’ve been dreaming of since I was a little girl. I always wanted to create a shop that any woman could walk into and walk out of feeling more confident and


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{{{ SHE HUSTLES SHIFT+CONTROL SHE HUSTLES TALKS TALKS} }} “Do you ever notice that when a group of women get together at some point the food/diet/ weight loss conversation always comes up?”

empowered. Our boutique’s quote is: “An empowering boutique that serves mommas, mid-size babes and women of all sizes that want to feel confident and beautiful just as you are, right now”. The world is constantly telling us that we need to change something to look or feel more beautiful, and I’m here to tell you that the only thing you need to change is the way you see yourself.

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You are beautiful! Your cellulite is womanly, your back rolls are cute and normal (just ask anyone from the Renaissance period), your stretch marks are part of your story, your thighs are allowed to touch and you don’t need to lose 10 pounds before your vacation or before you buy that dress. Buy the dress. Put on the bathing suit. Go to the event. Order the fries without apologizing.

Go to the gym to be strong. Step into the best version of yourself and don’t look back! Kristen Joy Martin Owner and CEO of Queen City Trading Co Boutique, Blogger @ HotMESSageMomma and Host of the Coffee With KJ Podcast



,Inc.

MISSION To provide transitional housing for women coming out of shelters who do not have the resources to secure safe, clean and affordable housing.

FIGHTING AGAINST POVERTY IN OUR CITY Coaching Google Training Resume Writing Workshops

CONNECT TO SUPPORT (585)851-8195 TheEstherProjectRochester@gmail.com http://bit.ly/TheEstherProjectInc @TheEstherProject1

“Filling in the gap from the shelter to home”


SALTED BY MLB SALT AND SUGAR SCRUBS

With my background in the world of healthcare, I continued to witness the desperation that people had to get to a state of normality. I took a deep interest in supporting my family and community to live healthier lifestyles. One simple step for people was to bathe in salt. No not iodized salt but salt that releases the stressors of this world. Salt that encourages rejuvenation in order to conquer the tasks of today and tomorrow. The health benefits that people witnessed encouraged them to plead with me to help others. Thus, Salted by MLB was born.

Creator and Founder

Myshon Bryant



I’M READY TO MAKE YOUR VISION COME TRUE! 💜EVENT PLANNER/COORDINATOR- I CAN PLAN OR COORDINATE ANY EVENT AND/OR FIND YOU THE PERFECT LOCATION. 💜CASTING DIRECTOR FASHION SHOWS/FILMS- I WILL COORDINATE CASTINGS FOR ANYONE LOOKING FOR MODELS OR ACTORS FOR YOUR PROJECT! 💜TALENT ORGANIZER- IF YOU NEED A CERTAIN TALENT FOR YOUR PROJECT-MUA, HAIRSTYLISTS, SINGERS, DANCERS, STYLISTS, PHOTOGRAPHERS, DESIGNERS, SPEAKERS ETC. ANY TALENT YOU WOULD NEED, I WILL PROVIDE. IF YOU REQUIRE ANY OF MY SERVICES, PLEASE REACH OUT VIA EMAIL LSJONESCO@GMAIL.COM IG: LSISME


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BLISSFUL IMAGE BY SHARLYN MARQUEZ

So tell us about Blissful Image...How did you come up with the name and the logo concept? One night I was praying about the business name. I wanted something to go with Image. The ones I thought of didn’t really fit what I wanted, and others were already taken. That night in my dream, my cousin came to me and started scolding me about a few things. Before she left she said “blissful”. When I woke up I remembered what she said and immediately looked up the meaning of the word. I loved it and decided to go with it. The logo was pretty easy to come up with. I hired someone from Fiver and told them I wanted something pretty but easy to read. And the B needed to be a butterfly to represent my cousin (it’s said that people who pass, visit their loved ones in the form of a butterfly). The Purple is my favorite color and hers too. What made you want to become a female entrepreneur and start your own beauty services business? I decided to become an entrepreneur for many reasons. One of which was, I got tired of giving my all to employers who did not value me genuinely. Another of the many reasons was because it’s important for me to be able to work in a non toxic environment. I find this line of work is therapeutic not only to me but also to my clients. There are many Permanent Cosmetic Providers and Estheticians. However, my goal is to

focus on the health side of it. Ex: work with Oncology patients to help with the skin challenges that come with certain Oncology treatments. What is your favorite part of doing what you do? My favorite part of what I do is to provide and encourage self care to my clients & seeing their results. I get clients in my chair full of tension and

still considered a beginner. I have recently graduated Esthetics school and am now offering skincare & body contouring services. One of the unique services I offer is an Oncology SkinCare Treatment. My treatments are not a cookie cutter . This treatment is dependent on the clients concerns and health/skin conditions. Depending on what those are, we both come up with a treatment plan. I use Color Up for most of my skincare treatments. Color Up was the first of its kind worldwide to introduce a natural & organic Hemp CBD skin care line. What was your key driving force to become a female entrepreneur? One of my key driving forces to become a female entrepreneur are my kids. Another is my cousin Gloria Caraballo better known as Pochie. A lot of my vision and mission for Blissful Image stems from her. It is my way of honoring her, and her grandmother who both died from Cancer.

when they leave the tension is gone and they are fully relaxed & delighted with thier results! Tell us about the some of the unique services you offer at Blissful image and what service is your expertise... Blissful Image started out offering services in Permanent Cosmetics. Although I consider myself to have a lot of knowledge in that field, I am

As a business owner, what are your top three priorities? As a business owner, my 3 top priorities are: positive relationships with my clients, continuously building and expanding my business, and maintaining authenticity. What makes you hustle? What makes me hustle are my children. I want to demonstrate that, no matter ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: FEBRUARY EDITION 2021

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{{ SHE SHE HUSTLES HUSTLES TALKS TALKS }} “And the B needed to be a butterfly to represent my cousin (it’s said that people who pass, visit their loved ones in the form of a butterfly). ”

what, do not give up! Find a way to pivot when needed and keep pushing forward! What would you say is your best quality as a business owner? I think that one of the best qualities as a business owner I have is my authenticity. Even as a professional, I remain myself.

What are the daily challenges you face owning your own business along with having a family? The daily challenges I face owning

What are your plans for 2021? My plans for 2021 are to: expand my clientele, convert to an LLC, expand business hours, more advertising & marketing for Blissful Image, and to get my message out.

What would your clients say is their favorite thing about working with you? Most of my clients have told me they appreciate my transparency. I speak upon the good, bad and ugly. What is most important to you and why at this point in your life? At this point in my life it’s important for me to make my dreams of being a successful business owner, doing what I am passionate about. I am not getting any younger & I too have some health challenges. I want to show my boys that anything is possible if you don’t give up!

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100% of the business (upfront and behind the scenes) alone. I hope to be able to expand services & also bring in a genuine & trust worthy team sooner than later.

I want the community to know that my services can be catered to their individual needs even with health challenges!

a business and having a family is balance. I have a very hard time balancing both, especially since I do



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RAQUEL WALKER There is a quote I connect deeply with “life is too short to be working for someone else’s dream”. Growing up, I didn’t envision myself being an entrepreneur, not until I began to clearly recognize my path by reflecting on the experiences that have shaped me into the person that I am today.

empowering my clients to explore and implement holistic methods of self-healing. Through individual treatments, my clients experience

Throughout my professional career, I realized that my roles and responsibilities were focused on leadership that required me to initiate, create, implement, improvise and document what was being designed.

The collaborative client centered space at Plushh Salon and Spa provides additional benefits to clients who can schedule other service appointments that compliment their self care needs. We offer Lymphatic Drainage Treatment (post op massage), Swedish massage, Shiatsu and reiki. Our focus on the mind, body and spirit of each client promotes several benefits:

I was an entrepreneur in the making, I gained invaluable experiences in those previous roles that have given me the skill set to pour into my vision and dreams. It was exhilarating to recognize my worth, competencies, and belief in myself. Becoming a wellness entrepreneur is one of the most fulfilling things I have done in my life. As a massage therapist specializing in manual lymphatic drainage, coach and facilitator, my focus is on educating and

support clients in revealing and utilizing their own mind-body wisdom.

1. Reduction of stress. 2. Strengthen the body’s immune system. 3. Reduction of the effects of anxiety. 4. Support client in meeting self-love and self-care goals.

greater degrees of wholeness and wellness on physical, mental, emotional and energetic levels. I

5. Support client in achieving centered and grounded state. 6. Facilitate physical, emotional and energetic healing. ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: FEBRUARY EDITION 2021

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I am Raquel Walker, owner and creator of Divi9 Creation, LLC (aka Divi9 at Plushh). I am a tool through which creations are manifested. I am a daughter, a sister, I was chosen to be a wife,a mother and I am called to be a poet, published author, licensed 162

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massage therapist, certified manual lymphatic drainage specialist, personal yoni coach, goddess/ healing circle facilitator, reiki healer.

and fulfilling life. I have found massage therapy to be one of the most significant tools for creating a pain free life.

I am a conduit along the process of seeking tools to support the enhancement of a happy, healthy

For more information please check us out at www.divi9creation.com



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L SHOT PHOTOGRAPHY BY ADELINA L SHOT GONZALEZ

Tell us about yourself and your business: L Shot Photography. My name is Adelina, I’m 51 years old and I’m a newbie photographer that stepped out the gate full speed, learning, engaging, self-taught and eager and I’ve been very serious about my passion for photography since 2020. My business name was established in part because my fiancée calls me L, so I added the rest to form the name L Shot Photography. My studio is open every Thursday, and it’s located in downtown Rochester, at Urban Euphoria 35 S Washington St, upper level floor. What made you want to become a photographer? I have always had an interest in photography but I never pursued it until 2020. I bought my first camera, a Nikon point and shoot, and haven’t looked back since. Now I have three Canon cameras and the Nikon, several lenses, and a whole bunch of other photography equipment. I just enjoy what I do. I love being able to freeze precious moments, one frame at a time so that my clients may cherish and relive those memories all over again. What is your favorite part of doing what you do? Getting setup, providing props and a great backdrop, and the smiles, that’s my favorite part. When my clients view their photos and smile, high five me,

shake their heads in approval, that’s my favorite part. I know that I have done my job when I see those smiles. Tell us about being a published author and creator of Guiding Tomorrow’s Youth, Today? Being a published author was my first passion. I’ve been writing for over 15

years and I have had my stories published in anthologies, as well as in magazines. I have a pretty large following due to my writings and I’ve been told that my stories are extremely engaging, descriptive and felt to the core. I haven’t put out my own book yet but it’s definitely in the works. Guiding Tomorrow’s Youth, Today is a

project I started not too long ago. What does “Guiding Tomorrow’s Youth, Today” mean? It means: preparing, teaching, nurturing, guiding, informing and aiding our youth of the future through the youth, the parents, the community, the schools and the environment of today. If we teach and instill the elements, and provide the necessary tools needed today, to all who have influences over our youth, without being bias, without discrimination, without hate, without envy, and without jealousy, the youth stand a better chance at succeeding and excelling. The youth will have a better chance at becoming productive members in a society that, unfortunately, is filled with people that have already judged them based on the color of their skin, their background and their socioeconomic. This detrimental cycle that hinders and hurts our youth must be intercepted, conquered and diminished to ensure that the YOUTH OF TOMORROW ARE GUIDED IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION STARTING WITH THE YOUTH OF TODAY. What was your key driving force to become a female entrepreneur? The key force is being able to work for myself which gives me flexibility and my own availability. I’m able to write my own hours, can start and end when I want and I don’t have to answer to anyone except myself and of course to my fiancée lol. ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: FEBRUARY EDITION 2021

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{ HEIDI’S LAW } } { SHE HUSTLES TALKS “What does “Guiding Tomorrow’s Youth, Today” mean? It means: preparing, teaching, nurturing, guiding, informing and aiding our youth of the future through the youth, the parents, the community, the schools and the environment of today.”

How has being an entrepreneur affected your family life? Being an entrepreneur is truly a blessing and rewarding but it takes a lot of work, commitment, sweat and time. It’s time away from family and that’s the part that affects the family a great deal. Although I have a very supportive family, I’m considerate and manage that time as best as I can. Especially when I’m hired to do a last minute shoot or when I’m up at all hours of the night, editing photos, which takes a lot of time. What makes you hustle? I’m driven, I’m determined and I don’t want to have to depend or rely on others. I don’t want anything to hinder me or come in between what I’m trying to do to better myself, my situation, my life and my business so I hustle. I hustle hard to make what I’m doing, worth it in the end. What would you say is your best quality as a photographer? What is it that you are the best at? I’m always eager to learn and incorporate everything I learn to produce my best quality of work because that’s important to my clients. Being able to engage my clients even in the most difficult times and capture moments that most likely would never be captured. I’m hired 170

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for all types of functions and events, including funerals. The funerals are hard because I’m trying to be a professional but it can be difficult. In capturing those moments, I sometimes feel as though I’m invading in those intimate and emotional periods of grief and mourning. It’s not always easy. What is most important to you and why at this point in your life?

Purpose. Being able to make my mark on this earth. Being successful, not only with my photography business but also in every aspect of my life. I’m older and I’m definitely seeing my life in a different light. What keeps you up at night? Continuously planning my next move, editing, and how to be a better photographer, learning how to make

my business bigger and better, and how to better market L Shot Photography. What are the daily challenges you faced owning your own business? My daily challenges would be, trying to generate more traffic to my business and to keep it flowing, continuously. And building a larger clientele. Being able to serve everyone the same quality of work regardless if I’m in the studio or outside of the studio. What made you decide to become a published author as well as a photographer? I wanted to become a published author because I had a story (well many stories) to write and share but needed my work to be copyrighted to protect my stories and my rights. And what made me decide to become a photographer, please refer to question 2. What is one thing you have done that you do not regret? Becoming an entrepreneur. Knowing that it will be hard and that I will be faced with challenges at times, and the thought of possibly quitting could try to occupy space in my mind but I will never give in, and I’ll never regret my decision in becoming an entrepreneur.





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DIANE CHESTER What is Optavia? Optavia is a proven science based program with an amazing weight loss component that helps clients reach their optimal weight, and creates a lifelong transformation one healthy habit at a time. What made you want to start representing this business? We realized very early on in our journey that this plan was incredibly effective and easy to follow. We wanted to share hope with others that they too can transform their lives. Being an Optavia coach provides built in accountability to ourselves and our clients which ensures that we will maintain our long-term health. What is your favorite part of doing what you do? We love watching people awaken to the realization that they too can create a lifelong transformation that includes healthy habits that will serve them for the rest of their life. What tools did Optavia provide to help you change your lifestyle? Optavia adds a social support component by offering access to a health coach who can answer questions and provide encouragement, the Optavia Community, the Habits of Health

Transformational System and a simple structured nutrition plan. What made you decide on Optavia versus its competitors? Optavia addresses the whole trilogy of health; healthy body, healthy mind and healthy finances. All of the components of this plan work synergistically to

What makes you hustle? Becoming a health coach has brought meaning and purpose to our lives, but also the time freedom created by this tremendous financial opportunity What would your customers say is their favorite thing about working with you? They feel our passion created by our personal success with this program. Which gives them tremendous hope that they can also achieve similar results. What is most important to you and why at this point in your life? To achieve optimal health and financial freedom now and well beyond our retirement years. What are some of the daily challenges you face especially during covid? The Covid-19 crisis made me realize how short life can be, and that I needed to reset my priorities, namely my health.

create life-long transformation. What changes in your health and lifestyle have you accomplished? Our tremendous weight loss has not only improved our self-confidence, but also created an abundance of energy, quality sleep, and increased mental clarity.

What are your plans for 2021 and beyond? To continue on this amazing health journey while building a health coaching business with a community of likeminded people. Contact Diane to learn more at dchester@rochester.rr.com

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MIRACLES LABELLA BOUTIQUE Tell us about Miracles Labella Boutique and how it got started. Launched in 2021, Miracle’s La Bella Boutique flourished from the youngest face of the company, my daughter Miss Miracle Marie, and as we call her, “La Bella” meaning beautiful representing her Italian genetics. How did the idea for your business come about? I have always wanted to be a business owner and own a clothing store or boutique. As a teenager my mother and her ex-boyfriend had a local urban store called “Cuse fashions.”So, I guess you can say it is in my blood.

I was just a baby. My grandmother and Grandfather owned a car wash “Fayette Auto Wash” in Syracuse, NY which now my Great Uncle John owns and operates. So truthfully being an entrepreneur is in my DNA. What makes you “hustle”? My daughter makes me hustle.

knowing storms do not last forever. What is most important to you and why at this point in your life? I will be 34 soon and leaving generational wealth for my daughter, or my future children is important to me. Tomorrow is not promised, so I try to make every day count. At this age I am more focused than ever. What keeps you up at night? Researching, and the eagerness of learning new information and when my creative juices are flowing it is hard for me to halt my thoughts. So, that’s what keeps me up at night.

What is your favorite part of doing what you do? Shopping, I love shopping. Putting together looks and just being able to be creative with my own ideas. How has being an entrepreneur affected your family life? Right now, just trying to stay focused on building my brand and a stable foundation for my family sometimes requires sleepless nights. But, I cannot say its affected us to much just yet.

Knowing I have a toddler daughter looking up to me, I need her to know she can accomplish anything she puts her mind to as well as she can have anything she desires.

What was your key driving force to become a female entrepreneur? My key driven force is coming from a family of entrepreneurs. My great grandmother owned a neighborhood convenience store called “Woods Street Market” in Muskegon Michigan when

How do you push through your worst times? I pray, I cry, and call and vent to my mother. She is my best friend. But when I look at my daughter I realize losing, or failure is not an option and then I push through those moments

What are the daily challenges you face as a female entrepreneur, and black woman owned business? I am not a competitive individual, but there are people who may be intimated by my presence, or the way that I can blend within any environment. It then brings about uncomfortable challenges. Another challenge is some people may not take me seriously, so I have to stand firm on my words and confidence. How do you defy social expectations, especially during the pandemic? For me social expectations during the pandemic are being active and positively engaging. Building relationships and networking on social media like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter etc.

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HUSTLES TALKS { {{INSHE SHE HER HUSTLES OWN WORDS TALKS }} } “My daughter makes me hustle. Knowing I have a toddler daughter looking up to me. I need her to know she can accomplish anything she puts her mind to as well as she can have anything she desires”

What is your favorite fashion accessory and why? I could not just choose one favorite fashion. LOL. I love shoes and I love me a nice purse. Both set the tone for your outfit. #13 What is your main goal for 2021? My main goal for 2021 is to Pray, stay focused and watch all my manifestations come

true. #14 What is your “must have” fashion item of the year? My must have fashion item of the year is outerwear. Must have a nice outerwear jacket/ coat. My favorite coat right now is the ‘’ Color me” coat on my website. Check it out at www.Miracleslabella. com. #15 Tell us one piece of advice you would give to someone starting

their own business in 2021. Be yourself, do your research, don’t rush the process and never be afraid to ask for help if its needed and keep your faith.

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“I have always wanted to be a business owner and own a clothing store or boutique. As a teenager my mother and her ex-boyfriend had a local urban store called “Cuse fashions.”

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{{{ SHE HUSTLES SHE SHIFT+CONTROL HUSTLES TALKS TALKS} }} “Researching, the eagerness of learning new information and when my creative juices are flowing it is hard for me to halt my thoughts so that’s what keeps me up at night.“

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DIVINE WHIFFS HAND POURED CANDLES

20% Off Online

Candles, Refresh Spray, Melts, & Incense

www.divinewhiffs.com



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VAUGHAN JACOBS SKIN BY VAUGHN PICKNEY

Tell our audience a little about yourself and your background. My name is Jovan Pinckney, owner of Vaughan Jacobs Skincare. I am 34 years old and currently residing in Rochester, NY. I am a licensed esthetician(Continental School Of Beauty Graduate) and also a graduate from Monroe Community College (Associate’s Communications & Media Arts). I grew up always fascinated with beauty. I always had to have the newest celeb magazine to learn the new trends in beauty and fashion. With that fascination I grew looking at myself as not being the typical beauty standard for men. I was tall, very skinny and pale, I didn’t play sports and worst of all I dealt with acne really bad. I went to dermatologists, tried over the counter skin care brands and still didn’t get the results I looked for besides having over sensitive skin and being burned by the constant use of these products that were supposed to help. As I got older I became more comfortable with wanting to pursue being in the beauty industry I then decided to attend Continental. Continental was a wonderful experience. I learned so much about how our diet affects us. How our muscles move and absorb nutrients to the products we use can make our skin worse if we don’t educate ourselves. I then graduated with my esthetics license. 190

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I couldn’t find a position anywhere in Rochester for a male minority licensed esthetician so I decided to start my business. From there I have been carrying the name of Vaughan Jacobs. What is Vaughan Jacobs Skincare? Vaughan Jacobs Skincare is a botanical urban luxury skincare brand that is

audience leaving out a broad target audience. I believe that skincare for some reason has been defined as “girly” or “feminine” and now it’s time to break barriers on what’s considered masculine or feminine. So my market is neither male nor female, young or old. It’s for everyone looking for a luxury feeling when washing their face! What makes your skin care product line different from others? My skincare line is based on my experience not only as a consumer but also as a licensed esthetician dealing with real clients on a day to day basis and their concerns. What is your mission? Vaughan Jacobs mission is to make everyone of every skin type, culture and gender feel as though they have somewhere they can go for luxury skincare. Being free from the beauty standard and stereotype.

dedicated to diversity, inclusiveness and crossing gender defining barriers on skincare. How did you develop and market your own skincare line? Vaughan Jacobs skincare was developed with everyone in mind! I noticed the need for more skincare brands for all inclusivity. I would walk into the beauty stores and notice the same marketing for the same

What is the most rewarding thing about what you do? Being able to help people feel comfortable in their own skin by breaking boundaries and providing awesome products! Who has been your biggest inspiration and why? I have many inspirations for my skincare brand. I can start with the beautiful women in my family to life experiences where I have met beautiful


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PRODUCT HIGHLIGHT { SHE SHIFT+CONTROL {{ {IN HERHUSTLES OWN WORDS TALKS} } }} “I couldn’t find a position anywhere in Rochester for a male minority licensed esthetician so I decided to start my business. From there I have been carrying the name of Vaughan Jacobs.”

people that you could not label by gender or race/nationality/ethnicity/ sexuality. To brand inspirations such as Fenty Skin! To beautiful places I have traveled and experienced their skincare products. What are 3 things that are the most important to you in representing your brand?

• Diversity • Customer Service • Quality Products What sets your skincare products ahead of others? A luxury brand made with botanical ingredients. That won’t overdry your face and give you a youthful, radiant glow.

What is the most commonly asked question about skincare that you get asked? The Most common question is how do I get dark spots on my face to fade away? How does your skincare line Deal with the Most Common Skin Problems? ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: FEBRUARY EDITION 2021

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{ PRODUCT HIGHLIGHT { SHIFT+CONTROL } } “Vaughan Jacobs skincare was developed with everyone in mind! I noticed the need for more skincare brands for all inclusivity.”

My products have natural ingredients such as my exfoliate. It contains Mint, Aloe Vera and seaweed. The exfoliant beads are made up of sugar. This helps with dead or dry skin in addition to reducing dark marks without tearing the skin. If you could pick one of your products as a “must have” which one would it be and why? I would choose all! But if I had too it would be the exfoliant. It’s truly amazing and works wonders on the skin. The mint and sugar beads feel amazing! I deal with acne at times myself and have dark spots so when I exfoliate it does the job!

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Persistence is key! What would be one word your clients would use to describe you? Loving Who has been your favorite person with work with in your career and why?

There are so many! My main goal is to expand the brand Vaughan Jacobs to be more of a household name. Come out with more products! Drink more water! Tell us about what makes you a successful entrepreneur. There are several factors. I would say remaining humble. Always willing to learn and listen to other people’s experiences. Networking for sure is a major one. Always educating yourself in the industry you’re in and Testing your own products!

Has the pandemic helped or hindered you over the past year? I would say both. The pandemic has m a d e m e m o re accountable for my actions financially and creatively. I do feel the pandemic has made people alot more frugal which is understandable but that has caused businesses such as myself to be more creative and hustle harder!

There are so many people I love working with I can’t just mention one. I loved working with the mayor. She is such a supportive person and beautiful personality.

If you had one piece of advice for someone starting in the business, what would it be? Never give up. Regardless of the support you may not receive from family and friends, or money that’s not coming in at the time! Dont give up! Remember your end goal and what you’re looking to achieve and become.

What do you feel is the key to being successful in your business?

What are your goals in 2021 and beyond?

Check out Vaughan Jacobs Skin at vaughanjacobsskin.com

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{ A MODERN APPROACH }

AQUA SPA FLOAT CENTER WITH PASSION AND P U R P O S E, LO C A L WOMAN FORGES THE PATH FOR A MODERN APPROACH TO HOLISTIC WELLNESS Tammy Wilkinson calls the Aqua Spa Float Center a passion project with her life partner Terry LeRoi, and has spent countless hours developing the Aqua Spa experience with her team of Wellness Ambassadors. When asked how she came across float therapy, Wilkinson says it was by chance. She buys her partner Terry (also an owner) a gift certificate for their first couple’s float experience at a local float center. Twenty minutes into an incredible first float and they were hooked from a wellness perspective, and equally intrigued as entrepreneurs! According to Wilkinson, despite the fact that the Float Industry and concept of “floating” was introduced in the 1950s, the wellness concept and innovation behind the terms float tank or float pod is still new to many. A float tank or pod is a tub that contains a saturated solution of Epsom salt, provides a light and sound reduced environment, and is kept at skin temperature. This

environment allows a person to float effortlessly without external stimuli for many purposes, including meditation, relaxation, and physical therapy. According to Wilkinson, float tanks are the perfect bathtub, and while they vary in sizes, the typical tank is 8’ long and 5’ wide. The tanks hold about

a foot of water, then saturated with approximately 1500 lbs. of Epsom salt, creating a solution and density similar to the Dead Sea, allowing a person to float on the surface half-in and half-out of the solution. The salt water is filtered and sanitized with ozone, UV light and hydrogen peroxide. Between each float the client has the option to keep the door open or closed for personal comfort. “It’s truly an environment unlike any

other,” said Wilkinson. “In its purest form, it is absent from light, sound and the perception of gravity.” The benefits of float therapy extend to stress and pain relief to improved mental health, physical recovery from injuries or training, enhanced creativity, and addiction.

be without it.”

“Having been diagnosed with Lupus in 2008 I had experienced severe inflammation and pain in my body most days,” Wilkinson said. “I am of a natural mindset when it comes to my health and wellness and seek out ways to give myself relief beyond the traditional western medicine path. Floatation therapy gives me 3-5 days pain free each time I float, so the proof is in the pudding (or the water) for me and I wouldn’t

As successful business owners already, Tammy and Terry’s entrepreneurial mindset and wheels also began to spin after their float, imagining how they could introduce a float center and a fresh, new wellness perspective to the Oswego community. Wilkinson wanted the Aqua Spa experience to be as unique as the concept ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: FEBRUARY EDITION 2021

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{ SHIFT+CONTROL } } { A MODERN APPROACH “According to Wilkinson, despite the fact that the Float Industry and concept of “floating” was introduced in the 1950s, the wellness concept and innovation behind the terms float tank or float pod is still new to many.”

carefully selected a team of Wellness Ambassadors who would deliver a world-class experience and trained them to reflect her grand vision. The experience, Wilkinson explains, is the soul of the Aqua Spa Float center and it goes like this: From start to finish, a Wellness Ambassador guides you along your journey. They greet you at the door, welcome you in and begin the check in process. Plus, the same Wellness Ambassador will welcome you back from your session and show you to your 202

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next service! This further personalizes your experience at the Aqua Spa. Every step of the way, each modality is thoroughly explained and you have every chance to ask any questions. Wilkinson explains that people typically ask things like “What if I’m pregnant? What if I fall asleep while floating? What do I wear? Can floating really help me with my anxiety?”

dedicate themselves to their personal physical and mental well-being. She feels Aqua Spa Float Center is a stepping stone for people to unlock themselves and find relief from whatever challenges they face outside the wellness sanctuary. From floating to massage therapy, Aqua Spa Float Center’s multimodality approach to holistic wellness features something for everyone looking for relief or relaxation.

Wilkinson says all of that and more can be found right on the Aqua Spa Float Center website. She also explains that 2020 was a year where people began to

In addition to float therapy, Aqua Spa Float Center offers cryotherapy, infrared sauna, salt therapy, oxygen bar and massage therapy. Plus, it features a post-


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{ SHIFT+CONTROL } } { A MODERN APPROACH “It’s truly an environment unlike any other,” said Wilkinson. “In its purest form, it is absent from light, sound and the perception of gravity.”

service Primp Room and Whisper Room with tea service to prepare yourself to re-emerge into the outside world. Tammy’s creativity and marketing talents come from her background in television. In college, she studied journalism at SUNY Morrisville then communication at SUNY Oswego. Following college, Wilkinson landed at Fox News as a national sales assistant. Later, she continued her career at Channel 6 as a local sales assistant. She was soon promoted to a marketing leadership role. This, she says, is where she fell in love with marketing and creative writing. “ Wo r k i n g o n national campaigns and large brands gave me a voice. My creative flair and voice truly began to shine,” she said. Tammy defines high-energy, compassion, and outright fun. An ever-smiling approach to life, Tammy believes floating is pure bliss, and that personal wellness should be part of each and every individual journey. AQUA SPA MISSION & VISION It is our mission to provide a wellness sanctuary that allows the body, mind and spirit to rest, relax, and rejuvenate. Our vision is to nurture and enhance 204

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wellness, balance and harmony through a multi-modality-centered facility. We aspire to empower sustained, positive change, well-being, and self-awareness; and educate to the benefits of natural health, holistic wellness, and life balance. Our inclusive spa location and waterfront setting in Oswego, New York (a name derived from the Iroquoian Indian

Team Aqua Spa says: “For us, it’s a way of life… and something we want to share with everyone… everyday! Our life principles and dedication to healthy living and self-improvement have become the foundation for Aqua Spa and how we each work with visitors and clients.

word osh-we-geh, meaning “pouringout place”) further captures the sacred vision and relevance of our float center and wellness boutique.

relationship.”

TEAM AQUA SPA Aqua Spa’s team of float and wellness ambassadors each share a unique and individual passion for health and wellness. It’s a life perspective and commitment that provides every visitor with a shared vision for this sanctuary’s experience.

“At Aqua Spa, we recognize that each client is unique, so we want their experience to be unique as well! It’s truly a personalized approach to wellness. While our backgrounds are diverse, we are all similar in our commitment to wellness, and those parallels and commonalities are what drive each of us to nurture the customer

For additional information on Aqua Spa Float Center & Wellness Boutique visit their website at www.aquaspafloatcenter. com, facebook.com/aquaspafloatcenter, Instagram @aquaspafloatcenter, or call (315) 207-2080. Aqua Spa Float Center is an accredited member of Float Tank Association and the Salt Therapy Association, two highly regarded organizations in the floatation and salt therapy industry.


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My Aqua Spa… My Sanctuary. ™

“It’s truly an amazing place– the perfect pause and reset.” Katie Mahaffey, Oswego, NY #MYAQUASPA #MYSANCTUARY

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{ THE PACE OF GRACE }

CHUCKS & PEARLS BY TETIA TORRES

“There’s so many-a girls I hear you been running From the beautiful queen That you could be becoming You can look at my palm And see the storm coming Read the book of my life And see I’ve overcome it Just because the length of your hair ain’t long And they often criticize you for your skin tone Wanna hold your head high ‘Cause you’re a pretty woman Get your runway stride home And keep going Girl live ya life....” -‘Work That’ by Mary J. Blige Although I’ve heard “Work That”, by Mary J. Blige a dozen times, I’ve admittedly never actually listened to it until that chilly November night when Vice PresidentElect, Kamala Harris, took the stage to give her victory speech. As the first Asian American, female and Black person to ever hold the second highest office in our country, Kamala didn’t just break the glass ceiling—she dismantled it! Realizing that I was witnessing a historic moment, I made a mental note to look up the song lyrics later, as I knew the songs’ lyrics were significant. There stood a woman who managed to break down barriers while unconventionally wearing chucks and pearls! Women around the 206

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world were reminded ‘why not go for it if you have to go through it?’ After watching America’s first Latina Supreme Court justice, Sonia Sotomayor, administer the vice-presidential oath of office to Harris in January, I circled back to the lyrics of Mary’s song. Within the first thirty seconds of listening to this song, I understood why it was Vice

President Harris selection. However, what caught my attention was the name of the album: “Growing Pains.” Immediately, I began to think about the significance of Vice President Harris being in office, the legacy her life would leave, and how her story would ignite a fire in so many other women around the world—including me. These are

women who are predestined to change the world while wearing chucks and pearls, while enduring the growing pains associated with their calling. I believe we are all capable of greatness, and we all have a calling on our life. However, I also know that while many are called, few are chosen (Matthew 22:14). Over time, I’ve learned the only difference between the two is that those who are “chosen” answer the call. When we respond to the calling on our lives, we accept our life’s assignment. We wake up every day understanding that there’s a mission we have to accomplish. Jen Sincero said, “doubts, fears, and other people’s rules are no match for a heart on a mission.” Kamala Harris didn’t just start breaking barriers when she became Vice President of the United States. As a woman on a mission, she’s been going against the grain and breaking the rules every step of the way! I’ve learned that we live one of two ways: with the end in mind or with no end in mind. Those who live with the end in mind understand their life’s mission. A mission statement, also referred to as a philosophy or purpose statement, provides a future focus. It provides a sense of hope and a deep, meaningful purpose to ones’ life. When we live with no understanding or awareness of our life’s mission, we live without co-creating


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{ SHIFT+CONTROL { THE PACE OF GRACE} } “Even if you live your life off track ninety percent of the time, if you will not lose your sense of hope and your vision is clear, you will arrive at your destination, and usually on time.”

our future with God’s help and guidance. Without a mission statement, we lack any sense of direction to accomplish whatever we set out to do in life. When we live like this, we give others the power to create our mission statement for us and live a life unaware of where we’re going and why. Kamala was raised during the early days of desegregation by parents who were immigrants and social activists. Based on America’s standards and the current racial climate, Kamala’s upbringing and DNA did not have ‘Vice President’ written in it, yet, “there was a little girl in California who was part of the second class to integrate her public schools, and she was bused to school every day, and that little girl was me,” Kamala famously said during a Democratic debate. Vice President Harris (then known as Senator Harris), would go from the little Black girl from Berkeley to the first Black, Asian American, female Vice President of the United States. I believe that Kamala’s life is a testament to what happens when we respond and answer the calling on our lives. We often allow our situations, circumstances, and past to disqualify us from what God has ordained for us from the beginning. What I know for sure is that God doesn’t call the qualified. 210

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He qualifies the called. Like Mary J. Blige says in “Work That”, there are so many of us that are running from the queen that we could become. Instead of running to it! When I reflect upon what Chucks and Pearls mean to me, the word mission immediately comes to mind. When you realize that you have a mission to

accomplish, you view everything you do and the circumstances therein differently. Friedrich Nietzsche said, “He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how.” This means that when you have a reason to get up every day, you can handle almost any situation that life throws at you. It does not, however, mean that you won’t have hard times

or trials, rather, the vision you have of your destiny creates an internal force that pushes you to come out on the other side of your trials. Essentially, you have hope, because you understand WHY you do what you do. My chucks are representative of my story and personal journey, while my pearls symbolize the grace given to me along the way. We live in a society that perpetuates trends and fitting in, and it’s easy to lose ourselves, as well as our true identities. When we don’t embrace our stories-where we come from, and, more importantly, who we are destined to be, we miss out on experiencing the highest expression of ourselves. Our stories give hope to those coming behind us, leaving a legacy that lives far beyond our physical existence. I knew that Kamala understood this power when she said, “While I may be the first woman in this office, I will not be the last. Because every little girl watching tonight sees that this is a country of possibilities.” Me2UCoaching: Write Your Personal Mission Statement “Even if you live your life off track ninety percent of the time, if you will not lose your sense of hope and your


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{ THE PACE OF GRACE } “Doubts, fears, and other people’s rules are no match for a heart on a mission.”

vision is clear, you will arrive at your destination, and usually on time. Your mission statement makes sure that you stay on course.” - Stephen R. Covey When we’re aware of our mission in life, we have a deeply embedded sense of and vision for our future. Knowing this keeps us from living a hollow life and leads us to a life full of substance. A good mission statement should be timeless, concise, and serve as an internal compass. Here are three tips to help you get started.: Timeless Write it as if it will never change. Your 212

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goals should not be included in your mission statement; this leaves little space for inspiration. Goals are situationspecific. A mission statement states the general rules that you live by and deal with the totality of your life.

Serves as a roadmap Your mission statement should serve as a guide that helps you stay on target and provides a sense of direction that guides you to your destiny.

Ask yourself: What do I want my legacy to be? What will I be remembered for?

Ask yourself: What change do I want to see happen in the world? Who will I serve?

Clear and to the point Clearly state your purpose and outline what values are needed in order to accomplish your mission.

Tetia Torres Roadmap Coach-Author-Speaker IG: Me2UCoaching FB: Tetia Torres

Ask yourself: What are my values? What do I stand for?


If you have the desire to live a life of intentionality I highly recommend you get this workbook. Life is too short to be a part of the walking dead. This guide assist you in finding your purpose so you can LIVE! ~Vonceial JesstinaDallas, TX

COMING SOON! The Pace of Grace Vision Planning & Goal Mapping is a self-discovery workbook that was created to inspire individuals to discover their purpose & higher self; to understand their calling & to walk into their destiny. This workbook is to serve as a self-discovery coaching tool and resource. To walk you through a journey of faith and discovery.


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SPILLING THE TEA FROM A GODLY PERSPECTIVE BY TALENA SKYE

“Love is Calling Us to Answer” If we look around and view the current climate in the world today, what will we see? What will we feel? A lack of love. There are so many things going on right now that are causing heartache to an astounding degree. People are growing colder than the days of winter because of needs not being met, loved ones leaving their lives unexpectedly, and their faith in God, is diminishing at an alarming rate.

around the world. There is so much disrespect for authority which is at an all time high, families breaking up over political arguments, and the destruction of freedom of speech is in the works. Our world needs healing like never before. Love for your neighbor and faith in the Creator is a must...right...now! The news talks about the world needs

“Love is calling us to answer!” Who is love? God is love. When we take God out of our lives and our situations, it causes a breeding ground for all hell to break lose. Hell is exactly what we are seeing happening around us, because the world has failed to embrace the love of God for our lives. The current state of our world needs the lifeline of the Word of God. However, God has been put on the back burner on a level in the world where His very presence is being snuffed out right before our eyes. The results are devastating! There are many businesses closed and shutting down, jobs are being lost, riots and violent protests happening

unity but it will never happen until we walk in the love of God and respect His Word. When you take God out of everything, you get chaos, and that is what we are seeing right now. God tells us in Colossians 3:1... over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. People rather put on hate then love.

God loves the world but the world hates God. John 3:16...for God so loved the world, that He gave his only begotten son. That whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life. Without the love of God we will do just that...PERISH! It’s time to get back to the creator. He loves us. The results of ignoring God is not a path to be on. The enemy hates God and his job is to kill God in the minds of humanity. I won’t say he is successful but I will say he has many people fooled to believe God has left us and that God hates us because of our sin. Truth is, Jesus took care of our sins on the cross so we shouldn’t dwell on our sins but have belief in Him who saves us. People don’t go to hell for sin we go to hell for rejecting Jesus, the one one bore our sins in His own body. If that wasn’t true then the blood He shed for us would be wasted. Let’s not waste His blood, have faith in Christ...today! God is not obligated to protect anyone who disconnects from Him. He wants everyone to be saved but many won’t ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: FEBRUARY EDITION 2021

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{ TRUTH TEA WITH TALENA}SKYE } { SHIFT+CONTROL “The one thing I’ve learned from my own experiences is that the quickest way to change your current situation is by getting your mind off yourself and thinking about how you can be a blessing to someone else.”

because of doubt and unbelief in the very one who created them. The state of the world can see a huge change if they would just acknowledge Jesus and pray and seek His face... 2 Chronicles 7:14 says... If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and 216

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pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land. It’s time to unite...it’s time to walk in love...it’s time to elevate our lives in our Savior and comforter Jesus Christ. God’s existence is evident in His creation. It’s time to stop and

smell the rose’s and bask in the love of God. He said draw near to Him and He will draw near to you. Love is calling us to answer. Will you answer the call?


VISIT: WWW.CHERESE.KINDERMUSIK.COM


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MEET ANITA LAIN STIGLER BY KRISTIN BAUER-GROSS I PHOTOS BY CHELA CERVANTES PHOTOGRAPHY

As a model coach, speaker and longtime commercial model and actress my column here often shares modeling and acting advice, confidence building, or projects related to my “Courage to Dream” mission. This month I’m excited to share an interview with Anita Lain Stigler who has been in my programs and has been impressively taking action and creating opportunities. Anita has been such a joy to work with and get to know and I love watching her career evolve. 1.) How did you get started in modeling? I actually started behind the scenes and did not realize I had an affinity for modeling, until one day I was asked to move in front of the camera and was praised for my natural talent. Modeling is something that I really did not think I had a talent for until then. Many people saw, what I did not see in myself. 2.) Has the pandemic affected pursuing this dream positively or negatively or both? I will say both. The pandemic has

allowed me to push my creativity even further to find alternative ways to participate in my career. I have done quite a few virtual shows and it really allowed me to build my portfolio in print work. The demand for me in print actually increased and I have enjoyed it. The major disadvantage will be my ability to travel freely as with others. I still want to remain safe to protect myself, my family, and others by staying home as much

as possible. 3.) What would you say to women who feel like something is holding them back from pursuing modeling or acting or any dream that feels a little bit impossible? Perhaps, they feel they are not tall enough, slim enough, talented enough, connected enough, young enough, smart enough or any other type of feeling “not enough”?

Oh honey, don’t be afraid of anything. There is a place for EVERYONE, trust me. I definitely have my own insecurities in this industry, but those have actually turned into some of my strengths. 4.) What has been your favorite photoshoot or a notable moment in your modeling endeavors? My absolute f a v o r i t e photoshoot was a lifestyle shoot with Chela Cervantes Ph o t o g r a p h y in Chicago, IL. Not only is she an amazing photographer, but she’s professional, observant, and knows what she wants out of her talent. This trifecta is sometimes hard to come by, but she displays all 3 so well. 5.) What are you looking forward to in 2021? I am looking forward to more opportunities to grow my career and further groom myself in this industry. 6.) How has Kristin Bauer-Gross helped you pursue your model and talent goals? ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: FEBRUARY EDITION 2021

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“I definitely have my own insecurities in this industry, but those have actually turned into some of my strengths.”


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{ COACHING WITH KRISTIN { SHIFT+CONTROL } B. } “Anita has been such a joy to work with and get to know and I love watching her career evolve.”

Kristin swooped in and saved me from myself. I almost gave up on my career when this pandemic hit. I happened to come across her page while browsing through Instagram one day and what caught my attention is that she was involved in a group for women helping women. I then found her story and I felt like I could personally relate so much to her journey. I reached out and she connected me to a hugely diverse group of women with similar aspirations as me. She has been a mentor to me and led me to have the courage to keep going in my career. I believe her influence took me to the next level personally and professionally. I sincerely appreciate the impact she has had in my life.

it takes a village! I’m thankful for Kristin Bauer-Gross’s mentorship, the team at VIP Ignite including Alycia Kaback, Deneen White, and Michael

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My advice I will give is, 1. Don’t be afraid of yourself and what you can do. 2. Don’t trust everybody. 3. Don’t sell yourself short. Follow Anita Lain Stigler on Instagram @anitalainthemodel or Facebook as Anita Lain. Anita is a Chicago area based model and talent. Interested in pursuing modeling or commercial acting professionally be it part time, full time, for supplemental or retirement income drop me a message on www. KristinB.com Catch my free IGTV series “Model Tips” o n In s t a g r a m @ KristinBauerGross

7.) What is your dream assignment if you could do or accomplish anything in 2021? My dream assignment is to be a commercial model for a major brand. I would love to be the face that takes that brand to the next level. My goal is to learn and continue to grow my career. I used to believe that I could figure everything out on my own but now I’ve realized

like to give someone just getting started in modeling?

Designer: Patricia Cano Latino Illusion Cano Boutique MUA: Diane Atkins IG @glamwithdianne Fomkin and of course Ryan Colby with Truth Mgmt. 8.) What are 3 pieces of advice you’d

Hairstylist Cheryl Hill FAHC Studios LLC



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{ UNAPOLOGETICALLY AUTHENTIC } {{ SHE SHE HUSTLES HUSTLES TALKS TALKS }}

FORGIVENESS BY CHRISTINE GRANDIN I PHOTOS BY MICHELE ASHLEE

Forgiveness is a significant part of becoming Unapologetically Authentic. There is a misconception that the individuals who have wronged you must apologize, or show remorse for their actions in order for you to practice forgiveness. However, holding onto anger and resentment will rob you of your inner peace. The truth is more times than not, people have only done what we allowed them to by making excuses for their actions, giving too many chances, and not believing them when they showed us exactly who they were. One of the hardest, yet most rewarding things you can do is to take a good look at yourself and come to terms with your own insecurities. Focus on the areas in which you need healing. I realized that until I did this and learned to truly forgive myself, I would continue to tolerate the disrespect from others. We teach people how to treat us by the things we accept and what we think of ourselves. If I carry myself with shame, insecurities, and a lack of self-love, how can I expect others to treat me differently than I treat myself? In my past relationships I had a habit of collecting red flags, then using those flags to fill the voids in my life. I loved the idea of being “needed” or thinking that I can help “fix” other people’s problems. In reality, this was a trauma response and

avoidance of dealing with my own truths. I did positively impact some lives along the way, but a majority of the time these actions came without any gratitude causing even more pain. When I think of these past situations, I must think of the role I played. What healing did I need to do to keep myself from making the same mistakes? What part of me think that I deserved this type of toxicity in my life?

Along my journey I concluded that most of the relationship in my life were unhealthy, and I had to unapologetically start removing people. The relationships I ended were unhealthy for so long that they were beyond repair. It was time for me focus on doing the inner work to evolve in my own life. I no longer had the time or desire to explain myself or put in the work to save these relationships. I allowed myself to be bitter, angry, and completely step out of my character from entertaining people who brought drama into my life. I had to start looking at

people for who they were, not for the potential I see in them. Nor justifying the negative behaviors based on the trauma they have endured. We have all suffered from some sort of trauma in our lives, it is our own responsibility to do what is necessary to overcome it. For years I had self-destructive behaviors, which brought shame, guilt, and deeply rooted insecurities in myself. I can not express enough the significance of practicing selfforgiveness. You can never be true to yourself, or at peace until you do. Coping mechanisms come in many shapes and forms and only makes the wounds deeper. Coming to the realization that you do not fully love yourself is the first step toward beginning the process of practicing self-love. I was addicted to filling the voids in my life rather than healing them. Things such as people pleasing, shopping, denial, food, sex, alcohol, arrogance, and the desire to be needed were all coping mechanisms of mine. I remember being unbelievably vain. My appearance was a top priority, and the attention I received validated me. Each of these behaviors only caused more pain and financial hardships. You eventually get to the point where you find yourself sick and tired of living in a dark place. Sick and tired of pretending. You take that first step to truly forgiving and loving ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: FEBRUARY EDITION 2021

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{ SHE SHE HUSTLES HUSTLES TALKS TALKS }} { UNAPOLOGETICALLY AUTHENTIC } “You only owe it to yourself to live every aspect of your life Unapologetically Authentic!”

yourself. I had to dig deep. I found myself pretty much alone to face my own realizations. As I evolved, I realized that certain individuals will always misunderstand you, and it is not my job to change 230

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that. It was my job to remove those people, places, and things that no longer served the woman I was becoming. It is okay to outgrow people, it is okay to love people from a distance, you

do not owe anyone an explanation for doing what is best for you. You only owe it to yourself to live every aspect of your life Unapologetically Authentic!



BE YOURSELF. NURTURE YOUR S BE UNAPOLOGETICALLY AUTHE

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{{{{RW READS & TALKS WRITES SHIFT+CONTROL SHE SHE HUSTLES HUSTLES TALKS } }}

RACHEL RUTLEDGE Rachel Marissa, the author steering the boat of dreams and representation of her community towards excellence!

and the tonality gives every word the gravity it requires to move stones. Now the question arises, why it took so much time for this literary gem to surface? Despite having the knack for writing, Rachel didn’t pursue

We all like to tell stories, but only a few of us are able and capable enough to convey the stories so adequately and effectively, stories that have the potential to change the course of the world. Amongst such talented writers, a rising star Rachel Marissa has graced the literary world with her first book in January 2021, ‘Love Lost No More.’ Many people may not know who Rachel Marissa is, but what is certain is this remarkable literary individual is going to make her self-noticed and lay the foundation of the new era for storytelling. As a New Yorker, Rachel has witnessed it all, the crowd, the speed, the chaos of finding oneself, the eagerness to reach somewhere, and most importantly, the ways to make yourself stand out in a diverse group. These experiences reflect the approach of her writing; the distinct characterization and the relatable plot but in a new light,

She was studying psychology at Rochester Institute of Technology for two years, from 2012 to 2014. Psychology helped her in various ways but didn’t feel right for her. However, it did indeed helped her way back, allowed her to navigate where she truly belonged, where her happiness really lay. Thus, she took a leap of faith and went to her roots, and started writing. From a very young age, Rachel wrote habitually. She wrote numerous stories and was supported by her mother and peers, but their reaction didn’t evoke satisfaction or the feeling of being heard. Hence this time around, she picked up the pen intending to knock everyone’s socks off by sharing a story that will change the perspectives and pave the way to various possibilities for her and her community, resulting in her book ‘Love Lost No More’ was born.

storytelling as a career initially. Like every successful individual, she found her way back to writing.

Unlike many authors, Rachel considers herself a storyteller; she tells sweet, diverse, and emotionally impactful stories. She believes that the world is already an overwhelming, heavy place and in that telling stories that provide escapism yet bring readers close to reality will act as a haven for them. Hence, she ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: FEBRUARY EDITION 2021

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{{{ RW READS & WRITES SHE HUSTLES TALKS}} } SHIFT+CONTROL “Many people may not know who Rachel Marissa is, but what is certain is this remarkable literary individual is going to make her self-noticed and lay the foundation of the new era for storytelling.”

aims to provide solace to individuals through her writing until her pens stop.

community that is full of potential, love, and groundbreaking stories to share.

“I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do…” John 17:4, this quote encompasses Rachel as an individual. This quote is an inspiration, motivating her to create beautiful things, giving her confidence and courage to make the world better and tell the unheard stories through a different lens, and using her gifts that God provided as a tool in doing so.

As far as her personal life goes, she is so grateful for everything and everyone in her family; she considers that her life experiences, relationships, and beliefs as a well-curated archive spark

Her first novel, which she considers her most significant achievement, showcases her range as a storyteller; the sheer innocence, love, compassion, and empathy her story possesses. While simultaneously highlighting the struggles and making room for comedic timings, makes her the new author to look forward to every time. As a talented writer, she is an aware individual and understands the need for diverse stories; hence, she aims to tell stories that portray AfricanAmerican women in love and being loved. She firmly believes that there’s a lack of it in entertainment today and would like to celebrate this 236

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her love of fun and creative socks shows her as a warm, welcoming, and accepting individual, which guarantees the fact that as a storyteller, she looks at the big picture and doesn’t have reservations or is biased towards specific components and characters. Her ability of acceptance makes the stories more gravitating, groundbreaking, and sheer joy, which Rachel’s current book possess and future books will too. No one knows how their lives will pan out, but what can be said with certainty is that Rachel as a storyteller will change the way commercial and niche entertainment industry sail. She holds the helm of hope, integrity, and honesty of storytelling, and an incredible individual as she is, and as an impactful writer she is, she is definitely going to pave the ways for more people to steer the entertainment industry as well.

inspirations and ideas that give steam to her creativity. Her playful, quirky nature enriches her stories and makes them more nuanced, interesting, and engaging to indulge in. Though a lot of people may not consider it as an essential signifier, even Rachel might not either, but

Get to know this brilliant and passionate storyteller more through her website rachelthestoryteller.com and read her book ‘Love Lost No More’ to genuinely understand the world this writer has created and hopes to develop.


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{ TRAVEL WITH AGNESS WINE }CELLARS } { FINANCIALLY SPEAKING } { SHIFT+CONTROL

WHAT A YEAR MAKES BY RANDY AGNESS

About a year ago, I was in Manhattan staying at the Hilton Avenue of the Americas for Valentine’s Weekend. Although it was the center of winter, we were able to walk and ride the full length from Central Park to the World Trade Complex. It was wonderful during the daylight as I made a point of visiting the wine and liquor shops that sell our Finger Lakes Riesling. It was a treat for me to meet with the owners, managers and clerks as it’s not often the owner / winemaker stops by to talk wine. We started early and were lucky as the first two stops were nearby which gave us the opportunity to find a most delicious French Bistro Benoit for brunch. From outside the entrance no one would have imagined the interior in the heart of Midtown Manhattan. The Alain Ducasse’s third international restaurant has a decidedly Old World charm after recent renovation with velvet seating and oak paneled walls with mirrors and fantastic desserts highlighted our meal. This Michelin Guide describes Benoit as filled with memorable dishes and so many tasty dessert selections. Crossing thru Central Park to Columbus Circle, we walked by the Dakota Building on Park Avenue famously known as John Lennon’s residence. This area of New

York didn’t seem to change much from decades ago retaining its charm with family owned businesses lining the streets where you can pop in for a quick bit before catching a taxi cab back to the Hilton Midtown on Sixth Avenue for a rest to prior to preparing for the night activities. On Friday night, while walking out and

about we stopped into 21 Restaurant for a drink with friends that took the train in to meet us for dinner. The ironic former prohibition era speakeasy 21’s elegance was on display as we enjoyed classic cocktails. The very sad reality that 21 was forced closed in the December of 2020 due to the Covid 19 pandemic laying off it’s 147 employees. Along with 21, many

fine dining restaurants across not only New York City, but throughout upstate NY have permanently closed. According to the New York Restaurant Association forecasts that possibly 50% of those who survived so far will close unless Federal support specifically for restaurants doesn’t occur. Located in the Solow Building on West 57th, the dinner at Brasserie 8 ½ was simply delightful. This upscale French restaurant has a modern fare with a grand stairway down into the Brasserie. A d rather delightful staff greeted our party and presented us with the menu and an inviting smile. The General Manager stopped by the table and told us briefly about Brasserie 8 ½ and made a few recommendations. Off the menu of the appetizers, main course and deserts, the options provided were all choosen and were quite fulfilling to say the least including the exquisitely rich Crème Brulèe with its classic combination of vanilla bean and caramelized sugar. The center piece of the Valentines weekend trip was the planned destination to eat at the NoMad Manhattan. The NoMad is an impeccably luxury boutique hotel, stunning restaurant and historic ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: FEBRUARY EDITION 2021

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{ TRAVEL WITH AGNESS WINE }CELLARS } { SHIFT+CONTROL “The NoMad is an impeccably luxury boutique hotel, stunning restaurant and historic library located in the Flatiron Building within NoMad neighborhood on West 28th in Manhattan, New York City.”

District North of Madison Square Park. We were luckily enough to gaet resevations on Valentine’s Day for their five course meal event. Our cabbie took us around the town for a quite unplanned tour before finally arriving just in time thankfully. Every inch of the NoMad was eye catching as a sophisticated multiroom refined dining spaces appearing 242

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throughout. As escorted to the table, we passed the book-lined library space where I hoped to be seated, yet our table overlooked a amazing classic bar from the mezzannine level. This is definitely French influenced modern cuisine, fancy cocktails and of course wine. This became of night to remember as one would expect from a Michelin-starred restaurant - dedication to delight. Each course seemed to be even more impressive

than the last. My friend Thomas Pastuszak Head Sommelier was visiting the Nomad Las Vegas, yet not to worry as another very knowledgeable SOMM took a personal interest in our evening of fine dining. A Year ago makes quite a difference as every seat was filled and the bar packed. The Nomad reopened last fall with distanced seating at their rooftop restaurant and at the outdoor space created.


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SHIFT+CONTROL { {WOMEN IN POLITICS} }

MEET JACKIE ORTIZ BY TERRY DANIELE

The General Election of 2020 is now officially in the books. To provide insight into our local election process, RWO wanted to investigate how the Monroe County Board of Elections (BOE) processed mail-in votes as well as early and in-person voting. We went right to the source. We reached out to both the Republican and Democrat Commissioners of the Monroe County BOE. We were able to meet and interview Jackie Ortiz, Democrat Commissioner, but not Lisa Nicolay, Republican Commissioner.

Tragically, in 2003, her brother was senselessly taken as he walked to work early one morning. Even today, his murder has never been solved. Ortiz returned home to help her family cope with the ordeal of such an incredible loss. Although actively employed, Jackie felt a sense of wanting more. A close friend of hers was working on local political

Commissioner Ortiz’s background is impressive. Ms. Ortiz was born and raised in the city of Rochester. Proud of her Puerto Rican and Mexican family heritage, she has consistently risen above the many struggles faced early in her life. Her determination and worth ethic has always been a determining factor to her success. Jackie graduated from Wilson High School in Rochester, NY. She was an exceptional student who surrounded herself with numerous positive influences that guided her life and learning. She attended, and received her degree in Marketing from, Cornell University. After obtaining her degree, she started a job in Racine, Wisconsin. Even though Rochester was the only place she had ever known, she was up to the challenge of relocation to start her adult life. 244

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campaigns, and as a result, Jackie first became involved in the political arena. Eventually, she became a successful candidate for City Council. Her three terms on the Council were all positive and productive. She also approaches 15 years of operating and owning a successful business. Jackie was elected as the Democrat BOE

Commissioner in July 2020 with 87% of the vote and began serving the Board of Elections in late August. With fewer than 90 days until the presidential election in a difficult year, she and the team got right to work. The COVID-19 pandemic continued to present unprecedented challenges to elections nationwide. New York State passed legislation allowing all registered voters to apply for and receive a mail-in ballot due to the pandemic. Much of the fear surrounding issues of potential fraud or error were generated with this form of voting. Mail-in voting had never before been utilized on a scale of this magnitude. Jackie and the team knew this would present challenges, but embraced them. In New York, absentee ballots could not to be counted until the days following Election Day and storage of large quantities of returned ballots presented potential issues. The anticipated 100,000 plus ballots had to be secured to prevent any form of alteration, degradation or loss. A secure location was essential. The team reached out to County Executive Adam Bello and asked if such a place existed. Bello allowed the BOE to use the 8th floor in the City Place building. In addition to security, the location offered the space necessary for workers to maintain social distancing.


{ SPECIAL FEATURE } { CNY INSPIRING WOMAN }

VANESSA’S STORY

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SHIFT+CONTROL { {WOMEN IN POLITICS} } “Ms. Ortiz was born and raised in the city of Rochester. Proud of her Puerto Rican and Mexican family heritage, she has consistently risen above the many struggles faced early in her life.”

Keeping BOE staff safe was high on the priority list. Each envelope was dated as received and reviewed by a bi-partisan team for signature accuracy against signatures on file in voter records. Some mail-in ballots were tagged as a “Cure,” a new process for Boards of Elections. They were placed into separate bins for followup action. Ballots marked “Cure” were ballots that could be amended or fixed to make certain the ballot could be counted. The BOE contacted impacted voters within 24 hours and allowed the voter to correct the error within a set number of days. Most often, the voter forgot to sign the ballot envelope. In the past, this ballot could not be counted, now the voter has an opportunity to correct this and other simple mistakes. Prior to the counting process, all voter ID’s are reviewed for duplication and the team meticulously reviews each one 248

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for removal. On November 16th, 2020 the count of absentee ballots began. A process was established to accommodate the volume of ballots. Bipartisan review stations were set up with both a Republican and a Democrat BOE employee. Candidates, media and other interested parties were able to view the process from beginning to end. Working together, the bipartisan teams opened the absentee envelopes and prepared ballots for counting. Ballots were then placed in a voting machine to be tabulated. The machine that tabulated the votes functions the same way the voting machines do for in person voting. The entire process occurred with Democrat and Republican oversight. For both mail in and in person voting, the stand-alone tabulating machines are not connected to the internet or any network, which ensures they are not capable of being hacked. Ballots are

counted and the paper ballot retained for recordkeeping. For in person voting, the number of voters is compared against the number of ballots counted by the machine. This is why voters are required to sign in when appearing in person to vote. The mechanical count from the machine, the number of voters signed in the poll pads and all paper ballots are then submitted to the BOE on election night. Audits are conducted to ensure accuracy. Voting laws and procedures will continue to evolve and 2021 will be another landmark year for change. In New York and across our great nation, there are dedicated workers like Commissioners Ortiz and Nicolay, their staffs, and numerous election workers who work to guarantee our elections are fair and votes are accurately counted.


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IN HER HER OWN OWN WORDS WORDS } {{ IN

THE SECRETS WE KEEP BY REBECCA JAFFARIAN

Last January, New York State passed the Clean Bill of Adoption Rights allowing adoptees over the age of 18 unrestricted access to their sealed birth certificates. “Where you came from informs who you are, and every New Yorker deserves access to the same birth records—it’s a basic human right.” Governor Andrew Cuomo said, “For too many years adoptees have been denied access to this information, and I am proud to sign this legislation into law and correct this inequality once and for all.”

siblings were all married and starting families or already with small children close to my age. I was never told I was adopted. Yes, there was some inklings along the way. Why didn’t I look like any of my Italian Armenian family members? I was fair skinned with blond hair. Why were

The new law did away with restrictions dating back to the 1930’s that required an adoptee to seek a hard-to-get court order to access original birth certificates. New York State became the 10th state and the largest to open original birth certificates to adoptees. I was one of over 9,752 adoptees that applied. The Covid-19 pandemic delayed it for more months. But I had waited 56 years what was a few more months? During the interim I had already started the process of trying to learn the identity of my biological father through the miracle of Ancestry DNA. I wasn’t sure what I would discover but for the first time I felt I had the right to. I was adopted at birth, a private closed adoption which was the only kind at that time, 1963. My parents were 56 and 49 . They already had raised their family two sons (my brothers George and Ron) and my sister Jacklyn. My 252

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mother for long periods of time. Once during a snowstorm I was forced to spend the night at my brother’s house which was directly across the street from the school I attended. I cried the entire night and made myself sick. My fear of abandonment was very real then. While looking through old childhood and school photos I came across my elementary school report cards from Holy Apostles, Nazareth Hall, and Mother of Sorrows. The teacher’s comments mentioned my shyness and being withdrawn. More than one teacher emphasized my need to participate more in class discussion to share my ideas. I didn’t learn I was adopted until I was 18 or 19. It never bothered me that I was adopted. What bothered me most was the fact that those closest to me knew about it and I didn’t. The secret had to be kept at all costs.

my siblings so much older? When I was three years old my father died. My mother became a single mother with a young child along with being a widower. I admire her for her strength. She worked three jobs so that I could attend the best private Catholic schools. I don’t recall a lot of those early childhood years but do remember having intense anxiety whenever I was away from my

When I asked an old childhood friend that had grown up with me during those days on Broad Street if she had known I was adopted, she said everyone knew, but we were afraid of your mother. Ida Vicionte was a tough Italian lady. One of eight. She herself sent away to spend time away from her own mother Pasqualina and lived with a family in Brooklyn. Maybe this was one of the reasons why when a single pregnant mother named Beverly Sage crossed her path she wanted to help in any


{ LIFE BALANCE { IN HERIN OWN WORDS} }

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{ IN HER OWN WORDS } “Where you came from informs who you are, and every New Yorker deserves access to the same birth records—it’s a basic human right.” - Governor Andrew Cuomo

Sometime in the late 1990’s I decided I wanted to learn more about my biological mother. My mother was reluctant at first but arranged it through another family member. Apparently, Beverly Sage my birth mother had been acquainted with this family member, my godmother no less. Beverly lived outside of Buffalo. She traveled to Rochester to meet me along with her husband Jim. I was nervous, anxious, excited. Not quite sure what to expect. The resemblance was striking. I was definitely her daughter. We were the same height and had the same exact smile. I felt like part of the jig saw puzzle that was my life was fitting into pieces. Unfortunately, I was not able to maintain a relationship with Bev because it was hurting my mother Ida. The woman who met the world to me. I lost both my mother’s within a short period of time, Ida in 1998 at the age of 82. A year later Beverly died. During this period, I came across a letter addressed to Ida dated June 12, 1994 from Eleanor Brunn, my biological aunt. The four page typed letter detailed how Beverly’s husband was unable to father a child and how heartbroken she was for having given me up for adoption. She was 23 when she gave me away. Beverly suffered from depression and had been hospitalized on several occasions. She asked Ellie if there was any way she could find out about me. Her greatest desire 254

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had been that Rebecca had been told she was adopted. I cried when I read this letter and still do today. The Ancestry DNA served up some surprises as well. I knew Sage was English French but when the results came back 40 % Irish, 37% English, 22% Scottish, 1% Wales. There were also matches that appeared to not be from the maternal side. As I waited to receive my pre-adoption birth certificate, knowing that there was

the possibility that my birth father’s name may or may not appear on that document, I had the help of an Adoption Search Angel who was able to create family trees and trace back the DNA of first, second, and third cousins. It was time consuming. My Search Angel Rhonda created a detailed and meticulous report of her findings. The reasons behind those findings. All I knew about my birth father was that he was married at the time of my birth. Now I have some sense of identity.

His name was Jack. He passed away in 1972. I don’t know if he was aware of my existence or not. He had one child named Tom. I wrote to him and happily he contacted me immediately. So now I have half brother across the country with two dauughters, one of whom is also adopted. He actually grew up in the Dewey Stone area just inches away from me. My biological father’s name does not appear on the pre adoption birth certificate. When I finally received it in late summer, I had to laugh. It was clearly fraudulent. The birth father is identified as Diran George Jaffarian age 25 years old. The birth mother is identified as Ida Beverly Sage age 23 years old. The address of the St. Mary’s Hospital is written as 792 Spencerport Road, which is a residential address, the former address of my Godparents. The documents show how much my adopted parents wanted me. I have been blessed in so many ways. It is important for adopted parents to understand this piece of the story is not about you. It is human nature to seek closure on a biological connection. It felt instinctual to me. Adoptees should not feel pressure or guilt for wanting to complete a circle that was woven for them without their choice. We deserve to write our own ending— Rebecca Jaffarian


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GIVE YOURSELF A BREAK BY AHLIA TILLMAN KITWANA

It is now close to a year that the world was turned upside down. All of us have done our best to transition our lives and particularly our work lives to accommodate the demands of social distancing, staying closer to home and for many of us working from home. The tax we have paid has been immense.

Taking a break from work can boost creativity and productivity. Take a break like a champ, here are some ways you can do it throughout your workday: • Take a short nap, 20 minutes can boost your ability to concentrate.

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• Call a friend. • Go for a walk with a colleague. • Movement: o Dance breaks are always welcome! o Do a b r i e f y o g a sequences o Work a fitness challenge into your break

Our culture is so enamored in doing, checking things off a list and staying busy that sometimes we forget to pause. Or we completely shun the idea of taking a break, as if slowing down is somehow a weakness or a mark of being incapable or less than. Several years ago, I would often work myself so hard that I would end up sick and stuck in bed for several days. It took me a very long time to realize that my getting sick was my body’s way of telling me to take a break, to slow down. I also realized that I could be strategic about my breaks, that I could possibly work them into my monthly battle rhythm. I started taking breaks from work the way I wanted to, doing things I wanted to ---- like sipping wine and getting lost in a good novel. In doing this I reclaimed my time and didn’t have to spend my rest time recovering from an illness.

• Meditate, four good times to do so are when you first wake up, mid-day, and the end of a work day or when you are stressed.

While work breaks throughout the day are important, it is likewise important to take weekly and monthly breaks doing the things you love, and offering yourself a little self-love. That may be a massage for some, a hike for others.

• Take a walk, getting outside helps to refresh your mind and has a way of recharging your wellbeing. Putting on some tunes, or not and take a brief 15-20 minute walking break. I find that going somewhere that is more natural is even more restorative. However, a brief walk around the block can do you good too.

Do what brings you joy regularly! Challenge the grind culture and dare to take a break every once in a while. According to the Nap Ministry, Rest is Liberation, self-care is a revolutionary act in a capitalist system designed to wear you down. Take a break and be revolutionary about your peace. Step away from the grind culture and indulge in some simple self-care.


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{ I AM... }

SELFLESS TO SELFISH BY LASHAWNDRA ASHFORD I PHOTOS BY KAMERON ASHFORD

I love you! OMG, I love my hair! OMG, I love pizza! OMG, I love those shoes! I love my makeup. I love: you can probably list a countless number of things you love, but the real question, do you love yourself? Love is an intense feeling of deep affection. Love can be quite challenging to understand; when we utter the word love: compared to materialistic objects as we do to an emotional connection to someone. Do we love an incredible pair of shoes the same way we love ourselves? In February, where we highlight “love” think about what that truly means to you. Are you celebrating love, or is it a conditioned behavior influenced by the perception of the world of what this month should be about.? THINK ABOUT IT How often do we spend time putting in the effort to demonstrate our love and affection for others more than we do ourselves? Have you ever spent the beginning of February searching for items to purchase to display your love towards someone? In the same thought, have you demonstrated that same love for yourself? When was the last time you took yourself on a date? When was the last time you looked in the mirror and told yourself you love yourself? When was the last time you whispered positive words? When was the last time you did something you love consistently? Consistently meaning nothing interfered with your plans

because you chose you first? When was the last time you made yourself smile? Even more, was the last time you made yourself proud? What’s something you fail to pursue because of your commitment to someone or something? Considering all of those questions and taking time to reflect, are you disseminating the same love for others to yourself? Has someone ever asked you to do something, and you were exhausted, mentally and physically, yet you still showed up? On the other hand, have you ever wanted to do something for yourself but did not because you were mentally and physically exhausted? Why is it that we don’t show up for ourselves as we do for others? EPIPHANY For instance, it took years to accept and acknowledge the love I thought I displayed for myself was not true love. I demonstrated my love towards my husband, children, and other relatives on a deeper level than me. I catered to their wants, needs, and desires while neglecting my very own. Of course, they love me and want the best for me; however, I didn’t know how to set boundaries. Seriously, how does a wife and mother set boundaries for herself? Their life became my world. As long as they were happy, I was. I’m smiling writing this because how does someone else’s happiness determine your very own happiness? TRUTHFUL TALES At some point in our lives, our love for things or people grew while the

love for ourselves slowly decreased. Now let’s be clear, this is not to make you feel ashamed or guilty but to shed light on stereotypical; cultural norms of women and mothers. Women are natural nurturers, yet most fail to nurture themselves. Societal and cultural norms represent women as the matriarch. The woman who holds their family together, the glue. The one who sacrifices their life for their family, but how much should we sacrifice? PUT YOURSELF FIRST I recently restarted my health/fitness journey in May. Now I’ll be honest; I started this journey over and over again since 2009. Each time I began this journey, I would give up because it was too difficult to exercise, eat healthily, cook for my family and not indulge in unhealthy food, in addition to my other responsibilities. I think I gave up just about every other month. In May 2020, I began my health/ fitness journey. Again. This time, I made different choices. I stopped cooking for my family. Now don’t judge me. Some may think that’s a bit extreme, nonetheless, I did what I had to do for myself. During this journey, I realized how much I put myself last. I discovered it is beyond challenging for a selfless person to be selfish. On the other hand, I desired change. I developed some selfish skills in which I am proud of. So, I decreased cooking for my family, did not partake in engagements, developed self-discipline, and considered myself holistically before ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: FEBRUARY EDITION 2021

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{ I AM... } “I love: you can probably list a countless number of things you love, but the real question, do you love yourself? ”

making a decision. If I thought for once I’ll be influenced by poor food choices, miss a workout, or would be affected, I didn’t put myself in that situation and didn’t think for once how people would feel. I realized life still went on. My family developed more independent skills and wasn’t hungry haha but this here mama was able to live for her. I began a self-love journey. I recreated norms for my family. I fell in love with the woman I neglected for many years. The highlight of my journey was losing 36 lbs and loving every inch of my body, including the stretch marks and scar from a c-section. THE FOUR LETTER WORD Love is an indescribable feeling. The love for self is radiant and contagious. The love for self is attractive and influential. Self-love is demanding respect for you and setting boundaries. Self-love requires discipline. Selflove displays happiness and confidence. Selflove begins with you acknowledging the neglect or abuse you demonstrated over time and having the desire to implement change. Neglect; can be 262

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from your conditioned norms as a woman, but how do you reestablish norms?

love means taking care of yourself, taking care of your needs, and not sacrificing your well-being to please others. This self-love journey will require you to; primarily consider your thoughts and feelings. Holistically evaluate and assess your emotional and physical well-being first. During February, let’s take a different approach and spend time recreating and establishing boundaries for ourselves. The love we demonstrate towards others should not exceed the love we display towards ourselves. It is time to transition from selfless to selfish. You are LIMITLESS. Stay you, Stay true, Stay Shameless. Own it, Embrace it, Face it, Shamelessly. ~ Shameless Shawny

KEEP IN MIND Self-love is having a high regard for your well-being and happiness. Self-


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{ I AM... } “When was the last time you made yourself smile? Even more, was the last time you made yourself proud?”

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{ UNSTOPPABLE WOMAN }

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{ UNSTOPPABLE WOMAN }

STRUGGLING WITH ONLINE LEADERSHIP? BY DR. PAM DENTON I PHOTO BY KATRINA GRADY

SUPERCORE TO THE RESCUE! The COVID-19 pandemic has put a new spin on networking and connecting. One of the important lessons of the pandemic is showing up online takes a different skill set than showing up in person. As natural connectors, it is challenging as women to show up to the online world for all of our connections and express ourselves, really express ourselves authentically, EVERY DAY! Staying motivated and present while looking into a screen is a very different way to lead, network, and build relationships.

have an established network and find great productivity when connecting with a group or at networking events. While men are focused on the shortterm need, women are more focused on building long-term personal connections or friendships.

The struggle to be “on” online all the time is a real issue that women face today! Having to look at yourself on camera all day can be an intense experience for leaders - made more difficult by long hours on the computer, zoom fatigue, and low energy. It’s especially challenging for those of us who are used to the human connection of in-person meetings and the stimulation we get from networking. On Zoom, there’s no hiding in the back row or playing small. You’re front and center all the time - unless you turn off your camera. And that disconnects you from the group. Connection is important for women. As women, we have an innate desire to connect with others and build community. Most female leaders

Being an online leader takes A LOT more energy, expression, and authentic communication. We have to lean in and expand into the virtual world to really connect. And this means intensifying your expression so that you can be more energetic on screen to engage your audience or team. Your energy has to be ON 120 percent. So what effect does this have on your mental and physical health - and your effectiveness as a leader?

Studies show that long hours of technology with minimal real human contact can lead to mental distress and depression, making it even harder to connect and network. The stresses of a rapidly changing workplace and the shift to largely virtual work teams, added to the everyday stresses inherent in high performance careers, has led to mental overwhelm, depression, anxiety, feelings of isolation, and an overall drop in team productivity. According to SHRM.org, recent studies show that 45% of employees are feeling emotionally drained, 22 to 35% exhibit signs of depression, and 37% have done nothing to cope with depression-related symptoms. The World Health Organization states that “depression and anxiety have a significant economic impact; the estimated cost to the global economy is US $1 trillion per year in lost productivity.” Clearly, addressing the mental, emotional, and physical wellbeing of employees is critical to business survival and success. Let’s face it, the transition to online leadership has pushed us all to the brink of mental and physical fatigue. So what is the solution? The first step is to connect with your body. Since you can’t physically connect with other people, it is essential to connect with YOURSELF - to check in and monitor your own energy levels. To be productive online, ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: FEBRUARY EDITION 2021

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{ UNSTOPPABLE WOMAN } “Let’s face it, the transition to online leadership has pushed us all to the brink of mental and physical fatigue.”

you must tune in to your positive expressive power and activate your energy flow. You must have positive energy flowing through you in order to be creative, expressive, and productive. SuperCORE to the Rescue! While teaching leadership in 2020, our leadership team realized that we need a form of leadership fitness that fits this new virtual world. A type of fitness that gives leaders immediate relief from mental and physical exhaustion caused by online leadership and sitting for long hours without movement. Hillary Welles and I set out to create a highly efficient form of positive motivation fitness called SuperCORE. Designed to complement 268

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the Insider Leadership Program. Choose Expressive Movement, IT WORKS! We discovered the power of expressive movement in the process of creating SuperCORE for online leadership success. We realized the power of taking short movement breaks that incorporated breathing and simple, yet highly effective exercises FROM YOUR CHAIR! We developed a comprehensive program for stress release, physical conditioning, and positive motivation for authentic expression that includes eight breathing techniques, five power stances, and 26 foundational moves. Start here and now!

The first step is easy! Take a deep breath, in through your nose and out through your mouth, and begin to feel connected to your body. Then - visit our website and sign up for a FREE SuperCORE class to get a taste of how amazing you will feel in your SuperCORE practice. We can even bring SuperCORE to your team for a free demonstration. www.supercorefit.com Dr. Pam Denton is the founder Insider Leadership Program. Join the Insider for embodied leadership or explore your writing expression with Hillary Welles who writes authentic copy for women in business.



{ CHILDREN AWAITING PARENTS }

A CHALLENGE FOR THE CHALLENGE BY LAURI MCNIGHT

Generating community awareness for the 125,000 kids waiting for adoption through new “Foster to Forever” challenge For nearly 50 years, Children Awaiting Parents (CAP) has been advocating for youth in foster care in need of a forever family. For the 125,000 children and young adults who have navigated years in the foster care system—and await being chosen by a family— challenge is a word they understand well. These children face challenges every day of their lives in the foster care system—struggling to understand why they are no longer part of their birth family, feeling unwanted, unloved, longing to be part of a family, dealing with mental health problems, or the separation of their sibling and all they knew. Even greater is the challenge they face when a foster family chooses not to adopt them, or when what seems to be a good adoption possibility falls through. And they are left unwanted. Again. To the list of “unrequested” children in care, add the challenge for providers to find permanent homes and families for older youth, sibling sets, or children with behavior diagnosis and/or disabilities. Families seeking to adopt the “perfect child” to fit into their family, often scroll by the 270

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“difficult” children, or decline to move forward if they are a challenge during the visitation process. Veronica Black, Adoption Specialist at Children Awaiting Parents, prepares families for the types of children waiting for adoption. With every family she trains and certifies for foster and adoption, she is adamant that “there is no such thing as a perfect child. These children have experienced trauma and they will NOT be perfect. But there is a perfect child for you!

They need love, a family, and the sense of belonging to someone.” If, by age 18, a youth is not adopted, or at least is under the guardianship of a family, they will age out of the system with no resources or supports, destined to attempt to try and live independently but without the critical skills to succeed. Then there is the challenge of creating awareness in communities, states, churches, and organizations tasked

with providing permanency for waiting children. The numbers cross our desks all the time, but have we truly internalized them? Nationally, there are 440,000 children in foster care. Of these, 125,000 are waiting to be adopted. Looking at New York State, there were 3,100 waiting children in 2019. CAP is passionate about our kids, and equally passionate about matching a child for our regional and local families. But more awareness is needed. Attention must be given not only to the numbers, but also to the faces and stories, as displayed on our website. So, CAP is challenging the community to don their workout clothes, grab their sneakers, skis, swimsuits, dance videos—whatever it is that moves and motivates—and help rack up the miles for the 125,000 kids in America waiting to be somebody’s child. On March 1, 2021, CAP begins its 90-day FOSTER TO FOREVER CHALLENGE for community awareness, and to honor and recognize all those waiting children. We encourage everyone locally and regionally to move their bodies and track their steps, miles, laps, minutes,


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{ CHILDREN AWAITING PARENTS } “With every family she trains and certifies for foster and adoption, she is adamant that “there is no such thing as a perfect child. These children have experienced trauma and they will NOT be perfect. But there is a perfect child for you! ”

kicks, dance moves and more—then submit those to CAP—as we convert movement into miles to reach our community goal of 125,000 miles by the end of May, National Foster Care Month. Groups, organizations, or teams are a fun and competitive way to participate and increase our collective miles. In addition, the challenge will encourage some of us to get moving toward our spring health and fitness! 274

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While there is no fee to join the challenge, we welcome any donations or pledges. CAP is excited to gather our communities together, and, as we move our bodies and consider the challenges faced by children in care, we can raise the awareness of the need for children to move from from foster to forever. At the completion of the FOSTER TO FOREVER CHALLENGE in May, CAP will host a virtual celebration to thank all community participants,

reveal our total community mileage, and award the top 5 Movers with a small gift of appreciation. To join the challenge please contact us in the one of the following ways: O u r w e b s i t e : w w w. childrenawaitingparents.org Our office number: (585) 232-5110 Our email: info@capbook.org


Help Us Find Forever Families for Children Waiting the Longest in Foster Care. At Children Awaiting Parents we provide: Pre- and post-adoption services Support services for youth aging out of foster care MAPP training for prospective adoptive parents Support groups childrenawaitingparents.org I 585-232-5110 or 888-835-8802


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{ DR J’S BEAUTY }

HAPPY BLACK HISTORY MONTH BY DR. ANIKA SIMONE JOHNSON

Happy Black History Month Beautiful Queens!!! I hope your 2021 has been fruitful. I am so excited to connect with you about creating a self-care self-love routine. Over the last few weeks I took time to unplug from social media to commit to my spiritual practice to achieve optimal health and spiritual growth.

a shower and moisturize your body. Toolkit #2: Body movement. It is important to move your body daily in a workout routine either walking, jogging, running, aerobics, zumba, weight lifting, dance or yoga. It does

Toolkit #4: Listen to affirmations, binaural beats or meditation audio for at least 10 minutes.

This annual spiritual practice has led me to share with you a toolkit to help you elevate your self-care journey. Allow me to introduce to you Dr. J. Beauty’s Self-care Toolkit. This unique toolkit includes various self-love expressions that require you to spend quiet time with yourself, acknowledging areas within your day of gratitude and forgiveness. Also, there are action steps required for you to commit self-care time for yourself.

When you are mindful, listening to and repeating words you are putting power to them to manifest into your life. This is imperative to understand because your positive thoughts become positive things in your life. The universe cannot decipher between positive or negative thoughts – so be intentional.

Now let’s dive in as I share these 5 toolkits that should be incorporated into your daily, weekly, and monthly habits. Toolkit #1: Take a sacred bathe. This is a relaxing way to release toxins from your body and let the worries of your day melt away. Fill up the bathtub with warm water, take 5 lemons, cut slits into them, place in water or simply use epsom salt. Soak in the tub for 15 minutes but DO NOT WASH in the tub, just soak. When you are done, take

mindset and provide you with a new outlook to how to navigate your life and make better decisions. Taking time to read 30 minutes a day morning or night will give you the motivation you need to activate change in your life.

not matter what you select for your body movement but figure out what works best for you and move your bpdu at least 30 minutes. Toolkit #3: Read an inspirational book. Reading can elevate your

Toolkit #5: Turn off all blue light devices 30 minutes before bed. Put away LED cellphones, IPADs, computers and televisions from your bedroom. The harmful effects of blue light to our skin cells are damaging not to mention the addiction to cellphone usage, social media and simply the fear of missing out. I challenge you to truly decompress before going to bed. Return to an alarm clock and enjoy a good night’s sleep. ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: FEBRUARY EDITION 2021

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{ DR J’S BEAUTY } “Over the last few weeks I took time to unplug from social media to commit to my spiritual practice to achieve optimal health and spiritual growth.”

This is a new perspective to consider to how you could fill your cup to runneth over with love, light and energy. When you have embodied the 5 toolkits through repetition and consistency in your self-care journey, you will exude light, be 278

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open to receiving, gain a higher level of discernment, flow through your feminine energy and inner-stand that you have everything you need. Remember you’re worthy, valuable and needed! Self-care is self-love!

Vibrate Higher, All Things Dr. J. Beauty @allthingsdr.j.beauty www.drjbeauty.com



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{{ THE THE KEFI KEFIWAY WAY } } { SHE HUSTLES TALKS

MARKETING IN 2021 BY KATINA KARL I PHOTOS BY LYNEA D’APRIX PHOTOGRAPHY

ARE YOU HEADING IN THE RIGHT M A R K E T I N G DIRECTION WITH YOUR BUSINESS?” As we have moved towards the end of the first quarter of the 2021. It’s important to ask ourselves as a business owner – “ are we moving our business in the right direction with its marketing campaign?” I would love to give you some advice on creating a solid marketing game plan for your business, if you are handling your own business’s marketing campaign. NUMBER ONE: PLAN YOUR CONTENT. You may be the type of business owner that posts on social platforms on the fly – and, that’s okay! Sometimes you have to! But, it would save you time to put together a calendar and plan for your business. You can choose any type of calendar you’d like that works for you- whether it’s a Google Calendar, Using an App or the old fashion way of writing it down, whichever way works best for you! Facebook/Instagram now give you an option to schedule out your content by using “Business Suite,” many of us in the marketing world use platforms like Hootsuite to ensure posts were being done at the right time for our audience and being able to manage

multiple platforms. As a business owner, you should be posting between 3-4x a week on your social platforms in which can be difficult for many of you, so scheduling content ahead of time with your calendar is key. Come up with themes for holidays, products you’d like to focus on certain days, maybe you’d even like to do a day where you have a motivational quote for your followers. As long as you plan it out, you keep your content, message and look consistent with your business’s vision. NUMBER 2: V.I.D.E.O.S You don’t have to be a professional videographer to do this, any business owner can post videos. I cannot stress the importance of videos or going live - virtually on your social platforms enough. As I’ve discussed before people crave the connection with businesses, brands, family and friends. We have all been “quarantined” at home for the past year, and connecting with videos has become HUGE…and videos are not going away any time soon. While you are planning your content, plan to do some videos too! Whether you’re taking boomerangs, short :30:60 second videos of your business location, product or just talking to your followers/customers that’s important. The one thing I always ask is… to have good lighting if you can! You can even purchase a “Ring Light” off of Amazon to help film your content with good light.

Figure out what kind of content is best and appropriate for your type of business, as short videos may be great, but going live – virtually on Facebook/Instagram could be even better. But, make sure to plan it ahead of time. Know what you’d like to focus on, talk about and feature in your virtual live (maybe this is something you promote on a certain date each month for your followers to tune in to). It’s important to keep people engaged and tuned in with you while you are live. Also, plan on repeating your introduction and about your business as new followers join in on your live. Ask them to engage with you and ask questions, send some hearts or even share the live if they can. Oh, and if you plan on going live on multiple platforms such as Facebook and Instagram. Make sure to have two cameras/phones/iPads set up next to one another and engage with both of the followers on each platform, as you’ll have different audiences on each! NUMBER 3: DO GOOD AND FEEL GOOD. So, what does “do good and feel good” mean? It means giving back to your community or to local nonprofits. We know as business owners it’s been a challenging year for us, but you may not know that it has been even more so for non-profits. Many

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{ {SHIFT+CONTROL THE KEFI WAY } } “We know as business owners it’s been a challenging year for us, but you may not know that it has been even more so for non-profits.”

non-profits have not been able to have their typical in person events which allow them to raise donations to help their mission. They have had to go virtual as they can to raise donations whether it be monetary or items they are desperately in need of. Once a quarter partner with a nonprofit that you’re passionate about – women, children, animals, cancer, etc., it doesn’t have to cost you anything! 282

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You may ask, well how is that possible? Host a donation drive to your business, promote their mission on your social platforms, create an online fundraiser to promote to your followers or even support products/brands for your company that are sustainable and give back to non-profits. It’s a wonderful way to connect with others and putting a good light out there for a non-profit and your business. These are just a few great ways you

can plan, connect and give back this year. There are SO many ways you can grow your business through the right marketing this year and each year going forward. If you should need any help at any point in time with your marketing campaign, don’t hesitate to reach out to Kefi Marketing! We always treat your business as if it were our own.





{{ SHIFT+CONTROL KARMA SPEAKS }}

20 YEARS BY DENISE “KARMA” CLIFFORD

I once thought 20 years was a long time, and yet I waited for this day to come which for some time seemed like watching rocks form into sand. Rolling around on the banks of the shore for an eternity of waves and weather. To wake up one morning and realize time is just an illusion of all the days gone by. I have lived here for 20 years, longer than I have lived anywhere, yet it never did feel quite like home. Even though I brought 2 babies home from the hospital, got married here, and got divorced. This is the house where my children took first steps in, said their first words. These walls have listened to the secrets of many voices and kept them sealed within the cracks. Birthday parties, pool parties and backyard campouts. My k i d s’ l i v e s revolved around this house, yet to me it never did feel like home. I hung pictures of smiles and would hear the laughter of the memory just out of reach. To remind myself of the importance of a house. My kids grew up here, yet so did 286

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I. It wasn’t just the kids who grew into the better version of themselves here. I found my true self in a house I never felt was home. I learned about failure, and loss and what it truly means to make it, on your own. 20 years where 10 of it was spentwondering each day how I would keep it. Keep from losing it, keep my sanity, keep my kids in an

environment with a solid foundation … and a home. I almost lost it once, and it would have been easy to just walk away and take the loss. Call it quits and take the easy road out. It was this point in life where I truly found the value in people I call my friends. As I made decisions and

spewed out pipe dreams about my future and having a restaurant, living in the country and owning goats and chickens. Yet keeping a house I never quite felt was my home. “I cannot wait to sell this house, and move back home.” Was something I heard myself saying day after day. And each year that passed felt like each year the statement was just that. I stayed for my kids. Sometimes I scraped pennies together for a gallon of milk, other times I was able to purchase a new PlayStation 4 for Easter as a surprise. I worked for this house, I worked to keep it so that one day I would be able to use it for my own future. One day. I never realized how fast 20 years goes by and how quickly the future becomes now. I never realized a house that was never my home but a home to my children can hold on to the heart strings and make you long for the child you once had. The ones now too busy or too old to need you anymore. The ones you held onto the house for. Who begged you to tuck them in and read that story one last time. To shut the door but not all the way And leave the hallway light on, all night.


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KARMA SPEAKS }} {{ SHIFT+CONTROL “I once thought 20 years was a long time, and yet I waited for this day to come which for some time seemed like watching rocks form into sand.”

To play the Cd, side 2. Where forts were built with blankets, And little brothers fell off the top bunks. Where Santa wore a napkin as a beard and you believed. Where glow sticks were pool toys at night and no matter how much you complained, you really didn’t mind that every year you and your sister shared a backyard pool birthday party as kids. The sidewalk was your roadway for bikes from the stop sign to the girls house. Dinner was served the same time everyday,

No matter what, and we asked each other about our day. The kids grew up, and time moved on. No more tucking kids in, or bandaids on knees. No more dinners together because everyone works or has plans. There are no more books to read or nightlights to leave on. The house is just a house. The home has gone away with the children who reside now just in the pictures hanging on the walls. Waiting now for the next

round of giggles, and stories and a mom who needs a house. As for me, it’s time I finally find that place I’ve been waiting for, the one I can finally call my home.

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{ THE ACS CORNER }

KEVIN BY JOHNNY WILLIAMS

Thanks to our partnership with Humane Society International, we’ve received many incredible dogs that were rescued from dog meat farms in South Korea. Their stories often amazing, and bring out the best in some pretty amazing people. Kevin is one of these dogs. He arrived as one of ten fellow canines to be rescued from the harsh conditions of these farms. He was absolutely, immovably terrified, save for the fullbody tremors that quaked his entire body. A large scar is easily visible on his face – a remnant of his horrible past. Kevin was quickly taken in by our vet tech Jill Elston, who has fostered many challenged dogs into confident, well-behaved canines that are ready for forever homes. Kevin didn’t leave his crate for the entire first day with Jill, and it took nine days before Kevin was comfortable to relax enough for Jill to even touch him without Kevin flinching. With therapeutic help from Jill’s own dogs – Ava, Newt and Simza – Kevin made huge strides in the subsequent days, revealing a snuggly personality that loved to spend time in Jill’s lap. 290

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In the following weeks, it would be these dog interactions that would most help Kevin learn what it meant to be a companion dog. Ava’s confidence would show him that new things were not so scary. Newt, the enforcer, would carefully correct him when he began pushing boundaries. Simza’s playful nature

would both distract him from his fear and serve to demonstrate how much fun toys could be. “I find that many people think you can just love a dog into forgetting their past traumas,” said Jill. “While love plays a part, time and patience play much bigger roles. If you

foster or adopt a frightened dog, do not expect them to be your best friend by day two. Give them time to adjust and learn that things are okay.” It still took weeks of careful fostering and training for Kevin to be ready to make the big jump to his forever home. And jump he did. “Forty days after I carried this terrified dog into my home, I watched him jump into a car with no fear,” Jill said. “This boy that had been so afraid was warming up to brand new people. He now had people who would promise to give him all the love that he so deserved. When he so willingly jumped into their car, I knew that my job was done. Kevin had learned what he needed to know to find these people to love him forever.” Kevin is currently adopted and adjusting well in his new forever home. Jill – like so many animal fosters – are the bridge. As much as we all want the perfect dog or cat, the truth is many of these animals have suffered severe traumas that prevent them from opening up and being the animals they meant to be.


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{{ THE ACS CORNER }} SHIFT+CONTROL “This boy that had been so afraid was warming up to brand new people. He now had people who would promise to give him all the love that he so deserved.”

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{ SCALP NY }

DOES WEARING A HAT REALLY CAUSE BALDNESS? BY JAROD SCHOONMAKER

It is common to see bald men cherish their hats like it’s one of their survival kits. The relationship between men who suffer from male pattern baldness and their hats is usually due to issues that border around self-confidence and acceptance. Who can blame them anyway? Baldness does take away the confidence in you because it makes you look old outwardly when you’re still young and beautiful inside.

DHT is an important hormone for helping the body develop male sexual characteristics. As a male, you can thank DHT for the fact that you have facial hair, body hair, male sex organs and other physical aspects of masculinity. Beyond its role in helping you develop male sexual characteristics, DHT also affects certain parts of the body into adulthood. One of these is hair. If you’re

DO HATS CAUSE HAIR LOSS? Well, dear wearers of ball caps and bowlers, rest assured: Wearing hats does not cause hair loss. ... If you consistently wear an extremely tight hat, you could experience traction alopecia (gradual hair loss resulting from repetitive pulling or tension of hair).

Male pattern baldness (the hair loss most people notice when their scalp hair starts to thin or their hairline starts to recede is caused by dihydrotestosterone (DHT). DHT is a male steroid hormone that’s created by your body as a normal, natural byproduct of testosterone. In pregnancy and during puberty,

WHY ARE YOU GOING BALD? There are so many reasons why hair could be lost, and some of them don’t have anything to do with what you do, eat, or wear. Below are some of the causes of hair loss: 1. Natural causes Hair can be lost naturally without the interference of any drug, clothing, or lifestyle. There are naturally three phases of for our hair, and they are the anagen phase, during which hair grows from the hair follicles; the next stage after that is known as the catagen phase, during which hair stops growing; and the last stage is the telogen phase, and it’s the period where your hair is shed.

That said, does wearing a hat cause baldness? We will find out the answer to that in this article and what can cause hair loss, and what treatments are trusted and sure.

Hair loss is caused by a combination of genetic and hormonal factors, none of which have anything to do with whether or not you wear a hat.

With that cleared, what then can we say causes hair loss, if not hat wearing? Let’s take a look at that.

2. Genetics (family history) Sometimes, hair could be lost because your father or the father before him had the same issue. Does wearing a hat cause balding in me? Well, maybe you could check the pictures of the men in your family before you, to see if they had that problem because they were wearing hats. genetically sensitive to DHT, normal amounts of DHT can bind to your hair follicles and cause them to miniaturize. This means that the hair follicles don’t grow as effectively as they used to. Over a long time period, the effect of DHT on your hair follicles (assuming your hair is genetically sensitive to DHT, as not everyone’s is equally sensitive) results in hair loss.

Other reasons for hair loss • Changes in hormones: hormonal changes can result in hair loss. Some conditions that can cause hormonal changes or imbalance can include thyroid problems, pregnancy, or childbirth. • Medical conditions: some medical conditions that can make you experience hair loss include alopecia areata, ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: FEBRUARY EDITION 2021

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{ SCALP NY } } { SHIFT+CONTROL “Well, dear wearers of ball caps and bowlers, rest assured: Wearing hats does not cause hair loss.”

ringworm or other scalp infections, and trichotillomania. • Medication: the medication and supplements you take can cause hair loss. Some drugs intended to treat conditions like arthritis, cancer, depression, gout heart problems, and high blood pressure have been connected to baldness. Birth control pills can also worsen the situation.

However, if any of the above reasons cause you to go bald, here are some solutions to go for. 1. HEALTHY LIFESTYLE If your hair loss problems are as a result of stress, medication, or poor nutrition, you need to consider starting a healthy lifestyle. Eat properly, and reduce activities that cause stress.

•Stress: Although losing hair to stress is temporary, continued involvement in stressful events can lead to a permanent loss of hair. • Excessive hairstyling or hairstyles: this also is temporary, but hairstyles that require your hairline to be continually carved backward can ruin the look of your hair. This can take very long to recover from. Also, hairstyles such as cornrows and pigtails can cause traction alopecia because they pull the hair back. If wearing a hat cause hair loss, I know a handful of people who wouldn’t have a single hair in their heads right now because they do it for fashion, and they do it every day. Remedy for hair loss Whether or not you wear hats, hair should not be missing from your head. 298

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2. SCALP MICROPIGMENTATION Also known as SMP or tricopigmentatio, scalp micropigmentation is one of the best and most trusted solutions to hair loss because the results are permanent. It involves the process of tattooing your head with tiny dots that represent pigments and give the illusion of hair follicles.

3. HAIR TRANSPLANT This should be your last resort, but it involves moving hair from one part of your body to that part that suffers hair loss. CONCLUSION There are hair loss myths about hair, hat, and baldness, and one of them is the belief that excessive wearing of a hat can result in a shortage of blood flow to the head. That is wrong in every alphabet. So, does wearing hats cause baldness? I’m very sure you already know the answer to that. You can contact Scalp International Hairlines (all rights reserved) for a beautiful scalp micropigmentation that gives you that natural looking hair and hairline.


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HELPING MEN AND WOMEN WHO ARE SUFFERING FROM HAIR LOSS, SCARS, AND FORMS OF ALOPECIA BECOME BETTER VERSIONS OF THEMSELVES THROUGH SCALP MICROPIGMENTATION.

2851 MILTON AVE SOLVAY, NY 13209 (800) 236-6792 WWW.SCALPNY.COM


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EYELASH LIFTING AND TINTING BY GABRIELLA ROSE FIEDERLEIN

A fun fact? Eyelashes perform some of the same functions as whiskers on a cat, in the sense that they are sensitive to being touched, providing a warning that an object is near the eye. An eyelash or simply lash is one of the hairs that grows at the edge of the eyelid. It grows in one layer at the edge of the eyelids. Eyelashes main function are to protect the eye from debris, dust, and small particles. Natural eyelashes do not grow beyond a certain length, and fall off by themselves without any need for trimming. Did you know that eyelashes take about seven to eight weeks to grow back if pulled out, but constant pulling may lead to permanent damage? Their color may differ from that of the hair, although they tend to be dark on someone with dark hair and lighter on someone with light hair. Eyelash hair is not androgenic, meaning not affected by puberty. Long eyelashes are considered a sign of beauty in many cultures. Some women seek to enhance their eyelash length artificial, using eyelash extensions, while other women seek a natural lift to their lashes receiving a service called eyelash lifting. Eyelash lifting and tinting have become popular procedures, even in fairly basic salons.

Here are some questions you might ask and here are the answers! What is a lash lift? It’s a semipermanent hour long treatment that enhances your natural lashes, making them appear fuller and longer. Certified technicians use a unique technique combining a lifting lotion and silicone rods to lift your natural lashes. You’ll get curl and volume

Elleebana, all of my products are hypoallergenic and my lifts last 6-12 weeks! No eyelash fills are needed because they are YOUR lashes. Since they’re your own, there is no lash damage or breakage! So the best thing about lifting is that it’s completely natural! It won’t do any harm! It only contains natural products so help your lashes with growth and strength. What is a lash tint? The lash tint gives your lashes a long-lasting mascara effect without the hassle of smudging, running, or clumping lashes. A lash tint is also great for those who have naturally light colored (blonde, gray, light brown) lashes.

without that weird kink you sometimes get from clamping down with a curler. No need for eyelash extensions and the associated aftercare. We have had clients who’s lashes have improved, gotten healthier, and longer from getting lash lifts! The formula to the brand I use is conditioning, nourishing, and formaldehyde free! Elleebana is a lash lifting brand that I am certified through to perform the service to my clients. Through

What is the difference between an eyelash lift and lash extensions? The processes are quite different. We will not be adding additional lashes or harmful adhesives to your eyelashes. You don’t have to worry about getting refills when the extensions start to fall out. You can also still use mascara for even more volume or length. If you’re looking for some definition without the commitment to continually update your extensions, a lash lift is the perfect solution. Will it damage my lashes? No, a certified and trained Elleebana ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: FEBRUARY EDITION 2021

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{ BEAUTY TALK } } { SHIFT+CONTROL “Long eyelashes are considered a sign of beauty in many cultures. Some women seek to enhance their eyelash length artificial, using eyelash extensions, while other women seek a natural lift to their lashes receiving a service called eyelash lifting.”

Lash Lift specialist will perform the procedure with proper care and technique. Are there any aftercare rules I need to follow after receiving this service? Avoid getting your lashes wet for the first 24 hours. Avoid steam rooms and saunas; overall, refrain from all heat. After 24 hours, you may go about with your daily routine. Lash Lifting has no restrictions or maintenance like eyelash 304

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extensions do. Am I a good candidate for this service? Lash Lifting is for clients that are pleased with the length of their natural lashes but want a semi-permanent curled, enhanced mascara look. With my experience, it is also for clients who are not happy with their natural length and want their lashes to be shown and for their lashes to be visible. It is not

recommended for chemotherapy clients. Does eyelash lifting and tinting sound like something you want and/or need? Contact BeautifyMe for the best eyelash lifting and tinting service. For first time lash lifting clients, we offer ten dollars off. Reference: Elleebana & BeautifyMe Instagram Handle: @beautifyme247 Facebook Handle: @beautifyme247 Email: gfrose12@gmail.com


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A STATE OF GRACE BY CASSIDY KNIGHT

WHY ROCHESTER IS A GREAT PLACE TO BE AN ENTREPRENEUR

There’s never been a better time for women to enter the world of entrepreneurship and level the playing field. And while there is a vast world out there accessible to anyone, starting up a business in the right place can be a key factor to success. These days, you only need to look at Rochester, New York. Of course, it’s understandable that many are apprehensive in the wake of COVID-19, but successful CEOs like Kelly Wing have noted how 2021 is arguably the best time to jump into it. She launched her business in the middle of the pandemic, and shared other historical mid-recession business entries such as Microsoft and Hyatt. In a time when content demand and e-commerce have spiked to unprecedented levels, where else could a budding entrepreneur thrive but in a booming and creative space like The Flower City? So, let’s break this down a little more below. LIFE AFTER THE PANDEMIC With how much COVID-19 has changed the game, a major consideration for entrepreneurs now is navigating a new frontier that is so different from just a year ago. Consider how your location thrives as a community, and how priorities have shifted for citizens. With a strong community, it’s easier to build your brand and make deep connections. That’s why it’s good to note that in Business Insider’s list of best places to live after the pandemic, Rochester ranks in the top 10. Almost half of the city’s jobs can be undertaken at remotely, with a higher rate than other major districts in the 306

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metro. Its school district also continues to grow in both spending and scope. These factors all contribute to making it a prime spot to live in. That, in turn, creates a better ecosystem that is accessible and sustainable for all. When members of a community feel like they can do more than just survive, it’s a better breeding ground for entrepreneurs to thrive. Of course, this also takes initiative and action from those within the community itself, too. It’s not an impossible feat, though, as proven by the numerous success stories of women and their efforts in the heart of the city. A great example from recent memory is the journey of Fracassi Lashes. Falicia Fracassi’s story is empowering to hopefuls and consumers alike with how she adapted to the changes of the pandemic. She shifted her business strategy and even channelled her resources into philanthropy, contributing to the community despite going through some serious hardships. A STATE OF GRACE Another reason to look into this city as your main operational base is the strong state support you can rely on. The local scene is creative and welcoming to new businesses, and any growing entrepreneur knows that two of the biggest pillars of expansion are local support and exciting opportunities. Among the reasons that Rochester can be such an upbeat and rich district is the resources coming from the governing state. One of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s recent initiatives is the New York Forward Small Business Lease Assistance Partnership. This program provides small businesses with pro bono legal help to renegotiate the terms of their leases after the impact of the pandemic. On top of that, New York does a generally good job of giving small business owners

support because they recognize how diverse entrepreneurship is the core of their economy. ZenBusiness’s guide to starting a New York LLC points out that there are plenty of incentives aspiring entrepreneurs can look forward to. For instance, new businesses enjoy tax incentives for investing in their employees, partnering with universities, and even improving their own facilities. New York LLCs also don’t have double taxation and have fewer required meetings and reports, making them much easier to operate. The Empire State is also intent on supporting growth and expansion, which is why the state provides financial support to entrepreneurs that want to branch out. From loans and grants to assistance programs, this can help development significantly. Even for those who simply need help in their existing operations, there are programs and resources provided so that business owners can train their staff. Whenever internship and training programs are provided (with the help of state resources), the business owners receive tax credits. This is a win-win when it comes to the productive end results. Other financial incentives are also geared toward empowering local businesses to move forward and innovate. By way of university collaborations and technological resources, the state provides a great platform for aspiring entrepreneurs who have a lot of future-facing ideals and goals but need assistance to turn the vision into a reality. With the right resources, a good idea can turn into concrete progress. After all the developments of 2020, it’s an exciting time to make 2021 the year of continued success for women in business — and Rochester is just the place to do it.


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OLDER ADULTS AND SEXUALITY BY TYLER BUCHIERO, LMSW

As with so much, the individual experience of sexuality changes over the course of the lifespan. Research has shown that older people continue to engage in a wide variety of sexual activities into the eighth and ninth decades of life. Most individuals choose to maintain sexual and intimate relationships throughout their lives, though this is not what is broadly represented in the media. The fundamental presence of sexuality in some form can be a perpetual source of self-awareness, intimacy, and pleasure although this sexual expression differs across the wide range of individual human experience, gender identity, and sexual preference, Dr. Peggy Kleinplatz of the University of Ottawa conducted a groundbreaking study of people who identify as having had “optimal sexual experiences.” One of the most notable findings in this research was the concept that “great lovers are made, not born” and that as people age they often have access to better and better sexual experiences with age. In her study, the “great lovers” were by and large in their 50s, 60s, and beyond. This finding is definitely underrepresented in media portrayals of older people. Dr. Kleinplatz’ excellent book Magnificent Sex discusses the components of optimal sexual experiences in older adults and in people of all ages. The Rochester Center for Sexual Wellness is a participating site with her Optimal Sexual Experiences research team. As a part of this project sexual medicine specialist Dr. Kranz and certified sex therapist, Daniel Rosen, lead eight session Optimal Sexual Experiences groups for couples with low or discrepant desire. Physiological changes - the aging process itself - do alter the landscape of sexual intimacy and sometimes may lead to

a need for more specialized medical attention, and mental health professionals educated in the treatment of sexual issues in later life. Yet these barriers to continued sexual health are not nearly as rigid as they once were; with greater resources and expertise available than ever before, sexual wellness is readily within the grasp of those who seek it. It is important to recognize that sex and sexuality does not have to be lost as a part of the aging process. If anything, it is the best opportunity for self-exploration and deeper connection than ever before. Psychotherapy can help to facilitate this process and clarify what your goals are for sexual health moving forward in this stage of life, as well as give insight and tools to achieve that. Sexual medicine consultation can be helpful in resolving sexual pain, arousal difficulties, as well as changes in orgasm or desire. IN LONG-TERM CARE SETTINGS Within the confines of a long-term care facility, sexual expression is often reduced or even prohibited. While an institution may have an overarching policy regarding sexuality, staff attitudes and responsiveness are often what shape the culture and freedom of expression. Judgments about this sexual expression and restriction of personal freedoms can often contribute to larger issues, and are habitually fueled by a lack of knowledge or comfort. In situations like this, staff and residents alike can benefit from an in-service by a trained professional or through support of the resident by connecting them to individual psychotherapy. Members of the Rochester Center for Sexual Wellness team have led trainings and provided staff support for agencies who would like to better address their clients’ sexual needs.

STIGMA/AGEISM While active sexuality remains an important feature of one’s life, older adults are often stereotyped as nonsexual beings who should not or cannot engage in sexual activity; in part due to the limited scope of what is presented as prototypical physical beauty in our society. We have yet to properly deconstruct the myths and stereotypes that deny older adults their own unique sense of sexual being and the right to express it. At the very least, our society does not discuss sexuality enough when considering the lives of older adults, even as we avoid important and candid discussions of sexuality at all ages. The Rochester Center for Sexual Wellness is committed to refuting these stigmas about sexuality in later life, and focusing on helping individuals of all ages cultivate their ideal of sexual health and experience through work with our specially trained psychotherapists and medical professionals. A satisfying sex life is not something that must disappear with age, and is paramount to maintaining quality of life and holistic sense of self. Tyler Buchiero, LMSW is a psychotherapist and sex therapist in training at the Rochester Center for Sexual Wellness. In addition to his work at the Rochester Center for Sexual Wellness, he is a therapist in the University of Rochester’s Older Adults Division. Resources: https://www.apa.org/pi/aging/resources/guides/sexuality https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/sexuality-later-life https://www.aarp.org/research/topics/life/info-2014/srr_09. html?migration=rdrct https://womanlab.org/sex-aging-the-best-sex-is-yet-to-come/ Seasons of the heart: Men and women talk about love, sex, and romance after 60 by Z.H. Gross Naked at Our Age: Talking Out Loud About Senior Sex by Joan Price ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: FEBRUARY EDITION 2021

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SEX* *NOW THAT WE HAVE YOUR ATTENTION...

Announcing Western New York’s first comprehensive resource for sexual and relationship wellness and menopause medicine.

Introducing the Rochester Center for Sexual Wellness where sexual medicine specialists and certified sex therapists offer a holistic approach to sexual and relationship wellness. Offering confidential and open-minded care to people of all genders and sexualities that is specifically designed to help YOU meet YOUR GOALS. Also, featuring a nationally certified menopause medicine specialist to help make mid-life your BEST LIFE

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HOW TO SAFELY START AN EXERCISE PROGRAM BY BETH PARRY

In January, fitness memberships are at their highest. By February, chances are you are injured, or you have dwindled off your path toward your fitness goals. I am just as guilty! I consider myself to be pretty fit, at least more than the average American. So, I am quick to jump into an intermediate exercise program and skip the modifications out of pride. I will leave the class feeling defeated, sore, and frustrated. Sound familiar? When starting or restarting a fitness program, the first step is to be humble. The people who inspire us to get off the couch don’t set fitness goals as New Years’ resolutions; fitness is apart of their day-to-day life, like brushing their teeth. So if getting off the couch is your goal, that is great! But we need to start with the basics to prevent injury. Rule number one in fitness is to start slow. This is a lifestyle, not a race. If you take the right steps, you will be surprised at how safe and addicting fitness can be. It is OK to modify more challenging exercises. You can choose the childs-pose instead of the downward dog in yoga. You can use an elevated surface or drop to your knees for your push-ups. Take a break when you need it! You do not need permission to take it! A great way to start a fitness program is right in the comfort of your own home. You need minimal equipment, and you can rest as much as you need. Rule number two; never skip the warmup. Your muscles need to be warmed up to prevent injury. Warming up your tissue prepares your heart, lungs, and muscles for the more strenuous phase of your workout. It also improves your joint flexibility decreasing your chance of injury. 312

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Just so we are clear, static stretching is not a warm-up. There is a time and a place for stretches; the warm-up is not that place. Stretching a cold muscle can lead to injury. Here are some great ways to warm up. Take a nice walk while gradually increasing the intensity; move your body through the range of motion of the exercise without using weight. An example would be doing a squat with decreased ROM and slowly increasing the intensity. You could also include neck rolls, shoulder rolls, wrist circles, side bends, etc. There are multiple ways

to warm up successfully, and it takes less than five minutes. Rule number three; watch your dumbbell weight. Jumping into heavy weights could lead to injury or inflammation. Each muscle is attached to the bone/muscle by tendons. Tendons get less blood supply than the muscles causing the muscle belly to heal and grow stronger faster than the tendon. Using a weight too heavy can cause a stress overload on the tendon leading to tearing or inflammation. It is vital to build your strength up slowly to avoid injury. A good rule of thumb is your muscles should be fatigued after 8-10 reps. The last 2-3 reps should difficult

to complete. There are many variations on this topic, but this is a good and safe place to start. Rule number four have an awareness of your body mechanics. Let’s be real for a second; most of us do not use great body mechanics in life. It takes constant awareness of our posture to ensure we are lifting correctly. It is imperative that during your workout, you maintain constant awareness of your body. When bending down to pick up your weights, are you squatting down? During squats, is your butt back or are your knees pushing over your toes? Are you hinging from the hips and not the spine? These are crucial things to notice to prevent injury. Especially for the back, back pain is the leading cause of disability in America. Bending from the back can set you up for spine fracture, especially with an Osteoporosis diagnosis. Body awareness is so vital for your workouts and your day-to-day activities. Last but not least, show up for yourself. Building muscle, gaining balance, losing weight, and feeling great takes time and consistency. The more you show up, the quicker your body will adapt to the exercises, the more enjoyable it will become. Unfortunately, to make the change, you will be sore. That is the natural process of muscle building; however, you will learn the difference between workout sore and injury sore. You will learn to listen to your body, drink lots of water, and be proud of your progress! Remember, fitness is not a fad; it is a lifestyle. It is not a goal; it is a practice. If you want to start a fitness routine and you are looking for more support. Wellness 360 is here to support your fitness journey. Check us out at www.wellness360fitness.com.


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RENEWU BODY-MINDSPIRIT-SOUL BY EVELYN SPRUILL

Mind-body-spirit-soul means that our wellness comes not just from physical health, but from mental health and spiritual health as well. ... That’s your mind, body, spirit and soul all working together to make you feel great. Making you feel balanced. It’s a year to renew and clear your mind, body, spirit and soul of clutter, negative energy and baggage. Are you overweight, sad, drained, lack confidence, self esteem and control? If so then...it’s time to make some changes. Let’s first make it clear that YOU are responsible for the choices you make and have the ability to reverse this cycle. And YOU deserve HAPPINESS. Here at Nurturing Hands Massage we have created a unique program 314

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to help you lose weight not only by changing our eating and exercise habits but also by changing our thought process. A plan to support you in taking action and finding balance in mind, body, spirit and soul. Becoming healthier by setting daily, weekly and end of program goals to help balance your body, mind, spirit and soul. As you reach these goals you will receive points that you can use to reward yourself. You will redeem these points towards massage, infrared sauna, ionic foot baths, sound frequency treatments, or other services provided at Nurturing Hands Massage and saunafied. Rewarding yourself with services will create positive reinforcement encouraging you to keep making progress towards your goals. You will also be supported by weekly prerecorded programs and live chats. Together we will achieve

healthier and happier bodies, minds, spirits, and souls. We will create stronger bodies with weight loss and fitness goals and learn how to change our thought patterns and attract positive energy. Together we will RENEWU. RENEWU 2021 13 week body, mind, spirit and soul balance program Friday 3/5/2021 - Friday 6/4/2021 Cost $195 (remember you can earn all you pay in services if goals are reached) Nurturing Hands Massage and Saunafied www.PittsfordMassageAndSauna.com 640 Kreag Road Suite 202 Pittsford, NY Founder Evelyn K Spruill LMT


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TOP 5 QUALITIES OF AN EFFECTIVE LEADER BY BRE MORRIS

There are many definitions and perspectives around effectiveness when it comes to being a leader. After ample research and through my own experience as a business owner, I have come to believe that the most important quality that an effective leader must possess is the ability to adapt to their surroundings. This ability is rooted in building effective work environments and as a result empowering a team to succeed together.

everyone is on the same page and able to stay focused. 2. SUPPORT—A good leader knows the importance of initiative and reactiveness so they will go above and beyond to support team members working to achieve a common goal. They’ll show empathy and respect in order to work through ideas. Leaders build camaraderie among

While getting the job done is often the sole goal of any leader, the principles and philosophies behind how the job is done determine how effective of a leader one can be. When leaders are passionate about developing emerging leaders around them, they will form a strong team culture that builds the foundation for accomplishing any mission. Here’s the top 5 qualities that I believe are at the forefront of successful leadership: 1. COMMUNICATION—An effective leader is able to articulate their ideas and plan to achieve common goals through strong communication between departments and across levels. Leaders should be able to instruct, motivate, and discipline the people they’re in charge of in a respectable manner. Leaders with poor communication skills are perceived as weak and their strategies often lead to poor outcomes. Keeping employees in the loop at all times ensures that 318

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group members around a common goal. Often times, it can be helpful for leaders to schedule 1:1 meetings with their team members to determine their individual goals and how those fit into the overall organizational goals. These meetings, whether on a monthly or quarterly basis, help each team member to feel supported and increases overall motivation. 3. SHARED SUCCESS—This is

the ability to know the strengths and weaknesses of every individual on the team and give credit where it’s due. A good leader does not take full recognition for any success but instead, shares it with the entire team. Leaders are able to quickly recognize the skills of their team members and acknowledge their specific skillsets, placing them in positions and roles that allow them to thrive. This takes humility on the leaders part, but through these actions, they gain respect from their team members and the overall success of the organization improves. 4 . C R E AT I N G A N A T M O S P H E R E CONDUCIVE TO GROWTH—A good leader creates an atmosphere that encourages everyone on the team to share ideas, grow, and thrive. Team members look to their leader to lead by example— contributing through honest feedback and open dialogue. The goal is for team members to align with individuals within their work groups who can capitalize on each other’s strengths and weaknesses. For example, if someone within the group has a particular strength, pairing them with someone who is not as strong in that area, fosters growth for both team members. This type of collaboration stretches individual capabilities and creates new and better skillsets. 5 . A N AT T I T U D E O F LEARNING—A good leader knows


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{ B.MOR } “When leaders are passionate about developing emerging leaders around them, they will form a strong team culture that builds the foundation for accomplishing any mission.”

his or her own strengths, but also recognizes faults and is always receptive to any insight and feedback from their teams. Are you asking your team members how you are doing? An attitude of humility and a desire for growth are contagious from the top down. I strongly believe that effective 320

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leadership is a process and a journey. Many individuals may be natural bornleaders but it takes intentionality to hone the specific leadership qualities it takes to be a strong and effective leader! One of the best ways I have been intentional about leadership development within myself, is surrounding myself with leaders who I admire and can learn from.

That being said, my humble word of advice going forward, is to set intentional goals for yourself and establish an action plan of how to achieve those. If you’re longing to be a more effective leader, surround yourself with people who can help you do that—it makes all the difference!





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MAN IN THE MIRROR BY JUDI SWANSON

Recently I watched the movie Soul. For those who have not seen it the movie is about a middle school band teacher whose life has not gone the way he wanted it to and through some events goes to find his soul. For this sparkly new year of 2021 it seemed fitting to talk about soul. Dictionary.com defines soul as ” the principle of life, feeling, thought, and action in humans, regarded as a distinct entity separate from the body, and commonly held to be separable in existence from the body; the spiritual part of humans as distinct from the physical part, the seat of feelings and sentiments.” Soul is the core of who we are as people. It’s the key ingredient of what makes us well, us. “You don’t have a soul. You are a soul, you have a body.” Buddha According to Wikipedia the soul is “the ‘driver’ in the body. It is the roohu or spirit or atma, the presence of which makes the physical body alive.” A few years ago I took a hard look at myself. Reflected in a significant way about what did I like, and love, about myself. Explored the parts of me that I did not like.. In doing this I came to the realization that I did not have to, or need to, change anything about myself unless I wanted to. I decided there were parts of me that I wanted to change and was willing to put the effort into changing, even though it was a lot of work. It wasn’t until I was writing this that I realized I was doing a soul overhaul. Do you know why snakes shed their skin? They shed their skin because it

doesn’t fit. it’s worn out, and it gets rid of harmful parasites. Snakes have to wriggle out of their old skin and sometimes need assistance getting that old skin off. It’s uncomfortable. Yet once the process is complete they have glossy new snake skin. For me, and my soul overhaul, it was not pleasant. Change, even positive change, is challenging. Until the change is solidified you are in unfamiliar territory. There was anxiety and learning of new skills. I was changing how I interacted with the world. I felt vulnerable. There were times it was mighty uncomfortable and there were baby steps towards becoming the person I wanted to be. I would be sailing ahead and then boom I went spiraling backwards. What prompted my soul overhaul is that I had become tired of driving my soul car going places with little thought about where I was going. I did not like some of the ways I was talking to myself and treating others in the world. I was uncomfortable with some parts of me. Every day I am happy (yes happy) that I put in the work. I feel so much better about me. The soul, my soul, feels peaceful, content, joyous. “Seek what sets your soul on fire.” Unknown So in their year of 2021, filled with potential and possibility consider doing a soul reflection. Are you happy with the person you are? Are there some parts of you that need an upgrade? Are you living your life with joy and happiness in who you are as a human? It is time to shed your skin so you can rid yourself of some parasites that are harmful to you? You are the only person who can answer this. I can say from my personal reflections of my soul it was mighty

uncomfortable. I can also say that after I shed my skin and became the person whose soul had the joy, honor, integrity, love, beauty, and kindness she had been seeking, my life was so much more. “I am proud of the woman I have become because I fought to become her.” Author unknown It is important to nurture and cherish your soul. Soul food includes fresh air, gratitude, be in the moment, be giving and kind, sing, dance, forgiveness, nature, sleep, and using your imagination to see all the potential and possibility for yourself. Your surroundings should have reflections of what you want to see around you. The people in your life matter too. Are you spending time with people who bring you up or take you down? If you are spending too much time with people where you feel crappy after spending time with them, it is time to change the relationship. It is someone where you can speak your truth and let them know how you feel or create distance and space in the relationship? You have the answer to that question, even in relationships with lots of layers. You get to decide what action you will take. You matter. You deserve and are worthy of having your soul sing to you. As the lyrics in the song “Man in the Mirror” written by Siedah Garrett and Glenn Ballard say: “I’m starting with the man in the mirror I’m asking him to change his ways And no message could have been any clearer If you want to make the world a better place Take a look at yourself and then make a change.” May your soul be with you. ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: FEBRUARY EDITION 2021

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LOVE OF WORDS {{ SHE SHE HUSTLES HUSTLES TALKS}}}

A.G.M. (ANY GIVEN MOMENT) BY CATYRA POLLAND I PHOTOS BY JACKIE PHOTOGRAPHY

At any AGM I could be Sandra Bland AGM I could be too black, too proud My ebony skin so beautiful yet so dangerous Melanin At AGM I can be asked to leave the premises without reason Escorted from the property Assaulted or murdered Mistaken for someone else Harassed or killed A.G.M. I can be dangerous with or without a weapon selling a legal or illegal product talking on the phone, at Starbucks, in my backyard, in jail or in the Waffle House worshipping in church A.G.M. the color of my skin is a burden, a weapon, a target, shameful, dangerous, ugly, inferior attacked A.G.M. I am not human not worthy of respect bruised, battered, tainted and taunted However… A.G.M. I am a force to be reckoned with a beast of nature a powerful lioness A.G.M. I am the definition of strength, beauty and admiration black woman magic sprinkled, you’re welcome! A.G.M. I carry burdens, wipe, tears and move mountains at the same damn time!

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TAMMY’S TIDBITS }} {{ SHIFT+CONTROL

LUCK BE A LADY BY TAMMY VREELAND

March will soon roar in like a lion. And with that roar, along comes a splash of luck. What is luck? It is described as success or failure apparently brought by chance rather than through one’s own actions. Chance here, being considered as a force that causes good or bad things to happen. Why is luck sometimes referred to as a lady? It originates from a Roman Goddess named Fortuna. Fortuna was the Goddess of Fortune, which later became known more as luck. A common saying is, “Lady luck is smiling on me, and I’ll be fine.” Most of us identify this next month, March, with St. Patrick’s Day and the “Luck of the Irish”. Did you ever wonder where the “Luck of the Irish” saying originated from? Strangely enough, the “Luck of the Irish” is a phrase that can be traced back to the 1800s in California during the gold rush. Where thousands of unlucky prospectors realized that many of those who’d struck it rich were of Irish descent! Who knew? Instead of going into the details about the hows and whys of St. Patrick’s Day, let’s delve into something different and concentrate on the luck itself. What happens if perhaps Lady Luck is looking elsewhere? What sort of tokens may help bring us good fortunes when she is not around? Of course, the classic 4-leaf clover quickly comes to mind with the month that will come up. But why is a 4-leaf clover considered

lucky? Honestly, I never knew the real reason until I started doing my research and it is actually quite interesting! Did you know that for every four-leaf clover there are 10,000 three-leaf clovers? And that it is said that Ireland has more 4-leaf clovers than any other place? Which, of course, gives probably the true meaning to the luck of the Irish?

you know the deeper red their color with more spots, the luckier you will be? And of course, killing a ladybug could bring you misfortunate, so be careful! While there are several more types of lucky charms that are actually not a cereal a Leprechaun is worried you will steal, I thought I would leave you with one more.

The leaves of a 4-leaf clover stand for faith, hope, love, and you guessed it luck! But if we are not lucky in finding a 4-leaf clover, what other lucky tokens come to mind?

That being a rainbow. Which just might bring back that rascal Leprechaun! For the legend of a rainbow is that if you dig at the end of a rainbow, you’ll find a pot of gold.

There is the traditional horse shoe, a bit easier to find than a 4-leaf clover. A couple of legends surround the horseshoe. One being that horse shoes were made of iron. Mischievous fairies could not stand to touch iron, so shied away from houses that were adorned with them. Of course, while hanging a horseshoe you need to have the points face up so that the horseshoe can fill up with luck.

Although, I’m pretty sure that’s even more rare than a 4-leaf clover! But there’s nothing wrong with increasing your odds than maybe after seeing a rainbow – go get yourself a couple of scratch off tickets!

We also have the luck of a ladybug. Hmm ...yet another reference to our Lady Luck? It is said that if a ladybug lands on you, your luck will improve. And if a man and a woman see a ladybug at the same time, they’ll fall in love, which is perfect for this month. Seriously, after learning about Cupid’s treacherous past, perhaps we should replace him with a ladybug! On the practical side, many ladybugs in the spring is a good sign to farmers there will be a good harvest. However, not all ladybugs are created equal. Did

Maybe Lady Luck will smile down on your luck of seeing the beautiful rainbow and your appreciation for the beauty of what the rainbow holds. For are we not lucky to be having March coming upon us? Not only having St. Patrick’s Day to help us enjoy the color of green - in anything and everything ...from green beer to Shamrock milkshakes. Spring starts on March 20th, which will start introducing green in our surroundings as well. What other days in March should we feel lucky to have as our National Holidays? March 4th - Sons Day - For the ones of us lucky enough to have sons, this is our day to celebrate them. You try to ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: FEBRUARY EDITION 2021

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TAMMY’S TIDBITS }} {{ SHIFT+CONTROL “For honestly, is it not the little things that make us feel the luckiest?”

o raise them to be independent on their own. To one day, be in charge of their own families. You are proud of their independence, but a part of you will always remember the days of when they were just your little boys.

no one would be around to say bless you if I sneezed. So, they made me a recording to take with me - you know... just in case. A memory I fondly remember on this day every year. I was a lucky mom!

March 15th - Ides of March - Did you ever wonder what Beware the Ides of March means? Apparently, The Ides were the designated days for settling debt each month in the Roman empire and included the seven days preceding the Ides for this purpose. Debtors who could not pay their debts considered the Ides to be unlucky days, as they were typically thrown into prison or forced into slavery. I guess our version ...would b e Ap r i l 1 5 t h . Whoa, the 15th... coincidental or not?

March 22nd - World Water Day - Most of us do not consider how lucky we

March 17th - St. Patrick’s Day Normally I do not write here about my personal events, but this is too cute not to share. When my boys were younger, we used to watch the Leprechaun movies. In one movie, the Leprechaun could steal a maiden if no one said bless you after she sneezed. I was leaving for a trip to Ireland and the boys were so worried that 332

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Business Owners Day - In 2020, we all were reminded of how special and fragile a small business can be. How lucky we are to have such creative and inspiring people who work long hours and dedicate their lives to share their dream with us. So, today why not support your local Mom & Pop stores and tell them how lucky we are to have them! Just like our most recent holidays, we need to realize again that only during this time of year do certain things happen. Whether it’s green beer or shamrock shakes with corn beef and cabbage. Or the sigh of relief that spring is almost upon us. Embrace and enjoy them.

are to have water at our disposal. And yet today is a day to remind us about water-related issues that humans have in almost every country. Water should not be considered “lucky” but a true essential for life! What makes today lucky is there is a goal on this day to bring water to ones who need it. March 29th - National Mom and Pop

For honestly, is it not the little things that make us feel the luckiest?



B.MOR }} { {HUSTLES HIP HEMP {{ {SHE SHE HUSTLES TALKS SHIFT+CONTROL }}

DIVINE INTERVENTION. BY ANGELA DUNCAN MPSY & DEBB CHAPMAN

IT CAN HAPPEN TO YOU

and her heart pounded in her ears.

My name is Angela, and this is not my story and yet, it is… You see, Alicia is my amazing wife and as her primary caregiver we have shared the hardest journey of her still young life. Her story started 10 and 12 years ago before we began ours. My hope in sharing this is that you will connect with the strength that she found and perhaps maybe you have needed also.

Eventually you reflect to that very moment-BEFORE when you would have been fine cruising as you were and that moment you hear the words no one ever wants to hear. “You see these spikes? That’s cancer!” And the moment AFTER when so much becomes your new reality. Nothing you do or want can ever take you back.

In July of 2011 Alicia was just 29 years old. She was in the waiting room expecting the nurse to emerge from behind a door, to assure her that her mammogram was fine. She had been through the physical exam, and then an ultrasound and was waiting for the results. She knew something was wrong when other women were called in for their exam or consultation, returned to the waiting lounge, and then were informed, “You are good to go. See you next year!” Alicia prayed to hear those words too but… Two years before while in the shower, her hand discovered a lump in her breast. Friends and family convinced her it could not possibly be breast cancer in someone so young and she decided to ignore it. Back to the waiting room again when finally, she was called in to see the radiologist, and invited to have a seat. Sweat rolled down her face as a sinking feeling hit her stomach, 334

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Alicia had no time to comprehend the diagnosis as the doctors move rapidly. She was given a pager like one you receive at a restaurant for a table, only this was for the fight of her life. Unfortunately, it would not work if she left the area for the desperately needed, “breath of fresh air.” She was not expecting the pain of the biopsy needle to her breast and then armpit, nor that these tests would prove to be cancer. It was an exceptionally long weekend waiting for the doctor’s call. Alicia tried spending time with friends to ease her mind but that was easier said than done. When it finally came, she learned it was indeed breast cancer and that it had traveled into her lymph nodes. Immediately she was connected to an oncologist and chemotherapy began shortly thereafter. Treating her cancer aggressively was the only option due to how young Alicia was and the strongest chemicals available were used. (This medication

kills not only the cancer cells but the healthy cells as well.) She was in enveloped in pain, exhausted, losing her hair and frustrated but, continued to fight this awful disease. The team discovered chemo was helping some, however not enough for the hoped-for results and she would need a mastectomy along with further treatments. A pivotal moment in our history after being out of touch for a year was the night I reached out to Alicia. That has completely changed both of our lives I found out she was going through breast cancer and was a week away from her first mastectomy. Who knew that in a way, I needed her as much as she needed me? It was determined that her heart could not withstand a long surgery, so they only removed the infected breast along with her lymph nodes on one side. The diagnosis was stage IIIA breast cancer. Post-surgery, Alicia had two drainage tubes that needed frequent care. She was exhausted, and her body needed time to heal. Even though she was considered cancer free the adjunct treatment could not stop, and radiation began Monday through Friday for seven weeks. Along with monthly injections and medications to fight any lingering cancer cells she was also forced into medical menopause at twenty-nine years old. Alicia spent her 30th birthday in treatment. The nurses and I tried


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{ SHIFT+CONTROL { HIP HEMP } } “Looking back, I often reflect on our journey and know that challenges were necessary to guide us into our successes and give us coping mechanisms we can use every day.”

to make it a special day for her. I surprised her with flowers and once she finished her treatment, we all threw orange (her favorite color) confetti to help celebrate her jaded circumstances. As radiation continued it opened her mastectomy scar causing a large burn deep in the surgical incision. The wound was packed everyday with an antibiotic cream and large amounts of gauze. By the time she arrived home from work her clothes would be soaked form the drainage and she would be in renewed pain. After months of healing, she was finally able to have her second breast removed. While she decided she could live without breasts there was a time of emotional loss and sadness. She could have chosen reconstruction but due to the massive scaring and the extensive healing considerations she chose to go without. This was a long battle of healing both physically and mentally. Personally, I do not understand what it is like to fight cancer, so I did my research and tried my best to support Alicia in any way possible. I talked her into joining retreats and support groups with breast cancer survivors. Reluctant at first, Alicia, now admits that was one of the best decisions towards her overall healing. Surrounding herself 336

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with others who could and can relate has made her stronger. The Pink Phoenix Dragon Boat team was one of those support groups and will always remain close in our hearts. Within this community were treasured stories and resources. One we are especially thankful for is Mary Jane Haake.

and giving people we have met. Her businesses are all centered around helping others heal and grow from the inside out. The business I am the Director of Operations for is called Hip hemp. She started this company mainly because of her breast cancer clients when it became apparent that most also suffered from vaginal dryness and many struggles including within relationships. Looking back, I often reflect on our journey and know that challenges were necessary to guide us into our successes and give us coping mechanisms we can use every day.

It turned out that Mary Jane was a medical tattoo artist and one of the only few who could bill insurance. Her specialty was tattooing over breast cancer scars and/or including 3d nipples. She covered Alicia’s scars with a beautiful tattoo which remains very meaningful and helped create a new vision and confidence. Mary Jane is one of the most caring

The struggle will always be there for Alicia with many side effects from each of the treatments. She is on medications to combat the side effects of chemotherapy and to prevent the cancer form reoccurring. This includes yearly doctor appointments, blood work, and the ongoing fear that has PTSD ramifications. Her fear of cancer returning is real and most survivors can relate. I am her wife and the caregiver who drained those tubes, packed that wound, held her close when she cried, and realize I will always want to be by her side. Alicia was finally able to have her second mastectomy. While she decided she could live without breasts there was a time of emotional loss and


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{ HIP HEMP } } { SHIFT+CONTROL “This was a long battle of healing both physically and mentally. Personally, I do not understand what it is like to fight cancer, so I did my research and tried my best to support Alicia in any way possible.”

sadness. Reconstruction was offered but due to the massive radiation scaring, the challenges would have been extensive. Sharing this story is not meant to scare you or deter you from preventative exams. The goal is rather to emphasize self-education, listening to your body, and advocating for yourself. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated 26,393 women under 45 are expected to 338

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be diagnosed with breast cancer this year. You maybe have been or will be part of these statistics.

through their cancer journey and leaves an ever-lasting impression everywhere she goes.

Alicia uses her journey to help others in so many ways. She is a volunteer with the American Cancer Society. She is frequently invited as a special guest speaker at events sharing her journey. She has been involved in documentaries, and media that has gone international. She continues to help newly diagnosed women

Eventually you will take back your own power and reconnect with your strength. I am happy to report that Alicia will be celebrating her 10th year of being cancer free in July of 2021! However once someone is cancer free it does not mean the cancer journey is over.



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BREAKING UP WITH TECH NECK BY KAITLYN VITTOZZI

I woke up at 4 AM, feeling my chin pulled into my chest. I tried to take some deep breaths to soothe the pain. There was a surging pulse up the back of my neck that wrapped around my skull to my eyes. I tossed and turned a few more times, and then let out a “WTF!? I teach yoga.” Tech neck is pain or discomfort essentially caused by a cervical kyphosis or protraction of the head – or in plain English, a neck that’s hunched forward. The discomfort can show up not only in your neck but your back, shoulders, and head, perhaps even down your arms. With our ever-growing reliance on technology, tech neck was bad pre-2020… but now the Saturdays you might have formerly spent out at a restaurant, are now likely spent on your iPad. Water cooler conversation? Now it’s an online chat. I was never that into TV, but 2020 and 2021 kept me glued to the news headlines – TV, Phone, Laptop. Oof. Tech neck. Sometimes the longer I sit at the computer it seems like the closer and closer my head gets to the screen. I’ve been privileged to have years of study with some really phenomenal yoga and movement instructors. From their collective knowledge, here are my go-to tech neck relievers. These might feel unfamiliar or uncomfortable, but 340

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don’t stay in any of them if they feel painful. Ergonomics: How are you positioned? Last Saturday I caught myself texting with my head literally upside down, almost looking into my belly button. I checked in with myself, what am I doing? I was lacking awareness of my body’s position in space. In a perfect world, our spine would be long, eyes level with

the screen. For work or downtime - do you need to sit in a chair? Is a standing desk an option? How about a seated on some cushions on the floor with your computer elevated? Can you switch scenery every hour or so? Set yourself up for success. Notice how your body is positioned while you’re sleeping – if your neck and shoulders are in flexion – it may be time to switch to lying on

your back. Constructive Rest: Lay flat on your back, knees bent and feet on the floor. Close your eyes. Let the muscles around your neck, chest and spine rest in anatomical position. Stay for at least two minutes – and as long as you are able. Ready to level up? On your inhale, turn your head to the side, and exhale it back to center. Inhale to the other side, and exhale back to center. Use a Wall: Much like constructive rest, you can stand against a wall to let your spine come to its neutral alignment. Press the back of your head against the wall. Sometimes we think that we are standing up straight, but the wall will really show you how far your head might be leaning forward. If leaning against the wall is already a lot, stop there. If it feels simple, bring your arms up like a football goal post, backs of the arms against the wall. Keep your arms touching the wall as you reach your arms overhead, finger tips moving toward each other. Bring your arms back down to the starting position without letting your arms move away from the wall. Try to keep your neck muscles soft. Repeat until you fatigue. Get Outside: Keep your cell phone in your pocket or at home. No screens


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{ LIFE IN BALANCE } SHIFT+CONTROL “Tech neck is pain or discomfort essentially caused by a cervical kyphosis or protraction of the head – or in plain English, a neck that’s hunched forward.“

outside means no tech neck – even a five-minute walk can make a huge difference sometimes. Blanket Roll: Take a blanket or beach towel and roll it up. The thicker the roll, the more intense – so start small. Lie on the blanket roll so that the top of the blanket roll lines up with the bottom tips of your shoulder blades, and your shoulders can relax down toward the ground. Bring your arms to that goal post shape. Feel the area from your collar bones to your shoulders get long. Arms overhead: Notice your arm position when you are at a screen. 342

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Odds are your hands are always lower than your shoulders, so try loading up muscle tissues a little bit differently. Stand in a door frame with your fingertips on the casing. Breathe. You can also try a downward facing dog pose. Your arms are overhead, but you’re upside down. Bonus for your eyes. Just like the above postures are about doing something different with your musculoskeletal alignment, do something different with your gaze. Look left and right with your eyeballs, without moving your head for a quick break from your screen. Close your eyes for a minute or two. If you have more time, try candle gazing – Google Trataka if you are interested in

more information. Massage, chiropractic care and physical therapy can really be life changing. If these DIY’s are not helping, give those a try. If your neck pain is persistent, see a medical professional to make sure that there is no other medical condition showing up in your neck. If you need to make a shift away from the screen and you’re still not sure how to make it happen, reach out to me for a no-risk phone consultation. Therapeutic Yoga could be what you need to change how you’re moving through your life. More info at TozziYoga.com.


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YOUR TIME MATTERS BY DR. YASELLYN DIAZ-VEGA I PHOTOS BY TAYLOR ATTILI

Our Ladiology section is designed to provide a supportive environment and tools for women. We discuss different topics that may affect women in general and today I feel compel to write about “Time” and how much “Time Matters and Your time is Valuable. As a mother of four children between 5 to 13 years of age that we homeschool, as a doctor with a clinical practice, as person that is highly involved in the Christian ministry and entrepreneurship world, I have to admit that one of the things I struggle the most is time.

entrepreneurs and successful people share their “secret”: “less sleep and more work hours of the day”- that was their “little secret”. Having multiple children and with all the other commitments, that never sounded feasible to me. I need my sleep, and even though I love the flavor of coffee, I cannot survive on it. I know the effects of not having enough sleep for days or weeks, and I simply can’t do that to my body. So, I will share here six tips that will help you get more organized with your time so that you can do the things you want and enjoy.

Time for me is so valuable.. For many years, I struggled with the idea that I wanted to do it all, but I couldn’t. It tore me apart. Perhaps you would like to spend time and energy in other things that also interest you. If this is you, then this article may interest you as well.

1. Just say No! This is one of the hardest things I had to learn. I was already selective with my time, but I realized that in order to do what I enjoyed doing I needed to be ultra- selective of my time and whom and in what I wanted to spend it. I do not want to sound braggy or condescending, but you need to treat your time like it is very important. In fact, your time is finite. It is really limited! What are those projects, areas or people that need and deserve your most valuable time? Perhaps sacrificing television time, gaming time, phone time could potentially increase your productivity, increase your relationships value and position you where you would like to be. Then, say NO to those distractions, and be very selective in what, where and with whom you spend your time with.

You see, recently I attended a workshop titled “Time Matters” for service providers led by Drs. Shawn Dill and Lacey Book regarding how to organize and maximize time. It was truly an eye opener. I discovered that I no longer have a time management problem. My real problem is managing myself and organizing myself and my priorities. The reason for that is because, time is really the “greater equalizer” amongst all individuals. Everyone in this planet have the same amount of time allotted during the day. That is 24 hours, period! What we do within those 24 hours is what will make us more or less successful, more or less happy. If we learn to organize and discipline ourself around time, it will make a difference in how many things you will be able to accomplish. For many, many years I used to hear other

2. Do you often feel like to don’t have time? Feel overwhelm? Do you feel like you do not know what to do next? It has helped me being disciplined to prioritize, and organize my thoughts by making lists and journaling. Journaling helps with organizing our brain and

stopping the chatter box. It also gives the brain a structure of the things that need to get done. It sets the intention of getting things done and reminds you of the priorities of the day. 3. In addition, do not be hesitant to ask for help from others that have already done what you are trying to achieve. Sometimes we want to figure out everything ourselves, but at what expense? Most likely at the expense of time, very often a lot of time spent. For example, let’s assume that I wanted to learn how to make cakes to start a new business, wouldn’t it be easier if I take baking classes? It will cut down the learning curve time tremendously and it will position me way ahead than if I try to do it myself one step at the time. Initially it may be a monetary investment, but that will definitely pay off in the long run. In what areas do you feel overwhelm? Could you get some help? Would it save you time for you to do other things that may produce financial gain or may release you and give you time to spend with your family? 4. How would you eat an elephant? Silly question, right? But in reality, it is to give you that analogy of what needs to be done when the job is huge…you take one bite at the time. Do you multi-task? How about focustask! Prioritize and work in increments of time that are easy to digest pending on you. Perhaps, you may be able to focus for 90 minutes on a particular task. Maybe, you work best on 45 minutes intervals, with small breaks in ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: FEBRUARY EDITION 2021

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{ LADIOLOGY } } { SHIFT+CONTROL “My real problem is managing myself and organizing myself and my priorities. The reason for that is because, time is really the “greater equalizer” amongst all individuals.”

between. Whatever is it that you do, be disciplined to schedule it and do it. What is your goal? Spend couple extra hours with the kids outdoors? Then schedule your commitments, plan ahead and get it done. 5. Be careful with those Time Suckers…. What are those things that make you waste time? Is it watching television? Scrolling through social media? Phone calls? Then it is important to set boundaries on when and how long you would use those. 346

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Perhaps, if social media is a leisure and a way to relax your mind, you should only use it after you have already fulfilled your list and finished all the tasks you proposed for yourself. You can use that as a reward, but set a time limit. I am at guilt of wasting time in social media when I think I have been there for 5 minutes to realize that I had spent 30 mins looking at cute picture of my friends and their families or reading something that was not even worth all that time. How much time does it take you to go grocery shopping? Would you use Instacart to get your groceries? I truly

enjoy grocery shopping, but lately I have used Instacart to cut the time and spend that time in other things; working on my business, or with my family. Another possible time vampire could be, coworkers, friends or well-intended people that just want to talk to you while you have a million other things to do. It is ok to say: I don’t have the time now, but we can talk at another time” or “regarding that, I have someone that may help you”, and refer that person.


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{ MIND, BODY, AND SPIRIT }

YOGA... BY ALANA CAHOON

Yoga-Journey, Yoga-Trance Yoga-Rave, Yoga-Dance You probably made your first dance moves at the age of two in your living room either dazzling your parents or getting in the way of your big sister and brother. From that day forward you couldn’t stop. There was a pulse that kept you bouncing, moving, dancing. You may have channeled that energy into sports like soccer, baseball or snowboarding. You may have hit the dance floor hard, either studying to be a professional ballet or broadway dancer, or you may have gone out clubbing. Chances are, you still are…

But the best part of the yoga-rave was the dance at the end. And did we dance! Strobe lighting streaked the high ceilings of Harro East ballroom. The party was on. Until we were called to Savasana, that sacred zone where you bring your energy back, honing it into your heart chakra. Feeling a sense of peace and vitality. Needed: Lights, music, stickers, space

I loved it!!! With full theatre swag, we layered light-up bracelets on our wrists, unicorn & evil-eye stickers on our arms, and fake jewels on our faces. It made the ensuing 75 minutes of synchronized yoga moves both doable & enjoyable. The DJ spinning a yogi’s dream mix was awesome, too. 350

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This style of combining yoga with dance is, simply put, fun! The best part? You don’t need any background in either, just a willingness to release inhibitions and let go. Needed: Openness to explore the ways your body can move Benefits: Theatre fun! Great workout. Release. JOURNEY DANCE I was also introduced to this style of movement at Kripalu. Led by the one and only Toni Bergins, a rock star of movement. Journey Dance is described as a movement that “… leads participants on a ritual journey of physical and emotional transformation.”

Bouncing, moving, dancing. And if you’re not, you are missing out, girlfriend! YOGA-RAVE I got my first yoga teacher certification six years ago. To celebrate, I attended my first yoga rave. It was being held by my teacher, Aimee Senise Connors, a long-time yogi expert in the area.

body but your soul.

Benefits: Fun! Socializing. Weight-loss. Fitness. Balance. Peace. Vitality. YOGA-DANCE The first time I took Yoga-Dance was at Kripalu, my favorite yoga & wellness retreat center located in the Berkshires. It was led by Jurian Hughes, a former Broadway Dancer. She combined dynamic yoga poses along with freestyle dance movement to create a playful session that wakes up not only your

This is a great reminder that when we truly get into our bodies and out of our heads, we are able to get in touch with inner wounds. Dance or movement allows the body to release this. Her website continues its description, “Through breath, sweat, and expression, you gain a palpable experience of yourself as pure powerful energy.” Awesome! That’s what we all want and need - to access our own inner power. Toni has trademarked her style and



{ MIND, BODY, AND SPIRIT } “How can I think that I’m too old to dance? It’s silly what we tell ourselves. Anyway. That’s how I began to reconnect to dance.”

GODDESS DANCE BRINGING IT ALL TOGETHER Back in the day when Grow 2 B U studios was in full swing, my colleagues and I collected our gifts, techniques & teachings to create Goddess Dance, a culmination of love-inspired movements, meditations, and activities. I was leading one of my Goddess Within Retreats during the summer. We were having so much fun, literally dancing in the parking lot with scarves and jewels. The feminine goddess had been awakened in each of our hearts! Simultaneously, Aimee Ruscio-Condon was leading her Women Circles throughout the month also in our studio space. Collaboration was a natural. Meet Aimee Ruscio-Condon Aimee’s background is all about dance. She trained in ballet from the age of 3 years old to 18, and followed it up with a variety of styles like lyrical, jazz, and tap, then exploring alternative movement like Tai Chi & Chi Gong. “You’re like riding these waves of energy,” she shares in reference to Tai Chi. Being a professional business woman and mother of two took her away from her passion of movement. In addition, she began to feel like she was getting too old to dance. Too old to dance? Never! It was a performance by Elizabeth Clark, a ballerina in her 70’s that inspired Aimee to think again! She decided to 352

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study with Clark, this time focusing on modern dance (my favorite!)

So far we are having a blast & would love to hold space for you, too.

“How can I think that I’m too old to dance? It’s silly what we tell ourselves. Anyway. That’s how I began to reconnect to dance.”

If you’d rather not be seen, step away from your device’s camera. If you’d like to feel like you’re in the middle of the room with everyone, get closer! Feel free to drop in for the evening or pop in and out at your own leisure. It’s all about fun, community and …

Aimee’s studies continued for 5 years. She then began to accompany Clark as a co-teacher with children classes. TRANCE-DANCE Now equipped with modern dance, Ms Ruscio considered yet another form of movement called trance-dance, also known as conscious-dance or ecstaticdance. It has almost a hypnotic quality, like a runner’s high. At her beach house in Florida, she discovered a drumming circle that opened her heart & mind to this new form of movement. Looking at pictures of her, you can easily see Goddess energy pouring through her. “I’ve never felt more alive in my whole life.” “There’s a shamanic element,” she shares. “Now I’m dancing more with intention. It’s very powerful - to set an intention and then focus on it while you move.” GODDESS-YOGA-DANCE Join us! We’re continuing the journey of self expression through movement on Friday nights. Yoga-dance parties are held online using zoom.

Bouncing. Moving. Dancing. GODDESS-YOGA-DANCE With Alana, Aimee & Nicole Fridays 7:00 - 9:30 PM EST Sliding scale $5 - $15 Zoom in at your own comfort level Feel free to stay for the whole session or pop in & out. Benefits guaranteed to make you smile, increase your endorphins, lose a little weight, tire you - out in a good way, feel like you’re part of a community! Details www.AlanaCahoon.com https://wisteriahealingarts.com Creative Coach & Author, Alana Cahoon leads individuals to grow their businesses, expand their minds & heal their souls. www.AlanaCahoon.com


“Mindfulness, Mantras & Meditations gives the reader a complete set of tools to align mind and body, and Þll you with a strong sense of inner peace. The underlying theme is a deep knowledge of what it means to work toward goals, and learn to accept ourselves for the beautiful, perfect, unique beings we are.” -Velvet Spicer, journalist

“This book will change your life. Alana is a life saver, literally, the most trustworthy, reliable, compassionate person I know who provides guidance and comfort like no one else. She is the one person I can trust and rely on in a crazy, unreliable, and ever-changing world.” Vaneeta Baronas, MD

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Creative Coach & Author, Alana Cahoon guides individuals on their path to personal & professional transformation. Grow your business. Expand your mind. Heal your soul. www.AlanaCahoon.com


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THE MAGICAL POWER OF A BREATH AND A TEAR BY SANDRA COOZE

Breathing is so natural, half the time we don’t even notice that we are doing it. We breathe in and we breathe out. Every day, every minute, every second we breathe in and we breathe out. Our breath is truly remarkable. And in this article, I will show you why. Do you often sigh? I mean taking a deep breath and letting it out in a woosh? I bet you do. I know I sigh deeply all the time. My husband used to ask me why I sighed, he thought something was wrong. But there hardly ever was a reason. I just sighted because it felt good. We mostly see sighing as a sign of displeasure. Because that’s what we were taught it to be. But what if I told you that this is not always the case. On the contrary, a deep breath and the therein resulting sigh can be a sign of release, of balancing, of grounding. Here is a little exercise I would like you to try: next time when you feel stressed, pressed for time, or just overwhelmed, stop what you are doing, take a couple deep breaths and forcefully breathe out. Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth the first time and then breathe in and out through your nose. See what you like better – out through your mouth or your nose. As you breathe out imagine that all the stress and overwhelm you have just been feeling is being pushed out by that breath. Picture your breath being cleansing, liberating, calming. You can rewire your sigh to be healing, balancing, and calming. It does not have to be a sigh of frustration, upset or resignation. Use this sigh to release the stress, frustration and resignation and 354

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invite balance, calmness, and healing in. Breathing the right way – meaning with intent is a powerful tool. It can release you from the grasp of a panic attack. It can keep you levelheaded in a challenging situation. But it can do so much more – like relieving constipation. Yes, you heard right. Breathing the right way can move your bowels along. Just breathe in deeply and breathe out. Give it a couples tries and you will feel things moving along. How do we know whether we breathe right or wrong? Close your eyes for me please and focus on your breathing. What do you notice? To you take shallow breaths in and out of your chest? Or do you breathe deep all the way into your stomach? Most people breathe shallow. Into the lungs and back out. Now if you are a shallow breather, I invite you to sit up straight, close your eyes once more, and breathe deep into your stomach. All the way. Push your stomach out while you fill it with air. And then let the breath go. Do that a couple of times. How do you feel? What do you notice compared to breathing only into your lungs? One thing you probably notice is that breathing deeply can’t be done in a hurry. It takes time for your stomach to be full. Try to breathe fast and into your stomach at the same time. I guarantee it will start to feel uncomfortable, but if you slow down it will become a truly pleasant feeling. Breathing deeply means you have no choice but to calm down. When we are distracted, stressed, overwhelmed or in agony we breathe shallow. The body is tense, we fight the pain, we are overwhelmed by all the

emotions, sensations, fears, and worries flooding our mind. But if we focused our mind on our breathing and started breathing deeply, the pain would begin to become easier to handle and often times fade. Because by breathing deeply and focusing on it, we allow our whole system to relax. Pain gets worse the more we tense up and focus on it. When it comes to unresolved past trauma and the therein resulting triggers, breathing with intent can be our biggest ally to conquer all those emotions that keep flooding our body, mind, and spirit with the memories we wish we could release. Meditation is a wonderful way to conquer stress and overwhelm, but for many trauma survivors this poses a challenge because by allowing ourselves to relax, we inadvertently might open the door to memories we would like to keep hidden. However, as long as we focus on our breath and not on the emotions, feelings, and sensations that come up, we can release the past bit by bit, often with more ease than we ever thought possible. So, whenever you feel stressed, overwhelmed, agitated, panicked, angry, sad or anything else that is not balanced and calm, then close your eyes, take a deep breath all the way into your stomach and breathe out with a sigh. Just focus on your breath, on the rising and falling of your chest, on your lungs taking in the oxygen and guiding it deep into your stomach. Do this until you feel balanced and calm again. Sometimes you may have tears well up


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{ RISE { SHIFT+CONTROL ABOVE YOUR STORY } } “Our body knows how to release, we just have to allow it to do its job. And breathing deeply and allowing tears to fall is a great first step.”

in your eyes. That is totally ok, don’t suppress them. Tears are the fastest way for the body to release emotional pain, stress and overwhelm. Allow the tears to flow. You will see that you will feel so much better afterward. We often see crying as a sign of weakness, but that is not true. Crying has nothing to do with strength or weakness. Yes, crying can be a sign of deep emotions both positive and negative, but for the most part, tears start to fall when the body needs to release on an emotional level. I don’t cry often unless I watch 356

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cheesy hallmark movies. But when I cry, the tears just come flooding out of me. Often times, I don’t even know why I am crying. Because I don’t feel sad or upset, I just cry. Sometimes for hours. But I know that I am crying because my body is releasing something and so I allow my tears to flow freely. It is so cleansing. Suppressing tears out of fear of judgment by others, being ridiculed or seen as weak, can be so damaging to our emotional body. Our emotions are a part of who we are. And however we feel at any given time is ok.

Next time you feel like crying, just tell your partner or whoever is near that you are releasing, and you are ok. And then allow the tears to flow and allow whatever emotion comes up to be what it is. You will feel so much better. The key to living a balanced life filled with joy and laughter is to release whatever is holding us back from accomplishing that. Our body knows how to release, we just have to allow it to do its job. And breathing deeply and allowing tears to fall is a great first step.


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LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION! BY TRACY SIMONE

One of my side jobs is being a background actor for television shows and movies. Some people also know it as being an ‘extra’. I have a regular 9 to 5 job with a consistent paycheck, but I consistently do this other work as well. This is an extremely popular thing to do, so it can be quite competitive. However, that does not mean that you cannot land these jobs if you want them. Like everything else, there are tricks to the trade. The background people fill out the scene. We are the ones who are sitting in a theatre, at the tables in the restaurants, or maybe walking down the street or hallway. Sometimes we end up on camera. Sometimes not. In the end, you may see our face. Maybe just an elbow. It is not necessary to live in a big market, but if you want to get on the big jobs, then you need to make sure that you can get to one. Commercials, TV shows, and movies can be shot at any location. The big ones are generally shot in and around Hollywood, New York City, and some are concentrated in Atlanta. Most of the work I do is in and around New York City, although I live a solid 3 hour drive away. That takes me to the first myth. I know people who travel in from Philly, Boston and other areas in order to land these NYC based jobs (think Law & Order, Blue Bloods, New Amsterdam, etc.) You do not necessarily need to live where the jobs are. 358

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The second thing to know and probably the most important is that these productions cost TONS of money. Some of the cameras alone cost more than my house! These people do not have time for anyone who is not there on time, ready to work, and able to

follow instructions. Period. Time is truly money and they have no patience for and are not tolerant of anyone with any type of issue. They do not need YOU; they just need SOMEBODY. If you are too much work for them,

you WILL NOT be hired again and may even get fired on the spot. There are too many people who want the jobs for them to put up with anyone who is not professional, cannot listen, or has an attitude. There is also quite the pecking order at work. It is almost a mini caste system. The principal actors (sometimes celebrities) are the Gods and are treated as such. Most of the people on the set are in some sort of union (there are multiple unions represented) and the absolute lowest in the bunch are the background actors. In my ‘normal’ life, I am a certified professional project manager. I run the show, I coordinate all the tasks for everyone else and basically, I am the boss. Not here. On these production sets, I am in the group who must only speak when spoken to, sit around most for long stretches and wait until called upon and sometimes, not even get used at all (but still get paid for the time). Some people look down on the background people because they mistakenly think there is no skill required. Even within the background group, those in the union like me (SAGAFTRA) get to eat and check out before those who are not union members. This is an interesting and sometimes disturbing dynamic, but it is what it is. Sometimes, being in the union means


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{ TRACY TALKS } “The background people fill out the scene. We are the ones who are sitting in a theatre, at the tables in the restaurants, or maybe walking down the street or hallway.”

that I may only have to bring one extra change of clothes while the non-union folks must bring 3. My group gets to eat before the non-union people, but not before the crew members. Whatever you do, DO NOT speak to any of the principal actors (stars of the show) unless they speak to you first! One day a few years ago on a summer day on Blue Bloods, we were outside burning up. It was so hot and humid that day, I thought I would pass out. I saw a black tent that had a tube attached. 360

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It looked strange and I could not figure out what it was. Later, they rode Tom Selleck out from inside of it on a golf cart. It was an air-conditioned tent just for him! In the meantime, my makeup had slid down to my neck. Geez. Why do I do this to myself? It is completely different from my ‘other’ life, I get to meet a lot of interesting people (although some are quite arrogant and think they will be the next big star…… trust me, they will not), I get a break from my daily routine, I usually have

fun, and I do get paid. So, how do you get this work? There are subscriptions you can buy that list upcoming jobs as well as agents that specialize in background work. Depending on the source, I get emails, texts and phone calls as notification. See you at the movies, but do not blink or you may miss me because I’m somewhere in the back


SIGN UP TODAY! RUNSIGNUP.COM/RACE/NY/GENEVA/GENEVAHALFMARATHON


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ADVICE BY ROBIN DEWIND

There is a photograph that sits on my dresser of my mother and father on their wedding day. I look at it every day and wonder who that woman is. My mom was 25-years old and starting out her life with the man she loves. We never look at our mom’s as women when we are kids growing up. I was always afraid to ask the important questions about her life that I am so curious about now. Her memory is failing, and I cling to her stories trying to find details. Mothers are untouchable, and uninteresting and seem so old when we are young. They are our caretakers, our drivers, or problem solvers and our sworn enemy of anything fun. She was the gatekeeper in our family, the bad cop, the one my brother and I had to pass through first. She terrorized me for most of my teenage years. My older brother had ghost like abilities; he could float in and out of the house and was rarely held to scrutiny or a hundred questions. I guess now that I have a 17-year-old daughter, I know why she was always a lot harder on me. The expectations of mothers for daughters are so much higher. Her advice or rather, overbearing opinions about my prom date’s wrinkled pants, or the way I styled my hair were always direct, on point and usually set me into a rage. I used to call her the “witch” not because she was mean but because

she has this uncanny way of knowing things and predicting situations before they even happened.

pumps. I had a Duran, Duran haircut (Diana’s favorite band) and I felt on top of the word.

Was she a witch or had just already been through it all? I know she had secrets and stories, but she never shared, or was I too afraid to ask? It got me thinking, have I told my daughter enough? Can I protect her with all my wisdom and life-experience from the bad decision making and humiliation that lies ahead? Of course not, but she should know a few things.

Wear what you love, embrace your own style, and never worry what anyone thinks. Dress for yourself, never for anyone else.

Beware of mean girls. Mean girls leave the seventh-grade lunchroom table they are torturing you from, grow up, and sit in the cubical next to your desk. They are everywhere. The boys’ club is always open with welcoming arms. Some girls will always want to keep you out. No matter how many graphic teeshirts we wear touting self-love, support and empowerment, women can be more harsh and more critical of each other than we like to admit. Do not be insecure of other women. It is not a contest. Congratulate, support, and show empathy when needed. Do not be a mean girl. Be your own girl. Wear what you love. It was the 1980’s and I adored Princess Diana. When you think of the ‘80’s it was all about shoulder pads, statement earrings, bold colors, leotards, and leg warmers. For me it is white opaque tights. Lady Di wore them flawlessly and I thought it was the epitome of sophistication. My ‘I feel hot outfit’ was a black sheath dress, thick white tights, and high black

Smile and wave. You don’t’ always have to be nice. Stop apologizing when you are not wrong. Saying “I’m sorry” or constantly trying to please someone who will never like you is a time suck that erodes your self-esteem. You do not have to be “liked” by everyone, but you absolutely do have to love yourself. When you doubt, question, or start to second guess yourself, straighten your crown, smile, wave, and keep walking. Get in touch with yourself first. My mother never talked to me about sex, or my body or even tampons. I found them in the back of the linen closet and spent hours behind the closed bathroom door trying to figure out how it could possibly fit ‘up there.’ Learning to love your vagina and all its pleasures takes time and curiosity on a boring Friday night. Understanding yourself first will only make you more confident and discerning when it comes to allowing someone else in. You will know what you enjoy and how everything works first. If you rush, you may regret it when your “first” is sitting across from you at your thirtyyear high school reunion, sipping punch from a plastic cup. A best friend is a fantasy. ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: FEBRUARY EDITION 2021

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{ HER EDGE } “There is a photograph that sits on my dresser of my mother and father on their wedding day. I look at it every day and wonder who that woman is.”

Best friends are great, but most will let you down at some point and that is okay. We all have our own needs, plans, wants and desires. Friends let us down because they have not met our expectations; know what you need and seek out those individual friends. Have one with a moral compass to show you the way when you are lost. Find one that shares your sense of humor, or one that loves the same music as you do. Always have one that you can call to just talk, about nothing, no matter how long it has been.

Never dismiss older women. You will not be young forever, so respect the process of aging. Take good care of your skin, your body, hair, and your brain. Take long hot showers, lotion, smell good, paint your nails, get a pedicure, run, dance, ah yes, dance a lot. Pretty is fine but smart is beautiful. Never stop moving forward, your survival depends on it. When you are young it is easy to feel like you will never grow

old, but you will. Deal with your “stuff” now; shopping, ice cream, and wine will never make you feel as good as being at peace. Pray, praise, and never forget to ask for what you want out loud. When you see an older woman remember they were young once too; filled with insecurity, secret loves, worries, and big dreams. Take the time to talk to her and ask a few questions. I wish I had.


CONTACT ROBIN DE WIND TODAY! I ROBINDEWIND@GMAIL.COM



{{ BLISSFUL BALANCE}} SHIFT+CONTROL

ODE TO FEBRUARY BY CINDY DECAROLIS

“Groundhog found fog. New snows and blue toes. Fine and dandy for Valentine candy. Snow spittin’; if you’re not mitten-smitten, you’ll be frostbitten! By jing-y feels spring-y.” – The Old Farmer’s Almanac

crocuses peaking up. In Wegmans and Trader Joe’s February brings tulips and irises; the colors are so cheerful and refreshing.

I found this quote from The Old Farmer’s Almanac and thought how perfectly it sums up February. Having been born in February I personally have always been a fan of the month, despite the frigid temperatures and never-ending snow.

Frigid temperatures and snowstorms are typical of February, but there are also sunny days and the occasional February thaw. There is nothing better than a beautiful February day with sparkling white snow, a bright blue sky, and a gleaming yellow sun. I love to be outdoors on those days. Recently we had a few of them and I was lucky enough to get out for some walks on the Erie Canal. The photos with this column were taken on the Canal between Pittsford and Bushnell’s Basin. As always, wishing you peace, bliss, and balance…

On the plus side, February is a short month and for me it is filled with the promise of spring. Come February 28th we will be just 20 days away from the first day of spring. And although we all know that spring weather doesn’t arrive in upstate New York with the first day of spring, we know it is coming – eventually. I take comfort in knowing that below the blanket of snow flowers and plants are preparing to burst through the earth at the first sign of warmth. It is so exciting when I am out walking and begin to see snowdrops and

night during a raging snowstorm and it was 40 degrees below zero. So sorry, mom and dad!

Before my dad passed away in 2015, he used to give me a birthday card every year and the only thing he would write on it was “40º below 0” – apparently my mom went into labor with me in the middle of the

At Blissful Balance LLC our mission is to help you to live life healthier. You can follow us on Facebook @blissfullbalanceroc and Instagram blissfull_balance.

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{ BLISSFUL BALANCE } “I love to be outdoors on those days. Recently we had a few of them and I was lucky enough to get out for some walks on the Erie Canal.”

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“Every human being is the author of his own health or disease.” - Buddha At Blissful Balance our mission is to help you to live life healthier. Let us help you to author your own health. Offering wellness workshops, individual health coaching and essential oils.

Please contact us for a complimentary consultation 585-532-6060 or cindydecarolis62@gmail.com www.blissfullbalanceroc.com Facebook @blissfullbalanceroc Instagram blissfull_balance


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ANCERS.COM


{ MENTALLY THINKING }

FEBRUARY HOLIDAYS BY BONNIE FLOYD

February is a month filled with important occasions and celebrations. There’s Groundhog Day, Valentine’s Day, and Presidents’ Day. This entire month is also designated as Black History Month. Groundhog Day is an amusing holiday, characterized by having a plump prognosticator emerge from his hole on a clear day and seeing his shadow, followed by his retreat and six more weeks of wintry weather. If he fails to see his shadow, it is predicted that spring will arrive early. This holiday has its roots in the ancient Christian tradition of Candlemas, when clergy would bless and distribute candles needed for winter. Germans expanded on this concept by selecting an animal, the hedgehog, as a means of predicting weather. We now use the term “groundhog day” in reference to individuals saying the same things, as well as doing the same things over and over again. This term has its origins in the 1993 movie, Groundhog Day. The film centers around a cynical television weatherman who finds himself reliving the same day over an over again when he goes on location to the small town of Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania to film a report about their annual Groundhog Day. Then, in the middle of the month, there’s Valentine’s Day. This holiday 372

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has its origins in the Roman festival of Lupercalia, a festival that celebrated the coming of spring. It included fertility rites and the pairing of women with men by lottery. At the end of the 5th century, Pope Gelasius replaced Lupercalia with St. Valentine’s Day. On this day, men frequently feel pressured to buy chocolates, flowers, and/or jewelry

for their significant others, as a token of their love and affection. Single women may dread this holiday, since it exaggerates their lack of being in a relationship. Women in relationships often compare their gifts to the ones that have been received by others. Cynical individuals may view this day as a heavily commercialized day, one that creates unnecessary pressure to purchase gifts for a loved one, in

order to prove one’s love. President’s Day is designated as a day to celebrate all presidents, past and present. It originally began in 1885, as a day set aside to commemorate the contributions of George Washington. This holiday became popularly known as President’s Day after it was moved as part of 1971’s Uniform Monday Holiday Act, an attempt to create more three-day weekends for the nation’s workers. Given the contentiousness of the most recent presidential election, this holiday may have special significance this year. In addition to these holidays, the entire month of February is designated as Black History Month. This holiday began as a way of remembering important individuals and events in the history of the African diaspora. This holiday started as Negro History Week in 1926; it was designated by Carter G. Woodson, an African American historian, scholar, educator, and publisher. President Gerald Ford officially designated February as Black History Month in 1976. Notably, the election of Kamala Harris as this country’s first female vice president will be added to the monthly celebration of noteworthy individuals of color. The Black Lives Matter movement has created an enhanced awareness of the minimization of black individuals’ significant contributions to society.


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{ {RWO’S MENTALLY MENTAL THINKING HEALTH} } “Keep celebrating these holidays, since each of them serve a purpose in our lives, especially during these very uncertain times.”

Some may ask why an entire month is devoted to black history; I have heard it said that this is because all of the other months of the year are dedicated to white history. Groundhog Day, Valentine’s Day, and President’s Day are all holidays, of course. Celebrating holidays continues to be important. for several reasons. Maintaining the celebration of holidays gives meaning to individuals’ lives, helps them make sense of their existence, and provides a sense of their place in the grand scheme of things. Holidays mark the passage of time, providing stability and continuity amidst the transitions 374

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we all face during our lives. Given the massive changes induced by the COVID-19 pandemic, it is more important than ever to celebrate holidays. Doing so provides a much-needed sense of stability, in stark contrast to the massive upheaval that this pandemic has created. Both children and adults look forward to the celebration of holidays, to remind them of who they are, who they love, and what is most important in life. Given significant disruptions in their current work schedules, adults find the celebration of holidays to be comforting and reassuring; the same is true for children, who have been faced

with the immense challenge of adjusting to online learning. Holidays may be relatively light-hearted, such as Groundhog Day. Some are heavily commercialized, such as Valentine’s Day. Others are an attempt to give proper recognition to black individuals’ contributions, some of which have been significantly minimized in our country. Keep celebrating these holidays, since each of them serve a purpose in our lives, especially during these very uncertain times.


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{ MANIFESTING YOUR TRUE PURPOSE } { SHIFT+CONTROL }

RELEASING YOURSELF FROM FEAR BY LISA WAGNER

HOW FREEING YOUR SPIRIT CAN LIFT YOU UP Frankly, I’m a bit of a slow learner historically. Why? For the same reason most of us are. Fear. That little bugger can rule our lives and hold us back from the joy that we have a birthright to live in. It has held me back for decades because of one thing someone said that then unleashed a snowball of diminished self-worth and negative inner dialogue. In speaking with my women friends, family and acquaintances, I have witnessed that this is fairly common among females. So, how do we move out of those old fear patterns into something better and more loving? It begins with you. As a young child, I was a total hambone. If a camera came out, I wanted my picture taken as if I was some kind of internationally known model. I loved myself and the joy that gave me. I was tall for my age and willowy. My hair was long and golden blond, and I thought I looked amazing. I loved what I saw in the mirror and what my soul felt like inside. It felt as though I was filled with light beams that shot out of my fingertips and who knew? Maybe one day I’d be famous? That makes me smile whenever I recall my clear lack of self-consciousness and humility. I just really loved life, in general. Everything seemed saturated with color and vitality. As if it was ours for the taking. Then, when I was about 11 years old, I was coming home from my friend’s house down the street, fresh from swimming in her pool all day long. I saw my dad pulling into the driveway. I waved 376

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like crazy and ran the rest of the way home to say hi and get my end of day hug he was so good at. Before I could even say that or get that hug, he asked me why I was running around in my suit? Little did he know I did that every day. I asked why and he told me that I shouldn’t walk around like that. That I would give boys the wrong idea. I had no idea what that meant or implied. He sat me down at dinner and said that I was a pretty girl that boys would be attracted to. I hadn’t noticed a single one of them, nor did I care to. I still thought they were gross. Suddenly, there was a deep sense of shame about my body and what types of feelings it could induce in another person. I felt as though I had suddenly become just an object that shouldn’t been seen. The joy of the day and how I felt about myself seeped out of me and left me feeling embarrassed and small. Don’t get me wrong. My dad was only looking out for me and my naiveite. The protective part of him wanted me to maintain that innocence and sense of safety. As a parent, I do understand that. I just believe we sometimes have not a clue about how our words can cause such lasting damage to someone’s security and self-worth. The following years were unfortunately filled with continual bullying and an abusive boyfriend at the age of 16 only compounded the feelings of less than and diminished confidence. The enormous stumbling block for me? How do I return to that confident 10-year-old that adored life and myself?

It has been a long journey to get here. Today, I finally feel that way about myself again. It only took me 45 years later. See what I mean by “historically slow learner?” Lucky for me, I found my adoring husband when I was 17 and at my most vulnerable. I unexpectedly had someone in my life that thought I had hung a moon. He literally saved my life. He was someone that had an easy smile and a joy of life that I had never been privy to prior to meeting him in the high school library over 38 years ago. It was the beginning of a soul healing of the deepest kind. This was a person that wished more for me than I thought I was allowed. Leaning into that took me decades to trust. Looking back, it saddens me that I had lost that ability to cultivate joy and know I had every right to it. Such a waste of time, don’t you think? Let me be your lesson in what not to do…waiting too long to return to love. Surrounding ourselves with people who want the best for you is your first step to begin your healing. They can hold you up when you can’t do it for yourself. When your heart is crumbling and feel irreparable, they can actively gather up the pieces and help you stitch them back together. They show up and then push you to do the same for yourself. I used to be surrounded by people who were needy and sat in fear like it was their life’s calling. I was a fixer and they gravitated to me like moths to a flame. Avoiding my own pain and fixing someone else’s was incredibly detrimental. It kept me from doing my art and beginning my journey of healing. How many of us, out of fear, do this? Procrastinating to


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{ SHIFT+CONTROL } { MANIFESTING YOUR TRUE PURPOSE } “Empowerment comes from others creating their bliss. Once one of us steps into our light, it becomes a permission slip for each of us to shine unapologetically.”

do something good for ourselves while giving to everyone else, especially for women is chronic. It’s what holds us back from our greatness. It can frighten the life out of us to think how bright our light is and the ways we will be asked to show up if we let it shine. It holds us back in the shadowy recesses of life where there is never full elation. My therapist is the queen at calling out that b.s. and she’ll have none of it. When I told her all the beautiful things my husband and loving friends said about me, she told me to believe them. “Would they be hanging around if you were an a*$hole?” “Well, when you put it that way, Dawn. I guess not.” She cracks me up and makes me take the seriousness out of my negative self-talk. She’s taught me how to rethink those negative patterns and see things for what they really are. It’s changed the way I behave and how I view myself, others and situations. It’s been a huge relief and suddenly life feels quiet and joyful again. PS: therapy is one of the most valuable and transformative things you can do for yourself. It has saved me from being a wreck of a human. As women, we can also get swept away with what society deems as the perfect female. Having swagger in our step while wearing a bikini? Okay. That’s hard for most of us. I hadn’t worn a bikini in years. I recently turned 55 and finally feel good putting that cute two piecer on and not wearing my coverup the entire day, regardless of the temperature. I have 378

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watched Padma Lakshmi over the past decade not apologize for her sexuality. She rocks it out without a single apology or second thought. Why shouldn’t we all be allowed to feel that good? Well, you can. It isn’t about how in shape you are. It’s about feeling good in your own skin. Deciding that you really are beautiful and worthy of love, joy and

magnetic and her sense of possibility contagious.” Marianne Williamson, “A Woman’s Worth” (If you haven’t read that book yet, please do.)

creating a life that honors your heart is when you can finally be free. Breaking the chains that bind up your beauty actually honors the rest of the world and is a form of creating. Empowerment comes from others creating their bliss. Once one of us steps into our light, it becomes a permission slip for each of us to shine unapologetically. “When a woman rises up in glory, her energy is

Releasing our fear of not being worthy enough to receive anything that is aligned in love can offer you a freedom that you merit. It acknowledges your desire to be enough. Within that, your life begins to feel as though it has opened up new opportunities that you wouldn’t have dared allow for yourself when you were steeped in fear and pain. You are not your pain or traumas. It has never

Being willing to stand in my own light has allowed me to begin creating my art in a way that feels divinely lead. It’s as though there’s a message that’s dying to get out into the world. I just follow what it asks for. Who am I to question divine inspiration? Each of us receives that. It’s just a question of whether or not we dig deep to find the strength to say “yes” to something larger and fully aligned with love that wishes the best for you. It is a lesson in trust. Guess what? That means you need to begin trusting your inner guidance system. You can do that once you fully lean into your exquisite value. You aren’t what all the naysayers have put on you. That’s their own feelings of inadequacy being worked out all over you. Put a boundary on your sacred space from this day forward that only allows that which is fully aligned with love. Don’t you deserve that? Because I 100% know you do!


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{ MANIFESTING YOUR TRUE PURPOSE } “Being willing to stand in my own light has allowed me to begin creating my art in a way that feels divinely lead.”

not your pain or traumas. It has never defined you or the spirit you were born with and carry around like a beautiful beacon. Let it shine! Go out today and create something that brings you bliss. All you have to do is move your hands, talk to a trusted friend or family member or even an amazing therapist like mine. Sit and take a quiet moment

to meditate on your own worth. Write down what it is you want for your life. Or just simply notice your breath and allow it to self-regulate. You, my friend are capable of greatness. The only thing that holds you back is not moving out of that misalignment to love. To your spirit. Work it out by bringing it into

the light. There’s nowhere for it to hide when you call it out. Take back your life by claiming it as your own. It was never anyone else’s to take.


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ZESTFUL AGING }} {{ SHIFT+CONTROL

WHAT IS ZESTFUL AGING? BY NICOLE CHRISTINA

THE ANSWER MAY SURPRISE YOU What does it mean to be a “zestful ager”? How can we bring more optimism and adventure to our lives and age with maximum health and happiness? I’m the host of Zestful Aging Podcast, and I’ve interviewed more than 200 experts around the world on healthy aging. I’m also a psychotherapist specializing in food and body issues. Here’s what I’ve learned. The answers might surprise you. Fighting our aging is a full time job, especially in American culture. Just take a walk down the cosmetics aisle and you will see an assault on aging, as if it’s a dreaded disease. The Maybelline line “Age rewind” is my favorite fantasy. But even as we purchase these products, we know the harsh reality: Fighting aging is futile. It’s an energy and time suck that ultimately leaves us feeling like failures. It’s the worst kind of set up. But it’s challenging to find peace with our aging bodies when we see the wrinkles, crepey skin, and experience declining eyesight. One way is to challenge ourselves to a mindset shift. We can stop fighting reality and use our time and energy to focus on what is deeply meaningful and satisfying in the time we have left. We can focus on what we have, rather than what we’re losing. These shifts can make a tremendous difference in our mental

and emotional health. Anti-ageist activist Ashton Applewhite is fond of saying, “ageism is discrimination against your future self.” And the painful truth is that if we can’t even accept our own aging bodies, how can we accept others? Self criticism has a nasty way of influencing how we see others. The pursuit of healthy habits can become a kind of prison we build for ourselves. One of my clients told me a

story that she thought was funny, but I found heartbreaking. After a long and exhausting international flight she finally got to her hotel room and found that -- gasp!--she hadn’t reached her 10k steps. So she walked in circles around her hotel room until she reached her fitbit milestone. Never mind that 10k steps is an arbitrary number and was originally chosen by marketers who thought it had a nice ring to it. That’s not health--it’s a form of torture.

So how can we go from seeing ourselves as has-beens to feeling valuable and vital? I’ve had an incredible opportunity to interview more than 200 guests on my Podcast, Zestful Aging. Many of my guests are the world’s experts on health and wellness. You might expect that they focus on what to eat and how many steps to take, but that’s not the case. Instead, attitude and relationships are the main topics. Eating a rainbow is great. Exercise is beneficial. But the best way to be healthy is by loving and feeling loved. And feeling purposeful will contribute more to your health than any Keto diet. Answering questions like: What feels fulfilling to me? What brings meaning to my life? Or as one of my guests asked, “what blows your hair back?”. These are important questions in creating a positive relationship with our aging selves. Old fashioned gratitude does wonders for our health as well as our outlook. Approaching aging with balance, acceptance and a positive spirit requires a deliberate shift in our thinking. The secret to aging well is accepting our aging and focusing on the gifts it brings; freedom, experience and confidence are some of the gifts my guests celebrate. One of my favorite examples of a gold star zestful ager is a past podcast guest, Sandy Fish. You may know her from the cult Netflix series “Sense8”. This series has so many fans that there are podcasts about the Show. Sandy Fish has the opportunity to party with celebrities. But ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: FEBRUARY EDITION 2021

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ZESTFUL AGING } } {{ SHIFT+CONTROL “Fighting our aging is a full time job, especially in American culture. Just take a walk down the cosmetics aisle and you will see an assault on aging, as if it’s a dreaded disease.”

what gives her more joy is to volunteer at San Quentin Penitentiary teaching inmates how to provide hospice to their dying cellmates. She says that being at San Quentin gives her a deep sense of satisfaction that she can’t get anywhere else. She’s leaving her legacy, which is shown to help us age with a sense of meaning. And she is contributing to a better world. Science shows us that this kind of behavior--called generativity-promotes health and happiness. 384

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So before you institute a new “anti-aging” regime, ask yourself these questions: Does this behavior feel replenishing? Nurturing? Do I feel more free or more limited? Am I doing it out of kindness and respect to my body or is it a punishment for “being bad.”? Being a “zestful ager” requires us to know what is our real source of joy and fulfillment. Some of us, after a lifetime of taking care of our families and careers, have never had the chance to ask. Now is the perfect time to discover what we want to do with the

years we have left. And join the leagues of Zestful Agers. --Nicole Christina is a psychotherapist of 30 years in Upstate New York, and the creator and host of the Zestful Aging Podcast, which is heard in 92 countries. Find it on all major podcast platforms. She’s writing a book called “Not Just Chatting: How to Become a Master Podcast Interviewer”. Find her at ZestfulAging.com.


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{ MOVING BEYOND YOUR YOUNGER { FINANCIALLY SPEAKING } YEARS }

SHE’S MY NEVER-ENDING SONG BY CINDY SCRIBANI

Why is it ..on New Year’s Eve, I find it even more difficult to not keep fleeing to a separate corner of the house to cry heavy tears. I feel like an unbearable blanket of winter snow is weighing down on my body. the icy hard kind of snow that breaks beneath your feet.. spontaneously bursting into tears. And then I realized, this season of “firsts” has only just begun: my mom’s birthday is wedged immediately after Christmas and this new year she won’t be here to see.

Oddly enough, it’s as if my mom has given me better advice on how to grieve her death than anyone who is still living. In a world that is decidedly not designed for the grieving, it is hard to practice patience with myself and with my grief.

laughing, singing and lovingly surrounded by your parents, your son and so many others you love.

So when i find myself caught between my feelings and my obligations — zoom trainings, deadlines, doctor’s appointments — I will do what all good children should do: I will listen to that small, still voice.. I will hold on to God’s promises and her

Heaven must be filled with flowers much more beautiful than my earthly eyes can imagine..especially all the ones you were so sweetly fond of.. because I sense all the aroma, all the splendor of color and the sweetness of your smile and you are gently taking it all in on your first birthday in Heaven. I know if I ask God to mention to you. He just might pass my message along.

Soon the clock will strike midnight tonight and suddenly it will be 2021. What will that feel like to step into days and weeks and months in which she never takes one single breath? Why does it feel as though i’m leaving her behind? Sure, “time marches on,” but no one tells you how that march can feel like a stampede on your grief. the further away time takes me from this past Thanksgiving, the morning she took her last breath, the more difficult it seems to just breathe.

You’re safely home with Jesus but the pain in my heart from missing you is deep.

words as I learn to face this New Year, her birthday and every moment, big and small, in a future without her.

I know i’m not the only one that faces wintry celebrations with a loved one inconspicuously and painfully absent. but for everyone who, like me, feels desperate to protect their raw grief, i want to share the thoughts i believe both my mom and my dad instilled within me.

Mom .. You’re a never ending song in my heart and i’ll always remember your tune

~No matter how hard and how difficult something feels that staying ‘in the moment’ and giving thanks for what you have will help guide and sustain you. patience takes time and practice.

And when I opened my eyes this morning way before the mourning dove spreads her wings flying with her soft, whistling sound. I could see you within the silent darkness of my room filled with joy –

I know if I ask God to mention to you 𝓲 𝓵𝓸𝓿𝓮 𝔂𝓸𝓾, He just might pass my message along 🥰

And when I opened my eyes this morning way before the mourning dove spreads her wings flying with her soft, whistling sound. I could see you within the silent darkness of my room filled with joy – laughing, singing and lovingly surrounded by your parents, your son and so many others you love. You’re safely home with Jesus but the pain in my heart from missing you is deep. Heaven must be filled with flowers much more beautiful than my earthly eyes can imagine..especially all the ones you were so sweetly fond of.. because I sense all the aroma, all the splendor of color and the sweetness of your smile and you are gently taking it all in on your first birthday in Heaven.

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HAPPY NEW YEAR BY ANGELA MCGHEE

Here is Psychic Astrology for January 2021. ARIES JANUARY 2021 The focus is on finance this month. You may reach your potential in an earned income and a steady cash flow throughout. It’s also a lucrative time with professional opportunities, if your thinking of starting a business now is the time. Big news awaits you when Venus and Pluto are in conjunction on January 28th. The full moon on this day may also see you going in a different direction where love is concerned. TAURUS JANUARY 2021 You go charging into 2021 on overdrive holding so much strength and verve, ready to take on the world and anything that stands in your way. If you’re involved in anything to do with the media there is every chance for success. This month involves a lot of mind expansion with education which will give you a spiritual and intellectual lift. Your extra efforts in a work situation rewards you financially. With mercury turning retrograde on January 30th be cautious when making decisions in the workplace. If you act on an impulse in your love life there can be a passionate reward. GEMINI JANUARY 2021 You may feel like hibernating but it is the result of a very busy 2020. Taking care of your physical and 388

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emotional wellbeing is essential this month. Fortunately, your finances will not suffer during this relaxed time as you may get an unexpected monetary boost from a bonus or a surprise gift which is an uplifting amount. January 28th may signal news about a past love which can change your future and it can bring an emotional reflective time which has a healing effect. CANCER JANUARY 2021 Your love life is under the spotlight this month as 2021 starts with underlying passion which all looks promising. If you’re already in a relationship your bond becomes deeper. You will have to watch your finances and check every detail of your bank balance and ensure you sort out debts you owe to others. The full moon on January 28th is in your income sector and you will need to be more thrifty with your money and make a future plan for the rest of the year. LEO JANUARY 2021 Your career is highlighted as 2021 begins. Mars moves to the top of your chart which will make you more successful than any other sign. A great month for promotion, a new career path or a new business. You simply cannot fail. It’s a month for letting people know how much you love them but also letting people know how much they have hurt you. It will be quite a dramatic rollercoaster where emotions are

concerned and you may rethink close relationships and start a fresh elsewhere. VIRGO JANUARY 2021 Mars enters your 9th house of morality and intellectual expansion. It’s time to let your skeletons out of the closet and speak your truth regardless of the consequences. You have been holding back for too long, it’s time to speak up and speak out. In love - it’s time to link up with someone special you have been waiting for. If you’re in a couple there could be news of a baby. In a work situation you must take time to check details on a project. LIBRA JANUARY 2021 January 8th brings an abundance of positive energy to your home life. On January 13th the moon is in your family sector and there is a celebration on course or a new beginning for you and your family. You may be looking at relocating. If you are romantically involved with someone you may re-evaluate the situation as it may not reach your expectations. You may question if they are right for you. Your work life will have a revamp as somebody new enters with good reflective energy. SCORPIO JANUARY 2021 Your career has glittering prospects near the full moon on January 28th. You’re in the spotlight for an award or reward. Harmony is within your love life as you’ve rekindled it by


{{ SEEING SHIFT+CONTROL THE SIGNS }} “ ARIES JANUARY 2021 The focus is on finance this month. You may reach your potential in an earned income and a steady cash flow throughout.”

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{ {SEEING THE SIGNS }} SHIFT+CONTROL “LEO JANUARY 2021 Your career is highlighted as 2021 begins. Mars moves to the top of your chart which will make you more successful than any other sign. ”

putting a lot of effort in. Domestic life is not without its mishaps, check your security around your home there could be a dispute with a neighbour but your smooth talking puts it all right. If you’re thinking of going into business with someone now is the time to find that right partner. SAGITTARIUS JANUARY 2021 You will start 2021 feeling in charge, it is a promising time for attracting money through your own efforts. Big opportunities create even more of a cash flow. You have the Midas touch this month. If you work for a boss now is the time to ask for a raise. Stamina and assertiveness helps you meet and beat all the deadlines, and you are in demand. Someone important is noticing your talent. Your love life is smooth sailing and not much drama of late as you both seem to be steering in the same direction. CAPRICORN JANUARY 2021 The love planet venus moves into your sign on January 8th placing you in a magnificent position. You will radiate gorgeous vibes. There are plenty of romantic opportunities with that 390

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someone special. If your single there will be an abundance of offers. A full moon on January 28th is bringing in financial changes and you need to put your accounts in order and review your budgeting plans especially after buying a highly priced item. AQUARIUS JANUARY 2021 It’s time to take stock of the past and

the choices you made and realise how they have shaped your current reality. You will move forward with confidence so that you can have growth in your personal development. It will be quite a philosophical month but you will feel the power of re-awakening within you and this will put you on a personal path that is more nurturing. The full

moon falls in your partnership sector on January 28th where you will have to evaluate where you stand with that special someone. It may be a time to move out and move on. PISCES JANUARY 2021 Mars finally leaves your money sector on January 6th and you’re no longer feeling the drain of 2020. Signing papers and declarations may be a part of improving your finances. You now have the confidence to speak out for what you need. Your social life will improve and take a much more positive turn as friends show their true worth. A new friendship may see a romance blossom between you. It’s certainly a month to create the financial stability you have needed for some time. 2021 will be so much more positive. HAPPY NEW YEAR! A time of Renewal,Progress & New Hope Blessings Angela McGhee e.mail- angelkm39@hotmail.com +44(0)778 956 3169


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RELEASING YOURSELF FROM FEAR BY GIOVANNA WALTON

I wonder how many of us, if we dated ourselves, would break it off? Hmmmm... what kind of question is that? I know, it sounds crazy, right? Or does it? Just humor me for a moment. I’ll try not to make this boring but I want you all to just bear with me and follow along! Many people ARE single and still looking for that special someone. I know, you’re saying, “Ya but, maybe they’re single because they want to be.” Well, I won’t disagree with you on that. There are many reasons people are single and most will blame it on picking the wrong person. What if it’s NOT any of that? What if it IS me? Or YOU, that is the problem? We aren’t perfect in any stretch of our imagination. I got to thinking that maybe we need to look at it from the possibility that it COULD be us! I’m going to put a list of ‘behaviors’ that could easily chase someone away. I know what you’re thinking, “You don’t need them if they’re weak.” Indulge yourself with the possibility that it could very well be you. It may hurt, sting a little, yes but the truth will only help us in the end. So I’m going to ask that you really get honest with yourselves and read this with an open heart and mind. Many people go into another relationship because they think it will heal them or they possibly just can’t live without someone to come home to. The problem that arises is that there is no healing process. What’s the big deal? The ‘deal’ is that if you don’t give yourself time to heal from the previous relationship, you will take the hurt, pain, mistrust, etcetera, from each past failed relationship 392

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and bring it into the next relationship and so on until it looks like a big pile of garbage. Then that garbage gets put into garbage bags and however many bags it takes, you will be carrying that much around. Just picture that in your head because that’s the reality of a broken person. There are many signs of a broken person. Their actions and how they talk are ways you are able to tell. I will touch on a few and you could see if it describes yourself! Most of us think this is normal and the way we’ve always been. We learn the hard lessons life taught us without coming to terms with the healing part. Broken people love differently. They say in order to love others, you have to love yourself first. It doesn’t stop at just that. You have to also forgive, respect and set boundaries, not only for yourself but for others. Not all people equate that with love. Here are some telltale signs of a broken person. I want you to really be honest with yourself and see if you fit into any of these. I can’t say this enough! Ask yourself: ‘How do I treat others?’ ‘How do I react when my significant other talks to someone of the opposite sex?’. ‘Do I get jealous?’ Do I react when they’re talking to the opposite sex or do I wait to see if he/she informs me or introduces me?’. ‘Do I always look for compliments and/ or validation at everything I do or say and get mad when I’m not getting it?’ ‘Do I trash talk people I’m close with’? ‘Do I trash talk my significant other?’ ‘Do I admit when I am wrong?’ I’m going to stop there, for now.

This is a lot but it doesn’t even come close to being half of what breaks up relationships. How you treat others tells alot about your personality and character. For example, do you treat a server, janitor, dishwasher.... etc., with the same dignity as you would someone of a higher standard? Let’s start with the restaurant scene because people go out for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I know there are waiters and waitresses who may not always be kind. I get that. I’m not talking about addressing a situation like that. I’m talking about the servers who are pleasant. Are you always complaining, yelling, making a scene if the ice water wasn’t cold enough? Are you making snide remarks while they’re taking your order or asking if everything is ok? You know what I’m talking about. If this is you, take heed and change the attitude. No excuse even if this is the only thing you’re guilty of. Jealousy/insecurity is a big turnoff. Personally, I find that the more people get comfortable with the other person in a relationship, there is an entitlement into thinking that everything and every move their significant other makes needs to be informed to them. Jealousy, trust, and insecurity, I feel, go together. If you’re not able to trust your significant other, you won’t like them talking to someone of the opposite sex. You become jealous. From the OXFORD LANGUAGE DICTIONARY, jealous is defined as: “a feeling or showing suspicion of someone’s unfaithfulness in a relationship.” That doesn’t mean your significant other is cheating or unfaithful in any way. Most likely it means one of


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{ A WOMAN’S PERSPECTIVE { SHIFT+CONTROL } } “Many people go into another relationship because they think it will heal them or they possibly just can’t live without someone to come home to. The problem that arises is that there is no healing process.”

two things. One, you may have been a cheater in the past, and maybe you still are! I find that most people who accuse their significant other are usually the ones doing the act. I’m just saying. The second is, you’ve been with someone or have a history dating people who are cheaters. We make it ok in our head to cheat or to accuse our significant other of cheating even though they aren’t doing it. I know you feel that certain actions and words they do or express have you believing history is repeating itself. That very well could be seeing that we haven’t seemed to pick the right ones in the past. Yet, we MUST treat each person as separate from the others (until words and actions aren’t matching)and you have proof. By not seeing your significant other as separate from others you have dated, you automatically become suspicious and you believe they will do the same thing to you, it’s a matter of time! It’s not fair to that person or yourself. To me that’s torment. You could be in a genuine relationship with someone who isn’t like your previous exes. Now, if you’re a cheater, you should never be in a relationship. Either way, that kind of broken thinking and action, will cause even the most patient and trusting soul to back away from you. Insecurity doesn’t always have to do with being jealous. You could be insecure about many other different things like your body, not happy with your features, not having a higher education, in other words, you just don’t feel as though you’re good 394

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enough. Is that true? ABSOLUTELY NOT!!! We were ALL made unique in our own way by our Creator who I call God. If you are feeling insecure about any or all of these things, you need to fix it before you get into ANY relationship! Why? Because you will not be able to function as a ‘normal’ human being if you’re constantly comparing or feeling you don’t measure up. Anyone of the opposite sex wants someone who is confident and sure of themselves. People are attracted to people who aren’t afraid to be themselves and all of their imperfections, who make decisions without wavering for a long time, who can be kind and not bring others down to make themselves look good. They love who they are! These are only some of the traits, characteristics of people who are sure of themselves. Have you ever looked at a couple and one was a ‘looker’ and could be on the cover of a magazine and the other wasn’t as attractive? It’s because that person had that special something, a confidence and a positive air about them. Don’t get me wrong, they have their down days but they always manage to turn it into something happy. I pray these few character faults help you to see if these are being practiced in your relationships. There are more things that I haven’t listed but I just didn’t want to overwhelm you. I will be writing more on it. In the meantime, take time to do some self reflecting. There is much to

think about, I know. Most of us are making these mistakes not knowing that they are destroying our chances at love. We’ve lived so long in doing some or all of these things that we believed it to be a normal part of our life. What else are life experiences for? Don’t let fear or guilt get to you! No one does these things purposely. I get it. My next column will have more behaviors we tend to display that we need healing from. Things that are embedded in our minds and hearts. There is HOPE! Take care and keep safe! GIOVANNA


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GETTING THE PERFECT SCORE BY WINCHESTER HOPKINS

I want to share with you a great trick to use if you have charge cards. 30% of your score has to deal with something call credit utilization. This is your total revolving debt balances compared with your revolving limits. A quick example, let’s say you have two cards with total balances $250 and your total limit is $500. That will give you a credit utilization of 50%, $250 balances/$500 total balance. It’s recommended to have your utilization between 0-6%. The smaller that percentage the better though.

good overall credit. Some lenders have their own ways of calculating credit scores, so keeping your overall financial system in good shape is one way to ensure that you are in good shape in all lenders’ eyes.

A quick way to give your score a boost is to make a line increase request to your current card providers. Let’s use our previous example for better explanation. If you requested a line increase with each card provider and they both increased your line by just $500, that will significantly lower your credit utilization ratio. Your balances stay the same, but your limits increase $1,000 total, thus giving you at utilization of 16%. Because $250 divided by $1,500 equals 16%. A credit utilization this low is great! And what’s better is, you didn’t have to pay any of your balances at all.

1) Serious delinquency in repaying accounts or bills.

By simply requesting a line increase with your current card providers can do wonders to your score. If you been with your card provider for at least 6 months, I highly recommend that you try this strategy. Lenders will often look at not only your credit score but at other financial indicators, such as your income, employment record, and savings. Keeping these things in order can complement your credit score and can help you get

Be aware that when lender asks to see your credit score, the credit bureaus send not only your credit score but also the top four reasons why your credit score is lowered. The most common reasons for lowered credit scores are:

2) The public record of bankruptcy, civil judgment, or report to a collection agency 3) Recent unpaid or late paid debts or accounts 4) Short-term credit record 5) Lots of new accounts 6) Many accounts have late payments, defaults, or non-payments 7) Large debts or amounts owed. Knowing that your lender sees these possible problems can help you see the need to develop the best possible face to present to a lender. Lenders who look at your entire credit report may get a more positive picture of you than lenders who see only a number and four reasons for a lower score.

or creating an investment portfolio, having assets can help improve your credit score by allowing you to take out secured credit or credit in which your assets are used as collateral. When you take out secured credit (such as a mortgage) you enjoy lower interest rates and easier approval. As you repay your secured debt, your credit score will improve. Even better, lenders do look at the types of credit you have. If you have a mix of secured and unsecured credit, you will enjoy better risk rating scores as it will indicate that you have the means to repay your debts. Building assets and capital is also a way of building financial stability which can help protect your credit score. If you have assets such as savings or investments, then you have a way of generating income or repaying debts in case of an emergency. You also have ready money you can use in case of unexpected medical bills or other problems. Winchester Hopkins Perfect Score Club Inc CEO As seen on Fox NBC CBS Ny Weekly Chicago Journal US News American Reporter and much more... perfectscoreclub@outlook.com perfectscore1.org 1 877 428 4827

Whether it is buying a car, a home, ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: FEBRUARY EDITION 2021

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