RWO's June 2020 Edition

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Relentless Creator





june ed













WOMEN WHO INSPIRE Kate Schneider Emily Mahana






























SHE HUSTLES TALKS Embolden Ladiology Life Anchor Coach Teresa Costa Collection Real Estate w/Rita Pettinaro

















june edition { TABLE OF CONTENTS }

























Vitalize Medical Center is so excited to be offering Restylane Kysse to our patients! This amazing product has been used in Europe for years and recently gained approval from the FDA to use in the states. Kysse gives a more natural looking pout that lasts longer than its competitors.




“When you can’t control what’s happening challenge yourself to control the way you are responding to what;s happening. That’s what the power is.”


lease give a BIG Rochester Woman Online welcome to our latest cover woman, Rochester’s “Relentless Creator” - the truly talented Natalie Sinisgalli. Creative thinking is how we reach new outcomes, how problems get solved, and where opportunities begin. We are truly excited to not only be able to tell Natalie’s journey in both business and personally but welcome her to the RWO team as one of our new lead photographers for 20202021! Read all about her amazing story starting on page [18]. Be ready to get pivot...and to be empowered... thats what our latest lady bosses in our all new She Hustles Talks Special Insert are all talking about this month. Check out some of these awesome businesses starting on page [ ]. Rochester Woman Online would also like to introduce the current reigning Miss New York America, and, Mrs. New York America queens in our latest edition. Not only are they beautiful inside and out, but they are truly women who inspire others!



On our cover this month we have the relentless creative, female entrepreneur, mother and all around empowering woman Natalie Sinisgalli. Photographed by members of her amazing team at NSP Studio on location at her studio and Embolden Podcast studios.

The Mrs. New York America and Miss New York for America Pageants, run by the amazing Diane DeNigris Hardgrove (a former RW cover woman herself), celebrates women, families, and community service. The pageant empowers women and gives them the platforms to lead, encourage, and educate. Kate Schneider, Mrs. New York America, and Emily Mahana - Miss New York for America share with our readers their journeys, what inspires them, their platforms, who and what they support, and so much more! We hope you will join us on July 19th, 2020 at The Mrs. New York America and Miss New York for America Pageants at the RIT Inn & Conference Center as these beauties hand over their crowns. Page [ ] Please join RWO at our Grand Opening Celebrations on Thursday, July 30th from 5:30-8pm at our all new Cornhill studio. We will have a DJ, tons of great vendors to shop, incredible sampling, an after party at Kainos Restaurant and more, so bring all your friends!






Kelly Breuer


Kelly Breuer




Charlene Mann Ford Devin Mack NSP Studio Laura Marino Mike Harrison Natalie Sinisgalli Robin DeWind Olga Monacell Alana Cahoon Lisa Wagner Judi Swanson Evelyn Spruill Denise Karma Clifford Dr Pam Denton Giovanna Walton Tracy Simone Dr Shanelle Benson Reid Ellen Feldman Terry Daniele Robin Hertz Alicia Hicks Bonnie Floyd Bob Napoleone Tammy Vreeland Tamara MacDuff Lauri McKnight Katie Wagner Alex Stevens Angela Vahue Laylah Jennifer Frary

Ahlia Kitwana Beth Parry Cindy DeCarolis Kaitlyn Vittozzi Katie Wagner Kate Schneider Emily Mahana Dr Yaslyn Vega Rita Pettinaro Marisely Marte Laurie Haelen

Kelly Breuer Katie Lawler-Melia & Toni Natalie The Next Design

Rochester Woman ONLINE is the premier professional woman’s online publication in the greater Rochester area. Our feature articles address major topics that interest local women. Each issue includes articles on health, fashion, fitness, finance, dining, lifestyle and personal perspectives, as well as a spotlight on local area women. The electronic magazines are distributed freely through your favorite app store and will be in your inbox electronically by the first week of every month. The publication is available free of charge. Please feel free to contact publisher Kelly Breuer at 585.727.9120 or you can email us at Download our current media kit at www. The magazine is published 12 times a year by Rochester Woman ONLINE. Copyright © 2020 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.



I frequently hear people say they’re “just not creative”. As if you are either born with it, or you’re not. If you count yourself in the “not” camp, I have news for you. Creativity is within all of us. Like many things in life, it’s something you can practice and grow. There are many benefits to doing so. Creative thinking is how we reach new outcomes, how problems get solved, and where opportunities begin. Many people confuse it with being “artsy” or “crafty”. It doesn’t have to be about painting or Pinterest or making a hat out of pipecleaners - creativity is a way of thinking that can be applied to any situation in your life. When you’re able to ask yourself new questions, carve new pathways in your brain and do things differently that you’ve done before it leads to growth and change. I believe it is one of our greatest hopes for a better future. As someone who was born with a decent dose of it, and then made (several) businesses out of creating for others, I’ve learned some lessons along the way. CREATIVITY NEEDS SPACE I’ve loved creating for as long as I can remember. When I was a kid, people 18


always told me I was so “creative”.... I never really knew what that meant – it can take years to dissect the nuances of your own mind to identify how it operates differently from others. As a child, you could always find me surrounded by a sea of what most people would describe as “trash”. Cut pieces of construction paper,

paint in various states of dry, markers, colored pencils, balled up papers, shards of ribbon, worn down crayons, dirty clothes, and snack wrappers lined the floor of my bedroom. My parents had a high threshold for my “artistic” nature,

and would often (knowingly or not) let me stay up late working on my latest project. It could have been a painting, or a sculpture. Learning a song on guitar, or a project for Spanish class that didn’t actually require any art – but I’d decided to illustrate the whole thing anyway (made a lot of friends in that class...). My entire bedroom would be destroyed, but in the center of the chaos would be a small clearing with me sitting on the floor with the shining pretty thing I had made. My parents used to joke that I’d never need a new carpet in my bedroom because it always had a protective layer of clothing on it (this actually ended up being true). I’m very grateful and fortunate for this upbringing. Other parents certainly could have labeled me “messy”, “destructive” or a “procrastinator”. Thankfully, mine described me as “creative”. CREATIVITY CAN BE SPONTANEOUS When the time came for me to choose a career, it surprised no one (but me) that I chose photography. I had spent the last 4 years playing scientist at the Rochester Institute of Technology, where I had chosen a pragmatic degree in Imaging







COVER STORY } } { {SHIFT+CONTROL “Creative thinking is how we reach new outcomes, how problems get solved, and where opportunities begin.”

& Photographic Technology, authored two peer-reviewed journal papers and even completed an internship at NASA. However, at the very last moment (2 days before I was scheduled to start graduate school with a full scholarship), I decided to pivot and start a photography business. On a Friday afternoon I created the framework for what would eventually become NSP Studio (formerly Natalie Sinisgalli Photography). While it started out running very similarly to a talent show mixed with a hobby, it ended up being so much more. More on that later. In the meantime, the need to produce my art for other people at a

scheduled date and time provided me with my first real lesson in what I’d call “creativity on demand”. C R E AT I V I T Y B O R N O F RESTRICTION Going from my pre-business life of taking photos when and where things interested me to suddenly being told what (or more accurately who) I was photographing and at what time took some adjustment. I suddenly had to “create” at the drop of a hat, and under varying circumstances. While you might think that the more time and tools you have the better the outcome, I’ve found

the opposite to be true. By putting myself in situations where I had little control over the elements (weather, time of day, lighting, wardrobe, backgrounds, etc.) I was forced to find creative solutions and techniques I would have likely never learned otherwise. It was uncomfortable and sometimes stressful during the process, but the more I challenged myself to thrive in difficult or unknown situations, the more trust I built in my ability to creatively problem solve. This is one of the reasons why wedding photography is still so fun and rewarding for me after 13 years. In addition to capturing once-in-a-lifetime moments ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: JUNE EDITION 2020



“It doesn’t have to be about painting or Pinterest or m a hat out of pipecleaners - creativity is a way of thinki can be applied to any situation in your life. When you to ask yourself new questions, carve new pathways in brain and do things differently that you’ve done before to growth and change.”




making ing that u’re able n your e it leads






{ {SHIFT+CONTROL COVER STORY }} “Having my first child at the onset of the coronavirus crisis has been stressful to say the least. I will forever remember the moment I heard the word “pandemic” from my hospital bed holding my one day old baby boy.”

for my clients, I get to do so under sometimes impossible-seeming time restraints, personalities, inclimate weather and countless other challenges that arise during our up to 12 hour shifts. CREATIVITY CAN BE TAUGHT I used to think that photography was something you could only “learn” from a technical standpoint, and that you couldn’t teach having an “eye” for it. I was wrong. Over the years I have trained many young photographers to shoot for me, and over time I’ve built a framework that teaches the tenants of our studio’s look and quality of photography, while allowing their individual creativity to shine. It has infinitely more to do with my prospective photographer’s attitude and whether they have a desire to learn and create than it does with any innate talent they arrive with. While my team doesn’t enjoy every lesson (we joke there are “firey hoops” one has to jump through to shoot for NSP Studio) – they have always later thanked me and come out as much stronger artists and creators for it. UNINTENTIONAL CREATIVITY About 8 years into running my photography studio, I came to a profound

realization. I noticed that client after client would comment on how comfortable they felt at my studio. Many would exclaim that they would love to come over to just chat any day. They would find any excuse to stop by, or even to schedule a shoot. Without realizing it, my team and I had created a safe space for women to be vulnerable and feel beautiful. We made a sacred space for women to be heard and to connect with

themselves and each other. Regardless of their age, weight, race, religion, sexual orientation, our studio had become a judgement-free space in a world that is often devoid of one. Once I realized this was the service we were actually providing – I doubled down on it. We started doing it on purpose and investing in the enhancement of that experience and coming up with new ways to help women feel safe and valued.

CREATING INCOME As a young adult and even in my early years as a business owner, I thought ‘business’ was something engaged in by men in suits who worked in fluorescent lit office buildings. My only interest was in creating art, not money. That mindset led me to near bankruptcy and almost having to close my business. I soon realized if I couldn’t figure out how to make money with my craft, I wouldn’t be able to continue doing it. I found a business coach and pivoted hard. I changed everything about how my business functioned, and it ended up paying huge dividends. Much to my surprise, I loved t h e p ro c e s s . Business and marketing became fun for me – another outlet for my creative thinking. So much so, that in 2019 I decided to start another business (Embolden) dedicated to helping other women succeed in business. As women we are naturally creative thinkers, and have so many gifts that are perfectly suited for entrepreneurship. At Embolden I support women through 1:1 business coaching and my weekly podcast, providing tools and resources for success. Speaking of my podcast...



COVER STORY } } { { SHIFT+CONTROL “I used to think that photography was something you could only “learn” from a technical standpoint, and that you couldn’t teach having an “eye” for it. I was wrong.”

CREATING CAN BE SCARY By this point it sounds like I might be immune to the stress and anxiety that comes with starting something new – but that’s far from the case. A perfect example can be found in the day I decided to begin working on my podcast. I’d had the idea for months, and I finally set aside a whole day to take my microphone out of the box, and plug it in. I told my entire family I’d be unavailable that day, I was starting my podcast. I settled into my office chair to get down to it. The chair felt uncomfortable... intolerable actually. Strange considering I sat in this chair every day. A grumble of my stomach revealed that I was starving, I certainly couldn’t work in this state of hunger. Then I remembered I’d literally just eaten an entire meal. A headache pang shot through my temple. I never get headaches. It took me just a moment to figure out what was going on here. I was scared. I had never done anything like podcasting before, and I felt uncomfortable doing something new. My body was literally trying to protect me from what it identified as a risk. I pushed through. About 2 hours into basically forcing myself to work on this task, it eventually got better. It became fun even. I hit my stride, got all the tech sorted out, laid out an entire season’s worth of content and guests, my creative engine firing on all cylinders. That energy was found on the other side of some scary work. 26


CREATING CAN BE CATHARTIC Having my first child at the onset of the coronavirus crisis has been stressful to say the least. I will forever remember the moment I heard the word “pandemic” from my hospital bed holding my one day old baby boy. A few weeks later I found myself isolated, on my scheduled “maternity leave”, but tasked with picking

up the pieces of my suddenly insolvent business and trying to provide leadership and encouragement to my team while having no answers of my own. One of the things that has really gotten me through this period is creating. Pivoting. Problem Solving. Making. Doing. My team and I immediately got to work on an extensive online course called

Camera Bootcamp, a how-to guide for camera owners who want to capture the moments of their lives, but don’t know how to confidently use their cameras. We then built an entire educational branch to house it (NSP Academy), complete with an email newsletter, sales funnel and sales page. We’re about to launch another course on how to take better cell phone photos. Another on product photography, and yet another on Lightroom. In my personal realm I’ve started a storybook themed photo project of my son. These creations have provided comfort, financial stability, purpose for my team, and sense of accomplishment in uncertain times. Through this crisis, I am confident a new and better version of my businesses will emerge. And I will create it. MY TOP 10 TIPS TO INSPIRE CREATIVE THINKING: 1. Start with curiosity. Curiosity is a gift of childhood that is frequently trained out of us through the process of “growing up”. Attending a school where you must do what you’re told to succeed, following the rules and structures from your parents and society for fear of consequence. Now I’m not saying we should let kids put their fingers in the electrical outlets they’re so curious about – but I think it’s important to not temper their inquisitive natures entirely. As adults our brain spaces are filled to the brim with responsibilities and shaped by our rule-driven upbringings. It can make it feel as though there is no time to entertain “I wonder...” and “what







{ {SHIFT+CONTROL COVER STORY }} “As women we are naturally creative thinkers, and have so many gifts that are perfectly suited for entrepreneurship. ”

if....” thoughts. The next time you find something interesting or a question pops into your head, let it stay there for a little while. You might be onto something. 2. Learn to ask the right questions When I started dating my now husband, one of our conversations led to a statement I didn’t fully understand at the time. He has basically two modes of conversation - he’s either setting up an elaborate joke, or dropping some serious wisdom. The latter is less frequent and therefore more impactful when it occurs. He told me – “it’s not about having the right answer, it’s about asking the right question”. I looked puzzled. “Instead of an engineer asking ‘how should I design this car’ you should ask ‘what is a car?’. The idea is this - take a step back and analyze the situation from different angles. Ask many questions and don’t immediately start down a path. Figuring out what question to answer is half the work. 3. Silence the critic – Your “inner critic” is the enemy of creativity. Ideation is a process of its own, and there is no reason for reality to squelch your ideas before they’ve had time to fully form and be explored. Allow yourself more time than usual to live in the “what if” phase without immediately jumping to concerns of practicality or feasibility. 4. Play – There’s a reason highly innovating companies like Google and Apple have ping-pong tables in their employee’s offices. When your brain is allowed the freedom to explore and have fun, it can make connections it might not have otherwise had the bandwidth to make. If you’re stuck on a problem, take a break and do something that

allows your mind to wander. 5. Identify a need – “Necessity is the mother of all invention”. If you don’t believe me, watch an episode of Shark Tank... nearly every creator’s origin story starts with a problem or a need they experienced and decided to create a solution for. Next time you think “why hasn’t anyone made this yet?” it just might be because you are the one who’s supposed to make it. 6. Curate or change your space – We humans are incredibly sensitive to our surroundings, consciously or subconsciously. I find myself feeling most creative when I’m in a new setting – on travel or in a funky coffee shop. If I have to stay home, I’ll at least tidy the room I’m working in (usually still littered with dirty clothes and snack wrappers from when I was 8 years old). A clean space has more energy and you will not feel weighed down by the chores that (always) need to be done. 7. Pay attention to how you feel – you may find you feel most free or creative in the morning when you first wake. Personally I’m a night owl - something shifts in my brain around 11pm and I start to get my best focus of the day. If you need to perform a creative task, try to schedule it around your natural rhythm for creativity instead of trying to conjure it. 8. Keep an Idea list – If you’re anything like me, your to-do list is a sacred thing. You’re also likely not looking to make it longer. I’ve found success in keeping a separate idea list where I can save my more random project ideas until

the time is right to pick them up and implement them (like a global pandemic). Sometimes space from an idea is all you need to decide if it should stay an idea, or if you’re something you should bring to life. 9. Clear your mind – Historically I’ve been skeptical of meditation and yoga. I was worried if I stilled my busy mind I wouldn’t be as productive or driven. When I became pregnant last year, my hormones served me some mental and emotional curveballs. I found myself headed for a breakdown. In an attempt to get a handle on myself I scheduled a private yoga session with now mindsetmentor Jill Samson. I worked with her every week for an entire year, and the clarity and focus I’ve gained is greater than I could have imagined. I always keep a notebook near my yoga mat because I tend to have my best ideas there. If you’re not into meditation, try taking a walk or a long shower. 10. Be patient – Practice makes perfect. Creativity is a muscle that you can build, it doesn’t need to happen over night. The more you engage in creative thinking, the more success you will experience in doing so. Don’t be discouraged if your first few “creative” endeavors fail – that’s part of the process. So pick a few of your favorite tips from this list, and get thinking creatively today! NSP Studio Website: Instagram: nspstudiodotcom Embolden Website: Instagram: emboldenbiz Own Your Bold Podcast: wherever you listen

to podcasts, or at www.ownyourbold.







“One of the things that has really gotten me through this period is creating. Pivoting. Problem Solving. Making. Doing.”



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KATE SCHNEIDER Kate Schneider is an enthusiastic Radiologic Technologist, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist with an MBA, a passionate advocate for childhood health, and our Mrs. New York America! Kate’s radiology career brought her to the Capital District during the Summer of 2005, and she has proudly c a l l e d Ne w York her home ever since. That same year she met James, an orthopedic surgeon and lifelong resident of Upstate N e w Yo r k , who would later become her husband in October of 2009. They now live in the town of Rexford with their fur babies; two sweet little Yorkie’s named Martini and Maui. Some fun facts about Kate are that she played Division 1 ice hockey in college and was a trivia dancer on the 36


Regis & Kelly show! Growing up, she was a Girl Scout from the age of five all the way to eighteen, when she proudly earned the highest honor, the gold award, before starting college in the Fall of 2000. In her rare spare

time, she loves listening to Hawaiian music, designing personalized gifts, trying new foods, relaxing by the lake with her dogs and husband, or thrill-seeking. Kate has been known

to enjoy bungee jumping, zip-lining, and night diving with 14 ft manta rays in the middle of the ocean. Kate has never been one to limit her ambitions or interests, and is affectionately known to her family & friends as the “goal getter.” No matter which career hat she’s wearing on a particular day, her primary focus is always to improve the lives of her patients & clients. Her lifelong passion for nutrition has been the fuel behind her platform of childhood wellness, firmly believing that building a foundation of healthy habits in children will lead to a brighter future. Kate was born and raised in a small town in the beautiful state of Vermont, where her parents always encouraged her to be physically active and to eat healthy. Since the age of three, she was an avid downhill skier, skater, and dancer. As a kid, never sitting still was the norm and to this day is still how she can be described.













{ SHIFT+CONTROL } } { WOMEN WHO INSPIRE “Kate has never been one to limit her ambitions or interests, and is affectionately known to her family & friends as the “goal getter.”

It wasn’t until she was an adult and on her own that she realized these healthy habits had a huge impact on her life. Kate has seen first hand how childhood habits stick with someone throughout their life, and you tend to either benefit from them or fight to change them. Her motivation is to make sure that as many children as possible can receive the benefits of being exposed to healthy habits from a young age, so that they have the best opportunity to build a brighter future!

Early last year, Kate found herself brainstorming how to have a greater impact and make a lasting impression on the youth in her area, and what could help her increase her opportunities to raise awareness of the importance of childhood health. The conclusion? Enter a pageant! Becoming a titleholder would be give her an incredible platform and be the perfect way to reach the maximum amount of people throughout the state. The Mrs. America organization is one of the most iconic pageant

systems for married women looking to lead change, and so that is where she set her sights. Kate entered the Mrs. New York America pageant, representing the Capital Region, and was beyond thrilled to have been crowned last March on her first attempt at the title. After the pageant, Kate hit the ground running, keeping the mentality that every minute of this once in a lifetime opportunity as Mrs. New York should be taken full advantage of! Throughout ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: JUNE EDITION 2020




“Most importantly, always believe in yourself, never give up, your potential is limitless, and anything is possible! ”

her yearlong reign, you can be sure to spot her at any and all events surrounding health, fitness, active lifestyles, and wellness for kids. She has loved being an active volunteer with numerous organizations such as No Kid Hungry, The Food Bank, Action for Healthy Kids, YMCA Healthy Kids Program, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, and Best Buddies, to name a few. If she can make an impact on just one child at an event than she believes it has been a success. Both Kate & her husband also share a huge place in their hearts for animals, lending a helping hand and donating to local Humane Society’s and animal shelters as often as possible. Kate is also the proud founder and CEO of her own charity pet bed business, playfully named “Moose’s America”, as a tribute to her first fur baby, Moose. Profits from each pet bed sale are donated to animals in need all across America! Last August, Kate competed for the 42


coveted title of Mrs. America on the iconic Westgate stage where Elvis himself performed in exciting Las Vegas! She proudly placed as a top 15 semifinalist and had the time of her life meeting like-minded women from all across the country! In the Fall, she set her sights on the top rated pageant for married women, Mrs. World.

Kate was thrilled to be awarded the title of Mrs. Ireland World, and was invited to compete for the prestigious title of Mrs. World along side over 50 other women from countries around the globe. With hard work and determination, Kate ultimately placed 1st runner up, and is energized now more than ever to continue her pursuit of becoming an International

titleholder. It is her ultimate dream to have the opportunity to take her platform worldwide, helping to make a positive impact on childhood health throughout countless countries! If she could offer one piece of advice to the next titleholder, it would be to take advantage of each and every moment with the crown because it flies by in a blink! In the words of one of Kate’s icons Coco Chanel, “a woman should be two things, who and what she wants.” Truer words have never been spoken and your impact will be directly proportional to the efforts you make, so don’t wait for opportunity to come find you, go after it! Most importantly, always believe in yourself, never give up, your potential is limitless, and anything is possible! Kate will crown her successor at 2pm on July 19th at the Rochester Inn & Conference Center.





MISS NEW YORK AMERICA EMILY MAHANA, MISS NY FOR AMERICA 2019 Emily has lived in Central New York her whole life. A resident of Clay, Emily graduated from CiceroNorth Syracuse High School in 2014. Following high school graduation, she attended Syracuse University. There, she majored in Civil Engineering, and graduated Summa Cum Laude in 2018 with her Bachelor’s Degree. She now works in Liverpool for Barton & Loguidice in the transportation practice area as a bridge engineer. Emily is fairly new to the pageant scene, only starting to compete in pageants during her senior year of college. In January 2018, she competed in her first pageant, a local pageant in the Miss America Organization. By the end of the pageant, much to her surprise, she was crowned Miss Upstate New York 2018. That summer she went on to compete for the title of Miss New York America. In January 2019, Emily passed the crown on to the next titleholder and 44


believed her time in pageants was over. Just a few weeks later, she received a call from Diane Hardgrove, the Miss New York for America and Mrs. America director. She had explained there was a brand new pageant for unattached women – meaning anyone who was single, divorced, separated, or widowed and Emily’s had been recommended to her to compete for

the first ever title of Miss New York for America. She immediately jumped on the opportunity, realizing that it was now or never. Just two months later, after preparing mentally and physically, Emily was crowned Miss New York for America 2019. Over her year of service, Emily has promoted her platform: Empowering

Women in STEM, which encourages girls and young women to take an active interest in STEM activities. Being one of the only women in her degree program at Syracuse University, and now as the only woman in her department at work, it has become Emily’s passion to introduce STEM ideas to children so that maybe someday, they won’t be the only women in their STEM related c a r e e r. S h e has taken this platform state wide, traveling to schools, libraries, after school programs, and museums to interact with children of all ages. She feels so lucky that her “year” as Miss New York has been expanded to almost a year a n d a h a l f. Most pageant titleholders only get one year, so to have those extra months means that Emily can make even more of an impact. Ever since being crowned, she has stayed busy, working full time as an engineer while traveling to promote her platform and Miss New York for America organization.












“She feels so lucky that her “year” as Miss New York has been expanded to almost a year and a half. Most pageant titleholders only get one year, so to have those extra months means that Emily can make even more of an impact.”

With only a few weeks left until she crowns her successor, she is starting to look forward to life after the crown. With this newfound time on her hands, Emily says the opportunities are endless. Since graduating from Syracuse University with her Bachelor’s degree, she has always been interested in going back to school for a Master’s degree in engineering or management 48


or business which could come to fruition. Mostly though, she’s looking forward to spending more time with friends and family, and being able to travel with the purposes of relaxation instead of work. She is genuinely looking forward to what door opens next for her once the door closes on her time as Miss New York for America.

You can follow along on the last few weeks of Emily’s reign on Facebook at “Emily Mahana – Miss New York for America” or on Instagram at “@ missnyforamerica.”





Miss New York for America


Mrs. New York America

The Mrs. New York America, Mrs. New York American, and Miss New York for America Pageants will be held to give honor and tribute to the incredible women across our state. The pageant is scheduled for Sunday, July 19th from 2:00 - 4:00 p.m. at the RIT Inn and Conference Center. Our winners will compete at the acclaimed Mrs. America, Mrs. American, and Miss for America Pageant competitions! Tickets: $25 adults, $15 children 12 and under Tickets will be sold at the door (doors will open at 1:00 p.m.) For information please contact: Diane Hardgrove, Executive Director MRSNYAMERICA.COM






Our current situation is surreal, mind blowing actually. None of us could have predicted this… Well actually, some experts did point out the pandemic was coming --- but those warnings were not heeded by our federal government. We have been sheltered in place since mid-March, over two months. And although things are beginning to open up in the Finger Lakes region, nothing is really the same is it? The past couple of weeks have taken us on an emotional roller coaster that we didn’t think was possible. The murder of George Floyd was a tipping point for a lot of us. It. Was. Too. Much. We watched as he begged for life while three grown men sat atop him with complete indifference. That was after we were reminded that it is not ok to run while black, sleep in your home while black and certainly not birdwatch while you are black. The murder of George Floyd has pushed people across the nation to the streets demand justice, it has pushed people world-wide to demand justice. I have to point out that people are taking it to the streets with a backdrop of a pandemic … To put this plainly they are not only risking danger from tear gas and pepper spray, but they are

literally risking their lives for their voices to be heard --- this state violence and oppression is not ok anymore. As black people are disproportionately dying and infected by COVID-19, as we are losing are jobs at rates that out-pace the general population, going back to “normal” cannot be an option. As each state murder is captured on a cell phone, I beg that we not to go back to normal. The exceptionally sad

part of all this injustice that has been on display is, none of this is new. All of the social and economic structures that have led to these heartbreaking outcomes are a result of centuries of a stratified American norm. Now, the world watches in horror as our American system of inequities is on display. What is truly horrific is that none of this is new, black bodies and indigenous bodies have been terrorized in this country since Europeans first set

foot on this soil in 1619. The Rochester region is a microcosm of the resulting inequities of racist policies and ideas. We have some of the best and worst schools in the state in Monroe County, schools that are blatantly racially segregated. Rochester, NY has the most economically segregating school district border in the country. Due to very intentional systemic housing discrimination, the Greater Rochester area is one of the most segregated regions in our state. Accepting and going back to normal, to a normal of separate and unequal is unacceptable. This normal was fertile ground for the conditions that led to black people being three times more likely to die from COVID-19 than any other group in this country (Native Americans are not doing much better). This is not acceptable and we need to and must do better. As a life-long educator, if any of this is new to you, please educate yourself. If you are a person who identifies as white, don’t ask your friend with darker melanin to teach you or guide you, that is not their job. This is work and education you have to do on your own, so do the work. It is not the black or brown person’s responsibility to teach you how they have been oppressed by ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: JUNE EDITION 2020


“Black People, I love you, the struggle is real and the struggle is constant. People of color and those who have been oppressed by this system for far too long, I see you and I hear you.�

{ LITTLE BLACK BUDDHA { SHIFT+CONTROL } } “The past couple of weeks have taken us on an emotional roller coaster that we didn’t think was possible. The murder of George Floyd was a tipping point for a lot of us. It. Was. Too. Much.”

people who identify as white all their life. Here are some resources to start: • Rachel Cargel’s Free 30 Day Course, #DoTheWork (click link in bio to navigate to link and sign up) • Read “White Fragility” by Robin DiAngelo

Everybody in between who has been showing up to peacefully protest. Thank you! These have been the most diverse and widespread protests for racial justice ever. Stay vigilant and keep lifting up the voices of the oppressed, this will take long and sustained effort to see real change.

• 75 Things White People Can Do to for Racial Justice • Read “How to be an Antiracist” by Ibrahim X. Kendi (everyone should read this) • Don’t ever look away again. Get comfortable with doing uncomfortable things. Black People, I love you, the struggle is real and the struggle is constant. People of color and those who have been oppressed by this system for far too long, I see you and I hear you. The struggle, the beautiful struggle is bigger than any of us and will have to endure beyond our short lifetimes. This struggle has been fought for centuries and generations before us and it will not end with us. Keep struggling for the generations to come so they might have a better future, a more perfect union. Stay vigilant.



If you are local to the Greater Rochester area and are interested in donating. Donate to one or all three of these organizations who are building, educating and healing the community in their own way: • Yoga 4 A Good Hood, donate here • 540 W. Main

• Foodlink, here are ways you can donate both food and money Back to not returning to the normalcy we knew prior to the pandemic. The #BlackLivesMatter movement began in July 2013 in response to the murder of Trayvon Martin a young black male who deserved to live a long life filled with joy and lessons learned. That was taken away from him, his future was stolen, He is one of countless black men and black women, young and old whose lives have been deemed disposable in our country over many years, decades and centuries. We say #BlackLivesMatter as an act of defiance in a country that has not affirmed that our lives actually do matter. To be born black in America should not be equated with a death sentence, yet we are not afforded the privilege of living as long as other Americans. Whether our lives cut short due to violence or the health disparities that are a resulting legacy of racism. We need to end racism and the uneven valuation of some people’s lives over others. We should not return to normal.















My photography studio is celebrating it’s 13 year in business. I have 3 happy employees making a living doing what they love, a beautiful space that I own, and awards on my walls. I’ve photographed A-list celebrities, and thousands of clients celebrating the happiest days of their lives. It would be easy to assume things have always been easy.

worth of classes on how to take better photos from the top educators in my industry. There was one business class I found myself in by mistake. The instructor walked in wearing True Religion jeans and a stylish button down

It may surprise you to know that in 2010, I was only a few dollars away from going out of business.

By the end of his class I was beginning to see where I was going wrong. I thought being excellent at your craft was enough. It’s not. Without the skills to run a business, you won’t survive. At the end of the class he announced a 1:1 business coaching offer. It cost nearly the exact amount of money I had in my bank account. With my heart in my throat, I signed up. We’d changed almost everything about the way my business ran. I ended up making my money back the day after our first coaching session. In that first month, I made 10x my investment.

I was 24 years old, running my two-year-old business into the ground. My daily schedule included 8 hours of shooting, 3 hours of admin/ customer-service, and 4 hours of photo editing. (If you’re even a little good at math, you know those numbers add up to “too many”). You know that oddly hollow feeling you get from having more cups of coffee in your system than hours of sleep? That was my day to day. I was drowning and confused.... how could I have more business than I could handle, but still not enough money? I booked a ticket for a photography conference and tradeshow in Las Vegas. I believed if I could just learn that one secret lighting or posing trick, product I could sell, or new piece of equipment to buy, it would save my business. I signed up for 5 days

a starving artist. The client you’re giving a discount will not let you live in their basement when you can’t afford your rent”. How did he know my troubles? He explained that he left a position as the CEO of a Fortune 500 company to start a photography business. Not because he had a burning passion to take photos, but because he wanted to start a business to make money. Who starts a business to make money?

shirt with chucks. He didn’t look like a business guy. “If you provide an aboveaverage service,” he said, “you deserve an above-average living”. He went on. “There’s nothing glamorous about being

Coaching has been the best investment I’ve ever made in myself. By starting with a proven framework I’ve been able to learn, refine, and build upon my business skills to make them my own. It’s allowed me to focus on the parts of my business I love, and hire a team to achieve the rest. The success

{ { SHE HUSTLES TALKS} } SHIFT+CONTROL “There’s nothing glamorous about being a starving artist. The client you’re giving a discount will not let you live in their basement when you can’t afford your rent”.

f my business has provided me and my team with a sustainable income, a strong network, and a loyal client base. It also led me to discover my passion for helping women. I’ve spent my entire career helping women feel good about themselves through my photography. Now exactly ten years after my own coaching experience, I want to help them achieve business success as well. Introducing... Embolden. Embolden is where I inspire and support female business owners, leaders and professionals. I believe when women help each other and create a community, we can achieve unimaginable success. 68


Here women can find actionable tools to become more effective and profitable. I want to share the lessons I learned the hard way, so others can start creating income and impact instead of struggling with the “business” part of their business for years on end. My interview-based podcast Own Your Bold features success stories, struggles, tips and resources shared by badass women who are changing the world. I offer 1:1 coaching as an opportunity for women to receive a custom-tailored plan of attack to either start a new business, go full time with a side-hustle, or pivot in current business (especially amidst

COVID-19). So whether you’re an entrepreneur, on your way to becoming one, a leader in business, or are looking to build a thriving personal brand, I want to help. Let’s close the wage gap and take charge of our future. Together. Own Your Bold Podcast can be found wherever you listen to podcasts, or at Follow us on Instagram: emboldenbiz






ARE YOU DEPLETED? One of my life dreams was to become a mother. Since I was a little girl, growing up with 3 brothers, I used to play with my mom pretending she would be the grandmother. These very vivid memories were reinforced with early play at the age of 6 or so. Fast forward, at the age of 30, that dream became true. My heart smiles reminiscing on that first time when my husband and I met each and every one of our 4 children. They are a gift from above.

Postnatal Depression and Postnatal Depletion is that with Postnatal depression there is an inability to drive pleasure from things that previously did bring joy and pleasure. He believes that for some women postnatal depression occurs at the severe end of the spectrum of the postnatal depletion syndrome.

the men’s sperm, has an important role to filter and transport nutrients, required for the development of the fetus. It will bring these nutrients from the food the mother eats, but also from her own body in case her foods are not nourishing enough. This fact could explain in part the postnatal depletion syndrome.

According to Dr. Oscar Serrallach, Postnatal Depletion could be affecting about 50% of women with symptoms of poor concentration (baby brain), poor memory, often debilitating fatigued, disturbed or non-restful sleep,

Secondly, our society is on continual stress, specially our Western world. We have not trained our generations that rest and relaxation are important, needed and essential. We need to turn off that switch from time to time to give our body time to feel, integrate, process different emotions, learn from it and recharge to improve. The intense stress and lack of rest, has a profound effect on hormones, immune function, brain structure, inflammation and gut health.

After the birth of our second baby, I remember talking to other health providers, friends and family members about some of the signs and symptoms I had and we all considered this as a part of being a mom with small children “thing”. Even though none of these symptoms were debilitating, I was not feeling like myself. These symptoms improved for a while, but after the birth of our fourth child, they resurged and this time worse. I had a great support system, could enjoy life, people and events around me, but there were some other symptoms that triggered me to look further. As a health care provider, I was well aware of the term Postnatal Depression, but did not know about Postnatal syndrome. Dr. Oscar Serrallach, medical trained doctor in Australia practicing functional medicine with a special interest in postnatal wellbeing, believes that a key difference between 72


anxiety, decreased libido, guilt/shame, inability to cope, frustration, sense of isolation, sense of powerless/diminishment. He believes that this can be suffered for even a decade after given birth and the causes are multifactorial. Here are some of the factors he considers important. First of all, pregnancy and postnatal periods could be physically, chemically and emotionally demanding for women (and partners as well). Starting with the formation of the placenta, which is mainly formed by

It is important to look at other cultures and recognized that mothers have a substantial different and enlarged support from immediate family, friends and overall community. They are also nourished with foods full of nutrients specially during the first weeks postpartum which help to replenish nutrients and decrease inflammation. In contrast, in our culture, we have a perceived notion that the mother has to be “everything,” causing many mothers to suffer in silence by not receiving the education, information, or support. In addition to that, here in U.S. a large percentage of our diet these days are from processed, nutrient-poor foods, which could cause even further inflammation in the mother’s bodies.









“It is important to look at other cultures and recognized that mothers have a substantial different and enlarged support from immediate family, friends and overall community.”



{{ SHE SHIFT+CONTROL HUSTLES TALKS}} “After the birth of our second baby, I remember talking to other health providers, friends and family members about some of the signs and symptoms I had and we all considered this as a part of being a mom with small children “thing.”

All this could be prevented if we start with healthier couples and an awareness of what we can do to prevent or correct postnatal depletion. When we learn better, we can do better! In his book tittled The Postnatal Depletion Cure, Dr. Serrallach considers that there are four pillars of health, which I have slightly modified to include alignment due to my own observations in my clinical practice. These are: sleep, purpose, activity/alignment and nutrition with the acronym SPAN. Starting with Sleep, according to the Sleep Foundation an adult in average should get 7 to 8 hours of sleep. But, did you know that in the first year of parenting the average sleep debt is 700 hours, according to research? Yes, that much lack of sleep. The brain cycles through sleep stages over ninety-minutes period, therefore disturbing the little sleep you manage to get (especially as a new parent) will not be restorative but instead leave you feeling drained like a zombie. Some of the tips to get into a deep, restorative sleep recommend the following: 1. Limit the exposure to blue light an hour before you go to sleep, this kind of light is found in electronic devices, TV’s, LED, fluorescent lights and others. The reason for this is that the pineal gland that produces melatonin, hormone responsible to regulate your rhythms of awake and sleep is very sensitive to blue light. The pineal gland may interpret the blue light coming from these devices as daytime giving the body information to stay awake and release cortisol for energy instead of melatonin to sleep. 2. These techniques may also help with relaxation: yoga, meditation, prayer, 76


acupuncture, stretching, aromatherapy and massage.

hormones checked such as the thyroid, estrogen, progesterone and cortisol.

In terms of Purpose: Following up with a psychologist, life coach, mentor may be necessary to help mothers to find a healthy balance between family life and personal growth and support.

I have personally and clinically have seen great changes in the overall health when these factors are addressed properly.

Regarding Activity and Alignment: The best type of exercise is activity, and if it is fun and social, mothers are much more likely to participate often. We have to remember that structure also determines function, therefore, making sure that your spine and body is properly aligned, will help with the overall optimal function of the nervous system and chiropractic care may help with that. Lastly, but not of less importance is Nutrition. Dr. Serrallach has found that an important factor to consider in the care of women with Postnatal Depletion is to help restore macro and micronutrients. Our cells and their functions are highly dependent on these. In terms of micronutrients we should consume foods rich in copper, magnesium, iodine, selenium, manganese, iron, zinc and Vitamins B’s (all vitamin B’s are important), Vitamin C, and fat-soluble vitamins such as A, D, E, K. Amongst macronutrients he recommends to ensure consumption of DHA fats such as Omega-3 found in egg yolks, organ meats, ghee and butter. There are also alternative from plant-based sources such as flaxseed. It is important to pay attention to the proper consumption of proteins and amino-acids, which are building blocks of muscles and collagen. Dr. Serrallach also considers that it may be very beneficial to get important

Disclaimer: This article nor the information it contains should be construed as a medical advice. It is important to consult with a health care provider before supplementing with any vitamins or minerals, due to the fact that some may interfere with some other medications or may not be appropriate for you to take if you have a particular condition. It is best to consult with your health care provider. ----------------About the Author: Dr. Yasellyn Diaz-Vega is native of Puerto Rico but has reside in upstate NY since 2001. She has a doctorate degree in Chiropractic. She enjoys spending time with her family, going for walks, discovering beautiful places and reading. She specializes in Chiropractic care for women, prenatal and pediatric care. This column has been created with the name of a VIP community group on Facebook with the same name with the intent to empower and support women in all stages of their lives. As women we share many common denominators, face similar circumstances and world views from a woman perspective. This column looks to provide a space where we can provide information and tips about health topics, mindset and others. Join here: https://www.




BELIEVE ESSENTIAL OILS FINGER LAKES Choosing to make your Health a priority, by choosing to FIND the time, by choosing YOU and deciding that YOU ARE WORTH IT!! PROMO FOR JUNE & JULY: WHY WE LOVE YOUNG LVING! CHANCE TO WIN A FREE “JUMP START TOXIC FREE LIFE BUNDLE” Valued at $75.00 Visit: for more details ***post is pinned at top We are always here to help you with your Journey, Kathy Mincer 585-953-8564



My purpose is simple. I am here to help you thrive and experience transformation. Start figuring out how you want to improve yourself. Perhaps you want to be more patient, organized, assertive, or compassionate. Look at your strengths and weaknesses to help you identify the areas where you want to focus your attention.

Although I loved helping people, before I could do that, though, I needed to reinvent myself. I had spent too long pushing my way through life. It was time for a breakthrough. I worked on my personal development. How I Broke Through: I was once an anxious, bitter, and unhealthy person.

Maybe you have a meaningful life, a beautiful family, plenty of material possessions, but on the inside, it’s a unique story. You feel disconnected and sometimes worthless. Your thoughts go back and forth between imagining a more significant purpose and your fears that hold you back.



I finally had to ask myself: Did I want to keep struggling through life? Or did I want a BREAKTHROUGH? Having experienced a life of pain and disappointment, I never understood what God’s love was until Jesus came into my life and renewed my heart and mind. I also never knew how possible the impossible was.

That’s how I felt. My young life started with pain and insecurity. Always trying to be what everyone else expected of me, I found myself in one disappointing relationship after another. I always knew there was something more significant for me; I didn’t know how to find the answers. I journeyed through life, keeping myself with unsatisfying relationships and wearing myself out by drinking and became an alcoholic. Despite how much I was hurting my family and how unfulfilled I was, I kept struggling my way through life, telling myself how I wasn’t good enough. Having spent over 16 years running from my alcoholism problems. I was in denial for many years.

and pursued my purpose. I discovered my true self through my afflictions and struggles because of my own mistakes. I took care of myself, and I honored my body, my mind, and my spirit as I should honor it. I became the FEARLESS Woman that kept hidden beneath all my self-sabotage.

I went back to school and became a Christian Life Coach. Now I spend my days coaching women and speaking to women all over about transforming their lives and growing into the women they imaged to be so that they can live abundantly.

I suffered from alcoholism problems. From insomnia and had severe anxiety and depression. I spent a lot of my life feeling living the way the world labeled me. I let my FEARS get the best of me, felt stuck, unhappy, and that I would not live up to my full potential. I have been there, possibly where you are. I dedicated my time to self-development

Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand. {Isaiah 41:10}_ I hope to help you be the best you possible. Too many people are trying to “change.” I don’t want you to change, and I don’t even want you to be different. I want you to be you. A better you. I want




“Maybe you have a meaningful life, a beautiful family, plenty of material possessions, but on the inside, it’s a unique story. You feel disconnected and sometimes worthless. Your thoughts go back and forth between imagining a more significant purpose and your fears that hold you back.”

{{ SHE HUSTLES TALKS} } SHIFT+CONTROL “My passion for life has led me down many paths. But my greatest lovelies with my family.”

you to be you. A better you. I want to help you grow, develop, and transform into the best you yet. Working on yourself can also improve your interactions with others. Your growth may help you become less self-centered and more focused on other people as you grow emotionally and spiritually. I believe: I understand some struggles and frustrations you are going through. Whether you are hurting from confusing relationships or don’t know why you can’t breakthrough, there is hope. I can help 84


you overcome life’s obstacles and find the answers that lie within you. Find real life-changing results. Being open to new experiences can be a significant stepping stone to personal growth and development. Those experiences give you new knowledge and may change your perspective. You may also discover new interests and develop a stronger sense of self-awareness only by being open to the opportunities that present themselves to you. Are You Ready for a Breakthrough? If the answer is yes, schedule your

complimentary discovery call to discover if Christian Coaching is right for you then schedule your complimentary call today 863-303-7555 or email me at Because There’s More to Life Than Work… My passion for life has led me down many paths. But my greatest lovelies with my family. I love being a wife to my husband, Pablo Marte, and a mother to our beautiful blended family. Together we have two children, Brandon and Serena.





Live your smile to the fullest.







@IQ_Dentistry @IQFamilyDentistry

IQ DENTISTRY 300 White Spruce Blvd. Suite 134 Rochester, NY 14623



Teresa Costa is originally from Oakland, CA, but now lives in Long Island NY with her 2 sons. She worked in the fashion Industry for many years and has been a vegetarian for almost 15 years and recently became vegan. She has always been very passionate about Animal & Human rights. So 4 years ago she decided to put her 2 biggest passions together and create a high fashion & comfortable line of vegan friendly shoes. All of 90

the shoes have rubber bottoms and extra padding so you can wear them with ease from day to night. She also donates 5% to animal charities such as Farm Sanctuary, Peta and North Shore animal league. 5% of the “GiGi #7� heel is donated to breast cancer research in memory of her grandmother Marie Costa. She also partnered with Social Change which is a non-profit organization dedicated to human rights. For their Covid 19 relief program she donated 10% of the profits.


The Teresa Costa Collection is sustainable & ethically handmade in a family owned and operated factory in Ecuador. She is all about raising awareness & about a lifestyle of Love & kindness and High Fashion with Compassion. Facebook Teresa Costa Collection Instagram @theteresacostacollection Twitter @tccollectionnyc




{{ SHE HUSTLES TALKS} } SHIFT+CONTROL “The Teresa Costa Collection is sustainable & ethically handmade in a family owned and operated factory in Ecuador. She is all about raising awareness & about a lifestyle of Love and kindness and High Fashion with Compassion.”





your hair








What is going on in the market today, should sellers - sell or wait?

the most part), we do not know what it will be like next year.

will need to declutter and keep your best pieces out for show.

Despite most businesses closing their doors for the time being and the market being placed on pause, Buyers are still in need of homes. These buyers are desperately waiting for more sellers to put their home on the market. Sellers are waiting for the lift and until agent become essential again, but is that the way to go?

So if a seller says “wait my neighbor sold for $20,000 more than asking, so why do I have to sell below asking”, the answer will be – “it’s a different market now”.

The following are some basic rules that need to be followed for proper staging of a home:

So if you are planning to sell, let’s get the most for your home, now.

Historically low inventory and rock-bottom mortgage rates would normally set the stage for a highly competitive home buying season. While mortgage rates have dropped, the pandemic has made mortgage credit harder to get. So, right now, only serious buyers are out. If you list now, only those in desperate need for a home will visit. This means competing offers and selling your home over asking. The future may not look the same. Since the future is unpredictable, if you have intentions to sell your home, perhaps the time is now. This is when the “serious buyers” are willing to pay premium $$ for your home. If you wait to sell your home in 2021, you may not get top $$, actually you may or may not get asking price. Sellers have enjoyed their home selling within the first week on the market – in the future, this may not be the case and the home could sit on the market for months. But maybe not? Who knows? We are in a race against time, the best price you’ll get is the one you get now. The current state of the market is the determining factor of the market. We know, currently, homes are selling for more than asking price (for

 Your home must be clean  Fixing or replacing things  Get rid of clutter  Use neutral colors  Depersonalize Staging the kitchen can have a huge impact on the portfolio of your home before you decide to place it in the real estate market. This is because the kitchen is the first thing home buyers usually see and if they find it attractive and modern, they could be willing to pay a price you set or pay a higher price than they would have. With a few simple and straightforward changes, you can transform your old kitchen into a modern space with all the desired amenities organized neatly and in place. I can certainly help you with all the right effects to make the kitchen shine. Focus your efforts on staging in strategic areas. Your bathroom is one of those areas. Here are a few tips to help you stage your bathrooms properly:

Let’s turn your home into a house, so that the buyer can see the house as their home When listing a house, the photos and video of the house needs to be captivating to the buyers. So much so that they can’t wait to see the house in person. I will ensure all pictures and video are professional and tells a story. You don’t necessarily need to spend money on new furniture, but you

 Aim for a spa-like look and feel  Give the bathroom a thorough cleaning  No cleaning products in sight  Hang fresh, luxurious towels and lay down bath mats.  Organize storage spaces  Accessorize for a better look  Add fresh flowers  Upgrade where necessary The master bedroom staging is very important. It should reflect an elegance that their friends and family would be ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: JUNE EDITION 2020


{{ SHE HUSTLES TALKS} } SHIFT+CONTROL “Since the future is unpredictable, if you have intentions to sell your home, perhaps the time is now.”

important. It should reflect an elegance that their friends and family would be impressed with. You should consider looking at your master bedroom objectively and replace items that are substandard. Here are a few tips to help you stage your Master Bedroom:      98

Remove Exercise Machines Paint it like a spa New bedding – lots of pillows Check your drawers Hang a mirror


 Gender-Neutrality  Lighting – bring in lots of light  Give illusion of space  Show that the closet is spacious

an even more accurate idea of what your home is worth.

After you request your free home evaluation, I will create a free report with information that will help you determine your home’s value. I recommend printing it out and taking a drive to see the homes I’ve identified are comparable to yours. See how your home measure up. This will help you get

I look forward to meeting you.

Your agent is your personal eyes and ears.

Rita Pettinaro Real Estate Sales Person Keller Williams Great Rochest Where Dreams Come Home 585 261 2096






“No one is coming to save us. We are the change we need to see. Let today be the day that we transform our communities. This is our uprising. We are the people.” - Dr. Shanelle R. Benson Reid Today, I carry with me the, anger, fear, frustration and pain of those who came before me and those who will come after. I spent several days pondering this topic because of the racism and systematic oppression faced daily; a great deal of time toiling over these ideas and knew it would be impossible to not share. So here is my message: It is time to take a careful look in the mirror, not to see the battered and bruised reality, but to bare witness to the greatness, our greatness. Equitable access to education is in need of our attention and deserves effort, energy and time. We can no longer sit and allow our children to be miseducated and mislead into a future that means them harm. It is time to demand change in our curriculum, teaching and hiring practices. Creating schoolhouses with out representation is like teaching supremacy without saying a word. YOUTH We have to work with our youth to alter their belief system. Let’s put this into perspective; our youth have to navigate two worlds: their academic world and their personal world and often times these worlds cannot coexist without conflict. It is our duty to work with our young people to help navigate these realms successful,

while simultaneously accepting both. Making the decision to value education does not devalue family. Additionally, young people have to be encouraged to advocate for themselves and ensure their needs are being met. This begins with being actively engaged in the process of life: education, community, athletic, spiritual. It may seem demanding but there is no time to waste. Their lives depend on their presence and participation. Furthermore, youth must understand the importance of positive social bonds. Teach them to forge bonds that foster growth, maturity, knowledge

and success. They must form alliances with like-minded individuals and invested stakeholders to change their trajectory and impact their futures. PARENTS FIGURES We are responsible for their futures and it is time for us to start behaving as such. Let’s start by believing in the best for our youth. We need to uplift them and let them know that they are decedents of kings and queens; royal blood flows through their veins. This

may require a shift in how we regard ourselves but this mental transformation is necessary. Our youth are our greatest priority and we need to be involved in all aspects of their lives. We need to participate in school and community and also connect with teachers, coaches, mentors and the religious leaders who serve our youth. We must be active in all of their relationships. At some point in time, we decided our participation was not necessary and this has contributed to our failure. COMMUNITY We are responsible for our surroundings and our past, present and future clearly confirms no one else will shoulder this responsibility. We can longer look to local, state, or federal entities to revitalize and / or develop our neighborhoods; this obligation is ours. It starts with us deciding change is possible and that we are fully capable of designing our destiny. Our current system of governing leaves us dependent on forces of oppression. Social program created to assist intentionally destroy. Our reliance on these programs continues to subjugate any efforts to thrive. We must seek ownership to dismantle this system. We must create and patronize our own businesses and own our homes and neighborhoods. This starts by investigating your surroundings, finding individuals and families who have similar beliefs and building relationships. Access the human capital in your area. Identify local citizenry who have products and services that will benefit you and your family. Support one another; grow and build together, tap into what is readily available. Also, it is ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: JUNE EDITION 2020


ACCESS GLOBAL }} {{ SHIFT+CONTROL “Today, I carry with me the, anger, fear, frustration and pain of those who came before me and those who will come after.”

time to decide that formal and informal education is priority. You and your likeminded neighbors must actively engage in all community efforts. Organizations will be transformed from the inside or communities with transform them from the outside. We are the key decision makers in our communities. It is time to take a stand by creating standards and expectations for the members of your local populace. We need to hold ourselves accountable to each other, if we truly want to transform our neighborhoods and our lives. LEADERSHIP It is time to prioritize the needs of the community. The desire to thrive is necessary; 106


merely surviving is no longer an option. If leadership is not contributing to this idea, then it is time for removal. These individual are in position to serve. If unjust laws that harm certain sectors of the community are in place, then this service is insufficient and must be addressed, immediately. If addressing these injustices causes greater harm, then removal of leadership must be a serious consideration. Strong neighborhoods lead to solid communities, which contribute to prosperous cities. It is time to stop looking for some one to rescue us. It is up to us to change our current station. We are the People and we need to work like our lives depend on it…because it does.

~Dr. Shanelle R. Benson Reid~ Dr. Benson Reid, President and CEO of ACCESS Global Group and ACCESS Global Enterprises is a Consultant, Coach, Author, and Professional Speaker. Her expertise is in areas of Education, Entrepreneurship, Leadership, Trauma Responsiveness Cultural Competency, Social Awareness and Community / Individual Empowerment. Website:
 Linked In: ACCESSLearning
 Twitter: Instagram:













AWARENESS TO NAVIGATE CHALLENGING TIMES It’s likely that in the past, you were not particularly aware of the amount of tension that had built up in you or the people around you and the stress had not permeated your life and relationships. A certain amount of tension seemed normal for women on the go and everyday life. And then everything came to a severe halt,massive shifts and transitions began to happen in our world.

In my personal study and leadership training, I have learned we must Upgrade the central nervous system, integrate mental safety techniques, and perform mental fitness programs in order to evolve leadership to the next level. By focusing on mental fitness practices as a leader you will build new technology in YOUR mind-body so you can free yourself from outdated beliefs and habits, access your inner power to lead

in new ways, and face the unprecedented challenges of the rapidly shifting world.

How do we create the space for people to feel accepted in their need to process stress?

Once you decide to harness the power of your mind, through the central nervous system, you will be at the cutting edge of enlightened leadership. And you will be taking a journey inward to build new patterns using inner strength, confidence, courage, and most of all, commitment.

And how can women help forge the path?

The number one step is to fire up your

The pending questions:

The second step, you must choose to be emotionally aware. This means taking a new form and following a new direction that may shift the very inner beliefs and protocol that established your current status and wealth. Learn how to build emotional selfawareness into your leadership and ignite the self-reflective capabilities so you can navigate the fast-paced and ever-changing world. Your emotional clarity and connection will fortify you with the tools you need to keep you moving steadily along the path to greater health, happiness, and success and lead others to do the same, even in times of extreme crisis.

Now, the challenges of being a leader in a changing and divided world has drastically increased the tension to a survival level, personally and in your business. There is an urgency for new strategies and capabilities for leading in life. Everything has been magnified and there is a tension that has built up in the mental, emotional and physical health and well-being of people. Women are pioneers of this change and in my experience are “ok” talking about the need to show up and create a mentally safe environment for everyone as a collective to feel seen, to be heard, to be accepted, and to be respected. We all need the ability to show up fully without fear of consequences that would affect self-image, status, or career. And we need a safe space for dialogue, emotional processing and mental clarity.

desire for change, even when it seems that crisis is blocking you. It is with an inner fire of courage that you will be able to power through the obstacles, overcome adversity, set a positive tone and build mental awareness that changes lives.

The key to success, when you want to get in shape physically, you follow a fitness program that includes cardiovascular conditioning and muscle strengthening, eating healthier foods, and becoming more conscious of how you treat your body—with the overall goal of living a healthier lifestyle. To be a New Leader in times of challenge means embarking on a program of mind and emotion fitness that empowers you to lead from an integrated, grounded, and holistic position. To maintain the mental and emotional positive energy - the tone you emit as a leader - you must commit to regular and rigorous practice of mental fitness, beginning with your central nervous system. ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: JUNE EDITION 2020



To have a positive impact as a Leader in challenging times, it is essential to gain a deeper understanding of self. This means achieving mental clarity, emotional positivity, physical groundedness, and neurological connection. To create the positive results you want, you must consistently access new mental and emotional energy. Once you begin to have a heightened awareness of where your energy is going you can access the drive and ambition to lead others through the challenging terrain of changing times. So the final step is to start your path by focusing on life-force. The energy that moves you into a creative process.



Use Conscious Breath as your neurological upgrade access point and learn to access the energy you need to navigate challenges.

the chaos and confusion in your own life with the vital life-force inside of you and begin to upgrade your leadership today.

BREATHING EXERCISE: Consciously breath long and deeply for an extended period of time 1 min-20 min. Imagine the entire body filling with breath and emptying out. Imagine the breath moving along your spine and through the center of your body. Breathe in for 8 counts and out for 8 counts. Stretch your breath, relax your mind and empty your emotions. Your path to New Leadership is driven by a passion to set the pace and space for collective mental and emotional safety, and in order to get there the journey begins with one long deep breath. Cut through

Dr. Pam Denton is founder of Superpower Integrative Systems for Superpowered Leadership and leads training and development for Mental Safety and Emotional Well-Being. Join Dr. Pam for a complimentary Upgrade at






















ER, NEW YORK 14608 I (585) 278-0314






Rochester Woman Online had the pleasure of sitting down for a little question and answer with Robert Napoleone, owner of Sole Mates. What a pleasure it was talk with this amazing business owner and how he keeps his business going after all these years, and through a pandemic, including learning to do facebook live! Bob, tell us a little about yourself… I am married to my high school sweetheart, Barb for almost 40 years now.I have three wonderful kids that have turned into amazing adults. They have all chosen life partners that have made me the proud Poppa (grandfather) to three smart, beautiful grandkids! I have been part of the fashion and shoe industry for almost 40 years, mostly in Rochester but also in Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Ohio and all of New England. My retail roles have included single store women’s fashion all the way up to family shoe stores and big box as manager, buyer & divisional manager. My career has included extensive experience in wholesale and National Sales management for the entire US. In my most recent experience as a Vice President of Sales for the entire US, I was fortunate to meet & work with many really great retailers across the country. These friendships have provided me with a network of knowledge that includes expertise in fashion, marketing, and so much more than one person alone might ever possess! What is Sole Mates, and how did you get it started?

As a result of my travels as a National VP of Sales for a well known shoe company around the country, my return trips home would start to make me realize the very limited choices that are made available to women in Rochester in shoes! My brainstorming about what was missing was pretty simple, and while shoes are an obvious important part of this, what it really boiled down to was…service, or a lack of it. Having spent years as part of the culture at Altier’s, one of the nations leaders nationally in retail family shoes, it was glaring as to

I have always loved people, every part of my career has been working with the public. I enjoyed coaching-teaching as a father and that carried over into my shoe career as well, we coach daily! The people I worked “with” not for, made my experience in retailing very rewarding. These people, most all with roots at Altier’s & Clarks, showed me the importance of putting customers and my people serving the customers first. I have always recognized that the team I serve with is ray most important customer & ultimately responsible for our customers happiness! What made you decide you carry the brands and lines that you have in store? When we first started I drew upon my previous experiences as a retailer with vendors in Rochester, and coupled that with what I saw happening around the country with new brands that my new retail friends introduced me to.

how shopping for women had become very “self service.” No-one to share your needs with, no-one to guide you in fashion choices, certainly very few opportunities here to combine style, comfort and fit.” My daughter Emily gets credit for the name sole mates. She came up with it after some discussion of what we were going to provide, and she recognized that we were really “matchmaking” with shoes! From that sole mates was born. What made you decide to get into the shoe business?

It was obvious what was missing…SELECTION! I don’t mean just fashionable in this case, what was really missing were stylish, well crafted brands that provide both style & comfort. So we started experimenting with brands, new and old, and that mix of choices evolves every season. Our customers help educate me everyday on whats best. We also found that attending the trade show at the Atlanta Shoe Market offered us really different choices from brands that we already were working with as well as new brands from Europe and around the world that are the very best at what they do! ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: JUNE EDITION 2020


{ LOCAL BUSINESS MATTERS } “My daughter Emily gets credit for the name sole mates. She came up with it after some discussion of what we were going to provide, and she recognized that we were really “matchmaking” with shoes! From that sole mates was born.”

So many more choices & colors and unique offerings that are just not available unless you travel to Boston, San Fransisco, Miami, Atlanta & others or maybe shop while on vacation. The fact is Rochester & Upstate NY are known as “Big Box Heaven”…..with a very limited offering of really nice shoes, sandals, boots with service…we are here to fill that void by offering choices that are stylish and comfortable with the best service! How has your business changed, or been affected by Covid-19? With adversity comes change and given the past few months, we at sole mates have adapted in several ways to continue to connect with our clients. We have become more active on Facebook & Instagram by posting new products that demonstrate how we match you to style & comfort. And while I follow multiple friends and their social media postings, one in particular caught my eye with something called Facebook LIVE. That has changed us and how we communicate with women dramatically. We now have Facebook LIVE events every Saturday morning at 9:30AM! And I have been known to jump on ‘mid-week”with little notice at lunch time, just to say hi, remind everybody we are here and whats new! The response has been pretty extraordinary. It keeps us connected by offering a face to face LIVE discussion about whats new? Common questions about fit & comfort. It has really given us chance to define what makes sole mates a different, better shopping experience! Your LIVE Facebook streams are a huge success. What do you think makes people 122


want to watch them every Saturday morning at 9:30? Our Facebook LIVE streams have grown for a few reasons, we genuinely do connect to our customers-clients and treat them as friends! The combination of social contact & shopping is a perfect opportunity to chat each week about something that every women LOVES….shoes! We have held weekly drawings for a $50 sole mates GIFT Card, & everybody that shares is entered to win! That introduction/ recommendation from a friend has extended our reach thru our happy satisfied client base to new ladies every week! We spend every week explaining what sole mates is, and why we are different. It reinforces why we are here to our loyal regular customers and every week we are speaking to a new audience, and its important for them to understand why sole mates is a better place to shop for shoes, sandals & more! Furthermore, we feature new arrivals, new colors, new brands, and review styles that have become best sellers now, that some of our clients aren’t aware of, or we think they should consider. And, typically while LIVE, our customers comment about the great results that have had with styles we are featuring! I know your goal is to make people “comfortable in their own shoes”, but what do you think sets you a part from all the rest of the shoe stores? Thats easy, our people…the “Nice People… Great Shoes…& Happy Feet” that we tag everything with mentions people first… always! For many women that shop here, the real pleasure is in having one of our people

connect when they arrive to talk about what need they came in to fulfill. From there, we spend time offering choices so nobody settles. And we “fit” everything… so we help avoid “…adding to the stack of shoes/boxes in everybody’s closet that don’t fit anymore, never fit, we’re cute but hurt, but is left there in the hopes that someday they might work.” We call this the “Pile of Regret.” Not here…if it goes home, and you wear it inside to test wear it, and you don’t LOVE IT, bring it back for a refund…period. The really easy part is that we work with only the best brands in the footwear industry, people that get it about style & comfort going hand in hand. So the choices I mentioned are usually pretty hard…lol. When our people assist shoppers, the decision making is easier because we erase doubt & guessing with facts about fit, style, color & whatever else arises. We hear its “like shopping with a girlfriend!” What is your main goal for the rest of 2020 and the future? We are excited to recently have re-opened for in store shopping & the early results have been gratifying. We are continuing to deliver with “Curbside Delivery” when requested. We will continue to grow our social media interaction, specifically with our Facebook LIVE streams. We want to reach as many new faces as we can and we feel that the best way to accomplish that is thru our clients via the experiences they share after shopping with us! As our exposure grows, we will grow. I am excited about what the future holds for all of us here as well as our followers! “Nice People….Great Shoes…& HAPPY Feet!”








From mom and pop shops to convenience stores, gas stations to grocery stores, CBD products are showing up everywhere. If you take a moment out of your daily commute to look around, odds are that you are passing by street banners, signs and billboards announcing the availability of CBD at this or that location. Which, on the surface, is very exciting and bodes well for the industry, but it begs the question: Why should I go there to buy my CBD? The easy answer to that question is convenience. Why not just pick up a bottle of tincture or a CBD-infused beverage since you are at the gas station anyway? It’s there. So, why not? We believe the answer to that is simple, as well: how much does that gas station clerk know about the product they are selling you? All Access CBD does not believe that all CBD is created equally, nor do we believe all CBD is sold equally. Just because a company is selling CBD does not mean they know,

understand or appreciate the product. We have had a lot of experience with clients who have tried various CBD products from convenience stores. Overwhelmingly, we are told by them that “CBD doesn’t work for me.” When we probe deeper into

that, we often find out they’ve been using an overly expensive product with relatively small dosages. These individuals bought and tried a CBD product to meet a need or solve a particular issue, only to feel they were cheated.

So while CBD becoming more readily available to the consumer is a good thing, it can also be damaging to the reputation of the product and the industry as a whole. All Access CBD believes it is our job to build trust in our products by taking the time to learn about our customers’ needs and find the right product for them. Our staff are knowledgable about not only the products we manufacture, but also the process behind each of them. When we say “our product” t h a t ’s w h a t we mean: it is ours. All Access CBD operates, e s s e n t i a l l y, farm to table. Working hand and hand with hemp farms and processors to deliver a quality CBD that we take and develop into our own line of products in an ISO6, pharmaceutical-grade laboratory. From the lab, to our shelves. It is our product. Which gives us the benefit of knowing that product and the ability to answer our clients’ questions accurately and honestly. ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: JUNE EDITION 2020


{ ALL ACCESS } “Working hand and hand with hemp farms and processors to deliver a quality CBD that we take and develop into our own line of products in an ISO6, pharmaceutical-grade laboratory. From the lab, to our shelves.”

Products that we carry but do not manufacture are carefully selected based on that company’s standards, pricing and quality. In addition to the high standards we set, all products are tested by a third party and results are available on our website. We are prepared to answer questions about those products, as well. We understand the need for 128


convenience, but you shouldn’t have to sacrifice quality or experience for it. All Access CBD cares about your wellness, especially in these times of social distancing. We work hard to bring you a product that is both convenient and effective based on our knowledge and understanding of what you need your CBD regimen to do for you.

Mike MacArthur - Owner All Access CBD (813) 810-8890 direct






I was brought up in a family of modest means by parents who counted on Social Security and a small pension for their retirement. The stock market was a mysterious entity and my parents considered the market as legalized gambling created for, and used by, those who circumvented an honest living. They were not alone in their mistrust of the stock markets, which is a perception still exists today: 65% of respondents in a recent survey* indicated they “mistrust a lot” or “mistrust a little” the financial services industry. Only 2% of respondents said they trust the financial services industry “a lot” and nearly 83% said they believe their interests are secondary to corporate profits. Yet traditional pensions have gone by the wayside, and most of us will need to rely on our own savings to fund at least part of our retirement. If only there were a way to invest in companies that treat employees well, care about the environment and are financially prudent. If you could invest cost effectively and achieve returns that compete with some of the most successful managers. This may seem altruistic and, hence, too good to be true. Welcome to the ever-evolving world of ESG investing. ESG investing is an investment strategy that utilizes Environmental, Social and Governance factors of companies—in addition to traditional investment selection criteria—to determine if they are a good investment. In other words, the companies chosen must adhere to one—or ideally all—of the standards to be chosen as a candidate for a mutual fund or stock portfolio. In the past, such portfolios or funds were considered as faddish and only attractive to people who were willing to sacrifice returns for the greater good. Now, not only can one achieve competitive performance with an ESG strategy, but there is growing evidence to suggest that longer-term performance of ESG strategies may exceed lower quality investments.

Why? Simply put, the implications of poor corporate governance and disregard for the environment, employees or local communities are likely to undermine a company’s long-term performance. In fact, as you can see from the chart below, ESG investments have performed mostly in line with—and sometimes better than—the common benchmark ACWI (All Country World Index) for the better part of the past decade. Another common myth regarding ESG is that it is difficult for investors to achieve adequate diversification and therefore they will miss out on the proven long-term benefits of a well- diversified portfolio. When I first began to construct ESG portfolios, due to my desire to support socially responsible companies, there were indeed limited choices in areas such as emerging markets, small cap and fixed income funds. Now, with over 23 trillion* (Source: Morningstar) invested globally in ESG strategies, there are viable options across all commonly available asset classes for ESG investors. In addition to available asset classes, ESG is offered by many of the most prestigious mutual fund companies and asset managers and can be tailored to suit your specific needs. Don’t like fossil fuels? There is a fund out there that can accommodate your desire to invest without buying energy stocks. There are even funds out there that only invest in companies led by women. The variety of ESG strategies available today empowers investors by allowing them to put their dollars where they feel they will do the most good—not just continuing to invest in companies that may not have investors’ best interests at heart. One of the questions many people ask is: how do you know if a company meets the criteria to be called ESG? The screening process for ESG has been streamlined over the years, and now companies such

as MSCI (Morgan Stanley Capital Index) and Morningstar provide comprehensive screening tools that are updated on a regular basis. In addition, companies like Fidelity and Schwab are posting ESG ratings on their websites to make it easy for prospective investors to find suitable ESG companies, EFTS and mutual funds. The number of screening systems have grown in line with the substantial growth of ESG over the past decade, so now it is easier than ever to get up to date information. A final misconception common to ESG investing is that there is a significantly higher cost to the investor who chooses an ESG strategy. The truth is, the cost of a welldiversified ESG portfolio is only slightly more expensive than a non-ESG portfolio utilizing mutual funds or ETFS (exchange traded funds). It can be a bit more complicated for individual investors to build an ESG portfolio, though, and having an advisor assist may add in some costs but would also ensure you get the financial planning to help you design the best portfolio to meet your goals. There are now more options than ever for ESG-oriented investors to have their portfolios match their personal passions, and it is very likely that this style of investing will continue to gain popularity as the $12 trillion dollars of wealth pass from Baby Boomers to Milennials. Over 86% of Millennials and over 75% of women consider ethical factors important when choosing investments. * (source: Morgan Stanley 2018) As choices grow, expenses tend to decline and make the choice of ESG investing even more attractive. Perhaps the increase in accountability for companies worldwide will begin to rebuild trust in the financial services industry for investors. Thanks to the rise of ESG, there are many more options for investors to match their investment portfolios with their values.



1050 Pittsford-Victor Road, Building B

Rachel Farkas, MD, FACS

Pittsford (Rochester), NY 14534 phone (585) 383-4040

Breast Surgeon

Introducing Dr. Farkas, the Newest Member of the Vega Plastic Surgery Team Dr. Rachel Farkas is the ideal surgeon to join our practice given her long record of compassionate, personal, and highly specialized care of women with breast cancer and those at high risk for cancer. Dr. Rachel Farkas, MD, FACS, is a highly regarded and sought– after surgical oncologist who has dedicated herself to the care of patients with breast cancer for the past eight years. Her clinical expertise, meticulousness, and personal attentiveness have earned her a reputation as a top choice in Western New York for the surgical treatment of breast cancer. She has great experience in all forms of mastectomy, including skin and nipple sparing approaches, hidden-scar breast surgery, as well as sentinel and axillary lymph node dissections, making her ideally suited to also care for patients who are at high risk for developing breast cancer. She and Dr. Vega have frequently worked side by side in the operating room, and we’re excited to bring this powerful collaboration to our clinical practice.

Beyond her clinical work, Dr. Farkas frequently lectures on breast cancer screening, prevention, and treatment. She is a member of the physician advisory board of the Breast Cancer Coalition of Rochester, an organization which she enthusiastically supports and where she frequently volunteers. Additionally, she is an active leader and advocate of numerous local organizations. Dr. Farkas is certified by the American Board of Surgery and is licensed to practice medicine in New York and in California. She completed her surgical residency and a dedicated Breast Surgical oncology fellowship at the University of Rochester Medical Center, where she served on the teaching faculty for almost a decade prior to joining our practice. She is an active member of the American College of Surgeons and the American Association of Breast Surgeons and is the proud mother of Nathan, Sarah, and Maddie.

We are delighted to welcome Dr. Farkas to the Vega team and are excited for you to meet her very soon. WE ARE CURRENTLY ACCEPTING NEW PATIENTS. To refer, call our office today at (585) 383-4040 • Medicare | Blue Cross & Blue Shield | MVP | United HealthCare



I am not a racist but my skin is white. My roots and past are not written where you can see . I am a stranger in your eyes. Even though I don’t walk beside you, doesn’t mean I don’t stand behind you. Some of the closest people to my heart, have darker skin than mine. I see you and your skin just like you see mine, and Yet i see deeper than that, not just the surface. Let me quote my mom here as I like to do. My mom was and still is one of the greatest teachers of humanity I’ve ever met. “Just remember, everyone’s blood bleeds red when cut.

I’ve recently been labeled a racist or even a person who is racist but doesn’t know I am. The latter one perplexed me. I was told by someone who lacks knowledge of who I am and what it is I stand for, that I’m racist. I cannot tell you how I wanted to scream to her and ask her on what basis can she label me this. I wanted to continue a dialogue with her to school her on my own family lineage, on the childhood I had, or who it is I am as an adult. But I didn’t .who is she to me, and why bother with

Your’s, his, everyone’s.’’ She told me this all throughout my childhood. We lived this quote. Everyone was welcome at our house. My mom became a surrogate mom to a lot of kids. And they aren’t all white, and she made sure she told them this quote, too. I visited her yesterday, and she reminded me again, just to be sure I haven’t forgotten. We expressed our disgust over these recent events. She speaks of the 60’s when she too was a part of the race riots here in Rochester. She didn’t care about color, only people’s rights. She always did that, and so she taught me it isn’t a person’s color that you judge, it’s a person’s character. Good and bad come in all colors, and wear many different outfits. Don’t be fooled by a uniform or the lack thereof, either.



her narrow minded opinions? Where her thoughts are that if my white brain wasn’t on the same path as her white brain, I must be racist. And so I continue to stand for things I believe in, search for the good,look deeper than the skin. I try to do this with everything I do. And above all to support people I love. Even if some of the things are not on my agenda,

and some of mine are not on yours. I’m still not a racist. I believe in justice. I came across a video of a young military man, somewhere in the US, being yelled at for standing guard to keep the peace. A man was in his face shouting, provoking. All the while the guard remained resilient. Silent to his profanity and accusations, and all I could see was my own son’s face, being the target for this young angry man. My son is not racist, but his skin is white too. But when dressed in his army garb, a gun and skin the color of mine, he is just a white man with a gun to you, but it’s deeper than color, than skin. My children were raised to judge not by skin, judge by personal experience. And because of this we have made lifelong friends and family with skin colors that run the gamut on the spectrum of color. There are people in this world who I would go to bat for in a second who’s skin is black. And there are white folks who I wouldn’t give the time of day to. There’s everything in between. It’s all based on our personal interactions, not what I see at first glance. I see you and your movement, and if I am not there does not mean I am against it, so please don’t tell me that. I get more accusations from white folks, who tell me if I’m not there alongside my friends, I must be against it. Does this even make sense? Does this also mean that all my black friends who did not show up to the protest, are also against it? Sounds silly now doesn’t it ?




KARMA SPEAKS }} {{ SHIFT+CONTROL “ I am not a racist but my skin is white. My roots and past are not written where you can see . I am a stranger in your eyes.”

I support things on a whole, and sometimes it might be different than how you think I should. I don’t feel the need to degrade my own race, in order to show you I support yours either. My support has been lifelong, and the morals I’ve instilled into my children. The people who I call family, even when it’s just the color of our blood that’s the same. Not our skin. There’s an agenda to divide, and it’s working. I keep looking deeper, under the skin of what I see in society. Looking for ways to stay united, even with our differences. To not let the skin of what the media shows me make my judgements, yet to look within or behind. I’m seeking answers to questions some don’t want to ask. I’m relearning that we can’t Judge the outer layer of what our brains are being conditioned to see and think. And so I remind myself of what my momma taught me. Look deeper. I am not a racist, but my skin is white. D. Clifford I found this writing I did 22 years ago entitled “the gal from Georgia” i took a trip once when I was 12 A long trip down south i met a gal one like me 138


this gal was 12 this gal like me we talked we laughed this gal and i in Georgia days are long and hot this gal she said this gal like me let’s take a dip let’s jump right in i told my friend

said that to me i am not allowed can’t you even see but your a gal your just like me i ran to mom how can this be the gal out there the one like me she can’t go in not til i leave

The gal like me she did not move not even budge not one bit she only sat eyes open wide this Georgian gal the gal like me i cannot go in no not in there it just ain’t right you plus me that’s what she said

i saw no difference of her to me we are the same that’s how I see but that wasn’t true or so they say said we are different this gal and i … d. Clifford 2/10/98

but why how come that gal like me mom said to me there’s times we see in life not fair they say the gal out there the one that’s 12 that gal like you. to wait you can’t go in your not like them oh, can’t you see no I can’t I’d never had known I did not see I had no clue the gal out there the one that’s 12 the one like me









Meet Alex Yudelson. You might ask why would I want to write about a man in a magazine that focuses on women. I will tell you. Alex has a rich history of being influenced by and working with women. Right now, Alex is Mayor Lovely Warren’s Chief of Staff. He has a history of public service involvement you would expect to see from a person doing this for 30 years. Yudelson, only half joking, suggests that he has been in service to the public since he was a child. He talks of going to his father’s place of work, the Town of Henrietta Recreation Center, and being pressed into work answering phones. He says, “I could answer the phone and transfer a call by the time I was 6”. Alex says “people often assume my interest working in government service, and now venturing into politics, came exclusively from my father, but NOPE! Really, my grandmother and great aunt were huge influences. We never had any idea that women were anything less than equal in my household”. Tanya Yudelson, his grandmother, was a pioneer in the world of city and county politics.

Tanya was involved running local campaigns as early as the 1960’s and thereafter. She was the go-to person for people trying to successfully run a campaign. She also held the position Communications Director at city hall for some years. Alex’s great aunt, Joan (Jodie) Bernstein, was a lawyer and in the thick of governmental service. Yudelson reported “she was the director of the

Bureau of Consumer Protection and was appointed by Jimmy Carter to chair the Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians (the Japanese internment commission)”. She was general counsel to the Department of Health and Human Services and the Environmental Protection Agency. She oversaw the legal departments of both the FDA

(Food and Drug Administration) and the HCFA (Health Care Finance Administration). Though still physically active Jody is no longer involved in politics. With a family lineage such as this it is not difficult to see why Alex is where he is today. Alex said it best, “my legacy with government service and politics started with the women in my life”. His aunt and grandmother set the example and provided guidance and encouragement to him and his father. Growing up, he worked alongside his grandmother in his father’s political campaigns for Henrietta Town Super visor and County Legislator. In 2012 Alex became the youngest delegate to the National Democratic Convention for President Obama. The excitement and sense of accomplishment he experienced working there with our local leaders confirmed his destiny. In 2013 he and his dad revived the then lifeless Democratic Committee in Henrietta. He then spent a year at Oxford studying Global Politics. He came home and worked in the Obama Administration. He started as an intern, and a few months later, was hired as a Policy Advisor in the ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: JUNE EDITION 2020


SHIFT+CONTROL { {WOMEN IN POLITICS} } “People often assume my interest working in government service, and now venturing into politics, came exclusively from my father, but NOPE!”

Office of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs. Alex refers to that Office as the “front door of the White House to the American people”. He worked on several initiatives and is very proud of his accomplishments there. He has worked in government at the federal, state and local level. He was a volunteer on Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign in 2016. He met Mayor Lovely Warren while he was working at the White House. The two developed a rapport. Mayor Wa r r e n w a s impressed with his work on policy and offered him the position as her Chief of Staff. Yudelson said “I saw what was working and not working across the country and I knew I could be affective here at home. This was the job for me”. He has been her Chief of Staff since 2017. Alex is now challenging an incumbent State Assemblymen for his office. I asked why the transition from working for the government to running for office. He said that it was time to 142


change that particular office, as it has turned into a rubber stamp for special interests. “We need to make sure Monroe County is fairly represented.” Yudelson shares, with many residents, concerns about the state of our City

School District. He told me the city hosted four community sessions with parents and students of the district. He said “The consensus was crystal clear. The district needs a re-set”. I asked for his thoughts on COVID-19. His response was confident. “The

COVID-19 pandemic has shined the light on a lot of what’s wrong with our society: unstable health care and unemployment systems, a lack of trust in doctors and medical experts. I want to dramatically increase testing. I believe it is imperative to focus on testing so that we can safely re-open our businesses. There is no magic wand to make a deadly virus go away. It’s going to take all of us working together, listening to the public health experts, and doing our part to protect our neighbors and loved ones”. So back to the original question! Why should we here at Rochester’s WOMEN on-line magazine consider an article about Alex. Well, this is a periodical that wants its readers to be informed about all people, especially people who have a legacy of intelligent, thoughtful, strong women leaders who helped shape them. That is Alex……






There are so many times when something happens to anger or upset people and the first response is to fire off a harsh email, start yelling at someone or have a different inappropriate knee-jerk reaction. This initial reaction is usually not the right one, sometimes calls for an apology later, and could even prove to be dangerous. If only we took the time to think. During that split second when someone took our parking spot, cut in front of us in line, or maybe made a snide remark at work, we need to catch ourselves and not produce that first reaction. In many cases, we know enough to hold back. It is funny how if we feel we are wronged at work, we can somehow manage to hold our tongue (after all, we need our paychecks, right?) but if it is elsewhere, we may deliver a very different response. For some folks, it is easy to let loose on someone at home or to take out anger in other inappropriate ways. How many times have we seen an angry customer give an associate at a store a hard time for no visible reason? If we see someone in law enforcement allegedly breaking a law, it is easy for some people to take to the streets with violence. Again, looting and destroying property is never the right answer. If only those folks would take the time to think. Sometimes, though, we cannot believe our eyes. Whenever we see injustices to ourselves 144


and others, we need to take a moment and process what has actually occurred. It is easy to have compassion for victims and total contempt for those who caused the pain. However, we need to examine the root cause and then formulate a proper response. We all know that sights and sounds are

used to form public opinions. Movies, music, tv shows, and the news have regularly been used to push specific agendas. We need to pay attention to WHAT is being shown to us, WHEN it is being shown, and most importantly WHY. Many times, there seems to be just the right camera angle when these events occur. There always seems to be someone

filming and they always manage to capture the perfect shot that can be played over and over so that the images can be etched into our memories. Recently and in past events, in more than one American city, it has turned out that people (called crisis actors) have been paid to start the fires and riots. What happened to George Floyd in Minneapolis is terrible and should have never occurred. What we saw was what looked like a police officer kneeling on his neck until he passed away. One of the things that I have since heard is that they knew each other for many years. We do not actually know what motivated the killing, why the other officers stood by and allowed it, or why the paramedics did not follow normal procedure (no one took vital statistics, one paramedic was wearing a bullet proof vest, etc.). Similarly, we never learned why we saw police officers end Eric Garner’s life on TV in 2014 with an extended chokehold. We all acknowledge that we have many issues in this country, some involving police brutality and potential racism. What we cannot afford to do is allow our opinions to be decided for us based on the images that we are given. So, what should we do? We should question everything. There is usually more happening than what we are being told and shown. People have



{ TRACY TALKS } “Whenever we see injustices to ourselves and others, we need to take a moment and process what has actually occurred.�

been used throughout history so that others can divide and conquer. Men vs. women, Jews vs. Gentiles, Black vs. White, etc. It is our job to understand the big picture (the WHY) and then respond appropriately. We do not want to REACT to things. We want to RESPOND. We want to come together and THINK. 146


We need to make sure that what we are believing is correct and then decide on the appropriate course of action. We also need to acknowledge that our first response is not always the right one. If someone truly breaks the law, he or she should be punished appropriately. If someone is traveling to an area to loot and riot, they are breaking the law. If law enforcement is mishandling the citizens and using excessive force, they

should also be brought to justice. We all have the right to live in peace, with safety, and to trust the media to properly inform us.








WHAT IS THE PDO THREAD LIFT? The PDO Thread Lift is a treatment which lifts and tightens sagging skin tissue, using threads made of Polydioxanone (PDO). The threads introduces them into the deeper layers of the skin. Once introduced, the threads produce 3 effects in the skin:

tissue to contract, producing a skin tightening and facial slimming effect. A PDO thread lift is designed to subtly lift the facial features to reduce fine lines and wrinkles while encouraging collagen production for more volume in the treated areas. PDO threads come in a variety of textures for customized treatments.

- Instant Skin Lifting through mechanical effects - Cellular Renewel, through Collagen stimulation, and neovascularisation to improve skin texture, fine lines and elasticity - Skin Tightening, by contracting fat tissue A b o u t 6 months after the procedure, the PDO threads will disappear through simple hydrolysis (they are absorbable). The lifted facial contours will remain for about 3-6 months more, due to the cellular rejuvenation effects. Your skin cells are stimulated to produce new collagen, and new blood vessels to improve skin microcirculation. At the same time, the PDO threads cause the fat

Thread Lift is one the most effective ways to lift the loose skin without surgery, and is why it is promoted as the “non-surgical facelift”.

eyebrows, the areas around the eyes, the cheeks, the jowls and the neck start to lossen first. The result is a longer, more square-shaped and older-looking face. Normally and more traditionally, most people would look into plastic surgery to to help “lift” their loosened skin, However, Vitalize Medical Center now offers a very effective nonsurgical option that can lift and contour and tighten those sagging tissues on the face, neck and the body, especially for those that need only minimal to moderate rejuvenation. Be sure to check back as Kelly Breuer, owner of Rochester Woman Online talks about her experience with the thread lift, shows before and after images and gives her personal recommendation on what she thinks about the “non-surgical facelift”.

As we age, the effects of gravity become more much more noticeable, especially on our faces. As our facial support structure weakens and we lose facial fat. Most noticably we will see our ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: JUNE EDITION 2020




Events of the past few weeks have really gotten to me, like they have to many others. I have been learning about systemic racism and structural racism in my Leadership Rochester 2020 Cohort since January. Why I never learned this in school is beyond me, but I digress. It never occurred to me that things were set up (on purpose) in a way to keep people out. To keep them “in their place.” It boggled my mind. I could understand some of it due to the nature of the time when these systems and laws were enacted – I did not agree with it; I could understand. The laws and systems reflected the culture and ideology of the times. Times change. Why didn’t the laws and systems change with them? That is a great question, right? Too bad nobody has the answers other than, “I don’t know.” I am sure, at times, it was not for lack of trying on the part of various people and parties. BE BETTER. As I watched and listened to the events unfold recently, I was reminded of my favorite Maya Angelou quote, one that has kept me grounded when I make mistakes or need to regroup myself. “When you know better, you DO better.” ~ Maya Angelou What does this mean to me? How do I DO better? Before I can do better, I must be better. I must be a better friend, be a better client, be a better mom, wife, sister, daughter, grandmother, etc. I must be a better leader. 152


I have been given the opportunity to make an impact in the community, to re-write how diversity, inclusion and equity are seen across races, genders, and abilities.

• I have created opportunities through my networks and platforms, like my radio show, for business owners of all races, genders, creeds, and abilities.

While I do not have to dramatically change what I do to work with people of color or various abilities and genders, I DO have to raise my intentionality.

• I have joined as an Associate Member the Greater Rochester Black Business Alliance (GRBBA)

I already seek out local businesses before I go national or big box. I already seek out local collaborators in small or micro businesses, regardless of race, gender, or ability. Now, I must raise the intentionality to highlight businesses, the owners, their services, etc. based on their race, gender and ability. I must raise my own bar. I do not shout from the rooftops about me, my business or anyone else’s. I give recommendations, I make connections and transact business as I need with whom I choose. Quietly.

• I have become active in GRBBA on their membership committee, their marketing committee and have now joined the team for BOB Rochester (Black Owned Business) – which I can help them get their message out about black owned businesses. • I have increased my spending with black owned businesses and connected them with other businesses in my network to grow their business.

Now these times call for me to be louder and to talk more about my collaborations and business dealings with these business owners.

I joined GRBBA on the invitation of a friend, Dr. Lomax Campbell. He had just created this alliance and invited me to join because of my affiliation with SCORE. He wanted to find ways to create an alliance and collaborate to make businesses stronger in the city of Rochester. I accepted. Then, I joined as my own business, NOW Digital Marketing.

NOW is the time for me to bring everyone up with me to be seen and heard. It is time for me to BE Better. I will. Will you? DO Better.

I am also more intentional in my language and in my expanding diversity & inclusion into the fabric of the culture of SCORE and my own business.

I have hit most of the right notes: I know better. I am Being Better. Now, I must DO better.

I seek out diverse business owners.

How do I do that? I have done the following in the wake of all the riots and disruption: • I listen. • I have more & deeper conversations with my black friends & business owners.

I asked Lomax the other day, “Why is it so hard for me? I do not want to appear to be jumping on the band wagon.” He replied, “We can’t control other people’s perceptions, it is what it is. Showcase how we are collaborating. Highlight the business dealings and opportunities you have brought to the community – things you are already

{ THE CREATIVITY CURVE } “What does this mean to me? How do I DO better? Before I can do better, I must be better.”

doing, just not publicizing.” So, I shall do just that. I will start now. If you’d like to support a black owned business here in Rochester, you can view the business listings here: http://www.


It is worth noting, I am the FIRST Woman Chapter Chair for SCORE Greater Rochester since the chapter was founded over 50 years ago.

If you are a black owned business and would like to be listed: http://www.bobrochester. com/getListed.asp

I look forward to creating a new culture of diversity & inclusion. To highlight the amazing work of business owners and mentors of all races, genders, and abilities. Diversity & Inclusion are not buzz words. It is who I AM. It is what I DO.

NOW I ACT. In October 2020, I will be the new Chapter Chair of SCORE Greater Rochester.

How will YOU Be Better and Do Better now that you Know Better? Connect with me & let me know!


About the author: Tamara MacDuff is a digital strategist specializing in social media and content strategy for businesses who want to do something different. She is the current President of Rochester Professional Consultant’s Network & she owns her own digital marketing firm, NOW Digital Marketing and loves being in the trenches and showing people how to stand out and be different on Social Media. Say HI at



Growing up, you may have had a dog that was just “the best.” We all have had that dog. That dog that would jump into the lake with you when you went swimming, or would fetch with a bottomless reserve of energy, or would just curl up next to you and take naps. Maybe it would rest its head on your lap while you watched TV, get super excited to go for walks, and always stuck by your side.

our staff. We get to meet canines that have come from all over the country to find their forever homes here. We never truly know what we’re going to get until we see them get off the truck. But, truthfully, we typically just don’t

Maybe that’s the kind of dog your family always aimed for in certain breeds – because it was “the best kind of dog,” according to your parents. Or maybe that’s the dog you’ve been looking for ever since – so you look out for a dog of that breed when you browse through your local shelter or PetFinder. But you know that it wasn’t really how the canine looked that made it the best. It was its behavior, its personality, its soul. So when looking for a new “best dog,” why is its looks usually a key determining factor? Enter the American Shelter Dog. Like its name implies, these are the dogs you can find at shelters all across the country, but unlike other canines, they’re more defined by their personality and less by their looks. Here at Animal Care Sanctuary, transport day is one of the most exciting days for 156


a guess. In fact, according to Family Pet, 87.5 percent of shelter dogs are misidentified by adoption agencies. Take Porter for example. While at first glance he may look like a lab mix, he’s actually only 12.5 percent Labrador retriever. In fact, he’s also 12.5 percent each of American Staffordshire Terrier, Chow Chow, Golden Retriever, Rottweiler and White Swiss Shepherd. Then there’s Ava. While her shelter breed was listed as a “shepherd mix,” a DNA test revealed to be a mix of mostly Husky, Corgi and Whippet. So when you’re looking for a new furry friend and you’re asked “what kind of dog are you looking for?” just know that simply saying “a lab” will not help your search as much as you think. Beyond the physical size of the kind of canine you want, when thinking about the kind of dog you want, think about what’s on the inside.

know the breed of a dog just by looking it. We don’t usually have DNA testing kits, and these canines come from all walks of life. They have their own story and ancestry of which we’re usually not aware. In many cases, applying a breed label to a rescue is not much more than

Say that you’re looking for a dog that’s playful and energetic, or one that is a laid-back lapdog. Think about what you want on the inside instead of what you’re looking for on the outside. Take some time to learn about a dog before making a predetermined judgment on what you think its breed is typically like. Talk to the shelter staff; they want to see the doggo find the perfect home as much as you want to find the perfect furry friend. The American Shelter Dog comes in all sizes and colors, but they are all capable, loving and thankful to find their forever homes.

{ THE ANIMAL CARE SACTUARY CORNER } “Enter the American Shelter Dog. Like its name implies, these are the dogs you can find at shelters all across the country, but unlike other canines, they’re more defined by their personality and less by their looks.”








Very excited to contribute to you all my words of wisdom. Let me start with a brief introduction of myself, Michelle DiBernardo. A woman who inspires to help others to be better them. I am a Survivor, Entrepreneur, Mother, Daughter, Sister, Friend & more. Far from perfect but would never regret the woman I have become. If you are interested in learning more about me feel free to check my websites out at www., www. DiBernardoProductions.Media and For this issue, I would like to discuss Domestic Violence which is happening in the “safety” of our homes. So many people tend to brush this subject off or are currently stuck at home with their abuser. What is Domestic Violence? Domestic violence is the willful intimidation, physical assault, battery, sexual assault, and/or other abusive behavior as part of a systematic pattern of power and control perpetrated by one intimate partner against another. It includes physical violence, sexual violence, threats, and emotional/psychological abuse. The frequency and severity of Domestic Violence vary dramatically. Now for some of you, this may touch deeply as you might have been in this situation, know someone, or are currently in this horrific epidemic. You are not alone! Yes, you may have heard this line before but truly you aren’t. Domestic Violence is happening Worldwide and there is help out there.

Statistics found on the NCADV website state that in the United States, an average of 20 people experience intimate partner physical violence every minute. This equates to more than 10 million abuse victims annually. 10 million people annually were abused before COVID-19. Notice that it states people as Domestic violence is prevalent in every community, and affects all people regardless of age, socio-economic status, sexual orientation, gender, race, religion, or nationality. So why is Domestic Violence important during COVID-19? Information found on the National Domestic Violence Hotline tells us how COVID-19 could uniquely impact anyone currently going through Domestic Violence. Abusive partners may withhold necessary items, such as hand sanitizer or disinfectants. Abusive partners may share misinformation about the pandemic to control or frighten survivors, or to prevent them from seeking appropriate medical attention if they have symptoms. Abusive partners may withhold insurance cards, threaten to cancel insurance, or prevent survivors from seeking medical attention if they need it. Travel restrictions may impact a survivor’s escape or safety plan – it may not be safe for them to use public transportation or to fly. An abusive partner may feel more justified and escalate their isolation tactics. Locally in CNY/Onondaga County Vera House is committed to

ensuring its programs and services are welcoming to everyone. If you need assistance to ensure that their services meet your needs, please call them at 315-425-0818 or Email at WNY/Monroe County Willow Center is to prevent domestic violence and ensure every survivor has access to the services and supports needed along the journey to a safe and empowered life. Reach out to them via Phone/ Text/Email at there 24-hour Hotline: (585) 222-SAFE/ 24-hour Text Line: (585) 348-SAFE or Email: If you are not in CNY/Onondaga County or WNY/Monroe County, you are not alone and there is help out there. We strongly recommend the National Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-799-7233 which is available 24/7/365. If you are in New York State Governor Cuomo is aware of the spike in Domestic Violence cases. Call 1-800942-6906 if you need to find a safe shelter during these hard times. Resourceful sites on Domestic Violence



“Now for some of you, this may touch deeply might have been in this situation, know some are currently in this horrific epidemic. You a alone! �

y as you eone, or are not

{ WORDS OF WISDOM } “Abusive partners may withhold necessary items, such as hand sanitizer or disinfectants. Abusive partners may share misinformation about the pandemic to control or frighten survivors, or to prevent them from seeking appropriate medical attention if they have symptoms. � status/1263531787290062855 Recently, myself and Jamie Lynn from Lens Obsessed Photography 164


launched a COVID-19 Domestic Violence Campaign which the photos attached are from. These photos are Models with Special Effects Makeup on and Retouching has been applied to these photos. They can be slightly disturbing but meant solely to cause

Domestic Violence awareness. Help put an end to Domestic Violence. Look forward to gabbing your ears away next issue!







Debt seems like a dirty word, and it can be — but there’s more to it than simply money owed. There are many different kinds of debt, each with different characteristics. What is “good debt,” and what should you be paying off first? Here’s a look at the common types of debt we face in our personal finances and a strategy for dealing with them. PROTECT YOURSELF The first step in debt management is making sure you’re protected. Prioritize income protection in the form of disability insurance, then save enough money to cover at least nine to twelve months of expenses. Nothing can worsen debt struggles faster than being caught unprepared for a major expense. Once your income is safe and you have a nest egg, start reviewing different types of debt and paying them down. CONSUMER DEBT The worst kind of debt this side of loansharking, credit cards charge a high interest rate (sooner or later), and the ugly truth is they’re engineered to suck you dry. Even though everyone knows better, most Americans with credit cards carry some amount of debt.1 If you’re looking at your debt and wondering what to tackle first, credit cards are a top priority. In recent years, the popularity of “personal loans” offered by the fintech sector has soared. These loans don’t require collateral and tend to offer lower rates than credit cards2 — but beware, you’re still throwing away money if you carry a balance. Think of these in the same way you do credit cards — and pay them off before you pay too much. AUTO LOANS Auto loan debt has been surging in recent years, as has the rate of default. For most adults, cars are not so much investments as necessities — you may need a working

car to get to and from your job, or to find a job if you’re on the hunt. When buying, remember that cars depreciate, so shop for value, not fancy features. A car loan is a cost of doing business for many people, but as a depreciating asset paying off its debt should be a priority. MORTGAGE Good debt is debt that will benefit you in the future — think of it as an investment that is growing as you’re paying it off. The ultimate example of good debt is a mortgage

on a house or other property you’ve bought. Historically, housing prices climb faster than the interest rate, so the mortgage you’re paying can be an investment that is making you money (bubbles aside). If you keep up with the payments and pay off your mortgage, you may end up with an asset that’s worth more than you paid for it. While interest on the loan means you’ll pay more than you would if you’d bought the home with cash, you’ll still be making money.

debt — an investment in your future. The logic is that degrees pay for themselves over a lifetime by boosting your salary. If your degree qualifies you for a high-paying field — as with many STEM fields of study — that can still be true. But the number of struggling college grads today suggests that times have changed. If you’re considering taking on student debt, be mindful of the cost of your degree and future career prospects. If you have student debt, you can also consider refinancing, which means combining your private and federal loans and paying it all off at a lower rate. MEDICAL DEBT Medical debt occurs when you can’t pay your medical bills in full at the time you’re billed — often after a major procedure or an extended hospital stay. Medical debt is reported as the number one cause of bankruptcies in the U.S., and even illnesses or injuries that result in a long-term disability can lead to ongoing medical bills and a loss of income over time.3 That’s why it’s important to have protection in place in the event of a disability. Medical debt is a widespread condition that irks providers nearly as much as it stresses out debtors, so some providers are willing to arrange a no-interest or low interest payment plan, or even reduce your bill to avoid losing money by sending you to a collections agency.4 In today’s economy, it can be easy to slip into debt, and hard to know how to climb out of it. A financial professional can help you make smart debt decisions, anticipate life’s big-ticket purchases, and work with you to plan a debt-free future. Brought to you by The Guardian Network © 2019. The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America® , New York, NY.

STUDENT LOANS Student debt used to be considered good ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: JUNE EDITION 2020




UNDERSTANDING TRAUMA FOR CHILDREN WITH GENDER IDENTITIES IN TIMES OF E Q U A L I T Y AWARENESS Youth of all walks of life come into the foster care system having already experienced some form of trauma. Whether this trauma originated from experiences within a birth family—which is often what has led to foster placement—or a child’s experience in the foster care system itself, it is complicated by the child’s culture, gender identity, racism, homophobia, sexism, and more. It is further compounded through broken systems found within these vulnerable children’s schools, communities, or reinforced by family. The ongoing discrimination and treatment of children of color and/or gender choice leaves the children of our community wide open to feelings of being different. It further may cause defeat, isolation, confusion, and loneliness. These statements, though uncomfortable, are a very current reality- one that deserves awareness and addressing during the

call to fight for equality awareness in Rochester and across the country. With so many tragic and yet transformative events recently occurring across our nation and in our own backyards, now more than ever the oppression of vulnerable children within foster care needs to end. Specifically, youth identifying as LGBTQ—as up to 30% of youth in foster care do—are twice as likely to report being treated poorly while in

care as their non-LGBTQ peers, as well as experiencing more placement disruptions. LGBTQ youth are more likely to be placed in congregate (institutional) care. For children of color who are also LGBTQ, the percentages who experience racism along with gender discrimination are even higher. Without a doubt, the current system

is not working. Child welfare workers may not feel equipped to discuss sexual orientation, gender identity and expression (SOGIE). They also may not be sharing SOGIE information with prospective parents for fear of placement rejection. And while children of color are more widely accepted in foster homes, they are disproportionally placed and often left the longest waiting for a family. Case workers are often ill-equipped to en-sure a loving permanent solution is found for children of diverse identification. In addition, LGBTQ youth of color in foster care are much more vulnerable to bullying, harassment, and other forms of mistreatment from their peers and caretakers. Youth who identify as LGBTQ of color in the foster care system have multiple challenges and the responses to this mis-treatment can have a profound impact on a youth’s placement status and overall well-being. Re-taliatory behaviors or isolation can easily contribute to a foster parent or child welfare profession-al’s decision to disrupt a placement. All of which adds to the trauma a child may have already experienced. Child advocate and local therapist, Lisa Maynard, LMSW, TCTSY-F, who assists CAP with referrals for therapy, says all

{ CHILDREN AWAITING PARENTS } “With so many tragic and yet transformative events recently occurring across our nation and in our own backyards, now more than ever the oppression of vulnerable children within foster care needs to end.”

prospective foster/adoptive parents should be trained on the impact of trauma on the brain, whose structure actually is changed by abuse and neglect. Efforts to train both new and experienced foster parents on providing culturally sensitive and affirming care are essential to enhancing the placement stability of LGBTQ and/ or youth of col-or. The system, foster parents, and schools need to be able to recognize the positive impact of the need for unconditional and affirming acceptance. And those with greater knowledge and under-standing of the current racial disparity and LGBTQ rights issues—will be more willing and better equipped to respond to the needs of LGBTQ youth. Not only will these parents help their child/ 170


children feel safe, accepted, and have a felt sense of belonging, they will also be better equipped to initiate potentially difficult conversations. Children Awaiting Parents serves all families across cultural and gender populations. To ensure our youth will have fair and loving treatment while in care, our highest priority is to work toward matching the right family for the youth to fits their needs. Children who identify as LGBTQ and children of non-white cultures deserve to be placed in families and homes where they are treated fairly, cared for and loved unconditionally, allowed to be who they are, and able to remain con-nected to their own cultures. Consequently, they fare much better.

Children Awaiting Parents is aware of systemic racism and discrimination endured by both youth of color and those identifying as LGBTQ. We stand in support of our youth’s personal decisions and equality. In view of the frequent maltreatment of these particular youth cultures, CAP is working fervently to place youth with like or accepting families who will actively seek out ap-propriate services and treatment for their children. This is one of the keys to giving our foster youth a healthy personal outlook for their future. CAP is committed to fully training parents to raise children of color and LGBTQ youth, and to support them in their culture and their choices. We can and will ensure the next generation is raised with equality and confidence.

Finding Families for Waiting Kids. For more information contact: 888-835-8802 or 585-232-5110

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As we move through this unprecedented pandemic, the predominate emotion gripping our planet right now is fear! Major fear. Life-altering fear. And this level of fear doesn’t just pervade our waking state, it also prowls our dream state. Many of us are having vivid, strange and sometimes terrifying dreams that are causing insomnia and changes to our normal sleep patterns. My own son keeps dreaming about a large, hairy, insidious-looking spider that crawls around his bedroom walls. He can feel it touch him within the dream state. A woman dreams that the virus decimated the U.S. and the stores, banks, gas stations and government were gone. Food was running out and medical supplies were scarce. Total panic! 174


As fear blankets our outer reality, it is also triggering the deep fears contained within our inner reality. And as we shelter-in-place, I believe this is a prime opportunity to really look at the skeletons hiding in our proverbial “closet”. Dreams are like mirrors ... they reflect back to us our current attitudes, beliefs, and choices and they help us take an objective look at ourselves so we can ultimately make wiser decisions and live more fulfilling lives. As an avid dreamer myself for over twenty five years, I have learned a few things ... and what I know for sure is that dreaming is one of the primary ways in which our soul communicates with us. In fact, dreams are the language of the

soul! A language that can be decoded to help you remember and live the deeper story of your life. Within every dream is the soul’s desire to evolve and transform ... to move beyond limitation toward self-understanding and freedom. One of my greatest passions is teaching others how to work with the elements and symbols of their dreams to help facilitate their own healing and transformation ... a process I call DREAM ALCHEMY. For more information visit www. By Deborah Angeline








I was standing in line at Home Depot and a man six feet apart from me chuckled; he could tell I was struggling to read my receipt. While wearing a mask in public is the new normal, trying to read with my cheeters and a mask on had become a challenge. My glasses steam up every time I breath making the fine print even more difficult to navigate. He laughed and said, “That happens to me too.” We were both just homeowners on a Saturday morning enduring the in one way and out the other way signs. We stood in the customer service line marked with blue tape on the floor directing us stay socially acceptable and mind our own business. A shared experience of frustration made us both laugh and even if for just a moment, made me feel normal in a very abnormal world. I don’t think there’s anyone who hasn’t been deeply impacted by the Coronavirus. We have never lived through anything like this. It took me awhile but I think I’ve figured out what I’ve been feeling; it’s like living through the stages of grief; the loss of my normal. I started in denial. I remember watching the images on the news of people all over China and Europe wearing masks thinking, I could never do that. That would be an awful way to have to go out in public. When schools closed and business shut down and toilet paper became a commodity, I thought, this is just a ‘pause’ and it will all be over in three weeks. I didn’t over stock up or cancel my vacation to Florida, and I kept

communicating with clients as if things were “going to open up.” I hoped everyday that things would be different.

in control?

By April I was angry.

My dog Ted was going to be hairy and dirty and that was okay. I called my hairdresser to order my perfect shade of blonde on Amazon. I may be missing my appointments but I refuse to miss being myself. My daughter foiled my hair with Reynolds Wrap and on a fun Friday night and we laughed about how we really weren’t worried about how it would all turn out. We started taking pictures to document our experiences being trapped in our house. Our pictures will never make a Facebook feed or see the light of day on Instagram, but one day we will look back and laugh and know we survived it all together; sleeping way too much, not sleeping, Easter baskets from Target, Mother’s Day take out, making new recipes, eating, more eating, adventures in Wegmans, rom-coms on Netflix, and laying around talking about absolutely nothing.

Why had this happened to me? The fact was nothing had happened to me. I was not a statistic on the news. I was healthy and not suffering from the virus, only from a lack of control over my life. I am a not so secret control freak. For me it’s survival. I pretend

to be an easy, flexible and go-with the flow person, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. I over pack, plan for multiple scenarios, constantly watch the weather and when all hell breaks out, I clean; that I can control. But by April, everything in the house was spotless and organized and I had nowhere to put all the anger that was piling up. Most people seemed to be fine and rising to the occasion by singing on balconies, saving lives and making masks. I was living in a constant mental traffic jam trying to maneuver a shortcut past all this Corona inconvenience. Would I ever feel normal again? Would I ever be back

I started to bargain with my new reality.

Then this one Friday happened. I’m not really sure why but I felt down, maybe even depressed. I got up, made the coffee and tried to start my day. I did a little work, took Ted for a walk and barely made it home. I started to cry and I couldn’t stop. I cried because I felt guilty for being healthy, I cried because I was selfish, I cried because I was afraid life would never be normal again. I am not one of those people who cries a lot. Years of working in a newsroom taught me that that there’s no crying in baseball and there’s no crying

{ HER EDGE } “I remember watching the images on the news of people all over China and Europe wearing masks thinking, I could never do that.”

in baseball and there’s no crying in a newsroom. If you have to cry, head to the makeup room. But on this beautiful sun filled day, I was crying. It may have been some menopausal hormone surge, or maybe I had just been holding it all in. I had cracked and the stress of keeping it all together made me think about everything I thought I had lost. I had lost the day, frightened my daughter, and felt like I had passed through some virus wormhole into an acceptance, that my life had changed. Was I profoundly

different, probably not? Was I deeply impacted and didn’t even know it; yes. Acceptance is a gift. It frees you from anxiety. Instead of trying to control the situation, I stopped. We are all connected by this tragic, strange circumstance that is now our ‘new normal’. We are all suffering in some way, some more than others. But knowing it’s a collective experience seems to make things a little easier.

I think about the man in line at Home Depot with the steamed glasses problem like my own. We were the same, and before March I would have been too busy to even pay attention, let alone share a good laugh with a stanger. This forced shutdown has given us all the chance to let go and see what we can let go of.












Ever encounter someone that just seemed to radiate brighter? They made you want to be around them more, they made you feel good. Being around them is inspiring! They just seemed to shine? Become THAT Beacon Of Light! They radiate from within! To have that beautiful ability to shine is not by chance. It’s not just by Grace. It’s about having a centered inner

peace and confidence that you walk together with God. Your not scattered or fragmented in your thoughts. This doesn’t mean you know everything. You just know how to let it flow. You don’t have to control anything. You know how to wait and allow life to come to you. A beacon of light shines so others can see. It cuts through the darkness. It’s brave bold and bright!!!

A Beacon of Light is calm and quiet. It doesn’t need noise to be heard or noticed. It just shines and if your eyes are open then you cannot miss it!!! Become a beacon of light! Turn your light on! Constantly wipe off any dirt or dust and SHINE! With Love and Light!





I’m going to begin a ten day meditation retreat… Tomorrow. The last time I entered into a weeklong meditation, the global pandemic was declared. My fingers are crossed. My heart open. Hoping to be greeted near week’s end by a vibrant rainbow across the sky. And being prepared for just about anything. Let’s take a look at where we are this very day, June 4, 2020. The United States of America is in turmoil. Protests march peacefully among many streets not only in our nation but across the globe. All to bring attention to the racial injustice of our society.

My respect for all beings did. And my gift for standing up for myself and speaking reason to a prospective offender did. Hear me out. I was raised to believe that we were all born equally. Each and everyone of us regardless of the color of our skin or the homeland of our ancestors. And so when I was hurt by someone whether from my own nationality or another, I stood up for myself. I prayed for them. I was empathetic. I was never afraid.

Generally speaking, I am not politically inclined. I’m a creative. I am very happy behind my microphone, canvas, yoga mat, and meditation cushion. Speaking out in a political way just hasn’t resonated with me. Until now. Because the immorality I see is crushing the fabric of society. The foundation of democracy. In our very community here in Rochester, New York, I have not only seen and witnessed but experienced the racial divide. I grew up in the inner city. And after being assaulted at the innocent age of five, I asked my parents if I could go to Catholic school. I know now that that was not in their budget. But they made it happen. So there was a new level of safety for me, a little Italian girl, in a little Italian neighborhood, in a racially divided community. This new level of safety did not always protect me from my walks back home from school. My belief in Jesus and Mary did. 184


neighborhood, reminiscing about the fun we had. Playing kickball in the middle of the street. Or football in someone’s backyard. Or going to Spaghetti Dinners at church. I decided then and there I had to give back. I had to truly forgive my own injustices. Then I stumbled upon a wonderful memory. I was riding bikes with my cousin Eileen at the age of ten. We were near the school parking lot which was exciting enough as it was because we weren’t supposed to be there. And then I saw it. A ten dollar bill. Just lying there on the sidewalk. Like a miracle. We didn’t tell anyone, for several reasons. 1. We weren’t supposed to be there! And 2. We wanted to spend it on ourselves! There was a Diner on North Goodman called Carrols. I had only been there once before with my family. Eileen and I decided to go there - on our bikes - and got 2 burgers, fries and a milkshake. This was decadent at the time, considering the first McDonalds had only just opened.

And that’s what confuses me about today, half of a decade later. Why is our nation so afraid? America, the United States of America is a melting pot. My ancestors came from Italy. Your ancestors may have come from Ireland or New Zealand or Africa. We are all from the same planet. We all eat and breathe to live. And loving acceptance is crucial for us to survive. Last year I found myself in my old

And with that memory, I decided to start dropping dollar bills in the neighborhood. Opening the car window and sending them out to fly and land, hoping that someone, anyone would find them. I could feel their joy and excitement. Maybe, they would get their burger and fries and milkshake. Or maybe they’d use it toward their bills. It filled me with such a sense of release, of offering peace that I took my little idea to the nearby parks, folding up dollar bills and tucking them in the crevices of the trunks

{ MIND, BODY & SPIRIT } “Self acceptance allows you to accept others exactly as they are. Self love is about seeing yourself in others, and loving all beings regardless of their heritage, their accent, the color of their eyes or the color of their skin.”


of trees. You have no idea how much fun this has been. And I share it with you to inspire you. To forgive those who have hurt you. To release your pain and suffering. To bring joy to others who may very well be less fortunate than you.

about yourself or others. And that’s where the real work

I was going to write about what to expect when entering a meditation retreat. Well here it is in a nutshell. You get off the grid. You pray. You get in touch with the deepest aspect of yourself. And you seek the truth. You may not like what you see. Whether it’s

Self acceptance allows you to accept others exactly as they are. Self love is about seeing yourself in others, and loving all beings regardless of their heritage, their accent, the color of their eyes or the color of their skin.


begins. Addressing what you don’t like about yourself and others. In a non-judging, loving way.

Wish me luck. Because I already know that as I enter into this meditation retreat, I am about to see ugliness that needs addressing. Within my own mind, behavior, and attitudes. Alana Cahoon is the founder & creative coach of Grow 2 B U, LLC. Grow your business. Expand your mind. Heal your soul.

{ WELLNESS 360 }


Change is a normal part of life, but it is not always comfortable. The seasons will change, our relationships will change, and our bodies will change…its inevitable. Change can be fun and exciting, or sometimes it feels forced and uncomfortable. As a woman entrepreneur of a small business, recent times have led to feelings of being uncomfortable and forced into change. About one year ago, my business partner and I reinvented the healthcare system by adding small group fitness classes to the traditional Physical Therapy model. New, cost effective, and long term support to those with various diagnoses. This was exciting and fulfilling! We built a multidimension business to support all aspects of health and wellness. Then, in the blink of an eye, it seemed as if everything we poured into our business was taken from us. This was one of those “forced” and “uncomfortable” changes. We had two choices:

continue to pursue our business because we feel it is our purpose! WHERE IS YOUR FOCUS? To quote Socrates “The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but building the new.” Sometimes we have to let go of our expectations of what “should be” and embrace what “could be”. In order to do so, we must change our perspective. After this unforeseen pandemic, our expectations of the future felt lost. So instead of focusing on what we could not control, we chose to turn our focus to what we can. Online subscription access!

1. Sit back and wait 2. Change our perspective and re-invent our business model to fit the times


These uncertain times can open up new doors that we may have never considered. Here are a few steps that helped us change our perspective and open ourselves up to new possibilities.

Same great exercises, individualized to the diagnosis, done safely at home. So where is your focus? Is it on the uncontrollable circumstances? Or on the exciting new opportunities?

Find your passion Passion is one of the most effective motivators when it comes to a successful business. When people are living from passion, they tend to be more fulfilled, happier, and healthier. Our passion at Wellness 360 is the belief that exercise is medicine, when prescribed correctly. This passion translates into our practice, our classes, and our online format. We will

PRACTICE LIVING A MINDFUL LIFE There can be a lot of fear that surrounds change. Sometimes we can fall into a pattern of the “what ifs” in life. “What if” it fails? “What if” no one likes the new spin on the business. So how do we grow if we are fearful of change? Let’s talk a minute about Mindful Living. This seems to be the catch phrase lately, but what does it mean?


Mindfulness in short is paying attention to the present moment, on purpose without judgements! When you are present, you notice your perspective and make the choice to view life from a new position. Not because one is right and one is wrong, but because you are more open to change. Being in the present moment allows us to see clearer and to respond to life purposefully, instead of with quick reactions. When we react without a clear mind, we fall right into the patterns of fear and anxiety. There are multiple ways you can incorporate the practice of mindful living into your life. For example, meditation, mindful walking, deep breathing techniques, and mind/body motion like yoga or tai chi. Wellness 360 embraces and incorporates all of the branches of mindfulness into our online classes and in the studio. It is important to take a few minutes for yourself every day! Take a few deep breaths and bring your thoughts back to the present moment. Moving to the online platform with Wellness 360 was not originally on our radar. It came from a place of embracing change and ignoring the what ifs. We are so excited to have had the time to launch our fresh new ideas. Think about if your business had no limitations…exciting huh? When you change the way you view the world, the world you’re viewing changes. We encourage you to take advantage of the rough spots you encounter, for they can open up your perspective as well as your performance. When you widen your perspective, solutions will fall into place. You are successful when you walk on your own path, continue to learn, expand your horizons and turn every obstacle into opportunities!





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“Do you always look for the longest day of the year and then miss it? I always watch for the longest day of the year and then miss it.” “We ought to plan something,”… - The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald When I was about 12, finished reading all my Nancy Drew books, I went to the bookcases in our living room to look for something to read. I picked up The Great Gatsby and started reading. It became one of my favorite books - I read it over-and-over again throughout junior high and high school. I always loved the quote above about the longest day of the year. I became a little obsessed with looking for the longest day of the year and trying to plan something. The longest day of the year, the summer

solstice, is the day that the sun reaches the highest and northernmost point in the sky. The summer solstice has the longest period of sunlight and the shortest night. In the Northern Hemisphere it marks the beginning of summer. Solstice comes from the Latin word solstitium, sol (sun) and stitium (still) because on this day the sun appears to stop moving. Ancient cultures and traditions celebrated the summer solstice as a time of renewal, abundance, love and growth. Two symbols that have been used historically to celebrate the summer solstice are fire and spirals. In ancient dances, people would join hands and follow the sun’s movement weaving through the streets into a spiral and back out again. Another symbol of the summer solstice is the strawberry. The June full moon

is known as the Full Strawberry Moon because Native Americans associated the June full moon with the ripening of strawberries. Today we can get strawberries year-round, but to me, there is nothing more beautiful, sweet, and delicious than fresh, local strawberries in season. This year the summer solstice falls on Saturday, June 20th, the sun will rise at 5:30 a.m. and set at 8:53 p.m. I am always an early riser, but I especially love this very short window of time when the sun is also up early. I find the mornings peaceful. For me, it is the best time of day to meditate, reflect, and pray and exercise. There are so many things that you can plan for the summer solstice. Here are a few of my favorites: ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: JUNE EDITION 2020


{ BLISSFUL BALANCE } “So, don’t be like Daisy Buchanan in The Great Gatsby, always missing the longest day of the year. Mark your calendar and plan something for this year’s solstice on June 20th. Wishing you a summer filled with peace, bliss, and balance…”

• Get up and watch the sunrise, setting an intention for personal growth and offering prayers of peace and abundance and a kindness meditation to the world. • Spend the day outdoors; nature is calming. Enjoy getting out into the woods for a hike, being around water, playing golf, riding horses, or just sitting and soaking up the sun. We are so fortunate in New York State to have numerous parks, trails, lakes, rivers, and other outdoor venues where you can enjoy your favorite activities. There are many of them in and around Rochester. Just be sure to practice “safe sun’! • Go to a local farmers market for fresh strawberries or go to a farm where you 194


can pick your own. Many people love strawberry shortcake. Personally, I prefer fresh strawberries sliced and served over soft vanilla ice cream – it’s simple, clean, refreshing, and delish. Two great local places that make their own ice cream are Moonlight Creamery in Fairport and Pittsford Farms Dairy in Pittsford. • Celebrate the strength of the summer solstice in joining together. Celebrations might be a little different this year as we social distance. But we can still get together with small groups of family and friends for a hike or a walk, a meal, or maybe an evening bonfire while watching the sunset. • Connect with the energy of the earth.

As you watch the sun set slowly on summer solstice night sit or stand with your bare feet connected to the earth. This is the ancient practice of grounding and its health benefits may include: better sleep, reduced inflammation, and reduced pain. So, don’t be like Daisy Buchanan in The Great Gatsby, always missing the longest day of the year. Mark your calendar and plan something for this year’s solstice on June 20th. Wishing you a summer filled with peace, bliss, and balance… At Blissful Balance LLC our mission is to help you to live life healthier. You can follow us on Facebook @ blissfullbalanceroc and Instagram

“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 Facebook @blissfullbalanceroc Instagram blissfull_balance



There’s a tremendous amount of unrest taking place in our world right now. We’ve spent months dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. Most recently, we’re dealing with widespread racial protests. Of course, these events are superimposed on the everyday challenges that all of us continue to face. With such a significant amount of stress happening in our lives, how do we possibly develop resilience? Resilience has been defined as the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties, or toughness. It has also been defined as the ability of a substance or object to spring back into shape, as well as elasticity. The Stockholm Resilience Centre defines resilience as “the capacity of a system, be it an individual, a forest, a city, or an economy, to deal with change and continue to develop. It is about how humans and nature can use shocks and disturbances like a financial crisis or climate change to spur renewal and innovative thinking.” The building blocks of developing resilience include developing meaningful relationships, practicing adequate self-care, finding a sense of purpose, maintaining healthy thoughts, and seeking professional help when necessary. Resilience isn’t a personality trait that only certain individuals possess; resilience involves behaviors, thoughts, and actions that can be learned. 196


Developing meaningful relationships is essential to fostering resilience in the face of difficult circumstances. Prioritize the relationships in your life. Schedule that lunch date with a close friend, and don’t neglect date nights with your significant other. Some individuals choose to self-isolate when they experience traumatic events. Doing so deprives you of necessary support. Finding a group or organization that provides

important component of developing resilience. Receiving adequate sleep, nutrition, hydration, and exercise are all critical to maintaining our well-being. Experiencing stress, after all, has both physical and mental components. Although it’s often tempting to do so, it’s equally important to refrain from using alcohol, drugs, or other substances to temporarily mask our pain. Engaging in mindfulness is another component of practicing good self-care. Keeping a journal, meditating, or praying can help you focus on the positive aspects of your life. Finding a sense of purpose is important for the development of resilience. Assisting others can help foster resilience during especially stressful periods. Being proactive is very important for developing resilience. It’s extremely easy to simply be reactive when we encounter periods of increased stress. If a task seems insurmountable, try breaking it down into manageable pieces.

social support can be tremendously helpful in reclaiming hope when you’re facing adversity. For some individuals, this might involve attending church. Given our currently increased isolation, secondary to COVID-19, we may need to focus on engaging in online sources of social support. Practicing adequate self-care is also an

Keep making progress toward the goals that you’ve set, even if your progress is slower than you’d like. Consider looking for opportunities for self-discovery during difficult times. My experience as a clinical psychologist has solidified my belief that it’s not suffering, in and of itself, that’s unbearable. Rather, it’s suffering without a sense of meaning or purpose that is impossible to bear. Maintaining healthy thoughts is yet another component of developing resilience.

{ MENTALLY THINKING } “The building blocks of developing resilience include developing meaningful relationships, practicing adequate self-care, finding a sense of purpose, maintaining healthy thoughts, and seeking professional help when necessary.”



{ {RWO’S MENTALLY MENTAL THINKING HEALTH} } “Practicing adequate self-care is also an important component of developing resilience. Receiving adequate sleep, nutrition, hydration, and exercise are all critical to maintaining our well-being.”

resilience. Keeping things in perspective remains very important during a crisis. We might not be able to alter the circumstances in which we find ourselves, but we do retain the ability to change how we interpret and react to these circumstances. It’s possible to learn how to be more optimistic, even if you happen to be a glass half-empty kind of person. Resilient individuals are those with the ability to accept changes in their lives. It’s important to let go of certain goals or ideals that may no longer be attainable. Not being consumed by things that we can’t change is essential, too. Doing so allows you 198


to have more resources for focusing on those things that you can actually change. Try to maintain an optimistic outlook on life, rather than exclusively focusing on what has gone wrong in our lives. Learning from past experiences is essential for the development of resilience. Remind yourself of how you’ve previously overcome difficult situations and circumstances. This can serve to strengthen your ability to deal with current challenges. Seeking professional help when necessary is crucial to the development of resilience, too. It’s always a sign of strength, as

opposed to weakness, to do so. It’s very important to seek professional help from a licensed therapist if you should happen to find yourself unable to function as well as you would like, or to perform basic activities of daily living. It’s important to find a therapist with whom you can develop a connection; sometimes, this requires being willing to change therapists if you don’t feel fully comfortable with your current therapist. Receiving short-term, solution-focused therapy is often very effective is fostering resilience during difficult times.

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An ally “describes someone who supports a group other than one’s own (in terms of racial identity, gender, faith identity, sexual orientation, etc.) Allies acknowledge disadvantage and oppression of other groups than their own; take risks and supportive action on their behalf; commit to reducing their own complicity or collusion in oppression of those groups and invest in strengthening their own knowledge and awareness of oppression” as defined by the Center for Assessment and Policy Development. I am a white female, she, her who grew up in a small rural town of about 500 people south of Buffalo, NY. My town was composed of all white people. As a child I remember feeling confused by the words and actions of my father. He would say racist words and names. Yet when he talked with a person of color he was kind, respectful, polite. My eyes began to open in my middle school years when I purchased a Scholastic book, and still have today, called “Lots of Love Lucinda” by Bianca Bradbury. It is the story of a negro (the terminology used in the book) girl from the south who went to live with a white family in the north during high school. My journey in understanding myself and others had begun. I was not a person who did not see color. I was a person who did not understand why a person was treated differently because of the color of their skin. I just didn’t get it. During my twenties I moved to Atlanta, GA. When getting off an exit there was the Ku Klux Klan with signs by a red light. My employment was at a non-profit Economic Opportunity Authority in DeKalb County. Some of the programs offered by this nonprofit included a Head Start program and an employment program. Three employees were white, two were Pakistan, and the remaining employees were black. Whenever anyone found a stray pet I was the go to person as I was great at finding loving fur-ever homes. The townhouse where we lived had a lesbian couple on one side and a bi-racial couple on 200


the other. In my friendships and working relationships with people of color and who are lesbian I did not think about the inequities they experienced because of the color of their skin or their sexual orientation. I still did not get why people were treated differently. Isn’t everyone supposed to be treated with respect, dignity, and compassion? I ended up going to college at the University of Georgia for my Master’s Degree in Social Work. My class was racially diverse and people had a plethora of life experiences. One day in a class we were watching a film and the class laughed at a part of the film. I do not recall the film. Our professor stopped and asked why we had laughed. I had laughed because it was funny. What if I had laughed at something that was not funny? Her simple question lead to a powerful, intense, courageous conversation between myself and all of my classmates. This conversation helped open my eyes to the experiences of my classmates of color. Taking that moment to see the world through the experiences of others began my understanding of white privilege and racial inequality. It also helped me to take a hard look at myself. What are my beliefs? What are my biases? Shortly after that class when having dinner with the bi-racial couple next door they shared that his mom (he is white) had cut off contact with them because his wife is black. A few weeks after that the lesbian couple shared some horrible experiences that had happened to them because of their sexual orientation. As my conversations with friends, classmates, and co-workers began to change, my understanding began to change. I became a better listener and better at asking people what their life experiences were like . I began to realize the framework from which I viewed the world and people in it was based on my narrow perspective and how I had been treated. I began to get why people were treated differently. We are all on life’s learning curve. There is potential and possibility in so many moments to be

better people and do better for others. My learning curve was alive and in full force. Since those experiences I have continued my education to better understand about inequalities, discrimination, privilege. I read, watch documentaries, listen to TED talks, and go to workshops. I have worked at being an ally. Years ago when someone would say something that demeaned a race, gender, religion, sexual orientation I would sit in my uncomfortable silence, because I did not want to make anyone feel uncomfortable, even though I was uncomfortable. Then I struggled with speaking up because I did not want to say anything “wrong”. What was holding me back from speaking up was my fear. I began to speak up being forthright, direct, and compassionate in conversation’s. As an African Proverb states “if you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem.” As uncomfortable as it was I needed to speak up. When I changed my perspective to think about the hardships, harassment, and torture people have experienced due to their race, sexual orientation, religion, gender, my uncomfortable fear was nothing. I needed to speak up with people and in situations where any discriminatory language or actions were occurring. One action I had never taken was to reach out to my friends in marginalized communities when horrific high-profile acts of violence and killings happened to see how they were doing. In the aftermath of George Floyd’s death I spent time reading on how to be a helpful, effective, ally. A suggestion I read was to check in on friends in marginalized communities when a high-profile tragedy occurs. If a horrific event happened directly to any of my friends I would reach out. Why not for this? Too often in the past I sat in silence and did nothing. I did not offer my support. I did not say I am hear for you. After I finished reading the article I sent texts to my friends of color to check



{ YOU MATTER } “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” - Martin Luther King Jr.

in on them. To be there for them. To say I care and I am here for you. Is there more work I need to do to be an ally? Yes. I am willing to do the work. To stand up and speak out. To continue to learn and actively be an ally. I need to walk the walk and not just talk the talk. “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that” Martin Luther King Jr. Wonderful person who you are matters. We can make this world a more loving, caring, place. We can create a world where diversity is embraced and there is equality for all. I am a white, heterosexual, cisgender female who grew up with no understanding of other races, cultures, religions, sexual orientation or gender identity. It was my decision to do the work to increase my education and understanding. Information is power. Information increases understanding. Socrates said “the secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.” Let our words and actions demonstrate the love inside us to drive out the hate. Let our words and action focus on building that new kind of world. May your allyship be with you. One day in a class we were watching a film and the class laughed at a part of the film. I do not recall the film. Our professor stopped and asked why we had laughed. I had laughed because it was funny. What if I had laughed at something that was not funny? Her simple question lead to a powerful, intense, courageous conversation between myself and all of my classmates. This conversation helped open my eyes to the experiences of my classmates of color. Taking that moment to see the world through the experiences of others began my understanding of white privilege and racial inequality. It also helped me to take a hard look at myself. What are my beliefs? What are my biases? Shortly after that class when having dinner with the bi-racial couple next

door they shared that his mom (he is white) had cut off contact with them because his wife is black. A few weeks after that the lesbian couple shared some horrible experiences that had happened to them because of their sexual orientation. As my conversations with friends, classmates, and co-workers began to change, my understanding began to change. I became a better listener and better at asking people what their life experiences were like . I began to realize the framework from which I viewed the world and people in it was based on my narrow perspective and how I had been treated. I began to get why people were treated differently. We are all on life’s learning curve. There is potential and possibility in so many moments to be better people and do better for others. My learning curve was alive and in full force. Since those experiences I have continued my education to better understand about inequalities, discrimination, privilege. I read, watch documentaries, listen to TED talks, and go to workshops. I have worked at being an ally. Years ago when someone would say something that demeaned a race, gender, religion, sexual orientation I would sit in my uncomfortable silence, because I did not want to make anyone feel uncomfortable, even though I was uncomfortable. Then I struggled with speaking up because I did not want to say anything “wrong”. What was holding me back from speaking up was my fear. I began to speak up being forthright, direct, and compassionate in conversation’s. As an African Proverb states “if you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem.” As uncomfortable as it was I needed to speak up. When I changed my perspective to think about the hardships, harassment, and torture people have experienced due to their race, sexual orientation, religion, gender, my uncomfortable fear was nothing. I needed to speak up with people and in situations where any discriminatory language or actions were occurring.

One action I had never taken was to reach out to my friends in marginalized communities when horrific high-profile acts of violence and killings happened to see how they were doing. In the aftermath of George Floyd’s death I spent time reading on how to be a helpful, effective, ally. A suggestion I read was to check in on friends in marginalized communities when a high-profile tragedy occurs. If a horrific event happened directly to any of my friends I would reach out. Why not for this? Too often in the past I sat in silence and did nothing. I did not offer my support. I did not say I am hear for you. After I finished reading the article I sent texts to my friends of color to check in on them. To be there for them. To say I care and I am here for you. Is there more work I need to do to be an ally? Yes. I am willing to do the work. To stand up and speak out. To continue to learn and actively be an ally. I need to walk the walk and not just talk the talk. “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that” Martin Luther King Jr. Wonderful person who you are matters. We can make this world a more loving, caring, place. We can create a world where diversity is embraced and there is equality for all. I am a white, heterosexual, cisgender female who grew up with no understanding of other races, cultures, religions, sexual orientation or gender identity. It was my decision to do the work to increase my education and understanding. Information is power. Information increases understanding. Socrates said “the secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.” Let our words and actions demonstrate the love inside us to drive out the hate. Let our words and action focus on building that new kind of world. May your allyship be with you!



What comes easier for you, silence or noise? As a child, my mom called me painfully shy. I never really loved playing with other kids, being alone with my toys was just fine. In hindsight, my parents may have actually sent me to a small private high school so that my peers would even notice that I existed. I did not have as much of a partying stint as my peers did in high school or college, and when we had to write “a few words” about one another- quiet was bound to be one of my identifying adjectives. I remember my first few jobs, sitting in meetings thinking “Ugh I have to say something, it’s been like 45 minutes and I haven’t said anything.” I’ve built a successful career in procurement and a side business in yoga I’m passionate about, so I did get over that hump for successful communication. But, I also work from home, for a tech company – before I started teaching yoga I could go days without talking to anybody. Calm came easily. Functioning in chaos is difficult for me. The extroverts reading this are may be currently feeling quite sad for me. In silence and quiet, noise may still exist. noise/noiz/a sound, especially one that is loud or unpleasant or that causes disturbance. For many of us, when we are alone and quiet, the first thing that comes out are the distractions. The need to be doing something, even if it’s the numb of scrolling through social media. The noisy mind stories might kick in. “Should I have said that to her? God I wish I would just lose the five pounds – who sucks this badly at losing 5 pounds? I’m probably going to get fired, they don’t understand me. Reliving that moment of rage from eight months ago. My clock is ticking, I’m in my thirties are kids going to happen or not?” As part of my yoga therapy practicum we were required to do a day-long silent retreat based off of the book “Turn Stress Into Bliss” by Michael Lee. To be fair – this was supposed to be in-person on the beach in Charleston, SC. I would have been barefoot in the sand embracing my true nature. But instead I was in Rochester, cooking my own meals and making my own bed. If you read the book, Michael 204


Lee recommends taking a day alone where you may need to check yourself into a hotel room to get away from your normal day-to-day, but like so many other events, this needed to be adjusted due to COVID-19. Silence was just one part of this day - I had been training for a day in silence my whole life, so that would be easy peasy. We also had a yoga practice with meditation to do, a walk to take, and some journaling. Great, I try to do yoga every day of the week and rarely accomplish that goal so this would set the tone of my week. I love taking walks. What I was most interested in – which is probably the most important part of silence in 2020, is a tech-free day. What is a cell phone, but noise? Occasionally it could bring joy but how often do you look down at a device and have the visceral response of “OH, GREAT NEWS”? I realized I had been calling myself noise-free and quiet meanwhile I was attached to my laptop and cellphone. It seems that the more noise I take in – whether it be on social media or email or whatever, the louder my mind stories get. I told my family and my friends who text me the most, that I would be in silence on Sunday. As Saturday turned to Sunday, I set my phone to airplane mode at the stroke of midnight. At 7 AM when I woke up, I briefly turned airplane mode off in a panic thinking I missed a really important message. That was false, back to airplane mode. We were supposed to journal our experiences but NOT while eating. They must have figure out that we multi-taskers could be really efficient at retreats. So instead of multi-tasking I ate the same toast I had been eating all week, without a phone or TV on. WOW, how delightfully buttery it is. That toast was decadent! Previously I had no idea. If there was no other take away from this day in silence, I would have been totally content with the fact that food tastes better when all you are doing is tasting food. It was a beautiful, hot Sunday in early May. I took the dog out for his walk, and until this point did not realize I talk to the dog as if he were a person. Also, I talk to myself – a lot. My mind noise had crossed a barrier and gone to ACTUAL SOUND. My dog is not a big fan of heat, and though I wanted to force him to walk to get his exercise in, I paused. Ok, what

is really happening here? He doesn’t want to walk, I have to, let me accept it. I dropped him off at the house. Assignment #2 after mindful eating, vigorous solo walk. I realized I stood up a lot taller, because I wasn’t looking down at the dog. I noticed moments when my feet sped up on their own, like a “let’s get this over with instead of let’s experience this.” My tech-neck neck pain had been near chronic since the pandemic started- since there was rarely a reason to walk away from the screen. Even my beloved yoga was at a screen. A single two mile walk without a phone that Sunday and my neck pain was gone. It might not work for everyone, but go out and try it people. If you have ever wondered where all the woo woo yoga language comes from (see “true nature”, above) I figured out that it comes from people on yoga retreats. “I am radiant light; I can live unattached.” – All these things that I normally roll my eyes at in yoga class, floated around in my mind. Not staring at my phone, but using my eyes to look at real life – I saw how many people take some alone time on Sunday mornings. The guy playing guitar in his garage, the runner – these weren’t multitaskers in that moment, but people escaping noise. Hearing sounds of music and nature, but putting down the noise. Assignment #3. Yoga and meditation. The big takeaway here is I realized how exhausted I am, and always pushing through, all the time. That’s not everyone’s story. Some of you are great at prioritizing rest. I’d love to blame the pandemic, but that would be a lie. The truth is, if we’re constantly exhausted and constantly in noise (audible or not), how can we ever grow as a human? I don’t know if any American will live ever live truly noise-less, but how much time do you set aside each week for silence and sound? For me, it is simply promising myself a phone-free walk each week. Now through September I will be offering heavily discounted yoga therapy sessions (online, until further notice) through September, if you want help sorting through some noise. You can schedule a session by emailing Kaitlyn@





STRONGER, HAPPIER, HEALTHIER AFTER QUARANTINE We must always trust our own process, even if sometimes along the way things seem uncertain or nearly impossible. COVID-19 has been physically, mentally and emotionally draining. Our old habits and routines are no longer the norm so we must gradually submerge into a new normal. As Rochester opens back up we will continue to have a heightened awareness of the possibility of a second wave of COVID 19. It is extremely important that we find ways to make our bodies stronger by boosting our immunity. It’s time to take care of YOU. And yes YOU deserve it. Boosting our immunity is a very beneficial way to defend ourselves from COVID 19 and all illnesses and disease. Sleep: Quality sleep plays a role in boosting our immunity and keeping disease away. An adult needs 7-9 hours of solid sleep to be able to heal and recover from the negative effects of the previous day. By creating a relaxing bedtime routine and getting in bed and waking at the same time will you sleep more soundly. Have a “power down hour” before bed and avoid screens for the hour before your bedtime. Instead read a book, take a bath, spend time with your partner, relax. Avoid caffeine, alcohol and nicotine at least 4 hours before your bedtime and 208


sleep should come easier. If you’re hungry, eat a light snack like a piece of fruit.

up of at least 60% water. We need to stay well hydrated to be healthy.

Make your room peaceful and conducive to sleeping by keeping it quiet, cool, and dark. . By incorporating the above suggestions your body will get used to this new routine signal that it’s time to settle down.

BEING HAPPY MAKES YOU HEALTHIER Studies have shown that the more happy and positive you are the longer, healthier, satisfying life you live. Happy people are more likely to take part in healthpromoting behaviors that play a role in keeping the immune system strong. These include healthy eating habits and regular physical activity Being happy decreases inflammation in your body which helps to increase your body’s ability to fight any invading viruses or disease.

HEALTHY EATING “YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT” A higher plant based diet combining a

There are a number of ways to increase your happiness. Getting active, expressing gratitude and eating fruits and vegetables are all great ways to help improve your mood. Surround yourself with people who build you up, love and appreciate you.

variety of fruits and vegetables, healthy fats like omega-3 fats (those found in fatty fish, nuts and flaxseeds) and whole grains has been found to aid in supporting a healthy immune system. It’s best to stay away from foods laden with chemicals, pesticides and GMO’s. Buy fresh organic produce and grass fed meats. Support local sustainable farmers and know your food sources. The majority of the liquids you consume should be pure water. Afterall our bodies are made

FOCUS on what makes you happy. Create a less stressful life. Do more for you and learn to say no to others. Take time for yourself. Get a massage, take a meditation class, go forest bathing, fly a kite, write a poem, paint a portrait, sing, cook. Do whatever it is that you enjoy and makes you happy and fulfilled. The things that make you laugh, things you enjoy and make you feel good. Not only will happiness influence you to make healthy changes in your life it will dramatically improve

{ NURTURING HANDS } “Hopefully, most of us will eventually come to accept the new way of life that has been recently imposed on us by the COVID-19 pandemic.”



{ NURTURING HANDS } “COVID-19 has been physically, mentally and emotionally draining. Our old habits and routines are no longer the norm so we must gradually submerge into a new normal.”


prioritizing your happiness now. True happiness is living with peace and harmony with your body, mind and soul. Some of the most beautiful things in life come from unsuspecting situations, Change is good, transformation is powerful. We all can benefit by believing in our own strength and beauty and knowing that we have the power to shape our own metamorphosis!

build healthy relationships and enjoy our new norm.

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How many of you want to live in a world where there’s peace? Where people can actually learn to listen and understand each other? Where hatred is almost extinct? Where we don’t have to live in fear because of the color of our skin and we could live in harmony and accept our differences? Where we could help each other through our diversities instead of staying stuck? Me too!!! Sounds too good to be true, right? It is! It can change! My solution is to put Jesus back in the places we took Him out of. Madalyn Murray O’Hare started this movement. She was a miserable hateful person. She studied to be a lawyer and couldn’t pass the bar exam. Yet this one woman managed to change the world for the worst. In the end, it wasn’t some Christian activist (if there is such a thing), who ended her life. It was someone she KNEW. Someone who worked with her at her American Atheist company. Her own ex-Manager killed her, her son Garth and granddaughter Robin. He not only killed her, he dismembered her too. I find that ironic and actually funny. The devil sure had his way with her, it’s what she was fighting for. This world has slowly disintegrated. Hate, intolerance, and violence has increased even more since she had her way with things! There was a time when, yes, it existed yet there was more compassion and tolerance. There was respect and accountability! Now things are backwards!!! We did a big disservice taking Jesus out of the equation. HE IS love. That’s what we need in this world. More of that! 214


Love conquers all. What if we lived in a world that didn’t see color? What if we were still all different shades of color but we didn’t hate each other BECAUSE of the color of our skin? What if we DARED to JUST SEE the person’s heart and NOT the color of their skin? We begin by teaching it in the home!!! Children don’t judge people on their color. And I’m gonna say something that may ruffle feathers. I don’t care because I’m not here to pacify anyone. Racism is taught IN THE HOME! White children are taught to hate blacks because of the color of their skin!!! I find this disgusting. Black children are taught that white people are bad and to fear them! What does the color of someone’s skin have to do with the person themselves? NOTHING!!!! Yet, sadly enough, it does to some!! A black man should NEVER have to worry or fear getting into his car, driving to work or ANYWHERE, for that matter, wondering if he will be stopped for some made up violation not knowing if he’ll end up in jail or worse yet, dead. No mother should have to wonder if her son will get the same treatment that a boy who is white would get. Why am I mentioning men only? Because more injustices happen with black men. More black men are killed than black women, by police. Let me not forget there’s your typical ‘white Karen’ who calls at the drop of a hat when she sees something she doesn’t like or in her twisted mind,

believes she’s calling in the name of justice on a person of color. Many use their white privilege against someone of color because they know they will be heard, because they know that they can! Like in the example of Sarah Cooper who violated the park rule having her dog off the leash. She called the police and lied about Mr. Cooper threatening her life, specifically mentioning that he is a black man, when all he asked was that she put her dog on the leash. A park rule. Mind you, she KNEW he was recording her, lol. No intelligence on her part. Thankfully Mr. Cooper had the instinct, in being a black man, to record her!!! IF he didn’t do that, what would the outcome be?!!!! I hate to even think about that! I’m going to say it anyway. He would have been arrested and her lies would have been believed. He would have been arrested and put in jail. I am happy that this woman lost her job and her dog. I am even happier that her company stood up to her false report and fired her!!! We NEED more companies like this!!! We NEED MORE people who will take a united stand against wrongful accusations. So let’s think. HOW MANY TIMES have women (and men) done this? More times than I care to know. Look at all of these black men being exonerated after being in jail for 20 plus years because they were found to be innocent. All of their youth gone in the name of racism. Falsely accused of a crime or murder because of the color of their skin. What a tragedy.

{ A WOMAN’S PERSPECTIVE } “ I don’t want to see color because that’s what has separated us all these years and is STILL continuing to separate us as a people.”



“What if we DAR the person’s heart a of thei



RED to JUST SEE and NOT the color ir skin?�

{ A WOMAN’S PERSPECTIVE } { SHIFT+CONTROL } “What if we lived in a world that didn’t see color? What if we were still all different shades of color but we didn’t hate each other BECAUSE of the color of our skin?”

We must stop letting our prejudices override the facts. We have to stop allowing for our hatred to rule our hearts. When we can do that, we will be in a better place. We are ALL God’s children. He is no respecter of person’s. We need to stand up for our brothers and sisters of color. We need to not be afraid of the backlash we will get from those who have their own prejudices. Why does their belief overpower ours? It DOESN’T unless we allow it to. My black, male friend was interested in a coffee table. She was selling it for $100. He messaged the woman who was selling it and asked if it was available. She didn’t get back to him right away. Then he reached out to me to ask me if I would reach out to ask her if it was still available. I said sure and I messaged her. No response from her right away. She messaged him back and said she had a lot of offers and she changed the 218


price. He already knew what he could get for it brand new. It was $200 brand new. He offered her $125, twenty five dollars more than her asking price. No response back to him. When she did get back to me, she told me she changed the price. She raised it and added another $60. She could have told my friend she would take $160 but she didn’t. She didn’t because he is black. I messaged her back and told her I’m not interested in purchasing from someone who is racist. KNOWINGLY racist. Denying him and playing games told me everything. Some may make excuses as to why she did what she did. No matter how you approach it, there are no excuses. If we want change, we need to start with us. We need to start in our homes teaching our children first. We do this by our own example. They watch and they watch us carefully. I look at a person’s heart and their character. We HAVE

to stop putting each other in the same category as others who have wronged us. What do I mean? Not ALL cops are bad, hateful or racists. Not All white people are racists. Not all black people are criminals etcetera, not my heart I’m just saying what’s out there! To make a difference, we have to acknowledge the pain, suffering, the discrimination and rejection that they go through because of the color of their skin. Ignoring it won’t make it go away. We need to show them, by our actions, that we stand with them in this fight against the injustices. Change must be done and it starts with us!!! Start by seeing a world without color and start looking at the heart and the person’s character!!! It CAN be done. Attitude, perception and embracing each other’s differences is key! Blessings my friends!




274 N GOODMAN ST SUITE B116 (585) 473-2090 I WWW.TH







Pivoting Creatively During Challenging Times...How to Keep Momentum & Motivation There was a time in our lives that challenged us in every way humanly possible. We thought we were about to lose everything. All the hard work and self-sacrifice we had put into our business seemed to be washing away with the tide of local unemployment creeping into our backyard. We felt frozen with fear and many sleepless, tear-filled nights left us shaken. How would we take care of our kids, our bills and our employees? How did this happen? We were going like gangbusters with what seemed like clear sailing ahead. It was like a cruel joke that cut to the core. Are you feeling this way right now? I’m sure many folks are over a random virus that caught us all by surprise. You are not alone! When the things around you that you have absolutely no control over begin to dictate your own life, it can be hard if not gut-wrenching to see your life’s work dissipating before your eyes. Your only choice if you are to survive is pivoting your life by any means available. The only way we were able to stay afloat was through creative brainstorming and trusting that whatever we felt in our guts was the right move. We had owned a construction business that we started when we were just 21 years old. At the time, we had about $30 a week for groceries and lived in a tiny house. We were married a year later and decided to 222


really make a go of this business that was becoming more and more in demand. My husband, Paul has always been a go-getter and loves a challenge. He communicates and understands what a business needs to succeed innately. If you hired Paul, you knew you could trust him, the quality and timeliness of his work and that he would always be available to you. Something not so common in the construction industry. Paul had earned a reputation around the area as an incredible talent and the reliable guy every property management and

homeowner had been seeking but thought it was a far-fetched fantasy person. His reputation afforded him the ability to grow our business by hiring and training our employees to emulate his values and quality of work. Soon we had a thriving business that had customers willing to wait for the best company in town. I couldn’t have been more proud. We became able to afford a beautiful life that we had only dreamt of before but believed we could one day achieve. We were also beginning to

help others with the extra we had earned. It was joyous! Then Kodak, Xerox and Bausch and Lomb all had their bottoms drop out. Employees were being let go in droves, scrambling for ways to earn a living. It seemed everyone knew how to be a handyman and do it for a lot cheaper than we were able to. It was devastating. We could no longer be competitive and our timelines weren’t quick enough for customers. Property management companies asked us to slash our prices to the point where we were losing money on every job. We had to think fast and find new ways to pivot our business or we would lose everything. Looking back, it seems like we somehow managed this almost seamlessly. Then we remember it was hardly that. Paul and I knew that we had to quickly find a niche; something that other oneman shows weren’t going to be able to do overnight. We had to corner the market and dominate it in short order. That’s when we realized that we had been doing that all along with a smaller part of our business. It had been sitting under our noses the entire time! Had we not been forced to pivot, we may never have had the opportunity to grow this new venture and turn it into a seven figure business; one we recently just sold. Life’s challenges somehow made the new road we were forced to take the one we loved and grew exponentially in personally and professionally. Gabby Bernstein phrases this beautifully: “Obstacles are detours in the right direction.”




{ MANIFESTING YOUR TRUE PURPOSE } . Ask yourself, “What am I good at?” “What does everyone tell me I excel at or call me for advice about?” “Where do I feel my most confident?”

When we trust what the Universe has presented us as a way in which to redirect our lives into ones that are of greater service to ourselves and others, it suddenly becomes one of our greatest gifts. That inner guidance system that is always beckoning us to see what it is we are meant to do and be never stops showing up for us. Every one of us has this innate ability to tap into our greatness and find what it is we’re are being asked to follow. It is a path that truly leads us in the right direction.

in you to make it something worth diving into. Building a business doesn’t require you have all the details worked out on day one. It just requires you showing up and doing the work; having a passion for what it is you’re offering, even if it’s just to bridge the gap of the down times. Creatively design ways to take your talent and make it all your own. No one has the same vision as you do. No one! There’s a reason why you were chosen to have strengths in whatever

When your life or business is in the midst of turmoil, especially during this challenging time, you are going to be more than just nudged. You are going to be jarringly awakened. Yes, it’s painful. Yes, it seems cruel. Yes, it’s unsettling and filled with unbearable anxiety. It is also filled with a strange promise of better things because this too shall pass. It is the way in which you choose to respond to the stress and looming feelings of failure or not being able to pay the bills. This is where Mr. Rogers and I would tell you to “look for the helpers.” Thinking about what you should do next isn’t easy, but it is essential for your financial and sometimes physical survival. Ask yourself, “What am I good at?” “What does everyone tell me I excel at or call me for advice about?” “Where do I feel my most confident?” There are areas in your life that you truly are an expert. No one is going to know your expertise or have the same experiences as you have. Your unique way of solving problems in the arena you are the bomb in is all you! The only catch? You have to believe in yourself and what you have to offer the world. You are being called to be of service to others. This doesn’t mean you need to do it perfectly at first. You just need one person to believe 224


area they lie. Ask your friends and family, those you trust, what it is that they need. How can you help them? It can be totally unconventional. Heck, ours was mold removal. No one grows up thinking, “I’m so good at removing mold. I hope I get to be that when I grow up!” When you find that thing, it will light your creative fires and drive you towards better days. The motivation comes naturally. It’s fun to get out of bed every day to see what it is you are about to accomplish. It was for Paul and I with mold. Who knew?! Detours are unnerving but survivable. Just

what if your bridge becomes your main income highway? You never would have come upon it without your current life circumstances. What if that detour opens you up to a new way of making your current business recession-proof? It’s something we all need to be striving for. Financial safety not only alleviates stress, it also allows for abundance in every area of your life. Selflimiting beliefs will choke your creativity and joy at every turn. You’re worth more than that! It’s what will bring your mindset back to one of full alignment with abundance and love. Every one of us is entitled to that. When you tap creative solutions for your life, you can be ever expansive. It’s a wealth of knowledge just waiting to be tapped into. We all need your talents and your joy. The world sorely craves it. Let this be your finest moment. Believe that all is possible when we let go and ride our beautiful waves. Ask others who have weathered life’s storms how they made it to shore intact. They are your helpers. They want you to succeed as they have because they’re the ones who understand that there’s more than enough to go around. Life’s circumstances are deeply challenging in ways we never thought possible. Making this your finest moment will take fortitude and a belief that all is well because you are being taken care of. That you are perfectly enough. There are greater plans out there for the taking and need your expertise. Not sure you can? Then may I leave you with a beautiful affirmation from Louise Hay that I use when I’m feeling overwhelmed? It helps me to create a soft place for me to fall into and rise up from. “I am incredibly capable. Whenever I encounter a challenge in my life, I use the experience to learn and grow. I rejoice in my creative energy.”



As a community manager for the Alzheimer’s Association, Rochester and Finger Lakes Region, I am a member of a team that launched into remote work in mid-March. We swiftly grabbed our laptops and, like so many, began to adjust to working separately, together. One of our top priorities to stay connected as a team was to regularly share mission moments with each other – observations of how our daily work was having an impact, strategies to stay healthy so we could be there for our constituents, and glimpses of joy and humanity in the confusion and anxiety of an unfolding pandemic. These moments gave us the opportunity to tell stories and learn the different ways our peers were pulling up the bootstraps of tenacity and creativity in order to be there for the most vulnerable among us.

something to my Alzheimer’s Association team. This is my story: I have something to disclose to all of you. I do not have something that most of you

I had a resident named Margaret years ago that told me to jump on her bed if I thought it would help with work stress and another named Harold that years after moving to a nursing home, sent me a blanket that he won as a Bingo prize. And, despite any policy to the contrary, there is an unspoken understanding that professional boundaries leave space for befriending someone by just listening. And I tried to lock every story that they told me away so it wouldn’t be lost with them.

As the weeks wore on, we became humbled by a unique realization: these mission moment stories of strength of spirit over the course of a couple months are but a mere blip in time compared to the staggering reality lived by those impacted by dementia and their caregivers. Long before the pandemic, caregivers have mustered superhuman strength to provide selfless care, while balancing careers and child-rearing, and have had to make peace with changes that they never could have predicted. In May, I was asked to share my mission moment. I decided it was time to confess 226


of years, it is inevitable that the line between a resident and a relative becomes blurred. There are shared stories, shared meals, shared prayers and even shared Christmas mornings. These folks become surrogate neighbors, or your quirky Aunt Beverly, or the grandpa that insists on giving you a chocolate egg on Easter.

have. I do not have a family or biological connection to Alzheimer’s disease that drives my work to move the mission. And yet, for the last 18 years, I was surrounded by a different kind of family who I grew to cherish – my assisted living family. When walking closely with a senior through their aging journey over a number

I remember Elizabeth telling me that, as a child, she met Hitler when he was still a young man. And Jo and her experiences as a new nurse making $300 a month. And Christine recalling in stark detail the day a man in uniform was at the door because her brother had been killed in the line of duty. These folks’ stories taught me immeasurable lessons, all while their eyes twinkled with a resilience that many of us will never understand. I have had some of the best conversations of my life with senior friends who never learned my name. Not all of the residents




{ PARTNERS IN A JOURNEY } “She told me her happiest and saddest stories. She loved babies and dogs and her family immensely.”

that I worked with had dementia, but I have witnessed all that the disease took from the ones that did and felt the powerlessness as they slipped away. My resident-family and their loved ones are the reason I am driven to help people find the care and support that they need today to live with diseases of memory loss until we find a cure. I was humbled to be their honorary niece, granddaughter, neighbor and friend. And I have no doubt that the halls of senior living communities all around us are warmed by people who know that family is about so much more than ancestry. I want to thank you, team. In all the passionate work that you do daily, you 228


honor people that are very, very special to me. In closing, I would like to share a story that I posted on Facebook in March, just as the scope of the pandemic was coming to light. This one is courtesy of Florence. Enjoy. I used to care for a beautiful, elderly woman who lived to be 104. Every day, once a day, during flu season when she remained in her room, you would see just her hand emerge to wipe off the doorknob. Such a small thing! And in the spring, every year, she observed Lent wholeheartedly. When asked what she was giving up for Lent she’d say, “Sex…

again.” Such a funny thing! She told me her happiest and saddest stories. She loved babies and dogs and her family immensely. Such a telling thing! And when she talked about death she’d say firmly, “When we die, we become butterflies.” She didn’t say it lightly, she said it matterof-factly with conviction. And that is a thing I will never forget.


Canandaigua, Granger Homestead, October 3 Rochester, NY, Frontier Field, October 10 Elmira, Eldridge Park, October 17



After the first month of social distancing and self-quarantine, I realized that I was already learning about myself. I anticipate that if I pay attention to what I’m learning, I’ll be a better person and professional moving forward. It is my pleasure to share these lessons with you; it is my hope that you reflect in the same way on your own lessons. 1. I don’t have to be so damned busy all the time. Let’s face it: we live in a culture and society that rewards busyness. “Yes” is a far preferred response to requests for our time than any other, even if declining is in our mental wellness’s best interest. Well, I’m done with busyness.

any lasting and meaningful difference in our world, each of us can do great things. If we let love lead us, we have an opportunity to reduce suicide and overdoses, increase willingness to get help, and stop stigma. 3. Awareness of my physical and mental shifts and changes is critical to effective self-care. In the first two weeks of the COVID-19 emergency my sleep patterns were, to make an understatement, off. A sure sign of stress and anxiety related to the uncertainty of life at the time. As I’m sure you’ve experienced at some point

2. A collective response to public health can only work if it is, indeed, collective. This is not a lesson as much as a reinforced belief. Because our social structure is built on independence many are resistant when asked to make small sacrifices for our community at large. If we transfer this lesson to mental health and addiction recovery, I think we see that many changes must be made, collectively, to reduce stigma and other barriers to treatment. Those that follow me on social media (IG @thrivingtherapypllc or FB @thrivingtherapy) have seen #LetLoveLead. It’s a motto I’ve leaned on since my years at Houghton College. During a Chapel Service given by Dr. Don Osgood he taught that letting love lead means considering others as our neighbor and making our choices from a place of love, rather than fear/anger/ selfishness. Before politicians, businesses, or even church denominations can make

in your life, too little sleep over multiple nights creates added stress and can trigger depression. A first sign for me is an increase in irritability, anger, and tearfulness. Being aware of these signs and their likely causes (which I couldn’t control) meant I could adjust my routine, reach out appropriately, and give myself some grace. 4. I cannot be fully aware of my physical and mental shifts when I am so distracted by my to-do list and the needs of others (insert Lesson 1 here). Becoming aware of my symptoms after only two weeks was quick, in my experience. I believe this

happened because I was safe at home with far less responsibility. Granted, life was still busy with work and parenting, but I had nowhere else to go and no one else to be responsible to. 5. Ladies, we cannot and do not need to be be everything to everyone. That’s all. You know it’s true. 6. Years of engaging in my own therapy has prepared me so well for challenging circumstances. I have the skills, and they work. 7. My worth as a therapist is not only in my ability to guide individuals to their own solutions, or offer an effective skill. My worth as a therapist is also about being able to hold space for others. The COVID-19 emergency put me on an even playing-field with my clients in terms of never having traversed this territory. Initially this was uncomfortably humbling. As I held space for clients struggling with similar troubles as I was experiencing, I found that they still found value in our sessions. Therapy is a place to experience calm and support. That’s valuable. Slowly but surely we were able to resume the work that had brought them to therapy in the first place. I don’t know what the future holds, and I’m guessing you can’t be sure either. What I do know is that less is more when it comes to our schedules, leading with love for our neighbor saves lives, therapy works, and my worth is not tied up in my ability to perform.






Now for me, ‘Gone Fishing’ is literally me going to a lake with my fishing pole and dropping a line. To my surprise, ‘Gone Fishing’ can also mean a couple of other things. For example, ‘Gone Fishing’ can mean someone who is not very aware of what is happening around them. A turn on the phrase ‘out to lunch’. That this person is there but their mind isn’t. Maybe, they are simply wishing they were fishing instead of doing the task at hand? An even more interesting turn on words, is a person who is a “fish” can be an acronym for fit, intelligent, sexy, hot, you get the drift. So, I guess ‘Gone Fishing’ could also mean hitting the local fishing hole to hook up? However, let’s go back to my original thought of the actual act of fishing. How many of you have gone fishing? Now, before you shoot down the idea of putting a worm on a hook, let me assure you there are several other ways to fish than with a worm! In fact, you may not even be interested in the whole ‘fishing scene’ and that is perfectly fine. For the most part, fishing is all about the ‘scene’ you will experience. No one says you have to actually drop a line, to appreciate what the fishing experience provides. Simply being out in nature, is what it is all about! Ever been in a canoe? Once you master the art of actually getting into one, and settle into the rhythm of paddling, you soon find yourself exploring the lake. Like it’s an uncharted territory, which it is, to you. Once you’ve paddled around, you take a break and that’s when you truly start to see the lake come alive, right in front of your eyes! You may hear a splash close by, where a fish jumped! Your heart races a little, the senses become more alert! Over there, you notice a group of ducks! Looking closer, you see babies following their mother around and you can’t help but say awww. As you focus more on the ducks, you see a turtle pop it’s head up - looking right at you! You begin to see even more wild life, as you sit quietly in the canoe, that you hadn’t seen

before. But was there all along! And if boats are not your thing, sitting along the shore is just as amazing! Suddenly, the phone in your hand is not about social media but the camera that will take pictures to post on social media later! Too often, we try and plan our summer weekends with events that our pre-planned. Tried and true events that perhaps, become too comfortable with their predictability? How about changing it up? How about, fixing yourself a nice picnic lunch and heading outdoors. I’m not talking about the boring run of the mill sandwiches but really treat yourself, to an exotic picnic! Go to the store and buy things like different cheeses, olives, special meats, crackers or bread and even, a nice wine! Fishing is what you make of it! There are no set rules. Dropping a line for you, may simply be a “line” telling your friends you are at this amazing lake taking some awesome pictures! And the beauty is, you can leave anytime you want! So, the next time you are trying to figure out what to do, give fishing a chance! Find a nearby lake, pack a beautiful lunch, and go exploring. Some lakes have canoes to rent, and paths that easily go up to the lake. ‘Gone Fishing’ is simply a state of mind where you can find inner peace, among a peaceful surrounding. Since I have chosen a fishing theme for this month, let’s try and see if there are any National Holidays to help put us in the right frame of mind. June 1st - National Dare Day - Perfect, I dare you to go fishing! Don’t worry, I’ll let you off the ‘hook’ if the actual fishing is not your thing, at least give it a chance as if you were fishing. Careful though, those fish taunting you by those splashes, may just make you want to drop a line! And then, the art of who is smarter - you or the fish, begins! Before you know it, you’ll have a whole tackle box of secret weapons to try and show them who is boss! June 8th - National Best Friends Day – What

better way to re-connect with your best friend, than a picnic? With some wine and a beautiful lake in the background, reminiscing of past times or perhaps, planning for future memories! June 15 - National Nature Photography Day – There you go, perfect excuse! A quick trip to a nearby lake or park, with camera or phone in hand and now you find yourself in the midst of celebrating this National Day! June 19th - National Take A Road Trip Day – Is this month geared towards ‘Gone Fishing’ or what? Pack that picnic, punch in that local lake in your navigation, grab some friends or seek solitude …whatever the case, it’s a National Holiday get on the road and make the most of it! June 26th - National Canoe Day – I’m telling you, this month is all about ‘Gone Fishing’! If you haven’t been in a canoe, today you can knock that one off your bucket list! It may surprise you how awesome it can be! And there you have it folks, June a perfect month to ‘Gone Fishing’. No actual fish were harmed in the making of this article, for I am a catch and release gal. In fact, I’ll be honest, the fish seem to show me more of being boss than the other way around! However, I like the challenge and I love the peacefulness of it. The reflection off the lake, is simply me being able to reflect on myself. And yet, if we find ourselves back into the hustle and bustle of everyday living and there is simply no time to go fishing – remember, it can also simply be a state of mind. Even if it’s for just a moment, let your mind visualize that lake, wildlife and exotic picnic. Gone fishing is certainly not a bad thing, the mind needs a break every once in a while, too. In any case, you also have the last option. Going to that local watering hole to hook up, only to tell your friends the next day about the one that got away. Sorry, couldn’t resist. Lol – point is, who knew ‘Gone Fishing’ could actually mean so many different things and it is there for you to use to your liking, enjoy! ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: JUNE EDITION 2020




Born and raised in upstate NY, 26 year old, owner and founder, Aaron LaVigne has always loved being outdoors. As a little kid, he loved playing outside with his older sister Ana, school friends & neighbors. He traveled often with his family growing up, usually somewhere that being outdoors was incorporated in their outings. He loves going swimming, fishing, boating. His favorite place is in Cape Vincent, NY where his family has a place right on the water in Ponds Marina.

scents he loved from over the years of trying different products (he also asked his girlfriend Hannah what scents she likes on him).

excited to share his love of soap with friends, family & anyone else who is looking for a natural substitution to their skin & hair care regime.

One of his first batches, Cedarwood & Fir was brought to life from his love of the

Driven to help others by nature, he is now dedicated to raising the bar by with his signature touch of providing high quality, handmade soaps with care, passion & grit. He describes himself as “just a guy who loves to make soaps that smell good.”

Aaron has struggled with dry skin, feeling self conscious about it, always looking for different solutions but never anything he was satisfied with that smelled good, was natural AND helped relieve his dry skin.

Not feeling satisfied with a corporate 9-5, he wanted to start his own business doing something he loves, which is simply: Making soaps. He never imagined it taking off like it has & thanks his friends & family for all their support in supporting his small business & spreading the word to their own network of friends/family.

In 2019, Aaron, stumbled upon natural bar soaps online from a company, while looking for a natural solution to his pesky skin problems, that didn’t smell medicinal or bland. Within a few months, he also came across local vendors in Rochester NY whose soap he admired. He quickly became intrigued by the soap making process and became obsessed with how amazing his skin felt & looked after transitioning to natural bar soaps. This sparked his desire to share his new found love for homemade soap with others. He couldn’t stop talking about how much bar soaps had changed his life! His sister bought him a soap making book and he was off to the races in creating 234


outdoors and woodsy aromas. Initially, he intended to make soaps catered more towards men, but with the help of his girlfriend, he started making all sorts of floral, earthy & calming scents too. One of his favorite parts of the soap making process is coming up with unique & creative scents that he loves. Every time he makes a new batch, he is

Nature’s Lather Soap Company currently offers handmade cold process soap bars & shampoo bars with more coming soon! You can follow them on social media: IG @natureslathersoapco FB /natureslathersoapco Orders can be placed directly on the site: https://www.nature-s-lather-soap-company.





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