Rochester Woman Online June 2022

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“A woman is the full circle. Within her is the power to create, nurture and transform.” – Diane Mariechild

Where do I even begin...our latest cover women have all lived, loved and worked together for years and in many facets as a family, professionally, and also in their humanitarian projects. This includes the non-profit organization Worth More Nation which serves youth impacted by foster care and trauma to know their worth through pageantry, fashion and giving initiatives including an annual holiday giving drive where they have collected over 900 gifts in the past four years. The dynamic of these ladies is not only inspiring, but incredibly empowering, and RWO has had the pleasure of working with them and watching them grown for almost a decade! You can read the powerful story of this mother/ daughter trio of Sandy Arena, Alexis Fox and Anna Arena starting on pg [20]. Plus you can enjoy so many more amazing stories in this edition including She Hustles Talks women entrepreneurs cover woman Kelly E starting on page [ ], along with articles of women who are empowering and inspiring others in the community and beyond, new columnists, powerful community leaders and so, so much more!



Photographed on the cover for our June 2022 edition of Rochester Woman Online magazine, we have the mother/daughter power trio of Sandy Arena, Alexis Fix & Anna Arena shot on location at their Rochester, NY home by Jolana Hollister.

We hope you will also jpoin us for some of our incredible upcoming events including the 2022 Mrs NY America, American and Miss NY For America pageants on Sunday, July 17th at the Marriott Downtown Syracuse and the 2022 Catwalk for Kidneys Rochester on Sunday, August 21st at Artican Works in Rochester, NY to benefit the Northeast Kidney Foundation. We hope you continue to enjoy all of the amazing articles and women we bring to you each month. Know someone who would be perfect for a cover, a feature or a highlight? Do you have a business that is you want tot promote to an audience of over 100k? CONTACT ME TODAY at






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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 © 2022 Rochester Woman ONLINE. No part of this magazine may be reproduced or republished without the consent of the publisher. Rochester Woman ONLINE is not responsible for unsolicited submissions, manuscripts, photos or artwork. All such submissions become the property of Rochester Woman ONLINE and will not be returned.

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For the June 2022 edition of Rochester Woman Online we bring you a mother/ daughter trio who is no stranger to the RWO family. From writing, to modeling, to photography and even dance comps and events, they have all been a part of our amazing team in a variety of ways for over a decade! Now, we can add RWO cover women to the list.

other as family and as mother/daughter and sisters, but also in how we support each other in our pursuits as artists, writers, dancers, performers, photographers, models, titleholders and as humanitarians with thousands of hours of combined community service hours often completed together. We have RARELY, if perhaps NEVER, have

Tell us about Sandy, Alexis and Annaliese We are a mother/daughter trio! Sandy is the mom, and Alexis and Annaliese are the daughters! Alexis is the oldest at age 30, and Annaliese is the youngest at age 18. Well, actually, Sandy is the oldest at age 56! We have all lived, loved and worked together for years and in many facets as family, in home schooling endeavors, professionally, and also in our humanitarian projects. We share photos of some of the professional and service projects we have worked together on over the years in the worlds of ballet and film productions, pageantry, modeling and Sandy’s ministry and nonprofit work. Most of the photos included here are pictures Sandy has taken of her daughters to help them create portfolios of their work in pursuit of their dreams, but also to tell the story of their mutual support and appreciation for each other which spans many years and thousands of moments that is truly difficult to summarize. As Annaliese so aptly noted, “You really had to be there to understand!” But to truly share the unique story that makes up this special relationship, it in understanding how we live and love each 22


since day one have had a sister club that Sandy cannot even penetrate, which is beautiful and rare. They are often cast together as sisters or playing the younger/ older version of the same person, including in a music video that has over 400,000 views on YouTube created by a person who is somewhat famous. In the video, Anna walks around a tree and then comes out as a grown up version of the person she was portraying which was played by Alexis. The girls joke that they are 11 yeara-part twins, who have different dads! It’s not really joke though because it is true. Anna said you are like the “Kardashians”, and that Sandy you are a Momager like Kris Jenner. Tell us about that dynamic. Annaliese: I did originally say this as a witty joke because I love cracking jokes and have a great sense of humor! But my mom is definitely a “Momager” in the best way and does so much to make sure we reach our goals, whatever they may be.

NOT done a show or pageant or event together, needing each other to do it right. Our mutual involvement includes work in front of the camera and behind, backstage and onstage, in the recording studio, and at red carpet events. The girls are best friends and sisters, and

Sandy: I believe that an important part of my role as a mom is to help all of my children achieve their dreams whether through founding a dance studio to create a safe place to learn and professionally grow as dancers for both my girls many years ago, or by using my skills as a former publicist and photographer to help them create professional connections and opportunities. And haha Annaliese. You ARE so funny and quick-witted! How did you start Worth More Nation and what is the mission behind this amazing organization?


“I am inspired by my m always have my bac resilience and strengt both of the




mother and sister because they ck and inspire me with their th. I feel very grateful to have em in my corner.”






{ COVER STORY } “But my mom is definitely a “Momager” in the best way and does so much to make sure we reach our goals, whatever they may be.”

Sandy: I founded Worth More Nation in 2016 with the vision to empower girls and young women. The name came to me while praying and running on a treadmill at the Pittsford Y! Ironically, or should I say only in a world where God orchestrates the miraculous and divine, our Worth More Nation special occasion closet – called the Fancy Frock Closet – is located in that old YMCA which is now the location of Edgewood Church! I went to work registering the name and creating a template for a social media and online presence, and then let the name sit as I had no idea specifically what Worth More Nation would be, or how it would serve. All I knew was that I wanted to empower young ladies and girls to gain confidence and inner strength and to know their worth. It wasn’t until the following year in 2017 through my personal involvement fostering children in our home, as well as working in the pageantry and fashion industries as a photographer and also “Momager” to my youngest daughter Annaliese, that Worth More Nation would become better defined as an organization that would help girls know their worth through fashion, pageantry and giving initiatives. I had seen with my own daughter that participating in pageants, fashion shows and fashion shoots and wearing beautiful garments – if done compassionately and correctly --had a way of boosting her confidence and bringing her joy while she made new friends, and developed poise, presentation, public speaking and advocacy skills for a lifetime. I saw the power that these moments had to transform girls where they would hold their heads higher, smile more brightly or walk with more confidence. I saw the power of a dress to transform and to set the stage for what could be. I saw a shy demeanor turn to triumphant when girls would gather the confidence to walk on a stage or speak in

a microphone. I saw them light up in the appreciation of applause, and in the glory of being seen and noticed. Through Worth More Nation’s initiatives and programs then, I wanted to provide girls in need of a boost, or coming out of traumatic places that same opportunity regardless of their support systems or abilities to pay. I wanted to give girls that same healing balm. I was sexually abused as a child by my grandfather and suffered through moving to a new home or town at least every other year. I had lived in 25 homes by the time I graduated from high school including four homes as a foster baby the first year of my life. My father was an alcoholic and my mother was addicted to prescription drugs for as long as I can remember, and my parents divorced when I was a young teen. I knew from experience that early trauma had a way of whispering the lie that you don’t matter and that you are less than those around you, I became passionate about helping girls and young women rise out of traumatic times to live out their God given destinies with the knowledge that they are ENOUGH and that they are Worth More. For each of you, who is someone that has inspired you and why. Sandy: I am truly inspired first and foremost by the Bible. It is my guidepost for living and seeking God to be all He created me to be, and to serve Him by loving and helping others. I am also inspired by each of my family members, of course, including these two lovelies who are being interviewed with me. I am inspired by my husband Sam for modeling patience, discipline and diligence. He is truly one of the best humans I know. All of my children inspire me every day to be a better person and mom, and to be strong in the midst of adversity, resilient in the wake of the valleys we walk through, and hopeful for the future we are promised

by the Lord. I try to teach and model the kind of character I want to have and that is of the Holy Spirit which is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control. I believe these character traits are only possible to have by staying connected to Jesus and following Him. I am also inspired by my sister Jan, my cousin Kate – two incredibly kind, devoted, fun, strong and talented wives, moms and professionals. Also, I am inspired by my besties I have met in my journey of life in different stages including my college roommates, and my Sherry and my MaryAnn. While I have many friends and associates along the way and people who have greatly impacted my life in so many wonderful ways, my closest relationships are the ones I cherish and nurture and do not take for granted! I try my best to sow into these relationships as much as I am able. Finally, I am inspired by Lysa Terkheurst and her story of faith and overcoming, her motherhood and sense of family, her career as an author, and her personal style of wardrobe, her social media pages and her home decor. She is very inspirational to me. Alexis: I am inspired by my mother and sister because they always have my back and inspire me with their resilience and strength. I feel very grateful to have both of them in my corner. Annaliese: Of course my mom and sister inspire me every day and have since I was little. They are both amazing women. Outside of my family, Taylor Swift inspires me because of her resilience. What empowers your drive to push ahead? Sandy: What empowers me to push ahead is my faith in Jesus and the promises God has for us in the Bible. He has given me a vision for my purpose and life as a mom and a helper of mankind which is my namesake. In the midst of hard times, ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: JUNE EDITION 2022


COVER STORY } } { {SHIFT+CONTROL “When times get tough, the way that I get through is by being around people who help me center myself again and by being creative and moving my body so I can get out of a cycle of overthinking.”

I know if I don’t quit and keep moving forward, the Lord will bring me to the place He has destined me to be as He has a plan and vision for our lives to bring us good and not harm, and He also will take what was meant for evil against us and turn it into good according to His will and purposes. That is my empowerment, my faith and my prayers. Alexis: What empowers me to push ahead are my relationships and people, and trying to make the world a little better. Annaliese: What empowers me is thinking of my future. Things can seem hard in the moment, but thinking of what is in store for me makes it seem all worth it. What has been one moment that has defined your life and left a lasting impact? Sandy: I have several moments that I can think of over the course of my life. The moment that most impacted my life is when I decided to follow Jesus. It is the decision from which all of my other decisions flow and how I try to live my daily life following and serving Him. It’s funny because when people can give me a piece of advice or nugget of wisdom they learned or discovered, I can often trace that truth back to a scripture in the Bible! Another moment that had a defining impact was becoming a mother. I was raised by a generation of women who I believe were still finding their voice in female empowerment, and sometimes looked at motherhood as a prison sentence. At least that is how I viewed the messages my own mother imparted to me. I heard “Go to college, you don’t need a man” or “You don’t want to be a stay at 28


home mom. Being a mom is awful. Go out and work.” But really, what I think was missing was the idea that you could do both. Once my daughter Alexis was born, I was like, “Why did she say that? This is the greatest thing in the world!” My life and purpose became crystal clear, and that was to be her mom and raise and love her as the highest purpose and calling, as well as my other children who were born thereafter. I worked very hard at becoming a stay-at-home mom who also worked at home by creating opportunities and businesses as a freelance writer and publicist, and later as a dance studio owner, photographer and nonprofit

founder. I worked diligently combining all of my roles, which is something I still do today. When it comes to the shows I currently produce, for example, I would never want to do them without Alexis and Annaliese and my son-in-law John, and also Sam and Caleb helping with tasks, because we make a really good team and know how to do it after so many years of experience creating and producing shows and events. And finally, marrying Sam is when I experienced what I believe is an example of God’s love for us here on Earth. He has loved and nurtured me in ways

that were void and missing in my life, and through that I have had the security and wind underneath me to encourage me to pursue my passions and raise our family in beautiful ways. Alexis: One moment that defined my life and left a lasting impact is really hard to choose because there are lots of moments. I think that most moments could fit that however because everything happens for a reason, and it makes you into the person you are. Annaliese: A moment that defined me is when I decided to go from being homeschooled to being in public school. My life changed a lot and it was really hard, but it taught me a lot of life lessons and made me who I am today. When times get tough (which we know they have for all of us), how do you push ahead? Sandy: I push ahead by having faith in God and believing in the good plan He has for our lives, and by praying and trusting Him. I also keep focused on not quitting and knowing through experience that I can do hard things and that eventually the pain goes away and a new day is dawning. God’s mercies are new every day. These are fantastic lessons I have also learned training for and running marathons! I could write a book about the life lessons you learn through marathon training and the value of not quitting when the going is tough! I always say you never quit at the 25th mile (which was the most grueling mile and moment ever). If you quit at the 25th mile and not finish, then you miss out on the glory experienced when finishing the race! Alexis: When times get tough, the way that I get through is by being around people who













COVER STORY } } { {SHIFT+CONTROL “I find purpose in my faith, and my family and friends. I also find purpose in my work to serve others especially youth who have experienced abuse and trauma in their childhood, and help them to not quit and to rise up and break into the destiny that is planned for their lives.”

help me center myself again and by being creative and moving my body so I can get out of a cycle of overthinking. Annaliese: I get through tough times by being with my therapy dog Ellie, listening to music, doing something to help others, and leaning on family and friends. What are some of the things that give you purpose? Sandy: I find purpose in my faith, and my family and friends. I also find purpose in my work to serve others especially youth who have experienced abuse and trauma in their childhood, and help them to not quit and to rise up and break into the destiny that is planned for their lives. Alexis: Some things that give me purpose are my family, my friends and my pets. I try to love others well through everything that I do. Annaliese: I find purpose in my family and friends, and helping people in whatever way I can. Tell us about something you are passionate about and why. Sandy: I am passionate about seeing my children and other young people I have the honor to help and mentor achieve their dreams and overcome adversity. I am passionate about building a life with my husband and family, and the idea of leaving a legacy for them that will help them have a better life than I had. Alexis: I am passionate about traveling because I love just being exposed to different places and different people and broadening my world view. I am passionate about a lot of things – dance and the company; school and studying psychology and social work. I am passionate about experiencing all of life. Annaliese: I am passionate about volunteering

because helping others is a good way to not focus on your own problems, and I am a very compassionate person. It is one of my strengths! How do you spend most of your time? Sandy: I spend a lot of time caring for my family, as well as planning special events and gatherings for my family and for Worth More Nation. I spend time caring for my home and our pets because I enjoy that so much - even the cleaning parts because cleaning is one thing I can do where I can temporarily control the outcome which is very satisfying to me! I spend time caring for myself because I know if I don’t care for myself by eating right and exercising and getting enough rest and downtime, that every other area of my life will crumble. I spend time with God by praying, reading the Bible and listening to podcasts and worship music. Joyce Meyer and Jesus Calling are my favorite podcasts on Spotify. The music and podcasts are great companions when cleaning, gardening, running and driving, along with chatting with my girlfriends, which is also a must! Finally, I am purposefully spending time every day writing my book. That part is a struggle because some of the chapters are draining. I am aspiring towards one page per day which is how books are written. Alexis: I spend most of my time working, spending time with my husband and our animals, and my friends and family, studying and creating and learning. Annaliese: I spend time working towards my education, volunteering with Worth More Nation, exercising, spending time with family and friends, and discovering the most authentic version of myself. What have been your biggest weaknesses and how have you worked to overcome them?

Sandy: My biggest weakness is questioning my abilities, and stressing about the wellbeing of my children and family. I work to overcome that through my faith and prayer, and rewriting the lies I picked up along the way from early trauma. When a lie creeps in, I take it captive and believe instead the truth of what God has said about me and the purposes He has for my life. Another weakness is also something that I consider to be a strong point of mine, and that is my deep desire to help others. It is a weakness when that desire overtakes caring for myself and for my family. My early childhood sexual abuse and trauma skewed my sense of boundaries, and I have worked really hard the past few years learning to say “No” and focusing on healthy boundaries, and manageable ways to help others. Annaliese: A weakness of mine has been being a people pleaser. It’s hard for me to say no, but I’ve been working on putting my time where I want to, so I don’t feel burnt out. What are you most proud of? Sandy: I am most proud of my family and the legacy/home my husband and I are building together. Both Sam and I have overcome many obstacles in our lives, as many people have. Sam was raised in poverty and by his adopted parents who loved him and gave him all they were able to give. He has never met his biological family, but still stays steady through what others would perhaps view as abandonment. He truly believes in the best of others no matter what has happened to him personally, and has worked so hard to rise above and be the man he is today. But what makes him even more special is the compassion he has for the fatherless and orphaned, and for those living in marginalized communities. He is such an incredible role model to me, and many other people, and I am so proud to be his wife and do life together with him. ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: JUNE EDITION 2022


{ {SHIFT+CONTROL COVER STORY } } “I spend time working towards my education, volunteering with Worth More Nation, exercising, spending time with family and friends, and discovering the most authentic version of myself.”

Alexis: I am most proud of the way I treat people. Annaliese: I am most proud of overcoming a lot of adversity the last four years of my life, and coming out feeling like I can take on anything. Sandy, what is some advice you have received that you have passed on to your daughters? Sandy: I hope I have passed on to my daughters and also my son to be kind to others and respect and treat everyone fairly and with dignity. I believe they each can achieve anything they set their mind to and dream about, and that through hard work and staying the course, the impossible can be achieved. The greatest legacy I hope to have passed on to my children is my faith and beliefs as a Christian and to know they are loved by Jesus and that they are enough just as they are. What is your favorite family vacation? Sandy: I grew up at the beach, so any vacation that involves being on the beach and relaxing is a favorite time for me. The ocean is healing to my soul and I love being able to share that with my family. Alexis: My favorite family vacation with me and John going to Europe this past month, and for my family it would be when I went to California with my mom and sister when Annaliese participated in National America Miss Nationals. Annaliese: Going to Long Beach Island every summer where my mom grew up. What would you change about yourself if you could and why? Sandy: There are times when I daydream of what it would have felt like to have had a grandfather who didn’t sexually abuse me, or a father who was there for me or who cherished me the way a father should have, or if I didn’t have so many unstable 34


and traumatic circumstances growing up. Who would I have been and what choices would I have made differently? I know a lot of my heart ache would have been avoided. However, because I truly love my life now and who I have become and the work I do, I accept those early experiences in how they shaped me to be the compassionate and giving person, wife and mother I am today. And even though those early years sucked, I got the jackpot with my husband Sam, so it has made up for all of that and so much more! Alexis: I wouldn’t want to change who I am because I feel like everything we go through helps us become who we are supposed to be. Annaliese: I would not change anything about myself. I think everything happens for a reason and every part of yourself, whether good or bad, is just a stepping stone to fulfilling your destiny. Anna, tell us about your anti-bullying initiative and how it started. Annaliese: It started with my pageantry journey and title with the pageant system High School America who has an antibullying platform called BRAVE. During my time representing their organization, I had the opportunity to spread that message at different classrooms and community events. I even held my own Miss BRAVE Self Love Showcase as an empowerment event for girls because I believe spreading kindness starts with spreading it to yourself. I also had an online blog called Scars to Hearts where I wrote about my own story with being bullied and how I overcame. I also had the opportunity to share my story in other publications like Rochester Woman Online. I’ve currently taken a step back from the pageantry world, but the anti-bullying message is something I still strive to live by every day.

What do you dream of personally and professionally? Sandy: I dream of continuing to grow as a person and believer loving and serving my family, and the people I care about the most. I hope to finish writing and publishing my book by the end of this year and being able to speak and share my testimony of overcoming to audiences as God opens doors and allows. I hope to continue to grow Worth More Nation, and add more state pageants to be able to reach more girls who need to know and understand the message of personal worth and confidence. I hope to be able to open our home again to more children in foster care. There is so much need in this world and so much brokenness. If we can continue to be a beacon of light to children in need of a home and stability, our hearts are open again and prepared, and we are ready to serve in this way. I really would love to take a Caribbean vacation with my husband and children – somewhere warm and resort-like and just enjoy! Alexis: Professionally I am working on getting a master’s degree in social work and counseling, and I would love to incorporate that with some sort of movement or dance therapy practice. For our dance company Incandescent Dance, I would love to help that grow into a nonprofit and be able tour with my shows and inspire audiences. In my personal life, I aspire to find fulfillment and happiness! Annaliese: Both in professional and personal ways, graduating college and finding happiness in whatever I do. What’s the biggest factor that has helped you be successful and growing Worth More Nation? Sandy: It has been through our volunteers, supporters like Rochester Woman Online and many others, as well as the national pageant community that Worth More Nation has grown to be what it is today. It never







{ SHIFT+CONTROL { COVER STORY } } “ I am most proud of overcoming a lot of adversity the last four years of my life, and coming out feeling like I can take on anything.”

ceases to amaze me when we receive gowns and dresses in the mail from titleholders around the country who are donating their beautiful, often brand new garments (some still with tags) to our Fancy Frock Closet so that the girls and young women we serve have the opportunity to experience positive pageantry and being queen for the day. The generosity and support of the community has been the catalyst to help us grow. It has been a lot of hard work and something I work on every single day, but it has been so rewarding to reach new children and youth.

Through the years my vision strengthened and developed and I have found an incredible need in the dance community to create a kinder, more diverse, and emotionally healthy environment. In this work, I have discovered another passion- and that is the study of social sciences. It is important for me to know why people act, think, and feel the way they do and I have naturally been drawn to learning about this and applying it to my work. I have decided to become a student again

Anna, what are your plans for after graduation? Annaliese: I’m attending College of Charleston in the fall to study elementary education!

One of the toughest decisions I ever had to make was when I closed my business after a decade of operating. At 19, I opened a dance studio, and within this business, I spent the shaping years of my twenties. As I know now through my psychology studies, my prefrontal lobes were still moldable and fresh. I had never _not_ been an adult who owned a dance studio. I had started teaching baby ballet at the tender age of 13, hardly older than a baby myself. I had never _not_ been “Miss Alexis”. Although the business was finally in a comfortable financial place, I couldn’t help but notice the dread and anxiety I had every time I walked through the front door. Something that was so ingrained in my identity, something that once brought me so much pride and joy was no longer working for me. I had worked so hard and sacrificed so much to get to this point but in that process, I had compromised my own well-being. I felt like I was drowning, caught in an undercurrent with no control over my direction.

Alexis, what has it been like over the years owning and creating your own dance studio and how did it empower you being a female entrepreneur? Alexis: At the age of 19, I decided to become an entrepreneur and open my own dance studio. This put a hold on my studies. I had previously been enrolled in courses as a homeschool student to obtain dual credit while completing my high school requirements. You see, performance art was always my calling and I felt this from a young age. However, I experienced early on the demanding and sometimes abusive rhetoric of this industry. It was my desire to create a safer place for dancers of all ages and backgrounds who shared my passion. I desired to create art that mattered, that helped people and aimed to recognize the humanity and beauty in both my students and audience members. Even though this path was unusual to most, I have always gone after my dreams no matter how hard or seemingly impossible and that is exactly what I did for almost a decade.

to become a dance therapist. I would love to continue on my journey to help people through the arts.

after a decade of being a teacher. A decision inspired by the pursuit of my life calling, and also in honor of my grandmother, Sally, who always wanted to see me graduate as she was not allowed to go to college. As a woman, her father discouraged her from obtaining a degree and I am her only female heir. She died several years ago. In returning to the world of higher education, I am hoping to build on my knowledge as a performer, teacher, and advocate by obtaining a degree in psychology, and of course, to make my grandmother proud. My ultimate goal would be to merge these two passions of dance and the human mind

This is where courage comes in. It is never easy to make a decision that drastically changes your life, especially when others don’t understand or will be disappointed. After months of riding an emotional rollercoaster and weighing my pros and cons, I drafted an email that would close a huge chapter of my life. With bated breath and eyes squeezed shut I hit send. I wish I could say that there was no fallout. However, if you are going to cannonball into your life, you have to expect that you will make waves. But after those waves cleared, something amazing happened. A weight was lifted and I began to float. I broke through the surface of the ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: JUNE EDITION 2022


{ {SHIFT+CONTROL COVER STORY } } “This is where courage comes in. It is never easy to make a decision that drastically changes your life, especially when others don’t understand or will be disappointed. ”

the water and took a big gasp of metaphorical air. The possibilities of life stretched vast across the horizon and the hardest part was over. I learned that even though jumping into something new is terrifying, drowning in the current, whether we are talking water or time, is most definitely worse. What mistakes have you made along the way and what did you learn from them? Sandy: Most of the mistakes I have made have been in being too demanding on myself. Also, another mistake is struggling with people pleasing, and going along with the idea that someone knows better than I do perhaps, even when it comes to my own business and life. There is an art to receiving wise counsel and learning from others, but also remaining true to yourself 38


and the vision God has given you for your life and you work. It is so interesting to read my daughter’s responses and to see that they too struggle in this area which further emphasizes that often what our children receive from us is learned through our own actions, and how we view the world. They both answered the question independent of each other! Alexis: The mistakes I made along the way is caring too much about what other people think and learning how to find my own voice and stay true to my vision. Annaliese: Caring too much about what other people think. The most important thing is living for yourself and being yourself. You are undoubtedly busy, how do you

take care of yourself and maintain a good mental health? Sandy: I always say downtime is uptime, and for me that means spending time at home resting, putzing around as I like to call it which is decorating and cleaning the house, running and working out, playing with our dogs, reading and going thrifting and to estate sales with friends. And naps…I really love naps. Alexis: I take care of myself and good mental health by learning how to rest and take breaks and leaning on friendships I can trust. Also, dancing for myself instead of for performance, yoga and running. Annaliese: As an introvert, if I’m feeling













{ {SHIFT+CONTROL COVER STORY } } “Caring too much about what other people think. The most important thing is living for yourself and being yourself.”

overwhelmed it’s really important for me to take some time alone to rest and recover so I can come out the other side feeling refreshed and recharged. How should women of all ages support other women in their organizations? Alexis: I think the most important thing for women to do is to try to cut the competition between each other and try to celebrate each other’s victories and boost each other instead of trying to tear each other down. Annaliese: Just offering support in whatever way is valuable to them. I think when trying to support, it’s important to ask what THEY need because sometimes it’s a volunteer or maybe it’s as simple as making a small financial contribution. What are your plans for the immediate future? Sandy: Helping Annaliese transition to college; heading to Branson, Missouri with Desi who is a Worth More Nation Ambassador to help her compete in a national, competitive pageant; and spending time on a family vacation at a home we rented on one of the Finger Lakes. Alexis: My plans for the future include school, my dance company, and focusing on my marriage. Annaliese: Going to College of Charleston in August! How do you balance career, personal life and passions? Is there such a thing as balance? Sandy: For me finding balance begins with planning and scheduling and making lists. I love lists, and planning out my days, weeks and months. I have a huge yearlong calendar right over my desk and it is wonderful to see the future before me in all facets – personally, professionally and with my family members. It is important then to try your best to stick to your plan

and hold your boundaries, but also leave room for spontaneous joy and surprises. This is why my yearlong calendar is dry erase. Alexis: I think you can have balance if you have the courage to follow the right path and cultivate the right group of people around you. The people and the things you are doing should allow you to be yourself and do all of those things. Maybe it’s sometimes messy, but if you have the right people or path, it will be okay. Annaliese: Just keeping the mindset that all are important and one shouldn’t get more attention than the other. I think the most valuable thing in my life is maintaining good relationships with family and friends because having people in your corner makes everything else so much better What do you think are the best ways to stay grounded, and take care of yourself mentally and physically with such crazy schedules? Sandy: Prayer and more prayer. I try to pray before the day begins for God to order my steps and remove the unforeseen obstacles and problems and to pave a way of peace for my day. Sometimes you don’t even know what to pray, so I ask for the pre and post protection for myself and my loved ones. Annaliese: Like I said above, taking the time for myself to recharge. It’s hard not to think of taking a nap or just watching Netflix as something that is lazy, but it definitely isn’t and everyone deserves to do something that gives them needed rest. How did you balance being a mother and professional? Sandy: I have never been good at that when working in a more traditional “outside the home” manner. Caring for my kids at home has always been a priority for me, so it was the impetus to create my own home business opportunities from the beginning

when I first became a mom 30 years ago! When I gave birth to Alexis in 1992, I was planning to return to work in an office. As soon as I gave birth to her, however, I knew in my heart that I needed to be at home and everything else would then fall in place. My first “entrepreneurial” job happened when I left my fulltime position as a lifestyle editor at a weekly newspaper group, and began freelance writing. We bought a jalopy of a computer with a giant monitor and hard drive, and I began the art of writing and interviewing people around nap schedules or in the wee hours of the morning. I still write best on deadline and in pressure situations, but as I am aspiring to author a book this year, I am trying very hard to pick away at the task one page, one day at a time! As an aside, one of my favorite pictures of Alexis and me when she was just a few months old was taken by a sports photographer on a film camera when I was going into the news room to drop off my writing assignment. Back then, computers were fairly new on the scene. We received writing submissions by mail and also by fax! Our typesetters would then rekey everything into the system and then the articles and headlines and captions would be sent down to the art room where they would literally print out the page layouts that we would submit on graphs, and would cut and paste the pages together using wax to seal everything to the pages! I remember running up the stairs to the news room holding Alexis and the photographer snapping a photo of us. If you look closely you can see a throw up stain on my shoulder from my sweet little girl. What have you had to sacrifice personally and professionally when managing your daughters’ careers? Sandy: Helping my daughters achieve their dreams and helping them be all they can be has never been a sacrifice for me. I view all of it entirely as a privilege to ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: JUNE EDITION 2022


{ {SHIFT+CONTROL COVER STORY } } “I take care of myself and good mental health by learning how to rest and take breaks and leaning on friendships I can trust. Also, dancing for myself instead of for performance, yoga and running.”

support them and do whatever I can to help them pursue their dreams whether in opening or closing a dance studio, or driving straight through the night from Rochester to New York to get Annaliese to a modeling assignment. For as much as I have helped shape the girls on their paths, the greatest art is in letting go one finger at a time and allowing them the freedom to forge ahead in the ways they desire. I am beyond blessed to be able to work alongside them over the years and watch them both blossom into the incredible, capable, brave, strong, resilient, creative, kind and loving women they are today. Tell us one thing we don’t know about you. Sandy: I am a songwriter who wrote much of the original music for my film Arise Sweet Sarah and its accompanying sound track that we produced along with a record label called Verb Records. Often, when I pray or sit at the piano, music, melodies and lyrics pour out of me in a very divine way. It is highly spiritual and a beautiful gift. It is definitely an out of body experience. Some of the most beautiful songs I have written are on the Arise Sweet Sarah Sound Track that is available on Spotify including two of my favorites You Are Free and Destinies Lost, the latter of4 which was sung on the recording by Alexis. Alexis: I don’t know. I feel like my whole life is on Facebook thanks to “Kris Jenner” over here. So I think everyone knows everything about me. Kidding aside, people wouldn’t know that I am very sensitive! Annaliese: I’m an open book, but a hobby of mine that not all people know about me is that I love to write. It’s my way of expressing myself when I feel overwhelmed. I have even considered studying to become a writer or English major and who knows, maybe I still will. I’m only 18, so I’m still figuring it out! 44


Biographies of Sandy, Alexis and Annaliese Sandy Arena has over 34 years of experience as a multi-media communicator and entrepreneur working as a former newspaper journalist, editor, publicist, film maker and ballet school owner. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in speech communications. She has traveled nationally and internationally with her faith-based ballet productions that she wrote and directed and that Alexis and Annaliese were both involved for many years. Eventually she stepped away from directing the ballet studio so that Alexis could step into that role for a time with Sandy close by as a mentor. Soon thereafter, Sandy closed the ballet studio and Alexis then opened her own studio creating her own niche and vision taking the foundation of her experiences at Sandy’s studio to a higher, more professional level. Sandy is a self-taught photographer which is something she picked up as a dance studio owner to be able to create her own publicity images for her studio and then for Alexis’s dance studio and company. She began photographing Annaliese, as well, when Annaliese embarked on a pageant and modeling journey when she was just eight years old. Sandy had the privilege to serve Annaliese during decade long pageant/ modeling journey as her Momager, cross state chauffeur, hair dresser, wardrobe consultant, travel companion, and photographer. In 2017, Sandy founded the nonprofit organization Worth More Nation that empowers youth impacted by childhood loss, trauma or foster care through pageantry, fashion and giving initiatives. She has created a special occasion closet for the children and young people they serve and has dressed hundreds of young people in gowns and dresses for their events and other special occasions, with the goal of changing lives one dress at a time. She produces two fashion shows per year showcasing items from the closet and raising funds to support their

work. Their biggest event is their Miss Worth More Nation Pageant which is held in both New York and Oklahoma, and is an event that helps participants develop poise and presentation skills to last a lifetime, while all being crowned Miss Worth More Nation. She just created a sister pageant system called Ruby America Pageants offering appointed titles to applicants who can use their titles to support the charity work of Worth More Nation and its events, while also working on other service projects. She is songwriter and the author of the book Yahweh Ballet: Learning to Dance by Faith. She has been a featured guest speaker on broadcast media, and at community, college and ministry gatherings speaking about her film Arise Sweet Sarah and accompanying soundtrack with the same name, and live traveling production called The Life Ballet. These works of art and personal expression share a message of healing in the aftermath of lost motherhood from abortion – an experience Sandy had as a teen which proved to her to not be empowering or helpful in the midst of unplanned pregnancy, but rather was deeply hurtful and scarring. Both Annaliese and Alexis were deeply involved in these projects as performers, choreographers and recording vocalists. Sandy is a recreational marathon enthusiast who ran a full marathon to mark her 40th birthday and has since ran two half marathons – one with Alexis and one with her son Caleb who is a D1 football player at the University at Buffalo. She will run one more half marathon with Annaliese when she is ready to go! Her family has fostered many children and teens over the course of 13 years until they recently took a break to care for Sandy’s 92 year old mother who passed away in September 2021. Sandy and her husband Sam hope to open their home to fostering again when Annaliese heads to college this coming fall.




{ {SHIFT+CONTROL COVER STORY } } “Helping my daughters achieve their dreams and helping them be all they can be has never been a sacrifice for me. I view all of it entirely as a privilege to support them and do whatever I can to help them pursue their dreams.”

In all her endeavors, Sandy is passionate about sharing the joys of motherhood & family, as well as proclaiming Jesus as her Lord and Savior. A former homeschool educator for many years, she is currently working on her second book called I Am Not That Girl Anymore about the transformation of her life as a survivor of childhood sexual abuse and many years of instability while growing up and how she owes that transformation to her love of the Lord and the work He has done in her life. She was named as one of the 175 Empowered Women in Rochester in honor of the city’s 175th Anniversary by the Rochester Genesee Valley Club. Alexis Fox has studied performing arts for 27 years under the direction of many talented teachers. She is the Artistic Director of Rochester based dance company, Incandescent Dance. (Formerly known as 46


Mossa Dance.) Her company has performed locally and throughout the United States and she has conceptualized and directed 17 original full-length ballets as well as countless other standalone pieces. Her work has been featured in The Rochester Fringe Festival, The Susan B. Anthony Women’s Rights Bicentennial celebrations, The Mrs. New York Pageant, as well as numerous concert, community, and charitable events. She has been a guest performer with Genesee Dance Theatre and PUSH Physical Theatre. Prior to starting her company, Alexis was the Founding Owner and Artistic Director of Mossa School of Dance, which she opened at the age of 19. She has been a dance educator and choreographer for 14 years. Alexis strongly believes in the power of storytelling movement. She has made it her personal mission to revitalize the world of ballet by making it more accessible and

relatable to audiences, and leading with a culture of kindness and collaboration amongst dancers. Annaliese Arena is from Rochester, New York and is 18 years old. She recently graduated from Mendon High School and will be attending College of Charleston in the fall. She studied classical ballet under her sister and has been involved in the pageantry and modeling industry since age 8. She has held titles with National American Miss and High School America and has had the opportunity to model for NYFW, ACFW, Philly Fashion Week, Fashion Week of Rochester, and many other runway shows across the northeast. She has completed 2500 hours of volunteer service with most of her recent work with Worth More Nation as a mentor, choreographer, workshop leader and event emcee.




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Behind the Scenes... The Mrs. New York America, Mrs. New York American, and Miss New York for America Pageant celebrates women, families, and community service. We empower women and give them the platform to become leaders. The 2022 pageant will be held on Sunday, July 17th starting at 2pm at the Marriott Downtown Syracuse on the 10th floor ballroom. We will have a pre-show vendor pop-up with over 25 amazing vendors to shop and enjoy starting at 11am. We hope to see everyone there. Tickets go on sale June 1! Please welcome our amazing Mrs New York American 2022 contestants. Please visit To vote for your favorite contestant from June 15th through July 15th for 52


our annual Fabulous Face and People’s Choice Contests!

Diane Hardgrove Director

Diane Hardgrove has served as the Executive Director for the past twelve years for the Mrs. New York America, Mrs. New York American, and Miss New York for America Strong Pageants. During her reign as Mrs. Arizona 2006, Mrs. America 2006, and Mrs. World 2007, Diane served at over 600 appearances around the world! She studied dance for twenty years in the areas of tap, jazz, ballet, and Polynesian. Diane has worked closely with the Susan G. Komen Foundation and the American Cancer Society Making Strides Against Breast Cancer for the past eighteen years. She was nominated as the Honorary Chair in 2006 and 2007

for the Southern Arizona Race for the Cure. She now serves as a Team Leader and Committee Member for the North Dallas Making Strides Against Breast Cancer to raise funds for education, research, screening, and treatment. Diane’s highlights include the television commercials for the Race for the Cure, guest on KTLA Morning News in Los Angeles, ringing the bell at NASDAQ on Times Square in New York, traveling to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to speak at the Go Red Heart Disease Gala, presented awards at Muhammad Ali’s Celebrity Fight Night for Parkinson’s Disease Research in Scottsdale, Arizona, and served as the keynote speaker on leadership at the National Association of Professional Mortgage Women Conference in Orlando, Florida. Photographer: @carlosvelezstudios Make-up Artist: @alileeglam

FEATURE } {{ SPECIAL SHIFT+CONTROL “Mia’s community service platform, “Beautifully and Wonderfully Made,” focuses on helping women accept themselves as the amazingly strong and limitless women that God created them to be.”


Miss Ontario County

Please help us welcome back and congratulate Miss Ontario County for America Strong, Mia Elena Aldaco!

Oswego with a Bachelor’s degree in Public Justice/Pre-law. In 2016, Mia graduated from the University of Providence with a Master’s degree in Criminal Justice. In 2019, Mia received her Juris Doctor from Thomas M. Cooley Law School

Mia was born and raised in Texas. When she was twelve years old, she moved to upstate New York with her family. Mia is adventurous and driven, having moved several times across the country to pursue her education and career. Mia finds strength through her faith and hopes to glorify God in everything she does. Mia’s community service platform, “Beautifully a n d Wo n d e r f u l l y Made,” focuses on helping women accept themselves as the amazingly strong and limitless women that God created them to be. As a woman who has personally experienced an eating disorder, she hopes to promote self-love through her platform and continues to recover through the help of close friends and her faith. In 2009, Mia graduated from SUNY 54


daily, weight-lifting, and spending quality time in New York’s Finger Lakes with her dear friends. With the help of her close friends, Mia had the opportunity to promote networking and friendship for women through her monthly events for “Ladies who Brunch.” Mia has been blessed to meet so many amazing women through pageantry. Congratulations Mia! We are so happy for you and excited for your 2022 journey ahead. Photography and Gown Provided by: Laura Marino Make-up by: Alexandra Ryan Axenfeld

and was admitted to the New York State Bar in June 2020. Mia works as an Associate Attorney at the Whitcomb Law Firm in Geneva. In her free time, Mia enjoys running

FEATURE } {{ SPECIAL SHIFT+CONTROL “My motto in this life is everything happens for a reason and there are absolutely no coincidences.”


Miss Monroe County

Please help us give a warm welcome and congratulations to our new 2022 Miss New York for America Strong Contestant, Sam Schultz, Miss Monroe County for America!

and take. I was given a scholarship to attend the school of pharmacy at St. John Fisher. but unfortunately I was unable to fulfill that opportunity at the time. But, I can now smile and be grateful I was given such a beautiful opportunity. I also learned that life

Please see her amazing bio below. My name is Samantha Schultz and I was born and raised in Rochester, NY. I currently reside in Webster, NY with my two extraordinary boys, who give me the drive to “keep on keeping on” as my late GG would say. I was diagnosed with bilateral ovarian cancer stage 3C at the age of 28. Prior to that I was a nurse for five years. When I found out my diagnosis, my world was completely turned upside down. I realized you have to make room for detours in your life plans. I know that so many people need to hear my story and that is why I chose to do the Miss New York For America pageant this year and talk about my experience with having cancer, living through it, and more importantly, surviving. Through this life altering experience, I learned the real meaning behind give

happens for a reason and there are absolutely no coincidences. During the summer of 2016, I spent so many nights talking to god from the bathroom floor. Trying to stop the constant flooding of pain that entered my soul. I knew I must find a way to rise above the pain. For me, I found some of that peace by advocating, talking, and even sitting as a volunteer within hospice patients. I’m living proof of that you can overcome even the greatest odds if you put your mind to it, and don’t give up.Only 2% of population with my particular diagnoses survive to where I am today.I now am working on implementing patient services at Rochester Regional Health, and helping any way that I can If this even resonates and helps just one person, well it was all worth it.

is happening, it can happen to us or we can choose to live it. I choose to live mine to the fullest.Tomorrow is never promised, so savor each day. My motto in this life is everything

I stand tall as a past nurse who became a patient, who is now the steady hand to grab. I am proud to be your Miss Monroe County for America 2022. Photographer: Laura Marino Make-up: Alexandra Ryan Axenfeld ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: JUNE EDITION 2022


FEATURE } {{ SPECIAL SHIFT+CONTROL “Passionate about empowering people to transform into becoming the best versions of themselves.”


Please give us a warm welcome and wongratulations to our new 2022 Miss New York for America Strong Contestant, Danielle Jones, Miss Rochester!

and completely transform my life . Having a love for skin care, health, fitness, traveling and beauty. To now having the career of my dreams. Im excited to take on this next chapter in competing for the title of Miss

Please read Danielle’s incredible bio below. We l c o m e t o t h e Sisterhood, Danielle! “I am a New York State certified licensed medical aesthetician, residing in Rochester NY my entire life. Passionate about empowering people to transform into becoming the best versions of themselves. With hopes of using my platform “The power of transformation” to share my story of overcoming addiction through positive choices and a healthy lifestyle. Whether it’s through volunteering at schools to help kids develope life skills and healthy habits, being a part of an annual clothing exchange where all the proceeds get donated to places in need. Having the chance to be able to speak into as many people and be a vessel of hope in sharing my story and the tools I used to overcome 56


New York for American Strong and encouraging other girls to believe in themselves and do the same. They always say “You’re one decision away from a completely different life.”

Makeup- Jessica Lahr @ jessicaellebeauty Photographer- Greg Hollar @ greghollarprojects Glow- Heather Renee”

{ SPECIAL FEATURE } “Machaela is currently training to be a Licensed Veterinary Technician and works as a Veterinary Assistant at VCA Fairmount Animal Hospital. She enjoys helping and caring for animals in need.”


Please help us welcome back and congratulate our Miss Onondaga County for America Strong, Machaela Kozlowski!

participating in outdoor activitiessnow boarding, ice skating, rollerblading, ATV riding, boating, jet skiing, and more! Machaela lives in Syracuse and loves pursuing new goals. She’s excited for

Miss Onondaga County for America Strong, Machaela Kozlowski! We are thrilled for you! Photographer: Laura Marino Make-up: Alexandra Ryan Axenfeld

Machaela is currently training to be a Licensed Veterinary Technician and works as a Veterinary Assistant at VCA Fairmount Animal Hospital. She enjoys helping and caring for animals in need. Machaela serves as the cotreasurer board member of AAGS, Animal Alliance of Greater Syracuse. She presented a $1,000 check to AAGS for winning the People’s Choice Award during last year’s pageant. Machaela is also proud that her platform P.A.W.S., Providing Animals With Safety, helps raise money for foster and rescue animals in need. So far this year, she was able to raise $400 from her sponsors and sell the stickers she made. Proceeds were given to an 8-week puppy in foster care and she was able to help pay for the needed surgery on his leg. The puppy is now adopted and in a loving home! Machaela loves to paint and draw. She also enjoys working-out and

her pageant goal, I cannot wait to meet her sister queens soon! Congratulations



{{ SPECIAL SHIFT+CONTROL FEATURE } “Her mission is to provide a path to earn scholarships, internships, and dream jobs for youth ages 13-17, by helping them navigate college, the workforce, and life with her social impact initiative Endless Opportunities.”


Please help us welcome back and congratulate Taisha Elizabeth St. Jean, with a new local title, Miss Erie County!

graduation. Taisha’s currently holds the title Miss Erie County and will be competing for the title of Miss New York For America Strong 2022. Her mission is

Please read Taisha’s amazing bio below. “Taisha Elizabeth St. Jean was born and raised in Buffalo, New York. She graduated from Leonardo da Vinci High School in 2013, Medaille College in May 2016 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Communication, and with her Master’s Degree in Marketing Communication from St. Bonaventure University in 2018. She has won various awards such as Changemakers 30 under 30; Grassroots Rising Star; Community Service Aw a rd ; Me d a i l l e College Dean’s List; Tr a v e r s C o l l i n s Scholarship, Heidi Raphael Scholarship, W h o ’s W h o i n American Colleges and University Recipient; Merit Award from Medaille College, recipient of Business First Community All-Stars and was the Commencement Speaker at her 58


Opportunities. She also participates in various community service projects and leadership programs. Taisha is currently working for the City of Buffalo Common Council as the Deputy Chief of Staff and as Professor at Medaille College. She is also an elected Erie County Committee Person and Vice-Chair for Zone 10. Taisha wants to make a positive difference in the lives of those around her. She hopes to encourage young women to pursue their dreams and to not let fear stop them from achieving their heart’s greatest desires.” Congratulations Miss Erie County! We can’t wait to see you shine on the famous stage, July 17th!Mrs. NY America, Mrs. NY American, and Miss NY for America Strong Pageants

to provide a path to earn scholarships, internships, and dream jobs for youth ages 13-17, by helping them navigate college, the workforce, and life with her social impact initiative Endless

{{ SPECIAL SHIFT+CONTROL FEATURE } “Rachel’s mission is to help those with disabilities realize they can accomplish anything.”


Please help us give a warm welcome and congratulations to our new 2022 Miss New York for America Strong Contestant, Rachel Barcellona, MISS QUEENS!

United Nations on World Autism Day, and was elected to the board of directors for Safe Minds Inc. which worked on passing Kevin and Avonte’s Law to protect Autistic children, along with supporting other important legislation

Rachel is a graduate of the University of South Florida with a bachelor’s degree in English and minor in communications. She is a model, writer, singer, and actress with a film premiering this year around the country! She moved to Valley Stream New York several years ago and is currently working with New HD Media as an on air personality and developing stations in markets across the United States. New HD Media New York and Los Angeles are the first of many broadcast areas created with a goal of employment for individuals with disabilities and will provide universal digital coverage via the app, website and social media.

Rachel is proud to be Miss Queens for America Strong and looks forward to continuing to speak out in support of those with varying abilities. Additionally, others will see the Miss New York for America Strong system as one who supports young women of all abilities, an organization that values all levels of diversity, and an organization that seeks to lift the self-esteem of young women and help them realize their dreams. As Miss New York for America Strong she will continue to spark widespread change.

Rachel is the founder and president of her non profit “Ability Beyond Disabilities”, a 12 year dream that became a reality in 2021. Rachel is a spokesperson and board member at the Center for Autism and Related Disabilities and has traveled internationally with the Global Autism Project. She supports a variety of New York charities including Long Island Cares and the Harry Chapin Food Bank. Rachel has spoke at the

families affected by Autism get the services they need, such as insurance, jobs, housing, etc. She’s been interviewed by the likes of CNN and People Magazine about her journey with autism and has worked with NBA and NFL players to help make sports arenas more inclusive. Most recently Rachel has been awarded the gold medal from the Duke of Edinburgh International Award and was one of 5 individuals picked to represent the United States at the International conference which includes 133 countries.

in Washington D.C. She’s has been awarded $50,000 by the National Hockey League for volunteer service to distribute to her charities of choice, and used her influence to help

Welcome to the Sisterhood, Miss Queens! We can’t wait to see you on the famous stage, July 17th! photo/hair/makeup: Austin Ryde



{{ SPECIAL SHIFT+CONTROL FEATURE } “Her journey of self growth was fueled by her love of working with children as well as her passion for fitness and nutrition.”


Please help us give a warm welcome and congratulations to our new 2022 Miss New York for America Strong Contestant Christina Contento, Miss Orange County!

through compassionate guidance in food choices and movement with 1 on 1 and interactive group activities. Challenging herself while making a difference is why she chose to compete for the prestigious title of Miss for NY Strong.

and included in something they wouldn’t typically have the opportunity to - which will help guide them to a positive path. She plans on making a connection with the National Football League to raise funds and awareness for the Fuel to Play 60 program. She is very active in the community volunteering for various organizations such as Orange County Fair Speedway Kids Club, Ladies of Motorsports Magazine, Town of Chester, Cultivating Healing and Justice Initiative Support Services, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Mt. Alverno Center, and Warwick Valley Youth Cheerleading. Additionally, she creates content for her Fitness and Nutrition 101 series that contains videos and blogs to inspire others to work towards a healthy mind and body. Christina has partnered with ladies looking to improve their health by creating nutritional plans and workouts that suit their lifestyles.

Please see Christina’s impressive bio below. We l c o m e t o t h e sisterhood, Miss Orange County. We’re thrilled for your journey ahead. Christina Contento is a certified New York State educator and administrator for over 20 years. She is extremely proud of her career as a High School Assistant for at-risk students. She resides in Orange County with her family as well as their dog Teddy and cat Iggy. Christina loves to start her weekend with a 5 mile walk around the lake, enjoys attending dirt modified races, and is passionate about creating healthy meals. Her journey of self growth was fueled by her love of working with children as well as her passion for fitness and nutrition. Her platform Fuel Up your Energy Level (F.U.E.L) utilizes her passion for nutrition and fitness into helping children and women reach their full potential 60


Christina works with area gyms / schools / communities to directly provide opportunities for underprivileged children/women to feel they are involved


Christina has competed in fitness shows and placed 3rd this past December in the diva bikini division. She is the current ambassador for the Ladies of Motorsport

Christina is proud to be your Miss Orange County.



You may have heard the statistics before – one in eight women will develop breast cancer in her lifetime. Hearing this figure likely provokes the thought - “when was the last time I checked my breasts?” For some, this may be followed by a sense of fear, which can be so overwhelming that they may choose not to perform a breast check at all. It is normal to have concerns about a disease that we hear about so often, especially if a loved one has been through it – but your breasts are not a ticking time bomb, and most lumps are not cancer. Many women have benign lumps in their breasts due to breast density or fibrocystic changes. We should not avoid our monthly self-checkups out of fear – finding a lump does not necessarily mean that you have breast cancer, but if you do find one you’ll want to let your doctor know. Among women who have breast cancer, 40% detected a lump on their own; it is important to keep track of your own body so that you can identify any changes. This is crucial regardless of age, family history, genetic background, presence of other risk factors, or whomever else you think is monitoring them for you. Checking your breasts is a way to show yourself and your body that you love and care about your health. So, if it’s been more than a month, it’s time to get familiar with those ta-tas. A breast cancer survivor’s tips for monthly self-breast checks: - Choose a day each month that you can remember and make your breast self-awareness routine a regular part 66


of your wellness practices. Healthcare experts recommend doing this 3-5 days after your menstrual period ends, however if you do not menstruate, have irregular periods, or just have trouble remembering, a good time to do it is on the first of each month. Feeling it on the first is an easy way to remember that it’s time for your breast-check!

o Inspect your breasts with your hands pressed on your hips, then with your arms raised/resting behind your head o Lift your breasts and inspect the ridges along the bottom Next, use your hands to check your breasts o Use the pads of your three middle fingers for the exam o Use different levels of pressure to feel all layers of breast tissue – light pressure to feel tissue closest to the skin, medium pressure to feel a little deeper, and firm pressure to feel the tissue closest to the chest and ribs o Follow a set pattern – lines, wedges, and circles are common o Do not lift your fingers while feeling the breast o Feel all the way up to your collarbone, your armpits, and your sides

Start with a visual examination of your breasts o Stand in front of a mirror and look at both breasts – check for anything unusual, such as redness, dimpling, puckering, swelling, nipple retraction, or change in size or shape

- Keep in mind that many women find lumps or changes in their breasts that are completely normal changes, which occur at various points in the menstrual cycle. Finding a change or lump in your breast is not a reason to panic - Contact your doctor if you notice a hard lump near your underarm, changes in the way your breasts look or feel, redness/ swelling/pain, abnormal discharge, itching, sores, or rashes











{ BREAST CANCER CONFIDENCE TRACY TALKS } } } } { WOMAN WHO INSPIRES { {SHIFT+CONTROL “Keep in mind that many women find lumps or changes in their breasts that are completely normal changes, which occur at various points in the menstrual cycle. Finding a change or lump in your breast is not a reason to panic.”












Step onto Your Red Carpet: How Visioning Can Fast Forward Your Success We all want the fast forward to success! Now is the time for women to rise to the top and run with success!! Most influential women I meet want to move through the sludge of life and business and flow with purpose. They desire to leave negativity and hardship in the past and embody true authentic power. Are you ready to leave your struggles in the past?

transformative energy of creative visioning - it is super powerful. And I know that visioning is the missing ingredient to believing in success and manifesting desires. There is truth to the statement, “If you can SEE it, you can BELIEVE it!” I say, “See, Believe, Receive!” When you can not see your success there is a gap and it fills with negative thoughts that leak into your positive

One of the female superpowers that has been diminished and eradicated by masculinized programming is intuition and even more so, visioning power.

In our latest book, Core Intelligence we share about the power of the imagination pathway for visioning success:

Visioning will fast forward you through stuck so you can keep up with the speed of life!

The answer, VISION! But it’s more than holding a vision of the future, I am talking about present time visioning that builds confidence in the moment and inspires immediate action. As a coach, I have experienced the

Essentially women have the programmed tendency to limit, judge, criticize, and vote ourselves off the show before we have achieved what we want. And our desires become buried deep in No, instead of YES!! We need to break this programming and immediately empower truth! Our visionary power has been shut down and stopped by over analysis and overthinking. In Sacred O Evolution we engage our clients in IMAGINATION. Inner Upgrade Journeying is an active participation, you are engaging in movement and breathing while experiencing a guided journey.

The age of technology has given us the communication tools to manifest quickly. However, many females get stuck in struggle and chaos unable to fully see her potential and power. This slows down receiving success and influencing change.

I am a visionary leader. People ask me, “how do you move so fast and take action?”

leak in between your desires and hold you captive. Visioning neurologically overrides these negative thoughts and becomes the power of receptivity!

power and corrupt the speed of success: “I can’t” “I am not good enough” “I am not beautiful enough” ‘I don’t have the confidence” “It’s not for me” “I am not qualified” Can you relate? These statements are like nasty monsters in your mind that

“As Evolve Coaches we use imagination to help you create a new storyline inside your body and mind, forging new pathways so you can shift your belief systems from negative to positive. We named the Inner Upgrade Journey moves with the intention to help you visualize and imagine the benefits of the move and experience the full emotional range of the moves. Imagination comes in many different forms. Some people can ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: JUNE EDITION 2022


{ SACRED O } } { SHIFT+CONTROL “We all want the fast forward to success! Now is the time for women to rise to the top and run with success!”

easily envision the future, while others experience it differently. When asked to envision what they want, many clients will adamantly state, “I can’t see it!” But when guided to imagine a scenario, they can actively involve themselves in creating the image of what they desire. In Evolve Women, we stimulate the imagination process by taking clients through guided visualizations, Inner Upgrade Journeys, that entrain the mind to open to the spontaneous receptivity of images.Imagination boosts your creativity and releases the rigidity of habitual thinking. When you develop your imagination, you are more open to problem solving and trying something new.” - Core Intelligence: Driving the New Era of Leadership

#1 step to FAST FORWARD YOUR SUCCESS! Is it worth it to you? Visioning is not only fun, it is effective and powerful! Join us at The Influential Woman RED CARPET EVENT and experience one of our most transformational visionary journeys for female empowerment that

“You’re just imagining that!” These thoughts destroy confidence and block the fact that neurologically you can imagine something you desire into REALITY and actually fast forward your success. Let’s destroy those limitations holding you stuck and embrace the visionary power that could be your 76


The Red Carpet Event will empower you to: ● Rewrite Your Story of Success ● Reprogram Your Confidence ● Shift Your Belief Systems ● Release Old Negative Programs ● Own Your Purpose ● Claim Your Space in the World ● Build Your Success

Do not allow the old voices and programs to stop you from visioning your success! Women have been controlled and shut down by these self righteous and dogmatic statements: “Oh it’s just your imagination”

your confidence and believe you have a QUEENDOM. It is a celebration of your power. And repatterns your belief systems to engage at a deeper level with your success.

we created into a live networking event, coaching experience, and transformational opportunity. Whether you are just stepping into your power or have been there for a long time, we welcome you to our first ever Influential Woman Red Carpet Event! The Red Carpet is an empowerment journey that asks you to receive your EMPRESS POWER and embrace

Step onto your Red Carpet! Join Kelly Breuer, founder of The Influential Woman, and Dr. Pam Denton, founder of Sacred O Evolution, at our launch of the Red Carpet Event! on August 28th, at the Flower City Studios on 200 Anderson Ave. in Rochester, N, or live streamed through Eventbrite. More Details to come! Stay tuned!!










I never thought that it would be me. I could never imagine saying: I have spent half of my life dealing with a virus that is completely preventable...BUT HERE #iAM KILLING IT... .. When I was only 21, I learned that HIV would become my lifelong companion and unlikely friend. It took years to embrace not only the virus, but also the circumstances that resulted in something that would change my course and trajectory. During my lowest of times, I avoided it, denied it, and even blamed myself. Through the years, I’ve battled with mental health that led to addiction. Eventually, reality set in and my focus scored attention toward engaging, educating, and empowering the community...especially young men, who are just as sexually vulnerable as young women. I have been decorated with awards and honors for my service and leadership in this community and across the country. To d a y , I c e l e b r a t e #MyLifeOnPurpose...the highs and lows. It’s not always easy and sometimes even I feel alone with a virus that I didn’t ask for. I wouldn’t trade it for the world. It helped shape me into the man everyone sees and hears, but few can actually feel. I will continue this work and being an example of courage, character, and consequence. I will continue to address this and other social and public health issues. We weren’t successful with Ending the Epidemic 82


by 2020, and still have so much work to do...with still few resources to do it. Stories like mine aren’t as uncommon as most would think. Stories like mine are necessary to tell, even when some people don’t want to hear it. I share my story so that it doesn’t become the theme in

someone else’s biography. We don’t get the pleasure of writing our own stories, but we can decide how it is delivered and memorialized. According to research: 1 in 7 people that have HIV don’t know their status. I do. Do you? For testing, prevention, and much more: connect with my friends at ACR Health.

So, you were 21 when you learned that you had HIV...Can you tell us about how you contracted it, and what it was like finding out about the diagnosis? How did the diagnosis change your perception on life? That I also knew what was happening to me, which I take full responsibility for. Finding out the results was the easiest part of the journey. How did others react to you knowing that you had HIV? Being diagnosed with HIV has enhanced an already keen perception and understanding of the world around me. It has been both a blessing and a curse. As strange as it may sound, I can see those that may feel like their virus is invisible. I can hear them louder than the world around us, with an emphasis on all the things that aren’t exactly being said. HIV also taught me about how society receives people like me. For every person that loved, supported, and lifted me up; there was always at least one not so pleasant experiences that knocked me down, canceling each other out. I have an tribe behind me that has developed and changed over the course of my journey, each playing a pivotal role in who I am today. How did others react to you knowing that you had HIV? Having this diagnosis hasn’t really changed who I am, other than giving me an important purpose and platform. It




“I never thought that it would be me. I could never imagine saying: I have spent half of my life dealing with a virus that is completely preventable...BUT HERE #iAM KILLING IT...”

{ SHIFT+CONTROL } } { WHAT ABOUT THE MEN? “The most obvious takeaway from this life-long companion of mine would be pretty obvious: life goes on...with or without you.”

doesn’t define who I am, but it certainly defines part of why I am doing whatever I can to ensure that stories like mine are not only heard, but also listened to. The stigma surrounding this virus still exists, and is the exact reason why others continue to become infected. There are a number of social and public health campaigns that I’ve worked on that address this issue, but I believe the 86


most valuable changes have occurred through treatment, prevention, as well as other scientific and social outcomes. Collectively, we have made huge inroads; however, ignorance and intolerance remain. What has been the most positive takeaway from this lifelong companion, as you call it.

The most obvious takeaway from this life-long companion of mine would be pretty obvious: life goes on...with or without you. It forced me to attempt staying focused on the aspects of life that I was able to control or change.







The Capital District happens to be the home of the 2022 winner of the Ms. Wheelchair New York title. Heather Horwedel was recently crowned Ms. Wheelchair New York 2022 earlier this year. The previous title holder, Lauren Arena, lives in New York City but also has a home right here in the 518. As if that were not enough, the awesome woman who coordinates the organization for the state of New York also happens to reside in the Capital District. I would say that we are very well represented by these amazing young ladies. Capital Woman Online spent some time learning more about this organization, their mission, and even the local individuals who are involved. On occasion, people approach someone whom they see in a wheelchair and feel uncomfortable. They are not quite sure how to address them, they do not want to offend, they do not know much about people with physical disabilities, and they may tend to avoid speaking or even acknowledging them. This is a huge mistake. We think that somehow, we should perhaps treat them differently than we would someone who does not have a disability. Instead, we should be looking at these folks just as we look at anyone else. . People often do not notice when things are not accessible if it does not affect their every day lives. For instance, our current title holder,

Heather Horwedel, recently worked with our very own Crossgates Mall in Albany. She was able to use the ladies room stalls but could not reach the soap dispensers. She said that she would have to sit on the counter in order to be able to reach them. She let the folks at the mall know about this situation and that it was an issue needing attention, taking it in on as one of her projects. Crossgates changed things right away after speaking to her a couple of times. They had a consultant come in to see if it was ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliant and found that there

were at least 3 restrooms that needed some work. When Heather went back, the one she had originally reported had been corrected. They had moved a soap dispenser down and put an extra coat hook on the stall door that is now reachable. The hand dryer was in the spot right near the garbage can. This would cause someone in a wheelchair to have to move the garbage can in order to use it. Because of Heather reporting the issue, Crossgates Mall added a new one at the end of the stalls. This was very helpful because some people would not have had the hand or upper body strength to be able to move the can.

These are examples of things that occur daily that most of us fail to notice. Ms. Wheelchair New York is part of the larger Ms. Wheelchair America organization. Ms. Wheelchair America recognizes the accomplishments of women who utilize wheelchairs for mobility. The non-profit program which consists of the State Coordinators and State Titleholders has grown to include programs in more than 30 states including New York and also the District of Columbia. The state programs are staffed and coordinated by volunteers dedicated to increasing public awareness so that all citizens will be afforded the opportunities to be able to lead productive and meaningful lives. The mission of Ms. Wheelchair America is to provide an opportunity of achievement for women who happen to be wheelchair users to successfully educate and advocate for the more than 64 million Americans living with disabilities. Unlike traditional beauty pageants, Ms. Wheelchair America is not a contest to select the most attractive individual. Instead, it is a competition based on advocacy, achievement, communication, and presentation to select the most accomplished and articulate spokeswoman for persons with disabilities. The selected representative must be able to communicate both the needs and the accomplishments of her constituency to the general public, the business community, and the legislature. ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: JUNE EDITION 2022


{ WOMEN WHO INSPIRES { SHIFT+CONTROL } } “Shameka Andrews, the current Coordinator, got involved in 2004 when the national competition was held in Albany.”

Heather shared that she has had to learn how to speak up and promote things for herself. While advocating for her needs, she has also educated others around her. She continues to help them understand that they should treat people with disabilities as they treat others. For instance, she has had to educate employers and schools about reasonable accommodations. She has even had to work with medical staff to help them to understand what she needs and that regardless of their tests and procedures, she knows when something is wrong. Sometimes, healthcare providers also need help understanding the needs of their patients.

of 7 to 21. She has also volunteered there during their Spina Bifida Association of Northeastern NY (SBANENY) family weekends, talking with parents about what it was like for her as a child growing up with Spina Bifida, and how to navigate their child’s needs including school, friends, activities and medical needs. While there, she helped children build their confidence by assuring them that they are great just the way they are and by listening as they talked through different situations and thoughts. It is reassuring, comforting, and encouraging to them to know someone who has lived through the same things that they currently experience.

Heather is also interested in helping people with disabilities themselves learn how to have what they need in order to be successful. She has a desire to help them learn how to become more empowered to educate people in their communities by setting an example and encouraging their participation. She meets with government officials, just as she has with the Spina Bifida Association of Northeastern New York for many years. She works to ensure that the needs of people within the disability community are known, and that appropriate changes are made to better meet their needs. The Crossgates Mall story is just one such example. Kudos to Crossgates for listening and acting quickly.

This lady stays very busy. Heather spent a year and a half as the administrative assistant for SBANENY. She has also chaired their Walk-N-Roll since its inception 12 years ago. She has done advocacy work with them for many years, which has recently resulted in the organization being added to the NYS budget. She also participated on “Teal on the Hill”, which is an advocacy effort at the national level to benefit the needs of people with Spina Bifida through the Spina Bifida Association.

Heather has been working with children since 2005 and currently works in an after-school program with children ages 5 to 10. Heather attended the Double H Ranch each summer between the ages 90


Heather continues to work with others to bring attention to accessibility issues. Whether it is for children who would like to use the playground like everyone else, or older people who want to go grocery shopping or improve their health at the local gym, she takes an active role in trying to help people be able to live their lives to the fullest. She says that her intention will always be to advocate, educate, motivate, and empower others,

and to ensure that everyone’s voice can be heard. She also enjoys spending time with friends and family, volunteering, being outside, and staying active. She likes arts and crafts, especially painting and making jewelry, and will use them to raise funds for the Ms. Wheelchair NY program. Heather’s message to the public is that it is ok to step in and help, if it is done the right way. Also, please do not be afraid to approach people with disabilities. A lot of what she finds is that if people do not experience something themselves, they tend to not notice it. She also knows that many of the people who do have these challenges tend to accept the conditions and then figure out workarounds. However, this is not necessary. Just like with Crossgates Mall, positive changes can be made. Sometimes, thing just need to be brought to the attention of others in order to make improvements. To compete for the title, Heather had to fill out an application and provide information. She had to list past achievements and what she would want to accomplish as the winner if she were to get the title. As the winner, she had to pick a platform and identify some specific projects on which she would focus. She works at Kidz Korner after school program in Guilderland. She is teacher there where she assists with homework and plays games with the children. They have different stations that they can go to and do craft activities and things. There is also a playground area










{ WOMEN WHO INSPIRES { SHIFT+CONTROL } } “The fabulous young woman who held the New York State title prior to Heather was Lauren Arena. In fact, she is a competitive award-winning wheelchair dancer as well as a college student at SUNY Adirondack.”

for them as well as a computer room that they can use. So far, as the title holder, Heather has met many people and has been sharing information that can benefit others. Being able to use her platform and reach a larger audience is very important to her. With the title, she can do even more and have more opportunities to be able to help people. The national competition for Ms. Wheelchair America will take place Aug. 15 – 21 and it will be held in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She and a couple of friends of hers will drive there together. One of the requirements is to raise $2,000 to even participate in the national competition. That includes the housing, food, etc. The national competition process will include an application, essay, panel interviews and a platform speech. The top 5 named during that Saturday’s crowning ceremony will participate in an on-stage judging session. There will be a week of activities and the actual competition will be on the August 21st. One of the interesting themes for this year’s national event will be ‘Through the Ages’. Heather will have to pick an era and wear something that represents it. When we spoke to her, she was thinking about maybe choosing the 50s or possibly the western era. Whatever she decides, we know that she will look fabulous and will represent not only New York State but also the Capital District very well. There will also be a garden party at the nationals. Each year has different themes. Day 1 of this year’s

national event calls for casual attire. At another point during the week, the theme is ‘Under the Sea’, where she will have to wear something that represents the beauty of the ocean. She will also need a business professional look as well as a semi-formal or formal outfit. Heather shared that part of why she did all of this was that she had made a resolution to step out of her comfort zone. Public speaking has always been a challenge, so she wanted to stretch herself. Throughout her reign as Ms. Wheelchair New York 2022, she will make various appearances. To get to the nationals, she will be responsible for her own transportation. To get around locally, Heather takes the CDTA (Capital District Transportation Authority) Star bus, which is the wheelchair accessible transportation through CDTA. People who need it can make reservations up to a week or two ahead of time. Reservations need to be made at least by 3 or 4 pm the day before it is needed (that’s the latest a spot can be reserved). Some people need to travel with an aid. Heather does not. In looking toward the future, Heather has identified some other projects that interest her. She would like to work with some of her doctors and help obtain updated equipment. Albany Med worked with the Spina Bifida Association of Northeastern NY and re-opened a clinic a few years ago for pediatrics and within the last couple of years, for adults as well. Heather would like to see new equipment for the

clinic. Also, a wheelchair scale would be an asset that is currently unavailable here. This is a typically common piece of equipment, but not available as much locally. So, she would like for some of her local doctors in the 518 to have one. She would also like to see the type of examine tables that raise and lower. She will be looking into potential grants to help figure out a way to get some of this equipment so that more people can access it. Heather has 8 or 9 local doctors. A lot of people tend to go to Boston or Chicago for their medical needs. Those specialized facilities have been around longer than our local ones so, maybe these patients are not aware of the facilities in the area. In Heather’s condition, Spina Bifida, the spinal cord fails to fully form in the first 3 weeks of life, which impacts the entire nervous system. This is known as the snowflake condition. It does not affect any two people the same way in terms of their mobility. Some people need wheelchairs while some can walk, but perhaps with a different gait. There are also secondary conditions that can occur. So far, Heather has really enjoyed her experience as a title holder. She feels that Ms. Wheelchair America and Ms. Wheelchair New York are great organizations that do a lot of excellent work with disability awareness. The fabulous young woman who held the New York State title prior to Heather was Lauren Arena. Channel 10 in Albany did a feature on her where she told her story of being stricken at the ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: JUNE EDITION 2022


{ WOMEN WHO INSPIRE} } { SHIFT+CONTROL “The Capital District happens to be the home of the 2022 winner of the Ms. Wheelchair New York title. Heather Horwedel was recently crowned Ms. Wheelchair New York 2022 earlier this year.”

age of 10 with a very rare condition that ultimately caused her to also need a wheelchair. However, that has never stopped this lady. In fact, she is a competitive award-winning wheelchair dancer as well as a college student at SUNY Adirondack. Today’s iteration of Ms. Wheelchair New York started in 2001. There had been a few starts and stops early on. Shameka Andrews, the current Coordinator, got involved in 2004 when the national competition was held in Albany. At that time, Shameka was volunteering for the convention bureau and would pass out info and work in hospitality at the big events. It was suggested that she run for the title of Ms. Wheelchair New York. Shameka was not a fan of public speaking, but she stepped out and took the challenge. She ran and became the 2nd runner up. In 2006, she ran again and won the title! She served her year and then continued to volunteer. She served as a judge, and as a judge coordinator. In 2013, the then New York State coordinator stepped down and asked Shameka to take over. She has been the coordinator since that time. 96


When the COVID pandemic occurred, it changed some things and limited the ability to meet in person and have competitions and gatherings the way that had happened in the past. Several of the events were held online. They had not had a competition in a while and Lauren Arena held the title for an extended time while social distancing was required, and live events were not possible. Earlier this year, a live crowning ceremony was held in Saratoga Springs.

information. If you are interested in donating to the organization, volunteering and/or contributing to the title holder’s expenses, please call (518) 603-7941. For applications or to nominate someone, you can email disabilityempowered@ Eventbrite and Paypal pages are also available. If you prefer regular mail, the address to use is 646 South Pearl Street, Albany, New York 12202. Please put any correspondence to the attention of Shameka Andrews, State Coordinator. The Paypal address is disabilityempowered@

At that time, the title passed from Lauren to Heather. New York State also has a Junior Miss program which is for girls that are 13 – 20 years old. The Ms. Wheelchair competition is for women ages 21 and up. To learn more about the New York organization, visit the Facebook page called Ms. Wheelchair New York. You can also call Shameka Andrews for more

York State.

Heather Horwedel has her own page on Facebook and you can visit her there. For info on the national organization, visit mswheelchairamerica. org and click on New

Capital Woman Online would like to congratulate the organization for its great work. We would also like to wish our Capital District winner, Heather Horwedel, good luck at the national competition!

For applications or to nominate someone, you can email



Some people like to be different. They just do not like to be like everyone else. Nowhere is this truer than when it comes to clothing and fashion. Who wants to look like all the other people out there? For most women especially, one of the most devastating and even embarrassing things would be to get dressed up to go somewhere just to find that another woman is wearing the same outfit! Oh no! The nerve. How could she? Is there a place to hide?

or tell her what you would like. She can partner with you to design exactly what you imagine. She can help you bring your vision to life. You can also shop for items that are already made. She has a big selection of oneof-a-kind outfits that are reasonably priced. Each of her garments is very

One other thing that is wonderful about 22 Shades of Gray is that some of the garments are made from repurposed fabrics. What once was a pair of jeans may get miraculously transformed into part of a new dress or top. She provides quality that is unrivaled, and she sometimes does special treatments with dyes and bleach that make the fabrics even more interesting. Every item is well made, with durability in mind. Peggy really thinks of everything when she creates her garments. Most items are fully lined, which helps them to retain their shape and to also to wear better over time.

Well, the ladies of the 518 are lucky. They are fortunate to have an amazing original clothing designer right in their midst! They can ensure that for their next event, they can be stylish, comfortable, and will not look like everyone else. In fact, if they want to, they can even custom order garments made specifically for them. Meet Viola Peggy Gray. She is the owner of 22 Shades of Gray. This very talented woman is a master with a sewing machine. She makes clothing for women of all shapes and sizes and she delivers quality products every time. If you are interested in unique items that you are guaranteed to not see anywhere else, contact Peggy. You can either bring her your own fabric 100


kind, wonderful woman who truly loves what she does. She will make you something that works for you, make you look fabulous, will not cost an arm and a leg, and is created with attention to detail. She absolutely loves what she does and to the point that her awesome husband built her a shop from which to run her business.

feminine. They are also all machine washable, comfortable, and very well made. She makes her own patterns, is never afraid to try something new, and works with many different colors, prints and fabrics. Most of her garments even have pockets! Not only is Peggy an amazing designer who can sew ANYTHING, she is also a lovely soul. Peggy is a friendly,

Every so often, a designer or seamstress jumps out above the rest and Peggy is one such artist. When I saw her work myself for the first time, I knew that I had to see even more. Who is this woman? Who created this jacket? I LOVE this jacket! What? It comes in even more fabrics. Count me in. I need to see more. Once someone introduced me to this designer, I was hooked. I am now a customer and very well





















{ {FASHION FORWARD} } SHIFT+CONTROL “If you love clothing and are always looking for something different, but not willing to compromise quality, or style, then 22 Shades of Gray is for you.”

pleased. My daughter seems to be very pleased with my selections from 22 Shades of Gray as well because they somehow seem to go missing from my closet and end up in hers. If you love clothing and are always looking for something different, but not willing to compromise quality, or style, then 22 Shades of Gray is for you. In these days of ‘dress down’ for work and even working from home, fashion seems to have gotten lost. Well, the truth is, it is not lost at all……it is right 108


in the 518 in Buskirk, New York with Peggy at the 22 Shades of Gray location! Not too long ago, many ladies used to have to wear business suits to work. If it wasn’t a suit or a professional dress and nice shoes, it was not acceptable in the office. There was a quality as well as a sense of pride in how people looked and dressed, even at work. Oftentimes, ladies could go directly from work and then out to dinner. It is so refreshing to meet Peggy and shop her garments because she offers classy, stylish, feminine

outfits that can also go from work to dinner. If it is important to you to be able to express yourself stylishly through clothing, visit 22 Shades of Gray and see Peggy. Please call first to make an appointment. To learn more and see additional pictures, visit her on Instagram at @22shadesofgray. You can also view her products from the 22 Shades of Gray page on Facebook. To make an appointment, you can dial (518) 686-4195.




Helping women express their personalities through their fash Gray’s studio in the small to VISIT 22 SHADES OF GRAY ON FACEBOOK AT WWW.FACEBOOK.COM/22SHADESOFGRAY I

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

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Based on Short Stories From White Noise Volume One The Ferry Joyce has had a long stressful week in the city. Her little apartment provides her the necessary tools to be efficient for work, but her home on the island provides her the much-needed peace and quiet her poor body craves. The commute from the city to the ferry, though, is always stressful. Being so late, and fearful she will miss the last ferry, Joyce takes the backroads at breakneck speed. Not normally a hard task until unexpected fog rolls in. Making her misjudge a crucial turn that causes her car to roll into a ravine. Shaken but determined, Joyce was surprised that the car only rolled once and she was able to drive the car out of the ravine. No harm, no foul and thankfully no one around to see! Besides the poor condition her car is now in and the excruciating pain in her neck, she pushes through, hoping to catch the ferry. A little more careful, she edges closer to the dock. It seems later than it should be. In fact, no cars are waiting in line. Joyce looks at the clock on the radio and is shocked to see how late it is! Where had all the time gone? There is no way the ferry would still be here! But to her surprise, as Joyce rolls closer to the dock, she vaguely sees a man motioning her to come forward. Even in bright sunlight she hated driving the car onto the ferry, fearful she will hit something, but tonight was way worse! She could barely see in front of her because of the heavy fog, but she is relieved she is actually getting on the ferry! Joyce had never known the ferry to run this

late, but perhaps they had been delayed due to the fog? No matter, she parks her car and gets out. Joyce rubs subconsciously at her neck. Although it didn’t hurt, she felt a need to rub it.

wet, trying to get on to wi-fi but to no avail. A man clears his throat, interrupting Joyce’s thoughts. Joyce looks around to see where the man is, but the fog keeps him hidden in the shadows.

Surprised, Joyce realizes she is holding her iPad, then she remembers her phone was dead anyway so she must have grabbed it instead.

Unafraid, Joyce speaks up, “Crazy how bad the fog is, uh?”

An older woman approaches her, “Ma’am what are you doing here?” Startled by the woman’s appearance, Joyce answers truthfully, “I’m heading home. I know the car looks like a wreck, but it runs and drives.” The woman tries to hear her, but the insistent noise of waves in her ears drowns the woman’s words out, “What did you say?” Joyce realizes the woman looks a little unhinged and answers, “I’m just thankful the ferry is still here!” The woman looks around, frightened, “No, this ferry is...” she stumbles for the right words “under repair. You missed the last ferry!” Pissed, Joyce raises her voice, “Damn it! Some guy waved me on, so I simply followed him!” Suddenly Joyce feels the familiar lurch of the boat moving. She looks at the woman, “We are moving!” The old woman closes her eyes but sees nothing but the sea beckoning her. Opening them, she replies tiredly, “I guess you get your ride after all. Just stay in your car. Who knows what will happen in this fog?” Joyce watches the old woman shuffle off. She always feels sorry for the homeless. The demons they deal with must be rough. Joyce finds her way to a bench, that is soaking

Annoyed, the man answers, “What are you doing on the ferry?” Defensively, Joyce answers, “A man waved me on here!” The man sighs, “Ah yes, that would be Johnny. Poor kid still doesn’t know no better.” Joyce adds, “An older woman asked the same thing. I was going to go find out, but figured what was the point? The ferry only goes to the island, and that’s where I want to go!” The man sneers a little, “That old woman has her own worries!” Annoyed that people can be so cruel to the homeless, Joyce comes to her defense, “And what worries would that be?” The man points toward the windows, “Have you seen how thick the fog is out there? Being the Captain, she has more concerns than you right now!” Before Joyce can reply, he adds, “We should have never left the port in this fog! One person is not worth the risk!” Joyce feels guilty but has to ask, “Forgive me, but that old woman is the Captain?” The man nods. “Yup, I remember the day she came to us. All young like you and so proud to be a woman Captain. Me and the guys were not too sure about her. Boats and women tend to have a bad history.” Joyce sighs. She can’t believe in this day and ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: JUNE EDITION 2022


{ RWO SHORTS } } { SHIFT+CONTROL “Besides the poor condition her car is now in and the excruciating pain in her neck, she pushes through, hoping to catch the ferry.”

age there are still such thoughts! Ready to defend the woman again, Joyce replies, “Apparently she was quite capable, to be an older woman and still doing it!”

fear, most have not.”

The man shrugs his shoulders and asks, “What do you do for a living?”

Joyce looks down at her lap, “My iPad? Yes, in fact, I usually do a lot of my writing while commuting.”

Joyce hates it when someone asks that question. It is never an easy answer, “I am a writer.” Curious, the man asks, “What do you write?” Joyce sighs, “Horror stories.” The man laughs out loud and answers, “Really? Didn’t see you as the type. Though I admit, I give you credit for being here alone talking to a stranger.” Joyce looks around at the desolate ferry with the heavy fog. She supposed most women would be terrified of the situation she was in. Being on the wrong boat, scary looking fog, cell phone dead, no Wi-Fi; however, she can’t help but laugh along with the man, “I know right? I should be sobbing hysterically, but I have never been that kind of woman.” Surprised at her candor, he wonders, “Why is that?” Joyce thinks about it before she answers, “As a kid, I used to love anything that scared me. I would take it as a challenge. The more it scared me, the more I would go back and try to conquer it.” The man can’t help but smile, “Impressive.” Joyce shakes her head, “Not really. Unfortunately, the thing I enjoyed most, being scared, seems no longer an option for me. Nothing I read or see gives me that thrill I first had when I was a kid.” The man answers, “You have conquered 118


The man wonders, “Do you write your stories on that thing on your lap?”

The man hesitates, “I have a story.” Joyce quickly gets her iPad ready to write. She loves when strangers tell her their stories, “Mind if I write it down as you tell me?” The man agrees, “I’d be honored. There was a ferry due to be retired. Earlier in the week, they had stripped it. Leaving nothing but the shell. The crew was to dock it at the dock not but a stone’s throw away. Leaving none of them to worry of any risks due to lack of equipment.” The man sighs, “What they did not know was their Captain had made an arrangement with a passenger. The inexperienced Captain thought a quick jaunt to the island and back would not be a big deal. As for the fog, a perfect cover up for the Captain’s shady dealings.” The man explains, “These ferries are not sea worthy for the open sea, let alone without equipment to help. The crew quickly realized they had passed the dock they were supposed to go to and confronted the Captain.” Joyce easily types as the man tells his story. Occasionally, she looks around to focus on where the voice is coming from so she can see him. Unfortunately, the fog was only going to allow her to see his outline. Frustrated, Joyce looks back down at the iPad and continues typing. The man proceeds, “To their surprise, they are met with the passenger pointing a gun at them. They

learned the passenger was on the run and no matter what, the passenger was getting off the boat so as not to be discovered.” Disgusted, he explains, “The only thing they had on the boat was the passenger’s car and trailer, which happened to have a Jet Ski loaded on it.” Joyce smiles, “Ah, let me guess. The passenger insisted on taking the Jet Ski because he did not want to be on the boat when they were rescued?” The man nods, “What a nightmare it was for the crew to lower the damn thing into the sea, let alone try to tell the passenger he had no way of knowing where to go. Nevertheless, he was not about to listen. The Captain, trying to secure payment, assured the passenger that together, they would find the island.” Joyce adds, “Somehow they did get to the island, right?” The man nods sadly, “Yes, but once on the island the Captain refused to say anything to anyone for fear of being found out about helping the fugitive. The Captain, in disguise, left the island with the money and never looked back.” Joyce is shocked, “This was the Captain’s crew. Surely there would be some sort of loyalty?” The man agrees but answers, “The crew had never respected the Captain. Getting off the boat, money was not only the Captain’s reason to leave. The Captain knew the crew would have taken punishment into their own hands. They were a rough bunch, so either way it was a risk.” Joyce is confused, “Once the boat was found, the crew would tell everything. Then the Captain would be held accountable. That







{ RWO SHORTS } } { SHIFT+CONTROL “Joyce quickly gets her iPad ready to write. She loves when strangers tell her their stories, “Mind if I write it down as you tell me?””

was an awfully big gamble!”

not for the reader to decide?”

she is thankful. She finally made it home.

The man sighs, “One the Captain thought they won.”

Joyce chuckles, “Spoken like a true author! Thank you for the story.”

The man finishes his story, “The ferry was pronounced lost at sea and thought to have claimed all lives. Part of the trailer was found with the license plate still on it, placing the refugee as a possible passenger on the boat. He was pronounced dead, which was exactly what he wanted!”

Joyce hears nothing in return and realizes the man has left. Feeling tired, she decides to go back to her car. The darkness is overwhelming, but somehow she makes it back inside her car.

********** To this day, no one knows how Joyce’s car ended up on the island. The greater mystery was the time of her death. According to the coroner, her death had happened in the accident the night before.

Joyce wonders, “What happened to the Captain? Did the money bring everything it was meant to?”

Trying to focus on some sort of light, in the distance she sees a weird glow. A little relieved, it looks like it might be the workers. But how were they glowing? Fear washes over her like nothing before as they come closer! They reminded her of jelly fish she had seen pictures of illuminating the sea. One by one, these jelly creatures that looked to have once been men sloshed slowly by her car. Thankfully, they pass by her not paying any attention to her - yet. Joyce hears distant screams coming from what sounds like the old woman.

The man smiles, “What most don’t know is that a Captain is honor bound to their boat. Since the dawn of time, that commitment has always been in place. A Captain goes down with the ship, not only out of honor but an escape to the consequences for putting the boat and the crew in a bad position to begin with.”

Knowing she should try to get out and help her, Joyce is more concerned that when she reached for the car door, her own hand passes through it! Now, even more terrified, Joyce looks down and realizes she is not inside her own body. In fact, her own body is slumped over the steering wheel with her neck twisted at a strange angle.

Joyce is intrigued as she writes, “Consequences? What sort of consequences?” The man sighs, “The sea is not forgiving. Relentless, it will follow you in your dreams. It shows no mercy or compassion. It will eventually erode your determination to never return and then it will inflict its final punishment!”

Hearing the tortured screams of the old woman, Joyce realizes she is not up to conquering this fear or, for that matter, staying around long enough to conquer it! Joyce is determined not to stay on this ferry for eternity! Ahead she sees Johnny waving her forward, poor Johnny, still doing his job unaware.

Joyce closes her iPad and gets up, “The story you told me... fact or fiction?”

Determined, Joyce manipulates her old body to do one last bidding and drives the car off the ferry onto the dock. Exhausted she lets the first rays of sunrise wash over her as

Joyce is saddened by the story. “What do you think happened on the ferry?” The man speculates, “It is believed that a rogue wave came upon them. With no power, they had no chance, and the ferry went under.”

As the man turns, he mumbles, “Is that

However, the last story Joyce had w ritten on her iPad had been written several hours later. As for the old lady, she was the Captain in the story. The torment the sea had inflicted on her all those years had finally taken its toll and forced her to face her final punishment …for all Captains go down with their ship, even if it is years later.



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Tell us about LaCarla Carter. I’m married with three biological children and fleet of step children. I work two part-time jobs when delivering pizza the other one is a juice yoga bar. I do comedy in my spare time I also make candles.

advice you give to others? Advice is easy to be given out more than to follow. “What is your ‘why? ‘” Why do

How do you balance your professional and personal life? It’s very hard sometimes I have to put my phone down and give my family extra attention when I wanna be promoting my brand.

What made you decide to become a female comedian? I started with improv comedy group to release some stress due to a family feud. Stand-up comedy was more appealing to me.

What was one moment in your life that changed everything for you? Had many negative moments that altered my life drastically and I try not to dwell on them. Losing both parents to cancer and then my grandmother was the icing to the cake. Very depressing that she was not here to see the success of me doing my own production three times. She raised me since I was a baby due to my mom and dad being in and out of the streets in a drug war.

What would you say is your “signature” phrase or line? “Giving it to ya straight from the hood.” What does the phrase “Beauty Lies Within” mean to you? Beauty is on the inside is more important than beauty and the outside. How do you stay on top of the latest content for routines? I don’t lol What makes you “hustle”? The need not to be homeless. Trying to be a role model for my children. What made you choose this profession? Comedy just came natural to me. Do you walk your talk as a lady boss? Meaning do you own the

Who are some of the people that have inspired you? Beyoncé I love how she got to a certain place in her platform and then started standing up for black issues.

#Name 3 things that make you laugh. 1. my kids thinking that being grown is easier when they leave home lol you do what you do? I do comedy to bring awareness and shine light on issues.

2. My husband he thinks he’s a comedian now lol 3. Sarcastic comedy ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: JUNE EDITION 2022


“Giving it to ya straight from the hood.”




{BEAUTY SHIFT+CONTROL } } {{ BLACK WOMEN ROC LIES WITHIN “It’s very hard sometimes I have to put my phone down and give my family extra attention when I wanna be promoting my brand.”

What do you find is the best form of promotion for yourself? I’m still learning the business right now everything is circulating around social media content. Tell us one thing that most people

don’t know about you. I am fragile and sensitive. People always think I’m so tough. What are your plans for the next year? What about three years? Next year I plan on moving out of

New York State. Where will we see LaCarla next? More productions, More creativity and bringing my vision to life.



{BEAUTY SHIFT+CONTROL } } {{ BLACK WOMEN ROC LIES WITHIN “I do comedy to bring awareness and shine light on issues.”









Lesson #1: You are allowed to change your mind. I can’t promise it will always be comfortable, but I can promise you that you are allowed. There is no rule saying you can’t. Your decisions do not have to be set in stone. If you change your mind and decide to go a different direction, that’s perfectly okay. It does not mean you have failed or given up. When I was 16 I wanted to become a teacher. When I was 18, I wanted to become a criminologist. When I was 20, I wanted to become a writer. When I was 22 I just wanted a job to pay back my student loans. I had dreams that I would chase for a while, but then those dreams would change and I would feel guilty about it every time. I agonized over changing paths. But over the years, I continually changed my mind and found new dreams or goals as I learned new information and especially as I learned about myself. I pushed through that guilt and feeling of failure, because in the end I had to be true to what I knew about myself. It took me a long time to realize that it’s perfectly okay not to know and it’s perfectly okay to change my mind. Society conditioned me to think there was something wrong with me if I changed my mind. I was taught that I needed to have a plan, be successful, and work my butt off.

And although that may be true, you can always change that plan, or your definition of success. I was taught to stick to something or it meant I was

from…the thought that I had to have everything figured out or it meant I failed? Well, did you ever get asked the question “What do you want to be when you grow up?”. I did. Growing up everyone kept asking me “What do you want to be when you grow up?”. This question conditioned me that I had to have an answer and I needed to have a plan. But as a teenager, how do you know what you want to be when you grow up? Why did I have to know? Why was it a problem if I didn’t have a plan? I found that whenever I couldn’t answer the question, I would get even more questions. “What do you like to do?” “What about a lawyer?” “What about a doctor?” And then I would also get their opinions thrown in there too. “You need a job that makes a lot of money.” “You need to know, so you can pick your college major.” “You should know what you like to do.” “You need a good job to be successful.”

a failure. If I gave up then it meant I wasn’t successful. But changing your mind and switching the game plan does not equal failure. Now, where did I get these thoughts

Of course I wanted to be known as a good child. I wanted to be successful, I wanted to please the people around me, and I wanted to be perfect. And to do that everyone was saying I needed to know what I wanted to do. So, what happens next? I pick something. Fear that I will let everyone down if I change my mind. So, I stick with it. I go to school for it. I take classes that I hate. And I grapple with the anxiety that I am stuck with this decision in order to be successful. ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: JUNE EDITION 2022


“Your decisions do not have to be set in stone. If you change your mind and decide to go a different direction, that’s perfectly okay. It does not mean you have failed or given up.”

{ LESSONS FROM ATRACY RECOVERING } { {SHIFT+CONTROL } } TALKS } PERFECTIONIST { WOMAN WHO INSPIRES “I had dreams that I would chase for a while, but then those dreams would change and I would feel guilty about it every time.”

Then two years into my college degree it hits me. I am the only one that has to live with my decisions. I do not want to be an elementary school teacher. I can be successful even if I change my path. So, that’s what I did. And guess what? I did it again, multiple times over the last 12 years as well until I found something aligned with who I am and what I wanted to do with my life. It was so worth it!

need to that it’s okay to change your mind. If you have any other tips to share or your own story revolving around how you learned this same lesson,

Here are my top five tips to help you truly believe that you are allowed to change your mind without guilt, shame, or fear. 1. You are the only person who has to live with yourself forever. 2. Listen to your inner voice, but make sure to check in to see if that voice is actually yours and not formed by the words of others. 3. Journal it out. Things inside our head get a little jumbled, so try writing it down or recording yourself talking it out loud. 4. Look at the patterns that have happened to you when you stuck with something you didn’t want. 5. Remind yourself as much as you 138


please share it with us! Warmly, Devan About the Author Devan Robinson is the author of “What’s Your Worth? And I Don’t

Mean Money.”, motivational speaker, and life coach for female entrepreneurs. She helps women gain confidence and understand their strengths so they can reach their goals without guilt, shame, or fear. When she isn’t working on changing the world, you can usually find her hanging out with her dogs, spending time with her husband, or watching Netflix. If you are interested in learning more about her, check out her website www. developingwithdevan. com.







Have you ever heard “follow your gut”, “listen to your gut” or one I have heard so many times - “trust your gut.” While I have been known to repeat these phrases to others, I started to think about what they actually mean. Generally, these sayings are referring to your intuition - when the neurons in your gut chat with the ones in your brain. Yes, I said neurons. According to the the American Psychological Association, the gut is home to a network of 100 million neurons which communicate with the brain. Researchers have identified this gut-brain connection and it’s no joke. The connection functions both ways - a problem in your gut can send signals to the brain just as a troubled brain can send signals to the gut. It may surprise you to know that the gut actually manufactures about 95% of our body’s serotonin having direct impact on your mood. That, however, is just one of the many important functions. Our gut is a pretty valuable piece of real estate in our body. Not only does the quality of its health directly impact the regulation of mental processes, it also plays an essential role in your immune system with 70% of our immune cells being concentrated in the gut. Also impacted, is the health of your skin (the largest organ in your body) along with how well your nutrients are absorbed. With trillions of bacteria, or microbiome, the gut regulates your metabolism and digestion as well as regulating estrogen levels. The gut is a 140


vital part of a healthy body and mind so keeping it balanced and in tip-top shape is paramount to the quality of our overall health. Phew - that’s a lot of info! It’s not surprising that gut health is such a hot topic right now as the National Institute of Health estimates that 70 million Americans suffer with some sort of digestive disorder. Some of the top offenders include; indigestion,

with it menopause and all its baggage. Being that our gut regulates estrogen levels, the gut microbiome is impacted by drops in those estrogen levels. Let’s not leave out our sidekick stress which wants in on the game as well. When we are stressed, our body is in fight or flight mode and then diverts blood flow from the gut making digestion more difficult and causing, you guessed it… gut issues. If this seems overwhelming, take a deep breath - you have more control than you think! Improving gut microbiome is not only key for good overall health, but it can also have a positive impact on menopause symptoms. Here are a some ideas of things you can do to make a difference… 1) Avoid processed food … ultra-processed food can change the gut microbiota and lead to inflammation.

constipation, GERD, IBS, or leaky gut. These can cause significant discomfort as well as lead to more serious health issues. As we age, there is often a decrease in digestion quality which may be due to lower production of stomach acid. Muscle mass can also decrease as we get older and since muscle contractions move food through the digestive system this can cause a slow down in the process. Meanwhile, for us women, midlife brings

2) Add fermented foods to your diet… It can increase the diversity of gut microbes - try sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha, kefir, or miso to name a few. 3) Nourish your gut with probiotics… Choose high quality probiotic supplements that have several strains of beneficial bacteria. Make sure to include spore-forming strains. 4) Limit sugar intake … Sugar can reduce beneficial bacteria, keeping in mind that many





{LET’S SHIFT+CONTROL {{BLACK WOMEN ROC} } CHAT MIDLIFE “The gut is a vital part of a healthy body and mind so keeping it balanced and in tip-top shape is paramount to the quality of our overall health.”

5) Add some strategies to reduce stress… Self care, meditation, yoga, breath work, saying “no” more often, and exercise can all be helpful. 6) Slow down your eating and chew more… Digestion starts in the mouth as saliva contains digestive enzymes. 7) Consider a high-quality (organic, whole food) supplement… Our food supply is not as nutrient rich as it used to be making supplements often necessary. However, many supplements are full of synthetic chemicals and fillers so look for whole food, organic. 8) Eat some soil… Well, sort of here’s what I mean. Formed through breakdown of nutrient- rich plant matter, 142


fulvic acid contains organic substances beneficial to the gut. While we used to get these beneficial microbes in root veggies, most conventional soils lack organic plant matter leaving our food depleted of fulvic acid and the trace minerals we need to thrive as studies confirm 90% of us are deficient in one or more minerals vital for health. In this modern, fast-paced world, it can be confusing as we try to process the mountain of information about nutrition, exercise and our health. It seems one day something is good for you and the next it’s not with many opinions and very savvy marketing. Have you ever wanted to make a change but felt so overwhelmed that you do nothing? If so, you are not alone.

As we try to maximize the quality of our midlife years and beyond, there is much you can do for yourself and taking care of your gut is high on that list. If you would like to get more details on this topic or to discuss your personal situation, please reach out to me via email for a complimentary consult. Meanwhile, remember that some of your biggest issues only require small changes but those small changes can have major impact on the big issues. One step at time, you got this, I am cheering for you! follow me on instagram: @healthyjujugirl join my fb page: https://www.facebook. com/groups/healthyjujugirl email:






If there’s one thing I’ve learned from three years of coaching women to achieve their goals, it’s this…

they really want.

Women are strong as hell, when they let themselves be.

Their kids need them. Their spouses don’t support them. They don’t have enough time or money or experience.

When a woman has a goal and fully commits to achieving it, get out of her way, because she will not stop until she’s achieved it.

They don’t have any evidence they can make their goals happen. Actually, they have evidence they can’t. Evidence from past failures.

When a woman wants something that appears to be just out of her reach, she will find a way to get it, because she is smart, resourceful, and determined.


You name it, I’ve heard it, every excuse in the book.

Most of them come to me with a goal in mind that they really want to make happen but also feel a little defeated and unsure they can actually get what they want.

Even though the women that come to me feel mentally exhausted from thinking about all of the things holding them back from achieving their goals, these women also know they still really want to make it happen.

They’ve got every excuse in the book as to why they can’t have this thing

There’s a voice inside of them, or a feeling, or a general desire to see if


That’s when women reach out to me for help. And I love showing them how to get what they want. How to get started. How to take the first step. It’s a passion of mine. Think about this. We tend to overcomplicate things, right? It’s a human thing to want to overcomplicate things. And when we do that, things tend to feel really big and hard in our minds. But when we can simplify how we’re thinking, things start to feel easier and possible for us. Our motivation starts to build.

This is what I see when women are actively going after their goals while working with me as their coach. And it’s seriously inspirational. But women don’t always come to me with this super motivated state of mind.

they can do it anyways. They just don’t know how to get started. They don’t know what to do first. Their goal seems so far away and impossible.

Think about a goal you have in your life. It could be an old goal or a new one. Doesn’t matter. Think about that goal for a minute. Dust it off in your mind. Get all the cobwebs off of it. And ask yourself if it’s still important to you. If your answer is yes, it’s still important to you, ask yourself how to simplify the process and make it happen? What would that look like?





{ {COACHING WITH ANDREA TRACY TALKS } } } } WOMAN WHO INSPIRES { {SHIFT+CONTROL “When a woman has a goal and fully commits to achieving it, get out of her way, because she will not stop until she’s achieved it.”

Let’s get more specific.

make that happen in a simple way?

Is your goal to lose 20 pounds? Or fit into your old clothes again? Or make peace with your body once and for all? (Peace with your body is totally possible, by the way.) How can you simplify the weight loss process for yourself and make it happen?

You have full control over your life. You have the strength and power to make your goals happen. It all starts with intentionality.

If you want any help along the way, I can help you. Take the first step. Book a free consultation with me at: Andrea Scalici Certified Life Coach

Is your goal to go on dates with your spouse, have more fun together, and reconnect? Do you want to stop living like roommates and feel that magnetic pull towards one another again? You can make this happen. How can you simplify that for yourself and make it happen?



I’m willing to do a little work to make it happen for myself. Are you? Just let yourself get started. Keep it simple. Have fun with it. And you will be amazed at what you can create in your life when you do this.

Is your goal to stop yelling at your kids? To have a better relationship with them? To be more present in their lives? To feel calmer and in control around them? How can you simplify that for yourself and make it happen?

Is your goal to completely unplug from your business or work or phone for one week this summer? Unplug for one week without physically checking in AND without thinking about checking in. Feeling totally calm and present in your life. How can you

I deserve to have the things I want too. The things that are important to me.

As far as I know, we only get one life. How do you want to live yours? You deserve to have the things you want to have. The things that are important to you.








h c a o ife C

L d e i f i Cert

I help Business Owners reduce stress and achieve the work-life balance they intended when they first started their businesses. Take the first step. Book a free consultation at:






Like any good story, mine begins in Upstate NY in a small town next to another small town. I grew up in Lansing NY and went to Cornell (about 15 miles south) at possibly the best college town on the planet, Ithaca NY. So yes, I am familiar with long cold winters, lake effect snow and jumping into chilly lake water during June finals.

hormone science. My latest venture is b-untethered, a company dedicated to helping women rule their midlife through a science-based, proprietary food, fitness, and mindfulness app. Since menopause means changes to your body and mind, we created RESET: Live, a (first) big step on your physical and mental journey

When I consider my path in this life, it just felt right to return to my roots in the Finger Lakes region of NY. In between I have had some amazing business adventures that included Fortune 500 marketing roles that took me all over the world and then an exit from two different B2B companies. This led me to several personal challenges I set for myself that involved a hyper-focus on minimalist living while pushing to the edges of my physical fitness via adventure travel. The whole story is kind of crazy and someday, I will write a book about it. Oh wait, I did! It’s coming in September. It’s called “Midlife: turning Crisis into Quest.” As I love to create things through the lens of optimal wellness, I now return to Rochester where I trained for my first marathon to launch transform 6, our 6 week menopause diet and fitness program steeped in

Frame of Mind: multiply results by learning how to get out of your comfort zone You will leave this three hour course with new strategies and tools to help you shape your best life. This includes use of our rule meno app (available now in Android & Apple app store) that will deliver a 40/30/30 program tailored to your biometrics. We will give you practical lifestyle changes you can make to reduce menopause symptoms and you can spend a few hours with some new friends who are also going through their own menopause journey. You don’t have to go this alone. To join us, click here to register and invest in ruling menopause. Event: The Boathouse Club in Canandaigua NY, Saturday June 25th from 9-noon

in understanding and (re)creating your new hormonal self. We will share how we have decoded the science around hormonal changes… which we call “Menopause Math.” Food: 40/30/30 is the “what and when” to help you get your body back Fitness: +/- your workouts to get the results you seek

Keep your eyes on the Rochester Woman Online Facebook page where we will be showing you more! I can’t wait to spend Saturday on Lake Canandaigua on June 25th. (I feel confident it will not snow.) Thanks for welcoming me back home.



{ B-UNTETHERED } “The whole story is kind of crazy and someday, I will write a book about it. Oh wait, I did! It’s coming in September. It’s called “Midlife: turning Crisis into Quest.”








Caregiving of any child with a chronic illness takes a toll. Caregivers put their own needs aside and focus on the wellbeing of the person receiving care. Most people think that this is a noble way to live. Someone sent me this quote by Helen Barry “Putting yourself first doesn’t mean you don’t care about others. It means you’re smart enough to know you can’t help others if you don’t help yourself first.” My son is 29 and relies on me or an aide to dress, shower, and toilet. He lost his mobility when he was 21 and can no longer stand without his standing wheelchair. Caregivers often lose friendships and feel that if they leave their child in the care of others, the child will suffer; they are afraid to go out, let alone spend an overnight with a significant other or a group of friends. In reality, caregiving can be isolating. During the Rochester Woman Online’s Influential Woman’s summit in Syracuse, I met someone whose son had Down Syndrome; she told me about David’s Refuge. The mission of David’s Refuge is to provide connection and respite to caregivers of chronically ill children. As she explained the organization, I thought if I needed this type of support, there must be other people out there that could benefit from the services of this organization. David’s Refuge was started in 2012 by Warren and Brenda Pfohl; to honor their son David and their caregiving journey. The organization’s mission is to provide Respite, Resources, and Support to parents/ guardians of children with special needs or those with life-threatening medical

conditions. Their vision is to empower caregivers to lead their families with strength and grace. David Pfohl was diagnosed at age 8 with Batten’s Disease, an incurable genetic condition. For 13 years, the Pfohl’s provided high-level medical care to David in addition to being Mom and Dad to him and his two brothers. Their firsthand experience showed them the daily struggles that parents in this role face. They started David’s Refuge to provide a break for these parents and provide a place to rest, refresh, and restore. In addition,

they would provide a layer of caring and community by reminding these parents that they were not alone on their journey. David’s Refuge serves over 1000 families in Upstate NY and beyond. Their main goal is that every parent feels and is reminded through their services that they are not alone, that caregivers do, in fact, matter, and that God and this community love them. I reached out to Kate Houck, the Executive Director, to find out more and raise more awareness across the state for their mission.

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background. My name is Kate Houck, and I am the Executive Director of David’s Refuge. I joined David’s Refuge in January 2015 after a 10-year career working in various leadership roles with the Central and Western NY chapter of the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Throughout my career in the non-profit world, I have enjoyed the responsibility of leading creative and hard-working teams; and watching the magic transpire when our mission connects to local leaders who care. In addition to my work, I am the proud wife to Paul and mother to Nathan and Leah. I grew up in Holley, NY, and met Paul at SUNY Cortland after majoring in Communications. We live in Fayetteville, NY. What made you join the team as the Executive Director of David’s Refuge? I was inspired to join this team in 2015 because I had first-hand seen the results of untreated caregiver burnout in my ten years at the MDA. In my role there, I would see the vast struggles, including social isolation, financial hardship, marital challenges, mental illness, and physical burnout that these parents would face. I also knew there were minimal resources available. When I heard about David’s Refuge, I was excited to be able to offer this service to the MDA families, and when I heard that they were hiring, I jumped at the chance to be part of a mission that was so different and so ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: JUNE EDITION 2022


SHE HUSTLESMOTHER TALKS }}} } {SHE SHIFT+CONTROL HUSTLES TALKS { {ONE TOUGH “My innate drive is working alongside the team and how they continue to show up with open hearts, minds sharp, and compassion full blast each day in service to our families.”

different and so needed in our community. What motivates you? My innate drive is working alongside the team and how they continue to show up with open hearts, minds sharp, and compassion full blast each day in service to our families. David’s Refuge is doing this through our work in the caregiver community. We have the honor and privilege of empowering and connecting with local leaders who inspire us daily. We work to inspire, encourage and remind each person we meet of their greatness. Leave each day, week, month, and year knowing we contributed. What made the founders and staff believe David’s Refuge would thrive? The Founders saw the need for this in our community. They knew that caregivers were struggling and decided to do something about it. There is no one else doing what we do. What is the organization’s most outstanding achievement to date? Since I began with the organization, we have experienced yearly staff growth in addition to growing our services. Our culture of open communication, trust, and vulnerability allows us to execute high levels of service and excellence with a small staff. I would have to say that the thing I am most proud of each year is our ability to be nimble and adjust to whatever the world throws at us- all while holding tight to our mission, vision, and values. What are David’s Refuge’s plans for the future? 156


We will be working to refine a new concept launched just last year called the Caregiver Summit and Wellness Retreat. This concept allows us to bring our mission “on the road” and support communities who might not have a service like this available to caregivers. Our “Roadshow” is in addition to our well-known Respite Weekend, Wellness, and Community programs. The other side to speaking to a bright future is to create a sustainable and solid funding foundation. We will work to expand our Legacy Fund and Endowment over the next five years to ensure we have the funding we need to realize all of our goals. What has been your best form of promotion for the non-profit, and what platform is your favorite? For David’s Refuge, we thrive on organic growth through word of mouth. We currently have a 100% satisfaction rating, meaning that 100% of the surveyed families would recommend us to another special needs parent! We also have great success on Social Media. Many parents connect with us through 2 Facebook platforms- a private page just for caregivers and another for our company. Our staff connects to many of our supporters through Linkedin. Both Facebook and Linkedin provide a fun way to share our progress and demonstrate the impact of each investment. Once we serve a family and feel loved and supported, we are honored that they tell their friends. What advice do you have for caregivers who might not be able to get away for a weekend of respite?

I would encourage them to apply to be part of our community! In addition to overnight respite, David’s Refuge offers many other ways of connection. We have our Facebook page, virtual wellness offerings, community events, and a dinner reimbursement program. By applying to be part of our community, you can select which services work for you. We know each journey is different, and we are here for you! What are some mini respite tips that everyone could use? Know the Signs of Caregiver Burnout. Here are the most common: · Lack of energy · Overwhelming fatigue · Sleep problems (too much or too little) · A feeling of hopelessness · Changes in eating habits (weight gain or loss) · Withdrawn from or losing interest in activities you once enjoyed · Neglecting your own physical and emotional needs · Becoming unusually irritable, impatient, or argumentative with the person you care for · Anxiety about the future · Difficulty coping with everyday things · Headaches, stomach aches, and other physical problems Once you identify that you are experiencing burnout, take the time to: · Ask for help – asking for help does not make you an imperfect caregiver. Caregiving is best if not done alone. · Permit yourself to take breaks. Get out of the house, visit with friends, go for a walk, and do something just for you. · Take care of yourself. Don’t skip your







{SHE SHIFT+CONTROL SHE HUSTLESMOTHER TALKS }} } } HUSTLES TALKS { {ONE TOUGH “Our culture of open communication, trust, and vulnerability allows us to execute high levels of service and excellence with a small staff.”

doctor’s appointments because you are too busy. Exercise, eat well and get enough sleep. · Add in small moments in the day just for you – get up 15 minutes earlier than everyone else and enjoy

a quiet cup of coffee, practice deep breathing/meditation, yoga, or pray; even if it is just 5 minutes, do whatever works for you. If caregiver burnout is left untreated, it will impact your health, relationships,

and mental state. When you get to that point, the people suffering are you and the person receiving your care. Self-care isn’t selfish, and it isn’t a luxury- it’s a necessity.








I had heard an interesting tid-bit of information from a woman one time, when I was fitting her husband for a new custom suit. What she said was so impactful that I could not get it out of my mind. She said, “ A well dressed man in a suit, to a woman, is the equivalent to a woman wearing lingerie, for a man”. That absolutely blew my mind. So, if I was unaware of this theory, then how would the typical guy know that dressing well could be that impactful? Let’s say your guy is not the suit wearing type, but you would love the opportunity to make him look his best on those special occasions. Well if you want him to look his best, you may need to set him in the right direction. Guys are very visual and they know what they like, when they see it. I think most men forget that while women need to have an emotional connection, it certainly doesn’t mean that they don’t want a visceral connection to their man.

I guarantee you that that will be a revelation to them. If they don’t get the message, then buy him a gift certificate to a men’s clothing store or have a suit custom made for him. Since most gift certificates are not exchangeable, he will have no choice but to get a suit or a sport coat and slacks. Make him feel special and make sure that you go to a higher quality men’s store and not a national menswear chain. Not only will they make him look great, but they will give him a great experience so he can’t wait to get his new threads. Tell him how handsome he is going to look in his new garments. It certainly won’t hurt to stroke his ego a little bit. Guys are not used to getting those kinds of compliments and it will send a signal that you find him even more attractive.

Guys think that once you are together, that they can stop trying. Also, if they were able to interest you when wearing t-shirts and jeans, then they don’t need to try any further to keep you happy.

Guys are like little boys. If they start hearing compliments from you and you let him know how much you appreciate him doing this for you, he will look forward to the next time he needs to wear his new outfits. Not to mention, if he is at a party and a couple of people compliment him on how good he looks, it will set off alarm bells in his head.

So the first point of business is to let them know exactly that. Tell them that a man in a well tailored suit makes women feel the same way as when a woman wears lingerie for their man.

Consider him your new boy toy. Do a reverse Pretty Woman and take him shopping and have him try on outfits, rate each outfit a one through five and have fun with him. Then reward him

So the first thing you need to do is, take action.

with a couple of new pieces of lingerie you can model for him. After all, good behavior should be rewarded. So, why do so many guys avoid dressing up, do they really not care? Most guys don’t like making the effort because they have a “good enough” mentality. Have you ever heard him say, “Does this look good enough”? Guys fear what they don’t know, and will avoid wearing anything that is not in their safe zone, when it comes to the way they dress. They can tell you how many horsepower a 1969 Chevelle had from the factory, but they can not tell you what suit size they wear. You are not born knowing that red wine does not pair well with fish or how to properly tie a necktie with a perfect dimple. It is something that is taught to you, someone has to take time to help you to learn. Only then, will you come to appreciate why some things work and why others do not. Be the woman that takes interest in how the man in your life presents himself. He is a reflection of you and your family. Believe me, you will be amazed that once you show him why it’s important to you, he will start to love the way it makes him look and the way it makes you feel.





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Navigating Student Loans and Student Loan Refinancing Congratulations! Your child is graduating from high school and has been accepted to the university of their choice! You cry happy tears, knowing that the next exciting chapter of their life is about to unfold. Then, reality sets in and, possibly, anxiety as you think about the cost of a degree. You might have been setting aside money in a college fund for years, but there will still be expenses that need to be covered. Chances are you or your child are going to need a loan, but where to start? Student loans can be a form of “good debt” – an investment that generates not only return in the form of human capital, but also in financial return with stronger earning power. You can borrow from any lender that you want: federal or private. But It’s really important to understand how student loans work and how to get the most out of them before you borrow. How do Student Loans Differ from Other Types of Loans? Student loans are designed specifically for funding education. But they are different from other types of loans. Often, student loans have lower interest rates than other loans for which you might qualify. Federal student loans, offered through 164


the US Government, are borrowerfriendly, affordable, and it’s easy to qualify for them. Interest rates are relatively low and are fixed for new borrowers (so no surprises regarding interest rates); interest costs might be subsidized for some students; student loans are generally low-risk for lenders (lenders view a degree as an indication of ability to repay your loan). Federal student loans generally don’t require any credit history, so a student loan is most likely the first loan for which young people can get approval. That said, student loans can help you establish credit, so it is important to remember to repay the loan on time so you can more easily qualify for other loans in the future (mortgages, car loans, etc.) After borrowing everything you can with government loans, you can turn to private lenders if you still need more funds. Many financial institutions offer student loans. With a private lender, you will need to qualify for the loan (have good credit and sufficient income to repay the loan). Many students don’t have this, so a parent or someone with good credit will apply for or co-sign the loan with the student, which makes both parties 100% responsible for repaying the loan. While federal loans have fixed interest rates, private loans can have variable rates. TYPES OF STUDENT LOANS

Here are the most common types of loans available through the US Government: Stafford Loans are easy to qualify for. Interest costs may be subsidized, and they are available for both undergrad and grad students. PLUS (Parent Loans for Undergraduate Students) Loans resemble a private loan in that they require a credit review and payment begins soon after disbursement, but they are federal loans. These loans go to parents, which allows them to cover expenses for their children. Consolidation Loans combine multiple student loans into a single loan. Although this offers a simpler repayment option (one payment instead of many), if you decide to mix federal loans with private loans, you could lose valuable benefits from federal student loans. Income Share Agreement (ISA) provides students with funding while they are in school. When they leave school, they pay a fixed percentage of their income to the lender for a fixed number of years. The benefit of this type of loan, means that you repay what you can afford, versus an amount set for you. Where to start? 1.Begin with your school’s financial aid office and ask what types of aid are available. Be sure to ask about grants and scholarships.








Have you ever thought about how you want to age? Have you ever envisioned your life after retirement? I think most people know what they want for themselves & their families but tend to leave it to chance instead of executing a plan to create that reality. I have that vision and plan not just for myself, but for you as well. You see, after my cancer diagnosis at the age of 31, my life changed. I left a flourishing career as a hairstylist in Saratoga Springs for the world of healthcare as an Occupational Therapist. I knew in my heart I wanted to experience all the inner workings of my new career path working with individuals from birth through death & I set out to find those experiences. Over the years I witnessed some miracles as well as some very unfortunate stories and situations. The common thread throughout them was the unpreparedness for these storms and the lack of support in navigating through the rough and unfamiliar waters of healthcare in America. I also saw some groups less served by “the system” then others. As years went by, I was often asked, why isn’t this “out there” somewhere? Why don’t they tell you this stuff? I searched and found there wasn’t a resource out there. Of course, there is AARP, but that is broad and cumbersome website and if you found the information I am providing, it would not be from firsthand experiences and it would take significant time searching for. To understand more of what I am talking about, we should start at the beginning.

What is Occupational Therapy? It is the only healthcare profession (spending category to insurance & facilities) that has been found to reduce hospital readmissions by decreasing a person’s risk of further or future injury. How? Because we treat the person. Occupational therapists consider the person, the activities they perform that are important to them, and the environment these activities are performed in. Our scope of practice covers everything from personal hygiene to sexuality and spirituality. It

is the profession of wholeness and if we can’t repair what no longer works in the body, how can we adapt to maintain independence in what matters most to each of us? As you can see, this holistic view of treating people and maintaining or gaining independence is a crucial part of living. The longer I worked in the clinical aspects of the adult and aging population, the more emotional shifts from hope to desperation I witnessed by misinformation and inexperience in this realm.

I sought out educational opportunities to better serve those that appeared underserved. I earned certifications as a certified geriatric care professional, certified lymphedema therapist, and certified dementia practitioner. I also advocate for minorities whose needs may be unmet based on lack of understanding, language barriers, financial disadvantages, cultural difference, and so on. I am impassioned to educate people to better understand their health conditions in order to reduce the risk of complications and significant disability. I have created Senior Well-Being Solutions with the mission to guide people through creating their own personalized proactive plan for wellness while avoiding the healthcare pitfalls throughout the aging (and caregiving) process. “Don’t Let Your Golden Years Tarnish!” because I heard that the most frequently throughout my career-scoffing at Golden Years while laid up in a rehabilitation facility or nursing home. Certainly, these facilities are necessary, but understanding how to navigate and advocate is a skill one best knows from being inside the inner walls. It is inevitable that someone will be injured or get sick and need assistance but being prepared for the “health storm” creates a sense of peace, preparedness, and often a faster discharge home. Ten thousand people are turning 65 every day in America & 90% of them will require some form of assistance or support with no plan for who will help or who will pay for it. People assume ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: JUNE EDITION 2022


{{ BLACK WOMEN ROC} } WELL-BEING {SENIOR SHIFT+CONTROL “Have you ever thought about how you want to age? Have you ever envisioned your life after retirement? ”

Medicare covers everything. My father is on a fixed income and asks me for guidance throughout the years. He has questioned what people who don’t have a family like his in their life. My sister, my daughter, and I all work in healthcare and able to provide support, but that is not common. My goal & my passion are to provide people with the same guidance and support I offer my own father. I welcome the opportunity to partner here and provide value and insight in the months ahead. From technology to help you age in place and home improvements that will age with you without looking institutionalized to free self-care tips that you can do to keep your mind, body, and spirit 168


healthy, there are many valuable things I want to share! I will mentor you through signing up for Medicare and understanding the differences in legal documentation you should have as you age. I look forward to this journey with you to be proactive instead of reactionary in an area we don’t like to think about, but all must deal with. In the end, we plan for everything from college and career to large purchases and vacations, and even retirement finances, but we tend to leave this area to chance. It’s my honor to walk beside each and every one of you to change that and plan for wellness. Cathleen Favaro is a recognized and highly respected Occupational

Therapist, Educator/Advocate, and Geriatric Care Specialist with a reputation for helping individuals and organizations create quick and sustainable results. An expert on aging & wellness, she is known for simplifying complex problems and creating actionable and effective solutions. She is a wife, mother & grandmother who enjoys music, being outdoors, & entertaining. She is always giving and helping friends, her community, and her church. She founded Senior Well-Being Solutions to protect and advocate for her peers and the aging population that she frequently saw during troubling times. For more about Cathy visit









{ {SHE SHE HUSTLESSPEAKING TALKS }} } } HUSTLES TALKS { FINANCIALLY SHIFT+CONTROL “Apply for grants and scholarships, no matter how small. This will reduce the amount that you will need to borrow.”

2. Fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form, which gathers info about your finances. Both the US Government and your school will use this to determine your need for financial aid. You will need to complete this at the beginning of every calendar year (fill out to the best of your ability) – you can go and update any estimates later. 3. Apply for aid with your school’s financial aid office and through any other sources. If approved, you might need to complete an introductory entrance counseling session to learn how your loans will work. 4. For private loans, find a lender that meets your needs and apply for a loan with that institution. 5. Understand the terms of the loan and when you will need to start repaying them. Even though you might not be paying back immediately, it is important to know when your payments will be due. Some loan programs work to help make repayment more manageable. Private lenders have flexible terms as well. With some loans, you don’t have to start making payments until you are out of school, allowing you to focus on your studies. Some loan programs (especially federal student loans), offer unemployment deferment, or adjust the amount of your monthly payment when money is tight. If you sign up for income-driven repayment plans, you can avoid the need to make payments that you cannot really afford. The interest that you pay on student loans may help reduce your taxes.

THE WISE BORROWER Student loans can be the ticket to a brighter future but can also be a serious burden. The more you borrow, the more you will have to repay. Whether you are a parent who is taking out a loan, or the student taking out a loan for him/herself, imagine what life will be like when you are repaying the loan. Apply for grants and scholarships, no matter how small. This will reduce the amount that you will need to borrow. Students can work part-time to pay some of their education costs. In addition to generating some income, it can also gain you valuable experience that some of their peers won’t have until after graduation. Check out less expensive schools and in-state education. After graduation, how much will it matter where your child went to school? The first couple of years are sometimes taken up with core courses that can be taken at any accredited college. Cut costs when you can: used books, inexpensive entertainment, etc. Remember that every time you accept funds from a student loan, you will have to repay it all (plus interest) at some point in the future. REFINANCING STUDENT LOANS Like many Americans, you may still have student loans on which you are making monthly payments. There’s a lot in the news right now about student loan pauses and forgiveness and if you do

still have outstanding student debts, it’s important to keep abreast of the current situation as it may affect you. But here are some tips if you are considering refinancing your student loan. When you refinance a student loan, you (as the borrower) take out a new loan to pay off your existing loan in take advantage of a lower interest rate or more beneficial repayment plan to save money. If you or your child has student loan debt, you either have a federal loan, or a private loan. It’s estimated that 90% of student loan debt held is for federal loans. Some people can save thousands when refinancing, but before you do so, you should ask yourself these two questions: Should I refinance my federal student loans? Although it may mean that you can get a lower interest rate, you should do your homework when it comes to refinancing your federal loans into private loans. Federal loans already have lower interest rates and more regulation than private ones. Once a federal loan becomes private (which it does when you refinance), most of the protections, including potential loan forgiveness, loan discharge, and income-based repayment plans, are no longer valid. Also, those loans can never revert to being federal loans again. But, if you have a high-interest loan and you qualify for a lower interest rate, refinancing can save you money. ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: JUNE EDITION 2022





SHIFT+CONTROL { {SHE SHE HUSTLESSPEAKING TALKS } } } HUSTLES TALKS { FINANCIALLY “Some loan programs work to help make repayment more manageable. Private lenders have flexible terms as well. ”

At the end of the day, if you have a steady income and can keep up with the monthly payments, refinancing can make good sense. If you like the incomebased repayment options available on a federal loan, want the opportunity for public service loan forgiveness, or you are benefiting from COVID-related forbearance protections, refinancing might not be the best answer for you. If you think that refinancing your federal student loan is the best choice for you, Mark Kantrowitz, author of How to Appeal for More College Financial Aid advises waiting until November’s midterm elections to refinance. “If student loan forgiveness passes, it will be prior to the midterms, so refinancing now will negate forgiveness eligibility.”

having problems making payments, lenders might be wary of signing you up for a new one. If your credit is poor, talk to your lender about adjusting your payment plan and continue working on improving your credit. Your income Your income level shows lenders that you earn enough money to repay your loans and keep up your payments. Lenders will look at your income, the income of your co-signer (if applicable) and your

Should I refinance private student loans? This is simpler because your loans are already private. Shop around - if you find a lender with better rates and terms, refinancing could make sense and save you thousands of dollars over the life of the loan. If you have a private loan, Kantrowitz advocates for refinancing to a fixed-rate loan before interest rates rise. Before you refinance, you should take into consideration the following: Credit Score To qualify for a lower interest rate then your current loan, you need a good credit score. A FICO score of at least 670 is considered “good.” If you’re currently

DTI (total monthly debt payments divided by your total gross monthly income). A DTI ratio represents the debt you have compared to the amount of money you earn. A high DTI may be a red flag to lenders. Competitive rates and terms Compare lenders to make sure that you are getting the best rates and terms. Consider monthly loan repayments, total repayment terms, and interest rates. Choose a plan that works for you and offers the highest monthly payment you can afford. Longer repayment

terms mean lower monthly payments, but more interest over the life of the loan. Avoid repayment terms of more than 10 years. Prequalification Many lenders may offer the option to prequalify, allowing you to see what potential interest rates and monthly payments will look like. Based on the change from your current loan terms, you can decide if refinancing makes sense for you. However, prequalification does not guarantee loan approval or specific rates. Consider a co-signer Refinancing lenders may give you the option of adding a co-signer – or conversely, to release one. If you don’t have longstanding credit history, you may need someone with good credit to co-sign your loan. Co-signers are taking on the responsibility of your loan too, and they will be required to make payments if you are unable to do so. Keep in mind that your repayment history will impact their credit score. Conversely, to release a current co-signer, you can refinance a student loan in your name alone. Make sure you meet the credit and payment criteria. The Summit Federal Credit Union offers its members a new, broad scope of private student lending solutions, focused on innovative solutions, personalized service, and financial education. Click here for more information.




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STILL IN SCHOOL? Check out our undergrad and graduate loan options! MEMBERSHIP ELIGIBILITY REQUIRED. Limited time offer. Subject to change without notice. 1.) To qualify, the loan application must be started between 5/12/2022 and 6/30/2022. Upon approval and disbursement of your refinance loan, the primary borrower will receive a cash deposit of $250. The cash deposit will be awarded in the form of a deposit to your credit union checking or savings account within 90 business days from the funding date of the loan. The primary borrower must be a credit union member in good standing at the time of deposit. Limit one cash award per borrower. The credit union reserves the right to modify the terms of this offer at any point in the future for new applications. Recipient is responsible for any applicable federal, state, or local taxes associated with receiving the cash deposit; consult your tax advisor to determine applicable tax consequences. *Subject to credit qualification and additional criteria, including graduating from an approved school.



Zeta Zeta Chapter Rochester, NY Dr. Eva J. Thomas, Zeta Zeta Chapter President Tell our audience what the National Sorority of Phi Delta Kappa is? The National Sorority of Phi Delta Kappa, Incorporated is a professional organization of women in the field of education. As a professional organization of well-trained and effective educators in all components of the learning spectrum, NSPDK is dedicated to training youth and adults to develop and enhance those skills, abilities, attitudes and ethics that will prepare them to function successfully in a democratic society.

The following characteristics represent educators to be recruited for membership: 1. Educators with exceptional teaching skills, organizational skills and leadership experience. 2. Educators who are willing to invest time and talent in the National Sorority of Phi Delta Kappa, Incorporated as an extracurricular priority.

What is the mission behind the sorority? To Foster a Spirit of Sisterhood Among Teachers and to Promote the Highest Ideals of the Teaching Profession”. What made you decide to join the sorority? Becoming part of a sisterhood! The National Sorority of Phi Delta Kappa, Incorporated seeks to attract individuals who possess good moral character, exemplify self-respect and exhibit professional integrity. Candidates for membership must be actively engaged in the field of education. Every Zeta Zeta Soror is either a teacher, School Administrator or a District Administrator.



3. Educators who are committed to and feel comfortable advocating all components of the Youth, Education, Service Program (Y.E.S.). 4. Educators who represent a diversity of backgrounds, interests, experiences, talent and academic pursuits. 5. Educators who foster enthusiasm and dedication to students and the teaching profession. They demonstrate passionately the pursuit of excellence.

They express openly their beliefs that all children can learn, and admit that they are lifelong learners. The educators believe in teamwork, network, and work! 6. Educators who demonstrate a charitable and giving spirit in time and money. How did you get to where you are today? What gives your mission strength? The National Sorority of Phi Delta Kappa, Incorporated (NSPDK) is a nonprofit, educational sorority founded by eight educators desiring to establish a sisterhood among teachers and promote the highest ideals of the teaching profession. NSPDK was the idea of Gladys Merritt Ross, who, on Good Friday, March 30, 1923, convened a group of young teach­ers from Jersey City Normal School in Jersey City, New Jersey to discuss the idea of forming a sorority. Eight members of those present concurred, and Newark attorney, J. Mercer Burrell, incorporated the new organization on May 23, 1923 - which is now recognized as the official Founders Day. Because the original members were all minors, their parents or guardians, Dr. G.E. Cannon, Mr. J.L. Merritt, Mrs. Lottie Cooper and Mrs. Estelle Morris became trustees. The eight founders are Gladys Merritt Ross (Mother Founder), Julia Asbury Barnes, Ella Wells Butler, Marguerite








SHE HUSTLES TALKS HUSTLES }} } { {WOMEN WHOTALKS INSPIRE {SHE SHIFT+CONTROL “Zeta Zeta continues to work with our National Leaders to engage in recruiting efforts for new members for our Charter.”

Florence Steele Hunt, Edna McConnell, Gladys Cannon Nunery and Mildred Morris Williams. The National Sorority of Phi Delta Kappa Incorporated, Zeta Zeta Chapter of Rochester, NY. was discovered based on former affiliation with Kappa Omicron Tau at Delaware State University under the direction of Soror Dr. Elise Braithwaite. Zeta Zeta Chapter was chartered on June 13, 2021 in Rochester, New York at the Hyatt Hotel. Zeta Zeta became the 144th chapter of the National Sorority of Phi Delta Kappa, Incorporated with a total of nineteen (19) women. Zeta Zeta Chapter supports the following educational pillars, which are Y.E.S. (Youth, Education, and Service). Our hearts desire is to give back to our community, nation, and the world by mentoring, supporting and donating scholarship funds to aid our youth in the field of education. Furthermore, we are an organization that believes in the power of community service. There is an African proverb that says, I am, because you are.” We know that by sowing seeds into our youth, we will be able to reap a plentiful harvest by supporting future educators. In 2023, our organization will be 100 years old. In the Spring of 2023, we will be accepting applications for new membership. What challenges have you faced this year, especially in business, and how have you pivoted? It has proven slightly challenging to manage the schedules of many extremely busy professional women with families,

church and community responsibilities. Everything that we do is important to someone in our community so finding the time to commit to The National Sorority of Phi Delta Kappa Incorporated Zeta Zeta Chapter has to be very deliberate. We are intentional in building cohesiveness with nineteen women in our chapter and stay true to our National Sorority’s mission / vision, eBoard Meetings, Chapter Meetings, Monthly Events, etc. What motivates you and keeps you moving forward and how do you encourage new membership ? Zeta Zeta continues to work with our National Leaders to engage in recruiting efforts for new members for our Charter. Our Charter is active in local events, partnering with Elementary and High Schools and Post-Secondary Institutions, on behalf of Youth Education and Service. A disproportionate number of black women are represented within statistics related to poverty, and lack access to economic and educational opportunity. Our National Sorority partners with the Black Women’s Agenda (BWA) which is devoted to advancing, securing, and protecting the rights of these women. Constantly, the women of BWA strive to acquire greater understanding and cooperation about issues that affect all women and their families, while searching for new knowledge and new conceptualizations about said problems. Through the establishment of social priorities (an agenda), BWA facilitates discussions that lead to effective policies and meaningful change. Their continuous vigilance on issues affecting Black women worldwide empower women to step up and mitigate the gender gaps that affect

women in our society. There continues to be a need for educators of color to have a space to prepare, plan and respond to some of the unique needs that we face in the educational systems we serve. How long has the sorority been around and how did it start? What is different about it today? The National Sorority of Phi Delta Kappa, Inc. (NSPDK) is a nonprofit, educational sorority founded by eight educators desiring to establish a sisterhood among teachers and promote the highest ideals of the teaching profession. NSPDK was the idea of Gladys Merritt Ross, who, on Good Friday, March 30, 1923, convened a group of young teach­ers from Jersey City Normal School in Jersey City, New Jersey to discuss the idea of forming a sorority. Eight members of those present concurred, and Newark attorney, J. Mercer Burrell, incorporated the new organization on May 23, 1923 - which is now recognized as the official Founders Day. Because the original members were all minors, their parents or guardians, Dr. G.E. Cannon, Mr. J.L. Merritt, Mrs. Lottie Cooper and Mrs. Estelle Morris became trustees. The eight founders are Gladys Merritt Ross (Mother Founder), Julia Asbury Barnes, Ella Wells Butler, Marguerite Gross, Florence Steele Hunt, Edna McConnell, Gladys Cannon Nunery and Mildred Morris Williams. In 2023, our organization will be 100 years old. In the Spring of 2023, we ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: JUNE EDITION 2022


SHE HUSTLES TALKS HUSTLES }} } { {WOMEN WHOTALKS INSPIRE {SHE SHIFT+CONTROL “The National Sorority of Phi Delta Kappa, Inc. (NSPDK) is a nonprofit, educational sorority founded by eight educators desiring to establish a sisterhood among teachers and promote the highest ideals of the teaching profession.”

will be accepting applications for new membership. Sorority chapters are consistently updating their bylaws to stay abreast of technology changes and educational law. We are an organization that believes in the power of community service. There is an African proverb that says, I am, because you are. We know that by sowing seeds into our youth, we will be able to reap a plentiful harvest by supporting future educators. What are some of the pros and cons of being a part of the sorority and its mission? Pros: sisterhood, networking, empowerment, pour into youth or the next generation. Opportunity to shift the profession of teaching….student achievement, acceleration, etc. Cons: Investment of time; financial investment; stamina to continue with the mission and vision of a sorority / fraternity. While working full time. None of us want to half do anything, so we maintain a high level of engagement in all aspects of our personal and professional lives. Finding time to decompress is no longer a luxury but a requirement that we are very cognizant of. Do you have any helpful advice to someone interested in joining? Take the time to decide “WHY” you would like to join a sorority. After that, it will be easier to make the commitment and stick with it. 184


Tell our audience one thing about Phi Delta that not many others know. Quite frankly, I am not sure that many in the Rochester area knew much about The National Sorority of Phi Delta Kappa, Inc., at all until we chartered Zeta Zeta. The idea of an all professional sorority, dedicated to the field of education is unique . What’s the most crucial ideas for empowering your audience of teachers? THE EDUCATION COMPONENT CONSISTS OF: TEACH-A-RAMA It is designed to acquaint teachers, parents, students and the community with various aspects and issues in education. A Teach-A-Rama may be presented in the form of an educational forum, workshops, seminars, lectures, courses, etc. Teach A Rama is the space in which we provide guidance and opportunities for educators to expand their repertoire of effective strategies to use in their professional lives or practices. EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION It focuses on the provisions of meaningful learning experiences for pre-school children that will improve their readiness for school and subsequent scholastic achievement. LITERACY The umbrella of Literacy includes academic skills centers that supplement classroom work by providing opportunities to enhance proficiency in such areas as reading, math, language arts, science, social studies, technology and African American History.

COMMISSION ON CIVIL RIGHTS AND EDUCATION It focuses on matters and issues involving education and the civil rights of children, youth, adults, teachers and professionals in education. PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT AND LEADERSHIP TRAINING It focuses on educational and sororal leadership training to meet the goals of the Sorority, administrative roles of committee members and officers; members’ roles, and all components of the Y.E.S. Program. Where will we see Phi Delta Kappa next? Any big plans? ● In the Spring of 2023, Zeta Zeta Chapter will be accepting applications for new membership (e.g. first line). ● Zeta Zeta Chapter sponsors upcoming Youth Education and Service Events in the Rochester Area: YOUTH ○ Xinos - a guidance group for female youth in grades 9 through 12. ○ Kudos - a guidance group for male youth in grades 9 through 12. ○ Kappa Omicron Tau (KOT) - a college guidance group for students pursuing a degree in education. ○ HUB Parents - the mothers, fathers, guardians and other relatives of the Xinos and Kudos who volunteer to assist sorority members with the supervision and implementation of the Xinos and Kudos activities.







SHE HUSTLES TALKS SHE SHIFT+CONTROL HUSTLES }} } } { {{WOMEN WHOTALKS INSPIRE “We are an organization that believes in the power of community service..”

EDUCATION ○ Teach-A-Rama – offers workshops centered around theme which are beneficial to the community such as Educator Loan Forgiveness. ○ NSPDK, Inc. National & Eastern Region Scholarship Programs – Zeta Zeta Chapter donates to each of these scholarship programs ○ Professional Development and Leadership Training – Several Zeta Zeta Chapter members provide professional

development workshops in Rochester and throughout the northeast region. ○ NSPDK, Inc. eLearning Academy - a professional development online resource designed to offer education professionals, parents, and students quick and easy web-based access to skill based activities for a wide array of learners. SERVICE ○ NSPDK International Project – Zeta Zeta Chapter participates in the NSPDK, Inc. partnership with AfriCare funding

projects on the continent of Africa that range from $30,000-$50,000 every four years. ○ NSPDK National Project – Zeta Zeta Chapter participates in the NSPDK, Inc. support of the Sickle Cell Research Center @ Meharry Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee. ○ NSPDK Local Projects – Zeta Zeta Chapter participates with and host a variety of projects which benefit residents of Rochester. ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: JUNE EDITION 2022





TURNING IT INTO A FLAME Whether you are dating someone for the first time or wanting to (re) create the spark in the intimacy in your relationship, there are key things to be aware of in the what to do and what not to do when it comes to igniting your SHE Boss spark + turning it into a flame: Dating Context: Switch it up from a busy bar scene or restaurant. Maybe try a more quiet coffee shop or local restaurant/business that allows for the ability to have conversations without distractions. If the weather allows for it, and you prefer something more active, get outside and engage in something playful. I always emphasize the importance of what I call the Power of Play + Pleasure. Activating pleasure responses in the brain can be a complete game changer for your mind + body. I love saying, “Those that play together stay together!” Get Out Of Interrogation + Investigation Role: Trust me…. this is one I have to emphasize A LOT not only for dating, but also in relationships. It’s important to stay in the potential partner/partner role. It’s much sexier!!! Feeling like you are being interrogated or investigated in 192


any context can be extremely uncomfortable and anxiety provoking. It can also potentially put anyone on the defensive end, putting up barriers and blockages to truly being yourself or being able to be vulnerable with someone else. Instead be in the mindset of learning about each other through exploring desires + pleasures in a playful way. Maybe get creative

and make a game out of some of the questions you might have, such as going through the letters of the alphabet and indicating one thing about yourself, a like/ dislike, preference, characteristic/ attribute, turn on/turn off, memory, appreciation and so on. Tap Into Your Playfulness: Take yourself out of the serious role, possibly

on a mission, and put yourself in the playful role as if you were a child. Think about the joy, laughter, fun, excitement, and freeing feeling that can come with play. Being exploratory + experiential using our creative minds can allow for such an intimate + pleasurable experience. Go play on a playground, have a snowball fight or go sledding, splash each other in a pool or body of water (safely), run around with your fur babies or someone else’s (dog, cat, etc.), or play a non-competitive sport together. Whatever you choose to do, just make sure it’s exercising your mind + body by engaging in the Power of Play + Pleasure. Take Action: As mentioned in my prior article “Dating 101: Discovering + Enhancing Your Dating Profile + Style” it’s important to not play mind games. If you are interested in continuing to get to know this person and maybe even go on another date, then take action by following up. If this person is on your mind, there is no need to wait around….the dating fairy is not going to just appear and make things happen for you. You need to make it happen by taking action, same for in a relationship. Be open + honest through having your



{ SHEBOSS } { SHIFT+CONTROL } “Remember… one is a mind reader, so if you want someone to know what you are thinking + feeling, you need to tell them!”


voice. I know this can be scary, but if you already set the foundation by using the techniques indicated above, then there should be a level of comfort, connection and maybe even confidence there already. Don’t question or second guess it, go for what you want. Remember….. no one is a mind reader, so if you want someone to know what you are thinking + feeling, you need to tell them!

a relationship, also take action by making it known. Ghosting is never a good thing. It doesn’t feel good when you do it or when it’s done to you, so put your big pants on and let that person know you are just not feeling it in a kind + gentle way. It’s ok to be open + honest; dating is trial + error….so are relationships, so we can’t pressure, force or settle for something that is just not there. You deserve more!!!

And if you are not interested in dating this person any longer or being in

Thank you so much for taking the time to do YOU + reflect on igniting


your SHE Boss spark + turning it into a flame. Stay tuned in, in touch + turned on for more about being the boss of your own true self by continuing to Boss Up, Rise Above + Represent. Check out my SHE Boss Collection + Coaching Platform: https://power-of-a-she-boss.teachable. com/p/home Love to all my SHE Bosses ♡ Xo, Dr. J




Kelly E






For this edition of She Hustles Talks, we have the stunning, Kelly E gracing our cover! Never giving up, and showing other black and brown girls they to can obtain their dreams! Tell us about Kelly E, where you are from, and your background.

was like watching a movie; I honestly had no idea what I was doing until the camera turned on. Goodknews told me to model; I’ve never done it; the lights came on, and I came alive! My body started moving, posing like I’d been doing it all my life. My picture

A proud Rochesterian, I was born and raised in Rochester, NY. I am also a single parent of two beautiful children and a proud African American woman who has a deep spiritual belief in God. He guides my path every day.

As cheesy as this sounds, I didn’t choose to model; it chose me. My mom tried to get me into it because I was very tall, and sports were not my favorite! My self-esteem was non-existent, so my initial attempts at modeling didn’t work.



“What is your ‘why? ‘” Why do you do what you do? I want other women and young girls to look see me and believe that they can accomplish their goals no matter what. I’m not the typical beauty. I’m a twice-divorced, single mom. All of the attributes mentioned earlier are considered roadblocks. Some people see these as reasons to settle in life, but I refuse. I’m not a statistic! You don’t have to compromise, stop or give up, ever!

What made you decide to become a professional model?

I was at a book signing for a very talented author and friend, the late Corey Tanksley; Juanita Washington, the publisher of ‘BreakThru” magazine, inquired about a picture I’d taken at the book signing. Juanita asked if I was interested in being in her magazine; she’d like to have me for an editorial piece; I thought she meant writing about being a single parent. I showed up to the appointment. The next thing I knew, I was getting my makeup done by Sophia Billiotti, styling tips from Latriece Brown, and posing directions from fashion photographer Christopher ‘Goodknews’ Cardwell. It

to know are that putting God first, working hard, and being consistent gets the job done! I never want them to stop dreaming AND actively work towards their dreams. They’re destined for and preparing for greatness!

What has been your favorite experience modeling and why? It’s an overall experience, being able to represent other black and brown girls and being a role model to show that you can obtain your dreams by never giving up. What are your top 3 priorities for being a successful model?

made the cover photo of BreakThru magazine. I was the first local model to grace the cover. What makes you hustle? My children! The lessons I want them

Confidence in yourself. I use positive self-talk and the lord’s guidance to ensure negative thoughts do not hinder faith in my ability. Ingenuity allows me to be creative, making my modeling shoots unique and diverse.











{{ SHE HUSTLES TALKS }} SHIFT+CONTROL “I’m not a statistic! You don’t have to compromise, stop or give up, ever! “



{ SHE HUSTLES TALKS}} SHIFT+CONTROL “It’s an overall experience, being able to represent other black and brown girls and being a role model to show that you can obtain your dreams by never giving up.”









{{ SHE HUSTLES TALKS}} SHIFT+CONTROL “I use positive self-talk and the lord’s guidance to ensure negative thoughts do not hinder faith in my ability.”

Passion helps me grow in a diverse and high-energy environment.

I wanted to do but was afraid of, but I decided to conquer that fear; I love it!

but I am. I work well in the “limelight,” but I’d rather be behind the scenes.

Who has been your favorite designer to model?

What is your favorite thing to do in your downtime?

I have three: Lotan Floyd, Nathaniel Johnson, and Christina Thomas. These designers make anyone wearing their designs feel well dressed and confident.

EAT!!!! I love food, good food! I also love tanning, believe it or not.

Is there anything that you feel sets you apart from other women entrepreneurs?

Tell us about being a host and your other career as a licensed female barber. I’m the party’s life even when I’m not trying to be, so hosting came naturally! Barbering has always been something

What is the best form of promotion for your business? Social media Tell us something that most people don’t know about you. I’m timid! I know it’s not believable,

No two entrepreneurs are alike, so what sets me apart is that I’m me, and NO ONE ELSE can be me. What are your plans for your business over the next year? What about three years? I plan to sharpen, inspire, and expand for the next three years! I want to focus on going out and getting it to grow ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: JUNE EDITION 2022


{{ SHE HUSTLES TALKS}} SHIFT+CONTROL “I’m the party’s life even when I’m not trying to be, so hosting came naturally! ”

What is it like being a female in a male-dominated field?

did it! And I kind of wish I would’ve started earlier.

It would be easy to use my beauty, but I prefer work ethic and skills. I want to ensure that my clients are coming to my chair because of my barbering talent and not my looks.

Do you have any advice for women looking to become lady bosses?

Name one person who has inspired you through this journey.

I realized it’s deeper than my physical features but the woman within. Waking in that, that’s when I’m fully embracing “Queendom.” Tell us where we will see you next?

How good are you at making the tough decisions, and what has been one of the toughest you have made?

I ’m w o r k i n g o n something specifically for single moms; it’s time for them/us to win!

I’ve recently become better with it; this was one of my downfalls. I never thought I’d have to define relationships, separate business from familiarity, and close doors. Challenging but very necessary.

I always joked with my barber (who owns and operates the shop where I work out of The Barber Loft) I finally 212


I’ve learned to schedule everything, even breaks, and the power of saying No! Hustling means nothing if you can’t enjoy the fruit of your work. How do you embrace your “queendom”?

There are honestly too many to name, globally Tabitha Brown! Locally, Dee Ponder! She’s 1000% comfortable being herself and doesn’t dance to the beat of anyone else’s drum. She’s mastering every field that she operates in effortlessly.

How did you get into being a barber? What about being a model?

You are a woman who truly hustles. How do you find time for yourself, and what do you do to relax?

Pray, plan, proceed. What empowers you? God! Knowing that his plans and will for my life is to prosper holistically





Y.BOUTIQUE.COM I (315) 807-1282






Tell us about Jene Luciani Sena and how you became a nationally known bra expert. Well, it’s somewhat of a long story! I started in TV news and as a journalist, I’ve always been inquisitive. I moved on to writing for magazines and was assigned an article on bras. At that time, OPRAH did her big “bra intervention” show and everyone was talking about it! There wasn’t really any social media at that time and women had lackluster resources when it came to bras. As a journalist, i wanted to tackle the topic and as a woman, I had an attachment to it as I developed a breast deformity during puberty and it impacted my life. So, I started the process of writing the first and only book about how to find the right bra! That was published by BenBella books in 2009. With my TV prowess, I was able to book myself on various TV shows as a bra and style expert. Smaller markets led to bigger markets and then regular stints on The Today Show, Dr. Oz, Wendy Williams and many more! Through the years, I also did events fitting hundreds of women, and bra makeovers on TV. I was the spokesperson for SOMA for two years on QVC training extensively in their stores, and subsequently launched my own bra line, The GemBra by Jene Luciani. All this hands on experience over more than 15-years has made

me the go-to expert on the topic! I’m grateful to have a job that helps so many women look and feel more confident.

I want to inspire other women and young girls to do the same and that there is no limit to what you can accomplish.

What was one moment in your life that changed everything for you? Getting the light bulb moment for The Bra Book (now a bestseller in its 2nd printing) and just pushing

What was your mission behind the start of your bra company? It was during the pandemic and #1, I wanted to be my own boss and #2, I wanted to uplift women in more ways than just “the right fitting bra.” The addition of the healing crystal embedded into the bra (in my patent pending design) adds that extra element of enlightenment, whether you believe in it or not. It’s the one thing you can do for yourself at the start of your day that’s a means of self-care, with no work on your part at all!

forward with it, no matter how many no’s I got or doors slammed in my face. I just knew I had to do this! What makes you hustle? I think you’re either born with a hustle mentality or your not. And that’s OK if you’re not, but I certainly am! I’ve always had this drive to do more and achieve more and keep exploring new avenues of my career.

What made you decide to become an author as well as an entrepreneur? My career has always been in journalism and I’ve always been a good writer….after working in TV news and writing for magazines, a book was a natural progression (and a lifelong dream). I now have 3 professionally published books. What are your top three priorities for being a success? 1- stay in your lane, don’t pay attention to what other’s are doing (like a swimmer!) 2- set a good example for your kids. No matter how hard it gets, don’t let them see you get discouraged. I have 4 little sets of eyes watching me. ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: JUNE EDITION 2022


“I knew a lot of women kept crystals in their bras and it meant something to them. I thought, what if I could make it easier for them to do so and make a bra with true meaning? And thus the idea was born! ”

{ HEIDI’S LAW } } SHIFT+CONTROL { {SHE HUSTLES TALKS “I’m a trained singer and my dream as a kid was to go to Julliard and be on Broadway. I ended up in broadcasting instead LOL. ”

3- Always follow your passion and inspire. We work for the paycheck but the paycheck shouldn’t be the only reason for what you do. 4 little sets of eyes watching me.

Tell us one thing that most people don’t know about you. I’m a trained singer and my dream as a kid was to go to Juliard and be on Broadway. I ended up in BROADcasting instead LOL.

“What is your ‘why? ‘” Why do you do what you do? Honestly, I’ve always felt like I’ve wanted to help others and that’s truly what I get to do here. That is my why, and what keeps me motivated to keep going.

Is there anything that you feel sets you apart from other womens essential items...other then there being a signature gemstone sewn in each bra? Yes, the fact that I have nearly two decades of bra experience, consulting for other brands and exploring all

What do you do when you are not working in/ on your business? Spending time with my family, sipping on wine, reading books and taking short adventure getaways and beach vacations. Other than that, I’m pretty much always working LOL. How did you come up with the GemBra idea? It literally just came to me. I can’t even explain it?? I knew a lot of women kept crystals in their bras and it meant something to them. I thought, what if I could make it easier for them to do so and make a bra with true meaning? And thus the idea was born! What do you find is the best form of promotion for your business? Social media definitely helps, and word of mouth. Having a good reputation is everything. 222


that’s out there. I make bras that are literally every detail that women have complained to me over the years that their bras don’t have, or that they can’t find in ONE bra. What are your plans for your business over the next year? What about three years? I am looking for an investor to

continue my GemBra line and take it to the next level, as I am selffunded thus far. I sold almost all of my inventory at QVC and have a small amount left on my website. I’m also exploring other intimate apparel related clothing lines and ideas (things that will make a woman’s life easier!) and I’d like to grow a multimillion dollar profitable company, all built around the idea of solutions for women. Ones that aren’t created by men!!!!! How would you describe your company’s success so far? I would say I’m very blessed and lucky. My many years of marketing experience has definitely come in handy and the fact that I’ve spent all this time building this personal brand so that I’m a trusted voice for women. Thank you for trusting me with your ta-ta’s! Name one person who has inspired you through this journey. Sara Blakely of Spanx. Perfect example of a person who had a genius idea and had to forge her own path to make it happen. She’s a trailblazer. I also listen to Esther Hicks almost daily and highly recommend her books. If you don’t believe in the law of attraction, you should. How good are you at making the tough decisions, and what has been one of the toughest you have had to make? I’m a Libra and therefore terrible at making decisions. I’m always worried







{ HEIDI’S LAW } } SHIFT+CONTROL {{SHE HUSTLES TALKS “There wasn’t really any social media at that time and women had lackluster resources when it came to bras.”

about how my decision will affect everyone else! The toughest decision was to take the risk and self-fund my business, instead of something more directly impactful and immediate for my family. It was a big and scary risk! But I had this offer from QVC looming and I felt it had to happen. Do you feel you have the physical and emotional stamina to run a business, especially one that spans nationally? Yes!!!

Do you have any advice for women looking to start their own business? Buckle up! There will be so many ups and downs you may get motion sick LOL. Hang in there!!!! Stay the course, and don’t give up - whatever you do!! What do you have coming next? I’m busy with TV appearances, pretty regularly on Access Hollywood Daily and other shows! You’ll see me here and there :)

Jené Luciani Sena Author, The Bra Book (1st & 2nd ed.), & Get It! A Beauty, Style & Wellness Guide to Getting Your “It” Together (BenBella Books) Founder/Creator, The GemBra by Jene Luciani AS SEEN ON: Access Daily, Wendy, E!, EXTRA, QVC, NBC’s Today, Dr. Oz, Fox & Friends, and many others! Follow me! ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: JUNE EDITION 2022


SHIFT+CONTROL {{ SHE HUSTLES TALKS }} “All this hands on experience over more than 15-years has made me the go-to expert on the topic”









MILKI WAY Who is the real Milkia Waller? Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background. I am a woman of beauty, intelligence, value, and faith. I love empowering others and helping others live the life of their dreams. In addition, I am a fun-loving woman who believes in the ABCs of life: Always be classy. Always be cute. It’s about Achievement, Confidence, and Being Bold. Aside from that, I am the #1 Best-selling author of 7 books, entrepreneur, business coach, and queen. I am the founder of Kingdom Women Win ministry and Crystal Clear Children non-profit for the youth. Also, I am the CEO of Milki Way Cosmetics & Skincare. What I am most proud of is being a child of God and a mother.

do it for the next generation. How did you create Milki Way Cosmetics & Skincare Brand? Milki Way Cosmetics & Skincare is coloring the world beautiful one woman at a time. We have always been about beauty from the inside

How did your career in the cosmetics industry begin? I struggled with acne since a teenager. I remember my mom purchasing everything to clear my skin from Edgar Morrison to Neutrogena and nothing worked. When I began competing in the Mrs. Georgia-America pageant, the need for a more glamorous look arose, and because I already knew ingredients that would work for oily acne-prone skin I developed my makeup and skincare line to meet the needs of people like me.

out. Radiating beauty from within and enhancing women’s beauty through the products we produce.

What makes you hustle? I don’t hustle? I attract. But, if I were to hustle, I would do it for my family. I would

What is the mission behind the brand, and how do you choose your products and ingredients? Our mission is to color the world

beautiful by creating empowering products and providing excellent service every day while having fun doing it. What is It is my website where you can find out more about who I am and what I do. On the website are Milki Way Cosmetics products, lifechanging books, podcast episodes, information on our upcoming conferences, and my speaking engagements. I have four enriching conferences a year: ElevateHer, EmpowerHer, EquipHer, and Crystal Clear Children Lead. This year Pastor Cora Jakes, daughter of Bishop TD Jakes, will be the guest keynote speaker. I love her and think she’s amazing! Like her, I enjoy speaking life to everyone I encounter. There are several blog posts on the website as well. Who are some of the strong women that have inspired you? My mom, grandmother, and Michelle Obama. What do you feel is the key to women empowering women? I feel the key is knowing your worth and being unapologetically powerfully you. When I am authentically me, I can empower another woman to be authentically her. What do you think are the 3 things that make you a successful lady boss? Trusting God and myself, being resilient and courageous to go for my dreams despite what others may ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: JUNE EDITION 2022



“Our mission is to color the world beautiful by creating empowering products and providing excellent service every day while having fun doing it.”

e g





{ HEIDI’S LAW } }} SHIFT+CONTROL {{ SHE HUSTLES TALKS “I don’t hustle I attract. But, if I were to hustle, I would do it for my family. I would do it for the next generation.”

What is one place you have visited that has changed your life and why? I recently visited Dubai. Dubai was an experience of a lifetime. I spoke at the First Ladies Forum. It was truly a life-changing experience because I was able to meet other boss ladies who were thriving in business and beauty. Dubai is also very beautiful.

Christ that strengthens me.” What is Crystal Clear Children? Crystal Clear Children is a nonprofit organization that provides scholarships to high school graduates and develops the youth in areas of

What have you found to be the most successful method of promotion for your business? Social media has been a great tool, but word of mouth is even better. I have found that when you provide an excellent service people talk and they become your brand evangelist. Tell us about some of your goals and dreams. I dream of advancing the Kingdom of God. The bible says that we should go out into all the world and preach the gospel. I desire to do just that. I want to live on the beach and fly in my private jet. I just really want to continue to speak all over the world empowering women by connecting them to the truth about who they are. You speak on self-love, confidence, and empowerment. What has proven successful in speaking to other women to motivate them to do the same? Share one quote that defines you. “I believe I can do all things through

education through biblical principles exposing them to the greatness and potential within. How did you come up with your slogan “Color the world beautiful?” I love all things beautiful. I have always been a person who sees the beauty in people, places, and things. I would often find myself saying the phrase “that’s so beautiful” to

everything that touched my heart in some way. Now I have incorporated it as a common hashtag I often use on social media. So with that being said, I help to bring beauty into the world and we color the world beautifully. What is your message to the world? You should know the truth and the truth shall set you free. In my opinion, the Bible is true and it is the only liberating source we have. My message is this: the truth about you is that you are not the circumstances or situations that have happened to you. You have greatness inside of you. You are beautiful. You are a genius. You are intelligent. Only believe it. If you could do one thing you have never done what would it be and why? I was an educator for over 15 years. So the one thing I would do would be to create a school that would foster the values and principles of God. I believe that when schools put God back at the forefront; then students will return a better investment to society, knowing who they are and creating stable families. What makes you truly happy? I enjoy swimming. Whenever I swim I feel one with myself and God. During my college years, I taught swim lessons to anyone I could find ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: JUNE EDITION 2022


SHIFT+CONTROL {{ SHE HUSTLES TALKS}} “ I love empowering others and helping others live the life of their dreams. “

in my neighborhood because I wanted others to experience that oneness. Swimming is amazing and it’s a skill I am glad I learned. Anytime I am enjoying the water, rather it’s at the beach or swimming, that’s my happy place. 236


What is one piece of advice you have been given that you have never forgotten? My grandmother once told me, she said, Kia, you can do anything in this world if you mix a little love in it. I was twelve years old when she said

that to me and that’s been a driving force in my life. Where will we see Milki Way next? In Paris, France, or on a retreat empowering women.



Tell us a little bit about yourself. Born and raised in Manitoba, Canada I moved to East Rochester NY after a 4 1/2 year long-distance relationship with my now-husband, Devin. Combining my family of 2 daughters, and Devin’s family of 2 daughters and a son, we became a family of 7 in November of 2012 and a family of 8 in 2014! A stretch of many retail and hospitality jobs from the age of 13 (Canada’s different that way!), and the thrill of being my own boss with a home daycare brought me along to a remote position with a Virtual Reality company out of Vancouver, BC. Here I spent 7 1/2 very interesting years remotely managing business accounts and eventually running the online virtual academy - an experience I will forever be grateful for as I learned SO much about business management, the world and the human race, met some amazing people I am still connected with - including my husband! That’s a story for another day. What makes you hustle? Challenge. I love the challenge to push myself as far as I can to see what I can accomplish. How and when did you start your business “Out of The Office Services” Out of the Office Services, LLC (OOS) 240


started in 2015 as a Virtual Assistant “business”, became a DBA in May 2016, and an LLC in January 2021. The evolution has been night and day. What started out of necessity after losing my remote job due to cutbacks, virtual assistance focusing on helping small business owners handle all the little things while they handled the big things - turned into a brick-and-

mortar focused on assisting companies to streamline, secure, and promote their business brand. Who is a strong female entrepreneur that has inspired you and why? My mother inspired me to test the waters of entrepreneurship as she had a home daycare when I was growing up. Being a single mother of 2 young girls, I needed to be creative in creating income and had the background knowledge and guidance to give it a go on my own

from watching her for so many years. She always had hustle to find her own space - something I still carry with me. What empowers your drive to push ahead, especially during the tough times? My family. It sounds cliche I know, but I want our children to grow up understanding the importance and value of good work (not necessarily hard work there is a difference), perseverance, and seeing through something you’ve started. Being a business owner is no walk in the park and there have been many opportunities to throw in the towel, but that’s not the role model I want to be. I’m still working on becoming that role model, which I suppose is a lesson on its own. What has been one moment that has defined your life and left a lasting impact? When all remote positions were cut from the company I was working for, it was a big eye-opener. A family of 8, our youngest being not quite a year old - I knew I mentally couldn’t go back into the workforce, working for someone else and putting my baby into daycare. I had to find my own way of making ends meet, and that’s when and why OOS was born. What are some of the things that give you purpose?







{ HEIDI’S LAW } }} { SHE SHIFT+CONTROL HUSTLES TALKS “Being a business owner is no walk in the park and there have been many opportunities to throw in the towel, but that’s not the role model I want to be.”

Giving back to my community plays a strong role in my life. I volunteer in many different areas that have nothing to do with building a business or making money. From many youth sports & organizations to the ERPTO and an assortment of town activities, giving my time and talents to improve my community is a strong driving force. What are some of the services you provide, and who is your ideal clientele? OOS offers full print and promo services to properly brand your company. Our ideal customer is an organization ready to pull its brand together to properly represent themselves with purposeful marketing and brand recognition. With a strong background in marketing and print, we work with organizations to ensure their brand is on target to build proper brand recognition. From full graphic design services, to digital and offset printing, to full mail services, from ad specialties (promotional merchandise) to branded apparel, from signage and tradeshow set-ups - we will help with Putting Your Brand in Their Hands! How do you spend most of your time in your business? I am the wearer of MANY hats. All administration and everything back office to networking and sales, product production, and vendor relationships it’s a very fine “balancing” act! “Pay no

attention to the man behind the curtain” is a common phrase around here. What have been your biggest weaknesses in owning your own business and how have you worked to overcome them? Finding that balance and being a workaholic. And honestly, it’s something I still haven’t overcome but am working on it. Forcing myself to stop in the evenings even when I have “so many

more hours of work” to do has been hard, but I’m working on it. The hustle means nothing if I can’t spend time with my family, and does not lend to that role model building previously mentioned. What would you change about your business if you could and why? Streamlining procedures and having a strong employee base to delegate a lot of what I am doing would drastically change the flow, function, and capability of OOS. Hiring is scary - with 2 on

staff right now and needing 2-3 more employees - it’s always a risk. Finding the right people with the drive and proper skill sets would allow OOS to really leap into the next playing field. What’s the biggest factor that has helped you be successful and growing OTOS? Networking hands down is my number one factor - BNI and Chamber events consume a lot of my calendar, and it pays off. Secondly - having my husband on staff with his knowledge and extensive background in print to expand that category. You are undoubtedly busy, how do you take care of yourself and maintain a good mental health? Remember that balance thing? It’s something I’m still trying to figure out and work towards. I know how important selfcare is - now to keep working towards implementing that. Do you have any helpful advice for other up and coming women starting their own business? Do the research of your field in advance - know what works and doesn’t work in your area, know the competition. Lay out your business plan and your goals and be financially prepared for the first 2 years. Connect with free business services such as SCORE to get guidance and advice, and to bounce ideas off. Put your professional support team in place ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: JUNE EDITION 2022


SHIFT+CONTROL SHIFT+CONTROL {{{ SHE HUSTLES TALKS}}} “ What started out of necessity after losing my remote job due to cutbacks, virtual assistance focusing on helping small business owners handle all the little things while they handled the big things - turned into a brick-and-mortar focused on assisting companies to streamline, secure, and promote their business brand. “

- business attorney, bookkeeper/CPA, insurance broker, and HR assistance if you are hiring out of the gates. You can not be a professional in your arena if you are not set up properly. Be a professional in what you do, let the other professionals handle everything else. And most importantly connect with the community - network, join local clubs, and connect with other women entrepreneurs. Tell us one thing we don’t know about you. 246


I will do everything in my power to avoid phone calls or pop-up visits. When I’m over-extended (which is most of the time), I can not handle people-ing! I have to mentally put myself in a place to be able to carry on a conversation with someone and prepare for the conversation - even if it’s just a friendly encounter. What is your favorite product or service you provide and why? Honestly, out of everything we offer, it’s banners! They are so simple for us to turn around without major labor

intensity, and the clients love them each and every time. Where do you see OTOS in the next year? 3 years? In the next year? Adding a production person and a salesperson to the staff, and keep growing our sales in the Upstate NY and WNY regions. In 3 years I anticipate further inhouse production, the addition of in-house embroidery, and some automated systems put in place to help streamline projects and client communications.

Putting Your Brand in Their Hands





THE LOCAL FARM TABLE Tell us a little bit about yourself, and how you started your business The Local Farm Table. My name is Averie Riel, the owner and head chef of The Local Farm Table. I graduated from Paul Smith’s College with a bachelor’s degree in Culinary Arts and Food Service Management; After attending a 2-year Culinary Arts Program in high school. I was born and raised in the Rochester area and managed to live in 5 states during my college summers. This afforded me the opportunity to work with and learn from some of the best chefs in places like New Jersey, Delaware, Colorado, Massachusetts, and where it all began, hometown New York. After 10 years of fine dining experience and scratch cooking of all types of cuisine, I am still learning something new every day! More and more lately, I’ve noticed restaurants stepping away from using local products and vendors. This is where I saw my niche. Farm fresh ingredients from your backyard and neighborhood, prepared fresh and served up deliciously for any event! The best part, building these relationships with our farmers and butchers brings back neighborhood feels, friendships, and a support system like no other. Some of the best and most unique products I’ve used, I couldn’t find at a chain supermarket or supplier. That’s why I can say with confidence, when you choose me for your next event,

you’re getting hand-chosen products from your neighborhood farmer. You just can’t beat that! What makes you “hustle”? Being successful in a field I’ve always had a genuine passion for! I grew up a hard worker and my mom tells me all the time that I’ve been independent from a young age. I’ve always held 2, sometimes 3 jobs at once and knew I

all the answers, but I’m getting there. That is why I hustle and I love every second of this journey. What was the idea and concept behind creating your business, and what would you say is your specialty? To bring back a focus on local ingredients and showcase the beauty in food that surrounds us! I want to show people that eating isn’t just to fuel your body, but a time to bring your loved ones around the table, to be able to connect and enjoy the moment! What is your why? Why do you do what you do? I’ve always wanted the ability to bring friends and family together around the table. You certainly can’t do that if you can’t cook! My mom grew up in PA and my dad in Connecticut, so family functions didn’t happened often enough. When they do, It should be a memory you cherish. Living in this day in age, you can’t take for granted the time you get with loved ones!

didn’t want anything handed to me. I’ve had to and continue to put in the work it takes to be successful. It’s funny, people always tell me “I work too much” or “16 hours in one day is insane, you need a break.” For me, the long days and longer weeks are worth it knowing that I’m building a business I love with a great purpose behind it. I don’t have

What is your favorite food to work with? This is a toughy! There’s so many  If I had to choose one, I’d go with making homemade pasta. I find kneading relaxing and Pasta is so versatile. How do you decide to become a chef and a female entrepreneur? Well, I never enjoyed standard studies ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: JUNE EDITION 2022


SHIFT+CONTROL { HEIDI’S LAW } }} {{ SHE HUSTLES TALKS “That’s why I can say with confidence, when you choose me for your next event, you’re getting hand-chosen products from your neighborhood farmer. You just can’t beat that!”

or sitting in a desk in high school. That was a big indicator and nudge to take the culinary arts program. I realized cooking was fun and could see myself pursuing it with a sense of enjoyment and curiosity. Fast forward 10 years, I came to the conclusion that if I stayed in the culinary arts world, I wouldn’t be running a restaurant. I wanted to showcase my experience in a new light with The Local Farm Table and really take on the challenge of being an entrepreneur! According to you, what are the skills that are necessary for becoming a successful female entrepreneur, especially in such a specialized field? Be open to criticism and failure, there’s always something to learn from both. Having a support system is huge, and colleagues to hit the drawing board with too. What do you feel are your greatest strengths? Having a passion for what I do, being authentic both in mind and on the plate, being creative, detail oriented, having a stress tolerance, and an optimistic view! Who are some of the people that empower and inspire you and why? Grant Achatz. If you’ve never heard of him, check him out and you will see why  If you had to start over from scratch, knowing what you know now, would you do anything differently personally or professionally? Starting my business sooner. Other than that, absolutely not! 252


Name one special moment during your career that has stood out to you and why. Booking my first event and seeing how far I’ve come since. There hasn’t been a feeling like it of realizing my capabilities both as a chef and an entrepreneur! What’s the biggest factor that has helped you expand your skill set as a chef? Having an open mind. Whether it be how a protein is prepared, different ingredients and seasonings used, styles and techniques etc. There are endless possibilities to get to a delicious final product! What has been your best form of promotion and what platform is your favorite? Instagram – It’s easier to connect with people and share my creations! How do you come up with unique food creations for your clients? Having 10 years of experience working with some of the best in the industry paired with 6 years of culinary school has definitely helped lay a strong foundation. So many cookbooks, chefs on social media/TV springing in new ideas all the time! Sometimes, it’s as simple as listening to what my client wants and running with it. As long as I push the boundaries of food and the client is happy, I’m happy. What’s the most important discovery you’ve made about yourself from owning your own business? That it’s ok to get out of my comfort zone. Owning a business has made

me into someone who plans, executes and jumps at new opportunity. I’ve shocked myself with how much I’ve accomplished, and what I’ve come up with to make this business successful. I’m accomplishing things I never thought I could do! Tell us why farm table? A: I chose “farm to table” because I wanted local, I wanted fresh, and I wanted to learn more about the local agriculture. Being able to sit and talk with farmers and hear about growing seasons, the step-by-step process of how it works; From a seed to the star of my dish! Where will we see you next? Any big plans? At your next event! Working on acquiring a commercial kitchen with an event space. Tell us something that people don’t know about you. I have a pet tortoise named Harold that is going to get to 200lbs give or take. I have to chop up veggies every day for him, so pretty much I’m his personal chef! And he was my first ever client 

{{{ SHE HUSTLES SHE HUSTLES TALKS TALKS} }} SHIFT+CONTROL “I chose “farm to table” because I wanted local, I wanted fresh, and I wanted to learn more about the local agriculture.”









Tell us a little bit about yourself and Big Momma Productions. My name is Alex Garries, I was born in Queens NY, raised in Long Island but moved to Rochester NY in 2006 due to the death of my grandmother who raised me. I am one of 12 children. As a child I enjoyed watching my grandmother cook, I was often in the kitchen with her cooking. She showed me all our family recipes that were passed down from generation to generation. Before she died she gave me one of her cook books with all our family recipes. And at a very young age I learned responsibility. At the age of 8 years old I had the responsibility of caring for my younger siblings. Growing up I remember having to take the bus to go grocery shopping and my grandmother would send me with money to pay our bills. Although I felt like I couldn’t enjoy life as a kid due to the amount of responsibility I had I found joy in cooking. Shortly after my grandmothers death I moved to Rochester, I graduated from Gates Chili High school and attended Monroe community college for business administration, I remember my second year at MCC was so tough I was unstable sleeping in my car. After graduating from MCC I started a career as a C.N.A, I got my first apartment with my high school sweetheart who is now my hubby and business partner, I worked in numerous nursing homes and did private duty work for 9 years. In 2014 I gave birth to my daughter Armani- Monroe, she is the light of my life. On my spare time I engaged in many community events

and give backs and hosted many family events and dinners at my house to keep the family together and that’s how I got the nickname “Big Momma”. I took a break from working to care for my sick mother who was dealing with kidney issues. She passed in 2018 from kidney failure. Her death was really hard on me and my siblings but I continued to host family gatherings and made sure we kept up with our family Sunday dinners after church. Aside from cooking I also loved to make clothes and decorate parties. Every

year I would throw my daughter these big parties, I also would make custom hair bows, tutu skirts and fur coats for her. With a lot of free time on my hands due to the passing of my mother I decided to go full fledge with the party decorating and cooking. I started a business in 2019 called Big Mommas Productions, a one stop shop for all your party needs.My business is a family business, most of my help comes from my hubby, my younger sister and my two cousins. We do a wide range of party décor for any kind of event, we offer throne chairs, concession stands,

bounce houses, we make custom apparel, custom party favors, custom party props, catering, photography and videography. What makes you hustle? I come from family that own businesses and that are entrepreneurs, so the hustle is in my blood but the memories of me hitting rock bottom and overcoming obstacles in life drive me to hustle. Having to provide for my child and having the responsibility of looking out for my younger siblings drives me to hustle. The world we currently live in drives me to hustle What is your most and least favorite part of owning your own business? My most favorite part about owning my own business is I can see all the hard work pay off. I can work at my own schedule and still be able to make time for things that mean the most to me, I can also show my daughter first hand, what it takes to build something you always dreamed of from the bottom to the top What is your mission behind being a female entrepreneur and owning your own business? y mission is to be a one stop shop for all party needs and provide event services for any budget and to also make every event memorable for the customer Who are some of the strong women that have inspired you? Strong women who have inspired me are my grandmother( Ernestine Garries) my mother (Denise Garries) my aunts ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: JUNE EDITION 2022








{ HEIDI’S LAW } } SHIFT+CONTROL {{SHE HUSTLES TALKS “I come from family that own businesses and that are entrepreneurs, so the hustle is in my blood. But, the memories of me hitting rock bottom and overcoming obstacles in life drive me to hustle.”

Carlene Garries and Rosetta Garries these women inspired me because they faced a lot of obstacles in life and overcame them which showed me that no matter what comes your way you always have to push forward! As a child my grandmother always made me and my siblings refer back to a scripture in the Bible ( proverbs 3:1) “ in all thy ways acknowledge him and he will direct ur path” My aunt Rosetta and Aunt Carlene inspired me by showing me how to work hard for what you want and that nothing worth having comes easily! My mother taught me that self belief and hard work will always earn you success in life and that the harder you work for something the greater you’ll feel when you achieve it What do you feel is the key to success in your business? They key to success in my business is having great customer service and loving what I do and making sure that everyone involved in the event we are doing are on the same page! Communication is key when having multiple people working together. What sets you apart from other event planners? What sets me apart from other event planners is that I do and provide a wide range of services for events (party décor, custom treats or party favors, custom apparel, catering, outside entertainment such as bounce houses and outdoor movie night set ups, photography and videography What have you found to be the most successful method of promotion for your business? Successful methods of promotion for my business have been social media and word of mouth. I have a nice social 262


media platform so a lot of people refer me on social media, I’ve also done a lot of community give backs and events so a lot of people know me refer people to me by word of mouth Tell us about some of your goals and dreams both personally and with your business. Goals and dreams: one of my goals is to have financial freedom and to be a franchised business with many different locations around the world, Another goal is I want to purchase property/ land down south and have a big house built and call it “the family house” where all my siblings and our kids can go when winters are bad in Rochester and have it as a vacation House or a house we gather at to make memories, one of my dreams is to have financial freedom and to be wealthy. What types of events do they usually plan and what types of services do you offer? I get bookings for all kinds of events, weddings baby showers, graduation parties, birthdays and more. We offer throne chairs , decoration, catering, photography, videography, custom apparel and custom party favors. If you could do one thing you have never done what would it be and why? If I could do one thing I’ve never done it would be to travel more, pack up my bags and go! I really would like to go to Egypt and explore and learn! I would also love to go to Africa What makes you truly happy? One piece of advice I was given that I have never forgotten is “ A dream doesn’t become reality through magic, it takes sweat, determination and hard work,

A piece of advice that I would pass on to another female entrepreneur would be…to know your audience and to never underestimate the power of your business plan! Also to believe in your vision and to take action! What is one piece of advice you have been given that you have never forgotten and what is one piece of advice that you would give to someone else? What makes me truly happy is when I spend time with my daughter and my family, and when we all come together for family dinners and events. I also love setting long term and short term goals for myself and then meet them. Another thing that makes me happy is when I’m able to reminisce and look back on how far I’ve come. What has been your favorite event that you have coordinated to date and why? My favorite event I coordinated is a sweet 16 birthday party I decorated at one of the lodges at Ellison park. This was one of my favorite events because the customer allowed me to come up with ideas myself and to freestyle the main lay out Where can we find you, and where will we see you next? Where can you find me and where will you see me next? I’ve been working on a lot business and personal wise, I’m not sure where life will lead me but I guess for now I’ll continue to set goals and expectations for myself and gradually work on meeting them. I’ll continue to put faith in God and know that what he has planned for me,will be




SHIFT+CONTROL {{ SHE HUSTLES TALKS}} “ I started a business in 2019 called Big Mommas Productions, A one stop shop for all your party needs.“










Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background. My name is Brittany Jones. I was born and raised in Rochester, NY. I come from a very big family being the oldest of six children. My grandparents, Mama J and Papa helped raise me. They were Christian missionaries for over 50 years! When did you decide to open your own business, and what made you decide on Mama J’s Lemon Poundcakes? I decided to open my business in the year of 2021 . Back in 2018 while experiencing a break up from my thenex boyfriend, I found the recipe my grandmother,( affectionately known as Mama J ) gave me. It was hidden in a box. I was moving into a new apartment and at the time and I hadn’t looked at this recipe since moving in. This break up was a very dark time in my life. But, on the last few days of this apartment lease, I baked this recipe just to try it again. This pound cake turned out to be pretty good! It brought me so much joy and comfort. I truly believe God spoke to my heart during this dark season of my life. I truly believe God told me to name this pound cake Mama J’s Southern Lemon Pound Cakes Not knowing it would become a business, In 2018 I used this pound cake to help fund our church mission trip to Rwanda East Africa. I only wanted to use this cake for missions. With the small amount that we raised this cake became a resource to support my church missions ministry we oversee in Rwanda East Africa . I was just grateful for the small difference it made for our people.

What makes you hustle? Seeing the persistence of my grandparents , how they have led our family while serving people for many years inspires me to hustle . The values they instilled in our family inspires me to hustle . They are the founders of our former church The Lamb of Life Church . They started this ministry with just our immediate family . With in one year , It grew so fast, transforming many lives around Western New York. They led our ministry faithfully for over 53 years.This inspires me to hustle . Furthermore, knowing that

years back through Instagram . She is a highly influential woman and rising leader. I didn’t know anything about social media or food bloggers at the time . I posted a picture with a hash tag having no motive behind it . I didn’t know what a hash tag was! Somehow Christina discovered our Instagram page ! She really wanted to try our pound cake and loved our mission “supporting hunger relief ”for our church mission trip. She enjoyed our pound cake so much and shared it with her family ! She also shared our photo with her Instagram friends ! Supernatural encounters such as this one, and countless others has helped us to develop our lemon pound cake brand . The story behind this recipe is my grandmother always baked it for my grandfather. It was his favorite dessert ! What is your mission behind being a female entrepreneur and owning your own business? Our pound cakes are on a mission. Our mission is to support hunger relief through each pound cake . Who are some of the strong women that have inspired

Mama J, Papa J (In heaven) my parents, God parents, family and church family is counting on me inspires me to hustle .

you? Mama J , my mother her name is My, Aunty Deborah and local Rochesterarian and former newscasster Norma Holland.

How did you create the lemon pound cake brand? I really don’t have a clear answer. Our pound cake brand is supernaturally being built . Many things have happened that has shaped our brand that will make you say, WOW WHAT A MIRACLE ! I met Christina from whatsgoodintheroc a few

What do you feel is the key to being success in your business? Giving back has been the key to being successful. What sets your poundcake above others? 10% of our pound cake sales supports hunger relief. We serve the best meals ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: JUNE EDITION 2022









{{{ SHE HUSTLES SHIFT+CONTROL SHE HUSTLES TALKS TALKS} }} “Keep God first! Love, embrace and celebrate you’re uniqueness ! This is the key to building you and your brand.”

with what we have . Every Sunday from 1045AM-1130 AM at our church we provide free hot meals for our community. What have you found to be the most successful method of promotion for your business? Being fearless whenever opportunities come our way . Being teachable and open minded when trying the opportunity. Tell us about some of your goals and 270


dreams both personally and with your business. My personal goal is to excercise everyday ! My business goal is to keep our product one of a kind ! Share one quote that defines you. “It’s kind of fun to do the impossible.” - Walt Disney If you could do one thing you have never done what would it be and why?

Live in a underdeveloped country with the village people . Serve hot meals and bring them hope because I always wanted to be apart of world missions. What makes you truly happy? Spending time with Mama J and my whole family . Getting 8 hours of sleep. Serving the community hot meals on Sundays . Going to church and receiving wisdom from Uncle Jeff and Aunt Deborah . getting quiet time every day! These things


“Giving back has been the key to being successful. ”

What is one piece of advise you have been given that you have never forgotten and what is one piece of advise that you wpould pass along to a young female entrepreneur? Keep God first!


www.Mamajssouthernlemonpoundcakes. com Or visit our Instagram : @Mamajssouthernlemonpoundcakes

Love, embrace and celebrate you’re uniqueness ! This is the key to building you and your brand.

Or at our location : Rochester’s Comissary 250 East Main St By appointment please call 585-537-0816 for bookings!

Where can we find you, and where will we see you next? Feel free to visit our website :

You will see us next at the comedy show, RWO’s Gone To DOGZ on August 10th, 530 PM-930 PM at 50 Carlson


Rd, Rochester NY. We will be Serving our savory lemon pound cake slices for free to all guest!! Plus, come and check us out on August 21st at Artisan Works for the 2022 Catwalk for Kidneys Rochester. Donations are highly encouraged. 100% of proceeds will benefit our hot meal ministry on Sunday mornings. Time and location TBA . For updates Please visit our Instagram @mamajssouthernlemonpoundcakes or give us a call us at 585-537-0816 !

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This piece is aimed to educate and empower. This month we highlight The Women’s Community Justice Association in New York City and the Beyond Rosies Campaign. The campaign is women-led and consists heavily of directly impacted and formerly incarcerated people. The #BEYONDRosies campaign has been fighting to decarcerate and to close the women’s facility, The Rose M. Singer Center on Rikers Island jail, before the city’s 2027 timeline to close all facilities on Rikers and, to transform Lincoln Correctional Facility in Harlem, NYC into a Women’s Center for Justice for those who remain in custody.

sentence. Her family has the Campaign’s full support and we grieve with them. We need our leaders to step up and do what’s right for the women and genderexpansive individuals at Rikers. Sadly, it is too late for Ms. Yehudah. But they must act before tragedy strikes again. Also in May 2022, New York Times columnist Ginia Bellafante featured the #BEYONDRosies campaign. Rev.

Read our new report The Women’s Center for Justice: A Nation-Leading Approach on Women & GenderExpansive People in Jail. “Trauma is the driver of a lot of things. Subconsciously, you have this built-up anger. In this new place at Lincoln Correctional Facility, we want to operate from a healing perspective. Even if someone had to go upstate for some time, she would know she is on the pathway to healing and wellness.” said Rev. Sharon White-Harrigan, Executive Director WCJA In May 2022 Mary Yehudah became the fifth person, and the first woman, to die at Rikers Island this year. In 2021 sixteen men died at Rikers Island jail. As a society we should be appalled. A jail sentence should not equal a death

Sharon White-Harrigan said “This isn’t just about creating a new building. It’s about creating a new culture that allows people to get to where they need to be. There is justice without punishment. You can hold people accountable without leaving them worse than when they came in.” The print version titled “Imagining an Alternative for Justice and Healing,” by Ginia Bellafante is https://assets. attachments/original/1653054084/ IMG_0370.jpg?1653054084

I learned through my experience having an Op Ed Published in the NY Daily News that editors choose the title – mainly to satisfy a quota for online traffic – and many times usurp the message. Last week Senator Julia Salazar, Senator Cordell Cleare, Assembly Member David Weprin and Assembly Member Michaelle Solages wrote a letter to Governor Kathy Hochul and Mayor Eric Adams urging them to secure Lincoln for those currently at the womens facility on Rikers, rather than relocating them to a new Kew Gardens facility that opens in 2027. “The borough-based jail plan to relocate the women to a Kew Gardens facility where they would share the same spaces and staff as men would create the same or worse conditions than at Rikers,” they wrote. An estimated 77 percent of women at Rosie’s are domestic violence survivors, and the Kew Gardens plan risks exposure to their abusers and re-traumatization. wcja/pages/89/attachments/ original/1653511060/Salazar_ RMSC_Letter_-_Governor_Hochul. pdf?1653511060 Please sign on to support our campaign! https://www.womenscja. org/beyondrosies_campaign?utm_ campaign=women_s_center_ of_report_2022&utm_ medium=email&utm_source=wcja Marion Rodriguez, E: ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: JUNE EDITION 2022


{{ WHAT MUVS YOU? }} SHIFT+CONTROL “The campaign is women-led and consists heavily of directly impacted and formerly incarcerated people.”












Welcome to The Love Frequency column! I am so looking forward to sharing knowledge with you and connecting on a deeper level. Without further ado, I have an inquiry for you: Have you ever noticed how are you feel when you’re around certain people? For instance, when you spend time with those who complain all the time, or are fueled by gossip? They may believe “it’s always something.” Or “if it’s not one thing, it’s another,” they state with slight eye roll and an exasperated sigh.

partial to the wu. But this concept isn’t even wu. It’s quantum physics. My beliefs are based on the fact that everything has a vibration, right down to the cellular level. Atoms and molecules buzzing all the time contribute to the reality you are living in. Helping you understand this (if you don’t already) will open your heart and mind to the awareness that you are constantly co-creating your life based on your thoughts, beliefs, patterned responses and actions or inactions. A little bit about me before I go any

And conversely have you noticed how you feel being around people who are lit up, enthusiastic about life, joyful and optimistic? They reassure you that the hard times are “not happening TO you, they are working out FOR you” and that “this too shall pass.” Did you just have a few faces come to mind? Who do you prefer to be around? Maybe you see yourself falling into one of these categories. The truth is everything is energy. Every single emotion has a corresponding energetic frequency. Lower vibrational states include shame, guilt, worry, blame, revenge, inferiority, fear, just to name a few. Higher frequency (emotional) states include joy, peace, willingness, enthusiasm, optimism, love and gratitude. While I love the practical, I am even more

the gap from where they are to where they want to be, while creating a mindset and lifestyle they love. I’ve helped clients move through deep sorrow and intense grief following the loss of a child, learn to love and trust themselves more, achieve promotions at work, move cross country, leave unhealthy, one-sided relationships, attract the loves of their lives, birth and grow soul-led businesses in the online space, power couples navigate conflict and learn to repair in a healthy productive way, thus improving intimacy. I help my clients navigate this human experience and learn to live in true soul alignment. I’ve come to realize there are two major forces at play in this world. One is FEAR.

further with The Love Frequency. I have BS in Psychology from 20 years ago, I’m a birth professional: doula, HypnoBirthing, former RN home birth assistant (RNmost trusted profession in the states!), Kripalu yoga instructor, nervous system nerd, energy healer: reiki (since 2009), EFT, NLP practitioner-reprogramming subconscious beliefs, mom-14 + 17 yr old boys, and a published author I’m also an Intuitive Embodiment Coach who’s helped thousands of beautiful souls over the last couple years bridge

People caught up in fear like to point the finger. They like to blame others. Those in fear play small; they underutilize their potential. They have difficulty speaking their truth, worried they won’t be accepted. They may spread themselves too thin or be unaware of healthy boundaries, have difficulty saying “no.” They only show up part of the time, mostly when it’s easy. And the other is LOVE. When rooted in love, there is a deep inner knowing that everything is working out for you. There is a sense of trust. These people are not a victim of their circumstances, they are bravely here to ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: JUNE EDITION 2022


{ THE LOVE FREQUENCY { SHIFT+CONTROL } } “The truth is everything is energy. Every single emotion has a corresponding energetic frequency.”

take radical responsibility for their own stuff and do what it takes, no matter what, to step into their biggest, best version of themselves. Their highest potential. Their fullest expression…in life, in LOVE, in their business. Those who vibrate in the frequency of LOVE are successful in all endeavors. They follow through on actions and honor their word to a T, regardless of challenges that might arise. They emanate LOVE simply by choosing the thought, the action, the belief of optimism, joy, worthiness. It’s a deep inner knowing that they deserve MORE. And that’s okay. 288


Learning to play in the quantum field, know this: “If you want to find the secrets of the universe, think in terms of energy, frequency and vibration.” ~Nikola Telsa When you’re in the frequency of LOVE, you show up and demonstrate you can lead yourself even when it’s hard. You experience a greater sense of intimacy, more peace, more fulfillment, better sleep, more productivity and focus. It’s a win-win! A starting point is to identify how you typically feel on a daily basis. Also pay attention to who you choose to surround

yourself with. It’s true: “birds of a feather flock together.” Become aware of how you want to feel each day and flex your discernment muscle. Email with any questions you’d like to read more about.






A Fresh Start for a Lovable Four-Legged Friend Not every path to a forever home is a straight line. For many who come through our doors at Animal Care Sanctuary, those paths can be incredibly challenging. Meet one-year-old pup Oracle, who first came to ACS in February from Best Friends Dog Rescue in Georgia. Oracle was in need of medical attention that she couldn’t receive down south, and ACS was happy to step forward and take her in. Oracle’s back legs are paralyzed, and after a visit to the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, it was discovered that she was born with a spinal defect that prevents her from having full use of her hind legs. However, that condition doesn’t stop Oracle from getting around, thanks to her custom-fit wheelchair. She’s the life of the party wherever she can find company, and is one of the sweetest girls to ever come through the doors of Animal Care

Sanctuary. All that was missing for young Oracle was a home to call her own. For an animal as loving as Oracle, it didn’t take long for someone to fall in love the minute they walked through our doors. A family who previously adopted

What makes Oracle’s adoption story extra special is the amount of community support that made it all possible. It goes beyond one family loving and accepting Oracle and her disability. All Animals Matter, Inc. sponsored her adoption fee, and ACS will provide their lifelong counseling whenever needed. The staff at ACS also takes the time to educate any family and answer all questions about any long-term medical care that may be required with pets adopted from our shelter. We’re grateful for the time we shared with the lovely Oracle. But most of all, we’re thankful Oracle now has a family to call her own.

a dog named BeBe back in August of 2020 got the chance to meet Oracle in May. BeBe and her sibling Polona were both eager to play with Oracle the first time they met her, which is everything Oracle loves and more. Oracle and her two older siblings have since formed an unbreakable bond and have made their home a place for fun and affection. ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: JUNE EDITION 2022







Whether you are newly diagnosed or have been living with Lupus for years, having a chronic illness like Lupus can take a toll on your mental health. According to a 2017 study, 1 in 4 Lupus patients have signs of depression and 40% of Lupus patients have anxiety. However Lupus affects your mental health, know that you aren’t alone. This page includes hotlines, therapists, support groups and other mental health resources for Lupus patients and their loved ones. If you are having a medical emergency or mental health crisis, please go to your local emergency room or call 911. HOTLINES LupusLine®: Speak with a trained volunteer who has Lupus. Chronic Illness Hotline: A support text line for anyone with a chronic illness. Text “care” to 202-596-6520. HelpGuide provides a list of mental health hotlines in the US, UK, Ireland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, India, the Philippines, and South Africa. Therapists, Psychologists, and Psychiatrists Psychology Today has a mental healthcare provider directory where you can search for a therapist, teletherapy, psychiatrist, treatment center, or support group by your city or zip code. You can browse by issues, including chronic illness and chronic pain, insurance, gender, types of therapy, age, price, ethnicity served, sexually, language, and faith. BetterHelp or Talkspace: Get matched with a licensed therapist to speak to via video chat, phone, or online chat. For additional online therapy options, check out Best Online Therapy Services from VeryWell Mind.

Lupus Support Groups and Communities Lupus Foundation of America National Network: National and state-based online support groups for people with Lupus. Lupus Foundation of Northern California: Regionally hosted virtual Lupus support groups. Kaleidoscope Fighting Lupus: Although typically hosted in Portland, OR, Kaleidoscope is currently hosting their monthly Lupus support group on Zoom every second Saturday of each month. Lupus Warriors: A Facebook-based support group for those diagnosed with Lupus or those that know someone that battles this disease. Inspire: LupusConnect: An online Lupus support and discussion community. MyLupusTeam: A free Lupus social network Healing Well: A support forum for Lupus patients. Smart Patients Lupus Community: An online community for Lupus patients and their families. EDUCATIONAL RESOURCES Lupus and depression: Know the signs and how to get help from the Lupus Foundation of America Lupus, Emotional Stress, and Depression: What You Need to Know from Everyday Health Lupus and Mental Health Concerns from WebMD Lupus and Your Emotions from Hospital for Special Surgery LUPUSCHICK BLOG POSTS Managing Life With Lupus by Focusing

on What I Can Control by Emily Carroll Keep Thinking You’re Not Good Enough? You’re Wrong. by Cassandra Ewert Music Therapy and Chronic Pain by Erika Kaiser Affirmations for Depression: 5 You Can Use Today by Cassandra Ewert How to Provide Hope to Someone with a Chronic Illness by Emily J. Maurits Finding Your Voice (and Tribe) Through Support Groups & Circles by Donna Oram, MSW, ACSW Grieving our Pre-Chronic Illness Lives by Donna Oram, MSW, ACSW How to Help Ourselves in the Midst of a Health Crisis by Donna Oram, MSW, ACSW Finding a New Sense of Self Through Community by Ruth Wilson Chronic Illness and the Journey to Acceptance by Donna Oram, MSW, ACSW How To Practice Mindfulness For Chronic Pain by Nicole Ashley Chuba Other Resources Living Life To The Full: Reclaim Your Life: A free online course that teaches people with a long-term health condition Cognitive Behavioral Therapy techniques to get their lives back. Mind Remake Project: Offers free printable mental health worksheets, handouts, workbooks, and manuals. Chronically Fabulous: Finding Wholeness and Hope Living with Chronic Illness by Marisa Zeppieri








The popularity of the social media platform TikTok is no secret. The short video platform made its debut in August of 2019 and skyrocketed with followers during the global shutdown in March of 2020. According to its parent company Bytedance, TikTok currently has one billion users; many of those users are teens. Last year, market research company Forrester found in their “Forrester Analytics Consumer Technographics US Youth Survey 2021,” that 63 percent of Americans 12 to 17 years of age used TikTok on a weekly basis, compared to 57 percent for Instagram. Like most social media platforms, TikTok is designed to keep the user engaged for hours. But this addicting platform is greatly affecting our youth, particularly adolescent girls. “We can clearly see that the algorithms used in apps like TikTok are designed to keep the user engaged on a subject or subjects for as long as possible,” says Richard Simmons, M.D., Managing Physician of the Child Neurology Group in Clifton Park, New York. “In the Spring of 2020, I saw the first of what would be about 75 girls (and 1 boy) with new-onset and dramatic tic-like movements. After the first few girls presented, the pattern began to emerge of girls between 12 and 18 years old performing numerous repetitive movements and repeating

phrases that were often similar in their appearance.” Dr. Simmons stated this is not how Tourette’s Syndrome happens, although many girls on the platform who developed tics claim to have Tourette’s, Simmons urged tics from TikTok is not the same as the neurological disorder. After speaking with other colleagues in the child neurology field, Simmons discovered they were seeing

the same issue. “There are hundreds, if not thousands of videos of girls with self-proclaimed Tourette’s Syndrome showing off all their different tics to one another. Initially, we felt the girls presenting to the office were mimicking these videos – likely triggered by the dramatic degree of stress they were under from the isolation of the pandemic.” Simmons went on to say that struggle for “likes” or to be popular on the platform may

have contributed to the number of girls having ticks. “There was a shift, however, when new users began to pop up on TikTok with nearly identical ‘tics’ and videos about the struggles of their diagnosis. Interestingly, when the vaccine became available for the 12-15 age range, and social activity began to pick up, I lost about 90% of these patients (never showed up for follow-up).” But tics aren’t the only way TikTok is affecting our teens, the common struggle to be popular draws teens in, “TikTok is designed to be addictive, and fosters the urge to “fit in” with trends,” said Simmons, “TikTok is rapid-cycling and creates a perpetual FOMO for kids. It started with dances and has devolved into incredibly negative trends – to the point where schools were shut down earlier this year because of coordinated threats of violence shared on TikTok. The repeated exposure to negative trends, misinformation, and “challenges” makes TikTok both alluring and potentially dangerous for teenagers. TikTok can have similar effects on adults but nearly to the same extent. “Most adults have established their identities and have shifted in their developmental goals where fitting in and being up on the newest trend is less important,” said Simmons. “I did have a single parent who had developed the “tics” seen in TikTok videos and they were identical to all the teenagers I had seen.” ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: JUNE EDITION 2022


{ {SHE SHE HUSTLES TALKS SHIFT+CONTROL HUSTLES }} { HI TECH HEALTH &TALKS WELLNESS } “TikTok also fuels fearmongering, “The “Tourette Syndrome” being perpetuated on TikTok is not, in fact, truly Tourette Syndrome.”

Simmons went on to say that most people who came to him with tics were already diagnosed and being treated for things like ADHD, anxiety, and depression. TikTok also fuels fearmongering, “The “Tourette Syndrome” being perpetuated on TikTok is not, in fact, truly Tourette Syndrome. It falls under the category of psychogenic illness and likely amounts to the most widespread case of mass hysteria in human history. It will go away as we have seen most of our patients improve and move forward with life,” said Simmons. 300


Simmons warned parents to keep in mind the financial gain most social media developers have, “App developers have revenue in mind and the mental or physical wellbeing of its users are rarely taken into consideration. We must be aware of trendy apps and use them ourselves to see potential pitfalls. We also need to make our patients aware of the dangers of social media even though it’s just an app on a phone.” Although the phenomenon of TikTok seems to be taking over Gen Z, it’s not quite as popular as Google’s YouTube. In 2021, YouTube was used

weekly by 72 percent of American teens – that’s up from 69 percent in 2020, according to Forrester. Behind YouTube and TikTok is Snapchat, which is used by 54 percent of US Gen Z in 2021 and 2020. Bottom line and this will not be a newsflash to Gen Y and Millennials, put down the phone and do other activities. The good news: most of the crisis around Covid is clearing and life seems to be returning to somewhat normal as it was before the pandemic.









THE UNWRITTEN AND UNSPOKEN RULES OF FEMALE FRIENDSHIPS A friend’s intentions are not always honest. Recently, I conducted useful research on the Do’s and Don’ts of a healthy friendship. This is not about how we act when relationships are going as expected or not, but how we respond when there is a concerning situation that may arise during our long-time friendship. The way we respond, however, when friends show signs of insecurity, clues of exploiting the friendship, blaming the victim, hostile avoidant personality and problematic personality traits, and covert and bad mouthing you behind your back while smiling in your face. Astonishing, were the research results. Research Questions: The overarching questions guiding the research, revealed some interesting results. ● DO’s and DON’T’s of a good friendship. ● Whether the rules are implicit or explicit? ● What does it mean to have shared values in a friendship? Is it necessary after 20-30 years of a friendship to develop a shared value system - if a shared value system was never developed? ● Is it safe to say, verbal codes substitute or contradict verbal communication?

Nonverbal codes include but are not limited to: facial expression, eye contact, time management, silence, space touch, senses, tone and intonation?Types of Non-Verbal behaviors ● The importance of knowing your friends dislikes and likes ● Where are the boundaries (verbal and non-verbal) ● Love Language between girlfriends with husbands, people they date, and exes? ● Proper decorum: how do you conduct yourself in the presence or not in the presence of your girlfriends: boyfriend, exes, or husband? Heather Day, After reading In a piece for Thought Catalog, Heather Day, a writer and lecturer at Southwestern Michigan College, recalls a similar experience. During high school, she and her friends publicly shunned another friend who had slept with her exboyfriend. The girl begged for forgiveness, but all attempts at reconciliation were ignored. The humiliation and heartbreak was so painful, she ended up moving away to live with her father. Years later, as a remorseful adult, Heather realizes that her friend was wrong,, but that a very human desire to feel wantedno matter how old a woman may be, but etiquette 101 with friends, hands off of my man, my money, my exes, my husband and or the

like. Reverend Raquel Alston shared, You and I have an established friendship. In our friendship, I get to learn your core values, your standards, because it comes out when we communicate or through your body language. I should not have to sit down with you every six months or year to ask how you feel about friendship or marriage. Moreover or how do you feel about people treating you wrong? Because it is not only how you treat me, but how you treat other people. Through observation, I get to learn more about who you are, which is beyond speech. And I think this is for everybody. Let’s consider this is even in marriages - you are no survelincing your marriage in that manner (6 month check-ins with a list, 1 year, 3 and 5 years). Maybe in the honeymoon stage, but at some point you are not doing that at all. It comes out that in a friendship there’s a covenant agreement that we are going to be friends, through the good and bad times. Moreover, for me, friendship is important! If we can’t trust one another, then why would we need to be friends. Friendship is all about making each other better people. It’s a journey that we take and we have to commit to that journey no matter what comes our way.And the most important thing is that we must keep communication with one another going even when things get rough. Blind Guides - Leadership held to a higher standard: ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: JUNE EDITION 2022


{ BLACK WOMEN VOICES { SHIFT+CONTROL } } “Friendship is all about making each other better people. It’s a journey that we take and we have to commit to that journey no matter what comes our way.”

At its core, The Woman Code is a code of “ethics” that demands ultimate loyalty to one’s sister, blood or not, religions or not, grafted in or not, above all else, including parents, significant others, law enforcement, maybe even God — there is nobody above the “Woman’s Code.”. The term typically conjures up images of sorority sisters, pledging allegiance to one another. Reverend Raquel noted, “Do not follow blind guides - Leadership - friend or not should be held to a higher standard. Appealing to the “different standard rule or assumption argument is a way of wiggling your way out of a problem you created as a friend. Moreover there are plenty of things bad friends can do that will not commit nor adhere to the “Woman’s Code” verbally or not, but keep in mind some of these things socalled friends do is closely connect to deception, and manipulation. How do you measure it? I heard you stated, Dr. Tunya that you asked your pastor friend specific questions and she deflected. I would think it’s safe to say, deflection is a form of manipulation and deception. In hopes to take advantage of a friend, and with a specific aim to exploit the friendship. Let’s talk research results! Research Results: I turned to 10 clergy women and 10 clergy men and 5 non-clergy men and women. The results were astounding, over 99 percent agreed that verbal or not friends should abide by certain established norms in most relationships especially if the goal is to sustain and 304


preserve the friendship. 0.05 percent of the other respondents, mostly clergymen did not want to answer the question. I must admit, I wasn’t shocked at all that certain male members of clergy e did not answer, because the church, in particular, the black church struggles with the don’t do as I do, but do as I say. This duality of practice is never consistent with what Scripture teach about holding bad leaders accountable even if they are your friends. The greater percentage agreed that she was way out of line. However 0.05% of her friends appealed to the (1) shared values argument and the (2) assumptions argument. In response, the question Black Women’s Voices #BeBrave project respondents asked, “Is there a decline of Pastoral and Personal Integrity? And is there any honor among friends?” Holley Moore notes, “There are several factors which can contribute to a decline, or erosion of integrity. Surely those engaged in “people business,” recognize that respect for integrity must be earned and is therefore given to us by others. When we make mistakes and then try to cover them with distortions of the truth, or by blatant lying, integrity suffers a mighty blow as the truth is eventually revealed. People under the spiritual leadership of a pastor need and should be able to trust the pastor. Rarely, if ever, should members be given cause to wonder about a pastor’s character. Webster’s Dictionary defines personal integrity as “the quality or state of being

of sound moral principle; uprightness, honesty and sincerity.” In ethics workshops and seminars for many years, I have what I refer to as an operational definition of integrity: “consistently adhering to a discernible set of moral values in making daily choices.” What this means, literally, is that you and I are what others see; say what we may, we are still judged by our daily actions. When we deviate from generally accepted notions of what constitutes “right” and “good” and, as Christians, when we act apart from Scripture, our integrity erodes. Sadly, in some instances, a pastor may not recognize when his credibility is in a downward spiral until it’s too late to overcome the negative view congregants may hold for him. This would seem especially true when a pastor has become so accustomed to distorting or otherwise manipulating truth that the line dividing truth from untruth has become obscured.” The Cardinal Rule As rule breakers know, the punishments for not abiding verbal or non verbal rules of decorum among friends, the consequent are swift and severe. My friend Anita learned this harsh lesson while playing a game with a group of her girlfriends. On her dare or dare not cards pointed “dare” to a man who happened to be the object of one of her girlfriends’ affection. Their innocent “dare kiss” ultimately signaled the kiss of death for her friendship with that girl, who accused Anita of betraying her. Not satisfied by her sloppy apology, and grace beads that offer no grace at all, but




{ BLACK WOMEN VOICES } “Through observation, I get to learn more about who you are, which is beyond speech. And I think this is for everybody.”

rather gall for a vinegar mix. Bad friends, and their damage, lies in their subtlety to deceive others - like a wolf in sheep’s clothing, or a deep kiss from Judas with over 74 million people believing the sitting president is not the real president. Moreover the way they can engender that classic response, ‘It’s not me, it’s them.’ They and others that have tasted their vinger with gall can have you questioning your ‘over-reactiveness’, your oversensitivity’, your ‘tendency to misinterpret’. If you’re the one who’s continually hurt, or the one who is constantly adjusting your own behaviour to avoid being hurt, then chances are that it’s not you and it’s very much them. Being able to spot a friend-enemy and their harmful behaviour is the first step to minimize their impact. The Recovery Process: Orientation, Disorientation, New Orientation Shauna and Walter Brueggerman thoughts are helpful here when thinking about when a long-term friendship ends up in the dumps. “ When you are in the throes of a crisis (friendship crisis), it can be life changing and mind altering, and all together transforming. When something shatters as you know it, it can challenge everything you think you know about yourself and your friend.” I have pulled together a helpful summary from a few different sources that capture Brueggeman’s thoughts on the matter. I have found this framework quite helpful and very true to life.

Brueggemann has developed a way of categorizing the Psalms and bringing them into our own personal lives, in this case, the framework can be helpful when deciding to keep your long term friend or throw the relationship in the trash. Moreover if your are a Christian woman the process of deciding whether the friendship is worth keeping or not adds another dynamic to the challenge of making a sound and wise decision. Here’s why? Most Christians enter the thinking process using a forgiveness model. What’s problematic using the forgiveness model is, (1) concluding what the decisions should be rather than allowing the facts about the relationship speak for itself (2) the foreignness model at times may not allow the friend that a was harmed space to critically think about the pain and harm caused by a bad friend, because the default mode as a Christian is set to “forgiveness” is the goal. However my recommendation is that Christians seek wise counsel before making a decision. If wise counsel is not pursued then it can lead to further exploitation and abuse at the hands of the bad friend. Walter Brugerrman, in his book entitled Praying the Psalms can be helpful when making final decisions. Walter Bruggerman, suggests that the psalms reflect two very basic movements in everyone’s life. The first is the move into the “pit”. It happens when our world collapses around us and we feel that there is no way out of the deep hole into which we have sunk. The second is the move out of the pit into awelcome place. We suddenly

understand what has happened and who has brought us up out of the pit. Brueggemann further suggests that human beings regularly find themselves in one of three places: a place of orientation, in which everything makes sense in our lives; a place of disorientation, in which we feel we have sunk into the pit; and a place of new orientation, in which we realize that God has lifted us out of the pit and we are in a new place full of gratitude and awareness about our lives and our God. Using these three “places,” Brueggemann suggests that life has a rhythm as we move from one place to the next. He believes that psalms match those places and the surprisingly painful and joyful moves we make. In short, there are psalms of orientation, disorientation, and new orientation. Recognizing that different psalms match these three places in our lives can help us identify psalms that fit our personal lives. The same stages can be considered when a friendship or any other types of friendships First stage, Orientation – in which we consider the world and our place in it Torah – in which we consider the importance of God’s revealed will Wisdom – in which we consider the importance of living well Narrative – in which we consider our past and its influence on our present Psalms of Trust – in which we express our trust in God’s care and goodness The next state, is the stage of Disorientation - It is the state where one Laments in which we/I express anger, frustration, confusion about the experience of God’s absence (both communal and individual laments) ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: JUNE EDITION 2022


{ BLACK WOMEN VOICES { SHIFT+CONTROL } } “Surrounding yourself with honest and loyal people is imperative to maintain a happy and healthy friendship.”

Penitential – in which we/I express regret and sorrow over wrongs we have done (both communal and individual penitential psalms) The Third Stage Reorientation Thanksgiving – in which we thank God for what God has done for us/ me (both communal and individual thanksgiving psalms) Hymns of Praise – in which we praise God for who God is Zion Psalms – in which we praise God for our home Royal Psalms – in which we consider the role of political leadership 308


Covenant Renewal – in which we renew our relationship with God Lastly, keep in mind that you should always “Though the tenets of A Woman’s Code may vary from group to group, there is one rule that is universal: Mates are off-limits. Whether you were born a thousand years ago or yesterday, this law ranks supreme among all others — unfortunately, it is also the law that is broken the most often.” BeBrave Journal Invitation: Surrounding yourself with honest and loyal people is imperative to maintain a happy and healthy friendship. Every woman who has had a close girl friend

or group of close girl friends knows there are some things loyal friends just do not do. Bad advice is like bad medicine - It will never work or cure your aching soul What emotions do you perceive as negative/positive with your girlfriends What is your love language for yourself and do you know your friends love language What are you doing to hold yourself and your friends accountable How do you cope and respond when you feel things that you find challenging? How to navigate the sisterhood of women, to build collaboration rather than competition









Who would think being grounded would be a good thing? I suppose it all depends on how you interpret the words. When you read the title, what were your first thoughts? Perhaps it made you think of your younger years. When you were grounded from doing something, for doing something you shouldn’t have. In that case, how would that be a good thing? If anything, it may have been good for the person doing the grounding, but certainly not good for you! And yet, now that you are older, you realize it isn’t so great for the one doing the grounding either. I hated grounding my kids. Because of their actions, not only did they not get to do what they wanted but it limited me as well in making sure I followed through on disciplining them. Let alone them making you feel like the bad guy when you’re trying to teach them there are consequences for their actions. That hopefully they will learn from a couple of groundings to prevent much more severe consequences life can and will throw at you later. So no, this article is not about being grounded in that sense. Then again, when you first read the title, you may have interpreted it as “being grounded” to what is listed in the Collins English Dictionary: “If you say that someone is grounded, you mean that they are sensible and reasonable, and that they understand the importance of ordinary things in life.”

Gee, one can only hope that those horrible groundings we received or gave out led to such a well-rounded person, right? Sort of ironic twist, to tie those two meanings together, don’t you think? But what if I told you, it is actually something entirely different? That it literally means being grounded. As to you have your feet on the ground. Bare feet.

warm, it refreshes us from the hot sun. But what else do we find ourselves doing at the beach? Curling our toes in the sand, or even walking on the beach barefoot? And this, my friend, is the grounding I wanted to write about! If you stand on the ground barefoot, you are grounding yourself. It too can be good for you, like the sun’s rays.

It’s a thing, believe it or not, and it’s quite interesting. This time of year, we all start feeling better. Why? Mainly because we are out in the sun and having fun.

Not something we really think about and unfortunately have gotten away from. Remember growing up running out the door with no shoes on?

When you are out on that beach, soaking up the sun, it feels good! For one, it is it a stress reliever, because obviously you are enjoying yourself.

The feel of the grass under your toes? I do. Back then, I didn’t think twice about not wearing shoes! I didn’t worry about the bugs, the rocks, or whatever else I may step on. I just ran and enjoyed the freedom.

And, I’m sure by now, most of you know what I am going to say next. It also gives you vitamin D. I knew it did, but it wasn’t until I started writing this article that my research revealed to me how? How do you get vitamin D from the sun? It’s quite interesting. When the sun’s rays hits cholesterol in your skin cells, it provides energy for vitamin D synthesis to happen. But what does that have to do with being grounded? I wanted to get your mind thinking about how good you feel on the beach. Most of us think the extra burst of vitamin D as being the culprit. But what else feels good at the beach? Of course, the water itself. Whether it be fresh water or salt water. Cold or

You don’t see much of that today, other than on the beach. Maybe, we are missing out on something that is so simple yet beneficial? When was the last time you went outside barefoot and it wasn’t at the beach? Seriously, no sandals, just bare feet on the ground? In the grass or dirt, not on a deck or patio. Your answer might surprise you. Now what if I told you, scientists say that walking barefoot helps you absorb negative ions from the earth? Allowing you to have a vast supply of electrons from the surface of the earth. Sounds impressive, but what does it mean? What are the benefits of walking ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: JUNE EDITION 2022


TIDBITS } {{ TAMMY’S SHIFT+CONTROL “Even at night, take the time to walk outside barefoot. Look up and see the beautiful stars we tend to forget and feel the earth below.”

barefoot on grass, dirt, or sand? Actually, there are quite a few!

takes a half an hour of exposure so it is recommended thirty minutes daily.

with them! Soak up those ions just like you do vitamin D!

It can help in preventing insomnia. Reduction in inflammation. Helps you improve your mental well-being. Regulates your heart’s health. And to be honest, I don’t know how or why, but it says it’s good for your eyes too?

When will you start noticing a change? Some report benefits in the first 24 hours, others a noticeable change after a few weeks. Of course, grounding does not cure disease, but it does restore your natural electrical balance which can help reduce stress and inflammation.

Or, after a stressful day, either from work or life itself, kick off those shoes and go get your mail. Take the dog for a walk around the yard. Whatever, just let those little toes be free and feel the ground underneath!

They did say the color green is a soothing color that helps calm your mind and reduces tension. Research showed by walking barefoot in the grass can reduce stress up to 62%. If that’s the case, I might be ditching all my shoes!!! Seriously, who of us couldn’t use 62% less stress? So how long should we walk barefoot to get some results? They are saying it 314


Bottom line is while we are at the beach, we are walking around barefoot. Who knew that was actually grounding you and contributing to your well-being? Why not apply that more in our lives? Allow the kids to run free on the grass. It’s good for them! Why not rip those socks and shoes off and run right along

Even at night, take the time to walk outside barefoot. Look up and see the beautiful stars we tend to forget and feel the earth below. Being grounded isn’t always a bad thing, or the sensible thing, but simply feeling the earth below us and allowing it to restore our energy in a stressful world.



Leasing versus buying is always a topic of conversation when first speaking with a business owner. There are pros and cons to both, both with large economic impacts. For many businesses, especially if they are just launching or securing their first space, leasing is truly the best avenue. When factoring in initial cash to start up, cost of renovation, future growth and expansion needs, and flexibility to relocate should the location not be ideal. Let’s dive a little deeper into each of these factors below. For a standard office or retail space in Monroe County, prices to lease can range from $12-$28 per square foot, per year, with annual rents from $36,000-$84,000. To purchase a 3000 sq ft building, prices can range $156,000 to $355,000. A security deposit for a lease is equal to the first months rent, so $3,000 up to $7,000. For a purchase, typically a buyer pays 20% down plus closing costs, so cash requirements range from $31,200 up to $71,000 plus additional closing costs. The cash requirement for leasing is significantly lower than purchasing, thereby allowing many new or small businesses the opportunity to open due to the financial requirement being much more attainable. Leasing provides an opportunity to many who, without this option, wouldn’t be able to open! Now, lets talk about the space itself. 316


When touring spaces, there is never a turnkey situation. The space will need renovation for the new user to better suite their operations, esthetic and overall vision. The big question is, who pays for this remodel? It’s simple if a business is buying the building, they are paying themselves! So, on top of down payment, closing costs now, add in renovations. When leasing, there are always 3 options of who pays: the landlord, the tenant, or It’s a combination of the landlord and tenant. The latter option is the one

that I see most commonly. While each situation is unique and negotiations vary, one aspect remain constant-each party wants to contribute as little as possible to renovations! This is a reason why having an expert negotiator on your side is vital! Understanding what a landlord responsibility is typically, government requirements to obtain permits, renovation involving licensed professionals, etc. In a situation where the landlord delivers the space to the tenant fully remodeled, the responsibility and out of pocket costs

fall on the landlord. At times, the costs of the renovation will be added back to the monthly rent for the tenant to reimburse the landlord for the costs. In this scenario, the tenant is still benefiting by using the landlord’s money upfront and the payback term is over the 5 or 7 years of the lease. This tactic also helps new or small businesses open a location! A business has now been open for a few years and business is booming! They have hired additional employees and have now outgrown their space. For a tenant that leases, they will be able to relocate within their landlord’s portfolio. Whether the expansion option is the adjacent space, a different floor in the building or a nearby building, landlords with large portfolios provide a lot of growth options. By this point, the business has built a good relationship with the landlord and the landlord will be flexible while helping the business expand. If a business buys a building, they may have the option to add an addition. If not, they will need to sell the building and buy new, all at an expense of paying off the mortgage early, and all costs associated with the sale. All in all, landlords help small businesses get started! In my opinion, the biggest reason to lease versus buying for a small business is that landlords are invested in your success. If you don’t succeed, then they don’t succeed. Landlords




{ THE QUEEN{OF COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE } SHIFT+CONTROL } “All in all, landlords help small businesses get started! In my opinion, the biggest reason to lease versus buying for a small business is that landlords are invested in your success.”

will help introduce you and market you, many have a marketing team to help promote the new business to their other tenants and on their social media. When you buy, all marketing and relationships are solely on you. As a buyer, there is no one else that is invested financially into your success. 318


Whereas, with a start up the landlord has invested their own funds into getting the space ready for you and in therefore invested in your success! I must admit, as a broker I am passionate about helping small businesses find the right space! I always say we are so fortunate in this area to have wonderful

landlords, both small and large, to place tenants. Whatever it is you are looking for, it’s out there and I can help you negotiate the most favorable terms!








We typically start off our days with an idea of what needs to be done and we create a to-do list. You probably take a few minutes to think about what’s important, like, I need to pick up the groceries, drop off the kids, email this prospect or call this client. But are you really being productive? Are the actions you are taking today making you any money for tomorrow? In today’s world we are surrounded by so many distractions, especially with technology all around us. You have social media, family, friends and clients that need your attention. Let’s get real. It’s time to access your daily activities and truly have an understanding of what you are doing and what you should be doing.

I would spend at least 15 to 20 minutes meditating before I tackle my to-do list. After structuring my day, I make sure I prioritize my time so that I am effective and efficient. Going back to time blocking, my goal is to focus on the things that have the highest priority. It’s best to tackle these projects or activities first thing in the morning. To eliminate distractions,

So let me ask you this, what exactly is productivity and why is it important to your business? Productivity is key to a company’s profitability and long-term success. At the end of the day your success depends on your productivity and work performance. So how do you stay motivated and focused? As a business owner I am sharing some strategies I use to stay productive in my business. The first thing I do is structure my day to accomplish the most important top three items that have to be in alignment with my goals. A technique that I find very helpful in staying focused and productive is using time blocking. I would schedule everything on my calendar in one hour increments. If I have to do more than an hour for each task I would simply take a 15 minute break so I can regroup and refocus. Before all the distractions start flowing in, I do my best to get an hour to myself of quiet. I won’t check my phone or social media.

I would turn my phone to focus feature where I have the settings to only accept calls from clients or team members. I turn off my notifications for social media, email and things I know I don’t need to be paying attention to during the day. Before starting my work, I delegate tasks to my team members. We use a project management tool that allows us to see an overview of the company’s ongoing projects

whether internal or external. Each project has a breakdown of tasks, activities and deadlines which makes my life a lot easier and it helps everyone stay connected and in the know. Which in turn eliminates unnecessary meetings. This saves not only myself but my team valuable time that can be spent on operational work. Using Time-tracking software helps monitor the productivity of my employees. This makes it easy for my team members to plan their day and know how long each task takes to complete. As a result, they have more control over their schedule, which could lead to a boost in productivity. As an employer, I can use these time-tracking reports to see how my business is currently operating and if I need to change things to make it run more efficiently this is a great way to readjust and be productive. Being productive to maximize the hours you are spending in a day is critical to the success of your business. Ask yourself what am I doing and why? Is this activity bringing any value to me and my company? Although all the business flows through me as the CEO that does not mean I have to be doing it all. I talked about delegating earlier and how effective it can be but automation is just as important. Small businesses are sometimes reluctant to invest in automation, but automating processes is a key advantage they have. 88% of small businesses say automation allows their company to compete with larger businesses. Automation will allow your small business to scale its output without having to hire more people.



BUSINESS TALK } } { {SHIFT+CONTROL “Are you producing at a level that is moving your business forward and seeing real growth?”

Take some time to see how you are spending your day and measure your performance. Are you producing at a level that is moving your business forward and seeing real growth? If you are wishing you have more hours in the day to tackle your to-do list and are feeling like you are going in circles use some of these strategies and apply it to your routine.



Conversance Business Solutions is a full-service administrative support, and consultancy firm, serving businesses from small to midsize nationwide. Our team specializes in various virtual assistant services and onsite support tailored to meet each of our client’s needs. Whether we work as an extension of your team for one-time projects or long-term engagements, we bridge the gap between where you are

and where you want to be. We hope these tips were helpful. Get in touch with us today at 585-484-0038 or visit us online at to find out more about the ways in which our team can help you.





As a Stylist and Closet Coach, I enjoy empowering women to get their closets organized to take away the stress from selecting an outfit. If you follow the guidelines from last month’s article “What’s in your Closet”, you will see that having “feng shui” (organization energy) in your closet, can reduce stress because now you can see what you have, and it’s organized in a manner whereby you can easily select items and create an outfit.

through identifying your body type and style, this is one prong to my mission and sets me apart from other stylists. You may ask, what does this have to do with my closet? The garments in your closet that you select from tell a story, they say, who you are, what you think of yourself and the image you project to the world, it says “I care, or I don’t care”, I’m fun, I’m organized, or I take myself too seriously. Although I

Your style can also be identified by the contents of your closet. If it is not, I can help you narrow it down and select items that fits your body type, style, and lifestyle. Obviously, the goal is to look good and feel good. You can be comfortable with wearing sweats and jeans on a regular basis, but why when there are so many fashion choices that are fun and is an extension of your personality. One client asked me, how can I look more professional? My response is by buying and wearing more structured/ tailored garments, not restrictive, but how they’re constructed. Big and boxy doesn’t flatter, another client asked, how can I hide my midsection? My reply is, you don’t have to, you can wear a wide belt to cinch the waist and select garments that flatter it. If it doesn’t fit, it doesn’t flatter, that can be too large or too small. You don’t want to wear an oversized garment with no tailoring as an attempt to appear smaller (it doesn’t work), neither do you want to wear an item that makes you look like a skin encased sausage (smile). Create or reinvent yourself (your brand)

wear suits often for business as well as personal, my whimsical or statement jewelry and fun shoes says although I’m structured and business minded, I’m also fun and chic. Sometimes we must think outside the box when it comes to our closets. If you typically wear earth tones and neutrals, try a pop of color. If you already like color (like I do), try a monochromatic look. Buy and keep your classics, as I

mentioned previously, they are going to repeat. For example, you can never, ever go wrong with a pinstriped suit, I also have purchased separately satin pinstriped slacks and another pinstriped blazer; therefore, I can mix and match at a moment’s notice. A client once asked me, where should I start with respect to a closet makeover. I recommend the classic white buttondowned shirt, you can where it with jeans, a suit, over a body con dress, the white shirt is so versatile. Also, you can never have too many black slacks or black skirts. You don’t have to look like an usher, you can add colorful jewelry, a belt, and of course stylish shoes. Shoes don’t only make the man; they make the outfit. Grow and/or organize your closet. Last month, we talked about closet organization. It is an ongoing process; you only need to invest a few minutes a week or an hour or so a month for maintenance to get the most from your wardrobe. Once or twice year, or when the seasons change, venture out and add a couple of trends, do not overindulge or you may regret it. Simply add a few ‘funky’ pieces to compliment your current wardrobe. Remember our closets should beclassic, not overly trendy. Make what you have work, I can assist with this, make an appointment for a free consultation at www.lydialifestylecoach or on IG @lydialifestylecoach.









An article to request a FREE DIVINE CHANNEL READING from New York’s Divine Channel, Camille Conti. She will bring forth messages from the Divine, your Higher Self, and Spiritual Counsel. This is accomplished through automatic writing, inspired intuitively through faith, prayers, and blessings of divine intervention on behalf of the person or family writing in for a reading, AKA a spiritual session. ***Note: In this column, Camille will either be speaking from her therapist, divine channeling or life coaching self. And many times it will be all three combined simultaneously. If there is no reference to which self is speaking, that is because it is from all three aspects, her most common writing and speaking style. Dear Camille, Today I am contemplating the value of my life and whether I should stay or go. I am bravely and courageously writing to you because I feel that you may be able to help me. I suffer from situational depression and anxiety. The reason that I know it is situational is because I never became depressed until I was 42 years old. Now at the age of 49 years old, I am exhausted from trying to figure out my life and how I can make it better. My finances got drained entirely over a period of time of taking care of my daughter with multiple medical conditions. We have tried everything to help her with her food allergies and multiple chemical sensitivities. She has a challenging time making friends and keeping friends at school. Now at the

age of 10, they are talking about her having to go into special education. I am considering homeschooling her since it has become so popular during the pandemic. However, I am incredibly triggered by her when she decides to have a meltdown. I understand that she has a lot of medical needs, but I think she is triggering my childhood wounding that I have not healed. I feel like she has come to me to help recover me, and in turn, I help her heal herself. But I feel like we are failing miserably, and although I do not want to leave this world because I want to stay here for my daughter, I don’t know how to turn things around and get stronger in my confidence. We are constantly going to doctor’s appointments for school appointments, and I have not been able to work many hours in my business. Thankfully I am self-employed. If I had a job, I believe I would be fired by now. I am looking to help release the depression and anxiety so that I can be the mother my daughter deserves and move on with a happy life!

Your spiritual counsel (All of the divine, your higher self, guardian angels, guides, and ancestors in heaven) are saying that: -You are correct. You have situational depression and anxiety. As a result, you can do a lot to release it. -Most importantly, you need to start with improving your diet and the nutrition you bring into your body. The highest vibrational foods on the planet are fruits. An apple a day really does keep the doctor away! In addition, eat at least 1 to 2 bananas a day, a pear, some cherries, and blueberries or cantaloupe. It is effortless to put everything in a smoothie maker. Add some ice and almond milk. Use spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, and cardamom. These are gods medicines for the mind.

Praying for Answers, Julie A. New York, NY

-Your daughter will benefit from the fruits as well that we just talked about above. Make her a smoothie and add some plant-based only chocolate, strawberry, or vanilla protein powder for a more exciting flavor and additional nutrition. Chicken nuggets and french fries can only take us so far in life. We need raw plant foods to heal our body, mind, and spirit.

Dear Julie, I am so glad that you are praying and reaching out and asking for help! As long as you continue praying and looking for the next correct answer, you will get there! I am going to pull in a divine channel for you now and give you the information that is coming in from your spiritual counsel.

-Pray over your daughter every night as she sleeps in bed, placing your right hand on her tailbone and your left hand on the top of her head. Call in Christ’s healing for your beautiful daughter and thank him for the beautiful miracles of health, happiness, peace, safety, and protection for your daughter and yourself and your family! ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: JUNE EDITION 2022


{ DEAR CAMILLE }} { SHIFT+CONTROL “Today I am contemplating the value of my life and whether I should stay or go. I am bravely and courageously writing to you because I feel that you may be able to help me.”


-Pray over yourself by placing your hands on your heart and thanking Christ and the universe for healing your body, mind, and spirit in divine timing and order. State your intentions out loud in present tense while looking into the mirror and your eyes, communicating with your soul. For example, I am now happy and grateful that I am fully abundant and paying all of my bills easily with tons of money left over at the end of the month for extra fun things and savings! Now draw a picture in your mind and make a mind movie seeing yourself living this life of abundance and health with your daughter happily.

your goals out loud in the present tense as if they have already happened, and then playing the mind will be seeing yourself living that life in the present tense every single morning for the next 90 days. And then commit to another 90 days after that. Light a candle to hold your intentions for you during the sacred, holy manifestation time.

past, then you can go into depression. When we think about the future, we can go into anxiety. But when we are living right in the moment, we can stay in the space of contentment. So focus on one second at a time!

-Get into a regular movement class with your daughter. You can go to the YMCA, where she can swim in the pool with the assistance of the teachers, and you can go and take a yoga or dance class.

Julie, check back with me in the next one or two weeks and let me know how you are doing.

See her healthy and happy and brighteyed. Invest 5-10 minutes daily, stating

-Live in the moment. Live one second at a time. When you think about the


I believe in you, and I know that you’ve got this! With these tools, you can turn your life around one day at a time.

Please feel free to email me at camille@ In Miracles, Love & Light, Camille Conti






Do you hear noises? In the middle of the night? Afraid to venture down those stairs? And when you do … nothing’s there? You’re not alone. Figuratively speaking and literally speaking! Many of you have had the same experience, so you’re not alone in that case. And those ghosts are real! So you are truly not alone. It’s kind of cool when you see it on a show. A medium exploring a haunted premises. As long as it’s somewhere else. Out there. If you know what I mean. But what do you do when it’s in your home? A ghost. A spirit lurking. I’m going to share with you my current experience, where I am right now at this moment in one of the most beautiful places on earth, the Algarve, Portugal. I could feel the magic in the air as we arrived, strolling through the small Portuguese fisherman’s town. Thousands of years old. Buildings ancient. So quaint. But I could feel it. Our first night staying in our funky abode, I was awoken by a loud shout. An angry woman yelling at me. But when I opened my eyes and looked around, she wasn’t there. The angry woman, clearly the original owner of

the house, yelling at me to ‘Get out!’ I had heard the clinking in the other rooms prior to this disturbance. I even called out asking if someone or something was there. There was no answer other than another clank 20 minutes later waking me up out of my sleep. So the woman spirit - the angry ghost - she had a point I suppose. What was I doing in her house? In fact, what were all these people doing in her town? This sleepy little beach town being devoured by the wealthy Europeans? ‘Get out,’ I could hear her say to just about everyone. You’re wondering now - what did I do to get a good nights sleep - in a haunted house? What I always do. Pray! Of course there’s more to it. But it’s a great place to start. What to do when you when you encounter a ghost Start by calling upon a higher being, whether that’s God, Jesus, Mother Mary, Buddha, Prajnaparamita, a deceased relative, or any other deity or ancestor whom you can count on for guidance and protection. After calling upon a sacred being, imagine his or her powerful light

surrounding you. Then expand that light throughout your room. Eventually imagine this Divine light expanding throughout the entire premises. This is a meditative experience. Breathe slowly and consciously, bringing an element of protection all around you. Many of you may be asking why I wasn’t afraid. I didn’t say I wasn’t! After all, I’m in a foreign country. But I’ve learned throughout the years that fear will only confine you into another’s domain of control. Fear is useful in this situation to alert you that there’s another being/ presence that does not belong there. Your job then is to take the situation under control as described above. Love is the power that prevails. Compassion toward the unwanted guest dissolves fear and allows your mind to open, along with your heart. Love toward yourself is important, as well. It is ultimately your well-being that is being tended to. In the situation today where I’m renting an ancient villa and am awakened by one of its original owners who is thoroughly angry with my ‘being in her house’ is a perfect example of how to approach with the element of loving compassion. I could have woken my husband screaming or crying in fear. I doubt that would have been very helpful. ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: JUNE EDITION 2022


{ MIND, BODY & SPIRIT } “Love is the power that prevails. Compassion toward the unwanted guest dissolves fear and allows your mind to open, along with your heart.”

After all, he doesn’t believe in ghosts. And I’ve been through this too many times so I am prepared. That’s what I’d like to offer you, especially my sensitive souls out there, the empaths, nurturers, and angelic humans on earth. To be prepared when you have a spirit encounter. 338


If you have stories you’d like advice about, please send me a note. I’d love to hear from you! There’s no need to be haunted or to live in fear. I can be reached at alana@alanacahoon. com. May you be surrounded by light May you be filled with light

May you be free from lost ghosts Alana Cahoon is a Mindfulness Coach and Founder of Grow 2 B U. She is the author of Amazon’s #1 Bestseller, Mindfulness, Mantras & Meditations. Reach out to her at

Coaching & Healing with Alana removes the blocks on your path toward happiness & success

“A complete set of tools to align mind and body, and fill you with a strong sense of inner peace.” -Velvet Spicer, journalist

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is 2:16am. I just finished tidying my room. You should have seen it before now. My panties were on the floor. My work uniform was rumbled on the floor. My books, purse, papers, were all scattered on the floor. It seemed like I lived on the floor. My dresser was cluttered with an unopened bags of white bread, slices that I hadn’t touched. There were lunch boxes on there too(these ones were clean, thank God). My sachets of tea and chocolate cream, were all on this same dresser. My tooth paste, my devotional book, my tracts, my wig, cups, vitamins, ranch dressing and of course Mom’s picture graced the mirror. She was the only thing that made sense in this nonsense. My shoes were neatly arranged, and that’s because this weather has had me wearing only 2 shoes(Work shoes and Tennis shoes). Meanwhile, the bed was covered with pencils, crayons, books, journals, more panties, braziers, pictures, old mail, new mail, clothes, my pink journal, an old remote control to a tv I own in Nigeria. Chargers and Headphones, mom’s funeral notes, a stroller, my cds, and many other things that I had been looking for, they were all on this bed. Okay! Maybe that’s not a problem. Afterall, I justifiably work an ants schedule. 340


When I come home, I crash. So it’s not a problem. Do you know what the problem is, or was?

junk to the side, and continued to sleep, this time for about 15 minutes. Hunger pangs woke me up.

I got home yesterday evening from work, and I laid myself on this disheveled unkempt mess. At first I laid on top of all that jargon, talked

Did I tell you I had a gallon of apple cider on the dresser? Well, I took the apple cider into the kitchen and sleepily got some ice to drink with it, and ate 2 Jamaican crackers. As I laid back in the bed and talked on the phone for a few minutes, my friend insisted that I sleep. I kept telling him that I was no longer sleepy. I honestly didn’t understand why the sleep had suddenly cleared from my eyes, but he got off the phone to sleep, be ause that’s what normal people do at such hours of the night. This was the problem. I was not fazed by this tornado in my room. It seemed normal to me. But not for long.

on the phone for a while, laughed and even allowed a friend into the room. I was not embarassed at this embarrassment. It was okay to me. After she stepped out. I continued my conversation on the phone, until I fell asleep. In the middle of my nightmare(because I couldn’t be comfortable being cushioned by crap), I used my tired legs to shift all the

As soon as I got off the phone, I put on my piano tones on pandora, to help ease the melatonin. I turned off the light, I still couldn’t sleep. Then from no where, I heard myself utter these words, “GET UP AND CLEAN THIS ROOM NOW.” I spoke to myself as if I was my mother. I then got up and said it again, but this time, I sounded like a Captain on a ship. “CLEAN UP THIS ROOM RIGHT NOW.”




{ LADY “O” } } { SHIFT+CONTROL ““Love Your Negatives. Love your disease”. This did it for me.”

I went to sweeping, cleaning, hanging, putting away, ripping, tearing, stocking, assembling, pasting, bed making, pillow puffing, and thrash throwing. As I was doing this, I realized that the demon in my room was a reflection of my mind. I had decorated my room with my perceptions. It was the status of my present life, the tag and label of me. A scattered jigsaw puzzle. Not only is it a puzzle that I have to figure out, it is also scattered. Good Lord! Nonetheless, my unease and uncomfortability was a symbolism that I am in a place of transformation. I am no longer comfortable with disorder. It no longer comes natural to me. I cannot ignore it. I cannot pretend like it’s not there. I cannot sleep on it. I cannot drink with it. I cannot lay by it. I cannot lie about it. I can’t even push it aside. I have to get rid of it. Rid of what? Rid of the clutter in my life, the clutter in my mind. It is an operation that has been in progress, for months now, and this is the end result. Change! Alignment! Reformation! Sometimes because we don’t see the steps we are taking to be large leaps, we think we are not making any progress at all, but we really are, as we are becoming what we tread through. We definitely are. I have been working on myself for quite a while now, and I have tried to be devoted and true. Once in a while, the old me tends to pop up and will reflect in my words or mannerisms, or even in my lack of self care. However 344


it is only a sign that I am growing. A crescendo is taking place. This is not the end of the song. It is only an interlude. As I was cleaning, I was listening to Louise Hays on YouTube. She mentioned, “Love Your Negatives. Love your disease”. This did it for me. I reconciled that if I kept seeing my negatives as smelly bad things, I would remain in a condemnative state, which will repel and deter me from fixing them in the first place. It would be very hard for me to change them, and it will give me a defeatist outlook on my life. On the other hand, if I accept my negatives, and admit that I created those negatives as defense mechanisms to cope at some point in my life, then I can applaud myself for doing the best I could at that place in time, but stem the courage to also admit that they may not longer serve me now, because I am no longer that person. Having an untidy room was one of them. It was an extension of my inner tiredness. My weakness to keep pushing. My dying zeal. My settling and unsettling. But the process did not allow me to stay stagnant. This is what it showed me this morning. The river is flowing, and everything in it is bound to flow with it. That’s where I am now. There is a flooding taking place in my life, and the disorganization, the reshuffling, is for a stability that is to come. A permanence. My uncomfortability this early morning has now made me very comfortable. It’s 2:45am.

Goodnight. IN A NUTSHELL ************ 1. Don’t ignore your signs of tiredness. They speak, and they speak loud. 2. Develop a routine to clean and tidy your room every day, including the room your heart lives in. Your body. 3. Always make your bed. 4. Get rid of the clutter in your life. (Toxic relationships, bad habits, negative patterns). 5. Don’t look down on your negatives. They saved your life at some point. 6. Work on who you would want to become, and simply become. 7. Don’t get comfortable with mess. It smells. Take out the thrash. 8. Tell yourself the truth and believe it. 9. Always put things where they belong. Put them in their rightful place. 10. There is a reason for everything you do. There is a reason for what is, for what was, and for what will be. Pay attention. #Omenesa Oruma-Akomolafe






An Artist’s Journey Towards a Self-Loving Perspective For over five decades I have lived with ADHD, yet wasn’t fully aware what “my problem” was. I felt inadequate, stupid and fearful of what would happen once I was an adult on my own? If I didn’t have someone there that could take care of the things I couldn’t remember, would I ever be able to succeed? It tortured me for decades, even though I met my amazing husband in high school and luckily, he was the yin to my yang. Not everyone is as fortunate. Especially women in my age group. Thankfully, there are solutions today that can help us live fully and successfully while shoring up our own sense of self-love. In school, I couldn’t concentrate no matter how hard I tried. I was daydreaming, missing half of what others, especially teachers, were saying. I believed I was intelligent but yet couldn’t do as well in school as my fellow classmates and friends. I’d understand the subject matter and then would bomb the test.Teachers continually inquired, when they knew I was capable, why was it that I couldn’t score well? I wished I understood it or had an answer. I hated myself for not being able to concentrate or stay awake while I studied. Or I would study for days (or months for year-end exams) and hours the night before a test and get a “C.” I would sit in class questioning my worth as others got their test back with huge “A’s” written on them while I grappled with my continued lagging or inability to comprehend the subject matter. Could I be anything or anyone that others would respect if I couldn’t compete with my peers? All dark stories also contain a bright side. 346


Ask me to do art, poetry or writing and you couldn’t get me to stop. I got A’s on every essay project and I made beautiful pieces in my art classes and in my own time. I was enchanted with the process; this is also known as a “state of flow” or “serendipity.” It felt like I was finally being allowed to do what I loved so much that it made me leap with joy or ache when I’d have to do science class work. (Especially Chemistry!) When I think back to that time in my life in the 70’s and 80’s, I see a girl who was misunderstood and needed an adult to recognize the “why” of my poor performance and lack of concentration outside of the creativity arena. It makes me tear up every time. (Even now as I type this.) She wanted someone to see her, hold her and find a solution to her shortcomings/gift. Yes, they can coexist! People with ADHD tend to be highly successful and incredibly hardworking. They have to be in order to get ahead. They find those workarounds and customized solutions that fit how their brain works. The Amen Clinics, founded by Dr. Daniel Amen, studies brain health through brain imaging and says on his website that the “National Institute of Mental Health has found that 5.4% of adult men and 3.2% of adult women have ADD/ADHD, and other research has shown that only about 20% of them have ever been diagnosed or received treatment. This condition is often overlooked in females because their primary issue is inattention, and they are less likely to exhibit the disruptive hyperactivity that is so often seen in males with ADHD.”* ADHD patients lack blood flow to their brain’s frontal cortex, where focus and planning occur.

The harder they attempt to concentrate, the more the blood flow is restricted to that area. When I read that, it was a huge lightbulb moment for me. The more I study, focus, try to remember tasks, etc., the worse I do. It’s as if I cut off all ability to create or do the task at hand. You can forget memorizing anything either when I push too hard. It floats away like a feather in a 40mph wind. When I think back to those formative years in school, I never recall hearing about girls having ADHD or ADD. Not a single one! Yet, many of us were underperforming, causing frustration, depression and even worse concentration due to their emotional state. My personal coping mechanism was to doodle in my notebook rather than acknowledge that I was completely lost. More report cards than I care to recall said things like, “Lisa would do better if only she’d apply herself.” or “Lisa is continually daydreaming in class and lacks focus.” Of course, my parents were frustrated with me and wished I could “just apply myself.” They knew I was capable and smart but were lost when it came to my mediocre performance and low effort grades. I wished I understood it too but there wasn’t any help available to guide them, doctors, teachers or myself towards a solution. Two years ago, at the ripe age of 53, I thankfully solved the internal mystery of my life. I was listening to a podcast by Chalene Johnson. She spoke about her struggles and then her management of her ADHD symptoms after her diagnosis later in life. She spoke about how women our age were what was considered the “lost generation.” No one really knew that girls




{ SHIFT+CONTROL } { MANIFESTING YOUR TRUE PURPOSE } “People with ADHD tend to be highly successful and incredibly hardworking. They have to be in order to get ahead.”

were almost as likely to have the same diagnosis. We weren’t actually just daydreaming. We were just as lost in thought as the boys were, only most girls didn’t have behavioral issues. It was a calling card we lacked that led to our being left behind. As she spoke about how her life had looked prior to her diagnosis, it felt as though she was talking about me. I heard myself in life path and in all of the behaviors and frustrations; piles of stuff that had actual meaning, lateness due to perception of time, daydreaming, ideas swirling around in our heads like they drank a gallon of coffee, lack of focus, hearing conversations around her but not the one she was having with her husband, family members or friends, all over the map conversations because “Squirrel!!”, forgetfulness and exhaustion. There’s an actual name for this type of brain: Inattentive ADHD, which is one of seven different types. Chalene then spoke about how she went about not only getting diagnosed but also with her journey towards staying focused and developing hacks. They helped her harness the goodness that comes out of having a brain that is continually creating and working, even when the owner of it would love some peace and quiet. She developed a daily journal (Push Journal), that helped her plan her day with a three month-long focus called a “Push Goal,” that you work towards each day. You get to check the tasks off as you go along, which creates a huge sense of accomplishment for me. Then, if I do any of the extra tasks, I feel like I’m a rockstar! It made such a huge difference in my anxiety level and my self-confidence. I could physically see how hard I was working and that I had actually stayed on-task. I 350


was accomplishing my big goals by piling up all the little ones. Having an amazing doctor I called promptly after listening to that podcast. She diagnosed me and put me on a low dose stimulant that made a world of difference. I have also been blessed with an amazing therapist that has given such sage and loving advice throughout the years. She taught and encouraged me to speak to myself more lovingly, with a gentleness you’d use with your inner child. While meditating, she asked me to imagine that innocent little thing just wants to be loved, seen and heard. They want to feel like you are their soft place to fall. Beating her up isn’t going to allow her to be willing to try, to make mistakes and grow as a person. It was such a powerful act. Shoring up my inner child and being her best and kindest cheerleader bolstered her ability to be vulnerable without shame or angst. She can rest and know that no matter the outcome, she is loved and seen as enough. Her inner voice can be one that finds humor in her missteps and then an ability and willingness to find solutions or have the bravery to walk away and move onto something that resonates more deeply within her soul. What a beautiful gift that has been in my life and has allowed me to leap and not waste time, breath and sleep about what is to come. I can now walk more confidently into the unknown because I believe I am capable of greatness. It also reminds me I am worthy of things like rest, success, joy, laughter and contentment that I hadn’t felt before. There is a place in my heart now where all

is divinely right and good. I can focus on what IS working. The positive things in my life can shine brightly without feeling a need to dull themselves down because they now know they can be a beacon of light for others who aren’t quite there yet. That’s a gift! To know you’re not like everyone else because you were born with this superpower that just needed someone to hold the reins and guide it to smoother but also challenging pastures because you made it this far without falling off and dying. If any of my story resonates with you, I want you to know this: ADHD has been at times, hard, depressing, challenging but most of all, strengthening. It showed me that we are all perfectly capable of living a life that may not look like someone with a “normal” brain. Instead, it has these gems along the way that you can now look back on and have empathy and kindness towards. It has also helped me become the person and artist I am today. My ideas are allowed to flow through me and onto the paper. They may lie there for a few days, months or even years before they come to fruition but that’s perfectly fine. Everything in life is showing up for us and becomes ready at a divine right time. Learning to trust the process of our life’s work and all its ebbs and flows while incorporating things like journaling, meditation, garnering knowledge about our inner workings and noticing when we are out of alignment with love allows us to live in our light. Spreading it to others in my classes, through these articles and in my daily life is an honor and a privilege. Living in that gratitude for who I am and what I am here to in service to others is profound and causes me to wonder how







{ SHIFT+CONTROL } { MANIFESTING YOUR TRUE PURPOSE } “People with ADHD tend to be highly successful and incredibly hardworking. They have to be in order to get ahead.”

incorporating things like journaling, meditation, garnering knowledge about our inner workings and noticing when we are out of alignment with love allows us to live in our light. Spreading it to others in my classes, through these articles and in my daily life is an honor and a privilege. Living in that gratitude for who I am and what I am here to in

service to others is profound and causes me to wonder how I could possibly be so incredibly blessed? But I’ll happily take it and run like the wind with it and so should you! It is here awaiting your willingness to allow and trust. You were built for greatness and nothing but your own

fear can hold you back. * adhd-add/








My internal alarm clock has a new setting, 4:30 a.m. I wish I could sleep until 6. My dream state abruptly ends, and I see the clock. It is too early to start the day. I pretend that I am going to get up and go to an exercise class before work. My thoughts quickly turn to the day ahead and I begin to stress; emails, money, getting dog food, what is for dinner, where will I be in ten years. You name it, my brain is covering it. There is a shift happening. It is not like the one we all just endured for the past two years. That was more like quick punch in the face that refused to heal. This change is subtle, and it makes us feel uneasy, a little more each day. I am not a financial expert, economist, and I cannot see the future. There is no crystal ball but what goes up usually comes down and business is no different. I lost my job a decade ago during a tough economic time. I held my breath for five years certain that experience and loyalty would get me through and provide job security. It did not. In retrospect, I understand now why a ‘keeping your head down’ mentality is not a strategy for success. Being valuable in business requires that you stand out from the crowd, you cannot just stand around. How do we get to the finish line, and

keep our salary safe? The simple answer is you cannot, there are no guarantees. It is the uncertainty that wakes us up each night. With a 30-year career in my rear-view mirror and a small business in front of me, I now choose to see work as freedom. We all fear our financial survival. If you work for yourself, there are slow times when an unpaid invoice can leave you convinced your business is going to collapse like a house of cards. Stagnation, inflation, recession, oh my. There is no doubt it can keeps us solopreneurs up in the middle of the night thinking about what business will look like going forward. The difference this time around, the choice is mine. Working for yourself forces you to weather slow times and depend on your own hustle and ingenuity. Nothing feels worse than walking into an office where the latest memo from management discusses “consolidation,” “trimming,” or a “wage freeze.” Job insecurity drains all motivation and creativity from the task at hand and replaces it with anxiety and doubt. Thinking about what the boss is going to do next is a productivity killer. I lived it, held on tight, but was handed my severance package anyway. All the stress and worry paralyzed me from being open to change. I was unwilling to re-brand myself and slowly became comfortable. I now live a life of gratitude that my boss saw me as expendable.

His decision did not define me, it motivated me. I am seeing it happen all over again a decade later. Conversations with women in my age center on the same topic, survival. There is something financially hanging over all our heads. A mortgage, college loans, or adult children living at home. Being a female professional in your forties and fifties is a tricky proposition these days. How do you manage your restlessness with your responsibilities? The pandemic had us all sitting at home in our make-shift offices reflecting on life. In our confinement, we got a taste of freedom. We all need a paycheck, but are we chained to it? We have paid our dues, climbed the ladder, and worked through multiple pregnancies for what, to always been tired and worried about what is next. So here is unsolicited advice from someone who was handed a pink-slip and is grateful for it. Working for myself has taught me a few things that may help you navigate the uncertainty ahead. Adapt If you are a planner, director, communicator, or marketer, you must be willing to adapt to changing circumstances. Be irreplaceable. Get better at what you do. Uncertainty can ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: JUNE EDITION 2022


{ HERCAMILLE EDGE } } { DEAR “How do you manage your restlessness with your responsibilities? ”

lead to opportunity for people willing to take advantage. Stay Awake Middle aged women are ignored and replaced even those with a title and advanced degrees. Face it, your career may not come back. So, stay awake and do not rest on your laurels. Start networking again, take a fresh professional 356


photograph, leverage your contacts. Never stare into the headlights, you will be run over. Expand I am not sure why Baby Boomers, Millennials, and Gen Zs are at odds with each other in the workplace. Women should learn from each other, not compete. Keeping skills fresh and

embracing innovative technologies is a bridge we all need to cross. Never be afraid to ask for help or offer it. Living in a professional silo will age you. Be vulnerable and valuable, not entitled, and limited. Now is time to work on you.






I took a new job recently, and once again began a transformation in my life. Another added title to put inside the hat I have worn with many labels. If you had asked me at 17, when I graduated high school, what I want to do when I grow up… I would have answered with be happy. I honestly didn’t have the direction as most, and for me just to find happiness in what I would do seemed enough.

My mom always said that opportunities don’t ever come knocking on the door, yet if they do, you better answer it and entertain it. There’s a reason that they do. So strangely enough,immediately after I lost my mom I was approached with a job opportunity at Pier Fifty Three in Wolcott, NY. I also was recently contemplating my food truck and eatery just weeks before. I voiced it briefly to my mom in one of our last

How does one even answer that question as a teenager anyway? Looking back and through the years when adults ask a 17 year old who they will be in 30 years, I tend to feel squeamish myself. Knowing how immature and the lack of life experience I myself had at that age. I would have never guessed that you never quite become one label or another, unless you choose to just stay that way. I never have. So now here at the brink of my last child becoming an adult and her being asked that same question, I once again have been given the opportunity to recreate another facet of myself.

So I did. I took the opportunity to change it all up again, take a risk and prove that nothings ever set in stone no matter how old you are. No matter what your past is, or how many attempts at life you have tried.

Clearly I am not yet grown. This past year brought a few changes that led me to look upon life yet again, in another perspective. Losing parents can do that to a persons soul. Makes you question everything sometimes about who you were who you are and who your supposed to be. Not able to call, text or stop by to seek that advice leaves a void that no one can fill. So again, you learn a new skill, you adapt, and you rock on with your bad self. 358


to go back onto the food truck, tried to open up the eatery, but my mindset had shifted. The day I reopened was the day my sister called to tell me “dads going on hospice” I had customers standing in front of me, and orders to make. I hung up the phone, and did what I was told by both, you continue to live. I closed the eatery that night, and never reopened. I worked one last time on the food truck for a lunch service I had previously committed to, which happened to be the day I said good bye to the man I never called dad, yet that is who he was to me. He looked peaceful and pain free finally. And I went off to serve lunch knowing he would have said that work doesn’t stop for anybody. And lucky for me, we did talk about this new job, my food truck and he made me know that my mom was right. Take the opportunity he had said.

conversations. And of course she replied “you’ll figure it out, you always do. If something isn’t right, you’ll change it.” I’m still grieving her loss and sad I didn’t get to talk to her about the opportunity. But I know she would have said it was a sign a sign for change. It’s the gypsy in us, is how she explained it. Never still, always evolving and changing.

So at 17 when asked what do you want to be when you grow up, now I would have to say “everything I’m given the opportunity to do, and then some.” And to never stop and settle with one title. Because here are some of mine, after once being told by someone “you’ll be lucky if you ever get out of Lyons” boy were they wrong, as I didn’t even make it back here until Just last year.

So just like that came change. I tried

Labels of hats I have worn:315er, college




KARMA SPEAKS }} {{ SHIFT+CONTROL “So now here at the brink of my last child becoming an adult and her being asked that same question, I once again have been given the opportunity to recreate another facet of myself. Clearly I am not yet grown.”

dropout, gypsy, dishwasher, delinquent, cashier, adult student, mom, college graduate with honors, single mom, divorcee, wife, ex wife, addict, sports athlete, head of Media relations for non for profit/sports league, head of PR, street team coordinator, Daycare owner, writer, sponsor, coach, sports team announcer, radio guest speaker, tattoo model, tattoo shop employee, victim, survivor, spokesperson, mentor, dog groomer, bartender, waitress, hostess, 360


farmer, nurses assistant, food truck owner, entrepreneur, teacher, and now amongst those labels I also forgot, I am general manager. Don’t ever settle for one thing that makes you a grown up. Or better yet, don’t become stuck. Grow, learn and evolve into your next best thing. Or do the thing that takes you to the next piece of you you’re meant to

be. And like my momma said, if it isn’t right, I’m sure you’ll change it. So, come on over to the East side of Sodus Bay for the best sunsets, wood fired pizza, and a drink. I’ll be there waiting. Wearing the new hat with the new label. Love, Karma~






Want to exercise, but your joint pain is too intense? We hear this all the time. Did you know that movement is the best thing you can do for your joints? The problem we find is that people with joint pain are doing the wrong types of movement. Regardless of your pain, arthritis, tendonitis, bursitis, etc. There are modifications you can make to improve your movement with exercise. Joints become stiff and sore when our bodies are idle for long durations, like sleeping. Our joints secrete a thin layer of fluid within the cartilage of joints called synovial fluid. When we move, the synovial fluid is squeezed out of the cartilage and allows the joint to glide with minimal friction. This is why we hurt in the morning, but we feel better after we walk around a bit. This fluid is only produced and excreted with movement! Movement and exercise play a vital role in decreasing joint pain. But how do we exercise and not aggravate the pain? Increase Your Range Of Motion: A lot of joint pain can come from imbalanced muscles around your joints. When you do not stretch regularly, your muscles will pull on your joints, decreasing your functional range of motion and increasing postural imbalances. Once you establish postural imbalances, your body is in a chronic war with gravity. You can incorporate stretching into your day with yoga, a foam roller, or stretching on the floor during your favorite Netflix series! There are a couple of essential things to remember when stretching. Stretch within your comfort zone. Stretching

should never be painful. When you stretch into a painful place, your body senses danger and tightens up. When this happens, you are just playing a game of tug of war with your body, and no one will win. Tip #2 never stretch a cold muscle. It is essential to warm up the body before stretching. You can do this by taking a short walk, taking a hot shower, or making gentle movements. No matter how you do it, stretching daily is guaranteed to decrease your joint pain. Strength Training: Strengthening those joints is an essential part of decreasing your joint pain. When your muscles are strong, they support and protect your joints. Not all strengthening exercises are great for joint pain. Some exercises can increase your pain. It is crucial to always listen to your body. If it does not feel right, chances are… it’s not! Some things to check when you are having pain when strengthening. The correct form of your exercise is vital for your joints and injury prevention. In squatting, for example, many people squat with their knees going forward over their toes instead of their butt going backward. Wonder if you are doing this correctly? Stand up and drop into a squat. Can you easily wiggle your toes? If not, shift your weight into your heels. When your knees pass your toes, it adds significant pressure to your joints. If your joints are still hurting when doing squats, there are ways to work the same muscles without bending or grinding your joints. There are many exercises you can do while standing on one leg. These

exercises are beneficial for balance and strengthening the small muscles around your joints. Isometric exercises are also a great way to build strength around your achy joints. Isometric exercises improve strength via static contractions. Some exercises include wall sit, planking, and glute squeezes. Improve your Posture: Exercises that improve your posture are sure to relieve your joint pain. When our posture is imbalanced, we are constantly fighting gravity. Poor posture can decrease the range of motion and wear and tear at your joints with all activities of daily living. Posture exercises include: • Stretching your chest. • Strengthening your back. • Stretching your hip flexors. • Strengthening your core and glutes. • Stretching and strengthening your hamstrings. These are the chronic imbalances we see in most chronic pain patients. Aquatic Therapy: Water exercise and water walking are great ways to combat joint pain. Water decreases gravity’s effects on your body, making movement much lighter and less painful. Just be cautious; you will feel so great in the water people tend to overdo it! Go light at first and see how your body reacts. It seems like a catch-22 to move more to have less pain; however, it is true. Exercise is the best way to alleviate your chronic, achy joints. ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: JUNE EDITION 2022





{ SHE SHE HUSTLES TALKS A HUSTLES IMAGE TALKS { BLISSFUL WELLNESS 360 } }}} “To make your exercise successful, make it low impact, warm up the muscles, use the appropriate form, and improve your posture.”

To make your exercise successful, make it low impact, warm up the muscles, use the appropriate form, and improve your posture. If you can do this, you will be able to build a successful plan for yourself and your joints. It may take working with a

professional for some time to find the right movements for your body. Wellness 360 provides multiple ways to assist you in your journey to less pain and improved motion. We offer one-on-one physical therapy, wellness sessions, and massage therapy.

To find out more, check us out at www.








It is that time of year again! Standup paddleboard (SUP) yoga season in Canandaigua! We at Finger Lakes Yogascapes get a lot of questions from people hesitant to try it, so I wanted to give you the inside scoop on what to expect. I hope you visit us on the peaceful, crystal clear waters of Canandaigua Lake this summer but if you are traveling and want to try SUP Yoga somewhere else, this will still help! I’ve lost my fear of the water and it’s allowed me to paddle and take SUP Yoga classes across the United States and Europe. The younger version of myself would have said “ARE YOU NUTS!?” What is SUP Yoga? You paddle your SUP– which is essentially a very large, stable surfboard, out to the water (either on your stomach with your arms, or standing with a paddle), and anchor the board so it doesn’t float away. From there you practice seated, standing, and reclined yoga postures. Enjoy a blissful savasana (final relaxation) on the water as you connect with nature and experience the gentle rock of the water. Will I Fall In? I hope so! There’s no harm in falling into the water. The north end of Canandaigua Lake is shallow enough that if you fall in, you can get back on your board. The water is also incredibly clean. The boards are stable so there is no guarantee you will take a dip but I encourage you to push yourself out of your comfort zone. You can stay dry in an indoor yoga class the other nine months of the year.

What do I wear? Dress to your comfort level, but don’t wear cotton. Cotton gets heavy with even a little bit of dampness and can impede your range of motion. Why make your class more difficult than it needs to be? Depending on the weather, the temperature fluctuates from class to class. I recommend athletic clothing like gym shorts and a yoga top, but a comfortable bathing suit also works on those sunny days. Don’t overdo it on the sunscreen on your hands and feet, you don’t want to turn your board into a slip and slide. Sunglasses and hats are welcome but maybe consider an inexpensive pair of sunglasses instead of your $300 Balenciagas. I’ve gotten pretty good at retrieving sunglasses over the past few years but glass and sand don’t mix. Do I need to know how to paddle? Nope! If there is any paddling in your class, instruction will be provided. If you really want nothing to do with paddling and are all about the yoga, sign up for Saturday morning’s 75-minute class. Paddling Form: Again, paddling is not a requirement where we launch, but I see some inefficient paddling form on the lake, so if you rent a board on your own locally or elsewhere, consider these tips. Stand in the center of the board with your feet slightly wider than your hips. Bend your knees, more than you think. In the world of athletics, you might hear this called ready position. Hinge at the hip, so you have a long spine. A lot of people complain their backs hurt after paddling but it is likely because they are rounding their spines and locking out their knees. Make sure

your paddle is long enough so you aren’t hunched forward. Here’s how to measure. If you are standing up and the blade of the paddle is in line with your feet, stretch your arm straight overhead toward the sky. The handle should meet the palm hand with your arm all the way extended. Any shorter is too short. Paddle with the blade close to the rail (the long edge) of the board. If you are paddling with the blade three feet away from you, you are working harder than you need to. Do I need to know yoga? Nope! The board is a great equalizer in yoga. If you already have a yoga practice, this will challenge the balance element of your practice, and make you drop all those perfectionist tendencies. Instruction is provided so if you are new to yoga, your first class on the land will seem like a piece of cake! Every time you take a class on the water it gets easier but come to class with zero expectations except to have fun and enjoy the great outdoors. If balance is a challenge – make your stances wider. For example, in a regular fitness or yoga class lunges are usually cued hips distance apart – take your feet wider left and right here to make your life easier! As you get more comfortable, you can narrow the distance. Do I need to wear a life vest? No, not for yoga in New York State. However, they’re available if you would be more comfortable with one on. You will need a life preserver for paddling. What else? Breathe and take breaks. Anywhere you go this summer, these are valuable tools but especially as ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: JUNE EDITION 2022


{ LIFE IN BALANCE } SHIFT+CONTROL “It is that time of year again! Standup paddleboard (SUP) yoga season in Canandaigua!”

you approach the board. If you feel particularly stressed, consider elongating your exhales. Can’t focus? Sit in the middle of the board and drop your feet or hands into the water to center 368


yourself. Focus on the sensation of the water on your skin. Feel free to jump back into class or just stay and relax. Did I miss anything? Don’t hesitate to

reach out and ask! You can register for classes at or call Kaitlyn at (585) 200-7209 with questions or to schedule a private class.






“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.

plan for the summer solstice. Here are a few of my favorites:

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.

• 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.

This year the summer solstice falls on Tuesday, June 21st a 5:14 a.m. EDT, the sun will rise at 5:31 a.m. and set at 8:53 p.m. I am always an early riser, but I especially love this very short window of summertime when the sun is also up early. I find the mornings peaceful. For me, it is the best time of day to meditate, reflect, pray, and exercise. There are so many things that you can

• 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 around Upstate New York. Just be sure to practice “safe sun’! • Go to a local farmers market for fresh strawberries or go to a farm where you can pick your own. Many people love strawberry shortcake. Personally, I prefer fresh strawberries sliced and served over 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. And of course, there is Abbott’s if you prefer frozen custard. • Celebrate the strength of the summer solstice in joining together. This year the pandemic seems to be winding down and group events are feeling safer. Organize a get together with a group of family and friends for a hike ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: JUNE EDITION 2022


{ BLISSFUL BALANCE } { SHIFT+CONTROL } “The longest day of the year, the summer solstice, is the day that the sun reaches the highest and northernmost point in the sky.”

or a walk, a meal, or 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, its health benefits may include: better sleep, 372


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 21st. 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 blissfull_balance.





Regret is almost universally experienced. It has been defined as the emotion of wishing one had made a different decision in the past, because the consequences of the decision were undesirable. Regret is related to perceived opportunity. It has also been defined as a negative cognitive or emotional state that involves blaming ourselves for a bad outcome, feeling a sense of loss or sorrow at what might have been, or wishing we could undo a previous choice that we made. The first known use of the word regret occurred in the 14th century. We may regret relatively minor decisions, such as having had an extra slice of pie after dinner. Alternatively, we may harbor regret regarding a major decision, such as getting married. Of course, the implications of these types of decisions are drastically different. We sometimes regret the things that we have not done, such as not having stopped smoking when we receive a lung cancer diagnosis. We might regret not finishing college when passed over for a promotion. With respect to romantic relationships, there are gender differences in experiencing regret. Men are more likely to experience regrets of inaction, failing to pursue a romantic relationship, whereas women report regrets of inaction and action equally. Regret is associated with chronic stress, negatively impacting hormonal and immune system functioning. It extends the emotional reach of stressful events for months, years, or lifetimes. Regret leads to negative emotions, as well as a pattern of thinking that ironically results in making additional mistakes, thereby enhancing our degree of regret. Many negative emotions frequently accompany regret, including guilt,

disappointment, self-blame, and frustration. There are two types of regret: regret by action, and regret by inaction. Regret by action is regretting a decision or choice that has been made in the past, whereas regret by inaction is a regret caused by a lack of a decision. For shorter periods of time, i.e., within the past year, individuals are more likely to regret actions that they have taken. With the passage of longer periods of time, individuals are much more likely to regret actions that have not been taken. Regret sometimes serves a darker purpose, by allowing us to hide from the deeper pain of remorse. Remorse involves insight into the impact of one’s actions on others. Remorse allows us to become aware of our behavior and wanting to take different actions. When individuals can begin to experience a genuine sense of remorse for their prior actions, something authentic begins to develop therapeutically. The pain experienced with regret may result in refocusing and taking corrective action or pursuing a new path. Regret about our dietary choices can result in a renewed commitment to making healthier choices. When they are fewer opportunities to change a situation, it is more likely that regret can evolve into rumination. Rumination triggers chronic stress, damaging both body and mind. It is often a symptom of mental health disorders, including depression. Researcher Neal Roese, of Northwestern University, is a leader in the field of regret research. His studies of young people have shown that regret is rated more favorably than unfavorably, primarily because of its informational value in motivating corrective action. Roese’s research has revealed that regret fulfills the following

functions: making sense of the world; avoiding future negative behaviors; gaining insight; achieving social harmony; and, improving ability to approach desired opportunities (presumably because we regret past passivity). Thankfully, there are several things that we can do to cope with regret. First, we can harness the functional aspects of regret. Regret is our brain’s way of telling us to consider other options. Regret, after all, is a prominent reason why addicted individuals pursue recovery. We can also decide to find a way to forgive ourselves when a past action results in regret. Consider what you might say to a close friend or family member in a similar situation. Most individuals have an easier time forgiving other individuals, as opposed to themselves. To cope effectively with regret, it is important to not take to much blame for a past decision. After all, circumstances may have served to make it more difficult to make the best choice, based on one’s knowledge at the time. You might have needed to make an important decision under time pressure. Perhaps you were facing multiple stressors when you needed to make a choice. To cope with regret, it frequently helps to reframe a situation more positively. Regret can be an important opportunity to learn important lessons about yourself-such as your values, vulnerabilities, and triggersas well as about other people. If we try to completely avoid regret by inaction, we disengage from relationships, opportunities, and eventually life itself. Ironically enough, this one day will culminate in the deepest degree of regret about paths not pursued.



P & W

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ade Italian sub bread!


fish frys, calamari, shrimp, fish sub


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