Lemonade Legend Magazine - Wendy Labat

Page 1


Special Feature

Mental Health Awareness

Magazine Connecting people with their stories and their stories with the world.

STORYTELLING Heritage of Mankind It is the foundation of history, legends and genealogy. It’s cutting edge in both personal and professional growth. Then new generation of storytelling has arrived and it’s dynamic, real. and a little bit raw.

Next Generation


Brilliant minds forging their own path



What’s on Their Minds

LEGENDS See who is featured on our Giving Page



Community Needs

Dr. Wendy Labat

The Financial Healer PAGE 31

Photograph by Kim Taylor of Kimazing Photography


Is this Your Time to

SQUEEZE the Day? Day

Sharing your story essentially serves an important role in both your personal and professional development. At Lemonade Legend we are dedicated to ensuring your voice be heard. Even if you feel you have no voice, or don’t know how to express it or develop it. We will elevate your This is about YOU, story to be heard above the your story, and crowd, to resonate clearly amongst the noise by giving what you want you unique stages to share to do with it from. Storytelling is a powerful means of healing yourself, helping others, and creating a personal brand for yourself. We offer several platforms for sharing to help you find the best fit for you and where you want your story to be heard. This is about you, your story, and what you want to do with it. Even a story that is written and tucked away in your private spot is an empowering process. But, sharing it to the world and showing up brave, courageous and real is an extraordinary place to reside and rejoice in who you are, and all that you offer. You have a personal experience that is a sacred and treasured life story that you have lived and survived. It is your passionate gift to yourself and the world.

Lemonade Legend offers: • The Lemonade Stand Series • Lemonade Legend Magazine • The Lemonade Legend Podcast • Self-Publishing Services

Get Ready To SHINE! Exposure • Credibility Authorship • Marketing/Branding and much, much more!

It will also boost your brand, because your ideal market will resonate with your story. They will know, like, and trust you for your honesty and authenticity. It’s how people do business now. Schedule a call today to talk about the story that’s bubbling up inside you now. https://scheduletimewithMichelleFaust.as.me 1


Magazine Connecting people with their stories and their stories with the world.


Uncovering Flora is a branding photographer helping woman led business build their brand and market it on social media.

Lemonade Legend

Editor-in-Chief Michelle Faust

Copy Editor Michelle Faust

Graphic Design

Aaron Tutunick - 2TUcreative.com

Digital Coordinator Aislinn Ellis


Michelle DiMuria Johni Cesario Phyllis Singletary Monica Williams Darla Colinet Patricia Jo Grover Martha Lazo-Munoz Rachel-Grace Sands Hooley Angel Tuccy Zondra Evans Michelle Guinn Dr. Wendy Labat Samantha Root Holly Pasut Donita Wheeler

Media Consultant Angel Tuccy

Marketing Consultant Fanntastic Media


CONTACT US AT: Lemonadelegend00@gmail.com



Letter from the Editor

Welcome to the inaugural edition of Lemonade Legend Magazine. The creation of this digital magazine is a direct result of the success of The Lemonade Stand book, the excitement and community growth around the concept of the book, and the requests for more opportunities from women to share their stories. During the journey of compiling The Lemonade Stand, I learned so much, made such amazing connections, and found such purpose in my mission. The mission being to create Lemonade Legend as a platform to give a voice to people who otherwise have none, don’t know how to express it or don’t know where to share it. Women who are in situations of abuse, trauma, controlling spouses, or feeling helpless with a devastating diagnosis, commonly feel they don’t have a voice, or a say in the matter. They are dependent on others to get them through the debilitating events. Publishing The Lemonade Stand was a turning point in my life. I never expected such intense feelings as I did during this process. I laughed, I cried, I pounded my fists in frustration, but I refused to give up. Although I was tempted a few times, I am so grateful I persevered. I have personally seen my authors from the original book, The Lemonade Stand, gain tremendous growth in both their personal and professional world. Some have gained clients; some shifted their mission to use their experience to make more of a difference in the world. Many have simply grown exponentially in their feelings of self-worth, their vision, and their ability to step out of their comfort zone. One author, I am proud to say, is writing her own book as an extension of her chapter. All 19 authors and their tribes have risen to new levels of drive, determination, and spirituality. Lemonade Legend is about you and your story, and what you want to do with it. Even a story that is written and tucked away in your private spot is an empowering process. But, sharing it to the world and showing up brave, courageous and real is an extraordinary place to reside and rejoice in who you are, and all that you offer. Each edition I will choose a charity to support for that edition and beyond as we grow. For each subscriber that I get I will donate 50¢. My goal is 5000 subscriptions per edition which would generate a $2500 donation. Because I believe so strongly that mental health and wellness is vital to our Lemonade Stories, I have chosen Bee Daring Foundation for this edition. They serve individuals suffering from PTSD, a severely underserved population. Read more about the foundation on page 5. I hope you enjoy this first edition; I welcome your feedback and invite you to be a Lemonade Legend. Seek the Sweet Life,




Attention Authors

We are now recruiting people to share their stories with the world in book two of Lemonade Legends. Click here for more information.

We want to hear from you. Share your feedback. CLICK TO CONNECT

© 2020 Lemonade Legend Magazine. All Rights Reserved.

Table of Contents Giving Page Bee Daring Foundation Eradicating the Stigmas Around Mental Health

pg 5

My Story How I Landed in Jail; Vacation Rerouted

pg 7

Next Generation Legends Introducing Johni Cesario

pg 11

Chemo Warrior Phyllis Singletary

pg 13

Heart to Heart Whispers Monica Williams

pg 15

Living in Perfect Love Darla Colinet

pg 17

Women’s Legacy of Hope Martha Lazo-Munoz

pg 19

Puzzle Master Patricia Jo Grover

pg 21

Flower Card Readings The Bloomin’ Witch

pg 23

Media Mastery Angel Tuccy

pg 25

Talk Show Diva Zondra Evans

pg 27

Community Needs Shannon’s Comfy Chemo Bags

pg 28

New Habits New Beginnings Michelle Guinn

pg 29

The Financial Healer Dr. Wendy Labat

pg 31

Lemonade Legend Library Juicy Reads

pg 32

Lemonade Legend Leaders – Authors from The Lemonade Stand Samantha Root: Conquering Depression

pg 33

Donita Wheeler: Moving Forward

pg 35

Holly Pasut: Rest, Relaxation, and Reflections

pg 37

Eradicating the stigmas surrounding mental health for college students, first responders, and athletes By Michelle Faust interviewing Founder Michelle DiMuria

Michelle Faust, (MF): I want to start off by saying congratulations for being selected as the charity of choice for the inaugural issue of Lemonade Legend Magazine. I discovered your work because you joined my Facebook Group, The Lemonade Stand Community, and I was impressed with your grassroots approach and your passion to help in the area of mental health. Can you give us a little background on you and what led you to this calling? Michelle DiMuria (MM): Of course, back in 2016 I was studying at ASU online and signed up for a double degree in psychology and criminal justice. While still getting my undergrad, I had the opportunity to start a master’s program in criminal justice. I saw myself getting into the field of criminal profiling. I was noticing that I was reacting differently to some situations, but I didn’t understand why. Then in May 2017 a tragedy occurred in my family. That triggered me to start remembering a traumatic rape that had happened many years ago. I began seeing a counselor and in October I was diagnosed with PTSD. MF: What kind of treatment plan did they recommend? MM: Medication is common, but I didn’t want to go that route. I have health issues that can interfere with meds, mostly I didn’t want to mask the problem and then have to deal with it years from now if I went off the meds. I wanted to work at the root of my problems to heal myself. 5

MF: Tell me about that period in your life when you first started this journey. MM: It was tough on my family because they witnessed my PTSD episodes. They didn’t fully understand because I hadn’t shared the rape with them. It’s a difficult thing to disclose. It took me about a year to tell them. Journaling is important and I do it every day. I also found out that music helps, as does staying off social media. I love TV, cartoons, and comic books to stay calm. I’ve also built a great support system. My sister, who is a nurse, is my rock. We talk every day. MF: How has COVID-19 affected you? MM: The element of surprise is a trigger for me because of how the rape happened. Right now, no one knows what’s going to happen next. There is so much uncertainty and it’s unsettling. I like to be indoors though because I feel safe. MF: Tell me about the “roadmap” you created for yourself and that you use to help others. MM: In school I found that I needed something to help me stay balanced between life and school. I had to focus on my goals so PTSD wouldn’t take over my life. I would do great with counseling and then I would leave the session and say to myself, “Okay, now what?”. The roadmap was how I visually displayed my goals so I could stay on top of what I needed to do.

MF: And then you took this roadmap and turned it into something that could help others, right? MM: Yes, it is essentially a program with 12 generic steps. Things like health, wellness, self-care and relationships. Some people don’t need all 12, they might only need 6 or 8. The 12 steps was based on what I needed to get better. People come to the foundation as a first step. Jumping into counseling doesn’t always work. Some people need baby steps. We have a very human approach, talking to them one on one, less facts, more discussion. We try to incorporate fun, communication, and life skills. If they need a counselor, we will refer them when they are ready. We are the first line of defense.

MF: I’m so glad you are out there doing what you do to help develop better mental health and awareness. How can we help and support you? MM: We are trying to raise money to launch our online courses in June. We have 3 programs, Beyond the Shield for first responders, Beyond the Field for athletes, and Beyond the Classroom for Students. Having online courses will allow us to help more people exponentially. We also welcome volunteer ambassadors to spread awareness and raise funds. We hope to get ambassadors in all 50 states. MF: Thank you so much Michelle, I have your website and email listed here, and as a reminder, for each subscriber to Lemonade Legend Magazine I will donate 50¢. My goal is 5000 subscribers so I can present you with $2500 by June 1 for your online course. Readers, will you help us out?

MF: How did you go about selecting your focus area of students, athletes, and first responders? MM: I experienced firsthand being a student with PTSD and saw the need. When I started researching other underserved groups, I found that first responders and athletes had a high incidence and few options for help. The Civilian side is underserved in general. I’ve partnered with the Diamondbacks and Phoenix Suns in events. We hold Coffee with Cops to bridge the gap of communication when dealing with mental health interactions. We hold an annual event that is themed each year. Our next event will be a carnival theme. It’s both fun and educational and helps build community.

To Subscribe to

Lemonade Legend Magazine Click Here

Contact Michelle DiMuria at michelle@BeeDaringFoundation.org


Attend an Event

Find Resources


Click Here

Click Here

Click Here

Subscribe to our Digital Newsletter Click Here


How I Landed in By Michelle Faust

Jail… for Five Days!

This Valentine’s Day we were on vacation in New Orleans just before Mardi Gras. My husband, Dean, and I decided to spend a day in the French Quarter. Rather than a formal evening dinner celebration, we noshed our way through the day planning to go back to our vacation rental early and enjoy a nice bottle of wine. We started at “The Port of Call”, which serves up a Bloody Mary that’s a meal. It’s full of green beans, olives, pearl onions, celery, and the right amount of kick. Just walking the French Quarter is a treat with all its stately Victorian buildings and unique shops. It was a beautiful day and we felt alive and happy to be back in one of our favorite places. We capped off the day with charbroiled oysters at “Acme Seafood House”. These oysters will invade your dreams—they are that good. Dean made plans to go back the next day to catch up with a server he had befriended the last time we visited. We then went next door for a few games of pool before leaving the French Quarter. Around 7:30pm, I attempted to contact a Lyft or Uber driver, but both my Lyft and Uber apps on my phone weren’t working. So, instead, we decided to take a taxi. The restaurant manager called one up. It was a minivan with no outside graphics to indicate it was a taxi. That should have been a red flag. The driver had a heavy Asian accent and was difficult to understand. About a mile into the ride I saw on the meter a charge of $35. As we were only going about seven miles and a typical Uber fare would be $10, I asked about it and he said it was a flat rate. I told him he was taking advantage of us because we were tourists. He seemed irritated and responded but I couldn’t understand what he was saying. When we arrived at our rental, Dean got out as I was paying the fare. I gave the driver $20 and said that was all I was willing to pay. In truth, it wasn’t even about the money, it was the way he treated us and how he was trying to take advantage of us. When he requested I pay the remaining balance by credit card, I refused and he threw the $20 back at me and said he was going to call the cops. I said, “Fine, because I feel like I’ve just been robbed.” I didn’t feel threatened because I believe in law enforcement being committed to finding peaceful solutions. Not so in St. Bernard Parish.

I heard a knock on the door. When I opened the door I saw several officers in the background. The officer at the door was big, burly, and bald. He had a tough guy stance about him and a cowboy attitude. He asked what happened and if I was willing to pay the driver. Communication was challenging at this point because there was a lot of outside noise. I didn’t realize at the time this was our first and last chance at clearing this up. I said, “I’m having a really hard time agreeing to that because I feel I am being taken advantage of.” Looking back, I realize I should have just paid the bill but this was not a typical week for me and I wasn’t thinking clearly. Just three days before our trip, my ex-husband died and I had been dealing with my two daughter’s grief. This took me out of my routine and added significant stress on an already stressful week. Consequently, I wasn’t taking care of myself or taking my depression meds regularly. So, when the officer asked if my husband was inside the house, I said, “Yes, he’s in the kitchen.” I was actually relieved because I knew Dean would be the voice of reason when I didn’t feel capable. Dean didn’t have a chance to explain anything as the officer told him he was under arrest. Dean, being of small stature, didn’t argue and immediately said he would not resist and would go peacefully with them. As he said that, he placed his palm on his chest, like an honor gesture. Unknown to him, in the criminal word, that signifies resistance. They immediately cuffed his left wrist and wrenched his arthritic arm (still placed on his chest) around his back to cuff, then forcibly removed him from the kitchen. Meanwhile, we both repeatedly stated we would pay the driver, but this peaceful solution was no longer an option. As I saw this happening (in disbelief), another officer was saying something about my shoes. I could only focus on the mistreatment of my husband, so I didn’t clearly understand he was telling me to put on my shoes. The next thing I know he slaps cuffs on me and starts to push me towards the door and down the porch steps. I was confused and frightened. The officer behind me was giving me commands which I could not follow. For those of you who know 7

me or have read my story in The Lemonade Stand, you know I have a severe hearing loss and depend on reading lips to aid in understanding what is being said to me. I was barefoot and my vertigo was triggered so I slipped once causing me to pull away. In hindsight, I can see how that could be interpreted as resistance, but it was 100% due to my health and disability. Before being shoved into the car the officer noticed the left handcuff was off my wrist. It fell off my wrist because he put it on too loose. He was angry and put them back on, telling me not to do that again. While in the police car, I noticed he had put the left cuff on loosely again. I couldn’t believe that a responsible, trained officer would do that twice so I let my wrist easily slip out again. I didn’t do it in an intent to escape, rather as a statement that maybe the officer should be held accountable. Those loose handcuffs bought me two felonies for simple attempted escape and intent to escape. Before entering the jail, the cops shoved us against the wall with our backs to them. This was the one and only time Dean and I shared any words at all throughout this five day fiasco. He said to me, “WTF is going on?” I didn’t get a chance to respond before they marched us into separate cells. I was confused as to whether we had even been arrested as we were never mirandized. I was too stunned to cry, or even absorb what was happening. My vertigo was kicked into high gear and it was all I could do to focus. In fact, at one point I fell off the wooden bench onto the floor. To which, a guard came in and plopped me back on the bench. No inquiry as to whether I was okay.

Saturday morning, I was fingerprinted and they took my mugshot. You may or may not know that when a “prisoner” goes through intake, they are stripped down, ordered to bend over and cough. You can’t appreciate how humiliating it is until you experience it. I was suited up in a grey and orange striped jumpsuit and given a pair of bright orange rubber flip flops sized Men XXL. After I was put on suicide watch, I received a black gunny sack style shift with velcro attachments. I was then taken to another section of the jail where I got to share space with some other inmates. There were about a half dozen cells within a larger secure area, so outside the cells was a picnic-style table, a TV, a shower, and a phone. Still on suicide watch, I was placed in a private cell. As you could potentially suffocate yourself with a mattress or pillow, I used three fat paperbacks as my pillow. My bed was a hard metal bunk and the cold cement floor served as a seat. I was given one thin blanket, and nothing else. No toothbrush, no soap, no cup, no basic necessities at all. They told me it was for my safety. Even if I had access to these items, what I would do with a toothbrush that has a two-inch handle to kill myself? A cup? I guess I could try to waterboard myself. And soap? Jam it down my throat and choke maybe. It would be easier to choke on the cold, rubbery hotdogs they served. No, it’s not about safety and concern, it is deprivation and punishment. A subtle threat of “You’re not checking out on my watch!”

Once locked in jail I was having a very difficult time having no control over my fate. I saw the wall phone in the cell and made a gesture like I wanted to hang myself with the phone cord. Stupid, I know. While it is impossible to hang yourself by physically holding one end of the cord, law enforcement saw it another way and I was put on suicide watch. Being on suicide watch means you are treated lower than snail scum. Just me and a cold cement floor.

I remained there for four more incredibly difficult and painful days. I repeatedly asked to talk to a sergeant or sheriff. I wasn’t looking for special treatment, but they never gave me my one free phone call. My pleas fell on deaf ears. But then on Monday night, at 1 am, I finally was granted my phone call. I called my daughter, but she didn’t pick up. Fortunately, she saw later that it was a Louisiana number and called it, only to find out it was the county jail.

Because this all occurred Friday evening of a holiday (President’s Day) weekend, the soonest we could get a bond hearing would be Tuesday morning. On

Still wrestling with the sudden loss of their father, my daughters who live in midwest were incredibly distraught that they couldn’t reach Dean and I.


They attempted to get more information once they figured out we were in the county jail, but their requests were denied. On Monday, I was let out of my cell for 30 minutes to shower or make phone calls. Because I was viewed as a suicide risk, everyone else had to go into their cells while I was out. I was so excited to be able to use the phone. However, the guard failed to inform me that you can only use the phone if you have money in your account, which of course I didn’t. So I wasted nearly the entire 30 minutes attempting to call people but repeatedly the calls wouldn’t go through. I was beyond frustrated. On Tuesday morning Dean and I were called to go in front of a judge via computer screen to receive our bail assessment. Bond was set at $16,000 for me and $5,000 for Dean and I thought we could now be released. However, I was so very wrong. I was taken back to the jail, still in lockdown, and on suicide watch. It turns out only the psychiatrist could release me, but he only came to the jail on Fridays. How could I get in a call to a bail bondsman if I couldn’t access the phone? I had bond set, I had the money to cover it, and I was still in jail! There was no such thing as innocent until proven guilty here. The prisoners who had been charged, tried, and found guilty had more privileges than Dean and I. The fact that Dean was even dragged into this mess and misunderstanding still boggles my mind. He was only guilty by association of my poor judgment. We were never allowed to talk to one another and therefore could not develop a plan to get our sorry asses out of jail. I had to wrap my head around spending another night or maybe many more in jail. At this point, I had no idea when I’d be released. And then this happened: at about 1:00 am a guard woke me up and told me to take my things (what things?) as I was being released. Through the detective work of our kids, and my stepson having a credit card to pay our fees, they secured a bondsman (nearly impossible to do for those out of state) and Dean and I were going to be released. Sharing this story with you takes courage. It would have been easier to sweep it under the rug and pretend it never happened. But, what I’ve shared is all part of The Lemonade Legend movement I’m committed to promote. It’s my mission to encourage people to be honest and real, and not hide behind a fake facade. As a result of this 61-year-old grandmother, business owner, and bearer of a

squeaky-clean record, being naive and stubborn, I see the world differently. I now possess an arrest record of two misdemeanors and two felonies—all because of a taxi fare disagreement. I share this story because never before have I felt so helpless. In the midst of it, I realized I was being put to the test like never before. As the founder of The Lemonade Stand, I wondered how I was going to make lemonade out of these lemons. The first two days I beat myself up to the point where I was emotionally shattered. It occurred to me that if truly wanted to commit suicide, as a human being, what I deserved was a little compassion and comfort. Ironically, being on suicide watch offered exactly the opposite. I realize now how it mirrors the pitifully broken mental health system in this country. After two days, I transitioned into understanding and self-love. Through self-reflection, prayer, and meditation, I began to see with humility my negative behavior when feeling out of control. To survive this, I had to learn to be at peace with that. I gave it up to God which allowed me to shed the anger, frustration and anxiety like old useless skin. I completely surrendered and accepted my situation. I knew I had the strength to survive and the will to see it through. I channeled my good friend Holly Pasut, a contributor in The Lemonade Stand and author of A Strange Path to Freedom. I recalled the powerful insight she gave from being in federal prison for 13 months. Throughout her ordeal, her takeaway was no one can control her mind. My thoughts remain mine and I can choose my thoughts and focus on what is good, what is possible, and what place I mentally want to be in. I had limited reading material, but an inmate shared a book by Matthew Kelly, founder of Dynamic Catholic. In it he offered a spiritual explanation for hard times, in that God has a purpose and a mission for you, however, sometimes he needs to prepare you. That was a defining moment for me. I gained such clarity of the mission of Lemonade Legend. I experienced first-hand what it was like to not have a voice. I was in prison, I was not in control, and no one heard me as the person I was. I was no different than someone in an abusive relationship, being raped, trapped in a horrific job, or enmeshed in a cancer diagnosis. No one should ever be forcibly silenced, shut out and disregarded. Prisons don’t have to be just physical. Some of us are locked in invisible prisons. We all 9

need a voice, to let go of the shame, and receive support. Lemonade Legend is all about helping people be heard.

to my business, but also my health as I wouldn’t have been able to access my medication. I can only imagine what other trauma would have resulted.

As far as Dean and I, we are home in Arizona safe, but this is far from over. Our trial date is set for May 6, we have secured a lawyer, and are hopeful for a good outcome. However, once again we are dealing with so many unknowns, the courts are closed and back logged because of the coronavirus and there could be a travel ban. But, we must remain positive.

Sometimes it takes a village, like our kids coming to the rescue and in some situations, like our bail bondsman, it only takes one person to say, “I believe in you, you don’t deserve this, and I’m here to help.” Consider the Lemonade Legend to be that for you.

On a side note, I learned Louisiana is influenced by Napoleonic law from their French roots. St Bernard Parish, in particular, has a harsh, extremely badass law enforcement mentality. It is rare for a bail bondsman to take an out of town case. They are considered too much of a flight risk. If not for the guy that took pity on us, pulled a background check, and made a case with his boss to put up our bond, we’d still be in jail, waiting for our May 6 trial date. Not only would this have caused severe injuries, if not death

Do you have a lifechanging story? Please share. CLICK TO CONNECT

Read Holly’s article on page 27

“ My father used to say that

stories are part of the most precious heritage of mankind.” – Tahir Shah, from Arabian Nights: A Caravan of Moroccan Dreams


Brilliant minds forging their own path


The Art of the Game I am thrilled that I was picked to represent “Next Generation Legends”. I first met Michelle Faust when I attended her Storytelling Workshop, and it was an eye opener for me. I didn’t think I had a story to share, but I do, and I learned everyone has some sort of story to share. This is tied in directly to the work I do as a branding strategist. The trend is to brand the person, not the product. Customers want to relate to the business owner. If they like and trust that person then the desire to have the product comes naturally. I look at branding holistically, but I focus my energy and expertise on Instagram as my social media of choice. Is one social media platform better than another? No, the most important thing is that you need to hang out where your ideal client is. For me, that is Instagram. Your market may be more weighted in Facebook. If they are also on Instagram it doesn’t hurt to be an authority, there as well. As long as you are putting your message out there. If you don’t know where your market is there is a process on how you can find them. Start with having a conversation with past clients, or people who fit the profile of an ideal client. Ask them where they hang out on social media. I find my clients through rabbit holes on Instagram. One place leads to another place, to another place, and so on. I search for “Ivy League” accounts, companies that I strive to be at their level. I check into their accounts and followers and follow their rabbit holes. I look at comments, keywords, and activity. What are they engaging with? It’s kind of like Professional Stalking. Effective stalking is time consuming and hard work, but it pays off. You really need put your investigator hat on. You’re not scrolling through and admiring,

By Johni Cesario

you are researching. What is the common thread? What are people liking? If something blows up find out why it blew up. You need to create a persona of that person you are trying to attract. Find out how to speak to them. Another thing to look at is the account Bio’s and identify their keywords which determines ranking in google. Create your funnel with keywords at the top, then interests, interactions, and engagement. You can go even deeper with hashtags and use all this to find people. This is the tip of the iceberg, but it will put you ahead of the wave. Instagram is a social media platform, and you have to be social on social media. This is where a lot of people miss the boat. It’s not about advertising it’s about engagement. You get engagement by sharing pieces of yourself, your story, your quirks, your dog. These are the things people relate to and get them talking. When you start doing that you create favoritism in the algorithm. Instagram sees the activity and they think, she’s being social, I’m going to reward her and let more people see her. Those who create the most engagement wins. They get pushed to the top of the timeline and you don’t get lost in the sea of posts. Along the way as you are developing relationships, share something of value every day. a useful tip, a piece of knowledge, or helpful hints. You become the authority in your space. People learn to like and trust you, and they’ll seek you out for business. For me, I am extremely transparent and honest about who I am and what I can do. I get a bit vulnerable and show my true colors. The engagement I create helps me understand who I am doing business with. There are no surprises on either side. That will lead to a better and longer lasting working relationship. 11

The Lemonade Stand Series


with host Michelle


Engagement Leads Conversations Podcasts Promotional Books 12

Check Out the The Lemonade Stand!

Michelle@lemonadelegend.com LemonadeLegend.com CLICK HERE TO VISIT

Lemonade Legend Podcast


isn’t Just for By Phyllis Singletary


Little did I know that losing my job, receiving a triple threat health diagnosis, and suffering through chemotherapy would forever change my life and find me in the state of grace and gratitude. My husband, Charles, and I started a foundation called A Break From Cancer in 2012 after Charles was diagnosed with prostate cancer. We had a vision to bless cancer patients and survivors with a break from their daily battles. We do this in several ways, from gift cards to trips, to event tickets, all through personal and public donations.

Once we arrived back home, I was convinced of one thing: I had to share my story. I was hesitant to submit my story at first. All the women featured in The Lemonade Stand went from a bad situation to what was seemingly a good one in the end. Those who started off their stories without a job ended up becoming successful business leaders and entrepreneurs. This wasn’t the case for me. At least, it didn’t feel like I could relate. But I still had a story that I want to share, because it shaped and revealed to me my true purpose.

After a diagnosis of 3 autoimmune diseases in 2019, I learned I would have to undergo chemotherapy for treatment. I reached out to Shannon since I was now going to be on the receiving end of the nasty side effects of chemo. Shannon graciously sent me a care package filled with lots of goodies. But one thing inside stood out among the rest, The Lemonade Stand.

It all started on December 11, 2018; my boss called me into his office. I immediately knew this wasn’t going to be a pleasant meeting. He told me they were getting rid of my position. It devastated me. I’d always had a job for as long as I could remember. I’d been working in the medical field for more than 20 years. With only a high school diploma, I worked my way up the ladder to the leadership ranks. I started off as a transporter, moving patients within the hospital. I was promoted to dispatcher and then became a supervisor. Through my hard work and diligence, I landed a management position. Like a flip of a switch, my life went from light to dark. Yet, I couldn’t stay in the darkness, put in on a shelf, or have pity party. That same night we had a fundraising event for A Break From Cancer at a local pizza parlor. I put on a happy face and shifted my mindset to making a difference in someone else’s life.

I’m an avid reader. So, when I saw the book inside my care package, I couldn’t wait to dig in. My husband and I had planned a road trip to South Carolina, which was the perfect opportunity for me to read. I was instantly inspired. Page after page told the incredible stories of women overcoming insurmountable obstacles. I finished the entire book during our trip.

I received a good severance package from my job and during this time, my husband injured his back in an accident at work. I was able to be home and help take care of him. Once my severance package ran out, I received unemployment benefits. At that time, I learned about a free program at Jefferson State Community College, offering a class for individuals

I often partnered with another organization called Shannon’s Comfy Chemo Bag. This group provides care packages for people with cancer. The founder, Shannon Norris, would recommend our services to various cancer patients. Meanwhile, I would make donations for items to go in her bags. I never knew one day I’d be a recipient.


over age 40 to receive training to become an administrative medical assistant. I jumped on the opportunity, completed my training, and received my certificate. Jeff State also provided a weekly stipend for participants, a bonus. With my certificate proudly earned, I landed a job at UAB Hospital (University of Alabama). I was scheduled to start on Dec. 9th, 2019. Before I could start my new job, I had to get a physical. I had been seeing a doctor for years complaining about constant pain, chronic fatigue, and swollen joints. He didn’t listen, stating it was age related. It was time to change doctors. My new physician gave me a complete physical and diagnosed me with rheumatoid arthritis, sarcoidosis, and sjogrens disease. A trifecta of diseases fell upon me in one visit. I was completely overwhelmed, but at the same time relieved to have some answers. My treatment was to be chemotherapy and I was warned about the side effects that alas I was all too familiar with. My first treatment was booked for December 8th, the day before I was to start my new job. My husband and I agreed I needed to focus on my health. I called UAB on December 6th and told them about my diagnosis. They were very understanding and supportive and asked me to reach out to them again for future employment opportunities.

my hair. It’s a hard thing for them to comprehend, or to sympathize. To be honest, my disease was invisible to myself at one point. I’ve dealt with chronic exhaustion all my life. My family and friends often tease me because I go to bed early. Sometimes I’m there before the sun sets. I didn’t know why I did this other than the fact that I was exhausted by 3 or 4pm each day. But with my diagnosis it began making perfect sense. My immune system has been under attack for years, and I’m thankful that I can finally call it what it is. In one year, my life flipped upside down. I choose to see it as a blessing that had to reveal itself and I trust God orchestrated the entire timeline. I never had to worry about money because of my severance, unemployment benefits, and stipend. I was able to be home to take care of my husband when he injured himself. And on top of all that, if I had never lost my job, I may never have discovered the truth about my health. The one common truth among people of all backgrounds, ethnicity, education, or financial status, is we all have lemons. Some more bitter than others. We all can choose to make lemonade, and each person’s lemonade is going to be unique to them. I can say, mine tastes pretty good to me.

I’ve been living with an invisible disease for years. It was invisible to my first doctor; it was also invisible to my family and friends. Even my husband didn’t understand why it was so hard for me to ride in the front seat during long road trips. By the time we’d arrive at our destination, it would take me days to get over my body’s aches and pains. It wasn’t until my diagnosis that he began to understand. Nowadays, he sets me up with a pillow in the backseat to ensure I’m as comfortable as possible. I’m not the type of person who expresses my problems to the world. I refuse to allow my situation to keep me from doing the things I love. But that comes with a cost. Friends and associates see me taking trips, going out to eat, and living my normal life. So, when I tell them I’m sick, it often gets dismissed. They don’t see how this chemo drug is tearing me up. They aren’t home with me when I’m taking constant trips to the bathroom. They aren’t there to see my vomiting phases. They don’t understand why I’m taking chemo without having cancer. On top of everything else, I haven’t lost 14

Heart to Heart Whispers

Hope and Life Beyond the Storms By Monica Williams

Have you ever looked at someone’s life and said it is like a movie and unless you lived it, you could not fathom one person could experience so many things. You just think, what Lifetime Movie is next? I believe that a person’s journey and story is purposed and set in place even before they’re born. Choices and decisions impact people’s lives, and if you dissect the events, trials, and triumphs of someone’s life, there is usually a message of hope not just for the person, but for others. My life to others may seem like that movie. People who have personally walked parts of my journey with me have said that. What they would also say, is that no matter how many times life has knocked me down, I always get back up. I am encouraged by people rising again, to find hope through difficult times like grief from losing a loved one, or other sudden life changing, rock your world situations. As I look back now, there have been many defining moments, including breast cancer, divorce, a father addicted to gambling, and starting over multiple times, but the two events I share in this article reflect how the Lifetime Movie started as a young child, and impacted me as a woman even now. One moment was a conversation with my father a few months before he died, encouraging me to live the life I wanted for me and my daughter. His words were a gift I will hold forever in my heart. The other defining moment was when my mother made the decision to relocate from Maryland to New Mexico when I was very young. At the young and still innocent age of 11, my mother made a bold and risky decision to relocate us to the Southwest. She left our house, and her job: I was faced with leaving my grandmother, my father, and the place that I still call home with its greenery, food, and culture of the East Coast. Maryland is still part of me after all these years, I proudly wear a T-shirt that says, “Maryland girl in an Arizona world.” 15

She needed a fresh start, something I couldn’t understand at the time. Albuquerque, New Mexico was like a faraway place. I grieved leaving the people and the life that I knew in Maryland. My mother’s valiant move across the country was a catalyst for many doors opening for me, including me writing this article, opening my mind to people and friends from various walks of life, and the courage, even in fear, to pursue my purpose and passion. There were not many African American people in New Mexico, and it was quite a culture shock. If my mother had not made this tough decision I would have never had the honor of becoming Homecoming Queen, or receiving a partial Speech scholarship to Eastern New Mexico University, or meeting my daughter’s father, who helped give me one of my greatest gifts and legacies of all, my daughter. My mother also had the opportunity to remarry, and experience love again. So, I am grateful to my mother and proud of her audacity. In March 0f 2017, I experienced a storm of grief from losing my father suddenly and four months later I was laid off from my job. I faced grief on levels I never imagined, but in the end defined so much of my purpose. My father suffered a severe stroke in 2007 on Father’s Day, he flat-lined, but was revived. I served as a long-distance caregiver for the next 10 years; every day of my life involved with making decisions along with my father regarding his health, housing, and other assessments, to help ensure he had a decent quality of life. The most difficult and painful part of losing my father, was how he died in the care of a nursing rehabilitation center. Due to carelessness and negligence, a two week stay for rehabilitation turned into the last 72 hours of his life. I am unable to share all the details; but what is important is the journey his death took me on. I was devastated. I

was moving the day of his death and had just taken FMLA (Family Medical Leave) to fly to Maryland within the next week to visit him. I did fly to Maryland but instead of checking on him, I went to view his body for the last time and prepare for his Memorial Service. I had spoken with him Sunday night; the plan was for me to fly to Maryland to visit and to evaluate the care he was receiving. He was so excited about seeing me. Thursday, I got a call from a doctor saying, “Ms. Williams I am sorry to inform you that your father is gone.” I was in shock and disbelief, I said, “I need to call you back because I think you said my father has passed away”. I had a co-worker call back and listen while the doctor repeated the same words. I was shattered. I started to scream “I didn’t make it or get to say goodbye!” From this grief I have written many poems that have helped me. One poem is “Let Me Grieve, “and the other poem is “The Last Call.” I mustered up the strength and mindset to coordinate a meeting with family and staff at the facility in Maryland to get answers, so we could understand how in 72 hours, my father went from life to death. I miss my father every day of my life and still struggle with the circumstances of his death. Through the process I have learned so much about grief and the courage to find my voice and purpose in life. It’s been a long battle for 3 years, but I pray that our day in court will find justice and accountability for my father’s death. It won’t bring him back but perhaps it will bring peace of mind. My life could fill the entire Lemonade Legend Magazine with moments where I felt I would not make it. For a few years I felt like I was in the middle

of a tsunami, hurricane, and tornado all at once; through it all, I’ve weathered each storm and found hope and purpose. As I think about opportunities like this to share my story, I am reminded that every darkness has a reason. Have I cried many tears? Yes. Have I sometimes thought I can’t go on? Yes. Do I get sad and angry because my dad is not here to see my daughter sing or perform in theatre because of someone’s negligence? Yes. Through sharing my storm and story, I hope that others will be encouraged to keep going and remember how valuable, important, precious, special, and significant you are no matter what happened in the past. I have also learned that if you made it through one storm, it is often preparation for another storm. In this life, storms and situations are either about to brew, have already brewed, or will be brewing soon. Monica Williams, CEO of Change Today LLC and Heart to Heart Whispers - Nuggets for the Heart and Soul training, workshops, and poetry. She is the proud mother of a beautiful, smart, and creative teenage daughter. Monica would be honored to serve your team, organization or business as a trainer, workshop facilitator and speaker for upcoming workshops, trainings, conferences and events. Her ultimate goal is to help others find “success from the inside out”, individually or as part of a team Email: changetoday4u@gmail.com Facebook: @Monica Williams Instagram: @themonicamorganagency

“ Stories have to be told or they die,

and when they die, we can’t remember who we are or why we’re here.

– Sue Monk Kidd, The Secret Life of Bees


A Woman’s Champion

Living in Perfect Love By Michelle Faust interviewing Darla Colinet

Michelle: I’m here interviewing Darla Colinet, Founder of Godstransforminggrace.com. Darla, thank you for sharing your personal story with me today. Darla: It’s my pleasure Michelle, I share my story in hopes that I can help other women in similar situations. Michelle: Your story spans over 40 decades, starting from birth, right? Darla: I was born in the front seat of a Chevy to my mentally ill Native American mother and my military father. At age five, I heard Mom say that when I was born, I ripped everything out of her, and she was never the same. To cope with my pain, my little girl mind reasoned that I had to find a way to make up for causing her sickness. I had to show her how much I loved her; and maybe,she could love me. Michelle: Where was your Dad in the early years? Darla: When my Dad went to Vietnam, he left my brother and me and our mother in a trailer park in North Carolina. Mom was seldom available emotionally or mentally. After Dad’s retirement, his focus and energy were invested in caring for my Mom, taking away my role. My childhood was a traumatic stream of emotional neglect and abandonment.


Michelle: How did your childhood experiences affect you as you matured? Darla: My search for love and purpose led me into a series of abusive relationships beginning with a date rape when I was fifteen, marriage at eighteen to an abusive man, followed by a repeat performance with two more that covered thirty years. When I came home from the date rape, my dad glared at me in disgust. He asked, “What did you do to cause this? You’re ‘used goods’ now, so I’m not sure how you will ever find anyone to love you.” In shock, I accepted my dad’s devaluation of me. It mirrored my belief in the messages and rejection from my mom that I was not worthy to be loved. To cope with the shock of the rape, the blame, and the abandonment by my parents, I formed a belief that, “If anything bad happens to me, I cause it, and I deserve it.” Michelle: What a cycle to get trapped in. What was a turning point for you? Darla: On a cold, October morning on my fortythird birthday, I was sitting alone on the couch, tears streaming down my face as I recalled finding my husband high on drugs. On my birthday, he chose drugs over me. The flood of all my heartbreaking memories left me sobbing from all the anguish I had

endured from people who were supposed to love me or who professed to love me. I became determined to find out how and why I kept making the wrong love choices. I decided it was time to turn to God. The next day, I started seeing a Christian counselor experienced with domestic abuse. He helped me draw healthy boundaries to make sure I wasn’t allowing myself to be disrespected or abused, while I continued to treat my husband with Christ’s love and kindness. I accepted the fact that I couldn’t change my husband or convince him to love me. I understood that I was only responsible for my own transformation with Jesus in a personal, growing relationship.

Michelle: Where are you now after this painful journey? Darla: Understanding Christ’s revelations led me to create my life’s mission as a Christian speaker and author, to help women find true love through Christ’s exceptional love design. It’s vital for people to understand that abuse is a learned behavior and not a condition or illness. Abuse is learned and practiced in families, often through multiple generations. When you change your design of love to the exceptional one of Christ’s you can learn, follow, and heal in His love, you can break free from the cycles of abuse. I am proof of that.

Change what you know an change your life!



Women’s Legacy of Hope By Martha Lazo-Munoz

The year was 1956 in El Paso, Texas, it was a beautiful spring day in March when I came into this world, the second born to my mom and dad. My parents were hard working, father was a professional welder and mother worked as a seamstress for the Levi Strauss Company. A few years later my parents decided to move to Lincoln Heights, California. I had several aunts and uncles in the Los Angeles area, so my parents decided to relocate the family. Southern California in the early 60’s was the land of sunshine and opportunity. It wasn’t without challenges as my parents looked for work and settled into a new city. Father found work with one his brother’s employers and shortly thereafter another baby was born into the family. At this time mom stayed home, as there were now three girls to tend to, and a year later a baby boy would be born. The home was small, but my mother made the best of what she had to work with to create a home. When I was about five years old, I experienced sexual abuse from a next-door neighbor, shattering my world and innocence. I was frightened and confused by the events. I was scared to tell my mother, as my abuser would often threaten that he would harm my mother and sisters. So, the secret went on for years until my family finally moved to another city. The results from the abuse affected my personality and negative behaviors started to form, I became a hyper defiant young child. I had difficulty in school, unable to focus and pay attention to the teachers. That developed into a significant problem with listening to the adults in my life. I didn’t seek out help because I was ashamed to share the truth. I shoved it deep inside where it manifested itself into feelings of


low self-worth and humiliation. These emotions set me up as the perfect victim for repeated abuse from other adult boys, neighbors and family members as well. I remember it as a lonely and frightening time in my life. I finally was rescued from a life of abuse from my knight in shining armor, or so I thought. I became pregnant from my high school boyfriend who later became my husband. He was hard working, and enjoyed traveling, fishing, and camping; showing me a different and adventurous lifestyle but abuse was always bubbling close to the surface. In time his abusive behavior increased, and domestic violence entered my world. I made up my mind that enough was enough and ended it. During my adult life I was fortunate to have women of worth and education come my way and help me to become the woman I am today. I went on to college and sought out seminars and lectures that helped me learn and understand about dysfunction, victimization and cycles of abuse. I took this knowledge and newfound self-confidence and became an author and speaker on domestic violence and sexual abuse. I proudly earned Woman of the Year in 2012 from NAWBO (National Association of Women Business Owners) and Employer of the Year by the State of California in 2003 for hiring the most Veteran’s. Today I own a healthcare staffing consulting firm and I am the Founder/CEO of Women’s Legacy of Hope, where I teach and coach women on how to find “Their Greatness” by starting their own business, discovering a new career or writing a book. My mantra is “Nothing is impossible with God’s help and a willingness and determination to live”! https://www.facebook.com/womenslegacyofhope/

Prevent Financial Ruin Prevent Financial Ruin Ruin TakePrevent Control OverFinancial Your Your Finances Take Control Over Finances Develop a Financial Strategy Take Control Over Your Finances Develop a Financial Strategy Uncover “Hidden Money” Develop a Financial Strategy Uncover “Hidden Money” Uncover “Hidden Reduce/Eliminate DebtMoney” Reduce/Eliminate Debt Reduce/Eliminate Debt Increase CashCash Reserves Increase Reserves Increase Cash Reserves BuildBuild a Financial Legacy a Financial Legacy Build a Financial Legacy EnjoyEnjoy Financial Freedom Financial Freedom Enjoy Financial Freedom

Dr.Dr.Wendy Labat Dr. Wendy Labat Wendy Labat The Financial Healer The Financial Healer The Financial Healer To





Cut a lemon in quarters and throw the pieces in the four corners of the room it will clear the negative energy right away. Lemons aid in accepting the changes in life and improves the sense of good fortune. It is a symbol of happiness and optimism. Lemons symbolize the human heart, love and light.


Retaking, Reshaping, & Remaking Your Future Where do the Pieces Fit? By Patricia Jo Grover

I’m no stranger to lemons; bitter lemons were a big part of my life. Listed are just a few to give you an idea, not to solicit pity but to set the stage for the skill sets I have developed, the growth that I have had, the wisdom that I have gained, and how it has all served me so well in both life and business. I’ve learned how to put my own life’s puzzle pieces together affording me to have a sweeter life! • At 3, I witnessed my father try to kill my mother • I grew up with Dad mentally and verbally abusive to Mom daily. • Mom became the first Adult Foster Home in the State (taking in mentally ill patients), it was the movie One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest in my house 24/7. • I found my first dead body (residents) at the age of 7, and the second at age 12 • I ran away to get out of the house, which led to bad situations and relationships. • I married and divorced 3 times (one with an alcohol problem, one who put me through bankruptcy, and one who was dominating/controlling/demeaning) • I was a single parent • I had a devastating motorcycle accident that caused brain damage. Each one of those lemons carries a complex story with deep roots. This is not the place for the details, and in time I will flesh out and share bitter truths of my past from the tender age of 3 well into my adult life. These truths have not stayed bitter with me, rather they have become a gift; my experiences made me who I am, my soul helped me shape them into meaning, and all along God was preparing me for my purpose. My drive for wanting more out of life and my inquisitiveness began for me when I was young. I baby sat to get out of the house and earned enough to purchase my own car before I got my license. When I reached my senior year, I also attended Cosmetology School and was able to graduate both schools at the same time. I Became an assistant manager at a salon 21

and day spa, a registered Massage Practitioner, and an educator for several top of the line hair care, skin care, cosmetics lines, and went to college at night for business management. This was a great entrance to the world of business Six years later I leaped into the small business arena. I opened my own Salon & Day Spa and created my own private line and label of Skincare & Cosmetics. It was both liberating and hard work to manage my own business. It was also great training to learn business from the bottom up. I was the janitor, marketer, bookkeeper, and boss at the same time. I found that in order to care for my daughter properly though, I needed to have benefits. So, I downsized the salon and went to work as a Manager at Estee Lauder, then was recruited to manage a Bath & Body Works. During that time, I also had side hustles. (Tupperware, and Home Interiors). Then I found that Avon Products, Inc. was looking for a District Sales Manager, this was a corporate position, company car, bennies etc. I was immediately hired because of my experience. I managed approximately 400 women, recruited new representatives, and trained representatives on how to have parties, use, sell, and operate all aspects of their business. It was very rewarding to help women who were ready and wanting to help themselves, to make their lives better for themselves and their families. I spent 9 years getting to know, like, LOVE, and trust myself. I read volumes of books, attended numerous seminars, listened to many fantastic speakers, connected with mentors, and matured enough to realize that not only paying attention to other people’s wisdom but utilizing it, and making it part of your life was wisdom itself!

Then unexpectedly I met my 4th and final husband, we fell in love, and married 3 years later. After considerable thought and discussion, we decided to become snowbirds, so I chose to leave the company. While in Florida I had a major motorcycle accident. I don’t remember getting on the bike, the accident, the ambulance, being life flighted, being in intensive care for a week, or coming home from the hospital. I don’t remember about a month of my life. I had a fractured skull and brain bleed, among other things; I now was officially brain damaged, I looked like I’d had a stroke, and I had and still do have neurological damage. Doctors have told me that I don’t remember what happened because my brain shut down its extra circular functions to keep me alive and let the healing process begin. After that experience my husband and I decided life was too short, so we did something that was on our bucket list. We purchased a KOA Franchise. When we

sold, we had doubled the business, conquered that goal, been there and done that, and were ready to move on to the next chapter of our lives. I wrote my book, Living Outside the Box, and built my coaching business around my passion for helping people learn how to put the pieces of their lives together. I know now that my purpose is to use all my many experiences, skills, wisdom, and desire to help people, make better lives for themselves and their children. As a Speaker, I incite action through empowerment! With my book and complete platform, I assist people in the process of setting S.M.A.R.T.E.R. goals, understanding what is needed to achieve them, creating a plan of attack, help them to identify the barriers that they may face, and help them to move past them so they are able to achieve their dreams. To Schedule a FREE 15 Minute Consultation https://calendly.com/patriciajogrover


By Michelle Faust I recently was introduced to Rachael-Grace Sands Hooley, owner of The Bloomin’ Witch. She offers several products and services, but it was her botanical card readings that fascinated me. By providing her with a question I wanted guidance on she would pull 3 flower cards that would reveal the answer. I was so in! We did this all online, I sent her my question and she responded back a few days later. Rachael sent back an email with the Observations and Applying your reading. I was completely blown away. This was so spot on to what I’ve talked about with my coach. Her reading confirmed the direction I want to go but my own self-doubts hold back. Seeing this ignited my energy and helped me to see my vision and growth more clearly. My question: “What should my next step be for Lemonade Legend and how can I best serve my clients?” The three cards that she pulled: Bird of Paradise, Royal Poinciana, and Dandelion flowers.

Observations Bird of Paradise: This unique flower will help to activate a deeper sense of connection by quieting the mind. The bird of paradise is also a flower that reminds us to allow our imaginations to soar wild and free! It encourages us to move forward with unbounded joy towards our deepest dreams and desires. In order to fully feel connected to those dreams and desires, we must find a way to unite our head with our heart. When we spend too much time over-analyzing or thinking, rather than feeling, it becomes difficult to maintain that sense of connection to the world around us. And when we can exist 23

more harmoniously with the world around us, our view of what is possible expands. Royal Poinciana: Ask for what you want. Many people struggle in their convictions and end up settling for less than what they want. Notice your tendency towards this behavior. Sending wavering messages to the universe does not lend itself towards a clear direction. What’s needed now is decisiveness and laser focus. Don’t not be afraid to take on challenges! You are worthy of everything you hope to create, but it will take confidence, a “can do” attitude, and the motivation and discipline to launch yourself forward. Trust that you know exactly what you are capable of and go for it! Dandelion: The dandelion flower helps us to activate relaxation and healing on an emotional and physical level. It can help bring awareness to how, where, and why we hold tension in the mind and body. Memories of childhood and carefree days are also often associated with this flower. Summer afternoons of blowing the wisps of dandelions to make a wish remind us to do our best to navigate life with joyful persistence and a belief that anything is possible.

Applying Your Reading I believe it’s time to get very clear about your intentions and dreams for Lemonade Legend. I think it’s time to start dreaming bigger and focusing on how you can expand your reach and your brand. In what ways would you like your message to create an impact

on a much larger scale, but still feel personal? Do you believe it’s possible? As we all find ourselves in this time of uncertainty, the global collective needs a sense of community. We are tense and need a place to turn in order to learn how to heal our pain so that we can joyfully surrender into a state of ease. We need stories of joy, inspiration, dreams, possibilities, and the reminder that we can overcome these hard times through perseverance and the cultivation of deeper connection- within ourselves and the world around us. The world is changing and even when this particular chapter is over, things cannot go back to the way they were. Working together, lifting one another up, and making decisions that support the greater good, rather than ONLY ourselves, is going to be what carries us through and moves us upward. Having multiple avenues and platforms to engage in conscious conversations is what people are in need of. I know you already host a podcast, what if you were to broaden the way you are sharing your voice and vision? You might consider live stream videos or some type of (paid or free) online group for

members (with a few different moderators if needed) where you could share tips and tools from the change makers, those living their dreams and people who can help implement practices to uplift our world. I would say the biggest takeaway from this reading is expansion of community is key. Spend some time in quiet contemplation and really listen to your inner voice. Have the courage to go for what resonates most deeply with you and make your dreams a reality with a wish and joy in your heart! Yes! Rachael you spoke directly to my heart and why I am striving to create more platforms for sharing stories, creating community, and providing positive exposure for people. Lemonade Legend Magazine is just one new platform that is making its debut with this edition. Join The Lemonade Stand Community by clicking here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/ LemonadeLegend/ You can also share your story with me and we can talk about the platform that is best for you. https://form.jotform.com/200356201832039

Seek the Sweet Life!

Have you ever wanted to learn how to design your own floral arrangement? Maybe yoga and meditation with a botanical flare is more your vibe. Or perhaps you are drawn to the secret language of flowers and would like to uncover a deeper meaning of the soul.

Allow me to enchant you with one of my beautiful offerings.



Creating Something Bigger than Yourself By Angel Tuccy

My mission became clear to me on a snowy Colorado day. It was one of those days where my schedule was filled to the brim, but a blizzard brought the town to a halt. Prior to the pandemic, this was the only event that would close a city and keep everyone at home. That day, I distinctly heard the message to build up a brigade of business owners who have a voice in the marketplace. Since then, I’ve been on a personal mission to teach business owners how to leverage the power of media to create exposure, build their brand, and tell their story. Every week, I was speaking to audiences on the power of creating more brand exposure, sharing their stories and creating more influence in the world. Then COVID-19 hit, and in the blink of an eye I had 15 speaking engagements cancel. I had to take in my own words and reflect on them, “The most empowering place you can be is when you’re about to break out of your comfort zone and step into something even greater.” I needed to leap and then pivot in a hurry. Not just for myself, but for my clients who were looking to me for answers. I needed to shift the way I do business and then lead others to finding their new realities. I was more than prepared for this mission. Flash back two years ago and I walked into my office at the studio where I had been a radio host for 10 years. Waking up every morning at 3:30 am to do 2 hours of programming, honing my skills to win awards for Most Influential Woman, Best Talk Show Team, and Best Morning Show. That morning I arrived and was summoned to management, this was not going to be good. I barely heard the words, “we’ve decided to make some changes in programming”. I was out the door in a heartbeat, along with my box of personal items; an escort ensured a speedy transition from radio host Diva to unemployed. There I was, master of my destiny without a plan. So, I did then what I do now when working with new 25

clients. Start with defining and focusing on your expertise. What are you amazing at? What are people always asking you about or referring you for? What are you mostly known for? What’s the one thing you could talk about day and night? Media exposure, I knew it inside and out. Exposure equals revenue and I could stay in the lane of media and help small businesses grow doing what I know best. So how does a small business owner create media exposure for their brand? When I work with my clients it’s more than building their brand, my clients connect with something even deeper inside of themselves. This is important because part of being successful is to believe in yourself and what you have to offer. You should wear the hat of expert and own the space you are in. When you position yourself as an expert, you transition from salesperson to invited guest. As a salesperson, you need to purchase advertising. As an invited guest, you share your story, your knowledge, and most of all, your personality. One of the most unique benefits of being featured in the media, is the transfer-of-trust-factor. Audiences are watching or listening to programs they enjoy and trust. When you’re invited as a guest on to someone’s stage, platform or program, that level of trust immediately transfers over to you. Another critical step to creating media exposure is to become a published author. “Being a published author is the number one way to create media exposure.”

Being a published author gives you a platform for creating perfect media exposure that attracts more leads, elevates your brand, and differentiates you from your competition. I know, I’ve published eleven books. When it comes to creating media exposure, your story and your experience makes all the difference. When you craft a media story, you’re setting yourself up to share your legacy and to create something bigger than yourself. You’ll be sharing your purpose. I encourage my clients – pushing them to share their stories. Nothing else provides as much social media content or creates the level of excitement than sharing with your followers that you’re going to be on radio or television. There’s no faster way to create exposure than to leverage a media audience. It’s a win-win for you, your time, your budget and your impact. As we navigate through the unknown of Covid-19, everything about media exposure remains the same.

We just need to swivel and adjust a little. With my speaking engagements canceled, I have gone full on with virtual summits, both my own and as an invited guest. My clients are riding that wave with me as I pass along opportunities to present their expertise. We’ve been building a virtual community to learn, engage, and provide countless opportunities to get exposure on podcasts, in magazines, alternative TV, webinars, online workshops, and more. NOW, is the time to write your book! There is no reason not to level up your game and meet the challenging times head on. Those who are innovative, creative, and think outside the box will be the ones to survive this crisis and thrive beyond it. This too will pass, and those of us who are prepared will be stronger and more powerful for pushing ourselves out of the comfort zone and pioneering new paths to prosperity. www.AngelTucy360.com www.MakeYourBigImpact.com


Trusting the Process A feature on

Talk Show Host, Zondra Evans By Angel Tuccy, PR Manager

Zondra Evans is the dynamic talk show host whose tagline is “I’m a Jack of All Trades – Master of Many”. Zondra uses this phrase to describe the power of owning the space you’re in. While she has been fortunate to have many career opportunities and a plethora of life experiences, she has consistently rose to the occasion and successfully navigated her journey. With that being said, it hasn’t always been a bed of roses or sweet tasting lemonade. Having 40 years of corporate experience has helped her to understand business and life complexities. After spending most of her life in a corporate environment, three (3) years ago she received “The Golden Handshake – better known as a Layoff” for the first time in her life. To most, this would have been a devastating position to be greeted with, but not for Zondra. She dusted off her personal exit strategy and went to work to build her next iteration of legacy. She openly shares that her journey of building something amazing did not come without a cost, challenges and opposition. Nonetheless, she stuck with it. As a single woman of color, there are many additional barriers to success, however she found herself passionately developing the next generation of legacy for her and her offspring. “Have you ever had a time when you just knew that your destiny was one thing and out of nowhere it turned into something else?” That is the story of how Zondra TV Network came into existence. In early 2018, Zondra hired a Media Coach by the name of Angel Tuccy out of Denver, Colorado because she had a system to get you on bigger stages. Needless to say, Zondra leaped at the opportunity 27

and invested in herself. Little did she know that the investment would result in the development of a new affordable small business platform, called Zondra TV Network (ZTV). Developing this platform took great sacrifice. Zondra sold her home, accessed her financial annuity and infused a significant amount of cash in support of the vision that had been planted within her. Zondra’s most critical move was the belief in her - the most important asset: HERSELF. Zondra’s sacrifice was critically important, but it was her obedience to listening to the little small voice that held an even stronger key to her success. Zondra TV Network is breaking paradigms and shattering the norm by encouraging small businesses to be early adopters of streaming TV. They have developed a global streaming platform specifically for small business entrepreneurs to increase their exposure and create potential new business. By streaming on ZTV, small business has an affordable landscape to tell their story with professional advertisements and GEO Target Marketing to zip codes. Streaming TV is the trending way that consumers are ingesting information. As a guest of “The AwardWinning Fanny Minnitt Show”, powered by Fishbowl Radio Network, Zondra learned a concept that she has enhanced given the Covid-19 pandemic. “It’s time for Small Business Entrepreneurs” to apply the other PPE (Pivot; Plot; and Execute). If we want to remain in business, now is the time to reframe our mindset, develop alternatives and become early adopters of virtual strategies. This includes a Digital Marketplace, Digital Online Advertisements and yes,

Streaming Technology beyond our traditional social platforms.” Social Media presence is an important marketing element in a business exposure strategy, but small business needs to elevate from the crowd. Right now, social platforms are inundated with content providers and ever changing algorithms that create extreme challenges for small businesses to be seen and heard, which further supports the need for a strong virtual exposure strategy. ZTV is in front of the trend, paving the way for small business. Zondra Evans has had her share of lemons through the loss of loved ones, being laid off from a job, selling her home to build her vision, being

misunderstood, empty promises of how others would help her build the dream and often times left feeling like she was reeling with nothing remaining but her Faith in God. Zondra’s mantra is: “No matter what Life Circumstances come my way; I realize that how I respond – dictates how I will recover.” Zondra is thankful that she kept the faith and forged ahead with confidence, knowing that she was on the right track. If you’re allowing your circumstances to define you, Zondra wants to encourage you to trust the process and start Pivoting; Planning and begin Executing today! Schedule a Complimentary Discovery Call today: https://linktr.ee/zondratv

While fighting my own breast cancer battle, I enlisted the help of friends and family to provide small comfort items to my fellow cancer fighters in the community. This small jester has evolved into a passion and now I proudly ship bags all over the United States. Outside of my full-time job, this has truly become my passion. It has connected me to some of the most amazing people and allowed me to advocate for those fighting cancer. In order to keep this very important project up and running, I depend on the support of others. I may be the muscle behind this project but there is no way I could continue providing these bags without the help of friends, family, the community, and complete strangers! Thank you for your consideration, love, generosity, and kindness! Please visit comfychemocarebagproject.org to view testimonials, bags, items needed, fundraisers, advocacy work, resources, and more. God bless you! Shannon McQuillan Norris


Habits that will lead you to

Triumph & Victory By Michelle Guinn

Let’s roll back to the fall of 1984, when I was a freshman in high School. It was the age of MTV, Michael Jackson’s Thriller, Sixteen Candles, Karate Kid and Ghostbusters. Why do I bring all these things up? It was such a cool time in my life, and I wanted to set the stage of my story starting in my teenage years. As a student in an all-girls catholic school, there was one focus; finish high school with excellent grades so you can get into a good college. Then graduation came and I had zero plans to attend college. With no idea what I wanted to do with my life I did the next best thing! I got married and had my first child. By the time I was 23, I had 2 beautiful boys and a divorce. So that plan didn’t work out so well for me, but my boys gave me the drive to do what was necessary to ensure their care. So, I joined Corporate America. Remember MCI, the long-distance telephone company? Yep, I worked there for many years. I weathered all the mergers and survived many rounds of layoffs. I continued to work hard, increased my salary and managed to move myself into a work from home position. Then came 2011 and they finally drew my name in that quarter’s round of layoffs. Let me tell you, if you’ve ever had to endure round after round of layoffs, watching your coworkers get the notice and waiting for yours, you know how stressful it is. It’s no way to live. Thankfully, I was able to find a new job within a couple months. I felt fortunate as so many others were still out of work, but I had to leave my comfy home office and commute every day. It was quite a culture shock. I spent the next 6 years trying to figure out how I could get back to my home office. I always knew that 29

I didn’t belong in Corporate America. I never had the desire to climb the corporate ladder. My work ethic made sure I did my job well, but I wasn’t motivated, and I spent many days asking myself, what is the point of it all? One day a friend recommended that I read “The Power of Your Subconscious Mind” by Joseph Murphy. That was the start of my personal development journey and mindset change. I had sat in my comfort zone for a very long time. Not growing or learning anything new. I was comfortable with my normal everyday life because it’s what I knew. Now that I look back, it wasn’t so comfortable. I was unhappy with my job and the lack of direction my life had taken. I had developed anxieties to everyday situations due to some negative habitual thinking. I knew I needed a change and had finally found an outlet for it. Since that first book, I have become an avid consumer of self-development seminars, training, books, and podcasts, and my life has changed tremendously for the good. I invested in myself and sought the help of coaches, masterminds and mentors. I am now an International Public Speaker, Best Selling Author and Coach and I am significantly improving the lives of others. Where was that on my radar two years ago? It wasn’t! So, if you’re stuck with lemons, it’s time to make lemonade. Your past and your current circumstances do not have to define who you are or who you can become. I am proof of that. Step out of your comfort zone, seek knowledge, then take action to make changes so you can live the life you’ve always dreamed of.

Success Habits Specialist Speaker, Author, Coach

Inspiring Success One Habit At A Time In today’s world, so many things are fighting for your attention and time. It has become even more difficult to stay committed and focused. It is even more essential that you develop better daily Text HABITS to 26786 your free gift habits. Habits are what keep you on task. for Habits keep you focused and committed to your productivity. Habits lead you directly to your dreams, your goals, and your highest level of success. Michelle has found her passion helping others reach a higher level of achievement. She can help you to elevate your mindset, and develop better daily habits. Habits that will lead you to triumph and victory.



“You may tell a tale that takes up residence in someone’s soul, becomes their blood and self and purpose. That tale will move them and drive them and who knows what they might do because of it, because of your words. That is your role, your gift.” – Erin Morgenstern, The Night Circus


Discovering the

Financial Cure By Dr. Wendy Labat

I started my entrepreneurial journey over 36 years ago. Six years ago, when the Affordable Care Act mandated that individuals have health insurance, I expanded my business to include insurance and financial services. I didn’t want to be a hypocrite and believed if I was going to sell my clients these products and services, I needed to have them for myself and my family. So I purchased the various insurance and financial service products I was trying to sell to clients. I was thinking about it from a business perspective and didn’t think I would have to use any of it. Three years ago, I was notified that the results of my semi-annual mammogram required that I have a biopsy to test a growth that showed up on the image. A couple of days later I underwent the biopsy. The radiologist told me the results would be back in about 3 days. I called the radiology department 3 days later only to be told that I would have to get the results from my doctor. When I called my doctor’s office to get the results, I was told that I would have to schedule an appointment. I told her I wanted to schedule an appointment. The receptionist put me on hold for about 3 minutes. The the office manager got on the line and told me that the doctor doesn’t make appointments to discuss test results. I asked her how I could get my results. She said that I could come by and pick them up. I immediately drove to the doctor’s office. When I arrived, I was handed a sealed envelope with the results of my test. I sat in my car, opened the envelope and read the results. I saw the word “carcinoma” and knew I had breast cancer. 31

God turns lemons into lemonade. I didn’t cry or panic. A sense of peace came over me. I had no clue where to go from there, so I called a friend who was a breast cancer conqueror. She gave me her doctor’s phone number. I called her doctor’s office, explained the situation, and was told to fax my biopsy results to their office. Within 5 minutes of faxing the results, I received a call back. The person on the phone asked for my information, which I happily provided. She told me that they didn’t accept my insurance but said she would call me right back. About 10 minutes later, she called back and gave me the number to The Winship Cancer Institute at Emory University. She told me to call them right away because they were waiting for my call. Sure enough, they took my information and scheduled an appointment for me to see an oncologist 3 days later. In the meantime, I did all kinds of research about breast cancer. I didn’t know anything about the disease other than what I had seen on TV commercials for various breast cancer drugs. Nobody in my family had breast cancer. I visited my friend who was a breast cancer conqueror and asked her to tell me about her experience. Not only did she share her experience with me, she also showed me the scars from her botched reconstructive surgeries. I did even more research about the facility, types of chemotherapy, types of cancer, and the surgical options available. I wanted to be prepared for my appointment with the oncologist so I could ask questions and make informed decisions about my course of treatment for the disease. Read the rest of my story in, The Lemonade Stand, Book 2.

Telling stories is at the heart of our community, the world needs stories, almost as much as nourishment, shelter, and companionship.

What did you learn from any of these books? Let us know. CLICK TO CONNECT


Conquering Depression By Sam Root

What do you think of me when you see this picture? More times than not I hear feedback like: - You are so pretty - I love that picture of you - I love your smile - You look so happy Well, the truth is it was just a really good picture taken by a very talented photographer. The reality was, I was in the midst of struggling. One of my sons had moved back to Texas so he could have a singlechild environment due to some conditions he has. In this picture, he hadn’t just left. He had been gone for 3 years at that point, yet I was still completely lost and devastated inside. My son Hayden had to move and it was THE MOST devastating dark space I had ever felt. It haunted me daily, and I struggled with swimming thoughts in my head about being a failure of a mother and not ever thinking I would ever get out of the storm. My life on the outside looked pretty like this picture. Nice home, good cars, great kids, a wonderful job and facebook pictures to last for days. Silent car drives and dreams were different; darkness and an overwhelming feeling of still sadness. Y’all I am here to remind you that the sun will ALWAYS come out. You know the saddest part of struggling with suicidal and depressive thoughts; when it gets too heavy to carry we were really just a day away from the weight being lifted. I believe with 33

my entire being that the Lord allows our plate to be so filled because we are capable of handling it. The moment a single noodle is about to touch the table immediately He passes us a fork to scoop it up and start eating. Eventually, the plate is empty. However, many are so worried the noodles will touch that table, so they end things in order to not make a mess. One of the things that really makes me mad is when someone passes from suicide and others say how selfish they were. In fact, they felt they were doing you a favor and removing your burdens… they believe they are the burden oftentimes.

My real-life story Shortly after I had our son Baker (he is now 5) I was working full time, helping take care of our kids, trying to keep my image of being a good wife, mom, and housekeeper. I took care of Baker during the night shift and over time I hit a wall. It was creeping in every day a little bit more. Finally one day it got way too heavy for me. I had gone to have a couple of drinks with my husband and after an argument, I went home and put a belt around my neck in the closet. I wanted it all to go away. I wanted to stop hurting, I needed the pain to go away immediately! I was tired of feeling like a failure in every single category of my life. I could not carry on anymore. YOU KNOW WHAT KEPT ME HERE? I heard a voice in my mind clear as day saying, “Who will feed Baker when he wakes up in 45 minutes?”

I took the belt off and the next day I started looking for help. All 7 doctors I saw that day said I had exhaustion NOT CRAZINESS. I kept asking them to tell me I was going crazy. They didn’t. I am better now. I got needed rest, started seeing my psychologist again and I am on mood stabilizers (Lamotrigine 125 MG to be exact). I OWN MY STRIPES! You see, you aren’t crazy. You are human. Human beings get tired, we hurt, we struggle, we fall, we have victories, we experience joys and miracles. You are not crazy and certainly not a failure. YOU ARE SEEN, LOVED, AND SUCH AN IMPORTANT PART OF THIS WORLD! So to the folks that don’t have depression or anxiety… Good for you. One day you may and that is okay, our community will embrace you. For the time being what you can do is quite simple. Love those who are affected and love them well. Do NOT tell them to snap out of it. Definitely, do not tell them they are crazy or mentally unstable… that is one of the worst things you can tell them. You make them question their reality and then reality can tailspin. Educate yourself, don’t stay ignorant. Yep! I said do not stay ignorant. With Google, WebMD and all kinds of sites there is no real reason to not know what is happening. The bottom line is, it’s a chemical imbalance and it’s not something we just snap out of because you decided we should. It’s bigger than you... hate to tell ya ( insert crooked lip face here). Create an environment where they don’t have to hide their antidepressant or mood stabilizers. No need to have it tucked away. BRING IT OUT! Support their health. This is part of what can help make them healthy.

I share this because I am “ one of those” I am a perfectly quirky depressed gal! However, I am loyal to my core. For the people I love- I will be your ride or die a gangster! I will never stop fighting for the people around me to feel loved and seen. I want to bring smiles out from people and I will not allow a single person that I know to ever feel like they are alone in this world. I REFUSE. Failure is just not an option. WHY? Because I know what being in a dark hole feels like. Know though; I am NOT depression. My name is Samantha “Sam” Root. I am a wife to Patrick, mother of 5 kids, own three companies, have a beautiful home, and do adulting like the rest of y’all. I am a community giver and a blogger. I love to read and cook. I REALLY love to dance and be goofy. I love all kinds of music except for saltgrass and jazz (YES, I said it lol!) I have good days and bad days like anyone else. I do however consider myself a survivor every single day because depression didn’t take over my world. I own my world! So to all of you reading this… here I am in all my glory welcoming you to embrace your striped self. I am all over social media if you need someone to cheer you on or help you find resources. Do not hide who you are. Be real and raw because if someone doesn’t like you now they won’t like you later. Did you know there are millions of humans in the world? That means you get to choose your “cool people” tribe. Every single client, friend, vendor, restaurant or anything really that is in my world I let in because they are okay with me being a broken person. You can do this too! You have control to choose. Love y’all! Sam

Let them have good days and on their bad ones, ask what they need and then be understanding. Do not judge, learn to decipher and stay aware so that when they might need help to a level you are not able to assist with, you know who to call and where to go. 34

The Next Chapter of my Life By Donita Wheeler

I was the very first person to join the outstanding list of authors Michelle put together for the first lemonade stand book! What an honor! I remember being so nervous about whether or not Michelle would pick ME to be in the book. The opportunity came at the perfect time because I had been feeling compelled to share my story and I was at a loss as to how to go about it. It was so easy and fun to work with her and the fellowship that followed, well, I am so grateful!!

I chose to write my story to share with others who might be going through some sort of survivorship; luckily during that writing I was able to reflect on all of my survivor situations and realize that I had enough good information to put it in a book and continue educating other survivors.

I am a teacher by trade and was blessed enough to stay at home with my boys for 20 years, but the teacher blood runs thick in my family and I just couldn’t let my experiences go to waste. Through my life events, my boost of confidence with The Lemonade Stand and my educator mind, I have moved into a full-service community for survivors both online and in person. I do personal I started a company called Donita coaching virtually and one on one Mama Bear and my purpose is to for survivors wanting to know, “what’s show survivors of anything, how to use www.DonitaMamaBear.com next” as well I offer online courses, their inner bear, their own superpower. speaking engagements, book signings, and a It’s not just one power, it morphs into many different virtual Mama Bear “den” community because I found forms, because each survivor has their own path. out through The Lemonade Stand how important a community is for being the best you, YOU can be! After I submitted my chapter for The Lemonade My chapter in the original book, The Lemonade Stand, is about my five cancers and how I survived and later thrived! Not only did I survive five cancers, 11 surgeries, caregiving for my terminally ill mother-in-law, attempted suicide, and now COVID-19, but I used the experiencewithTheLemonadeStand to propel myself into the next part of my life.

Stand, a wonderful thing happened. I recognized that all 18 women had incredibly different stories and all the women were better for their experiences. I was able to get a morsel from each and every story to enhance my business and mindset in addition to having 18 new good friends. It also gave me the courage to write my own book, Bare Myself: What Now? How to Regain Control in Your Life, which comes out May 1, 2020. Michelle and the Lemonade Crew built me up and helped me go out on my own. The process that Michelle takes you through with writing workshops and the editing team really gets you prepared to tackle writing that story! 35

If you are wondering if you should share your story, the answer is a firm YES! Every story matters and stories have been part of our evolution forever. Hieroglyphics were the first form of written communication and they were nothing but STORIES. Stories hold us together, stories set us apart, stories make us stronger, stories teach us lessons, SHARE YOUR STORY! (click here) I’m having a free class starting 4/20/2020 on anxiety and trying to keep a handle on it during COVID-19. Send me an email at donitabwheeler@gmail.com to sign up.

Web Design | Logos | Social Media Management | SEO Video Editing Content Creation | Email Automation

Hi! My name is Jolene and I grow companies using advanced online marketing strategies and technology. I love what I do, and I'm damn good at it. Whether you’re building from the ground up, or expanding an existing brand, my approach begins with a datadriven targeted strategy, tailor-made to facilitate your success in the digital world. Schedule a FREE consultation at https://refreshing.solutions

Featured In

It’s like everyone tells a story

about themselves inside their own head. Always. All the time.

That story makes you what you are.

We build ourselves out of that story. – Patrick Rothfuss, The Name of the Wind


Rest, Relaxation, My Year of & Reflection By Holly Pasut

After being released from Federal Prison in 2015 I became a Corporate/ Motivational/ Keynote Speaker. Corporations and Associations who hire me are typically real estate, mortgage, escrow, accounting and so forth. I started blogging due to boredom and the need for self-therapy. Returning home, I was unemployed and classified as a felon. Moving forward, I was introduced to people who strongly encouraged me to produce my blog into a book titled, “A Strange Path to Freedom.” In my book I share slices of the prison life through my quirky and often times spiritual lens. That being the case when Michelle Faust heard my story, she asked me to write a chapter in her anthology called “The Lemonade Stand.” Michelle called me last week and asked if I’d share with readers what I have been doing since the book was published.

You really want to know? Let me begin by saying, I have worked over forty years. Fifteen of those years were in real estate as an icon real estate broker. After the 2008 housing bubble crash things began to unravel. The FBI targeted a group of extremely deceitful people of whom I had done business with and trusted for many years. And according to the letter of the law, I was told I was part of the fraud and charged with conspiracy to commit mortgage fraud and money laundering. I describe ten years of a federal investigation as an earthly hell. There came a point I was actually looking forward to the sentencing hearing just so I could stop the madness of wondering whether I was going to prison or not. Living in prison will absolutely affect your life, for good or bad. Even though I am now post prison, it can at times feel like a life sentence. 37

In the aftermath of living with 1,200 inmates to living alone, loss of livelihood, purpose and direction, I did what any normal single female would do, I went on Match.com. Despite kissing too many frogs I undoubtedly found my prince, well he’s hardly a prince, but he treats me like a princess…and as a result, it works! An appreciable amount people, including Steve ask me why I continue to speak about my experience. Loved ones ask out of concern, often suggesting I forget about the past and move forward with my life. At the end of 2019, I thought it might be a good idea to try to be normal. Stop writing, stop speaking and work on my topspin in tennis, eat lunch with the girls and spend time doing projects with Steve, smell the roses type of thing.

I declared 2020 to be my year of rest, relaxation and reflection. January was ungodly painful. The absence of stimulation drove me into a mindless stupor. The only mileage I was clocking was from shuffling around in my worn out black furry slippers from the bedroom to the refrigerator. February was my month for discovering tennis tips via YouTube. Talk about a love game? Ha, I was that loony lady standing in front of the TV smack dab in the middle of the family room practicing my forehand. I constantly feared an Amazon delivery person would see me through the front door and report me to the county freak show.

Then COVID-19 became a household name in March. I have a small sign in my yard and one in my neighbors that says “Get Lost Virus” and “Catch a Faith Virus.” We’re all in some sort of lockdown, mentally and or physically.

Being a Public Speaker and Author is not a life, but something I have a passion for. Tennis is not my life either, it’s insane exercise with a splash of social cheeriness. Even though Steve adores me, he is not responsible for my happiness. I am. With time on our hands due to the coronavirus I know I don’t want to die, not now, instead I relish to live a life without reservation. Most importantly I know I’m not that important! I’m not driven to become famous, rich or have the longest posted thread in the history on Facebook.

Nobody promised us life would be comfortable. God did not promise days without pain, but he did promise strength for the day. Isaiah 41:10 My year of rest and relaxation will include peace of mind with relaxed shoulders and mindfully inhaling and exhaling. Improving my topspin, showing consideration for my family even when they annoy me. And if I feel compelled to accept an invitation to speak to an audience seeking “lessons learned from Federal Prison” or “Uncensored Motivation and Inspiration” it’s my choosing. “No matter our struggles in life, we can choose the outcome by choosing our thoughts.” – Holly Pasut

To reach Holly Pasut Email: holly@freedomspeaker.com Visit: https://freedomspeaker.com/ Order a copy: A Strange Path to Freedom

Why Tell

Stories Excerpt from Huff Post

Storytelling is the most effective, time-tested way to transmit meaning from one human being to another. It’s been going on since the beginning of time when our first ancestors stood around the tribal fire. It’s how civilizations pass on their wisdom to the next generation. It’s how religions pass on the sacred teachings of their faith. And it’s how parents, via the telling of fairy tales, transmit the values they want to impart to their children. Here are just a few of the reasons why storytelling is so powerful: It quickly establishes trust and connection between the speaker

and listener. It increases receptivity, captures attention, engages emotions, and allows the receiver to participate, cognitively, in the narrative. It communicates values, not just skills, decreases teaching time, builds community, ignites five more regions of the brain than mere fact giving, helps people make sense of their world, shapes perceptions via the subconscious mind, reframes frustration, paradox, and suffering, changes behavior, and provides a dependable way for people to remember, retrieve, and retell a meaningful message.

Click here to read full article 38