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Book a Session A Portrait A Scene & Flowers An Animal



Artist Suzanne Ervin





Mission: Sharing About Living with Heart. Create * Conceive * Connect

Letter from the Editor


News, Celebrations, and Giveaways

Heart of Fashion


Cocktail Attire in less than 3 Minutes &

Kitchen Corner

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No-Bake Strawberry Chocolate Cheesecake

Heart of Health


Mirror Images


Resolutions by Van Wagner Chiropractic

Author: Laurie Norlander

Mirror Images Ebook



You Asked? We Answered.


What is the meaning of life?

Austin's Petting Zoo


Heart of Home & Family


Are You Prepared for an Emergency?

Heart of Travel


Save Big with Groupon Travel

Tech Tips & Apps


Tech Out Your Winter... & January Apps

Featured Foundation Positive Exposure



No-Bake Strawberry Chocolate Cheesecake


Are some companies making a difference in the world? At Heartbeat Connection Magazine we discover the answer. Online, we share exclusive company reviews. Be sure to visit us at

Letter from the Editor

The beginning of 2016 is here and I have to reset my resolutions so that I complete many of them this year! I'd like to run in my first 5K race, so far I've walked in one. I'd like to stay commited to eating right and exercising every day! I love the "Go Outside," saying they suggest for kids that are indoors playing video games and/or watching television. Something that has helped us go outside more is that we got a new puppy for the new year! His name is Curry and he is full of energy and needs that love and care. We are learning again to be good puppy caregivers, playing with him, and setting up play areas in the house. He is such a loving dog, taking care of him is fun. The other pets are starting to get used to him, but they're set in their ways so sometimes it's hard for them to accept him. We hope that will come with time. How are your New Year's resolutions going? You can restart anytime, any day! Post on our Facebook page how you've been doing and we can start a chat about it! Have a blessed year!


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This month please enjoy many heartfelt articles and a great giveaway eBook, Mirror Images. We will be using rafflecopter to give away the eBook. Learn more on the Heartbeat blog.

With love, Nicole Flothe Managing Editor

Be a contributor or advertise with us, visit our website or send us an email at!

This month's cover feature is a photo by Jill Wellington, photographer.


For the Word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword ‌ and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

Lee Heyward - Style with Lee Shelly Aristizabal - You Asked & We Answered Beth Gatrell - Tech Tip of the Week Cheryl Flothe - Heart of Travel, Recipe Corner Heart of Home & Family

by Lee Heyward I had the pleasure of attending the Authority Marketing Summit last week with Dan Kennedy and Adam Witty. It was a great event showing authors how to market themselves as the top authority in their industry. On the first night of the event there was a cocktail party directly after the closing session. Everyone was excited about the occasion, but befuddled by what to wear.

evening, I removed the necklace for a more open neckline and added large earrings for bling. Tip #5: Refresh your makeup. Pack a few makeup essentials in your bag to add a little nighttime glamour to your look. Eye liner, lipstick, and blush can help take your look from day to night.

To make life easier the next time you find yourself in this situation, here are a few tips on how to go from conference attire to cocktail attire in just a few minutes: Tip #1: Plan ahead and pick an outfit that can easily make you feel dressier by changing your accessories. I wore a DVF wrap dress similar to this one. Tip #2: Wear different shoes to make your outfit feel more professional and more fun. For example, with this dress I chose to wear knee high boots during the day and changed into a sling back stiletto for the cocktail party. Tip #3: Change up your hair. Pack your bag with a few essentials like a comb, hair accessory, and bobby pins. You can pull your hair back into an easy updo for an evening look. Tip #4: Bring fun jewelry to change into before the cocktail event. I wore a large chunky necklace during the day. It filled the space of the v-neckline, keeping it more professional. For the cocktail portion of the

Children's Fashion and Fiammetta---Behind-the-Scenes of a Video Shoot in Florence, Italy Fashion baby and children---As perceived by Fiammetta and the backstage of a video shoot with fun and a little planning. Children's fashion is, for us, Blogger Simona a game we often play together. It has also become my job, even though from Florence, Fiammetta perceives it as something that is more fun and smiles. I work Italy while she plays. When I’m the photographer she is always doing something that entertains her and she’s never forced to do it. When we do something together (events, fashion shows, new projects) it is always a special day because it's Fiammetta and I, together, hand-in-hand. And this is not always obvious and easy (those who are working mothers will surely understand).
 Sometimes, you have to be clever, because the places we photograph are important and taking pictures (or shooting a video) can be difficult in some settings, but so easy when Fiammetta runs carefree in a meadow. In the beginning of December, we decided to create a video to show how children’s fashion is perceived in Italy (especially in our Florence). We woke up, got dressed, and Fiammetta wore a wonderful Monnalisa dress. We went to the center of Florence to meet our friend, Riccardo Polcaro, a children’s photographer. In his home country, he found photographing children on amusement rides was a good way to put them at ease and bring out interesting expressions on their faces. In the center of Florence, in Piazza della Repubblica, there is a fabulous ride that made our morning a little easier. After starting out a bit '"reticent," Fiammetta indulged us and together we enjoyed walking on the Ponte Vecchio, playing with the circle that was falling all the time, and having a double breakfast of Ricardo’s favorite cookies (and a ham and mozzarella). Fiammetta then got to play the piano by Paszkowski, a famous café and bar in the center of Florence, and loved riding the carousel four times---which made the morning definitely special. Ricacrdo exuded vitality. His zest for life and his desire to run and explore his inner fashion child allowed us to have an amazing shoot---nothing forced or prepared, doing only what Fiammetta wanted to do. The result, in fact, was a joyful video---modern with maybe even a little 'rock. Fiammetta was so alive, in constant motion, and free. It was delightful to watch her having such fun! How else should children's fashion be? We captured it all in photos and video that were not precise and sometimes even blurred. But alive, like us.


Kitchen Corner

by Cheryl Flothe

While looking for a Valentine’s Day recipe that would be different from the usual, I discovered this elegant dessert online at The Cooking Channel recipe site. This no-bake strawberry chocolate cheesecake is just the thing for a showy, but easy Valentine’s Day dessert! It looks like you bought it at a special bakery, but it’s oh-so simple to make. INGREDIENTS CRUST: • • • • • •

7 whole graham crackers (1 cup prepared crumbs) 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted 2 tablespoons chocolate-hazelnut spread, such as Nutella 2 tablespoons brown sugar Pinch salt 2 tablespoons cocoa powder

STRAWBERRY TOPPING: • 1 pound fresh or frozen strawberries, washed and stemmed (If you use frozen for the filling and topping, purchase extra fresh strawberries to garnish the top of the cake.) • 1/4 cup sugar • 1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise with seeds scraped • 1 envelope unflavored gelatin

CHEESECAKE: • 1-pound softened cream cheese • 1/2 cup powdered sugar • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract • 1-1/4 cups strawberry topping (see above) • 1/2 cup heavy cream • Fresh strawberries for garnish DIRECTIONS Crust: Grind graham crackers in a food processor until they are broken into a fine powder (or place graham crackers in a zip-loc and pulverize with a rolling pin). Add the butter, chocolate-hazelnut spread, brown sugar, salt and cocoa powder; process until well incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl a few times, if needed. Press crust evenly into bottom of an 8-9 inch spring form pan. It should come up the sides slightly. Strawberry topping: In medium pot, add strawberries, sugar, vanilla bean pod and seeds, and 2 tablespoons water. Cook over medium heat until the strawberries are quite soft. Remove vanilla bean pod and use an immersion blender to puree the fruit. (Don’t have an immersion blender? Pour strawberries into a regular blender, then return to the pot to finish cooking.) Sprinkle gelatin over 2 tablespoons cold water in a small bowl. Allow it to sit for about 1 to 2 minutes. Then transfer the gelatin to strawberries and gently cook over low heat, whisking just until gelatin is completely dissolved. Remove from heat. Reserve 3/4 cup of strawberry mixture for the top layer of the cake. For the cheesecake: In a stand mixer, beat the cream cheese and sugar on medium-low speed with the paddle attachment until smooth (you can also use a hand mixer if the cream cheese is soft enough). Add the vanilla extract. Add strawberry topping, reserving 3/4 cup for the top layer. In a separate bowl, whip heavy cream until medium peaks form. Gently fold whipped cream into the strawberry cheesecake batter just till all combined. Pour cheesecake into prepared pan. Tap the pan gently on the counter to bring any air bubbles to the surface. Let it sit, uncovered, in the refrigerator for about 2 hours or until it is set to the touch. Once cheesecake is set, pour the remaining 3/4 cup strawberry topping over it. If the topping has set up in the pot, gently heat it for a minute, just until it is pourable. Place cheesecake back into the refrigerator and allow to set, uncovered, for another 30 minutes, or until the topping is set. At this point it’s ready to serve or you can cover the cheesecake with plastic and it can sit in the refrigerator for 24 hours. Note: Before unlocking the spring form pan, run a knife around the edge of the cheesecake to loosen it. Top with fresh strawberries.


Superfood of the Month

Resolutions by Jared Van Wagner Chiropractor Do you know someone who plays the resolution game? That is where we pick a certain thing that someone told you is healthy, do it for a week, and then fall back into the same old ways and never accomplish anything. We all know people like that. In fact, it may be ourselves. This year pick something reasonable, something small. Make it a platform resolution, or one that will allow you to step up to the next level. Small steps that will get you closer to your final goal. Any long and arduous journey starts with a first step, you can't take shortcuts, and you can't cheat and receive the same end result. In my profession, I see many resolutions, and many resolutions fail. If your goal is to exercise more, and you presently don't exercise at all, you shouldn't start exercising 5 days a week. Start with something you can do like one day a week. Pretty soon you will feel better and want to do more. If you would like to eat better, choose one food that is not a good choice and replace it with something good, like a certain vegetable. Soon, you will notice that now you have replaced many of the bad foods you eat with good ones. Then, you may notice you feel better, and when you slip up and eat the way you used to, you feel terrible. Usually good healthy decisions lead to more good healthy decisions, as well as choices. When you think of wellness, think of climbing a tree. At first you only have the trunk, which at first may be hard to get up, but there is only one choice even though it may be a big step. However, as you climb, you have more branches to choose from, more options. In addition, once you have made the initial climb, the steps after that are smaller ones, take less effort and sometimes may be lateral moves. The point is it will never be as hard as that first initial step. Commit to wellness this year and feel better. Feel better from the inside out. In your commitment to wellness. Let's not forget about your spine. Your spine houses a system that controls and coordinates every cell and system of your entire body. Without proper control and coordination, any system can have malfunction. Monthly chiropractic checkups can eliminate the need for major tune ups later on. Make a commitment to wellness this year, and not just merely staying out of pain.

Collard greens The most significant areas of focus for this cruciferous vegetable are cardiovascular disease and cancer prevention. Of particular interest here has been the isothiocyanate (ITC) sulforaphane, which is made from glucoraphanin (a glucosinolate) found in collard greens. Not only does this ITC trigger anti-inflammatory activity in our cardiovascular system, it may also be able to help prevent and even possibly help reverse blood vessel damage. Collards are also touted as the best cholesterol lowering vegetable there is period. In any type of congestive heart disease, you need two ingredients, inflammation and further damage to the blood vessel wall from high blood pressure or other causes, and cholesterol. Collard greens remedy both. The connection between collard greens and cancer prevention should not be surprising since collard greens provide special nutrient support for three body systems that are closely connected with cancer development as well as cancer prevention. These three systems are (1) the body's detox system, (2) its antioxidant system, and (3) its inflammatory/antiinflammatory system. Chronic imbalances in any of these three systems can increase risk of cancer, and when imbalances in all three systems occur simultaneously, the risk of cancer increases significantly. Among all types of cancer, prevention of the following cancer types is most closely associated with intake of collard greens: bladder cancer, breast cancer, colon cancer, lung cancer, prostate cancer, and ovarian cancer.

Jared Van Wagner - Chiropractor 7550 Mission Hills Dr Suite 316 Naples, Florida (239) 775-6416


Mirror Images by Laurie Norlander Book Review by Nicole Flothe As soon as the book opens there is a suspense and interest that captivates the reader. I was trying to figure out "who did it" in the book and never was able to get the answer until close to the end of the romance/mystery. The main character was Madison. She'd been through a difficult romance. Then her boyfriend stole her money and left town. She hadn't heard anything about him until there was a newspaper article stating that he had died. She decided to go and see if she could get her money back after she attended the funeral, as she planned to use that money to adopt a baby. Here is the book description...They say seeing is believing…what if they’re wrong? That’s the dilemma Madison faces when a puzzling obituary prompts her to attend the funeral of a man she once loved. Grief and regret turn to disbelief when she sees him standing in the cemetery. It’s the first of many surprises as Maddy learns nothing is as it seems in the close-knit community of Churchill, Wisconsin. Mirror Images is a riveting romantic suspense novel woven with insights on friendship, forgiveness, and the power of faith.

Excerpt from Laurie Norlander, “Mirror Images.” “I’d known—thought I loved—this man in New York when he was an unemployed dockworker calling himself Ross Bauer. I snorted. Obviously, I’d never known him at all.” “Although I’d been raised in the church, my time with Ross Bauer had convinced me my lukewarm faith was the worst kind of hypocrisy, and I’d gradually stopped attending Mass. I was surprised Hannah was a religious person. She seemed too downto-earth.”

Heart Quote -

“Stop trying to make it logical, and listen to your heart.”

“From the moment I arrived in Churchill, I’d been inundated with the unexpected.” “My eyes darted to Rae’s chalkboard. For the Word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword … and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. I’d never been good with matters of the heart” “Stop trying to make it logical, and listen to your heart.”

About the Author To learn more about the author visit... Thank

you to for the opportunity to review this book.


Heart Quote For the Word of God is living and active and sharper than any twoedged sword … and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

by Shelly Aristizabal of Business Women Connect

Q: What is the Meaning of Life? A: They say that happiness is not the purpose of life, but a way of existence. If you learn to see the joy in everything around you, you’ve found the meaning of life. If you can feel thankful, then everyone will say you are a happy person. I recently found a website, Bright Side, that introduces you to a small list that will help you to understand what it really means to live a bright, meaningful life. 1. You feel happy for other people’s success. The main reason for succeeding at work and at home is the ability to be happy for someone else’s success. The best teams are made up of people who are ready to help each other, know their roles, and are concerned not only about their own success, but also appreciate the achievements of the whole team. 2. You constantly seek new experiences. You are one of those people who always prefers to move. You know you are unique and capable of making a contribution to the development of this world. According to psychologist Robert Cloninger, ’’Novelty seeking is one of those traits of the character that makes you healthier and happier. It pushes your personality to develop.’’ Discover your inner seeker and you’ll feel healthier, have more friends, and your life will bring you only joy. 3. You are not looking for a balance between your work and private life, you just live. It’s impossible to maintain the symbolic boundaries between work and your private life. Why? Because you are your work. Your life is your work. Everything you do makes you who you are. A person who doesn’t understand it is not living — he is just working.

5. You have something to prove to yourself. Many people take a great interest in proving other people wrong. They adduce thousands of arguments in order to validate themselves at the expense of others. Yes, when it works, you feel satisfied. But the true satisfaction comes from proving something to the most important person in your life: you. 6. You know that by working hard you’ll achieve success. Nelson Mandela said, ’If you have a dream, nothing will stop you from realizing it until you give up.’ Of course, there are always people who are more talented and smarter than you. But the one who really wants something will definitely achieve it. 7. You see money as a responsibility, not a reward. Money is not the end in itself, but the means. You know this, and that’s why when thinking of salary, it’s not about the money for you, but what you’re going to do with it. Whether it’s a business development, a car purchase, or a loan repayment, you know that money is a valuable tool that can push you forwards. 8. You don’t think you’re special. And therefore, you act persistently and consistently while achieving your own goals. You realize that success is based on ambition, persistence, and fortitude. A huge dose of luck and the right people are definitely important too, but only you play a leading part. However, you don’t seek cheap glory, and that’s why you know your own weaknesses and work to better them. 9. You know that dignity and respect last forever. You treat everyone equally and with respect no matter who you are or who you have to deal with. Therefore, you get respect in return, and surround yourself by people who are ready to help you at any moment. Adapted from Business Insider To learn more

4. You can be empathetic. The ability to put yourself in another person’s shoes is an extremely important and useful skill. It allows you to see the world and situations from different points of view, and gives you the time to think properly before judging someone. Such an approach protects you from rash actions and false allegations.


by Nicole Flothe Tina shared some news on Austin's petting zoo this month...Thank you very much to my family friends at Bearpaw River Brewing Company! They donated mash to Austin's petting Zoo! It was so nice to see you yesterday, Jake, Jamie, and Laura. If you get a chance, stop by and check them out. They're off of Palmer/Wasilla Hwy. It's a pretty amazing place!

Austin out feeding his petting zoo--we got 11 fresh eggs this morning and we love seeing the rabbits and chickens together. Oreo and Reese's are his baby goats they are a lot of fun watching them play.

They have given us the inspiration to call his petting zoo MASH. The mash will be mixed in with other bags of animal feed to help feed his chickens, rabbits, pot bellied pig, goats, and any other animals that need feeding. Some of these animals were rescued and donated. If anybody has any ideas for naming the Letters in MASH, please fill free to send ideas. Help us name Austin's rescue petting zoo. Here are some ideas: M-Magnificent, Mischevious A-Austin's, Animals, Awesome, Amazing S-Shelter, Sanctuary, Safe H-Haven, Heaven, MASH-Mischievous Austin's Safe Haven MASH-Magnificent Austin's Sanctuary Heaven If anyone else has extra mash to donate, my friends at the Reindeer Farm are in need to keep the reindeer happy.

To learn more about Austin and his journey to recovery visit He continues to progress with his nursing care, physical therapy, respiratory therapy, and schooling. We all thank you for your prayers, support, and belief in his recovery.


by Cheryl Flothe Early in the morning a few days ago we were rudely awakened by a blaring alarm on our cell phone with a message to, “Take Shelter!” They didn’t have to tell us twice---we knew what the threat might be---a tornado headed our way. How did we know? We follow the weather on the news and were aware a tornado landed north of us a few days before and another was possible in our area. We turned on the TV and watched as the storm headed straight for us and were prepared to take cover. We had candles, flashlights, extra water, food, and most of all, a relatively safe place to go within our house. Fortunately, the storm passed with no damage to us or our property, but others weren’t so lucky. Trees were down, windows broken, roofs blown off, and a trailer in another town disintegrated as the people slept. Two people died. They obviously weren’t expecting a tornado.

Ben Franklin once said, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” And he was so right! No matter where we live, we should be prepared for emergencies. The most obvious is weather (hurricanes, high winds, tornadoes, floods, snow or ice storms, etc.), but there are also medical emergencies, being stranded in your vehicle, power outages, water shut-offs, or even a terrorist threat. The Red Cross outlines information to help us get ready for emergencies at I strongly suggest you check out the site, as there may be some things you haven’t thought of. Since the Red Cross has experience with all kinds of emergency response, they know what they’re talking about. I also downloaded their free emergency app, which tells us steps to take in all types of emergencies: what to do before, during, and after; how to plan ahead for each type of emergency, and much more. It also includes tips, quizzes, and a handy “tool kit” (found on the upper right hand side of the screen) that has a flashlight, strobe light, alarm, weather information, ways to send messages to loved ones, and emergency first aid info. I highly recommend the app! 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Plan ahead---have a family emergency plan and practice it. Know what types of emergencies or disasters might be common to your area. Stay informed by radio or TV. Have an emergency preparedness kit and replenish what is used (see following list of supplies). At least one member of the family should be trained in First Aid/CPR

The Red Cross suggests the following list of supplies to keep on hand (customized for family needs): • Water: one gallon per person, per day (3-day supply for evacuation, 2-week supply for home) • Food: non-perishable, easy-to-prepare items (3-day supply for evacuation, 2-week supply for home) • Paper plates and eating utensils • Flashlight(s) • Battery-powered or hand-crank radio (NOAA Weather Radio, if possible) [ See Red Cross Store online] • Extra batteries • First aid kit • Medications (7-day supply), medical items (for you and for your pets) • Multi-purpose tool • Sanitation and personal hygiene items • Copies of personal documents (medication list and pertinent medical information, proof of address, deed/lease to home, passports, birth certificates, insurance policies) • Cell phone with chargers (electric and battery) • Family and emergency contact information • Extra cash • Emergency blanket [See Red Cross Store online] • Map(s) of the area Additional supplies to keep at home or in your survival kit based on the types of disasters common to your area: • • • • • • • •

Whistle N95 or surgical masks Matches Rain gear Towels Work gloves Tools/supplies for securing your home Extra clothing, hat, and sturdy shoes

• • • • • •

Plastic sheeting Duct tape Scissors Household liquid bleach Entertainment items Blankets or sleeping bags


by Cheryl Flothe If you’re like me, you’re always looking for good deals on travel---airfares, hotels, and things to do at your destination. I usually check out numerous sites before booking air travel and hotels---Expedia, Orbitz, Travelocity, Hotwire, Kayak,, and Cheap (I’ve had good luck with them). There’s also a site called that offers great deals on air travel to selected areas and stays at selected hotels. And Groupon offers discounts on goods, services, activities, and restaurants (sometimes 50-90% off). Just find a place you want to go and see what kind of activities, restaurants, and hotels nearby have offers on Groupon. For instance, we went to Charleston a few years ago and got a great Groupon deal on a ghost tour. In Florida, where we spend the winters, there are always discounted offers for kayak rentals, boat tours, and local events to choose from.

Taj Mahal in India...

Modern Tipis in Texas Hill Country...


Groupon offers quite a few package travel deals to other countries. For instance, I went to their site and found an 8-day, 6-night trip to Tuscany with airfare, hotel, breakfasts, and car rental from $759.00, depending on dates. They had an 8-day New Zealand trip with airfare and accommodations for $1599. Then there were trips to Peru featuring a trip to Machu Picchu for 36% off, a 13-day tour of Europe with air, travel to other countries, and accommodations for 35% off and many other package deals. They also offer good discounts at selected hotels all around the U.S.

Kid Friendly Hotels Near Orlando Parks While Groupon has great deals, be sure to check out the “Fine Print,� as they call it; for departure cities, rules, restrictions, travel dates, use by dates, refund and cancellation policies, and if there are any other fees or charges associated with the deals. Do your homework, and you can save a lot on your next trip!

Grand Park Royal Cozumel, Mexico


* Photos from


January Apps by Nicole Flothe

Tech Out Your Winter Weather... by Beth Gatrell

Sometimes you need to know if it’s a snow jacket or sweater day or if you’ll need to wear flip flops or boots. Maybe you need to know the weather forecast when you are taking a trip. By using your favorite tech, all those questions, and more, can be answered.

January Apps: Color App is a game that my daughter loves to play. And Chatbooks help you hold on to what matters with super easy, super affordable photo books. CropVS is a video editing app that was helpful when I wanted to trim my long video into a square video. Snapchat is another social media site that I got because some of my friends share exclusive photos and updates on their site and not on other sites. Yext is what one of my business clients is using to put their information out on the worldwide web. I help them update this site weekly. Status Shuffle is another great tool I can use to post news and updates on my social media sites. And lastly, Domino's is a super easy app to use when we want to order take out and watch the status bar that tells us when it's ready for pickup! has you covered with forecasts for any area. It also has great information including snow reports, severe weather alerts, travel forecasts, news, photos, and lots more. You can customize your experience by setting favorite cities along with your home area and include detailed alerts via email or text message on severe weather warnings. Weather Underground and Intellicast are some good sites to visit that include information on global travel, seasonal allergies, and many other important details about your weather outlook. The National Weather Service lists active alerts across the nation in addition to past weather, safety tips, and everything else from fire to tsunami conditions. You can follow the same information that many media outlets count on by visiting Accuweather. In addition to the free Apps from services listed above, other favorites for on-the-go weather include CNNÂ and Yahoo. Most smartphones will give you the weather forecast, as well. Just ask Siri. We hope all of our friends are staying warm and cozy during these winter months and, while you’re stuck inside, be sure to visit us and download our FREE Into Tomorrow app.

To view more information about iPhone apps visit

12, What's on my iPhone.

Featured Foundation

by Nicole Flothe


EXPOSURE The spirit of difference

Positive Exposure was founded in 1998 by award winning fashion photographer, Rick Guidotti. Rick worked in NYC, Milan and Paris for a variety of high profile clients including Yves St Laurent, Revlon, L’Oreal, Elle, Harpers Bazaar and GQ. He took photographs of what were considered the world’s most beautiful people. But one day, on a break from a photo shoot, a chance encounter on a Manhattan street changed everything. Rick saw a stunning girl at the bus stop – a girl with pale skin and white hair, a girl with albinism. Upon returning home Rick began a process of discovery – about albinism, about people with genetic differences and about himself. What he found was startling and upsetting. The images that he saw were sad and dehumanizing. In medical textbooks children with a difference were seen as a disease, a diagnosis first, not as people. So Rick turned his world upside down – he stopped working in the fashion industry and created a not-forprofit organization that he named Positive Exposure. It has always been about beauty for Rick. “In fashion I was always frustrated because I was told who I had to photograph. I was always told who was beautiful.” It became clear to him that it was essential for people to understand and see the beauty in our shared humanity. But how? How do you lead people down a different path? How do you get people to see those with differences not as victims, but kids and people first and foremost? The pity has to disappear. The fear has to disappear. Behavior has to change. These kids need to be seen as their parents see them, as their friends see them, as valuable and positive parts of society, as beautiful. The photos give people the permission to see beauty and interpret beauty in their own right. Not to see beauty that is dictated by industry’s ideas of what is acceptable.

What started with photographs, has grown into a wide variety of programs created to empower people living with difference – and to educate the world around them.

Mission: Positive Exposure utilizes photography and video to transform public perceptions of people living with genetic, physical and behavioral and intellectual differences. Their educational and advocacy programs reach around the globe to promote a more inclusive, compassionate world where differences are celebrated. The statistics to support their work are staggering. With one out of five children in the United States being born with a disability, the need for society to understand and respect children and adults living with genetic, physical and behavioral differences is critical. How you can help: k Make an online donation. k Invite a Positive Exposure presentation, exhibition to

your community. k Be a PEARLS Project Host School. k Collaborate with Positive Exposure and your

community. To learn more visit



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Heartbeat Connection Magazine January 2016  

Heartfelt Lifestyle Magazine all about the art of living with heart! In this 60th edition you will find stories on heart of travel, heart o...

Heartbeat Connection Magazine January 2016  

Heartfelt Lifestyle Magazine all about the art of living with heart! In this 60th edition you will find stories on heart of travel, heart o...