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Authentic Insider Magazine August 2021 Issue

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SLIGHTLY GREENER,MUCH HEALTHIERHow a Cancer Survivor Became anEnvironmental Toxin ExpertFINDING MY VOICEHow a Neglectful Childhood canShape AdulthoodOVERCOMING SHAMEHow a Childhood Sexual AbuseSurvivor Acquired an AbundanceMindset

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IN THIS ISSUETABLE OF CONTENTSSlightly Greener, Much Healthier21IN EVERY ISSUEEditor's Note05Prosecutors POV: Cosby Conviction07AIM Playlist: Sounds of Summer 36Recommended Books 39Joy's Readings41Finding my VoiceWhat is Stress and how does it Manifest?Overcoming Shame1628Authentic Insider | Page 04Healing Through Art Prompt 3211281121

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Dear readers,It’s hard to believe that we areclosing out summer with August’sissue of Authentic InsiderMagazine. This month’s issue of AIM offers upa host of thrivers who haveovercome adversity and found theirpurpose. From a cancer survivor whocured her children’s behavioralissues with the slightly greenermethod to a survivor of childhoodsexual abuse who is helping othersadvocate for themselves. We also have our special victim'sprosecutors setting the recordstraight on Bill Cosby’s overturnedconviction. Starting this month, we will beginproviding you with prompts to healthrough art by our one and only ArtDirector, Cali Binstock. We close out the issue with thesounds of Summer AIM Playlist. I hope you enjoy this issue and asalways, I look forward to yourfeedback. Always,Authentic Insider | Page 05

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This wasn’t a case where DNA exonerated someone,a witness changed their version of events, or newevidence was discovered. To be clear, the appellatecourt did not exonerate Bill Cosby. We want to saythat again, THE APPELLATE COURT DID NOTEXONERATE BILL COSBY. Ultimately, the convictionwas overthrown, not because of anything thathappened in the courtroom, but because of astatement made by Bruce Castor, the then electedDistrict Attorney of Montgomery County,Pennsylvania. Castor told Cosby’s team and, evenmore importantly, the appellate court, that Cosbywould not face criminal charges related toConstand’s allegation. This statement was also a partof a February 2005 press release.The appellate court found that after DA Castor madethese statements at the press conference, Cosby,assuming he would not be criminally charged, madeadmissions in a civil suit. These statements werelater used as evidence to convict Cosby and theBill Cosby’s Conviction Overturned. For the 60 accusers who had spoken out aboutCosby’s long history of rape and sexual assault, thesewords were a nightmare. Watching Bill Cosby walkout of a Pennsylvania Prison made the nightmare acruel reality. Andrea Constand did what was asked of her. Shereported the crime in 2004. She worked withinvestigators and other victims, who also reportedtheir sexual assaults. The accusers participated in amulti-year investigation, battled a civil suit, testified,and suffered through a brutal cross-examinationand a mistrial. Then on April 26, 2018, more than 13years after Ms. Constand first reported to lawenforcement, a jury found her rapist, Bill Cosby,guilty of felony sexual assault. So how, if Ms.Constand and the other victims did everything thatwas asked of them, and a jury found him guilty,could Bill Cosby’s conviction be overturned?Authentic Insider | Page 07

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Court found it violated Cosby’s right against self-incrimination because the statements would likelynot have been made if he believed he could still facecriminal charges. Because these statements violatedCosby’s 5th Amendment right, the Appellate Courtfound that the admission of guilt could not havebeen used at trial. Further, the Court determinedthat there was no way Bill Cosby could now receive afair trial for the offenses against Andrea Constandand ordered that Cosby could not be retried onthese allegations. A heartbreaking decision that hadabsolutely nothing to do with the facts of the case orthe conduct of Ms. Constand or any other survivor ofMr. Cosby’s decades long history of sexual assault,but rather the overbroad commitment of a thenelected District Attorney.Supreme Court Justice Robert Jackson said, “theprosecutor has more control over life, liberty, andreputation than any other person in America.” Thepower and weight of a prosecutor’s chargingdecisions, statements, and commitments candetermine the course of justice for both thedefendant and the victim. Mr. Castor’s decision notto charge Cosby, despite the wishes of the victimand the public statement that Bill Cosby would notbe charged with regard to Mr. Constand’s allegation,as opposed to “will not be charged at this time” or“based on the evidence we have today” assured thatjustice was not done. Words have meaning. In theCriminal Justice system, these meanings can havedrastic consequences. It is why prosecutors have aseparate cannon of ethics from other attorneys, withan entire section on extrajudicial statements(Statements made outside of the courtroom or tothe press). It is why a prosecutor can determine thecourse of justice more than almost any other person"Words have meaning. Inthe Criminal Justice system,these meanings can havedrastic consequences."Andrea Constrand enters a Philadelphia CourtAuthentic Insider | Page 08

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in America. Although Bill Cosby’s case may be themost notable case where a prosecutor’sstatements and charging decisions determinedthe course of justice or injustice, it is not the onlyone. In Travis County, Texas, the County recentlysettled a civil suit with numerous sexual assaultsurvivors, in part because of the District Attorney'shandling of sexual assault cases. Within days ofthe Bill Cosby decision, Jeffrey Epstein’s co-conspirator, Ghislaine Maxwell’s attorneys, filed amotion to dismiss, citing the previous prosecutors’prior commitment not to charge co-conspirators ifEpstein pled guilty. This motion is still pending inthe courts, and although the underlying issue isdifferent from Bill Cosby’s, as it was Epstein andnot Maxwell who relied on the prosecutor’scommitment, the very existence of this Motion toDismiss underscores the importance of aprosecutor’s actions and the importance of localelections of District and State’s Attorneys.For survivors who may read this or who mayquestion what’s the point of reporting. Pleaseremember – the survivors of Bill Cosby were believed.Together they stood up and told the truth, and thisruling had nothing to do with them, their strength,or believability.Authentic Insider | Page 09

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In first grade, I remember saying, “Look! I can’t raise myarm past this,” while raising my arm just about halfwayup, becoming painful if I tried to move it any higher. It wasa little strange for an almost- 7-year-old to complainabout this, so maybe it was just a fluke. Until a couple ofdays later, I collapsed when I tried to pick up my cat.That’s when my parents knew it was time to call thedoctor.Off to my pediatrician’s office, we went right away, andthey ran some tests. I remember being shuffled off to thenurse’s office, where I happily went into to color with her,not knowing that just a few rooms away, my parents weregetting some pretty scary news.We were sent to the hospital across the street for moretests because the doctors weren’t sure what I had, butthey knew it was serious. I still couldn’t understand why Iwas in the hospital, but I overheard the doctors telling myparents that I could go home if my tests came back clear. So while I was enjoying the visitors, flowers, and gifts (anda teddy bear taller than me - what kid wouldn’t love that!),I also remember telling everyone that when my testscame back clear, I’d be going home.But the tests didn’t come back clear, and I didn’t get to gohome. Ironically, my dad’s childhood pediatrician had totell my parents that it was what they had feared. Theywere pretty sure it was some sort of cancer. They justdidn’t know what kind. He sent us straight to a hospital inChicago and said there was no time to pack, that we hadto leave right away. It was there, just two weeks beforemy seventh birthday, that I was diagnosed with ALL (acutelymphocytic leukemia).Early on, my parents had to choose my treatmentoptions. They had to decide whether I would get twoyears of chemotherapy followed by one year of radiationtherapy to my brain or three years of chemo with noradiation. Or, they could go with the option of putting me Authentic Insider | Page 11

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As I became an adult, those bad teeth I was supposed tohave turned into not having a cavity until I was thirty. Thefear of possibly not being able to have kids turned intobeing blessed with three amazing children. And the partabout being bad at math? Well, that one has turned outto be true! Have I ever looked back at that painful time andwondered, “why me?” Oh, so many times. But I’ve neverhad any doubt that it was for a reason. Little did I knowhow much my story would prepare me for my children’sstories.When my son was in second grade in 2006, his teachercalled me to talk about testing him for ADHD because heshowed signs of attention issues. Although I had noticedsome signs at home, I was still a little shocked. For some reason, I just wanted a little more time toinvestigate; I just had some feeling that something wasn’tquite right, and maybe there was something in our home,food-wise, that could be aggravating symptoms. Maybe itwas my past during my treatment years of always beingtold to be careful what I eat. So I asked for a little timebefore testing and poured my energy into what could becontributing to his symptoms. We made small changes toour diet, as simple as removing sodium benzoate andartificial colors, and when I went back to the school a fewweeks later for a follow-up meeting, I was ecstatic whenthe teacher told me they no longer saw a need to testin a study where my medical information would be inputinto a computer, and the computer would decide how totreat me. Back then (1982), the survival rate was low,around 20%, and they didn’t like the sound of the sideeffects from the radiation, so they decided to go with thestudy. The computer chose three years of chemotherapy,with no radiation.And the chemotherapy, as the doctors told my parents,would have its own side effects. One was soft teeth thatwould be very prone to cavities, and I had to see a specialdentist while I was going through chemo. Learning issues,especially with math, were also possible, and I was alwaysin the lowest math class in school. Another side effect ofthe chemo was the possibility that I would not be able tohave children.The next few years were filled with countless blooddraws, painful spinal taps, and bone marrow aspirationstests, along with missed school and slumber parties.Then, of course, there was the hair loss. Having a wig insecond grade comes with its own set of issues. It was hotand scratchy, but my head would freeze if I didn’t have iton. And being called a boy—not my favorite! But by junior high, I was seeing the doctor less often andstarted participating in school sports. I felt like I was goingback to normal. The computer research considered mecured at the age of 17, and by that point, I saw my doctorfor just yearly appointments. Authentic Insider | Page 12

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him! I am definitely not saying he was “cured” or that we don’t see the symptoms crop up again from time to time,but there was a noticeable difference.The more research I did on toxins and the health effectsthey’re linked to, the more shocked I became. It’s not justwhat we eat that can affect us. It’s everything around us -what we put on our skin, what we brush our teeth with,even the air we breathe inside our own homes. Unfortunately (and fortunately!), what came next helpedme find my purpose and strength.Oh. YOU survived.These are the three words that brought me to my kneesat an event 15 years ago.My family and I were at a childhood cancer awarenessfundraiser, and a friend wanted to introduce me tosomeone she knew who had just lost her daughter acouple of months before to leukemia, the same cancer Ihad as a child. My friend thought it would be nice tointroduce us, thinking that it might create a commonbond. I remember thinking in the back of my head thatmaybe it wasn’t such a good idea. And I clearly rememberstanding in line with my two daughters in a stroller andmy husband and son next to me, waiting to get ourtickets. The next thing I knew, there they were. She hadbrought her friend over to introduce us. And when myfriend said, “Tonya also had leukemia as a child,” herfriend looked at me with such sadness in her eyes andsaid those three words that have haunted me to this day:"Oh, YOU survived.” I know this woman was in such a deep place of grief andpain, and I have NEVER blamed her. And I know that thisis not how she, or my friend, would want me to feel, but Ifelt the guilt all the same. I subconsciously CHOSE to takethose words in, although they were not meant for me,and they broke me into a million pieces inside. Survivorguilt is real!I had survived. But instead of fully celebrating my life, Ichose to hide. Because we’re not supposed to have everything.Especially not a childhood cancer survivor. I survived -isn’t that enough? Survivor Guilt is no joke. But recently, someone said to me: “But what if you’rehere, not just to survive, but to show everyone thatanything is possible?” Whoa.I kept seeing the results of reducing exposure to toxinsin my own family and realized it was a missing piece tooverall health. And frustrated by the many ways in whichwe can be deceived - from clever marketing to labelclaims that don’t mean anything (like the word “natural”)to toxic ingredients that aren’t required to be listed onthe label, I got a retail license and opened an online storecalled “Naturally,” in 2008, where I shipped out truly non-toxic products, of which I had carefully vetted theingredients.But soon I realized that having this store was not enough.Parents were coming to me with questions about theirhome environment, how to clean out their pantry, andwhich toxins could be contributing to their child’s healthissues. I closed Naturally and went back to school in 2010to officially learn how these chemicals worked in the bodyand so that I could help other families the way I hadhelped my own. After I graduated and passed a Board certification inholistic nutrition, I began developing courses to helpparents simply and easily reduce toxins in their homes. However, something always felt like it was holding meback. I always knew I went into this field to make a bigimpact and help people on a larger scale. And prettysoon, I started believing in my message more than Ibelieved in my fear of being seen, of what people wouldthink.Authentic Insider | Page 13

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And recently, my dream to help families and parents on a largerscale has come true: my book, The Slightly Greener Method:Detoxifying Your Home is Easier, Faster, and Less Expensive ThanYou Think, comes out August 3rd, 2021. The more you share your story, the less power your story hasover you. And by sharing your story, you’re permitting others toshare theirs when they’re ready. My childhood cancer journey has become the part of my storythat I am proud of. I own it, and it now fuels me rather than beinga part of my journey that I’m ashamed of because it might triggersomeone. I want my story to instead show people what ispossible and to give them the courage to share their storieswhen they’re ready so that they can help someone else. Authentic Insider | Page 14

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Losing your voice as a child hasoverarching effects into adulthood.And I don’t mean screaming so muchthat your voice becomes hoarse andyou lose it. I’m talking about thefeeling of not being heard. Manychildren who fall into the millennialgeneration grew up being told,“speak when you are spoken to.” It’sthe idea that you are a child and aretherefore not the authority figure,so zip it. When I was a child, my mom’s post-partum depression put up a wallbetween us, which left very littlespace for communication or theopportunity to be heard at all. Thelack of communication proved to becatastrophic. Without a safe outletto be heard, I was forced to keep the“secret” of my father’s abuse,reinforcing the fear of speaking out.I was often silenced by both of myparents and when I did speak, I wasoften criticized. I remember moments when even my closestfriends laughed at or ignored mewhen I spoke up. It’s why in manysituations, I speak when spoken to.In my most recent Internal FamilySystems therapy session, my traumatherapist discovered a thread thatwas woven throughout my multiplebreakdowns. The common threadturns out to be that part of me thatfeels as if I have no voice. I describethis part of me as “a young meeklooking girl who feels like she hasnothing important to say.” In exploring my behavior, I realizedthat an angry part of me shows up toprotect the part of me that is notbeing heard. In IFS therapy, thereare no “bad” parts. What manydescribe as “bad” parts are reallybetter thought of as protectiveparts. People tend to listen to anangry person, for better or worse.Although my anger did not often FINDING Authentic Insider | Page 16

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elicit the reaction I wanted, therewas always a reaction…arecognition of my voice. As I grewolder, this familiar pattern of notbeing heard, followed by anger,continued to develop. When children are ignored by theirparents, it can be consideredemotional neglect. While it’s not soeasy to pinpoint whether you arebeing neglectful, it can, as a parent,be simply failing to see your child forwho they are, but rather who youthink they are and what they shouldbe doing. As a trauma survivor, Ispend my days distracted andanxious, often times not hearingwhen my child speaks because I amlost in my own thoughts. Knowingthis now, I try to make a consciouseffort to hear my child out. As an adult, a constant trigger ofchildhood emotional neglect, iswhen I am not being heard by mychildren. I think it is safe to say that parents experience this on a dailybasis. There is nothing that triggersme more than when one of mychildren completely ignores me. Idon’t believe they are doing this topurposely hurt me, but when I amoverwhelmed I often take itpersonally. When I am ignored, thefeeling of the young meek girl showsup, along with my anger to therescue.Once the fuse is lit on my anger,rather than feeling like I am beingrescued (or being the rescuer), Iimmediately feel shame. My shamepart tells me that I have reverted tomy inner angry child who is arguingwith another child. But in reality, Iam just an adult arguing with a childwho has no idea what the big deal is.Even more damaging is the shame ofhearing my husband remind meabout the reality of it all, whichbegins a whole new set of issues.Therapy brought even moreAuthentic Insider | Page 17

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revelations about this pattern. I’vealso realized that seeking a career inbroadcast journalism was a way toforce people to hear me. Best of all, Iwas NOT allowed to share myopinion, meaning I wouldn’t bejudged. I would deliver importantinformation that people needed tohear. Unfortunately, I was notprepared for the criticism thatflooded the news station I workedfor. I may have made mistakes in abroadcast, which I tookresponsibility for, but it was thecriticisms of my appearance thatreally hit me hard. This eventuallyled to a breakdown of my alreadyshaky self-image.Maybe my need to be heard is alsowhy I created my podcast, or mymagazine. But at least this time, Ifeel like what I have to say mattersto others. I’ve had to reach deepdown in the darkest parts of my soulto find the courage to be vulnerable and find my voice. In my firstinterview of Season 3 of my podcast“A Trauma Survivor Thriver’sPodcast, which will be published onAugust 18, 2021, I speak with D.John Jackson about his book, “WhatAbout Me: Walking a Tightrope as ABlack Man in America.” In his book,he discusses when to listen andwhen to speak. He lists out a fewquestions to ask yourself to knowwhether it’s your time to speak. *Areyou the one with the knowledge? *Isthe timing right? *Is your message for the common good of everyoneinvolved? And I feel like I havechecked those boxes.(See the full list on page 19) In the last year and a half since Isought treatment for PTSD, I havefinally found my voice. But like mostthings, triggers of my younger selfcome out as a meek girl with nothingimportant to say and it can still beparalyzing. At times, it feels like Ishould just give up. Although I knowI will not always say the right thing, Ifeel like this is my moment to beheard. As D. John wr ites, “Don’tlimit yourself or allow self-doubt todissuade you from using your voice.”I will continue to work on myself bycomforting and reparenting thatmeek girl. She has a lot to say. ◼ Authentic Insider | Page 18

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Authentic Insider | Page 19Season 3, Episode 41

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Authentic Insider | Page 20FableticsFabletics

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Everyone feels stressed from time to time,but what is stress? How does it affect youroverall health? And what can you do tomanage your stress?According to the National Institute on Mental Health, stress is how the brainand body respond to any demand. Any type of challenge—such asperformance at work or school, a significant life change, or a traumaticevent—can be stressful.Stress can affect your health. It is important to pay attention to how you dealwith minor and major stressors, so you know when to seek help.Here are five things you should know about stress. (Continue to page 22)Authentic Insider | Page 21

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Routine stress related to thepressures of school, work,family, and other dailyresponsibilities.Stress brought about by asudden negative change, suchas losing a job, divorce, orillness.Traumatic stress experiencedduring an event such as amajor accident, war, assault,or natural disaster wherepeople may be in danger ofbeing seriously hurt or killed.People who experiencetraumatic stress may have verydistressing temporaryemotional and physicalsymptoms, but most recovernaturally soon after. 1. Stress affects everyone.Everyone experiences stress fromtime to time. There are differenttypes of stress—all of which carryphysical and mental health risks.A stressor may be a one-time orshort-term occurrence, or it canhappen repeatedly over a longtime. Some people may cope withstress more effectively andrecover from stressful eventsmore quickly than others.Examples of stress include:COPING WITH THE IMPACT OF CHRONICSTRESS CAN BE CHALLENGING.BECAUSE THE SOURCE OF LONG-TERMSTRESS IS MORE CONSTANT THANACUTE STRESS, THE BODY NEVERRECEIVES A CLEAR SIGNAL TO RETURNTO NORMAL FUNCTIONING. 2. Not all stress is bad.In a dangerous situation, stresssignals the body to prepare toface a threat or flee to safety. Inthese situations, your pulsequickens, you breathe faster, yourmuscles tense, and your brainuses more oxygen and increasesactivity—all functions aimed atsurvival and in response to stress.In non-life-threatening situations,stress can motivate people, suchas when they need to take a testor interview for a new job.Authentic Insider | Page 22

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Be observant. Recognize the signs of yourbody’s response to stress, such as difficultysleeping, increased alcohol and othersubstance use, being easily angered, feelingdepressed, and having low energy.Talk to your health care provider or a healthprofessional. Don’t wait for your health careprovider to ask about your stress. Start theconversation and get proper health care forexisting or new health problems. Effectivetreatments can help if your stress isaffecting your relationships or ability towork. Get regular exercise. Just 30 minutes per dayof walking can help boost your mood andimprove your health.3. Long-term stress can harm your health.Coping with the impact of chronic stress can bechallenging. Because the source of long-termstress is more constant than acute stress, thebody never receives a clear signal to return tonormal functioning. With chronic stress, thosesame life-saving reactions in the body candisturb the immune, digestive, cardiovascular,sleep, and reproductive systems. Some peoplemay experience mainly digestive symptoms,while others may have headaches, sleeplessness,sadness, anger, or irritability.Over time, continued strain on your body fromstress may contribute to serious healthproblems, such as heart disease, high bloodpressure, diabetes, and other illnesses, includingmental disorders such as depression or anxiety.4. There are ways to manage stress.If you take practical steps to manage yourstress, you may reduce the risk of negativehealth effects. Here are some tips that may helpyou to cope with stress:Authentic Insider | Page 23

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Try a relaxing activity. Explore relaxation orwellness programs, which may incorporatemeditation, muscle relaxation, or breathingexercises. Schedule regular times for theseand other healthy and relaxing activities.Set goals and priorities. Decide what mustget done now and what can wait. Learn tosay “no” to new tasks if you start to feel likeyou’re taking on too much. Try to be mindfulof what you have accomplished at the end ofthe day, not what you have been unable todo.Stay connected. You are not alone. Keep intouch with people who can provideemotional support and practical help. Toreduce stress, ask for help from friends,family, and community or religiousorganizations.Consider a clinical trial. Researchers at theNational Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)and other research facilities across thecountry are studying the causes and effectsof psychological stress as well as stressmanagement techniques. You can learnmore about studies that are recruiting byvisiting Join a Study or stress).5. If you’re overwhelmed by stress, ask forhelp from a health professional.You should seek help right away if you havesuicidal thoughts, are overwhelmed, feel youcannot cope or are using drugs or alcoholmore frequently as a result of stress. Yourdoctor may be able to provide arecommendation. You can find a list of hotlineshere.Authentic Insider | Page 24

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As a child, and even into adulthood, I was constantlysick with stomach pains. As a young adult, I madeyearly trips to the emergency room because of them. There were a few times I went to agastroenterologist who would give me multipletests, only to be told that all my tests came backnormal. It wasn't until last year in treatment, I realized thedepth of my stress and anxiety had manifested inphysical symptoms that included these mysteriousstomach pains. To cope with PTSD, I was prescribed Zoloft, an SSRI(Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor), an anti-depressant. I was told that the side effects includestomach issues. They explained further that 95%serotonin (a hormone that enables brain cells andother nervous system cells to communicate witheach other, and also helps with sleeping, eating, anddigestion) is found in the gut.The digestive system has its own nervous system,called the enteric nervous system with more than100 million nerve endings and in many ways, it cancontrol digestion independently without yourconscious awareness. Ever heard of the phrase, "Ihave a gut feeling about something?"The enteric nervous system has been nicknamed our"second brain.” This gut-brain is intimatelyconnected to our "big brain" via a network of nervepathways and the two nervous systems share manyof the same neurotransmitters to facilitatecommunication. Frequent headaches, jaw clenching, or painGritting, grinding teethStuttering or stammeringTremors, trembling of lips, handsNeck ache, back pain, muscle spasmsLightheadedness, faintness, dizzinessRinging, buzzing, or “popping soundsFrequent blushing, sweatingCold or sweaty hands, feetDry mouth, problems swallowingFrequent colds, infections, herpes soresRashes, itching, hives, “goosebumps”Unexplained or frequent “allergy” attacksHeartburn, stomach pain, nauseaExcess belching, flatulenceConstipation, diarrhea, loss of controlDifficulty breathing, frequent sighingSudden attacks of life-threatening panicChest pain, palpitations, rapid pulseFrequent urinationDiminished sexual desire or performanceExcess anxiety, worry, guilt, nervousnessIncreased anger, frustration, hostilityDepression, frequent or wild mood swingsIncreased or decreased appetiteI realized the stress as a child was manifesting in mygut, causing severe gastroenteritis. But that isn't the only way stress can manifests.Below are 25 common ways our stress can turn intophysical symptoms. compiled by the American Institute of Mental Health. For amore comprehensive list, visit Insider | Page 25

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This Graphic and more on stress can be found at The American Institute of StressAuthentic Insider | Page 26

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Kesha Chanel, Author of Cry,Love, Learn, Move on:Stories of Strength, Surivival,and Success Written by Kesha ChanelAuthentic Insider | Page 28

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I learned early on that I may as well give up on anydesires I had unless they were someone else’s desirestoo. Everything that I wanted took a backseat tosomeone else’s dreams, goals, or visions. Even whenthe memories of my childhood sexual abuse weren’tflashing and stirring, the shame that developed frommy molestation was like a boxing glove beating mein the face and jabbing me in the ribs. Like amerciless MMA fighter, it bashed me relentlessly as Istood in the corner of the ring with my hands overmy face. Shame has been the biggest adversity I hadto learn to overcome. Instead of dealing with controversial issues orconfrontation, we may have the tendency to holdback from sharing any questions, concerns, worries,insecurities and/or doubts. We allow it to swirlaround like a cesspool of shit in our heads. Imagine ahurricane or a tornado. It picks up debris fromhouses, trees, dirt, rocks, trash, even cars, swirling itin the sky. My hurricane cesspool was my life, filledwith pain, anguish, hurt, disappointment,depression, and fear. I imagined thoughts of violentdeath, blood, and stabbings. Like a hurricane, theshame from my abuse roiled through my lifedestroying moments of joy, and eroding my self-worth. Life was so dark. I did have flashes of happiness in my life; graduatinghigh school and college, my wedding day andhoneymoon, vacations, my children’s’ graduations.Who wouldn’t cherish those great times? I did, butmy life has always had an undercurrent of sadnessand pain. That was until I decided that I was sick andtired of being sick and tired. I made a choice and gotsome help. When I got a divorce from my unhappymarriage, and my children left home, I was left alonewith thoughts of my cesspool life. I hired a life coachand learned the value of releasing my pain, filling upon hope, positivity, forgiveness and self-love. I alsostarted going to therapy more consistently, not justsporadically to find help during my recurring crises. Itook steps to actually heal. Overcoming adversity is something we all have todo at some point in our lives. There’s a saying byGerman philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche “what doesnot kill me, makes me stronger.” That's essentiallywhat overcoming adversity does for us. It seems likewe will never get through the thing we think mayhurt us the most; the addiction, the death of a lovedone, the divorce, the infidelity, the bankruptcy, thebreak up, the job loss. We often think that avoidingthe pain that may result from exploring the issuefeels better than facing it. Finding the courage toface these things shows us that we have a lot moreresilience than we realized. My healing hasn’t been a one-and-done thing forme. I have had multiple layers of trauma, so therehave been multiple layers of healing. The great thingis that every day in every way I am getting better andbetter. I had to first release the pain because Iallowed so much pain to pile on my life. Like aclogged plumbing pipe, full of gunk which didn’tallow clear water and good things to flow. After Ireleased the pain (as I continue to do), I filled up onpositivity, good music, positive people on socialmedia and in my life. I just filled my spirit with lots ofgoodness and hope. Frequent forgiveness of myselfand others was helpful too. Shame and fear oftendid a number on me so I had to keep forgivingmyself and make room for self-compassion. Whowould’ve thought I would have to forgive myself orsomebody else more than once? Self-love has beenhard to learn. I was rather disappointed in howmany years it took me to learn what I liked or didn’tlike to do. Years of people-pleasing so many different"My hurricane cesspoolwas my life, filled withpain, anguish, hurt,disappointment,depression, and fear."Authentic Insider | Page 29

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people had wrecked my perception of what I liked vswhat I adapted to that other people liked. With time, Ilearned to take more time for myself, tell myself kindwords, journal, take myself out on dates, and find time tofigure out what I liked to do. The healing that resulted hasbrought me so much more joy, hope, self-acceptance,love and peace. When we avoid confronting whatever pain that cripplesus (whether from childhood or adulthood), the pain buildsup until one day we just crack or explode. Sometimes wecan avoid the crack or explosion. Sometimes we can’t.Whichever way it happens, facing the pain so we can healis so essential. Though it hurts, the pain is temporary butthe benefits of healing far outweigh the hurt. What youare then left with is peace, love, hope, and joy. Do it foryourself. Take the time to heal. You are worth it and youdeserve it all!Kesha Chanel is a CertifiedAbundant Life Coach. She hassurvived several traumaticexperiences, including sexualabuse, divorce, infidelity, suicidalthoughts, alcoholism, bullying, jobloss... She recognized that she keptherself in bondage for years and isnow here to help you break freefrom the shame of your past so youcan give yourself permission toshine!Authentic Insider | Page 30

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Authentic Insider | Page 32by: Cali Binstock

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A common theme in my Reiki sessions is inner child work. It has trulybeen healing to provide myself the comfort I need in times of trauma orfear during specific memories. I know I don’t have specific memoriesfrom when I was a baby, but these subconscious memories were thefocus in our latest session. As an infant, my life was already unstable. I was told that at 6 months,my mom had decided that she was leaving my dad and moving back toher hometown. From the airport, my mom called my dad to tell him shewas leaving. She invited him to move back to be part of my life but theirrelationship was ending. They split and he moved back.During my reiki session, I imagined my infant self and felt a cloud ofstress surrounding me. But I could see that I was just an innocent being.It was the energy I absorbed from my parent’s own troubles. I struggledwith my self-worth because of my trauma but I never thought it hadanything to do with my parents’ divorce. I would say, “I was too young tomake memories of it so I’m fine. It’s all I ever knew, that they wereapart.”While I pictured holding my baby self, I found it eye-opening and realizedthat none of their issues were my fault. The innocence I had then, that Iworked hard to corrupt in later years, can still belong to me now. In this drawing (see page 32), I wanted to capture my innocence, tosquash negative thoughts that would chip away at my worthiness. Tome, this image conveys my infant self as an innocent worthy beingcapable of anything without limitation. Authentic Insider | Page 34

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I see you, friend. I know those feelings when somethingisn’t going right, or maybe even terribly wrong.Yet everyone expects you to be strong, not to crack, notto miss a beat. You hold it together on the outside, butinside you are hurting, feeling helpless, and losing hopeyou’ll ever feel better again.Everyone is going to grapple in their life with some formof emotional messiness based on a traumatic event,whether it’s the painful death of a parent or loved one,the devastating end of a marriage, a debilitating healthdiagnosis, the loss of a job, or closure of a business. It’sjust part of being a human being on this planet.Collectively, we have recently experienced a globaltrauma in the form of a pandemic. Witnessing millions ofdeaths, experiencing a huge eco- nomic jolt, and livingwith severe curbs on social interaction has had amarked effect on people’s mental health. Numerousstudies have shown up to 40 percent of people havesuffered from anxiety and depression at various timesdue to the pandemic.No matter how strong you think you are, life is just goingto hand us things that make us feel anxious, sad, fearful,angry, or hopeless.Excerpt from Authentic Power: Give Yourself Permission To FeelAre you ready to transformyour life by owning yourAuthentic Power?Authentic Insider | Page 38

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A stunningly heartfelt ode to the challengesof growing up and letting go. A story of theseasons and stepping stones as poignant forparents as for their kids, from the creator ofOtis the tractor and illustrator of Love byMatt de la PenaJourney through the beautifully hand-lettered messages by award-winningillustrator Jessica Hische. This uplifting andpositive book - now a New York Times bestseller - encourages kids to promise thattomorrow, they will try new things, do theirbest, and be brave..*I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.Authentic Insider | Page 39Shy loves birds. He'd love to watch them flyand hear them sing, but he's only ever readabout them in books. . .until a real birdcomes along. He's dying to meet her, butthere's just one problem: Shy is, well, shy--soshy, in fact, that he's afraid to leave thegutter of the book. Can Shy overcome hisfears and venture out onto the page? Thissweetly relatable picture book from theacclaimed Deborah Freedman speaks toevery child who's ever felt like hiding insteadof facing the daunting world.

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Depression. Anxiety. Chronic Pain. Phobias. Obsessive thoughts. The evidence iscompelling: the roots of these difficulties may not reside in our immediate lifeexperience or in chemical imbalances in our brains—but in the lives of ourparents, grandparents, and even great-grandparents. The latest scientificresearch, now making headlines, supports what many have long intuited—thattraumatic experience can be passed down through generations. It Didn’t Startwith You builds on the work of leading experts in post-traumatic stress,including Mount Sinai School of Medicine neuroscientist Rachel Yehuda andpsychiatrist Bessel van der Kolk, author of The Body Keeps the Score. Brené Brown’s game-changing New York Times bestseller, The Gifts ofImperfection, has sold more than 2 million copies in more than 30 differentlanguages and is celebrating its 10th Anniversary in print. Forbes magazine namedGifts one of the "Five Books That Will Actually Change Your Outlook On Life."Through this self-help classic we find courage to overcome paralyzing fear andself-consciousness, strengthening our connection to the world and helping us tobelieve we are worthy of self-discovery, personal growth, and boundless love.Waking the Tiger offers a new and hopeful vision of trauma. It views the humananimal as a unique being, endowed with an instinctual capacity. It asks andanswers an intriguing question: why are animals in the wild, though threatenedroutinely, rarely traumatized? By understanding the dynamics that make wildanimals virtually immune to traumatic symptoms, the mystery of human trauma isrevealed.*I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.Authentic Insider | Page 40

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Authentic Insider | Page 41Monthly Collective Readings for All Signswith Joy Larkin (August 1 - August 31, 2021) Joy is a Narcissistic AbuseSurvivor who has made it herlife's work to help othersthrough life coaching. She isalso a healer, earth angel andpsychic medium. If you wouldlike coaching services fromJoy and/or get your ownpersonal reading, please scanthe barcode below with yoursmartphone camera.READINGSINFO