(Originally published in the March 28, 2018 Exposure Magazine.)
“Fall down seven times, rise up eight.”
The Japanese proverb, “Fall down seven times, stand up eight” has created an amazing movement. This movement was put in motion by music multimedia artist and entrepreneur Michael Nova. It has been a movement born of pain, scraped knees, perseverance, and the ability to not only stand up, but rise above the challenges in life, and find yourself and your center during adversity and succeed anyway. It started for Michael as a young boy, and that seed of an idea that was planted of falling and rising again grew. He has used his own experience of feeling different, and repeatedly being knocked down, to inspire and help people in their journey toward rising again. Nothing about his journey has been easy. Between health challenges, starting new businesses, almost facing bankruptcy, and maintaining and growing his musical career, he found a true purpose and passion. He used his own experiences to fuel his passion to overcome and succeed when no one believed in him or his dream. He founded the not for profit Rise up Eight to create a platform to share people’s stories of falling and persevering, rising again and stepping into their greatness. He has written a free downloadable e-book called Overcoming Adversity: 8 Ways to take Back Control of Your Life…Now! This e-book can be found on the riseupeight.org website. Michael chuckles when he describes what a labor of love this project is, and notes that it is completely self-funded. He described himself as a Do It Yourself – DIY guy. While this may have not been the easiest or fastest route, he is exceptionally happy and proud of each step and connection he has made along the way. You can read many stories and listen to interviews with some incredible people that Rise up eight has connected him to. Michael is continually in search of new connections and inspiring stories of people who have overcome adversity and went on to create success anyway. He continues to touch lives through his Rise up eight mission, as well as through his music, which is called X: THC (The Human Condition). Michael has found tremendous peace and acceptance through his music as well as using it to express himself. As a person who describes himself as an outsider who didn’t quite feel like he fit in, he is refreshingly honest and kind. His ability to easily connect with others is proof that he has lots of amazing company outside the norm. One of the most inspiring gifts Michael has is his voice. His voice exudes trust, kindness, acceptance and love. If you are that person who is struggling and has just fallen down… and needs a hand up- Michael Nova has created a beautiful space for you to be inspired, connect and heal at riseupeight.org.
To connect with Michael Nova you can visit riseupeight.org
(Originally published in the March 26th Exposure Magazine.)
What does a young single mom who was raising her son alone do when she struggles to find resources to connect to? She creates her own Not-for Profit faith-based organization called Tigerlili Resources. She felt an overwhelming push from God to create this entity to help women succeed when they felt most vulnerable and alone. Tigerlili Resources originated in Florida and has continued to grow in its outreach and various ministries. What started as a simple organization to empower single moms in the St. Louis Area, like it had in Florida- has become so much more. While they are still very involved in connecting moms to services, clothes, and coaching for job interviews, etc., another mission became important. Through connecting with law enforcement agencies and social services, Meredith became aware of the need for aid in helping young women out of the sex trafficking trade (Yes- it is not just somewhere else- it is in your city, too). The Tigerlili Resources outreach program The Scarlet Line- The Road to Redemption was formed from this need. You can watch Meredith tell her story of “Invisible Amy”, and how powerful this motivator was in the creation of the House of Rehab, and even why this became an important outreach for Tigerlili Resources. She is actively working to fund raise for The House of Rahab to come to fruition. A Black-Tie Gala ball is scheduled for May 11th in St Louis. Meredith, true to form, has become a warrior fighting to save every girl that finds herself in this position. One might not understand how this happens. I was shocked to learn just how easy it is for these young girls to fall prey to this type of victimization. Most have no money, limited family involvement, they struggle in school, and don’t have many people paying close attention to their behavior and movements. These girls are easy prey for the traffickers because they are often lured in slowly, given gifts, shoes, clothes, makeup, and jewelry they couldn’t otherwise afford. Meredith works closely with the law enforcement and is often called down to intercede when these girls are arrested or found cowering in a closet or hiding somewhere. Part of the difficulty in working with these young women is that the pull of having all the things that make her feel special often override rational judgement. Differentiating right or wrong becomes distorted. Purchasing a prostitute that is 15-17 years old is only a class A misdemeanor. The penalty doesn’t match the crime. Fortunately, Meredith doesn’t discriminate in the helping. Her heart is so big. She is also working on a 12-step rehabilitative sex addiction program for the people who are soliciting the girls. This is a full-service program designed to end trafficking and for those who solicit. For more information please go to www.tigerliliresources.org and click on the Scarlet Line tab. If you wish to further this mission please visit http://www.tigerlilipb.org/give-now.html. You will not find a more compassionate child of God than Meredith Seithel Mittlestadt, who literally puts her faith in action every single day!
(Originally Published in Exposure Magazine February 27, 2018).
Experiences shape who you are, but they don’t dictate who you become.
Imagine being 15 years old and giving birth. Your world has turned upside down. Myesha Collins found herself in this position and had to make hard choices. Incredibly, she stayed in school, parented, and graduated high school right on schedule. Even after moving with her parents to a new state where everything was new, she pressed on. After high school, she enlisted in the military, and found herself in a situation where she was sexually assaulted. The incident was essentially brushed aside. The inner turmoil that resulted and began to manifest wasn’t pretty. Myesha became very wary and introverted over time. She went into therapy after leaving the military, and with the help of a spiritual advisor, was able to sort through some of the emotional trauma that came from the physical assault. She was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) from sexual trauma. Ironically, Myesha seem to draw other wounded women to her, who she truly enjoyed helping, but she was still stuck herself. She started to heal as she shared more of her own personal story and journey with others. From pain came great personal growth. She became very passionate about helping other women stand in their personal power by being more transparent. From this space, Blue Girls Turned Gold was born. She founded this Not for Profit to empower women. Her mission became to share her story to help other women move from the place of feeling less than and broken-Blue, to a place of personal power, strength and courage- Gold. Myesha Collins could have been a statistic. Instead, she rose up from her challenges and has become an advocate for women. Helping them to feel strong, empowered, and to have a voice is just part of her mission. You can read about her journey in a collaborative effort co-authored with Andrea A. Moore. The book is entitled Blue Girl Turned Gold and can be found on Amazon. Myesha Collins is a strong, capable, and resilient young woman with so many things to accomplish yet in this world. To learn more about how you can support Blue Girls Turned Gold or volunteer or donate please contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also join the community on her Facebook page, @Bluegirlsturnedgoldtm.
(Originally Published in Exposure Magazine January 24, 2018).
Andrea A. Moore believed she could be more and do more, so she decided to venture into coaching. As fate would have it, she was drawn to youth and women, desiring to empower them into becoming strong, creative, bold human beings! Hence the Passion Pusher community was born.
She was influenced greatly by her mother. Her mother was a foster parent and showed great compassion and love, yet a firmness and directness that Andrea herself represents. Andrea’s business has grown in many directions. She multitasks as a wife, mother, successful entrepreneur and PASSION PUSHER. She became completely focused on helping others connect to their passions and enhance their dream building. She teaches people to learn to love what they do, and works with people to find their true self and connect with their personal passions. She created a business called Mindset Empowerment Coaching. She is completely fueled by helping other grow. She herself has a personal coach as well.
Andrea moved from Racine WI to Killeen TX to build her dreams further, even though it meant being farther away from family. It was a leap of faith, and has been rewarded with fabulous relationships and personal growth. She currently works with people by both individually coaching and group work. She does some coaching by phone, and some by using zoom conferencing. One of her greatest passions is helping people get unstuck, slap fear in the face, and step into their greatness. Seeing people make those breakthroughs and watching it help them grow physically, financially, and spiritually fuels her daily.
She has co authored 2 books available on Amazon.com. The first, co-authored with Wynter Snow, is called “Blue Girls Turned Gold”. The second is “The Unexplained Pain- A Sisters Cry” by Alwayz Moore, which chronicles her pain in losing her sister. Pain does fuel growth. It can also create being stuck. Luckily, Andrea is here to help you connect to your passion and, get unstuck and live your ideal life! You can connect with Andrea A. Moore at email email@example.com. You may also follow her on social media by joining the Passion Pusher Community on Facebook/IamAndreaAMoore/
(Originally published in Exposure Magazine December 20, 2017).
Recently while I was in Kansas City, MO for business, my friend suggested we meet at lunch at Trago Bar & Tapas. I took the opportunity to learn a bit about the place, the owner, and its origins. It was such a unique experience, I decided to do a review and share.
Trago is in a busy shopping area, so it’s convenient for those who might be multitasking. The appearance outside is rather unassuming and basic. The inside, however, is very inviting, warm, and welcoming. I was greeted by the owner, founder and Chef Kandi Kerns. The décor, the food and the atmosphere are just like Kandi: warm, friendly, open, and inviting. It’s understandable that the place is packed on the weekends, including the outdoor patio area.
Sherri: This is a very interesting space, Kandi. How did you arrive at the idea of this kind of establishment?
Kandi: It was inspired by my late grandmother. Her name was Anna Maria Rosa Carlota Urrutia Evans. All the recipes are inspired by her recipes in some way. I was going to start with a food truck, but then suddenly I found myself in this almost 2500 square foot building due to some unexpected financial help.
Sherri: What is your mission with Trago Bar &Tapas?
Kandi: When I returned to Kansas City, I was so welcomed into this community. I knew I wanted to create something that promoted community and made people feel welcome and connected. I wanted to incorporate parts of the community into it, also. We made the bar from repurposed materials, and much of it coming from the Habitat for Humanity store. The tile, the construction, everything is a little part of this community. We have local musicians play every Wednesday evening, which is ladies night.
Sherri: Who is your target customer or patron?
Kandi: (Chuckles) Myself! I strive to put together a place where friends and family could gather in an upscale, yet comfortable place with friends and family, and experience custom drinks and fine dining. A place where memories are made. It’s more than just food and drinks, but an experience people never forget!
Sherri: What do you see as your long-range goals having just celebrated your one-year anniversary on Halloween?
Kandi: I would love to see us within 5 years also in a free standing 2 story building, which would allow more events, live music and entertaining!
Kandi then asked what I chose to eat. Because I knew I wanted to sample a few things, I ordered 3 items to sample and share (which is what Tapas means- shareable plates- usually paired with drinks). I ordered Albóndigas en Salsa de Tomate (Spanish meatballs), Tacos Hinchados (Puffy Tacos), and Pan Plano con Brie (flat-bread with brie). It was so delicious. Fresh ingredients, and a very unique presentation to each dish as well. Palette appealing as well as beautiful to look at. We had fabulous service by Jessica, and I learned so much. Too bad I was driving, because the drink menu is stellar! Be sure to stop in at the Trago Bar & Tapas if you are in Kansas City. You can visit them online at TragoKC.com, follow them on Facebook at facebook.com/tragokc or stop in at 9261 NE 83rd Terrace, Kansas City Mo. I absolutely give Trago Bar& Tapas thumbs up, a 10, a 5 star rating or whatever measure you prefer. It’s an experience you don’t want to miss. Order the Puffy Tacos!
(Originally published in the November 19th edition of Exposure Magazine.)
I found Jarius Edens by accident. I was looking for a neutral space to share my business with others and The Kreative Lounge name came up. What I found was a lovely lady with a powerful positive energy, excited about helping others find and build their tribe. I felt compelled to share her story and part of her journey. She is a wife, mom, former teacher, copy editor, marketing strategist, innovator, entrepreneur, and so much more!
Sherri: Can you explain how you came up with the idea of The Kreative Lounge and what need you feel it fulfills?
Jarius: I came up with the idea of The Kreative Lounge out of sheer need. I moved to IL not knowing a single person. I needed a place where I could connect with others and be socially creative. It didn’t exist. When I talked to people in Springfield and other states, this type of business and experience was needed. So, I created it. The Kreative Lounge allows those who enter to experience what community feels like. We often talk about being a part of a community, but feeling like a community is a special experience. That’s what The Kreative Lounge is: an experience.
Sherri: As an entrepreneur, and an African American female, what do you feel your role is in inspiring other young women of color or women in general?
Jarius: My role is to show young women of color, and women in general, the power of stepping out of the box and using their gifts to serve. Many African American women are multifaceted, yet are shoved into careers and positions that stunt their blossoming. Our gifts will make room for us, and the universe is waiting for us to make the move and do something crazy amazing.
Sherri: What are your future goals as an entrepreneur?
Jarius: My goal is to become an angel investor for other young entrepreneurs looking to disrupt industries and build creative legacies.
That answer that describes why she is such a powerful, wonderful inspiration to others. Jarius Edens is a beautiful person with a huge heart and passion for helping others! I feel blessed to know her and share her with the world.
Jarius Edens can be contacted at
https://www.facebook.com/thekreativelounge/ or visit the
(Originally published in Exposure Magazine.)
As we stroll through life we are presented with people and opportunities that change us. This lovely lady I speak of has changed me in the short time I have known her. Micca Donohoo is a registered dietician who knew early on she wanted to help other people live a healthy life, push away from the table, push away the guilt and shame related to their food choices and manifest a better healthier lifestyle. Not necessarily just by learning about your plate choices, but by the choices we make in our head. She refers to it as manifesting your health, not being on a diet. She helps people of all shapes, sizes and ages.
Sherri: Being a dietician for over 16 years has brought many types of people your way. What type of person would you say you enjoy helping most?
Micca: I worked with bariatric patients for over 10 years from start to finish, pre-surgical to lifetime post op. I see surgery simply as a tool, embedded in the concept of a lifestyle change. To create any lifestyle change, there needs to be adequate and continued support. I loved being that support.
Sherri: If someone wants to make some small yet significant changes immediately what would you recommend?
Micca: 1. Put yourself on your own to do list. YOU are important. 2. Schedule healthy snacks during the day. Honor your hunger! Hunger is a sign your body is requesting fuel/food. 3. What is your plate size? Plates should be 9-10 inches in diameter for best results. We eat with our eyes first. Our eyes LOVE a full plate. When working on portion control, its more appealing on a smaller plate.
Sherri: You are about to start on a new adventure. Can you share a little about what you are creating?
Micca: My vision is to create a loving space to be able to serve the bariatric surgery community in a global way. I envision this program to be flexible, and accessible to all, anywhere at any time. This new branch of NiCHE Nutrition and Health will include a virtual community, a monthly resource toolkit, online courses, and personalized coaching. To build a healthy and loving community, I aim to partner with local, national, and global medical experts that share my vision.
Thanks to Micca Donohoo from NiCHE Nutrition and Health for sharing a way to help our friends to better health! You can contact Micca at NIche Nutrition And Health by clicking on the Contact button.
When the day is done and YOUR days are done, what is it that will be said of you? We are blessed to be on this earth for as many days as our Heavenly Father grants us. What are you doing with your days? Are you living your life as if every single moment of every day matters? Are you just trudging through life wishing the day away? Are you impacting the world or spending your time taking the impacts? Will you bless those around you or will you waste your time judging others. I can’t say how you will spend your time, but I know how I am going to spend mine. I will spend my time learning and growing. I will spend time sharing and caring about others, and raining blessings everywhere I go. Some will accept them some won’t, but that won’t determine whether I continue or not. It is my personal mission to help and encourage others. This has been true as long as I can remember. I am not sure anything makes me happier. I encourage you to dig deep and ask yourself what you want to really be known for 30 years from now. What is it that is important to you? How would you write your own obituary? She watched a lot of great TV? He didn’t have very many friends, didn’t go out much? Died with lots of money with no one to give it to? It may seem morbid, but at the end of the day, what you accomplish in this short time on earth is what you will be remembered for. Decide what is important to you. Make a plan to accomplish each and every goal you have because you can create a legacy of meaningful accomplishments through kindness, caring, and determination! I am blessed to be a blessing.
Everyone repeats the statement “Fake it until you make it”. Yes- I am putting it right out there- I HATE this saying so much! Why? Because it feels like saying, “please go ahead and pretend to be something you aren’t”. Lie to people’s faces because eventually you will believe it, too. Then, if and when I make it, it won’t be a lie anymore. Is this sound advice? NO! Control your mindset! Wear the most important fashion you can EVERYDAY; The cloak of confidence! Seriously, let’s face reality and create a positive mind space where we admit who and what we are at this precise time, and recognize we have room to grow and develop. We are in fact on a journey! It’s why we don’t start at the finish line. There is plenty of learning along the way! Enjoy the journey and the growing process. Don’t be fake, or say things that just “look” like you are successful. DO things that create success. Be up front if you are working towards a promotion or a rank or advancement of some kind. Put it right out there for everyone to see and hear. You can’t FAKE confidence; you FEEL it. You also can’t have it unless you claim it as yours. Sometimes people will try to dig at you to make you think you don’t deserve to be confident or successful, or that you are less than what you have already achieved. That is simply a reflection of their own inadequacies and weaknesses. Don’t FAKE it- you will come off as FAKE! Stand in your confidence! Learn everything you can to be strong, educated in your field, a leader and believe in yourself and your talents and gifts. BELIEVE you will achieve your desired goals and you won’t have to fake it, because before you know it, you will have it! Use your talents. Don’t waste time faking it. Make it happen! #BELIEVEYOUCAN #BEREAL
These are my older blog posts, which originally appeared in my Exposure Magazine Column, "Healthy Living."