Conversations Magazine, Special Edition 2021

Conversations Magazine, Special Edition 2021

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

SPOTLIGHT: Tracy Allen, CEO of Digital Marketing Supply/ Producer of Heart to Heart TV Show

 by Cyrus Webb

I've known Tracy Allen for years, and it's been amazing to see how her passion for helping others build and grow has expanded over the years. When our mutual friend Shari Alyse (Creator and Co-Executive Producer of Heart to Heart) mentioned her to be our Producer on the talk show Heart to Heart I was excited about the opportunity. 

Tracy is a perfect example of why it is so important to never stop growing and learning. What she has built with Digital Marketing Supply and the other work she's involved with is truly inspiring. 

Enjoy this conversation. 

Tracy, glad to have the opportunity to feature you here. When did you discover your passion in life?

I'm still discovering "who I am," but when I think back to being a child and watching Bewitched's Darren Stevens work in the world of advertising, something about that seemed rather cool to me. I always liked art, and thought it would be nice to create ads for businesses.

What has it been like to use your passion in your professional career?

I love it when I create videos or images that make my clients happy! It takes me back to that child-like feeling of bringing your artwork home from school and your parents raved about how amazing it is! There's nothing like it. 

Fear is a dream killer for most people. How have you not allowed it to stop you along the way?

Fear is always present... Whether I move forward or backward, the fear is always lurking. I am MORE afraid of returning to work for someone as an employee than I am being free to work for myself. I continually learn more about who I am being self employed and knowing that whatever I could do for someone else to grow their business I can do for my own.

Coaching and sharing is a part of our work. How were you personally affected during the pandemic when it came to staying optimistic and moving forward?

I wanted to help more people overcome their fear of getting on camera, but it was difficult trying to get people to move forward. Most people that needed help didn't want to use the money they were dearly holding on to. So I did a lot of services for no charge. I had to hold onto the belief that it will all come back to me in other ways. Thankfully it has.

As part of the Heart To Heart family, what does it feel like bringing your passion to the show?

As the Producer, being behind the scenes, I feel like movie stars that become producers. You've seen them in front of the camera, but now they are behind the scenes making everyone else look/sound good. I think it is a show of humility. My graphics are still being seen, and that's exciting for me!

We're halfway through 2021. What are you looking forward to the rest of the year?

I want to see the Heart To Heart Talk Show really catch on with people all over the world and THRIVE! And I want to continue doing what I love: serving my online community, creating videos that inspire others and definitely growing financially. I want to be like you! (laughs)

I appreciate that, Tracy.  And I appreciate you. Thanks so much for the time. How can our readers reach you?

My pleasure. They can reach me at www.DigitalMarketingSupply.com or service@digitalmarketingsupply.com. You can watch Heart to Heart at www.hearttoheartshow.com

AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT: Janice Blue Washington

by Cyrus Webb

Janice, Conversations is glad to have you as part of our Author Spotlight series. Congratulations on your first children's book. When did you realize you wanted to be an author?

I think I have known for the majority of my life. To put an actual time frame, it would have been in middle school.  I started writing poems about things that were going on in the world.  I gradually started writing short stories and stage plays.  It wasn’t until after retirement, that I decided to make a dream come true and become an author.  So, I put it on my bucket list and that is where we are today.  

That's amazing. When did you decide to write the book PRINCESS ALYSSA’S BIG BIRTHDAY PARTY?

In 2016, Alyssa was playing princess dress-up.  We talked about her being a princess and all the beautiful things she could do as a princess.  We started referring to her as Princess Alyssa and the idea grew from there.  

Our readers can see you with the book with this feature. What was it like for you to hold the finished book in your hands?

I was overcome with gratitude.  I was so thankful to God, because it was a dream come true.  Publishing my first book was on my bucket list, so there was also a sense of accomplishment. 

As you mentioned you have a granddaughter named Alyssa. What did she think of the book?

Actually, Alyssa is the main character, but my other granddaughter’s, Jamya and Airea, are characters in the book also.  They all loved the book and were pleased with the finished product and how they were portrayed in the book.   Jamya said that it was an inspiration for her, and Airea thought it was wonderful.  Alyssa held the book up and said, “I love it!”  

What has been the response from your family and friends about the book?

I have three sons, and they constantly tell me how proud they are of me.  My family and friends are and have always been very supportive.  

You told me, Janice, you have plans for other books featuring Alyssa. What can we expect in the future?

 Princes Alyssa is going to be a series of different adventures for Princess Alyssa with her sisters and friends.  I will also introduce her mother and father in future books.  I am hoping to have the next book by the end of 2021. 

What advice do you have for those out there with a story inside of them?

Never give up and always pursue your dreams.  I have a saying that keeps me motivated, “dreams without actions are just dreams”.   You need to make your dreams come true by doing the necessary work.  We often use our age as an excuse, but as long as you are living, you can make a difference.   Don’t ever give up, God has a plan and purpose for your life.  All you need to do is trust him and get to work.  

Make sure to follow Janice on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/authorjanicewashington/ 

DREAM BY DESIGN ENTREPRENEUR SPOTLIGHT: Carlotta Taylor


by Melissa Banks


Carlotta, you have many different businesses and you’re successful. I also noticed you are passionate about helping and inspiring women to be the best version of themselves. Why is this important to you?

Inspiring women is a passion of mine. All my life I heard women do not support each other. I am a leader in my field. One of the most important things I have learned over the years is to never present a problem without presenting a solution. The reason I inspire women is because I desire to be a part of the solution and to change the narrative. 

You shared with our audience on the radio show DREAM BY DESIGN how your start was tough, and you went through a lot. That said, look at you now. What made the difference for you?

I believe it has been the roughness and toughness of my biological father, the softness of my mother, all my life’s lessons, and the favor of God. 

What is your Secret Sauce to being able to keep going? How do you stay motivated enough to go hard every day?

I have experienced a lot of pain. When new painful situations arise that would normally break the average person, I normally tell myself, “If I can make it through the storms that have already passed, I can make it through this!”

Why is it important to you to bring as many people as possible along with you?

I want to make a difference. It is not about me. It’s about impacting lives, one person at a time. 

I love that! Carlotta, what is next for you?

Well I cannot tell it all just yet. Be sure to stay tuned, because something wonderful is brewing. One thing for certain, continuously working on personal growth and development is always present as I move forward. 

Thank you for your time. How can our audience stay connected to you?

IG: @officialcarlottataylor 

FB: Carlotta Taylor 

Clubhouse: Carlotta Taylor 

www.carlottataylor.com 

shor.by/carlottataylor 

Text Carlotta to 888111 


Sunday, April 11, 2021

COLUMBUS SHORT: Living (and Loving) Life on His Own Terms

by Cyrus Webb

There is nothing like living a life of purpose. 

For Columbus Short*,  he has had the privilege of living many lives, both in front and behind the camera, doing work that he loves and building a fan-base around the world in the process. A true renaissance man, he is an accomplished actor, producer, choreographer and recording artist. In 2020 he added another title to his list of accomplishments: that of author. His book SHORT STORIES: The Autobiography of Columbus Short allows him to tell his story in his own words and on his own terms. 

We discussed the journey that led to where he is today in this fascinating conversation. 

Columbus, thank you for the time. One of the big takeaways for me is how through the book people really get to know who you are. Have you found that to be the thing that people who even think they know Columbus Short is that this book gives them a whole different view.

Absolutely. And that was the original reason for doing the book. I kept my life private as possible, being an old Hollywood kind of guy where I still believe in mystique. The less they know about me, the more they'll believe whatever characters I'm playing. They would dive into the roles that I play. What I think tends to happen now in Hollywood and the world is we're so inside everybody's world. We know everything about people. The public wants to know everything: when you're dating, when you're pregnant, etc. So when you see them in a movie, you're kind of seeing just that person. You're not seeing the character that they're portraying.

I just felt like for all of my career I did such a good job of that until, you know, headlines kind of created a narrative, and that was all they got. That's what they were left with. This book was not only a process of healing, it was also Columbus the man writing for Columbus the child that went through a lot. 

It kind of spoke to everything. It lends to that I am human, that I am fallible... I am all of the things that people kind of think actors or people in the limelight or celebrities aren't, you know?

 How did you get to a place, though, Columbus where you could share and let us into not just the makings of the man, but also the events that kind of impacted the man?

I love that, 'the makings of a man.' It's part of the journey, I guess. I think everything that I was going through in the moment I wasn't ready for and it kind of sends you reeling. And I think I got to a place where it was like, I lost myself. When you lose your keys, for example, I was always told that you retrace your steps. Like, how did I get here? I started retracing my steps, doing the hard work on yourself with therapy and things where you really can dive into...Some things that you really never paid attention to. Life just kind of goes by and you bury certain things and block them away and you never deal with them, but they will rear their ugly head unexpectedly. So I think that's it right there.

You share an interesting story for those who have the print edition of the book it's in Chapter 7. There you talk about a plane ride that stayed with you where you were with Aaron Sorkin. We sometimes look at events in our lives and the impact they make on us. How did that plane ride impact you moving forward?

I was on Studio 60 at the time in Los Angeles, but I traveled to New York to promote Stomp the Yard, which was the movie that put me on the map. I was traveling doing a press junket for that. I was on the plane back from New York to get back to work for the next episode of Studio 60 (written and created by Aaron Sorkin). Aaron, just Shonda, never gives you the script until the table read. I don't think they're even done with the script until the day of . It's hot off the presses when we get them. We never know what's happening the next week.

I'm on the plane, and I sit down and Aaron Sorkin's next to me. He's like 'What the heck are you doing here, Columbus?' 'I'm coming back to work,' I say. We chatted for a bit, and as soon as it was time for take off he was in the zone. He opened up his draft on his computer, and he had nothing written on the page. To myself I said he hasn't written the episode, and we got a table read tomorrow. I went to sleep, and by the time we were landing he was ending the episode. Literally he was writing end episode. I was like, no way.

In that moment I realized...  This is how a pianist sits down in front of his piano and can play a chart down, same as with any musician. To be a literary mind, a literary master is something. It's a true gift to sit down and really write a screenplay, or a television episode, a teleplay or anything... And as a writer, I always wanted to have that flow. Like I was just like 'How is he thinking about his dialogue? He's just flowing. He just had a flow. It just flows like butter.'

That's when I knew I wanted to do that. I'm going to do that, and I'm going to get really good at doing that.


There are some light moments like that, Columbus, that you share, but there's also some more reflective moments and even darker ones, too. I think one of the most powerful chapters in the book for me is chapter 14, EXORCISING LITTLE WALTER.

I  learned a lot about you in this particular chapter.  One of the big things I think that you do that has made you who you are, is being able to not only to read, but to embrace a character...to become that character. And even after cut, not letting that character go.

Talk to us about the blessing and the curse of that, embracing the character but also the complexity of living the character.

It's crazy. I watched something Denzel said about this too late. I wish I would've known it before... How we are opening up our vessels, right, to embody characters. Especially when you're playing dark characters. It's a dangerous place to go. And if you're not an actor, you don't understand that, because we really go there. Most actors, if they really are worth their salt, go completely dumb to and open to the manifestation, embodiment and a possession of a character. 

And so in building that and being with a character so long... It takes 21 days to make a habit, right? If I'm walking and I'm talking like a certain way for 21 days.. I'm drinking---I never was a drinker ever---but I was drinking. I got to the point where I was drinking like it was water. It was like nothing to me, and I'm smoking cigarettes. And I was slick-talking. I was enamored by that, because that wasn't me. I very much loved it and the freedom to be that. 

If I was just this way in the streets, people would say "This is crazy." But on, and under the context (of the film), they're like, 'Wow. He's a genius." 

So when it was over with, I didn't properly cleanse my spirit of Little Walter and those habits that I acquired during that process. I didn't properly detox my mind, my body, and my spirit and clean my slate. So I just kind of just kept it. And I think those things, as wonderful as it was, I paid for. I paid a price for it: emotionally and spiritually for sure. Holyfield always tells me, 'My mama says if you don't ever pick nothing up, you don't ever have to put it down.'  That's why he never drank, never smoked. Never did any of that. I'm grateful for that learning process.

And then there was an insecurity to why I never broke character. I didn't want to lose it. I knew when I tapped in, I knew I was in and I never wanted to come out and not be able to get back in. That was  my worst fear. As I've grown so much as an actor in the game I know how to come in, and I know how to get out. That's one of the things I learned through all that, throughout that process, but it was an amazing process. One I wouldn't change for the world.


And I think it has definitely gotten you to where you are. We talk a lot about personal success.  People would look at your career: singer, songwriter, actor, producer, choreographer... You've done all these things and worked with all these amazing people, Does it feel for you that you have gotten what you wanted? It seems like along the journey that you have been searching for something or seeking something. Do you think you have found what you were looking for?

That's a really great question, Cyrus. I like this question. 

You know how in the corporate world there's upward mobility, right? If I, let's say, wanted to be a banker, I may have started in the mail room and worked my way up. My real goal is to get to that table to get to that upper, top floor office.

 I think I've looked at my career that way. Coming from the bottom as that boy from Kansas City. I got into the business, and I knew I was at the bottom. I knew I had to do guest starring roles before I could be the star. 

Everything has been like stepping stones. I'm always like 'Okay, what's next?' I'm always thinking about what's the next proper step, because I never wanted to fast-track myself or try to cut a corner. I wanted to do everything the right way. 

And I was like, 'I can do this. I know I can assemble and acquire a slate of great material, continue and be a job creator and be a creator, because I am a creator. I've been a creative my whole life. I wanted to be on the front lines of bringing great content and telling great stories. Not just African-American stories. Stories to audiences around the world. And so I think that was always my goal.  I was paying my dues, and there were times that I got impatient. If I would've just been a little bit more patient at the time, my day was coming. Right before my day came, I had a fall...but the fall is just part of the story.

I also think the fall is part of the test to see what I was really made of. It was never going be that easy. I can a voice in my head saying 'You thought you were going to get here like that? You thought you were going to just walk up in here and take over the game?' I think this was the test. What am I built of? What am I made of? Can I be an example? Can I be a leader? 

If I can't produce my life, how can I produce a movie? So once I realized I got to produce my life first then I realized I can now produce whatever I want. That is where I am now.

Stay connected with Columbus on Instagram at www.instagram.com/officialcshort and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ColumbusShort1

* All photos of Columbus Short by Erik Johnson

Monday, April 5, 2021

Entrepreneur and Author Clifton McKnight talks life, overcoming challenges and helping others along the way



by Cyrus Webb

Having known Clifton McKnight for a number of years, I can attest to the fact that he is a man of purpose, passion and principal. His book IF YOU CAN'T CALM THE WATERS LEARN TO RIDE THE WAVES gives you a glimpse into the lessons he has learned and what he hopes you are able to glean from them when facing life's challenges. 

That is just the way Clifton is: always looking out for others, wanting to add value. In this conversation we talk about how he got where he is today, the importance of helping others and how financial stability is something everyone has a chance to achieve if they're willing to do the work. 

 

Clifton, so glad we have this time to catch up and share your story with our readers. I first got to know you because of your inspirational book IF YOU CAN’T CALM THE WATERS LEARN TO RIDE THE WAVES. Have you always known that you have been meant to inspire others?

Cyrus, I can say I have always desired to encourage.  Being encouraged was always good for me and it always felt good to me so I wanted to spread it.  

Life has a way of shifting for us all. What has helped you to ride the waves that life throws? 

The inspiration for Chapter 4 in part and Chapter 5 more directly was born out of this question.  The short answer is Prayer, People and Perspective. When the waves are choppy, we can consider what actions we need to take.  We step out of ourselves to gain more perspective, to consider our problem in a way that perhaps is less alarming or concerning.  

It also can help a situation by appreciating another's vantage point .  If the waves are a bit more violent, we can talk to people who have our best interest at heart.  Sometimes we seek out those who are wise or knowledgeable or just who will listen. Perhaps it is so we can hear ourselves, we can just get it out and really look at it.

Now, when the clouds, the winds and the waters are very dark and ominous, when we are completely overwhelmed, then we discern the need to connect on a spiritual level, to take our minds off of ourselves and our problems, serving others while seeking divine guidance peace, grace and love.  This is actually where we could have begun.  Isn't it written "Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you."

 After the year we had in 2020 many people are looking for ways to adjust and to stay afloat. You have also made adjustments. Talk with us about it. 

Cyrus, one might say I have been knocked around quite a bit over the years and 2020 certainly was no exception.  I dare say many of us if not all contend with sometimes overwhelming challenges.  Many centered around one theme, "loss." Whether loss of loved one(s), loss of finances, foreclosure,  bankruptcy, loss of confidence, loss of others' confidence in us, loss of reputation, loss of relationship, in these days in particular, we add loss of health, and confidence in our systems, loss of employment or business failure.  The list goes on.

I frame it quite differently, though.  I acknowledge being knocked around, mind you.  But the truth is I suggest we are blessed with being knocked "ON course." Over the years I had pursued real estate investment quite successfully for a time, while working in service of others as a counselor and professor, conducting live workshops, keynotes and more.  When it all at its foundation seemed to shake and shudder and even shatter.  I tell you, it felt very much like travelling, "through the valley of the shadow of death." What it did was it opened my spirit to look at new possibilities.  

I reentered the world of voice acting, an area I had been encouraged to pursue for decades but only had stuck my toe in and retreated from a decade before.  I did not see how I could pursue this with so many other competing priorities. 

I did not feel I had the luxury of taking time to learn something new, then in a few years maybe make a few more dollars.  "The hole is too deep." Here I had just "retired", walking away from what grew over the years to be a six figure income so I could retrieve my retirement account to rebuild my assets only to lose much of that.  

I endeavored to learn about FOREX, foreign exchange, and more.  I enrolled in IM Academy.  For a little under $250 and a monthly subscription fee that I could pay from profits or even have waived by referring a couple of others, IM  Academy offers systems and technologies to help me earn as I learn to trade in the market with as much as 80 to 90% accuracy.  It helped uplift my entire outlook, in the midst of turbulent times. 




Forex is something that a lot of us have heard about or seen posts about on social media. I have to admit I know very little about it. Talk with our readers about what it is and why it appealed to you?

Forex or FX, refers to foreign exchange, the global currency market.  Anyone who has travelled to another country has had to exchange their currency with the currency of the country they visited.  

The value of money in one country is paired with strength of another currency around the world and positions regarding it's current position and what direction it is heading.  This is a multi-trillion dollar marketplace which greatly exceeds the more popular stock market, and it is no wonder most of us are unfamiliar with it, because it was previously only available to those with over a million dollars plus in income and assets.  

 With the advent of international retail brokers, anyone can participate.  Some people fund their account with a couple of hundred or a thousand dollars and some with as little as $50.  You can enter a trade with as little as 10 cents!  And in this market, you can make a great deal of money in minutes.  

You can also lose more than you initially invest so you want to understand the mechanics of a trade.  It is reported that 75% of investors lose money.  So I aligned with an academy where I can learn from seasoned, successful traders who make hundreds of thousands and those who make millions of dollars trading in this market.

 Even seasoned investors join the academy to access the tools and insights these masters provide.  It is a game changer. 



Helping others has always been something you enjoyed. Did you see the work with Forex as another way of being able to do that?

Directly, Cyrus.  At first I needed to see it work.  As soon as I did, it seems that all I can think about are those who have had to endure the setbacks and challenges of these days and times and those who are in the midst of personal devastation.  IF YOU CAN'T CALM THE WATERS LEARN TO RIDE THE WAVES: HOW TO SUCCEED IN TURBULENT TIMES was written to help people through.  Now I could help them through financial devastation or just help them grow or create a financial legacy.  

It’s not easy to start anything new. What about for you? Was it easy for you to introduce your business with others?

Cyrus, I was working on my on rescue here. The thought of talking to others about it was not even a consideration, at first.  I just wanted to balance my budget and see a future and leave a legacy.  Since it is never required, I liked that I could earn unlimited amounts of money without telling a soul...  I could learn and copy trade signals.  

I am not afraid of risk, but I hate the feeling of being "taken."  Whether we realize it or not life is full of risks.  Once I started trading, I would take baby steps. But when I experienced earning what to me was quite significant in a session trading the same pair, I knew there were people who could benefit.    

Still, I am reminded that we have all tried stuff that was not successful for us, stuff that may have worked for others but still eluded my greatest efforts so there may understandably be a reticence, even a fear to try again. I explored a bit and saw people of all ages, including a youngster whose mother watched a few videos and listened to an expert and I don't know the details but I imagine they copied a trade and her son had a very successful trading experience.

On the business-building side, Cyrus, I know of people in their 20s literally earning more in a month than I had earned in 10 years, not just because they knew a lot of people but  because they were willing to share with someone else who was willing to try or who understood how to use social media.  There is no requirement.  I could stop at any time! 

Social media is a must for us these days. You and I have discussed that in our personal conversations. How has it helped you in connecting with your audience?

Big blessings to you, Cyrus, for encouraging me about reconnecting on social media.  I have had a lapse in my social presence.  You reminded me that I only need to persist with some level of consistency to reach out to people who can benefit from my journey. Thank you for that.  

I don't have to try to force anyone.  I pray that they overcome their fear and their pain which may have occurred in the past but tends to cling to the now as if it is still so today.  So I do tend to reach out, encourage them to join me so they can see the miracle gifts of  the present.  Past experiences can be paralyzing. Been there and on occasion still go there.  Sometimes, we take action anyway.  I empathize.  I inform.  If I can, I inspire.  I will  follow-up and follow-through, but it is not out of desperate need but out of love.  I am already experiencing my blessing. If they see it for them, praise God.  If not, praise God.  I just want them to have the same success or better, if they are willing.  

Thanks for the time, Clifton. How can our audience stay connected with you and get more information. 

Cyrus, I am on Facebook "Clifton McKnight Motivision" and Instagram.  "IF YOU CAN'T CALM THE WATERS LEARN TO RIDE THE WAVES" has a Facebook page.  I am also available on WhatsApp and my google voice for text is 7048029283.  

Thank you for the privilege of addressing your audience.  

 


Sunday, March 21, 2021

Author/Coach Lisa W. Beckwith: Sharing How the Teacher Also Can Learn From Life Experiences

by Cyrus Webb

Just because you have found yourself in a position where you have been able to help others doesn't mean you won't at times need help yourself. If you find yourself in that situation, know that it's okay. Lisa W. Beckwith is someone who knows this firsthand. With her first book FOOD FOR L.I.F.E. she shared with the world how her life experiences had taught her lessons that she could share with others. 

In her new book GOD IS CARRYING ME: I am His Warrior she is reminded of the importance of using those lessons learned to stay strong in spite of  what life throws her way. 

May this conversation inspire you as you deal with your own challenges. 

Great to catch up with you again, Lisa. Let's go back a bit. What has it been like to see the response from your first book FOOD FOR L.I.F.E. to the newest book GOD IS CARRYING ME?

The response has been interesting. My book Food for L.I.F.E. is about developmental stages that we face as we grow and mature. God is Carrying Me is a personal experience that causes you to exercise your faith in a situation.  

2020 was a year of challenges for many. How did you personally navigate it?

The year was challenging, and I learned how to understand that life will happen and I must be prepared for it by doing what I can do and allowing God to do what He has to do.  I had to put all of my hope and faith in God, because there was nothing that I could do about something I did not cause.

You have told me that your book GOD IS CARRYING ME is more personal for you. Explain that to our readers.

This book is personal because it was written to share my experience with a medical condition that I was totally shocked that I had.  I was diagnosed with breast cancer in January 2020. The book was my personal diary that I shared with the world because even though it was personal for me I know that it happened to thousands of women in the world.  I was not alone and wanted to share how I handled the condition.  I have a movement  and product line called Be Courageous (B.C) and it replaces the words that are hard for any woman to hear. 

Thanks for sharing that with us, Lisa. How has social media helped you to share the message of your book and platform during the pandemic?

Social media is a great platform because I can reach people all over the world to share my story and hopefully inspire others

What has it been like for you to be a source of inspiration for others?

It is a great feel to know I am a part of other's inspiration as it relates to life and finding a way to deal with it in peaceful way

Not only are you an author, Lisa. You also serve others as a life coach. When did you realize that gift, being able to help others? 

I discovered it when I paid attention to the feedback others were giving me after they shared their feelings with me. I knew then I was able to gain people's trust just by me being an active listener.  As a Life Coach I help people not to allow their minds to get in the way of their desires. I help them to change their thinking and actions. Then their world transforms; because of the results they set.  

Mindset is the first step toward the results people are seeking. The Result in L.I.F.E. is based on the action that you take. Life Coaching helps people to get from where they are and find a way to get to what they want. It’s a place for someone to be heard and seen. My technique is to listen and be present in all of my sessions. The highest good thing to say is asking my clients questions about themselves. That allows them to share more with me. When I show curiosity, it builds a stronger conversation with my clients. A Life Coach must be courageous in order to direct their clients into uncertainty without causing them to be fearful of the unknown. I have to led my clients on a path that they typically want go themselves 


What would you say to people who might feel shellshock by what 2020 has brought about?

I would tell those people it is a natural reaction and it's okay to be shocked about a sudden unpredictable situation. The quick shift could traumatic anyone, but we must find a way to calm our spirits.  I would also tell them that without darkness light can not appear.  


How do you plan to use your platform this year?

I plan on walking with humility and grace.  My focus this year is to understand  that the result in L.I.F.E. is knowing that it may cause us to wait patiently for the outcome. 2021 has an even and odd number, so we have to make sure that when negative energy is around we have to take those two negatives and turn them into a positive. 

What advice do you have for others about not allowing fear to stop them as they move forward?

The advice I want to give to others is understand that fear is a part of our nature, and its okay to have that emotion, but don’t allow it to overtake their life goals. 

Thanks for the time, Lisa. Excited to see what you do this year. How can our readers stay connected with you?

It has truly been my pleasure and I appreciate you so much.  My website  is www.lisabeckwith.com and there they can find my other media handles there as well.

Sunday, March 7, 2021

[BOOK EXCERPT] Seminole: Some People Never Give Up by Tina Siemens

 Author Tina Siemens' book SEMINOLE: Some People Never Give Up is not just an account about her family. It's a reminder of what we can get through and overcome. Enjoy this excerpt from Chapter Twenty-One of her book, and get your copy on Amazon. 


Chapter Twenty-One

Two long years passed after that initial meeting. Of course, there were more meetings and more plans. During one of them, David found himself surrounded by a determined group of men interested in permanently leaving the colony for Seminole. This time, though, he would have to speak. His palms were sweaty and his throat was dry as he waited for his turn. Mr. Reimer went first.

He told the men he had been working with a lawyer in El Paso to process potential groups from the Old Colony and EMMC into America. He’d assured them that their children would be properly educated, the rubber tires would stay on the tractors, and other mandatory hardships would be done away with—the main point being that each man could live his life as he saw fit.

This was what David needed to hear. No matter the obstacles, he was now fully committed.

“Gentlemen!” Mr. Reimer shouted. “We have another report to give you. Let me call your

attention to Mr. David Rempel.”

David rubbed his palms on his overalls before stepping onto the stump, unaccustomed to being

the center of attention. He cleared his throat, swallowed hard, then started talking. “Four weeks

ago, Mr. Schmitt and I hitched a ride with Mr. Reimer, who was driving to Seminole to pick up

some farm equipment. We stayed in Seminole for three weeks, at the Teepee Lodge. I learned

that the Reimer family has spent so much time in Seminole that the owners of the Teepee

Lodge asked them if they would be interested in buying the motel, since the owners are ready to

retire. Mr. Reimer agreed and is moving to Seminole to run it when the purchase goes through. I tell you this because it means we will have people from our colony in Seminole— people who know their way around.

They speak the language and have connections. I don’t know about you, but that makes me feel

comfortable.”

The group of men nodded at each other. David continued. “We stayed in Seminole for three

weeks, at the same Teepee Lodge Mr. Reimer is pur- chasing. I spent the entire time looking

around. Since Mr. Schmitt wanted to earn money for his way back, he had a chance to work at a

machine shop there. Mr. Schmitt can tell you there is plenty of work because he found some

and doesn’t even speak the language.”

“What’s the land like?” an anxious man called out.

“The land is good,” David replied. “It’s dry, but there’s farming going on. They need more of the

mesquite land cleared and planted.”

Several men smiled, apparently satisfied with the answer. David con- tinued. “I want to tell you I

liked what I saw. I told my wife that they have these machines for the dishes. No one has to

wash dishes anymore. The machine does it all for you. And they have little houses for dogs.

Imagine a place so rich that they build houses for dogs.”

A buzz raced through the group with several men shaking their heads in disbelief.

“After three weeks, we hopped on a bus and came back here. I don’t know about you, but I’m

moving my family to Seminole. Are there any questions?”

One man raised his hand. “How do we buy some land?”

David was ready for this. “The Reimer family is putting together a joint purchase. They’re

looking for a large piece of land, enough for all of us. When they find some, they have a lawyer

who will draft a contract and obtain financing for the first year. After that, we will make payments

directly to the bank. The good news is we will only have to deal with the Reimers. They will

handle everything.” 

Heads bobbed up and down, smiling and grinning, as the men realized how easy this entire plan

was coming together. David answered a few more questions before stepping down and talking

individually to several men. When everyone was satisfied, he climbed into his Volkswagen and

headed home.


If only Anna was as agreeable as the men, he thought, setting his jaw. It didn’t matter, though.

He had waited two full years before putting his plan into action. It was past time they left.

Stepping through the door of his small house, David heard some splash- ing from the room

containing the bathtub. With no running water, they took their baths in a small clawfoot tub in its

own little room. The water was heated up outside and carried in, which his wife was doing right

now. He thought back to Seminole, where the water came right out of a faucet. And it was hot or

cold, depending on how the knobs were turned. The colony was so far behind that he now

dreaded his daily trips to the outhouse, thinking of the nice commode and endless supply of

toilet paper at the Teepee Lodge.

He walked up to the bathroom door and knocked. “Who’s in there?” “It’s me, Tina.”

He could hear her splashing around in the tub, something she loved to

do. “Are you almost done?” “Yes, Dad.”

Tina took baths with her cheap plastic sandals on. They were one of her most precious

possessions. Anna had told him that his daughter wore them directly into the tub to clean off the

hard-packed mud from their soles. After removing all the mud and pebbles, she would bathe in

the dirty water and somehow clean herself up. He smiled, amused by the little girl so attached to

those sandals that she refused to take them off.

David checked on the other children, finding them scattered about the house, waiting for their

turn at the tub. Then he spotted Anna—out back, tending the fire and heating up water for the

next child. When she noticed her husband, she frowned.

“You’ve been at another meeting,” she said.

“I have,” he replied coolly.

Anna stared down at the boiling water. “I suppose you’ve made up your mind.”

“You know I made up my mind when we left for Canada. I’m just sorry that didn’t work out.”

“When are you going to tell the children?” she asked, shoving more fuel onto the fire.

“Tonight, after supper. It’s the best time.”

She didn’t meet his eyes. “It’s going to be your job, not mine.” “That’s fair,” he said.

Anna and the girls put away the last dishes as David sat in his favorite chair, working over a

toothpick, waiting for his wife and daughters to join him and his son. When the entire clan had

assembled, he looked at them, sitting up a little straighter.

“Children,” he said confidently, “I’ve got something to tell you.”

Tina raised her hand. “We forgot to tell you about our turkeys. Remember?” “Turkeys? Why...

oh, yes. Go ahead,” he said, unhappy with the delay. Tina ran to her room and brought back

three pieces of paper. Each one had fabric glued to it. David studied them as Tina explained.

“While you were away, we had a project at school. The teacher wanted us to make our own turkey.”

“I see,” David said. “They look nice.”

“Yes,” she replied, clearly not through with the story. “The teacher told

everyone to bring some fabric to school, and the other kids had a few pieces in tiny plastic bags.

But we brought a big cracker box of scrap fabric. When we pulled it out, the other kids laughed

at us and said, ‘What were you thinking?’ But we had the scraps left over from all the dresses

Mom makes for us.” She lowered her voice. “The other kids don’t dress like we do.”

At EMMC, David knew that his kids looked different because of their clothes. He was hoping

that would change in Seminole.


“Anyway,” Tina continued, “David, Elizabeth, and I started making turkeys with all the scrap, and

they were looking really good. That’s when the other kids—the ones making fun of us—started

coming over and asking if they could have some. We were very popular!”

David’s face lit up. It was important for Tina to feel she could help others. She loved learning,

and especially loved being asked to do import- ant tasks—ones that required trust. There was

something in her spirit that needed to be needed.

“That’s wonderful!” David told her. “I’m so proud of you.”

Tina beamed, nudging Elizabeth and David. They hid their emotions better than her, but David

could tell that they were pleased by his words, too. Of course, two-year-old Nancy could only sit

and listen.

David put his hands on his knees, looking at each one of their happy faces. “I have some news,

too. Your mother and I have decided to move to Texas. The town is called Seminole.”

Suddenly, the smiles disappeared. “Are we leaving the colony?” his son asked.

“Yes, we are,” David told him.

“And our friends?” Elizabeth ventured.

“Yes, but you’ll meet new ones in Seminole.”

“Can I take my sandals?” Tina asked, ready to cry if the answer was

not what she wanted to hear. “Yes.”

“And my doll?”

“Of course.”

Before he could say more, the single lightbulb hanging from the ceiling

dimmed. David got to his feet and trudged outside, switching out the car batteries. This was the

only light they had at night, unless they pulled out the expensive oil lamps. He couldn’t wait to

leave this place and turn on all the lights simply by flipping a switch. What a day that would be!

A horsefly buzzed around looking for a place to land. David swatted at it then heard his father

kicking some dirt clods out of the way as he shuffled to his barn, where David waited. This

would be another goodbye, one that David hoped would be permanent.


SEMINOLE: Some People Never Give Up available on Amazon

TAKE TEN with Author and Visionary Eve Lynne

 




by Cyrus Webb

There is nothing like the power of the imagination. When I first heard about author Eve Lynne Robinson and her character Ella B. Jenkins, I was excited about how she was able to takes real-life situations and make them fun and educational for the reader. I even had the privilege to blurb her book Ella B. Jenkins Meets First Lady Michelle Obama

Now Eve Lynne and Therapist Whitney Jade Gordy have teamed up for the latest installment of the Ella B. Jenkins series: Ella B. Jenkins Meets Vice President Kamala Harris.

In this Take Ten I talk with Eve about the series and the new book. 

Eve, congratulations on the new release ELLA B. JENKINS MEETS VICE PRESIDENT KAMALA HARRIS. Before we discuss that what has it been like to see the response to Ella B. Jenkins?

I have been incredibly grateful to watch the evolution of Ella B. Jenkins in the last decade. Many people initially gravitated toward this character because at the time, there was no character out there quite like her. We also understand at this point in history the importance of representation and being able to identify with cultural situations in our day-to-day life are of the upmost importance. Everyone seems to love Ella B., and I hope to give our Ella B. Family more content and material to connect with.

I never had a chance to ask you before, but where did the idea for Ella B. Jenkins come from?

Before Ella B. was created, I was creating ceramic art and sculptures with an Afrocentric flair and influence. I wanted to make ceramic tiles for my bathroom with a character representing a little chocolate girl. At the time,  I had not seen ceramic tiles with any African American images available, so I set out to create my own.  I was in my studio with a friend who said she needed a name. We went back and forth, but the name Ella kept standing out to me.  After hours of trying out different names, I decided upon Ella B. Jenkins. Her name sounded strong and had a ring to it.  I also love the Letter B. for her middle name. The story behind that will be disclosed in a future book.

We look forward to that story. Have you always wanted to write children’s books?

I have always dreamed of writing children’s books! The ability we have, especially the younger audience, to tap into the gift of imagination and fantasy is unparalleled. In these moments we have a chance again, to experience magic. 

Ella B. Jenkins has become more than just another character in a book. She’s become her own brand. How did that come about?

Ella B. truly has a life of her own. Her brand developed quite organically. Ella’s charm, mixed with sly wit has won over the support of small families, young children, independent artists and activists alike. Ella B is on a mission, and people are paying attention

Going back to the new book, it is literally right on time with where we are in time. Tell our readers about the new book.

The new book takes us on Ella B’s next adventure. We get to learn more about Ella B. and her family and how her roots around activism and social justice were influenced. We learn Ella’s mother is an incredible advocate and has inspired her passions and enthusiasm for cultural and community based causes. As an added bonus we learn Ella B. Jenkins meets Vice president Kamala Harris along the way. It’s a very fun story and highlights other important figures within the community

This book includes not just Ella B. Jenkins meeting the Vice President. It also includes some of the issues that we see going on in the world today. How did you decide on that element?

To ignore what is happening in the world right now would be a serious injustice.  Black communities and communities of color deal with a systemic problem on a day-to-day basis, that is not designed to protect or support us. The world we see today has reached its breaking point, again. Not talking about what happens around us and what we see on a daily basis is like asking us to ignore the biggest and most important parts of ourselves. 

Social media has taken on even greater importance today because of life during the pandemic. How has it helped you to read your readers?

Social media has allowed us to engage with new readers and new audiences. In the age of new media, we are also working on being able to provide a digital copy of each of these books so that you can download and access these stories on your tablets, phones and e-readers. Having access to these books through various forms is incredibly important especially as we all are doing our best to socially distance and reduce our interactions in the public. 

You have been writing for a while now, Eve. Any advice for aspiring authors out there?

The best advice I can give is to write from a place of passion and love the subject matter you are writing about. Writing can sometimes feel like a thankless job, however, being able to see your artistic vision and creativity come to life on the page is truly a rewarding and inspiring experience. 

Can you give us an idea of where Ella B. might pop up next? 

I have given a lot of thought about Ella B.’s next adventure, and I’m sure if I know Ella B. the way I think I do, she will definitely be making her way to Georgia to get a firsthand look at a certain hero who has mobilized voters and advocated for voters rights.

That gives us something to look forward to. Thanks for the time, Eve. How can our readers stay connected with you and get their copy of ELLA B. JENKINS MEETS VICE PRESIDENT KAMALA HARRIS?

I encourage everyone to visit www.Ellabjenkins.com and follow us on Instagram @ellabjenkins and be our friend on Facebook under the same name. We have have all of Ella B’s books available for purchase along with clothing items, accessories and soon to be released, the Ella B. Jenkins plush doll. 


TAKE TEN with author Sherabim Joy

 by Cyrus Webb

Though 2020 had a series of challenges even outside of the global pandemic, it was great to see so many bright spots emerging to give people hope. One of those came from author Sherabim Joy in the release of her newest children's book MANNY AND THE MAGIC KEYS: A Gift From Papa.


In this Take Ten with Sherabim we discuss her writing journey and the new release.

Sherabim, glad we had a chance to connect more in 2020. What a year that ended up being, right? What helped you to navigate the year?

2020 has been a year for the history books! My faith in God’s sovereignty has helped me to navigate these unprecedented times. Like many, I was furloughed from my place of employment, but every one of my needs was provided and it allowed time for me to reassess my long-term goals and focus on what I need to do to accomplish them. Also understanding the necessity of remaining healthy mentally and  physically for my son’s sake motivated me to maintain my momentum.

 You are known for your work as an author and as motivational speaker. Have you always known you had a love of words?

I have had a passion for reading and writing from childhood. I was one of those children who requested books for Christmas in addition to toys. When I was younger, I would write stories for entertainment but never considered becoming an author until adulthood. My love for motivational speaking was birthed through being pushed and encouraged to share the Word of God in church. I soon realized that not only did I love to preach, but I also loved to empower, inspire, and encourage people through various motivational speaking platforms.

What I love about your writing style is that you are able to entertain as well as inspire. Was that your mission?

We are an entertainment-based society, so I recognize the appeal of incorporating an amusing escape from reality for my readers.  However, as a faith-based author, I feel it is my responsibility to plant nuggets of wisdom in the hearts and minds of my readers to motivate them to excel in every area of their lives; whether spiritually, relationally, emotionally, or otherwise. My mission is always to leave my readers with a “thought” that will make them make more sound decisions.

Social media is something you have used like the rest of us. How has it helped you to stay connected and reach new readers?

Social media has become a way of life and is a great and inexpensive way to stay connected with current followers of my work as well as reach new readers. There can be a significant amount of time in between releasing work, but social media helps my readers know that I’m still around, current, and working on new material to empower their lives. Simple gestures such as posting inspirational quotes, thoughts of the day, and blogging can be highly impactful when done consistently. It makes it easier to encourage readers to purchase new works when I have kept in communication with them during the “in-between” process.


You wrapped up 2020 with a children’s book MANNY AND THE MAGIC KEYS: A Gift From Papa. Where did the idea for the book come from?

Believe it or not, I wrote “Manny And The Magic Keys: A Gift From Papa” approximately 4 years ago. The idea was inspired by my son, the real-life, Manny. When he was a toddler he was mesmerized by my father’s, his Papa’s, keys. Whenever I went to my dad’s house he would play with them and did not want to return them. Eventually, my dad gave him an old pair to take home and play with and that’s how the idea was birthed!  I have no idea why I took so long to publish the book. I think subconsciously I was afraid because children’s book writing is a new genre for me. 

One of the great things about that book is that it shows the importance of using your imagination. What do you hope the reader gets from that when they look at themselves?

I hope that young readers would embrace the reality that anything is possible, and that they should never stop dreaming!  A new reality is just one dream away!

In your book for adults AFTER THE BENEDICTION, we see how fear can hold us back. How have you not allowed that to be the case for you?

Honestly, I have allowed fear and insecurity to hold me back for years! I was bound by the fear of failure and looking foolish. One day I just realized that I was my biggest hindrance and I decided to not allow myself to be bound by fear any longer. As my Pastor always says, “sometimes you have to do things while you still feel scared.”  That is some of the greatest advice that I  have ever received.  I still feel scared sometimes about advancing in new arenas, but I’m not fearful to take the steps of faith despite how I feel.

What advice would you give for those looking to pursue their own goals and dreams?

My advice to those looking to pursue their own goals and dreams is to refuse to be their own hindrance! Each person should take time for moments of introspection to determine if they are the cause of not reaching their dreams and goals. Likewise, every dreamer needs to develop an action plan for the dream to become a reality.  A dream without an action plan is simply wishful thinking.

Can you tell us what we should expect next from you?

I am excited to be working on “After the Benediction II”, and I will be releasing another book in the “Manny In the Magic Key’s Series!” in the coming months. Likewise, I am researching opportunities to bring my two novels “After the Benediction” and “Mema’s Pretty Little Black Girls” either to the stage or screen.

Thanks for the time, Sherabim. How can our readers stay connected with you?

Cyrus it was a joy to do this interview with you, and I thank you for having me!  Readers can keep in touch with me through my website and on social media:

www.sherabimjoy.com

Facebook: @sherabim

Twitter:  @Sherabimjoy

Instagram: @sherabimjoy



[Book Review] You Are my SONshines: Born of my Heart by Winsome Sinclair


by Cyrus Webb

Family is not always about blood. It's the love that you have for each other that counts. In YOU ARE MY SONSHINES author Winsome Sinclair shows that when you have love as the main ingredient anything is possible.

The book is not just an adoption story. It is a story about a family coming together, offering support and the needed assistance to help each other feel safe and loved.

It also is a great book for blended families as well, showing that you can come together and be just as close as any biological family out there.

A great story that reminds us that love has no bounds, YOU ARE MY SONSHINES delivers a message that is much-needed today.

Get your copy on Amazon today

Casting Director Winsome Sinclair shares joy of adoption with first children’s book

 by Cyrus Webb


The world has gotten to know Winsome Sinclair as a respected casting agent and head of her own global casting agency, WSA. However, in 2017 she gained a new title that has forever changed her life: that of mother. That year she welcomed her two sons into her life through adoption, and ever since that day, has been able to share a life of love and togetherness with them. 

She shares that message and joy in her first children’s book, YOU ARE MY SONSHINES.

The New York native who now calls Atlanta, GA home had never thought about becoming an author before, but after adopting her sons it just seemed to come to her. “The book came to me one night,” she says. “I got up in the wee hours of the morning and started typing.” YOU ARE MY SONSHINES is the result of that early morning writing session and was released in November 2020 as the world was recognizing the power of children’s books as well as adoptions.

The book shares how Winsome and her sons came together, and it is her hope that it helps parents and other adults explain adoption to young children. “Regardless of how our children come into her lives I want them to know that they are loved and appreciated,” she says.

 Since it's release Winsome has been taking part in virtual discussions and holding virtual as well as limited in-person book events sharing her story and the message of the book.

Stay connected with Winsome on Instagram at www.instagram.com/thesomeysinclair and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/winsome.sinclair. For booking information, e-mail: YouAreMySonshines@gmail.com.  


TAKE TEN with Author/Thought Leader Floyd Williams


by Cyrus Webb

For eight years I have watched the journey that Floyd Williams has been on, and every time we connect he has something new that he has experienced and shared. At the end of 2020 we reconnected to share what he has been up to and what's to come. 

For years now, Floyd, you have been sharing your discoveries and things you have learned with the world. What has it been like to see the response?

This question for me speaks not only to seeing but feeling. The entire experience has been truly beyond words. Simultaneously conceivable and inconceivable. You know, mentally I can see it. Yet, at the outset of my journey it never was an initial thought. I just wanted to share and was really seeking to transcend the mundane. Orienting self with purpose and what I identified as my special place in the universe. I always felt my sense of purpose for incarnating was to serve and elevate vibration of planet, along with man's consciousness. To literally see it is euphoric, fulfilling, soul satiated, and encouraging.

 That is what it is about touching lives and making a difference. For me it is a labor of love. To be able to touch one life, to be able to reach one person makes it all worthwhile. Yet, to know you have touched hundreds, thousands, and more is humbling and moves me to continue moving in the spirit of my life, being only a symbol and sacrifice. It is solely from the people I receive empowerment. And it is to the people I say thank you. All of those reaching that one person.


When did you first realize you had something special in you?

I would say at an exceedingly early age it became clear. Especially in elementary school at Carnivals for drawings and elsewhere.  I always felt different and was not part of a crowd. Early on I heard things such as I was to be a minister or a calling on my life. Of course, during this period, I was not receptive of it or clear on how I wanted to leave my mark. 

Have you always been a curious person?

Yes! I have always been a curious being and imaginative. I had an attraction to words even though growing up I had a speech impediment. I have always had an attraction to art, and was amazed by phenomena of life by way of primary objects in the sky: the sun, moon, and stars. 

I would describe my curiosity as a natural inclination of why? Why does it work? The mechanics and metaphysical. For me curiosity was the fuel and wonderment the spark. The wonderment eventually becomes the drive. The wanting to know more or the reaching of new understanding to realize "hey I know nothing at all!" It keeps you going. Still to this present day my endearing mother repeats stories of looking for me in the neighborhood as a little boy who would wonder around. And how one time she found me at neighbor's home. And to her dismay she told me I had managed to get my big wheel and self over the fence. I would certainly describe myself as curious to say the least.


Through your books you have discussed issues like race, empowerment and spirituality. Was it an easy decision for you to share your thoughts with the world?

It was an easy decision for me to share it with the world. In fact, I came to deeply feel as if I were groomed for it. Even though a lot of my experiences were not easy. What allowed me to share was my interpretation of greatness through service. Early on my father baptized me in his altruistic spirit and sowed seeds in me to revere those who built their life on sacrifice. My father loved history and loved Black History even more. One of the core understandings I fashioned myself on was the only way to worship God is through care and maintenance of people and earth. Whatever we are bestowed with we are only functionary fiduciaries and the means of receiving is all measured on the giving. 

Knowledge is likened to the sun; it is not just for one man. Being a Black male whom honors African history pre-slavery to the present and roots tied to reading being proscribed, me being in special education in elementary school, overcoming prison, all were sources of empowerment and made it easy for me. It allowed me to understand the importance of breaking cycles. We are only reflections of one another's potential. So, it was especially important for me to share so that others who mirror me can see their full potential. I deem the greatest way to elevate ancestors is by breaking cycles and speaking truth. One of my favorite movies is A Wrinkle in Time and in its Ms. Which said, " some of our greatest fighters come from earth." I believe that! 


I think one of the big things I have seen from you is that you are not afraid to look for ways to help others, either in person or online. Why is that so important to you?

Because someone shared with me and it must be paid forward. Each one teach one. And often that is all it takes, is just a little help. Just speaking to someone can possibly restore their faith in humanity. For me it is a means of having internal peace and just being rooted in purpose. One thing I refuse to be is charged with dereliction. So, my only success lies in sharing. The vibration of my message the earth is attuned for and so is man during this healing process we are presently in. 



The connection between the mind and the body is something you have explored. Talk with us a bit about what you have discovered about the connection.

All that exists is energy, and man is a crystal. Man is the most diverse energy system there is. There is not any technology comparable to man’s nervous system. I describe as a crystal because all matter is light or energy which has become crystalized. In essence we are no more than atoms, photons, and like crystals we are only various lattices of light. 

Being on earth has granted all of us the chance of witnessing the greatest artist and mind of the phenomena of creation. The three creative forces of the creator or world is intention, thought, and will. In all the sacred text from The Holy Bible, The Holy Qur’an, Rig Veda, and The Book of the Dead. They all attest to creation beginning with word, with sound. What science refers to as the Big Bang. What esoteric knowledge refers to as the All as being Mental. Making these connections really for space inside of me to be created and memory accessed. Opening me up to spirit and intuition, which I have come to identify as the axis of man. 

As human beings we are a microcosm of the macrocosm: meaning we have a symbiotic bio reactive relationship with the organism of the universe. The same formula and force of creation is the same for man. Intention, thought, and will! Making this connection allowed me to give birth to Thought Healing and the Motto "healing is a thought away." Because every thought is a program and thoughts are magnetic. Our mind, body, and soul operate synchronistically like pearls. 


2020 was a year of challenges and new beginnings for many. How has your business and brand changed this year?

For me it was an optical year. Just clarifying: 2020 was 20/20 literally! It has creatively challenged and encouraged me to strongly pursue coding and interact with social media differently. 


What are you looking forward to next?

I seriously look forward to travelling all over the world and introducing the concept of a quantum life and increasing awareness of electropollution, which is number one form of pollution, and geopathic stress.

 

Any advice you want to share, Floyd, about the importance of going for your goals and dreams?

I think it is important to honor that by having an idea or a dream, that alone makes you distinct and successful. So many people do not have a dream. Hold on to your dream. And even guard your dream; only share it with those you know are positive and will potentially encourage you. So many lose out on their dreams to dream killers or to those who cannot comprehend it. Keep in mind it is your dream. Whatever your dream is, commit to it with perfect devotion. Become your dream so to say. Apply yourself, apply yourself, and apply yourself. Most importantly View things as lessons not losses, and you will never be defeated. 


Thanks for your time. How can our audience stay connected with you?

Thank you for the opportunity. My website is https://thoughthealing.info/ . You can also find me on Instagram at www.instagram.com/thoughthealing_info


Saturday, March 6, 2021

Actor Tony Todd: A Child at Heart Empowering the World Through His Craft



by Cyrus Webb

I have had the privilege now of interviewing over 10k guests on Conversations LIVE the radio show, but it was beyond a privilege to have a chat with iconic actor Tony Todd about his amazing career. For over 3 decades he has been able to enlighten and frighten us, bringing to life amazing roles in front of the camera such as with Candyman and Final Destination and even inspirational projects like the independent film WORTH.

"I grew up an only child," Mr. Todd told me and thanks to his aunt he was involved in a lot of different programs. "I have always had my active mind," he says. Life was changed for him when an English teacher gave him the script of The Tempest. "It was like a graphic novel had come to life. I wasn't fascinated with any one of the characters. I wanted to be all of them." He told me that is why being an actor is so fulfilling. "I get to play different characters in all that I do."

Outside of acting Mr. Todd told me he has been involved in causes and work that help him to appreciate life more. This includes his work as a Humanitarian, being involved in gang counseling and passion projects like writer/director Eduardo Castrillo's film WORTH. "The empowerment that I get from doing these roles leads me back to the community," he says. "I'm a teacher at heart. Sometimes the only time I can teach is during the roles I do."

Acting is more than a profession for him. According to Mr. Todd "it gives me more purpose to my life."

His advice for aspiring actors and creatives? "I always look for repeat work. It comes from forming relationships with directors, cast members and being true to yourself. Repeat work is where it's at when it comes to longevity. I'm a child at heart. Every day is an open slate."

Lots of great things coming up for Tony Todd. Stay connected with him on Instagram at www.instagram.com/tonytoddofficial and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/tonytodd54.


Tuesday, March 2, 2021

One-On-One with Social Media Icon Chris Collier


by Cyrus Webb

I've said before in the pages of Conversations Magazine that your gifts will make room for you. Someone who has seen that to be true is Chris Collier. I have known him for several years, and he has used his platform to not just amplify his own messages but help others to do amazing things when it comes to their goals and dreams online and offline. 

Known as the "Social Media Icon", Chris is sure to inspire you to decide what you want and then do the work to make it a reality. 

Chris, glad we have a chance to share your work with our Conversations audience. You have been able to provide inspiration and information to people around the world. How does it feel to be of service to others?

It is really my pleasure, Cyrus. My goal is to serve others, helping them reach their greatest potential by creating, growing, and maximizing their personal brand!

You are definitely doing that. What has it been like for you to see how what you have shared benefited others?

I have been so blessed to have helped others realize their visions, and some of them have exceeded them and created new ones. 

Service in itself is a gift. Have you always known that you were meant to be of assistance to others?

Yes! As long as I can remember. My parents engrained it into me, along with mentors and others have as well. Life has also taught this to me.

Many people are afraid to share their thoughts and their work in public. How did you develop the courage to not just decide what you want to do but let others know about it?

Everyone is afraid, but at some point you either overcome the fear or you will be overcome by it. I have a few friends that served this country; one of them in particular had to jump out of planes. He said that he was afraid, but every time he went to jump he said to fear: " I am glad you are here, fear. Since I have to jump, You are going to jump with me!” When fear attacks you, you must retaliate by punching fear in the face! That being said, the more you practice the easier it gets.

Social media is one of those tools that we all have gotten used to being around. How have you used it to grow your business?

I use it as a syndication network for my brand and my content. There are so many platforms (and people) to reach. Every platform has its own type of potential customer.


To that point you are known as The Social Media Icon. Where did that title come from, and what does it represent for you when it comes to the work you do?

I created that moniker because it fits in with what we do. We help people overcome the internet using Social Media to brand themselves.

For those dealing with the setbacks that 2020 has brought into their lives, what would you tell them about how they can start the process of getting on a better footing with their business?

Four things. 1) Make a decision to be and do better. 2) Work on you {Jim Rohn said that if you work on your business you will make a living, but when you work on yourself you will make a fortune. 3) While working on yourself find a way to help others in some type of need. 4) Find a way, if possible, to monetize that service.

You are providing some opportunities to work with individuals when it comes to their social media presence and building their brand. Talk with us about it. 

We have some classes forming for a few qualified people to help them pivot to creating their own personal brand. This is going to be a 9-week course and just a handful of those will have direct access to me, one-on-one for 20 minutes per week! The value of this course is worth its weight in gold. 

Any advice you want to share to those who are still trying to figure out what they want to do and how to do it?

Yes! Whether you do affiliate marketing, network marketing, sales, service, teaching, podcasting, vlogging, training, or coaching you have your own way of doing it, and we can create that into a brand! With the right guidance we can help you go farther, faster and create the desired success.

Great to share your work here, Chris. How can our audience stay connected with you?

It's my pleasure. My Website is www.conquerwithchris.com

Monday, March 1, 2021

TAKE TEN with author Walter G. Meyer

by Cyrus Webb

It's been a real pleasure to read author Walter G. Meyer's work over the years and see where he has taken us through his fiction. 

In 2020, however, he surprised and delighted readers with his latest book: a look at his life, adventures and lessons learned. It's called IF YOU WEREN’T HERE THIS WOULD NOT BE HAPPENING.

In this TAKE TEN we talk about the writing journey and the new book, and what it was like for him to open his life and experiences up to the world. 


Walter, it’s been great following you over the past few years. For those who are just discovering your work have you always known you wanted to write? 

I always wanted to write. From the time I could hold a pencil and make letters on a page, I wanted to write. I started writing short stories and children’s books to entertain myself at a young age. When I won a short story contest while in elementary school then started getting paid by the local paper to write articles for them when I was in ninth grade, I knew other people liked my work and I might be able to make a living writing.

·         The newest book IF YOU WEREN’T HERE THIS WOULD NOT BE HAPPENING takes us through some interesting snapshots of your life. How did it come about? 
IF YOU WEREN’T HERE THIS WOULD NOT BE HAPPENING came together pretty much by accident. Early in the Covid lock down, I responded to a friend’s post about Charlton Heston with a story about my brief crossing of paths with Mr. Heston. My comment started getting too long so I turned it into a post of my own. Which led to a post the next day about Shirley Jones. I found each story leading to another and since March, I have posted over 250 stories to Facebook. They were too long to be posts, but not quite blogs, since I wasn’t really blogging, so I coined the new term “plog” to describe them.

·         Was it easy for you to write about yourself?
So far it has been easy to tell the stories of my past. As I go on, I may delve into sadder parts of my life, but this volume of stories is mostly fun or unusual moments gleaned from my life, but doesn’t contain the bigger tragedies.

·         2020 was not the easiest year, especially for those in the creative community. Did you find that writing was something that helped you through it? 
One of the main things that helped me cope with the stresses of 2020 was escaping into my writing. Since I couldn’t travel at all this year, I was able to relive a lot of my past travels and adventures. To illustrate the stories as I posted them on Facebook, I went through many of the 9000 slides I had digitized and each one of them brought back memories, which was fun and allowed me to revisit some of the places I have been and people I have known.

·         What was it like for you to look over some of your experiences, especially through pictures?  Looking at the photos from my adventures brought back floods of memories. Some, strangely, I had no memory of the photo being taken or where it was. I guess it is a good thing that I have had so many adventures that I can’t even remember them all. Each story I would write or photo I’d examine would bring back memories of other moments from my past. If this volume sells well enough to justify more books, I have quite a few more books.

·      


  
I have to say it wasn’t until reading the book that I discovered you came to Los Angeles to be a screenwriter.  A lot of people have made trips to Los Angeles and New York City in search of their big break. What has that been like for you to see the twists and turns that you’ve experienced since that time? 
If I had made it as a screenwriter soon after I arrived in Los Angeles, needless to say, my life would be very different. That would have been nice, and I still would like to see some of my scripts produced instead of just optioned, but if I had I would have missed out on so many other moments and opportunities. Many of the stories in the book cover the odd jobs I have had from working in a bookstore to teaching comedy traffic school to freelancing for magazines. None of that would have happened if my scripts had sold right away.

·         Social media was the lifeline to a lot of the world in 2020. How did the way you choose to use it change if at all? 
With the world shut down for so much of 2020, I found Facebook and Instagram a great way to stay connected to friends. I was used to using social media and Skype and texting to keep in touch with friends and family far away, but what really changed this year was using modern technology to communicate with friends who live within walking distance, but with whom I could no longer hang out. We’d do happy hours and games online instead of in person as we normally would. I also found it a great way to share my stories and started building up a following for them on Facebook.

·         Speaking of changes, Walter, what about the world of writing and publishing?
You’ve seen some real advancements in the industry since your first book. How have you adapted to those changes? 
The publishing industry seems as muddled as it has been since the internet caused a seismic shift in the way books are produced and sold. I have had my books published by major publishers, medium ones, and very small ones and each route has its advantages and disadvantages. As the stories in my book illustrate, I been through a lot in my life and I have learned to adapt so I have had to adapt to many changes in the publishing industry and will just have to learn to adjust to those changes. With so few publishers controlling so much of the business, often they want to dictate terms to writers knowing there is so much competition to be one of the books they will release this year so often dealing with a smaller press can have its advantages.

·         It’s honestly difficult to read the new book and not see what seems to be your tenacity when it comes to life and life experiences. What do you think has helped you get to that place of comfort?  My life has been different from those of most people I know, that is for sure. Once I accepted that it was going to be different and stopped trying to fit into a “normal” path, things got much easier. I no longer wasted time and effort trying to conform and just did my own thing. The other thing I had to learn was to accept where I was. Yes, I know I have made mistakes, and could look back at certain decisions when it probably would have worked out better had I made another choice, but I don’t have a time machine to make any changes now. In a business book I wrote that is set on a golf course, I had the main character say something that is part of my philosophy of life to the effect of, “I wish my golf ball weren’t sitting behind this rock, across a water hazard from the green—a green that I can’t even see because of the trees in my way—but it is. This is where my ball landed so as much as I would like to be someplace else, I have to play it from here.” Other than as life lessons to make better decisions next time, there is no point in looking back with anger or regrets. Writing all of these stories was a nice way of reflecting on all the awesome experiences I have had. It was not the course I had charted for myself when I finished college, but it has brought me to an interesting place.

·         Looking forward what are you looking forward to working on? 
Right now I am writing another book-for-hire, about an amateur bush pilot whose experiences make my adventures seem tame by comparison. Flying in the Arctic, he discovered one of the ships from the doomed expedition of Sir John Franklin--people have been searching for it for over 170 years. The pilot crashed a World War II dive bomber in the mountains of Arizona. Lots of wild adventures that are fun to write about. Then I really want to finish my 9/11 book in time for the twentieth anniversary of those terrible attacks.

·         Thanks for the time, Walter. How can our readers stay connected?
People can check out my website: WalterGMeyer.com or follow me on Instagram @waltergmeyer or twitter @waltergmeyer