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APeeling in November

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APeelingDomesticAbuseLivingin FearLeadingin CrisisDigital MagazineNovember 2020

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Publisher: MarketAPeelEditor: Shanon PeelDesign: Shannon PeelAPeeling Magazine is published byMarketAPeel939 Homer Street Unit 411Vancouver, BC V6B 2W6778-839-0521Copyright 2020 MarketAPeel.All rights reserved. No part of thismagazine may be reproduced intoany information retrieval systemswithout the written permission ofMarketAPeel. The publishers are notresponsible in whole or part for anyerrors or omissions in this publication.All opinions and views are those ofthe writers and not of the publisher.ISSN: TBDPhoto by Blake Peellive fearlesslyIt does not mean without. fear, it means, live Lifedespite The fear

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Photo by Blake PeelShannon’s Thoughts I just launched a new product, a digital magazine called, Your Own Magazine. A customizable digital platform with ipbook features for readers on computers and laptops. For mobile device readers, a spe-cial version to make readability and interaction on the smaller screens more enjoyable. Whenever I publish a new issue of APeeling or launch a new product, I feel fear. Will it be re-ceived well? Will others judge me as not good enough? Is it going to work or will I put in lots of effort for nothing? It’s the unknown. I don’t know what is going to happen and I am putting work out there into the digital world to be judged as worthy or unworthy of attention and com-pensation. As a solopreneur, it is all on me and there is no one to sup-port me if I fail. I’m it. Win or Lose. Being on your own can be scary. I know I was scared to start out on my own. But I did it. I tried and yes I am scared of what my future holds. I’ve let fear hold me back for too long. It is time to live my dream and if I end up alone and on the street, at least I gave it a go. This issue is about fear. It seems like a good topic considering the uncertainty of the world around us right now. I wanted to look at what fear was and why it holds so much sway in how we act and the decisions we make. It is also November, which is domestic violence awareness month in Canada. Many are living in fear of an abuser, so this issue has a secton dedicated to their plight.The Apple Peels are link buttons.

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I made changes to help readers nd the stories they want to read. First Section Each page is the start of an article so you can see if you want to read more of it. At the bottom of each page is a peel to click to go to the full article. Second SectionThis section is two pages listing the contributors and the clients of MarketAPeel who are featured in this issue. Click on the images to go to the appropriate pages.Third SectionThis is where the articles start and you can experience the magazine one page at a time.Click the Peel to go to section oneClick the Peel to go to section TwoClick the Peel to go to section ThreeHow to NavigateAPeeling

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Our primal minds are all aboutsurvival and when it feels uncom-fortable, it spins out of control toget us to act. It feels something iswrong deep down in our gut and itwants the feeling to go away, so itcycles through problems, stressors,and regrets trying to determine thethreat causing the feeling. When we consciously ana-lyze the situation. Break it down.We discover the situation is not asscary as we thought and nowherenear as stressful because it is underour control to act on a solution,so why is our society lled with somuch fear? A poll by the US NationalMental Health Association foundthat 85% of Americans believe thatthe USA will experience a terror-ist attack in the near future andLiving in A Fear Filled WorldClick the Peel to continue readingby Shannon Peel

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John felt like he was always ying off the handle with his team at work. It seemed like everyone was unhappy and no one was good at their job. Af-ter his team missed yet another deadline, he brought them to-gether to discuss the problem and nd a solution. He started the meeting by saying, “Well, you all did it again, missed the deadline and now we all don’t get the bo-nus.” He grabbed a report and ipped the pages. “Stacy, do you even know what you’re do-ing? It looks like you slapped it together last minute.” The rest of the meeting continued the same way with others taking by Likky LavjiCritize or Complain?Click the Peel to continue reading

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Leading in Crisis with Character In my opinion, there is not enough discussion about good and bad examples of character in the day-to-day operations of our organizations. Even in the best, most reputable orga-nizations, I suspect that small breaches occur each and every day. And without more explicit conversations at all levels by all team members, I do not be-lieve our organizations, in fact our society, will be able to nav-igate the complex challenges facing us in the years ahead. It is time to put leadership char-acter at the top of our list of priorities for individual and or-ganizational development. The good news is there has Click the Peel to continue readingby Shakeel Bharmal

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Bananas & CucumbersA New Future For JournalistsAre you planting bananas andexpecting to pick cucumbers?Small business owners who are currentlynot generating enough money and wouldlike to, fall into one of two categoriesJournalist jobs are in free fall.From 2008-2018, newsroomjobs declined 25%.The world of marketing is returning toits roots. Storytelling. Mankind has al-ways passed along important informationthrough the telling of stories. It’s how thehuman brain works

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Everyday BeautyDid you ever consider being a professional artist? Meet Emilie Fantuz, a young Vancou-ver artist and learn how she coura-geously embraced her passion for art.Just Sign itA #ThatsLife Story

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Brace for ImpactAre you making an emotional decision? Whether you stay married or get a divorce is a big decision which is fraught with emotion.Finding support to help un-derstand what you want is the key to the answer.A story of domestic abuse during Covid-19. Shut behind doors in fear.He crossed a line she never thought he would and she had a decision to make. Stay or go? When the world is fearful, it can be magnied for those who already live in a home of fear.Marriage or Divorce?

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In Canada November is Domestic Violence Awareness MonthA section is dedicated to those who have survived and are go-ing through domestic violence. With the second Covid wave, some are at risk of increased violence from a loved one due to increased stresses and fear. It is important to keep the lines of communication open with those you suspect are suffering by calling without shame, blame, or advice. Brace for Impact: A Covid 19 Abuse StoryWhy Do They Stay?Psychological AbusersWhy I stayed: A survivor’s storyThe Food Bank Line

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This Month’s ContributorsShannon Peel Shakeel BharmalEmilie Fantuz Gil GerretsenAsh Lawrence Anthony GruppoCameron ChellNina Thiara

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MarketAPeel ClientsBecome an APeeling Member • Discounts on products, • Access to Content Libraries• Personal Branding Workshops and • promotion in the APeeling Magazine• Learn how to tell your storyClick the Peel to Learn more - Chop and ChiselEat Real Meals All Your Meals AYM KitchensMeadow Hygiene

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The city noise penetrates my sleep and I wake, alone, feeling a fore-boding, an unease, a fear deep in my gut. Flashes of incomplete thoughts play in front of my mind’s eye scaring me. The feeling in my gut gets worse as its knots tighten growing the fear.Rent is DueTasks not doneOn my ownFailures play out It takes time for the cobwebs to clear. For the generator to turn on and kick start my conscious mind. As my consciousness comes back online and my eyes begin to focus, I stretch and my tummy rumbles - I’m hungry Our primal minds are all about survival and when it feels uncomfort-able, it spins out of control to get us to act. It feels something is wrong deep down in our gut and it wants the feel-ing to go away, so it cycles through problems, stressors, and regrets to try to determine the threat causing the feeling. When we consciously analyze the situation. Break it down. We discov-er the situation is not as scary as we thought and nowhere near as stressful because it is under our control to act on a solution, so why is our society lled with so much fear? A poll by the US National Men-tal Health Association found that 85% of Americans believe that the USA will experience a terrorist attack in the near future and 41% said they feel fear (Widmeyer Research & Polling, 2004). There are countless polls and stud-ies proving we are living in a time of heightened fear. One of the reasons is our daily dose of media consumption, whether it is traditional media outlets or social media. To increase viewership news Living in a World of FearBy Shannon Peel

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media makes stories sound as dramat-ic, threatening and urgent as possible. The result is 24/7 drama and danger, “contributing to what George Gerbner called ‘the mean world syndrome’—the sense we have, based on a steady supply of frightening and threatening news, that the world is a riskier place than it actually is.” (Gerbner & Gross, 1976). We carry our news in our hands and talk about it on our screens. It is everywhere and the media has proted from a decrease in censorship and an increase in news consumption. The news used to only be report-ed at 6:00PM, then the early news, the morning news, and CNN brought 24-7 news into our homes with images of war, crime, and dangers from around the globe. Something happens in New York, suddenly we think it could hap-pen down the street from us. It’s a pos-sibility but is it a probability? Censorship used to ensured kids did not see images on TV. Today, everything is available to kids online and on their TV screens. Children no longer feel safe. Af-ter Columbine, the number of school shootings has increased and the safety features put in place to ensure their safety, makes the fear all too real for them. In my day, we had re drills. To-day, schools have lock-down drills in case of a shooter in or near the school and too many of them have experi-

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Be present. Take a close look at the world around you and ground yourself into your reality. Focus on the moment you are in and not in the fu-ture or the past. The only time you can control is the moment you have right now. What is happening right now is real, everything else is possibility or in the past. Act. Whatever you are scared of do it. Stare it in the face and act. If you are scared to go outside because you’ll get Covid but you need groceries, then mask up and go to the store. By doing it you will remove the possibility with reality and when it is real you can re-duce the risk by protecting yourself and control your response by being mindful of what is happening. We live in a world of perceived fear. You can choose to live in the emo-tion of fear or to take the steps to be-come more mindful and rational about what is really happening in your world.PollChoose as many as apply

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Submit Your Story to APeelingHow APeeling WorksBenets to YouHow to SubmitMore Information1. Anyone can submit one story free2. Clients of MarketAPeel are in all issues3. APeeling members can submit to 4 issuesPublished in a quality productExposure to APeeling readersPromotion on social mediaBacklinks to your websitesSend a 500 - 1500 word edited story to advertising@marketapeel.agency.I do not edit submitted stories at this point in time

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John felt like he was al-ways ying off the handle with his team at work. It seemed like everyone was unhappy and no one was good at their job. Af-ter his team missed yet another deadline, he brought them to-gether to discuss the problem and nd a solution. He started the meeting by saying, “Well, you all did it again, missed the deadline and now we all don’t get the bo-nus.” He grabbed a report and ipped the pages. “Stacy, do you even know what you’re do-ing? It looks like you slapped it together last minute.” The rest of the meeting continued the same way with others taking Keynote Speaker | Facilitator | ConsultantAPeeling Columnist

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up the blame game to directJohn’s attention elsewhere. He left the meeting drainedand confused. He knew theteam was made up of skilledand experienced individu-als who should be hitting theteam’s targets easily. Were theythe problem, or was he? Whenhe mentioned this problem to afriend, he invited John to join aMastermind group to help himnd a solution. John told the Mastermindgroup about the meeting andhow disappointed he was in ev-eryone and the meeting’s lackof solutions. The group listenedwhile he expressed his frustra-tion, then they gave him con-structive feedback. Brian askedhim, “John is everyone on yourteam incompetent?” John as-sured them they were all com-petent and talented individuals.They just were performing be-low their potential. Sarah went on to explain,“If you criticize their work con-stantly, you are setting thetone of the group to be one ofcriticism and blame. They willnot perform for fear of gettingyelled at by you.” This made sense to Johnand he wanted to make achange. Sarah introduced himto the complaint formula forcommunication created by Dr.John Gottman.

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The Complaint Formula Dr. John Gottman rened the skill of effective complain-ing down to a simple, three-part formula. With a little prac-tice and persistence, it will help team members to talk to each other without doing harm.Express how you feel Effective complaints are best launched by stating how you feel. A feeling may be an emotion like anger or fear, or a physical state like tiredness or pain. It moves away from blame and personal attacks, which accompany criticism, and often begins with absolute phrases like “you always” or “you nev-er.”Talk about a specic situation After stating your feelings, describe the situation or behav-ior that caused that feeling. This approach removes the personal blame which results in attaching negative attributes to character, abilities, or talents. You are saying the behaviour is at issue, not the person. It is along the lines of, hate the behaviour not the child. Par-ents who focus on the child’s shortcoming through blame Do you criticize other’s work?

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and shame attack the child’s worth. When they focus on the behaviour, they empower the child through learning and de-velopment. State a positive need Finally, ask the person to take positive action to resolve the complaint. Using this formula doesn’t guarantee complaints will be resolved. It does give teams a tool they can use to express their complaints without the risk of their requests being sidelined by a team member who feels the need to defend against criticism. Let’s apply this formula to an issue John raised, and Sta-cey’s response to see how the discussion could have ended differently. John: I feel frustrated (here’s how I feel) when you do not turn your work in on time (about a very specic situation). Can we walk and talk for a half an hour to develop a solution to this problem (expressing her positive need)? Stacey: I feel overwhelmed (how I feel) by all the extra de-mands the team asks of me (about a very specic situation). I need to know what to do and when. (express a positive need).Do you expect perfection from others?

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 John: I’m afraid (how I feel)the project won’t get done ontime because we are waitingfor your report to be complet-ed (about a very specic situ-ation). I don’t want you to feeloverwhelmed or stressed. Howabout you make a list of every-thing you are being asked todo and together we prioritizethe items to ensure everythinggets done on time (express apositive need). Stacy That’s fair. 
While a resolution isn’t guar-anteed, effective complainingenables team members to en-gage in conict and achieveresolutions, which criticism putsout of reach. When resolutionsare out of reach, people be-
come marginalized and eitherthey leave or are let go resultingin more work for the rest of theteam. Many teams thrive in spiteof  unresolved conflict.Many individuals learnedto tolerate conicts by com-plaining instead of criticizing.But they also have a powerful,secret ingredient: they diffusethe tension that builds up whendiscussing these issues by tak-ing responsibility for their ac-tions, xing their mistakes, andappreciating the efforts of othermembers of the team. When team membersdiffuse the tension, they areenabling the other team mem-bers to feel safe and includedinstead of pushing them outof the group or silencing theirvoices. John learned that as aleader he needed to dene theculture to encompass a non-critical environment and keepeveryone accountable to beingless critical of each other. Byfocusing on the situation andpositive solutions to the prob-lem, without blaming anyone,the team felt safer to open upand seek help from each other. By using Dr. Gottman’s crit-

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ical formula to communicate, team members were clearer in what the issues were and what they needed from each other, which enabled them to solve problems instead of creating them. It took time for individ-ual team members to change their communication habits, but once they did, the team was exceeding productivity goals and coming in before deadline. The result was a team which worked together in a safe and results focused environment. .Likky Lavji is the Blind Spot Navigator, helping organizations, teams, and indi-viduals discover the blind spots in their livesClick to DiscoverTake the Free Assessment to discover Your Bad BehavioursClick here

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While there has been much public discourse in the last few years about leader character, for the most part, these discus-sions seem to be only amplied in the media when a breach of trust occurs or a gross display of a lack of integrity is demon-strated by a public gure or leader. In my opinion, there is not enough discussion about good and bad examples of character in the day-to-day operations of our organizations. Even in the best, most reputable orga-nizations, I suspect that small breaches occur each and every day. And without more explicit conversations at all levels by all team members, I do not be-lieve our organizations, in fact our society, will be able to nav-igate the complex challenges facing us in the years ahead. It is time to put leadership char-acter at the top of our list of priorities for individual and or-ganizational development. The good news is there has been some great work done on this subject recently. Each and every one of us has access to this solid thinking, with a well-dened language, which we can use to drive change in our own circles. In the early 2000s, I was working as a management con-sultant at a top rm. I still have a lot of respect for the leaders and colleagues I worked with there. The character of these individuals was one of the key factors in my choosing to ac-cept their offer of employment when I graduated from busi-ness school. Leading in Crisis with CharacterBy Shakeel Bharmal

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It was demonstrated very clearly in how the leadership managed the bursting of the tech bubble. While many of our competitors were laying off employees in the face of declining client engagements, my rm came up with some creative options to keep most of us employed. These includ-ed giving staff the opportunity to volunteer for up to a year at a non-prot at partial sala-ry. I beneted from a different program, which allowed me to take 2 months off without pay to spend time with my newborn son but with a guaranteed re-turn to work date. However, while the econ-omy was resetting from the bursting of the tech bubble, an-other set of forces was already in play that would result in an-other crisis just 8 years later. The 2008 nancial cri-sis was a human-made crisis caused by a widespread break-down of leadership in compa-nies and governments in some of the strongest economies in the world. Early in my tenure, I was assigned to a small team to

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help develop a proposal for an engagement with a major US retailer. The retailer was look-ing for assistance to develop a new business unit. I was excited to get that call. It was a plum opportunity for a recently-mint-ed MBA. As I was briefed, I learned that the aim of the project was to launch a new business which offered credit to a segment of the retailer’s customers. But as the days pro-gressed, and I conducted my research into this segment, I grew increasingly uncomfort-able. The segment was made up of low-income, underemployed families with no assets. These families were eager to accept the nancial boost that came from access to credit with-out fully appreciating the risk. Lenders were eager to give these families the credit, be-cause they sold the debt any-way, absolving them of the risk. I submitted the approach and workplan for the pro-posal, went on my winter va-cation with my young family and put the brief assignment behind me. Upon my return, I

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was staffed on another project which I felt much better about. It has been 18 years since I worked on that proposal but, this past year, I have been thinking a lot about that time. When I was getting un-comfortable about the nature of the project, why did I not speak up and express my con-cerns? If I had, would it have changed anything? Was it my place, as a new junior employ-ee, to express my concerns? And if I had said something, what would my leaders have said or done to me? I think these are very important ques-tions of character. After some reection, I have come to the conclusion that, at the time, while my re-search into the subprime mar-ket might have triggered my “Humanity,” my “Courage” as a new junior employee was underdeveloped. I suspect this was also the case for 1000s of employees working in the orga-nizations that were contributing to the coming storm. I also believe, as I reect on my experiences, that as I became more senior at the Listen

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rm, had I spoken up, I would not have been ostracized. I don’t think my words would have made any difference in the grand scheme of things, but I would not have been hu-miliated or penalized for speak-ing my mind. I don’t think that was necessarily the case at oth-er organizations. I am grateful that in the months and years following that brief, 3-day assignment, I was exposed to ideas, leaders and cultures that enabled me to build a foundation of leader-ship competence, commitment and character, including cour-age. I like to believe this lead-ership character has contribut-ed to my positively inuencing the organizations I have been part of since that time. But, like everyone else, I remain a work in progress.Subscribe to APeelingShakeel Bharmal is a leadership coach and speaker. For more informtaion about his services, click the peel

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The Placeof Fearby Anthony GruppoWhile helping Anthony write his latest book, Pushers of the Possible, I could notfathom someone so capable, condent, and composed feeling fear, so I askedhim. Here is an excerpt from the book, Pushers of the Possible. Fear is a strong emotionmeant to keep us safe from thereal dangers to our well-be-ing, health, and lives. In today’sworld, we fear unreal dan-gers, which are introduced tous through news, Hollywood,marketing, and our politicalleaders. The more we have, themore we fear losing it and thenwe spend more energy protect-ing what we have than riskingto get more. Anxiety is on the rise inteens and young adults, asthey strive to do everythingthey need to do in a day. It isbecoming an epidemic in oursociety as people live in fearof losing, being judged, andfailing. Many give up or don’teven try because fear tells themthey won’t make it so, theymight as well escape into mov-ies, video games, social media,alcohol, drugs, or a host of oth-er addictive escapist behaviors. Some people wake upafraid of what will happen next,when the shoe will drop, whichcurve ball will hit them, or whenthe rug will be pulled. The more these people fear,the more their fears are prov-en right as they lose again andagain. If you are in a place offear, you’ve already lost. If youdwell or ruminate in a place of

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fear, you are in a losing posi-tion. To overcome your fearsand move forward, acknowl-edge it, understand what youare afraid of, and then decide ifthe fear is real or manufactured. How much money do youhave in the bank? How muchdo you need to make rent?What will it take to get it? Canyou get a job? If you cannotnd work, can you nd a proj-ect or a contract? Have youlooked hard enough? Be hon-est with yourself. Have you trulydone everything you possiblycan to nd work to pay thebills? You may not like the solu-tion, but you have to realize it isonly a short-term situation andyou can handle the situation bymaking the necessary choicesto move forward. I have found people I cantrust throughout my life andhave surrounded myself withhelpful people by being helpfulmyself I start by helping othersrst and learning about them asI do, this way I nd the peopleI can trust to help me when Ihave condence cracks. I’ve been afraid. I know

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what it feels like to be disap-pointed. I’ve been anxious. I have believed I wasn’t enough and didn’t have what it took. I know the taste of fear. I just don’t swallow it. I roll the fear around in my mouth, use my other senses to touch it, smell it, experience it, to get to know the edges of it. I know what I don’t want to happen. I know what I do want to happen. I un-derstand what I am really afraid of, and then, I drive myself past it.Anthony Gruppo is an In-ternational CEO, Speaker, Author, and servant lead-er. Click the Peel to learn more.Available on Amazon

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FearlesslyTo LiveLoseControl

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ControlI asked my LinkedIn followers to dene fear and this is what they said: Jessica CoulthardI like to reframe it to EXCITE-MENT about the unknownWill MackeyFear is not being able to have control of the unknown, wheth-er it be real or imaginary.Ken BaldoFear is the opposite of love. Most fears are False Evidence Appearing Real.Tammy BoljuncicFear immobilizes us, paralyzes physically and mentally high-jacking our ability to act in any rational manner. It takes the life out of our lives and has us repressing, oppress-ing and supressing until we regret not doing something to save ourselves from shame and guilt. It holds us hostage , not for ransom, but in exchange for our soul and purpose on this earth. It kills us slowly while stealing our self worth, so that we having nothing left but tears.

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Writers use emotion to motivate characters and move them through their story. The two strongest motivators for human behaviour are fear and love. Both are on either side of a weight scale and still interact to fuel each other An author can use the fear of losing a love or a child to motivate a character into ac-tion. She can use the fear of never nding love to create conict and depth in a char-acter. Fear of being hurt by someone we love to keep a character stuck and distanced from their target; love. Fear of being loved so much that the character can’t reciprocate, can inspire self awareness or intro-spection. We fear that which we do not control. Think about it.Fear of loss - We can’t control if something is lost or someone is lost.Fear of object - The object is in control of our response and our safetyFear of future - No one con-trols time, the future, the past or right now.Fear of the unknown - You can’t control what you don’t knowFear of people - Can’t control the actions of othersFear of public speaking - Your inability to control what they will say or think when they pay attention to you So, if we want to live a fearless life - We need to lose What is Fear?by Shannon Peel

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control. We need to let it go, accept it, and trust that things will be as they will be. We need to see things for what they real-ly are and not what they might be. Due to global communica-tion our world is micro and we fear things that are not a threat. We create threats. We are our own worst enemy because we have irrational fears, anxiety and panic attacks. We start hid-ing from the world, shutting off from those around us becom-ing isolated. All one needs do is watch the news to know we are in a state of fear. Covid, protests, violence, division, and personal attacks. It can be a scary place if we focus only on what we can-not control. By focusing on what we can and acting accord-ingly, we can go out and suc-ceed. I live in fear every day, but I do not let it stop me from trying to succeed. Yes, I am scared, but I’m still here trying!How does fear fit into your story?

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 The economic decline be-ing experienced by the newsindustry may precipitate one ofthe biggest marketing shifts ofthe next ten years. Here’s why. The Free Fall of Journal-ism: Journalist jobs are in freefall. In the 10 years ending with2018, newsroom jobs declined25%. But in 2019 and 2020, thebloodletting has been horricfor journalists. This is happen-ing not just at newspapers, butalso magazines and digital me-dia. There is no longer a safehaven in the news business andjournalists are desperate to g-ure out their next move. Thetraditional news business is notcoming back and they know it. The Return of Storytelling:At the same time, the worldof marketing is returning to itsroots. Storytelling. Mankind hasalways passed along importantinformation through the tellingof stories. It’s how the humanbrain works best. The rise ofthe internet took us away fromthat for a season, but now thatinformation has become abun-dant and functionally free, peo-ple are no longer enamored orinterested in information. Theyseek relevance and authori-ty. That is best accomplishedthrough storytelling. The Emergence of SocialMedia Fatigue: While theseabove mentioned changes areactive and visible, there’s a thirdand related trend impacting theworld of marketing. People aregetting weary of social media.A New FutureFor JournalistsBy Gil Gerretsen

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They nd themselves wasting too much time on senseless scrolling. They are increasingly frustrated by people’s increas-ingly unpleasant online be-havior. They nd themselves actively distrusting the social media platforms. As a a result, more people are either reduc-ing their activity, disengaging for a period of emotional recov-ery, or deleting their accounts entirely. People are looking for better and more trustworthy ways to know what’s going on in the world around them. Five Year Career Shifts: Twenty years ago we saw the emergence of computer pro-grammers as a force in busi-ness. They changed the world. Fifteen years ago we saw the emergence of graphic design-ers as computers allowed them to polish the look and feel of marketing materials. Ten years ago, we started seeing the emergence of website design-ers who combined program-ming skills and graphic skills to build amazing online marketing machines. Five years ago, we Wasting Time?

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saw the rise of app develop-ers who took their skills and insights to the world of mar-keting through phones and tablets. The realignment and redeployment of journalists is next! Journalists Leave The Cocoon: There’s a powerful marketing storm on the hori-zon that is creating a fresh op-portunity for savvy marketers and journalists. Skilled journal-ists are trained to write and tell stories in a memorable way. Few programmers, graphic designers, or app developers have that skill. As the world of marketing embraces story-telling as the best way to get messages across, companies will need skilled storytellers. Larger companies will hire jour-nalists (or teams of journalists) to become their corporate sto-rytellers. Many more journal-ists will start creating fractional agencies where they split their “freelancer” services across multiple clients -- much like programmers, graphic design-ers, and app developers have done in the past. Why It’s Smart to Hire A Journalist: The era of inter-rupting potential customers with self-centered “marketing material” is ending. Compa-nies wil l be forced to migrate towards creating and offering interesting stories and insights that intrigue people and caus-es them to seek out a deeper relationship. Having a journal-ist on your team who can do this will set you apart from the competition and give you a signicant edge in the market-place. Journalists Think Differ-ently: Of course, a journalist thinks very differently than a marketer, so if you hire one, you need to be aware of the differences. First, they are ac-customed to deadlines and often thrive with the associated adrenaline rush (even if they

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complain about it). Second, byvirtue of their training and eth-ics, credible journalists can’tand won’t spew out corporategobbledygook. Third, their nat-ural ability to sift through in-formation and opinions, weighoptions, and then write clearstories means they will see op-portunities that more tradition-al marketers might miss. Youneed to provide transparencyand give them comparativelyfree reign! The Bottom Line: The sto-rytelling shift is inevitable. Cor-porate journalism will becomea signicant new career path.Journalists who become cor-porate storytellers will becomethe best way to connect con-sumers to the people behindthe products and services thatwill lead the way in the comingdecade.Gil Gerretsen . a veteranmarketing consultant,business builder, andturnaround specialistThink Differently

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Are you planting Bananas & expecting to pick Cucum-bers? In my experience life is all about cause and effect, do you remember learning at school that every action has an equal and opposite reaction? Call it what you like, cause and effect, sow and reap, action & reaction one thing is for sure we are all currently getting the results of the action we have taken in the past. So I’m sure that you, like me, will agree that if we want something dif-ferent we need to do some-thing different! As a psychologist I am al-ways looking at the Behaviour of my clients, and come to that, at a lot of the people that attend ABC Networks and what I see is people getting a poor result and then moaning about it… How crazy is that? Psychologists are con-stantly trying to prove or dis-prove theories and a theory that I have knocking about in my head at the moment is this… Small business owners that are currently not generat-ing enough money and would like to, fall into one of two cat-egories…1 – They don’t know what to do to.Or2 – They know what to do but don’t do it. If they don’t know what to do then that’s easy to x; nd out what you need to learn and then Do It Now!Bananas & CucumbersBy Ash Lawrence

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The second group is some-what harder to solve as they really do need to ask them-selves why it is that they are not taking action on the knowledge that they have. For instance, do they really want what it is they say they want? I speak to lots of small business owners and I’m amazed at how many people seem to have a different view of the sow and reap theory, for example they go networking don’t engage with people, they don’t get any business and then say that networking doesn’t work. They then try a different networking group, don’t engage again and funny thing is they don’t get any busi-ness again. Is this group 1 or 2? This behaviour isn’t just restricted to networking events either, it happens in other areas of their business. A business owner I met recently was telling me about his current cash ow issues and how he gets ahead for a bit and then the same thing happens. I asked him what his systems were for col-lecting money from his clients and he said he hasn’t got time to put any systems in place be-cause he is always chasing sales so he would have enough cash to pay his bills… Is this group 1 or 2? One thing for sure is that it is absolute madness, to keep doing the same

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thing and expecting a differ-ent result, it’s just like planting bananas and expecting to pick cucumbers! It doesn’t work… If you are happy with the result you are getting, that’s great. If not and you want a different result, then do some-thing different and if that doesn’t work do something dif-ferent and if that doesn’t work do something different! Are you getting the picture? First of all you need to know exactly what result it is that you want and then you need to measure every day what has worked and what hasn’t. Every day I ask my-self have I moved towards my target or away from it. If I’ve moved towards it, great, I’ll do more of what I did. If I’ve moved away from it, I’ll change what I did, it’s really quite sim-ple. It doesn’t matter what we do in life we can’t plant banan-as and pick cucumbers.Ash Lawrence is the Flip Flop Psycho who helps people change the ‘Cause’ of their results!Video https://youtu.be/1k4eY2q_RoQ

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Either you live life orlive in fear of itAPeeling members have access to acontent library lled with genericevergreen content which they can usefor their own social media postsLearn MorePhoto by Marcy Peel

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Our gift to you.Click ToJoin A ChallengeMarketAPeelOne Week ChallengesSocial Media ChallengeAt the end, your social media proles will be branded and you will have a one week content calendar with a social media content process to tell a comprehen-sive branded storyWrite Your Story ChallengeWant to write your life story for prosperity, your family, or perhaps for yourself? Daily writing prompts to ignite your memoriesMarketAPeel ChallengeA quick step by step outline of how to get the most out of MarketAPeel

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About Cameron Chell Cameron Chell is considered a ‘serial entrepreneur’ with his rst ventures beginning at age 14 and a trajectory in business that spans more than 25 years. He is the co-founder and CEO of the Business Instincts Group (BIG) and BUILD Impossible. He has launched numerous successful tech start-ups such as Dragany Innovations (CSE: DFLY) (OTCQB: DFLYF), ColdBore Technologies, Raptor Rig, Urthe-cast, KODAKOne and Currency-Works (TSXV and OTCQB: CWRK). His entrepreneurial success is based on principles of clear vision, quantiable results and tireless pur-suit of goals. A sought-after speaker, Chell has addressed audiences of thou-sands in settings around the world. His presentations include speeches at the United Nations, Tony Rob-bins, and TEDx Montreal Women. His talks touch on themes ranging from technology to homelessness as he shares his life experiences of overcoming hurdles and doing “the impossible.”Cameron Chell Gets Schooled

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Everyday Beauty From her favorite place in her Vancouver art studio along-side her artist husband, Emi-lie Fantuz has built a life and career from the moments that most bring her joy—everyday beauty. After discovering the medium of oil paint and pal-ette knives that would ignite her art while living immersed in the beauty of Hawaii, Emilie found her time in Michigan and subsequent move to Canada a welcome adventure but it was everyday life that honed the practice that would ultimately birth Emilie’s success and hap-piness. Emilie cultivated a practice of seeking beauty in unexpect-ed places—the reection of a bluesky and white clouds on a skyscraper’s glass side, the col-orful lights of store signs shim-mering on wet streets. Finding beauty in the unexpected has not only brought Emilie person-al joy, even helping her carve a new life in a different coun-try, but has also developed the quality that makes her work powerful both for her audience and herself—authenticity. Every artist must consider the question of who they paint for and why. Do they paint for collectors and nancial suc-cess? Do they paint for an au-dience and their acceptance? Do they paint for themselves and their own happiness? Each answer comes with its benets and challenges. In her pursuit of authenticity, Emilie’s choice

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to paint only what draws hereye and stokes her passion hasculminated in both an unmis-takably unique body of workand a lifelong practice of fol-lowing her bliss. It’s the courage to take thepath that calls to us, regard-less of whether others can seeor understand this path, thatleads us to the life of authen-ticity, beauty, and joy we alldesire. In art, Emilie found anever-ending adventure withlimitless potential for growthand exploration. It’s this searchfor the moments of everydaybeauty—palette knife in hand,working beside her life part-ner—that shows Emilie Fantuzshe’s found her path.Emilie Fantuz is an artist, using oilpaint and palette knives to create artthat preserves a glimpse of beauty inthe subtle scenes we often overlook.

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Marriageor Divorce?By Nina Thiara I support women, like you,make the most critical decisionof their lives, whether to leaveor stay in a marriage. It was my own personaljourney of going through a di-vorce that made me passion-ate about helping other womengain clarity on whether theyshould leave or stay in a mar-riage that isn’t working. I was so unhappy in mymarriage that I decided to sep-arate from my husband. I feelin some ways my decision toseparate was done in a reactivemode without fully feeling myemotions. I did not fully exploreall my options before makingthe decision to separate. WhenI separated, I was angry at mypartner and I was coming fromblame. I then got myself in thebusy mode of taking care of thechildren, managing the house,nances and going back toschool. Everything a personwho is going through a heart-ache will do to x the problemon the outside. I failed to look at my EMO-TIONS and really hone in theROOT cause of me wanting toleave. The busyness was a dis-traction and was a temporarysolution. When the busy-nesssubsided, I hit depression andthat’s when I realized that if Iwanted to really leave my hus-band from a fully empoweredplace, I rst needed to acceptmy situation for what it was. I needed to feel my emo-tions and gain the clarity Ineeded to leave or stay froma place of forgiveness, grati-tude and acceptance. It doesn’t

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mean that the journey ahead was going to be easy, what it meant was that I could take full responsibility for my journey without blaming anyone. If I left from a place of blame, I knew I would continue to re-create the same problem somewhere else. That’s when I decided to do the deep inner work need-ed to make a clear decision of whether to leave or stay. What was interesting that the emo-tions coming up were my own suppressed emotions from childhood that I had to work on feeling and releasing. Although, prior to doing the emotional work needed, I put all the blame on my ex-husband, but after doing the work, I realized that what I had in my marriage was what I subconsciously co-creat-ed based on my own family his-tory. I not only had to heal my marriage, I also had to heal my childhood programming and my cultural beliefs around relation-ships. Once, I gained the clarity,

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not only the depression lifted and I healed, I also was able to leave my ex from a good place, keeping the future of my chil-dren secure and emotionally in-tact from any effects of divorce. I also took care of my nances so I didn’t go broke after di-vorce, but had a future cushion for my children and me. I really want the same for you. If your marriage is worth saving, let’s work together to explore that option, if it doesn’t have a potential to be saved, let’s not leave from a place of anger and blame. The world needs happy women so do our children. To explore the option of whether to leave or stay sign up for my free product where I will share 3 challenges women face when it comes to making the most critical decision of their lives, whether to stay or leave in a marriage that isn’t working.Nina Thiara is a Divorce Coach who provides her clients with the emo-tional clarity they need in making the decision whether to leave or stay in a marriageSubscribe to APeeling

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In Canada November is Domestic Violence Month

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As an adult, wife and mother, I thought I had pre-pared myself for the worst of anything. I was always an in-dependent being, resourceful, willing to learn, grow and de-velop into the best version of myself. I didn’t suffer from any diagnosed anxiety, other than a self-diagnosis of being able to cope effectively with quick re-exes and a penchant for prob-lem solving. Bring me the prob-lems as I attacked them with vigor, logic and experience. But nobody prepares you for your own trauma. Nobody. I became a statistic of domestic violence during COVID-19. My husband crossed the line I condently told others many times over he would never cross to physical abuse or harm to myself or my children. With that assault came shock, disbelief, and a ight response I didn’t know existed in my being. I was a ghter…and I chose not to ght back. I simply couldn’t believe it hap-pened. There was no warning, no air bag with oxygen mask to drop from the ceiling, no pam-phlet to inform me of a water Brace for Impact: A Covid 19 Domestic Abuse StoryThe following stories were submitted to APeeling for Anonymous pub-lication. I applaud their courage in leaving a bad situation and sharing their stories to inspire others to nd their courage. Domestic abuse is a pandemic, one many ignore because it make them uncomfortable.

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landing. Nothing. Current state of affairs in-cludes a steadfast routine of counselling, seeking wisdom and a path to end a marriage that had been overdue to be ended, but with children in-volved, it’s not always easy. Pandemic or not, there is no easy time to go through some-thing like this. To try to make sense of anything is part of the healing and it’s going to be scary, hairy and purposeful. I refuse to become a victim by sharing my story, albeit anon-ymously. Keep in mind that’s just for now as I seek to protect myself and my children through our healing. And one day I will be proud to call myself a survi-vor.5 months later...The aftermath. A lot can change in 5 months. That impact resulted in a time of extreme growth. I chose to commit to working and healing through the impact and its aftermath. Aftermath is commonly related to negative events and I’m not going to lie, our aftermath included a very ugly relapse of alcohol abuse,

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continued verbal and emotion-al abuse to both myself and my children. My aftermath also had positive results. Most impor-tantly, I found my voice. I found my voice and most importantly the words to conclude that I refused to live any more days unhappy and in a situation that clearly needed my voice to move forward to work towards a life of happiness and joy de-spite the growing pains to our new family dynamics, a naviga-tion of recovery, and becoming a single parent. In this aftermath, the grass got cut and regrowth is a very won-derful thing. The grass is green-er where you water it, even if it got cut short.-Still AnonymousDomestic Abuse is up in 2020According to St. Joseph’s SADVTPSt Joseph’s Hospital is located in London Ontario Click for more info.

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When someone is physi-cally assaulted it is easy for us to believe the person is abused and needs help. However, when the abuse is psycholog-ical it can be easy to dismiss as over sensitive or looking for sympathy instead of help. The person may not know they are being abused and slowly, over time their self-es-teem is worn down until they believe they don’t matter, are unworthy of help, and are numb to the humiliation and degradation. They may even welcome it because it feels nor-mal to them due to condition-ing over time. To undermine your self esteem, the abuser will humil-iate and criticize constantly to reinforce the idea that you are nothing. An abuser may con-stantly call you stupid or have a derogatory “pet name” for you. They will do their best to assas-sinate your character by saying you are not “good enough” by accusing you of “always” being something negative, incapable of being successful, or unwor-thy of good things. Words hurt and a psychological abuser will use their words to demean and break down the person they claim to love. Psychological abusers will not hit you with their sts, but they will with their voice. They will yell, throw things, pound their sts to scare you and make you feel weak. They will threaten you with violence or something you are scared of like being alone or losing the kids. They will embarrass you in public and push your buttons every chance they get. At the core of psycholog-ical abuse is control and they will do anything to ensure Psychological Abuse

Shannon Peel

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they control you. Monitoring your whereabouts and digital-ly spying on you so they can nd something you are doing wrong and punish you for it as if you were a child. They may even make important decisions for you, like taking control of your nances to make you ask them for money. Abusers have insecurities and they want to ensure you are beneath them in everything so they will blame, accuse, and deny ensuring they are right, and you are wrong. They will blame you for their abusive behaviours, it’s all your fault they are like this, they are re-ally good, but you make them bad. Or they will deny their abusive behaviour all together and tell you that you are imag-ining things. They will gaslight you by making you question what you know to be true. You agreed that if you bathed the kids, he’d read them a bedtime story. When it comes time to read the story, he says you nev-er agreed to that and contin-ue until you think you’re crazy. They will blame you for their problems. It’s your fault they have to stay at a job they hate, even if you found them one, they’d love but they choose not to take it. It is all about them and they will emotionally abuse you to ensure their feelings are more important than yours. They will demand you respect them, but they don’t need to respect you. They ignore you when you need them or get angry if they have to help you. Some will isolate you from friends and family to ensure you are dependent on them and alone without them. Your feelings mean nothing to them, they will ignore your pain and say you are being “silly” for feeling a certain way. Fear is at the core of psy-chological abuse. The abuser uses fear to keep the abused

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person under their control. Theabuser is also scared of beingalone, losing them, or beingseen as they see themselves. There are resources outthere for people who areabused to help them to breakfree and to heal. It takes time to heal andthose around you may not want to help you, hear you, or wait foryou to be better. Friends andfamily may expect you to bethe person they think you are,even though you are far fromit. This is why it is importantto nd resources, meet otherpeople who have gone throughwhat you have, and take timeto be alone to discover whoyou are.

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Women often stay because the abuser has threatened to kill them himself, or the children: About 26% of all wom-en who are murdered by their spouse had left. Half of the murdered women were killed within two months of leaving the relationship. Women are 6 times more likely to be killed by an ex-part-ner than by a current partner. Almost 60% of all dating violence happens after the rela-tionship has ended. Women stay because they are nancially dependent on their partner. Women who leave a partner to raise chil-dren on their own are ve times more likely to be poor. About 1 in 5 single moth-ers in Canada live on a low in-come. Some women stay because they have strong beliefs about keeping the family together. Sometimes, relatives or in-laws blame the woman for the vio-lence and insist she stay. The mental health conse-quences of abuse can make it difcult for women to leave a relationship. Sixty-four per cent of battered women exhib-it symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Domestic abuse is often a gradual process, with the frequency of assaults and seri-ousness of the violence slow-ly escalating over time. Since abusers often express deep re-morse and promise to change, it can take years for women to admit that the violence will nev-er stop. The long-term experience of being abused can destroy a woman’s self-condence, mak-ing it more difcult to believe she deserves better treatment. Why do Women Stay?Click for sources and more info

The answer for this question taken from CanadianWomen.org Click button for more information

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I was married to a psycho-logical abuser for 20 years. Why didn’t I leave in 2002 when I rst thought of leaving? Why didn’t I leave when my friends offered me a place to stay? Why didn’t I leave when he rst said he wanted a divorce? Why didn’t I leave when...? The an-swer is fear. I was scared of losing the privilege of being with my kids every day. They were my ev-erything and the idea of not having them in my daily life was scary. Little did I know that they were determined to come with me and stay with me. A few years later they moved out on their own and I had to face down my fear of them not be-ing in my daily life and of being alone in the world. Guess what - I survived. I was scared of pover-ty. During the times when I Why I stayed: A Domestic Abuse Story

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thought of leaving, I didn’t have a job and no money. When I did have a job, he de-manded I pay 50% of all the bills – sounds fair right? 50% was always more than what I made, and I still had to buy the groceries and pay for the kid’s extra curricular stuff. What do you do when you need to pay for something and you don’t have enough? You use your credit card. In the end, I had no job, I had a credit card bill, which my ex wouldn’t pay be-cause he stopped paying any bill that was in my name. Can you guess where I ended up by myself? You guessed it, in front of judge admitting I was a -nancial failure. I made payment arrangements and a month later, I nally got a job and af-ter 2 years paid it all back, but my credit rating was gone. He didn’t pay much in child sup-port and what I made barely paid the bills, but we made it through. I was scared of being alone. By this time, I believed I was worth nothing to the world,

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that no one could possibly love me and I didn’t matter. If I left, I would be alone for the rest of my life and the pain of that fear was worse than stay-ing. When my marriage broke down, I went out into the dat-ing world trying to prove to him that I could be loved and be loved by someone amazing. Well, that didn’t happen. I was provided more evidence that I was unlovable or only wanted by men whose behaviour was worse than my husbands. Fun-ny thing, I am now happy with being alone and the idea of a solitary life no longer causes me pain or fear, in fact, I enjoy being alone. I was scared of my par-ents. This has got to be the most irrational fear I had at the time. I was scared that my par-ents wouldn’t love me if I left him. I had no good reason for leaving besides I didn’t want to be with him. He didn’t cheat, he was responsible, and he didn’t beat me. He only yelled and told me all the ways I was useless. Growing up, I was taught marriage was forever and you didn’t bail because you were unhappy, you stuck it out through the bad times for the good times. Divorce for the sake of divorce was unac-ceptable and bad for the kids. Never mind that my son was begging me to leave his dad. In the end, my relationship with my parents is better than it ever was. I now realize they will love me even when I fall at on my face. I know, I should have known that before. I didn’t see myself as be-ing abused. I didn’t see his behaviour as abusive. I didn’t understand that I was in con-stant fear of his moods and believed what he told me, “I didn’t deserve better.” He didn’t want to be whipped and doing anything for me meant he was whipped. I thought I was OK with never having help

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and always picking up the slack around the house because I was more than capable of do-ing it all, work, home, kids. His constant criticism was normal to me. I ignored him when he blamed me for his lot in life and the dust. I always get blamed for the dust. I believed he was the best partner for me be-cause our strengths and weak-nesses were opposite and he forced me to do the things I didn’t want to do, like clean the house. Real romantic huh. I look back now and wonder how we stayed together so long. After he forced me out of the house, I started meeting with lawyers and other divorce professionals. Each one told me there was government help because I was an abused wom-an. I’d stare at them blankly and tell them I wasn’t. Then they would explain how my be-haviour and attitude was that of an abused woman. I was terried of upsetting him. I wouldn’t demand full child support and was willing to take the pittance he offered be-

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cause I was scared of his tem-per. I didn’t think I deservedmy fair share and the only thingI cared about was having thekids with me full time. I’d sacri-ce anything and everything forthat one thing. I am not a timidperson and I am smart enoughto know how to protect myinterests, still the idea of himnding out I’d put a lien on thehouse terried me. After 3 years, I nally got alawyer and I felt protected forthe rst time in years. He hadmy back and a no contact orderto send to my ex. My recovery started onthat day. It was like a hugeweight of fear was lifted off me.Every day since then, I havegotten stronger, more con-dent, and less afraid. I have alot of work to do still, but I canbe proud of myself becauseI am a strong, independentwoman who doesn’t need aman – Which is exactly how myson described me soon afterthe separation, I didn’t feel thatway then, I do now.Subscribe to APeeling

Anonymous

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Wise Women WeeklyConnecting Women Join Us on Thursday’s at 12 Noon PST on ZoomRegister

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Charlie’s Story Just sign the offer. I’m withmy client in the other board-room waiting for her ex hus-band to sign the divorce pa-pers and settlement offer. He’sdrawn this out too long andcost my client too much mon-ey. It should have been simple,easy, 50/50 split. No such thingas an easy divorce. People thinkthe law is black and white, butits not, its full of loopholes,precedents, arguments, andprocedures. I like practicing law. I en-joy putting a case together andarguing the points to get thebest deal for my client. It’s likea game of chess, you gure outwhat your client really wantsand what they are willing tocompromise, then you build agame plan. In my opinion it’s bestwhen my client makes the rstmove, that way we can ask foreverything they are legally en-titled to and have more con-trol over the chessboard at thestart. Then it’s just a matter ofgive and take. She’ll give youthe car in exchange for thehome’s contents. He’ll give youthe savings account balanceand you waive rights to his pen-sion plan. Figuring out whatthe other side will be willing toexchange and making the rightmoves so my client will getwhat she really wants. This case. Not so easy.He decided to represent him-Just SignBy Shannon PeelThe Novel #ThatsLife was written as a serialseries. Each Issue of APeeling will include achapter for you to enjoy.

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self. Never a good thing. He’s cocky and believes he knows the law better than I do be-cause he read some textbooks and got some free advice. He’s using every trick he can come up with to draw this out and my client is left holding the bill. Thing is, I still have one ace up my sleeve and if we have to go to court, I’m using it, that is if my client doesn’t chicken out. “Maybe we should just give him what he wants. I don’t want to do this anymore. I want it to be over.” My client is pacing back and forth. “I mean I don’t really use the vacation house. He can have it. I can’t take the stress anymore.” “STOP.” She stops pacing and looks at me. “I know you’ll give away the farm just to have this over. You have to let me go at him with everything. We’ve been as nice as we can. If he’s going to cost you more, you have no choice.” “I don’t know. I just can’t do this anymore. The stress is too much.” “I understand. I’ve been there. Right now, you’re only ghting for what’s fair, in fact less than fair. You’ve already given him more than he’s legal-ly entitled to. The mediation judge is going over it with him now. Let’s just wait and see what happens rst.” Judges don’t like it when someone wastes the courts Five Women Navigating Life in the 21st Century.

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time or plays games to punish the other party by using the system, that’s what this guy is doing. He thinks he’s pulling the wool over everyone’s eyes, but he’s not. I hate men like him. The door opens and the mediation judge comes in.“I am sorry, he won’t listen to reason. I’ve tried explaining the laws to him and what will hap-pen if he goes to court. He’s determined to play lawyer, he wants his day in court.” I smile. “No. No. No. We should just give him what he wants.”“Sherry, listen. I know this is hard.”“It’s expensive that’s what it is. And now you want me to pay for experts.”“I know. He wants it to be ex-pensive for you. He’s punishing you.”“I know. I just. Oh I am tired.”“We’ve talked about the next step. Are you prepared to go ahead with it?”“Do I have any other choice?”“Not really. This is for the best.

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I know court is scary and that you are scared about what a judge will say. I can’t say for certain which way it will go, but if we do this, I believe you will come out better off than that deal we just gave him. OK?”“Are you sure it’s going to cost that much?”“I’m afraid so, but if I’m right then you’ll have the money to cover it.” She nods and I open my briefcase to take out papers to give to the mediating judge. “I have a petition for a full psy-chological assessment of both parents, the children, and ev-eryone who lives in the homes. Names are there.”“Let’s take a look.” He reads the paperwork. “It all looks in order.” He signs one copy and hands it to me. He signs the second copy to present to the other party. “I’m not done.” He cocks his head at me, curiosity in his eyes. I smile at him and hand him another set of papers. “This is a letter stating my cli-ent rescinds all offers up to this point and requests copies of all nancial documents again.” “Again? Why do you want those?” The judge asks.“Because my ofce’s forensic accountant believes he may have some money hidden. He’ll go looking for it now. Don’t tell him we are looking.”“They always think they can get away with it.”“I know. He’s not going to be happy when he gets these. If you want I’ll get security up here before you present him with the papers. He has a tem-per.” I turn to my client she’s as white as a sheet, I’m scared she might faint. I grab her arm to guide her to the closest chair. “What’s wrong?”“I’m gonna be sick.” With that she puked all over my new suit.

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The Food BankBy Shannon PeelThe Novel #ThatsLife was written as a serial series. Each Issue of APeeling will include a chapter for you to enjoy. Sophie’s Story I’m standing in line at the local food bank. You know I used to drive by here every day and I had no idea it was here. Funny. It’s humiliating. I… Sorry… I mean… I’m grateful.I’m thankful that the kids are at Rose’s place and not here. I told her I had a doctor’s ap-pointment, I couldn’t tell her I was at the welfare ofce and then coming here. I couldn’t. When I checked in the nice lady give me a card that says 3 and another that says 2. This means I’m able to collect food for 3 people and 2 school lunches. I should be grateful, and I am in a way, but I mean, it’s just, I’m not supposed to be here.I’m supposed to be able to take care of my kids. I’m supposed to be living in a nice house in an upscale neighbourhood. I’m supposed to be married with 2.5 kids and 2 cars in the drive-way. That’s what adults are sup-posed to do, right? You know, I had that, I did. Really. Before I had to leave. I lived in a 5 bedroom house on a cul de sac backing onto a quiet green belt, I lived there, I did, honest. I had 4 cars in the drive way, well only one was mine, the oldest one and the other 3 were my husband’s…Oh right, my ex husband, now. I have to remember that. It’s not fair. I did everything right. I did what I was supposed

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to do and here I am standing in line for food other people didn’t want. Well I guess it’s t-ting somehow, because like this food, I am not wanted. Craig, that’s my ex. He still lives in our 5 bedroom house. He still has 3 cars and he still has a good job. He hates his job, but it pays good, it just makes him miserable. It was good enough to keep us in that house. Good enough to keep the kitchen stocked with food. Good enough to keep the kids in good quality clothes and lots of shiny toys. It is a good paying job. He should be happy with it. He’s not. Now that I’m gone he says he will be. He’ll be happy now that I’m not there. I moved into a small 2 bedroom basement suite in an old house outside town. Me and my 2 kids. We t into it, somehow. I sleep on the couch because the nice lady at the courthouse said it was better for the kids to have separate rooms cause they’re a boy and girl. The courts will be happier if they have separate rooms, she told me. It’ll make it hard-

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er for Craig to take them, she said. I’m supposed to be giving them the same life they had before the separation, she said. I’m not. I can’t. I don’t make enough on welfare. Craig, when he feels like it and I beg for it, gives me a few hundred dollars. I’d rather stand in this line than beg him for money.I wonder if she likes the kitchen I designed? I miss my kitchen. The thought of her, his girl-friend, in my kitchen, in my life, it makes me sick. The pain in my throat burns it and my eyes have started watering, right here in this stupid line. I wipe them away quickly. I hope no one saw. I look down at my feet. I need new shoes.“Tuna or ground beef?” The lady behind the counter asks me.“Ground beef.” I answer. She gives me two frozen packages. I shufe on to get a couple carrots and some pota-toes. I am grateful for the food. I am. It’s just that I’m used to roasts, steaks and chicken. Ground beef? What am I sup-posed to do with that? Boxes of Mac n Cheese made with toxic orange food colouring. Craig would beat me for feeding the kids this. They aren’t allowed to eat this pro-cessed food. It’s food though. I can’t afford to say no to food. Rose wants me to get a lawyer and take him to court. Demand child support and my share. I can’t. She doesn’t un-derstand. I’m not sure I under-stand. When Craig told me we were getting divorced, he told me no lawyers. He’d be fair, he said and we could do this with-out the courts, he said. We’d both be fair. This doesn’t feel fair He told me the courts will mess everything up and cost a bunch of money. Money we could use for the kids. The law-yers would take our kid’s mon-ey. He said the courts would

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decide where the kids lived. We could do this on our own, he said. He’d be fair, he said.Can the court make the kids live with him because he can af-ford them and I can’t? He says they can. The court lady said she couldn’t say what a judge would do. She said that the court would assess each situa-tion and do what was best for the kids. What is best for the kids? My neighbour Liz, she went to court and they took the kids away. She used to have them almost as much as I have mine, all the time, but now she has them only half of the time. Liz said the judge hated her and was unfair. Would a judge hate me? Would he force my kids to go live with him instead of always living with me? I can’t lose my kids. I just can’t.I put the apples and orang-es they’ve given me into my bag, a weak smile on my face.“White or Brown?” Another woman asks.“Brown please.”She hands me two loaves of day old bread and I’m grateful for it. I am. Without this I would have nothing.“Are your kids allergic to pea-nuts?” I shake my head. “Here you look like you could use this.” She passes me a large jar of peanut butter and another jar of honey. I can’t even afford to buy my kids peanut butter and honey. My nose is burning, my eyes are blurring, I’m sob-bing. I feel someone’s arms around me. It’s one of the la-dies from behind the counter. I feel her pushing against my shoulder moving me towards the back. Hide. Hide the bro-ken woman who no one wants.“Here sit down. Here’s a box of tissues. Are you ok?” Her words sound absurd, but I nod. OK? Am I OK? Am I ever going to be OK again?

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