Protect your peace: when I was first diagnosed with endometriosis, I suffered from depression. I had no direction and did not know what my next steps would be. It wasn’t until years later that I found a support group and therapist. When going through anything in your life, make sure you check in with your emotional and mental space. It was crucial for me daily.
Resilience has been described as the ability to withstand adversity and bounce back from difficult life events. Times are not easy now. How do we develop greater resilience to withstand the challenges that keep being thrown at us? In this interview series, we are talking to mental health experts, authors, resilience experts, coaches, and business leaders who can talk about how we can develop greater resilience to improve our lives.
As a part of this series, I had the pleasure of interviewing April Christina.
April Christina was diagnosed with endometriosis 10 years ago, and when she married her husband, Greg, in 2018, they began to experience issues with fertility. April learned her AMH level was low and that the best way for them to conceive would be through IVF. April has been vocal about her journey on her social media channels and has partnered with companies like Kind Body and others to share her story more broadly.
Thank you so much for joining us! Our readers would love to get to know you a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your backstory?
Thank you for having me. I was born and raised in Queens, NY with my parents, grandmother, and brother. My mother had complications with trying to conceive. Once pregnant with me, the physicians told her that I would grow up with developmental challenges. I was born showing the world that I had resilience. At nine years old, I then began my menstrual cycle. Although that was very early on in life, I did not know what having a period would entail. I dealt with heavy bleeding, leg pain, & nausea most of my adolescent and teenage years. My menstrual cycle made it hard for me to work or go out at times. In my late 20s, I was officially diagnosed with a chronic condition called endometriosis. Over the years while maintaining a healthier lifestyle for my condition, I then developed low ovarian reserve. After undergoing multiple tests, I was officially diagnosed with infertility as well. With this knowledge, I have now started my fertility journey with IVF treatment.
Can you share with us the most interesting story from your career? Can you tell us what lessons or ‘take aways’ you learned from that?
Being a women’s health advocate and discussing what I deal with on social media, the most interesting thing is that people recognize me in the store or walking on the street. To have people come up to me and thank me for sharing my story, is one of the most humbling experiences to date. I learn every day that by sharing my story and life experiences, it is not for me, but to empower someone else.
What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?
As a women’s health advocate, I make sure that I am as personable as possible. I answer every email, comment, and direct message on social media. Many people are shocked when I respond back in a direct message because some do not have the time or opportunity to do so. For me being available means a lot because I remember being depressed and looking for someone to just hear me. I’m thankful that I can be a listening ear.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?
Yes, my mentor Ylorie Taylor I am grateful for. When my immediate family relocated down south, I stayed in NY to learn more about myself & craft as being an advocate. Ylorie was the first person that saw something in me and gave me my first major opportunity to do what I wanted to do today and for that, I am forever grateful.
Ok thank you for all that. Now let’s shift to the main focus of this interview. We would like to explore and flesh out the trait of resilience. How would you define resilience? What do you believe are the characteristics or traits of resilient people?
Resilience to me is one that shows strength and beats all odds. I believe someone that is enduring, overcomes what they’re faced against, & has self-awareness are characteristics of a resilient person.
Courage is often likened to resilience. In your opinion how is courage both similar and different to resilience?
Courage and resilience are similar to me because they both show some type of strength and endurance. The method of the journey to their strength I feel is different. When you’re resilient, you’re pulling from a strength to make it through perhaps a life hardship, or setback. Because the only choice you feel you have is to make it. The strength you possess in courage can come from proving yourself wrong in an area one felt they could not do and did or finding hidden confidence where an obstacle caused you to believe in yourself.
When you think of resilience, which person comes to mind? Can you explain why you chose that person?
It would definitely be my mother and grandmother. At different times in their lives they’ve both overcome their own battle with cancer. My mother and grandmother are both two strong women. If I can obtain half the resilience they had while going through their treatment and now, then I know I can make it with whatever I’m faced with. I’ve watched it happen — twice!
Has there ever been a time that someone told you something was impossible, but you did it anyway? Can you share the story with us?
To be honest, I’ve told myself that trying to conceive was impossible. When I found out that I had to do IVF, I was devastated. I did not think that I was capable of beginning treatment. Which is why I say finding a community is important and I’m happy to be a part of one like Fertility Out Loud. I feel like in life you can hold yourself back from something you really want. For me, it was fear and lack of knowledge. Fertility Out Loud provided resources and guidance that allows information for all stages of fertility planning.
Did you have a time in your life where you had one of your greatest setbacks, but you bounced back from it stronger than ever? Can you share that story with us?
While on my rotations in college to finish my degree, I started to not feel well, as if my endometriosis was bothering me. Upon consulting with an endometriosis specialist, I found out that I needed emergency surgery. That surgery lasted for seven hours, an overnight stay in the hospital, and six weeks of recovery at home. No one ever wants to have surgery; however, it was the best decision I made because it increased my overall quality of life and birthed me wanting to become a women’s health advocate to help others.
How have you cultivated resilience throughout your life? Did you have any experiences growing up that have contributed to building your resiliency? Can you share a story?
Having my menstrual cycle at nine years old was not fun. I thought that during this time in the third grade I would be building friendships and focusing on my education. However, I had to do that and learn my own taste of “womanhood” simultaneously. It was during that time that I realized although my life would be different than my peers, I was made in a unique image and to be okay with that.
Resilience is like a muscle that can be strengthened. In your opinion, what are 5 steps that someone can take to become more resilient? Please share a story or an example for each.
Five steps someone can take to become more resilient are:
- Protect your peace: when I was first diagnosed with endometriosis, I suffered from depression. I had no direction and did not know what my next steps would be. It wasn’t until years later that I found a support group and therapist. When going through anything in your life, make sure you check in with your emotional and mental space. It was crucial for me daily.
- Send loved ones video notes: while going through my first IVF cycle, every few days I would record a video and send it to my close family and friends. I realized that this allowed me to prioritize how and what I wanted to say.
- Take time for yourself: when I look back on my life recently, I was always busy, thinking that that would make me happy, but instead I became mentally exhausted. Until I realized how much strength there is in having alone time. It allowed me to rest so I am able to be present for myself.
- Take moments of silence: I used to go by the water to sit and reflect. It was during those times of silence that I received the most clarity and direction for my life.
- Know your limits: while going through my fertility journey and attending various physician appointments, there were numerous events that I would miss. I would feel horrible and apologize for days. Now I understand that there’s a difference in being apologetic and understanding your limits. We all have limits and I feel we should be mindful of them.
I say this because these are things that I am currently doing while on my fertility journey. Which is why I love resources such as Fertility Out Loud. They have a brand new tool to assist in helping others that feel overwhelmed and with navigating through fertility. The holiday season is upon us, and it can be extremely tough on our mental and physical state. Sometimes we need resources like Fertility Out Loud to give us that inner strength and resilience to know we can make it and give us the sense of encouragement within ourselves.
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
In 2019, I started The Endo Brunch, a brunch created to uplift, inspire, and allow women to meet to discuss reproductive health and more. When dealing with things such as endometriosis and fertility I feel that it’s important to be around others so you do not feel alone. I’d love to travel with The Endo Brunch to other cities and host seminars so women and their loved ones can attend. That’s definitely a dream of mine one day.
We are blessed that some very prominent leaders read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them 🙂
Tasha Cobbs Leonard — I love to sing. She’s one of my favorite Gospel artists. Her transparency regarding her and her husband’s fertility journey is admirable, and I hope to sit down with her one day to discuss it.
Millen Magese — the work that she does for endometriosis and reproductive health in Africa is amazing. I honor the work and milestones she’s accomplished.
How can our readers further follow your work online?
I’m on social media at imaprilchristina. My website imaprilchristina.com
This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!
Adjusting Your Creative Output With Dylan Sesco
Some people manifest their dreams, but very seldom does it pan out the way they wanted or imagined.
Dylan Sesco wanted to work on music. It started with wanting to lipsync Snoop Dogg for a school talent show, then writing his own lyrics in 6th grade.
“Oh it was bad. Really bad.”
Eventually with the accessibility of computers and programs, Dylan started making his own hip-hop beats. No longer did you need 10,000 dollars worth of studio equipment, you just needed a simple laptop. After that, a camera to start making music videos.
That led to working on projects with friends, which led to a crew of artists, which led to forming his own small label called Vertlife Entertainment with friend and fellow artist Flax.
Dylan Sesco was driven by production and crafting a brand, but still had the itch to make his own music as well. Jumping from executive producing to video production to rapper in the same session, he created an eclectic style of hip-hop based music with a stable of talent including Seaz, Ave, ItsRucka, Epacenter, Neto V and more.
You may not know those names. Infact, you probably don’t. The label didn’t amount to much.
“It still hurts sometimes. We never made it big, but I cherish those times and the art we created.”
After struggling for years, Dylan Sesco would be in his rented studio alone until the sun came up working on music that mostly never saw the light of day. He released multiple solo projects featuring all his friends, hoping it would motivate them to work as hard as he was.
It just didn’t happen. Everyone had their own lives, and this was viewed as a hobby. But not to Dylan Sesco.
The frustration led to a creative pivot. Dylan was already well versed in video production. He was the in-house video producer as well as head of the label, producer and rapper. From various music video freelance work to small documentary work, this was another passion that he had almost ignored.
In 2016, he went all in and started a new Youtube channel: The Somethin’ Or Other Tour.
Dylan Sesco (and his brother Cole) started exploring history, going to football games, and visiting pop-up museums.
“I just wanted to do something positive and motivate people to see the world. We lost a lot of peers to violence, drugs and prison. I wanted people that otherwise wouldn’t get a chance to discover the cool things the world has to offer.”
The idea that started as a hip-hop travel show has blossomed into a small time show with big time aspirations. An adventure, travel, experience show that touches on any topic you can think of.
Dylan says it has been the most rewarding creative outlet of his life. He thought his dream was music, but letting go of the stubbornness let him find his true passion. Things don’t always go as planned.
The Somethin’ Or Other Tour, or SOOT.tv, has been featured on the nightly news, ESPN, and even in a french high school textbook.
The viewership is not huge, it’s not a famous channel, but the content has depth that has touched people.
“I get so many kind words. Teachers that show my videos to their kids, people that haven’t been able to travel themselves, things like that. It feels good to be able to provide something, as little as it may be.”
“Letting go of my other dream was difficult, but necessary. It worked out. I am so much happier now.”
Let this be a lesson that sometimes our dreams aren’t set in stone, and there may be a separate, or adjacent goal that will fulfill you just the same, or even more.
You can learn more about Dylan Sesco and The Somethin’ Or Other Tour on Youtube at http://soot.tv.
Epic Copycat: MEMS Company Found Guilty of Infringement amidst Global Conference
The much-admired International Workshop on Acoustic Wave Devices for Future Communication recently took place after the pandemic. Needless to say, it went successfully and attracted many acclaimed industry experts and academic professionals. ‘Awareness about IP protection’ was one of the hot topics that were discussed at the conference.
However, things took an interesting turn when an announcement of a product originated from EPIC MEMES came under debate.
The proven copycat, EPIC MEMS, announced its self-reliance in research and development after the conference concluded. The company president proclaimed that the company has successfully developed the ‘FBAR technology.’ However, he forgot to mention the original developer Broadcom Inc., from whom they’d stolen the technology.
Dr. Rich Ruby, director of technology (FBAR & orthogonal markets) at Broadcom, made the case for his company. He shed light on how his company has acquired and developed the technology and presented solid evidence of the FBAR infringement.“I wish that I or Broadcom employees had thought of substituting Sc for Al atoms in the unit cell (and patented it),” explained Dr. Ruby. He then described how the process of patents works in the industry. “You get protection from others simply copying (or stealing) your IP and avoiding any innovation or research cost,” he clarified his stance.
Dr. Rich Ruby is a renowned name in the industry and has won several accolades for his contributions. He is well-known for his participation in the packaging of FBAR filters and duplexers as well as his development efforts for acoustic properties and manufacturability. He rose to fame in 2001–2003 when he universalized the first FBAR duplexers HPMD7901 and the 7904 back in 2001–2003.
For his work on FBAR technology, he has received the CB Sawyer Award, the Bill Hewlett Award, and the Barney Oliver Prize. He’s also the recipient of the IAP Prize for “Industrial Applications of Physics.” Over the years, he has given numerous invited papers and has registered around 80 patents.
Dr. Ruby was an Agilent Fellow in 2002 and later took over the directorial role at Broadcom. He expounded how the copycat, EPIC MEMES stole the FBAR technology developed by American Semiconductor manufacturing company Broadcom and did the copyright infringement.
According to Dr. Rich Ruby, “Broadcom FBAR IP was stolen around 2008/9. This stolen IP now has found its way into many Handset manufacturers, and we are aware of this.” To support his claim, he exhibited a photo example of the copycat FBAR 41 filter and said, “[It] looks almost identical to our product and uses many of the inventions we developed and patented.”
The photo proved to industry experts that Broadcom has developed the technology. The comparison made by DR. Ruby clearly indicated that the copycat company, EPIC MEMES has infringed the FBAR technology. From the cap-opened EPIC MEMS EP7041 filter chip, anyone can conclude that EPIC MEMES is using the technology from Broadcom.
Multiple research labs have unveiled this IP infringement with solid evidence after the conference. Dr. Ruby cautioned that brands who are using filter chips with infringed IPs may have to face the consequences. According to him, their reputation will be stained and the consequences may lead to market withdrawals. Brands may have to withdraw devices like pad computers and smartphones from markets which have infringed Broadcom patent chips.
The notion of a lawsuit against such companies is an interesting development. It has been observed that Samsung has obtained the problematic filter chips and they’ve been delivered to the market.
But the most surprising thing is perhaps the announcement made by the copycat EPIC MEMES. In response to Dr. Ruby’s panel, the company has rejected the claim. The Epic MEMES statement “we took (the) initiative designed and developed the technology” appears to be carefree and unworried. It is as if the copycat is challenging, “catch me if you can.”
Disclaimer: Contents and opinions in this article are not Founder Courier’s. We only provide a voice to sources in our community.
What is Positive Psychology?
For clinical psychologists, education and training have been centered on treating mental disorders to help people achieve symptom relief and return to “normal functioning. This is valuable and necessary work. It starts to feel overly focused on negative aspects of a client’s life. Would it be great to flourish rather than feel normal? What’s normal anyway?
A new field, referred to as positive psychology, was developed in response to the need for a broader focus. So, what is it exactly?
Positive psychology is a subfield of psychology that studies and promotes the positive aspects of human life, such as the strengths and virtues that enable individuals and communities to thrive. More specifically, it focuses on what makes life meaningful and worth living, particularly on topics like happiness, well-being, life satisfaction, gratitude, optimism, character strengths, flourishing, and human potential.
The field of positive psychology was founded in 1998 by American psychologist Martin Seligman (now known as the “father of positive psychology”) during his term as president of the American Psychological Association. At the time, Seligman was frustrated with psychology’s primary emphasis on understanding and treating the negative aspects of the human experience, such as mental illness, suffering, dysfunctional behavior, trauma, and pain. For this reason, he decided to make positive psychology the theme of his presidential term.
Other psychologists have emerged as leaders of the movement with their unique contributions, including Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Christopher Peterson, and Barbara Fredrickson. From these co-initiators, we now have compelling research on concepts such as flow, character strengths, the broaden-and-build theory of positive emotions, and many more. We are thrilled to be able to share them with you so that you can thrive, too.
Advantages of Positive Psychology
Many studies encourage the workings of psychology. These include but aren’t restricted to:
- The ability of a cheerful disposition to cultivate the expertise of a happier mood. This isn’t only to say that putting on a happy face will lead to feelings of enjoyment. Instead, they will start to exploit a deeper relationship together.
- Easy and tiny actions can have the most significant effect on mood. By way of instance, if somebody generates a custom of keeping track of all the things they’re thankful for, they can subsequently experience more minutes of happiness and pleasure since they’re “priming” their heads to be receptive to these encounters.
- We’re resilient. Positive psychology contributes to the story as individuals are invited to concentrate on their strengths. Limited time is spent ruminating on our shortcomings or failures. By coming to us in this manner, we realize that we’re far more powerful than we give our credit for. This self-love creates a cycle of positive thinking in which people become better equipped to deal with compassion, kindness, and understanding.
Positive psychology is popular and attempts to bring out the best within a person or group. For example, someone could pursue an extraordinary life, participate in life, have a purposeful life, or attain life using positive psychology. Positive psychology impacts supporting mental illness, being joyful, attracting well-being, and decreasing anxiety, depression, and anxiety during positive ideas. Positive psychology is the study of this “great Life”, or even the positive facets of the human experience which make life worth living. As an artwork, it targets both individual and social well-being.
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