Author: Lacey Johnson

What New York City Taught Me About Love & Humanity

The first time I landed in New York City, it was a shivering Monday in January 2002. I was a curious and wide-eyed 21-year-old from Nashville, Tenn., tagging along with my attorney father who was there to meet with Jessie Jackson – “Reverend,” as my dad called him – about a case they were collaborating on. My perception of the city – in all of its cosmopolitan and frenetic glory – was as green as it was glittering. We took a train in from Long Island to Grand Central Station, and then a cab to Rockefeller Center for lunch....

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The Anthem of Gigi Butler: From Fallen Dreams in Nashville to National Cupcake Supremacy

The most powerful moments in our lives often find us in dark alleys, sneaking upon us in the form of an unsuspecting “what if?” And, if we listen long enough to be lured by its song, and then pursue its message, we are sometimes led to extraordinary places. This is a tune the Oklahoma-born Gina “Gigi” Butler, Founder of the nationally-famous cupcake empire Gigi’s Cupcakes, knows by heart. She followed this question through the dirt-kicking lows of bank loan denials, personal struggles and an album’s worth of pitying “bless your heart”s – rising straight into the apex of cupcake...

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Spiritual Mastermind Deepak Chopra On How to Create an Extraordinary World

Deepak Chopra Has a Special Message For Every Questioning and Suffering Heart. The year was 1993.  A 46-year-old Dr. Deepak Chopra was cozied in a chair next to Oprah Winfrey on the set of her television show, guiding her through an experiment as she dangled a string from her thumb and forefinger. The goal was to assist her in discovering her mind’s ability to control the directional movement of the metal pendulum on the end of the string. As it circled and swung from left to right, he coached her, saying, “Your expectancy determines outcome.” As the audience offered...

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Wellness Emperor Dr. Josh Axe Is Making Impact From Personal Trials

Inside of a 7,500-square-foot facility located in a suburb of Nashville, Tenn., there lies a wellness empire – home to one of the fastest-growing companies in the United States, and production headquarters to videos that collect millions of Youtube clicks, comments and shares from all corners of the globe. In a side room with cameras, lighting equipment and a large screen set against a rustic wooden backdrop, there can often be found Dr. Josh Axe, renowned chiropractor, clinical nutritionist and educator,  whose website garners approximately 13 million unique visits monthly, whose products are sold in more than 6,000 retail...

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Summer 2017 Book Club Spotlight: ‘The Bookshop at Water’s End’ (Patti Callahan Henry)

The following is Editor-in-Chief Lacey Johnson’s mini-feature of the story behind New York Times Best-selling Author Patti Callahan Henry’s latest novel, “The Bookshop at Water’s End.” Every heart has a point of geography it is stirred to call upon – a place that holds a space of comfort, enchantment or unanswered questions. For some, it is the playground where nets were cast into the hot air, anchoring dreams and fireflies alike. For others, it is a park set in the spring, where they forever remain a young lover – blood pumping unscathed and whisked by fantasies of what is sure...

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A Stroll Through the Mind of Artist & Internet Sensation Greg Mankis

No human endeavor is without evidence of creativity. Whether a business concept, a marketing strategy, a musical composition or a screenplay, the lure to create is as primitive to humans as are the body’s natural inclinations to inhale and exhale. But, if we forge only from the well of ourselves, we never contribute to the human progression. Rather, we will only recycle, reclip and redesign the puzzle pieces already existing within us. So, instead, we must surrender to the possibility that we – the commissioned creators inhabiting this earth – are instruments. We are the vessels by which the...

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Entrepreneur, Internet Sensation, & Reality Star Naja Rickette Spills Her Secrets on Abundance

In 19th-century America, it was characteristic of audience members to boo, shout expletives and throw rotten tomatoes at the actors, comedians and opera singers they were least impressed by. In the more rowdy venues, some attendees went so far as to coerce one another to rip apart their seats and sling them toward the stage. This created a culture of anxiety and fear surrounding one’s creative endeavors. More specifically, this meant that – despite having prepared for weeks or months, straightened their tall halls, smoothed out their petticoats and bravely given their artistic best on stage – after the...

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From Sightless to Visionary, Dr. Ming Wang Is One Unstoppable Immigrant

In the darkest days of his life, renowned ophthalmologist, scientist and founder of Wang Vision Institute in Nashville, Tenn., Dr. Ming Wang, was a 14-year-old boy trapped in the Chinese Cultural Revolution. He never imagined – in his wildest dreams – that he would one day immigrate to the United States and later create jobs for Americans. This grim period was defined by the Chinese government forcing Wang to abruptly slam the books on his high school education. Because of this, he began waking hours before the sun rose each morning – filling the cold blackness with sonorous melodies...

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Spring is the Season for Reinvention

I once watched as a rose garden bloomed. The flowers were contained within a wooden box at the entrance of a café I frequented each morning. In between sips of coffee, I gazed with foggy eyes and admired the buds as they gradually appeared – as though cutting through the final winter frost and announcing the ascension of spring. Every day I glanced over at new colors emerging, like witnessing a fresh stroke of paint onto a canvas. Before long, harmonic explosions of fuchsia, blood orange and crimson created a symphony of movement and texture. And, when the petals...

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My Mississippi Burning: A Tale of Racism & Religious Hyprocrisy

Written by: Lacey Johnson My life began in rural Mississippi, in a small town about 30 miles south of the state’s capital. It was a place where I stomped on ant piles and made lightening bugs my captive every long and muggy summer, and said an unrequited prayer for a dusting of snowfall every winter. It was a cozy pocket of America – where family ties were made of a fireproof fabric, then threaded through the simplicities of day-to-day life. It was where strangers became instant acquaintances, worthy of a greeting and a smile. But, it was also a...

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