Phyllis Law - April 2020

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Protecting Bright Futures

APRIL 2020

Bright Futures Bulletin

HowtoGetThrough the CoronavirusPandemic Community Service, Self-Evaluation, and Education

A s I write this article on March 15, 2020, we are in the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic. I spent the last three days worried, depressed, and stressed. But today is a new day. I have a plan. I have decided to talk to myself like I talk to my clients. For the last 17 years, people have been coming to me worried, depressed, and stressed regarding criminal and financial troubles. The first thing I always tell them is “you are going to be okay.” Then I encourage my clients to do their part to help me help them. They always feel better when they act, instead of just waiting for me to do what I do. Most of my criminal defense clients are charged with drug- or alcohol-related crimes, or they were under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol at the time the alleged criminal conduct occurred. I always tell clients to immediately begin working on the following: community service, evaluation, treatment, and, if necessary, education (DUI school, defensive driving school, or MADD Victim Impact Panel). There are good reasons to take these remedial actions. I wouldn’t tell my clients to do these things if I didn’t believe they had value. Not only do they help my clients to

grow personally, but they can also be used in their case to advocate for a second chance through diversion, first offender pleas, alternative treatment courts, etc. It shows the court you are doing your part to get back on track. We can apply this approach to the current crisis we find ourselves in, both during and after this pandemic. Community service is important because it is good for our minds and bodies. Volunteering helps counteract the effects of stress, anger, and anxiety, and it combats depression, makes us happy, increases self-confidence, provides a sense of purpose, and helps us stay physically healthy. So, I am going to take my own advice and look for opportunities to volunteer during this pandemic. Obviously, with social distancing, options may be limited, but they still exist. Evaluations also have great value. It is good for all of us to have an independent person look at our situation and provide insight. My clients undergo evaluations for substance abuse, anger, violence, mental health, etc., and they can really have a big impact on a client’s future. The most important thing about setbacks is that we learn from them.

impact in my life. It may not be possible for some people to engage the services of a counselor or coach right now, given the crisis. So, I suggest entering a period of self- reflection. There is a lot of really good content for free online to help with this. I strongly recommend checking out a podcast called “The Life Coach School” by Brooke Castillo. The last piece of advice I am applying to myself and the current crisis is stay educated. Now is the time to reads books, online publications, etc., to gain more knowledge. We can do all the reading we wanted to do but never had the time for before. I plan to use this time to learn more about marketing and business development. I think everyone would be well-served to use this time to hone their craft.

I wish everyone well during this difficult time. I am praying for myself and my family and all of you. We will get through this. I am here to help in anyway I can.

I have been using a coach for almost two years now, and it has made a huge positive

–Phyllis Gingrey Collins

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Helping Your Child Overcome Anxiety The Age of Stress

I have written about sitting in gratitude before. Given the current quarantine situation, I must do it again. I think it is the key to surviving this. Sitting in gratitude does something magical to our perspective. My friend R. John Robbins says, “When you sit in gratitude, it’s impossible to be negative.” I tried it and he is right. So, I decided to make a list of what I am grateful for in the midst of all of this uncertainty: 1. Not wearing high heels since all court is canceled 2. Reading the book I have been waiting to read by Lance Cooper, “Cobalt Cover-Up: The Inside Story of a Deadly Conspiracy at the Largest Car Manufacturer in the World” — it’s really, really good Sitting in Gratitude, Again What are their stressors? Any number of everyday factors can lead to stress, and stress can plague anyone who feels overwhelmed. Toddlers and young children going to day care or school for the first time may experience separation anxiety due to being apart from their parents. Older kids and teenagers may feel mounting social and academic pressure. It’s hard to imagine kids as anything but carefree, happy, and eager to explore the world around them. However, children experience stress just like adults do, which can severely impact their typically cheerful dispositions. Since April is National Stress Awareness Month, now is an opportune time to familiarize yourself with tools and information that can help you alleviate your child’s stress.

Even something as simple as overhearing loved ones arguing or seeing a sad news report can add to a child’s stress levels. Howdo I know ifmy child is stressed? When a kid is stressed, theywill exhibit odd behavior and even undergo physical changes. Depending on your child’s age, watch for mood swings, changes in sleep patterns, headaches, trouble focusing, or withdrawal from the people around them. According to, younger children may also pick up habits like twirling their hair or sucking their thumb, while older kids may start to bully others, lie, or rebel. Can I help reduce their stress? According to, good nutrition, proper rest, and healthy attention are great

ways to help kids manage their stress. Set time aside each day to talk and spend time with your children; talking about worries will reduce or relieve anxieties. If you know about an upcoming stressful situation, like a school exam or a health checkup, prepare your child by studying with them or talking to them about what to expect. Don’t stop here. For more tools and information regarding stress reduction in children, visit or contact your doctor.

3. Finding the waffle maker I got as a wedding gift in 2002 — tucked away in the basement 4. Finally organizing my pantry so I knowwhat I have — most of it was expired 5. Creating the perfect copycat version of the Burger King fried chicken sandwich 6. Creating the perfect copycat version of Otter’s Crazy Fries but substituting tater tots 7. Having ample time to talk to my parents on the phone — we may have cheated a few times and ignored social distancing … 8. Making my famous Christmas sugar cookies in March 9. Spending quality time with our two dogs Sparty and Magic — I think they are wondering why we won’t leave the house 10. Homeschooling the kids — I am really not grateful for this, but I’m hoping if I say it, my attitude will change

Hope you will all take the time to make a list as well. I know it’s a difficult time. But, trust me, it will make you feel better.

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SUDOKU BREAK Solution on pg. 4

The No. 1 Thing You Should Not Do During a Financial Struggle I have been practicing consumer bankruptcy and debt settlement law for 15 years, and there is one thing that pains me the most in a bankruptcy consult: when someone dumps his or her whole life savings into a failing business or trying to maintain a household after a job loss. Only after everything is gone do they come see me for advice. If they had come to see me earlier, I would have told them to seek bankruptcy protection before everything is gone. The struggle comes because people are trying to do the right thing. They believe that if they just try hard enough, things will turn around. People want to satisfy their obligations, and they don’t think it’s fair for them to keep any assets. But that is exactly why the bankruptcy code exists — to help people restart who cannot, despite their best efforts, dig out of the hole. And we know that it is very difficult to start over with nothing. That is why the bankruptcy code allows for the exemption of certain essential assets. All ERISA-qualified retirement accounts — such as 401(k)s, 403(b)s, IRAs (with limitations), Keoghs, profit-sharing plans, money purchase plans, and defined benefit plans — and pensions are exempt from creditors in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. However, savings plans, stock plans, and mutual funds will not be exempt. So, it makes sense to stop trying to dig once you get to the point that your retirement accounts are all you have left. It makes sense to cash out stocks and mutual funds to try to meet your obligations but not your retirement account. If you are struggling financially, please contact me for a consult now. Do not wait until it is too late. And NEVER use funds from your retirement account until you have gotten some legal advice. We are in the business of brokering second chances and would be honored to help you get yours.

Vegan Spring Rolls

Inspired by

Nothing says spring quite like these easy-to-make vegan spring rolls!


• • • • • • • •

1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

● 4 cloves garlic, sliced

● 1 onion, julienned

● 2 large carrots, julienned ● 4 leaves cabbage, julienned

● 1 oz soybean sprouts

● 2 tbsp tamari or soy sauce ● 8 sheets spring roll pastry



In a wok over medium-high heat, add olive oil, vegetables, and tamari or soy sauce. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring often. Set aside filling mixture.

2. Place a pastry wrapper on a flat surface and tilt it to be in the shape of a diamond. Scoop 2 tbsp of filling onto the lower corner of the wrapper. 3. Tightly roll the wrapper and fold in the left and right corners. Brush the top corner with water and close the roll. Repeat with all wrappers. 4. In the wok, heat a generous amount of olive oil. 5. Add the rolls when hot, cooking for 1 minute or until each side is golden brown. 6. Place rolls on a paper towel to drain oil and cool before serving.

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PRST STD US POSTAGE PAID BOISE, ID PERMIT 411 | 404.514.3397 278 N. Marietta Pkwy NE | Marietta, GA 30060

Solution from pg. 3

Inside This Issue How to Get Through the Coronavirus Pandemic 1

Helping Your Child Manage Stress

Sitting in Gratitude, Again 2

The No. 1 Thing You Should Not Do During a Financial Struggle

Vegan Spring Rolls 3

The Best Locations for Spring Blooms 4

See Spring Bloom In These Beautiful Locations

Spring is here, which means beautiful flowers are finally showing themselves after a long winter. Here are some of the best places in the U.S. to see flower blossoms and welcome the season. Great Smoky Mountains The Great Smoky Mountains National Park stretches across North Carolina and Tennessee, and while its scenery is beautiful year-round, the park is especially alluring to nature enthusiasts during the spring. Through this season, miles of lady’s-slipper orchids, irises, cardinal flowers, and lilies dot its lush green landscape. It’s dubbed “Wildflower National Park” throughout this time of year, and you can experience

features nature walks, art, photography, culinary experiences, and more. For a truly unique experience, you can even ascend the town’s titular Crested Butte to spot some rare alpine sunflowers next to the picturesque West Elk Mountains. Antelope Valley The California Poppy Reserve in Lancaster, California, is a 1,780-acre park that features sloping hills covered with fields of vibrant orange, yellow, and red poppies in the spring. Warm temperatures and heavy rainfall across Southern California during this time of year create a brief period of thick blooms as far as the eye can see. And while the poppies can be enjoyed from the comfort of your car, the best way to experience them is to walk the leisurely Antelope Loop Trail for a breathtaking, up-close adventure. Visit for the latest information on visiting the parks during the COVID-19 pandemic. Spring flora is gorgeous and naturally attracts large crowds of people every year. If you plan to visit any of these destinations, just remember that their ecosystems are delicate. Respect park signs, stay on designated trails, and do your part to make sure these flowers return year after year for future generations to enjoy.

it by car or on foot. Before visiting, check for updated information on park closures due to COVID-19. Crested Butte Crested Butte, Colorado, is best known for its winter sports and summer hikes. But recently it has drawn the attention of flower enthusiasts for its unique pink, orange, and gold alpine wildflowers that appear in the spring. This natural phenomenon even inspired the creation of the annual Wildflower Festival in midsummer, which

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