Ruled by Gemini, June is a noteworthy month in my life.  My Father (Anthony Bernardo, Jr) and Grandfather (Anthony Bernardo), smiling in this photo, shared the same birthdate – June 10th!   My Pap was born near Capri, Italy – June 10, 1900.  My Father was born in McKeesport – June 10, 1929.  They both owned businesses and I launched Marakae Marketing, my ad agency, in June of 1996.

Twenty-six years as an entrepreneur has certainly deepened my faith in myself and my connection to God, enhanced my resiliency, and showcased my tenacity.  I believe those traits were handed down in the DNA from my ancestors, along with absorbing the lessons observed from their exemplary, character-filled lives.

This photo was taken in June of 1957, when my sister Lisa was about nine months old.  My Dad’s first restaurant was called The Coffee Pot.  Located on Lysle Boulevard in McKeesport, by McKeesport Hospital, his welcoming cafe was open 24 hours a day, serving patrons home-made food and of course freshly brewed coffee!  My Dad was certainly ahead of his time, delivering ultimate 24/7 convenience and much needed comfort to hospital workers and patient visitors.

This dynamic Father and Son duo were best buddies.  My Pap is the only Grandparent I knew.  He was handsome, always well dressed, witty and ready to play a board game at any time.  Pap cheated at checkers because he always liked to win!   I vividly recall his kitchen during our Sunday family visit with the aromas of fresh bread and simmering meat sauce. His homemade pasta would be dried waiting on the counter to be boiled.  I remember in his basement, the wine barrels and scent of sour grape as the juice fermented.  Little did I know the future me would enjoy wine so much!!!

Pap used to tell me I had spunk and would go far in life.  He encouraged me to keep reading because he said I would learn a lot and even gave me money when I read a book.  He even said maybe I would write a book one day!

My Dad was a wise, handsome, funny, and charming man too.  He taught me fundamentals that didn’t make sense as a teenager, but sure provided me timeless life lessons that always guide me:

1.Be happy with ME!  He adamantly said, “Don’t compare yourself to others.”  You need to be happy with who you are. Don’t be what others think you should be because you will lose yourself.  Being the real you is a gift to the world.

2. Follow my intuition for that is God, your loved ones, and your guardian angels talking to you. One of the most valuable pieces of advice that has served me well my entire life!  Saving me from a head-on collision as a teenager, finding me the right business opportunities and guiding me to make everyday choices that guide me to my higher purpose.

3. Be grateful for everything.  Find the good in every situation, there is always a silver lining, a blessing for which you need to thank God. Focus on what you have, not what you are missing.

4.Talk to God, your angels, your loved ones for they are listening and want to help you. Be open for signs from above.

5. Have fun, travel, laugh, eat delicious food, responsibly buy things that make you feel good about you!  Love with all your heart and cherish those that make you happy!

With such insightful wisdom, my Dad could be a guru life coach today!  Grab a cup of coffee, whether it’s hot, iced or like mine, an iced mocha and spend some time with yourself.  Quiet your mind, open your heart, feel into gratitude, and manifest what you truly desire.  From the pot flows all good things when we choose to see the perks of this beautiful life!!!

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