The intention of the Shaping Freedom podcast is to share the stories of everyday people who are doing extraordinary things. Those extraordinary things are sometimes not about the huge accomplishments that people make. It's more about how people are BEING in the midst of some of the challenges that we encounter in life, even while doing all of the beautiful, extraordinary things that human beings have the capacity and ability to do. Yvonne Michelle Toney is just one of those women. She finds ways to show up powerfully, authentically, and with the generosity of spirit to share her triumphs while navigating this journey of life that we're all on. Yvonne Michelle was born in the Ancon Canal Zone in Panama City to an Army Service Member and Panamanian mother. She was raised in the city of Chicago, where she went to school and resided on the North Side. Yvonne Michelle also spent a huge part of her childhood with her grandmother, Annie Mae, on the Side Side of Chicago. She currently resides in Aurora IL. Yvonne Michelle enlisted in the United States Navy at age 19 and served in Operation Enduring Freedom where she obtained the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal. She then obtained a degree in business and worked various jobs including jobs in corporate America. She opened her own store, Cotton Seed Creative Exchange, in September of 2019 and 5 months later COVID hit. Needless to say, the last couple of years have been a struggle, but Yvonne Michelle perseveres. In the future, she plans on working with other creatives in the arts, organizing creative events, starting her own coffee line, and continuing to create one-of-a-kind things, events, and atmospheres. Connect with Yvonne Michelle at https://www.thecottonseedex.com/ or on Instagram @yvonnemichelle and @thecottonseedcreativeexchange.