J: You're listening to the Vibrant Happy Women podcast, episode number 139. We're talking about letting go of worry and stress and learning to receive all the good things that are available to us; stay tuned.
Hey, my friends, welcome back, Jen Riday here and thank you for tuning in to another episode of the Vibrant Happy Women podcast. How are you doing? It is Thanksgiving week here in the US, oh my goodness, and I am so grateful for all of you, grateful for your efforts to show up and to shine and be your best most authentic self. Feels really good when we're living in alignment and we're here just to keep working on that journey together, so thank you for being a part of that. I want to give a shout out to our review of the week from Jolie who wrote, “Hi, I most recently listened to episode 125 with Carolina Castaños and I was so moved by it. Being a younger listener, it was amazing to hear about how I could be dealing with relationships poorly due to trauma. I currently have a partner whom I've been with for 2 and a half years. We've been arguing quite a bit to the point we were considering not being together anymore, and that hurt both of us so intensely because we have had the best connection and loved each other so much. But as soon as I heard this podcast episode, I began to listen to my feelings. I had that feeling of needing him to love me and he is the opposite, he doesn't give a lot when it is so expected, but now I've been able to communicate with him much easier, I'm able to walk away instead of adding fuel to the fire. He has taken notice, he has started to reach out to me, wanting to be more romantic, and I am starting to notice little acts of love that I didn't see before. I was so hungry for his immediate attention that I was blind to him really trying to speak my love language. And now that I have started my journey into loving myself, I see the love that is shown. I feel strong and confident, I feel powerful. I'm always in awe of how empowered I feel after an episode. Thank you, Jen, these are lessons that will be instilled in me forever. Thank you for empowering women all over the world.” Jolie thank you so much for leaving that review, it's amazing; I love it. And it's true, exactly what you said, we can't begin to heal our relationships until we build that foundation of self-love. Loving ourselves, honoring ourselves, not needing to look outside of ourselves to feel good and to feel love is the foundation. When we love ourselves, we start to have healthier relationships, we show up differently for our kids, our spouse, our parents, and then we shift into this place of being able to have healthier boundaries and not tolerating when people aren't treating us correctly. And then as people notice we feel worthy and feel loving towards ourselves, they'll treat us better, they pick up on our energy which affects our careers and our health and our weight and every aspect of our lives. And then finally, as we feel really good, we get into alignment and we start to live our purpose because we've taken the time to love ourselves which freed up energy for better healthier relationships, a better healthy body, and then ultimately we have that mental emotional space to know exactly what our purpose is and to live it. So it's all a journey, a step-by-step process, and Jolie, you have started that process by starting to love yourself.
Speaking of self-love, we have created a little quiz that will help you know your self-love score. It's called the ‘Do you love yourself?’ quiz you can check it out at jenriday.com/lovequiz; jenriday.com/lovequiz. And you'll get a score and you'll be able to kind of figure out where do you fall on that continuum of self-love. Are you low? Are you high? Where do you fall? So check that out, again, jenriday.com/lovequiz. Also big news, there is something very, very special coming for you next week. I've created a 3-part free video training to help you walk through that process of learning to love yourself. And I know some of you think the word self-love is cheesy and egocentric and all that, but I'm going to explain why it's critical that you love yourself so that you can teach your kids to value and love themselves as well, how it relates to healthy boundaries, how it relates to your relationships, how it helps you to show up in this world in your happiest most authentic state. So watch for that and if you want to get on the waitlist, and make sure I email you about that, you can do that at jenriday.com/self-love training; jenriday.com/self-love training. And because I'm giving you more than one link, you can just get all these links on jenriday.com/139.
Alright, well, without further ado, I want to talk to you about Lauri Mackey, our guest today. She is the host of Lauri’s Lemonade Stand (another fun podcast that I enjoy) and today, she's sharing her story of, you know, going through lots of stress and trying to control things and it wasn't working, it caused anxiety, and how she learned to let go of that with this simple trick of, well, you can listen; how she learned to let go of that with a really simple mindset trick, reframing trick, that helps you live in the now and not worry about the future or not worry about what you need to do or all that stress that comes up. So, yeah, I'm all about mindset tricks, after all, everything we experience in our minds is just a perception, definitions that we assign to our life. We decide, “This is stressful, this is not. This is something to worry about, this is not,” how do we shift our thinking and just be in the moment and feel the way we want to feel? Well, we'll talk about that in this interview and I want to go ahead now and jump right in.
Hey, everyone, my guest is Lauri Mackey today and she's a positivity crusader and the proprietor of Lauri’s Lemonade Stand; it's a podcast all about positivity and just for women. She's also the author of ‘Positivity Happens: Creating Happiness Through The Art of Holiatry’, but her favorite thing is speaking to groups of women. Lauri's unique background of struggle through experience has her shouting from the rooftops that if she can come through it happy, everyone else can too. Welcome to the show, Lauri.
L: Thank you, I'm so glad to be here.
J: Yeah, I'm so glad to be here as well. So Lauri, you interviewed me for your podcast, is that episode out yet?
L: Yeah, yeah totally, it came out last week and so, yeah, it's out and it's beautiful. My husband actually just completely adored it because you liked the same band, and I'm going to forget who it was, but because you like banjos.
J: Oh yeah, Mumford and Sons, yeah.
L: There you go! Yeah, and he even like got it out and was playing me like videos and songs and everything from it after that.
L: So, yeah, definitely good. So yes, my husband obviously is not a woman, but he is a supporter so he listens to my podcast every week and he did like that part about you.
J: Ah, yay! So, everyone, that's Lauri's Lemonade Stand. What episode was that, Lauri? Do you remember?
L: It’s episode 121.
J: 121, okay, and you are episode 139 so there you go. (Laughs)
L: Okay, thank you.
J: I think we've been doing this about the same amount of time actually.
L: We have, we've been doing it about the same time, which is kind of funny. So it's… we've been growing separately and now we know each other, and so it's kind of fun to have cheerleaders in your court.
J: Exactly, exactly.
J: Well, let us jump in and talk about positivity today, starting with your favorite quote.
L: Oh, let's start with a quote. So this one actually is it kind of just… I've been using it probably the last year and it's really short, and it says that, “Commitment is an exclusionary process.” And so it's been really important to me, and even in recent times, we had a little upset within our immediate family and it was amazing to me how you were immediately focused on what could be ditched in your life and what you were committed you. And so commitment is an exclusionary process, so when you make the commitment, right…
L: … then you automatically exclude other things from your life, and so you need to make sure that your priorities are such that you're committing in the right place.
J: Ooh, I love that. So what would you say are your top priorities and how do you exclude other things? You know, because it's easier said than done.
L: Okay. So I would say that I definitely had gotten away from that and didn't realize it. So I was spreading myself too thin and didn't know that I was spreading myself too thin. I was a little bit stressed out, it was hard for me to get things done, and then we had this little family upset where we were all of a sudden laser focused on what was important and what we could lose. And so it was really good, it was really good for us to go, “Okay, what's important? My marriage is important. My family is important. Our security as far as a retirement, mostly important, but not as important as I thought. Is it important where I live? Yes, it is…” you know, just all these different things, it kind of prioritized everything me where I was able to say, “Okay, I need to let this, this, this, this, this and this go and to be able to close those doors,” and some people call that closing doors, some people call it clearing. Sometimes you just need to walk through your house and declutter, sometimes it’s, you know, it's all these different things, but it was literally just shutting off everything that you didn't need and focusing on what was important. And I actually did a little bit of each, so I kind of decluttered my house a little bit, “I can live without all of these things,” made a run, you know, to Goodwill and then I have set up steps. There were things that I could let go immediately that I did, but then I set in motion other things that we… so, for example, my husband and I owned a business and we are actually going to sell that business. And that was a huge, huge thing, but it was taking so much of our time. I mean, we're talking through weekends, we're talking… you know, we've had the business for 14 years and we're done. Our marriage is more important than all the time that we're spending at work. And so it was really, really cool, it was not the greatest, it wasn't delivered in the finest beautiful package, it was kind of a messy package that it was delivered in; this wake-up call. But now, because we're super clear, it's been really awesome to just go, “Okay, this is my priority. You're my priority, you're my priority, this, you know, project is my priority,” and it's been amazing, amazing to do that.
J: So selling a business, that's a big endeavor, and I think a lot of times we know it has to go, but the idea of changing or putting in the invested extra time up front to create the extra time in the back end overwhelms us.
J: So how did you face the fear of those things?
L: So for me, this is kind of interesting because my husband and I have actually taken it separately because of course we're completely individual people. But for me, once the plan was to sell the business, it was freeing. And so for me, it was this wonderful lifting, there was less weight on me, I was excited about our future, I'm excited about where we're going and ready to do it. So I wanted to just jump in and do it now. I'm a doer, I make the decision to do it then I want it done yesterday.
L: And so… and my husband is like that, he has to mull it over in his head and think about it and embrace the change and all of these… you know what I mean?
J: Mm-hmm, mm-hmm.
L: So there was like… it was all these things. But it's been fun to watch each of us handle it the way that we needed to handle it and process it or whatever. So for me, it wasn't as stressful, it seems less stressful because I can see that there's a future even though that's going to take whatever, 6 to 12 months to sell a business, it takes some time. And finding a business broker and cleaning up and separating and, you know, a business that we've had for 14 years and, you know, “This is personal, this is business.”
L: “What do I want to bring home? Where's all my stuff that's there? And what needs to stay?” and all of those things. So for me, I was just like, “Okay, just jump in and get this stuff done,” and then my husband though, now that he's embraced it, it's taken several weeks. Not that he was against it, but he just kind of need to do that process, it was… I don't know, a man thing.
L: And so he did this process and now he's very excited about it and just ready to be done as well. So now, we're just taking all the steps…
J: Oh, good.
L: … necessary, but it’s been… it's been really a cool thing to just focus on us and focus on these other priorities in our life and go, “Okay, we know what's important and we need to let this go.” And so, again, that clearing, that closing has been really good; really, really good.
J: Hmm, congrats.
L: Thank you. (Laughs)
J: Yeah, when you were talking about your husband, I laughed because I finally figured out with a therapist help to write down my question, text it to him, and then schedule myself 5 days not to bug him, and it works brilliantly.
L: Yes, oh, seriously, yes.
J: It just took me years and years and years of marriage to figure it out. (Laughs)
L: Yes. And it was really good because it was just… it was kind of neat to watch; it was kind of neat to watch. And I'm sure that you probably feel the same way like you send it, you text this question, you wait 5 days, and then, you know, the process you're like, “Oh, that's what works!
L: “That's what works!” and you're like so excited because you found a system that works for you. And so whatever works for you, yeah, trust that; trust that for sure.
J: Exactly, exactly.
L: Yes. (Laughs)
J: Well, so in the biography that I read at the beginning, I read about the arts of holiatry, so what exactly is that?
L: Okay, so this is actually very cool. So I'm a certified holistic health coach, and I actually call myself a resource coach because I feel like I'm a Google. I feel like I've had so many experiences in my life and I've learned so many things and I've put myself in all these different positions, both experiences and in just educating myself, knowledge, that I have a lot of resources to help people, and so I'm transitioning into this resource coach. And what the art of holiatry is (and I forgot to grab my book), but it is a triangle that encompasses 3 things about you. So the first thing is physical, the second part is psychological, and then the last is social. So you're kind of in the middle of this triangle and the base of it is this is physical and psychological parts. The physical is what? I mean, it's everything having to do with your body. It's what you feed your body, it's how you move your body, so health movement, all of those things. And then that's something that really has to be established before you can move into anything else. If you don't have a roof over your head and you don't have clothing, the proper clothing, you know, if you just bring it back down to basics, then that's your first priority is to take care of your health. So you need to make sure that you're feeding your body and that you're moving your body in a way that you can then be in a place to help others, right, including yourself.
So then we move on to the psychological part, so what's the psychological? That is anything having to do with your mind and heart. So this is trusting your intuition, finding, you know, the intuition and not… you know, for me, in my life, a great example of that was that I followed my heart, I was like, “Oh, but I love this guy and I'm going to follow my heart,” and what I learned was that I had to lead my heart because my heart couldn't be trusted, that wasn't a good intuition. So… so I had to learn, I had to learn how to do intuition. And then mind is just… it's knowledge, it's things that you learn, you educate yourself about. You read books, you go to school, you have life experiences, all of those different things. So we're talking about your heart, your soul, your mind, and so that kind of encompasses the psychological. And once you have the physical aspect and this psychological aspect, maybe not perfected, but you're in transition, you're perfecting it and you're getting better at that, then you're ready for the last part which is social.
L: And that's how you show up in your relationships. And our hierarchy of relationships is different for all of us, but for me, for example, like God comes first, so my relationship, that has to come first, then it's my husband, then it's my children, and then it kind of just branches out. It's like extended family, it's your community, it's your girlfriends, it's, you know, all of these different things that come after. But it really is true that if you do not have your physical and psychological self in a place that is healthy, you don't have anything to give to those relationships. And you need to make sure… I think that's why, you know, I know self-care is the current buzzword, but really, you have to take care of those things in order to have enough for yourself and then overflowing to give to those relationships. So that's what the art of holiatry, is it is a holistic approach to your life in those 3 categories; physical, psychological and social.
J: So let's say someone is focused on losing weight, for example, how would you apply holiatry, all of these perspectives, this holistic approach to their dilemma or desire?
L: Losing weight, it’s a top priority for women and we're really… we're really hung up on that, and so there's 2 different approaches for that immediately. Like first of all, “Are you already at a healthy weight and you're just nitpicking yourself into losing your last 5, 10 pounds? You know, are you being too hard on yourself?” that sort of thing. So then it kind of jumps into more of a psychological part rather than the losing weight part because there is some self-acceptance that needs to happen as far as that goes. Now, if we're talking about a health issue where it's 30 pounds, it's 40 pounds, it's 50 pounds it's causing all of these different health issues, then of course that's going to be an individual thing. See, again, I'm the resource coach, right, so it kind of depends on what that lady is going through. Bright Line Eating is a really good one that I recommend with Susan Pierce Thompson because it's just a laid out plan. It's a laid out plan, it covers everything, it's like if you want to lose weight and you want to do it fast and you are good at being strict, then that's your approach, and I would recommend that. But if you're someone else who like that strict approach just isn't going to work for you, you're going to just feel like you're chained down or chained to the wall and you're just going to die, and you starve yourself in then you binge and then you starve yourself and then you binge, then we’ll probably take a different approach and will be like, “Okay, what are you eating? Let's do a food journal for a week. Tell me what it is,” and then we just start making choices and different choices. And one of the biggest things I think at that point is not to say, “Okay, I'm never going to eat sugar again. I'm ever going to eat fat again,” whatever it happens to be, “I'm never going to have a soda again,” we just start making slow changes, we're like, okay, “I am going to… before I can have a soda today, I have to drink all my water that I was designated that I've decided that I need to drink.”
L: And so we make little changes like that. And because generally, those small little changes in the long run is what's going to make the long-term difference. And so it kind of just depends on the person. Some people are ready to just go full-on head in just, you know, “I'm all in. I want to do this. I'm going to be vegan tomorrow and I'm going to lose 30 pounds, and this is how it's going to work,” and I've seen it work for some people. Unfortunately, I'm not that person. I'll say I'm that person, and then 5 days later, I'm like, “What was I thinking?”
L: “This is ridiculous. I'm going to die. I'm going to die,” like I'm just literally going to go outside and die. And so it depends on who it is.
J: Oh, but you are a vegan, right?
L: I am, oh, I am full-on whole food plant-based, no sugar kind of person. But it has been a process…
L: … over the last 6-and-a-half years, right?
J: Right, right.
L: So, I mean, yeah.
J: So you didn't die; you didn't die!
L: I didn’t die! I’m still here, I can't believe it! And I am healthier than I've probably ever been in my entire life, even though I am closing in on 50 and gravity is really not a nice person.
L: But I am working on that. (Laughs)
J: Yeah, oh, that's awesome. So good job being healthy, I mean, almost 50 and healthier than ever, that's… that's something.
L: Yes, for sure, but I've worked at it, so I don't want people to go, “Oh well, she's healthy and whatever,” like oh no, I've really put the time in and the effort in, for sure.
J: So let's talk more about your stage of life, what would you call yourself? Are you an empty nester yet? Are you… I don't want to say middle-aged; that's silly, but…
L: No, I’m middle! Actually middle’s been really fun, and so I would definitely call it middle aged. I'm like, this is why I focus on my podcast, right, on women over 40 because it's kind of a transition period. So middle’s probably right because we're in this point where, you know, some of us are just having kids, you know, we're in our 40s and we’re like, “Oh, we've just had our first kid.”
L: And then some of us are empty nesters, and whatever it is, like 40 seems to be this transition period of like, “What the heck are we going to do next? Like what's the next chapter?” And so for me, I have a 30 year old daughter and 2 grandkids with her and her husband, I have a 27 year old daughter, and then I have an 18 year old who is graduated from high school. She's still living here, but she's already done like tech school. She's a licensed electrologist which is awesome for me because I have permanent hair removal happening on my legs, thank goodness.
L: It’s awesome and it’s costing me, you know, not very much. And so she's working and building her business at this point and so that's where she's at. So I'm sort of an empty nester, I like never see her, but she does live here, I know that she sleeps here; I see her every once in a while.
J: Well, so let's talk about empty nesting. I'm not there yet, but I want to know what is it like to, you know, be over 40 and in that empty nesting phase? What emotional thoughts come up for you? What have you experienced?
L: So this is kind of a fun one and I do like to talk about this because there are a lot of women out there, and I'm just not one of them and I don't know, but there's a lot of women out there, they're like, “Oh, they're growing up and I'm just going to be so sad when they leave and I don't know what I'm going to do and blah-blah-blah,” and I'm like, “Oh my gosh, I can't wait. I'm going to have a party.”
L: “I’m going to have a party,” whatever. So I started very, very young and I had my first daughter at 17, and that's a whole other story, but I have been a mom my entire adult life. And not like being a mom will ever quit, but the hands-on experience is different, as you know. And so for me, I am so excited. I'm so excited because I didn't get the singlehood that I probably would have had had I made different life choices. And so for me, I'm super stoked! I'm like, “Oh my gosh! Okay, she's 18, she's taking care of herself, she has her own money, she has all these different things. All my other 2 are already out, and so now it's just about me.” I get to work out when I want to work out, I go to work, I do this. You know, Lauri's Lemonade Stand is just my pride and joy and passion, and so I'm able to spend time on that, I'm able to write a book; I'm writing my second book right now. And so it's been an awesome thing, like I'm super excited for this next stage of my life, and so for me, that's the feelings is that I'm like, “Yes, let's do this. I am so ready for whatever comes next.”
J: Mm, that's awesome. One time, I was sitting with some fellow moms I think we were all about to hit 40, it was really interesting, and our youngest kids had started… pretty much started preschool, not quite, mine's in preschool now, but, you know, we're at least all walking and not breastfeeding anymore.
L: Right. (Laughs)
J: Yea, it’s a big thing, it's a big deal. And it was so funny, we all said, “So, what are you going to do when your youngest is in school?” and you could just see this deer in the headlights panic look come across their faces. But, you know, a lot of women talk about, “Gosh, what am I going to do when I'm a big girl? What's my big girl job going to be?” and they really mean when their kids are in school. So what's been your experience with that, you know, in conjunction I with talking about priorities like you were at the beginning?
L: So I have had several different experiences as my children have grown. And so I was able to be a stay-at-home mom for about 9 years, that was just such a wonderful blessing and I enjoyed that. And I did… like when my kids were in school, I did a lot of volunteer work, so the Navy Marine Corps Relief Society and just different things that I was able to do that were just so great for kids who are in school, but it was really great to just be able to focus on them. One of the things that I've always said about being a mom or being a stay-at-home mom is that it is a hundred times harder than working outside the home. And so when I… anytime that I worked outside the home, it was like going to recess, it was 10 times easier than being a stay-at-home mom. And so any stay-at-home moms that are out there, I don't care your age, like praise to you because I know that it is the hardest work that can be done on this planet. And so then there's those of us who have to work outside the home and I had to do that for quite some time and I really enjoyed it. But I think that when you're talking about priority in that and in those years for me, my priority was definitely just, you know, I want to say, “Oh, it's my kids first,” but really, it was my kids and making sure that everything was paid for. You know, “Could they get all the things they needed to at school? Did they have the backpack? Do they have clothes? Did they have food? Do they…” you know, all of these different things that kids need. And so in that time of my life, that transition, like that was my priority is that, you know, “Is there money coming in for all of their needs and how are they doing? You know, do I have time to do homework? Do I have time to read them a bedtime story?” all of those different things. And I'm grateful for all of those experiences, I am super grateful that I am at the tail end of that now.
J: Mm, you know, that's a fine line. In the ideal world, I could sell everything and just live in the woods with my kids and wouldn't need to make money.
J: But… (Laughs)
L: Right, right, right.
J: … there really are things we need to pay for and so…
L: Well, my mom says, she says, you know, “Money… money isn't everything.” And I know that money isn't all the focus, but it's sure easier when you have it.
J: Right, right.
L: It's sure easier when you have it and have enough of it. And that has been true… you know, and I think that there's enough for everyone and so everybody should be living some abundant life when it comes to money, and so I just totally believe that; it's just easier with it. I know that we shouldn't revolve around that and, you know, “Make money, make money, make money,” but really, your life is easier with it.
J: Right, right, that's true; it is.
L: Yes, yes. (Laughs)
J: Yeah. But at some… at some level, you say, “Okay…” I think they say happiness doesn't really increase after $75,000 annual income and in the US that is like the baseline, and then happiness doesn't actually go up that much after that.
L: That’s facts.
J: But below that, it goes up a lot, so…
L: Yes, exactly, once your basic needs are handled.
J: Right, right, exactly.
L: Yeah, exactly. (Laughs)
J: So if you make less than that you're happy, way to go. And probably also has to do with the area you live in because where my parents live, you would need half the income that you need where I live because everything is way less; way less.
L: Exactly, exactly.
J: Yeah, yeah, interesting. Well, Lauri, we've had a nice easy-breezy chat, but now, let's take a deep and go to your low point (Laughs); after all that.
L: Okay, okay. So this is actually kind of a good story and I always tell people that, if you were telling me my story, that I would be appalled. So if you are listening to this and you're like, “Oh my gosh, that girl,” then don't feel bad because I totally get it; so we're totally good. But my struggle in life was relationships with boys, and of course with men at some point. But I started very young and I basically had a shotgun wedding, I… at 16 and a half and had my first daughter at 17. And that marriage lasted eight years and it did not end happily. And I then turned around and was kind of hopping around because I just felt like I needed a guy in my life; I needed a guy in my life. I hadn't figured out yet that I was okay and that it was supposed to be a complementary thing, not like, “Hey, I'm going to have to have a guy or I'll die.” And so I got married again to a military man who led a very strict life and it was a great marriage, it lasted for 9 years. And it was great because we were in this cycle. So he would be deployed for 6 months, and then absence makes the heart grow fonder, and then he would come back and you'd have this honeymoon period. And then you would have this other transition period where life kind of
starts to kick in and you're like, “Oh, I don't know if we're compatible. We're kind of on edge with each other, we're having a hard time.” But then we're getting ready for the next deployment, and so then you're all in preparation getting ready for the next deployment, he leaves, absence makes the heart grow fonder, you go again and then all of a sudden you're like back in honeymoon and you're just in this cycle. And we did that for years, and then at some point, he came on shore duty and we were so excited. We're like, “Oh my gosh, shore duty, you're not going to be deployed, I'm not going to be a single mother half of the year,” all of these different things. And that's when you're spending all your time together and learning that you really are not compatible, you really are not going to get along. And it turned into this verbally abusive relationship, it was tough, it was so hard. And I won't go into all the details, but that one ended after 9 years.
And so then, at that point, I was at my lowest, I was really, really low. My self-esteem was in the toilet, I didn't know what to do, still felt like I needed a guy in my life, and this very, very, very young man, barely of age, we got together. And his parents loved me and it was great, but it was obviously like a stupid thing, it was a rebound…. rebound relationship and I didn't know how to date, I only knew how to marry guys. So I had already had 2 marriages so I married that one because that's what I knew how to do. And so when that one ended a very short while later, I mean, less than a year because you're trying to just figure things out, this is when I hit my lowest point because I thought, “Enough is enough. Like I don't know how to be or who to be without a guy in my life,” and I just felt pathetic, just completely pathetic, down in the dirt, so low. And I ended up at the side of my bed, and I'm a peripheral person, I'm a Christian, and I just started praying. And in the middle of that prayer, I stopped and I went into my daughter's room and I got this poster and it was a picture of Christ and it said, “You are not alone.” And I stuck it above my bed above my pillow and I looked at that and I just thought, “Okay, I just need to figure out how to be okay with just being me and just being a mom.”
L: And I remember kneeling at the side of my bed and just… I was such a martyr; I was such a martyr then. I was like, “I'll do anything, like I'll just… just help me be okay with myself, help me be a good mom, I'll never want to get married again, I never need guys in my life,” and I just… you know, I was ready to just throw everything on the table and just say, “I'm going to give it all up. I'll give up everything.”
L: “You just… just tell me what to do.” And I just thought at that point, all the decisions that I had made in regards to relationships were of my own doing and had brought me to that point of feeling miserable, feeling so entirely low that I needed to have help, that I couldn't get out of it myself and I had to surrender. And so I was good at a bunch of different things in my life. I'm smart, I am an excellent student, I'm a good mother, you know, all of these different things in my life. I could get a job anywhere, like I felt like that wasn't hard for me, that wasn't a struggle, but I just really struggled in the relationship department. And so at that point, I gave in and I surrendered and I… what was immediate to me in those coming weeks and those coming months was that, by surrendering and giving up, I gained so much more than I ever had on my own. And thankfully, Heavenly Father did not leave me out to dry. He didn't even wait too long before bringing me a wonderful, wonderful man. And I remember just… he was a certified bachelor. He was not looking for a relationship, I certainly was not looking for a relationship, and it just clicked and it just worked and it felt super new and super old all at the same time. Like we had this wonderful… it felt like we had known each other forever. And I feel like… and we've been married for over 11 years now and I just tell everybody that he's the one that I didn't pick…
L: … that God had chosen for me. But so the thing is, the moral of the story also is, is that, looking back at that, you would think that I would have regret and guilt or resentment, you know, making the list, there's a huge list, right? But I also know that it brought me to that point where everything changed in my life. So if I'm looking back and I had to say to get these like last 11 years with my husband, for example, and whatever is waiting for me in my future, if I knew that I could have this wonderful awesome relationship if I went through and signed up for everything I had done previous to that, would I still do it?
L: Oh yes.
L: Oh yes, because everything that has come since then since I finally surrendered and gave up and gave in, blessings galore. And my life has changed and he brought me Eddy (bless his heart; love that guy) and put me in a relationship where I was able to heal, where I was… I was able to learn who I was. And the biggest thing that I would say as far as a lesson for everyone is to trust the timing, trust your timing.
L: Trust your timing, trust your timing, trust your timing, trust your timing because there is a grand plan. Now, you have to sign up for it, it's not just going to happen, but there is a plan ready and waiting for you, just trust the timing.
J: Hmm, ooh, that's really good.
J: And I'm thinking you could apply that to so many things. I'm thinking back to the stay-at-home moms we were talking about that. What timing can they trust in when they're just lost in the stay-at-home world, you know?
L: Oh my gosh, isn't that just the hardest thing? Having little kids it's just tough! It is the hardest… when I look back on my life look, even with all those crazy relationships I had, being a mom is hard. Like nursing, diapers, teaching, you know, and just the fits that they have. (Laughs)
L: Or the…. you know, these struggles because you're having power struggles with them almost daily for eating, for cleaning their room, for doing their homework, for all of those things. I mean, it is just overwhelming, it is just so hard. But I promise you, I promise you that the work that you're doing, even though it seems trivial and dumb to make them eat their peas or to have them clean their room or all of those things, like I'm at the other end of that where I'm watching my girls clean their own homes and try and have their kids eat their own stuff. My daughter was on the phone with me just last night, “You talk to him, he won't eat this burrito, I don’t…”
L: You know what I mean? I mean, it’s like…
L: … this is the most important work, and your consistency and your love and your happiness that you showed those kids, that's what they're going to remember, they're not going to remember that you tried to force-feed them peas. They're… you know, they are going to take all of these things and they're going to remember that they need to clean their room, they're going to remember when they're adults. And it's really hard to see that right now because you're like, “Oh no, no, no, no, no, they're not learning anything from me right now. Like I am just going to kill them! I'm going to…” you know what my husband says, he's like, “I'm just going to lock them in a closet,” you know, and he just… and of course we've never done that, but it sounds funny, but that's how you feel. You’re just like, “Oh my gosh, I just need a break.” But work that you are doing is so, so important and it is getting in their skulls, trust me, it's getting in there and they're going to remember when they're an adult. Even like I say because I have 3 daughters, and then around 12, 11, 12, the alien comes in and invades their brain, takes over their body, and they're just gone for years. And then all of a sudden like around 20, they start coming back and you're like, “Oh my gosh, where have you been? Where have you been? I have just missed you so much,” and all of a sudden, they start to get a clue. And then around 25, they start to really understand how grateful they are that they had you.
J: Ah yeah.
L: So if you can look forward to that, trust me, it happens.
J: Well so, you know, you said you had to surrender when you, you know, hit your low point, and I think a lot of moms hit their low points. Did you have a time when you were a stay-at-home mom where you surrendered and learn something, maybe through a higher power like you were talking about before? You know, for those listening, I'm just saying there's so many experiences. They didn't have your experience maybe with the men or the dating or whatever, but low points in general, all of them, maybe it's cancer, maybe it's a dying parent, maybe it's a divorce, you know, what does that look like to surrender? How would you advise someone to go about that process so they can find some new way of thinking or being?
L: Yeah. You know, the number one important thing I would say is to breathe.
L: Is just to breathe because it's… if you can think about one of your hard days like what happens, like all of a sudden you'll feel like your shoulders are kind of up around your ears, you're tense, so all of these muscles like behind your neck are just like they feel like they're going to snap at any moment, and your head has this dull headache because you know that you're going to have to say one more word, “Please go clean your room,” one more time and you just, whatever it is. There is joy in the moment, and if you can just breathe and know that this moment is going to pass, you will find more joy in it. It's kind of, when you breathe and you take that moment, you're able to see a bigger picture. And I know it's hard to do. I mean, my daughter, my oldest daughter will call me and just in tears and she's like, “I don't know what else to do. I can't move forward,” and she'll separate herself from her kids for a little bit and they'll go play in the room or they'll watch a movie or whatever and she'll take those moments. And it's not easy, but she will breathe, she'll think about the big picture, and she'll be able to get through her day, get sleep (super important), get sleep, and she'll have a brand new perspective the next day.
L: But those struggles in the moment, they're hard, and so number one, just breathe. And that is a form of surrender where you just are surrendering to that moment, you're thinking about the art of holiatry, right, like physical, psychological, and then social is your kids; like that's your relationship with your kids. If you cannot take a minute for your psychological and physical self for just a second and breathe, then you are not able to come back into momming.
L: And so you just have to… you have to surrender and go, “Okay, I just have to let those kids like thrash their rooms for a minute while I take a moment, otherwise I'm going to strangle them,” you know?
J: Yeah, exactly.
L: Anyway, so that’s your surrender. (Laughs)
J: I love that. And, you know, to get even more technical about it, for me, that breath becomes meditation where I detach from this busy, busy life and get that bigger picture.
J: Connect to God, a higher power, some people call it what, the collective unconscious, but…
L: Right, yes, yes.
J: … you know, detaching enough to think and breathe. And so, everyone listening, no matter what struggle you're going through. I love how you, Lauri, you hit your knees and you said, “You know, this is it, I'm willing.” You detached from everything you wanted, you created that space, and then the good things came. So I think that's really cool, you said it starts with the breath; beautiful.
L: Just breathe. Well, that… and so one of the questions you asked me, and I'm kind of going to jump the gun a little bit, but you were asking and getting prepared for this if I had like a challenge for everybody, and it seems like a good place to say that.
L: So if you don't mind, I'm just going to jump in and share this story because it… it really applies here; and this is true for everyone. If I say to you right now, “Think of your biggest struggle,” whatever your current struggle is, there is one thing that's going to jump into your brain that is your biggest issue. It could be something with your spouse, it could be something with your kids, it could be something with work, it could be something with your mom, it could.. you know, any of those things. But as soon as I say, “What's your current struggle, your biggest struggle right now?” everybody's thought of something immediately. So one of the things I learned is that, if you take that current struggle, I want you to take that current struggle and think for just a moment, if you knew that God or your higher power or your collective conscious, everything that we're talking about, whatever it is that's above you, if you knew… I'm just going to use God because that's easier for me because, that's what I use. So if I knew that God was going to take care of this, he was going to fix it for me, whatever my biggest struggle was, in the next let's say 6 months from now, you knew he was going to take care of it, it was not going to be an issue in 6 months from now, that he was going to take care of whatever your current struggle is 6 months from now, how would you look at your struggle differently? So let me give you an example. So I’m a doer, okay? So once I make up my mind to do something (I talked about that), like I want it executed that plan yesterday, okay? So because we're getting ready to sell our business, if I knew that it would be done in the next year, stress out of the picture, what would I do differently today?
L: So how would I handle that today? If I knew that God was going to handle the selling of my business in the next 6 to 12 months so I didn't have to worry about if it was going to sell? So I just… I'm going to have faith that God's going to take care of it and he's going to sell my business, how does that make me look different at my business right now? Because that's a current struggle because it's a stress struggle, it's taking time away from my relationship with my husband, you know, all these different things, what do I do different now because I know that it's going to be handled in 6 to 12 months? I would enjoy the journey, it's like a saying goodbye, right? I'm like, “Okay, I know it's going to be handled in 6 to 12 months so I'm not going to stress over, I'm going to enjoy the journey. I want to leave happy memories of this last year at my business. I want to make sure that my business is something that I'm proud to turn over to a new owner.”
L: It totally refocuses your priorities, helps you see the big picture and focus on the blessing at the end and ditches the stress.
L: It completely ditches the stress from that moment. So let's say it's something having to do with a relationship; you're having struggles with your spouse. If you're having struggles with your spouse for example, let's take that as an example, and you knew that God or your higher power was going to handle it and you had faith that your relationship was going to be great let's say 6 months from now, what would you do differently? Now, I had this happen in one of my relationships where I was struggling with some things and I said, “If I knew that God was going to take care of this relationship issue that I'm so concerned about in 6 months, what would I do differently?” and you know what I did? I totally took all the pressure off my spouse. I wasn't nitpicking him anymore, I wasn't looking for faults, I wasn't looking for… I wasn't trying to find something wrong with him because I knew that Heavenly Father, God, was going to take care of it in 6 months or now. So I didn't have to worry about him, he was going to get taken care of. So then what do you do when all that's off and you're like, “Okay, well, now what do I do? Because I'm not going to nitpick myself and I'm not going to look at any of those things because I know God has it in his hands.”
L: “What do I do?” What I ended up doing was that I wanted to make sure that I was the best version of myself at the end of that 6 months to be there waiting for my husband when he was at the other end. So I started focusing on what I could do to make myself better, and it took all that pressure off because I already knew that I was going to give that up; we're talking about that surrender, right? Like, I surrendered that over and then it is awesome. It's a positivity hack, you just need to do that and say, “If I knew that my biggest struggle was going to be handled in 6 months by God, by my higher power, how would that change my actions today?”
L: Total new perspective.
L: Total new perspective, I'm challenging you to do that.
J: Yes, ooh, I love that.
J: So… so I feel like if there's a formula though, what steps would you put into this? So we have breath and then probably you got quiet, you got alone. Your kids weren't around when you were thinking about this so you created a space, and then what?
L: Yes, love and kindness.
L: Starting with me.
L: I have a tendency to be super hard on myself; I would say probably most women do. I'm looking at my ass and wondering how much farther it's fallen to the back of my knees.
L: I am… you know, I'm looking at wrinkles around my eyes, all these physical things, “I need to be a better mother, I need to be a better wife, I…” you know, all of those things there needs to be loving kindness for ourselves because if we do not… if we do not show that to ourselves, we cannot show it to others. And… and if you just think about perspective in your best friend. Jen, if you were to call me and tell me that you were worried about how you looked and you were worried about your relationship with your husband, that you were… you felt like you were a crappy mom today, like what am I going to tell you? I am going to do everything to cheerlead you to death, “Jen, you are gorgeous! Oh my gosh, I've seen pictures of you, I've seen you with and without makeup, you are drop-dead gorgeous.” Like, I'm going to pump you up, “Your husband loves you and this is… it’s just a phase, you're going to get through it. Your kids are going to turn out amazing, don't you worry. And even if they don't, you will have done your best in making sure that they've got everything that they want more.” So how come we can't turn around and say that to ourselves? Like, that's so hard because your best friend would never bring you down the way that we bring ourselves down.
L: There has to be a loving kindness there…
L: … there just has to be; there just has to be. And I'm not saying it's easy, the struggle’s real, like I get it because I struggle with it myself. But if you think about it in that perspective and what your best friend would say to you, like hang on to that; hang on to that for sure.
J: Mm-hmm, mm-hmm. And then you're challenge again, say that one more time. I think that feels like the final step.
L: (Laughs). So the challenge is, if God or your higher power could handle your situation (whatever your biggest struggle is) in 6 months, what would you then do differently?
L: What steps would you take?
J: Yeah, it's like a mindset shift right there.
J: But you had to create a space to open up your thoughts to it.
L: Exactly, exactly.
J: Ooh, I like that. So breath, create space, be as kind of yourself as you would to a friend, and then say that phrase one more time, “If God…”
L: “If God could handle my problem, my biggest struggle, in 6 months from now, what would I do differently? What would my next steps be?”
L: And it's a big shift, it's goofy, it sounds so silly, but it works, it totally works in all these different situations.
J: You know, what you're doing, you're creating a vision of a different outcome instead of, you know, they say when someone's about to wreck, they will focus on the thing they don't want to hit and they'll inevitably hit it because you tend to go where your focus is.
J: So it's like changing your focus and then everything else changes; it's huge I think what you said, so thank you.
L: Yes, yeah, absolutely.
J: That’s good.
L: And I'm a mountain biker and I've been mountain bike coaching for the local high school team for the last 5 years…
L: … and the last 5 seasons. And so that's exactly what we tell the kids.
L: Like, if you look at the rock or you look at the log or you look at the crevasse, whatever it is, you're going to hit it; you're going to hit it.
L: You have to look where you want to go, look where you want to go. Look up, look where you want to go, and then you won't hit that thing.
J: Wow. So I just have to ask, I've never mountain biked.
J: You're trying to get through this narrow space between a couple of rocks, so do you look at the path or do you look further ahead, even further ahead?
L: Further ahead.
L: Look up, you have to look up.
J: Oh my gosh, that’s so scary!
L: It is, it’s super scary and it’s really hard to do. And so I'm not really great at downhill, I'm not superfast downhill, but I literally, when I was learning how to go downhill faster and get through things, I literally would say out loud the whole way down, “Look up, look up, look up, look up, look up, look up, look up, look up.”
J: No way.
L: Because I needed to be looking up because I would focus too close to my front wheel and you inevitably are going to hit the thing that you're looking at.
L: So you need to look up and what… and your peripherals just pick that stuff up.
L: They pick up the things that are right in front of you and you will just go right over them.
J: Ah, so the same thing if we're struggling and all we could…
J: … think about is that sink full of dishes, then what happens?
J: We just…
L: Oh my gosh, okay, just so you know, I hate dishes.
L: I hate doing dishes, it’s one of my most awful chores. I hate them and so my husband… generally, I don't do very many dishes; I do the cooking and my husband does the dishes.
L: And so I do some dishes so I'm not completely worthless, but I really just don't like to do dishes. But if you have to do dishes, boy, you just take it a little bit at a time. I hated them so much that I would go in I'm like, “I'm just going to wash 5 things.”
L: “I'm going to wash 5 things and then I'm going to go do something else,” and then I come back and I'm like, “Yeah, I'm going to wash 5 things.” So break that stuff down, break that stuff down and just… or if you're one of those people who can just go in and focus on it all at once, fine, but it just drives me crazy and I'm gritting my teeth and just, “Rrr!” the whole time I got to do dishes. And so I would just break it down and do what you can, say, “I'm going to do 5 things, I'm going to do something else. I'm going to do 5 things, I'm going to do something else.”
L: And the dishes will get done; your dishes will get done eventually.
J: Yeah, and your mind isn't on the 5 things, it's the onto something else, ooh…
J: “… I'm going to go watch another section of This Is Us, on the commercial, I'm going to wash 5 more,” but your focus is not on the awful thing, right.
L: Yep, The Flash, I'm watching The Flash right now, so yeah…
L: … I probably do like 10 dishes and I'd go watch an episode of The Flash or I'd read a book or I would go do anything other than do the dishes, and then go back and do some more.
J: That's good, that's such good advice. I love that mountain biking analogy; oh scary.
L: (Laughs) It is.
L: It is a little bit scary, but you can do it. I helped teach women to do it so you can do it.
J: Wow, that's great. Well, let's have a quick break for our sponsor and then talk about some of your favorite things.
J: Alright, welcome back. And, Lauri, what is your favorite book?
L: Oh my gosh, I had to do 2. (Laughs)
J: Yeah, no problem.
L: I had to do 2. So first is, is just a plain fun one that I would recommend to anybody, it's called ‘Beauty and the Clockwork Beast’, it's by Nancy Campbell Allen. It is a steampunk proper romance and that stuff is so fun. I had no idea that it was a steampunk romance when I first bought it and I was sucked in and I absolutely adored it. So if you just need a fun quick read, it's just amazing romance story because girls kind of like those things…
L: … then I would highly recommend that. But if you are trying to do some self-work, my book that I would recommend everybody is called the ‘The Artist's Way’ by Julia Cameron. And my husband bought me this book and I had no idea it was a workbook.
L: Oh my gosh, it is a crazy work book and just don't open it unless you're ready to do the work.
L: But I always thought that I was not a creative person…
L: … and what I really meant to say was that I was not a scrapbooker or a crafty person. I am a ridiculously creative person and that book showed me that.
J: Mm-hmm, yeah, it's a great book. I think we've had probably 15 guests say that's their favorite book; so many.
L: Ah! See, I'm telling you, it's awesome.
L: So awesome.
J: What do you do for your morning routine, Lauri?
L: Oh my gosh, I am a morning person and I am the only morning person in my house. So I am up before everyone else and I always start with straightening the house, I get a big glass of water and start drinking it, I read my scriptures, I then come…. well, I outline my day; I outline my day, I'm a huge list maker. I go in and say prayer with my husband and then I go exercise, and that is my almost every morning, like 6 days a week.
J: That’s impressive.
J: Good for you, good for you. What about a favorite happiness hack?
L: Okay, so this one, I just have to say ‘Awesome Life Tips’ by Stephenie Zamora.
L: So she has something that you can… I think you can get them delivered into your email, but I actually bought her book called ‘Awesome Life Tips’ and it's just something that you can read an awesome life tip every single day and it just totally boosts you up and gives you a break and is your biggest cheerleader, and it's just a good awesome thing to just read this small thing every day.
J: Yeah. I bet it's a good toilet read too because I need some of those.
L: There you go, ‘Awesome Life Tips’, definitely get that on, for sure.
J: So okay, what is your favorite easy meal?
L: Okay, super simple, superfast, you have to just make sure you have avocado. So I love avocado toast and so I will toast the bread, you slice up half an avocado and put it on there, you put a little bit of lime and a little bit of cayenne pepper, pumpkin seeds, salt and pepper, and you're done, and you just eat. And it is the best easiest thing to eat ever and it's filling an awesome.
J: Delicious, yummy.
J: Ah, so good. Well, I'm going to remind everyone that we'll have links to your book and Julia Cameron's book and everything else at jenriday.com/139. So our final question, because you already gave us that awesome challenge, what…
J: What does it mean for you to be a vibrant and happy woman, Lauri?
L: So one of the things I was thought when I was reading that question, it actually kind of goes back to where you said there's this personal happiness formula, “What would you say?” and I thought, “What are the 3 words that I would use?” and I want to say that being a happy vibrant woman includes love first and foremost, hope because I'm big on having hope (I want people to have hope of something better), and the last thing is just strength. I feel like we don't give ourselves enough credit that we have this solid core strength as women that we need to tap into that power more. And so being a happy vibrant woman, to me, means being loving, being hopeful, and finding the courage and strength to move on.
J: Be strong, yeah, look up, keep biking; I love that.
L: (Laughs). Exactly, exactly!
J: Yeah, that's so good, I want you to send us a mountain biking picture of you now because I'm going to stick it on the show notes page (Laughs); that’ll be so cool.
L: You’ve got it, you’ve got, I’d be happy to do that. it I'll send you one of my racing ones when I was racing.
J: Okay, very good. Well, Lauri, this was fantastic. Everyone, go listen to Lauri's podcast as well, Lauri’s Lemonade Stand, check out her book, ‘Positivity Happens: Creating Happiness and Finding Hope Through The Art of Holiatry’ or just Google ‘Positivity Happens’; I love it.
J: And, yeah, thank you so much for being here, Lauri, it was fun and awesome.
L: Oh, Jen, thank you for having me. This has been an absolute blast.
J: Take care, Lauri.
L: Alright, bye-bye.
There you have it, just a few simple mindset shifts that will help you to worry less and relax more and be in the present moment. Well, I want to remind you to find out what is your self-love score. You can take our ‘Do you love yourself?’ quiz by going to jenriday.com/lovequiz. Also, reminder, next week, I have a brand new 3-part video series coming all about self-love. I'm going to email the videos to you and you don't have to pay anything, they are completely free, I'm going to explain why it is critical that we have the foundation of self-love if we want to have healthier body image, if we want to be able to lose weight more easily, if we want to have that healthier marriage, if we want to know what our purpose is and live it, it all starts with that foundation of self-love and emotional healing; it's a journey. And if you want to learn more about that, you can sign up for that video series at jenriday.com/selflovetraining. I will be back later this week with a Happy Bit and I will see you for the self-love training later next week, if you choose to sign up. And also, I want to wish you a Happy Thanksgiving if you're celebrating Thanksgiving in the US. There's so much to be grateful for and I want you to really focus on those good things; you deserve that. You have had so many amazing successes, you're doing so many good things in your life, and celebrate that for yourself. And interestingly, as you do that, you teach your kids, your spouse, your loved ones, your friends, your co-workers to celebrate themselves as well. As we all start to shine a little brighter, we give everyone else permission to do the same; we're healing our hearts. So thank you so much for listening today, I will be back, and until then, make it a great, great week. Take care.