14 Transcript: Love What Makes You Special (with Lori Jones)

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J: You're listening to the Vibrant Happy Women podcast, episode number 14.

L: Just heard a thing on the radio yesterday they said, “A woman looks in the mirror and looks at her least favorite feature and focuses on that. A man looks in the mirror and focuses on his most favorite feature and compliments himself.” Now, if only we women could do that, you know, just look at what… what's special about us and not the negative.

Intro: Welcome to the Vibrant Happy Women podcast, stories of vibrant women living happy lives. And now, your host, Jen Riday.

J: hey there, I'm Jen Riday and this is Vibrant Happy Women. On our last episode, I had the pleasure to chat with Kris Vaughan and she shared her story of learning to slow down and live a more authentic life. She inspired me to want to go sit on the front porch and have ‘un-cocktail hour’ hour with my husband. And if you don't know what that is, be sure to go back and listen to that episode at jenriday.com/13. Today, I'll be chatting with Lori Jones. Several years ago, Lori was devastated to learn that our soon-to-be born baby, Riley, had a severe heart defect. Lori shares her story of coping with that struggle and allowing her problem to become a time of growth. Now, 12 years later, Riley is doing fine and Lori chooses to give back by sharing a book she wrote called ‘Riley's Heart Machine’ and spreading a message of loving what makes each of a special. Lori also gives back by volunteering on the national board of directors for the Children's Heart Foundation. Lori also loves all Pittsburgh sports teams and enjoys running 5ks. We'll go ahead and get started with that interview.

Welcome to vibrate happy women, Lori, how are you doing?

L: I'm great, thank you for having me, Jen.

J: Yeah. So we like to start out our show with our guests favorite quote or a personal motto, do you have one that has guided you throughout your life?

L: I do. And actually, this is something that I just… it's actually a new mantra that I've been saying to myself, “Lead with love.” And I have found that if I take any situation and I'm going to start to maybe react to something, I kind of take a step back and think, “Lead with love,” whether it's text… you know, texting somebody, commenting on a Facebook status, something, I always think, “What's my motivation? And can I just lead with love?” and it usually cures a lot of potentially bad situations, it calm strife, it's just helped me a lot and I've been using it a lot recently.

J: Hmm, that's awesome. And so when I heard you share that, I thought, “Oh, I would love to do that.” So a lot of times what happens for… for me and probably some of our listeners is, you get caught up in rushing…

L: Right.

J: … and you forget to be mindful. Do you have trouble with that or have you figured out a trick? (Laughs)

L: I totally agree with that. You know, not a… I think just taking, like what you said, stop rushing. And when we are quick to kind of answer something, somebody in a negative way or respond to something, if we just take a few moments maybe keep our mouths closed and listen or listen with our hearts, that has always helped me. So I think just taking a deep breath I think in most situations, give yourself a moment to really think about what you're doing and I think it usually ends up always a positive situation if you just take a break, take a breath, and then lead with love.

J: Yeah, great. So, Lori, let's jump into our next topic, your personal low point. In the introduction, I shared about your book and your daughter's heart defect, so would that happen to be related to your low point?

L: It is, it is. You know, I've had several throughout my life and I found that each of those low points results in growth. And if you really take the time to use those moments as… those bad times as gifts to look inward to reflect and grow, it usually results in something positive. However, this situation with Riley, my daughter, did actually result in probably the biggest impact of my life so far. I was 24 weeks pregnant with her when I… actually, a little bit of backstory, we… I had one daughter at the time who was healthy, we had lost some babies for brain defects actually, ironically. So she had been checked out thoroughly and everything was perfect. So it was just a routine exam when the OB said to me, “I can't find her heartbeat,” and then it was, “Okay, we… after a sonogram, we finally filed it, but it's half the rate it should be,” he thought I was going to have to do an emergency C-section at that point. And, like I said, I was only 24 weeks pregnant and I really desperately wanted this child after all that we had been through. And it was heartbreaking, it was scary, but we move forward and I… we found out that her… you know, she could get a pacemaker, eventually she could survive this. And it was… it was through… actually, through her and through my writing when they came together. And I actually took the time, she was about 2 years old when she got… or a year old when she got her first pacemaker, but I was sort of struggling with some things and I wasn't sure. So I just took to writing like I usually do and I wrote down, you know, “What if she has a problem with this? What if she just doesn’t want to be different? What if she struggles with having to go to the doctor and having this thing that's…?” hers… for her, it was sticking out, it was in her belly, you know, you could see; it scars.

J: Well, take us back just a little bit. So paint this picture a little more, so you were 24 weeks pregnant and you found out, but then you carried her to term?

L: Yes, yeah.

J: And then what happened after birth?

L: Right after birth, her… her heart rate had stabilized. So we knew, you know, what happened was it was probably… a child's heartbeat should be about 140 beats a minute in utero and for a while after, hers was about 80 and we thought at delivery, we did a C-section because they wanted to make sure everything was… you know, not to put her more stress, they weren't sure and she could have… there was a chance she wouldn't survive, there was a chance that she would need immediate surgery, there was a chance that she would need a pacemaker; there was a chance that there could be other defects involved, we weren't sure. So it was actually right before Christmas, I remember that the… the OB came into my room and said, “Lori this is going to be our Christmas… this is going to be my Christmas miracle for me. And I know everything's going to be okay.”

J: Aww.

L: And it was like, you know, Christmas music playing in the background and she was delivered and actually stabilized. So her heart rate continued to deteriorate throughout the following year, so she went from having about a hundred and… well, it was 80, by the time they finally said, “We need a pacemaker in her,” it was about 39 was her resting rate, which is very low for a child.

J: Whoa.

L: Yeah.

J: Yes.

L: So it was scary, you know, a lot of monitoring, a lot of praying, a lot of everything, but she was… she was a trooper. And, you know, we were only in hospital for 3 days with that, she came home, she did well, and she's doing well. So she's had another general surgery and another pacemaker surgery since then, but she's a relatively normal kid right now.

J: So when did she get her pacemaker?

L: She had just turned a year. I said, “Can we please wait till her first birthday?” (Laughs) It was right after her first birthday. So for throughout that first year, it was just a lot of monitoring and… and worrying, but she did fine with the surgery.

J: Okay. And… and what's the name of her heart defect?

L: It's called complete congenital heart block, the medical term is third-degree AV block, and hers is complete which means it's the worst you can have of the heart block. So the message from the top of the heart does not get to the bottom of the heart to tell it to beat, so it can result in arrhythmias, dangerous arrhythmias, you know, irregular heartbeat, slow heartbeat, a lot of things can happen without the pacemaker intervention; death, obviously. So…

J: Oh.

L: Yeah. So another thing with… even with the pacemakers, one of those ironic things that, even with that, a child being dependent on a pacemaker for their whole life can result in other things, weakening of the ventricles and weakening of the heart muscle. So she could develop cardiomyopathy and all those other things that can happen with that. So it's not like… a lot of times with heart defects, we think, “Oh, well, they can… you can have surgery and fixed,” there's ways to mend it, but it's never really perfectly a fix; she'll have this her whole life.

J: And how old is she now?

L: She's 10.

J: 10.

L: Yeah.

J: So tell us a little more about how it's been for her.

L: You know, it's… every year, it's… it's a different struggle. We went through, “I want to wear a 2-piece bathing suit, but I don't want people to see my scars. I don't…” every sort of year there's something different. Now, kids are becoming more aware of that they're… you know, she also… a lot of times with kids with heart defects, they also struggle with learning disabilities; it's weird that that goes hand in hand, about 50% of children. So she does have some reading issues, learning disabilities, we're not sure if it was from a low heart rate or surgery early on. So there's ways that she already knows, self-aware that she knows that she's different, she has to leave class, she has to, you know, go to the doctor, she has this bump on her belly, she has a scar, you can see it in her dance leotard, you know, that sort of thing. So we've… every year, it’s a little bit different, we struggle with that, but I think she's building a lot of confidence. She now knows that it's not any more a, “Why me? Why do I have to do this?” it's more of, “You know, okay I have this and I know a lot more than other kids have gone through,” you know, “And… and I'm brave.” And… and so we're trying to teach her that this is something that can be a gift too that you get to… “You’re strong and you are… you got courage and you embrace what makes you special,” it's sort of my… my theme when I go to schools and talk and a lot of good can come out of it.

J: So, yeah, that's great that you get to share that at the schools. I'm curious, as a mom, how… how do you cope with the fear of what could be and what will be and those kind of thoughts?

L: You know, I think a lot of it is surrounding myself with other phenomenal women who have actually faced this in a lot worse situations than I have. In my heart community, I'm dealing… you know, I run this charity, the heart… the Children's Heart Foundation, Pennsylvania chapter, I plan heart walks, I… just sort of that thing that I know that I'm being part of the solution and not part of… you know, we were invited… we were asked… not asked to be part of the problem, which is a heart defect, right? But you can choose to be part of the solution, which is getting there, fund research, let's… let's see how we can help other people in this situation. So…

J: Ooh, great.

L: Yeah, so that's sort of… it's empowering to do that. Obviously, that distracts me (Laughs)… so I don’t sit around…

J: Uh-huh.

L: … wondering, “What if?” but it's empowering to know that I’m… I'm helping make a difference. And, you know, obviously, one person can't fix the world, but we can obviously get in there and help and join with other moms and it's a great… and dads, obviously, who are fighting this together. That and… and I do rely a lot on my faith. I do have a strong faith and so I do pray a lot and to try to get rid of the worry.

J: Mm-hmm.

L: But I think just trying to focus outward and not always, “Why me? Why me?” but, “Let's… you know, let's help somebody else. Let's…”

J: Yeah, turn it into a positive…

L: Yeah, absolutely.

J: … as much as you can.

L: Right.

J: So tell us more about how you became a children's book author and wrote that first book.

L: Sure. Well, it was actually back when my first daughter was home, I was a stay-at-home mom and I started telling her a story, just out loud. It was the first time I'd been, you know, alone without human interaction in the office, and it was just her and I and I started telling her stories; I was just making up stories and I started to write them down. Nothing… I never did anything with them until the Riley story. So she was about 2 years old and I kept thinking, you know, about her and this… having this pacemaker, having his heart defect, having challenges throughout her life. And I kept thinking about what it would be like for her to go to school and face other children who might not be so kind that she has a bump on her belly and scars and having to go the doctors and that she was different. So I wrote it down and I actually wrote it into the form, a story… I made a story about a little girl in school and… and facing this fear and sharing this difference with her friends. And I wrote it in the form of a poem, actually any time I think of a children's story, it comes out in rhyme like Dr. Seuss or something (Laughs). But… so I wrote it out and then when I finally started to submit it to publishers, I had one publisher who was interested and she said, “Rhyming stories aren't… aren't selling, Lori, but I like this story, can you rewrite it?” so I did.

J: Ah.

L: And then she offered the contract. So that's how that came about, that was back in 2009, the book finally came out in 2012 after we, you know, got through the process and found a illustrator that I loved and… and all that good stuff. This process is a long process to finally get to publication.

J: And what's the name of the book again?

L: It's called ‘Riley's Heart Machine’, so…

J: Riley's Heart Machine.

L: Yeah, so it's… I take it to schools and I've actually developed it now into a whole assembly where I teach kids about writing, the writing process, how to create fun, interesting, flawed characters, and how none of us are perfect because perfect is boring, but, you know, these interesting characters that we find, that we love in books, they're often flawed and just like us and they often have unique qualities. So I've kind of built a whole assembly around that, PowerPoint, props, interactive with the kids, and I actually just did it for Riley's class just a little bit ago. I usually do it for schools, but I just went in and just did it for her class. And then it turns into sort of a QA where kids tell me what makes them special and I hear everything (Laughs). And usually, you know, some profound things that have actually brought me to tears. Sometimes, some kids will stand up and say, “I was born with a heart defect. I've had open-heart surgery. You know, I had this wrong with me,” I had a child with cochlear plants who… all kinds of things I see, and it's been… I can't even describe how wonderful… I never thought this book… when I first wrote this book, I said, “Who's going to want to read a book about a kid with a pacemaker?” (Laughs) you know?

J: (Laughs)

L: Because at that point, I really didn't know any other children who had them. And now, I've heard from moms in Scotland in Africa in Australia who said, “My child has a heart defect and they love this book, they took it to school.”

J: Aww.

L: So the ripple effect of this has gone on way beyond what I could have ever pictured or imagined. So… and it's been more rewarding for me I think than anything, you know, and people can look at it as that, “Well, maybe it's helping other children,” but it helped me to just grow as a writer and as a person.

J: I love how you've taken something hard and turned it into something so productive and helpful and beneficial.

L: Thank you, thanks.

J: So are there other books you've written?

L: Yes. Well, based on my experiences with talking to kids, I actually written another story called ‘Confetti the Croc’ and it was about an alligator… a crocodile who is… he’s orange and he has polka-dots and nobody wants to be his friend and they mock him in the bog, but he's proud of himself and he likes it. And because of that, he meets another monkey who's similar and they become great friends and everybody else wants to join in, and once they do, they share what makes them special and different. You know, the pelican has more toes than he should and the turtle actually has a soft spot on a shell, so they all become friends. And I wrote that, I wrote part of the story way before I became an author, but I took it and I expanded it and added in the other animals because of my experience with talking these kids in school and how they really did just want to be heard and their story heard and they wanted to be accepted and not laughed at, you know, or they wanted to share maybe something that they had never shared with other classmates before. So I wrote that, ‘Confetti the Croc’, and actually worked with a local illustrator here and we sort of… we self-published it together, this other illustrator. So those 2 are my published children's books that I now take on the road with me and do assemblies with.

J: That's great. As you were speaking about that, it struck me that we really need a book like that for women, for adult women.

L: Yeah.

J: Because, you know how we are in society, creating this image of the perfect woman, whatever that is, doesn't exist, but we all kind of know what it is and believe in it.

L: Absolutely.

J: And I wish we could tear that apart and really celebrate diversity, like you're saying.

L: Absolutely. And, you know, one of the funny things when I… when this book was getting ready to come out, ‘Riley’s Heart Machine’, I was questioning myself and I kept saying, “Oh my goodness, my story is going to be out there. What if people don't like my story? What if people criticize me? What if this?” and I kept thinking, “Oh my goodness, this is… I'm doing Riley's story, you know, I am living it.” You know, and the little girl in the story was questioning sharing with the world, and there I was doing it and doubting myself. And… and then when I finally realized that, it was… it felt good to say, “You know what? Some people might not like it, that's okay,” and, “Not everybody's going to think this is a good book, but there… I have… I'm only going to speak to the ones that are going to enjoy it and take something out of it.” So I've sort of used that same approach with my women's fiction in my novels because that's more of a scarier thing when you're out there and you can see people posting reviews on Amazon and it's public. You know, so you kind of have to say, “Hey, you're writing not to make everybody happy.”

J: Yeah.

L: “Nobody is going to make everybody happy.” So, yeah, I think a lot of… I think, especially women, we are so hard on ourselves.

J: Exactly.

L: They say… I just heard a thing on the radio yesterday, they said, “A woman looks in the mirror and looks at her least favorite feature and focuses on that. A man looks in the mirror and focuses on his most favorite feature and complements himself.” Now, if only we women could do that, you know, just look at what what's special about us and not negative.

J: (Laughs)

L: But we tend to focus on the negative.

J: Well, that's why your books are brilliant because maybe if we start there at that age, we can carry that forward and start to shift our thinking as a society, yeah; well, that's great. So tell us more about how you're living a vibrant happy life today, what… what it looks like for your family and some of the things you're doing with your time.

L: Sure. One of the things that I put a lot of value on is laughter, and I've kind of taught my kids to… you know, like we just said about being negative, I think it's important to take time to laugh at ourselves, to maybe take a moment to just make fun of something we did instead of beating ourselves up. And I'm trying to teach my kids that; that it's okay to laugh at yourself, let's have fun in situation that might be scary or… or too serious, let's break things up with laughter. And I'm trying to do that a lot, and that kind of falls on my other theory of life which is finding a balance. You know, I think there's a lot of negativity in this world so if you can just try to insert some positive, finding balance in your day-to-day life. You know, like… like we just talked about, a lot of times, I can beat myself up and think, “Oh, I didn't do enough today, I didn't do this,” but if you just take a moment to really compliment yourself and say, “You know what? I did this. Let's reward myself with maybe a piece of cake,” you know? (Laughs)

J: Yeah, yeah.

L: So, and… or, “I had a piece of cake, don't beat yourself up, just go for a walk.” So I think, you know, finding balance is huge, for me, and part of that is adding in the laughter, complimenting ourselves sometimes, but also making fun of ourselves, and I think that is… is a huge way to find balance. I was… I was just going to say, I'm a big fan of… I've raised my children through the reward system.

J: (Laughs)

L: You know, and not always, “You know, let's reward the good behavior.” I think we should do that with ourselves, like just take time out and don't beat yourself up at the end of the day, but complement, at least every… at the end of every day, just compliment yourself for one thing you did right, you know…

J: Mm-hmm.

L: … one thing you did well, and that can go a long way.

J: Yeah. And it strikes me that, as you were speaking, part of the problems that our… our culture here in the US is so achievement-oriented.

L: Yes.

J: And maybe that's another shift we can have where we stop worrying about what we need to be doing and just focus on what we already are…

L: Right.

J: … and enjoy and celebrate that.

L: Yeah, I tell my… that’s… myself that daily, but I don't always… I’m not always good at that, you know, so I do really need to take the time to just say, “Stop, that one negative review is okay when you got hundreds of other great ones,” you know?

J: Yeah.

L: But it's hard, we tend to want to focus on the negative and, “Why can't we convinced that one person to like us?” you know?

J: Yes.

L: (Laughs). So….

J: Yes. Well…

L: And if I can add one other thing…

J: Oh, go ahead.

L: … that I had just with finding balance in life too in the vibrant… having a vibrant life, I think it's important to take a step back from ourselves and to give back. And I think that's where the my charity work has come into play, taking time away and not focusing on yourself so much, really helps you be hap… it makes you happier all around.

J: Mm-hmm.

L: So, not saying it's an easy road, but I'm saying that it's… to take the focus off yourself sometimes is…

J: Mm-hmm.

L: … is a plus.

J: And also to recognize that everyone's struggling in some way.

L: Yes.

J: I don't know why we do this, but we believe were the only ones.

L: Right.

J: But by serving like you are doing with your volunteer work, you know, that everyone really is struggling…

L: Yes.

J: … and you're not alone. So…

L: Absolutely.

J: Great. So, Lori, we've reached the part of the show where we get to talk about some of your favorite things.

L: Okay.

J: Are you ready?

L: I'm ready.

J: Okay. What's a favorite personal habit that contributes to your success?

L: (Laughs). Well, we kind of just talked about that, but it's the reward system again. So what I do is, even if I'm writing, and let's say I have a big thing that I have to get through and something that I don't want to do, editing or whatever it is, I just give myself little increments of work and then it's like, “Okay, then you can have a piece of chocolate.” So…

J: Oh.

L: …. I always try to take time out to really take a break, reward myself too, you know, work hard, but then make sure you schedule some fun in there too.

J: Yeah.

L: So that's sort of… and I try to do that sort of every day. And, you know, one thing that I always try to say is, “Doing a little bit of something for my mind and my… or my body mind and spirit,” and if I can like maybe tend to each of those things every day, by the end of the day, I'm typically feeling balanced and happy.

J: Okay, I like that.

L: That makes sense. (Laughs)

J: Body, mind, and spirit.

L: Right. So if I maybe… I walked, I took a walk from my body, maybe my mind, I did some work or, for my spirit, maybe I did some charity work or read some scripture. I did a little bit of that every day, it tends to make me feel a little bit more balanced and then I achieved something at the end of the day.

J: Okay, I like that. Share your favorite easy meal that you like to eat regularly.

L: (Laughs). This is one that my entire family likes, it is chicken tacos in the Crock-Pot. We just put chicken, a little taco seasoning, a cup of water, and by the end of the day, it's done and we can eat to put our own toppings and we just do it together, and it's just that one thing I have found that my entire family loves.

J: And so easy, perfect.

L: So easy, yes, yes.

J: Yea. Your current favorite household possession.

L: Alright, now, this is going to sound shallow at first, but let me explain; my iPhone, which sounds terrible.

J: (Laughs)

L: But I love taking pictures and I think of all the time that I used to lug this big camera around with me. I love having an iPhone with me that I can snap a moment of my life whenever I want to.

J: Yeah.

L: And I know that sounds stupid, but I think I've captured more little fun things with my kids and my family and I that I didn't before. So I really value pictures and I love having those on my phone, so that may sound shallow…

J: Yeah.

L: … saying my iPhone, but…

J: Oh, it's not shallow.

L: Okay. (Laughs)

J: It's modern-day society…

L: Exactly.

J: … you got to have that phone on you.

L: Exactly.

J: You never know when. (Laughs)

L: It’s true, it’s true, and my kids always laugh, they’re like, “Oh, don’t touch mom’s phone,” (Laughs), “She loves her phone.”

J: (Laughs). That's true, my daughter always takes and tries to film herself and I find her in…

L: yes.

J: … little corners behind chairs hiding. (Laughs)

L: Aww. And, you know, those have been the best, my fav… some of my favorite videos were the ones that my kids did do of themselves, so those are great. (Laughs)

J: Uh-huh, those are fun. Do you have a favorite book that you'd recommend to the Vibrant Happy Women community?

L: Well, you know, I… I have a theory of my… my books, I broke them out into 3 categories. My favorite personal book from… and this is for actually my writer friends out there, if there are any writers out there, ‘Bird by Bird’ by Anne Lamott. She's usually writes very funny spiritual books, but this was all for writers, and I use a lot of her little tips and things throughout there. So if there's any writers out there or artists even, ‘Bird by Bird’ by Anne Lamont is one of my favorites. And I have 2 books that… this is going to, again, sound silly, but I think everybody should take time to read something for personal growth, for personal pleasure, and also something that makes you think. And I think, for personal pleasure side, I think my very favorite book in the whole world was ‘The Thorn Birds’ because it was just romance escape. And I think everybody should take time to just read something just for fun that no one's going to judge you on.

J: Hmm.

L: And then… and then I… a personal book that I really love is ‘The Help’.

J: Oh.

L: I think that, really, I'm a fan of progress and, you know, and just… that really helped me think and to see the world how… just in our immediate and, you know, not-too-distant past how it was, and just a reminder of how far we've come and how far we need to go. So those are sort of my favorite books.

J: I love how you divided those into categories.

L: (Laughs)

J: I'm going to… I'm going to start making my own categories now.

L: Good, good.

J: What's a favorite item on your bucket list?

L: Well, what I did recently is I made a bucket list up for my… me and my children. And I want things… because like time seems to be flying way too fast and I feel like there are certain places I want to take them before they move away from home (Laughs). So we made a list, sort of together, that we want to go… we all want to go together somewhere tropical, we want to go to Niagara Falls, we're doing that this summer. So just sort of places, so that was sort of part of it that I did with them. My other favorite item for me, personally, is I would like to attend a taping of Dancing with the Stars or The Bachelor. (Laughs)

J: Ooh, that’s fun. (Laughs)

L: Just my fun things that I would like to do before I die; and or attend a Super Bowl. So, you know…

J: Yeah.

L: … those big ticket, big extensive tickets, but those are my personal favorite.

J: I love when people have very specific items on their bucket list.

L: (Laughs)

J: It's just so fun.

L: Right.

J: I think it's more fun to come up with items than perhaps even to do them. (Laughs)

L: Exactly.

J: What's the best advice you've ever received?

L: To not try to control everything and I think the best advice was, “Give it up to God,” and I love that because it's freed me so many times where I've been plagued with worry or distress and/or planning something, worrying about the weather for a big event. If I just let it go, it has helped me so much and just know that I can't control everything.

J: Perfect, “Give it up to God.”

L: Yep.

J: I like that. And looking back on your life so far, share your happiest memory.

L: You know, again, because I have to put everything in category, obviously, the… I think my 2 favorite memories were of the births of my 2 children, which that sounds cliché, but Sydney's was such a nice happy birth after we had lost some children, and seriously, it was just happy. We were still joking around right before she was delivered, like it was a great experience, that… and then with Riley with the complete different set of circumstances, it was still one of the happiest moments of my life to see her face after what we had been through; so those are 2 of the happiest. And then the other in… for me, personally in my career, was the first time I got to type ‘The end’ at the end of one of my novels. (Laughs)

J: Wow, what a feeling!

L: So it felt like such an accomplishment. So, yeah…

J: Oh yeah, huge; all very big accomplishments, all 3 of those things. So our listeners can find links to everything you mentioned on our show notes page at jenriday.com/14. And now that leads us to our final question which is the happiness formula. If you had to create a 3 to 5 part formula of actions that maximize your happiness, what would that include?

L: You know, I kind of already said this, but my formula was combining body, mind, spirit, and just tending to each of those each day. And then the other part is just really rewarding, complimenting yourself, and laughing at your flaws. And I think, all that together, you'll have a happier day.

J: Lori, I've loved listening to your journey and your bits of wisdom. You… you're definitely a thinker and I like that; it’s probably why you're such a good author.


J: So give the Vibrant Happy Women community a parting challenge that we can think about or work on in the week or month ahead.

L: Sure. At the end of each day, right before you go to bed, just say, “How did I compliment myself today?” and then compliment yourself on something you did and then laugh at something that went wrong, and I think at the end of each day, then you can just go to sleep and be happy.

J: Oh, that's brilliant and so easy; compliment yourself and laugh at something that went wrong.

L: Yeah.


J: That’s great. And children do the both of those things so naturally.

L: Exactly, they do, it’s true.

J: Yeah. Lori, thank you so much for being on the show.

L: Sure.

J: And, again, our listeners can find links to everything we discussed by going to jenriday.com/14. And we've learned so much from you, thanks for being here.

L: Alright, thank you, Jen.

J: Take care.

L: Bye-bye, you too.

J: Thank you so much for joining us today. I was so inspired by Lori and how she's trying to give back and make the world a better place; she's amazing. Be sure to join me next time when they chat with Sarah Dobson. Sarah is struggling or perhaps thriving despite having Camurati-Engelmann disease. This is a bone disorder that causes, for her, great pressure on her brain and Sarah is so inspiring because, I have a quote I'll share with you (a little foreshadowing of what's to come on our next episode), she said, “It's really helped me to get clear on what matters to me in terms of how I want to spend my time, how I want to live my life when I've got this disease kind of hanging over my head in that way, it really makes you think twice about what matters and knowing in a very real way that life is short. And as morbid as that can be sometimes, I actually think it's kind of a blessing to have such clarity around that.” Sarah is amazing, she doesn't have any self-pity about having this disease and she's trying to make a difference. So be sure to join us next time and thank you so much for being here today. Take care.

Outro: Thanks for listening to the Vibrant Happy Women podcast at www.jenriday.com.